Sūta Maharshi uvācha, “Having stated thus, the exemplary sage retired to his own hermitage while Rama went to the sacred Ramagiri on the banks of the Godavari.
Rama consecrated the Shiva Linga observing all the prescribed rules and regulations of the vow and adorned all parts of the body with sacred ash and wore the Rudrakasha mala.
Bathing the Shiva Linga with the holy waters of the Godavari called Gautami or Sindu, Rama offered the choicest of flowers of the forest and similarly, the fruits gathered from the dense woods.
Covered in sacred ash, resting on sacred ash and seated on the tiger skin, chanting the One Thousand Names of Lord Shiva, night and day without thinking of anything else whatsoever, living on fruits alone for a month, on leaves for a month, living on water alone for a month and living on air alone for a month, calm in the mind, controlling the senses, Rama meditated thus on the Supreme Lord who dwells in one’s Heart-Lotus and who bears Uma in one half on His body.
Meditating on the Supreme Lord with four arms, three eyes, with matted hair that is luminous like lightning, radiant like millions of suns and cool like millions of moons.
Meditating on the Supreme Lord adorned with all the ornaments, donning the serpent as the sacred thread, wearing the tiger skin as a dress and bestowing blessings and fearlessness through His hands.
Meditating on the Supreme Lord who wears the tiger skin as the upper garment, worshipped and praised by the gods and demons alike, having five faces, with a moon on His head and carrying the trident and the sacred drum.
Meditating on the Lord who is eternal, permanent, pure, steady, imperishable, infinite and indestructible and reciting the Lord’s divine names constantly, Rama spent four months in this way.
Then, a deafening sound emanated, terrifying like the sound of the tumultuous oceans at the time of deluge, resembling the frightening sound created by churning the Milky Ocean with the Mandara Parvat.
It was like the tremendous sound that erupted when the city of Tripura was in a state of panic and confusion when consumed by the fire dispensed from the arrows of Rudra. The Brahmanas (dwijas) on hearing the disturbance reached Pushkar baffled and gathered in the presence of the brilliant Rama.
Bewildered by that splendour, Rama, son of Raja Dasaratha was unable to perceive the ten directions. He was rapidly descending into a state of confusion and his vision was cloudy.
O, the foremost among the Brahmanas! Rama pondered over these happenings and guessed that it was an illusion created by the daityas. Then, Rama, the exemplary warrior that he is, stood up, stringing his bow.
He offered prayers to the divine arrows like Agneya, Varuna, Saumya, Mohana, Saura and Parvata which had been made sharp and sanctified by the divine mantras.
Propitiating divine weapons like Vishnuchakram, Mahāchakram and Kālachakram of Lord Vishnu, the Raudra, the Pāsupata, Brāhmam, Kauberam and the thunderbolt of the wind and many other divine weapons like Bhārgava, Rama aimed at the demons.
The sanctified divine arrows and weapons released by Rama, the ruler of the world were swallowed up by that power and illusion of the demons, just like the rains of the dark heavy clouds falling on to the sea.
Then, in a flash of a second, his bow slipped from his hand, as also the quiver and the leather cap protecting the thumb of Rama, the king of the world.
On seeing this, Lakshmana became frightened and fell into a swoon on the ground. Then, Rama unable to do anything collapsed on the ground on his knees.
Rama closed his eyes with fear in his heart and surrendered in entirety to Shankara, enunciating the One Thousand names of Shambhu in the correct manner.
And Rama repeatedly prostrated before Shiva, falling flat like a stick on the ground. And the deafening sound was heard again as before, resounding in every direction of the universe. The whole earth trembled in fear and the mountains shook.
Then, in a moment Rama’s strength went cold like the moon. Rama opened his eyes seeing things as far as he could.
Rama saw the divine bull decorated in every way as if it were a lump of white butter floating to the surface from the churning of milky ambrosia.
Rama saw the divine bull with its two horns capped with gold and resplendent with emerald green, brilliant and shining like the sapphire gem and its neck covered with a small piece of wool.
Rama saw the sacred bull adorned with a cloth bejewelled on the back with the white chowries and the tintinnbulation of small bells attached to it resounding in the ten directions.
Rama saw Mahadeva, the Supreme Lord seated on that radiant bull, His form pure like crystal (sphatika), splendorous like millions of suns and cool like millions of moons.
Rama saw Mahadeva wearing the tiger skin, adorning the serpent as the sacred thread, embellished in every way and his matted tawny hair glowing like lightning.
Rama saw Mahadeva with a blue-throat (Neelakanta), dressed with a tiger skin as an upper garment, donning the crescent moon on his head and wielding various shiny weapons in his ten arms and His three eyes.
Rama saw the Supreme Lord in His youthful glory, the foremost among persons and of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss.
Rama saw Parvati Mata seated gracefully with an aura of the full moon and whose brilliant form was like a garland of the ethereal blue lotus with the dazzling splendour of an emerald.
Rama saw Parvati Mata decked with ornaments made of pearls that looked like the night sky filled with twinkling stars and move slowly and elegantly bearing the weight of her breasts that were as high as the Vindhya Parvat.
Rama saw the most exemplary Parvati Mata whose waist gives doubt to whether it was existent or non-existent bedecked with divine jewels and anointed with the divine sandal paste.
Rama saw Parvati Mata wearing a divine garland, with eyes like blue lotus, with a countenance radiant by the locks of hair and beautiful by the partaking of the betel leaves.
Rama saw Parvati Mata whose body was aglow with goose flesh from the embrace of Lord Shiva and who is of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss, the cause of the world and hence, the Mother of all.
Rama thus saw Parvati Devi who is the very essence of beauty. He also saw the gods sitting on respective vehicles wielding various lustrous weapons with their arms.
Rama saw these celestial beings chanting the Sama mantras like the Brihat Rathantara encircled by the guardians of the directions accompanied by their respective consorts.
Rama saw Lord Vishnu coming first seated on Garuda with His conch, disc and mace, effulgent like the dark clouds laden with water and accompanied by Lakshmi who was shining like lightning.
Rama saw Lord Vishnu reciting the Sri Rudram with one-pointed concentration and then Lord Brahma with his four faces seated on the swan.
Rama saw Lord Brahma praising the Supreme Lord with all his four faces with mantras addressed to Him taken from the Four Vedas accompanied by his consort Saraswati and with a long beard and wearing matted locks of hair.
Rama saw an assembly of sages extolling Lord Shiva with the recitations of the Atharvaśīrṣa. He saw the blue ocean filled with the water of the rivers of Ganga and others singing praises of the Lord.
Rama saw the great Nagas like Ananta and others as large as the Kailash Parvat worshipping the Lord of Parvati with the sacred mantras of the Shvetashvatara.
Rama saw them reciting the mantras of the Kaivalya Upanishad to Shiva who was adorned with gems and precious stones and saw Nandikeshwara with the golden staff in his hand standing in front of Lord Shiva.
Rama saw Ganesha like a massive mountain seated on His mouse on the right side and Lord Subramanya, the six-faced mounted on His vehicle, the peacock.
Rama saw the fearsome forms of Chandesha and Mahākala standing on either side. Rama also saw Kālāgni Rudra standing at a distance glowing like the forest fire.
Rama saw the three-footed Bhringi, Riti with his odd body dancing in the front and the leaders of the Pramathas with a variety of cruel faces in unimaginable numbers.
Rama saw the Mother Goddesses all round Shiva with a wide range of vehicles in their possession and the Siddhas and VIdhyadharas and others assiduously chanting the Panchakshari.
Rama saw the congregation of the Kinnaras singing praises of Lord Shiva in unison and groups of Brahamanas chanting the holy mantra of Tryambakam.
Rama saw Narada playing the veena in the heavens and dancing to the music and group of apsaras like Rambha and others performing nritta and nritya.
Rama saw the circle of Gandharvas like Chitraratha singing and saw Kambala and Ashvatara who adorned Shiva’s ears as rings.
Rama saw the two singing Pannagas namely Kapala and Kambala. On seeing the divine court of the Supreme Lord, Rama, the scion of the Raghu vansha, fulfilled his life’s mission.
Rama prostrated again and again before Shiva, the Supreme Lord praising Him with words full of unimaginable joy and reciting the One Thousand Names.
[Siva Gita – Chapter 4 – The Appearance of Shiva – Slokas 1 – Slokas 52, Uttara Khanda, Padma Purana]
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