The Linga Purana

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

This page describes Mastering the mantra of Aghora which is chapter 50 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 50 - Mastering the mantra of Aghora

The sages said:

1-2. How to check and control the guilty has been mentioned by the trident-bearing lord of auspicious face. O sage of good holy rites, it behoves you to recount it. O Roma-harṣaṇa, O highly blessed sage of good holy rites, there is nothing, Vedic or secular, that is not known to you. You know the rites laid down in Śrutis and Smṛtis perfectly well.

Sūta said:

3-5. O sages of good holy rites, the mode of checking and controlling had been formerly recounted to Hiraṇyākṣa by the illustrious Śukra, son of Bhṛgu and disciple of Aghora. Due to its grace Hiraṇyākṣa became the valorous leader of Daityas. He conquered the three worlds along with Devas, Asuras and men. He begot a son, Andhaka of charming exploits, who became the chief of the Gaṇas. He ruled over the world and was ultimately killed by lord Varāha (Boar).

6. Perpetual victory cannot be attained by one who commits atrocities on women, children or cows in particular. There is no prosperity in this world by following this path.

7-9. Goddess earth was brought down to nether regions by that Daitya. But the power was rendered ineffective by lord Aghora. At the end of a thousand years, he was killed by Varāha (Boar). Hence, in order to master Aghora mantra, one should not harass brahmins, women or cows. I am telling you the greatest of secrets, nay, the secret of secrets.

10-12. This rite should be performed by mighty kings against violent assailants and desperadoes. It should not be practised against brahmins or against the overlord of one’s own realm. This excellent rite shall be performed when a very formidable and invincible enemy has arrived, or when one’s entire army has been slain or when the battle has been waged on sinful lines. The rite shall be performed by one who is devoid of mercy through a merciless person. There is no doubt, that the moment it is performed the power of Nigraha is attained.

13-17. O excellent brahmins, the man shall repeat the Aghora mantra of terrible form, a hundred thousand times. To the extent of ten thousand times he shall perform Homa with gingelly seeds. He shall duly worship the lord with hundred thousand white flowers, on a Bāṇa liṅga or in the sacred fire. The mantra is mastered thereby, otherwise he does not become a seer nor has he any Siddhi etc. Only one who has mastered the mantra shall perform the following rite in the cemetery. Only a scholarly and intelligent brahmin who has mastered the mantra and who is sanctified by Siva, shall perform the rite for his own or for the welfare of the king. The learned man shall fix eight tridents in the eight quarters beginning with the east and ending with the north-east.

18-19. On the top of the twenty-four edges of the tridents he shall make the three-tufted, trident-bearing form of Aghora.

He shall get the forms blended together. He shall perform the rites after meditating on the all-destructive deity. He shall conceive of his body as resembling a crore of blackfires.

20. The eight weapons in order are trident, skull, noose, staff, bow, arrow, Ḍamaruka, drum and the sword.

21. Nīlakaṇṭha has eight hands. He is the bestower of boons. He is nude. He rides on the ñve Tattvas[1] and holds the crescent moon on his forehead.

22. His face is terrible due to the curved fangs. His eyes are terrible. He is fierce. He makes all the quarters resonant with the sounds of Hum Phaṭ, etc.

23-26. The devotee shall meditate on Śiva Aghoreśa as follows:—He has three eyes. His coronet is tied well by means of the serpent noose. He is richly bedecked in all ornaments. The ashes from the cremation ground are smeared all over his face. He is surrounded by goblins, ghosts, spirits, Ḍākinī witches and Rākṣasas. He is wrapped in elephant’s hide. He is adorned by serpents serving the purpose of ornaments as also by scorpions. He has a resonant voice like the sound of the blue cloud. He resembles the mountain of blue collyrium. The lion’s hide serves the purpose of his upper garment. He is very very terrible. O sages of good holy rites, the devotee shall perform Prāṇāyāma with thirty-six mantras as mentioned before. He shall show the mahāmudrā and then begin all the holy rites.

27-33. The devotee who has mastered the mantras shall duly install the deity in the funeral pyre or the spot of the dead. He shall duly make five Homakuṇḍas—one in the middle and one each in the easṇ south, west and north—in accordance with the injunctions in the sacred treatises. The preceptor shall sit in front of the middle Kuṇḍa and the aspirants in front of the Kuṇḍas in the quarters. He shall spread Darbha grass in an anti-clockwise manner and hold the trident. He himself shall be seated in the middle of the seat of black fire accompanied by his disciples similarly placed. He shall then meditate on the terrible deity Aghoreśa with the mantra of thirty-two syllables.[2] With the branch of Vibhītaka (Terminalia belerica) cut into pieces of twelve aṅgulas he shall prepare replicas of his king’s enemy and place them on the pedestal along with the coal. Then he shall furiously dig the Kuṇḍas and place the replicas of the king’s enemy inside the Kuṇḍas with the face down and the feet turned upwards. He shall bring burning coals from the cremation ground and burn the branches along with paddy husks. The devotee maintaining strict celibacy shall place the fire silently.

34-35. He shall then kindle the fire in the navel with the Māyūrāstra. (peacock missile). He shall burn the bodice of red cloth, along with the seeds of cotton plant and husks of grains. He shall then perform Homa with the oil extracted by manually-operated machine. Other articles of Homa also shall be used along with the oils.

36-37. He shall begin Homa on the fourteenth day in the dark half of the month and perform a thousand and eight Homas till the Aṣṭamī day. He shall avoid touching the spot of burning coal and the circle round the spot. If this rite is performed, the enemies of the king will be faced with all calamities. They will die along with their kinsmen.

38-42. Repeating the mantra of Aghora the devotee shall gather the following in a human skull:—the nail, hair of men, coal, husk, bodice, a piece of bark garment, the dust particles from the sweepings, the fangs of a poisonous serpent, the teeth of a bull and of cows, the claws and the teeth of a tiger and deer, a cat, a mongoose and a boar. O sages of good holy rites, after gathering these fangs, etc. he shall repeat the excellent mantra of Aghora a hundred and eight times.

43. That skull with the nail,[3] etc. shall be wrapped in a cloth taken from a dead body. The entire thing shall be buried in a field, or house or the cremation ground in the city or country of the enemy.

44-50. When the moon has entered the eighth sign of Zodiac, or when, the sun is covered by Pariveṣa,[4] O sages of good holy rites this mantra shall be repeated. The enemy shall be deposed from his position and he shall perish. When the campaign of conquest starts, the picture of the enemy shall be drawn on the ground that has been scrubbed well to resemble the polished surface of a mirror. Above that ground there must be a splendid canopy with four festoons suspended and surrounded by clusters of Darbha grass. There must be chanting of the. Vedic mantras indicating the affluence and flourishing state of the kingdom. The devotee then kicks the head of the enemy with his right leg. When this is performed the enemy of the king will be destroyed. If an evil-minded person performs this rite of Abhicāra against the king of his own country he will surely kill himself and his family. Hence, one shall always protect the king who protects his kingdom by means of mantras, medicines and holy rites. This secret that has been told to you shall not be given to anyone and everyone.

Footnotes and references:


pañcatattva-samārūdha [samārūdhaḥ]—according to Śivatoṣiṇī. the expression means ‘mounting on Nandin who embodies the five gross elements: earth, water, fire, wind and ether.’


The thirty-two-syllabled mantra of Aghora:—[aghorebhyo'tha ghorebhyo ghoraghoratarebhyaḥ | sarvebhyaḥ sarvaśarvebhyo namaste'sturūdrarūpebhyaḥ || ]—Liṅga II. 27.238. but Śivatoṣiṇī. explains,—[dvātriṃśākṣarasaṃyutam]—as ‘mantra of of thirty-three syllables’ with reference to Liṅga. I. 17. 85, dissolving the compound [dvātriṃśākṣarasaṃyutam] as [dvātriṃśacca akṣarañca dvātriṃśākṣare saṃyutam |].


nakha [nakham]—not empty. According to Śivatoṣiṇī. the skull shall not be empty (nakhaṃ nāsti khaṃ śūnyaṃ yasmin, paripūrṇam ityarthaḥ). But it omits to mention the article that shall fill up the skull.



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