The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “rules governing the mystic diagram of the ascetic” 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 5 - The rules governing the mystic diagram of the ascetic

Lord Śiva said:—

1-2. The ground shall be tested duly on the basis of smell, colour and taste. In a spot pleasing to the mind the space above shall be covered with a canopy, the ground below shall be scrubbed and cleaned so much as to appear like the surface of a mirror. A square of sides two Aratnis each shall be drawn.

3. Make small squares within the width of a palm-leaf each. Thus there shall be thirteen equal squares in each column.

4-6. The ascetic shall put the piece of palm leaf inside the square and sit facing the west. Towards the east a strong coloured thread shall be fixed. Threads shall be put in all the four directions. Thus there will be one hundred and sixty-nine squares. The middle square is the pericarp. The squares adjoining it around in the outside, eight in number, are called eight petals.

7-8. All the petals shall be made white completely. The pericarp shall be made yellow in colour and a red circle shall be drawn within. O goddess, beginning with the petal of Indra to the right hand side the bordering lines shall be coloured alternatively black and red.

9-10. The Yantra illuminating the meaning of the Praṇava shall be written inside the pericarp. The pedestal shall be drawn beneath. Śrīkaṇṭha shall be drawn above it. Amareśa shall be drawn above it and Mahākāla in the middle. On the top of it the staff and beyond that Īśvara shall be drawn.

11. The Pīṭha shall be coloured blue. Śrīkaṇṭha in yellow, Amareśa in red, and Mahākāla in black.

12. The scholarly ascetic shall make the staff smoky coloured and Īśvara white in colour. After drawing the Yantra the red one (Amareśa) shall be encompassed by Sadya.

13. O goddess, only through the Nāda Īśāna shall be known. The rows of its residence shall be taken in order from the south-east one.

14-15. The four squares at the four corners, O beautiful lady, shall be painted white. The first four letters “a”, “ā”, “i” and “ī” shall be written with red minerals and these four are conceived as doors. The two squares adjacent to each of these four shall be painted yellow.

16. In the yellow square in between the south-east squares a lotus of eight petals shall be drawn red in colour with yellow pericarp.

17-19. With purity of mind he shall draw the letter “ha” in the middle along with the Bindu. In the south-west square of this lotus he shall draw another red lotus with yellow filaments and pericarp. The third letter of the class of “śa” along with the sixth vowel and the fourteenth vowel decorated with Bindu and Nāda is, O gentle lady, the excellent Bīja which shall be written in the middle of the lotus.

20-22. In the north-cast square of the lotus another lotus shall be drawn with the third letter of the class of “ka” along with the fifth vowel. In its middle Bindu and Kaṇṭha shall be decoratively written. In the three columns outside it, beginning with the eastern one five squares shall be taken, O Śivā, daughter of the lord of mountains. The pericarp shall be taken in the middle painted yellow with a red circle.

[? note for one of verses 7-22 ?]:  The mystical syllables as mentioned in the verses indicate the following incantations bhū (bhūryāya namaḥ), guṃ (gurave namaḥ).

23. The most excellent of the knowers of the rules shall make the leaves red in colour. Outside the leaves the cavities shall be filled with black colour.

24. The south-east square and others, four in number, shall be filled with white paint. With six Bindus a six-sided figure shall be drawn in black in the east.

25. To the south it shall be painted red. In the north a triangle is painted in white. In the west a crescent moon is painted in yellow.

26-27. The four Bījas shall be written in the squares in order. The Bindu shall be drawn in the cast in white. In the south is painted in black the letter “u”; in the north, letter “ma” is painted in red; in the west letter “a” is painted yellow; thus the four letters are written.

28-29. In the second row from the top O beautiful lady, one shall begin. The first four squares are respectively painted yellow, white, red and black. Below that the four are painted white, blue, yellow and red respectively. O good-faced lady, below that in the triangle it shall be painted red white and yellow.

30. O goddess, from the south to the north the same procedure shall be adopted. In its external row it shall be painted from the east to the middle.

31-36. The colours are yellow, red, black, blue, white and yellow. O beloved, from the south-east onwards colours are red, blue, white, red, black and red. Thus the colours of the six squares are mentioned: from the south to the cast; from the south-west to the south-east; from the west to the south; from the north-west to the south-west; from the north to the west; from the north-east, to the north-west. O goddess, thus the procedure of the diagram has been mentioned to you. Having drawn the diagram thus the ascetic with restrained mind shall worship the sun with devotion.