Chapter 160

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘It behoveth thee, O slayer of Madhu, to expound tome that knowledge which thou hast acquired through the grace of Durvasa!O foremost of all persons endued with intelligence, I desire to knoweverything about the high blessedness and all the names of thathigh-souled one truly and in detail![616]

“Vasudeva said, ‘I shall recite to thee the good that I have acquired andthe fame that I have won through the grace of that high-souled one.Verily, I shall discourse to thee on the topic, after having bowed untoKapardin. O king, listen to me as I recite to thee that Sata-rudriyawhich I repeat; with restrained senses, every morning after rising frombed. The great lord of all creatures, viz., the Grandsire Brahmanhimself, endued with wealth of penances, composed those Mantras, afterhaving observed especial penances for some time. O sire it is Sankara whocreated all the creatures in the universe, mobile and immobile. There isno being that is higher, O monarch, than Mahadeva. Verily, he is thehighest of all beings in the three worlds. There is no one who is capableof standing before that high-souled Being. Indeed, there is no Being inthe three worlds that can be regarded as his equal. When he stands,filled with rage, on the field of battle, the very odour of his bodydeprives all foes of consciousness and they that are not slain trembleand fall down. His roars are terrible, resembling those of the clouds.Hearing those roars in battle, the very hearts of the deities break intwain. When the wielder of Pinaka becomes angry and assuming a terribleform merely casts his eye upon deity, Asura, Gandharva, or snake, thatindividual fails to obtain peace of mind by taking shelter in therecesses of even a mountain-cave. When that lord of all creatures, viz.,Daksha, desirous of performing a sacrifice, spread his sacrifice out, thedauntless Bhava, giving way to wrath (at Daksha’s slight of him), pierced(the embodied) sacrifice, shooting his shaft from his terrible bow, heroared aloud. Indeed, when Maheswara became angry and suddenly piercedwith his shaft the embodied form of sacrifice, the deities become filledwith grief, losing happiness and tranquillity of heart. In consequence ofthe twang of his bow-string the whole universe became agitated. Thedeities and the Asuras, O son of Pritha, all became cheerless andstupefied. The ocean rolled in agitation and the earth trembled to hercentre. The hills and mountains began to move from their bases and ran onevery side. The vault of the welkin became cracked. All the worlds becameenveloped in gloom. Nothing could be seen. The light of all theluminaries became darkened, along with that of the sun himself, OBharata! The great Rishis, penetrated with fear and desirous of doinggood to themselves and the universe, performed the usual rites ofpropitiation and peace. Meanwhile, Rudra of terrible prowess rushedagainst the deities. Filled with rage, he tore out the eyes of Bhaga.Incensed with wrath, he assailed Pushan with his foot. He tore out theteeth of that god as he sat employed in eating the large sacrificial ball(called Purodasa). Trembling with fear, the deities bent their heads toSankara. Without being appeased, Rudra once more placed on his bow-stringa sharp and blazing arrow. Beholding his prowess, the deities and theRishis became all alarmed. Those foremost of gods began to pacify him!Joining their hands in reverence, they began to recite the Sata-rudriyaMantras. At last Maheswara, thus praised by the deities, becamegratified. The deities than assigned a large share (of the sacrificialofferings) to him. Trembling with fear, O king, they sought hisprotection. When Rudra became gratified, the embodiment of sacrifice,which had been pierced in twain, became once more united. Whatever limbsof his had been destroyed by the shafts of Mahadeva, became once morewhole and sound. The Asuras possessed of great energy had in days of yorethree cities in the firmament. One of these had been made of iron, one ofsilver, and the third of gold. With all his weapons, Maghavat, the chiefof the deities, was unable to pierce those cities. Afflicted by theAsuras, all the deities then sought the protection of the great Rudra.Assembled together the high-souled deities addressed him, saying, ‘ORudra, the Asuras threaten to exert their destructive influence in allacts! Do thou slay the Daityas and destroy their city for the protectionof the three worlds, O giver of honours!’ Thus addressed by them, hereplied, saying, ‘So be it!’ and then made Vishnu his excellentshaft-head. He made the deity of fire his shaft-reed, and Surya’s sonYama the wings of that shaft. He made the Vedas his bow and the goddessSavitri his excellent bow-string. And he made the Grandsire Brahma hischarioteer. Applying all these, he pierced the triple city of the Asuraswith that shaft of his, consisting of three Parvans and threeSalyas.[617] Indeed, O Bharata, the Asuras with their cities, were allburnt by Rudra with that shaft of his whose complexion was like that ofthe sun and whose energy resembled that of the fire which appears at theend of the Yuga for consuming all things. Beholding that Mahadeva changedinto a child with five locks of hair lying on the lap of Parvati, thelatter asked the deities as to who he was. Seeing the child, Sakra becamesuddenly filled with jealousy and wrath and resolved to kill him with histhunder. The child, however, paralysed the arm, looking like a mace ofiron, of Indra with the thunderbolt in it. The deities all becamestupefied, and they could not understand that the child was the Lord ofuniverse. Verily, all of them along with the very Regents of the world,found their intellects stupefied in the matter of that child who was noneelse than the Supreme Being. Then the illustrious Grandsire Brahma,reflecting with the aid of his penances, found out that that child wasthe foremost of all Beings, the lord of Uma, Mahadeva of immeasurableprowess. He then praised the Lord. The deities also began to hymn thepraises of both Uma and Rudra. The arm (which had been paralysed) of theslayer of Vala then became restored to its former state. The Mahadeva,taking birth as the Brahmana Durvasa of great energy, resided for a longtime at Dwaravati in my house. While residing in my abode he did diverseacts of mischief. Though difficult of being borne, I bore them yet frommagnanimity of heart. He is Rudra; he is Shiva; he is Agni; he is Sarva;he is the vanquisher of all; he is Indra, and Vayu, and the Aswins andthe god of lightning. He is Chandramas; he is Isana; he is Surya; he isVaruna; he is Time; he is the Destroyer; he is Death; he is the Day andthe Night; he is the fortnight; he is the seasons; he is the twotwilights; he is the year. He is Dhatri and he is Vidhatri; and he isViswakarma; and he is conversant with all things. He is the cardinalpoints of the compass and the subsidiary points also. Of universal form,he is of immeasurable soul. The holy and illustrious Durvasa is of thecomplexion of the celestials. He sometimes manifests himself singly;sometimes divides himself into two portions; and sometimes exhibitshimself in many, a hundred thousand forms. Even such is Mahadeva. He is,again, that god who is unborn. In even a hundred years one cannot exhausthis merits by reciting them.'”

Chapter 159
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