Shri Shiva Bilvashtakam was composed by Jagad Guru Sri Adi Shankaracharya. Shri Shiva Bilvashtakam is a powerful mantra that speaks of the power and glory of offering bilva leaves to Lord Shiva. They are to be oﬀered in a group of three leaves and are said to have features that identify them with Lord Shiva himself. Bilva Patra shares a very special relationship with Lord Shiva. Shiva is very fond of Belpatra or the Bilva leaves. If a person prays to Shiva with a clear mind and offers a Belpatra to the Shivalinga, the Lord blesses them with whatever they desires. Hence, Belpatra is one of the most important ingredients which is used for the worship of Lord Shiva. Bilva leaves is from the wood apple tree. This leaf is trifoliate which signifies the holy Trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. It also signifies the three eyes of Shiva. According to Shiva Purana, The bilva is the symbol of lord shiva. It is adored even by the gods. it is difficult to understand its greatness. Blessed are the ones who offer Bilva. One Bilva is equal to a thousand lotus, says the Siva Purana. According to the Skanda Purana, the Bel tree grew from the sweat droplets of Parvati which fell on the Mandrachal mountain. From there the Bel tree emerged. Hence, it is believed that the Goddess resides in this tree in all Her forms. She resides as Girija in the roots of the tree, as Maheshwari in its trunk, as Dakshayani in its branches, Parvati in its leaves, Katyayani in its fruit and as Gauri in its flowers. Therefore as Parvati resides in Her various forms in this tree, Shiva is extremely fond of its leaves. According to Sri Bilva Shtakam, bel tree grew from the breast of Lakshmi. Those who offer one leaf of Bilva to Shiva is possibly equal to the spiritual bliss attained by the offer of a saligrāma stone to a Brahman. Giving millions of elephants in charity, performing hundreds of Vājapeya sacrifice, or giving away millions of daughters in marriage equal the offering of one Bilva-leaf to Shiva. Those who recite this sacred Bilvāṣṭkam near Shiva shall be freed from all the sins and will attain the abode of Siva.
Shiva Stotram – Bilvaashtakam Lyrics in English:
tridalam trigunakaram trinetram ca triyayudham
trijanma papasamharam ekabilvam sivarpanam
trisakhaih bilvapatraisca accidraih komalaih subhaih
tavapujam karisyami ekabilvam sivarpanam
koti kanya mahadanam tilaparvata kotayah
kañcanam ksiladanena ekabilvam sivarpanam
kasiksetra nivasam ca kalabhairava darsanam
prayage madhavam drstva ekabilvam sivarpanam
induvare vratam sthitva niraharo mahesvarah
naktam hausyami devesa ekabilvam sivarpanam
ramalinga pratistha ca vaivahika krtam tadha
tatakanica sandhanam ekabilvam sivarpanam
akhanda bilvapatram ca ayutam sivapujanam
krtam nama sahasrena ekabilvam sivarpanam
umaya sahadevesa nandi vahanameva ca
bhasmalepana sarvangam ekabilvam sivarpanam
salagramesu vipranam tatakam dasakupayoh
yajnakoti sahasrasca ekabilvam sivarpanam
danti koti sahasresu asvamedha satakratau
kotikanya mahadanam ekabilvam sivarpanam
bilvanam darsanam punyam sparsanam papanasanam
aghora papasamharam ekabilvam sivarpanam
sahasraveda patesu brahmastapana mucyate
anekavrata kotinam ekabilvam sivarpanam
annadana sahasresu sahasropa nayanam tadha
aneka janmapapani ekabilvam sivarpanam
bilvastotramidam punyam yah pathessiva sannidhau
sivalokamavapnoti ekabilvam sivarpanam
Shiva Stotram – Bilvaashtakam Meaning:
I offer a bilva to Lord Shiva, which has three leaves, which represents three qualities, which are like the three eyes of
Shiva, which is like the triad of weapons, and which destroys the sins of three lifetimes.
I offer one bilva leaf to Lord Shiva in worship, which has three branches, does not have holes, is tender and auspicious.
I offer one bilva leaf to Lord Shiva, for if a whole leaf is offered to the Lord of Nandi, we get cleansed of all our sins.
I offer one bilva leaf to Lord Shiva, for it is equivalent to offering a saligrama (sacred stone) to a brahmin, or the great blessing obtained by performing Soma Yaga.
I offer one bilva leaf to Lord Shiva, for it is equivalent to gifting one thousand elephants, or performing one hundred fire sacrifices, or giving away in marriage countless unmarried girls.
I offer one bilva leaf to Lord Shiva, for it is equivalent to giving a Bilva tree which was born from the body of Lakshmi, and which is very dear to the Lord Shiva.
I offer one bilva leaf to Lord Shiva. Seeing and touching a Bilva tree washes away one’s very great sins.
I offer one bilva leaf to Lord Shiva, after living in the city of Kasi, seeing Kala Bhairava, and having had darshan of Madhava in Prayag.
I offer one bilva leaf to Lord Shiva. As Brahma He resides at its base, as Vishnu He lives in the middle, and as Shiva He lives at the top.
Reading of these eight verses on bilva in the presence of Lord Shiva saves one from all sins, and in the end takes one to the world of Shiva.