The story of Samudra manthana (churning of the ocean) behind Maha Shivaratri is symbolic for churning of the ocean of consciousness by meditation and other yogic practices. In doing this tapas (spiritual practice) one becomes aware of both the Halāhala (poison of the ego) and Amrit (the nectar of immortality). Both are within us.
When Shiva, the great yogi, saw that the poison of the ego which had come out first from churning of the ocean would destroy the world, he immediately drank it so that others would be protected from harm. As Shiva suffered intense pain from the poison, his wife, the Goddess Parvati touched Shiva’s throat and by the power of her love neutralized the effect of the poison.
The story of Maha Shivratri teaches us that the ego is a powerful poison that can delude the mind and be cause of much destruction. However, pure love, as demonstrated by the Goddess Parvati is overwhelming and can neutralize that poison of the ego and lead to the nectar of immortality. Happy Maha Shivaratri!
Sri Ramana Maharshi’s teaching is beautiful, unique, and direct. There is no encouragement of superstition, no secret mantras to be whispered in your ear, no fancy handshakes, no unusual postures or dance moves to learn, no dependence on rituals or outside forces. In Bhagavan’s teachings, there are no special requirements to meet, and no examinations by the Guru to test your worthiness.
Bhagavan says that you are the Self. Being the Self is nothing more than pure Being, Pure Existence. You have the power to discover the natural state of bliss inherent in you and abide as That.
The highest, the purest, the most sublime teaching that leads to Self-Realization is open to all. It is completely free. There are no initiation fees for special secret techniques and methods. That is why Bhagavan says, “No secret technique. It is all an open secret in this system in “Day by Day with Bhagavan” ~ (8-10-46).
There always have been and there always will be beautiful, evolved, and God-realized souls. Regardless of when they lived and where they lived, one can be in tune with their essence. Time and distance do not hinder the movement of grace.
Even if we do not have the physical presence of great sages in our life, we can have spiritual fellowship by creating a mental atmosphere filled with their vibrations and teachings.
My teacher used to tell me that there is always at least one perfectly God-realized soul somewhere in the Universe.
We are elated and happy when things go our way. We are sad and depressed when reality unfolds differently than our expectations.
How pitiful is our lot my friends, thrown about here and there with the changing winds! Every day, the world, as perceived via the mind invites us to ride the roller coaster of emotions fueled by fear, anxiety, anger, and hatred. A Sage centered in the Heart of Love is always indifferent to such an invitation.
How truly fortunate to come into the orbit of Sages who give the purest teachings of Ahimsa (nonviolence) and Self-Realization. Bhagavan Ramana used to say, “Wise people examine their own minds.”
Whether one is rich or poor, famous or unknown, bright or dull, wise or foolish, religious or an atheist, each experiences pleasures and pains, joys and sorrows, tears and laughter, victories and defeats in their life.
At some point, one may ask “What is all this?”
“Who am I that has all these experiences?”
Thus, as if compelled, the sages start to reflect on the nature of their existence and the mind.
The quest to know the nature of existence starts us on the journey to our own Heart, which is indeed the Universal Heart.
According to Advaitic/Yogic sages, all sins and atrocities which are committed by individuals and nations against each other are due to ignorance of the true nature of oneness of all life.
When we view “others” as separate from us and different, we are able to justify all types of ignoble acts against them. Sometimes, even the most heinous deeds are justified in the name of God, religion, or law.
People who are blinded by fear, greed, and ignorance are not able to see outside the cycle of violence that they are part of.
Fortunately, in the history of the world, there have always been good people as well and such noble souls still walk the earth today. I feel that due to their kindness, love, and compassionate influence, there is always a ray of sunshine and a hope to make this world a better place.
The Sage of Arunachala, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, gave us the purest teachings.
If we look at the devotees of Sri Ramana, we see that they were some of the greatest yogis and jnanis of their day. But they led quiet, unpretentious, and humble lives fully content in the grace of Bhagavan.
The message of Sri Ramana is to turn the mind within to see our true nature; and then we will see everything to be full of spirit.
In his life, Bhagavan exemplified his realization and manifested immense compassion for all beings. Bhagavan related to plants, trees, birds, animals, and people as sacred and treated everyone who came within his orbit with the utmost respect and love.
Indeed, Bhagavan was most reluctant to accept invitations to criticize others on their spiritual path, even if it was different than the one he advocated. On more than one occasion, Bhagavan told devotees that they should mind their own business and keep in mind what their original purpose was in coming to Bhagavan.