The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “greatness of rameshvara” 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 31 - The greatness of Rāmeśvara

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:—

1. Hereafter I shall explain how the phallic image Rāmeśvara originated formerly. O sages, listen to it respectfully.

2. Formerly, Viṣṇu the favourite of the good, took his incarnation as Rāma on the earth.

3. O brahmins, Rāma’s wife Sītā, the daughter of Janaka, was kidnapped by Rāvaṇa the wielder of great Māyā and taken to his abode in Laṅkā.

4. Searching for her, Rāma went to the city called Kiṣkindhā.[1] Having alliance with Sugrīva for his benefit he killed Bāli.

5. After staying there for sometime, he held consultations with Lakṣmaṇa, Sugrīva and others eager to find her out.

6. The prince Rāma sent the monkeys, the chief of whom was Hanūmat, to various directions in order to find her out.

7. On getting the crest-jewel of Sītā and on knowing from the excellent monkey that she was in Laṅkā, Rāma rejoiced much.

8-9. O brahmins, accompanied by Hanumān the chief of monkeys, Lakṣmaṇa, Sugrīva and other monkey chiefs of great might and a vast army of monkeys eighteen thousand billions in number Rāma reached the shores of the Southern salt ocean.

10. Reaching there, Rāma the favourite of Śiva stationed himself on the shore, being served by the monkeys and his brother Lakṣmaṇa.

11-13, “Alas where has Jānakī gone? When will she meet me. The ocean is very deep. The army of the monkeys is to be taken across. The Rākṣasa of great strength and valour, the uplifter of the mountain Kailāsa has resorted to his stronghold Laṅkā. His son is Indrajit, the conqueror of Indra. Thus thought Rāma in the company of Lakṣmaṇa standing on the shore itself. He was appeased by Aṅgada and other monkeys.

14. Then Rāma the excellent devotee of Śiva, desirous of water, lovingly spoke to his brother Lakṣmaṇa.

Rāma said:—

15. O brother Lakṣmaṇa, lord of heroes, I am thirsty. I desire water. You get some water quickly through some monkey.

Sūta said:—

16. On hearing it the monkeys ran in all directions. They brought water, bowed to Rāma and standing before him said.

The monkeys said:—

17. O lord, at your behest we have brought excellent water, sweet, cool and refreshing. Please take it.

Sūta said:—

18. On hearing it Rāma was much delighted. With a benign glance at them he accepted the water offered.

19. When Rāma, the devotee of Śiva, took the water and was about to drink it, it occurred to him at the will of Śiva.

20. “I have not yet had the sight of Śiva, the great lord, the bestower of all bliss. How can the water be taken in?”

21. After saying this, he drank water and then performed the worship of Śiva’s earthen image.

22. He worshipped Śiva performing all the sixteen ancillary services like invocation etc. with devotion according to the rules obtaining.

23. After propitiating him with obeisances, divine eulogies etc. strenuously, Rāma joyously prayed to Śiva with great devotion.

Rāma said:—

24. O lord Śiva, O great lord, always favourably disposed towards your devotees, save me your devotee, dejected in the mind and seeking refuge in you.

25. O Bhavatāraṇa (one who takes devotees across the ocean of worldly existence), this ocean is very deep. The Rākṣasa Rāvaṇa is heroic and mighty.

26. The army of monkeys is a very fickle instrument of war. How can my task be achieved resulting in pleasing acquisition.

27. In that, O lord of good rites, help must be rendered to me. O lord, without your help my purpose is difficult to be achieved.

28. Rāvaṇa is your devotee. He is invincible in every respect to everyone. He is haughty due to the boons granted by you. He is a great hero who has conquered the three worlds.

29. O Sadāśiva, I too am your slave, in every respect subservient to you. Considering this, you shall be partial to me.

Sūta said:—

30-31. After praying and bowing to the lord again and again, he repeated loudly, “O Śiva, be victorious, be victorious” and eulogised Śiva. Repeating the mantras and meditating, he performed the worship again and danced before the lord.

32. With the heart drenched with devotional love he produced the throat-sound. Lord Śiva was much delighted.

33. Assuming the pure form as mentioned and accompanied by all his attendants, lord Śiva of brilliant form appeared before him immediately.

34. Then, satisfied in his heart with Rāma’s devotion lord Śiva said—“O Rāma, may there be welfare to you. Mention the boon you wish to have.”

35. On seeing that form, they became sanctified. Rāma himself, interested in Saiva cult, performed the worship.

36. Eulogising in diverse ways and bowing to Śiva joyously he requested for his victory in the imminent fight with Rāvaṇa.

37. Delighted in his heart at Rāma’s devotion, lord Śiva said lovingly—“O great king, may you be victorious”.

38. Securing the blessing of victory granted by Śiva and receiving the permission of the lord he prayed again with palms joined in reverence and head bent down.

Rāma said:—

39. O Śiva, if you are pleased, you shall stay here, O lord, to sanctify the worlds and tç render help to the people.

Sūla said:—

40. Thus implored Śiva took up the phallic image named Rāmeśvara. It is now famous on the surface of the world.

41. It was by Śiva’s favour that Rāma crossed the ocean soon, killed Rāvaṇa and other Rākṣasas and regained his beloved.

42. The greatness of Rāmeśvara became wonderful and unequalled in the world. It yields worldly pleasures and salvation and bestows all desires on the devotees always.

43. He who performs the ablution of Śiva with the waters of the divine Gaṅgā and worships Rāmeśvara with great devotion becomes a living liberated soul indeed.

44. After enjoying all pleasures here, rare even to the gods and deriving pçrfect knowledge in the end he will certainly attain salvation.

45. Thus has been narrated to you the story of Rāmeśvara, the Jyotirliṅga of Śiva. It is divine. It destroys the sins of the devotees who listen to it.

Footnotes and references:


Kiṣkindhā was the capital of the Janapada of the same name. It is identified with the Raichur-Bellary area of Mysore and the adjoining regions CAMI P. 34 note. It was placed on the Tuṅgabhadrā river.

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