Amma on Lord Shiva

This is a select collection of sayings on Lord Shiva taken from Amma’s messages, talks and books.

*******

sivjiSome believe that Lord Shiva is at Kashi alone or Lord Krishna is only in Brindavan. Dear children, do not think that God is confined to the four walls of a temple or a place. He is omnipotent and omnipresent. He can assume any form of His choice.

*******

If our beloved deity is Krishna, we should be able to behold Krishna everywhere, in every temple whether it is Lord Shiva’s temple or Devi’s temple. Children, do not think that Shiva might be angry if we don’t worship Him in a Shiva temple or that the Divine Mother will withhold Her blessings if we don’t praise Her while going to a Devi temple. One and the same person is called ‘husband’ by the wife, ‘father’ by the son and ‘brother’ by the sister. The person sees no change even if other people address him differently. Each of us sees God in a particular form and name Him according to our innate tendencies and imagination.

*******

The image of Shiva represents that non-dual aspect of the Supreme that purifies aspirants of their sins and bestows renunciation and discrimination.

*******

The Shiva represents the aspect of Brahman, which cleanses us of all impurities. Brahman alone can remove all our impurities. In the Puranic story, it was Shiva who took the prarabdhas of others and swallowed them Himself. Shiva is the divine filter that receives the prarabdhas and impurities of the people, thereby making them pure.

*******

Devotee of Lord Shiva

Ravana was a devotee of Lord Shiva, but his devotion was only a means to increase his material power. The spiritual aspect was totally missing in him. In other words, he had no renunciation. He was intensely desirous of accumulating, possessing and enjoying as much as he could. Although he was strong and courageous, he had no love or compassion. Just like any other dictator, he was a power-monger, a person who cared only about himself and his own security. His power, which he derived from the Lord, made him so egotistic and blind that he even tried to lift Mount Kailas, Lord Shiva’s abode.

Without renunciation and humility one cannot be content. A true devotee has both of these qualities. A person who lacks renunciation and humility can never be content because he still craves material prosperity. His desires are countless and insatiable. He is never satisfied with what he has. Instead he thinks about accumulating more wealth, more money, a bigger house, a better car, more and more comfort.

*******

Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva create, nourish and destroy desires respectively. Man creates and nourishes desires but does not destroy them. Children, destruction of desire is what is needed.

*******

Amma likes the Lord of Death more than Lord Shiva. Isn’t it because of their fear of death that people call out to Shiva? Otherwise who would take refuge in Shiva?

****** *

Shiva’s third eye is the eye of jnana, supreme knowledge.

****** *
Ganga & Shiva

Modern science has proven that the river Ganges has the power to destroy germs. Likewise, there is a Ganges within us which has the power to purify our mind. That is why it is said that Ganges flows from the head of Lord Shiva. When we reach perfection through meditation, we become Him, the possessor of Ambrosia. The pure Ganges rises up from within. That is what is depicted as the Goddess Ganga hiding in the matted hair of Lord Shiva. Goddess Ganga represents the Kundalini Shakti and its endless flow is the flow of the Ganges. From Lord Shiva, the Perfect One, it flows pervading everything and purifies the whole universe.

*******

The Creation
Children, vibration arose in Brahman from Primordial Resolve. From this came the three gunas (qualities), sattva, rajas and tamas. These three are represented as the Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. All these are within oneself. What we see existing in the Universe in truth exists within.

*******

sivasaktiBefore creation, Shakti (the Primordial Nature, Cosmic Energy) heard an ethereal voice. It said, “There is only sorrow in creation. You should not try to do it.” It was the voice of Shiva (Pure Consciousness). Shakti replied, “No, it needs to be done.”

After creation, Shiva, the Pure Consciousness aspect, moved away. He went and hid. In reality, He has nothing to do with all these things happening around. Later, Shakti went running to Him, complaining, “I have no peace. Look here, the children are scolding Me. They blame Me for everything. Nobody takes care of Me.”
Shiva said, “Hadn’t I told you at that very same time that it was going to be like this and that you should not pursue that (creation)? Now you created an uproar, having pursued that. Aren’t you the one who is responsible for all this that has happened? There was no problem when it was I alone, was there?”

*******

Can Lord Shiva be called “Mother”?
Amma: Yes, of course, He can be called so. It is said that the “I” has become the father, mother, child, brother, sister and all. Everything is Him alone. You call Him, giving any name. One will say “palu,” another will say “milk,” and yet another will say something else. Whatever the name, there is no difference either in the color or taste of the milk. God can be called both as Father and Mother. You were told that He is the Father, weren’t you? He is the real Father who disciplines you by removing the ego and correcting you, and He is also the real Mother who looks after and protects you lovingly, compassionately and affectionately. Both are two different facets of the same God. Both aspects are unique. That is what manifests through a Perfect Master (Satguru), the perfect balance of both Divine Fatherhood and Motherhood. Everything is pervaded by the Supreme Self. He who has realized this can manifest any aspect at any time by Self-will.

*******


Why the Shiva linga

We can not understand why some people ridicule and insult the divine symbols and images in Hindu faith. The Shiva linga is not a symbol of one particular religion; it actually stands for a scientific principle.
Today scientists say that the universe is egg-shaped. In India, for thousands of years, the universe was referred to as Brahmandam, meaning the ‘great egg.’ Brahman means the absolute greatest.  The Shiva linga is a microcosm of that vast cosmic egg. When we worship the Shiva linga, we are, in fact, worshipping the entire universe as the Auspicious Form and as the Divine Consciousness, This is not the worship of a God who sits somewhere beyond the sky. This teaches us that any selfless service rendered to the universe, including to all living beings, is worship of Shiva.

*******
Absolute Reality, is the Source and Support of everything. It is devoid of attributes, qualities, and form. How can the attributeless be described? In this difficult context, the sages found a symbol to represent that initial stage between Brahman and creation: the Shiva linga. It signifies the creation of the universe out of Brahman. The Shiva linga is the symbol the Rishis used to reveal the truth they experienced in a way ordinary people could understand.
*******

lingaThe word Shiva means “auspicious”. Auspiciousness doesn’t have a form. By worshipping the Shiva linga, which is a symbol of auspiciousness, the worshipper receives that which is auspiciousness.

*******

The meaning of linga is not phallus; for not even fools would pray to a male’s sexual organs for protection!

*******
Q: Some people describe the Shiva linga as obscene. Is there any basis for this?
Amma: My children, people talk that way only because they do not understand the principle behind the Shiva linga. Each individual sees either good or bad in everything depending on that person’s inner tendencies.
*******
Shiva burnt Kama ( lust and desires) with his third eye. In that state of Supreme Bliss, there is no female and male, mine and yours. Shiva linga helps us grasp this principle and frees us from lust. That is why the Shiva linga is worshipped by both men and women, the old and the young, the Brahman and the outcaste.

*******
Q: It is said that Shiva dwells in funeral grounds. What is the meaning of this?
Amma: Desire is the cause of suffering. At the cremation grounds, the body with all its material desires are reduced to ashes. And there, where desires are absent and there is no body consciousness, Lord Shiva dances in bliss. That is why he is called the resident of the cremation grounds. The meaning of this is not that bliss comes to us only after death. Everything is within us. We and the universe are one. We are automatically filled with bliss, when in the fire of Self-awareness the attachment to the body dies.

Shiva’s body is decorated with ashes from the funeral pyres. This is the symbol of having conquered all desires.

*******

Tantric Sadhana

Tantric sadhana is one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted paths. In the name of tantric sadhana people start drinking, engaging in sex and other licentious and irresponsible behavior. They say that they are offering it to the Divine Mother, but ultimately such people get totally carried away by such indulgence. Their ignorance about real sadhana becomes denser and denser, and so they argue that whatever they do is correct.

What is involved in tantric worship is an offering. The fact is, the principle behind the worship is what is to be offered. This offering is not external; it is internal. You offer your individuality, or your ego, to the Divine. Furthermore, the references to sexual union in the worship are not to be taken as something to be done by a male person and a female person. It is the final union, the union of the jivatman (individual self) and the Paramatman (the Supreme Self). It is symbolic. It symbolizes the union or the integration of the feminine and masculine qualities – the union of Purusha and Prakriti, the merging of the mind into the Supreme Reality. It is the attainment of a perfect balance between the inner and outer natures of the sadhak. It is the experiencing of and becoming established in All-Pervasiveness, which ensues from the union of Shiva and Shakti.

In that state the sadhak transcends everything and merges with the Supreme Principle. That Supreme Oneness is the meaning of sexual union in tantric puja.

This union of Shiva (Supreme Consciousness) and Shakti (Primordial Energy) happens when the sadhak’s purified semen, which has transformed into ojas (pure vital energy) reaches the top of the head where the thousand petalled lotus is located. The use of sexual imagery as symbolic imagery in tantric sadhana is an external, figurative depiction of this inner transformation. Sexual union is the closest symbol that can give the idea about this eternal union of Shiva and Shakti. Both aspects, Supreme Consciousness and Primordial Energy are within us.

All human beings are sexual, and therefore, all are familiar with the experience of sexual desire, the longing for union with the opposite sex. Thus by employing something that everybody can understand, that is, the terms and symbols of sexual union, to express the essential quality and process of eternal union, the sages have tried to give us an idea of the process of inner union. But human minds are so crude and lowly that they misinterpret the whole thing and bring it all down to a vulgar level, misusing it or using it as an excuse for licentious behavior and illicit actions that can cause harm to others as well as themselves. Tantric sadhana must not be practiced without the guidance of a Perfect Master.

*******
When a man and a woman move forward together with love, mutual understanding, and a willingness to be flexible to the other’s needs, what develops is not equality between them, but union—the union of Shiva and Shakti. That is the world of joy. The man and the woman become one, forgetting all differences.
*******

Time loss is a loss forever

Amma on the practicality of Spiritual practices
1 Feb 2010, Amritapuri
Amma’s walk to the beach is a welcome sign for many ashramites and visitors. Sad faces blossom into smiles, surprised looks turn into glee. Such is the presence of Amma. The very evening becomes a festival.

Last Monday evening the bell rang at 5 p.m. and Amma walked from her room to the beach. People love to crowd behind her and walk at her side hoping to catch her glance. Amma takes a loving look at them too. It was a beautiful sight.

Amma sat down below a coconut tree facing the sea and with Swamiji translating, Amma lead the meditation for all who had assembled around her.  After the guided meditation, Amma asked the question “What do you think about the practicality of spiritual practices?” Amma had been very keen to stress the importance of spiritual practices during her recent meditation-Satsang sessions.

Many devotees chose to answer and one by one Amma would listen to them all while looking at each and all around her. After a few others expressed their views, an eight year old girl said “Everything is in God’s hands. We have to become instruments in God’s hands. The world is so full of desires and there is no use going behind it.” Amma listened to the girl and pulled her closer and after looking at her deeply, hugged her with the fond affection like that of a proud mother and gently pressed her head tilted sideways against the little girl’s.

A person sitting a few feet away from Amma said, “When I sit on the (meditation) mat, I know it is a good practice but I do not know how practical that is. To know that is the reason I am here with Amma.”

Meanwhile a little Finnish toddler, Amritavarshini, who is less than a year old, helped herself to Amma’s seat and Amma took her up and set her on the extra space near her. The little toddler took some flowers and started giving them to Amma. Amma would receive it gently and would lovingly put it back on the toddler’s head. This went on for few many minutes as people spoke. The toddler then took out a beautiful picture of Goddess Kali and gave it to Amma. Amma received it and having blessed it gave it back to the toddler. The little one started offering the flowers like during archana to that Kali picture after having placed the picture resting on Amma’s seat. Amma smiled lovingly and the little girl turned her cheeks upward to Amma. Amma kissed her and then as she continued drew a small art representing a leaf on the cheek of the little toddler. The little one immediately turned around and wearing a proud beautiful smile showed it to all around her.

As the microphone changed hands, another person continued on Amma’s question saying “Amma, when I feel hungry I take food. Whether it is practical or whether it is a necessity I do not know. Your question triggers in me several more questions!”

A lady seated facing Amma said “I do not know how practical it is to get up for the Archana at 4 a.m. every morning.”

Laughing, Amma answered her saying that “when one has an examination at school, it becomes necessary to get up early in the morning to prepare oneself. Spiritual practices are similar. At present, our mind is not in our hands. Desires take shape in the mind. One needs constant practice to understand the nature of the mind. Such preparation alone will help our mind to keep it ‘air-conditioned'; when facing joy or sorrow, one must not get over-excited or over-depressed.” Amma explained about the practicality of spiritual practices.

Amma continued her explanation saying, “Like the tortoise that can withdraw its head and arms into the shell when not needed, the mind should be withdrawn when not needed or in danger.” Amma went on to give another example, that of a tadpole and a frog.  When the tadpole has a tail, it remains only in water.  Once it transforms into a frog by losing its tail, it can go on water and on land as well. By losing our ego, one can live anywhere happily. Everyone is the One Self. Love everyone and serve everyone. ” Amma re-iterated the goal and the purpose of spiritual life.

Amma’s ever smiling face carried with it the depth of wisdom of the Vedas.

And then Amma referred to the story of a person who fell into a rapidly rushing river. Amma explained that by constant practice at least one does not fall backward, even if one does not go forward. “If someone has a business loss, one can recover, but time lost is a loss forever. Youth will not come back, childhood will not come back. So one has to create that awareness and put forth effort continuously,” Amma alerted every one.

The sun was setting in the ocean. Even the last rays had disappeared into the water. Darkness slowly started falling on every thing. Amma continued saying that “we must not complain about the darkness around. We have a lighted candle with us. Take each step with faith. That candle will shed light on the next step.”

After singing  ‘Mukundamurari gopala’ and walking back to the ashram to join the evening bhajans, many ashramites and guests were thinking how lucky they were to have Amma with them to hold their hand and walk beside them, instilling  love and faith with every faith-filled step.

— Kannadi

Bharata Yatra 2010 Feb and Mar

Program dates of Amma’s Bharata Yatra 2010

Mar 15 Lucknow Public Program cancelled

February


Kerala
o 9                 Departure Amritapuri
o  10-11        Talassery Brahmasthanam
Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Chakkyath Mukku    phone: 0490-234567

Karnataka
o  13-14        Mangalore Brahmasthanam
Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Sulthan Bathery Road, Boloor, Mangalore 575003,        phone: 0824-2457056/96

o  17-18        Bangalore  Brahmasthanam
Mata Amritanandamayi Math, 136, Ullal Cross Road, Jnana Bharathi, 2nd stage, (behind Bangalore University), Opp. Nagdevanahilli (BDA Lay Out), Bangalore-56          phone 080-28486767

Andra Pradesh
o  20              Hyderbad Brahmasthanam evening only

o  21              Hyderbad Brahmasthanam
M A Math, 844/1, Mahindra Hills, East Marredpally, Secunderabad – 500 026.    phone: 040-27732420/27733274

Maharashtra
o  23              Pune Brahmasthanam evening only

o  24              Pune Brahmasthanam
Mata Amritanandamayi Math, plot no2 sector 21, Yamuna Nagar, Nigdi, Pune 411044         phone:  020-27662647

o  26              Mumbai Public Program
Venue: Shivaji Park, Mumbai

o  28              Mumbai Brahmasthanam
Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Brahmagiri, Plot no. 5, Sector 20, Nerul West    phone:  022-27722385 /27711585


March


o  1                 Mumbai Brahmasthanam

Gujarat

o  3                 Ahmedabad Public Program
Venue – Ahmedabad Education Society Ground, Drive-in-Road, Memnagar    +91-971 2388 234 / +91-9275004175

Rajasthan
o  6                 Jaipur Public Program
Venue: Mohan Vatika, opposite SFS Colony, Agarwal, New Sanganer road.           phone: +91-9928792922/ +91-9829294702

New Delhi
o  8                 Delhi Public Program
Venue: A1 Park – Mayur Vihar Phase 3

o  10-11        Delhi Brahmasthanam
Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Sector D-III, Vasanth Kunj, New Delhi 110070.         phone: 011-26893622/8047

Uttar Pradesh
o  15              Lucknow Public Program cancelled

West Bengal
o  18              Durgapur Public Program
Venue: Ghandi More Maidan, city center, Durgapur        phone: 0343-2533560

o  20-21        Kolkata Brahmasthanam
Mata Amritanandamayi Math, P.O.Sarkarpool (near 13A bus terminus), Budge Budge Road, Kolkata – 700143    phone: 033-24012777/4433

note: these are the tentative dates. there can be changes in the schedule. pls check back

Amma’s programs in Australia

Brisbane Public Program
1 April (10.00am and 7.30pm)

Walter Burnett Building, RNA Exhibition Grounds,
Gregory Terrace, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, QLD

Gold Coast Retreat – 2, 3, 4 April

Public Program “Devi Bhava” April 4 (7pm)
Tallebudgera Outdoor Recreation Centre,
1525 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach,
Gold Coast, QLD.

Melbourne

Public Programs – 6  & 7 April
(10.00am and 7.30pm )

Retreat – 8, 9, 10 April
Public Program “Devi Bhava” – 10 April (7pm)

Sandown Racecourse, Multi Purpose Room,
591-659 Princes Highway, Springvale, VIC 3171

Sydney

Public Program – 12 & 13 April
(12 April: 10.00am & 7.30pm)
(13 April: 10.00am)

Public Program “Devi Bhava”- 13 April (7.30pm)

Sydney Boys High School, Gate 2 Cleveland Street, Moore Park, Surry Hills, Sydney, NSW.
(There is also access via the Sir Roden Cutler Gates on Anzac Parade).

For more information click here