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The Vishnu Purana, translated by Horace Hayman Wilson, [1840], at

p. 58


Origin of Rudra: his becoming eight Rudras: their wives and children. The posterity of Bhrigu. Account of Śrí in conjunction with Vishńu. Sacrifice of Daksha.

PARÁŚARA.--I have described to you, oh great Muni, the creation of Brahmá, in which the quality of darkness prevailed. I will now explain to you the creation of Rudra 1.

In the beginning of the Kalpa, as Brahmá purposed to create a son, who should be like himself, a youth of a purple complexion 2 appeared, crying with a low cry, and running about 3. Brahmá, when he beheld him thus afflicted, said to him, "Why dost thou weep?" "Give me a name," replied the boy. "Rudra be thy name," rejoined the great father of all creatures: "be composed; desist from tears." But, thus addressed, the boy still wept seven times, and Brahmá therefore gave to him seven other denominations; and to these eight persons regions and wives and posterity belong. The eight manifestations, then, are named Rudra, Bhava, Śarva, Iśána, Paśupati, Bhíma, Ugra, and Mahádeva, which were given to them by their great progenitor. He also assigned to them their respective stations, the sun, water, earth, air, fire, ether, the ministrant Brahman, and the moon; for these are their several forms 4. The wives

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of the sun and the other manifestations, termed Rudra and the rest, were respectively, Suverchalá, Ushá, Vikesí, Sivá, Swáhá, Diśá, Díkshá, and Rohiní. Now hear an account of their progeny, by whose successive generations this world has been peopled. Their sons, then, were severally, Sanaiśchara (Saturn), Śukra (Venus), the fiery-bodied Mars, Manojava (Hanumán), Skanda, Swarga, Santána, and Budha (Mercury).

It was the Rudra of this description that married Satí, who abandoned her corporeal existence in consequence of the displeasure of Daksha 5. She afterwards was the daughter of Himaván (the snowy mountains) by Mená; and in that character, as the only Umá, the mighty Bhava again married her 6. The divinities Dhátá and Vidhátá were born to Bhrigu by Khyáti, as was a daughter, Śrí, the wife of Náráyańa, the god of gods 7.

MAITREYA.--It is commonly said that the goddess Śrí was born from the sea of milk, when it was churned for ambrosia; how then can you say that she was the daughter of Bhrigu by Khyáti.

PARÁŚARA.--Śrí, the bride of Vishńu, the mother of the world, is

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eternal, imperishable; in like manner as he is all-pervading, so also is she, oh best of Brahmans, omnipresent. Vishńu is meaning; she is speech. Hari is polity (Naya); she is prudence (Níti). Vishńu is understanding; she is intellect. He is righteousness; she is devotion. He is the creator; she is creation. Śrí is the earth; Hari the support of it. The deity is content; the eternal Lakshmí is resignation. He is desire; Śrí is wish. He is sacrifice; she is sacrificial donation (Dakshiná). The goddess is the invocation which attends the oblation; Janárddana is the oblation. Lakshmí is the chamber where the females are present (at a religious ceremony); Madhusúdana the apartment of the males of the family. Lakshmí is the altar; Hari the stake (to which the victim is bound). Śrí is the fuel; Hari the holy grass (Kuśa). He is the personified Sáma veda; the goddess, lotus-throned, is the tone of its chanting. Lakshmí is the prayer of oblation (Swáhá); Vásudeva, the lord of the world, is the sacrificial fire. Saurí (Vishńu) is Śankara (Śiva); and Śrí is the bride of Śiva (Gaurí). Keśava, oh Maitreya, is the sun; and his radiance is the lotus-seated goddess. Vishńu is the tribe of progenitors (Pitrigana); Padma. is their bride (Swadhá), the eternal bestower of nutriment. Śrí is the heavens; Vishńu, who is one with all things, is wide extended space. The lord of Śrí is the moon; she is his unfading light. She is called the moving principle of the world; he, the wind which bloweth every where. Govinda is the ocean; Lakshmí its shore. Lakshmí is the consort of Indra (Indrání); Madhusúdana is Devendra. The holder of the discus (Vishńu) is Yama (the regent of Tartarus); the lotus-throned goddess is his dusky spouse (Dhúmorná). Śrí is wealth; Śridhara (Vishńu) is himself the god of riches (Kuvera). Lakshmí, illustrious Brahman, is Gaurí; and Keśava, is the deity of ocean (Varuna). Śrí is the host of heaven (Devasená); the deity of war, her lord, is Hari. The wielder of the mace is resistance; the power to oppose is Śrí. Lakshmí is the Kásht́há and the Kalá; Hari the Nimesha and the Muhúrtta. Lakshmí is the light; and Hari, who is all, and lord of all, the lamp. She, the mother of the world, is the creeping vine; and Vishńu the tree round which she clings. She is the night; the god who is armed with the mace and discus is the day. He, the bestower of blessings, is the bridegroom; the lotus-throned goddess is the bride.

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[paragraph continues] The god is one with all male--the goddess one with all female, rivers. The lotus-eyed deity is the standard; the goddess seated on a lotus the banner. Lakshmí is cupidity; Náráyańa, the master of the world, is covetousness. Oh thou who knowest what righteousness is, Govinda is love; and Lakshmí, his gentle spouse, is pleasure. But why thus diffusely enumerate their presence: it is enough to say, in a word, that of gods, animals, and men, Hari is all that is called male; Lakshmí is all that is termed female: there is nothing else than they.


58:1 The creation of Rudra has been already adverted to, and that seems to be the primitive form of the legend. We have here another account, grounded apparently upon Śaiva or Yogi mysticism.

58:2 The appearance of Rudra as a Kumára, 'a boy,' is described as of repeated occurrence in the Linga and Váyu Puráńas, as already noticed (p. 38); and these Kumáras are of different complexions in different Kalpas. In the Vaishńava Puráńas, however, we have only one original form, to which the name of Nílalohita, the blue and red or purple complexioned is assigned. In the Kúrma this youth comes from Brahmá's mouth: in the Váyu, from his forehead.

58:3 This is the Pauráńic etymology: ### or rud, 'to weep,' and dru, 'to run' The grammarians derive the name from rud, 'to weep,' with ra affix.

58:4 The Váyu details the application of each name severally. These eight Rudras are therefore but one, under as many appellations, and in as many types. The Padma, Márkańd́eya, Kúrma, Linga, and Váyu agree with our text in the nomenclature of the Rudras, and their types, their wives, and progeny. The types are those which are enumerated in the Nándí, p. 59 or opening benedictory verse, of Sakuntalá; and the passage of the Vishńu P. was found by Mons. Chezy on the envelope of his copy. He has justly corrected Sir Wm. Jones's version of the term ### 'the sacrifice is performed with solemnity;' as the word means, 'Brahmane officiant,' 'the Bráhmań who is qualified by initiation (Díkshá) to conduct the rite.' These are considered as the bodies, or visible forms, of those modifications of Rudra which are variously named, and which, being praised in them, severally abstain from harming them: ### Váyu P. The Bhágavata, III. 12, has a different scheme, as usual; but it confounds the notion of the eleven Rudras, to whom the text subsequently adverts, with that of the eight here specified. These eleven it terms Manyu, Manu, Mahínasa, Mahán, Siva, Ritadhwaja, Ugraretas, Bhava, Kála, Vámadeva, and Dhritavrata: their wives are, Dhí, Dhriti, Rasalomá, Niyut, Sarpí, Ilá, Ambiká, Irávatí, Swadhá, Díkshá, Rudrání: and their places are, the heart, senses, breath, ether, air, fire, water, earth, sun, moon, and tapas, or ascetic devotion. The same allegory or mystification characterises both accounts.

59:5 See the story of Daksha's sacrifice at the end of the chapter.

59:6 The story of Umá's birth and marriage occurs in the Śiva P. and in the Káśí Khanda of the Skanda P.: it is noticed briefly, and with some variation from the Puráńas, in the Rámáyańa, first book: it is also given in detail in the Kumára Sambhava of Kálidása.

59:7 The family of Bhrigu is more particularly described in the tenth chapter: it is here mentioned merely to introduce the story of the birth of the goddess of prosperity, Śrí.

Next: Sacrifice of Daksha (From the Váyu Puráńa)