Shiva Purana: Vayaveeya Samhita (2) - 4

As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 139

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Natural power – the great Shakti is wisdom and knowledge, the supreme, a symbol of Shiva, and Shakti another reflection…Shiva is intellect and wisdom and manifestation of virtues and karmas and Shakti is maya…the truth and untruth and is delusory…the cause of all causes is Shaktimanshakti and Shaktiman are inseparable

Monk Upamanyu continued and told Krishna that the natural power – Shakti (known as desire, knowledge, karmas, delusory power – maya, flames of fires) of the great lord is vidya – wisdom and knowledge, which is supreme and amazing and it expresses itself in many ways like the light of sun, which is one but spreads around in different ways. The great Shakti gave birth to purusasSadashiva, Iswara, Vidyaeshwara and the great Prakriti. The great tattva and deities Brahmas in images took birth from this shakti the ubiquitous and pervasive as illumination and bliss, and so with the symbol of moon on head, it is Shaktiman.

Shiva, he told Krishna is intellect and wisdom, the shrutis, the smritis, the Vedas, firmness, stability, faith, power of knowledge and regulation, wish and power of karmas. Para and Apara are two vidyas – pure vidya and pure kala and this is function of Shakti. Shakti symbolises and expresses maya, prakriti, jivas, imperfection, vikriti – distortion, sat and asat (truth and untruth). Shakti turns delusory when it enchants and ensnares created beings and then, grants freedom caringly from bondages. Wise men tell that Shakti is of twenty-seven kinds through whom the lord of lords Shiva pervades the entire universe.

A genuine devotee attains Mukti if he surrenders at the feet of the lord. In ancient times, some sages nursed desire of salvation. They deliberated for a long time and asked certain basic questions about life and reality. The questions were quite normal – What the ultimate reason of this world is. Who presides over the destiny of man? Questions about birth, life and death, happiness and suffering and the situation in life disturbed or a disturbed life. Who is the deity? What is the cause of joy and happiness? Who is responsible for the system? Such fundamental questions arose in a long discourse. Soul is conscious and subject to joy and misery but is unfit to control or rule what happens. After long reflections, the meditating wise men realised that the shakti is the lord, the destroyer of pasas – bondages but present gunas as concealed pasas. When one cuts asunder the cords of burden of sins, one can visualise the great Shaktiman, the lord, the cause of all causes as divine eyes helps.

He is unknowable but through Shakti, one learns that he is the cause who presides over time and soul, and thus, a great truth is revealed. People of pure hearts, the Vedas tell, who experience presence of shakti and Shiva find eternal peace. Shakti and Shaktiman are inseparable the monk told the great Yadu. Grace and humility make intended salvation accessible and finally one reaches one’s destination, the deliverance. It does not matter if one is god or asura, an animal or a beast or a bird, an insect or microbe or bug, one attains liberation through the lord’s grace. Divine grace causes release from all the pasas in whatever stage a man or any being lives because the most generous and kindhearted lord cleanses devotees and his pasus from different nature of inner and outer filth and sins. Even devotion is a grace and blessing of lord and so man should not harbour delusion because one cannot attain joy and deliverance in a single birth.

Lord Maheswara is happy with people not enamoured of worldly pleasures but who adhere to the principles as enshrined in Srutis and Smritis and so attain siddhis. If lord is happy, he causes devotion in individual’s consciousness and then, he begins to evince interest in penance and sattvic rites and in due course of devotion gains strength. Therefore, the grace confers liberation and so the soul enjoys divine bliss. Service has three dimensions of mind, speech and body. When one meditates on Shiva, it is mental service. Japa and incantation of mantras is vocal tune-up and the rites and rituals of worship constitute physical service. The threefold service is also termed as sacred ceremony relating to Shiva.

Shiva categorises the great Atma in five classes, namely: penance – tapa, sacred rituals – karmas, incantation of mantras – japa, meditation and knowledge. To worship ‘lingam’ is karma. To observe fast Chandrayana is tapa. However, it should be noted that it is worship of Shiva’s image whether lingam or phallic or names of Shiva or meditation on Shiva. It is tapa or incantation of name of Shiva is japa. Deliberation on Shiva again is meditation. Knowledge and wisdom that finds mention in Saivite Agamas. The wise men used the word knowledge. Shiva narrated wisdom of Saivite Agamas to Shiva with a feeling of mercy and pity for those who are Shiva’s devotees and seek refuge at his holy feet. This knowledge is the sole basis of ultimate wellbeing. A wise man who wants welfare should keep aside and discard objects of sensual pleasures, and bring more intensity and strength in devotion to Shiva.
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