Shiva Gita (study and summary)

by K. V. Anantharaman | 2010 | 35,332 words

Shiva-gita Chapter 4 (English summary), entitled “theophany of shiva (shiva-pradurbhava-akhya)” as included in the critical study by K. V. Anantharaman. The Shiva-gita is a philosophical text from the Padma-purana in the form of a dialogue between Lord Shiva and Shri Rama. It deals with topics such as Advaita metaphysics and Bhakti and consists of 768 verses.

Chapter 4 - Theophany of Śiva (śiva-prādurbhāva-ākhya)

4.1 Agastya retires.

Continuing the narration, Sūta informed the sages that Agastya retired to his hermitage after offering Rāma the instructions on Pāśupata vow.

4.2 Observation of Pāśupata Vow.

Rāma immediately, went to the sacred Ramagiri, on the banks of river Godāvari, installed the Śiva Liṅga and observed the vow by smearing his body with vibhūti and wearing rudrākṣa. Rāma propitiated the Liṅga by doing the abhiṣeka with holy waters from Gautamī (Sindhū or Godāvari) and offering the Lord wild flowers and fruits.

4.3 Severe Penance.

Sitting on tiger skin Rāma started reciting the Śiva Sahasranāma, living only on fruits for a month, on leaves alone in the subsequent month, living on water alone in the third month and Abhijñāna Śākuntala Śiva had not appeared, started the fourth month by living only on air. He was deeply absorbed on the inimitable form of Śiva with Umā Abhijñāna Śākuntala his consort, the God with four arms, three eyes and with matted hair, splendorous like millions of suns and cool like millions of moons, wearing serpents Abhijñāna Śākuntala ornaments and even Abhijñāna Śākuntala sacred thread and tiger skin Abhijñāna Śākuntala his dress.

4.4 Śiva’s appearance.

At the end of fourth month, while Rāma was thus absorbed, there was a tremendous sound resembling the churning of ocean with Mandara mountain and fall of Tripura under attack from the arrows of Rudra. Rāma hearing the deluge like sound lost sense of direction and seeing a superlative efflorescence in front of him, thought it Abhijñāna Śākuntala an action of demons and stood up to attack the same with his battery of arrows like Āgneya, Vāruṇa, Soumya [Saumya?], Mohana, Saura and Pārvata. But all efforts by Rāma came to a nought and all arrows fell on the effulgence and were absorbed Abhijñāna Śākuntala rain water in the ocean. Suddenly even his bow and quiver slipped and fell and seeing this Lakṣmaṇa fell in a swoon and Rāma, helpless, began chanting Śiva Sahasranāma in all his concentration, repeatedly prostrating before the splendid light, falling like a stick on the ground, closing his eyes. Again there was another tumult making the quarters resound, shaking the entire earth and out of sheer fright when Rāma opened his eyes, he beheld the beautiful Nandi Abhijñāna Śākuntala if a lump of butter[1] emerging out of the churning of ambrosia. The Nandi was bedecked with horns capped with gold and resplendent with emerald green, with its looks shining like sapphire gems and its neck covered by a short piece of wool.

4.5 Host of Gods escorting Śiva.

Rāma saw with trepidation, Mahādeva, the supreme Lord seated on the bull, pure like a crystal,[2] wearing tiger skin, adorning a serpent Abhijñāna Śākuntala his sacred thread, with tawny matted hair glowing like lightning. Rāma saw a very youthful Parameśvara adorning his head with the moon, an epitome of existence, consciousness and bliss; with mother Pārvatī, the most beautiful, sitting by his side. She was wearing divine garland, with blue lotus eyes and her body aglow with gooseflesh resulting from the embrace of Lord Śiva. The hosts of Gods like Viṣṇu, Brahmā were with their consorts and were chanting Śrī Rudra and other Gods chanting Sāmaveda. He saw Ganeśa mounted on his mouse vehicle and Lord Subrahmaṇya, the six faced, mounted on his peacock; many ṛṣis extolling the Lord with Atharva śiras and the great Nagas like Ananta worshipping the Lord and his consort with Śvetāśvatara hymns and Kaivalya Upaniṣad.

4.6 Rāma in epiphany.

Candeśa and Mahākala, retinues of Śiva and Kālājñi Rudra with his terrific form and Bhṛṅgiriṭi with his three feet and irregular form dancing along with Pramātas and Kinnaras and a group of brahmins were chanting the holy hymn of Tryambaka[3]. Nārada was on his vīṇā recital while Ramba and Uṛvasī were performing celestial dance. He saw a host of Gandharvas like Citraratha and saw Kambala and Aśvatara who adorned Śiva’s ears Abhijñāna Śākuntala rings, Pannagas called Kapāla and Kambala singing and felt his life’s mission accomplished. Praising the Lord with thousand names, Rāma prostrated again and again and was overwhelmed with joy and epiphany.[4]

Thus ends chapter four of Śiva-gītā.

Footnotes and references:


Ibid IV-24 and 25


Ibid IV-27 and 28


Tryambaka—the Mahāmrutyuñjaya mantra—which appears in Śrī Rudrapraśna, the ultimate eulogy on Lord Śiva—“We worship the fragrant three-eyed One, who confers ever increasing prosperity; let us be saved from the hold of death, like the cucumber freed from its hold; let us not turn away from liberation”


Vide Śiva Gītā IV-52

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