The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “description of the brahman vamadeva” 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 11 - Description of the Brahman Vāmadeva

The sages said:—

1-2. O Sūta, O blessed Sūta, you are our excellent preceptor. We ask you if there be your blessing for us, your faithful disciples, as it has been shown by you who are always affectionate to us.

3. The opinion of Vāmadeva was hinted at by you at the time of Virajā homa formerly. O sage, it was not heard by us in detail.

4. Now we are eager to hear it reverentially and devotedly, O ocean of mercy. It behoves you to narrate it with pleasure.

5-6. On hearing this, Sūta was thrilled with delight. After making obeisance to lord Śiva, the preceptor of preceptors, to the goddess-mother of the trio and to his preceptor Vyāsa with devotion he spoke in a majestic tone delighting the sages.

Sūta said:—

7. O sages, hail to you. May you remain happy always; devotees of Śiva steady-minded and propagators of devotion to Siva.

8. That wonderful thing has been heard from the lotus-like mouth of the preceptor. This was not mentioned by me before, being afraid of revealing a secret.

9. Indeed you are highly fortunate devotees of Śiva and stable in your rites. Convinced of this, I shall mention it to you. May this be heard joyously.

10-15. Formerly in the Rathantara kalpa the sage Vāmadeva, roaming over the earth, entered Kumāraśikhara,[1] the southern summit of Meru where the peacock-vehicled lord Kārttikeya, son of Śiva, stays joyously. The sage was a liberated soul even while he was in the womb. He was the most-honoured among the knowers of Śiva’s cult. He knew the reality, and the principles of the Vedas, Āgamas, Purāṇas and other sacred scriptures. He knew the births and activities of all living beings, gods, Asuras, mortals and others. The ashes made his body white. He was bedecked in the knots of matted hair. He had no permanent abode, no desire, no egotism and none of the mutually opposing feelings and emotions. He was unclad. He was very wise like Śiva himself. He was surrounded by the leading sages who were like him and who had become his disciples. He sanctified the earth by the pious touch of his feet. His heart dwelt in the great splendour.

16. Lord Kārttikeya, the hero possessed of the power of knowledge, the suppressor of the Asuras, stays there along with Gajavalli and bowed to by all the gods.

17-21. Near the lord there is a lake Skandasaras[2] as vast as an ocean with plenty of deep, sweet, cool, clear water of wonderful attributes. The sage Vāmadeva took his bath there along with his disciples. He saw Skanda seated on the summit attended by the sages, shining like the rising sun, with the peacock as his vehicle. He had four arms and splendid body. He was bedecked in coronet and other ornaments. He was reverentially attended by two excellent Śaktis. He held Śakti and a cock. He showed the mystic gestures of boons and protection with his hands. On seeing Skanda the sage worshipped him with devotion and began to eulogise him.

Vāmadeva said:—

22. Om, obeisance to the meaning of the Praṇava, to the enterpreter of the Praṇava, to the Bīja of the letters of the Praṇava.

23. Obeisance to the lord in the form of the purport of the Upaniṣad, to their enterpreter and the knower of their purport.

24. Obeisance to Guha, to the deity concealed in the cavities of the hearts of all living beings. Obeisance to the secret one of secret form. Obeisance to the knower of the secret sacred lore.

25. Obeisance to you the minutest of the minute, the greatest of the great, the knower of the greater and the lesser, the lord in the form of the great Ātman.

26. Obeisance to Skanda; to the lord of splendour as red as that of the sun in the form of Skanda; to the lord who wears the coronets adorned with the garlands of the flowers of the divine Mandāra tree.

27. Obeisance to the disciple of Śiva; to the son of Śiva, to the bestower of bliss and happiness, to the beloved of Śiva; to the storehouse of pleasure of Śiva and Śivā.

28. Obeisance to the son of the Gaṅgā, to the intelligent Kārttikeya, to the noble son of Umā, lying in the grove of Sara plants.

29. Obeisance to the six-faced god of six imperishable bodies to the one who interprets in six ways, to the lord whose form is beyond the sixfold path.

30. O soul of the twelve (?) obeisance be to you with twelve wide eyes, with twelve uplifted arms and twelve types of weapons.

31. Obeisance to the four-armed lord, to the calm lord who bears Śakti and a cock, to the bestower of boons; the learned or to one with a bird in his hand. Obeisance to the splitter of the Asuras.

32. Obeisance to the lord whose chest is marked by the saffron that had been smeared over the breasts of Gajavallī. Obeisance to the one whose heart is delighted by the pleasures of the elephant-faced lord Gaṇapati.

33. O lord, whose song of praise is sung by Brahmā other gods, sages and the Kinnaras, obeisance be to you who are the abode of fame reflected upon by the pious. O lord, whose lotus-like beautiful feet deserve the worship of the garlands that decorate the splendid crowns of the gods, obeisance be to you.

34. He who reads or listens to this divine prayer to Skanda, uttered by Vāmadeva, attains the supreme goal.

35. This prayer sharpens intelligence, enhances devotion to Śiva, increases longevity, imparts health and affluence and yields all desires always.

36-37. O brahmins, after eulogising lord commander-in-chief of the gods thus, circumambulating him thrice and prostrating on the ground Vāmadeva bowed to him once again and went round him. Then he stood bowing down with humility.

38-39. On hearing the eulogy of Vāmadeva, unfolding the facts, the lord, son of Maheśvara, was delighted and said “I am delighted by your worship, devotion and eulogy. Welfare be to you. What shall I do for you?

40. O sage, you are the chief of Yogins, perfect and free from avarice. There is nothing for people like you which has to be solicited.

41. Still saintly men like you move about in the world for upholding virtue and blessing the worlds.

42. O Brahmin, if it is fit to be heard you shall speak it out. I shall expound it to the people for their welfare.

43. On hearing the words of Skanda, the sage Vāmadeva, bowed with humility and spoke in a tone as majestic as the sound of clouds.

Vāmadeva said:—

44. O lord, you are the great Īśa (parameśa), the bestower of prosperity to all and sundry. You are omniscient; creator of all and the lord bearing all Śaktis.

45. We are insignificant creatures to speak before you who are a great lord. Still it is your blessing that you speak to me.

46. O intelligent one, I have but a particle of wisdom. Urged thus I ask you. My transgression must be excused.

47. Praṇava is the word that expresses lord Śiva. Lord Paśupati is the goal, the releaser of the bondage of the Paśus, the individual souls.

48. Invoked with the mantra he releases the Jīva instantaneously. Hence siddhi is achieved with the mantra Om for Śiva.

49. The eternal Śruti says, “Verily all this is Om; Om is Brahman. Everything is Brahman.”[3]

50. O commander of the gods, obeisance to you, the lord of the gods and of ascetics. Obeisance to you the perfect one.

51. In this situation, there is nothing distinct from Śiva in this world. Śiva is the lord who assumes all forms. Maheśvara is all-pervasive.

52. The universal and the personal application of Praṇava was heard by me. O lord, but I have never had a preceptor like you to tell me that.

53. Hence take pity on me and reveal its meaning in accordance with the rules of instruction and the conduct of the good.

54. My lord alone is the preceptor who cuts off the bondage. O preceptor, now favour me with the exposition of its meaning.

55. Thus requested by the sage, Skanda bowed to Sadāśiva, the very praṇava itself who is characterised by thirty-eight excellent digits, who is accompanied by Umā at his side and who is followed by the excellent sages. He then began to expound the path of welfare well guarded in the Vedas.

Footnotes and references:


It is not identified.


This lake formed of the waters of the Kumāra hill lying to the south of Meru remains unidentified.


T. U. 1.8.1.