“Worship of the Lingam leads to Shiva Loka”.
Details for Port of Spain ,Trinidad, Maha Shivaratri on Thursday, March 11, 2021
Nishita Kaal Puja Time - 11:52 PM to 12:40 AM, Mar 12
Duration - 00 Hours 48 Mins
Guru is no different from Paramalinga! Shivaya Gurave Namaha
Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnuh, Gurur Devo Maheshwarah, Guru Sakshat Parambrahman, Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha!
Excerpt from ‘The Caribbean Story--Ganapathi Swamiji-Datta’s Grace’.
Abhishekam to Shiva Lingam
‘On Sunday, July 5th 1981, at Lopinot, powerful vibrations of “Om Namah Shivaya” reverberate through the make-shift Shiva Temple , and through the sleepy, rustic village of Surrey, as Sri Swamiji(as Sri Appaji was called then) performs Shiva Abhishekam to the old Lingam there. He is very drawn to this Lingam which has been here for generations since our ancestors came to Trinidad, and which He names as Dowlah or Pearl Lingam. He explains (to the small crowd of devotees and interested villagers) that the ‘teertham’ of milk, dahi, ghee, honey, coconut water etc. contains medicinal properties. He appears equally at home in these rough surroundings as He is in a luxurious or modern residence or Centre. Here, He stresses first the importance of Guru Seva or service to the Guru, saying that it is first in importance, then japam, homa, Pooja etc….’
Satsangh at Lopinot
‘….Later, He advises us to greet one another with “Jaya Guru Datta” instead of “Jaya Gurudeva Datta.” He admits that He too has to continually adapt to all new situations. In the evening, Gurudass (Michael James), introduces Sri Swamiji at the Lopinot Community Centre, and a representative of the village welcomes Him on behalf of the villagers. The Centre is packed with people, some devotees, others curious about this Swamiji. Then He explains in detail the significance of Lord Dattatreya’s form, and the importance of Omkara, the first sound. He then comments on the morning session thus:
“This morning was a beautiful penance in Lord Shiva’s Temple. The five tastes (offered) are the Panchendriyas, the five senses.” ‘Sri Appaji then narrates a beautiful story in the ancient Puranas behind the five offerings of milk, dahee, honey, coconut water and sugar.
‘Once, Lord Vishnu took the form of a lady avatar as Mohini, since there were three powerful brothers, devotees of Lord Shiva, who had started to abuse holy men. So the gods decided to entice them into more wrongdoing. Then only Lord Vishnu in the form of the beautiful Mohini, in response to their prayers, came to one of the brothers who then wanted to marry her. Since each brother wanted her, she agreed to marry all of them simultaneously, at the same ceremony. Lord Shiva took the form of a beautiful pearl, invited by the god of the sea. As the brothers did not like his form, he hid in an oyster, but they discovered the oyster. Then Lord Shiva exploded as He emerged from the oyster, and He killed the brothers.’
‘As Mohini, Lord Vishnu then performed Abhishekam to Lord Shiva Lingam to change to his original form. The Lingam is the healing form of Lord Shiva, curing skin diseases, mental worries, and heart diseases. Worship of the Lingam leads to Shiva Loka.’
‘According to Sri Swamiji, “We must do Shiva penance.” Then He sings bhajans, much to everyone’s delight and later, remarks that He felt like singing there, since the congregation were participating wholeheartedly, and special forces were present.’
Sadguru Sri Appaji worships Lord Shiva in Lopinot, Trinidad, in 1981
SHIVARATRI--- Lingam is the healing form of Lord Shiva
Om Namah Shivaya
Shivaratri—a night of real wisdom or knowledge /jnana.
Tonight is Shivarati. We normally presume that it is a night that pertains to Shiva. The real meaning is that it is the night that bestows Real Knowledge(Jnana) and auspiciousness. In our life so many nights….then what is so special about this one night?
To be frank, every night is Shivaratri. Not just the night, every second is Shiva –kshana. For the spiritual practitioner, who makes proper use of this body, every second is full of Shiva. Due to the influence of the samskaras(impressions from the past births) and for various other reasons, man has forgotten this eternal truth. To remind such people and to inspire them to conquer their inner darkness, this spiritual practice has been converted into a very special day. Everyone is aware that darkness signifies ignorance and light signifies knowledge. Yet due to the many wicked, useless thoughts, due to engaging in the many wasteful deeds, the human being has forgotten this truth and lives eternally in darkness. Removing that darkness and filling it with light is Shiva’s duty. Shiva is also the Sadguru. ‘Yah Guruh Sa Sivah Proktoh, Yah Shivasa Guruh Smritah’.
Shivaya Gurave Namaha—Silent Teacher
But it is not the Guru Principle to teach the lesson in a curt, harsh or angry way. He is a silent teacher. That is why he is using this Vrat as a medium. He teaches that Shiva will be pleased if on this one night with total devotion…. The real meaning of Janmaki oka shivaratri ( for one birth, one Shivaratri is adequate. ) The real meaning is, this birth(janma) itself is the night (ratri). If this night is utilized properly, then our birth becomes fruitful…We can reach that stage that is freedom from rebirth….Mother Sati taught her father Daksha Prajapati this .
Daksha once began a Yagna and failed to invite his son-in –law Shiva. Sati was eager to witness the yajna, and she went even though her husband, Shiva forbade her from visiting. For a long time, Sati had been longing to teach her father a lesson. So, she used this yajna as a pretext. During the Yajna, Daksha abused Shiva. At that time, Sati preached to him,
“ Yaddyyaksharam naama gireritam nrnaam, Sakrt prasangaadagha maashu hanti tat
Pavitra kiirtim tamalanghya shasanam, Bhavaanaho dvesti shivettarah.”
The greatness of Shiva’s Name
“O father, you are condemning as inauspicious that Shiva, when uttering merely the two letters contained in this name, even casually, dispels all the sins of the person. Shiva is of pure renown and it is impossible for any entity to ever transgress his dictates.” This verse is among the best of those that highlight the greatness contained in Shiva’s name. Within this verse, the entire essence of Shivaratri is secretly embedded. This is because only after we understand about Shiva, we can understand about Shivaratri.
Shiva is the only God who has the eye of wisdom(jnana netra/third eye)….Kubera worships him as his dearest friend. By meditating upon Shiva, the disturbances caused by Saturn are dispelled. Kubera’s grace falls upon the person. In other words, he is blessed with prosperity. Due to the grace of Lord Subramanya, the person is blessed with good speech. The grace of Ganapati ensures that all obstacles are driven away. The grace of Mother Goddess ensures that success is sure, and godly powers are attained. What more do we want?
( Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji’s discourse on Shivaratri 2005)
We must do Shiva penance
Worship with full devotion
Most of our festivals are celebrated during the day. We worship the deity and then enjoy a sumptuous meal with family. However, Shivaratri is unique as one must fast the entire day and night. Then too he must remain awake the entire night worshipping the Lord…. Shiva is very pleased when He is offered abhisheka, at least one lota of water must be poured upon the lingam with full devotion. On Shivaratri, in all the 14 worlds, all the sacred water bodies are filled the essence of Bilva. Hence, He must be worshipped with Bilva leaves and decorated with holy ash/vibhuti. The least we can do is to chant the following names during Abhisheka: Bhavaaya Namah; Sharvaaya Namah; Ishaanaaya Namaha; Pashupataye Namaha; Rudraaya Namaha; Ugraaya Namaha; Bheemaaya Namaha; Mahate Namaha.
Make effort to please Shiva—the primordial Guru
Those who cannot even chant these names, must at least chant ‘Namah Shivaya’. He is the primordial root for the creation, the primordial Guru. He is the first house-holder also in the creation…Shiva holds his devotees in high esteem. Even before they ask, He is ready to shower blessings upon them. Due to this eagerness there are instances when He brought danger to his own life. Don’t we know the story of Bhasmasura? This innocent Lord remains a guard standing at the doorstep of his devotees’ home and protects them… The household being managed by Him should become the ideal one for all in the creation. Anything offered with love, He lovingly accepts. Once, He even accepted to be hit by rocks offered by a devotee! To worship him, one need not know the Vedas, or the Shastras. No knowledge is required. Only devotion is the prerequisite. We know of the spider, the elephant, the snake and the tribal hunter who could obtain liberation purely on the strength of their devotion, don’t we? …Let us worship Shiva with utmost devotion tonight. Let us put in attempts to ensure that the third eye of transcendental knowledge opens in us.
May the Grace of Lord Datta, the Lord who absorbed Pingalanaga into himself, and the Supreme Lord Shiva’s Grace fall upon us! Om Namah Shivaya! Shivaya Rudraya Namaha!
Excerpt from Pujya Sri Appaji’s discourse on Shivaratri 2007