The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “procedure 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 13 - The Procedure of Renunciation

Subrahmaṇya said:—

1. Then at midday he shall take bath. With the mind fully controlled he shall gather materials for worship such as fragrant flowers, Akṣatas etc.

2. With the mantra, “Gaṇānām tvā” he shall as enjoined invoke lord Gaṇapati worshipped by the gods. He shall worship hīm in the south-west.

3-5. After invoking the elephant-faced lord Gaṇapati son of Śivā, of red colour, huge body, bedecked in ornaments and holding noose, goad, Rudrākṣa and boon in his lotus-hand he shall worship him at dusk. He shall offer milk pudding (sweet pie), coconut jaggery and other things as Naivedya and also the leaf. After propitiating and bowing to him he shall pray for warding off evil.

6. Thereafter the rites of sacrifice concluding with the sharing of clarified butter shall be performed in the Aupāsana fire according to the rules of one’s Gṛhyasūtra.

7. After offering the Pūrṇāhūti with the three Ṛks “Bhūḥ Svāhā[1] and concluding the rites he shall repeat Gāyatrī assiduously till late in the afternoon.

8. He shall perform the evening prayers after bath and the sacrificial rites and inform his preceptor accordingly.

9-10. After offering the Caru therein e shall perform Homa with different faggots of sticks, cooked rice and ghee repeating Rudrasūkta. He shall conceive Lord Śiva in the fire along with Ambā and the five BrahmansSadyojāta etc. He shall remember Gaurī and perform homa with the mantra “Gaurīrmimāya[2] etc.

11-12. He shall perform sacrifice, repeat the mantra “Agnaye sviṣṭakṛṭe svāhā”[3] and then show mystic gestures. Being of steady mind he shall sit on the,seat of cloth, deerskin or Darbha grass to the north of the fire and perform the Gāyatrī japa silently till the brāhma muhūrta.

13-19. He shall then take bath. If he is feeble he shall smear Bhasma only. He shall cook Caru in the fire and pour ghee over it. Thus sanctifying it he shall consign it to the fire. He shall perform the Japa of the Vyāhṛtis, Rudra Sūkta and the five Brahmans. He shall fix his mind in the lotus-feet of Śiva. He shall perform the Japa of Prajāpatī, Indra, Viśvedevas and Brahma also, with dative case-endings. Praṇava and other mantras shall be repeated ending with Svāhā. He shall perform Puṇyāhavācana, say Agnye svāhā, show mystic gesture in front of the fire. Then he shall repeat Prāṇāya svāhā and offer five Āhutis to Sviṣṭakṛt fire. He shall repeat Rudrasūkta, the five Brahmans, the Caturvyūha mantras, Homa and mystic gestures in accordance with his Vedic branch.

20-21. The same procedure he shall adopt for the other gods, along with their ancillary rites. After these rites beginning with the fire, the Virajā homa of the Ātman shall be performed for the purification of the self in the form of twenty-six principles.

22-23. He shall say “Let these Tattvas be purified.” For the purity of the principle—Ātman, the mantras ‘Āruṇaketukas’ shall be repeated. He shall silently perform the Homa with the Caru and ghee and remember the lotus-feet of Śiva. O sage, the principles begin with Pṛthivī and end with Puruṣa.

24-27. Pṛthivī, Sound, Speech, Ear—these are five each. The four head, sides, back, belly and the calves shall be added afterwards in the group—skin etc. The Dhātu group consists of seven. Prāṇas are five in number. Anna etc. are the five sheaths. Mind, Citta, intellect, ego, Khyāti come under Saṅkalpa. Guṇas come after; Prakṛti and Puruṣa follow these. Puruṣa is the only enjoyer and the five principles are the objects of his enjoyment.

28. O great sage, destiny, time, attachment, Vidyā, Kāla—this set of five is born of Māyā.

29. The Vedas declare: “Māyā is identical with Prakṛti.” The principles as mentioned in the Śruti are born of that.

30. The Vedas declare “Destiny is the nature of Kāla.” This set of five is also called “The wheel of five.”

31-33. Though sentient, the Puruṣa is confused in thought, not knowing the five principles. Though superior to nature he falls below Prakṛti as the eye of the crow. This set of five—the pure Vidyā Maheśvara, Sadāśiva, Śakti and Śiva is called Vidyātattva or Śivatattva. This is implied in the Vedic text “Prajñānam Brahma.”

34. O Sage, the purity of the principles from Pṛthivī to Śiva is effected through the dissolution of its cause.

35. With the eleven mantras he shall mention the god. The word Śivajyolis shall be used in the dative case.

36-38. After Svāhā” he shall say “Na mama” (not to me). By this, renunciation of motive is indicated. In the mantras “Vividyā” “Kaṣṭapotā” after the word Vyāpakāva the word Paramātmane shall be used. The words “Śivajyotis” “Viśvabhūta” and “Ghasanotsuka” shall be mentioned in dative ease. After mentioning the god by name the word Devāya shall be uttered.

39. After “Viśvarūpāya” in the mantra “Uttiṣṭhasva"’ the word “Puruṣāya” shall be uttered and the words “Om Svāhā” shall be added.

40. At the end of the word “Lokatraya” the words “Vyāpine Paratnātmane Śivāyedam Na Mama” shall be added.

41-42. He shall conclude the rite according to his own branch of the Veda. He shall eat Caru mixed with ghee and then give fee of gold etc. to the priest. Alter the ritualistic dismissal of Brahmā he shall perform the morning worship.

43-45. He shall recite the mantra “Saṃ māṃ siñcantu Maruta.”[4] He shall warm his hand over the fire repeating the mantra “Yā te Agne”[5] and superimpose the fire in his own Ātman, abode of the universal soul. He shall perform the morning prayers and pay respects to the sun. He shall enter water upto the navel, perform the Japa of the mantras with pleasure, devotion and steadiness.

46. The devotee who had been maintaining sacrificial fires regularly shall perform the Prājāpatya rite in the sacrificial fire and give his entire possession as gift.

47-51. The brahmin shall superimpose fire in his Ātman and leave the house. In the Sāvitrī mantra he shall utter the first foot and say “I enter Sāvitrī Bhūḥ Om”. Then he shall utter the second foot and say “I enter Sāvitrī Bhuvaḥ Om”. He shall utter the third foot and say “I enter Sāvitrī Suvaḥ Om”. Then he shall repeat all the three feet and say “Sāvitrīm Praveśayāmi”, at the end of which he shall say “Bhūḥ Bhuvaḥ Suvaḥ Om” with great pleasure and steady mind.

52-56. He shall then think—“This is Goddess herself having half the body of Śiva. She has five faces, ten arms and fifteen eyes. She is bedecked with a down set with nine gems over which the crescent moon rises. She is auspicious, pure as crystal and bears ten weapons. Her body is adorned with necklaces, shoulderlets, bangles and anklets. Her ornaments are studded with gems. She wears brilliant garments. She is served by Viṣṇu, Brahmā the leader of the gods, sages, Gandharvas and human beings. She is Śivā pervading all Ātmans. She is charming wife of lord Sadāśiva. She is the mother of the universe and the trio. She is unborn. She is Saguṇa and Nirguṇa as well.”

57. After thinking thus the intelligent devotee shall perform the Japa of Gāyatrī the primordial goddess comprising three metrical feet. She is unborn and the bestower of brahminhood

58. The sinner who repeats Gāyatrī in any other manner is tortured in the terrible hell for the period of kalpa.

59. She is horn of and merged into Vyāhṛtis. Vyāhṛtis are born of the Praṇava and are merged in Praṇava.

60. Praṇava is the initial of all mantras of the Vedas. It expresses Śiva. It is the emperor of all mantras. It is the great Bīja, the greatest mantra.

61. Śiva is Praṇava, Praṇava is Śiva since there is no difference between Śiva and Praṇava that expresses Śiva.

62. It is this very mantra that Śiva speaks to individual souls who leave off their bodies at Kāśī to attain liberation hereafter.

63. Hence good ascetics worship Śiva the single-syllabled lord who being the cause of the universe is stationed in the lotus of the heart.

64. Men desirous of salvation and unattached to worldly pleasures worship Śiva after realising the futility of worldly pleasures.

65. After dissolving Gāyatrī in the Praṇava identical with Śiva he shall recite the hymn “ahaṃ vṛkṣasya reriva.”[6]

66. He shall repeat the hymn beginning with “Yaḥ Chandasām Ṛṣabhaḥ[7] and ending with “gopāya.” Then he shall say I have got up.

67. O sage, he shall recite the mantras in the low, medium and high tone beginning with the Praṇava in the order of creation, sustenance and dissolution.

68-69. In this order he shall say Om Bhūḥ I have renounced. Om Bhuvaḥ I have renounced. Om Suvaḥ I have renounced. Then he shall say the composite Vyāhṛtis Om Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ, Suvaḥ.[8]

70. O sage, he shall say “I have renounced after meditating on Sadāśiva in the heart in the low, medium and high pitch gradually.

71. After muttering the Preṣa mantras with attentive mind he shall say “Let all living beings have fearlessness from me, Svāhā.”

72. He shall take water in the cupped palms and pour it to the east. He shall uproot the tuft and take out the sacred thread.

73-74. Taking the two in the cupped palms along with water he shall say Om Bhūḥ “Go thou to the ocean” after uttering Suāhā, the name of the wife of the fire. Along with the water in the palms he shall put the two in the water uttering Preṣa mantras. After performing Ācamana thrice he shall come to the bank and cast off all the clothes.

75-76. He shall then foot a short distance more than seven paces facing north or the east. Then the preceptor shall ask him to stop saying, “for your stay and activity in the world, O holy one, accept this loin-cloth and staff.” He shall hand them over to him with his own hands.

77-78. After giving the loin-cloth with its string, and the ochre-coloured robe he shall ask him to wear them. After performing Ācamana twice he shall tell the disciple thus “You are the thunderbolt of Indra.”[9]. After praying and saying “A good companion”, he shall take up the staff.

79. He shall approach the preceptor remembering the lotus-like feet of Śiva and fall at his feet thrice with fully restrained mind.

80. Standing up again he shall approach the feet of the preceptor with palms joined in reverence, glancing at his preceptor with love.

81-82. Before the rites are begun he should collect cowdung and make them into balls of the size of a myrobalan fruit and dry them in sunshine. The balls shall be placed in the sacrificial fire at the advent of homa. At the conclusion of the homa the ashes shall be collected and preserved.

83-85. The preceptor shall take the white ashes of the Viraja fire. Repeating the mantras “Agniriti Bhasma”[10] he shall apply the sacred ashes over the body of the disciple from head to foot. Repeating the five mantras “Īśāna[11] Tryāyuṣa”[12] “Tryambakam Yajāmahe[13] he shall apply the Tripuṇḍra marks too beginning with head.

86. Then the disciple shall meditate devotedly on Śiva, the consort of Umā in the lotus of his heart.

87. Putting his hand on the head of the disciple the preceptor shall utter the Praṇava thrice into the right ear of the disciple along with the names of the sage etc.

88. The excellent preceptor shall be sympathetic and explain Praṇava with the knowledge of the six-fold topics.

89. The disciple shall make obeisance to the preceptor by prostrating twelve times. He shall remain subservient to him always. He shall not do anything else.

90. At his bidding the disciple shall pursue Śaivitc knowledge in conformity with the Upaniṣadic doctrine and based on the difference of Saguṇa and Nirguṇa.

91. The preceptor shall make the disciple perform all the rites in the morning up to the Japa including the practice of hearing etc.

92. The disciple shall perform the worship in the maṇḍala Kailāsaprastara as enjoined by Śiva.

93. If he cannot worship the deity worshipped by his preceptor he shall take up Śivaliṅga of crystal along with the pedestal.

94. “I shall rather cast life and cut off my head than take meals without worshipping Śiva.”

95. Thus shall the disciple devoted to Śiva take vow in the presence of the preceptor which he shall repeat thrice with a steady mind.

96. Thus the disciple shall worship Lord Śiva every day with devoted and diligent mind, following the path of five Āvaraṇas.

Footnotes and references:


VS. 3. 5. 37.


RV. i. 164. 41; TB 2. 4. 6. 11.


TB. 3.12. 2. 2-8.


AV. 7. 33. 1.


VS 5. 8.


TA. 7. 101, TU. 1. 10. 1


Ibid. 7. 4. i? 10. 6. 1.


BDH 2. 10. 17. 27.


VS 9. 5.


Śiras U 5.


TA. 10.47.1.


VS. 3. 62


Ibid 3. 60.