The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “rules of yogapatta” 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 19 - The rules of Yogapaṭṭa

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Subrahmaṇya said:—

Now the great statements: perfect knowledge is Brahman; I am Brahman; thou art that. This Ātman is Brahman. All this is pervaded by the lord. I am the vital breath. Ātman is perfect knowledge; what is here is there; what is there is here. It is other than what is known; verily it is other than what is unknown too. This is your soul, the immanent and the deathless one. He who is in this Puruṣa and he who is in the sun both are the same. I am the great Brahman, the greatest, greater than the greatest. I am myself (the Brahman) characterised by bliss, since I am the master of the Vedas and the Śāstras. Brahman is stationed in all living beings. Undoubtedly I am that alone. I am the vital breath of the elements: of the earth, of the waters, of the fire, of the wind, of the ether and of the three Guṇas. I am all. I am the Ātman of all. I transmigrate. I am without a second because I have everything in my Ātman—past, present and future. Indeed all this is Brahman. I am all. I am the liberated. He who is this is I; I am he; I am Haṃsa; I am he. This shall be meditated upon always and everywhere.

1. The meaning of the statement—“Perfect knowledge is Brahman” has already been made known. Parameśvara the Śakti-soul is the meaning of the word Aham.

2. ‘A’ is the foremost among all letters. It is the greatest splendour ‘Śiva’. The letter ‘Ha’ is of the form of firmament. It is glorified as the Śakti-soul.

3. Bliss is ever-rising due to the union of Śiva and Śakti. The word Brahman indicates the state of being Ātman of all, of Śiva and Śakti.

4. That has been taught before. The devotee shall meditate “I am he” “That you are;” in this the meaning of “That” has already been explained.

5-6. Otherwise there is a likelihood of opposite conception in “I am he” whereas the word “I” is in the masculine, the word “That” is in the neuter. Hence due to the incompatibility they cannot be interpreted together. The cause of the universe, of male and female forms, cannot be otherwise. The concept of the meaning of the instruction is: “Thou art that.”

7. In the statement “This Ātman is Brahman” both the words are in the masculine. All this worthy of protection is pervaded by the lord.

8-9. “The Ātman is the perfect knowledge: what is here is there; he who is here is there.” The concept is very well interpreted by the scholars.

10-12. In the statement “It is other than what is known and what is unknown”, there is a likelihood of adverse interpretation and conception in regard to the fruit of salvation. I shall explain, O sage, how this misinterpretation shall be prevented. “What is known” means “what is known not properly.” What is unknown” means “What is not known before.” Otherwise the expression may not be conducive to any meaning.

13-14. “This is your soul, the immanent, and the immortal one.” It is Śiva himself, who is in the Puruṣa, or in the sun. Here the two conditions indicate that there is no separateness in the lord.

15-17. Verily the Vedas mention lord Śiva as golden. “Golden-armed” refers to his limbs being golden. Otherwise the lordship cannot be his. In the Chāndogya also in the passage “He who is in Śiva” is mentioned with golden moustache, golden tresses. Everywhere from the nail till the hair he is golden.

18. I shall tell you me purport of the statement “I am the great Brahman”. Please listen.

19. The meaning of ‘Aham’ is Śakti-soul. Śiva is indicated thereby. “I am he alone”. The statement can be construed thus.

20-21. He is mentioned as the great Brahman, most sublime and the soul of all: “Para, Apara, Parātpara.” The words Rudra, Brahmā and Viṣṇu are mentioned in the Vedas. The lord is greater than these. This is indicated by the word ‘Para’.

22. By pondering over and practising the words of the Vedas, Śāstras and the preceptor, Śiva, the blissful lord appears in the heart of the pupil.

23. Śiva is stationed in all living beings. Undoubtedly I am he. I am the vital breath of all the Taitvas. I am Śiva.

24-26. After mentioning the Tattvas the Śāstras mention the Tattvas and Guṇas severally. The statement “I am the vital breath of all”, O sage, includes the principles in entirety. By saying “I am all” he means “I am the vital breath of the Vidyātattva and the Tattvas of Śiva and Ātman”. Hence “I am the Ātman of all”. Since the individual soul is immanent as well, I am his Jīva always.

27. What is past, what is yet to be, what is present-all these are identical with me. Hence I am all. All is Rudra.

28. O sage, the Śruti says that it has originated from Śiva’s mouth. “I am the soul of all”, because the great qualities are ever present in me.

29. “I am without a second” because there is no other Ātman distinct from the self. The statement “indeed all this is Brahman” has been explained before.

30. I am complete because of my positive aspect. I am ever liberated. All the souls resorting to my nature are liberated due to my grace.

31. “I am he who is Śiva, the soul of all and identical with all. I am Haṃsa. I am Śiva.” This is the meaning of all statements, O Vāmadeva, as mentioned by Śiva.

32. The preceptor shall communicate to the pupil the meaning as declared by Śiva and explained in the Vedīc passages. It establishes the identity of men with Śiva Himself.

33. He shall then take the conch with the pedestal and purify it with Bhasma and the Astra mantra. He shall put it before the disciple on the square and worship it.

34. He shall worship it with scents repeating Om. It shall be filled with scented water invoked by Astra mantra and filtered with a cloth. It shall be worshipped with the Praṇava Om.

35-36. It shall be worshipped repeating Om seven times. He who makes the slightest slip has to face the greatest terror. So says the Śruti. He shall then address the disciple himself, “Be steady-minded and fearless”. Meditating on the lord he shall continue the worship.

37. He shall worship the seat, of the disciple with the rite of “Ṣaḍutthāpana.” After conceiving Śiva’s seat he shall install an idol of Śiva.

38-39. He shall fix on the head and the body of the disciple, the five Brahmans, beginning with the head and ending with the feet. He shall also fix the Kalās of the Praṇava too in the forms of the thirty-eight mantras as distinguished by the trunk, face and Kalās. After invoking Śiva he shall show the mystic gestures of the Kalās.

40. He shall then perform the Nyāsa of the limbs. The sixteen forms[1] of ancillary services beginning with the offering of the seat shall also be performed.

41. Milk pudding shall be offered as Naivedya repeating Om Svāhā. The rites of offering water for gargling and Ācamana, Arghya, incense, lights etc. shall also be performed.

42-45. After worshipping with the eight names he shall perform the Japa along with brahmins well-versed in the Vedas. Passages from the Śrutis: “The knower of Brahman attains.” “Bhṛgu the son of Varuṇa” “He who of gods”[2] and ending with “He who is the greatest is Maheśvara” shall be recited. Taking a garland of Kalhāra flowers he shall stand up and recite the “Siddhi Skandha” section in the Pañcāśika Text of Śrīvirūpākṣa. Thereafter thinking thus “This is my fame. I am complete” and feeling favourably disposed towards him the preceptor shall put the garland round the neck of the disciple.

46. The caste mark on the forehead and the application of the unguent over the body shall be carried out in accordance with his cultural custom.

47-49. The preceptor shall assign a name to him prefixed with the title Śripāda. He shall offer him an umbrella and sandals. He shall delegate to him the power of oratory, authorise him to accept scat in front since the disciple has now become Śiva himself. He shall tell him to be conscious that he is Śiva. The preceptor shall make obeisance in accordance with the tradition in the cult.

50. The disciple shall then stand up and prostrate before his preceptor, the preceptor’s preceptor and the other disciples of his preceptor.

51. When the disciple has finished the customary obeisance he shall stand humbly and silently like a well behaved disciple. The preceptor shall tell him like this.

52. “From now onwards be engaged in blessing the worlds. Accept a disciple only after testing him for a year. Accept him duly.

53. Eschew the faults of lust etc. and be devoted to meditation on Śiva. Associate with those who have inherited good tradition and not with others.

54. Till the end of your life never take food without worshipping Śiva. Abiding by your devotion to the preceptor be happy, be happy.”

55. In this manner the excellent preceptor, sympathetic and scholarly, shall be favourably inclined towards the disciple.

56. O Vāmadeva, O great sage, out of affection for you the mode of the consecration of the disciple has been mentioned to you though it is a great secret.

57. After saying this Kārttikeya narrated the procedure of hair-cutting and ablution in detail intending to favour the ascetics (anxious to hear him).

Footnotes and references:


The sixteen ways of doing homage to a deity are:

āmanaṃ svāgataṃ pādyamardhyamācamanīyakam |
madhuparkācamasnānaṃ vasanābharaṇāni ca |
gandhapuṣpe dhūpadīpau naivedyaṃ vandanaṃ tathā |


Mānava-śrauta-sūtra 1. 3. 4. 3; M? 2.2.19.

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