Sivapuranam in English – Uma Samhita

Sivapuranam in English is a revered scripture in South India’s Shaivism tradition.

Sivapuranam in English – Uma Samhita

Krishna-Upamanyu Dialogue

‘Prayed to is Deity Supreme, Shiva who – manifests as Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh to employ his three basic aspects of Attachment, Nobility and Destructiveness respectively to create, sustain and terminate the universe. This Maya dimension, then, He withdraws from to revert to the eternal Force dimension’.

Requested was Sage Soota by the group of holymen:
‘O Scholiast! Now reveal the mysticism of Shri Uma Samhita’.

Responded Sage Soota :
Holy sirs! This revelation was made by Sanatakumara to Sage Vyasa. I will relate to you what Sage Vyasa had been enlightened with. Long time ago, once Krishna wishing to be blessed with a son went to Kailasha to make penance to please Shiva.

There a renowned sage, Upamanyu was meditating. Krishna made obeisance to him and prayed to the sage to enlighten him on the mysticism of Shiva. Upamanyu revealed, “Once during my penance making I gained insight to see the manifest dimension of Lord Shiva. There was a wide array of his divine weapons having mind boggling powers.

‘There was the familiar flashing trident, glittering Sudarshan Chakra, gleaming pickaxe, sparkling mace, mighty bow and a sword that shimmered. Then I saw the magnificent form of Lord Himself being worshipped by other divinities. He said He was pleased with my penance and asked me to spell my wish and I was booned.”

Then accepting the request of Krishna, Upamanyu told him how he could please Deity Supreme and earn his blessings. He imparted the mystical knowledge of Pentasyllable Shiva Mantra as guru to Krishna.

Krishna Earns Grace Of Shiva

As taught by Upamanyu Krishna grew long hair and wore a matted nest of it on his head and then began to make hard penance standing on one toe. Fifteen months went by. As sixteenth month commenced Lord Shiva appeared along with his consort Parvati as propitiated deities before Krishna. Shiva praised the penance and devotion of Krishna and asked him to wish for boons.

After making his obeisance to Deity Supreme, Krishna said, “Lord! If you are pleased then grant me the boon to remain ever vested in your thought, may I feel your presence always near me, may I always be dear to your faithfuls, may I not suffer any humiliation or disrespect from others, may I be victorious against all my enemies, may my glory be untarnished for ever and may I be blessed with ten worthy sons by your grace.”

Granted were all the boons. A pleased Ma Parvati gave Krishna many more boons including the one that would make Krishna ever favourite of brahmins as their’ saviour. After gaining boons and seeing Deity Supreme Shiva Krishna went back to Upamanyu to thank him for his guidance and revelations. Then, he returned to Dwarka, his capital city

Benefactoring Glory Of Shiva

Shiva has been extremely generous with boons. Besides Krishna numerous others benefited from the grace of Shiva. Boons granted by Him helped Lord Krishna deal with his enemies and guide Pandavas to victory in Mahabharata battle. The pick-axe booned to Parshurama helped him take revenge on his enemies in the form of Kshatriya kings.

Before raiding Lanka Rama made penance at the sea shore to please Shiva and gained from Him divine arrows to use against Ravana. By His grace Rama got bridge across the sea laid and liberated his wife Sita after slaying Ravana

By the grace of Shiva Brahma was blessed with the powers to become creator of the universe. Blessed by Shiva, Vishnu sustains the worlds and protects celestials. It must be remembered that Rama and Krishna were Vishnu incarnations. With his devotion demon Hiranyakshipu propitiated Shiva and gained a many splendoured kingdom as reward. His son also won the grace of Deity Supreme and emerged victorious in war against gods. Indra had to stay for ten thousand years as his subordinate.

Satmukha demon worshipped Shiva and got the boon of becoming a sire of one thousand sons. Devotion to the benign lord by ‘Yagyavalkya was rewarded with the sublime most knowledge of Vedas, Sage Vyas also was blessed by Shiva with the knowledge of Vedas, Purans, Smritis, scriptures, history and skill of literary creations.

Once His anger had dried up all the water of the earth and the gods prayed to Him to restore the water. Shiva obliged them by producing water from his scalp. Lord extended his divine protection to Raja Chitrasena when the latter worshipped Him to gain the same. A prostitute named Chenchula was delivered from all her sins when she accidentally performed Shiva fast ritual. Her husband also got redeemed.

Shiva worship gained Durvasa moksha. Markandeya was blessed with a long life by Deity Supreme Shiva. Due to the boon granted by Shiva Shandilya earned fame and adorability. For her regular Monday fasts and dedicated worship, Shiva defended Chitrangada, the husband of the devoted Seemantini.

An accursed Chakshuk propitiated Shiva through his penance and got liberated from the mundane bonds to become a guard of Ganesha. A poor devotee named Galva won the grace of Shiva by making penance and got his dead father revived.

Chandra once got accursed when he abducted the wife of his guru but got delivered from the curse by worshiping Deity Supreme. Sage Garga, for his devotion to Shiva got blessed with the transcendental insight of past, present and future. Sage Mandavya had got impaled on a spear as punishment and he was saved by the grace of Shiva. Innumerable are the instances of Lord Shiva’s generosity in granting boons to his faithfuls.

Exhorted Sage Soota to his holy audience :
Do keep your minds beamed into benign Shiva to gain his grace and get rewarded.

Sins-Primary, Secondary And Collaterals

Prayed Sanaka on behalf of the holy audience :
O Learned Soota! Tell us what Sage Vyasa was told by Sanatakumara about the sins, their types and degrees of their severity.

Answered Sage Soota :
Listen carefully about the sins that condemn one to the hell. The sins of mind are coveting the women of others, other’s money, property or objects, thinking ill of others and impious intentions. The sins of tongue are telling lies, back biting and use of harsh words.

The physical sins are indulging in violence, eating forbidden items, committing crime and usurping what belongs to others. The retribution is terrible. Go straight to the hell those who speak ill of parents and gurus. A great sin is troubling brahmins (scholarly people) and destroying holy books on Shiva.

To the hell go those who don’t put faith in Shiva, don’t worship Lingams and also doers of acts of disobeying guru, not serving him, deserting him or defaming him. Killers of brahmins and those having evil intentions on guru’s wife are the biggest sinners.

Those who study Vedas but don’t show any respect to the knowledge, the thieves and those who betrary trust deserve the buring hell. Debauches and adultery committers will surely go to hell. Those fools also get hell who without any compulsion sell man, woman, horse, elephant, cow, land, silver, clothing, medicine, juice, sandal wood, aromatics, musk etc.

Sinners are those who are self conceited, egoists, irascible, malicious, jealous, grain or cattle rustlers, money thieves, water polluters, destroyers of temple trees or garden plants or greenery, plunderers, liars, uncharitable, sellers of wife or son, who do not protect woman, do not conduct themselves according to religious orders or codes, do not perform rites or rituals as prescribed, non believers and who talk ill of others.

Hell bound are those who eye the women of others, indulge in violence, raise barrier or wall to block the way of others or to extend own boundary to usurp land, ill treat the servants or pets or animals, do not give alms to mendicants, don’t offer food to hungry, defile Shiva idol, cow thrashers, sellers of old oxen to butchers, who tease or torment poor, sick or helpless and who do not offer shelter to the refuge seekers.

Also sinners are those born brahmins who work as carpenter, physician, gold smith, craftsman or flag maker. Big sinner is a wife stealer. The medicine men who act against ethics and steal forbidden items are also sinners. A sinner gets punished in after life. So, one must make penance during one’s life time to lessen the burden of sins.

Credit Worthiness Of Benefaction

Noble deeds earn one credits for after life. One must avoid doing sinful acts. Religious acts also are credit worthy. They purify one’s mind and inspire towards noble deeds. Soul cleanser acts are ” worship fasting, incantations of Lord’s name or mantra, singing prayers, penance making, yajna- havana and charity. The charity is the best of them which redeems even sinners.

A great lapse is not doing charity. Sinful is preventing others from doing charity or running down charitable acts. Be charitable and encourage charity. Ten great charities are – donating gold, sesame seeds, maid, horse, elephant, virgin, gems, land and black cow. Very special is the merit of charity if one gives away one’s most treasured item. A charity is credit worthy only if given to a deserving one. The charity going to an unworthy person can be counter productive.

Donation of gold cleanses past and present sins, charity of cow fulfills one’s wishes. Reborn as humans will be those who give away land. A long spell in celestial world one shall earn the right to if one donates cow made of sesame seeds plus a golden calf. Sesame seeds given as charity will wash away all sins committed during childhood and youth wittingly or unwittingly.

The charity made on certain occasions or seasons are specially rewarding. Footwear may be presented to the superior one. A cool passage in after life will be gained by those who donate umbrella. Generally comforts and happiness gained to others through acts of charity will gain the donor similar benefits in his next life.

Natural Acts Of Charity Providing Food

Donating cooked food or food grains is the basic acts of charity that one does as duty of a human being towards other fellow human beings. It is the basic survival item and great is credit worthiness of food charity or sharing food. No charity is greater than annadaan (charity of food). The food generates the life energy. Sparing food for others is as benign a deed as helping others stay alive.

But food must be given to a deserving person only because an undeserving person may commit grave sins. The food donor may share some blame of it for helping the criminal stay alive. But food may be given to a dying person irrespective of his being good, bad or criminal. A food donor gains a place in heaven in after life for a long period in celestial surroundings and divine ambience.

Giving Water

The water is a part of food. One who eats drinks water as well. Without water food can not be cooked to make it edible. Even without food water is needed to quench the thirst. Providing cool water to the thirsty in the summer heat is a great act of charity.

Even plants and trees need water. In an extended sense sinking wells, constructing water tanks or digging canals also fall under the definition of providing water. Such charitable acts can be termed as magnanimous and earn credits equivalent to performing an Ashwamedha Yajna.

The most’ notable thing is that the water is the cheapest commodity of a household and it is always available and can be spared for the needy without feeling a pinch. Here Sage Soota paused and made obeisance to Mother Uma (Parvati). Then, he proceeded on to describe the impurities of the body physical.

Creature In Womb, Birth And Disenchantment

Told Sage Soota to his keen audience:
Our body has been fostered by juices (nutrients of food intake). The rejected matter is expelled in various forms through ears, eyes, nose, tongue, teeth, sex organs, anus, intestines and skin as sweat, tears, saliva, urine, phlegm, excreta etc.

Heart pumps blood into the body that carries the juices which turn into various ingredients to form parts like skin, bones, marrow, blood, heir, flesh, nerves etc. The body of woman in season produces ovum which gets fertilized by male sperm and a new creature takes shape as foetus in the womb. The blood of the mother brings nutrients to the foetus needed for its growth and survival. In this way the foetus (resident of the womb) gets his share from the food eaten by the mother.

In the womb baby contemplates about itself. His fate is decided according to the karma of prevous life. He thinks about the woes of previous lives and thinks of redeeming his soul. The life in the womb is also a woe. It is a kind of prison. A big burden is the womb life.

Impurities Of Body-Childhood Woes

The union of ovum and sperm starts the life. Since the body takes shape in womb that lies very next to large and small intestines that are full of excreta it is considered impure or unholy. So, in no way the body can be purified being born in filth. No visits to holy places and bathing in sacred rivers can cleanse the body.

The worship of God with true dedication begets spiritual knowledge which purifies our mind. Disenchantment with mundane world sets in. Thus, mind and soul can be purified. Attachment and infatuations are the root causes of all miseries. A creature takes birth leaving all the memories of previous lives and awareness about God in the womb.

In childhood and teenages a creature suffers several woes. In youth age he is overtaken by the emotions of love, sex, angst, jealousy, greed etc. God remains forgotten and it is God forsaken. Now comes marriage, raising family and battle of professional life. For woman happiness lies in carnal indulgences only. Her thoughts never go beyond that. The battle-ravaged male body lurches into old age of niggles, diseases and decay. And then comes the end. Repository of woes our body is.

Mysticism Of Death

Confided Sage Soota to the curious holy group: Now listen carefully, O learned sirs, what secret knowledge about death Sanatakumara revealed to my guru, Ved Vyasa. The secrets were originally told to Devi Parvati by Lord Shiva Himself. The man whose body suddenly turns pale, upper part shows shade of pink, his tongue, mouth, ears and eyes look stunned, goes deaf to noises and who sees sun, moon or fire as gray or dark shadows he is set to meet his death within six months.

A man whose left arm pulsates continuously for seven days, body shudders and palate goes dry he would not live beyond one mouth. A person whose tongues thickens up, nose runs, who does not see his reflextion in mirror, oil or water, who can not spot Orion, does not sight rays of sun or moon, sees rainbow at night or shooting stars during day and who is hovered over by vultures and crows he has only six months of life left.

Veins carry the life force. The human body has 16 such veins which determine the duration of his life. Veins and flow of air indicate the remaining period of life. The knowers of death so reveal the death mystery.

Mystic Of Shadow-Man

Once Parvati urged her consort Shiva to reveal to her the mystic of shadow-man. Lord obliged her. A person who dressed in white clothing lights up lamp and aromatics in due pooja tradition and incants Barak shari (12 letters in Sanskrit original) mantra of ‘Om Namah Bhagwate Rudraye’. In the exercise if he sees his own shadow he gains the spirit of truth. If the shadow is headless it means the death shall come within six months.

White shadow will imply the ascendance of positives, the black shadow is indicative of prevalence of’ negative aspects, the red colour means bindings and yellow hue signifies danger from the enemies. The severed off nose of the shadow points to marriage, the death of some near one or possibility of starvation.

Those who see the shadowman must incant mantra mentally. An year of this exercise shall gain the faithful all desired accomplishments. A secret knowledge called ‘Khechri’ lives on the heads of brahmins. It is the mother of all’ knowledges. It has several names. A yogi can redeem himself by knowing this visible or invisible defined or undefined and moving or stationary force. Here Soota paused and prayed silently to Uma.

The Time Gap Between Two Manus

Spoke Shaunaka on behalf of the holy group of sages:
O scholiast Soota! Now please enlighten us about Manus and the Manavantara aeons.

Responded Sage Soota:
Manus were alter-egos of Brahma. The first of them was Swayambhuva who served as ruler, law giver and social code definer. A Manavantara was the period between a Manu and the next one. The first period is known as Swayambhuva Manavantara. He was supported by seven mind bore seer sons of Brahma named Marichi, Atri, Agnirasa, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastaya and Vashishtha.

They were stationed in the north. In that aeon Yamus were the deities and Yajna was Indra (the lord of celestials).The second aeon was Swarochisa Manavantara. Swarochisa was the Manu. Arjasthamba, Parasthamba, Rishabha, Vasumantha, Jyotishmava, Dhyutimanta and Rochismanta formed the seer group. Tushistas were the deities and Rochana served as Indra.

This Manu had ten sons, namely Hari, Sukriti, Jyoti, Ayomurti, Avasmaya, Prathita, Manushya, Nabha, Mahatma and Surya. The third aeon was Uttama Manavantara with Uttama as Manu. The deities were Satya (Truth), (the books) Vedas and Smriti (the repositories of divine knowledge) etc. Satyapit is the Indra.

All the seven sons of Vashishtha and illustrious sons of Hirayangarbha made up the seer group. The fourth aeon Tamas Manavantara had seven seer group of Garga, Prithu, Gamya, Janya, Dhatu, Kapinaka etc. Trishikha is Indra. The Manu had ten sons called Dhyutipota, Santa, Pasyatapa, Shoola, Tapana, Dhanvi, Khangi etc.

The fifth aeon was Raivata Manvantara. Vibhu was its Indra and the seers were Devabahu, Jai Muni, Vedashira, Haranyarana, Parjanya, Udharvabhu and Navjadika. The sixth aeon was Rauchya Manavantara. The Manu Rauchya was the son of Prajapati Ruchi.

Its seers and deities were Rama, Vyasa, Atreya, Sahashrati, Bhardwaja, Ashwatthama, Shardwana, Kripacharya, Galva Kaushika, Ruka, Kashyapa etc. Similarly in the following Manvantaras Vishamga, Neehasumata, Vasu, Soota, Suravishnu, Raja, Sumati and Savami would be the sons of Manu.

The seventh aeon is Vaivasvata Manavantarau This prophecy about Manavantaras was revealed by Sage Soota for the benefit of his holy audience. So, he used the present tense as it was current aeon for them). Vaisavasvata is Manu; Pakashasana is ‘ Indra; Sadhwi, Rudra, Vishwadeva, Vasumata, Aditya and Ashwanikumars are deities and seers ‘ are Kashyapa, Atri, Vashishtha, Vishwamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Bhardwaja.

The 8th aeon will be Savarni Manavantara. And 9th will be Rohita Manavantara with Medha, Paulastya, Vastu Kashyapa, Jyotishmana, ‘ Bhargava, Angira, Savana, Vashishta etc. Savarnis were mind bore sons of Brahma and they ruled several Manavantaras namely Savarni Rauchya, Savarni Brahma, Savarni Dharma, Savarni Rudra,Savarni Deva and Savarni Indra.

During other Savarni Maunvantaras will have seers called Harishmana, Prakriti, Adhomukti, Avyavya, Pravati, Bhathar, Anena, Dhyuti, Polastya, Angira, Sutaya, Pulaba, Bhargava, Pushpamana, Anay charu, Tejas, Agni etc. Five mind born sons of Brahma will be deities. Divaspati will be Indra of 9th Manavantara.

The 14th aeon will be Satya Manavantara with Satya as its Manu. Agnidra, Atibrahya, Maghadha, Shukti, Yukti, Ajita and Pulaha will be the seers Dakshuva will be presiding deity and Suchi as Indra. There will be five deities in all. Manu shall ; have sons in Tarenga, Bheeru, Dugna, Anugraha, Atimani, Pravina, Vishnu and Skrandana. That concluded the chapter of 14 Manavantara.

Vaivasvata Manavantara Tale

Then, Soota went on to reveal some details of the Manavantara that was on. Vaivasvana Surya was born to Sage Kashyapa out of the daughter of Daksha. Surya had three wives namely Sanjna, Twashti and Suranuka. Sanjna born him three male children in Shradha, Manu and Yama. Yama had a twin sister in Yamuna. Sanjna could not handle the heat or brilliance of Surya. She created her shadow form called Chhaya and fled leaving the care of the children to the latter.

Sanjna went to her father who did not like her act of cheating on Surya. He asked her to go back to her husband. Instead of going back to Surya she transformed into a mare and lived in the wilds of Kuru lands. Meanwhile, Surya lived with Chhaya taking her as his real wife Sanjna. Chhaya gave birth to Savarni Manu, a son.

After bearing her own child she began to ill treat the children of Sanjna. Particularly she targeted the girl child, Yamuna. One day as she was rebuking Yamuna, the twin brother Yama lost his cool and landed a kick on Chhaya. Infuriated Chhaya put a curse on Yama that he would lose his leg. It worried Yama.

He ran to his father and revealed the incident. Surya had also noticed ill treatment of the kids by his wife except the youngest one whom she pampered. Surya asked angrily why she was mistreating the elder children? Frightened Chhaya admitted that she was impostoring Sanjna and revealed her true identity.

They decided to make amends and live in love and peace. Through his divine insight Surya saw his dear Sanjna living as a mare in wilds. For her comfort Chhaya got Surya on Shani chakra and dimmed his brilliance. He brought back his wife Sanjna to live together happily.

The reunion produced Ashwani Kumars, the twins who became the physicians of the celestial world. Yama became the god of dharma, Savarni Manu became Prajapati and later Manu of Savarni’ Manvantara. Yamuna flowed on the earth as a holy river.

Line Of Savarni Manus

Vaivasvata Manu had nine sons in Ikshwaku, Shivina, Bhachu, Dhrishta, Kasyati, Nishatanta, Kutraya Nriga and Priyavrata. When Manu had earlier no son he had performed a yajna for offspring. The yajna produced a female figure called Ida who was ordered by Lord Varuna to help breed the line of Savarni Manu.

Later Manus prospered and started many blood lines that produced illustrious names. Ikshwaku was born from the nostril of Manu. He started a great dynasty and he ruled the fabled kingdom that had Ayodhya as its capital. The descendents of Ikshvaku became great heroes of mythology which include Satyavrata, Sagar, Harischandra, Bhagiratha, Raghu, Dashratha, Rama etc.

Sagar had 60,000 son who got accursed by Sage Kapila to get burnt to ashes. Bhagiratha, the grandson made penance and holy Ganga brought to the earth from the celestial world to salvage the souls of those 60,000 dead ancestors.

Thus, the Vaivasvata blood line continued on through Shrutisena, Nashag, Ambarish… eleven more generations to Dalip, Raghu, Aja, Dashratha, then Lord Rama, his sons Luv and Kush. The dynasty finally ended with Rajya Sumitra.

Shraddha Tradition

Revealed Soota : The eldest son of Surya and Sanjna was Shraddhadeva who became the presiding deity of Shraddha rite dedicated to the dead ancestors of a person.

Asked Shaunaka: “O Learned Soota! Tell us what is importance of Shraddha rites, how it is performed and what are the stories related to it?”

Replied Soota:
O holy one! A man who performs shraddha of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather every day he gains religious credits and social honours. To a query from Yudhishthira once Bhishma Pitamaha had revealed that one day he offered Pinddana (Oblation of symbolic lump and Shraddha ritual) to his father and the dead one materialised to ask him to put Pinda on his palm but Bhishma put it down on the grass. Pleased with that act the father had booned him death only when he wished for it. Thus Bhishma could not be killed against his own wish.

Booned Bhishma requested his father to enlighten him on Pitri kalpa. The father (late Shantanu) said that once Sage Markandeya had revealed that one day he saw a child sleeping in an aerial craft and asked who it was? The child revealed he was Sanatkumara, the son of Brahma’ and had manifested in response to the penance made by the sage for that very aim.

Markandeya then asked him what was the heaven of the departed ancestors? He revealed that Brahma after creating gods asked them to make penance and pray. The gods forgot creator Brahma and his advice and started introspecting or contemplating. Angry Brahma accursed them to be stupid and brain dead. The gods begged for his pardon, Brahma advised them to pray to their seniors.

Upon being invoked the seniors said, “O sons! Get back your senses and make penance for lapses.” The gods went back to Brahma to ask him why they were addressed as ‘sons’ by the seniors? Brahma revealed those who called them ‘sons’ would be their forebears. Since then the senior gods came to be known as forebears (Pitras). Thus came out the fact that even the gods performed Shraddha.

Mystic Of Shraddha

As told to Markandeya by Sanatakumara and recounted by Soota for the benefit of his audience:
In the heaven the forebears (Pitrs) are seven in order. Four of them are manifest and three un-manifest. Idol gods and brahmins worship them.

Through representativeship, they satiate the departed souls. For that reason in Shraddha bramins are fed normal ordered course plus favourite items of the departed souls when they l were alive and given their fees, donation or gifts. In the rites of Shraddha Agni, Yama and Som be invoked. The Shraddha propitiated souls of forebears bless the living descendent with health, happiness and prosperity.

Tale Of Seven Hunter Sons

Once the seven sons of Sage Bhardwaja named Vagdushta, Krodhana, Himsara, Pishuna, Kava, Swasrisha, Pitrivarti fell into bad ways. Their father died a sad man. After his death his sons went to live in the ashram of Sage Garaga as disciples apparently to mend their ways. But evil had set in them deep. One day the deitgenerate boys killed one of the cows of the ashram and devoured. For that sin terrible they got born as sons of a hunter in their next life.

But they remembered the events of their previous lives because in the later years of that life they had done some good deeds. They would not waste their lives in being bird hunters and adding more sins to their burden. As boys they left home and wandered around meditating and worshipping Shiva, keeping fasts and trying to gain spiritual knowledge. At the end they partook food at an ashram of holy penance makers and died.

Then, they were reborn as chakravaka birds of one brood. As birds they saw the happy and splendid lives of the king and the queen of Neepa land. They wondered what noble deeds the royal pair must have done in their previous lives to beget such good fortune! A wise parakeet flew into them and prophesied, “O noble birds! In your next life you will become rulers of Kampilya town and will

be cleansed of your sins of the cow killing and lying to your guru. It will happen by the grace of your forebears whom you had offered some beef as Shraddha oblations when you had killed that cow to eat. Their satiated souls blessed you and worked for your redemption.”

To be in their next lives as soon as possible the seven birds gave up eating and lived on water and air only. On a divine inspiration the king and the queen of Neepa land handed over the reins of the kingdom to their son Prince Anoop and retired to the forest to make penance as ascetics.
Meanwhile, the bodies of the birds gradually weakened and they died.

As prophesied they were reborn in Kampilya town. One of them was Brahmadutta who was sin free. The king on divine inspiration handed over the rein of the town to him and earned moksha for being the benefactor of a sinfree character.

Two others became the priests of two famous temples by taking birth in the priest families. The rest of the four were born to a poor brahmin family. They became scholars of Vedas and other scriptures. Thus, they ruled the kingdom of knowledge. They were all Shiva devotees and gained His domain after death.

Said Sage Soota: Anyone who recites or hears this katha of Seven hunter sons shall gain the grace of Deity Supreme. After hearing Shiva Puran, a part of it or other religious epic a faithful is required to worship his preceptor. The guru must be worshiped like a deity and monetary gift given as his rightful fee.

Sage Parashara And Satyavati Tale

Prayed Shaunaka:
O scholiast Soota! We request you to reveal to us the story of the origin of your preceptor, Ved Vyasa.

Obliged gladly Sage Soota:
The origin of guru Ved Vyasa started with the tale of Sage Parashara, the grandson of Sage Vashishta who was the mind born son of Brahma! He wrote a great book on astrology called Parashara Samhita. Once during the course of pilgrimage he came upon the bank of Yamuna.

A boat he looked for to carry him across. There was only one boat and the boatman was eating lunch. The boatman, Desarva realised the dilemma of the sage. He asked his daughter Satyawati to ferry the sage across. The sage sat in the boat.

Satyawati began to row. She was a beauteous young woman. On that day the weather was very pleasant. It was spring time. The trees and shrubs were abloom. The birds were singing mating calls. There was romance in the air.

Satyawati was rowing and her pretty body was moving rhythmically as she crooned a romantic tune in youthful exuberance. Sage Parashara watched the girl mesmerised. He was feeling amorous sensation charging through his body inspite of the fact that the girl had fishy odour.

Meanwhile, planetary and star configurations were falling into a position that was very propitious for the birth of a great devotee of Lord Vishnu by union of a holy person and a pure virgin girl. The sage was unable to lift his eyes off the face of the girl. The girl smiled innocently.

Parashara overtaken by the romantic sentiment expressed his desire to make love to Satyawati. The girl said she could not afford to lose her virginity and run the risk of becoming an unwed mother. The sage assured her that their union would be of a spiritual kind which would leave her virginity intact.

He also revealed that due to his boon, she would no more smell fishy and her body shall give off fragrance. Sage Parashara created a fog screen through his yoga power and they made love after Satyawati consented.

Vyasa Arrives

Virgin Satyawati become pregnant but the bulge did not show. On a mid river island Satyawati gave birth to a male child out of the sight of others. After its birth the child instantly enlarged into a grown up adult in ascetic attire of deer pelt vest, grass short, sacred thread in neck and a carry bowl in hand.

He made obeisance to his mother and asked for her permission to go to the forest to commence his penance-making. The mother had named her baby Krishnadwaipayana since he was born on a sand dune in darkening hour. The son promised that he would materialise before her whenever she needed him upon invocation.

Satyawati went back to her hamlet of the fisher folk. Surprisingly no one ever asked her anything about that had happened on that day. Even her father behaved as if he had no memory of her daughter ferrying across a sage upon his asking. That was how the great author of so many epics was born.

Evolution Into Vyasa

Spoke Soota:
Now hear how Krishnadwaipayana evolved into Sage Vyasa.
He made hard penance for a long period and propitiated Brahma who blessed him with a boon to be the sublime most scholar of Veda. He studied Vedas and imbibed all the wisdom and knowledge contained therein to earn the name ‘Vedavyasa’.

To gain more spiritual power Vyasa set out on a pilgrimage to worship Shiva to gain his blessings and grace. He learnt that the worship at Atimukta Mahakshetra situated Madhyeshwara Lingam was the most efficacious for that purpose.

There Vyasa made penance first without food, then without water and lastly with measured breathing only. Shiva appeared to him pleased with his devotion. Benign Lord spoke, “Pleased am I with your dedication, Vyasa! I know your wish. I will vest my divinity in your tongue to enable you to dictate great epics, Puranas and scriptures according to your blessed lights.

The prayer you sang to please me will become a mantra the incantation of which will gain the faithful his desired wishes.” By the grace of Shiva Ved Vyasa wrote 18 Puranas namely Brahma, Padma, Vishnu, Shiva, Bhagwata, Bhaishya, Narada, Markandeya, Agni, Brahmavaivarta, Lingavaraha, Koorma, Matasya, Garuda, Vamana, Brahmanda etc.

Tale Of Shooka

Once during a penance period Vyasa was preparing to perform havana. He was making fire to light up the holy fire pit by churning a wooden shaft into the hole of a wooden block. During that act he happened to see a celestial beauty and suddenly he was seized by a wish to sire a child. He was aroused. The embarrassed beauty transformed into a parrot and flew away as she realised what’ she had caused. Vyasa ejaculated in the wooden block hole with the image of the parrot in his mind.

From the hole a glowing baby emerged instead of fire. This development was greeted by the gods and Brahma himself descended to bless the newborn. Creator also presented him items of an ascetic. Since he was born when his sire had a parrot in his mind he was named ‘Shooka’.

Like his sire Shooka also matured instantly and became a pupil of Guru Brihaspati. He did not agree to be married as his sire wanted him to. He was more intent on the spiritual pursuits. Vyasa wrote great many Puranas and Shooka studied and recited them all. Vyasa then sent him to king Janaka to learn how one could be spiritually ascetic but at the same time be a family man.

But Shooka was not impressed. He came back to the ashram of his sire. Guru Brihaspati declared that Shooka had learnt whatever there was to learn and he should pay attention to the other aspects of life. Shooka paid heed to his advice and got married and sired children.

In the spiritual world heirarchy Shooka had gained a higher position than his father by becoming one of the five basic elements of creation. But the consolation was that Shooka presented himself to his sire whenever he desired.

Kaurava-Pandava Connection

After giving birth to Vyasa Satyawati had returned to her normal fisher folk world. During that period fisherman used to work as ferrymen on the side for some cash earnings. Later king Shantanu of Hastinapur had met Satyawati and married her. As Queen Satyawati she gave birth to two sons Vichitravirya and Chitrangada. King Shantanu had an eldor son in Bhishma out of his first queen Ganga who left him when one of her conditions was violated by him.

Bhishma had taken a vow to remain celibate all his life to clear the way of his father’s marriage to Satyawati whose father wanted his daughter’s son to inherit the throne. Of the two sons of Satyawati one got killed in a battle against a yaksha. The other died of over indulgence. The two brothers were very weak physically. On their own they could not attract the interest of any princess. In desparation and to have heir to the throne Bhishma abducted the daughters of the king of Kashi.

Thus were Amba and Ambalika married to Vichitravirya but he died without siring any heir. Bhishma would not wear the crown as it violated his vow. Now Queen mother Satyawati was in a fix. Bhishma suggested that childless Amba and Ambalika could be seeded by a man of noble origin which was permitted by daws then prevalent. Such children born were legally accepted as the offspring of the legal husband of the mother.

But Satyawati was reluctant to involve a man stranger. Then she remembered about her own son who was born during her virgin days. She knew that he was now famous as Vedvyasa. Satyawati invoked Vyasa and when he materialised in response she confided to him her situation and the dilemma. She told Vyasa she wanted him to seed the wombs of Amba and Ambalika to provide her heir.

Vyasa expressed his sadness at the demise of his brothers and accepted to oblige her as he could not even think of disobeying his mother. When Amba went to his chamber to get seeded she closed her eyes as Vyasa had penance scarred and weather ravaged ugly face. She begot a blind son. Ambalika turned pale at the sight of Vyasa and produced a pale complexioned weakling who was prone to deseases.

When Satyawati learnt about the eye-closing act of Amba she knew the child would not be a normal one. She urged Amba to go to Vyasa once again. Amba had no grit to face the sage again. In her own place she sent her maid to the sage. The maid went in cheerfully and became mother of a healthy and noble son.

The blind son born to Amba was Dhritrashtra. Ambalika gave birth to pale Pandu. The .maid produced noble Vidura. Dhritrashtra married princess Gandhari who bore him one hundred sons and a daughter. The eldest was Duryodhana and the wickedest Dushasana was. They were the main villains of Mahabharata. Pandu had two wives in Kunti and Madri.

He inherited throne since the elder prince was considered unfit to rule due to blindness. Pandu had his own tragedies. He was accursed to die if he approached his wives amorously. Thus, he could not sire children. In sorrow he gave up throne and went to live in the wilds with his wives. Blind Dhritrashtra got the throne by deafult. Pandu was very sad at being childless as he could not try to become a sire.

One day Kunti revealed to Pandu that a pleased sage had blessed her with a mantra that could invoke any divinity and beget her a son. Pandu urged her to try it. She invoked Dharamraja, Pavana and Indra to beget Yudhishthira, Bheema and Arjuna respectively as sons. For Madri she invoked Ashwani Kumaras and begot her Nakula and Sahdeva.

The sons of Dhritrashtra came to be known as the Kauravas and the sons of Pandu were called Pandavas. For the kingdom the two groups became antagonists which led to the epic Mahabharata war which is well known to all. Once while in Kashi, Lord Shiva’s own abode Vedvyasa put a curse on the town. Divine couple did not mind it. Parvati served food to him.

Deity Supreme put no curse on Vyasa. He only asked the culprit to leave His city. Repentant Vyasa wanted to know which other place enjoyed the grace of Shiva? He wanted to go there and live to continue to enjoy the benefaction of Lord. Shiva advised him to go to Daksharama near Godavari in the southern part of the land. Sage Soota said that Vyasa story won’t ever end as he was immortal and bound to be around in some form ever as long as books continued to be written and read recording sagas of human endeavour.

Origin Of Creation

Announced Sage Soota :
Now hear how universe came into existence-
and evolved. The basic element of manifest and the unmanifest, Power Eternal started the creation in manifested Brahma form. First water came into existence. By the will of Power Eternal Shiva a divinity got vested in the water and was called ‘Narayana’ (Water borne). Then an egg appeared in the water and out of it came Brahma who split the egg in two halves horizontally.

The upper half became celestial world and the lower half the base. The space in between was turned into sky and fourteen domains by Brahma. He created earth on water. Ten directions came into being in the sky. Then creator made elements of mind, speech, angst, beauty and love. A seven sage group made up of Marichi, Atri, Angira, Pulastya, Pulaha, Ritu and Vashishtha materialised as willed by the mind of Creator. The sages were the material and sources for the creation of Purans.

Then, Brahma revealed four Vedas, the book form repositories of wisdom and knowledge of religious exercises. He worshipped Deity Supreme before producing the gods from his chest, humans from his thighs and demons from lower parts. He rested for along time to assess his creations. But it

was a static world with no scope for evolution. To correct this fault he created body and its nature. More creations followed in that format. It was also flawed being non-generative and non-recreative. Brahma created a host of his mind born sons who came to be known as Manus. In the same way Manus created more Manus as their own lines of sages, seers and holy ones also came into existence in large numbers.

Creator and Manus shaped various other creatures, four legged, two legged, water borne and winged ones. But it still made no sense. Brahma and his Manus were creating like potters make pots that had no generative power of their own. The created world was stagnating. There was no variety, no evolution and no self-generation. It frustrated Brahma.

He prayed to Shiva to guide him into right and lively kind of creation that did not stagnate. Deity Supreme answered the prayer after a long penance of Brahma by manifesting in his Ardhanareesh- wara form which was made up of ‘Half-man+Half woman vertically. In this way He revealed that self-generating and evolutionary creation was possible only through gender based male-female pairing. Brahma got the message.

Then, Brahma’s mind projected gender-based Manu and Shatroopa pair. Their mating produced sexually reproductive Manus who bred their own lines of males and females. It led to the explosion of the life forms by evolution, sons, daughters, couplings, species, and dynasties. King Uttanpada was born who sired the great faithful Dhruva.

Dhruva had two sons, Pushti and Dhanya. They bred Ripu, Ripunjaya, Vipra, Nrikala, Vrisha an Teja to further the blood line in Chakshuta, Varuna, Bena, Prithu (the incarnation of Vishnu), Vijitashwa, Prajapati Haryavya and his ten thousand sons who became ascetics upon hearing the sermon of Sage Narada who said the mundane life was not worth living being full of woes and miseries.

Angered Daksha (Prajapati) put a curse on Narada to be foot loose and not to stay at one place for long. Then, Daksha sired thirteen girls who were married to Sages, Kashyapa, Angira, Krisnashwa and Chandra. As sexual wave spread. Daksha sired more girls said to be 58 in total.

The earlier married ones also got new wives besides the girls getting new husband. They all produced a number of deity figures like Vishwa, Sadhya, Marutwana, eight Vasus, twelve Bhanus, Mahurtaja, Ghosa, Naga, Prithvi etc. Then arrived Sankalp, Ava, Dhurva, Soma, Dhara, Anila, Pratyusha and Prabhasha. Sankalpa was their mother.

Prabha produced Vishwakarma Prajapati. He was a craftsman who crafted various masterpieces for the gods like aerial craft, homes, ornaments, embellishments etc. He became deity of craftsmen and skilled workers. Sarupa produced Rudras and they all multiplied into millions of Rudras but eleven are main Rudras namely, Raivata, Aja, Bheema, Bhava, Ugra, Bhama, Vrisha, Kapi, Ankpada, Ahirbugna, Bahurupa and Mahana. They are the masters of the world.

In Chakshusha’s blood line Vena was born who was an evil character. He harassed all in many ways. So much so that even sages fled to the forests. At last the seers and sages worked up the death of Vena by invoking a killer mantra. When his mother wept bitterly the sages of Saraswata line churned the dead Vena’s right hand and out of its Prithu was born.

Prithu became the first sole king of the earth. He turned the earth into a cow and made it yield the milk of herbal plants, foodgrain crops, fruit bearing trees, vegetable plants etc. He had four sons. One of them sired ten renuciate sons called Prachatas.

They made penance to propitiate Shiva for thousands of years. Lord booned them power to save the earth from over vegetation. Prachetas returned to normal life and married Anubhuti, the daughter of Chandra. She produced Daksha who later put a curse on Narada for stealing her ten thousand sons by inspiring them into asceticism.

Kashyapa Bloodline

Aditi, Diti, Sursa, Arishta, Ila, Dhanu, Surabhi, Vinita, Tabra, Krodha, Voshi, Kadru etc were the wives of Sage Kashyapa. Aditi gave birth to twelve deities of Tushita order. She was the mother of Vishnu (manifested) and Indra also. Diti produced giants (demonics) and Dhanu bore demons. Vinita produced Asura, Garuda and other species of birds and animals.

Sursa became the mother of reptiles. That is why she is know a Nagmata also. Her sons include even the divine serpents like Adishesha, Vasuki and Takshaka. Krodha produced offspring with fangs and claws. Surabhi gave birth to rabbits, hare and buffaloes. Ila was the mother of trees, plants, creepers and other greens. One of them produced females only who became the celestial beauties known as apsaras. Kadruva gave birth to pythons, dragons and boas.

Arishta gave birth to men-o-snake. The offsprings of Khasha made up the orders of Yakshas and Rakshasas. Tabra produced eight daughters in Keki, Syeni, Bhasi, Sujrevi, Shuki, Gridharika, Ashani and Valooki besides sons. Further on Keki bore crows, Syeni bore hawks and kites and Bhasi bore ducks and other game birds. Gridharika produced eagles and vultures.

Ashmi begot camels, horses and all kinds of asses. Thus, the wives of Kashyapa filled up the world with greens, plants, forests, birds, animals, reptiles, insects and other living creatures. The world also came to be known as Kashyapi.

Glory Of Eternal Uma

The Maniest Force Eternal As Mahamaya Yogmaya, Mahakali, Mahalaxmi, Gauri, Durga And Uma Manifest

Rose a voice from the assemblage of the holy groups: O enlightened Sage Soota! We have heard a long tales from you in this part of the Purana but we heard no mention of Ma Uma and her glory although this Samhita is related to her as the name suggests. Sir, are we missing some point?

Clarified learned Soota at once:
No, holy sir, you have not missed any point. In fact I was just about to reveal her origin and the saga of her glory. So you must hear this more attentively.

Samadhi fell on bad days having been cheated and betrayed by their near and dear ones. They left their abodes and came to the forest to seek solace. The two happened to run into each other at the gate of the ashram of Sage Medha.

They went in and revealed their respective tragedies to the sage and prayed for his guidance. The sage revealed to them the glory of Uma-Mahalaxmi as it contained the answer to their problems. T will tell you what Sage Medha revealed’, said Soota and began.

Madhu-Kaitabha And Mahakali

At the very beginning of the creation water came into existence by the will of Force Eternal. In water got Vishnu vested. A long penance tired him out and he went to deep sleep of yoganidra. From the ear wax of Vishnu got two mighty demons created who were called Madhu and Kaitabha. For a long period they made penance and got the blessings of Power Eternal Malamaya.

Mean while a lotus stalk had emerged from the navel of sleeping Vishnu and Brahma appeared atop the flower. The demons spotted him and began to harass him. The frightened Brahma tried to seek protection of Vishnu but he found the latter withdrawn into yoganidra. In desperation Brahma prayed to Mahamaya. She answered his prayer by manifesting as Mahakali on the twelfth day of the first fortnight of Phalguna. She woke up Vishnu by exiting from his eyes as Yogmaya.

To defend Brahma Vishnu challenged the demon duo and fought with them for five thousand years but failed to subdue them. Then, Vishnu invoked Mahamayav and prayed for her help. Mahamaya befuddled the minds of demon duo and made them tell Vishnu how they could be accounted for. So Vishnu put their heads on his widened thighs and killed them as was the only way possible.

Mahalaxmi Incarnation Of Uma

The demon Lord Rambhasura was a mighty one who had become a scourge of the gods. His son Mahishasura was even mightier than him and was a repository of more evils. He was very ambitious demon and to realise his demonic dreams he made a hard penance to propitiate Brahma. From Brahma he got a boon that no man or god shall ever kill him.

After gaining that boon he went berserk tormenting all the three worlds. He raided heaven and banished gods from there. The deities of the directions were under his constant threat and punishment. Then he targeted all the people who used to worship deities and celestial beings. He banned all religious rites and ceremonies. No yajna no Havana and no worship was his monstrous order.

The deities and the gods went to Brahma seeking deliverance from the tyranny of Mahishasura. Brahma took them to Vishnu as the former had himself booned the demon. Vishnu advised that they must all go to Shiva to seek his help. They all prayed to Deity Supreme. Brahma revealed that the demon could be killed only by a female character as he could not die at the hands of a male due to his boon. Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra

(manifest Shiva) shot out light balls of their divinity which fused in one radiant body. The other gods shot into it their own respective beams. Thus amplified ball of light transformed into a goddess figure of Mahalaxmi, also called ‘Jagdamba’. She was a picture of valour. Her face radiated the divinity of Shiva and the other parts of her body respresented the divinity of other gods. She had Vishnu arms and thighs and the legs of Brahma. Yama was in her hair and she rode a lion.

Then divine lords lent her their powers. She got the trident of Shiva, Sudarshan Chakra of Vishnu, thunderbolt of Indra, armour from Vishwakarma, heat from Agni, carry bowl of Brahma, time scale and shield from Yama, storm from Pavana, liquidity from Varuna, rays from Surya and the other gods empowered her according to their own divine capacities. Thus power packed Mahalaxmi roared that reverberated through the universe. It elated the hearts of the gods.

They all prayed to her to deliver them from the torments of evil Mahishasura. She assured them of her protection and the independence from the demonic tyranny. She went to the ground outside the palace of the demon and let out a mighty roar which shook the entire universe.Angry demons came out to meet the challenger. There were great demonic battlers in Chiksura, Chandra, Udagra, Kerala, Bhaksha etc. besides Mahishasura.The two armies clashed.

To help Mahalaxmi the host of the gods had also followed her but the most of the fighting was being done by the goddess herself. She killed several renowned demon’ warriors in no time. Very soon all the big names of the demons except Mahishasura had become history. It angered the demon lord. The demons of the order of Mahishasura were basically wilder beasts who could transform into any animal shape.

Angry Mahishasura charged in his bull buffalo form at Mahalaxmi and her army. He played havoc with the gods who prayed to the goddess to deal with the demon. She tossed a lasso at the demon buffalo and seized it. To get off the noose the demon transformed into a lion and tried to clobber the lion the goddess was riding. Mahalaxmi raised her sword to slay the enemy lion but he instantly reverted to his demonic form. The goddess attacked with her sword, spear and arrows to confuse her enemy.

Mahishasura transformed into an elephant and trumpeted violently. Mahalaxmi cut its trunk in a swift move. The demon again changed his form and resorted to demonic poltergy creating great many illusions. The goddess took a swig from her divine flaggon of wine gifted to her by Kubera.

Then she blew her conchshell in fury creating shock waves and let out a thunderous laughter that made Mahishasura tremble. With a beastly roar she jumped at Mahishasura and stomped him down to earth. Her foot was on the demon neck and her trident impaled the face of her enemy and she lifted him up in the air as if raising the flag of her victory.

The scene frightened the demon army and it fled in all directions in fright. The delighted gods rained down flower from the heaven to celebrate the victory and kettle drums were beaten. The gods assembled around Mahalaxmi and sang her prayers requesting her to keep her protection extended to the noble forces for ever.

Declared Soota : ‘Whoever recites and hears the katha of Mahalaxmi all his fears are banished and his foes got weakened. It also is a blesser of good fortune’.

Gauri (Kaushiki) Tale

‘Listen now to the glory of Gauri incarnation of Uma’, said Soota.
Once there existed two demon brothers called Shumbha and Nishumbha. They were mighty and very big trouble makers. All the three worlds and their populaces were living under the fear of those two demons. They had let loose a rule of tyranny. The gods and other celestial races had fled to the caves and forests to hide. That made the demon duo more arrogant and cruel.

The gods were advised by Brihaspati and Brahma to seek the help of Parvati (Uma manifest). The gods went to the forest where Parvati was making penance to sort out her own problems. To help the gods she created her alter-ego out of her call. This new manifestation of her was called Gauri (The white one) since she had a spotless milk white skin.

She was also known as Kaushiki for being born out of a cell (Kaushika). She sat astride a tiger armed with many fangled divine weapons. An incredible beauty she was and drank wine from a silver flask that dangled from her waist. Her skin was so clear that the gods could see red liquid going down her throat. Like a big cat she growled angrily.

The overwhelmed gods sang paeans to her as she made the universe shudder. She needed no briefing as she had heard the woes of the gods revealed when she was a part of Parvati. She flashed to a garden outside the palace of the evil demon pair of Shumbha and Nishumbha.

The demon commanders called Chanda and Munda saw her there. The beauty of Gauri stunned them. They ran to their demon pair of masters, Shumbha and Nishumbha with the news of the arrival of an unique beauty in the garden that deserved to grace the palace of the demons. They had no words to explain her beauty correctly

It excited Shumbha and Nishumbha. They sent some messengers to Gauri proposing her to marry one of the two and enjoy all the luxuries and splendours of the palace. Gauri revealed that she was avowed to marry only a person who would defeat her in a battle. The demon lords thought it was below their dignity to fight a tender girl of the weaker sex.

It was some joke, they thought. So, they sent their commander, Dhoomralochana to reason with her and if it did not work he was asked to bring her to the palace by force. The demon got burnt to ashes by an angry gaze of Gauri. Then the demon duo sent their warriors Chanda and Munda with a host. A growl of Gauri blew away the demon host.

She grabbed the fleeing Chanda and killed him. Munda met the same deathly fate. For killing Dhoomralochana Devi got the epithet of ‘Dhoomravati’ and for slaying Chanda-Munda she gained the adjective name of ‘Chand-ka’.Then, demon lords sent Raktabeeja demon to’ teach a lesson to the irrespressible Gauri. The every drop of blood of that demon fallen on the ground could produce another demon like him. It created a problem for Gauri.

To counter it Gauri produced many dark manifestations of her called Kaalis who drank the blood of Raktabeeja by collecting it in coconut shells to prevent its being spilled on the ground. Thus Gauri was able to slay demon Raktabeeja. Now Shumbha and Nishumbha had to come to the battle.

The demon duo again tried to entreat her to stop battling and marry them to make them her slaves for ever. Gauri challenged them to defeat her in battle if they were real men and prove that they were worth marrying. To impress their lords warriors came forward to challenge Gauri who rained arrows at them killing most of them and making the rest fall back.

Shumbha was dismayed Nishumbha moved forward and spoke, “O beauty, why should you kill our poor soldiers with arrows when you can kill us with your one askance glance?” Gauri gave him a treat of a volley of her deadly arrows. Nishumbha had to engage in a battle with her. Devi Gauri’s arrows destroyed all his demonic weapons and then felled him to the ground as Shumbha watched in shock.

The death of his brother angered Shumbha and he moved forward to challenge Gauri. Finding him infront of her made her let out great roar that sounded like a thunder clap followed by a rumble. It put scare into the demon host that trembled. Shumbha launched a fiery weapon on Gauri which the latter cut to pieces with her arrows.

Then, Devi’ threw her glimmering trident at the demon that went through latter’s rib cage to protrude its dents from the back. The wounded Shumbha staggered towards his female foe with his sword raised. Gauri released her deadly chakra and beheaded the evil demon.

The bulk of the demon collapsed to the ground. Devi’s tiger devoured the dead demons. The gods rained down flowers and sounded bugles and kettle drums to hail the victory of Goddess Gauri. The celestial rhapsodists sang her paeans.

Declared Sage Soota:
Blessed are the ones who recite or hear the saga of Devi Gauri. All their wishes would be fulfilled. It is the glory of the eternal source of all divine powers and the base of all manifestations. It’s the energy that powers everything living or non-living in the worlds. She is the root cause, event and consequence of all that happens in the cosmos. To make this point clear I will relate to you the story of Yaksharoopa. Hear it with attention.

Tale Of Uma

Once again yet another battle was fought by the gods and the demons against each other. This time the gods won and the defeated demons had to flee to the bottom world of Patala.This victory was secured without seeking the help or blessings of the Trinity. It filled the hearts and the minds of the gods with arrogance. Big egos they grew. They got so overblown that they talked of nothing but their valour, endeavour, battle.

skills, courage, grit, will power, divinity, wisdom etc. The unmanifest Power Ethernal, Uma felt the gods needed to be corrected and some sense put back into them. In the domain of the gods she mysteriously manifested in the form a giant and radiant female figure of Yaksha. The gods saw it and wondered who or what it was. No one had any idea. Yaksha himself did not bother to reveal anything deepening the engima.

Mystified Indra sent Vayu, the wind god to find out who the intruder was. To Vayu’s query about her identity she did not reply but asked who he was. The wind god introduced himself and extolled his own divine powers of creating storms, tornadoes, typhoons etc. The Yaksharoopa put a straw on the ground and asked him to blow it away. Vayu used all his powers but the straw remained inert at its place. Yaksharoopa smiled mockingly. Embarrassed Vayu returned to Indra in defeat.

Then, Indra sent Agni, the fire god to investigate. When asked to introduce himself Agni boasted about his incendiary powers. Yaksharoopa again put straw before him and asked him to demonstrate his burning powers. Agni used all his powers but straw stayed there uneffected. He too went back defeated.

Indra sent other powerful goods to try their powers but all returned with long faces and bent heads. It greatly surprised the celestial lord, Indra. He himself went to see the mysterious figure. But Yaksharoopa had vanished. He stood puzzled. Then, Saraswati, the goddess of knowledges whispered into his mind to use commonsense to know who it could be? It was primordial Eternal Force! The truth suddenly dawned on Indra. He at once prayed to the Force Eternal.

It manifested in the form of Uma to speak, “Look, I am the divinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Even they are nothing without my grace. I provide to you all the powers you have that earn you victories. If I withdraw those powers all your gods will be reduced to nothing. So, you must not become self-conceited. Humility should be your asset. One who grows egp he works his own downfall

Indra promised that he and other gods would not ever again fall pray to ego. He prayed for her grace. That is the story of Uma manifested as Yaksharoopa, Sage Soota said and added, “Those who recite or hear this katha get blessed with wisdom and knowledges. The faithfuls are relieved of all sufferings and woes. Joy and comforts are gained.”

Shatakshi Durga Tale

Shaunaka and the sages closed their eyes and mentally visualised Ma Uma and said prayers silently before they once again turned their attention to Sage Soota who was preparing to narrate another story of incarnation.

Began Sage Soota the narration:
A great trouble maker demon called Durgama was once the scourge of all the faithfuls, the gods, sages, nobles and peace loving people of the three worlds. Great was his physical power and master of Vedas he had become. He had made a long penance and had asked for Vedas as a boon from propitiated Brahma.

He had studied them all and had become all knowing. Durgama found out that the gods got empowered by the religious acts of yajna, Havana, penance, charity, fasts and worship regimes. As he became the ruler of all the worlds he banned all those religious acts to debilitate the gods. The gods were no more getting empowered and their divinity was diminishing.

The gods got together and prayed to primordial Devi power Uma to redeem them. In the prayer the gods revealed how evil Durgama was squeezing divinity out of them and tormenting them. How woe begotten had become their existence! The demon had monopolised the knowledge of Vedas.

The water was not available and without it no religious ritual was possible. No rain could fall as water god and rain god had been rendered powerless by the demon Durgama. They no more received empowering oblations as no yajna and Havana was being performed. They prayed to Mahamaya Uma to deliver them from Durgama.

Mahamaya matrialised in the form of one hundred eyed Shatakshi. In her many hands she held bow, arrows, lotus, tubers, vegetable, corn and weapons. Her one hundred eyes shed tears of sympathy for the parched lands and the thirsting creatures. Her tears flowed to become streams to provide water. The people were blessed with plentiful bounties of foodgrains, vegetables and tubers.

The land again greened up. The people could harvest the crops again with water aplenty. All the tanks, lakes, pools and wells were full of water. Then, Mahamaya Uma asked the praying deities and the gods to seek boons from her. She was beseeched to end the menace of the demon Durgama and retrieve the Vedas from his possession. The human priest also made the same request as the demons were missing the knowledge of Vedas.

This manifestation of Mahamaya Uma was named ‘Shatakshi’ for having one hundred eyes and ‘Shakambari’ for providing food and’ vegetables to the people. Meanwhile, Durgama was getting uneasy about the situation. He was feeling the vibes that his enemy gods were again getting empowered and were gaining strength. He could not understand what was causing it. He decided to raid the celestial domain once again to destroy whatever was causing the revival of the gods.

But he could not reach the capital city of gods Amravati because his way was barred by the incarnation of Mahamaya Uma. She stood there with her divine wheel and other weapons ready to face the foe. The host of the gods stood behind her. Durgama was not alone. He was backed up by a huge force of demon warriors.

Seeing this Devi produced a host of her alterforms in Kali, Tara, Chhinnamastaka, Shri Vidya, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Bagala, Matangi, Tripura Sundari and Rauravi. These ten alter forms further generated their own hosts. Thus, a great goddess force launched itself on the demon host. The demons were cut down like fodder. A mighty blow from Her ownself felled the mighty demon Durgama.

For this victory over demon Durgama the Devi incarnation also got the name of ‘Durga’ which later became an epithet or adjective noun meaning Tierce and indomitable battler.’ For slaying demons she is known also as ‘Bhimadevi’. The consort of Shiva manifestation of Mahamaya Uma came to be known as Parvati because she dwelled in mountains (Parvat), Himalaya being her parental abode and Kailasha mountain as her marital home. Devi got the name of Bhramarambha when she sent black bees (bhramars) to kill Aruna.

Worship Of Ma Uma

Spoke scholiast Soota :
Karma generates devotion, devotion gains one spiritual knowledge and that leads to moksha. The union of mind, soul and heart is yoga (union). The harmony between this yoga and the external activities is ‘Kriya Yoga’.

Regimes And Creditworthy Deeds

If a faithful builds a temple of Devi (Parvati, Uma, Maheshwari, Gauri, Durga etc.) with stones, wood or mud he would gain the domain of Durga or Kailasha after death. His thousand generations of ancestors will get redeemed. A millionfold creidt shall accrue to one who plants a Shrichakra in such temple.

The reward for worshiping Devi in the middle of Panchayatana shall be too good for words to tell. Penance making for Devi or incantation, of her name regularly will be equal to chanting ‘Shiva’ name ten million times. The grace of Devu will gain one everything desired. Those who’ worship her are the soldiers of her divine army. Worshipping Devi in her temple will be more efficacious.

Certain days or occasions are specially gainful for the worship. They are Krishnashtami, Navami (8th and 9th day of waning moon phase and the moonless Amavasya). Five holy days Parvadinas are also recommended. The second day of the ascending moon phase of- the month of Chaitra is prescribed for Bhavani Vrata (fast). Worship Uma and Shankara idols installed in a craddle.

Ambika Vrat can be observed on the second day of ascending moon phase of Vaisakha month. On the 3rd day of ascending moon phase of Ashadha month Her idol be installed in a model of chariot and worshipped. And the most efficacious is the Navratras of ascending moon phase of Ashwin month. This fast is a wish fulfiller and success earner.

Many a faithful have gained desired rewards. King Suratha got back his kingdom and Samadhi merchant gained moksha. This fast must be observed according to the ordered regimes. The fasting faithful women are granted sons, wealth, knowledge and marital happiness by Goddess Uma and widowhood is warded off. Thus, I narrated to you the Uma Samhita of Shiva Puran, the recitation and hearing of which fulfils one’s wishes and the faithful gains moksha after death.

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