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Wake Up to Universal Consciousness

In Knowledge digest, Shivaratri on 07/02/2010 at 17:00

Wake up to universal consciousness

DNA, 7th February, 2010

H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

This whole creation is a play of Shiva, the dance of one consciousness, one seed, which has manifested into a million species in the world. The whole world moving in an auspicious rhythm of innocence and intelligence is Shiva. Shiva is the permanent and eternal source of energy, the only eternal state of Being.

Shivratri is when the Shiva tatva and Shakti become one.

There is a story related to Shivratri, about the union of Shiva and Shakti. The primordial and dynamic energy is wedded to the transcendental. Shiva is the silent witness, the chidakasha and Shakti is chitti or chidvilasa, the energy that plays and displays in the infinite space. Shiva is the formless Being; Shakti is the manifestation in the field. This is the recognition of the dual aspect of matter and energy, prakriti and purusha, the dravya and guna – substance and its qualities. Recognising the underlying non-dual nature of Brahman is Shivratri.

Shivratri is the night to celebrate the wakefulness of one universal consciousness without falling into the unconscious sleep state. It is an occasion to awaken the self from all sorts of slumber. The jagran in Shivratri is not just forcing oneself to be awake or singing bhajans aloud. It is about keeping awake and being inward and being consciously aware of the inner rest that sleep anyway brings everyday. When you surpass a certain layer of sleep, the rest in samadhi or Shiva sayujya happens.

Shiva is symbolically represented by the linga. The Divine is beyond any gender, so the Divine is called Ekalinga, or one gender. That one gender is the Self, the Atma. Beyond the body, mind and intellect, and beyond likes and dislikes, that Self is only one, it is Ekalinga.

Shiva has been associated with destruction. Transformation can only happen after destruction. Shiva is that factor of transformation.

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 ones nature – Tamas, Rajas and Sattva. You have to surrender the positives and negatives of your life to Shiva and become free. The greatest offering is yourself. To offer ones self is the key to happiness in life.

Kailasa is the legendary abode of Shiva. Kailasa means where there is celebration. So wherever there is happiness and celebration, Shiva is present. Whether in sanyasa or sansara, you cant escape Shiva. Feeling his presence all the time is the essence of Shivratri. Lord Shiva is always depicted with eyes closed with a snake around his neck. He may appear to be sleeping but this indicates his inner state which is fully awake, like a snake.

He is always painted blue in pictures. Blue signifies the vastness of the sky. The moon on his head depicts everything within him. So all the ghosts, dead, devil, everything is included in his gana. In Shivas procession all types of people are present. So also in this world, all belong to that supreme soul. Its said “Sarvam shivamayam jagat”. This whole world is Shivamaya.

Shivratri 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 depth to life. This is the right way of observing Shivratri.

‘Arise, awake!’ – Shivaratri

In Knowledge digest, Shivaratri on 06/03/2008 at 05:19

‘Arise, awake!’ – Guruji’s message on Shivaratri

siva_bangalore.jpg

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 arefree! 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!

Read more about legend of Shiva.