Sri Maheswara Vratham | How to Perform Maheswara Vratham?

“Om Tathpurushaaya Vidmahe
Mahadevaya Dhimahi
Tanno Rudra Prachodayaath”

Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy

How to do this Vratham?
1) This book can be read by anyone, anytime. There is no limitation of age, caste or creed. It can be read by both men and women, in any month or any day without consulting Panchangam.

2) It is very auspicious to read on the days of Monday, Ekadasi, Pournami, or Arudra nakshatram.

3) If one observes the Vratham on all the Mondays of Kartika month they will overcome sins of previous births and will attain punyam. There is no requirement to fast when observing the Vratham.

4) Before starting the Vratham offer obeisance to Lord Ganapati, Navagrahas and Astadikpalakas. After that you can state in your mind your name, names of your family members and gotram. Read the Astotram of Parvati Devi and Maheswara. After the Adhanga puja, read the five stories of this book and finally offer any fruits as Naivedyam.

5) There is no requirement for both husband and wife to do the Vratham together. Whenever husband or wife is free they can perform it. If both have time to perform together they can very well do so.

6) Under unfortunate circumstances of being a widow or widower even they can, without hesitation, perform the Vratham. Those who perform will be blessed with peace of mind.

7) One can overcome all health issues by reading all the five stories on every Monday and offering either banana or guava as naivedyam. This naivedyam has to be eaten by the person. They will not face any dangers and overcome fear of death. If one can’t read they can just hear the stories read by others to get the same benefit.

8) If Archakas of Maheswara temple read the Vratham on every Monday in the temple, the temple will become a divine kshetram and attain glory. Devotees
will be blessed by Lord Shiva for a happy and prosperous life.

9) All the previous birth’s sins will be vanquished, if the Vratham is performed by anyone in the Jyothir Linga Kshetras or Divya Kshetras of Lord Shiva. All their health issues will be resolved as soon as one performs the Vratham in these places. They will be blessed with long life and glow with lustre.

10) Childless couple should read the book in any temple continuously for three days starting Monday to Wednesday. They will definitely be blessed by children. Unmarried girls and boys should also follow the same ritual for early marriage.

11) One can perform the Vratham or read the book for the benefit of one’s children or relatives if they are unable to do so by any reason (out of country, health problem etc). You can perform or read on consecutive days in Shiva temple to obtain the blessings of Lord Shiva, be it for child, marriage, job, health etc.

12) Whenever feasible perform the Vratham with the help of a purohit. He can perform the Vratham by kalasa stapana and invoking asta dikpalakas, nava grahas and demi gods for maximum benefit.

13) In this way one can perform the Maheswara Vratham in any way, on any day to receive the blessings of Lord Shiva.

(Praying to all parts of body of Lord Shiva)
Offer the Lord a flower, akshatha, Vibhudhi or kumkum after saying each line

Om Shankaraya Namaha – Paadhou Pujayami
Om Shivaya Namaha – Jange Pujayami
Om Maheswaraya Namaha – Januni Pujayami
Om Trilokeshaya Namaha – Ooru Pujayami
Om Vrishabha Rudaya Namaha – Guhyam Pujayami
Om Bhasmodulitha Vigrahaya Namaha- Kathim Pujayami
Om Mritunjayaya Namaha – Naabhim Pujayami
Om Rudraya Namaha – Udaram Pujayami
Om Sambaaya Namaha – Hrudhayam Pujayami
Om Bhujanga Bhushanaya Namaha – Hasthe Pujayami
Om Sadashivaya Namaha – Bhujav Pujayami
Om Visweswaraya Namaha – Kantham Pujayami
Om Om Girishaya Namaha -Mukham Pujayami
Om Tripurantakaya Namaha – Nethrani Pujayami
Om Virupakshaya Namaha – Lalaatham Pujayami
Om Gangadharaya Namaha – Sirah Pujayami
Om Jatadharaya Namaha – Moulim Pujayami
Om Pashupataye Namaha – Sarvangaani Pujayami

Sri Parameswara Sarvaanyamgaani Pujaam Samarpayaami
Suddha Spatikam Sankasam Naagabharana Bhushitaam
Vedha Vedhaanta Tatvagyanam Vandhe Shambham Umapathim

Sri Shiva Astothara Sathanaamavali Samaptham:
Om Shivaya namaha
Om Maheshwaraya namaha
Om Shambhave namaha
Om Pinakine namaha
Om Shashishekharaya namaha
Om Vamadevaya namaha
Om Virupakshaya namaha
Om Kapardhine namaha
Om Nilalohitaya namaha
Om Shankaraya namaha
Om Shulapanaye namaha
Om Khatvangine namaha
Om Vishnuvallabhaya namaha
Om Shipivishtaya namaha
Om Ambikanathaya namaha
Om Shrikantaya namaha
Om Bhaktavatsalaya namaha
Om Bhavaya namaha
Om Sharwaya namaha
Om Trilokeshaya namaha
Om Shitikantaya namaha
Om Shivapriyaya namaha
Om Ugraya namaha
Om Kapaline namaha
Om Kaomaaraye namaha
Om Andhakasura sudanaya namaha
Om Gangadharaya namaha
Om Lalaatakshaya namaha
Om Kaalakalaya namaha
Om Kripanidhaye namaha
Om Bheemaya namaha
Om Parashu Hastaya namaha
Om Mrigapanayae namaha
Om Jatadharaaya namaha
Om Kailasavasine namaha
Om Kavachine namaha
Om Katoraya namaha
Om Tripurantakaya namaha
Om Vrushankaya namaha
Om Vrushabharudayanamaha
Om Bhasmoddhulitha Vigrahaya namaha
Om Samapriyaaya namaha
Om Sarwamayaaya namaha
Om Trayimurthaye namaha
Om Anishwaraya namaha
Om Sarwagnyaya namaha
Om Paramatmane namaha
Om Somasuryagni lochanaya namaha
Om Havishe namaha
Om Yagnyamayaaya namaha
Om Somaya namaha
Om Panchavaktraya namaha
Om Sadashivaya namaha
Om Vishveshwaraya namaha
Om Virabhadraya namaha
Om Gananathaya namaha
Om Praja-pataye namaha
Om Hiranyaretase namaha
Om Durdharshaya namaha
Om Girishaya namaha
Om Giree-shaya namaha
Om Anaghaya namaha
Om Bhujangabhushanaya namaha
Om Bhargaya namaha
Om Giridhanvine namaha
Om Giripriyaaya namaha
Om Kruttivasase namaha
Om Purarataye namaha
Om Bhagavate namaha
Om Pramadhadipaya namaha
Om Mrutyumjayaya namaha
Om Shukshmatanave namaha
Om Jagadvyapine namaha
Om Jagadgurave namaha
Om Vyomakeshaya namaha
Om Mahasenajanakaya namaha
Om Charuvikramaya namaha
Om Rudraya namaha
Om Bhuta-pataye namaha
Om Sthanave namaha
Om Ahirbhudnyaya namaha
Om Digambaraya namaha
Om Ashtamurthaye namaha
Om Anekatmane namaha
Om Satvikaya namaha
Om Shudha Vigrahaya namaha
Om Shashwataya namaha
Om Khandaparashave namaha
Om Ajaaya namaha
Om Papavimochakaya namaha
Om Mrudaya namaha
Om Pashupataye namaha
Om Devaya namaha
Om Mahadevaya namaha
Om Avyayaya namaha
Om Haraye namaha
Om Pusha-damta-bhide namaha
Om Avyagraya namaha
Om Dakshadwaraharaaya namaha
Om Haraya namaha
Om Bhaganetrabhide namaha
Om Avyaktaya namaha
Om Sahasrakshaya namaha
Om Sahasrapade namaha
Om Apavargapradaya namaha
Om Anantaya namaha
Om Tarakaya namaha
Om Parameshwaraya namaha
Om Gangapathaye namaha
Om Neelakanteswaraya namaha

Shiva Shankar

Sri Parvathi Astothara Shatanaamavali Samaptham:
Om Parvathyai namaha
Om Mahaadevyai namaha
Om Janagnamatre namaha
Om Saraswatai namaha
Om Chandikaayai namaha
Om Lokajananyai namaha
Om Sarvadevaadidevatai namaha
Om Gouryai namaha
Om Paramaayai namaha
Om Eesanayai namaha
Om Nagendrathanayaayai namaha
Om Sathyai namaha
Om Brahmachaarinyai namaha
Om Sharvaanyai namaha
Om Devamaathrae namaha
Om Trilochanyai namaha
Om Brahmanyai namaha
Om Vaishnvavyai namaha
Om Raudhrayai namaha
Om Kaalaraathryai namaha
Om Thapasvinyai namaha
Om Sivadhoothyai namaha
Om Visaalaakshyai namaha
Om Chaamundaaya namaha
Om Vishnusodharyai namaha
Om Chithkalaayai namaha
Om Chinmayaakaraayai namaha
Om Mahisasura mardhinyai namaha
Om Kaathyayanai namaha
Om Kaalaroopaayai namaha
Om Girijaayai namaha
Om Menakaathmajaayai namaha
Om Bhavaanyai namaha
Om Shree maathrae namaha
Om Mahagauryai namaha
Om Ramaayai namaha
Om Shuchismithaayai namaha
Om Brahmaswaroopinyai namaha
Om Rajyalakshmai namaha
Om Shivapriyayai namaha
Om Naaraayanyai namaha
Om Mahaashaktyai namaha
Om NavoDaayai namaha
Om Bhaagyadhaayinyai namaha
Om Annapoornaayai namaha
Om Sadanandhaai namaha
Om Yavaanaayai namaha
Om Mohinyai namaha
Om Agnanasuddai namaha
Om Gnaanagamyaayai namaha
Om nithyaayai namaha
Om Nithyasvaroopinyai namaha
Om Kamalaayai namaha
Om Kamalaakaaraayai namaha
Om Rakthavarnaayai namaha
Om Kalaanidhaye namaha
Om Madhupriyayai namaha
Om Kalyaanai namaha
Om Karunaayai namaha
Om Janasthaanaayai namaha
Om Veerapathnai namaha
Om Viroopaakshyai namaha
Om Veeraadhithaayai namaha
Om Hemabhaasayai namaha
Om Strustiroopaayai namaha
Om Strushtisamhaara karinyai namaha
Om Ranjanaayai namaha
Om Yauvanaakaaraayai namaha
Om Parameshapriyaayai namaha
Om Paraayai namaha
Om Pushpinyai namaha
Om Pushpaakaaraayai namaha
Om Purushaardha Pradhaayinyai namaha
Om Mahaaroopayai namaha
Om Mahaaraudhryai namaha
Om Kaamaakshyai namaha
Om Vamadevyai namaha
Om Varadhaayai namaha
Om Bhayanaasinyai namaha
Om Vaagdhaevyai namaha
Om Vachanyai namaha
Om Vaaraahyai namaha
Om Viswathoshinyai namaha
Om Vardhaneeyaayai namaha
Om Vishaalaakshai namaha
Om Kulasamprapthadhaayinai namaha
Om Artha dhuKha ChaeDhadhakShaayai namaha
Om Ambaayai namaha
Om Nikhilayoginyai namaha
Om Sadhaapurasthaayinyai namaha
Om Tharoarmoolathalangathaayai namaha
Om Haravaahasamaayukthaayai namaha
Om Muni moksha paraayanaayai namaha
Om Dharaadhara Bhavaayai namaha
Om Mukthaayai namaha
Om Paramanthraayai namaha
Om Karapradhaayai namaha
Om Kalyaanyai namaha
Om Vaghbavai namaha
Om Dhaevyai namaha
Om Kleem kaarinyai namaha
Om Samvidhae namaha
Om Eshwaryai namaha
Om Hreemkaara Beejaayai namaha
Om Shaambhavyai namaha
Om Pranavaathmikaayai namaha
Om Mahaagauryai namaha
Om Shubhapradhaayai namaha

Lingashtakam Stotram Lyrics:
Brahmamurāri surārcita liṅgaṃ
Nirmalabhāsita śobhita liṅgam |
Janmaja duḥkha vināśaka liṅgaṃ
Tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 1 ||
Devamuni pravarārcita liṅgaṃ
Kāmadahana karuṇākara liṅgam |
Rāvaṇa darpa vināśana liṅgaṃ
Tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 2 ||
Sarva sugandha sulepita liṅgaṃ
Buddhi vivardhana kāraṇa liṅgam |
Siddha surāsura vandita liṅgaṃ
Tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 3 ||
Kanaka mahāmaṇi bhūṣita liṅgaṃ
Phaṇipati veṣṭita śobhita liṅgam |
Dakṣa suyaṅña vināśana liṅgaṃ
Tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 4 ||
Kuṅkuma candana lepita liṅgaṃ
Paṅkaja hāra suśobhita liṅgam |
Sañcita pāpa vināśana liṅgaṃ
Tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 5 ||
Devagaṇārcita sevita liṅgaṃ
Bhāvai-rbhaktibhireva ca liṅgam |
Dinakara koṭi prabhākara liṅgaṃ
Tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 6 ||
Aṣṭadaḷopariveṣṭita liṅgaṃ
Sarvasamudbhava kāraṇa liṅgam |
Aṣṭadaridra vināśana liṅgaṃ
Tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 7 ||
Suraguru suravara pūjita liṅgaṃ
Suravana puṣpa sadārcita liṅgam |
Parātparaṃ paramātmaka liṅgaṃ
Tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 8 ||
Liṅgāṣṭakamidaṃ puṇyaṃ yaḥ paṭheĞĞiva sannidhau |
Ğivalokamavāpnoti Ğivena saha modhathe ||

Sri Maheswara Vratham

First Chapter | Shivasharma’s Divine story:
Lord Shiva is benevolent towards His devotees. He is partial towards those depending on Him. He blesses devotees who chant at least once a day “Om Namaha Shivaya”. And if one chants His name regularly, he will receive abundant prosperity. No harm will come to them. The fear of death will not be there. Lord Shiva has ordained His devotee Sri Thimmaraju Viswapathi Rama Krishna Murthy to write this Vratham. Lord Shiva will bless with ample wealth and prosperity all those who perform this Vratham with clean devoted heart reminiscing of Him.

Once upon a time, on the banks of river Cauveri, there lived a great Shiva devotee by the name Shivasharma. He was very knowledgeable and learned with a strong grip over Sastras. He was known as a very scholarly person with none matching his capabilities. Importantly he was well known for Astrological Sastra (Jyotishya) and Vyakarna Sastra (Grammar – from the six Vedangas).

Shivasharma couple had two daughters who were married and well settled. They took this as the blessing of Maheswara. His wife Sumathi was very adjusting and supportive. On every Ekadasi, Shivasharma used to perform Ekadasi Rudrabhisekham. Whoever visited his house on this day was served lunch as prasadam. The couple used to reminisce Lord’s name throughout the day. Unexpectedly one day Shivasharma was afflicted with an eye infection and started losing his eye sight. There was no improvement even after a lot of treatment. Day by day it became worse. One day while walking, due to the blindness, he fell down and fractured both his knees.

The couple was depressed thinking that although they were so devoted to Lord Parameswara why they were facing so many problems. “Oh Lord! Why this test? Why are you making us go through so many problems?” All human beings have to face their previous birth’s karma! However, Maheswara is very kind hearted. As Shivasharma’s bad karma came to completion, Lord Shiva decided to protect his devotee. Next day morning, Maheswara took the form of an old Brahmin and went to Shivasharma’s house. Shivasharma and his wife saw some divinity in the old man and hence prostrated before him and offered their obeisance and prayed, “Oh Swamy! You appear to be having some divine power. Please have mercy and tell us the way to overcome the problems”.

Then Lord Shiva who was in the form of old Brahmin replied, “Shivasharma! I understand your pain and suffering. I will tell you a recourse to overcome them. There is a small hill called Shivagiri which is a night’s travel from here. The deity there is Lord Shiva who is very powerful. Both of you take His darshan at the earliest. Your troubles will be naught as soon as you have His divine darshan”. The next day Shivasharma and his wife undertook the journey to Shivagiri and reached there. The hill was steep and the steps were uneven. Shivasharma was in quandary on whether he would be able to climb the steps with his poor eyesight. He enquired with the devotees who were coming back from the darshan regarding the number of steps. They detailed that there were more than one thousand steps and it would take more than two hours to reach the temple. Shivasharma was devastated. “How can he climb the steps when his legs cannot take the strain?” However, he was only visualising the old Brahmin. He decided to ascend at any cost and slowly started climbing with his wife’s help although. As the hill was steep it was very difficult to climb the steps and started panting after a few steps.

Shivasharma was taking rest after climbing every ten steps. After ascending two hundred steps he was panting so much that realised he would not be able to climb anymore and dejectedly sat down. One devotee seeing his plight came to Shivasharma and said ‘Swamy, please come with me. You can climb the steps easily’. Shivasharma took the stretched hand of the devotee and immediately felt some powerful energy entering into his body. Holding the devotee’s hand Shivasharma climbed the rest of the steps very quickly. As soon as they reached the hill top they could see the beautiful and marvellous temple of Lord Shiva. Shivasharma couple closed their eyes and offered their obeisance turning towards the temple. As soon as he opened his eyes, wonder of wonders, his eyesight was regained. He was able to see more clearly than before. With a very happy and grateful heart they praised the Lord in various ways. He then turned towards the devotee to thank him.

Surprisingly the devotee could not be found anywhere although they searched all over the place. It was then they he realised that it was none other than Maheswara, who came in the form of a devotee, to help them. Shivasharma couple took bath in the Koneru of the temple and took darshan of Lord Shiva. All their previous birth sins perished because of the darshan. They took rest overnight in the premises and started back the next day. A few days after their visit to Shivagiri his knee pain also subsided. Shivasharma couple dedicated their life to the service of Lord Shiva and finally attained salvation.
|| End of First Chapter ||

Sri Maheswara Vratham

Second Chapter | Shankara Bhatt’s story:
Lord Parameswara is limitless, transcendent, unchanging and formless. Siva represents Tamas, the power of annihilation. All Gods and demigods constantly eulogize Him. Pondering on Him at least once a day will eradicate all the sins of previous births. Chanting the Shiva Astotram especially in the evening will result in abundant virtues. He is Omniscient, all in all, the Creator, Preserver, Destroyer, Revealer and Concealer of all. Devotees worshipping Him will be blessed with health, wealth and prosperity. They will not be afflicted by physical ailments. They will lead a happy life and will attain salvation.

Once upon a time, on the banks of river Krishna there lived a Brahmin called Shankara Bhatt. He learnt the traditional pourohityam in the Veda school of his village and used to perform his duties as a priest. He was leading a virtuous life along with his wife and two sons. He was constantly contemplating on Lord Shiva. As he was thorough in his work he was earning quite well which ultimately resulted in a boosted ego. Owing to his ego, his devotion started waning and he fell into bad habits. His wife and children started loathing him due to his immoral afflictions. He was expelled from his village as he digressed with more immoral behaviours. Shankara Bhatt started begging for his livelihood, going from one village to another due to which his health deteriorated. He used to stay for some days in one village and move to another after some days. Once while travelling to another village he had to pass through a forest and it became night before he could cross it. It was dark all around and hence he could not find his way out of the forest. He decided to take a break and rested underneath a tree. Throughout the night he could not take a wink due to the sounds made by the wild animals. In the morning he started again but he could not walk far because of his tiredness. And then night crept in and he realised he does not have the capability to continue the journey and decided that death was imminent.

At that point, Shankara Bhatt saw an old house which was in ruins. In the dark he sensed there were a number of small rooms in that house. Slowly he entered one room and decided to spend the night there. That place, however, was filled with lot of dust and strewn with leaves and thorns. He cleared a small area for resting pushing away the leaves with his feet. It was pitch dark and he could not see anything inside the building.

Although he tried very hard to get some sleep because of his tiredness he could not relax. In the morning as soon as he opened his eyes, Lord Maheswara appeared in front of him and said “Oh Shankara Bhatt! You have committed a number of sins in this birth. I am however, very pleased with you for what you have done without your knowledge yesterday night. Yesterday was Shivaratri which is very dear festival to me. This place was called Maheswaram and was once a foremost centre of worship. All these years no one took care to clean the place and hence it is in this state of ruins. After so many years, yesterday, you had made an attempt to clean the place. Without your knowledge, you threw the Bilwa leaves that were strewn around the place on to the Shiva Lingam. You not only had the privilege of fasting on Shivratri day but also cleaning the place as well as offering Bilwa leaves. From this moment I bless you with a lot of fortune. Close your eyes and pray for a minute”. Lord Shiva disappeared saying the above words.

When Shankara Bhatt opened his eyes he was surprised to find himself in his own village with no trace of any disease. He realised all this is due to the blessing of Lord Maheswara. He narrated everything to his wife, children and the villagers. Having learnt the importance, he started doing a number of good deeds without succumbing to any bad influences or habits. He dedicated his life to the service of Lord Maheswara and finally attained salvation.

Lord Shiva is very kind hearted. He even blesses His devotees like Shankara Bhatt who serve him unconsciously. Imagine how much love and grace He would have on devotees who consciously pray to him day in and day out. He is pure in His love for devotees and is easy to please. If one chants His name even once He will bless them with abundance. Oh Lord Shiva! The Auspicious one! The Benevolent one! The Transcendent one! Please accept our pranamams.
|| End of Second Chapter ||

Sri Maheswara Vratham

Third Chapter | Story of Shivadas:
Paramashiva loves His devotees very much, has lot of affection and attachment towards them. He will safeguard the devotees who surrender to Him even if there are in any of the fourteen lokas. He does not distinguish whether one is poor or rich. He only needs complete devotion to grant all types of wealth. Easwar means ‘one who blesses with abundance’, and also stands for auspiciousness.

Long ago, there lived a great devotee named Shivadas on the banks of river Godavari. He used to work here and there for his livelihood. From his childhood he used to read and chant Shiva stotram and ponder over Shiva. He would not undertake any job without thinking of Shiva. With Maheswara’s grace he got a job as a clerk with Sheshaiah, the Zamindar of his village. Shivadas was very happy and decided that he will perform abhishekam to Shiva everyday till his last breath. So from that day onwards he used to wake up early in the morning and after taking bath would perform abhishekam to Shiva Lingam with clean water.

He would perform the abhishekam without fail come what may. Even if he slept late in the night due to work pressures, he would still be up early in the morning to do the abhishekam without which he would not step out of his house. This routine was conducted regularly even if he was sick or unwell. His belief in Lord Shiva was unwavering in any adversity. Parameswara was very much pleased with Shivadas’s devotion and blessed him with a smooth life without any tribulations.

One night, there was a heavy storm and rained continuously throughout the night as well as the next morning. Not bothering about the rain, Shivadas went to the lake to fetch clean water, performed the abhishekam to Shiva Lingam and then started for work. Due to the heavy rain he got slightly delayed to reach the work place. Zamindar was very upset and shouted and abused Shivadas saying ‘Why are you so late. If you don’t perform abhisekham for one day what will happen? Will your Shiva be upset’? Hearing these words Shivadas was very distraught.

Maheswara was very angry seeing and hearing the outburst of Zamindar against Shivadas. He will never accept any abuse towards His dear devotees. He was angry that Zamindar was abusing a devotee like Shivadas who worships Him day in and day out. The result was that, the next day, Zamindar was afflicted with paralysis and lost his speech. After two days his hands and legs also got affected and he became bedridden. Slowly all his property was lost. Zamindar did not understand why this was happening.

One day a saint visited his village. Villagers believed that the saint had magical powers and that he could cure all kinds of diseases. Zamindar’s wife pleaded with the saint to visit her house and give some solace. One fine day, when the saint visited Zamindar’s house, he closed his eyes in dhyanam. He told Zamindar “Son! You have abused one of your workers, Shivadas. Lord Shiva was annoyed with your abuse of His dear devotee. This is reason for all your sufferings”. Saying so he turned towards Zamindar’s wife and said “You invite Shivadas to your house tomorrow itself, wash his feet and worship him. Paramashiva will be pleased and will obliterate all your hardships”.

Zamindar and his wife invited Shivadas the next day and requested him to pardon them. They worshipped him by washing his feet and sprinkling the water on their head. Immediately Zamindar’s regained his health and became alright. Zamindar couple were very happy and started singing praises of Maheswara. After this episode the Zamindar turned into a great devotee of Shiva and used to perform abhishekam as long as he was alive. He constructed a beautiful Shiva temple and ultimately attained salvation.
|| End of Third Chapter ||

Sri Maheswara Vratham

Fourth Chapter | Gangaraju story:
Parameswara takes care of His devotees who chant His name regularly. If one remembers Him at least once a day He will bestow prosperity on them. He will save them from all calamities and death. They will be blessed with lifelong happiness. He is benevolent to those who worship Him whole heartedly. There will not be any deficit in their homes. They will be blessed with knowledge and learnedness. They will be successful in whatever they do.

On the banks of river Ganga there lived a small business man called Gangaraju. He used to do a number of small business and earned a lot of money. Although he became rich he never donated to charity or gave money to anyone. He was very miserly. He used to cheat customers by selling adulterated products. After some years Gangaraju died and was reborn as a blind man due to his bad karma in his previous birth. He was born blind in a very poor family and was orphaned in his childhood. He used to beg for his day to day survival as he had no support. He used to travel from one village to another for his survival. Once he reached a village called Lingalapalli. In this village there was a Shiva temple which was known to be very divine. Under every tree of the village there was a Shiva Lingam. It was believed that Devatas themselves have consecrated the Lingas there.

Gangaraju used to approach the villagers both in morning and evening to beg for his food. Whatever he could get he used to eat and pass his time. One day, on no one in the village gave him anything to eat both in the morning as well as in the evening. He wondered why no one gave him alms that day. As he did not have anything to eat throughout the day he was tired and started back towards his regular place of resting. Suddenly there was a heavy downpour and he was completely drenched. He took shelter under a tree. As his alms bowl was full of water he threw it aside. Wonder! A miracle took place at that moment.

Gangaraju got his eyesight and could see very clearly. He also saw a bag full of gold coins next to him. Surprising Gangaraju, Lord Parameswara appeared in front of him. Gangaraju was startled with this miracle. Maheswara said “Son! Today is Monday which is very dear to me. In addition it is Ekadasi also. As the villagers were fasting you could not get any food and hence you were also forced to fast. Furthermore, though you could not see and without your knowledge, you threw the water that has collected in your alms bowl on to the Shiva Lingam under the tree. Therefore unknowingly you have also performed abhisekham to Shiva Lingam. You have earned a lot of punyam due to this. I was very pleased and therefore I blessed you with eyesight. Take the gold coins to start a business and live happily rest of your life.” Saying so He disappeared.

Gangaraju was elated with the blessing and as indicated by Lord Shiva started a business and earned a lot of money. Unlike his previous birth, he did a lot of charity and came to be known as great Shiva devotee. He lived a peaceful life and ultimately attained salvation after his death. Parameswara is easy to please, even offering Bilva leaves will satisfy him. He blesses His devotees with health, wealth and prosperity. Our deepest pranamams to such a transcendent Shiva.
|| End of Fourth Chapter ||

Sri Maheswara Vratham

Fifth Chapter | Divine story of Gopal:
Maheswara is very tender hearted, He takes care of His devotees and protects them from all kinds of dangers and perils. Chanting once in one’s life time ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ is enough for Him to guard His devotee. Lord Shiva graced His devotee Sri Vishwapati with these five stories. Shiva specified that those who read these five stories regularly will receive His beneficence.

In the olden days, there was a Shiva temple in Ekanadhapuram. It was believed that Celestial beings consecrated the Shiva Lingam in this temple. It was famed that Lord was very magnificent and powerful over here. People from the surrounding villages used to come on carts to worship the Lord. Every year in the month of Kartikam festivals were hosted by decorating the temple with colourful flowers and special pujas.

Bhikshamaiah was one of the priests in the temple. He was known to be well versed in vedas. He used to worship Shiva in innumerable ways. Nevertheless, he was egoistical that he has good knowledge of the various scriptures and vedas. As humans having ego, not suitable and not accepted by any God. Parameswara wanted to teach him a lesson.

One day a silver bowl that is used regularly in the temple worship disappeared. Everyone searched all over the temple. There was a boy named Gopal who used to do trivial jobs in the temple. Cleaning and sprinkling water all over the temple premises was his primary work. Although uneducated, he always used to chant and contemplate on Lord Shiva. Bhikshamaiah doubted Gopal and thought he might have stolen the silver bowl. In the evening he called and questioned Gopal about the bowl. Although Gopal was persistently saying that he did not steal and had no intention of doing so, Bhikshamaiah refused to believe him. He started shouting at Gopal and was hyper charged with anger. He took a stick and beat Gopal black and
blue. However Gopal steadfastly refused to take the blame and said that he did not steal it. Bhikshamaiah was dejected and left for his home. Gopal was however very unhappy with the false slander; he slept in the temple contemplating on Shiva. When Bhikshamaiah opened the temple doors the next morning he was stunned. There were streaks on the Shiva Linga. He immediately understood what had happened. The floggings he gave to Gopal were taken by the Lord Himself. He realised his offence. Just then a rat came out of a hole with the silver bowl in its mouth. Seeing this Bhikshamaiah felt very unhappy. He begged Shiva for mercy for his mistake. He then did abhishekam to the Lingam with Panchamrutam. He went to Gopal and pleaded for forgiveness.

Parameswara neither asks for one’s knowledge nor learning of shastras. He does not encourage ego and would not bless an egotistical devotee. He asks for simpleand pure devotion. Devotees will be blessed by the Lord if one thinks of Him with peaceful and serene mind at least once a day. We offer our pranamams to such a benevolent Maheswara.
|| End of Fifth Chapter ||

Om Namaha Parvathi Pathaye Namaha
Om Hara Hara Mahadeva Namaha
|| Sri Maheswara Vratham Samaptam ||
Mangalam Bhagawan Shambo! Mangalam Vrishaba Dhwaja!
Mangalam Parvathi Nadha! Mangalam Bhaktavatsala!

Mangala Haarathi:
Om mangalam! Om Kaara Mangalam
Om Namaha Shivaya Mangalam
Na Mangalam; Nakaara Mangalam
Nagabindu Kalaateeta; Deva Mangalam
Maa Mangalam; Makaara Mangalam
Mahadeva Daya sindho; Eesha Mangalam
Sri Mangalam; Sri Kaara Mangalam
Sidha Budha Rahita; Parabrahma Mangalam
Va Mangalam; Vakaara Mangalam
Vada bedha rahita; Parabrahma Mangalam
Yaa Mangalam; Yakaara Mangalam
Yadhatatya Parignana; Vedya Mangalam
Om Mangalam! Om Kaara Mangalam
Om Namaha Shivaya Mangalam

Mangalam Bhagawan Shambo! Mangalam Vrishaba Dhwaja!
Mangalam Parvathi Naadha! Mangalam Bhaktha Vathsalaa!

Anayaa Sena Maranam Vinaa Dynyana Jeevanam
Dehamthe Tavasaayujam Dehime Parvathi Pathe