Shiva Purana: Shat Rudra Samhita - 6

As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 106

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Incarnation of Shiva as Sureshwara illuminates and gratifies, and if a man serves man and humanity bereft of ego and pride, appropriate rewards greet and enrich him, for nothing moves without the consent of lord Shiva…tapa and meditation of monk Upamanyu

The legend of incarnation of Shiva as Sureshwara is interesting.

Upamanyu had undergone tapa in previous life and attained perfection – siddhi, and after an age, he had appeared as son of a monk and continued to live with the brother of his mother in a jungle. Once he was hungry and demanded milk, which mother could not provide. She told him that whatever a man got in this life was collective return of what a man had done in previous life.

“One does not get anything without the generosity and compassion of Shiva.” A great truth stood revealed.

It was wrong to think that a man was free to get anything. If the lord does not wish, nothing happens, a created being ought to understand the eternal truth and so serve humankind sans ego and arrogance and should have faith in the Supreme.

He heard and thought, and went to Himalaya for undergoing severe tapa, built a small temple with eight bricks, established lingam and invoked the presence of goddess Parvati and began meditation and chanted mantra of five letters. Intensity of tapa caused turmoil in heavens and the heat of tapa, disturbed gods. They appeared before lord Shiva and sought relief. Later, Shiva, Parvati and the gods of heavens appeared before the devotee. Shiva in the guise of Indra used humiliating and disparaging language for lord Shiva and it infuriated child devotee Upamanyu, who released a terrific weapon Aghorastra at Indra.

Later, the great god revealed identity and blessed Upamanyu, kissed devotee’s temple and said, “O child, I am your father and goddessParvati is the mother. I confer on you the essence of eternity.” He smelt the forehead of the devotee and told Parvati, “He is your son.” After equipping the boy with the wealth of eternity, comforts, celestial environment and sagely psyche, he told, “O son, I shall live in this ashrama forever.” This tale gratifies and tells man to concentrate on lord Shiva, the source of eternal divine joy.

He further told that Durvasa and his disciples arrived at the ashrama of pandavas and wanted food. The warriors were worried as they had no food in the cottage. At that time, Krishna came to assist. The sage advised Arjuna to meditate on holy lingam. A daitya disturbed but the lord appeared as Bheel and killed daitya Mooka disguised as sukra. The lord put the warrior to test but he recognised the lord, who bestowed on him the great divine weapon Pasupaata, he continued.

Here, Durvasa told Arjuna to meditate on Shiva’s lingam that made an astonishing narration of an ancient marvel, and Shiva revealed the supreme design when the lord threw light on future events. In the forest of Dvaitvana when Pandavas were spending time in exile, at that time, sage Durvasa along with ten thousand disciples came to the place and requested Pandavas to provide food. It was difficult for the warriors and so they thought to abandon life. Draupadi, to escape from the predicament remembered Krishna and the lord appeared and satisfied the hunger of monks.

Krishna advised Pandavas to meditate on Shiva. Vyasa taught Arjuna the way to worship lingam. He suggested him to go to Indrakeel mountain and meditate on riverbank Jahanvi and told, “O great warrior, stick to the laws of dharma and you will attain supreme siddhi and therefore, you need not think of anything else.”

Arjuna intense tapa proved a divine gift and the lord conferred on him divine radiance and it assured victory to Pandavas when they looked at Arjuna and recalled blissful utterances of sage Vyasa. Arjuna took leave of Draupati, and elders and with a heavy heart went to the mountain, and underwent severe tapa. Intense self-punishment and tapa disturbed emissaries of lord of gods Indra. Spies thought that the man in meditation appeared, perhaps – a god, a sage, Surya or lord of Fire – they told Indra. Indra learnt through insight about the incident and wanted to put Arjuna to test in the guise of an old brahmin. He was happy at the determination of Arjuna, taught him mantra of lord Sankara, and permitted him to meditate and later, blessed and went to heaven. After Indra left, Arjuna began tapa to attain the objective.

Arjuna was engaged in tapa and meditation. The gods of heavens were amazed and so, wanted to enquire from Shiva. He dispelled doubts and went back. At that time, a daitya Mooka appeared to disturb tapa of Arjuna, created noise, uprooted trees, and destroyed everything. He enjoyed delusory powers and had come on the direction of Duryodhana. Arjuna noticed but thought of Shiva and also made quick appraisal of strength of daitya. Shiva in the guise of Bheel appeared with the intent to protect Arjuna. A fierce looking sukra – a pig, created immense noise and reached there. Shiva killed him and thus, saved his devotee.

Later, an argument ensued and as usual, the lord of delusory powers wanted to put Arjuna to test and therefore, a short war began, for Arjuna had not recognised the lord disguised as Kirata, an incarnation of Shiva. When Arjuna recognised, he praised the lord profusely, pleased him and later, Shiva blessed, bestowed the divine weapon Pasupaata and said, “O son, I bless you with a divine weapon. I would make you invincible. Go and if there is war, you will be victorious. I will also tell Krishna to help you because he is my image, and accomplishes any work I want. O Bharata, with blessings, you enjoy comforts and pleasures of kingdom without obstruction and assist Yudhistra so that he continues to perform acts based on principles of dharma.”

Arjuna with a devotional heart continued to keep Shiva in mind and heart and happily returned to the ashrama, met elders and felt assured of the victory against wicked forces, the army of Kauravas. Period of exile was almost complete and so they thought of imminent victory in case of war.

Krishna learnt about the return of Arjuna and so he came to the ashrama and said, “I had told you that lord Sankara destroys sufferings of devotees. I always worship and serve him. Therefore, you should also worship  benevolent lord and meditate on him.” Arjuna nodded at the wise counsel of Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu.

Now, Nandi happily narrated the tales of holy tirthas where the devotees found temples of Lingam – an image of lord Shiva, which granted peace, harmony, prosperity and salvation to devotees and therefore, he also spoke about the coming up of tirthaAtrishwara and Nandikesa when the lord situated ‘the self’ at the place even while a devotee Riska delighted the lord.

Nandishwara continued to sing hymns of glories of Shiva, the creator and the guardian of devotees. He later, spoke about the omnipresent ‘avataras’ of lord Sankara, who blessed creation in different forms and provided pleasures of life on earth and beyond and also showed devotees the path to deliverance. He feelingly told about the illuminating lingam established and situated at – Somanatha (Saurastra), Malikarjuna at Sri Shail, Mahakaal (Ujjain), Amareshwara at Onkara, Kedarnatha, Bhimsankara at Dakini, Triyamkeshwara at riverbank Gautami, Vaidyanatha at Chintabhumi, Visvanatha at Kashi, Ghumeshwara at Shivalaya, Rameshwara at Setu. Even a touch of holy lingams bestowed on men pleasures of the world and prayers granted peace and harmony. A devotee, who worshipped lingams at different holy places, led him to moksa and so, freed him from all the sins he told. To worship at the temples of lingams – the images of Shiva blessed devotees he affirmed. He spoke about the greatness and glory lingam’s worship and its immense blessings.

Nandi spoke of twelve lingams situated at different holy places and after understanding the curiosity of the monk, told monk Sanatkumara, “O monk, lord Shambhu has twelve incarnations. Mere glimpses and touch of lingams at the temples provide immense pleasure.” Worship of Somanatha, an incarnation of Shiva situated in Sourashtra destroys many ailments and bestows on devotees joys of life. Prayer and worship of lingam at Shail blesses a devotee with joy of a son and contentment and at last, blesses devotees with comforts and moksa. Mahakala the third incarnation protects devotees from any danger. Once, asura Dushana of Ratanmal tried to disturb and hurt Ved, a devotee of Shiva and at that time, on the prayers of Ved, the lord appeared and destroyed the wicked asura – a daitya. On the prayers of gods, the lord happily situated ‘lingam’ at Mahakala for devotees. Prayers at the holy place fulfill all wishes and grant deliverance.

Onkara is the fourth incarnation that blesses devotees with the fulfillment of most cherished desires. On the prayers of gods of heavens, it divided itself into two – one part as lingamOnkareshwara and the other part Paramshwara blesses devotees. Darshana – glimpse of either of the two lingams grants fulfillment of desires. Fifth lingam situated at Kedar Nara-Narayana Jyotiralingam fulfills wishes of devotees. He spoke about the sixth incarnation at Dakini is Bheemsankara lingam after the great lord Sankara killed an asura Bheem. Visveshwara lingam is at Kashi where all the gods, Shiva and Bhairava worship. Chandershekhar is the eighth incarnation at riverbank of Gautami the lord agreed to situate lingam on the prayers of sage Gautama. Mere touch of lingam fulfills all desires of devotees. Ninth incarnation is Vaidyanatha Ravana brought and established. Mere darshana and worship bestows pleasures and moksa. Tenth incarnation is Nageshwara came up for the protection of devotees. He often punished wicked people. Lord Shiva had killed a rakasas at Daruka who worked against laws of dharma. Eleventh incarnation is Rameshwaram and it is very dear to lord Rama situated at Setubandh where Rama worshiped Shiva before marching to Lanka to rescue Sita. After the war, lord Rama killed Ravana. Lingam situated at Rameshwaram is incomparable and a devotee attains Kaivalysa moksa – realisation of ‘the self’ or return of the soul to the source. Sankara’s twelfth incarnation is Ghumeshwara. To bless devotee Ghusma the lord situated ‘the self’ on a mountain in the south near a lake. Sudeha had killed son of Ghusma and therefore, to get life for the son, he had meditated on lord Shiva. Lord blessed him and later, situated ‘the self’ as lingam. Thus, lord Nadishwara narrated the significance of twelve divine Jyotirlingams to monk Sanatkumara that grant liberation from sins to bhaktas and provide joy, delight and moksa.

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More by :  P C K Prem

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