GAVT: Special talk on 'Right way of celebrating Shivratri'
GAVT: Rishi Bodhotsav
MahaShivraatri celebrations at Greater Atlanta Vedic Temple.
Shivraatri is regarded as a landmark event in the history of the Arya Samaj because it heralds the awakening in Rishi Dayanand's mind, when he was a young teenager, that the God truly cannot exist or be represented in the form of an idol or statue. This led him to begin a personal quest, lasting nearly three decades, for knowledge revealing the true nature of god (Please see article at the end of this message for detailed explanation).
Special talk on 'Right way of celebrating Shivratri' by
Dr. Sahadeo Hariprasad.
Date: Sunday, February 22, 2015
Time: 10.30 am.
Venue: Greater Atlanta Vedic Temple, 492 Harmony Grove Rd, Lilburn, Georgia 30047.
Contact: 678-667-2792, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://facebook.com/vedictemple, vedictemple.org.
Significance of Shivratri
Shivratri is a great festival in Hindu faith. It is said that Lord Shiva was married to the daughter of Daksh Parvati. Lord Shiva was a great person who was worshipped by the people as God, creator, sustainer and destroyer of the universe. In Shiv Puran you can find detail about this. People who believe in idol worship use to worship Lord Shiva and offer Bel-patra, Milk, Chandan, flowers, some sweets etc. because Lord Shiva is considered a hot tempered and He needs to be cooled. The devotees think that Lord Shiva will be pleased with these things. This is why they used to put these things on his statue. Actually, the people use to worship the Shiva-ling which is the symbolic of creation of the universe. We do not know that Lord Shiva was a historical person or not but according to Vedas, the word Shiva is synonym for God. There are so many words which have been used for Shiva in puranas, for example - Rudra, Ambikapati, Shankar, Mahapati, Shambhu, Swayambhu, Mayobhu, Mayaskar,Shivatar,Swadhiti,Jamdagni, Kasyap. Har Mahadev, Trinetra, Trayambhak etc. All these names come in veda also but for God (Brahma) which is Omnipresent, Omniscient, Almighty and All-bliss based on several attributes of God.
From the Vedic thought, we think this whole creation has come out with the conjugative help of God & Nature i.e. Prakriti. Lord Shiva is considered as God and Parwati is like Prakriti. So we can say, in the beginning, God married Prakriti – i.e. nature, and exposed the whole creation as Mahat, Ahankar, Tanmatras, Panchbhuta etc. A formula comes in Indian philosophy – Satva Rajas Tamasam Samyaavastha Prakriti, Prakriter Mahan Mahato Ahankar Ahankaraat Tanmaatraani Tebhyah Panch Bhutani…………. Iti (etc) .It means creation has been exposed by God i.e. Shiva divine power in this way from Prakriti.
On the Shivratri festival, we have to know who real Shiva is. Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati came to know through Vedas who real Shiva is and he taught us about this. The event happened with Dayanand on Shivratri in the Shiva temple which is related to a mouse climbing on the statue and eating all Prasad offered by the devotees, that you all know. That was an inspiring moment for him and at that very moment he determined to know about the real Shiva and then went out in the search of real Shiva. He found the real Shiva through Vedas as real Shiva is god who is without birth and death, out of body and any shape, Omnipresent almighty, creator, sustainer, protector, and destroyer of the universe as well.
There are so many mantras have come for its explanation. We can see here one two or three of them as:-
1. Namah shambhavaya cha myobhavaya cha, namashankaraya cha, mayaskaraya cha namah Shivaya cha Shiva taraya cha.
We bow to self existent and bestower of all pleasures and happiness. We bow to benefactor of all and giver of happiness to all and we bow to that Shiva who is the greatest of the great.
2. Trayusham jamadhagni kashya psya trayusham. Yaddeveshu trayusham tanno astu trayusham
There is prayer to live in life and enjoy that up to 300 autumns. God is Jamadhagni who is enlightening power who shows the path of 300 years of life to a human being. It can be possible through Yoga. The same life we should get. If the system of life will be maintained in accordance with the knowledge of Vedas, a man can achieve 300 years of life as yogi/saints/sages used to have.
3. Trayambhakam yajamahe sungandhim pushti vardhanam urvarukmiva bandhanan mrityormukhsiya maamrtitat
We worship God who has three eyes of knowledge as (gyaan, karma, upasana) Knowledge, action and meditation. God has provided us the system of knowledge, action and meditation through Rigved, Yajurved and Samved and has also given the scientific knowledge through Atharvaved. This is also a part of knowledge so there are mainly three eyes of knowledge that is Rig, Yajuh and Sam Ved . So we worship him who increases our fame i.e. smell of perfect action and satisfaction of perfect action done from inside. He alone develops our fame after good action done and also satisfies us with good prosperity and happiness after good deeds done. Here also, is a good preaching that we need to leave this worldly relation but not from salvation. like a watermelon fruit. The water melon fruit gets separated from its branches automatically when that gets fully ripen. So, thus we ought to understand our position in the world and lead our lives.
Here we came to know that we always live in the divine shelter whether in worldly life or Emancipated life. We never become separated from God’s shelter. God is always with us. Only we need to understand that rightly. This is why we need to go to the shelter of Vedas. There alone we will find the true knowledge and then we would conquer our Lives.