The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1950 | 616,585 words

This page relates “prayer to shiva” as found in the Shiva-purana, which, in Hinduism, represents one of the eighteen Mahapuranas. This work eulogizes Lord Shiva as the supreme deity, besides topics such as cosmology and philosophy. It is written in Sanskrit and claims to be a redaction of an original text consisting of 100,000 metrical verses.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Vyāsa said:—

1. When the ruler of the Asuras, his brothers and the citizens were thus deluded, O lord Sanatkumāra, what happened? Please mention everything.

Sanatkumāra said:—

2-3. When the Asuras had become so, when they had abandoned the worship of Śiva, when the virtuous rites of chaste women came to an end and evil conduct came to stay, Viṣṇu was apparently contented. Accompanied by the gods, Viṣṇu went to Kailāsa in order to intimate their activities to Śiva.

4-5. Viṣṇu, the gods, Brahmā and others stood near him and with great concentration they meditated on him. Viṣṇu and Brahmā eulogised the omniscient Śiva with pleasing words.

Viṣṇu said:—

6. “Obeisance to you, great lord, the great soul, Nārāyaṇa, Rudra and Brahmā, obeisance to you in the form of Brahman.”

7. After eulogising lord Śiva thus and prostrating at length, he repeated the mantra of Dakṣināmūrti Rudra.

8-9. He repeated the mantra fifteen million times standing in water and concentrating his mind on him. Lord Viṣṇu meditated on the great lord Śiva. In the meantime, the gods too eulogised him with devotion.

The gods said:—

10. Obeisance to you, the soul of all, obeisance to Śiva the remover of distress, obeisance to the blue-necked Rudra, obeisance to the knowledge-formed Śiva of great mind.

11. You are our ultimate goal for ever. You are the remover of all adversities. O destroyer of the enemies of the gods, you alone are to be respected by us always.

12. You are the beginning. You are the primordial being. You are self-bliss. You are the everlasting lord. You are the lord of the universe, the direct creator of Prakṛti and Puruṣa.

13. You alone are the creator, sustainer and the annihilator of the worlds. Assuming the Guṇas of Rajas, Sattva, and Tamas you are Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva.

14. In this universe, you enable people to cross the ocean of Existence. You are the undecaying lord of all. You are the granter of boons. You are the subject and not the object of speech and contents.

15. You shall be requested for salvation by the Yogins, the formost among those who know the theory of Yoga. You are stationed inside the lotus like heart of the Yogins.

16. The Vedas and the saintly men speak of you as the supreme Brahman. You are a heaped mass of splendour and greater than the greatest. They call you the great principle.

17. What they call the great soul in the universe, O lord, are you yourself, O Śiva soul of all, ruler of the three worlds.

18. Whatever is seen, heard or eulogised, whatever is being realised, O preceptor of the universe, are you alone. They call you minuter than the atom and greater than the greatest.

19. I bow to you everywhere, you who have hands, legs, eyes, heads, mouths, ears and noses everywhere.

20. I bow to you everywhere, you who are omniscient who pervade everything, you who are unveiled as the lord of al, you who are omniformed and odd-eyed.

21. I bow to you everywhere who are the lord of all, who preside over the worlds, who are the excellent Satya and Śiva and who have the refulgence of innumerable suns.

22. I bow to you everywhere, you the lord of the universe devoid of beginning and end, the lord of the twenty six Tattvas[1] and the activiser of everything.

23. I bow to you everywhere you the activiser of the Prakṛti, the great grandfather of everyone, the lord, the body of everyone.

24. The Śrutis and those who know the essence of Śrutis speak of you thus. You are the abode of all, the selfborn and the knower of the essence of Śrutis.

25. The various living beings created by you and to be created in future are invisible to us. The gods, the Asuras, the brahmins, nay, the mobile and immobile beings eulogise you alone.

26. O Śiva, dear to the gods, save us, the gods who have no other go, by killing all the Asuras instantaneously. We are practically destroyed by the Tripuras.

27. O lord Śiva, they are now deluded by your magic. O lord, they have gone astray from the virtuous path through the expedient taught by Viṣṇu.

28. O lord, favourably disposed towards your devotees, those Asuras have resorted to Buddha’s religion and philosophy, thanks to our good fortune and hence they have eschewed all Vedic sacred rites.

29. You have always been the only one carrying out the task of the gods and the bestower of refuge. We have sought refuge in you. Please do as you desire.

Sanatkumāra said:—

30. After eulogising lord Śiva thus, the distressed gods stood in front of him with palms joined in reverence and kneeling low.

31. Eulogised thus by Indra and others and by the repetition of Japas by Viṣṇu, the delighted lord came there seated on his bull.

32. Getting down from Nandīśa and embracing Viṣṇu, lord Śiva delighted in his mind cast his benign look on all with his hand resting on Nandin.

33. Casting a sympathetic glance on the gods, the delighted Śiva, lord of Pārvatī, spoke to Viṣṇu in a majestic tone.

Śiva said:—

34. “O lord of gods, all the intentions of the gods have been understood by me now. The power of Viṣṇu’s magic and that of the intelligent Nārada has been known.

35. O most excellent of the gods, there is no doubt in this that I will destroy the three cities of the Asuras if they persist in indulging in evil activities.

36. But the great Asuras are my firm devotees. They shall be killed only by me, for they have been forced to abandon their excellent virtue under false persuasion.

37. Let Viṣṇu or any one else slay them now that they have been made to abandon their Dharma. The Asuras of the three cities have become devoid of devotion to me.”

38. O great sage, on hearing these words of Śiva, all the heaven-dwellers and Viṣṇu became dispirited.

39. On seeing the gods and Viṣṇu sitting cheerless, Brahmā, the creator of the worlds spoke to Śiva with palms joined in reverence.

Brahmā said:—

40. There is no sin in this, since you are the foremost among those who know the Yogic theory; you are the great lord, the great Brahman and the saviour of gods and sages always.

41. It is at your own bidding that they have been deluded. You induced them to be deluded. Although the Asuras have forsaken their duties and your worship, they cannot be killed by others.

42. Hence, O great lord, the saviour of the lives of the gods and the sages, the Mlecchas[2] shall be killed by you for the protection of the good.

43. As it is the duty of a king, you will not be sinning by their destruction. Hence, the good people, brahmins etc shall be saved and the thorns uprooted.

44. Even an ordinary king would do so if he cares to maintain his sway. You have the suzerainty of all the worlds. Hence, tarry not to protect us.

45. Great sages, Indra, sacrifices, Vedas, all the Śāstras, Viṣṇu and even I—all these depend on you, O lord of gods.

46. O lord, you are the emperor of all deities, the lord of all. Viṣṇu and the entire universe constitute your retinue.

47. Viṣṇu is your heir-apparent, O unborn one, I, Brahmā, am your priest and Śukra who carries out your behests is the Royal officer.

48. The other gods too, O lord, are subjects to your control. They continue to perform their own duties. True. It is undoubtedly true.

Sanatkumāra said:—

49. On hearing the words of Brahmā, Śiva, the delighted lord of the gods replied to Brahma.

Śiva said:—

50. O Brahmā, if I am to be proclaimed the emperor of the gods, I do not have the paraphernalia characteristic of my lordship.

51. I do not have a divine chariot and a divine charioteer. I do not possess bows and arrows which accord victory in a battle.

52. If there had been a chariot I could have sat in it and with bow and arrows I could have killed even powerful Asuras, with a resolute determination.

Sanatakumāra said:—

53. On hearing these words of the lord, the gods including Brahmā, Indra and Viṣṇu were delighted. After bowing to him they spoke to lord Śiva.

The gods said:—

54. O lord of the gods, O great god, we shall constitute those paraphernalia—chariot etc. O lord, we are ready for the battle.

55. After saying so jointly after realising Śiva’s wish they, the delighted gods, severally told him so, with palms joined in reverence.

Footnotes and references:


Substitute “ṣoḍviṃśakamanīśvaram” for “ṣoḍtriṃśakamanīśvaram |” The latter reading which is found in most of the printed editions of Śivapurāṇa is incorrect. Cf. Liṅgapurāṇa: 1.71.109.

According to the present text, the intellect, ego, mind, 10 senses 5 gross and 5 subtle elements, the invisible primordial nature (Pradhāna) the individual soul (Jīva), the transcendent God (Īśvara) constitute a group of twenty-six categories wherein Jīva is the enjoyer of the fruits and Īśvara is the spectator of the working of Prakṛti. But there is another twenty-seventh category named Śiva or Sadāśiva, the highest divine being. (parātparataraḥ) who alone is capable of bestowing grace upon his devotees.


Mlecchas are represented as violent, carnivorous, torturous, non-Aryan wild tribes who caused terror in the social life of the country.

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