Shiva Purana: Kailasa Samhita - 2

As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 123

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Sage Vyasa speaks reverentially about Shiva-tattva as contained in Kailasa Samhita and narrates the sacred conversation that takes place among – the sages and Vyasa, Shiva-Parvati

Devotion to the lord and goddess is cause of supreme bliss, for the divine couple is the cause of creation, preservation and destruction. Sage Vyasa told that the sages, who undertook tapa, later went to Varanasi. Sages at Kasi built up different temples in the region and took bath in the holy Ganges, completed all religious rites, performed tarpana and offered oblation to gods on riverbank holy Ganges. Sages, the learned men of the Vedas, went to Visvesa, the lord of gods. They eulogised, prayed, worshipped, chanted mantras, and thus, delighted the Supreme lord Shiva, for they realised, he only bestowed divine blessings. In extreme ecstasy, they continued to concentrate at the feet of Shiva. After a man completes visit to the holy regions around Kashi PanchkrosiAvimukta region, it grants deliverance to not only the bhaktas but also to ordinary men, for the very glimpses and visits to the temples, prayers and worship purified bodies and souls they believed.

Sage Suta had returned in the meantime. He was very happy to find sages lost in devotion. When they noticed arrival of Suta, a devotee of Shiva and a disciple of sage Vyasa, they greeted and paid reverential tributes to the great sage, the storehouse of perfect and supreme wisdom and knowledge. They knew he was the chief Pauranika – the knower of ancient scripture, the puranas, and a scholar and treasure of the wisdom of Puranas, the sacred books that explained the essence of the Vedas. The Vedas originate from Pranav, who is Shiva (life force, the breath and life-giver – infuser of prana or breath), a cosmic sound that turns into resonance, a mantra, a sign of yogaOm or Aum is symbolic of yoga…it is without form or shape, the infinite, anonymous and mysterious.

Therefore, the sages sang hymns of glories of Ganesha, Kartikeya, Maheswari, Nandi and holy sages. Sage Vyasa wanted sages of sacred Naimisha forest to pay obeisance before the lord. The inquisitive sage wanted to know the essence of Shiva’s knowledge and the principle of devotion to Shiva. The questions of merger of Atma (the soul) and the goddess arise, and so the lord went to the celestial garden with goddess, and at the holy place, the lord began the sacred discourse on the Vedas. It was between Shiva and Parvati. The discourse, in fact, was for the wellbeing of the worlds and created beings. She felt fulfilled and asked about the Pranava and Mantras, deities, the concept of the Vedas, nature of rites and the consequence.

She asked about the five Brahmans, different arts, links of syllables and meaning, source of verbalisation etc. She wanted to know the relation of knower – the master of ‘the self’ and the known, nature and position of devotee’s adoration. Host of questions arose in the mind of the goddess about each particle, animate or inanimate, each creation, word, voice, sense or sound or its expression and the connotation and the language with all its qualities of matras, bindus and nada, which existed on earth. What essence it carried and why it was so? If an inquisitive mind learns about these subtle matters properly with a devoted heart, he merges with the Great Spirit and so the soul becomes Shiva, how it happens? To say that Om is a path to the creation of Universe, is also a question.

After one learns about Jnanayoga, Kriyayoga and Bhaktiyoga, one knows and comprehends about the Pranava, the fundamental constituent of creation, its meaning and essence and the outcome of deep reflection on Aum, an image of Shiva. Concentration frees a man from sufferings, a great truth stood revealed and thereafter, monk Suta narrated the tale of holy Purana

Pranava is the basic element, the seed, the amalgamation and corollary of diverse elements, the great Shiva, Pranava – for he is cause of the great lord as Nirguna, the Supreme lord. Simply put Pranava is ‘Meditation on mantra Om and it is pranava yoga, Upnishads, Gita and other scriptures say. It is Aum yoga and so, it is focusing mind on Aum, the great mantra, an image of Shiva, the blessed syllable, embodying Brahma, Absolute Reality and the state One attains when One establishes union with the breath. Objective is to liberate ‘the self’ from bondages of sufferings and restrictions, the snare of pasas.

The serious disquisition continued for the satisfaction of devotees – the brahmins, seers and sages. In the sacred, illustrious and exalted gathering of holy men, it was an exhaustive dissertation on the origin of everything. Sages searching and pointed questions regarding existence, and the meaningful dialogue in the forest of Naimisha had a definite rationale to know life and existence – ‘the self,’ the soul and the great Aum yoga.

A fervent conversation between Vamadeva and Skanda explains the essence of Shaivism – the essence of Shiva – the Shiva cult. Then, the glory and brilliance of time and its implication, life of trinity, creation and its life span including Brahma and Vishnu and then and prayers before Shiva and Parvati – the manifestation of celestial power as its delusory potency form part of the sacred depiction. These reveal glory, power and essence of Shiva-Shakti – the power of Shiva and Shiva, the goddess.

How Sati – Uma abandoned her body in a legendary yajna Daksa organised is part of the various delusory aspects of lord Shiva, which find adequate description elsewhere when Parvati decided to attend yajna after the marriage when the divine couple went and lived at Mountain Kailasa. Thereafter, it is yajna’s tale of destruction as arrogance of Daksa increased. He humiliated Shiva. Because of the act of haughtiness, conceit and ego of Daksa, one noticed, emergence of Virbhadra and Mahakali symbols of uncontainable fury of Shiva.

It caused immense destruction and so Daksa suffered but when he sought forgiveness and shelter, Shiva was generous. Thus, through the holy segment Kailasa Samhita of Shivapurana, one knows about the conversation sage Vyasa, Saunaka and the sages had, and then, the full significance of dialogue between the god and goddess Parvati reveals truth about life. It speaks about the right path to Sanyasa, the principles and conventions that govern life of an ascetic and the path to abandonment and denial, sanyasis – the ascetics espouse.

Mental worship of Shiva, interpretation and definition of Pranava along with instructions of Suta form another frame. Brahma Vamadeva and the course of action of a Sanyasi and Pranava in the image of Shiva form other sections of this Samhita. Shiva’s worship and Shiva’s principles, non-dualistic nature of Shiva, the life and daily routine of an ascetic take a learner further to the understanding of Purana properly. One learns about the disciple’s initiation, rules and denial-filled principles an acetic out to adhere to and spread, procedure of consecration and ablution and the rites necessary after the death of an ascetic.

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More by :  P C K Prem

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