How to please Lord Shiva to get grace? Please enumerate simple & practical ways by which he becomes pleased & showers grace.
In this Kurma Purana chapter, Lord Shiva prescribes Bhakti or devotion as the best means of achieving his grace.
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!.
He further elaborates what is required of his devotees as follows:
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.
There seems to be some other methods too. Since this is from a Purana, and since Puranas are Bhakti-Pradhana (as is evident from the word's Nirukti as given by Lord Shiva in the Kularnava Tantram), hence it is natural to expect that devotion will be emphasized in them.
So, I may update the answer later with quotes from other kinds of scriptures.
Chanting is the best way in Kaliyuga and it's common for all Gods/Goddesses.
Other than Chanting, for Lord Shiva,
Among all the austerities and fastings Mahashivaratri holds a supreme place (as per Shiva Purana - Part 1 (VIDYESHWAR SAMHITA) - Chapter 9 & Shiva Purana - Part 4 (KOTI RUDRA SAMHITA) - Chapter 37 to 40).
This question is related with the below questions:
According to Mahabharata, by reciting the 1008 names of Shiva, we get his grace and the fruits of our wishes.
"Vaisampayana said, 'After Vasudeva had ceased to speak, the great Yogin, viz. the Island-born Krishna, addressed Yudhisthira, saying,--O son, do thou recite this hymn consisting of the thousand and eight names of Mahadeva, and let Maheswara be gratified with thee.
Parashurama, reciting this hymns got rid of the sin of killing his brothers.
Then Jamadagni's son, that foremost of all righteous persons, shining like the Sun with blazing splendour in the midst of that conclave of Rishis, said unto the son of Kunti these words;--I was afflicted with the sin, O eldest son of Pandu, of Brahmanicide for having slain my brothers who were all learned Brahmanas. For purifying myself, I sought the protection, O king, of Mahadeva. I hymned the praises of the great Deity by reciting his names. At this, Bhava became gratified with me and gave me a battle-axe and many other celestial weapons. And he said unto me,--Thou shalt be freed from sin and thou shalt be invincible in battle; Death himself shall not succeed in overcoming thee for thou shalt be freed from disease.--Even thus did the illustrious and crested Deity of auspicious form said unto me. Through the grace of that Deity of supreme intelligence I obtained all that He had said.
That is why Krishna also, gratified Shiva.
Vasudeva, that foremost of all intelligent men, once more said,--Mahadeva of golden eyes was gratified by me with my penances. Gratified with me, O Yudhishthira, the illustrious Deity said unto me,--Thou shalt, O Krishna, through my grace, become dearer to all persons than wealth which is coveted by all. Thou shalt be invincible in battle. Thy energy shall be equal to that of Fire. Thousands of other boons Mahadeva gave unto me on that occasion.
Parashara also, wanted a son of great ascetic merit and gratified Shiva (possibly by reciting 1008 names of Shiva).
"Parasara said,--'In former times I gratified Sarva, O king. I then cherished the desire of obtaining a son that would be possessed of great ascetic merit, endued with superior energy, and addressed to high Yoga, that would earn world-wide fame, arrange the Vedas, and become the home of prosperity, that would be devoted to the Vedas and the Brahmanas and be distinguished for compassion. Even such a son was desired by me from Maheswara.
Shiva became pleased and blessed him with a son of Parashara's desire and even made him immortal.
heart, that foremost of Deities said unto me.--Through the fruition of that object of thine which thou wishest to obtain from me, thou shalt have a son of the name of Krishna. In that creation which shall be known after the name of Savarni-Manu, that son of thine shall be reckoned among the seven Rishis. He shall arrange the Vedas, and be the propagator of Kuru's race. He shall, besides, be the author of the ancient histories and do good to the universe. Endued with severe penances, he shall, again, be the dear friend of Sakra. Freed from diseases of every kind, that son of thine, O Parasara, shall besides, be immortal.--Having said these words, the great Deity disappeared there and then.