Shiva Purana: Vayaveeya Samhita - 1

As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 124

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The great lord thinks of Creation and therefore, Shiva imparts knowledge…who is Param Brahma is the question, the Supreme Brahma answers …a living being must grow in knowledge and wisdom…coming up of Rudras…creation and its increase

He was the cause of creation, preservation and destruction of the universe and was the lord of Prakriti and Purusa, Vyasa told and saluted the lord and praised him. Prayag was not only a place of dharma but it was also a great tirtha – a place of pilgrimage where monks of immense radiance and pure hearts organised a great yajna.

When the great sage Suta heard about the divine gathering, he arrived at the place and blessed the holy men. On the request of holy men, Suta ji agreed and narrated the tale of sacred Purana that contained the essence of Shiva-tattva – knowledge and wisdom. Later, he described the holy places of knowledge and wisdom, number of Puranas and the origin of the saintly books. In addition to the above ancient books, he talked of fourteen other pearls of knowledge – vidyas namely – six Vedangas, four Vedas, laws of review and judgment, laws of justice, eighteen puranas and books of dharma and so on, and the creator of the sacred books was none other than lord Shiva, the Shrutis said.

Shiva Purana is the fourth in the hierarchy of puranas, the learned men say and it pertains to the life, teaching, prayer and worship of lord Shiva, who fulfills aspirations of all. It contains one lac slokas and has seven sub-sections namely – Vidyeishvara (two thousand slokas), Rudra (ten thousand and five hundred slokas), Sat Rudra (two thousand one hundred and eighty slokas), Kotirudra (two thousand two hundred and forty slokas), Uma (One thousand eight hundred and forty slokas), Kailasa (One thousand two hundred and forty slokas) and Vayaveeya has four thousand slokas)). Sage Ved Vyasa for the benefit of devotees and ordinary men reduced it to twenty four thousand slokas without impairing its impact.

When the great lord thought of creation, first he created eternal son Brahma from the cosmic yoni. Shiva imparted the entire knowledge to him. To look after the creation and knowledge, he appointed Vishnu. After he gained full knowledge, Brahma was engaged in the stupendous task of creation. He thought of ancient books Puranas before taking up other scriptures and thereafter, from the four mouths, originated four Vedas. One expected that the wise and learned men ought to learn the essence of Puranas and if such people were devoted, it was advisable they spoke indulgently about the celebrated legends from Puranas.

In the present Kalpa that is equal to a day of Brahma people believe, is a period between creation and annihilation. The creator of the universe began to perform various functions that were supportive for living life. Agriculture, protection of cows and commercial activities began and it made people active, vigilant and conscious. At that time, a debate started among the saints born in six different dynasties. ‘Who is Param Brahma’ was the big question and therefore, a heated dialogue began. They went to the creator of the universe eternal Brahma, who lived in Brahmavana. Gods and asuras eulogised the Supreme Lord where not only gods, danavas and the demons lived and talked to one another but yaksasas and gandharavas also enjoyed life even as beautiful birds chirped and looked fully adorned with various jewels.

Holy men admired and sang songs of glory of eternal Brahma, the treasure house of material and spiritual wisdom, and who had fantastic potency. They praised the creator, the guardian and the preserver and the destroyer of the worlds and saluted but still they failed to understand the enormity and cosmic dimension of the great lord. When the lord enquired about the purpose of the visit, the wise monks frankly told that they were distressed because of darkness – ignorance and lack of knowledge and though engaged in serious dialogue they were unable to know the supreme essence-param-tattva. There was nothing in the world he did not know. He was the ancient among the created beings, the eternal Parameshwara.

They enquired about the Supreme Brahma. Now, Brahma expounded the essence of Param Brahma Shiva and the eternal import and told that he was the repository of everything big or small, which created beings needed to live. Sages’ eulogies cheered up Brahma, who stood near the noble souls and meditated on Rudra, who exists everywhere, controls and guides all beings living or dead and the three worlds. He activates and de-activates all animate or inanimate beings. Rudra exists in all images, they learnt. He is the cause and the effect. He is eternal, sages learnt and for a long time, Brahma continued to tell sages about the eternal virtues, powers, divine characteristics of Rudra, who is the presiding deity, the supreme lord of the entire universe, whose wisdom and knowledge, power and images are beyond and timeless.

Constant meditation on the lord, ultimately, leads a genuine devotee to merger with the lord. One ought to consider the lord as his core of rumination, who grants supreme status. He is the beginning of all but has no beginning or end. He is pure, free and self-governed. He is free but grants freedom from bondages. He is beyond time and death but inspires them to function. Therefore, he continues to pour words of praise.

Brahma told again, “Vishnu, Rudradeva and other gods of heavens and asuras undergo severe tapa and meditation to delight the lord so that they enjoy a glimpse of the great lord. Those, who are irreligious, foolish, wicked and nurse horrible and contemptible thoughts, can never attain him even if they undertake austere tapa.” In short, he told them to concentrate on the great lord, for he grants deliverance.

“O holy men, organise yajna for one thousand divine years and complete it. On the conclusion of the great yagya, through the chanting of mantras, lord of Air – Vayudeva will arrive. He will tell you the path to eventual well-being, goodwill and ultimate liberation. After Deva’s counsel, you go to holy city Varanasi where lord Visvanath (Shiva) and Parvati on the prayers of devotees, live. It will surprise you all. After, witnessing the miracle, you come back to me and I will tell how to attain moksa. Only one life is adequate to attain moksa.” He left the divine chakra the most adored disc (wheel), he had made and told them that it would split into fragments wherever it falls and would signal good fortunes for the men of tapa and penance.

Men of tapa, the great sages began the journey as Brahma had advised and later, the disc fell in a beautiful forest and it became famous as Naimisha forest where many celestial beings began to live. In ancient times, the wise and mighty Prajapatis organised one of the most important divine yajnas and afterward, it was a center of strength of wisdom, knowledge, kriya-yoga and scriptural power. A sacred place it was where sages, seers and others underwent rigorous tapa. No violent beast lived and thus, with sweet fruit, nectar like water and divine qualities it become the most lovely and blessed place for men of tapa.

Sages were very happy and thereafter, they went to the sacred forest of Naimisha. They organised a huge yajna. It was a wonderful yajna and all were happy. When it concluded, on the consent of Brahma, lord of Air – Vayudeva arrived. The monks greeted the lord, made him sit on a golden throne, and worshipped. Vayudeva asked about the wellbeing and said, “Were you fit and healthy? I am sure enemy of gods daityas did not create obstacles. Sure, you did not regret.” He asked about everything and at last said, “What do you wish to do after the conclusion of yagya

Monks expressed joy that wishes stand fulfilled and said, “Ignorance had overshadowed intellect and so, we had meditated on Prajapati ages back.” They learnt that the lord Rudra was the greatest. Reasons could not define the lord. Only through devotion, a devotee could understand. He guided and so they had come to the forest and organised a yagya where with the blessing of lord Rudra, he had come here, and for this reason, they had continued to organise and hold yajna and were waiting for him for the last one thousand celestial years. Vayudeva was happy. On the request of monks, he emphasised the significance of devotion to lord Sankara and the creation of world.


He told that Rudra was the greatest. He is the cause and one cannot understand him through intellect and reasons. Only a devotee understands his image properly. Devotion is a blessing of lord and he attains supreme bliss. They asked about the supreme and propitious truth, the supreme knowledge of god and how the he became son of Brahma.

Vayudeva told the inquisitive brahmins that with intent to create, Brahma underwent severe tapa and pleased the lord of gods Maheshwara. He appeared as an image of divine youth monk Sweta. Brahma bowed, saluted and praised the lord and attained supreme knowledge and began to create the world. “O brahmins, I undertook austere tapa and Supreme Brahma imparted knowledge.” Vayudeva told.

On the request of monks, Vayudeva told that he had attained the knowledge of Pasu, pasa and Pasupati in ancient times. It was the supreme truth, pure and auspicious, and through this sacrosanct awareness a man attains supreme bliss. When a man is under the control of bondages – pasas, he is animal. Those who wish to attain supreme bliss ought to have faith. One can get rid of sufferings through knowledge. They understood the true meaning of pasu, pasa and pasupati and learnt that the body was the storehouse of dirt and filth. When a devotee cleanses it from impurities, it turns into purified body, he told.

He imparted knowledge of the Supreme lord. He spoke about the supreme truth and three qualities – sattva, the cause of happiness and comforts and glory, rajas the cause of suffering and some poise in living and tamas, the root cause of delusion, breakdown and disillusionment. At this stage, he eloquently spoke about the significance and sanctity of devotion to Shiva and its celestial influence on created beings, for the lord always protected devotees in hour of miseries or crisis. Body is impure and storehouse of suffering and so is temporary. It is the root cause of miseries because karmas – good or bad guide it. In the past, many with mortal bodies faced end and therefore, many would come in future and will face death inevitable. Man is a like a traveler and relations are also travelers, who meet for a while and die and one knows nothing about the relation before birth and after death. Created beings meet, live and depart but they know nothing of past and future – either before birth or after death. Therefore, ‘Jiva’ is pasu, He lives in bondages of joys and pleasure, suffers and ultimately dies, so say the great souls, Vayudeva told.

Those who do not grow in knowledge and wisdom live life of animals and remain in bondages. Only the great lord liberates men from the bondages of joy and pleasures. He frees pasus from the bonds of pasas. Without the lord, nothing is possible. Only knower of Brahma vidya is free from the yoni of purusa. Lord is the creator and warden, and looks after all created beings. He, the great Rudra, creates, protects and finally destroys the creation. However, he is the greatest Sage, Shrutis say. Vayudeva speaks on various eternal virtues and characteristics of Rudradeva he had heard from Brahma in previous Kalpa. Shiva is beyond Prakriti and Purusa who creates the universe and at the time of annihilation observes everything.

Vayuadev spoke in detail about the subtle knowledge and then, explained the importance and real meaning of Mehashwara. Vayudeva later told about the five sons of BrahmaSanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, Ribhu and Sanatkumara, who were embodiment of yoga. Manas putras of Brahma were yogis and they had no worldly fear or attachment. They were devoid of feelings of jealousy, hatred or passion, and always concentrated at the feet of lord, and therefore, nursed no aspiration to enlarge populace and so very soon left the abode of father Brahma.

Now, Brahma undertook austere tapa but it brought no reward. The lord was very sad and full of anger even as tears began to flow. Drops of tears gave birth to eerie and ghostly forces and it was cause of intense anguish and because of the failure, the lord prajapati Brahma fell unconscious and later, abandoned life. At that time, Rudra emerged out of the mouth of Brahma with eleven images – symbols of Supreme Lord.

When they appeared, the lord said, “O children, to bless, benefit and guard population I created you so that you abandon lassitude and lethargy and make efforts for creation, its wellbeing and increase of people.” They ran about and wept and this conferred the name of Rudra on the children. Rudras are the life breath and the life breath is Rudra. Later, the Supreme infused life in Brahma. Brahma folded hands and said, “O lord, mere glimpses provide ecstatic moments. Who you are O lord? Are you situated in the entire cosmos? Did you appear in eleven images?”

Lord, the lord of gods Maheshwara touched Brahma with comfort giving hands and said, “O god, you know that I am the Supreme Lord and now, have appeared as your son. The eleven Rudras have come to provide security to you. Therefore, I request you to wake up, discard stupor and comatose and begin the process of creation as you did earlier.”

Thereafter, Brahma praised Rudra for the brilliance and enlightenment that had no equivalent. He admired Rudra in different images and said, “O lord of past, future and present, my son lord Maheshwara, you are born out of my body. Therefore, O lord of Universe, as I am engaged in the great work of creation, so help me everywhere and you also involve yourself in the creation of people.” Brahma immediately began the process of creation and gave birth to manas-putras – sons born of mind namely Marichi, Bhrigu, Angira, Pulsatya, Pulaha, Kratu, Atri and Vasistha.

The creation continued. Dharma, spirit of resolution, Rudra, and then the celestial beings and the gods of different divine dynasties took birth. He thought of creating gods, asuras, pitres and human beings and so Brahma in deep state of meditation created different living beings of various categories from different organs and limbs of body equipped with three gunas. In the same way, from the most sacred part of the body, different holy words that took the shape of books originated. He created yaksas, pisaches, ghosts, gandharavas, nymphs of various nature, human beings, kinners, raksasas, birds, animals, stags and cobras, snakes and nagas. He also consented to perform actions – karmas, and so determined the nature of beings, classes, varnas etc… and thus, completed the sacred work of creation as the Supreme lord desired.

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