Monthly Archives: February 2020

Lord Shiva – Why we use Bilva for worship

Bilva leaves are used to worship Lord Shiva and is considered to be very auspicious. This leaf is a trifoliate, meaning it is a group of 3 leaflets.  The bilva leaves having 3 leaflets represents:

  • The Creator, The Sustainer, The Annihilator
  • Father, Mother and Guru
  • The paths of Jnana, Bhakti and Karma
  • Our Past, Present and Future experiences
  • The 3 gunas:  namely Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas (3 moods of the mind)
  • The Waking, Dream and Deep sleep States
  • The powers of Knowledge, Motivation and Implementation
  • The three worlds (Swarga, Martya and Naraka)
  • Body, Mind and Intellect

Kailash Manasa Yatra

Kailash Manasarovar

Ka – means Bliss.  The State of Bliss has no opposite, unlike happiness which has sorrow as its opposite. All our realized Masters are in the State of Bliss (Ananda). Kailasa signifies that State of Bliss (Moksha Dham) . Infact, Kailasa and Shiva are one and the same. Mukti (Enlightenment) means Shiva, and Shiva Sakshatkara is Bliss: Shiva – Ananda !!

Yatra:- Ya means “to move”. Tra (trayate ) means “that which helps us to cross over the ocean of sorrow/samsara”. Hence Kailasa Manasa is a Yatra – an inner pilgrimage to be undertaken within ourselves. Manasa Sarovara ( Manasa – mind, sarovara – lake). Manasa Sarovara represents our “mind-lake.” When the wind hits the lake waters, waves rise. And in the disturbed waters, the reflection of Mount Kailasa is distorted. But when the Manasa Sarovara is calm and the waters are absolutely still, we can see the glorious reflection of Kailasa. Similarly, when our mind is constantly whipped up by desire, jealousy, anger, etc., it is always in a state of disturbance. And in a disturbed mind, the reflection of the Light of Consciousness (Shiva-tattva) is distorted. Therefore, when our mind is absolutely calm, still and peaceful, the presence of the Lord within us is reflected in our minds. This is Iswara Darshana – the State of all Realized Masters who reflect the divinity of the Lord within.

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Anuraagamule – Saraswati – Tyagaraja

There are a number of compositions by Saint composers like Tyagaraja , Purandaradasa citing the importance of Bhakti – devotion. In this composition Saint Tyagaraja talks about Divine Love – Anuraaga. Without Devotion , one remains deprived of true knowledge and wisdom.
It is bhakti which helps us to shift our focus from leading a pure materialistic life to a life filled with purpose [wisdom] .The purpose of human life is not to earn money and enjoy being selfish and arrogant.


anuraagamu lEni manasuna sujnaanamu raadu


ghanulaina antar jnyaanulaku eruka gaani


vaga vagagaa bhujiyincEvaariki truptow reeti
saguNa dhyaanamu* paini sowkhyamu tyaagaraajanuta

Shivaratri –Upavaasa and Jaagaran

SHIVARATRI represents the “State of Enlightenment”

Raatri – (night): Here raatri does not basically mean night. All of us essentially are in a realm of ignorance (spiritual ignorance/darkness) or Avidya. In Vedanta ignorance is always likened to darkness and Vidya – Spiritual knowledge is likened to Light. For the removal of this Spiritual ignorance, “Shiva” Saakshaatkaara must happen within us.  Shiva represents the State of Mukti, Moksha or Enlightenment.  

For this to happen we are advised to do Upavaasa. When the body is denied food, the mind is also denied its food and hence it becomes easier to control the extrovertedness of our body and mind.


But essentially UPAVAASA is: UPA means ‘near’; VAASA means ‘to stay’.  Hence, Upavaasa is “to stay near the Lord”. To be identified with the Lord and to be ever connected with the Lord is Upavaasa in its truest sense.

JAAGARAN: When we are on the path of contemplation, we have to be alert and vigilant. A spiritual seeker walking along the path of God realization is ever in the ‘Light of Knowledge’ (Alert/Jaagrita), while the whole world of beings are indulging in Samsara (Maya / Ignorance / Darkness). This is the significance of staying awake the whole night on Shivaratri. Hence a spiritual seeker is ever alert, not just on Shivaraatri Day. He ever remains Jaagrita …

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