Shiv Maha Puran ( The Methods of Worshipping Shiva )

The Methods of Worshipping Shiva

On the request of the sages, Suta retold the preaching which had been narrated by Brahma to Narada. Describing the method of Shiva worship he says-
“A devotee should get up early in the morning and contemplate on Shiva, who gives benediction. After  that,  he  should  finish  his  daily routing  work  and perform  rituals  like  ’Sandhya’  and Vandana  etc.   After  that,   he  should   worship  Shivalinga  according   to   vedic  rites  like Panchopachar, Sodashopachar etc. He should also perform ‘Abhiseka’ with various offerings. At last, the should beg pardon for his sins.”
Once, Brahma went to ‘Kshirsagar’ (the abode of Vishnu) accompanied by the deities and asked lord Vishnu how a man could be liberated from his sorrows. Lord Vishnu told them that this objective could be met by worshipping Shivalinga. All the deities, then prayed to lord Shiva, who after becoming pleased instructed ‘Vishwakarma’ to  construct  a  Shivalinga  for  them.  Vishwakarma  then made  a  Shivalinga  for  Kubera,  a Shivalinga of yellow diamond for Dharmaraj, a Shivalinga of dark coloured diamond for Varuna, a Shivalinga of Indraned diamond for Vishnu and a goldden Shivalinga for Brahma. Similarly Vishwadeva  was  given  a  Shivalinga  made  up  of  silver,  the  Ashwini  Kumars  were given Shivalinga made up of bronze, Lakshmi was given a Shivalinga made up of Crystal (Sphatik), Sun-god was given a Shivalinga made of copper and the moon was given a Shivalinga made of pearl.

Brahma has described the following methods for the worship of Shivalinga- “After performing the rituals like ‘Achaman’ and Pranayama a devotee should apply a tripunda on his forehead and wear a rudraksha on his body. After the study of Shanti-path and the performance of Devata-Namaskar, he should make a resolution if he has any wish to be fulfilled. Then the worship of Shivalinga should be done, with the
help of Mahima-Stavan and offering flowers to the Shivalinga. The purity of the mantras should be maintained while chanting them.

It has been mentioned in the ShivaPurana that making offerings in the form of lotus, Shatapatra, Shankhapushpi, the leaves of wood apple tree, helps a man in attaining wealth and prosperity. For  becoming  free  from  disease,  fifty  lotus  flowers  should  be  offered  to  the  Shivalinga. Mrityunjay-Japa should be chanted for five lac times, for all types of accomplishment. One lakh dhatura-fruits should be offered for long life, worldly-pleasure, as well as for attaining salvation.

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