Joined: 06 September 2014
This post was done in Kartika month..so..
Some one said that Shiva temples are not joyous and vibrant compared to Vishnu temples.
This was my answer to that..with due respect to Vishnu and Shiva devotees around..
My Mahadev My Shivalay
Personally I experienced how pleasant the ambience is in a Shiva temple. Here I am not talking about Jyotirlinga Kshetras or Pancharamas which are Devine,and charged with the power of Shiv and Sakti.
I am referring to normal Shiva temple that exist in our locality. I swear I always felt the joy..that is the word used in the question..I repeat that only..
I would like to explain my joyous feel in visiting the nearby Shiva temple that exists so nearer to our apartment.
I am fortunate I must say ,though we change cities so often due to my husband's Banking profession,I always got to stay in the vicinity of a Shiva temple. That too at a walkable distance.
I go there at least five days a week early in the morning..and daily in Kartika month.
This is Kartika Maas,the favourite month of Shiv.
Kartika is special because both Shiva and Vishnu are religiously worshipped through out the month.
Coming to my Shiva temple experience,I generally get up too early in this month to light up Kartik deep. The Diya illuminates through the darkness which still is there..before the sunrise.
I remember my grand mother's words..We should light up the Diya before Usha samay( the period before sun rise)
Now I will carefully take my worship kit without making noise as I don't want to disturb my husband and daughter who are in blissful sleep.
By the time I walk out,the Sun indicates ..that he is going to grace the creation with his life giving bright rays.
The blue and orange colour in the sky appears so beautiful.and I walk towards my destination.
The temple premises look so calm and peaceful..as I enter inside..greeting the committee member who nods at me still chanting stotras. He opens the temple at 4 AM without fail and finishes his first Abhishek to Shiva..
Om Namah Sivaya,..The temple has a wide outer space where the Aswatha tree stands tall..looking regal and heavenly.
Already devotees are there who will come so early and worship Shiv in their own way.
I washed my feet and entered the inside shrine..the Shiv ling ..shines with Vibhuti ,sandal paste and Bilwa Patras
There are the familiar groups of people chanting Brahma Murari surarchita lingam..they just stand outside and sing their stotras with great devotion.
Vinayak and Durga Mata are at the back of Shiv ling a little up fixed in two corners.
As I sit and chant namakam Some one asked me match box..I don't generally talk when I do Abhishek with the fear of missing the rythym and mantras.
I sometimes miss my link when I am interrupted like this but my husband once said., You will get more merit if you help others light up the Diya than concentrate on your own Puja.
I offered my match box and continued my Abhishek. Shiv ling looked so beautiful when I decorated it with Vibhuti lines.Bilva Patras are shining with water drops and I swear they deserve to be on Shiv ling more than any fragrant flowers.
The bunch of devotees who entered raised their voices. Hara Hara Mahadev chant resounded all around. As I got up to place kumkum on Mata Parvati I was greeted by the elderly lady who regularly visits the temple..She offered me flowers ,fresh ones to be placed on Mata...I wonder..every day she collects so many flowers but shares them with others ..how nice her gesture is..
I looked at the women who flocked inside to pour milk and water on Shiv. They are not educated. They don't know mantras. They just feel happy chanting OM Namah Sivaya.
Different people from different walks of life come together to worship Shiv ..but as soon as they enter they just have one aim,that is to pour water on Shiv ling and chant Om Namah Sivaya.
I see universal brotherhood in Shiva temple.People just forget their status or identity and take pleasure in serving Siva in the simplest manner possible.pouring water and placing bilwa patr. I feel joy everywhere around.
As I come out of the shrine,to light up Diya under the Aswatha tree..I feel the joy. Not only me, I see the same smile on every face..Joyful ..yes..definitely the expression says it all.
We all feel the same with no difference..That joy which can not be described in words..that joy which gives hope and that joy which gives courage to face the ordeals of life.
Vibrance is liveliness.
I see life in the ambience of Shiva temple. Energetic,lively atmosphere..yes Vibrance everywhere.
Vibrance should not be connected to grandeur. Vibrance is colour.
And I could see as many colours here as in a Vishnu temple...
The Vibhuti is in white colour
Sandal paste in mustard colour
Shiv ling in glorious black colour
Red in the tilak That Mata Parvati has on her forehead
Green in Bilwa patras
Yellow in Mata parvati's feet..
Arent these colours sufficient to spread vibrance I mean liveliness around?
Ratnai Kalpita masanam himajalai...I chanted Siva Manasa Puja..and got the ultimate feeling of joy submitting before him by serving him with manas. I am grateful to Adi Sankara for creating this awesome stotra.
So Please don't think Shiva temples are less joyous. Shiva or Vishnu temple is a place that offers us mental peace and happiness. We should feel the same at both places.
Just like him who is Chidananda we all are joyful..happy..
mano buddhy ahankara chittani naaham
na cha shrotravjihve na cha ghraana netre
na cha vyoma bhumir na tejo na vaayuhu
chidananda rupah Shivoham Shivoham
I am not the mind, the intellect, the ego or the memory,
I am not the ears, the skin, the nose or the eyes,
I am not space, not earth, not fire, water or wind,
I am the form of consciousness and bliss,
I am the eternal Shiva...
Hope to see joy in any temple around without discrimination.
Om Namah Shivaya
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