Stretch Your Begging Bowl before Lord Shiva

To reach Shiva, remove pride, embrace humility, and serve with unwavering devotion.

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Shiva pada is the destination, and the Lord alone can lead us there. We speak of spiritual practices, effort, and spiritual growth. But what do the realized ones have to say about this whole process?

This body cannot help much; it can only obstruct. Nothing much can be achieved with this body in the spiritual realm. At best, you can put it to rest, not exactly stop it, but try to prevent it from creating an obstruction. Whatever the means—yoga, dhyana, or puja—these must come to you. Do they come on their own? No, Devadhideva Mahadeva sends them to you.

You may be sitting in a shop selling spiritual books. Does it help? You may be a singer who has sung the Bhagavad Gita or Shiva Manasa Puja Stotra in the most melodious way. Does it help? You may even give discourses or speeches on spiritual subjects, but unless Mahadeva has sent all these to you himself, with your connection activated, they don’t help. This should be clear.

Nothing helps—be it yoga, dhyana, stotra chanting, nama sankeertana, or Veda mantra. Nothing helps unless they are authorized by Him and sent to you specifically. For that to happen, you need faith in Him. You need bhakti. But where does bhakti come from? That too has to be given by Him.

Then what are you supposed to do? He alone gives jnana. He alone gives bhakti, which will lead you to jnana. Then what is your part? If everything is done by Him, what do you have to do? One—be ready to receive.

You have a vessel that is already full. Can it receive more? It is already full; it can’t take any more. But what is your vessel filled with? Clutter. It is full of clutter, bits and pieces gathered from here and there. Matter that is sufficient for you to go around and say that, after I started this sadhana, I am a lot more peaceful. But if a real storm comes, you don’t know whether you can stand or if this newly acquired peace can withstand it.

So, one thing you can do is clear your vessel. It is not even a vessel; it is a begging bowl. Jnana vairagya siddhyartham bhiksham dehi. Bhiksha is what you can ask for, not shaktipaath that the modern guru will give by placing his thumb on your ajna chakra after you pay the fee. If you ask for bhiksha, you might get it, at His mercy and pleasure. There is not much you can do. Empty your begging bowl of all the clutter inside and stretch it out to Him. First of all, He will put bhakti in it.

And two—once again to achieve Him साधनं तस्य सेवनम्. You can achieve Him by serving Him, only by serving Him. Serve Him as His servant. And when you do this, if you think, 'I am a great Shiva bhakta, I have taken deeksha, I know Rudram Chamakam,' then you are finished. This is the clutter I am talking about. Throw that away from your begging bowl.

Rudro bhutva rudram yajet. Become Rudra, then worship Rudra. This is your goal. You are not there yet. You should serve Him thinking, 'aavahanam na jaanami.' I don’t know how to invoke you, I don't know how to do your archana, I don't know the puja vidhi. Kshamasva Parameswara.

You may know the shodasopachara vidhi. You may have taught this to many with genuine intention. But the moment you think, 'I know it,' you are finished. Abhimana chhedana has to happen first. Which again, He alone will do.

This pride that has gone into the head—'I do this sadhana, I know Gita, I can talk about Gita, I have read Upanishads, I can quote from Upanishads, I know Sanskrit, I know grammar'—this pride has to go. This abhimana has to go. Sit with a begging bowl in front of Him. Ask for bhiksha—of bhakti, jnana, and vairagya.

Knowledge Bank

Horanadu to Sringeri distance

70 KMs. Horanadu - Kalasa - Balehole - Jayapura

What Vedas say about the universe

Just as waves arise out of the sea, the universe arises out of Brahman at the time of creation. A small part of Brahman itself becomes the universe. At the time of pralaya, just like how the waves fall back into the sea, the universe also dissolves back into Brahman.

Quiz

Which is the shastra dealing with breath analysis ?
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