Shiva And Parvati
The sage Narada once went to the sage Pulastya and wanted to know about the Vamana Purana. Whatever Pulastya told Narada is what you are about to hear.
Shiva and Parvati lived on Mount Mandara. When the heat of the summer came upon them. Parvati told Shiva, “We do not have a house. How will we bear the heat of the blazing winds? Why can we not have a house like others do?”
“That is not for us,” replied Shiva. “I have no home. I spend my time in the wilds of the forest.”
Shiva took Parvati to the shade of a tree and they spent the summer under the tree.
Summer passed and monsoon came. The skies were covered with dark clouds. The rumbling of thunder could be heard.
Parvati told Shiva, “Lord, the monsoon is upon us. The winds are blowing strongly; there is thunder and lightning. Can you not hear the peacocks singing in delight? Rain has started to pour and placid streams have become mountain torrents. Please build a house on Mount Mandara so that we can have shelter and live in peace.”
“Darling,” replied Shiva, “I have no wealth which I can use to build a house. I wear the skin of a tiger and snakes are my adornments. How can I build a house?”
Parvati was not at all happy to hear this, “Are we to spend the monsoon also under this tree?” she asked.
“No,” said Shiva. “Let us live inside the clouds as long as the monsoon continues. Then the rain will not smart your body.”
Shiva and Parvati accordingly started to live in the clouds. The word jimuta means cloud and it is because of this incident that Shiva is known as Jimutaketu.
The monsoon was soon over and the weather became pleasant. The clouds disappeared. Flowers bloomed on trees; lotuses could be seen on the ponds. Shiva and Parvati left the clouds and returned to Mount Mandara to live there.
Vishnu had been sleeping while the monsoon had raged and he now woke up. To celebrate this, Daksha organised a yajna (sacrifice) to which he invited everyone except Shiva. (Daksha was Brahma’s son).
“Why didn’t Daksha invite Shiva?” asked Narada.
“Because Shiva had a skull stuck to his hand.” Replied Pulastya.
“I don’t understand,” said Narada. “How came the skull to be there?”
Pulastya told Narada the story of what happened a long long time ago.
The universe was then flooded with water. There was no land, moon, sun, stars or fire. Everything was immersed in water and the universe was shrouded in darkness. For a thousand years Vishnu slept on the waters and all this while night prevailed in the universe. When the night was over, Vishnu woke up and created Brahma. Brahma had five heads and he was learned in the Vedas. Simultaneous with Brahma’s creation, Shiva emerged from the darkness. He had a trident in his hands.
Brahma and Shiva began to quarrel.
“Who are you? Who has brought you here? Who has created you?” demanded Shiva of Brahma.
“Who are you and who are your parents?” was Brahma’s rejoinder. “In fact, I know who you are. You are made out of darkness. You have three eyes, you wear no clothes and you are riding a bull. You must be Shiva the destroyer.”