Shiva Mahimna Stotra (Sanskrit: शिवमहिम्न:स्तोत्र, romanized: śiva-mahimnah stotra, lit. 'Hymn about the greatness of Shiva') is a Sanskrit composition (Stotra) in devotion of Shiva that is believed has been authored by a gandharva (heavenly being) named Pushpadanta.
The thought behind the composition is ‘Enumerating the greatness of Shiva’, being a typical frame of devotion and dedication. In the verses of the Stotram lie stories about various great acts of the Mahadeva. The famous and oft-repeated Sanskrit shloka Asiti girisamam..., which means ‘if an ocean is made the inkpot, the branch of the mythical Parijata tree made the pen and Goddess Saraswati (The Goddess of Knowledge) embarks to write the glory of Lord (Shiva), it still will be impossible to comprehend the greatness of the Lord fully’ – is among the verses of this stotra.
Pushpadanta was a Gandharva(गांधर्व), a celestial musician. Along with the kinnar (nymphs), yaksha (archangels), apsara (celestial dancers) etc., gandharva are beings which are said to live in the skies and in the atmosphere, in contact with the higher plane: that of the Gods. They are not necessarily spiritually realised, but are superior to humans.
Pushpadanta (literally, Flower-Teethed) was a divine musician of such standing, in the court of Lord Indra(King of the Gods). Pushpadanta was also a devotee of Lord Shiva and a lover of flowers.
Once he happened to see a beautiful garden adorned with charming flowers. It was King Chitraratha's royal garden, who was also a devotee of Lord Shiva. The King used to offer flowers from his palatial garden as a symbol of his devotion to Lord Shiva.
Pushpadanta was so awestruck by the beauty of the garden, that he could not control his emotions and picked up the flowers from the garden. Every day he tried to stop himself, but failed and picked up the flowers. As a result, King Chitraratha was left with no flowers to complete his prayers to Lord Shiva.
The King did all he could to address the issue. But Pushpadanta had divine powers to be invisible and hence, the king could not find the culprit. Left with no ideas to solve this problem, the king spread bilva leaves or bilipatra (बिलीपत्र - AEGLE MARMELOS tree leaves, which are considered to be sacred offerings to Lord Shiva) in his garden.
Pushpadanta was unaware of this and unknowingly stepped on the bilva leaves. This infuriated Lord Shiva and he punished Pushpadanta by taking away his divine powers.
He was shocked, but being a blessed devotee, he realized why that happened. In order to seek forgiveness and please Lord Shiva, Pushpadant composed a stotra (song of praise) in which he elaborated at length upon Shiva's greatness as a prayer. Lord Shiva, was pleased with his prayers, absolved him and returned his divine powers. This very prayer became well known as the 'Shiva Mahimna Stotra'.
"Anyone who recites this hymn with a pure heart and devotion will be blessed with fame (कीर्ति), wealth (धन), long life (आयु) and many children (सुत) in this mortal world, and will attain Kailas (Shiva's abode) after death. Benefit of singing Shivmahimna stotra is far greater than either the benefit of spiritual initiation (दीक्षा), charity (दान), austerity (तप), pilgrimage (तीर्थ), knowledge of the scriptures (ज्ञान), or the performance of ceremonial sacrifice (यज्ञ-याग)."
Aksheeswaraswamy Temple, Acharapakkam is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in Acharapakkam, Tamil Nadu, India. Shiva is worshiped as Aksheeswaraswamy or Atchikontantar, and is represented by the lingam and his consort Parvati is depicted as Sundaranayagi. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. The temples has several inscriptions dated to the period of Kulothunga Chola I (1070-1120 CE).
The most important festival of the temple is the Chittirai Brahmotsavam that lasts ten days during the Tamil month of Chittirai, between April and May. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.Baneshwar
Baneshwar is a temple of Shiva located in the village of Nasarapur about 36 km southwest of Pune. It is a pleasant and calm place amidst a jungle. It was recently discovered and hence declared as a small bird sanctuary hosting a decent amount of rare birds with many crowned hornbills seen.Harihar Dham
Harihar Dham temple, commonly known as Harihar Dham located in Giridih, Jharkhand has the distinction of having the biggest Shivalinga in the world.Kasi Viswanathar temple, Tenkasi
Kasi Viswanathar Temple in Tenkasi, a city in Tirunelveli district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is believed to have been built by Pandyan ruler Parakkirama Pandian during the 13th century, with later additions from Madurai Nayaks. Shiva is worshipped as Kasi Viswanathar and his consort Parvathi as Ulagamman.
A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines. The temple is open from 6 am - 12 pm and 4 - 8:30 pm on all days except during new moon days when it is open the full day. Four daily rituals and three yearly festivals are held at the temple, of which the Maasi Maham festival during the Tamil month of Maasi (February - March) being the most prominent. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.List of Shiva shrines in Kanyakumari district
The Sivalayams are 12 Saivite shrines in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, India. On the day of Sivarathri, the devotees go on a marathon from Thirumalai, the first Sivalayam, to the last, Thirunattalam.
The Sivalayam Temples are
Makarand Dave, sometimes referred as Sai Makarand Dave, is a Gujarati language poet and author from India.Metraleeswar temple
Metraleeswarar Temple (also called Kanchi Metrali) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, located in Pillaiyar Palayam area in Kanchipuram, Kanchipuram district in Tamil Nadu, India. Metraleeswarar is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam, the 275 temples revered in the canon. The temple is believed to have expanded during the 13th century by Later Cholas as indicated in the inscriptions.
The temple has four daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and three yearly festivals on its calendar, of which the Thirugnana Sambanda Gurupuja and Panguni Uthiram during March - April being the most prominent. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.Ona Kantheeswarar Temple
Ona Kantheeswarar Temple (also called Onakanthali) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, located in the town of Panjupettai, Kanchipuram, Kanchipuram district in Tamil Nadu, India. Shiva is worshipped as Ona Kantheeswarar and his consort Parvathi as Kamakshi. Ona Kantheeswarar is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam, the 275 temples reverred in the canon.
The temple has a small three-tiered rajagopuram, the entrance tower and all the shrines are located in an elevated structure. The temple has two daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and three yearly festivals on its calendar, namely the MargazhiTiruvathirai during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December - January) and Aipassi full moon day Aippassi (October - November) being the most prominent. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.Panchavarnaswamy Temple
Panchavarnaswamy Temple (பஞ்சவர்ணஸ்வாமி கோயில்) (usually Panjavarnaswamy Temple) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, located in Woraiyur, a suburb in the town of Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu, India. Shiva is believed to portray five different colours, giving the name of the presiding deity, Panchavarnaswamy. Panchavarnaswamy is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam.
It has several inscriptions dating back to the Chola period. The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and three yearly festivals on its calendar. The annual Srivari Brahmotsavam (prime festival) is attended by hundreds of thousands of devotees from far and near. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.Pashupata Shaivism
Pashupata Shaivism (Pāśupata, Sanskrit: पाशुपत) is the oldest of the major Shaivite Hindu schools. There is a debate about pioneership of this school and Goan school of Nakulish darshan believes that Nakulish was pioneer and Lakulish and Patanjalinath were his disciples while Gujrat school believes that Nakulish and Lakulish are one. Sarwdarshansangrah written by Madhavachary mentiones it as "Nakulish Darshan" not as "Lakulish Darshan". Both sub schools are still active in their own areas. The philosophy of the Pashupata sect was systematized by Lakulīśa also called Nakulīśa) in the 2nd century A.D. The main texts of the school are Pāśupatasūtra with Kauṇḍinya's Pañcārthabhāṣya, and Gaṇakārikā with Bhāsarvajña's Ratnaṭīkā. Both texts were discovered only in the twentieth century. Prior to that, the major source of information on this sect was a chapter devoted to it in Vidyāraṇya's Sarvadarśanasaṅgraha.Pradosha
Pradosha or Pradosham (IAST: Pradoṣa) is a bimonthly occasion on the thirteenth day of every fortnight in Hindu calendar. It is closely connected with the worship of Hindu god Shiva. The auspicious 3 hour period, 1.5 hours before and after the sunset is one of the optimum time for worship of Lord Shiva. The fast or vow performed during the period is called "Pradosha vrata". A devotee should wear rudraksha, Vibhuti and worship Lord Shiva by Abisheka, Sandal paste, Vilva leaves, Fragrance, Deepa & Naivaedyaas (Food offerings)Pāśa
Pāśa (Sanskrit: पाश, romanized: pāśa, lit. "bondage", "fetter") is one of the three main components considered in Shaivism. It is defined as whole of the existence, manifest and unmanifest. According to Shaiva Siddhanta, Pati (the supreme being), Pashu (atmans) and Pasha are eternal, self-consistent, neither distinguishable nor indivisible triad in the nature.Rudrashtakam
Shri Rudrashtakam (Sanskrit: श्री रुद्राष्टकम्, Rudrāṣṭakam) is a Sanskrit composition in devotion of Rudra, composed by the Hindu Bhakti poet Tulsidas (Sanskrit: तुलसीदास). Tulsidas composed this eulogy in the late fifteenth century in Uttar Pradesh in India and created many other literary pieces including the magnum opus Ram Charit Manas.
The devotional hymn "Rudrashtakam" appears in the Uttara Kand of the celebrated Ram Charit Manas, where Lomash Rishi composed the hymn to propitiate Lord Shiva. His main purpose was to set his pupil free from the curse of Shiva. He succeeded and asked also a second boon (devotion for himself). His pupil would be the bird ' Kaga-Bhusundi' in a next life, a devotee of Shri Rama and an excellent teller of the life story of Shri Rama.
The Ashtakam is in reverence to Rudra, though the context pertains to the Shiva, the post-Vedic transformation of Rudra. It is arguable that the distinction between Rudra and Shiva was already lost by the time of Tulsidas.
The Rudrashtakam is lucid and simple in style and plays an instrumental role in the Shaiva traditions.Shiva Tandava Stotra
Shiva Tandava Stotra (Sanskrit: शिवताण्डवस्तोत्र, romanized: śiva-tāṇḍava-stotra) is a stotra (Hindu hymn) that describes Shiva's power and beauty. It is traditionally attributed to Ravana, the asura King of Lanka and devotee of Shiva.Shivarahasya Purana
Shivarahasya Purana (Sanskrit: शिव रहस्य पुराण; IAST: śiva rahasya purāṇa) is one of the 'Shaiva Upapuranas' or ancillary Purana regarding Shiva and Shaivite worship and is also considered 'Indian epic poetry' (Sanskrit: Itihāsa).
The book is dedicated to detailed explanation of Shaivite thoughts, rituals and religious myths. The manuscripts are found in various ancient literature. However, to date there has been no critical study of these manuscripts. It is one of the first few works of the acclaimed Saint Ribhu, who was taught by Shiva himself.
The book consists of twelve parts and has about one hundred thousand verses.The Kannada translation of the book was published in 30 volumes in 1950.Siddha Siddhanta
Siddha Siddhanta is one of the six main Shaivite philosophical traditions. It is also known as Gorakshanatha Saivism after its founding Guru Gorakhnath.Tirupperunturai
Tirupperunthurai (also called the Athmanathaswamy temple) is located in Avudaiyarkoil. It is a Shaiva temple situated near Aranthangi in the Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu. One of the sacred books of Tamil Saiva Siddhanta, Manikkavasagar's Tiruvacakam, originated from this shrine. Manikkavasagar is said to have converted the king to the religion of Shiva and built the temple with money that had been intended for war-horses.Vedapureeswarar Temple, Puducherry
Vedapureeswarar Temple in Puducherry, in the South Indian union territory of Puducherry, is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple was demolished by the French troops in 1748. Shiva is worshipped as Vedapureeswarar and his consort Parvathi as Tiripurasundari.
A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines. The temple has a five-tiered rajagopuram, the gateway tower. A Dewan named Dewan Kandappa Mudaliar expanded the temple with the help of public contributions in 1788.
The temple is open from 6 am - 12:30 pm and 4:30 - 8:00 pm on all days. Four daily rituals and many yearly festivals are held at the temple, of which the Brahmotsavam festival during the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May - June), Annabishekam during Aipassi (October - November) and Sivarathri during Masi (February - March) being the most prominent. The temple is maintained and administered by the Department of Hindu religious institutions and Wakf of the Government of Puducherry.Vibhuti
Vibhuti (Sanskrit: विभूति; vibhūti), also called Bhasma (ash), Vibhooti, is a word that has several meanings in Hinduism. Generally, it is used to denote the sacred ash which is made of burnt dried wood in Āgamic rituals. Hindu devotees apply vibhuti traditionally as three horizontal lines across the forehead and other parts of the body to honor Shiva. Vibhuti smeared across the forehead to the end of both eyebrows is called Tripundra. According to the MahaShiva Purana the particles of ash which cling to the skin when tripundra is applied are to be considered as individual Lingams. The scriptures further state that bhasma purifies the soul, elevates the devotee of Shiva and works done without wearing Bhasma are infructuous. There are various methods for the application of the ashes according to the purana and various mantras to be recited during application.
Another meaning of vibhuti is a 'glorious form', in contrast with Avatar, a reincarnation of Brahman. Bhagavata Theology describes a vibhuti as 'incarnation of power', which is only a temporary occasional manifestation such as when holy men are infused with divine virtues and qualities are infused. Aurobindo mentions a vibhuti as 'the hero of a race's struggle towards divine achievement, the hero in the Carlylean sense of heroism, a power of God in man.'
|Pancha Bhoota Stalam|