The greatness of Sivalinga ||31||

1Saunaka said: After killing Taraka in the battle, O Brahmanas, what great deed was done by the noble-souled Kumara? It behoves you to describe everything.
2-3Kumara indeed is another Sambhu (i.e. Lord Siva) by whom everything is pervaded. Sambhu bestows the greatet position on being propitiated by penance (but) Kumara always yields immediate benefit unto men on being visited (i.e. through his vision). Indeed, those who have committed great sins, those who art! not religious at all, even the Candalas (who cook dog’s meat), become rid of their sins by seeing (Lord Karttikeya). There is no doubt about this.
4On hearing the words of Saunaka, the exceedingly intelligent disciple of Vyasa recounted the story of the noble-minded Kumara.
5Lomala said: In the battle Kumara killed Taraka who could not be vanquished or killed by Devas, O excellent Brahmanas. He gained victory.
6The greatness of Kumara is narrated in all sacred texts, in the Vedas, the good Agamas and the Puranas.
7So also in the Upanishads and the two systems of Mimamsa. Kumara of such a nature, O Brahmanas, cannot be (adequately) described.
8-9By mere sight, he sanctifies the entire universe. The king of Manes (i.e. Yama) heard about the saviour of this world. Keeping Brahma, Vishnu and Vasava at the head, he hurriedly came to Sankara, the benefactor of all the worlds. The Lord of the Southern Quarter eulogized (Sankara) with great self-restraint and mental purity:
10-11“Obeisance to Lord Bharga (the refulgent god), obeisance to the lord of Devas. to Mrityunjaya (‘conqueror of Death’), to Rudra, to lsana (‘controller of the world’). to Kapardin (‘one with matted hair’). Obeisance to the blue-throated (Nilakantha), Sarva (‘the destroyer of all’), to the lord having a form with sky as a limb. Obeisance to Kala. the lord of Kala; obeisance to the lord in the form of Kala.”
12On being eulogized by Yama, the lord Ishvara said: “Why have you come? Speak everything to us.”
13Yama said: May my words be heard, O Lord of Devas, a great expert in the use of words. Only with a great penance, O Sankara, you are (propitiated and) satisfied.
14Brahma, the grandfather of the worlds, becomes gratified by great holy rites. There is no doubt about it that he is the lord (i.e. and bestower) of boons always.
15So also Lord Vishnu who can be comprehended only through the Vedas and who is the eterna] Lord, is delighted by many Yajnas, fasts and other holy rites.
16He grants Kevalabhava (‘salvation’) whereby one is liberated. All men (conform to) my opinion. My words cannot be otherwise.
17When he is pleased, he grants all worldly pleasures and the riches of heaven etc. On being bowed down and not otherwise, the Sun-god grants health.
18O Sambhu, the great god Ganesha, if we offer Arghya, Padya etc. and sandal paste and repeat the Mantras duly, makes our task free from obstacles.
19So also all the other Guardians of the Quarters bestow benefits in accordance with their capacity. O Sankara, they are pleased with Yajnas, study of the Vedas, charitable gifts etc.
20This has caused a very great surprise to all tpe living beings here that the gateway to heaven has been opened wide.
21“By the vision of Kumara, O Mahadeva, even all the sinners have become heaven-dwellers. There is no doubt about it.
22-27What should be done by me in the matter of deciding what should be done and what should not be done? (Hitherto) only those persons of meritorious deeds, such as those who are habituated to speak the truth, the quiescent ones, liberal donors, free and independent ones, those who have conquered their sense organs, non-covetous ones, those who are devoid of lust and base attachments, the performers of Yajnas, those who abide by righteous deeds and those who have mastered the Vedas and the Vedatigas, attained heaven. O Sambhu, the goal attained by these meritorious persons, is now attained by base men and Candalas by the mere vision of Kumara of wonderfully miraculous activities. O Lord of Devas, by seeing the son of Siva in the month of Karttika on the day of Krittika constellation, people attain the good goal along with crores of the members of their family, avoiding my region. By seeing Kumara, even Candalas attain good position immediately. What shall I do?
28On hearing the words of Yama, Sankara, spoke these words:
29Sankara said: There are good emotions in the minds of the people of meritorious deeds whose sins have come to an end, O Dharma.
30There is a great desire in them to go to a good holy spot or to visit good people. This desire is caused by previous Karmas.
31It is only at the end of many births and rebirths that a feeling of devotion to me is generated in the minds of living beings. O Yama, it is the result of many repeated experiences in the course of many births with all feelings.
32Hence all those in whom good feelings of devotion arise are meritorious ones. What has been the outcome of the repeated experiences of various births need not cause surprise.
33Women, children, Sudras, those who cook dog’s flesh (Candalas) and base-born fellows who are born among sinners or stay with them become pure persons, O Dharma, due to the impressions of the previous births.
34-36They attain white mind (i.e. purity of mind) and through it they derive knowledge in all matters. Due to the previous actions and the working of fate, al1 become Suras and the Guardians of Quarters beginning with lndra. Those groups of Bhutas (beings or goblins), these sages and these deities are born in that manner. Even in the case of Kumara, you need not have any surprise. In connection with the seeing of Kumara, O Dharmaraja, know from me the following things.
37Words accompanied by action yield fruits to everyone. Pilgrimage to all the holy spots, Yajnas, and different kinds of charitable gifts-all these should be performed for the sake of the purity of mind. There is no doubt about it.
38The Atman is purified through the mind; (one must purify and redeem) the Atman through the Atman. I am the (immanent) Soul established in all living beings.
39I am stationed in the Atman of all mobile and immobile beings perpetually. I am in yogic communion with them mentally, without anything in between. I am speaking the truth unto you.
40I am beyond all Dvandvas (i.e. mutually opposed pairs such as pleasure, pain etc.). I am devoid of doubtful alternatives. I am abiding directly in myself. I am eternal. I am in yogic communion perpetually. I am devoid of desire. I am immutable. I am excluded from the controversies of the different Kalpas. I am infinite but can be comprehended by enlightenment.
41All living beings are seen pursuing worldly existence because they have forgotten their Atman which is single and characterized by enlightenment.
42I, Brahma and Vishnu, we three are the causes of Gunas. We are the causes of creation, sustenance and annihilation. It cannot be otherwise.
43-46We are all caused by the Karma enveloped by Ahamkara (‘Egotism’). You people, all the Devas, human beings,
the birds etc., the beasts etc. and many others have separate existence because you all possess these Gunas. You are scattered in the ocean of worldly existence. You are fallen in a mirage and you are fascinated and subdued by Maya . We, all the Devas, profess to be learned, scholarly and wise. We are all rogues engaged in false arguments. We blame and defame each other.
47Traigunas (i.e. those who come under the control of the three Gunas) are immersed in the ocean of worldly existence. They are not aware of the reality. They are persons with deep attachment to worldly pleasures. They possess lust, anger, fear, hatred, pride and rivalry.
48-49Not conversant with reality, they blame and defame one another. They are extroverts and do not see within themselves. Hence one should understand all these as unreal, being differentiated by Gunas. They should see the sole ultimate reality in that object which is beyond the Gunas.
50Hear that it is the greatest abode, wherein difference transforms itself into identity, attachment into absence of attachment and anger into freedom from anger.
51Sound does not illuminate it because it is Kritaka (a ‘product’, that which is caused) like a Ghata (pot). Indeed, O Dharma, sound is evolved (created) because it is directed towards Pravritti (action).
52The place wherein natural opposite pairs (dvandvas) such as Pravrtti and Nivrtti (i.e. manifestation and disappearance or activity and inactivity) merge, is considered eternal.
53It has nothing intervening in between. It is devoid of Gunas. It is Jiiapti (i.e. pure knowledge) alone. It is unsullied. It is free from aberrations. It is devoid of desires. It is pure existence. It is to be understood only through knowledge. It is self-established, self-luminous, refulgent and comprehensible through enlightenment.
54Those who are endowed with perfect knowledge speak of this as Jnana (‘knowledge’). They observe it in the form of their own self in everyone. After understanding it as something beyond all and comprehensible only through perfect knowledge, they establish themselves in their own self and impartially.
55They go beyond the worldly existence which has no beginning, which is caused by Maya and which cannot be deliberated on because of Maya. O king of the dead ones, after abandoning Maya they attain the state of freedom from doubts. They are rid of the sense of my-ness and are devoid of attachment.
56The worldly existence has (unreal) fictitiousness or fancy (Kalpana) as its root. Indeed Kalpana (fictitiousness) is comparable to untruth. Those by whom Kalpana is eschewed attain the ultimate goal.
57The notion of silver (presumed) in an oyster shell, the notion of a rope in a serpent , the notion of water in a mirage all these are definitely unreal, not otherwise.
58Siddhi (‘spiritual attainment’) is the ability to act as one desires. The unreal thing is dependence. One who is bound is called Paratantra (‘dependent on another’). One who is liberated has the sense of freedom.
59-62Whence can be bondage to those who, having realized that soul is one, have eschewed the sense of myness and have no external restraints? The bondage (is fictitious and non-existent) like the sky-flower, or the horn of a rabbit. So the worldly existence is unreal. Of what avail is much talk? Of what avail is fruitless blabbing? Those who are desirous of attaining the greatest region avoid Mamata (feeling of my-ness or possession). They are the wise ones. the learned ones. They are devoid of attachment and have conquered their sense organs. Those who have cast off Mamata, those who have eschewed covetousness and anger, attain the greatest region, (as) they are devoid of love and anger.
63As long as lust and greed, attachment and hatred persist, they do not attain spiritual beatitude. They will know only the words (of the scriptures).
64Yama said: Word comes out of sound; but knowledge is devoid of word (sound). How then was it said by you, O lord, that word is non-eternal?
65The greatest Brahman is Akshara (‘Imperishable’). Word is of the nature of Akshara (‘syllable’). Hence it is heard that ‘word’ is mentioned by you as Nirikshaka (?) (‘that which observes’).
66Whatever has to be explained can be explained only through words. How can it be explained without words? Let all these be recounted, O Sambhu, in the matter of deciding what should be done and what should not be done.
67Sankara explained: Listen attentively to these truthful words ( of great meaning). By hearing this nothing that should be known remains (unknown).
68All the sages expound knowledge. They are devoid of sins. They repeatedly practise knowledge. Those who are conversant with knowledge know what is knowledge.
69-70It is only after knowing the three (things), viz. (I) knowledge, (II) object of knowledge and that (III) which is comprehended and attained, that it can be described how and by whom it should be known and what is it that was intended to be spoken. l shall explain these things succinctly. Understand it from me. The only and single one (i.e. Brahman) appears to be many in the light of difference.
71Just as the ground viewed from a Bhramaraka (‘merrygo- round’) appears to be whirling, O Yama, so also the Atman appears to be many, due to the idea of difference.
72-73Hence after critically examining it, it should be known through Sravana (‘listening attentively’); it should be meditated upon through close application of the process of Manana (‘deliberation’) in particular. After comprehending the Atman, one can easily be released from bondage. This entire universe consisting of mobile and immobile beings is a network of magical delusion.
74This great extensive worldly existence is full of Maya characterized by Mamata (‘sense of my-ness’). After driving out Mamata one is liberated from bondage easily.
75Who am I? Who are you? Whence are the others? All these are based on the great Maya. Just like the fleshy protuberance from the neck of a goat, the entire world is worthless and aimless.
76(All) this is fruitless and devoid of permanent appearance. It is a showy mass of smoke without any essence. Hence with all effort, remember the Atman, O Yama.
77Lomasa said: Directed thus by Sambhu, the king of the dead ones became enlightened himself and realized the Atman.
78He became famous as the dispenser absorbed in dispensing the fruits of the Karmas of all men and Jiving beings.
79Sages enquired: It may be described what highly wonderful feat was accomplished by the noble-souled Kumara after killing Taraka in the battle.
80Suta replied: When the Daitya Taraka was killed, Mountains, the chief of whom was Himavan, approached there and eulogized Karttikeya with sweet words.
81The Mountains prayed: Obeisance to the lord of auspicious form. We salute you, the cause of auspiciousness unto the universe. Hail to you, O kinsman of the universe; obeisance to you, the sanctifier of the universe.
82We bow down to you by whom, merely through your sight, Candalas have been made excellent ones. We seek refuge in you, the sole kinsman of the universe.
83Hail to you, O son of Parvati. Obeisance to you, O son of Sankara. Obeisance to you, O son of Krittikas. Obeisance to you who are born of the Fire-god.
84Obeisance to you, O lord worthy of being worshipped very well by the excellent Devas. Obeisance to you, O lord, the most excellent one among the possessors of perfect knowledge. Obeisance to you, O most excellent one among Devas. Be pleased, O lord worthy of being sought refuge in and competent to destroy all agonies, O Lord.
85On being praised thus by Mountains, Karttikeya, the son of Uma, was pleased in his mind and became eager to grant them a boon.
86Karttikeya said: O excellent Mountains, listen to my words now. You will be served (resorted to) by both Karmans (i.e. those who are devoted to holy rites) and Jnanins (i.e. those who are devoted to the path of knowledge).
87Stones served with great effort are found only in you. At my instance, let them purify the universe. There is no doubt about it.
88All mountain regions will become holy spots and not otherwise. They will become divine temples of Siva and other holy shrines.
89There is no doubt that at my instance they will become splendid and great pilgrim-spots of various forms.
90This excellent Mountain Himavan who is my maternal grandfather and is higltly fortunate, will be the bestower of fruits on ascetics.
91-94Meru, this lord of Mountains, will be the support (of all). The excellent Mountain Lokaloka and the Mountain of the Rising Sun, of great fame, will become the lord himself in the form of a Linga and not otherwise. The following Mountains. wilt be the destroyers of sins: Srisaila, Mahendra, Sahyacala, Malyavin, Malaya, Vindhya, Gandhamidana, Svetakuta. Trikuta and Mountain Dardura . These and many other Mountains are the embodiments of Linga. At my instance these will become the destroyers of sins.
95Thus the son of Sankara granted boons to those Mountains. Then Nandin spoke (to the lord) honoured by all the Agamas:
96Handin said: O Lord, the Mountains have been made e1nbodiments of Linga by you. How should the shrines of Siva be worshipped by all the Devas?
97Kumara said: Linga should be known as the shrine of Siva, the trident-bearing lord of Devas. (It should be worshipped) by all human beings and Devas beginning with Brahma, diligently without any lethargy.
98-101Lingas made of sapphire, pearls, coral, lapis lazuli, lunar stone, Gomeda, ruby, emeralds, gold, silver, copper, brass and zinc, Lingas made of precious stones and metal have been described to you. Only the pure ones should be worshipped. They are the bestowers of all desired objects. Among all these (that made in) Kasmira is the most excellent one. It gives all pleasures of this world and the next one to the devotee who worships.
102Nandi said: How is it that you have told that Bana-linga is the most excellent and worthy of being worshipped? Explain everything, O Lord of holy rites.
103Kumara said: The stones that are seen in the waters in the middle of the river Reva, shall be in the form of Linga, by the favour of Siva and not otherwise.
104-106Their roots should be made smooth and placed over the Pindika (‘pedestal’). They should be scrupulously worshipped by one who has the initiation called Sivadiksha. One shall worship Siva joined to the Pindi in accordance with the injunctions of the scriptures. The Lord of the universe should bestow boons on the worshipper, not otherwise. The five-lettered Mantra should always be in the mouth (of the worshipper); the mind should be directed towards the contemplation on Siva; he must have impartiality towards all living beings. He should be dumb in giving expression to slander. He should be an impotent fellow in regard to other men’s wives.