The Linga Purana

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

This page describes The different varieties of Gayatri which is chapter 48 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 48 - The different varieties of Gāyatrī

Sūta said:

1-2. I shall mention the installation of all Devas in detail. The Yāgakuṇḍas of Devas shall be fixed with their respective mantra and Devas installed and worshipped after the celebration of festivities in accordance with the injunctions. The worship of the sun shall be performed with five or twelve sacred fires.

3-4. O sages of good holy rites, the Kuṇḍas shall be circular in the form of a lotus; the Kuṇḍa of Ambā shall be triangular. Only one Vardhanī is ordained for all together. In all the rites relating to the Śaktis the Kuṇḍa shall be triangular in shape. The Gāyatrī of Śiva shall be used assiduously for all other deities since all of them are born out of the parts of Rudra. I shall mention them briefly to you.

The different Gāyatrīs.

5-26. “We know Tatpuruṣa. We meditate on Vāgviśuddha (one purified by speech). Hence, may Śiva urge and guide us.”

“We know Gaṇāmbikā. We meditate on Karmasiddhi (achievement of the benefit of the rite). Hence, may Gaurī urge and guide us.”

“We know Tatpuruṣa. We meditate on Mahādeva. Hence, may Rudra urge and guide us.”

“We know that Tatpuruṣa. We meditate on Vakratuṇḍa (lord Gaṇapati of curved snout). Hence, may Dantin (lord with elephantine face) urge and guide us.”

“We know Mahāsena. We meditate on Vāgviśuddha. May thus, Skanda urge and guide us.”

“We know Tīkṣṇaśṛṅga (one with sharp painted horns). We meditate on Vedapāda (one with the Vedas for feet). Hence, may Vṛṣa (virtue, bull) urge and guide us.”

“We know Harivaktra (one with the face of a monkey). We meditate on Rudravaktra (one with a terrible face). Hence, may Nandin urge and guide us.”

“We know Nārāyaṇa. We meditate on Vāsudeva. Hence, may Viṣṇu urge and guide us.”

“We know Mahāmbikā (great mother). We meditate on Karmasiddhi (the achievement of the benefit of the holy rites). Hence, may Lakṣmī urge and guide us.”

“We meditate upon and we know one who has been redeemed by Viṣṇu alone. Hence, may Rādhā urge and guide us.”

“We know Vainateya (son of Vinatā). We meditate upon the golden-winged one. Hence, may Garuḍa urge and guide us.”

“We know the lotus-born. We meditate on Vedavaktra (in whose mouth the Vedas reside). Hence, may the creator Brahmā urge and guide us.”

“We know Śivāsyajā (one originating from the face of Śiva). We meditate on Devarūpā (one having divine form). Hence, may Vācā (speech) urge and guide us.”

“We know the king of Devas. We meditate on Vajrahasta (one armed with the thunderbolt). Hence, may Indra urge and guide us.”

“We know the eye of Rudra. We meditate on one armed with Śakti. Hence, may Agni urge and guide us.”

“We know the son of Vivasvat. We meditate on one armed with a staff. Hence, may Yama urge and guide us.”

“We know Niśācara (the Demon). We meditate on one armed with the sword. Hence, may Nirṛti urge and guide us.

“We know Śuddhahasta (one whose hands are pure). We meditate on one who is armed with the noose. Hence, may Varuṇa urge and guide us.”

“We know the vital airs of all. We meditate on one armed with a stick. Hence, may Vāyu urge and guide us.”

“We know the ruler of the Yakṣas.[1] We meditate on one armed with the iron club. Hence, may Yakṣa urge and guide us.”

“We know the lord of all. We meditate on one armed with the trident. Hence, may Rudra urge and guide us.”

“We know Kātyāyanī. We meditate on Kanyākumārī. Hence, may Durga urge and guide us.”

27. Thus, Gāyatrī shall be differentiated according to the deities; they shall be installed and worshipped- Their seat shall be Praṇava.

28-30. Or the devotee shall install the incomparable Viṣṇu by reciting Puruṣasūkta. The devotee shall conceive of Viṣṇu, Mahāviṣṇu and Sadāviṣṇu in due order and install them duly by reciting Deva Gāyatrī. Vāsudeva is the chief deity. Saṃkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha are the different forms[2] of the lord. His forms are many due to the curse of Bhṛgu.

31-32. The forms are conducive to the welfare of worlds. They occur at every cycle of yugas[3] viz.—Matsya (fish), Kūrma (tortoise), Varāha (boar), Narasiṃha (man-lion), Vāmana (dwarf), Rāma (of solar race), Rāma (Paraśurāma), Kṛṣṇa, Buddha and Kalki. There are other forms[4] of lord Viṣṇu due to the curse of Bhṛgu.

33-35. The Gāyatrīs too of these forms shall be evolved, the deities shall be installed and worshipped. Perfect knowledge, yantras, mantras and the Upaniṣads (esoteric doctrines) are the secret of Viṣṇu, Nārāyaṇa the lord of Devas. Born of the five Brahmāṅgas[5] they are identical with the five Bhūtas. The mantra of Viṣṇu viz., “Namo Nārāyaṇāya” prefixed with the Praṇava is highly auspicious. It consists of eight syllables.

36. There are other mantras too, viz.—Oṃ Namo Vāsudevāya, Oṃ Namaḥ Saṅkarṣaṇāya, Oṃ Namaḥ Pradyumnāya, Oṃ Namaḥ Pradhānāya, Oṃ Namaḥ Aniruddhāya.

37-38. Similarly, he shall install Parameśvara with a single mantra. The idols of lord Śiva, Parameṣṭhin shall also be installed and worshipped like the Liṅga, O excellent sages. The sacred auspicious threads along with the fixing of the jewels shall also be duly performed for Viṣṇu, as for the Liṅga.

39. Every rite shall be performed in the immovable liṅga. In the movable ones also, the rites shall be performed in accordance with the śāstraic injunctions. O sages of good holy rites, he shall cause eyes to open by means of the mantras of the eyes.

40. The circumambulation of the shrine, park and the city as well as the rite of keeping it in the water shall be performed as before.

41-42. The erection of the Maṇḍapa, the digging of the Kuṇḍas and keeping the deity lying down—these are the rites prescribed. The installation of the deity shall be performed after the Homa in the nine Kuṇḍas with nine sacred fires, or five Kuṇḍas or in the chief Kuṇḍa alone. Thus the splendid rite of installation has been recounted as handed down traditionally.

43. The Jalādhivāsana rite is mentioned in regard to all rock-cut idols and picture-like[6] carvings. This is also recommended for Nandin the leading bull.

44-46. The installation of the parts of the palace is at the time of the installation of the palace in the same way as that of the parts of the body. The following shall be assiduously installed by reciting Gāyatrī duly—the Vṛṣa (bull, virtue), Agni, the mothers, Vighneśa, Kumāra, the goddess Durgā and Caṇḍī. The excellent eightfold covering of the lord shall be installed beginning with the east. The guardians of the quarters, Gaṇeśa and others shall be fixed in regard to him.

47-50. The following shall be worshipped in the north,[7] in due order—Umā, Caṇḍī, Nandin, Mahākāla, Mahāmuni, Vigneśvara, Mahābhṛṅgī and Skanda. He shall fix Indra and others in their respective places; Brahmā, Viṣṇu and the lord of the shrine in the north-east.[8] Ananta and others and Vidyeśas shall be installed in thrones in due order with Praṇava alone. The private parts[9] etc. shall be installed in the lotus. Thus, the, installation of the mobile Devas and goddesses has been mentioned to you in brief.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

yakṣeśvara [yakṣeśvarāya]—to the lord of yakṣas, i.e. Kubera.

[2]:

mūrtibheda [mūrtibhedāḥ]—this refers to the group of four called Caturvyūhamūrti, comprising Vāmadeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha.

[3]:

sarvāvarteṣu—in all cycles of yugas.

[4]:

It refers to the other incarnations of Viṣṇu, such as Kapila, Dattātreya, etc.

[5]:

pañcabrahmāṅgajāni, such as Sadyojāta, Īśāna, Tatpuruṣa, etc.

[6]:

citrābhāsa [citrābhāsasya]—according to Śivatoṣiṇī. the lord of bulls (Nandin) shall be bathed in the idol of stone but not in the painted picture. This is the logical interpretation of the verse offered by Śivatoṣiṇī., but the text is wanting in the negative particle ‘na’ to be construed with ‘Citrābhasasya’.

[7]:

saumyāditaḥ—uttaradigāditaḥ Śivatoṣiṇī. beginning with the northern direction.

[8]:

īśagocara [īśa-gocare]—Īśānadigbhāga [Īśānadigbhāge] Śivatoṣiṇī. in the north-eastern direction.

[9]:

guhyāṅgādīni—dharmādīni ST. Dharma, etc.

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