(Pashupaasha Vimochana Mantra included)
Sanatkumara Muni described the details of Pashupaasha Vrata to Maharshi Shailadi and Nandi Deva explained it briefly; Brahma and Vishnu accomplished the Vrata foremost and was followed by Indra and Devas and subsequently by Danava-Daitya-Siddha and others. This Vrata was stated to have absorbed the essence of the six Vedangas for the worship of Dwadasha Lingaas as visualised for each month of the year viz. during Chaitra Month as made of Gold, Vaisakha of Vajra or Diamond, Jyeshtha of Marakata mani, Ashadha month made of Mukta / Pearl, Shravana made of Nila Mani, Bhadrapada made of Padmaraga; Ashviyuja made of Gomedha, Kartika made of Pravala, Margashira made of Vidurya, Pushya made of Pushyaraaga, Maagha the Lingas to be made of Suryakanta mani, and Phalguna the Shiva Linga to be made of Sphatika. In all the months, the puja must be performed by lotus either in the actual form preferably or by way of gold or silver or copper or any other forms. Puja by Bilva Patra (Shri Patra) again in actual form or of replikas would be a ‘must’. Devi Lakshmi is stated to reside in bel patras, while Neel Kamal is the resident of Ambika, Shanmukha stays in Utpala Pushpa and Maha Deva is fond of Padma. Dhupa or smoke made of ‘Guggula’ and Deepa are integral parts of the Puja as they are the demolishers of all kinds of sins. Chandana is again an essential component of the worship as it is a healer of Sarva Rogaas or diseases. The Pushpas for use in the Puja should also include Sweta Aaka Pushpa represented by Brahma, Kinnera Pushpa is a promoter of Medha or mental brilliance, Karaveera pushpa which Ganaadhyksha is fond of, Narayana resides in Vaka Pushpa and Devi Ganga is the adoration of Sarva Sugandhi Pushpaas. As for Naivedya, ‘Shuddhhaanna’ would satisfy Maha Deva; in fact, ‘Anna Daana’ is one significant charity to the needy that Shiva is always desirous of on any day, especially on Puranamasi. Those who are observing the Pashu paasha vimochana Vrata must follow the features of Satya (Truthfulness), Ahimsa (NonViolence), Shoucha (Cleanliness), Daya (Mercy), Shanti (Peacefulness), Santosha (Happiness / Contentment), and Daana (Charity). At the end of each year (since the duration of the Vrata is of twelve years plus), there must be a Godaana and Vrishabha Daana to Veda Pandita Brahmanas. The observance of this Vrata would indeed bestow Devatwa, Ganaadhya-kshata, and Shivatwa in stages. In the process, Vidyarthis would secure Vidya, Kamaarthis of fulfillment and Yashobhilashis of fame and immense renown.
Pashupaasha Vrata Vyapohana Stotra: Vyasa Deva recited the Vyopahana Stotra as he learnt it that was narrated by Nandi Deva to Kartikeya:
Namah Shivaaya Shuddaaya Nirmalaaya Yashaswiney/
Drushtaantakaaya Sarvaaya Bhavaaya Paramaatmaney,
Pancha Vaktro Dasha bhujo hyakshapanchadashairyutah/
Shuddha sphatika sankaasham Sarva -abharana bhushitah/
Sarvajnah Sarvagah Shantah Sarvopari samsthitah/
Padmaasanasthah Someshah Paapamaashu Vyapohatu,
Ishaanah Purushaschaiva Aghorah Sadya yevacha/
Vaama Devascha Bhagavaan Paapamaashu Vyapohatu,
Anantah Sarva Vidyeshah Sarvajnah Sarvadah Prabhuh/
Shivadhyaanaika sampannah sa mey Paapam Vyapohatu,
Sukshmaha Suraasureshaano Vishvesho Gana Pujitah/
Shivadhyaanaaika sdampannah sa mey Paapam vyapohatu,
Shivottamo Mahaa Pujyah Shiva dhyaana paraayanah/
Sarvagah Sarvadah Shantah sa mey Paapamvyapohatu,
Ekaaksho Bhagavaanishah Shivaarchana paraayanah/
Shiva dhyaanaika sampannah sa paapam Vyapohatu,
Trimurthih Bhagavaaneeshah Shiva Bhakti Prabhodhakah/
Shivadhyaanaika sampannah sa mey paapam vyapohatu,
Shrikanthah Shripatih Shrimaanjnishwa dhyaana ratah sadaa/
Shivarchanaratah saakshaat sa mey Paapa vyapohatu,
Shikhandi Bhagavaanyashaantah Shava bhasmaanulepanah/
Shivaarchanaratah Shrimaan sa mey paapam vyapohatu/
(My salutations Maha Shiva!You are Shuddha, Nirmala, Yashaswi, Kaala drushyaney, Sharva, Bhava, Paramatma, possessor of Five Faces and Fifteen Eyes; Sphatikamani samaana, Sumpurnaabharana bhushita or fully ornamented; Sarvajna, Shanta, Sarvoparisthita, Padmaasana and Somesha; Ishaana, Purusha, Aghora, Vaama Deva, kindly demolish our sins; You are Ananta, Sarva Vidyeshwara, Sarvajna, Fulfiller of all desires; Dhyana nishtha Shiva, Sukshma, Suraasurekshara, Vishvesha, Dhyana sampanna: please demolish our sins. Shivottama, Maha Pujya, Dhyana Parayana,and Sarvajna please keep me off from sins. Ekaaksha, Isha, Shivarchana parayana, Dhyan Sampanna keep me away from my derelictions and liberate me; Tri Murthis,Shiva Bhakta Pramodika,Shiva Dhyaana Sampanna, destroy my Maha Paapaas). Those who recite the above would be freed from the worst sins possible that they had committed like Go hatya, Brahmana hatya, Matru-Pitru hatya, Sharanaagata hatya etc. and would attain Rudra Loka. In the instant life, the reciters of the Stotra would secure Artha-Kaama-Vidya-Arogya and Tripti or Fulfillment.
Shiva Vratas: In both the Shukla and Krishna Pakshas of a month, day time worship of Shiva Linga is of great significance on Ashtamis and Chaturdashis and observance of day long fasts; this procedure for a year would fetch sampurna yajna phala. Kheera dhaaraVrata on Prathamas and Panchamis of every month would yield Ashwamedha Yagna. Daily worship of Shiva for a full year by way of Shuchi, Satya bhashana, day long fast and very limited Ahaara in the nights, daily havan, Brahmacharya, Prithvi shayana and such other measures of Idriya nigrahana would assure Parama Gati.
Monthwise Shiva Vratas were also prescribed by Nandi Deva to Skanda as follows: Pushya Purnami: Shiva Pujaabhisheka with Ghrita, Ksheera, Dadhi etc followed by Brahmana bhojana and Godaana , Ratri bhojana; Phala: Brahmaloka Prapti. Maagha Chaturdhasis: Shiva Pujaabhisheka, Raatri Bhojana of limited Ghritaanna, Brahmana Bhojana and daana of horse; Phala: Yamaloka kreeda or playful activities. Phalguna Ashtami Chaturdashis: Sivaabhisheka, Day long fasting and only milk/ghee in the nights, Bhojanas to two Brahmanas and Tamra varna Go-daana; Phala: Chandraloka. Chaitra Purnima: Shiva Pujaabhisheka, Raatri bhojana of rice and ghee, Brahmana Bhojana and daana of two white cows; Vaishakha Purnami: Shiva Pujaabhisheka with Panchagavyas, Ratri bhojana, Brahmana Bhojana and Go-Daana; Phala: Ashwamedha Yagna. Jeyshtha Purnima: Shiva Pujaabhisheka, Ratri Bhojana, Brahmana Seva and Dhumravarna Godaana; Phala: Vaayu loka prapti. Ashadha Purnima: Shiva Pujabhisheka, Ratri bhojana, Brahmana Seva, Gaura varna Godaana; Phala: Varuna Loka. Shravana Purnima: Shiva Pujaabhisheka, Ratri Bhojana, Vrushabha daana; Phala:Vayu loka. Bhadrapada Purnima: Havana, Abhishka and Puja; Veda Parayana, Brahmana puja, Vrishabha dwaya daana Phala: Yaksha loka Rajastwa. Ashviyuja Purnima: Shiva Pujaabhisheka, day long fast, Brahmana Bhojana and Nila Varna Vishabha daana. Phala: Ishana loka prapti. Kartika Month: The entire month is of signifinance and daily Shivaarchana-Abhisheka with Sacred water, Milk, Coconut water, Curd, Ghee, Chandana, and Bhasma with Maha Nyasa Purvaka, Maha Rudra Purvaka Snaanaas to Shiva Linga, Day long fasting and Alpaahara in the nights, complete abstinence, Bhu Shayana and various sacrifices should be in place; all kinds of Daanaas on anyday or as many days are encouraged in the Month and similarly Pandita Seva of any kind would be fruitful in the Month. Emphasis is stressed on Anna Daanaas during the month. Phala: Surya Loka Prapti. Margasirsha Month is considered an an extension of the previous month when again austerities would spill over from the previous month; Upavaasaas, Shiva worship by way of Abhishekas, Brahmana Sevas, Anna and other kinds of daanaas especially to Daridras, would be of significance and the Phala would be of Chandra loka prapti.
Uma Maheswara Vrata: Shiva himself described the significance of the Uma Maheswara Vrata as narrated by Suta Muni. The best days for the worship of the Uma Maheswara are stated to be Purnima, Amavasya, Ashtami and Chaturdashi. After a year long worship on these days, Uma Maheswara Pratimas made of gold or silver or according to one’s capacity could be installed in a Temple, by carrying these by a chariot with Veda Mantras amid fanfare and provide bhojanas to Brahmanas and Annadanas to the visitors. The Mahima of the Pratimas thus installed would be enormous; for example, a Kanya or a widow who observed the Vrata for a year and instal the Vigrahas formally would have miraculous results in the on-going life and Shiva Loka Sayujya by the grace of Devi Uma. Now, month-wise daanaas and pratishthas by devotees are given below: In Margaseersha month, daanaa of a sturdy bull to a Brahmana would please Shiva and Uma; in Pousha month, the Vrata requires Trishula Daana; during Maagha Maasa, Ratha daana would need to be performed; in Phalguna month, the requirement is to install Shiva-Maheswari Pratimas made of gold or silver or copper to qualify the attainment of Shiva Sayujya. In Chaitra Month, the Devotee has to do the Pratishtha of Shiva- Bhavani and Nandi Vigrahas in copper; in the month of Vaishakha, the Vrata has to be performed by the daana of Kailasha Mountain in the name of Shiva and Parvati and indeed the phala of the worship during the month would bestow Kailasha Parvata prapti. In the Jyeshtha month, formal installation of Shiva Linga and Bhavani, while in the month of Ashadha a brick built house has to be given away in charity to a Brahamachari with expertise in Vedas and Vedangas and the donor would be destined to accomplish Goloka. In the Shravana month, a huge heap of tilaas and vastras along with Brahmana Bhojana and Anna daana would qualify for Goloka too; In the month of Bhadrapada, a parvata like supply of rice is to be given in charity to attain Bhavani’s presence; in Ashvayuja charity of a Parvata like Anna /cooked rice along with gold to a learned Brahmana and with his approval organise Anna Daana to the poor; during Kartika month, Swarna Pratimas of Shiva and Parvati are to be instaalled in a temple, besides Brahmana bhojanaas. Additionally the Bhaktas observing the Uma-Maheshwara Vrata need to follow one meal a day, Bhumi shayana and celibacy, besides daily dfaily worship to Maha Deva and Uma Devi.