Give up the feelings “I” and “you”. Only then can you understand the glory of that which is neither “I” nor “mine”. This does not mean you renounce everything. Deal with the world as duty demands, in a spirit of detachment. The acid test by which an activity can be confirmed as holy and sacred is to examine whether it promotes attachment or bondage. The activity is unholy or sinful if it arises from or promotes greed. With the intent of fulfilling your legitimate duties, pray to God to keep you alive for a hundred years. You will not incur blame. This is the lesson from true education.
“Today we are celebrating Shivarathri. ‘Shivarathri’ means “Auspicious night”. At least on this day, one should chant Shiva’s name all through the night. At least on one day in a year, chant the Lord’s name. This night, devotees are expected to stay awake by chanting the sacred name of Shiva. Keeping awake in any other way is purposeless. Spending the night reciting the Lord’s name sanctifies one’s life”.
– Divine Discourse: February 25, 1998
The festival of Maha Shivarathri is one of the most important festivals in India. It falls on the 14th day of the (Krishna Paksha) dark fortnight of the Magha month of the Hindu calendar. The very word ‘Shivarathri’ means auspicious night. All over the country, people throng Shiva temples and spend the night in worship and contemplation of the Divine. According to Hindu belief, the moon is the presiding deity of the mind and the 16 phases of the moon represent the 16 aspects of the mind. On Shivarathri, which falls a day prior to the new moon, only a streak of the moon is visible. This is symbolic of the waning influence of the mind, when 15 aspects have already merged in the Self and only one aspect remains. Hence on this day, it is easier to control the mind and direct it towards God. Therefore, the night is spent in contemplation and adoration of God, so that the vagaries of the mind can be totally subdued and transcended to attain realization of the Atman.
Lord Shiva Who is hailed as Abhisheka Priya is mightly pleased with sacred offerings. Last evening’s Maha Rudrabhishekam had 18 types special offerings to the Saieswara Lingam. The offerings included milk, curd, ghee, honey, sugar, fruits, tender coconut water, flower, yellow rice, sandalwood paste, vibhuti, bilwa leaves, sugar candy juice, rudraksha, darbha grass, gold, turmeric, kumkum (vermillion) etc. with each individual offerings bear spiritual religious significance. These 18 offerings are meant to appease the Indweller within, Who is verily Sai Shiva.
“The lesson of Shivarathri is that devotees should foster good and sacred thoughts. They should be filled with godly thoughts. They should seek to become one with the Divine by reflecting on their inherent divinity. If you constantly chant the name of God, God realization will come in due course.
Whatever other things they may possess, men suffer from lack of peace and bliss. These two can be obtained only from God. It is for these two that men should pray to God and not for anything else, because God alone can give them. When these are secured, all other things will come of their own accord by the grace of God. People should yearn for God. All other desires are worthless”.
– Divine Discourse: February 26, 1998
Small pendant materialised by Baba of Shiva on April 20th 1972
At the Shivalayam Temple (Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Birthplace) Puttaparthi, India on Maha Shivaratri – 7th March 2016 (Morning) Five priests performed a puja and abhishekams to Lord Sai Shiva.
Special offerings were made to the Lord Shiva. The offerings included milk, curd, ghee, honey, sugar, fruits, tender coconut water, flower, yellow rice, sandalwood paste, vibhuti, bilva leaves, sugar, rudraksha, turmeric, kumkum, with each individual offering bearing great spiritual significance.
These offerings are meant to appease the Indweller within, Who is verily Sai Shiva. Lord Shiva Who is hailed as Abhisheka Priya is mightly pleased with such sacred offerings.
“Makara Sankranthi marks the movement of the Sun from the southern horizon to the northern horizon. This northward movement of the Sun has immense spiritual significance. The north is symbolised by Himaachala. Hima means snow. It is pure, untainted and soothingly cool. All these endow it with the quality of Prashanthi (perfect peace). Achala means that which is steady and unshakeable. Himaachala does not refer to the physical Himalayan mountains. It represents that which is cool, peaceful and steady. From this day the Sun is said to move towards such a state. The Sun symbolises the vision of man. The northward movement of the Sun is a call to human beings to turn their vision towards that which is cool, peaceful and unchanging, i.e. towards the divinity within.
There was a huge halo of splendour illuminating the sky over the village when Christ was born. This meant that He, who was to overcome the darkness of evil and ignorance had taken birth, that He will spread the Light of Love in the heart of man and councils of humanity.
Appearances of splendour, and other signs to herald the era that has dawned are natural when incarnations happen on earth. Jesus was to shatter the darkness that had enveloped the world and the aura of light was a sign that announced the event.
The Masters arrive in answer to man’s prayer.
“Thamaso maa jyothir gamaya” (Lead us from darkness unto Light!)