The Brahmanda Purana

by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 319,243 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246

This page describes magnificence of god shiva: birth of nilalohita which is Chapter 10 of the English translation of the Brahmanda Purana: one of the oldest puranas including common Puranic elements such as cosmogony, genealogy, ethics, geography and yoga. Traditionally, the Brahmandapurana is said to consist of 12,000 verses metrical Sanskrit verses.

Chapter 10 - Magnificence of God Śiva: birth of Nīlalohita

Summary: Magnificence of God Śiva: Birth of Nīlalohita: His eight Names and Forms.

Note: This chapter deals with the eight forms of god Śiva—a popular conception in Purāṇas and classical literature. It is an amplification of a similar concept in Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa as noted below. This chapter is textually very close to Vā.p. Chapter 27.

The Sage said:

1. The manifestation in this Kalpa of the noble-souled great lord Rudra along with the Sādhaka (spiritual aspirants) has not been narrated by you.

Sūta replied:

2. The origin of the primordial creation has been succinctly mentioned by me. I shall now narrate in detail the names along with the physical bodies.

3. Mahādeva begot of his wives many sons in the other Kalpas that have passed by. Listen to those (procreated) in this Kalpa.

4. In the beginning of the Kalpa, the lord contemplated on a son on a par with himself. Thereafter, the child Nīlalohita appeared on his lap.

5-6. He cried loudly in a terrible manner (voice). He appeared as though he would burn by means of his briliance. On seeing the child Nīlalohita[1] crying suddenly, Brahmā spoke to him—“Why do you cry, O child?” He replied—“Give me at the outset a name, O Grandfather.”[2]

7. “O lord, you are named Rudra”. On being told thus he cried again. “Why do you cry, O child?” asked Brahmā to him.

8. “Give me a second name”, said he to the self-born Lord. “You are Bhava byname, O Lord”. On being told thus he cried again.

9. “Why do you cry?”, enquired Brahmā of the crying child. “Give me a third name”. On being told thus, he said again.

10. “O lord, you are Śarva by name.” On being told thus he cried again, “Why do you cry?”, asked Brahmā again to the crying child.

11. “Give me a fourth name.” On being told thus, he said again, “O lord, you are īśāna by name”. On being told thus he cried again.

12. “Why do you cry”, said Brahmā to that crying child again. He replied to the self-born lord—“Give me a fifth name.”

13. “You are the lord and master of all Paśus (Animals, living beings)”. On being told thus, he cried again. “Why do you cry?” said Brahmā to that crying child, once again.

14. “Indeed, give me the sixth name”. On being told thus he replied to him—“O lord, you are Bhīma by name”. On being told thus he cried again.

15. “Why do you cry?”, asked Brahmā again to that crying child. “Give me the seventh name”. On being told thus he replied:

16. “O lord, you are Ugra by name”. On being told thus, he cried again. To that crying child he said—“Da not cry”.

17. He said—“Give me, O lord, the eighth name”. “You are Mahādeva by name”. On being told thus, he stopped crying.

18. After securing these names. Nīlalohita requested Brahmā—“Indicate the abodes of these names”.[3]

19-20. Then the bodies were allotted by the self-bora lord unto these names (abodes). They were—the sun, the water, the earth, the wind, the fire, the Ether, the initiated Brāhmaṇa and the Moon. Thus the bodies were of eight varieties. The lord is to be worshipped, saluted and bowed to in those bodies.

21-23. Brahmā said again to the child Nīlalohita—“O lord, at the outset, your name has been mentioned by me as Rudra. The sun shall be the first body unto thy first name”. When this was uttered his splendour became an eye, which illuminates, then it entered the sun. Hence he (the sun) is remembered as Rudra. One shall avoid seeing the sun while rising or while setting.

24. Since the sun comes into view frequently and since it vanishes frequently, one, who desires for longevity, should not directly see the sun. One should always be pure.

25-26. Worshipping during the two periods of junctions (the dawn and the dusk), and repeating the Sāman, Ṛk and Yajus hymns, the Brāhmaṇas propitiate and strengthen Rudra of the past and the future. At the time of rising, the sun stands on the Ṛks, at midday he stands on the Yajus and in the late afternoon, Rudra lies down and takes rest gradually. Hence, in fact, the sun never rises nor does he set.[4]

27. One shall never pass urine in the direction of Rudra (i.e. the sun) in whatever condition he may be.

28. Lord Rudra does not oppress the Brāhmaṇa who strictly adheres to these principles. Then Brahmā said again to that lord Nīlalohita.

29. Your second name has been mentioned by me as Bhava. Let ṭhe waters be the second physical body of this name of yours.

30. On this being mentioned, the element of the nature of Rasa (Juice)(i.e. water) became stationed in his body. Since he entered it, the water is remembered as Bhava.

31. Since the living beings are born (bhavanāt) of him, and since he evolves (bhāvanāt) the living beings through them (i.e. the waters) he is called Bhava[5] (due to his creation and evolution of beings).

32. Hence, one shall never urinate or pass faeces into the waters. One should not spit into water, nor plunge into the water in the nude nor should anyone have sexual intercourse within the waters.

33. Nor should one enumerate (?) these whether flowing or still. These bodies of the waters are declared by the sages as Medhya (Pure) and Amedhya (Impure).

34. Waters devoid of taste, waters of bad odour and colour and water in very little quantity should be avoided on all occasions. The sea is the source of origin of waters. Hence waters desire it.

35. After reaching the sea, the waters become sacred and Amṛta (nectarine). Hence one should not obstruct the waters since they love the sea.

36a. Lord Bhava does not oppress or injure him who treats water thus.

36b. Then Brahmā said again to child Nīlalohita:

37. “O lord, the third name of yours that had been mentioned by me is Śarva. Let this earth be the physical body of that third name.

38. On this being mentioned, the hard and firm (part) in his body, namely bones entered the earth. Therefore, it is called Śarva.

39. Hence, one should not evacuate the bowels or- urinate in the ploughed land. One should not urinate in the shade of trees, or in the pathway or in one’s own shadow.

40. After covering the ground with grass and covering one’s head, one should evacute the bowels. Śarva does not oppress or injure him who behaves like this towards the earth.

41-43. Then Brahmā said again to child Nīlalohita. “Your fourth name that had been declared by me is Īśāna. Vāyu (Wind) should be the fourth physical body of your fourth name. As soon as this was spoken that (vital breath) which was stationed in him in five groups and is termed Prāṇa (Vital breath) entered Vāyu. Hence wind is Īśāna. Hence one should not censure or revile at Vāyu the lord himself as it blows violently.

44. Lord Maheśāna does not oppress or injure him who properly behaves towards the wind and those who honour the wind by means of Yajñas and those who serve it.

45-49. Then Brahmā said again to that lord Dhūmra (smoke-coloured) Īśvara. “The fifth name of yours that had been mentioned by me is Paśupati. Let this Agni (Fire) be the fifth body of your fifth name”. On this being mentioned, the fiery brilliance that had been stationed in his body and is termed Uṣṇa (Hot) entered the fire. Hence it (fire) is Paśupati. Since Agni is Paśu (Animal) and since he protects animals, the physical body of Paśupati is designated (defined) as Agni. Hence, one should not burn impure ordure nor should one warm one’s feet. One should not place it beneath nor should one trespass it. Lord Paśupati does not oppress or injure him who behaves properly like this.

50-54. Then Brahmā said once again to that lord Śvetapiṅgala (White-and-tawny-coloured). “O lord, the sixth name of yours that had been mentioned by me is Bhīma. Let Ākāśa (Ether) be the sixth body of that name”. On this being uttered, the cavity that had been in his body entered the ether. Hence, it is the body of Bhīma. Since the lord is remembered as existing in the ether. One should not evacuate the bowels, urinate, take food, drink water, have sexual intercourse or throw up leavings of food consumed without having a cover on. The lord does not oppress or injure him who behaves towards Bhīma thus. Then Brahmā said once again to that lord, who is mighty.

55. O lord, your seventh name that had been mentioned by me was Ugra. The initiated Brāhmaṇa becomes the body of that name of yours.

56. On this being uttered, the Caitanya (consciousness, alertness) that was in his body entered the initiated Brāhmaṇa who performs the Soma sacrifice.

57. For that duration, the initiated Brāhmaṇa becomes lord Ugra. Hence, no one shall abuse or revile at him nor shall anyone speak vulgar words about him.

58. Those who censure him take away his sins. Lord Ugra does not oppress or injure those Brāhmaṇas who behave properly thus.

59-61. Then Brahmā once again said to that lord with the lustre of the sun, “Your eight name that had been men-

tioned by me is Mahādeva. Let the moon be the physical body of that eighth name of yours”. On this being mentioned, the mind of the lord that had been conceiving and contemplating entered the Candramasa (Moon). Therefore, the moon, is Mahādeva. Hence, this great lord is considered to be the Moon.

62. On the new moon day a Brāhmaṇa should not cut trees, bushes or medicinal herbs. Soma (Moon) is remembered as Mahādeva and his Ātman (soul) is the group of medicinal herbs.

63-65. Mahādeva does not slay him who always remains thus on the Parvan days (new moon, full moon etc.) and who understands that lord thus.

The sun protects the subjects by the day and the moon, at the night. On the night (i.e. on the new moon) the sun and the moon join together. On that Amāvāsyā (New Moon) night one shall always be Yukta (properly performing Yogic exercise). All this visible universe has been pervaded by Rudra, through his bodies and names.

66. This sun that wanders alone is called Rudra. It is due to the light of the sun that the subjects see with their eyes.

67-69. Rudra remains a liberated soul and drinks water through his rays. Food is eaten and water is drunk with a desire for food, water etc. The body arising out of water develops and nourishes the bodies.

That earthen body of the lord is good as it sustains the subjects. It is through this that the lord upholds all the subjects by means of a steady splendour.

70-75. The gaseous body of Īśāna is the vital breath of all living beings. It is stationed in the bodies of all living beings along with the functions of the vital breath.

The body of Paśupati cooks and digests the food consumed and the beverages drunk, in the bellies of the living beings. That which cooks is called Agni (fire i.e. Gastric fire).

The cavities that are within the bodies for the purpose of the free movement of the air constitute the body (of the lord) called Bhīma.

The existence of expounders of Brahman is, due to Caitanya (consciousness) of the initiated ones. That body is of the form of Ugra. Therefore, the initiated one is remembered as Ugra.

The part of the body that conceives and contemplates and which is stationed in the subjects is the mental body, the moon—it is stationed in the living beings. Being born again and again he becomes fresh and fresh. It is being drunk at the proper time by the Devas along with the Pitṛs. The moon of aquatic nature with nectar within him is remembered as Mahādeva.

76. His first body has been glorified by the name Rauḍrī. Its wife is Suvarcalā and her son is Śanaiścara (the Saturn).

77. The second body of Bhava is remembered by the name of Āpaḥ. Its wife is remembered as Dhātrī and the son is remembered as Uśanas (the Venus).

78. The body of the third name of Śarva is Bhūmī (the earth). Its wife is Vikeśī and the son is remembered as Aṅgāraka (the Mars).

79-84. Vāta (wind) is the body of the fourth name of Īśāna. Its wife is Śivā by name. Anila (Wind) has two sons, viz.: Manojava (Having the speed of the mind) and Avijñātagati (One of inscrutable movement).

Agni (Fire) is remembered by Brāhmaṇas, as the body of Paśupati. Svāhā is remembered as its wife. Skanda is remembered as its son.

The Ether (Ākāśa) is called the body Bhīma, his sixth name. The quarters are remembered as its wives and Svarga (heaven) is remembered as its son.

The seventh body Ugra is remembered as the initiated Brāhmaṇa. Dīkṣā is remembered as its wife and Santana is called the son.

The body Mahat of the eighth name is remembered as Candramas (Moon). Its wife is Rohiṇī. Her son is remembered as Budha.

Thus these bodies of his have been recounted along with the names.

85-87. The lord is to be saluted and bowed to in those bodies with the respective names for each body. He should be saluted by devotees in the sun, the waters, the Earth, the wind, the fire, the Ether, the initiated one as well as the moon. He should be honoured with great devotion along with the names. He who knows that lord thus with the bodies and names acquires progeny and attains the Sāyujya (Identity) of Lord Bhava. Thus the esoteric fame of Bhīma has been recounted to you.

88. O Brāhmaṇas, let there be welfare unto the bipeds. Let there be welfare unto the quadrupeds. Now the names and bodies of Mahādeva have been recounted. Listen to the progeny of Bhṛgu.

Footnotes and references:


This name signifies identification of Rudra and Fire.


VV. 5ff. This episode of crying for a name and god Brahma’s assigning eight names is a reproduction of the same in Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa (ŚB. It is from this concept in ŚB that Bd.P. (and other Purāṇas such as Vā.P., LP) developed the Aṣṭa-mūrti conception of Rudra. See the next note.


The abodes of the names of Nīlalohita are the eight forms (aṣṭa-mūrtis) of Śiva and they symbolize the five Mahā-bhūtas (gross elements), the two principle vital airs Prāṇa and Apāna and the principle of the Mind. The following tabular statement of the eight forms of Rudra, their abodes, names of their consorts and children will clarify this chapter.

Name or
Form of Śiva
Abode or
bodies alloted
Designation of
that body
Name of
the consort
No of
the sons
1. Rudra the sun (i.e. Prāṇa or Heat) Raudri Suvarcalā the saturn (Śani)
2. Bhava the water Āpaḥ Dhātrī The Venus (Śukra)
3. Śarva the earth Bhūmī Vikeśī The Mars (Aṅgāraka)
4. Īśāna the wind Vāta Śivā i) Manojava ii) Avijñātagati
5. Paśupati the Fire Agni Svāhā Skanda
6. Bhīma the Ether Ākāśa Quarters Svarga
7. Ugra Initiated Brāhmaṇa Dīkṣita Brāhmaṇa Dīkṣā Santāna
8. Mahādeva The Moon (Apāna) or cold Candramas Rohiṇī Budha



This Puranic speculation turned out to be a scientific truth.


This etymology of ‘Bhava’ is confirmed in Vā.P.

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