The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “delusion of vishnu and brahma (2)” 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 35 - The delusion of Viṣṇu and Brahmā (2)

Upamanyu said:—

1. Then there manifested the single-syllabled Brahman in the characteristic way o [?] a word with its sound ‘Om’. It expressed the Brahman.

2. That too was incomprehensible to Brahmā and Viṣṇu because their minds had been screened with Rajas and Tamas.

3. Then that syllable divided itself into four, the three Mātrās—A, U, Ma and half the Mātrā thereafter.

4. The letter ‘a’ attached itself to the southern side of the blazing Liṅga, the letter “u” to the north and the letter “ma” to its middle.

5-6. The half a Mātrā sound was heard on the head of the Liṅga. Even when the great syllable Praṇava was divided, the two gods did not understand the purpose of division. The unmanifest Praṇava then underwent the change into the Veda.

7. There the letter “a” became the Ṛgveda, the letter “u” the Yajurveda, the letter “ma” the Sāmaveda and the Nāda the Atharvaveda.

8-10. The Ṛgveda established half of itself succinctly. Thus Brahmā possessed of the Rajas, the first among the deities in rites also, the creator of the worlds and the principles as well as the unchanging Ātman; Nivṛtti in the path of Kalā and Sadyojāta in the five Brahmans, the lower portion in the parts of Liṅga and the source in the three reasons. It established the sixty-four Guṇas and Aiśvarya of the cosmic intellect Aṇimā etc. Thus with the ten topics the universe was pervaded by the Ṛgveda.

11-13. Then the Yajurveda established itself in the ten ways: Sattva among the attributes, Viṣṇu the first among the deities in the rites also, sustenance in the worlds and the firmament, Vidyā in the three principles, Pratiṣṭhā in the paths of Kalā and Vāmadeva in the five Brahmans, the parts of Liṅga and Yoni in the three causes. The Prākṛta was established in accordance with the Aiśvarya. Hence the universe is of the form of the Yajurveda.

14-16. Similarly the Sāmaveda established itself in ten ways. It established Tamas and Rudra the first among the deities in the rites, annihilation in the three worlds and the excellent Śiva in the Tattvas, Aghora in the five Brahmans and Vidyā among the Kalās, the upper seat in the parts of the Liṅga and the source in the three causes. So also the Aiśvarya of the Puruṣa. Thus the universe is pervaded by the Sāman.

17-20. Then the Atharvaveda established itself thus. It was devoid of Guṇas. It placed Maheśvara, Sadāśiva as the first among the deities. Though the great Ātman, Śiva is devoid of activities. It established Sadāśiva for the purpose of activities. It created pure blessing whereby the creatures are liberated. Above the worlds, where the words recede along with the mind are the Unmanā worlds over which is the divine Somaloka where the lord stays with Umā.

21-22. He who reaches above there in the Unmanā world does not return. Śānti and Śāntyatītā are all-pervasive among the Kalās. Among the five Brahmans it is Puruṣa and Īśāna. There is the head of the Liṅga, the most excellent among the parts, where the sole Niṣkala Śiva shall be invoked and propitiated.

23-33. Among the Tattvas it is the greater Tattva than Bindu, Nāda and Śakti. It is greater than the greatest and in reality a non-Tattva. It transcends the three causes. It is beyond Māyā the cause of agitation. It is beyond Ananta, the Śuddhavidyā, Maheśvara, Sadāśiva the great lord of all lores. It is beyond the lord who has mantras for his body, who is accompanied by all Śaktis, who has five faces and ten arms and who is both Sakala and Niṣkala. Beyond even that, beyond the Bindu, the half moon, the moon, the great Nāda, the lord of Suṣumṇā, the lord of Brahmarandhra beyond that, beyond Śakti and beyond the principle of Śiva the great cause there is lord Śiva who has no cause. He is the creator of causes, the subject and object of meditation and stationed in the middle of the great sky above the great Ātman. Equipped with prosperity and glory he is the lord of all. He has no overlord. He is beyond Aiśvarya due to Māyā, beyond humanity, beyond the big and small, beyond what is to be discarded, what is not to be discarded, beyond Śuddhavidyā, Unmanā, and the Aiśvarya of Unmanā. He is great and devoid of beginning, limitless and independent, stable and unsurpassable. Thus with ten such characteristics Atharvaveda is very weighty and so the universe is pervaded by it.

34-42. Ṛgveda said again—“The state of wakefulness is being mentioned by me whereby I perpetually express the Ātmatattva”. Yajurveda said—“The state of dream is being mentioned by me because the Vidyā that has transformed itself into objects of enjoyments is to be known through me.” Sāmaveda said:—“What is called sound slumber is being mentioned wholly by me through Śiva that is my meaning and Tāmasic in form”. Atharvaveda said:—“What is called the fourth stage and what is beyond the fourth is expressed by me.” The three which are of the nature of the path are termed Śiva, Vidyā, Ātman. Their state of three attributes is attainable through the Vedas and shall be purified by him who wishes for Śiva’s region. What is called Turīya, beyond the path is the greatest region of salvation. That which is beyond it is the purifier of this path because of its attributeless state. The Nāda is the measurer of both. The end of Nāda has me for its Ātman. Hence the supreme lord is the chief in view of freedom from my topics. Whatever object is there whether compounded or separated, they call as the meaning of Praṇava in view of the association of the Guṇas. Therefore, this single-syllabled Brahman is the expression of all meanings.

43. Therefore, at the outset Śiva creates the universe saying “Om”. Śiva is Praṇava and Praṇava is Śiva.

44-46. That is because there is not much of difference between that which is expressed and the expression. Rudra is devoid of thought. The words along with the mind recede without reaching him. He is that which is expressed by the single-syllabled Om. Letter “a” expresses Brahmā, the letter “u” Viṣṇu, the letter “ma” expresses Śiva.

47-50. The deity Brahmātman is born of the right limb of Maheśa. Viṣṇu came out of the left. So he is termed Vidyā. Nīlarudra came out of the heart of Śiva and is called Śiva. Brahmā is the activiser of creation, Viṣṇu the enchanter maintains sustenance. Rudra who controls both is the initiator of annihilation. The three are the causes of the universe. Śiva, the source of the three, is the great cause.

51. The Liṅga stood in between you two in order to enlighten you when you became mutually inimical due to your Rājasic quality and could not understand this meaning.

52-53. Thus they call me “Om”. What was thus mentioned by the Atharva was repeated by the Ṛgveda, Yajurveda, Sāmaveda and thousands of their Śākhās. Even when the Vedas themselves declared thus clearly through their own mouths it was not comprehended by the two who thought it were a dream.

54. In order to enlighten them and to remove their ignorance the statement of the Vedas was inscribed in the Liṅga too.

55. On seeing that inscribed in the Liṅga due to the favour of Śiva the deities were pacified and enlightened.

56-61. On realising the mode of evolution and dissolution, the nature of the six pathways and the splendour beyond the Puruṣa possessing brilliance, the Brahman than whom there is nothing greater, Niṣkala Śiva Īśvara, who is the perpetual lord of this universe consisting of Paśu and Pāśa who has no fear from any quarter, who is stable without increase or decrease who pervades within and without who has neither inside nor outside, who is unsurpassable, who is different from all the worlds, who is indefinable, incomprehensible, inexpressible, who is essentially in the form of brilliance, who is quite delighted and ever rising, who is the abode of auspiciousness and who is accompanied by a similar Śakti, Brahmā and Viṣṇu joined the palms in reverence above their heads and spoke thus in fright to the lord.

Brahmā said:—

62. Whether I am ignorant or not, O lord, I was created by you at the beginning. Whose fault is it that I have been under such a delusion?

63. Let my ignorance alone. O lord, when you are near who can fearlessly talk about his duly or that of others.

64. O lord of gods, our mutual wrangle too is splendidly auspicious since it has yielded us the benefit of paying our homage to the feet of the lord.

Viṣṇu said:—

65. O lord, I do not have the power of eulogising you in the manner befitting your greatness. On the other hand if the devotees keep quiet in front of the lord it is merely a transgression of virtue.

66. What is proper to be achieved is the relevant point now. Without knowing anything I have blurted out something for which I pray to be excused.

67. That you were the primordial cause we forgot due to your Māyā. I am deluded, puffed up and have hence been chastised by you.

68. Of what avail is this submission? O lord, I am extremely afraid because I have endeavoured to determine your size when in fact you cannot be gauged.

69. O Śiva, they call you a great lord, the destroyer of the distress of the frightened. I entreat you to forgive my transgression thus.

70. When thus implored lord Śiva became highly delighted. He blessed the two deities and spoke to them smilingly.

Lord Śiva said:—

71. Dear Brahmā, dear Viṣṇu, you had been deluded by my Māyā. You were proud of your lordship and became mutually inimical.

72. You did not cease even when the wrangle turned into an actual fight. Therefore the creative activity of you both, the cause of the universe, was broken in the middle.

73-74. In order to turn you back from your mutual dissention arising from ignorance and arrogance and to dispel your delusion and pride I indulged in this sport of manifesting myself in the phallic idol. Hence eschew a recurrence of your dispute and forget the shame. Devoid of mutual rivalry you shall resume your respective duties.

75-77. Formerly at my command the compendiums on knowledge were given to you in order to proclaim your causal nature. The jewel of Mantras consisting of five syllables has been imparted to you. But you forgot all this. I shall give you everything as before together with my behest since without that you cannot create or sustain.

78-80. After telling Viṣṇu and Brahmā thus, the lord gave them the principal mantra along with the Jñānasaṃhitā. After obtaining the divine order of the lord, the jewel of Mantra pregnant with meaning, and the Kalās, they prostrated at the feet of the lord. They stood without fear. They were overpowered by joy.

81-83. In the meantime there was a great wonder. As if by magic the Liṅga of the god became invisible. Due to the sudden snapping of love they lamented and cried loudly, saying to each other ‘O what a false thing has befallen us, Pondering over the unimaginable prowess of Śiva they became free from pain.

84. Becoming great friends once again and embracing each other the leading deities returned to their duties in the universe.

85. Ever since that Indra and other gods, Asuras, sages, men, serpents as well as women install Liṅgas in accordance with the injunctions and worship him in the Liṅga.