In Sanatan Dharma, Lord Shiva is worshiped as the first or the primordial man. Besides, in the initial section of the Brihadharma Purana, Shiva has been considered the creator, maintainer and destroyer of the entire universe. Well, we worship Shiva as a recluse and God but don’t look into his other aspects. According to Shiva Purana, Shiva is also a true lover and a devotee. Let us consider all the aspects of Shiva as per the glory of Shiva described in Shiv Puran granth.
About Shiva Puran
The Shiva Purana composed by sage Ved Vyas is a great book describing the devotion and glory of Shiva. There are seven parts in Shiva mahaPuran, in which various forms of Mahadev are described. Who are you Shiva from the stories of Shiva Purana by Ved Vyas? Or what is Shiva? You can know the answer to questions like these. We can use the teachings of Shiva Purana to improve our life and fill it with good qualities and live happily. Shiv mahapuran serves to reveal to us the mysteries of Mahadev, whose answers can change the way we see and live our lives. According to Shiva Purana, when you know about Shiva, you will find your own spiritual knowledge smaller. According to Shiva Purana, the worship method of Lord Shiva and his mantras work to bring us closer to the Lord. There is also a mention of stories related to the supreme devotees of Lord Shiva in the MahaShiv Puran. Overall, through Shiva Purana we can see that form of Lord Shiva which is unseen or untold for us till date.
Who Is Shiva According To Shiva Purana?
This verse from the Brihadharma Purana will help us to understand the original form of Shiva.
Hariharyo: Prakritireka Pratyabheden Rupbhedojyam.
Ekasyev Natsyanek Vidhe Bhed Bhedat.
According to the above verse – there is basically no difference between Hari and Hara. The only difference is in their form. Just as an actor assumes different forms in a play, but in reality he/she remains who he/she is. This gives us an idea of the vastness of Shiva. According to Maha Shiv Puran, various things like yagya & the time cycles of past, present, future and the entire world is created by the game of Lord Shiva, and he is seated in the midst of his creation.
According to Shiva Purana, Shiva or Maheshwar is the creator of Maya. That is, the Supreme Lord Shiva is beyond everything. He is immaculate, omniscient, above the three modes of nature and the ultimate Supreme Brahman. He is unborn and he is the origin of all. He is worthy of all the praise and is the guardian of his subjects, the god of the gods and worshipped by the entire world. According to Shiva Purana, Shiva is the sustainer and destroyer of the universe, he is the saguna-nirguna and the nirvikar Parabrahmam Paramatma in the form of true and divine nature.
According to Shiv Puran, Shiva himself tells Lord Vishnu, “O Vishnu, I am the source of creation, protection and destruction of the universe. I am the cosmic work divided into Trimurti and I am present in three forms and hold together Brahma and Vishnu.” According to Shiv Purana, Shiva is anywhere and everywhere, so there is no point in asking who is Shiva? Or what is Shiva? All this is just the result of limited thinking of our narrow thoughts. Shiva has just taken a form to be accessible to humans. Indeed, Shiva is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.
How Many Parts/Chapters Are There In Shiv Puran ?
Presently, some conflicts are taking place regarding the parts of Sanjoy Shiv Purana, the literature of Sanatan Kaal Shiva Bhakti. Ambiguity is seen regarding the number of its chapters or volumes. The parts of Shiva Purana are known as Samhitas. According to one opinion, there are six chapters in Shiva Purana, which are Vidyeshwara Samhita, Rudra Samhita, Shatrudra Samhita, Kotirudra Samhita, Uma Samhita and Kailash Samhita.
In another opinion, Shiva Purana is composed of seven chapters, this view mentions the additional chapter of Vayu Samhita. There is a third opinion, which states there are eight chapters in Shiva Purana. However, in all the various opinions, the order of the first six chapters remains the same. Let us know about the various chapters or sections of Shiv Purana.
Shiv Purana Chapter 1 – Vidyeshwara Samhita
Shiv Purana Chapter 1 is known as Vidyeshwara Samhita. In the Vidyeshwar Samhita, the rules of reading the Shiva Purana, the rules of Shiva worship, the rules of Shivaratri fasting and the rules of worshiping Shivalinga, including the rules for wearing Rudrakhash and the charity related to Shiva and their importance are found. It is stated in this chapter that Sutji is contemplating religion with the sages at Prayag. Apart from this, the main parts of Vidyeshwara Samhita are as follows.
– Introduction to Shiv Puran
– Thoughts on the means, meditation on the subjects like the month of Sawan, Shiva Bhajan and attainment of Shiva through yoga.
– Worship method, mystery and importance of Shiva Linga and the corporeal form of Shiva
– Significance of Panchakshara Mantra Om Namah Shivaya
– How to establish Shiva Linga, how to worship Shiva with Vedic mantras. Such subjects have been told in Chapter 1 of Shiv Puran – Vidyeshwar Samhit.
Shiv Purana Chapter 2 – Rudra Samhita
The second chapter of MahaShiv Puran, Rudra Samhita has a total of five sections. These include Srishti Khand, Sati Khand, Parvati Khand, Kumar Khand and Yudh Khand.
Shiv Puran Chapter 3 – Sharudrasamhita
Chapter 3 of the Shiva Purana is known as the Sharudrasamhita. Various forms of Lord Shiva and their in-depth description are found in the Shatrudra Sanhita. In this Samhita, Shiva is described in all those incarnations, wherein he has worked for the salvation of the world.
There are descriptions of five incarnations of Shiva, namely Saghejat, Vamadeva, Tatpurush, Aghor and Ishaan.
- It also contains information about Shiva’s Ardhanarishwar form in much detail.
- It contains the story about the Birth of Nandi and his marriage to Abhishek.
- The description of the eleven Rudra incarnations of Shiva including the Mahakal incarnation of Shiva is also seen in the Shatrudrasamhita of Shiva Purana.
Shiv Puran Chapter 4 – Kotirudra Sanhita
Chapter 4 of Shiv Puran is known as Kotirudrasamhita. In Kotirudrasamhita, the importance of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva and complete information related to their worship method is found.
– The information about how the 12 Jyotirlingas originated, with the meanings of the 12 Jyotirlinga Stotrams, the verses of 12 Jyotirlinga, etc. are obtained only from the Kotirudrasamhita.
The story of Kashi Vishwanath, the origin of Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga, the origin of Kashi, the mantra of Kashi Vishwanath, the secrets of Kashi Vishwanath are found in the Kotirudrasamhita.
Information like the story of Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, the meaning of Mallikarjuna and how to worship Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga is also found in the Kotirudrasamhita part of Shiv Puran.
The story of Mahakal Jyotirlinga, the meaning of Mahakal Jyotirlinga, the story of the birth of Mahakal is also mentioned in the Shiva Purana of Dev Vyas.
The story related to the origin of all other Dwadash Jyotirlingas including Kedarnath Jyotirlinga, Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Tryambakeshvar Jyotirlinga, Okareshwar Jyotirlinga, Rameshwar Jyotirling, Ghushmeshwar Jyotirling, Nageshwar Jyotirling and Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is also available to us from Kotirudra Samhita.
We can also find the mention of the story of Vishnu getting Sudarshan Chakra by worshiping Lord Shankar. In the Kotirudrasamhita, information about the sources, methods and benefits of Shiva Sahasranama read by Lord Vishnu for Shiva worship is also found. It also entitles the information about fasts and mantras to please Lord Shiva. Additionally, the method of Shivaratri fast and the glory of Shivaratri are also mentioned in the Kotirudrasamhita.
Shiv Puran Chapter 5 – Uma Sanhita
Uma Samhita gives information about the fruits of devotion and worship of Lord Shiva. The Chapter 5 of Shiv Puran Umasamhita gives answers to questions related to sin and virtue. The detailed tale about the appearance of Mother Uma and the slaughter of Shumbha Nishumbh is also available from Shiv Purana.
Moreover, how should a person perform actions to attain heaven and all the measures related to charity, virtue, these various details are from Umasamhita.
– Uma samhita also mentions measures to remove sins and repentance of mistakes. The knowledge of all the four measurable practices for attaining immortality by conquering death, such as Pranayama, meditation of fire in the middle of the brow, breathing through the mouth and touching the bell of the tongue with a twisted tongue, is also obtained from the Shiva Purana.
Not just limited to this, the story related to Goddess Uma, Mahalakshmi, Saraswati and Kali incarnation is also found in the fifth chapter of Shiv Puran in Hindi literature.
Shiv Puran Chapter 6 – Kailash Samhita
In Kailash Samhita, we get information about various rules of Shiva Bhakti. Before imbibing dispassion and getting absorbed in the devotion of Shiva, you get the knowledge of the rules to worship Shiva from the Kailas sanhita. Herein, information about the classical method of taking sannyas is also found. Kailash Samhita also mentions worship of Ganapati, element purification, worship about Savitri, etc.
Shiv Puran Chapter 7 – Vayu Sanhita
Vayu Samhita is the last part of Shiv Purana, but Vayu Samhita has 2 sections:
Shiv Puran Chapter – 7 Vayu Samhita Purva Khand
In the complete section of Vayu Samhita, we find questions and answers between Sutji , sages and Brahma or the Supreme Person. Responding to the sages, Brahma refers to Rudra (Lord Shiva) as the Supreme Person. Besides, we also get to see the hymns and sources of Ardhanarishvara and the story of the killing of Shumbh Nishumbha by Maa Durga in this section of Vayu Samhita.
Shiv Puran Chapter – 7 Vayu Samhita Uttar Khand
In this section of the Vayu Samhita, Vayudev answers the questions of Sutji and other sages. In Shiv Puran Part 7 Vayu Samhita Uttar Khand, Upamanyudwara Shri Krishna gets a description of the Pashupat weapon.
Herein, there is also a description of the omnipresence of mother Shiva’s Uma Brahma form. Information related to Shiva’s fasting, offerings and Havan Yagya are also seen in this section of Shiv Purana.
Indeed, Shiv Puran is like the gospel of Shaivism and it has influenced Hindu religion in a number of ways.