The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “rites for deriving benefits hereafter” 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 33 - Rites for deriving benefits hereafter

Upamanyu said:—

1. Now I shall mention the rite for the benefits attainable solely after death. There is nothing like this rite in the three worlds.

2-6. The rite is attended with the excellence of merits. It has been performed by all the gods, particularly by Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Rudra, Indra, the guardians of the quarters, the nine planets—sun-god and others, by Viśvāmitra, Vasiṣṭha and other sages who know Brahman, by Śveta, Agastya, Dadhīca and others, by us seeking refuge in Śiva, by Nandīśvara, Mahākāla, Bhṛṅgīśa and other Gaṇeśvaras, by the Daityas residing in the nether worlds, by Śeṣa and other serpents, by Siddhas, Yakṣas, Gandharvas, Rākṣasas, Bhūtas, Piśācas and practically by every one who has attained his respective position. It is by means of this rite that the gods have attained their godhood.

7. Brahmā attained his Brahmāhood, Viṣṇu his Viṣṇuhood, Rudra his Rudrahood and Indra his Indrahood. It is by means of this rite that Gaṇeśa attained his Gaṇeśahood.

8-10. The liṅga shall be bathed with white sandal water. Therein Śiva find Śivā shall be worshipped with full-blown white lotuses and bowed to. He shall make a lotus-seat very charming and endowed with all characteristics by means of gold-dust and gem-dust in accordance with one’s affluence. In the midst of the filaments a small liṅga shall be placed. It shall be of the size of the thumb, but charming, auspicious and rendered fragrant with all scents. It shall be placed to the south and worshipped with Bilva leaves.

11-12. To the south he shall apply Aguru. To the west he shall apply red arsenic. To the north he shall apply sandal and to the east he shall apply yellow orpiment. He shall then worship with charming fragrant flowers of various colours.

13. The black Aguru shall be used for incense and fumigation along with Guggulu. Fine cloths bright in colours shall be offered.

14. Milk-pudding mixed with ghee, and lamps with ghee for burning shall be offered. After offering everything with repetitions of mantras he shall circumambulate.

15. After bowing with devotion to the lord of the gods he shall eulogise the lord and crave forgiveness. Naivedya consisting of all offerings shall be offered to the Liṅga.

16-17. It shall be dedicated to Śiva with his mantras. The devotee shall seek refuge in Dakṣiṇāmūrti. He who performs the worship with the auspicious five scents shall be freed from all sins. He shall be honoured in Śiva’s region. This holy Vrata of Śiva liṅga is the most excellent, a great secret.

18. This has been mentioned to you since you are a great devotee. This shall not be given to any one and everyone. It shall be given to devotees of Śiva as mentioned by Śiva formerly.