The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “description of kamya rites” 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 29 - Description of Kāmya rites

Lord Kṛṣṇa said:—

1. O holy lord, the compulsory and optional rites of those who depend on him, as mentioned by Śiva, have been heard by me from your mouth itself which is to be as much respected as the Vedas.

2. Now I wish to hear if there is any Kāmya rite for those who are authorized in Śaivite rites. It behoves you to mention it.

Upamanyu said:—

3-5. Some rites yield benefit here itself. Some yield benefit hereafter. Both of them are of five types. Some rites are in the form of activities, some in the form of penance, some in the form of Japas, some in the form of meditation, some in the form of all these. Those in the form of activities are the rites of Homa and worship.

6. The rites can be fruitful only for those who have all Śaktis. Śakti is the behest of Śiva the great Ātman.

7. Hence only the brahmin who upholds the behest shall perform the Kāmya rites. Now I shall mention the Kāmya rites yielding and hereafter.

8-10. The internal rites shall be performed by the followers of Śiva and the external by the followers of Maheśvara. In fact the followers of Śiva and of Maheśvara are not different even as Śiva and Maheśvara are not different. Men engaged in the sacrifice of knowledge are the followers of Śiva and seek refuge in him. Those who are engaged in the sacrifice of activities are the followers of Maheśvara. Śaivas shall perform internal and the Māheśvaras external rites.

11-13. In the rite which is going to be mentioned the procedure is not different. The ground shall be tested through smell, colour and taste. It shall be desirable. A canopy shall be spread above. The ground shall be well-scrubbed and smeared to appear like the surface of a mirror. Along the path, as seen in the sacred scriptures he shall consecrate the eastern sector at first. The Maṇḍala shall be one Hasta or two Hastas in width.

14. An eight-petalled pure lotus along with its pericarp shall be drawn by means of gold dust, gem dust etc. gathered according to availability.

15-18. It shall have five Āvaraṇas and shall be very splendid. The Siddhis shall be conceived in the petals. The Rudras along with Śaktis shall be conceived in the filaments. The eight deities Vāma etc. shall be conceived in the petals beginning with the eastern one; Vairāgya in the pericarp, the nine Śaktis in the seeds, Śaivite holy rite in the bulbous root, knowledge of Śiva in the stalk. Above the pericarp the discs of the fire, the sun and the moon shall be conceived. Beyond that shall be conceived the trio: Śiva, Vidyā and Ātmā. Above all seats Śiva shall be conceived equipped with the flowers of various colours.

19-22. He shall worship Śiva with the five Āvaraṇas accompanied by Ambā. Śiva shall be conceived as pure as the pure crystal, delighted and having cool lustre. He is bedecked with the coronet of matted hair resembling a circle of lightning. He wears the hide of the tiger. His lotus face is slightly smiling. His soles, palms and lips resemble the petals of the red lotus. He is richly endowed with all characteristics. He is bedecked in all ornaments, and equipped with excellent weapons. He has divine scents and unguents. He has five faces and ten arms. The sector of the moon is his crest.

23. His eastern face is gentle, having the lustre of the rising sun. It has three lotus eyes and the rising moon for its crest.

24-27. The southern face has the charming lustre of the blue cloud. The brows are crooked and the face is terrible with three red and circular eyes. It is terrible with the curved fangs. None dare offend it. His lips throb. The northern face is like a coral, bedecked with blue forelocks. It has charming movements. It has three eyes and the moon bedecks its crest. The western face has three brilliant eyes and the lustre of the full moon. It also wears the digit of the moon. It is gentle and charming with smiles. The fifth face is crystal-like with the shining digit of the moon. It is very gentle and looks splendid with the three shining eyes.

28-30. In his right side he shines with the trident, axe, thunderbolt, sword and fire. In his left side he shines brilliantly with the serpent, arrow, bell, noose and goad. The nivṛttikalā envelops him upto the knee, the pratiṣṭhākalā to the navel, the Vidyākalā to the neck and the Śāntākalā to the forehead. Above that he is enveloped by the great Śāntyatītakalā. Thus pervading the five pathways he has the five Kalās constituting his body.

31-37. The lord has Īśāna as his coronet. He is the eternal one named Puruṣa. Aghora constitutes his heart, Vāmadeva his private parts and Sadyojāta his legs. His form consists of thirty-eight Kalās. The lord consists of the Varṇas, letters. He is identical with the five Brahmans. He is of the Oṃkāra form. He is endowed with the Śakti of Haṃsa Ātman. His lap is enveloped by the Icchāśakti. His right side is flanked by Jñāna Śakti and the left by Kriyāśakti. Sadāśiva in the form Vidyā shall be conceived as identical with the trio of Tattvas. The Mūrti shall be conceived with the basic mantra and everything shall be combined into one unit. Until the Arghya he shall be worshipped duly with the basic mantra. Śiva shall be invoked along with the great Śakti, in the embodied form. The lord devoid of Sat and Asat shall be invoked and worshipped with the five articles of worship.

38-40. He shall be worshipped with the five brahmans and six ancillaries. With Mātṛkās repeating the Praṇava, he shall worship Śiva in the company of Śakti, in the quiet form repeating the mantras. Or he shall worship the lord only with the Śiva mantra. Then he shall begin the Pañcāvaraṇa Pūjā after offering Pādya etc. upto Mukhavāsa. But the rite of Prasthāpana (bidding the deity farewell) shall not be performed.