The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “principle of shiva (2)” 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 7 - The principle of Śiva (2)

Upamanyu said:—

1. His Śakti shall be known as natural and dissimilar to the universe in its characteristics. It is single but appears in many forms like the light of the sun.

2. Endless are the Śaktis, viz, wish, knowledge, activity and Māyā etc. just like the flames of fire.

3. The PuruṣasSadāśiva, Īśvara and others, Vidyeśvara Avidyeśvara and others and Prakṛti—greater than the greatest were born of this Śakti.

4. There is no doubt that the principles from Mahat to Viśeṣa, the deities Brahmā and others and whatever there is as effect are produced by it.

5. That Śakti is all-pervasive and subtle. It has the form of enlightenment and bliss. The moon-bedecked lord is, called Śaktimān.

6. Śiva is the one who shall be known. Sivā is intellect, the Vedas, the firmness, stability, fixity and the Śakti of knowledge, wish and activity.

7. Ājñā is the great Brahman. The two Vidyās are Parā and Aparā, Śuddhavidyā and Śuddhakalā since everything is created by Śakti.

8. Māyā is Prakṛti. Jīva is Vikṛti. Whatever there is Sat or Asat is pervaded by Śakti.

9. The goddess enchants and deludes the universe without any strain through Māyā. She releases the Jīvas sportively.

10. With her ramified into twenty-seven forms, the lord stands pervading the universe.[1] Hence the process of liberation functions.

11-17. Formerly some sages desirous of salvation held a discourse on Brahman. Their minds were pestered by doubts. They began to reflect and ponder. “What is the ultimate reason? Whence are we born? Whereby do we live? Where is our final establishment? By whom are we presided Over? Whereby do we permanently abide by happiness or other things? By whom was the untransgressable arrangement of the universe made? It is not befitting to take time, nature, destiny, chance as the ultimate, reason. Nor can it be the Puruṣa or any of the living beings or a Yogin greater than these. Time etc. are insentient and cannot function as the ultimate reason. Though the Ātman is sentient and experiences happiness and misery yet it is incapable of ruling. After these reflections those who meditate can realise the Śakti of the lord, the splitter of the Pāśa but hidden by the Guṇas. Through this Śakti when their binding cords are cut they can see the Śaktimān, the cause of all causes, through their divine eyes.

18. He is incomprehensible and through this Śakti he presides over all causes, including the Time-soul.

19. Then through his grace, the great Yoga and the path of devotion they can attain the supreme divine goal.

20. The Vedas declare that only those have permanent peace who see Śiva in their hearts along with that Śakti and none of the others.

21. Never is Śaktiman apart from the blissful Śakti due to the identity between Śakti and Śaktimān

22. In regard to salvation the sequence of knowledge and activity is not intended because if there is divine grace salvation is accessible to everyone.

23. Whether one is a god or an asura, an animal or a bird, a worm on a germ, one is liberated due to his grace.

24-25. There is no doubt that a child in the womb, a nascent child, a boy, a young, old or a dying man, a soul in heaven or hell, a fallen or a pious, or a wise man or a fool is immediately released if there is divine grace.

26. The merciful lord quells different dirts of his devotees though they may be unqualified. He is pleased with their devotion.

27. Their devotion is due to their grace and the grace is a result of devotion in view of the difference in states. A learned man is not deluded therein.

28. This devotion with grace as its antecedent and causing worldly pleasures and salvation cannot be acquired in a single birth.

29. Maheśvara is delighted with enlightened people not attached to worldly pleasures who follow the rules prescribed in Śrutis and Smṛtis and who achieve Siddhis in the course of several births.

30-31. When the lord of gods is delighted a modicum of devotion is generated in the individual with the consciousness, “My lord exists”. Then he begins to be associated with penance and various Śaivitc holy rites. After their performance and their frequent practice the devotion becomes greater.

32. As a result of that a greater grace is acquired. As a result of the grace liberation is attained. A liberated soul enjoys bliss.

33. There is no doubt that even a man of limited piety

is spared the excruciating pain of being crushed in the machine of the vaginal passage after three births.

34. Service with or without the ancillaries is called devotion. It is threefold due to the three means of mind speech and body.

35. The meditation on Śiva’s form is mental service. Repetition of mantras is verbal service. The rites of worship constitute the physical service.

36. This threefold service is called the holy rite of Śiva. It is of five kinds as explained by Śiva the great Ātman.

37-38. In brief they are penance, holy rites, repetition of mantras, meditation and knowledge. Penance is the rite of Cāndrāyaṇa, etc. What is termed holy rite is the worship of Śiva’s phallic image. Japa is the repetition of the names of Śiva in three ways. Meditation is pondering over Śiva. What is mentioned in the Śaivite Āgamas as perfect knowledge is meant by the word knowledge here.

39. The Śaivite Āgama was narrated to Śivā by Śiva out of mercy for those who have resorted to him. That is the sole means of ultimate welfare.

40. An intelligent man seeking welfare shall avoid too much adherence to sensual objects and increase devotion towards Śiva, the great cause.

Footnotes and references:


Śiva-Śakti shall be distinguished from the Prakṛti of the Sāṅkhya system The Sāṅkhya conceives Prakṛti as the twenty-fourth principle. Śakti in the present context is identical with Śiva—the 27th principle (Liṅga P. 1.71) and pervades all the Tattvas including Jīva and Īśvara.