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 embodiment of Vairagya (dispassion)? Bhagavan, who is endowed with 'Bhaga' or glories of a sixfold nature, is also embodiment of Vairagya. Do you identify Him with a Sannyasin, possessing nothing? No, never. God is the possessor of all things. Then, how can you call Him a renunciate, a Sannyasin or a Vairagin?

The secret behind the concept or the consciousness of Vairagya, renunciation is here, in the identification of this attribute with God. It is only when we interpret things in terms of God that things become clear. Otherwise, we get confused. We cannot know what goodness is, we cannot know what evil is, we cannot know what virtue is, unless we refer all these values of life to the concept of God in His Perfection.

The only standard of reference for us in all matters of life's values, is the existence of God. So, the concept of renunciation, which has been very much misused, also gets rectified, clarified and purified when it is understood with reference to the existence of God whose special manifestation, in this context, is known as Lord Siva.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued  ...