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Namaste. Friends, here is a lovely article ( sent to me by a good friend ) Hope you may like reading it. thanks.


c. m. yogi

Dear Divine Souls ,

I hope that -- by God's grace -- this finds you all in the best of

health and happiness at this sacred time. On the 26th February we will

celebrate Maha Shivaratri, one of the holiest nights of the year.


In the trinity of the Divine Manifestation Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva Lord

Shiva is the one who destroys that which is old and impure in order to

make room for a new creation of that which is pure and divine. Lord

Shiva annihilates our egos, our attachments and our ignorance. Many fear

Lord Shiva’s destructive capacity, and yet it is destruction for the

purpose of regeneration. Without death, life cannot begin anew. Without

the annihilation of old habits, attachments and ego, we cannot progress

toward the goal of God realization. Unless our vessel has been emptied

of all that is old, negative and impure, it cannot be filled with divine


There is a beautiful story of a man, a spiritual seeker who was eagerly

in search of enlightenment. He had performed many years of sadhana and

study and felt that he was ready for the final 'touch'. Thus, he went

out in search of the Guru who could grant him true enlightenment.

Everyone told the man that high on top of a certain mountain lived an

enlightened master who could bestow enlightenment upon his disciples and

devotees. The seeker traveled weeks on foot to reach the Master in his

cave on the mountain top. Upon arrival he fell down at the Master's feet

and proclaimed his earnest wish for enlightenment. The seeker proceeded

to tell the Master of all the sadhana he had done, that which he had

learned, that which he had experienced and that which he felt he still

needed to obtain.

The Master listened silently. When the seeker finally finished his long

explanation of his own spiritual experiences, the Master said, "Let us

have a cup of tea." The seeker looked shocked, "A cup of tea??" he

exclaimed. "I've practiced for years, meditated for years, searched for

months and walked for weeks in order to reach you so I could finally be

granted enlightenment. I do not want a cup of tea. I want to be


However, the Master calmly insisted that he first have a cup of tea. The

Master placed a cup on the ground, next to the seeker, and began to pour

hot tea from the kettle into the cup. When the tea reached the rim of

the cup, the Master did not stop pouring. Rather, he kept pouring and

pouring, even as the tea filled the cup and began to flow over the sides

of the cup, out of the saucer and onto the floor of his cave. The seeker

jumped up as the hot tea touched his knees. "Stop," he cried. "The cup

is full. It cannot hold any more. Please stop pouring tea. It is all

going to waste all over the floor."

The Master sat down and said to the seeker: "You are like this tea cup.

You are so full of what you think you know, what you think you've

achieved, what you think you've seen and what you think you need, that

there is no room for me to teach you anything. Until you empty yourself

of your own ego and your own illusions, my teachings will only go to

waste like this tea on the floor."

Lord Shiva empties our cup of that to which we are attached, so that we

may be re-filled with true awareness, true knowledge, true Divine light.

Thus, it is not destruction for destruction's sake. It is destruction

for the sake of re-creation.


The holiday of Shivratri is frequently celebrated by performing special

Shiva puja and Abhishek as well as by remaining awake at night in

meditation, kirtan and japa. During the course of the night, the

Abhishek can be performed every three hours with water, milk, yogurt,

honey, etc. Bel (bilva) leaves are frequently offered during Shiva

puja, as it is believed that Maha Lakshmi resides within them, and it is

considered particularly auspicious to offer them on this occasion.

It is said that the offering of Bel leaves on the occasion of Shivratri

is so auspicious that even one who offers them unknowingly (as in the

case of the hunter Suswara) will attain liberation.


Shiva is portrayed with ash on his forehead, and devotees of

Lord Shiva frequently apply sacred ash to various parts of their body.

This symbolizes two things. Everything that today has a form on the

Earth once was ash in the ground and again will be reduced to nothing

but ash. Therefore, the ash serves to remind us that all that we are,

all that we do, all that we earn and acquire will only be reduced to

ash one day, and therefore we should live our lives dedicated to God and

dedicated to serving humanity, rather than to the accumulation of

temporary possessions and comfort. When we apply the sacred ash or see

it, we are reminded Ah yes, it is only by the grace of God that I

am still here today, and that I have not yet been turned to ash. It is

His grace that my home, my family and my possessions are still with me

and that they have not become ash. Therefore, I should remember Him,

pray to Him and devote myself to Him.


The stories and the messages of Bhagwan Shiva are innumerable; however,

one of the most important is the story of how He for the sake of

humanity swallowed the poison which emerged from the ocean.

The story says that the devas and their brothers, the demons, were

churning the ocean together in search of the pot of the nectar of

immortality. However, after a great deal of effort, what emerged was

not nectar, but poison!! This happens frequently in life as well. When

we embark upon a divine plan or when we undertake a noble challenge,

frequently before the success comes, before our effort bears fruit, we

face failure or condemnation or seemingly insurmountable hurdles. Yet,

we must never give up.

The devas and demons knew that in order to continue churning, and

ultimately to unearth the Divine nectar, they could not simply toss the

poison aside. Someone had to drink it. But, naturally, no one was

willing to drink the poison. Everyone had some excuse for why he or she

was too valuable to be sacrificed. Finally, Bhagwan Shiva came forward,

very calmly and with serene poise. He said I will drink the poison if it

will preserve peace in the family and enable my brothers and sisters to

attain the nectar of immortality.

After drinking the poison, and thereby enabling the churning to

continue, Bhagwan Shiva held the poison in his throat hence the name

Neelkanth which means Blue Throat and sat peacefully in meditation for



In our lives, in our families, so much poison emerges between parents

and children, between husband and wife, between in-laws. We wait and

wait for the divine nectar to emerge, but it seems that only poison

comes. So many times people come to me, complaining, But why should I

always be the one to compromise? Why should I always be the one to

sacrifice? Why should I always say Im sorry? Its not fair!

On this night of Shivratri, as we worship Bhagwan Shiva, it is also the

night that we must pray for the strength to take his message to heart!

Let us not only worship him, but let us emulate him. He who is willing

to peacefully swallow the poison, he who is willing to sacrifice for the

family, for the community and for humanity is the true Mahadeva.

Bhagwan Shiva went to the Himalayas, to the land now called Neelkanth to

meditate after he drank the poison. The message is that when poison

emerges in the home, when poison emerges anywhere in our lives, when we

feel like if we swallow it we will die, but if we dont drink it then the

fight will continue the secret is to meditate! You dont have to go to

the Himalayas. Just create your own Himalayas. Wherever you are. First,

be the one to accept the poison. Be the one to sacrifice, apologize and

concede humbly. Then go, sit and meditate peacefully. This is not

weakness, but strength.

Poison always comes; obstacles always come. When we work for good

causes, when we embark upon divine work, the poison always comes before

the nectar. However, we must never get discouraged. We must never give

up. If the devas and demons had forfeited the churning at the sign of

poison, the nectar of immortality would never have emerged, and it would

have been a tragedy for the world. Similarly, we must always have faith

that the nectar WILL come. It is only a matter of time. We must be

willing to churn and churn, no matter what comes be it poison or nectar.

On the night of Shivratri as we remember the churning between the devas

and demons for the nectar of immortality, we must take anoter lesson to

heart. After the nectar emerged, the demons tried to abscond with it.

Thus they would be ever more powerful and ever more able to destroy

their brothers, the devas. However, through a series of divine

interventions, the devas emerged the victors and the ones with the gift

of immortality.

The night of Shivratri is especially auspicious for winning this same

battle within ourselves, the battle between good and evil, between right

and wrong, between poison and nectar, between death and immortality. Let

us use our prayers, our meditations on this night to pray for

divine intervention so that within ourselves the good might vanquish the

evil, the nectar within us might emerge, rather than poison, and that we

too may be carried from death to immortality.

May God bless you all and all of your families.

With love and blessings.

In the service of God and humanity,

Swami Chidanand Saraswati

kotharivasant [at] hotmail [dot] com


Dear YogiBhai,

Thanks for posting this article on Lord Shiva.
I enjoyed reading it.I esp loved this sentence-

"Everything that today has a form on the
Earth once was ash in the ground and again will be reduced to nothing but ash. Therefore, the ash serves to remind us that all that we are,all that we do, all that we earn and acquire will only be reduced to ash one day and therefore we should live our lives dedicated to God and dedicated to serving humanity."