Who is Shiva ? Understanding Importance of the Lord Shiva based on the view of Swami Sivananda

This is an Article Compiled from the chapters of  ” Lord Shiva and his worship ” Book Written by Swami Sivananda

Shared for the Knowledge purpose for public benefits to get Detailed view on Lord Shiva by Swami Sivananda Philosophy. As I am deeply infatuated by the Wisdom of the Swami Sivananda on Lord shiva so i have presented his peace of work on Shiva for the people reading interest.Readers can buy the Original Book from the Amazon or flipkart.com

We comprehend (realise) that Celebrated Supreme Being (Purusha), and meditate upon that Great God, Mahadeva; may that Rudra impel us to do so. This is the Rudra Gayatri Mantra.

(Shiva Gayatri Mantra)
Who is Shiva? 
In Me the universe had its origin,
In Me alone the whole subsists;
In Me it is lost—Siva,
The Timeless, it is I Myself,
Sivoham! Sivoham! Sivoham!
” Salutations to Lord Siva, the vanquisher of Cupid, the bestower of eternal bliss and immortality, the protector of all beings, destroyer of sins, the Lord of the gods, who wears a tiger-skin, the best among objects of worship, through whose matted hair the Ganga flows.
 Lord Siva is the pure, changeless, attributeless, all-pervading transcendental consciousness.
He is the inactive (Nishkriya) Purusha. Prakriti is dancing on His breast and performing the creative, preservative and destructive processes.”
 (By Swami Sivananda)

View of the Swami Sivananda on Lord Shiva from His Book ( Lord Shiv and His worship)

By Swami Sivananda

” When there is neither light nor darkness, neither form nor energy, neither sound nor matter, when there is no manifestation of phenomenal existence, Siva alone exists in Himself.He is timeless, spaceless, birthless, deathless, decayless. He is beyond the pairs of opposites. He is the Impersonal Absolute Brahman. He is untouched by pleasure and pain, good and evil. He cannot be seen by the eyes but He can be realised within the heart through devotion and meditation.”

” Siva is also the Supreme personal God when He is identified with His power. He is then omnipotent, omniscient active God. He dances in supreme joy and creates, sustains and destroys with the rhythm of His dancing movements.
He destroys all bondage, limitation and sorrow of His devotees. He is the giver of Mukti or the final emancipation. He is the universal Self. He is the true Self of all creatures. He is the dweller in the cremation-ground, in the region of the dead, those who are dead to the world.
The Jivas and the world originate from Him, exist in Him, are sustained and rejected by Him and are ultimately merged in Him. He is the support, source and substratum of the whole world. He
is an embodiment of Truth, Beauty, Goodness and Bliss. He is Satyam, Sivam, Subham, Sundaram, Kantam.
He is the God of gods, Deva-Deva. He is the Great Deity—Mahadeva. He is the God of manes (Prajapati). He is the most awe-inspiring and terrifying deity, Rudra, with Trisul or trident in
His hand. He is the most easily pleased (Asutosha). He is accessible to all. Even the untouchable Chandalas and the illiterate rustics can approach Him.
He is the source of all knowledge and wisdom. He is an ideal Yogi and Muni. He is the ideal head of an ideal family with Uma as His devoted wife, Lord Subrahmanya, the brave general of
strength and courage, Lord Ganesa, the remover of all obstacles.

The Sadasiva

At the end of Pralaya, the Supreme Lord thinks of re-creation of the world. He is then known by the name Sadasiva. He is the root-cause of creation. From Sadasiva creation begins. In Manusmriti He is called Svayambhu. Sadasiva is unmanifested, He destroys the Tamas caused by Pralaya and shines as the self-resplendent light bringing forth the five great elements, etc., into being.

The Siva Purana says that Siva is beyond both Prakriti and Purusha. Siva is Mahesvara. He is the witness, well-wisher and nourisher of all beings.
The Gita says:

‘Upadrashtanumanta cha bharta bhokta mahesvarah’.

Mahesvara conducts the work of creation according to His will and pleasure.

The Sruti says,

‘Mayam tu prakritim viddhi mayinam tu mahesvaram’. 

Know Prakriti to be Maya and Mahesvara to be the wielder of Maya or Prakriti.

The Sakti of Siva works in two different ways. Mula Prakriti
and Daivi Prakriti. Mula Prakriti is Apara Prakriti from which the five elements and other visible objects and the Antahkarana are evolved. Para Prakriti is Chaitanya Sakti which converts the Apara
Prakriti and gives name and form to it. Apara Prakriti is Avidya and Para Prakriti is Vidya.
The controller and dispenser of these two Prakritis is Lord Siva.
Siva is distinct from Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra.

Lord Siva is the Lord of innumerable crores of Brahmandas or worlds. Isvara united with Maya gives rise to Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra out of Rajas, Sattva and Tamo Gunas respectively, under the command of Lord Siva. Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra are the trinities of the world.

There is no difference among the trinities, Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra. By the command of Mahesvara these three do the creative, preservative and destructive duties of the world. The work of all the three deities is done conjointly. They all have one view and one definite purpose in creating, preserving and destroying the visible universe of names and forms. He who regards the three deities as distinct and different, Siva Purana says, is undoubtedly a devil or evil spirit.
The Lord who is beyond the three Gunas, Mahesvara, has four aspects: Brahma, Kala, Rudra and Vishnu. Siva is the support for all the four. He is the substratum for Sakti also. Siva is distinct from the Rudra included in the trinities. Rudra is really one though according to the different functions He is considered to have eleven different forms.


The first face of Siva does Krida or play, the second does penance, the third destroys or dissolves the world, the fourth protects the people and the fifth, being knowledge, fully covers the entire universe by its power.He is Isana the creator and promoter of all beings, from within.The first form of Siva is the enjoyer of Prakriti as Kshetrajna Purusha. The second is Tatpurusha resting in Sattva-guna, rooted in Bhogya-Prakriti, the Prakriti-enjoyed. The third is Ghora rooted in the eightfold Buddhi like Dharma, etc.

The fourth is Vamadeva rooted in Ahankara and the fifth is Sadyojata, the presiding deity of the mind. The eight forms of Siva are Sarva, Bhava, Rudra, Ugra, Bhima, Pasupati, Isana and Mahadeva, rooted respectively in earth, water, fire, air, ether, Kshetrajna, sun and moon.”

(Source and Reference: Lord Shiva and his worship by Swami Sivananda)

MysticTemples in India – The Mystic and Holy Temple of Lord Shiva in the Heart of City Jammu : The Ranbireshwar Temple founded by Maharaja Ranbir singh

About Ranbireshwar Temple

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Ranbireshwar Temple is a holy shrine dedicated to the abode of lord Shiva. It is likely to be considered as the twelve Jyotirlinga temples of Lord Shiva in India, very much famous for his large number of shiva Lingas presence in it. As, Per the ancient belief, Lord Shiva appeared in the dream of Maharaja Ranbir Singh Jamwal, and thus the king built the temple in this area.
About the Maharaja Ranbir Singh

Before going to elaborate more on the glory of Ranbireshwar temple, we should know more on the Maharaja Ranbir Singh who was the founder of this ancient temple with historic importance connected with it. 

Maharaja Ranbir Singh, was known as General Shriman Rajrajeshwar Maharaja-dhiraj Sri Sir Ranbir Singh ji, Indar Mahindar Bahadur, Sipar-i-Sultanat, Mushir-i-Khas-i-Kaiser-i-Hind GCSI, CIE, Kaiser-i-Hind, was the head of the Jamwal Rajput clan and also Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir from 1857- 1885. 

He was born in August 1830 and belonged to the Dogra Dynasty.

During his reign, the trans-Himalayan regions of Gilgit, Hunza Nagar and Astore were conquered and included in the territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Ranbir Singh was a well known and reputed scholar of classical Persian and learned English, Sanskrit and Pashtu and was also learned in Swedish and English and had great Passion for learning in ancient scriptures and literatures including Jyotish, Tantra and Mantra.

Those manu-scriptural work of Maharaja Ranbir singh are still available in the library of Maharasjas.

Maharaja Ranbir Singh also established a Translation Bureau called “Daarul Tarjumah” under the patronage of a learned Hakim of Turkish Afghan ancestry, Agha (Hakim) Muhammad Baqir who also happened to be the Chief Physician to the Maharaja. It was under this bureau that Maharaja Ranbir Singh got “Tibb-e-Unaani” translated from Arabic and Latin into Persian and Dogri. (wikipedia)

Maharaja Ranbir Singh was also most renowned for his patronage of learning and scholarship and earned the esteem of his subjects. 

Even he set up a department for the compilation and publication of significant works on the Hindu Law and Ritual in Sanskrit language; and for the translation of Persian and Sanskrit manuscripts into Hindi language as well including Jyotish, Tantra, Mantra and gathered it from accross all over the india. 

This compilation of Sanskrit manuscripts, now preserved in the Raghunath temple library, is amongst the most valuable works in the country.

Glimpse of Ranbireshwar Temple

Ranbireshwar Temple is situated in the Center of Jammu city and devotees can come to this temple from anywhere. Shri Ranbireshwar temple is considered as one of the biggest Shiva temples in the whole north of  India, Popularly known with the name of Ranbireshwar temple, named after Maharaja Ranbir Singh. 

It was built by Maharaja Ranbir Singh, son of Maharaja Gulab Singh, the founder of Jammu and Kashmir princely State, in 1882.Currently Temple is managed by Jammu and Kashmir Trust Council. It is located on an elevated platform. The entry to it is from the west and a plain ground spans on the east side. Ranbireshwar Temple offers you panoramic view of the hilly area. 

Foundation : 

It has a big hall from the Verandah, which gives you Darshans of the two pairs of eleven Lingas and center having Largest Shiva Linga made of Black stone brought from Narmada River. One of Shiva Linga among these is made of crystal stone Shiva Lingam surrounded by small 12 shiva lingas, and rest are made of black stone. The  Shiva linga placed in Jalhari is one of the biggest lingas, having height about 7-8 ft high. 
It is Located near the Shalimar Road built by Maharaja Ranbir Singh and is most famou in north of india by its centrally placed biggest ‘Lingam’ measuring seven and a half feet  or around 8 ft of height (7.5-8.0 ft.). The 12 Shiva Lingas those are in the temple are made of crystal measuring from 15 cms To 38 cms and having galleries with many Shiva ‘Lingams’ fixed on stone slabs in both the sides of temple.Some of them are also made of Crystals too.
Other Shiva lingas are  having height of 18 inches high and 12 inches wide.Slab inside the temple on the right and left side has around 1.25 lakhs Shiva-lingas brought from Narmada river in very small size.

Centrally idol of Lord Shiva among Maa Gauri and Lord Ganesha is placed which is very beautiful and is considered to be unique as it is not present anywhere else. 

In the temple, stunning images of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati made of marble are also displayed on the walls.

The marble images of Lord Shiva carved on the black wall; big illustrations of Lord Ganesha, Kartikeya and Nandigan in the verandah and idols of Goddess Mahakali made by famous sculptors of Rajasthan are major highlights of the temple. Besides, devotees can find chinar and peepal tree within the premises.

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All major Hindu festivals are celebrated with much excitement at this temple. It’s a time to rejoice and pray to the almighty. To experience the festivities of this temple, one can visit Ranbireshwar Temple in January (Lohri or Makara Sankranti), Maha- Shiv Ratri ( Feb), March (Ram Navami) and October (Deepavali) when the city’s people regale themselves in a celebratory air.

One of the features of the temple is that it is built on first floor and is situated at a big height from the road surface. The devotees have to take stairs to reach to the temple. The main attraction of the temple is the idol and Biggest Shiv linga of Lord Shiva.

There are also idols of Lord Ganesha, Kartikeya and Nandi Placed in the temple. The idol of nandi is made of brass and weighs around 1000 kg. 

Beside this huge Idols of Lord Ganesha, Kartikeya Mahakali, and Panch Mukhi Hanuman are also installed in the veranda in front of the entry gate having huge Temple bell in the door.devotees visit this holy Jyotirlinga to acquire the blessings of the divine deity During Sharavan Mass and Maha Shiv Ratri and used to do Rudra Abhisheka among other Biggest Shiva lingam surrounded in temple in two pairs. The temple is highly crowded on the major festivals like Lohri, Shiv- Ratri, Makara-Sakranti, Deepawali and Ram Navami. .

History of Ranbireshwar Temple

The Maharaja Ranbir Singh laid the foundation stone of this temple in 1882 and all the Deities Idols were procured from Rajasthan and all the sacred linga brought from river Narmada and were brought in trains.

Maharaja Ranbir Singh at R.S Pura personally received these. 
Later, these were carried to Jammu central place from Ranbir Singh Pura in a chariot with full devotion. The Maharaja himself pulled strings of the chariot assisted by his troops and thousands of other people singing bhajans in the praise of lord Shiva.
The construction of the temple took two years. In the meantime, the Maharaja Ranbir Singh had fallen ill. He, therefore, asked his younger brother, Raja Ram Singh to perform the inauguration ceremony of the temple.
But due to time and circumstances, it was too not acceptable to the fate of Raja Ram singh. In spite of the best efforts, Shiva linga could not be placed in the vedi . Consequently, the Maharaja Ranbir Singh though ailing, came personally to the temple, prayed to Lord Shiva and then with his own hands, helped by several other Shiva devotees mounted the lingam in the Holy vedi amidst chanting of ‘Har Har Mahadev’.
Local residents believe that Mahraja built this temple when Lord Shiva appeared in his dream. Mahabharat also mentions a story that says Arjun attained his powers after worshipping Jambu Devi in this area.
Quick Info

Location: Shalimar road in front of Jammu-Kashmir civil secretariat in Jammu city,
Timing: 6.00 am – 8.00 pm,
Nearest Railway Station : Jammu Tawi, The temple is located at a distance of about approx 3 km from the railway station.
Nearest Airport : Jammu Airport, which is around 8 km away from the temple.
Photography: Not allowed any Camera, Mobile inside the temple.

With thanks and Regards,,
Rakesh Singh Jamwal 

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