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The sun rises, and sets, and rises again the next morning. Water evaporates, falls back as water, and evaporates once again. The tree blooms, sheds leaves, and bears fresh leaves once again. It is an unending cycle, with no beginning or end, just like the source, the shivling which is an oval, the journey of the spirit being a continuous spiral motion up and down the oval with no beginning or end, the destination of journey being merger with the core.
All aspects of creation reside in this form– the good and the bad and the evil. Sunrise too is shiv, sunset too is shiv. In the realm of shiv, there is no distinction. It is up to an individual what part he/she chooses to access.
Let us look at the swaroop of shiv parivar. Shiv holds Ganga in his locks which signifies purity, the neck is adorned with Mund-maala (garland of skulls) which is a form of Mahakaal that signifies impurity and at the bottom is urik or vaak charm, again signifying impurity (mrit shareer or dead body). So both purity and impurity come in Shiv. On his head is the crescent moon, the swaroop of Chandrashekhar, which is epitome of beauty and his body is smeared with bhasma, signifying ugliness (for normal people). Snakes coil around his neck and snake eats mouse…mouse is vehicle of Ganesh. The vehicle of Kartikeya is peacock and peacock eats the snake. Mata Shakti rides a tiger and Shiv a bull and tiger eats the bull. While Shiv is kaam nashna (one who destroyed kaamdeva), on his left sits Mata Shakti. They are a family and without kaam, there can be no family. So both swaroop come in him, once again. The ornament of Shiv is rudraksha, whereas that of Mata is Swarn mani. All the levels of existence - bhoot, pret, pishach, devi, devta, sur, asur are his gan, he never refuses anybody. Thus, the swaroop of Lord Shiv includes everything, there is nothing outside it.
Creation began with Adi Shakti, from her emerged Shiv. She then chose to be the consort of Shiv and from their union emerged all aspects of creation. Together they form a complete whole, or poorna, that which has no beginning or end, that which is infinite. Om poornamadah poornamidam poornata poornam uddachyate poornasya poornamaadaya poornameva vashishyate, goes the sloka. That is, infinity plus infinity is infinity, infinity minus infinity is infinity, infinity multiplied by infinity is infinity and infinity divided by infinity is also infinity. Each one of us has our source in the infinite or poorna, that is we are a part of infinite, and in being so, we too our infinite.  It is the desire for experience that causes us to separate from the source and limit our self to the finite body, which is only one aspect and which is forever moving towards destruction.
Shivratri is the night to experience that poornata or completeness within, through specific practices like Sanatan Kriya, mantra chanting and havan, as prescribed by one’s Guru. Each one of us is what we are because we are incomplete, it is our incomplete aspect that makes us search throughout our life for something which even we don’t know, be it work, relationships, etc. The night of shivratri is a perfect night for experiencing shiv, which is complete, holding the hand of the guru. It is a perfect night for being one with creation and with infinity and becoming poorna. And finally experiencing what is poorna, not intellectually, but through the gyan given by the guru.

The article was published in Chennaionline.


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