Shiva Puran


Parvati Becomes Gouri
There were two asuras named Shumbha and Nishumbha. They meditated a lot and pleased Brahma. Brahma there upon gave them the boon that they could not be killed by males. Having obtained the boon, the two demons started to oppress the world. They drove the gods out of heaven and the gods went to Brahma so that a solution might be found to the problem.Brahma went to Shiva. You have to help the Gods, he told Shiva. I have given Shumbha and Nishumbha the boon that they cannot be killed by males. Find a way so that a female is born out of Parvati's body. She will kill Shumbha and Nishumbha.I will try, replied Shiva.When Shiva next met Parvati, he addressed her as Kali. This angered Parvati, since kali means black or dark.Why did you marry me if you thought I was so dark? she asked Shiva. Why do you pretened to love me? Cursed is the woman who is not loved by her husband. I am going to perform tapasya so that.I may become fair. I am going to pray to Brahma.Parvati went off to meditate. She meditated for many years. There was a tiger which saw Parvati meditating. It was not a good tiger at all, but an evil one. It thought that Parvati would provide a good meal. It sat down in the front of Parvati to appreciate for a while the treat that was in store for it. Parvati did not realize that the tiger was planning to eat her. She thought that it had sat down in front of her because it wanted to protect her from other wild beasts. She thought that the tiger was one of her devotees and she therefore entered the tiger's soul. As soon as she did this, all thoughts vanished from the tiger's mind. Now it was indeed one of her devotees.Meanwhile, Brahma arrived to find out who Parvati was meditating. Parvati said that she wanted to become Gouri, that is, someone who was fair. She was sick and tired of being addressed as kali. Brahma granted the boon.Parvati shed off all the dark cells (kosha) from her body became Gouri. From the cells emerged a dark-hued goddess named Koushiki. Parvali handed over Koushiki to Brahma. Endowed with weapons by Brahma, Koushiki killed Shumbha and Nishumbha.Parvati returned to her husband as Gouri.What happened to the tiger? Shiva turned him into a man and he was employed by Nandi as one of Shiva's guards. He was named Somanandi.

Upamanyu
The sage Vyaghrapada had a son named Upamanyu. When he was small, he wanted some milk from his mother. But he was not at all happy with the milk that his mother gave him. He complained that it did not taste like milk at all. Naturally, said his mother. I did not give you milk. How can we afford milk? We are not rich. I powdered some rice and mixed it with water. That is what I gave to you as milk. Unfortunately, you have tasted milk in your uncle's house and you could make out the difference.Upamanyu's mother began to cry. But Upamanyu consoled his mother. Don'tcry, please, he said. I will pray to Shiva and get milk for myself.His mother taught him the mantra that was to be used for praying to Shiva. She also taught him another mantra which would summon up a terrible divine weapon named aghorastra. This was just in case there was any danger.Upamanyu went to the Himalayas and started to meditate. He lived only on air and chanted the incantation that his mother had taught him. He prayed in front of an earthen linga. Demons came to disturb his meditation, but Upamanyu paid no attention to them. Shiva himself was impressed by Upamanyu's difficult tapasya. But he thought that he would test Upamanyu first.
He arrived in front of Upamanyu in the disguise of Indra and asked, Upamanyu, what are you doing?I am blessed that the king of the gods has arrived before me, replied Upamanu. I am praying to Shiva.Shiva! Why pray to that useless fellow? asked Shiva.Upamanu could not stand this insult to Shiva. He summoned up aghorastra by means of the mantra and let it loose at the person he thought was Indra. Shiva then manifested himself in his own form and aghorastra was repelled by Nadi, who had also turned up. Shiva himself taught Upamanu all sorts of sacred knowledge, and arrangements were made so that Upamanyu need never suffer from a lack of milk.Krishna once came to meet the sage Upamanyu, many years after the milk incident. Upamanyu taught Krishna the words of wisdom that he learned from Shiva; he also taught Krishna to pray to Shiva. It was by praying to Shiva that Krishna obtained his son Samba. For sixteen months Krishna had to pray before Shiva appeared, to grant the boon regarding the son. Parvati also granted Krishna several boons.

Andhakasura
Shiva was once sitting on Mount Mandara. Paravati came up from behind, so that Shiva could not see her, and covered Shiva's eyes with her two hands. Shiva could not see and everything seemed to be dark to him. Parvati's hands sweated from the exertion and the sweat fell down on the ground. From this sweat, a dark and fierce creature was born and started to roar.Parvati, said Shiva, What are you up to ? First, you cover up my eyes so that I can'tsee. Next, you roar so as to frighten me.Not I, replied Parvati. See for yourself. I wonder where this creature has come from.She removed her hands and Shiva saw the being in front of them. It is our son, said Shiva. It was born from your sweat when you covered my eyes. Since it was born when my eyes were in darkness, let it be called Andhaka. Andhaka was born blind, as Shiva was effectively blind when Andhaka was born.There was an asura named Hiranyanetra. (In other Puranas, this same asura is referred to as Hiranyaksha.) Hiranyanetra had no sons. He therefore began to pray to Shiva so that he might have a son. Shiva told Hiranyanetra that it was impossible for him to have a son. However, if he so desired, he could have their son Andhaka and bring him up as his own son.Hiranyanetra gladly agreed to this.

Digresssions on Hiranyanetra and Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyanetra was very strong and powerful. He conquered the three worlds and drove the gods out of heaven. He even took the earth down to the underworld. In desperation, the gods prayed to Vishnu for deliverance. Vishnu adopted the form of a boar (varaha) and went down to the underworld in search of Hiranyanetra. When he found the asura, he killed him with his sudarshana chakra. He also killed several other asuras with his boar's tusks. Then, he lifted up the earth with his tusks and replaced it where it should be. So far as Hiranyanetra's kingdom was concerned, Vishnu crowned Andhaka king there.Hiranyanetra had a brother named Hiranyakashipu. This brother prayed to Brahma and obtained a boon that made him virtually impossible to kill. Armed with this boon, Hiranyakashipu conquered the three worlds and drove the gods out of heaven. The gods again started to pray to Vishnu for deliverance.Vishnu adopted the form of a lion and entered Hiranyakashipu's captial. The lion had a huge mane and sharp teeth and claws. The lion killed several asuras and this news was brought to Hiranyakashipu. He decided to kill the lion.Hiranyakashipu had several sons, one of whom was named Prahlada. Prahala alone thought that there was something fishy about the lion and about the way it had suddenly appeared. He thought that the lion might very well be Vishnu in disguise. Prahlada therefore tried to dissuade his father from fighting the lion. He first asked some of his soldiers to capture the lion, but they were all killed. Hiranyakashipu then himself attacked the lion with all sorts of weapons. But all the weapons wre exhausted and the demon could do the lion no harm.Finally, the lion grasped Hiranyakashipu and tore the asura's heart out with its claws.This was the narasimha (half-man, half-lion) incarnation of Vishu.Having killed Hiranyakashipu, Vishnu crowned Prabhlada king.


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