The Linga While they were thus engaged in fighting, a shining linga (Shiva'simage) arrived on the scene. It seemed to have no beginning or end.Vishnu said, Brahma, let us stop fighting. There is a third being here now. What on earth is this linga? And where did it come from? Let us try and find out what this is. You adopt the form of a swan (hamsa) and go up. I shall adopt the form of boar (varaha) and go down. Let us try and find the extremities of this linga. Brahma agreed. He became a whilte swan and flew up. Vishnu became a white boar and went down. They looked for four thousand years, but could not find the end of the linga. So they returned to where they had started off from and began to pray. They prayed for a hundred years. After the hundred years were over, the sound of om was heard and a being with five faces and ten arms appeared before them. This was Mahadeva or Shiva. Vishnu said, It is good that Brahma and I have been fighting. It is because of our fight that you arrived. Shiva replied, We are all three parts of the same entity and have been divided into three. Brahma is the creator. Vishnu is the preserver and I am the destroyer. There is another being named Rudra who will be born form my body, but Rudra and I are really one and the same. Let Brahma create now.Shiva disappeared and Brahma and Vishnu gave up their forms of a swan and a boar. Creation There was water everywhere. In the water, Vishnu created a huge egg (anda). He then himself entered the egg in his huge form.Meanwhile, Brahma started to pray. From the powers of his meditation he created several sages (rishis). Kardama, Daksha and Marichi were among them. Marichi'sson was Kashyapa. Daksha had sixty daughters and thirteen of them were married to Kashyapa. The children of Kashyapa and these daughters became adityas (gods), daityas (demons), danavas (demons), trees, birds, snakes, mountains and creepers. Thus was the world populated. A being named Rudra, who was none other than Shiva himself, was also born from Brahma. Rudra lived on Mount Kailasa. Daksha'sdaughter Sati was married to Rudra.But Daksha and Rudra did not like each other. Daksha arranged a yajna (sacrifice) and he did not invite Rudra to attend this sacrifice. Although Sati was not invited either, she went to attend the ceremony . But Daksha insulted her so much that Sati gave up her life in protest. This so angered Rudra that he sent his companions to destroy the sacrifice, disrupt the ceremony, and kill all the gods who had gone to attend it. This was done. But Rudra was subsequently pacified and brought the dead gods back to life. The sacrifice was completed. Sati herself was reborn as the daughter of the mountain Himalaya and his wife Menaka. She was known as Parvati and she was again married to Rudra or Shiva. Tarakasura There was an asura (demon) named Tara. Tara'sson was Taraka.Taraka wished to defeat the gods. He therefore went to a place named Madhuvana and began to perform very difficult tapasya. He gazed at the sun and stood there with his arms raised. He stood on one leg and that too, only on the toes of his feet. A hundred years passed. For those hundred years, Taraka drank only water and had no food to eat. For the next hundreds, he gave up that also and lived only on air. A hundred years were spent in performing tapasya inside water, another hundred years on earth and a hundred years more inside fire. For a hundred years he performed tapasya upside down, standing on his hands. And for yet another hundred years, he hung upside down from the branches of a tree.The meditation was so difficult that Brahma was pleased. He appeared before Tarakasura and said, I am pleased with your tapasya. What boon do you want? If you are pleased, replied Tarakasura, grant me two boons. The first boon should be that no one created by you should be as strong as me. The second boon should be that I should be killed only by Shiva'sson. Shiva at that point of time had no sons. Sati had died and although she had been reborn as Parvati, she had not been married to Shiva.Brahma granted Tarakasura the two boons. The demon went to a city named Shonitapura and began to live there. All the other demons made Tarakasura their king. Thanks to the boon. Tarakasura was so strong tha the easily defeated the gods. He conquered the three worlds and drove the gods out of heaven. He stole all their belongings and employed the gods as his servants.The despondent gods went to Brahma and asked him to find a solution to the Tarakasura problem.I can't said Brahma. It is because of my boon that the demon has become so powerful. Besides, my boon says that Tarakasura can only be killed by Shiva'sson. Shiva has got to have a son. He is now performing tapasya in the Himalaya mountains. Parvati is also in that region. Do something so that these two fall in love with each other and marry.