ॐ हौं जूं सः ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः ॐ
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्।
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात्॥
— Shiva gives the boon to Upamanyu
Upamanyu said “O Madhva after hearing those words of my Mother, from that day my devotion was directed to Mahadeva, having nothing else for its object. I then applied myself to the practice of the austerest penances for gratifying Sankara. For one thousand years I stood on my left toe. After that I passed one thousand years, subsisting only upon fruits. The next one thousand years I passed, subsisting upon the fallen leaves of trees. The next thousand years I passed, subsisting upon water only. After that I passed seven hundred years, subsisting on air alone. In this way, I adored Mahadeva for a full thousand years of the celestials.
After this, the puissant Mahadeva, the Master of all the universe, became gratified with me. Desirous of ascertaining whether I was solely devoted to him and him alone, he appeared before me in the form of Sakra (Indra) surrounded by all the deities. As the celebrated Sakra, he had a thousand eyes on his person and was armed with the thunderbolt. And he rode on an elephant whose complexion was of the purest white, with eyes red, ears folded, the temporal juice trickling down his cheeks, with trunk contracted, terrible to look at, and endued with four tusks.
Indeed, riding on such an elephant, the illustrious chief of the deities seemed to blaze forth with his energy. With a beautiful crown on his head and adorned with garlands round his neck and bracelets round his arms, he approached the spot where I was. A white umbrella was held over his head. And he was waited upon by many Apsaras, and many Gandharvas sang his praise. Addressing me, he said…,
Indra said “O foremost of regenerate persons, I have been gratified with thee. Beg of me whatever boon thou desirest.
Upamanyu Continued “Hearing these words of Sakra I did not become glad. Verily, O Krishna, I answered the chief of the celestials in these words. ‘I do not desire any boon at thy hands, or from the hands of any other deity. O amiable deity, I tell thee truly, that it is Mahadeva only from whom I have boons to ask. True, true it is, O Sakra, true are these words that I say unto thee. No other words are at all agreeable to me save those which relate to Maheswara.
At the command of Pashupati, that Lord of all creatures, I am ready to become a worm or a tree with many branches. If not obtained through the grace represented by Mahadeva’s boons, the very sovereignty of the three worlds would not be acceptable to me. Let me be born among the very Chandalas but let me still be devoted to the feet of Hara.
Without, again, being devoted to that Lord of all creatures, I would not like to have birth in the palace of Indra himself. If a person be wanting in devotion to that Lord of the universe,–that Master of the deities and the Asuras,–his misery will not end even if from want of food he has to subsist upon only air and water.
What is the need of other discourses that are even fraught with other kinds of morality and righteousness, unto those persons who do not like to live even a moment without thinking of feet of Mahadeva? When the unrighteous or sinful Kali Yuga comes, one should never pass a moment without devoting his heart upon Mahadeva. One that has drunk the Amrita constituted by the devotion to Hara, one becomes freed from the fear of the world. One that has not obtained the grace of Mahadeva can never succeed to devote oneself to Mahadeva for a single day or for half a day or for a Muhurta or for a Kshana or for a Lava (very small unit of time). At the command of Mahadeva I shall cheerfully become a worm or an insect, but I have no relish for even the sovereignty of the three worlds, if bestowed by thee, O Sakra.
At the word of Hara I would become even a dog. In fact, that would accord with my highest wish. If not given by Maheswara, I would not have the sovereignty of the very deities. I do not wish to have this dominion of the Heavens. I do not wish to have the sovereignty of the celestials.
I do not wish to have the region of Brahma. Indeed, I do not wish to have that cessation of individual existence which is called Emancipation and which involves a complete identification with Brahma. But I want to become the slave of Hara. As long as that Lord of all creatures, the illustrious Mahesa, with crown on his head and body possessed of the pure white complexion of the lunar disc, does not become gratified with me, so long shall I cheerfully bear all those afflictions, due to a hundred repetitions of decrepitude, death and birth, that befall to the lot of embodied beings.
What person in the universe can obtain tranquillity, without gratifying Rudra that is freed from decripitude and death, that is endued with the effulgence of the Sun, the Moon, or the fire, that is the root or original cause of everything real and unreal in the three worlds, and that exists as one and indivisible entity? If in consequence of my faults, rebirths be mine, I shall, in those new births, devote myself solely to Bhava.”
Indra said, “What reason canst thou assign for the existence of a Supreme Being or for His being the cause of all causes?”
“Upamanyu said, ‘I solicit boons from that great Deity named Siva whom utterers of Brahma has described as existent and non-existent, manifest and unmanifest, eternal or immutable, one and many.
Upamanyu Describing the forms of Shiva.
- I solicit boons from Him who is without beginning and middle and end, who is Knowledge and Puissance, who is inconceivable and who is the Supreme Soul.
- I solicit boons from Him whence comes all Puissance, who has not been produced by any one, who is immutable, and who, though himself unsprung from any eed, is the seed of all things in the universe.
- I solicit boons from Him who is blazing Effulgence, (beyond Darkness) who is the essence of all penances, who transcends all faculties of which we are possessed and which we may devote for the purpose of comprehending him, and by knowing whom every one becomes freed from grief or sorrow.
- I worship him, O Purandara, who is conversant with the creation of all elements and the thought of all living creatures, and who is the original cause of the existence or creation of all creatures, who is omnipresent, and who has the puissance to give everything.
- I solicit boons from Him who cannot be comprehended by argument, who represents the object of the Sankhya and the Yoga systems of philosophy, and who transcends all things, and whom all persons conversant with the topics of enquiry worship and adore.
- I solicit boons from Him, O Maghavat, who is the soul of Maghavat himself, who is said to be the God of the gods, and who is the Master of all creatures.
- I solicit boons from Him who it is that first created Brahma, that creator of all the worlds, having filled Space (with His energy) and evoked into existence the primeval egg.
- Who else than that Supreme Lord could be creator of Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Space, Mind, and that which is called Mahat? Tell me, O Sakra, who else than Siva could create Mind, Understanding, Consciousness or Ego, the Tanmatras, and the senses?Who is there higher than Siva?
- The wise say that the Grandsire Brahma is the creator of this universe. Brahma, however, acquired his high puissance and prosperity by adoring and gratifying Mahadeva, that God of gods. That high puissance (consisting of all the three attributes of creation, protection, and destruction), which dwells in that illustrious Being who is endowed with the quality of being one, who created Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra, was derived from Mahadeva. Tell me who is there that is superior to the Supreme Lord?
- Who else than that God of gods is competent to unite the sons of Diti with lordship and puissance, judging by the sovereignty and the power of oppressing conferred upon the foremost of the Daityas and Danavas?
- The different points of the horizon, Time, the Sun, all fiery entities, planets, wind, water, and the stars and constellations,–these, know thou, are from Mahadeva. Tell us who is higher than the Supreme Lord?
- Who else is there, except Mahadeva, in the matter of the creation of Sacrifice and the destruction of Tripura?
- Who else except Mahadeva, the grinder of the foes, has offered lordship to the principal?
- What need, O Purandara, of many well-sounding statements fraught with spacious sophisms, when I behold thee of a thousand eyes, O best of the deities,–thee that art worshipped by Siddhas and Gandharvas and the deities and the Rishis?
- O best of the Kusikas, all this is due to the grace of that God of gods viz., Mahadeva. Know, O Kesava, that this all, consisting of animate and inanimate existences with heaven and other unseen entities, which occur in this world, and which has the all-pervading Lord for their soul, has flowed from Maheswara and has been created (by him) for enjoyment by Jiva.
- In the worlds that are known by the names of Bhu, Bhuva, Swah, and Maha, in the midst of the mountains of Lokaloka, in the islands, in the mountains of Meru, in all things that yield happiness, and in the hearts of all creatures, O illustrious Maghavat, resides Mahadeva, as persons conversant with all the topics of enquiry say.
- If, O Sakra, the Devas (deities) and the Asuras could see any other puissant form than Bhava’s, would not both of them, especially the former, when opposed and afflicted by the latter, have sought the protection of that form?
- In all hostile encounters of the deities, the Yakshas, the Uragas and the Rakshasas, that terminating in mutual destruction, it is Bhava that gives unto those that meet with destruction, puissance commensurate with their respective locations as dependent upon their acts.
- Tell me, who else than Maheswara is there for bestowing boons upon, and once more chastising the Andhaka and Sukra and Dundubhi and Maharshi and many foremost of Yakshas, Indra and Vala and Rakshasas and the Nivatakavachas? Was not the vital seed of Mahadeva, that Master of both the deities and the Asuras, poured as a libation upon the fire? From that seed sprung a mountain of gold.
- Who else is there whose seed can be said to be possessed of such virtue.
- Who else in this world is praised as having the horizon only for his garments?
- Who else can be said to be a Brahmacharin with his vital seed drawn up?
- Who else is there that has half his body occupied by his dear spouse? (Ardhnarishwar)
- Who else is there that has been able to subjugate Kama, the god of desire?
- Tell me, O Indra, what other Being possesses that high region of supreme felicity that is applauded by all the deities?
- Who else has the crematorium as his sporting ground?
- Who else is there that is so praised for his dancing?
- Whose puissance and worship remain immutable?
- Who else is there that sports with spirits and ghosts?
- Tell me, O deity, who else has associate that are possessed of strength like his own and that are, therefore, proud of that strength or puissance?
- Who else is there whose status is applauded as unchangeable and worshipped with reverence by the three worlds?
- Who else is there that pours rain, gives heat, and blazes forth in Energy? From whom else do we derive our wealth of herbs?
- Who else upholds all kinds of wealth?
- Who else sports as much as he pleases in the three worlds of mobile and immobile things?
- O Indra, know Maheswara to be the original cause (of everything).
- He is adored by Yogins, by Rishis, by the Gandharvas, and by the Siddhas, with the aid of knowledge, (of ascetic) success, and of the rites laid down in the scriptural ordinances.
- He is adored by both the deities and the Asuras with the aid of sacrifices by acts and the affliction of the ritual laid down in the scriptures. The fruits of action can never touch him for he transcends them all. Being such, I call him the original cause of everything.
- He is both gross and subtile.
- He is without compare.
- He cannot be conceived by the senses.
- He is endued with attributes and he is divested of them.
- He is the lord of attributes, for they are under his control. Even such is the place that is Maheswara’s.
- He is the cause of the maintenance and the creation (of the universe).
- He is the cause of the universe and the cause also of its destruction.
- He is the Past, the Present, and the Future.
- He is the parent of all things. Verily, He is the cause of every thing.
- He is that which is mutable, He is the unmanifest, He is Knowledge; He is ignorance; He is every act, He is every omission; He is righteousness; and He is unrighteousness.
- Him, O Sakra, do I call the cause of every thing. Behold, O Indra, in the image of Mahadeva the indications of both the sexes. That god of gods, viz., Rudra, that cause of both creation and destruction, displays in his form the indications of both the sexes as the one cause of the creation of the universe.
- My mother formerly told me that he is the cause of the universe and the one cause of everything.
- There is no one that is higher than Isa, O Sakra. If it pleases thee, do thou throw thyself on his kindness and protection. Thou hast visible evidence, O chief of the celestials, of the fact that the universe has sprung from the union of the sexes (as represented by Mahadeva).
- The universe, thou knowest, is the sum of what is vested with attributes and what else is divested of attributes and has for its immediate cause the seeds of Brahma and others.
- Brahma and Indra and Hutasana and Vishnu and all the other deities, along with the Daityas and the Asuras, crowned with the fruition of a thousand desires, always say that there is none that is higher than Mahadeva.
- Impelled by desire, I solicit, with restrained mind, that god known to all the mobile and immobile universe,–him, that is, who has been spoken of as the best and highest of all the gods, and who is auspiciousness itself, for obtaining without delay that highest of all acquisitions, viz., Emancipation.
- What necessity is there of other reasons (for establishing) what I believe? The supreme Mahadeva is the cause of all causes.
- We have never heard that the deities have, at any time, adored the sign of any other god than Mahadeva.
- If Maheswara be not accepted, tell me, if thou hast ever heard of it, who else is there whose sign has been worshipped or is being worshipped by all the deities?
- He whose sign is always worshipped by Brahma, by Vishnu, by thee, O Indra, with all the other deities, is verily the foremost of all adorable deities.
- Brahma has for his sign the lotus, Vishnu has for his the discus, Indra has for his sign the thunder-bolt.
- But the creatures of the world do not bear any of the signs that distinguish these deities. On the other hand, all creatures bear the signs that mark Mahadeva and his spouse. Hence, all creatures must be regarded as belonging to Maheswara.
- All creatures of the feminine sex, have sprung from Ulna’s nature as their cause, and hence it is they bear the mark of femininity that distinguishes Uma; while all creatures that are masculine, having sprung from Siva, bear the masculine mark that distinguishes Siva.
- That person who says that there is, in the three worlds with their mobile and immobile creatures, any other cause than the Supreme Lord, and that which is not marked with the mark of either Mahadeva or his spouse should be regarded as very wretched and should not be counted among the creatures of the universe.
- Every being with the mark of the masculine sex should be known to be of Isana, while every being with the mark of the feminine sex should be known to be of Uma. This universe of mobile and immobile creatures is provided by two kinds of forms (viz., male and female).
- It is from Mahadeva that I wish to obtain boons. Failing in this, O Kausika, I would rather prefer dissolution itself. Go or remain, O Sakra, as thou, O slayer of Vala, desirest.
- I wish to have boons or curses from Mahadeva. No other deity shall I ever acknowledge, nor would I have from any other deity the fruition of all my wishes.”
Upamanyu Continued “Having said these words unto the chief of the celestials, I became overwhelmed with grief at the thought of Mahadeva not having been gratified with me not withstanding my severe austerities.
Shiva’s Original forms…
Within the twinkling of an eye, however, I saw the celestial elephant I had beheld before me transformed into a bull as white as a swan, or the Jasminum pubescens, or a stalk of the lotus or silver, or the ocean of milk. Of huge body, the hair of its tail was black and the hue of its eyes was tawny like that of honey. Its horns were hard as adamant and had the colour of gold. With their very sharp ends, whose hue was a mild red, the bull seemed to tear the Earth.
The animal was adorned all over with ornaments made of the purest gold. Its face and hoofs and nose and ears were exceedingly beautiful and its waist too exceedingly well-formed. Its flanks were possessed of great beauty and its neck was very thick. Its whole form was exceedingly agreeable and beautiful to look at. Its hump shone with great beauty and seemed to occupy the whole of its shoulder-joint. And it looked like the summit of a mountain of snow or like a cliff of white clouds in the sky. Upon the back of that animal I beheld seated the illustrious Mahadeva with his spouse Uma. Verily, Mahadeva shone like the lord of stars while he is at his full.
The fire born of his energy resembled in effulgence the lightening that flashes amid clouds. Verily, it seemed as if a thousand suns rose there, filling every side with a dazzling splendour. The energy of the Supreme Lord looked like the Samvartaka fire which destroys all creatures at the end of the Yuga. Overspread with that energy, the horizon became such that I could see nothing on any side. Filled with anxiety I once more thought what it could mean. That energy, however, did not pervade every side for any length of time, for soon, through the illusion of that god of gods, the horizon became clear. I then behold the illustrious Sthanu or Maheswara seated on the back of his bull, of blessed and agreeable appearance and looking like a smokeless fire. And the great god was accompanied by Parvati of faultless features. Indeed, I beheld the blue-throated and high-souled Sthanu, unattached to everything, that receptacle of all kinds of force, endued with eight and ten arms and adorned with all kinds of ornaments.
Clad in white vestments, he wore white garlands, and had white unguents smeared upon his limbs. The color of his banner, irresistible in the universe, was white. The sacred thread round his person was also white. He was surrounded with associates, all possessed with prowess equal to his own, who were singing or dancing or playing on diverse kinds of musical instruments.
A crescent moon, of pale hue, formed his crown, and placed on his forehead it looked like the moon that rises in the autumnal firmament. He seemed to dazzle with splendour, in consequence of his three eyes that looked like three suns. The garland of the purest white, that was on his body, shone like a wreath of lotuses, of the purest white, adorned with jewels and gems. I also beheld, O Govinda, the weapons in their embodied forms and fraught with every kind of energy, that belong to Bhava of immeasurable prowess.
The high-souled deity held a bow whose hues resembled those of the rainbow. That bow is celebrated under the name of the Pinaka and is in reality a mighty snake. Indeed, that snake of seven heads and vast body, of sharp fangs and virulent poison, of large neck and the masculine sex, was twined round with the cord that served as its bowstring. And there was a shaft whose splendour looked like that of the sun or of the fire that appears at the end of the Yuga. Verily, that shaft was the excellent Pasupata that mighty and terrible weapon, which is without a second, indescribable for its power, and capable of striking every creature with fear. Of vast proportions, it seemed to constantly vomit sparks of fire.
Possessed of one foot, of large teeth, and a thousand heads and thousand Stomachs, it has a thousand arms, a thousand tongues, and a thousand eyes. Indeed, it seemed to continually vomit fire. O thou of mighty arms, that weapon is superior to the Brahma, the Narayana, the Aindra, the Agneya, and the Varuna weapons. Verily, it is capable of neutralising every other weapon in the universe.
It was with that weapon that the illustrious Mahadeva had in days of yore, burnt and consumed in a moment the triple city of the Asuras. With the greatest ease, O Govinda, Mahadeva, using that single arrow, achieved that feat. That weapon, shot by Mahadeva’s arms, can, without doubt consume in half the time taken up by a twinkling of the eyes the entire universe with all its mobile and immobile creatures.
In the universe there is no being including even Brahma and Vishnu and the deities, that are incapable of being slain by that weapon. O sire, I saw that excellent, wonderful and incomparable weapon in the hand of Mahadeva.
There is another mysterious and very powerful weapon which is equal or perhaps, superior to the Pasupata weapon. I beheld that also. It is celebrated in all the worlds as the Sum of the Sula-armed Mahadeva. Hurled by the illustrious deity, that weapon is competent to rive the entire Earth or dry up the waters of the ocean or annihilate the entire universe.
In days of yore, Yuvanaswa’s son, king Mandhatri, that conqueror of the three worlds, possessed of imperial sway and endued with abundant energy, was, with all his troops, destroyed by means of that weapon. Endued with great might and great energy and resembling Sakra himself in prowess, the king, O Govinda, was slain by the Rakshasa Lavana with the aid of this Sula which he had got from Siva.
The Sula has a very keen point. Exceedingly terrible, it is capable of causing everybody’s hair stand on its end. I saw it in the hand of Mahadeva, as if roaring with rage, having contracted its forehead into three wrinkles. It resembled, O Krishna, a smokeless fire or the sun that rises at the end of the Yuga. The handle of that Sula, was made of a mighty snake. It is really indescribable. It looked like the universal Destroyer himself armed with his noose. I saw this weapon, O Govinda, in the hand of Mahadeva.
I beheld also another weapon, viz., that sharp-edged battle-axe which, in days of yore, was given unto Rama by the gratified Mahadeva for enabling him to exterminate the Kshatriyas. It was with this weapon that Rama (of Bhrigu’s race) slew in dreadful battle the great Karttaviryya who was the ruler of all the world. It was with that weapon that Jamadagni’s son, O Govinda, was able to exterminate the Kshatriyas for one and twenty times. Of blazing edge and exceedingly terrible, that axe was hanging on the shoulder, adorned with a snake, of Mahadeva. Indeed, it shone on Mahadeva’s person like the flame of a blazing fire.
I beheld innumerable other celestial weapons with Mahadeva of great intelligence. I have, however named only a few, O sinless one, in consequence of their principal character.
On the left side of the great god stood the Grandsire Brahma seated on an excellent car unto which were attached swans endued with the speed of the mind. On the same side could be seen Narayana also, seated on the son of Vinata, and bearing the conch, the discus, and the mace. Close to the goddess Uma was Skanda seated on his peacock, bearing his fatal dart and bells, and looking like another Agni.
In the front of Mahadeva I beheld Nandi standing armed with his Sula and looking like a second Sankara (for prowess and energy). The Munis headed by the Self-born Manu and Rishis having Bhrigu for their first, and the deities with Sakra at their head, all came there.
All the tribes of spirits and ghosts, and the celestial Mothers, stood surrounding Mahadeva and saluting him with reverence. The deities were engaged in singing the praises of Mahadeva by uttering diverse hymns.
The Grandsire Brahma uttering a Rathantara, praised Mahadeva. Narayana also, uttering the Jyestha Saman, sang the praises of Bhava. Sakra also did the same with the aid of those foremost of Vedic Mantras, viz., the Sata-Rudriam. Verily, Brahma and Narayana and Sakra,–those three high-souled deities,–shone there like three sacrificial fires.
In their midst shone the illustrious God like the sun in the midst of his corona, emerged from autumnal clouds. I beheld myriads of suns and moons, also in the sky, O Kesava. I then praised the illustrious Lord of everything, the supreme Master of the universe.
Upamanyu continued, ‘I said, Salutations to thee, O illustrious one, O thou that constitutest the refuge of all things, O thou that art called Mahadeva!
- Salutations to thee that assumest the form of Sakra, that art Sakra, and that disguisest thyself in the form and vestments of Sakra.
- Salutations to thee that art armed with the thunder, to thee that art tawny, and thee that art always armed with the Pinaka.
- Salutations to thee that always bearest the conch and the Sula. Salutations to thee that art clad in black, to thee that art of dark and curly hair, to thee that hast a dark deer-skin for thy upper garment, to thee that presidest over the eighth lunation of the dark fortnight.
- Salutations to thee that art of white complexion, to thee that art called white, to thee that art clad in white robes, to thee that hast limbs smeared with white ashes, to thee that art ever engaged in white deeds.
- Salutations to thee that art red of colour, to thee that art clad in red vestments, to thee that ownest a red banner with red flags, to thee that wearest red garlands and usest red unguents.
- Salutations to thee that art brown in complexion, to thee that art clad in brown vestments, to thee, that hast a brown banner with brown flags, to thee that wearest brown garlands and usest brown unguents.
- Salutations to thee that hast the umbrella of royalty held over thy head, to thee that wearest the foremost of crowns.
- Salutations unto thee that art adorned with half a garland and half an armlet, to thee that art decked with one ring for one year, to thee that art endued with the speed of the mind, to thee that art endued with great effulgence.
- Salutations to thee that art the foremost of deities, to thee that art the foremost of ascetics, to thee that art the foremost of celestials.
- Salutations to thee that wearest half a wreath of lotuses, to thee that hast many lotuses on thy body.
- Salutations to thee that hast half thy body smeared ith sandal paste, to thee that hast half thy body decked with garlands of flowers and smeared with fragrant unguents.
- Salutations to thee that art of the complexion of the Sun, to thee that art like the Sun, to thee whose face is like the Sun, to thee that hast eyes each of which is like the Sun.
- Salutations to thee that art Soma, to thee that art as mild as Soma, to thee that bearest the lunar disc, to thee that art of lunar aspect, to thee that art the foremost of all creatures, to thee that art adorned with a set of the most beautiful teeth.
- Salutations to thee that art of a dark complexion, to thee that art of a fair complexion, to thee that hast a form half of which is yellow and half white, to thee that hast a body half of which is male and half female, to thee that art both male and female.
- Salutations to thee that ownest a bull for thy vehicle, to thee that proceedest riding on the foremost of elephants, to thee that art obtained with difficulty, to thee that art capable of going to places unapproachable by others.
- Salutations to thee whose praises are sung by the Ganas, to thee that art devoted to the diverse Ganas, to thee that followest the track that is trod by the Ganas, to thee that art always devoted to the Ganas as to a vow.
- Salutations to thee that art of the complexion of white clouds, to thee that hast the splendour of the evening clouds, to thee that art incapable of being described by names, to thee that art of thy own form (having nothing else in the universe with which it can be compared).
- Salutations to thee that wearest a beautiful garland of red colour, to thee that art clad in robes of red color.
- Salutations to thee that hast the crown of the head decked with gems, to thee that art adorned with a half-moon, to thee that wearest many beautiful gems in thy diadem, to thee that hast eight flowers on thy head.
- Salutations to thee that hast a fiery mouth and fiery eyes, to thee that hast eyes possessing the effulgence of a thousand moons, to thee that art of the form of fire, to thee that art beautiful and agreeable, to thee that art inconceivable and mysterious.
- Salutations to thee that rangest through the firmament, to thee that lovest and residest in lands affording pasture to kine, to thee that walkest on the Earth, to thee that art the Earth, to thee that art infinite, to thee that art exceedingly auspicious. Salutations to thee that art unclad (or has the horizon alone for thy vestments), to thee that makest a happy home of every place where thou mayst happen to be for the moment.
- Salutations to thee that hast the universe for thy home, to thee that hast both Knowledge and Felicity for thy Soul.
- Salutations to thee that always wearest a diadem, to thee that wearest a large armlet, to thee that hast a snake for the garland round thy neck, to thee that wearest many beautiful ornaments on thy person.
- Salutations to thee that hast the Sun, the Moon, and Agni for thy three eyes, to thee that art possessed of a thousand eyes, to thee that art both male and female, to thee that art divested of sex, to thee that art a Sankhya, to thee that art a Yogin.
- Salutations to thee that art of the grace of those deities who are worshipped in sacrifices, to thee that art the Atharvans, to thee that art the alleviator of all kinds of disease and pain, to thee that art the dispeller of every sorrow.
- Salutations to thee that roarest as deep as the clouds, to thee that puttest forth diverse kinds of illusions, to thee that presidest over the soil and over the seed that is sown in it, to thee that art the Creator of everything.
- Salutations to thee that art the Lord of all the celestials, to thee that art the Master of the universe, to thee that art endued with the speed of the wind, to thee that art of the form of the wind.
- Salutations to thee that wearest a garland of gold, to thee that sportest on hills and mountains, to thee that art adorned by all who are enemies of the gods, to thee that art possessed of fierce speed and energy.
- Salutations to thee that torest away one of the heads of the Grandsire Brahma, to thee that hast slain the Asura named Mahisha, to thee that assumest three forms, to thee that bearest every form.
- Salutations to thee that art the destroyer of the triple city of the Asuras, to thee that art the destroyer of (Daksha’s) sacrifice, to thee that art the destroyer of the body of Kama (the deity of Desire), to thee that wieldest the rod of destruction.
- Salutations to thee that art Skanda, to thee that art Visakha, to thee that art the rod of the Brahmana, to thee that art Bhava, to thee that art Sarva, to thee that art of universal form.
- Salutations to thee that art Isana, to thee that art the destroyer of Bhaga, to thee that art the slayer of Andhaka, to thee that art the universe, to thee that art possessed of illusion, to thee that art both conceivable and inconceivable. Thou art the one end of all creatures, thou art the foremost, thou art the heart of everything. Thou art the Brahma of all the deities, thou art the Nilardhita Red and Blue of the Rudras. Thou art the Soul of the creatures, thou art He who is called Purusha in the Sankhya philosophy, thou art the Rishabha among all things sacred, thou art that which is called auspicious by Yogins and which, according to them, is without parts (being indivisible). Amongst those that are observant of the different modes of life, thou art the House-holder, thou art the great Lord amongst the lords of the universe.
- Thou art Kuvera among all the Yakshas, and thou art Vishnu amongst all the sacrifices.
- Thou art Meru amongst mountains, thou art the Moon among all luminaries of the firmament, thou art Vasishtha amongst Rishis, thou art Surya among the planets.
- Thou art the lion among all wild animals, and among all domestic animals, thou art the bull that is worshipped by all people. Among the Adityas thou art Vishnu (Upendra), among the Vasu thou art Pavaka, among birds thou art the son of Vinata (Garuda), and among snakes thou art Ananta (Sesha). Among the Vedas thou art the Samans, among the Yajushes thou art the Sata-Rudriyam, among Yogins thou art Sanatkumara, and among Sankhyas thou art Kapila. Among the Maruts thou art Sakra, among the Pitris thou art Devarat, among all the regions (for the residence of created beings) thou art the region of Brahman, and amongst all the ends that creatures attain to, thou art Moksha or Emancipation.
- Thou art the Ocean of milk among all oceans, among all rocky eminences thou art Himavat, among all the orders thou art the Brahmana, and among all learned Brahmanas thou art he that has undergone and is observant of the Diksha.
- Thou art the Sun among all things in the world, thou art the destroyer called Kala.
- Thou art whatever else possessed of superior energy of eminence that exists in the universe.
- Thou art possessed of supreme puissance. Even this is what represents my certain conclusion.
- Salutations to thee, O puissant and illustrious one, O thou that art kind to all thy worshippers.
- Salutations to thee, O lord of Yogins. I bow to thee, O original cause of the universe. Be thou gratified with me that am thy worshipper, that am very miserable and helpless, O Eternal Lord, do thou become the refuge of this adorer of thine that is very weak and miserable.
- O Supreme Lord, it behoveth thee to pardon all those transgressions of which I have been guilty, taking compassion upon me on the ground of my being thy devoted worshipper. I was stupefied by thee, O Lord of all the deities, in consequence of the disguise in which thou showest thyself to me.
- O Maheswara, I did not give thee the Arghya or water to wash thy feet.
Having hymned the praises of Isana in this way, I offered him, with great devotion, water to wash his feet and the ingredients of the Arghya, and then, with joined hands, I resigned myself to him, being prepared to do whatever he would bid. Then, O sire, an auspicious shower of flowers fell upon my head, possessed of celestial fragrance and bedewed with cold water. The celestial musicians began to play on their kettle-drums.
A delicious breeze, fragrant and agreeable, began to blow and fill me with pleasure. Then Mahadeva accompanied by his spouse, and having the bull for his sign, having been gratified with me, addressed the celestials assembled there in these words, filling me with great joy,–Behold, ye deities, the devotion of the high-souled Upamanyu. Verily, steady and great is that devotion, and entirely immutable, for it exists unalterably.–Thus addressed by the great God armed with the Sula, the deities, O Krishna, having bowed down unto him and joined their hands in reverence, said these words,–O illustrious one, O God of the gods, O master of the universe, O Lord of all, let this best of regenerate persons obtain from thee the fruition of all his desires.–Thus addressed by all the deities, with the Grandsire Brahma among them. Sarva, otherwise called Isa and Sankara, said these words as if smiling unto me.'”
The illustrious Shankara said, “O dear Upamanyu, I am gratified with thee. Behold me, O foremost of Munis, O learned Rishi, thou art firmly devoted to me and well hast thou been tested by me. I have been very highly pleased with thee in consequence of this thy devotion to Siva. I shall, therefore, give thee today the fruition of whatever desires thou mayst have in thy heart.
Upamanyu Continued “Thus addressed by Mahadeva of great wisdom, tears of joy came into my eyes and my hair stood on its end (through emotion). Kneeling down unto him and bowing unto him repeatedly, I then, with a voice that was choked with delight, said unto him,–O illustrious god, it seems to me that I was hitherto dead and that it is only today that I have taken my birth, and that my birth bath today borne fruit, since I am staying now in the presence of Him who is the Master of both the deities and the Asuras! Who else is more praiseworthy than I, since I am beholding with these eyes of mine, Him of immeasurable prowess whom the very deities are unable to behold without first paying hearty worship?
That which they that are possessed of learning and wisdom say is the highest of all topics, which is Eternal, which is distinguished from all else, which is unborn, which is Knowledge, which is indestructible, is identical with thee, O puissant and illustrious one, thee that art the beginning of all the topics, thee that art indestructible and changeless, thee that art conversant with the ordinances which govern all the topics, thee that art the foremost of Purushas, thee that art the highest of the high.
Thou art he that hadst created from thy right side the Grandsire Brahma, the Creator of all things. Thou art he that hadst created from thy left side Vishnu for protecting the Creation. Thou art that puissant Lord who didst create Rudra when the end of the Yuga came and when the Creation was once more to be dissolved. That Rudra, who sprang from thee destroyed the Creation with all its mobile and immobile beings, assuming the form of Kala of great energy, of the cloud Samvartaka (charged with water which myriads of oceans are not capacious enough to bear), and of the all consuming fire. Verily, when the period comes for the dissolution of the universe, that Rudra stands, ready to swallow up the universe.
Thou art that Mahadeva, who is the original Creator of the universe with all its mobile and immobile entities. Thou art he, who, at the end of the Kalpa, stands, withdrawing all things into thyself. Thou art he that pervadest all things, that art the Soul of all things, thou art the Creator of the Creator of all entities. Incapable of being seen by even any of the deities, thou art he that exists, pervading all entities. If, O lord, thou hast been gratified with me and if thou wouldst grant me boons, let this be the boon, O Lord of all the deities, that my devotion to thee may remain unchanged.
O best of the deities, let me, through thy grace, have knowledge of the Present, the Past, and the Future. I shall also, with all my kinsmen and friends, always eat food mixed with milk. And let thy illustrious self be for ever present at our retreat.–Thus addressed by me, the illustrious Maheswara endued with supreme energy, that Master of all mobile and immobile, viz., Siva, worshipped of all the universe, then said unto me these words.’
The illustrious Deity said (Shiva), ‘Be thou free from every misery and pain, and be thou above decrepitude and death. Be thou possessed of fame, be thou endued with great energy, and let spiritual knowledge be thine. Thou shalt, through my grace, be always sought for by the Rishis. Be thy behaviour good and righteous, be every desirable attribute thine, be thou possessed of universal knowledge, and be thou of agreeable appearance.
Let undecaying youth be thine, and let thy energy be like that of fire. Wherever, again, thou mayst desire the presence of the ocean of milk that is so agreeable to thee, there shall that ocean appear before thee (ready for being utilised by thee and thy friends for purposes of thy food). Do thou, with thy friends, always obtain food prepared with milk, with the celestial nectar besides being mixed with it. After the expiration of a Kalpa thou shalt then obtain my companionship. Thy family and race and kinsmen shall be exhaustless. O foremost of regenerate ones, thy devotion to me shalt be eternal. And. O best of Brahmanas, I shall always accord my presence to thy asylum. Live, O son, whithersoever thou likest, and let no anxiety be thine. Thought of by thee, I shall, O learned Brahmana, grant thee a sight of myself again.
Upamanyu Continued “Having said these words, and granted me these boons, the illustrious Isana, endued with the effulgence of millions of Suns, disappeared there and then.
It was even thus, O Krishna, that I beheld, with the aid of austere penances, that God of gods. I also obtained all that was said by the great Deity endued with supreme intelligence. Behold, O Krishna, before thy eyes, these Siddhas residing here and these Rishis and Vidyadharas and Yakshas and Gandharvas and Apsaras. Behold these trees and creepers and plants yielding all sorts of flowers and fruits. Behold them bearing the flowers of every season, with beautiful leaves, and shedding a sweet fragrance all around.
O thou of mighty arms, all these are endued with a celestial nature through the grace of that god of gods, that Supreme Lord, that high-souled Deity.’
Next Part – Shiva gives the boon to Krishna Vasudeva
Deepak Kumar Jha (A Learner)