The famous Shiva Mahimna Stotra is said to be authored by Gandharva Pushpadanta.

Besides the facts that he was a Gandharva and an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, is there any other information available about him?

1 Answer 1


I was reading the Katha-Sarit-Sagar and came across this name so am sharing with you the details:

The story mentions two gannas of Lord Shiva overhearing the story that Shiva told Parvati and therefore getting cursed by the goddess to be born on the earth. Their names are Malyavan and Pushpadanta and they are found together in another story mentioned in this answer related to one of the Chola kings.

Though the story of Pushpadanta is mentioned in the Kathasaritsagar but I couldn't find an online english version of the text so am sharing the scrrenshots of the relevant portion here along with a summary:

Both Pushpadanta and Malyavan were brothers and two of the five sons of a Brahmin named Govinda-datta. Pushpadanta's original name was Devdatta and of his brother was Somdatta. They were extremely good-looking but also a bit uncultured so their father rejected them as he had to face some shame because of their irreverent behaviour.

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When this happened, the brothers left from there to prove their worth to the world and Devdatta left for Badrinath to pray to Lord SHiva. He managed to please the Lord with severe austerities and asked that he be allowed to serve him always. The Lord told him to first acquire learning and enjoy the pleasures of earth after that his wish would be fulfilled.

Devdatta came down and settled in the city of Pataliputra first and then Pratishthana where he fell in love with the daughter of the king and found his feelings reciprocated.

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The princess gestured to him something that he didn't understand so his mentor Mantraswami helped him make sense ofit thus:

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So this is where we first get the name Pushpadanta from and as the text says, it was the name given to Devdatta also since he hadn't understood the meaning:

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SO now that the two of them were living in Kailash serving Lord Shiva and Ma Parvati, the curse I mentioned in the beginning of the answer was affected:

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Parvati, who had wanted Shiva to tell her a story that no one else knew did not like the idea of Pushpadanta knowing it and therefore cursed him to become a mortal on earth. Pushpadanta's friend Malyavan who had been his brother in the human form tried to intercede on his behalf but he was also cursed similarly.

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Pushpadanta lived his life as Vararuchi also known as Katyayan and faced many ups and downs as a human. He finally got to meet the Pishach Kanabhuti who told him the way to get rid of the curse:

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This story that Pushpadanta narrates to Kanabhuti is the same one that he had heard from Lord Shiva and is believed to have been in seven parts. But only one of them survived and is now known as the Kathasaritsagar.

Hope this was helpful!

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