Linga Purana, one of the major eighteen Puranas, a Hindu religious text, is divided into two parts. These parts contain the description regarding the origin of universe, origin of the linga, and emergence of Brahma and Vishnu, and all the Vedas from the Linga. In this Purana, Shiva directly tells sometimes the importance of worship of Linga and the correct rituals to be followed during the puja of the linga.
- First part of this Purana describes the origin of the Linga, and details the process of its worship. It has also sections on the creation of the cosmos; immolation of Kama; marriage of Shiva; description of Surya and Soma; and description of Varaha and Narshimha avatars of Vishnu.
- Next part describes the prominence of Lord Vishnu, and the emergence of Brahma as the creator of the cosmos. It has several other accounts, including various aspects of Shiva
- Part three of the Linga Purana contains the description of the seven islands, Mount Meru and other prominent mountains. It also has an account of Brahma assigning divinities to various deities, including the radiance of the Surya.
- The next part has several accounts, including the account of Dhruva as the supreme devotee; origin of different deities; details of dynasties of Aaditya and Yadu; Andhak’s ascendancy to the position the lord of Ganas; annihilation of the demon Jalandhar; and the origin of Ganesh.
- The contents of the last part include the story of Upamanyu; significance of certain mantras; importance of gurus; different types of yoga; and procedure for installation of linga.
- "The distinctive sign through which it is possible to recognize the nature of someone is called a linga." (Shiva Purana)
- "Shiva is signless (sexless), without color, taste or smell, beyond word and touch, without quality, changeless, motionless." (Linga Purana)
- This unmanifest being can be perceived only through his creation, which is his sign or linga. The existence of the unqualified substratum is known and worshiped only through this sign. The linga, the giver of life is one of the shapes which represents the nature of the shapeless.
- "Shiva as the undivided causal principle is worshiped in the linga. His more manifest aspects are represented in anthropomorphic images. All other deities are part of a multiplicity and are thus worshiped as images." (Karapatri, "Shri Shiva Tattva", Siddhanta).
- "The symbol of the Supreme Man (purusha), the formless, the changeless, the all-seeing eye, the linga. The symbol of the power that is Nature, generatrix of all that exists is the yoni." (Karapatri, "Lingopasana-rahasya", Siddhanta)
- "Because she is the source of development, Nature (prakriti) is compared to a womb. The womb is Nature, basis of all. He is the giver of enjoyment. There is no other giver." (Shiva Purana)
- The linga is the universal fecundator and as such is fundamentally one. But for each form of existence there is a different womb to be fecundated. Thus the different species are spoken of as yonis. The Puranas speak of 8,400,000 different kinds of beings or yonis.
- There can be no creation without the relationship of the opposites. There could be no creation from Shiva alone, or from Nature alone. The union of a perceiver and a perceived, an enjoyer and the enjoyed, of a passive and active principle, is essential for creation to take place.
- Transcendent manhood is the immanent cause of creation; transcendent womanhood is the efficient cause. There cannot be procreation without such union and there cannot be divine manifestation without their cosmic equivalent. It is only through understanding the symbolism of the linga and yoni that we can begin to apprehend the mysteries of creation.
Twenty-eight incarnations of Shiva
Shiva is also known as Pashupati. The technique of yoga that Shiva taught is known as pashupata yoga. To teach this yoga, Shiva has an incarnation (avatara) in every kali yuga. In the present kalpa, there have been twenty-eight kali yugas and there have accordingly been twenty-eight incarnations of Shiva, all known as Yogeshvaras. Their names are as follows: (1) Shveta, (2) Sutara, (3) Madana, (4) Suhotra, (5) Kanchana, (6) Lokakshi, (7) Jaigishavya, (8) Dadhivahana, (9) Rishabha, (10) Muni, (11) Ugra, (12) Atri, (13) Vali, (14) Goutama, (15) Vedashirsha, (16) Gokarna, (17) Guhavasi, (18) Shikhandabhrit, (19) Jatamali, (20) Attahasa, (21) Daruka, (22) Langali, (23) Mahakaya, (24) Shuli, (25) Mundishvara, (26) Sahishnu, (27) Somasharma, (28) Jagadguru.
You probaby remember Brahma’s son, Daksha. Daksha married Prasuti.(In some Puranas, she is referred to as Asikli.)
Daksha and Prasuti had five thousand sons known as the Haryashvas. But the sage Narada came and told the Haryashvas that there was nothing to be gained by being addicted to material pursuits. They would be better off if they went away to meditate. Persuaded by Narada, the Haryashvas went off to meditate and have never been heard since. Daksha and Prasuti next had a thousand sons named the Shavalashvas. But Narada persuaded the Shavalashvas also to go away and meditate.
Daksha and Prasuti next had sixty daughters. Ten of these daughters were married to the god Dharma, thirteen to the sage Kashyapa and twenty-seven to Chandra.
The thirteen daughters who were married to Kashyapa were named Aditi, Diti, Arishta, Surasa, Muni, Surabhi, Vinata, Tamra, Krodhavasha, Ila, Kadru, Tvisha and Danu. (The names of the minor wives often vary from Purana to Purana.)
Aditi’s sons were known as the adityas (gods). There were twelve of them, named Indra, Dhata, Bhaga, Tvashta, Mitra, Varuna, Aryama, Vivasvana, Savita, Pusha, Amshumana and Vishnu.
Diti had two sons, Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu. These two and their descendants were known as the daityas (demons). Danu had a hundred sons, chief amongst whom was Viprachitti. They and their descendants were known as the danavas (demons).
Tamra was the mother of all the birds. Vinata had two sons, Aruna and Garuda. Garuda became the king of the birds. Surasa was the mother of naga (snakes) (sarpa). (Most other Puranas state that Surasa was the mother of the rakshasas (demons). Kadru gave birth to snakes (nagas). Chief amongst them were Ananta, Vasuki and Takshaka. Krodhavasha was the mother of rakshasas and Surabhi gave birth of all cattle. Muni was the mother of the apsaras and Arishta was the mother of the gandharvas. From Ila were born the trees and the herbs. And from Tvisha were born the yakshas (demi-gods).
There used to be a rakshasa named Rudhira and there used to be a king named Kalmashapada. The rakshasa entered the king’s body, so that Kalmashapada became a demon.
The sage Vashishtha had a son named Shaktri. As a demon, Kalmashapada ate up Shaktri and his brothers.
The story of how this happened is not given in the Linga Purana. But it is a story that is recounted in the Mahabharata and is as follows. King Kalmashapada belonged to the Ikshvaku line of kings. He had once gone to the forest and had become very thirsty. While looking for some water, the king met Shaktri. There was a very narrow path along which even two people could not walk abreast. Since he was very thirsty, Kalmashapada asked Shaktri to give him the right of way.
But Shaktri insisted that, as a brahmana, he possessed the right of way. Kalmashapada thereupon struck Shaktri with his whip and Shaktri in turn cursed the king that he would become a rakshasa. Kalmashapda’s first act as a rakshasa was to eat up Shaktri and his hundred brothers.
To return to the Linga Purana, the sage Vashishtha could not bear the shock of his sons being killed. Vashishtha’s wife was Arundhati. With Arundhati, the sage climbed a mountain and the couple flung themselves down from the peak so that they might die.
But the earth had no desire to permit the death of such great sage. She adopted the form of a woman and broke the couple’s fall. "Please do not kill yourself," she told Vashishtha. "You are needed by the world."
Shaktri’s wife was Adrishyanti and she too tried to dissuade her father-in-law from committing suicide. "I am expecting," she informed Vashishtha. "If the two of you kill yourselves, who will look after the son when he is born? He is, after all, Shaktri’s son. Please stay alive for his sake."
While this conversation was going on, the baby who was in Adrishyanti’s womb began to recite the Vedas. This was a miracle indeed and Vashishtha did not at first realize where the sound of the recitation was coming from. But Vishnu appeared and told the sage, "You will have a grandson who will bring glory to your line. He will be a great devotee of Shiva’s. It is he who is reciting the Vedas. Please stay alive for his sake."
Vashishtha was dissuaded.
In due course, Adrishyanti gave birth to Parashara.
When Parashara grew up, he asked his mother, "Where is my father? Why do I not have a father like other children do?"
"Your father Shaktri was eaten up by a rakshasa," replied Adrishyanti.
"Eaten up by a rakshasa," exclaimed Parashara. "I will pray to the god Shiva. Through my tapasya. I will attain great powers. And with my powers I am going to burn up the entire universe. There is no point in retaining such an evil universe where one’s father is eaten up by a rakshasa."
Vashishtha persuaded his grandson that such a general destruction of the universe would not be in anyone’s interest. The universe had done no particular harm. If anyone had committed a crime, it was the rakshasa who had performed the dastardly deed. Parashara resolved that he would use his powers to destroy the rakshasas.
With this end in mind, Parashara started to pray to Shiva. Shiva was pleased at these prayers and granted Parashara some amazing powers. With these powers, Parashara got to see and talk to his dead father. And he used the powers to burn up all rakshasas.
"Please stop this destruction," Vashishtha told his grandson. "There has been enough of killing. If Shaktri died, that was written in his stars. The rakshasa was merely the instrument of what fate had decreed for my son. Do not kill any more rakshasas. Anger serves no purpose."
Parashara followed his grandfather’s advice and was blessed by the sage that he would become well-versed in all the shastras. Vashishtha also blessed Parashara that he would compose the Purana samhita and the Vishnu Purana.
(Krishna Dvaipayana Vedavyasa was the sage Parashara’s son.)
The Linga Purana now catalogues the kings of the solar and lunar dynasties. But these we will skip, as they are mostly a collection of names and are better described in other Puranas. It also gives Shiva’s thousand names.
Shiva's thousand names
Vishnu and the other gods started to pray to Shiva. They called upon Shiva by his thousand names. For convenience, we preproduce the names in groups of ten names each.
(3) Parameshvara, Gangadhara, Shuladhara, Pararthaikaprayojana, Sarvajna, Saradevadi, Giridhanva, Jatadhara, Chandrapida, Chandramouli
(4) Vidvana, Vishvamareshvara, Vedantasarasarvasva, Kapali, Nilalohita, Jnanadhara, Aparichedya, Gouribharta, Ganeshvara, Ashtamurti.
(6) Paridrida, Vishvarupa, Virupaksha, Vagisha, Shuchi, Antara, Sarvapranayasvadi, Vrishanka, Vrishavahana, Isha.
(8) Subhaga, Pranavatmaka, Unmattavesha, Chakshushya, Durvasa, Smarashasana, Dridayudha, Parameshthiparayana, Anadimadhyanidhana, Girisha.
(9) Girivandhava, Kuberavandhu, Shrikantha, Lokavarnottamottama, Samanya, Deva, Kodandi, Nilakantha, Parashvadhi, Vishalaksha.
(10) Mrigavyadha. Suresha, Suryatapana, Dharmakarmakshama, Ksehtra, Bhagavana, Bhaganetravida, Urgra, Pashupati, Tarkshya.
(12) Lokakarta, Bhutapati, Mahakarta, Mahoushadhi, Uttara, Gopati, Gopta, Jnanagamya, Puratana, Nita.
(13) Sunita, Shuddhatma, Soma, Somavrita, Sukhi, Somapa, Amritapa, Mahaniti, Mahamati, Ajatashatru.
(14) Aloka, Sambhavya, Havyavahana, Lokakara, Vedakara, Sutrakara, Sanatana, Maharshi, Kapilacharya, Vishvadipti.
(15) Trilochana, Pinakapani, Bhurdeva, Svastida, Sadasvastikrita, Tridhama, Soubhaga, Sarvasar-vajna, Sarvagochara, Brahmadhrika.
(16) Vishvasrika, Svarga, Karnikara, Priya, Kavi, Sahakhavishakha, Goshakha, Shiva, Naikya, Kratu.
(17) Gangaplavodaka, Bhava, Sakala, Supatisthira, Vijitatma, Vidheyatma, Bhutavahana, Sarathi, Sagana, Ganakarya.
(18) Sukirti, Chhinnasamshaya, Kamadeva, Kamapala, Bhasmodvulitavigraha, Bhasmapriya, Bhasmashayi, Kami, Kanta, Kritagama,
(19) Samayukta, Nivrittatma, Dharmayukta, Sadshiva, Chaturmukha, Chaturvahu, Duravasa, Durasada, Durgama, Durlabha.
(20) Durga, Sarga, Sarvayudhavisharda, Sutantu, Adhyatmayoganilaya, Tantuvarddhana, Shubhanga, Lokasagara, Amritashana, Bhasmashuddhikara.
(21) Meru, Ojasvi, Shuddhavigraha, Hiranyareta, Bharani, Marichi, Mahimalaya, Mahahrada, Mahagarbha, Siddharvrindaravandita.
(22) Vyaghracharmadhara, Vyali, Mahabhuta, Mahanidhi, Amritanga, Amritavapu, Panchayajna, Prabhanjana, Panchavimshatitattvajna, Parijataparavara.
(23) Sulabha, Suvrata, Shura, Vangmayanidhi, Nidhi, Varnashramaguru, Varni, Shatrujita, Shatrutapana, Ashrama, Kshapana.
(24) Kshama, Jnanavana, Achalachala, Pramanabhuta, Durjneya, Suparna, Vayuvahana, Dhanurddhara, Dhanurveda, Gunarashi.
(25) Gunakara, Anantadrishti, Ananda, Danda, Damayita, Dama, Abhivadya, Mahacharya, Vishvakarma, Visharada.
(26) Vitaraga, Vinitatma, Tapasvi, Bhutabhavan, Unmattavesha, Pracchanna, Jitakama, Ajitapriya, Kalyana, Prakriti.
(27) Kalpa, Sarvaloka, Prajapati, Tapasvitaraka, Dhimana, Pradhana, Prabhu, Avyayaya, Lokapa, Antarhitatma.
(28) Kalpadi, Kamalekshana, Vedashastrarthatattvajna, Nityama, Niyamashraya, Chandra, Surya, Shani, Ketu, Virama.
(29) Vidruchhavi , Bhaktigamya, Parabrahma, Mrigavanarpana, Anagha, Adrirajalya, Kanta, Paramatma, Jagadguru, Sarvakarmachala.
(30) Tvashta, Mangalya, Mangalarata, Mahatapa, Dirghatapa, Sthavishtha, Sthavira, Dhruva, Ahaha, Samvatsara.
(31) Vyapti, Pramana, Tapah, Samvatsarakra, Mantra, Pratyaya, Sarvadarshana, Aja, Sarveshvara, Snigddha.
(32) Sarvadi, Agnida, Vasu, Vasumana, Satya, Sarvapapahara, Hara, Amritashashvata, Shanta, Vanahasta.
(33) Pratapavana, Kamandaludhara, Dhanvi, Vedanga, Vedavit, Muni, Bhrajishnu, Bhojana, Bhokta, Lokaneta.
(34) Duradhara, Atindriya, Mahashaya, Sarvavasa, Chatushpatha, Kalayogi, Mahanada, Mahotsaha, Mahavala,, Mahabuddhi, Mahavirya.
(35) Bhutachari, Purandara, Nishachara, Pretachari, Mahashakti, Mahadyuti, Anirdeshyavapu, Shrimana, Sarvaharyamitagati, Vahushruta.
(36) Vahumaya, Niyatatma, Bhavodhava, Narataka, Ojastejodyutikara, Sarvakamaka, Nrityapriya, Nrityanritya, Prakashatmapratapa, Buddhaspashtakshara.
(37) Mantra, Sammana, Sarasamplava, Yugadikrita, Yugavarta, Gambhira, Vrishavahana, Ishta, Vishishta, Shishteshta.
(38) Sharabha, Sharabhadhanusha, Apangnidhi, Adhishtanavijaya, Jayakalavit, Pratishthita, Pramanajna, Hiranyakavacha, Hari, Virochana.
(39) Suragana, Vidyesha, Vibudhashraya, Valarupa, Balonmathi, Vivarta, Gahanagruru , Karana, Karta, Sarvavandhavimochana.
(40) Vidvattama, Vitabhaya, Vishvahbarta, Nishakara, Vyavasaya, Vyavasthana, Sthananda, Jagadadija, Dundubha, Lalita.
(42) Nadidhara, Ajnadhara, Trishuti, Shipivishita, Shivalaya, Valakhilya, Mahachapa, Tigmamashu, Nidhi, Avyaya.
(43) Abhirama, Susharanya, Subrahmanya, Sudhapati, Maghavana, Koushika, Gomana, Vishrama, Sarvashasana, Lalataksha.
(44) Vishvadeha, Sara, Samsarachakrabhita, Amoghadandi, Madhyastha, Hiranya, Brahmavarchasi, Paramartha, Paramaya, Shambara.
(45) Vyaghraka, Anala, Ruchi, Vararuchi, Vandya, Ahaspati, Aharpati, Ravivirocha, Skandha, Shasta.
(46) Vaivasvata, Ajana, Yukti, Unnatakirti, Shantaraga, Parajaya, Kailasapati, Kamari, Savita, Ravilochana.
(47) Vidvattama, Vitabhaya, Vishvaharta, Nitya, Anivarita, Niyatakalyana, Punyashravanadkirtana, Durashrava, Vishvasaha, Dhyeya.
(48) Duhsvapnanashana, Uttaraka, Dushkritiha, Durddharsha, Duhsaha, Abhaya, Anadi, Bhu, Bhulakshmi, Kiriti,
(49) Tridashadhipa, Vishvagopta, Vishvabharta, Sudhira, Ruchirangada, Janana, Janajanmadi, Pritimana, Nitimana, Naya.
(51) Mahadeva, Sakaalagamaparaga, Tattvatativavivekatma, Vibhushnu, Bhutibhushana, Rishi, Brahmanavida, Jishnu, Janmamrityujaratiga, Yajna.
(52) Yajnapati, Yajva, Yajnanta, Amogha, Vikrama, Mahendra, Durbhara, Seni, Yajnanga, Yajnavahana.
(53) Panchabrahmasamutpatti, Vishvesha, Vimalodaya, Atmayoni, Anadyanta, Shadavimsha, Saptalodhaka, Gayatrivallabha, pramshu, Vishvavasa.
(54) Prabhakara,Shishu, Girirata, Samrata, Sushena, Surashatruha, Aristamathana, Mukunda, Vigatajvara, Svayamjoti.
(55) Anujyoti, Atmajayoti, Achanchala, Kapila, Kapilashmashru, Shastranetra, Trayitanu, Jnanaskandha, Mahajnani, Nirutapatti.
(56) Upaplava, Bhaga, Vivasvana, Aditya, Yogacharya, Brihaspati, Udarakirti, Udyogi, Sadyogi, Sadasanmaya.
(57) Nakshatramali, Narakesha, Sadhishtana, Shadashraya, Pavitrapani, Papari, Manipura, Manogati, Hritpundarikasina, Shukla.
(58) Shantavrishakapi, Vishnu, Grahapati, Krishna, Samartha, Arthanashana, Adharmashatru, Akshashya, Puruhuta, Purushtuta.
(59) Brahmagarbha, Vrihadagarbha, Dharmadhenu, Dhanagama, Jagatahitaishi, Supata, Kumara, Kushalagama, Hiranyavarna, Jyotishmana.
(60) Nanbhutadhara, Dhvani, Aroga, Niyamadhyaksha, Vishvamitra, Dvijottama, Vrihajyoti, Sudhama, Mahajyoti, Anuttama.
(62) Dharmajna, Virincha, Vishtarashrava, Atmabhu, Aniruddha, Atrijnanamurti, Mahayasha, Lokachudamni, Vira, Chandasatya.
(63) Parakrama, Vyalakalpa, Mahavriksha, Kanadhara, Alankarishnu, Achala, Rochishnu, Vikramottama, Vegi, Ashushabdapati.
(64) Plavana, Shikhisarathi, Asamsrishta, Atithi, Shatrupramthi, Papanashana, Vasushrava, Kavyavaha, Pratapta, Vishvabhojana.
(65) Jarya, Jaradhishamana, Lohita, Tananapata, Prishadashva, Nabhahyoni, Supratika, Tamisraha, Nidaghatapana, Megphapaksha.
(66) Parapuranjaya, Mukhanila, Sunispanna, Surabhi, Shishiratmaka, Vasanta, Madhava, Grishma, Nabhasya, Vijavahana.
(67) Angira, Muni, Atreya, Vimala, Vishvavahana, Pavana, Purujita, Shatru, Trividya, Naravahana.
(68) Manovriddhi, Ahamkara, Kshetrajna, Kshetrapalaka, Tejonidhi, Jnananidhi, Vipaka, Vighnakaraka, Adhara, Anuttara.
(70) Janaka, Charuvishalya, Lokashalyakrita, Chaturveda, Chaturbhava, Chatura, Chaturapriya, Amnaya, Samamaya, Tirthadevashivalaya.
(71) Vahurupa, Maharupa, Sarvarupa, Charachara, Nyayanirvahaka, Nyaya, Nyayagamya, Niranjana, Sahasramurddha, Devendra.
(73) Sahasravahu, Sarvesha, Sharanya, Sarvalokbhrita, Padmasana, Paramjyoti, Paravara, Paramfala, Padmagarbha, Vishvagarbha.
(74) Vichakshana, Paravarajna, Vijesha, Sumukhasumahasana, Devasuragurudeva, Devasurananmaskrita, Devasuramahatra, Devadideva, Devarshidevasuravaraprada, Devasureshvara.
(75) Divya, Devasuramaheshvara, Sarvadevamaya, Achintya, Devatatma, Atmasambhava, Idya, Anisha, Devasimha, Divakara.
(76) Vibudhagravarashreshta, Sarvadevottamottama, Shivajnanarata, Shrimana, Shikhishriparvatapriya, Jayastambha, Vishishtambha, Narasimhanipatana, Brahmachari, Lokachari.
(77) Dharmachari, Dhanadhipa, Nandi, Nandishvara, Nagna, Nagnavratadhara, Shuchi, Lingadhyaksha, Suradhyaksha, Yugadhyaksha.
(78) Yugavaha, Svavasha, Savamsha, Svargasvara, Svaramayasvana, Vijadhyaksha, Vijakarta, Dhanakrita, Dharmavardhana, Dambha.
(79) Adambha, Mahadambha, Sarvabhutamaheshvara, Shmashananilaya, Tishya, Setu, Apratimakriti, Lokottara, Sfutaloka, Tryamabaka.
(80) Andhakari, Makhadveshi, Vishnukandharapatana, Vitadosha, Akshayaguna, Dakshari, Pushadantahrita, Dhurjati, Khandaparashu, Safala.
(81) Nishfala, Anagha, Adhara, Sakaladhara, Mrida, Pandurabha, Nata, Purna, Purayita, Punya.
(83) Jivitantakara, Nitya, Vasureta, Vasukiya, Sadgati, Satkriti, Sakta, Kalakantha, Kaladhara, Mani.
(84) Manya, Mahakala, Sadbhuti, Satyaparayana, Chandrasanjivana, Shasta, Lokaguda, Amaradhipa, Lokavandhu, Lokanatha.
(85) Kritajnakritibhushana, Anapayakshara, Kanta, Sarvashastrabhutasvara, Tejomayadyutidhara, Lokamaya, Agrani, Anu, Shuchismita, Prasannatma.
(86) Durjaya, Duratikrama, Jyotirmaya, Nirakara, Jagannatha, Jaleshvara, Tumbavini, Mahakaya, Vishoka, Shokanashana.
(87) Trilokatma, Trilokesha, Shuddha, Shuddhi, Rathakshaja, Avyaktalakshana, Avyakta, Vishampati, Varashila, Varatula.
(89) Vidhata, Atta, Harta, Chaturmukha, Kailashashikharavasi, Sarvavasi, Satamgati, Hiranyagarbha, Harnia, Purusha.
(90) Purvajapita, Bhutalaya, Bhutapati, Bhutida, Bhuvaneshvara, Samyogi, Yogavida, Brahmanya, Brahmanapriya, Devapriya.
(91) Devanatha, Devajna, Devachintaka, Vishamaksha, Kaladhyaksha, Vrishanka, Vrishavardhana, Nirmada, Nirahamkara.
(92) Nirmoha, Nirupadrava, Darpaha, Darpita, Dripta, Sarvartuparivartaka, Saptajihva, Sahasrachi, Snigddha, Prakritidakshina.
(93) Bhutabhavyabhavanatha, Prabhava, Bhrantinashana, Artha, Anartha, Mahakosha, Parakavyaikapandita, Nishkantaka, Kritananda, Nirvyaja.
(94) Vyajamardana, Sattvavana, Sattvika, Satyakirti, Stambhakritagama, Akampita, Gunagrahi, Suprita, Sumukha, Naikatmanaikakarmakrita.
(95) Sukshma, Shukara, Dakshina, Skandhadhara, Dhurya, Prakata, Pritivarddhana, Aparajita, Sarvasaha, Vidagddha.
(96) Sarvavahana, Adhrita, Svadhrita, Sadhya, Purtamurti, Yashodhara, Varahashringavrika, Vayu, Valavana, Ekanayaka.
(97) Shrutiprakasha, Shrutimana, Ekavandhu, Anekadhrika, Shrivallabha, Shivarambha, Shantabhadra, Samanjasa, Bhushaya, Bhutikrita,
(98) Bhuti, Bhushana, Bhutavahana, Akaya, Bhaktakayastha, Kalajnanai, Kalavapu, Satyavrata, Mahatyagi, Nishthashantiparayana.
(99) Pararthavritti, Varada, Vivittana, Shrutisagara, Anirvinna, Kalankanka, Kalankaha, Svabhavarudra.
(A few of the names are repeated more than once.)
Andhaka started to perform very difficult tapasya. He pleased Brahma through his prayers and obtained the boon that he could never be killed. Armed witht his boon, Andhaka went about conquering the three worlds. He drove the gods out of heaven.
Indra and the other gods fled in desperation to Mount Mandara. They were joined in their flight by Visnu. But Andhaka pursued them there as well.
Shiva lived on Mount Mandara. The gods went to Shiva and said, "The king of the demons, Andhaka, is oppressing us. We do not known what to do, He has followed us here as well. Please save us from Andhaka’s depredations."
Shiva ventured out to tackle Andhaka. Andhaka was not alone, he had millions of demon-soldiers with him. But Shiva burnt up all these soldiers. He then pierced Andhaka with a trident (trishula) and raised the trident up into the sky. The demon hung there, transfixed with the central prong of the trident.
The gods were delighted at this. They showered down flowers on Shiva and began to pray to him. All beings in the three worlds heaved sighs of relief.
"If you are indeed pleased with me," replied Andhaka, "please grant me the boon that I may be always faithful to you. And please make me your constant companion."
The Andhaka story, like most stories, is rather cursorily treated in the Linga Purana. Far greater details are given in other Puranas. According to some of these accounts, Hiranyaksha had no sons. Andhaka was the son of Shiva and Parvati and was adopted as a son by the childless Hiranyaksha. According to the Harivamsha, Andhaka was the son of Diti and the sage Kashyapa. Since all of Diti’s sons were killed by the gods, Diti prayed to Kashyapa that she might have an immortal son. This son was Andhaka.
Daksha once organized a yajna (sacrifice). To this, he invited all the other gods and the sages. But he did not invite Shiva. Sati went to the sacrifice and was insulted by her father. Thereupon, she immolated herself in the fire of the yajna.
Shiva was stricken with grief. He sent Virabhadra to destroy the yajna. The sacrifice was being held in the foothills of Himalayas, in a place named Kankha. Virabhadra completely destroyed the sacrifice. His companions killed many of gods and the sages, and flung their bodies into the water of the Ganga which flowed nearby. Virabhadra plucked out the eyes of the god Bhaga, smashed the teeth of the god Pusha and gave the moon-god a resounding kick. He sliced off Indra’s head and the arms of the fire-god Agni. As for Vishnu, a mighty battle raged between Virabhadra and Vishnu. But Vishnu more than met his match and had his head cut for his pains. Daksha’s head was also severed by Virabhadra. Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, lost her nose.
Brahma was thunderstruck at all this destruction and started to pray to Virabhadra and Shiva. Shiva was pacified and forgave the gods and the sages. Everything was restored to what it had been prior to Virabhadra beginning his process of destruction.
(The story of Daksha’s yajna is one of the more interesting stories in the Puranans. But like most stories, the Linga Purana treats it cursorily. If you are interested int his story, you should read the Mahabharata or the Bhagavata Purana.)
When Parvati was twelve years old, she began to perform very difficult tapasya so that she might attain Shiva as a husband.
At that time, there was a terrible demon named Tarakasura. He was the son of the demon Tara. Tara himself was so powerful that he managed to defeat all the gods. Fora thousand years Vishnu fought with Tara, but to no avail. Tara simply picked Vishnu up and flung him far away. Finally, Vishnu prayed to Brahma and obtained all sorts of wonderful powers. With these powers, he managed to kill Tara.
But Tarakasura was still around. He defeated the gods and drove them out of heaven. Vishnu fought with Tarakasura for twenty thousand years, but could do nothing to the demon. The gods fled in desperation to Brahma.
"Don’t be so disconsolate," Brahma assured the gods. "Sati has been reborn as Parvati. She will marry Shiva, and she and Shiva will have a son named kartikeya. He will be your general and will defeat Tarakasura."
There was a demon named Jalandhara. He obtained tremendous powers through tapasya. Such were these powers that he managed to defeat the gods.
The story of Jalandhara’s orgin is not given in the Linga Purana, but can be found in the Padma Purana. Indra once went on a visit to Mount Kailasa and met Shiva there. Failing to recognize Shiva, Indra hit him on the head with his vajra. A fire issued out of Shiva’s head and threatened to burn Indra up. Indra pacified Shiva and contrived to avoid destruction. But Shiva flung the fire into the ocean and from his fire a boy was born. Since jala means water and since he emerged from the water, the boy came to be called Jalandhara. Alternatively Brahma discovered and adopted the boy. But the boy tugged so hard at Brahma’s eyes. Brahma therefore named the boy Jalandhara and also granted him the boon that he could be killed only by Shiva.
After having defeated all the other gods, Jalandhara challenged Vishnu to a duel. This duel lasted for sometime, but eventually, Vishnu too, met his match.
Jalandhara then told his companions, the other demons. "I seem to have defeated everyone that there is to fight with. The only one who is left is Shiva. Let us go and thrash Shiva, Nandi and the others."
The demon army trooped to Shiva’s residence.
"What do you want?" asked Shiva. "Why have all of you come here?"
"We have come to fight with you," replied Jalandhara.
Shiva inserted his big toe into the ocean and started to churn the water. From this churning, the terrible weapon known as the sudarshana chakra was created.
"I shall certainly fight with you," said Shiva. "But first you must raise this chakra with your big toe. I will fight with you only if you succeed."
Jalandhara tried to do this. With a great deal of difficulty, he managed to raise the chakra and place it on his shoulders. But as soon as he did this, the weapon sliced off his head. Jalandhara’s flesh and blood cluttered up the universe. Shiva had all of this sent to Yama, the god of death. Yama constructed a hell (naraka) named maharourava with this flesh and blood.
Thus it was that Jalandhara met his end. As for the demon’s companions, they were burnt to ashes by Shiva’s rage.
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