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Linga Purana

The Linga Purana, considered as an important work of the Saiva cults, has been classified among the Mahapuranas or the major puranas.

The total number of verses as per the different editions varies from 6000 to 11,000. The book, as available now, is in two parts and has about 9000 verses, the number of chapters being 108 in the first part and 55 in the second.

A sanskrit commentary by Ganesa Natu (early part of the 19th century), Sivatosini by name, has been printed.

This purana mainly aims at the propagation of the cult of Siva and his worship through the linga, the rounded surface emblem commonly worshipped even now.

It deals with a number of subjects, the more important ones being: the manifestation of the five aspects of Siva viz., Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Tatpurusa, Aghora and Isana; Siva appearing as a huge pillar of fire to Brahma and Visnu; Vyasa and his disciples; stories of the sages Dadhichi and Silada; about the four yugas or epochs; Nandi and his worship; descriptions of the well-known Suryavamsa and Candra-vamsa, the dynasties originating from the sun and the moon; worship of Siva and description of some vratas; detailed account of the famous Sivapancaksari- mantra and its use in meditation; an account of the places of pilgrimage like Kasi; on music and its propagation; manifestation of Siva in eight forms (astamurtis); various danas or gifts and their fruits; how to establish the Sivalingas; the mrityunjaya-mantra and its usage.

Several subsidiary religious works like Pancaksara-mahatmya, Ramasahasranama and Rudraksa-mahatmya have originated from this purana.