LINGA PURAN PART V

UPAMANYU

The sages were curious to know how Lord Shiva had bestowed the designation of Gaanpatya and an ocean of milk to Upamanyu. They requested Sutji to shed light on the two incidents.

Sutji narrated the following tale ---

Upamanyu was a brilliant child. There is an interesting story how he became the supreme devotee of Lord Shiva. Once, during his childhood he had gone to his maternal-uncle's place. One day, while he was hungry he tried to drink some milk. But his cousin did not allow him to drink milk and after snatching the bowl of milk drank himself.

Upamanyu started crying. He went to his mother who tried to console him by giving a solution of powdered grains. But, Upamanyu did not want anything less than milk. His mother said--'You should be satisfied with whatever you get. Perhaps we did not worship Lord Shiva in our past lives. Our hardships are the fallouts of those unpardonable sins. Only a devotee of Shiva is entitled to all kinds of comfort and pleasure.'

Upamanyu decided then and there to please Shiva by his penance and attain an ocean of milk from him. He went to Himalaya mountain and started doing an austere penance. His penance had resulted into the generation of unbearable heat. The deities became terrified and went to seek the help of Lord Vishnu.

Lord Vishnu along with the deities went to Lord Shiva and sought his help. Lord Shiva decided to test the devotion of Upamanyu. He disguised himself as Indra and went to the place where Upamanyu was doing penance. He started abusing Shiva which made Upamanyu so angry that he tried to kill him. When Upamanyu failed in his attempt to kill Shiva, he tried to kill himself by chanting 'Aagneya mantra'.

Lord Shiva was very pleased by his total devotion and revealed his identity. He blessed Upamanyu and after accepting him as his son granted the designation of Ganpatya. He also provided oceans of milk and curd to Upamanyu.

THE GREATNESS OF DWADASHAKSHAR MANTRA

On being asked by the sages about the sacred mantra-- the chanting of which enabled a man to attain salvation Sutji replied ---

Lord Vishnu gives salvation to those people who endeavour to seek Brahm-- the Almighty God. A man whose mind is preoccupied with the thought of Lord Vishnu and nothing else is entitled to attain Salvation. Such a man is also blessed by goddess Laxmi."

Describing about the greatness of Dwadakshar mantra, Sutji said --

''The sacrosanct Dwadakshar mantra consists of twelve letters
(as written in devanagri script--'OM NAMO BHAGAWATE VASUDEVAY' ).
This powerful mantra helps a man to achieve proximity with Lord Vishnu.

'Once there lived a brahmin who used to stammer while talking. All his efforts of making him speak distinctly went in vain as the child continued to lisp. When the brahmin tried to teach his son. the dwadakshar mantra, he incorrectly pronounced 'Vasudev as 'Etareva'. So the child was given the name 'Etareva'.The brahmin became disgusted and married for the second time. He had many sons from his second wife, all of whom were very studious.

Etareva's mother used to curse her fate because of his habit of stammering. One day she said--'Look! I am no more able to tolerate the humiliation of being a mother of a dull child--Look at your step-brothers, who have achieved fame and respect on account of their learning. I have decided to give up my life.' Etareva became very sad. He started chanting the dwadashakshar mantra regularly and as a result a day came, when he could pronounce it correctly and without stammering.

One day Etareva happened to pass by a place where a yagya was being performed. As soon as he reached that place, the priests found to their surprise that they had become dumb. All the priests became restless, as the rituals were still incomplete.Looking at their pitiable condition, Etareva chanted the dwadakshar mantra-- OM NAMO BHAGAWATE VASUDEVAY. The priest regained their power of speech by the virtue of the flawless pronunciation of the mantra.

Such is the greatness of dwadakshar mantra. Later on, Etareva went on to become a renowned scholar. A person who chants this sacred mantra regularly become liberated from all his sins and attains to Vishnu Lok.

SHADAKSHAR MANTRA

Describing about the greatness of Shadakshar mantra that consists of six letters, Sutji said --

The sacred mantra -- OM NAMAH SHIVAY holds a supreme place among all the mantras. During the Meghavahan kalp of the first Treta yuga, there lived a brahmin named Dhoondhmook. He became a licentious person due to the curse of a sage. As a result he became a man of loose moral conduct. His wife gave birth to a child on the inauspicious day of Amavasya. The astrologers predicted a very bleak future for that new born child.

When the child grew up he became notorious for his sinful conduct. Dhoondhmook married his son in a respectable family but his son being a man of loose character, developed intimacy with a woman belonging to a low caste. One day, Dhoondhmook that son developed sharp differences with that woman on some matter and in a fit of range killed her.When the family members of that woman came to know about her death, they retaliated by killing Dhoondhmook his wife and his daughter-in-law. Sinec, Dhoondhmook's son was not present in the house at that time he survived. He avenged the death of his family members by killing the assasins.

New Dhoondhmook's son had become disillusioned with life. He started wandering aimlessly and reached a hermitage. The sage who lived in that hermitage was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and taught him the rituals of Pashupat Vrata as well as the sacred Shodakshar mantra.Dhoondhmook's son performed the rituals of Pashupat Vrat for twelve months. All the while he kept on chanting the Shadakshar mantra. As the result of his devotion towards Lord Shiva and by the virtue of chanting Sadakshar mantra he as well as all his ancestors attained salvation.

LORD PASHUPATI

The sages were curious to know why Lord Shiva was also known as Pashupati-- The lord of all animals. Sutji retold the same tale which sage Shiladi had once narrated to Sanatkumar ---

Once, Sanatkumar went to the hermitage of Sage Shiladi and asked him as to why was Lord Shankar also known as Pashupati. He also inquired about the reason of man's ondages and how could he be liberated from them.

Sage Shiladi replied---All the living beings including Lord Brahma have been referred to animals because of their attachment to worldly desires and ignorance. Lord Shiva being the lord of them is also known as Pashupati. It is none other than Lord Vishnu whose illusionary and divine powers keep them in bondages. It is also only lord Vishnu who liberates them by bestowing the knowledge of Gyan-Yoga.

Nobody can attain salvation without the blessings of Lord Shiva. The nothing but the 24 elements--10 sense organs, 4 type of consciousness, 5 basic elements from which matter is made and 5 subtle forms of matter.A person who worships Lord Shiva with total devotion becomes liberated because devotion is capable of destroying all types of sins.

THE MAJESTIC LORD MAHESHWAR

Lord Maheshwar is beyond the reach if any kind of bondage. He is totally liberated entity. It is only by his blessings that the Nature-Prakriti, creates intelligence--buddhi. Similarly, intelligence creates ego-ahamkara and subtle forms of matter--tanmatra creates the greatest of matter by the blessings of Lord Shiva. No word can describe the greatness of Lord Shiva.It is only with the permission of Lord Maheshwar that our sense organs function the fire burns and all the living beings fulfill their respective duties. Lord Shiva is the Almighty God and goddess Parvati is also called Shivaa. He is the Purusha and she is the nature or Prakriti.

The matter derives it's power from goddess Gauri. Everything that is capable of creating is nothing but the form of Uma. The whole universe is established in the form of Shiva Linga and hence everybody must worship Lord Shiva.

THE SUN - MANIFESTATION OF SHIVA'S POWER

Lord Shiva manifests himself in the form of Sun. The Sun radiates twelve different types of rays which have specific impacts and influences on the world.

  • The first ray is called Amrit and the deities derive their power from it.
  • The second ray is called Chandra and it helps in the preservation of medicinal herbs.
  • The third ray is called Shukla and it helps in the propagation of religiousness in the world. It also helps the food crops to become ripe.
  • The name of the fourth ray is Harikesha and all the constellations get their nourishment from it.
  • The fifth ray is called Vishwakarma and it gives the planet mercury.
  • The sixth ray is called Sanyadwasu and it nurtures the planet--Mars.
  • The seventh ray is called Arvavasu and it nurtures the planet Jupiter.
  • The eighth ray is called Surat and it nurtures the planet --Saturn.
  • The nineth ray is called Susumana and it nutures the moon, etc.

SHIVA TATVA

The learned and sages call Shiva by many names ---

Kshetragya, Prakriti Vyakta, Kalatma etc. The synonyms of Kshetragya and Prakriti are Purush and Pradhan respectively.The delusionary net of the Prakriti is known as Vyakta (apparent). Kala (time) is the resultant by product of Pradhan and Vyakta.

Some sages call Hiranyagarbha (Brahma) as the Purush and Shiva as Pradhan. They consider Hiranyagarbha to be the creator and Purush to be the enjoyer. Even these sages are of the opinion that Hiranyagarbho, Pradhan, Purush and enjoyer are the manifestations of Shiva.

THE GREATNESS OF SHIVA

The almighty Shiva manifested in the form of Sthanu (Pillar) from his imperceptible form and looked at Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma then commenced his creation and established the norms of Vannashram. He also created 'Soma' which is required for the performance of 'Yagya'. This world, including all the deities are the embodiments of Soma. The deities eulogize Lord Shiva by chanting the mantras of 'Rudrashtadhyay'.

Once, Lord Shiva was sitting surrounded by all the deities. On being requested by the deities to shed light on his mysterious self, Lord Shiva said---

"I was present before the beginning of time and I will be present forever. Everything originate from me and get submerged in me ultimately. I am the Lord of Brahma. I am the truth itself. I manifest myself in the forms of Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda. I am the light as well as the darkness. I am Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. One who is aware of my omnipresence is the only person who is worthy of being called an enlightened one."

This way, after enlightening the deities on his myssterious self Lord Shiva disappeared.

THE IMPORTANCE OF GURU

A devotee should commence the worship of Lord Shiva only after taking permission from his Guru, Only such a person is worthy of being called a Guru who is virtuous and well versed in the scripture.

A disciple should unwavering by be in the service of his Guru and should try to please him by his devotion because only he (Guru) is capable of liberating him from the miseries of world. A guru should try to test the worthiness of his disciple by employing different means for three years.Once, the Guru has accepted a person as his disciple, he should try to impart all the knowledge to him. He should never discriminate on the basic of caste or creed of a disciple. It is the duty of a Guru to make his disciple destitute of flaws and shortcomings.

THE RITUALS OF INITIATION

Before commencing the rituals of initiation, the Guru should purify the place where the rites are supposed to be performed. He should make an attar and draw an eight-petalled lotus at its centre. He should then establish the various embodiments of Shiva like Aghor, Pranav, Vamadeva, on each of the eight petals.

The Guru should then purify all the directions by chanting different mantras. He should then meditate on the form of Lord Shiva. After that he should make offerings in the sacrificial fire and purify himself by doing aachaman. He should then have Panchagavya as prasadam and smear ashes on his body.

The Guru should instructed his old disciples to sit towards the south of altar. He should make offerings of ghee into the sacrificial fire for 108 times amidst the chanting of Aghor mantra.The new disciple then arrive blindfolded and circumambulate the sacrificial altar for three times. While circumambulating everybody should chant either the mantras of Rudrashtadhyay or Omkar mantra. The new disciple then smear ashes on their bodies amidst the chanting of Aghor mantra. The Guru then sprinkles holy water on the new disciples. In the end the disciple takes a religious vow.

"I shall never have food without worshipping Shiva".

This way the ritual of initiation comes to an end.

INSTALLATION OF SHIVA LINGA

Describing about the methods of installing a Shiva Linga Sutji says-- A devotee should install a Shivalinga made of either gold, silver or copper. The shivalinga should be installed along with the altar. The altar of the Shivalinga symbolizes goddess Uma. Lord Brahma is said to manifest at the base of Shivalinga while Lord Vishnu at its centre. After the installment of Shivalinga it should be worshipped with appropriate rituals. The Shiva linga should be adorned with clothes and its ablution should be performed.

A devotee should chant the Brahma vigyan mantras for the consecration of Lord Brahma who is supported to manifest at the base of Shivalinga. Similarly, for the consecration of Lord Vishnu dwelling at the centre of Shiva linga, Gayatri at the centre of Lord Shiva is consecrated by the chanting of any of the following mantras---

OM NAMAH SHIVAY; NAMO HANSA SHIVAY CHA

A devotee should then worship the Shivalinga and make offerings in the sacrificial fire.

VAJRESHWARI VIDYA

The sages requested Sutji to elaborate upon the rituals of Vajravahanika Vidya or Vajreshwari Vidya.

Sutji replied--- Anybody who is desirous of Vanquishing his enemy must perform the rituals of Vajreshwari Vidya. The devotee should worship Vajra (a spear) and make offerings in the sacrificial fire holding it (Vajra) in his hand. The following mantra should be chanted while making offerings.

OM BHURBHUVAH SWAH TATSAVITURVARENYAM BHARGO DEVASYA DHIMAHI DHIYO YONAH PRACHODAYAT; OM PHAT JAHI HOOM PHAT CHHINDHI MINDHIJAHI HAN HAN SWAHA.

In the past Lord Brahma had taught this secret Vidya to Indra with the help of which he had killed the ferocious demon vritrasur.A man can acquire all the types of supernatural powers with the help of Vajreshwari Vidya. Describing about the rituals of Mrityunjay Jap,

Sutji said-- A person who chants Mrityunjay mantra with appropriate rituals becomes free from the fear of death. A devotee is required to make offerings of ghee in the sacrificial fire for one lakh times. Instead of ghee he can also make offerings of ghee and sesame seeds OR dhoob grass, ghee, milk and honey.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF YOGA

The sages asked Sutji as to how should a devotee meditate on Lord Triyambak following the path of Yoga. Sutji then retold the tale that Mandishwar had once narrated to Sanatkumar--

1.        The first type of Yoga is called Mantra Yoga. In this type of yoga a devotee tries to attain deep state of meditation by chanting mantras. The chanting of mantras helps a man to concentrate his mind.

2.        The second type of Yoga is known as Sparsh Yoga. In this type of yoga, a man acquires perfection in breath-control by constantly practicing various exercises like Rechak (Exhalation), Kumbhak (retention), etc. These exercises helps to purify the nerves and blood vessels.

3.        The third type of yoga is known as Bhava Yoga. This is the state in which a person's mind is totally engrossed in the thoughts of Lord Mahadev. This state of mind can not be attained unless the two former types of yoga have been mastered.

4.        The fourth type of Yoga is called Abhava-yoga. When a man has mastered this particular yoga his ego is subdued in totality.

5.        The fifth type of yoga is called Maha yoga. It helps a man to understand his real self and get united with the supreme Almighty.

The secret of Yoga should be revealed to worthy disciples--who are virtuous and religious."

This way, Sutji described the divine tales of Linga Puran and blessed the sages.The Linga Puran contains eleven thousand shlokas in it. The study of Linga Puran fulfills all the four worldly aspirations of a man-Dharma, Artha, Kaam and Moksha.It also helps a man to attain salvation.