The Linga Purana

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

This page describes The esoteric secret of Shiva which is chapter 7 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 7 - The esoteric secret of Śiva

Sūta said:

1. I shall recount to you, at the outset, the esoteric secret [i.e., rahasya], in brief, of the all-knowing Śiva of unmeasured splendour.

2-3. The yogins who are conversant with the tenets, who have adopted great detachment, who are constantly associated with the eight[1] means of Yoga, such as the control of breath and who are endowed with the attributes of mercy[2] etc., go either to hell or to heaven according to their deeds.

4. By virtue of his grace, knowledge arises and yoga functions through knowledge. By dint of yoga, liberation is effected, and everything is achieved through his grace.

The sages said:

5. O best of yogins, if perfect knowledge comes through grace, you shall tell us about the form and feature as well as the divine yoga of lord Śiva (through which that grace is attained).

6. How does the lord devoid of anxiety bestow his grace on men by means of the yogic path and at what time.

Sūta said:

7. May you all hear what had been formerly mentioned by Nandin to Sanatkumāra, the son of Brahmā, in the presence of devas, sages and pitṛs.

8. O sages of good holy rites, listen to the incarnations of Vyāsas, at the end of Dvāpara and the incarnations of lord Śiva as Yogācāryas in the kali age.

9. In different areas, the four disciples of the lord, fully endowed with mental control spread the doctrines of Śiva. There grew up many disciples of disciples and the lord was pleased at this.

10. The perfect knowledge of the lord had been traditionally and gradually transmitted orally to men of the first three castes from brahmins to vaiśyas in the manner befitting them. It was done so out of mercy.

The sages said:—

11. It behoves you to tell us who those Vyāsas were who incarnated during every Dvāpara age and furthermore, in which manvantara and kalpa they incarnated.

Sūta said:

12-13. O brahmins, may you be pleased to listen. I shall duly recount the Vyāsas in the Vārāha kalpa of the Vaivasvata manvantara which is still current. I shall recount the Rudras in all the manvantaras. They had been the guides and instructors of perfect knowledge of the Vedas and Purāṇas in all the circles of yugas.

14-18. O brahmins, these are the Vyāsas: (1) Kratu,[3] (2) Satya, (3) Bhārgava, (4) Aṅgiras, (5) Savitṛ, (6) Mṛtyu, (7) Śatakratu, (8) Vasiṣṭha, (9) Sārasvata, (10) Tridhāman, (11) Trivṛta, (12) Śatatejas, (13) Dharma who is known as Nārāyaṇa, (14) Tarakṣu, (15) Aruṇim (16) Kṛtañjaya, (17) Ṛtañjaya, (18) Bharadvāja, (19) Gautama, (20) Vācaśravas, (21) Suṣmāyaṇi, (22) Śuci, (23) Tṛṇavindu, (24) Rukṣa, (25) Śakti, (26) Parāśara the son of Śakti, (27) Jātukarṇya, (28) Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana who was Viṣṇu himself.

Now listen, to the yogeśvaras in due order in the Kali age.

19-20. They are innumerable in the various kaipas and the manvantaras. Since the incarnations of Rudras and Vyāsas in the Kali age are too many, I shall recount the incarnations in the Vaivasvata manvantara, in the Vārāha kalpa and in all the other manvantaras falling therein.

The sages said:

21. O Sūta, it behoves you now to recount the manvantaras in the Vārāha kalpa and in all the later kalpas as also recount the Siddhas in the Vaivasvata manvantara.

Sūta said:

22-28. The first Manu was (1) Svāyambhuva son of Brahmā. Then, O brahmins, was the Manu (2) Svārociṣa. The subsequent Manus were: (3) Uttama, (4) Tāmasa, (5) Raivata, (6) Cākṣuṣa, (7) Vaivasvata, (8) Sāvarṇi, (9) Dharma, (10) Sāvarṇika, (11) Piśaṅga, (12) Apiśaṅgābha, (13) Śabala, and (14) Varṇaka. The Manus are also designated according to the vowels beginning with ‘a’ and ending with ‘au’. O excellent brahmins, they are also classified according to their colours as (1) śveta (white), (2) pāṇḍu (grey), (3) rakta (reddish), (4) tāmra (copper-hued), (5) pīta (yellow), (6) kapila (tawny), (7) kṛṣṇa (black), (8) śyāma (dark), (9) dhūmra (light-smoke-coloured), (10) sudhūmra (deep smoke-coloured), (11) apiśaṅga (non-tawny) (12) piśaṅga (tawny), (13) trivarṇaśabala (three-coloured) and (14) kālandhura (extreme black). Thus all the holy Manus have been mentioned by (1) name, (2) letters, and (3) colour. Those identical with the vowels are, in brief, mentioned as the leaders of the manvantaras. Among them, the seventh Manu is Vaivasvata represented by the vowel ‘ṛ’ and colour black. This seventh Manu is also a leader among devas. I shall mention the yogins in this repeated cycle of yugas in the kalpas that have passed by and those that are yet to come.

29-35. The current kalpa in the seventh manvantara is known as Vārāha. Now listen to the yogic incarnations of the lord and their line of disciples in due order, in all the kalpas and manvantaras. In the first Kali of Svāyambhuva Manu they were (1) Śveta, (2) Sutāra, (3) Madana, (4) Suhotra, (5) Kaṅkaṇa, (6) Logākṣi, (7) Jaigīṣavya, (8) Dadhivāhana, (9) Ṛṣabha, (10) Ugra, (11) Atri, (12) Subālaka, (13) Gautama, (14) Vedaśīrṣa. (15) Gokarṇa, (16) Guhāvāsin, (17) Śikhaṇḍabhṛt, (18) Jaṭāmālin, (19) Aṭṭahāsa, (20) Dāruka, (21) Lāṅguli. (22) Mahākāvya, (23) Śūlin, (24) Daṇḍin, (25) Muṇḍīśvara, (26) Sahiṣṇu, (27) Somaśarmā, (28) Lakulīśa. O men of holy rites, the incarnations as Yogācāryas of the lord in all the cycles of four ages in the Vaivasvata manvantara have been recounted (as twenty-eight).

36. O excellent sages, in every Dvāpara age, there are Vyāsas in the same manner. The following are the recurring disciples of these Yogeśvaras, each of whom had four disciples.

37-51. They are:—(1) Śveta, (2) Śvetaśikhaṇḍin (3) Śvetāśva, (4) Śvetalohita, (5) Dundubhi, (6) Śatarūpa, (7) Ṛcīka, (8) Ketumān, (9) Viśoka, (10) Vikeśa, (11) Vipāśa, (12) Pāśanāśana, (13) Sumukha, (14) Durmukha, (15) Durdama, (16) Duratikrama, (17) Sanaka, (18) Sananda, (19) Sanātana, (20) Ṛbhu, (21) Sanat, (22) Sudāman, (23) Virajas, (24) Śaṅkhapāda,

(25) Vairajas, (26) Megha, (27) Sārasvata, (28) Suvāhana, (29) Meghavāha, (30) Kapila, (31) Āsuri, (32) Pañcaśikha, (33) Vālkala, (34) Parāśara, (35) Garga, (36) Bhārgava (37) Aṅgiras, (38) Balabandhu, (39) Nirāmitra, (40) Ketuśṛṅga (41) Lambodara, (42) Lamba, (43) Lambākṣa, (44) Lambakeśaka, (45) Sarvajña, (46) Samabuddhi, (47) Sādhya, (48) Sarva, (49) Sudhāman, (50) Kāśyapa, (51) Vāsiṣṭha, (52) Virajas, (53) Atri, (54), Devasada, (55) Śravaṇa, (56) Śraviṣṭhaka, (57) Kuṇi, (58) Kuṇibāhu, (59) Kuśarīra, (60) Kunetraka, (61) Kaśyapa, (62) Uśanas, (63) Cyavana, (64) Bṛhaspati, (65) Utathya, (66) Vāmadeva, (67) Mahāyoga, (68) Mahābala, (69) Vācaśravas, (70) Sudhīka, (71) Śyāvāśva, (72) Yatīśvara, (73) Hiraṇyanābha, (74) Kauśalya, (75) Logākṣi, (76), Kuthumi, (77) Sumantu, (78) Barbarī, (79) Kabandha, (80) Kuśikandhara, (81) Plakṣa, (82) Dālbhyāyani, (83) Ketumān, (84) Gopana, (85), Bhallāvin, (86) Madhupiṅga, (87) Śvetaketu, (88) Taponidhi, (89) Uśika, (90) Bṛhadaśva, (91) Devala, (92) Kavi, (93) Śālihotra, (94) Agniveśa, (95) Yuvanāśva, (96) Śaradvasu, (97) Chagala, (98) Kuṇḍakarṇa, (99) Kumbha, (100) Pravāhaka, (101), Ulūka, (102) Vidyuta, (103) Maṇḍūka, (104) Āśvalāyana, (105) Akṣapāda, (106) Kumāra, (107) Ulūka, (108) Vatsa, (109) Kuśika, (110) Garbha, (111) Mitra, (112) Kauruṣya. These noble souls are the disciples of the yogins in all cycles of four yugas.

52-55. They are all devoid of impurities, almost identical with Brahman, and engaged in the path of knowledge. They are devotees of Paśupati, great Siddhas and have ashes smeared on their bodies. There are hundreds and thousands of disciples and their disciples. They attain the Pāśupata yoga and Rudra’s world. All beings from Devas to Piśācas are said to be Paśus. Since Lord Rudra is their overlord he is called Paśupati. O Brahmins, the yoga evolved by Rudra, the overlord of the Paśus is known as Pāśupata yoga, which leads all persons to their blissful prosperity.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

The eight ancillaries of yoga constitute (1) yama, (2) niyama, (3) āsana, (4) prāṇāyāma, (5) pratyāhāra, (6) dhāraṇā, (7) dhyāna, (8) samādhi. Cf Śiva-Purāṇa. Vāyavīya saṃhitā, ch. 37.

[2]:

For the eight virtues of the soul, compare Āgnipurāṇa as quoted in Śivatoṣiṇī. [dayā kṣamānasūyā ca anāyāso'tha maṅgalam | akārpaṇyāspṛhe śaucaṃ yasyaite sa paraṃ vrajet |] incarnated during every Dvāpara age and furthermore, in which manvantara and kalpa they incarnated.

[3]:

identical with ‘Prabhu’. Cf. Śivatoṣiṇī (a commentary on the Liṅgapurāṇa). [ayameva caturviśe prabhurityuktaḥ |]

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