The greatness of Shiva – Shiva Purana
In the chapter 1 in Section 5 of Uma-saṃhita of Shiva Purana, Upamanyu narrated the greatness of Shiva.
Formerly Krishna, son of Vasudeva went to Kailasa to perform the penance to propitiate Shiva for obtaining a son. He saw the sage Upamanyu performing the penance there, he bowed to him with devotion and asked him with palms joined in reverence. Lord Krishna said: --
“O Upamanyu of great intellect, I have come here to perform the panance of Shiva for obtaining a son. O sage, please narrate the greatness of Shiva, on hearing which I shall perform the penance of Shiva with devotion.”
Upamanyu informed that while performing penance, he himself has witnessed the greatness of Shiva and narrated as under:
“I saw Shiva, his weapons, his followers and Vishnu and other gods. He was shining with his three parts. He was of permanent happiness. He was imperishable. He had one foot and huge teeth with feces having mouthfuls of blazing flame. He was shining with the brilliance of two thousand rays.
He was whirling excellent missiles. He had many eyes and a thousand legs. He who decisively annihilates the universe at the end of a kalpa and for whom there was none to be spared from death in the three worlds consisting of the mobile and immobile beings which being cast away from his hands burnt instantaneously and entirely, certainly within half a moment. While performing penance, I saw at the side of Rudra the imperishable highly secret weapon which had no other missile superior or equal to it. It was the weapon Vijaya, the trident of the fierce weapon that destroyed all other weapons and missiles. There is no doubt that it could pierce through the entire earth, dry up the big ocean and cause all the luminary bodies to fall. It was the weapon with which Yauvanashva the emperor of great refulgence and Mandhatr the powerful king who conquered the three worlds were killed formerly. The arrogant Haihaya king was killed with it. When the demon Lavana challenged king Shatrughna this missile was hurled at him. When that demon was killed, this trident had returned to Rudra. It had a sharp point and was highly terrifying. I saw his sharp-edged axe decorated with serpents etc. It was as terrible as the god of death holdingthe noose in his hand. It was like an indescribable ray of the sun and the features of the fire at the end of Kalpas. It had the size of a full-grown man. Parshurama had used it in the battle for the extermination of Kṣatriyas. I saw the discus Sudarshana in the shape of a human being with a thousand faces and two thousand hands. It was divine and lordly. It had two thousand eyes of fiery brilliance, and one thousand legs. It shone like a crore suns. It was capable of burning the three worlds. I saw the sharp and refulgent thunderbolt of hundred spikes of extreme excellence. I saw the great bow Pinaka of excessive brilliance and its quiver of arrows. I saw the Shakti, the sword, the noose of great brilliance and a goad, the great divine iron club, and many other weapons.
On either side of Lord Rudra, I saw the weapons of the guardians of the quarters. To the right of the lord was Brahma, the grandfather of the worlds seated in his aerial chariot fitted with a swan. It was divine and as speedy as mind. Narayaṇa, holding conch, discus and mace, stood on bis left, seated on the Garuḍa. Brahma and other Manus, Bhṛgu and other sages, Indra and other gods, all were there. Holding his Shakti and a bell and seated on his peacock, Skanda (Kartikeya) stood near the goddess like another fìregod. Nandin stood in front of Shiva holding the trident. All the goblins, Gaṇas and the mothers were present there. Bowing to lord Shiva and surrounding him on all sides, the gods eulogised the lord with different kinds of hymns.
O Krishna, it appeared as though some sacrifice was going on there. In that sacrifice I became immersed in great delight. I was bold to a great extent on seeing Parvati front. With palms joined in reverence and words choked with tears of joy I worshipped him duly with various kinds of hymns.
Then the delighted lord Shiva spoke to me laughingly in sweet words with great pleasure:
“O brahmin, you cannot be shaken by me though I try again and again. You have been tested by me. Welfare be to you You are steadily endowed with devotion. I am delighted. Choose the boon. There is nothing which cannot be given to you even if it happens to be something rare and inaccessible to all the gods.”
Upamanyu said: --
“O lord, if you are satisfied and if my devotion is firm and steady, may, in virtue of that truth, my knowledge comprehends the past, present and future. Grant me infinite devotion never swerving or straying from you. Let me and my family have milk pudding every day. O lord, may you be present in my hermitage every day. Let my mutual friendship with your other devotees, flourish for ever.”
Shiva said: --
“O Upamanyu, O dear, O sage, you will be free from the defects of old age and death. Achieve all desires. You will deserve the worship of the sages. You will have fame as your wealth. Thanks to my grace, step by step, you will possess good conduct, beauty, good qualities and riches. O sage, wherever you wish it to be, the milk ocean will flow to and be present there. May your family be never-ending due to my grace. I shall be always present in your hermitage. Let your devotion to me be permanent. O dear one, whenever remembered by you I shall appear before you. You are by all means my beloved. Be happy realising all your desires. Do not get anxious or worried. There is no doubt that everything you think of will be fulfilled.”
Upamanyu said: --
“After granting me the boons and saying this, lord Shiva of the brilliance of a crore sun vanished there itself. The lord is omniscient, the soul and the material and effective cause of all living beings. He is all-pervasive and visible to all deities. Hence, propitiate him for the acquisition of a son. Shiva, favourably disposed to his devotees will become delighted with you, soon.”