As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 13
Continued from Previous Page
For obtaining blessing and fulfillment of wishes a devotee nurses, he ought to worship of Shiva’s image, and therefore, must make obligatory number of earthen images and worship religiously for the appropriate reward …and offering of Naivedya blesses a devotee immensely
Now the sages request monk Suta about the number of phallic images, a devotee should worship so that devotion fulfills all wishes. Suta tells that a devotee should make an earthen image and thereafter, properly worship it religiously or else he will not get the most wanted results. If images based on desires are many, each one needs worship right from its invocation, installation and worship, and therefore, the results will benefit. For wealth, a devotee should make five hundred earthen phallic images, for a son one thousand and for good clothes etc. five hundred images. Similarly, for salvation the number of earthen images so made is ten million, for acquiring land one thousand images are required and three thousand for obtaining mercy and two for a holy temple.
He further tells about the making of images of clay for a person, who wishes friends, power of control and death of someone and so, the japa. If a man does it, as the sage suggests his wishes will stand fulfilled if he worships properly. For each, separate earthen phallic image will serve the devotee. Danger from thieves, robbers and evil spirits will not hurt and harm if a devotee worships images correctly. To become fearless and avoid imprisonment worship an image, and for the blessing to have sons and daughters make images and pray, he tells. Worship of images can bestow prosperity and splendeur Vishnu and Shiva enjoy. Worship of images is good otherwise, in idleness it is waste of life. Suta continues to speak on a variety of desires and the number of earthen phallic images required for worship. To attain identity with Shiva is possible through worship.
One should learn proper scriptural method and then worship. Lingams are of three types – Excellent, normal and inferior i.e. uttama, madhyama and nikrista which should have proper height, and should look beautiful. Everybody has a right to worship earthen phallic image. The Vedas approve worship of phallic image. Phallic image and its worship symbolise the entire universe and it frees human beings from the sludge of sufferings. Men of the world are ignorant, worldly desires make them blind, and so worship of phallic image protects from destruction.
Vishnu, Brahma, gods and celestial beings, demons, siddhas, gandharavas, nagas, garudas, Manus, Prajapatis, kinnars etc. worship and attain fulfillment of desires. Brahmins, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras to obtain desired rewards, religiously and devotedly worship phallic images. Suta speaks about the glory and dimensions of fruit the devotees of earthen phallic images acquire, which are limitless and infinite in bestowing blessing. Even as the devotee adheres to the scriptural dictates of worshipping the earthen phallic image of Shiva, he ought to chant the five-syllable mantra. One must put mark of tripundra and wear rudraksa etc. for the fulfillment of wishes.
Blessed are those devotees, who worship Shiva ardently so the great monk emphasises the significance of offering of eatables – the Naivedya and leaves of bilva or bill tree, considered as a symbol of Shiva also. A devotee of Shiva should be pure, clean and pious and perform rites and as such, naivedya eliminates sins. If one takes naivedya, it blesses in plenty, eating makes one identical with Shiva, and it is the most sacred and blissful, for naivedya makes the house sacred. One should take naivedya immediately and disinclination to eat, makes one a great sinner. Similarly, naivedya offered to the phallic image also blesses.
To share naivedya of Shiva and to install lingas gods, siddhas and others is sacred, bestows divine blessing, and if one eats the remains of food offered to gods, it controls and quells sins. To drink water after the ceremonial ablutions destroys sins. He tells sages that bilva is an image of Shiva and gods worship and adore it. One can know its greatness to some extent but not the whole of it. Under the root of bilva tree is the holy centre, one should know. To worship Mahadeva in the form of lingam at the roots of bilva is good for a devotee, for very soon, he attains Shiva. To take bath at the root is the holiest karma and it pleases the lord. To worship the root of bilva, brings happiness and prosperity to the family.
Lit a lamp at the root of bilva and it blesses with the knowledge of truth that helps devotee merge into Shiva. To worship bilva means to get rid of sins. To feed devotee at the root of bilva is tremendously rewarding. To make a gift of rice cooked in milk to a devotee brings riches.
Continued to Next Page