Quotes from the original discourses of Namah Shiváya Shántáya by Shrii Shrii Ánandamúrti.
“Civilization first started sprouting after the prehistoric age of the human race, that is, from the days of the first composition of the Rg Veda, about 15,000 years ago. Shiva was born about seven thousand years ago – about eight thousand years after the beginning of the composition of the Rg Veda, that is, during the last part of the Rgvedic Age and the first part of the Yajurvedic Age… at a time when the age of the Rg Veda was coming to an end and the Yajurvedic Age was about to begin. The civilization we see in the age of the Rg Veda may be considered as pre-Shiva, and the civilization we find in the days of the Yajur Veda as post-Shiva. A major change took place during the days of Lord Shiva towards the end of the Rgvedic period (which lasted 10,000 years).
“In the days of Shiva, three ethnic groups intermingled. One was the Austric group, the black non-Aryan people; the second was the Mongolian group who came to India from the north, that is from Tibet and China; and the third was the fair-complexioned Aryan group which entered India from the west… In the days of Shiva, the Aryans started entering India from the northwest. Many of them had already arrived, many were on the way, and many were still making preparations to come. Th[is] period of Shiva was a most turbulent period in India. On the one hand there were the Aryans, the outsiders, and on the other hand there were the indigenous people, with their Tantra-oriented culture
and religion. Into this conflict-ridden environment, Shiva was born.
“From the very beginning, He was an omnipresent entity. Whenever, in the undeveloped and simple human society of those days, any need arose, Shiva was there to help; whenever any knotty problem developed, Shiva was there to solve it. “He [was] both severe and tender. He [was] tender, so naturally people love Him. Although He [was] severe, people still adore[d] Him, because underlying His apparent severity, there [was] tenderness. Thus the role of Shiva [was] predominantly the role of a promoter of welfare. So the first meaning of the term Shiva is ‘welfare’… [One] who looks upon everything with His special expression of sweet benevolence, who views everything with compassion.
“The second meaning of the term Shiva is ‘cognition in its zenith status’ – the zenith status of the Cognitive Principle, the Supreme Non-attributional Process, the Supreme Non-Attributional Entity beyond the faculties of all existential bondages.
“The third meaning is Sadáshiva, who was born into this world about seven thousand years ago – and who, by His holy birth, consecrated, as it were, each and every dust particle of this earth and utilized His whole life for the sole purpose of advancing the cause of universal welfare.
“So Sadáshiva means ‘one whose only vow of existence is to promote the all-round welfare of all living beings’. “He was severe – had He been lacking severity, He could not have accomplished so many noble deeds. But was He severe in every respect? As far as His ideology was concerned, He was severe – very, very severe. But in His external behaviour, in His dealings with people, He was very tender and soft-hearted. Before the advent of Shiva the people of this world had never seen such a perfect blending of severity and tenderness combined in one person. Thus all people, out of deep reverence,
accepted His superiority on bended knees and with bowed heads… Even after seven thousand years people have not been able to forget Him.
“Shiva’s tenderness is proverbial… Even now, if a person’s conduct is exceedingly noble, people exclaim in joy, ‘Ah, how nice that person is! He is just like Sadáshiva!’
“If a great personality is endowed with tremendous power, that influence penetrates deep into the society. His influence cannot be limited only to the upper stratum of society; He cannot be restricted to the status of a leader of the elite alone. He associates with all the so-called classes like Anácaraniiya Shúdras, Ácaraniiya Shúdras and Antyaja Shúdras, because He belongs to all: He does not belong to any particular person or group. Shiva was such a personality. He associated Himself with the common people, even illiterate shúdras, uneducated women, in fact everyone. These people were deprived of the right to study the Vedas.
“The Aryans who migrated to India were full of vanity and highly egotistic… For those Aryans there was no clear-cut concept of dharma; they had no spiritual awareness or spiritual urge… The views of the rsis´were called Ársa´Dharma [‘Religion of the Sages’, Aryan Religion]. The Vedas did not propound any systematic dharma. Each rs´i propounded his views differently from the others.
“In the then India, the mutual relations between the original inhabitants of India and the outsiders, the Aryans, were by no means cordial. The Aryans, out of deep-rooted contempt for the indigenous people of India, used to call them sometimes asuras, sometimes dánavas, sometimes dásas, sometimes shúdras. The Aryans did not accept these people in their society; rather, they declared them to be outcastes… they declared them to be ‘pariahs’ or ‘untouchables’… But these ancient people of India, of Austrico-Mongolo-Negroid blood, had their own civilization and culture. They were also developed people: they had their science of Tantra, and their medicine. There was a
prolonged conflict between these people and the Aryans.
“Shiva was born… into a Mongolo-Aryan family… in this atmosphere of conflict between the Aryans and the non-Aryans, but He always cherished a sincere desire that all the races – the Aryans, the non-Aryans, and the Mongolians – would live together in peace. In fact, He worked constantly towards that end.
“In the social sphere, Shiva played a very active role in removing the distinctions among the members of society… Shiva had three wives (…those were also the days of polygamy) – Párvatii [Gaorii], a fair-complexioned Aryan girl… (in Old China, Párvatii was known as Tárá); Kálii [Káliká], a dark-complexioned non-Aryan [Austrico-Dravidian] girl; and Gaungá, a yellow-complexioned Mongolian girl… born in Tibet… He hoped these marriages would restore the spirit of friendship among the three races.
“In those days the Aryans were fair-complexioned, the non-Aryans [Negro-Austric Dravidians] dark-complexioned, and the Mongolians yellow-complexioned. But Shiva was white-complexioned.
“Shiva wanted to unite the people by obliterating social differences. He tried His utmost throughout His life to unite the then human society, scattered and fragmented into numerous groups and subgroups, and lead it towards supreme fulfillment.
“Párvatii had a son called Bhaerava… Bhaerava means ‘one who practices Tantra sádhaná [spiritual practices]’. He used to practice Tantra, and was a favourite of Shiva. Kálii had a daughter, Bhaeravii. Bhaeravii means ‘a woman who practices Tantra sádhaná’. She also used to practice Tantra and was also a favourite of Shiva. [Both Bhaerava and] Bhaeravii learned the process of sádhaná from [their] father and practiced it regularly. Gaungá had a son Kárttikeya (or Kárttika, or Sanmukham, or S´´.son, Kárttika, was very extroversive in outlook. [He] was a man of adánana). But Gaungá’s extroversive nature. “Shiva was a great personality. At the same time, His entire life – we may say, His very way of life – is
a philosophy. And when one’s personality becomes fully identified with one’s philosophy of life, one becomes a god… when ideology is totally reflected in a personality, that very personality is worshipped as a divine personality, a god… Shiva’s ideology is totally identified with His life, with His way of life. Hence, Shiva is definitely a [god].
“Shiva’s uncommon erudition, His unmatched dynamism, His dexterity in action… His sweet touch… His glow of positivity… His extraordinary personality and genius… His radiant splendour… the dazzling brilliance of His effulgence… His pervasive influence in all spheres of human life… and, at the same time, His own philosophy – all these things together elevated Shiva to the status of a [god].
“An attempt was made in the past and is being made in the present to relate [other] gods and goddesses to Shiva. The only reason for this is the unrivaled and unparalleled influence of Shiva on the minds of the masses. Those gods and goddesses who are said to be related to Shiva acquire some prestige, because all bask in the glory of Shiva.
“Shiva is no doubt a god, but the word ‘god’ does not encompass the totality of His personality. He is not only a god, He is the God of gods – Devatánám´ devatá, devanám´
devah ityarthe Mahádevah [‘The God of all gods and goddesses is Mahádeva’]. Shiva is Mahádeva.
“We can still observe today that Shiva is the god of all, regardless of caste or colour, high or low, learned or ignorant, Brahman or pariah. No other deity in India enjoys such tremendous universal popularity.
“Behind this vast popularity of Shiva is His sádhutá [honesty], His saralatá [simplicity], His tejasviitá [spiritedness], and His love of ideology, which stirred the human heart to its innermost depths. People could not live without loving Him… He was the living embodiment of the highest expression of simple-heartedness.
Chili ámár putul kheláy prabháte Shivapújár beláy Tore ámi bhem´´
gechi ár garechi Tui ámár t´´
hákurer sane chili pújár simhásane
Tánri pújáy tomár pújá karechi
Sab devatár árádhya dhan nitya káler tui purátan
Tui prabháter álor samavayasii
Tui asiimer utsa hate esechis ánandasrote
Nútan haye ámár buke bilasi.
– Rabindranath Tagore
[You were there in the play of my childhood dolls,
You were there in my morning worship of Shiva.
I have broken and rebuilt your image again and again.
You are seated on the altar with my deity;
When I do His worship, I worship You as well.
You are the supreme goal of all gods,
Eternal, the oldest of the old.
You are as old as the morning radiance.
Emerging from the origin of infinity
In an eternal flow of bliss,
In expressions ever-new,
You are shining in my heart.]
“There was no pomp and show in any aspect of Shiva’s life. Shiva, who had countless occult powers, before whom everyone bowed with bended knee, was completely indifferent to His powers. This greatness of Shiva was a distinct trait of His character. While some gods and goddesses wore various types of ornaments – some had crowns on their heads, some bangles on their wrists, some earrings, some gold-decorated girdles around their waists – Shiva had no ornaments. His ornaments were His followers, His devotees – the common people, whom the Aryans branded as ‘ghosts’. The indigenous
people were somewhat dark, and the Aryans were fair-complexioned, so the Aryans despised those followers of Shiva – the common people of India – as ‘ghosts’. In fact they were not ghosts but the devotees of Shiva. In Sanskrit, they were called gana [mass of followers]… [So] His ornaments were His devotees who worked tirelessly to build the society according to His instructions.
“These people… made up Shiva’s family. His joys and sorrows, pleasures and pains centered around them. And Shiva’s family meant this universe. All the persons of this universe, whether frustrated or joyful, educated or uneducated, devotees or opponents, were included in His family. No one was excluded, because all together made up Shiva’s golden home in His thatched house. Who could be excluded? So the one who was at the head of such a big family became their god. “Shiva loved this created world with all His heart… [He] looked upon all the living beings of the universe as His loving children. He raised them with loving care and, at the end of their physical existence, pulled them onto His affectionate lap… [He] was the loving guide for all living beings in their journey through life, in all the aspirations of their hearts, in all their creations. In His benevolent judgment, in His loving eyes, nobody was negligible, nobody was abominable. All had special value in their respective structures. All were indispensable parts of the relativity of time, space and person.
“He inspired and motivated people to move forward in all spheres of life, and He also came forward personally to lead them. Considering His unique role in building human culture and civilization, this culture and civilization cannot stand without Him. But Shiva can stand very well, shining in His own glory, quite apart from human culture and civilization.
“Considering Shiva’s unprecedented wisdom, His unique qualities of leadership, His unbounded love for human beings – in a word, His unsurpassed uniqueness in all aspects of life – spiritual aspirants realized that although Shiva was human in form, He was in fact none other than Táraka Brahma. This idea, that… a comprehensive heroic advent of Parama Purus´a in the form of Táraka Brahma [had taken] place in Lord Shiva… dawned only vaguely upon the human minds of those days, but found its full expression some time afterwards.
“Shiva was the embodiment of firmness; thus the people of those days found the fullest expression of divine qualities in Him. In His simple personality they found the accumulation of many treasures. Thus all people, irrespective of their caste, community, or education, surrendered before Him and said,
‘Nivedayámi cátmánam´ tvam´ gatih Parameshvara.’
[‘I totally surrender myself to You, You are my ultimate refuge, You are the culminating point of the journey of my life.’]
“Trials and tribulations compel people to ponder deeply; sorrows inspire them to analyse the law of cause and effect. Their wounded hearts want to be soothed with a healing balm from an entity greater than themselves. They realize then that there is an Entity greater than their little selves… Each and every sádhaka [spiritual aspirant] realizes, in the exalted state of spiritual realization, ‘Tvameko dvitvamápanno Shivashaktivibhágashah.’
‘O Lord, You are One. You are witnessing everything as the Supreme Cognitive Principle, and You are also doing everything in the capacity of the Supreme Operative Principle. You are giving pain and misery to Your children with one hand, and with the other You are wiping the tears from the[ir] eyes. On the one hand You are chiding them in the harshest language, and on the other You are drawing them close to You and showering Your love on them. You are one and the same Entity, but You express Yourself to both extremes – You are perfect in both ways. Your one role is complementary to the other.’
“He took upon Himself all the physical and psychic responsibilities of the entire world. In Shiva was the harmonious adjustment between the physical and psychic world on the one hand, and the spiritual world on the other.
“The Supreme Reality is vibrant with blissful vibrations; He is the greatest of all entities, the highest, above all, beyond all comparison. Tulá vá upamá Shivasya násti [Shiva has no comparison]. His existence; His stance; His ever-blissful state; is the highest stage of attainment. From Him one should not ask for anything. One should only ask to attain the supreme stance – nothing more than that, nothing less than that.
“This establishment of Shivatva is known as Shiva Samádhi [final enlightenment]… Human beings should direct all their outer expressions of life towards the inner world, and finally merge in Paramátmá [Supreme Soul]… One who merges in the Supreme Entity attains Shivasamádhi, which is the goal of every spiritual aspirant… There is no other way out.
Prasád bale yá chili bhái tái habi re nidenkále
Yeman jaler bimba jalei uday jal haye se misháy jale.
[Prasád says, ‘What you were in the beginning, You will become in the end;
Just as bubbles rising from the water, into the water will merge again.’]
“As Shiva has consummate control over Himself, both internally and externally, He is called shánta [tranquil]. This tranquil Purus´a has the authority to control everything, and that is why regarding Him it has been said, ‘Namah Shiváya shántáya’ [‘Salutations to Shiva the tranquil one’].”
Anádyanantamakhilasya madhye Vishvasya sras´´taramanekarúpam; Vishvasyaekam´ parives´´´taramJin.´átvá Shivam shántimatyantameti.
[Knowing that Shiva, who has neither beginning nor end, who is the creator of this vast universe; that multi-formed single entity who encompasses the whole universe; one attains eternal peace.]
Text from a promotional leaflet of the movie SHIVA.