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  • Mahashivaratri
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  • Mahashivaratri
  • Mahashivaratri

Jyotir-Lingam

Jyotir-Lingam
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For the last six months, I have been offering seva as a Gurukula student in Gurudev Siddha Peeth. This morning, after offering seva, I walked to the Shiva Temple. As soon as I sat down, I closed my eyes and began to focus on Mahadev’s serenity. As I sat there in meditation, I thought about how fortunate I am to have discovered such a great Guru as Gurumayi, with whose help I can understand the true form of Lord Shiva. I witnessed the quietness and stillness in the Temple and experienced the same within myself.
 
After spending the entire day remembering Lord Shiva, I went to my room and read the exposition by Ami Bansal on the Siddha Yoga path website that presented all of Mahadev’s manifestations as the shiva-lingam. As I read it, my devotion to Shri Guru began to flow like a pure river.
 

a Gurukula student in Gurudev Siddha Peeth

I feel gratitude for this outstanding and clear exposition, which is for me prasad as well as a pilgrimage. The understanding that Lord Shiva is the light of supreme Consciousness keeps growing in my awareness as I contemplate all his astonishing forms.
 
Years ago, I received the sublime grace to see Lord Shiva’s eyes in the eyes of Shri Gurumayi and from that day on, I had no more doubt that the Guru is eternal. I came to know that God and the Guru are the same. And I experienced that the Guru is also the flow of shakti—the divine energy.
 
The shiva-lingam, in its symbolic representation and its significance, allows me to worship Shiva and Shakti, and to discover in the world their omnipresence and their loving union.
 

Rodez, France

Reading—and imbibing—this exposition awakened in me feelings of inner calm and deeply seated energy. Suddenly the distractions of name and form dissolved into one shining, benevolent light, in which I saw my Guru, Lord Shiva, and Consciousness as one.
 
The outer forms of worship make a new kind of sense to me now. A deeper understanding has been born, which includes a deeper understanding of the living power of Om Namah Shivaya inside me.
 

California, United States

When I came to the end of this exquisite commentary by Ami Bansal, I felt as though I had been transported to a different world, the world within. I felt I had made a pilgrimage to my very own Self, to the formless form of the Adi-guru, Lord Shiva, who resides in my heart.
 

Nairobi, Kenya

I am thankful to Ami Bansal for this beautiful, comprehensive exposition on jyotir-lingam. When I read the exposition, what stood out for me the most was this sentence: “The goal of all outer worship we do on the Siddha Yoga path is to lead us to the Self within.” Indeed, reading the exposition led me to experience the Self in the form of the column of light. This filled me with great wonder and bliss.

My spouse and I are planning to undertake a pilgrimage to five of the jyotir-lingams before the upcoming celebration of Mahashivaratri. Having the knowledge of the origin, history, and importance of each jyotir-lingam that we have learned from this exposition will instill a greater sense of sacredness and gratitude in us as we go on our pilgrimage and offer puja and prayers.

I pray that I have the purity of heart to experience God, Shiva, Shri Guru, and the Self as One always.
 

Udaipur, India

The part of Ami’s exposition which explains that the Guru and Shiva are one reminded me of my own recent experience of this truth. I have been going through a time of transition in my life, which has sometimes been overwhelming and a little frightening.

However, one day recently I recited Shri Guru Gita along with a video recording of Gurumayi. Afterwards, as I meditated, I experienced Gurumayi smiling at me and telling me that the Guru is always with me. Suddenly, the image of Gurumayi transformed into that of Shiva. He said that he, too, is always with me and that sometimes the old needs to be destroyed so that something new can be created in its place. Shiva reassured me that everything in my life is going according to God’s plan. Ever since that experience, I have felt more at peace with all the changes in my life. I look forward to gaining an even greater understanding of the oneness of Shiva, the Guru, and the Self as I celebrate Mahashivaratri.
 

Oregon, United States

My usual practice is to begin my workday by spending a few moments visiting the Siddha Yoga path website. This anchors me and sets the pace and mood for the rest of my day. Today, I came looking for solace. I had just heard of the passing of a dear friend, a seeker, someone who had a deep connection with Shiva.

Reading this wonderful, in-depth exposition written by Ami Bansal has helped me to realign my perspective and to steady myself. It has reminded me of the golden column of light, the light of consciousness, that is present in me, and that is beyond life and death.

I shall be coming back, time and time again, to read and contemplate portions of this exposition. I believe that this will help to deepen my sadhana. I am always amazed at how the perfect teaching always seems to be given to me at the perfect time.
 

New Delhi, India

When I stabilize myself in my sadhana, I feel the “column of light” growing larger within me. My heart becomes bigger. As in the story told by Lord Brahma in the Linga Purana that Ami Bansal refers to in her exposition, I feel Lord Shiva at the center of my life.
 
The image of Lord Shiva rising from within the jyotir-lingam inspires in me insights, thoughts, and feelings of compassion and equanimity. It motivates me to do the practices more regularly so as to transform all parts of myself and walk the path shown by the Guru.
 

Naples, Italy

I extend great gratitude to Ami Bansal for this incredible exposition on the shiva-lingam. It reminded me that during the years that I lived and offered seva at Gurudev Siddha Peeth, I would visit the shrine of Bhimeshvara Mahadeva in the village of Ganeshpuri, which contains a shiva-lingam. It was so sacred; I could never place words anywhere near it! I sometimes imagined it to be the sacred, very well-hidden source of the river Ganga creating our entire manifest world.

I have felt the blessings of these visits flowing within me and all around me ever since those days in Gurudev Siddha Peeth.
 

California, United States

Last year after reading this exposition, on Mahashivaratri I offered puja to a beautiful river-rock lingam. I lit incense and chanted Om Namah Shivaya for over an hour. I then meditated on the image of the sacred column of light, which is Lord Shiva and the Guru. I felt myself suspended within that column of light. I experienced that I was self-luminous, pure, and at peace. I pray to continue to experience the subtle light of Shiva within me, keeping my mind and heart free of fear and anger through witness consciousness and discrimination. In this state I feel as if a space of peace surrounds me. I am in awe, once again, of the wonderful teachings of the Siddha Yoga path.
 

Oregon, United States