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An Introduction to Siva Mahapuranam


Siva Mahapurana as its name suggest is a holy text dedicated to and glorify Lord Siva. Siva Mahapurana had 12 Samhita(chapter) and one Lakh slokas in its original form; but a greate number of its slokas were lost and we are now left with seven chapters and 24,000 slokas. The 5 lost chapters reference of which are found in other puranas are are: Vainayaka Samhita, Matri Samhita, Rudraikadasha Samhita, Sahasrakotirudra Samhita, Dharma Samhita

In the Introduction to Siva Purana, Sage Shaunaka express his desire to Sage Suta Mahamuni about knowing the stories about Siva that could cleanse mind and help to attain Moksha. Suta, a diciple of Vyasa then narrated Sivamahapuranam which was originally told by lord Siva to Brahma. Brahma taught the same to Sanath kumara and Narada; from them the great Vyasa learned this particular Purana and compiled as Sivamahapurana. The first seven chapters of Siva Mahapuran recites the stories of Siva Mahathmya and the benefits of listening and chanting Siva katha and how to get the best out of it. The stories related to Siva is told in the subsequent chapters. OM Nama Shivaya, the Siva Panchakshari Mantra (Penta syllable Ode) are revealed in this compilation of Purana.

Om Nama Siva consists of the five letters Na,Ma,Shi,Va,Ya, or in Sanskrit “न” “म” “शि” “व” “य” and is called Shiv Panchakshari Mantra . These are the five holy letters which are most important while worshiping Siva. Na is the Lord's concealing grace, Ma is the world, Si stands for Siva, Va is His revealing grace, Ya is the soul. Shiv Panchakshari Mantra is also taken as derived from Panchabhuta Tatwa, the five seeds of the aforesaid natural elements. Na Consecrates Prithvi Tatva(Earth as matter), Ma does the same with Jal Tatva (Water factor), Shi stands for Agni Tatva (Fire element), Va stands for Vayu Tatva (Air factor) and finally, Ya stands for Akash Tatva (Sky element). Meaning of the word is: Siva exist in Me or I am none other than Siva.

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