Query on a myth of "Siva killing a shark

Pierre-Sylvain Filliozat pfilliozat at MAGIC.FR
Wed Mar 22 07:49:19 UTC 2000

Dear Member,
In the Shaiva mythology what I have read is that Shiva takes the form of a
"Hamsa" Indian swan to kill the Fish. This fish was none else but VisNu in
With this regard, in the temple of Ekaa,breshvara at Kancipuram there is a
sculpture of a Hamsa with trident and Damaru holding a fish in its beak.
This fish is adorned with Shankha and Cakra.
Tyhe story you have related is really interesting.
Vasundhara Filliozat
-----Original Message-----
From: Nobumi Iyanaga <n-iyanag at PPP.BEKKOAME.NE.JP>
Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2000 5:02 AM
Subject: Query on a myth of "Siva killing a shark

>Dear List Members,
>I have a question on the source of a "Saiva myth I found in a Japanese
>book.  It is the Japanese translation of Veronica Ions, Indian Mythology,
>London: The Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1973, 1983 (translated by Sakai
>Denroku, Tokyo, Seido-sha, 1990, p. 212).
>I retranslate it from Japanese:
>         One day, when "Siva was reading the inscriptions in a loud voice
>         and explaining them to Paarvatii, he discovered that she was
>         sleeping.  He reprimanded her for being not attentive to such
>         important things.  She then replied that she was not sleeping, but
>         only closing her eyes to listen better to her husband.  He asked
>         her about what was explained, and she could not answer.  He cursed
>         her to fall from Kailaasa and become a human fisher-woman as
>         punishment for her inattention and lie.
>         "Siva became alone on the Kailaasa mountain and tried to meditate.
>         But he discovered that his concentration was disturbed by his
>         thoughts of Paarvatii.  However, he had to wait sometime to obtain
>         her again.  He first sent his servant Nandin to the human world
>         after transforming him as a shark.  The shark teared the nets of
>         fishers (among whom was Paarvatii) and plagued them.  As the shark
>         became the biggest trouble of the population of the coast, people
>         decided to give the most beautiful girl as bride -- that is
>          -- to the man who would subjugate it.  Hearing of that
>         offer, "Siva, transforming himself as a human fisherman, went to
>         the village where lived Paarvatii and subjugated the shark.  Thus,
>         he married her, and they went back to their Kailaasa palace.
>Could anyone be so kind as to indicate me the source of this myth, and, if
>the details are different from the original, let me know the differences?
>Thank you very much in advance!
>Best regards,
>Nobumi Iyanaga

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