Prabhu Shri Rama uvācha, “O Lord! What is the nature of devotion towards You? How does it spring forth? How does one attain the supreme moksha which is of the nature of the Supreme Brahman? Please reveal to me all, O Beloved of Parvati, the daughter of the mountains, through which one attains Supreme Bliss.”
Shri Bhagawan uvācha, “One who studies the scriptures, performs sacrifice, donates various gifts with the thought that all that is offered and done is to Me, is alone My devotee and is dear to Me.
Taking the sacred ash from the agnihotra altar from the house of one who is well-versed in his chosen branch of the scriptural texts and consecrating it by the holy chants as prescribed and smearing the upper parts of the body with it and worships Me also, a devotion greater than this towards Me, does not exist. O Rama!
One who constantly wears the rudraksha on the head and neck and chants the divine panchakshari is My devotee and is dear to Me.
One who is covered with bhasma and is seated always on sacred ash with the senses conquered and chants the Shri Rudram daily and contemplates on Me with no other thoughts in his mind,
One who chants the Shri Rudra Suktam and the Atharvaśīrṣa becomes Shiva Himself through that body of his own.
There is no greater devotee in My world than the one who recites the Kaivalya Upanishad and the Śvetāśvatara Upanishad daily.
I will tell you that which is different from dharma and adharma, different from the created and the uncreated, different from the cause and effect. Listen carefully.
That which the Vedas and Shastras of different kind describe and that which is the essence of all the Upanishads comparable to butter churned out of curds,
That which is desired by sages who practise celibacy, that Supreme Goal, I will tell you briefly.
This akshara is indeed the Brahman; this akshara is indeed the Supreme. Knowing this akshara, one is adored in the world of Brahmaloka.
This Lord Himself is described as having the quality of a bull for the Vedas which are the cows. He is the bridge because of the nature of eternal Existence.
One should meditate on the Supreme Brahman as AUM in the heart which is a mass of flesh.
The matra of this AUM are four-fold namely akara, ukara, makara and at the end, the ardha matra.
The first measure of akara of AUM stands for bhu, Rig Veda, Brahma, the Aṣṭavasu, Gārhapatya agni, the Gayatri, the Ganga River and the morning sacrifice.
The second matra of AUM is said to represent the world of bhuva, Vishnu, Rudra, Anuṣṭubha, Yajur Veda, the Yamuna River, Dakshina Agni and the midday sacrifice.
The third matra of AUM represents suvah, the sun, Maheshwara, Āhavanīya agni, Jagati and Saraswati.
The third matra also symbolises the evening sacrifice and the Atharva Veda. The fourth ardha matra of AUM coming at the end is symbolic of the world of the moon.
The fourth ardha matra presents the seer Atharva Āngirasa, samvarta, maha, Virat, the sacrifices of sabhya and āvasathya, the Sutudri River and Lord Shiva, the protector of sacrifices.
Of these, the first matra is red in colour; the second is bright; third like lightning and the last is brilliant white.
Everything that is already born and is going to be born is established in AUM. So are the universe and the world that have been created variously and in different ways.
All that is born already and is going to be born in the future is said to be Rudra. It is in Him alone that the vital air abides and all is said to be OMKARA.
Everything that exists and appears to exist is merged in OM which is Brahman, the Supreme and ancient. Hence, one who meditates on OM gets insight and is liberated. There is no doubt about that.
Greater than the one who worships Me with OMKARA with the consecrated sacred ash collected from the tretāgni, smārtāgni and shaivāgni does not exist in My world.
One who adorns his limbs with the holy and consecrated ash taken from a yāgashālā or from the fire in the forest is liberated even if he is born into a low caste.
One who propitiates Me daily along with the recitation of OM, with flowers blossoming on the plains, with bilva leaves or flowers from the mountains is dear to Me.
One who offers Me flowers, fruit with root, leaf or water alone while reciting the OM gets benefits equal to many millions.
One who practises love towards all, truth, noncovetousness, purity, subjugation of the senses and daily study of the scriptures is My devotee and is dear to Me.
One who comes to My place and worships Me at pradosha attains the greatest prosperity and thereafter merges in Me.
One who worships Me on Amavasya, Purnima, Shukla Ashtami and Krishna Chaturdashi especially at night with his body covered with sacred ash is My devotee; he is dear to Me.
One who worships Me at night having observed the fasting on Ekadasi that too on a Monday in particular is My devotee; he does not perish.
One who bathes Me with panchāmrita or pancha gavya, with water poured through flowers or with water poured through sacred grass is dear to Me as no one else is.
One who bathes Me in milk, ghee, honey or with sugarcane juice or juice of ripe mango, or coconut water,
One who bathes Me in liquid sweet-smelling sandal paste while reciting mantras of Rudra is dearest to Me.
One should chant the Atharva Āngirasa mantras while contemplating on Me as present in the sun, facing the sun and standing in the water with raised hands.
One who sings the Sāma Veda of Brihat, Rathantara, Vāmadevya and Devavratās will enter My body as the owner enters the house.
One who sings in My front attains the yogic and yājya bodies. After enjoying the plenitude of prosperity in this world, he will attain union with Me – sāyujya.
One who chants in My front the mantras of the Īśāvāsya Upaniṣad and other Upanishads attains union with Me. He attains glory in My world.
O, scion and gem of the Raghu family! The yoga of devotion has thus been stated by Me. This fulfils all desires and is eternal. What else do you want to hear?”
[Siva Gita – Chapter 15 – Bhakti Yoga – Slokas 1 – Slokas 40, Uttara Khanda, Padma Purana]