The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “shukra learns mritasanjivani lore” 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.

Chapter 50 - Śukra learns Mṛtasañjīvanī lore

Sanatkumāra said:—

1. O Vyāsa, listen how the lore of warding off death was gained by the sage Bhārgava from Śiva who is called the conqueror of Death.

2. At first this scion of the family of Bhṛgu went to the city of Vārānasī[1] and performed penance for a long time meditating on lord Viśveśvara.

3. There itself he fixed a phallic emblem of Śiva, the great Ātman. O Vedavyāsa, in front of it, he dug a very beautiful well.

4. Assiduously he performed the ablutions of the lord of the gods for a hundred thousand times with Pañcāmṛta[2] using a Droṇa measure each time. Fragrant unguents he also used with them for the ablutions.

5. He offered sandal-paste and Yakṣakardama[3] to the lord of the gods, thousands of times. Gladly he smeared fragrant unguents on the phallic image.

6-11. With care and devotion he offered flowers and leaves in the course of his worship—Rāja Campaka, Dhattūra, Karavīra, Kuśeśaya, Mālatī Karṇikāra, Kadamba, Bakula, Utpala, Mallikā, Śatapatrī, Sindhuvāra, Kiṃśuka, Bandhūka, Punnāga, Nāgakesara, Keśara, Navamallī, Cibilaka, Kunda, Mucukunda, Mandāra, Bilva leaves, Droṇa, Maruvaka, Vṛka, Granthiparṇa, Damanaka, the beautiful mango sprouts, Tulasī leaves, Devagandhārī leaves, Bṛhatpatrī leaves, Darbha grass, Nandyāvartas, Agastyas, Śāla, Devadāru, Kāñcanāra, Kuravaka, Dūrvā grass, Kuruṇṭaka, and lotus petals of various auspicious kinds.

12. He eulogised Śiva with various hymns and repeated a thousand names. He sang songs of Śiva’s glory. He danced and made offerings.

13. Śukra worshipped lord Śiva in various ways for five thousand years.

14. When he did not see the lord, the least inclined to grant the boon, he took up still more unbearable and terrible observances and restraints.

15-16. He washed off the dirt of fickleness from his mind by the waters of pure conceptions many times as well as from the sense-organs. After purifying the gem of the mind, he offered the same to the trident-bearing lord. He drank the smoke of powdered husks or bits of grains or balls of iron-ash[4] for a thousand years.

17. On seeing him performing the terrible penance thus by keeping the mind steady, lord Śiva was delighted.

18. Coming out of the phallic image, lord Śiva the consort of Dākṣāyaṇī appeared before him with a brighter refulgence than that of a thousand suns and said.

Lord Śiva said:—

19. “O great sage, O son of Bhṛgu, O fortunate saint, by your perpetual penance I have been delighted.

20. O Bhārgava, choose anything that you wish as your boon. I shall lovingly bestow on you all your desires. There is nothing that cannot be granted to you.”

Sanatkumāra said:—

21 On hearing these pleasing words of Śiva, Bhārgava was very much delighted. He was immersed in the ocean of happiness.

22. The brahmin bowed to Śiva with his eyes blooming like a lotus with pleasure and his body excited with horripilation by the surging waves of joy.

23. With the palms raised and joined on the head in reverence and repeating “Victory, Victory”, the delighted sage eulogised the eight-formed[5] Śiva with the blooming eyes.

Bhārgava said:—

24. O lord of the universe, Obeisance to you. O jewel of heaven, you shine brilliantly in the firmament for the benefit of the three worlds. With these lustrous rays you subdue all darkness and the desires of the Asuras.

25. O eye of the world, you shine in heaven, on the earth and in the sky, brilliantly lit by your excessive refulgence. You have driven away darkness. You are filled by the nectar of the moon. Obeisance to you.

26. You are the wind, the goal in the holy path. You are worthy of being adored. O enlivener of the worlds, who can live here without you? O all-pervasive, benumber of storms, nourisher of creatures, delighter of the race of serpents, obeisance to you.

27. O sole purifier of the universe, O protector of those who bow to you, O wielder of the power of fire, you are the fire, bestowing calmness at every step. Obeisance to you.

28. O water-formed one, O great Īśa, the whole universe is holy. Really you make it variegated. O lord of the universe, this universe is free from dirt by diving into the water. Hence I bow to you.

29. O sky-formed one, because you give space within and without, that this universe evolves and expands; O merciful one, it always breathes in you and naturally merges in you Hence I bow to you.

30. O earth-formed one, O lord, you support and hold the universe. O lord of the universe, who else can be the enemy of darkness? You of this nature destroy my darkness. O you having serpents for ornaments, you are beyond all that deserve eulogy. Hence I bow to you. You are greater than the greatest.

31. O soul-formed one, O Śiva, this universe of the mobiles and immobiles is pervaded by these series of your forms. O eight-formed lord, having the form of the immanent soul, I always bow to you.

32. O kinsman of those devoid of kinsmen, O you of the form of universe, equipped with the eight forms, you make all expand. O lord, you make all objects available to those who bow to you. Hence I bow to you.

Sanatkumāra said:—

33. Eulogising the eight formed Śiva by reciting the eight verses, Bhārgava touched the ground with his head and bowed again and again.

34-35. When he was eulogised by Bhārgava of great brilliance, the great god stood up and lifted the brahmin from the ground where he was bowing to him. Holding him up, the lord spoke in a rumbling voice like that of the cloud but gentle in effect, illuminating the quarters with the moonlight-brilliance of his teeth.

The great lord said:—

36-38. O excellent brahmin, O Bhārgava, O dear, you are my faithful devotee. By your severe penance in this life, by the merit of installing my phallic image, and the adoration of it, by the offerings made with concentrated devotion, your unshaken purity and holy conduct in this Avimuktakṣetra,[6] I see you as my other two sons. There is nothing which cannot be given to you.

39. With this body you shall enter the cavity of my belly and you will be born as my son through my excellent organ—the penis.

40. I am giving you now the boon inaccessible to even my attendants and which I have kept away even from Viṣṇu and Brahmā usually.

41-42. O pure one, O pure sage, I am giving unto you the lore in the form of Mantra, which is called Mṛtasañjīvanī. It is pure and it has been formulated by me alone through the power of the penance. You have the capacity to receive that lore.

43. Whoever he may be if you were to repeat this mantra in respect of anyone he will truly return to life. This lore is the most excellent one.

44. Your brilliant stellar lustre will excel the sun and fire. You will become the foremost of the planets.

45. If any man or woman were to proceed on a journey in your direction, their work will perish by your glance.

46. O you of good rites, all virtuous actions like marriage etc. when performed while you rise shall be beneficent to those people.

47. All the Nandā tithis are auspicious by your conjunction. Your devotees will be prolific in progeny and profuse in the production of semen.

48. The phallic image installed by you is called Śukreśa. Those who worship it shall achieve success.

49-50. Those who perform Vratas for every night throughout the year and offer water oblations in the Śukra well on your day and worship Śukresa shall derive these fruits. They will have semen unfailing and profuse in secretion. They will have sons.

51. They will have the good fortune of manliness. There is no doubt. Those people will have good learning and enjoy happiness.

52. After granting him boons, the lord vanished in the phallic image. The delighted Bhārgava too returned to his abode.

53. Thus O Vyāsa, I have narrated how the Mṛtyuñjaya lore was acquired by Śukra through power of penance. What else do you wish to hear?

Footnotes and references:


Vārāṇasī—ancient Kāśī. It came to be so called because it was situated between the two rivers, Barnā and Asi.


See Note 95 P. 136.


It is an ointment or perfumed paste consisting of camphor, agallochum, musk, sandal wood and kakkola.


See Note 308 P. 1008.


Bhārgava eulogises Śiva in his eight forms represented by ether, air, fire, water, earth, the sun, the moon and the Ātman. The concept is popular with most of the poets in Sanskrit literature. Cp. Kāli. Śāk. Verse 1.


The Avimukta-Kṣetra is the same as Vārāṇasī region It derives its name from the installation of the phallic emblem of Śiva called Avimukteśvara.