ll ॐ नमशिवाय ll
Shiva Panchakshara Stotra>
Nagendra haraya Trilochanaya,
Basmanga ragaya maheswaraya,
Nithyaya shudhaya digambaraya,
Tasmai nakaraya namashivaya.
Mandakini salila chandana charchithaya,
Nandeeswara pramadha nadha maheswaraya,
Mandra pushpa bahu pushpa supoojithaya,
Tasmai makaraya namashivaya.
Shivaaya gowri vadanara vinda,
Sooryaya daksha dwara naasakaya,
Sri neela kantaya vrisha dwajaya,
Tasmai sikaraya namashivaya.
Vasishta kumbhodhbhava gowthamadhi.
Munendra devarchitha shekaraya,
Chandrarka vaiswanara lochanaya,
Tasmai vakaraya namashivaya.
Yaksha swaroopaya jada dharaya,
Pinaka hasthathaya sanathanaya,
Divyaya devaaya digambaraya,
Tasmai yakaraya namashivaya
Ya padeth Shiva sannidhou,
Shive na saha modathe.
Mahashivaratri 12 Feb 2010
Shivaratri : The Supreme Vrata
[Excerpts from the Satsang of Pujya Bapuji]
In the Skanda Purana, Sutaji says, ”Shiva is the Lord. Shiva is the kinsman unto embodied beings. Shiva is the Atman. Shiva is the jiva as well. There is nothing else other than Shiva. Worthy is the tongue that sings praises of Lord Shiva. Worthwhile is the mind that remains engrossed in meditation of Lord Shiva. Truly worthy are the ears that always remain eager to hear the glory of Lord Shiva, and blessed indeed are the hands that worship Him. One whose all senses are fully engrossed in activities related to the worship of Lord Shiva in the aforesaid manner, transcends samsara and attains both worldly pleasures and salvation. (- Brahmottar Khanda : 4.1, 7, 9)
Mahashivaratri is the festival to worship and propitiate Lord Shiva, the Lord of all riches, the Supreme Being, the all pervading, the very personification of Truth- Absolute, Consciousness- Absolute and Bliss-Absolute, the attributeless, the formless, the Supreme Lord of the universe. It was on the auspicious day of Mahashivaratri that jyotirlinga came into existence on earth; and this is the pious day of Lord Shiva’s marriage too. As per the laws of Nature, it is the unique occasion when the stars and planets are conducive to the union of the individual consciousness of the jiva with the Supreme Consciousness of Shiva and thus aid in the realization of their essential unity.
Shiva means beneficence. Mahashivaratri is a night of supreme beneficence. Jap, austerities and fast done on this day earn a thousand times more religious merits compared to that accrued from the same effort exerted on any other day.
In the Ishana Samhita, Lord Shiva says to Maa Parvati, ”The fourteenth lunar day of the dark fortnight of the month of Falguna is a dark auspicious night known as Shivaratri. Anyone observing a fast on this day successfully propitiates Me. A fast observed on this day is far superior to any other form of worship like bathing Me and even offering clothes, incense and flowers to Me.”
A vrata is primarily characterized by faith, fasting and prayers. A vrata has the capacity to convert an atheist to a theist, a hedonist to yogi, a selfish person to an altruistic, a miser to a generous, an impatient to a patient and an intolerant to a tolerant one. Those, firm in their vrata and righteousness, elevate their lives. The Shivaratri vrata destroys all sins and primarily facilitates the accomplishment of yoga and God-Realization.
The Skanda Purana states, ”The vrata of Shivaratri is supreme, there is none superior to it. The jiva who does not worship the Lord of all the three worlds on this day with ardent devotion is bound to be mired in the vicious cycle of life and death for thousands of years.”
The vrata of Shivaratri involves staying awake at night, worshipping Lord Shiva with Bael leaves, sandalwood paste, flowers etc. and engaging in jap and meditation. 1,25,000 number of jap of the Beeja Mantra ”Bum” ( बं) done on this day, greatly helps to alleviate joint pains and diseases related to Vata Dosha.
If you remain awake on this night with the conviction that you are not going to fritter away this precious human birth in petty pursuits of sense enjoyments, but would rather persevere to take advantage of its true worth by utilizing it to attain Enlightenment, the supreme goal of human-birth; then such a night vigil will be supremely rewarding. It destroys the sins accumulated over a multitude of previous births and purifies the intellect. This paves the way for the final attainment of the very essence of Shiva, the Supreme Consciousness.
Other festivals like Deepawali, Holi, Makar Sankranti give importance to delicacies, wearing new clothes and meeting people; but Shivaratri is not like that. This is a day of taking and observing vows of fasting and austerities so that the real meaning of Upawas i.e. proximity to God -is realized. In other festivals one reaches out to meet others whereas Shivaratri is an occasion to destroy one’s own ego and become one with the Lord. It is a day when one can and should strive to attain oneness with the Shiva-Consciousness. A man, as such, is intrinsically endowed with extraordinary happiness, peace and capabilities. He is capable of experiencing the Supreme bliss in which Lord Shiva is perennially engrossed. If he gets the opportunity to be in the holy company of the Self-realised Saints, who are ever engrossed in the Shiva-Consciousness, listens to their satsang, obtains their guidance and is blessed with their nectarine glance, this night can very well turn into that of ultimate beneficence, into the real Shivaratri.
Mahashivaratri is the supreme festival of realizing the Supreme Being, the Shiva. It is the day of worshipping the Shiva of one’s True Self and becoming established therein.
Shiva Manasa Pooja
By Adi Sankara Bhagwat Pada
Aaradhayami mani sannibham athma lingam,
Maayapuri hrudaya pankaja sannivishtam,
Sradha nadhi vimala chitha jalabishegai,
Nithyam samadhi kusmaira punarbhavai.
Rathnai Kalpitham asanam, Himajalai snanam cha divyambaram,
Naana rathna vibhooshitham mruga madha modhanvitham Chandanam,
Jathi champaka bilwa pathra rachitham, pushpam cha deepam Thada,
Deepam deva dayanithe pasupathe, hrud kalpyatham gruhyatham.
Souvarne nava rathna Ganda Rachithe, pathre Grutham Payasam,
Bakshyam pancha vidam Payo dadhiyutham, rambha phalam panakam,
Saaka namayutham jalam ruchikaram, karpoora gandojwalam,
Thamboolam manasa maya virachitham Bhakthyo prabho sweekuru
Chathram Chamarayoryugam vyajanagam, chaa darshakam nirmalam,
Veena bheri mrudanga kahala kala geetha nruthyam thada,
Sasthangam pranthi sthuthir bahu vidha, hyethat samastham maya,
Sankalpena samapitham thava vibho , poojam gruhana prabho.
Aathma thwam Girija Mathi sahacharaa, prana sarreram gruham,
Pooja theey vishayopa bhoga rachana, nidhra samadhi sthithi,
Sanchara padayo pradakshina vidhi, , sthothrani sarva giraa,
Yadyath karma karomi thathad akhilam, shambho thavaradhanam.
Kara charana krutham vaak kayajam karmajam vaa,
Sravana nayanajam vaa maanasam vaa aparadham,
Vihithamavihitham vaa sarva methath Kshamaswa,
Jaya Jaya katunabdhe sri Mahadeva Shambho.
Please pardon Oh lord
Matha cha Parvathy Devi,
Pitha devo Maheswara,
Bandhava Shiva Bakthamscha,
Swadeso Bhuvana thray.
Biliwa Patra Mahima
Bili tree is a form of Mahadeva. Even deities worship the tree. All the pious places of pilgrimage are located at the rrots of Bili tree. A pious person who worships Lord Shiva in his linga Swarropa installed at the roots of Bili tree attains Salvation. By performing the Abhishek on Lord Shiva at the roots of Bili tree, one can attain the Punya of having holy dip at all the places of pilgrimage. Mahadev is pleased to see a Bili tree which is watered properly and nurtured. A seeker can attain Shivlok by worshiping Bili tree with Sandal, flowers etc. and his progeng flourishes. One can attain enlightenment by lighting lamps at the roots of Bili tree. All the sins are destroyed by worshiping this tree. Immense which is cooked in milk and ghee.
Punya and wealth can be attained offering food to the devotees of Lord Shiva. Adyaguru Shankaracharya has explained the benefits of offering Bili leaves to Lord shiva in Bilvashtaka.
A Bili Patra consisting of three Bili leaves represents three attributes – Satva, Rajas and Tamas. It also represents three eyes of Lord Shiva. I ofer this Bill Patra which destroys all the sins committed during past three lives.
I worship Lord Shiva with tender and best Bili Patra which do not here any holes. I ofer the same to Lord Shiva.
By Worshipping Nandikeshwar Shankara with unbroken Bili Patra, all the sins are destroyed. I offer the same to Lord Shankara.
By offering a Bili Patra to Lord Shankara, Punya equivalent to donating a shaligram to a Brahmin could be accumulated. I ofer the same to Lord Shankara.
By offering Bili Patra to Lord Shankara, Punya equivalent to donating crores of elephants, performaing hundreds of Ashwmedha yagya or crores of Kanyadan can be accumulated. I ofer the same to Lord Shankara.
Bili Pratra which originated from the breats of Goddess Laxmi and which is plesing to Lord Mahadev. I offer the same to Lord Shankara.
Sight and tough of a Bili tree can destroy allt he sins, including that of the lowest category. I offer this Biloi Patra to Lord Shankara.
A Bili Patrais the form of Brahma at the roots, the orm of Vishna in the middle and the form of Shiva on the top. I offer the same to Lord Shankara.
A seeker who recites Bilvashtak in close vicinity of Lord Shankara is Liberated from all the sins and attains salvation.
[The Octet to the Bilwa]
[The leaves of Bilwa (Aegle marmelos), which has multiple leaves, with each leaf consisting of three leaves is very dear to Lord Shiva. Offering this leaf to Lord Shiva pleases him especially on the Shivarathri .There are several stories how people got salvation by offering one Bilwa leaf to Lord Shiva.]
Tridalam trigunakaaram trinethram cha triyayusham,
Trijanma papa samharam Eka bilwam shivarpanam. 1
I offer one leaf of Bilwa to Lord Shiva,
Which has three leaves,
Which causes three qualities,
Which are like the three eyes of Shiva,
Which is like the triad of weapons,
And which destroys sins of three births.
Trishakhai bilwapathraischa hyachidrai komalai shubai,
Shiva poojam karishyami, Eka bilwam shivarpanam. 2
I offer one leaf of Bilwa to Lord Shiva,
Which has three shoots,
Which do not have holes,
Which are good and pretty,
And worship Lord Shiva.
Aganda bilwa pathrena poojithe nandikeshware,
Shudhyanthi sarva papebhyo, Eka bilwam shivarpanam. 3
I offer one leaf of Bilwa to Lord Shiva,
For if an uncut leaf is offered,
To his steed the god Nandi,
We get cleaned of all our sins.
Shalagrama shilamekaam vipranam jatha cha arpayeth,
Soma yagna maha punyam, Eka bilwam shivarpanam. 4
I offer one leaf of Bilwa to Lord Shiva,
For it is equal to, offering a shaligrama to a Brahmin,
Or the great blessing got out of performing Soma Yaga,
Dandi koti sahasrani vajapeya sathani cha,
Koti kanya maha danam, Eka bilwam shivarpanam. 5
I offer one leaf of Bilwa to Lord Shiva,
For it is equal to gifting thousand elephants,
Or the performing of hundred fire sacrifices,
Or giving away billions of girls.
Lakshmyasthanutha uthpannam mahadevasya cha priyam,
Bilwa vruksham prayachami, Eka bilwam shivarpanam. 6
I offer one leaf of Bilwa to Lord Shiva,
For it is equal to giving a tree of Bilwa,
Which was born from the breast of Lakshmi,
And which is very dear to the Lord Shiva.
Darshanam bilwa vrukshasya, sparsanam papa nasanam,
Aghora papa samharam, Eka bilwam shivarpanam. 7
I offer one leaf of Bilwa to Lord Shiva,
As seeing and touching of a tree of Bilwa,
Washes away ones sins and also very great sins.
Kasi kshethra nivasam cha kala bhairava darshanam,
Prayaga madhavam drushtwa, Eka bilwam shivarpanam. 8
I offer one leaf of Bilwa to Lord Shiva,
After living in the city of Kasi,
Seeing the Kala Bhairawa,
And also visiting the temple
Of Madhawa in Allahabad.
Moolatho brahma roopaya, madhyatho Vishnu roopini
Agratha shiva roopaya, Eka bilwam shivarpanam 9
I offer one leaf of Bilwa to Lord Shiva,
As Brahma resides at its bottom,
Lord Vishnu lives in its middle,
And Lord Shiva lives in its tip.
Bilwashtakam idham punyaam, padeth shiva sannidhou,
Sarva papa nirmuktha Shiva loka maapnuyath. 10
Reading this holy octet of Bilwa,
In the presence of Lord Shiva,
Would save one from all sins,
And in the end take him to the world of Shiva.
श्री द्वादश ज्योतिर्लिङ्ग स्तोत्रम्
Saurashtre Somanaatham Cha Sree Shaile Mallikarjunam
Ujjayinyaam Mahaakaalam Omkaaram amaleswaram
Paralyaam Vaidyanaatham cha Daakinyaam Bhimashankaram
Setubandhe tu Ramesham Naagesam Daarukaavane
Vaaranaasyaam tu Viswesam Trayambakam Gowtameethate
Himalaye tu Kedaram Grushnesam cha Shivaalaye.
Aethaani Jyuothir lingangani Saayam Prathaha Pathen
Nara Spata Janma Krutam Paapam Smarena Vinashayti
The twelve Jyotir Lingas are,
Somanatha in Sourashtra,
Mallikarjuna in Sri Shailam,
Mahakala in Ujjain,
Omkaram in Amaleshwara,
Vaidhyanatha in Parali,
Bhimasankara in South,
Rameshwara near the bridge in Sethu,
Nageswara in Daruka forest,
Visweswara in Varnasi,
Trayambakeshwara in the shores of Godavari,
Kedareshwara in Himalayas,
And Ghushmesha in Sivalaya.
He who remembers them,
Morning and evening,
Would wash away sins,
Committed in his seven births.
1 Sourashtra dese Visadhethi ramye,
Jyothirmayam Chandra kalavathamsam,
Bhakthi pradhanaya krupavatheernam,
Tham Soma nadham saranam prapadhye., 1
I seek refuge of the Soma Nadha,
Who is in the holy and pretty Sourashtra,
Who is dazzling with light,
Who wears the crescent of the moon,
Who has come there to give,
The gift of devotion and mercy.
The Somnath temple is dedicated to Someshwara, another name of Lord Shiva with moon on his head. The temple is situated in Saurashtra in a place called Prabhas Pattan near the port of Veravel. It is believed that the Moon God himself had originally built the temple out of gold. Somnath is the first of all the 12 jyotirlingas. The Somnath temple has been destroyed six times and has been rebuilt. Last time it was after independence by Sardar Vallab Bhai Patel. The temple faces the east direction.
Sri Shaila sange vibhudathi sange,
Thulathi thune api mudha vasantham,
Thamarjunam mallika poorvamekam,
Namami samsara samudhra sethum., 2
I salute him who is the bridge to the ocean of life,
Who is in the company of all gods,
And living in the union of Sri Shaila,
Who resides on the peak of Thula,
And who is called Mallikarjuna,
The Sri Shailam Temple located in Kurnool district. Sri Shailam is a small city situated in the densely forested Nallamalai hills. This temple is considered very holy and is dedicated to Mallikarjuna Swamy and Bhramaramba. One unique feature of the temple is that all the devotees who visit the temple are allowed to touch the idol which is not prevalent in any other temple in South India. According to popular legends, Adhi Shankara had composed his famous Sivananda Lahiri here It is also believed that Goddess Durga had taken the form of a bee and worshiped Lord Shiva here and selected this holy place as her abode.
Mukthi pradhanaya cha sajjananam,
Vande maha kala maha suresam., 3
I salute that Maha Kala,
Who is the lord of all devas,
Who has incarnated in the city of Avanthi,
For giving salvation to good people,
And to save people from untimely death.
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is situated in Ujjain, the historical capital of Central India. This Temple is situated near a lake. The idol in the temple is known as Dakshinamurti, facing the south and is white in colour. Among the 12 Jyotirlingas, the Mahakal Jyotirlinga is believed to be swayambhu, meaning ‘born of itself’. The Mahakaleshwar temple is made in five levels, one of which is underground.. The underground sanctum is lightened by brass lamps. The prasada in the temple can be re-offered unlike other temples. According to the legends, a demon called Dushana tormented the people of Avanti and then Lord Shiva appeared from the ground and rescued the people and then on the request of the people, Lord Shiva permanently settled there as Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga.
4 Kavaerika narmadhayo pavithre,
Samagame sajjana tharanaya,
Sadaiva mandha tripure vasantham,,
Onkarameesam shivameka meede., 4
I meditate only on Shiva,
With the form of the letter Om,
Who lives In the city of Mandhatripura,
Which is in the holy confluence
Of rivers Cauvery and Narmadha,
For helping good people cross,
The Ocean of the misery of life.
Lord Omkareshwara or Amaleshwara temple is located in an island on the banks of the Narmada, is located on the Mandhata hill in Madhya Pradesh. The Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga shrine and the Amareshwar temple is one of the 12 revered Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. The river Narmada branches into two which forms an island Mandhata or Shivapuri in the center. Ironically, the island’s shape resembles the visual representation of the Omkara sound, Om. The temple can be reached by ferry. As per the legend, Vindhya mountain once prayed to Lord Shiva or Omkareshwara and got blessed in return. Other story says that the Shivalinga was split into two upon the request of the Devas. Thus, the formation of Omkareshwara and Amareshwar.
5 Poorvothare prajjwalika nidhane,
Sada vasantham girija sametham,
Surasuradhitha pada padmam,
Sri Vaidyanatham tham aham namami., 5
I salute that Vaidyanatha,
Whose lotus feet are worshipped,
By all asuras and devas,
And who lives in place of eternal shine,
In the north east of Bharata,
Along with his consort Parvathi.
Vaidhyanath is located at Deogarh in the Santal Parganas area of Bihar. Deogarh is also known as Vaidyanath. The temple faces the east. The top of the Shiva Lingam is slightly broken which as per the legend happened when Ravana tried to uproot it. Sivaganga lake is positioned just near the temple. While the Chandrakoopa well found near the main entrance is said to have been filled with water by Ravana from several thirthams. The Shiva’s temple is almost 72 feet tall in the form of a lotus. There are three ascending shaped gold vessels on the top. Then there is a ‘Punchsula’ as well as an eight petalled lotus jewel called ‘Chandrakanta Mani’. According to mythology, Ravana meditated hard to invoke Lord Shiva. In his desire to become invincible, he attempted to lift Lord Shiva’s abode, Mount Kailash. The act offended the Lord. He punished him but with Ravana pleading for mercy, he left him on one condition. He gave him one of the twelve lingas which were not supposed to be kept on ground in any case. But Ravana’s promise gave way in front of nature’s call & kept the linga on the ground. In order to rectify the mistake, Ravana started cutting off nine of his heads as a part of his repentance. Shiva was pleased by this & he joined the heads again to the body. Worshipping Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga is considered to eliminate one’s all worries and miseries. It even imparts salvation.
6Yaamye sadange nagare adhi ramye,
Vibhooshithangam vividaischa bhogai,
Sad bhakthi mukthi prada meesa mekam,
Sri Naganatham saranam prapadhye., 6
I seek refuge of Lord Naganatha,
Who lives in the pretty town
Of Sadanga in the southern part,
Who is well decorated,
Who grants all kinds of pleasures,
And who is the only God who grants,
Devotion and salvation..
The temple is located between Dwarka and Dwarka Island in Gujarat on the coast of Surat. The Jyotirlinga in the temple is known as Nageshwar Mahadev. The temple is being visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. The Jyotirlinga situated in the temple is considered to protect everybody from all sorts of poisons. It is believed that one who offers prayers in the temple becomes poison free.
7 Mahadri parswe cha thate ramantham,
Sampoojyamanam sathatham muneendrai,
Surasurair yaksha mahoraghadyai,
Kedarameesam shivameka meede., 7
I meditate on Shiva who is the Lord of Kedara,
Who takes pleasure in the valley of the great mountain,
Who is always worshipped by great sages,
And also devas, asuras, yakshas and nagas.
Kedarnath is a Hindu holy town located in the Indian state of Uttaranchal. And is the northern most Jyothirlinga. The place is located at an altitude of 3,584 m and at the origin of the river Mandakini, The place is accessible after a steep 13 km trek over a paved path from Gaurikund. Rishikesh, Haridwar, The credit for the construction of this heavenly temple is given to the Pandavas. According to the saying it is believed that the Pandavas came to Lord Shiva to seek blessings to atone their sins after the battle of Mahabharata. Lord Shiva evaded them continuously and took refuge in Kedarnath in the form of a Bull. On being chased, Lord Shiva left his hump behind. This conical protrusion is worshiped in the temple. The temple is located on the Rudra Himalaya range, also known as the Pancha Parvata. It is believed that four of the Pandavas died on one of the peaks, Swargarohini.
8 Sahyadri seershe vimale vasantham,
Godavari theera pavithra dese,
Yad darsanal pathakamasu nasam,
Prayathi tham Traimbaka meesa meede., 8
I meditate on the lord of Triambaka,
Who lives on the peak of western ghats,
In the holy shores of river Godavari,
And who destroys all sins,
Of his devotees who see him.
Tryambakeshwar is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines situated 30 km from Nasik in Maharashtra. Considered to be the birth place of the river Godavari, the shrine’s beauty is still well intact .A small Shivalingam or Tryambaka, is placed amidst a spacious courtyard & the sanctum which is crowned with a graceful tower, a giant amalaka(goose berry) and a golden kalasha. The Shivalingam is situated in a depression on the floor of the sanctum. Continuous flow of water from the top of the Shivalingam adds to the mystic beauty. Shivalingam is generally covered with a silver mask which is then substituted with a golden mask with five faces on festive occasions. These faces have their respective golden crowns. While, the silver mask is similar to the processional images seen in South Indian temples.
9 Suthamra varnee jala rasi yoge,
Nibhadhya sethum visikhaira sankyai,
Sri ramachandrna samarpitham tham,
Ramesamakhyam niyatham smarami., 9
I meditate with devotion the lord of Rama,
Who lives in the confluence of river,
Thamravarnee with the sea,
Where a bridge has been built.
With the help of umpteen arrows,
By the Lord Sri Rama Chandra.
Rameshwar Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva is situated on the peninsular tip Rameshwaram. It was Lord Rama who installed this Linga there, when he was on his way to attack Ravana he reached this place where he made a linga of sand and worshipped it. Lord Shiva blessed him accordingly. He also requested Lord Shiva to reside eternally here so that entire mankind should benefit from it. Shiva then manifested himself are the Linga and got installed there for eternity.
10 Yam dakini sakinika samaje,
Sadaiva bheemadhi pada prasidham,
Tham shnkaram bhaktha hitham namami., 10
I salute that Lord Sankara
Who is the darling of his devotees,
Who is being worshipped by rakshasas,
In the company of Ghosts called Dakini and Sakini,
And who is well known as “Bheema”.
This temple is located near Pune of Maharashtra on the shores of river Bhima. And is located on a high peak, surrounded by thick dense forests. The shrine Bhimashankaram, dates back to the 13th century. Lord Shiva’s killing of the demon Tripurasura is the main legend associated with the temple. It even states that Shiva took abode on the Sahyadri hills in the form of a Bhima upon the request of the Gods, on the crest of the Sahyadri hills. The sweat of Shiva poured after the battle ultimately led to the origin of Bhimarathi river.
11Sayanda mananda vane vasantham,
Mananda kandam hatha papa vrundam,
Varanasi nadha manadha nadham,
Sri Viswanadham saranam prapadhye., 11
I seek the protection of the Lord of universe,
Who lives is happily in the forest of joy,
Who is the basis of all happiness,
Who destroys all accumulated sins,
Who is the lord of the city of Varanasi,
And who is the lord of all who do not have anybody.
This temple holiest of the holies to any Hindu is situated in the banks of the holy river Ganga in Varanasi. The temple has been destroyed several times by invaders but has been rebuilt every time. It is believed the priests of the temple have sacrificed their all several times to preserve the holy Lingam. The present temple has been built by Ahalyabhai, a Maharashtrian queen.
12 Ilapure ramya visalake asmin,
Samullasantham cha jagad varenyam,
Vande maha dhara thara swabhavam,
Ghusruneswarakhyam saranam prapadhye., 12
I seek the refuge of Ghusraneswara,
Who lives and plays in the pretty city of Ilapura,
Who is the greatest among the universe,
And who is by his nature extremely kind.
The Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is one of the ancient and holiest shrines of India.. The temple in Maharashtra.was once known as Devagiri. Ahilyabhai Holkar constructed the Grishneshwar Temple,. Grishneshwar is also known as Ghushmeswara. According to legend, a devotee called Kusuma worshiped Lord Shiva by immersing a Shivalingam everyday in a nearby pond. Kusuma’s husband’s first wife out of jealousy because of Kusuma’s piety in the society killed her son. An aggrieved Kusuma continued her daily ritual and when she dipped the Shivlingam in the Pond her son miraculously revived. From then on the people started worshiping Lord Shiva in the form of a Jyotirlinga Ghusmeshwar.
Jyothir maya dwadasa linga kanam,
Shivathmanam prokthamidham kramena,
Sthothram padithwa manujo athi bhakthyo,
Phalam thadalokye nijam bhajescha.,
This prayer which tells about,
The twelve resplendent lingas,
If read with devotion by men,
Would make them be worshipped by others.
Shivaratri Pooja has been given tremendous significance in Hindu mythology. It is said that ritual worship of Lord Shiva on a Shivaratri day pleases Lord Shiva the most. Devotees further believe that by pleasing Lord Shankara on the auspicious Shivaratri day, a person is absolved of past sins and is blessed with Moksha or salvation.
Merits of Shivaratri Puja
According to Shiva Purana, sincere worship of Lord Shiva yields merits including spiritual growth for the devotees. It also provides extensive details on the right way to perform Shivratri Puja.
Shiva Purana further says that performing abhisheka of Shiva Linga with six different dravyas including milk, yoghurt, honey, ghee, sugar and water while chanting shiva Stotrai pleases Lord Shiva the most. According to the Sacred Text, each of these dravya used in the abhisheka blesses a unique quality:
Milk is for the blessing of purity and piousness.
Yogurt is for prosperity and progeny.
Honey is for sweet speech.
Ghee is for victory.
Sugar is for happiness.
Water is for purity.
Getting Ready for Shivratri Puja
To perform the worship of Lord Shiva on Shivratri, devotees wake up early and take a ritual bath, preferably in the holy waters of river Ganga or chanting the name of Ganga while batheing gives the virtues of a Ganga Snaan This is followed by worship to Sun God, Vishnu and Shiva in accordance with the purification rite observed on all-important Hindu festivals.
As a tradition, devotees observe a fast on a Shivaratri day.Devotees then wear fresh washed clothes and pay a visit to the nearest Shiva temple or do Shiva worship in you own Puja place by chanting the Shiva Mantras.
Start Puja by Shri Ganesh Stuti & Shri Guru Dev Stuti ,then worship Lord Kumar Kartikeya, Shri Hanumanji, then Goddess Parvati & Lord Shiva also by offering water on ShivaLing, lighting the diya and incense and ringing the temple bells,singing hymns and verses in praise of Bhagvan Shiva.
Offering Bilwa Patra leaves with water chanting ” Om Namaha Shivaya “Mantra pleases Lord Shiva Whole night Of Maha Shiva ratri till morning.
Shri Shiva Mahapuran
Om, I bow down to Lord Shiva
In ancient times, spiritually accomplished sages and seers of India acquired the true knowledge of Sanatan Dharma and recorded it as Vedas, Upanishads, and Puranas Paranas have acquired a significant status in rural India.
For centuries, Indians are connected through culture and traditions. Our culture has nurtured the principles of truth, justice, love and good conduct. The red flavor of our values and traditions could be experienced by studying Vedas, Upanishads and Paranas. Our day-to-day conduct, thinking and beliefs reflect our cultural values. Paranas. have contributed a great deal in preserving these principles and values.
There are total 18 Paranas. and number of Uppuranas. Shiva Mahapuran is one of them. Each Purana represents one God and describes him as the supreme most and glorifies him. The Purana consists of other relevant anecdotes and stories, also which make it more interesting . At the same time, it makes us available . Some historical facts, also . By studying these Paranas., we can learn how to find some solace while experiencing struggle and hardships in life. Paranas. have kept our cultural values alive. They have nurtured our spiritual progress, also.
For us, Paranas. are as important as Vedas. Paranas. have made it easier for a common man to understand the divine knowledge explained by VedasShiva Mahapuan’s is one of the 18 Paranas. It was written by Rishi Ved Vyas. It consists of 24,000 Shloka’s in 7 Samhitas.
” The Shiva Purana has twenty-four thousand shlokas. These are divided into six samhitas or sections.”
The names of the sectiosn are -
1 – Jnana Samhita,
2 – Vidyeshvara Samhit,
3 – Kailasa Samhita,
4 – Sanatkumar Samhita,
5 – Vayaviya Samhita and
6 – Dharma Samhit.
Each samhita is further subdivided into chapters (Adhyaya).
Jnana Samhita has Seventy-Eight Chapters,
Vidyeshvara Samhita Sixteen Chapters,
Kailasa Samhita Twelve Chapters,
Sanathkumar Samhila Fifty-Nine Chapters,
Vayaviya Samhita Thirty Chapters and
Dharma Samhita Sixty-Five Chapters.
The Shiva Purana was recited by Vedavyasa’s disciple Romaharshana, alternatively, Loma-harshana.
Romaharshana and The Other Sages
There were many sages who lived in a forest named naimisharanya. One day, these sages accosted Romaharshana and said, Romaharshana, you are blessed.
You have taught us a lot, but we are still not satisfied. You have had the fortune of studying under Vedavyasa and there is nothing that you do not know, past, present or future. Tell us about Shiva, we do not know very much about Shiva.
Romaharshana replied, I will relate to you that which you want to know and i am not going to make anything up. Many years ago, the sage Narada had wanted to find out about Shiva from his father, Brahma. Whatever Brahma had instructed his son. I am going to relate to you.
As per, Hindu Scriptures, significance of Kailash-mansarovar yatra is immense. Kailash is considered as abode of Shiva-Parvatiji. The peak of Kailash is the most beautiful among all other peaks.
Kailash Peak has been center of devotion from ancient times for the Devas, Danavas, Yakshas, Kinners, Vidyadharas, Gandharvas, Apsaras, yogis, Munis, Siddhas, Tapes and humans. A lot of pilgrims visit Kailash-Mansarovar every year. It is our bad luck that today kailash-Mansavrover belongs to Tibet. Therefore, these days only a few pilgrims can visit Kailash-Mansarovar with permission of authority. As a person always pine for visiting his birth place, devotes of Lord Shiva are always eager to visit Kailash-Mansarovar. All the time, they dream of visiting this place.
Rajatgiri Kailash which is 22028ft. above sea level is difficult to access. Pilgrims have to cross many mountain ranges to reach there. There are various routes to reach kailash from India.
One route goes from Ladakh region of Kashmir;
Second route passes through Gangotri towards Nailang Ghat;
Third route is from Badrinath via Man Ghat;
Fourth route goes via Niti Ghat which is in North- East direction of Joshi Math;
Fifth route goes via Almora, Dharchula, Gabyang, and Lipu Ghat;
Sixth route goes from Nepal towards Kailash-Mansarovar.
Lord Brahma has created this lake through power of intent, so it is called Mansarovar it is divine it is situated 4485 mt. Above sea level and spread over 320 sq. km. It’s circumference is about 86km and it is 90 mt. Deep in the (middle) central part.
During winter, water freezes to solid ice. Tibetish people cross the lake without any fear by walking across or on yak.
As per Shakt Granth, hands of Sati had Fallen here. As a result Mansarovar is created. There fore, it is considered as one of the fifty one shaktipeeth. Here we can see Raj Hamsa and ordinary Hamsa. A Raj Hamsa is a pure white Swan and an ordinary Hansa is of muddy grey colour. Their red beaks are very tender and they can fly very high main rivers of India originate from Mansarovar. During summer melting ice falls downs and produces loud sound similar to that of a Mridanga. Pilgrims visiting Mansarovar during summer feel hyptonized, listening to this divine music. It is not easily possible to have bath in freezing cold water of Mansarovar. Some courageous pilgrims take a holy dip into the water. It is believed that by having a dip in this water, one can get rid of all sins & attain Rudraloka.
The most beautiful description of Kailas Mansarovar is in the Poem of Great Kalidasa
Kumarasambhava’ the birth of Kumara
One of Kalidasa’s greatest works is ‘Kumarasambhava’. the epic poem. The work describes the marriage of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati. It begins with a fine description of that giant among mountains, the Himalaya. Kalidasa writes: “Himalaya is rich in life. Living there are the Siddhas. Kinnaras and Vidyadhara beauties. Clouds in front of the caves look like curtains. You can trace the track of lions’ by looking at the precious stones spilled from the heads of elephants and not by bloodstains. You have to know the paths they tread by recognizing ‘Sarala’ trees against whose stem the elephants rub themselves attracted by the sweet milk exuded by the trees. All the things needed for a sacrifice (‘Yajna’) are available here. Brahma (the God of creation) himself has made this the king of the mountains.” It is not only a place for lovers who want to find happiness in life; it is also an ideal retreat for those who want to meditate.
Parvati is the daughter of Parvataraja, the King of the Himalayas. In course of time she blossomed into a girl of matchless beauty. She was very good-looking, like a fine portrait drawn by a master-painter. Women wear jewelry with a feeling that their beauty is enhanced by it. But the neck of Parvati appeared to enhance the beauty of the necklace itself. Parvati’s speech was sweet as the playing of the Veena. And her bearing reminded one of a deer.
Narada, a great sage in our epics, is a wandering minstrel. He once came to the court of Parvataraja, and predicted that the king’s daughter would marry Lord Shiva. But Parvataraja was doubtful whether Lord Shiva would accept the bride. Neither he
volunteered to ask Shiva nor did the latter came forward to ask for the hand of Parvati. Shiva was in penance atop one of the biggest mountains in the Himalayas. Parvataraja sent his daughter to serve the Lord who acquiesced to have her near him. Parvati served him with utmost, pure hearted devotion; she would daily cleanse his place of penance, and keep ready the articles of ‘Tapas’ like pure water, leaves of grass, flowers, etc.
While Shiva sat thus in penance, a ‘Rakshasa’ named Tarakasura began to trouble the Devas. They, in panic, went to Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, and sought salvation. He told them that Parvati had. To marry Lord Shiva and that the son born out of their wedlock would be able to defeat demon Taraka. But then, how to make Lord Shiva, in deep penance to awake physically and consent to marry Parvati?
Devendra is the king of the Devas. One of the Gods at his court was Kama (Manmatha) whose wife was the beautiful Rati. Kama had the capacity to make any one desire to marry.Devendra king of Devas commanded him to see that Lord Shiva would develop a wish to marry Parvati. Kama, Rati and their friend Vasanta (Lord of spring) set about the task.
Though it was not the season, Kama created all the glory and beauty of the spring. Mild, pleasant breeze began to blow from the south. Flowers were sprinkling down from ‘Ashoka’ trees. Birds and the bees began to savor the fresh flower of the young mango leaves.
But all this would not deter Lord Shiva from his penance. Kama went there. Shiva was
doing his penance sitting on a tiger-skin under a Devadaru tree. Kama was overwhelmed on seeing the exquisite grace of Lord and the cupid’s bow and arrow fell down without his being aware of it. At this time, Parvati arrived on the scence to attend to her daily chores of service to the Lord. She wore a saree colored like the bright red rays of the Sun. Nice spring flowers adorned her plait. A diamond chain shone on her forehead. Her gait was like that of a delicate flower- creeper.
This great beauty of Parvati inspired Kama, who hitherto was somewhat, dejected, again to strive to fulfil his task. Parvati raised her hands to offer her garland of lotus flowers to Shiva who also eagerly came out of his penance to accept the offering. Kama was waiting for such a moment and exercised his ‘sword of love’.
Kama was ready with his and arrow for action.
Lord Shiva was angry and opened his Third Eye. A great fire flowed forth. Kama was burnt to ashes and Shiva then disappeared. Rati, seeing her husband destroyed collapsed unconscious. Parvati’s father sorrowfully took her to his home.
Regaining consciousness after some time, Rati lamented that she too would end her life. Then a voice from the sky told her that Kama would come back to life when Lord Shiva married Parvati.
Meanwhile,Parvati sat for a highly strenuous penance. She would setup a huge fire around her and standing amidst the fire in blazing Sun would stare at the Sun God. She would sit unmoved in pouring rain and biting cold and winds. To test this damsel engaged in such severe penace,
Lord Shiva himself appeared before her in the guise of a ‘Brahmacharf (a young lad who had his ‘Upanayana’ or sacred thread ceremony) and began to pour abuse on Shiva thus; “Why do you wish to accept the hand of one whose bracelet is a snake? Why do you, a damsel in glorious silk, seek unison with one wearing an elephant-skin? Don’t people laugh to see you driving around with Him sitting on an old, emaciated ox? Add to his grotesqueness his three eyes! Why did you? Have to choose such a groom?”
Not knowing that the lad was Shiva in disguise, Parvati naturally was angry with him for abusing Shiva. She asked her aide to’ send the boy away and she herself rose to leave the place. Shiva then appeared to her in his true form. Parvati on seeing his divine form was overwhelmed. She stood glued to the ground not knowing what to do. The poet’s description of this scene is extraordinarily beautiful.
Parvati sent word through her maid to Shiva to ask him to talk to her father about their marriage. Shiva thereupon sent a message to him through the seven great Sages. The king of the Himalayas gladly agreed. The marriage took place in a grand style.
The part authored by Kalidasa in ‘Kumarasambhava’ . The remaining episodes are
such as the birth of the son Kumara to Shiva
and Parvati, his becoming the Commander of the Devas’ forces and the slaying of the demon Tarakasura
Kalidasa’s works are known for their triple qualities — a sense of beauty, a capacity for appreciation of the aesthetic values and our traditional culture. Kalidasa’s portrayals of the great Himalayan mountain and of the mode in which the season of spring (vasanta’) blossomed are some of the most lyrical expressions in the language. His descriptions are vivid and heart-warming; it is as if we are seeing the events happening before us. Kalidasa’s portrayal of Parvati’s grace and beauty magnificently shows his ability as a poet. Rati’s lament upon Kama being consigned to flames moves us to tears. Kalidasa is equally at ease in portraying the happy marital life of Shiva and Parvati as a couple deeply in love as also of picturing the grace and beauty of both nature and man, Feelings of joy and sorrow and all other emotions.
Crowning all these pen-pictures of things that are beautiful and sweet in life is Kalidasa’s extolling of a noble culture. What does ‘culture’ mean? It is a sense of decent behavior – in body and mind; it is the blossoming of the mind and heart to savor the rich and colorful beauty around us — such as the color and fragrance of flowers which gladden the hearts of one and all. The thought, word and action of a man’s mature mind give happiness to others. Besides describing these in a masterly style and imagination, Kalidasa also exhibits his powers of perception while recognizing what we can call as ‘beauty in action and behavior’. Episodes such as the Parvataraja’s not going by himself to see Shiva even when sage Narada tells him that Parvati was to marry Shiva, his agreeing for Parvati’s desire to go to serve Shiva, her sitting for penance, his acceptance of Shiva’s offer, sent through the seven Sages, to marry Parvati — all these enable us to weave in our minds his personality shining with full grace and honor. Parvati allows no distraction of her mind and engages herself with singular devotion; she sits for a strenuous penance to make Shiva accept her and would not tolerate anyone abusing Him. All these show the high culture in which she is molded. Shiva, in his anger at being disturbed in his penance, burns down Kama, puts Parvati’s mind and thoughts to test, sends the seven Great Sages to Parvataraja — thus exhibiting his maturity ofmind. In fact, Shiva was not enamoured by the physical beauty of Parvati and only destroyed Kama who attempted to make him desire her physically. Actually he admired her several fine, noble qualities and her devout penance. Both he and Parvati were performing penance and leading a life of sacrifice — i.e., ‘tapasya’. Both were embodiments of purity. Born to them was Kumara. His parents’ penance fortified him with strength to destroy the demon Taraka.
Kalidasa’s poem gives us a vivid picture of what a good, meaningful life a man could and should lead as propounded by our learned ancestors.
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