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Fourth Skanda

Chapter 2: Daksha Curses Lord S’iva

(1) Vidura said: ‘Why did Daksha exhibit enmity towards Lord S’iva, the best among the gentle, neglecting his own daughter Satî while he cared so much about her? (2) How could he hate him who is the spiritual master of the whole world and who, with a peaceful personality and satisfied without enmity within, is the greatest demigod of the universe? (3) Tell me therefore, o brahmin, the reason because of which the father- and son-in-law quarreled and because of which Satî gave up the life that is impossible to give up.’

(4) Maitreya said: ‘Formerly, were the leaders, great sages and immortal ones of the creation along with their followers and the philosophers assembled at a sacrifice. (5) Entering that great assembly there made the sages see him [Daksha], free from darkness as he was, as shining with a luster like that of the sun. (6) They, the members of the assembly along with the ones of the fire, who were impressed by his luster all, except for Lord Brahmâ and Lord S’iva, stood up from their seats. (7) Daksha, the one of all opulence, who was properly welcomed by the leaders of the assembly, made his obeisances towards the unborn one, the master of the world, and sat down upon his order. (8) Before the seated Lord S’iva, who showed no respect for him, he felt offended though and losing his temper he spoke to him with an angry look in his eyes. (9) ‘Listen to me, o wise among the brahmins, o godly ones, o fire-gods, how I speak to you about the manners of the gentle ones, and this I do not out of ignorance or jealousy. (10) He, who belongs to the rulers of the universe, has, lacking in manners, shamefully polluted and spoilt the fame of the ones following the path of the gentle ones. (11) He has accepted to be of a lower position, acting like an honest man in taking the hand of my daughter, in the presence of fire and brahmins. (12) Taking the hand of her who has eyes like that of a deer cub, he has himself the eyes of a monkey, not welcoming me, who is worthy of such a reception, with the honor of standing up from his seat. (13) With no respect for the rules and regulations, he, impure and proud, has broken with the code of civility; although I didn’t want to, have I handed over my daughter as if the message of the Vedas would be given to a s’ûdra. (14-15) Accompanied by ghosts and demons he wanders around at the burial places where corpses are burnt, laughing and crying like a madman, with scattered hair smearing himself with the ashes of the funeral pyre. He has a garland of skulls and is ornamented with dead man’s bones; only in name he is S’iva or auspicious. He is in fact inauspicious, crazy and dear to the crazy, their leader and Lord, engrossed in the mode of ignorance. (16) To him, the Lord of Ghosts, void of all cleanliness, with his heart so far off, I alas, as the supreme teacher did request, have given Satî.’

(17) Maitreya said: ‘Thus abusing S’iva who remained without hostility, Daksha angry, next washed his hands and mouth with water and began to curse: (18) ‘The portion of the sacrifice to the gods that the demigods have along with Indra, Upendra [the younger brother of Indra] and others, is not for the lowest of the demigods to get.’ (19) Though asked by the members of the assembly not to, did he, Daksha, having cursed S’iva, leave from there going home, o Vidura, as he had grown very angry. (20) Understanding that Lord S’iva had been cursed, one of his principal associates Nandis’vara, turned red and blind with anger and he harshly cursed Daksha and the brahmins who had allowed the cursing to happen.

(21) ‘May he who in reference to the physique of this one, the non-envious Lord S’iva, bears envy and thus is stupefied by a dual vision, lose all his grip on reality. (22) He who is attracted to the householders life of pretentious religiosity and performs by the explanations of the Vedas in a desire for material happiness and fruitive action, will see his intelligence lost. (23) Let him who with the intelligence of accepting the body as the self has forgotten the knowledge of Vishnu and as an animal is attached to sex-life, that excessive Daksha, soon have the head of a goat. (24) May those who follow Daksha in his insults and who in the nescience of their fruitive actions grew dull in their materialistic education and intelligence, time and again end up here in the ocean of material suffering. (25) Let those who are so envious with Lord S’iva and whose minds have grown slow of the enchanting flowery words of the Vedas so profuse with the scent of honey, remain attached. (26) Let those brahmins, who have taken to education, austerity and vows in order to have money and to satisfy their physical senses, wander here as beggars from door to door, eating whatever!’

(27) Hearing the words of his curse thus against the class of the twiceborn, pronounced in response Bhrigu an insurmountable curse in line with the brahminical way of chastising: (28) ‘May anyone who takes a vow to please Lord S’iva and follows such principles, become an atheist straying away from the scriptural injunctions. (29) Let them, who have abandoned cleanliness, foolishly having their hairs long, wearing bones and covered in ashes, embark on the lead of S’iva from which one has the spiritual of finding relief in intoxication. (30) Since you in truth blaspheme the brahmins and the allegiance to the Vedas, you have therefore taken shelter of the weakness of atheism. (31) In the Vedas, that are for sure the auspicious eternal path of all people and which in the past have always been rigidly followed, one finds the evidence of Janârdana [the Lord as the well-wisher of all]. (32) Blaspheming that supreme and pure spirit, which is the eternal path of the truthful, you are to end up in atheism where you have your deity, the Lord of matter and the dead [S’iva as Bhûtapati]!’

(33) Maitreya said: ‘Thus being spoken of in the curse of Bhrigu, did S’iva, the Supreme One, somewhat downcast, leave from there with his followers. (34) Of that, are even the fathers of mankind for thousands of years in worship, o great master, as that is how the Supreme Personality, the leader of all the wise, should be respected. (35) Purifying their hearts, taking their ceremonial concluding bath where the Ganges meets with the Yamunâ, they all left from there heading for their own places.