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Published Wednesday, March 03, 2011 @ 1620 hrs.

Harbingers of auspiciousness and spiritual awareness, Maha Shivaratri has come once again. This is the occasion considered auspicious for all spiritual efforts summit to fulfilment on this holy night with sincere love and devotion to The Lord. Revelling on the great occasion Ms. Jullie Chaudhary pens all about the festive occasion in her poetic style.

Shankara Sada Shiva Sabhapate Manohara
Chandrashekara Jattadhara Uma Maheshwara
Shankara Sai Shankara,
Eashwara Saieashwara…
Eashwara Parthieashwara…
Chandrashekara Jattadhara Uma Maheshwara…'

Lord Shiva,
The presiding deity of the Chakra Sahasrara,
‘Girija Ramana’,
One Who has charmed and is the beloved consort of - Girija,
The Divine Mother, daughter of the mighty Himalaya,
The ever auspicious One is Lord Shiva,
Worshipped so too by His dear sons Kartikeya and Ganesha…

Mount Kailasa He chose as His abode supreme,
From His matted locks, of Ganga does flow a pure stream,
Mount Kailasa - also known as Gangs Rinpoche,
To this holy mountain even the Tibetans do pray,
Gangs or Kangs means ‘snow peak’, you see,
Rinpoche denotes ‘precious one’ - that’s how it will always be,
While Kailasa, translated signifies a crystal - pure and clear,
A ‘crystal snow jewel’ for the Lord who is dearest of the dear…

And so we come to the holy Trinity,
Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara, you see,
Indicating the three Gunas, and the Worlds three,
Present in every human being represented by the Trinity,
Sristi, Sthiti and Layam too,
Is an ongoing process within me and you,
Creation, Sustenance and Dissolution,
These words of our beloved Lord go on to mention,
That Layam means a merging of creation into its source,
Through the One Divine this cosmic process does itself enforce,
The One divided into three,
The sacrosanct attributes forming a harmonious Trinity…

And so often referred to as ‘Destroyer’, is He,
If you are fearful you needn’t be,
For He destroys ignorance, negativity,
Ego and individuality,
Creation, Preservation and then Destruction,
Renews the unfolding - the beauty and drama - the impression,
Of yet another Cosmic Illusion…

Known by innumerable names is He,
With simple acts of devotion He is pleased readily,
And so He receives the name of Bhola Nath,
Bestowing boons and clearing the path,
Shumbho, Neelkanth, and Kashi Vishwanath,
The self appearing, blue throated, Lord of the Universe at Kashi,
Worshipped as the holiest of the holy,
Mahadeva, Sada Shiva, Shankara, Nataraja is He
The Lord of Lords, ever favorable, dispeller of doubts, you see,
Who dances the cosmic dance - the Tandava,
The One Who is the Master of Nandi – Nandieshwara,
Oh, the wonderful sight of Gangadhara,
From Whose matted locks does flow forth the Ganga,
Cooling, calming, quenching,
Healing, redeeming, absolving,
Only He could subdue her force so that Earth could receive,
This river from heaven – is how legend makes us perceive,
Ah, the magnificent picture of the supreme God - Parameshwara,
With the radiant third spiritual eye – Mukanti or Trinetra,
The future is revealed by this Jnana Netra,
Eyes half closed in extreme meditative bliss,
Can there be a more soothing sight than this?
What could He be meditating upon?
An act into which all conclusions are foregone,
Meditating upon the formless essence,
Teaching us a lesson immense,
We should proceed ahead of qualms,
Let go of all in the world of forms,
This quintessence is the core of everyone and everything,
It is this song that the Cosmic Heart does sing…

Shiva Consciousness is all pervading, limitless, resplendent,
In every bit around us, in every form it is immanent,
These are Bhagawan’s words on Shivattwa,
Permeating humans, insects, birds and animals is Easharattwa,
In all around us, we do witness,
Shiva Consciousness or Divine Consciousness,
With these expressions about Himself, the Master does us bless…

He takes us on a journey, and then He does continue,
With utterances of infinite wisdom and value,
There are nights of darkness, these are nights ordinary,
The auspicious night that spells essential goodness is Shivaratri,
Sixteen aspects has the mind,
The moon is the presiding deity is what we find,
Of the sixteen phases of the moon, we discover along the way,
Fifteen are missing on this fourteenth day,
Of the month of Margasheersha,
That is of the lunar calendar,
Oh, this divine opportunity one must seize,
For on this day one can get full control of their mental faculties…
The moon wanes until it is a glimmering glow, a tiny curve,
And so too man must not swerve,
Starve the mind into that condition – be free,
Spend all days with Shiva then this conquest becomes easy,
All spiritual efforts summit on Shivarathri,
Shivarathri conveys this hope for me and you,
Krishnapaksh is how this waning period is known too,
And so every month as the moon wanes there is a Shivarathri,
But the one in the month of Magha is a Mega one, you see…

The Infinite One with the flawless form - is Shiva,
Every being is of Him - a Swaroopa ,
Without Shiva - a mere corpse – Shava,
As bereft as without fragrance would be a flower,
And without light - a star…
Nataraja - that supremely luminous form that dances the Tandava;
Beyond the phases of time – Kalathithaya;
The ultimate Yogi – Yogishwaraya;
Chandrashekhara – the One with the moon as His crest,
To cool Him as He took on - for only He could digest,
The burning sensation, as the Devas He blessed,
By drinking the halahal poison,
During the churning of the ocean,
Which He retained in His throat – gleaming blue,
And thus the name Neelkantha receives its due…
Wielding the trident playing the dumru,
Divine melodies enchanting anew,
Oh, Lord Shiva, we surrender to You…
Oh, Saieshwara our ultimate refuge is You…

Worshipped with fervour in so many a temple,
As a lingam, which translates to mean - ‘symbol’,
This elliptical shape is the mark of the Ultimate Reality,
And represents the cosmic column of light, you see,
Which put even Brahma and Vishnu in a daze,
The end to which neither could trace,
Only to put forth a simple message for humanity,
To focus on the essence which is limitless, beyond any boundary,
Transcendental, beyond the ordinary…

The extremely benevolent One is Lord Shiva,
Vibhuti Sundara Sai Shiva,
Besmeared with ashes - a sign of victory,
Over desires and all things worldly,
A reminder of the stark reality,
For that is all that remains ultimately,
Dust, ashes…vibhuti,
All else is transitory,
Except the soul – the atma,
Is what we learn from Saieshwara…

Yet another lesson we discover from Sada Shiva – how to be,
A premier devotee,
Devotion surpassing all else - the focus and intensity,
Legend has it that this made Him assume the form of Hanumanji,
A surrender total at the Lotus feet, you see;
And then again during the time of Bala Krishna,
Many a disguise to view the cherubic Gopala,
The enchanter was enchanted – and so it had to be,
Together they formed the Trinity…

How can we proceed without a mention of the One at Shirdi,
The presiding deity,
Of the sacred Dwarkamai,
Dearest of the dear, loved member of every family was Sai,
But there is no need to wonder – ‘Where were we…?’
Or lament – ‘Even if we were there blank is our memory’,
But then Destiny smiled at humanity,
Shiva is here now, along with Shakti,
In Prashanti Nilayam at Puttaparthi,
Sathya Sai is He,
Once again He did descend,
For us to ascend,
To accept and manifest divine thoughts and our inherent divinity,
To believe in the One behind the many and pay heed to His call,
Reverence for all life forms must we install –
Help ever, hurt never; love all, serve all,
Ceaselessly He does give,
And so to must we - selflessly live,
In this cosmic drama, you and I,
Following the footprints of loving Mother Sai,
Samastha Lokaah Sukhino Bhavantu,
Ah, what a wonderful message, what a beautiful view,
For creation exists within me and you...