The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1950 | 616,585 words

This page relates “worlds (loka) and planets (graha)” 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.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

Chapter 19 - Worlds (loka) and Planets (graha)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sanatkumāra said:—

1. The extent to which the rays of the sun and the moon shine and illuminate is the size of the earth. It is called Bhūloka.

2-3. The sun’s sphere is situated a hundred thousand Yojanas from the earth. The moon is situated thousands of Yojanas from this earth and a hundred thousand Yojanas from the sun.

4. The spheres of the planets are entirely situated above the moon along with the stars about ten thousand Yojanas one above the other.

5. Budha (Mercury); above that is Kāvya (Venus): above that is the sphere of Bhauma (Mars). Bṛhaspati (Jupiter) is above that and Śanaiścara (Saturn) is above that.

6. The sphere of the seven sages (The Ursa Major) is situated a hundred thousand Yojanas above it. The Pole Star (Dhruva) is situated a hundred thousand Yojanas above the sages.

7. The Pole star is the prop of the circle of luminary bodies.[1] The Bhuvarloka and Svarloka are above the earth but beneath the Pole star.

8. A crore Yojanas above the Pole star is the Maharloka where the seven sons of Brahmā are stationed. They live even during the time of Kalpa.

9. The seven sons are—Sanaka, Sananda, Sanātana, Kapila, Āsuri, Voḍhu and Pañcaśikha.

10. Above that is stationed Śukra (Venus) at a distance of two hundred thousand Yojanas. Two hundred thousand Yojanas below it is stationed Budha (Mercury) the son of the moon.

11. O sage, Bhauma (Mars) is stationed two hundred thousand Yojanas above it. Bṛhaspati (Jupiter) is stationed two hundred thousand Yojanas above it.

12. Two hundred thousand Yojanas above Jupiter, Saturn is stationed. These are the seven planets that stay in their respective zodiacs.

13. The seven sages (Ursa Major) are stationed eleven hundred thousand Yojanas above the planet Saturn. The Dhruva star is said to be stationed fourteen hundred thousand Yojanas above the great star.

14. Sixty-three hundred thousand Yojanas from Janaloka is stationed the Tapoloka where the gods called Vairājas stay. They are free from burning sensation.

15-16. Eighty four thousand Yojanas from Tapoloka is stationed the Satyaloka. It is known as Brahmaloka where the pure-minded, perfectly wise Brahmacārins engaged in truthful virtue stay. Men who go there from the earth also stay there.

17-18. In the Bhuvarloka, the sages of great Siddhis stay in the form of gods. In the Svargaloka, the gods, the Ādityas, the Maruts, the Vasus, the twin Aśvins, Viśvedevas, Rudras, Sādhyas, Nāgas, Khgas etc. stay. Above that are the nine planets and above them are the seven sages free from sins.

19. O sage, thus the seven worlds have been mentioned to you. The Pātālas too are also seven. Thus the universe has been explained to you.

20. As the wood-apple is both above and below the earth, so the universe is enveloped by the cauldron of the Cosmic Egg.

21-23. It is surrounded by water ten times as large all round the fire, wind, ether and darkness. It is encompassed by the elements and the principle of Mahat, eight times as large. There surrounded by the Mahat and Pradhāna is stationed the Puruṣa. The supreme soul is infinite. He is therefore called eternal since he has no limitation.

24-27. This eternal is the cause of all. O sage, it is the great Prakṛti. From that infinite of unmanifest origin thousands and hundreds of thousands of cosmic eggs are born. The self-known great soul contains everything just as the wood contains latent fire, the gingelly seed the latent oil and the milk the latent ghee. From this primordial seed emerge all those beginning with Mahat and ending with Viśeṣa. Then the gods and others are born. Then are born birds, their progenies and the seeds of others.

28-29. When the tree comes out of seed it docs not suffer any depreciation or diminution. Just as fire appears from the solar stone coming in contact of the sun so also the creation takes place. Śiva has no desire for it. As a result of the contact of Śiva with Śakti, the gods and others are born naturally.

30. They spring up through their own action. Śiva manifests himself as Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra.

31. Every thing springs up from him and finally merges in him. Śiva is sung as the performer of all activities.

Vyāsa said:—

32. O sage Sanatkumāra, O omniscient, please clear my doubts. Are there worlds above this universe?

Sanatkumāra said:—

33. O great sage, there are worlds above the universe. Please listen. I shall explain them clearly but briefly.

34. The world Vaikuṇṭha is beyond the world of Brahmā. It is here that Viṣṇu is stationed and it shines with great brilliance.

35. Above it is the extremely wonderful world Kaumāra. The general Kārttikeya, the brilliant son of Śiva shines here.

36. Beyond that shines the excessively divine world of Umā, where Śakti-Śivā, the mother of the three deities shines.

37. She is the Prakṛti, greater than the greatest, with the attributes of Rajas, Sattva and Tamas. But the goddess Śivā herself is devoid of attributes, free from aberrations.

38-39. The eternal Śivaloka is above that. Here lord Śiva, the great Brahman, shines. He is indestructible, excessively divine and endowed with great brilliance. He is the lord of all, greater than the three attributes. He is the progenitor of the three deities.

40. There are no worlds above it. The Goloka is near it. Mother cows named Suśīlā are there. They are favourites of Śiva.

41. The protector of that world is Kṛṣṇa. He is established there at the behest of Śiva by Śiva himself who moves about as he pleases due to his power.

42. O Vyāsa, Śiva’s region is wonderful and beautiful. It has no support. It shines with different objects. It cannot be specifically described.

43. The presiding deity of that region is Śiva. He is the crest-jewel of all the gods. He is worthy of being served by Viṣṇu, Brahmā and Śiva. He is the unsullied great soul.

44. O dear, thus the situation of the entire universe is narrated to you. What more do you wish to hear about the position of the worlds.

Footnotes and references:


See P. 88 note.

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