Mahashivaratri: Night of the Great Shiva – IV

Mt. Kailash, abode of Lord Shiva

Following are some of the spontaneous ideas/revelations that dawned on me on this day. They may not be original and I am not the first to discover them, but in this state I could feel their meaning with my entire being and not just my mind:

It is clear that most of the humanity in ‘normal’ state  is asleep and so do I slip into a kind of slumber when the effects of Cannabis wear off.

Silencing of mind and tongue prevents us from falling asleep, from getting lost into this illusory word. The key is mindfulness – be mindful to the people and situations in your life.. Do not get caught/seduced by the myriad of distractions/temporary pleasures that the world offers you. They are all meant to put you back to a kind of sleep – the sleep of ignorance. Negative attributes are like lullabies that put you to sleep.

Religion is for the masses, those who are asleep, to show them the way in the darkness; mysticism is for those who are partially awake.

The Spiritual Path is like a game of Snakes and Ladder, for most the path is long and cumbersome, but the fortunate come across ladders/Grace on their way to hasten their journey, and at times even ‘angels’ and saints fall when bitten by the snake of heedlessness.

The breathing exercises, rhythmic dance and zikr of the Sufis, after a certain stage of progress on the Path, are physical methods to get a ‘high’ – an altered state of consciousness when they can experience higher realities. These methods are long and laborious and require will and perseverance. However they are fool-proof, you cannot go astray.  Shortcuts to achieving an altered state of consciousness like drugs and psychotropic plants can lead a lot of people astray if they take it without  the right  intention and also if their lower selves are not ready for it.

The ‘door keepers’ of mystical/hidden/secret knowledge are not some special people but our own egos, our lower selves. You can cross the threshold only if your intentions are pure and your hearts ready.

The demon Mara who tried to lead Buddha astray was a symbol for Buddha’s own lower self, whom he finally vanquishes and attains Nirvana.

Negative emotions especially anger and hate, stiffen certain parts of your physical and psychological self, leading to various ailments.

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