The Generosity of Devi

This Navaratri, I would like to take you to my post from 2010 – “This Navaratri, ask and it will be granted“; the knowledge given by Guruji and Swami Pragyanandji is so beautiful and so fresh.

Dear Readers, my prayers that all your wishes come true this year by the Grace of Devi Ma!







The Night of Shiva

Last Shivratri I was at Pune, watching Shivaratri celebrations in Kerala on Sanskar TV. This time, the thought was to go to Kolkatta to be in His presence, but wife had other plans – none of which materialized. And the cable connection does not have Sanskar TV in the basket, so here I am. What better use of time than doing Rudra puja, meditating, reading Shiva Sutras, typing in a few lines about Shivratri and in between finding time to get onto a sales call!

Collating what Guruji had talked about Shivaratri and posting it here.

Today’s Times of India, carries an article on Shivaratri, by Guruji:

Shiva means your very self, the purest Self, your innermost core. Shiva means good or benevolent. The word ratri in Sanskrit means that which relieves you from three types of agony – ethereal, mental and material. At night everything becomes quiet and peaceful. The body gets tired and goes to sleep.

‘Shivaratri’ literally means that night which infuses the Shiva tatva or the transcendental principle to the three instruments: the body, mind and speech.

Shivaratri is a night of deep rest. It is the night that takes you into its lap, comforts you and gives rest. When the mind rests on the lap of the Divine, that’s real rest. Like the mind, memory and intellect, Shiva is also a tatva or principle in us. Shivaratri is when the Shiva tatva and Shakti become one.


It is only wakefulness that brings out this knowledge in our consciousness and Shivaratri is the night to celebrate the wakefulness of one universal consciousness without falling into the unconscious sleep state.

Breaking the pattern of unconscious sleep gives you a glimpse that you are not a mechanical apparatus but a legend in Creation. To recognise the Shiva tatva, you have to be awake.

Couple of years back, Guruji had said the following, on Shivaratri:

Shivaratri is the day of Lord Shiva. Shiva is the lord of meditation and therefore the lord of awakening. Shiva Tatva means to be awakened. Shivaratri is thus an occasion to awaken one’s self from all sorts of slumber.

Shivaratri is not a night to be slept over. One should try and be up through the night. It signifies being aware of everything you have and being grateful about it. Be grateful for the happiness which leads to growth, and also for sadness which gives a depth to life. This is the right way of observing Shivaratri.

For the pious, the following method of Shiva worship is advisable – sit down in lotus posture, do some Pranayam to stabilize your breath, then indulge in Dhyana, followed by chanting of “Om Namah Shivay”. It is the greatest mantra and the devout should drown himself in its Kirtan.

Shivaratri worship leads to fulfillment of a devotee’s wishes. There are certain days and time frames in a year that enhance one’s mental and spiritual faculties. In such times, whatever one wishes, materializes. Shivaratri is one such day. All this is very scientific.

Going to temples on this day is OK but you should remember that Shiva is everywhere. The meaning of Kailasa (legendary abode of Shiva in Himalayas) is celebration. So where there is happiness and celebration, Shiva is present.

Whether in Sanyasa or Sansara, you can’t escape Shiva. Feeling his presence all the time is the essence of Shivaratri. That is the real Sanyasa. No worship is complete without offering something to the deity. Shiva is a very simple lord, he is innocent – bholanath. One just needs to offer bel-patra to him. But in this simplicity is a deep message. Bel-patra offerings signify the surrender of all three aspects of one’s nature – Tamas, Rajas and Sattva. You have to surrender the positives and negatives of your life to Shiva and become carefree!

The greatest offering is your self.  To offer one’s self is the key to happiness in life. Afterall, why do you get sad? It is mainly because you are not able to achieve something in life. At such times you should surrender everything to the all knowing God. The greatest power is in surrender to the divine. It’s like a drop owning the ocean. If a drop remains separate, it will perish. But when it becomes the ocean, it is

The last sutra of Shiva Sutra says “Shivaarpanamasthu” – offerings to Shiva. What will you offer? Who is the offerer? What is there to offer? Examine this closely. When everything is offered to Shiva, what is that which radiates in us? “Shivoham! Shivoham!

A Commitment to go back to the knowledge!

I thought I posted this on the eve of Janamashtmi, but was surprised to find that this post was still sitting in the draft’s folder. So here it is a belated Janamashtmi post.

Tomorrow is Janamashtmi – Lord Krishna’ birthday. Couple of years back, on Janamashtmi, Guruji had said, everyone should read the Bhagavad Gita, since then the Gita has been my constant companion, and every time I revisit it, it seems so much richer and so deeper. The reading itself becomes a meditation.


In his talk on the Gita, Guruji says

“There is a line in Bhagavad Gita, which is very significant. It will be good for you to remember it, or even memorize it:

anityam asukham lokam
emam prapya bhajasvaham!!

This is called the Secrets of Secret or The Royal Secret.

Anityam: Nothing in this world is permanent. Be in this world, see this world, have this world, and attain

this world, but remember that this world is not permanent. This world is Anityam – not eternal.

Asukham: Nothing in this world is pleasurable, again and again. Krishna does not say that everything in this world is sorrow. He say that things cannot give you joy, they cannot give you bliss. Anything in this world that you consider blissful, will not remain blissful forever…..If you see joy in it, then you will crave for it and that craving will bring your misery back.
So this world (Lokam) is Anityam and Asuhkham

Emam Prapyam: Having attained this, now Bhajaswaham – attain Me.

Being in this glorious world, do not  see permanance or pleasure in it. It’s neither permanent     nor pleasurable. Having attained this knowledge, you now attain Me. Being in the world, attain Me.

Anytime you feel miserable, just think “Oh my God, I forgot!! Anityam, Asukham” – and this centers you again. This dispassion can bring you to your center. It will turn the mind around. It will put the mind, which runs outwards all the time, back into its place. Then, you are back home. That is meditation.

On this day, let us commit ourselves to go back to this wonderful knowledge that Lord Krishna gave us.

Q&A from today’s Satsang

Some Q&A from today’s Satsang.  Usual disclaimers apply. 

Q) I feel lonely on this path in this corporate world where I have to deal with issues such as greed, jealousy etc I am worried that I am losing touch with my spiritual side. What should I do?

Guruji: You have to be there and maintain your spirit. Radiate your enthusiasm, don’t under-estimate your path and dont under-estimate your power and influence.

Q) Can someone who works in a liquor and tobacco business get enlightened?

Guruji: In Mahabharata there is a story of a butcher who got enlightened. It was his family tradition and he was continuing it, without getting into doership. Even though he was a butcher he was a vegetarian. His level of non-doership was at a higher level. If you are feeling any guilty then it is a different thing, but if you have to support your family and have bills to pay then you have to do the job.

Q) Guruji, I have changed several vocations and am not satisfied, I feel that there is something out there that I should be doing. What vocation do you suggest?

Guruji: Do not look for satisfaction in your job, you will never get it. True Satisfaction comes only from Sadhana and Seva!

“Be the agent of Change in this world”-Navaratri Knowledge!

So, where to begin and how much to write? I am not sure, just back from the 7th day of the Navaratri – the day of Rudra and Sudarshana Homa at the ashram and here is what Guruji spoke today.  Standard disclaimers apply, this is not a verbatim translation and all errors are mine! 

The Yagnas are very significant for they create unseen forces. What is unseen in the universe is much larger than the seen. For example, when you talk in a cell phone,  the voice gets transmitted in an unseen way through the electromagnetic waves till it gets manifested in the receivers cell phone. Similarly the effect of Yagyas are unseen…a force is generated which elevates the consciousness. The Yagyas and Homas are conducted using an ancient technique of chanting seed mantras (“beej mantras”), 108 types of herbs from all over the place are offered in the ceremony..this creates that energy that purifies heart of people.

…..Uniting with Being is to let go of all bickerings…of what is not right. When you start looking at what is not right, the only thing that is not right, is your own self. You start perceiving things as not right and you become like a hard rock.. and you become part of that which is not right. We are not born to be like rocks, we are meant to be like flowers, so celebration means to let go. There is no end to correcting and making things perfect…how much can you do? You end up losing your soul! Yagya is total acceptance and immersing in the YES mind, uplifting people. All of us here are from so many different age groups and continents. Keeping aside the differences, rejoicing and celebrating, this is Yagya and that is how prayer happens. Prayer is not about asking for things. All your desires will be fulfilled. This is Devi Chaitana! This is the time to realize it, celebrating our wishes getting fulfilled.

Get the strength to take action and you can do that only when you have reformed yourself. Life is for celebration, bring this celebration in the world. Become the agent of change in this world. Doctors cannot treat when they are sick, similarly we cannot reform others unless we have reformed ourselves.

The effect of the Yagyas is not limited to this place or a person, it is for the whole world. We are part of the Universal Mind. Navaratri is realizing that you are not the individual but the cosmos itself. 

Navaratri is about spending time your own self, looking deep within.  

Guruji spoke in Kannada, Hindi and English. While speaking in Hindi, he said, this knowledge will make you an emperor and not a pauper (yeh gyaan tumhe badshah baneyga, bhikari nahin) and I loved it. Hasn’t this knowledge made a difference in our own lives?

Guruji then talked about the significance of the Sudarshan Homa and then led us all into a short Kriya. This was followed by offerings in the various forms of Chanting of Vedas, Playing of various Musical instruments and various dance forms. The highlight obviously was Guruji playing the song  “Narayana Hari OM” on the Veena. There is a very interesting story as to how this melodious bhajan has come about… Rashmin blogs about it here. 

(You can find the recording of the first few minutes here at Youtube, it is a short 2 minute recording and obviously the clarity isn’t so good, since it was recorded on a handset off the screen, My apologies to the ashram…for breaking the rule and recording it!)

Tomorrow is Chandi Homa and I need to be at the Ashram by 7AM, so time to catch up on some sleep!

More later!

PS: Updated and made a few changes to the font