Our Lord is the greatest creator Who has created the Mother Nature With everything in exquisite order Only man creates disorder In the fine-tuned fabric of Nature By his omissions and commissions Which disturbs the balance of creation Created by our Supreme Creator. We humans create our own world (Sansara) Of our own apt choice besides fertile ideas After cleansing all mildew Encrusted in our mind Thence throwing out all the disturbing distractions From within our self Thus establish the reign of serenity And tranquil mind, just calmly This stillness creates conditions For creative instincts to come to the fore Creative people never feel shy of any challenge If and when doubt arises They are open minded and open ended With flexibility in abundance Along with belief in self to create And the Supreme Creator For providing necessary input/cues If our goal is to create something extraordinary Then we shall have to take path so out of ordinary..
CREATION IS THE RESULT OF DISTINCT AND MYSTIC THOUGHT WHICH IS PUT IN ACTION
Creation is very distinct and mystic thought. It could happen when we adopt a method which is out out of ordinary. Unique thoughts and actions result in unique outcomes as persistence in our efforts always bring about positive results. It could be construed as a digging deep exercise in our inner self and coming out with a rich enlightening thoughts and then actions thereof. It could be understood as a deep churning in our own inner self like the Samundar Manthan or sea churning by the Devtas and demons. In which many things of huge importance came out. Meaning everything exists but we have to make a sincere effort with strong determination for creating something unique. For this to be reality, we have to first of all cleanse our mind and have sense control to attain a stage of stillness away from restless of our mind. Silence being the creative zone of our being. In Bhagwad Git it has rightly been said: The mind is restless and difficult to restrain, but is is subdued by practice. Still mind works wonders for creating something only one of its kind.
WE ARE THE CREATIONS OF OUR CREATOR
The best things are created with great passion, wherein every small details are taken care. God is a great Creator. All the creations of the world, stars, the galaxies, the beautiful blue sky, the cloudy skies, rain drops, snowing; in other world every play of Nature has been sculpted with enormous precision. Every speck/agents/elements of Nature has been created in such a manner that nothing is lost. Every tiny speck has got its significance without which the whole entity does not work in cohesion. Similar is the case with our body. The way our body functions with all the organs of the body working as a cohesive unit. If any one organ fails, the entire body just becomes dysfunctional. For instance, the five fingers of our hand. If one of the fingers gets injured, the function of our entire hand gets hampered, its functionality gets disrupted.
We also are aware how present day humans evolved with the passage of time. Similar is the case with our evolution in our knowledge. Every day we should make an effort to evolve us with the new experiences and thus make a mark for ourselves. For instance, my of my friends studied in a Government run village school with almost no facilities like library books, the labs were not well stocked for experiments because of financial constraints. But one thing most appropriate was the environment of learning created by the teachers (Gurus). They compensated the deficiencies with their methodical and systematic grooming of the students by sound transference of value system along with created competitive environment in the school besides utilizing effectively the resources available in the school at that time. My friend and his classmates were so much motivated that they evinced interest in becoming a holistic personality by working hard to achieve any goal. At that time award and punishment was the norms which instilled awe and respect for the teaching community. I know this because I was also a part of that class. It is also pertinent to mention that all the classmates of mine did exceptionally well in their lives. Furthermore, we considered our teachers next to our parents for molding ourselves. Our teachers also taught the importance of sincerity in our efforts, persistence and belief in self and God. This paid dividends for us all.
HUMANS REQUIRE HUMANE TOUCH FOR ENHANCING RECREATIVE FERVOR
The faith is such thought percept which does not cost anything but could generate a feeling of strong determination. A strong faith is generated in stages. These are:-
Creation of thought. When a thought takes birth in us, then, that thought remains unproductive and useless till such time it is put into practice through experimentation through trial and error method and subsequently learning from the experiments. On the way, we get practice which creates faith in our efforts. This faith is the first requisite for our creativity. This is in line with the Bbhagwad Gita: Man s made by his beliefs. As he believes, so he is.
KNOWLEDGE BECOMES USELESS TILL IT IS MADE APPLICABLE When we have faith in our action, then, failure and success makes no difference to us. If we fail, then our faith spurs us to try again and again till we get some tangible results. This faith in our effort creates condition for creation of something unique.
Experimenting with thought generated is equivalent to experimenting with truth. The important aspect of our faith is availing opportunities for experimenting with the truth. Experimenting with truth brings in its wake spiritual orientation to our effort which helps us delving deep into ourselves and helps bring out the best creative outcome since what comes out of our inner self (heart) is creative in its wake. Whosoever uses the inner potential uses both head and heart creates something unique. It is because with strong faith, we can achieve our goal, and when strong faith in us is entwined with spiritualism, it brings about something very extraordinary for which everybody appreciates us since it is useful for them. For the achiever, it is pride of a achievement since it is got through his/her best inner efforts. The wisdom of Bhagwad Gita is very relevant here: The wise sees knowledge and action as one; they see truly. True Bhakti or meditation solidifies our belief or faith in us which brings out the best from us but for this to be real, we have to put best foot forward. We have to become a Karma Yogi – spirituality pays rich dividends.
In real sense, we all are created in the mold of our Supreme Creator therefore we all are creator in one form or another. Everybody could do something unique but in essence it is important to have to do so therefore everybody could create something unique. We can also follow others and work hard to follow their footsteps, in other words imbue in their colours. This could be done by improving our work which was done earlier on by putting on sincere efforts and enhance our capacity to develop subsequently this could be made a habit. There are people who think that creative instinct is an inherited faculty; I opine, it is earned by going even beyond our comfort zone – practice as hard as possible. For instance a work of art created with immense zeal and enthusiasm creates joy for every not only for the creator but also for the people who glimpse his creative work. In other words the person concerned is immortalized through his creation. There are so many examples wherein their hard work paid rich dividends in the form of creative work. In other words, creativity is infinite – it does not die.
Great artist Pablo Picasso has opined: Good artists copy, great artists steal.
PRE-REQUISITES FOR CREATIVE MENTALITY BEING OPEN MINDED AND OPEN ENDED
When we are of closed mentality then we would be lacking in creativity. Therefore, we have to be open minded and open hearted so as to absorb everything which comes. In other words, we have to be very flexible in our approach. Assimilate everybody and everything good which comes on the path to our holistic development. But at the same time, we have to be very particular while seeking our spiritual goals. Here we have to seek quality rather than quantity of our search. We have to be determined and tough minded in other words hard-nosed for getting things done what we should actually have to consolidate our position as a person who sorts out wisdom out of mystified and confused thoughts.
LIMITING OUR THOUGHTS MEANS LIMITING OUR KNOWLEDGE ACQUIRING
Our thoughts are the prime-movers of our knowledge. If we limit our thoughts then we shall be limiting the scope of our actions and thus wisdom out of such thoughts and actions. Therefore, we have to self-aware and let our conscious mind to be pro-active in helping us to expand our awareness. While doing so, we have to control our mind since an uncontrolled mind acts as an enemy of self-knowledge. We have to remove our ignorance with self-belief for self-knowledge. In Bhagwad Gita it has been asserted that: ‘’sever the ignorant doubt in your heart with the sword of self-knowledge. By doing so, we shall remain action oriented and keep on improving at every stage of our life and realize our purpose of our existence.
MEN WITH WISDOM HAVE SOLUTION TO EVERY PROBLEM WHAT WE WANT TO BE DEPENDS ON US
IN Bhagwad Gita it has rightly been said: man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is. In In essence, we have to have firm belief in us, create conditions so as to be what we actually want to be. For this, we have to have conceptualize our thoughts processes first, accept what is best for our self-growth while leaving what is not suitable for us as per the situation and condition in which we are living. We can adopt any profession of our inclination but for this to be reality, we need to have firm self-belief. In life we come across people with determined mind-set. We can learn from their life story and adopt their way of life. Such set goals for themselves and make concerted efforts in achieving the same. They do not see back but steadfastly work for such an achievement something exceptional. Thus those have got everything and those who do not have anything could be gauged from their attitude towards life. Those who persevere can only achieve. This achievement could be in any sphere; for name and fame, for reaching highest pedestal in life, for spiritually onward march along with achieving what one wants etc.
In Bhagwad Gita it has clearly put: Creation is only the projection into form of that which already exists:. We have to draw out what already exists in us with utmost persistence along with sincerity in our efforts even with out of box ideas.
SHIVA – OUR OWN BHOLA JI (CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL ON MAHASHIVRATRI – 21st FEB 2020)
Lord Shiva has himself told the deities that he had manifested in the form of Pillar of Fire’ in the month of Agahan and during the constellation of Ardra. Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati (Nature – Prakriti) are really difficult to be understood by a normal human being. Both love their creations; it may be normal humans or demons (Lord Shiva’s liking for Demon King Ravana as a great Bhakta of Shiva is well known), ghosts, spirits (which Lord Shiva took with him at the time of his marriage with Parvati), amongst all the creations. They are adoring, simplistic, pleasing in bestowing their graces with slightest of prayers, enigmatic, recluse, forgiving, artistic, greatest preachers, greatest scientist etc. Therefore, we should not only to dwell on their union in marriage but also their compassionate NATURE which we should try to emulate. I have tried to cover some of His aspects. Kindly appraise – alt
hough these are not complete because SHIV PURANA contains everything that a human should know and emulate in our life for peace and prosperity and bring about happiness and ultimately MOKSHA (LIBERATION).
Maha Shivratri is celebrated on Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi in the month of Phalguna as per Hindu calendar which is in the month of February. This is an annual feature which is celebrated with great enthusiasm and reverence. This is the holiest day since this day is associated with the sacred marriage of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati (the daughter of Himalaya) – in fact coming together of Shiva & Shakti.
THOUGHTS ON LORD SHIVA
Lord Shiva our most loved amongst the Godheads The one who is a destroyer And then a mystic creator In essence to know Lord Shiva it is essential to be aware of Satyam Shivam Sundaram Where Satyam relates to truth Which could be tested at any place and time Shivam means giving for growth From infancy to all stages of our existence Sundaram means aesthetic beauty Inculcated through giving knowledge (Gyan) But without expectation in return We seek oneness of ourselves with that of Divine Since we are part of divine content. With a most unique appearance Whence in a meditative trance With absolute Stillness and pious silence engulfing all around An aura of magical expression He seems just tranquil beyond description With mysterious powers though Ash smeared over his entire body With snakes coiled around Who takes pleasure in being in the cremation ground Which gives us humans a great lesson That we should never forget our final journey – death And be fully conscious of the ultimate truth. He is accompanied with ferocious looking demons Which too has a huge message for us humans That we can choose our Karma Be demonic or godly Bad Karmic deeds bring about Karmic debt And good Karmic deeds bring about Karmic credit While living in this world of ours. Lord Shiva and five elements – Panch Bhootas Fire (Agni), ether/sky (Akash), earth (Prithvi) and air (Vayu), water (Jal) Are contained in Lord Shiva in sufficient measure As in us too And are well connected and well controlled in every way in life form of our Lord Which could be reflected in his Cosmic Dance Exhibiting ferocity and wildness – Ruthra Along with giving happiness – Shankra Neelkanth (blue throated) one who took poison to save others from sure death Showing him as a figure of honour, brilliance and benevolence put together. Shiv Linga is a symbol Held with high esteem by all those who fathom his inner powers For getting his graces The devout worship him with immense reverence. Lord Shiva is the in charge of destruction And subsequently to be created again. Goddess Parvati is the Goddess of fertility Love and devotion along with power (Shakti) She has been called variously by 100 names She is part of Trinity amongst Goddesses Lakshmi, the Lorddess of wealth and prosperity Lordess of knowledge an learning is Saraswati. Mahadeva, Maheshwara, Ardnarishwara Devadeva, Gurudeva, Lingaraja, Natraja, et al There are many form and manifestation of Lord Shiva Our Shiva Ji is the greatest and majestic mystic He is enigmatic, non-perceivable God Disarmingly Naïve or Bholla to the core A greatest master and a great teacher The One who forgives Ashutosha, Baireva A dynamic dancer Natraja Who ingests even poison to save others A greatest scientist of repute Who loves each and every forms of creations In fact he is product and amalgamation Of all which exist in this world and beyond And what not Who displays His prowess just Differently at different points of times Sometimes he is Bhola or Rustic recluse Sitting in Smadhi posture even in cremation grounds Other times he is sitting in Smadhi posture In majestic Himalayan Kailash Parvat Emanating profuse aura and inner Shakti Lord Shiva himself tells His deities That He manifested himself In the form of Pillar of Fire Which is famously termed as Longasthan With stark resemblance To Mountain of Fire Famously termed as Arunachal.
Thenceforth Divine Couple appeared in the form of Ardhanarishwa Just complementing each other As Shiva and Shakti to bless all the creations Lord Shiva is known by 1008 names as per Shiv Purana. When Shiva and Parvati got united in the marriage This occasion is considered most auspicious Parvati is the daughter of King Himachal And the sister of Goddess Ganga The sacred promises of marriage were exchanged When their marriage was held We humans should remember these promises While living a life with our spouse One who worships Lord Shiva In the month Agahan And also during the constellation of Ardra Including Shivratri Day in His Form as Linga Is more dear to Him than His own son Kartikeya. Shiva is the greatest of all the educators He taught Barhmaji – the incharge of Creation And Vishnuji – the incharge of evolution The five duties (Panchakritya) of theirs On which the affairs and significance of the world function Shrishti – the Creation Sthithi – position Samhar – Annihilation Tirobhav – concealment Anugrah – Obligation or compassion. The origin of this world is due to Sarga or Nature Of Shakti or power which is essential for any action The establishment of this world is Stithi or position The earth is important for habitation The destruction of this world is Samhar Which is essential for fresh creation The absence of this world is concealment or Tirobhav Essential for recreation For continuation of living being Moksha is the liberation from births and deaths or Anugrah Shiva took the duties of destruction for further creation The job of Sanhar & Tiribhav Including finally the Anugrah is the giver of salvation Task of Sarga (Nature) is for nurturing for its survival Through its vegetation and other bounties Available in abundance for use by the creation. Subsequently, Lord Shiva explains about the meaning of OMKAR It is the power of Shakti (Nature) and Shiva Reciting OMKAR gives the person concerned The Moksha or Libration from birth and death. Also the importance of Shivalinga was explained It could be made mud, metal or stone Then appropriate place of installation has to be chosen And process of performing the Shodasopachar Or purification to be undertaken accordingly Where it could be worshipped routinely With the prayer OM NAMAH SHIVAY Without any obstruction which may come in the way. How best to worship Lord Shiva meaningfully. Worshipping done at night time is considered most appropriate For getting full connectivity with Lord Shiva Worshipping Shiva dissolves the sins of a worshippers And if the worshipping is done with utmost sincerity It could bestow us Moksha or Libration From births and deaths Besides bestowing us the place in His Abode for good. For famous temples of Shiva Are located on the banks of sacred rivers Such as Ganges, Yamuna, Saraswati, Godavari Narmada, Kaveri, Sarayu, Tungabhadra et al. THEN it is recognized by the Shiva Bhaktas That a person should be known by the Karmic deeds One does in thoughts and action. A person is not known by the family he/she is born But the Karma which one does in person A Brahman who is engaged in criticizing irrationally Could be termed as Shudra Brahmina A Kshatriya who is serving others Could be termed as Brahmin Kshatriya. The Dharma too is of two types Dharma performed by matter and materials Performance through Yagya or Yagna Amongst it is Agni-Yogya By offering Havan Samagri Materials such as til, barley fragrance Mixed with cow-ghee is put in the fire With great reverence Amid chanting of Vedic Mantra Along with reciting of Shiva Mantra – OM NAMON SHIVAYE Conducting this in the evening hours brings about prosperity And doing this in the morning brings about longevity. Then Dharma performed by physical activities Like performing pilgrimage to the places known to us Could bring about prosperity and peace of mind. Meditational methodology pursued in various Yugas must be known During Satya-Yuga The meditation was done to for self-awareness In Treta-Yuga, it was done through penance for benefit of self During Dwapara Yuga it was attained through Yagaya While in Kali Yuga Idol Worship is being followed For attaining self-realisation. Amongst everything else that is known Righteousness brings about happiness Opposite brings about sorrows and unhappiness. The various days of week are then known differently By the names of different deities Attributing for Shiva Himself, Sunday as the auspicious day Monday Maa Durga – the Shakti have immense prowess Tuesday, Skand the son of Lord Shiva Wednesday – Lord Vishnu the God responsible for evolution Which has been created by the Lord of Creation Thursday – Lord Yama the lord of death Foor the one who is born on earth Friday – Lord Brahma the lord of creation For continuity of civilization Saturday – Lord Indra the Rain God Which hept maintain the greenery in tact Worshipping on these days Gives a worshipper prosperity and happiness Worshipping on different places give different gains Cowshed worshipping bestows virtue On the banks of river gives ten times more virtues than the first one Worshipping in the temple graces a Bhakta still more virtues On the seashore profuse virtues On the peak of mounts more than preceding one Worshipping with huge focus the best results are attained. Even the earthen idol of Shiva gives benefits The idol should be washed with pure water Thence with milk added to it Performing abhishek to idol Bestows purification of body and soul Offering fragrance gives virtues of highest order Offering Naivedya helps increase longevity Incense of dhoop gives prosperity Worshipping with burning wick Gives knowledge to the devotee Beetal leaves gives magnificence. Worshipping in the month of Magha And Krishna Chaturdashi bestows longevity Worshipping Him with sincerity and with focus gives joy and Moksha or salvation finally During Kartik gives disease free existence. The unifying powers of Shiva & Shakti Give impetus to annihilate the sins Pervading in the humans. Chanting of OMKAR and Hari Shiva Pranav Having the sounds A, U and Ma Symbolizing the Trinity Helps in liberation from the eight bondages Which are Nature, Intelligence, Qualitative, ego, senses Touch, taste, smell, sound & sight The thoughts and actions Performed on the basis of these bondages Are termed as the Karma And a man reaps the harvest of his own Karma Good karma gives pleasure And bad one gives sorrow and displeasure The soul take birth or gets liberation Based on the Karmic deeds or misdeeds Eight Chakras are nothing But the eight forms of Nature Lord Shiva is beyond the realm of these Eight Chakras A man desirous of attaining happiness and liberation Should worship Shiva Linga We rejoice this occasion and seek His Ultimate blessings with the immensity of reverence in our inner recesses of being For our spiritual health
and inner peace.
THOUGHTS ON LORD SHIVA
AND WITH A SOLEMN PRAYER TO RID THIS WORLD OF EVILS
Before delving more on the MAHA SHIVRATRI, it is relevant to understand the true meaning of SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM
The Trinity amongst Gods (Lord Bhrama, Lord Vishnu & Lord Shiva) are responsible variously:-
Lord Bhrama is in charge of creation.
Lord Vishnu is in charge of maintenance and evolution.
Lord Shiva is in charge of destruction (Sanghaarkarta) and subsequently for rebirth.
The Trinity of Goddesses and their responsibilities are;-
Goddess Parvati is the Goddess of fertility, love, devotion, and power (Shakti).
Goddess Lakshmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity.
Goddess Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge and learning.
Satyam connotes essence or truth or reality – whose results could be tested and attested at any time and anyplace with similar results. In other words, these results could be confirmed scientifically.
Shivam means giving. This may be in the form of Gyan (knowledge) or any other agent of change which may help an individual’s growth in various stages of growth from childhood onwards.
Sundaram means that one ensures to receive information required for growth and development and wellness of the child without any expectation. This function is performed by the family and the society at large.
It is pertinent to mention about the the background as to how Shiva and Parvati had their first meeting. Parvati had seen Shiva while she was only eight years old. She formed a firm opinion that she will marry him only when she grows up while he was in a meditative trance. When she grew up, she told her father (Himavan) that she wanted to marry Shiva but he always remained in meditative consciousness. She was also fully determined to make him realize her love for him. Then finding the suitable opportunity, her father made mention about the state of health of his daughter to Shiva.
Mysticism of it all is that Shiva wanted to test her love for him still more. He went to her in the form of a handsome young man and asked her why she wanted to marry Shiva who, more often than not remains in a meditative trance and always remains in the cremation grounds amongst ghosts etc with ash smeared on his body. He offered himself to marry her. Parvati straight away refused to marry him and was adamant that she will marry Shiva only and no one else. This way, he came back to his old form and asked Parvati for a boon. She asked Shiva to marry her.
Shivaratri means the night of Shiva
On this day devotees observe the strict fast and keep themselves awake during the night time, immersed in Lord’s prayers for deriving maximum benefits out of these sacred rituals.
Shivratari is Lord Shiva’s most favorite day/night
When the earth was created, Shakti (Lordess Parvati) asked Shiva which day was the dearest and favorite one for Him. Shiva replied that 14th night of the new moon in the month of Phalguna was most pleasing to Him. Parvati thus repeated these words amidst the company of friends and others and thus the word spread far and wide to the multitudes and since then this day is being celebrated with great adoration.
Maha Shivratri is associated with the marriage of Shiva and Shakti
The devotees (Bhakta) know the significance of this day since it is very dear to Lord SHIVA. On this day, the devotees in different age groups (young & old) take the early bath in some sacred rivers like Ganga, Yamuna etc and offer prayer (pooja) in temples and also make offerings of bel patra and other leaves including berries also pour water on the Shiva Linga. Before washing the Lingum (the symbol of Lord Shiva) with utmost reverence with milk, ghee, honey, rose water etc people chant mantras. As Lord Shiva is known for His austere living he likes simple things and simple offerings in the form of herbs and leaves for pleasing Him. Devout perform prayers with immense pleasure and devotion.
There is also another legend attached to this day
At the time of the churning of the sea by the Godheads and the Demons (Rakshas) there surfaced a vessel full of poison amongst other enchanting objects like Kamdhenu (Wish-fulfilling cow, white horse, white elephant, Kalpavriksha (Wish-fulfilling tree), Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth), Dhanvantri (Divine Physician) and finally the vessel of Amrita (nectar). To save the world from the devastating effects of poison, Lord Shiva consumed the pot of poison and kept the same in his throat with his Yogic Powers and that is why
He is also called NEELKANTHA or Blue Throated with immense reverence. He did not take the poison which came out of the sea but kept it in his throat. By doing so, LORD SHIVA saved the world from being annihilated due to the poison which came out of the sea.
SHIVA OR SIVA means ‘that what is not’ or which is beyond anything or everything
It is comparable to the nothingness of vast cosmos/nothingness of space with galaxies, planets, etc. That which is propitious, pure, simple, gracious, benevolent and full of beauty. In Vedic scriptures/literature, Shiva also connotes liberation or emancipation. He is the auspicious deity who is creator, reproducer, and destroyer of the forces of negativism and darkness. Shaivism also represents beliefs and practices of Hinduism. Shiva is not affected by three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas). He is called Supreme Lord. He is a great Yogi. One who is beyond any limit of appreciation – nothingness which can absorb anything and everything.
A great Yogi
Lord Shiva is a great Yogi who gave us Yoga and method of living – living as mystic Yogi but not oblivious of the family bondings. His contribution as a recluse and the householder is the phenomenon and cannot simply be ignored. The complexity of His traits as a deity cannot be comprehended if we do not delve deep into his life. In the earlier years, he used to wander in the Himalayan region and subsequently an ascetic who is always absorbed in Yogic meditation. This was proved right when the barat (marriage party) was received. Strange as it looked: Shiva as a groom, rode a bull, with matted hair, ash smeared all over the body, was a part of koupina or loincloth., a garland of bones and skulls, as usual, a trident in one hand and damru (drum) in the other hand.. There was the beating of drums and the mixed sound of trumpets – a terrific sound indeed. Amongst the baratis Marriage party) were Gods and Demi-Gods Not to speak of this, his marriage barati’s consisted of the ganas, ghosts and other strange and fearful witches, vampires etc. The marriage receiving party
A MYSTIC WHO COULD BE PLEASED EASILY
We always say him in meditative posture – completely immersed in contemplation. He is Yogi with a difference who could be termed as the deity who could be pleased with bel patra and fruits. Simple sincere prayer can earn His bounties – that is why He is called as Bhole Shankar.
ULTIMATE WHEN FEROCIOUS
When Shiva is provoked beyond a limit, when He was in trance, as was done by Cupid or Kamadeva, He opened His third eye and reduced him to ashes in a fit of anger.
There are 12 Jyotirlingas (Lingas of Light) which are held sacred by the devotees. They offer prayers at these holy places.
Devout chant Mantra OM NAMON SHIVAYE and also Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra to get special benefits since this day falls in the most appropriate planetary positions in the Northern hemisphere; helps devotee raise his / her spiritual energy vigorously. The prayers are answered if these are done with sincerity. This day is also celebrated because on this night Shiva performed His cosmic dance (Tandava). This dance was enjoyed even by other Godheads.
Lord Shiva’s abode is mount Kailasha. He bearer of sacred river Ganga on his head besides a serpent named Vasuki. His devotee Nandi is the carrier of Lord Shiva.
In Shiv Purana, it has been mentioned that Shiva prayers should be done in the following manner to get maximum benefit:-
Shiva means auspiciousness and lingam means a symbol and when to put together it means: ‘a symbol of the great God of the universe who is all-auspicious’. It also means ‘the One in whom the whole of creation sleeps after dissolution. The worship of Shiva in the form of Longa is most prominent. It represents as a symbol God Himself. Shiva lingam is to be bathed in water, milk, and honey. For purification of these, bel patra should also be added. Vermilion paste represents virtue, after bathing the Shiva Linga with water, honey, curd etc with utmost devotion vermilion paste is applied on it.
Natural fruits like berries are very dear to the Lord, hence these are offered. Fruits are also the sign of fulfillment of our desires and hence should be offered.
Forgetting His grace and bounties offerings when dhoop (incense) is ritualistically burnt give maximum benefits.
The lamp is lighted. The lamp symbolizes knowledge and wisdom and keeps away our ignorance. If this is lighted with devotion and offered to the Lord, we can derive maximum benefits.
Finally, betel leaves are offered which symbioses the satiation of our worldly desires besides keeping our spiritual onward march intact.
ATTRIBUTES OF LORD SHIVA
It is important to know the attributes of Lord Shiva which are depicted variously as: benevolent, pious with huge reserves of compassion, easy to be pleased, honourable, delightful with brilliance, innocent, easy to be pleased, invincible, having huge prowess, fearful or ferocious when hugely provoked, Wrathful, violent and dangerous, destructive, autistic (Yogi Raj).
Shiv-shakti Shiv is called Kala (the eternal time) and Parvati the consort of Shiv is also called Kali meaning ‘Time’ or ‘death’ (two mixed together means the ‘time has come’). Various people worship Shakti or Kali represents the feminine force whereas Shiva is the masculine force along with the power of peace.
LORD SHIVAJI FAMILY
Lord Shiva has two aspects. Firstly as an ascetic (Yogi) shown meditating and also as a householder – having family performing the dual functions wonderfully well. He has a consort named Parvati (the daughter of King Himalaya). The family consisted of the following:-
(a) Parvati. She is the Consort of Shiva, variously described as, Shakti (Divine Energy), Devi, Divine Mother along with Goddess Tripura Sundari, Durga, Minakshi, Kamakshi etc. She is also identified with Nature, creative energy, Ardhanarishvara (dynamic extension of Shiva without whom Shiva is incomplete.
(b) Ganesha. Ganesha is the deity in a human form but with the head of an elephant which represents the power of the Supreme Being that removes obstacles. .He was created out of the remains of smut from the body of Parvati and further infused life into it. He is worshipped with great devotion, before starting any prayer or starting any business or new job His name is taken. He is said to the remover of Lord of removal of obstacles (vegan Karta), Lord of beginning. No Yagna or any ritual is incomplete without beginning with prayers to Lord Ganesha.
(c) Kartikeya. He was assigned with the responsibility of protecting the Gods and Demi-Gods. He is worshiped in South India by various names such as Murugan, Subramanya, Shanmugan and in North India as Skanda and Kartikeya.
(d) Ashok Sundari. While Parvati felt very lonely, she created Ashok Sundari from a tree to remove her monotony and loneliness because Shiva remained in meditation most of the time.
(e) Manasa Devi. She is considered kind to the devotees who worship her. Due to her bad temper and unhappy disposition, Mansa was rejected by Lord Shiva. She is termed as the goddess of snakes and worshipped in North India. She is also described as the destroyer of poison.
(f) Ayyappan. In the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as a woman named Mohini, Lord Shiva was charmed by her beauty and through the union of the two Ayyappan was born. He is specially worshipped in South India.
(g) Then there are other children of Lord Shiva named Andaka and Jalandhar and Mangala.
Names of Lord Shiva. According to Shiva Purana, there are 1008 names of Lord Shiva. Some of these are given below:-
There is a description in the Puranic period that Lord Shiva is also termed as the Lord of Dance or Eternal Dancer. The two most renowned dances are Tandava (which is the powerful and masculine dance) and is associated with the destruction while Lasya which is very graceful and exhibits delicacy of emotions and is attributed to Parvati and associated with creation. Both destruction and creation are the important factors in the universe and the world at large.
Represents the form of Shiva Murti facing South. This represents aspects as a teacher of yoga, music, and wisdom.
It represents the combination of two; Shiva and Shakti (Parvati) depicting half male (Shiva) and half female (Parvati). It is due to the fact that Lord Shiva was hugely pleased by the austere traits of Parvati and granted her the boon of becoming part of his body.
Tripurantaka. In this Lord Shiva is depicted with four arms having bow and arrow in the at of destroying Demon named Tripura.
AVATARS OF SHIVA. In the description, in Linga Purana there are 28 forms of Shiva. Hanuman is known as Rudra Avtar (Rudra is a name of Shiva) as eleventh Avatar.
Ashutosh – One who fulfills wills. Akshayaguna – With limitless attributes. Anantadrishti – With an unrivaled vision. Bholenath – One who is benevolent. Bhooteshwara – one who is Lord of ghosts. Bhudeva – One who is Lord of Earth Mahadeva – Greatest God Devadeva – Lord of the Lords Gurudeva – Lord of all Ingaraja – Lord of Lingas Vishveshwara – One who is the Lord of Universe.
There are 12 Jyotirlingas (Lingas of Light) which are held sacred by the devotee. They offer prayers at these holy places. These are mentioned below:
1.Somnath ( Lord of the Nectar of Knowledge) 2. Nageshwar or Nagnath (Lord of 5 headed snake): 3. Kedarnath ( Lord of Kedar): 4.Vishwanath ( Lord of the Universe), Banaras-UP: 5.Mahakaleswar ( The Lord of Death) Ujjain, MP: 6. Amaleshwar (Lord of Purity) : Lord Shiva the purifier of all sins. 7. Trayambkeshwar ( Lord of Third Eye ), Maharashtra: 8. Ghrishneshwar (Lord of Positive Energy obtained from Churning of divine Knowledge), Maharashtra: 9. Vaidyanathan (Lord of Vaidya/Ayurveda), Maharashtra: 10. Bheemashankar (Mighty & Powerful Lord), Maharashtra: 11. Mallikarjun ( Lord ), Andhra Pradesh: 12. Rameshwaram (Ram worshiping Lord Shiva), Tamil Nadu:
It has been observed that this earth and what it contains, the universe and all that it possesses (the sun, the moon, countless stars, etc) are the wonders which have been created by our Creator. These are created only by some SUPREME BEING to whom we can feel if we have the right attitude and all the other fine-tuned attributes like love, trust, etc. He has fathered us for a purpose and it is our duty to fulfill the assigned tasks in whatever way we can – by helping those who are not able to help themselves, doing good to others, forgiving others’ follies etc.
I am of the opinion that in Shiv Purana, mention has been made about the various aspect, about Karma philosophy, origin of Nature and the creation of the universe, the function of the Trinity, the practical aspect of segregation of professions, the meditation and the benefits derived from this, how best to perform various rituals including Shiva and Linga Sututi, the origin of Lord Shiva, function of Nature (Prakriti), et al. Kindly apprise the poem and the other contents.
A question popped up into my mind as to how much money could change our attitude towards our fellow colleagues besides how much is too much for disturbing the applecart of our relationship with others? Realization downed on me a few days back; proving that there are some people who are comparatively more money-minded than others and that too money is everything for some.
It has rightly been said in Bhagwad Gita: The steadfast with which one holds to duty, pleasures, and wealth, out of attachment and desire for rewards, is determination in the mode of passion.
In one of my known organizations the relationship between the fellow employees was obviously very cordial, cooperative and there was absolutely no difference till the specter of money-mindedness engulfed. In any organization there are permanent and there are temporary employees, of course, reckoned on the basis of their merit and seniority.
Last month, while the question of enhancement in annual increment was being considered, the permanent employees pressed the management for giving them the pending allowances along with the increment dues. They threatened that if their demand was not met, they would be forced to take recourse to take the case to the Court for redressal of their grievances.
The concerned organization bowed before their threats, made all their payments due to them along with the pending dues thus emptying the reserve funds available with the organisation. It may be termed as highhandedness but they got every penny of theirs.
But alas! In doing so, the temporary employees could not get their monthly payment due to the shortage of funds! They had to fend for themselves. These employees had no bargaining power since by doing so, they could lose their jobs; the sword of termination of their services was hanging on their heads if they raised their voice since because of their terms and conditions hence they had to keep silent and suffer because of the attitude of their ‘permanent’ colleagues in emptying the office off the entire funds. In some cases, the temporary staff had to take loans at an exorbitant rate of interest for meeting their financial stringency.
This case prompted me to pen down the attitude of money-mindedness of some employees who had developed unbending attitude towads their fellow employees. I shall not blame the management since the financial position of the organization was well known to us all. This episode also brings out the parasitic attitude of one set of employees vis-a-vis hapless employees. What a travesty of fact, how can some colleagues, working under similar environment and with same standard of procedures could be so different when it comes to money. Even the temporary employees would be getting their salaries after sometimes but the artificial chasm between the employees would not be bridged so soon.
. There are umpteenth cases which we come across of the offspring killing their parents for getting their share of property as though money and the material possessions is the only reason they aspire for. The lust for money has taken away every shred of civility which we possess. This is the consequence of money-mindedness.
In Holy Quran it has rightly been said: O you who have believed, do not consume one anothers wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent.
The above episode show how inconsiderate some of us could become for fulfilling their greed for more money. Such people just forget that we had not brought anything when we were born and will not be taking anything while we depart this beautiful earth. Such people should always remember the pearl of wisdom enunciated in Bhagwad Gita:
What did you bring that you have lost? What did you create that was destroyed? What you have taken, has been given here? What you gave, has been given here? What belongs to you today, belonged to some one else yesterday? Change is the law of universe.
We are aware, money is important to meet demand and supply of goods and services which every individual requires and every country requires as a medium of exchange of goods and services. When money as a recognized medium of exchange was not there, barter system existed – exchange of goods for goods etc. but was there so much of greed for money as is existing presently? I have my doubts.
NEED MONEY TO MEET OUR DAILY NEEDS
We need money to satisfy our needs on day to day basis. Some of these needs are necessary but there are the ones which we have increased intentionally partly to showcase our status, position and partly for comparing with others in the society. The comparison effect takes a dangerous proportions, when we do not have legitimate means to have the money, we adopt corrupt practices, a path which is littered with uncertainties and unexpected pitfalls leading to uncalled for difficulties.
TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO BE MONEY WISE
It has been observed that there are parents who do not teach their children the importance of thrift or carefulness when it comes to money mindedness. Realization dawns on the parents when they come to know the resultant effect of their throwing away money at their children just to please them – an effort to buy momentary peace for them. But the ‘momentary peace’ efforts which the parents wanted in their children’s childhood period have taken a turn for worst. Spending money dis-proportionally has become a habit for their grown up offspring – since the children who are placated only by throwing money grow up to be bad characters. It is similar to spending money on a old vehicle which is beyond repairs!
For this we should follow wisdom given in Bible: He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous shall flourish as the green leaf.
MONEY IS NOT THE PANACEA FOR SOLVING ALL OUR PROBLEMS
There are problems wherein money will not alleviate or assuage a problem rather it will accentuate and multiply it. Infusing more money indiscriminately on a project rather needing deft handling will produce a confusing situation – which could be construed as problem of abundance in money term.
Then there are the people who consume more because of their propensity to purchase but suffer physically because of impairment of digestive system or excessive eating may disturb the echo-system of our body.
RELATIONSHIP AND MONEY
There are people who give more credence to money than their relations with others. I have seen families breaking up due to money and worldly possessions. One family member wants more than other thereby leading to acrimony and bad blood. There are court cases too which remain operative till years together; resulting in wastage of money. I have also seen elders of the family being killed for the sake of money or real brothers and sister being at daggers drawn with no love for each other. That is the ill-effects of money when it becomes be all and end all. Money should help develop a strong bond between family members rather than create a wedge between them. For instance, there are the members in the family who are not able to earn because of their old-age or due to other factors, should be looked after monetarily and otherwise by the able-bodied earning members. By so doing, the bond of family will integrate rather than disintegrating. Medium of money should cement relationship rather than make it fall to pieces. We should rather meet the needs of others who are in dire need of money.
On this aspect Guru Granth’s Sahib’s wisdom is very relevant: Guru Ji put a lot of stress on doing KIRAT, that is, an honest day’s work, part of the Sikh foundation – Naam Japo, kirat karo and Wand Shako.
HAPPINESS CANNOT BE PURCHASED WITH MONEY
Those who think that money could buy everything are living in fools paradise. With money we can buy and meet our daily requirements but not happiness. Happiness is the result of contentment/satiety and peace of mind which is garnered when we minimize our needs by living a simple life besides taking care that we do not overshoot our expenditure beyond our legitimate earnings.
STOP JUDGING OTHERS ON THE BASIS OF THEIR MONEY
It is a travesty of fact that people judge others on the basis of their money power and muscle power – because those who have money power can buy for themselves muscle power to defend their right or wrong rights which is unethical and immoral way of living.
UTILISE OUR MONEY FOR GOOD PURPOSES
Money we have earned by honest means should be utilized partly for meeting our necessary requirements and partly for meeting the dire needs of our brethren in need. This is other way of serving humanity and serving the purpose of life here on this planet.
SPENDING MORE TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY IS BETTER THAN SPENDING MORE MONEY ON YOUR FAMILY
If we want to make our family pleased, it is good to spend more time with our families, understand their emotions, their needs and aspiration, love them and be loved rather than spending more money for them to appease them in way or other while whiling away your time with somebody else. I know a person who meets all the monetary requirements of his family but often comes late after midnight fully drunk. This makes the entire family very dismayed and miserable resulting in quarrels and misunderstanding. What is the use of this money, anybody can fathom?
Some of wisdom should be kept in mind:-
Money matters but too much of money becomes a liability.
Power and pelf bought with money becomes useless after sometimes.
Money when shared with others brings about peace of mind to the giver.
Money is essential to meet our daily needs, it gives us satiety and happiness when it is earned with our sincere efforts.
The lesser the needs the lesser the requirement of money – lesser would be the hassles in our lives.
Giving money from our sincere earnings gives us more satisfaction than taking.
When we have to choose between money and relation, we should always choose relation.
Money should become a cementing factor not a disintegrating one.
Stay cool when money is lost, it would be earned and replaced but if you lose your cool, it will impair your system irreparably.
Pray to Almighty God for good health and wellness rather than worldly possessions. With good health worldly possessions could be purchased.
Following a spiritual oriented lifestyle with no attachment to the fruits of our Karma leads to a happy and contented life.
A love which does not exclude anybody A love which has the blessings of God Almighty A love which surpasses all boundaries A love which does not have a particular day for commemoration A love for which all days have the same significance A love nobody likes losing A love which is eternal in nature A love all encompassing A love all-embracing A love which is broadest in its application A love from which we get utmost satisfaction A love which blossoms with every passing day A love which is full-blown on all occasions A love which enriching experience A love which is far-reaching A love which add to our knowledge A love which is most enlightening A love which helps in natural progression A love where there is no regression A love which does not have any expectation A love which sets its own standards for others to follow A love where there is not even an iota of doubt A love where losing or winning makes no difference A love for which any sacrifice could be given A love where we do not demand but would like giving A love where we get extreme joy in sharing and caring A love which solves more problems than creating A love which teaches us values of living A love where suspicion has no place while giving A love rooted in sublime and humane delicate touch A love which broadens its base without an iota of bias A love which is synergy giving while sharing A love which increases by every day passing A love which kindles trust among all creatures living A love where we do not care for caste, creed, colour or race for liking A love which is magical in nature A love which is not theatrical in its character A love which enlightens us and is not mechanical in nature A love where we do not care for results A love where every skepticism melts A love which gives eternal peace A love which takes our love to new heights A love which erases all lingering reservations A love which spreads its fragrance.
A love which gives happiness in taking pain of others Like the love of Saint Valentine A Catholic Bishop of Terni In Roman Empire Who for love’s sake attained martyrdom For solemnizing marriage secretly Of condemned soldiers For whom marriage was a bar Under the Roman Empire’s law And marrying those forbidden once to marry Attracted the Saint’s imprisonment And ultimately martyrdom.
While in the condemned cell of a prison
With his miraculous touch, he cured the daughter of the jail warden
Saint Valentine sent out a farewell letter
With words so eternal in nature
“From your Valentine”,These words have become a grand brand
Presently for us all to express to our loved one
With a huge sprinkle of pride
Mixed with a huge smile
Lasting for good in our imagination
And in real life too, we live with complete affirmation
That love binds us & bestows us God’s eternal.
When I am criticized I take it with a pinch of salt Take it seriously And analyze What lacks in me For such a disapproval Introspect For an improvement Wherever it is required So that my views get accepted Even by a vocal critics So that it carries more weight As far as the productivity In any venture The hand is put on. So criticize me But do not ignore me As ignoring me Means a slow death for me.
The other day while I was busy on my computer, I got a practical experience on why people criticize others. A lady entered my room and started criticizing and lambasting me left and right. So much so she was incensed with her reaction that she started weeping loudly as though I had wronged her immensely. All this happened so suddenly that I could not react initially. When I regained my composure, I ventured to entreat her about the real reason of her outbursts on me which I considered out of place and unreasonable. First of all she was non-committal but when repeatedly requested. She told me that I had criticized her untoward demeanour in front of the organizational head. I informed that I had given my perspective of the case in point as I observed since I was told to do so. If telling the truth is bad enough then I had done that mistake! I knew that she was mistaken about her role in the episode and knew fully well that she was at fault, All the pointers and evidences in that direction even then she wanted to feign her innocence. It shows that there are people who are irrationally/without rhyme or reason come under the butt of criticism unnecessarily.
Interestingly, I have observed only those people are criticized who have something to offer to othero. It is may in the form of sound advice, modicum of assistance in any form suiting them, a person who commands respect from others but people want to pull that person down because of their competence, performance and make them lose their respect in front of fellow employees etc. Everybody wants to lower those who have raised themselves due to their hard work, persistence, perseverance, tolerance, forgetting and forgiving attitude and all the positive traits put together.
I have observed that those who are criticized just on every matter under the sun is unhealthy and should never be resorted to rather healthy criticism spurs us to action thereby enhancing our knowledge. Here criticism keeps us on toe and we tend to complete our task at our hand for logical conclusion. Therefore, healthy criticism is good for us since we can enhance our awareness; our weakness and potentials and use the same for getting something done for fructification of a project.
Besides the above the following could also be there for leveling of criticism against others.
We are criticized simply because we excel in our skill and efficiency and there are individuals who cannot tolerate or accept somebody else to be compatible, therefore, criticism.
LOWERING OTHERS’ MODESTY
At times, when others exceed us in their efficacies in the performance of the tasks in hand, we must have seen many who would like to pull us down with or without any reason. Their intention is just to lower the modesty of others come what may.
NOT ETHICALLY OR MORALLY CORRECT
In criticizing others, some of us do not have ethical or moral standpoint. Such people can go to any limits in lowering others.
WHEN YOU OUT-SHOW YOUR SKILLS AND ABILITIES
There are occasions when we want to showcase our efficiency, proficiency and intelligence and stand in the ways of others in any way suiting them. Their purpose is not to outshine in performance but to outshine in criticism to the persons concerned in whatever ways it is possible for them.
FEELING OF INSECURITY
At times, when our competitor excels in his efficiency in performance or is in good books of the organizational head, we would like to explore ways and means so that such a person is lowered in his esteem. This insecurity could impact our own wellbeing too sometimes.
DEFENDING OTHERS CRITICISING YOU
Whenever we are arranged against somebody who is our strongest competitor and critic then we tend to defend ourselves with the strongest of our defence. This defence could be in any form whatsoever.
COUNTER ATTACK MANIA
When we are criticized occasionally by somebody we devise a sort of counter attack mania just a defence mechanism.
GETTING FAVOUR FROM THE HEAD OF ORGANISATION
There are the staff members who want to remain in good books of the head of organization along with those who count in the department concerned. For getting this in their favour such people could go to any limit BY lambasting others, devaluate others, present a critique clichés, work out plans and counter-plans to lower others in the eyes of others with or without any substance.
CRITICIZING OTHERS WAY OF SPEAKING
Sometimes our pronunciation or slang in the language pronounced becomes the butt of our criticism of others putting us in the corner.
DIFFEREENCE IN APPROACH, VALUE SYSTEMS AND METHODS OF PERFORMANCE
There are people whose method of doing anything is different than others, it may be simpler, more complex, just outlandish or any other approach for performance of the same task. This becomes a cause of criticism. Then there are our value systems which do not allow us to adopt some shortcuts or a line of action which are not within the ambit of their value systems we are brought up. This way too, we come under criticism.
Those who criticize others without rhyme or reason just to showcase their so called superiority are actually with escapist mentality. Criticism for criticism sake is alright but criticism on anything and everything which is not a healthy sign in any discourse.
Are the people from village or rural background nicer than the people urban background?
I would like to say that the people from the rural background are simple in their habits and behavior and therefore could be taken in by others easily as they are brought up simple environment. Their needs are limited which could be fulfilled from the farm produce. These people are hard working and believe in destiny. This is a fact because I am brought up in the village/rural background, where we used to remain contented with what we had by way of worldly possessions, status and condition. While in school, I used work hard with limited means but with no pretensions or showcasing anything under the sun – a simple living and high living. This continues till today while, with the grace of God, He has graced me with everything which a person aspires for.
First of all, it is relevant to know who is a nice person. In my view, a nice person is the one who possess the following traits:-
A nice person never treats others as his soulmates and does not discriminates on the basis of religion, caste, language and region.
A nice person never downgrades or insults others because of narrow considerations such as less education, lower in status and position.
A nice person does not compare his position with others but he competes with himself only and tries to improve his know-how for enlightenment.
A nice person does not insult others in any event.
A nice person does not consider others lower than himself on any account.
A nice person follows a positive oriented lifestyle. He opines ‘glass half not half empty’. He sees lights at the end of the dark tunnel.
A nice person never finds fault in others but wants to first of all introspect his own fault lines.
A nice person acts on the principles of give and take respect.
A nice person never shows that he is perfect but wants to live with his imperfections while refining his habits, behavior pattern and attitude.
A nice person never feels disappointed whenever somebody criticizes him but he wants to make amends whenever there is a need of the same.
A nice person feels pain when somebody else feels so.
A nice person is compassionate – he helps the needy.
A nice person believes on the principle ‘charity begins from home’. Before advising others he would like to adopt this principle himself before telling others to follow the same.
A nice person never use abusive language while interacting with others.
A nice person hates the sin but not the sinner – he would like to mend the ways of the person who has forgotten the right course.
A nice person believes in the dictum; have belief everything that happens, happens for the good of a man.
A nice person stays cool in ups and downs which befall him.
A nice person calls spade a spade and does not hide his mistakes in any way.
A nice person takes right decision at right time.
A nice person may be of city or from a rural area, hardly makes any difference to his way of thinking and action thereof.
A nice person leads a spiritual oriented life.
With the traits enumerated above, I am sanguine and firmly believe that we may be from any area; rural or urban area makes no difference. It is individualistic in nature. City or village life hardly makes any difference in his habits, behavior and attitude. A person who has lived has seen ups and downs of lives remains balanced in all situations and conditions, therefore, I believe that may be living in rural or in urban, etiquette, habits, behavior patter and attitude depends on the value system he has got from his parents, peer groups, society etc. Therefore, I am of the view that a nice person is a nice person, he may be living and brought up in village or city environments.
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