FROM THE SHIVA Purana, I have been describing what Shiva told Parvati.
Shiva said, “O beloved! Through the fire of jnana, a person who possesses jnana burns this body down in an instant. Through my favours, a person who knows about yoga casts aside the bonds of karma. Karma can be both auspicious and inauspicious. However, both are impediments to emancipation. Therefore, by engaging himself, a yogi will cast aside both good deeds and wicked ones. When one undertakes karma in pursuit of the fruits of karma, this is an impediment, not karma in itself. Therefore, one should cast aside the fruits of karma. At first, a person should worship me externally, through karma yajna. He will then engage in jnana yoga, and thereafter, pursue yoga. Embodied beings who know my true nature through karma yajna, regard a clod of earth, a stone and gold as equal and do not worship me further. However, a best among sages is my devotee. He controls himself and is engaged in yoga. He is a yogi who pursues jnana yoga, obtaining sayujya. There are varnas who resort to me, though their minds still retain attachment. They possess the rights and are worthy of performing jnana, charya and kriya.”
“My worship has two types—known as external and internal. The learned know that the worship can take three forms, in thoughts, words and deeds. Virtuous worship is also said to be of five types—in the due order, austerities, karma, japa, dhyana and jnana. When external worship is performed, it is known to others. In that way, what is known to one’s own self is described as internal worship. A mind that is only devoted to me is spoken of as a true mind, not any mind. Speech that is only about my name is true speech, not other kinds of speech. A body that possesses my signs, and is marked with Tripundra and other things, and is devoted to my worship, is a true body, and not any kind of body. My worship is known as karma. External sacrifices and other things are not spoken of in this way. Drying up the body for my sake represents austerities. Other kinds of hardships are not held to be that. Japa is practice with the panchakshara mantra or Pranava, or practice in performing dhyana on Rudra, not studying the Vedas and other things. Dhyana is thinking about my form, not samadhi for some other purpose. Vijnana is knowledge about the meanings of my Agama texts and not the meanings of other things. The mind is often attached to an external or internal object. O Devi! Devotion to the tattvas should first be fixed by focusing on these. Internal worship is one hundred times superior in qualities to external worship. This is because external worship has the possibility of being tainted by glances. It should be known that internal purity is purity. External purity is not spoken of as purity. If a person does not possess a pure atman, he is not pure, but impure. External or internal worship must be full of right sentiments. If the sentiments are missing, that is deception. I am pure. What will the rites men perform do for me? I only accept the internal or the external when sentiments exist. Kriya performed with sentiments is my eternal dharma. Performed in thoughts, words or deeds, it should be indifferent towards the fruits. When one resorts to me with fruits in mind, this is inferior in nature. If fruits are desired and those do not materialise, the person abandons me. O unblemished one! However, even if a person desires fruits and has his mind fixed on me, in accordance to his sentiments, I do grant him fruits. But there are those who do not desire fruits. Nevertheless, they are devoted to me. Subsequently, I bestow the desired fruits on these devotees and they are loved by me. As a result of their earlier samskaras, there are those who do not think about the absence or presence of fruits. Helplessly, they seek refuge in me. It is held that I love them the most. In truth, having obtained me, they do not get anything more. O Parameshvari! Their supreme gain is that they have obtained me. As a result of my favours, their sentiments are devoted to me. This forces the fruit of supreme nirvana being bestowed on them. There are other great-souled ones who vest their minds in me. Those have the right to speak about my dharma say that such people display eight signs—affection towards my devotees; approval of my worship; worshipping me on their own; using the body to perform acts for me; devotion to listening to my accounts; transformation in the voice, eyes and movements of the limbs when they hear about me; constantly remembering me; and seeking refuge in me. If these eight signs exist in a mleccha, he is like an Indra among Brahmanas, an intelligent sage, or a learned mendicant. I do not love a person who knows the four Vedas as much as a shvapaka who is devoted to me. One can give to him and receive from him. He should be worshipped, as if he is me. If a person devoutly worships me with leaves, flowers, fruits and water, I am not destroyed for me, nor is he destroyed for me.”
When external worship is performed, it is known to others. In that way, what is known to one’s own self is described as internal worship
Share this on
“O Deveshi! O Devi! O beloved! I will now tell you about the rights of my devotees, the best among learned Brahmanas, possess, in accordance with the dharma of the varnas— bathing thrice a day; rites with the sacred fire; worship of the lingam in the proper order; donations with Ishvara in mind; constant compassion towards everyone; truthfulness; contentment; belief; non-violence towards all beings; modesty; faith; studying; yoga; teaching; expounding commentaries; brahmacharya; listening; austerities; forgiveness; purity; the right to wear a tuft of hair, sacred thread, head-dress and upper garment; not eating forbidden food; wearing bhasma and rudraksha; worshipping on auspicious days, especially Chaturdashi; following the norms and drinking brahmakurcha (Brahmakurcha is a kind of penance, where one survives on panchagavya on a specific auspicious day, such as the day of the full moon.) every month; worshipping me, especially bathing me; not giving up all the rites; not giving up devotion; avoidance of tainted food, especially yavaka (inferior barley); and avoidance of liquor or smell of liquor in naivedya. These traits are generally true for all varnas, but particularly for Brahmanas. Ten signs are also particularly indicated for yogis—forgiveness; tranquility; contentment; truthfulness; not indulging in theft; brahmacharya; jnana about me; non-attachment; wearing bhasma; and avoiding association with others. Those in the ashrama of vanaprastha should also observe these. They should survive on alms and only eat during the day. All those who are brahmacharis should never eat at night. In particular, for Kshatriyas and Vaishyas, I have not recommended teaching, performing sacrifices for others and acceptance of gifts. For those who resort to my dharma, the duties for kings are protecting all the varnas; killing enemies in battle; chastising wicked birds and animals and punishing wicked men; distrust towards everyone; trust towards those who are my yogis; intercourse with women at the right time; protecting the army; always using spies to find out about the conduct of people; always bearing arms; and wearing armour smeared with bhasma. Tending to cattle, trade and agriculture are spoken of as the duties for Vaishyas. Dharma for Shudras is said to be the service of the other varnas, constructing gardens for me and seeking refuge in my kshetra. A grihastha should have intercourse with a wife he has married in accordance with dharma. Those in brahmacharya and vanaprastha and mendicants must observe brahmacharya. The eternal dharma for women is to serve the husband, and not anything else. O fortunate one! If the husband engages her in this way, she can worship me. If a woman abandons serving her husband and follows some other vrata, that woman will go to hell. There is no need to think about this. I will speak about the eternal dharma for those who do not have a husband—vows; donations; austerities; purity; sleeping on the bare ground; eating only at night; brahmacharya; constant bathing with water and bhasma; peacefulness; silence; forgiveness; following the norms in apportioning shares (such as in inherited property); and following the norms and fasting and worship on asthami, chaturdashi, ekadashi and pournamasi in particular. O beautiful one! I have thus briefly stated the duties of those who are in ashramas and are devoted to me, Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, mendicants, brahmacharis, those in vanaprastha and grihasthas. This is also the eternal dharma of Shudras and women. Dhyana on me should always be performed, using the mantra with the six aksharas. I have stated the substance of the meaning of dharma, as stated in all the Vedas.”
“There are men in this world who voluntarily assume bodies. As a result of their former samskaras, they are excellent in sentiments. Like water on a lotus leaf, they are not touched by sin, whether they are attached, or not attached, to material objects. They possess vijnana about my atman and are purified, with a sense of discrimination. As a result of my favours, they are pure and find it grievous to follow the rules of the ashramas. There is nothing that they should do and nothing they should not do.”