The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “efficacy of the thousand names of shiva” 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 36 - Efficacy of the thousand names of Śiva

Sūta said:—

1. On hearing the eulogy made by Viṣṇu consisting of the hymn of his thousand divine names lord Śiva became delighted.

2. In order to test Viṣṇu, Śiva, the lord of the worlds concealed one of the lotus-flowers.

3. There was a shortage of one lotus-flower from among the thousand lotuses. Hence Viṣṇu was distressed in the course of his worship of Śiva.

4. He thought within himself “Where could the lotus-flower have gone? If it has gone, let it go for good. Is not my own eye a lotus?

5. After thinking thus, he plucked out his eye and repeated the last name Sarvasattvāvalambana[1]. Full of emotion he worshipped and eulogised Śiva.

6. On seeing Viṣṇu in that attitude, Viṣṇu the preceptor of the universe appeared before him and forbade him do that.

7. Lord Śiva descended from the pedestal of that earthern phallic image installed by Viṣṇu.

8. Bowing to Śiva, rising up in the form of a mass of splendour as mentioned before, Viṣṇu stood in front of him and eulogised him particularly.

9. Looking mercifully at Viṣṇu, who stood before him with palms joined in reverence, the delighted lord Śiva laughingly said then.

Śiva said:—

10. O Viṣṇu, all the desires in your mind, particularly the task of the gods have been understood by me. Indeed you are engaged in the task of the gods.

11. For the achievement of the task of the gods and for the destruction of the Daityas without strain, I shall give the auspicious discus Sudarśana to you.

12. O lord of the gods, for your benefit ponder over this form, pleasing to all the worlds, which has seen by you (now).

13. If this discus, this form and this hymn of thousand names is remembered in the battlefield it will quell the misery of the gods.

14. O one of good rites, thanks to my blessings, all those who listen to this will achieve their desires without serious dangers.

Sūta said:—

15. After saying this, the lord gave the discus of the brilliance of ten thousand suns, born of his own feet and destructive of all enemies, to Viṣṇu.

16. Viṣṇu purified himself and accepted it facing the north. After making obeisance to lord Śiva, Viṣṇu spoke these words to him.

Viṣṇu said:—

17. O lord, O benefactor of the worlds, listen. Please tell me what I shall meditate upon and what I shall recite for the destruction of the distress.

Sūta said:—

18. On being thus asked by him, Śiva becoming satisfied and delighted in his mind spoke to Viṣṇu who helped the gods.

Śiva said:—

19. O Viṣṇu, it is my form that is to be meditated upon for subduing all mishaps. Recite my thousand names for destroying the distress that troubles you.

20. For the attainment of your desires you shall hold this discus always. O Viṣṇu, this is the best of all discuses.

21. There is no doubt that those who recite and teach this hymn will have no misery at all even in dreams.

22. When kings are in distress this worship with thousand names shall be repeated hundred times in accordance with the rules laid down and after due performance of the ancillary services people will have welfare.

23. This is destructive of distress. It yields learning and wealth. It is excellent and meritorious and bestows all desires and devotion to Śiva always.

24. People undoubtedly derive excellent benefits which they will have in view in reciting this.

25. Achievement is not far off if a person rising in the morning, performs my worship and recites this in my presence everyday.

26. There is no doubt in this that he will attain all the worldly pleasures and desires and in the end Sāyujya[2] type of salvation.

Sūta said:—

27. Delighted in his mind, Śiva spoke thus to Viṣṇu and touched him with his hands. Śiva then told him again.

Śiva said:—

28. O most excellent of gods, I am the granter of the boons. Choose the boons you desire to have. O one of good rites, I am attracted by your devotion and by this hymn as well.

Sūta said:—

29. Urged thus the delighted Viṣṇu bowed to the lord of gods and spoke with palms joined in reverence.

Viṣṇu said:—

30. O lord, you shall be equally merciful to others as well just as you are merciful to me now.

31. O great lord, devotion to you is the excellent boon I wish to have. Be pleased. I do not wish for anything else, because, O lord, devotees are never distressed.

Sūta said:—

32. On hearing these words, the extremely sympathetic lord touched him. Then the moon-crested deity spoke.

Śiva said:—

33. O Viṣṇu, your devotion to me will always remain firm. Be worthy of the reverence and worship of all gods in the world.

34. O most excellent god, there is no doubt in this that, thanks to my favour, your name—Viśvambhara (bearer of the universe) will be destructive of all sins.

Sūta said:—

35. O great sages, after saying this, lord Śiva, the lord of the gods, vanished there itself even as Viṣṇu was watching.

36. After securing the auspicious discus and hearing the words of Śiva, lord Viṣṇu was extremely delighted in his mind.

37. Meditating on Śiva, he repeated the hymn incessantly and instructed the devotees too in this.

38. O excellent ones, thus I have narrated the story in accordance with your enquiry. It destroys the sins of those who listen to it. What then do you wish to ask?

Footnotes and references:


In the list of one thousand names of Śiva, this name stands at the end. There being no lotus left for the propitiation of Śiva in this name (one lotus having been concealed by lord Śiva himself for the test) Viṣṇu plucked off his own eye and offered the same to Śiva.


As a kind of liberation (ŚP. KRS 41.3.7) Sāyujya denotes a complete absorption of the devotee into his personal god. See P. 1341 note.