LINGA PURAN PART - II

LORD SHIVA BLESSES BRAHMA & VISHNU

At the time, when this incident of mystical Shiva linga had occurred and after which Lord Brahmaand Vishnu had stopped quarelling, Lord Shiva appeared before them and said---
"I am very pleased with both of you, Both of -

" O Vishnu! You are the creator, Lord Shiva. This made Lord Shiva extremely pleased and he the preserver as well as the destroyer of this world. I am the supreme you, though having distinct identities have actually manifested from my body-Brahma from my left side and Vishnu from my right." almighty and distinct from all three of you-Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.Lord Vishnu expressed his undiluted devotion towards Lord Shiva. This made Lord Shiva extremely pleased and he said.

"O Vishnu! You are the creator, the preserver as well as the destroyer of this world. I am the supreme almighty and distinct from all three of you-Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh."

Linga is the personification of the Almighty God. The term Linga means fusion and the Shivalinga are said to be the symbolical expression of all the deities.

THE MANIFESTATION OF LORD BRAHMA

The Sages requested Sutji to elucidate how Lord Brahma emerged from the navel of Vishnu seated on a lotus flower.

Sutji replied--- At the time of deluge Lord Vishnu went in his yoganidra lying on the back of Sheshnag. As the result of his divine play, a huge lotus flower along with a long tubular stalk emerged from his navel. Lord Brahma was seated on the Lotus flower.When Lord Brahma saw Lord Vishnu, he asked-"Who are you sleeping in this ocean?'' Lord Vishnu also asked the same question as to whom was he and from where had he manifested. Very soon, a quarrel ensures between them.Desirous of knowing the identity of the stranger, Lord Vishnu entered Brahma's abdomen through his mouth. He was amazed to find the existence of whole universe inside Brahma's abdomen. He remained there for thousands of year but could not find the end. Being exhausted, he came out and told Lord Brahma that even his abdomen had the same unlimited expanse.

Lord Brahma decided to check the authenticity of Vishnu's statement and entered into his abdomen through the mouth. Lord Brahma wandered inside the abdomen for thousands of year but could not find the end. Mean while, Lord Vishnu has shut each and every opening of his body which made it impossible for Lord Brahma to come out. Ultimately he was successful in coming out through the tubular stalk of the lotus.As Lord Brahma was not amused by Vishnu's behaviour, he started fighting with him. Right at that moment, Lord Mahadev arrived there. His moments created high tide and strong mind, which vigorously shook the lotus flower.

Lord Vishnu immediately realized that these signs forebode the arrival of Mahadev. He revealed this fact to Brahma and about Manadev's greatness. But Lord Brahma was not impressed. Lord Vishnu then said ---

"Shiva is the almighty God. He is the one, whom, enlightened people are always in search for. He manifests himself in the form of an egg on account of the union of his formless and with form appearances. In course of time the egg gets divided into two halves, from which are created the different Lokas (world). The egg is the very place from where originates the whole creation. Even you (Brahma) own your existence to that egg. Your arrogance might invite the wrath of Shiva. So, come let both of us eulogize and praise the holy name of Mahadev.

LORD BRAHMA BECOMES THE CREATOR

At last, Lord Vishnu was successful in convincing Brahma of Shiva's supreme status. Both of them eulogized and sang hymns in the praise of Lord Shiva.Lord Shiva became very pleased by their devotion. He requested Lord Vishnu wanted nothing else but undiluted devotion in him. Lord Shiva agreed and said "So be it".

Lord Shiva then blessed Brahma and made him the creator. Lord Brahma did a tremendous penance, which continued for a very long period. The severe penance strained his eyes as a result of which tears started rolling down his cheeks. Poisonous snakes manifested from those teardrops. Lord Brahma became disillusioned by his maiden creation and gave up his life. Eleven Rudras emerged from his body and started wailing. They then brought Lord Brahma back to life.After becoming alive, Lord Brahma eulogized Vishveshwar and goddess Gayatri. He was amazed to see the existence of whole universe inside the body of Lord Vishveshwar all the kalpas including the different incarnations of lord Shiva about origin of these kalpas and various incarnations like sadya, etc.

DESCRIPTION OF DIFFERENT KALPAS

Lord Shiva revealed to Brahma that the Shwet-kalpa derived its name from his complexion. "I took incarnation attired in white apparels. My complexion was fair. You being self-begotten were able to recognize me. Goddess Gayatri had also manifested from my body and later on became famous as 'Shwet-Lohit-Brahm'."

"The next kalpa was known as Lohit kalpa because of my red complexion, Goddess Gayatri had also incarnated in the form of divine cow. I became famous as Vaamdev during this kalpa."

Lord Shiva then went on to describe about the rest of the kalpas which had been named after his complexion. He also gave in-depth description of various subjects like, the different worlds, the vedas the four major castes etc.

INCARNATIONS OF SHIVA DURING VARIOUS DWAPAR YUGAS

On being enquired by Lord Brahma about his various incarnations, Lord Shiva said ---

"I shall incarnate as Shwet-Mahamuni during 1st Dwapar yuga of Vaivaswat manvantar. My abode shell is at Chhogal peak of Himalaya mountain. I shall have four disciples who will be proficient in the Vedas."

"I will incarnate as Sutar during second dwapar. At that time, Saddyojaat Prajapati will be holding he post of Vyas.I will have four sons-Dundubhi, Shataroopa, Richika and Keluma."

"During third dwapar and at the time when Sage Bhargav will be acting as a Vyas, I will take incarnation as Daman. I will have four sons-Vikrosh, Vikesh, Vipash and Paapnashak."

"During fourth dwapar and at the time when Sage Angira will be acting as a Vyas, I will take incarnation as Suhotra. I will have four sons-Sumukh, Durmukh, Durdhar and Duratikram."

"I will take incarnation as Kank during fifth dwapar and at the time when Sage Savita will be fulfilling the obligations of Vyas; I will have four sons-Sanak, Sanandan, Sanatan and Sanatkumar."

"During Sixth dwapar, I will take incarnation as Laugakshi. At that time Sage Mrityu will be holding the post of Vyas. My sons will be Sudhama, Viraja, Shankh and Padraj."

"Sage Shataritu will act as Vyas during Seventh dwapar. I will have four sons-Saraswat, Megh, Meghvah and Suvahan."

"Sage Vashishth will be the vyas during eighth dwapar. I will take incarnation as Dadhivahan. My sons will be-Kapil, Aasuri, Panch, Shikhomuni and Vashkal."

"Sage Saraswat will act as Vyas during nineth dwapar. I will take incarnation as Rishabh. I will have four sons-Parashar, Garg, Bhargav and Aangiras."

"The tenth dwapar will see Tripad fulfilling the duties of Vyas. I will incarnate as Bhavita Muni. I will have four sons-Bala, Bandhu, Niramitra and Ketu."

"Sage Trivat will be the Vyas during eleventh dwapar. I will take incarnation as Ugra. My sons will be-Lambodar, Lambaksha & Lambakesh."

"Sage Shatateja will perform the duties of Vyas during twelfth dwapar. I will have four sons-Sarvagya, Sambuddhi, Saadhya and Sarva."

"Dharma will be the Vyas during thirteenth dwapar. I will take incarnation as Bali and live at the hermitage of the Baalkhilya. I will have four sons-Sudhama, Kashyap, Vashishth and Viraja."

This way, Lord Shiva elaborated upon his various incarnations till the period of twenty-eight dwapar, which went as follows.

DWAPAR

VYAS

SHIVA

SHIVA'S SONS

14th

Tarakshu

Gautam

Atri, Devarudra, Shravan & Shrivishthak

15th

Traiyyaruni

Vedshira

Kuni, Kunibahu, Kusharir & Kunetrak

16th

Deva

Gokarn

Kashyao, Shukracharya, Chyavn & Vrihaspati

17th

Kritanjay

Guhavasi

Utathya, Vamadev, Mahayoga & Mahabal

18th

Ritanjay

Shikhani

Vachashrava,Richik,Shyavashva & Yateeshwar

19th

Bhardwaj

Jatamali

Hiranyabh, Kaushal, Laungakshi & Kuthumi

20th

Gautam

Attahaas

Sumantu, Varvari, Kavandh & Kushi Kandhar

21st

Vachashrava

Daruko

Rampkshoda, Bhayani, Ketuman & Gautam.

22nd

Shushmayan

Langli Bheem

Dharmik, Mahayotri, Bhallavi, Madhupinga,Shwetu, Ketu & Kush

23rd

Trinabindu

Kalanjar

Ushik, Vrihadashva, Deval & Kavirevach

24th

Riksha

Shooli

Shalihotra, Agnivesh, Unashva & Sharadvasu.

25th

Shakti

Dandi-Mundishvar

Chhagal, Kundak, Kumbhand & Prawahaj

26th

Parashar

Sahishnu

Ulook, Viddyut, Shambuk & Aashwalayan.

27th

Jatuk Karnya

Somsharma

Akshapad, Kumar, Ulook & Vatsa.

28th

Dwaipayan

Lakuli

Kushik, Garg, Mitra & Kaurushya



RITUALS OF SHIVA-LINGA WORSHIP (PURITY)

Once, Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva about the proper methods of worshipping Shiva-linga. While Shiva was elucidating upon the rituals, Nandi who was present there too got enlightened on this sacred topic. In course of time, this knowledge was passed on to Sanat Kumar, who in turn revealed it to Sage Vyas. Sutji came to know about it from Shailadi.Lord Shiva had described the following three methods, by the help of which a devotee should become pure before commencing his worship.

  • Varun Snan (Taking bath in open)
  • Bhashma Snan (Smearing ashes on the body)
  • Mantra Snan (Chanting of mantra)

Lord Shiva had stressed upon the importance of taking bath in a river or a pond. According to him a man's mind, which is like a lotus, could never blossom unless it received the radiance of the sun. Describing about the methods of taking Bhasmsnan, he said-After washing his hands and feet, a devotee should smear any of the following things on his body to make it pure-mud, cowdung ashes etc. While smearing mud on his body, he should chant the mantra -Uddhatashivarahen. After becoming pure according to the methods mentioned above, he should then worship Lord Varun. Having done, this, he should take a dip in the river after purifying the water by chanting the sacred 'Adhamarshan' mantra. He should then worship all the deities by sprinkling water from the Shankh (Conch) and amidst the chanting of mantras like 'Rudren Pavamanen' etc. He should then concentrate upon the form of a Shivalinga. He should drink some water holding some Kusha grass in his right hand simultaneously.

A devotee should commence his worship only after becoming pure. In the beginning he should perform Pranayam for three times so that his lungs are filled up with fresh air. After this, he should concentrate his mind on the form of Lord Trayambak in all his glory. He should purify all the articles required for the worship by performing ablution and by chanting OM NAMAH SHIVAY. He should also make offerings of flowers, rice grains, barley etc. to the deity. Worship of Lord Shiva is believed to be incomplete without the worship of his family-Nandi, Kartikeya, Vinayak and Goddess Parvati. So, the devotee must not forget to worship them.

LORD SHIVA TESTS THE PATIENCE OF SAGES

Once upon a time, the sages were busy doing their penance to please Lord Mahadev. Lord Shiva decided to test patience and visited daruk forest in naked position. By the virtue of his divine power, he was successful in corrupting the conduct of the sage's wives. Those women became so infatuated by his divine appearance that they lost control omen themselves. They were desirous of satiating their lust but Shiva maintained silence and did not oblige them.

When the sages saw the womenfolk in such a pitiable condition, they started abusing Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva did not respond and disappeared from the scene. Now, the sages became very frightened. All of them went to Lord Brahma and narrated the whole incident. Lord Brahma reprimanded them by saying that how unfortunate they had been in not recognizing Lord Shiva- the Almighty. Lord Brahma said-"You have committed a grace sir by showing disrespect to your guest. Your conduct was unlike Sudarshan-a Brahmin who by his hospitality was able to win the lord of death."

Lord Brahma narrated the following tale to them ---

"Once there lived a kind hearted Brahmin named Sudarshan. He was very hospitable and considered his guests, as Lord Shiva himself. He had given strict instructions to his wife that under no circumstance should a guest return unsatisfied from his home."

"Dharmaraj wanted to test Sudarshan firmness in his belief. One day he arrived at Sudarshan's hermitage disguised as a Brahmin. At that time he was not present in his hermitage. Dharmaraj refused to accept anything in donation except Sudarshan's wife herself.

"Sudarshan's wife offered herself without any hesitation. When he returned, not finding her wife started calling her name. At that time he heard a voice saying that his wife was satisfying the lust of a guest. Sudarshan remained unperturbed and requested his guest to carry on till he is satisfied."

"Dharmaraj became pleased. He appeared before Sudarshan and gave blessings. He appreciated his hospitable nature by saying that by the virtue of his undiluted hospitality he had even vanquished him (Dharmaraj)."

The sages were very ashamed of their conduct and returned Lord Brahma to explain as to how they could have devotion in Lord Shiva. Lord Brahma elucidated on the virtue of devotion and narrated the tale of sage Shwet who had subjugated even death by his devotion.

SAGE SHWET

The sages were very curious to know about sage Shwet. Lord Brahma narrated the following tale ---

"Once, there lived a sage named Shwet. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. He lived in a cave and engaged himself in severe penance, continuously chanting the holy name of Shiva. When the time of his death approached, 'Kaal arrived there to take his life. Sage Shwet started eulogizing Lord Shiva. He challenged 'Kaal' that being a devotee of Shiva he was beyond the reach of death. But, Kaal made fun of him and told him that nobody could escape death. Sage Shwet had unshakable faith in Lord Shiva. Pointing towards the Shiva Linga, he told Kaal that he would remain unharmed because of Lord Shiva who was present in that Shivalinga.

Suddenly, Kaal tied him with his noose and said---See, Now you are absolutely under my control and even your deity seems to be helpless. To protect his devotee, Lord Shiva arrived on the scene accomplished by Goddess Amba, Ganapati and Nandi. 'Kaal' got scared to such an extent that he fainted and died."

The sages curiously asked Lord Brahma about the means with which Shiva could be pleased. Lord Brahma told them that only deep devotion and nothing else could please Lord Shiva.

SAGES EULOGIZE LORD SHIVA

Having realized their mistake, the sages returned to Daruk forest and engaged themselves in austere penance to please Shiva. They did a tremendous penance, which lasted for a year. Ultimately their wished were fulfilled as Lord Shiva appeared with ashes smeared all over his body. He had a begging-bowl in his hands and exhibited strange mannerism. But this time the sages did not fail in recognizing him. They begged for his forgiveness and sought his blessings.

Lord Shiva became pleased and blessed them divine sight, which made them enable to see his form of Trayambak. The illumines appearance of Lord Trayambak cast a spellbound over them. They eulogized Lord Shiva by singing praise in his name. This way, their deep devotion in Lord Shiva had exploited them from their sin.

LORD SHIVA PREACHES THE SAGES

Lord Shiva revealed to the sages that a female sex organ was nothing but a symbolic expression of goddess Parvati where as a male sex organ symbolized his own self. He also cautioned them against making fun of hermit's appearance. He said-"These hermits who appear absured by their looks are my great devotees. They don't care about their physical appearance because I predominantly occupy their thoughts. Anybody making fun of these 'naked' hermits, whose bodies are smeared with ashes is in fact making fun of me."

Lord Shiva then went on to describe the purity of ash and said--- Ash is extremely pure, as it is the residual element of matter, which is left after burning. It is sacred and indestructible. This is why, I smear it on my body. A person who smears ash on his body becomes liberated from all his sins. It is the destroyer of sin. It is the symbolic expression of my 'Veerya' (Semen).

This way, Lord Shiva enlightened them on various spiritual topics.

DADHICHI SUBJUGATES KSHOOPA

There ruled a king named Kshoopa whose friend was Sage Dadhichi. Once they got into argument over the superiority of their respective castes. King Kshoopa was of the opinion that a Kshetriya was superior to Brahmin. Very soon, the dispute took an ugly turn and a duel broke out between them.

Dadhich punched Kshoopa on his head. Kshoopa retaliated by attacking Dadhichi with his weapon named Vajra. The assault proved to be for Dadhichi and he fell down, Before his death he prayed to his guru-Shukracharya and sought his help. Realizing that his disciple was in danger, Shukracharya rushed to the spot, but Dadhichi had already died before he could arrive there.

Shukracharya knew the secret learning-Mritasanjivani Vidya. He brought back Dadhichi alive and advised him to please Lord Shiva to attain invincibility. He also taught Dadhichi the proper methods of worshipping Shiva. Dadhichi did an austere penance and pleased Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared and blessed him with invincibility and also made his bones as hard as Indra's thunderbolt (Vajra).

Dadhichi then went to fight Kshoopa. He kicked Kshoopa on his chest. Kshoopa retaliated by attacking Dadhichi with his Vajra. But this time Dadhichi remained unharmed. Kshoopa was surprised to see his assault going in vain. He decided to take the help of Lord Vishnu and engaged himself in austere penance.

KSHOOPA ACCEPTS DEFEAT

When Lord Vishnu appeared before Kshoopa, he sought his help in defeating Dadhichi. Lord Vishnu expressed his inability by saying--- I don't punish a Brahmin, especially if he is a devotee of Rudra. Dadhichi is both, so forget about defeating him. Anyhow, I will try me best to make Dadhichi devoid of his power.

Lord Vishnu then went to Dadhichi's hermitage disguised as a Brahmin. Dadhichi recognized him and came to know about his intentions. He requested Lord Vishnu to go ahead with his demand. "I have conquered fear on account of my total devotion in Lord Shiva" said Dadhichi.

Lord Vishnu did not like his arrogant behaviour. He said-"I know you have conquered fear. But, just for once, say that you are fearful of me, as I am Vishnu."

But, Dadhichi refused to obey his commands. This infuriated Lord Vishnu and he tried to kill Dadhichi with his Chakra. Dadhichi remained unharmed and said-How can this Chakra harm me? Lord Shiva has given whose devotee I am it to you whose devotee I am.

Lord Vishnu tried to use his other weapons but failed to cause any harm to Dadhichi. All the deities came to his help but still their efforts of defeating Dadhichi went futile.Lord Vishnu then tried to impress Dadhichi by his divine powers and showed his divine appearance in which the whole world was visible. Dadhichi gave a befitting reply by showing the whole universe including Lord Vishnu within his body. Lord Vishnu was amazed by his divine powers. Ultimately, Lord Brahma persuaded Lord Vishnu to discontinue the fight. Seeing his lord in such a helpless condition, Kshoopa had no other option but to accept defeat. He tried to pacify Dadhichi anger by asking cursed him as well as all the deities by saying--- All of you including the deities and Vishnu will be destroyed in Daksha's yagya as the consequence of Rudra's wrath.

The place where Dadhichi's hermitage was situated later on became famously known as Sthaneshwar. It is considered to be the most sacred place of pilgrimage.

SHILAD'S IMPOSSIBLE DEMAND

Once, Shilad did an austere penance to please Indra. He was desirous of begetting a son. When Indra appeared he requested him to bless him with a son who was self-born as well as deathless. Indra expressed his helplessness in fulfilling impossible demand. Even Lord Brahma meets his end after the passage of crores of Kalpas"-said Indra. Shilad tried to convince the validity of his demand by citing the example of Daksha's son who according to his best of knowledge were self-born as well as deathless. Indra told him that it was not true. To prove his point Indra said-"Even Vishnu and Brahma are not self born. Lord Vishnu created Brahma during Meghavahan Kalpa. Some are of the view that Vishnu and Brahma manifested from the left and right sides of Shiva respectively. So, your demand is unsubstantial and without any base."

According to a mythological tale Lord Vishnu manifested from in between the eyebrow of Lord Brahma. At that time Lord Shiva had arrived there to bless both of them.After the departure of Lord Shiva, Vishnu took the incarnation of Varah (Boar) and reestablished the earth in it's original position. Lord Brahma then commenced his creation and in course of time the earth came to be inhabitated by all kind of living creatures.