Sunday, April 17, 2011

How To Worship Lord Shiva




                      How To Worship Lord Siva


In the Sivapurana it has been told that once Sanatkumara was traveling in an aircraft and happened to see sage Parasara, practicing austerities (tapas ) on the banks of the river Saraswathi. Sanatkumara stopped by and asked the latter the reason for being at such a lonely place. Sage Parasara replied that having done his ordained duties as a teacher and helped lots of students to gain knowledge, he decided to practice austerities for his own salvation. Sanatkumara then revealed to him the knowledge he received earlier from Nandikeswara and suggested him to practice mananam, sravanam and kirtanam instead of austerities as effective means of attaining the grace of Lord Siva and achieve liberation. These three means are explained below.
  1. Mananam: Uttering the Siva mantras or prayers, contemplating or meditating upon the grandeur and significance of Siva or the sacred texts of Saivism and performing similar mental activities.
  2. Sravanam: Listening from others, or in a gathering of Siva's devotees, about Lord Siva, the concepts of Saivism, the books on Saivism, the life and activities of Nayanars or other devotees of Siva.
  3. Kirtanam. Singing the glory of Lord Siva either alone or in the company of other devotees. When it is done in groups it is called bhajan. Devotional singing helps the mind become stabilized in God.

The Worship of Sivalinga

According to the Sivapurana, in the age of Kali (kaliyuga) ,worship of Siva in the form of Sivalinga is the best means of liberation. Woship of Sivalinga can be done either at home or in a Siva temple or a sacred place such as the banks of a sacred river. The linga has to be worshipped by the traditional means (sadupachara) of
  1. dhyana,
  2. avahana,
  3. asana,
  4. padya,
  5. arghya,
  6. achamaniya,
  7. abhisheka,
  8. vastra,
  9. bhasma,
  10. gandha,
  11. akshata,
  12. pushpa,
  13. bilva,
  14. dhupa,
  15. dipa,
  16. naivedya,
  17. tambula,
  18. mahanirajana,
  19. mantrapushpa,
  20. namaskara and
  21. prardhana.

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