The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes the greatness of krittivaseshvara which is chapter 34 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the thirty-fourth chapter of the Svarga-khanda (section on the heavens) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 34 - The Greatness of Kṛttivāseśvara

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Nārada said:

1-14a. There is a pure auspicious Phallus called Oṃkāra, merely by remembering which a man is freed from all sins. This is superior knowledge, the excellent Pañcāyatana, which is always resorted to by sages in Vārāṇasī, and which liberates (men). There actually Mahādeva, Rudra, who gives liberation to creatures rejoices in the form of the five abodes. This knowledge relating to Paśupati (i.e. Śiva) is called Pañcāyatana. This is that pure Phallus, Oṃkāra, that stands there. The Phallus of the lord is of five forms: Śāntyatītā, Śānti, Aparāvarā Vīdyā (i.e. higher and lower knowledge), Pratiṣṭhā and Nivṛtti. The Phallus that supports the five Liṅgas, Brahmā and others, and that is indicative of Oṃkāra, is called Pañcāyatana. A wise man should remember the immutable Liṅga, i.e. Pañcāyatana, of the lord. At the end of his body (i.e. when he dies) he enters the highest light, joy. There formerly gods, sages, siddhas, brāhmaṇic sages ultimately obtained the best position after having waited upon the lord. O lord of kings, on the auspicious bank of Matsyodarī there is the most secret place, of the size of gocarma (cow's hide), the excellent Oṃkāreśvara; there is the Linga called Kṛttivāseśvara, the excellent Madhyameśvara, and also Viśveśvara, Oṃkāra and Kandarpeśvara. O Yudhiṣṭhira, these are the secret Liṅgas in Vārāṇasī. Nobody here knows (i.e. experiences) destruction due to Śambhu’s favour. O king, listen to the greatness of Kṛttivāseśvara. At that time formerly a demon having become an elephant came there near Śiva to kill the brāhmaṇas who were everyday worshipping Śiva. From the Liṅga of them Mahādeva, the three-eyed (god), affectionate towards his devotees, came there for the protection of his devotees.

14b-25. Śiva having with contempt killed the demon in the form of the elephant by means of his trident used his hide as his garment. Therefore, he is known as Kṛttivāseśvara. O Yudhiṣṭhira, the sages obtained a great superhuman power and with the same body obtained that highest position. Those who are called Vidyāvidyeśvara, Rudra, Śiva, have always resorted to the Liṅga (called) Kṛttivāseśvara. Men knowing that Kaliyuga is fearful and full of great impiety, do not forsake Kṛttivāsa; by doing so they are undoubtedly blessed. (At other places) liberation may or may not be obtained after a thousand existences; but at this Kṛttivāsa liberation is obtained after (just) one existence. They describe this place to be the abode of all siddhas, protected by Śambhu Mahādeva, the lord of gods. In every yuga brāhmaṇas that are controlled and are masters of deep meditation worship the magnanimous one and mutter the (hymn called) Śatarudriya. They constantly extol god Tryambaka, having the garment of (elephant-)hide. They meditate in their heart upon Śiva, Sthāṇu, who is in the heart of all. Siddhas, the brāhmaṇas who live at Vārāṇasi sing songs. Even by means of one song salvation would take place in the case of those who resort to Kṛttivāsa. They obtain a birth very difficult to obtain, which is desired, in brāhmaṇa families. Being steady in meditation, the sages meditate upon Rudra, the great lord, in their hearts. The best sages, living in Vārānaṣī, propitiate the supreme lord. They perform sacrifices without any (selfish) aim; they praise Rudra; they salute Śambhu. “I salute Bhava, the abode of pure, deep meditation. I resort to the ancient Girīśa. I remember Rudra, settled in my heart; I know Mahādeva of many forms.”

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