- The first narrator of the Siva Purana is Siva himself. Siva took the Sudha (Amruta) that was obtained by churning the Ocean of the Upanishads and gave it to Kumara (his son, Karthikeya or one of the Sanatkumaras, sons of Brahma), who thus became immortal.
- It was later abridged by Vyasa and made available to us.
- The version of the Siva Mahapuranam available to us begins with Vyasa Uvaca.
- The conversation between Suta and Saunaka is reported to us by Vyasa.
- Then Suta, Romaharshana takes over the narration and tells us the Purana as he learned it it from Vyasa.
- Within Suta’s narration, the first narrator is Brahma, who teaches the Munis about MahaSiva.
- Within Suta’s narration, the next narrator is Sanatkumara, who teaches Veda Vyasa that the way to understand advaita is through the Siva Mahapurana.
- Within Sanatkumara’s narration, the first narrator is Nandikeswara who teaches Sanatkumara about the Nishkala Linga (symbol) Rupa.
- The entire story of the clash between Brahma and Vishnu is what we hear from Nandikeswara as he told it to Sanatkumara.
- And so far we have listened along with Sanatkumara, how Brahma challenged Vishnu’s importance and then used Ketaki to provide false evidence of his success in a contest.
Siva Mahapuranam Vidyesvara Samhitam 8th Adhyayam
Nandikeswara Uvaca (Said): From in between his eyebrows, Siva created Bhairava, in order to destroy Brahma’s pride. The Sivagana Bhairava asked Siva for his orders. Siva said, ” Oh Child! This is Vidhi (Vidhi means ‘destiny’ or’ what must be done’ – one of the names and functions of Brahma). He is the First Daivata (luminary or divine person) that can be perceived by the eyes. At once, use your excellent sword, with speed and violence”. Then, he (Bhairava), having caught hold of his (Brahma’s) hair with one hand, severed the untruthful fifth head and got ready to kill him, with his sharp sword shaking in his hand.
Your father Brahma (Nandi was speaking to Sanatkumara, Brahma’s son), threw away his decorations and with his hair compacted by his upper garment, fell, like water in a storm, like a creeper, down at Bhairava’s feet. The compassionate Achyuta (the undivided one – Vishnu), looking at Vidhi, his budding opponent, with tears in his eyes and artistic (sweet) words, joined his palms together in an Anjali and spoke (to Siva) as a child to his own father.
Achyuta said : Oh Isa, (Master), it is by your efforts, he was given Panchananam Chihnam (the symbol of 5 faces), in the past. Therefore forgive him. The first (could refer here to Brahma or his error) is anugraha arham (deserving of acceptance/forgiveness). Be graceful to our Vidhi.
Then Deva (Mahadeva, Siva) came there and said to the dishonest Vidhi who had lost a neck, “You wanted to earn greatness and lordship. Hence, in these created worlds, there will be no place for you in the festivities.”
Brahma Uvaca: O one of great splendour! O Lord! Be pleased today! I think my head is a worthy absolution (for my lie). Salutations to you! O God! O Relative! O One patient (Sahishnu) with errors! O benevolent one (Sambhu)! O Source of the Universe (Viswayoni) ! O Mountain Archer (Sailadhanva – could also mean one whose bow is a mountain)!
Isvara (Siva) Uvaca : Without a king (law) this entire world will perish. Therefore be a leader of the world and deal with those deserving of punishment. I will also give you an exceptional boon. Accept it. You will be the Guru of the Vytanikas (holy rites), Gruhyas (domestic rites) and Yajnas (different Vedic Rituals). Even a Yajna with all its Angas (divisions) and with the Dakshina (fee) will be fruitless without you.
Then Isvara banned Ketaka from his worship and the Devajatas (those born of the Devas) started removing the Ketaka flowers from their vicinity.
Ketaka Uvaca : O Protector! Salutations to thee! By your words, my life is rendered fruitless. Please make it fruitful. All sins which have been committed knowingly and unknowingly are destroyed by your rememberance. Having had your darshan, how can I still retain the sin of Mithyadosha? (Illusion / deception).
Then Isvara ruled that others would accept the Ketaka for worship, and that it would be above him (Siva) in his canopy.
Having thus accepted ketaka, Vidhi and Madhava (Vishnu – the husband of Maa : Lakshmi Devi), he (Siva) shone in the assembly, praised by all the Devas.
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Siva Purana Mahatmya from Skanda Puranam
Siva Mahapuranam Vidyeswara Samhitam 3rd Adhyayam: To attain Sivapadam, listen to the Siva Puranam, repeat it, think about it and understand it with devotion.