Sivapuranam in English – Kotirudra Samhita

The recitation of Sivapuranam Lyrics in English is believed to bring inner peace and spiritual growth.

Sivapuranam in English – Kotirudra Samhita

Kotirudra Samhita

Enlightened Sage Soota :
Deity Supreme manifested as Lingam wherever devout performed worship or made penance. The dozen Jyotirlingams are to be worshiped and meditated upon by the faithfuls. Sin cleanser is the exercise of chanting the names of those Lingams or recitation of mantras (Shlokas) related to them. Granted shall be their wishes.

The faithfuls who do so just out of devotions without any particular wish shall earn salvation and deliverance from transmigration. Devotees who visit the Lingam pilgrim centres and have darshan of the Lingam they will be blessed with prosperity, peace and happiness in this world and after death a place in the domain of Shiva.

Besides the dozen Principal Lingams there are Secondary Lingams in equal number. The secondaries are called Upalingams. At the confluence of river Mahi and sea there is Antahkesha upalingam. Rudreshwara upalingum is at Bhrugukaksha.

On the bank of Narmada stands Dughdeshzvara upalingam. Karameshwara upalingam is at Bindu lake. On the bank of Yamuna there is Bhooteshwara upalingam. At Sahya hills there is Bhoomeshwara upalingam. At the confluence of Mallika and Saraswati there is another

Bhooteshzvara upalingam. Gupteshwara upalingam is’ situated at Rameshwaram. At Goomeshwara stands Vyaghreshzvara upalingam. Seeing and making obeisance to these upalingams deliver a faithful from consequences of minor sins or errors or collaterals.

Lingams Regionwise

North and East:
Entire Kashi area is considered as Mahalingam There are many Lingams in this region namely, Avimukta, Krittivasa, Vriddhabala, Tila Bhanda and Dashashwameda. Ardhanareesh-wara and Vatukeshwara are on the banks of Kaushiki and Gandaki.

Poomeshwara and Siddhinatheshwara are on the banks of river Phalguni. Dooreswara, Vaidyanatha and Shringeshwara are in Uttaranagara. In Dadeechi area revered Lingams are; Japeshwara, Gopeshwara, Rankeshwara, Vameshwara, Shukreshwara, Bandeshwara, Hunkareshwara, Sulochaneshwara, Bhakteshwara and Sangameshwara.

Nandisha, Punjesha, Sneshwara, Kumbesha and Siddheshwara are on the banks of Taptaka river. Then, important are, Poornakeshwara near Pooma river, Dashashwamedha ghat Lingams of Prayaga, Brahmeshwara, Bharadwajeshwara, Shooltan- keshwara and Madhaveshwara. Nagesh is in Saketnagara. Bhuvanisha, Lokesha, Kamlesha, Gangesha, Shukresha, Siddhesha and Vakeshwara are in Purushattoma Nagara. Kapaleshwara, Vaktresha, Dhartapateshwara, Bilneshwara,rarmeshwara, Suryeshwara. Kautakeshwara manifested on the banks of Sindhu river.

Then, there are Dhautukeshwara, Chandreshwara, Bilweshwara, Andhakeshwara, Saraneshwara and Kardameshwara at the confluence of sea and Poorna river. Near Arbudachalam is Kotesha Lingam. In Kaushika area are Nagesha, Yogeshwara, Vaidy anathesh wara, Koteshwara, Sapteshwara, Bhadreshwara, Chandeshwara and Sangamesh war a South Lingam of Brahampuri in Chitrakoot and Mata Gajendreshwara nearby. Kotesha is on the east side. Pashupati Nayaka is west of Godavari. On the south side is Atrishwara which came up for the benefit of Sati Anasuiya.

Atri And Anasuiya Tale

Sage Atri was the mind born son of Brahma and Anasuiya was his wife. Once they undertook to make a long penance when a hundred year famine struck. Not a drop fell and every water body dried up, the earth parched and vegetation withered. There were even no tears for the eyes to shed. But Atri and Anasuiya continued their penance. Their disciples departed from the ashram. Anasuiya mentally kept praying to Lingam. At last the intense heat of her penance radiated around to gradually warm up the entire atmosphere.

Ganga was very pleased with the dedication of Anasuiya and wanted to help. Upon her prayer her Master, Shiva vested Himself into the Parthivalingam Anasuiya was meditating before.without manifesting. It was 54th year of the famine. Suddenly, on some divine inspiration Sage 3 Atri came out of meditational trance and asked for water to his wife. A devoted wife as she was, Anasuiya at once set out with a bowl to fetch water. She ran into Ganga.

After making obeisance to the Goddess, Anasuiya prayed to her to provide water. Ganga asked her to dig a hole in the ground. Anasuiya obeyed and Ganga filled it with water. Anasuiya prayed the water to hold there till her return and ran home with bowlful of water. The husband and wife came back running and washed themselves together. They thanked Ganga and Deity Supreme.

At that moment Shiva manifested in his divine form having five faces and ten arms. Atri and Anasuiya worshipped Him and prayed to Him to stay these forever along with Ganga. Ganga said she would oblige if Anasuiya sacrificed the credit of one year of her truthfulness to her husband and one year of her devotion to Shiva. Anasuiya accepted to make the sacrifice and Ganga settled there. For manifesting for the benefit of Atri, He was Atrishwara. By the grace of that Lingam and the presence of Ganga the area around greened up and the people prospered.

Nandishwara Tale

On the Kalanjar hill Deity Supreme Himself in person represented Shivalingam and the place got the name Nandishwara for that fact. On the banks of Narmada stand a number of Lingams planted by sages and divinities, namely Mahakapileshwara, Arteshwara, Parameshwara, Simheshwara, Sharmeshwara, Kumareshwara, Pundarikesh- wara, Mandapeshwara, Tikshaneshwara and Mangaleshwara.

Once a brahmin named Suvada lost his mother. He set out with her ashes to immerse it in Ganga. He had to stay overnight at a hamlet called Vishati. A man agreed to accomdotate him in his house. Sometime at night, Suvada heard a cow talking to her crying calf. On that evening, there had been some delay in milking the cow. The calf was very hungry. It jumped and tugged the tether. In this act it trod on the foot of the man who had come to milk the cow.

The man, a brahmin lost his temper as his foot was hurt. With a thick stick he beat the calf hard and did not let it suckle as punishment. Suvada heard cow consoling her bleating calf. The cow declared she would make the brahmin suffer similar fate and that she knew how to circumvent the consequences of the grave sin of brahmin killing. Driven by curiosity Suvada stayed back the next day to see what mystery would unfold. He noticed that on the next morning the brahmin set his son to milk the cow.

The cow kicked the boy so hard that he collapsed on the spot and died. The enraged brahmin rushed in and rained stick blows on the cow. The body of the cow turned black either due to the sin of brahmin killing or the beating. The angry brahmin drove out the cow. Suvada followed the cow. It went straight to the bank of Narmada where there stood Nandishwara Lingam.

The cow went around the Lingam three times with bowed head. Its coat again turned to shiny white and looked fully redeemed. After seeing the revelation Suvada too worshipped Lingam and Narmada. Then, he went to Kashi to immerse ashes of his mother. As he entered the water of Ganga, a goddess showed up and advised Suvada to put the ashes of his mother at the same spot of Narmada he had worshipped earlier for better rewards and benefits.

Suvada went back and immersed ashes in Narmada on that 7th day of the ascending moon phase of Vaishakha as Ganga had said she would be vested in Narmada on that particular day. As he did that his mother emerged out of the water in goddess form and blessed him with peace and prosperity for delivering her from transmigration.

Asked Shaunaka on behalf of the holy group :
Sage Soota! Why Ganga goes to Narmada on that day?

Replied Soota :
The mystery is in the tale of Rushika.

Tale Of Rushika

Rushika was a devout brahmin girl who had unwavering faith in Parthivalingam. The poor girl was widowed in her very childhood. So, she had totally put her mind into the thought of God. For long hours she would worship Lingam on the bank of Narmada.

Once, a demon called Moodha cast his evil eye on Rushika. He asked her to come to him. Rushika ignored him and carried on with her worship. The demon began to make threatening gestures. The devout girl invoked Shiva and prayed for protection. Instantly Shiva manifested there in fiery mood and severed the head of demon off its body.

Rushika prayed to her Deity to stay in Narmada for ever for the benefit of local faithfuls. Ganga had to be where her Master manifested whenever. In that way she had gone to Narmada. Shiva went back into Parthivalingam of Rushika. Ganga promised that she would be in Narmada every year on the day her Master had manifested and that was the 7th day of ascending moon phase of Vaishakha.

Tale Of Mahabaleshwara

In western region Kaleshwara and Rameshwaram revered Lingams. Mahasiddhesh- wara on the western coast is very blessingful and grants all four objectives of human life, namely. Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Gokarna area is sin cleanser where even brahmin killer gets redeemed.

Mahabaleshwara is the most significant Lingam. In Krita age, it was black, in Treta age red, in Dwapara yellow and in Kaliyuga it would again be black. Its worship grants the devotee absolvation from all sins and a place in Shiva domain. There is a legend behind this Lingam.

Once Ravana, the king of Lanka propitiated Shiva through penance making and in boon asked His own personal portable Lingam. Shiva obliged but warned that it must not be put on the ground during his travel to Lanka and if grounded the Lingam would get installed there permanently.

Ravana sped towards Lanka holding Lingam onv his palm. Meanwhile, the gods were worried. That Lingam in Lanka would divinely empower Ravana putting the gods at disadvantage. They prayed to Vinayaka for protection and some counter move.

Ganapti Vinayaka appeared on the way of Ravana in the guise of a shepherd boy just when the demon king was feeling pressure to make water. He quickly gave Lingam to the shepherd boy to hold it on his palm for a short while and disappeared behind a bush. The boy put the Lingam in the ear of a cow and vanished.

Ravana returned to find the boy missing and Lingam in the ear of a cow. The demon king tried to take the Lingam from the cow ear but he failed inspite of expending all his might. After all Shiva was Mahabaleshwara (Power Supreme) and in Lingam form He would not yield to Ravana. He stood his ground and the Lingam got grounded and firmly planted. Ravana went away ruing.

All the gods and sages converged on the spot and worshipped Mahabaleshwara. The other deities too got vested around as token parts to be near the Deity Supreme. On the eastern side Adityas, Seers, Brahma and other deities began to live. Towards the south Yama, proginator deities and twelve Rudras got vested. In west vested Varuna, Samudra, Ganga etc. North side wras vested with Pavana, Kubera, Bhadrakali etc.

Here worship of Mahabaleshwara on the Mahashivaratri day which falls on the 14th day of the waning moon phase of Margashirsha earns the devotee great credits and his sins get cleansed. So, this Gokama (Cow’s ear) area is also known as Bhookailasha, the earthly domain of Kailasha.

Glory Of Bhookailasha

Spoke Soota :
There was a girl named Saudamini who was blind from birth. Even as a child the poor girl lost her parents. By begging she brought herself up to adulthood. Then, she became a leper. There was no end to her woes. Saudamini grew old without ever experiencing any joy or happiness.

Once on Shivaratri day, she joined a group of devotees that was going to Gokarna. She begged all along the way. Infact, in her previous life she had committed horrible sins like prostituting herself, killing a calf to eat its flesh etc. She was paying for all those sins.

A kind donor put a sheaf of Bilva leaves (Bael leaves used in Shiva worship) in her bowl. Saudamini tasted the leaves taking them for some edible things. She threw the sheaf away when she found them tasteless. By sheer luck the leaves fell on a Lingam.

Being very hungry, she stayed awake all night. Unknowingly she had done Shiva worship with due rituals. While awake Shiva prayers emanating from a nearby temple kept entering her ears. On her way back she dropped dead tired and starved. Shiva ganas arrived and took her honourably to the Shiva domain. Gokarna indeed had salvaged her life.

Mitras Aha Tale

Once upon a time there was a king named Mitrasaha in the Surya dynasty. Once accursed by Sage Vashishtha over a grave lapse he became a demon. Overtaken by demonic hunger he killed a brahmin and devoured him. Later, the curse got lifted and he again regained human form and his throne. But still he carried the sin of brahmin killing.

He went to Sage Gautama to seek his advice for deliverance from stigmatic sin which could send him to burning hell in the after-life. After a thought Gautama asked Mitrasaha to go to Gokarna area and worship Mahabaleshwara Lingam. The king obeyed and there he worshipped that manifestation of Shiva. The sin got cleansed instantly.

There are many Lingams dedicated by great ones to Deity Supreme in a forest near Gokarna. Phaleshwara was planted by a king and Dadheechishwara by Sage Dadheechi. In Naimish forest exists Rishishwara Lingam planted by the sages. Laliteshwara is in Devaprayag. Pashupatishwara and Muktinatheshwara are in Nepal. Countless are the Lingams, said Sage Soota.

Betel Leaf Mysticism

Appealed Shaunaka supported by holy men :
Sage Soota! Please relate to us the mystery of Betel leaf base of Lingam.

Responded Soota :
Once an ashram cluster situated in a sacred forest where aromatics and herbal plants grew,
Shiva manifested naked and wearing only ash 1 layer to test the sages. At that time the sages had gone to collect wood and reeds in the deep part of the jungle. Only their women folk were behind. The naked male beauty of Shiva enamoured all the women.

They stared at the passion arousing figure of mysterious naked one. In trance they appeared and eyed Shiva coquettishly. The sages were shocked to see the scene when they returned to their hutments. They put a curse on the naked one that his male organ should fall down. The lingam (organ) dropped to the ground and Shiva vanished. The fallen lingam of Shiva set the surrounding area on fire. Its heat troubled creatures all over.

Alarmed at this strange development the sages and holy men invoked Brahma. Creator realised what it was. He advised them to pray to Goddess Parvati. In answer to their prayers Parvati manifested as a huge betel leaf shaped vagina to hold lingam lump firm in her.

The stabilised lingam got pacified and peace returned. That was the mystery of lump and its betel leaf shaped holder base. For being accursed by the holy men it is also known as Hatakeshwara Lingam. In Shivalingam lump and the betel leaf shape are phallic and vaginal symbols of the Divine couple.

Tale Of Batukanath

After revealing about Andhakashwara Lingam that came into being after Shiva granted a wish of a dying demon named Andhaka get installed there, Sage Soota narrated Batuka story.

In ancient age, there was a great Shiva devotee called Dadheechi who was a Veda scholar. He had a son named Sudarshana who was a good youngman but his wife Dukula was a lecherous woman. Once Dadheechi went out on some business asking his son to keep up Shiva worship regime on his behalf.

He kept fast and performed all rites. But before evening worship he had to go home on an errand. There his wife seized him and forced him to make love to her. He ran to temple without changing clothes and washing himself and performed worship. It angered Rudra and He cursed him to be Jada, a brainless idiot.

When Dadheechi returned home he learnt about it and was saddened. He made his son worship Chandi form of Parvati to make amends. Chandi manifested and she gave Sudarshana advice to wear round sindoor tilak on his forhead, observe Shiva Sandhya and incant Shiva Gayatri. In due course of time Shiva got propitiated and forgave Sudarshana. Showing His extra grace He made his four sons Batukas to station on four sides and get worshipped.

Somnatha Lingam Tale

Said Soota :
Prajapati Daksha gave 27 of his daughters who were named after constellations or stars to Chandra in marriage. Chandra proved to be ah unfair husband. He loved and pampered only Rohini and ignored the other 26 wives. The daughters complained to their father against the discriminatory behaviour of their husband.

‘Daksha pleaded with Chandra and reasoned with him to be fair to all. But Chandra did not mend his ways. Angered Daksha accursed him to be afflicted with T.B. Chandra began to lose his glow and looked like a darkening shadow. He prayed to Brahma to redeem him. Holy Father (Brahma) advised him to go to Prabhasa area and worship Lingam there. For incantation Brahma imparted him Mrityunjaya Mantra.

Chandra followed his advice and chanted’ mantra for one hundred million times. A pleased Shiva appeared and gave him two moon phases. In ascending phase his glow was to increase by the day for a fortnight. The other was waning moon phase.

Some consolation it was. At the request of Brahma and the gods Shiva agreed to stay there as Somnatheshwara Lingam. Here, a bath in Chandrakunda proves helpful in curing diseases. A Parikrama of this place is wish fulfiller. Worship of Somnatheshwara can free a true devotee from even leprosy.

Tale Of Mahakaleshwara

Once there lived a brahmin called Vedapriya in the town of Avantinagara. He was a devout Shiva faithful who worshipped his lord through Lingam. The grace of Shiva was ashine on him. He had four sons called Devapriya, Priyamedha, Sukrut and Dharmavahi.

A demon called Dhushan arrived one day to torment the town. The people were terror struck. They ran to Vedapriya and his sons asking them to save them from the menace of .demons as they had the grace of Deity Supreme. The father and the sons were then in the middle of the worship.

The people were asked to join the holy exercise. The demon also arrived there to kill the Shiva faithfuls. Suddenly from the hole of the Lingam Shiva manifested as fiery Mahakala and burnt the demon to ashes. The people prayed to Shiva to stay there for their comfort and benefit. Lord agreed and vested himself there as Lingam called Mahakaleshwara.


Once Sage Narada said to Vindhya mount that Meru mountain was greater and higher than him with a view to putting some humility in him. To see for himself Vindhya went to the spot called Omkar at Meru and worshipped Lingam there. Propitiated Shiva manifested and blessed Vindhya with to loftiness of divinity. In answer to prayers He accepted to remain there as Omkareshwara.


Once the twin incarnations of Vishnu namely Nara and Narayana based themselves at Badrikashrama and made penance to earn the grace of Shiva. Everyday they worshipped Lingam in which Shiva remained present but unmanifest. After a long dedicated penance of Nara and Narayana, Shiva manifested at last and asked their wish.

The two divinities wished for Shiva to remain there forever. In acceptance of their wish He installed Himself there as Kedareshwara. It fulfils the desires of worshipping devotees. Offering a “?bble or a bracelet cleanses one of all sins.


Demon Viradha was killed by Rama during his 14 year exile period. The demon’s wife Karkati was deeply aggrieved and had lost her mental balance. Kumbhakarna happened to see her in that state. Taking advantage of it he outraged her modesty.

The result of this act was the birth of a son whom the woman, Karkati named Bhimasura. This son of sorrowing mother made hard penance. Brahma blessed him with empowering boons which made the demon a formidable force. Bhimasura tormented the human world in revengeful mood. Then, he stormed heavenly domains and defeated the gods to seize Indra’s throne.

He waged a war against the king of Kamarupa and defeated him. His queen Sudakshina was taken prisoner. The sad king worshipped Lingam in the prison and chanted Shiva mantra. His wife Sudakshina too made penance to gain union with the king. She also was a Shiva devotee.

In answer to the prayers of the gods, Deity Supreme decided to end the game of Bhimasura.
On the other side, guards informed the demon Lord that the prisoner king was doing some occult practice. Bhimasura found the king worshipping a Lingam. He screamed at the prisoner asking what sorcery he was practising? The king didn’t answer.

The demon drew out his sword but at the same time, Shiva manifested out of the Lingam and burnt Bhimasura and other demons to ashes. For the benefit of His faithful He vested Himself in the Lingam worshipped by the king and that became famous as Bhimeshwara. In this exercise the forest around had got burnt down. By the grace of Bhimeshwara out of the ashes a forest of herbal and medicinal plants grew up.

Tale Of Mukteshwara Kashi

The Power Eternal expressed itself in male and female aspects. Shiva was the male aspect and Shakti was female. Shiva-Shakti pair inspired physical manifestation of a body and its nature in- the form of Vishnu, vested in whom was his nature called Laxmi, in his context. When the two manifestations did not find their creator parents around, they were puzzled.

A divine voice asked them to make penance for the creation of cosmos. The two said there was no place where they could sit and meditate. To solve their problem Shiva created town of Kashi and asked the manifestations to meditate there.

The pair of Vishnu (and Laxmi within) sat in meditation beamed into thoughts of Power Eternal. Due to the intensity of the exercise drops of sweat appeared on Vishnu and he shook his head. A gem (mani) fell down from his ear-stud and that spot became Mani Kamika Ghat.

Sweat poured off Vishnu in streams and rivers. Kashi began to get carried away. Shiva picked up Kashi spiked by his divine trident. Tired Vishnu fell asleep in the sea created by his sweat. While asleep by inspiration of Shiva a lotus stalk sprouted out of his navel atop which Brahma materialised and creation began.

Shiva saw countless creatures of the worlds and wondered how all of them could gain salvation
from the woes? To solve this problem He installed Mukteshwara Lingam (Liberator) by the side of Mani Kamika Ghat. Then, He again fixed firmly Kashi with his trident back on earth where it is today. It is the city that ends the transmigration of all the Shiva faithfuls. Mukteshwara, it is.

Gautamiganga Trayambakeshwara Tale

Revealed Soota :
Sage Gautama and his pious wife Ahalya were once making penance at Brahmagiri in the south. Then a hundred year famine struck. The people fled. Crops died. The land parched up. Trees and vegetation withered away. Water disappeared.

Gautama made penance to water god, Varuna and prayed for rains. Varuna said rain was under the power of Shiva. However, he asked the sage to dig a cubit three dimensional hole which he would bless with ever full of water. The sage obeyed and he had ever green water source now which became famous as Akshay Teertha.

The people drew water from it and nearby areas again greened up. Gautam grew crops and irrigated his fields with Akshay water source. Once the disciples of Gautam went there to fetch water. But there already was a crowd of the wives of the sages of hutments around.

They claimed they had the first right over the water. Earlier those sages had fled when there was no water. The disciples went back and reported the matter to Ahalya. She went to the water hole and tried to reason with the women. She carried home water as her privilege. From that day on, Ahalya herself would go to fetch water.

The other women did not like it being narrow’ minded. They began bad mouthing Sage Gautam and his wife Ahalya. They even spread a canard that Ahalya and her husband were treating that water hole as their private property and denying water to them. The sage husbands of those women believed in them. Infact, they were themselves small characters. They managed to propitiate Ganapati and asked him to discredit degenerated Sage Gautama. He obliged.

In the form of a cow Ganapati appeared in the fields of Gautama and grazed crops. Gautama tried to drive it away by throwing a blade of grass at it shooing. At the touch of the grass blade the cow fell down and died. It was all a diabolic act. The sages converged on the spot and accused Gautama of being a cow killer, a dastardly sinner.

The mortified sage asked them how he could make penance for his sin. The plotting sages said that first he must leave the ashram area, go around Brahmagiri 11 times and make sacred Ganga manifest for him to take bath in it to get absolved of the sin of the cow killing.

Penance : Sage Gautama went away from there with his wife and disciples to live in a new ashram set up by them near Brahmagiri. He went around Brahmagiri eleven times and then, installed Lingam to worship Shiva. For a long time he made penance before it. Then, Shiva manifested to Gautam and Ahalya. The sage couple prayed to Shiva to get Ganga manifest for them to enable Gautama to take bath to get absolved of the sin of cow killing.

Shiva revealed that Gautam had.committed no such sin and that it was a trick played by jealous sages with the help of Ganapati. Angry Gautama put a curse on those false sages to forget all religious knowledges and be bereft of any enlightenment or piety or devotion to Deity Supreme. Thus, accursed, the demonised sages went towards Kanchi.

Meanwhile, Shiva gave Ganga water to Gautama. The water transformed into Devi Ganga. Shiva commanded her to remain on the earth as Godavari till the end of 28th Manvantara of Kaliyuga for the benefit of the mankind and as a gift of the devotion of Gautama.

Thus, she was called Gautami Ganga alias Godavari. Gautami Ganga prayed to Shiva to remain present on her bank along with Parvati in her proximity. In answer to her prayer Shiva installed Himself on the bank as Trayambakeshwara Lingam.

Godavari poured out of the hole of a big tree and washed Gautama of his sins. Later, at the foot of the hill the sage turned a blade and Godavari began to flow as a river in which bathed Sage Gautama and Ahalya and washed all their sins. When those false sages learnt that Ganga had manifested they came running to have dips but to their dismay Ganga disappeared as soon as they came.


Resumed Soota : Now I will tell you the glory of Vaidyanatheshwara. Once Ravana made a great penance at Kailasha mountain. He installed a .Lingam there and prepared a holy fire pit for

Havana rite. One by one he began to offer his severed heads as oblations to Deity Supreme. When he was about to sever his last 10th head Shiva manifested. First of all, gracious Lord repaired back the demon physically and blessed him with great power and physical might. Then asked Ravana to spell his wish.

In boon Ravana asked for Shiva’s own Jyotirlingam. Lord granted it to him with the instruction it should not be put on the ground” before he reached his Lanka home. On his way home Ravana had to answer nature’s call. He handed Lingam to a shepherd he sighted and rushed to urinate.

The Lingam grew too heavy for a boy to hold. He put it down on the ground and fled. The Lingam got installed at the same spot and became famous as Vaidyanatheshwara. Having its darshan proves rewarding and sin cleansing.

The Ravana had to return empty handed. But the power he was blessed with was still a matter of concern for the gods. To help the gods Narada went to Ravana and instigated him to test what physical power Shiva had blessed him with.

He suggested to the demon that he must see if he could shake Kailasha. Ravana went to Kailasha and began shaking the abode of Shiva. Upset and angry Shiva accursed Ravana that he would soon meet the man who shall chop off his hands and destroy his arrogance.


Spin off yet another tale, Sage Soota did :
Once upon a time there lived a demon called Daruk and Daruka was the name of his wife. Daruka was a devout Devi faithful. Parvati had granted her power of incredible proportions. The demons used to live in a huge forest area on the western coast.

That went to the head of the demons. They began to torment humans of that area. The people went to Sage Aurva seeking some solution to the demon problem, the sage assured that the sinners met their end sooner than later. Then, war broke out between The gods and demons. The demons suffered heavy losses.

Now, Daruka remembered her booned power. She pushed her entire forest domain into the deep sea and stationed it there as a floating island. And the demons had safe haven in mid sea. One day Daruka noticed a large boat full of human sea farers on a voyage.

She got the boat seized and its passengers were made prisoners. Amongst those was a trader called Supriya who was an ardent Shiva devotee. Even as prisoner he continued his worship regime. He inspired other prisoners too into Shiva worship. Deity Supreme secretly accepted his worship.

Puzzled were the demons about the worship of the prisoner. They saw no idol but a lump (Lingam). What kind of weird exercise was that? Daruka was informed about it. He came to the prison and issued threats to Supriya who invoked his Shiva. Before Daruka could hurt Supriya Shiva manifested out of the Lingam and destroyed the demons with his Pashupata weapon. He declared that Daruka forest would follow the varna (four caste) religious regime.

Meanwhile, Daruka invoked Goddess Parvati and got her protection for the demons. This created a rift between Shiva and Parvati. Then a compromise was worked out. Daruka forest would remain under demons for a Yuga (Age) and then go back to humans.

But devotees to Nageshwara Lingam already installed there would not be harmed even during demon occupation. At the end of Yuga, a human king named Veerasena arrived there and worshiped Nageshwara. He destroyed the descendent demons of Daruka.

Tale of rameshwara lingam

Rama incarnation of Vishnu was meant to destroy evil of Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. He married Sita incarnation of Laxmi. Exiled Rama was accompanied by Sita and his brother, Laxmana manifestation of Sheshanaga. Ravana abducted Sita from the wilds.

To seek her liberty Rama was required to cross the sea to reach Lanka with his force to challenge Ravana. Before crossing sea from Rameshwaram point Rama installed a Lingam and worshipped Shiva for victory. As Rameshwara Lingam Shiva vested Himself there forever.

It is a revered Jyotirlingam. The devotees who take water from Prayaga Sangam to Rameshwaram and anoint Rameshwara Lingam with it would earn manifold blessings of Deity Supreme and enjoy fruitful rewards besides the deliverance from transmigration. For a Shiva devotee it offers a chance to gain all the prizes of human life.

Gushmeshwara tale

There was a prosperous village situated near a mountain called Devagiri in the western region and there lived a brahmin named Sudharma. He had a good wife in Sudeha but she failed to become a mother even after many years. She asked her husband to marry in her sister Gushma. As a devotee of Shiva Gushma used to worship 101 Lingams every day.

The worshipped Lingams were put into a holy pit reverrently. Sudharma married Gushma and the new wife soon delivered a baby. It gave the chance to the neighbourhood women to accuse Sudeha of being a worthless barren woman. The women began to slight her and run her down. It made Sudeha jealous and hurt. The goodness of her gradually seeped away.

When the boy grew up he got married. His in¬laws honoured his mother Gushma but Sudeha was treated with ridicule. The boy and his wife were however very respectful to her. But by now constant insults had caused her complete degeneration. She was a wicked woman now. She managed to kill the boy without the knowledge of the bride even. She chopped the body of the boy into pieces and threw them into the pit where Gushma used to put her worshipped Lingams.

Next morning Gushma got busy in her worship of 100 Lingams. Her husband got busy in his own work. The bride woke up to find her husband missing. There were blood stains and small pieces of flesh. She ran to her in-law in greatly agitated mood. Gushma wras too busy in her worship to pay
any attention to her. Her worship ritual ended only’l at afternoon.

As usual she put the Lingams in the pit. On her way back she came across her son. Deity Supreme also manifested and asked her to wish for a boon. Gushma wanted Shiva to stay back in her name. So, Shiva transformed into Gushmeshwara Lingam and got installed there. The pit of Lingams came to be known as Shivalaya.

Soota: This concludes the legends of 11 Jyoti Lingams.

Sudarshan chakra tale

Queried Shaunaka and other holy men :
Sage! Please tell us how Shiva blessed Vishnu (Shrihari) with Sudarshan Chakra?

Told Soota:
Once demonic forces gained clear ascendence over the gods. They were very powerful and the gods had no power or weapon to match them. The demons were on the rampage. Beleagured gods ran to Vishnu seeking protection but he too was helpless against the marauding demons. He said in the situation the only hope was Deity Supreme. Vishnu went to Kailasha to make elaborate penance. He set up a Lingam and prepared a holy fire pit for havana (fire worship) exercise.

Everyday he would bring one thousand lotus flowers from holy Mansarovar lake and offer them to Deity Supreme as oblations in worship. One day Vishnu could not find one thousand lotuses. He was one short. But undeterred he started the worship reciting Shiva-sahasranama (an ode to Shiva invoking His 1000 names, epithets and appellations). He offered 999 flowers.

For the thousandth flower as oblation he tried to scoop out one of his eyes as a substitute since Vishnu was also known as lotus-eye’s because of his lotus petal shaped eyes. But before he could do that Shiva manifested in all his divine glory and asked Vishnu to spell out his wish for some boon.

Then, Vishnu apprised the Deity Supreme of the arrogant and diabolic acts of the demons against the gods and the holy people. He explained the demons has become too resourceful to be tackled or contained by the powers he had.

He needed divine weapon that should override all the weapons the demons had, he said. Shiva produced Sudarshan Chakra, an all consuming divine weapon and gave it to Vishnu. It became a symbol of invincible power of Vishnu and earned him epithets of Chakradhari, Chakrapani etc. And lotus also became a part of Vishnu glory due to his incredible act of offering his eye for a lotus.

Worship Sublime

Asked the holy audience :
Scholiast Soota! What is the most sublime way of worshipping Shiva that may beget one finest rewards?

Revealed Soota :
The most sublime worship regime to gain the grace of Shiva is not very complicated or involves any occult practice. The best way to propitiate Shiva is to keep fast on Shivaratri day and perform pooja to be followed by wakeful night of praying to

A faithful must get up at dawn on that day. After attending to natural duties and ablutions make obeisance to Lingam before meditation on Shiva. In the first watch of the night all the materials and items prescribed for worship be kept ready stored behind the Lingam. Wash yourself again and put on clean new dress and wear rudraksha rosary in the neck.

Perform pooja with all the upacharas (the rites and rituals ordered). There is no hard and fast rule about it. Those devotees’ who do not know those rituals may just chant Shiva mantra duly imparted by a guru. Spend the night wakefully singing prayers of Shiva at Shiva temple with other devotees to avoid falling asleep. In the morning make obeisance to Shiva idol. After washing and doing morning duties feed brahmins and donate money, material and a cow each if possible. Open the fast by partaking food.

Tale Of Hunter Druha

Announced Soota :
Now I will relate to you a story that will illustrate to you the glory of Shivaratri —
Once upon a time there lived a hunter Bheel named Druha. Hunting was not the only thing he did. Whenever he failed to kill a prey he used to turn a robber and loot the travellers who passed through the jungle. Then, Shivaratri day arrived. Druha had no idea about it and knew little about religious things.

For him it was just another day. He had a family to feed. His wife and hungry children were glamouring for food. In the early morning he took his bow and quiver and set out on routine hunting’ business. He roamed about all day scouting the forest but could not sight any game. He went without food all day long and the night was not far away.

He stumbled upon a forest pond and settled on a tree nearby waiting for some animal to come to drink water. The tree happened to be a bael. Suddenly, he saw a deer coming to drink water. As he prepared to take aim with an arrow some dew wet bael leaves fell down since Druha was sitting in thick foliage. Someone had installed a Lingam under that tree. The bael leaves fell on it.

Unknowingly, Druha had fasted and by sheer luck Lingam pooja ritual of the first watch had got accomplished. The doe (deer) sensed the presence of a hunter on the tree. She spoke, “O hunter! You may kill me if it serves the purpose of feeding your family. But let me go to my young fawn I left behind first to console it. I will come back to you on my own.”

The hunter allowed her to go. Infact worship had made him kind by its grace. Druha kept awake to wait for the return of the doe. Some time later another doe came. Druha again tried to take aim. His movement again made some bael leaves to fall on the Lingam. The worship ritual of the second watch was also performed.

The second doe also prayed to Druha to let her see her fawn she had left behind. She too promised to come back. Druha now was more religious and more cleansed of sins. He let the second doe too to go. Again he sat awake waiting for return of his prey. Then a big fat deer arrived. Once more, in the act of taking aim Druha

shed some leaves on the Lingam. The worship of the third watch was also complete. The deer also asked him to allow it to see its wives and children before getting killed. Druha generously allowed it to go. On the other side, deer met his two wives.

They talked about the hunter. The three decided to go back to the hunter to honour their word. The fawns also followed their parents as they would die anyway without parents. Meanwhile, Druha was awake waiting for atleast one of the deer to return as promised. Suddenly he saw the deer family coming.

As a reflex action he picked up his bow and arrow disturbing the foliage. Some bael leaves again fell on the Lingam. The worship of the last watch also got accomplished. Druha had earned the credit of Shivaratri fasting, staying awake and performing pooja of Lingam with wet bael leaves. All his sins were cleansed and he had earned a place in Shiva domain. He was feeling very kind. To the deer family he said that he was very pleased with their honesty and wanted all of them to live and enjoy life.

Then, Shiva manifested there. Druha prayed to Him to forgive all his sins of a hunter life. Shiva blessed him and gave him a new name ‘Guha’ along with kingdom of Nishada to rule over with Shringaberipuram as his capital. Guha would get a chance to meet Rama later. The deer family was also granted divine pasture in domain of Shiva. On the Adbhutachala hill Shiva vested Himself as Vyadheshwara Lingam.

Mysticism of shiva

Implored Shaunaka and the holy group :

O enlightened Soota! Throw some light of your knowledge on mysticism of Shiva. What is mukti? What are the dimensions of Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and Shiva? What is Shiva Jnan?

Explained Soota :
The worship of Shiva and fasting cleanses all the sins of a devotee and doors of liberation from the vicious cycle of births and death open. That is mukti, the deliverance from the transmigration. A true devotee gets assimilated in unmanifest Shiva element which is eternal tranquility, peace and divine joy. And only Shiva grants mukti.

Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra are manifestations of various basic tendencies like Sat a, Raja and Tama but Shiva is beyond all tendencies and is an unmanifest form. Bhakti (devotion) of Shiva is the key to mukti.

Shiva is the first manifestation of Power Eternal to generate the Creation. He inspires myriad manifestations remaining the part of unmanifest power. This creates some confusion. Shiva is merely a manifestation of the mission Power Eternal has determined.

He manifests in Shiva form merely to inspire creation of universe through secondary manifestation. In this way Shiva is unmanifest Power Eternal and manifestation to inspire the creation.

That is how He inspired the coming into the existence of Vishnu and his nature Laxmi. And out of his navel grew a stalk of lotus to bear upon its flower top Brahma, the manifestation of Creator. With Shiva’s inspiration he created and when it’! faced the stagnation He manifested to guide him along towards regenerative creation.

The first manifestation of body and nature in the form of Vishnu and Laxmi vested within as nature were themselves forms of Shiva. In form of commanding inspiration for creation Shiva remains behind in physically unmanifest form. Rudra is his manifest deity form.

Shiva is ultimate truth. Shiva is beauty. He is also soul of Dharma. As soul of an individual creature He threads all living beings into a rosary of soul supreme. Broadly there is no contradiction between manifest and unmanifest Shiva.

His deity forms are merely projections of unmanifest Shiva. His manifested forms are only for the benefit of the mankind, the gods and other species for easy comprehension and accessibility. But behind all those manifestations remains the core truth of unmanifest Shiva, the Power Eternal.

All the gods worship Shiva and are his devotees. Those people who worship other deities or manifestations they get assimilated into those deity manifestations. Then all those deities get assimilated into Rudra which is manifestation of unmanifest Shiva.

Shiva manifested his Rudra form from the forehead of Brahma for the sake of the other deities and faithfuls. Rudra is the address of unmanifest Shiva. The devotees can direct their devotion to that address for the direct worship of Shiva. Ignorance has many forms but true knowledge has only one form and that is knowing shiva.

From Vishnu and Brahma to a tiny blade of grass, all are manifestations of Shiva whose own’ core reality is unmanifest Power Eternal. He is the origin, middle and end of the creation. At the end of the creation only remains unmanifest Shiva.

He is the inspiration of Vedas and the pan they contain also leads to Shiva. He is the Master of all the knowledges. He is the Creator, He is the Sustainer and He is the Destroyer. Deity Supreme Shiva is the Death Ultimate (Mahakal) of all the deaths. Inspite of myriad manifestations His true form is one, that is unmanifest Shiva.

Joys and sorrows are two sides of the same coin. When a faithful wishes liberation and dedicates his physical realities to the worship of Shiva he gets delivered from the mundane bounds. That is the end of his transmigration. For the salvation of a soul Lord Shiva is the most easy and direct route.
Spoke Soota : This Shiva Jnana (True knowledge) is dear to Shiva.

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