[Advaita-l] Shirovrata

Venkatesh Murthy via Advaita-l advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Mon Aug 25 11:42:43 CDT 2014


The greatness of Siva Mantra in the Devi Bhaagavata -

'All the Devas and Devis anoint themselves with bhasma every day, so also
the Yakshas, Gandharvas, Rakshasas, Siddhas, Vidyadharas and Rishis.
Tripundra belongs to Siva, and the man who would seduce the Devi Mukti must
have the jewel of the Siva lingam, and the mantra AUM Namah Sivayah! Why,
he who uses bhasma inherits the blessing of studying the Vedas, the Srutis
and Puranas, and performing great yagnas, aswamedhas and rajasuyas, of
visiting the holiest tirthas. It is even said that he who wears the
Tripundra has Bhola Natha under control, be he a Brahmana or a Chandala! 0
Narada, there is no mantra higher than the Siva mantra, AUM Namah Sivayah,
there is no God higher than Mahadeva Siva, there is no worship greater than
the worship of Siva, and there is no tirtha greater than Siva's bhasma.
For, this bhasma is no common thing, 0 Muni, it is truly the retas, the
semen, of Agni, and has the nature of the Lord Rudra himself. He who wears
the sacred bhasma even has what the Lord Brahma wrote on his head and the
palms of his hands erased, because, when Siva Himself first put this bhasma
on, he chanted the Sadyo Jata, the five primeval mantras, and blessed the
holy bhasma forever. There is no ablution holier than the bath of ashes,
for the very bonds of nature, of pleasure and pain, are burnt away by the
bhasma-snana. Bathing in water cleans the body; bathing in ashes purifies
the very spirit.

'So, let the wise man be far keener to gather the ashes born of agni, than
he is to gather gold and jewels. You know the famous story of how the great
Saiva Rishi Durvasa peered down into the dreadful hell, Kumbhipaka, when he
heard the piteous groaning of the sinners who were being tormented there by
Yamaraja's horrible servants. Rishi Durvasa happened to be wearing
Tripundra and bhasma upon his person, and, at once, 0 Narada, that most
terrible Naraka was transformed into the sweetest place, and, its sinners'
sins all made ashes, they began to live in ecstasies that exceeded the
delights of Devaloka! All the Gods came there, in wonder. Then Siva and
Parvati arrived there to explain the mystery. Siva said, laughing, 'A
particle of the bhasma that Durvasa wore on his brow was blown into the
city of sinners. That shred of ashes set the sinners free.'

On Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 11:49 AM, Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Animesh, here is a question for you.  As you know one of the principal
> upanishads, the munDakopaniShad belongs to the Atharvaveda. Shankaracharya
> explains (bhashya on 3.2.10) that this was was taught and learned by the
> shrotriyas who made agnihotra into ekAR^iShi agni and followed the
> shirovrata.  He describes this as yathA AtharvaNAnA vedavrata prasiddham
> "the well known veda vrata of the followers of Atharvaveda." Apparently
> this shirovrata involved "carrying a fire on one head" and presumably
> shaving ones head.  (The literal meaning of Mundaka is one whose head is
> shaved.)  What else can you tell us about this shirovrata?
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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