The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “installation 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 36 - Installation of Śiva

Sri Kṛṣṇa said:—

1. O lord, I wish to hear the rules governing the installation of the phallic and the embodied image of Śiva.

Upamanyu said:—

2. On a day in the bright half of the month not unfavourable to him, the devotee shall make the Liṅga of the proper size in the manner prescribed in the Śaivite scriptures.

3. Selecting an auspicious spot he shall test the ground. He shall perform the ten forms of service.

4. But before the actual performance of this service Vināyaka shall be worshipped. After purifying the spot and other rites he shall take the Liṅga to the ablution chamber.

5. With a gold rod dipped into the solution of saffron he shall draw the characteristic signs in the prescribed manner.

6. He shall purify the Liṅga along with its axle or nave with a solution of eight or five types of clay as well as with Pañcagavya.

7. After worshipping the Liṅga along with its pedestal he shall take it to the water-receptacle and keep the Liṅga immersed in water.

8-14. In a well-constructed shed for the immersion of Liṅga, pure and well-embellished with festoons and screens all round, surrounded by garlands of Darbha grass, an inner shed for the seat shall be arranged in the middle. The seat may be metallic or wooden in the shape of a lotus. On the eight quarters the representations of the eight elephants of the quarters shall be made. Eight pots shall be kept for the eight guardians of the quarters. Eight auspicious things shall be kept ready. The guardians of the quarters shall be duly worshipped. Subhadra, Vibhadra, Sunanda and Vinanda the gatekeepers of the lord shall be worshipped in the four quarters. The Liṅga shall be bathed and worshipped with the pedestal. It shall be tied with two cloths and bunches of Kuśa grass. Ii shall be brought to the Pīṭha and laid over it immersed in water. The head of the Liṅga shall be put to the east and the threads shall be put below, the nave to the west of it. The Liṅga shall be kept in water for one, three or five nights.

15. Thereafter the liṅga shall be worshipped after due ceremonies as before. After worship it shall be carried along the path of festivities to the place of rest.

16. A resting place shall be made in the middle of the Maṇḍala. After bathing the liṅga with pure water he shall worship it.

17. A mystical lotus-diagram shall be drawn in the north-east on a spot of ground well-smeared. The water vessel of Śiva shall be purified. Śiva shall be invoked and worshipped.

18. In the middle of the altar he shall make a diagram of white lotus in accordance with injunctions and to the west of it he shall draw the lotus of Caṇḍikā.

19. The bed shall be made of silken cloth or other cloth fresh from the loom, before being washed or of flowers or Darbha grass. After making it up he shall put golden flower in it.

20-22. The Liṅga shall be brought there with the songs and music vocal and instrumental. It shall be wrapped in two red cloths and a bunch of Kuśa grass along with the nave and laid down as before. A lotus shall be drawn in front and in its petals he shall place the water-pots of Vidyeśa and the vessel Vardhanī of Śiva. The excellent brahmins shall perform Homa all round the three lotuses.

23-25. Beginning with the east, the eight Mūrtis shall be placed all round or only the four Mūrtis Brahmā and others in the four quarters. The conductors of the Homa shall possess good mastery of the Vedas. They shall be accompanied by those who can repeat the mantras well. The preceptor shall perform the main Homa either in the north-east or in the west. He shall use all the seven materials in order. The other brahmins shall perform half or one-fourth of the number of sacrifices that the preceptor performs.

26-28. Or the preceptor alone shall perform the main sacrifice. He shall perform the Pūrṇāhuti and then another set of hundred and eight Horn as with ghee. He shall place his hand ritualistically on the top of the Liṅga repeating the basic mantra. After each Homa he shall touch both the Liṅga and the pedestal. On the whole a hundred or a fifty or twenty five Homas shall be performed with the seven materials of worship. He shall perform the Pūrṇāhuti and give Dakṣiṇā.

29. The priest and the sculptor shall be given half or one-fourth of what the preceptor is given and half of that shall be given to the other brahmins in accordance with one’s capacity.

30-32. Then either an image of the bull made of gold or a bunch of Kuśa grass shall be placed in the pit. Brahmaśilā shall be purified with water and clay, also with Pañca-gavya, with pure water. It shall be placed in the pit after smearing it with sandal. Repeating the names of the nine Śaktis, the rite of Karanyāsa shall be performed. Then in accordance with the injunctions prescribed in Śaivite scriptures he shall strew the minerals—Haritāla and others along with scents, seeds and medicinal herbs.

33-35. The Liṅga shall be installed on the Bralimaśilā and dripped in the exudations of trees. To the east and the north the aloe wood shall be placed repeating the basic mantra. Repeating the basic mantra of Śakti the nave shall be joined to the articles of fixation and joining. The place shall be purified. Arghya shall he given and flowers offered. Thereafter the screen shall be drawn all round.

36. The ablution and other rites of the Liṅga shall be performed in a befitting manner. After taking it away from the place of rest the Kalaśas shall be placed in order.

37-39. The great worship begins with the worship of the ten water-jars. In the water inside the Śivakumbha, the thumb and the ring-finger shall be jointly inserted with the Śiva mantras. Water thus taken shall be sprinkled. The knower of mantra shall touch the north-east side of the Liṅga. He shall perform the Nyāsas of Śakti, Vidyā and Vidyeśas in order at the root of the Liṅga. He shall perform the ablution of the Liṅga with auspicious water.

40. The nave and the Liṅga shall be bathed with the water of Vardhanī and Videcśa Kalaśas. The seats, supports etc. shall be arranged.

41. After performing the Nyāsa rite of the five Kalās he shall meditate on the blazing Liṅga. Facing the east or north with palms joined in reverence he shall invoke Śiva and Śivā.

42-44. He shall conceive the lord arriving with the goddess, seated on the lordly bull or in an aerial chariot. He shall be conceived as fully bedecked in shining ornaments. He is surrounded on all sides by Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Maheśa, sun-god, Indra, other gods and the dānavas with their body drenched in the tears of delight with palms joined in reverence above the heads. They are eulogising, dancing and bowing. Then with the five services the worship shall be concluded.

45. There is no further rite after the five reverential services. The installation of idols is wholly identical with that of the Liṅga.

46. At the rite of Lakṣaṇoddhāra the eyes shall be shut. The immersion shall be performed with the idols placed prone on the bed.

47. The installation of the idol with the rites for the temple is better than without those rites. If the idols are immersed in the water of the vessel the mantras shall be repeated touching the chest.

48-49. Affluent people shall first build the temple and then perform the installation. If the devotee is not affluent he shall perform the installation of the phallic or the embodied image and shall afterwards build the Śiva temple in accordance with his capacity. Now I shall mention the mode of worship at the house and the excellent installation rite.

50-53. The idol shall be small in size but endowed with all traits. In the northern transit of the sun (Jan-July) on an auspicious day in the bright half of the month, the altar shall be made in an auspicious spot. He shall draw the diagram of the lotus in as before. The idol shall be purified with writer and clay as before. An auspicious scat shall be kept in the north. Covering the Liṅga with flowers he shall place it on the seat. Flowers and leaves shall be strewn and the vessel placed in the middle. Four vessels shall be placed all round. In those five vessels the five Brahmans are ritualistically fixed. After worship Mudrās shall be shown and the Rakṣā mantra repeated.

54-55. After placing the flower on its top it shall be sprinkled with the water from the Prokṣaṇī vessel. Again it shall be worshipped along with the proclamation of victory. With the water from the vessels of the four deities from Īśāna to Vidyā he shall bathe the Liṅga with the basic mantra.

56. The rite of the Nyāsa of the five Kalās shall be performed and the worship too as before. The devotee shall worship the lord and the goddess there everyday.

57. Or only one vessel shall be placed with the basic mantra and everything fixed therein. Every other rite shall be performed as before.

58. Too much unclean Liṅga shall at first be purified and reinstalled. Unclean Liṅgas shall be sprinkled with holy water. Slightly unclean Liṅgas too shall be worshipped.

59. Bāṇa Liṅgas may be installed at will, for they have been already consecrated by Śiva himself.

60-61. Such other Liṅgas may also be installed. In regard to a Svayambhū, a divine or a sage Liṅga the same is the procedure. If there is no pedestal, a pedestal shall be assigned and the rite of Prokṣaṇa performed.

62. Burnt, weakened or partially broken Liṅga shall be thrown in a pond or a river. That which can be joined shall be joined and installed.

63. The lord shall be dismissed ritualistically from the idol that is mutilated, after due worship but retained in the heart.

64. If the worship is in default for one day it shall be doubled, if in default for two days, great worship shall be performed. Samprokṣaṇa rite shall be performed thereafter.

65. If there is default in worship for about a month, or for more days, some advocate reinstallation. But others say that the Samprokṣaṇa rite alone is enough.

66-67. Samprokṣaṇa rite is as follows:—The lord is ritualistically dismissed from the Liṅga as before, bathed with clay of eight or five types, water, Pañcagavya and purified with water from Darbha grass and sprinkled with water from the Prokṣaṇī vessel, one hundred and eight times with the basic mantra.

68. Holding flowers and Darbha, the hand shall be placed on the top of the Liṅga five times and the basic mantra shall be repeated hundred and eight times.

69. Beginning from the head and ending with the pedestal, the Liṅga shall be touched repeating the basic mantra. The great worship shall be performed after invoking the lord as before.

70. If an installed Liṅga is not available, he shall worship the lord in a place sacred to Śiva, or in water, fire, the sun or the sky.