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The Essence of Puranas – Linga Purana -1

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The Essence of Puranas – Linga Purana

1    Invocation

Om Shri Ganeshaya Namah, Om Namah Shivaaya Namah,

Namo Rudraaya Brahmaney Paramatmaney,

Pradhaana Purushaaya Sarga Sthityantakaariney/

Akaaramakaaram Sthulam Sukshmam Paraatparam ,

Omkaara rupa mrugvaktram Saama Jihvaa samanvitam/

Yajurveda mahaagreevamatharma hridayam Vibhum,

Pradhaana Purushaateetam Pralayotpatti varjitam/

Tamasaa Kaala Rudrasyam Rajasaa Kanakaangijam,

Satvena Sarvagam Vishnum Nirgunatvey Maheswaram/ 

( Suta Maha Muni prayed to Brahma-Vishnu- Shiva and after greeting Veda Vyasa addressed a huge gathering of Rishis initiated the description of Linga Purana by stating that Omkara comprising ‘A’kaara, ‘ U’ and ‘M’kaara denotes ‘Shtula’ or Gross, ‘Sukshma’ (Miniscule) and ‘Paraatpara’ or the Supreme Forms. The Omkara Swarupa has Rig Veda as its Face, SamaVeda as its tongue, Yajur Veda as its neck and Atharva Veda as its heart.The Pradhana Purusha or the Prime Being is made of  ‘Taamasika’ Feature representing Bhagavan Rudra, ‘Rajasika’ Feature standing Brahma, ‘Satwa Guna’ denoting Vishnu and ‘Nirguna’ as Parameshwara.)

2       ‘Linga’ and ‘Alinga Rupaas’ and Primary Creation

Invisible Shiva called ‘Alinga’ is the root of the visible ‘Linga’ or  ‘Prakruti’/Shaivi /Maya or  the Universe. Thus the visible Linga (Prakriti) is Shiva Swarupa itself. The synthesis of the Alinga and Linga is known as the ‘Aoutthama’ Linga, which is devoid of ‘Gunas’ or characteristics. The Alinga Paramatma is Infinite, Constant and All-Pervasive as also the Unique Trimurti Rupa performing the three deeds of Srishti- Sthiti-Samhara in the manifestations of Brahma-Vishnu and Shiva as the Beeja (Seed) Swarupa.  Prakriti or yoni is created by as many as twenty-six inputs viz. Maha Tatwa (Supreme Manifestation), Ahamkara (the Great Consciousness) comprising the Tri Gunaas or Tamo-Rajaasa-Satwa Gunas or features; The Tamasa Ahamkara creates Tanmatras or Subtle Forms of Matter viz. the foremost Tanmatra of Shabda (Sound) leading to Akaasha (Sky); Akaasha creating the Sparsha (Touch) Tanmatra; the Sparsha creating Vayu  (Air), the Vayu creating the Rupa        ( Form) Tanmatra; Rupa Tanmatra creating Tejas or Radiance (Agni); Agni creating Rasa (Taste) Tanmatra; Rasa creating Jala or Water; Water creating Gandha (Smell) Tanmatra; and Gandha creating Prithvi / Earth; thus there is a perfect link between Pancha Tanmatras and Pancha Bhutas. Now the Saatwika Ahamkara created Pancha Jnaneindriyas, Pancha Karmandriyas and Manasa or Mind; the Pancha Jnanendriyas are Twak (Skin for Touch), Chakshu (Eyes of Vision),  Nasika (Nose for Smell), Jihva (Tongue for Taste) and Shrotra (Ears for Hearing); the Pancha Karmendriyas are Vaak (Speech),  Payu (anus), Upastha (Marmendriya), Hasta (Hands) and Paada (Feet). As the twenty six inputs of Mahatawa-Ahamkara-Tri Guna- Pancha Tanmatras-Pancha Bhuta- Pancha Jnaanendriya-Pancha Karmdendriya and Manas were ready and in Position, there manifested Brahmanda  the Golden Egg with Brahma seated inside along with Vishnu and Shiva who too floated over the Maha Jala (as distinguished from Water as a component of Pancha Bhutas) of a volume of ten times more than that of the Golden Egg; of MahaVaayu ten times more than that of the volume of Maha Jala and of Mahaakaasha or the Greater Sky of ten times further of the volume of Maha Vayu. Interestingly, there are several such Brahmandaas in the Maha Srishti!

In the beginning, Brahma made unintentional and casual Creations called Tamas, Moha, Maha Moha, Tamisra and Andha; indeed he was dissatisfied with these and after  Tapasya and concentration, created Sanaka-Sanandana-Sanaatana-Sanat Kumara Brothers, followed by Marichi, Angirasa, Pulastya, Pulaha, Rithu, Atri and Vasistha who were like Brahma himself from his Yoga Vidya as they were all endowed with Brahama Vidya and were Brahma Vaadis. Then emerged nine Prajapatis and one Ayonija named Shatarupa; the latter and from her husband Swayambhu were born Priayamvada and Uttanapada; Akruti, Prasuti and Devahuti were also born to Swayambhu. Prasuti married Daksha Prajapati and from their union were born Shraddha,  Dhruti, Tushti, Medha, Kriya, Bindu, Lajja, Vapu, Siddhi, Kirti,  Khyati, Sambhuti, Smriti, Preeti, Kshama, Sannati, Anasuya, Urja, Swaha,  Swadha, and  Arani. From Shraddha to Kirti above were wedded to Dharma;  Khyati was married to Bhrigu, Arani to Bhargava, Sambhuti to Marichi, Kshama to Pulaha, Sannithi to Ritu, Aanasuya to Atri, Urja to Vasishtha, Smriti to Angira, Preeti to Pulastya, Swaha to Vaishwanara and Swadha to Pitru Devatas. As his Manasa Putri Sati was handed over to  Daksha Prajapati to bring her up, Brahma told  Daksha to treat her as his own daughter and cautioned that she was to be basically treated as the Mother of the Universe, besides being the  Mother of Daksha as well as his own too! Daksha revered Sati well and got her married to Rudra himself. Even earlier in the past at the time of Prathama Sarga itself, Rudra asked Brahma to convert his body into to two parts, viz. as Shiva as Artha Naareswara; now Daksha Prajapati only formalised the Union of Shiva and Sati and stated that all total womanhood of the Universe was of the ‘Amsha’ or of similarity to Sati Devi; besides Ekadasha Rudras too were of the Amsha of Shiva-Sati Union.

Further to an outline of the Primary Creation of Brahma, Suta Maha Muni described the details of the progeny of the Maharshis and their wives above mentioned ; mention-worthy   were: Devi Lakshmi born to the couple of Bhrigu and Khyati; Kardama Muni to Pulaha and Kshama; Balakhilya Muni to Kratu and Sanmati; Sini, Vaali, Kuhu, Raaka, Anumati the daughters to Angira and Smriti; Pavamana, Pavaka, and Shuchi were born to Agni and Swaha Devi; Maina Devi and her sons Mainaka and Krouncha were born to Swadha  and Pitras etc.

Of special significance was of the instance of  Shiva and Sati Devi the daughter of Daksha; as Sati Devi was provoked by the indifference and irreverence displayed by her father, she self-immolated out of the affront caused to Shiva by her father only to return as Devi Parvati in the subsequent manifestation; it was in that context that Brahma extolled Shiva as follows:

Namostuvo Maha Devaatrinetraa Nila Lohitaah Sarvajnaah

Sarvagaa Dirghaa Hrasvaa Vaamanakaah Shubhah/

Hiranya keshaaya dushtaaghnaa Nityaa,  Nirmalaah,

Nirdwandya Veetaraagascha Vishwaatmamaano Bhavaatmajaah/

(My salutations to you Maha Deva, Trinetra, Nilalohita! You are Sarvajna or All Knowing, Sarva Gati or Multi-directional Passenger, Dirgha or Very Tall, Hraswa or Short, Vaamana or Pigmy-like, Shubha or Propitious, Hiranyakesha or of Golden Locks, Dushtaghna or the Destroyer of Evil, Nitya or Everlasting, Nirmala or Translucent, Unique or of Non-Duality, Devoid of Desires, The Soul of the Universe, and the Supreme Soul of Thoughts)! Brahma then performed a Pradakshina (Circumambulation) and requested Maha Deva to allow him the creation of Beings without old age and death. Bhagavan said that it would never be possible to do so and that every Being would have to under go through the evolution of Life any way and as per one’s own ‘Karma’ or  deeds and would have to experience the retributions of Narakas or enjoy the fruits of Upper Lokas. So replying to Brahma, Parama Shiva became a ‘Sthanu’ or  Motionless; he could assume any form that he would wish and being merciful and propitious by nature facilitates human beings to perform good deeds, more so because they are fearful of Evil and Sin. Those who take refuge in Shankara are assured of breaking the shackles of Maya as He indeed is  the Master of the Universe, the Eternal Paramatma; indeed He is Kaala Rudra as the Symbol of Tamo Guna, Brahma as the Representation of Rajo Guna, Vishnu as the Icon of Satwa Guna and Maheswara as Nirguna or Featureless. A person could worship any of the Forms of Bhagavan as Brahma, or Vishnu or Shiva as the Supreme Maheswara and escape the onslaught of Sins and the resultant Hells,  improve the Stock of Punya or the Fruits of Good Deeds,  and accomplish the Higher Lokas

3    Ashtanga Yoga-the Significant Means of Shiva Tatwa

To control the activities or goings on in the mind is Yoga. The Ashtanga or Eight-Limbed Yoga comprises of Yama- Niyama- Aasana- Pranaayama- Pratyahara-Dharana-Dhyana-Samadhi. Yama is denoted by good behaviour comprising Ahimsa (Non-Violence), Satya         (Truth), Asteya (stealing), Brahmacharya (avoidance of sex) and Aparigraha or Excessive acquisition. Basic Niyamas is in fact an extension of Yama: To refrain from hurting or torturing co-Beings physically or mentally is Ahimsa; to convey whatever is seen, heard, and believed is Satya unless it does not hurt any body is known as Satya; to desist stealing of other’s property by deed, thought or otherwise is called Asteya; to negate from relationship with another female or in respect of a female wih another  male, excepting the wedded woman or man as the case may be and this should be observed by vision, thought or deed is called Brahmacharya or celibacy; and to abstain from excessive acquisition of materials far and above one’s needs in the short run of time is stated to be Aparigraha. Besides the above General Principles, Niyamas also involve the specific deeds viz. Shoucha or Physical Cleanliness,Yagna-Tapa or meditation, Daana or charity, Swadhyaya or Memorising or Reciting the Scriptures, Indriya Nigraha or Control of Physical Limbs, Vratas like Chandrayana as also or to perform formal worship directed to specific Devatas and purposes,, Upavaasa or Fasting, Snaana or Formal Bathing besides Tirtha Seva and ‘Aniccha’or General Disinterestedness and abstinence; these are the Ten Niyamas. The next component of the Ashtanga Yoga denotes as Aasana which not only includes the right posture of formal seating like of Padmasana followed by ‘Bahyatantara Shuchi’ or external and internal cleanliness, Shiva Puja starting from Brahmanas, Agni, Varuna with other Devas climaxing with Parama Shiva. Included in the Aaasana are Japa, Swadhyaya, and Tapas etc; Japa should be of Panchakshari viz. Om Namassivaya Mantra and Swadhyaya is of Omkara and of Vedas and other Scriptures. Japa and Swadhyaaya are of three kinds: Vaachaka, Maanasika and Upaamsaka (Oral, mind-borne and Upaamshak or as guided by Guru). The next step is Pranayama or to practise interruptions of  Prana or life-air or merely stated as  the breathing processes of ‘Manda’ or mild, ‘Madhyama’ or medium and ‘Uttamaa’ or the best of variations; these interruptions  comprise twelve units each of ‘Uchhvaasa’ or inhaling and ‘Nishvasa’ or exaling in the mild category, while these two holdings of breath would be for twenty four units in either case in respect of medium category and thirty units in either case in the best category. ‘Yogaabhyaas’ or the practice of Yoga besides providing happiness and peace of mind would cure several physical weaknesses to rectify respiratory and digestive imbalances, bring about shine of body and mind, cleanse up blood and its circulation and sharpness of thinking. Yoga unifies and balances of the ten kinds of ‘Vaayus’ or Airs in the human system viz. Praana-Apaana-Samaana- Udaana-Vyaana-Naaga-Kurma-Kukara-Devadutta and Dhananjaya. The air that enables vital functions of the human body, respiration and general activity is Praana; the air that is generated by the food intake down in the digestive process is Apana; the air that controls the involuntary movements of the body, circulation of blood,and flow of sweat from glands to skin and creating diseases is Vyaana; the air that controls the  bubbling in the ‘marmaavaya’or the secret part is Udaana; the Equalising air balancing the body parts and stimulating digestive fluid is called Samaana; Udgaar (dakaar) is the wind called Naga; the wind enabling ‘Unmeelana’ or of the opening of eyes is Kurma; Kakara Vayu creates hunger, Devadatta created yawning and Dhananjaya Vayu creates high-pitch sounds and also remains with the body for a while even after death. Thus four kinds of Siddhis viz. Shanti, Prashanti, Deepti and Prasada are achieved by the Yoga. Pranaayama also achieves the generation of Tatwas viz. Vivaswara, Mahaan, Mana, Brahma, Smriti, Khyati, Ishwar, Mati and Buddhi. Pratyahara demolishes sins; Dharana facilitates the holding up of the crucial state of balance;  Dhyana or meditation of Ishwara bestows the devastation of poisons like Vishayas or worldly matters; Samadhi  leads to Prajna or Self-Consciousness. Thus Yoga aided by ‘Asana’ leads to the dynamic circle of Praanayama-Pratyahara-Dharana-Dhyana culminating in  Samadhi.  

The above was the outline of Yogaabhyaasa and now to the practice of it: one should not practise Yoga in the surroundings of Fire, water, dried leaves, animals, burial places, of great sound or disturbances, worm-infested places, uncongenial and inauspicious places, places occupied by evil-minded persons and so on; but in quiet caves, Shiva Kshetras, lonely forests or gardens without distractions. Yogaabhyaas  should be intiated by greeting one’s Guru and then to Shiva, Devi, Ganesha and others and by resorting to Padma or any other Aaasana ; he should fix his eyes at a particular Target, expand his chest, raise his head, not touch his teeth of one line with another, keep looking at the tip of his nose and not look at sides; and by aligning his Three Gunas, concentrate on Parama Shiva in Dhyana on Omkara, dipa sikha or top of an oil-lamp. The Yogi must visualize a white lotus encased in a Trikona or a Triangle  and set in the images of Agni, Soma and Surya and then perform meditation of Rudra on the forehead by picturising Shiva in two, or four, or six, or ten or twelve or sixteen leaves; the dhyana should be targetted to the  golden and fire-like, twelve Aditya-samaana,  lustrous Nilalohita Shiva. Maheswara should be retained in the hridaya or heart,  Sadashiva in the naabhi or navel, and Chandrachuda in the ‘Llalaata’ or forehead and the prayer should be as follows:

Nirmalam Nishkalam Brahmaa Sushantim Jnaana Rupinam,

Alakshanamanirdeshya Manoralpataram Shubham/

Niraalambamatarkai cha Vinashotpatti varjitam,

Kaivalyam chaiva Nirvaanam Nishreyasamanuttamam

Amritamchaaksharam Brahmam hyapunar –bhavamadbhutam/

Mahaanandam Paramaanandam Yogaanandamanaamaam,

Heyopaadeyarahitam Shukshaatsukmataram Shivam/

Swayam Vedyamavedyam taacchivam Janamayam Param/

Ateendriyamanaabhaasam Parama tatwa Paratparam,

Sarvopaadhi Nirmuktam Jnaanagamyam Vicharatah/

Adwayam Tamasaschaiva parastaat samsthitam param

(Nirmala, Nishkala, Brahma, Shanta, Jnaanarupa, Lakshana Rahita, Shubha, Niralamba, Atarkya or Unquestionable, Naashotpatti rahita or who is bereft of birth and termination, Kaivalya, Nirvana, Nishreya or devoid of hold , Amrita, Akshara, Moksha, Adbhuta, Mahananda, Paramaananda, Yogaananda, Heyopaaya rahita, Sukshmaati Sukshma, Parama Jnaana Swarupa, Ateendriya, Anaabhaasa, Paratpara, Sarvopaadhi nirmukta, Jnaanayogya, Unique as he has no duality).Thus Ishwara be prayed in the Naabhi Sthaana, in the middle of the Body Shiva of Shuddha Jnaana be concentrated and in the Uttama Marga by the means of Puraka-Rechaka-Kumbhaka or Inhalation-Exhalation and Retention of breathing respectively called Pranayama.  

A practitioner of Yoga is invariably faced with several kinds of  difficulties like Alasya, Vyadhi Peeda, Pramaada, Samshaya chitta or Chanchalata, Ashraddha in the path of Darshana, Bhranti, Duhkha durmanastatha and Arogya Vishaya. Alasya is due to the heavy weight of Body and the resultant lack of preparedness. Vyaadhi peeda is caused by dhatu- vishamata or ill-health and disability. Pramada is due to fear of Abhyasa or Practice; Samshaya or a feeling of apprehension and negativity of approach; Ashraddha or sheer carelessness and laziness; Bhranti is due to a feeling of Yoga’s ineffectiveness; Duhkha durmanstha or misplaced fatalism that human beings are any way subject to ‘Tapatrayaas’ (or of Adhi bhoutika, Adytatmika and Adhi daivika reasons or due to body-mind or God made calamities) and a general mind-set of yoga or no yoga  human beings are any way subject to the ups and downs of life! Arogya Vishaya is yet another limitation to Yoga Practice due to a general belief of  retaining  health from other ways and means of medicines.

A successful Yoga Practitioner is endowed with ‘Dasha Siddhis’viz. Pratibha, Shravana, Vaarta, Darshana, Aaswaada and Vedana. Jnaana Pratibha is the Siddhi of knowing about a Vastu or Vyavahar or of a thing of past, present or of future; this Siddhi would infuence or impress others. Shravana Siddhi enables a Yogi to hear or understand any kind of sound or conversation or a happening irrespective of distance or time. Vaartaa Siddhi facilitates the experience of Pancha Tanmatraas of sabda-sparsha-rupa-rasa and gandhas. Darshana Siddhi is the ability to perceive or vision of any thing irrespective of time and distance limitations. Aaswaada Siddhi enables tasting any substance and Vedana Siddhi is the power of sparsha to experience the shape, form or a feature of a person or thing.

In fact a Maha Yogi is stated to possess sixty four kinds of Paisachika, Parthiva, Raakshasa, Yaaksha, Gaandharva, Aindra, Vyomatmika, Praajaapatya, Brahmaadi Siddhis but he should discard all such powers in the quest of Shivatwa. Such Siddhis range from assuming any type of Swarupa of fatness, slimnes, childhood, youth, old age, man, woman, any specie of a bird-animal-reptile, mountain, water body and so on; ability to lift mountains, drink up an ocean, flying on sky, passing through a needle’s eye and endless such miracles. [The normal Siddhis are Anima (miniaturising), Mahima ( Maximising), Prakamya (Visioning and Hearing), Isatwa (Rulership), Vasitwa (Self Control), Kama Vasitwa (ability to fulfill desires), Doora Shravana and Doora Darshana or distant vision and hearing,  Parakaya Pravesha or ability to enter other’s bodies; ‘Devaanaam Saha kreedanam’ or playing with Devas, Yatha Sankalpa Samsiddhi or instant fulfillment of desires,Triloka Jnaana or knowledge of the happenings of Three Lokas;  Control of heat and cold, Paraajaya or invincibility and so on.] Depending on the intensity of the success of the Yoga practice and  the powers attained by way of controlling the Jnanendriyas and Tatwas, a Yogi could perform impossibilities but frittering the  Siddhis so gained would negate the capacity to accomplish Shivatwa

4    The Unfolding of Shiva Tatwa and ‘Pancha Mukha’- the Five Faced

Once Devi Parvati enquired of Mahadeva as to how to achieve Shivatwa and the latter said smilingly that Brahma too asked a similar query: in reply, Brahma visioned Parama Shiva in various Forms:

Yathaa twayaadya vai pushto drushtam Brahmaatmakam twaham,

Swetey Swetena varnena drushtwaa Kalpetu maam Shubhey/

Sadyojaatam tathaa raktey Vaamam Pitaamahah,

Peetey Tatpurusham Peetamayamaghorey Krishnameeshwaram/

Ishaanam Vishwarupaakhyo Vishwarupam tadaavamahaam/

(In Sweta Maha Kalpa, Shiva appears as of Sweta Varna or of Crystal Clear White Form called Sadyojaatam; in Rakta Kalpa, He is in Rakta Varna or of blood red colour; in yellow colour as Tatpurusha or as Aghora in dark colour and in Ishana Kalpa he saw Mahadeva as Vishwarupa. Brahma got rather confused then prayed to him as to in which form he should be worshipped:

Vaama Tatpurushaaghora Sadyojaata Maheswara;

Drushto mayaa twam Gayatrayaa Deva Deva Maheswaram,

Kena Vashyo Maha Deva dhyeyaha kutra Ghrunaanithey

drushyah pujayastathaa Devyaa Vkaktumarhasi Shankara!

( Vaama Deva! Tatpurusha, Aghora, Sadyojaata, Maheswara! You show me up along with Gayatri; kindly do indicate to me a way of my worship to you, meditate to you and pleae you!) Then Bhagavan affirmed:

Avomcha Shraddhayaiveti vashyo Vaarijasambhava!

Dhyeyo Lingey twayaa drushtey Vishnunaa payasaam nidhow,

Pujyayah Panchaasya rupena Pavitraih Panchaabhi Dwijaaih/

Bhava Bhaktaadya drushtoham twayaangna Jagadguro,

Sopi Maamaaha bhaavartham duttam tasmai  mayaa pura/

Bhavam Bhaavena Deveshi drushtwaamnaam twadeeshwaram,

Tasmaad Shraddhayaa vashyo drushyah Sheshta Gireyh Sutey,

Pujyo Lingena Samdehah Sarvadaa Shraddhayaa Dwijaih,

Shraddhaa Dharmah Parah Sukshmah Shraddhaa Jnaanam hutam tapah,

Shraddhaa Swargascha Mokshascha drushyoham shraddhayaa sadaa/

(Kamalodbhava Brahma! I am worthy of being conquered by a devotee’s Shraddha or Sincerity and his/her meditation by all the Five Names as mentioned above; Vishnu who is on Ksheera Sagara  too worshipped me by the Five Names (of Shiva). Brahma then replied that he also felt the same and worshipped Shiva likewise; Deva Parvati too thought in a similar manner as Shraddhaa would be the only way by which Shiva could be realised as that was the Parama Dharma, Sukshma Jnaana, homa, Tapas and the only means of Moksha, Swarga and so on.)

The Congregation of Munis then queried Suta Maha Muni to kindly explain the significance of each of the Five Names of Maha Deva and the latter replied that in the twenty ninth or Sweta Lohita Kalpa, Brahma was immersed in deep Tapasya facing West and from his  tuft a Swarupa emerged suddenly with white complexion and as that Resplendent Form appeared unexpectedly and swiftly, Brahma named him Sadyojaata. Even as Brahma greeted the new Form of Shiva saying

Sadyojaatam prapadyaami Sadyo jaataayavai Namo Namah,

Bhavey Bhavenaati bhaveswaam bhavo bhaveybhyaanamah,

there materialised four disciples of Sadyojata viz. Sunanda, Nandana, Vishva Nanda and Upa Nanda who would always be in His presence. The Sishyas prayed to Sadyojata as: Vandeham Salam Kalankarahitam Staanormukham Paschimam.

 In the Thirtieth Kalpa named Rakta Kalpa, Brahma meditated Bhagavan Shiva looking northward wearing Rakta Vastra and Rakta Varna and there appeared Vaama Deva who was of red colour and red ornaments; Brahma then saluted the Vaama Deva Form of Mahadeva as follows:

Vaama Devaaya namo Jyeshthaaya namah Jyeshthaayanamo Rudraaya namah Kaalaaya namah Kalavikaranaaya namo balavikaranaya namo balaaya namo  balapramathanaaya namah Sarva Bhuta damanaaya namo manonmanaaya namah /

The disciples around Him were Viraja,Vibaahu, Vishoka and Vishwa Bhavana and these were of Rakta Varna, Rakta Vastra and Raktaabharana as their foreheads were smeared with rakta chandana, rakta bhasma, rakta lepana and rakta sindura. Innumerable Maharshis performed Tapasya to Vaama Deva and attained Shivatwa. Their prayers to Vaama Deva was:Vandey Purna Sashanka mandala nibham vaktram Harasyottaram!                                                                              

In the next Kalpa numbered thirtyone called Peeta Kalpa, Brahma did Tapasya to Parama Shiva in the direction of East by assuming Peeta ( Yellow) Varna and Peeta Vastra and there emerged Tatpurusha (Brahma) of everything in Peeta colour donning Peeta Vastra-Aabhushana-Peeta Yagnopaveeta and Peeta Kireeta or Headgear. Brahma prayed to Tatpurusha stating Tat Purushaaya vidmahey Maha Devaaya dhimahi tanno Rudrah prachodayaat; along with the latter appeared a Sacred Cow Swarupa; that was of Devi Maheswareem :

Gaam Vishwarupaam drushey Maheswaramukha -acchytaam,

Chatush –padaam Chaturvaktraam Chaturhastaam Chatuhstaneem/

Chaturnetraam Chatuhshringeem Chaturdamshtraam Chatur mukheem,

Dwaantrih sadgunasamyuktaa meeshwareem Sarato-mukhaam/

(A Vishwarupa-Achyuta Maheswari with four feet, four mouths, four hands, four breasts, four eyes, four horns, four damshtras, four faces and of Sadgunas or Auspicious Traits). As Devi Gayatri appeared, Brahma performed ‘parikrama’ to the four-legged Sacred Cow called Gayatri and Maha Deva extolled her as Gayatri, Rudrani, Vaidiki and Vidya! Brahma assured that whosoever performed Japa and puja to her would please them with Shiva Tatwa and Shiva agreed to bestow on them DivyaYoga, Jnaana, Aishwarya and Vairagya. Besides Gayatri, there appeared several disciples who were also the close confidants of Gayatri, and who worshipped Parameshwara through Brahma Deva and they too assumed Peeta Varna-Peeta Vastra-Peeta Tilaka and every thing in Yellow colour.                        

In Praghrutta Kalpa of Black Varna after thousand of Deva years, Brahma prayed to Shankara towards South as he decided to create yet another Amsha of the latter, and consequently was materialised Aghora who was black in colour, all his body parts in black, wearing black Vastra, black ‘Janevu’ or Holy Thread, black  headgear, black beads around his neck and was ornamented black too. Brahma prostrated before Aghora Rupa and prayed to him as follows:

Aghorebhyo taghorebhyo ghoratarebhyah,

Sarvebhyaassarva sarvebhyo namastey astu Rudra rupeybhyah

for thousand years and Maha Deva was gratified with the Tapasya and blessed that whosoever performed the Aghora Mantra one lakh times would be purified of the most severe sins including: Brahma Hatya Suraapaanam Suvarna steyamevacha or killing of  Brahmana, consuming liquor, swindling gold etc. Aghora Deva’s sons were Krishna, Krishna Sikha, Krishna Mukha, Krishna Kanthadhaari and their prayer to Aghoresha is: Vandey Dakshinameeswarasya kutila bhrubhanga Roudram Mukham.  The erring Brahmanas who committed Maha Patakaas are required to perform (after one lakh Aghora Mantra) seven Agni Homas with Ghee, Sugarcane, Tila or sesame seed orv atleast by ghee. After the required Havans, the Kartaas are to perform Snaanaas again by reciting the Aghora Mantra through out the night by sprinkling ‘Pancha Gavya’(Mix of Five Products of Cow viz. Milk, Curd, Dung, Urine, Ghee) and also consuming it for physical purification. By so performing, the erring humans especially Brahmanas would be observing ‘Prayaschitta’ or atonement of serious sins of even big magnitude including Bhruna Hatya, Brahma Hatya, Go hatya, Matru/Pitru Hatya, Bala Hatya, Stree Hatya, Mitru-Guru-Bhraatrum Hatya etc.                            At the beginning of Vishwa Kalpa, Brahma Deva initiated Srishti and Devi Saraswati was materialised first and Brahma greeted her saying :

Vishwamaalambaradhara Vishwa Yagopavartini

Vishwvoshneepaa Vishwagandhaa Vishwamaataa Mahoshtika/                                 

There after, Brahma created Ishana who was of Shuddha sphatika sankaasam or like Transclucent Prism and Saravaabharana bhushitam or decorated by all kinds of ornaments whom Brahma commended as follows:

Vavandey Devameeshaanam Sarveysam Sarvagum Prabhum,

Omeeshaana Namastestu Maha Deva namostutey/

Namostu Sarva Vidyaanaa -meeshana Parameshwara,

Namostu Sarva bhutaanaameeshaana Vrishavaahana/ 

Brahmanodhipatey tubhyam Brahmaney Brahma rupiney,

Namo Brahmaadhipataye Shivam  mestu Sadaa Shiva/

Omkaara murtey Devesha Sadyojaata namonamah/ 

Prapadye twaam prapannosmi Sadyojaataaya vai namah/

Abhavecha Bhavey tubhyam tathaa naati bhavey namah,

Bhavodbhava Bhaveshaana maam bhajaswa Mahaadyutey/

Vaamadeva Namas -tubhyam Jeyshthaaya Varadaayacha,

Namo Rudraaya Kaalaaya Kalanaaya namo namah/

Namo Vikaranaayaiva Kaalavarnaaya vahniney,

Balaaya Balinaam Nityam sadaa Vikaranaayatey/

Bala Pramathanaayaiva Baliney Brahmarupiney,

Sarva Bhutashwareshaaya Bhutaanaam damanaayacha/

Manonmanaaya Devaaya Namastubhyam Mahaadyutey,

Vaama Devaaya Vaamaaya Namastubhyam Mahaatmaney/

Jyeshthaayachaiva Shreshthaaya Rudraaya varadaayacha,

Kaalahantrey Namastubhyam Namastubhyam Mahaatmaney/

Iti stavena Devesham nanaama Vrishabhadhwajam,

Yah Pathet Sakru deveha Brahmaloka -mavaapnuyat/

( My salutations to you Ishana, Mahadeva, Sarwa Vidyaa Swaami, Sarva Parameshwara, Vrishabha Vahaana, Brahmadhipati, Brahma Swarupa, Omkara Murti, Devasha, Sadyojaata;  the Abhava or the One who has not occurred, yet the Bhava or the One who has occurred and is a Great Occurrence; Ishana, Maha Shobha, Vama Deva, Jyeshtha, Varada or the Bestower of Boons, Rudra, Kaala, Kaalaa’s Kaala, Vikaranaya, Kaala Varnaaya, Balaaya, Bala Manthanaaya, Brahma Swarupa, Sarva Bhuta Swami, Bhuta damanaaya, Manmatha damanaaya,Sreshthaaya, Rudraya, Kaalahantrey! Who ever recites the above Stuti would qualify for Indra and Brahma lokas!) As Shiva was pleased with Brahma’s eulogy, Dervi Sarasvati also got materialised along with Pancha Mukha Rudras; she too who was Chatur Mukhi-Chatur Baahu-Chatur Pada and Chatur-Netri was Viswarupa as she was born in that Kalpa who too had as Brahma Gunas like Yoga, Samkhya, Tapa, Vidya, Vidhi Kriya, Dama, Satya, Daya, Ahimsa, Sammati, Kshama, Dhyana, Dheya,Shanti, Mati, Dhruti, Kanti, Neeti, Medha, Lajja, Tushti, Pushti, Kriya and so on; she was also Gauri Maya, Vidya, Hemavati, Pradhana Prakriti, Ajanma, Lohita, Shukla-Krishna, Vishwa Janani, Gayatri and Go Swarupa! Such was the significance of Devi Saraswati, stated Maha Deva

5    Connotation of Omkaara and analysis of Alphabets related to Shiv’s Body Parts

(Vishnu’s Prayers to Maha Deva included and Tri Murti seniority analysed)

Maharshi Lomarshana, the disciple of Veda Vyasa, while addressing the Sages at Naimisha Forest described that at the Maha Pralaya or the termination of the Universe after the Maha Yuga, the Supreme Bhagavan created Vishnu with the aid of Satwa Guna who was floating on Maha Jala or the Unending Water Sheet and from his navel appeared a lotus with Brahma as materialised with Rajo Guna seated thereon; the latter questioned Vishnu about his antecedents and consequent on mutual arguments about their Supremacy there was a fight; at that very time there appeared a Colossal Agni Linga emitting enormous radiance and heat which neither had a beginning nor end. Brahma took the Swarupa of a gigantic ‘Hamsa’ or Swan and flew up with great speed of its own as also of enormous wind power to ascertain the top of the Maha Linga while Vishnu assumed the Swarupa of a black ‘Varaha’ of ten yojanas of height and hundred yojanas of width and slided down the Maha Linga to ascertain its bottom. As neither the Hamasa Rupa Brahma who flew up and up for thousand years nor the Varaha Rupa Narayana who slided down as much time could discover the bottom or the top and returned to the starting point by another thousand years; both of them reached there totally fatigued. Then there was a reverberating Sound of AUM:

Tadaa sama bhavattatra naadou vai Shabda lakshanah,

Omomiti Surasreshtthaah Samyuktah plutalakshanah/

Kimidam twiti samchitya mayaa tishthanmahaaswanam,

Lingasya Dakshiney bhaagey tadaapashyat Sanaatanam/

Adya varnamakaaram chouttareytath,

Makaaramadhya taschaiva naadaantam tasyachomiti/

Suryamandalavadrustwaa varnamaadyam tu Dakshiney,

Uttarey Paavaka prakhya mukaaram Purusharshabhah/

Sheetaamshu Mandalaprakhyam Makaaram madhyamam tathaa,

Tasyopari tadaapashyat- kshudra sphatikavat Prabhum/

Tureeyaatimamrutam Nishkalam Nirupaplavam,

Nirdwandam Kevalam Shunyam Bhaahyaantara varjitam/

Sa baahyaabhyantaram chaiva Sabaahya abhyantarasthitam,

Adi madhyantarahita maanandasyaapi kaaranam/

Maatraastistwardha maatram naadaakhyam Brahmasangnitam,

Rukyajurssaama Vedaa vai  Maatraa rupena Maadhavah/

Vedashabde -bhya yevesham Vishwaatmaanamachintayat,

Tadaabhavadrushirveda Rusheh saaratam shubham/

Teynaiva Rishinaa Vishnurjnaatawaan Parameswaram/

( As the sound of AUM emerged from the right side of the Maha Linga, there appeared Sanatana Bhagavan; from Him, the sound of ‘A kaara’ came, followed by ‘U Kaara’ and ‘Ma kaara’ and the sound in between was the ‘Naada Swarupa’; the extraordinary radiance of Surya came from the Northern direction as the pious form of U kara or of Pavaka; Makara was of Chandra Mandala and above it was the Suddha Sphatika Rupa or Pure Crystal Form representing Maha Deva in Tureeya Awastha or the Prime and Pristine Form. This Form was Unique, devoid of Duality, of Sunya or Nothingness; of Purity and Immunity and of no beginning-middle- termiation. Indeed that was the Spring of Ananda or Sheer Joy as also the synthesis of Tri Vedas represented by Tri Murtis and the sure way leading to Maha Deva!) 

Maharshis who  knew Vedas and the  Omkara Swarupa of Maha Deva analysed the Alphabets in Sanskrit and explained as follows: ‘A’ kaara’ constituted His broad forehead; ‘E’ kaara was the left Eye; ‘U’kaara his Southern Ear; ‘Aa’ kaara his left ear; ‘Ru’ kara his right Kapola; ‘Ruukaara’ the left kapola; ‘lu lu’is the partition of his nasal divisions; ‘ea’- kaaras his big lips; ‘oau’ kaara his teeth; the consonants ‘Ka-kha-ga- gha-jnaa’ constituted  his five right hands while the consonants ‘cha-ccha- ja-jja-na’ were his left five hands; other two sets of consonants viz. ‘ta-tha-da-dha-na’ and ‘pa-pha-ba-bha-ma’ were his right and left five feet respectively; Shiva’s ‘udara’ or belly represented ‘paa’ kaara; ‘pha’ kara his right side of his body; ‘Va’ kara his left side; the letter ‘Vaa’ and ‘bha’ kaaras represented his shoulders; the letter ‘Ma’  kaara his ‘Uridaya’ or heart; ‘Ya- ra-la-va-sa-sha’ represented Shiva’s body-dhatus; ‘ha’ kara represented His Atma and ‘Kha’ kaara denoted Shiva’s anger. 

As Vishnu visioned Maha Deva along with Devi Uma he extolled Parama Shiva as follows:

Omkaara prabhavam mantram Kalaa panchaka samyutam,

Shuddha sphatika sankaasham Shubhaashtatrimshadaksharam/

Medhaakaramadudbhuyaha Sarva dharmaartha saadhakam,

Gayatri prabhavam Mantram haritam vashyakaarakam/

Chaturvimshati varnaadhyam Chatuhkalamanuttamam,

AtharvamasitamMantram Kalaashtaka samaayutam/

Abhichaarika Mantyartham Triyaamstrishubhaaksharam,

Yajurveda samaayuktam panchatrimshacchubhaaksharam/

Kalaashtaka samaayuktam Sushvetam Shantikam tathaa,

Trayodasha kalaa yuktam Baalaadyaih saha lohitam/

Saamodbhavam Jagastyadyam vriddhi samhaara kaaranam,

Varnaah shadadhikaah Shashtirasya Mantravarasya tu/

Pancha Mantraastathaa labdhvyaa jajaapa Bhagavaan Harih,

Atha drushtwaa kalaavanamrugyajuhssama rupina/

Ishaanmameesha mukutam Purushaasyam Puraatanam,

Aghoradhrudayam twadyam Vaama guhyam Sadaasivam/ 

Sadyah paadam Mahadevam Mahaabhogendra bhushanam,

Vishwatah paada vadanam Vishwatokshikaram Shivam/

Brahmanodhipatim Sarga Sthita Samhaara kaaranam,

Tushtaava punarishtaabhirvakbhir varadameeshwaram/

(Shiva is the symbol of Omkara Mantra; he wears a transparent Sphatika Maala; three sixty eight lettered Deva; Maha Buddhi yukta; Sarva Dharmaartha Sadhaka, Gayatri Mantra Prabhu; Atharva Veda Swarupa; Regulator of  Twenty Varnas;  Abhicharika mantra Swarupa; Controller of Thirty three  Letters; Sweta, Shanta, the Swarupa of Thirteen Kalas, Maha Sarpa bhushana, Srishti-Sthiti-Samharaka, Three Veda swarupa; Purana Purusha, Ishaana, Aghora Mantra Hridaya!) Having thought of Maha Deva on the above lines, Vishnu performed meditation of Shiva for good time with the aid of  the ‘Pancha Akshara Mantra’ viz.Om Namaashivaaya. Maha Deva was extremely delighted at the thoughts of Vishnu as also of the Japa of the Panchaakshari of Om Namassivaaya and materialised himself before Vishnu. The much gratified  Parameswara appeared before Vishnu and the latter commended Maha Deva as follows:

Ekaaksharaaya Rudraaya Akaaraatma rupiney,

Vukaaraadi Devaaya Vidyaadehaaya vai namah/

Triteeraaya Makaaraaya Shivaaya Paramaatmaney,

Suryaagni Soma varnaaya Yajamaanaaya vai Namah/

Agnaye Rudra rupaaya Rudraanaam pataye namah,

Shivaaya Shaiva mantraaya Sadyojaataaya vedhasey/

Vaamaaya Vaama devaaya  Varadaamrutaaya tey,

Aghotaati ghoraaya Sadyojaataaya ramhasey/

Ishaanaaya Smashaanaaya Ativegaaya Veginey,

Namostu Shruti paadaaya Urdhwalingaaya Linginey/

Hemalingaaya Hemaaya Vaari Lingaaya chaambhasey,

Shivaaya Shiva Lingaaya Vyaapiney Vyoma vyaapiney/

Vaayavey Vaayu vegaaya Namastey Vaayuvyaapiney,

Tejasey Tejasaam Bhartrey namasteyjo vyaapiney/

Jalaaya Jala bhutaaya Namastey Jalavyaapiney,

Prithivyai chantarikshaaya Prithivivyapiney Namah/

Shabda sparsha swarupaaya rasagandhaaya gandhiney,

Ganaadhipataey tubhyam guhyaadguhyatamaaya tey/

Anantaaya Virupaaya Anantaanaamayaya cha,

Shaswataaya Varishthaaya vaari garbhaaya Yoginey/

Samsthitaa- yaabhasmjaam,

Madhey Avayormadhya varchasey goptey hatrey

sadaa katrey Nidhanaay –esewaraayacha/

Achetanaaya Virupaaya Anantaa naamayaayacha,

Shaswataaya Varishthaaya  Vaarigarbhaaya Yoginey/

Achetanaaya Chintyaaya chetanaasa haariney, 

Arupaaya Surupaaya Anangaanga haariney/

Bhasma digdha shariraaya Bhanu Somaagni hetavey,

Swetaaya Swetavarnaaya tuhinaadricharanaayacha/

Suswetaaya Suvaktraaya Namah Swetashikhaaya cha/

Swetaasyaaya Mahaasyaya Namastey Sweta lohita/

Sutaaraaya Visishtaaya Namo Dundhubhiney Hara,

Shatarupa Virupaaya Namah Ketumatey sadaa/

Ruddhi shoka vishokaaya Pinaakaaya apardiney,

Vipaashaaya Supaashaaya Namastey Paashanaashiney/

Suhotraaya Havishyaya Subrahmanyaaya Suriney,

Sumukhaaya Suvaktraaya durdamaaya damaaya cha/

Kankaaya Kanka rupaaya Kankinikruta pannaga,

Sanakaaya Namastubhyam Sanaatana Sanandana/

Sanatkumara Saarangamaaranaaya Mahatmaney,

Lokaakshiney Tridhaamaaya Namo Virajasey sadaa/

Shankha paalaaya Shankhaaya Rajasey Tamasey namah,

sarasvataaya Meghjaay Meghavaahana tey Namah/

Suvaahaaya Vivaahaaya Vivaada varadaayacha,

Namah Shivaaya Rudraaya Pradhaanaaya Namo Namah/

Trigunaaya Namastubhyam Chaturvyuhaatmaney Namah,

Samsaaraaya Namastubhyam Samsaara hetavey/

Mokshaaya Moksharupaaya Moksha Katrey Namo Namah,

Atmaney Rishaye tubhyam Swaaminey Vishnavey Namah/

Namo Bhagavatey tubhyam Naaaanaam pataye Namah,

Omkaaraaya Namastubhyam Sarvgnaaya Namo Namah/

Sarvaaya cha Namastubhyam Namo Naraayanaayacha,

Namo Hiranya garbhaaya Adi Devaaya tey namah/

Namostwajaaya Pataey Prajaanaam Vyuha hetavey,

Mahadevaaya Devaanaameeshwaraaya Namo namah/

Sharvaaya cha Namastubhyam Satyaaya Shamanaayacha,

Brahmaney chaiva Bhutaanaam Sarvjnaaya Namo Namah/

Mahatmaney Namastubhyam Prajnaarupaaya vai Namah,

Chitaey Chiti Rupaaya Smriti rupaaya vai Namah/

Jnaanaaya Jnaana gamyaaya namastey samvidey sadaa,

Shikhiraaya namastubhyam Nilakanthaaya vai Namah/

Artha Naareeshwaraaya Avyataaya Namonamah,

Ekaadasha vibhedaaya Staanavey tey Namah sadaa/

Namah Somaaya Suryaaya Bhavaaya Bhava haariney,

Yashaskaraaya Devaaya Shankaraayeshwaraayacha/

Namombikaadhi -pataey Umaayaah pataey Namah,

Hiranya baahavey tubhyam Namastey Hema retasey/

Neela keshaaya Vitthaaya Shitikanthaaya vai namah,

Kapardiney Namastubhyam Naagaanga abharanaaya cha/

Vrishaarudhaaya Sarvasya hatrey katrey Namonamah,

Veera Raamaati Raamaaya Ramanaathaayatey Vibho/

Namo Raajaadhi Raajaayan Rajnaamadhigataayatey,

Namah Paalaadhipataye Paalaahaankrutatey namah/

Namahkeyura bhushhaaya gopatey tey namonamkah,

Namah Shrikanthanaathaaya Namo likuchapaanaye/

Bhuvaneshaaya Devaaya Vedashastra namostutey,

Saarangaaya Namastubhyam Rajahamsaaya tey namah/

Kanakaangada haaraaya Namah Sarpopavartiney,

Sarpa kundala maalaaya kati sutreekrutaahiney/

Vedagarbhaaya garbhaaya Vishwagarbhaaya tey Shiva!

( My salutations to you Ekakshara Rupa, Rudra, Akaara Swarupa, Adi Deva, the Symbol of Vidya, Makara Swarupa, Shiva Swarupa, Surya-Agni-Chandra Varna; Yajamana Swarupa, Agni Swarupa, Rudra Rupa, Rudra Swami, Shiva, Shiva Mantra, Vaama Deva, Vaama, the Bestower of Amritwa, Aghora, Atyanta Ghora, Ishaana, Smashaana Rupa, Ati Vega Shaali, Shruti Paada, Urthwa Linga, Hema Linga, Swarna Swarupa, Shiva Linga, Aakasha Vyaapi, Vayu Samaana Vega, Tejaswai, Samsara Bharana; Jala Swarupa, Jala Bhuta, Jala Samana Vyapaka, You are Prithvi, Antarikshha, Sparsha-Rasa-Gandha Rupa, Guhya, Guhyaati Guhya, Ganaadhipati,Ananta, Vishwa Rupa, Varishtha, Garbha Jala, Parama Yogi, Aswarupa, Kamadeva harana, Bhasma lipta Sharira, Agni-Chandra-Kaarana Rupa; Sweta Varna, Himaati Sweta Swarupa, Sundara Mukha, Sweta Sikha, Sweta Lohita, Ruddhi-Shoka-Vishoka Swarupa; Pinaaki, Kapardi, Bipaasha, Paapa Naashana, Suhotra, Havishya, Subrahmanya, Sura, Durdamana, Kankaaya, Kankarupa, Sanaka sanaatana, Sanandana, Sanat Kumara, the Eyes of Samsaara, Shankha paala, Shankha, Rajo Guna, Tamo Guna, Saarasvata, Megha, Megha Vahana, Atman, Moksha, Moksha Swarupa, Rishi, Vishnu Swami, Bhagavan, Swami, Omkara Swarupa, Sarvajna, Sarva, Narayana, Hiranyagarbha, Adi Deva, Maha Deva, Ishana, Ishwara, Sharva, Satya, Sarvajna, he who is worthy of providing Jnaana to Jnaana itself! Shekhara, Nilakantha, Artha Naareshwara, Avyakta, Sthanu , Soma, Surya, Bhava, Yasha, Yashapradata, Deva, Shankara, Ambika Pati, Umapati, Nilakesha, Vittha or Cash, Sarpa bhushana Sharira, Nandeswara, Karta or the Creator, Bharta or the Preserver, Ramanatha, Rajaadhiraaja, Paalanakara Swami, Keyuraabharana, Shrikantha (Vishnu) Natha, Trishula Dhaari, Bhuvaneshwara, Deva, Saranga, Raja Hamsa, Saprahaari, Sarpakundala maalaa dhara, Sarpa Yagnopaveeta dhari, Baahu Dharana Sarpa Sutra, Veda Garbha, Samsara garbha dhaari, Parama Shiva! As Vishnu commended Maha Deva,  Brahma addressed all the Devas stating that who so ever recited the above Stuti by Vishnu in favour of Parama Shiva or had it recited by a Veda Vidwan would attain Brahma Loka.)  

 As Maha Deva was pleased with the Stuti by Vishnu, the latter requested to resolve the dispute between him and Brahma about their supremacy as also about the Beginning and End of the Mammoth Shiva Linga; Vishnu also described about the extensive efforts made by him and Brahma by assuming the Forms of Varaha and Hamsa respectively for over thousand years but to no avail! Mahadeva replied that he was far superior and far beyond to Brahma-Vishnu-Ishwara as He was Parameshwara who had no beginning or middle or end. He further said that in the ensuing Padma Kalpa He would appoint Vishnu as the Over all Chief of the Universe as its Creator, Preserver and Terminator but would like to give the responsibility of Creation to Brahma and of terminating to Shiva who too would appear at the beginning of the Padma Kalpain the offing. By so saying, Maha Deva disappeared and for all practical purposes, Parameshwara appointed Tri Murtis for their respective responsibilities. As predicted by Parameshwara, Shiva appeared in the Padma Kalpa and Vishnu took over the over-all responsibility plus Universal Upkeep, while Brahma took up the duty of Creation and Shiva the responsibility of extermination. Thus the overall responsibility rested with Vishnu who also specifically took over the charge of Preservation additionally while Brahma was responsible for Creation and Shiva for Termination; this was the Ordinance of Parameshwara. So saying Parameshwara disappeared  and having heard the decree of Parameshwara, Vishnu cajoled and  brought around Brahma by affectionately treating him.Vishnu then asked Brahma to welcome and to pray to Shiva of the Tri Murtis but as Brahma had reservations; the latter said that if Vishnu were the Yoni and Brahma was the Beeja, then what role did Shiva had in addition! Vishnu then replied: Don’t you underestimate the magnificence of Shiva!

Asmaan Mahattaram Bhutam Guhyama –nnyatra Vidyatey,

Mahatah Paramam Dhaama Shivamadhyaatminaam Param/

Dwividhamchaiva maatmaanam pravibhajya vyaksthitah,

Nishkalatra yoga vyaktah Sakalascha Maheswarah/

Yasya Mayaavidhijnasya Agamyagahanasyacha,

Puraa - prathamamlingodbhavam beejam twaadisargikam/

Mama yonow samaayutam tadbeejam kaalaparyayat,

Hiranmayakupaarey yonyaamandamajaayata/

Shataani dasavarshaanaamangmapsu pratishthitam,

Antey Varsha sahasrasya Vaayunaa tadhvidha krutam/

Kapaalamekam dyourjajney kapaalamaparam kshitih,

Ulbam tasya mahotsedho yosou Kanaka Parvatah/

Tatascha pratisandhyaatmaa Deva Devo Varah Prabhuh,

Hiranya garbho Bhagavanstwabhijajney Chaturmukhaha/

(There is no better Entity than Parama Shiva and there is no matter superior than His. The Parama Maha Tatwa  is Shiva and the embodiment of Atma Jnaana  which again is Paramdhama. He is divided into two parts: one as the Nishkala-Avyakta-Adyanta Rahita and another is Sakala and Saguna Swarupa responsible for yielding Hiranya Brahmanda which floated in Maha Samudra for thousand years and with the interaction of Vayu got broken to two pieces, the Upper Half being the Upper Lokas and the Lower Half as Prithvi with Hiranya Garbha Chaturmkukha inside.) Vishnu further described that Parameswara created Sunya Akaasha, Nakshatras, Surya, Chandra, Agni, Pancha Bhutas, Trigunas, Pranava, and so on. Such is the Glory of Shiva who is Veda Stuti Yogya! Thus Vishnu explained the Parama Tatwa of Mahesha, Brahma was astonished, humbled and overcome by involuntary emotions of  devotion and joined Vishnu Deva in a his Commendation addressed to Maha Deva.   

Namastubhyam Bhagavatey Suvrataananta tejasey/

Namah Kshetraadhi patey Beejiney Shuliney Namah,

Sumendrayaachaarya mendraaya Dandiney Ruksharetasey/

Namo Jyeshthaaya Sreshthaaya Purvaaya Pramathaayacha,

Namo Maanyaaya Pujyaaya Sadyojaataaya vai Namah/

Gahwaraaya Ghateshaaya Vyomacheeraambaraaya cha,

Namastey Hyasmadaadeenaam Bhutaanaam Prabhavey Namah/

Vedaanaam Prabhavey chaiva Smruteenaam Prabhavey Namah,

Namo Dhruva nibaddhaanaamrusheenaam Prabhavey Namah/

Prabhavey Karmadaanaanaam dravyaanaam prabhavey namah,

Namo yogasya prabhavey Saamkhyasya prabhavey namah/

Rukshaanaam prabhavey tubhyam grahaanaamprabhavey namah,

Vaidyutaashaani meghaanaam garjita prabhavey namah/

Mahodadheenaam prabhavey Dwipaanaam prabhavey namah,

 Adreenaam prabhavey chaiva Varshaanaam Prabhavey namah/

Namo Nadeenaam prabhavey Nadaanaam prabhavey namah,

Mahoushadheenaam prabhavey Vrukshaanaamprabhavey namah/

Dharma Vrikshaaya Dharmaaya sthitinaam prabhavey namah,

Prabhavecha Paraadhasya parasya prabhavey namah/

Namo rasaanaamprabhavey stanaanaam prabhavey namah,

Kshanaanaam prabhavey chaiva Lavaanaam prabhavey namah/

Ahoraatraardha maasaanaam Maasaanaam prabhavey namah,

Rutunaam prabhavey tubhyam samkhyaayaah prabhavey namah/

Prabhavey paraardhasya Paraartha prabhavey namah,

Namah Puraana prabhavey sargaanaam prabhavey namah/

Manvantaraanaam prabhavey Yogasya prabhavey namah,

Chaturvidhasya sargasya prabhaveynanta chakshusey/

Kalpodaya nibandhaanaam Vaataanaam prabhavey namah,

Namo Vishwasya prabhavey Brahmaadhipataye namah/

Vidyaanaam prabhavey chaiva Vidyaadhipataye namah,

Namo Vrataadhi pataye Vrataanaam prabhavey namah/

Mantraanaam prabhavey tubhyam Mantraadhi pataye namah,

Pitrunaam pataye chaiva Pashunaam pataye namah/

Vagvrushaaa namastubhyam Puraana Vrishabhaaya cha,

Namah pashunaampataye Govrushendra dhwajaaya cha/

Prajaa -pateenaam pataye Siddhinaam Purushey namah,

Daityadaanava sandhaanaam rakshasaam pataye namah/

Gandhravaanaam cha pataye Yakshaanaam pataye namah,

Garudoraga sarpaanaam pakshinaampataye namah/

Sarva guhya Pishachaanaam Guhyaadhipataye namah,

Gokarnaayacha goptrey cha Shankhu karnaaya vai namah/

Varaahaaya prameyaaya Ruksha virajaaya cha,

Namo Suraanaam pataye Ganaanaampataye namah/

Ambhasaam pataye chaiva Ojasaam pataye namaha,

Namostu Lakshmi pataye Shripaaya Kshiti paayacha/

Balaabala samuhaaya Akshobhyakshobanaayacha,

Deepta shringaika shringaaya Vrishabhaaya kakuthiney/

Namah Sthairyaaya Vapushey tejasaanuvrataayacha,

Ateetaaya bhavishyaaya Vartamaanaaya vai namah/

Suvarchase cha Veeryaaya Shuraaya hyajitaaya cha,

Varadaaya Varenyaaya Purushaaya Mahaatmaney/

Namo Bhutaaya Bhavyaaya Mahatey prabhavaayacha,

Janaaa cha namastubhyam tapasey Varadaayacha/ 

Anavey Mahatey chaiva Namah Sarvagataayacha,

Namo Bandhaaya Mokshaaya Swargaaya Narakaayacha/

Namo Bhavaaya Devaaya Ijjyaaya Yaajakaayacha,

Pratyudeernaaya Deepataaya Tatwaayaatigunaayacha/

Namah Paashaaya Shastraaya Namastwaabharanaayacha,

Hutaaya Upahutaaya Prahutapraashitaaya cha/

Namostwashtaaya Purtaayua Agnishtoma dwijaayacha,

Sadasyaaya Namas chaiva Dakshinaavabhruyaayacha/

Ahimsaayaa pralo –bhaaya Pashu mantroushadhaaya cha,

Namah Pushtipradaanaaya Susheelaaya Susheeliney/

Ateetyaaya Bhavishyaaya Vartamaanaayatey namah,

Suvarchasecha Veeryaaya Shuraaya hyjitaayacha/

Varadaaya Varenyaaya Purushaaya Mahaatmaney,

Namo Bhutaaya Bhavyuaaya Mahatey chaabhayaayacha/

Jaraasiddha Namastubhyamayasey Varadaayacha,

Adharey Mahatey chaiva Namah Sastu pataayacha/

Namahschandriya patraanaam lelihaanaaya stragviney,

Vishwaaya Vishwarupaaya Vishwatahj shirasey namah/

Sarvatah paani paadaaya Rudraayaa pratimaayacha,

Namo Havyaaya Kavyaaya Havya vaahaaya vai namah/

Namah Siddhaaya Medhyaaya Ishtaayejyaa paraayacha,

Suveeraaya Sughoraaya Akshobhya kshobhanaayacha/

Suprajaaya Sumedhaaya Deeptaaya Bhaskaraayacha,

Namo Buddhaaya Shuddhhaaya Vistrutaaya mataayacha/

Namah Sthulaaya Sukshmaaya  Drushyaa –drushya Sarvashah,

Varshatey jwalatey chaiva Vaayavey shishiraaya cha/

Namastey akra keshaaya Uruh Vakshahshikhaaya cha/

Namo Namah Suvarnaaya Tapaneeya nibhaayacha/

Virupaakshaaya Lingaaya Pingalaaya Mahoujasey,

Vrishtighnaaya Namas chaiva Namah Sowmyekshanaaya cha/

Namo Dhumraaya Swetaaya Krishnaaya Lohitaayacha,

Pishitaaya pishangaaya peetaaya cha Nishanginey/

Namstey Sarva Seshaaya Nirvimsheshaaya vai Namah,

Namah Eejyaaya Pujyaaya Upajeevyaayanamah/

Namah Kshemyaaya Vriddhaaya Vatsalaaya namo namah,

Namo Bhutaaya Satyaaya Satyaasatyaaya vai namah/

Namo vai Padma varnaaya Mrityughnaaya cha Mrityavey,

Namo Gauraaya Shyaamaaya Kadravey Lohitaayacha/

Mahaasandhyaabhra varnaaya Chaaru deeptaaya deekshiney,

Namah Kamala hastaaya digvaasaaya Kapardiney/

Apramaanaaya Sarvaaya Avyayaayamaraaya cha,

Namo Rupaaya Gandhaaya Shashvataayaakshataayacha/

Purastaad Brahmatey chaiva Vibhraantaaya krutaaya cha,

Duragmaaya Meheshaaya Krodhaaya Kapilaaya cha/

Tatkryaatarkya shareeraaya baliney ramhasaayacha,

Sikatyaaya Pravaahyaaya shitaaya prasru chaayacha/

Sumedhasey kulaalaaya Namastey shashi khandiney,

Chitraaya Chitra veshaaya Chitra varnaaya medhasey/

Chekitaanaaya tushtaaya Namastey nihitaaya cha,

Namah Kshaantaaya Daantaaya Vajrasimhananaayacha/

Rakshoghnaaya Vishaghnaaya Shitikanthordhwa manyavey,

Lolihaaya krutaantaaya tigmaayudha dharaayacha/

Pramodaaya Sammodaaya yati vedyaaya teynamah,

Anaamayaaya Sarvaaya Maha kaalaaya vai namah/

Pranavapranaveshaaya Bhaganetraantakaayacha,

Mriga Vyaadhaaya Dakshaaya Daksha yagnaantakaayacha/

Sarva Bhutaatmabhutaaya Sarvey shaantishayaaya cha,

Puraghnaaya Sushastraaya dhanvinetha parashvadhey/

Pusha danta vinaashaaya Bhaga netraantatakaayacha,

Kaamadaaya Varishthaaya Kaamaanga dahanaayacha/

Rangey Karaala Vakitraaya Nagendra vadanaaya cha,

Daityaanaamanta keshaaya Daityaankrada karaayacha/

Himaghmnaaya cha teekshnaaya ardracharma dharaayacha,

Smashaana rati nityaaya namostulmukadhaariney/

Namastey praana paalaaya Munjamaalaadharaaya cha/ 

Graheena shokairvividhair bhutaih parivritaayacha/

Naranaari shariraaya Devyaah Priya karaaya cha,

Jatiney Mundiney chaiva Vyala Yajnopaveetiney/

Namostu Nrityasheelaaya Upanritya priyaayacha,

ManyaveyGeeta sheelaaya Munibhirgaayatey namah/

Katankataaya tigmaaya Agnipriyaaya Priyaya cha,

Vibhishanaaya Bhishmaaya Bhaga Pramathanaaya cha/

Siddhasanghaanu geetaaya Mahaabhaagaaya vai Namah,

Namo Muktaattahaasaaya Kshveditaasphotitaaya cha/

Nardatey kurdatey chaiva Namah Prasuditaatmaney,

Namo Mridaaya shvasatey Dhaavateydhisthitey Namah/

Dyaayatey Jrumbhatey chaiva rudatey dravateynamah,

Valgatey keedatey chava lambodara shaririney/

Namokrutyaaya krutyaaya Mundaaya keekataaya cha,

Nama Unmattha dehaaya kinkinikaaya vai namah/

Namo Vikruta veshaaya kruraayamarshinaayacha,

Aprameyaaya goptrey cha deeptaayaa nirgunaayacha/

Vaama priyaya Vaamaaya Chudaamani dharaayacha,

Namastokaaya tanavey gunairapra- mitaaya cha/

Namo Gunyaaya Guhyaaya Agamyagamanaayacha,

Loka dhaatri twiyam Bhumih Paadou Sajjana sevitou/

Sarveshaam Siddha yogaanaamadhishtaanam tavodaram,

Madhyantariksham vistreenam Taaraagana vibhushitam/

Swaateh patha ivaabhaati Shrimaan haarastavorasi,

Dishou Dashabhujaastubhyam Keyuraangada bhushitaah/

Visteernaparinaahascha Nilaanjanachayopamah,

Kanthastey Shobhatey Shriman Hema sutra vibhushitah/

Damshtaakaraalam Dhurdharshamanoupamyam mukham tathaa,

Padma maalaa krutoshneesham Shiro dyouh shobhatedhikam/

Deeptih Surye Vapushchandre sthairyam Shailanileybalam,

Aoushnamagnou tathaa shaityamapsu shabdombarey tathaa/

Aksharaantara nishpandaadrunaaneytaan vidurbudhaah,

Japo japyo Maha Devo Maha Yogo Maheswarah/

Pureshaayo Guhaavaasi khecharo rajaneecharah,

Taponidhirguha gurur -nadano Nanda vardhanah/

Haya seersho payodhaataa Vidhaataa Bhurabhavanah,

Bodyavyo bodhitaa Netaa Dhurdharsho Dushprakampanah/

Bruhadhratho Bheemakarma Bruhadkirti Dhananjayah,

Ghantaapriyo Dhwaji Chhatri Pinaakini Dhwajanipatih/

Kavachi pattishi khadgi dhanurhastah Paramashvadhi,

Aghasmaronaghah Shuro Devarajotrimardanah/

Twam prasadya puraasmaabhirdwishanto nihataa yudhi,

Agnih Sadaarnavaabhastwam pibannaapi na truyasey/

Omkaarah Prasannatmaa kaamadah kaamagah priyah,

Brahmachaarichagaadhascha Brahmanyah sishta pujitah/

Shivonobhava sarvatra yosi  sosi Namostutey/

(Hey Ananta Teja, Suvrata, Bhagavan, Kshetraadhi patey, Beeja Swarupa, Shuli, Jyeshtha, Shreshtha, Manya, Pujya, Sadyojaata, Gahara, Ghatesha, Sarva Praana Swami! My salutations to you to the Prabhu of Vedas and Smritis and all the inputs like money and material required for spiritual deeds. You are the Master of Yoga and Sankhya which are the significant means of Salvation, besides being the instruments like Maharshis and Grahas. You are the Lord as also of the Swarupa of the endless beings of Srishti like Rivers, Trees, the great Aoushadhis or medicines; you are the Dharma, its very existence, and its various  manifestations; You are the ‘Paraartha’or the Spiritual Quest; the Para which is unaffected  by Pancha Indriayas; the Rasaas; the Ratnaas; the ‘Ahoratraas’ or the days and nights; the Pakshaas or the Fortnights, the Maasaas or the Months, the Rithus or the Seasons like Spring and Autumn; You are the Most Ancient Prabhu performing the task of Sarga or Creatin; You are the Yoga Prabhu, Manvantara Prabhu, Vishwa Prabhu, Brahmadhipati, Bhagavan! You are the Master of Vidya or Knowledge; the Master of the Masters of Vidya; Vratadaayika Swami; Mantra Prabhu; the Master of Pitreeshwaras; the Pashupati; Vrishendra dhwaja; the Master of  Prajaapatis; the Supreme of  Gandharva-Yaksha-Daitya-Danavas; the Swami of  Garuda, Sarpa, Pakshis and various other species; you are also the Head of Vaaraaha, Pischacha, Guhya, Gokarna, Gotra, Shankuka Karna; Ruksha, Viraja, Suraganaa etc. Prabho! You are Swami of Jala / Water; the Swami of ‘Ojas’; (Power Essence or Semen present in males and females); the Lord of Lakshmi Devi; the Bhupati or the King; You are the ‘Bala’or Physical Strength as also the ‘Abala’ or of Weakness; The Topmost Mount of the highest Mountain of Supreme Illumination; You are the ‘Ateeta’or  Beyond Approach; You are the ‘Vartamana’ or of the Present Tense or of the Ongoing Time Frame; You are also the Bhavishya or of the Happenings Ahead in the Future; You are the Suraveera or the Embodiment of Strength and Courage; Varada or the Bestower of Boons; the Sreshtha Purusha or the Most Illustrious and the Best Purusha or Prime Male; You are also the ‘Bhuta’ or a Being but as the Unique and the Most Notable among the Creations of the Beings; the Word ‘Mahat’ or Magnificence would indeed signify yourself. You are as miniscule as an atom and as Colossal that is unparalelled! You are the symbol of Bandhana-Moksha or of Freedom from Shackles; You are the Swarga and Naraka Swarupa signifying Salvation or Bliss and Punishment and Retribution! You are the ‘Hutaagni’ or the Fire of ‘Homas’/ Sacred Agni Karyaas and also the Upahuta or the Deputy who assists in performing of the Sacred Deed. Vishwa, Vishwa Rupa, Vishwata, I bow my head to you Rudra! You are the ‘Havya’(Havana), ‘Kavya’(Sacrifice in favour of Pitras) and Hutavaaha (Agni); You are Siddha, Madhya, Ishta, Suveera, Sughora, Krodha or Anger and Krodhi or who is angry; You are Buddhi, Shuddha, Sthula / Gross, Sukshma (Tiny); Drushya or the Visionable; Adrushya or Unseeable or Imperceptible; Sarvesha! You are Virupaaksha, Parama Linga, Pingala, Vrishti or Abundant; Dhuman, Sweta, Pujya, Upajeevya, Saviroha, Kshemya, Vruddha, Vatsala, Padma Varna, Kamala dhaari, Kapardi, Mahesha, Kapila, Tarkya (Arguable) and Atarkya; Chitra, Chitra vesha, Chitra Varna; Nilakantha, Anaama or Nameless and  Ardra Charma Dhari or Dressed in Wet-Skin. Parameswara! You roam about and even reside in Smashaanaas or burial grounds! You are the Preserver of Praana or Life; You wear garlands of Skulls! You are ‘Ardhanaareswara’ or Demi Male and Demi Female; You sport a serpents as a Yagnopaveetas or as Holy Threads around and down his neck on the back and front of his upperbody! You even were a repulsive physique and disgusting profile; You Pameswara  area an epitome of Great Radiance; You are ever resplendent; yet as  a Nirguna or devoid of Characteristics; You are ‘Vaama’ and Vaamapriya; You wear Chudaamani or Crest Jewel; You carry gold chain as Brahma Sutra around the neck and a Lotus circling his head; your body shines with the unusual illumination of Surya and Chandra; You are Haya sirsha or of a head like horse;  You are Vidhaata, Bhuta Bhavana; Ghanta Priya or fond of  Bells, of Dhwajas or Flags and of Chhatras or Umbrellas.You are Pinakini or the Holder of Bow and Arrow called Pinaka; Kavacha or 8Shield; and Khadga. Mahadeva! You are a Brahmachari, Brahmana, Sishta, Pujya, Krodhi, Prasanna, Sarva Karma rata or engaged in any type of deed; You do share the Divya Bhogaas yet completely bereft of desires; You indeed are of Asankhya Tatwaas or coultless features; Parama Siva! My Salutations again and again.)

Suta Maha Muni informed the Congregation of Munis at Nimisha Forest that whoso ever recites the above Stuti every day, or  atleast during Shraaddhaas or Yajnas or Avabhruta Snaanaas after the Yajna would qualify for the performance of several Ashwamedha Yagnas and Shiva Loka Prapti

6    Preface to ‘Lingaarchana’, ‘Pancha Yagna’ and ‘Lingaarchana Vidhana’

(Trayambika Mantra explained)

As Rishis asked Lomaharshana Maharshi as to the Procedure of Lingaarchana or Worship the Shiva Linga, the Maharshi stated that once Devi Parvati also enquired of  the same and Shiva Himself revealed the Procedure: To start with a devotee of Shiva should purify himself by a ‘Shuddha Snaana’ or a formal bathing and three kinds of Snaana were mentioned viz. Varuna Snaana, Bhasma Snaana and Mantra Snaana. Casual or normal Snaana was insignificant and would have no impact whatso ever; the devotee has to first concentrate and keep Shiva in the ‘dhyaana’/sincere and targetted focus and then resort to prayer to Suryan Deva, utilise  materials like Mrittika, cowdung, tila, pushpa, bhasma and kusha and apply ‘Mrittika’ (Earth) or  along with water and recite the Mantra :Udgataasi vartaahena and clean up the body parts; while applying gobar or cow dung, the Mantra to be recited would be Gandhaa -dwaaraam dhuraadharshaam nitya pushtaam kareeshineem and so on. Then clean up the body by downing it  in the water body a few times and then change the unclean Vastra to a dry and clean Vastra, recite prayers to Surya-Chandra-Agni and Varuna. With pre-collected water in a shankha or conchshell or atleast in a bowl of Kushaa, then perform three ‘Aachamanas’ or sips of spoonful of water while reciting the Mantra:

Apavitrah pavitrovaa sarvaavasthaangatopiva,

Yassmaret Pundareekaahsham sa bahyaantaraassuchih/

This would be followed by the  Aghamarshana Mantras viz.

Rutamcha Satyam abheedaat tapasodhyajaayata

tato raatrasya jaayataa tat Samudro Arnavaha/

(Even before meditation, the self-illuminated Para Brahma created Truth that dispelled darkness and further on the Oceans); Thereafter perform ‘Punaraachamana’with the water from the shankha or the bowl made of kusha grass as the case that may be.

This would be followed by initiating  ‘ Manasika or ‘Pratyaksha’ Abhisheka of Linga with the Invocation of  Trayambika Mantra and its explanation

Om Trayambakam yajaamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam,

Urvaarukameva bandhanaat Mrutyormuksheeya Maamrutat/

(OM, Tryambakaam or Three Eyes or Three Ambaas of Lakshmi-Gouri-Sarasvati ; Yajaamahe or we sing your glory; Sugandhim or of fragrance of knowledge- strength-presence or of knowing-seeing-and feeling of His deeds; Pushtivardhanam or may the Creator promote our well-being; Urvaarookam or deadly diseases or Adhibhoutika-Adhiyatmika-Adhi daivika; eva: types; bandhanaan or overpowered; Mrutyor -meeksheeya or do deliver us from death; Maamrutaat: kindly bestow to us the rejuvenating Amritam or Nectar). The Mantra of  Rudrena Pavanaanena twaritaakhyena Mantravit etc. is recited while initiating the Abhisheka and performing Dhyana or meditation of Pancha Mukha Shiva; thus the Snaana- Aachamana-Dhyaana is performed, before taking up Sandhyopasana, Gayatri Japa, and Pancha Yagnaas. The Pancha Yagnas comprise Deva Yagna, Manushya Yagna, Bhuta Yagna, Pitru Yagna and Brahma Yagna; Devas are pleased by Agni Homas; Manushyas are pleased by Bhojana-Dakshinaas to worthy Brahmanas; Bhutaas are pleased by Sacrifice of ‘Bali Vaishvadeva- Anna’, Pitru Devas are pleased by Shraadhhas and Tarpanaas, and Brahma Yajna is performed by way of ‘Swaadhyaaya’ or Recitation of Vedas and Scriptures. Thus Homas are an integral part of Rudraabhisheka.  

Maharshi Lomavarshana now described the actual Procedure of Rudraabhisheka as follows: The Brahmana desirous of the Abhisheka should then perform Pranaayama after aligning his physical Limbs with Pranava Swarupa of Pancha Mukha Maha Deva. He should clean up the area and decorate the surroundings of Shiva Linga with Gandha and Chandana, sprinkle water on the Prokshya-Arghya-Paadya and Achamaneeya Patraas  or the vessels with which to perform the Lingaabhisheka; apply chandana around the Paadya Patra as Pranava Mantra is recited; fill up with the ‘Churna’or the powder mix of Karpura (Camphor), Jaati Kankola, Tamala etc.; sprinkle the mix of‘Kushaagra’or the top of Kusha grass, rice grains, and pour the mixture of water and  Bhasma or Sacred Ash -the left over of previous Agni Homas- in the Prokshani Patra utilised for scattering water; keep reciting Rudra Gayatri viz.

Om Tatpurushaya Vidhmahe Maha Devavaaya dhimahi tanno Rudra prachodayaat/

also the Panchaakshari Mantra viz. Om Namassivaaya/ and perform Anga Nyasa and Karanyasa ie alignment of the Mantras and the Body Parts as also the Mantras and  hand fingers aong with the water from the Prokshana or water-sprinkling vessel. While Nandi Deva is seated in the vicinity of the Shiva Linga, the Karta of the Abhishekam would concentrate on Parama Shiva with his Physical Splendour akin to Agni Deva; the Tri Netra, the ‘Aabharana Bhushita’ or the Well- Ornamented One and the Sowmya Rupa.

 The Karta would  propitiate Shiva, besides Ganesha, Skanda and Devi Parvati with fragrant flowers and set these Devatas in different directions around the Shiva Linga.  The devotee would arrange a Padma Pushpa before the Linga and visualise each of the ‘dalaas’ of the Lotus as  representative of various Siddhis; the Purva dala or of Purva Disha or the Eastern Side would represent Anima Siddhi, the Dakshina dala as Laghima Siddhi, the Paschima dala as Mahima Siddhi, the Uttara dala embodying the Prapti Siddhi, the Nirruti dala as Praakaamya Siddhi, the Vayavya dala as Ishatwa Siddhi and Agneya dala as Vashitwa Siddhi.[Refer to last Paragraph of the Chapter on Ashtaanga Yoga afore-mentioned].The Padma Pushpa’s stem is stated to be the Soma Deva; the middle portion of the stem is stated to embody the Surya Deva while the lowest portion would represent Pavaka Deva. Then Shiva be seated at the Center firmly; He  would be seated as Sadyojata Shiva with the Mantra of Vaamaa Deva; Rudra Gayatri is seated with Aghora Mantra; and Ishana is seated by reciting

Ishaanassarva Vidyaanaam Ishwarassarva Bhutaanaam

Brahmaadipatih Brahmanoddhi Patih Brahma Shivomey astu Sadaa Shivom/ 

Then the devotee should worship Shiva Linga with Paadya-Arghya-Achamanaas; perform Snaana with Gandha-Chandana; implement formal Snaana with Pancha-Gavya or of Cow’s Five Bye Products; carry out Abhishka with Ghee, Honey, Sugar, Pavitra Jala along Pranava Naada. There after, clean up the residues of the Abhisheka material on the Linga with a clean cloth and decorate the Linga with flower garlands comprising fresh flowers like Jaati, Champaka, Kapura, Kannera, Chameli, and Kadamba.The Abhisheka Karta would further  execute nyaasa or alignments with his body parts and the accompanying Sadyojaataadi Mantra Recitations; he should execute Abhishka with the water from Golden or Silver or Copper vessels with a variety of ‘Patraas’ or Leaves of Kamala, Palasha etc.and  of Pushpaas. Group recitations of Namaka-Chamaka Rudras and Mahayaasaas would literally electrify the atmosphere of Devotion.

Intonations of various other Mantras and Hymns like Pavamaana, Vaamakena, Nila Rupa, Shri Sukta, Purusha Sukta, Ratri Sukta, Hotaara, Atharva, Shanti Sukta, Aruna, Vaaruna, Veda Vrata, Bruhadrachandra, Virupaaksha, Skanda, Shata Rudra Shiva, Pancha Brahma Sukta would indeed transport the Vaktaan( Reciters) and the Shrotaas (Listeners) to the heights of Kailasa and demolish the sins of all concerned! After the Abhishekas, the Karta should perform ‘Punaraachamana’, repeat the worship with Gandha-Pushpa-Dhupa-Deepa-Naiverdyas as also decorate the Shiva Linga with Mukuta-Chhatra-Bhushana-Tamboola-Stotra-Japa-Pradakshina and ‘Atmaarpana Yukta Saashtaanga’ or Complete Surrender

7    Origin of Shiva Linga and Significance of Aatithya, Paativratya, Bhakti and Bhasma

( ‘Apara Stuti’ of Maha Deva by Saptarshis included)

In the secluded and thick Forests of Daruvana, select Munis including Sapta Rishis and Maha Yogis were engaged in deep Tapasya along with their wives and children. As the Munis were busy with their meditation and Yagna Karmas, the wives who were all Maha Pativratas were serving them in their spiritual activities and family chores. Maha Deva appeared in Daruvana to test the depth of the Rishis and their Tapasya. He assumed the form of a semi-lunatic but of an astonishingly handsome and shapely physique; as a ‘Digambara’ or naked, he was laughing loudly some times and behaving erratically always. Soon he became the talk of Daruvana especially the feminine gender. Even the renowned Pativratas of leading Maharshis, let alone the unmarried Kanyas and elderly women, spontaneously professed attraction and infatuation for the Stranger. Parama Shiva in disguise  who terminated Kama Devata into ashes with his anger by his third eye had kindled passion among the Rishi Patnis including of the Sapta Rishis! Some of the enterprising women entered his ‘Parnashala’, declared love for him and enquired of his antecedents. He smiled but would not reply.The Maharshis reacted sharply against the Stranger as he was ruining their family lives; they all confronted him one day and gave him a ‘Shaap’that since he provoked his wives with his nudity, his Linga should be dropped down to the ground. Parma Shiva retaliated that since no fault of his the Maharshis gave the ‘shaap’, he would not give a return curse but his Linga would get fixed there as also multiply into innumerable forms to burn off the areas of their presence; further they (Sapta Rishis) would be hanging on the Sky along with Nakshatras for ever! Having heard this the Sapta Rishis were shaken up as the forest was gradually getting burnt off  and the fire was spreading far and wide. They approached Brahma at once and the latter confirmed to  the Rishis that the ‘Atithi’ or the Guest was none other than Maha Deva Himself and that they were most unfortunate in not realising the actuality. In fact Brahma reprimanded the Rishis as they did not observe one of the fundamental Precepts of Dharma viz. that a Grihasti or a Family Man ought to treat Guests as Devatas ( Athithi Devo Bhava)! Brahma narrated to the Maharshis about the legend of a Brahmana Sudarshana who instructed his wife to worship a Guest as Shiva Himself, whether he was ugly, ignorant or demanding. Dharma Deva himself arrived as an Atithi at the Brahmana’s house and being a true Pativrata, the Brahmani took enormous care to treat the Guest in disguise as per her husband’s instruction and worshipped the Atithi well. As she offered ‘Naivedya’to the Guest, Dharma Raja demanded the Pativrata’s body as an offering and as per her husband’s instruction again, she readily agreed to fulfil the desire of  the Atithi. Just then Sudarshana arrived at the threshold of the house and called for his wife; the Atithi replied to Sudarshana that he was about to sleep with the wife of the Brahmana and the latter replied that he would indeed be happy to happy that his wife was ready to offer herself to the Guest! Dharma Raja was taken aback by the Brahmana’s positive reply and appeared before the Brahmana and his wife in his Real Form; he said that even by his remote thought he never had the desire for the Brahman’s wife but was only testing them. Dharma Raja further stated:

Mayaa chishaa na Sandehaha Shraddhaam Jnaatumihaagatah,

Jito vai yastvayaa Mrityur Dharmayairnaikena Suvraha!

( I have come here only to test your Shraddhaa / dedication; by this occurrence, you have proved that you conquered Dharma Raja!) Having narrated this incident, Brahma addressed the Sapta Rishis that the latter were most unfortunate that Maha Deva himself was their valued Guest and they not only neglected the Guest but insulted him by giving him a Shaap! Actually, there was no fault of Maha Deva in disguise but instead of respecting the Atithi, they gave him a Shaap! The Maharshis then performed penance and in response to their Tapasya, Maha Deva appeared but said that only Devi Parvati could stop the spread of the Fire in the Forest. Devi Parvati when approached by the Maharshis agreed to stop the havoc of Fire keeping in with the safety of the Lokas. That indeed was the Origin of Shiva Linga, as the Maharshis besides Deva-Danava-Gandharva-Daitya-Rakshasa-Yaksha-Naaga-Kinnara and all other manifestions in Srishti especially the Manavas commenced Shiva Linga worship to fulfill their own desires in ‘Iham’ ( Current Life) and ‘Param’ (the Life thereafter)!

As the Memorable Happenings at Darukavana were described about the Origin of Shiva- Linga pursant to the test of Maharshis by Maha Deva and the significance of Atithi Puja, Suta Maha Muni quoted Mahatma Shailda’s (Nandeswara’s) narration of how Sweta Muni attained Mrityunjayatwa. The Muni was stickler of ‘Rudraadhyayana’and an unparalleled Shiva Bhakta engaged in continuous recitation  of Rudraashtakam:

Om namastey Rudra manyava utota ivave namah Baahubhyaamuta tey namah/

Om ya tey Rudra Shivaa tanuraghoraa paapakashinee,

Tayaatanastwaashanta mayaa Giri shaanta abhichakasheeh/

etc. The Muni was also in the habit of reciting :

Trayambakam yajaamahey Sugandhim Pushti vardhanam,

Uravaaruka miva bandhanan mrutyormukshiya maamrutaat/

Notwithstanding the continuous and hearty Salutations, the Time of Deliverance was up to Sweta Muni and Kaala Dharma Raja appeared while the Muni intensified the prayers to Shiva. Kaala Deva asserted that none whosoever might try to escape death proved to be failures despite the backing of Tri Murtis and the singular and unequivocal embrace of death was something inevitable. Sweta Muni kept on arguing  that he had his unequivocal support of Mahadeva whithout whose instructions even a blade of grass woud not be destroyed and in his own case he had total faith on Shiva who had always been responding to his prayers of indefatigable faith and trust in Him. Kaala laughed away, heckled the Shiva Linga saying that it was a mere Stone and would not respond the misplaced prayers by the Sweta Muni and extended his ‘Yama Pasha’ or the noose of the death’s rope to  the Muni while a Tri Mukha Swarupa of Parama Shiva along with  Ambaa-Ganapati-Nandi faced Kaala Deva right in the latter’s face and Kaala got confused, sprang back and was exterminated! The Brahmana too was puzzled at the instant appearance of Maha Deva and was blessed to get absorbed in the Shiva Linga.  

As the Rishis at Darukaavana were taken aback at the swift happenings that the highly dedicated Sweta Muni faced in response to the challenge of Kaala Deva, they approached Mahatma Shailada (Nandi) as to which means of worship could enable the kind of Response that the Shiva Linga bestowed to Sweta Muni with which he argued and came out with flying colours against Kaala Deva himself and even killed him! Would it be the means of  Daana, or Yagna, or Tapa, or Vrata or Yoga! Brahma replied: In Satya Yuga, the means of Shiva Tatwa in Satya Yuga was of Yoga, in Treta Yuga it was through yagnas, and in Dwapara Yuga, the means were  trough ‘Kaalaagni’; but in Kaliyuga the Sure route was Bhakti alone.

Na daanena Munishrashtha stapasyaa cha na Vidyayaa,

Yajneyr homairvratair vratair Vedair yogair shastrairnirodhanaih/

Prasaadenaiva sa Bhaktih Shivo Parama kaariney!

( It is neither daanas, nor Tapasya, nor Vidyaa, nor Yajnas and Homas, and not Vratas- Vedas-Yoga and Shastras; but only Bhakti that Sweta Muni which he had in abundance .) Thus the Brahmanas and Rishis underlined the single factor of Bhakti which bestowed to a human being the power of victory against Mrityu! Given such Bhakti, a Bhakta could choose any form and shape of Shiva Lingas as for instance the Suvarnamaya, Rajatamaya, Sphatikamaya, Taamra Mayaa, Shilamaya, Chaturmayi, Trikonamayi, Vartulaakaara and so on, each with appopriate Kalashaas.What is significant however is that the Sthapana or Setting up ought to be with ‘Beeja Mantras’ and daily Abhishekas and worship for the best results. Dhyana-Avaahana-Aasana-Padya-Arghya-AchamaneeyaPanchaamrita Snaana-Shuddhodaka Snaana-Vastra-Yagnopavita-Gandha-Pushpa-Dhupa-Deepa-Naivedya-Taambula-Pradakshina-Kshama-Namaskara etc should be a daily course of worship. Those Bhaktas who would perform such unfailing worship along with their families are blessed with fulfilment, peace of mind, and Shiva Prapti.

Munis at Darukavana made the following Stuti seeking pardon for the mindless and harsh action in giving ‘Shaap’ to Mahadeva resulting in the dropping of Shiva Linga:

Ajnaanaaddeva Devesha yadasmaabhi- ranushtitam,

Karmanaa Manasaa Vaachaa tat Sarvam kshantumarhasi/

Vishweswara Maha Deva yosi sosi Namostutey,

Stuvantitwaam Mahatmaney Deva Devam Maheswaram/

Namo Bhavaaya Bhavyaaya Bhaavanaayod -bhavaayacha,

Ananta Bala Viryaaya Bhutaanaam Patayenamah/

Samhatrecha Pishangaaya Avyayaaya Vyayaayacha,

Gangaasalila dhaaraaya Adhaaraaya Gunatmaney/

Triayambikaaya Trinetraaya Trishulavara dhaariney,

Kandarpaaya Hutaashaaya Namostu Paramatmaney/

Shankaraaya Vrishaamakaaya Ganaanaam pataye Namah,

Dandahastaaya Kaalaaya Paasha hastaaya vai namah/

Veda Mantra pradhaanaaya Shata jihvaaya vai namah,

Bhuta Bhavyam Bhavishyam cha Sthaaavaram  jangamam cha yat/

Tava dehaasamutpannam Deva Sarvaidam Jagat,

Paasi imsicha bhadrantey praseeda bagavamstatah/

Ajnaanaadyadi Vijnaanaadyaadyanti kinchit kurutey Narah,

Tatsarvam Bhagavaaneva kurutey Yogamaayayaa/

(Devesha! Kindly excuse our blunders perpetrated out of ignorance by way of our thought, speech and deed. Little did we know of your background which even Brahma and others could comprehend. Our sincere salutations to you Bhava Rupa, Bhavya Rupa, Bhavanodbhava, Ananta Bala, Veerya, Bhutapati, Sarva Samahara, Avyaya, Vyaya, Gangaadhari, Adharara, Gunaatmika, Triabaka, Tri Netra, Trishula dhaari, Manmatha samhaara, Agni Swarupa, Paramatma, Shankara, Vrishaarudha, Ganapati, Danda hasta, Kaala,Paasha Hasta and Veda Mantra Pradhana ! You are Hundred Tongued, the Symbol of the Present, Past and Future; the Form of all Movable and Immovable Beings in the Universe, the Creator of the World from your Physique! Do kindly pardon our thoughtlessness and impudence as we were guided by the play of Yogamaya!)

Pleased and convinced by the remorseful  prayers of the Maharshis, Maha Deva granted ‘Divya drishti’ or Celestial Vision to them so that they could guess the silhouettes or outlines of the Magnificence of what Maha Deva was all about and with the aid of this Vision, the Maharshis got into raptures and broke down in spontaneous Apara Stuti as follows:

Namo Digvaasasey Nityam Krutaantaaya Trishuliney,

Vikataaya Karaalaaya Karaala vadanaayacha/

Arupaaya Surupaaya Vishwarupaaya tey namah,

Katankataaya Rudraaya Swaahaakaaraaya vai namah/

Sarvapranata dehaaya swayam cha Pranataatmaney,

Nityam Nilashikhandaaya Shrikanthaaya Namonamah/

Nilakanthaaya Dehaaya Chitaabhasmaanga dhaariney,

Twam Brahmaa Sarva Devaanaam Rudraanaam Nilalohitah/

Atmaacha Sarva Bhutaanaam Saankhyaih Purusha ucchatey,

Parvataanaam Mahamerur- Nakshatraanaam cha Chandramaam/

Rusheenaamcha Vasishthatwam Devaanam Vaasavas- tathaa,

Omkaara Sarva Devaanaam Sreshtham  Saamacha Saamasu/

Aaranyaanaam Pashunaamcha Simhatwam Parameswarah,

Graamyaanaamrushabhas chaapi Bhagavaanloka Pujitah/

Sarvathaa vartamaanopi yoyo Bhaavo Bhavishyati,

Twaameva thatr prashamo Brahmanaa tathitam tathaa/

Kaamah krodhasccha lobhascha vishaado Mada yeva cha,

yatadicchaamahe bodhum praseeda Parameswara/

Mahaasamharaney praaoptey twadaa Deva krutaatmanaa,

Karm lalaatey Samvidhya Vahni rupaaditastavyaa/

Tenaagriney tadaa Lokaa Archirbhih sarvato vruttaah,

Tasmaadagni samaahyotey bahavo vikruta -agnayah/

Kaamah Krodhascha Lobhascha Moho dambha upadravah,

Yaani chaanyaani bhutaani sthavaraani charaanicha/

Antah gantum na shaktaah sma Devadeva Namostutey/

(Our sincere obeisances toYou Digambara, Nitya, Kruaanta, Shulapaani, Vikata, Karaala, Bhayamukha, Prabhu; You are Arupa yet Sundara Rupa, Vishwarupa, Rudra and Swaahaakaara; Your Physique is respectfully prayed to by one and all and you are the Soul of Sarva Praanis; the Nitya, Nilakantha, Nila Shikhinda, Sarvaanga Bhasma Rupa and Nilalohita; you are applauded as the Embodiment of Shankya Shastra; You are the Meru among the Mountains, Chandra among the Stars; Vasishtha among the Maharshis, Indra Deva among the Devatas; Omkaara among Vedas; Lion among the Animals and bull among native animals. Bhagavan! do indicate to us the various Forms as at Present and indicated by Brahma. Our venerations to you Mahadeva! As you are devoid of the ‘Shatvargas’or the Six Enemies of humanity viz. Kama-Krodha- Lobha-Moha-Mada and Matsaraas or Lust-Anger-Greed-Attachment-Pride and Envy, besides Vishada or Grief. Parama Shiva! At the time of the Pralaya or the Great Destruction, you are of  Agni Swarupa and as Agni assumes flagrant form converts the whole world into ‘Bhasma’ or ashes and with that Bhasma, You and your Linga Swarupa are worshipped the World over. Also may the Agni Swarupa of that Shivatwa devastates the Univerese including the Sttaavara-Jagamaas; and to that Supreme ‘Kaalaagni’ Swarupa that we all pray and pay homage to. Maheswara, do protect us from that Kaalaagni. We will indeed obey and comply with your instructions. We are regretful that among crores of humanity, we failed to recognise due to our ignorance and lack of wisdom!)

Maha Deva no doubt was satisfied with the Paraa Stuti but admonished the Maharshis not to be flippant in their assessment of ‘Yatis’ or Yogis in which ever form or Rupa they might be. He said that the entire Srishti happened to be of Stree Linga or Pumlinga and one should not rush to misinterpretations or wrong conclusions about any person as the Maharshis did in His case! A Brahmavadi might be a naked person, or ash-smeared or even as a child! His nakedness should not be misinterpreted to attract women! He might have smeared ‘Bhasma’ to destroy his sins; a Brahmavadi might be a ‘Nitya Dhyaana Parayana’ or engrossed in meditation  and might be  least-communicative; this should not be misunderstood as a sign of lunacy or arrogance; a Parama Yogi might be laughing away in a boisterous manner if he is enjoying ‘Paramaananda’ or bliss; he might be overjoyed as he could be engrossed in Parma Tatwa by way of Manasika Puja or Maha Dhyana and making Maha Mudras; then none should mistake him for his Vaachaka-Manasika-Shaariraka meditation. This was how Shiva guided never to mistake Maya for Satya or Illusions for  realities.

Significance of Bhasma: Bhagavan Shiva further analysed the significance of Bhasma which was product of Agni Karyaas like daily homas and Yagnas; the burning of ‘Sthavara Jangamaas’ by Fire would result in Ash:

Bhasmattadvihitam Sarvam Pavitramidamuttamam,

Bhasmaanaa Veeryamaasyaaya Bhutaani parishanchati/

Agnikaaryam cha yah krutwaa karishyati triyaayusham,

Bhasmanaa mama veeryena muchyatey Sarva kilbishey/

Bhaasatey –tyeva yadbhasma shubham bhaavayatey cha yat,

Bhakshanaat Sarva ;paapaanaam bhasmeyti parikeertitam/

Ushmapaah Pitaro Jneyaa Devaa vai Somasambhavaah,

Agnishomaatmakam Sarvam Jagarsthaavara jangamam/

Ahamagnirmahaa tejaah Somaschaishaa Mahaambikaa,

Ahamagnischa Somascha Praktrutyaa Purushah Swayam/

Tasmaadbhasmam Mahaa Bhaagaa madveeryamiti chochyatey,

Swarveeryam vapushaa chaiva dhaarameeti vai sthitaya/

Tadaaprabhruti lokeshu rakshaarthamashubheshyucha/

Bhasmaanaa kriyatey raksha sutikaanaam gruheshucha/

Bhasmasnaana vishuddhaatmaa Jita Krodho Jitendriyah,

Matsameepam Samaagamya na bhuyo vinivartatey/

Vratam Pashupata yogam kapilam chaiva nirmitam,

Purvam Pashupatim  hyetannirmitam tadanuttamam/

(Uttama Bhasma is produced by the scorching of the wood of trees and other materials of Nature. Shiva stated that by way of  Bhasma, he carried his virility to human beings. Bhasma generated by Agni Karyaas while reciting the Mantras like ‘Triyaamshu’ is basically is the bye-product of Shiva’s ‘veerya’ and demolishes all kinds of Sins. This ‘bhasita’ or the radiant  product  emerges from Shiva’s Body and is responsible for the Bhakshana of Mahaa Paapaas and hence it is called Bhasma. Mahadeva futher explained that the word ‘Ushmapa’ or hot and burnt material is ‘Pitreeshwar’ or the material consumed by the Lord of Pitraas, while Devataas consume Amrita or Soma Rasa; Agni is of Soma Swarupa; Shiva is Agni and Soma rupi is Devi Ambika; Shiva is Purusha and Ambika is Prakruti. This is the reason why Bhasma is called Shiva’s veerya as his Veerya is generated  from Shiva’s body. Thus Bhasma destroys Evil and Inauspiciousness / ‘Ashubha’ anywhere especially in households; any person taking a bath and applies Bhasma is stated to be eligible for performing the Sacred Paashupata Vrata Kapila Yoga and is assured of Bandha vimochana or the shackles of Samsara to Shiva Loka. If a person resorts to Bhasma Snaana and performs Shiva Dhyaana, then thousands of ‘Akaryas’ or misdeeds get destroyed like Agni burns off immoralities and turpitude. Application of Bhasma after Snaana and Shiva Dhyaana three times a day would fetch ’Gaanapatya’; if that person performs Shiva Worship at Smashaana or burial grounds along with the observance of the above deeds viz. Pavitra Snaana-Bhasmaalankarana-Shiva Dhyana and worship thrice daily would secure Ashta Siddhis of Anima-Garima, Vasitya etc. Performance of Kamika Vrata and Pashupata Vrata before Shiva Linga without the impact of Shadvagraas, Rajo-Tamogunaas and perfect equanimity besides the prerequisites of Snaana-Bhasma-Dhyana- Puja-Naivedyas etc. would qualify Kalpaanta Rudra Prapti. Maha Deva further  stated that He had originally scripted Srishti without Lajja (Shame), Moha (Attachment), Bhaya (Fear) and such aberrations. Even now all Beings including Devas, Munis and human beings are born naked since no person could become Jitendriya, since features like Kshama (Forgiveness), Dhairya  (Courage), Ahimsa or Non-Violence, Vairagya or Other-Worldliness constitute the most superior Vastras. Thus any mocking, criticism, protests and curses against Mahatmas and Siddhhas caused by Ahamkara (Ego) and Ignorance would tantamount to ‘Maha Paapaas’ attracting the wrath of Maha Deva even against Saptarshis who were cursed back by him, while their curses against Shiva proved to be boons to the Universe since Shiva Lingas were manifested for promoting Bhakti  in the Trilokas as sure means of Shiva Prapti

Om Tat Sat


(My humble salutations to  the lotus feet of Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Mahaswamy ji and also my humble greatulness to  Brahmasree Sreeman V D N Rao ji  for the collection)


nirja acharya said...

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Ashtanga Yoga

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