This beautiful story reminds me that through worship, compassion arises. When I experience compassion, I can know that it is the fruit of worship, whether inadvertent or deliberate. With this compassion, arises reverence for all life. I don't want to harm another living thing—even if I begin by thinking it will serve my needs to do so. The story tells me that when worship becomes fully mature, only one desire remains, and that is to merge with God. Liberation naturally follows, by God's infinite grace.
a Siddha Yogi from Castlemaine, Australia
When I was driving to work on Thursday morning, suddenly three deer crossed in front of me. They were going very slowly, one after another, so I had to slow and stop. I was pleased to see these animals, so nice and so noble.
In the evening, when I was going with a friend to the Siddha Yoga meditation center to celebrate Mahashivaratri, I told her about the deer I’d seen in the morning. It was only then that I realized the relationship between my experience of the deer and Mahashivaratri.
I was so grateful for this clear and auspicious experience, and I felt deeply connected with the love and grace of my Guru, whom I felt so present with me on this day!
a Siddha Yogi from Hamburg, Germany
For me, the image of the shivalingam
in the forest that introduces this story tells a whole story in itself. It says to me, "No matter how entangled you may get in the forest of your daily obligations and activities, the opportunity for worship and remembrance of the Lord is always present." The lush greenery and the graceful figure of the deer also remind me to nourish my heart by making more opportunities for myself to connect to the natural world in the course of every day, no matter what.
a Siddha Yogi from Illinois, USA
Yesterday, I had the great fortune to narrate this story during a special satsang
in the nearby Siddha Yoga chanting and meditation group, so I had immersed myself in the story during the previous days.
Following the story, we chanted the mantra Om Namah Shivaya
, and we meditated. After the program, I felt the benefits of the satsang
: my mind became clearer and I was able to share a lot of joy with the others.
Suddenly, someone coming in from outside told us: "Come and look at the rainbow!" This was the most perfect and magnificent rainbow I had ever seen in my life, and I had the deep feeling that the Guru was waving to all of us. Even though we don't have bilva
trees in France, I know that we received Shiva's blessings by chanting his name.
a Siddha Yogi from Blandas, France
Shiva’s compassion is so great that the hunter received a boon from inadvertent worship. How much more power is there in repeating the mantra as Baba and Gurumayi have taught us, focusing with awareness on the meaning and power of these sacred syllables?
I feel that all of the scriptures and teachings about Lord Shiva on the website this month have been preparing me to bring this focus to chanting the mantra on Mahashivaratri this year.
a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA
I love the way Gurumayi and Baba teach with stories. The stories stay with me, and every time I read or hear them, they are not only reminders but also sources of new understanding.
This time, what came up for me when I read the story of the hunter and the deer is that it was not only compassion that arose within the hunter. He also experienced contentment, the fullness and abundance of the Self. When offered a boon, he said, “My mind has become absorbed in you. There is nothing more I could want.”
As I reflected on this, I felt drawn inside and began to connect to that sweet feeling of contentment myself, a place of inner stillness and completeness.
a Siddha Yogi from Virginia, USA