The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “kamya rites of the followers of 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.

Chapter 30 - The Kāmya rites of the followers of Śiva

Upamanyu said:—

1. There at the outset he shall worship lords Heramba and Ṣaṇmukha on either side, the right and the left in order, of Śiva and Śivā.

2. Then in the first Āvaraṇa he shall worship the five Brahmans beginning with Īśāna and ending with Sadyojāta along with their Śaktis all round.

3. The six limbs—the heart etc. of Śiva and Śivā shall be worshipped from the south-east.

4. Afterwards he may or may not worship the eight Rudras-Vāma etc. along with their Śaktis all round in order, from the east onwards.

5. Thus, O Kṛṣṇa, the first Āvaraṇa has been mentioned to you. Now listen to the second Āvaraṇa with faith.

6. He shall worship Ananta in the eastern petal and his Śakti to his left. In the southern petal he shall worship Sūkṣma and his Śakti.

7. Then in the western petal he shall worship lord Śiva along with his Śakti. Similarly in the northern petal he shall worship Ekanetra and his Śakti.

8. Afterwards he shall worship Ekarudra and his Śakti in the north-eastern petal. He shall worship Trimūrti and his Śakti in the South-eastern petal.

9. He shall worship Śrīkaṇṭha and his Śakti towards his left in the south-western petal. Similarly he shall worship Śikhaṇḍīśa and his Śakti in the north-western petal.

10. In the second Āvaraṇa the Cakravartins, in the third Āvaraṇa the Aṣṭamūrtis shall be worshipped along with their Śaktis.

11-12. They shall be worshipped in the eight quarters from the east onwards in order. The eight Mūrtis[1] in order are Bhava, Śarva, Īśāna Rudra, Paśupati, Ugra, Bhīma and Mahādeva. Afterwards the eleven Mūrtis, Mahādeva etc. shall be worshipped along with their Śaktis.

13-15. The eleven Mūrtis are: Mahādeva, Śiva, Rudra, Śaṅkara, Nīlalohita, Īśāna, Vijaya, Bhīma, Devadeva, Bhavodbhava and Kapardīśa. The first eight shall be worshipped in the south-eastern quarter onwards. Devadeva shall be worshipped in the eastern petel. Bhavodbhava shall be worshipped either in the north-east or in the south-east. Kapālīśa shall be worshipped in their middle.

16-18. In the same Āvaraṇa he shall worship the lordly bull in the east, Nandin in the south, Mahākāla in the north, Śāstṛ in the south-eastern petal or in the petal to the south of the goddess. He shall worship Gaṇeśa in the south-western petal and Ṣaṇmukha in the western petal. He shall worship Jyeṣṭhā in the north-western petal, Gaurī in the north and Caṇḍa in the north-cast. He shall worship Munīndra between Śāstṛ and Nandīśa.

19. He shall worship Piṅgala to the north of Mahākāla. Then he shall worship Bhrṅgīśvara in the middle of Śāstra and Mātṛ group.

20. He shall worship Vīrabhadra in between the Mātṛs and Vighneśa. He shall worship goddess Sarasvatī in between Skanda and Vighneśa.

21. Śrī is to be worshipped at the feet of Śiva in between Jyeṣṭhā and Kumāra. He shall worship Mahāmoṭī in between Jyeṣṭhā and Gaṇāmbā.

22. He shall worship goddess Durgā in between Gaṇāmbā and Caṇḍa. In the same Āvaraṇa he shall worship the host of Śiva’s attendants.

23. He shall perform the Japa after due meditation with mental purity, of the female friends of Śivā along with the Śaktis of Rudra, Pramatha and Bhūta.

24. When the third Āvaraṇa has been worshipped thus he shall worship the fourth Āvaraṇa outside it after meditation.

25. The sun shall be worshipped in the eastern, Brahmā in the southern, Rudra in the western and Viṣṇu in the northern petal.

26. There are separate Āvaraṇas to all the four lords. His six limbs shall be worshipped at the outset along with the Śaktis, Dīptā etc.

27. They are Dīptā, Sūkṣmā, Jayā, Bhadrā, Vibhūti, Vimalā, Amoghā and Vidyutā. These shall be worshipped all round form the east onwards.

28. The four shall be worshipped in the second Āvaraṇa in order from the east to the north and their Śaktis afterwards.

29-30. Āditya, Bhāskara, Bhānu, Ravi, Arka, Brahmā, Rudra and Viṣṇu these are the extensions of Vivasvat in the cast and stationed more so in the south. Bodhinī is in the west and Āpyāyinī in the north.

31. He shall worship in the second Āvaraṇa, Uṣā, Prabhā, Prājñā and Sandhyā after fixing them in Īśāna etc.

32-33. In the third Āvaraṇa he shall worship Soma (moon) Aṅgāraka (Mars), Budha (Mercury) most excellent among the intelligent, Bṛhaspati (Jupiter) of extensive intellect, Bhārgava (Venus), the storehouse of splendour, Śanaiścara (Saturn), Rāhu and Ketu the smoke-coloured and terrible.

34. Or he shall worship the twelve Ādityas in the second Āvaraṇa and the twelve Rāśis (signs of Zodiac) in the third Āvaraṇa.

35-36. Externally he shall worship the groups of seven, sages, gods, Gandharvas, serpents, Apsaras, Grāmaṇīs (leaders), Yakṣas, Yātudhānas, horses, and the seven Vālakhilyas in the form of Chandas.

37. After worshipping the sun in the third Āvaraṇa he shall worship Brahmā along with the three Āvaraṇas.

38. He shall worship Hiraṇyagarbha in the east, Virāṭ in the south, Kāla in the west and Puruṣa in the north.

39-40. Hiraṇyagarbha is the first Brahmā resembling the lotus, Kāla has the lustre of Jāti and collyrium. Puruṣa resembles the crystal. He has three Guṇas: sattva, rajas and tamas. The four are stationed in order in the first Āvaraṇa.

41. Sanat, Sanaka, Sananda and Sanātana shall be worshipped in the second Āvaraṇa all round beginning with the east.

42. He shall then worship the Prajāpatis in the third Āvaraṇa. The first eight shall be worshipped in the east and the remaining three in order from the cast onwards.

43-44. The following are the famous Prajāpatis: Dakṣa, Ruci, Bhṛgu, Marīci, Aṅgiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Atri, Kaśyapa and Vasiṣṭha. Their wives too shall be worshipped along with them.

45-46. They are Prasūti, Ākūti, Khyāti, Sambhūti, Dhṛti, Smṛti, Kṣamā, Sannati, Anasūyā, Aditi and Arundhatī. These chaste ladies are ever engaged in the worship of Śiva. Endowed with glory and prosperity they are very pleasing to look at.

47. He shall worship the four Vedas in the first, the Itihāsas and Purāṇas in the second Āvaraṇa.

48. The entire Vedic lore beginning with law codes shall be worshipped in the third Āvaraṇa.

49. The Vedas shall be worshipped beginning with the cast. The other texts shall also be worshipped just as one pleases. They are divided into four or eight and their worship performed all round.

50. After worshipping Brahmā endowed with the three Āvaraṇas, in this manner in the south, he shall worship Rudra in the west along with the Āvaraṇas.

51-52. The five Brahmans and the six limbs are his first Āvaraṇa, The second Āvaraṇa consists of Vidyeśvara. There is difference in regard to the third Āvaraṇa: His four forms shall be worshipped beginning with the east.

53-54. The lord is possessed of three Guṇas. As Śiva he shall be worshipped in the east. The Rājasic creator Brahmā shall be worshipped as Bhava in the south. The Tāmasic Agni shall be worshipped as Hara in the west. The Sāttvic bestower of happiness, Viṣṇu shall be worshipped as Mṛḍa in the north.

55. After worshipping Śiva the lord of twenty-six principles thus to the west of Śiva, he shall worship Vaikuṇṭha in the northern side.

56-58. In the first Āvaraṇa he shall worship Vāsudeva in the east, Aniruddha in the south, Pradyumna in the west, Saṃkarṣaṇa in the north. Or the last two can be worshipped inversely. Such are the first and second Āvaraṇas. Matsya (fish), Kūrma (Tortoise), Varāha (Boar) Narasiṃha (man-lion), Vāmana (Dwarf) any of the (three) Rāmas, Kṛṣṇa and the horse-faced Kalki shall be worshipped.[2]

59-61. In the third Āvaraṇa, he shall worship the Cakra in the east, the unthwartable missile Nārāyaṇa in the south, Pāñcajanya in the west and the bow Śārṅga in the north. Thus he shall worship the great HariViśva himself after making an idol of Mahāviṣṇu, Sadāviṣṇu, by means of the three Āvaraṇas. After worshipping the four forms of Viṣṇu thus in the form of a circle of four, their Śaktis too shall be worshipped.

62. He shall worship Prabhā in the south-east, Sarasvatī in the south-west, Gaṇāmbikā in the north-west and Lakṣmī in the north-east.

63. After performing the worship of the sun and other forms as well as their Śaktis, he shall worship the lords of the worlds in the same Āvaraṇa.

64. He shall worship Indra, Agni, Yama, Nirṛti, Varuṇa, Vāyu, Soma, Kubera and Īśāna thereafter.

65. After worshipping the fourth Āvaraṇa in accordance with the injunctions he shall worship the weapons of Maheśa externally.

66-69. He shall worship the glorious trident in the north-east, thunderbolt in the east, axe in the South-east and the arrow in the south, the sword in the south-west, the noose in the west, the goad in the north-west, the Pināka in the north, the Kṣetrapāla in the west. After worshipping the fifth Āvaraṇa thus externally he shall worship the great bull in the east along with the mothers of the gods of the Āvaraṇas, either externally or in the fifth Āvaraṇa.

70-72. Then the different types of gods shall be worshipped all round. The heaven-walkers, sages, Siddhas, Daityas, Yakṣas, Rākṣasas, Ananta and other leading serpents, and those of the different families, Ḍākinīs, goblins spirits, ghosts Bhairava leaders, different residents of the nether worlds, the rivers, oceans, mountains, forests and the lakes shall be worshipped.

73-76. The animals, birds, trees, worms and other insignificant creatures, men of different forms, deer of the insignificant types, the worlds within the universe, the crores of universes, the innumerable external seed-germs, their worlds, along with their rulers, Rudras stationed in the ten quarters supporting the universe, in fact everything fashioned out of the Guṇas or Māyā or originating from the Śakti shall be worshipped generally considering their presence on cither side of Śiva and Śivā. They shall be in the form of Cit and Acit whatever that can be expressed in words.

77. They shall be thought of as having their palms joined in reverence, smiling in their faces and glancing devoutly at the lord and the goddess always.

78. After performing the Āvaraṇa Pūjā thus, he shall worship the lord again for quietening distraction and perplexity and utter the five-syllabled mantra.

79-80. He shall then offer to Śiva and Śivā as Naivedya the sweet and charming Mahācaru, nectarlike and accompanied by side dishes and vegetables. The Naivedya prepared from thirty-two Āḍhaka measures of grains is commendable and that prepared with less than one Āḍhaka measure is the meanest one. After collecting and preparing the Naivedya to the extent of one’s affluence he shall offer it with faith.

81. After offering water for drinking, pickles, Tāmbūla and performing the rite of Nīrājana he shall conclude the remaining rites of worship.

82. Articles intended for the enjoyment of pleasures shall be excellent ones. The devotee shall not be stingy in spending money for this if he is fairly well to do.

83. Good men say that the Kāmya rites of the stingy and the stubborn, the indifferent and the defaulter in some items do not yield the benefits.

84. Hence if he wishes for the achievement of proper benefits he shall perform the Kāmya rites attending to all the items scrupulously and avoiding indifference.

85. After concluding worship thus and bowing to the lord and the goddess he shall concentrate his mind with devotion and repeat eulogical hymns.

86. After the eulogy he shall perform the Japa of the five-syllabled mantra not less than hundred and eight times. An eager devotee shall perform the Japa more than a thousand times.

87. After performing the worship of Vidyā and of the preceptor he shall perform the members assembled in the proper order in accordance with prosperity and purity.

88. Then he shall perform the rite of ritualistic bidding of farewell to the lord along with Āvaraṇas. He shall give the Maṇḍala to the preceptor along with the articles used in the rite.

89. He can give them to the devotees of Śiva or hand them over to the temple of Śiva.

90. Or he shall worship the lord in the Śiva-fire with the seven articles of sacrifice after duly worshipping the Āvaraṇa deities.

91. This rite is Yogeśvara. Nowhere in the world is there a Yoga superior to this.

92. A benefit of this world or the next unattainable through this does not exist anywhere.

93. We cannot fix like this—“This is the fruit thereof, this is not the fruit.” This rite is the excellent means of benefits by way of welfare.

94. This can be said that whatever is solicited is obtained as fruit from this as from the wish-yielding precious stone (cintāmaṇi).[3]

95. Still none shall perform this rite for trivial benefits. A man praying for a small help from a great man demeans himself.

96. If the rite is performed surely the desired fruit shall be achieved. Whatever rite is performed, let it be performed with the lord as aim.

97. Hence, an expert man shall perform this rite for the conquests of his enemy or death even if those fruits are not to be secured from any one else whether those fruits are seen or unseen.

98. When great sins are committed, when there is a terror of great epidemics, famine or any other calamity, this rite shall be performed for the pacification of the evil.

99. Of what avail is much talk? The lord has said that this is the spiritual missile to be used by the devotees of Śiva, to ward off great mishaps.

100. Hence, a person performing this rite with the conviction that there is no greater protection for the Ātman enjoys the benefit.

101. He who reads the hymn with purify of body and mind attains an eighth of the benefit desired.

102. If any one thinks into the hymn, observes fast on the full moon and the new moon days and recites it on those days or on the eighth or fourteenth day, he shall derive half the benefit.

103. He who thinks over the meaning, observes rites on Parvan and other days and performs the Japa of this stotra for a month derives full benefit.

Footnotes and references:


For details see ŚRS. Ch. 2. The eight forms shall be distinguished from the eight names mentioned in the Vāyavīya (1.32.23).


In the Āvaraṇa-worship Śiva is the principal deity to be worshipped. The attendant deities of different regions—celestial, atmospheric, ethereal or nether, along with the incarnations of Viṣṇu—Matsya etc. are also worshipped, Buddha is conspicuous by absence. The worship of the deities of heterogeneous traits indicates the cosmopolitan and proselytizing nature of this purāṇa.


It is a fabulous gem that yields the possessor his desires. It is also a mantra that confers the desired fruit.