In the tranquil Ashram garden we are blessed by the presence of the Shiva Linga, symbol of truth and consciousness which symbolises the source of creation. Here is a place for meditation, puja and prayers, and each morning before dawn the Shiv Mandir (temple) comes alive with mantras and lights.
The early morning hours are regarded as the most beneficial time to spend for ones spiritual sadhana (practice), this time is known as Brahmamuhurta, and it’s during this time, our mind is naturally withdrawn, and turned towards contemplation. It’s a divinely sacred opportunity to use for spiritual development.
As yoga practitioners and especially as teachers it is part of our practice to seek Shiva’s blessings, that we may become able to give this Yoga knowledge further, with his grace our work becomes successful.
Shiva is the the great one who gave mankind the whole science and tradition of Yoga, this includes within it, all postures, all movements, dance and art, music and mantras, every mantra is from Shiva, in every mantra is the seed of truth which resonates a vibration that brings whomever utters it, back to truth, to him. In praying to Shiva, in honouring him, we also give our thanks for all he has bestowed upon us, through his gifts to mankind, to us each day. Every form, every art, every expression of beauty in the world can be traced back to Lord Shiva. The more we understand him, the closer we come to His nature.
THE JOURNEY HOME - to our true nature
To know about Lord Shiva, for the yogi (practitioner), is to come back to oneself. He is the epitome of grace, peace, fortitude and magnificence. In each account we hear of him, of his life stories and deeds, he reveals the most perfect and purely awakened state of being, and the clarity from which one would act while being fully aware and fully present, fully capable, and also fully compassionate. His tales, the stories of his existence, and his deeds never fail to awaken deep reverence for the greatness we may be as our own nature transforms into the likeness of him, which is the possibility each of us has within.
We are all on the path to Shiva Consciousness, to the realisation of our own divine, perfect and eternally bright nature that always endures and always solves problems with the least harm to those involved. Shiva consciousness is to be consumed in high ideals, despite the pressure around to conform and to act, he waits, and he blesses. His blessings bring forth the fulfilment of our wishes.
Shiva is; SATYAM SHIVA SUNDARAM - Truth, Beauty, Consciousness
Shiva is known as the ultimate truth, Shiva consciousness means to be totally, and at all times aware, conscious, and free. Liberated from any demands and ideas of what we need to be and what is expected of us, we step into a being, a stillness within ourselves, that is liberated from all distinctions, a new creation as it were, within our own being, that knows not of the limitations we previously knew, we see new possibilities, new horizons, new hopes, and we find that even our dreams are not enough to fulfil the possibility of what we can become.
We honor Shiva, and offer our respect each day, as a simple act of prayer, the repetition of mantra, the rememberence of Him, and Puja of the Shiva Linga. The mere act of these performances reminds us of him, until we come closer to his nature, which reveals that we have within us infinitely more potential and ability than we know.
What is yet, most striking about Shiva, is that in his all knowing state, he is so completely innocent. He will bless the good people, the cruel people, the ones with sincere wishes, the ones with insincere wishes, he blesses all who come to him with reverence. This means he is innocent, naive, but greatly loved by all. This is the state we should come to. It’s Freedom, it in there is no jealousy, no complaints, no judgements, just and all encompassing love.