13 February 2018 — Amritapuri Ashram
Shivaratri was celebrated at the Ashram with great enthusiasm. Chanting of Rudram & Chamakam, Mrutyunjaya and Panchakshara were happening in the Kalari from the morning. The whole night devotees where chanting “Om Namah Shivaya.”
In the regular evening bhajans, Amma had a special set of Siva bhajans.
At 10.30 pm Amma joined the session again with a new set of Shiva bhajans. Addressing the devotees Amma said: “Among all the God concepts of Sanatana Dharma, perhaps the most astonishing one is of Lord Siva. Although his role is as the destroyer, he is considered as the embodiment of auspiciousness. He is a sannyasi who uses a skull as a begging bowl, and yet he has a family and is regarded as the father of the universe. He lives in the cemetery. His body is smeared with ashes. Deadly serpents adorn his arms and neck. At times he sports a tiger skin; at times he is a Digambara — a naked ascetic who wears only the sky as his garment; at times a hunter and at times a scavenger (Chandala). Yet, he is the epitome of all knowledge—the source of all arts and sciences. He is the Adiguru — the first guru.
“Although a householder, he is the Guru to all ascetics and Sannyasis. Gratified with minimal spiritual asceticism on the part of the seeker, he confers his blessing on everyone alike, with no distinction of low or high.
“Shivaratri is set aside for his remembrance—the Supreme Lord Siva. We should pay attention to two converse sides of Siva. One side, we see him seated in deep meditation and pure abidance in samadhi. The other side we see the Lord’s active dance of destruction—the Tandava.
“We see the pictures of Lord Siva in both these moods. This gives us the message of how one can unify action and meditation. Siva wears the crescent moon on his head. When the full moon diminishes, disappears and then grows back again, we call it a month. Hence, the crescent moon on Lord Siva’s head represents time. Time, however, is a creation of our mind. From this perspective, the moon waning as Sivaratri approaches is a symbol of the destruction of the mind. When the mind is completely dissolved, Self-knowledge dawns and the realisation “Shivoham” – I am Siva – Shivoham transforms our life into Siva. Along with the worship of Lord Siva, may we be able to assimilate the message of the Lord in our hearts. Let us try to emulate the model He has shown us. May the festival of Sivaratri inspire us to rise from wrong to right, from unrighteous to righteous and from ignorance to knowledge.”
With the prayers and blessing “May grace protect all my children” Amma concluded.