Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shiva Tattwa: Ashirvachan of Paramahansa Satyaprajnananda Saraswati on 2012 Shivaratri


Ashirvachan of Paramahansa swami Satyaprajnananda Saraswati  speech delivered on 2012 Shivaratri: Shiva Tattwa 

HH swamiji on kailashnatheswar cave , Chattishgargh
By the grace of Lord Ashutosh Shankar, again we have got the opportunity to sit at his feet and worship Him. As you all know, today is ‘Mahashivaratri’. Ratri and Ratra these two words are used synonymously and interchangeably in relation to Upasana (worship). For example, Navaratri or Navaratra, Shivaratri or Shivaratra. Generally we understand ratri as night. But ratra has two connotations _ one is practical and the other is spiritual. Ratri means night in general parlance, but the real meaning of ratra is knowledge or wisdom.Very recently we had been to Puri, the holy shrine of Lord Jagannath to attend Jagannath Pancharatra organised by Jagannath temple administration. Many saints and seers including Jagadguru Sankaracharya and Gajapati Maharaj graced the occasion and endeavoured to systematize the functioning of Jagannath Pancharatra which is an ancient term. In our scriptures, we have Narada Pancha Ratra which is used invariably. ‘Ratra’ according to Narada Pancharatra is knowledge. See, Sivaratri does’nt mean worshipping in the night only, but this worship is ‘Aahoratra’ which means throughout the day and night (24 hours). But today the thrust is on night. Why ? We begin the worship from the day. When in India it is day, for America it is night. Therefore taking the world as a whole there is not so much of importance on day and night. The emphas is isattached to ‘Aahoratra’ (Hole day and night)  There is difference of opinions in the shastras. Brahmaji was coming from Brahma loka and on the other hand Vishnuji was also coming in search of “Who am I ?” “Where am I ?” “ How am I ?” “ Who has made me up?” These are the questions of life. What is this life and the world ? Brahmaji and Vishnuji met each other at a place. Brahmaji asked Vishnuji _ Who are you ? Vishnuji replied _Don’t you know me ? I have given birth to you. You came up from my umbilical cord. Brahmaji again said _ I don’t know you. Vishnuji told _ I am Vishnu, the creator of this universe, the preserver of it and the destroyer of the same. All the three acts are done by me. Brahmaji asked _ I create the world. Where have you come from? This is the story of mythology, but it symbolizes something. In the process of this discussion, a divine Jyotirlinga manifested and a massage sounded from the sky _ O’ Brahma and Vishnu ! Why do you fight with each other? The truth is that I am the real creator of both you. Both of them were astonished and they decided to search for the reality. Brahmaji in the guise of a swan started flying in the sky and Vishnuji in the guise of a boar started going downwards.
Swamiji in thoughtful mood on Kharsiyan ,  Chattishgargh

Vishnuji went on downwards but failed to search out the truth and he returned at the end. Jyotirlinga has no beginning and no end. Jyotirlinga is limitless. But when Brahmaji was going upwards a ‘Ketaki flower’ fell from the head of Lord Shiva. Brahmaji caught that fiower and came to Vishnu saying that he had met the truth and he is the gratest of the universe. Vishnuji told _ May be, you might have known. But what is the proof ? Brahmaji replied _ The clinching proof is this flower. Ask this flower. The ‘ketaki’ flower also gave a false statement that it was on the head of Shankar and Brahma has got me from there. Vishnuji told _ So it be, but I can’t believe myself. If the Jyotirlinga which was manifested between Brahmaji and me tells the truth, then I would believe. Then thereon again a Massage sounded from the sky that Brahma is telling a lie and the Ketaki flower is also deposing falsehood. Therefore, henceforth this Ketaki flower will not adorn my head. Lord Shankar gave up that flower since then. Brahmaji also felt ashamed and begged excuse. What I mean to say is that on this auspicious day, Jyotirlinga was manifested in between Brahmaji and Vishnuji. And Lord Shankar told both of them that on this day both of you will worship me in form of the Linga. My foundation will be shakti. Therefore Linga is founded on Shakti and it is the symbol of Lord Shankar. The entire universe begins and manifests itself from Linga and it merges in the Linga at the end. Shivalinga is therefore worshipped as the union of Shiva and Shakti and it is in the form of light, jyoti. Paramatma in our scripture is worshipped as jyoti. Paramatma is known to us as two fold_ Sakar and Nirakar _ Form and Formless. Shiva when takes the form is known as Shankar. Shankar _ one who does good for all. “VandeShivam Shankaram”. _ Salutations to Shiva and Shankar .

Swamiji on shivaratri mahtsav- 2011 , Anand niketan , balangir 

 Today we remain awake throughout the day and night in remembrance of Lord Ashutosh. In spiritual parlance night is meant for awakening. Lord Srikrishna says in the Gita.. “When at night all beings are asleep the man of self .. restraint is awake.” When it is night for all beings, the spiritual aspirant is awake. It means night is for awakening. How is night meaningful for our life? Night makes us engrossed with its tentacles of ‘Moha’. All people of the world are caught at night by Moha. Ratri symbolises darkness, it is the symbol of Tamogunas ( dark qualities). ‘Day’ is the symbol of light or knowledge. We work throughout the day and go to sleep at night. Sleep doesn’t mean rest only. ‘Nisha’ means night. Nisha intoxicates the life or consciouness and hence its name is ‘Nisha’. Intoxicated man goes to sleep. One doesn’t know anything in sleep. At the stage of ‘Sushupti’, man forgets himself completely. He doesn’t know where is he,what is he doing and so on. ‘Who am I ?’ .. this consciousness doesn’t remain in sushupti. If man goes to sleep at night, night becomes a cause for escalating his intoxication or Moha. Therefore in spiritual world, Guru tells the aspirants to remain awake at night. How to be awake ? To be awake in relation to the soul. If this practice continues, if you know how to be awake, then every night will become Sivaratri for you.

 ‘Ashiv’ means bad omens, something which is sad or sorrowful, but “Shiv’ means good, welfare and well being of all. When every night in our life will become Shivratri ? When we will be awaken in the night . In this regard Shivratri for a Spiritual aspirant is a night meant for spiritual practices . We will be awaken today in the name of Lord Shankar. Let us practise to be awake. This is one part but the other part is that on this auspicious day, paramatma manifested himself in the form of Linga or Jyotirlinga. In the Linga purana and the Shiv purana this has been thoroughly discussed. Once there was a conflict between Brahmaji and Visnuji. Brahmaji wanted to know where he was and how he was and in process of searching he witnessed Lord Vishnu comfortably sleeping on Ananta sajya.