The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “suta’s instruction” 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 10 - Sūta’s instruction

Vyāsa said:—

1. When Sūta had left, the wondering sages thought and spoke to one another—“What the great sage said about Vāmadeva’s opinion has been forgotten. This is indeed distressing to us.

2. When shall we see the excellent sage again? His sight dispels the vast miseries of worldly existence. May the great sage appear again as a result of the merit accruing from the worship of lord Śiva.

3. The sages who were worried with these thoughts worshipped Sūta in the lotus of their heart and stayed there being eager to see him.

4. At the end of a year, the sage, engaged in devotional activities of Śiva, the wise propounder of the meaning to the Purāṇas, came to Kāśī again.

5. On seeing Sūta coming, the sages delighted in their minds, worshipped him duly rising up and offering seat and Arghya.

6. He too congratulated the sages with a smiling face. With pleasure he took the bath in the holy waters of the Gaṅgā.

7. He propitiated the sages, the gods and the Pitṛs with gingelly seeds and rice grains. He came to the bank and put on his dress after sprinkling it with water.

8-9. He performed the Ācamana twice and took the Bhasma repeating the Sadyādi mantras. Wearing the garland of Rudrākṣa beads he applied the Bhasma to his body and made the Tripuṇḍra marks on the limbs. He then performed his routine rites.

10. With great devotion he eulogised, bowed to and worshipped lord Śiva and Umā along with his sons and chief Gaṇas.

11-12. He worshipped Kālabhairava in accordance with the rules after circumambulating him thrice. He prostrated five times and circumambutaled again. Thinking upon his lotus-feet he eulogised him again with the great hymn.

13-14. He performed the Japa of the sacred Pañcākṣarī lore one thousand and eight times. Standing in front of lord Śiva’s image he begged for forgiveness. After worshipping him he took his seat in the the middle of Muktimaṇḍapa offered by the sages who had mastered the Vedas.

15. When all had taken their seats after due obeisance with the recital of the mantras he spoke in accents that increased the piety of the sages.

Sūta said:—

16. O intelligent sages, you all who have fulfilled your vows are blessed. I have come for your sake. Please listen in details.

17. After telling you the meaning of the Praṇava I went on a pilgrimage. Now hear the details.

18. O leading brahmans, after starting from here I went to the southern ocean. I took bath therein and worshipped the goddess Śivā, Kanyākumārī. On my return I came to the river Suvarṇamukharī[1].

19-25. I reached the wonderful city on the Kālahasti Śaila. I took my bath in the waters of Suvarṇamukharī[2] and performed Tarpaṇa to the gods and the sages. Remembering Śiva with the mystic signs I worshipped Kālahastīśa with the lustre of the lunar stone, the lord with the face directed to the west, the wonderful lord of five faces, the lord who dispels all sins at his very sight, the lord Triguṇeśvara who bestows Siddhis, worldly pleasures and salvation. Then with great devotion I worshipped Śivā stationed to his right, the goddess who is the bud of the flower of knowledge and the mother of the universe. I performed the Japa of the holy Pañcākṣarī Vidyā one thousand eight times. I circumambulated, eulogised and bowed again. Thus I went round the hill every day with great devotion. I observed all restraints and performed rites every day with rejoicing mind.

26. O great sages, I spent four months there by the favour of the goddess—the bud of the flower of knowledge.

27-28. Once I spread the cloth, deerskin and the Kuśa grass on the scat. Seated on it silently with restrained mind I entered into the mystic trance. “I am Śiva the solidified knowledge and bliss, the perfect one for ever.” This realisation dawned in my heart and I was free from agitation.

29-32. Then my preceptor, the ocean of mercy, resembling the dark cloud, with matted tawny hair resembling the lightning, the tall sage bearing the water-pot and staff and wearing the antelope’s skin, with the body turned white with the ashes having all auspicious marks with the Tripuṇḍṛa shining on the forehead, decorated with Rudrākṣa garlands and the two lotus-like wide eyes gleaming, appeared in the lotus of my heart. Thereafter I swooned soon, O theists, this was the wonderful incident indeed.

33. Then I opened my eyes and cried. The tears I shed quashed out like a mountain stream.

34. Then a celestial unembodied voice was heard from the sky. It was wonderful. O brahmins, listen to that devotedly.

35-36. “O blessed son of Sūta, go to Vārāṇasī; the sages whom you had instructed before, are desirous of the pleasure of your arrival. They are on fast there too.” After saying this the voice stopped.

37-39. I got up immediately and circumambulated the lord and the goddess with devotion. I bowed and prostrated for twelve times. Considering it the order of my preceptor and of Śiva and Śivā I set out from the temple. O excellent sages, I have come here in forty days. Please bless me. Please tell me what I shall say now.

40. On hearing the words of Sūta, the sages were delighted in their minds. They bowed to the sage Vyāsa again and again and said.

Footnotes and references:


This sacred river of South India issues from the Agaslya mountain, flows in the North Arcot district near Kālahasti mountain and falls into the southern sea.


It is an unidentified town on the sacred hill of Kālahasti on the river Suvarṇamukharī in the North Arcot district.