Shivaratri - A night to remember
The dust had finally settled and all turmoil in the mind seemed to subside. Srinivasan, raced back from work to get to the showroom. Srinivasan felt strange about himself. His folks were not around for his people had gone back. There was really no one left to show his new car to.
Yet it didn’t bother him, Srinivasan loved automobiles and felt it was money well spent if he purchased a car he would want to drive. Srinivasan didn't have too much time. It was closing in on sunset and he had yet to start his worship.
At the showroom, the car was brought forward, and all papers were handed over. Srinivasan looked up to the sky and then to the sales man who was performing the final puja before this gorgeous automobile hit the road. He took off his slippers and watched the flames catch on the camphor. He watched the fire (arti) go up circling the car warding off all evil. The kumkum was smeared over his head and at various points of the car, the bonnet with the logo and the driver’s steering wheel. He smiled to himself thinking…Strange, that even a very modern mind was all to happy to have the traditional fire of enlightenment bless and protect his car, a gift of his well earned money on the road now.
With four lemons squashed under each car wheel, the automobile was now blessed for a new journey on the road – new safe journey on the road.
With the car now, feeling this luxury on the road, Srinivasan headed home trying to catch up with lost time. His worship started in the next hour after all his preparation. The house went into darkness, and the lamplights made beautiful patterns on his polished marble floor. He began his recitation, his mind concentrating and his heart overwhelmed and heavy. He had wanted a good day to bring his car home and he didn’t manage to find any from the panchangam his grandmother had looked up. The Lord had decided the day. It couldn't get better. Srinivasan smiled, the car was finally home, on the night of Shivaratri, a gift for himself, a gift from the Lord.
The prayers rolled on, in rhythmic beat with the lamps burning even brighter now glowing in his heart. Each verse fell out in amazing clarity, the voice grew stronger and the sound echoed through the house. The mind was at rest, the peace enveloping and the world was now plunged into silence. Srinivasan opened his eyes and stared at the Divine icon, the Linga, and then at the Trishul in the light of the oil lamps. This Shivaratri meant a lot more to him.
Srinivasan felt no pride, no sense of achievement; no feeling that he had made another mark in his life, or crossed another milestone. He felt free, free in the mind, free in the heart, free from all human bondage, free from appreciation, free from ego massage, free from any kind of human approval. The car was his love for driving, the car was his love for automobiles, the car was his symbol of freedom, the car was his small luxury and he was happy to have it. Nobody else mattered, nothing else mattered. The night of Shivaratri left him sleepless, thinking about life and the Lord's strange ways of telling him how valuable he was. A wish was fulfilled, a gift from heaven had come home this divine evening - unplanned.
Om Namah Shivaya