DAKSHA'S ANIMOSITY TOWARDS LORD SHIVA
Puran begins with the eulogy of Lord Shiva--
JAGAT SRISHTA VIRANCHIH PALKO HARIH;
SANHARTA KAALRUDRAKHYO NAMASTASMAI PINAKINE.
Salutations to Lord Shankar who has entrusted the job of creation to Lord Brahma--Who
has instructed Lord Vishnu to nurture the world and who himself acts as the
ancient times, once, Sage Shaunak had performed a grand 'yagya' at his hermitage
in Naimisharanya forest. Many sages had thronged Naimisharanya to attend it.
One of them was Sage Lomesh.After
the yagya was over, all the assembled Sages requested Sage Lomesh to narrate
the divine tales of Lord Shiva.
Lomesh said--Daksha-Prajapati had got his daughter, Sati married to Lord Shiva.
Once, he had performed a grand yagya in which he had invited everybody except
his own son-in-law.When
Sati learnt about the yagya, she sought Lord Shiva's permission to attend that
yagya. Lord Shiva tried to convince her that it was not proper to attend a ceremony
in which one had not been invited. But Sati did not pay any heed and was bent
upon attending that yagya. Ultimately, Lord Shiva had no option but to give
his conscent. But he did not forget to send his 'Rudraganas' with her for her
[ Top ]
JUMPS INTO THE SACRIFICIAL FIRE
Sati reached her father's place, she saw a grand yagya being performed. A large
number of people had been invited--the deities, the sages and the hermits.
became sad because Daksha had invited everybody except her husband. She knew
quite well that it was a deliberate decision on part of her father, not to invite
Lord Shiva. But, she got infuriated when she found that Daksha had not even
kept Shiva's share in the yagya while the 'shares' of other deities had been
Daksha saw Sati, he was enraged---How dare you come here? Your husband is an
embodiment of inauspiciousness. He is the Lord of the spirits, ghosts and all
types of mean powers. This was the reason why I did not invite him.'
insult heaped on her husband in front of everybody devastated Sati. She felt
so humiliated that she decided to give up her life. Before any one could understand,
she jumped into the sacrificial fire and was charred to death. All the deities
present there were stunned by this sudden development. All the 'Rudraganas'
mourned Sati's death with deep sorrow.Meanwhile,
Lord Shiva got the sad news from Narad. He got mad with anger and uprooted some
hair from his scalp. He then dashed the hair against a mountain. There was a
thundering sound and Veerbhadra manifested within a split second. Lord Shiva
ordered him to punish Daksha for his evil deed, which caused the death of Sati.Veerbhadra
proceeded with a huge army of spirits, ghosts and marudganas to punish Daksha.
When he reached the oblation site, Daksha and all the other deities became scarred.
But, Sage Bhrigu came at the deities' rescue and told them not to worry. He
then chanted few mantras, which helped the deities to win the first round of
defeat of his army enraged Veerbhadra to such an extent that he created havoc
in the ranks of deities' army. He showered volleys of arrow on them, which forced
the deities to make a hasty retreat from there. Veerbhadra dashed Sage Bhrigu
against the ground and uprooted his beard. He then severed the head of Daksha
and threw it in flames of sacrificial fire.Lord
Brahma took the refuge of Lord Shiva and requested him to stop Veerbhadra from
causing further death and destruction. Lord Shiva told Brahma--'Nobody else
but Daksha himself was responsible for his death.But,
Lord Brahma requested Lord Shiva to make Daksha alive once again. Lord Shiva
then went to Daksha's place and fixed a goat's head on the trunk of Daksha's
body. This way Daksha became alive once again albeit with a goats body. He was
very ashamed of his behaviour and requested Lord Shiva to forgive him. Lord
Shiva blessed him and said--
can not be attained merely by performing the rituals. If you are desirous of
salvation then engage yourself in virtuous deeds with."
[ Top ]
OF WORSHIPPING LORD SHIVA
Lomesh told the assembled sages--- One who brooms the courtyard of Shiva temple
attains to Shiva loka. Those who make offerings of incense to lord Shiva not
only liberate himself from the bondage of this world but also both his 'Kulas'.
One who gets constructed a Shiva temple or renovates it, attains incomparable
virtue. One who chants the holy mantra 'OM NAMAH SHIVAY' daily and begins his
day by visiting Shiva temple in the morning becomes absolved of all his sins.
[ Top ]
CHURNING OF THE OCEAN
Lomesh narrated the tale, which described how Indra lost heaven after he showed
disrespect to Vrihaspati--
Indra was enjoying the songs sung by Gandharvas when sage Vashishth arrived.
But, Indra was so engrossed in music, that he forgot to welcome his distinguished
guest. Sage Vashishth was enraged by his behaviour and went away fuming with
the demon King Bali--the lord of Patalloka, learnt about this incident he attacked
Indraloka with a large army. A fierce battle took place in which all the deities
were defeated. Bali and his army brought all the wealth to Patalloka. But the
demons were not destined to be the owner of this plundered wealth for too long
as the whole wealth got submerged into the ocean. Bali was surprised and asked
Shukracharya about the reason. Sage Shukracharya revealed to Bali that he could
not enjoy the splendours of deities' wealth because he had not performed 100
deities, after being defeated went to seek Lord Vishnu's help. Lord Brahma was
also present with them. After giving a deep thought to the whole issue, Lord
Vishnu advised them to patch up with the demons so that all the wealth could
be retrieved from the ocean bed.The
deities went to Patal-loka and convinced the demons to participate in the churning
of the ocean. When the process of churning of the ocean began, Mandarachal mountain
was used as a churner and the serpent -Vasuki as the rope.Both
the parties immersed the Mandarachal mountain into the ocean but it sank down,
as there was no base upon which it could be placed. So, Lord Vishnu took the
form of a tortoise and held the mountain on his back.
of the ocean resulted into the emergence of many things like Chandrama, Surabhi
(cow), Kalpa tree, Kaustubh, Uchchaihshrava (Horse), Eravat (elephant), goddess
Laxmi, poison, ambrosia, intoxication etc.When
poison emerged from the sea bed, neither the deities nor the demons made any
claim for it. The poison was so venomous that the whole world started getting
inflamed by it. Lord Shiva then drank the Halahal poison and thus the world
Vishnu accepted goddess Laxmi as his consort.
[ Top ]
THE EMERGENCE OF AMBROSIA
Dhanvantri appeared with a pot of ambrosia in his hands, a demon named Vrishparva
snatched it from him. All the demons then fled to Patal loka with the pot of
Vishnu disguised himself as an enchanting beauty and went to Patalloka. There,
he found all the demons quarrelling among themselves. Each of them wanted to
have his own share of ambrosia.The
demons were stunned by Mohini's beauty the moment they saw Lord Vishnu in the
form of a beautiful lady. Mohini took control of the ambrosia pot and summoned
the deities to Patal loka.
the deities and demons were made to sit in separate rows. Mohini then started
distributing ambrosia to the deities. A demon named Rahu, who had disguised
himself as a deity was also sitting among the deities. Hardly had Rahu gulped
down some ambrosia then Mohini severed his head on the information given by
severed head of Rahu tried to take revenge by swallowing chandrama, who took
the refuge of Lord Shiva. Shiva kept chandrama within the lock of his hair.
Meanwhile, Rahu too came chasing chandrama and Lord Shiva wore his head as a
garland in his neck.
[ Top ]
LORD BRAHMA'S BOON TO TARAKASUR
the death of Sati, Lord Shiva became aloof and engaged himself in an austere
penance. His lack of interest in performing his duties resulted into the predominance
of sin in the world.A
demon named Tarakasur had received a boon of invincibility from lord Brahma.
Only a child and nobody else could kill him. Tarakasur, being drunk with power
started to torment the deities.
the deities eulogized Lord Brahma and they heard a heavenly voice saying---
can kill Tarakasur except Shiva's son. So you must put all your efforts to help
Shiva get married.'
deities were aware that after the death of Sati, Shiva had lost all interest
in life and was living like a recluse. Nevertheless, they wanted to give a try.
So they went to Himalaya, who had no progeny at that time and requested him
to beget a girl. Himalaya agreed, as he was aware of the misdeeds of Tarakasur.In
course of time, Himalaya's wife, Mena gave birth to a girl child who was in
fact the reincarnation of Sati. The girl child was named Girija.Girija
was brought up with great love and care. When she attained the age of eight,
Himalaya once took her to the cave where Lord Shiva was doing penance. Initially,
Shiva was little hesitant to meet Himalaya because Girija was accompanying her
father and he had vowed never to put his glance on any woman after the death
of Sati. But, Later on he relented and allowed both of them to meet him whenever
they liked. Now, Girija made it her habit to visit Lord Shiva regularly. She
used to look after all the needs of Shiva while he was engrossed in his penance.
after the passage of a long time the deities' wishes did not look like getting
fulfilled, as Shiva remained as nonchalant as ever. So, the deities requested
Kamadeva's help in sowing the seeds of love and passion in Shiva's heart.Kamadeva
went to the place where Lord Shiva was doing his penance. He tried to sow seeds
of compassion in Shiva's heart only to receive his wrath. Lord Shiva was infuriated
by the efforts of Kamadeva. He opened his third eye as the result of which Kamadeva
was charred to death.Rati
started wailing inconsolably at the death of her husband but Girija assured
her that she would try to bring Kamadeva back to life.Girija
commenced her penance to please Lord Shiva. There was a great turmoil in the
world on account of her penance. Lord Vishnu led the deities to Shiva and requested
him to marry Girija so that the world could be protected from the torments of
Tarakasur. Finally, Shiva gave his conscent and went to the place where Girija
was doing penance.
[ Top ]
SHIVA TEST'S PARVATI'S DEVOTION
After reaching there, Lord Shiva found Parvati engrossed in her penance. Parvati
was surrounded by her few trusted companions.Lord
Shiva decided to test Parvati's devotion towards him. So he disguised himself
as a hermit and asked her companions about the reason why Parvati was doing
such a severe Penance. Jaya, one of Parvati's companions informed him that her
friend was doing penance in order to get Lord Shiva as her husband. Jaya also
informed Lord Shiva that her friend Girija was the daughter of Himalaya.
Lord Shiva, who
was in the guise of a hermit said---'Why is this tender girl so eager to marry
Shiva who is an embodiment of inauspiciousness--who carries a skull in his hand
and who lives in a crematorium. How can your friend think of marrying one who
has been expelled by Daksha from the yagya ceremony? Does your friend know that
Shiva wears a snake around his neck and is surrounded by numerous spirits and
Parvati, who had
been listening to all those nonsensical utterances, told Jaya---'This fellow
seems to abhor Shiva. We should not talk to this evil person. Tell him to leave
Shiva was extremely pleased by Parvati's unwavering devotion towards him. He
appeared in his original form and said--'You can ask for anything you wish.'
But Parvati replied---
'O Supreme Lord! I am the same Sati for the sake of whom you had destroyed Daksha's
yagya. Don't you recognize me? There is a great purpose behind my reincarnation.
A son born to us would kill Tarakasur. So go to my father and request for my
hand in marriage.'But
Lord Shiva refused to make a request to Himalaya considering it as an undignified
act. He then returned to the place where he had been meditating.After
a while, Himalaya and Mena arrived there and asked Parvati how her penance had
been progressing. Parvati narrated the whole incident how Lord Shiva had finally
given his conscent to marry her.Himalaya
and Mena were extremely pleased by this good news.
[ Top ]
THE ARRIVAL OF
Later on Lord Shiva
sent the Saptarishis with the proposal of marriage to Himalaya. Himalaya received
his distinguished guests with respect and enquired about the purpose of their
visit. The Saptarishis replied--'We have come to request you to give your daughter's
hand in marriage to Shiva.'After
consulting his wife, Mena and other mountains, Himalaya agreed to accept Shiva
as his son-in-law. The Saptarishis then returned and conveyed the good news
preparation for marriage ceremony started being made. Finally the marriage procession
proceeded towards the bride's home. The marriage procession consisted of all
the deities, apsaras, gandharvas even spirits and ghosts.
Sage Garg Supervised
the rituals of marriage ceremony. Vishwakarma constructed the canopy, where
marriage ceremony was supposed to take place.After
the marriage was over, Himalaya performed the ritual of Kanyadan and this way
Shiva returned with his consort.
[ Top ]
BIRTH OF KARTIKEYA
Lord Shiva and Parvati
lived happily at Gandhamadan Mountain enjoying every bit of their conjugal life.
Once it so happened that a small quantity of Shiva's sperm fell on the ground
while he was enjoying intimate moments with Parvati. As a result, tremendous
amount of heat was generated and the whole world started burning.Lord
Brahma and Lord Vishnu instructed Agni to employ some means so that the destruction
caused by Shiva's over flowing sperms could come to an end.Agni
went to Gandhamadan mountain in the guise of a hermit. He requested Parvati
by saying---'O Mother! Please give me something as alms. I have nothing but
my hands as a begging bowl'
Parvati kept Shiva's
sperms on his palm, which was eaten up by Agni. Parvati was enraged to see this
and cursed Agni--"You have shown disrespect to me. From today onwards you
would become omnivorous. The sperms which you have devoured would cause unbearable
inflammation in your body."
As the result of
Parvati's curse, Agni really started experiencing unbearable inflammation in
his body. He requested Lord Shiva to reveal the means by which his pain would
come to an end. Lord Shiva instructed Agni to implant those sperms in any woman's
womb to get rid of the unbearable inflammation.Thus,
Agni, who was suffering from extreme heat that generated in his body, sat at
a lonely place waiting eagerly for a woman to arrive there.He
did not have to wait for too long, as six Kritikas, shivering with cold arrived
there to warm themselves. The sperms of Shiva entered into their bodies through
the pores. These six Kritikas became pregnant.
When their respective
husbands learnt about their pregnancy they cursed them. As a result they got
transformed into 'Nakshatras' and established themselves in the sky. But, they
aborted their respective foetus at Himalaya mountain before getting transformed
into six constellations. The holy Ganges carried that foetus to a secluded place,
which was covered with dense bushes of reeds.In
course of time, Lord Kartikeya manifested from those reed bushes. He had six
heads. The deities were delighted at the birth of Kartikeya. Lord Shiva along
with Parvati went to the place where Kartikeya had incarnated. Parvati took
young Kartikeya in her embrace.
[ Top ]
Lord Shiva assured
the deities, who were also present there that Tarakasur's days were numbered.
The deities's army then proceeded towards the battlefield.On
their way, the deities heard a heavenly voice--'You can defeat the demons only
if you fight under the leadership of Kartikeya.'
Now all the deities
requested Kartikeya to become their leader. Menawhile, Devasena--the daughter
of Mrityu arrived there and requested Kartikeya to become her husband. Kartikeya
accepted Devasena as his wife. This is the reason why he is also known as Deva
was leading the deities' army, mounted on an elephant. The army had all the
deities in its rank- Indra, Varun, Vayu, Kuber, Dharma Raj, etc.Both
the rival armies met at an island situated between Ganga and Yamuna. Tarakasur
had come with a large army, which boasted of many brave and mighty warriors.
The battle commenced
and the first phase was dominated by the demons. The deities could not stand
up to the might of demons. Even Indra was severely wounded when Tarakasur attacked
him with his deadly weapon- 'Shakti'. On seeing the level of destruction caused
in the deities' army, King Muchkunda, who was on the side of the deities' attacked
Tarakasur. In the ensuing battle Muchkunda got injured and fell down on the
ground. He got up furiously and tried to kill Tarakasur with his Brahmashtra.
Sage Narad told him that Brahmashtra would be of no use as Tarakasur had been
blessed with invincibility against mortals. Narad said--'Only Kartikeya is capable
of killing Tarakasur. So, you all need to have patience till Kartikeya accomplishes
was fighting a dual bought against Tarakasur. He had already caused indescribable
losses to the demons. While the fight was going on, Tarakasur realized that
it was not easy to defeat him. So, he decided to use his illusionary powers,
which helped him in acquiring ten thousand hands. The deities ran away from
the battle field, when they saw ferocious Tarakasur approaching them.Lord
Vishnu instructed Kartikeya to kill Tarakasur before it was too late. Kartikeya
chased Tarakasur with his deadly weapon- Shakti in his hand. A fierce fight
took place between both of them. Kartikeya attacked Tarakasur with his Shakti.
Tarakasur retaliated by hitting him with his own Shakti. The assault was so
severe that Karikeya lost his consciousness for few moments.
When Kartikeya regained
his consciousness, he got up quickly to fight against Tarakasur. Once again
a fierce battle commenced. Kartikeya remembered his parents in reverence and
released his Shakti in the direction of Tarakasur.Tarakasur
died instantly. The deities were delighted at the death of their tormentor.
[ Top ]
VIRTUES OF OBSERVING
FAST ON 'SHIVARATRI'
Sage Lomesh eulogizes
the virtues of Shivaratri in the following words--'The fourteenth day of the
dark half of a month is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and is famously
known as 'Shivaratri'. It destroys all the sins committed by a man.Sage
Lomesh then narrated a tale, which emphasized the greatness of Shivaratri--
Once upon a time a brahmin widow developed an illicit relationship with a 'Chandal'
(a low caste man). Later on she gave birth to a son who was named Dussah. Her
son had all the bad qualities one can think of-- a gambler, a drunker, a thief,
a murderer, etc.
One day, Dussah
went to a Shiva temple with the intention of committing robbery. It was the
festive night of Shivaratri and people had thronged the temple in a large number.
So, he did not get an opportunity to steal temple property. He remained awakened
for the whole night waiting for an opportune moment but his wishes remained
unfulfilled. He spent his time listening to the divine tales of Lord Shiva that
was being narrated by the temple priest. Though he was a sinner yet he took
his next birth in a royal family on account of his two virtuous deeds--he had
remained awakened for the whole night of Shivaratri and he had listened to the
tales of Shiva. In his next birth, he was born to a king named Chitrangad and
he himself was named Vichitraveerya.Vichitraveerya
was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. He ultimately united with lord Shiva and
manifested as Veerabhadra at the time when Lord Shiva had shaken his head violently
after hearing the sad news of Sati's demise.There
are numerous instances of people attaining salvation by observing a fast on
Shivaratri. The names of some great devotees to do so are King Bharat, Mandhata,
Dhundhumar, Harishchandra etc.
[ Top ]
While the deities
hailed the glory of Kartikeya for having killed Tarakasur, Kartikeya himself
was saddened by his act. He told the deities--'I regret for having killed Tarakasur
because he was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Is there any way to atone for
Lord Vishnu consoled
him---'Killing a wicked person, who nourishes himself on the blood of innocent
people, is not a sinful deed. But, still, if you feel guilty then there is no
better way to atone for your sin than worshipping Lord Shiva. Install Shivalingas
and worship them with deep devotion.'Kartikeya
instructed Vishnukarma to make three divine Shivalingas. Later on Kartikeya
installed these Shivalingas at three different places and worshipped them with
appropriate rituals. In course of time these three holy places came to be known
as Pratigyeshwar, Kapaleshwar and Kumareshwar. Kartikeya, while worshipping
at Kapaleshwar sprinkled holy water on the Shivalinga and prayed so that Tarakasur's
soul rested in peace. He also offered sesame seeds to lord Kapaleshwar and prayed
'May my offerings
made in the form of sesame seeds reach Tarak--the descendant of Sage Kashyap.'
This way, Kartikeya
was absolved of his sins.
[ Top ]
KILLING OF PRALAMB
A demon named Pralamb
had escaped unharmed in the battle fought between the deities and demons. As
the deities were busy installing Shivalingas at different places, Pralamb started
to torment their families in their absence. The deities got this information
from Kumud who appeared at the time when the deities were digging up a reservoir
near 'Siddheshwar' temple.All
the deities requested Kartikeya to do something. Kartikeya released his fiery
weapon, Shakti in the direction of Pralamb. Shakti pierced the heart of earth
and went right up to Patal loka where Pralamb lived with the surviving demons.
All the demons were killed within few moments.
A long tunnel had
been created as the impact of Shakti's penetration of the earth. This tunnel
was later on filled up with the water of Patal Ganga and became famous as 'Siddha-koopa.'
[ Top ]
There is an amazing
tale related with the birth of Kaalbhiti. During ancient times there lived a
sonless brahmin named Manti in Kashi. He did an austere penance to get a son.
At last, lord Shiva became pleased by his devotion and appeared. Lord Shiva
said--'You will be blessed with an enlightened son who would liberate your whole
In course of time
Manti's wife became pregnant but amazingly did not deliver a baby even after
a long time. Four years passed like this but Manti's wife did not deliver the
child. Manti was perplexed by this unusual event so he asked the baby, who was
still in his mother's womb as to why he was hesitant to come out.The
child replied that he feared 'Kaal' and this was the reason why he was not taking
birth. The child said--'If you can assure me of protection from 'Kaal' then
I shall certainly take birth.' How could have Manti given such an assurance.
So he took refuge in Lord Shiva.Lord
Shiva ordered four of his ganas to go and convince the baby. The names of these
five ganas were Dharma, Gyan, Vairagya Aishwarya and Adharma. They assured the
baby by saying--'Get rid of your fear. We assure you that each four of us (Dharma,
Gyan, Vairagya and Aishwarya) will never abandon you."
The fifth gana named
Adharma on the contrary promised not to caste his evil Shadow on the baby. These
assurances were enough for the baby to come out from the womb. But, even after
taking birth the child was trembling and wailing in fear.The
ganas said--Manti! Your child is still fearful of the Kaal. He is trembling
and crying inspite of the best of our efforts to drive away is fears. So he
will become famous as Kaalbhiti (one who is fearful of Kaal).
Kaalbhiti grew up
to be a virtuous person. He used to engage himself in various kinds of austerities.
He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva.One
day, as Kaalbhiti was meditating under a 'bael' tree (wood apple), he went into
his trance. The joy experienced during trance period was something, which he
had never experienced before. He decided to regularly meditate under that tree.
He did penance for one hundred years standing on his toe.Lord
Shiva became pleased by his devotion and appeared in the guise of a human being.
Lord Shiva said--'O Great soul Please discontinue with your penance. I have
brought some water for you! Please quench your thirst!'
But Kaalbhiti refused
to take water from an unknown person. He requested Lord Shiva to reveal his
identity. Kaalbhiti also inquired Lord Shiva about his religion and conduct.
Lord Shiva told him that he was beyond any religion or conduct.When
Kaalbhiti refused to have water, Lord Shiva dug up a large pit and emptied the
pot into it. After that he disappeared.Kaalbheeti
stood fixed at that place, being stunned by the disappearance of Lord Shiva.
Suddenly, an effulgent Shivalinga appeared under that bael (wood apple) tree.
Kaalbheeti worshipped that shiva-linga which was radiating light in all directions.Now,
lord Shiva appeared and blessed Kaalbheeti to become free from the fear of Kaal(Death).
From that day onwards the Shivalinga situated there became famous as Mahakaal.
Before disappearing once again, Lord Shiva instructed Kaalbheeti to preach Sage
Karandham who was expected to visit him shortly. Kaalbheeti himself became renowned
as Mahakaal because he had been successful in conquering death.
[ Top ]
As predicted by
Lord Shiva, king Karandham arrived at the place where Mahakaal (Kaalbheeti)
was staying. First of all he worshipped Lord Mahakaal and subsequently went
to meet sage Mahakaal (previously Kaalbheeti).King
Karandham had numerous doubts regarding the rituals of Shraddh so he asked Mahakaal--'How
does the rituals related to 'tarpan' satisfy the dead ancestors?'
souls of dead ancestors are capable of accepting whatever is offered to them.
Time and distance does not matter to them. They accept only the essence of whatever
is offered to them and not the gross materials as such.Karandham
posed his second query--'I think a soul, after it has abandoned the mortal body
is bound by its own karma. Then, how, can the dead ancestors be expected of
giving us blessings and changing our fortunes.'
all Pitras (dead ancestors) are bound by their karma. Pitras belonging to different
classes like deities, 'asuras' and 'yaksha' are unembodied and formless (amurta).
Similarly, the dead ancestors of all the four castes are called 'murta Pitras'
(with form). These seven types of Pitras are considered to be eternal and powerful.
They also transcend the law of Karma. A total number of 31 ganas are subordinate
to them. The rituals of Shraddh are performed for the pacification of these
seven eternal Pitras. These seven Pitras are the ones who shower blessings on
the performers of Shraddh rituals.'Karandham's
next question was--'Some people are of the view that one can attain salvation
only by taking refuge in Lord Vishnu. While some think that only Lord Brahma
is capable of giving salvation. There are many people who consider Lord Shiva
as the supreme liberator. What do you have to say on this?'
is one. The three deities you have named even they eulogize each other. It is
nothing but foolishness to grade them as superior, average or inferior. The
thing, which matters most in the path of salvation, is individual's unflinching
faith and devotion. Any deity in whom he has total devotion is capable of giving
then requested Mahakaal to describe the appropriate rituals related with the
worship of Lord Shiva.
devotee who puts on 'tripund' mark on his forehead, chest and both the shoulders
while worshipping Lord Shiva is blessed to see the divine appearance of Lord
Shiva. He should enter the temple premise with a pure heart. After entering
the temple he should purify the Shiva linga by removing all the unnecessary
articles which may be lying there. He should then fill up four 'Garuas' (drinking
pot with a curved spout) with water. Articles like milk, curd clarified butter,
honey and Sugarcane juice are kept to the left side of Shiva linga.The
devotee should then come out of the temple and worship the 'dwarpalas'. After
that, deities like Kuldevta, Nandi, Mahakaal Dhata and Vidhata are worshipped.
Once again he should
enter the temple and sit in front of the Shivalinga and meditate on Lord Shiva.
While performing 'ardhya' he should make offerings of articles like water, akshat,
Kusha grass, sandalwood, flowers, mustard seeds, milk, curd and honey.Having
offered ardhya, a devotee should perform the ritual of ablution with water,
milk, curd, honey, clarified butter, and sugarcane juice in the given order.
While performing this ritual the devotee should also offer dhupa (incense) and
'OM HOOM VISHVAMURTAYE NAMAH'.
Some other deities whom a devotee must worship along with the worship of Lord
Shiva are Ishan, Tatpurush, Sadryojat etc. A devotee must also not forget to
worship Shiva's trident. While doing this he should chant
TRISHUL DHANUH KHADGA KAPAL KUTHAREBHYO NAMAH.
A devotee should
conclude his worship by begging for Lord Shiva's forgiveness for any mistake
that he might have committed while performing the rituals.
[ Top ]
Once, Sutji had
gone to Naimisharanya. All the sages residing there asked him about the manifestation
of Arunachal Shivalinga.Sutji
recounted a tale when Sage Sanak had posed the same query to Lord Brahma --
'Lord Brahma had told Sanak-Son, once Lord Vishnu and I witnessed an effulgent
Pillar. It had manifested from nowhere and was limitless in size. It's radiance
put the whole world ablaze. Both of us worshipped that marvelous pillar by chanting
that effulgent pillar was a Shivalinga. Lord Shiva manifested from it after
being pleased by our devotion. We requested him to minimize his size and establish
himself in the form of Arunachal Shivalinga.'
'Lord Shiva agreed
to minimize his size as well as his effulgence by establishing himself in the
form of 'Arunachaleshwar'.The
holy place of Arunachaleshwar remains untouched while the whole world gets submerged
in water at the time of deluge.
[ Top ]
The sages then asked
Sutji how Lord Shiva had created the universe.
Shiva commenced creation by his own will. Vishnu manifested from the left side
of his body while Brahma from the right side. He then attributed the qualities
of 'Rajas' and 'Satva' to Brahma and Vishnu respectively. From then onwards
Lord Brahma took the responsibility of further creation and Lord Vishnu became
the preserver of the world.Later
on Lord Brahma created his ten Manasputra (Marichi etc,) by his will and Daksha
Prajapati from his right thumb. He also created the brahmins from his mouth,
Kshatriyas from both his arms, Vaishyas from both his thighs and Shudras from
both his feet respectively.Both,
the deities and demons came from the lineage of Sage Kashyap, who himself was
Marichi's son. Not only that Kashyap also fathered different species like Marut,
Nag, Yaksha, Gandharva and apsaras.
Brahma had also created Manu who is believed to be the person from whom human
race originated. All the sages as well as the Kshatriyas are the descendants
of Sage Atri. Yakshas originated from Pulastya whereas Rakshashas were the descendants
of Pulah. Agni as well as Sages like Chyavan was the descendant of Bhrigu. Many
famous sages came from the lineage of Vasishth. These are the names of few prominent
sages, whose descendants have populated the earth.Thus,
Lord Shiva is the Sovereign creator because he created Brahma--the creator.
[ Top ]
SHUMBH NISHUMBH & MAHISHASUR
The demons named
Shumbh and Nishumbh had received boons from Brahma according to which no deity,
demon or Man could kill him. Shumbh and Nishumbh became excessively arrogant
and started tormenting the deities. All the deities including Lord Vishnu went
to Lord Shiva and requested for his help. Lord Shiva assured them that both
the demons would be killed at the opportune time. The deities were satisfied
and returned back to their respective abodes.Parvati
was of dark complexion. She thought that Shiva would be more affectionate towards
her if she somehow discarded her dark skin. She eventually discarded her dark
skin at a place and it instantly got transformed into 'Kali Kaushiki'. She then
did an austere penance at Vindhyachal mountain. At that time, Shumbh and Nishumbh
lived there. When both the demons saw goddess Kali Kaushiki her divine beauty
infatuated them. But Goddess Kali Kaushiki ultimately killed both of them.
her mission, Kali Kaushiki did a tremendous penance at 'Gauri-peak' and regained
her fair complexion. In course of time she became the mother of Ganesh and Kartikeya.
Once, goddess Parvati went to Arunachal mountain where Sage Gautam was doing
penance. She was so enchanted by the scenery over there that she decided to
do penance. She instructed goddess Durga to stand guard till she accomplished
her penance. She also ordered the two goddesses Subhaga and Dhundhukumari to
keep a watch in all directions.
demon sent a female messenger to convince Parvati into marrying him. The female
messenger disguised herself as a female hermit and tried to impress all the
three goddess who were keeping surveillance by praising the glory of Mahishasur--
'O beautiful ladies!
Why is your mistress living in such a secluded place? She is worthy of living
in a royal palace. There is nobody among the deities who is fit enough to marry
her. But, Mahishasur--the lord of all the three worlds is certainly fit to become
all the three goddesses drove the female messenger away. Ultimately, Mahishasur
came accompanied by a large army to forcibly abduct goddess Parvati. The commotion
caused by the demons disturbed Parvati's meditation. She instructed Durga to
kill all the demons.Goddess
Durga transformed her appearance. Now she looked ferocious in her new appearance.
She was well equipped with all sort of lethal weapons and was mounted on a lion.
She thundered loudly and challenged Mahishasur. Countless 'yoginis' manifested
from her body. These yoginis attacked Mahishasur's army and killed many demons.
The whole battlefield was splashed with blood.
(Durga) severed the heads of 'Chand' and 'Mund' with her chakra. Mahishasur
was enraged and he attacked goddess Durga. Some other demons like Prachanda,
Chamar, Mahamauli, Mahahanu, Ugravaktra, Vikataksha and Dahan also came forward
to help him but each one of them was killed by goddess Durga.Now,
Mahishasur's anger crossed all limits and he menacingly ran towards goddess
Durga. A severe battle was fought between both of them. When Mahishasur realized
that the goddess was dominating the battle, he started changing his guises frequently.
He tried to dodge goddess Durga by transforming his appearance into that of
a boar. But, goddess Durga kept on chasing him. Then, Mahishasur became a lion.
This way he kept on changing his appearances frequently to avoid getting killed
by goddess Durga. Once he transformed himself into a buffalo but goddess Durga
This way, Mahishasur
was forced to change his appearance frequently on account of relentless attack
by goddess Durga. Ultimately Durga killed him. Goddess Durga picked up his severed
head and danced in joy. The deities were relieved at the death of Mahishasur.
[ Top ]
Goddess Durga then
went to the place where goddess Parvati was still doing penance. She held Mahishasur's
head in one hand and a sword in the other.Goddess
Parvati said---'O Vindhyavasini! You have accomplished an impossible act. If
it were not for you I would not have been able to accomplish my own penance.
Now, you should get rid of this skull and create a holy spring bathing in which
would destroy your sin acquired by killing Mahishasur.'
Goddess Durga hit
ferociously at a huge rock breaking it into pieces. A large pit was created
which was soon filled up with underground water. She then took her bath in it
by chanting NAMAH SHONADRINATHAY.
In the meantime,
an amazing incident took place. While goddess Durga was taking her bath with
Mahishasur's skull in her hand, a Shivalinga, which was struck in Mahishasur's
throat fell down. This Shivalinga later on became famous as 'Papanashan Shivalinga'.
She then released the skull and came out from the pond.Arunachaleshwar
(Lord Shiva) became pleased by Parvati's devotion and appeared before her. Lord
Arunachaleshwar then made Parvati to sit by his left side. The next moment Parvati's
identity mingled with that of Lord Arunachaleshwar. The place where this incident
took place, there is situated a grand temple of goddess Apitastani and Lord
[ Top ]