Inscrutable Shiva And Shaiva Siddhanta 

As the curtain is pulled back to reveal the inner sanctum, one is drawn into the world of Nirakara Shiva, beyond even the physical symbolism of a Linga, where the vast expanse of the sky above and the ether zone are mirrored in the `Akasha Linga’ of Chidambaram. Shiva takes his devotees into an interiorised world of consciousness, mapping out the Akasha or sky-ether of the mind, beyond the noumenal world of names and forms.

But is it as abstract as it seems, I wonder, for the Thillai (mangrove) forest ground of the Chidambaram temple is witness to the ananda tandava dance of Shiva, in one of his most beautiful forms as Nataraja, the fountainhead of the creative impulse. Traditional lore views Chidambaram as the site of the original Cosmic Linga, an ellipsoid around which the rest of the universe rotates. This dance of creative bliss is said to have been performed by Shiva for the two sages, Vyghrapada and Patanjali, who had asked for the boon to witness the dance.

Which one is the more seminal attribute of Shiva, I wonder ­ is it the ascetic yogic aspect of Shiva characterised by dispassionate withdrawal and penance, or is it the creatively pulsating energy of Shiva, which calls for an active engagement with the world, in the realisation that the outer embodied universe reflects the disembodied One, that the materiality is also actually spiritual only? As I move into the main dance hall of the Chidambaram complex, I marvel at the persona of Shiva, where different attributes complement each other, not contradict. His all-encompassing compassion and love for devas and asuras alike, without discriminating between the two, reveals a Being in love with creation, not a destroyer. Perhaps what he seeks to destroy is the negativity and the baser elements of our nature.

John Marshall saw a Proto-Shiva in the famous Pashupati seal of Mohenjodaro where four wild animals ­ tiger, buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros ­ surround the yogi-God sitting in the meditation pose, the three faces representing Time in its past, present and future dimensions.

The Mahakal, Controller of Time, the Rudra, God of wild beasts and Yogeswara, the Supreme Yogi aspects of Shiva appear to coalesce in this Indus seal. Other traditions like the Tevaram hymns and the Tirumurai compendium of songs in Tamil eulogise the Ashutosh svarupa of Shiva the God who melts at the call of a sincere prayer.

The Tirumurai tradition maps out the philosophy of Shaiva Siddhanta , with its formulation of three eternal entities of God, soul and bondage ­ Pati, pasu and pasam. The Shaiva Siddhanta states that God is One, souls are many and bondage happens because of the three impurities of anava which causes the negativity of soul ­ karma, the law of action-reaction and Maya the cause of all materiality . Maya is real in Shaiva Siddhanta and not an illusion as in Vedanta. Shiva’s Grace alone can help in breaking this bondage and evolution of the Soul to an understanding of the relationship between the Nirakara aspect of the Self and the dynamic aspect of the Self ‘s energy as it manifests .

They say that Shiva is finally within only . But the inscrutable and beautiful outer form of Shiva gives as much solace.

Om Namah Shivay

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All About Love, Aesthetics and Ecstasy

What is love? It is the expressed form of devotion. When does this expressed form occur?

When there is seed, only then it will sprout; that seed is devotion. So, only that one can make oneself great, who one can take the correct ideation of Parama Purusha, who has the seed of devotion within … How can you surrender without bhakti, devotion? Therefore, from ancient times aesthetic science existed and there was devotion. While one remains in aesthetic science, one does not get entry into supra-aesthetic science. One feels, “I am serving Parama Purusha, I like Him, because I get pleasure in serving Him, by taking His ideation I get joy .“ If you ask artists or architects why they do what they do ­ why do they create works of art ­ they will say, “We get pleasure from it.“ This is aesthetic science. A poet composes a poem, because he gets pleasure.

Parents love their child very much.Do they love for the sake of their child?

No! They love their child because they get pleasure for themselves. If their child turns into a vagabond, or becomes cruel, and he does not even utter the parents’ names, then parents do not get pleasure.

After that what happens? By taking the ideation of Parama Purusha, when the quantity of pleasure increases, a person loses the self first. He feels “I take the ideation of Parama Purusha not for my sake. I love Parama Purusha so that, because of my love, He gets pleasure. I may or may not get it.“ When this stage is attained, it is called Ragatmika Bhakti, when one feels, “I love Parama Purusha, I do not care whether He loves me or not.“ When this Ragatmika Bhakti is attained, in that stage one is also called Gopa as described in scriptures.

Gopa here does not mean the cowherd. Gopayate means to give pleasure ­ “Gopayate yah sah gopah.“

One whose nature is to give pleasure to Parama Purusha or Paramatma is Gopa. When one is established in Ragatmika Bhakti, from Raganuga one enters the arena of Mohana ijnana when one is fascinated and charmed, and in that state, art, architecture, all come to an end; one’s verbosity stops, one becomes mute. This is Ragatmika Bhakti.

So long as human beings are in the sphere of Raganuga Bhakti they are in domestic life; they create arts, architecture, literature and painting, and get pleasure in them. They are within the scope of aesthetic science ­ Nandana Vijnana.

And what happens when they are established in supra-aesthetic science ­ Ati Nandana Vijnana? All their worldly music is finished. All the Ragas and Raginis and the art of dancing, whatever they be, they come to an end.In that condition, there remains only an ecstatic state, Bhavibhora. The music of that state is called kirtana.

If you want to be established in Dharma Sadhana, then in any case do not forget the importance and greatness of kirtana, and also the greatness of devotion. Always remember that the devotion begins with aesthetic science and its ultimate domain ends where supra-aesthetic science ­ Mohana Vijnana ­ begins.

Om Namah Shivay

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Always Speak the Truth Because It Takes Us Directly to God-Realization

“The world contains a mixture of truth and untruth. Discard the untruth and take the truth. Even those engaged in worldly activities, such as office work or business, should hold to the truth. Truthfulness alone is the spiritual discipline in the Kaliyuga. Dwell in the truth and you will certainly realize God.”
– Sri Ramakrishna

The Mundaka Upanishad boldly proclaims: Satyameva Jayate – Truth alone Triumphs and not Untruth. This is because only by being truthful with ourselves and with others, can we clear away the scum of the ego-driven imperfections that cloud our mind; and when the mind is thus purified, our soul can see its reflection clearly and realize its True Self, its Infinite Divine Svarupa in Samadhi or Moksha.

Therefore the act of speaking the truth always takes us towards Soul-realization, which is the same as God-realization.

On the other hand when we lie to ourselves and to others, then we immediately cloud our mind with egotistical impurities and thus devolve to a lower consciousness by getting enveloped in the darkness of falsehood. For this reason being truthful has always been emphasized by the sages of the Upanishads as the most important spiritual discipline.

And it was this very same teaching of the Mundaka Upanishad that Sri Ramakrishna underscored for his disciple Rakhal (Swami Brahmananda) in a very interesting incident. At the time this incident took place, Rakhal was still a young disciple under the tutorship of Sri Ramakrishna and had not yet attained to Nirvikalpa Samadhi or complete mergence with God. Hence Sri Ramakrishna was focused on pointing out the imperfections in his disciple’s nature, so that Rakhal could correct them and thus attain to the perfection of God-consciousness.

Satyameva Jayate – Truth Alone Leads to God – Sri Ramakrishna Teaches Rakhal

“When the lamp of truth is lit, darkness vanishes by itself. Stand up men and women, dare to believe in the truth, dare to practice the truth!”
– Swami Vivekananda

One day when Rakhal came to Sri Ramakrishna’s room, Sri Ramakrishna said to him: “Rakhal, for some reason, I can’t look at you. I see a veil of ignorance covering your face. Tell me have you done anything wrong?”

Rakhal was greatly perturbed. He tried hard to remember what he had done wrong but could not recollect anything.

“Try to recall”, Sri Ramakrishna said “if you have told any untruth.” Rakhal immediately remembered and admitted that he had recently jokingly told a lie to a friend.

Sri Ramakrishna forgave him and said: “Never do it again. To speak the truth always is the most important spiritual discipline. The virtue of truthfulness is most critical. If a man always speaks the truth, and tenaciously holds to the truth he will realize God, for God is Truth.”

“The great King Bhartrihari said – ‘Let the sages blame or let them praise; let the goddess of fortune come or let her go wherever she likes; let death come to-day, or let it come in hundreds of years; he indeed is the steady man who does not move one inch from the way of truth.’”
– Swami Vivekananda

Om Namah Shivay

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प्रकृति और पुरुष‒ये दो हैं

सत्संगका प्रसाद |

प्रकृति और पुरुष‒ये दो हैं । इन दोनोंके अंशसे बना हुआ यह जीवात्मा है । अब इसका मुख जब तक प्रकृति की तरफ रहेगा, तब तक इसको शान्ति नहीं मिल सकती; और यह परमात्मा के सम्मुख हो जायगा तो अशान्ति टिकेगी नहीं‒यह पक्की बात है ।

संयोग-वियोग प्रकृति की चीज है । हमें जो कुछ मिला है, वह सब प्रकृति का है, उत्पन्न होकर होने वाला है । परन्तु परमात्मा आने-जाने वाले, मिलने-बिछुड़ने वाले नहीं हैं । परमात्मा सदा मिले हुए रहते हैं; किन्तु प्रकृति कभी मिली हुई नहीं रहती । आपको यह बात अलौकिक लगेगी कि संसार आज तक किसी को भी नहीं मिला है और परमात्मा कभी भी वियुक्त नहीं हुए हैं । संसार मेरे साथ है, शरीर मेरे साथ है, इन्द्रियाँ-मन-बुद्धि मेरे साथ हैं और परमात्मा न जाने कहाँ हैं, पता नहीं‒यह विस्मृति है, मूर्खता है ।

जो कभी हों और कभी न हों, कहीं हों और कहीं न हों,किसी के हों और किसी के न हों, वे परमात्मा हो ही नहीं सकते । सर्व समर्थ परमात्मा में यह सामर्थ्य नहीं है कि वे किसी समय में हों और किसी समय में न हों, किसी देश में हों और किसी देश में न हों, किसी वेश में हों और किसी वेश में न हों, किसी सम्प्रदाय के हों और किसी सम्प्रदाय के न हों, किसी व्यक्ति के हों और किसी व्यक्ति के न हों, किसी वर्ण-आश्रम के हों और किसी वर्ण-आश्रमके न हों । भगवान् तो प्राणिमात्रमें समान रहते हैं‒

मया ततमिदं सर्वं जगदव्यक्तमूर्तिना ।
(गीता ९ । ४)

समोऽहं सर्वभूतेषु न मे द्वेष्योऽस्ति न प्रियः ।
(गीता ९ । २९)

आपके देखने-सुनने में जितना जगत् आता है, उस सबमें वे परमात्मा परिपूर्ण हैं‒

भूमा अचल शाश्वत अमल सम ठोस है तू सर्वदा ।

यह देह है पोला घड़ा बनता बिगड़ता है सदा ॥

परमात्मा व्यापक हैं, अचल हैं, ठोस हैं सर्वत्र ठसाठस भरे हुए हैं; परन्तु यह शरीर बिलकुल पोला है, इसमें कोरी पोल-ही-पोल है ! वहम होता है कि इतना मान मिल गया, इतना आदर मिल गया, इतना भोग मिल गया, इतना सुख मिल गया ! वास्तवमें मिला कुछ नहीं है । केवल वहम है, धोखा-है-धोखा ! कुछ नहीं रहेगा । क्या यह शरीर रहनेवाला है ? अनुकूलता रहनेवाली है ? सुख रहनेवाला है ? मान रहने वाला है ? बड़ाई रहने वाली है ? इनमें कोई रहने वाली चीज है क्या ? संसार नाम ही बहने वाले का है । जो निरन्तर बहता रहे, उसका नाम ‘संसार’ है । यह हरदम बदलता ही रहता है‒ ‘गच्छतीति जगत् ।’ कभी एक क्षण भी स्थिर नहीं रहता । परन्तु परमात्मा एक क्षण भी कहीं जाते नहीं; जायें कहाँ ? कोई खाली जगह हो तो जायें ! जहाँ जायँ, वहाँ पहले से ही परमात्मा भरे हुए हैं ।

Om Namah Shivay

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राग-द्वेषका त्याग-1

यह ठीक हुआ, यह बेठीक हुआ । नफा हुआ, नुकसान हुआ । राजी हुए, नाराज हुए । यह वैरी है, यह मित्र है । इसने मान कर दिया, इसने अपमान कर दिया । इसने निन्दा कर दी, इसने प्रशंसा कर दी । इसने आराम, सुख दिया, इसने दुःख दिया । अब इनको देखते रहोगे तो भगवान् नहीं मिलेंगे । अतः राग-द्वेष के वशीभूत न हों, राजी-नाराज न हों‒‘तयोर्न वशमागच्छेत्’ (गीता ३ । ३४) । राजी-नाराज न होने वाले को भगवान् ने त्यागी बताया है‒‘ज्ञेयः स नित्यसंन्यासी यो न द्वेष्टि न कांक्षति ।’ (गीता ५ । ३) जो राग-द्वेष नहीं करता, उसको भगवान्ने अपना प्यारा भक्त बताया है (गीता १२ । १७) । संसारमें अच्छा और मन्दा तो होता ही रहता है । अतः साधक के लिये इसमें क्या ठीक और क्या बेठीक ‘किं भद्रं किमभद्र वा’ ( श्रीमद्धा ११ । २८ । ४) ।

यह संसार तो एक तमाशा है, खेल है । सिनेमाके परदेपर कभी लड़ाई दीख जाती है, कभी शान्ति दीख जाती है । कभी दीखता है कि आग लग गयी, हाहाकार मच गया, गाँव-के-गाँव जल गये, पर परदे को देखो तो वह गरम ही नहीं हुआ ! कभी दीखता है कि वर्षा आ गयी, नदी में जोर से बाढ़ आ गयी, बड़े-बड़े पत्थर बह गये, पशु-पक्षी बह गये, पर परदे को देखो तो वह गीला ही नहीं हुआ ! परन्तु दर्शक की दृष्टि तमाशे की तरफ ही रहती है, परदे की तरफ नहीं । इसी तरह यह संसार भी मायाका एक परदा है । जैसे सिनेमा अँधेरेमें ही दीखता है, ऐसे ही माया अज्ञानरूपी अँधेरे में ही दीखती है । यदि पूरे सिनेमा हाल में बत्तियाँ जला दी जायें तो तमाशा दीखना बन्द हो जायगा । इसी तरह ‘वासुदेवः सर्वम्’(गीता ७ । १९) ‘सब कुछ वासुदेव ही है’‒ऐसा प्रकाश हो जाय तो यह तमाशा रहेगा ही नहीं । मशीन तो भगवान् हैं और उसमें मायारूपी फिल्म लगी है । परदेकी जगह यह संसार है । प्रकाश परमात्माका है । अब इस मायाको सच्चा समझकर राजी-नाराज हो गये तो फँस गये ! अतः सन्तोंने कहा है‒‘देखो निरपख होय तमाशा ।’

ठहरनेवाला कोई नहीं है । न अच्छा ठहरनेवाला है, न बुरा ठहरनेवाला है । अपनी उसमें कोई वस्तु टिकी है क्या ?अवस्था टिकी है क्या ? घटना टिकी है क्या ? कोई चीज स्थायी रही है क्या ? पर आप तो वे-के-वे ही हैं । आपके सामने कितना परिवर्तन हुआ ! हमारे देखते-देखते भी कितना परिवर्तन हो गया ! इस शहर के मकान, सड़क, रिवाज आदि सब बदल गये । परन्तु संसार में परमात्मा और शरीर में आत्मा‒ये दोनों नहीं बदले । शरीर संसार का साथी है और आत्मा परमात्मा का साथी है । इसमें कोई कहे कि शरीर मेरा है, तो फँस गया ! जब शरीर संसार का साथी है तो फिर आप एक शरीर को ही अपना क्यों मानते हो ? मानो तो सब शरीरोंको अपना मानो, नहीं तो इस शरीरको भी अपना मत मानो ।

Om Namah Shivay

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How to Attract-2

Narada smiled and said, “O Noble King! Shishupala merged in Krishna because he meditated on Him every moment of his life. Whether you meditate on something out of hatred or love, that is beside the point. Your mind does not distinguish between negative and positive, right and wrong, they are two sides of the same coin, it simply manifests whatever you hold onto. His whole consciousness was directed towards Krishna and that’s the sole reason he merged in Him.”

There is your law of attraction! It is the reason why negative people are able to give you enough examples of their fears actually coming true in their lives. It is why even crooks can be ultra successful. Nobility of intention is not a concept your mind understands. It is the concentration of a thought that matters, the more concentrated a thought, the stronger it is. From the perspective of manifestation, moral purity is not the most important factor, it is the intensity and persistence of the thought. Whatever you focus on resolutely, without any doubts in your mind, it starts to manifest in your life. Of course, your actions aid that manifestation.

Working towards a positive goal you have many doubts. Whereas negative is always there, present in your subconscious. You are not to be blamed though. It is the result of evolution. Our species has worked hard for its survival. It mostly lived in the fear of extinction. The total human population is minuscule compared to animals. Anyway, so the mind tends to cling to the negative, you feel strongly about negative.

Whether love or hate, they are still emotions. It is when you are indifferent, you do not attract — desirable or otherwise. In a deeply profound and revealing quote by Elie Wiesel, a holocaust survivor and a Nobel Peace Laureate, he states:

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. 
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. 
And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference between life and death.    

Whatever you feel strongly about, you will attract. For anything you have an emotion for, you will attract it in your life. You hate something strongly, that is all you will get. You love something strongly, that is all you will notice. If you hate people you do not want in your life, time and again, they are the ones you will encounter at every nook and turn of your life. You have as much chance of attracting something you hate as things you love. With negativity, fear comes uninvited. The strength of a negative thought is doubled by fear. It is tripled by self-doubt, quadrupled by attachment.

And what is the ingredient to double the strength of a positive thought? Faith. For tripling it? Persistence. How to quadruple it? Purity of the intention. Go figure!

Om Namah Shivay

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Worship of the Form and the Formless

You have to go from the form to the formless. If you jump only to the formless, that path is full of misery.

Lord Krishna said in the Gita, that there are people who worship the formless, but that path is full of pain and sorrow. You can see this yourself. Take Moses for example, his path has been very miserable and sad. Jesus – his life was so sad. Take the example of Mohammad Paigambar, he had to undergo so much pain and struggle, and the bloodiest part of history is his. It continued after him too, all his family members had a very painful and sorrowful state.

This is the reason why Buddha said, “Buddham sharanam gachhami”, i.e., I go to Buddha for refuge. Buddha is the formless in the form. Then he said, “Sangam sharanam gachhami”, i.e., I surrender myself to the society and take refuge in the service of society. And then he said, “Dhammam sharanam gachhami”, i.e., I take refuge in the ultimate truth.

To get away from misery, Buddha said four things; recognise there is misery. There is a reason for the misery. It is possible to get out of misery. To get out of misery, take refuge in the enlightened or Buddha. Again, Buddha is the formless in the form.

Lord Krishna said the same thing, “Aham tvam sarvapapebhyo, mokshapapebhyo mokshayishyami ma sucah”. Lord Krishna very clearly said that those who worship the formless, their path is very tedious and full of misery. That is true.

Any worship is only for the formless, but the path through the form makes it joyful, easier and more perceivable for people. You may choose a path with rubble and a lot of potholes, or you may choose a nice road, a highway. This choice makes a difference.
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How to Handle Mistakes

Never mind all the mistakes you did in the past. Whatever mistakes you have done, you have learnt some lessons from them. There is no point in regretting this moment for the last moment which is already gone. Resolve right now, ‘This moment I am innocent, I am pure, I am part of the light, I am love’, and think what you can do in the next moment.

So, you have to pull yourself up again and again, to see (keep your attention on) the future. Depression is always thinking about the past and then fearing the future.

Spiritual knowledge is that which gives you the strength for the future, ‘Nothing to worry, only the best can happen to me because my heart is clean, and my mind is clear’.

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!

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