Discourses by KanchiMahaperiyava – Part 6 by G. Venkatesh SignUp
Discourses by KanchiMahaperiyava – Part 6
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Siva Symbols

Every animal’s body emits bad odour. The excreta of all animals will be foul smelling compared to animals, the body of human beings emits bad odours. But the excreta of cow are unlike all these stated above. It is pure. It aborbs the bad odours of all other excreta.
The ash obtained from cow dung is pure. A cow is purer and more sacred than other animals. The shastras say that the cow’s body is the abode of all Gods.
Cow dung can eliminate all the doshas.

There are five symbols of Lord Shiva. These are –

1.       Ash/Holy Ash/Vibuthi
2.       Rudraksham
3.       Bilva Leaves
4.       Spatika Lingam
5.       Panchaksharam

Bilva is the tree where Goddess Mahalakshmi resides. The holy ash symbolizes truth. The holy ash is the embodiment of Lord Shiva.

The universe may get destroyed but Lord Shiva sustains. When you burn everything in this world, you get ash. Ash cannot be burnt further. Ash is symbolic of Lord Shiva.
Rudraksha has its own merits and significance. There are so many trees in this world. There are so many seeds too. Rudraksha is considered as Lord Shiva’s identity. Rudraksha can be considered equivalent to Lord Shiva’s eyes. In Tamil, Rudraksha is also labelled as ‘Thirukanmani’.

What is so special about the Rudraksha? Unlike Lotus flowers or Tulsi seeds or spatika, there is no need to drill a hole in the Rudraksha.

Rudrakshas are found aplenty in Nepal. 1000 miles apart, Rudrakshas are also found in Java island. The Java island was a place where Shiva temples and Vishnu temples existed. Our religion had to spread to these regions as well.

Lord Shiva is popular in Bali too. There are Rudraksha trees in Bali. Besides Nepal, Rudrakshas can also be found in India in regions like Bangalore that have a cool climate.

Rudrakshas have faces. Rudrakshas with five faces are found aplenty. People who are devotees of Lord Shanmuga wear the 6-faced Rudraksha. One faced Rudraksha is so scare and precious that people pay Rs 1 lakh to possess it.

Ekadasa-faced Rudraksha is worn by devotees of Lord Shiva. Even Valampurichangu is expensive. There are Rudrakshas with 2, 3, and 4 faces. 7 – 13 faces are also available. 32 – faced Rudraksha is also sometimes available.

One can even say that Lord Shiva has created Rudrakshas for the benefit of mankind. Rudrakshas serve no other purpose. Rudraksha is one of the greatest Shiva symbols.

Both the holy ash (basma/vibhuthi) and Rudraksha help in ‘chilta-shuddhi’. The Panchakshara mantra is recited by the tongue. All the vedas embody Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva’s breath itself is considered a Veda as it protects the entire universe.

Man is alive only when breathes. There is no life without breathing. There are no Vedas if there is no Lord Shiva. Vedas and Lord Shiva are inseparable.

In Bhagavadam, SukhaBrahmarishi sings praises of Lord Vishnu’s avatar. DasamaSkandam speaks about the Krishna Avatar.

Ambikai was born as King Daksha’s daughter and was aptly named Dakshayani. Daksha was doing a yagna. However, Daksha had a negative opinion about Lord Shiva. Therefore, Dakshayani decimated her body by jumping into the fire. It is at this point that the Bhagavadam speaks about the power of Shiva-nama.

Merely by chanting the name of Lord Shiva, one is absolved of all the sins committed. This hymn contains just two one words. Anyone who chants this is absolved of his sins. Anyone cant chant this mantra and get the benefit out of it.

There is no need to do meditation for many years and chant this namajapa. Even if you utter this word only once with pure devotion in your heart, it is more than enough.

Whenever you chant it, it destroys your sins. Isn’t it wonderful that the power of Lord Shiva is mentioned in the Bhagavadam?
1.       Tongue gets cleaned by Shiva nama.
2.       Meditate on Lord Shiva to purify your heart.
3.       Whatever we meditate upon, we become one with it.
4.       Lord Shiva is in the form of a spatika that is so pure, so when we are constantly thinking about him, our mind becomes pure just like a spatika that is so pure.

How can one purify one’s mind?
1.       Purify your body by smearing the holy ash.
2.       Clean your tongue by Shiva nama.
3.       Wear the Rudraksha around your neck.
4.       Take vilva leaves in your hands and
5.       Meditate on Lord Shiva in the form of a spatika.

Vilva leaves also eliminate all the doshas. (Trithalamtrigunakaramtrinetram. Satrayayusham; trijanmapapasamharamokabilvamshivaarpanam)

There is a close connection between Lord Shiva, Telugu language and Telugu desam. These are
3 Lingams in the border of Andhra.
South → SriKalahasti
West → Srisailam
North →Draksharamam

All the 3 Lingas are in the 3 borders. Therefore, Andhra was initially called ‘Trilinga’which eventually became ‘Telugu’.

Other religions have spread their tentacles in the world; we are responsible for the denigration of our Tamil culture. We should never wander away from our nitya karmas.
Smearing of holy ash, Shiva nama, wearing the Rudraksham, meditating on the spatika form of Lord Shiva and Bilvaarchana to Lord Shiva are all equally important.

Controlling Our Mind

How do we control our mind? This is the biggest challenge. Our mind should not waver and wander. Mind is like a moneky. If we decide to focus on something for 10 seconds, we realise that beyond a second, our mind is dragging us somewhere else. Even if we command our mind to do something or think about something, we often fail in our efforts.
Yoga Shastra is a book that talks about controlling one’s mind. What is Yoga? You should not follow the dictates of your mind. Your ability to control your mind, to bring it under your command. This is Yoga. The mind should not control you; you should control your min according to your wish.

It is important to stop the ‘Siddha’ or ‘chilta’. Stopping the mind from running away, is Yoga. How can we stop the mind?

First think about Lord Easwaran. But you have not seen him, you do not know anyone who has seen him. Imagine a man who is doing a lot of good things without expecting anything in return. Look at, his face and you can see Lord Shiva in him!

Imagine a face, a body who is compassion personified. Despite all our sins, he continues to protect us, provides us with food and shelter. Compassion is a beautiful feeling. It reflects on one’s face.

The man without desire, sans anger and one who does not have bad habits – think about him and you can see God in his being.

Breathing in and out calms our mind. Chilta becomes silent. There is no unwantwd, unnecessary chatter in the mind. When you control your breath, mind does not move.

What is the connection between breath and mind? As you practice controlling your breathing, your mind gets controlled. So say the shastras. This is the reason all of us do Pranayam.
Mind gets controlled leading to the breath getting controlled. If you are very sad or very devotional, tears will roll down your eyes. You experience catharsis. There is a connection between the mind and the eyes.

Connection also exists between anger, mind, lips and eyes. Your lips quiver and eyes turn reddish when you become angry.
To calm your mind, to become more truthful, wear Shiva-symbols – Our ancestors said so.
Wearing these Shiva-symbols is not for glamour.
When you start thinking that you are wearing these symbols for purifying your mind, your mind gets purified. The symbols that we have outside affect our inside in a positive manner.
Whatever we do outside, benefits our inside. There is no need to pretend There is no need to show-off or demonstrate our vanity.
If you wear these Shiva-symbols with a pure heart and with a unique sense of willingness, your heart automatically gets purified. These Shiva-symbols energise your inner soul. Vedas, Mantras, Hymns, Pranayamam – all of these purify the soul.
One does not have to do all this for others. We have to primarily do all this for ourselves.
This can lead to Moksha.
Even when everything is destroyed, the holy ash remains as it is. Apply this, smear this on your forehead. Let the Rudrakshas adorn your neck. Let the vilva leaf which is the abode of Goddess Ranganayaki/ Goddess Mahalakshmi be on your head. Let the tongue utter the two word – Shiva. Let your mind dwelve on the spatikaLinga. This will cleanse our souls.
Whatever we think about, we become that. Think of a beautiful girl and lust raises its ugly head. Think of a bad person and you feel anger emerging from within.
When you think about Lord Parameswaran in the pure ‘Spatika’ form, our mind will become crystal clear like a spatika.
Lord Shiva is always happy, overwhelming us with beguiling charm. Therefore, smearing of the vibhuti, adorning the Rudraksha, chanting the panchaksharajapa, meditating on the Lord who is in the form of a spatikaarchana using vilva leaves – we should keep on doing these to maintain our sanity and inner peace.

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