Thursday, January 1, 2015

Prayer by the Gods

Here is another beautiful hymn from the Shiva Purana presented as a prayer from the Gods to Shiva. Not much explanation is needed to understand this prayer for those who understand Shaivism, for it is filled with theology and philosophy. Notice the composer of this hymn has chosen to completely forego any reference to the stories of Shiva’s exploits! For a hymn that occurs within a book replete with legends, this is highly unusual, yet highly uplifting at the same time.
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The Gods said:
Obeisance to Thee, O Lord, from whom the mobile and the immobile beings have originated.
Obeisance to the great Purusha, Mahesha, the supreme Isha, and the great Atman. (36)
Obeisance to the primordial Seed of every one, the Form of consciousness, beyond Purusha and Prakriti. (37)
Obeisance to Thee who createst this world, by whom this is illuminated, from whom this originated, 
By whom this is sustained, to whom this belongs and by whom everything is kept under control. (38)
We bow to that self-born Deity who is beyond this and everything that is great, 
Who is the undepraved great Lord, who sees these within Himself. (39)
We have sought refuge at His feet who is the supreme Brahman, who is the Soul of everyone, 
Who is the greatest Witness with unbarred vision and who assumes various forms. (40)
Obeisance to Him whose region is not known by Devas, Sages or Siddhas. 
How then can other creatures realize it or express it? (41)
He is our goal supreme, seeking to see whose region great saints free from attachment perform unmutilated vow of release. (42)
Thou hast no change like death, birth etc., that yields misery, 
Yet by means of Maya, Thou assumest all these. (43)
Obeisance to Thee who art the great Isha and the Performer of miracles. 
Obeisance to Brahman, the great Soul who is far removed from words. (44)
Obeisance to the formless Being of immense form, the great, of unlimited power, 
The Lord of the three worlds, the witness of all and all-pervasive. (45)
Obeisance to the light of Atman, richly endowed with the bliss of liberation, of the form of knowledge. 
Obeisance to Thee, the all-pervasive Lord. (46)
Obeisance to the Lord of salvation who is accessible only through the cessation of worldly activities.
Obeisance to Thee the great Purusha, the great Lord, the Bestower of all. (47)
Obeisance to conscious principle in the corporal frame, identical with Atman, the Cause of all perception. (48)
Obeisance to the Origin of Prakrti, the great presiding Deity of everything. 
Obeisance to Thee, the great Purusha, the great Lord, the Bestower of all. (49)
Obeisance to Thee, the three-eyed, the five-faced and the ever-luminous. 
Obeisance to Thee who hast no cause and who seest all the qualities of the sense-organs. (50)
Obeisance, obeisance to Thee, the Cause of the three worlds and salvation. 
Obeisance to the Bestower of quick liberation, and Deliverer of those who seek refuge. (51)
Obeisance to Thee, the Ocean of the knowledge of Vedic texts. 
Obeisance to Thee, the great Lord and the ultimate goal of devotees and possessed of three attributes. (52)
Obeisance to Thee, O great Lord whose fiery heat of knowledge is latent in the sacrificial churning rod for the production of fire of three attributes. 
Obeisance to Thee whose form is beyond the reach of fools and who livest for ever in the heart of the wise. (53)
Obeisance to the Liberator of the individual soul from the noose (pasha); 
To the Bestower of salvation to the devotee, to the self-luminous, the eternal, the unwasting, the incessant knowledge. (54)
Obeisance to Thee, the Self-Contemplator, the Unchanging, the Holder of great suzerainty and glory.
Never be ruthless unto them who resort to the four aims of life and desire the cherished final goal (Moksha). Obeisance to Thee, O Shiva. (55)
Thy devotees never desire anything solely to themselves. They sing the auspicious glory of Thy exploits. (56)
We eulogise Thee, the imperishable supreme Brahman, the omnipresent whose features are unmanifest, 
Who can be attained by the yoga of the Soul and is complete (purnam). (57)
O Lord of everything, we bow to Thee who art beyond the perception of the sense-organs; who hast no support; who art the support of all; 
Who hast no cause; who art endless; the primordial and the subtle. (58)
All the Devas, Vishnu and others, and the world of mobile and immobile beings are created by deficient digit with the difference of name and form. (59)
Just as the flames of fire and the rays of the sun emerge and submerge so also this current of creation and dissolution. (60)
Thou art neither a Deva nor an Asura, nor a man nor a brute nor a brahmana, O Lord. 
Thou art neither a woman nor a man, nor a eunuch. Thou makest nothing either the existent or the non-existent. (61)
After all negations whatever remains Thou art that. Thou art the maker, the sustainer and the destroyer of the· universe; 
Thou art the soul of the universe. We bow to that Lord Shiva. (62)
We bow to Thee, the Lord of yoga, whom the yogins who have destroyed all their actions by means of yoga, are able to realise in their minds purified by yoga. (63)
Obeisance to Thee whose velocity is unbearable, who hast three Shaktis, who art identical with the three Vedas; 
Obeisance to Thee the delighted Protector of immense potentiality. (64)
O Lord, Thou art impenetrable to the wicked sense-organs; worldly lords cannot reach Thee who art beyond all paths; 
Obeisance to Thee whose splendour is mystically hidden and who art always engaged in the uplift of the devotees. (65)
We bow to Thee, the great Lord, whose greatness cannot be surpassed; 
Whose power the confounded fool with egotistic mind can never realise. (66)

Sri Shiva Purana, Rudra Samhita (Book II), Section II, Chapter XV:36-66.

Aum Namah Shivaya.

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