The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “delusion of vishnu and brahma (1)” 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 34 - The delusion of Viṣṇu and Brahmā (1)

Upamanyu said:—

1. The achievement of benefit that has been mentioned here from the Nitya, Naimittika and Kāmya rites can entirely be secured immediately by installing the phallic and the bodily image of Śiva.

2. The world is in the form of Liṅga. Everything is founded on Liṅga. Hence if the Liṅga is installed, everything is installed.

3. It is only by resorting to the installation of the Liṅga that Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Rudra or other deities maintain their splendour.

4. What more reason can be advanced for the installation of Liṅga than that Liṅga of Viśveśvara has been installed by Śiva too?

5. Hence by all means one shall install the phallic or the bodily image of Śiva for his welfare here and hereafter.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa said:—

6. What is a Liṅga? How is lord Śiva a Liṅgin? How did he have the status of a Liṅga? Why is he worshipped in it?

Upamanyu said:—

7. The unmanifest is called the Liṅga. It is the source of attributes as well as that wherein the universe merges and dissolves. It has neither beginning nor end. It is the material cause of the universe.

8. It is the Māyā, the Mūlaprakṛti as extensive as the firmament. This universe including the mobile and immobile beings is born of that.

9. The universe is of three types: the impure, pure and the pure-impure. From the Liṅga are born Śiva, Maheśa, Rudra, Viṣṇu and Brahmā.

10. The Bhūtas with the sense-organs merge into this at the bidding of Śiva, He is Liṅgin since he commands the Liṅga.

11-12. Since the Liṅga can do nothing by itself without being commanded by Śiva, since the dissolution of the universe born of it is only within it, this constitutes the state of being Liṅga in Śiva and not due to any other reason. The Liṅga is the body of Śiva and Śivā because it is presided over by them.

13. Hence Śiva is worshipped therein for ever along with Śivā. The goddess is the pedestal of the Liṅga and Liṅga is lord Śiva himself.

14. By the worship of Liṅga alone, Śiva and Śivā are worshipped. Their having the Liṅga for their body is not the ultimate reality.

15-16. Since they are pure it is their body only in a secondary sense. That is the great Śakti of Śiva the great Ātman. Śakti at the behest of Śiva gives birth to mobile and immobile beings. One cannot describe the glory of the Liṅga, even in hundreds of years, by which Brahmā and Viṣṇu were deluded at the outset.

17-19. Formerly when the universe was in the state of dissolution, Viṣṇu lying on his couch in the waters went into deep slumber. He lay comfortably asleep. Brahmā the grandfather of the worlds casually went there. He saw the lotus-eyed Viṣṇu sleeping undisturbedly. Deluded by the Māyā of Śiva, Brahmā said to Viṣṇu.

20-21. “Who are you? Tell me”.?o saying he hit Viṣṇu angrily and wakened him. Struck by the blow of his hand Viṣṇu woke up in a trice and got up from his bed. He saw Brahmā there. Viṣṇu though infuriated within addressed him politely.

22-25. “O dear son, whence have you come? Why are you agitated? Tell me.” On hearing the words of Viṣṇu, indicative of his lordly attitude Brahmā felt irritated due to his Rājasic qualities and spoke again. “Why do you address me as ‘dear son’ like a preceptor calling his disciple? Don’t you know that I am the lord. This universe is my creation. After dividing myself into three, I create, protect and annihilate. There is none in the universe who has created me.” When thus addressed Viṣṇu said to Brahmā.

26-30. “I am the primordial creator of this universe, the protector and the annihilator. You too, O sir, were born of me formerly. At my unthwartable bidding you divided yourself into three and began creation. You create the three worlds, protect, dissolve and re-create it. You forget Viṣṇu the lord of the universe free from ailments. You insult even me, your father. It is not your fault. You have been deluded by my Māyā. Due to my favour this delusion of yours will disappear ere long. O Brahmā, listen to the truth. I am the lord of all gods. I am the creator, sustainer and annihilator. There is no other lord equal to me.”

31. A verbal dispute between Brahmā and Viṣṇu arose thus. Thereafter a terrible fight ensued causing horripilation.

32-36. Due to Rājasic quality they fought and hit each other with fists. In order to dispel their arrogance and to enlighten them, the wonderful Liṅga of the lord appeared in between them. It had thousands of flames. It was incomprehensible and incomparable. It did not increase or decrease. It had no beginning, no middle, no end. Brahmā and Viṣṇu were enchanted by thousands of flames. Ceasing from their fight they began to think “What is this?” When they could not understand the reality they attempted to survey its beginning and end.

37. Brahmā took the form of a swan with wings all round and went up assiduously with the speed of the mind or wind.

38. Viṣṇu, the Ātman of the universe, assumed the form of a Boar resembling a mass of collyrium and went downwards.

39. Thus hastening down for a thousand years he did not have even a glimpse of the root of Liṅga,

40. Meanwhile, Brahmā too was going up to know his top. But unable to see the end he became exhausted and fell down.

41. Similarly the weary Viṣṇu with dejected mind due to the great distress quickly rose up from below.

42. When they met each other again they were completely perplexed and stared at each other with a smile of shame. Deluded by the Māyā of Śiva they did not know what to do or what not to do.

43. They stood in front, at the back and on cither side of it and bowed. They began to think “Of what nature is this?”