The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “greatness of the jyotirlinga bhimeshvara” 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 20 - The greatness of the Jyotirliṅga Bhīmeśvara

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Summary: The greatness of the Jyotirliṅga Bhīmeśvara and the havoc perpetrated by Bhīmāsura.

Sūta said:—

1. Hereafter I shall explain the greatness of Bhimeśvara on hearing which alone a man obtains all desires.

2. With a desire to bless the worlds Śiva himself, the receptacle of welfare and happiness, took his incarnation in Kāmarūpa.[1]

3. O great sages, I shall tell you why Śiva, the benefactor of the people, took the incarnation. Please listen with respect.

4. O brahmins, formerly there was a Rākṣasa of great virility named Bhīma who harassed all living beings and who spoiled virtuous rites always.

5. This powerful demon was born of Karkaṭī from Kumbhakarṇa. He took up residence on the Sahya[2] mountain along with his mother.

6. When Kumbhakarṇa, the terror of the worlds, was killed by Rāma, the ogress remained on the Sahya alone in the company of her son.

7. O brahmins, once Bhīma, the wicked tormentor of the worlds, of terrible exploits, while yet a boy asked his mother Karkaṭī.

Bhīma said:—

8. O mother, who is my father? Where is he? How is it that you are living alone? I wish to know everything. Please tell me the truth.

Sūta said:—

9. Asked thus by her son the defiled ogress spoke to her son. Listen, I shall tell you.

Karkaṭī said:—

10. Your father was Kumbhakarṇa the younger brother of Rāvaṇa. That powerful demon was killed by Rāma along with his brother.

11. Once that powerful demon Kumbhakarṇa had been here. He caught me forcefully and enjoyed me.

12. That powerful demon left me here itself and returned to Laṅkā. That Laṅkā was not visited by me. I have been staying here alone.

13. My father was Karkaṭa and my mother Puṣkasī. My husband Virādha was killed by Rāma.

14. When my husband was killed I stayed with my parents. My parents are dead now, reduced to ashes by a certain sage.

15. When they had been there for food, the infuriated disciple of Agastya, the noble Sutīkṣṇa of good penance reduced them to ashes.

16. That was why I happened to be alone on this mountain, miserable and helpless.

17. It was during this period that Kumbhakarṇa the younger brother of Rāvaṇa came here and had his sexual intercourse with me. He left me alone and went away.

18. You were born after that. You have great strength and exploit. Depending on you I spend my days here.

Sūta said:—

19. On hearing this, Bhīma of terrible exploits was angry and thought “What am I to do against Viṣṇu?

20. My father was killed by him and so my grand parents. Virādha too was killed by him. Many miseries have been inflicted on us.

21. If I am the true son of my mother I shall surely harass Viṣṇu. Thinking thus Bhīma went to perform a great penance.

22. With Brahmā as the goal of his meditation he performed a great penance for a thousand years.

23. He kept his arms lifted up; he stood on a single foot. He fixed his vision at the sun. Bhīma the son of Kumbhakarṇa remained like this.

24. A terrible fiery splendour arose from his head. Scorched by it the gods sought refuge in Brahmā.

25. The gods including Indra bowed to Brahmā with devotion and eulogised him with different hymns. They mentioned their miserable plight to him.

The gods said:—

26. O Brahmā, the fiery splendour of the demon has risen to harass the worlds. O Brahmā, grant the boon to this wicked Rākṣasa.

27. If not, we shall be scorched by his terrible fiery splendour and court ruin. Hence grant him his prayer.

Sūta said:-

28. On hearing their words, Brahmā the grandfather of the universe went there to grant him the boon and spoke thus.

Brahmā said:—

29. “I am delighted with you. Mention the boon you desire in your mind.” On hearing the words of Brahmā the Rākṣasa said.

Brahmā said:—

30. O lord of gods, if you are delighted, if a boon is to be granted by you, O Lotus-seated one, grant me unequalled strength.

Sūta said:—

31. After saying this, the Rākṣasa made obeisance to Brahmā. After granting him the boon, Brahmā returned to his abode.

32. The Rākṣasa Bhīma who acquired great strength from Brahmā returned to his house puffed up with pride. After bowing to his mother he said.

Brahmā said:—

33. O mother, observe my strength. I shall work up a havoc among the gods including their chief Indra and also Viṣṇu who goes to help them.

34. After saying this, Bhīma of terrible exploit conquered the gods including Indra at the outset and ousted them from their respective positions.

35. Then in a battle he conquered Viṣṇu respected even by the gods. Then joyously the Rākṣasa began to conquer the earth.

36. At first he went to conquer Sudakṣiṇa, the king of Kāmarūpa. Then he fought a terrible battle with him.

37. Thanks to the powers of Brahmā and that of the boon, the Asura Bhīma conquered that great king though he was a great hero and had the support of Śiva.

38. After conquering the lord of Kāmarūpa, Bhīma of terrible exploit bound him and struck him.

39. O brahmins, all that belonged to that king who was a servant of Śiva, including his kingdom and its adjuncts was seized by that wicked Bhīma.

40. The virtuous king, fond of sacred rites, a favourite of Śiva, was bound with fetters and imprisoned in an isolated cell.

41. There the captive monarch made an excellent earthen idol of Śiva and started its worship with a desire for pleasant results.

42. He eulogised Gaṅgā in various ways. He performed the rites of ablutions and the worship of Śiva.

43. He performed meditation duly in accordance with the rules prescribed for the worship of earthen idols.

44. He joyously worshipped Śiva after performing obeisances, prayers and the like with the mystic signs and poses.

45. He repeated the japas of the five-syllabled mantra with the Praṇava prefixed. He did not get any leisure to do any thing else.

46. The king’s beloved wife, the chaste lady, famous as Dakṣiṇā performed the worship of the earthen idol with pleasure.

47. The couple, devoutly engaged in the propitiation of Śiva worshipped the deity, the benefactor of the devotees with single-mindedness.

48. But the Rākṣasa deluded by the arrogance due to the boon spoiled all sacrificial rites saying, “Let the offerings be made to me.”

49. O excellent sages, with a huge army of wicked Rākṣasas he put the entire earth under his control.

50. Defiling the Vedic rites and the sacred rituals of Śāstras, Smṛtis and Purāṇas, the powerful demon enjoyed everything himself.

51. The gods including Indra were harassed by him. The sages were subjected to misery, Brahmins were ousted from the world.

52. Then the dejected gods and sages including Indra, with Brahmā and Viṣṇu at their head, sought refuge in Śiva.

53. On the auspicious banks of the Mahākośī they delighted Śiva, the benefactor of the worlds after eulogising him with various prayers.

54. They made the earthen idol and performed worship in accordance with the rules and eulogised him with different prayers and obeisances duly.

55. Thus eulogised by means of prayers, by the gods, Śiva was much delighted and spoke to the gods.

Śiva said:—

56. O Viṣṇu, O Brahmā, O gods, O sages, I am delighted, mention the boon you wish to have. What shall I do for you?

Sūta said:—

57. O brahmins, when these words were mentioned by Śiva, the gods spoke to Śiva after bowing to him with palms joined in reverence.

The gods said:—

58. O lord of gods, you know everything in the mind of others. You are the immanent soul. There is nothing unknown to you.

59. Still at your behest, O lord, we shall mention our grief. Be pleased to hear. O lord, look at us with your merciful eye.

60. The Rākṣasa, the powerful son of Karkaṭī, begot by Kumbhakarṇa, harasses the gods always, with his strength enhanced by the boon granted by Brahmā.

61. Please kill this Rākṣasa who causes much misery. O great lord, be merciful. O lord, do not delay.

Sūta said:—

62. Thus requested by the gods, Śiva favourably disposed to his devotees said—“I shall slay him.” He then spoke to the gods.

Śiva said:—

63. The king of Kāmarūpa is my excellent devotee. O gods, tell him that his task will soon be accomplished by me.

64. The great king Sudakṣiṇa, lord of Kāmarūpa, is a special devotee of mine. Let him continue my worship interestedly.

65.. I shall kill Bhīma who is wicked, whose power is enhanced by the boon granted by Brahmā and who has insulted you.

Sūta said:—

66. Then the gods went there. The delighted gods informed the great king what lord Śiva had said.

67. After informing him thus, the gods were highly delighted. The sages then returned to their respective abodes.

Footnotes and references:


It is identical with the Gauhati region of Assam. It is a sacred Mahāpīṭha associated with Śakti.


It stands in the northern position of the Western Ghats excluding the Travancore hills. It is the source of Kāverī, Kṛṣṇā, Nirvindhyā and other rivers.

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