12.20.2008

Prayashchita for life's miseries

I am not a killer, and yet I feel uncomfortable with myself. I have done no theft and yet I stand the biggest convict of my own principles, I have not broken law and yet my own laws to myself hold me responsible for imperfection. I stand guilty as my mind calls me a sinner, leaving me with regret and sorrow over my past deeds and life.

Being born human may not be as much a blessing as it appears to be a curse. Many mythologies indicate that divine beings, celestials and even super Gods have taken birth on earth to atone for their sins, having caused harm to others in heaven and other worlds.

Once born, one is faced with a life that doesn’t make much sense, doesn’t always deliver happiness, and leaves one confused over one's purpose of existence. The days of prayashchit are gone, the days of acute regret seem to be over and people are left with huge baggage of karma that follows them where ever they go. There are no answers because we don’t know what questions to ask, there is no peace because we do not know how to get rid of this baggage, there is no escape because these thoughts only come back to haunt us. There is only suffering because we know we are in the wrong and even if we are not, the lack of acceptance of reality doesn’t let us live in peace, and there is no escaping the mounting pressure the conscience puts on the self to clean itself out.

In a world where humans err, perform acts of sin unknowingly and try to cover up as much from the world of moral to save one's own self respect, there is only one thing that can bail the human mind out from the depths of misery.

Worship, sincere hardcore worship with bhakti, is the key to self resurrection. Like it or not, ritual helps because ritual is a methodology that purifies the soul, and nullifies the deeds that one performs knowingly or unknowingly. This is one of the root mechanisms of Hinduism, to be proven or believed is left to our ignorant judgment.

In a world where it may have become tough to trust anyone for the appropriate ritualistic bail out, where it becomes tough to even confess for prayashchit, the Lord leaves one door open to all those who want to clean themselves out. This cleaning is of the mind, which by now has become such a vast garbage yard and it has started to stink so much that it makes it difficult for anyone to survive with sanity, leave alone looking for happiness.

At this point, with deep humility the mind gives up. The ego surrenders, the heart break down and the mirror that once reflected the beauty of oneself cracks and falls to the ground. What stands naked, in misery is the inner core self, struck by the lightening of one’s own doing, faced with shame of one's own acts and tear loaded eyes that just have no vision left except that of acute disillusionment of one's own perfections.

That’s when the Lord takes over, as the Guru, as the maker, as the supreme form who divinely smiles down and blesses the convict giving them new life, and a method to be bailed out. That’s when Shiva Neelakantha drinks down all the poison of one's actions, Shiva Rudra burns down one's accumulated sins, Shiva Nataraja crushes one's own apasmara, Shiva Bhikshatana cleanses one of their vanity and reduces us to pure nakedness, Shiva Yogishwara presents the syllables of prayer that protects the soul.Shiva Vaitheshwara, the divine doctor rids us off our physical and mental ailments, Shiva Gangadhara purifies us with the holy waters of life, Shiva Mrityunjaya kills every fear known within our system, and Shiva Dakshinamurthy teaches us the way forward to a life of blissful worship.

As the Tripura Rahasya explains, the three cities of Anava Mala(egoism), Karma (bondage) and Maya(illusion) within one's human nature need to be destroyed. Destroying Anava Mala requires self surrender to Lord Shiva to acquire his grace in the form of Anugraha. Destruction of the second impurity karma is done through the consecration of one’s actions at the divine feet of the Lord, giving up the concept of “I am the doer” by developing the feeling of Nimita Bhava. Annihilation of the third impurity that is Maya happens through the deep contemplation and recitation of the Panchakshara, worship of the supreme Guru, hearing and the reflection of the attributes of Lord Shiva and his leelas. This awakens the presence of Lord Tripurantaka into one's consciousness.

At the end of every dark tunnel of karma, there is divine light of enlightenment that guides our souls to safety.

19 comments:

JC said...

Hindus believed in Shiva as Bholanath the simple god, although having various other apparently complicated forms...However, one is supposed to pray to any form one is inclined towards, which could resulot in mental peace...and helped reached a thoughtless stage, for God believably is detached with material world...

JC said...

The problem in visualising the Absolute Truth is because of finding it difficult to accept the ancient Hindu belief of one creator who is formless - due to our physical senses being oriented outwards, and thus analysis being generally attempted based on superficial data...and not in-depth study, or looking 'inwards'...towards the 'root'...

For example, you say you haven't killed, etc, overlooking the fact that when you take antibiotics you aren't killing 'harmful' micro-organism only but 'helpful' ones too...This is indicated by the wise to 'lack of knowledge', or 'not being conscious of the Absolute truth'...and the 'truth' believably is that each physical form anyway is temporary and has to eventually die, but it being unknown to an average man how and when the end of an individual life form would occur...and also what kind of 'suffering' one would undergo over the limited life span - perhaps fortunately for the normally forgetful individual...

JC said...

Some Yogis give example of the make-believe world of cinema, where one experiences various emotions inspite of being detached, having knowledge that what they viewed/ are viewing was fiction only and not related with any particular individual 'living' or 'dead'...This example helps realise the possibility of 'life' as projection of the 'past' in the third eye of a unique formless being, called Bhootnath and individuals as his images at a certain instant (life being like a flaswh in the pan) in the process of the believable evolution of the All Knowing Supreme Being...

Anonymous said...

Hi Joshi Uncle,

Thanks for answering my questions. I did not get to check internet til now.

Trust all is well with you and yours.

Sometimes there is so much bad in the world, all I can think of for days is "why?". Then, because [only conclusion I can draw] the world is irrational, next all I can do after that is take shelter of the Divine as if is a mother and 'Help me!!! protect me!!!"

I guess is the best we can all do. After all the words and theories comes the cry of the child for the mother and father: primal response

***

I forget if I told you, for my calculus final exam I had to prepare for some essay questions also. One was about number systems.

I didn't know it but there is something called Transcendental Numbers...like "pi" (3.14...) and "e" (whatever that is!)

All Transcendental Numbers (very special numbers) are also Irrational [!!!] Numbers.

Irrational numbers means that they go on forever...like Ananta Sesa!!!

And there is also something called Imaginary Numbers...they are used in electromagnetism, quantum physics, engineering.

Real Numbers (0,1,2,...) are now considered simply a subset of Imaginary numbers!

Also: zero (invented by the Hindus!) is the only number that is both Real and Imaginary at the same time.

Is like the mathematicians have been reading metaphysics! Or, is interesting how closely mathematics and metaphysics are now coming together!

Also is interesting that it is coming together when people can finally talk freely and honestly with each other around the world!

***

Also, I liked Kavitha's comment that is very difficult for one person understand every single thing about Shiva, due to: their brain is prewired to understand/ comprehend only certain portions of Shiva's creation.

That is so true (I feel).

Last night was looking at a book about human body, newest science discoveries about it. We all have just 200 types of different cells do all the work of interpreting the world around us.

So right there we are limited.

And we all have certain DNA that pre-programs the cells how to create the cells that will interpret the world around us.

Again, that is so limited.

Perhaps forevermore now I should say "we" like Uncle puts "I" in quotation marks.

Because when you see pictures from electron microscope of your own 200cells that interpret the world, then you realise "you" are more than the gross and subtle body [sariras and kosas and nadis].

I like how Hinduism has the concept of Shiva's concealing grace and revealing grace: whatever we are meant to know is unfold and revealed to us when Shiva feels we can best handle it.

Because our instrument of understanding is so limited compared to the vastness of what is Shiva. Is like we are little kids in playpen and he is CEO of a big multi-universe corporation!

***

Also I saw in the news that many public homas were done in Mumbai recently. That was a nice peaceful image to see in the distressing news of the world, of all the people doing ceremonies to invoke auspiciousness, peace, and healing.

Take good care everyone! Thanks for this postive website! Keep up the good work, may all your dreams, goals, and apirations come true!

Aum Namah Shivaya

Anonymous said...

Hmm, after rereading what I wrote, I suddenly get the feeling we are spark of Shiva, also unlimited.

That is the Self, the real us. But is like we are on a mission to another planet in a spacesuit.

And we yearn to take off space suit and be our real selves again.

So I guess, in this forum, we remind each other we are in spacesuits and this is not our home planet.

And if we realize it all of the time, I suppose it would be very difficult for us to execute our duties in this world.

But we have the yearning for our non-spacesuit life, especially our dear Kavitha.

Then when we realize/ have the experience that we are spark of Brahman...there is nothing left to say. We are home, is comfortable, peaceful, everything is there, there is no lack.

Till we need to replace air tank on space suit, get space food tablets again, go outside on spacewalk, repair our space shuttle, etc. *Sigh!*

I guess is this duality we live with.

***

Lately also I am exasperated with the some the people of this world. How many people are teaching their kids things that are not true and cannot be proven. And entire societies set up about this.

But perhaps some people exasperate with me also? [heh heh]

But, then I just ask Shiva to protect me from becoming sucked into getting exasperate with them. And forgive me if I irritate others and help me avoid that.

I ask Shiva to protect me from the many ignorant people in the world and please let me just know the kind-hearted people of the world who will not hurt me.

Please allow me get out of this maya Devil's playground alive i.e. please just give me whatever I need the basics to maintain my life that I can live in such a way I do not create too many kukarmas.

Good luck everyone with Merging with Shiva. And thanks for this topic. I hope Shiva bless all of us, take us into His Protection and Grace. Whichever Grace He thinks we need: revealing or concealing! Or little of each...
as He sees fit...

JC said...

Hi Shri Anon, Perhaps the seed of seeking the self is sown in the minds of humans (in the 'west' also) through the poem, "Twinkle twinkle little star/ How I wonder what you are...etc."

Mathematics provides means to astronomers to visualise what stars and other hevenly bodies apparently are that go into the formation of the physical universe, or the enlarged form of Vishnu that is each individual formless at the beginning of evolution (as believed by Hindus from a point source of energy, by conversion of sound energy, Om, into infinite forms - where 'O' can be seen as the shape of human lips needed to pronounce the letter, and also numeral '0')...

JC said...

The Yogis, who realised the Absolute Truth of existence of a unique supreme being, the 'Mother', alone in the infinite appearing universe, as they reflected the almost perfect stage... And it as difficult for other 'characters' to visualise it for they reflected various stages of the same individual as He evolved from zero (in different forms) and reached perfection eventually...

JC said...

'I' could only think of the example of one reviewing one's own photo album from birth to the 'present'. In retrospect, for example, today it appears unbelievable to myself even that 'I' could have done certain tasks that 'I' believably did during 'my' youth at a certain stage at a certain location (and reminded by the related photos at any given time later in life)!

In view of the above, 'I' can at times, when 'I' am at peace with the self, agree with the Yogis who apparently said that they were 'Shiva' (the immortal, unborn and unending), as also others were too!

JC said...

Once 'you', the exterior body that is the seeker, accept the eventual finding of the Vedantis that in reality only the Supreme Formless Being alone exists, and that the apparent physical universe/ world is projection of the past (right from zero that is the centre of earth, to the infinite enlarged form of zero that is the dark universal void filled with innumerable galaxies), it is perhaps then easier to reach a state of realisation of the 'elevated souls', which they called the ‘Absolute Truth’...but still not making it clear what Vishnu/ Shiva, the formless seeks by reviewing His Own infinite Past, or unending stories (History) that when seen by different temporary characters in human form look so confusing and mysterious, for the time allowed to each character is only a 'flash in the pan', or negligible...

Interestingly, humans at the helms of different affairs on earth, also test IQ of other humans by allowing a short duration during which they get to see a number of items in a room, and then are taken to another room to write from memory what all items they had seen! And, life is believably a journey of different souls at the start of Brahma's Day (of over 4 billion years), whereby each soul is required to pass through 8.4 million animal forms before each attains the priceless human form for a short time only, during which alone one has the capacity to look 'inwards' at a certain stage (earlier the better) to reach the Truth/ Root at least (instead of looking ‘outwards’, as per the grand design, generally!), though not His purpose of creation/ destruction instantly – being related with zero...

JC said...

Wishing Merry Christmas to all!!!

Kavitha said...

A merry christmas to you too Joshi Uncle!

JC said...

As 'I' had earlier also elsewhere indicated, planet earth is hinted to be Shiva the Destroyer of the Hindu mythology. And, the Yogis realisaed man as a model of the universe, represented by the solar system as its essence. Thus one finds carried forth from time immemorial mention of 'grahas' being responsible for human behaviour at all times. And, on the other hand, the story related with 'churning' of the 'milky ocean' provides hint of evolution from pure energy to perfect immortal material forms reflected by the 'devtas' that is the members of the solar system...

Thus reading between lines the stories, one can perhaps reach the realisation of the 'ancient wise' each human being to reflect some stage of evolution and thus the apparent heirarchy in 'Nature' due to one getting to see at the given instant the projection of all times, which is in a way reflected also in all locations on earth showing different times of any particular day(s) - if it is morning at one location, it is mid-day at another, and night at some others...

Kavitha said...

Unfortunately Joshi Uncle our Gods and Navagrahas and all other devas have been reduced to boon givers who will also bless us with immortality! I mean the wish list is endless for the common man. He wants wealth, property, assets, attention, power, control, praise, food, success, honor, satisfaction for every known desire and no health problems.

How prey does anyone God of deva grant him this?

Having not attained any of this satisfactorily through his life, and living with the constant inadequacy that he still needs or wants more, isnt he miserable that he just cant seem to earn it on his own?

Then why desire? Why be part of a rat race that just doesnt deliver happiness?

Its also strange that most people cannot live without worry and problems. They dont want to sort out their problems because their mind doesnt allow them.

This human race needs to do some severe introspection.

Regards
Kavitha

JC said...

Kavitha, In the late Seventies and early Eighties when my wife was afflicted with chronic illness in the northeast region, I was in a fix. 'I' tried practioners of all systems of medicines, tantriks, and also followed all advices of all 'my well wishers', viz. water from some temple, copper bangles, pillow made from some particular tree leaves, and so on...That's human nature...

Also, 'I' was surprised to experience certain 'spiritual' instances also happening around 'me', as if some unseen force was sort of trying to attract 'my' attention so that 'I' could seek 'Her'. I then also wondered why she chose 'me', an ordinary man who didn't believe in many devtas but only the Formless Creator who 'I' believed was responsible for running and maintenance of the physical universe, and not just humans...

It was only when 'I' read the Gita later that 'we' virtually surrendered and followed one physician for 13 years till further complications obliged us to seek advice from some other specialist...Thus, we learnt why the wise ancients said, "Health is wealth." However, as we move down deeper in to Kaliyuga, we apparently learn how, due to ignorance and, therefore, lack of knowledge 'we' humans apparently were drawn towards the material world, ie., the 'glitter of gold' only...

JC said...

For remaining conscious of the 'Absolute Truth' (the Formless Creator/ Destroyer, ie., Vishnu/ Shiva of the Hindu mythology who is responsible for animation on earth),'I' have tried to correlate the Shivlinga of the mythology, represented by the 'life-giving waters' of Kailash-Mansarovar, with the Vimanas of Hindu Temples, as well as the pyramids of Egypt (another advanced civilisation in the 'past')...

And, with the belief that 'apparent time' is moving from Satyuga to Kaliyuga, from the best to the worst of material world, 'I' visualise climbing down from the apex of the pyramid/ Kailash (or any other peak of a high mountain) with the help of a rope, of a particular length and pegs to drive on any side of the pyramid. 'I' can thus imagine how 'my' last peg would be at the same height as the first peg during my ascent, and it could be on any of the four faces of the pyramid...'I' can thus imagine the peg to represent Krishna of the mythology that helped 'me' ('my soul' as a component of the Supreme Soul) reach the peak at some point in time in the 'remote past'...

JC said...

As 'we' had earlier, elsewhere, also seen, the Hindu mythology indicates Brahma as four-faced, represented on earth by the pyramid (literally 'fire within') shape structures that have four triangular faces oriented in such a manner that each faces one of the cardinal directions, N-E-W-S, and thus their meeting points at the base, each one of those, lie at one of the other four intermediate directions and thus eight directions are represented by those. While their apex (a point, representing the centyre of earth) governs both up & down directions and thus represent all ten directions that could help define all physical forms...

Certain 'enlightened' Yogis, who apparently reached the Absolute Truth, the formless (zero) by attaining thoughtless stage, appear to have realised animal/ human form to represent eight numbers of members selected out of the solar system, from Sun to Saturn, to reflect the apparent large variety of behaviour of all forms with the help of permutations and combinations of the members that reflect different, but unique, characteric properties:such as the sun acts as the sole provider of energy for sustenance of forms and light to aid vision in certain animal forms too...

Banarasi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kavitha said...

Hi Alok,

Thank you for appreciating these thoughts.

Its just a humble effort to help realize the inner self.

Regards
Kavitha

workhard said...

Very nicely written

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