More Shiva Resources
Vairagya is a collection of sacred chants that include Nirvana Shatakam, Aum Namah Shivaya and Guru Paduka Stotram. The chants are available as a free android app, and as mp3 downloads. The mp3s also include a free ebook, “Shiva – Ultimate Outlaw” by Sadhguru.
The Shiva Purana – An Introduction
The Purana is a class of literature that includes the topics of religion, philosophy, history, sociology, politics and other subjects. It is a vast repository of ancient wisdom. The Puranas are of two kinds. The Mahapuranas and the Upapuranas. Each class consists of eighteen puranas, bringing the total number of puranas to thirty-six.
The list of Mahapuranas include:
1. Skanda Purana consisting of 81,000 verses
2. Padma Purana consisting of 55,000 verses
3. Naradiya Purana consisting of 25,000 verses
4. Shiva Purana consisting of 24,000 verses
5. Varaha Purana consisting of 24,000 verses
6. Vishnu Purana consisting of 23,000 verses.
7. Garuda Purana consisting of 19,000 verses
8. Bhagavata Purana consisting of 18,000 verses
9. Brahmavaivarta Purana consisting of 18,000 verses
10. Kurma Purana consisting of 17,000 verses
11. Agni Purana consisting of 15,400 verses
12. Matsya Purana consisting of 14,000 verses
13. Bhavisya Purana consisting of 14,500 verses
14. Brahmanda Purana consisting of 12,000 verses
15. Vamana Purana consisting of 10,000 verses
16. Brahma Purana consisting of 10,000 verses
17. Linga Purana consisting of 10,000 verses
18. Markandeya Purana consisting of 9,000 verses
The list of Upapuranas include:
1. Bhargava Purana
2. Brihannaradiya Purana
3. Devi Bhagavatam
4. Durvasa Purana
5. Ganesha Purana
6. Hamsa Purana
7. Kalika Purana
8. Kapila Purana
9. Nandi Purana
10. Narasimha Purana
11. Parasara Purana
12. Samba Purana
13. Sanatkumara Purana
14. Sivarahasya Purana
15. Surya Purana
16. Vamana Purana
17. Varuna Purana
18. Vashishtha Purana
The Mahapuranas are classified into different categories, such as Vaishnava, Brahma and Saiva as per the preferential treatment they accord to the various gods. The Shiva Purana of course praises the glory and greatness of Shiva, describes the ritual and philosophical principles of Shiva worship, embodies descriptions, sermons and dissertations on the greatness of his divinity, recounts his emblems, attributes, exploits and incarnations, narrates legends and dwells upon the merit of installing and consecrating the linga.
The text of the Shiva Purana as it exists today is arranged into seven Samhitas: Vidyavara, Rudra, Satarudra, Kotirudra, Uma, Kailasa and Vayaviya. The Rudrasamhhita itself is divided into five sections: Creation, the story of Sati, the story of Parvati, the birth and adventures of Kumara and Shiva’s battles. The Vayaviya has two parts, the Purvabhaga and Uttarabhaga. It is called Vayaviya, because although it is Suta who narrates it in the Naimisha forest, it was originally narrated by Vayu.
As per Vayaviya, the original Shiva Purana had twelve Samhitas as against the current seven. The five additional ones were Vainayaka, Matr, Rudraikadasa, Sahasrakoti and Dharma. All twelve Samhitas together comprised one hundred thousand Slokas. The five Samhias have been dropped however over the course of time and the Shiva Purana we have with us today consists of twenty-four thousand slokas, said to have been abridged by Sage Vyasa.
Most Puranic scholars agree upon the authenticity of the seventeen Mahapuranas other than the Shiva Purana. Generally the eighteenth is listed as the Shiva Purana, though a few list the Vayu Purana in its place. JL Shastri conjectures the following:
“We know that Sivapurana is divided into seven Samhitas, one of which is the Vayaviya. We have the testimony of Sivapurana itself that the original Sivapurana consisting of one hundred thousand slokas was abridged into twentyfour thousand slokas. On the strength of this evidence it cannot be unreasonable to suppose that there was a proto-Sivapurana and a proto-Vayaviya. It is not unlikely that there was a close affinity between the extant Vayupurana and the proto-Vayaviya or that the extant Vayupurana is a recension of the proto-Vayaviya and thus a part of Sivapurana itself. Solution lies in assuming identicality of the two on the basis of this suggestion, not in accepting the one and rejecting the other.”