‘Yaacchiva Puranam hi Paramam Sastram uttamam /
Siva Rupam Kshitau Jneya Seva- niyam cha Sarvatha /
Pathanaat chhravanaadasya Bhaktimannarasathamah /
Sadyah Siva paada praptim labhatey Sarva Sadhanaat’.
(This Siva Purana is a highly commended Scripture. Consider it as Lord Siva’s own manifestation on Earth and observe devotion to it always. Those who read or hear the Purana shall be blessed instantly and shall attain Siva loka).
In a congregation of Sages at the Holy Forest of ‘Naimisharanya’ headed by Sage Saunaka, Suta Maha Muni (the Sage-in-Chief) described the fruits of ‘Pathanam’ (reading), ‘Sravanam’ (hearing) and ‘Mananam’ (cogitating) of Siva Purana. He declared that only a person who had the blessings of previous births on account of past fruitful deeds could become associated with the Holy Purana; similarly those who aspire to acquire the blessings of Bhagavan Siva in future too could be associated with the Purana. Siva Purana has an open and easy access, irrespective of any consideration to one all and Bhagavan Siva, who had a history of easy and quick award of boons is pleased with small services like reciting even half of a Stanza of the Purana- let alone reading the entire Purana for the best results. Bhagavan Siva would readily absolve even the meanest sins of varying descriptions if only a human being resolves to purify oneself with truthfulness and dedication till the final stage of one’s life. Asked by Sage Saunaka, Suta Muni informed that Bhagavan Siva Himself authored the Purana originally and Maharshi Veda Vyasa sought the permission of Sanatkumar for the benefit of posterity and Vyasa’s disciple Romaharshana (alternatively Lomaharshana) recited this Great ‘Kalpataru’ or the Boon yielding Celestial Tree) to wash off the perennial sins of ‘Kali Yuga’. Siva Purana contains Six ‘Samhitas’ (Volumes) entitled Vidyesvara Samhita, Rudra Samhita, Shata Rudra Samhita, Koti Samhita, Uma Samhita, Kailasa Samhita and Vayavaya Samhita; each of these Samhitas is divided into chapters and even a condensed version duly read would yield fruitful outcome.
‘Adyanta mangalam-ajata Samaana bhaavam-aryam tam-Esham-Ajaram-Atma Devam /
Panchananam Pancha Vinoda Sheelam Sambhaavaye manasi Shankaram-Ambikesham’
(Let the Purana be evenly spread with propitiousness from the beginning till the end with heartfelt prayers soliciting the benevolence of the Birthless, Five Faced, Five-sported, and Shankara Deva united with Ambika.) –Veda Vyasa prefacing Sri Siva Purana.