Daksha Curses Lord S’iva

Vidura said: ‘Why exhibited Daksha enmity towards Lord S’iva, the best among the gentle ones, while he neglected his daughter Satî whom he cared so much about? How could he hate him who is the spiritual master of the entire world and who, being satisfied within with a peaceful personality and free from enmity, is the greatest demigod of the universe? Tell me therefore, oh brahmin, the reason why the father-in-law and son-in-law quarreled and thus Satî came to give up life which is so difficult to give up.’

Maitreya said: ‘Once in the past at a sacrifice held by the ruler of creation [the Prajâpati], the immortal ones of creation, the great sages along with the philosophers, the demigods and the gods of the sacrificial fire together with all their followers had assembled. When he [Daksha] arrived at that great assembly the sages could see him as someone who, free from the darkness of ignorance, shone like the sun. They, the members of the assembly along with the ones taking care of the fire, impressed by his luster all with the exception of Lord Brahmâ and Lord S’iva, stood up from their seats. Daksha, the one of all opulence who was properly welcomed by the leaders of the assembly, made his obeisances towards the one unborn, the master of the world, and sat down upon his order. Before he took his seat though he felt insulted by Lord S’iva who showed no sign of respect, and losing his temper he with an angry look in his eyes said the following. ‘Listen to me, oh wise among the brahmins, oh godly ones, oh fire gods, how I speak to you about the manners of the gentle ones, and this I do not out of ignorance or jealousy. He [S’iva] lacking in manners, has shamelessly spoilt the fame of the rulers of the universe and polluted the path followed by the gentle ones. He, acting like an honest man, [as a son of mine] has accepted to be of a lower position in taking the hand of my daughter in the presence of fire and brahmins. He with accepting the hand of her who has eyes like that of a deer cub, himself having the eyes of a monkey, has not as it should with a word of welcome honored me by standing up from his seat. Contrary to what I want I have given my daughter to him who with no respect for the rules and regulations, impure and proud has broken with the code of civility; it is as if I gave the message of the Vedas to a s’ûdra! Accompanied by ghosts and demons he wanders around at the burial places where corpses are burnt, and laughs and cries there 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, he is their leader and Lord engrossed in the mode of ignorance. To him, the Lord of Ghosts void of all cleanliness and with a heart full of nasty matters, I alas, upon the request of the supreme teacher [Brahmâ], have given away Satî.’

Maitreya said: ‘After thus having abused S’iva who remained without hostility, Daksha next rinsed his hands and mouth with water and began to curse him angrily: ‘The portion of the sacrifice for God that the demigods along with Indra, Upendra [the younger brother of Indra] and others are entitled to, is there not for the lowest of the demigods.’ Even though the members of the assembly urged him not to, Daksha, having cursed S’iva, left the place and went home oh Vidura, for he had gotten very angry. Understanding that Lord S’iva had been cursed, one of his principal associates Nandis’vara, turned red and blind with anger he harshly cursed Daksha and the brahmins who had allowed that the cursing happened.

‘May he who in the physical presence of him, the non-envious Lord S’iva, bears envy and thus is stupefied by a dual vision, lose all his grip on reality. He who is attracted to a householder’s life of pretentious religiosity and in a desire for material happiness performs fruitive activities, will see his intelligence concerning the Vedic word fail. Let him who, with the intelligence of taking the body for one’s self, has forgotten the knowledge of Vishnu and as an animal is attached to his sex life, that excessive Daksha, soon have the head of a goat! May those who follow Daksha in his insults and dulled in the ignorance of their fruitive activities have lost their intelligence and knowledge, time and again end up here in the ocean of material suffering. Let those who are so envious with Lord S’iva and whose minds have grown slow because of the enchanting flowery words of the Vedas that are so pervaded with the scent of honey, for ever be stupefied. Let those brahmins, who have taken to education, austerity and vows for the purpose of acquiring money and satisfying their physical senses, as beggars wander from door to door, eating whatever!’

When Bhrigu heard the words of this curse against the class of the twice-born, he in response pronounced an insurmountable curse in accord with the brahminical way of chastising: ‘May anyone who takes a vow to please Lord S’iva and follows such principles, become an atheist straying away from the scriptural injunctions. Let those who took initiation to worship S’iva and abandoned cleanliness, foolishly have their hairs long, wear bones and are covered by ashes, find their destiny in intoxication. Because you blaspheme the Vedas and the brahmins in support of the established rules of society, you have therefore sought your refuge in atheism. In the Vedas, which in the past have always been rigidly followed for being the auspicious, eternal path for all people, one finds the evidence of Janârdana [the Lord as the well-wisher of all]. Blaspheming that supreme and pure spirit which is the eternal path of the truthful, you are doomed to end up in atheism wherein the Lord of matter and death [S’iva as Bhûtapati] is your deity!’

Maitreya said: ‘After S’iva thus was mentioned in the curse of Bhrigu, the Supreme One, somewhat downcast, left the place together with his followers. And so the fathers of mankind for a thousand years settled for the sacrifice oh great master, in which the chief of all gods is Hari, the Supreme Personality. After purifying their hearts by taking their ceremonial, concluding bath where the Ganges meets the Yamunâ, they all left from there to return to their own places.’