1. Origins

2. Greatness of the classics

Taditam Saiva Maakhaatam - puraanam vedasammitam,

nirmitam tachhivenaiva - pradhamam brahmasammitam

A Shiva classic is the essence, of vedas still to come,

revealed by Shiva at first, later in short by Vyasa.

even before Brahma creating with the four vedas.

“Such intense classic Vedic stories of Shiva were initially authored by the Lord Himself and thus transparent to even Brahma.  The original hundred thousand verses, presented as twelve samhita, were shortened to twenty-four thousand verses and seven samhita by Vyasa.”

Saivam puraanam mamalam siva keerthitam tat,

vyaasena saiva pravanena cha sangraheetam,

sankhepata sakala jeeva gunopakaaram,

taapatrayagna matulam sivadam satam hi.

The classic of Shiva is by Shiva Himself,

written in short by Vyasa, a Shaivite

Developer of good in men and all,

remover of anxieties of the triad

“The classic, revealed by the Lord and free of all blemishes, is granted to Vyasa who is ever so respectful of Shaivites (Shiva followers).  Such a work promotes good qualities in all forms of existence that includes humans and other beings.  Furthermore, it helps in curbing the anxieties of the tapatrayas (triad) of physical (manifested experience), philosophical (mental view)  and causal (karmic consequence) nature.  There is no equal to this classic.  This is the one that gives mukti to the virtuous.”

3. Introducing Shiva, the four in one.

yato vaacha nivartante - apraapya manasa saha,

yasma tsarvamidam brahma - vishnurudrendra purvakam,

saha bhutendriaiha sarvaiha - pradhamam samprasooyate,

yesha devo mahaadevah - sarvajno jagadiswaraha,

rudro harirharaschaiva - tadhanyecha sureswarah,

bhakta paramaya tasya - nityam darshana kaanchinah.

Words follow mind, but return empty.

Before the trinity, the worlds, the five elements and the senses

there was only one, Lord of all

to whom ever so devoted are the trinity

with daily wish for His presence

“All chants and prayers offered out loud, return to be heard within, to reach the subtle eternal Lord  from whom emerged all that we know to be great, including Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara, Rudra, the five elements and the five indriya (senses).  This eternal Lord is none other than Sadashiva Parabrahma (absolute truth) whose appearance is much craved by Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara, Rudra and all. It is indeed Sadashiva Parabrahma that is behind all srishti (creation), sthiti (maintenance), laya (destruction), tirobhava (retain until next cycle) - performed as assigned duties by Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and Maheshwara.”

4. Listening, singing and contemplation

5. Importance of Worshipping Linga

6. Dispute between Brahma and Vishnu

śristihi sthitischa samhāra - sthiribhāvūpyanugraha,

yasmatratsavartate tasmai - brahmane cha triśuline.

The one that wombs all that exists in apocalypse,

The one shelters, caters and liberates,

is the master of the past, present and future!

“The trinity that oversees the creation, maintenance and destruction takes refuge in His womb at the time of the great ending.  It is He who protects all from extinction, fulfills everyone’s wishes and grants liberation.  The master of the trident, Sadashiva, is the One to whom we offer our prayers.”

asakya maniryadanugraham vina-

trunakshayopyatra yadruchhaya kvachit

Not one knows to affect any,

but only One is known to affect all.

“Without His wish, nothing can be done by anyone any time.  All things need Shiva’s grace.”

7. His words and His pardon

bhitva paataala nilayam - gatwaa durataram harihi,

naapasyattasya samsthaanam - sthambha syaanalavarchanah.

Down deep under goes the pillar of Fire,

How far low should Dharma stoop?

Tired and disinterested,

retires even the Lord that is everywhere.

“The pillar of fire went so far down through the nether world, way deep through all the hells that Vishnu lost interest in this expedition, became tired of it and His natural Dharma lordship returned Him to the start to search deep within the cause of His peril.”

8. Bhairava punishes Brahma

9. Greatness of the Shivaratri festival

 

sivaratra mahoratram - niraahaaro jitendriyah,

archayedva yadhaanyaayam - yadhabala mavanchakah,

yatphalam mamapujayaam - vardhamekam nirantaram,

tatphalam labhate sadyah - sivaratrau madarchanaat.

No sleep, no food for His great night,

Worship with all mind, in voice and in action,

yields the same as the daily ritual for a whole year.

“Whoever keeps a fast, stays awake, restrains the senses, with sincere mind, in all speech and all actions, worships Shiva to the best of ability, is granted the same benefit as doing a daily Shiva puja for a whole year.  Thus a whole year’s benefit can be gained in one day if Shivaratri is observed.”

matsaamam mekalingasya - sthaapane phalameeritam,

dviteeye sthaapite linge - madaikyam phalamevahi

Install once, live  like Him,

Install twice, feel like Him.

“If one Shiva Linga is installed according to scriptures, the benefit is that of living in Kailasha as Shiva Himself.  If one installs two, one would be as blissful as Shiva in Kailasha.”


10. His five major duties and mantra

11. Shiva Linga puja and Shiva nama japa

Peetha mambamayam sarvam - sivalingamcha chinmayam

Base is She, Linga is He.

“The base of Shiva Linga is considered Ambika (mother Goddess) while the Linga is Shiva himself.  Just as Parvati sits in Shiva’s lap in Kailash, a Shiva Linga with its yoni (base) in the inner sanctum is situated for worship.”

aungusthaadaa vasi tathaa - puja micchanti kechana,

lingakarmani sarvatra - nishedosti na ka rhichit.

A crystal ring of Linga, is just as good

placed with mantra, free of all ills always 

atha panchaksharam nityam - jape dayuta maadaraat,

sandhyaochha sahasramva - jneyam sivapadapradam.

Chant a ten thousand times daily OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

at least a thousand times at dusk, for a prize of His bliss

“A sadhaka is advised to chant Om Shiva Panchakshari daily ten thousand times, or at least a thousand times at dusk to attain Shivananda (Shiva bliss).  It is best for Brahmins that offer prayer services to the community to keep with the first.   All those wishing for success in Shiva puja are to get their initiation from a truthful knowledgable guru.  Kumbha snana (sacred bath), mantra diksha (mantra initiation) and matrika nyasa (tantra initiation) and the like are all passed on by learned teachers to qualified aspirants.”

12: Shiva temples and our (de)merits

Devaanaam pujaya chaiva - braahmaanaancha daanathaha,

tapo dhikyaachha kaalena - bhogah sahyo bhavennrunaam.

Shiv puja is one, japa is another

giving cows, land and gold added

free men indeed from indulgence 

“The only way to wash away the sins of self-indulgence is worshiping the essence of all deities which is Shiva, donating a cow (same as appeasing Brahma), land (same as appeasing Vishnu) and gold (same as appeasing Maheshwara), chanting Shiva mantra and meditation.”

13.  What is proper practice?

Krute dhyaanaat jnaanasiddhi - stretrayam tapasaa tatha

dwaapare yajanaat jnaanam - pratimaapujayaa kalau.

Shiva meditation was the way then,

Penance became popular thereafter,

Yagna for pure mind came next,

Worship of Shiva, deities is the way now.

“In Kritayuga, Shiva meditation leading to Shiva awareness was the method.  Later, in Tretayuga, penance became the way to gain His grace.  In Dwaparayuga, the pure mind started to require sacred works of Yagna and now in Kaliyuga, worshiping Shiva Linga and deities such as Ganesha, Karthikeya, Vishnu, Ram, Krishna and the like are the ways to perfect spiritual knowledge.”

14. Yagna (Agni and others)

 

aadisrishthau mahaadevah - sarvajnah karunakaraha,

sarvalokoparaaratham - vaaraan kalpitavaan prabhuhu,

samsaaravaidyaha sarvajnaha - sarvabheshaja bheshajam.

The all knowing, the ever merciful

the only One we call to cross all evils,

the magic behind all medicines,

gave the ways for all the seven days

“For the benefit of all, Shiva who is all knowing, ever merciful, the One that let us overcome the disease of bondage as the medicine Man, created the seven days in every week with things we can do to help ourselves.”

15. Deva Yagna Logistics

16. Earthen Linga worship and results

pushpena prokshanam kurya - dabishekam samantrakam.

Earthen deities they are,

bathed best with drops,

falling only from flowers

“While chanting bathing mantras, they are worshiped with droplets poured gently from flowers.”

abhisheka daatmasuddhi - gantha tpunya mavapyate,

aayustthruptisccha naivedyaa - ddhuupaa darghya mavaapyate,

deepaat jnaan mavaapnoti - tambuulaa dbhoga maapnuyaat,

tasmaatsnaadikam shatkam - prayatnena prsaadhayet

namaskaaro japaschaiva - sarvaabheeshtapradaa vubhau,

pujaamtecha sadaa kaaryau - bhogamokshaardhibhi rnaraiha.

Bathe Linga for bright mind, give gantha for greater good,

Offerings for a long life, incense for instant income,

Light to see the light of life, paan for peaceful play,

Do all six the best you can, forget not chants and japa,

Make your cases with salutations, for all those wishes. 

“Abhisheka (giving a bath by repeatedly pouring water while chanting mantras) offered to Sankara (Shiva Linga) results in purifying the mind.  Offering sandal wood paste increases the merit of the worship.  Lighting a lamp develops intellect and offerings grant longevity. Lighting an incense stick increases wealth.  Offering paan leaves increases enjoyment.  One way or another, the seeker must strive to offer the six services to the Lord.  Those wishing for comforts of life and liberation after life are advised to offer salutations and perform japa after every Shiva puja.”

binduhu sakthihi sivo naadah - sivasaktatmakam jagat

Point is Energy within a Line of Vibration

Vibration is Shiva, Energy is Shakti,

Universe is but Points and Lines,

All is Shiva and Shakti

“As Bindu (point) is Shakti (energy) and naada (vibration) is Shiva, world is simply Shiva Shakti at the core.  Bindu depends on Vibration.  Universe is according to Bindu (energy). Bindu and Naada are the support for the universe.  Since all is of Bindu and Naada, both make a whole from which the rest emerges.”  

bindunaadaatmakam lingam - jagatkaarana muchyate.

Bindu Naada cause universe, are Shakti Shiva

Shiva Linga, as Shakti Shiva, is the core of all

“Shiva Linga is itself Bindu Naada and as such is the cause of the universe.  Since Bindu Naada are Shakti and Shiva, Linga is Shiva and Shakti as well.  Therefore, since all life and its generations are because of Bindu-Naada, real fulfillment of our lives’ purpose lies in worshiping Shiva Linga with services like abhisheka with sincere bhakti and shraddha.  Our mindset should be that Shiva Linga is the form that represents parents as the Bindu form is mother Goddess and Naada form is father Shiva.   Since parents have abundant kindness and generosity for their children,  Shiva will see to it that necessary affluence is there for His worship which further leads us to attain His bliss.”

shad linga pujayaa nityam - jeevanmukto na samsayah

Worship the six every day, be worry free in every way

“Taking up Sambhava diksha (initiated in a specific Shiva worship), one may worship the six Lingas in the form of one Shiv Linga placed in the left palm with pranava panchakshari mantra leads to liberation from the bondage of life and also cycle of birth and death.  Others (those without special initiation) are advised to worship an installed Shiv Linga as the six Lingas every day as such worship will surely make them dear to Shiva.”

sivalingamcha bhaktamcha - pujya moksham labhennaraha.

Shiv Linga and Bhakta, worship both

Liberation and His company, both become yours

“The wise one worships not just the Shiva Linga but also other Shiva Bhaktas.  This leads to liberation and grants sin-free company of Shiva permanently.”

17.  Pranava Panchakshari - Wonders

sivanaama namahpurvam - chatudhyam panchatattvakam,

sthulapranava rupamhi - sivapanchaksharam dwijaah,

panchaksharajapenaiva - saravsiddhim labhennarah,

pranave naadisamyuktam - sadaa panchaksharam japet.

Shiva after Namah, the four syllable tattwa of five,

is pranav of a kind, the Panchakshari of Shiva,

pranav naada in one, Shiv panchakshari is born,

always chant those five, for all those siddhis for life

With “Namah” preceding name of Shiva, together the four syllables reflect the panchatattwa (the five prime functions of sadasiva).  This is the sthool (gross) type of pranava as described earlier giving rise to Shiva panchakshari.  Pranav together with Naada makes up Shiv panchakshari (AUM Namah Shivaya).  Chanting this mantra always gives all that is desired on earth and after life as well as liberate one from bondage.

Yadacharma sadaakasam - veshtaeshyanti maanushah,

tada siva mavijnaaya - dukhasyanto bhavishyati

Wrapped in skin all over, engages in many acts of men

Once open to Shiva within, ends all sorrows with peace.

After taking birth, one gets bound to life riding the waves up and down.  But once that one reaches Shiva (within), he find freedom from all sorrows and finds peace forever.

yavadyavaschiva mantram - yenajaptham bhavet kramaat,

taavadvai sivasaannidhyam - tasmin dehe na samsayaha

the more one chants, Shiv Panchakshari

the near He comes, the more He enters

Constantly chanting Shiv panchakshari brings Shiv that much closer for calling.  Since Shiv Linga is both Devi and Shiv, a bhakta being one (male or female) may worship Linga as the other.  Shiv Bhakta’s wife being Devi with sounding of Shiv panchakshari may worship Linga as the other half which is Shiva.  Likewise, being Shiva himself in sound while chanting may worship Linga as Devi.  Alternately, when worshiping Shiva, one becomes Devi and when worshiping Devi, one becomes Shiva as Shiva as Naada and devi as bindu are inherent and integrated in Shiv Linga.  Treating Shiv Bhaktas as personifications of Shiv and Shiv mantra, one should offer the 16 service worship to them.

yena sushrrunaadvaischa - sivabhaktasya linginah,

anandam janaye dvidvaan - sivah preetataro bhavet.

Worship the one that wears the One,

Pleasing bhakta  is itself puja to Him.

Who ever wears a Shiv Linga by own choice is Shiv Himself.  Worshiping him is same as offering puja to Shiv.  If such bhakta is pleased, it also immensely pleases Shiva.

18. Freedom (Greatness of Shiv Linga)

siva sta dha prakrityaadi - vaseekrityaaditishtati,

sarvam vaseekritam yasmaat - tasmaaschiva iti smritah,

siva evahi sarvajnah - paripurnascha nisprihaa.

Having created the universe to be ruled by Him,

Shiva is the One that controls all that is,

He is all knowing, complete, with no equal.

Maheshwara’s mental wealth consists of knowledge-of-everything, satisfaction, self-illumination, independence, energy that is never lost, infinite energy etc.

karapujaam nivrittanaam - svabhojyantu nivedayet,

nivrittaanaam param sooksham - lingameva visishyate.

Blessed and small, given by a Guru,

placed in left, prayed from right,

are those desire-sin free,

who take food as it is given.

There are those that have separated from all and the work as they live desire and sin free.  They receive a small movable Linga from a Guru which they keep in left palm and offer pujas to it with the right hand.  They neither store nor cook food, but consume it the moment it is given to them.

pujaam kritvaatu tallingam - sirasaa dhaarayetsada.

Wearing Linga, completes worship,

head and shoulders are the places,

around the neck is just as fine.

Such special Linga is to be restored to its proper place on the body (head, neck or shoulder) after puja is offered to it.

sam nityam sukh maananda - mikaaraha purushah smritah,

vakaaraha sakti raramritam - melanam siva uchyate.

S in ever blissful, I in him human,

V in vitality, sum up to SIV.

The one that grants ever lasting bliss and vitality in a human is called Shiv.  Chanting His name grants one liberation.

19. Earthen Linga Puja - Sacred Ash

Krite ratnamayam lingam - tretaayam hemasambhavam,

dwapare paaradam sreshtam - parthivam tu kalau yuge.

First as gems, next as gold

later as mercury, now as earthen.

Thus changed Linga, for the call

through the ages, to grant all wishes.

In the age of Krita, Linga made of gems was worshiped.  Next, in Tretayuga, gold Linga was worshiped.  Later in Dwaparayuga, Linga was made with Mercury.  In Kaliyuga, earthen Linga took the stage and it is the best for this time.  Of the eight forms of Maheshwara, the one associated with eath is worshiped by others and as such earthen Linga is considered the most supreme and gives the best results.  Just as Maheshwara is worthy of worship being the eldest of all deities, as Ganges is the most scared of the rivers, as Shiv panchakshari is the best of all mantras, as a brahmin is the most worthy of respect among all men, as Varanasi is of the most merit of all cities, as Shivratri vrat is the best of all vrats, as Adhi shakti is the best among all Devi’s, earthen Linga is the best of all Lingas for worship.

20. Earthen Linga Puja Method

Kaliasa peethanana madhya samstham - bhaktaiha sanandabhi rarchyamaanam,

bhaktaarti davaanaam mapameyam - dhaaye humalingita viswabhushanam.

resting eyed with Shivani in Kailas,

duly worshiped by Nandi and all.

A single call from the worried world,

is enough to wake up the blissful Lord.

 

dhyaaye nityam Mahesham rajitagirinibham chaaruchandraavatamsam,

ratna kalpojwalangam parasu mrigavaraabheeti hastam prasannam,

padmaaseenam samantaat stuta mamaraganai rvyagraghritim vasaanam,

viswaadyam viswabeejam nikhilabhavaharam panchavaktram trinetram.

Shining is He as a grand silver hill,

with crescent moon glowing in His hair.

Divine with four arms, trident in one drum in the other,

guards all with the third, holding beads in the fourth.

Seated as a lotus,  dressed in tiger skins,

hears songs of praise, by aides on all the sides.

He came before all, as the cause foremost

with an extra eye and four more faces. 

In Kaliash, the greatest site in the grand universe, on the highest peak hosting the most beautiful altar studded with nine kinds of gems featuring a throne made of jewels.   Shankar together with Parvati take the middle seat resting joyfully on the throne as served by Nandi etc. staff.  Though being such a priceless ornament of the grand universe, a single cry for help from His devotees make Him alert to take immediate action.  In addition, Maheshwara seems like a silver mountain with crescent moon decked ever so wonderfully as a hair garment and shining ever so bright with the light from various jewelery. He is divine in form of four hands each with some thing special like a trident, dhamaru (hourglass like drum), mudra of protection and japa maala of rudraksha beads.  He wears tiger skins (as master over desires and senses) and sits in a lotus posture while listening to the songs of praise sung be deities from all the eight directions.  He is the One that was there first before anything and everything while He is the first father of all.  He is honored by the wise and answers prayers offered in convenience by all regardless of their devotion.  He is to be contemplated as a form with His third eye in the middle of His forehead, lotus like merciful other two eyes and five faces.  After contemplation, worship is to be offered to His earthen Linga followed by Shiv panchakshari 108 times with the help of a japa maala.

21. Linga Counts for Desire Fulfillment

koti mekaantu lingaanam - yaha karooti naro bhuvi

siva eva bhavatsopi - naatrakaaryaa vichaarana.

One crore Linga worship, makes One Shiva.

As all karmas end,  the cycle ends too.

Such becomes the fate, with no need for debate.

If one were to worship one hundred million earthen Lingas with pure bhakti (devotion) and shraddha (faith), when all Karma is extinguished, one will be free from the cycle of birth and death.  One will become Shiva, meaning that there will be no difference in kind or form between one and Him.  Such is the truth that is beyond logic with no room for argument.

vina bhasm tripundrena - vina rudrakshamaalaya,

bilva patram vinanaiva - pujaye chham karambudhaha.

Worship not without three lines of sacred ash,

Worship not without wearing a Rudraksha necklace,

Worship not without having bel leaves.

The three most important items for Shiv worship are bel leaves, wearing Rudraksha necklace and the three lines of scared ash.  If ash is not available, wet soil will suffice.

22. Shiv’s Blessings and Bel leaves

23. Greatness of Shiv Name

siva naama mukhe yasya - sadaa sivasivetiva,

paapaani nasprsenteva - khadiraangaarakam yadha.

Sin stays far away from,

who says Shiva Shiva.

Such person of Shiva sound,

is of fire too hot to touch.

The person whose face always chants Shiva Shiva is like fire that is covered with ash and way to hot too touch.  This means that such sound prevents one from committing sins.  Saying (silently) “Sri Shivaya Namah” has an amazing effect.  Such a person’s face cleanses all who see it. It has as much benefit as taking a bath at a sacred river site for pilgrimage.

yasyaasaadhaaranee sambhu - naamni bhakti rakhandita,

tasmaina mokshaha sulabho - naanya syeti matirmama.

Devotion in the dear Lord, devoid of breaks in faith,

is likely to lead to liberation, not so with anyone else.

Just as a flow of oil that not only slips slowly as it is poured, but sticks to the surface long after application, remembering Shiva naama has its effects lingering long and strong enough between repetitions that it eventually leads one to liberation.  On the other hand, the same with other deities surely might fulfill wishes and grant peace from problems, but it does not grant the ultimate prize of liberation.

24. Greatness of Bhasma

bahunnatra kimuktena - dhaarmam bhasm sadaa budhaiha,

lingaarchanam sadaa kaaryam - japyo mantrah shadalharah.

Wearing sacred ash, a must

Worshiping Shiv Linga, a mandate

Chanting 6-letter mantra, a habit

The wise must wear Bhasma, do Shiva Linga puja daily and chant Pranav Panchakshari always.

dhigbhasma rahitam phaalam - dhiggraama masivaalayam,

diga neesarchanam janma - dhigvidya masivaasrayam

No bhasm on body-no way to truth, No Shiv shrine-no place to live,

No Shiva worship-No need to live,  No Shiv jnan-never any success

Not wearing bhasm on one’s forehead will never make one drastha (seer of tuth).  It is not worth living in a town with no Shiva temple.  Life is wasted without worshiping Shiva.  Spiritual practice never becomes fruitful without knowledge of Shiva.

25. Greatness of Rudrakshas etc.

vina bhasma tripundrena - vina rudraksha maalaya,

pujitosi mahaadevo - naabheesta phaladaayakah.

Nothing is impossible, with bhasm, beads and bhakti.

Whoever wears three lines of Bhasma on forehead, wears Rudrakshas and does Shiva puja, their desires never get unfulfilled.