The Linga Purana

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

This page describes The superhuman magnificence of Shiva which is chapter 11 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 11 - The superhuman magnificence of Śiva

Santakumāra said:

1. O lord of the Gaṇas, O most excellent among those who know the greater and the inferior, O lord sanctified by the supreme lord Śiva, recount to me the superhuman excellences of Śiva and Śivā (Umā).

Nandikeśvara said:

2. O Sanatkumāra, O leading yogin, O most excellent among the sons of Brahmā, I shall recount the excellences of Śiva and Śivā, listen.

3. The supreme soul is spoken of as Śiva as well as Śivā.[1] These are the masculine and feminine forms of the one supreme Ātman. Learned men call Śiva as Īśvara and Śivā as Māyā.

4. The brahmins call Puruṣa as Śiva and Prakṛti as Śivā. Śiva is the meaning and Śivā is the word denotative of the meaning. The eternal lord is the day and Śivā is the night.

5. The lord is the deity of sacrifice[2] and his consort is Dakṣiṇā (gift of sacrifice). The lord is the firmament and his beloved is the earth.

6. Lord Śiva is the ocean and Umā, the daughter of the chief of the mountains, is the sea-shore. The trident-armed lord is the tree and his beloved is the creeper.

7. The lord is Brahmā and the goddess having half the body of the lord is Sāvitrī. The lord is Viṣṇu and the great goddess is Lakṣmī.

8. The lord is the thunderbolt-armed Indra and the daughter of the leading mountain is Śacī. The lord is the fire and the goddess having half the body of the lord is Svāhā (wife of fire).

9. The lord is Yama and the daughter of the mountain is Yamī. The lord is Varuṇa and his consort is Varuṇānī the bestower of all objects.

10. The lord is Vāyu and the mistress of Vāyu is Śivā. The lord with the semicircular moon for his crest is the king of Yakṣas. Śivā herself is Ṛddhi.

11. The crescent-crested lord is the moon and the beloved of the lord is Rohiṇī. The lord is the sun and the goddess Umā is Suvarcalā.

12. The destroyer of the three cities (puras) is the six-faced deity (Kārttikeya) and his beloved is Devasenā. Umā is prasūti while the lord is Dakṣa.

13. The lord is Manu called Puruṣa. His beloved is Śatarūpā. They know Bhavānī as Ākūti and the lord as Ruci.

14. The lord who plucked out the eyes of Bhaga is Bhṛgu and the beloved of the three-eyed lord is Khyāti. Lord Rudra is Marīci and the beloved of the lord is Sambhūti.

15. They know Bhavānī as Rucirā and the lord as Kavi.[3] The lord is Aṅgiras and Umā is Smṛti.

16. The lord with the crescent moon at his crest is Pulastya and the beloved of the Pināka-bearing lord is Prīti. The lord, the destroyer of the three cities (puras) is pulaha and the beloved of the slayer of Kāla (i. e. Śiva) is Dayā.

17. The destroyer of Dakṣa’s sacrifice is Kratu and the beloved of the lord is Sannati. The three-eyed lord is Atri and Umā herself as his consort Anasūyā.

18. They call Umā as the elderly lady Ūrjā and the lord as Vasiṣṭha. All men are Śiva and all women are Śivā.

19. All those who are expressed by words in the masculine gender are forms of the lord. All those that are expressed by words in the feminine gender are the magnificences of Śivā.

20. All the women, and men are their [Śiva’s and Umā’s] own excellences. Learned men know that all the Śaktis of the objects are Gaurī.

21. She is the goddess of the universe and he is the over-lord of all. All objects that are possessed of Śakti are parts of Maheśvara.

22. The eight Prakṛtis are the physical forms of the goddess. The vikṛtis are her Vibhūtis in embodied forms.

23- 24. Just as sparks come out of the fire so also the Jīvas (individual souls) come out of the lord. Hence, the lord attains dual existence. The physical bodies of the embodied beings are the form of the goddess. All the embodied beings are stabilised as parts of the lord.

25. Everything audible is of the form of Umā and the hearer is the lord himself. The lord is the inherer of objects while Umā is the object herself.

26. The beloved wife of the lord holds all the objects to he created while the lord with the crescent moon on his crest the soul of the universe is the creator.

27. The goddess of the world sustains the forms of subjects and objects while the seer is the moon-crescented lord.

28. All tastes and smells are the forms of Umā, while the lord of the worlds is the feeler of the taste and smell.

29. The great goddess Śivā assumes the form of every object worthy of being thought of, while the thinker is the lord, the soul of the universe and the great Īśvara.

30. The beloved of the lord sustains the form of objects worthy of being understood and the deity that understands is the same lord with the crescent moon for his crest jewel.

31. Goddess Umā has the form of the pedestal. Śiva has the form of Liṅga. After installing them assiduously Devas and Asuras worship them.

32. All the objects marked with the phallic symbol are the superhuman magnificences of the lord. All the objects marked by the symbol of the vaginal passage are the superhuman excellences of the goddess Umā.

33. The eight coverings of the Cosmic Egg ending with the upper and lower regions and all that is knowable are the forms of Umā while lord Maheśvara is the knower.

34. The goddess, the beloved of the slayer of the three cities (puras) is the field while the lord the slayer of Andhaka is the knower of the field.[4]

35. If people forsake Liṅga and begin to worship other deities they will go to the Raurava hell along with the king,[5] their ruler.

36. If a king ceases to be a devotee of Śiva and becomes attached to other Devas, it is like the behaviour of a young woman who discarding her husband revels among her paramours.

37. Brahmā and other Devas, the kings of great prosperity, the subjects as well as sages worship the Liṅga.

38. After killing Rāvaṇa[6] the son of Brahmā along with his army, the Liṅga was duly installed on the shore of the ocean by Viṣṇu.

39. Even after committing thousands of sins and even after killing a hundred brahmins, if one resorts to lord Śiva with full devotion he is undoubtedly liberated.

40. All the worlds are full of Liṅgas. They are founded on the Liṅga. Hence, one should worship the Liṅga if one wishes for eternal region.

41. Siva and Śivā are stationed in the shapes of all beings. They should be worshipped by men for their own welfare. They should always be bowed to and contemplated upon.

Footnotes and references:


sā ca, i.e. Śraddhā, the first wife of Śiva.


saptatantuyajñaḥ, Śivatoṣiṇī. a kind of sacrifice.


Kavi [kavim]—śukra [śukram] Śivatoṣiṇī. Venus.


The goddess is kṣetra in the form of subtle body (liṅga-śarīra) while the god is kṣetrajña in the form of jīva.


Mark the sectarian character of this Purāṇa.


Rāvaṇaṃ hatvā—according to Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa, this Liṅga known as Rāmeśvara was installed by Rāma at the time of constructing the bridge (setu-bandha-kāla [kāle]), and not after slaying Rāvaṇa as mentioned here.

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: