This light of teaching will shine in your heart!

Above Image is that of the Shivling peak right behind Kedarnath Temple.

Lord Shiva is my refuge, he who grants
Freedom from the cycle of birth and death.

Lord Shiva is my refuge, he who gave
The Sacred Scriptures at the dawn of time.

Lord Shiva is my refuge, he who is
The source of purity and perfection.

Lord Shiva is my refuge, he who is
The bridge from death to immortality.

Lord Shiva is my refuge, he whose grace
Has made me long for his lotus feet.

How can we roll up the sky like a piece
Of deerskin? How can we end our misery
Without realizing the Lord of Love who
Is enshrined in our heart of hearts?

If you have deep love for the Lord of Love
And your teacher, the light of this teaching
Will shine in your heart. It will shine indeed.
(Source: The Shvetashvatara Upanishad from Eknath Easwaran’s Book on Upanishad. I wrote these verses down on Shivaratri night, but have gotten around to posting them today)

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
eternal!

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!