Saturday, June 21, 2008

Prayer by the Sages

The Sages said:

Obeisance to the Lord, who is clad in the directions,
Who bears the trident, who dissolves the universe,
Who is handsome, who is an axe to the tree of the universe,
To the One with a terrifying face. [1]
Obeisance to the formless One, to the One of handsome form;
To the One of the form of the universe.
Obeisance to the One who embraces the elephantine face of His Son, Ganeśa;
Obeisance to Rudra; obeisance to the One in the form of Yajamāna. [2]
Obeisance to the One bowed to by all;
Obeisance to the One who bows to His own Atman;
Obeisance to the One with a blue tuft;
Obeisance to the One whose neck is blue with poison. [3]
Obeisance to the One who is blue-necked,
To the One who smears ashes all over His body.
You are Brahmā among the Devas.
You are Nilalohita among the Rudras. [4]
You are the Soul of all living things.
You are known as Puruṣa in the Sāṅkhyā system.
You are Meru among mountains and Moon among planets;
Vasiṣṭha among sages; Indra among Devas;
Oṁ among Vedas; and the excellent Sāman among Vedic verses. [5-6]
You are the lion among beasts;
Bull among animals; and Lord of all men. [7]
In whatever form You are, whatever form You may assume,
May we be able to see You there in that manner mentioned by Brahmā. [8]
Lust, anger, covetousness, despondency and arrogance -
We wish to know about all these (vices); be pleased, O Supreme Lord. [9]
When the time of great dissolution arrived, O Lord,
The fire (of dissolution) was generated by You, the self-possessed Soul,
By rubbing Your hand against Your forehead. [10]
Then, the whole world was enveloped by that fire.
Hence these (vices - lust, anger, etc.) are distorted fires equal to the fire of dissolution. [11]
Lust, fury, greed, delusion, arrogance and harassment -
All living beings - mobile and immobile are burning from the fire originating from You.
O Lord of Devas, be our Protector even as we are being burned.
O highly blessed One, O Supreme Lord, O auspicious Observer,
O Lord, command us, for we shall carry out Your behest.
In thousands and crores of living beings in thousands and crores of forms,
We are unable to reach the extremities (of Your forms).
O Lord of Devas, obeisance be unto You. [12-16]

~Liṅga Purāṇa I.32.1-16

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The above is a hymn from the Liṅga Purāṇa sung by the assembly of fourteen sages of Dāruvana (Bhṛgu, Aṅgīras, Vasiṣṭha, Viśvāmitra, Gautama, Atri, Sukeśa, Pulastya, Pulāha, Kratu, Mārīci, Kaśyapa, Kaṇva, Saṁvarta). In the Liṅga Purāṇic legend, the assembled sages eulogize Śiva upon seeing a form of the Lord manifest in front of them. Esoterically, however, the fourteen sages represent the fourteen stars of the Ursa Major (Big Dipper) and the Ursa Minoris (Little Dipper), and Śiva is the resplendent Sun rising in their midst. Since in classical Vedic theology, the Sun is the visible aspect of the Lord, the esoteric equation of Śiva with the Sun is both apt and appropriate.

Aum Namah Śivaya.

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