Articles By H H Maa Purnananda Ji

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Why Worship?

H H Maa Purnananda
Founder Chairperson
Sree Guru Swami Chinmayananda Sewa Nidhi ®

Maha Shivraatri is round the corner and if you do not worship on this auspicious night, you lose a great opportunity of self-evolution; or, if you worship with a doubting mind, the worship might not be of sufficient benefit. Therefore, it would be a good idea to deal with this mind of ours which is most of the time in a doubtful mode for all such activities that are to do with the higher human values, traditions, culture and spirituality. It is interesting to note that worship is an integral part of human existence, no matter how much we try to deny it! Why so?In every living being, there is this unfailing “desire to live” which pushes the being to strive hard. For survival, the beings confront all challenges, hurdles, crises and even death! The “cycle of death and birth” is the very “Law of Nature” and “survival of the fittest” is the “Law of the jungle”. The human birth has to face both these “Laws”, life after life, until liberation from the very cycle of death and birth.

Our Rishi's of the yore had the foresight to see through the human mentality and have discovered the simple means to deal with it too.At the same time they have unveiled the secrets of the unseen Supreme Self and have introduced the methods of worship so that the inquisitive seekers could work upon themselves to remove their own veil of ignorance by way of Self-inquiry, until the Real Self is revealed!

Maha Shivraatri is one of those very auspicious nights when the nature is absolutely conducive for performing and practicing the worship that could transform the mind of the sincere worshiper into a pure and receptive one and could elevate the seeker’s intellect to higher levels of understanding of the pure, divine and auspiciousSupreme Self.

To be oblivious of, or to live in the disbelief of,our own True Self, is sinful. Again, due to non-apprehension of our higher Self, we remain attached to and motivated by our acquired lower self which leads us to commit countless mistakes and even sins. Most of the time we are unaware of, or unable to accept, such sinful thoughts, words and deeds as ‘sinful’.

So, the first step towards transformation of mind is to seek for forgiveness for the sinful thoughts & words and misdeeds, from none other than Lord Shiv - the Auspicious Core within. In this regard, Adi Shankaracharya’s “Shivaapraadh Kshamaapan Stotram” is an eye opener and is an important means for self-introspection for a seeker. Every night before sleeping, we need to seek for forgiveness by chanting at least the concluding verse of “Shivaapraadh Kshamaapan Stotram” given bellow:

“Karacharan Kritam Vaak Kaayajam Karmajamva Shravananayanajam Va Maanasam Vaaparaadham; Vihitamavihitam Va Saarvametat Kshamasva JayajayaKarunaabdhey Sree Mahaadev Shambho.”

“Whatever sins I commit, by error of omission or commission, knowingly or unknowingly, while engaging my hands, legs, speech, body, hearing, seeing or my mind or while performing actions,please forgive me;glory to You, the Ocean of Compassion,O’ Lord of Lords, Lord Shiv!”

On Maha Shivraatri, the auspicious night attributed to Lord Shiv, we should surely meditate on Him, the symbol of Auspiciousness in us. Firstly, by proper worship and Sree Rudraabhishekam of the Shivlingam, a conducive environment would be created which would help the seeker to withdraw the mind from usual flux of worldly thoughts. On the conclusion of the Abhishekam, after seeking forgiveness, with a comparatively purer mind, it would be somewhat easier for the seeker to find single-pointed focus on the Divine.

Thereafter, the seeker should steady himself on the seat of meditation laid in front of the Lord, with the sincere intent to glide onto the subtle thoughts of the higher realms of existence. By elevating thus while not losing the focus, the seeker is sure to transcend his mind and experience the brilliant radiance of his pure intellect. In the darkness and stillness of the blissful Night, his tranquil mind and awakened intellect would be able to, as though experience, the joy of being with his own pure and auspicious inner Core.

This elevating experience would be of great inspiration for the seeker to continue his worship more regularly and sincerely. In due course, his sincere efforts of such worship every day regularly, will fetch him inner peace and satisfaction like never before and that would in turn inspire him to refrain from sinful thoughts, words and deeds in life. With a purer and receptive mind and almost unfaltering, comprehensive and sharper intellect, the seeker would priorities higher values in life and hence he is sure to progress in his spiritual as also in his worldly pursuits

This was a brief introduction to the practice and persuasion of worship and the benefits of doing so, for enhancing the quality and standard of life, which in turn, could even inspire the worshiper to strive for liberation!

I conclude for now by stating that “Systematic and regular worship,with proper understanding, has to be an integral part of our life”. Delay no more! Maha Shivraatri is just round the corner, get going!

(The DVD with Mp3 on “Shivaapraadh Kshamapan Stotram” with commentary in English by H H Maa Purnananda is available at SISS.)