The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “chayapurusha” 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 28 - The Chāyāpuruṣa

The goddess said:—

1-2. O great lord of the gods, the way of dodging Kāla has been narrated; the form of Śabdabrahman and the excellent characteristics of Yoga have been mentioned. The reference to the shadow-person has been made by you in brief. Please explain in detail with a desire for the welfare of Yogins.

Śiva said:—

3. O goddess, listen. I shall explain the characteristics of the Chāyāpuruṣa, on knowing which man becomes released from all sins.

4-5. The aspirant wears garlands and white cloth. He makes himself fragrant white scents, incense and other things. O fair lady, he then sits with his back to the sun or the moon remembering the great mantra that bestows the benefits of all desires and that consists of the nine units solidified into one. He then glances at his own shadow.

6-7. If he can see the shadow in the sky in a white-coloured form and begins to meditate on Śiva, the great cause with single-minded attention he attains Brahman then. This has been mentioned by the experts. In this state he is rid of Brahminicide and other sins.

8. If he finds the shadow-person headless, the entire power of oral expression of practising Yogin becomes eliminated within six months.

9. If the shadow is white, know that it is an indication of virtue; if it is black, it indicates sin; if it is red, it indicates bondage and if it is yellow it indicates an enemy.

10. If the shadow is devoid of arms it indicates death or ruin of kinsmen; if it is without snout it indicates the fear of hunger; if it is devoid of hips, wife dies; if it is devoid of calves it indicates wealth.

11. If there is no foot, exile to a foreign country takes place. This has been mentioned by me. O great goddess, this shall be carefully considered by the people.

12. (Practising still further and) seeing the shadow-person perfectly and keeping it within the Ātman through the Ātman, O goddess, the aspirant shall repeat the nine-syllabled Mantra in the heart.

13. If a year passes by there will be nothing that the repeater of the mantra cannot achieve. He attains the eight Siddhis, Aṇimā and others and the ability to walk through the sky.

14. I shall mention another power which is inscrutable but is known to those possessed of perfect knowledge.

15-16. An unknowable figure in the form of a curling serpent is drawn and that figure placed in the vehicle, nowhere mentioned, is seen there. That which stands uppermost in the universe and that which is eulogised by the Vedas for ever is sung as a secret Vidyā and is the mother of all Vidyās.

17. It is the lore of traversing the sky. It is stationed in all living beings. It is visible and invisible. It is immovable, eternal, manifest and unmanifest. It is permanent.

18. It is devoid of colour yet it possesses colour. It is called Bindumālinī. The Yogin who sees it always remains contented.

19. On seeing Mālinī one attains the fruit of all sacrifices, the benefit of charitable gifts and the ceremonial ablutions in all holy centres.

20-21. There is no doubt in this. I mention the truth to you. The man attains the fruit derivable from all sacrifices, O goddess, as well as the benefit of making charitable gifts and taking the ceremonial ablutions in all the holy centres. O goddess, of what avail is speaking much? He attains all cherished desires.

22. Hence a sensible person shall cultivate this knowledge as well as Yoga. Siddhi is attained by practice. Yoga is enhanced by practice.

23. Perfect realization is attained by practice. Liberation is attained by practice. An intelligent man shall always maintain practice. Practice is the cause of salvation.

24. O goddess, I have mentioned that all which bestows the benefit of worldly pleasures and salvation. What other tenet do you propose? Tell me, I shall tell you the truth.

Sūta said:—

25. O great sages, on hearing these words of Sanatkumāra, son of Brahmā, the words bestowing the knowledge of truth, Vyāsa, son of Parāśara, was much delighted.

26. The extremely delighted Vyāsa, bowed again and again to the omniscient son of Brahmā, Sanatkumāra, the storehouse of mercy.

27. O sages, then the great sage Vyāsa, eulogised Sanatkumāra, the ocean of the perfect knowledge of the deities.

Vyāsa said:—

28. O great sage, I am satisfied. The position of Brahma has been assigned to me. Obeisance be to you. You are blessed. You are the most excellent of all knowers of Brahman.

Sūta said:—

29. After eulogising the great sage the son of Brahmā, Vyāsa, the grandson of Brahmā, kept silent. He was extremely delighted. He was filled with great bliss.

30. O Śaunaka, Sanatkumāra, son of Brahmā, took leave of him. Worshipped by Vyāsa he returned to his abode. Vyāsa too left for his abode with his mind full of delight.

31. O brahmins, thus I have described to you the conversation between Sanatkumāra and Vyāsa. It deals with truth. It is pleasing. It enhances knowledge.