This body is a graveyard. In this graveyard, that Shaivite hero, dances in this graveyard. ~Swami Lakshmanjoo

In this week’s excerpt, from the book Hymns to Shiva, Utpaladeva’s Shivastotravali as revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo, Utpaladeva explains to us why Lord Shiva destroys this universe. He also talks about why Shaivite yogi dances in the graveyard, and why “everything is divine to them”.

Chapter 20 (34:28)

सतोविनाशसम्बन्धान्मत्परं निखिलं मृषा

एवमेवोद्यते नाथ त्वया संहारलीलया  ॥१८॥

satovināśasambandhānmatparaṁ nikhilaṁ mṛṣā /

evamevodyate nātha tvayā saṁhāralīlayā //18//


O my Master, when You destroy this whole universe, at the time of destroying this whole universe, You don’t actually destroy this universe. You teach something to us. You give lectures there at that moment. This teaching comes out from Your being.


Sato vināśa sambandhāt. Whatever is created will be destroyed in the end; whatever is created will be destroyed. This is [what] You teach [us] at the time, at the moment, when You destroy this whole universe. You teach us sato vināśa, whatever is existing, whatever has existed, will be destroyed.

So, matparaṁ nikhilaṁ mṛṣā, so, it is all a dream, except to Me. I only am the only [One who is] detached from this position because I am not born and I won’t die. Whatever is born will die. Evamevodyate nātha, this is what You teach, saṁhāra līlaya, by the play of this destruction.

SCHOLAR: But the mirror remains.

SWAMIJI: The mirror remains, yes.

Chapter 20 (36:05)

ध्यातमात्रमुपतिष्ठत एव त्वद्वपुर्वरद भक्तिधनानाम्

अप्यचिन्त्यमखिलाद्भुत्चिन्ता-कर्तृतां प्रति च ते विजयन्ते ॥१९॥

dhyātamātramupatiṣṭhata eva tvadvapurvarada bhaktidhanānām /

apyacintyamakhilādbhutacintā-kartṛtāṁ prati ca te vijayante //19//


There are two classes of Your devotees. One class of Your devotees are Shaivite devotees. Shaivite devotees are real devotees. Vedāntic devotees, Vaiṣṇavite devotees, they are not real devotees of Thee. [Nevertheless], they are Your devotees because [one] who is devoted to Viṣṇu is devoted to Lord Śiva [and one] who is devoted to Brahmā is devoted to Lord Śiva because Lord Śiva is the glory existing in Brahmā and Lord Śiva is the glory existing in Viṣṇu. So, they have not personal glory there. Viṣṇu has not personal glory nor Brahmā has personal glory. Brahmā’s glory has come out, it is borrowed, from Lord Śiva. Viṣṇu’s glory is borrowed from Lord Śiva’s glory.

SCHOLAR: But the devotees contract That glory. They conceive Viṣṇu as parāprakṛti or . . .

SWAMIJI: Parāprakṛti, yes.

SCHOLAR: . . . something low like that.

SWAMIJI: But that is the wrong way of experiencing.

Dhyāta mātram upatiṣṭhata eva tvat vapurvarada bhakti dhanānām. Varada, O bestower of boons (varada means “O bestower of boons”)–You bestow boons to Your devotees, always–varada, O bestower of boons, O Lord Śiva, dhyāta mātram upatiṣṭhata eva tvat vapur bhaktidhanānām, those who possess the wealth of Thy devotion, those devotees who possess the wealth of Your devotion, for them, Your form, Your svarūpa, shines, not by [utilizing] the means of yoga (the yoga system), or kriyā yoga, or jñāna yoga, or bhakti yoga, or anything; dhyāta mātram upatiṣṭhata, they just begin to think of You and they get entry in Your God consciousness.

SCHOLAR: Awareness is the means.

SWAMIJI: Awareness.

Dhyāta mātrameva upatiṣṭhata, at the time of meditating, he is there, he is appearing.

SCHOLAR: No sooner they meditate and they are established.

SWAMIJI: No successive progress. This is for those devotees of Thee who are Shaivite devotees.

And for Vaiṣṇavite devotees and Brahma devotees, acintyamapi, if they devote their time, the whole period of their lives, in Thy meditation, still they cannot perceive You.

Akhila adbhuta cintā kartṛtāṁ prati te. So, it is why Shaivite devotees are glorified by the adoption of adbhutacintā kartṛtā; their thinking is divine, their action is divine, everything is divine to them.

Chapter 20 (39:32)


सेकादिव सुखितमर्ममण्डलस्फुरितैः

नृत्यति वीरजनो निशि

वेतालकुलैः कृतोत्साहः  ॥२०॥


sekādiva sukhitamarmamaṇḍalasphuritaiḥ /

nṛtyati vīrajano niśi

vetālakulaiḥ kṛtotsāhaḥ //20//


Niśi means “in this universe, in the darkness of this universe”. This is māyā.

[In this universe], vīrajana, there are vīras (heroes).

Because, in darkness, nobody goes. You will have to hold a torch with you, otherwise you can’t walk. And in a graveyard, you will never walk without a torch. But there are vīrajana; vīrajana means those devotees, that Shaivite devotee, he is called a hero (vīrajana). [Among] sādhus328, there are aghorīs. They reside in graveyards always, i.e., aghora panthis. Like that, like aghora panthis, this Shaivite yogi is. He also resides in graveyards. He not only resides, he dances in graveyards.

What is the graveyard?

The graveyard is your body. The graveyard is your body! Your own body is a graveyard because in a graveyard you will find bones, flesh, blood, pus, all of that substance, it is there. So, this is a graveyard, this body is a graveyard. In this graveyard, that hero, that Shaivite hero, dances in this graveyard.

This body is a graveyard. In this graveyard, that Shaivite hero, dances in this graveyard. ~Swami Lakshmanjoo

He does not dance alone in this graveyard of the body. Vīrajana, this hero, dances in this graveyard, niśi, during the night, vetāla kulaiḥ kṛtotsāhaḥ, and he is already utsāha (utsāha means “encouraged”), he is encouraged by vetālas (vetālas means “ghosts”).

There are so many ghosts in graveyards [that are] seen during the night and those ghosts are the eyes (these two eyes, these are two ghosts), the nostrils are two ghosts, the mouth is one ghost, [the ears are] two ghosts, and the skin [is a] ghost, and this sexual organ [is a] ghost, and the organ of that excretion, that is also a ghost. All of these ghosts, the class of ghosts, are there in this graveyard. And, with these ghosts, these ghosts are encouraging him, they encourage him.

SCHOLAR: Marmamaṇḍala sphuritaiḥ vetāla kulaiḥ.

SWAMIJI: That is maṇḍala, marma maṇḍala. Marma maṇḍala is maṇḍala.329

SCHOLAR: And they are blissfully vibrating.

SWAMIJI: Yes. Blissfully vibrated by what? They drink alcohol. And what is that alcohol? Tāvaka bhakti rasāsava, the alcohol of Thy devotion. Those yogīs who are heroes, they drink the alcohol of Thy devotion and they dance in this graveyard.

SCHOLAR: Like vīravrata.

SWAMIJI: Like vīravrata, encouraged by those vetālas, encouraged by those ghosts, nine ghosts.330

Chapter 20 (43:26)

आरब्धा भवदभिनुतिर्-

अमुना येनाङ्गकेन मम शम्भो

तेनार्पयन्तमिमं कालं

दृढमखिलमेव भविषीष्ट  ॥२१

ārabdhā bhavadabhinutir-

amunā yenāṅgakena mama śambho /

tenārpayantamimaṁ kālaṁ

dṛḍhamakhilameva bhaviṣīṣṭa //21//


In the end, there is one request to You. I have placed this request before You, O Lord. This is the request:

Arabdha bhavad abhinutir amunā yenāṅgakena mama śambho. I have composed this, I have composed these glorious songs of Thee, this Śivastotrāvalī. I have composed this. With what purpose I have composed this? That is not the thing to be known. I have composed this, this stotra. With what ambition? Which ambition was there in me to compose it?

And by that ambition, with that ambition, arpayantam imaṁ kālaṁ dṛdhamakhilam, I [have] only one request for You that You should bestow [upon] me this sensation that I would always sing Your glory for my whole lifetime, remaining lifetime. I would like to sing Your glory. That is all. That is my request.

|| Here ends Śivastotrāvalī ||

Jai Guru Dev


328 Spiritual aspirants.

329  Marman: mortal spot, vulnerable point, any open or exposed or weak or sensitive part of the body.

330 That is, the nine openings (randras) of the body.

Source: Hymns to Shiva, Utpaladeva’s Shivastotravali, revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo
All Content is subject to Copyright © John Hughes.
CategoryHymns to Shiva
  1. June 23, 2021

    Very informative,
    Would like to know more
    Jai gurudev

    • June 23, 2021

      Thank you. You can find more information in the book Hymns to Shiva, Utpaladeva’s Shivastotravali revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo available in our bookstore or you can search for more of such content on the blog/Swamiji says.

  2. January 7, 2022

    I would feel blessed if Swami Ji,s commentary on Sangraha Stotra,i.e Chap 13 of Shiv stotrovali is also sent on the Face Book

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