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Śri Śri Śiva Mahādeva
The embodied soul is supreme, whole, eternal, consisting of nothing, stainless. It is the ultimate atomic particle, the Nātha. It is supreme Śiva, all pervading. It is the ultimate, that jīva, it is Haṃsa, the soul of Śakti – Kaulajnananirnaya
The daily puja or worship outlined below is taken from a panchanga or ritual manual. The puja is based on the worship of the lingam, Śiva’s emblem and an obvious symbol for the penis.
In Hindu temples devoted to Śiva, the lingam, very often associated with a yoni as its base, is generally placed before an image of Nandi the bull, his vehicle or vahana. Before bowing to the lingam itself, the worshipper touches the testicles of the bull, which sits facing the lingam. Often, the lingam is part of a combined yoni-lingam symbol, representing the male and female sexual organs. Flowers and liquid are poured over the lingam and yoni emblem.
Śiva is also known as Maheshvar, the great Lord, Mahādeva, the great God, Shambhu, Hara, Pinakadhrik, bearer of the axe and Mrityunjaya, conqueror of death. He is the spouse of Shakti, the goddess. He also is represented by Mahakala and Bhairava, the terrible, as well as many other forms including Rudra. Śiva is often pictured holding the damaru (sound file .wav format: 190K), an hour-glass shape drum, shown below with his trishula. His usual mantra is om namah shivaya.
In the image top left, Śiva is shown as a sadhu, a yogin. He is the Lord of Yoga. On his matted locks is a crescent moon, from which streams the river Ganga. Around his neck and arms are serpents, while he also wears the rudraksha beads sacred to him. He is smeared with ash, as that is all that remains at the dissolution of the universe, which he presides over. This dissolution of the universe comes when his third eye opens, the whole metaphor referring to the realisation of one’s own consciousness, which is Śiva. His right hand shows the mudra dispelling fear, while in his left he holds the trident, symbol of the three worlds, on which is bound the ḍamaru. He sits on a tiger skin and on his right is a water pot.
Śiva is fivefold, his five faces being Ishana, Tatpurusha, Aghora, Vamadeva and Sadjyojata, and eightfold (see puja below) as the eight directions. Śiva-Śakti also has a form called Ardhanarishvara, the meditation image showing the devi as red coloured and voluptuous, as one half of the body, the deva as the other half having a terrifying and fierce aspect.
Mahādeva Śiva is also lord of all beings of the underworld, including bhutas (elementals), pretas (ghosts), and pishachas (flesh eaters) and the rest. He is sometimes pictured on a horse, followed by his retinue of siddhas (accomplished ones), bhairavas (terrifying forms of Śiva), yogis and the rest. As Rudra, he is identified with the star Sirius (Sothis), and is the supreme hunter.
The lingam used in Śiva puja is often made of different materials. While the Todala Tantra recommends lingas made of clay, they are also fashioned from quartz, stone, and in the case of the Matrikabheda Tantra, an alchemical work, from a Mercury amalgam.
Oṃ I bow to Śiva and the five devatas and offer this scent and flower Oṃ! Oṃ I bow to the Sun and the planets and offer this scent and flower Oṃ! Oṃ I bow to the Guardians of the Directions and offer this scent and flower Oṃ! Oṃ I bow to all Goddesses and offer this scent and flower Oṃ! Oṃ I bow to the guru! (Left) Oṃ I bow to the guru’s guru! (Right) Oṃ I bow to the source of the gurus! (Centre) Oṃ I bow to Ganesha. Oṃ namah shivaya. Oṃ hail to Hara. (Establish Linga in North) Oṃ I bow to Māheśvara. (Oblate Linga) Oṃ O One Holding the Trident, truly be here!
Nyāsa — Placing
Oṃ Sham I bow to the thumbs Namah. Oṃ Shim I bow the index fingers Svaha. Oṃ Shum I bow to the middle fingers Vashat. Oṃ Shaim I bow to the ring fingers Hum. Oṃ Shaum I bow to the little fingers Vaushat. Oṃ Shah I bow to the front and back of hands Phat. Oṃ Sham to the heart Namah. Oṃ Shim to the head Svaha. Oṃ Shum to the peak Vashat. Oṃ Shaim to the armour Hum. Oṃ Shaum to the 3 eyes Vaushat. Oṃ Shah to the missile Phat.
Dhyāna — Meditation
Oṃ. Meditate always on Mahesha, like a mountain of silver, with a beautiful crescent Moon as his crest-gem, whose body is as bright as a jewel, gracious of appearance, his hands holding axe, deer, bestowing boons and dispelling fear, seated in the lotus position, surrounded and praised on all sides by immortals, wearing a tiger-skin, seed and sprout of the Cosmos, destroying fear, with five faces and three eyes. (Place a flower on the head. Perform mental worship. Place the flower on the linga.) O Bearer of the Staff, enter herein! Indwell here! Reside here! Reside here! May happiness be here! May happiness be here! O Rudra, I perform your worship!
Upachara — Offerings
Oṃ hail to Pashupati. (Bathe Linga) Oṃ this is water. Oṃ namah Śivaya! Oṃ this is arghya. Oṃ namah Śivaya! Oṃ this is for sipping. Oṃ namah Śivaya! Oṃ this is for bathing. Oṃ namah Śivaya! Oṃ this is scent. Oṃ namah Śivaya! Oṃ this is flower. Oṃ namah Śivaya! Oṃ this is birch-leaf. Oṃ namah Śivaya! Oṃ this is incense. Oṃ namah Śivaya! Oṃ this is flame. Oṃ namah Śivaya! Oṃ this is food. Oṃ namah Śivaya! Oṃ this is for sipping again. Oṃ namah Śivaya! Oṃ this is betel nut. Oṃ namah Śivaya! Oṃ I offer this scent and flower to Sharva, the Earth form (East) Oṃ I offer this scent and flower to Bhava, the Water form (NE) Oṃ I offer this scent and flower to Rudra, the Fire form (N) Oṃ 1 offer this scent and flower to Ugra, the Air form (NW) Oṃ I offer this scent and flower to Bhima. the Aether form (W) Oṃ I offer this scent and flower to Pashupati, the Magician form (SW) Oṃ I offer this scent and flower to Ishana, the Sun form (S) Oṃ I offer this scent and flower to Mahādeva, the Moon form (SE) Oṃ hail to Nandi. Oṃ hail to Bhringini. Oṃ hail to Kshetrapala. Oṃ hail to Vamadeva.
Japa — Mantra Recitation
Hara Māheśvara Shulapani Pinakadhrik Pashupati Śiva Mahādeva!
You are the secret at the core of every secret! Take this recitation! O Māheśvara, of Your grace, bestow siddhi on me! All hail to You, O one with closed eyes! Hail to You, with divine vision! Hail to You who holds the staff! Hail to You who holds the Vajra! Hail to You who holds the trident, sceptre, noose and sword in Your hands! Hail to You, Natha of the Three Worlds, the Lord of all Beings! Oṃ namah Śivaya. Hail to You the Peaceful One! Cause of the 3 Causes! I offer myself to You, O Parameshvara, You who are my goal and refuge!
Nam Nam Nam!
I know not how to invoke, nor how to worship, nor how to bid you farewell! Forgive my mistakes, O Parameshvara. (Place flower on head. Close.)
Artwork is © Jan Bailey, 1975-2022. Translations are © Mike Magee 1975-2022.Questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org