It’s Maha Shivratri today. This is the only fast I keep whenever I can. This year I am fasting. I have a certain affinity to Bholebaba. It’s an old story. Whenever I recollect it, I have goosebumps.
It was early eighties.I had just passed out my M.Sc – Physics and was back home. Immediately after passing out, before my results, I had an ad hoc lectureship job in a postgraduate college in Hisar, a small city in those days, where my father was posted. We were staying in Jahazpul Kothi. It’s a heritage property dated back to circa 18th century. It was official residence of Director, Wool Grading, a post my father was holding. It was a huge bungalow and was divided in two parts. The other part was allotted to another official of Haryana Government Veterinary Department. There were huge grounds all around the kothi, which adds to its charm and enigma in those days. We stayed there from 1981 to 1983. In later years, Archeological Survey of India has taken over the property and now it’s converted into a beautiful museum depicting rich history of Haryana.
I was back home after finishing my M.Sc (Physics) from Kurukshetra. My sister was studying in Chandigarh. This being at a secluded area of the town and no friends around, I had plenty of time to read, contemplate and do whatever I want to.
During those times, I find myself inclined towards metaphysics. I was questioning myself about which face of the God out of Ram, Krishna and others to be followed? I used to ask very fervently to the faceless God – Show me your face, show me your face….. , during my after dinner walks. While asking this question, I tried to concentrate on “OM”. This is what I have understood from the religious books available to me at that time.
After many days, may be months, (I do not remember the exact time line) , in one of my early morning sleep, I saw an old statue of Shiva infested with spider webs and lots of vegetation around. It appeared to be a very old site. As I opened my eyes little bit , I witnessed a cave like structure at the arch of my bedroom. So, this is the answer to my question, I thought. I mumbled my prayers. My mother who came to wake me up heard my mumblings but did not understand a bit.
I have since then felt an affinity towards Shiva. I am not a very ritualistic person. My devotion is simple and I believe Bholenath also loves simplicity. I fast on Mahashivratri. I will have nuts, tea and fruits. I have no-cereal diet for breakfast and lunch but will have my routine food in dinner.
I find my strength from Shiva, during my trials and weaker moments in life. I am in awe with Mahadev, the supreme god. He is the “destroyer” in Hindu trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh) I believe, Shiva is the one who creates, protects and transforms the universe. The followers of Shiva are known as “Shaivites” within Hindu traditions. I do not put myself in this group. I have respect and reverence for all Hindu Gods and religious books. I connect with Shiva as being householder, who lives with His family in Mount Kailash. His regards to the strength of His wife brings another trait, which men in general should learn from Him.
Iconic attributes of Shiva are – a serpent around his neck, crescent moon and flowing Ganges in his hair, third eye in His forehead, damru
and trishul in his hands. He is usually worshipped in the form of “Shivlinga”. Though an abstract form of representation, it’s regarded as form of spiritual iconography.
It is a religious symbol in Hinduism representing Shiva as the generative power, all of existence, all creativity and fertility at every cosmic level. It is
often found within a lipped, disked structure that is an emblem of goddess Shakti and this is called the yoni. Together they symbolize the union of the feminine and the masculine principles, and “the totality of all existence”. It
is a symbol of cosmic mysteries, the creative powers and the metaphor for the spiritual truths of their faith.
For Hindus, the lingam is not a “male sexual organ” but of a spiritual icon and their faith, just like a cross for the Christians which is not an “instrument of execution” but a symbol of Christ and the Christian faith.
Shiva’s abode at Mount Kailash gives me a feel, that He is nearby and will come to rescue on call. 🙂 Funny ? Yeah, it is funny. Mahadev is my favourite Hindu God as he had responded to me but I have equal regards and reverence to all Hindu Gods – Ram, Krishna, Devi Laxmi, Saraswati , Ganesh ji.
May Bholebaba fills the world with happiness. Let there be peace, love and happiness among all creatures !!!
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