Siva’s marriage ||23||

1Lomasa said: In the meantime, the sages deputed by Mahesa came there to Himalaya suddenly .
2On seeing them, the Mountain Himalaya got up immediately. With a delighted mind, he worshipped all of them and with his neck bowed down, he spoke to them respectfully:
3-4“Why have all of you come? Tell me the reason for your visit.” Then the Seven Sages said: “We have been sent by Mahesa. We have come to you in order to see the girl. O Mountain, understand us. Show us your daughter immediately.”
5Saying “So be it” to the group of Sages, Parvati was brought there. Himavan, the lord of Mountains, who loved his children, placed Parvati in his lap and said laughingly:
6-9“This is my daughter indeed. But listen to my words again. Siva is the most excellent one among ascetics. The destroyer of Madana is devoid of attachment. How does he by whom Smara (Madana) has been made Ananga (bodiless), seek a marriage alliance? Offering the daughter in marriage to the following persons is not recommended: one who is very near (i.e. closely related), one who is very far off, one who is extremely rich one, one who is devoid of wealth, one who is unemployed and a foolish fellow. One shall not offer one’s daughter in marriage to a stupid person, to a person who is devoid of attachment, to a self-esteeming person, to a sick man and to a madcap. Hence, O excellent sages, I must exchange ideas with you and then only I should give her to Mahesa. This is my excellent vow.”
10On hearing those words of the king of Mountains, those great Sages laughed and immediately spoke to Himalaya:
11A severe penance has been performed by her. Siva has been propitiated by her. Being pleased with her penance. Sadasiva is kindly disposed today.
12O Mountain, you do not know anything about her or him, anything about their greatness. Hence give her (in marriage).
13-14Give Girija to Siva (in marriage); carry out our suggestion.” On hearing these words of those Sages of sanctified souls. The Lord of Mountains hurriedly addressed the other Mountains: “O Meru, O Nishadha, O Gandhamadana, O Mandara. O Mainaka, all of you say specifically what should be done today.”
15Mena, who was an expert in the use of words, spoke these words: “Of what avail is a deliberation now? The matter has been decided then itself (already).
16This girl of great fortune is born for accomplishing the task of Devas. She should be given to Siva because she has incarnated for the sake of Siva.
17-19She has been propitiated by Rudra. She has been in the mind of (i.e. liked by) Rudra. Let this Sati (chaste lady) of great fortune be given to Siva. In worshipping Siva, what she has done is a mere means (to this end).” On hearing these words uttered by Mena, Himavan became completely satisfied and spoke these words to the sages glancing at her: “This daughter of mine now (shall be given to Siva) .”
20Then they brought Gauri there. She had complexion like heated gold and beautiful eyes. Splendid as she was. she wore a girdle round her hips. She was wearing bangles studded with lapislazuli and pearls. She had dazzling refulgence like the digit of the moon.
21Gauri, the splendid lady of bright face, had glittering garments. She was as though a tank of the nectar of beauty. On seeing her even the Sages became deluded. They were confounded and excited. They did not utter a word. On seeing the very beautiful beloved of the lord of the three worlds, having splendid lustre. they appeared to be stunned and crazy.
22-23Thus, those Sages too were enchanted by her beauty. What then in the case of Devas? So, after seeing the lady of slender frame, the daughter of the Lord of Mountains, who was the beloved of Siva, they approached Siva once again. Then those Sages, the favourites of Siva, spoke to him:
24The Sages said: His (Himalaya’s) daughter has undoubtedly been well adorned by the Lord of Mountains. O Lord of Devas, go (there) in order to marry (her). Go there surrounded by all the Devas.
25Go quickly, O great Lord, to Parvati for the sake of a son. On hearing their words, he laughed and said:
26“O Sages of great fortune, marriage has never been seen or heard of by me before. Let its special points be mentioned.”
27-30Then all the Sages spoke to Sadasiva laughingly: “O Lord. invite Vishnu, Brahma and Indra. Similarly send for the groups of sages, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Serpents, Siddhas, Vidyadharas. Kinnaras and groups of celestial damsels. Bring these and many others immediately.” On hearing these words uttered by the Sages, the lord, an expert in the use of words, spoke to Narada: “Bring Vishnu quickly. Bring Brahma, Mahendra and others too.”
31Honouring the words of Sambhu with great humility, the sage Narada who sanctified the worlds and who was a devotee of Vishnu, hurried to Vaikuntha.
32-33He saw Lord Vishnu who was seated on the excellent couch and was being served by goddess Sri. The Lord was the most excellent one among Devas; his lustre was very great and he was four-armed, with a body dark in complexion like a blue lotus. He wore beautiful ear-rings set with gems and jewels of great value. He was refulgent with the excellent gems of his great crown and had the excellent garland of sylvan flowers named Vaijayanti. He was the sole handsome person in the whole world.
34Narada approached him and spoke to him the words of Sambhu. The most excellent one among the sages, the omniscient one playing on his lute called Brahmavina, spoke to him with great respect:
35“Come, come, O Mahavishnu. Come quickly to (meet) Mahadeva. You are the only one to manage the affairs efficiently in the matter of the marriage of Sambhu”
36The Lord laughed and said to Narada: “How did the idea of marriage occur to the Trident-bearing Lord?” Although the lord had understood the matter, he asked Narada about it.
37Narada said: By means of a great penance, Rudra was gratified by Parvati. He himself went to the place where the chaste daughter of the Mountain was seated.
38-40Sambhu who was gratified by Parvati, said to her “I am your servant.” He requested Parvati: “O lady of great splendour, choose (me) in marriage quickly.” So spoke Sambhu. He calls you now. On hearing his words, Janardana, the lord of Devas, prepared himself to go to Siva. He was accompanied by Narada and surrounded by his Parsadas. The great soul Acyuta, the great Lord of leading Yogins, mounted on Suparna (Garuda) and went through the path of the skyr Hari was accompanied by Narada and excellent Devas.
41-42On seeing the Saniga-bearing Lord (i.e. Vishnu). the Lord Siva whose lotus-like feet are worthy of being meditated upon by Yogins, stood up joyously and embraced Vishnu.Then the lords Hari and Hara stood up in the same place and enquired of the welfare of each other.
43-48lsvara said: O Vishnu, I have been undoubtedly won over by the penance of Girija. It is for the purpose- of marriage that I am going to Himalaya. I shall tell the exact position to you. Formerly when Sati was given to me by Daksha, the marriage rite was not perf armed by me in accordance with the injunctions. It is only now that all the rites should be very elaborately performed by me. I do not know all those rites connected with marriage alliance. I do not know anything that should be performed by me. After hearing those words of Sambhu, the slayer of Madhu laughed. When he was about to say something, Brahma came there hurriedly along with Indra and all the Guardians of the Quarters. Similarly, Devas, Asuras, Yakshas, Danavas, serpents, birds, celestial damsels and the great sages, all these gathered together to speak to the Lord. Then they bowed down their heads and spoke to Isa:
49“Go ahead, go ahead, O Lord Mahadeva, along with us.” Then Vishnu spoke these words appropriate to the occasion:
50-52“O Sambhu, it behoves you to perform the rites in accordance with the injunctions laid down in the Grhyasutras . Perform the holy rite of Nandimukha . Fix the Mandapa . Perform all the religious rites connected with them. Some of the men learned in the Vedas perform this rite avoiding the confluence of great rivers. O Lord, let the Mandapa be fixed now.” Sambhu who was told thus by Vishnu, did so for the sake of his own welfare.
53Everything conducive to prosperity was performed by him along with Brahma and others. Kasyapa accompanied by Brahma performed the worship of the Planets.
54-56Similarly Atri, Vasishtha, Gautama, Guru, Bhrigu, Kanva Brihaspati (?), Sakti, Jamadagni, Parasara, Markandeya, Silavaka, Sunyapala, Akshatasrama, Agastya, Cyavana, Garga and many others came to the presence of Siva. Directed by Brahma there, they performed the rites in accordance with the injunctions.
57-58aAll of them who were masters of the Vedas and the Vedaitgas (i.e. ancillary subjects) tied an amulet (round tlie arm) of Mahesa in accordance with the injunctions of the Vedas. They tied the marriage thread also (round his wrist) for the sake of auspiciousness.
58b-60The sages who knew the reality performed various auspicious rites reciting the Suktas (hymns) of Rigveda, Yajurveda and Samaveda. They made Siva, the great Atman, take the ceremonies of oil bath etc. The famous matted hair of Siva, the Supreme Soul (assumed the form of fine tresses). The garland of skulls turned into a fine necklace fitted with many pearls. Those serpents that had been round his limbs instantaneously turned into ornaments of gold.
61Mahesvara, the lord of Devas, richly endowed with all ornaments and surrounded by Devas went to the city of the king of Mountains .
62-64The terrible deity, Candika, became Varabhagini (‘sister of the bridegroom’). Candi who was adorned with serpents as ornaments and who was seated on a ghost went ahead taking a gold pot of great lustre and filled (with water) on her head. She was accompanied by her retinues. Mahacandi had a brilliant face and terrible eyes. There were thousands of hideous Bhutas (goblins). Accompanied by them Candi of deformed face went ahead.
65All the exceedingly terrible Ganas went behind her. The terrible Rudras numbering eleven crores also went behind them. They were the great favourites of Rudra.
66Then all the three worlds became pervaded by the loud sound of Damaru, the sounds of Bheris and Bhankaras (varieties of drums) and the sound of conchs.
67So also there was a tumultuous sound of Dundubhi drums. All over-eager Devas and all Siddhas accompanied by the Guardians of the Quarters followed close behind the Ganas.
68-70aMahendra seated on his Airavata was proceeding ahead in the middle (of the group) with a white umbrella held aloft. He was being fanned by chowries and surrounded by many Suras. O Brahmanas, many of these sages, Bharadvaja and others, were also going ahead towards (the place) of the marriage of Siva.
70-73Sakinis, Yatudhanas, Vetalas, Brahmarakshasas, Bhutas, Pretas, Pisacas and others such as Pramathas etc. followed Candi and asked about her, “Where has Candi gone?” Running at a very great speed, they came up to her. Even as she was proceeding ahead, they bowed down to her. They said to Candi who was accompanied by Bhairava and whose lustre was very great, “Where are you going, O Candi, without us? Say specifically.”
74-76That Candi laughed and said to the Bhutas who were listening: “Mounted on a ghost, I am going (to attend) the marriage ceremony of Sambhu. I am holding this go]den pot on my head (for the same purpose).” Then Candi changed herself into the form of Siva’s nearest female relative. Surrounded by all the Bhutas, she went ahead of all. Ganas followed her and Suras were behind Ganas.
77The Guardians of the Quarters beginning with Indra and the sages were leading those who followed behind. Behind the sages were the Parsadas (Attendants) of great lustre.
78-80They were fully conversant with the unfathomable nature of Vishnu. They were more charming than Mukunda. All of them resembled clouds (in colour). They had garlands of sylvan flowers. All of them had the body-mark Srivatsa. All were clad in yellow robes. They had four arms. They wore ear-rings. All of them appeared splendid by means of crowns, bangles, armlets, necklaces, anklets, threads, waist-bands and rings. They had the characteristic features of great men. In their midst was Vishnu, the slayer of the enemies of Suras. He was accompanied by Sri.
81Hari, the greatest Soul, the sole kinsman of the universe, who had rendered the three worlds completely auspicious, who is established in the heart by persons of great magnanimity and who is the bestower of the greatest objectives and aims (in life), shone in the company of Siva.
82Hari, the great Lord, was seated on Garuda. The great Lord was accompanied by Lakshmi. The sole Lord of all the worlds was being fanned by chowries. He was accompanied by all the leading sages.
83Virinci (i.e. Brahma) was seated on his own vehicle. Accompanied by the Vedas along with the six ancillary subjects, he, Hiranyagarbha, was surrounded by Agamas along with Itihasas and Puranas.
84-86Mahesa was thus accompanied by Brahma and Hari. He was surrounded by the leading Suras. He was encircled by the sages. The Bull-bannered Lord who cannot be attained by all, who is difficult of access even to leading Yogins, was seated on a bull that resembled a pure crystal, that was given to virtue and that was characterized by cows(? that had all the fine characteristics of bulls). He was accompanied by the Mothers also. Accompanied by these and Asuras and Danavas and adorned by learned scholars, Mahesa then went to Himalaya, the most excellent one among Mountains, for the marriage with the most excellent young woman.