The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “rules of nyasa in the path of renunciation” 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 6 - Rules of Nyāsa in the path of Renunciation

Lord Śiva said:—

1-4. The ascetic shall spread a beautiful tiger’s hide to the south of the diagram and sprinkle pure water over it repeating the Astra mantra. After uttering the Praṇava at the outset he shall utter the Ādhāra and the Śaktikamala. He shall sit on the tiger’s hide repeating the mantra with the dative case ending with Namaḥ.[1] He shall face the north. After performing the Prāṇāyāma duly preceded by the utterance of the Praṇava he shall smear the body with the ashes with the mantras “Agniriti”[2] After bowing to lord Śiva he shall arrange the diagram again.

5-7. Outside he shall adore in order the diagrams of triangle circle and square repeating Om. He shall fill the conch with fragrant pure water repeating the Praṇava. He shall place the conch on the diagrams and worship it with scents, flowers etc. repeating the Praṇava seven times. After repeating the mantra he shall show the Dhenumudrā and Śaṅkhamudrā. He shall sprinkle it with the Astra mantra.

8. He shall sprinkle himself and the scents, flowers and other materials of worship. After performing Prāṇāyāma thrice he shall utter the names of the sages etc.

9-10. Of this mantra of the glorious sun the sage is Devabhāga, the metre is Gāyatrī, the deity is the sun. The six-organed Nyāsa shall be made with “hrām” etc. Then he sprinkles the Padma not within the purview of Agni.

11-14. The learned ascetic shall worship in it Prabhūtā, Vimalā, Sārā from the former to the latter in order. Then he shall worship Kālāgnirudra, Ādhāra, Śakti, Ananta, Pṛthivī, Ratnadvīpa, imaginary trees and garden a house of jewels and the gemset scat at the feet; beginning with the east the gods of virtue, knowledge, detachment and supremacy shall be worshipped. He shall also worship the gods of evil etc. in the corner quarters such as south-east and others.

15-20. He shall worship the lower lid of Māyā and and the upper lid of Vidyā. Thereafter Sattva, Rajas and Tamas shall be worshipped in order. In the quarters beginning with the east and in the middle he shall worship the following:—Dīptā, Sūkṣmā, Jayā, Bhadrā, Vibhūti, Vimalā, Amoghā, Vaidyutā, Sarvatomukhasaṃjñā, Kandanāla, Suṣira, then Tantukaṇṭakas, then the root lid, filament, (light) and Sakalātman, the five-knotted pericarp and the petals, then the filaments, Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Rudra and Ātman. After worshipping the inner Ātman in the great Ātman of knowledge he shall worship the Yogapīṭha called the Saura. The knower of the root shall conceive the idol as stationed on the pedestal.

21-24. The ascetic sits checking the vital breath with the root from the root. With the power of its splendour he raises the Śakti through the path of the Piṅgalā nerve of the sun stationed in the circle. He causes it to come out with the handful of flowers. Of Śiva whose body is as red as the vermillion, who has his wife as his left half, who is wearing Rudrākṣa garland and holding a noose, a club called Khaṭvāṅga, a skull, a goad, a lotus a conch and a discus; who has four faces, twelve eyes and a spear within the lotus of his heart, he utters the Praṇava first and then Hrām, Hrīm and Saḥ.

25-27. Thereafter he invokes the sun along with the light and power saying “I invoke obeisance”. He shows the mystic signs of Sthāpanā etc. After performing the Nyāsa of the limbs with the mantra Hrām, Hrīm, Hrum and conceiving the five services O great goddess, he shall worship thrice the six organs in the filaments of the lotus.

28-30. In the second covering the four deities shall be worshipped in the south-east, north-east south-west and the north-west. O Pārvatī, from east to north at the roots of the petals Āditya, Bhāskara, Bhānu and Ravi shall be worshipped in order. O beloved, in the third covering, Arka, Brahmā, Rudra and Viṣṇu shall be worshipped in the north-east and other quarters.

31. In the middle of the leaves from the east onwards he shall worship the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and Rāhu.

32. Or he shall worship the twelve Ādityas in the second covering and worship the twelve signs of zodiac in the third covering.

33-34. He shall worship the seven oceans[3] and seven Gaṅgās[4] on its outer side and then the Sages, Gods, Gandharvas, Serpents, Celestial damsels, the village chiefs, the Yakṣas, Yātudhānas, the seven horses in the form of the Vedas and the Bālakhilyas.

35-37. After worshipping the sun of three coverings and then arranging the square diagram with pious attention he shall place a copper vessel that can hold a prastha of water on its stand. He shall fill it with pure water rendered fragrant with flowers. He shall worship it with scents, flowers and kneel on the ground. The arghya vessel shall be lifted upto the middle of the eyebrows.

38. He shall recite the hymn to the sun-god yielding all accomplishments. O goddess, it yields worldly pleasures and salvation always.

39-40. Obeisance to you of the colour of vermillion, of good disc wearing diamond for the ornament, having eyes resembling lotus, of good lotus and cause of Brahmā, Indra and Viṣṇu. O lord, be pleased to accept this holy arghya offered by me along with the red powder, coloured[?] water, garland, vermilion, kuśa grass, flowers and a golden pot.

41. He shall recite this and offer the arghya to the sun-god and perform obeisance. He shall recite the following piously.

42. “Obeisance to Śiva accompanied by Pārvatī and the Gaṇas. Obeisance to you the primordial cause, of the form of Trinity, Rudra, Viṣṇu and Brahmā”.

43-44. After saying this and bowing he shall seat himself. He shall mention the names of the sages etc. again and wash his hands with water. He shall apply the ashes again as mentioned before. He shall then perforin Nyāsas expressive of his devotion to Śiva.

43. After worshipping lord Śiva with bent head and fivefold services he shall bow to the Praṇava in the dative case ending with Namaḥ.

46-47. He shall meditate upon the Praṇava consisting of five letters including the Bindu and fifth vowel “u” without the fifth vowel and with the Bindu. After uttering this with Bindu he shall utter the composite unit.

48. With these Bījas duly uttered the scholarly ascetic shall bow to the preceptor and the lord of Gaṇas stationed on the arms and thighs.

49. He shall bow to Durgā and Kṣetrapāla also, with palms joined in reverence. He shall repeat “Om Astrāya Phat” six times and wipe oíí his hands.

50-51. He shall recite the mantra “Apasa?pantu”[5] and repeat “Astrāya Phaṭ”. Clapping the palms thrice and kicking thrice he shall remove the obstacles; he shall gaze at the heaven-dwellers, the skyfarers.

52. He shall restrain the vital breath and remember the Haṃsa mantra. Through the Brahma Nāḍī he shall then bring about the living consciousness in the heart.

53. He shall meditate on the supreme god of the form of cit in the middle of lunar sphere of cit within the great lotus of thousand petals, full-blown and stationed in the twelve (?)

54. For sixteen, sixty-four and thirty-two seconds he shall perform Pūraka, Kumbhaka and Recaka through Śoṣa Dāha and Plava.

55-58. After retaining the breath as mentioned in his particular Veda through wind, íìre, water etc. he shall bring the nerve which is at the Mūla to the cerebral aperture. When the body is bathed in the exquisite nectarine current issuing from the lunar sphere of Cit, within the lotus of thousand petals within the twelve, it is purified and thrilled with good emotions. He makes the Ātman descend to the lotus of the heart realising “I am he”. He thrusts the Ātman into the Ātman through the nectarine current. Thus he shall piously stabilise the vital breath duly.

59-60. The Yogin with mental concentration shall ponder over the Mātṛkā. He shall fix the developed Mātṛkā through the Praṇava externally. He shall carry out nourishment etc. with restricted vital breath. Thinking upon Śiva in the mind he shall dedicate himself quietly.

61. O goddess, the sage of Praṇava is Brahmā, the metre is Gāyatrī and the deity is the great Ātman, Sadāśiva that is I myself.

62. The letter “A” is the seed; the letter “U” is Śaktī; the letter “M” is Kīlaka. It is used for the sake of liberation.

63. Beginning with the two thumbs and ending with the palms, the hands are wiped off. O goddess, śaying “Om” he shall begin the Nyāsa of the hands.

64. He shall perform the Nyāsa starting with the thumb of the right hand and ending with the little finger of the left hand.

65. Everywhere “A”, “U”, “M” with the Bindu, and the mantra ending with Namaḥ shall be uttered and the Nyāsa of the hand in the heart etc. be performed.

66. After uttering “A” at the outset the identity of Brahman and Ātman shall be practised. The mantras ending with “De” and “Namaḥ” shall be utilised in the heart.

67. The Nyāsa of “U” along with Viṣṇu is made on the head; that of “M” along with Rudra in the tuft.

68. O Goddess, the sage practising the mantra shall make the Nyāsa of the Kavaca in the eyes and the forehead with an attentive mind.

69-74. The different organs, faces and digits shall be fixed in the five Brahmans. Īśāna’s five digits shall be fixed in the head, face, heart, private parts and the feet. The four digits of the Puruṣa shall be fixed in the four faces. Aghora’s eight digits shall be worshipped in the heart, neck, shoulders, navel, belly, back and the chest. Vāmadeva’s thirteen digits shall be fixed in the anus, penis, thighs, knees, calves, buttocks, waist and the sides. Sadya’s eight digits shall be fixed in eight eyes. The most excellent of the knowers of kalpa shall fix these digits in the feet, hand, vital breath, head and arms.

75. Thus making the Nyāsa of the thirty-eight Kalās the intelligent knower of Praṇava shall proceed with the Nyāsa of Praṇava.

76-77. After making the Nyāsa in the arms, elbows, wrists, sides, belly, calves, feet and the back, the devotee, an expert in the Nyāsa, shall perform Haṃsanyāsa, O lady enlightener of the great Ātman.

Footnotes and references:


The text indicates the basic mantra of Śiva: “oṃ śivāya namaḥ”.


See P. 153 note.


The purāṇas mention seven oceans viz. salt, sugar-cane, wine, ghee, curd, milk and water which surrounds Jambu, Plakṣa, Śālmali, Kuśa, Krauñca and Puṣkara continents respertively.


The river Gaṅgā rising from Bindusara (a Himalayan lake) has seven currents of which the three Nalinī, Hlādinī, Pāvanī go to the east, the three Sītā, Ca?u (Cakṣu?) and Sindhu flow to the west and the seventh following the course channelled by Bhagīratha waters the northern region. Cp. Matsya Purana. cxx. 42.


This is the Purāṇic mantra for warding off the demons. The full text is:

apakrāmantu bhūtāni piśācāḥ sarvatodiśam |
sarvesāmavirodhena pūjākarma samārabhe ||
“apakrāmantu” is a variant for “apasarpantu[?]”

Cp. apahatā asurā rakṣāṃsi vedipadaḥ Vs. 2.27