The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “power of the pitris” 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 42 - Power of the Pitṛs

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Bhīṣma said:—

1. Mārkaṇḍeya of great intellect, O foremost among the devotees of the Pitṛs what happened after that? O excellent sage, please tell me.

Mārkaṇḍeya said:—

2. Those seven traversers of the lake Mānasa engaged in sacred rites and Yoga got their bodies withered up taking in only air and water.

3. After sporting about for a long time there, like Indra in Nandana,[1] the king, accompanied by his wives and the members of his harem returned to his city.

4. A son Anūha was born to him. He was highly virtuous. King Vaibhrāja established his son in the kingdom and went to forest.

5. Without taking in any food, breathing in only air he began to perform a great penance in the spot where those comrades were present.

6. Then that forest Vibhrāja shone splendidly. It became very famous as the bestower of Yogic Siddhi.

7. It was there itself that the four birds of Yogic rites and the three that fell from Yoga cast off their bodies.

8. They were reborn in Kāmpilya as seven noble souls Brahmadatta and others. All of them were free from sins.

9. Four of them had the memory of their previous births but three of them were deluded. That Svatantra of great Yogic power was now called Brahmadatta.

10. Chidradarśin and Sunetra were the masters of the Vedas and Vedāṅgas. They were born as sons of brahmins well-versed in the Vedas. They had the memory of the previous births.

11. Pañcāla was conversant with many Ṛk mantras. He became a preceptor. Puṇḍarīka became the master of two Vedas. He was a Chandoga (master of prosody) and an Adhvaryu (priest of sacrifice).

12 On seeing his son Brahmadatta free from sin, the king crowned him in kingdom and attained the supreme goal.

13. Pañcāla and Puṇḍarīka established their sons in the house and went to forest. There they attained the great goal.

14. O descendant of Bharata, Brahmadatta’s wife Sannati sported with her husband with single-minded devotion.

15. The other three Cakravāka comrades were born as brahmin sons in the family of a poor man, O king.

16. The four sons of Chidradarśin were endowed with Vedic study. They were Dhṛtimat Sumahātman, Tattvadarśin and Nirutsuka.

17. They were engaged in Yogic practice. They took leave of one another, bowed at the lotus-like feet of Śiva and set out.

18. The enthusiasts desiring freedom From rebirth resort to Śiva’s feet. May those feet of Śiva destroy sins.

19. O great sage, if any physical, mental or verbal sin is committed, one shall read this narrative with full devotion.

20-22. By repeating the names of Śiva, one gets rid of all sins soon. As soon as the name Śiva, the lord of the gods, is uttered sins are quelled like an unbaked pot in water, O great sage. In proportion to the sins committed and in order to quell them the Japa of Śiva’s names shall be performed by the faithful. In order to achieve the fruits of all desires too, this Japa shall be performed accordingly.

23. He who reads or hears this for prosperity is liberated from sins and attains salvation. There is no doubt in this.

Footnotes and references:


It is a grove of Indra lying to the north of Meru.

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