Sep 23, 2023
Sep 23, 2023
by P C K Prem
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 72
After he listens to the appeals of gods, Shiva blesses them but wishes to know the intensity of penance of Parvati – and arrival of seven sages at her ashrama for a serious discourse with the goddess on vital issues
Gods, sages, siddhas and holy souls went back happily to respective abodes. Shiva had agreed to fulfill gods’ long cherished wish. When the gods and sages left, Sankara wished to test the intensity of tapa of Parvati and therefore, sat in deep meditation. He concentrated deeply, and thought of the beyond (paratpara), health, existence devoid of delusions, and a harmonious life without anarchy or disturbance. It reveals that lord Shiva is present in the figure of the objective one wants to achieve. The realisation of Supreme Lord is the sacred objective of life of created beings, gods and celestial beings one ought to know. Nobody knows about the subtle schedules of Supreme lord, for Shiva is the Supreme Creator.
During those days, Parvati was engaged in austere tapa. Severe tapasya of Parvati surprised Shiva. Since Rudra (Shiva) is always under the control of devotees, he was disturbed because of this reason. Later on, Shiva thought of the great seven sages. The moment he recalled seven sages to mind, they arrived immediately. All were very happy. They felt fortunate and were proud of providence. Shiva was equally delighted to greet holy souls.
He smiled and said, “O sages, you are my well-wishers and possess knowledge of the animate and the inanimate created beings.”
He was silent. After a thought, he said, “Please listen. The goddess of goddesses, the daughter of the mountain, Parvati is undergoing austere tapa on mountain Gauri with an objective to attain me. O holy brahmins, at the moment, able friends look after Gauri. She has deserted desires of the world and now is devoted to me, and therefore, harbours supreme wish. O monks, please go, shower love and affection, and try to know Parvati’s heart and mind. Be resolute and steady, and try to reach definite inference. Talk deceptively with the intents of a conniver. Only then, you would reach truth. O men of great tapa, you achieve it as I desire and do not doubt what I say.”
After the instructions of the Supreme Lord, the holy men arrived at the ashrama of mother of the universe Parvati, who illuminated the entire surroundings with the brilliance of tapa. The sages found goddess Shiva in siddhi (deep meditation on an image of perfection in tapa) and witnessed unsurpassed radiance. She emitted brightness because of tapa. Men of great tapa saluted Parvati out of the depth of hearts, felt entirely indebted to the divine thoughts and feelings, and so, revered the great goddess.
They bowed modestly before the goddess and said, “O great goddess, please listen. We wish to know what far you are engaged in tapa. Who do you wish to attain and what reward you want?”
Girija observed restraint and kept a veil of secrecy, yet spoke of a great truth, “O holy monks, you listen. I reveal what I cherish in heart, for I have thought over it for long and when you know, you will feel happy and gratified. You will also ridicule when you will hear my pledge that appears impossible to attain, and therefore, I feel hesitant. Even then, I will say, I cannot help. I am determined to achieve the objective through the supreme karma of tapa. A holy thought persuades me to do this. It is like constructing a tall wall on water. O holy men, after I secured blessings of celestial sage Narada, I treasured a desire that ‘lord Rudra should be my husband’ and therefore, I am engaged in austere tapa to achieve the objective.”
“O holy men, a bird like intellect of stubbornness flies in the sky without wings. Only swamy, a treasure of mercy can fulfill an earnest wish.” She said without hiding anything.
Holy men of tapa smiled, exhibited respect to Girja’s resolve, and tried to say wisely but the advice appeared a bit uncertain and doubtful.
They said, “O holy daughter of the mountains, sage Narada unnecessarily considers that he is a great pundit and so many a time, speaks sternly and cruelly. You are very wise, no doubt, but you do not know Narada’s character. Sage Narada talks nastily and wickedly, drives many people to delusion, and thus, disturbs hearts and minds. Listen to the sage and you invite troubles and interruptions. He preferred to connive initially and thereafter, advised sons of Daksa (manas-putra – a son of Brahma) rather waywardly that spoke of his vileness. Its consequences were not good because they never returned, and preferred life of ascetics or bhikhshus. He played a similar deceptive game with other sons of Daksa and the poor sons became mere beggars.”
The holy men tried to distract meditation of Parvati so that she renounces tapa. They genuinely tried to obey directives of Shiva. After a pause, they resumed, “O Parvati, not only this, sage Narada advised Chitrakuta, a vidhyadhara and he was completely destroyed. Further, Narada made Prahalada a disciple, and the child became the cause of troubles mighty Hirayanakasipu suffered. O holy woman, Narada always tries to contaminate hearts of living beings and disturbs intellects, and often creates dissentions. Monk Narada talks sweet that appeals the ears and so convinces the listeners, but very soon, the unsuspecting and innocent listeners realise the mistake and find themselves reduced to beggars. Narada’s mind is full of evils. Only the body of the monk appears clean, O holy Parvati.” Sages tried hard to divert attention of Parvati so that she is uneasy, and ignores the counsel of monk Narada.
After some time, they said, “We know and understand Narada’s evil intents because we live with him. O goddess, the wise men revere and respect you. Now, you too, appear pushed into a kind of delusion. It is waste of time to undergo austere tapa.” The sages disclosed the essence soon but observed restraint.
They thought over and said again, “O dear girl, Rudra is always detached, formless, and is an enemy of kama (passions). Do not nurse doubts. He adorns body with inauspicious living beings and the dead – and snakes, skulls, bones and ashes. He does not know grace and decency. He has neither a house nor a place of stay. Nobody knows anything about Rudra’s lineage. Attired in dirty clothes, he lives among ghosts, pisachas and moves about semi-clad with a trident in hand. It appears sage Narada destroyed knowledge, offered deceptive and erroneous reasons, and advised you to undertake tapa.”
“O daughter of Himalaya, you deliberate and think what pleasure or comforts you get if you accept Rudra as a husband? Earlier lord Rudra thought deep and married Sati but he was a fool and did not carry on well with a good and devoted wife. He arraigned unnecessarily, abandoned Sati, then, was engaged in meditation, and so, forgot everything. O holy woman, how any woman can live with a man, who loves to live alone, remains cool, eschews company and remains amazingly unrivaled? Nothing is lost yet. You agree what we say. Go back home and leave the idea of marrying an evil minded Rudra.”
Sages realised that she was still skeptical and therefore, without waste of time, said, “O woman of fortunes, it benefits you. Vishnu is a fit match. He is an embodiment of virtues and resides in Vaikuntha. He is swamy of goddess Laksmi and is capable of creating pleasures and joys of varied kinds. We can get you married to Vishnu and the conjugal relations will bestow all the pleasures of the world on you. O Parvati, do not be obstinate and therefore, abandon thought of marrying Rudra and agree to marry Vishnu if you want to live a happy life.”
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