(Last Updated on : 25/01/2014)
Agni Purana has described the worship of Lord Shiva in one of its chapters. The mode of worship of the all powerful lord Shiva has been explained by the God of Fire in adhyaya seventy four of the great Purana. The Lord says the worshipper of Lord Shiva should begin with the Pranava Mantra which is the OM Mantra
and should wash the threshold of the temple with water consecrated with the Ashtra mantra or the mantra of the weapon after having worshipped Homa
and the other warders of the god.
The description goes on stating that the worshipper should deem himself as endowed with the divine eye-sight and worship Goddess Lakshmi
and Goddess Saraswati
, together with the god Gana in the globe or at the top of the temple. The worshipper should worship Nandi
and the goddess Ganges on the right and god Mahakal and Jamuna on the left hand side thereof. Another custom of the worship is driving away the pernicious spirits and the demons by throwing a consecrated flower.
The Gayatri Mantra
, the rites of Sannidhikharan, the purification of the five material components of the body and the Nyasa
are important components of Shiva worship according to the Agni Purana.
The worshipper then should contemplate in suppressed respiration the energy of consciousness which pervades the region of his heart.
After having performed the physical actions of the worship it is necessary on the part of the worshipper to meditate upon the absolute or the unaffected soul and should unite the stream of consciousness with Shiva or the infinitely blissful one. Then the worshipper should purify his inner soul by merging in imagination the earth, wind, water, fire and the sky.
Agni Purana narrates that the earth principle of the brain should be destroyed with the help of the Atma Beeja. The principle of wind should be meditated upon by practising the five strokes of Kumvaka. It has been said that the final purification rite should be performed by contemplating the image of the mantra at one stroke of the Kumvaka. An important part of worship of Lord Shiva
involves contemplating of the heart as a throne spread out for the seat of the Lord. The image of the Lord should be evoked within the heart and therein should be permeated with the essence or soul of Shiva placed inside the solar plexus or the lotus at the heart containing twelve petals.
in the Purana states that the worshipper should defend or protect his surroundings with the mantra of the weapon and the divine essence beyond that with the same and exhibit the mudra known as the Mahamudra both upwards and downwards. The worshipper should worship Lord Shiva in his heart with flowers of sentiment by practising the Purak form of kumvaka and should also perform the Homa
ceremony. In the worship of Shiva it is essential that Dharma, Gyana, Vairagya and Aishvarya should be worshipped in turn as possessing complexions like camphor, saffron, gold and collyrium respectively.
The worshipper should permeate his heart with the energy of consciousness sacred to Lord Shiva by appending the word namas to the Mantra
to be repeated on the occasion. He should contemplate the invincible energy of the God as forming his armour, the unbearable prowess of the God which carries before it all impediments and obstructions, as his weapon and the words svaha and vonsat should be respectively appended to the mantras.
The God of Fire has emphasised that the principal mantra of Lord Shiva should be uttered eight hundred times. An essential act of the worship is performing of Japa by the worshipper with absolute dedication. It is duty of the votary to meditate upon the divinity with a full heart.