The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “gloss on the rules governing worship” 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 - A gloss on the rules governing worship

Upamanyu said:—

1. I shall briefly give a commentary to the rules governing worships mentioned by Śiva to Śivā in the Śaivite scriptures.

2. With or without performing the internal worship which is its ancillary and which concludes with the rites in fire, one shall perform the external worship.

3-4. The materials are mentally conceived and purified. After meditating on Vināyaka and worshipping the lord in accordance with the injunctions, the learned devotee shall propitiate Nandīśa and Suyasā in the south and the north and offer mentally well-conceived scat.

5. It may be a throne or a yogic seat or lotus-seat equipped with the three principles.[1]

6. Śiva shall be meditated on it. He is accompanied by Ambā. He is charming, endowed with all characteristics, auspicious in every limb.

7. He possesses all excellences. He is bedecked in all ornaments. His face, hands and feet, are red. His face beams with smiles resembling the Kunda flower and the moon.

8. He is as pure as the pure crystal. He has three eyes resembling full blown lotus. He has four arms and splendid body. He wears the charming digit of the moon.

9. His hands show the gestures of granting the boon and protection. He holds the deer and an axe. fie has serpents for necklaces and bangles. His neck is charmingly blue.

10. He has none to compare with. He is accompanied by his followers and attendants. Then the devotee shall think of him to his left.

11. She is as tender as the petals of full blown-lotus. Her eyes are large and broad. Her face has the lustre of the full moon. Her tresses are dark-blue and curly.

12. Her complexion has the lustre of the petals of a blue lotus. She has the half moon for her coronet. Her breasts are round, weighty, lifted up, smooth and plump.

13. Her middle is slender. Her buttocks are large. She wears an exquisitely fine yellow garment. She is riddly bedecked in all ornaments. The Tilakā mark on her forehead is dazzlingly brilliant.

14. She shines with flowers of various colours embellishing her braid of hair. In every respect her features are in consonance with her qualities. Due to bashfulness her face is slightly lowered.

15. In her right hand she bears a shining golden lotus. She is seated on a splendid seat with the other hand placed on it like a supporting staff.

16-19. She splits the Pāśa. She is in the form of existence, knowledge and bliss. After conceiving the lord and the goddess thus and meditating on them in an excellent auspicious seat, the devotee shall worship with piety as flowers along with all types of service. Or he can conceive the form of the lord in any of the following ways:—as Śiva, Sadāśiva, Maheśvara, or as one having the name of twenty-six principles or as Śrīkaṇṭha. Just as Mantra Nyāsa is performed in the body so also in this form the devotee can meditate on embodied Śiva who is beyond Sat and Asat as in the manner of external worship. He shall complete the worship mentally.

20-23. He shall then mentally imagine the Homa in the navel with sacrificial twig, ghee etc. He shall meditate on Śiva in the middle of the eye-brows in the form of the flame of the pure lamp. Thus in this mentally conceived auspicious worship whether in the body or independently, the rules until the concluding rites in fire are the same. Or after concluding the imaginary procedure of propitiation the devotee shall worship the lord in the phallic image or on the ground or in the fire.

Footnotes and references:


Āsana is a particular posture or mode of silting in religious meditation or worship.