Who is Ganesha?

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The whole idea of writing this piece came to me yesterday after someone from the US consulted with me. She had never heard of Ganesha, but when she heard ELEPHANT GOD, she kinda knew who I was referring to. I was explaining to her the INITIATION/START-UP ENERGY of this deity.

It caught me off guard because it is rare to find someone who has no clue of who Ganesha is, especially with the New Age movement. But apparently not…

So there I was explaining an impossible story to someone who had just seen him in a souvenir shop and knew nothing of the fact that GANESHA is a name given to the COSMIC RULE that governs all of existence from the tiniest quark to the largest galaxy cluster!

And my majestic Ganesha is no modern God, he is ancient…and does look weird maybe to people not used to him. But remember if you find him grotesque, then be aware that his stark grotesqueness is to remind you symbolically that NOTHING IS REAL. Appearances are ILLUSORY and TRUTH is never what you think it is.

He has a mouse as a companion which means that he has mastery of fear, indecision, anxiety and uncertainty and also control over beings of the subterranean worlds. His protruding belly does not signify his laziness…lol, no. No amount of plank will do it because IT SHOWS CONTENTMENT.

Historians believe that a prototype of Ganesha was worshipped in prehistoric times outside the Indian subcontinent in such faraway places as Afghanistan, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Java, Iran, Cambodia, Borneo, Japan and Mexico. Images of Ganesha were found in Afghanistan and also in Iran. The image of Ganesha found at Luristan in Iran dates back to 1200 BC to 1000 BC. Many Ganesha type idols were also found in Mexico from excavations and ancient temple ruins.

The story of the birth of Ganesha goes like this..

Shiva and Parvati were totally engrossed in making love for aeons. Then Shiva goes off to meditate. Parvati realise that she is all yucky and filthy. She scrapes the dirt from the skin of her body and creates a little baby boy!!! She leaves the boy guarding the door while she bathes. Now Shiva returns and this baby boy refuses to let him in! Shiva is so pissed off that he slices his head off!! OMG right?

Now Parvati comes out to see what just transpired and tells her man that this is their son. Shiva now has to save him as he sees Parvati breakdown for the boy. So he asks his chelas(helpers) to find him a head. But the head must be from someone who is sleeping with their head to the north. This is why in India it is inauspicious to sleep with your head to the North! You bet! Now these dudes scampered off and returned with the head of an ELEPHANT! WTF, right?

So Shiva then stuck this elephant head on the headless torso and voila Ganesha is born. As I was relating this story, I realised how freaking RIDICULOUS it sounded. I could see the woman’s face! She literally fell off her chair!

Myths my Beloved is never to be taken literally, they are for ELUCIDATION and EXPOSITION…BTW the PURANAS WERE NEVER MEANT TO BE PRINTED, they are ALLEGORICAL TALES, MEMORY CODE SYSTEMS which are revealed to the initiate only if she is ready…so here I am to explain what this means…

The symbol of DEAD SKIN of the Goddess~~what do you think that signifies?

A RESIDUE, a REMNANT, a REMAINDER of some sort of ATTACHMENT. The Goddess/shakti or the FEMININE PRINCIPLE can sometimes cling onto subtle energies she mothers. In Ganesha, the Goddess found someone to mother. SHIVA is the GREATEST YOGI and he might have sensed this excessive NEED TO MOTHER or an unhealthy attachment to the boy she created. Shakti is volatile and Shiva is SILENCE which is signified by him being under her. She is the ACTIVE PRINCIPLE and he, the PASSIVE.

SHIVA was called here to destroy this whole unhealthy attachment, but a true yogi will not destroy the VIKARA or the residue. That still is energy and SHIVA or the male potency decided to transform this residual energy. Look he could have incinerated Ganesha, right? But he decides to SEVER THE HEAD. The head is the symbol of the EGO, my peeps. As KRISHNA says…The HEAD is the ROOT…And, and, and…he uses a TRIDENT OR TRISHULA! The TRINITY! Sattva, Rajas, Tamas- the three gunas or the THREE NADIS- ida, pingala, sushumna.

Guṇa depending on the context means ‘string, thread or strand’, or ‘virtue, merit, excellence’, or ‘quality, peculiarity, attribute, property’. These three gunas are called: sattva (goodness, constructive, harmonious), rajas (passion, active, confused), and tamas (darkness, destructive, chaotic)..~wiki

If you take this ALLEGORY as a purely INTERNAL STORY, as in what is going on inside, then you will see how the DESIRES that convoluted our minds and form unhealthy attachments can only be severed by the TRIDENT or the admixture of the THREE GUNAS. We have to understand each QUALITY to transcend it.

The internal feminine/masculine polarities CANNOT be whirlpool of chaos, they have to be in harmony, which is why the internal SHIVA will HAVE TO RESURRECT GANESHA. Ganesha without the ANIMALISTIC ID or ego.

The internal SHIVA is logical and the internal PARVATI is emotional, just like a mommie. But to be an individual who vibrates in a high frequency, we have to be in touch with Shiva as much as Parvati. They must be in SACRED UNION, in yabyum!

This dirt with which she created him is MAYA, in its most superficial level and here the EGO or ID is all powerful. I have said that Ganesha is the muladhara chakra and he refuses Shiva the yogi a meeting with Parvati who is PURE KUNDALINI SHAKTI. If you do not master the MULADHARA you will never reach SAHASRARA. The TRIDENT here also signifies the IDA, PINGALA and SUSHUMNA, the three nadis of LAYA YOGA and in Vedantic parlance, the three gunas.

Shiva destroys the ego(SEVERS THE HEAD) and replaces it wisdom, allowing the union of Shakti/Shiva to take place. And presto, you have yourself enlightenment!

And now you ask me? WTF is up with the whole ELEPHANT thing?

My peeps, in ancient scriptures of Sanatan Dharma we associate the elephant with AWARENESS, MINDFULNESS, MEMORY, PATIENCE which Science has corroborated. elephants actually are super intelligent.

This easily explains why Ganesha must be invoked before praying to any deity. This SUPREME INTELLIGENCE that Ganesha has will be the GUIDING FORCE for any spiritual activity.

I read about this Scientist from Lebanon who used sonic mapping that caught the vibrational frequencies of the brain and what he found blew the world away! After these images were assimilated and studies, he discovered that the MEDULLA which is the doorway to the brain looks like GANESHA!! Are you freaking out?

He presented the enlarged image to the world which showed two big ears, a trunk and tusks. Now you see the symbolism and how correct the ancients were. Ganesha is the doorkeeper and if you invoke this youthful, playful masculine energy, then he will let SPIRITUAL WISDOM seep into your consciousness.

Ganesha my Beloved is the GRID KEEPER of your consciousness and is called VIGNA VINAYAK, remover of obstacles. But remember, these obstacles are in your mind.

Reminds me of the EIGHT OF SWORDS in Tarot.

Shivaites believe that Ganesha sits in the MULADHARA CHAKRA located at the base of the spinal cord and is responsible for spiralling our consciousness into higher dimensions. Seated in the muladhara chakra he acts as the gateway to the higher chakras and higher planes of consciousness.

According to Sakti Tantra, there are as many Ganeshas in the creation as there the letters of the alphabet. This suggests that this Ganesha energy exists in various planes, worlds and dimensions as the headboy of the ganas or groups of entities(gridworkers, energyworkers, lightworkers, all celestial beings) to guide them and lead them towards Siva/Shakti, the primordial ARDHANARISHWARA.

Ganesha is usually worshipped alone in the Vedic way, but we tantrics pray to him with his Shakti and call him Vallabha. The female aspect of Ganesha is also called Vinayaki, Surpakarni and Lambamekhala.

Today is a great day to INITIATE yourself with GANPATI INVOCATION into SPIRITUAL PRACTICES.

HRIM GUNG GANAPATAYA NAMOH NAMAHA

 

 

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The Human: Channelled Poetry

Art by Alex Grey

Karma makes this world real, the experiences real and the separation evident.

Truth emphasises only on Unity where our experiences are as unreal as the world we inhabit.

Oneness where there is no scope for duality or separation.

Integrated and whole, where bliss or violence fail to express their meanings and action.

How can I reach this sublime expression of the Self?

Is there any way for an ordinary mortal like me to ever fathom the depths of existence for I am blind and deaf?

The waves of questioning that undulate in the turbulence of my mind,

They do not show themselves for they exist not. Their birth is to happen much later in karmic bondage.

The heart is not corrupt you see, it knows, the child like wonder and awe at everything, mundane or special.

It knows love and fear instinctually and has learnt to experience all the shades of grey that come with it.

But love is its natural expression. It is its nascent state.

The heart has acquired the knowledge of every experience, but love is its constant experience.

Even in hate there is love, even in anger, there is love and even in genocide there is love.

Love for the chosen people. Love of the hunger rumbling in the tummy ready to devour a baby animal.

There is love in every expression of existence, in every saga of life.

Soul finds its highest purpose in love and can only be aligned with the Universal Self through love.

This tireless journey will never cease where realities warp into each other, screaming and shouting in ignorance.

Consciousness needs to become aware of itself, its glorious self.

Whether through Ishta sadhana, namaz, masses or prayers you decide to call the Divine…

It doesn’t matter for the blood coursing through our veins will appear red no matter what you call it.

Your heart will beat whether you notice each beat or not. Your eyes will see whether you think about seeing or not.

It is ceaseless, this infinite seas of creation and destruction.

We loathe the human body, we objectify, vilify it, degrade it and sexualise it,

But do we know how important the human body is?

The human body is the very vehicle to take you through your ascension.

This body is the reason you can accomplish certain human karmas to see Truth.

After eighty-four lakh births do you get a human body!

Is there any logical reason to humiliate and desecrate this body so?

Your soul has played and learnt endlessly through cycles of birth and death to be worthy of a human body!

Do you see how important it is- the body made of star dust?

Unconscious, we scurry around like zombies, seeking only gratification and pleasure.

We seek to devour existence, we seek to consume existence in our fetishistic points of views.

Even Devas and Angels seek the human vehicle, for a lot of karma can only be done through it.

Your consciousness can ride through and rise up the mires of illusion using the human body.

Equally you can degenerate to the level of a brute if you decide so.

The choice is yours, it has always been.

Free Will is not a choice, it is the TRUTH.

As KARMA is the truth, so is FREEWILL.

You create your reality as your are the Shiva/Shakti in reality.

You are the truth, you are the lie.

You are the very ocean in a droplet and the droplet in the ocean.

Infinite realities, multiple parallel Universes, your body can take you everywhere.

We seek to create time machines, but humans, your body is the time machine.

This time machine can take you to FULL AWARENESS OF THE ONE-NESS.

From the Cosmic Yoni arises creation as from the mother’s yoni arrives her child.

The child is not only the father of man but is an AWARE UNIVERSE in herself.

We are all Universes, but perception shifts as we lose our innocence.

Reality imprints our minds with pain and fear, we forget our true roots.

The man is a corrupt, perverted version of the SELF AWARE CHILD.

The body arises from the conscious and unconscious states of Awareness of Unity.

The Cosmic Yoni and lingam create friction, the electricity or Fohatic forces that awaken the laya layers to the call of Creation.

Man is built on the image of God, we are Gods and we create.

We create our Gods and we create us. We create the future and the past.

In waking, sleeping and dreaming states, we experience existence through different lenses.

Remember that this body is comprised of dualistic forces of both conscious and unconscious elements.

The Ego driven woman is a lower vibration and dropping this fake sense of importance is what brings her closer to Spirit.

Like a primal song, heard through eternities in the very heart centre of creation,

This desire to see more of what could be, leads to awareness.

Meditation is not thoughtlessness, meditation is being aware of what you are doing.

The Merkaba is the Chariot to “Heaven”, it opens up all the chakras.

The DNA has all the secrets of life but our perceptiveness has not quite got there yet.

We separate the husk and the grain to attain Self, the husk falls away.

Costumes are not worn by the actors after a performance, no matter how brilliant it might have been.

The Actor has stopped playing the part, but will that role ever disappear truly from his Essence?

For Essence precedes existence.10959765_941780839179917_6201144241326613304_n

Shiva

Shiva, you are in me and I in You.

There is no separation my Beloved.

For if you do not exist, then how do I?

And if I don’t Observe, then how do you Play?

Who is this Shiva and who the Observer/Pilgrim?

Shiva, exhausted I wait for atonement!

Is there possibility of me merging in your third eye?

The fire of my Union with you smoulders in me.

Do not ridicule me for I am unworthy!

Do not keep me waiting forever!

My being is distraught without you.

No calm, no serenity, no peace.

The dark of the night is my companion.

As I wait for you to arrive today.

I waited yesterday and day before.

I waited through aeons and eternities.

I waited for you only to know…

You were never gone.

You were right beside me my Shiva.

Lost and bewildered in this illusory reality,

I hunt tireless for Truth.

Truth? What truth? The truth of existence?

But what is that concept?

Trust is not a concept, it is a state of being.

For if everything else fails,

It will guide me back to you.

For Truth is You.

The banlingam glistens in my hands,

As I twirl it in my hands, I can see the deep space.

The Universe and its galaxies visible.

I know that you can never be confined in a stone,

Or be depicted in an anthropomorphic form.

I know human words can never be adequate enough to express You.

For how can a word encompass all EXPERIENCE?

How can we describe everything that is and is not?

Everything that can be and has ever been?

Stuck in this human body, frustration and disappointments become key elements.

This body feels heavy Shiva and the pain of the world bogs me down.

But…

In a moment things can change!

Great awareness seeps into my consciousness.

Awareness that You and I are ONE.

Awareness that everything living and non living is ONE.

Your narrative is this Manvantara Shiva,

Express yourself through your creations.

Us, animals, plants, galaxies, nebula and everything.

Shiva, you are the dance of death.

Shiva you are Krishna’s flute.

Shiva you are a true feminist and lover.

You are Kali’s active principle bringing existence into being through sacred sex.

Dualistic minds chatter, depression, anxiety and banter.

Shiva you still this disturbance.

Shiva you throw caution to the winds and dance.

Dance the tandav…

A saga of self expression and torment.

A saga of doing away with the old and let the new take shape.

Shiva you are the voice of revolution and the axe of oppression.

Shiva you are WHOLE and so am I.

I am whole…to love, to HEAL.

With your love, I feel charged.

My whole being vibrates as if I have ingested some psychedelic substance.

But it is your energy that brings me to this ecstatic awareness.

Of love and union. Of bliss and surrender.

You are the breath in me and I sense you the most by my breathing.

You caress me and soothe the pain away.

Karmic baggage that I have been carrying.

Scared to let go Shiva. But I lay them down at your feet.

You are the atonement. You are the punishment.

There is no end to this love and no answer to existence

BUT LOVE!baba-bhole-nath-shiv-sankar-mahadev-smoking-chillam-of-weeds-bhang-or-ganja-hd-wallpapers

Prayer or Meditation

ॐ सह नाववतु।

सह नौ भुनक्तु।

सह वीर्यं करवावहै।

तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु

मा विद्विषावहै।

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

 

In this article I shall seek to investigate both prayer and meditation; the relevance of them, the importance of each and finally we will go on to discussing whether we should pray or meditate? Which has greater importance in this day and age?

Let’s begin with PRAYER.

A prayer has many implications- serenity, tranquillity, peace, bliss; it starts a dialogue with the Godhead, it helps us in speaking to our ishta. Through prayer we learn to control the functioning of our body at a cellular level, it promotes harmony, synchronicity and a deep restfulness.

As we go through our day, we expend enormous amounts of energy on our professions, ambitions, negativity, excitement, etc, etc. These drain us and we lose massive amounts of prana due to these activities; a prayer aids in accumulation of positivity and spiritual energy.

In fact, every second of prayer purifies millions and millions of cells in our body and within one-eighty-six days which is within two blood renewal cycles, our internal metabolism transforms and then if prayer is continued, the complete vital change takes place in seven years.

Prayer can also inspire an individual to philanthropy, as good thoughts become good actions.

Discipline is the key to prayer; to acquire a peaceful mind, one must pray every day, at the same time. The Muslim world makes use of this strategy with their five times namaz and their azans which always happen at exactly the same time. Imagine the energy they create when so many people are focussed towards Mecca at specific times. It can account for the fact that Islam is the largest growing religion.

I always begin my prayers at a fixed time, and amazingly no matter how disturbed I am, my mind becomes calm and tranquil. I light the diya and the agarbattis, the air is almost immediately transformed. The smell of the ghee in the lamp triggers my mind to become still(as still as it can get), the smoke from the agarbatti wafts in the air, sometimes I see patterns and faces in them.

When I was younger, I almost always had a request for Maa Kali, my ishtadevi. But slowly as the years rolled on and with my parent’s advise, I stopped asking. I prayed with gratitude and did not ask anything of the almighty.

Desire is the root of all evil; reading up on Buddhist philosophy and the Bhagavadgita, I tried to erase desires from my mind.

Action without hope, says Lord Krishna. I tried to understand and put this to practise. Desires can never be obliterated from the mind of someone living in this consumerist hellhole.

Just to function at a very basic level, my wants and needs were quite substantial. And I mean just BASICS!

When you seek to initiate a dialogue with the divine, remember that essentially it’s a monologue; chances are heavy that it will never graduate to a dialogue at all. So here we are all buzzing away like busy bees, carrying on our individual monologue, hoping to be heard.

Everyone wants something, a new car, a five figure salary, a plush condo; I agree some want more basics like food on their plate, but still these are all wants. We want it all, the cacophony of billions of thoughts always demanding, cajoling, requesting something from a God, whether he be called Krishna or God, the father, whether she be called Kali or Tara is enough to drive him/her mad!!!

Who is GOD???

The Vedas say Avangmanasagochara, which translated means, “You are beyond the comprehension of my mind and expression.”

From a theistic point of view, ‘God’ is pure ‘Spirit’, Infinite Intelligence, Divine Principle, the originating essence of all ‘being’ and ‘consciousness’.

‘God’ is ‘One’ and ‘All’, being omnipresent, so includes both ‘personal’ and ‘non-personal’ aspects of thought, energy and matter. Of course we can say more, according to various schools and their ‘terms’, but the ‘absolute’ itself is beyond description, name and form, and from the formless, all forms arise.

But most of us request things from God with good intentions; yes, the path to hell is also paved with “GOOD INTENTIONS”.

I hope my son gets above 80% in his entrance exam, then goes on to study medicine, and then moves on to a successful practise making pots and pots of money from sick people and of course what good is this all if he does not care for me when I am old.

You see how “good intentions” which drive us are not always good.

It is an egregious illusion, a myth, a mirage!!!

In fact in trying to get kids to do better in school, we are witnessing a time of utter ruin for them, with kids as small as five committing suicide. For some kids self harm has become a way of life, and all for unrealistic expectations from their parents and teachers. This is simply self delusion on our part; who else but ourselves are we deceiving???

Let’s scrutinize child education in the world today.

Small children lug huge bags to school, like some sort of beast of burden; it’s a miracle their backs don’t give up!

Then they arrive in school, where they are treated as cattle, children view one another with a competitive spirit which fosters resentment and hatred. They are taught from the beginning the policy of no-tolerance, nil respect and hatred, suspicion and xenophobia, be it deliberately or in a subtle context.

We are knowingly and unknowingly waging a war on our children!! Accept it and let’s move on.

I have bifurcated from the topic of prayer, but the subject of children and their position in society today really “grinds my nuts”, it takes me to the point when I just want to scream out at all the perpetrators and rip my hair off. Not a pretty picture I assure you!

So I have spoken of prayer and how it inadvertently leads to us asking, demanding and wanting things from God.

Now let us turn to meditation. When we meditate we are not looking to start a dialogue which will evidently become a monologue, but we are just looking at listening to what the Universe has to say and trust me it has a lot to say.

When we meditate, in the beginning, thoughts are endless; non-stop chattering makes it almost impossible to calm our minds, so how can we hope to listen to anything the Universe has to say.

Our minds will not shut up; the sounds drown our very being.

But we must persevere. Sit down to meditate every day at the same time. Sit facing the same direction and if possible sit on a cloth which will be your asana. Just sit still, if not in padmasana or siddhasana, and then sit quietly in any position comfortable. Sit in a chair if you cannot sit on the floor.

Let the thoughts assail you, let them come, watch them come, but do not welcome them, nor must you judge them. Let them come as people in a carnival, all dressed up, ready to play out their respective roles. Watch as you would a crowded street, but watch passively, do not judge, do not fall into the trap of associating yourself or disassociating from them.

They are not your friends, nor your foes, they are what they are- just thoughts, and thoughts come and go!!! They are not here to stay; it is their impermanence you study.

How one minute a solid thought enters your brain, let it soak there, let it fester, let it ferment in there.

Slowly you will realize that it too dissipates, the thought which was soaking, dries up, it begins to lose its shape, just like clouds in the sky, which take up various shapes, sometimes a goat, sometimes a falcon, sometimes they become the staircase to heaven. Look up at the sky and observe the clouds, and similarly log into your mind during meditation and watch your thoughts. Do you get angry or upset if the cloud takes a certain shape? Then why must your thoughts arouse such feeling?

During meditation keep remembering that thoughts are clouds, they take various shapes, they also disappear, and they sometimes bring rain- but that is their job, so sit back and watch.

Notice how you breathe, watch how you exhale, how you inhale! Observe this cycle- again and again!

So in doing this for days and months and finally years, you will see the Universe has started talking to you.

The great SILENCE is finally speaking to you!

The timeless quality in meditation is highly addictive. Yes meditation is highly addictive.

Prayer is externalized, meditation is internalized.

Meditation is looking in, prayer is seeking out.

While meditating you find the Godhead within, and while praying you seek to pay obeisance to God in some external form, be it Jesus, Allah or Shiva.

In meditation do you realize SHIVOHAM, no amount of Shiv-puja can show you that; yes, it can create a fertile ground to get into meditation, but it can never help you experience SHIVOHAM.

So will you choose to talk to the Universe, or will you choose to listen??

I have been meditating now for years, yet, I am just a novice. But sometimes, even if for a brief moment, my mind stills during dhyana and for a split second the Universe talks to me.

Yes I still pray, I do my Shiv puja and mantra chanting every day, but I do not ask for anything from the Godhead, except SARVAMANGALAM!

But my number one addiction remains meditation which changes our DNA, where I truly find truth, bliss and unadulterated peace, even if for a micro second.

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is. 
~ A. W. Watts

 

 

 

Mahashivaratri 2014

Om Shivayo shantayo karanatrayo hetave,

Nivedayami chatmanag, tang gating Parameshwar,

Vishweshwarayo, nara karnava taranaya, gyan pradaya, karunamaya sagaraya,

Karpura dhavalendhu jatodharaye,

Daridre dukhya dahanaya,

Namah Shivaya, Nama Shivaya.

This Shivaratri has been like none other, I am a mother now, yes, a mother. My child has done something absolutely awesome; she has given birth to the mother who sits and types away. A new woman, an awakened woman, a poem composed of love!

Shivoham! Shivoham! Shivoham!

I am Shiva- sadchidananda- pure consciousness, unbridled bliss and absolute truth!

I have been toying with this idea forever, it seems like an eternity, yet, my punitive intellect cannot grasp it. Then again, it is not for the intellect to grasp, one must experience it for oneself. I have no way (it looks that way as of now) to get a cohesive understanding of this subject matter and intellectually analyzing it will not do it.

The mind is a futile tool indeed, it knows nothing. Thoughts like waves coming crashing on the mind-shore, these thoughts they crash and lose form. The idea held in them gets all merged with Nothingness. The mind is a loud cacophony of noises and one like me cannot hope to quieten it. Sadhana is the key and understanding the concept that this body is not me is the key. I can only mindlessly chant- SHIVOHAM!!!!

It’s not that repeating Shivoham does me no good.  According to Physiology, 125 million cells are regenerated every second and regularly chanting Shivoham aids in directing the turbulent mind to stillness, to quietude!!! The mind is pacified; it stops to ponder useless thoughts

ADI SHANKARACHARYA, in his interpretation of the name Shiva, interprets it to have multiple meanings: “The Pure One”, or “the One who is not affected by three Gunas of Prakrti (SattvaRajas, and Tamas)” or “the One who purifies everyone by the very utterance of His name. So no matter how clouded we are by ignorance, even if we feel that we are not adhyatmic or spiritual, still the mere utterance of this holy name will do the needful.

Shiva was always my favourite deity. My father told me that no matter who you were, what you did or had done, Shiva would accept you as his devotee. You just have to open your heart and seek him out,; one reason he is referred to as Bholenath or simple God.

The other Gods are selective and dismissive, very specific rituals and ablutions are required and I was never one for routine.  But, but, but I have been doing Shiv-puja now for years, since my childhood. My mother has shown me the way to perform the puja according to the parampara of Gyanganj, shown to her by her pujya Gurudeva Tunubaba who was the grandson of Paramhamsa Vishuddhananda.

As a child I was told all sorts of Pauranic stories; hours were spent contemplating these stupendous adventures, my imagination ran riot. Shiva forms the trinity of Hinduism with Vishnu and Bramha as the other two aspects. He is the destroyer, his dumaroo signals the end, also he is the patron deity of Arts and Yoga. As a writer, filmmaker, photographer he is the one I must anyway pay obeisance to, but trust me, the process has been effortless and organic. I have always loved Bholenath.

Shiva Linga is the symbol of Lord Shiva who is actually formless. He is Arupa, he is without definition and no words can describe him so we worship the lingam.

Shiva is the language of silence and if you pay heed, he speaks to you and in a profound state of awareness you realize that he is your in-dweller, your innermost self or ‘Atman,’ and who is identical with the supreme ‘Parabrahman.’

It was the story of the Amrit that absolutely fascinated me. Shiva in a totally new avatar! The episode of Dakshayagna infuriated me, how could all the Gods watch Shiva get insulted this way and then the dance of the Nataraj! Must confess, it did scare me to think of Shiva’s penultimate dance. No I did not understand that Shiva is the destroyer of time, his dance is a signal of Mahapralaya; the end of a cycle. Shiva, heralded the new.

On a personal note, Shiva has destroyed many an idea, some relationships, certain dreams from my life, yes, I know it is insignificant in the greater picture, but on very close inspection with a spiritual eye reveals- No, it is significant. I am not a mere drop in the ocean I am the ocean!! And every time he destroyed something, it pointed me to another direction. So destruction eventually led to creation and slowly, slowly my life took shape. At a point I was like a river, one bank had been destroyed, the other one crumbled too. The waters rushed out and took new shape, not defined again by two banks. Shiva crushed my whole life to create a new me and I am ever so grateful!

I am not a tiny atom, I am the Universe and Shiva is the Universe- he is everything!! I am everything- SHIVOHAM!!!

But, but, but….and the words just drain my consciousness, how can I grasp such infinitude??

It scares me; will I forever be this horse with blinkers, this frog in a well??

Will I ever experience Shivoham???

Now when I read the anecdotes on Shiva, I see a fathomless gamut of symbology, of buried inner meaning. Sanatan Dharma is to be taken literally only till a certain stage, once you look beyond the humanization that the rishis perpetrated on us, you begin to see a whole new world emerge, a world of truth, a world where every symbol begins to take on certain meaning. It is an amazing experience.

To know what Shiva is, to feel what Shiva is, to think like Shiva- is a very complex process.

It begins with renunciation- give up your ego, your self-identity. This body is not you, the house you live in is not your home, and you are an infinite being.

Science is now hinting that reality os holographic, so this 3D world of sensory experiences is not real. Some say, this Unity that Ancient cultures talk about is literal, they say that one person could be dreaming this whole darn thing up!

I would not disagree- that person is Ardhanarishwara- SHIVA AND SHAKTI- the two poles of duality, in a perpetual dance of creation!!!

We are just dreams in his mind, in her mind.

Do you know that the term SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM is not really from our texts- the real words are SHANTAM SHIVAM ADWAITYAM, but Maharshi Devendranath Tagore(Rabindranath Tagore’s father) popularized them from a French Philosopher Cousin Victor who wrote Le uvai, Le beau, Le bien and ever since it has become a popular way to describe Lord Shiva.

However for many, an unclad picture of a half naked Zeenat Aman comes to mind and that simply goes on to show that this is ghor kalyug.

Anyway that does not take away the fact that Shiva is unalloyed joy, pristine beauty and very auspicious.

In fact, Shiva was worshipped prior to the Vedic period. Excavations at Mohenjodaro and Harappa show a deity, similar to Shiva, riding a bull. It is unmistakably Shiva.

Many Indus valley seals show animals. One seal that has attracted attention shows a figure, either horned or wearing a horned headdress and possibly ithyphallic figure seated in a posture reminiscent of the Lotus position and surrounded by animals was named by early excavators of Mohenjo-daroPashupati (lord of cattle), an epithet of the later Hindu gods Shiva and Rudra.

While speaking to the Sanskrit scholar, Mr. Kazanas, I discovered that the academic community definitely consider that deity to be a proto Shiva, although some scholars like Gavin Flood and John Keay think it is unfounded.

The worship of Shiva in the tantric form is age old and has continued in India, China, Nepal, Srilanka and Tibet for centuries. Areas notable for the practice of Shaivism include parts of Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.

Shiva has existed from the time that time existed, from the very beginning of it all. Shaivism (Sanskrit: शैव पंथ, śaiva patha) (Tamilசைவ சமயம்) is the oldest of the four major sects of Hinduism, the others being VaishnavismShaktism and Smartism.

Another controversial fact I have discovered from my research is that the stone at Mecca, called the Kaba is actually a Shiva Lingam.

If you read the life story of Baba Loknath, you will see that during the 19th and 20th century Sadhus and Yogis would regularly visit the Kaba and pray there, why??? Because it is a Shiv Ling. Which is why the Sultan pours milk on that stone and prays, devotees circumambulate it, just like we perform pradakshina in temples. This has popped up in so many stories. This subject deserves a whole article and I will try to work on it.

All of divinity is Shiva. If you read Norse mythology, you will see the parallels between Odin and Shiva. He is everywhere, yet, nowhere!!!

The hearts of the devotees are black, they are in abject poverty, a kind of spiritual limbo, a materialistic plague overwhelms us. So how will Shiva find his way into our hearts???

Shivoham, Shivoham…..

Remember, Shiva is very forgiving. Just call out for his guidance and you will feel him in your life. It is simply that easy. Keep saying Shivoham and you will get calm, peaceful and things will appear in a new light, you will gain a different perspective.

So let’s gather today in unison and shout out to the world, let the Universe hear us, let Shiva hear us- SHIVOHAM.

I AM NOT A COMMODITY, I AM NOT A THING TO BE USED AND ABUSED, I AM NOT PROPERTY, I AM A HUMAN, I AM WHAT I AM – PURE BLISS, PEACE AND CONSCIOUSNESS- I AM SHIVA….

SHIVOHAM!!!!

Mahashivaratri 2014

 

Om Shivayo shantayo karanatrayo hetave,

Nivedayami chatmanag, tang gating Parameshwar,

Vishweshwarayo, nara karnava taranaya, gyan pradaya, karunamaya sagaraya,

Karpura dhavalendhu jatodharaye,

Daridre dukhya dahanaya,

Namah Shivaya, Nama Shivaya.

This Shivaratri has been like none other, I am a mother now, yes, a mother. My child has done something absolutely awesome; she has given birth to the mother who sits and types away. A new woman, an awakened woman, a poem composed of love!

Shivoham! Shivoham! Shivoham!

I am Shiva- sadchidananda- pure consciousness, unbridled bliss and absolute truth!

I have been toying with this idea forever, it seems like an eternity, yet, my punitive intellect cannot grasp it. Then again, it is not for the intellect to grasp, one must experience it for oneself. I have no way (it looks that way as of now) to get a cohesive understanding of this subject matter and intellectually analyzing it will not do it.

The mind is a futile tool indeed, it knows nothing. Thoughts like waves coming crashing on the mind-shore, these thoughts they crash and lose form. The idea held in them gets all merged with Nothingness. The mind is a loud cacophony of noises and one like me cannot hope to quieten it. Sadhana is the key and understanding the concept that this body is not me is the key. I can only mindlessly chant- SHIVOHAM!!!!

It’s not that repeating Shivoham does me no good.  According to Physiology, 125 million cells are regenerated every second and regularly chanting Shivoham aids in directing the turbulent mind to stillness, to quietude!!! The mind is pacified; it stops to ponder useless thoughts

ADI SHANKARACHARYA, in his interpretation of the name Shiva, interprets it to have multiple meanings: “The Pure One”, or “the One who is not affected by three Gunas of Prakrti (SattvaRajas, and Tamas)” or “the One who purifies everyone by the very utterance of His name. So no matter how clouded we are by ignorance, even if we feel that we are not adhyatmic or spiritual, still the mere utterance of this holy name will do the needful.

Shiva was always my favourite deity. My father told me that no matter who you were, what you did or had done, Shiva would accept you as his devotee. You just have to open your heart and seek him out,; one reason he is referred to as Bholenath or simple God.

The other Gods are selective and dismissive, very specific rituals and ablutions are required and I was never one for routine.  But, but, but I have been doing Shiv-puja now for years, since my childhood. My mother has shown me the way to perform the puja according to the parampara of Gyanganj, shown to her by her pujya Gurudeva Tunubaba who was the grandson of Paramhamsa Vishuddhananda.

As a child I was told all sorts of Pauranic stories; hours were spent contemplating these stupendous adventures, my imagination ran riot. Shiva forms the trinity of Hinduism with Vishnu and Bramha as the other two aspects. He is the destroyer, his dumaroo signals the end, also he is the patron deity of Arts and Yoga. As a writer, filmmaker, photographer he is the one I must anyway pay obeisance to, but trust me, the process has been effortless and organic. I have always loved Bholenath.

Shiva Linga is the symbol of Lord Shiva who is actually formless. He is Arupa, he is without definition and no words can describe him so we worship the lingam.

Shiva is the language of silence and if you pay heed, he speaks to you and in a profound state of awareness you realize that he is your in-dweller, your innermost self or ‘Atman,’ and who is identical with the supreme ‘Parabrahman.’

It was the story of the Amrit that absolutely fascinated me. Shiva in a totally new avatar! The episode of Dakshayagna infuriated me, how could all the Gods watch Shiva get insulted this way and then the dance of the Nataraj! Must confess, it did scare me to think of Shiva’s penultimate dance. No I did not understand that Shiva is the destroyer of time, his dance is a signal of Mahapralaya; the end of a cycle. Shiva, heralded the new.

On a personal note, Shiva has destroyed many an idea, some relationships, certain dreams from my life, yes, I know it is insignificant in the greater picture, but on very close inspection with a spiritual eye reveals- No, it is significant. I am not a mere drop in the ocean I am the ocean!! And every time he destroyed something, it pointed me to another direction. So destruction eventually led to creation and slowly, slowly my life took shape. At a point I was like a river, one bank had been destroyed, the other one crumbled too. The waters rushed out and took new shape, not defined again by two banks. Shiva crushed my whole life to create a new me and I am ever so grateful!

I am not a tiny atom, I am the Universe and Shiva is the Universe- he is everything!! I am everything- SHIVOHAM!!!

But, but, but….and the words just drain my consciousness, how can I grasp such infinitude??

It scares me; will I forever be this horse with blinkers, this frog in a well??

Will I ever experience Shivoham???

Now when I read the anecdotes on Shiva, I see a fathomless gamut of symbology, of buried inner meaning. Sanatan Dharma is to be taken literally only till a certain stage, once you look beyond the humanization that the rishis perpetrated on us, you begin to see a whole new world emerge, a world of truth, a world where every symbol begins to take on certain meaning. It is an amazing experience.

To know what Shiva is, to feel what Shiva is, to think like Shiva- is a very complex process.

It begins with renunciation- give up your ego, your self-identity. This body is not you, the house you live in is not your home, and you are an infinite being.

Science is now hinting that reality os holographic, so this 3D world of sensory experiences is not real. Some say, this Unity that Ancient cultures talk about is literal, they say that one person could be dreaming this whole darn thing up!

I would not disagree- that person is Ardhanarishwara- SHIVA AND SHAKTI- the two poles of duality, in a perpetual dance of creation!!!

We are just dreams in his mind, in her mind.

Do you know that the term SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM is not really from our texts- the real words are SHANTAM SHIVAM ADWAITYAM, but Maharshi Devendranath Tagore(Rabindranath Tagore’s father) popularized them from a French Philosopher Cousin Victor who wrote Le uvai, Le beau, Le bien and ever since it has become a popular way to describe Lord Shiva.

However for many, an unclad picture of a half naked Zeenat Aman comes to mind and that simply goes on to show that this is ghor kalyug.

Anyway that does not take away the fact that Shiva is unalloyed joy, pristine beauty and very auspicious.

In fact, Shiva was worshipped prior to the Vedic period. Excavations at Mohenjodaro and Harappa show a deity, similar to Shiva, riding a bull. It is unmistakably Shiva.

Many Indus valley seals show animals. One seal that has attracted attention shows a figure, either horned or wearing a horned headdress and possibly ithyphallic figure seated in a posture reminiscent of the Lotus position and surrounded by animals was named by early excavators of Mohenjo-daroPashupati (lord of cattle), an epithet of the later Hindu gods Shiva and Rudra.

While speaking to the Sanskrit scholar, Mr. Kazanas, I discovered that the academic community definitely consider that deity to be a proto Shiva, although some scholars like Gavin Flood and John Keay think it is unfounded.

The worship of Shiva in the tantric form is age old and has continued in India, China, Nepal, Srilanka and Tibet for centuries. Areas notable for the practice of Shaivism include parts of Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.

Shiva has existed from the time that time existed, from the very beginning of it all. Shaivism (Sanskrit: शैव पंथ, śaiva patha) (Tamilசைவ சமயம்) is the oldest of the four major sects of Hinduism, the others being VaishnavismShaktism and Smartism.

Another controversial fact I have discovered from my research is that the stone at Mecca, called the Kaba is actually a Shiva Lingam.

If you read the life story of Baba Loknath, you will see that during the 19th and 20th century Sadhus and Yogis would regularly visit the Kaba and pray there, why??? Because it is a Shiv Ling. Which is why the Sultan pours milk on that stone and prays, devotees circumambulate it, just like we perform pradakshina in temples. This has popped up in so many stories. This subject deserves a whole article and I will try to work on it.

All of divinity is Shiva. If you read Norse mythology, you will see the parallels between Odin and Shiva. He is everywhere, yet, nowhere!!!

The hearts of the devotees are black, they are in abject poverty, a kind of spiritual limbo, a materialistic plague overwhelms us. So how will Shiva find his way into our hearts???

Shivoham, Shivoham…..

Remember, Shiva is very forgiving. Just call out for his guidance and you will feel him in your life. It is simply that easy. Keep saying Shivoham and you will get calm, peaceful and things will appear in a new light, you will gain a different perspective.

So let’s gather today in unison and shout out to the world, let the Universe hear us, let Shiva hear us- SHIVOHAM.

I AM NOT A COMMODITY, I AM NOT A THING TO BE USED AND ABUSED, I AM NOT PROPERTY, I AM A HUMAN, I AM WHAT I AM – PURE BLISS, PEACE AND CONSCIOUSNESS- I AM SHIVA….

SHIVOHAM!!!!

 

Dattatreya and the sacred Sahyadris

The powerful and intense vibrations of the Western Ghats has always mesmerised me, since I took my first trip from Bombay to Pune a few years ago. Nestled in the lap of the Sahyadri mountain range, lies the twin cities of Khandala and Lonavla. Like the usual routine of a tourist I did my bit of buying Chiki and fudge from Lonavala, little did I know that this would be my home in a few years and herein you get the best chocolate fudge in the whole wide world. Now looking back at that day, it seems to me that there was a premonition, a little thought flying through my brain, a little sigh escaped my lips to see the sheer beauty of this landscape surrounded by the majestic Sahyadri.

I am crazy for mountains. As a child my father would ask me, “What do you prefer, the sea or the mountains?” I never faltered, no matter how much the caress of the waves lured me, the silent solitude of the mountain inescapably sounded a chord in my heart and in my being which I could not ignore.

No the mountains it had to be. My father smiled, I think the mountains may also be his favourite, he seems that type of a man.

So after the crazy lifestyle of Bombay, I escape to Khandala! I love Bombay, make no mistake about that. I found Myself in that city. I stared at the abyss, the abyss stared back, as promised! I returned to civilization a changed person.

I found the man I love in Bombay, I found my interests in that city. Being rocked to death in the buses or being squeezed like a lemon in the locals, all in all it was a tremendous time of learning and developing. I did my best to adapt as I moved around, whether as an Instructor of Drama for children for Rael Padamsee, or to work as Concept Developer in Miditech in Sakinaka(at that time I was living in Colaba)!

Walking on Marine Drive, seeing the tempestuous sea, I felt strangely at home. I have seen the sea in many places, but never have I seen such bipolar behaviour as the sea face in Bombay.

One day the sea will be all bright, the skies all blue, the Sun is up, that very afternoon, thunder, lighting and rain clouds will gather- the sky will be a slate grey or pitch black, the rain thunders down, but only for a brief moment. You run helter skelter to guard against it(especially people like me who do not carry umbrellas), but then as suddenly as it came, the rain stops. The sky is clear again, I step out into the wet road, the only proof that it did in fact rain and I did not imagine it and I look up. No clouds, none at all! Just clear blue skies!

The Bombay sea and the Bombay skies are bipolar!

Aghori Vimalananda, the Guru of Author Robert Svoboda, had said that Bombay is cursed, the very islands are CURSED, its water is CURSED, the food is cursed! I read all three books hoping some proof will be provided in support of this statement, but found no more elaboration. But something rings true to my ears- Bombay has a curse, what it is, I do not know! I seek to discover more on this, so if I do, I will keep you posted, as of now, nothing else can be said.

I may in fact have managed to escape this curse. I have been allowed to leave Bombay. I live about a couple of hours away, in this once-quaint hill-station, now destroyed by construction sites, but still it is nothing like the vast abyss of Bombay. It is still small, still quiet and the villages still drink country liquor and pass out by 9.30. Everything is quiet from about 7 in the evening. For us nightbirds from Bombay, it is perfect!

We can go out investigating, we can identify interesting spots, watch the stars above and breathe the clean, oxygenated air. Yes for once the skies are clean, not over cloudy like Bombay. You can actually see the familiar celestial objects.

We climb to the top of hillocks and listen to the sounds of the night. It’s a meditation- I see the sounds come to life, yes, the sounds of the night become entities that take on an anthropomorphized Persona. My imagination begins to run rampant.

Did I tell you that I always got in trouble at school because of my imagination! My parents had to hear the same thing- She has a very vivid imagination and it was implied to be pejorative. Little did my teachers know that this imagination will come in handy when you gaze at the stars in the sky and visualize the sounds of the Night coming to life lying in the bosom of the wild Sahyadri mountain range.

The air emanates different smells which take me back to different stored memories in the hard-disk of my mind! Sometimes when I walk on the dew at dawn, I am transported to my childhood standing in front of my grandfather, two dogs- one black and one white with reddish patches were running near me and I was smiling. My grandfather, holding his ears does situps as punishment from me, for not being able to answer some silly question of mine, which I presume, he purposely did not answer to as he knew how important it made me feel to punish him. It was just a shift of power I enjoyed. Yes human is indeed motivated by will to power unless they have ascertained the Higher Truths. Don’t judge me as a sadist, let’s move on!

So yes Khandala bathed in mist is a little magical kingdom. It is my home and place of rest. It resonates with very sacred vibrations- of Bhagawan Dattatreya, Sant Tukaram and Maharaj Swami Samarth.

I share my home with many cats and a dog, so I do not fail to pay obeisance to Lord Dattatreya whose home is the Sahyadri, just like mine. Growing up in Bengal I did not know Lord Datta. His presence is stronger this side of the country. I love him and I love the mountains that surround me.

When I return from Bombay, the sight of the silent, dependable Sahyadri fills my being with peace, bliss and tranquillity. I just want to run into the darkness and lose myself, my ego, my personality, the masks I wear, my entire being! I want to rediscover my true identity and the Sahyadri helps me, a little every day.