Among the numerous scriptures which teach us the path to Salvation, Shiva Geeta is one of the foremost few among them. Although it didn’t gain popularity as like as Bhagwad Geeta, yet it is always good to learn spirituality irrespective of the popularity of the source. There are 28 Geetas available in our scriptures, like Shiva Geeta, Uttara Geeta, Rudra Geeta, Brahma Geeta, Guru Geeta, Bhagwad Geeta, Devi Geeta, Ganesha Geeta, Avadhuta Gita etc., to name a few. We need to identify which one is the right Geeta for us and follow the same accordingly.
It needs to be mentioned explicitly here that there cannot be a comparison between Shiva Geeta with Bhagwad Geeta or any Geeta as a matter of fact. Every Geeta has a message, a central theme around which it revolves, and a unique style of rendering the message. Bhagwad Gita is a vedantic scripture which is the best because it teaches all round sacred wisdom from upanishads. But that doesn’t mean Shiva Geeta (or any other Geeta) is inferior to that. Shiva Geeta primarily focusses on preaching about lord Shiva who is the parabrahman of Vedas, and it only reveals the path to salvation sailing with the sailor called ‘Shiva’. So, for a normal Hindu (who doesn’t belong to any sect), this would be a good source of wisdom. for a Shiva devotee or a Shaivite this geeta would be like a treasure. Therefore it has to be understood clearly that comparison between geetas is an absurd activity and everyone is expected to learn from this text and remain blissful in the devotion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead – Lord Shiva!
It’s a known fact that Bhagwad Geeta has achieved such a widespread recognition because people have spread it across the world by translating not only in all the Indian languages, but also in foreign languages. Whereas Shiva Geeta has not been caught attention of people since it’s documented in a Purana and not present in the famous epic Mahabharata which gained greater attention of people. Since people usually are acquainted with Epics but rarely read or analyze Puranas, Shiva Geeta skipped gaining popularity among the masses due to the same reason even though both the Geetas are believed to be documented by Veda Vyasa himself.
Shiva Geeta belongs to the Ramayana era of Treta Yuga while Bhagwad Geeta belongs to Mahabharata era of Dwapar yuga. So, Shiva Geeta precedes Bhagwad Geeta in time. However there are certain instances in Shiva Geeta which are different from the instances in Valmiki Ramayana. But one thing which is common is in Valmiki Ramayana as well as in Shiva Geeta, it is the same Sage Agastya who becomes the preceptor of Rama. In Valmiki Ramayana he preaches Rama ‘Aditya Hrudayam’, and in Shiva Geeta he preaches him Viraja-Deeksha Austerity. So, these differences in stories between Valmiki Ramayana and Shiva Geeta could be understood as due to ‘Kalpa Bheda’ (these might belong to different eons). Whatever may be the reality behind the authenticity of Shiva Geeta, it definitely is a text worth learning since the verses are not self-cooked verses, this Shiva Geeta verses actually exist in Upanishads like Svetawsatara, Atharvasiras, kaivalya etc. to name a few. Therefore, reading this Shiva Geeta is as equal as reading the verses of the Upanisahds. So, definitely Shiva Geeta is of a great value to the mankind. Apart from the common chapters, Shiva geeta also states many valuable spiritual things including Shiva yoga or Shiva tattwa.
Following a Geeta is based on one’s personal interest and choice but reading spiritual matter always benefits and increases the devotion towards our beloved God. Hence readers are requested to read through the Shiva Geeta chapters and extract whatever good things are taught by the Lord of the Universe, the greatest Guru-Sri Sada Shiva.
Shiva Gita Translated to English by Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula.
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