The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “idol of shiva for 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 15 - The idol of Śiva for worship

Subrahmaṇya said:—

1. Henceforth I shall explain, O good-faced lady, the mode of creation for the set of four, Maheśa etc. from Sadāśiva.

2. Sadāśiva the lord of ether is the composite. The set of four, Maheśa etc. is the individualistic form.

3. Maheśa is a thousandth part of Sadāśiva. It has the form of Puruṣa for its face. It is the lord of wind too.

4. He is associated with Māyā Śakti on his left. He is Saguṇa having much activity. The set of four Īśvara etc. is his own Vyaṣṭi.

5. This set of four comprising Īśvara, Viśveśvara, Parameśvara and Sarveśvara is the excellent Tirobhāvacakra.

6. Tirobhāva is twofold. One concerns Rudra, the other the individual souls in view of their physical bodies.

7. The latter remains till equality in activity is achieved. When this is achieved, there remains only the lord of the form of blessing.

8. There all the Īśvaras who are glorified as the deities, are identical with the great Brahman itself, free from alternatives and ailments.

9. The Tirobhāva Cakra consists of the Śāntikalā. This excellent region is presided over by Maheśvara.

10. This region is attainable by those who serve Maheśa etc. It yields Sālokya liberation to the devotees of Maheśvara.

11. The image Rudra is born of a thousandth part of Maheśvara. He has Aghora for his face. He is the lord of the principle of fire.

12. He is associated with Gaurīśakti on his left. He is the cause of dissolution of the universe; of him alone is the Vyaṣṭi born—the set of four, Śiva etc.

13. This set of four consists of Śiva, Hara, Mṛda and Bhava. This wheel of dissolution, O sage, is wonderful and divine.

14-16. Dissolution has been classified into three. The first Nitya is the daily slumber of living beings. The second is the conditioned dissolution of Brahmā. The third is the final dissolution. The three have been indicated by the Vedic texts. O excellent sage, the dissolution has been classified into three by the illustrious Rudra for the maturing of the activities of individual souls and for their rest. The souls released from their recurring births are ultimately placed in the great Ātman itself.

17. Thus I have mentioned the three activities of Rudra in respect of dissolution. The five activities of the lord in respect of creation shall also be explained to you.

18. O sage, the deities Bhava etc. are identical with the great Brahman, being the cause of bliss.

19. This wheel of dissolution has Vidyārūpa Kalā. This healthy region is presided over by Rudra himself.

20 This region is attainable by those who desire the propitiation of Rudras. O sage, it yields the Sāyujya of Rudras gradually through Sālokya.

21. Viṣṇu was born from a thousandth part of Rudra. In the form of Vāmadeva wheel he is the presiding deity of the principle of water.

22. He is associated with Lakṣmī Śakti on the left. He is the protector of all. He has four arms. He has eyes as splendid as the lotus. He is dark-complexioned and bears the characteristics of Śaṅkha etc.

23. Of him alone is the set of lour Vāsudevas in the Vyaṣṭi form. It bestows liberation on the devotees of Viṣṇu engaged in worship through meditation.

24. This set of four consists of Vāsudeva, Aniruddha, Saṃkarṣaṇa and Pradyumna. This excellent wheel of sustenance is well known.

25. Sustenance means the protection of the existing universe along with its creator until the completion of the pleasures of the souls, the reapers of the fruit.

26. Protection is the activity of Viṣṇu. In the sustenance also the lord has five activities, viz; creation etc,

27. The deities of whom Pradyumna is the chief are absolute and without distress. They cause bliss to liberated souls.

28. O Brahmin, this wheel of sustenance which is permanent is presided over by Viṣṇu. It is the highest abode.

29. This region is attainable by those who serve the lotus-feet of Viṣṇu. This wheel yields Sālokya etc. to the devotees of Viṣṇu.

30. Brahmā was born of a thousandth part of Viṣṇu.

He has the face of Sadyojāta and is the presiding deity of the principle of earth.

31. He is accompanied by the goddess of speech on his left. He is the creator and lord of the universe. He has four faces. He is red in complexion and his form is possessed of Rajas attribute.

32. Hiraṇyagarbha, Virāṭ, Puruṣa and Kāla, the four constitute his personal form.

33. O Brahmin, this wheel of creation is the cause of Brahma’s sons and other sages. It bestows desires and happiness to the devotee.

34-35. Those who have the knowledge of creation know this to be the function of Brahman. Creation is the process of re-unification of the soul with the body previously annihilated—the body which along with the means, ancillaries and results comes out of Prakṛti for gradual enjoyment. It is pleasing as long as it holds good.

36. O sage, in the creation of the universe there are five functions of the lord. The present time etc. are the deities there.

37. This wheel of creation is in the form of turning round. This charming region is presided over by Brahman.

38. This region is attainable by those who have dedicated their minds to Brahmā. This indeed bestows Sālokya and other liberations on the devotees of Brahmā.

39. Even in regard to the set of four wheels the Praṇava indicates Maheśa etc.

40. O sage, this wheel of universe is glorified by the Śrutis. The Vedas eulogise it as the wheel with five spokes.

41. Although the wheel of the universe with its five constituents: creation etc. has five spokes, it develops and increases by Śiva’s energy.

42. It is called a “wheel” because it moves round and round with incessant dissolution and recreation like the whirling fire-brand.

43-44. Because of the immensity of creation it is called Pṛthu, the resultant of the Śakti of lord Śiva of immense splendour and of golden features. The wheel is dependent on golden splendour and is surrounded by water encompassed by fire.

45. Fire is surrounded by wind; wind by ether; ether by the primordial element and that by intellect.

46. Intellect is encompassed by the unmanifest. O sage, the universe is thus explained by the learned preceptors.

47. Such are the seven sheaths which protect the universe. The expanse of water is ten times more massive than the wheel.

48. The world above is ten times more than the one below. O leading sage, the universe shall be known thus by those who desire to know that.

49. It is by accepting this sense that the Śruti says “In the middle of water”. Of course the earth rotates as the wheel.

50. That Śiva alone accompanied by Śakti performs incessant sports through blessing, disappearance, dissolution, sustenance and creation.

51. O sage, of what avail is much talk? I shall tell you the essence. Śiva endowed with Śakti is all this. It is definite conclusion.