Nandikeswara was quoted to have recounted innumerable incidents of Siva’s forms. He appeared as Yakshewara to humble Devas as they became arrogant as they secured ‘Amrit’ after churning Ocean and asked them to cut pieces of grass and they were so mighty but they failed and realised that He was Maha Deva Himself; He incarnated as Hanuman when Lord Siva was infatuated with Mohini, Saptarishis carried His semen to Anjana Devi through Vayu Deva, as a child swallowed Sun God to release him only after Deities requested the child when Sun agreed to be Hanuman’s teacher, joined Lord Rama as His devotee, assisted Rama to locate Sita as also destroyed Ravana along with his clan and had became immortal eversince; He assumed the form of Mahesha along with Girija since Bhairava, the door keeper of Kailasa, made Parvati unhappy causing Her to curse as mortal named Vetal who performed penance of such intensity that pleased Siva and Parvati; He embodied as Vrishabha (Appearance of an Ox) to enter the lower lokas (nether worlds) with the aim of punishing Vishnu’s wicked sons but when they were destroyed Vishnu fought with Vrishabha not knowing the Ox-like form was of Siva’s; when Vishnu prayed to Siva the latter presented Sudarsan Chakra to Vishnu. Lord Siva disguised as a Yatinath to test the depth of devotion by a Bhil couple named Ahuk and Ahuka and sought resting place overnight but even while Ahuk said that their hut was just enough for two persons, Ahuka agreed to sleep outside to let the guest sleep inside the hut, while a wild animal killed Ahuk yet Ahuka quietly tried to jump in the husband’s funeral pyre when Lord Siva manifested and blessed that the couple to become Nala and Damayanti in the next birth as the Lord would appear as a ‘Hamsa ’ (Swan) to unite them; Siva disguised as a beggar to another poor woman who was hesitating to look after an orphan boy as she had her own child too, yet advised the woman to bring up both the kids, since the orphan boy was the son of King Satyarath who was killed by enemies while the Queen went to forest along with the just born child but was killed by a crocodile in a river thus prevailing on the poor woman not to abandon the orphan and eventually found a pot of gold to her surprise; Lord Siva appeared as Sureshwara in the guise of Indra when child Upamanyu performed concentrated penance to Bhagavan to become rich as he did not have enough money to buy milk when his poor mother said that Siva could only provide money but as a result of his penance Indra appeared and not Siva which disapponted Upamanu to resume the Tapasya with far higher devotion and Siva Himself appeared; and Bhagavan’s Incarnation as Kirat (hunter) when a forest bound boar (actually a Demon Mookasura sent by Duryodhana) killed by Arjuna and Kirata simultaneously was claimed by both ending up in a mutual fight and finally a victorious Siva was impressed by Arjuna’s valour and gifted ‘Pasupatastra’, the most potent arrow of the World!
Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham
Kamakoti.org presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at [email protected]