The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “glory of the jyotirlinga vaidyanatheshvara” 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 28 - The glory of the Jyotirliṅga Vaidyanātheśvara

Sūta said:—

1. Rāvaṇa the arrogant and prestige-minded leader of Rākṣasas propitiated Śiva with devotion on the excellent mountain Kailāsa.

2. Though the worship continued for a long time, Śiva was not delighted. Then Rāvaṇa performed another penance to delight Śiva.

3-4. The glorious Rāvaṇa, scion of the family of Pulastya dug a deep ditch among the groves of trees on the southern side of Himavat, the mountain that is usually the spot of Siddhi. O brahmins, he then kindled fire within it. Near it he installed the idol of Śiva and performed a sacrifice.

5. He performed three types of penance. During the summer he stationed himself in the midst of five fires, during rainy days he lay on the bare ground and in the winter he stood within water and performed his penance.

6. Thus he performed penance a great deal. Even then Śiva the supreme soul, difficult to be propitiated by the wicked was not delighted.

7. Then the ambitious Rāvaṇa, lord of Daityas, began to worship Śiva by cutting off his heads.

8-9. In the due performance of the worship he cut off his heads one by one. Thus when he had cut off his nine heads and one head remained, the delighted Śiva favourably disposed towards his devotees, appeared in front of him.

10. The lord reinstated the severed heads without causing pain and conferred on him his desire as well as unequalled excellent strength.

11. Securing his favour, the Rākṣasa Rāvaṇa replied to Śiva, with palms joined in reverence and shoulders drooping down.

Rāvaṇa said:—

12. O lord of gods, be pleased. I am taking your image to Laṅkā.[1] Please make my desire fruitful. I seek refuge in you.

Sūta said:—

13. Thus addressed by Rāvaṇa, Śiva was in a dilemma and a bit disinclined. He replied.

Śiva said:—

14. O excellent Rākṣasa, hear. My words are significant. Let my excellent phallic image be taken to your abode.

15. Wherever this phallic image is placed on the ground il will become stationary. There is no doubt about it. Do as you please.

Sūta said:—

16. Thus warned by Śiva, Rāvaṇa, the king of Rākṣasas, took it saying “So be it” and went to his abode.

17. Thanks to Śiva’s Māyā, he became desirous of passing urine while yet on his way. Lord Rāvaṇa of the family of Pulastya could not stop this urge.

18. He saw a cowherd there and requested him to hold the image. About an hour elapsed, when Rāvaṇa did not return, the cowherd became nervous.

19-21. He was distressed by its heavy weight. He placed it on the ground. The phallic image made of the essence of diamond remained fixed there. O sage, that phallic image is known as Vaidyanātheśvara. It yields all desires and dispels sins at its very sight. It is famous in the three worlds. It grants worldly pleasures here and salvation hereafter.

This Jyotirliṅga is the most excellent of all. By its sight or worship it destroys sins. It is divine and conducive to salvation.

22. It stood there for the benefit of the worlds. Rāvaṇa returned to his abode after securing the blissful boon.

23. On hearing of it Indra and other gods and the pious sages with minds fixed in Śiva consulted one another.

24. O sage, Viṣṇu, Brahmā and other gods arrived at the spot and devotedly performed the worship of Śiva.

25. The gods saw the deity personally and after consecrating the image they called Vaidyanātha. They then bowed to the image and eulogised it. Then they returned to heaven.

The sages said:—

26. O dear, when the image was installed and Rāvaṇa had returned to his abode, what happened? Please narrate it in detail.

Sūta said:—

27. After securing the great and excellent boon, the great Asura Rāvaṇa returned to his abode and mentioned everything to his beloved wife. He rejoiced much.

28. O great sages, on hearing everything Indra and other gods and sages too became extremely dejected. They spoke to one another.

The gods and sages said:—

29. “Rāvaṇa is a wicked knave. He is evil-minded and hater of the gods. After securing the boon from Śiva, he will make us more miserable.

30. What shall we do? Where shall we go? What will happen now? What evil deeds this wicked fellow will not do after becoming more efficient?”

31. Thus distressed, Indra and other gods, and the sages too invited Nārada and asked him dejectedly.

The gods said:—

32. O excellent sage, you can do everything. O celestial sage, find out some means to dispel the grief of the gods.

33. What evil deeds the extremely wicked Rāvaṇa will not do? Where shall we go, being harassed by the wicked fellow?

Nārada said:—

34. O gods, give up your sorrow. I shall plan out and go. By the mercy of Śiva, I shall carry out the task of the gods.

Sūta said:—

35. Thus saying, the celestial sage went to Rāvaṇa’s abode. After receiving the formal welcome he spoke with great pleasure.

Nārada said:—

36. “O excellent Rākṣasa, you are a blessed sage, a great devotee of Śiva. At your sight today my mind is much delighted.

37. Please narrate the details how you propitiate Śiva. Thus asked by him Rāvaṇa replied.

Rāvaṇa said:—

38. O great sage, after going to Kailāsa for penance, I performed a severe penance for a long time.

39. O sage, when Śiva was not pleased, I returned from there to the grove and resumed penance.

40. Standing in the midst of five fires during the summer, lying on the bare ground during rains and staying inside water during the winter I performed three-fold penance.

41. O great sage, thus I performed a severe penance there. Still Śiva was not even slightly pleased with me.

42-43. I then became angry. I dug a ditch in the ground and kindled fire. I made earthen idols. By waving lights in the course of worship I worshipped Śiva with scents, sandal paste, incense and food-offerings.

44. Śiva was propitiated by me by obeisances, eulogies, songs, dances, musical instruments and mystic gestures of faces and fingers.

45. By such different modes and various other means lord Śiva was worshipped by me according to the rules laid down in the Śāstras.

46. When lord Śiva was not pleased and did not appear in my presence I was distressed as I could not obtain the fruits of penance.

47. “Fie upon my body. Fie upon my strength. Fie upon my penance”. Saying this I performed several sacrifices in the fire that had been kept there.

48-49. Then I thought—“I will cast off my body into the fire”. Thereafter I cut off my heads one by one, purified them and offered them to the fire. Thus nine heads were offered by me.

50. O excellent sage, when I was about to cut off my tenth head, Śiva appeared before me as a mass of splendour.

51. The lord favourably disposed towards his devotees immediately spoke to me, “I am delighted. Mention the boon you wish to have. I shall grant you what you desire in your mind,”

52. When lord Śiva said this I eulogised and bowed to him with palms joined in great devotion.

53. Then I requested the lord, “O lord of gods, if you are pleased nothing will be inaccessible to me? Please give me unequalled strength.”

54. All that I had desired in my mind was granted by the merciful and satisfied śiva, saying the words “So be it”

55. Reinstating my heads like a physician they were glanced at by Śiva, the supreme soul with unfailing benign look.

56. When this was done, my body regained its former state. Thanks to his grace, all benefits were derived by me.

57. Then, requested by me, Śiva stayed there permanently in the name of Vaidyanātheśvara. He has now become famous in the three worlds.

58. Lord Śiva in the form of Jyotirliṅga confers worldly pleasures and salvation by his sight and worship. He is the benefactor of all in the world.

59. I particularly worshipped that Jyotirliṅga and bowed to it. I have returned home and intend to conquer the three worlds.

Sūta said:—

60. The celestial sage was excited on hearing his words. Laughing within himself, Nārada spoke to Rāvaṇa.

Nārada said:—

61. May this be heard, O excellent Rākṣasa, I shall tell you what is beneficial to you. You shall do as I say and not otherwise at any cost.

62. What you said just now that everything was granted by Śiva should never be taken for granted.

63. What will he not say in his state of mental aberration? It will never come out to be true. How can it be proved? You are my favourite.

64. Hence you shall go again and do this for your own benefit. You shall endeavour to lift up Kailāsa.

65. Everything will come out to be fruitful only when Kailāsa is lifted up. It is doubtlessly so.

66. You replace it as before and return happily. Decide ultimately and do as you wish.

Sūta said:—

67. Rāvaṇa, deluded by fate, considered it beneficial when thus advised. Believing in the advice of the sage he went to Kailāsa.

68. Reaching there he lifted up the mountain. Everything on the mountain became topsyturvy and mixed up with one another.

69. On seeing it, Śiva said “What has happened?” Śivā laughed and replied.

Śivā said:—

70. You have got the return of favouring your disciple, indeed. Something good has happened through this disciple, now that an unequalled strength has been bestowed on a quiet soul who is a great hero.

Sūta said:—

71. On hearing the words of Śivā with a veiled hint, lord Śiva considered Rāvaṇa ungrateful. He cursed him for being arrogant of his strength.

Lord Śiva said:—

72. O Rāvaṇa, O base devotee, O wicked-minded, do not be arrogant. A destroyer of the arrogance of your mighty hands will come soon.

Sūta said:—

73. What thus happened there Nārada too heard. Rāvaṇa delighted in his mind returned to his abode.

74. Coming to a firm decision, the mighty Rāvaṇa, deluded of his own strength, destroyed the arrogance of his enemies and brought the whole universe under his control.

75. Due to the divine weapons and great strength secured at the behest of Śiva, there was none to counterchallenge Rāvaṇa in fight.

76. By listening to this glory of lord Vaidyanātha the sinners get their sins reduced to ashes.

Footnotes and references:


See P 1155 note.