The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1970 | 616,585 words

This page relates “prayer by the gods” 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.

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sanatkumāra said:—

1. Then Brahmā, other gods and the sages eulogised lord Śiva humbly by means of pleasing words.

The gods said:—

2. O great lord, lord of the gods favourably disposed to those who seek refuge, you always bestow happiness upon the saintly men and quell the misery of your devotees.

3. O lord, you exhibit wonderfully good divine sports and are available by devotion. You are incapable of being attained or propitiated by the evil-minded. Be favourable to us always.

4. Even the Veda does not know your greatness in reality. Noble men sing your great glory to the extent of their intellect.

5. Indra[1] and others sing your secret greatness always with pleasure and sanctify their own tongue.

6. O lord of gods, by your favour even a sluggish person realizes Brahman. The Vedas say that you are always attainable by devotion.

7. You are merciful to the distressed. You are all pervasive. You manifest yourself by good devotion. You are free from aberrations. You are the goal of the good.

8. O Lord Śiva, by devotion alone people have attained the power of miracles. They became indifferent to the pleasures they enjoy or the miseries they have to face.

9. O lord, it was by his devotion alone that the founder of the Yadu family, the devotee Dāśārha and his wife Kalāvatī attained great success.

10. O lord of gods, the king Mitrasaha and his beloved queen Madayantī attained great salvation through devotion to you.

11. The daughter of the elder brother of the king of Kekayas named Sauminī attained happiness inaccessible to even great Yogins, by his devotion to you.

12. O lord, by devotion to you the excellent king Vimarṣaṇa enjoyed worldly pleasures for seven births in various ways and ultimately attained the goal of the good.

13. The excellent king Candrasena enjoyed all pleasures, became free from misery and experienced great happiness here and hereafter by devotion to you.

14. Śrīkara, the son of a cowherdess and the disciple of Mahāvīra enjoyed the goal of the good here and great happiness hereafter by his devotion to you.

15. You removed the misery of the king Satyaratha and you conferred good goal on him. You enabled the prince Dharmagupta to cross the ocean of worldly existence and made him happy here.

16. O great lord, mercifully you made the brahmin Śucivrata strictly adhering to devotion to you gain knowledge along with his mother and made him rich too.

17. By his devotion to you the excellent king Citravarman perpetually enjoyed in this world the pleasures inaccessible even to the gods and attained salvation, the goal of the good.

18. The prince Candrāṅgada along with his wife Sīmantinī got rid of all miseries, enjoyed happiness and attained great goal.

19. The brahmin named Mandara who became a base knave indulging in lecherous association with prostitutes, O Śiva, worshipped one of your women devotees and attained salvation along with her.

20. O lord, thanks to the favour of a devotee of yours, the prince Bhadrāyu attained happiness free from pain and achieved great goal along with his mother.

21. O lord Śiva, even wicked sinners eating forbidden foodstuffs and indulging in sexual dalliance with all sorts of women, have been liberated by their service to you.

22. O Śiva, Śambara a devotee of yours, smearing himself with the ashes of the funeral pyre, attained your region along with his wife, thanks to his regular adherence to Bhasma.

23-25. O lord, the son of Bhadrasena and the son of his minister both of virtuous and auspicious rites and regular wearers of Rudrākṣa beads, enjoyed good pleasures here and became liberated, thanks to your grace. The two devotees who had been monkey and a cock in a previous birth became the ornaments of Rudra. O lord, always engaged in uplifting the devotees, the two courtesans Piṅgalā and Mahānandā attained the goal of the good, thanks to their devotion to you.

26. The brahmin girl Śāradā who had become a widow in childhood, was fortunate to regain her lost husband and was blessed with sons, thanks to the power of devotion to you.

27. Binduga, a brahmin only in name, a harlot monger and his wife Cañculā[2] attained great salvation on hearing your glory.

28. O lord Śiva, friend of the distressed, storehouse of mercy, many living beings have attained the goal in this way.

29. O lord Śiva, you are greater than Prakṛti and Puruṣa. You are the Brahman. You are devoid of attributes as well as the support of attributes in the forms of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra.

30. You are free from aberrations, O lord of all, you perform different activities incessantly. O lord Śiva, we all, Brahmā and others are your slaves.

31. O lord of gods, be pleased. O Śiva, protect us ever. O lord, we are your subjects and we ever seek refuge in you.”

Sanatkumāra said:—

32. After eulogising Brahmā, other gods and the great sages, the gods remained silent with their minds fixed on Śiva’s feet.

33. The great lord Śiva heard the auspicious prayer of the gods, conferred boons on them and then vanished immediately from the scene.

34. Brahmā and other gods were jubilant as the enemies had been killed. Delightfully singing the great glory of Śiva, they left for their own abodes.

35. This great narrative describing the suppression of Jalandhara is a sanctifying story of lord Śiva that destroys all sins.

36. This prayer of the gods is holy and destructive of sins. It bestows happiness on the devotees and is delightful to Śiva.

37. He who reads or teaches the two narratives, enjoys great happiness here and becomes the lord of Gaṇas hereafter.

Footnotes and references:


Indra is called “the thousand-faced'”. In fact he is ‘the thousand-eyed God’. According to the Puranic tradition, India seduced Ahalyā the wife of the sage Gautama, whereupon the sage cursed him to bear on his body a thousand marks resembling the female organ which were afterwards changed to eyes. He is therefore called Sahasrākṣa ‘the thousand-eyed’.


For the narratives of Binduga and Cañculā see Śiva-purāṇa chs 3-5 ‘the glory of Śivapurāṇa’. Vañcukā in the printed text is a misprint for Cañculā.

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