By Itihasa we usually only mean the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. But have a look at the following passage/verses from Linga Purana (Tr-J.LShastry-Part1, Ch-26):

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For the propitiation of the eighteen Puranas beginning with Brahma, for the propitiation of the eighteen Upa-Puranas beginning with Saura, and for the propitiation of holy Itihasas starting with Saiva he shall touch his ears and cardiac region.

Here, actually the process of Achamana (the ritualistic sipping of water) and the allied rites are being described.

Now coming to the passage, I know that we have 18 Puranas and the 1st one among them being the Brahma Purana. Similarly, I am also aware of Saura Purana, an Up-Purana.

  • But which is the Shaiva Itihasa being talked about here?
  • 3
    I think It's talking about Shiva Rahasya which is about size of Mahabharata and also considered as Itihasa. (I think Ribhu Gita is a part of it)...
    – Tezz
    Nov 29, 2018 at 8:26
  • Ok @Tejaswee And that means it is also saying tht Shiva Rahasya is the oldest among all the Itihasas. People usually know Ramayana to be the earliest Itihasa.
    – Rickross
    Nov 29, 2018 at 11:27
  • 1
    @Rickross This link might give related info. advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/2003-May/004809.html
    – Ambi
    Nov 29, 2018 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


This Shaiva Itihaas is indeed the Shivarahasya itihaas. Not to be confused with the Shiva Rahasya Kanda of Shankara Samhita under the Skanda Purana. They are different.

The Shivarahasya itihaas contains alone 100,000 slokas, translated into Kannada in 30 volumes. The Skanda Purana contains 81,000 slokas and is comparatively smaller.

Hope it helps

  • Very interesting point! Can I find an English or Hindi copy anywhere online?
    – R. Kaushik
    Jun 13, 2021 at 21:15
  • I can only find 1100 verse abridged/short version... 30 volume sanskrit-kannada version is out of stock and not available online.
    – R. Kaushik
    Jun 13, 2021 at 22:17
  • @R. Kaushik that 1100 verse Shiva Rahasya is an entirely different book which talks of Kashmiri Shaiva philosophy and various things like about teachers of KS school... This huge voluminous Shiva Rahasya Itihasa is different book... I think it's not available online.. I have searched so hard to get it online but couldn't get...
    – Tezz
    Jun 14, 2021 at 1:09
  • Thanks @Tezz ! I am referring to this book just in case: ia600309.us.archive.org/24/items/ShriShivaRahasya/… ... There doesn't seem to be any verse that refers to Kashmir, but the commentary is by a Kashmiri named Somananda. But it says "according to SHRI SOMA-NATHA MAHARAJ DEV" - I don't know who that is.... so maybe this is a different text
    – R. Kaushik
    Jun 14, 2021 at 1:14
  • @R. Kaushik yes, it is a different book.. you can see these questions: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/21759/who-is-soma-natha and hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/24427/…
    – Tezz
    Jun 14, 2021 at 1:23

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