The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “deception or dodging of kala” 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 26 - The deception or dodging of Kāla

The goddess said:—

1. O lord, the perfect knowledge of Kāla has been mentioned by you. Now please mention the dodging of Kāla by a Yogin, factually.

2-3. Kāla follows upon the track of all creatures. O lord, now taking pity on me, please mention how the Kāla that has come does not deceive. O bestower of happiness, please mention it, for the benefit of Yogins.

Śiva said:—

4. O Goddess Śivā listen. I shall explain briefly what I have been asked by you for the benefit of all men.

5. The body is a conglomeration of earth, water, fire, wind and ether. It consists of five elements.

6. The ether is all-pervasive. The elements merge in ether and are reborn therefrom.

7. When the ether is disintegrated the elements resort to their causes. O beautiful woman, there is no stability for this conglomeration.

8. There is no doubt that the wise know all this perfectly through the power of austerity and mantras.

The goddess said:—

9. Kāla of terrible form, the awful sole lord of the gods, perishes while taking them to the Ether. He was burnt by you. When eulogised you were pleased and then you revived him to life.

10. Kāla was addressed by you. “In the talk of the people you will be moving about in the invisible form.” He of great power was seen by you there. By means of the boon granted by you he was reborn.

11. Hence there is Kāla here. Something is killed by him. Please mention that to me. You are the foremost among Yogins. You are self-controlled lord. O lord Śiva, you take up physical bodies for helping others.

Śiva said:—

12. Kāla is not killed by the leading gods, Daityas, Yakṣas, Rākṣasas, serpents and human beings. But those embodied beings who are Yogins engrossed in meditation can easily kill Kāla.

Sanatkumāra said:—

13. On hearing this from Śiva, the preceptor of the three worlds, Gaurī laughed and said “Please tell me the truth. How is this Kāla killed? By whom is it killed? Śiva told her immediately “O moon-faced lady, those who are sinless Yogins hurl the serpent Kāla entirely. Listen to that with concentration.”

Śiva said:—

14. O beautiful lady, the physical body consists of five elements. It arises from them and merges in them. It is always endowed with their attributes.

15. From the ether the wind is produced. From the wind, fire is generated. Water is said to be produced from fire and from it the earth comes out.

16-17. Each of the elements merges into the other in order. Earth has five attributes. Water has four. Fire has three. Wind has only two. Ether has only one. The attributes of the earth and other elements can be mentioned thus.

18. The five attributes are sound, touch, colour, taste and smell. When it is relieved of its attributes the element perishes.

19. When it takes up the attributes the element manifests itself. O goddess, know thus all the elements factually.

20. Hence O goddess, the partial attributes shall be thought of by the Yogin assiduously if he is desirous of conquering Kāla.

The goddess said:—

21. O lord of the knowers of Yoga, how is Kāla wished to be conquered by the Yogins? Is it by meditation or incantations? Please mention everything to me.

Śiva said:—

22. O goddess, listen. I shall explain it for the benefit of the Yogins. The perfect knowledge shall not be imparted to anyone and everyone.

23. O fair lady, it is to be imparted to the faithful, to the intelligent, to one who is endowed with devotion, to the pious who is not an atheist and to oie who is always virtuous.

24. The knower of Yoga shall practise it taking breath normally sitting on a good bed. If he practises in darkness he shall not keep any lamp. He shall practise when people are asleep.

25. When the ears are closed with the index finger for a short while a kind of sound is heard as that of a blazing fire.

26. The practice of Yoga quells all ailments, fevers and many other distressing ills.[1]

27. He who visualises the form of death for two Ghaṭikās conquers death and lust and can roam about as he pleases.[2]

28-29. He becomes omniscient and omniseer. He attains all Siddhis. If the Yogin hears the sound resembling that of the rain-bearing cloud he becomes rid of worldly bondage immediately. He then becomes the subtlest of all Yogins.

30. O Goddess; thus the order and procedure of the meditation of Śabdabrahman has been narrated to you. Just as the seeker of grains eschews husks, he shall eschew bondage.

31. If after attaining the Śabdabrahman he were to aspire for other things he will be hitting the sky with his fist, he will be loving hunger and thirst.

32. After knowing the great Brahman, the cause of salvation, the bestower of happiness, the non-external, the imperishable, freed from all limitations, nothing else need be aspired after.

33. Sinners of crooked intellect deluded by the noose of Kāla, fastened into death’s bondage do not realise Śabdabrahman.

34. One remains in the world as long as he has not obtained the supreme abode. When the great reality is understood he is released from the bondage of life.

35-36. After conquering sleep and idleness—the great enemies and the great obstacles and sitting in a comfortable posture one should practise Śabdabrahman for ever. Even if he is an old man of hundred years he will gain health and virility and the power of stopping the decay of the body and of conquering death. He shall then continue the practice as long as he is alive.

37-38. Proof of belief is visible even in an old man. Why not then in a youthful man? O beloved goddess, intelligent persons meditate on the great Śiva assiduously forever. The Śabdabrahman cannot be uttered, cannot be struck at. It is neither Oṃkāra nor any mantra nor any Bīja nor any syllable.

39. Hence the Śabdas are ninefold as explained by those who know the science of breath. I shall explain them assiduously in the proper order according to the Siddhi of Nāda.

40. They are Ghoṣa (sound of the soft consonant), Kāṃsya(sound of bell metal), Śṛṅga (sound of horn), Ghaṇṭā (bell), Vīṇā (lute), Vaṃśaja (flute), Dundubhi (drum), Śaṅkha (conch) and Meghagarjita (the rumbling thunder).

41. After eschewing all these sounds, one shall practise Tuṃkāra? Meditating thus for ever the Yogin is not affected by either virtues or sins.

42. O goddess, what others do not hear the Yogin hears by the practice of Yoga. While practising, if he dies, he may stay in that posture for days and nights.

43. From him the sound of conquest of death rises up in seven days. O goddess, it is of nine varieties. I shall mention it factually.

44. The first sound is Ghoṣa. It purifies the soul. It dispels sickness. It is excellent. It attracts and controls.

45. The second sound is Kāṃsya. It stops the movement of living beings. There is no doubt that it stops the effect of poison, evil spirits and evil planets.

46. The third sound is Śṛṅga. It is employed in black magic for exorcizing enemies and killing them.

47. The fourth is Ghaṇṭānāda, so says lord Śiva. It is one that attracts the gods even. What then of human beings on this earth?

48. Attracted by him the virgins of Yakṣas and Gandharvas give him great Siddhis as desired by him or out of their own accord.

49. Vīṇā is the fifth sound. It is heard by Yogins always. O goddess, from it arises the power of vision from a great distance.

50. All principles are understood by one who meditates on Vaṃśa Nāda. One who meditates on Dundubhi is devoid of old age and death.

51. O goddess, through the conch sound he assumes any form as he wishes. By means of Megha Nāda the Yogin wards off all adversities.

52-53. O pretty lady, is there anything impossible for one who meditates with single-minded devotion the Tuṃkāra form of Brahman? He becomes omniscient and visualiser of all. He moves about assuming any form he wishes. He is not affected by aberrations. He is Śiva himself. There if no doubt in this.

54. O goddess, thus the form of Śabdabrahman with its nine aspects has been wholly narrated to you. What else do you wish to hear?

Footnotes and references:


The verse does not suit the context.


The Skt. text of the first pāda of this verse is defective.