Andhaka had been crowned king in Hiranyanetra's kingdom. Prahlada and Andhaka's other cousins went to him and said, You are blind. What are you going to do with a kingdom? Give it to us. Our uncle made a mistake in accepting a blind son from Shiva.Andhaka was very hurt at these nasty words. He went away to the forest and started to perform tapasya. He prayed to Brahma. For millions of years he stood on one leg, with his arms raised high,and prayed. No one since that day has been able to duplicate Andhaka's wonderful feat of meditation. He did not eat or drink at all. He chopped off parts of his body and offered it to the sacrificial fire. It came to such a pass that there was no more meat of blood left in his body. It had all been offered to the fire. He was just a skeleton. It was then that Brahma appeared before him and offered a boon.
Prahlada and my other cousins have taken over my kingdom, said Andhaka. Please grant me the boon that I may be able to see. Please also grant me the boon that I may not be killed by gods, demons, or humans, or even by the great Vishnu himself.Brahma was in a fix. Earlier, many demons had asked for similar boons, but they had generaly not mentioned Vishnu. So that , when the need arose, Vishnu had been able to kill them. But here was an asura who asking for the boon that even Vishnu would not be able to kill him. This would make him virtually immortal.
Everything that you have asked for is possible, replied Brahma. But all beings have to die. Indicate the circumstances under which you will die and the boons will be granted.
Since I have to die, said Andhaka, Let it be under the following conditions. If I ever wish to marry a beautiful woman who is like a mother unto me, let that be the hour appointed for my death.This condition was better than nothing at all and Brahma granted Andhaka the boons. Andhaka returned to his kingdom. When Prahala and the other cousins learnt that Andhaka had become so powerful because of the boons, they not only returned to him his kingdom, but theirs as well. Remember that Andhaka could now see.The first thing that Andhaka did was to invade heaven. He defeated Indra and the other gods and made they pay taxes to the demons. Next he defeated the snakes (nagas), the gandharvas, the rakshasas, the yakshas (companions of Kubera) and the humans. Thus he began to rule over all the three worlds. For millions of years Andhaka ruled in this fashion. The religion of the Vedas suffered during this period, since Andhaka paid no attention to it.
Once Andhaka went to a visit tot he Mount Mandara. The place was so beautiful that he made up his mind to live there. Three of Andhaka's generals were named Duryodhana, Vighasa and hasti.
These three were exploring the environment of Mount Mandara when they came upon a cave. An ascetic was meditating inside the cave. He was dressed in the skin of a tiger, wore a garland of skulls, his hair was matted and he wore a crescent moon on his forehead. There was a beautiful woman near the ascetic. She was more beautiful than any other woman in the three worlds. The three generals concluded that this was the right wife for Andhaka.
When the generals came back to Andhaka and reported on what they had seen, the asura king said, What are you waiting for? Go to the ascestic and ask him for the woman.
Duryodhana, Vighasa and Hasti went back to the ascetic. You are only an ascetic, they said. You don't deserve such a pretty wife. Our master is the lord of everything and he is immensely rich. He is also handsome because of a boon received from Brahma. Give us this woman so that our master Andhaka may marry her.Ask your master to come and take the woman himself, replied Shiva, for the ascetic, as you have already guessed, was none other than Shiva. And the beautiful woman was Parvati.As soon as he heard this, Andhaka grasped his sword and came to fight with Shiva. The door to the cave was guarded by Nandi, and Andhaka first had to fight with him. Nandi easily defeated the asura and also defeated the asura soldiers who had accompanied their king. But Andhaka returned and again a fight raged with Nandi for five hundred years. Brahma, Vishnu, Indra and the other gods also came to help in the fight with the demons.
The general Vighasa was a very strong warrior. He opened his mouth wide and swallowed up all the gods, including Vishnu. So far, Shiva himself had not played any part in the fighting. But hearing what Vighasa had done, he ascended his bull and came out to fight. He killed Vighasa and rescued the gods from the asura's stomach. The asuras had a preceptor named Shukracharya who knew the art of bringing back dead beings to life. So Shukracharya moved around the battlefield, brining back to life any demons that were killed. This was not helping the cause of the gods at all. Shiva's companions (gangas) captured Shukracharya and brought him to Shiva. Shiva promptly swallowed up Shukracharya.
Soon all the demons were taken care of, with the exception of Andhaka. He continued to fight. Vishnu's mace could do him no harm and he only laughed at Indra's arrows. Some of the arrows did pierce the asura's body. But whenever drops of blood from his body onto the ground, asuras who were exactly like him in appearance were created from this blood. As a result, the battlefield was soon populated with thousands and thousands of Andhakas.Shiva created a goddess known as Devi from his own body. Devi was appointed the task of drinking up the blood of the asuras before it could spill onto the ground. Thus aided by Devi, Shiva started to tackle the demons and soon there was only the original Andhaka left. Shiva flung a trident at him. The trident struck Andhaka on the chest and the asura king fell down dead.When the war was over, Shukracharya prayed to Shiva and was released from Shiva's stomach.
There was another demon who wanted to marry Parvati as well. His name was Ruru. He happened to see Parvati and decided that this was the woman who would be his wife. He began to perform tapasya so that his desire might be satisfied.Brahma appeared before him and asked, Ruru, why are you performing such difficult tapasya? Can I offer you a boon?That is a boon that not even I can grant you, said Brahma.Brahma departed and Ruru continued with his meditation. This meditation was going on in a mountain named Malaya. And such was the power of Ruru's meditation that the mountain started to burn. The fires were so strong that even Shiva and Parvati had to run away from the mountain.Lord, why are we running away? asked Parvati. Why don't you do something about the fire?I can't, answered Shiva. This fire is on account of Ruru's tapasya and he is performing this tapasya so as to marry you. It is up to you to do something about Ruru.Parvati decided that she would. While they were conversing, they saw a lion fighting with an elephant. Parvati slew the lion and skinned it. She wore the lion's pelt as clothing. Her hair became smeared with the lion's blood. Her appearance became terrible.With a thunderous roar, Parvati went to where Ruru was. Ruru, she said. I have come. I am Parvati. I am the one you have been praying for. Now stop meditating.
Rubbish, replied the demon. Parvati is beautiful. Her face is like the moon, her hue is golden, and her arms are like lotus stems. Just look at yourself. Your looks are terrible. You can't be Parvati. You are lying. Go away, I don't want you.Saying this, Ruru struck Parvati with a mace. Parvati was angry at this and she hit Ruru with her fits. The two fought, with Ruru flinging boulders and trees at the goddess. Parvati used her nails and her teeth to get at the demon. Ruru created several other asuras from his body. In retaliation, Parvati created many goddesses known as shaktis from her body. The shaktis began to eat up the demons.Ruru fled. But Parvati pursued him to the ends of the earth. He fled to heaven. Parvati followed him there. He fled to the underworld, but Parvati pursued him there as well. Finally, Ruru could flee no more. Parvati caught hold of him and tore off his head with her nails. She then drank the demon's blood. Parvati also skinned the demon.Thus it was that Ruru was killed. On her return to Shiva, Parvati gave him the lion's pelt that she had so far been wearing and Shiva donned it. For her own clothing, Parvati put on Ruru's skin.
A False Parvati
Shiva had once gone on a visit to a city named Shonitapura. He was accompanied by many gandharvas and apsaras. Parvati was left behind in Kailasa and Shiva felt lonely without her.He called Nandi and said, Go to Kailasa and ask Parvati to come here.Nandi went to kailasa and told Parvati that Shiva wanted her. Parvati said that this would take a little time, since she wanted to get ready first. Nadi went back and reported to Shiva what Parvati had said. Shiva waited for a little while, but Parvati did not come. He therefore sent Nandi again to Kailasa with the injuction that he should not come back without Parvati.The apasaras meanwhile decided that they would play a trick on Shiva. One of them would disguise herself and pretend to be Parvati. An apsara named Chitralekha agreed to do this. Another apsara named Urvashi diguised herself as Nandi. Other apsara disguised themselves as companions of Parvati. So good were their disguises that it was impossible to detect them as being false.The false Nandi then brought the false Parvati to Shiva and said, Parvati has come. Her companions, the other goddesses, have also come.Shiva was delighted. He was not able to detect that this was a false Parvati. While they were having great fun, the real Parvati, the real Nandi and the real goddesses turned up and there was utter confusion. No one could tell the real ones from the false ones. Finally the mess was sorted out when the apsaras adopted their real forms.Neither Shiva nor Parvati were angry at this practical joke.
Another False Parvati
This is an incident from the time when Parvati went away to do tapasya so as to become fair. Before going away to meditate, she called Nandi to her and said, My husband does not know the difference between real Parvatis and false ones. Keep careful guard at the gate and do not let any false Parvatis enter.There was an asura named Adi. He performed tapasya and wanted a boon from Brahma which would make him immortal. Brahma refused to grant him this, but granted him the boon that Adi would be very strong. Happy with this boon, Adi wandered around the Himalayas and discovered Nadi standing guard at the gate to Shiva's palace.What are you doing here? the asura asked Nandi.
Nandi reported the conversation that had taken place with Parvati.The demon went away. But he soon returned, this time disguised as Parvati. Lest Nandi not let him pass, he slimed through the gate disguised as a snake. And once inside the palace, he resumed his form of Parvati. He then went to meet Shiva. Shiva did not realize that this was a false Parvati and he came forward to embrace Adi. But no sooner had Shiva embraced him, than the asura adopted his own form and tried to kill Shiva. The two fought and Shiva killed Adi. But before dying, the asura played another trick.He told Shiva, I have a brother who is stronger than me. He will return here in the form of Parvati and will kill you. This was a blatant lie. Adi had no brother.The real Parvati returned after finishing her tapasya. But Shiva thought that this was demon disguised as Parvati. He created many beings from his body so as to kill Parvati. But Parvati also created many beings from her own body and these swallowed up Shiva's beings. When this had gone on thousands of times. Shiva realized that this must be the real Paravati.Shiva and Parvati were united.There were not more false Parvatis.
The sage Sanathkumara was Brahma's son, Sanathumara had gone to visit Yama, the god of death. While they were conversing, a shining vimana brought a man to Yama who immediately stood up to honour the guest.
Yama worshipped him and said, I am honoured. I hope you had no problems on the way. The vimana will take you to Brahma's residence in Brahmaloka.After this guest had left, another shining vimana brought another guest who was also worshipped in similar fashion by Yama.Sanatkumara was mystified at this. He asked Yama, Who are these two people? I have never heard of Yama worshipping anyone in such glowing terms. These two must be holy men indeed. They must have accumulated a lot of punya. Who are they? Tell me their stories.Yama obliged.There was a city named Vaidisha. The king who ruled there was named Dharapal. Nandi was cursed by Parvati that he would have to spend twelve years on earth as a jackal. His crime was that, when Parvati had gone to perform tapasya, Nandi had permitted a false Parvati to enter Shiva's palace. Nandi was born as a jackal. The jackal went to the confluence of the rivers Vitasta and Vetravati. There it set up a linga and prayed before it, going without food and water. After the twelve years passed, the jackal died and adopted a shining form. In this form, Nandi returned to Shivaloka.King Dharapala had seen the jackal fasting and praying. He also witnessed its strange death. The king's wonder knew no bounds. He erected a temple in that wonderful place. He brought several brahmanas to the temple and made them recite the Puranas there. When Dharapala died, it was decided that he would go to Brahmaloka because of all this punya. This was the first guest who had come before Yama. Such are the wonderful virtues of worshipping Shiva and the Puranas.What about the second guest? asked Sanatkumara.The second quest used to be evil. He had never donated anything in his life. But he once heard the Paranas being recited and was completely converted. He arranged many recitals of the Puranas on his own and donated gold to the reciters.This punya was going to take him to Brahmaloka. Such are the wonderful virtues of hearing and reading the Puranas. Doing this is tantamount to worshipping Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Shatanika and Shasranika
In the region named Jambudvipa, there used to rule a king named Shatanika. He was the best among warriors. But he was also very religious. He donated alms and treated his guests well. Every day, the brahmanas received gold and clothes from Shatanika. When Shatanika died, his son Sahasranika became king.Sahasranika also ruled well and righteously. But he did not donate as much of alms to the brahmanas as his father used to. They took their complaint to the king and said, You do not give as much of alms to us as your father used to. Many brahmanas have already left your kingdom. So will the others, unless you increase the alms you give us.I have indeed heard that the donation of alms to brahmanas brings punya, replied Sahasranika. I have also heard that all this punya takes one to heaven after death, until the time one has to be born again. Since my father accumulated all this punya by donating alms to brahmanas, he must be in heaven. You are all learned brahmanas. Why don't you tell me where my father is right now?The brahmanas could not reply. They had no idea where Shatanika was. But later on, they met a learned sage named Bhargava. Bhargava was so powerful that the brahmanas were sure that he would be able to tell where Shatinika was. They begged Bhargava to help them. Bharagava was not very interested in helping the brahmanas. He was busy meditating and had no desire to waste his time on idle pursuits like finding out where dead people now were. But the brahmanas kept begging him and Bhargava eventually agreed.The sun god himself led the way and, following the sun god, Bhargava went all the way to Yama's abode. It was a long distance away.The sun god led Bhargava straight to where the twenty-eight crores of narakas (hells) were. The wailings of sinners who were being tortured could be heard. Before they could go any further, their way was barred by a brahmana.Bhargava, said the brahmana, You owe me a coin for services rendered. You have not paid this and I am dead. Pay me the coin and only then can you proceed further.I am not carrying any coins on me, replied Bhargava. When I return home, I will collect a coin and bring it back to you. Now let me move forward.Nonsense, said the brahmana. This is hell. Here payments are strictly on a cash basis. There is no question of paying up later. Pay or you shall not proceed. If you do not have any coins, why then , pay me one-sixth of all the punya that you have earned through your mediations.Bhargava paid what was asked for and edged forward. He was successively stopped by a cowherd, a washerman, a tailor, a priest and a builder. To each of them Bhargava owed some money and they would not let him go until the debts were cleared. In each case, Bhargava parted with one-sixth of his punya so that he was left with none at all.When these accounts were settled, the sun god led Bhargava to the hell where Shatanika was. Bhargava was bewildered to find such a righteous king as Shatanika in a hell. The king was hung upside down in a pot and was being boiled in oil.Bhargava asked Shatanika, What is all this? Why are you in hell? You had accumulated a lot of punya through your righteous deeds.Not really, replied the king. I did donate a lot of alms, especially to brahmanas. But all the money for the alms came from taxing my subjects severely. So it brought no punya at all. Go and tell my son that punya is best acquired by associating with righteous people. And most important of all, tell him to pray to Shiva in the month of Chaitra and on chaturdashi tithi (fourteenth day of the lunar fortnight).When Bhargava returned, he related what he had been told to Sahasranika. Sahasranika did not stop donating alms. But the money for such alms no longer came out of the royal treasury. The king worked as a labourer and used this money for the donation of alms. He also observed the vrata that his father had asked him to observe in honour of Shiva.
There was a king named Gadhi. His daughter was name Satyavati. Satyavati was married to the sage Richika.
Richika arranged for a spectacular sacrifice. Some rice pudding was obtained from the yajna and Richika gave it to his wife Satyavati. He said, Split this rice pudding into two halves. Eat half yourself and give the remaining half to your mother. Here, let me divide it. This is your half and that is your mother's. We are brahmanas. So we will have a son who will display the traits of a brahmana. Your father is a kshatriya and your mother will have a son who will behave like a kshatriya.Saying this, Richika went off to meditate in the forest. But mother and daughter managed to mix up their halves. In the course of his meditations, Richika realized that Satyavati was going to give birth to a brahmana son who would display kshatriya traits. Through his powers, he managed to postpone this birth by a generation. So Satyavati gave birth to Jamadagni. It was Jamadagni's son Parashurama who exhibited all the kshatriya like characteristics.Gadhi's son was Vishvamitra. Vishvamitra was born a kshatriya. But because of the mixing up of the rice pudding, Vishvamitra turned out to be brahmana-like.There was a king of the Haihaya dynasty named Arjuna. He had a thousand arms. He had also obtained the boon that flaming fire itself would be perpetually present on the tip of his arrow. Whenever he shot an arrow, the fire from the tip of the arrow burnt up the target. In this fashion, Arjuna used to burn up villages, cities and forests. He once burnt up the hermitages of sages. And one of the sages cursed Arjuna that he would killed by Parashurama.Parashurama learnt the art of fighting from Shiva himself. While Parashurama was away learning how to fight, Arjuna arrived in Jamadagni's hermitage. Jamadagni had a wonderful cow (dhenu), known as a kamadhenu because it produced whatever objects one asked (Kama) from it. Using this kamadhenu, Jamadagni treated Arjuna and his entrie retinue to a royal feast.Arjuna asked Jamadangi to give him this cow, but the sage refused. Arjuna then asked his soldiers to forcibly take away the cow. But just as this was going on, Parashurama arrived. He killed Arjuna, slicing off Arjuna's thousand arms in the process.Having disposed of Arjuna, Parashurama went off to meditate and pay another visit to Shiva.Taking advantage of Parashurama's absence, Arjuna's sons invaded Jamadagni's hermitage. They killed Jamadagni. When Parashurama returned, he exacted vengeance for this evil deed. He killed Arjuna's sons. Since Arjuna and his sons happened to be kshatriyas, Parashurama also killed all the kshatriyas in the world. He did this not once, but twenty-one times over. Why twenty-one times? The reason was that there were twenty-one weapon-marks on the dead Jamadagni's body.
But killing was a crime and Parashurama had committed a sin. As penance, Parashurama donated cows and performed a lot of tapasya. He also arranged an ashvamedha yajna. All this did not prove to be atonement enough. To complete the penance, Parashurama sought the advice of the sage Kashyapa.Kashyapa told him to perform the donation that is known as tulapurusha. A tula (or tuladanda) is a pair of scales. The person (purusha) who is performing the donation is placed on one side of the weighing scale. On the other side are placed objects like honey , clarified butter, molasses, clothing and gold. The weight of the objects being donated has to be equal to the weight of the person performing the donation. This is known as tulapurusha. Parashurama performed tulapurusha and was freed from his sin.
There are several hells. Each hell is earmarked for a specific type of sinner.A killer of brahmanas, a false witness, a liar and a drinker of wine is sent to the hell named rourava. Shukara is for thieves and killers of cattle. Killers of kshatriyas and vaishyas are also sent there. Those who commit infanticide are sent to taptalouha. A person who insults his teacher or criticizes the Vedas goes to taptakhala. Those who insult gods, brahmanas or kings are sent to krimibhaksha. Lalabhaksha is reserved for those who eat without offering food to the gods. A brahmana who eats what he should not goes to vishasana.Sellers of wine are to be found in rudhirandha and killers of bees in vaitarani. Cheats are sent to krishna and destroyers of trees to asipatravana. A hunter of deer goes to vahnijvala, Agnimaya is for arsonists and sandamsha for those who fail to complete a vrata. If you accept your son as a teacher, you are sure to go to shvabhojana.The punishment is strictly in proportion to the crime committed. But penance diminishes the severity of the sin. The best form of penance is prayer to Shiva. Even if one merely remembers Shiva, that is enough.
The earth is divided into seven regions (dvipas), The names of these regions are Jambudvipa, Plakshadvipa, Shalmalidvipa, Kushadvipa, Krounchadvipa, Pushkaradvipa and Shakadvipa. These seven regions are surrounded by seven seas. The names of the seas are Lavana, Ikshu, Sarpi, Dadhi, Dugdha, Jala, and Rasa.Mount Sumeru is right in the middle of Jambudvipa. To the north of Sumeru are the mountains Nila and Shvetabhangi and to the south of Sumeru are the mountains Himavana. Hemakuta and Nishada. These mountains are full of all sorts of jewels.Jambudvipa is divided into many parts (varshas). Right in the centre, where Mount Sumeru is located, is Ilavritavarsha. To the south of Sumeru are Bharatavarsha, Kimpurushavarsha and Harivarsha. To the north of Sumeru is Ramyakavarasha. Next to this is Hiranmayavarsha and further north is Uttarakuruvarsha.The four major mountains in Ilavritavarsha are Mandara, Gandhamadana, Vipula and Suparshva. They are respectively to the east, south, west, and north of Sumeru. Bhadrashvavarsha is to the east of Sumeru and Ketumalavarsha is to the west. On the top of Mount Sumeru is Brahma's famous city. The holy river Ganga flows through the sky and divides into four. The names of these tributaries are Sita, Alakanada, Chakshu and Bhadra. Sita flows to the east of Sumeru, Nanda or Alakananda to the south. Chakshu to the west and Bhadra to the north.Bharatavarsha is bounded by mountain ranges on the north and the sea on the south. Bharatavarsha is divided into nine parts. The names of eight of these parts are Indradyumna, Kaseru, Tamraparna, Soumy, Gabhastimana, Nagadvipa, Gandharva and Varuna. The ninth part is an island surrounded by the ocean. On the eastern side of Bharatavarsha live the kiratas, on the western the yavanas, on the southern the andhras and ont he northern the turaskas.The seven major mountains in Bharatavarasha are named Mahendra, Malaya, Sahya, Shuktimana, Riksha, Vindhya and Pariyatra From each of these mountains several rivers flow.Bharatavarsha is a sacred place. Only those who have accumulated punya over a thousand human lives get to be born in Bharatavarsha. Shiva is always present here to offer salvation to the residents.
How far do the boundaries of bhuloka (earth) extend? These boundaries extend to the furthest points that can be lit up by the rays of the sun and the moon. Above the region of the sun is that of the moon. This is successively followed by the regions of Budha (Mercy), Shukra (Venus), Mangala (Mars), Brihaspati (Jupiter), Shani (Saturn) and the nakshatras (stars). Next comes saptarshiloka, the circle of the seven great sages (the constellation Ursa majoris), These regions beyond the earth are known as bhuvarloka. Beyond it is svarloka or svarga (heaven). Bhuloka, bhuvarloka and svarloka are destroyed in the destruction that comes at the end of a kalpa.Regions which are further beyond are not destroyed at the end of a kalpa. The first of these regions is dhruvaloka, the circle of the Pole Star. Next come maharloka, janaloka, tapaloka and satyaloka. Including the earth, there are thus seven regions (lokas) that have been mentioned.Under the earth is the underworld (patala). This is also divided into seven regions. Their names are patala, sutala, vitala, nitala, mahatala, agryasutala and rasatala.
Manvantaras Each manvantara is ruled over by a Manu and there are fourteen manvantaras in any kalpa. The gods (devas), the seven great sages (saptarshis), and the Indra, change from one manvantara to another. The first Manu was Svayambhuva. The names of the gods then were yama and the names of the seven sages were Marichi, Atri, Angira, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu and Vashishtha. The second Manu was Svarochisha. The names of the gods then were tushita and the names of the seven sages were Agnidhra, Agnivaha, Medha, Medhatithi, Vasu, Jyotisvana and Dyutimana. The third Manu was Outtama. The names of the gods then were rishabha and the names of the seven sages were the urjjas. (The individual names of the sages are not given). The fourth Manu was Tamasa. The names of the gods then were satya and the names of the seven sages were Gargya, Prithu, Agni, Janya, Dhata, Kapinka and Kapivana. The fifth Manu was Raivata. The names of the gods then were raibhya and the names of the seven sages were Vedavahu, Jaya, Muni, Vedashira, Hiranyaroma, Parjanya and Urddhavahu. The sixth Manu was Chakshusha. There were five types of gods in the sixth manvantara and their names were adya, prasuta, ribhu, prithugra and lekha. The names of the seven sages were Bhrigu, Naha, Vivasvana, Sudharma, Viraja, Atinama, and Asashishnu. The seventh Manvantara is the manvanatara that is now going on. The seventh Manu is Vaivasvata. The names of the seven sages are Atri, Vashishtha, Bhavya, Kashyapa, Goutama, Bharadvaja and Vishvamitra. The remaining seven manvantaras will come in the future. The eight Manu will be Savarni. The Shiva Purana gets extemely confused here and it is not possible to make out clearly who the gods will be in the future manvantaras. But the names of the seven sages of the eighth manvantara are Viravana, Avanivana, Sumantra, Dhritimana, Vasu, Varishnu and Arya. The nine Manu will be Rohita. The names of the seven sages will be Medhatithi, Vasu, Bhargava, Angira, Savana, Havya and Poulaha. The tenth Manu will be Merusavarni. The names of the gods then will be dvishimanta and the names of the seven sages will be Havishmana. Pulaha, Sukriti, Ayomukti, Vashishtha, Prayati and Nabhara. The eleventh Manu will be Brahmasavarni. The names of the seven sages will be Havishmana, Kashyapa, Vapushmana, Varuna, Atreya, Anagha and Angira. The twelth Manu will be Dharmasvarni. The names of the sages will be Dyuti, Atreye, Angira, Tapasvai, Kashyapa, Taposhana and Taporati. The thirteenth Manu will be Rouchya. The names of the seven sages will be Kashyapa, Magadha, Ativahya, Angirasa, Atreya, Vashishtha and Ajita. The fourteenth and last Manu will be Bhoutya. The names of the seven sages are not mentioned. What about the gods of the seventh manvantara, the era that is now current? The gods now are forty-nine vayus, eleven rudras, two ashvinis, twelve adityas and eight vasus. Vaivasvata Manu The sages wished to know from Romaharshana the details of Vaivasvata Manu's birth.The sage Kashyapa's son was Vivasvana or the sun. The sun was married to Tvashta's (same as Vishvakarma) daughter Samjna. Vivasvana and Samjana had three children, Vaivasvata, Yama and Yamuna.Samjna could not however stand the strong energy of her husband, the sun. From her own body she created Chhaya, a woman who looked just like her. Samjna and Chhaya could not be distinguished from each other.Samjna told Chhaya, Stay here and retend to be Samjna. Look after my three children, Vaivasvata, Yama and Yamuna. I am going off to my father's house. Don't tell anyone that you are not Samjna. I will do your bidding, replied Chhaya, But the moment someone grasps me by the hair, I will dvulge the truth. Samjna went to Tvashta's house. When she had spent quite some time there, her father got suspicious and wanted to know why she was not returning to her husband. Samjna therefore adopted the form of a mare and began to live in the kingdom that is known as Uttarakuru.Meanwhile, the sun and Chhaya had a son named Savarni. It was clear that Chhaya doted on Savarni. In comparison, Yama felt neglected. Yama was still very young and in a fit of rage, he kicked Chhaya. Chhaya cursed Yama. Yama was very surprised at this, since no mother curses her own son. He went and reported it to the sun. The sun deduced that Chhaya could not be Yama's mother. He grasped Chhaya by the hair and the truth came out.The sun then went to Tvashta in search of Samjna. It was discovered that Samjna had done all this because she could not bear the energy of her husband. Tvashta chiselled off some of the sun's energy so that his radiance become muted.Learning that Samjna had adopted the form of a mare, the sun adopted the form of a horse. He went and met his wife. As horse and mare, they had two children. These were the twin gods known as the Ashvinis. They were also called Nasatya and Dasra.Vaivasvata Manu performed a yajna so as to have a son. From the sacrifice, a daughter Ila was born. Chandra's son Budha married Iia and they had a son named Pururava. This was the origin of the lunar dynasty which started with Pururva.Later on, Vaivasvata Manu had nine sons. Their names were Ikshvaku, Shivi, Nabhaga, Dhrishnu, Sharyati, Narishyanta, Isha, Karusha and Priyavrata. These sons were the originators of the solar dynasty. Epilogue The assembled sages were gratified at Romaharshana having recited for them the Shiva Purana. They worshipped Romaharshana. But, warned Romaharshana, never divulge what I have told you, to those who are disrespectful or to those who do not believe in god.Repeatly, Shiva himself appears in order to bless his devotees. A person who donates the Shiva Purana, along with gold and a bull, gets to live for ever in Shivaloka.