Angam and Lingam

THE Glory of India reaches the ends of the world. She is the embodiment of Spiritual Victory. She has given birth to indomitable heroes who have assailed the inner foes and adventured far into the region of the Reality. These have laid down for the guidance of mankind various disciplines which will prepare them for similar triumphs. Among these, the ceremonial observance of holy days, dedicated to intense meditation on the aspects of Godhead, is highly important. One can understand the ridicule which Westerners, in their ignorance, pour on these observance; but, it is pathetic to find Indians also among the traducers! They too have become blind to the meaning and significance of their heritage. They have not tasted the fruits of the discipline, as they have not practised it. How then can value be attached to their judgement?

The state of the Indian nation can be summarised in the proverb: “Father is happy with his second wife; children miserable with their step-mother.” The technological civilisation of the West, the culture that places the standard of living in a more honourable place than the means by which that standard is attained, the culture that flies to the moon but is afraid to peep into the mind, has become the favourite wife; the children who are to be fed on mother’s milk of Sanaathana Dharma (the eternal religion), are miserable, for they have no training to secure it. Born to a rich heritage, the children are growing up destitute and helpless. Each one is the repository of Divine Might, of the Imperishable Aathma. Contacting this Reality is the prime purpose of life. But, this is neglected; precious days are spent in inferior pursuits.

Man desires peace and cultivates worry

Raamakrishna Paramahamsa bewailed every night that one more day had gone by without His being able, by His prayers, to visualise the Mother as a living Mother. That is the yearning that man must cultivate, not the competitive greed for sensory pleasures that are false and fleeting. Man must engage himself in such tasks as will confer on him peace and lasting joy. Man must examine for himself the merits of various activities, and choose only such as will benefit him. He desires peace and cultivates worry and anxiety. Planting a lime tree, he hopes to get mangoes therefrom. This is sheer ignorance or wilful blindness, or the result of misguidance.

To make coal white, it is foolish to wash it in milk; the milk too gets black. You have to heat it red-hot, and continue the process until it is transformed into white ash. The ash remains ash for ever. Similarly, the Thaamasik (dull-witted and ignorant) mind (black) has to be transmuted into the Raajasik stage (red or active and passionate) and then, to the Saathwik stage (white or calm and pious), by the process of spiritual discipline (heating). The blackness and the redness are produced by the qualities of greed and lust. Regular treatment with the drug of self-control (nigraha) will cure you of these. These holy days have been prescribed for inaugurating the treatment. The Shaasthras extol the drug and lay down the method of administration. The lives of Saints encourage you to seek it and save yourself by it. Through these, man can ascend from the animal to the human level and from the human to the Divine. Yes. You too can become Divine; I have nothing that you too do not possess. It is latent in you, it is patent and potent here; that is the only difference!

Sanctity of Shivaraathri and emergence of Linga

Life is a short and fast-flowing chance; you will have to put every minute to the best use: that is, the discovery of your own Reality, which gives you the highest joy. Do not spend time inquiring about the whence and wherefore of others. Inquire about yourselves. When an election comes along, you wander from door to door, and fall at the feet of all and sundry, to earn their votes. Instead of demeaning yourselves in this manner, if you fall at the Feet of God, and become worthy of His Grace, people themselves will press you to stand for election and fill the ballot boxes with votes for you. For this you must have faith, faith in God and Grace. Now, most people have no faith; what is worse, they laugh at those who have, they scorn those who create and promote that faith.

What is the sanctity of Shivaraathri? You answer, “Linga emerges from Swaami’s Udhara (abdomen).” In fact, the Linga is in every one of you. In the Angam (body) there is Jangam; (in the body composed of limbs, there is always the movement of the mind towards the external objects); in Jangam, there is Sangam (through this movement, there arises attachment); in Sangam there is Lingam (through attachment and consequent suffering, the individual learns the need for and the efficacy of the Linga, or God, who is His innermost core). Witness the Aathma Linga (Spirit of the Soul) that emerges; derive bliss therefrom. But, make yourself worthy for deriving it.

Shivaraathri night should be spent in vigil

For example, let me tell you why this day is considered holy. Today is the fourteenth day of the dark half of the month, when the moon is all but invisible; just a minute fraction remains visible to man. The moon is the presiding deity of the mind. The mind is the source of all the entangling desires and emotions. The mind is, therefore, almost powerless this day; if only this night is spent in vigil and in the presence of the Divine, it can be fully conquered and man can realise his freedom. So, every month, the fourteenth day of the dark half of the month is prescribed for more intense saadhana and once a year, this Mahaashivaraathri, the Great Night of Shiva, is laid down for the Great Consummation.

Vigilance this night is to be secured by saadhana, that is, by means of bhajana, or the reading of sacred texts or listening to the reading of such texts; not by attending film-shows, or gambling, or playing cards. Be engaged in seeing good, listening to good, speaking good, thinking good, doing good; that is the programme for the vigil tonight. Make it also the programme for your entire life.

A father sent his son to the market with a sum of money to bring home some fruits. While bringing them home, the boy saw a few beggars on the road and heard their wails; he realised that they were very hungry and that they needed the fruits more urgently. So he gave the fruits to them and came home empty-handed. When the father chided him, the son replied, “I have brought you invisible fruits that are sweeter and more lasting.” Yes; the fruits of charity, rendered to the deserving, are really sweeter and lasting. Seek all chances of doing such good acts.

Now, I shall unfurl the Prashaanthi Flag. No good will come if I merely unfurl it on this building. Prashaanthi or the Highest Peace can be won only when each one of you unfurls it in your heart. Ruminate on what I have said when you reach home and digest it and let it add to your strength and forbearance. Dedicate all your deeds, words and thoughts to Sarveshwara, the Supreme Sovereign. The Emergence of the Linga (the ellipsoid-shaped representation of the formless Divinity) will happen today. Do not, in your anxiety to secure sitting space, sit in the sun from 3 p.m. itself. Do not disregard the rules of health. Do not exhaust yourself. So long as you are here, do not waste a single moment in worthless talk. Now, I shall go up to the terrace and unfurl the Flag. Do not fall upon each other and struggle to pick the flowers showered from above. Be restrained, be orderly. Afterwards, move on to the Auditorium, where Abhishekam (ritual bathing) will take place. Witness everything and derive full joy.