[The Shiva Maha Purana is organized to explore the relationship between beginning, nurturing and ending, and these three with form to permit understanding of Shiva - and explores the boundaries and interconnectedness of Shiva with Vishnu and Brahma to reveal some of the applications of Hatha Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga and Jnana Yoga. The Avatars, or manifestations, of Shiva can be studied to better understand Shiva, but also on how to better condition the manifestation Shiva, the form of form itself, through beginning, nurturing and ending: by understanding some of the ways in which Shiva has been manifested before, it is possible to manifest Shiva by emulation, or even by inspiration.]
How to Idolize Shiva
Sut said Shiva is idolized in eight ways: Sharva, Bhava, Rudra, Ugra, Bheema, Pashupati, Ishan and Mahadeva. The process of idolization is to understand the eight elements, or conditions, of beginning, nurturing and ending: these conditions are symbolized by solid, liquid, fire, gas, vacuum, boundary, light (understanding, observation), reflected light (what can be understood by inferential logic). The reason for this is that Shiva is the form of Dharma, nature, phenomenon, duty. Shiva is the form of unformed form.
Understanding the Five Most Important Manifestations of Shiva by Understanding the Less Important Manifestations of Shiva
Sut said that Shiva has been manifested many ways, but five were very important to know: Sadhojat, Namadva, Tatpurush, Aghoresh and Ishan. Understanding these is possible by understanding the less important manifestations of Shiva.
Sadhojat - manifestation by able fitness, goodness
Shiva was manifested as Sadhojat, from the excellent physique of Brahma during the 19th Kalpa. From the excellent physique of Sadhojat four disciples were manifested: Sunand, Nandan, Vishwanandan and Upanadan, each pale as if they had not seen the light before. Sadhojat, with his four disciples, gave Brahma the courage to begin again.
Namadeva - manifestation by pure exertion (exertion for exertion's sake, exertion of exertion)
Namadeva was manifested in the 20th Kalpa, Brahma exerted himself so much in meditation that he turned red. Exerting himself further, Namadeva was manifested: this Brahma recognized as a manifestation of Shiva. Namadeva later had four sons: Viraj, Viwah, Vishok and Vishwabhawan. All four had a reddish complexion, like their father.
Tatpurush - manifestation by joy in mastery
In the 21st Kalpa, Brahma wore yellow colors, and took joy that he was especially radiant. This joy in radiance manifested Tatpurush, who inspired the Shiva Gayatri: from Tatpurush, numerous entities manifested radiance, and wore yellow.
Aghor - manifestation by equanimity and non-discrimination, freedom from instinct
In the 22nd Kalpa, Brahma developed a deep meditative state. From this "black" state, Brahma manifested Aghor Shiva. Aghor Shiva manifested four black-complexioned entities: Krishna [no relation to the manifestation of Vishnu, in the Mahabharata], Krishnashikha, Krishnamukha, and Krishnakanthdhari. Each of these encouraged Brahma to begin again.
Ishan - manifestation by nameless love
During the Vishwaroop Kalpa, Ishan was manifested when Saraswati was manifested: from Brahma's love, the manifestation of Ishan then manifested Jati, Mundi, Shikhandi and Ardhamundi, each of which encouraged Brahma to begin again.
Ardhanarishwar - manifestation by interdependence
Shiva once was manifested as Ardhanarishwar ("half male half female"). Once, Brahma considered sexual reproduction was at the time impossible: there was no sexual differentiation at that time. By merely contemplating the possibility of sexual reproduction, Brahma understood that such an act would require two individuals to merge while remaining separate, and to combine force with form. Thus, Brahma manifested Shiva in a form that was a half-male, half-female: the male half was Shiva, the female half was Shakti. This transsexual manifestation of Shiva was male on his right side, and female on the left. The two halves were similar, and could merge - but were different, so they could separate into Shiva and Shakti. But when they merged, sexual reproduction did not result.
Shiva considered the matter, and both halves thought the failure was because they each required form and energy, force. So Shiva gave Shakti form, and Shakti gave Shiva force, energy. Now, when Shakti separated from Shiva, Shakti was feminine, and Shiva was masculine. Brahma was amazed at this difference: masculine and feminine. Brahma then tried to emulate them - becoming male and female. Brahma did this by separating form from force, energy, and then combining them - as Shiva had. When Brahma had become both male and female, Brahma explored whether the two sexes could simultaneously merge, and remain separate - and thus commenced the first sexual reproduction.
Each form of manifestation of Shiva has a corresponding energy, or power, Shakti; the former corresponding to a male, the latter as female: but these are not actually distinct. Form given to energy, or power, and power or energy given to form result in the same. The very first manifestation of Shiva was Mahakal, his Shakti was called Mahakali. The second manifestation of Shiva was Tar, his Shakti was Tara. Then Shiva was manifested as Bhuvaneshwar, his Shakti was Bhuvaneshwari. Next, Shiva was manifested as Shodash, who became known as Srividdyesh, his Shakti was Shodashi or Sri. Then, Shiva was Bhairav, whose Shakti was Bhairavi. Then Shiva was the famous Chhinamastak, his Shakti was Chhinamasta. Then, he was Dhoomvan, his Shakti was Dhoomavati. Then, he was Baglamukh, his Shakti was Baglamukhi. The ninth was famous as Matang, his Shakti was Matangi. His 10th manifestation was Kamal, his Shakti was Kamala. It is important to understand the origin of these ten manifestations was through Shakti.
Shweta - manifestation by learning
When, during the Varah Kalpa of the 7th Manvantar Vishnu illuminated all the worlds, 4 yugas repeated themselves in a cyclic way 12 times. In the first cycle, Shiva was manifested for the welfare of Brahmans - at the Kaliyuga of that cycle, Shiva was manifested as Mahamuni Shweta when Brahma sought to become a student. In the second cycle, the Sage Vyas existed as Satya, Prajapati and Shiva were manifested as Sutra, one of whose students was the famous Dundubhi. In the third cycle, Sage Vyas was manifested as Bhargava, and Shiva was manifested as Daman - who had four disciples, among whom Vishoka was very famous. In the Kali Yuga of this cycle that Shiva helped Vyas. The fourth cycle had Sage Vyas manifested as Angira, and Shiva as Suhotra - and again, as in other manifestations, Shiva had four students, one of whom was very famous (this time, Sumukh). And again, Shiva helped Vyas. In the fifth, Shiva was manifested as Kanka, who had four students, one of whom was famous. The sixth, too - and seventh. Vyas was manifested as Indra, and Shia as Jaigisatya, who had four disciples, one of whom (Saraswat) was very prominent. And in the eighth, and the ninth...
Nandi - manifestation by being one's own vehicle through joy
Sut described the manifestation of the vehicle of Shiva, Nandi. Shilad was a devotee of Shiva. Shiva gave to Shilad any gift he would ask for, and Shilad expressed his desire to have a son - just like Shiva. This manifested Shiva - as Nandi - as it was a form of Yagna. Nandi is the vehicle of Shiva, and Shakti. Shakti is Nandi's mother, and Shiva is Nandi's father. Nandi means "joy" (anand), and was brought up with great love and care - but he was incredibly apt, becoming proficient in all the scriptures within seven years. One day, two Brahmans came to Shilad, and said within the year Nandi would be no more. This made Shilad very sad. Nandi saw his father in sorrow, so he asked Shiva and Parvati for help - manifesting both Shiva and Parvati, Shilad learned from Nandi that Nandi would not die - but would nevertheless be destroyed, manifesting Shiva. Shiva then took some water from his hair and sprinkled it on Nandi, blessing Nandi - these became the five rivers known as Panchanad. Nandi was then made leader of the Ganas. Later, Parvati took Nandi under her guidance and considered him just like her own son.
Nandi was married to Suyasha - the daughter of Marut, who manifested Shakti's "good achievement."
Bhairav - manifestation by freedom from regret
Once, Brahma asked Shiva to cut off one of his four heads, so that he would be able to turn away and not see everything. This manifested Bhairav, who carries the skull of Brahma in his hand like a begging bowl, begging alms to atone for the injury he caused Brahma. When Bhairav reached Vishnuloka, he was welcomed by Vishnu and Laxmi. Laxmi gave the learning by which all desires could be fulfilled in the skull begging bowl. Bhairav was thus gratified. When he received this learning, Shiva created a demoness named Brahmahatya - and told Bhairav to reach Kashi before her and leave the skull there, if he desired atonement. Bhairav rushed, arrived before Brahmahatya, and Brahmahatya could not enter Kashi - so she instead entered into a world that transected Kashi, the Patalloka. Understanding by the learning of Laxmi, and the demonstration of the demoness's transection of Kashi, Bhairav stopped carrying the skull, and letting the skull fall to the ground, liberated himself from the injury he caused to Brahma. What he had done was not right, but it was also not wrong - there never was any risk that he would not arrive in Kashi before Brahmahatya, for the demoness never could enter there. She was only able to approximate doing the "right thing," as Bhairav could. Brahma bore no ill will to him. His seeking atonement was causing him more misery than the injury itself.
Sharabha - manifestation by pacifying
When Vishnu was manifested as Narasimha, Vishnu's anger could not be subdued - even after killing Hiranyakashipu. Everyone tried to calm Vishnu down, and eventually Shiva asked Bhairav and Veerbhadra to try to calm him down too. But when Bhairav and Veerbhadra approached, Vishnu was about to pounce on them. To defend Bhairav and Veerbhadra, Shiva was manifested by them as a huge birdlion - Shiva in this form injured Narasimha, and carrying Narasimha into the sky, scared Vishnu so much that Vishnu became unconscious. When Vishnu woke up, he was much calmer - and praised Shiva. Vishnu gave Shiva the head of Narasimha to wear as a necklace, and the pelt to use as a blanket, to sit on, or dress himself in. The rest of the body was abandoned on a mountain. This was not the first time Shiva had pacified Vishnu. But Narasimha remains calm by the presence and efforts of his wife.
Grihapati - manifestation by interconnectedness
Once, there was a devotee of Shiva, Vishwanar, who also wanted a son just like Shiva. Shuchismati, his wife, also wanted a son like Shiva. Their son, Grihapati, manifested Shiva, as Lord of the Directions
Yaksheshwar - manifestation by humble self-sacrifice
Shiva also was manifested as Yaksheshwar, when the ocean churned hot with poison. Shiva drank the poison, rather than let it harm the universe: Shiva did not let it pass down his throat, and caught every drop that fell from his mouth in his haste to drink the liquid. But it is also true to say that Shakti prevented the liquid from passing down Shiva's throat, by throttling him; and that Nandi licked up the drops of liquid falling from Shiva's chin. This is because Shiva is equally manifested in each: he is equally his wife, and his vehicle. After the poison was drunk, the Devas and Asuras were able to continue churning - though eventually the arrogance of the devas resulted in their refusal to share the nectar with the Asuras.
Shiva was concerned at the arrogance of the Devas. So Shiva appeared in the form of a Yaksha (a demon), asking them what made them so arrogant as to not share with the Asuras? The Devas said they were arrogant because they were able to obtain nectar. Shiva then explained that they did not do this alone: the Asuras helped, Vishnu provided his back for the churning, Shiva drank the poison, and so many other beings helped too. "You aren't strong enough to even cut the grass by yourself," said Shiva, presenting them with a blade of grass. Each Deva tried then to cut the grass, but the grass bent this way and that under their various blades, escaping the slightest harm. The Devas were astounded. At that moment, Brahma said, with bodiless voice, that the Yaksha in front of them was none other than Shiva. The Devas understood the mistake of their arrogance immediately, and apologized to Shiva. When the arrogance of the Devas was destroyed, Shiva disappeared.
11 Rudras - manifestation by destruction
Once, the Devas went to sage Kashyap, the father of the Asuras, Devas, Yakshas, Dravidas, and numerous other beings - for they were tormented by the Asuras. They complained about the misdeeds of the Asuras, their step-brothers. Sage Kashyap became furious upon hearing about the misdeeds of his children. So sage Kashyap asked Shiva to help. Shiva said he would do anything to help. Sage Kashyap asked Shiva to manifest and destroy the Asuras. Shiva only said, "so be it."
Shiva then took birth in the form of 11 Rudras, whose name means "cryer, or one who makes crying," from the womb of sage Kashyap's wife, Surabhi. Their names were Kapali, Pingal, Bheem, Virupaksha, Vilohit, Shastra, Ajapaad, Ahirbudhnya, Shambhu, Chand and Bhav. And the Rudras, by many battles, made the Asuras cry. The Asuras did not know what to do at first. But eventually, the Asuras permitted themselves to be "destroyed" by manifesting Shiva. When the Asuras were destroyed, the Devas were relieved, and venerated these 11 Rudras to express their gratitude and indebtedness.
Atri - manifestation by devouring, consuming
Once, Atri, the a son born to Brahma before sexual reproduction, sat on the bank of the river Nivindhya, which flowed by the foothills of Trayakshakul Mountain. While sitting there, he manifested Shiva, in the form of devastating flames of fire from his head: having consumed his self, he began to consume the universe. The fire began to burn through every world. The Devas were terrified, and asked Brahma for help. Brahma did not know what to do, so Brahma took the Devas to Vishnu. Vishnu did not know what to do, so Vishnu took Brahma and the Devas to Shiva. Shiva knew what to do: he took Vishnu, Brahma and all the Devas to Atri. They interrupted Atri's meditation, and explained the problem, asking Atri to stop. Which he did. Atri returned home. Later, Atri's wife, Anusuya, gave birth to three sons: one manifested Brahma (as Moon), one manifested Vishnu (as Dutt) and one manifested Shiva (as Durvasa). Durvasa thought himself capable of testing the goodness of others: one day, he tested King Ambareesh, and observed that the King improperly broke his fast of Ekadashi and was about to curse the King when Sudarshan, the weapon of Vishnu, suddenly appeared to defend the King.
Durvasa was endangered, and would have been destroyed except that Brahma told Sudarshan that that Durvasa was a manifestation of Shiva. This pacified Sudarshan; the King then begged forgiveness of Durvasa, who at that point had learned some humility.
Hanuman - manifestation by athleticism and service
When Vishnu was manifested in the female form Mohini, an embodiment of Kama, Mohini practiced the arts of seduction in preparation for her war against the Asuras. Mohini knew she was capable in these war skills when even Shiva was overcome by lust: if Shiva could be overcome by lust, no other could resist her! Shiva agreed to perform his duty of service, and athletically spar with his brother Vishnu (now his "sister" Mohini), by presenting his strength as a challenge to overcome. Despite all his self-control, and his devotion to his wife who was there to help strengthen him against Mohini, Shiva unintentionally emitted semen. This semen fell to the ground, but before it touched the earth, was carried by the Wind to Anjana, an Aspara, the daughter of the Wind - who, with the permission of Shiva-Shakti, impregnated herself with it.
This pregnancy bore mighty Hanuman. Once, during his childhood Hanuman had swallowed the Sun, which he released only after the Devas prayed to him. The sun accepted him as his disciple and made him proficient in all the learnings. Hanuman started living with and serving the Monkey King Sugreeva as per the instructions of his teacher – the Sun. During the time of Rama's exile, Sugreeva developed friendship with him with the help of Hanuman. Hanuman helped Rama in finding the whereabouts of Sita, who had been abducted by the Demon King Ravana. Hanuman took a giant leap and jumped across the ocean. He went to Ashok-Vatika where Ravana had kept Sita. He gave Rama's ring to her and consoled her by saying that very soon Rama was going to arrive and release her from Ravana's captivity. He also burnt the whole Lanka by his burning tail and returned to Sri Ram to give him Sita's news. While the battle was fought between Rama and Ravana. Laxmana got seriously injured and became unconscious. Hanuman saved his life by bringing the whole of mountain, upon which the herb Sanjivani grew.
Shiva was manifested as Mahesh when Bhairav, who had been entrusted with the job of doorkeeper, became infatuated with Shiva's wife, Parvati. Bhairav would not let her go outside, and advanced upon her. So Parvati cursed Bhairav, that he would become a human for penance. He was born with the name Vetal. By Vetal's grief, and at his request for nurturing, Shiva at the time was manifested as Mahesh, and Shakti as Girija, and helped Bhairav achieve his penance, that he might grow to be a better man.
Vrishabh - manifestation by parental behavior
Vishnu's war with the Asuras, when he manifested the female form of Mohini, was prosecuted just after the churning of the oceans. Mohini manifested numerous seductive beauties to distract the Asuras, so the Devas would be able to drink the Nectar. The Asuras took these beauties away, to keep them for themselves. The Devas hesitated at first, thinking they should share the Nectar, but Mohini encouraged them: "see how the Asuras would not share these beauties I made?" Mohini revealed the treacherous nature of the Asuras as grounds for pre-emptive action in self-defense. When the Asuras returned to share the Nectar, they found it all drunk up. They immediately attacked the Devas, and a terrible ensued. Vishnu chased off the Asuras, though, and chasing them all to their hiding places, came upon those very beauties Vishnu had just made - and, ironically, was overcome by their beauty. Vishnu, and all the Asuras, were held captive by these seductive beauties a very long time.
As may be expected, Vishnu produced many children with these seductive beauties - and the Asuras. These were wicked children, and very cruel. They tormented every world. All the beings of every world asked Shiva for help - asking him to destroy the children of Vishnu, and rescue Vishnu. So Shiva was manifested in the form of an Ox (Vrishabh), and with his sharp horns tormented the children of Vishnu - each of which was "destroyed" when he manifested Shiva. Vishnu saw this harm done to his children, and his paternal instinct helped him remember his better sense, and he freed himself from the enticing snares of the seductive beauties he had made. Vishnu then sent one of his Sudarshan Chakras, one of his Weapons, to guard over these dangerous seductive beauties.
Dadhichi - manifestation by taking strength, manifestation by pride
Once, the Devas were defeated by Vrittrasur, and so they cached their weapons at the hermitage of the sage Dadhichi and sought the help of Brahma. They asked Brahma to tell them how Vrittrasur might be killed? Brahma told them that Dadhichi had manifested Shiva. Only a Vajra made from the bones of the sage Dadhichi would destroy Vrittrasur. The Devas decided among themselves that Indra would ask sage Dadhichi for his bones, so they might make a weapon of it to destroy Vrittrasur. After a while, Dadhichi was persuaded, and was proud to be of service. He eventually, after extolling himself (as a blessing for a weapon would be made), took his own life by yogic power - this pride was necessary for the strength of the weapon. Indra directed Kamdhenu to extract the bones from the dead body of Dadhichi. These bones were given to Twashta to prepare for working. Twashta then gave the bones to Vishwakarma, who fashioned them into a Vajra. Indra killed Vrittrasur with this weapon. When Suvarcha, the wife of Dadhichi, came to know about the death of her husband, she cursed the Devas to become animals.
Aahuk - manifestation by honor
Once there were two devotees of Shiva, Aahuk and Aahuka. Shiva wanted to test the devotion of these two, and appeared before them as a Hermit. Aahuk honored his gust, and treated him well. Shiva then asked for shelter for the night. But the hut was only big enough for two people to sleep in. Aahuka, at the suggestion of his wife, would sleep outside in the warmth of his arms (he did not even have a Mblanket), as it would inappropriate to deny the hermit this simple request. Aahuk asked Aahuka to sleep in the hut, with the Hermit. Unfortunately, Aahuk was killed by a wild animal in the night, and when Shiva found Aahuk dead, he was full of grief. Aahuka consoled the Hermit, saying she was proud that her husband had died in the service of a Hermit - this was a noble cause, and honored her husband. Naturally, though, she was grieved at the death of her husband. She was so grieved, that she desired suicide. And, as they burnt the body of Aahuk, Aahuka leapt into the flames, killing herself.
Shiva no longer disguised himself, and blessed Aahuk and Aahuka, honoring them. "In your next birth, Aahuk will be born to a royal family, and become famous as Nala - Aahuka will be born as Damayanti to King Bheema of Vidarbha. I myself will appear in the form of a swan to help you both reunite. After a life of peace and pleasure, you will live in my home, as I lived in yours. When Shiva departed existence after saying this, his form remained established at that place as a Shialinga, the famous Achaleshwar linga.
Nabhag - Manifestation by sharing, and learning
King Nabhag was born as the 9th generation of Shraddhadeva, the descendant of Ikshavaku. Nabhag was the grandfather of Ambareesh. Once, when he left the Kingdom for a little while to gain his education, his brothers gathered the wealth of the kingdom and distributed it among themselves, usurping their brother. When Nabhag returned home, he demanded the return of his Kingdom. This was denied: their father had given them the wealth. He demanded an equal share of the Kingdom. He was denied again, and told to complain to his father. Nabhag then went to his father, and complained. His father asked if he had learned anything in his education? This education was his share of the inheritance. He told Nabhag to go to sage Angiras: sage Angiras was unable to accomplish a Yagna, because of his attachments. "Help sage Angiras destroy his attachments, and accomplish his Yagna. In gratitude, the sage will offer you what you ask for: ask for the remains of the Yagna. This will become yours, and permit you to obtain your inheritance." Nabhag succeeded, and all went to plan - until Shiva was manifested in the form of Krishna Darshan, and said that the remains of the Yagna actually belonged to him, as it was his inheritance!
Nabhag denied Shiva: Shiva may have had a claim, but his father had explained that the sage in giving the remains to him made him the rightful owner. Shiva told Nabhag to ask his father what he thought about this. So, Nabhag went back to his father, and explained the situation, and his father understood his fault in giving what he had no right to give. His father said, it is best to give to Shiva what was his inheritance. So Nabhag returned and gave the remains to Shiva. Shiva was grateful, and told Nabhag he would give to him anything he wanted. Nabhag in this way obtained the help of Shiva.
Beggar - manifestation by nurturing
Once, there was a King of Vidarbha, named Satyarath. He was attacked by a neighboring King and killed in battle. His wife somehow saved her life, and took refuge in the forest - both the refuge of the trees, and the refuge of the yogic practice of forest dwelling. The Queen was pregnant at the time, and soon gave birth to a child. For a year, she nursed this child in the forest. When, one day, she was thirsty and getting water, she was killed by a crocodile. Her baby wept, for the "hunger" for his mother's nurturing. This manifested Shiva, as a beggar. The beggar united the child with a passing woman, and convinced her to adopt the orphan. The mother complained, she was so poor, she barely could feed and raise her own child, let alone another. She asked about the child, why didn't the beggar adopt the child?
Shiva revealed himself, and told her that the father of the child was King Satyarath, and of his mother's refuge in the forest. Shiva had not defended his father because his father had not asked for help. Shiva had not defended his mother because the mother had murdered her co-wife in her past life, and it was her penance to die by a crocodile in this life. As for the child, the child was a Brahman in his previous life, but never performed his duties, or achieved any honor. He abandoned his people. This abandonment was his penance. But the child had manifested Shiva by his grief for lack of nurturing. The child now needed the opportunity to devote himself to Shiva, and perform the honorable duties he neglected in his past life, and required a poor family to do this. Shiva told the woman that this was an opportunity to engage not only this child in Shiva's devotion, but her own child - who would face a similar fate as this child if she did not now ensure both children were raised properly. If she undertook the duty of raising this abandoned child, it would be well for her and for her birth-child.
The woman succeeded in feeding and instructing both her children (the nurturing of a mother is both physical and mental). Her adopted child, Satyarath's son, upon the perfection of his devotion, formed a pot full of gold for his family, and they were never again poor. He then went into the forest, for refuge and practice, where he met a Gandharva Princess that was attempting also to manifest Shiva-Shakti. The two were ultimately was married, and lived happily ever after with his mother and brother.
Upamanyu - manifestation by infantile simplicity
Upamanyu, son of the sage Vyaghrapaad, was brought up in his maternal uncle's home shortly after birth. One day, Upamanyu was very hungry: his mother could not satisfy his hunger with her milk. So she soaked wheat flour in water, and gave him this to drink - for there was no other milk in the home. But he would not eat the wheat, and cried. His mother told her baby that if he wanted milk, he should ask Shiva for milk, for Shiva was the only one able to make the milk available.
Upamanyu's mother had told him that Shiva lived in the Himalaya, and to the Himalaya his thoughts were now directed: remembering the mantra, Om Namah Shivaya, Upamanyu burned every world in profound sacrifice. Parvati and Shiva were amazed at the power of this baby, and desired to test the limits of the baby. Appearing before mother and child, disguised as Indra and Indrani, they said "we, Indra and Indrani are extremely pleased by your devotion. Stop worshiping Shiva, we will fulfill all your desires." Upamanyu would not stop; so the disguised Shiva and Parvati began to malign Shiva - Upamanyu became furious with them, and, directing himself against them, attacked who he believed was Indra and Indrani. Shiva and Parvati at this moment revealed themselves, and blessed Upamanyu, and promised Upamanyu he and Parvati would remain in the vicinity of Upamanyu's hermitage forever. This is how Shiva gained the name Sureshwar - for he appeared in the disguise of Indra.
Hunter - manifestation by seeking
When the Pandava Brothers lost their Kingdom to Duryodhan in the gamble, they went into the forest to live with their wife Draupadi. There, Krishna advised them to manifest Shiva - but they neglected that advice, and their distress increased. Later, Vyas instructed Arjuna in the Parthiva, making linga out of soil. Arjuna performed the Parthiva to honor Indra with such success that it burnt every world. Indra was asked by the beings of every world to give Arjuna whatever he wanted, to prevent the fire from consuming everything. But Indra told Arjuna he could not grant him the victory desired - for Aswatthama had partially manifested Shiva. But he would give him some of his bodyguards. Before leaving Arjuna, Indra advised Arjuna to manifest Shiva. When Arjuna stood on one leg and meditated upon the sun, at the moment he manifested Shiva, he was disturbed by a noise - a demon, named Mooka, disguised as a boar, was going to attack him! At that moment, he saw the boar chased by a hunter, who was none other than Shiva in disguise. Both Arjuna and Shiva killed the boar with their respective arrows simultaneously. Shiva sent his Ganas to retrieve the boar and his arrow - at the same time, Arjuana went to bring back his arrow and the boar. He began to argue with the Ganas, and then challenged Shiva to a duel (not knowing it was Shiva he was challenging). Shiva would not at first accept the challenge, and instead had his Ganas fight Arjuna. But Arjuna defeated them all. Shiva had to rescue his Ganas, and while fighting with Arjuna revealed himself: Arjuna immediately stopped fighting, and was ashamed he was fighting the one whose help he was seeking. Shiva consoled him, and gave his weapon, Pashupat, to Arjuna.
Manifestation by pilgrimage
Sut said there are 12 Jyotirlingas, or devotional objects of Shiva, for pilgrimage. Somnath in Saurashatra, Mallikarjuna in SriShail, Mahakal in Ujjain, Amareshwar in Omkar, Kedar in the Himalaya, Bheemashankar on the banks of the Mahakal river, Vishwanath in Varanasi, Trayambakeshwar on the banks of the Gaurtami river, Baidyanath at Chitabhumi, Nagesh between Darukvan dwarika and Bhet dwarika, Rameshwar at Betubandh, and Dhushmesh in Shivalaya. Of these, pilgrimage to Somnath can destroy the sorrow of birth, and the distress of disease. Pilgrimage to Mallikarjuna destroys desire, permitting achievement and becoming. As does Ujjain. Touching the linga of Omkar permits the nurturing of action into fruition. The journey, the interaction, with these Jyotirlingas, understanding the location's significance, is what permits manifestation.
When Shiva was manifested for the Sixth time, at Bheema Shankar, to destroy the demon Bheema, this was at a place called Kamarupa in Assam. The Seventh manifestation was at Vishwanath at Kashi - pilgrimage here fulfills the desire of humanity. Shiva was manifested for the Eighth time on the banks of the river Gautami by the sage Gautam. Pilgrimage here to fulfil the desire of humanity. The devotee who pilgrimages to Baidyanath at Deoghar in Bihar, which King Ravana established, permits enjoyment - this is why it is also known as Kamanalinga. Devotees will carry the holy water of the Ganges from Sultanganj and the idol of Baidyanath in the months of Shravan and Bhadrapaksha.
Shiva was manifested a tenth time to destroy the demon Daruk, who lived in the Daruk forest. A devotee who pilgrimages to Nagesh never faces calamity. The eleventh manifestation was on at the Rameshwar linga, which was established by Rama while the bridge over the sea was built. The twelfth manifestation of Shiva, as Dhumeshwar, was after being pleased by Dhushma (the wife of Sumdha). Pilgrimage there permits accomplishment.
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