Hinduwebsite Recommends Hinduism Live
Home Hinduism Buddhism Jainism Yoga Spiritualism Zoroastrianism Sikhism Self-help Reference Scriptures
Hinduism FAQ Hinduism A to Z Bhagavadgita Upanishads Symbolism Saivism Vedas History Concepts Pantheon Essays
Featured Article
Editorial
Audio
Books
Horoscope
Hinduism News
Quotations
India News
US News
Mental Health
Video
Today in History
Message Board
Online Store



Our Feeds
Recent Articles Feed
Audio Feed
Video Feed
Hinduism Essays Feed
Our Forum Feed
Our Books Store Feed


About this site
Hinduwebsite.com provides original and scholarly information about Hinduism and related religions, society and culture. We promote tolerance and the highest ideals reflected in these cultures. We have been serving the world community since 1999.




The Worship of Lord Shiva

Translate the Page






Follow Us



 

By Jayaram V

There are two fundamental approaches to the worship of Lord Shiva, the right hand method and the left hand method. In the right hand method, Shiva is worshipped in the most traditional manner with prayers, chants, offerings of flower, water, light, incense, honey, milk, sandal paste, saffron, clothing, and food. The methods are very similar to the ones practiced in the Vedic tradition by the Vaikhasanas and Pancaratras.

Although in some right hand methods substances such as ashes from the graveyards, etc., are used, the approach is more Vedic than tantric and confirm to the prevailing social norms. In some cases, the worshippers use substitute material in place of forbidden substances to perform the worship.

The most ancient sect of Saivism which follow the right methods of worship is known as Adiva Saiva sect. Members of this sect do not wear Sivalingas on their bodies. They also cremate the dead bodies according to the Vedic injunctions. Although the priests belonging to this sect who perform the worship of Shiva on the Saiva temples are called Shiva Brahmanas, they may actually come from different castes, and not necessarily from Brahmana caste only.

The left hand methods of worship are extreme in nature and followed only by a very limited number of followers in tantric traditions of Saivism. Some of them are extremely disgusting and generally despised by the public. For example, some Aghoris eat excrement as part of their penance and indulge in antisocial behavior. In the more formal methods of tantric rituals, worshippers offer panca makaras, the five forbidden substances, namely, meat, liquor, sexual intercourse, parched grain and fish.

Saivism considers devotional worship and services secondary and preparatory for liberation, compared to the more superior methods which involve the use of knowledge, yoga and meditation. Tantric spiritual methods of worship (sadhana) involve the following well known practices: initiation (diksha), chanting of sacred mantras (mantra), use of mystic symbols and drawings (yantras), special hand postures (mudras), postures (asanas), concentration and meditation (dhyana), the use of trance inducing substances, energy transference (shaktipat), and similar methods.

Suggested Further Reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go Top
© 2000-2014 Hinduwebsite.com. All Rights are reserved. No part of this website can be copied or reproduced in any manner. Hinduwebsite.com presents original articles on various subjects. They are for your personal and spiritual growth not for copying and posting on your website. We do not accept donations. We rely solely upon our content to serve you. If you want to promote our website please write an introduction and post a link to it on your blog or website. However, please do not copy information from the website and then tell us that you were trying to give us publicity. We like publicity, but not in this manner. Please protect Dharma by following its values, which include non-stealing. Your use of the website is subject to these Terms of Use.