By Swami Harshananda
Śivagitā literally means ‘song of Śiva’.
Origin of Śivagitā
The well-known Bhagavadgitā has inspired many similar works. The Mahābhārata, the Bhāgavata and the purāṇas contain forty such treatises out of which the Śivagitā is also the one. Though claimed to be a part of the Padmapurāṇa, most of the printed versions except the Gauḍīya or Beṅgāli recension, do not contain it.
Contents of Śivagitā
The śivagitā as available now has sixteen chapters. It is in the form of a dialogue, first between Śrī Rāma and the sage Agastya and later between Śrī Rāma and Śiva. The contents may be summarized briefly as follows:
The guruparamparā is described here.
Chapter 2 and 3
Chapters 4 and 5
Śrī Rāma worships Śiva, gets a vision of the empirical universe, how it is created, sustained and withdrawn by Śiva and how Śiva reveals that Rāvaṇa and others are already destroyed by their own evil deeds. Śrī Rāma has only to be nimitta or proximate cause.
Chapters 6 and 7
Śrī Rāma questions about the cosmic form of Śiva or Umā-Maheśvara. The same is revealed to him.
Chapters 8 and 9
These chapters describe how the living beings are born and also their physiology and psychology.
Four kinds of mukti like sāmīpya are described here.
Essentials of bhakti are the contents of this chapter.
The qualifications required for an adhikārin are described here.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore