Bhagawatam 182: Shiva’s fury; birth of Veerabhadra; Daksha’s wife and others fear ill-omens seen

Fourth Canto Chapter Five

In this chapter, Shiva getting incensed upon coming to know of Satidevi’s death, the birth of Veerabhadra, the destruction of Daksha’s yagna and the death of Daksha are all covered.

Maitreya Maharishi continued, “Satidevi gave up her life as a result of Daksha’s insults. The Devatas known as Rbhus ensured Shiva’s attendants were driven away from there. Shiva, who heard this from Narada, was enraged.

He let loose his long hair. Biting his lower lip in anger, he appeared very fearsome. When Daksha had criticized him in the past, Shiva remained calm as if he had forgiven Daksha for his mistake. He considered even condemnation to be another prayerful hymn rendered.

However now, upon realizing that Sati had sacrificed her life for him, he was devastated. The fact that she was now separated from him caused deep anguish leading to intense anger. In that anger he loosened his hair. He furiously plucked a strand from his hair which was shining like fire. It was glowing like a streak of lightening. Laughing ferociously, making frenzied sounds like a madman, He forcefully threw this strand of hair on the ground.

That very instant, from that hair emerged a man who was very tall and gigantic. It appeared as if he was touching the skies. He had a thousand arms. He possessed three eyes, each of which was burning like the Sun. His teeth appeared fearful and his hair appeared to be burning. He was wearing a garland of skulls. In his hands he held various types of weapons. This fearsome man was glowing with the radiance of lightening.

Taṁ kiṁ karomīti guam tam āha baddhāñjaliṁ bhagavān bhūta-nātha

Dakṣa sa-yajña jahi mad-bhaānāṁ tvam agraṇī rudra bhaāśako me

He folded his hands and reverentially asked Shiva, “Kindly order me what is expected out of me”. In response Shiva commanded, “O fearsome man! O supreme warrior! You, who are born from my aspect, will be the leader of my army. Proceed to the place of Daksha’s Yagna. Kill him and destroy his Yagna”.

The person, Veerabhadra, who was thus created, circumambulated Shiva. With total faith that none could restrain his speed as he was born from Shiva’s energy and confident that he could overpower even the mightiest opponent, this person enthusiastically proceeded to Daksha’s yagna.

The anklets on his feet made huge thunderous noises. Shiva’s attendants, who were following him, roared loudly.  Veerabhadra roared violently like a lion. Veerabhadra travelled at lightning speed holding the trident which had the capacity to destroy even Kālayavana, the demon who possessed the ability to destroy every living being in the creation.

At the sacrificial hall, Daksha, priests, Brahmins, assembled guests and their wives saw a huge dark dust storm approaching them from the northern direction. They wondered, “What is the reason for this sudden darkness? From where does this dust storm arise when whirlwinds are not to be seen?

Dacoits cannot attack us as the efficient King Barhi, who punishes the wicked, is ruling presently. It does not even appear to be a dust storm created by cows. Could it be that the destruction of the world is about to take place?” All of them were apprehensive.

With agitated minds, Daksha’s wife Prasuti and other women said, “Daksha Prajāpati has insulted his daughter Satidevi, who was innocent and faultless. He did not even care that his other daughters were observing all happenings. This dust storm is the punishment for that terrible sin.

At time of destruction (pralaya) Parama-śiva, lets his hair loose and with the ends of his sharp trident pierces ruthless unrighteous kings. At such time He laughs frenziedly and violently.  All the directions tremble violently hearing His frenzied laughter. Holding his various weapons in his hands, He dances like a mad man.

His eyebrows will be knit together in His intense anger. With His frightening teeth He scatters planets and star constellations. Dancing violently He destroys everything in creation. How can Daksha Prajāpati, who tested the patience of such powerful Lord Shiva and who caused him to be infuriated, ever attain prosperity?

Even Lord Brahma cannot obtain auspiciousness, if he angers Lord Shiva. This Daksha, who appears in the garb of a saint, is actually a sinner” they said.

In great panic all those present in the assembly stared at the huge ball of darkness that was descending upon them. At that moment thousands of ill omens could be seen in the earth, in sky and in all directions.

As they were watching, hordes of Shiva’s attendants rushed into the sacrificial hall holding various kinds of weapons to obstruct the Yagna which was being conducted grandly. Amongst them were dwarfs, brown complexioned, golden complexioned, crocodile faced, crocodile bellied and various strange looking beings. They ran amok throughout the hall.

Kecid babhañjuḥ prāg-vaṁśaṁ  patnī-śālāṁ tathāpare

Sada āgnīdhra-śālāṁ ca tad-vihāraṁ mahānasam”


Janardhanāya namah


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