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Pushpdant (Gandharv)

Pushpdant was a Gandharv and one of the principal attendants of Shiv. Shiv was living on Kailaash Parvat. Paarvatee was the daughter of Himvaan and was his spouse. Once she pleased Shiv with her services and Shiv asked her to ask for a boon. Paarvatee asked him that she should be instructed by his own lips, to hear such narrations which have been heard neither by her nor by anybody else. Shiv agreed. He asked his all servants to be out and not allow anybody to come there. He wanted to tell Paarvatee the narratives which illustrate the happiness of gods, the troubles of mankind, and the intermediate and varying conditions of the spirits of the Earth and the Heaven.

In the meantime, Pushpdant came and asked the permission to enter Shiv's place, but Shiv's guard stopped him to enter. Now Pushpdant was a very favorite to Shiv and was never stopped from entering Shiv's place. So when he heard that he was not allowed to go in, he got excited and out of curiosity that why he was not allowed to go in, he made himself invisible and entered the place. he came to the place where Shiv and Paarvatee were sitting and Shiv was narrating everything to her, so he heard every word whatever Shiv said to her. When the dialog had finished he came out unobserved by anyone.

He came back to his house and told everything to his wife Jayaa. Now Jayaa also could not hold this conversation and told every thing to the attendants of Paarvatee. The affair soon became known to Shiv and Paarvatee. Shiv cursed him to be born on Prithvi as a human being. He had a friend Maalyavaan. When Malyavaan wanted to help his friend he was also cursed to be born as a human being on Prithvi. So Pushpdant was born as Vararuchi in Kaushaambee. After some time, a goblin appeared to him, reminded about his previous birth and repeated seven great narratives of Shiv, each comprising 100,000 verses.

Pushpdant was a great scholar and a great disciple of Shankar. He wanted to write great philosophical poems about Shiv, so he wrote them. It took many long years' labor to write them. At the end he liked them very much, so he presented them to Shiv in a temple. Shiv cast a glance at them and being unsatisfied with his work, he asked him to throw them in the mouth of Nandee. Pushpdant got very confused, but he had to obey Shiv. As he went to throw them in the mouth of Nandee, he found each and every verse written on the teeth of Nandee, though in very tiny letters. Shiv explained that those verses were written long ago, Pushpdant was only an instrument.

Pushpdant had about 88 disciples. He got Mukti from the human birth after four months of rigorous Tapasyaa. He attained Mukti at Samet Shikhar on the 9th day of the Krishn Paksh of Kaarttik month. The emblem of Lord Pushpdant is Dolphin.

Another Story About Pushpadant
Pushpdant was a Gandharv, a celestial musician. Pushpdant means whose teeth are like Pushp (flowers). He was a great devotee of Shiv and he loved flowers very much. Once he saw a beautiful garden. It belonged to King Chitrarath. Now this King Chitrarath also happened to be a great devotee of Shiv. In fact he had developed this garden for the flowers to offer Shiv. He had many kinds of beautiful flowers in his garden and he used them to offer to Shiv. So as Pushpdant saw this garden he also got attracted to this garden and wanted to have some flowers for his Lord Shiv's worship. But King also knew that he had a beautiful garden and anybody could be attracted to that garden for its flowers, so he kept a tight vigilance for that garden, so that nobody could steal his flowers.

At another place it is written that this garden was in Kaashee and belonged to its king.

Everyday Pushpdant saw that garden and paused a bit to look at those beautiful flowers, but then went away without taking them. One day when he could not hold himself, he started stealing flowers for his worship. Now he got used to that and daily he started stealing those flowers for his worship. For a few days the King Chitrarath could not know this, but after a while he noticed that somebody was stealing his flowers. He was very surprised to know this and he asked his guards to catch the thief. But Since Pushpdant was a Gandharv, he had the knowledge of being invisible so he stole those flowers by being invisible, that is why the guards could not catch him.

Now the King was very much worried how to stop the stealing of flowers. When he could not think of any idea to catch the thief, he thought of a way. He spread Bilva Patra (Bilva leaves) in his garden. When Pushpdant came to steal flowers again, he was unaware of this and he stepped up on those leaves. Now these leaves are very sacred and dear to Shiv. Seeing this Shiv got angry and he took away the divine powers of Pushpdant. So he was visible now and was caught by the King. Pushpdant was shocked. He realized later what he had done in his ignorance. They caught him and brought him in the castle in front of the King. The King was quite upset seeing him and was about to punish him of his wrong doings that Pushpdant told the King that he was ready to accept any fine or punishment that he had for him but requested to King to tell him more about how he was able to catch him.

The King asked him whether he knew what he was stepping onto in the garden at night while stealing? Pushpdant mentioned it was leaves that he was stepping on. King told him those weren't ordinary leaves, they were the Bilva leaves that had once been used for Poojaa of Lord Shiv Ling in a temple. Pushpdant confessed how he had forgotten his Stotra for becoming invisible and not only that, but he had forgotten all other knowledge also he had at that time when he was walking on those leaves. He realized what power those leaves had when they had only touched the Shiv Ling. He realized the eternal power of Shiv and became his devotee right there.

In order to seek forgiveness and please Shiv, Pushpdant then decided to write this Stotra (song of praise) we know as Shiv Mahimn Stotra today. He composed in such a way that elaborated at length upon Shiv's greatness as a prayer. Shiv was very pleased with his prayers, absolved him and returned his divine powers. This very prayer became well known as the 'Shiv Mahimna Stotra'. Anyone who recites this hymn with a pure heart and devotion is blessed with fame, wealth, long life and many children in this mortal world, and will certainly attain Kailaash (Shiv's abode) after death. Benefit of singing Shiv Mahimna Stotra is far greater than either the benefit of spiritual initiation, charity, austerity (Tap), pilgrimage, knowledge of the scriptures, or the performance of ceremonial sacrifice etc.

It is not certain that both stories are related to the same Pushpdant or not.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 03/26/13