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Satputra Marga – Path To Attain Shiva

Satputra Marga is a path to attain the Supreme – Shiva. The term literally means the path of a good son. In Shaiva Siddhanta, there are four paths to reach the holy feet of Shiva, such as dasa marga, satputra marga, saha marga, and san marga. They are also known as carya, kriya, yoga and jnana, respectively. Adherence to these lead to the following attainments, respectively – salaka (living in the same world as Shiva), samipya (nearness to Shiva), sarupya (similarity to Shiva’s form) and sayujya (supreme release).

In satputra marga, Shiva is personified as the father to whom the devotee is a dedicated son. The son-like devotee has to collect fresh flowers, incense, water, etc., for bathing the Shivalinga and also food for offering to Shiva. Before performing the rituals, the devotee has to purify himself in a five-fold way (five kinds of purification are related to atman, sthana, dravya, mantra and linga). A seat is to be offered to Shiva made out of mula mantra (prime syllables) for him to occupy. The devotee has to worship sincerely and with true devotion, visualizing Shiva as sitting on the seat in an effulgent form. The devotee has to extol the glory of Shiva in melodious songs. Daily rituals such as homa are to be performed. The attainment due to this type of worship is nearing the domain of Shiva (samipa). Tradition regards Thirugana Sambandhar as the chief exponent of this path.