The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “origin of vatuka” 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 13 - The origin of Vaṭuka

Sūta said:—

1. O brahmins, it has been narrated to you how Śiva came to be worshipped in the three worlds in the form of a phallic image. What else do you wish to hear?

The sages said:—

2. O holy lord, please narrate the glory of the phallic image known as Andhakeśvara. Similarly it behoves you to mention the glory of other phallic images willingly.

Sūta said:—

3. Formerly the Asura Andhaka resorted to the deep ditch of the ocean and kept the three worlds under his control. He harassed the gods.

4. He used to come out of the ditch and harrass the people. Then he of great exploit re-entered the ditch.

5. O great sages, the gods were grief-stricken. Imploring Śiva again and again, they mentioned their miseries to him.

Sūta said:—

6. On hearing the words of the gods, the delighted lord Śiva, the slayer of the wicked and the goal of the good replied.

Śiva said:—

7. I shall slay that Asura Andhaka, the murderer of the gods. O gods, proceed with the army. I too shall come along with the Gaṇas.

8. When that terrible antagonist of the gods and the sages came out of the ditch, the gods went and occupied it.

9. The Asuras and the gods fought a terrible battle. By the blessings of Śiva, the gods became very strong.

10. Attacked and tormented by the gods, the Asura returned to the ditch when he was pierced through with the trident by Śiva, the supreme soul.

11. Remaining there he meditated on Śiva and prayed—“On seeing you at the hour of death, one becomes identical with you instantaneously.”

12. Thus eulogised, the delighted Śiva spoke to him—“Mention the boon you wish to have. I shall grant it to you.”

13. On hearing these words, the Asura said again after bowing to and eulogising Śiva with pious feelings.

Andhaka said:—

14. O lord of gods, if you are delighted grant me the auspicious devotion to you. Taking unusual compassion on me, be stationed here.

Sūta said:—

15. Requested thus, Śiva hurled that Asura into that ditch. He himself stood there in the form of a phallic image with a desire to help the world.

16. If a man worships Andhakeśa every day, his desires are fulfilled within six months.

17-19. The brahmin who worships the beneficent phallic image for his livelihood for six months becomes a Devalaka, the worshipper of idol for subsistence. He is not authorised in ordinary rites of brahmins.

The sages said:—

Who is a Devalaka? What is his function? O intelligent one, mention that for the guidance of the people.

Sūta said:—

20. There was a brahmin Dadhīci who was well-versed in the Vedas and highly virtuous. He was engrossed in his devotion to Śiva and was interested in Śiva’s lore.

21. His son was known as Sudarśana whose wife was Dukūlā. She was born of a defiled family.

22. The husband was always under her control. He had four sons. Of course he used to worship Śiva every day.

23. Then it happened that Dadhīci had to go and live in another village along with his kinsmen. The kinsmen did not let him go back.

24. While leaving home, Dadhīci, the excellent devotee, had already instructed his son, “Be devoted to Śiva.”

25. Sudarśana’s son also worshipped Śiva. O great sages, thus a long time elapsed.

26-28. So, once it happened that on a Śivarātri occasion when all observed fast, Sudarśana had his sexual intercourse with his wife and then performed the worship. But before he performed the worship he abstained from taking bath. For this misdeed Śiva was infuriated and said.

Lord Śiva said:—

29. O knave, you had sexual intercourse with your wife on the occasion of Śivarātri. Without taking bath you performed the worship. You are an indiscreet fellow.

30. Because you have done this consciously, be sluggish and insensible. You are an untouchable person for me. Avoid touching me.

Sūta said:—

31. Cursed thus by lord Śiva, Sudarśana, the son of Dadhīci, attained insensibility immediately, deluded by Śiva’s. Māyā.

32. O brahmins, meanwhile Dadhīci, the excellent devotee of Śiva, returned from the other village and heard the details.

33. He too was rebuked by Śiva. Hence he felt much distressed. He cried—“Oh I am doomed by this foul deed of my son.”

34. Dadhīci, honoured amongst the good, grumbled again and again—“My excellent family is damned by the misbehaviour of my vicious son.

35. That son too is doomed. He has taken a vicious slut to his wife.” Thus the son was rebuked by his father who repented.

36. The father then worshipped Pārvatī with excellent rites, sincere devotion and perseverance for the happiness of his son.

37. Sudarśana himself performed the worship of Pārvatī with great devotion adopting the path of Caṇḍī worship and with auspicious hymns.

38. Thus by various means and with sincere devotion the father and the son propitiated the goddess Pārvatī who is favourably disposed towards her devotees.

39. O sage, by the devotion of their service Caṇḍikā was delighted. She adopted Sudarśana as her son.

40. For the sake of her adopted son she herself implored Śiva. Śiva who was angry had become quite calm. The son also was delighted.

41. Then realising that lord Śiva the bull-bannered deity was delighted, she bowed to him herself and placed the son on his lap.

42-43. Making the ablution of the son with ghee, Pārvatī handed over to her son Sudarśana the three-stringed sacred thread with a single knot and imparted instruction in Śivagāyatrī[1] consisting of sixteen syllables.

44. Then the brahmin boy performed the Saṃkalpapūjā (worship by mental conception) sixteen times with the five-syllabled mantra with the word Śrī prefixed to Śiva.

45-46. Beginning with ceremonial ablution and ending with the concluding obeisance he worshipped the bull-bannered deity by means of devotional mantras, musical instruments and adorations in the presence of the sages. He recited various names of Śiva. Then the delighted Śiva and

Caṇḍikā said:—

47. “Wealth, foodgrain etc. whatever is offered to me shall be taken by you. There is no sin in this action.

48. In the rites concerning me you will officiate as the chief, especially so in the rites concerning the goddess. Ghee, oil etc., everything offered to me shall be taken by you.

49. When the Prājāpatya rite is performed only one of you shall be there. Then alone is the worship complete. Or everything becomes fruitless.

50. The Tilaka must be made round. Then you shall take bath. Sandhyā prayers to Śiva shall be offered and his Gāyatrī repeated.

51. After rendering service to me at the outset, the other rites shall be performed according to the family tradition. When everything is thus performed there shall be welfare. Your blemishes have been excused by me.

Sūta said:—

52. After saying this, the supreme soul Śiva consecrated his four sons as Vaṭukas in the four quarters.

53. After keeping Sudarśana as her son with herself she granted boons to his sons and blessed them in several ways.

The Goddess said:—

54. Between you two whoever becomes my Vaṭuka shall be victorious. No doubt need be entertained in this respect.

55. He who worships you has worshipped me too. You shall perform your duties always, O son.

Sūta said:—

56. Thus boons were granted to the noble Sudarśana and his sons by Śiva and Śivā out of pity for the welfare of the worlds.

57. Because they had been established by Śiva and Śivā they are known as Vaṭukas. Those who neglect penance are known as Tapodhamas.

58. Thanks to the mercy of Śiva and Śivā they expanded in various ways. Their worship at the outset is the great worship of Śiva, the supreme soul.

59. No worship shall be performed by any person as long as he has not performed Śiva’s worship. If it is performed it does not turn out to be auspicious.

60. Whether auspicious or inauspicious, the Vaṭuka is not to be eschewed. In the Prājāpatya rite and at the feast a single Vaṭu is considered excellent.

61. In the rites of Śiva and Śivā this difference is marked. O intelligent one, hear the same. O faultless one, I shall explain it now.

62-63. I shall explain in the manner I have heard, the event that happened in the city of king Bhadra near the shrine of Andhakeśa during the daily rite of feasting in the Prājāpatya rite.

64. A certain banner was given to that king by Śiva who was satisfied with his devotion. The king was addressed too by the lord mercifully.

65-66. The banner will be raised and bound in the morning. It will fall down in the night. This will happen when the Prājāpatya rite is full and complete. Otherwise this banner will remain steady even during the night. After saying this to the king, the delighted Śiva, the storehouse of mercy, vanished.

67. O great sage, the king adopted the procedure accordingly. The Prājāpatya rite was performed every day in accordance with the rules of Śiva-worship.

68. If the rites became full and complete, the banner rose up itself in the morning and fell down during the night.

69. On one occasion the function of the Vaṭu took place in the beginning. The banner then fell even before the feast.

70. On seeing it there, the learned men were asked by the king. The brahmins are at their feast. Why is the banner not flying?

71. How did it fall down? O brahmins, tell me the truth. Thus asked the brahmins, the excellent scholars, said.

72. “O great king, while feasting the brahmins Vaṭuka the son of Caṇḍī was fed at the outset. Śiva was satisfied. Hence the banner fell down.”

73. On hearing it, the king and the people were surprised. They praised them.

74. Thus the greatness of the Vaṭukas was enhanced by Śiva. The Vaṭukas are glorified as excellent ritualists by those who know things of yore.

75. At first Śiva’s worship shall be performed by the Baṭukas alone. Not otherwise. None else is entitled to the worship as Śiva has said.

76. They shall conclude the worship with the remarks, “Let the worship be complete.” This alone is their work. Nothing else.

77. O great sages, thus whatever was asked has been narrated to you, on hearing which a man obtains the fruit of Śiva’s worship.

Footnotes and references:


 According to one school of Śiva-cult, the sixteen-syllabled formula known as Śivagāyatrī is the following:

“vāmadevāya dhīmahi dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt |”