One will develop love and devotion for Lord Siva if he is freed from egoism. Chariyai, Kiriyai, Yoga and Jnana are the four Sadhanas or steps to kill egoism and attain Lord Siva. Erecting temples, cleaning them, making garlands of flowers, singing Lord’s praises, burning lamps in the temples, making flower gardens constitute Chariyai. Kiriyai is to perform Puja, Archanas. Yoga is restraint of the senses and contemplation on the internal light. Jnana is to understand the true significance of Pati, Pasu, Pasa and to become one with Siva by constant meditation on Him after removing the three Malas, viz., Anava (egoism), Karma (action) and Maya (illusion).
Explanation of Sadhnas
The worship of the all-pervading, eternal Supreme Being through external forms, is called Chariyai. The requisite initiation for this, is Samaya Diksha. The worship of the cosmic form of the Eternal Ruler of the universe externally and internally, is called Kiriyai. The internal worship of Him as formless, is called Yoga. For Kiriyai and Yoga, the requisite initiation is called Visesha Diksha. The direct realisation of Lord Siva through Jnana Guru, is called Jnana. The initiation that leads to it, is called Nirvana Diksha.
The aspirant should free himself from the three kinds of Mala, viz., Anava, Karma and Maya. Then only he becomes one with Lord Siva and enjoys ‘Sivanandam’. He should thoroughly annihilate his egoism, free himself from the bondage of Karma and destroy the Maya which is the basis of all impurities.
Lord Shiva as Guru
Guru or the spiritual preceptor is very essential for attaining the final emancipation. Siva is full of grace. He helps the aspirants. He showers His grace on those who worship Him with faith and devotion and who have childlike trust in Him. Siva Himself is the Guru. The grace of Siva is the road to salvation. Siva lives in the Guru and looks with intense love on the sincere aspirant through the eyes of the Guru. Only if you have love for mankind, you can love God.
If the aspirant establishes a relationship between himself and Lord Siva, he will grow in devotion quickly. He can have the mental attitude or Bhava—Dasya Bhava or the relationship of master and servant which Tirunavukarasar had, or the Vatsalya Bhava wherein Lord Siva is the father and the aspirant is the child of Lord Siva which Tirujnanasambandhar had, or the Sakhya Bhava or the relationship of friend (Lord Siva is regarded as the friend of the aspirant) which Sundarar had, or the Sanmarga wherein Lord Siva is the very life of the aspirant which Manikkavasagar had, which corresponds to the Madhurya Bhava or Atma Nivedana of the Vaishnavites.
The devotee becomes one with Siva, like salt with water, milk with milk, when the three Malas (Pasa) are destroyed, but he cannot do the five functions of creation, etc. God only can perform the five functions.
The liberated soul – Jivanmukta
The liberated soul is called a Jivanmukta. Though he lives in the bogy, he is one in feeling with the Absolute. He does not perform works which can produce further bodies. As he is free from egoism, work cannot bind him. He will do meritorious acts for the solidarity of the world (Lokasangraha). He lives in the body, until his Prarabdha Karma is exhausted. All his present actions are consumed by the grace of the Lord. The Jivanmukta does all actions on account of the impulsion of the Lord within him. Glory to Lord Siva and His Shakti.