The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes Shatarudriya Lingas which is chapter 13 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the thirteenth chapter of the Kaumarika-khanda of the Maheshvara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 13 - Śatarudriya Liṅgas

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Nārada said:

1. The king heard these words of that great sage and said: “I will never abandon you and go to any other person.

2. By being blessed by you only, I shall just today propitiate the Liṅga which bestows all the Siddhis on men. Let all these go the way they have come.”

3. On hearing those words of the king, the crane, the vulture, the tortoise and the owl also bowed down to sage Lomaśa and told him the same.

4. That Brāhmaṇa who was the friend of everyone, told them, “Let it be so.” He blessed all of them who were worthy of being enlightened and who bowed down to him like disciples.

5. The sage who was kind and compassionate towards those who bowed down to him and who was eager to bless them, instructed them by initiating them in the procedure of Liṅga-worship according to the injunctions of the sacred treatises of the Śaiva cult. It is appropriately said that the association with good people is far superior to (a visit to) Tīrthas (‘sacred places’).

6. The assembly of good men is like a wonderful unprecedented type of sunrise which causes immediate maturity and ripening of fruits and is an instantaneous dispeller of unhappiness and misery which is difficult to be wiped out.

7-9. (It is extra-ordinary because) it dispels the darkness within (not without, as in the case of the sun) absolutely.

The waves of the nectarine juice of the pleasure arising from contact with the assembly of good people are all excellent. They are like the real Ambrosia. They have all the six tastes. They are (sweet) like sugar and honey.

Thereafter, all of them with (sage) Mārkaṇḍeya and the king at their head, who attained the association of saintly people at the bidding of Śiva, began their Kriyāyoga (i-e. the performance of holy rites). Even as they were engaged in penance, once in the course of my pilgrimage to the holy spots, I went (to that place) eager to see Lomaśa.

10. Pilgrimage includes visiting important persons as incidental to visiting holy places. The place frequented and resorted to by good persons alone, O king, is called so (i.e. holy).

11. After due veneration and offering of hospitality was over and after I had finished taking rest, O Phālguna, they with Nāḍījaṅgha as their head bowed down to me and asked me:

They (Nāḍījaṅgha and others) said:

12. O holy Brāhmaṇa, we, all the four of us, are fallen due to the curse(s) incurred by us on account of our own act(s). Direct us to some holy place for absolving ourselves from the curse(s).

13-15. This (part of the) earth yields no fruit, O sage, and Bhārata is full of fruits. There too mention one place where the benefit of all the Tīrthas (can be had).

On being asked thus by them I spoke to them: “Ask Saṃvarta.[1] He will tell you exactly where (you can find) that region of the earth which is conducive to the attainment of the benefit of all the Tīrthas.”

They asked:

16-19. Where is this Yogin? We never knew him (before). It is a blessing unto us that (we will attain) liberation on meeting Saṃvarta. If you know him, tell (it). Association with a friend will not be fruitless?

After pondering deeply again and again, I spoke to them: “This Saṃvarta is in Vārāṇasī. He resorts to a hidden Liṅga. He is smeared with dirt. He does not wear clothes. He eats what he gets by begging after Kutapa (i.e. the eighth Muhūrta of the day). He eats food out of his own hands (that serve the purpose of) vessels. He is in every respect (devoid of possessions). He meditates on the supreme Brahman, the lord designated as Praṇava (i.e. Oṃ).

20. After taking his food, he goes to the forest in the evening. This great Yogin is not known to (all) people. He is the Lord of Yogins. There are others having (an outward) form like him wearing the Liṅga.[2]

21-23. I shall describe his characteristic features whereby you will be able to recognize the sage. A dead body should be placed on the main road at night without the knowledge of the public. But you must remain close at hand. He who comes to that spot and suddenly turns back is Saṃvarta. Undoubtedly he does not tread on a dead body. He should be approached humbly and asked what is desired.

24. If he asks you, ‘By whom have I been mentioned (to you all)?’, you tell him about me. Immediately after that say, ‘After mentioning you, he entered fire.’”

25. On hearing this, they all carried out my suggestion. They reached Vārāṇasī and on seeing Saṃvarta, they all did as instructed.

26. On seeing the corpse placed by them Saṃvarta returned, although he was very hungry. On seeing him going quickly, they followed him.

27-29. “Stop for a moment, O Brāhmaṇa.” Saying thus to him as he went along the highway (they followed him). As he went away, he rebuked them saying, “Return. You must not come anywhere near me. It is not good for you.” He then fled to a faraway lake and asked them all angrily, “By whom have I been mentioned? Tell me quickly so that I can reduce him to ash by the fire of my curse. Or (I shall burn) you if you do not tell me the truth.”

30-31. Tremblingly they told the sage, “By Nārada.” Then he asked them again, “Where has that gossipmonger gone now? Where is he now among all the worlds? I shall reduce that (contemptible) nominal Brāhmaṇa to ash.” They became frightened and told the sage again:.

They said:

32. After mentioning you to us, O great Brāhmaṇa, he entered fire immediately. We do not know the reason thereof.

Saṃvarta replied:

33. I too would have done to him what has been done by himself. So, tell me your business. I win not remain here Jong for your sake.

Arjuna asked:

34. If you had entered fire, O celestial sage Nārada, how did you come to life again? Explain this miracle to me.

Nārada explained:

35-37. Neither fire nor ocean, neither wind nor a tree, neither a mountain nor a weapon have power to destroy my body, O descendant of Bharata- Further, what Saṃvarta thought has been performed by me. I have been honoured. Even after entering fire, I came out (unaffected). Just as someone, O Phālguna, enters a flower-house, indeed so also I entered fire and came out.

Now listen to what happened subsequently.

38. Saṃvarta told them, i.e. to Mārkaṇḍeya and others, thus: “Let the path be made free from the corpse/bone. I am hungry. I will wander in the city for alms. Put the question to me.”

They said:

39-40. We have fallen down due to a curse. We shall attain liberation by your blessings. O great sage, tell the means to the same, to us who have bowed down (to you). O Saṃvarta, tell (the name of that) Tīrtha where a man attains the benefit of all the Tīrthas. There we shall stay.

Saṃvarta replied:

41. After paying obeisance to Kumāra and Durgās, O excellent ones, I shall tell you about the Tīrtha called Mahīsāgara-Saṅgama (‘the confluence of the river Mahī and the ocean’).

42-44. By means of his sacrifices, this earth was lifted up by two Aṅgulas, by this intelligent lion of a king, Indradyumna. Because of the burning of logs, the earth was scorched then. A stream of water exuded from it. It was bowed down to by all the Devas. It came to be known as the river Mahī. They know that its waters consist of all the Tīrthas on the earth.

45. The river named Mahī rises in the country named Mālavaka. It is an auspicious river, both the banks being highly meritorious. It falls into the sea in the South.

46. The great river named Mahī has been (in its earlier stages) full of all the Tīrthas. What (doubt) then about (the sanctity of) its meeting place with the Lord of Rivers!

47-50. It is stated that the waters of Mahī comprise (the essence of) waters of all the twenty thousand six hundred holy Tīrthas and rivers,[3] viz. Vārāṇasī, Kurukṣetra, Gaṅgā, Revā, Sarasvatī, Tāpī, Payoṣṇī, Nirvindhyā, Candrabhāgā, Irāvatī, Kāverī, Sarayū, Gaṇḍakī, Naimiṣa, Gayā, Godāvarī, Aruṇā, Varuṇā—these and hundreds of other holy rivers on the earth.

51. It is said that according to the words (i.e. opinion) of Kumāra (i.e. Skanda), the fruit one obtains by taking baths in all the Tīrthas on the earth is gained by taking a holy dip in (the confluence of) Mahī and the sea.

52. If you wish to see the assemblage of all the Tīrthas in one place, go to the highly meritorious Mahīsāgarasaṅgama.

53. I too stayed there for many years formerly, but came here because I was afraid of Nārada.

54. He was there nearby. He is a great gossipmonger. My fear is this that he would mention about me to Marutta who is performing a Yajña.

55. As I am excessively afraid of Marutta, I am staying here wholly disguised in the middle of many naked (sages) as one of them.

56. Further, even here, Nārada will certainly mention about me. Activities of that sort of this slanderer are seen.

57. This should not be mentioned by you all to anyone anywhere. King Marutta is endeavouring (to secure me in order) to accomplish his Yajña.

58. For another reason, he has been abandoned by my brother (Bṛhaspati), the preceptor of Devas. Knowing me to be the son of his (earlier) preceptor (Aṅgiras), he wants me to be the Ṛtvik in his Yajña.

59-61. I do not have any benefit through the (performance of) sacrificial activities that involve injury and violence and that are included in Avidyā. There is (some benefit) through the sacrifice performed by means of insentient articles[4] such as twigs, flowers, Darbhas etc. as mentioned in the Vedas. If it is performed through insentient articles the benefit also will be so, since the effect is similar to the cause.

Hence you all go there quickly following the king. The Brāhmaṇa Yājñavalkya[5] himself is Brahmā (i.e. the presiding priest in the Yajña) there.

62. Formerly he was staying in the city of Mithi(lā) in his excellent hermitage. On seeing a Nakula (‘mongoose’) coining, he spoke these words to Gārgī:

63. “O Gārgī, take care of the milk, O gentle lady, here comes a Nakula. Ward off that Nakula who is intent upon drinking the milk.”

64. On being told this, the Nakula became infuriated. He had been angry formerly and had been cursed by the ancestors of Jamadagni. He said to the sage:

65. “Alas! Fie upon you both! Fie! Fie! Shamelessness is seen in men who commit sins.

66. How do they commit sins—those mean men who have to experience severe pain in hell after death?

67. How can one commit sins—one in whose life the existence even for a moment is not certain?

68. O sage, you think thus: ‘I am intelligent. I am of noble birth.’ So you rebuke me, O foolish one, very proudly, ‘This is a Nakula.’

69. O Yājñavalkya, what has been learnt by you? What is your position as a great Yogin? You rebuke and revile at an innocent one. Fie upon that learning of yours!

70. Tell me, in which Veda, in which Smṛti has this been stated whereby you call me Nakula (and rebuke me) with these harsh words?

71-72. Don’t you know this? If a person utters harsh words to others, the followers of Yama will place their feet on his throat and pierce his ears with as many iron darts as the harsh words used by that wicked man, even as he is crying loudly.

73-74. Hypocritical, talkative people like you rob poor people through a thousand hands of Dharma. On account of your words which were equal to thunderbolt, a weapon smeared with poison or Kālakūṭa itself, my condition became somewhat like that of death.

75-77. They can remove painful darts stuck in ears and nose, from the body but the dart of wounding words cannot be taken out because it remains sticking to the heart. It would be better if a man was killed after being afflicted and crushed by means of machines. But one should not at all cause injury to him by means of harsh words.

How was it that I was struck and wounded by means of harsh words like, ‘You are a Nakula’ (‘one without a decent family’) by you, O Yājñavalkya, a pedant who always fancies himself to be a learned person?”

Saṃvarta said:

78. On hearing these words of his, Yājñavalkya was greatly struck with wonder. With palms joined together (in reverence) he spoke:

79. “Obeisance to the great Adharma[6] (Evil?) whose origin we do not know, though we know even the minutest atom. Whence comes arrogance of learning in the case of good people?

80. Virañci (i.e. Brahmā), Viṣṇu and others as well as Soma, Indra and others are omniscient. Even they err. What to say of (ordinary) people like us!

81. If a pitiable wretch of a man fancies himself as a knower of Dharma out of delusion, the wretched fellow then desires to restrain the wind within his fist.

82. Some are doomed due to ignorance; some due to their pride of knowledge. Some base and mean men are doomed on account of their lethargy even after obtaining knowledge.

83. It has been laid down in the Vedas, Smṛtis, Itihāsas and Purāṇas that Dharma has four Pādas (feet). But the mean fellow, a brute, does not bring it in practice.

84. It is clear that he will repent and regret after reaching the abode of the god of Death. Verily it has been stated thus by the compiler of the Gṛhya (Sūtras) in the scripture:

85. ‘One shall call a Nakula Sakula (one with a family). One shall not touch anyone in his vulnerable point.’

Although I have got it all by heart, yet it is just parrot-like (i.e. blindly repeating what others say).

86-90. Whether it is due to lethargy or due to non-adherence to good conduct, it is futile—it is same.

The man who is contented with the reading (i.e. learning by heart) alone and who professes to be a scholar, is considered to be a brute. There is no worse brute than he.

The Vedas do not redeem a deceitful person from sin. He continues to go and return on account of Māyā. Just as the chicks with full-fledged wings abandon the nest, so also at the time of death, the Vedas leave him off.

If a Brāhmaṇa were to prepare himself to go to heaven by reciting (the Veda) alone, he is like a child seated in the lap of his mother but desiring to seize the moon.

Hence it behoves you to suffer my rude mis-demeanour (and pardon me for it). Everyone says like this. The same was repeated by me thus.”

The Nakula said:

91. This is indeed a vain utterance on your part that you consider yourself like all (ordinary) people. This is not proper for noble souls to say so.

92. The difference among horses, elephants and metals, logs of wood, stones and garments, women, men and waters is great (in extent).

93. If other ordinary uncultured people commit many (kinds of) sins, should they be followed by important personages and perpetrate (similar sins)?

94-97. The sacred literature has been composed for the sake of all; and mind and intelligence have been given to all by the creator. Still if there are sinners, it is not the fault of the creator. They alone are unfortunate ones.

Should a Brāhmāṇa particularly be like ordinary people? Since, all people do whatever a great man does (i.e. imitate) and since all the people follow whatever authority he lays down, therefore the duty (‘Dharma’) of good people should not be abandoned by great men at any time, even for their own sake as well as for the sake of others. Your learning is unbecoming and unjust.

98-99. Since I have been afflicted by you, O sage, with terrible words, I will curse you immediately. You are considered worthy of a curse by me.

You told me “You are a Nakula.” Hence you will be born as the basest in the family, out of delusion. You will be a Nakula, O sage.

Saṃvarta said:

100. On hearing these words, Yājñavalkya decided the future course. He was reborn as son of a Brāhmaṇa in the Maru Deśa (? Desert or Mārwār).

101. He became the son of a Brāhmaṇa of bad conduct and was a sinner. He was a ruthless and garrulous one. He belonged to a vicious family. The son (previous Yājñavalkya) could remember (the events of) the previous birth.

102. His name was Bhartṛyajña. Observing through the eye of knowledge, that Brāhmaṇa came to the secret sacred place Mahī-sāgara-saṅgama.

103. There he became a Pāśupata (i.e. follower of the sect of Paśupati—Śiva) and was devoted to the propitiation of Śiva. He is there now worshipping Mahākāla, born of the Self-born Lord.

104. The man who perpetually worships Mahākāla with great faith and devotion, becomes liberated from the blemish of being born in an ignoble family, like a serpent leaving off his slough.

105. As and when he looks at that Liṅga with sincerity and faith, he gets liberated from the defects arising from a hundred births.

106. Bhartṛyajña performed the worship of the Liṅga there itself and became rid of the defects of the seed (i.e. heredity). That was the greatness of the Liṅga.

107. After getting rid of the ignoble birth he called Nakula (a mongoose) by the word Babhru (tawny-coloured). Hence this sacred Tīrtha became famous as ‘Babhru Tīrtha’.[7]

108. Hence go there itself to the meeting place of Mahī and the ocean. Resorting to the five Tīrthas there, you will surely attain salvation.

109. After saying thus, the Brāhmaṇa, Saṃvarta went away as he pleased. After approaching the sage Bhartṛyajña, they stayed there.

110-114. By means of his power of knowledge, he knew that they were the Gaṇas of Śaṃbhu. He said:

“Indeed your merit is great and free from impurities because you have come to this hidden holy spot where the river Mahī meets the ocean.

Ablution, charitable gift, repetition of holy names, Homa and offering rice-balls (to Pitṛs) in particular—all these become everlasting in their results (if performed) at Mahī-sāgara-saṅgama. Holy dip, gifts and other holy rites performed here will yield never-ending benefits.

When formerly the celestial sage Nārada established this holy place, boons had been granted by the Planets. This boon had been granted by Śani:

When the New-Moon day coincides with Saturday, one should perform Śrāddha there along with a holy dip, charitable gifts etc.

115-116. If on a Saturday in the month of Śrāvaṇa the Kuhū (i.e. New Moon without the slightest visibility of the Moon) also falls and the Sun has his monthly transit, and if the Yoga called Vyatīpāta also happens to be there in the same Tithi (‘Lunar day’) that holy combination is called Puṣkara. It is superior to a hundred Parvans.

117-122. It is with great difficulty that the combination of all good Yogas is obtained.[8] On that day, one should duly worship an iron image of Śani and a gold idol of the Sun at the meeting place of Mahī and the ocean. Śani should be meditated on with Mantras pertaining to Śani and the Sun with the Sūrya Mantras. Arghya should be offered to the Sun for the destruction of all sins. The holy dip here is superior to that at Prayāga; charitable gift here is more beneficial than that at Kurukṣetra. Offering rice balls (to manes), O son of Pāṇḍu, is superior to that offered at the holy place called Gayā. This holy Parvan is attained through great heaps of merit. It is definite that the Pitṛs meet with everlasting satisfaction in the firmament.

Just as Gayaśiras is meritorious and excessively conducive to the gratification of Pitṛs, so also and even more than that is the meritorious Mahī-sāgara-saṅgama.

(Mantra for taking bath)

123. “Agni is the Retas (‘semen virile’) in the body along with Mṛḍā (‘graciousness’). Viṣṇu is the discharger of the Retas. He is the navel of Amṛta (‘nectar’).”

Repeating these truthful words (mentioned above in the Mantra) with great faith, one should take the plunge in the meeting place of Mahī and the ocean.

(Mantra for giving Arghya)

124. “The holy ocean is the mouth of all the rivers. The excellent Mahī is Aṃbā (Mother, goddess). It is in the form of all the Tīrthas. To these two I offer the Arghya. I bow down, I salute them.”

125-127. The following eighteen names should be repeated at the time of the holy dip. The man (i.e. the devotee) should repeat them everywhere at the time of Śrāddha.

The names are: (1) Tāmrā, (2) Rasyā, (3) Payovahā, (4) Pitṛprītipradā, (5) Śubhā, (6) Sasyamālā, (7) Mahāsindhu, (8) Dātur-Dātrī, (9) Pṛthustutā, (10) Kanyā (daughter) of Indradyumna, (11) Kṣitijanmā, (12) Irāvatī, (13) Mahīparṇā, (14) Mahiśṛṅgā, (15) Gaṅgā, (16) Paścimavāhinī (17) Nadī and (18) Rājanadī.

These names have been mentioned by Pṛthu. A person who repeats these names shall go to the region of Yajñamūrti (i.e. Viṣṇu in the form of Yajña).

128. This is the Mantra for the Arghya: “O queen of rivers, you were born at the time of the milking of the Earth which yielded great delight and which fascinated the whole universe; you absolve me, O flow of Mahī (?).”

129. One who bestows even a silver bangle here is reborn on the earth in a family abounding in wealth and food-grains.

(The Mantra for offering a silver bangle)

130. The bangle should be thrown (offered) repeating the following Mantra: “I worship Mahī and Sāgara with the offering of a silver bangle. Let there be no poverty or loss of wealth unto me.”

131. By taking the holy dip and by offering charitable gifts at Mahī-sāgara-saṅgama, one gets the same benefit as one gets by visiting all the Tīrthas (together) and by performing all Yajñas.

132-136a. When a dispute arises[9] or when a crime is committed) he, the suspected person, should be asked (to swear) with water in the cup of his folded palms at Mahī-sāgara-saṅgama. He should be bathed, repeating the Aghora Mantra. He must then be made to stand with the level of the water coming to his navel in the Mahī-sāgara-saṅgama. He then must be told to repeat the following after raising his right hand: “If there is Dharma (virtue) here, if there is truth here, if this Saṅgama (i.e. meeting place of Mahī and the sea) is truthful, If the seers of the Kratus are truthful, my auspiciousness and inauspiciousness shall be true.” After saying this he brings down the right hand and (forcibly) comes out. If he is a sinner he will get fever instantaneously. Otherwise he is considered to be devoid of guilt, even if he gets fever after seven days.

136b-139. By taking holy dips here, by repeating holy names and by performing penance here, very many persons have gone to Rudraloka through sacred and holy rites.

He who takes his holy bath here particularly on a Monday with great devotion, and visits the five Tīrthas is liberated from all sins. Thus the greatness of the Tīrtha was narrated in various ways.

After instructing them in the Pūjāyoga (‘rite of worship’) in accordance with the injunctions of the Śivāgamas (i.e. sacred scriptures of the Śaiva cult), Bhartṛyajña explained to them the procedure in the propitiation of Śiva.

140. The sage filled with the ocean of devotion to Śiva spoke to them: “There is no lord greater than Śiva. This is true, O devotees of Śaiva holy rites.”

141. Indeed he who abandons Śiva and worships anything else non existent and unreal, abandons the nectar within his hand and runs after a mirage.

142. This universe that is directly perceived is identical with Śiva and Śakti, being marked with Liṅga and Bhaga. Nowhere is it marked with any other Deva.

143-144a. He who abandons Rudra, the father, and Aṃbikā, the mother, behaves like one who abandons his own father and offering of libation and rice balls to the Manes.

If you wish to wash off all the sins, listen to the greatness of Rudra in the following excellent Śatarudriya:[10]

[In the following verses (144b-194) the names of devotees and the Liṅgas they worship are given along with the names they repeat as Japa.]

144b-145a. Brahmā worshipped the Hāṭaka Liṅga of the Lord with matted hair. He repeats the name Jagatpradhāna (‘the chief of the universe’) and shines.

145b-146a. There is Kṛṣṇa-Liṅga (Black Liṅga) at Kṛṣṇamūla. Its name is Arjita. Having worshipped that Liṅga, Sanaka and others won over (attained) the goal of the universe.

146b. The Seven Sages (worship the Liṅga) in the form of the shoots of the Darbha grass (and its name is) Viśvayonika (‘the source of origin of the universe’).

147a. (Worshipping it) in the firmament, Nārada extols it as Jagad-bīja (‘seed of the universe’).

147b. Indra worships an adamantine Liṅga and the name (he repeats) is Viśvātman (‘the soul of the universe’).

148. The Sun worships a copper Liṅga. The name for his Japa is Viśvasṛj (‘the creator of the universe’).

The Moon worships a pearl Liṅga repeating the name Jagatpati (‘Lord of the world’).

149. The Fire-god worships a Liṅga of sapphire. The name he repeats is Viśveśvara (‘Controller or Master of the universe’).

150. Śukra worships a ruby Liṅga and the name he repeats is Vìśvakarman (‘the maker of the universe’).

Dhanada (i.e. Kubera) worships a golden Liṅga and repeats the name Īśvara.

151. Viśvedevas worship a silver Liṅga and the name (they repeat) is Jagatāṃ Pati (‘Protector of the world’). The Wind worship a Liṅga of brass and the name is Śaṃbhu (‘Granter of prosperity’).

152. Vasus worship a Liṅga of bell-metal and the name (they repeat) is Svayaṃbhū (‘the Self-born god’).

The Mothers worship a Liṅga made of three metals and the name is Bhūteśa (‘Lord of living beings or goblins’)

153. The Liṅga of Rākṣasas is made of iron. The name (they repeat) is Bhūtabhavyabhavodbhava (‘the Source of everything past, present and future’).

Guhyakas worship a Liṅga made of lead. They repeat the name Yoga.

154. (Sage) Jaigīṣavya worships a Liṅga in his Brahmarandhra (i.e. the aperture in the crown of the head). The name he repeats is Yogeśvara (‘Master of Yoga’).

Nimi worships the Liṅgas in his two eyes and repeats the name Śarva.

155. Dhanvantari worships a Liṅga of Gomaya (‘full of rays’ or ‘cow dung’?). The name (he repeats) is Sarvalokeśvareśvara (‘the Master of all the lords of the worlds’).

Gandharvas worship a Liṅga made of timber and the name is Sarvaśreṣṭha (‘the Greatest of all’).

156. Rāghava worships the Liṅga of lapis lazuli and the name (he repeats) is Jagajjyeṣṭha (‘the Most Pre-eminent in the world’).

Bāṇa worships an emerald Liṅga and the name is Vasiṣṭha (‘the Most Excellent’).

157. Varuṇa worships a crystal Liṅga and the name (he repeats) is Parameśvara (‘the Supreme Lord’).

Nāgas (Serpents) worship a coral Liṅga and the name is Lokatrayaṃkara (‘Creator of the three worlds’).

158-160a. Bhāratī (i.e. goddess of Speech) worships Tāraliṅga (i.e. Liṅga made of big beautiful pearls) and the name is Lokatrayāśrita (‘the Support of the three worlds’).

Śani (i.e. the planet Saturn) worships the Liṅga at the Saṅgamāvarta (i.e. an eddy at the place where the river meets the ocean) and the name is Jagannātha (‘Lord of the world’).

In the region of Śani at Mahī-sāgara-saṅgama, Rāvaṇa (used to) worship a Liṅga made of jasmine-plant at midnight repeating the name Sudurjaya (‘Unvanquishable’).

Siddhas worship Mānasa (mental) Liṅga. The name they repeat is Kāmamṛtyujarātiga (‘the Transcender of Kāma, death and old age’).

160b. Bali worships a Liṅga of gleaned food-grains. The name he repeats is Jñānātman (‘Knowledge-soul’: ‘the Soul of knowledge’).

161. Marīcipās (‘Imbibers of rays’) worship a Liṅga formed of flowers. The name is Jñānagamya (‘Approachable through knowledge’).

Beings born of dung worship Śakṛt-Liṅga (‘Liṅga made of dung’) and the name is Jñānajñeya (‘Knowable through knowledge’).

162. Phenapās (‘Inbibers of foam’) worship a Liṅga evolved from foams. The name (they repeat) is Sudurvida (‘Extremely difficult to know’).

Kapila worships Vālukāliṅga (‘Liṅga made of sand’) repeating the name Varada (‘Bestower of boons’) of Hara.

163. Sārasvata worships the Liṅga in the speech and the name is Vāgīśvara (‘the Controller of speech’)

Gaṇas worship Liṅga in the form of a Mūrti (‘idol’) and the name they repeat is Rudra.

164. Devas worship a Liṅga made of Jāṃbūnada (i.e. a particular, variety of gold) and the name is Śitikaṇṭha (‘Black-throated’).

Budha (i.e. the planet Mercury) worships a Śaṅkha Liṅga (i.e. Liṅga made of a conch). The name he repeats is Kaniṣṭha.

165. Aśvins worship a Liṅga made of clay. The name (they repeat) is Suvedhasa (‘the Excellent creator’). Vināyaka worships a Liṅga made of flour and the name is Kapardin (‘God with matted hair’).

166. Kuja (i.e. Mars) worships a Liṅga made of butter. The name he repeats is Karālaka (‘the Formidable one’).

Tārkṣya (i.e. Garuḍa) worships a Liṅga made of cooked rice and the name he repeats is Haryakṣa (‘Yellow-eyed’, ‘a Lion’).

167. Kāma worships a Liṅga made of jaggery. The name (he repeats) is Ratida (‘Giver of pleasure’). Śacī worships a Liṅga made of salt. The name is Babhrukeśa (‘the Brown-haired’).

168. Viśvakarman worships Prāsāda Liṅga (‘Palace-Liṅga’?) and the name is Yāmya.

Vibhīṣaṇa worships a Liṅga made of dust particles. The name is Suhṛttama (‘the Best friend’).

Sagara worships a Liṅga made of bamboo shoots. The name is Saṅgata.

169. Rāhu worships a Liṅga made of Ramaṭha (Asafoetida). He repeats the name Gamya (‘Approachable’). Lakṣmī worships Lepya Liṅga (Plastering-Liṅga) and the name is Harinetra (‘Viṣṇu’s eye’).

170. Yogins worship the Liṅga stationed in all living beings. The name is Sthāṇu (‘Immovable’).

Human beings worship different kinds (of Liṅgas). The name is Puruṣaṃnāman.

171. The Constellations worship Liṅga of the nature of splendour. The name is Bhaga Bhāsvara (‘Brilliant Śiva’).

Kinnaras worship Dhātu Liṅga (‘Liṅga made of minerals’). The name is Sudīpta (‘Extremely refulgent’).

172. Brahmarākṣasas worship the Liṅga and the name is Devadeva (‘God of gods’).

Vāraṇas (i.e. Elephants) worship the Liṅga made of tusk (ivory). The name is Raṃhasa (‘Force’).

173. Sādhyas worship Liṅga of the nature of seven (v.l. all the) Lokas. The name is Bahurūpa (‘Multi-formed’).

Seasons (‘Ṛtus’) worship Liṅga of the nature of Dūrvā shoot. The name is Sarva.

174. Celestial damsels worship a Liṅga made of saffron. The name is Śaṃbhoḥpriya (‘Favourite with Śaṃbhu’).

Urvaśī worships a Liṅga made of red lead. The name is Priyavāsana (‘Favourite perfume’?).

175. The preceptor worships Brahmacāri Liṅga (‘Liṅga in the form of the religious student’) and the name is Uṣṇīṣin (‘Turban-wearer’).

Yoginīs worship a Liṅga of Alaktaka (‘red lac’) and the name is Subabhruka (‘Excellently deep brownish’).

176. Siddha Yoginīs worship a Liṅga made of Śrīkhaṇḍa (‘sandalwood’) and the name is Sahasrākṣa (‘Thousand-eyed god’).

Ḍākinīs worship Māṃsaliṅga (‘Liṅga made of flesh’). The name is Mīḍhusa (‘Most bountiful’).

177. Manus worship a Liṅga made of Anna (food). The name is Giriśa. Agastya worships a Liṅga made of Vrīhi (i.e. of rice grains) and the name is Suśānta (‘Extremely quiescent’).

178. Devala worships a Liṅga made of barley and the name is Pati (‘the Protector’).

Vālmīki worships a Liṅga made of Valmīka (‘ant-hill’) and the name is Ciravāsī (‘Eternal dweller’).

179. Pratardana worships Bāṇa Liṅga (i.e. Liṅga found in Narmadā). The name is Hiraṇyabhuja (‘Golden-armed one’).

Daityas worship a Liṅga made of black mustard. The name is glorified as Ugra (‘the Terrible’).

180. Dānavas worship Niṣpāvaja Liṅga (‘Liṅga made out of the wind caused by winnowing’). The name is Dikpati (‘the Lord of cardinal points’).

Clouds worship Liṅga of the nature of Nīra (water) and the name is Parjanyapati (‘the Lord of rains’).

181. Yakṣas worship a Liṅga evolved from pulses. The name is remembered as Bhūtapati (‘the Protector of Bhūtas’).

Pitṛs worship a Liṅga made of cooked gingelly seeds. The name (of the Liṅga) is Vṛṣapati (‘Lord of the bull’).

182. Gautama worships Liṅga of the nature of Goraja (? ‘dust raised by cows’) (? Gorasa—curds, milk products). The name is Gopati (‘Lord of cows’).

Vānaprasthas (‘Forest-dwellers’) worship a Liṅga made of fruits. The name is Vṛkṣāvṛta (‘One surrounded by trees’).

183. Skanda worships Pāṣāṇaliṅga (i.e. Liṅga made of stone). The name is Senānya (‘the Leader of the array’).

The serpent Aśvatara worships a Liṅga made of food-grains and the name is Madhyama (‘Central’, ‘Impartial’).

184. Yajvan worships a Liṅga made of Puroḍāśa (i.e. sacrificial offering of ground rice) and the name is Sruvahasta (‘One with a sacrificial ladle’).

Yama worships a Liṅga made of black iron. The name he repeats is Dhanvin (‘Wielder of a bow’).

185. Jāmadagnya Worships a Liṅga made of barley shoot. The name is Bhargodaitya (‘Lustrous Daitya’?)

Jāmadagnya worships a Liṅga made of barley shoot. The name Bahurūpa (‘Many-formed’).

186. Māndhātā worships a Liṅga made of sugar. The name is Bāhuyuga (‘a Pair of arms’; ‘Two-armed’).

Cows worship the Liṅga in the form of milk. The name is Netrasahasraka (‘Of thousand eyes’).

187. Sādhyas worship the Liṅga of the form of Bhartṛs (lords). The name is remembered as Viśvapati (‘the Lord of the universe’). (The twin Sages) Nārāyaṇa and Nara worship a Liṅga made of Muñja grass and the name is Sahasraśira (‘Thousand-headed’).

188. Pṛthu worships Liṅga in the form of Tārkṣya (Garuḍa? also snake, horse, bird). The name is Sahasracaraṇa (‘Thousand-legged’).

Birds worship Vyomaliṅga (‘sky-Liṅga’) and the name is Sarvātmaka (‘the Immanent soul of all’).

189. The Earth worships Meruliṅga (‘Meru in the form of a Liṅga’) and the name is Dvitanu (‘twin-bodied’: Ardhanārīśvara).

Paśupati worships a Liṅga made of sacred ash. The name is Maheśvara (‘the Great lord’).

190. Sages worship Liṅga of the form of knowledge and the name is Cirasthāna (‘the Eternal abode’).

Brāhmaṇas worship Brahmaliṅga, They know the name as Jyeṣṭha (‘the Eldest’).

191. Śeṣa worships a Liṅga made of Gorocana (i.e. a yellow pigment made of cow’s bile and urine). The name is remembered as Paśupati (‘the Lord of paśus’).

Vāsuki worships Viṣaliṅga (‘poison-Liṅga’) and the name is Śaṅkara (‘Happiness-giver’).

192. Takṣaka worships Kālakūṭākhya Liṅga (‘Liṅga of the poison named Kālakūṭa’) and the name is Bahurūpa (‘Multi-formed’).

Karkoṭa worships a Liṅga made of the poison Halāhala and the name is Ekākṣa (‘One-eyed’).

193. Padmā worships a Liṅga made of the poison named Śṛṅgī and the name is Dhūrjaṭi (‘With heavy matted hair’)

Putra worships Liṅga of the form of Pitṛ (‘father’). The name is Vīśvarūpa (‘Of the form of the universe’).

194. Goddess Śivā worships a Liṅga made of Pārada (‘mercury’) and the name is Tryaṃbaka (‘Three-eyed god’).

Matsya (fish) and others worship Śāstraliṅga (‘Liṅga in the form of sacred literature’) and the name is Vṛṣākapi.

195. Of what avail is much talk in this vein? Whatever thing there is in the world possessing magnificence and splendour has been made so by means of the holy rite of propitiating Śiva.

196. If ash can turn out to be a tree by being drenched in water, one devoid of devotion to Śiva can be said to be successfull (in his efforts).

197. If you have an inclination towards the attainment of the Puruṣārthas—aims of human life, viz. virtue, wealth, love and liberation, Hara should be propitiated. He is considered to be the bestower of all the three worlds.

198. If a person reads this Śatarudrīya every morning, Lord Śiva will be pleased with him and will grant him all the boons.

199. There is nothing else more meritorious than this and yielding greater benefit than this. It is the secret of (all) the Vedas. This has been mentioned to me by the Sun-god.[11]

200. When Śatarudrīya is repeated, all the sins are destroyed—the sin that has been committed through words and the sin that has been perpetrated mentally.

201. If he repeatedly reads Śatarudrīya, he who is distressed with sickness becomes liberated from ailment, he who is bound become liberated from bondage and he who is under some fear becomes liberated from fear.

202. If a person recites these hundred names and (pours) hundred potfuls (of water on the Liṅga) and puts hundred flowers on it and bows down to Śiva a hundred times, he is liberated from all sins.

203. These hundred Liṅgas (mentioned above), the hundred devotees and the hundred names (of Rudra)—all these are destructive of all defects.

204. Particularly, he who recites (verses of) (at least) five Liṅgas out of these (hundred) Liṅgas, is liberated from the faults arising from the objects of the five sense organs.[12]

Nārada said:

205. On hearing this, they (Indradyumna and others) became joyous. They prayed, worshipped the five Liṅgas and became devoted to the meditation of Śiva.

206. A long time after that Lord Śaṅkara rejoiced at their excellent devotion. He became personally visible and told them (thus):

Śiva said:

207. O crane, owl, vulture, tortoise and King Indradyumna, You will attain the Sārūpya (i-e. having the same form as that of the Lord Śiva) form of salvation and will stay in my world.

208. Lomaśa and Mārkaṇḍeya will become Jīvanmuktas (‘liberated while living’).

When this was spoken by the lord of Devas, the king installed the Liṅga.

209-211. The name of that Liṅga is Indradyumna or Mahākāla.[13]

After understanding the good qualities of the Tīrtha and desirous of permanent reputation, the king installed the matchless Liṅga of threefold beauty and said:

“Let this Indradyumneśvara Liṅga be delighted (and flourishing) for many long years—as long as the Moon, the Sun and the Earth last.” Thereupon Lord Śiva said, “So be it” and said further:

212. “He who regularly worships this Aindradyumna Liṅga (installed by Indradyumna) here, will certainly become a Gaṇa and live in my world.”

213. After saying thus the Moon-crested Lord went to the world of Rudra, along with those five who became Gaṇas.

214. King Indradyumna, the overlord of the earth, was a king of such a power. When that heroic king performed Yajñas this river Mahī was created by him.

215. It is in this manner that Mahī-sāgara-saṅgama became meritorious. It has been succinctly recounted to you, O Pārtha (Arjuna).

216. A man who takes his holy dip in this Saṅgama and worships Indradyumneśvara, will permanently dwell there where the Lord, the consort of Pārvatī, dwells.

217. Since this Liṅga had been installed by him after casting off all bondages and attachments, this Liṅga is destructive of all bondages. It bestows the lordship of Gaṇas, O Phālguna.

218. Thus, the meritorious greatness of this excellent Saṅgama has been recounted to you. The greatness and the miraculous merits of the lord Indradyumneśvara also has been recounted to you. It is conducive to sanctity.

Footnotes and references:


Saṃvarta was the son of Aṅgiras and the brother of Bṛhaspati. When Bṛhaspati refusṇd to perform sacrifice for king Marutta, Saṃvarta accepted the responsibility and performed the sacrifice as if to compete with Bṛhaspati (Mbh, Vana 129.13-17; Droṇa 55.38; Śānti 29.20-21). But in our text Saṃvarta is shown to be afraid of being drafted for the sacrifice by king Marutta and hence living incognito in Vārāṇasī.


Wearing of Liṅga is not the speciality of the Liṅgāyata community. Brahmins used to wear it as recorded here. Kannad epigraphs of pre-Basava period mention that Brahmin Ācāryas used to wear it and founded Liṅga-Temples in Karnatak (Rice, Epigraphica Carnatika). Also vide supra Kedāra-khaṇḍa, p. 51 ftn 1.


Most of these sacred places and rivers are well known. The less known are noted here:


Payoṣṇī—Pain-Gaṅgā, a branch of Wardha in Maharashtra (De 156).

Nirvindhyā—A tributory of Chambal between the river Betwa (Vetravatī) and Sindh in Malwa.

Candrabhāgā—(Modern) Chinab (De 47).

Irāvatī—Rāvi or Rāpti (De 79).

Aruṇā—A branch of Sarasvatī in Kurkṣetra; Cunningham identifies it with Mārkaṇḍā which joins Sarasvatī at Pehoa (Haryana) (De 11).

Varunā [Varuṇā?]—The river Vārnā [Vārṇā] near Vārāṇasī.


Purāṇas abhor sacrifices involving Hiṃsā as illustrated by the fall of Uparicara Vasu for agreeing with Indra about sacrifice involving Hiṃsā. They are not against Yajña institute provided the sacrifice is performed with insentient things.


VV 62-100 describe why the great sage Yājñavalkya, the recipient of White Yajurveda, was born as the son of a base Brahmin in Mārwār.


V.L. Dharmāya in GM edition of SkP is better. It means ‘obeisance to Dharma!’


VV up to 107 explain the genesis of Babhru Tīrtha.


For Yogas and Vyatīpāta vide supra Kedāra Khaṇḍa, p. 283, ftn 2; p. 284. ftn 1. But the list does not include Puṣkara noted here in vv 115-16.


In describing the greatness of Mahī, its judicial capacity is described in vv 132-36a.


VV 144b-194 enumerate the names of eminent gods and persons who worshipped a Liṅga of a particular material etc. and Śiva’s particular name they used for Japa. Śiva’s name used for Japa describes a particular aspect or power of Śiva, for example: Jagat-pradhāna (‘the chief of the universe’), Viśva-yonika (‘the source of the universe’) etc. Finally he concludes in v 195 that everything possessing magnificence and splendour is due to propitiation of Śiva—a verse echoing BG X.41.


This sage was Yājñavalkya in his previous birth and the Sun-god was the preceptor of Yājñavalkya as he gave him the White Yajurveda.


VV 198-204 are usual Phala-śruti verses (describing the fruits of reciting Śatarudrīya).


VV 209-218 describe the importance of the Liṅga Indradyumneśvara and of the Tīrtha, Mahī-sāgara-saṅgama.

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