The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “upamanyu’s advice to lord krishna” 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 3 - Upamanyu’s advice to lord Kṛṣṇa

Upamanyu said:—

1. O Kṛṣṇa, listen; this universe of the mobile and immobile beings is pervaded by the Mūrtyātmans of lord Śiva, the great Ātman.

2. Śiva presides over all these by means of his own Mūrtis. His Ātman is incomprehensible. This is said by the sages.

3. These shall be known as his Mūrtis whereby this universe is pervaded viz:—Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Rudra, Maheśāna and Sadāśiva.

4. There are other bodies as well, called Pañcabrahmans. There is nothing which is not pervaded by those bodies.

5. The famous Pañcabrahmans,[1] the bodies of the lord are Īśāna, Puruṣa, Aghora, Vāmadeva and Sadyojāta.

6. His greatest first Mūrti, Īśāna, presides over the individual soul the enjoyer of Prakṛti.

7. The Mūrti of Śiva the lord having embodied forms, named Tatpuruṣā, presides over the unmanifest which is worthy of being enjoyed and which is in the form of the support of the Guṇas.

8. The highly venerable Mūrti Aghora, of the trident-bearing lord, presides over the principle of cosmic intellect consisting of eight parts of Dharma etc.

9. Persons who know the Āgamas call the Mūrti Vāmadeva as the presiding deity of Ego.

10. The intelligent men say that the Mūrti Sadyojāta of Śiva of unmeasured splendour is the presiding deity of the mind.

11. Scholars understand that the Mūrti Īśāna is the presiding deity of the ear speech, sound and the all-pervasive ether.

12. Experts of the Purāṇas understand that the Mūrti Tatpuruṣa is the presiding deity of the skin, hand, touch and Vayu.

13. The wise understand that the Mūrti Aghora is the presiding deity of the eye, leg, colour and fire.

14. The devotees understand that the Mūrti Vāmadeva is the presiding deity of the tongue, anus, taste and the waters.

15. They say that the Mūrti Sadyojāta is the presiding deity of the nose, sexual organ, smell and the earth.

16. The five Mūrtis of the lord, the sole causes of prosperity shall be assiduously saluted by men seeking Śreyas.

17. The universe consists of eight Munis, of the primordial lord of the gods, wherein lies stretched the universe as the gems and beads in the string.

18. These famous eight Mūrtis[2] are Śarva, Bhava, Rudra, Ugra, Bhīma, Paśupati, Īśāna, and Mahādeva.

19. The earth, waters, fire, wind, ether, Kṣetrajña, the sun and the moon are presided over by the eight Mūrtis, Śarva, etc, of the lord.

20. This is the conclusion of the scripture that the Mūrti of Śarva, in the form of the earth upholds the universe consisting of the mobile and immobile beings.

21. The Mūrti of Bhava the great Ātman, in the form of water enlivens the universe.

22. The Mūrti of Rudra having terrible form, is stationed all over the universe internally and externally and it consists of fire.

23. The Mūrti of Ugra in the form of the wind throbs itself and sustains eyerything and makes everything throb.

24. The Mūrti of Bhīma is in the form of the ether It splits the elements. It. is all-pervasive and gives space to everything.

25. The Mūrti of Paśupati is the presiding deity of the Ātmans, immanent in the souls and splitting the binding cords of the Paśus.

26. The Mūrti of Maheśa named Īśāna, otherwise called the sun, illuminates the universe and moves about in the firmament.

27. The Mūrti of Mahādeva is the cause of the moon who delights and nourishes the universe with his nectarine rays.

28. The eighth Mūrti of the supreme lord Śiva is the Ātman. It pervades all the Mūrtis. Hence the universe has Śiva as its Ātman.

29. Just as the branches are nourished by watering the roots of the tree, so also by the worship of Śiva his body, the universe, is nourished.

30. The propitiation of Śiva bestows protection, blessing and renders help unto all.

31. As the father is delighted at the pleasure of his sons and grandsons so also Śiva is pleased at the pleasure of all.

32. There is no doubt if any embodied soul is curbed it is a displeasing injury committed on the eight-bodied lord.

33. With pious emotions worship Śiva who presides over the universe in the form of Aṣṭamūrti Rudra, the great cause.

Footnotes and references:


Īśāna, Puruṣa (Tatpuruṣa), Aghora, Vāma and Sadya are the five forms of Śiva. In the light of this version, the expression ‘Vāmasañjña’ in ŚRS 1.39 shall be emended to ‘Vamassadyaḥ’ and translated accordingly.


The Aṣṭamūrti concept of Śiva finds its parallel in Śrs Ch. 2. According to this concept, the eight forms—Śarva, Bhava, Rudra, Ugra, Bhīma, Paśupati, Īśāna and Mahādeva symbolise the five gloss material elements, the individual soul (kṣetrajña), the principle of heat (sun) and cold moon) resprctivdy. There are variations in regard to their presiding position in certain purāṇas.