The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “twelfth day rites for yatis” 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 23 - The twelfth day rites for Yatis

Subrahmaṇya said:—

1-2. He shall get up early in the morning on the twelfth day, take his bath and perform his daily rites. He shall invite some Śaiva ascetics or brahmin devotees of Śiva. After they had taken their baths they shall be fed at midday in accordance with the rules, offering them sweet and auspicious foodstuffs of various sorts.

3-4. In the presence of Parameśa they shall be worshipped in accordance with the Pañcāvaraṇa rites after performing Prāṇāyāma. As in the case of Mahāsaṃkalpa he shall perform the Saṃkalpa rite thus, “I shall perform the worship of the perceptor.” He shall then touch the Darbhas.

5. After washing his feet and performing Ācamana he shall make them sit facing east. Ashes shall be smeared all over the body.

6. O sage, the eight—Sadāśiva etc. shall be meditated upon and the brahmins shall be treated with respect.

7. He shall then meditate on Parameṣṭhi Guru as Sāmba with his own name. Paramaguru and Parāt Paraguru shall also be meditated upon.

8-11. He shall say “Here is the seat” and offer seat. With Om as prefix his name shall be mentioned in the accusative case with the addition “I invoke, obeisance”. He shall then offer Pādya, Ācamana, Arghya, cloth, scents and Akṣatas. They shall be decorated with flowers. Their names shall be mentioned in the Dative case with Om prefixed and worshipped with fragrant flowers. After fumigating with the incense and offering lights he shall say, “The entire rites of propitiation are over. May they be perfect and complete” and perform obeisance and get up.

12-14. Plantain leaves shall be spread and cleaned with water. Pure cooked nice, milk pudding, sweet pies, cooked dal, vegetable dishes, and other food stuffs shall be placed over them along with plantain fruits, coconuts and jaggery. Darbha grass is put under each leaf. These shall be sprinkled and the Pariṣecana, the sprinkling of foodstuffs shall be performed. He shall then say “Protect the Havya of Viṣṇu” and make them touch the articles.

15. He shall stand up and offer giving water for drinking he shall request them thus, “May Sadāśiva and others be delighted with me and bestow boons on me”.

16. He shall then recite the mantra “Ye devā[1] etc. and scatter Akṣatas. He shall prostrate, stand up and say “Everywhere may there be nectar”.

17-23. Saying this he shall propitiate them. Then repeating the mantra “Gaṇānāṃtvā”[2] he shall recite Rudra, Camaka, Rudrasūkta and Pañcasūkta. After the brahmins had taken their meals they shall he given as many Akṣatas as there are mantras. Water shall be offered for drinking and washing hands, mouth and feet. When they had performed Ācamana they shall be comfortably seated. Pare water shall be given again. Camphor betel leaves shall be offered and Dakṣiṇās given. Gifts of sandals, scats, leaves, fans, planks and bamboo staff shall be made. They shall be circumambulated and prostrated and their blessings received. Making obeisance again they shall be requested for unflinching devotion to the preceptor. Saying “May Sadāśiva and others go delightedly and comfortably” he shall bid farewell to them. Till the door he shall follow them. When they forbid him follow further, he shall return and take food along with the other brahmins, kinsmen and the poor. He shall then feel contented and happy.

24. This is never affected. It is the truth. He who performs the rite of propitiation of the preceptor every year enjoys great pleasure here and attains Śivaloka hereafter.

25. After saying this to Vāmadeva his disciple blessed by himself, the wise lord Subrahmaṇya delighted in mind said:—

26. Since formerly this was mentioned to the sages of the Naimiṣa forest by the sage Vyāsa he is our first preceptor. You are the second one famous in the world.

27. Hearing this from the lotus-like mouth of yours the great sage Sanatkumāra, full of devotion to Śiva, shall mention this to Vyāsa. That excellent devour of Śiva will mention this to Śuka.

28. For every leading sage there will be four disciples. They will be masters of Vedic study and establish virtuous sacred rites.

29. The four disciples of Vyāsa are Vaiśampāyana, Paila, Jaimini and Sumantu.

30. O sage Vāmadeva, your disciples are Agastya, Pulastya, Pulaha and Kratu.

31-32. Sanaka, Sananda, Sanātanamuni, and Sanatsujāta, these great yogins, favourites of Śiva, the knowers of the Vedas are the disciples of Sanatkumāra. Thus these preceptors, great preceptors etc. are worthy of being worshipped by the yogin Śuka.

33. This perfect knowledge of Praṇava is well established in the four classes of disciples. Being the cause of great glory it is the cause of salvation at Kāśī.

34. This Maṇḍala as the seat of the great Śiva is wonderful. It is worshipped by the great sages conversant with the essence of Vedānta. It is enveloped by the ether as mentioned in the Vedas. May it be conducive to your satisfaction and the welfare of the world. May it yield glory and prosperity.

35. This is the secret par excellence as mentioned by Śiva. It is the conclusion of the Vedānta tenet. O sage, since it has been heard by you from me people call it as your tenet.

36. Hence an ascetic who treads along this path attains Śiva like the rivers that fall into the sea. By the repeated practice of the meditation “I am Śiva”, the ascetic becomes Śiva. He can grant salvation even to the class of beings Brahma etc.

37-38. After teaching this to, the sage the lord of gods remembered the lotus-like feet of his parents worshipped by the gods. Kumāra reached Kailāsa of many peaks, Kumāra the preceptor who bestows perfect knowledge.

39. Accompanied by his disciples and making obeisance to the peacock-vehicled lord, Vāmadeva too immediately left for the wonderful mountain Kailāsa.

40. After reaching the summit of Kailāsa the sage approached Śiva. He saw the feet of the lord and the goddess—the feet that bestow salvation and destroy illusion.

41. With great devotion he dedicated himself to him. He prostrated again and again and then got up.

42. Then the sage, with various Vedic and Śāstric hymns eulogised Śiva together with Ambā and their sons.

43. He put the lotus-like feet of the lord and the goddess on his head. With their blessings he stayed there comfortably.

44-45. All of you too shall learn the meaning of the Praṇava Maheśvara, the secret of the Vedas, of the Tāraka Brahman, the bestower of salvation. Remaining here itself comfortably you will attain the excellent salvation, the unequalled Sāyujya with the feet of Śrīviśveśvara.

46. I shall go to Badarikāśrama[3] for serving the lotus like feet of my preceptor. Let us aspire for the opportunity of having excellent talk again.

Footnotes and references:


VS 1. 4.


Ibid 23. 19.


See P. 1327 note.