Origin of Rudra: his becoming eight Rudras: their wives and children. The posterity of Bhrigu. Account of sri in conjunction with Vishnu. Sacrifice of Daksha.
Parasara. I have described to you, oh great Muni, the creation of Brahma, in which the quality of darkness prevailed. I will now explain to you the creation of Rudra 1.
In the beginning of the Kalpa, as Brahma purposed to create a son, who should be like himself, a youth of a purple complexion 2 appeared, crying with a low cry, and running about 3. Brahma, when he beheld him thus afflicted, said to him, "Why dost thou weep?" "Give me a name," replied the boy. Rudra" be thy name," rejoined the great father of all creatures: "be composed; desist from tears." But, thus addressed, the boy still wept seven times, and Brahma therefore gave to him seven other denominations; and to these eight persons regions and wives and posterity belong. The eight manifestations, then, are named Rudra, Bhava, sarva, Isana, Pasupati, Bhima, Ugra, and Mahadeva, which were given to them by their great progenitor. He also assigned to them their respective stations, the sun, water, earth, air, fire, ether, the ministrant Brahman, and the moon; for these are their several forms 4. The wives
of the sun and the other manifestations, termed Rudra and the rest, were respectively, Suverchala, Usha, Vikesi, Siva, Swaha, Disa, Diksha, and Rohini. Now hear an account of their progeny, by whose successive generations this world has been peopled. Their sons, then, were severally, Sanaischara Saturn(), sukra Venus(), the fiery bodied Mars, Manojava Hanuman(), Skanda, Swarga, Santana, and Budha Mercury().
It was the Rudra of this description that married Sati, who abandoned her corporeal existence in consequence of the displeasure of Daksha 5. She afterwards was the daughter of Himavan (the snowy mountains) by Mena; and in that character, as the only Uma, the mighty Bhava again married her 6. The divinities Dhata and Vidhata were born to Bhrigu by Khyati, as was a daughter, sri, the wife of Narayana, the god of gods 7.
Maitreya. It is commonly said that the goddess sri was born from the sea of milk, when it was churned for ambrosia; how then can you say that she was the daughter of Bhrigu by Khyati.
Parasara. sri, the bride of Vishnu, the mother of the world, is
eternal, imperishable; in like manner as he is all pervading, so also is she, oh best of Brahmans, omnipresent. Vishnu is meaning; she is speech. Hari is polity Naya(); she is prudence Niti(). Vishnu is understanding; she is intellect. He is righteousness; she is devotion. He is the creator; she is creation. sri is the earth; Hari the support of it. The deity is content; the eternal Lakshmi is resignation. He is desire; sri is wish. He is sacrifice; she is sacrificial donation Dakshina(). The goddess is the invocation which attends the oblation; Janarddana is the oblation. Lakshmi is the chamber where the females are present (at a religious ceremony); Madhusudana the apartment of the males of the family. Lakshmi is the altar; Hari the stake (to which the victim is bound). sri is the fuel; Hari the holy grass Kusa(). He is the personified Sama veda; the goddess, lotus throned, is the tone of its chanting. Lakshmi is the prayer of oblation Swaha(); Vasudeva, the lord of the world, is the sacrificial fire. Sauri Vishnu() is sankara (siva); and sri is the bride of siva Gauri(). Kesava, oh Maitreya, is the sun; and his radiance is the lotus seated goddess. Vishnu is the tribe of progenitors Pitrigana(); Padma. is their bride Swadha(), the eternal bestower of nutriment. sri is the heavens; Vishnu, who is one with all things, is wide extended space. The lord of sri is the moon; she is his unfading light. She is called the moving principle of the world; he, the wind which bloweth
ery where. Govinda is the ocean; Lakshmi its shore. Lakshmi is the consort of Indra Indrani(); Madhusudana is Devendra. The holder of the discus Vishnu() is Yama (the regent of Tartarus); the lotus throned goddess is his dusky spouse Dhumorna(). sri is wealth; sridhara Vishnu() is himself the god of riches Kuvera(). Lakshmi, illustrious Brahman, is Gauri; and Kesava, is the deity of ocean Varuna(). sri is the host of heaven Devasena(); the deity of war, her lord, is Hari. The wielder of the mace is resistance; the power to oppose is sri. Lakshmi is the Kashtha and the Kala; Hari the Nimesha and the Muhurtta. Lakshmi is the light; and Hari, who is all, and lord of all, the lamp. She, the mother of the world, is the creeping vine; and Vishnu the tree round which she clings. She is the night; the god who is armed with the mace and discus is the day. He, the bestower of blessings, is the bridegroom; the lotus throned goddess is the bride.
[paragraph continues] The god is one with all male the goddess one with all female, rivers. The lotus eyed deity is the standard; the goddess seated on a lotus the banner. Lakshmi is cupidity; Narayana, the master of the world, is covetousness. Oh thou who knowest what righteousness is, Govinda is love; and Lakshmi, his gentle spouse, is pleasure. But why thus diffusely enumerate their presence: it is enough to say, in a word, that of gods, animals, and men, Hari is all that is called male; Lakshmi is all that is termed female: there is nothing else than they.
SACRIFICE OF DAKSHA 1.
(From the Vayu Purana.)
"There was formerly a peak of Meru, named Savitra, abounding with gems, radiant as the sun, and celebrated throughout the three worlds;
of immense extent, and difficult of access, and an object of universal veneration. Upon that glorious eminence, rich with mineral treasures, as upon a splendid couch, the deity siva reclined, accompanied by the daughter of the sovereign of mountains, and attended by the mighty adityas, the powerful Vasus, and by the heavenly physicians, the sons of Aswini; by Kuvera, surrounded by his train of Guhyakas, the lord of the Yakshas, who dwells on Kailasa. There also was the great Muni Usanas: there, were Rishis of the first order, with Sanatkumara at their head; divine Rishis, preceded by Angiras; Viswavasu, with his bands of heavenly choristers; the sages Narada and Parvata; and innumerable troops of celestial nymphs. The breeze blew upon the mountain, bland, pure, and fragrant; and the trees were decorated with flowers, that blossomed in every season. The Vidyadharas and Siddhas, affluent in devotion, waited upon Mahadeva, the lord of living creatures; and many other beings, of various forms, did him homage. Rakshasas of terrific semblance, and Pisachas of great strength, of different shapes and features, armed with various weapons, and blazing like fire, were delighted to be present, as the followers of the god. There stood the royal Nandi, high in the favour of his lord, armed with a fiery trident, shining with inherent lustre; and there the best of rivers, Ganga, the assemblage of all holy waters, stood adoring the mighty deity. Thus worshipped by all the most excellent of
ages and of gods, abode the omnipotent and all glorious Mahadeva.
"In former times, Daksha commenced a holy sacrifice on the side of Himavan, at the sacred spot Gangadwara, frequented by the Rishis. The gods, desirous of assisting at this solemn rite, came, with Indra at their head, to Mahadeva, and intimated their purpose; and having received his permission, departed in their splendid chariots to Gangadwara, as tradition reports 2. They found Daksha, the best of the devout,
surrounded by the singers and nymphs of heaven, and by numerous sages, beneath the shade of clustering trees and climbing plants; and all of them, whether dwellers on earth, in air, or in the regions above the skies, approached the patriarch with outward gestures of respect. The adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Maruts, all entitled to partake of the oblations, together with Jishnu, were present. The four classes of Pitris, Ushmapas, Somapas, ajyapas, and Dhumapas, or those who feed upon the flame, the acid juice, the butter, or the smoke of offerings, the Aswins and the progenitors, came along with Brahma. Creatures of every class, born from the womb, the egg, from vapour, or vegetation, came upon their invocation; as did all the gods, with their brides, who in their resplendent vehicles blazed like so many fires. Beholding them thus assembled, the sage Dadhicha was filled with indignation, and observed, The man who worships what ought not to be worshipped, or pays not reverence where veneration is due, is guilty, most assuredly, of heinous sin. Then addressing Daksha, he said to him, Why do you not offer homage to the god who is the lord of life Pasubhartri()? Daksha spake; I have already many Rudras present, armed with tridents, wearing braided hair, and existing in eleven forms: I recognise no other Mahadeva. Dadhicha spake; The invocation that is not addressed to Isa, is, for all, but a solitary (and imperfect) summons. Inasmuch as I behold no other divinity who is
r to sankara, this sacrifice of Daksha will not be completed. Daksha spake; I offer, in a golden cup, this entire oblation, which has been consecrated by many prayers, as an offering ever due to the unequalled Vishnu, the sovereign lord of all 3.
"In the meanwhile, the virtuous daughter of the mountain king, observing the departure of the divinities, addressed her lord, the god of living beings, and said Uma spake Whither, oh lord, have the gods, preceded by Indra, this day departed? Tell me truly, oh thou who knowest all truth, for a great doubt perplexes me. Maheswara spake; Illustrious goddess, the excellent patriarch Daksha celebrates the sacrifice of a horse, and thither the gods repair. Devi spake; Why then, most mighty god, dost thou also not proceed to this solemnity? by what hinderance is thy progress thither impeded? Maheswara spake; This is the contrivance, mighty queen, of all the gods, that in all sacrifices no portion should be assigned to me. In consequence of an arrangement formerly devised, the gods allow me, of right, no participation of sacrificial offerings. Devi spake; The lord god lives in all bodily forms, and his might is eminent through his superior faculties; he is unsurpassable, he is unapproachable, in splendour and glory and power. That such as he should be excluded from his share of oblations, fills me with deep sorrow, and a trembling, oh sinless, seizes upon my frame. Shall I now practise bounty, restraint, or penance, so that my lord, who is inconceivable, may obtain a share, a half or a third portion, of the sacrifice 4?
"Then the mighty and incomprehensible deity, being pleased, said to his bride, thus agitated; and speaking; Slender waisted queen of the gods, thou knowest not the purport of what thou sayest; but I know it, oh thou with large eyes, for the holy declare all things by meditation. By thy perplexity this day are all the gods, with Mahendra and all the three worlds, utterly confounded. In my sacrifice, those who worship me, repeat my praises, and chant the Rathantara song of the Sama veda; my priests worship me in the sacrifice of true wisdom, where no officiating Brahman is needed; and in this they offer me my portion. Devi spake; The lord is the root of all, and assuredly, in every assemblage of the female world, praises or hides himself at will. Mahadeva spake; Queen of the gods, I praise not myself: approach, and behold whom I shall create for the purpose of claiming my share of the rite.
"Having thus spoken to his beloved spouse, the mighty Maheswara created from his mouth a being like the fire of fate; a divine being, with a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet; wielding a thousand clubs, a thousand shafts; holding the shell, the discus, the mace, and bearing a blazing bow and battle axe; fierce and terrific, shining with dreadful splendour, and decorated with the crescent moon; clothed in a tiger s skin, dripping with blood; having a capacious stomach, and a vast mouth, armed with formidable tusks: his ears were erect, his lips were pendulous, his tongue was lightning; his hand brandished the thunderbolt;
flames streamed from his hair; a necklace of pearls wound round his neck; a garland of flame descended on his breast: radiant with lustre, he looked like the final fire that consumes the world. Four tremendous tusks projected from a mouth which extended from ear to ear: he was of vast bulk, vast strength, a mighty male and lord, the destroyer of the universe, and like a large fig tree in circumference; shining like a hundred moons at once; fierce as the fire of love; having four heads, sharp white teeth, and of mighty fierceness, vigour, activity, and courage; glowing with the blaze of a thousand fiery suns at the end of the world; like a thousand undimmed moons: in bulk like Himadri, Kailasa, or Meru, or Mandara, with all its gleaming herbs; bright as the sun of destruction at the end of ages; of irresistible prowess, and beautiful aspect; irascible, with lowering eyes, and a countenance burning like fire; clothed in the hide of the elephant and lion, and girt round with snakes; wearing a turban on his head, a moon on his brow; sometimes savage, sometimes mild; having a chaplet of many flowers on his head, anointed with various unguents, and adorned with different ornaments and many sorts of jewels; wearing a garland of heavenly Karnikara flowers, and rolling his eyes with rage. Sometimes he danced; sometimes he laughed aloud; sometimes he stood wrapt in meditation; sometimes he trampled upon the earth; sometimes he sang; sometimes he wept repeatedly: and he was endowed
h the faculties of wisdom, dispassion, power, penance, truth, endurance, fortitude, dominion, and self knowledge.
"This being, then, knelt down upon the ground, and raising his hands respectfully to his head, said to Mahadeva, Sovereign of the gods, command what it is that I must do for thee. To which Maheswara replied, Spoil the sacrifice of Daksha. Then the mighty Virabhadra, having heard the pleasure of his lord, bowed down his head to the feet of Prajapati; and starting like a lion loosed from bonds, despoiled the sacrifice of Daksha, knowing that the had been created by the displeasure of Devi. She too in her wrath, as the fearful goddess Rudrakali, accompanied him, with all her train, to witness his deeds. Virabhadra the fierce, abiding in the region of ghosts, is the minister of the anger of
[paragraph continues] Devi. And he then created, from the pores of his skin, powerful demigods, the mighty attendants upon Rudra, of equal valour and strength, who started by hundreds and thousands into existence. Then a loud and confused clamour filled all the expanse of ether, and inspired the denizens of heaven with dread. The mountains tottered, and earth shook; the winds roared, and the depths of the sea were disturbed; the fires lost their radiance, and the sun grew pale; the planets of the firmament shone not, neither did the stars give light; the Rishis ceased their hymns, and gods and demons were mute; and thick darkness eclipsed the chariots of the skies 5.
"Then from the gloom emerged fearful and numerous forms, shouting the cry of battle; who instantly broke or overturned the sacrificial columns, trampled upon the altars, and danced amidst the oblations. Running wildly hither and thither, with the speed of wind, they tossed about the implements and vessels of sacrifice, which looked like stars precipitated from the heavens. The piles of food and beverage for the gods, which had been heaped up like mountains; the rivers of milk; the banks of curds and butter; the sands of honey and butter milk and sugar; the mounds of condiments and spices of every flavour; the undulating knolls of flesh and other viands; the celestial liquors, pastes, and confections, which had been prepared; these the spirits of wrath devoured or defiled or scattered abroad. Then falling upon the host of the gods, these vast and resistless Rudras beat or terrified them, mocked and insulted the nymphs and goddesses, and quickly put an end to the rite, although defended by all the gods; being the ministers of Rudra s wrath, and similar to himself 6. Some then made a hideous clamour, whilst others fearfully shouted, when Yajna was decapitated. For the
divine Yajna, the lord of sacrifice, then began to fly up to heaven, in the shape of a deer; and Virabhadra, of immeasurable spirit, apprehending his power, cut off his vast head, after he had mounted into the sky 7. Daksha the patriarch, his sacrifice being destroyed, overcome with terror, and utterly broken in spirit, fell then upon the ground, where his head was spurned by the feet of the cruel Virabhadra 8. The thirty scores of sacred divinities were all presently bound, with a band of fire, by their lion like foe; and they all then addressed him, crying, Oh Rudra, have mercy upon thy servants: oh lord, dismiss thine anger. Thus spake Brahma and the other gods, and the patriarch Daksha; and raising their hands, they said, Declare, mighty being, who thou art. Virabhadra said, I am not a god, nor an aditya; nor am I come hither for enjoyment, nor curious to behold the chiefs of the divinities: know that I am come to destroy the sacrifice of Daksha, and that I am called Virabhadra, the issue of the wrath of Rudra. Bhadrakali also, who has sprung from the anger of Devi, is sent here by the god of gods to destroy this rite. Take refuge, king of kings, with him who is the lord of Uma; for better is the anger of Rudra than the blessings of other gods.
"Having heard the words of Virabhadra, the righteous Daksha propitiated the mighty god, the holder of the trident, Maheswara. The hearth of sacrifice, deserted by the Brahmans, had been consumed; Yajna had been metamorphosed to an antelope; the fires of Rudra s wrath had been kindled; the attendants, wounded by the tridents of the servants of the god, were groaning with pain; the pieces of the uprooted sacrificial posts were scattered here and there; and the fragments of the meat offerings were carried off by flights of hungry vultures, and herds of howling jackals. Suppressing his vital airs, and taking up a posture of meditation, the many sighted victor of his foes, Daksha fixed his eyes every where upon his thoughts. Then the god of gods appeared from the altar, resplendent as a thousand suns, and smiled upon him, and said, Daksha, thy sacrifice has been destroyed through sacred knowledge: I am well pleased with thee: and then he smiled again, and said, What shall I do for thee; declare, together with the preceptor of the gods.
"Then Daksha, frightened, alarmed, and agitated, his eyes suffused with tears, raised his hands reverentially to his brow, and said, If, lord, thou art pleased; if I have found favour in thy sight; if I am to be the object of thy benevolence; if thou wilt confer upon me a boon, this is the blessing I solicit, that all these provisions for the solemn sacrifice, which have been collected with much trouble and during a long time, and which have now been eaten, drunk, devoured, burnt, broken, scattered abroad, may not have been prepared in vain. So let it be, replied Hara, the subduer of Indra. And thereupon Daksha knelt down upon the earth, and praised gratefully the author of righteousness, the three eyed god Mahadeva, repeating the eight thousand names of the deity whose emblem is a bull."