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Showing posts from February, 2015

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : Ch-2. Part-5.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri)


In the famous Rudra-Adhyaya or the Satarudriya of the Yajur Veda, we have a majestic, universalised description of Lord Siva, a chant which we are accustomed to every day in the temple.

Only those who know what Sanskrit is, what the Vedas are and what worship is, can appreciate what this Satarudriya chant also is.

It is one of the most powerful prayers ever conceived by the human mind.

It is filled with a threefold meaning.

According to the culture of this country, everything is threefold – objective, subjective and universal.

Everything in the world, from the smallest to the biggest, has an objective character, a subjective character and an universal character.

Objectively you are something, subjectively you are another thing and universally you are a third thing.

It all depends upon the point of view from which you interpret a particular thing, person or obj ect.

When you obj ectively interpret a thing, it looks like one thing; wh…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : Ch-2. Part-4.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri)


We observe fast during the day and vigil during the night. The idea is that we control the senses, which represent the outgoing tendency of our mind, symbolised in fasting, and we also control the Tamasic inert condition of sleep to which we are subject every day.

When these two tendencies in us are overcome, we transcend the conscious and the unconscious levels of our personality and reach the superconscious level. While the waking condition is the conscious level, sleep is the unconscious level.

Both are obstacles to God-realisation. We are shifted from one condition to another. We are shunted, as it were, from waking to sleep and from sleep to waking, every day.

But the super-conscious is not known to us. The symbology of fast and vigil on Sivaratri is significant of self-control; Rajas and Tamas are subdued, and God is glorified.

The glorification of God and the control of the senses mean one and the same thing, because it is on…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : Ch-2. Part-3.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri)


God does not possess things.

Possession is a relationship of one thing with another thing.

But, God is super-relative.

That is why we call Him the Absolute – He is not relative.

Anything that is related to something else comes under the category of relative.

God is not related to anything else, because He is All-comprehensive.

And, thus, in His all-comprehensive Absoluteness, which is height of wisdom conceivable, there is also the concomitant character of freedom from the consciousness of externality, and therefore, as a corollary, freedom from attachment to anything.

Thus Lord Siva is the height of austerity, Master Yogin, portrayed as seated in a lotus pose, as the king of all ascetics; not that He has the desire for self-control, but He is what self-control is itself.

He does not practise self-control. Self-control itself is symbolised in the personality of Lord Siva.

"Such a wondrous concept of a glorious majestic picture o…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : Ch-2. Part-2.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri)


God does not renounce anything. Then, in that case what is renunciation in this context? It is the freedom from the consciousness of externality. This is called Vairagya. How can you abandon things? All things are there in front of you, like trees in a forest or stones in the jungle. There is nothing like abandonment of things, because they are internally related to you. Nobody can renounce anything, because everything in this world is connected to everything else.

Then what is Vairagya? Vairagya is not renunciation of any object; it is impossible. Everything clings to you. But the idea that things are outside you, makes you get attached to them. This false attachment is Raga, and its absence is Viraga. The condition of Vi-raga is Vairagya. As God has no consciousness of externality, because everything is embodied in Him, there cannot be a greater renunciate than God. And in as much as this Consciousness of God is the highest form o…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : Ch-2. Part-1.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri)


We conceive God as glory, as creativity and as austerity. Vishnu is glory and magnificence, Brahma is creativity force, and Siva is austerity and renunciation. You might have heard it said that God is the embodiment of six attributes of which renunciation is one. You will be wondering how God can renounce things.

He is not a Sannyasin. He is not an ascetic like a Vairagin or a Sadhu. What is He going to renounce? How do you conceive Siva as an austere Yogin or a renunciate? What does He renounce? The all-pervading Almighty, what has He to give or abandon? Here is the secret of what renunciation is! It is not renunciation of anything, because there is nothing outside Him; renunciation does not mean abandonment of object. If that had been the definition of renunciation, that cannot apply to God.

God does not renounce or abandon any object, because all objects are a part of His Cosmic Body. Then how do you represent God as an embodimen…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : Ch-2. Introduction.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night : ( Maha Sivaratri )

Introduction : Today  is : ( Tuesday, February 17, 2015.) - Maha Sivaratri.


"Nature specializes in a kind of Paradox: Nature destroys and her destructions are all always constructive destructions. The bud is destroyed when the flower blooms, and the flower fades when the fruit emerges, and the fruit decays when seeds are scattered and seeds decay when plants sprout.

This process of constructive destruction is Shiva, the annihilator. This Shiva-Ratri is the destruction of the ego (PFT attitude) in the discovery of the Self (Shiva).

May all devotees come to experience at least the shy rays of the early dawn at the end of one's inner ratri, in emerging beams of Shiva spirit in us.

Be quiet. Be silent within. Blind.Deaf, Mum - be. Invoke. Be expectant.
Let Shiva happen - TRY."

-Swami Chinmayananda


Shiva rathri celebrates the event by which Shiva saved the world. During Palazhi madhanam while everyone was ea…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : Ch-1. Part-8.

1. Sun – The Eye of the World : - Makara Sankranti - ( January )


This is what the Upanishads and other scriptures like the Bhagavadgita speak of. They speak of the interpretation of God in the world – such as the sun whose northern movement commences today, and on account of which we regard this day as auspicious Makara Sankranti. So, you should take all this seriously to your heart on this auspicious day and contemplate for a moment the deeper truths of your own personal lives, the deeper truths of nature outside and the deeper truths implied in the relationship between yourselves and the nature outside. There are three implications, three meanings, three significances or three hidden realities – the one within ourselves, the second in nature outside, and the third which is implied in the relation between ourselves and the nature outside, which is called God, invisible to our physical perception.

Those who are Brahmacharis…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : Ch-1. Part-7.

1. Sun – The Eye of the World : - Makara Sankranti - ( January )


So there is much of a message in this religious observance of Makara Sankranti and we shall all, as humble seekers of Truth, do well to contemplate this inner divinity presiding over the solar symbol in our creation and endeavour to be more and more spiritual in our life – which is not to change to a different order or kind of life from the one in which we are, but to enter into a new meaning of life in this very life.

To be spiritual, to enter the realm spiritual, is not to enter into an order of life as people mistakenly imagine. It is not shifting from place to place, moving from one corner of the earth to another corner of the earth, or changing the mode of living in this world. This is not spirituality. What is really meant is to enter one step inward into your life rather than move outwardly, diametrically. It is not a horizontal movement but an inward g…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : Ch-1. Part-6.

1. Sun – The Eye of the World : - Makara Sankranti - ( January )


There is much behind these great observances such as the Makara Sankranti and many others of a similar nature, in the spiritual destiny of man. We live a material life, not knowing what we really are, what the world is. We seem to be so ignorant of the values that are inherent and within us that we are dashed hither and thither by the winds of fate, controlling the physical world and the physical body of people.

The more you move inward into yourself, the more you will also see the inner mystery of the world. When you go to the vital body within you, you can see the vital body of other people seated here. Because you are now in the physical body, you see the physical body of others. When you enter your mental body, you can see the minds of other people, and when you enter your intellectual body, you can see the intellects of other people seated here. And when …

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : Ch-1. Part-5.

1. Sun – The Eye of the World : - Makara Sankranti - ( January )


In some of the scriptures we are told that there are twelve suns. Where are the twelve suns? We see only one sun in the sky. We can regard these twelve suns as the principle inherent within the physical sun, one behind the other. Just as we have the vital body behind the physical body, the mental body behind the vital body, the intellectual body behind the mental body, and the spiritual principle in us behind the intellectual body, so also there are energies behind energies, powers within powers, one transcending the other, until the twelfth sun is reached. It is identified with Maha-Vishnu or the Supreme Benefactor of Creation, the Ruler of the Cosmos.

The twelfth sun is Vishnu Himself. He cannot be seen with the physical eyes because these esoteric suns are internal to the physical sun. You cannot see the vital body or the mental body, intellectual body or t…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : Ch-1. Part-4.

1. Sun – The Eye of the World : - Makara Sankranti - ( January )


Those who cross the barrier of the sun come not to this mortal world again. They go to higher regions until the soul reaches universal salvation, until the soul becomes everything, enters into everything everywhere, as the Mundaka Upanishad tells us. Seekers of Truth, aspirants on the path of Yoga, devotees of God, lovers of mankind – all these have to pay tribute to the supreme father of energy, vitality, deathlessness, which is Surya.

"Suryah pratyaksha devata": The sun is the visible God. If you have any visible God, it is the sun before you. You cannot see God in His pristine excellence, but you can see God through the operation of his powers in nature. In the Purusha Sukta, the sun is compared to the eyes of the Virat Purusha, the Cosmic Person. These are true comparisons and symbols which give us an idea of the magnitude and the importance of t…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : Ch-1. Part-3.

1. Sun – The Eye of the World : - Makara Sankranti - ( January )


There is something wonderful and mysterious in the sun and there is some great significance in connecting the principle of the sun with the self of man, as there is also equal significance in connecting of the moon with the mind of man. You may know that during the full moon and the new moon days the mind gets affected. Those who are weaklings and who are not mentally strong will feel this impact more than normal persons. Normal persons do not feel it, but those who are not normal in their minds will feel the effect strongly. The moon, the stars, the sun and all the stellar system exert a mutual influence amongst themselves. You may know that during the full moon the ocean rises up, wells up as if to greet the rising moon and, naturally, the pull must be felt everywhere on earth, but you cannot see it.

Such is the invisible impact of the higher forces of natur…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : Ch-1. Part-2.

1. Sun – The Eye of the World : - Makara Sankranti - ( January )


Do you know what the earth contains? Can you imagine what energy, what vitality, what abundance, what resources are contained in the earth? You have there gold, you have diamonds, you have mineral resources lying under different parts and bowels of the earth, you have gas and petrol and what not; and where do you get this energy from, for the sake of the living beings on earth? The trees vigorously rise from the earth, sucking energy from the bottom of the earth, and they seek energy from above – from the rays of the sun. When we geologically and physically look into the structure of this earth, and chemically examine its contents, biologically investigate into its resources, as a pure scientific mind, we will realise that the earth is not dead matter. It is energy-embodiment, on whose bounties we are alive here. The food that we eat is not dead matter, otherw…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : Ch-1. Part-1.

1. Sun – The Eye of the World : - Makara Sankranti - ( January )


In Sanskrit, Makara Sankranti means the time when the sun crosses the tropic of Capricorn.

The day is of special significance to all those leading a spiritual life and mention has been made of the commencement of this new period in such scriptures as the Upanishads and the Bhagavadgita.

The sun comes to the North, energising and invigorating all life wherever it is, and on whatever he sheds his light.

In esoteric parlance, in mystic terminology, the sun is regarded as the presiding deity over the self of man, while the moon is the presiding deity over the mind of man.

The self or the soul is different from the mind; the Atman and the Manas are differentiated by their metaphysical and psychological characteristics, respectively.

The self of man is presided over by the sun or Surya.

The sun is designated as Atmakaraka. "Surya atma jagatas tasthushascha,&quo…