On February 23, at the Shivaratri festival at Sacha Dham ashram in Rishikesh, there was a large gathering of disciples as there is every year. The temple turned out to be too small and many had to participate in the special ceremony from the hall leading to the temple. Maharajji went to the ceremony and delivered a message to the participants, which is summarized as follows:
Mahesh [Lord Shiva] is considered to be very compassionate, as he is known as Bole Shankar — innocent Shankar. The following stories illustrate this very well :
This illustrates the fact that with a little effort Shiva can be pleased and so answer our prayers.
When Brahma was ready to create the universe, He first created seven Rishis Who He asked to help with the creation of the world. They refused. Narada also refused. So Brahma went to Lord Shiva and asked him to help. As Shiva was compassionate, he agreed and, taking on the attributes of Ardha Narishwar [half of Him became a Man and the other half became a Woman, in other words, he took on the form of a divine Androgynous Being], created the universe.
Sita also prayed to Parvati [Parvati is the feminine aspect of Shiva] so that Rama would become her husband, as in the following couplet :
Devi pooji pada kamala tumhaare
[O Devi, Gods, human beings, and sages bow down at Your lotus feet, And in doing so they easily gain all that they truly seek.]
During this Kali Yuga, “Om Namo Shivaya” [also pronounced “Om Nama Shivaya”] is the most powerful and fruitful mantra. So in the present period of time, the easiest way to attain spiritual as well as material goals is to pray to Shiva for just one hour every day.
A Few Comments on this Message
When this alchemical marriage, which is usually called enlightenment happens, the divine Spirit aspect in man unites with the earthly personality aspect or Parvati. This union, which takes place when man is still in the night of ignorance, makes him enter God’s light of Day for ever. He becomes immortal, spiritually speaking: the different bodies in which he will henceforth live (if he decides to reincarnate in order to help his human brothers progress) can die, of course, for they are governed by earthly laws, but he, himself, never ever looses the consciousness of being. Ordinary man, however, looses this consciousness when he dies and in his next incarnation, no longer remembers what he had been before.
Consequently, with this mantra, “Om Namah Shivaya” man invokes the Spirit aspect within so that he will be governed by it. This is the highest aspect, the highest power which man can invoke and that is why it is such a powerful mantra. During the last three days we have left to live, i.e., the final part of the process of our evolution, if we embrace the Shiva lingam, that is to say if we unite with our Atma, then Yama, the God of death (God of ignorance) will not be able to overcome us and we will become immortal, living through all the Yugas like Markandeya !