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1 Burnside Religion Eastern- Shiva and Shivaism
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Shiva: Stories and Teachings from the Shiva Mahapurana


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The traditional understanding of Shiva told through stories and teachings from the Shiva Mahapurana

• Explains Shiva’s contradictory forms, such as destroyer or benefactor, and how his form depends on the needs of the devotee

• Reveals how Shiva’s teachings allow one to see through the illusions at the root of all grief and alienation in human life

• Explores Shiva’s relationships with Durga, Shakti, Sati, and Parvati and with his sons Ganesha and Kartikeya

Shiva, the most ancient and complex deity of the Hindu pantheon, has been portrayed in many contrasting lights: destroyer and benefactor, ascetic and householder, wild demon slayer and calm yogi atop Mount Kailash. Drawing from the Hindu sacred text the Shiva Mahapurana--said to be written by Shiva himself--Vanamali selects the essential stories of Shiva, both those from his dark wild side and those from his benevolent peaceful side.

Vanamali discusses Shiva’s many avatars such as Shambunatha and Bhola, as well as Dakshinamurti who taught the shastras and tantras to the rishis. She explores Shiva’s relationships with Durga, Shakti, Sati, and Parvati and with his sons Ganesha and Kartikeya. Examining Shiva’s acceptance of outsiders, Vanamali explains why ghosts and ghouls are his attendants and why his greatest devotees are demon kings, like Ravana. She includes famous Shiva stories such as the Descent of the River Ganga and Churning the Milky Ocean as well as those that reveal the origin of the festival of lights, Diwali; his creation of the cosmic couple, or hierogamos; and how Shiva and Parvati taught the world the secrets of Kundalini Shakti. The author also draws upon Shaivite teachings to illustrate the differences between Western science and Vedic science and their explanations for the origins of consciousness.

Integrating Shiva’s two sides, the fierce and the peaceful, Vanamali reveals that Shiva’s form depends on the needs of the devotee. Understanding his teachings allows one to see through the illusions at the root of all grief and alienation in human life, for Shiva is the wielder of maya who does not fall under its spell. While Ganesha is known as the remover of obstacles, Shiva is the remover of tears.

About the Author

Mataji Devi Vanamali has written seven books on the gods of the Hindu pantheon, including Hanuman, The Play of God, The Song of Rama, and Shakti, as well as translating the Bhagavad Gita. She is the founder and president of Vanamali Gita Yogashram, dedicated to sharing the wisdom of Sanatana Dharma and charitable service to children. She lives at the Vanamali ashram at Rishikesh in northern India.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Swami Dayananda


Part One The Divine Aspects of Shiva

1   The Great Universal God

2   Creation

3   Sandhya, the Evening Star

4   Durga’s Promise

5   The Courtship of Sati

6   Sati and Shiva

7   Daksha’s Yajna

8   The Wrath of Shiva

9   Parvati Seeks Her Lord

10   The Defeat of Kama

11   Parvati’s Penance

12   The Cosmic Wedding

13   The Cosmic Couple

14   Kartikeya Defeats the Demon

15   Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles

16   The Three Demonic Cities

17   Downfall of the Demons

18   Churning the Milky Ocean

19   The Descent of the River Ganga

20   Destroyed by His Own Hand

21   Markandeya and Agniswara

22   The Manifestations of Shiva

23   Shiva, the Beloved

24   The Jyotirlingas

Part Two Those Who Worship Shiva

25   Devotees of Shiva

26   The Great Four

27   The Violent Votaries

28   Women Devotees


Appendix One. Method of Worshipping Lord Shiva

Appendix Two. Names of Shiva

Appendix Three. Names of Other Characters in the Hindu Pantheon

Appendix Four. Alphabetical List of Mantras

Appendix Five. Vedic Invocations for World Peace

Glossary of Sanskrit Terms


Product Details

Inner Traditions International
Religion Eastern-Hinduism-History
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

» Metaphysics » General
» Religion » Comparative Religion » General
» Religion » Eastern Religions » General
» Religion » Eastern Religions » Hinduism » General
» Religion » Eastern Religions » Hinduism » History
» Religion » Eastern Religions » Hinduism » Theology
» Religion » Eastern Religions » Indian Religion and Litrerature
» Religion » Eastern Religions » Shiva and Shivaism

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