Shiva Purana: Vayaveeya Samhita (2) - 7

As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 142

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A devotee of Shiva ought to live a life of discipline, restrain, cultivate right conduct with purity of mind and heart, meditate on the great lord, seek grace, and approach knowledge of lord in all humility and also respect laws of life scriptures lay down…japa of five-syllable mantra is Vedic Dharma

Learned monk continued to praise the infinite virtues, delusory powers, compassion, and spirit of generosity, the lord demonstrates toward devotees with a genuine heart of purity. As the great lord told goddess, he intimated Krishna of different ashramas, the duties and obligations-dharma of women, hymns in praise of Shiva and their significance, and about true meditation. When he spoke of authorised devotees, he meant those who are detached and away from the bondages of life and existence, and concentrate on the feet of lord, he told. It is between bhakti and rituals. A devotee must perform a few sacred rituals before he meditates. It is difficult but lord’s blessings are certain. A devotee must take bath three times a day and perform rites relating to fire and worship of lingam. To give dana is sacred and he should have sacred love for the lord, compassion for all, and observe truth in words and acts. The qualities of contentment, faith in god, non-violence and modesty are very important for a devotee.

A devotee should study scriptures, practice yoga and frequently impart knowledge to others, evince interest in self-study, observe brahmacharya…and so on. Monk Upamanyu continued to talk of a disciplined and dedicated life of a devotee, who should concentrate on the lord and stay pious, pure and clean in acts, words and conduct in all fields of life. He must abandon things of pleasure and joys not conducive to the attainment of salvation, which is possible only if he meditates on lord bereft of all material attachments. Life of restraint, purity and utmost discipline leads a devotee to moksa with the blessing of Shiva, he told Krishna briefly.

A devotee should avoid wine, stimulants, and even aroma of Naivedya. He told of the qualities of men of Yoga to Krishna. Forbearance, quietude, contentment, truth, non-violence and non-stealing, knowledge of lord, brahmacharya and detachment to worldly joys are necessary. He should use Bhasma – a symbol of absolute abandonment. Men in Vanaprastha ashrama ought to adhere to these virtues. Ksatriyas and vaisyas should avoid teaching and should not accept gifts, and stay away from presiding over yajnas, which are functions of brahmins.

Protection of all varnas, slaughter of enemies in war, control of wicked birds, beasts and vicious men are essential. To guard the good among birds and animals and men is good. Distrust in all men irrespective of the virtues is a quality of ksatriyas. A ksatriya must look into the conduct of everyone before any action, he further told. A ksatriya ought to have faith in yogis and go to bed with his woman on right occasion. Maintenance of army and keeping oneself well informed about everything going on in the state including spreading network of spies are also his functions, for he is a symbol of king’s functions. Thus, he dwelt upon the functions of warrior race as Shiva told Parvati.

He clearly defined the task of vaisyas that included rearing up of animals, commercial functions and agricultural activities. To take care and look after other varnas is the function of Sudra. Then, he talked about the dharma of a householder. Celibacy is dharma of vanaprastha, yogis and brahmacharis. For women, to serve husband is the dharma. If husband gives consent, a woman can worship the lord, he told goddess. A woman, who observes fast, discards service of her man, goes to hell.

To observe fast, dana, tapa, penance, purity, lying on the ground and take food at night, to live as a celibate and take ash bath, water bath, to stay silent and be quiet, to forgive and to distribute food to beings properly is dharma of a widow. Further, to observe fast on sacred occasions (Astami, Chaturdasi, Purnima and Ekadesi) and worship the lord is the dharma of widows. The great lord thus told Parvati of the eternal virtues of men of different stages and castes and purposely of brahmins, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras, yogis, recluses, celibates, vanaprasthas, householders, women and widows. The Vedas contain the above duties the lord spoke. The lord told goddess to concentrate on him always. To chant five-syllable mantra is gist of the Vedas and the true import of great dharma. Blessed devotees, who are conscious of lord’s image are beyond the limits of duties and for them, deep concentration and refuge are inessential.

Brahma and other gods have origin in injunctions the lord issues and so Brahma’s decrees make beings act. Piety, sanctity and obeying lord’s decree eliminate sins. Devotees may face transitory suffering and fears, pressure of hard work and perspiration but soon, they enjoy bliss. Learned men ought to revere Rudras and never show contempt as if they were ordinary human beings. If confused wise men humiliate Rudras, it is dangerous and loss of glory, longevity, family and ideal conduct and therefore, these faults cause downfall – a sure path to hell.

All great souls are subject to the verdict of lord. None can disturb the region of the great lord. Brahma, Vishnu, Indra etc may be great souls but face destruction. Richness in Buddhi, Prakriti and Purusa is contaminated, he told. Whatever may be the technique, if one fixes mind on the lord, it is a path to attain wellbeing of people.

Upmanyu clearly told that gist of wisdom of Shiva, the great lord, the great Atmas talked about is for the welfare of the created beings and the worlds. What the Vedas, the Sastras, the Itihasas, the Puranas and other vidyas and legends tell constitute interpretation and essential substance of perfect knowledge. The explication has six wings – knowledge or wisdom, the knowable, the deity, the authority, deep contemplation and the object of meditation. One gains knowledge from the guru. Knowable is pasu, pasa and pati. Lingam is the deity so worship this image of the great lord. Authorised to worship is a devotee. Meditation on Shiva’s mantra – the five-syllable mantra is blissful. Sadhya – the object of meditation is Shiva and so through these paths one attains absolute essence.

He, who feels blessed with lord’s nectar like wisdom and is devoted to the lord, has nothing to do whether outside or inside. Therefore, abandon internal and external karmas and attain through knowledge the great deity. A focused mind – concentration on the lord has no use for karmas. If one is interested in the inner and not the outer working, then the noble soul should not worship externally. If mind is not concentrated on the great lord, then, it is of no use to perform requisite rituals. Concentration of mind is necessary and rites are just secondary or of no use. So fixing the mind on the great lord, the devotees will have the joy of supreme bliss. Chanting of mantraOm Namah Shivaya’ leads to attainment of Siddhis, the monk told.

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More by :  P C K Prem

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