The green leaves
The blissful shade
Cutting out the strong heat
This pure air
The gentle breeze
Singing in my ears
As I sit here
Below this tree
Smelling the moisture
In the air
Far away in this remote temple
Peace reigns supreme
I am here
On this sacred floor
Dotted with light
A spot lit stage
I look up to him
He gently smiles
His form envelopes
This peace around
He rules here
He rules my heart
He stands near here
Waiting for me
To awaken from my dream
These sacred verses of beauty sing through my mind as I look up to the idol of Lord Shiva standing next to me. Its a small chamber, walled by the thick roots of the banyan, pure and clean hanging down like a curtain cutting the world out.
This is the divine world of the celestials, a world of extra ordinary power and bliss. In this world the rules are different, money has no power and neither does status or ego have any value. Here principles matter and the given word. There is power in the thought and in the spoken word. Here the truth matters and the real person within me matters.
What appears like a silent atmosphere, otherwise is a world so secretive that it can go simply unnoticed if the imagination of the mind is not tuned to receive its feeble but significant signals. With practice the mind learns to dim the noise within it and starts to tune into the celestial world. In the depths of silence, in the voice of the wind and in the fragrance in the air one gets to feel the truth that surrounds oneself.
The all pervading Lord Shiva continues to stand center stage as the various celestial, the Gandharvas and Apsaras fly around offering flowers and leaves to him. Flowers, leaves and food, a constitute of milk products from the cow bring back strong affinity towards the purity in these very natural offerings. The Lord doesnt ask for anything else for he is present in the fragrance, he is present in the bright color pigment and he is present in the very tree under which I lie watching his form, wondering just how simple he is to not want gems and gold and precious stones.
He is in the flowers, he is in the sacred vilva leaf I hold, he is in this tree under whose shade I sit and contemplate. His nature is to be silent, his nature is to be stone cold, his nature is to test my endurance to see if will snap or make it back to his heart. As I hold this sacred leaf I look up to his divine form, I hold up the vilva leaf and with bhakti, I place my self, my ego at his divine feet as the sacred verses run within my mind.
Lakshmyasthanutha uthpannam mahadevasya cha priyam|
Bilwa vruksham prayachami, Eka bilwam shivarpanam||
I offer one leaf of Bilwa to Lord Shiva,
For it is equal to giving a tree of Bilwa,
Which was born from the breast of Lakshmi,
And which is very dear to the Lord Shiva.
Moolatho brahma roopaya, madhyatho Vishnu roopini|
Agratha shiva roopaya, Eka bilwam shivarpanam ||
I offer one leaf of Bilwa to Lord Shiva,
As Brahma resides at its bottom,
Lord Vishnu lives in its middle,
And Lord Shiva lives in its tip.
I hold this sacred leaf at your feet O Lord, that which possesses the very nature of Brahma at its root, of Vishnu in its stem and of You at its head. How lucky is this leaf that you reside within itself, how lucky would I be if I realized you reside within me.
I look up to the banyan tree and its strong roots cover me. I worship this great tree for within it resides He.
Aswatha vruksha sthuthi (I pray to this banyan tree)
Moolatho Brahma roopaya, madhyatho Vishnu roopine|
Agratha Shiva roopaya, vruksha rajaya the nama||
My salutations to the king of trees.
Whose root is the form of Brahma,
Middle is the form of Lord Vishnu,
And top is the form of Lord Shiva.
Aswatha sarva papani satha janma arjithanicha|
Nudhaswa mama vrakshendra, sarva aiswarya pradho bhava||
The holy fig (banyan) tree pushes away, all sins earned,
In several hundred births, and Oh king of trees,
Please grant me all different types of wealth.
To the king of trees I pray, to the Lord of the jungles I bow for within your root lies the great Lord Brahma, within your branches resides Lord Vishnu and surrounding me atop your great self, Lord Shiva envelopes my soul. I sit here holding my hands together in adoration, praying to this great tree whose strengths are so unknown, for worshiping you is like vanquishing my sins, of this birth and the past, of this life and hoping never to be born in this form again. I pray to thee O great banyan tree, to grant me wealth of a different kind, wealth in the form of knowledge, wealth in the form of divine fruit, wealth in the form of divine vision to be able to see the Lord residing within you.
As I get up to go, my heart aches to leave you behind, my feet shiver to walk back to that world of chaos from where I come. I walk through the silent walls of the temple to look back outside, into that divine world, at the center of which you stand in the sunlight calling me to take rest under your divine shade.
I stare on, looking close into your lap for within your shade lies the divine Tulasi whose fragrance enveloped the air around me. Tulasi, small and tender, yet so powerful and so divine.
Thulasi shree sakhi shubhe , papa haarini punyade|
Namasthe Naradanuthe , Namo Narayana priye||
Oh, Holy Thulasi,
Bosom friend of Lakshmi,
Destroyer of sins,
Bestower of blessings,
Salutations to thee,
Who is praised by sage Narada,
And is the darling of Lord Narayana
To the trees that take root in this earth,
To the trees that stand testimony to the times that have gone,
To the trees that hold the very form of the Lord within them...
To the trees under whose branches the Lord has taken form as a Linga
I feel so small in front of you for you stand here, unchanged, unmoved like a permanent home to the Lord within.
Tulsi, at the seat of Samadhi
Reflections on the Trinity - Trimurti Shiva
An ode to Lord Shiva with Vilva leaves
Flickr.com: Palmer Digital Studio | Tilak Haria's photostream