The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “shiva’s mental worship” 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 8 - Śiva’s Mental worship

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Lord Śiva said:—

1. O goddess, there are five Āvaraṇas here. The five Āvaraṇa-worships shall be performed thus.

2. Where they had been previously worshipped, the lords Gaṇeśa and Kārttikeya shall be worshipped in order,

3-5. The five Brahmans shall be worshipped in order in the north-east, east, south, north and west. The devotee shall worship the six ancillaries then. He shall worship the eye and Astra in the southeast, northeast, southwest, northwest and in the middle. Thus the first Āvaraṇa is mentioned. Now listen to the second Āvaraṇa.

6-7. He shall worship Ananta in the petal in the east; the Sūkṣma in the South; Śivottama in the west; Ekanetra in the north; Ekarudra in the northeast; the Trinity in the southeast; Śrīkaṇṭha in the south-west and Śikhaṇḍīśa in the north-west.

8. In the second Āvaraṇa he shall worship the Emperors. (Now the third Āvaraṇa). The devotee shall worship Vṛṣeśāna in the middle of the eastern door.

9-12. Nandin shall be worshipped to the south and Mahākāla to the north of it, Bhṛṅgīśa to the west of the southern door. Vināyaka shall be worshipped in the square to the cast of that with scents; Vṛṣabha in the northwest and Guha in the southern square. To the east of the northern door the following eight shall be worshipped in accordance with the rules of circumambulation. They are Bhava, Śarva, Īśāna, Rudra, Paśupati, Ugra, Bhīma and Mahādeva. Such is the worship in the third Āvaraṇa.

13. After invoking Lord Śiva with the mantra “Yo Vedādau Svaraḥ[1] he shall worship him in the lotus above the pericarp in the east.

14. He shall worship Lord Śiva in the eastern, Viśveśa in the southern, Parameśāna in the northern and Sarveśa in the western petal.

15. He shall worship Rudra in the south after invoking him with Ṛk “Ā vo rājānam”[2] in the petals and the pericarp with scents, flowers etc.

16. Śiva shall be worshipped in the east; Hara in the south; Mṛda in the north and Bhava in the petal in the western quarter. They shall be worshipped in this order.

17. After invoking Viṣṇu by uttering the mantra “Pra tad Viṣṇu”[3] etc. he shall worship him in the north on the pericarp and the petals with scents, flowers etc.

18. He shall worship Vāsudeva in the east; Aniruddha in the south; Saṃkarṣaṇa in the north and Pradyumna in the west.

19. The knower of Mantras shall invoke Brahma with the mantra “Hiraṇyagarbhaḥ Samavartata”[4] etc. and worship him in the lotus to the west.

20. He shall worship Hiraṇyagarbha in the cast; Virāja in the south; Puṣkara in the north and Kāla in the west.

21-24. (Now the fifth Āvaraṇa). In the topmost row the Lokapālas shall be worshipped in different spots beginning with the last and proceeding in the manner of circumambulation. The following ten are the Bījas for the Lokapālas:—Rānta (ending with ‘Ra’), Pānta (ending with ‘Pa’), Jñānta (ending with ‘Jña’), Lānta (ending with ‘La’) twice, Apūrvaka (beginning with ‘A’), Ṣānta (ending with ‘Ṣa’), Sānta (ending with ‘Sa’) Vedādya (Praṇava) and Śrībīja. He shall worship the Lokapālas with these Bījas. He shall worship Brahmā and Viṣṇu in accordance with the rules and proper means of service in the north, south-west, south and north-east. He shall worship Deveśa in the outer lines of the fifth Āvaraṇa.

25-26. He shall worship trident in the north-cast, thunderbolt in the east; axe in the south-east; arrow in the south; sword in the south-west; noose in the west; goad in the northwest and bow in the north.

27. For the satisfaction of Śiva, the knower of the rules shall worship Kṣetrapāla of Rudra facing the west, in accordance with the rules.

28. All these shall be thought of as standing with palms joined in reverence, their faces beaming with smile and glancing at the lord and the goddess with devotion always.

29. After performing the Āvaraṇa worship thus, the devotee shall worship the lord of the gods again for allaying his mental disturbance. He shall know Praṇava as Śiva.

30. After worshipping duly thus with scents and other services he shall offer Naivedya prepared in the proper manner.

31. He shall give water for Ācamana and the Arghya as before, and then offer Tāmbūla and water in accordance with the rules.

32. After performing Nīrājana the balance of the worship shall be completed. After meditating on the lord and the goddess he shall repeat the mantra hundred and eight times.

33-34. Then he shall stand up with a handful of flowers, O Goddess, meditate on lord Śiva with the mantra beginning with “Yo devānām”[5] and ending with “Yo vedādau svaraḥ proktaḥ”. The handful of flowers shall be dedicated and he shall perform circumambulation thrice.

35. He shall prostrate with eight parts of the body touching the ground. Endowed with great devotion he shall perform circumambulation again, make obeisance once more.

36-38. While sitting there, he shall adore the lord with the eight names. Then he shall pray thus: “O lord Śiva, good or bad whatever I have done is your great service.” After saying this, flowers shall be offered along with the water from the conch. After worshipping him who is worthy of worship he shall repeat the eight names with significant meaning. O goddess, I shall tell you the same because of your devotion to me.

Footnotes and references:


TA 10.10. 3.


RV. 4.3.1.


Vs. 5. 20.


Ibid. 13. 4.


Vājasaneyisaṃhitā (of Śuklayajurveda) 11. 39

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