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1.26.2010

Rudraprayag: Divine experience of Lord Rudra Shiva


 Om Na Ma Shi Va Ya...

These sacred words reverberated in tune with the waves of the river Mandakini dashing forward to meet the volumes of water gushing into it from the Alaknanda. The rivers met, raising curtains of foam and walls of water sprays across the landscape as the crystal clear streams merged into each other, in union, into a song that echoed the raw presence of the Great Lord Rudra. A million suns glowed, flames in bright hue formed a halo round His head as He shined in gold. The great Lord Rudra Shiva appeared into this realm of life, pleased to feel the rhythm of these sacred syllables in the soft but deep voice of a devotee in meditation.

There was silence and calm as the waves lashed the rocks, echoing in the background and Narada Muni awakened
his mind's eye in his meditative state and witnessed this miracle. It had taken many years to call on Lord Rudra, to please him with his devotion and to ask for his wish - a wish for a perfect voice for a perfect soul. It was granted and sacred eternal music was born on earth in this realm, in the heavens, in the deva lokas and in all the celestial worlds. Music was born and the art to take it to perfection was initiated. The great Lord Rudra shook his damaru; the cosmic sound enveloped the universe drowning the sounds of the rivers into itself. The cosmic sound had taken birth in this world, music was now born.

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Kali yuga...

It's a cold wintry morning and I stand here speechless at the fork of the confluence of these gushing rivers. The brilliant rays of the sun coupled with the constant sound of crashing waves precipitates these sweet thoughts in my mind, as I stand and watch this confluence of the flowing waters at Rudraprayag.

My mind knows no mantras for it stubbornly remains blank and overwhelmed over this amazing beauty. This view is one of a kind, as I stand at the fork and watch the two rivers merge in front of me. But there is a difference. There is the feeble sound of Om Na Ma Shi Va Ya barely making its way out of my throat as I try to imbibe this spectacle. I am at unrest and I am still trying to gather myself to experience this world and wondering at the same time what would be the best way to capture it, feel it, in the limited time that I am here. I wonder how I could change my reality, to drop everything and come and stay here because I can feel something very strong in the air, here at Rudraprayag. And I try feebly to grasp this moment, feeling inadequate at the same time that as the supreme energies call, my state is so unprepared to imbibe it.  

The air is chill and yet the sun shines warm, the waters rumble and yet there is rhythm to be felt. The stones erode and yet they shine so smooth and pure. The waters are clear and yet there is color in their depth. He is fierce and yet there is warmth in His formlessness.  

I remembered the sacred texts again... they ran...Rudra, the aghora swarupa of Lord Shiva, the one who is fierce, red eyed, with blazing flames around his flowing locks, sporting a snake for a yagnopavita, decked in gold, holding a skull cap for his bowl, a damaru that he plays and a deadly trishul that he aims head downwards ready to strike through any evil. And then I looked on at the crashing waves in front of me...

No, Rudra Shiva was not all that... not scary... not aghora... not ughra

The form of Rudra echoes every where, in the waters, in the stones, in the white lines that form in the waves of the two rivers flowing furiously by. This heaven is dazzled by the sheen of these clear waters that make up the robes of the Great Lord Rudra and I stare on into the volumes of water that rush away through the hillsides. The thunderous sound of these waters constantly echo the cosmic sound, the primordial sound created by His damaru. White stones are scattered around the riverbed as the rivers run low this winter, each polished stone reminds me of the kabala that the Great Lord Rudra holds in his hand, as he walks through the shamshan. The sun shines through these waves and feels like a million suns shine at me proclaiming His brilliant presence. The rivers flow on as the waves form a trident the tip of which aims right at me, where I stand. Am I the ignorant, egoistic, evil one?

There is raw power and energy in this water as it gushes by almost making me feel the power of His presence enveloping this sacred river bank. But why is my mind closed? Why am I trying to look with my eyes and not feel with my heart?

He is the power, unthinkable, unimaginable, unconquerable, raw wild natural power that is beyond my capacity to understand. He is the all pervading, that which surrounds my humble self in this present. He shines in gold like a million suns, he walks these waters as he steps on each white kabala and he dances to the tune of the cosmic sound he plays with his damaru, the same tune that lies hidden in the flowing waters going by. The form of Rudra Shiva pulsates in this sacred spot, everything echoes his presence. How then am I not able to still see Him?



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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I started exploring indian culture and Hinduism so I would like to recommend this site vaishnavism where you can find information and scriptures about Hindu beliefs.

Balaji Tirupati said...

Yes, very interesting and informative!

JC said...

"Satyam Shivam Sunderam", or "Hari Om Tat Sat" convey the essence of Hindu Mythology from which flow the river of words, or the "Romain Fleuve"...

'Prayag' is meeting point or confluence of two rivers that thereafter flow together like Yamuna and Ganga at Prayagraj after 'sangam' ('Shiva-Shakti'-like)...

JC said...

Ultimately, it is a matter of attitude. 'We' humans feel at ease with humans only, and that too 'of the same feathers'. It is difficult for an average human being to accept, say, Earth & Moon, as two individuals - perhaps known as Shiva & Parvati to the 'wise ancients', and as applied to Rivers too, similarly, for it is the Formless who really matters as the 'Sat'/ 'Satya' the essence/ 'Truth'...

JC said...

Ultimately, it is a matter of attitude. 'We' humans feel at ease with humans only, and that too 'of the same feathers'. It is difficult for an average human being to accept, say, Earth & Moon, as two individuals - perhaps known as Shiva & Parvati to the 'wise ancients', and as applied to Rivers too, similarly, for it is the Formless who really matters as the 'Sat'/ 'Satya' the essence/ 'Truth'...

JC said...

Perhaps, for the uninitiated, 'I' might as well add the beautiful/ secretive use of symbols understood in 'Nature' by wise ancients. That is, River Ganga the holiest of holy rivers is associated with Shiva, whereas the relatively inferior appearing River Yamuna is associated with Krishna, that can be understood also as Kali (both meaning 'black') who believably resides in the heart of Shiva the Gangadhar, or the 'holder of Ganga'...

JC said...

And, having said that, anyone can understand Earth as being referred as Shiva! And, one can also derive from the popular stories why Shiva is called the Destroyer. For, although apparently, itself it is in existence for over four billion years, all life forms that it supports in the sky, or on its surface, or even underground, ie, in the 'trilokas' are perishable, although different species might exhibit different characteristics and also different average life spans - maybe varying from a few days to thousands of years...It is said, "He also serves who just stands and stares." And thus, perhaps unknown to them, all serve some useful purpose to the Formless Creator/ Bhootnath Shiva the mysterious and elusive being!

JC said...

"Satyamev Jayate" is generally translated as "Truth Ever Prevails", and in the 'present', that is, Kaliyuga or Dark Age, 'we' get confused due to apparent duality, or 'dwaitwad': indecision due to apparent existence of 'Truth" and 'Untruth', like 'To be or not to be' (believably its intensity is indicated on one's palm by a drooping head-line!)...

But, if one were to 'read between lines', the ancient wise indicated energy as unending or immortal while physical forms only are temporary or mortal.

However, it was also apparently realised by 'Hindus', or Yogis, that energy components of the apparent Supreme Energy or Soul, called individual souls, are made to enter in unending time-cycles such that each soul is obliged to attain different animal forms, minimum 8.4 million of those, before it could attain the human form for the first time! And it is only in the human form that a soul can get liberated from the unending cycle...