Shiva’s Forgiveness

Śrīmad Bhāgavata 4.7.1 ~ 12:

Now hear how Śiva replied, smiling and wholly satisfied with Unborn Brahmā’s advice.

The greatest of gods said, “I will not speak, or even think, of the wrongs done by childish people who are simply creatures of divine illusion. I will no longer punish them.

“The Progenitor’s head has been burnt, but let him have a head from a goat. Let Bhaga see through Mitra’s eyes, so he can continue to look upon the rewards he desires. Let Pūṣā eat through the person performing a sacrifice, otherwise, let him chew gruel. Let the gods who wanted to include me in the sacrifice have all their bones restored. As for the priests and others, let those whose arms have been torn off use Aśvini’s arms; and let those whose hands have been cut off use Pūṣā’s hands. Let Bhṛgu have a goat’s beard.”

The gods and sages agreed, saying “sādhu, sādhu.” They were satisfied at heart that Śiva had generously forgiven them. They invited Generous Śiva and Dexterous Brahmā to return with them to the sacrificial arena.

There, under Śiva’s guidance, they joined the Dakṣa’s body to the head of a sacrificial goat. By Rudra’s glance, when Dakṣa got this head, he immediately came to consciousness, as if he was waking up from sleep, and saw Dusty Śiva before him. Receiving Śiva’s merciful glance, all of Dakṣa’s hatred for the bull-rider disappeared, and his polluted soul became as pure as an autumn lake. He wanted to express his gratitude to Śiva, the Lord of Existence, but could not, because he remembered that his daughter was now dead and could only weep with terrible emotion.

His mind was burning in the flames of love for his daughter, but with great effort, he made himself steady and calm. Then, with a sincere heart, the Progenitor began to speak to the Master, Śiva.

Comment: One might wonder, “If Śiva could purify Dakṣa just by glancing at him, why didn’t he do it a long time ago and save everyone all this grief?”

The answer is hinted at by using the word “Receiving” in the phrase “Recieving Śiva’s merciful glance.” Every living entity is conscious and independent, nothing can be forced on anyone, not even by Bhagavān Śiva or Viṣṇu. It was not until Dakṣa was willing to recieve Śiva’s mercy that it could be effective.

Vraja Kishor dās

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