The glory of the donations & Penance – Shiva Purana
In the chapter 11 & 12 in Section 5 of Uma-saṃhita of Shiva Purana, the glory of donations and penance is narrated the greatness of Shiva.
Glory of Donations -
Auspicious or inauspicious, one has to reap the fruit of actions committed by him.
Following are gains of gifts made –
Even by putting one’s family to inconvenience and trouble one should give food to a mendicant brahmin of noble soul, if one wishes for one’s prosperity. He who gives food to a suppliant brahmin in distress actually makes an excellent deposit facilitating his benefit in the other world.
A giver of food, of good conduct and free from malice, is honoured. A gift of food never goes in-vain be it to a dog or a person who cooks dogs. He who gives food to a weary, unknown traveller, without feeling distressed for the same will derive prosperity.
The meritorious benefit of the man, who delights Pitṛs, gods, brahmins and guests with food-stuffs, in really immense. Gift of food and drink whether to a Shudra or to a brahmin is equally excellent. The eight gifts are honoured most in the land of the dead viz food, drink, horse, cow, garments, bed and umbrella.
Glory of Penance -
The benefit of the sacred rite Agnihotra is derived by a man in the lake dug by whom there is plenty of water in the rainy season.
Truth alone is the great Brahman, the greatest penance (tapas), the greatest sacrifice and the greatest learning. Penance, sacrifice, merit, the worship of the gods, sages and the Pitṛs, the waters, theVidyas—all these things are established in truth. Truth is sacrifice, penance, charitable gift, mantras, goddess Sarasvati, celibacy and Oṃkāra. These are really truth. By upholding truth, the people can attain the benefits of keeping up the traditions of all the Vedas and taking the ceremonial ablutions in all holy centres.
When weighed against truth in a balance, a thousand horse-sacrifices and a hundred thousand other sacrifices do not equal it. Truth alone excels. Truth is the greatest virtue. By maintaining truthful virtue that the sages have attained Siddhis and reached heaven.
Men who never utter a lie whether for their own sake, or for other’s sake, or even for their own son’s sake, do go to heaven. The Veda’s, the sacrifices and the Mantras exist in brahmins for ever. They are never visible to the untruthful. Hence one shall always speak truth.
Penance is the greatest rite. Fruits are achieved by penance. Those who are engaged in penance incessantly rejoice along with the gods. Heaven, fame and love are achieved through penance. Penance is the means of achievement for all objects. One achieves great things through penance, one attains salvation, knowledge, perfect wisdom, good fortune and beauty by penance. Those who have never performed penance (tapas) do not attain Brahmaloka; lord Shiva is not accessible to those who have never performed penance.
The wine-addict, the defiler of other women, the brahmin-slayer, the defiler of teacher’s bed overcome all sins through penance and get rid of them. Kingdoms are achieved through penance.
Due to penance (tapas), the lords Sun and the Moon are engaged in the welfare of the worlds. The stars and the planets too shine by virtue of their penance. There is no happiness in the world that can be gained without penance. The knowers of the Vedas understand that all happiness is attained through penance alone. Knowledge, perfect wisdom, health, beauty, good fortune and perpetual happiness are the offshoots of penance.