Worship of the Linga ||7||

1Lomasa said: Then all those Suras and even the sages became frightened. Brahma and others who became perturbed and distressed on account of their knowledge (of their mistake) eulogized the Linga of Lord Siva.
2Brahma said: You who have assumed the Linga form, are of great miraculous power. You who are of the form of the Supreme Soul, are knowable (only) through Vedanta (Upanishads). It is by you who is ever engrossed in Bliss that the universe which is rooted in you, has been created.
3You are the witness unto all the worlds. You are the annihilator of all. You are the protector, O Mahadeva. You are Bhairava, O lord of universe.
4This unit of the three worlds has been pervaded by you in the form of Linga. O lord, we are insignificant creatures whose minds arc deluded by Maya.
5We, viz. I, Suras, Asuras, all the Yakshas, Gandharvas and Rakshasas, serpents, Pisacas and these Vidyadharas, are all deluded.
6-7You are the creator of the creators of the universe. You are indeed the lord and ruler of the universe. You, the Supreme Person, are (both) the creator and annihilator of the universe. Protect everything belonging to us. O Mahadeva. Obeisance to you. O god of Devas. Thus, the great lord in the form of Linga was eulogized by Brahma.
8The sages who were desirous of eulogizing Mahesvara. the sinless one, eulogized with very great eagerness and respect by means of excellent words recorded in the Vedas.
9The sages said: We are all ignorant. On account of lust, we do not recognise your status. Indeed you are the Soul, the Supreme Soul. You are the Prakriti, the evolver (of everything).
10You are our mother. You alone are our father. You are our kinsman. You alone are our friend. You alone are
Isvara. You are conversant with the Vedas. You are always meditated upon by persons of great magnanimity.
11You are the immanent Soul of all living beings, like flame of all fuel. Since everything takes its origin from you, you are forever Sarva.
12The lord is called Sambhu because Sam (happiness) takes its origin from him.
13All of us, Devas and others (such as) sages, celestial Gandharvas, Vidyadharas, great serpents have resorted to your lotus-like feet.
14Hence, with mercifulness, O Sambhu, O lord of the universe, protect us.
15Mahadeva said: Listen to my word now. Let it be carried out immediately. May all of you pray to Vishnu , O ascetics, with immediate effect.
16On hearing the word of the noble-souled Sankara, all those Suras bowed down to Vishnu and eulogized him.
17Devas said: Vidyadharas, groups of Suras, all the sages, everyone has been saved by you today, O sole kinsman of the universe. In that manner, O merciful one, O lord of the three worlds, O lord of the universe, O abode of the universe, protect all the people.
18-19Lord Vishnu laughed loudly and spoke these words then: “Formerly you were oppressed by Daityas and protected by me. But today a great danger of everlasting nature has arisen from this Linga. It is not possible for me to protect you, O Suras, from the danger from this Linga.”
20On being told thus by Vishnu, Devas became worried. Thereupon an ethereal voice spoke thus, consoling all the Suras:
21“O Janardana, choose this Linga for worship. Becoming a mass of refulgence, O mighty one, protect the mobile and immobile beings.” Saying “so be it” and honouring it, Lord Virabhadra worshipped it .
22At that time, the noble-souled Virabhadra, having the moon for his crest and engaged in carrying out the orders of Siva, was worshipped by the groups of Suras beginning with Brahma, collectively. Virabhadra was a favourite of Siva and was on a par with Rudra in the three worlds.
23-24Then Virabhadra was absorbed in worshipping the Linga. It (the Linga) had the same form wherefrom the entire universe takes it origin, derives sustenance and gets merged with it. The excellent ones among those who are the knowers of the Reality call it Linga, because of its being a place of rest (to the absorbed).
25The Linga became pervaded by the spheres of the Cosmic Eggs. It was embellished with Rudrakshas. It grew so large that it could not be surpassed by anyone.
26-27Then all Devas and sages of great lustre eulogized the great Linga by means of the Verlie words (Mantras) separately: “O lord, you are minute than the atom. So also, you are greater than the greatest. Hence, O lord Siva, you must make such arrangements as to make the worship of the Linga easy for everyone.”
28-35At that time itself, many types of Lingas were evolved by Sarva (Siva) , viz. the Brahmeshvara Linga in the world called Satya (god Brahma’s region), Sadoliva Linga in Vaikuntha, a well-established Linga named Amarelvara in Amaravati (lndra’s capital), Varuneshvara Linga in the city of Varuna, Lord Kaleshvara in the city of Yama, Nairrtesvara Linga in the city of Nirriti, Pavaneivara Linga in the city of Vayu, in the MrtyuIoka Kedara Linga as well Amaresvara, Omkara Linga as well as Mahakala in the Narmada (region), Lord Vishveshvara in Kasi, Lalitesvara in Prayaga, Triyambaka in Brahmagiri (Nasik District) as well as Bhadresvara in Kali, Draksharameshvara Linga in the place of the union of Ganga with ocean, the Linga remembered as Somesvara in Saurashtra, Sarvesvara Linga on the Vindhya, Sikharesvara Linga on Srisaila, Mallalanatha (?) in Kanti, Sirhhanatha in “Singala (Simhala), so also many Lingas such as Virupaksha Linga, Kotilalikara, Tripurantaka, Bhimesha, Amaresvara, Bhogeivara and Hatakeshvara in Patala. These and many other Lingas of this sort were installed in all the three worlds by Devas for helping the entire universe.
36And thus all the three worlds became full of great Lingas. Similarly, gods created Virabhadramlas (portions of Virabhadra) for worship.
37There were twenty-eight Samskaras (consecratory rites) there in the process of worship of Linga. They were mentioned by Sankara himself.
38-41There are eternal Sivadharmas mentioned by Rudra where Virabhadra, Rudra and other Gurus (preceptors) are remembered. The sons of Gurus also have becon1e famous in the three worlds as Gurus. Only Nandi knows factually the greatness of Linga. So also lord Skanda and those others who bear his names. All the Sivadharmas have been glorified as mentioned by Nandi, the son of Silada. Many wonderful persons of exalted nature have been glorified as bearers of Lingas . Linga is held above a dead body by the ancient people.
42Living with Linga and dying with Linga-these virtuous rites have been established by Sailada (Nandin).
43-45The religion of the Pasupata established by Skanda is the most excellent one. The five-syllabled Mantra (Na-mahi Si-va-ya) is the purest. Then comes the Prasadi (Omkara) Mantra. The six-syllablcd Mantra (Om, na-mahi Si-va-ya) is the illuminator of the Pranava . From Skanda it was acquired by the noble-souled Agastya. Afterwards due to the difference in the preceptors, many Agamas were composed.
46Of what avail is much talk? Those who utter the two syllables Si-va everyday are Rudras themselves . There is no doubt in this matter.
47Those who follow the path of good people are all Purantakas (Siva). They should be known as heroes of Mahesvara . They destroy the sins of men.
48Those who perform rites of devotion incidentally, as a consequence of something else, by chance or as an act of faith, attain the goal of the good.
49Listen. I shall narrate an old legend in this connection. Sweeping was performed formerly by a female bird in a temple of Siva.
50It had come (into the temple) for the sake of food. The Naivedya was offered by someone. When it fluttered its wings, the dust particles happened to be swept away.
51As a result of that meritorious deed, she went to the excellent heaven. After enjoying the heavenly pleasures, she came back to the fierce world once again.
52She was born as the daughter of the king of Kasi. She became famous by the name Sundari. Thanks to the previous experience, that girl of auspicious features became a great chaste lady.
53Early in the morning, the lady of slender limbs was always present at the doorway of the temple of Siva. With great devotion she used to sweep the premises.
54The gentle princess. Sundari, did everything herself. On seeing her in that activity, Uddalaka, the sage, enquired:
55-56“O girl of splendid features, you are delicate in body. Why do you sweep yourself, O girl of bright smiles? O gentle lady, you have in front of you many men and women servants. At your bidding they will do all the sweeping work etc.”
57On hearing those words of the sage, she laughingly said thus:
58-60a“The men and women who render service to Siva, those who are prompted by devotion to Siva, do go to the world of Siva. The sweeping must be done by one’s own hands. One should go to the temple on one’s own foot. Hence, sweeping is done by me unweariedly. I do not know anything else, excepting the single act of sweeping.”
60b-62On hearing her words, the sage pondered: “Who is she? What has been done by her previously? By whose favour (did she get all these)?” Then everything was understood by the sage through the eye of (the power of his) spiritual knowledge.
63Struck with wonder, he became silent. After knowing it, he became surprised. Thinking about the power of Siva, Uddalaka, the most excellent among the learned ones, attained the greatest enlightenment. He became calm and quiescent.