Total Visitors

Creation and Criticism

ISSN: 2455-9687  

(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal

Devoted to English Language and Literature)

Vol. 08, Joint Issue 30 & 31: July-Oct 2023

Ancient Wisdom

Acrimony between Daksa and Shiva

PCK Prem


Prajapatis, the lords of created beings epitomized the creative energy identical to Brahma (the Supreme Creator) and they, after an age, organized a Yajna. Many principal seers, the sages, the gods of heavens, the wise and the virtuous, the divinities and the celestial souls participated in the colossal Yajna. Every divine soul saluted Daksa of rare radiance but Shiva did not get up to greet. The act of lord Shiva greatly annoyed Daksa, who had married his daughter to Shiva and thus, a son ought to have revered and paid obeisance. However, Shiva failed to perform a sacred duty and demonstrated extreme sense of contempt, arrogance, ego and impudence. He called Shiva the lord of ghosts and the sprites of iniquitous and Tamasic nature.


The quiet character of Shiva exasperated Daksa and therefore, without a second thought he issued a curse against Shiva, refused share in the sacrificial offering to him and ostracized him. Nandi, the chief of ganas of Shiva was angry at the outrageous behavior of Daksa, who he thought was ignorant of the real essence of wisdom of the Vedas and considered ‘the self-image and glory’ only. Such created beings fall prey victims to worldly pleasure, overlooked true knowledge, and lived a life of pretense, self-image, indulgence, arrogance and unscrupulous value system.


Accusations disturbed sage Bhrigu and instantly, he condemned the conduct of Shiva. This caused permanent fissures in relations and later on, after an epoch, Daksa organized a Yajna but did not invite Sati (Parvati). 


She wanted to attend the great Yajna but Shiva, the lord of creation and Maya – the delusory world did not agree, and the refusal distressed the holy woman. After many entreaties and pleas, Shiva permitted her to go under adequate security. Daksa did not provide requisite respect, and Sati felt humiliated and cast off her mortal frame, and through yogic powers committed self-immolation. Shiva was angry and therefore, sent Virbhadra and Mahakali to destroy Yajna and asked them to kill Daksa.


It was obvious that transgression, iniquity, self-worth and misconceived ideas about glory and fame were suicidal and led to humiliation, destruction and death.


In such situations, truth and righteousness suffer while the impious forces achieve victory but it is temporary. Ultimately, virtues and truth win, and uprightness and justice govern. It is the eternal principle of life and existence.


The intensity of conflict increased animosity between Daksa and Shiva and obviously revealed certain fundamental and everlasting features of ancient wisdom and knowledge of virtuous living so significant even in modern times.


Acrimony between Daksa and Shiva ages back, an incident of momentous significance brought a vast change, and even the divine forces thought differently. Prajapatis (the lords of created beings -the kings, the rulers and the gods), who epitomized the creative energy identical to Brahma (the Supreme Creator) organized a Yajna. Many attended the holy Yajna of vast dimensions. The principal seers, the sages, the gods of heavens, the hosts of virtuous people, the divinities and the celestial attendants participated in Yajna. On the auspicious occasion, the saintly souls assembled to pay homage to the Supreme lord (the Invisible Creator) and sought blessings.


Daksa thought as the Sun god in the Vedas and Puranas, and a son of Brahma and Aditi, also appeared in Yajna. In the assembly of sages and gods, he arrived and appeared to shine like the Sun, illuminated a grand splendeur and glow, and dazzled everyone. The radiance of Daksa overwhelmed all the seers, the sages and the deities except Brahma and Mahadeva and therefore, they got up to salute the lord of Prajapatis. A grand tribute to the greatness of Daksa it was. After the sages and the deities gathered, paid respects, Daksa saluted Brahma, the progenitor of the universe, obtained his permission and took seat. Daksa did not greet Sankara, who was already sitting. When the lord ignored him, Daksa felt extremely infuriated and indignant.


He did not tolerate arrogant conduct of Shiva and so, in anger and rage as if wanted to burn Shiva, he shouted, “O gods and deities, sages, seers and priests, who are present and preside over the sacred fires, please listen. I speak to you about the conduct of pious souls. I do not speak out of the poor understanding or jealousy but the thoughts of noble demeanor encourage. The unwise and barefaced Shiva destroyed eminence of the guardians of heavens and regions. His deep conceit and egoistic conduct has violated the virtuous path of blessed men and thus, reduced the rightly earned fame and image to ashes. One does not expect ill-advised act from Shiva. He became a genuine son ever since he agreed to marry my daughter, who is another Savitri. Because he married my daughter, so I truly thought him my son.”  


After a pause, he resumed in fury, “He was married in the presence of  Brahmins and the sacred fire of Yajna like a good-natured soul as the religious dictums permitted. Now, look at the irony. He made a fawn-eyed girl a wife but the monkey-eyed person failed to grant courtesy and respect, and did not say a word of respect. I am father-like… and look at the humiliation I face. As a mark of respect, I wanted Shiva to get up and greet if he really loved and revered me.”


Daksa was still not satisfied what he said and suffered because of extreme  agony.


After a thought, he said again, “O sacred assembly, I gave dear daughter to a haughty, impure and worthless man. He has abandoned religious deeds, and desecrated the sanctity of elegant and modest manners. I say he lives an impure life and ruins the tenets of dharma. O souls, many weird spirits and multitudes of ghosts forever surround him. He hangs around nastily with totally scattered and disheveled hair and so, like a lunatic, he cries and later on, visits the most dreadful and frightening burial places where ghostly spirits live. He smears the body from the dust and ash of burning pyres, and wears a garland of skulls that befits ghosts and evil spirits. He bears ornaments made of human bones. He is ominous. Though he carries an appellation of Shiva (Shiva means pure), yet I do not approve of this epithet, for to call him pure is incorrect.”


He tried to convince the gathering of holy men because he (the elderly lord Daksa) failed to endure insolence of son-in-law Shiva. Daksa was quiet for some time.


He appeared calmed down and after a few moments, said again, “He drinks, loves and likes drunken people. In fact, he is the leader, the lord of the ghosts and the sprites of purely wicked and Tamasic nature. In truth, on the request of Brahma, I gave away my virtuous daughter …to the virtue-less evil spirited lord of ghosts.” Daksa’s spiteful and disparaging words stunned everyone. The holy gathering never expected the great Daksa to be rude and heartless.


Lord Shiva heard acidic and censuring Daksa but was apathetic, and did not react or resist or oppose accusation or indictment. Even the tranquil attitude of Shiva of Mount Kailasa infuriated Daksa, who immediately poured water in the cupped up palm, took a sip and issued a curse against Shiva.


Daksa said angrily, “He is wicked and corrupt. He will no longer get share in the sacrificial offerings like Indra (the lord of paradise) Upendra, lord Vishnu in the form of a dwarf, the younger brother of Indra, and gods. Thus, he stands ostracized.”


However, many sacred souls and gods requested Daksa to keep calm and advised not to issue curse. Daksa did not agree. After he uttered the crucial imprecation, the greatly incensed Daksa left the place of Yajna and went to his abode.


After some time, the principal disciple of lord Shiva, Nandiswara, learnt about the decree of a curse against Shiva that he stood ostracized. That the gods and the virtuous souls would not permit him to attend Yajna was unbearable. Disgrace of Lord Shiva infuriated Nandi, the Chief of Ganas. He was fuming. He went almost wild and uttered a terrible curse on Daksa and the Brahmins, who had tacitly consented to Daksa’s imprecations.


In anger, he said, “A big fool of a corporeal frame Daksa is full of pride, arrogance and ego, and harbours inimical feelings against Shiva. He does not know that Shiva never nurses feelings of malice or hatred. Daksa will run away from truth and the principles of knowledge I say. Attached to the material world, he lives in self-deception, is engaged in carnal pleasures, and so, does not know rightly and clearly the message of the Vedas but only understands the literal meaning of the wisdom of the Vedas. Only rituals attract him. He contemplates not on the ‘non-self’ but concentrates on ‘the self,’ thinks of ‘the self image and glory,’ and forgets the true nature, and therefore, will become a brute.”


He was silent now.


The curses and allegations did not satisfy and so, he said again, “With a Tamasic mind, Daksa would markedly fall for women, and soon, his head would transform into the head of a goat. He thinks rituals as wisdom, fails to discriminate between ‘the self’ and ‘the non-self,’ and therefore, he humiliated Shiva, the destroyer of universe. People caught up in an eternal cycle of birth, death and rebirth would follow him. Enchanting, alluring, pleasant and plenty of appealing odors and perfumes indicate happiness, bewilder and confuse people. Though people enjoy reading Holy Scriptures, yet they never really understand the inherent meaning. Therefore, worldly pleasures and lack of true knowledge infatuates people. Daksa will fall victim to these flaws.”


Again, after a pause, he said curtly, “He will live a life of an ordinary man, try to understand but will not know, fail to make distinction between what is worth eating and what is not.  At the same time, he will live a life of love, learning, austerity and sacred vows like a worldly man and do everything people know in the world but work only for livelihood. Brahmins in Daska’s country would ramble about as beggars and think that a man gets pleasure and joy in wealth, physical comforts and gratification of senses.”


Nandi was exasperated and continued to utter uncharitable words for a long time and thought it was appropriate. Nandi spoke of the eternal truth.


He was relevant if looked at from the contemporary viewpoint. A modern man lives a life of façade, ego and pride, and thinks he cherishes and spreads ethical system.


People, who guide cringe in the dark, walk from the dark area of life to apparent light, a distant reality and learn to live in material growth, progress and comforts, feel befuddled and so, darkness engulfs. Therefore, emptiness haunts a modern man engaged in the study of holy books and Yajnas but lacks the objective and so lives a life of ‘inner’ miseries.


Nandi’s awful curse disturbed Brahmins. Sage Bhrigu heard and was greatly distressed and so, he hit back with equal ferocity. Bhrigu’s curse apparently appeared difficult to revoke.


Sage Bhrigu said, “Created beings and holy souls devoted to Shiva and the attendants of devotees will not adhere to the tenets of scriptures truly, turn heretics and act contrary to the injunctions of scriptures. The devotees will cast off purity and piety and refuse to adhere to the laws of dharma. Stupid and low-witted attendants would love to bear matted locks, ashes and bones. People would feel initiated to Shiva’s worship where they revere wine, intoxicants or spiritual liquor like the gods, and would habitually try to belittle and denigrate the Vedas that lay down the principles of pious and true conduct for different classes of society and stages in life.


Therefore, the sacred teachings that preserve society and protect it from collapse would also suffer. Brahmins are also custodians of the Vedas, who you cursed and thus, embraced dharma of heretics, who believe in sacrilege, would also forget the right path.”


He told, “The holy Vedas guide to the sacred, elevated and eternal path of salvation. Moreover, lord Vishnu blesses devotees, who tread the path as ancient sages and seers showed while they adhered to dictums of the holy Vedas.”


Bhrigu was infuriated. He did not tolerate issuance of curse on Brahmins because he thought Brahmins were the true messengers of the teachings of Vedas and dharma. He further told that the eternal, the impeccable and the upright flame of dharma is enshrined in the holy Vedas.


He emphatically asserted, “You adopted a life of heretics and so are condemned. You adore ghosts as deities and therefore, you are damned to live a life of dirt and filth.”  


Bhrigu uttered imprecations in anger. Lord Shiva (Bhava) in desperation thought it better to leave the sacrosanct assembly with Ganas (attendants). They felt discontented and sad because they did not presage an unfortunate and ominous turn of events.  


The Prajapatis, the lords of created beings felt wretched and sad but continued Yajna in the presence of gathering of holy men, sages and gods, and carried on for one thousand years, and in this way, the Prajapatis worshipped the Supreme Being as Deity. It concluded in a spirited gusto despite initial setbacks and acrimony. Afterward, the revered people and the gods took bath in Ganges where river Yamuna merged with the sacred Ganges, felt cleansed and purified and then went back to respective abodes.


Daksa attained the highest status. However, bitterness between Shiva and Daksa never ended and led to unfortunate events when Daksa did not invite Sati and Shiva to Yajna.


Shiva and Daksa nursed long-term feelings of animosity and antagonism. Sati and Shiva realised the agony and frustration at the loss of relations. A little patience was necessary but none showed tolerance. Many years passed but malice and hostility did not lessen. The Supreme Brahma installed Daksa as the highest lord of gods (the Prajapatis) the lords of the created beings and added glory and prestige to the status of Daksa. He felt flattered, puffed up as pride and ego filled him. Daksa attained the highest status. However, bitterness between Shiva and Daksa never ended and led to unfortunate events when Daksa did not invite Sati and Shiva to Yajna. He knew he had insulted Sankara, refused to share sacrificial offerings with the wise men of the Vedas and scriptures and humiliated the holy and virtuous souls of the highest knowledge, everyone knew. It was an overbearing conduct and further, the highest status as the lord of gods further inflated Daksa’s ego.


After insulting the noble wise souls, Daksa began Vajapeya sacrifice (Yajna) and after its conclusion, thought, decided and performed the greatest Yajna Brihaspatisava. In the great Yajna, Brahmins, seers, sages, celestial sages, manes (pitres) and gods were profusely adorned, honoured with different jewels, and similarly spouses of holy men were also revered, worshipped and offered precious gifts.


At that time, goddess Sati (a daughter of Daksa) heard of Yajna, the greatest sacrificial festival, the lord of gods (the chief of the lords of created beings) had organized. She saw beautiful consorts of demigods (Gandharavas and Yaksasas) dressed up in fine costumes, adorned with ornaments and jewels, earrings, gold necklaces, flying in aerial cars nearby and talking obsequiously of the legendry Yajna (sacrifice).


She felt extremely happy as the celestial beings praised Daksa and therefore, was obviously eager to participate in the great Yajna and so, after a thought appeared  before lord Shiva and said, “O Vamadeva, I heard Prajapati Daksa, the lord of the created beings, is organizing a Yajna. See the gods, the goddesses and the celestial beings are going to join the great festival. If you wish, we may also go and participate. I know my sisters will also attend this Yajna with husbands, and therefore, we shall meet all the relatives and kinsfolk, and I understand they will receive gifts and costly ornaments from parents.


I also want to go and hope to meet sisters, brothers-in-law, mother’s sisters and relations, I revere in memories. It is an opportune time to pay love and regard. I also wish to salute the seers and the sages. Yajna, a magnificent creation has origin in you and speaks of the three modes of living (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas). You define and lay down the path of righteousness for all beings. You are the cause of creation and the world is a creation of Maya. O lord, I am an ignorant woman, for I do not know reality… I am eager to see my native land.” She pleaded.


The gods and the goddesses, the celestial beings, the sages, the seers, holy souls, and noble souls even without relations were keen to participate in the great Yajna she told. How a daughter could stay away? Sati glorified Shiva with many epithets and appellations and requested to accede to humble pleas. She was aware of the irksome and humiliating behaviour of father Daksa, who undoubtedly, brought disgrace to the lord of destruction. Shiva lived a life of abstinence but Daksa did not approve of Shiva’s life and living of self-denial. It disturbed Sati, who never liked Daksa’s offensive conduct, and as a woman, never wanted to sever ties.


After a pause, she said, “O lord, show compassion and love, and bless so that I see parents. Fulfill inner desires. You are a kindhearted god and a quintessence of an infinite wisdom. You bestowed left half of the person on me. You agreed to the title of Ardhanarishwara (an androgynous deity composed of Shiva and Parvati, a ‘male-female figure’ of Hindu god Shiva and goddess, and consort Shakti or Sati or Parvati and many other appellations). O Lord, bless me and agree to the humble entreaties.”


Shiva was annoyed with Daksa, who had insulted him in the presence of great sages, gods and Prajapatis and so did not see any reason for conciliation. He still kept in mind the most shocking, harsh and unpleasant words of Daksa. He exercised tremendous control in speech and acts of retaliation at that time, and left the ground of Yajna, displayed adequate grace and elegance, and did not utter insolent words to Daksa.


When Sati gently pleaded, he looked at her and said clearly, “You are correct O woman of virtues. People unhesitatingly go to friends and relations on auspicious occasions uninvited. I understand it is quite natural. It is fine and you go without an invite when the minds of relations you are visiting, are warm, untainted and are free from hatred, ego and self-esteem born of physical identification. Daksa, the lord of created beings is different.” Shiva put across arguments calmly.


Shiva looked intently at Sati, “Sati, you are a sacred companion. Learning, wisdom, tapa, austerity, opulence, and a strongly charismatic figure, youth and high pedigree make you glory-incarnate. Noble attributes are true and virtuous adornment and ornaments of gracious and wise people. When mean and arrogant men imbibe and cherish virtues, it heightens audacity and one finds perversion in conceited people. Righteous qualities fail as they do not recognise brilliance and splendour of exalted thoughts and virtues.” Shiva told clearly and did not agree. Parvati understood the reasons and was conscious of humiliation Shiva had faced but still she earnestly wanted to attend Yajna of Daksa.


He was clear and did not wish Sati to go to attend Yajna and softly he stressed it was improper to go to the house of a man of unsteady judgment, who looked at friends and relations with suspicions, and greeted with frowns in the eyes. A look of anger disgraced a visitor. A universal truth it is that words pierce deep and injure, and cure is difficult. However, wounds of an arrow never defy treatment. The abuses of Daksa came out of a malignant mind, caused damage, and still he felt intensity of humiliation Daksa heaped on him.


He advised Sati an immensely revered daughter of Daksa, the head of the created beings, to realize the truth. She was most dear and therefore Sati, a goddess and a fascinating woman if resolves to go to Yajna, might not receive congenial salutation because Daksa was still inimical and hostile.  


He thought deeply and said, “I am also a source of agony and tension to Daksa and am quite confident that Daksa burns with the fire of hatred and jealousy for the virtuous souls, who stay near the embodied souls for protection.”


She tried to understand the suggestion of Shiva. Brahma gave Daksa an exalted status but he was unable to keep dignity of status. Shiva was disinclined to permit her to attend a prestigious Yajna. She realised, and anguish filled her. He talked of insolence and iniquity. Daksa cherished no reverence for the Supreme Person, the pure mind Vasudeva, an unmasked glory and the shrine of the Supreme he told.


At last, he said, “O dear, he insulted and abused in Yajna of Prajapatis for no crime. You are Daksa’s daughter, a part of his body. Still he is my enemy and so, you give up the thought of seeing him or his disciples. O Sati, if you ignore my advice and go, it will do no good. A man, if held in high esteem suffers indignity or disgrace, the outrage causes a spectral situation.”


Sankara was silent and foresaw death of Sati. Whether she goes to Yajna or decides to obey, death of Sati was imminent. Sati was distraught and eagerly thought of meeting relations and the next moment, she nursed feelings of antagonism and contempt for Shiva, the source of universe. She was irritated and nervous and felt hurled like a pendulum, and for her the real trouble stopped nowhere. Unrelenting efforts did not secure sanction. Emotions besieged and she burst into tears, cried and looked at Shiva in extreme anger as if smoldering. Deep grief and rage tormented Sati. In absolute mourning, judgment suffered and without a thought, she went to Daksa to participate in the festival of yajna.


Many Ganas (followers) of Shiva, personal attendants and Yaksasas accompanied Sati. Shiva did not allow goddess Sati to go unescorted even if he did not permit her. On the request of terribly looking followers, she mounted the chief of bulls and traveled a long distance. A regal and religious journey to the palace of Daksa attracted celestial beings. The insignias of royalty, looking glass, lotus flower, white umbrella, flowers, wreaths, kettledrums, conches, the flutes of musical tunes put everything in glory and dignity. Soon, she arrived at Yajna and entered a large sacrificial ground (of Yajna).


No one got up to greet Sati properly. Mother, sisters and relations did speak warmly and reverently to her. It surprised Shiva’s Sati. Daksa and the divinities, the Brahmins, the seers and the sages also did not pay courteous respect to Sati. Shiva was quite right, who predicted offensive treatment but love for relations fogged Sati’s judgment. She felt discomfited, deeply offended and hurt at the indecorous behavior but maintained visible patience.


She felt sad, uncomfortable and angry when she noticed that the patron did not apportion a share of sacrificial offerings to Shiva. However, Daksa was still not satisfied even when he did not grant proper respect to daughter Sati. Daksa nurtured massive contempt and audacity toward the omniscient lord. She was very angry at the indecent behaviour of father Daksa. Earlier, Daksa, various gods, Brahmins and the divinities ignored and humiliated Sati. She tolerated disgrace silently and was calm sans frustration. They ignored Shiva she realised and therefore, greeted scornfully and threw oblique glances. She failed to restrain feelings, and could not endure anguish, sufferings and dishonor for long. In absolute distress, she understood the enormous ignominy and sickening salutation.  


The insult at Daksa’s palace disturbed Sati deeply and for obvious reasons, she was indecisive and failed to restrain agony and fury. Next moment, she, the woman of highest authority, flew into terrific rage as if ready to burn the world with feral intensity. In desperation, she looked back and realised that a crucial moment stared blankly but to be uncouth or uncivil to Daksa, the progenitor was not possible. She thought it essential to control escorting army of ganas, ghosts, gnomes and fierce-looking goblins and the generals of Shiva. She looked back, found they were ready to spring into action and kill Daksa and those, who dared to resist, for they were angry at the humiliation of Sati, a beloved of Shiva.


At once, she stopped furious soldiers of Rudra (Shiva). Then, she looked around and visualised a very unfavourable situation as she observed bursting anger and ego of ganas, and therefore, went and stood before father Daksa.


She said, “O father, none is greater than Shiva. He is the beloved of the embodied beings, the cause and is free from enmity. For him, none is dear or despicable and hateful. No one can oppose or insult him other than you. People like you, O Brahmin, find faults in others’ virtues but pious souls never do it.” She modestly spoke of transitory life, which many reprehensible souls did not understand properly and it was not good for the people to indulge in malicious calumny of exalted souls.


She said, “You nurse enmity against an eternal friend of the universe. To condemn a virtuous and divine person, a god, a defender of values, good and righteous conduct was inappropriate. He, who listens to the vile and vituperative words out of jealousy and hatred, must abandon it, for none can repudiate a cosmic truth. If a listener wields power, he should punish an abusing, censuring and offensive person and cut off a profane tongue.” She was clear and told that despite unpleasant and discourteous conduct, Shiva the strongest lord thought better to depart and did not oppose.


She offered reasons, defended Shiva and argued. To humiliate lord Shiva was not right. Men of the Vedas, learning and wisdom behave correctly and ethically she told. The wise and the virtuous souls obey injunctions and interdictions of scriptures, and therefore, the noble mortals and immortals walk on earth, in the air and elsewhere with dignity and grace. A right placing in time and space mattered she told, and exhorted on the virtues of the enlightened, and the flaws of the ignorant.


“Whatever might be the beliefs, one should never cast aspersions on anyone.” She spoke bluntly. Daksa and the holy assemblage listened to Sati. In the end, she revealed, “Shiva is none other than Brahma, who bestowed an elevated status on you. A haughty and egoist person you are.” Sati spoke of the eternal truth with divine confidence because she was enraged at the rude conduct of Daksa but he was skeptical.


To restrain anger was difficult but she subdued rage, spoke of the eternal wisdom and did not violate inborn grace and dignity. She said, “O father, glory and the divine grandeur are invisible and implicit. You cannot acquire natural and mystic powers that the divine beings exercise. People like you may feel gratified but do not get praise in the crowd of creatures, who believe in rituals and food offered in sacrifices. I do not know the origin of seemingly religious rituals and approach. You did wrong to lord Sankara. You are guilty of a sin not expected of you. I have nothing to do with the body you gave. I am ashamed of relation I have with a sinner. I condemn this living.” She was blunt and clear.


She told harshly but softly and regretted birth in the house of a person, who insulted the great soul, the origin of the entire cosmos. Now, she appeared grief stricken, and realised the futility of living anymore, “If anybody calls me a daughter of Daksa, it is like death.” She curtly told and then added, “Therefore, O father, I have no use of this body and without delay I will cast off mortal frame, a part of you.”  


Sati looked at the congregation, sat on the floor facing north direction, took a sip of water, covered the body with a yellow piece of linen, closed eyes, and began the yogic shedding of physical frame even as she displayed terrible fire of deep tapa and meditation.  


She invoked the spirits of the air and fire through deep concentration of mind  and relinquished the body. With mind fixed on the lotus-feet of Sankara, the lord of the whole world, she saw nothing and very soon, the fire of tapa and deep meditation, burnt a purified and sanctified body, and so, instantly, Sati left the earthly body, a gift of father Daksa.


Abandoning physical frame was an extraordinary event of far-reaching consequences. It was a shocking resolve of Sati and naturally, it created an unparallel situation. Daksa exhibited enormous wickedness and therefore, the holy men greatly criticized and condemned. The lord of the created beings (the mobile and the immobile) slighted a daughter (the goddess of celestial prowess) everyone said. However, Daksa had lost the courage to stop Sati from a serious choice of giving up mortal body. The attendants of Sati were angry and took up weapons to kill Daksa.


To save the sanctity of Yajna, sage Bhrigu, immediately poured oblations into sacred fire with incantation of mantras. Thousands of Ribhus took birth and got up from the well of the sacrificial fire. Ribhus were the gods, who had underwent austere tapa and penance for thousands of years, had attained the moon god, and thus, wielded the power of tapa, and saved Yajna.


Shiva’s vehement anger was unrestrained. Narada told him that the lord of the created beings had humiliated Sati and thereafter, the moon gods drove away the attendants, who had taken birth from the sacrificial fire. He bit lips in extreme anger and then, pulled out one of the clotted locks out of a heavy burden of hair he wore on head. As he pulled the lock, he laughed loudly, growled, appeared fearsome and dashed it against the ground. It shone brightly as a dazzling flash of lightening.


Everyone was confused and stunned with its luster as if a huge ball of fire. At once, from the lock, a hugely terrific and colossal being sprang up. He was vast, appeared to touch sky, and had thousands of arms. He was as dark as the cloud and had three sun-like burning eyes, fiery and deadly. He showed fierce teeth, matted hair looked like blazing fire, wore a garland of skulls and stood strongly armed ready to strike any time.


He joined hands, prayed and said, “O lord, what am I to do?”


The lord said, “O brave Rudra, you are part of me and the manifestation of the divine power. O valiant Rudra, you are the general of my forces. Go and destroy evil spirited Daksa and the Yajna he has organized.” A great silence pervaded around as the lord looked at the ferocious Rudra.


At once, a tall and dreadful Rudra Virbhadra learnt about the humiliation Sati suffered and so, began a long journey to the land of Daksa. He thundered terribly and lifting a trident that could destroy even death, he rushed towards the capital of Daksa while thousands of fierce looking monstrous attendants followed and created warlike noise. When they reached, everyone was aghast as darkness spread everywhere. Many conjectured as if it was the time of death. The world trembled and visualised a doomsday and one could imagine the fate of the great Yajna.


 A queen of Daksa told, “It is nothing…you say. I see disastrous and spiteful consequences of the wrongs out of jealousy and hatred you perpetrated on a daughter, the goddess, the consort of the lord of the worlds and the lord of the created beings. You insulted Shiva’s consort and so indirectly or otherwise desecrated him.”


A period of awesome omens had arrived. The wise queens of Daksa thought of possible solution, people were full of fears and felt extremely disturbed at the prospect of imminent death and devastation. It was time of perdition they realised and spoke to one another as the inevitable misfortune frightened. A huge army of angry and fearsome looking soldiers of Rudra equipped with various weapons displayed armaments full of ferocity instilling fears of death. Surprisingly, they were dwarfish in stature. The red-brown eyes of yellowish-brown bodies carried bellies and faces, like alligators. In awful fury, Rudras spread to all directions, encircled the area of Yajna, were ready to attack, and therefore, it made difficult for the enemy to escape.


The noisy and dreadful dance of destruction and death threatened living beings. Whatever came on the way was ruined and smashed. The furious little monsters contaminated the entire ground of sacrifice (Yajna), and left nothing sacrosanct, broke each vessel into several pieces, which the patrons used for Yajna  and thereafter, extinguished the holy fire burning in the sacred pit. Some urinated in the fire of Yajnas and so, the dirty play of the devils continued. They humiliated hermits and virtuous souls, created fear and awe in the minds of women of the priests and devotees.


Everyone faced the ire of Virbhadra. Anger and rage of Shiva was beyond control and the lord was not prepared to forgive people, who humiliated Sati and ultimately, provoked the divine woman to commit self-immolation and thus, suffered for the sins of Daksa. The supporters of Shiva took into custody sage Bhrigu, captured many more sages and the righteous souls while the divinities and the priests ran away to seek refuge.


Sage Bhrigu resisted and even in custody, he continued to pour oblations into the sacrificial havan-kund amid incantation of mantras. Virbhadra in audacity and fury, pulled up the moustaches and beard of Bhrigu, who had earlier in the assembly of the celestial beings and sages, laughed ironically at Shiva. In fact, it was the beginning of end of the warriors of Daksa in an organized way and practice. A fierce fight ensued and Daksa was in the command of the situation. At last, Virbhadra caught hold of Daksa and set his terrible foot on the breast after he knocked down DaksaVirbhadra, a three-eyed embodiment of fury, proceeded to cut off Daksa’s head with a sharp-edged weapon but failed to sever.


It was a great mystery. Virbhadra was no other than Shiva. Amazement and wonder filled Shiva when he realised that the weapon did not hurt Daksa. He deliberated for a long time and then, slaughtered Daksa like an animal one sacrifices at the altar. All the ghosts, the evil spirits, the goblins and the fiends applauded the victory of Virbhadra. In anger, the tallest warrior of Shiva, threw Daksa’s head into the pit of Yajna as offering, and thereafter, left for Mount Kailasa and thus, ended a life of enormous ego and pride.


If sin, evil, ego and misconceived ideas about glory and fame overwhelm a strong man, a sure end visits and brings ignominy and death. Even people of dharma (truth and righteousness) suffer and face defeat and dishonour while the wicked forces achieve victory though evil forces get defeated in the end. A victory of evil forces in the beginning may disturb but on the day of reckoning, a man of character and virtues wins, and uprightness prevails.


About the Author:


PCK Prem (PC Katoch Of Garh-Malkher, Palampur, Himachal, A Former Academician, Civil Servant And Member Himachal Public Service Commission, Shimla), an author of more than fifty-five books, is a poet, novelist, short story writer, translator and a critic in English and Hindi. Associated with several social/ literary organizations, he has brought out eleven volumes of poetry besides six books on criticism, four books on ancient literature, two on folk tales, six novels and three collections of short fiction. In Hindi, he authored twenty novels, nine books on short fiction and a collection of poems besides critical articles, reviews and critiques published in various national and international journals and anthologies. PCK Prem - Echoing Time and Civilizations 2015 and The Spirit of Age and Ideas (in the Novels of PCK Prem) in 2016 and Kathasagar of PCK Prem are books on him.



Creation and Criticism 0