The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1950 | 616,585 words

This page relates “exalted magnificence of gauri and 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.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

Chapter 4 - The exalted magnificence of Gaurī and Śiva

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: For the similarity of expression and contents of this chapter see ŚRS. 3.

Kṛṣṇa said

1. O holy lord, it has been heard how this universe is pervaded by the Mūrtis of lord Śiva, of unmeasured brilliance.

2. Now I wish to know the innate nature of the great lord and the goddess. How is this universe having male and female traits presided over by them?[1]

Upamanyu said’.—

3. I shall explain succinctly the glorious magnificence and the innate nature of Śiva and Śivā. It cannot be adequately explained in detail even by Śiva.

4. Śakti is Mahādevī herself and Mahādeva is one possessing Śakti. The entire universe of mobile and immobile beings is a fragment of their exalted magnificence.

5. Some objects are in the form of Cit and some in the form of Acit. Each of them is again twofold Śuddha and Para; Aśuddha and Apara.

6. The wheel of Cit that undergoes worldly existence along with the wheel of Acit is Aśuddha and Apara. The other one is Śuddha and Para.

7. Both the Cit and Acit whether Para or Apara and the lordship of Śiva and Śivā are natural.

8. The universe is subject to the control of Śiva and Śivā, but Śiva and Śivā are not subject to the control of the universe.[2] Since the universe is to be ruled over, Śiva and Śivā are the sovereigns of the universe.

9. Just as Śiva so also the goddess. Just as the goddess so also Śiva. No difference shall be thought of between the two as between the moon and the moonlight.

10. Just as the moon does not shine without the moonlight so also though existing Śiva does not shine without Śakti.

11-12. Just as the sun does not exist without its light nor docs the light thereof exist without the sun, so also there is mutual dependence between Śakti and Śaktimān. There is no Śakti without Śiva and no Śiva without Śakti.

13-14. The Śakti is the primordial and solitary one, of the form of Cit and depending on Śiva, by means of which Śiva can bestow worldly pleasures and salvation and which is of the same characteristics as Śiva, the great Ātman through the diverse befitting attributes of the lord.

15. The solitary and great Śakti of the form of Cit, is of parturient trait. It creates the universe with its manifold ramifications at the will of Śiva.

16. It is also called Mūlaprakṛti, Māyā and Triguṇā. It is threefold. The universe is hurled back by her and pervaded.

17. As one unit, as twofold, in hundreds and thousands Śaktis ramify themselves in their function.

18. At the will of Śiva, the great Śakti united with Śivatattva manifests from it at the first creation, like the oil from the gingelly seed.

19. Then the śakti being agitated by the Kriyā Śakti originating from the Śaktimān, the primordial sound originates at the outset of creation.

20. The Bindu comes out of the Nāda; from Bindu comes out Sadāśiva. From him is born Maheśvara and Suddhavidyā originates from Maheśvara.

21. That is the deity of speech, the Śakti of Śiva named Vāgīśā; the same in the form of letters becomes manifest as Mātṛkā.

22. Then by the infusion of the infinite, Māyā creates Kāla, Niyati, Kalā and Vidyā and through Kalā, Rāga and Puruṣa.

23. From Māyā again originates the manifest consisting of the three Guṇas. From this Avyakta the three Guṇas become separated.

24-25. The three Guṇas are Sattva, Rajas and Tamas whereby the entire universe is pervaded. From the Guṇas, on being agitated and stirred up, the three deities are born as well as Mahat and other Tattvas in due order. At the behest of Śiva innumerable seeds are born. They are presided over by the infinite and other Vidyeśas, the Emperors.

26. In accordance with the difference in bodies, Śaktis are said to be different. They shall be known as having diverse forms both gross and subtle.

27. The Śakti of Rudra is called Raudrī, that of Viṣṇu Vaiṣṇavī; that of Brahmā Brahmāṇī and that of Indra Aindrī.

28. Of what avail is much talk? What is glorified as universe is pervaded by Śakti just as the physical body is pervaded by the immanent soul.

29-30. The entire universe of the mobile and immobile beings is full of Śakti. Kalā, the greatest Śakti of the great Ātman, is called Parā Śakti, and it follows the wish of the lord and creates the mobile and immobile universe.

31. Lord Śiva is Śaktimān possessing the three Śaktis of knowledge, activity and wish. He pervades the universe for ever and stays.

32. “This shall be this way.” “This shall not be this way.” It is in this form that the wish of the lord permanently restrains activities.

33. Śakti of knowledge is in the form of Buddhi and it determines its effect, instrument, cause and purpose factually.

34. Śakti of activity in the form of conception formulates and evolves the effect—universe, in the manner wished for and in the manner determined.

35. When the threefold Śaktis are risen, the Śakti of parturient traits urged by the Paramā Śakti gives birth to the universe.

36. Śiva is called Śaktimān since he is in association with it. This universe born of both Śakti and Śaktimān is termed Śākta and Śaiva.

37. Just as no boy is born without parents, so also the universe of mobile and immobile beings does not originate without Śiva and Śivā. The universe has both a male and a female source, hence it is in the nature of male and female.

38. It is the effect of the superhuman power of male and female. It is presided over by a male and a female. Śiva is the great Ātman and Śivā the great Śakti.

39. Sadāśiva is Śiva and Manonmanī is Śivā, Maheśvara is known as Śiva and Śivā as Māyā.

40. Puruṣa is the great god and Prakṛti the great goddess. Rudra is the great god himself and Rudrāṇī is his beloved.

41. Viṣṇu is lord Viśveśvara and Lakṣmī his beloved. When Brahmā the creator is Śiva, Brahmāṇī is the beloved of Brahman.

42. The sun is lord Śiva and his light is Śivā, Mahendra is Śiva and Śacī is Pārvatī.

43. Firegod is Mahādeva and Svāhā Śivā. Yama is Śiva and Yamī is Śivā, the daughter of the mountain.

44. Nirṛti is lord Īśa. Nairṛtī is Śivā. Varuṇa is lord Rudra. Vāruṇī is Śivā.

45. Vāyu is the moon-crested lord Śiva and his wife is Śivā, the captivator of Śiva’s mind. Sacrifice is the destroyer of sacrifice (= Śiva) and Ṛddhi is Śivā.

46. The moon is Śiva. Rohiṇī is Rudra’s beloved, Īśāna is Śiva. His Āryā is the goddess Umā.

47. Ananta the Serpent king is Śiva. Ananta’s beloved is the goddess Śivā. Kālāgnirudra is Śiva. Kālī is Śiva’s beloved.

48. Puruṣa Manu is Śiva and Śatarūpā is Śiva’s beloved. Dakṣa is lord Śiva himself and Prasūti is Parameśvarī.

49. Ruci is Śiva and Ākūti is Śivā. Bhṛgu is the lord, the destroyer of the eyes of Bhaga. Khyāti is the beloved of the three-eyed lord Śiva.

50. Marīci is lord Rudra. Sambhūti is Śarva’s beloved. Aṅgiras is Śiva. Smṛti is Umā herself.

51. Pulastya is the moon-crested lord. Prīti is the wife of the trident-bearing lord. Pulaha is the destroyer of the Tripuras. His wife is the beloved of Śiva.

52. Kratu is Śiva the destroyer of sacrifice. Sannati is the beloved of the lord. Atri is the three-eyed lord. Anasūyā is Umā herself.

53. Kaśyapa is Śiva. His beloved is Śivā herself. Vasiṣṭha is Śiva and Arundhatī is the goddess herself.

54. All men are identical with Śiva. All women are identical with Maheśvarī. Hence all men and women are their exalted superhuman power.

55. Lord is the subject and his beloved is the object. Everything heard is the form of Umā and the hearer is the trident-holder Śiva.

56. All that is worthy of being enquired about is sustained by Śiva’s beloved. The enquirer is the universal soul Śiva himself with crescent moon for an ornament.

57. Śiva’s beloved holds all objects to be perceived and the perceiver is lord Viśveśvara himself with the crescent moon as the crest-jewel.

58. All objects of taste are identical with the goddess and Śiva is the taster. All lovable objects are identical with Śivā and Śiva is the lover.

59. Goddess Maheśvarī holds all objects of reflection. The reflector is the all-pervading Lord himself.

60. Lord’s beloved holds all objects to be understood. The understander is the lord himself.

61. Lord Śivā is the vital breath of all living beings. Śivā in the form of water is the existence of Prāṇa in all beings.

62. The beloved of Śiva is the abode of individual souls. Lord Śiva is the individual soul himself.

63. The day is the trident-bearing lord and Night is the beloved of Śiva himself. The ether is lord Śiva and the earth is Śiva’s beloved.

64. The ocean is lord Śiva. The shore is the daughter of the king of mountains. The tree is the bull-bannered lord. The creeper is Śiva’s beloved.

65. The lord holds all masculine beings. The goddess holds all feminine beings.

66. The beloved of Śiva holds all words. The moon-crested lord holds all their meanings.

67. Whatever power is held by whatever object is identical with the goddess Viśveśvarī and Maheśvara.

68. O fortunate ones, whatever is great, holy, pure and auspicious is the expansion of their brilliance.

69. As the flame of the brilliant lamp illuminates the house so also their brilliance pervades the universe and illuminates it.

70. The great Śruti says that the excellence of the universe from the blade of grass to Śiva’s Mūrti is due to their contact.

71. The two who are in the form of all and confer welfare on all shall be worshipped, bowed to and meditated upon always.

72. O Kṛṣṇa, the innate nature of the lord and the goddess has been explained to you by me in accordance with my ability but I have not exhausted it.

73. The innate nature of the lord and the goddess is beyond the minds of even great men. How can it be explained?

74. Just as it is present in the intellect and the minds, of the devotees who have dedicated their minds to the lord and who do not turn to any one else, so also it is not present in the intellect of others.

75. The excellence and superhuman power that has been explained now is based on Prakṛti and is great as well. Those who know esoteric secrets understand the secret of non-Prākṛtika excellence.

76. The superhuman excellence of the lord which is non-Prākṛtika is that from which words recede along with the mind and the sense-organs.

77. That superhuman power of Parameṣṭhin is the greatest splendour, the greatest goal and the acme of achievement.

78 Persons who have conquered their vital breath and the sense-organs endeavour to achieve it in order to seal up the door to the prison in the form of womb.

79. A person who has understood the superhuman excellence of Śiva and Śivā which is the divine medicine to resuscitate the dead on being bitten by the serpent of worldly existence, is not afraid of anything.

80. The individual soul who understands factually the Parā and the Aparā excellences goes beyond the Aparā Bhūti and enjoys the Parā Bhūti (the greatest excellence).

81. O Kṛṣṇa, thus I have explained to you the innate nature of the great souls, Śiva and Śivā, though it is a secret because you are a qualified devotee of Śiva.

82. It is the injunction of the Vedas that the Vibhūti of the lord and the goddess shall not be imparted to those who are not disciples or who are not devotees or who are not the followers of Śiva.

83. O Kṛṣṇa of great welfare, so you do not tell others about this. Mention it to people, like you, who are deserving.

84. He who imparts this Vibhūti of Śiva and Śivā to qualified and competent men is liberated from the ocean of worldly existence and attains Sāyujya[3] of Śiva.

85. By reciting this, crores of sins perish. Repeated thrice or four times it quells even more.

86. All displeasing enemies perish. Friends increase. Learning flourishes. Auspicious intellect functions in Truth.

87. He acquires devotion to Śiva, Śivā, their followers and attendants. He acquires whatever is pleasing and all other things undoubtedly.

88. One should recite this with purity of mind, devotion to Śiva and full conviction. If due to powerful previous Karmans the fruition is prevented, he shall repeat it again. There is nothing inaccessible to him.

Footnotes and references:


Śiva in the half-male and half-female (ardhanārīśvara) form is the cause of the universe. The concept has its basis in the Puruṣa-Prakṛti doctrine of Sāṅkhya philosopher. For details see Sāṅkyakārikā of Īśvarakṛṣṇa.


We have emended the reading “sa viśvasya vaśe śivau” to “na viśvasya vaśe śivau” and translated accordingly.


Sāyujya is the fourth grade of liberation, the other three being Sārūpya, Sālokya and Sānnidhya. Herein the aspirant attains absorption in the divine essence. But Śiva-purāṇa recounts another grade also, namely Kaivalya which means the devotee’s total merge or extinction in his godhead. See Koṭirudra-saṃhitā (Śivapurāṇa) 41.3 et seq.

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