The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “origin of the jyotirlinga somanatha” 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 14 - The origin of the Jyotirliṅga Somanātha

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

The sages said:—

1. Please narrate the greatness of the Jyotirliṅgas. Please mention their origin and everything else in the manner you have heard.

Sūta said:—

2. O brahmins, please listen, I shall narrate its greatness and origin succinctly in the manner I have heard from my good preceptor, to the extent of my intellect.

3. The first among them is glorified as Somanātha. O sage, at the outset, listen to its greatness with attention.

4. O great sages, the greatness of Jyotirliṅgas cannot be adequately described even in hundreds of years. Still I shall tell you.

5. O great sages, his daughters, twenty-seven in number, Aśvinī and others, were given in marriage to the moon by Dakṣa, the great soul.

6. On securing the moon as their lord, those daughters shone extraordinarily. The moon too, on securing them shone incessantly.

7. The jewel shines with gold and the gold shines with the jewel. Now listen to what happened in due course.

8. Out of his twenty-seven wives he did not love any one so much at anytime as he loved Rohiṇī.

9. The others became distressed and sought refuge in their father. After going to him they mentioned their misery to him.

10. On hearing it, Dakṣa too was struck with grief. O brahmins, approaching the moon he calmly spoke to him thus.

Dakṣa said:—

11. O storehouse of digits, you are born of a noble family. How can you cherish oddity in your affection towards your dependents?

12. If you have done so, stop with it. This is enough. You shall not repeat it. Oddity in behaviour is said to be conducive to hell.

Sūta said:—

13. After requesting the moon, his son-in-law, thus, Dakṣa returned to his abode fully assured.

14. The moon did not act according to his advice being deluded by Śiva’s Māyā which deludes the universe.

15. Welfare befalls him who is destined to have it. How can one destined to court woe have a weal?

16. Being subjected to the force of destiny the moon did not accept his advice. Infatuated of Rohiṇī he neglected others.

17. On hearing it the skilful Dakṣa returned to the moon excessively distressed. He politely asked the moon to mend his ways.

Dakṣa said:—

18. O moon, listen. Although requested repeatedly you did not pay heed to my entreaties. Hence, fall a prey to the wasting disease.

Sūta said:—

19. Just as he cursed him, the moon contracted consumption within a trice. When he was wasted away there was a great hue and cry.

20. O sage, the gods and the sages became extremely agitated and felt miserable—“What shall be done? What will happen now?”

21. Informed and implored by the moon, Indra and other gods, Vasiṣṭha and other sages sought refuge in Brahmā.

22. O sage, after approaching him in their great agitation they bowed to and eulogised Brahmā and mentioned everything to him.

23. On hearing their words Brahmā was much surprised. Praising the Māyā of Śiva within their hearing he said.

Brahmā said:—

24. O what a pity? This is distressing to the entire world. The moon is always wicked and defiled. Now Dakṣa has cursed him.

25. Many unholy deeds have been committed by the wicked moon. O sages, O gods, may the early misdeeds of the moon be heard.

26. The wicked fellow went to Bṛhaspati’s house and abducted his wife Tārā. He then allied himself with the Daityas.

27. Having sought refuge in the Daityas he fought against the god though forbidden by me and Atri. Then the moon restored Tārā to Bṛhaspati.

28. Seeing her pregnant, Bṛhaspati refused to take her back. Induced by us he accepted her unwillingly.

29-30. But he said, “If she casts off the foetus I shall accept her.” When they asked her whose child she bore in the womb, she replied that the foetus grew out of the seed of the moon. O excellent sages, I then removed the foetus and urged by me, she was accepted by him.

31. What avails the narration of his previous countless vicious deeds? He still continues to do similar things.

32. What has happened cannot be reversed. I shall tell you the means to be adopted now. Listen attentively.

33. Let the moon go to the auspicious shrine at Prabhāsa along with the gods. Let him propitiate Śiva there according to Mṛtyuñjaya rites.

34. Let him perform the penance incessantly sitting before the lord. The delighted Śiva will cure him from consumption afterwards.

Sūta said:—

35. On hearing the words of Brahmā, the gods and sages returned to the place where Dakṣa and the moon were present.

36-37. The gods and the sages consoled Dakṣa and took the moon to Prabhāsa.[1] They invoked the sacred waters of Sarasvatī and other rivers and performed the worship of the earthen phallic image in accordance with the Mṛtyuñjaya rites.

38. The gods and the sages of pious mind left the moon at Prabhāsa anḍ joyously returned to their abodes.

39. The moon performed the penance incessantly for six months. He worshipped the bull-bannered deity with the Mṛtyuñjaya mantra.

40. The moon repeated the Mṛtyuñjaya[2] mantra a hundred million times. He meditated on the lord Mṛtyuñjaya with his mind unruffled.

41. Lord Śiva, who is favourably disposed towards his devotees, was pleased by his devotion and manifesting himself there spoke to him thus.

Śiva said:—

42. O moon, may there be welfare to you. Choose your boon, whatever you desire in your mind. I am pleased with you. I shall grant you an excellent boon.

The moon said:—

43. O lord of gods, if you are delighted, what is not attainable to me? Still, O lord, let not my body decay by consumption.

44. Pardon my faults. Remain benevolent to me always. When he had said thus Śiva spoke to him again.

Śiva said:—

45. O moon, let your digit decline day by day in one fortnight and increase steadily in another.

Sūta said:—

46. O brahmins, when this happened the delighted gods and the sages came there quickly.

47. After coming there they offered benedictory blessings to the moon. They joined their palms in reverence and bowed to Śiva. They prayed to him devotionally.

The gods said:—

48. O great god, O lord of gods, obeisance be to you. O Śiva, O lord, be stable here along with Umā.

Sūta said:—

49. Then the moon eulogised the lord with good devotion first in the Nirguṇa and then in the Saguṇa form.

50-51. Śiva was delighted with the gods. For increasing the glory and greatness of the region and the moon, Śiva stayed there in the name- of Someśvara. He became famous in the three worlds. O brahmins, by worship Śiva becomes the destroyer of ailments such as consumption, leprosy etc.

52. Blessed indeed and contented is he in whose name Śiva the lord of the worlds, himself stayed there sanctifying the entire world.

53. A pond was established there itself by all the gods. That was shared by Śiva and Brahmā together.

54. It is famous as the moon’s pond on the earth. It is destructive of sins. The man who takes bath there gets rid of sins here.

55. Incurable diseases like consumption are entirely eradicated if a person takes ablutions there for six months.

56. A pious man attains the fruit of circumambulating the earth, if he circumambulates Prabhāsa. After death he is honoured in heaven by the gods.

57. On seeing this Somaliṅga a person is relieved of all sins. After enjoying the fruits as desired, he attains heaven after death.

38. He who makes pilgrimage to this place attains the fruits of whatever he might have had in view. There is no doubt about this.

59-60. Thus seeing the fruit of that high order, the sages and the gods joyously bowed to Śiva and took the moon now freed from wastage. Circumambulating and praising that holy centre they returned to their abodes. The moon resumed his former activity.

61. O great sages, thus the details of the origin of Someśa have been narrated to you. Someśvara has originated thus.

62. He who listens to this origin or narrates it to others attains all desires and becomes rid of all sins.

Footnotes and references:


This region sacred to Śiva is placed in Kathiawar Sec P. 1084 note.


Cp. Vājasaneyisaṃhitā (of Śuklayajurveda) 3. 60.

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