As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 12
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Prakriti keeps man in bondages, for papas are consequences of karmas on earth. To seek liberation through worship and prayers before the image of lord Shiva – the phallic image of Shiva is the appropriate solution for a true devotee
The discourse continues as sages continue to seek clarification about certain doubts lurking in the minds. Monk Suta tells that a jiva is in worldly bondages when Prakriti keeps him in eightfold primary bond. A man, who keeps under control Prakriti that pushes him to various worldly activities, attains deliverance from material sufferings and so is a liberated soul. Nature, cosmic intellect, ego or arrogance (born of three gunas) and five principles cause bondages even while activities continue in life and so the cycle of birth, death and rebirth continues.
One ought to know that body is gross and it is origin of karmas. Subtle body causes joys through sense organs, and causal or fundamental body gives pleasures through senses. Therefore, a living being (a jiva) experiences joy or a life of virtues or sin depending upon karmas because of body and karmas. Here, worship of the lord is necessary to get rid of this cycle of birth...for prakriti, the nature is the great wheel and Shiva is beyond. Only meditation on him liberates a man from a life of bondages (pasas) suffering and death. He is omnipresent and keeps prakriti and everything else under control and therefore, he governs the entire creation and hence, he is Shiva. He is the substance of infinite prowess and strength beyond reach.
He is omniscient, wisdom personified, free and eternal, and beyond contentment, detached, forever conscious, and so is embodiment of all powers and hence, a devotee must worship him for blessing and grace. Any karma or act if done with devotion to the lord causes joy. Keep the lord in mind, worship phallic, embodied image, or his devotee he tells, which should be fourfold – through body, mind, word and money. Shiva, who is beyond Prakriti, is happy and blesses devotees. When a jiva with the grace and blessing of Shiva, brings all karmas born of Prakriti under control, he is beyond all pasas – bondages and is liberated, a self-realised soul he is. Then, he is beside the goddess Jagdamba and Shiva and attains similar attributes of Shiva and at that time, he will attain the divine blessings of Shiva and thereafter, Prakriti is under control of devotee of Shiva when he in the land of Shiva.
Learned men of Vedas and other holy texts and scriptures call it Sayuja …an identity with the lord, for the devotee attains the omniscience and affluence of Shiva. So, he gets salvation through worship of lingam, the phallic image, Suta tells and calls up to follow all rituals and rites during worship of phallic or embodied images of the great lord and japa of Shiva mantra, to acquire his divine grace and proximity i.e. land of Shiva.
Later, on the pleas of holy men and the sages, the great monk Suta explains the mode and procedure of worship of phallic or lingam and other forms so that they pray and worship properly. Pranava, the first image, bestows fulfillment of desires. Phallic symbols of Purusa and Prakriti are many. He talks about the subtle and gross images of lingam – the niskala and sthula – sakala. Five-syllable mantra is its gross – the sthula image and to worship the images is tapa that leads to deliverance. Only the lord knows the dimensions of images, as there are many images as Paurash-lingas and prakriti lingas namely – Swayambhu – the self-raised, Bindu – the dot, sanctified or pratisthit, the fourth is charling and fifth is gurulinga.
If a devotee worships dedicatedly, he gains more knowledge. Devotee must install the image with a pure heart and mind and it leads to realisation of the soul. Regular worship of phallic image bestows luxuries and opulence. If a man, installs image of linga an artisan makes, the process of Pratistha and its worship confers natural riches. The monk gives detail of different kinds of lingas – Prakrita lingas – confers riches, women and wealth, Rasal-linga – fulfills wishes of brahmins and chara-lingas bestows vast kingdoms on Ksatriyas, gold linga makes vaisyas rich and wealthy whereas linga of stone or rock bestows sense of purity on sudras. He specifies performance of rites for different ages for getting the right result. Proper benefits are possible, if a devotee performs prayer and worship properly, takes care of all rituals and rites, and tells that devotees must know the eternal essence of ashes and tripundra at the time of worship and adoration. Obligations of a devotee are sacred and he should stay pure and unpolluted even while he emerges out on occasions of birth or death. In this way, he gets rid of bad effect of rajasic qualities.
He is Shiva and is beyond the three qualities-gunas even as a preceptor he dispels the evil effects of gunas and thus, the disciples understand Shiva. He explains the meaning of service, disciple etc. Service to guru is the first obligation of a disciple, who is a son of preceptor – mantraputra and so a sisya ought to adore a guru, the preceptor. He is a father also, so, must understand the distinction, and therefore, he should serve his preceptor through worship, money, and physical service, for each organ of guru is an image of phallus and therefore, one should give food to gratify him. To worship guru means to adore Shiva. Whatever a guru leaves after use (food, water, anything)…the disciple can eat and use the leftover with the consent of the guru as it is like blessings.
Beginning of all prayers or worship or sacred rites ought to begin with the worship of lord Ganesha because freedom from ignorance is the goal. Therefore, a wise and intelligent man should worship all deities and gods to ward off obstructions on the way, which relate to Adhyatmika problems – mental and spiritual sufferings. Sufferings of physical nature – fear of pisaches, anthills, assault of lizards and other insects, serpents, untimely happening in nature, birth at inauspicious hour or other calamities etc are Adhibautika problems. Third is – Adhidaivika, which originates from the anger of celestial or divine forces – lightning, diseases of lethal nature, stars and such invisible forces and hence, these perceptible or hidden forces need worship, prayers and holding of yajnas etc.
He speaks about the holy places where performance of sacrifice is good and bestows blessing – like temple, cowshed etc. A worshipper requires leaves and bunches of mango, grass blades – drubha, gems or costly items, vessels etc. that require purification with chanting of mantras even as the guru (the knower of rituals) presides over as a priest. Invocation of Vishnu is auspicious and thus, all rites need care and completion to attain the right reward before completion of japa and meditation and final oblations. Twigs of sami and plasha trees are good if the rites carry the objective of warding off evils or bad influence and desire for livelihood in that order with offering of ghee and japa of mantras in the name of deities.
When a devotee concludes the worship of all the planets, he should give gifts to Ritviks. To please deities needs proper material of worship. To know the mode of rituals a devotee should be cautious and strictly adhere to the material requirement, time, place, priest, and everything and he should ensure that he carefully works on the advice of preceptor and only then, deities shall bless and fulfill desires of the devotee, the monk tells.
Again, the monk reemphasises that birth and death are acts of maya of Shiva. Dedication and meditation with a pure heart free a man from the mess of birth and death. So long, body exists, Jiva is under the control of activities – karmas of different kinds that bear the influence of three gunas and the restraint on aberrations of karmas, is a path to deliverance. Know that Shiva is the cause of causes, the creator of cycle of illusions – mayachakra. He eliminates the inner conflicts and vacillation born out of indecisiveness – the impact of Maya, which again owes its source to Shiva. As a devotee of knowledge, he should concentrate on Shiva, and sit silently, when he performs sacred rites, austerity, tapa and japa and the lord will bless him with wealth, health, divine body, wisdom and knowledge bereft of pride, ego and ignorance. A devotee must observe sacred rites keeping in view place, time, aptitude, talent, competence, wealth etc. while he lives at the sacred temple of Shiva, and should discard violence and live without stress, and spend money truthfully earned.
Sanctity and truthfulness is must even as he is engaged in japa of five-syllable mantra. Charitable food is good for a devotee, for it enables a devotee to concentrate on Shiva. A devotee should ensure purity of food before eating and keep silence while he speaks up about the greatness of Shiva, for he is the lord of Shivamantra. To worship phallic emblem of Shiva is good and effective. Therefore, the great monk tells inquisitive sages what he had heard from sage Vyasa. To have lord’s grace, a devotee must read and understand the text and pray and worship under the guidance of preceptor.
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