The Linga Purana

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

This page describes The Eight Bodies of Shiva which is chapter 13 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 13 - The Eight Bodies of Śiva

Sanatkumāra said:

1. O Nandin, recount to me further about the greatness of the consort of Umā, the great lord having eight cosmic forms, of Śiva, Parameṣṭhin.

Nandikeśvara said:

2. I shall recount to you the greatness of the lord the consort of Umā, Parameṣṭhin, having eight cosmic forms, pervading the universe.

3. The lord and creator of all living beings mobile and immobile is of the nature of the sustainer of the Universe and is called Śarva by the masters of scriptural texts and their meanings.

4. Vikeśī is the wife of Śarva, Parameṣṭhin, in the form of Viśvambhara. Aṅgāraka (Mars) is their son.

5-9. The lord is called Bhava by the expounders of the Vedas. Umā is known as the consort of Bhava, the great Ātman, who enlivens the worlds. Venus is their son. In the form of the fire the great Paśupati is remembered by the learned as the lord who pervades the universe consisting of seven worlds, of which he is the sole protector. The beloved wife of Paśupati in the form of the fire is Svāhā. The six-faced lord is cited as their son by the learned.

The lord in the form of the wind pervades the worlds. He is the sustainer of all embodied beings. He is glorified as Īśāna by the learned men. The goddess of Īśāna, the lord in the form of the wind, the creator of the universe, is mentioned as Śivā and their son is Manojava.

10-17. The lord in the form of the firmament, is the bestower of all desires on all living beings. He is called Bhīma by the learned. The ten quarters are the goddess of lord Bhīma in the form of the firmament, having great magnanimity. Creation is their son. The lord in the form of the sun is called Rudra by Devas. He bestows prosperity on all, and yields all worldly pleasures and salvation. Suvarcalā is the goddess of Rudra when the latter is in the form of the sun, the bestower of devotion on his devotees. Śanaiścara (Saturn), is their son. The lord in the form of the moon is Mahādeva and he is known as the source of origin of all gentle objects. Rohiṇī is the beloved of lord Mahādeva in the form of the moon. Budha (mercury) is their son.

Lord Mahādeva in the form of yajamāna who apportions Havya and Kavya to Devas and Pitṛs is called Ugra. He is also called Īśāna by others.

18. Dīkṣā is the wife of the lord Ugra when the latter is in the form of yajamāna and their son is named Santāna.

19. The hard part in the bodies of the embodied souls like Koṅkaṇa[1] etc. is known as the earthly body by the principle of lord Siva.

20-26. The lord of Devas is present in every body. The unchanging thing in the embodied souls in the form of solid matter pertains to Bhava the great Ātman and it is known as such by those who know reality and have mastered the Vedas.

The fiery principle that is seen in the bodies of the embodied beings is known as the physical form Paśupati by those who understand reality. The body which is a gaseous transformation in the bodies of the embodied beings is known by the learned as Īśa. The crevisse that is in the body of all the embodied beings is known as the physical form of Bhīma by those who seek to know facts. The glowing element in the eyes etc. of the bodies of the embodied beings is known as the physical form of Rudra by those who know precise facts. The mind that is lunar in form and stationed in the bodies of all living beings is known as the physical form of Mahādeva by those who ponder over facts. The Ātman that is named Yajamāna and is present in the bodies of all living beings is known as the physical body of Ugra by those who know the greatest Atman.

27-29. Great sages aver that all the living beings born of the fourteen different species are not different from Śiva possessed of the eight cosmic bodies. They say that the bodies of embodied beings are identical with the seven bodies of īśa.. The Ātman is his eighth physical body and is present in the bodies of all living beings. If you wish to attain welfare resort by all means to the eight-formed lord Aṣṭamūrti, the lord identical with all the worlds.

30-37. If one is able to do some thing that is beneficent to any living being it is as good as propitiating Maheśa with eight cosmic bodies. If one suppresses or obstructs any embodied being it amounts to perpetrating the same to Maheśa with eight cosmic forms. If protection from fear and danger is accorded to any embodied being, undoubtedly, it is the propitiation of the eight-formed lord. Helping all the people and affording shelter in times of fear is undoubtedly the propitiation of Aṣṭamūrti. Leading sages say that the help rendered to everyone and the blessings offered to all is the great worship of the eight-formed lord. Blessings to other embodied beings and offerings of freedom from fear should be pursued by you if you wish to propitiate Śiva.

Footnotes and references:


Koṅkaṇa—tatsaṃjñaka-deśa [deśaḥ] Śivatoṣiṇī. Contextually not clear, though it refers to the strip of land lying between the Sahya mountain and the Indian ocean.

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