Dinesh and Bawa

Dinesh and Bawa


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Shivaratri: a trail of miracles...

Let me do the Sri Ganesha on this blog with our account of Shivaratri. After a fabulous PDS (Pranayam Dhyan Shibir) in Mumbai with Guruji which was full of meditations, miracles and early mornings, we felt a nagging sensation in our heart that we did not have enough. (He mentions somewhere it being a sign of love and Seva – a feeling of ‘not enough’). So we decided to join the caravan onto to Surat for Shivaratri.
The noon before Shivaratri, on the way from Dadar to Bandra station to catch our train, we took a divine detour so as to say goodbye to Guruji in Ghatkopar. As we went to his place, he was giving a video byte to Zee TV. As we were already running late, I gestured to him with palms going round and round indicating ‘railway’ and lip-synched Surat. He acknowledged with a raise of his eyebrows and an impish smile (everything reveals itself in good time). We somehow caught the train in the nick of time, rather the train stopped and caught up with us and took us to Surat… but that’s a story I will leave for another posting☺
For us, Surat is synonymous with Jigish. Bawa’s tryst with this city goes back to 1994 when he would conduct Basic courses at an unbawa hour of 4am with Jigish assisting. Foreseeing Jigish’s 3 bedroom small house would expand magically to accommodate 56 people during the shivaratri festival, we opted eventually to move to Jyotika and Bharti’s house. That house, like most of Gujarat has mastered feeding to an art-form.
People say shivaratri was blissfully divine. For Prasanna and me, it was chaotically divine. We were supposed to give a live commentary on TV of the puja proceedings. The presence of the Governor, accompanied by his paranoid security, sealed off our location settings. Then Sanskar TV’s bit of video and lot of audio decided to give up on us. So we ended up doing ‘Nishkaam Karma’ – fruitless effort, not to mention we had rollicking fun in the bargain.
Towards the end of the puja, we just dropped everything (read surrendered), and settled down to meditate. The bhajans started, and their tempo kept ascending until at it pinnacle, Guruji went into a soumya Tandav (Shiva’s Dance). The moment it begins, truly the entire universe comes to a stand still, the whole body is flushed with a million volts of energy, every cell in it is alive with sublime sacredness, and the very soul resonates with vibrant silence. In that very instant you know, you have done boundless benevolence to be there or have been showered with unconditional blessings to be physically present there.
He conducted ‘Hara Hara’ meditation with the invocation mudra and invited the divinity to settle here and now with all of us.
What Guruji said was…
The amazing journey from duality to devotion and devotion to oneness is shivaratri. For Love and Devotion there needs to be two, duality is needed… but Devotion when intensified leads to the Knowledge that there is only one!
The ancients texts asks us to become one with shiva and then worship him. So we do puja after enlivening the Shiva Tatva in every cell of our body. Shiva is the embodiment of innocence and we sit for puja with that innocence and fullness.
Shiva is worshiped with flowers and thorns. He accepts both. We too surrender both our positive and negative qualities. We offer ‘good’ qualities so we are not afflicted by its ego, and the ‘bad’ qualities with which we start identifying ourself.
Neelkanth and Bhadra – Shiva’s throat turned blue when he drank the dreaded poison signifying that we too have the power to take on negativity and transform it into benevolence. Offer all the anger, hatred and self-deprecating qualities. Shiva will only give something good and beneficial in return.
Shiva is also fury personified – he shows anger towards injustice and wrongdoing. It is a crime even to tolerate injustice. In that sense Shiva is complete.
At the onset of puja, we take a sankalpa for peace, prosperity, success and happiness for all those present in particular and for the whole world in general. It is a beautiful process of taking sankalpa by bringing into our consciousness the vastness of space and time and collapsing that into the here and now. A sankalpa taken in this charged, full-of-feeling atmosphere bears fruit easily.
Usually people go to places of worship with lots of demands and wishes, but people usually come to Guruji full of gratitude… no demands here, people are content and fulfilled already… That’s the specialty of Art of Living. And that’s what makes a Pooja with Guruji so much more potent and powerful!
Shiva is also the lord of the 5 elements (Bhootnath) - earth, water, air, fire and space. Honoring the elements is true worship of Shiva. In today’s age, people are most concerned about the environment. Being sensitive to the environment has been tradition of India since time immemorial. We respect the earth – before digging for a construction site, we do Puja. We worship the rivers and mountains… Infact puja itself done with all the 5 elements - flowers, water, rice, fire, fragrance everything is used. Awakening of the principles of these elements in us is puja.
The next day we did the Rudram again at 4:30 am and divinity seemed to talk hold of the very air and infuse it with sparkling joy.
The PDS started with Pankaj conducting Yoga gracefully, enthusiastically and with laughter and lightness. Guruji would lead meditations 30-35 minutes and they never seemed more than 5-10 minutes. People in hundreds experienced healing from illnesses, pains and sufferings. The sharing by participants brought out how Joy and good luck increased dramatically for countless many.
The arrangements were pretty smooth and things seemed to move with clockwork precision with hardly any friction. Rishi Vidyadharji seemed to be behind this organizational miracle. There were 26 teams altogether for Guruji’s visit and the man-in-charge Rishiji has absolutely zero conflict with anyone. That’s the power of Sattva. He would do Gurupooja everyday and meditate with everyone together. Guruji later on said that Karmaphal ki siddhi hoti hai sattva se. Aur sattva aata hai silence aur sadhana se. (Any action bears fruit only with Sattva. And this Sattva comes only through silence and meditation).
There was also an advance course being attended by 3000+ people being conducted by Rishiji…
Guruji sparkled with humour and Wisdom during the Youth Meet, and answered questions while playing random notes on a synth that was on stage… The notes somehow sounded fantastic…  

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Jyuthika said...

Finallyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!! Your post has dawned :P Dinesh bhaiyaaa,Great work :)We were so very eagerly waiting for your Shivraatri post since so manyyyy days... Thank you very very much for this wonderful post. Its Amazing.The experience you have mentioned is simply superb, like i was enjoyin reading every bit of it, specially about Guruji :)

Looking forward for more from you along with Bau :)

Jai Gurudev :)

Jyuthika :)

bhawana said...

thankyou, Thankyou, thankyou Bhaiya
Jai Gurudev..
Keep Writing...It makes me feel soo close to you
Jai Gurudev

Anupam Gupta said...

WOW bhaiya..jai gurudev...so so so nice to read dis bhaiya...FINALLY u posted..FINALLY..love u da...

though bhaiya...dnt mind dis..but i guess u got the sequence of events wrong

PDS in mumbai was after shivratri...not before it...plz dnt mind i pointed this out..plz plz plzzzzzzzzzzzzz

jai gurudev bhaiya...do keep posting more such articles....really fun to read ur style...


Seema R said...

Thanks for d blog Dinesh Da, couldn't ask for a better b'day gift.

Love, tons
Seema R

Anonymous said...

Jai Gurudev,

Dear dinesh bhaiyah!!!

Woww!!!!!!!!!! the long wait was after all worth. words performed the happenings before my eyes!! truly u made a sculpture with words!!

And the best part is you did mention you will write here afterwards... So a big :) for that! :) :) :)

the blog is so much alive now... that Both U and Bawa are keeping the great posts coming in every now and then!!

If i am looking forward to something other than your posts its UTSAV in chennai. Cant wait!!!

Do take care bhaiyah... :)

Love you a lotttttttt :)

Vinnu said...

Bhaiya, you finaly headed our request.I really liked the post. Thanks a lot bhaiya.

Love you,

Mrigank said...

So finally your blog post has arrived!!! :O :-)

Am elated to see the stuff... Really awesome description - You never fail to amaze me with your DDs-Divine's Decriptions!!! :)

It almost made me (re)live the events...

fawkes said...

At last Legend writes and posts ................
I really liked description of the event ..........short & complete

I am from Surat but didn't attend the event because I was in Kanpur. I really wanted to know what all happened at my Home when Guruji came.
And Guruji listened to me & there is your excellent post describing whole Shivratri with Guruji.
Very much liked description of Tandav nritya by Guruji.

Loved post very much & thanks for writing it.

Jai Guru Dev !!!!

milan said...

dear sir,
finally u have posted it i seriously u will post it only by next Sivarathri
i did see the Mahashivrathri Pooja on Sanskar Tv guruji transcend sowmya nritya (Shiva's dance) was too good i could seriously feel the presence of Shiva, Hanuman, Vishnu n other deities too.
it was such an amazing experience no words to say when i was reading your post i could just back to Shivarathri day
thanks a lot for the post
n of course my regards to bawa bhaiya too

Pranab said...

Dear Dinesh bhaiyya,

Finally, oh finally you wrote something. I was wondering when this would happen.
Feeling very happy reading about Shivratri, i was there too and saw the amazing spectacle of Guruji's Shiva dance. My entire body felt energetic at that pinnacle moment. Truly a Divine experience!
Please keep writing :)


Gauri said...

Jai Guru Dev!..... i had watched the Shivratri on the television and could feel the energy as if i was present there in front of the stage. After reading your post on it, i relived it.... nice to see you on the blog...welcome Lokmanya.... ;) so the mails n comments worked!
ps: you looked cute on air when we watched it :)

Pankaj said...

Namaste Dinesh Bhaiya,
I was reading your account of the Shivratri after Guruji's Pranayam Dhyaan Shibir in Mumbai.
After a very interesting narrative you go something like:
"We somehow caught the train in the nick of time, rather the train stopped and caught up with us and took us to Surat… but that’s a story I will leave for another posting☺ "
So, as Bau keeps nudging us to further'nudge' you to keep blogging, I'd request you to write soon and give all of us an account of the "Train to Surat" saga. :)
Loads of Love!
jai Gurudev!!!
P.S:Bau, I'm doing your bidding here! :)

vinnie said...

as usual your writings are so graphic that anyone reading it actually feels that they were physically present there .

jai guru dev to all the experiences that i have had in my life thru u and ur writings.



dhanya said...

dearest dinesh bhaiya...
jai guru dev....so finally ur post has come...it really really feels gud now...complete...i hav never attended shiv ratri..after readin ur post i decided next shiv ratri,come what may im gonna attend it..
and its really really feels great to c u post...wow :) :)

Monica said...

Wow!! great post Dinesh sir. Loved the comment on Dualism transforming to Devotion to Oneness... nice description; felt I was there too :) thanks :)

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