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The Essence of Puranas – Linga Purana -2

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The Essence of Puranas – Linga Purana

8    Muni Dadhichi proves superiority of Shiva Shakti to King Kshupa

Brahma’s son King Kshupa and Maha Muni Dadhichi the son of Maharshi Chyavana were good friends but got entangled in an argument whether Kshatriyas were superior to Brahmanas. The King argued that the ‘Ashtadikpalakaas’ or the Rulers viz. Agni, Indra, Varuna, Vaayu, Nirruti, Kubera and Yama and Soma and Kingship had the last ‘say’ in goverenance. Dadhichi was enraged and did the indiscretion of hitting the King on his head by his left fist; the King retaliated and hit Dadhichi by his ‘Vajra’and Dadhichi fell down badly hurt and was almost dead; the dying Muni remembered Maharshi Sukracharya the Danava Guru who appeared and entered Dadhichi’s body and administerd Sanjeevani Vidya ; the Guru utilised the Vidya which was bestowed to him by Maha Deva  by pleasing him for thousand years of rigorous of Tapasya. Then, Sukracharya commended Dadhichi to fully surrender to Maha Deva and engage himself with relentelss Tapasya to conquer Mrityu; he preached the unique Sanjivini Vidya to Dadhichi and highlighted the significance of the Maha Mantra as follows:

Triabmakam yajemahey Trilokya Pitaram Prabhum,

Trimandalasya pitaram Trigunaysya Maheswaram/

Tritatwasya Trivahnescha Tridhaabhutasya Sarvatah,

Tridevasya Mahadevam sugandhim pustivardhanam/

Sarva bhuteshu Sarvatra Triguney Prakrutou tathaa,

Indrayeshu Tathaanyashu Deveshu cha Ganeshucha/

Pushpeshu Gandhavat sukshmah Sugandhih Parameshwarah,

Pushtischa Prakrutir yasmaat purushasya Dwijottama/

Satyenaanena Muksheeyaanmrityu paashaadbhava swayam/

(I pray to Triambaka who is the Swami of Trilokas; the Three Tatwaas, Three Agnis,Three Bhutas and Three Vedas are enriched by Maha Deva’s Sugandhi and Pushti or fragrance and vigour; the essence of fragrance among flowers is Maha Deva Himself and the unique Shakti or Power too is of Maha Deva. The growth and significance of the Tatwas as displayed among Munis, Devas, Indra, Brahma and Vishnu are also originated from Maha Deva; the extraordinary  radiance and high heat of Three Kinds of Agnis too is created by Maha Deva; the Pushti and Sugandha enjoyed by Sarva Bhutas or Beings, Trigunaas, Devis in the Rupas of Prakriti emerge from Maha Deva only. It is through ‘Satya’ or its broad sense of Virtue alone that the various ‘bandhanas’ or fetters could be terminated and Moksha is achieved).

Then Guru Shukracharya imparted the Sanjeevani Maha Mantra to Dadhichi Maha Muni; the latter performed Japa and Homa, drank the ‘Abhimantrita Jala’ or the Sacred water that absorbed the Mantra day and night and was engaged in ‘Shivaaraadhana’ or Worship to Shiva for long; in course of time, Dadhichi secured a backbone far harder in several multiples than the Vajra with which King Khsupa nearly killed Dadhichi; in fact his backbone turned so invincible that at a later date, Indra appealed to the Muni at the instance of Vishnu to sacrifice it by way of a yogic self-termination so that the backbone was materialised as the famed ‘Vajrayudha’ of Indra in the context of Vritrasura’s killing and the Maha Muni acquiesced for the great cause of ‘Loka Kalyana’ or for Universal Benefit and gave away voluntarily. As Dadhici accomplished indestructibility of his bones thanks to his  exemplary devotion to Parama Shiva, the Muni retaliated King Kshupa and hit him hard when the latter remembered Vishnu and prayed to him very sincerely:

Mahadeva Jagannadha Pitamaha Jagadguro,

Praseeda Devadevesha praseeda Parameswara/

Praseedatwam Jagannaatha shranyam sharanam tatah,

Vaikuntham Shourey Sarvajna Vaasudeva Mahaa bhujah/

Sankarshana Mahaa Bhaaga Pradyumna Purushottama

Aniruddha Mahaa Vishno Sadaa Vishno Namostutey!

As Bhagavan appeared before the King who was a life -long Bhakta of his, the King narrated the entire background as to how he was insulted and humbled and requested Vishnu  that Dadhichi the invincible due to his devotion to Shiva had turned arrogant and hence must be taught a lesson. Vishnu assumed the form of a Brahmana and sought a boon from Dadhichi, the Shiva Bhakta. As Dadhichi had the powers of recognition, he recognised Vishnu and a smiling Vishnu complimented the Muni and stated that since the Muni was a Shiva Bhakta he should be afraid of nothing including Vishnu. As Dadhichi asserted so and even belittlled Vishnu; Vishnu grew angry with the brazen and bold behaviour of the Muni, and got ready to fight; as Vishnu readied to instruct his Sudashana Chakra, Dadhichi joked that Shiva gifted the Chakra and thus would not hurt a Shiva Bhakta and similarly Brahmastra would not work anyway. Vishnu got furious and tried various other Astra-Shastras but Dadhichi used Kusha grass tops and the Vishnu’s Astras proved ineffective. As a final resort Vishnu spread  his Maya and created crores of his own Swarupas, crores of Devas and of Munis. Dadhichi shouted on Vishnu, ‘Lord! Please do not utilise your old tricks of Vishnu Maya on me but instead look at me as Parama Shiva in whose body you could vision every body including yourself and the entire ‘Brahmanda’. As Dadhichi said so, Devatas got frightened and flew away and Vishnu became still and motionless! Dadhichi then cursed Devas for their deeds against him and forewarned them that at the time of Daksha Yagna in the future, Rudra Deva would teach a lesson to all including Vishnu! As the Maharshi said this and returned to his ‘Ashram’, everybody including Brahma and Devas, let alone the King Kshupa  followed him and paid respects to him and that Place came to be famed as Sthaaneshwara there after.

Those who achieve this Kshetra would indeed attain Shiva Saayujya. Those who hear or recite the happenings between King Kshupa and Muni Dadhichi and the magnificence of Maha Deva would never have fear of death and attain Brahmaloka after a contented and successful life!

9    Birth of Nandeswara and his puja

Suta Maha Muni narrated the birth- account of Nandeswara to the Rishis at Naimisha Forest. Maharshi Shilada approached Indra Deva to bless him  to a highly renowned and virtuous son who would be ‘ Ayonijam’ and ‘Mrityuheenam’  or unborn to a woman and deathless. Indra Deva expressed his inability and said:

Na durlabho Mrityuheenastwa Putro hyayonijah,

Mayaa cha Vishnunaa chaiva Brahmanaa cha Mahatmanaa/

( It is not possible for Brahma or Vishnu to grant a son who would be unborn to a woman and would not die). Maharshi Shilada then performed severe Tapasya for thousands of years and his body got degenerated to such an extent that it became a skeleton full of worms. Finally, Maha Deva granted his vision and Shilada’s wish:

Tawa Putro bhavishyaami Nandi naamnaa twayonijah,

Pitaa bhavisyaasi mama Pitrurvey Jagataam Muney/

(I shall grant you a son with the name of Nandi and he would be my son and would be popular like wise). Then Nandi was born at Yagna Bhumi with the features of Maha Deva himself with Trinetras, Chaturbhjas and as Jataa mukuta and Vajra-Sarpa dhaari when Devatas rained fragrant flowers, Apsaraas danced and Gandharvaas sang tuneful hymns in praise of Shiva and Nandi. Vasus, Rudras and Indra prayed respectfully and Devis like Lakshmi, Jyeshtha, Diti, Aditi, Nanda, Shachi, Bhadra and others rendered ‘Stutis’ to Nandi. Shailada Muni commended Maha Deva as well as Nandeswara and expressed his total satisfaction and gratitude. As Nandeswara was taken into the ‘Parnashala’ or thached home of Shailada, Nandi assumed a human Rupa instead of Deva Swarupa. Shailada Muni was overjoyed, performed the child’s Jaata Karma and other Vedic Tasks and on the son’s attaining seven years performed his Yagnopaveeta dharana and ‘Upaasana’ of Gayatri and tendered him to the Ashram of Maharshi Mitraavaruna. The Guru taught Veda Vidya, Shastras and other Scriptures, besides Dhanur Vidya, Ayur Veda and MantraVidyas, Chatushashti Kaalas, Ashrama Dharmas and so on. Mitravaruna was very proud of the student and so was Muni Shilada; the Guru then blurted at that time  of  Nandi ‘s exit from Ashram that doubteless Bala Nandi displayed extra-ordinary brilliance as a fulfedged Scholar and accomplishment but was shortlived! Shilada fainted at this disclosure for long and after regaining normalcy took to extreme Tapasya again to Maha Deva; even as Shilada was engaged in Tapasya, Shiva appreared, fondled Nandi, assured him not to get disturbed from what was stated by his Guru. He said that actually he sent messengers that Nandi’s life was almost over since his human birth would anyway be of Tapatrayas and hence he was terminating the Manava Janma to bestow Everlasting Life; by so saying, Maha Deva touched Nandi so that his physical body would fall down with his Jataa Mukuta etc and secure a permanent Rudra Rupa. The Place where the human form of Nandi’s  ‘Jatajuta’ fell on Earth was materialised into a Sacred River called Jatodaka and Nandi’s new Form was of a ‘Vrishabha’; Parama Shiva himself performed ‘Abhisheka’ on the new Form of Nandi and that Place came to be called Vrishadhwani, Jambunada or Panchanada and Vishwakarma gifted a Golden Mukuta or Headgear and Kundalaas or Ear Rings. Thereafter Nandeswara familiarised with his mother Devi Girija and also the Ganaas, whom he was empowered as their Chief. Devi Parvati endeared the son who prostrated before her with veneration. Maha Deva declared to the Tri Lokas that Nandeswara was the son of Shiva and Parvati. Devas headed by Indra, Brahma, Vishnu , Dikpalakas, Maharshis, besides Yaksha-Gandharva-Muni and Yogi ganaas were all invited to a huge event where Nandeswara’s unique name was fame were known all over, where ever Maha Deva was known and indeed Maha Deva was acclaimed as the Supreme Lord of the Universe. Parama Shiva granted a boon to Nandeswara that He would be in the ‘Sannithi’ (Presence) of Shiva always and any kind of worship to himself would be incomplete without any Service to Nandi ! Even  great sins of the magnitude of Brahma hatya could be nullified by Shiva Puja but at first, Nandeswara should be propitiated without fail; Aadow kuryaanamaskaaram tadantey Shivataam Vrajet/

10    Shiva’s Samishthi Swarupa (An Integrated Portrait of Maha Deva)

Bhurbhubhuvah swarmahaschaiva Janah Saakshaattapastathaa,

Satyalokascha Pataalam Narakaarnavakotayah/

Taarakaagraha Somaarko Dhruvah Saptarshyastathaa,

Vaimaanikaastathaaney cha tishthantasya prasaadatah/

Anena Nirmitaastwevam tadaatmaano Dwijarshabhaah,

Samishthirupah Sarvaatmaa Samshitah Savadaa Shivah/

Sarvaatmaanam Mahaatmaanam Mahaa Devam Maheswaram,

Na vijaananti Samoodhaa Maayayaa tasya mohitaah/

Tasya Devasya Rudrasya Shariram vai Jagatrayam,

Tasmaat pranaamya tam Vakshey Jagataam nirnayam Shubham/

(The totality of Bhur, Bhuva, Swaha, Maha, Jana, Tapa, Satya, Paataala, Naraka, Arnavaas / Seas, Nakshatras, Nava Grahas, Chandra- Surya lokas, Dhruva, Sapta Rishi Lokaas and so on is all integrated in the Composite Form of Sada Shiva). This basic truth is not comprehended by ignorant persons and display of Maya or Illusion; indeed the Sarvaatma, Mahatma, Maha Deva and Maheswara is far from being discerned and legible to the  common ignoramus let alone Maharshis. Let there be awareness that Paramatma alone would be able to decide about the status of the Universe ! Also, let it be known that Shiva denotes the Sapta Pataalas of Atala-Vitala-Sutala-Talaatala-Mahatala-Rasaatala and Patalas; Countless Narakas; the Sapta Dwipas of  Jambu, Pluksha, Shaalmali, Kusha, Krouncha, Shaaka and Pushkara; the Sapta Samudras of Kshara, Ikshu, Sura, Ghrita, Dadhi, Ksheera and Swada; the Fourteen Manusviz. Swayambhu, Swarochisha, Uttama, Chakshusa, Tamasa, Raivata, Vaivaswata, Swarani, and Daksha-Brahma-Rudra-Dharma Savarnis); Dasa Dishas; Kaalamaana (Concept of Time); Arishadvargas of Kama-Krodha-Lobha-Mohaa-Mada and Matsaraas; Ekadasa Rudras (Ajaikapaada, Abhirbudhnya, Virupaaksha, Raivata, Hara, Bahurupa, Triambika, Saavitra, Jayanta, Pinaki, and Aparajita); Dwadasha Adityas viz. Indra, Dhata, Bhava, Twashta, Mitra,Aryama, Vivaswan, Savita, Pusha, Amshuman and Vishnu; Chatur Vedas , Ashtaadasha Puranas, Shat-Vedangas viz Siksha including Sangeeta and Nyaya; Vyakarana, Kalpa Grandha, Nirukta, Chandas Shastra, Jyotisha including Jataka Skandha;  Sapta Rishis (Marichi, Atri, Angirasa, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu,and  Vasishtha); Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanaatana  and Sanat Kumara brothers; Prajapatis; Narada; Chatusshasthi Kalas, Sapta Parvatas viz. Sumeru, Kailasa, Malaya, Himalaya, Udyachala, Agastyachala, Suvela and Gandhamaadana; Ananta Shesha at the root of Meru; the Eight Lokapaalakaas viz. Indra, Agni, Yama, Nirruti,, Varuna, Vayu and Ishana;  Chaturvarnas, Chaturaashramaas, Yagnas and Yagaas, Agni Homas like Shodasi, Ukta, Purushi, Agnishtoma, Aptoryama, Atiratra, Vajapeya and Goshava; and Devas, Daityas, Danavas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras, Nagas, Yajshas and Rakshasaas, Apsaraas; and so on. Parama Shiva’s Samishthi Swarupa also outshines the best of Creations like Surya among Nava Grahas / the Nine Planets; Chandra as the Lord of Nakshatras / Stars and of Auoshadhis; Varuna as the best of Jalaas or Waters; Kubera as the Best of ‘Dhanas’or Wealths; Vishnu as the Swami of  the ‘Dwadasa Adityaas’; Paavaka as the best of Vasu -ganaas; Daksha as the most significant Prajapatis; Indra as the King of Devaas; King Prahlada as the Chief of Daitya-Danavas; Nirruti as the Head of Rakshasaas; Rudra as the Pati of Pashus; Nandi as the Commander of Shiva Ganaas; Veerabhadra as the Ruler of Veera Purushas; Chamunda as the Best of Matrikas; Nilalohita as the Principal of Rudras; Ganesha as the Controller of Vighnaas or obstructions and disablements; Uma Devi as the Prime Shakti of Women; Sarasvati as the Queen of Vanis;  Parvati as the Chief of Himalaya and other Mountains; Ganga as the Paramount of Rivers; Pipul or Bo Tree (Ficus Reloijosa) the best of Trees; Vidyadhara as the King of Gandharvas and Chitraradha as the Head of Kinnaras; Khseera Sagara as the Leader of Samudras of Seas; Vaasuki as the King of Nagas; Takshaka as the Head of Sarpas; Garuda as the Master of Pakshis or Vihangaas Sky Birds; Ucchaaishrava as the Leader of Horses; Lion as the Leader of Amimals; Vrishabha as the best of the Species of  Cows; Guha Swami as the  Commander-in- Chief of Deva Sena; and so on.

11    ‘Shiva Samkalpamastu’ : Maharshi Parashara’s Rudrarchana and glory to his Vamsha

Vasishtha Muni and his spouse Arundhati had a son named Shakti. As the Muni was engaged in a Yagna Kaarya by King Kalmashaapada, a Rakshasa named Rudhira killed and ate up Shakti and his brothers, apparently instigated by Vishwamitra Muni. At this heart-rending news,Vasihtha and Arundhati were so much grieved that they decided to jump down from a mountain top. Their daughter-in-law who was shattered too  begged of Vasishha and Arundhati  not to do so as she was in advanced stage of pregnancy and would be helpless. There was an ‘Akasha Vani’ saying that a Child of Vishnu’s Amsha would be born and the Muni and family should observe restraint; the Voice further stated that the new born would become an illustrious devotee of Rudra. Meanwhile,  the daughter-in-law requested the in-laws to take care of her body as very soon the child would be born; Arundhati took the daughter in law to their Ashram and a voice of a Hymn emerged from her stomach, while Vishnu from the sky confirmed to Vasishtha that indeed he would emerge then just as Aditi gave birth to Vishnu. In course of time, Shakti’s wife gave birth to Parashara the grandson of the happy coulple of Vasishtha. She the became ‘Adryushya Devi’ or Invisible woman. The new-born Parashara enquired his mother as to where was his father and brothers; she replied that a Rakshasa killed them. It was then Parashara resolved that since the entire Universe belonged to Rudra, he would like to make a firm resolve or Shiva Sankalpa that he would most certainly please Rudra and show his dead father and brothers. Immediately, Parashara materialised a Mrittka Linga and started worshipping the Shiva Linga by way of Shiva Sukta, and Traimbika Sukta; he recited  Shiva Sankalpa with unique sincerity:

Yenedam bhutam Bhuvanam Bhavishyat parigriheetamamrutena sarvam,

Yena Yajnastraayatey bSapra hotaanmanassiva Sanlalpamastu/

Yena karmaani pracharanti Dheeraa yato Vaachaa Manasaa chaaruyanti,

Yat sammitam Manassancharanti Praaninastanmey Manassiva sankalpamastu/-----

Paraatparatama Brahma tatparaat parato Harih,

Yaparaat parato dheesamtanmey Manassivasankalpamastu/

and so on.  Devi Parvati was so impressed that she prevailed on Shiva to grant a darshan as also his wish. As Bhavani, Maha Deva and Nandi gave their appearances, Parashara was in raptures with overjoyed tears trickling his cheeks and the vision of his dead father and brothers was glimpsed by Vasishtha, Arundhati, his mother and by himself; his father Shakti said that whatever ‘Shrutis’ were expected by a son to the parents and the total Vamsha was fulfilled even Parasara of Vishnu Amsha  was hardly born and hoped that his next generation too would bring long reputation as illustrious progeny. Having blessed Parashara, his father left for Pitruloka along with his elder brothers

12    Maha Deva exterminates ‘Tri-Purasuras’

As Skanda Deva killed Tarakasura, the three sons of the latter viz. Vydyunmaali, Kamalaaksha and Tarakaksha were united and performed relentless Tapasya to Brahma seeking invincibility. As Brahma clarified that none among the Beings were immortal, they scaled down their wishes to the following: they would build three flying ‘Puraas’ or Cities which could move about freely in the World and individually none of the Nagaris could ever be destroyed but only in a group simultaneously. Indeed this was a peculiar boon that was asked by the Danava brothers, but Brahma agreed all the same. The famed Daitya Builder Mayasura created three Nagaris, viz. a Golden one in Swarga Loka for Tarakaksha, a Silver Nagari for Kamalaksha in Antariksha and a Loha Nagari in Bhuloka for Vidyunmala; all secured fortresses which were impregnable even by Devas and other celestial Beings, let alone others like Manavas. The Nagaris were luxurious with all the comforts of Swarga with Kalpataru Gardens in place and Pancha Bhutas of Earth-Water-Illumination-Air and Sky under control; Gandharvas and Kinnaras were at service with sonorous music and song while Apsaras were made to dance at command. The Tripurasuras harassed Devaganas and threw them out of Swarga and their respective abodes. They approached Bhagavan Vishnu who created innumerable Shaktis but the army of the Asuras destroyed the Shaktis; Vishnu realised that not only the Tarakaaksha and brothers but all the follower Daityas had the unique feature of Maheswara Linga worship as per prescribed procedure and thus became difficult to control by the Vishnu Senas. Vishnu then created a Mayaawi Purusha who quietly entered the Tripuras and having impressed the Daityas with his knowedge of Shastras and Siddhis misled them successfully to neglect ‘Shroutra Smartas’ and Shiv Linga Puja. They also left the Varnashtam Dharmas, belittled women which caused Lakshmi to gradually desert them and relapsed to Adharma. That was the opportune time for Vishnu to approach Maha Deva and prayed to him:

Maheswaraaya Devaaya Namastey Paramatmaney,

Naraayanaaya Sharvaaya Brahmaney  Brahmarupiney/

Shaswataayahyanantaaya Avyaktaaya cha tey Namah/

Then Devas also joined Vishnu’s prayers and said:

Namah Sarvaatmaney tubhyam Shankaraayaatrihaariney,

Rudraaya Nila Rudraaya Kadrudraaya prachetasy/

Gatirnah Sarvadasmaabhirvandyo Devaari mardanah

twamaadistwa mananta - schaakshayah Prabhuh/

Prakiritih Purushaha Saakshaatsrashtaa Hartaa Jagadguro,

Traataa Netaa Jaatyasmindwijaanaam Dwija Vatsala/

Varado Vaangmayo  Vaachyo Vaachya Vaachikavarjitah/

Yajyo muktyardhameeshaano Yogibhiryogavibhramaih/

Tadrutpundarika sushire yoginaam samsthitah sadaa,

Vadanti Surayah samtam param Brahmaswarupinam/

Bhavantam tatwamityaayarsteyjo taashim Paratparam,

Paramaatmaa namityaahurisma- jjagati tadvibho/

Drushtam hrutam sthitam Sarvey jaayamaanam Jagadguro,

Anoralpataram prahurmahatopi Mahattharam/

Sarvatah Paanipaadam twaam Sarvatokshishiromukham,

Sarvatah Shrutimallokey Sarvamaavrutya tishthasi/

Maha Devamanirdeshyam Sarvajnam twamanaamayam,

Vishwarupam Virupaaksham Sada Shivamanaamayam/

Koti Bhaskara samkaasham Kotiseetaamshu sinnibham

Kotikalaagnisankaasham Shadvimsha kamanee -shwaram/

Pravartakah Jagatyasmin Prakruteh prapitaamaham,

Vadanti Varadam Devam Sarvaavaasam Swayambhuvam/

Shtutayah Shrutisaaram twaam Shrutisaara vidojanaah/

Adrushtamasmaabhiraneka murtey vinaa krutam yadbhavataatha lokey,

Twameva Daityaan-sura bhutasanghaan Devaan Kinnaraan sthaavara jangamaascha/

Paahi naanyaa gatih Shambho Vinihatyaasurottamaan,

Mayayaa mohitaah Sarvey bhavatah Parameswara/

Yathaa tangaa lahari samuhaa yudhyantichaanyonyamapaam nidhowacha,

Jalaashrayaa Deva jadikrutaascha Suraasuraastadwadajasya sarvam/

Sutavuvaacha: Ya yidam praataru-tthhaaya shuchirbhutwaa japennarah,

shrunuyaadwaa stavam punyam sarvakaamava -apnuyaat/

( Namastey Maheswara, Deva, Paramatma, Naraayana, Sharva Brahma and Brahmarupa, Shaswata, Ananta, Avyakta! Our salutations Sarvatma, Shankara, Artihara, Rudra, Nila Rudra, Sarva Vandya, Prakriti, Purusha, Srashtaa or Creator, Harta or destroyer, Jagad Guru, Traata, Neta, Brahmana Vatsala, Varada, Vangmaya,Vaachya, Vaachikavarjita, Ishaana, Yogi,Yoga vibhrama, Pundarika, always surrounded by Yogis, Brahma Swarupa, Bhavanta, itya Teja, Paratpara, Paramatma, Jadguru who visions, hears, resides all over in the Universe; Sarva Paani-Paadam, Sarvatokshishiromukha, Maha Devaamanirdesha, Sarvatjna, Vishwarupa, Virupaaksha, Sada Shiva, Koti Bhaskara Sankaasha, Koti Sheenshu Sannibha, Koti Kalaa sankaasha, Fulfiller of Twenty Six Great Desires, Sarva Vaasa, Swayambhuva, Pravartaka, Jagat Swami, Prakriti’s Pataamaha, Vadanti, Varada, Sarva Vaasa, Swayambhu, Shruti Saara, Adrushta, Ekaaraneyka Murti, Sukshmaati Sukshma; You are the Sarva Swarupa representing Daityas-Devas-Bhuta-Kinnara-Sthaavara-Jangamaas. Shambho! We have no other place of refuge excepting you; the Universe is engulfed with Maya or Delusion; just as the huge waves of an Ocean gush to the shore and meekly get destroyed by striking it, Jalaashraya Deva; You are the  Sarvam or the Infinite and the Eternal Truth! Suta Muni said : Any person on rising early morning and securing cleanliness from within and without recites the above Stotra by Vishnu and Devas to Parameswara would gain excellent results of Punya and fulfillment).    

As Devas and Vishnu visioned ‘Trishulapaani Shankar’ relaxing with Devi Parvati and  Mahatma Nandi, they saw that ‘Bhuta bhavishya Swami’whose eyes were red like ‘Agni kundas’and physique was shimmering with thousand Suns with a pleasant countenance    ornamented with a Bala Purna Chandra. Having pleased Parama Shiva thus, Devas            explained the gravity and seriousness of the crisis created by the Tripura Daityas who not only unseated and tormented Devas and Celestial Entities but were also sending shock-waves all over the Universe, humiliating Sages, frightening women and children, making mass-scale carnage and blood bath of humanity and uprooting Dharma and age-old Values and Principles. Parameshwara infused confidence into the demoralised Devas and asked them to construct an exceptional chariot with unique specifications: Prithvi as the Ratha / Chariot, Meru and Mandara Mountains as axles, Surya and Chandra as Chakras made of gold and silver respectively, the Four Vedas of Ruk-Yajur-Sama and Atharva acted as the horses; Shukra, Brihaspati, Budha, Mangal, and Shanaischara seated on the Ratha ready to charge; the famous serpents viz. Takshaka, Karkotaka, Dhanajaya and Padmadwaya acted as the strings which were tied to the horses; most poisonous snakes like Surasa, Devashuni, Sarama, Kadru, Vinata, Shuchi, Trusha, and Bubhuksha were used as arrows; Mrutyu, Brahmahatya, Gohatya, Balahatya and Prajaabhaya were loaded on the Chariot so that they get activised as maces; Omkara and Vashatkara were the symbols on the Ratha; Sinivali, Kuhu, Raaka and Anumati - the ‘Adhishtana’/ in charge Deities of Chaturdashi, Amavasya, Suddha Purnima, Pratipadika Purnima respectively were used as auxiliary strings to the horses; the dhanush made of six ‘ritus’/ seasons which is safeguarded by Devi Ambika herself never to be broken; the specific arrow with which to kill the Tripurasura was strengthened by Vishnu, Soma and Agni and its head propelled by Agni and Chandra by its rear and Vishnu Maya smeared all over; and the extreme poison of Nagaraja Vasuki was loaded to ensure stability and speed of the arrow; Vayu was made in charge of the high velocity of the Chariot and finally Brahma was the Charioteer and Sesha Naag was made in charge of the personal security of Brahma as also of the Chariot. Yama Raja with his buffalo, Kubera on his serpent, Indra on Iravata, Ganeswara by his Mushika Vahana, Karikeya on his Peacock, Nandeshwara with his Shula running behind and sides of the Ratha were in full preparedness. Maharshis Bhrigu, Bharadwaja, Vasishtha, Goutama, Kratu, Pulastya, Pulaha, Marichi, Atri, Angira, Parashara, and Agastya were there too at the kick-start of the Battle to recite Veda Vachanas and Shiv Stutis. The Pramatha ganas were ready to charge as the army against the opponents- all swarmed around the Rath. Meanwhile, Sage Narada reached the Tripuras and tried his best to mend his ways, give back Indrapuri to Devas and avoid the worst ever battle in which the indestructible Tripuras would be destroyed along with the Three Demons as Maha Deva himself was approaching these Places with full preparation. Instead of talking peace, the Demons alerted their vast armies, and prepared for turning their defensive positions to that of an offence. On the instruction of Shankara Deva, Indra took his enormous army and attacked Tripura. As the Deva Sena made a highly offensive assault in full force, what with the revenge and frustration experienced by them for long as they were out of power as also owing to the excellent backing of Maheswara, they seized the best part of Tripuras. While quite a few Danavas sought to escape for their lives through the exit gates of Tripuras, Pramatha ganas calculated that the enemies would try to sneek out at those points and buchered thousands of Danavas.The remaining Danavas inside the Trinagaris were utterly confused by contradictoy shouts that Taraka died or Shiva was defeated. In that melee, a srong contingent of Danavas quickly regrouped their men and material to make offensive attacks under the leadership of Vidunmali and Maya. Ganeswara divided Tripuras in three regions as Nandeswara was attacking Vudyunmali, while he was in position against Maya. Meanwhile, Vidyunmali threw a ‘Parigha’ on Nandi who was hurt and the enraged three ‘Parshadaganas’ named Ghantaakarna, Shankukarna and Mahakaal retaliated; they assumed the Forms of Ganeswara and assailed Vidyunmali by making the roars of lions. Even while the Parswaganas were about to leap on Vidyunmali, the hurt Nandikeswara hurled a Rudra Shakti on the demon who fell down like a mountain. There was utter silence among Danavas who were stunned and retreated. But, the highly cunning and crafty Mayasura chased the Ganas of Ganeshwara to divert attention of his own men from the fallen Vidyunmali to the Ganesha ganas. Mayasura created rains of Agni, crocodiles, snakes, huge mountains, lions, tigers, trees, black deers, eight-legged ‘Sharabhas’/ a species of oversized deer, torrential rain and powerful sand storms. As Taraka came into the battle field, Devas too appeared in full force, including Yamaraja, Varuna, Bhaskara, Kartikeya heading a Deva Sena of a Crore, with Indra, Shanaishchara, Chandra, and Rudras. The ‘Maayavi’ Mayaasura created several Wells full of herbal juices for envigoration and Danavas were in high spirits as their body strength increased manifold. But Keshava took the form of ‘Vrishabha’and drank up the juice along with Devas and dried up the wells and Devas occupied the Tripuras finally. Mayasura and other Daityas were forced to hide in the Sea. That was the decisive moment when there was an all-out battle on the seashores. Shankara divided the ‘Tridevamaya’ arrow into three parts and released it at the Pushya Yoga time when Tripuras were destroyed in one go. Devas then went ecsatic and the huge shouts of Victory to Maha Deva resounded across the Sky from where Gandharvas and Kinnaras sang hymns of praises, Apsaras danced and Maharshis recited  Vedas and Shiva Stotras. Brahma praised Parama Shiva in a chorus as follows:

Praseeda Deva Devesha Praseeda Parameshwara,

Praseeda Jagataam Naatha praseedaanandadaavyaya/

Panchaasya Rudra Rudraaya Panchaasatkoti Murtaye ,

Atmatrayopavishtaaya Vidyaa tatwaaya tey namah/

Panchaasya Rudra Rudraaya Panchaasatkoti Murtaye ,

Atmatrayopavishtaaya Vidyaa tatwaaya tey namah/

Shivaaya Shiva tatwaayaa Aghoraaya Namonamah,

Aghotaashtaka tatwaaya Dwadashaatmasva rupiney/

Vidyutkoti prateekaasha mashtakaamsha sushobhinam,

Rupamaanasthyaaya Lokesmin samsthitaaya Shivaatmaney/

Agnivarnaaya Roudraaya Ambikaardha shareeriney,

Dhavala Shyaama raktaanaam Mukti daayaamaraayacha/

Jyeshthaaya Rudra rupaaya Somaaya varadfaayacha,

Trilokaaya Tridevaaya Vashatkaaraaya vai namah/

Madhye gagana rupaaya Gaganasthaaya tey namah,

Ashta kshetraashta rupaaya Ashta tatwaaya tey namah/

Chaturdhicha Chaturdhaacha Chaturdhaa samsthitaaya cha,

Panchaghaa panchagaachaiva Panchamantra shaririney/

Chatusshashthi prakaaraaya Akaaraaya namo namah

Dwaantri shatattawa rupaaya Ukaaraaya namonamah/

Shodashaatma swarupaaa Makaaraaya namonamah,

Ashtadhaatma swarupaaya Ardha maatraatmaney namah/

Omkaaraaya namastubhyam chaturthaa samsthitaaya cha,

Gaganeshaaya Devaaya Swar-geshaaya namonamah/

Saptalokaaya Paataala narkeshaaya vai namah,

Ashtakshetra      rupaaya Paraatparataraaya cha/

Sahasra shirasey tubhyam sahasraaya cha tey namah/

Sahasra paada yuktaaya Sharvaaya Parameshtiney/

Navaatma tatwa rupaaya Navaashtaatmaatma shaktaye,

Punarashta prakaashaaya tathaashaashta murtaye/

Chathusshashtadyaatma tatwaaya Punarashti vidhaayacha,

Gunaashtakavrutaayaiva Guniney Nirgunaaya tey/

Naabhi mandala samsthaaya hridi nisswana kaariney/

Kandharecha sthitaayaiva Taalu ranghna sthitaayacha,

Bhrumadhey samshitaayaiva naada madhye sthitayacha/

Chandra bimba sthitaayaiva Shivaaya Shiva rupiney,

Vahni Somaarka rupaaya Shattrimshacchakti rupiney/

Tithaa Samvrutya  Lokaanvai pasupa bhujagaatmaney,

Triprakaaram sthitaayaiva tretaagni mayarupiney/

Sadaa Shivaaya Shaantaaa Maheshaaya Pinaakiney,

Sarvjnaaya Sharnyaaya Sadyojaataaya vai namah/

Aghoraaya Namastubhyam Vaasudevaaya teynamah,

Tatpurushaaya Namostu Ishaanaaya namonamah/

Namastrinshat prakaashaaya Shaantaateetaaya vai namah,

Ananteshaaya Sukshmaaya Uttamaaya Namostutey/

Ekaakshaaya namastubhyameka Rudraaya tey namah,

Namastrimurtraye tubhyam  Shri- Kanthaaya shikhandiney/

Anantaasana samsthaaya Anantaayantakaariney,

Vimalaaya Vishaalaaya Vimalaangaaya tey namah/

Vimalaalaya samsthaaya Vimalaayartaartha rupiney,

Yogapeethantarasthaya Yoginey Yogadaayiney/

Yoginaamhridi samsthaaya sadaa nivakarashukavat,

Pratyaahaaraaya tey nityam Pratyaahaara rataayacha/

Pratyaahaara rataanaam cha pratisthaanasthitaayacha,

Dhyaanaaya Dhyaana rupaaya dhyaanagamyaaya tey namah/

Dhyeyaaya dhyeyagamyaaya Dhyeya dheyadhaanaaya tey namah,

Dhyeyenaamapi Dhyaayaay Namo Dhyeyatamaayatey/

Namonamah Sravavidey Shivaaya Rudraaya Sharvaaya Bhavaaya tubhyam,

Sthulaaya Sukshmaaya Susukshmasukshma sukshmaaya

Sukshmaaya Sukshmaartha videy Vidhaatrey!
(Be compassionateand benevolent Parameshwara, Jagannatha, Ananda Swarupa, Avyaya, Panchamukha Rudra!You are of Panchaashat koti /Five hundred crore Forms and  ‘Atmatraya’; Vidyaa Tatwa, Shiva, Shiva Tatwa, Aghora, Ashtaka
of Panchaashat koti /Five hundred crore Forms and  ‘Atmatraya’; Vidyaa Tatwa, Shiva, Shiva Tatwa, Aghora, Ashtaka Tatwa, Dwadashaatma Swarupa, Vidyutkoti Swarupa, Shivaatma, Agni Kaarana, Roudra, Ambikaartha Sharira /Artha Naareeswara; Dhavala-Shyaama Rakta yuta; Muktidaana, Amara, Jyeshtha, Rudra Rupa, Soma, Varada, Triloakaaya, Tridevaaya, Vashatkaara, Gagana rupa, Ashta Kshetra, Ashta rupa, Ashta Tatwa; Chaturdha, Chaturdstha Samsthita, Panchadha, Pancha Mantra Swarupa; of Chathus -shasthi or Sixty Four Forms; Akaara; Dwantrishat Tatwa Rupa Ukaara; Shodashaatma Swarupa Makaara; Artha Maatra Swarupa, Omkaaraaya; Gaganeshaaya, Devaaya, Swargeshaaya; Sapta lokaay; Paataala Narakeshaaya; Ashta Kshetraaashta Swarupa; Paraatpara; Sahasra Sirasa, Sahasraaya, Sahasraya,  Sahasra paada yukta, Sharva, Parameshthi, Navatma Tatwa Swarupa, Navaatshtaatmaatma Shaktaye, Punarakshta Prakaasha, Ashtaashta Murtaye,  Chatusshashtaasta Murtaye; Ganaashtavritaaya, Guna, Nirgunaaya; Mulasthaaya, Shaswata sthaana vaasiney, Naabhi mandala samsthaaya; Hridi nisswana kaariney, Bhrumadhyaey; Naadamadhyaye, Chandra bimba sthitaa, Shiva, Shiva Swarupiney, Vahni Somaarka Rupa, Shadtrimshacchakti rupiney, Tretaagnimaya rupiney, Sadaa Shiva, Shaanta, Mahesha, Pinaakiney, Sarvjnaaya Sharnya, Sadyojaataaya, Aghora, Vaamadeva, Tatpurusha and Ishaana! Salutations to you Maha Deva, you are Trishatprakaasha, Shaantaateeta , Anantesha, Sukshmaaya, Uttama, Eka Rudra, Tri Murti, Shri Kantha, Shikhandi, Anantaasana, Anantaantha kaara, Vimala, Vishala, Vimalaanga, Vimalaasansthaana, Vimalaarthaartha Rupa, Yoga peethaantastha, Yogi, Yoga dayani, Yogahrudi samsthaaya, Nivaakashuka, Pratyaahaara, Pratyaahaara ratha, Dhaaranaaya, Dhaaranaamita ratha, Dhaaranaabhyaasa yukta, Puratsaa samthita, Dhyana-Dhyana Rupa-Dhyaanagamya-Dhyeya-Dhyaya gamya- Dhyeyadhyaana and Dhyeyatama; Shivaya, Rudraaya, Sharvaaya, Bhavaaya, Sthulaaya Sukshmaaya, Su Sukshma-Asukshma- Sukshmaaradhavidhi; Maha Deva! you have neither beginning nor end and basically you are ‘Shunya’as you are Nothingness but of the Totality of Everything! You are indeed the Linga yet the ‘Alinga’, the Lingamaya, Lingaaya and Sakshaat Vedaadimaya!) Brahma further stated that Maha Deva had indeed possessed the capability not only to destroy the        Tripuras after all, but the Trilokas at the Time of Pralaya or the Great Extermination and that it was His Maya and Play that he gave a long to the Daityas as per their destinies!

As Brahma prayed to Maha Shiva as above, the latter was visibly happy and having smiled at Devi Parvati, blessed Brahma, Vishnu and all the Devatas as Indra and Devas were       re-instated instantly to their respective positions.

Those who read or hear the account of ‘ Tripuraasura Samhara’ with physical and internal cleanliness would be blessed:

(Such readers are freed from sins, diseases and problems and would secure dhana, longevity, Vidya, fame, Prabhava or brightness and all round fulfillment.)

13    Pashupata Yoga, Vividha Lingas, Murti Pratishtha, Shivalayaas and Archana Vidhi

In the wake of Tripuraasura Samhaara, Brahma exhorted Devas to emphasize the Mahima of Shiva Puja as the Asuras who were in the past were invincible as they were totally engaged in the Puja but eventually neglected it due to Maya and got degenerated gradually. He said that all the Beings in Srishti like Deva-Danava- Daitya-Rakshasa-Yaksha- Gandharva-Kinnara-Vidyaadhara-Piscacha-Siddhaas- Yogis and Maanavas should perform worship to Maha Deva with purity of body, mind and heart to reap multiple fruits from fulfilment in life to Shivaloka prapti. As all the Beings in Creation are called ‘Pashus’ or of animal instinct, Maha Deva is acclaimed as Pashupati and hence all Buddhimaans should discard the ‘Pashutwa’and practise Pashupata Yoga or Pashupata Vrata: after securing ‘Baahyaantara Shuchi’, the Bhakta / Worshipper should perform Pranayama along with the recitals of  Omkara; cease the deeds of physical limbs, control the activities of Karmendriyas, gain gradual ‘nyasa’or coordination of Jnaanendriyas, keep that state of body and mind for longer durations as signified by the word of ‘Dharana’, realise the action-reaction syndrome of ‘Tatwaas’  and seek the goal of Moksha; in this manner Pashupata yoga is accomplished; Brahma stated that by so performing the Shiva Linga Puja,  Agni Havans which convert desires into Ashes, and aligning the Self with the Supreme, he conquered the ‘Saamsaarika Duhkhaas’ and enjoy the Powers of Control and Fulfillment in the Three Lokaas. Those who regularly follow the ‘Linga Puja’on these lines are stated to have secured Paashupata Yoga as indeed they are blessed. The duration of Pashupati Vrata is stated to span twelve years, twelve months and twelve days when a person observing it would achieve ‘Pashu Bandha Vimochana’ or relief from Pashutwa or of animal intinct and attain Devatwa or of the features of Devas. 

As instructed by Brahma, Vishwakarma, the Builder of Devas materialised Naana Vidha Shiva Lingas : Vishnu worshipped a Linga made of Indra nila;  Indra worshipped a Padmaraaga- maya Linga; Vishrawa Putra worshipped a Golden Linga; Vishwa Devataas did puja to a Silver Linga; Ashtaavasusprayed to a Kantikamaya Ling; Vaya Deva to a brass Linga; Ahvini Kumaraas prayed to a Parthiva (Earthen) Linga; Varuna Deva worshipped a Sphatika Linga; Dwaadasha Adityaas prayed to a copper Linga; Soma  a Mouktika (Pearl) Linga; Ananta and other Nagaas worshipped a Prabalamaya or harsh wind Linga; Daityas made puja to an Iron Linga; Guhyakaas made puja to a Trilohika Linga; Chamunda prayed to a Baalumaya/ perfume Linga; Nirruti Deva worshipped a wooden Linga; Yama Deva used a Marakata (Emerald) Linga for his puja to Shiva; Ekaadasa Rudras prayed to Bhasma Linga; Devi Lakshmi worshipped a Bilwa Linga while Kartikeya implored a Gomaya Linga; Munis are in the habit of Kushaagra Lingas; the Chatur Vedas performed pujas to Dadhimaya (Curd made) Linga and Piscachaas are used to pray to Seesa (Lead made) Linga. In this way Shiva Lingas made of various materials are utilised by species of all in Creation. Depending on the availability of Dravya (money), it is said that there were six varieties of Shiva Lingas in vogue in the past and these had forty four categories viz. Shailaja Lingas of four types, Ratnaja of seven kinds, Dhatuja Lingas were of eight variations, Daaruja Lingas of sixteen types; the seventh kind was of Mritthikamaya (Earthen) of two classification; and the eighth  variety is of  seven categories of Kshanika (temporary) nature. Among all these Ratnamaya Lingas are Lakshmiprada; Shailaja Lingas bestow Sarvasiddhis; Dhatuja Lingas are stated to provide Dhana; Daaruja Lingas yield Bhoga or material happiness and Mritthika Linga provide Sarva Siddhis. Among the above types, it is stated that Shailaja Lingaas are the best while Dhatuja Lingas are of medium kind; the recommendation however was that the Lingaas made of Shailaja, Ratnamaya, Dhatumaya, Mrunmaya and Kshanika Lingas are in the vogue normally. All the most significant Devotees like Brahma, Indra, Agni, Yama, Kubera, Varuna, Siddha, Vidyaadhara, Naaga, Yakshas normally invoke Mahadeva to attain Bhu-Bhuva-Swah-Jana-Tapa and Satya Lokas. But those who seek ‘Paramaartha’or Moksha among the Siddhas and Yogis believe that Shiva was of Pranava Swarupa, some other imagine Him as Vignaana Swarupa, others ponder him as Shabdaadi Vishaya  Tatwa Gyana Rupa and so on. However, another way of perceiving Shiva is that his Mastaka is of Swarga, his navel as Akaasha, Surya Chandra and Agnis as his Trinetras, Samudra as his Vastra, Pataala as his feet, Devataas as his hands, Nakshatras as his Bhushanaas, Linga as Purusha, Prakriti as his Devi, Vayu as his breathing, and Smriti-Shrutis are his thorough-fare and speed.     

Murti Pratishtha: Devi Parvati and Kartikeya had once set up a Shiva Linga and mankind reaped benefits till date. After Pralaya, they set up the Linga atop Meru Mountain, and all the Devas were able to enjoy the resultant fruits by being playful all over the Worlds of Omkara, Kaumara, Ishaana, Vaishnava, Brahma and of Prajapatis. Manavas are able to accomplish ‘Shiva Sayujya’ by the ‘Pratishtha’ or  establishment of Shiva Murtisand performing most sincere Dhyana of Maha Deva who has Eka Paada or One Foot, four hands, Trinetra / Three Eyes, Shula, Vishnu on his left, Brahma on his right and Devi Prakriti on his lap. It was also stated that His Buddhi created Buddhi to all the Beings from Brahma downward to humanity and other Species; His Ahankaara created  Ahankaara to all concerened; His Indriyas created Indra, Foot corners created Prithvi, Guhya created Jala, Naabhi created Agni, His heart created Sun, His throat created Moon, His ‘Bhrumadhya’ or the Center of brows generated Atma / Soul to one and all and His Mastaka created Swarga. Those who perform Pratishtha and Puja of Maha Deva seated on Vrishabha and Chandra as His Ornament  are certain to achieve Shiva Loka travelling by Vimana; those who make Pratishtha of Shiva along with Ambika and Nandi would be transported to Shiva Loka by a brightVimaana similar to Surya Deva even as Apsaras entertain on way by their nritya or dances. If the Pratishtha of Shiva Murti as Vrishabha dwaja is achieved along with Devi Parvati besides Indra, Vishnu, and Prime Devas, the resultant fruits would total up performing all kinds of Yagnas, Tapas, Daanaas, and Tirtha Yatraas besides securing Shiva Loka till Maha Pralaya! Shiva Sthaapana as in His Nude Form as a Four- Armed, Sweta /White Coloured, Sarpahaari, Trinetra, Black haired and Kapaladhari Murti would assure Shiva Sayujya. Shiva Pratishtha in the Form of Dhumra Varna, Chaturbhuja, red eyed, Chandrabhushana, Vyaghra charma dhaari, Kapala Dhaari, Ganga dhaari, Parvatiyukta vaamaanga, Vinayaka-Skanda yukta, Surya Chandra Sahita along with Brahmani, Kaumari, Maaheshwari, Indraani, Chaamundika, Veerabhadra and others and to worship Rudra with ‘Phut’ resound as also to Vighna Nayaka and to  the accompanying Deities would indeed assure Shiva Sayujya! Pratishtha of a Chaturbhuja, Artha-Nariswara, Varada,  Abhaya hasta and Shula Padma dhaara would yield Animaadi Siddhis in the present life and Shivaloka subsequently. If one were to attempt performing the Pratishta of Parama Shiva as a Chitaabhasma dhaari, Baagambaradhara or wearer of Tiger skin, Shiro maalaa dhara and Upaveeta dhara, the Bhaktas are blessed with fearlessness and Victory always. Those who recite the Mantra of Om Namo Nila Kanthaaya even once very sincerely would have their sins demolished and continuous recitation with formal puja of Gandha-Pushpa-Karpura-Naivedyas are definitely destined to Shiva Sayujya. 

Indeed construction of Shivaalayaas with stones or tiles, mrittika or gold, wood or  mortar would be of enormous Punya; it is the Shraddha and earnestness with which the construction is accomplished. Those who do so are earmarked a distinct place in Shiva Loka and as and when they alight the Vimana after their mortal life, Apsaras welcome them and so do Devas as they secure the status of ‘Gaanapatya’. Those who undertake reconstruction, repair, renovation or part works of dilapidated, ramshackled or almost unusable Temples too have a significant contribution as their role of reviving Rudra Bhakti gets recognition and sense of fulfilment in ‘Iham’ and lasting Salvation  in ‘Param’ or Shiva Loka. Those who could neither afford money, nor wherewith all to renovate or let alone construct afresh Siva Temples also have important roles to undertake whatever services possible they could in the Temples; some persons help manage the Temples with or without returns; some contibute oil for lamps, milk etc. for Abhishka, some take up painting and decoration free of cost, and such other minor or major tasks as per one’s own ability and sacrifice by even cleaning the Temples floors, washing the utensils and innumerable other services. As one gets naturally curious as to how one should take up responsibilities in providing Services, Maha Deva Himself guides such sincere Bhaktas to undertake suitable deeds and enable them to assume roles however big or small they may be.

It is stated that if a person died within an easily walkable distance of a Shiva Temple, he or she would receive ‘Punya’ of performing Chandrayana Vrataas again and again. If a person died at any of the Punya Kshetras like Varanasi, Prayaga, Kedara, Kurukshetra, Prabhasa, Pushkara, Amareshwara and so on, that person would be qualified for Shiva Loka Prapti. Mere ‘darshana’ of such Sacred Tirthas is of considerable value, but ‘sparshana’ or touch and fondling of a Shiva Linga is hundred times better;  Abhisheka of Shiva Lingas with water is hundred times better;  Abhisheka with milk is thousand times better; far better is the Abhisheka with curds; with Madhu or honey it is regarded as better still and  even better would be the Abhisheka by ghee. Like wise, Snaana or bathing from a well, or a Sarovara, a river by taking the Panchaakshatri Mantra viz. ‘Om Namah Shivaaya’ would nullify a ‘Brahmahatya dosha’ or one of the Maha Patakaas or the Five Great Sins. Pratahkaala Darshana of Shiva Linga provides ‘Uttama Gati’ or Celestial Travel while the Evening Darshan bestows Yajna Phala.

Shivaarchana Vidhi: As the Munis at Nimisha Forest requested Suta Maharshi to briefly describe the Vidhaana of Shiva’s ‘Archana’ or worship, especially by ordinary persons with limited knowledge and comprehension, since even those who performed Tapasya for thousand years by Maha Munis and Maha Siddhas failed to glimpse Shiva Tatwa, let alone Shiva! Indeed Suta Muni emphasised this fundamental issue since Shiva Darshana would not be possible without Shraddha, Bhakti and conviction. Those who perform worship without the preceding virtues might perhaps end up in a futile exercise and their worship might attract even negative results! If a person resorts to Shiva Puja for Public Show with contradictions in mind and negativism/ disbelief in thoughts, then that Person without Bhakti and Puja is an offender and might perhaps end up as a Piscacha; if such a person persists doing Puja again and again without even a semblance of trust and faith-let alone Bhakti or devotion- then he could convert himself as a Raakshasa. Such a faithless person who does not observe minimal traits in the context of eating and drinking while resorting to Puja might as well be born as a Yaksha or worse. Now on to the Archana Vidhi: Gayatri Mantra is the Main Gate by which Maha Deva Puja gets easier; after performing Gayatri, Shiva Linga should be installed and purified with sacred waters; a Bhakta should then resort to treat the Linga with Padya, Aachamana, Abhisheka with water first, then with milk, ghee and curd; this would be followed by ‘Panarabhisheka’ or repeat Snaana to the Linga; Kasturi and Kesar are to be applied to the Linga; Vastram and Yajnoopaveetam  should be offered;  variety of flowers and bilwa (wood apple) leaves aplenty be decorated all over the Sacred Linga and around and then perform Puja with Kamal/Lotus, Kannera pushpa, Vakula flowers, Champaka flowers, and so on. Dhupam and Deepa Darshana would be followed  before Naivedya. By way of Naivedya / Bhog, cooked rice be offred in various tastes and condiments, as also Bhaksyha-Bhojya-Lehya-Choshya and Paaneeyaas. After Tambula (betel leaves and scented powders), Pradakshina and Dakshina to Brahmanas engaged in the Puja Vidhi would be followed and as a finale, Punah Prarthana and Recital of ‘Mantra Pushpa’ or the Vedic Hymn viz. Yopaam Pushpam Vedaa etc. Maheswara should be pleased and gratified with such worship comprising ‘Shodasopachaaraas’ or Sixteen Services viz. Dhyaana-Aavaahana-Aasana- Paadya- Arghya-Achamaneeya- Snaana-Vastra- Yagopaveeta-Gandha- Pushpa-Dhupa-Deepa-Naivedya-Taambula / Dakshina,Pradakshina-Saashtaanga. Incidentally, Deepaaraadhna is an essential comoponent of the Shivaaraadhana: Deepa Vrikshaas, Deepa Maalaas and Deepas made of brass, copper, silver and gold constitute an integral part of worship especially during Kartika Month; Formal Pujas all through the month are the highlights when Shiva Temples are full of happenings with Maha Nyaasaas, Rudraas, Rudra Gayatris, Abhishekaas, Upavaasaas or Fastings and austerities. Besides Shiva, Devi Parvati, Ganesha-Kartikeya and Nandi, pujas are also performed to Gayatri and Vishnu and Panchaakshari Mantra and Pranava -naada are recited with ecstactic devotion and dedication.

14    Pashupaasha Vimochana, Uma Maheswara and other Shiva Vratas

(Pashupaasha Vimochana Mantra included)                                                            

Sanatkumara Muni described the details of Pashupaasha Vrata to Maharshi Shailadi and Nandi Deva explained it briefly; Brahma and Vishnu accomplished the Vrata foremost and was followed by Indra and Devas and subsequently by Danava-Daitya-Siddha and others. This Vrata was stated to have absorbed the essence of the six Vedangas for the worship of Dwadasha Lingaas as visualised for each month of the year viz. during Chaitra Month as made of Gold, Vaisakha of Vajra or Diamond, Jyeshtha of Marakata mani, Ashadha month made of Mukta / Pearl, Shravana made of Nila Mani, Bhadrapada made of Padmaraga; Ashviyuja made of Gomedha, Kartika made of Pravala, Margashira made of Vidurya, Pushya made of Pushyaraaga, Maagha the Lingas to be made of Suryakanta mani, and Phalguna the Shiva Linga to be made of Sphatika. In all the months, the puja must be performed by lotus either in the actual form preferably or by way of gold or silver or copper or any other forms. Puja by Bilva Patra (Shri Patra) again in actual form or of replikas would be a ‘must’. Devi Lakshmi is stated to reside in bel patras, while Neel Kamal is the resident of Ambika, Shanmukha stays in Utpala Pushpa and Maha Deva is fond of Padma. Dhupa or smoke made of ‘Guggula’ and Deepa are integral parts of the Puja as they are the demolishers of all kinds of sins. Chandana is again an essential component of the worship as it is a healer of Sarva Rogaas or diseases. The Pushpas for use in the Puja should also include Sweta Aaka Pushpa represented by Brahma, Kinnera Pushpa is a promoter of Medha or mental brilliance, Karaveera pushpa which Ganaadhyksha is fond of, Narayana resides in Vaka Pushpa and Devi Ganga is the adoration of Sarva Sugandhi Pushpaas. As for Naivedya, ‘Shuddhhaanna’ would satisfy Maha Deva; in fact, ‘Anna Daana’ is one significant charity to the needy that Shiva is always desirous of on any day, especially on Puranamasi. Those who are observing the Pashu paasha vimochana Vrata must follow the features of Satya (Truthfulness), Ahimsa  (NonViolence), Shoucha (Cleanliness), Daya (Mercy), Shanti (Peacefulness), Santosha (Happiness / Contentment), and Daana (Charity). At the end of each year (since the duration of the Vrata is of twelve years plus), there must be a Godaana and Vrishabha Daana to Veda Pandita Brahmanas. The observance of this Vrata would indeed bestow Devatwa, Ganaadhya-kshata, and Shivatwa in stages. In the process, Vidyarthis would secure Vidya, Kamaarthis of fulfillment and Yashobhilashis of fame and immense renown.

Pashupaasha Vrata Vyapohana Stotra: Vyasa Deva recited the Vyopahana Stotra as he learnt it that was narrated by Nandi Deva to Kartikeya:

Namah Shivaaya Shuddaaya Nirmalaaya Yashaswiney/

Drushtaantakaaya Sarvaaya Bhavaaya Paramaatmaney,

Pancha Vaktro Dasha bhujo hyakshapanchadashairyutah/

Shuddha sphatika sankaasham Sarva -abharana bhushitah/

Sarvajnah Sarvagah Shantah Sarvopari samsthitah/

Padmaasanasthah Someshah Paapamaashu Vyapohatu,

Ishaanah Purushaschaiva Aghorah Sadya yevacha/

Vaama Devascha Bhagavaan Paapamaashu Vyapohatu,

Anantah Sarva Vidyeshah Sarvajnah Sarvadah Prabhuh/

Shivadhyaanaika sampannah sa mey Paapam Vyapohatu,

Sukshmaha Suraasureshaano Vishvesho Gana Pujitah/

Shivadhyaanaaika sdampannah sa  mey Paapam vyapohatu,

Shivottamo Mahaa Pujyah Shiva dhyaana paraayanah/

Sarvagah Sarvadah Shantah sa mey Paapamvyapohatu,

Ekaaksho Bhagavaanishah Shivaarchana paraayanah/

Shiva dhyaanaika sampannah sa paapam Vyapohatu,

Trimurthih Bhagavaaneeshah Shiva Bhakti Prabhodhakah/

Shivadhyaanaika sampannah sa mey paapam vyapohatu,

Shrikanthah Shripatih Shrimaanjnishwa dhyaana ratah sadaa/

Shivarchanaratah saakshaat sa mey Paapa vyapohatu,

Shikhandi Bhagavaanyashaantah Shava bhasmaanulepanah/

Shivaarchanaratah Shrimaan sa mey paapam vyapohatu/

(My salutations Maha Shiva!You are Shuddha, Nirmala, Yashaswi, Kaala drushyaney, Sharva, Bhava, Paramatma, possessor of Five Faces and Fifteen Eyes; Sphatikamani samaana, Sumpurnaabharana bhushita or fully ornamented; Sarvajna, Shanta, Sarvoparisthita, Padmaasana and Somesha; Ishaana, Purusha, Aghora, Vaama Deva, kindly demolish our sins; You are Ananta, Sarva Vidyeshwara, Sarvajna, Fulfiller of all desires;  Dhyana nishtha Shiva, Sukshma, Suraasurekshara, Vishvesha, Dhyana sampanna: please demolish our sins. Shivottama, Maha Pujya, Dhyana Parayana,and Sarvajna please keep me off from sins. Ekaaksha, Isha, Shivarchana parayana, Dhyan Sampanna keep me away from my derelictions and liberate me; Tri Murthis,Shiva Bhakta Pramodika,Shiva Dhyaana Sampanna, destroy my Maha Paapaas). Those who recite the above would  be freed from the worst sins possible that they had committed like Go hatya, Brahmana hatya, Matru-Pitru hatya, Sharanaagata hatya etc. and would attain Rudra Loka. In the instant life, the reciters of the Stotra would secure Artha-Kaama-Vidya-Arogya and Tripti or Fulfillment.

Shiva Vratas: In both the Shukla and Krishna Pakshas of a month, day time worship of Shiva Linga is of great significance on Ashtamis and Chaturdashis and observance of day long fasts; this procedure for a year would fetch sampurna yajna phala. Kheera dhaaraVrata on Prathamas and Panchamis of every month would yield Ashwamedha Yagna. Daily worship of Shiva for a full year by way of Shuchi, Satya bhashana, day long fast and very limited Ahaara in the nights, daily havan, Brahmacharya, Prithvi shayana and such other measures of Idriya nigrahana would assure Parama Gati.

Monthwise Shiva Vratas were also prescribed by Nandi Deva to Skanda as follows:                Pushya Purnami: Shiva Pujaabhisheka with Ghrita, Ksheera, Dadhi etc  followed by Brahmana bhojana and Godaana , Ratri bhojana; Phala: Brahmaloka Prapti. Maagha Chaturdhasis: Shiva Pujaabhisheka, Raatri Bhojana of limited Ghritaanna, Brahmana Bhojana and daana of horse; Phala: Yamaloka kreeda or playful activities. Phalguna Ashtami Chaturdashis:  Sivaabhisheka, Day long fasting  and only milk/ghee in the nights, Bhojanas to two Brahmanas and Tamra varna Go-daana; Phala: Chandraloka. Chaitra Purnima: Shiva Pujaabhisheka, Raatri bhojana of rice and ghee, Brahmana Bhojana and daana of two white cows; Vaishakha Purnami: Shiva Pujaabhisheka with Panchagavyas, Ratri bhojana, Brahmana Bhojana and Go-Daana; Phala: Ashwamedha Yagna. Jeyshtha Purnima: Shiva Pujaabhisheka, Ratri Bhojana, Brahmana Seva and Dhumravarna Godaana; Phala: Vaayu loka prapti. Ashadha Purnima: Shiva Pujabhisheka, Ratri bhojana, Brahmana Seva, Gaura varna Godaana; Phala: Varuna Loka. Shravana Purnima: Shiva Pujaabhisheka, Ratri Bhojana, Vrushabha daana; Phala:Vayu loka. Bhadrapada Purnima: Havana, Abhishka and Puja; Veda Parayana, Brahmana puja, Vrishabha dwaya daana Phala: Yaksha loka Rajastwa. Ashviyuja Purnima: Shiva Pujaabhisheka, day long fast, Brahmana Bhojana and Nila Varna Vishabha daana. Phala: Ishana loka prapti. Kartika Month: The entire month is of signifinance and daily Shivaarchana-Abhisheka with Sacred water, Milk, Coconut water, Curd, Ghee, Chandana, and Bhasma with Maha Nyasa Purvaka, Maha Rudra Purvaka Snaanaas to Shiva Linga, Day long fasting and Alpaahara in the nights, complete abstinence, Bhu Shayana and various sacrifices should be in place; all kinds of Daanaas on anyday or as many days  are encouraged in the Month and similarly Pandita Seva of any kind would be fruitful in the Month. Emphasis is stressed on Anna Daanaas during the month. Phala: Surya Loka Prapti. Margasirsha Month is considered an an extension of the previous month when again austerities would spill over from the previous month; Upavaasaas, Shiva worship by way of Abhishekas, Brahmana Sevas,  Anna and other kinds of daanaas especially to Daridras, would be of significance and the Phala would be of Chandra loka prapti.

Uma Maheswara Vrata: Shiva himself described the significance of the Uma Maheswara Vrata as narrated by Suta Muni. The best days for the worship of the Uma Maheswara are stated to be Purnima, Amavasya, Ashtami and Chaturdashi. After a  year long worship on these days,  Uma Maheswara Pratimas made of gold or silver or according to one’s capacity could be installed in a Temple, by carrying these by a chariot with Veda Mantras amid fanfare and provide bhojanas to Brahmanas and Annadanas to the visitors. The Mahima of the Pratimas thus installed would be enormous; for example, a Kanya or a widow who observed the Vrata for a year and instal the Vigrahas formally would have miraculous results in the on-going life and Shiva Loka Sayujya by the grace of Devi Uma. Now, month-wise daanaas and pratishthas by devotees are given below: In Margaseersha month, daanaa of a sturdy bull to a Brahmana would please Shiva and Uma; in Pousha month, the Vrata requires Trishula Daana; during Maagha Maasa, Ratha daana would need to be performed; in Phalguna month, the requirement is to install Shiva-Maheswari Pratimas made of gold or silver or copper to qualify the attainment of Shiva Sayujya. In Chaitra Month, the Devotee has to do the Pratishtha of Shiva- Bhavani and Nandi  Vigrahas in copper;  in the month of Vaishakha, the Vrata has to be performed by the daana of Kailasha Mountain in the name of Shiva and Parvati and indeed the phala of the worship during the month would bestow Kailasha Parvata prapti. In the Jyeshtha month, formal installation of Shiva Linga and Bhavani, while in the month of Ashadha a brick built house has to be given away in charity to a Brahamachari with expertise in Vedas and Vedangas  and the donor would be destined to accomplish Goloka. In the Shravana month, a huge heap of tilaas and vastras along with Brahmana Bhojana and Anna daana would qualify for Goloka too; In the month of Bhadrapada, a parvata like supply of rice is to be given in charity to attain Bhavani’s presence; in Ashvayuja charity of a Parvata like Anna /cooked rice along with gold to a learned Brahmana and with his approval organise Anna Daana to the poor; during Kartika month, Swarna Pratimas of Shiva and Parvati are to be instaalled in a temple, besides Brahmana bhojanaas. Additionally the Bhaktas observing the Uma-Maheshwara Vrata need to follow one meal a day, Bhumi shayana and celibacy,  besides daily dfaily worship to Maha Deva and Uma Devi

15    ‘Panchaakshara Japa Mahatmya’and ‘Dhyana Yajna’

As Devi Parvati desired to comprehend the meaning of the Panchaakshra Mantra of Om Namasshivaaya, Parama Shiva explained the back ground: when the Universe became extinct at the Time of Pralaya, only he was present as Narayana who floated on the Great Water Surface as the Unique and Supreme Being. As he was thus lying on water, there sprouted a Lotus from his navel and on top of the stem emerged Brahma who desired to initiate ‘Srishti’ (Creation). He created ten ‘Manasa Putras’or Mind-Born Sons, but prayed to the Supreme Being ie. Maha Deva to empower him with Shakti to take up the exciting task of formal Creation. Then the latter provided ‘Upadesha’(instruction) to Brahma and in turn Brahma gave the Upadesha to his sons who did sincere Tapasya by the recitation of the Panchakshari for thousands of years, consuming only air and nothing else. Shiva was pleased with the meditaton and keeping in view the ‘Loka Kalyaana’ or Universal Welfare explained the purport of the Mantra, its Rishi, Devata, Shakti, Nyasa, Viniyoga and its Sampurna Swarupa or its Full Form:

Omityekaashram Mantram sthitah sarvagatah Shivah,

Mantrey shadaksha –rey sukshmey panchaakshara tavuh Shivah/

Vaachya vaachaka bhaavena sthitah saakshaat- swabhaavatah,

Vaachya Shivah prameyaatwaan Mantrastadvaachakah smritah/

Vaachya Vaachaka bhavenamanaadih samsthitastayo,

Vedi Shivaagamey vaapi yatra yatra Shadaksharah/

Guhyaadguhyataram saakshaanmoksha Jnaanamanuttamam,

Asya Mantrasya vakshyaami Rishicchandodhi Daivatam/

Beejam Shaktih Swaram varnam sthaanam  chaivaaksharam prati,

Vamadevo naama Rishih Panktiscchanda udaatdhrutah/

Devataa Shiva yevaaham Mantrasyaasya varaananey,

Nakaaraadeeni beejaani Panchabhutaatmakaanicha/

Atmaanam Pranavam viddhi Sarvavyaapinamavyayam,

Shaktistwameva Deveshu Sarva Deva Namaskrutey/

Twadeeyam Pranavam kinchin –madeeyam Pranavam tathaa,

Twadeeyam Devi Mamtraanaam Shakti bhutam na shamshayah/

Akaarokaaramakaaraamadeeyo Pranavey sthitaah,

Ukaaramcha Makaaramcha Akaaramcha kramenavai/

Twadeeyam Pranavam Viddhi Trimaatram Pluta- muttamam,

makaarasya ssarodaatta Rishi Brahmaa sitam Vapuh/

Chhando Devi Gayatri Para -maatmaadhi Devataa,

Udaattah Prathamastudwacchaturyascha dwiteeyakah/

Panchamah Swaritaschaiva Madhyamo nishadhah smrutah,

Nakaarah peeta varnascha sthaanam urva mukham smrutam /

Indriyodhi Devatam Gayatri Goutamey Rishih, 

Makaarah Krishna varnosya sthaanam vai Dakshinaamukham/

Chhandonushtup Rishischaatri Rudro Daivata-muchyatey,

Shikaaro dhumra varnasya sthaanam vai Paschimam Mukham/

Vishvaamitra Rishistrishthup cchando Vishnustwa Devaam,

Vakaaro Hema varnasya sthaanam chaivottaram Mukham/

Brahmaadhi Devatam cchando Brihati chaangiraa Rishih,

Yakaaro  raktavarnascha Sthaana murdhvem Mukham Viraat/

Cchando Rishirbharadwaajah Skando Daivatamuchyatey,

Nyaasamasya pravkshaami sarva siddhikaram Shubham /

(This Unique Single Akshara Mantra OM  is firmly embedded in Shiva; this Mantra of six letters viz. Om Namah Shivaaya is actually considered as of Five Aksharas; from the view-point of ‘Vaachya’ and ‘Vaachaka’, Shiva is the Vaachya or the Target or He who is sought after and Vaachaka is the means to achieve the Vachya, viz. the Mantra; wherever the Mantra is recited there is Shiva; in fact the Mantra is the Essence of Vedas; the Vidwans who recite the Panchakshari as continuous Japa are sure to attain Moksha. This Parama Vidya is indeed of Shiva’s heart. The Rishi, Chhanda /Prosody, Devata, Beejam and Shakti of the Panchaakshari Mantra is as follows: Vama Deva is the Rishi, Pankti is the Cchanda, Shiva Himself is the Devata, Nakaaraadi Pancha beejas are Pancha Bhutaas; Pranava swara Om is Shiva’s Supreme Soul and also the Shakti. Each letter of the Mantra is distinguished wih the Rishi-Chhanda-Deva-Shakti-Beeja combination). Then as prescribed, the Anga Nyasa and Karanyasas should be performed before taking over the Mantra Japa. The person who is practising the Panchaakshara Mantra has to perform ‘Pranaam’or sincere salutation to his Guru with ‘Shraddha’by way of Maanasika- Vaachaka or Uccharana-Karma vidhaana or with purity of mind,  humility of voice and perfection of deed and then take over the possession of the Mantra from the  Guru at a Place of cleanliness, at an ideal time when Grahas, Nakshatras and Yogaas are well-placed. The Japa has to be performed with eqanimity of mind, full control of Indriyas-both Karmendriyas and Jnaanendriyas and of extreme concentration fixed at the targetted Shiva Maha Tatwa. It  is stated that ‘Upaashyu Japa’ or slowly rendered Japa is hundred times superior and effective that Japa Yajna; when any Japa or repetetive recitation of a Mantra is performed, then that Japa is called ‘Vaachaka’or vocal in kind; the Upanshu Japa has slight lip-movement; but Japa of the best is called ‘Maanasika’ when only mind and thought are at work. Indeed any of the above types of Panchaakshari Japa done with unflinching concentration by aligning Parama Shiva and the Self would definitely yield Siddhis. But mere japa of the Panchakshari wthout securing the balance of mind and target are of no avail. Without ‘Sadaachaara’ or of Self Regulaton and Good Observance of Morality and Virtue, any amount of Japa would be fruitless:

Yasmaadaachaara heenasya Saadhanam nishphalam bhavet,

Aachaaram Paramo Dharma Aachaarah Paramo Tapah/ 

Aachaaram Paramo Vidyaa Aachaarah Paramaa Gatih, 

Sadaachaaravataam Pumsaam Sarvatraabhayam bhavet/

Aachaara heenaanaam  Sarvatraiva bhayam bhavet,

Aachaara heenah Purusho Lokey bhavati ninditah/

(Without Aachara and good conduct, any kind of Sadhana or Endeavour is neither possible nor fruitful since Aachaara is the prerequisite of any virtious deed; Aachara is the Parama Dharma, the Parama Tapas, Parama Vidya and Parama Gati or way of Life. Persons of Aachara have access to every thing that is right where as those without Aachara are either afraid, misguided or suspected). In the same context, Maha Deva emphasised to Devi Parvati the utmost significance of performing ‘Trikaala Sandhyopaasana’and recital of Gayatri Mantra daily. Sandhya Vandana ought not to be discarded at any cost or provocation of the ‘Shadvargas’ of Kaama-Krodha-Lobha- Moha- Mada-Matsaras. A Brahmana loses his Brahmanatwa as soon as he ceases to observe this ‘Daily Niyama’ or Regulation mandatory to a Brahmana. Parama Shiva further underlined the basic principles of Virtue viz. Truthfulness :

Yatsatyam Brahma ityaahurasatyam Brahma dushanam,

Anrutam Parusham Shathyam Paishunyam Paapa hetukam/

Paradaaraanparadravyam Parahimsaam cha sarvadaa,

Kkachicchaapi na kurvati Vaachaa cha Manasaa tathaa/

(Refrain from ‘Asatyam’ or speaking lies: Truth is Brahma and  Asatya is as bad as ridiculing Brahma himself; haughtiness, wickedness, slandering are all germinators of depravities and derelictions. Para Daaraa, Para dravya, Para himsa and such other immoralities are not even thought of, let alone done. Shiva was emphatic about the observance of Varnaashrama Vidhana. Brahmanas should never take food without taking bath, nor performing Japa, Agni Karya, and such deeds; they should follow a strict regimen in the context of food consumption as Shiva is always considered as a Bhokta of Naiveydya -anna or the food offered to him by Bhaktaas. Drinking water by one’s mouth, while standing, by the left hand and handed over by others. Never walk alon on lonely places, never meditate to Devas by showing the back such as Surya and Chandra Devas, nor even to Pratimas of Gods. As Agni is pure and Sacred, never cross it, jump over or spit. Similarly, never misuse Rivers, Sarovaras and other water bodies as they too are among the Pancha Bhutas. Never touch animals like serpents, dogs, donkeys, camels, birds and so on. Most importanly, one should esteem his or her Guru as equal to Tri Murtis and that is why the hymn:

Guruh Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheswaraha,

Guruh Saakshaat Parahbrahma tasmai Shri Guraveynamah/

The anger or even marginal displeasure of Guru would advesely affect the Sishya’s morale, reputation, thinking capacity and recurrent difficulties of life including ill-health, poverty and untimely death! It should be against such controlled and virtuous life that the concentrated  practice of Panchaakshari Mantra would yield maximum results.

Sabeeja samputam Mantram Shata Laksham Jepeycchruchih,

Matsaayujya mavaapnoti Bhaktimaan Kimatah Param/

That was what Maha Deva assured Devi Parvati.

Dhyana Yagna: As Parama Shiva was resting in a cave of Kailasha Mountain with Girija Devi, a few renowned Maharshis entered and commended him for his feat of gulping Kalakuta Visha when Maha Deva corrected them that the Samasara Visha was to be considered worse than the Kalakuta and should be avoided  at all costs; the best way of avoidance is to disbelieve what ever was seen, heard and imagined and that was what the Nivrutthi Marga was all about. In the Samsara, there are various Jeevaas of Udbhija-Swedaja-Andaja and Jaraajaya nature (Sprouted from Earth, born out of sweat, born out of eggs and born out of yoni) and they are all subject to desires which spread out far and wide like wild fire and end up each and every material into Bhasma. Like the diseases of the nature of Raaga and  Dwesha (Liking or disliking) the canker spreads a huge tree and finally gets  uprooted. The big tree called Punya gets fallen and even Devas were not free from the falls or periodic dethronements but for the intervention of Maha Shaktis! Deva, Danava, Nripa and Manavaas are all subject to the distresses and torments of life. Vidya and Para Vidya or Vignaan and Atma Jnaan (Knowledge and the Spitituality) are no doubt the way out to conquer Samsara; Apara Vidya or Akhshara Gyan comprises Vedas and Vedantaas like Siksha, Kalpa, Vyakarana and so on and are of Shabda Swarupa. Doubtless, these means of Paraa and Aparaa Vidyas are useful to a great extent but Bhagavan would be the ultimate to free from the worldly bondages. These are indeed the steps forward from Samsara to Salvation or from Ajnaana to Jnaana to Paramatma.  In other words, Agnaana arising out of Arishadvargas of Kama-Krodha etc would get dissolved  by Gyana of the above kinds like Fire and from the melting pot, one could qualify to realise Shiva without whose instructions, Surya would not get woken up, Vayu would not proceed further and Chandra would not  shine on the Sky, Agni would not produce heat and light, Bhumi would not hold the Samsara and so on. Now to overcome the Samsarika Visha or the Poison of Life, there are no other ways of Gyaan and Dhyaan.

Samsaara vishatatpaanaam Jnaanadhyaanaamruteyna vai,

Pratikaara samaakhyaato naanyathaa Dwijasattamaah/

Jnaanam Dharmodbhavam Saakshaat jnaanaa-dwiraagya sambhavah,

Vairaagyaatparamam jnaanam Paramaartha prakaashakam/

Jnaana Vairagya yuktasya Yoga Siddhirdwijottama,

Yoga Siddhya vimuktih Syaatsatva nishthasya naanyathaa/

Tamovidyaapadacchinnam yatpadamavyayam,

Sarva Shaktim Samaasthaaya Shivamabhyarchaey dwijaa/

Yah Satvanistho madbhakto madaschana Paraayanah,

Sarvato Dharma nishthascha Sadotsaahi Samayutah/

Sarva dwanda saho dheerah Sarva bhutahitey ratah,

Rujuswabhaavah satatam swastha chitto mruduh sada /

Amaani Buddhimaan- cchantastyaktaspardho Dwijottama,

Sadaa Mumukshurdharmajnah swaatmalakshana lakshanah/

Runatraya vinirmuktah purva jnmani Punya bhaak,

Jaaa yukto Dwijo bhutwaa Shraddayaa cha Guroh krammat/

Anyathaa vaapi sushrushaam krutwaa krutrima vajkitah,

Swargaloka manupraapya bhuktwaa bhogaananukramaat/

(The poison of Life bursting into flames and burning off Manavaas would never cease excepting by the recourse of Jnaana and Dhyana; those who could withstand the extremes of life as also possess soft attitude, equaminity, gentleness, maturity of outlook, peacefulness, previous birth’s carry forward of virtue, and  are devoid of jealousy, anger, avarice, passion, arrogance shoul attain Swargaloka. Sacrifice, determination and progressive attitude would be the singular way-out of withstanding the poisons of Samsara!) 

16    ‘Arishta-Mrityu Suchanaas’ and precautions like Japa and Maha Kshetra Darshana

Suta Maha Muni indicated certain premonitions of untoward tidings and of death when human beings ought to intensify virtuous deeds as the last breathing might arrive. The visions of Arundhati, Dhruva and the Celestial routes would mean that a person concerned might not last more than a year. Vision of Surya without rays and Agni with rays might indicate an eleven month end ahead; Mutra and Pureesha as gold and silver indicates that the end might approach within ten months; seeing a Golden Tree, or visit of a Gandharva Nagari or visions of Preta-Piscachas might allow a further life of nine months more; dream of a very huge monster or a skeletal figure could forewarn an eight month ahead; image of dust storm or muddy rain could indicate the end within seven months; a dream of a crow, or a kite or dove or any other meat-eating bird on a person’s head might presume death within six months; Straight lined crows flying on the sky could indicate death within the next four five months; thunders on a cloudless and clear sky or rainbow seen in a water body or a distorted image of one’s own self that the end might be within a couple of months; death is stated to be destined within a month when the person concerned would vision the self without head;  an experience of the smell of a dead body or of unbearably rotten food could imagine that death might be withi some twenty five days; monkey dance while riding a chariot towards South might sign-post already; a black robed woman leading a person towards South, vision of a  headless body , a naked Sanyasi dancing, red face and yellow cheeks are signs of death.

As the premonitions of one’s end is foreseen either dirctly or through dreams, then  a wise person would immediately sit facing north before a lamp and peacefully concentrate on Parama Shiva and continue to be engaged in Dhyana by way of eyes of an idol or picture of Maha Deva,, ears by hearing hymns in praise of Him, smell Gandha and fragrance of flowers, mind and thought targetted to Him and Soul united with Him, and the whole body filled up with Omkara comprising three ‘Maatraas’ or Parts; the first Maatra is stated to be ‘Vidyuti’ or the Electric, the Second Maatra is ‘Taamasi’ and the final Maatra is Nirguna. ‘Pranava’ or Omkaara is like the Dhanush or a bow, Atma is described as the Arrowand Paramatma is the target. The person concerrned is to perform the Sadhana or the Holy Endeavour with steady mind and soul. In the word of OM there are Tri Maatraas of Akaara,Ukaara and Makaaraas, Tri Lokas, Tri Vedas, Tri Agnis, Tri Gunas and Tri Murtis. Akaara represents Bhu loka, Ukara of Bhuvar loka and Makaara the Swarloka withVyanjana in between. Omkara is Triloka maya; its head is Trivishtap, Prathama Maatra is hraswa or short, Dwiteeya Maatra is is Deergha or long and the  ThirdMaatra is called ‘Pluta’. Those who practise Pranava is stated to enjoy the fruit of Ashwamedha Yagna.This would endow the Shakti and Power of  Jitendriya, Pavitra and of Super Soul. This indeed is the Essence of ‘Paashupata Yoga’ by means of which the awareness of Jnaana, Brahmana, Ruk-Yajur-Saama Vedas and of Upanishads  is automatically highlighted and ‘Shaswata Pada’ is secured. A highly committed and dedicated Namaskara to Shiva is like the ripe fruit  on a tree swept by speedy wind power would fall on one’s own lap!

Indeed an intelligent person need not wait till premonitions of death are conveyed to perform the effective means of Virtue. Maharshis underlined the enormous advantage of Kshetra Darshana. Mahadeva himself narrated to Devi Parvati of a few Shiva Lingas in some places of repute:

Vaaraanasi manupraapya Darshayaamaasa Shankarah,

Avimukteshwaram Lingam Vaasam tatra chakaara saha/

Vaaraanassi Kurukshetra Shri Parvata Mahaalaey,

Tungeshvarey cha Kedaarey tatashaaney yoyatirbhavet/--

Naimishecha Kurukshetrey Gangaadwaarey cha Pushkarey—

Prayaagey vaa bhavenmoksha iha vaa matparigrahaat---

Jaigeeshvaya guhaa sreshthaa Yoginaam sthaanamishyatey

Kaivalyamnparamam yaati Devaanaamapi durlabham---

Vyaghreswara iti Khyato nityamannahamaashitah,

Na punargatim yaati  drushtenam Vyaghrameeswaram/----

Shaileswara  miti khyatam drushyataa miha chaadaraat

drushtetanmanujo Devi na Durgatimato vrajet—-

Sangameshwaramityevam khyaatam Jagatinmdryushyataam—--

Madhyameshwaramityevam khyaatam Sarva Suraasurai---

Puraa Jambukarupena Jagati khyatam Suraasuranamaskrutyam—

Drumachandeswaram naama Bhadreswaramanuttamam,

Shtaaneswaram tathaikaagatam Kaleshwaramajeswaram—

Amaresham Mahaakaayam Jyotisham Bhasmagaatrakam 

yaani chaanyaani Punyaani sthaanaani mama Bhutaley—

Rameswaram  cha paramam Vishnunaa yadpratishthitam,

Dakshina dwaara paarswey tu Kundaleswara meeswaram/

Purwadwaara sameepastham Triputaanthakamuttamam,

Vivruddham Girinaasaartham Devadeva namaskrutam---

Shringaatakeshwaram naama Shri Devyaa tu pratishthitam,

Mallikaarjunakam chaiva mama Vaasamidam Shubham—

Koteswram Mahaa tirtham Rudrakoti Ganaih Puraa,

Sevitam Devi Pashyaadya Sarvasmaadadhikam Shubham—

Gomandaleshwaram chaiva Nandaadyaih Supratishthitam,

Devaih Sarvestu Shakraadyaih sthaapitaani Varaananey---

Chandikeshwarakam Devi Chandikeshaa twamaatmajaa,

Chandikaa nirmitam Sthaanamambikaa Tirthamuttamam/

( The above is a brief mention of Tirthas including Varanasi / Avamukteshwara, Kurukshetra, Shri Parvata, Tungeshwara, Kedaara, Naimisha, Gangadwara, PushkaraPryaga, Jaageshwara, Vyaaghreshwara, Shaileshwara, Sangameshwara, Madhyeshwara, Jambukeshwara, Bhadreswara, Sthaaneshwara, Kaleswara, Amareshwara, Rameshwara, Kundaleshwara, Koteshwara, Tripuraantakeshwara, Shringatakeshwara / Mallikarjuna; Gomandaleshwara etc.)

17    Shiva Leelaas: Andhaka pardoned, Bhudevi saved, Prahlada rescued and Jalandhara killed (Nrisimha Stuti included)

Andhaka was the son of Daitya Hiranyaaksha of Varaaha Avataara fame of Vishnu Deva; the latter killed the Daitya as he sought to pull down Bhu Devi to Rasatala. In his own right, Andhaka was highly ill-famed having secured the boon of invincibility from Brahma, overthrew Indra and Devas from Swarga and made them shelterless besides tormenting Sages and the Virtuous. Devas, Brahma an Vishnu had all aproached Maha Deva as the atrocites of Andhaka became unbearable. Shiva was present at the battle field and asked Devas to fight but Andhaka became too powerful to Indra and Devas. Playfully, Maha Deva lifted up the Daitya and dangled and suspended him by the Trishula exposing him to the heat and high temperature of Surya Deva on the Sky. The Daitya realised the Supremacy of Maha Deva and commenced his Prayers. Shiva was pleased as Andhaka said: Bhagavan Deva Devesha! Bhaktaarthihara Shankara Twayi Bhaktihvpraseedesha yadi Deyo Varaschamey/ The Daitya was blessed by Maha Deva to secure the unique position of ‘Ganaadhipatya’.

Quite contrary to the occurrence of Andhaka, his father Hiranyaaksha or the Golden-Eyed Demon who also was the brother of the equally notorious Daitya named Hiranyakashipu attempted to forcibly drag and pull down Bhu Devi to Rasatala and Bhagavan Vishnu assumed the Incarnation of Matsya Deva and retrieved the Bhu Devata back to her original position by the might of his ‘damshtras’ and saved the entire Bhu Loka. But the revalation was as follows:

Varaharupamanagham chachaala cha Dharaa punah,

Tasya damshtraa- kraantaam Deva devasya dheematah/

Yadrucchayaa Bhavah Pashyan jagaama Jagadehs -warah,

Damshtraa jagraaha drushtwaa taam bhushanaartyha mathaan manaha/

Dadhaara cha Mahadevam kurchitey vai Mahorasi/

Devaascha tushtavah sendraa Devadevasya Vaibhavam/

Dharaa Pratishthitaa hyovam Deva Devena Leelayaa/

Bhutaanaam samplavey chaapi Vishnoschaiv Kalebaram/

Brahmanascha tathaanyeshaam Devaanaamapi Leelaya Vibhuranga vibhogena

bhushito na yadi Prabhuh/ Katham Vimukti Vipraanaam tasmaaddhamshtri Maheswarah/

( Varaha Rupa Vishnu retrieved Bhu Devi thanks to the enormous might of the ‘Damshtra’ of Varaha Deva, but the Damshtra of Varaha itself was the all- powerful Maha Deva while Vishnu was Vishnu’s body; that was how  Vishnu was able to rescue as supportd by the damshtra of  Maha Deva). 

Suta Maha Muni then referred to the Episode of Hiranyaasha’s brother Hiranyakashipu and of Prahlada. The latter was a confirmed Vishnu Bhakta and was always recited the Mantra of Om Namo Narayanaya. But Hiranyakashipu was an arch enemy of Vishnu and pursuant to his deep tapsya, Brahma granted the boon that none shoud be able to secure victory against him by Devas, Maanavas, Yaksha-Rakshasa-Gandharvaas and Kinnaroraga or any other species   of  Srishti. As the whole world was harassed by the Daitya, Prahlada became the Prime target as he was the Bhakta of Narayana. The Daitya King made all out efforts to deviate Prahlada from the Narayana fold; he utilised Saama-Daana-Bheda-Danda ways of diversion from Vaasudeva by way of persuation, offering valuable gifts including fulfillment of Earthly desires, creating differences of mind against Vishnu and finally took recourse to physical tortures  ranging from snake bites, throwing from Mountain tops, exposure to wild animals and so on. Indeed the miraculous escapes of saving Prahlada were the handi-work of Narayana but the creation of a distinctive species of Nrisimha who was neither human nor of animal as per the prescription of Brahma’s boon to the Daitya, was materialised full of Tamasika Guna of cruelty, revenge and extraordinary strength typical of Rudra the Samhaara kaari the epitome of violence and ruthlesseness if need be and a natural and Supreme Annihilator as opposed to Vishnu’s Raajasika Guna of Preservation, flexibility of outlook and peace. No wonder Nrisimha who appeared as the  Destroyer was Maha Deva Himself thus proving the Identity of Shiva and Vishnu once again in the context of Hirnya kashipu and Prahlada. As Maha Deva assumed the unique Narasimha Rupa and demolished the Demon, Brahmaadi Devas and Gana Gandharva Siddhaapsaraas  extolled him to cool him down from the mood of rage and wrath as follows:

Namastey Kalakaalaaya Namastey Rudra manyavey,

Namah Shivaaya Rudraaya Shankaraaya Shivaayatey/

Ugrosi Sarva Bhutaanaam niyamtaamsi Shivosi nah,

Nanah Shivaaya Sharvaaya Shanakaayarti haariney/

Mayaskaraaya Vishwaaya Vishnavey Brahmaney namah,

Antakaaya Namastubhya mumaayaah patayenamah/

Hiranya baahavey Saakshaadhiranya pataye namah,

Sharvaaya Sarva Rupaaya Purushaaya Namo namah/

Sadasdbhakti heenaaya Mahata  Kaaranaaya tey,

Nityaaya Vishwa rupaaya Jaayamaanaaya tey Namah/

Jaataaya bahudhaa lokey prabhutaaya namo namah,

Rudraaya Nila Rudraaya Kadrudraaya prachetasey/

Kaalaaya Kaalaupaaya namah Kaalaanga haariney,

Meedhushtamaaya Devaaya Shitikanthaaya tey namah/

Mahiyasey namastubhyam Hantrey Devaarinaam sadaa,

Taaraaya cha Sutaaraaya Taaranaaya namo namah/

Harikeshaaya Devaaya Shambhavey Paramatmaney,

Devaanaam Shambhavey tubhyam  Bhutaanaam Shambhavey namah/

Shambhavey Haimavatyaascha manyavey Rudra rupiney,

Kapardiney namastubhyam Kaalakanthaaya tey namah/

Kapadiney namastubhyam Kaalakanthaaya tey namah,

Nama Ugra Trishulaaya Ugraaya cha Namo namah/

Bhimaaya Bhima rupaaya Bhimakarmarataaya tey,

Agnmeyvadhaaya vai Bhutwaa Namo Durey vadhaayacha/

Dhanbviney Shuliney tubhyam Gadiney Haliney namah,

Chakriney Vaarminey nityam Dautyaanaam Karma bhediney/

Sadyaaya Sadya rupaaya Sadyojaataaya tey namah,

Vaamaaya Vaama rupaaya Vaama netraaya tey namah/

Aghora rupaaya Vikataaya vikata shareeraaya tey namah,

Purusha rupaauya Purushaka tatpuru - shaaya vai namah/

Purushaarthapradaanaaya pataye Parameshthiney,

Ishaanaaya Namamastubhymeeshvaraaya Namo Namah/

Brahmaney Brahmmarupaaya namah Saakshaacchivaaya tey,

Sarva Vishnurnrisimhasya rupamasthaaya Vishwakrut/

Hiranyakashipum hatwaa kararjairnakhai swayam,

Daityendreyrbahubhih saardham hitaartham Jagataam Prabhuh/

SaimhimSamaananyaayonim baadhatey nikhilam jagat,

Yatkrutya,atra Devesha tatkurushva bhavaaniha/ 

Ugresi Sarva dushtaanaam niyamtaasi Shivbisinah,

Kaalakutaadi vapushaa traahi nah sharanaagataan/

Shukram tu vruttam Vishvesha kreedaa vai kevalam vayam,

Tatonmesha nimeshaabhyaamaskaamam pralayodayou/

Unmeelayetthvayi Brahmanvinaashosti na tey

Shiva Samptatasmo vayam Deva Harinaamita tejasaa/

Sarvbaloka hitaayainam  tatwam samhartu micchasi/       

Evam stutastadaa Devairajagaama sa yathaakramam,

yah patheycchrunuyaadwaaipi  samstavam shaarvamutthamam/

Rudralokamanupraapya Rudrena saha modiney/ 

(As Brahma, Devatas and others extolled Nrisimha Deva as above, the latter cooled down and re-established Dharma and Virtue on Earth since Hiranya kashipu dared to dethrone Indra and Devas, threatened Maharshis to worship him and not Narayana / Mahadeva,  completely upset the balance of Universe by breaking the established the age-old Laws of Nature, tormented Brahmanaas to perform Yagnas in his name and the co-Daityas and as the tip of the ice-burg haraassed his own son Prahlada a confirmed Narayana Bhakta even to the extent of murdering him but for the intervention of Vishnu).

Yet another Shiva Leela was in the context of the slaying Daitya Jaalandhra, who was born of water and the resident of water from where his strength got re-doubled from time to time and kept the totality of the Universe under his feet and defeated in a series of battles the Devas and Indra and even Brahma and Vishnu! As there was a furore and scare created among all the Beings and since the Daitya displayed arrogance, immorality, and a huge sense of invincibility, Narayana accompanied by Brahma, Indra and the whole lot of Celestial Beings approached as a last resort. On facing Maha Deva, Jaalandhara bragged a lot that he kept Devas like Surya, Chandra, Varuna, Vayu, Yama, Agni etc. as headed by Indra under his feet, that he ignored the enormous Mahima of Brahma Deva and that  lately even the mighty Vishnu was humbled in straight battles. Maha Deva merely smiled and was amused at his ego, self-pride, unbridled insolence and audacity. He pressed his toes to form ever increasing sheets of water and challenged the Daitya to extricate himself from the ever-gushing water if he could! Then Bhavan opened his Third Eye a he was called Bhaga Netra of the Aksouhinis of his mammoth army got instantly got burnt into ashes. His chariot too got burnt off and as he became desperate the Daitya lifted his shoulders to lift his powerful Chakra but Shiva released his Trishula and the daitya’s body was slashed into two halves. As the Daitya was killed there emerged mammoth streams of his blood which right upto Maha Rourava Naraka where he was destined to reach for retribution.

As this unique devastation of Jaalandhara happened, Devas showered flowers from Indra loka, Gandharvas a Kinnaras sang reverberating songs in praise of Parama Shiva, Apsaras who had been in bondage under the Daitya for very many years went berserk with dances and Saptarshis recited Scriptures of Victory with enormous relief and gratitude to the ever merciful Parameshwara. 

18    ‘Vishnu kruta Shiva Sahasra Naamaavali’

Suta Maha Muni narrated that having installed a Maha Shiva Linga on the top of Himalayas Vishnu Bhagavan worshipped with each Kamala flower and samitha in Agni along with the recital of each name of Shiva Shasra naamaas as follows:

1)Bhavah Shivo Haro Rudrah Purushah Padmalochanah, 2) Arthitavyayah Sadaachaarah Sarva Shamhumeeshwarah, Ishwarah Sthaanireeshaanah Sahasraakshah Sahasrapaat/ 3)Vareeyaan Varado Vandyah Shankarah Parameshwarah, Gangaadharah Shuladharah Paraathaika prayojanah/4) Sarvajnah Sarva Devaadi Giridhanwaa Jataadharah, Chandrapeedaschandramoulir vidwaan Vishwaamareshewarah/ 5) Vedaantasaara sandohah Kapaali Nilalohitah, Dhyaanaadhaaro paricchedyo Gauri Bhartaa Ganeswarah/ 6)Ashtamurtirvishwamurtirstrivargah Sarvasaadhanah, Jnaanagamyo Drudhah Prajno Deva Devastrilochanah/ 7) Vaama Devo Mahaa Devah Paanduh Paridhrudho Dhrudah, Vishwa rupo Virupaaksho Vaageeshah Shuchintarah/ 8) Sarvapranaya samvaadi Vrushaanko Vrisha vaahanah, Ishah Pinaaki Khatvaangi Chitra veshadchirantanah/ 9) Tamoharo Mahaa Yogi Goptaa Brahnaangatdhujjati, Kaalakaalah Krutthivaasaah Subhagah Pranavaatmakah/ 10) Unmattha veshaschakshushyo Durvaasah Smara shaasanah, Dhrudhaa- yudhah Skanda Guru Parameshthi Paraayanah/ 11) Anaadi madhya nidhano Girisho Giribandhanah, Kuberabandhuh Shri Kantho Loka Varnottamottahah/ 12) Saamaanya Devah Kodandi Nilakanthah Parashwadhi, Visaalaksho Mriga Vyaadhah Sureshah Suryataapanah/ 13) Dharmakarmaakshamah Kshetram Bhagavaan Bhaganetrabhit,  Ugrah Pashupatistaatha -kaksharya priya bhaktah Priyam vadah/ 14) Daataa Dayaakaro Dakshah Kapardi Kaama shaasanah, Smashaanaanilayah Sukshmah Smashaanastho Maheswarah/ 15) Lokakarta Bhutapatir mahaakartaa Mahowshadhi, Uttaro Gopatirgopta Jnaanagamya Puraatanah/ 16) Neetih Suneetih Shuddaatmaa Soma Somaratah sukhi, Somapomritapah Somo Mahaaneetir mahaa –matih/ 17) A jaata shatruraalokah Sambhavo Havyavaahanah, Loka kaaro Vedakaarah Sutrakaarah Sanaatana/ 18) Maharshih Kapilaachaaryo Vishvadeeptistrilochanah/ Pinaaka Paani Bhurdevah Swastidah Swastikrudstadaa/ 19) Tridhaamaa Soubhagah Sharvah Sarvajnah Sarv gocharah, Brahma dhrug Vishwasrukswargah Kanikaarah Priyah Kavih/ 20) Shaakho Vishaakho Goshaakhah Shivo naikah kratuh samah, Gangaaplavodako Bhaavah Sakala sthaapitarsthirah/ 21) Vijitaatmaa Vidheyyatmaa Bhuta vaahana saarathih, Saguno Ganakaaryascha Sukeertis –chhinna samshaha/ 22) Kaama devah Kaamapaalo Bhasmodvilita vigrah, Bhasma priyo Bhasma shaahi Kaami kantah kritaagamah/ 23) Samaayukto Nivruttaatmaa Dharma Yuktah Sadaa Shivah,  Chaturmukhaschatur baahudduraavaaso duraasadah/ 24) Durgamo Durlabho Durgah Sarvaayudha Vishaaradah, Adhyaatmayoga nilayah Sutantustantu vardhanah/ 25) Shubhaango Loka saarango Jagatishomritaashanah, Bhamashuddhi karo Meru Raajoswi Shuddha Vigrahah/ 26) Hiranya retaastara nirnirmamaree chirmahilaalayah, Mahaahlado Mahaagarbhah Siddhivrindaara vantitah/ 27) Vyaaghra charma dharo Vyaali Mahaabhuto Mahaa Nidhih, Amritaangomrita vapuh Panchayagnah Prabhanjanah/ 28) Pancham Vimshiti Tatwajnah Paarijaatah Paraavarah, Shulabha Suvratah Shuro Vangmayaika nidhirnidhih/ 29) Varnaashrama Gurur varni Shatrujitcchatru taapanah, Ahramah kshapana Khaamo Jnaanavaana chalaachalah/ 30) Pramaana BhutoDurjayah Suparno Vaayu Vaaanah, Dhanurdharo Dhanurvedo Guna raashir gunaakarah/ 31) Anantadrushti –raanando dando Damayitaa Damah, Abhivaado Mahaachaaryo VishvakarmaaVishaaradah/ 32)Veeta raago Vinitaatma Tapaswi BhutaBhaavanah, Unmatta veshah  Pracchhanno Jita Kaamo Jita priyah/ 33) Kalyaana Prakritih Kalpah Sarvaloka Prajaapatih, Tapaswin Taarako dheemaa Pradhaana Prabhuravyayah/ 34) Lokapaalontarhitaatmaa Kalpaadih Kamalekshanah,Veda Shaastraartha Tatwajno Niyamo Niyamaashrayah/ 35) Chandrah Suryah Shanih Keturviraamo Vidrumacchavih, Bhakti gamyah Param rahma Mriga baanaarpanonaghah/ 36) Adri Raajaalaha Kaantah aramaatmaa Jagadguruh, Sarvakarmaachalastwashtaa Mangalyo Mangaavritah/ 37) Mahatapaa Dirghatapaah Sthvavishtah Sthaviro Dhruvah, Aho Samvatsaro Vyaaptih Pramaanam Parama tapah/ 38) Samvatsarakaro Mantraha Pratyayah sarva Darshanah, Ahah Sarveshwarah snigdho Mahaa retaa Mahaa balah/ 39) Yogi Yogyo Mahaaretaah Siddhah Sarvaadiragnidah, Vasurvasumanaah Satyah Sarva paapaharo Harah/ 40) Amritah Shaswatah Shaanto Baana hastah prataapavaan, Kamandaludharo Dhanvi Vedaango Vedavin Munih/ 41) Bhraajishnur bhojanam bhoktaa Loka Netaa Duraadharah, Ateendrayo Mahaa Maayah Sarvaa Vaasashchatushpathah/ 42) Kaala Yogi Mahaa Naado Mahotsaaho Maha Balalah/ Mahaabuddhr mahaa viryo Bhutachaari Purandharah/ 43) Niscaacharah Pretachaari Mahaashaktir Mahaa -dytutih,  Anirdeshyvapur Shrimaan Sarvahaaryamito gatih/44) Bahushruto Bahu Mayo Niyantaatma Bhavodbhavah, Aoujastejo Dhyutikaro Nartakah Sarva Kaamakah/ 45) Nrityapriyo Nrityanritriyah Pakaashaatma Prataapavaan, Bhuddhasshataaksharo Mantrah Samaanah Saarasam pluvah/ 46) Yugaadi krudyugaavartho Gambhiro Vrisha vaahanah, Ishto Vishishtah Shishteshthah Sharabha Sharabho dhanuh/ 47) Apaam Nidhirashishtaanam Vijayo Nija Kaalavit,  Pratishthatah Praagmajno Hiranyakavacho Harih/ 48) Virochanah Suragano Vidyesho Vibhudha ashrayah,  Balarupo Balonmaathi vivarto gahano Guruh/ 49) Karanam Kaaranam Kartaa Sarva Bandha vimochanah, Vishwatthamo Veetabhayo Vishwa bhartaa Nishaakarah/ 50) Vyavasaayo Vyavastthaanah Sthaanado Jagadaadijah, Dundhubho Lalito Vishvo Bhavatmaatmani Samstitah/ 51) Veereshwaro Veerabhadro Veerahaa Veerabhrudviraat, Veera Chudaamair- vetta Tivranaado Nadeedharah/ 52) Agnaadhaarastrishuli cha sipivishtah Shivaalayah, Vaalakhilyo Mahaachaapastigmaanshuhrnithi ravyayah/ 53) Abhiraamaha Susharanah Subrahmanyah Sudhaapatih, Maghavaan koushiko Gomaan Vishraamah Sarva shaasanah/ 54) Lalaataaksho Vishwa  Dehaha Saarah Samsaara chakra bhrut, Amogha dandi Madhyastho Hiranyo Brahmavarchasi/ 55) Paramaarthah Paramayah Shambaro Vyaghrakonalah, Ruchirvara ruchir vidyo Vaachaspatiraharpatih/ 56) Ravirvirochanah Skandhah Shaastaa Vaivasvato janah, Yuktirunnata kirtischa Shaanta raagah Paraajayah/ 57) Kailasapati Kaamaarih Savitaa Ravilochanah, Vidvattamo Veeta bhayo Vishwahartaa nivaaritah/ 58) Nityo niyata kalyaanah Punya shravana keertanah, Durashravaa Vishwasaho Dhyeyo Dusswapna naashanah/ 59) Uttarako Drushkrutihaa Dhurdharsho Duhsaho bhyayah, Anaadirbhurbhuvo Lakshmih Kiriti tripadasha adhipah/ 60) Vishwagoptaa Vishva Bhartaa Sudheero Ruchiraangadah, Janano Jana Janmaadih Preetimaanniti maannayah/ 61) Visishta Kaashyapo Bhaanurbheemo Bheema paraakramah, Pranavah Saptadhaachaaro Mahaakaayo Mahaa Dhanuh/ 62) Janmaadhipo  Mahaa Devah Sakalaagama paaragah, Tatwaatthatwa Vivekaatmaa  Vibhushanurbhuti bhushanah/ 63) Rishir Brahmanavivijjishnur janma mrityu jaraatigah, Yajno yajna paritryajjwaa Yajnaantomogha vikramah/ 64) Mahendro Durbharah Seni Yajgnaango Yagjnavaahanaha, Pancha Brahma Samutpatti Vishvesho Vimalodayah/ 65) Atmayoniraadyanto Shatvimshatsapr loka dhruk, Gayatri Valllabhavah Praamshurvishwa vaasah Prabhaakarah/ 66) Shishurgiritatah Saamraat Sushenaha Surashatruhaa, Amoghorishta -mathano Mukundo Vigatajjvarah/ 67) Swayamjyotiranujyotirachanchalah, Pingalah Kapilashmashruh Shaastra netra strayitanuh/ 68) Jnaanaskandho Maha Jnaani Niruptirupaplavah, Bhago Viviswaanaadityo Yogaachaaryo Brihaspatih/ 69) Udaara Kirtirudyogi Sadyogi Sadasanmayah, Nakshatra maali Rakeshah Swaadhishtaanah Shadaashrayah/ 70) Pavitra paanih Paapaarirmanipuro Manogatih/ Hrutpundareeka -maaseenah Shuklah Shaanto Vrishaakapih/ 71)Vishnurgrahapatih Krishnah Samarthonartha naashanah, Adharmashatru rakshasya Puruhutah Purushtutah/ 72) Brahma Garbho Brihadgarbho Dharma Dhenurdhanaagamah, Jagaddhitaishi sugatah Kumaarah Kushalaagamah/ 73) Hiranya Varno Jyotishmaatraana bhuta dharo dhwanih, Arogo Nayamaadyaksho Vishwaamitro Dwijottamah/ 74) Brihajjotih Sudhaamaacha Maha Jyoti ranuttamah, Mataamaho cha Maatarishwaa Nabhaswaan naaga haaradhruk/ 75) Pulasyah Pulaho-gastyo Jaatu Jaatu Karma Paraasharah, Nivaarana Dharmajno  Virincho Vishta Shavaah/ 76) Atma bhura nirudhhotri Jnaana Murtir Mahaa Yashaah, Loka Chudaamanit -veerah Chanda Satya paraakramah/ 77) Vyalakalpo Mahaakalpo Mahaa Vrikshah Kalaadharah, Alankarishnutatwachalo Rochishnurvikramotthamah/ 78) Aashushabda- patir vegi Pluvanah Shikhi saarathih, Asamtushtotithih Shakrah Pramaathi Paapanaashanah/ 79) Vasushravaah Kavya Vaahaha Pratapto Vishwa bhojanah, Jaryo Jaraadhi shamano Lohitascha Tanupapaat/ 80) Prushadashvo Nabhoyonih Supratikastamistriha, Nidaaghastapano Meghah Pakshah Para Puyranjayah/ 81) Mukhaanilah Sunishpannah Surabhih Shishiraamakah, Vasanto Maadhavo Greeshmo Nabhasyo beeja vaahanah/ 82) Angiraamuniraatreyo Vimalo Vishwa vaahanah, Paavanah Pururjicchakrastrividyo Nara vaahanah/ 83) Mano Buddhir -ahankaarah Kshetrajnah Kshetra Paalakah, Tejonidhir jnaananidhirvipaako Vighna kaarakah/ 84) Adharonuttaro jneyo jyeshtho Nisshreya saalayah, Shailo Nagastanurdoho Daanavaari rindama/ 85) Chaarudhirjanakaschaaru vishalyo Loka shalya krit, Chaturvedaschatur bhaavas -chaturaschatura priyah/ 86) Aamnaayotha Samaanayastirtha Deva Shivaalayah, Bahurupo Maharupah Sarvarupaascharaacharah/ 87) Nyaayanirvaahako Nyaayo Nyaayagamyo Niranjanah, Sahasra mutrhaa Devendrah Sarva Shastrta prabhanjanah/ 88) Mundo Virupo Vikrutom Dandi Daanto Gunottamah, Pingalaakshoya Haryaksho Neelagreevo Niraamayah/ 89) Sahasra Baahuha Sarveshah Sharanyah Sarva Loka bhrit, Padmaasanah Paramjyotih Paraavarparamam phalah/ 90) Padmagarbho Mahagarbho Vishwagarbho Vichakshanah, Paraavarajno beejeshaya Sumukhah Sumahaaswanah/ 91) Devaasura Gurur devo Devasura Namaskritah Devaasura Mahaa maatro Devaasura Mahaashrayah/ 92) Devaadi Devo Devashi Devaasura Varapradah, Devaasureswaro Divyo Devaasura Maheswarah/ 93) Sarva Vedamayo -chintyo Devatatmaatma sambhavah, Eedyaayo-neeshah Suravyaaghro Deva Simho Divakarah/ 94) Vibhuraagra Varah Sreshthah Sarava Devottamottamah, Shiva Jnaana niratah Shriman Shikhi Shri Parvaa Priyah/ 95) Jayastambho Vishisthambho Nara Simha nipatanah, Brahmachaari Lokachaari Dharmachari Dhanaa-dhipatah/ 96) Nandi Nandeyshwaro Nagno Nagna-Vrata dharah Shuchih, Linghaadhyashah Suraadhaksho Yugaadhyaksho Yugavaha/ 97) Swavashah Suvashaha, Swargah Swarah Swara-mayaswanah/ Beejaadhyaksho Beejakartaa Dhanakruddhanavardhanah / 98) Dambho dambho Mahadambhah Sarva Bhutameheswarah, Smashaana nilayasthishyah Setura pratimaakrutih/ 99) Lokottara sphutaalokastrayambiko Naga bhushanah, Andhakaarirmukhadweshi Vishnu kandhara paatanah/ 100) Veetadosho kshaya guno Dakshaarih Pushadantadhvat, Dhurjatih Khandaparashuh Sakalo Nishkalo -ghanah/ 101) Aadhaarah Sakalaadhaarah Panduraabho Mundo natah, Purnah Puriyata Punyah Sukumaarah Sulochanah/ 102) Saama geyah Priyankarah Punya keertiranaamayah, Manojavastirthakaro Jatilo Jeeviteshwarah/ 103) Jeevitaanta karo Nityo Vasuretaa Vasupriyah, Sadgatih Satkrutih Saktah Kaalakanthaha Kalaadharah/ 104) Maani Maanyo Mahaakaalah Sadgatih Satyaparaayanah, Chandra sanjjevanah Shaastaa Lokagudho –maraadhipah/ 105) Loka bandhurloka naathah Kritajnah Kruti bhushanah, Anapyaaksharah Kaantah Sarva Shaastra bhrutaam varah/ 106) Tejomayo Dyutidharo Lokamaayograniranuh/ Shuchismitah prasannatmaa Durjayo Duratikramah/ 107) Jyotirmayo Niraakaaro Jagannatho Jaleshwarah, Tumbi Veeni Maakaayo Vishokah Shoka naashanah/ 108)  Trilokaatmaa Trilokeshah Shuddhah Shuddhi Rathaakshajah, Avyakta lakshano Vyakto Vyaktaavyakto vishaampatih/ 109) Varasheelo Varatulo Maano Maana dhano mayah, Brahma Vishnuh Prajaapaalo Hamso Hamsa geetiryamah/ 110) Vedhaa Dhaata Vidhaataa cha Attaa Hartaa Chaturmukhah, Kaislaasa Shikhiraavaasi Sarvaavbaasi Sataam Gatih/ 111) Hiranyagarbho Harinah Purushah Purvajah Pitaa, Bhutalayo Bhutapatir bhuto Bhuvaneshwarah/ 112) Samyogi Yogavidbrahmaa Brahmanyo Braahman priyah, Deva Priyo Deva naatho Devajno Deva chintakah/ 113) Vishamaakshah Kalaadhyaksho Vrishaanko Vrisha Vardhanah, Nirmado Nirahamkaaro Nirmoho Nirupadravah/ 114) Darpahaa Darpito Draptah Sarvartu Parivartakah, Sapta Jimhavah Sahasraarchih Snidhah Prakrti dakshinah/ 115) Bhuta bhavya Bhavannathah Prabhavo Bhraanti naashanah, Arthonartho Mahakoshah Parakaaryaika paditah/ 116) Nishkantakah Kritaanando Nirvyaajo Vyaja mardanah, Satwavaan Saatvikah Satya keetimsthambha kritaagamah/ 117) Akampito Guna graahi naikaatmaa naika karma krit, Supreetah  Sumukhaha Sukshmah Sukaro  Dakshinonalah/ 118) Skandah Skandha dharo Duryah Prakatah Preetivardhanah, Aparaajitah Sarvasaho Vidagdhah Sarva Vaahanah/ 119) Adhrutah Swadhrutah Saadhyah Purti Murti Yashodharah, Varaahashringa dhrugvaayur balavaaneka naayakah/ 120) Shruti prakaashaha Shritimaaneka Bandhuraneka dhruk, Shri Vallabha Shivaarambhah Shaanti bhadrah Samanjasah/ 121) Bhushyo Bhutakrud bhutir- bhushano  Bhutavaahanah, Akaayo Bhakta kaayasthah Kaala jnaani Kalaavapuh/ 122) Satya vrata Maha Tyagi Nishtha Shanti Parayanah, Paraartha Vrittir Varado Viviktah Shruti -saagarah/ 123) Anirvanno Gunagrahi Kalankaankah Kalamkahaa, Swabhava Rudro Madhyasthah Shatrughno Madhya naashakah/ 124) Shikhandi Kavachi Shuli Chandi Mundi cha Kundali, Mekhali Kavachi Khadgi Maayi Samsaara saarathih/ 125) Amrityuh Sarvadhruk Simhastejo raashir Mahaa Manih, Asankhyoprameyatma Veeryavaan Kaaryakovidah/ 126) Vedyo Vedarthavidgopta Sarvaachaaro Muneeswarah, Avyktamo Duraadharsha Madhurah  Priyadarshanah/ 127) Suresham Sharanam Sarvah Shabda Brahma Sataangatih, Kaala -bhakshaha Kalamkaarih Kankanikruta vaasukih/ 128) Maheshwaso Mahibharta Nishkalamko vrishankhalah, Dyumanistaranirdhanyah Shiddidah Shiddhisaadhanah/ 129) Nivrittah Samvratah Shilpo Vyudhorasko Maha Bhujah, Ekajyotirniraatanko Naro Narayana Priyah/ 130) Nirlepo Nishprapanchaatmaa Nirvyagro Vyagra naashanah, Stavyastava priyah stotaa  Vyasamurtiranaakulah/131) Nirvadyapadopaayo Vidyaaraashiravikramah, Prashanta buddhi –rakshudrah Kshudrahaa Nitya Sundarah/ 132) Dhairgraya dhuryo Dhaatrishah Shaaklayah Sharvari patih, Paramaartha Guru drishtir Gururaashrita vatsalah/ 133) Raso Ramajnah Sarvajnaha Sarva Satvaalambanah –Suta Vuvacha: Evam Naamnaam Sahasrena tushtaav Viishabhaddwajam/ [Also refer to Shiva Sahasranaamas in the Essence of  Shiva Purana and Essence of Brahma Purana in the Series of Essence of Puranas along with meanings in English]

 As Bhagavan Vishnu prayed to Maha Deva by worshipping him with each lotus flower by reciting the name of Shiva as above, Maha Deva desired to test Vishnu who wondered how one lotus fell short of the count; but since one more Shiva Naama was still due in the Puja, Vishnu cut off his own eye and completed the Puja!  Shiva appeared and emerged from Agni in the form of Sahsara Suryas when Devas ran away out of fear and Bhumi was in  tremors! Then Maha Deva who was pleased with the puja gave back Vishnu’s eye to him since when Vishnu was called HARI or the stolen and also as PADMAKSHA or of lotus eye. Shiva also gifted Sudarshana Chakra to Vishnu as it was unused and remained with him unutilised as Shiva used a Shiva Dhanush to kill Tripurasuras. Shiva further forecast to Vishnu that soon there would be a Daksha Yagna and that Devi Sati being Shiva’s Arthanareeswari  would immolate herself in Agni out of frustration against her father and after the destruction of the Yagna, she would return as Devi Parvati as Shiva’s wife and in the conduct of the future happenings Vishnu should play a proactive role in the times ahead!  Whoever reads, recites and remembers the afore-given Shiva Sahasramamaas would reap the fruit of performing Aswamedha Yagnaas and Shiva Loka prapti

19    Sati’s immolation at Daksha Yagna, Shiva Parvati Kalyana and ‘Vighneshotpatti’

Daksha Prajapati’s jealousy for Maha Deva climaxed with Daksha Yagna to which Maha Deva was uninvited despite Sage Dadhichi’s intervention. Daksha’s daughter Sati Devi and wife of Maha Deva insisted on attending the Yagna even while Maha Deva objected initially but reluctantly agreed with Pramatha Ganas ecsorting her. As Daksha disliked her attedance at the Yagna and openly criticised Maha Deva, she neither stayed back at the Yagna nor felt proper returning to Shiva and had thus self-immolated in the Fire-pit. An enraged Maha Deva got furious and having created Virabhadra ordered the latter to destroy Daksha Yagna. As Daksha was beheaded by Virabhadra, Parama Shiva condoned Daksha and revived him. After the departure of  Sati Devi, Maha Deva was forlorn, roamed aimlessy in forests to perfom Tapasya; meanwhile two significant developments came to light that Tarakasura secured  boons of  invincibility from Brahna and Diatyas made havoc all over Trilokaas. Devi Gauri coming of age was allowed to assist Maha Deva in his daily Tapasya and Indra and Devas  had the know-how that only Skanda the second son of Shiva-Parvati could demolish Tarakasura. In their anxiety to expedite the process of Shiva-Parvati wedding, Indra requested Kama Deva to release the arrows of passion on Shiva as Parvati was in Shiva’s silent worship;  Parama Shiva was annoyed at the mischievous provocation of  Kama Deva and destroyed him by his Trinetra or the Third Eye. Rati Devi felt that her husband  Kama Deva became a victim of the cross-fire, although for Loka Kalyana. The merciful Shiva no doubt gave the boon of the couple  to become husband and wife again in their next births as Pradyumna the son of Krishna and Rukmini and Rati as  Devi Maya. Shiva continued his Tapasya and so did Parvati by reciting Om Namo Shivaaya Namah Mantra as taught to her by Sage Narada. Meanwhile Vishnu, Brahma and Devas prevailed Maha Deva to wed Devi Parvati. Shiva tested Parvati about her seriousness and guised as a semi-nude and mad vagabond critisised Shiva and a furious Parvati threw him out when he revealed his identity. Finally  Saptarishis were asked to mediate  the auspicious wedding of  Parvati the daughter of Himavaan and Maina.The wedding of Purusha and Maya were thus consummated finally.

That was the opportune time when Indra and Devas accompanied by Brahma approached Maha Deva when Dharma and Nyaaya ( Virtue and Justice) were at the lowest ebb and the evils perpetrated by Daitya-Danava-Rakshasas were abysmal. There were no barriers (Vighnas) to immorality and wickedness and the malevolent forces on Earth had a free play enabled by extremities of Tamasika and Rajasika Gunas. Rishis felt that besides obstructing such rampant free play of Evil, there should also indeed be a Facilitator of Good Deeds viz. Avighna as opposed to Vighna. For instance the well-meaning persons should not face obstacles in their Yagnas, Daanas, Vratas, Kshetra Darshanas and such virtuous deeds and ‘Mangala Karyas’ or of Auspicious Tasks:

Avighnam Yagna daanaadyaih samabhyarchya Maheswaram,

Brahmaanam cha Harim Vipraa labheypsitavaraa yatah/

Tatosmaakam Surah sreshthaa sadaa vijaya sambhavah,

Teshaam tatastu Vighnaarthamavighnaaya Divoukasaam/

Putraartham chaiva Naareenaam Naraanaam karma Siddhaye,

Vighnesham Shankaram srashtam Ganapam stotumararhata/

(Thus Devas requested that a Personification viz. Vighnesha be created  who would give impediments to the Evil-doers and Facilities to Seekers of Good Deeds like women folk to grant good sons, humans to be blessed with Karya Siddhi or Fulfilment of Good Deeds). In this context, Devas appealed to Maha Deva as follows: Namah Sarvatmaney tubhyam Sarvajnaaya Pinakiney/ Anaghaaya Virinchaaya Devyaah Karyaardha –daayinye , Akaaya yartha kaayaaya Hareyh kaayaapahariney/ Kaayaantastha amritaadhaara mandalaavasthitaaya tey, Kritaadibhedakaalaaya Kaala vegaaya tey namah/ Kaalaagni Rudra Rupaaya Dharmaadyashta padaayacha, Kaali vishuddha Dehaaya Kaalikaa Karanaaya tey/ Kaala Kanthaaya Mukhyaaya Vaahanaaya Varaaya tey, Ambikaa pataye tubhyam Hiranya pataye namah/ Hiranya retasey chaiva Namah Sharvaaya Shuliney, Kapaala danda paashaasi charmaankusha dharaaya cha/ Pataye Haima vatyaascha Hema shuklaaya tey namah, Peeta- shuklaaya rakshaartham Suraanaam Krishnavartmaney/ Panchamaaya Mahaapancha yagninaam phaladaayacha, Panchasya phani haraaya Panchaaksharamayaaya tey/ Panchadhaa Pancha Kaivalya Deavairarchita Murtaye, Panchaaksharadyasho tubhyam Paraatparataraaya tey/ Shodashaswara Vajraanga vaktraayaakshara rupeney, Kaadipanchaka hastaaya chaadihastaaya tey namah/ Daadipaadaaya Rudraaya taadi paadaaya tey namah, Paadi Mahendraaya Yadyanga dhaatu saptaka dhaariney/ Shaantaatma rupiney Saakshaatkshandata krodhiney namah, Lava rephalallaangaya nirangaaya cha tey namaha/ Sarveshaameva Bhutaanaam hrudi nihsswana kaariney, Bhruvomratey sadaa sadbhidrushtaayanta bhavaney/ Bhanu somaagni netraaya Paramaatma swarupiney, Gunatrayopiristhaaya Tirtha paadaaya tey namah/ Tirtha tatwaaya saaraaya tasmaadapi paraaya tey, Rukyajursaama vedaaya Omkaaraaya namonamah/ Omkaarey Trividham rupamaasthaayoparivaasiney, Peetaaya Krishna Varnaaya Raktaayaanthyata tejasey/ Sthaana panchaka samsthaaya panchadaanda bahih kramaat, Brahmaney Vishnavey tubhyam Kumaaraaya namonamah/ Ambaayaah Parameshaaya Sarvoparichaarayatey, Mula Shukshma swarupaaya sthula sukshmaaya tey namah/ Sarva samkalpa shunyaaya Sarvasmaadrakshitaaya tey, Adimadhyaantara shunyaaya chitsamsthaaya Namonamah/ Yamaagni vaayu Rudraambu Soma Shakra nishcaacaraih, Digmukheydigmukhey nityamsagunaih pujitaaya tey/ Sarveshu sarvadaa Sarva maargey Sampujitaayatey, Rudraaya RudraNilaaya Kadrudraaya prachetasy, Maheshwaraaya dhiraay Namah Sakshaatcchivaaya tey/Athah shrunu Bhagavan stavacchalena kathitamajendra –mukhaih Suraasureshyaih, Makha Madana Yamaagni Daksha Yagnakshapana vichitra vichoshthinta Kshamasva/  Suta Vuvaacha: Yah patheh stavam bhkatyaa Shakraagni Pramukhaih Suraih keertitamshaavayod Vidwaan sa yaati Paramaam Gatim/ ( Sarva Samaatma, Anagha or Beyond Sins, Virinchi / Brahma Swarupa, Deva Karya Siddhi kara or who concludes the tasks of Devas successfully, Kaala Rupa, Agni Rupa, Rudra Rupa, Kalakantha, Ambika Pati, Swarna Swarupa or of Golden Formed; Trishuladhaari, Kapaala, Danda-Paasha-Khadga-Ankusha dhara; Pancha Mukha, Sarpa haara,  Panchaakshra Swarupa! You wear the two Panchaksharas or of Five Syllables viz. ‘ Ka’and ‘Cha’as your arms, ‘Ta’ and ‘Ta’ as your feet, ‘Pa’ as your Linga; Surya, Agni and Chandra are your Eyes; Ruk-Yajur- Sama Vedas are of your Form, Omkara is your Form too as the composite of A-U-M viz. of Yellow-White-Blood Red Profiles; you are also of the Swarupas of Brahma-Vishnu- and Kumara; you again are of the Formula of Sukshma and Sthula or of Miniature and Gross; devoid of Beginning- Middle-End; always worshipped by Yama-Agni-Vayu-Varuna-Rudra-Jala- Soma-Indra and Devatas as all so  Nisacharas or the Ones active through out the night; indeed, you are Maheswara and Sakshaat or in Rreality Parama Shiva Himself! Whoso ever would read, recite, recount and relate the above Rudra Stuti would definetely aspire for Parama Gati!)

As Devas made the above Stuti, Pinakapaani was extremely delighted and assured that he would neither allow any obstruction to Deva Karyas to be caused by any Daitya-Danava and such other mischievous forces nor encourage the success of any evil against virtue. Then Shiva Himself assumed the Golrious Form of Ganeshwara Swarupa of an Elephant Head  or Gajaanana and of a Trishula Dhari and there were  reverberations of  Victory sounds and rains of scented flowers from the Skies and all Lokas above and from all over the Yogis, Siddhaas and Sages welcoming the Lord of Vighnas and Avighnas as per his descretions and the strength of one’s own deeds. As the Bala Ganapati prostrated before his parents Shiva and Parvati, the latter posted kisses on the son’s head and prescribed the do’s and don’ts such as to create hidrances in the execution of Yagnas without dakshinas, destroy Serial Daityas and protect Brahma Vaadi Dwijas and Siddhas; as also to those who perform Vedaadhyana, Adhyaapana and Vkyakhyaana improperly; at the same time Ganesha shoud reward those who perform worship daily, bestow prosperity to the virtuous and protect the youth and elderly. By so doing  Vighna Nayaka would be the most sought after in Tri Lokas, told Ganesha by the parents. Shiva emphasised to Ganesha that any Puja to him, Vishnu or Brahma or other Devatas or Devis must be preceded by worhip to Ganesha first not only to assure success of the main Puja but also supplement the fulfillment of the desires for which the main puja was performed. The Prathama Puja to Ganesha should be also done with Dhyana-Avahana-Pushpa-Gandha-Dhupa-Deepa-Naivedyas just as the Main Devata of the Puja was to be performed. This is relevant to all Varnas of Brahmana-Kshatriya-Vaishya and others too. Thus any worship, or Vrata, or Sacred and Religious Deed like Yagnas, Daanaas, Vivaahas, Upanayanas, Vidyaarambhas, house constructions, or for that matter any and every task seeking propitiousness shoud start with Ganesha Puja in Hindu Dharma with the invocation to Vighneswara thus: ‘Shuklaambara dharam Vishnum Shashi Varnam Chaturbhujam Prasanna Vadanam Dhyaayet Sarva Vighnopashaantaye’!


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)


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