Shiva Purana: Uma Samhita - 4

As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 116

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Parvati’s questions about death and its truth…the signs of imminent death …essence of Panchabhutas – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether – akasa

Later, monk Sanatkumara recalls the words of goddess Parvati after he had given description of islands, different lokas and Manus and Manavantaras, the probable wars and the consequences and had spoken about the mortal body and nature of women. She was amply satisfied after she heard divine and legendary tales from lord Shiva and now she saluted the lord and told him that she had learnt about the opinion of the lord. She had known how the devotees should worship the great lord. Now, she had doubts about the wheel of time.

She asked, “O lord what are the signs of death when it is near? What is the truth of death?” Thereafter, the lord spoke about the signs of imminent death, which a man must not ignore.

Suddenly, the body grows white or yellow and appears red. Mouth, ears, eyes and tongue become still. When a man does not feels the warmth of nearness of Surya, Moon or fire and everything looks dark, one should know that the death will come within six months and when the left hand of the man trembles for a week then, one should know that the death would occur within a month. He continued to hint at the weakening of different limbs of body, which were not good signs. Each limb signals inevitable death if one observes it in a sick man, and also notices its movements or stirs in the ailing body in a different and unusual agonising way. Even the world outside appears different and it appears that the sun, the moon and the stars seem to have lost shine even when one looks at the planets. At that time, he does not have the knowledge of directions. Slowly, he fails to have glimpses of the sky clearly and even fails to see his image in a bowl of oil and so gradually, the world outside appears dull and sans radiance.

When Parvati probes further, lord Shiva dwells on the solution to win over death and lays emphasis on yoga, for nobody can overwhelm or win over death. However, men of meditation and yoga secure victory over death easily and then, he talks about the essence of Panchbhutas. Cosmic quest of the world and beyond starts from the point of panchabhutas – five elements, which then manifest in an enjoining manner to form the life force and then, later, the five elements disintegrate to ensure a celestial traverse at the Paramanu (atom) level. Five elements are – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether – akasa.

Thereafter the lord speaks about the yogi and his yogic life, who later enjoys the glimpses of echo of word Brahma and it means he has won over ensnaring death and as such, he moves freely in the world and attains all siddhis. Therefore, he continues to speak about the mystery of word…only a yogi can understand the meaning and divine influence of the word, the word that defies voice, shape or image. When a perfect yogi enjoys the divinity infused impact of the word, he appears as if dead and later understands that the word is of nine kinds and appears in the form of echo-a kind of transcendental sound, and it is the cause of purification of soul – ‘the self’, the inner world of man, where feelings of existence of body disappear.

The divine echo – the celestial sound is the destroyer of all diseases. The godly echo overwhelms, mesmerises mind and heart, and attracts. The echoing sounds emerging out of copper stills the movement of created beings and do not doubt that it controls and keeps in custody poison, ghosts and other grahas. The third divine echo, the sound is Shring Naad and the fourth is Ghanta Naad. Lord Shiva creates the sound and is the most sacred and divine echo that attracts all gods of heavens because it is call of Shiva and now, what to talk of human beings who feel blessed the moment they listen to the divine sound, the Ghanta Naad.

All the daughters of yaksas and gandharavas are attracted toward the divine sound and bestow on yogi the great siddhi he aspires for and therefore, undergoes severe tapa and the celestial daughters, thereafter, fulfill other desires of yogi. The fifth echo is Veena Naad, which the yogis listen and enjoy. It gives power of foresight and the yogi attains perfection and understands the supreme essence. Dundhubhi frees the devotee from the suffering diseases and death cause, the lord told goddess Parvati. Yogi who understands the substance of echo of Sankha – the Sankhnaad attains the power to transform into any other being. A yogi who is perfect in Meghanaada confronts no adversity. He, who concentrates on Brahma – the very soundthe Brahma-shabad – its tunkar – the transcendental echo that not only purifies and but also infuses vital energy and for such a yogi, everything is attainable, and at last, he attains the most wanted siddhi and so transforms into desired beings and moves around freely and therefore, no imperfection can ever control him. In truth, he is Shiva and so do not doubt, he told goddess.

Thus, lord Shiva expounded the significance of nine kinds of divine sounds that guide human beings on to the path of salvation. On the request of goddess Parvati he spoke about the yogic meditation that grants the power to secure victory over death and ultimately grants immortality to the yogis. A yogi, who wants victory over death, must know to take control of death and time through the control of life breath. Control over vayu – air, leads a yogi to attain siddhi. He must know to control unsteady mind and so sit with a concentrated mind at the convenient place and …so the great lord continued to tell goddess of different yogic exercises, concentration of mind and the ways to do them properly, so that he achieves victory of death. 

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More by :  P C K Prem

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