Worship method of Siva Lingas

Bhagavan Siva advocated the methodology of worshipping Siva Linga, which could be made of mud, rock or metal and be either ‘Chara’ ( mobile) Linga or ‘Sthira’ ( fixed) Linga as per convenience. A movable Linga, which can be carried to places if needed, should have a breadth of twelve times of the thickness of a hand finger of the concerned devotee and twenty five times the thickness of the finger of the height and should have a pedastal always.The Linga shoud be consecrated by continuosly reciting the Mantra ‘Om Namah Sivaya’ during the construction and consecration times. It is said that worship of the Linga at midnight time is considered preferable. Recitation of the above Mantra five crore times is considered highly fruitful.Worship along with ‘Shodasopacharas’ or sixteen kinds of Services is to be performed. [The Services are: ‘Asana’ or Seating, ‘Padyam’ water for washing the Deity’s feet, ‘Arghya’ or water for sipping, ‘Snana’ or Body wash, ‘Anulepana’ smearing the Deity’s Body with Ash, Gandham etc.; ‘Dhupam’ or Inscense, ‘Dipam’ offering lights with oil-soaked cotton vicks, ‘Naivedyam’ or offering Food and fruits, ‘Tambula’ or betel leaves and nuts, ‘Paneeya’ offer of Ganges water / coconut water, ‘Vastram’ or clothing, ‘Alankaram’ or ornamentation by holy leaves of Bilva, flowers etc; ‘Gandham’ or Sandal paste, ‘Achamaniya’ Ganga water for sipping and ‘Arati’ or camphor lighting and finally the most important ‘Mantra Pushpa’ or Vedic Chanting and Stotras as well as Vedic Hymns of ‘Namakam’ and Chamakam’/ ‘Mahanyasam’.] The worships are commended specially on the banks of Holy Rivers like Ganga, Sindhu or Sarasvati or at the Temples on the banks of any other Rivers like, Yamuna, Narmada, Godavari, Kaveri, and so on. Worship at Sacred Places like Badari, Kedar, Kasi and at other Dvadasa Linga Kshetras is highly recommended. On Sundays such worships are notably recommended for Siva Pujas, while Mondays are significant for Durga, Tuesdays for Kartikeya, Wednesdays for Vishnu, Thursdays for Lord Yama, Fridays for Brahma and Saturdays for Indra and other Planetary Heads. While Siva Linga Pujas performed at the Puja-designated places in one’s residence are nodoubt significant, such worships at Cow-sheds are ten times more beneficial; the Pujas conducted in Temples in the precincts of Tulasi ( Basil plant) are ten times more fruitful; further ten times more beneficial with multiplier effect at Sea shores, mountain tops, and so on. But the best worship is with ‘Bahyantara Suchi’ or Physical and inner purity! The most auspicious timings for the Worship of Siva Lingas are the days coinciding Surya Sankranti, ‘Tula’ and ‘Mesha’Sankrantis, as also Lunar and Solar Eclipse days. In the normal course, Siva Linga Pujas are best performed during the ‘Magha’ month and on every Krishna Chaturdasi days. On every day of Kartik Month, a full fledged worship along with Agni Homas are specifically fruitful for ensuring excellent health, particularly related to long standing diseases? Most importantly, regular Siva Linga Pujas on every Sundays would bless the devotees with Happiness in their life and Salvation thereafter!

Major kinds of ‘Siva Lingas’ are Svayambhu Linga, Bindu Linga, Pratishtha Linga, Chara Linga, and Guru Linga. Again, there are Lingas of Gross Nature, devotion of which is meant for fulfillment of Material desires and also Subtle Lingas aiming at Spiritual Bliss and Salvation. The Parthiva Lingas are however the most commended, especially suited for Kali Yuga just as Ganges is the best of the Rivers, Kashi is the best place of pilgrimage and Omkara is the best Mantra. Getting clean in physique and mind, wearing Rudraksha mala by neck and Bhasma on forehead, chanting names of Siva like Hara, Mahadeva, Soolapani, Pinakadhrik, Pasupati and Mahesa, the Parthiva Linga is immersed in a river or a water body, or placed on a pedestal in a forest area or a mountain. One should keep on reciting Siva Panchakshari, viz. ‘Om Namaha Sivaya’ and perform worship as prescribed in the Scriptures. Starting from Ganesh Puja and Planetary Heads, Devi Bhagavati and the Ultimate Deity of Siva, the worship is best performed facing North, along with the Sixteen Services with high devotion and commitment for fulfillment of desires ranging from good health, longevity, wealth and ‘nishkama moksha’. The service of bilva puja, ‘abhisheka’ ( Vedic bath of milk, coconut water and finallyof ash or bhasma and so on along with ‘Naivedya’ are an integral part of the worship. More specifically, each service be designated by addressing the Lord as follows: Om Namah Sivaya- Prokshana (sprinkling of water) on various Puja materials; Om Namah Rudraya-Kshetra Suddhi (Purification of surroundings); Om Namah Nilagreevaya-Panchamrita prokshanam (sprinkling of mixture of milk, curd, sugar, honey, fruit); Om Mahesaya Namah-Asanam ( Seating); Om Paramesvaraya Namah- ‘Nyasam’or identification of self with by Paramesvara by offering the entirety to Him; Om namah Visvarupaya-Padyam or water for cleaning His feet; recitation of Rudra Gayatri [ Om Bhur Bhuvah Svaha Om Tatpurushaya Vidmahe Maha Devaya Dheemahi Tanno Rudrah prachodayaat]; Om Ghrishnaya Namah- Uttareeyam ( clothing); Om Parthaya Namah-Bilva Patra Puja; Om Kapardineya Namah-Dhupam ( incense sticks); Om Jyeshthaya Namah-Dadhyanna or curd rice Naivedyam; Om Rudraya Namah- Phalam or fruits; Om Vrajaya Namah- ‘Sakalam’ or every thing; Om Hiranya Garbhaya Namah- Dakshina or Present to the Pandit performing the worship; Om Devasya Namah- ‘Abhishekam’; Om Sambho namah- ‘Neerajanam’ or Aarathi; Om Parama Sivaya Namah-‘ Sashtanga Namaskara’ and offerings of Siva Mudras]. Keeping in mind the Five Faced Bhagavan with the names of Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Aghora, Tatpurusha and Esana, one concludes the worship by reciting: Bhavaya, Bhavanasakaya, Mahadevaya, Dhimahi / Ugraya, Ugranasaya, Sarvaaya, Sashi Mouliney!

While performing the Worship to Siva Lingas, significance is attached of applying ‘Bhasmas’ or wearing ‘Rudrakshas’. ‘Maha Bhasmas’ are to be applied only after securing the burnt cow dung cakes in ‘Agneya Bhasmas’ ( homams) or in the course of ‘Yagnas’ while reciting ‘Mantras’ and only the former varietyis used for ‘Tripundras’ invariably by Brahmanas and ‘Svalpa Bhasmas’could be used by others with devotion. Rudrakshas are available in a wide variety from the trees which in the days of yore sprouted from the tears of Siva Bhagavan- which eventually became large water bodies when He concentrated with wide eyes open for several years to create a powerful weapon known as ‘Aghora’ to destroy a Demon called Tripurasura. This special tree yielded beads which are the Rudrakshas now worn by devotees for excellent results, depending on the number of cuts on the bead- faces and the corresponding Devatas giving away boons the desired virtues or results.

Eka Mukhi Rudraksha is considered as Bhagavan Siva Himself providing the greatest boons of destroying even the worst sins including ‘Maha Patakas’.(Eka vaktram Sivah Sakshat Vimukti Phala pradam). Two-Faced Rudraksha is represented by Deva and Devi; the Three Faced one bestows all kinds of ‘Vidyas’; The Four Faced one is Brahma; the Fifth Faced is Rudra; the Sixth is Kartikeya; the Seventh is Manmadha; eighth is Bhairava; ninth is Durga, Ten- Faced is Janardana; Eleventh is Paramesvari; Twelfth is Aditya; Thirteenth is Visva Deva and Fourteenth is Parama Siva Himself. The Mantras that the persons wearing the Faces respectively are: Eka Mukhi: Om Hrim Namah; 2) Om Namah 3) Om Kleem Namah 4) Om Hreem Namah 5) Om Hreem Namah 6) Om Hreem Hum Namah 7) Om Hum Namah 8) Om Hreem Hum Namah 9) Om Hreem Hum Namah 10) Om Hreem Namah Namah 11) Om Hreem Hum Namah 12) Om Kraum Kshaum Roum Namah 13) Om Hreem Namah and 14) Om Namah.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

Kamakoti.org presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at raovdn@yahoo.co.in