Mountain-dwelling Śiva looked kindly upon his beloved, whose friends and family were so beloved to her. In reply, he tried to remind her of the heart-breaking, cruel insults her father had delivered at the assembly of the cosmic creators.
“My dear beauty,” said the beautifully blessed god, “you have spoken beautifully: Friends and relatives do not require invitations. Yet, this is true only when there is no schism created by strong criticism and anger.”
“I don’t think my father really hates you,” Satī would say, “he has so many good qualities.”
So Śiva explained, “Your father does have many remarkable qualities, but this is a problem for him, not a virtue. Learning, discipline, wealth, beauty, power, and heritage… these six good qualities have negative effects when they appear in people whose hearts are not good. In such people, these good qualities only increase pride – and pride makes one blind and forgetful of the greatness of others.”
“Alright,” Satī would think, “I can’t deny that he is mad at you. But we should go there in hopes of remedying the situation.”
So Śiva explained, “Even if they are family, one should not unexpectedly visit anyone whose mind is not peaceful. Such uninvited guests are a nuisance, and the host will look upon them with shocked eyebrows and irritated eyes.”
“Let us tolerate that,” Satī would suggest, “to end this enmity with my father.”
Śiva explained that it would not be tolerable for her. “If an enemy hurts you with a weapon there is pain, but still you can rest at night. If a loved one hurts you with coldness and insults, your broken heart will grieve and suffer day and night.”
“But my father loves me…” Satī would say.
“My dear, your eyebrows are never angry, they are always so kind and beautiful,” Śiva said. “You don’t understand how anger works. Let me explain: You are clearly the best and most beloved of all the Prajāpati’s children, I know that. Nonetheless, you will not be met with honor by your father, because you have taken shelter of me, and I trouble and anger him.”
“Could you just apologize to him?” Satī might suggest.
So Śiva explained that he had not failed to respect Dakṣa, and should not confuse the world by apologizing for proper behavior. “Beautiful-Waist’d Woman,” he said, “You father is mad because I did not rise from my seat to respect him. It is definitely correct that friends should welcome one another respectfully by standing up, but those who are full of wisdom do this out of respect for the Supreme Person who lies secretly within everyone’s consciousness. They do not direct that respect towards the body and the fool who is proud of having it. When your father entered the assembly, I respectfully worshipped the transcendental, All-Attractive Son of Vasudeva, seeing him clearly and directly in the pure core of your father’s consciousness, which, incidentally, is known by the term vasudeva.
“Your father could not see that, because he cannot see deeply. Instead he scolded me intensely in front of all the cosmic creators who had assembled at the ceremony, because I did not externally respect him in his moment of vanity and pride. This is why he is angry with me. O Wondrously Hip’d Woman, that anger will prevent him from seeing you as his daughter, despite the fact that he is your father. Do not go see him.”
Satī mournfully looked off into the distance, towards the last traces of divine ships headed towards the grand ceremony.
“If you don’t heed my advice,” Śiva said, “your future will not be bright. You are the most respectable person. When you experience insult from your own family, you will want to die immediately.”
— Śrī Bhāgavat Purāṇa 4.3.15 ~ 25 [end]
Vraja Kishor dās