Shiva Purana: Shat Rudra Samhita - 5

As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 105

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Tale of Ahuk and Ahuka, devotees of Shiva Nandi tells that speaks volumes of blessings lord showers on devotees, who sacrifice life to give pleasure to the lord appearing as a guest…later the devotees of lord take birth as Nala and Damyaniti and unite in the next birth…and so attained deliverance …incarnation of Shiva as Krishnadarshana and Nabhaga

A guest is an image of god, people still believe. Ancient tale of Ahuk and his wife Ahuka, devotees of Shiva, is interesting, Nandi told. Once lord Shiva in the guise of a recluse Yatiraaja went to the house of Ahuk but he had no room for him. However, Ahuka impressed upon her husband not to disappoint a guest and so, he agreed and therefore, they provided space to the guest, who stayed for a night. However, Ahuk decided to protect the guest and wife Ahuka from beasts of the jungle and therefore, stood outside as guard while Yati and Ahuka took rest inside. At night, beasts of the jungle killed Ahuk for food. Yati was upset but Ahuka despite inner agony, spoke of the noble work Ahuk did, because for her, to serve guest is a virtue and so she requested him to prepare a pyre and soon entered it. Exactly at that time, Sankara appeared and said, “You are blessed. O virtuous woman, ask for a boon.”

She did not ask anything but was extremely delighted.

He said to Ahuka, who appeared quite happy, “I shall take birth in the image of Hansa and will help you happily to unite with Ahuk I say and bless you. Ahuk will take birth as the eldest prince of King Veersain of Nishadha and people will know him as famous Nala. You will be born as daughter of King Bheema of Vidharbha and people will know you as Damyanti. You will enjoy pleasures of royal life and later, attain moksa, which is difficult even for great lords of yoga.” After blessing Ahuka, the lord established himself at the place as lingam. Virtuous karmas of bheel couple led them to attain joys of life and paved the way for moksa otherwise difficult for others and the great lord helped the noble couple as Hansa.

Now, wise Nandi enthusiastically told tales of incarnations of lord Shiva with intense dedication and zeal. He asserted that devotion granted freedom from the cycle of birth and death even as spirit of sacrifice elevates a man.

Now, he narrates the tales of Krishnadarshana and Nabhaga. Everything dead or alive belongs to lord, no created beings can claim ownership, and if someone does, it is a grave crime…and continuity of tales continue to emphasise the truth that bhakti of lord Shiva grants moksa to the devotees. Incarnations as Avadhuta and Bhiksuvaya again speak of intensity of devotion. He tells about the life of Satyaratha, a devotee of Shiva. Told in brief, the tales reveal the depth of devotion to the lord, who is always subservient to the wishes of devotees.

Nandi was a true bhakta of Shiva and therefore, he took keen interest to narrate tales of various incarnations of Shiva. He was clear and unequivocal in asserting that lord blessed those who were devotees and did no wrong to anyone but stayed self-sacrificing. Devotion granted deliverance from suffering and the cycle of birth and rebirth. Eagerly, he told brahmins about Shiva’s incarnation as Krishnadarshana and also narrated the story of Nabhaga whom his brothers refused to give share of land and property. He revealed that everything belonged to Shiva and if anyone said, land and property belonged to him, it was wrong.

As Avadhuta, lord destroyed ego and pride of lord Indra. As Bhiksuvaya, he narrated the tale of King Satyaratha and his violent and lethal war with the ksatriyas of Salva. He was defeated. However, his queen saved her life as she was pregnant and took shelter under a tree near a holy pond of water, and gave birth to a divine child. Queen was thirsty at that time, and so, she got down taking water but a graha – a beast of water, devoured her.

Orphaned child wept and at that time, Maheshwara arrived and began to protect the child. As destined, a brahmin woman, a widow reached and when she saw a crying child many thoughts assailed her mind about the birth, dynasty and family of the baby boy but after god’s blessing, who had come in the guise of a bhiksu, she agreed to look after the child as aurus son. She had recognised that bhiksu was none else but Shiva, who on insistence revealed the identity of the child – a son of devotee Satyaratha, a king of Vidharbha, whom ksatriyas had killed and later, destiny led the queen to become food of a water beast. The poor widow was worried because she had also a son and now to manage food for three souls was a huge problem.

Later, to satisfy disquieting curiosity, the lord narrated the tale of earlier life of Satyaratha, a devotee of Shiva. He left contemplation because of some noise and in anger beheaded an enemy and took food. He left life of tapa and now he was born as such, and on the other hand, the queen had killed a co-wife and so a beast killed her. Son lived life as a beggar and so he was poor.

Therefore, lord advised the queen to take refuge at the feet of Sankara. Later, Shiva revealed his identity. She was very happy and so, she bowed, saluted and praised. In the meantime, lord disappeared. She devotedly looked after the children while engaged in meditation. On the other hand, the boys grew up. They were devotees of Shiva, lived at home and adhered to the wise counsel of sage Shandilya.

One day, they went to a jungle where they noticed a daughter of gandharava. The prince married a gandharava’s girl. A gandharava marriage it was and thereafter, they began to enjoy comforts of life. The brahmin’s widow, who had looked after the prince, later, became the mother of state and the son of brahmin was prince’s brother. King was Dharamgupt.

Thus, a devotee of Shiva enjoyed the pleasure of the kingdom of Vidharbha. Bhiksuvarya, an incarnation of Shiva gave joys and comforts of life to the prince during childhood. It taught man how to live a life of service to others, for a sinless, pure and clean life was a path to purusartha and selflessness, and invariably, bestowed supreme joy on a devotee of Shiva.
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More by :  P C K Prem

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