Can someone please provide the correct translation for Shiva Purana : kotirudra Samhita : 12 chapter


2 Answers 2


It could be the malefic translation done by Indologists / anglicised Indians ,that has created an ineffaceable wrong notion

If Linga is taken to be the representative of the metaphysical idea of Lingodhbhava (infinite consciousness sat-chit-ananda) ,then it is closer to the quintessence of what the purana conveys.

The popular belief is that the Siva Lingam represents the phallus or the virile organ, the emblem of the generative power or principle in nature. This is not only a serious mistake, but a grave blunder. In the post-Vedic period, the Linga became symbolical of the generative power of Lord Siva. Linga is the differentiating mark. It is certainly not the sex-mark. You will find in the Linga-Purana: “The foremost Lingam which is primary and is devoid of smell, colour, taste, hearing, touch, etc.Linga means “mark”, in Sanskrit. It is a symbol which points to an inference. Lord Siva is really formless. He has no form of His own, and yet, all forms are His forms. All forms are pervaded by Lord Siva. Every form is the form or Linga of Lord Siva.There is a mysterious power or indescribable Sakti in the Linga to induce concentration of the mind. Just as the mind is focussed easily in crystal-gazing, so also the mind attains one-pointedness when it looks at the Lingam. That is the reason why the ancient Rishis of India and the seers have prescribed Lingam for being installed in the temples of Lord Siva.Siva Linga speaks to you in the unmistakable language of silence: “I am one without a second. I am formless.” Pure, pious souls only can understand this language.A curious, passionate, impure foreigner of little understanding or intelligence says sarcastically, “Oh, the Hindus worship the phallus or sex organ. .Even so, the curious foreigner tries to find out some defects in the worship of symbol. Linga is only the outward symbol of the formless being Lord Siva who is the indivisible, all-pervading, eternal, auspicious, ever-pure, immortal essence of this vast universe

Swami Sivananda


Your question linked the translation given by Wisdom Lib. The original is 'correct,' but it could be clearer, and I agree that it is a bit long and confusing. I've broken it down line by line and re-translated it. The text in blockquotes is quoted from WisdomLib, and I've clarified each line in the parenthesis below it.

One day, a group of sages approached Sūta, and said to him:

1. O Sūta, [you know every thing by the grace of Vyāsa. There is nothing not known to you. Hence] we approach you with a query.

(Sūta was a hermit who was a disciple of Vyasa (source). Here, the sages are telling Sūta that they have a question for him.)

2. The phallic form (liṅga) of Śiva is worshipped throughout the world. You have said so. Is there any special reason for the same?

(This is the question that the sages wanted ask- why is Shiva worshipped in liṅga form?)

3. Pārvatī, the beloved of Śiva, is heard in the world in the form of an arrow. O Sūta, what is the reason for this? Please satisfy our curiosity in this respect by giving the account you have heard.

(This is a bit of a strange translation, and the awkwardness mainly results from the translation of the original words 'śrutā' and 'bāṇa'. Here, 'śrutā' was translated to 'heard', but 'known as' or 'worshipped as' fits better. I believe that 'bāṇa' (translated to 'arrow') is actually a euphemism for 'vagina,' but I can't find any citation for this).

Sūta responded:

4. O brahmins, the story of a different Kalpa was heard from Vyāsa by me. O excellent sages, I shall narrate the same. Please listen.

(Vyasa told Sūta of a different Kalpa. Sūta will now tell this to the sages.)

5. What happened formerly among the brahmins in the Dāruvana forest may kindly be heard. I shall narrate the same in the manner I have heard.

(Sūta is telling the sages that the story is about the Brahmans who live in the Dāruvana forest.)

6. There is an excellent forest Dāruvana. There were many excellent sages there, great devotees of Śiva who were always engrossed in meditation on Siva.

7. O great sages, they performed the worship of Śiva incessantly thrice a day. They eulogised Śiva with different devotional hymns.

(Those sages in that forest are devotees of Shiva, and they prayed to him three times a day and sang to him in various hymns)

8. Once the leading brahmin devotees of Śiva engrossed in the meditation of Śiva went into the forest for bringing sacrificial twigs.

(This is confusing, but what is being said is that the head brahmins went to get some sticks that were necessary to the ritual)

9. In the meantime Śiva himself assuming a very hideous form came there in order to test their devotion.

10. He was very brilliant but stark naked. He had smeared ashes all over his body as the sole ornament. Standing there and holding his penis he began to show all sorts of vicious tricks.

(Shiva decided to test the sages' devotion. He took a 'hideous form', in which he stood fully naked, his body covered in ash, as he held his penis in his hand. He started to do some "tricks", which is a euphemism for autoerotic penile stimulation- masturbation)

11. It was with a mind to do something pleasing to the forest-dwellers that Śiva, favourite of the devotees, came to the forest at his will.

(The original word for 'forest-dwellers' was 'vanavāsinām.' 'Hermit' would be a better translation. (source) Basically, Shiva came to the forest to meet and see the devotees- I am unsure as to the point or meaning of this line.)

12. The wives of the sages were extremely frightened at this sight. The other women excited and surprised approached the lord.

13. Some embraced him. Others held his hands. The women were engrossed in struggling with one another.

(he women who were married to the sages were shocked and frightened. The rest of the women, though, were excited. They approached Shiva. Some of the women embraced him, others held his hand. They were tripping over one another as they tried to get close to him.)

14. Meanwhile the great sages came there. On seeing him engaged in perverse activities they were pained and infuriated.

15. The sages, deluded by Śiva’s Māyā and plunged in grief, began to say—“Who is this? Who is this?”

(The sages, who had been collecting sticks, returned to see this scene. They were "pained and infuriated," and they didn't know that this was Shiva. They asked him who he was.)

16. When the naked sage did not reply, the great sages told that terrible Puruṣa:

17. “You are acting pervertedly. This violates the Vedic path. Hence let your penis fall on the ground.”

(Shiva did not reply, so these sages told him that he was violating the Vedic path, and cursed his penis to fall to the ground)

18. When they said thus, the penis of that Avadhūta, who was Śiva of wonderful form, fell down instantly.

('Avadhūta' is the name of this form of Shiva. The sages' curse was fulfilled, and Shiva's penis came off.)

19. That penis burnt everything in front; wherever it went it began to burn everything there.

20. It went to Pātāla; it went to heaven; it went all over the earth; it never remained steady anywhere.

(The fallen penis burned everything it came across. It went to Pātāla; to heaven, it went all around the world. It never remained still anywhere.)

21. All the worlds and the people were distressed. The sages became grief-stricken. Whether gods or sages no one had any peace or joy.

(Everybody was distressed- nobody, not the gods, not the sage, was peaceful or content, such was the destruction that was wrought by this rampage)

22. All the gods and sages who did not recognize Śiva became sad. They assembled together and hastened to Brahmā and sought refuge in him.

23. O brahmins, after going there, they bowed to and eulogised Brahma. They narrated what had happened to Brahmā the Creator.

(They told Brahma what happened, and asked him for guidance)

24. Brahmā heard them. He realised that they had been deluded by Śiva’s Māyā. After bowing to Śiva, he told the excellent sages.

25. O brahmins, you though wise do such despicable things. Then why complain against the ignorant who act likewise?

26-27. Who can wish for happiness after offending and antagonising Śiva thus? If a person does not welcome and serve a guest at midday, his virtue is taken away by the guest who in return deposits his sin in him. What then of Śiva himself as a guest?

28. As long as the penis does not become stationary there cannot be anything good in the three worlds. I am telling you the truth.

29. O sages, you must do such things as will make the penis of Śiva steady. Please ponder over this in your minds.

(Brahma told the sages: You are so wise, yet so ignorant at the same time...how can you wish to be happy if you insulted Shiva? Shiva was a guest in your forest, and you did not fulfill your duties as a host. Until Shiva's penis stops moving, the world will perish. Sages, you must do something to accomplish this.)

30. Thus urged, the sages bowed to Brahmā and said—“O Brahmā, what shall be done by us? Please guide us in that task.”

31. When the great sages asked him thus, Brahmā, the grandfather of the worlds, spoke to them.

(The sages asked Brahma what they could do, and Brahma responded...)

32. Let the gods propitiate goddess Pārvatī and pray. If she can assume the form of the vaginal passage that penis will become steady.

33. O excellent sages, listen. I shall tell you the mode of procedure. Act accordingly with love and devotion. She will be thus pleased.

(Brahma said: Pray to Parvati and ask that she assume the form of a vagina. If she does so, the penis will become steady and the destruction will end. Here is how you must pray to Parvati:)

  1. Make an eight-petalled mystic diagram of lotus and place a pot over it. Water from holy centres shall be poured into the pot along with the sprouts of Dūrvā and barley.

  2. The pot shall be invoked with Vedic mantras. It shall be worshipped according to the Vedic rituals after remembering Śiva.

  3. The penis shall be drenched with that water, O great sages. When the sprinkling is made with Śatarudrīya mantras it will become stable.

  4. Pārvatī in the form of the Vaginal passage and an auspicions arrow shall form as the pedestal wherein the phallus shall be installed in accompaniment of the Vedic mantras.4

  5. Lord Śiva shall be propitiated with the offerings of sweet scents, sandal paste, fragrant flowers, incense and other things as well as by food offerings and other forms of worship.

  6. With prostrations, holy hymns, musical instruments and songs he shall be propitiated further. Svastyayana mantras shall be repeated and the devotees shall proclaim the victory of the lord.

  7. The following prayer shall be recited—“*O lord of the gods, be pleased, O delighter of the universe. You are the creator, protector and the annihilator. You are imperishable.

  8. You are the beginning of the universe, the origin of the universe within the universe. “O lord Śiva, be quiet. Protect all the worlds.*”

(I won't rephrase this, as it's fairly clear, but here is that mantra from lines 41/42):

jagadādirjagadyonirjagadantargatopi ca |
śānto bhava maheśāna sarvāṃllokāṃśca pālaya ||

evaṃ kṛte vidhau svāsthyaṃ bhaviṣyati na saṃśaya |
vikāro na trilokesminbhaviṣyati sukhaṃ sadā ||

If this is performed there will be stability, to be sure. There will not be any aberration in the three worlds. There will be happiness always.

(Brahma said: do this, and stability will be restored)

43. O brahmins, thus advised, the gods bowed to Brahmā and then sought refuge in Śiva with a desire for the happiness of the worlds.

44. When worshipped with great devotion and implored, lord Śiva became delighted and spoke to them.

(The sages decided to do as they were told. Shiva was pleased, so he said to them:)

45. O gods, O sages, you listen to my words with reverence. If my penis is supported in a vaginal passage there will be happiness.

46. Except Pārvatī, no other woman can hold my penis. Held by her my penis will immediately become quiet.

(Parvati is the only one who can hold my penis- when she does, there will be peace.)

47. O great sages, on hearing those words the delighted sages and the gods took Brahmā with them and prayed to Pārvatī.

48. After propitiating Pārvatī and the bull-bannered lord and performing the rites mentioned before, the excellent penis became static.

49. The gods and the sages propitiated Pārvatī and Śiva by the mode of procedure laid down in the Vedas for the sake of virtue.

50. Brahmā, Viṣṇu and other gods, sages and the three worlds including the mobile and immobile beings worshipped Śiva particularly.

(The sages and the gods performed those rituals, and the penis became still)

51. Śiva became delighted and so also Pārvatī, the mother of the universe. That phallus was held by her in that form then.

  1. When the phallus was stabilised, there was welfare throughout the worlds. O brahmins, that phallus became famous in the three worlds.

(Shiva and Parvati were pleased- peace was restored.)

53. The phallus is known as “Hāṭeśa” as well as “Śivā-Śiva.” By worshipping it, all the people become happy in every respect.

54. Here everything will flourish in plenty conferring supreme happiness and bliss. Hereafter it will bestow final liberation. No doubt need be entertained in this respect.

(The phallus is also known as 'Hāṭeśa' or 'Śivā-Śiva.' The worship of it will result in joy and liberation)

This is where the chapter ends. The point of it was to explain why Shiva is worshipped in a phallic form, as linga, and the story told by Sūta explains it. The chapter ends by telling us that worshipping linga results in joy and liberation and ends all strife.

I hope that this is helpful.

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