The Linga Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1951 | 9,466 words | ISBN-10: 812080340X | ISBN-13: 9788120803404

This page describes Index of Content which is chapter 2 of the English translation of the Linga Purana, traditionally authored by Vyasa in roughly 11,000 Sanskrit verses. It deals with Shaiva pilosophy, the Linga (symbol of Shiva), Cosmology, Yugas, Manvantaras, Creation theories, mythology, Astronomy, Yoga, Geography, Sacred pilgrimage guides (i.e., Tirthas) and Ethics. The Lingapurana is an important text in Shaivism but also contains stories on Vishnu and Brahma.

Chapter 2 - Index of Content

Sūta said:—

1- 3. Formerly the excellent Liṅgapurāṇa was composed by Brahmā, the great soul. It was based on the events that happened in the Iśāna kalpa, and originally it contained a crore of verses among a hundred crore that comprised all the Purāṇas. The Purāṇas were abridged into four hundred thousand verses by Vyāsas in the different manvantaras. Later in the beginning of Dvāpara, they were classified into eighteen parts, beginning with Brahmāṇda among which this Liṅgapurāṇa ranks as the eleventh. Thus I have heard from Vyāsa.

4. O brahmins, the number of verses in this Purāṇa is eleven thousand. I shall succinctly narrate it now, as it has not been heard by me in detail.

5. When the Purāṇas were abridged into four hundred thousand verses by Krṣṇa Dvaipāyana, the Liṅga was abridged in eleven thousand verses.

6. At the outset the creation of Pradhāna is mentioned, then the primary and secondary creation and then the origin of the cosmic egg, enveloped by eight sheaths.[1]

7. Then, the evolution of Brahmā through the cosmic egg, by the force of rajoguṇa, the evolution of Viṣṇu and Rudra, and Viṣṇu’s lying down in the waters.

8. The creation of the Prajāpatis; the uplifting of the earth, the duration of Brahma’s day and night, the reckoning of his whole span of life.

9-10. The savana of Brahmā; his yuga and kalpa; the divine and human years; the years of sages, Dhruva and Pitṛs; the nativity of Pitṛs; the duties of the people in their respective stages of life; the decrease of population in the Universe; the manifestation of the creative energy.

11. The male and female nature of energy; the creation of Brahmā; the birth of twins; the eight names of Rudra in the course of weeping.

12. The dispute between Brahmā and Viṣṇu; the manifestation of the Liṅga once again; the penance of Śilāda; the vision of Indra, the slayer of Vṛtra.

13-14. His request for a son not born through a womb; the impossibility of getting such a son, the dialogue between Śilāda and Indra; the birth of Brahmā from a lotus; the manifestation of Bhava in the Kali age; the preceptor and the disciple; the incarnations of Vyāsa; the kalpas and the manvantaras.

15-18. The nature of the kalpas and their different names; Viṣṇu in the form of Varāha in the Vārāhakalpameghavāhana; the grandeur and majesty of Rudra; the manifestation once again of Liṅga in the midst of sages; the propitiation of Liṅga; the injunctions regarding ablution; the nature of purity; the glory of Vārāṇasī and of the holy centres; the shrines of Rudra and Viṣṇu on the earth as well as in the firmament.

19. The fall of Dakṣa on to the earth in the Svārociṣa manvantara; the curse on Dakṣa and his release from the curse.

20. The description of Kailāsa; the yoga pertaining to Paśupati (Śiva); the extent of the four yugas; the detail of the duties assigned to each yuga.

21-22. The magnitude of the interval between the yugas; the activities of Rudra during these intervals; his residence in the cremation ground; the origin of the digit of the moon on his forehead; his marriage; birth of his sons; the fear of the people in anticipation of destruction due to excessive indulgence in sexual intercourse.

23-24. The curse pronounced by Satī on the Devas and on Viṣṇu who was, later on, absolved by Rudra; Rudra’s discharge of semen; the birth of Kārttikeya; the merit of performing ablution to the Liṅgas during the eclipse; the dispute between Kṣupa and Dadhīca as also between Dadhīca and Viṣṇu.

25-27. The incarnation of the trident-bearing lord Nandi; the narrative of the chaste lady; the discussion about the individual soul, and avidyā or ignorance; the nature of worldly activities and of perfect knowledge; the characteristics of those entitled to liberation; the birth of Vasiṣṭha’s sons; the description of the families of the great sages in the spiritual lineage of Vasiṣṭha; the devouring of Śakti by a demon-king due to the wickedness of Viśvāmitra; the capture of the divine cow Surabhi.

28-29. Vasiṣṭha’s grief over the loss of his son; lamentations of Arundhatī; the course of their daughter-in-law; the words of the child in the womb; the birth of Parāśara, Vyāsa and Śuka; the destruction of the Rākṣasas by Śakti’s son Parāśara.

30-31. The truth about the deities; the perfect knowledge as the grace of the lord; the composition of the Purāṇas at the behest of the preceptor Pulastya; the magnitude of the worlds; the movement of the planets and luminaries; rules of procedure about Śrāddha for living ones; those who deserve Śrāddhas; the description of Śrāddha.

32. Rules of procedure about Nāndīśrāddha; the method of studying the Vedas; the efficacy of the five yajñas and the rules of their performance.

33. The conduct and behaviour of women during their menstrual period; the birth of excellent sons due to that conduct; the rules about sexual intercourse in regard to persons of different castes in due order.

34. The injunctions regarding what should and what should not be eaten in respect of the people of all castes; the expiatory rites for the general as well as for the particular sins severally and in detail.

35. The form and features of the hells; crime and punishment; signs of men destined to be heavenly or hellish in later births.

36. Kinds of charitable gifts; the city of the King of the Dead; ritualistic detail of the five-syllabled mantra; the greatness of Rudra.

37. The fight between Vṛtra and Indra; the suppression of Vṛtra in his universal form; the dialogue between Sveta and Mṛtyu; the destruction of Kala on behalf of Śveta.

38- 41. The arrival of Śiva in the forest of cider trees; the narrative of Sudarśana; the characteristics of Krama-sannyāsa; the statement of Brahmā that Rudra could be propitiated by devotion and faith; the incident of Brahma seized by Madhu and Kaiṭabha; then in order to impart the highest perfect knowledge to Brahmā, the story of Viṣṇu assuming the form of a fish; in all conditions the incarnation of Viṣṇu just as a matter of sport; the birth of Śrīkṛṣṇa’s son Pradyumna by the grace of Rudra; Viṣṇu as a tortoise for holding the churning rod.

42. The birth of Saṃkarṣaṇa; the rebirth of Caṇḍikā; the birth of Kṛṣṇa among the Yadus.

43. The wickedness of Kaṃsa, the uncle of Kṛṣṇa; Kṛṣṇa’s sporting activity during infancy; his worship of Siva for obtaining sons.

44. The origin of water from the skull of Śiva in the form of Viṣṇu; Viṣṇu’s propitiation of Rudra for lessening the burden of the earth.

45. The milking of the earth, at the outset, by Pṛthu the son of Vena; the curse of Bhṛgu incurred by Viṣṇu in the course of conflict between Devas and Asuras.

46-47. In his incarnation, as Kṛṣṇa his residence in Dvārakā; the curse of Durvāsas as conducive to his welfare; the curse on Yādavas for their destruction; the growth of reeds and javelins.

48. The annihilation of the Yādavas in mutual quarrel by using reeds and Kṛṣṇa annihilating his tribe sportively through that very reed.

49. Kṛṣṇa’s voluntary departure from this world; the perfect knowledge of Brahman and salvation in detail.

50-51. The subjugation of Andhaka, Agni and Dakṣa who had assumed the forms of Indra, elephant, and the deer; the description, of the primordial Brahman; subjugation of Kama by Śiva, and of the enemies of devas, of the daitya Halāhala in particular; the destruction of Jālandhara and the origin of Sudarśana discus.

52-53. The acquisition of that excellent weapon by Viṣṇu; Rudra’s activities; thousands of his adventures; the activities and the powers of Viṣṇu, Brahmā and Indra; the description of the world of Śiva.

54-56. Rudra’s world on the earth; Hāṭakeśvara in the nether worlds; the nature of austerities; the power of brahmins; Liṅga’s excellence over all other images of deities—all these are recorded in their proper order and in detail[2] in this Purāṇa. He who after knowing the gist recites it, is liberated from sins. He goes to the world of Brahmā.

Footnotes and references:


But in I.3.33 the Purāṇa refers to the seven sheaths of the Cosmic Egg.


Śivatoṣiṇī (a commentary on the Liṅgapurāṇa). adds another interpretation. ‘The order of contents (as stated in this chapter is not observed here (i.e. in this purāṇa) nor are the contents described in detail’. [yadvā atra uktakathānām ānupūrvyā abhāvāt tathā kathānāṃ prāyaśaḥ saṃkṣepāt na ānupūrvyeṇa na vistareṇa ca ityanvayo bodhyaḥ |]

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