I see just divine beauty
A serene look to his chamber
Wetness, warmth, stillness within
Yet in this silence
Lies subtle grandeur
Lord Shiva sits in deep silence
Upon his linga pedestal
There is beauty in his form
There is beauty in his being
There is calm in his vicinity
His aura is honey sweet
His self glows alive
In the lamp light of my heart
This beauty that i see
A single path to divinity
We stare at each other
There is only silence between us
Not a sound to come in between
Not a human to intervene
Such a state is so divine
That only the mind can create
A door that opens within my head
To allow the Lord to enter.
I am left speechless
I see his many signs
I know he is here to protect
I know he is real
I am waiting for my turn
To leave this world of misery
There is more to His world
There is more that I can see
I sing this divine tune
Listen to it if you can
I can only tell you
There is some truth to His divine plan
I have no words to explain
I have only experiences to deliver
If you can realize the potency of this truth
You are blessed to be here.
I sit here silent in deep contemplation, outside is the war of faiths, a war I do not know who started. One kind kills, another converts and yet a third has forgotten the meaning of tolerance. And then I look at us, people in their daily lives, and wonder why no one makes the time to realize passionately the beauty of the Lord within. Surely the Gods are not political figures.
High stress lives, fight for survival and an endless rat race, the destination of which I still do not know. Yet to be in this society, is to be stuck in this vicious whirlpool of emotions, desires, powers and wealth, like a thoughtless herd of cattle, everything guided towards self assertion, self worth and self proclamation.
And yet there is a simpler approach, not so tangible but workable. It is a path of dedication, sincerity to none other than the self and far more virtuous. It involves just one thing, Prana pratishta of the mind which is a conscious effort to be in a state of meditation and regularly contemplate on the character of the chosen deity, till one becomes Him/Her…all this while we still grind through our lives.
On the one hand the mind dwells on the day’s activities, and on the other hand it slips into simple contemplation of Sada Shiva, of Isana, Tatpurusha, Vamadeva, Aghora… two worlds working in the mind simultaneously yet belonging to the same visible reality. How then do we describe the real within our perception? The mind, that which controls all of us, will listen if we teach it consciously and systematically.
And when the discipline sets in, we realize the presence of the other world, full of beauty and appreciations (these are experiences to me, but just words that you read right now). This is a state where every mantra has the hidden beat of the mrydangam embedded in it, where every syllable delivers the divine picture of the Lord in graceful dance, every drop of realization leads us back to the silent garbha griha within our imagination and makes it real and every beeja mantra wakes the potency of the divine within us. How then can it be ignored or be proved until we step into it on our own? Our ancestors only tried to recreate that, tried to teach us methods and disciplines for faster spiritual growth, tried to envision the supreme being that they saw and yet it doesn’t seem to make sense anymore… because we created the limitations in our minds.
If we do not apply ourselves, we have no one else to blame. If we do not make the time now… it’s going to be too late. This puzzle takes a lifetime or more to solve and any amount of reading is not enough. Application is the key, action is key, passion and sincerity is key and for all this, realization of its value is key.
Photo courtesy: Michel Rojo, flickr.com
A silent interior, created in rock, with the wind whistling through the grilled windows; this was the most perfect place for a contemplative lifestyle. The man gazed at the idol, its beauty filled the air with energy, giving him a sense of awakening and a connection he had never felt before. He suddenly knew, this was his life, this was his goal and this was the only reason for his birth.
Life took a turn, for the worse for others, but for him it was different. The meaning of life had brought in new zest, new contemplation, new curiosity and all of this was triggered by the presence of divinity within the emblem that resided in this temple. The lap of nature had everything to offer. The waterfalls provided the pure water for abhishekam, the animals provided tender meat, and the flowers were the fragrance in His home and the herbs bloomed into a different fragrance bringing purity into the air, a freshness that was so divine, so new and so alive that the earth appeared most fertile and in full bloom.
Within this paradise the man contemplated, probably not in sacred syllables, or mula mantras or bija mantras that were recited but the Lord was offered the best of everything. As life passed by, the man raised each flower to the lord in worship, offering it as part of his very own heart, surrendering to the Lord.
My heart merges into you O Lord Shiva
My heart ceases to be with me any more
You have stolen the only thing I ever possessed,
Love, deep love for you O Lord.
As the puja continued, the flowers gracefully fell over the sacred stone, decorating Him and draping Him in a dress of color and fragrance. Color that dressed the Lord in brightness, fragrance that enveloped the room into potency, into a space where the air stood still and the lamp glowed brighter than before.
The man looked up at the Lord again, tears rolled down his eyes as his heart melted into divine song. He closed his eyes and burst into tune, sweetness rained in the room, echoing among the walls as they descended as a garland of letters on to the very emblem. When he opened his eyes, the Lord stared at him. Twinkling eyes, full of life and clarity… a different kind of clarity coupled with purity as they stared on at him. The Lord and the man stared at each other. This was a divine moment, one that is scarcely granted to any devotee, one that is felt once in a million years. The man’s heart sank; he was blessed to be given this divine vision. He picked up a vilva patra and placed it on each of his eyes, and then on his forehead and placed it back on the peetha.
To the bright eyes of the Lord
These are my eyes, I offer in each leaf of this vilva
I surrender to you, I seek no other vision
My sight has gone, I see only you
Divinity, surrounding my soul, capturing my imagination
Capturing my heart, soul and vision,
I see only you Lord, I can see only you.
This Vilva I offer to you, are my eyes, my life, my being, me
As he placed the sacred vilva on the peetha and raised his head, the eyes of the Lord bled, tears of a different kind rolled down, tears in blood that emoted to his surrender. The hunter looked up, with pain in his heart, over the Lord’s plight, over his suffering and tried to stop the bleeding with all the herbs he could find, crushing them to paste… yet they continued to bleed.
He raised his arrow, and just as the vilva leaf signified the three eyed Lord Trayambakeshawara, he dug out of his socket, the sun, his eye, the glowing radiance and placed it over the bleeding eye of the Lord. It was a moment of lull, the Lord twinkled again, beautiful eyes as the Sun and Moon glowed from within the Linga. The heart stopped a beat, as the hunter overjoyed over his Lord’s eye danced around the room, little aware that he now bled in the socket. When he stopped to look at the Lord, the other eye now began to bleed.
It was simple. He had the solution. He took out the arrow and as he raised his foot and placed it at the Lord’s bleeding eye, he aimed the arrow to cull out the moon, his eye from its socket. This was surrender, where the self feels no pain, nor loss, nor sorrow nor time nor fear, nor greed; this was a state to be in.
Oh Lord, the vilva, a significance of my own eyes
I offer to thee, my very own fire, sun and moon.
Here take my eyes, for I have seen thee,
Divine vision, I need not see no more
You are all I wanted to see,
I have lived for this moment.
As he drew the arrow close, the three eyed Lord, appeared, transforming the room into a moment in heaven. The power surged, the moment weakened every nerve in the man, the room glowed in sacred light, the world halted, the wind stopped, the silence overpowered the room, the emblem shined and the hunter was gone. A moment in history, a moment of life, a moment of true meaning, a moment divine, a moment felt and a moment never to come back. This is the moment of true worthwhile living.
Photo courtesy: Shaivam.org
I am the fire
I am the water
I am the earth
I am the wind
I am ether
I am no longer "I"
I am and as a jiva I offer myself to the Lord
I am and through the path of fire I offer myself with prayer to the Lord
I am and through the path of water, I offer food to the Lord, I offer flowers and fragrance to the Lord
I am and as I sit, in the lap of the mother, mother earth cradles me on my journey to the Lord
I am and as I sing to the Lord, my breath is my path to awakening, sacred syllables fall like a garland of love for the Lord
I am not, I cease to exist, I have merged, I am one with the Lord, I am ether...I have but no form.
The elements, fire, water, earth and wind are but for me, a path to reach Lord Shiva. How then can I ignore this gift, how then can I be ignorant that I cannot see the path ahead, how then can I say I do not have the time?
The value of the pancha bhoota is as secretive as it is transparent. It’s as simple as it appears complex. Its as sacred as it is almost nonexistent. Yet, these are not my creation, these are gifts of nature, pure in themselves for me to clasp onto on my journey to the Lord, during worship, during puja.
I am torn between two worlds, one that I live in and that which saps my energy, the other I long to be in and I try hard to reach. Everything around me, my life, the people, the world and its problems, are these not all a making of my mind. It is an illusory world, one that would cease to exist, should I just not think about it? Yet, I churn in this ocean, yet I suffer karma, and yet Lord Shiva grants me the elixir to life, the path in to heaven hidden in this labyrinth of life.
I watch the fire, as it grows and climbs with each drop of ghee poured on it, my heart burns in this light of enlightenment as I imagine the Lord in ablution.
I offer fruit flower and a divine meal to the Lord, through the path of water, he accepts my offering, and takes in the essence of my offering blessing it as prasadam.
I offer my love, my adoration in the form of sacred syllables, syllables that are meant not to benefit my worldly existence but break my illusion and melt my heart into deep emotion towards divinity, each word expressing the purity of the Lord’s nature imbibing it within myself, I become He.
I offer myself, seated still in equilibrium, nothing shakes or moves as mother earth holds me still, my thought and mind reside in pure imagination of the Lord’s vision when I raise the Arti to view His divine presence.
I sink into my own, I leave this earthly self, I am just the mind, I am no body, I am just a power that merges with the supreme. I stay here in Samadhi, no time can control me, no force can destroy. I was, and now I do not exist.
I am the fire, I am the water, I am the earth, I am the wind, I am nothing. I am but a drop of imagination in the vast ocean of Lord Shiva's creation.
A reflection on Lord Shiva
Expression in Abhinaya, the art of Bharata
Dip in the sacred river
Photo courtesy: Mellagi, flickr.com
Is in the form of Shakti
The fire of enlightenment
The fire in the awakened third eye
Is in the form of Shiva
The fire of worship
The fire of purity
Is in the form of yajna
The fire of completion
The fire of transformation
Is in the form of a funeral pyre
The fire of light
The fire of faith and hope
Is in the form of a lamp
Fire, the feel of it is heat and energy, the blue hue is that of Kali, the glow is unique, the bright yellow is the radiance of Parvati, and the red hue is her pure Shakti as Mahishasuramardhini. She makes the fire, she is the charge, she has the momentum, she is the fury, and she is the power of life.
Lord Shiva awaits, he waits at our third eye, to be awoken by Shakti as she rises within us. Agni, Surya and Chandra are the trinetra, His three eyes, the light that brings things alive. And when Shakti merges with Shiva, when the Kundalini rises to the brow, she glows, the fire kindles, and Agni comes alive, opening the third eye, the eye the reveals detachment, reveals enlightenment, reveals sheer magnetic power that renders us supreme. To this Lord of enlightenment, I humbly offer a vilva, the three potent leaves, the Lord's most favorite, signifying my eyes, and worship Him to awaken me.
This fire, this worship is of love, of toil, of feeling, of praise, of offering myself in divine conversation through mantra, potent syllables that flow with the ghee aiding the flames. Each mantra, its potency is capsules of divine syllables that vibrate in the space around me as I pour ghee into the flame of the yajna, the path they take to reach divinity. While pure cow dung burns, while sacred twigs crumble in the heat, and the ghee raises the crackling fire, I worship the Lord to continue burning this flame in my heart, to make my lotus bloom, to awaken my chakras.
With my life, I offer yajna and with my death I lie here awaiting, Mata Annapurni holds me in her lap, Lord Trayambakeshwara Shiva whispers the Taraka in my ears. This is the only sound am aware of as I get ready for my journey beyond, I lie here along the Ganges waiting to exit. This is a state, I am alone, I know no one, I hear no cry, I rest at last as the fire of heaven, the path to the Lord begins to eat into my earthly being, I become history. Mata Kali, steps on me, Her divine feet hold my body down, her foot on my chest gives me hope, as the blue hued flames rise and consume me turning me to ash. I end, but my real journey to divinity starts here. The life in me embarks on its next journey.
During this life, I worship, I pray, that this journey will be wholesome and fulfilling. During this life I pray to Lord Trayambakeshwara to awaken me beyond this maya of existence, remove me from all earthly attachments, fill my heart with love for Him. Oh Divine Mother, your compassion that surpasses all, bless me with your grace and power that I may, oh Mother, hold this lamp of hope, this flame that I call myself will burn near you forever, fueled by your compassion, your grace, your love to forever be in your shadow.