The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “greatness of mahabala” 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.

Chapter 8 - The greatness of Mahābala

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:—

1. O brahmins, listen with devotion to the phallic forms of Śiva that exist in the western quarter on this earth.

2. In the city of Kapilā[1] are the two divine phallic images of Śiva named Kāla and Rāmeśvara. By their very sight they dispel sins.

3. Mahāsiddheśvara is on the shore of the western ocean and is famous as the bestower of virtue, wealth, love and salvation.

4. Gokarṇa[2] the excellent shrine, situated on the shore of the western ocean, destroys the sin of brahmin’s slaughter and other sins and yields the fruits of all desires.

5. At Gokarṇa there are crores and crores of Śiva’s phallic images. At every step there are innumerable holy centres.

6. Of what avail is much talk. Everything in Gokarṇa is Śiva’s visible phallic image. All the waters there are holy Tīrthas.

7. O dear, the greatness of Śiva’s holy images and the Tīrthas at Gokarṇa is explained and described in the Purāṇas by great sages.

8. In the Kṛta Yuga it is white; in the Tretā it is deep-red; in the Dvāpara it is yellow and in the Kali age it is dark in colour.

9. Mahābala, though it has pervaded the regions as far below as the seven nether worlds, will become soft when the terrible age of Kali arrives.

10. Persons committing great sins have attained Śiva’s region after worshipping Mahābala, the phallic image of Śiva at Gokarṇa.

11. O sages, those who worship the lord with devotion after going to Gokarṇa on a holy day with sacred constellation will undoubtedly become Rudras themselves.

12. A devotee worshipping Śiva’s image at any time in Gokarṇa attains the region of Brahmā.

13. With a desire for the welfare of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and other gods, the lord is always present there in the name of Mahābala.

14. That phallic image secured by the Rākṣasa Rāvaṇa as a result of severe penance was installed by Gaṇanāyaka at Gokarṇa.

15-16. The following deities resort to its eastern gate out of devotion for it—Visṇu, Brahmā, Mahendra, Viśvedevas, Marudgaṇas, Ādityas, Vasus, Dasras, the moon with the stars and the gods with their attendants. They go there in their aerial chariots.

17. Yama, the god of death himself, Citragupta, the fire-god, the manes and the Rudras resort to the southern gate.

18. Varuṇa, the lord of all rivers, along with the rivers Gaṅgā etc. resort to the western gate and serve Mahābala.

19. Similarly the wind god, Kubera, Bhadrakālikā, the goddess of the gods and Caṇḍikā and other Mothers resort to the northern gate.

20-22. All the gods, the Gandharvas, the Pitṛs, Siddhas, Gāraṇas, Vidyādharas, Kiṃpuruṣas, Kinnaras, Guhyakas, Khagas, different types of Piśācas, Vetālas, the powerful Daiteyas, Śeṣa and other serpents, the Siddhas and the sages, eulogise and bow to lord Mahābala. They get their cherished desires and sport about happily.

23. Good penance has been performed by many after worshipping the lord. Great achievements pleasing here and hereafter have been secured by them.

24. O brahmins, the Mahābala image of Śiva at Gokarṇa worshipped and eulogised is the doorway to salvation.

25. The worship of Mahābala on the fourteenth day in the dark half of the month of Māgha yields salvation particularly even to the sinners.

26. On this festive day of Śiva, people of all the four castes come here from all countries, desirous of witnessing the great festivals.

27. Women, old men, children and people of the four stages of life come there, see the lord of gods and obtain contentment.

28. It is by the power of Mahābala that a Cāṇḍālī attained Śivaloka after worshipping that image of Śiva.

Footnotes and references:


The present text locates the town Kapilā, famous for the shrines of Kāleśvara and Rāmeśvara, in the west of Bhārata.


The Gokarṇa Kṣetra referred to here is located in the Western Ghat. There is a town of this name in the Kanara District with a phallic image of lord Śiva there. This Gokarṇa should be not confused with the town of the name situated in Nepal on the Bāgamatī river.

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