Shiva Purana: Vayaveeya Samhita (2) - 10

As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 146

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The glory of the five-syllable mantra is infinite, the great monk told…its initiation and learning through a preceptor.

Now the lord tells goddess Parvati as to how a devotee should be initiated to the learning of mantra through a guru and in what way one ought to do japa etc. Without the initiation of a guru japa, rituals, belief and dakshina to the him, prove futile. Japa needs proper practice, faith and holy rites. Guru knows the principles of japa, worship etc and is devoted to virtues and tapa and can initiate a devotee properly mentally and physically. Financially healthy devotee satisfies the preceptor and can give him elephants, horses etc in dakshina. He, who wants siddhi must not be miserly. He should collect all material of worship, offer it to the preceptor, and then with purity of heart and mind acquire knowledge and mantra. He should be egoless and observe fast as required. Guru in purity of heart and mind should ask the devotee to do japa of mantra in loud voice repeatedly and at last, he should bless the disciple and wish him a good future as devotee of lord and goddess.

After getting teaching from the guru, he should meditate on mantra until he attains perfection. The lord speaks of five kinds of Japa and the significance and glory of meditation, and emphasises the importance of rosary and use of fingers during counting. The appropriateness of direction and place is also essential. He speaks on certain aspects, which should not create obstruction in Japa while he tells of good conduct and faith and later, the great lord underlines the special merits and virtues of five-syllable mantra and thus, delights the great goddess. Therefore, the great monk told in brief what Shiva told Parvati about the virtues of five-syllable mantra.

At last monk Upamanya told, “O Krishna, thus, the trident-bearing Mahadeva for the wellbeing and benefit of the three worlds, spoke about the procedure and rituals a devotee of pure heart should follow to attain siddhi in five-syllable mantra. Listening and narrating the great tale and its context with feelings of devotion liberates a man from the bondages of sins and so he attains moksa.”

Guru is the lord, who truly initiates a disciple to the right path through wisdom and knowledge after cautiously scrutinising the potential of disciple. He, who is guru, is Shiva, he, who is Shiva is Guru as knowledge, and wisdom, the great sage Upamanyu tells Krishna.

Now, the great monk explains the mode of holy consecration that destroys sins. It is essential because it destroys sins and the influence of purification authorises devotee to pray and worship superbly. It is sanctifying of six paths, which finally lead a devotee to deliverance. Purification leads to knowledge and it destroys bondage of pasa. Sanskara is initiation to Shiva, the great Atma desires in Shivagama. It is threefold – Shiva, Shakti and mantra Upamanyu told Krishna. A mere sight, touch and talk of preceptor cause awakening in a soul and quell bondages through initiation whether it is intense or a little less. Intense initiation leads to total siddhi and peace. That, which destroys sins, is intense initiation. Guru of yogic potential enters the body of disciple and through knowledge he initiates and it is Shakti. Mantra form of initiation is external and guru does it at the altar - the yajna kund. Shakti causes purity, vidya and right conduct and leads to deliverance if initiation is correct.

A guru must scrutinise the man he plans to initiate. Wicked man needs purification and consecration either through knowledge or through rites before he imparts any knowledge. Shakti is a symbol of bliss, radiance and enlightenment. Preceptor, the guru brings changes in the mind of disciple only when he imparts knowledge properly after testing the strength and caliber of disciple. To initiate a disciple to the eternal knowledge is the sacred duty of preceptor and it happens only when preceptor is true and holds the purity that makes him Shiva. Disciple’s conduct ought to enhance prestige of guru.

Guru is Shiva and he, who is Shiva is Guru in indistinguishable form of knowledge and wisdom. Therefore, knowledge is guru and Shiva – the great preceptor, the greatest Atma. Worship of Shiva, knowledge and guru grants equal bliss and reward, a disciple should understand. One naturally expects that guru gets absolute respect from persons or disciples, who are pure in heart, and are not malicious and jealous and serve guru with purity and clarity of intellect, heart and lexis. To worship guru is a path to liberation for he is the lord, his house is the temple, and so he is the destroyer of sins. Even sinful or vicious thoughts will not help a disciple, for he should know that guru is the lord, and lord is the guru – knowledge and wisdom.

Monk Upamanyu continued to dwell on the nature of disciple and preceptor for a long time as Shiva had told. If disciple does what delights the preceptor and serves in totality and is ever dedicated, conscious of duties and adheres to principles of worship, prayer and sanctity of mind, body and heart, and serves preceptor, he is a true disciple. On the other hand, if the guru, the preceptor is wise, intelligent, virtuous in words, acts and initiation and is competent to illuminate ‘the inner self’ of disciple with bliss and perfect delight, he understands reality even as he stays attached to the great lord Shiva, and thus, he can definitely lead a disciple to salvation.

Therefore, purity and virtuous conduct – inner or outer, is equally required from the disciple and the guru. Thus, genuine prayer and worship after consecration is the principle of generating true knowledge that is bliss. Bliss, illumination or realisation of the great lord, ‘the self’ comes to him, who adheres to the principles. Only the knower of principles one considers as liberated and the medium of freedom also because he knows scriptures also. Only the wise can impart knowledge, light and bliss. Disciples, who wish moksa serve the preceptor rightly. If preceptor fails, it is better, the disciple chooses another guru of knowledge and wisdom but it is disrespect to the teacher, the guru.

Therefore, it is good to serve reverently the preceptor spiritually, orally and physically and make genuine and pure efforts to please him. Guru is father, mother, brother etc. and in truth everything and hence, disciple should offer whatever he can as dakshina and gifts. It is surrendering of ‘the self’ and a sense of belonging to the guru because he surrenders and so he believes in Shiva as guru, and therefore, dedicates to him, and finally, he will be free from the rebirth. A teacher should watch a brahmin disciple for one year, ksatriya for two years and a vaisya for three years, and so the guru shall give command and control disciples and ask to give up life or wealth. He shall also assign duties, as he desires ignoring caste and class.

If guru reprimands or punishes disciples, and they still respect and serve it is a good sign that disciples are disciplined, pure and observe control over ‘the self’ and hence they deserve consecration based on Shiva’s rituals. Disciples ought to be non-violent, full of compassion, kind, active and alert, egoless and sans conceit, wise without thought of rivalry, soft and gentle, humble etc. Only good qualities and virtues should determine their conduct. Consecration of women devotees on the consent of husbands is correct.

Similarly, a widow needs consent of sons, a virgin requires father’s assent and so in fact, everyone irrespective of caste and class can be a devotee if he nurses pious feelings for Shiva and then, purification is not much of a problem. In fact, of whatever caste or class he or she belongs to, if she or he is a true devotee consecration is a way out and that is no obstacle, the monk told but they must have firm faith in Shiva. Anasuya left husband Atri, propitiated Shiva through intense penance and attained him, and Draupati worshiped Narayana, delighted him and attained Pandavas as husbands. Consecration rites do not differ. Even a reverent glimpse, touch or word of a preceptor gives comfort to the disciple and thus, the guru never fails.

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