4: The Stories of Siva and Sati, and of Rishabhadeva and Bharata :
Then the gods, including Brahma and Vishnu, went to Siva. Vishnu greeted Siva and said, “Calm down. Please pardon this man Daksha. His behaviour was due to ignorance, and you should not punish an ignorant person. Calm down. Bless him. Let him be allowed to continue his yajna. After all, he is a foolish person, and are you going to be so enraged at the foolishness of this man?”
Then Lord Siva calmed down. But how could the yajna continue when Daksha’s head had gone? So a goat’s head was brought and fixed on Daksha, and he was enlivened to the person that he was. He immediately realised his mistake and prostrated—sashtanga namaskaram—before Lord Siva, and chanted the Rudra mantra, Namakam and Chamakam. Some people humorously say the mantra was made by uttering the sounds cha me, cha me, because goats make that sound. The yajna was completed. Brahma, Vishnu and Siva blessed the yajna, and everything went on well.
Here, in the tradition of the pantheon of the gods according to the epics and the Puranas, Lord Siva stands pre-eminent. He is not an ordinary god. It is impossible to describe what kind of person he is. He is a person who wants nothing for himself.
Lord Siva’s name also occurs in the Mahabharata. One day, when Arjuna was seated with Bhagavan Sri Krishna at the close of the day’s battle, Arjuna queried Krishna, “Master, may I ask you a question?”
“Yes, ask,” replied Krishna.
“When I was engaged in battle with Drona and Karna, I saw some vague being moving about, not touching the ground. It was sometimes visible, sometimes not visible. It had ashes on its body, a serpent around its neck, and a trident in its hand. I could not make out what it was. It was an illusion before me. At the time I could not speak about this because I was engaged in war, but I remember this incident now and want to ask you what it was that I was seeing there,” said Arjuna
To be continued ...