Mukti-Gupteshwar Shri Shiv-Dharma Maha-Shastra: The Essence.
The essence of the Shri Shiv-Dharma Maha Shashtra, over the following pages, summarizes various sections of the Holy Book. This digest will inspire the inquisitive readers to know more about the book. This Mahashashtra is compiled from a very ancient manuscript written in Bhojpatra. The entire Maha Shashtra contains 7996 Shlokas (hymns). The Holy Book is contains seven sections.
1. Shiv-Dharmottar Prakaran:
First chapter begins with six-constituent-process (shaddangavidhi). In this chapter, sound of the mystic syllable Om has also been included in the five syllables of sacred verse (mantra), “Om Namah Shivaay”, making it as six syllable verse. It also contains the method of six types of worship (shadpoojanvidhi) using prescribed six materials. That is why this chapter has been named shaddangavidhi).
Second chapter has been named Vidyadan (gift of teaching). This chapter explains the meaning of gift of teaching as imparting education, expounded by Lord Shiva to deserving person. Under the gift of teaching, it describes the virtues of good professor, teacher and pupil. It also described the best place of teaching. Discussion of relative architecture has also been included in this chapter.
Third chapter describes five types of sacrificial rite (yagnas) have been described. The order of these five sacrificial rites through actions (karmayagna), sacrificial also has been described in the chapter. Like earlier, the jnanyoga has been described as supreme among all the yogas and it is called the gateway of salvation from this material world.
The eleventh chapter has been called Prayashchita (penance) and it examines the different penances required for attainment from the sins. A number of sins are committed involuntarily in the day to day deeds in the life of a person and with the penance prescribed in the scriptures a person can attain salvation from these sins. This chapter also highlights Shauchachar (methodology of purification).
The first Shiv-Dharmottar Section of Shri Shiv-Dharma-mahashashtra ends up with twelfth chapter, which describes the order of the worlds above and below the earth. There has been profound description of the tal-atal-vital-rasatal-pataladi (seven regions below the earth) and nagloka (demons having human and a snake like lower body). There has also been detailed description of divine world of gods and goloka has been adjudged being the best among these worlds. A devotee of Lord Shiva with good conduct attains goloka (heaven of Krishna) and Shivloka. Shivloka and goloka has been described as akshayloka (eternal world of i.e. heaven).
Like the first Shivadharmottar Section, this section also has twelve chapters. In addition to the contents, the format of this section is similar to the first section. Its first chapter is called Garbhotapati (pregnancy) and it acknowledges the principal man. Sri Mahadeva as the 26th element besides the twenty five elements – panchmahabhoota (five primary elements), panchtanmatra, panchjnanendriya (five reproductive organs), panchkarmendriya (five organ of action: hand, foot, larynx, organ of generation and excretion), mana-buddhi-ahankar (mind, intelligence and arrogance), mahat (great) and prakrati (nature). Thereafter, there has been the description from Sri Mahadeva to the manifestation of the mystic syllable Om, from Om to manifestation of Bhoor Bhuwah Swah uttarances to the sacred triad and four Vedas and then the order of creating the worldly creation (srishti) of Lord Brahman.
The second chapter, Vishayopashaman, describes worldly sensual pleasures. The natural instinct of worldly human relates to the worldly pleasures of senses and their enjoyment. It concerns love and hate and their enjoyment. Worldly pleasures like love and hate etc. create staunch enemies like lust anger, greed, attachment etc. Imprudent persons start considering enjoyment of worldly pleasures as the real happiness. As the human is attracted towards the worldly pleasures, his consciousness starts decaying. Later, when sense of renunciation develops within a human, he longs to renounce all worldly pleasures. Suggesting ways to appease worldly pleasures is the objective of this chapter.
The third chapter has been called Bhavarogakathan (description of worldly worries) and it describes sins which attract humans in the world. In fact that appears pleasant, is in fact not pleasant. In their desire to seek pleasure, humans get sorrows by engaging.
In the fifth chapter, Teerthdyana, more than hundred pilgrim centres have been named. The chapter also explains that a practiser attains the stage of a Siddha (accomplished) through contemplating about pilgrim centres in his dhyanyoga. As a result of meditation (dhyana), the practiser attains all the accomplishments (siddhis).
Sixth chapter Grihashrama. It considers the Grihasthashrama (the second of the four stages in the life of a man, family life) as the most important of all stages. In this context, it has been described that there is no love equal to the love for children, and there is no window equal to science. There is no Veda equal to Mahabharata. There is place of pilgrimage equal to Gaya. There is no penance equal to fasting. In the end it has been advised that no other stage should be taken refuge other than that of the gristhashrama.
Rules of gristhashram are enumerated in the seventh chapter which has been called grihashramachar. After impressing upon the importance of reverence towards mother and father, respect to the guest, tarpan (presenting libation of water in the names of deceased ancestors), feeding the Brahmins, yagna for gods, the chapter advises to lead a disciplined life.
The changing nature of human according to changing dharma of the period has been enumerated in eighth chapter, which has been titled as Kalidharm varnan (description of Kali period). The influence of the Kaliyuga leads to the lack of love of parents towards their children, lack of respect in children towards their parents and increase in the incidents of unrestrained sexual relations. Rulers and ruled both give up their responsibilities. Brahmins, Kshatriyas, vaishyas and shudras all shun their respective prescribed duties. Thus environment and anarchy develop in the country.
The ninth chapter has been named Yugdoshnirupan. This chapter, first of all discusses the Brahmins, the leading section of the society. Due to the degradation in the period, Brahmins will give up the dharma of their cast and become unrestrained and shameless. The planet, heavenly bodies, stars will be having inauspicious effects. King will become indifferent towards rajdharma (Duty as a King). There will be changes in the behavior of animals and birds. There will be state of famine in the country and girls will become unrestrained and will marry with the boys of their choice. There will be no affection left in wives towards their husbands.
The tenth chapter, Yugantalakshan is the sequence to the earlier chapter. This chapter tells about the changes that are effected in humans and to the entire spectrum of the living and non-living creatures and even nature of the herbs. This chapter states that the dharma in kaliyuga will be situated in single stage only.
Karmavipaka Prakriti Nirupan (determination of nature consequent to deeds) and karmavipakochar Kalgati (remedy to the consequences of deeds, the consequence of the time) are eleventh and twelvth chapters. There is almost similarity in the subject matter of these chapters. Deeds have been considered supreme in the world. Each individual has to endure the consequences of good and bad deeds. The disposition of the time depends on the deeds.
Thirteenth chapter is named Deerghayuyoga. In sequence to the earlier chapter, this chapter explains that the longevity depends on the consequences of the deeds of an individual. Individuals engaged in evil deeds have a shorter life span and persons doing good deeds live for longer periods.
The fourteenth chapter informs that the soul takes birth in best form of existence in accordance with the good deeds. Besides, the chapter also that a person who in his lust , engages himself in improper conduct, takes rebirth in the form of a demon.
The Papvimochan is the fifteenth chapter, which states that it is only through Yamayatna (tortures inflicted by yama upon sinners after death) that the evil deeds are expiated. Then mention of various torturous hells situated in the Yamaloka has been made. After expiation for evil deeds, the soul re engages itself in noble deeds.
The sixteenth chapter has been called Pitaroddharak Shradhavidhi (rituals of ceremony performed for the salvation of departed souls). This has been described as an essential ritual. It also describes that if the son and the grandson of the departed soul, suffering harsh tortures in Yamaloka, perform shradha for the soul according to established norms, give charity, the departed soul attains salvationfrom the tortres of Yamloka. Importance of Shradha, in accordance with the scriptures has also been enumerated in the chapter.
Duswapnanirupana is the seventeenth chapter which explains the dreams, which a person sees accordance to his evil or noble deeds and thoughts. Types of dreams and means to calming the evil effects, have also been explained.
The principle of fifth Vedas has been expounded in the eighteenth chapter, called Mahabharata Mahatmya. The Vedas are the source of knowledge and the Mahabharata has been declared as fifth Veda, an addition to the Veda quartet. One, who understands the mysteries of Mahabharata, is considered to be the scholar of all the Vedas and their sections and sub-sections. Mahabharata has been called the incarnation of all the Vedas, all the religion and a collection of divine communications.
Lord Vishnu says, in the nineteenth chapter, Brahmin Mahatmya, that abusing Brahmins, means enmity towards me. Lord Vishnu is worshipped through the worship of Brahmins. Lord Vishnu too assumed the form of a Brahmin at the time of Vamanavatar (fifth or dwarf incarnation of Vishnu).
Brahminlaksham, is the twentieth chapter which enumerates characteristics a good Brahmin. A good Brahmin has been directed to keep away from lust, anger, greed, attachment, love-hatred. Priyavrata onwards, Heredity of the sequential Navgraha has also been explained in the chapter. Details about the Worlds of all the planets have also been mentioned.
The last twentieth chapter of the book, Lokvarnan deals with various worlds. In the beginning of the chapter , seven worlds have been named as the Earth ( bhoo), the heaven (bhuvah), the soul (swah), the offering (mah), the living being( janah), the fire (tapah), the truth(satyam). In addition to these worlds, there has also been description of other worlds like the worlds of God of wind(wayudev),the regent of the ocean (varundev). In addition to the description of these worlds, position of these worlds, their size and their grandeur have also been described. The chapter concludes with the description of various worlds.
3. Dialogue Between Uma and Maheshwar:
This is the third section of Shivdharmamahashastra. True to its name, the section presents various useful subjects through the dialogue between goddess Uma and Maheshwara.
The first chapter of this section is named Chaturvarnya vibhaga. In this subsection goddess Parvati expresses her desire to know the virtues of the four castes. Lord Shiva has explained that Virtues of all the castes according to the scriptures, systematically. There has also been discourse on the dharma of ascetic sages and saints and also of gods in the chapter. Then, discourse on and direction about dharmas of mother-father , teacher-pupil, master-servant, husband-wife, etc. has also been included in the chapter.
Papkarma, is the second chapter, which explains about sins which are the results of the prohibited deeds, which again occur due to love, hatred and jealousy. This chapter also deals with the concept of attainability-unattainability with detail. Sexual relations between man and woman are said to be proper only within the prescribed limits. Relations other than these have been condemned as sins, as a result of these have been considered as terrible. This chapter also condemns the drinking of alcohol and also its contemptuous consequences.
The third chapter has been called sukritphala, which describes rewards of virtuous deeds. It has been described in this chapter that those who are engaged in virtuous deeds get worldly pleasure as a reward. Such persons are healthy, beautiful and brilliant in their next birth. After enjoying the worldly pleasures, such persons after their death head towards the shivloka to live there for years.
Adhyatmadhyana is the fourth chapter. This chapter details about penance, vow, fast, purification , charity etc. and then explains the special importance of meditation. Enumerating the dhyanayoga, it has been stated that thousands of know-unknown sins of the practice of the hatyoga, are reduced to ashes in the fire of meditation. Mention of method of meditation and proper place for meditation have also been directed.
In the fifth chapterTeerthdhyana, more than hundred pilgrim centres have been named. The chapter also explains that a practiser attains the stage of siddha (accomplished) through contemplating about pilgrim centres in his dhyanyoga. As a result of meditation (dhyana), the practiser attains all the accomplishments (Siddhis).
Sixth Chapter is Grihashram. It considers the Grihast-ashram (the second in the four stages in the life of a man, family life) as the most important of all stages. In this context, it has been described that there is no love equal to the love of children and there is no window equal to science. There is no Vedas equal to Mahabharata, there is no pilgrimage equal to Gaya. There is no penance equal to fasting. In the end, it has been advised that no other stage should be taken refuse of other than that of the grihast ashram.
Rules of the grihsta-ashram are enumerated in the seventh chapter, which has been called Grih-ashramchar. After impressing upon the importance of reverence towards mother and father., respect to the guest, tarpan (presenting libations of water in the names of deceased ancestors), feeding of Brahmins, yagna for gods etc. the chapter advises to lead a disciplined life.
The changing nature the human according to the changing Dharma of the period has been enumerated in the eighth chapter, which has been titled, Kalidharma Varan (description of Kali period). The influence of Kaliyuga leads to lack of love of parents of towards their children , lack of respect of children towards their parents and increase of number of incidents of unrestrained sexual relations. Rulers and ruled, both give up their responsibilities. Brahmins, Kshatriyas, vaishyas and shudras all shun their respective prescribed duties. Thus environment of anarchy develop in the country.
The ninth chapter has been named Yugdoshnirupan. This chapter, first of all, discusses the Brahmins, the leading section of the society. Due to the degradation in the period, Brahmins will give up Dharma of their caste and become unrestrained and shameless. The planets, heavenly bodies, stars will be having inauspicious effects. Kings will become indifferent towards their rajdharma (duty as a king). There will be changes in the behavior of animals and birds. There will be state of famine in the country and girls will become unrestrained and will marry with the boys of their choice. There will be no affection left in wives towards their husbands.
The tenth chapter, Yugant-lakshan is the sequence to the earlier chapter. This chapter tells about the changes that are affected in humans and to the entire spectrum of the living and non-living creatures and even the nature of the herbs. This chapter states that Dharma in Kaliyuga will be situated in a single stage only.
Karma-Vipaka Prakriti Nirupan (determination of nature consequent to deeds) and Karmavipakochar Kalgati (remedy to the consequences of deeds, the consequences of the time) are eleventh and 12 chapters. There is almost similarity in the subject matter of these chapters. Deeds have been considered supreme in the World. Each individual has to endure the consequences of good and bad deeds. The time has been considered a witness to all deeds. The disposition of the time depends on the deeds.
Thirteenth chapter is Deerghayu-yoga. In sequence to the earlier chapter, this chapter explains that longevity depends on the consequences of the deeds of an individual. Individuals engaged in evil deeds have shorter life span and persons doing good deeds live for longer periods.
The fourteenth chapter informs that the soul takes birth in best form of existence in accordance with its good deeds. Besides, the chapter also states that a person , who in his lust, engages himself in improper conduct , takes rebirth in the form of a demon.
The Papavimochan is the fifteenth chapter, which states that it is only through the Yamayatna (tortures inflicted by Yama upon sinners after death) that the evil deeds are expiated. Then, mention of various torturous hells situated in the Yamaloka has been made. After expiation for its evil deeds the soul reengage itself in noble deeds.
The sixteenth Chapter has been called Pitaroddharak Shradhavidhi (rituals of ceremony performed for the salvation of departed souls). This has been described as an essential ritual. It also describes that if the son or the grandson of the departed soul, suffering harsh tortures in Yamloka, performs Shraddha for the soul according to established norms, gives charity, the departed soul attains salvation from the tortures of Yamloka. Importance of Shraddha in accordance with the scriptures has also been enumerated in the chapter.
Duswapnanivaran is the seventeenth Chapter, which explains the dreams, which a person sees according to his noble or evil deeds and thoughts. Types of dreams and means of calming the evil effects have also been explained.
The principal of Bharatam Pancham Vedam has been expounded in the eighteenth Chapter, called Mahabharat Mahatmya. The Vedas are the source of knowledge and the Mahabharata has been declared as fifth Veda, an addition to the Veda quartet. One who understands the mysteries of Mahabharata, is considered to be the scholar of all the Vedas and their sections and sub-sections. Mahabharata has been called the incarnation of all the Vedas, all the religions and a collection of divine communications.
Lord Vishnu says in the nineteenth Chapter, Brahmin Mahatmya, that abusing Brahmins means enmity towards Me. Lord Vishnu is worshipped through the worship of Brahmins. Lord Vishnu too assumed the form of a Brahmin at the time of Vamanavtara (fifth or dwarf incarnation of Vishnu).
Brahminlakshan, is the twentieth Chapter, which enumerates characteristics of a good Brahmin. A Brahmin has been directed to keep away from lust , anger, greed, attachment love-hatred.
Swarayoga-Gajendramokshamahamaya is the twenty first Chapter, which in the beginning introduces the seven musical notes namely, shadaj, rishabh, gandhar, madhyma, panchama, dhaiwat, and nishad. Later, temperament of all notes has been explained. Knowledge of notes used by various gods has also been presented in the Chapter. Songs sung in each season have also been mentioned. . Towards the end, the famous of elephant and crocodile and the story of clutching of the leg of the elephant by the crocodile in the divine lake has been narrated. After this, eulogy of the God by the king of the elephants and appearance of the God and liberating the elephant after killing the crocodile has been illustrated.
In the twenty-second Chapter, Shrivishnuavtar, there is an interesting description of ten incarnation of Lord Vishnu for different purposes. At the end of the Chapter, advise to worship Lord Vishnu and treat Brahmins with respect has been given.
The fourth Section of the Shrishivdharamamahashastra has been called Uttarottarmahasamvad prakarana. As is clear from its name, it describes the questions and answers between Bhagwati Parvati and Lord Shiva in continuation to the dialogues in the previous Chapter. The previous Chapter is Umamaheshwar Samvaad Section. That dialogue is continued in this Chapter. This section begins with the first Chapter named Dharm-adharm Kathan. Bhagwati Parvati asks lord Shiva in this Chapter about the origin of Dharma (virtues) and Adharma (vices) . What type of deeds lead to dharma and which deed leads to adarma. Lord Shiva explains that the deeds prescribed in scriptures lead to dharma whereas prohibited deeds are considered to be the source of adharma. Happiness results from following dharma whereas sinful deeds lend to a person in miseries.
Second Chapter is titled Rajya-Prapti, which describes about the deeds of a person, which result in his attaining the status of regality. It has been enumerated in this Chapter that a person with subdued passions, who behaves in accordance with the dharma enumerated in the scriptures, takes rebirth in royal environ.
Param-Punya Yoga is the third Chapter, which defines factors of virtuous deeds. In the beginning, kinds of flowers used for the worship of a particular deity have been mentioned. More than hundred such flowers have been listed in this regard. Later in the Chapter, different rewards in different kinds of worship with various flowers in each month have been described. The nature of dharma and adharma, have also been explained towards the end of the Chapter.
The fourth Chapter is Papavikarmapak. Bhagwati Parvati asks Lord Shiva the consequences of various sinful deeds. She asks, which sinful deed render a man becoming hunchback, dwarf, mutilated, blind, deaf and with other disabilities. Lord Shiva has described the deeds of person with disabilities, which lead him to take rebirth as a person with disabilities like blindness, deafness, one-eyed and other abnormalities. The different kind of origins of gods , ascetic, learned, demi-gods, apsaras (dancing girls in the court of Indra) , deeds, reptiles, mountains, oceans etc. have also been elaborated in the Chapter. In this Chapter, Mahapralaya (the end of the Universe) has also been mentioned. The sequence of recreation of the universe after the Mahapralaya has also been described. In the end, Veda, the source of complete knowledge, has also been discussed.
In continuation of the earlier Chapter, good and evil deeds have been discussed in the fifth Chapter, which has been titled Goguna. The deed which leads to a person to yamaloka has also been described in this Chapter. There is also description of various cities of Dharma raj (Yama king) and Chitra gupta (a being in the world of yama who records vices and virtues of mankind). The Chapter also describes various evil deeds and section of yamaloka in which a person doing such deeds is sent to. In the end of the Chapter, description of the Kamdhenu, the Cow, which emerged during the churning of the milky ocean (Ksheersaagar) and which fulfills all the desires of mankind, has also been given. It has also been mentioned each part of the body of the cow is the abode of gods residing in every part of the Cow has also been given in the Chapter.
Vrishguna is the sixth Chapter, which described the importance of the Ox. Agnihotra (an oblation of the Agni). The gift of cow in a yagna is considered to be the most significance. Keeping this in mind, the Ox has been designated as the dharma incarnate. The section concludes with the description of the virtues of the ox.
5. Shivo-panishad Prakaran:
The fifth section of Shrishivdharma-mahashastra is known as the Shivopanishad. Being called Shivopanishad, this section is considered to be the specific section describing the forms of Lord Shiva.
The first Chapter of this section is called Muktinirdesh and deliberates upon the form of salvation. The chapter states that an ignorant person , unaware of jnanayoga, can also attain salvation from this worldly ocean. It further explains that when a person devotedly chants Shiva-Shiva, the name of the first god, the figure of calmness Lord Shiva, he becomes similar to Shiva. Lord Shiva has been portrayed in the form of the supreme spirit in this Chapter and one who beholds that supreme spirit, attains salvation from this worldly ocean.
Shivsthapana is the second chapter and it explains the process of consecration of Lord Shiva with His Attendants in a Shiv temple, constructed in accordance with the directions contained in the Shivdharmamahashastra. Size and shape and direction of the Shiva temple in accordance with the architecture have also been described in the chapter. The method of worship in the Shiva-lingam, consecrated according to the scriptures has also been detailed in the chapter.
The third chapter Shivgraha contains directions for the kings and other persons, worshippers of Lord Shiva to construct separate abodes for the Shiva and Shakti in their own homes within their resources. It has also been stated that the temple of the Shiva must be constructed in the Ishakona i.e. in the North. In addition to this, description of the shape and size of the Shiva temple has been given in the chapter.
Grihagnikarya, is the fourth Chapter of this book, which in continuation to the earlier chapter, lays down the principles for the construction of a peace temple in front of the Shiva temple and also explains the shape and size of the peace temple in detailed steps. Direction for the fire pit (agni kunda) within the peace temple for oblation to the fire (agnihotra) has also been given. Thus, a pious person, who after the construction of the place for keeping the agni for Lord Shiva (yagnashala), satiates the fire of the Rudra or Shiva along with his family members like wife, sons, friends etc. and servants, get salvation for twenty one of his ancestral families and attains Shivloka. Even a person makes a single offering (aahuti) to Lord Shiva he fulfills his desires. Towards the end of the Chapter, material for oblation and rewards from oblation with such material has also been described.
The fifth Chapter has been called Shivbhashma and it explains the importance of ashes of Lord Shiva. It has been stated that the ashes breathed out of the mouth of the fire incarnate lord Shiva., in itself the proliferation of the energetic form of the grandeur of the supreme power and is the supreme element, which eradicates a number of diseases. The person, who applies Shivabhasma enjoys proximity to Lord Shiva.
Phaldanopakar is the sixth Chapter, which explains that a person, who offers with reverence food grains after perfecting it properly with clarified butter, ghee, to Lord Shiva, can enjoy the Shivloka for crores of eons(Kalpa- a period of 1000 yugas or 4,320,000 years). True to its name, the Phaldaaan, the Chapter describes in details the individual rewards which one gets by offering various fruits to Lord Shiva such as Bilva, wood apple, pomegranate, grapes etc. It has also been stated that Lord Shiva is such a God that he fulfills all the desires. After this this, the Chapter describes various Shiva pilgrim places. The person, who pays obeisance to the Shiva pilgrim places and who breathes his last in Shiv pilgrim place, attains the Shivloka. In the end of the Chapter, it has been advised to the people desirous of salvation to gift essential commodities to the worshippers of the Lord Shiva. The donor gets the entire reward of this offering.
In the seventh Chapter, Shivopachara, the conduct of Shiva worshippers has been explained, it has been stated that a Shiva worshipper must respect the teacher. He should offer fragment flowers with respect to the teacher. He must sit lower to the teacher in school. Never indulge in criticism of the teacher directly or indirectly. A Shiva worshipper should keep restrain in his essential needs and conduct. He should follow the direction of the Guru as that of the God. He must follow the virtues like non-violence, truth, abstinence, non- anger, purity etc. Towards the end of the Chapter, it has been stated that, a person, who listens to the conduct of Lord Shiva and relates to the others attains to the proximity to the lord Shiva.
The Sixth section is known as Dharmputrika Prakaran. This section explains procedures emaciated in the Dharmashastras (code of percepts having religious sanctions). The compiler of the Shastra writes in the preface that with due respect to Sanak, the supreme sage, the spiritual son of Brahma, the Creator, he is describing the Dharmputrika the code of conduct.
In the first Chapter of this section, titled Sadhak prakaran, measures of the sixteen accomplishments approved by the great sage, Patanjali, have been described. A sage accomplishes the yoga with the help of repeated meditation. In the beginning of the section, after detailing sixteen accomplishments of the yoga four sections of the yoga have been described. These four sections are: accomplishment section, posture section, retention section and meditation section. Thereafter, retreat (pratyahaar), meditation, restraining the breath(pranayama), retention (dharana).Logic and state of trance(Samadhi) have been discussed. After illustrating the characteristics of a sage the Chapter states “ What is worth meditating in this World? Who meditates about that? What is Meditation? Who attains the knowledge of these four issues, is considered to be the supreme sage achieving accomplishment in the yoga.
The second section has been called the Asanprakaran and it describes the rules for specific postures (asansas) for the sages. A sage, engaged in the accomplishment of the yoga, should use deer skin as mat or mat made out of sacred Kusha (grass used in ceremonies). Later uses Padmasana (lotus posture), swastikasana, peethaasana, sthalasana, ardhchandraasana have been described. In the end of the Chapter, exercises of various body parts have also been explained.
Dharmavanshprakaran is the name of the third Chapter. It has been stated in the chapter that, after sitting in the posture (aasana), the sage should think about twenty eight joints (parvas) of the body, enunciated by Lord Shiva. It has also been explained that after this , the sage should meditate of Lord Shiva through restraining his breath.
The fourth Chapter has been called Dhyanmargaprakaran which inform that “enlightened ascetics should, during muttering of the prayer, at the beginning of the process of yoga, first of all meditate in entirety about in lotus form, having pericarp in the form of calmness. Thereafter, the detailed description of the one who meditates and his objective has been provided. In the end of the Chapter three types of rewards of meditations have been discussed. The first is known as guneshwarya (virtue and prosperity), second as parlokavijaya (conquest of the next world) and the third is called Moksha (salvation). The meditating ascetic attains the world of Brahma, the eternal supreme, which is beyond the cycle of birth and death. This pure unblemished reward is called the salvation (Moksha).
Fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth Chapters have been called Sukshamantaraya Mahasukshamantaraya, Pramadajantaarya and Pratipadyataya respectively. The subject matter of these four Chapters is common. These are quite brief Chapters. The word, antaraya means obstacle. The ascetic has to face these four obstacles during his meditation. The Chapter also mentions the ways to overcome these obstacles. Symptoms of death has been have been mentioned in the Mahasukshmantaraya. The Chapter titled Prmadajantaraya tells about the impairment and disease of the body. It has been explained in the Pratipadyataya that the ascetic, who after renouncing worldly attachments, is immersed in the meditation, attains salvation.
The subject of the earlier Chapters are continued to be discussed in the beginning of the ninth Chapter, Jaya. Then the form of meditation-ascetic, soul-supreme soul have been explained. In the end, the ten lettered mantra (a sacred verse) of the Shiva has been advised for conquering the death. The ascetic, who remains firm in the face of obstacles occurring during the meditation, has been termed as Jay or the conqueror.
Chikitsa (healing) is the tenth Chapter and it suggests essential needs such as food, drink etc. for the ascetics. It also explains about the treatments of various diseases through poorak-rechak-kumbhak (breathing exercises). This Chapter has also been named as yogic Chikitsa (treatment through breathing control).
Next Chapters are Chalalingam, the eleventh and Dhruvalingam, the twelfth, which explains that as the ascetic nears the Sidhi (accomplishment), there appears the sense of accomplishment in his heart. This sense of accomplishment is of two types- unsteady and static. These have been termed as Chalalingam and Dhruvlingam respectively. In other words, this can also been termed as Yogasiddhichooka. Both these Chapters tell an ascetic to devote himself continuously in the yogabhyasa.
Thirteenth chapter is Vriddhiupaya. It explains that an ascetic gradually attains growth through the yogabhyasa yama-niyam-aasan-pranayama-pratyahar-dharna. With the yogabhyasa, an ascetic destroys his accumulated sins. This is known as means for enlightenment.
Vinasha is the fourteenth Chapter, which states that an ascetic, who gives up the yogasadhana at the appearance of an indication of accomplishment, his meditation gets corrupted before the accomplishment.
Pratyapan is the fifteenth Chapter. It describes, the ascetic engaged in the meditation, whose accomplishment has been corrupted mid-way. Such an ascetic makes a return to his accomplishment through beginning his meditation again. The process of this return has thus been called pratyayan.
The last Chapter of this Section is Siddhi-upaya (ways for accomplishment), which advises to follow the path of the Yoga only after setting the goal. Accomplishment can only be attained after renouncing the worldly attachments and stabilizing the mind. An ascetic should emulate the targeting instinct of Arjuna. Cleansing the mind has been considered as the basis of the yoga. At the climax of the yoga, the soul of an ascetic is embedded with the Shiva and the Shiva only. Towards the end of the Chapter, a number of methods of meditation(yoga sadhana) and the accomplishments thereof, have been described. This has been called Siddhi-upayas (ways of accomplishment) and with this, the Section concludes.
Gavamupanishatprakaran, is the last section of the book. True to its name, the Section describes the nature of the cow, its importance, contribution of the cow to human life, the important place of the cow in the nature and the environment.
The first chapter of the section is named Shivadanaphala. The procedure of establishing the Shivlingam and its worship has been described in the beginning of the Chapter. The object of the Shivdaan has been explained as making offering to the Brahmins in the name of the Lord Shiva. Individual rewards for offering different things have also been described. The holy cow, Kapila, should be offered to the Shiva incarnate. Milk-curd-ghee etc., are offered to the Kapilain the name of lord Shiva. The abode of cow has been considered as most sacred place. Describing the origin of the cow, it has again been emphasized that each body-part of the cow is the abode of the gods.
The second Chapter is Shivlingamahavrata. Continuing the description of establishing the Shivlingam and its worship, it enumerates the method of worship-homage-adoration through special service to the Shivlingam . This process has been called Shivlingamahavrata.
Upvas-gopradanvidhi is the third Chapter, which imparts priority to the worship of the Shiva as enumerated in the second Chapter. Then, the importance of fasting in the religious vows has been mentioned. Describing the worship of Lord Shiva, the rewards of Shivpoojan have been mentioned separately which have been based on twelve months starting from Marghsheesha to Kartika (lunar calendar). Further, special reward of gifting the cow for twelve months and for each of the twelve months has also been narrated. Gifting of cow has been considered to be the best offering. Men and women are considered equally empowered to worship lord Shiva. It has been said about a woman absorbed in worship of Lord Shiva in the present birth takes birth in the form of a man in the next birth. It has been mentioned in this Chapter that the Lord Shiva himself has prescribed the Umamaheshwar vrat for men and women and has directed them to take this vrat (vow) energetically. A woman with complete calm observes the Umamaheshwar vrat with prescribed rituals, gets desired husband and attains Rudraloka after this World. At the end of the Chapter, immense rewards occurring from gifting two-faced cow have been mentioned.
Shivashrama is the fourth Chapter and it prescribes the conduct during various stages in the life of the human for all the persons observing various stages of life, man woman, brahmchari (righteous person who keeps himself away from the sexual attractions), family man, Vanprastha (a man in third stage of life who leaves his house and his family to live in the forest) and ascetic who lives in Shivashrama (Sanctuary of Lord Shiva). Those living in Shivasramas should prepare a garden of flowers, construct a place for keeping sacrificial fire and guest house within the complex of Shivasrama. Persons living in Shivasramas, should pray thrice in a day i.e. in the morning, noon and in the evening, conduct oblation to sacred fire and worship Lord Shiva. It has also been stated that in case of unavoidable obstruction in the daily routine , persons living in the Shivashramas should follow manas puja (mental prayer). Rituals of manas puja for worshippers of Lord Shiva, in the absence of required material for the worship have also been explained. The importance of the ashes, obtained from the oblation of the sacred fire has also been enumerated. An ascetic has been asked to collect food through begging. Persons living in Shivasramas have been instructed to observe restraint. Worshippers of the Lord Shiva must not get angry even on instigation. With reference to the branches and sub-branches of the Shivdharma, the Chapter concludes.
Shakha-Upshakha is the fifth Chapter, which has initially enquired into the subject, referred to in the earlier chapter. A worshipper of Lord Shiva worships Shivlingam established everywhere. The Shivabhaktas must not eat inedible and prohibited food. When impure, Shivbhaktas should not touch Shivlingam. On specific dated, like lunar eclipse, Shivbkaktas should desist from contacts with woman, gambling, drinking etc. Being the last chapter of the book, miscellaneous subjects have been explained in the Chapter. For example, forms prescribed in sacred laws of various subjects lie nature of the Vedayagna, characteristics of donation, grant of land, gift of cows, gift of clothes, features of fasts, form of pilgrim centres, Ashtanga vedadharma, characteristics of Shivdharma have been enumerated in the Chapter. The offering to a Shivbhakta, is most fruitful and individual rewards of each of these offerings have also been mentioned. A Shivabhakta must follow the advises, which he imparts to others. In continuation to the knowledge about Lord Shiva. Famous Shiva pilgrim centers have also been introduced in the Chapter. In the end of the Chapter, Shivadharma of five types have been has once again explained and it has been prayed for all the beings to attain fourfold goals of humans such as dharma, wealth, lust and moksha with grace of lord Shiva. Each name of eightfold Shiva has been chanted and respectfully dedicated. The concluding verse is quite significant:
“SARVASTRATU DURGANI SARVO BHADRANI PASHYTU
SARV SUGATIM-AAPNOTU SARVASYA CH BHAVEKSHI-VRAM”
Which means- Let all cross the difficult worldly ocean. Let all march towards prosperity. Let all attain everlasting happiness. Let all prosper. Let our respectful obeisance be accepted by the Lord Shiva.