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.