Shiva Maha Purana

Astronomy
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 twelfth 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.

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