The Linga Purana

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

This page describes The mode of charitable gifts which is chapter 28 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 28 - The mode of charitable gifts

Sūta said:

1-6. Manu the son of the self-born lord performed ablution and bowed down to Śiva, the lord of Devas. He saw lord Rudra Nīlalohita by his divine vision. He eulogised Siva the bestower of boons by repeating the Rudrādhyāya mantras.

With great pleasure the lord said for once—“At the close of your reign you will attain salvation by performing holy rites alone. After saying this he vanished there itself.

After bowing down, to the full-bannered lord, Manu the son of the self-born lord ascended the great Meru mountain like Śiva ascending the great bull.

There he saw the son of Brahmā, the golden-complexioned bestower of boons, Sanatkumāra who was endowed with all Yogic powers.

Manu, of great lustre joined his palms in reverence; he bowed down to the bestower of boons, of the form of Brahman, one favourable to the brahmins and he eulogised him.

Sage Sanatkumāra had the sense of horripilation on seeing Manu. He, the storehouse of kindness, then spoke kindly:

Sanatkumāra said:

7-11. “You have come here after seeing and obtaining the rite of ablution from Śiva the tranquil lord of all, from Nīlalohita. Whatever it be, if you are desirous of speaking, speak on”

On hearing his words Manu bowed down to him with palms joined in reverence and said:—“O saintly lord, it behoves you to tell us how one attains salvation by holy rites alone. O saintly lord, salvation is achieved by perfect knowledge. In some places it is attained by means of the combination of the two.”

On hearing his words, the saintly lord Sanatkumāra, the storehouse of the wisdom of the Vedas and the foremost among the knowers of Śruti, said:—

“Salvation is obtained, O sage, by means of Holy rites and the combination of the two gradually. But it is attained instantaneously by means of perfect knowledge.

12-15. Formerly by not honouring[1] the lord Nandin duly. I had attained the state of a camel due to his curse. Thanks to the grace of Nandin, I worshipped lord Siva and became the son of Brahmā. Thanks to the holy rites I attained the divine excellent goal. It was only by practising the holy rites pertaining to Śiva and by worshipping him in various ways and not otherwise.

Sixteen types of charitable gifts which the kings shall bestow upon were mentioned, by Nandin for attaining virtue, love, wealth and salvation. Holy rites such as Tulādhirohaṇa (ascending the balance) and other holy charitable gifts were mentioned by the noble-souled Nandin. Now listen to them precisely.

16-19. During the auspicious occasions such as eclipses,[2] etc. a splendid raised Maṇḍapa (platform) or kūṭa (peak-like projecting mound) shall be erected in a holy spot. The extent of the Maṇḍapa etc. shall be twenty, eighteen or sixteen[3] Hastas. A vedi (altar) extending to nine Hastas, eight Hastas or seven Hastas shall be made in the middle. The Vedikā (smaller altar) of two or one and a half Hastas is very splendid.

The scale[4] shall be beautiful and shall have twelve (joining) supporting ropes. The devotee shall dig nine square sacrificial pits all round.

20-25. O son of Brahmā, the main Kuṇḍa shall be between the east and the north-east. The sacrificial pits may be square or triangular in shape. O leading brahmins, the sacrificial pits shall be made in the shape of the vagina of women. They shall be semicircular, triangular, circular or hexagonal. The triangle shall be in the form of a lotus. It may have eight angular points also. The bare ground also shall be used. The enclosure shall have four entrances and bedecked with four festoons. There shall be the eight elephants of the quarters. It shall be surrounded by garlands of Darbha grass. The eight auspicious articles shall be procured. There shall be a splendid canopy above. The wood used for the pillars of the Tulā (weighing balance) shall particularly be Bilva, Aśvattha, Palāśa or Khadira. The wood for the pillar shall be one that is commonly used.

26-28. Or bamboo can be used along with other wood structure. The space (for erecting the Tulā) shall be eight Hastas long and two Hastas wide. If the main pillar is not well-chiselled it shall have three times girth (?). It shall be circular and free from cracks. The distance between the two pillars of the balance shall be six Hastas or four Hastas.

29. The upper portions shall be six Hastas apart. Its upper (horizontal staff) shall be a cubit in width, or in circumference (if round).

30. The hole in the upper shaft shall be in conformity with the length of the pillars. The suspended Tulā (balancing rod) shall be thirty-six (Aṅgulas)[5] in length.

31. The diameter shall be eight Aṅgulas and five yavas. The pivotal point (Nābhi) shall be thirty-six Aṅgulas in length (?) It shall be fine and circular.

32. A gold plate shall be fixed in the top, middle and bottom portions. In the middle of the plate shall be three fixing pins.

33. The three fixing pins shall be made of copper or brass. It shall not be made of iron.

34. The fixing pin shall be splendid and facing upwards (i.e. raised) in the middle. It shall be duly fixed to the tip of the Toraṇa (?) by means of threads.

35. The Toraṇa is made in the middle of the Tulā in the form of a tongue. In the middle of the upper shaft there shall be an excellent peg.

36. It shall be firmly fixed to the top of the canopy. O sage, a round ring with a hollow shall be tied to the peg.

37. Suspended pendant (Avalambana) shall be fixed to the hanging shaft (?) in the middle of the Tula along with the canopy by means of circular rings.

38. It shall be fixed firmly to the middle of the tulā leaving nine aṅgulas (on either side). The width of the (binding) plate shall be five aṅgulas.

39. The two seats shall be made of hard blocks of any strong material and hung below the supporting strings each weighing a thousand palas and measuring five [Prādeś as] [Prādeśas?] square (a Prādeśa=the span between the extended thumb and forefinger).

40-42. Or they may weigh eight hundred or six hundred Palas. The width of the Kalaśa in the middle shall be four palms[6] and the mouth three and a half palms of the hand. The Pañcapātra vessel shall be fixed to it. It must have four openings[7] each opening an aṅgula in width. It must have pure and white suspended pendants.

43. Chains shall be fastened to every pendant all round. The loop supporting the chain shall be joined to the pendant.

44. After leaving four span-lengths from the ground the pans shall be suspended. Two jars of human size and splendid in appearance shall be taken.

45. They shall be filled with sand. Śiva idol two Hastas long shall be put in the hollow.

46. The learned priest shall fill it with sand completely. It shall be so made that it does not move easily.

47-48. May a great secret be heard. Over the Vedikā a mystic diagram shall be drawn with the auspicious materials eight in number bedecked with the auspicious tender sprouts and scattered with flowers and fruits. Incense and lights shall also be used. It shall be as refulgent as the surface of a mirror. The Maṇḍala shall be drawn in the middle of the altar.

49. The Maṇḍala shall be drawn at the outset with four entrances. It must be beautified fully with the pericarp and filaments.

50-51. It shall be of various colours. At least there shall be five colours. The picture of the thunderbolt shall be drawn in the east, the shining Śakti in the south-east; a staff in the south and a sword in the south-west. The noose shall be drawn in the west and the banner in the north-west.

52. The iron-club shall be drawn in the north and the trident in the north-east. To the left of the trident a discus shall be drawn and a lotus to its right.

53-56. After drawing thus the Homa rite shall be performed. The main Homa shall be performed by repeating the Gāyatrī mantra, Svāhā unto Śakra, to Vahni, to Yama, to the lord of the Rākṣasas, to Varuṇa, to Vāyu, to Kubera, to Īśvara, to Viṣṇu and Brahmā. Homa shall be duly performed with the Praṇava ending with Svāhā, through the fire generated in accordance with the tenets of one’s own branch of the Vedas. Then the priest shall perform all the rites ending with Jayādi Homa Sviṣṭa Homa in accordance with the injunctions. In all these Homas and in the main Homa the sacrificial twig shall be that of Palāśa. Twenty-one Homas shall be performed repeating the following mantra.

57-64. “This sacrificial twig[8] is your Ātman, O fire, be kindled thereby; be flourishing; make us prosper in progeny, cattle wealth, brahminical splendour, foodgrains, etc, and intellect, Svāhā. Svāhā unto Bhūr, Bhuvaḥ Svāhā, Svaḥ Svāhā. Bhūrbhuvaḥ Svaḥ.” Homa of sacrificial twigs shall be interspersed with Caru and ghee in order. The milk pudding with white rice and cooked rice with green gram are the Carus intended.

He shall then perform a thousand, five hundred or one hundred and eight Homas repeating the following mantras.

“O fire, you sanctify our lives.[9] In these you put energy and all desired things. Harass our enemies. Agni is the sanctifying sage.[10] He is the priest. He is conducive to the welfare. He originates from the Pañcajanas. We praise him that is Mahāgaya (?) O Agni, purify us[11] with good waters (?) giving unto us excellent virility; giving unto me wealth and nourishment. O Prajāpati,[12] the constituents in the universe are not diverse from you. May we have that, desiring which we perform Homa unto you. May we be the lords of wealth.”

The main Homa is performed by repeating Gāyatrī[13], using sacrificial twigs and offering Caru and ghee. Homas shall be performed to Śakra and others as well as to thunderbolt, etc. five hundred in number. Homa unto Brahmā shall be performed with the mantra beginning with “Brahma jajñānam” etc;[14] that to Viṣṇu by the mantra—“We know Nārāyaṇa. We meditate on Vāsudeva. Hence, may Viṣṇu urge and guide us.”

This special thing about the splendid path of Homas has been mentioned.

Twenty Homas shall be performed severally with the Dūrvā grass mixed with milk.

We worship the three-eyed deity who increases nourishment and who is fragrant. Just as the cucumber fruit is separated from the root may we be separated from death, but never from nectar.[15]

This Dūrvā Homa is very splendid and Vāstu Homa is similar to that by all means. The expiatory Homa rite shall be performed with Aghora mantra by pouring ghee. Each of these Homas shall be performed hundred times. Brahmā stands to the left, Viṣṇu to the right. Śiva the preceptor of the universe is in the middle along with the goddess Umā. He is surrounded by Indra and others as well as his Gaṇas.

65. He shall worship also Āditya, Bhāskara, Bhānu, Ravi and lord Divākara along with Uṣā, Prabhā, Prajñā, Sandhyā and Sāvitrī respectively.

66-69. Worship shall be performed in fivefold ways unto the noble-souled Khakholka. After worshipping Viṣṭarā, Subhagā, Vardhanī, Pradakṣiṇā and goddess Āpyāyanī he shall worship Ravi many times in the lotus seat. Vimala is worshipped in the south, Sāra in the west, Ārādhya in the north and Sukha in the middle.

In the filaments in due order the following shall be worshipped—Dīptā, Sūkṣmā, Jayā, Bhadrā, Vibhūti, Vimalā, Amoghā and Vidyutā. Sarvatomukhī shall be worshipped in the middle.

70-71. In due order the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rāhu and Ketu shall be worshipped and Homa performed unto them. Yogins shall be given special gifts. Yogins the sole masters of Śaiva philosophy shall be fed.

72-73. Yogins who are richly endowed with the divine Vedic study shall be duly honoured. After performing these rites in detail even while the Homas are being performed, the king shall be made to mount the scale in the balance that is to the east, repeating the Rudrādhyāya mantras. The king shall be made to sit there for twenty-four minutes.

74. The sacrificer shall repeat the mantra called Rudra Gāyatrī. For the period of a Ghaṭikā or half of it or still half of it, he shall be seated.

75-76. The intelligent devotee shall sit with concentration. He shall hold the Darbha in the hand and face the west.[16] The king is richly adorned with all ornaments. He holds the sword and the iron club Kheṭaka. The Puṇyāha lite shall be performed by brahmins who are masters of the Vedas and the ancillaries repeating the word “Svasti” in the beginning and in the end.

77-78. There shall be auspicious shouts of victory and chanting of the Vedic mantras, splendid vocal music as well as instrumental accompanied by dances. All these shall add beauty and splendour to the ceremony. He shall place the gold to the northern side till the scales of the balance become equal.

79. If the amount exceeds hundred gold coins it is very excellent. If it is half of that it is Madhyama (neither good nor bad). If it is still half of that (i.e. 25 coins) it is inferior. Thus they are divided into three types.

80-81. All the following articles that had been, worn at the beginning of the holy rite viz.—two cloths, the turban, the earring, the splendid necklace round the neck, the ring that adorns the finger, and the ornament round the wrist, shall be given to the devotee who regularly performs the Pāśupata rite and who smears Bhasman all over his limbs.

82-83. All the ornaments mentioned before, along with the turban and cloths shall be given to those who perform the rites. The learned man shall give a cloth to cover all these along with a monetary gift of hundred gold coins or half of that or still half of it. To all the yogins he shall give gold coins severally.

84. He shall give all the divine materials used for the sacrifice, to the chief preceptor. To the other ascetics he shall give a gold coin each.

85-89. The gold pieces on the balance shall be dedicated to Siva. The palace, Maṇḍapa, rampart, ornaments, gold flower, drum, sword and the case for the sword shall be formally dedicated to Siva. Whatever remains, the intelligent devotee shall give unto the preceptor and particularly to those who have smeared their bodies with Bhasman. All the prisoners in the jail shall be released. He shall perform the ablution of the lord with a thousand Kalaśas. The lord shall also be duly bathed with ghee or milk, or curds or by all commingled. The ablution may be performed with Brahmakūrca (cow’s urine) or Pañcagavya.

90-96. The cow’s urine shall be mixed by repeating Gāyatrī with the cow-dung by means of Praṇava, the milk by repeating the mantra “Āpyāyasva” and the curds by repeating the mantra “Dadhikrāvan [Dadhikrāvṇaḥ]” etc. The ghee shall be added repeating the mantra “Tejosi” etc. The Abhiṣeka (with Pañca-gavya) shall be performed with Īśāna mantra. Repeating the mantra “Devasya Tvā” etc. the ablution of the lord of Devas shall be performed with the water in the pot along with Kuśa grass. The lord shall be bathed with the Rudrādhyāya mantras. Thousand Kalaśas shall be used and thousand names of the lord uttered as repeated formerly by Viṣṇu, Taṇḍin or Dakṣa the chief of sages. This great worship of Mahādeva shall be performed with deep devotion. To the worshipper of Śiva and to one’s own preceptor monetary gift shall always be given. The covering for the bodies, i.e., clothes of silk or blanket shall also be given along with the monetary gifts. Poor, blind, wretched, old, lean and sick people as well as children shall be duly fed and given Dakṣiṇās.[17]

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

See Liṅga II. Ch. 9. V-5, note 86.

[2]:

grahaṇādiṣu kāleṣu—at suitable times and places. These are etailed in Matsya, cited in Śivatoṣiṇī.—[ayane viṣuve puṇye vyatīpāte dinakṣaye | yugādiṣūparāgeṣu tathā manvantarādiṣu || yajñotsavavivāheṣu duḥsvapnādbhutadarśane | dravyabrāhmaṇalābhe vā śraddhāyatra jāyate || tīrthaṇvāyatane goṣṭhe kūpārāme saritsu ca | gṛhe vā''yatane vāpi taḍāge rucire'pi vā | mahādānāni deyāni saṃsārabhayabhīruṇā | ]

[3]:

kalāhasta [kalāhastena]—ṣoḍaśahasta [ṣoḍaśa-hastena] Śivatoṣiṇī.

[4]:

bhramantikā—tulā Śivatoṣiṇī. the weighing scale.

[5]:

ṣaḍtriṃśanmātra—36 pieces of gold. Here mātra means gold. Śivatoṣiṇī. quotes Viśva in support of this meaning.

[6]:

Catustāla [Catustālam]—tāla is a particular measure. Cf—[tālaḥ karatalāṅguṣṭhamadhyamābhyāñca kīrtitaḥ]—cited in Śivatoṣiṇī,

[7]:

Catur-dvāra, i.e. (consisting of) four holes.

[8]:

ayanta idhmā—Ancient Geography of India (Cunningham). 1. 10.12; Hiraṇyakeśi-Gṛhyasūtra. 1.2.11.

[9]:

agna āyūṁṣi—RV. ix. 66. 19; TS. 1.3.14.7.

[10]:

agnirṛṣiḥ pavamānaḥ—AK ix. 66. 20; TA. 2.5.2.

[11]:

agne pavasva—RV. ix. 66. 21; TS. 1.3.14.8.

[12]:

prajāpate TS. 1.8.14.2,

[13]:

gāyatryā—by reciting rudra-gāyatrī.

[14]:

Brahma jajñānam Tattirīya Saṃhitā. 4.2.8.2; 75. 13.3.

[15]:

tryambakaṁ yajāmahe—RV. 59. 12; TS. 1. 8. 6. 2.

[16]:

Vāruṇa [Vāruṇam]. According to Śivatoṣiṇī., it means ‘the sun’.

[17]:

For detail, see Matsya—tulāpuruṣadānavidhi.

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