The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “devotion to lord 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 37 - Devotion to lord Śiva

The sages said:—

1. O Sūta, O fortunate Sūta, you are endowed with knowledge, O one of good rites. Please narrate the story of Śiva again in detail.

2. The ancient kings, sages and gods propitiated that excellent deity Śiva alone.

Sūta said:—

3. O great sages, you have put the question properly. I shall narrate the charming story of Śiva. It is conducive to the attainment of worldly pleasures and salvation by those who listen to it. May it be heard.

4. Brahmā was asked by Nārada this alone. Delighted in his mind, he replied to Nārada, the excellent sage.

Brahmā said:—

5. O Nārada, listen. I shall narrate the excellent story of Śiva with pleasure out of affection to you. It destroys great sins

6. Viṣṇu, accompanied by Lakṣmī, performed the worship of Śiva. Thanks to the mercy of lord Śiva, he attained all desires.

7. I, the grandfather of the worlds, am a worshipper of Śiva. Thanks to his mercy that I create the worlds always.

8. My sons, the great sages, always worship Śiva. Many other sages also do so.

9. O Nārada, particularly you are a worshipper of Śiva. The seven sages,[1] Vasiṣṭha and others too are the worshippers of Śiva.

10. The great chaste lady Arundhatī, Lopāmudrā, and Ahalyā the wife of Gautama, do also worship Śiva.

11-12. These sages, viz.—Durvāsas, Kauśika, Śakti, Dadhīci, Gautama, Kaṇāda, Jīva, Bhārgava, Vaiśampāyana, Parāśara and Vyāsa are the worshippers of Śiva.

13. Upamanyu is a great devotee of Śiva, the great soul. Yājñavalkya, Jaimini and Garga are great followers of Śiva.

14. Śukra, Śaunaka and others are the worshippers of Śiva. There are many other sages, excellent sages, who worship Śiva.

15. Aditi, the mother of the gods, performed the worship of Śiva in earthen phallic idols every day. She is a lady engaged in Śiva’s devotion.

16. Indra and other guardians of the quarters,[2] Vasus,[3] Mahārājika gods, Sādhyas are the worshippers of Śiva.

17. The subordinate gods, Gandharvas, Kinnaras and others are worshippers of Śiva. Similarly the Asuras of noble minds are the worshippers of Śiva.

18. O sage, the Daitya Hiraṇyakaśipu, his sons and younger brother, as well as Virocana and Bali worship Śiva every day.

19. Bāṇa is a great follower of Śiva. So also the sons of Hiraṇyākṣa. O dear one, Vṛṣaparvan and other Dānavas are the worshippers of Śiva.

20 Śeṣa, Vāsuki, Takṣaka and many other great serpents are devotees of Śiva. Garuḍa and other birds too are so.

21. O great sage, the two gods, the Sun and the Moon who started two lines of kings on the earth are devoted to the service of Śiva always along with their descendants.

22. O sage, the self-born Brahmā and other Manus performed the worship of Śiva and they were in the guise of Śiva too.

23. Priyavrata, his son Uttānapāda, and his son and successors, were kings worshipping Śiva.

24. Dhruva, Ṛṣabha, Bharata, his brothers the nine Yogins and others too were worshippers of Śiva.

25. Vaivasvata’s sons, Tārkṣya, Ikṣvāku and other kings, were always devoted to the worship of Śiva and enjoyed happiness.

26. Kakutstha, Māndhātā, Sagara, Mucukunda, Hariścandra and Kalmāṣāṅghri were all excellent devotees of Śiva.

27. Bhagīratha and other kings, many excellent kings are known as worshippers of Śiva assuming the guise of Śiva,

28. The great king Khaṭvāṅga, who helped the gods, worshipped the earthen idol of Śiva always.

29. His son Dilīpa was a perpetual worshipper of Śiva. Raghu, his son, was a great devotee of Śiva. He worshipped Śiva with pleasure.

30. Aja, his son, who waged a virtuous war was a worshipper of Śiva. Daśaratha who was born of him became a great king.

31. At the behest of the sage Vasiṣṭha, Daśaratha particularly worshipped the earthen idol of Śiva for obtaining sons.

32. As directed by Ṛṣyaśṛṅga this excellent king, devoted to Śiva performed the sacrifice called Putreṣṭi.

33. Urged by Ṛṣyaśṛṅga, Kausalyā, the beloved queen of Daśaratha joyously performed the worship of the earthen idol of Śiva for the acquisition of a son.

34. O excellent sage, Sumitrā, and Kaikeyi the beloved queens, performed the worship of Śiva with pleasure for the acquisition of good sons.

35. O sage, they obtained auspicious sons of great valour and prowess who followed the path of the good. It was due to the favour of Śiva.

36. Then at the behest of Śiva, Viṣṇu himself was born of the ladies in four different forms.

37. Kausalyā’s son was Rāma, Sumitrā’s Lakṣmaṇa and Śatrughna and Kaikeyī’s Bharata. All of them performed Śiva’s rites.

38. Rāma performed the worship of the earthen idol every day in the company of his brothers. He wore Bhasma and Rudrākṣa and followed the Śiva-cult (virajāgama).[4]

39. O sage, the kings born of his family worshipped the earthen idol of Śiva along with their followers.

40. O sage, the great king Sudyumna, the son of a sage, became a woman along with his attendants as a result of Śiva’s curse for the sake of his beloved.

41. Thanks to the worship of the earthen image of Śiva, he became an excellent man again. By remaining a man for a month and a woman for a month, his womanhood disappeared.

42. Then he forsook the kingdom and engaged himself in the Śiva-cult assuming the guise of Śiva. By virtue of devotion he attained salvation inaccessible to others.

43-44. His son Purūravas, a great king, was a worshipper of lord Śiva. His son Bharata performed the great worship of Śiva always. Nahuṣa, a great devotee was interested in the worship of Śiva.

45. Yayāti realised his desires due to Śiva’s worship. He begot five sons all interested in Śiva cult.

46. Yadu and others, the five sons of Yayāti were the worshippers of Śiva. Thanks to the power of the worship of Śiva, they realised all their desires.

47. Other fortunate persons of his race and of other races, O sage, worshipped Śiva and obtained worldly pleasures and salvation.

48. Kṛṣṇa himself performed the worship of Śiva on the excellent mountain Badari[5] for seven months.

49. After securing several divine boons from Śiva who was delighted, lord Kṛṣṇa brought the entire universe under his control.

50. O dear, his son Pradyumna was a worshipper of Śiva always. Sāmba and other excellent descendants of Kṛṣṇa were also great worshippers of Śiva.

51. Jarāsandha was a great devotee of Śiva. His successors were also so. Nimi and his son Janaka and his sons too were worshippers of Śiva.

52. Worship of Śiva was performed by Nala the son of Vīrasena. In his previous birth he was a forester who protected the travellers there.

53. In the presence of Śiva a sage (who was Śiva himself) was saved by him. He was himself devoured by tigers and other beasts at night.

54. Thanks to that merit, the forester became Nala. He became a great emperor and the husband of Damayantī.

55. O dear, thus I have narrated the divine story of Śiva as asked by you. What else do you wish to hear?

Footnotes and references:


See P. 1212 note.


Lokapālas are the guardian deities who preside over the four intermediate quarters viz. (1) Indra, east; (2) Agni, southeast (3) Yama, south (4) Sūrya, south-west (5) Varuṇa, west; (6) Vayu, north-west; (7) Kuvera, north; (8) Soma, north-east.


Vasus are a class of deities, eight in number. They seem to have been personifications of natural phenomena. They are Āpa (water), Dhruva (polo-star), Soma (moon), Dharā (earth), Anil (wind), Anala (fire), Prabhāsa (dawn) and Pratyuṣa (light).


Virajāgama is the cult of Śiva free from passion and ignorance.


See P. 1327 note.