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Vayu Purana – Purva Kandha 49-56

– 55 –

Hymn to the Linga of Siva

1The Sages enquired: O eloquent one, who is the greatest in regard to attributes, activities and power? We wish to hear clearly the description of his good, wonderful qualities in detail.
2Suta said: In this connection they cite this ancient anecdote about the greatness and omnipotence of the great Atman, Mahadeva.
3Formerly this was narrated by Vishnu when he had conquered the three worlds after binding Bali. The deity of great prowess became the lord of the three worlds formerly.
4-6When the Daityas were destroyed, when the Lord of Saci was delighted, all the Devas including Indra came to see the Lord. They came near the ocean of milk where Vishnu, the Atman of cosmic form, stayed. After approaching the noble-souled, the Purusa, Vishnu, all the Siddhas, Brahmanas, Yaksas, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Nagas, celestial sages, rivers and mountains eulogised him.
7“O Lord, you are the creator and sustainer of the worlds. By your grace the three worlds attain imperishable welfare. The Asuras have been conquered and Bali has been bound by you”.
8On being thus addressed by Devas, Siddhas and the sages, Vishnu, the excellent of Purusas, replied to them.
9-10“May this be heard, O excellent Devas, I shall mention the cause; the achievement has come at the very outset, thanks to the grace of that Lord alone who is the creator of all living beings, who is Time (Kala), the creator of Time, and by whom the worlds have been created along with Brahma by means of his Maya power.
11Formerly, when the three worlds were plunged in unmanifest darkness and when the living beings had been retained inside my belly, I lay myself down.
12Assuming the form of the thousand-headed, thousand eyed thousand-legged deity, holding the conch, discus and mace in the hands, I lay down in the pure limpid waters.
13-14In the meantime, from a distance I espied a person of unmeasured splendour who blazed with his brilliance resembling a hundred suns. The person, endowed with great Yogic power, had four faces and was of golden lustre (complexion). He wore a deer-skin and was embellished with a water-pot (Kamandalu). Within a moment that excellent person came near.
15-16Then he who was Brahma, who was bowed to by the worlds, spoke to me—“O lord, who are you? Whence have you come? Why do you stay here. Tell me. I am the maker of the worlds. I am self-born. I have faces all round”. Thus addressed by Brahma, I spoke to him.
17I am the creator and destroyer of the worlds again and again”. While we were talking like this with a desire to overpower each other, a well-established flame was seen on the northern side.
18On seeing that flame we two were surprised. By that splendour all the waters sparkled.
19When that excessively surprising and mysterious flame began to increase in size, Brahma and I hastened towards that flame.
20-22The massive column of flame stood touching heaven and earth. In the midst of it we saw the unmanifest Linga of excessive brilliance, highly illuminated and of the size of Pradesa (the distance between the thumb and the little finger). The Linga shone in the middle. It was neither made of gold nor of silver nor of stone. It could not be specified. It was inconceivable. It was sometimes perceptible and sometimes imperceptible. It had great splendour and was very terrible. It increased in size excessively at that time. It appeared extensive through the series of flames and appeared terrific (to all beings).
23Who can reach the limits of this terrible looking Linga, the cause of Mantra (Vedas), which was piercing through the heaven and the earth?
24Then Brahma told me, “You go down cautiously. Let us know the limits of this Linga, the great Atman.
25I shall go up as far as the limit is reached”. Thus we came to an agreement and went up and down.
26I went downwards for a thousand years. But I did not see the limit. Undoubtedly, I was frightened.
27Similarly Brahma too was exhausted. He could not see the limit. There itself in that great expanse of water, Brahma met me again.
28Both of us were surprised. We were deluded by the Maya of that great Atman. We stood there (as if) we had lost our consciousness.
29We bowed to the Lord engaged in meditation—the Lord who is the source of origin and the cause of (destruction) of all the worlds.
30With palms joined in reverence Brahma (and I) paid obeisance to the trident-bearing Sarva (Siva), the unmanifest, the mighty god of terrible roar and a frightening form having curved fangs.
31“O lord of the worlds and Devas, obeisance be to you. O great lord of Bhutas, obeisance be to you. Hail to you, O external one, the cause of origin of the Siddhas. O lord, the support of the universe, obeisance be to you.
32You are the great Brahman, the Supreme Lord and the imperishable. You are the great region and the excellent Vamadeva. You are Lord Rudra, Siva and Skanda.
33You are Yajna (Sacrifice), Vasatkara, Omkara, the great goal. You are Svahakara and Namaskara. You are the purifier of all sacred rites.
34You alone are Svadhakara. You are the Mantra for repetition. You are the sacred rites, observances, the Vedas, the worlds and all the Devas.
35You are the sound (the quality) of Akasa; you are the eternal source of living beings. You are the attribute of smell in the earth, of taste in the waters and of colour in the fire, O Mahesvara.
36You are the attribute of touch in vayu. You are the lord Moon in the embodied form. You are the perfect knowledge in Budha. O lord of Devas, you are the seed in the Prakriti.
37O lord, you are the maker of living beings. You are Kala, Mrtyu, Yama, the destroyer. You support the three worlds. You alone create them.
38By means of your eastern face, you manifest Indra-hood. O lord, by means of your southern face you annihilate the worlds (as Yama).
39By means of the western face you exhibit your Varuna-hood. Your Moonhood is established by means of your northern face.
40-42aO Lord, you shine in various forms. You are the eternal source of all the worlds. O Lord of Devas, the Adityas, the Vasus, Rudras, Maruts, the two sons of Asvini, Sadhyas, Vidyadharas, Nagas, Caranas, the noble-souled Valakhilyas and all those persons accomplished and those others who perform rites regularly, are also born of you.
42b-43Uma, Sita, Sinivali, Kuhu, Gaya tri, Lakshmi, Kirti, Dhrti, Medha, Lajja, Ksanti, Vapus, Svadha, Pusti, Kriya, Sarasvati, the goddess of speech, Sandhya and Ratri too are born of you, O Lord of Devas.
44O Lord having the lustre of ten thousand suns, obeisance be to you. Bow to you, O Lord having the lustre of thousand moons. Hail to you, O Lord assuming the form of a mountain. Obeisance to you, O reservoir of all good qualities.
45Obeisance be to you, O Lord holding a spear with a sharp edge. Obeisance to you, O Lord applying ashes to the skin. O Rudra, bow to you having the Pinaka in your hand and bearing a discus and an arrow.
46Obeisance be to you, O Lord, whose body is embellished (besmeared) with ashes. Obeisance be to you, O Lord, who destroyed Kama. O Lord, hail to you, wearing golden apparel. Obeisance be to you, O Lord, having golden arms.
47Obeisance be to you, O gold-formed lord. Bow to you, O gold-naveled Lord. Bow to you of wonderful form with a thousand eyes. Obeisance be to you, O Lord of golden semen.
48Obeisance be to you, O gold-complexioned Lord. Hail to you, O gold-wombed Lord. Obeisance be to you, OLord with gold bark-garments. Obeisance be to you, O lord, the bestower of gold.
49Obeisance be to yout O Lord with golden necklace. Obeisance be to you, O Lord roaring terrifically.
50Obeisance be to you, O Lord of terrific speed. Bow to you, O Sankara, O blue-throated one. Obeisance be to you, O Lord with a thousand arms. Hail to you, O Lord, fond of dance and playing on instruments.”
51On being eulogised thus, the lord, the great Yogin of great intellect, became manifest. He had the lustre equal to that of a crore suns.
52-55Then the delighted Mahadeva, appeared worthy of being addressed. He seemed to be devouring the sky with his thousands and crores of mouths, though he had only a single neck and a single mass of hair. He was bedecked in different kinds of ornaments. His body looked wonderful and variegated. He wore different (kinds of) garlands and (besmeared himself) with unguents. He held Pinaka bow in his hand. The Lord wielding a spear was seated on a bull. He wore the hide of a black antelope. He assumed a terrible form with a skull in his hand. Wearing a serpent for the sacred thread, he offered protection to Devas. He laughed boisterously producing sound like a kettledrum and the rumbling cloud wherewith the sky was reverberated.
56At that loud sound of the great Atman, we became frightened. Then the great Yogin said: “O excellent Devas, I am greatly delighted.
57Both of you, see this Maya. Give up fear. Both of you are born of my body. You are ancient and former beings.
58This Brahma, grandfather of the worlds, is my right arm. Vishnu is my left arm. He always stands by me in times of war. I am delighted with you. I shall grant whatever you desire.”
59Then both of us were delighted in the mind. We fell at his feet again. Then we, the pious great souls, spoke again.
60“If you are pleased and if boons are to be bestowed on us, O Lord of Devas, let there be devotion in us for you.”
61“O blessed ones, may it be thus. Both of you create different kinds of subjects”. After saying thus the Lord vanished there itself.
62Thus the great power of that Yogin has been narrated to you. All this has been created by him. We are only nominal causes.
63This form termed ‘Siva’ is unknown and unmanifest. It is incomprehensible and unperceivable. Persons with intellectual vision alone can perceive it.
64Perform obeisance to that Lord of Devas by whose grace persons with intellectual vision can perceive subtle and incomprehensible things.
65O Mahadeva, obeisance be to you. O Mahesvara, obeisance be to you. O most excellent one among Devas and Asuras, O swan of the mind, obeisance be to you.”
66Suta said: On hearing this, Devas paid homage to the great Atman, Siva and went to their abodes.
67He who recites this hymn of Isvara, the great Atman, obtains all desires and becomes free from sins.
68All this in respect to the ancient Brahman was mentioned by the mighty Vishnu only due to the grace of Mahadeva. Everything in respect of the power of Mahesvara has been thus recounted to you.

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