As per Hindu scriptures does lord Śiva explicitly claim himself to be a deity that has to be worshiped?
Yes, for example, in Kurma Purana he does so. in this Purana, we have the Iswara Gita where he identifies himself as the Parambrahma.
Parama Shiva says:
Veeta raaga bhaya krodhaa manmayaa maamupaashritaah,
Bahavenena yogena putaa madbhaavamaagataah/
Ye yathaa maam praadyantey taamstayaiva bhajaamyahjam,
Jnaana yogena maam tasmaad yajeta Parameshwaram/
Athavaa Bjhakti yogena Vairaagyena parena tu,
Chetasaa bodha yuktena pujayenmaamsadaa shuchih/
Those who shun desire, fear and anger do approach me by performing the Pashupati Vrata and had all been blessed; they could adopt the medium of Jnaana Yoga or Bhakti Yoga but I relieve them of Samsara Bandhanas for good.
He further says:
Those Bhaktaas who treat every Being without malice, hatred, and self-pride; but with friendliness, kindness and affection are dear to me; those who are contented, self-controlled, strong willed, ever-engaged in Yoga and totally dedicated to me are dear to me; those who neither get excited nor prone to exciting others, but are fearless, placid and composed are dear to me; those who never crave for worldly desires, but are ready to sacrifice, are impartial, are ready to face challenges of the right kind and are not non-starters due to hesitation are indeed near and dear to me.) Having given his preferences, Maha Deva underscores that his bhaktas should perform Shiva-Linga Puja always and any where that is clean and pro-active, but with extreme devotion and dedication- be it in water, inside Agni, addressed to Surya or Sky and even in one’s own heart! What is of significance is that any Puja to Shiva performed in faith, concentration and total bhakti and that shall be rewarded without doubt.
Also, in this chapter of the same Purana, Lord Shiva says:
Parama Shiva asserted:
Naaham Tapobhirvividhairna Daanena na cheyjyayaa |
Shakyo hi Purushair jaaturmutey Bhaktiamanuttamaam ||
I am always realisable by Bhakti or Pure Devotion and not necessarily by Tapasya, Daana or Charity and Yagnaas!.
And, he further clarifies, what is required of his devotees:
Na madbhaktaa vinashyanti madbhaktaa veeta kalmashaah |
Aadaavetat pratigjaanam na mey bhaktah pranashyati ||
Patram Pushpam Phalam toyam madaaraadhana kaaranaat |
Yo mey dadaati niyatah sa meyBhaktah Priyomatah ||
My Bhaktaas would never be destroyed nor harmed but would be washed off their sins as I took a vow that my Bhaktas are protected. Bhaktas are merely required to perform my Puja with utmost sincerity and offer leaves, flowers, fruits and even water as I would be pleased.
And, in general, in Hinduism, there are five deities, called Pancha Devatas, who are highly worthy of worship.
The following verse from the Matsya Purana, is quoted in the book Nitya Karma Puja Prakash (by Gita Press):
Adityam gananAtham cha devim rudram cha keshavam |
PanchaDaivatyamityuktam sarva karmasu pujAyeth ||
The Pancha Devatas are - Surya, Ganesha, Devi, Shiva and Vishnu.In all auspicious ceremonies they should be worshiped.
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