The Linga Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1951 | 265,005 words | ISBN-10: 812080340X | ISBN-13: 9788120803404

This page describes Creation (praja-srishti) which is chapter 5 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 5 - Creation (prajā-sṛṣṭi)

Sūta said:

1. O brahmins, while Brahmā of unknown origin pondered on creation he became manifested as delusion enveloped in darkness.

2. Ignorance originated from the self-born Brahmā in five[1] forms:—darkness (tamas), infatuation (moha), the great infatuation (mahāmoha), gloominess (tāmisra), and blinding gloominess (andhatāmisra).

3-4. This creation of Brahmā which is enveloped by ignorance is declared to be primary. From this creation emerged the immovables (plants, mountains etc.). He considered this creation incapable of causation. He thought of creating yet. While he thus meditated, his neck turned horizontally.

5-8. At first the horizontal creation named tiryaksrotas emerged from him; the next was urdhvasrotas chiefly characterized by goodness. Then came arvāksrotas, after that anugraha, and lastly bhūtādi. The first creation of Brahma is known mahat; the second of tanmātrās as bhautika; the third of the senseorgans as aindriya; the fourth of the immovables as mukhya; the fifth of animals as tiryagyoni; the sixth of gods as daivika; the seventh of mankind as mānuṣa; the eighth (of emotions) as anugraha; the ninth of Kumāras as Kaumārya.[2] These are Prākṛta and Vaikṛta creations.

9-11. Formerly, O excellent sages, Brahmā created Sananda, Sanaka and Sanātana. By refraining from worldly activities they attained the Supreme Being. By his yogic accomplishment he created Marīci, Bhṛgu, Aṅgiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Dakṣa, Atri and Vasiṣṭha. These nine sons of Brahmā were the knowers of Brahman and excellent brahmins. They are known as expounders of brahman and were equal to Brahmā himself

12. [He had three more sons] Saṅkalpa, Dharma and Adharma. Adharma is always present near Dharma. Thus there were twelve progenies of Brahmā of unknown origin.

13-14. The eternal lord had at the outset created Ṛbhu and Sanatkumāra. These two eldest sons became the divine expounders of Brahman. Being free from sexual desire they remained bachelors and rose equal in wisdom to Brahmā. They were omniscient and possessed of all merits. I shall now state succinctly the names of the wives of the brahmanical sages and the birth of their progenies, O excellent sages.

15-17. The lord created Virāja (Manu) and Vairājñī Śatarūpā who was not born of womb. She bore two sons and two daughters to Manu. The elder was the intelligent Priyavrata and the younger Uttānapāda. The elder daughter was Ākūti and the younger was Prasūti.

18-26. Prajāpati Ruci married Ākūti and lord Dakṣa married Prasūti the mother of the worlds and a great Yoginī. Ākūti gave birth to a son Yajña and a daughter Dakṣiṇā. Dakṣiṇā gave birth to twelve illustrious sons. Prasūti of great penance bore twenty-four daughters to Dakṣa viz.,—Śraddhā (faith), Lakṣmī (good fortune), Dhṛti, Puṣṭi, Tuṣṭi, Medha, Kriyā, Buddhi (constancy), Lajjā (Modesty), Vapus (beauty), Śānti (tranquillity), Siddhi (perfection), Kīrti (fame), Khyāti (celebrity), Satī (truth), Sambhūti (fitness), Smṛti (memory), Prīti (affection), Kṣamā (patience), Sannati (humility), Anasūyā (sincerity), Ūrjā (strength), Svāhā (oblation to the gods), Araṇi and the blessed Svadhā (oblation to the pitṛs). He gave them duly in marriage. The first thirteen daughters Śraddhā to Kīrti married the patriarch Dharma. The wise Bhṛgu married Khyāti; Bhārgava (Śukra) married Araṇi; Marīci (married) Sambhūti; Aṅgiras (married) Smṛti. The other married pairs were: Prīti and Pulastya, Kṣamā and Pulaha, Sannati and Kratu, Atri and Anasūyā, Ūrjā and Vasiṣṭha, Svāhā and Vibhāvasu, Svadhā and the Pitṛs.

27-28. Satī the mental creation of the lord was adopted as his daughter by Dakṣa. She the mother of the worlds attained Rudra as her husband. At the beginning of the creation Brahmā had created a Being (Rudra) possessed of a body half man’s and half women’s[3] and then the Creator said, “Divide thyself.” And he being accosted thus, divided himself into two. It was then that she was born.

29. All the women in three worlds arc born of the female part. Similarly, all the eleven Rudras[4] originated from his male part.

30-33. Everything feminine in gender is she herself and everything masculine is Rudra himself. Keeping Rudra in view, lord Brahmā looked at Dakṣa and said, “Worship her, she is of good holy rites, the mother of all the worlds, of mine as well as yours. If the word putrī (daughter) is interpreted as ‘one who saves from the hell “put” she will become the excellent wife of Rudra and the mother of the Universe. She shall be your daughter and known as Satī.

Thus urged by Brahmā Dakṣa obtained her as his daughter and respectfully gave her to Rudra (in marriage).

34. The thirteen wives of Dharma, Śraddhā and others have already been mentioned. I shall now mention the progeny of Dharma from those wives, in due order.

35-36. They are Kāma (love), Darpa (pride), Niyama (restraint), Santoṣa (contentment), Lobha (covetousness), Śruta (learning), Daṇḍa (punishment), Samaya (agreement), Bodha (wisdom), Apramāda (non-erring), Vinaya (humility), Vyavasāya (industry), Kṣema (welfare), Sukha (happiness) and Yaśas (fame). These are the offspring of Dharma.

37-40. Dharma begot of Kriyā (activity) and Buddhi (intelligence) two sons each viz.,—Daṇḍa (punishment) and Samaya (agreement) of the former, Apramāda (non-erring) and Bodha (wisdom) of the latter. Hence the sons of Dharma and Adharma are fifteen in all. Bhṛgu’s wife Khyāti gave birth to Śrī, (who became) the wife of Viṣṇu and to two sons Dhātṛ and Vidhātṛ who later became the sons-in-law of Meru. Prabhūti, wife of Marīci, gave birth to two sons: Pūrṇamāsa and Mārīca and four daughters: Tuṣṭi, Dṛṣṭi, Kṛṣi and Apaciti.

41-45. O great sages, Kṣamā bore to Pulaha three sons: Kardama, Varīyas and Sahiṣṇu and one daughter Pīvarī, golden in colour and stout as the earth. Pulastya begot of Prīti two sons Dattorṇa and Vedabāhu and a daughter Dṛṣadvatī. Sannati, wife of Kratu gave birth to sixty thousand sons who are known as Bālakhilyas. Smṛti, wife of sage Aṅgiras, gave birth to four daughters: Sinīvālī, Kuhu, Rākā and Anumati after obtaining three sons: Anubhāva, Agni and Kīrtimān, O sages of holy rites.

46-50. Anasūyā, the wife of Atri, gave birth to six children, a daughter Śruti and five sons: Satyanetra, Bhavyamūrti, Āpa, Śanaiścara and Soma; the sixth was Śruti (mentioned above). The affectionate mother Ūrjā bore to Vasiṣṭha seven, handsome sons: Rajas, Suhotra, Bāhu, Savana, Anagha, Sutapas and Śukra. To the god of fire who identifies himself with Rudra and is the eldest son of Brahmā and also the very life of the people, Svāhā bore three sons, for the welfare of the three worlds.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Avidyā, also designated as viparyaya is fivefold. Cf. II.9.30. Its five kinds are defined in the Devī Bhāga. These are subdivided into sixty-two kinds. Cf. II.9.34-35.

[2]:

Ninefold creation: The Puranic cosmology divides the cosmic creation into nine classes. For detail, see Śiva-Purāṇa, (English trans, p. 248 note 214).

[3]:

This half-male and half-female form of lord Śiva is most popular in ancient sculpture. The concept has its basis in the Puruṣa-Prakṛti doctrine of the Sāṃkhya philosophers.

[4]:

Eleven Rudras. For the names of eleven Rudras, see I.82.40-41. Their names arc variously mentioned in the Purāṇas. For instance, Matsya has two lists (5.29-30; 153.19) which differ from each other. Vāyu agrees with Matsya only in three names. Bhaviṣya(125.7) gives a different list. For the interpretation of these names and other detail, sec Matsyapurāṇa. A Study PP. 65-67.

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