Showing posts from March, 2015

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 18.

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


In dream we see objects like mountains, rivers, persons, etc.

But they are not there.

Things which are not there become visible in dream.

Now, did the mountain you saw in dream exist?

It did not.

But did you see it?

Yes, you saw it.

How did you see, when it was not there?

Is it possible to see a non-existent object?

How can non-existent things be seen?

It is contradictory statement to say that non-existent things can be seen.

What do you see when things are not there? You will be wonderstruck!

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued   ....

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 17.

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


Why should they not be contemplating objects of sense throughout the day, all twenty-four hours of the day?

The reason is that perception is an unnatural process from the point of view of consciousness as such.

Perception of an object is the alienation of an aspect of our personality through the avenue of a particular sense in respect of its object.

All this is difficult for many to grasp.

This is a highly psychological secret.

Consciousness is indivisible.

This is a simple fact.

Many of you would have heard about it.

Consciousness is undivided; it is incapable of division into parts.

So it cannot be cut into two sections – subject and object.

On the basis of this fact there cannot be a division between the seer and the seen in the process of perception.

To make this clear, let us see what happens in dream.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued  ...

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 16.

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


Generally, to know is to know an object; and if it is not to know an object, it is not to know anything at all.

For example, take the state of deep sleep.

Why do we fall asleep?

Do you know the reason?

What is the cause for our going to sleep every night?

Where is the necessity?

The necessity is psychological and, to some extent, highly metaphysical.

The senses cannot always continue perceiving objects, because perception is a fatiguing process.

The whole body, the whole nervous system, the entire psychological apparatus becomes active in the process of the perception of objects.

And without our knowing what is happening, the senses get tired.

They cannot go on contemplating things all twenty-four hours of the day.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued   ...

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 15.

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


This adjective or qualification 'due to excess of light' must be added.

It is darkness because of the excess of light. When you look at the sun directly for a few minutes and then look elsewhere, you will see only darkness.

The sun has dazzled you to such an extent that all else appears as darkness.

It is said in the Mahabharata that when Lord Sri Krishna showed the Cosmic Form in the court of the Kauravas, everything was dark, as it were.

The intensity of the light was such that it looked like darkness to the eyes of man.

In one of the famous creation-hymns of the Rigveda we have a similar reference made to the original condition of creation.

There is the hymn of the Veda called the Nasadiya Sukta, wherein it is said, "Tama asit tamasa gudhamagre":Darkness there was; at first concealed in darkness.

According to us, light is perception of objects, and therefore non-perception of objects is regarded by us as night,…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 14.

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


We may look at the whole thing from another angle of vision.

The Sanskrit word 'Sivaratri' means 'the night of Siva'.

On this holy day we are to fast during the day and keep vigil during the night.

You may be wondering why Siva is connected with the night and not with the day – otherwise we could observe vigil during daytime and fast during the night.

Instead of that, why has the whole thing been put topsy-turvy?

Siva being connected with night has a highly spiritual and mystical connotation.

It is not that divinity as manifest in the form of Lord Siva has any special connection with the period we call night.

If you study deeply the Upanishads and such mystical texts of high spiritual significance, you will realise that the Supreme Being, the Absolute, is designated in its primordial condition as a Supreme Darkness due to excess of light.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued   ...

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 13.

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


We are blessed, thrice blessed, four-times, five-times blessed because we are seeking God who also seeks everything in this creation.

God seeks the world and the world seeks God. This is the mystery of creation, the subtlety of the spiritual path and the glory of the meditative life.

Jnana and Vairagya combined is Lord Siva, who is worshipped on Mahasivaratri day.

Lord Siva is easily pleased.

He is called Asutosh.

Asutosh means 'easily pleased'.

He is not a difficult Person.

You can quickly please Lord Siva.

If you call Him, He will come.

Sometimes He is also called 'Bhole Baba' – a very simple, not complicated Person.

He comes to help you, even unasked.

He helped the Pandavas.

The Pandava brothers were in war with the Kauravas in the Mahabharata battle, and Lord Siva helped them without their knowing that the help was being offered.

Lord Siva helped the Pandavas invisibly – and why would He not help us?

He helps al…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 12.

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


When there is understanding without austerity, it is useless. When there is austerity without understanding, that is also useless. There must be austerity with understanding and understanding with austerity, knowledge with self-control and self-control with knowledge; that is wisdom. Knowledge with self-control is called wisdom, whereas knowledge without self-control is mere dry intellectuality. That is of no use. And austerity without understanding is a kind of foolishness. It will have no proper

Lord Siva is not merely an austere Being but also a repository of Knowledge. All worshippers of knowledge also worship Lord Siva, as He is the God of all students, scholars and seekers of wisdom and knowledge. Thus, Mahasivaratri is a very blessed God-sent opportunity for us. So on this day, pray to Lord Siva with all your heart, with all your soul, fully trusting on the might of God, wanting nothing from the objects of sense, and delight…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 11.

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


With moderate behaviour in every manner in your spiritual life, you will attain success.

As the Bhagavadgita beautifully puts it :

 "Moderate in your eating, moderate in your activity, moderate in your speech, moderate in your sleep"

– form the golden mean, the via-media, the golden path.

God is the harmony of all powers in the universe.

Harmony means the middle course – neither this extreme nor that extreme.

You cannot say whether it is or it is not.

We do not know what it is.

As Buddha said :

 " 'Nothing is', is one extreme; 'everything is', is another extreme. God is in the middle. Truth is in the middle."

So, the middle path is the best path, which is the path of austerity with understanding.

This is the characteristic of the middle path.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued  ...

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 10.

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


It is like dividing the course of a river in two different directions so that the force of the waters gets lessened. Suppose you have five sense-objects, and towards all of them your senses are running, and you are thinking of God also at the same time – then energy is divided, concentration becomes weak and meditation is not successful.

No meditation will become successful if the senses are active, because the senses oppose the effort at meditation. While meditation is the collective force of the mind concentrating itself on God-consciousness, the senses, when they are active, do the opposite of meditation and you become a tremendous extrovert.

You are connected to the objects of sense rather than the universal concept which is God. God is unity, whereas sense objects are multiplicity. They are the opposite of what you are aiming at in your spiritual life.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued ...

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part-9.

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


So, during this period preceding Sivaratri, prayer is to be offered to Lord Siva as the Master of Yogin, as the incarnation of all virtues and powers, as a facet of the Almighty Lord.

The glory of Lord Siva is sung in the Siva Puranam, in the Yajur Veda Rudra Adhyaya, as I mentioned, and in the Mahabharatam.

You will be wonderstruck at the force with which Vyasa and other sages sing the glories of God – of Vishnu, of Narayana, of Siva, of Devi in the various Puranas and epics – because these masterpieces have been written by those who had the vision of God.

Only one who has the vision of God can express with a soulful force.

Otherwise, it will be an empty sound without much significance and thought.

So, chant the Mantram 'Om Namah Sivaya' as many times as possible every day, mentally or even verbally as is convenient, with self-control – which means to say, without any thought of sense-object.

If you chant the Mantra togethe…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part-8.

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


Those who cannot do this because it is difficult, can chant the Mantra 'Om Namah Sivaya', the Panchakshara Mantra of Lord Siva with Om preceding it.

It is a Kavacha, a kind of armour that you put on.

This armour will protect you from danger of every kind.

It will protect you and also all those whom you want to be protected.

It will protect your family; it will protect your country; it will protect the whole world.

It can cease wars and tensions of every kind, provided you offer the prayers wholeheartedly from the bottom of your heart.

Collective prayer is very effective.

If a hundred persons join together and pray, it will have a greater effect than one person praying.

Of course, if that single person is very powerful, even one person's prayer is all right.

But where personalities have their own weaknesses and foibles, it is better that people have congregational prayer.

When all the minds are put together they form a gr…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part-7.

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


It is difficult to chant this Veda Mantra called the Satarudriya, because it requires a training – as in music, for example.

Everybody cannot sing. It requires tremendous training for years together.

Likewise, the chanting of the Mantras of the Veda requires training for years together, and not for a few days only.

Just as one who does not know how to sing will make a jarring noise and you will like to get up and go away rather than listen to it, so also when you chant the Mantra wrongly, the gods will get up and go away.

They will not bear it any more. Hence, it requires training.

But once it is properly learnt, it becomes a protection for you from catastrophes of every kind – physical, psychological and what not.

So, those who know may chant it, recite it and take part in the recitation of it every day in the temple, at least during the worship on Mahasivaratri.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued  ...

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals : Ch-2. Part-6.

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


Likewise, this Mantra, the Satarudriya of the Yajurveda, a hymn to Lord Siva, has an objective meaning, a subjective meaning and a divine, supreme, supra-mental, universal meaning.

Objectively, it is a prayer for the control of the forces of nature.

Subjectively, it is a prayer for self-control and the rousing of the spiritual consciousness.

Universally, it is a surge of the soul towards God-realisation.

It has an Adhiyajnika, Adhibhautika, Adhidaivika and Adhyatmika meaning, as we usually put it. It has a tremendous meaning.

The Vedas, the Mantras of the Vedas, are filled with such threefold or fourfold meaning.

Hence it is difficult to understand the full meaning of any Mantra of the Veda.

"Ananta vai vedah": Infinite is the meaning of the Vedas.

The meaning of the Vedas is infinite.

It has no end at all.

It is mathematics; it is chemistry; it is physics; it is Ayurveda; it is psychology; it is metaphysics; it is philoso…