Shiva Purana

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The Shiva Purana (Sanskrit: शिव पुराण, Śiva Purāṇa) or Shiva Mahapurana is the supreme Purana of the Shaivites.Shiv Purana is written by Rishi ved Vyas.[1]The Mahapurana details the creation, preservation and ultimate destruction of the universe and serves as a guide to the worship of the Supreme God Shiva, among other gods and goddesses. According to a tradition which is stated in the Vāyaviya Saṁhitā (the Venkateshvara Press edition) of this text, the original text was known as the Shaiva Purana. Although it may be weakly and narrowly cited that the Shiva Purana is a tamas purana as per the Padma Purana, Shaivites consider this Puran to be the supreme Sattva text and a guide for true virtuous living.[2] The Vidyesvara Samhita is the authoritative text for Shaivites on the treatise of Rudrakasha and bhasma. As well, the Mahapurana authoritatively explains the creation of the Dus Mahavidyha, Saligram Sila, correct method of puja, yantra worship and the exhaustive treatise on initiation into Shaivism.

According to tradition, the purana originally consisted of twelve Saṁhitās and 100,000 shlokas (verses). After the reconstruction and the abridgment by Vedavyasa, the extant text comprises 24000 ślokas (verses), which he taught to his disciple Romaharshana (or Lomaharshana). JL Shastri, in his book, "The Siva Purana", suggests that the Vayu Purana is either a part of the complete Shiva Purana of twelve Saṁhitās or has a close relationship with it.[3][4]

The recensions of the text[edit]

Several recensions of this text exist. The recension presented by the edition published by the Vangavasi Press, Calcutta in 1908 consists of six Saṁhitās (sections):[5]

# Saṁhitā (section) Adhyāyas (chapters)
I Jñāna Saṁhitā 78
II Vidyeśvara Saṁhitā 16
III Kailāśa Saṁhitā 12
IV Sanatkumāra Saṁhitā 59
V Vāyavīya Saṁhitā:
i. Pūrvabhāga
ii. Uttarabhāga

VI Dharma Saṁhitā 65
Total: 290

The recension presented by the two other editions published by the Venkateshvara Press, Bombay in 1906 and the Pandita Pustakalaya, Kashi in 1963 consists of seven Saṁhitās:[5]

# Saṁhitā (section) Adhyāyas (chapters)
I Vidyeśvara Saṁhitā 25
II Rudra Saṁhitā:
i. Sṛśṭikhaṇḍa
ii. Satīkhaṇḍa
iii. Pārvatīkhaṇḍa
iv. Kumārakhaṇḍa
v. Yuddhakhaṇḍa

III Śatarudra Saṁhitā 42
IV Koṭirudra Saṁhitā 43
V Umā Saṁhitā 51
VI Kailāśa Saṁhitā 23
VII Vāyavīya Saṁhitā:
i. Pūrvabhāga
ii. Uttarabhāga

Total: 457

According to a passage found in the first chapters of Vidyeśvara Saṁhitā and Vāyaviya Saṁhitā of these recensions the original Shiva Purana comprised twelve Saṁhitās, which included five lost Saṁhitās: Vaināyaka Saṁhitā, Mātṛ Saṁhitā (or Mātṛpurāṇa Saṁhitā), Rudraikādaśa Saṁhitā, Sahasrakoṭirudra Saṁhitā and Dharma Saṁhitā (or Dharmapurāṇa Saṁhitā).[5] The number of verses in these sections were as follows:

  1. Vidyeshvara Samhita - 10,000
  2. Rudra Samhita - 8,000
  3. Vainayaka Samhita - 8,000
  4. Uma Samhita - 8,000
  5. Matri Samhita - 8,000
  6. Rudraikadasha Samhita - 13,000
  7. Kailasa Samhita - 6,000
  8. Shatarudra Samhita - 3,000
  9. Sahasrakotirudra Samhita - 11,000
  10. Kotirudra Samhita - 9,000
  11. Vayaviya Samhita - 4,000
  12. Dharma Samhita - 12,000
The Creation of the Cosmic Ocean and the Elements, folio from the Shiva Purana, c. 1828.

Several other Saṁhitās are also ascribed to the Śiva Purāṇa. These are the Īśāna Saṁhitā, the Īśvara Saṁhitā, the Sūrya Saṁhitā, the Tirthakṣetramāhātmya Saṁhitā and the Mānavī Saṁhitā

Haraprasad Shastri mentioned in the Notices of Sanskrit MSS IV, pp. 220–3, Nos, 298–299 about another manuscript of the Śiva Purāṇa, which is divided into two khandas (parts), the Pūrvakhaṇḍa and the Uttarakhaṇḍa. The Pūrvakhaṇḍa consists 3270 ślokas in 51 chapters written in Nagari script and the Uttarakhaṇḍa has 45 chapters written in Oriya script. It was preserved in Mahimprakash Brahmachari Matha in Puri. The Pūrvakhaṇḍa of this manuscript is same as the Sanatkumara Saṁhitā of the Vangavasi Press edition.


  1. ^ "Shri shiv mahapuran". Shivpuran. 
  2. ^ As categorized in Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda, 236.18–21
  3. ^ Shastri, JL (1970). The Siva Purana. India: Motilal Banarasidass. pp. xiii. 
  4. ^ Shiva, G (March 18, 2014). "Shiva Purana". Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Rocher, Ludo (1986). "The Purāṇas". In Jan Gonda (ed.). A History of Indian Literature. Vol.II, Epics and Sanskrit religious literature, Fasc.3. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. pp. 222–8. ISBN 3-447-02522-0. 

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