The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “glory of lord shiva” 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 2 - The glory of lord Śiva

The sages said:—

1. What is the Pāśupata knowledge? How is Śiva the lord of Paśus? Why was Dhaumya’s elder brother asked by Kṛṣṇa of unstrained activities.

2. O lord Vayu, of the form of Śiva, please explain all these things. In the whole of the three worlds there is no other person competent to explain it like you.

Sūta said:—

3. On hearing the words of the sages, Vāyu thought upon Śiva, and began to explain.

Vāyu said:—

4. This excellent and exalted Pāśupata knowledge was mentioned to the goddess by lord Śiva on the mountain Mandara.

5. The same question was asked by Kṛṣṇa, the cause of the universe about the animal nature of the gods and others and the overlordship of Śiva.

6. I shall explain it succinctly as imparted to Kṛṣṇa by Upamanyu. Please hear attentively.

7. Formerly Viṣṇu in the form of Kṛṣṇa bowed to Upamanyu sitting in his hermitage and spoke courteously.

Lord Kṛṣṇa said:—

8. O lord, I wish to hear about the divine Pāśupata knowledge as mentioned to the goddess by the lord. I wish to hear about his prosperity and glory entirely.

9. How is the lord known as Paśupati, lord of Paśus? Who are the Paśus? What are those Pāśas (strings) with which they are bound? How are they released?

10. Thus implored by the noble Kṛṣṇa the glorious Upamanyu bowed to the lord and the goddess and spoke as follows.

Upamanyu said:—

11. Every being beginning with Brahmā and ending with immobile beings is called Paśu in relation to the lord of gods. Every being is subject to worldly existence.

12. Śiva, lord of the gods, is known as Paśupati in view of his being the lord of the Paśus. The Pati binds the Paśus through the Pāśas (strings) of dirt.

13-14. He alone releases when he is meditated upon and worshipped with devotion. The twenty-four principles, Māyā, Karman and the three Guṇas are called Viṣayas. These are the Pāśas that bind the Paśus. After binding the Paśus, from Brahmā to the grass, by means of these Pāśas, lord Śiva makes them do their respective duties.

15-20. At his behest Prakṛti generates Buddhi befitting the Puruṣa. Buddhi (cosmic intellect)‘generates Ahaṅkāra (Ego). The ego generates the eleven sense-organs and five Tanmātras. At his bidding the Tanmātras too, create the great Bhūtas entirely in their order; the great Bhūtas create the physical bodies of all beings from Brahmā to the grass. Intellect determines and resolves. Ego feels pride in and identifies with what is possessed. Consciousness observes and becomes conscious of things. Mind conceives and imagines. The organs of knowledge apprehend the objects separately.

21-22. The sense-organs grasp their objects and not others and this is due to the divine command of the lord. The organs of activity too do their own duties. Nothing else. It is due to Śiva’s order that sound, etc. are grasped, speech, etc. are made. Śiva’s weighty command is not to be transgressed by any.

23-26. It is only at the behest of the lord that ether pervades all, yields space to the elements. At the bidding of Śiva the wind sustains the entire universe, internal and external, under different names of Prāṇa, etc. At the bidding of the lord the firegod bears offerings to the gods and oblations to the Pitṛs. It facilitates cooking etc. At his behest the waters enliven all. At the bidding of the lord the earth holds up the universe for ever.

27-30. In respect of Śiva’s inviolable command lord Indra protects the gods, kills the Asuras and guards the worlds. By Śiva’s command lord Varuṇa rules over the waters and binds those who are to be punished, by means of his noose. At the behest of Śiva the lord of wealth, the lord of the Yakṣas, distributes wealth to the living beings in accordance with their merit. At the bidding of Śiva, Īśāna bestows knowledge on the intelligent ones and affords them riches, and curbs the evil-doers.

31-34. It is at the direction of Śiva that the earth is supported by Śeṣa. The Raudrī and Tāmasī form of Viṣṇu that brings about destruction is created by the four-faced lord. At his behest, through other forms of his own, he protects the universe and annihilates it in the end. He protects, creates and devours the universe through his own three bodies. At his bidding alone Rudra annihilates the universe in the end.

35-37. The Ātman of the universe thus assuming three different forms creates and protects too. Time creates, protects and destroys at his behest. At his bidding with the three parts of his splendour, the sun supports the universe, commands the shower and rains in the heaven. At the behest of the moon-crested lord, the moon nourishes the plants, delights the living beings and is imbibed by the gods.

38-43. Ādityas, Vasus, Rudras, Aśvins, Maruts, heaven-walkers, Sages, Siddhas, Serpents, human beings, beasts, animals, birds, worms, immobile beings, rivers, oceans, mountains, forests, lakes, Vedas with their ancillaries, the scriptures, the compendiums of mantras, sacrifices, etc., the worlds beginning with Kālāgni and ending with Śiva and their over-lords, the innumerable Brahmāṇḍas, their coverings, the past, present and future, the quarters, interstices, the different units of time, Kalā etc.—all these, whatever is seen or heard in the world, are presided over by the order of Śiva.

44. It is through the power of his order that the earth, the mountains, clouds, oceans, luminary bodies, Indra and other gods, the mobile and immobile beings sentient or non-sentient are sustained.

45. O Kṛṣṇa, listen to the wonderful feat performed by the order of Śiva of unmeasured activity and heard by me from the Upaniṣads.

46. After conquering the Asuras in the war formerly, the gods including Indra began to argue with one another “I am the victor, I am the victor”.

47. Then lord Śiva assumed the guise of a Yakṣa and stood in their midst devoid of his characteristic features in the limbs.

48. He set a blade of grass on the ground and told the gods, “He who can deform this grass is the conqueror of the Daityas.”

49. On hearing the words of the Yakṣa, the thunderbolt-bearing consort of Śacī became infuriated. Smiling a little he attempted to take up the grass.

50. When he could not lift it up he hurled his thunderbolt at it in order to cut it.

51. The thunderbolt coming into contact with the grass appeared to clash with a steel and fell aside.

52. Then the guardians of the quarters and the worlds, of great strength exerted themselves and hurled thousands of their weapons at the grass-blade.

53. The great fire blazed, the fìerce wind blew and the lord of the waters swelled as if the hour of dissolution had arrived.

54. Thus everything initiated by the gods strenuously against the grass was a flop. O Kṛṣṇa, it was due to the power of that Yakṣa alone.

55. Then the infuriated lord of go is asked the Yakṣa, “Who are you, sir?” Then even as they were watching, the Yakṣa vanished.

56. In the meantime the goddess Haimavatī bedecked in divine ornaments, appeared in the sky smiling and shining brilliantly.

57. On seeing her the wonderstruck gods, Indra and others bowed to her humbly and asked, “Who is this uncommon Yakṣa?”

58. The goddess smiled and said—“He is invisible to you. He is the lord by whom this wheel of the world including the mobile and immobile beings, revolves.

59. In the beginning the universe is created by him, and it is annihilated again by him. There is none to control him. Everything is controlled by him”.

60. After saying this the great goddess vanished there itself. The surprised gods bowed to her and went to heaven.