The Linga Purana

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

This page describes The mode of worshipping Aghora which is chapter 26 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 26 - The mode of worshipping Aghora

Śailādi said:

1. Or the devotee shall worship lord Śiva, Īśāna in the Liṅga, the devotee who is a brahmin, has faith on Śiva and. is engrossed in the meditation on Śiva.

2. He shall take Bhasman originating from the Agnihotra fire repeating the mantra beginning with “Agni” etc. and dust it all over his body from head to foot.

3. He shall wear the sacred thread, sit facing the north and perform the rite of Ācamana with the sacred water of the Brahman. Repeating “Oṃ namaḥ Śivāya” he shall then inspire his own body.

4. He shall worship the lord with that mantra as well as the Praṇava. The greatest of all the worship is that of the trident-bearing lord Aghora.

5. O sage of good holy rites, the actual worship and all the holy rites in the fire are common. But the difference is in the mantras for that lord and in the meditation on Aghora.

6-8. This is the mantra:—“Obeisance to you. Obeisance to Aghoras who are terrible, very very terrible. Obeisance to all Śarvas, Obeisance to those in the forms of Rudras”. (aṅganyāsa is done as follows using the above mantra). “Obeisance to Aghoras.” Obeisance to the tranquil heart; “and then to the terrible ones.” Svāhā in the head of all Atmans and Brahmans “unto those very very terrible ones.” Vaṣaṭ in the tuft with clusters of flames, “unto all and all Śarvas. Hum unto the tawny-coloured coat of mail”; “Obeisance be to you, to those of the forms of Rudra”, Vauṣat unto the deity in the three eyes; “Obeisance unto the thousand-eyed one, to one difficult to be pierced,” Huṃ phaṭ to the missile pertaining to Paśupati.

The rite of Aghamarṣaṇa after bathing, performing the Ācamana and sprinkling water all over the body, the Tarpaṇa rite, Arghya unto the sun and worship of the sun, (all these as explained in chapter 24) are common to the worship of Aghora. The only difference is in the mantras to be uttered. The rites of Mārga Śuddhi (purification of the path) and the worship of Vāstvadhipa (the lord of the site of dwelling place) at the portals are performed first.

9-12. After performing this worship he shall wash his hand, sit on a splendid seat, place the Bhasman over the lotus-like nose and allow it to be blown by the wind that wafts[1] the fire from his eyes.[2] He shall sanctify it by the holy water. He shall conceive of the Kala of the Brahman in the nectarine juice by means of the Śakti. He thall split Aghora mantra into-five parts and perform aṅganyāsa (as mentioned above) accompanied by the five aṅgas. Thus the Nyāsa rite is performed in accordance with the injunctions by fixing the Jñānakriyā (the process of knowledge). The deity is meditated upon in the heart as seated in an excellent seat in the umbilicus as seated on fire; and in between the eyebrows as shining like a lamp. This is called Trinetra Nyāsa.

13-21. He shall then meditate on the lord as follows—he is seated in the Śivāsana which contains Śānti, Bīja, Aṅkura, Ananta, Dharma and others, where Soma (moon), the sun and the fire are present, where the three mūrtis of the trinity are present, which holds Vāmadeva and others and where Manonmanī is also present. The lord is stationed as the Ātma Mūrti; his form is Akṣaya (imperishable). Thirty-eight Kalās constitute his physical body. Lord Śiva is accompanied by the three Tattvas. He has eighteen arms; elephant’s hide forms his upper garment. He wears the garment of the lion’s hide. Aghora, Parameśvara is surrounded by the thirty-two Śaktis in the form of thirty two syllables. He is bedecked in all ornaments. He is bowed to by all Devas. A garland of skulls forms his ornament. Even serpent and scorpions adorn him. His face is gentle and resembles the full moon. He has the lustre of ten. million moons. He holds the crescent moon on. his crest. He is blue in form and accompanied by Śakti. In his right side hands he holds a sword, a club,[3] a noose, a goad studded with jewels and a Nāga kakṣā (a kind of noose), a bow, a Pāśupata missile, a staff and a club. In his left side hands he holds a Vīṇā, a bell, a trident, a drum, a thunderbolt, an iron club, a deer, a bright axe and an iron rod. His hand shows the gesture of granting boons and freedom from fear. The devotee shall meditate on the excellent Parameśvara in the above manner and worship him. He shall then perform Homa in the fire.

22-25. The entire Homa is to be performed as before, with difference in the mantras as has already been mentioned. The worship shall be made with eight flowers, scents, etc. The rites of eulogy dedication and inner oblation shall be performed as before. The sacrificial altar and pit are prepared as before in accordance with the injunctions pertaining to fire (Vāhneya).[4] The oblations are then offered by means of these mantras after duly drawing the maṇḍala (mystic diagrams) in it. “Unto the Rudras, unto the Mothers, unto the Yakṣas, unto the Asuras, unto the planets, unto the Rākṣasas, unto the stars, unto the Viśvas and unto the Kṣetrapālas (guardians of frontiers)?’ Thereafter, he shall offer oblations unto the Kṣetrapālas in the quarters of the north-west and west.

26-31. Arghya, scents, flowers, incense, lamps, food offerings and articles to render the mouth fragrant shall be offered duly, O sage of good holy rites. Thereafter, the devotee shall submit his requests, ritualistically dismiss the deity and worship with eight flowers. O leading sage, all these rites are common to all worships. O sage of good holy rites, thus has succinctly been mentioned the worship etc. of Aghora. The worship of Aghora is in the Liṅga or on the bare ground. The excellent worship on the Liṅga has ten million times the benefit of the worship on the bare ground. A brahmin who is engaged in the worship on the Liṅga is not affected by the sins called Mahāpātakas like the leaf of the lotus that is not affected by water. The viewing of the Liṅga is holy. Touching it is holier than viewing it. Undoubtedly, O son of Brahmā, there is nothing that excels the worship. It cannot be recounted in detail even in the course of a hundred crores of years.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

dagdhākṣa [dagdhākṣaḥ]—having burnt (given up) all ceremonials.

[2]:

kṣubhikāgninā viraktyanalena Śivatoṣiṇī. by the fire of detachment.

[3]:

kheṭaka [kheṭakam]=carma Śivatoṣiṇī. shield.

[4]:

Vāhneyena i.e. as prescribed in the Agnipurāṇa Śivatoṣiṇī.

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