The Linga Purana

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

This page describes Installation of the Linga (continued) which is chapter 47 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 47 - Installation of the Liṅga (continued)

Sūta said:

1-4. On hearing these words in the Heaven, the great sages joined their palms in reverence. Deciding to install the Liṅga they bowed down mentally to the unchanging lord identical with the Liṅga. Indra the lord of all Devas, the unborn lord Viṣṇu, the lord of everything, the excellent sages including Guru—the preceptor of Devas, the groups of Devas, Asuras and excellent men—all these imagined themselves to be identical with the Liṅga. On hearing these words in the Heaven the sages of the six great spiritual families,[1] endowed with concentration eschewed everything and attempted to install the lord. The sages of holy rites then asked the sinless Sūta about the installation of the Liṅga. Their voices were choked with delight.

Sūta said:

5. I shall mention succinctly duly and precisely the installation of the lord in the form of Liṅga for obtaining virtue, love, wealth and salvation.

6-10. The Liṅga shall be made with great assiduity in accordance with the injunctions. A Liṅga shall be made of rock. It shall be identical with Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Siva. It may be made of gold studded with jewels, or of silver or copper. It shall have its pedestal and the exit for water[2]. The top portion shall be sufficiently wide. The devotee shall clean Liṅga along with the pedestal and then devoutly install it. The pedestal of the Liṅga is goddess Umā and the Liṅga is Maheśvara himself. By worshipping these two the lord and the goddess are worshipped. By their installation, the lord of Devas is installed along with the goddess. Hence, the most excellent among the installers shall install the Liṅga along with the pedestal.

11. Lord Brahmā resides at the root; lord Viṣṇu in the middle. The unborn Rudra, Paśupati, the lord of all, the most excellent one resides at the top. Since this lord of the Gaṇas is worthy of being worshipped by all Devas the devotee shall install and worship a very weighty Liṅga.

12. Those who always worship Maheśa the most excellent lord among Devas, in his physical form of Liṅga, those who worship him by the pious articles of worship viz:—scents, garlands, incense, lights^ ablutions, Homas, oblations, prayers, chanting of mantras and offerings of presents become free from the fear of birth and death. They become worthy of being saluted and worshipped by Siddhas, Devas and Gandharvas. They are bowed to even by the most excellent Gaṇas.

13. Hence, one shall install the great Liṅga with devotion and fervent offerings of services. He shall worship the Liṅga for the achievement of all objects.

14-18. After worshipping it he shall install the Liṅga in the middle of the holy centre[3] in the seat of Śivā. The Liṅga shall then be wrapped in cloth, Darbha grass, etc. Eight pots with the guardians of the quarters as their deities shall be placed in a circle with Darbha grass bundle inserted into each of them. Akṣata grains shall be put into the pots and they shall be tied with threads of various colours. Svastika and other auspicious signs shall be drawn over them. The thunderbolt and other weapons shall be represented therein; they are then to be covered with cloth, and installed round the Liṅga by repeating the Īśāna mantra. The canopy above shall be fumigated with incense and lamps. Cloths are spread with the pictures of the emblems of the guardians of the quarters and their vehicles such as elephant buffalo etc. The devotee shall tie all round the place garlands of Darbha grass, with all their characteristic marks and woven into various beautiful forms.

19. The devotee shall then keep it within water along with incense and lights for five days, three days, or only for a single night.

20-26. The devotee shall spend this period studying the Vedas, performing dances and singing auspicious songs or playing on Vīṇā and other instruments to the accompaniment of tingling of small bells. The sacrificer shall have mental concentration and be free from excitement. After taking it out he shall meditate on the Svastika. The Liṅga shall then be placed in the Maṇḍapa endowed with characteristics. There shall be nine pits all round endowed with their characteristic marks. The eight auspicious articles called Aṣṭamaṅgalas shall be spread there. There shall be the eight emblems of the guardians of the quarters. The pits shall have the auspicious signs mentioned before. They shall be placed in the directions beginning with the east. The chief pit shall be made in the north-east oblong in shape. Or five pits made into one and a bare spot of ground shall constitute one unit. They shall be endowed with the paraphernalia and requisites of the sacrifice and ornaments, used in the worship of Śiva (?). In the middle of the altar there shall be a great bed bedecked in gold. A five-wicked lamp shall be kept nearby. The bed shall be covered with a white cloth. After arranging these he shall place the idol of the lord thereon.

27. He shall place the Liṅga with its head towards the east. He shall place it duly repeating Īśāna mantra. After performing the rite of Ratnanyāsa (fixation of jewels) he shall place the Kalaśa (water-pot) above.

28-29. The Liṅga shall be wrapped all round by two cloths and the Darbha grass. After doing the Ratna nyāsa the nine Śaktīs, Vāmā[4] etc. shall be fixed. The nine precious stones accompanied by gold, Pañcagavya and all kinds of grains shall be placed on the rock.

30. One shall install the Brahmaliṅga by repeating Śivagāyatrī. One shall install the unchanging Śiva by repeating the Praṇava alone.

31. He shall fix the Brahmā portion[5] of the lord with the mantra beginning with “Brahma jajñānam.”[6] He shall fix the Viṣṇu portion[7] with Viṣṇu Gāyatrī.[8]

32-33. He shall fix Śarva in the pedestal consisting of the three Tattvas by means of Praṇava with the mantras “Namaḥ Śivāya,” “Namohaṃsa Śivāya” or by reciting the Rudrādhyāya after scrubbing Śarva (i.e. the Liṅga). He shall install the Kalaśas all round by means of Vedic mantras.[9]

34-37. He shall place them in the middle of the altar along the lines mentioned before. He shall fix Śiva in the middle and the goddess Śivā in the southern pot. He shall place Skanda in the pot intended for him or he shall install Brahmā in the pot pertaining to Skanda and Viṣṇu in the pot pertaining to Īśa. It shall be wonderfully decorated or he shall fix the body of Brahmā” in the pot pertaining to Śiva. The Brahmans are briefly—Śiva, Maheśvara, Rudra, Viṣṇu and Pitāmaha. These, Hṛdaya etc. and the mother goddess shall be fixed in the middle of the altar in accordance with the injunctions mentioned before.

38. He shall fill the Vardhanī[10] vessel with scented water and install goddess therein. He shall place gold, silver and jewels in the pot pertaining to Śiva.

39-40. O sages of good holy rites, the Vidyeśvaras[11] shall be fixed in the Vardhanī assiduously by reciting the Gāyatrī and ancillary mantras. He shall fix Ananta, Īśa and other Devas in the pots pertaining to the quarters and filled with Brahmakūrca (cow’s urine). The mantra begins with Praṇava and ends with Namaḥ. He shall cover with a fresh cloth each of the eight pots.

41. He shall put gold, jewels etc. in the pots of Viśveśvaras. Homas should be performed in the order of the faces (of Śiva)[12] with Gāyatrī and ancillary mantras.

42-43. The rites ending with “Jaya” and “Sviṣṭa” shall be performed as before. Water shall be sprinkled all round from Śivakumbha, Vardhanī, those belonging to Viṣṇu and Brahmā, the Brahmā portion particularly the vessel belonging to Pitāmaha. He shall sprinkle Parameśvara with water from the pots of Vidyeśvaras.

44-45. As before he shall fix all the mantras with concentration and worship after performing the rite of ablution. The Dakṣiṇā shall be a thousand Paṇas[13] at the most. Half of that or one-fourth of it shall be given to others if possible.

46-50. Garments, fields, ornaments, cows and cash shall be given to the chief.[14] A great festival shall be celebrated. Homa, Yāga and Bali shall be offered in due order for the duration of nine, seven or three days or even for one day. Homa shall be done as mentioned before daily after worshipping Śaṅkara. Homās on behalf of Devas, Bhāskara etc. shall be done as before. They shall be daily worshipped within and without[15] as also in the fire. He who installs the Liṅga in this manner becomes identical with Parameśvara himself. By doing this Devas, Rudras, sages and the Apsarases shall be installed and worshipped by him. In fact, the three worlds of the mobile and immobile beings are being worshipped by him.

Footnotes and references:


ṣaṭkulīya [ṣaṭkulīyāḥ]—belonging to six different families.


sasūtra [sasūtram]—pañcasūtrādiyuktam ST. embellished by five sacred threads.


tīrthamadhye—kṣetramadhye Śivatoṣiṇī. in the midst of the soil, i.e. in the vaginal passage. Śivatoṣiṇī. quotes Viśva in support of this meaning.


Vāmādyā nava-śaktayaḥ—vide Liṅga. II.27.26.


brahmabhāga [brahma-bhāgam]—Vedikādhobhāga [Vedikādhobhāgam] Śivatoṣiṇī. the lower part of the pedestal.


Brahma jajñāna [jajñānam]—Tattirīya Saṃhitā. 4. 2.8. 2.


Vaiṣṇavam bhāgam—madhyabhāga [madhyabhāgam] Śivatoṣiṇī. the middle part.


Viṣṇu-gāyatriyā—the correct form would be Viṣṇu-gāyatryā. This form is enforced by the exigency of metre.


brahmabhiḥ—pañca-brahma-mantraiḥ Śivatoṣiṇī. by reciting the pañca-brahma mantras.


vardhanī [vardhanyām]—khadgākārāyām Śivatoṣiṇī. Vardhanī is an instrument of cutting in the form of sword.


Vidyeśvara [Vidyeśvarān]—probably viśveśvaran. Gf. v. 41 below, where Śivatoṣiṇī. reads Viśveśvarāṇām for vidyeśvarāṇām and explains as aṣṭadikpāla [aṣṭadikpālānām]. But is not vighneśvarāṇam more suitable? The guardians of the quarters are stationed to ward off evil from their respective directions.


vaktrakrama [vaktra-krameṇa]—in the order of faces beginning with Īśāna.


Uttamaṃ sahasra-palam—one thousand palas of gold, pala is a particular measure, approximately equivalent to twenty māsas.


pradhāne—i.e. the head-priest who represents lord Śiva himself.


ābhyantare tathā bāhye—in the internal (i.e. mental) as well as the external (physical) fire.

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