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.
The sages said:—
2. The ancient kings, sages and gods propitiated that excellent deity Śiva alone.
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.
5. O Nārada, listen. I shall narrate the excellent story of Śiva with pleasure out of affection to you. It destroys great sins
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
49. After securing several divine boons from Śiva who was delighted, lord Kṛṣṇa brought the entire universe under his control.
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.