As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 38
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The divine couple spends life in celestial bliss and fulfillment. After sometime, lord as the Supreme Person wants to know from him about the supreme tattva that grants deliverance…lord reveals a secret that he lives under the control of true devotees…science of paramtattva, knowledge and devotion lead to freedom from sufferings… a man ought to cultivate…and therefore, value principles of dharma – truth and righteousness
Sati knew that “Shiva is parampurusa, beyond the three virtues of gunas-sattva, rajas and tamas. He is saguna and nirguna, and swamy of created beings and divine souls.”
She thanked the great lord that he agreed to become her swamy. Still, one day, a question perturbed her immensely when she realised she had enriched time with divine joy and pleasure as she lived with the great lord.
To find answer to the question, she hesitatingly asked Shiva, “I wandered around with you for a long time. It was divine joy and delight and I feel contented. Now, I feel rewarded and fully contented…O lord I wish to know about the supreme tattva that bestows on a living being supreme bliss and he attains salvation, and feels free from the bondages of material life.”
Shiva taught holy consort how to pray and worship the lord. He told eloquently about the significance and essence of devotion and bhakti and after she was fully satisfied, he told, “O Sati, I am always under the control of devotees – true bhaktas.”
Shiva said, “O goddess Maheshwari, listen about the supreme essence that grants liberation to living beings from the bondage of passions and love. Try to know the science of param-tattva. When a person knows about the tattva on its rise one feels, ‘I am Brahma’. One remembers nothing other than Brahma and a kind of nothingness fills intellect – a condition of supreme bliss. It is difficult to achieve. Hardly anyone knows it in the three worlds. Whatever one discerns or grasps, it is an image of Brahma. Know that bhakti is the mother of this difficult science – ‘knowledge and devotion’ is a path to the realisation of fruit of salvation. Devotion to the lord is of nine kinds. One finds no difference between bhakti and knowledge. A true wise devotee attains pleasures of life. He, who is against devotion, never gets true knowledge and wisdom. O goddess, I am always under the control of bhaktas. Bhakti is saguna and nirguna, one should know. O Sati, devotion that scriptures guide and inspire is the greatest, and devotion and love for the lord in the heart that inspires is sacred and supreme you ought to know. Every other devotion is born of passions and desires and is of lowest class and one considers it sinful.”
“In fact, saguna and nirguna bhakti has nine limbs the monks define. To listen to the glory of lord, to engage oneself in prayers i.e. to sing glories – bhajans and kirtans in praise of the lord, to keep forever the lord in the heart and to serve devotedly the lord are corridors to attain liberation from earthly bondages. To surrender at the feet of lord, to offer oblations when praying, to bow at the feet of the lord or total surrender are limbs of devotion – bhakti and any one of them if genuinely pursued is a pathway to reach supreme bliss – a realisation of Brahma, the ultimate truth one wants to know. Any one path of bhakti is adequate to grant deliverance.” Lord told briefly.
Shiva elucidated fully the mode of bhakti and spoke about the sacred material required for devotion. Depth of dedication it was that ultimately granted a disciple supreme status. Not only he enlightened the goddess on the importation and purifying affect of bhakti but he generously and kindly with blissful words spoke to holy consort about the quintessence of supreme sastras – Holy Scriptures. The lord also underlined the cleansing and elevating influence of other sastras that teach not only philosophic but also pragmatic approach to life while the lord puts stress on different ashramas and principle of governance and dharma of a son and woman. Lord’s long discourse on knowledge and bhakti satisfied the inquisitiveness of the goddess, who understood the real meaning of the image of parambrahma, the Supreme.
An iota of doubt, distorts devotion and one suffers. When Parvati – Sati nursed some doubts, she had to confront Shiva’s subdued anger but that too, had a great objective to fulfill.
Incarnations convey a message to human beings on earth and as one goes through the scriptures, it is obvious in apt context even though god’s designs are mystifying while god gives absolute freedom to human beings to live as they wish. A man should abandon unconstructive qualities, espouse the cause of truth, honesty and uprightness, and make strenuous efforts to become a virtuous soul. As man grows brutal, violent and wicked and loves to live life of offenses and crimes, and therefore, god takes birth to teach, reform and instruct man to imitate ideal conduct.
Those who govern ought to frame healthy, inspiriting and ethically strong tenets and regulations of living for mortals and adhere to ideal principles of quality life. If it happens, it is good. Alas! It never happens and contemporary rulers mostly teach and act differently – an immoral system they perpetuate.
Now, the king is no more an image of god not even he is a man, god created. If Rama – an incarnation of Vishnu descended on earth, he had purpose. If lord Shiva blesses Vishnu Rama with perfection, delusory powers and autonomy in the world, and made him the Supreme Authority, it had an objective.
After marriage, Shiva and Parvati wandered in charming forest in leisure and contentment. However, they kept a benign and affectionate vigil on the activities of the creation of the universe. Created beings of the three worlds were delighted and felt highly blessed as they experienced a perennial flow of nectar in lives and the most outstanding, majestic and merciful divine couple showered blessings even if not sought. Immensely glorious and blissful days for human beings made lives happy. Divine couple knew earthly movement of time and destiny gradually marching to destination. Moments of joy and satisfaction brought fulfillment, harmony and concord on earth.
Even gods confront difficult times in life, for they do everything to reveal the objective of a principled life, a life of truth and righteousness to created beings…even if they suffer…the result of karmas past or present, an eternal truth it is, they highlight
With the passage of time, the divine couple confronted moments of painful separation. Time proved agonising for the citizens of the earth, for they did not know the divine design and the writ of destiny underlying in the womb of future. Shiva, the destroyer of the worlds and the creation, and goddess Parvati faced moments of unbearable separation. A truth revealed earlier proved correct. The lord of maya, Shiva also known as Rudra, wandered in divine ecstasy in the three worlds with consort Sati. Divine couple mounted the holy vehicle Bull and moved around the earth. It was a journey of pleasure unending. As they wandered about on earth in immense pleasure after the union, they arrived at the forest of Dandaka.
In one of the ashramas of the forest, the celestial duo observed lord Rama and Laksmana, who were frantically running about in search of Sita, consort of Rama whom Ravana disguised as an ascetic (a sanyasi) had abducted viciously and fraudulently.
Rama’s aching words ‘Hey Sitei, hey Sitei’ echoed, and therefore, subdued and restrained bemoans filled the atmosphere with laments and sorrows. Sita’s kidnapping caused worries and so they frequently, moaned and wept in agony. Distress of separation had engulfed Rama. It was natural. Mental condition of younger brother Laksmana was no better for whom Sita was more than a mother. Rama belonged to the dynasty of Surya and was a son of Dasaratha, the lord of earth. He was elder brother of Bharata. Now in exile, the two brothers were looking out for Sita in grief. Rama appeared pale and disillusioned. Earthly demeanor of godly souls on earth was an act of teaching, a demonstration of fruit of karma a man faces on earth and thus, the Rama conveyed a subtle purpose to human beings on earth.
Questions cropped up many a time and these found answers in appropriate context. God’s designs and divine plans are mysterious and inscrutable. He allows full freedom and discretion to created beings on earth and other worlds. It is only when violence, untruth, hatred, jealousy, greed, corruption, lies, falsehood and immorality overpower and bring sufferings to the noble souls that the god as incarnation decides to descend on earth in different ages and puts end to such a governance of deceit and immorality.
It happens after many ages and in the contemporary times, one believes, an incarnation of god will descend and destroy evil forces from earth. Perhaps, he has already arrived! In no way, the present age is ethically strong, for those who frame sound and moral tenets of living life, frequently violate such doctrines and laws of the land and then, scarcely anyone values principles of dharma. Rama had a purpose to realise. He was an ideal incarnation. He had arrived to teach man how a man should look, speak and act and express totality of character.
To be Continued