The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “escaping death and attainment 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 27 - Escaping death and attainment of Śiva

The goddess said:—

1. A Yogin attains the region of wind arising from the Yogic Ether. O lord, if you are delighted let me hear from you.

2. Formerly, desirous of the welfare of Yogins I had explained everything as to how wind became a symbol for the Yogins desirous of conquering Kāla.

3. Knowing the day through that, the Yogin stays engaged in Prāṇāyāma. O pretty woman, within half a month he conquers the Kāla that has already come upon him.

4. The wind within the heart kindles the fire. It is favourable to the fire. It blows within and without. It is all pervasive. It is great and it spreads everywhere.

5. Knowledge, perfect knowledge, zeal, everything is activised by wind. He who has conquered it has conquered the universe.

6. With a desire to prevent old age and death, the Yogin engaged in the practice of Yoga, meditation and retention shall stay in the state of Dhāraṇā.

7. O sage, the blacksmith blows air into the bellows and does his job by means of the wind. The Yogin shall also practise similarly.

8. The lord of thousands, the lord of thousand eyes, hands and feet encompasses the universe and stands ten Aṅgulas above.[1]

9. Holding the breath one shall repeat the Gāyatrī Mantra along with his Śiras (Oṃ) and Vyāhṛtis thrice. That is called Prāṇāyāma.

10. Planets like the sun and the moon ate evolved and dissolved. But those who are devoted to Yoga and meditation do not return still.

11. O goddess, by a single retention of vital airs, a brahmin attains the benefit accruing to him by the penance.performed for a hundred years while sustaining himself on the water from the tips of Kuśa grass.

12. The brahmin who gets up at daybreak and performs a Prāṇāyāma quells his sins and goes to Brahmā’s region.

13. Free from lethargy he who is engaged in Prāṇāyāma in an isolated place, conquers old age and death, masters the vital air and can traverse the sky.

14. He can assume the form of a Siddha. He gets lustre, intelligence, exploits, valour, happiness and the speed of the wind.

15. O goddess, I have thus narrated the Siddhi through the wind that the Yogin attains from fire.

16. The aspirant sits in the comfortable posture in a place free from noise. In the middle place he illuminates the brilliance accompanied by the lustre of the moon and the sun.

17. The Yogin who illuminates the fire existing between the eyebrows, alertfully can see in darkness without lamps to be sure.

18. The Yogin presses the eyes with the fingers a little and strives to see the star and meditate on it for a muhūrta or half that time with concentration.

19. Thereafter while meditating in darkness he sees the bright lustre of Śiva in colours white, red, yellow, black and the rainbow colour.

20. On seeing that brilliance on a par with the rising sun stationed in the forehead between the eyebrows, the Yogin can assume any form of body he chooses and plays about as he wishes.

21-22. By repeated practice the Yogin gains various powers—subduing the senses, entry into other bodies, the attainment of eight Siddhis Aṇimā and others, mental vision, hearing from far, perfect knowledge, invisibility assuming multi-forms, and the ability to walk through the sky.

23. Persons endowed with Vedic studies, experts in different Śāstras and the perfectly wise too become deluded when subservient to the force of the previous Karmans.

24. They do not see even when they gaze at it; even while listening they are no better than deaf. Deluded by sins they are like blind men in the world.

25. I know the great Puruṣa of the colour of the sun beyond all darkness. By knowing him alone can one surmount death. There is no other path to go.[2]

26. Thus the excellent mode of Yoga of the fire has been explained to you, how the Yogin conquers death and attains immortality.

27. I shall now explain a greater method of Yogic practice to ward off death. O goddess, listen with attention and concentration.

28-31. This Yogin, O goddess, forms the fourth one, the other three being the Bhūtas, the Yogins and the meditators. This devotee practising the fourth method sits in a comfortable posture in a convenient spot with pure mind. He keeps his body straight. His hands are clasped together cuplike. He shapes the mouth like a beak and drinks in the wind slowly. The water-drops clinging to his palate begin to exude. They are life-givers. He inhales them through the wind. Drinking this nectarine cool water daily he will never be subservient to death. He gets a divine body and great brilliance. He becomes free from hunger and thirst.

32. In strength he becomes equal to an elephant; in speed he vies with a horse; he has the keen sight of Garuḍa; he can hear from a distance. He has dark curly ringlets of hair. His complexion is as fair as that of Gandharvas and Vidyādharas.

33. He lives for a hundred years by the calculation of the time of gods. He attains equality with Bṛhaspati. By practising this Yoga he can traverse in the sky or any where he likes. He can always remain happy.

34. O fair lady, I shall now explain another mode which is strenuously guarded even by gods. Please listen to It.

35. The Yogin shall practise curving the tongue towards the palate. After sometime be can carry it to the uvula.

36. When touched it begins to exude cool nectar. By drinking in this the Yogin attains immortality.

37. The tip of the tongue touches the tip of the uvula. The hands are clasped in the form of a white lotus. Drawn by him the nectar falls drop by drop. When he attains the great region he delights even the deities. This is the essential substance enabling one to cross the ocean of worldly existence, surmount all sins, cross the Kāla along with the star. He by whom the limbs have been drenched with the nectar never dies. He is devoid of hunger and thirst.

38. O daughter of the mountain, the earth possessing these four types of Yogins can bestow happiness on the entire universe. What a man creates in dream the Yogin is competent to create in heaven. This is only a part of what the four can do.

39. Hence the earth united with mantras, penances, Vratas, restraints, medicinal herbs and Yogic practice becomes lovable to men endowed with humility, polity and sacred virtues. The primordial lord of all living beings does not become shaken when associating with the four Yogins. I shall now explain in accordance with the injunctions the Chāyāpuruṣa (the shadowy person) who is called Siva.

Footnotes and references:


X.90.I (?).


Cp VS. 31. 18.