Swami holding the Linga that He materialized on March 4, 2000.
Today is the auspicious day of Sivarathri. What is Sivam? It means auspiciousness. God is the embodiment of Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram (Truth, Auspiciousness and Beauty). All that you see, hear and experience should be offered to God.
Tridalam Trigunakaram Trinetramcha Triyayudham;
Trijanma Papa Samharam Eka Bilvam Sivarpanam.
Offer a trifoliate Bilva leaf to Lord Siva, the three-eyed Lord having a trident in His hand which destroys the sins of three births. People undertake various Sadhanas and different modes of worship on the basis of their own imagination. Whatever may be the Sadhana, one should not give up the resolve. One should have single-pointed attention. One should listen only to the principle of oneness. One should offer one?s actions to God. Karmanyevadhikarasthe Ma Phaleshu Kadachana (Action is thy duty, fruit is not thy concern). Whatever you do, let it be pleasing unto God. Sarva Karma Bhagavad Preethyartham (do all actions to please God). Then no sin will accrue to you. There is no easier path than this to experience the Atmic principle
You may get some thoughts which are like clouds. Do not be carried away by them. Do not pay heed to all and sundry and ruin yourself. You should rise to the level of Divine and not degenerate to the level of demon. In order to rise to the level of divine, Satsang is very essential. One thought, one vision and one action. These three must be unified. Sivarathri is celebrated to recognize the oneness of Divinity. When you do Bhajans tonight, you will have only one thought. You will experience the bliss of Bhajan. It is the non-dual bliss. Why is it prescribed that you should do Bhajans all through the night? Bhajan is done to control the mind and focus it on Divinity.
The message of holy Sivarathri is to spread the ideal and sanctity of this most auspicious day to one and all. The principle of unity is slowly declining among the people of the world. There is strife and discord between even two brothers of the same small family.
In the divine family of Lord Siva, there are only four members, namely, Lord Easvara, his consort Parvati, and the two sons, Subramanya and Vinayaka. This is an ideal family. There is no difference of opinion whatsoever either between husband and wife or the two brothers. There is perfect accord and harmony in their family. Mother Parvati and Lord Paramesvara wanted to set an example to the whole world in the matter of a most harmonious, perfect and loving relationship between a wife and husband and between brothers. A family is the most important functional unit in the world. If the family is running on sound lines, the world will also run smoothly. If the unity among the family members suffers even to a small extent, the world will face the repercussions. Unity gives strength to the lives of the family members. Therefore, every family should strive for achieving unity and harmonious relationship among its members. Every family should strive to emulate the example of Lord Siva's family. Today, even if there are only two sons in a family, there is no harmony between them. Similar is the case of husband and wife. This is not the position in respect of Lord Siva's family. The vehicles they ride, the circumstances in which they function, the wealth they possess - in fact, in every aspect, the members of this divine family set an example to the whole world.
For example, Lord Siva's vehicle is Nandi, the bull. Mother Parvati's vehicle is Lion. The younger son, Subramanya's vehicle is peacock, whereas the elder son Vinayaka's is the tiny mouse. They move about the whole world on such strange vehicles which are antagonistic in nature but still lead a perfect and harmonious family life.
If you wish to attain happiness, live in happiness. The universal family of Lord Siva, Mother Parvati, Subramanya and Vinayaka are the perfect example for this principle. Cultivate their example. Worship them. But, a caution - you may worship a picture as God, but not God as a picture. Therefore, you worship the Easwara family by following their example. The message of this holy Sivarathri is to live in unity and harmony with everyone. Particularly, the brothers in a family should never fight; they must be united, like the Pandavas. It is only by their unity, Pandavas could obtain the Divine Grace of Lord Krishna. Anything can be achieved with unity. Take for example, the five fingers in the hand. It is only when the five fingers join together, we can accomplish any task. The Kauravas were one hundred in number, but they were not united for a good cause. Ultimately, what fate had befallen them? Similarly, Vali and Sugriva in Ramayana. They were in fact brothers. Due to some differences, they developed hatred against one another. In the end, Vali met his end in the hands of Rama. The ultimate goal of this Sivarathri is to develop unity among humanity, whatever be the obstacles, whatever be the difficulties and whatever be the provocations. You should never make use of harsh words while speaking to others. Always speak sweetly and softly, with a loving heart.
Divine Discourse: Mar 1, 2003
Divine Discourse: Mar 2, 2003
Today is Sivarathri, meaning auspicious night. Siva symbolises the breathing process 'Soham', that takes place in every man. This is referred to as Hamsa Gayatri. '(A) Ham' refers to 'I' and 'So' means 'That' (God). This message of 'I am God' is conveyed through this breathing process - 21,600 times a day. Such teachings have been propagated and practised since ancient times.
Love is your greatest asset. Develop love and always speak the Truth. Under all circumstances follow the path of Truth. In case the utterance of Truth is likely to lead to some danger, remain silent. Therefore it is said, Truth is the life of the tongue. Righteousness is the life of hands. Non-violence is the life of the heart. Sivarathri is celebrated to teach man the significance of these values. Siva also stands for humility. A person with humility is one of Sivam (auspiciousness). On the other hand, a person with ego is verily a Savam (corpse).
What is the significance of Lingodbhava? God is known as Hiranyagarbha (one having a golden womb). The golden Rasa (essence) present in His womb undergoes a vigorous churning process and assumes the shape of a Linga. Linga means a symbol or a sign. (Showing the golden Linga that He created in the beginning of His Discourse) Bhagavan said - As you can see, it has no distinctive features like eyes, face, etc. It has neither feet nor head. It can be placed in any manner. It symbolises the formless Divinity.
Leeyathe Gamyathe Ithi Lingaha It is the basis of everything. The golden Rasa after assuming the shape of a Linga emerges out. You need fire in order to melt gold. Similarly, the fire within melts the gold and moulds it into the shape of a Linga. Hence, the difficulty at the time of its emergence. It has to assume the form of a Linga and come out. You feel Swami is put to a lot of Badha (suffering) at the time of Lingodbhava. It is not really a Badha (suffering) but a Bodha (teaching) for you. Is it not natural for a mother to undergo labour pains while giving birth to a child? Will any mother curse her child just because she is put to a lot of suffering? She always prays for the well-being of the child. In the same manner, Swami does not feel any pain at the time of the emergence of Linga. I don't consider it a Badha. I am happy that I am imparting a significant Bodha to so many of you. God has absolutely no suffering, no worries and no difficulties whatsoever. But you feel that Swami is undergoing a great pain and suffering.
Divine Discourse: Mar 12, 2002
Divine Discourse: Mar 13, 2002
Today is the very auspicious day of Sivarathri. Siva stands for auspiciousness. What is so special and auspicious about Sivarathri? Mind has 16 aspects, of which 15 are merged on this night and only one is remaining. Make proper use of this holy night by undertaking Sadhana with devotion and steadfastness. What sort of Sadhana you must undertake? Cleans your heart of all evil qualities. Evil qualities arise in you because of the misuse of the senses. It is the root cause of all sins. Sadhana does not mean doing Japa and meditation. You should develop pure and Divine feelings in you. Consider everyone as Divine. Respect them. "All are Mine and I belong to everybody." Once you have such firm conviction, you can enjoy immense happiness in life. There will be no trace of worry in your life.
Today is a very holy day. The time at 6 o'clock is highly sacred. At that time, the Atma Lingam will be manifested. God is sometimes called the Hiranyagarbha. The golden Lingas emerge from Hiranyagarbha itself. Don't conclude that only Swami is Hiranyagarbha. All of you are manifestations of Hiranyagarbha. You are also eternal and self-effulgent. Hold this truth firmly in your heart. Keep this awareness firm.
Divine Discourse: Feb 21, 2001
Why is Sivarathri considered auspicious? The reason is this. The moon has 16 Kalas (aspects) and so too the mind. On the day of Sivarathri, 15 are merged and only one remains. If the 16th aspect is also merged, one attains Divinity. This total merger will take place only when one chants the Divine name continuously and wholeheartedly.
Divine Discourse: Feb 22, 2001
The nights you experience on other days are ordinary nights. They are nights of darkness. But Sivaratri is an auspicious night. How is it auspicious? There are sixteen aspects for the mind. The moon is the presiding deity of the mind. Of the sixteen aspects of the moon, today, fifteen are absent. The remaining one aspect can be merged in the Divine by diverting the mind towards God. If you sing his Glory throughout the night wholeheartedly, even the remaining one aspect can also be merged with the Divine. On this day it is possible to get full control over the mind by contemplating on God. Hence it is considered as an auspicious day. Unfortunately, in this Kali Age, people observe the vigil of Sivaratri by seeing cinema shows all through the night or playing cards. This cannot be called Sivaratri. Every moment of the night should be devoted to the thoughts of God and chant His name wholeheartedly.
God has thousands of names. Of all those names, 'Satchitananda' is the most important and significant. 'Sath' stands for the changeless eternal principle and 'chith' denotes total awareness. The former can be compared to sugar and the latter to water. When sugar and water are mixed, what results is syrup. Likewise the combination of 'Sath' and 'Chith' results in Ananada. Fill your heart with love and chant the Divine name. Only then can you attain Divinity. Perform all your activities with love. Love would originate from the source, i.e. the heart and not by force. Today people chant the Divine name, not from source, but out of force. No benefit accrues from chanting the Divine name unless it is done wholeheartedly. Chant His name wholeheartedly at least for half a minute, that is enough. One teaspoon of cow's milk is better than barrels of donkey's milk. God is interested in quality, not in quantity.
Divine Discourse: Mar 4, 2000
What is the significance of Sivarathri? Siva stands for auspiciousness. You should sanctify your life with pious feelings on this day. You did Bhajan throughout the night. It has given you happiness. But it is confined to the external activity of listening and chanting only. The happiness should be felt in the innermost recesses of the heart.
What is the use if you involve in positive and constructive activities with negative thoughts in your mind? Get rid of negative thoughts first. Fill your mind with positive thoughts. Then the entire world will flourish; the society will flourish; your village will flourish and your home will flourish. Social service should expand from the individual to the society and from the society to the entire nation. Do not observe any differences while doing service. It can be any organization. It does not matter. You go and participate. Service is your aim; sacrifice is your aim. Nurture pious and divine feelings. Only then will your life find fulfillment.
Divine Discourse: Mar 5, 2000
You will be observing Sivarathri in the true spirit of the term only when you give up bad qualities and cultivate divine love. Merely observing vigil on Sivarathri is not sufficient. You have to contemplate on God incessantly. Most people claim that they have observed Jaagarana (vigil) on Sivarathri night by playing cards. The fisherman goes on watching intently so as to trap the fish in the net. Can this be termed meditation? If one abstains from taking food on account of difference of opinion with his wife, can it be called fasting? No. Similarly, observance of sacred vigil on Sivarathri night is not achieved by playing cards the whole night. You should spend this night by chanting the name of God, using the time in doing good deeds.
You will be immensely benefited if you keep awake and sing the glory of God at least on this night. The Moon is the presiding deity of the mind. The Moon has 16 Kalas (phases). On this Sivarathri 15 Kalas have already merged in God and only one remains. By constant remembrance of God, even the 16th phase merges in God. Can you not spend a single night in the whole year singing the glory of God? So sanctify this night by participating in Bhajan. The bliss that you get from Bhajan, the sweetness in the divine name, the happiness derived from visualizing the divine form cannot be obtained elsewhere. Everything is possible only through love. So, cultivate love and sanctify your life.
Past is past, future is uncertain, only present is in our hands. It is the foremost duty of man to live in the present and share his joy with his fellow beings. Truly speaking, the human being is the most fortunate one among all the living beings. Compared to the entire cosmos, man is very small like an atom, yet he is able to comprehend the magnitude and vastness of creation, which is very startling indeed. He attains immortality by understanding the unity between the microcosm and macrocosm. As mentioned by Me yesterday, whosoever reaps the harvest of love in the field of his heart is a true Christian, a true Sikh, a true Hindu and a true Muslim. In fact he is the true human being on earth. Man cannot exist without love. This Principle of Love is Hiranyagarbha. This Hiranyagarbha is situated on the right side of the human body and the physical heart is on the left. The physical heart on the left side has to be left one day or the other in some circumstance or the other. Hiranyagarbha located on the right side of the human body is always right. It is immortal, eternal and all encompassing. It is present not only in human beings, but also in birds, beasts and all other living beings. The Vedas declare: "Eswara Sarvabhoothanaam", God is present in all the beings, "Isavaasyam Idam Jagat", God pervades the entire cosmos. It is love that originates out of this Hiranya. The three principles of reaction, resound and reflection have originated from Hiranyagarbha. Unable to recognize his true identity man is wasting his life in the pursuit of temporary fleeting, transient and ephemeral pleasures.
Divine Discourse: Feb 15, 1999
Divine Discourse: Feb 14, 1999
Today we are celebrating Sivarathri. "Sivarathri" means "Auspicious darkness". At least on this day one should chant Siva's name all through the night. At least on one day in a year chant the name of the Lord. Devotees are expected to keep awake this night by chanting the sacred name of Siva. Keeping awake in any other way is purposeless. Spending the night reciting the Lord's name sanctifies one's life.
Divine Discourse: Feb 25, 1998
The lesson of Sivarathri is that devotees should foster good and sacred thoughts. They should be filled with godly thoughts. They should seek to become one with the Divine by reflecting on their inherent divinity. If you constantly chant the name of God, God realization will come in due course.
Whatever other things they may possess, men suffer from lack of peace and bliss. These two can be got only from God. It is for these two that men should pray to God and not for anything else, because God alone can give them. When these are secured, all other things will come of their own accord by the grace of God. People should yearn for God. All other desires are worthless.
Divine Discourse: Feb 26, 1998
Sivarathri has a variety of meanings. "Rathri" implies the darkness of night. But "Sivarathri" connotes not darkness but the special sacredness of this night. There is darkness in this night also. But this darkness is invested with auspiciousness. The reason is on this Chathurdasi day (l4th day after the Full Moon), the moon, who is the presiding deity for the mind, has shed fifteen of his sixteen digits. This is an auspicious time for having proximity to God.
The Upanishads refer to the attributes of the Divine as "Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram". Plato regarded Truth, Goodness and Beauty as the attributes of the Divine. "Sivam" represents the principle of auspiciousness. It is associated with Truth on the one side and beauty on the other.
This is the primary message of Sivarathri. I am giving you three maxims which you have to bear in mind: "Seva, Seva, Seva". Never forget the duty to serve. For this you have to develop love. To develop love, you have to promote the spirit of sacrifice. Service will become meaningful when it manifests love that issues from sacrifice. Consider service as conducive to your own spiritual development. "Be good, do good".
Divine Discourse: Mar 7, 1997
The terms Siva or Sankara mean Auspicious. Sam means Chitaananda (Blissful Awareness). Kara means the one who causes it. Sankara means the One who causes blissful awareness. Sankara is the One who confers Chitaananda on those who take refuge in Him or adore Him.
The secret of creation is evident from the description of the form of Siva. The crescent moon on Siva's head symbolizes the consciousness in human beings, the Ganga symbolizes the Life Force and the snakes on Siva's body represent the myriad of living beings. He resides on a silver mountain. His dearest friend is Kubera, the Lord of Wealth. Despite being endowed with all these, why was He obliged to carry the begging bowl? To demonstrate to the world that every kind of wealth is a hindrance to spiritual advancement, Siva renounced everything. It is through renunciation Siva became the eternal embodiment of supreme bliss.
The three eyes of Siva represent the three worlds (lokas). Siva's trident is symbolic of the Past, the Present, and the Future, the three aspects of Time. The three gunas (Satwa, Rajas, Thamas) are images of the Trinity - Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva. The three worlds, the triune aspect of Time, the three gunas (qualities) are the manifestations of the Easwara Principle. When the Divine is installed in the heart in this manner, man can raise himself to the level of the Divine.
Divine Discourse: Feb 23, 1990
The day when man is able to experience the divine state of Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being-Awareness-Bliss) is really the holy day of Sivarathri. Till then, he is in perpetual darkness. Until a fruit ripens in a tree, its juice is not sweet. When the fruit is fully ripe, it drops from the tree. Attachment to the tree is gone. Likewise when a man achieves spiritual maturity he acquires automatically Vairagya (detachment). Man has to endeavour to reach this level of maturity by spiritual practices for transforming his consciousness.
Turn your minds towards the Divine. Repetition of the Names of the Lord has been prescribed as a spiritual discipline to turn your mind away from the things of the world. If you devote the whole of this night to thoughts about the Lord, your minds will be transformed, even if you are not able to reach the highest state of "Over-Mind". Ever bearing in mind the triple characteristics of the Divine- Sathyam, Jnaanam, Anantham Brahma - strive to achieve the supreme goal of Man.
Divine Discourse: Feb 16, 1988
Shivarathri is a very auspicious day for all. It is the fourteenth day of the lunar fortnight when the moon is waning and the sun is in the sign of Aquarius. The festival is however related to the moon rather than the sun. Unlike other nights, this particular night is the night of consecration, of dedication and of illumination. The mind is intimately associated with the moon. Chandra, the deity of the moon, is the presiding deity of the mind. He loses one sixteenth of his brilliance every day after the full moon day and continues waning until on this night he is left with just one sixteenth of his power. The waned moon may be taken to stand for the mind with all its wild fancies and waywardness reduced after it has been conquered by spiritual discipline. On this night there is just a minute part more to be conquered and that can be done by keeping vigil and dwelling on the glory of God. The vigil that is prescribed is symbolic of the eternal vigil one has to observe, while the rite of fasting is symbolic of divesting the senses of the pleasures for which they crave. The nightlong devotional singing is significant of the life long consciousness of the Divine Presence that every one should cultivate. The rites and vows laid down for Shivarathri being absent on other nights of the year, their observance on this day comes as a reminder that they are useful.
Divine Discourse: Mar 7, 1978