The Linga Purana

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

This page describes The mode of Initiation (diksha-vidhi) which is chapter 21 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 21 - The mode of Initiation (dīkṣā-vidhi)

Sūta said:

1-4. The ground intended for the mystic diagram should be duly tested in regard to smell, colour, taste, etc. It should be rendered befitting the invocation of the lord by decorating it with canopies, etc. The maṇḍala of the magnitude of a Hasta (hand) shall be made. In the middle the diagram of a lotus set with five diamonds shall be marked by means of powder. It shall be circular with eight petals. It shall be white or red in colour. It shall be bright and splendid. In the pericarp Śiva the cause of the universe shall be invoked along with the attendants. Then the devotee shall worship it assiduously in accordance with the extent of his wealth.

5. O great sage, the Siddhis are to be invoked in the petals, detachment in the pericarp, knowledge in the stalk and virtue in the bulbous root pleasing to the mind.

6-8. The Śaktis are in the filaments as follows:—Vāmā, Jyeṣṭhā, Raudrī, Kālī, Vikaraṇī, Balavikaraṇī, Balapramathinī and Sarvabhūtadamanī in due order. Manonmanī the great māyā shall be in the pericarp in the seat of Śiva. The Śaktis shall be fixed along with Vāmadeva and others in pairs. Mahādeva who is Manonmana shall be placed in the middle along with Manonmanī.

9. In the eastern petal (leaf) shall be fixed the Puruṣa who has solar lustre, in a curved manner [transversely]. This Puruṣa is identical with Śiva. He is called Praṇava in view of his contract with the sun, moon and fire.

10. In the southern petal, Aghora who resembles a mass of blue coliyrium shall be fixed. The deity called Vāmadeva having the lustre of the Japā flower shall be placed in the northern petal.

11-15. In the western petal the devotee shall fix Sadya who is as white as the cow’s milk. In the pericarp he shall fix Īśāna who resembles pure crystal. He shall fix the deity repeating the mantra beginning with “Hṛdayāya” in the south-east quarter. He shall fix the deity of smoky lustre in the northeast quarter repeating “śirase”. In. the south-west petal he shall fix the deity with red lustre repeating—“Śikhāyai”. He shall fix the deity having the lustre of the collyrium in the north-west petal repeating—“Kavacāya”. He shall fix the deity having the lustre of the fiery flame in all the quarters repeating—obeisance to Astra (miraculous weapon). In the north-east quarter he shall fix repeating “Obeisance to the tawny-coloured eyes”.

He shall then remember lord Śiva, Sadāśiva and Maheśvara. Thereafter, he shall meditate on Rudra, Viṣṇu and Viriñci in the order of creation.

16. Obeisance to Śiva in the form of Rudra, to Śambhu who is beyond peace. Obeisance to Candramas (moon) the tranquil one, to one who has quietened the Daityas.

17. Obeisance to Vidyā, to the support of Vidyā; obeisance to Vahni (fire), to one who has the lustre of fire. Obeisance to Kalā, to Pratiṣṭhā (establishment); obeisance to the redeemer, to the annihilator.

18-20. Obeisance to Nivṛtti, to the lord of wealth. Obeisance to Dhārā (current), to Dhāraṇa (the act of holding). By means of these mantras the devotee shall remember the following deities, viz:—Sadāśiva having elements for his physical form, the ancient lord called Puruṣa having Īśāna for his crown, the delighted lord having Aghora for his heart, Maheśvara having Vāmadeva for his private parts, the lord who is the cause of the manifestation of the “Sat” and “Asat” and who has the form of Sadya and the lord who consists of thirtyeight digits and who has five faces and ten arms.

21-30. The devotee then splits Sadya full of Kalās, into eight ways. He splits Vāma the great lord into thirteen; Aghora stationed in the form of Kalās into eight; Puruṣa full of Kalās into four and Īśāna of five forms into five. Repeating the mantra “Haṃsa Haṃsa[1] etc. with great devotion to Śiva he makes the “O” a mātrā of Om, similar in form with “A”. Repeating the letters “A” “I” “U”, “E”and Ambā in due order, he shall remember the lord in the form of the Ātman. The lord is remembered as follows:—He is accompanied by Pradhāna and is devoid of dissolution, and origin. He is unborn; minuter than the minutest atom; greater than the greatest Being; He is Īśāna who has sublimated the sexual urge. He is Virūpākṣa the consort of Umā. The eternal lord has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand hands and feet. He is the ultimate Nāda (sound) with Nāda for his physical form. His form is like that of a glowworm—or that which illuminates the firmament. The lord has the shape of the lunar line (contour). The lord is stationed at the end of the twelfth[2] nerve (i.e. the crest), between the eyebrows in the middle of the palate, in the throat and in the region of the heart in due order. He is self-bliss; nectar; Śiva (the auspicious one). He resembles the circular lightning streak. He has a lustre similar to that of ten million lightning streaks. He is dark as well as red. He has the form of the Kalās. He is seated along with the three Śaktis. He is Sadāśiva. He is accompanied by the three tattvas. The devotee then gradually worships the lord identical with the deity of learning.

31. He shall then severally worship the guardians of the quarters along with their weapons beginning with the one in the east. After duly preparing the Caru (the cooked rice offering) he shall dedicate it to Śiva.

32. After offering half[3] of it to Śiva he shall perform Homa with the remaining half repeating the Aghora mantra. He shall then give that excellent thing to the disciple to eat.

33-34. He shall then perform the rite of Ācamana and become pure. Then he shall duly worship Puruṣa[4] and take in Pañcagavya that is inspired with the mantra of Īśāna. Applying Bhasman over the limbs repeating the mantra of Vāmadeva he shall gradually dust them with Bhasman. He shall then repeat the Gāyatrī mantra into the ears of the disciple, the mantra whose deity is Rudra.

35-36. He shall then place five golden pots covered with lids. Threads should be wound around them. They shall be covered with a pair of cloths. Gold pieces and gems should be put into them before-hand. Then Homa should be performed with Caru according to one’s affluence through five brahmins.

37. He shall engage the disciple in the meditation on Śiva and stay him in a place to the south of the Maṇḍala. He shall be his devotee and be occupying a bed of Darbha grass.

38. In the morning Homa should be duly performed with ghee one hundred and eight times, repeating the Aghora mantra and thereby the devotee can dispel the dirt of his evil dreams.[5]

39-42. When the disciple has taken his bath after observing the rite of fasting he shall be adorned and made to wear a fresh cloth and an upper garment. He shall be made to wear a turban as a mark of auspiciousness. With a silken cloth or any other material his eyes shall be bound and he shall be taken in. In accordance with one’s monetary capacity a handful of flowers mixed with golden flower or gold in lieu of flower shall be offered to the lord, repeating the mantra of Īśāna. After performing three circumambulations repeating Rudra adhyāya he shall be engaged in the meditation on Siva repeating the Praṇava alone. After meditating on the lord, he shall put the flowers himself over Īśāna.

43-45. The mantra with which he places the flower on the lord shall be repeated by him. The preceptor then touches the disciple with the sacred water of Śiva, applies Bhasman over his head[6] repeating the Aghora mantra and then worships him with scents and other things. The door for entering on the western side is the most excellent one for pupils of all castes. It is remembered as excellent particularly for the Kṣatriyas. Then the cloth with which the disciple has been blind-folded is untied and the Maṇḍala is shown to him.

46. He is then made to sit on a seat of Darbha grass with his face turned to the south. Thereafter, the rite of consecration of the principles shall be performed severally for the five tattvas.

47-48. O son of Brahmā, the consecration of the Cosmic Egg ending with Rudra shall be done by means of recession; beyond that until the ambit of Avyakta (shall be done) by means of Pratiṣṭhā (Establishment). O sage of good holy rites, up to the end of Viśveśvara the tattvavidyā shall be consecrated by means of Kalās (the digit of the lores) alone. After consecrating the path beyond by means of Śivabhakti (devotion to Śiva) (the preceptor) shall lead the disciple to the tattva Śiva (i.e, Śānti).

49. He shall then be taken for the worship of the tattva of the Īśvara in his bhoga form (enjoyment) by cutting across the previous three tattvas or four (i.e. by excluding Śānti or including it).

50-51. He shall perform Homa for Sadāśiva who is the Śāntyatīta Kala by means of Aṅga mantras and by separately invoking the previous four tattvas ending with Śānti, with the mantras Sadya, etc. O excellent sage, beyond Śāntyatīta, Kala shall be consecrated by means of Īśāna mantra. In regard to each, one hundred and eight ‘Homas’ shall be performed in the directions indicated.

52-53. In the north-east the Pradhāna is sung in the Pañ-cama note. Thereafter, seven articles are to be consigned to fire by way of Homa—viz.:—the sacrificial twigs, ghee, caru, fried grains, mustard, barley and gingelly seeds, repeating Oṃ at the outset and Svāhā in the end. O brahmin, their concluding Homa is performed by means of Īśāna mantra.

54. O sage of good holy rites, expiatory rite shall then be performed by means of Aghora mantra beginning with “Oṃ Haṃsa”.

55. Then the rites in the sacred fire beginning with “Jayā” (Homa) and ending with “Sviṣṭa” Homa, are gradually performed. They shall be combined with Pradhāna three tirnes.[7]

56-58. (?) The elements shall be combined with Pradhāna by means of Brahmanirvāpi, Maunibīja, etc. Then by means of Pradhāna Mātrā (the chief of organs of action) the Prāṇa and Apāna shall be controlled. By means of the sixth[8] Bīja, the Kulākula ending with the Ātman and Praṇava shall be pierced. Brahmā, Keśava and Hara shall be assimilated in Rudra. Rudra is assimilated in Īśāna and lord Maheśvara (i.e. Īśāna) in Śiva. Then he shall meditate on the destroyer of worldly existence in the order of creation (Sṛṣṭiprakāra).

59-66. After stabilising the Ātman, the individual soul, the following rites shall be performed in accordance with the injunctions—Tāḍana [Tāḍanam], Dvāradarśana [Dvāradarśanam], Dīpana [Dīpanam], Grahaṇa [Grahaṇam], Bandhana [Bandhanam] along with the worship and Amṛtīkaraṇa. The sixth one shall be along with Sadya and accompanied by the third (i.e. Dīpana [Dīpanam]). The Saṃhṛti Prakāra (i.e. the order of destruction) shall be in the order of the five elements and ending with the sixth. With Sadya at the beginning and accompanied by the sixth (Bīja?), ending with Śikhā along with “phaṭ”—this rite is called Tāḍana [Tāḍanam].

The rite of Dvāradarśana [Dvāradarśanam] consists of indicating the tattvas to the yogin.

The rite of Dīpana [Dīpanam] is by means of Sampuṭīkaraṇa (ritualistic covering up) of the Pradhāna by the third Bīja. (?)

The rite of Grahaṇa [Grahaṇam] is by means of Sampuṭīkaraṇa of the Pradhāna by the first Bīja.

The rite of Bandhana [Bandhanam] is also by means of Sampuṭīkaraṇa of the Pradhāna by the first Bīja which is full (because Pūjā is performed).

The rite of Amṛtīkaraṇa is flooding with nectar.

The combination of Kalās (in the order of destruction) is as follows—Śāntyatītā, Śānti, Vidya, Amalā, Pratiṣṭhā and Nivṛtti. This combination of the Kalās is to be accompanied by tattva, varṇa, kalā and bhuvana.

The hymn should be duly sanctified by mantras and Pādas (metrical feet) and used for prayer after evolving it as before by means of the first yonibīja.

67-70. Know that the rites of worship, Samprokṣaṇa (sprinkling with holy water), Tāḍana, Haraṇa, the Saṃyoga (joining) of the Saṃhata (what is combined and collected) and Vikṣepa (throwing off) shall be performed in due order. Arcanā (worship), Garbhadhāraṇa (conceiving), Janana (nativity) (are the rites thereafter?). Then the rite of Bhānu knowledge and its dissolution in particular shall be performed. O sage of good holy rites, the first one i.e. the mantra Īśāna has been mentioned along with the yonibīja.[9] Undoubtedly, O great sage, the conclusion of the rites in Uddhāra (uplifting) Prokṣaṇa (sprinkling with the holy water), and. Tāḍana is performed by the Aghora mantra ending with Phaṭ. O sage of good holy rites, this is the orderly procedure by means of the Yogic path in regard to every tattva.

71-72. All through the rite the preceptor shall lead the disciple by holding his fist; when there is combination with equinotical [equinoctial?] transit[10] the Kalās beginning with Nivṛtti and ending with Śivā combine in one place. Otherwise, they remain separate. O leading brahmin, at the tip of the nose and at the crest of the head along with the back part, the yogins should forbear [?]. This is the behest of the lord of Devas.

73-78. With the sacred water taken in gold, silver, copper or other vessels the preceptor shall sprinkle the righteous disciple who is a devotee of Śiva. Darbha grass shall be put inside the pot. It should be covered with a cloth and a string should be tied round it. O sage of holy rites, gems should be put inside the vessel. The holy water should be inspired with the holy passages of Vedic Saṃhitā and Rudrādhyāya hymns. The disciple shall take initiation in the presence of Śiva, the fire and his preceptor. After initiation he shall practise in accordance with the behest of the preceptor. It is better to abandon life, or cut off one’s head rather than take food without worshipping lord Sadāśiva. The rite of initiation shall be performed thus. The worship shall be performed in due order. One shall perform the worship of Parameśvara three times or at least once a day.

79. The rite of Agnihotra, the recital of the Vedic mantras and the sacrifices consisting of many monetary gifts are not on a par with even the sixteenth part of the worship of the Liṅga of Śiva.

80. He who worships Śiva even once is like that person who always performs sacrifices, who always gives charitable gifts and who always performs penance taking in only air.

81. Those who worship Mahādeva once, twice, thrice or continuously are Rudras. There is no doubt about this.

A non-Rudra shall neither touch Rudra nor worship nor glorify him. A non-Rudra shall not attain Rudi a.[11]

Thus, succinctly the procedure and injunction regarding the persons who are qualified for the worship of Śiva, have been mentioned to you. Listening to it yields the benefit of virtue, wealth, love and salvation.

Footnotes and references:


haṃsa-mantra:—[haṃsahaṃsāya vidmahe paramahaṃsāya dhīmahi | tanno haṃsaḥ pracodayāt]—cited in Śivatoṣiṇī.


dvādaśānta [dvādaśānte]—i.e. on the forehead. Gf. “dvādaśānte pare tattve parānandana-lakṣaṇaḥ”—Agnipurāṇa—cited in Śivatoṣiṇī.


ardha [ardham]—carvardha [carvardham], half of oblation.


puruṣa [puruṣam]—tatpuruṣa [tatpuruṣam].


With the aghora mantra, he shall wipe off the evil effects of bad dreams. Cf.—[gajāśvārohaṇaṃ svapne śubhaṃ śuklāṃśukādikam | tailābhyaṅgādikaṃ hīnaṃ homo'ghoreṇa śāntaye]—Agnipurāṇa—cited in Śivatoṣiṇī.


śisya-mūrdhani. Cf.—[pūrvānanasya śiṣyasya mūlantreṇa mastake | śivahastaḥ pradātavyo rudreśapadadāyakaḥ]—Agnipurāṇa cited in Śivatoṣiṇī.


guṇa-saṃkhyā-prakāra [prakāreṇa]—in threefold manner, as described in the Pāśupatatantra:—[vaidikaṃ kalpamevaṃ hi miśraṃ caivānukalpakam | śaiva kalpānukalpañca agnikāryaṃ tridhā bhavet ||]


ṣaṣṭhena—with the sixth mantra, i.e. namo hiraṇya-bāhave—cited in Śivatoṣiṇī.


yonibījena—i.e. with “hrīṃ”.


The process is elaborated in the Agnipurāṇa. Cf.—[?] [prathamaṃ prāṇasaṃyogaḥ svarūpamaparaṃ tataḥ | hṛdayādikramoccāravisṛṣṭaṃ mantrasañjñakaṃ | suṣumṇānugataṃ nāda svarūpan tu tṛtīyakaṃ | caturthe kāraṇatyāgātpraśāntaviṣuvaṃ namaḥ | śaktinādordhvasaṃrāvastacchaktiviṣuvaṃ matam || prāṇasya nikhilasyāpi śaktiprameyavarjitam | tatkālaviṣuvaṃ ṣaṣthaṃ śakyatyatītaṃ ca saptamam || tadetadyojanasthānaṃ vipuvaṃ tattvasaṃjñitam ||] [?]—Cited in Śivatoṣiṇī.


Mark the sectarian character of the Purāṇa.

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