Indeed the multi-sided propitiousness of Siva Puja was described by Sage Lomesh: if one brooms the courtyard of a Siva Temple he is worthy of greeting him all over the world and trace his foot prints to forward him to Siva Loka. He who lights a ‘dhup’ (incense stick) and offer ‘Naivedya’ in a Temple of Maha Deva is blessed for two generations and attains name and fame instantly. Those who put up lights before the Deity of Hari-Hara would illuminate the families of their parents and offer ‘Naivedya’ to the Deity would attain that much of ‘Punya’ or the fruits of good deeds equating one Yagna. If a reconstruction of a dilapitated temple of Hara or Hari is taken up, the person concerned gets double the benefit and if a temple is constructed afresh, then the number of bricks used would equate the number of years in the Loka of the specified Lord. If a bell is dedicated to a Temple, the donor would become reputed in Three Lokas soon. Frequent ‘darshans’ or visits to Temples would enhance the Punya account.The person whose tongue is always used to recite the ‘Panchakshara Mantra’-Om Namassivaya-is akin to Siva Himself. He who visits Siva Temple regularly in the morning hours burns off the sins of the current birth; the afternoon visit helps dissolve the sins of previous seven births and the night visits to the Siva Temple is devoid of sins totallly. The two words of ‘Si’ and ‘va’ denote propitiousness and sinlessness. If a person recites the name of Siva, thinks of Him, performs Siva Japa incessantly and dedicates himself to Siva in the mouth, hears about Him, thinks of Him, performs service to Him in all possible ways and means, organises ‘Puran Pathan’ or sings hymns, group singings, musicals, bhajans, Vedic Renderings of Namakam /Chamakam and Mahanyasas and encourages innovative and thoughtful means to worship, has direct accesss to Siva Loka.
While describing the worship of Siva Linga, Sage Lomesh emphasised that there was no difference of Bhagavan Siva and Lord Vishnu:
Yo Vishnuh sah Sivo Jneyo yah Sivo Vishnureva sah, Peethika Vishnu Rupamsyallinga ruupee Maheswarah /
Thasmallinga- archanam sreshtham Sarveyshaamapi vai Dwijah
(He who is Vishnu is Siva and Siva be known as Vishnu Himself; the base is Vishnu and the ‘Linga’ is Maheswara and thus worship of Siva Linga is idyllic). Brahma worships the Linga made of ‘Mani’ Stone, Indra worships ‘Ratna’Linga, Chandra of Pearl made Linga, Surya of copper, Kuber of Silver made Linga, Varun of Ruby, Yama of Blue coloured Linga, Vayu of Kesari colour and so on. Inhabitants of Pataala too worship Siva. Gandharvas, Kinnaras, Daityas and Rakshasas were no exception.Bali, Namuchi, Hiranyakasipu, Vrishaparva, and several of Sukracharya followers were great Bhaktas of Maha Deva. Ravanaasura was an illustrious devotee of Maha Siva who bestowed a number of boons in appreciation of the Demon’s severe ‘Tapasya’ such as Gyan, Vigyan, invincibility in battles, and even double the number of heads of Panchamukha Parameswara! Ravan thus became the Lord of Trilokas. As Devas approached Nandi to entreat Maha Deva to get rid of the menace of Ravana, Nandi gave the background as to why he sported the face of a monkey when Ravana waited to meet Maha Deva; Nandi did not like the comments of Ravana about Nandi’s face and gave a curse that a monkey-face placed before a human being in the Avatar of Lord Vishnu would herald the death of Ravana. Nandi also advised Devas to pray for Vishnu (who too was the same as Siva) to annhilate Ravana. Thus Devas prayed to Vishnu and the latter advised the Demi-Gods to place Nandi ahead and quickly become ‘Vanaraas’ or monkeys. He would be born at Ayodhya and His consort Sita would be abducted by Ravana who ignored a human being while asking for boons from Siva. Various Devas assumed ‘Amsas’ or alternate forms like Indra as Vali, Brahma as Jambavaan, Surya as Sugriva, the Eleventh Rudra as Hanuman, Seshanag as Lakshman, Vishnu’s ‘Bhujadanda’ or shoulders as Bharat and Shatrughna, Brahma Vidya (Vedavati in earlier birth) as Devi Sita etc. Indeed Ravan was an illustrious devotee of Maha Deva but despite that unparalelled devotion to Siva, the Demon’s wish-list and evil actions were totally misdirected to highly immoral purposes and wicked ambitions that had to inevitably lead to destruction; yet, the steadfast devotion to Parama Siva was credited to provide salvation not only to himself but also his family and followers. Ravana could never realise that both Maha Deva and Bhagavan Vishnu were one and the same, as a thick veil of Maya (Illusion) misdirected him totally, vindicating the absolute Truth that Vishnu and Siva were indeed just the same; foolish entities like Ravana followed wrong convictions!