In the chapter 12 & 13 in Section 5 of Kailash-saṃhita of Shiva Purana, Shiva informed about the procedure of Sannyasa & renunciation.
Shiva is declared as the purport of the Pranava; from whom this entire universe, beginning with Brahma, Vishnu and Indra is born at the outset with the groups of sense-organs and elements; who is worthy of being meditated upon by those who are desirous of salvation; he who is the cause of welfare; who is in the middle of the firmament; who is omnipresent, whose soul is light, who is in the form of splendour, knowledge and consciousness; whose splendid Shakti is comprehensible only through emotion and who is both Nirguna and Saguna, unsullied and auspicious. Three types of his form—gross, subtle and causal shall be meditated upon by those seeking salvation.
He the ancient lord has Ishana for his coronet; Purusha for his face; Aghora for his heart; Vamadeva for his private parts and Sadya for his foot. He is both Sakala and Niṣkala. The six Shakti, omniscience, etc. constitute his six limbs. He is bedecked on his left by Manonmani, his own Shakti.
The Shruti says that the sages are satisfied by Brahmacharya; the gods by sacrifice; and the Pitrs by progeny. Freed from this threefold debt and entering the Vanaprastha stage the devotee shall bear both pleasure and pain, chillness and heat; shall subjugate the senses, control the diet. He shall practise restraint and other means of Yoga so that the intellect becomes stable and unswerving. He becomes pious and free from activities.
The ascetic shall approach a preceptor who knows the principles of sacred scriptures and has mastered the Vedantic knowledge.
Permitted by the preceptor he shall subsist on milk diet and perform rites for twelve days. On the fourth or the tenth day in the bright lunar fortnight he shall take his early morning bath. With pious mind, he shall perform his routine. He shall invite the preceptor and begin the Nandi Shraddha. Nandi is worshipped to attain happiness joy and content in life. Nandi shraddha are performed with recitation of specific mantras for success of a ceremony. After completing Nandi mukha shraddha, he shall propitiate the leading brahmins. He shall recite Shrirudra, Camaka, and Puruṣa suktas duly. After meditating on Sadashiva, he shall repeat the Japas of the five Brahmans. At the end of the meal, he shall recite Rudra Sukta. He shall ask forgiveness of the brahmins. After food he shall offer water. Washing his feet and performing the Achamana he shall approach the Piṇḍas. Facing the cast, he shall sit silently and perform Praṇayama thrice.
“I shall perform the rite of offering the Piṇḍas as an ancillary to the Nandimukhashraddha.” After deciding thus, he shall draw nine lines from south to north. He shall place twelve Darbhas with their tips to the east over the lines. These are the five places for the gods Daksha and others. In these places the aksata grains and water shall be offered silently. In the other places he shall sprinkle water with the mantra “Atra Pitaraḥ”, and offer the Aksata grains and water for worship. The names of different gods shall be mentioned with the dative case ending. Three Piṇḍas shall be offered to each in the five places. The Piṇḍas shall be given separately along with Akṣatas for the full efficacy of the Pitrs as explained in the Gṛhyasutra.
He shall meditate on lord Sadashiva in the lotus of the heart reciting the verse. By remembering his lotus-like feet he shall give fees to the Brahmins according to his ability. He shall ask forgiveness and bid them farewell. He shall give Piṇḍas to the cows or cast off into running water. After performing “Punyahavacana” he shall take meals with his kinsmen.
After getting up early in the morning next day the devotee shall perform his routine. He shall observe fast, shave hair except in the armpits and the private parts. He shall cut the moustache, the nails and shave his head. He shall take bath and wear a washed and dried cloth. He shall be pure in thought and body. Silently he shall perform Achamana twice and apply ashes duly and perform the Puṇyahavacana. He shall make gift to brahmins especially to devotees and to Shiva in the form of preceptor. He shall prostrate before him. He shall take the loin-cloth, its string, staff and the articles for homa—sacrificial twigs etc. He shall go to sea-shore or a mountain or a river-bank or a Shiva temple or a forest or a cow pen. He shall sit on a good place and perform Acamana. He shall make his mind pure like a flower bunch. He shall repeat Vedic mantras along with Oṃ and recite “Namo Brahmaṇe” etc. thrice. Then he shall repeat the mantra “Agnimile purohitam”, perform the great rite and repeat. “Agnirvai” “Iṣe tvorje tvā”, then repeat the Mantras” Agna ayahi vitaye”, “shanno devirabhiṣṭaye” along with Ma, Ya, Ra, Sa, Ta, Ja, Bha, Na, La, and Ga. This shall continue for five years. This is the tradition. Then he shall repeat the text of grammar, Mimaṃsa and Vedanta. He shall repeat the names of the gods as well. He shall perform the Japa of Brahma, Indra, Sun, moon, Prajapati Jnanatman and Paramatman with Pranavain the beginning, namaḥ in the end using the dative case. He shall take some flour of fried grain, cat it with Praṇava, perform Acamana twice, wash his hands, repeat the mantras mentioned hereafter. He shall repeat the names of Atman, Antaratman, Jnanatman beginning with Pranavaand ending with Namaḥ. After repeating the mantra of Atman, he shall repeat the mantra of Prajapati. He shall then perform the Japa ending with Svaha. Repeating Pranavahe shall take in milk, curd and ghee separately thrice and perform Acamana twice. With the mind steady he shall sit firmly facing the east and perform pranayama thrice in accordance with the rules.
The Procedure of Renunciation:
Then at midday he shall take bath. With the mind fully controlled he shall gather materials for worship such as fragrant flowers, Akṣatas etc. With the mantra, “Gaṇanam tva” he shall as enjoined invoke lord Gaṇapati worshipped by the gods. He shall worship him in the south-west. He shall worship him at dusk and offer Naivedya. After propitiating and bowing to him he shall pray for warding off evil.
After offering the Purnahuti with the three Ṛks “Bhuh Svaha and concluding the rites he shall repeat Gayatri assiduously till late in the afternoon. He shall perform the evening prayers after bath and the sacrificial rites and inform his preceptor accordingly.
After offering the Caru therein e shall perform Homa with different faggots of sticks, cooked rice and ghee repeating Rudrasukta. He shall conceive Lord Shiva in the fire along with Amba and the five Brahmans—Sadyojata etc. He shall remember Gauri and perform homa with the mantra “Gaurirmimaya etc. He shall perform sacrifice, repeat the mantra “Agnaye sviṣṭakṛṭe svaha” and then show mystic gestures. Being of steady mind he shall sit on the seat of cloth, deerskin or Darbha grass to the north of the fire and perform the Gayatri japa silently till the brahma muhurta.
He shall then take bath. He shall perform the Japa of the Vyahṛtis, Rudra Sukta and the five Brahmans. He shall fix his mind in the lotus-feet of Shiva. He shall perform the Japa of Prajapati, Indra, Vishvedevas and Brahma also, with dative case-endings. Pranavaand other mantras shall be repeated ending with Svaha. He shall perform Puṇyahavacana, say Agnye svaha, show mystic gesture in front of the fire. Then he shall repeat Pranaya svaha and offer five Ahutis to Svistakrt fire. He shall repeat Rudrasukta, the five Brahmans, the Caturvyuha mantras, Homa and mystic gestures in accordance with his Vedic branch. The same procedure he shall adopt for the other gods, along with their ancillary rites. After these rites beginning with the fire, the Viraja homa of the Atman shall be performed for the purification of the self in the form of twenty-six principles.
After Svaha” he shall say “Na mama” (not to me). By this, renunciation of motive is indicated. In the mantras “Vividya” “Kaṣṭapota” after the word Vyapakava the word Paramatmane shall be used. The words “Shivajyotis” “Vishvabhuta” and “Ghasanotsuka” shall be mentioned in dative ease. After mentioning the god by name the word Devaya shall be uttered. After “Vishvarupaya” in the mantra “Uttiṣṭhasva"’ the word “Purusaya” shall be uttered and the words “Om Svaha” shall be added. At the end of the word “Lokatraya” the words “Vyapine Paratnatmane Shivayedam Na Mama” shall be added. He shall conclude the rite according to his own branch of the Veda. He shall eat Caru mixed with ghee and then give fee of gold etc. to the priest. Alter the ritualistic dismissal of Brahma he shall perform the morning worship. He shall recite the mantra “Saṃ maṃ sincantu Maruta.” He shall warm his hand over the fire repeating the mantra “Ya te Agne” and superimpose the fire in his own Atman, abode of the universal soul. He shall perform the morning prayers and pay respects to the sun. He shall enter water upto the navel, perform the Japa of the mantras with pleasure, devotion and steadiness. The devotee who had been maintaining sacrificial fires regularly shall perform the Prajapatya rite in the sacrificial fire and give his entire possession as gift.
The devotee shall perform the Japa of Gayatri. Pranava is the initial of all mantras of the Vedas. It expresses Shiva. It is the emperor of all mantras. It is the great Bija, the greatest mantra. After dissolving Gayatri in the Pranava identical with Shiva he shall recite the hymn “ahaṃ vrksasya reriva.” He shall repeat the hymn beginning with “Yaḥ Chandasam Ṛṣabhaḥ” and ending with “gopaya.”
After muttering the Preṣa mantras with attentive mind he shall say “Let all living beings have fearlessness from me, Svaha.” He shall take water in the cupped palms and pour it to the east. He shall uproot the tuft and take out the sacred thread. Taking the two in the cupped palms along with water he shall say Om Bhuḥ “Go thou to the ocean” after uttering Suaha. Along with the water in the palms he shall put the two in the water uttering Presa mantras. After performing Acamana thrice he shall come to the bank and cast off all the clothes. He shall then foot a short distance more than seven paces facing north or the east. Then the preceptor shall ask him to stop saying, “for your stay and activity in the world, O holy one, accept this loin-cloth and staff.” He shall hand them over to him with his own hands.
After giving the loin-cloth with its string, and the ochre-coloured robe he shall ask him to wear them. After performing Acamana twice he shall tell the disciple thus “You are the thunderbolt of Indra.”. After praying and saying “A good companion”, he shall take up the staff. He shall approach the preceptor remembering the lotus-like feet of Śiva and fall at his feet thrice with fully restrained mind.
Before the rites are begun, he should collect cowdung and make them into balls of the size of a myrobalan fruit and dry them in sunshine. The balls shall be placed in the sacrificial fire at the advent of homa. At the conclusion of the homa the ashes shall be collected and preserved.
The preceptor shall take the white ashes of the Viraja fire. Repeating the mantras “Agniriti Bhasma” he shall apply the sacred ashes over the body of the disciple from head to foot. Repeating the five mantras “Ishana” Tryayuṣa” “Tryambakam Yajamahe he shall apply the Tripundra marks too beginning with head. Then the disciple shall meditate devotedly on Shiva, the consort of Uma in the lotus of his heart. Putting his hand on the head of the disciple the preceptor shall utter the Pranava thrice into the right ear of the disciple along with the names of the sage etc.
The excellent preceptor shall be sympathetic and explain Pranava with the knowledge of the six-fold topics. The disciple shall make obeisance to the preceptor by prostrating twelve times. He shall remain subservient to him always. He shall not do anything else. The preceptor shall make the disciple perform all the rites in the morning up to the Japa including the practice of hearing etc. The disciple shall perform the worship in the maṇḍala Kailasaprastara as enjoined by Shiva. If he cannot worship the deity worshipped by his preceptor, he shall take up Shivalinga of crystal along with the pedestal. The disciple shall take vow in the presence of the preceptor which he shall repeat thrice with a steady mind - “I shall rather cast life and cut off my head than take meals without worshipping Śiva.”
Thus, the disciple shall worship Lord Shiva every day with devoted and diligent mind, following the path of five Avaraṇas.
Punya and Paap are the seeds of future pleasure and pain, the former, which sows merits, exhausts itself only through pleasure and the latter, which sows demerits, exhausts itself only through pain; but liberation from rebirth is the end of all karmic debts consisting of and signified by these two dynamics.
In the chapter 5 & 6 in Section 5 of Uma-saṃhita of Shiva Purana and in discourse 11, section – 6 of Manu Smriti, different types of sins are enumerated.
There are twelve types of Maha-Paap:
The following six are the great sins attended with endless evil results, viz: —censure of Shiva, censure of the preceptor, censure of Shiva’s perfect knowledge, misappropriation of the wealth of the lord, destruction of the wealth of brahmins and the foolish stealing of the sacred text of Shiva’s perfect knowledge.
Those who do not take delight on seeing a well-arranged worship of Shiva, who do not bow to or eulogise it on seeing his phallic image that is worshipped, those who do not scrub, clean and sanctify the spot of worship during festival days; those who do not duly cooperate with the preceptor in their sacred rites; those who misbehave as they please, play about mischievously and do not render service in front of Shiva or in the presence of the preceptor; those who eschew Parvati course of conduct and discipline, those who hate Shiva’s devotees; those who begin to study or write about Shiva’s knowledge without worshipping; those who give without justice or justification; those who listen or recite indiscriminately; those who sport about covetously; those who pursue false knowledge or do not have proper rules and regulations; those who lie down and sleep in dirty uncleaned spots; he who abuses Śiva’s story and knowledge and begins to expatiate on other things; he who does not speak the truth; he who does not make gifts; he who is bodily impure and begins to explain or listen to Shiva’s story in an unclean place; he who begins to listen without worshipping the preceptor; he who does not render service to him or pay heed to his behests with devotion; he who does not support the preceptor’s statement; he who retorts to his preceptor; he who conveniently ignores the most difficult task of his preceptor; he who deserts his preceptor when he is in distress, or when he is unable to maintain the disciple, or when he has gone abroad or when he is attacked by enemies; he who treats with contempt the teacher of virtuous activities and ability to discourse; he who disrespects the teacher’s wife, son or friends.
The murderer of a brahmin, the addict to wine, the habitual thief, the defiler of the preceptor’s bed and he who associates with these is the great sinner fifth in all.
Paap listed in Manu Smriti -
In the chapters 7 to 10 in Section 5 of Uma-saṃhita of Shiva Purana, Hell, and mode of sufferings in the Hell are narrated.
Hell, or Yamaloka or Naraka -
As a result of the four kinds of sins, all living beings go to Yamaloka which is about over four lakh KM. Men who have performed auspicious rites who are of gentle minds, endowed with the quality of compassion, go to Yama’s abode through the gentle entrance at the East. Sinners, habitually performing sinful actions and devoid of charitable nature, pass through the terrible path and enter Yama’s abode by the southern gate.
The sinners are tortured and harassed on the way. They are lonely, devoid of friends and relatives. They are dependent on others. They bewail their evil actions. They cry again and again.
Those who had not made any charitable gifts in the world feel thirsty along this path and vainly beg for water, feeling hungry they beg for food; oppressed by sunshine they beg for shade and distressed with dullness they request for fire. They vainly beg for happiness. But those who had made charitable gifts in the world have all the food and drink necessary for this journey and go ahead to Yama’s abode happily. Having thus traversed the path they finally reach the city of the dead with great hardship. They are then ushered into the presence of Yama by the emissaries after due announcement.
Yama welcomes with pleasure and due honour, all those who had performed auspicious rites in this world. After enjoying pleasures there, in the end when the merit is exhausted return to this place for reaping the fruit of what little evil you may have committed.” Men who have been virtuous are treated as friends by Yama. They see Yama with a gentle face.
Men who have been guilty of cruelties sec him in a terrible form. The attendants of Yama are innumerable. They are great heroes. They have complexions like the black collyrium. They appear terrifying with weapons lifted up. The sinners see Yama terrific to behold, surrounded by his attendants and they see Citragupta too equally terrible. Yama rebukes and reproaches the sinners. Lord Citragupta enlightens them with statements on virtue.
Description of the Hell (naraka) -
The sinners are stealers of other man’s riches, outragers of the modesty of other’s wives, arrogant of comeliness and might etc. Dharmaraja proclaims their evil actions and advises Mahacanda to purify them gradually in the fires of hell (naraka). At the end of the seventh nether-world Tala, there are twenty-eight Narakakotis situated in terrible darkness. These are Ghora, Sughora, Atighora, Mahaghora, Ghorarupa, Talatala, Bhayanaka, Kalaratri, Bhayotkaṭa, Canda, Mahacanda, Candakolahala, Pracaṇḍa, Caṇḍanayika, Padma, Padmāvatī, Bhita, Bhima, Bhisananayika, Vajra, Trikoṇa, Pancakoṇa, Sudirgha, Akhilartida, Sama, Bhimabala, Atyugra and Diptapraya. Thus, the cells of Naraka have been mentioned to you by their names. Each of these is meant for the torture for a particular sin. Thus, the twenty-eight cells for twenty-eight types of sins.
Pangs of hell -
Just as metals are melted in fire to remove their impurities so also sinners are put in hells in order to remove their sins. Here the tortures to the body are very severe. Men thus go from one hell to another and are tortured in all the hells.
The mode of sufferings in the Hell -
Tortures are inflicted on all the organs of the body with which the acts of sin had been committed. As a result of the previous tortures their minds and all sense-organs are put to great misery. Those who, despite being rich do not make monetary gifts due to greed, and those who dishonour guests visiting their houses at the proper time, commit sins and fall into dirty hell.
Those who offer Bali to crow & dogs with Shiva’s mantras, and performing Homa duly, do not face Yama. They go straight to heaven. Hence this oblation shall be offered daily. He who serves the cow with faith and reverence deserves to maintain the sacrificial fires. He who forsakes it is drowned in the hell Tamisra. Hence after offering Bali to these at the door, the householder shall meditate for a short while. One shall feed the hungry guest staying in the same village with auspicious food, in accordance with his ability and with the same dishes as he partakes of himself. If a guest turns back from a house disappointed, he takes away all the merits of the householder and leaves his own sins behind. The fruit of good actions is immaterial because it is the sin that is prominent. His pleasure is insignificant since he has to undergo manifold suffering due to his bad deeds. He is put to misery and distress.
The chapters 15 to 19 of Section 5, Uma-saṃhita of Shiva Purana discuss about various lokas (worlds).
The supreme soul is infinite. He is therefore called eternal since he has no limitation. This eternal is the cause of all. It is the great Prakirti. From that infinite of unmanifest origin thousands and hundreds of thousands of cosmic eggs are born. The self-known great soul contains everything just as the wood contains latent fire, the gingelly seeds the latent oil and the milk the latent ghee. From this primordial seed emerge all those beginning with Mahat and ending with Vishesha. Then the gods and others are born. Then are born birds, their progenies and the seeds of others. Shiva manifests himself as Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra. Everything springs up from him and finally merges in him. Shiva is sung as the performer of all activities.
The world Vaikuṇṭha is beyond the world of Brahma. It is here that Vishnu is stationed and it shines with great brilliance. Above it is the extremely wonderful world Kaumara. The general Karttikeya, the brilliant son of Shiva shines here. Beyond that shines the excessively divine world of Uma (Shakti), the mother of the three deities’ shines. She is the Prakriti, greater than the greatest, with the attributes of Rajas, Sattva and Tamas. But the goddess Uma herself is devoid of attributes, free from aberrations. The eternal Shivaloka is above that. Here lord Shiva, the great Brahman, shines. He is indestructible, excessively divine and endowed with great brilliance. He is the lord of all, greater than the three attributes. He is the progenitor of the three deities. There are no worlds above it. The Goloka is near it. Mother cows named Sushila are there. They are favourites of Shiva. The protector of that world is Krishna. He is established there at the behest of Shiva by Shiva himself who moves about as he pleases due to his power.
Seven Upper Regions:
Brahma creates the universe consisting of the fourteen worlds. The universe is comprised of fourteen worlds, seven rising above the earth and seven lying below. The seven upper regions are bhuḥ, bhuvah, svah, janah, tapah and mahah and the seven lower regions.
1. Bhuloka - The extent to which the rays of the sun and the moon shine and illuminate is the size of the earth. It is called Bhuloka. The sun’s sphere is situated eight lakh kilometers from the earth. The moon is situated thousands of Kms from this earth. The spheres of the planets are entirely situated above the moon along with the stars about eighty thousand kilometers one above the other. Budha (Mercury); above that is Kavya (Venus): above that is the sphere of Bhauma (Mars). Bṛhaspati (Jupiter) is above that and Shanaischara (Saturn) is above that. The sphere of the seven sages (The Ursa Major) is situated eight lakh kilometres above it. The Pole Star (Dhruva) is situated eight lakh kilometers above the sages.
2. The Pole star is the prop of the circle of luminary bodies. The Bhuvarloka and Svarloka are above the earth but beneath the Pole star.
3. In the Bhuvarloka, the sages of great Siddhis stay in the form of gods.
4. In the Svargaloka, the gods, the Adityas, the Maruts, the Vasus, the twin Ashvins, Vishvedevas, Rudras, Sadhyas, Nagas, Khgas etc. stay. Above that are the nine planets and above them are the seven sages free from sins.
5. Eight crore kilometers above the Pole star is the Maharloka where the seven sons of Brahma are stationed. They live even during the time of Kalpa. The seven sons are—Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana, Kapila, Asuri, Voḍhu and Pancasikha.
6. Five hundred four lakh kilometers from Janaloka is stationed the Tapoloka where the gods called Vairajas stay. They are free from burning sensation.
7. 6.72 lakh kilometers from Tapoloka is stationed the Satyaloka. It is known as Brahmaloka where the pure-minded, perfectly wise Brahmacharins engaged in truthful virtue stay. Men who go there from the earth also stay there.
Seven Lower Regions –
Seven lower are atala, vitala, sutala, rasatala, tala, talatala and patala. Each of the nether worlds (patala) extends to eighty thousand kilometres. Danavas, Daiteyas, Serpents, and Raksasas of the Daitya origin reside there.
1. Above the nether regions, are the hells where the sinners are scorched. They are —Raurava, Sukara, Radha, Tala, Vivasvat, Mahajvala, Taptakumbha, Lavaṇa, Vilohita. The river Vaitaraṇi consists of putrid stuff flowing in it, Krmina. Krmibhojana, Asipatravana and Lalabhakṣa are the terrible hells. Puyavaha has usually flames of fire outside and is topsyturvy. Sandamsa, Kalasutra, Tamas, Avicirodhana. Svabhojana, Rusta, Maharaurava and Salmali—these and other hells are there; all of these are very grievous. Men who are indulgent in sins are scorched there.
2. Sinners viz the destroyer of the child in the womb, the stealer of gold, of cows, one who commits the breach of trust, the wine-addict, the brahmin slayer, the stealer of other’s wealth and he who associates with these—go to the hell Kumbha. He who kills his preceptor, sister, mother, daughter or a cow too goes there. He who tells his chaste wife, he who is addicted to usury, he who sells tresses of hair and he who forsakes a devotee—all these are scorched in redhot iron.
3. He who insults preceptors, he who dismisses visitors and then dines, he who commits blasphemy, he who sells idols and he who cohabits with forbidden women — go to Saptabala hell. A thief, a slayer of cows, a fallen man, a defiler of boundaries, the hater of gods, brahmins and Pitrs and the defiler of gems go to Krmibhaksa hell. The base man who eats before Pitṛs, deities and gods and he who ignorantly or deceitfully misquotes sacred texts—these go to Lalabhaksa hell. The brahmin who associates with evil men and is surrounded by outcastes, the brahmin who officiates as priest in the sacrifice of undeserving persons, and eats forbidden food, and he who sells Soma juice—these fall into Rudhiraugha hell. He who spoils honey and creates disturbances in the village falls in the ruthless river Vaitarani. Those who are arrogant in the freshness of youth, who transgress the bounds of decency, who are unclean and who maintain themselves on the earnings of unchaste women go to Kṛmya hell. He who cuts off trees without purpose goes to Asipatravana hell. Those who hunt deer with Ksuraprakas (arrows with horse-shoe-shaped heads) fall into Vahnijvala hell. The brahmin, the Kṣatriya or the Vaishya who swerves from the path of good conduct ultimately fall into the hell prescribed for dog-cooking chandalas. Those who drop sacred rites in the middle and those who are fallen off from their duties in accordance with the stages of their life fall into the hell Sandaṃśa where the tortures are very terrible. There are hundreds and thousands of these and other hells where thousands of sinners undergo tortures and are scorched.
4. Those who perpetrate misdeeds contrary to the injunctions of caste and stages of life whether physically, mentally or verbally fall into hell. Immovable beings—plants etc. and movable beings’ worms, insects, birds, beasts, righteous men, gods and liberated beings, all these are equal in number in heaven as also in hell. A sinner who is averse to the performance of expiatory rites goes to hell.
5. If a person commits a sin but repents after committing it, it is also an expiation. There also the remembrance of Shiva is the greatest expiation. By remembering the lord in the morning, night or dusk, he gets his sins eliminated. The attainment of the status of Indra, lord of the gods, is the fruit of the merit attained in Japa, Homa, worship etc. performed by the man whose mind is in lord Shiva.
Sin and merit indicate hell and heaven. One is conducive to misery and the other to pleasure and rebirth. Happiness and misery constitute only a temporary transformation of the mind. But knowledge is the greatest Brahman. Knowledge is conducive to the understanding of reality.
Brahman, Almighty, Supreme Being, Ishvara or Purusha is “Neti-Neti” means “neither this, nor that". .It is found in the Upanishads helping a person to understand the nature of the Brahman by negating everything that is not Brahman. One of the key elements of Jnana Yoga practice is often a "neti neti search." The purpose of the exercise is to negate all objects of consciousness, including thoughts, Intellect and the mind, and to realize the non-dual awareness of reality, which cannot be defined.
Brahman (not to be confused with Brahma - one of the three faces of the Hindu Trinity) is said to be the Ultimate Reality - the unchanging or absolute truth behind ever changing phenomenal world. It is beyond mind and its limitations. Consciousness is the awareness of its existence (External or Internal).
This Truth or Satyam is elucidated in Hindu Scriptures in depth. It has nothing to do with the common truthfulness which is related to ethics or morality.
Truth or Satyam:
Ritam or Orderliness:
In the Vedic religion, Ṛitam is the principle of natural order which regulates and coordinates the operation of the universe and everything within it. Satyam is Truth and Ritam is the law that governs the working of that Truth. So, although both words basically mean the same, there is still a subtle difference between the two.
The Supreme Being (Purusha) holds together both Ritam and Satyam in blissful harmony. The Vedic Seers of yore reconciled the relativity of Ritam and Satyam in the concept of “Dharma", that is “Purusha”. In Vedic context Ritam and Satyam are the two inseparable aspects of the “Purusha” Who is the Whole Unified Universe.
The first hymn, addressed to Agni, suggest the central conception of truth. Truth is truth of divine essence, not truth of moral sensation and appearance. It is “Satyam”, truth of Bring; it is its action Ritam, i.e., right, - truth of divine being regulating right activity both mind and body; it is brhat, i.e., large as opposed to the consciousness of sense-mind which is founded upon limitation. The one is described as bhuma, the large, the other as alpa, the little. Truth consciousness is Mahas which also means the great, the vast. We have for the instruments the senses, the sense-mind (manas) and intellect working upon their evidence, so for the truth-consciousness there are corresponding faculties, - drsti, sruti, viveka i.e., the direct vision of the truth, the direct hearing of its word, the direct discrimination of the right.
Ritam is the symbol of dynamic orderliness. It is the principle of cosmic harmony. It is the Natural Law underlying all that moves and moves not.
In Rig Veda (10.190.1) -
ऋ॒तं च॑ स॒त्यं चा॒भी॑द्धा॒त्तप॒सोऽध्य॑जायत । ततो॒ रात्र्य॑जायत॒ तत॑: समु॒द्रो अ॑र्ण॒वः ॥
ऋ॒तम् । च॒ । स॒त्यम् । च॒ । अ॒भी॑द्धात् । तप॑सः । अधि॑ । अ॒जा॒य॒त॒ । ततः॑ । रात्री॑ । अ॒जा॒य॒त॒ । ततः॑ । स॒मु॒द्रः । अ॒र्ण॒वः ॥
“Truth (of thought) and truthfulness (of speech) were born of arduous penance, thence was night generated, thence also the watery ocean.”
Hence, RV 10.190.1 indicates that Ritam and Satyam first arose from tapas (fervour / heat) and that the night (ratri) and the ocean were established after these.
Similarly, RV 10.85.1 states that Satyam upholds the earth (satyenottabhitā bhūmiḥ) while the Adityas stand secure because of the Ritam.
Sins committed & their consequences – Shiva Purana
The chapters 4 to 14 of Section 5, Uma-saṃhita of Shiva Purana discuss about committing sins and their consequences.
Shiva is soul of all living beings. Shiva manifests as Brahma. Viṣhnu and Shiva. It is both three-symbolled and symbol less. There are eight classes of gods. Human beings constitute the ninth. There are five types of lower beings. Thus, there are fourteen types of living beings. All living beings past, present and future originate from Shiva, flourish in him and finally merge into him. All heroic beings, even Vishnu and mighty people, have been overwhelmed by the mighty Kama, born of the mind who has no other helper.
Sins causing their fall into great hells.
The sinner has to bear the results of the auspicious and the inauspicious actions. Men who have performed auspicious rites who are of gentle minds, endowed with the quality of compassion, go to Yama’s abode through the gentle entrance at the East. Sinners, habitually performing sinful actions and devoid of charitable nature, pass through the terrible path and enter Yama’s abode (situated at a distance of 11.18 lakh Kms from the Earth) by the southern gate. They have by this time become ghosts. Having thus traversed the path they finally reach the city of the dead with great hardship. They are then ushered into the presence of Yama by the emissaries after due announcement.
Consequences of auspicious actions -
Yama welcomes with pleasure and due honour, all those who had performed auspicious rites in this world. Ascend the celestial aerial chariot and go to heaven to enjoy the pleasures in the company of celestial damsels and fulfil your cherished desires. After enjoying pleasures there, in the end when the merit is exhausted return to this place for reaping the fruit of what little evil you may have committed. They are purified gradually in the fires of hell (naraka). At the end of the seventh nether-world Tala, there are twenty-eight Narakakotis situated in terrible darkness. The great zones of hell (naraka-maṇḍala) are forty hundreds. In the hellish fires, the sinners are roasted and dried up by diverse tortures till their action is exhausted completely.
Men who perform auspicious rites here, whose minds are gentle and who are merciful pass through the terrible path of Yama happily.
Planets and Zodiac
The planets have most powerful influences on the earth and inhabitants of the earth. All the planets perform the double function of not only revolving on their own axes once in day (from west to east) but also round the Sun. The velocity of each planet diminishes as its distance from the earth increases.
As per Vedic astrology, nine planets are Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu. These planets rules different signs (rashis). Aries & Scorpio are ruled by Mars; Taurus & Libra ruled by Venus; Gemini & Virgo by Mercury; Capricorn & Aquarius by Saturn; Pisces & Sagittarius by Jupiter; Cancer by Moon; Leo by Sun.
Nature of Planets:
Relationships among Planets:
Relationship between Planets & Zodiac houses / signs -
Planets become temporary friends in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th and 12th signs from any other planet. Those in the remaining signs become temporary enemies.
Attributes of Planets:
Each planet has its own inherent qualities/traits and behaviour. All planets have a strong intrinsic relationship and mixed effects on a person’s life.
Rigveda is the oldest compilation of human wisdom. It is an amalgamation of four major components viz. the Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aryankas and the Upanishads. The Samhitas are the texts involving the hymns to the deities and constitute the oldest section of the Rig Veda. The Brahmanas are the section pertaining to the commentaries for the hymns. The Aryankas are also known as the forest books and the Upanishads include other verses of religious text.
The main part of Rigveda belongs to Natural hymns, the hymns related with natural forces. In the hymns we find prayers for certain natural elements such as air, water, earth, sun, rain, dawn etc. The glorious brightness of the sun, the blaze of the sacrificial fire, the sweep of the rain-storm across the skies, the recurrence of the dawn, the steady currents of the winds, the violence of the tropical storm and other such natural energies, fundamental activities or aspects are glorified and personified as divinities (Devata). In Rigveda the names of major deities are, such as Agni, Indra, Vayu, Earth, Soma, Varuna, Vishnu, Aditya, Usha, Aditi, Parjanya, etc. Through Vedic symbolism we can understand the formation of Vedic deities.
Aim of Rigvedic Mantras:
Rigvedic Sanskrit mantras are built around a science of sound which comprehends the meaning and power of each letter. The ultimate aim of the mantras in Rigveda is to purify the human mind through knowledge. Darkness is symbol of lack of knowledge or illusionary living, which makes us devoid of justness and sagacity.
In the Rigveda-Samhita we find a unique prayer for social unity. It is called Samjnana sukta. The term 'Samjnana' gives the sense of unity in thoughts. The unanimity and harmony on mental and intellectual level among the people gathered is its purpose. Most aspects of Vedic science like the practice of yoga, meditation, mantra and Ayurveda can be found in the Rig Veda.
The devotee invokes the Lord of creation to inspire mankind with the feeling of love, and the Lord commands that all should be bound together with a common aim, common thought and common will.
Composition of Rigveda:
Symbolism in Rigveda:
Sri Aurobindo and Sri Kapali Shastry suggest that Vedas have at least two interpretations, the surface or the external interpretation and the internal or esoteric or symbolic interpretation.
The Vedic gods are described as children of Light, sons of Aditi, of infinity. Demons are opposite. They represent the struggle between the powers of the higher good and the lower desire. All the gods are conquerors and givers of Cow, the Horse and divine riches.
Internally, the Cow (go, gomati) is the symbol of consciousness in the form of knowledge, Light. Horse (asva, asvavati) is the symbol of consciousness in the form of force; usually asva signifies a horse which is a figure of the Prana, the nervous energy, the vital breath, the half-mental, half material dynamism. This links mind and matter. The prana moves in the vital or dynamic plane. He purifies the nervous life in man and lift upward its impulsions and desires. Light of dawn is the symbol of inner illumination. The night is the image of inner darkness, obscure consciousness, and full of ignorance. Dasyus are identified with the Darkness. Heaven in Veda was a symbol of the mind. All their details symbolised man’s effort and his means towards a greater end, the acquisition of immortality.
The Rig Veda itself asserts (1164.46 & 170.1) that the gods are only different names and expressions of one universal Being who transcends the universe; but from the language of the hymns, we are compelled to perceive in the gods not only different names, but also different forms, powers and personalities of the one Deva. For the external sense of the Veda the Gods are universal powers of physical Nature personified; in any inner sense they must be universal powers of Nature in her subjective activities, Will, Mind, etc.
The same deities were at once internal and external Powers of universal Nature, and they managed its expression through a system of double values by which the same language (Vedic Mantras) served for their worship in both aspects. But the psychological sense predominates and is more pervading and coherent than the physical.
External Rituals for Material Prosperity:
Externally, offerings are done in Vedic sacrifice (also called Yajna) to please the Vedic gods. The sacrifices of food, possessions etc., prayers and chants of Rig Vedic hymns in the ritual worship bring material prosperity and fulfilment of worldly desires.
According to the ritualist interpretation, food, fame or gold are the constituents of wealth desired by the Vedic sages. But even the prosperity, fullness of cows, horses, gold, men, chariots, offspring, is not a final end in itself, all this a means towards the opening up of the other worlds, the winning Swar, the ascent to the solar heavens, the attainment by the path of the truth to the Light and to the heavenly Bliss where the mortal arrives at immortality.
The Upanishadic seers cautioned people against over indulgence in ritual practices, suggesting that ritual knowledge constituted inferior knowledge or ignorance (avidya), and was an obstacle to liberation. They cautioned them against overdependence upon rituals or ritual knowledge to resolve human suffering, and urged them to focus upon both ritual and spiritual practices by internalizing the rituals for liberation.
Internal for Spiritual Upliftment & Immortality:
Sri Aurobindo in his book “The Secrets of the Rig Veda” mentioned that the Vedas has disclosed the cosmic body is similar to human body. Rituals are the starting-point for a spiritual thought and experience. The central conception of the Rig Veda is the conquest of the Truth and Immortality. For the Vedic Ritam is a spiritual as well as psychological conception.
Gods are clearly the symbols of sense functions in the human being. Soma, the plant which yielded the mystic wine for Vedic sacrifice, has not only the God of the moon, but manifests himself as mind in the human being.
Adi Shankara explained that Hindu deities live or rule over the cosmic body as well in the temple of human body. They remark that the Sun deity is the eyes, the Vayu the nose, the Prajapati the sexual organs, the Lokapalas the ears, moon the mind, Mitra the inward breath, Varuna the outward breath, Indra the arms, Bṛhaspati the speech, Vishnu, whose stride is great, is the feet, and Maya is the smile.
The whole Rig Veda is a triumph-chant of the powers of Light, and their ascent by the force and vision of the Truth to its possession in its source and seat where it is free from the attack of the falsehood. “By Truth the cows (illumined thoughts) enter into Truth; labouring towards the Truth, the Truth one conquers; the aggressive force of the Truth seeks the cows of Light and goes breaking through (the enemy); for Truth the two wide ones (Heaven & Earth) become multitudinous and deep, for Truth the two supreme Mothers give their yield.
Punya & Paap (Good & Bad deeds) - Software of new Born