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"The Significance of Siva Ratri"

paramahamsa hariharananda Mar 08, 2024


Swami Hariharananda Giri in SriYukteswar Samadhi Mandir, Karar Ashram

Swami Hariharananda Giri in SriYukteswar Samadhi Mandir


by Swami Hariharananda Giri

About a month after Saraswati Puja in February, comes Sibarartri in March some time. Saraswati is seen mounted on a Swan and that is symbolic. There two lotus caves in Kutastha, one in is Ham & the other Sa. The fool of Kalidas conjuncted this Hans to his Sa in Brahmajoni did away with all his ego factor for all time to come. As long as man does not fix his attention on these two in Kutastha, his third eye does not open. For that is the seat of Ma Saraswati, Chaturbeda ragini, the store house of all knowledge & science. If the students can center their life force all his point, they will evolve quickly. Once the grace of the mother is received, the receiver will be renowned figure in the whole world.


The actual seat of Ma Saraswati is just above the Kutastha. There are 5 different skies just above this Kutastha, namely Daharakash, Chidrakash, Parakash, Mahakash & Atmakash. Each of the Akash stand for Siva, its Adhidebata, that way we get 5 Sivas & Mahadev. All these are fields of activity of Lord Siva. He is the first manifestation of the attribute less Brahma. The Nirguna Brahma wanted to be many and at once the Siva Brahma, started taking form in sky. Upanishad told: “Etasmad Atmano Akasha Sambhabatah.” Hence the sky tattva is Siva tattva. When man, conceives, this subtlest form of the subtlest, all his desires are fulfilled. Siva goes by the name of Asutosh, putting thereby that he is pleased in no time. Though Hindus worship idols, they attribute life & soul & truth in the idols. Mantras are activated by consciousness. That transform the idols to Godhood and fulfill all desires of the devotee in that garb. 


Swami Hariharananda Giri

Swami Hariharananda Giri


Every Puja has two significances, one is for the common mass and the other is for the high intellectuals. The common class can do common work, but to attain to something high and above the common and special knowledge is to for acquired & special technique is to be adopted. We mark a deadly poisonous like Cobra garlanded on the neck of Lord Siva. The Siddhas have verily realized that this very snake sleeps at the bottom of the backbone of every being with 2 ½ circles and goes by the Kundalini. By the practice of Kriya Yoga, this snake is roused to travel straight on the Sushumna nerve inside the backbone and climbs higher till it rests on the neck of Lord Siva in Kutastha, thereby transforming the Sadhaka to Siva in Kutastha, thereby transforming the Sadhaka to Siva in person.


The 7 chakras we come across inside the Shusumna nerve are the Siva chakras. Piercing these 7 chakras we see Lord Siva shaded by the raised hood of the snake. That stands for Ishana Murti of Lord Siva i.e. Siva has taken to Jivatwa so that’s not a snake. He is all consciousness Siva alive and active. There are descriptions of 8 Sambhus in the Puja code. They are the different expressions of the same Siva in aspects, one per chakra, at inside the backbone. The name of Siva in Muladhara is Sabam and that is Khiti tattwa. So Puja Mantram contains “Sarbaya Khiti Murtaye Namah.” Swadhisthana chakra, at the base of the reproductive organs, is the Rasa tattwa, there Lord Siva goes by the name of Bhaba. Hence the mantra for Siva there reads “Vabaya Jala Murtaye Namah”. Just behind the snake in the backbone, there is a chakra named Manipura for Teja tattwa, where Siva is named Rudra, So the Puja Mantra reads, “Rudra Agni Murtaye Namah,” Behind the breast plate in the backbone there is another chakra “Bishudha” with Akasha tattwa (Vimaya Akasha). The name of the ruling Lord Siva goes by “Vimaya Murtaya Namah”. There is the Agyan chakra, located just above the bone Atlas. There Siva dwells as Jivs: Fire elements to formany physical body of trees, animals, human beings, worms, etc. (Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether). SImiilarly by the conglomeration of all the 5 live Sivasthe Main Siva transforms into Jiva in the Kutastha and hence is called “Pushupati” for Lord of creation. Hence the Puja Mantra here reads “Pashupataye Jalaman Murtaye Namah.”


Swami Hariharananda Giri

Swami Hariharananda Giri


Anybody practicing Kriya Yoga can easily ascend over the Agnya Chakra, thereby transmuting Mana, Budhi, Chitta and Ahamkar, all ego factors to Godhood and realise Sarswati and Siva in every deed and thought. Every child has a softest spot on the head. That is the spot where the feet of Sahashra functions. Some call it “Mahakash” for the greatest sky, the center of the thousand petal lotus in the seat of Lord Mahadev. The Mantra for worship reads “ Mahadebaya Soma Murtaye Namah.”


If by the practice of Kriya Yoga, man can raise Kul Kundalin, the serpent force, the seven Talus (Akashas) are pierced through. Once this is done, the Sadhaka comes visa vis to Lord Siva & realizes him as an effulgence of light, as a ceaseless flow of Aum & feel vibration at the soft spot in the head feeling the entire universe as the strongest. When this transformation takes place, the Sadhaka forgets that he possesses a physical body, hence he feels that he has transformed to Siva. There at the state he feels there nothing, the entire universe appears void containing from the wood world to Brahma inclusive. This realization is that of the last Sambhu out of the 8 Sambhus – That is Ishana & hence Puja Mantra contains “Ishaniya Sunya Murtaye Namaha.” The snake that stands above Lord Siva with the hood open is the Ishan Murti. And those are the truths that lay hidden behind the idols, the Hindus worship. Those who say the Mantras and the recite without understanding their significance, they belong to the common mass. But the truth can be arrived by practice of Kriya Yoga in which the sleeping serpentine force stretches itself straight inside Susumna and merges with Lord Siva in the Shahshara, to represent Asta Sambhu graphically.


All the same, there is need for both, this outward Puja with pomp and splendor, and inward understanding the significance of what all done. Eg, One should fast 24 hours of the day and night on Siva Ratra. But one should know that – that alone is considered “Diba” when the breath flows through the right nose. For, “Na diba Pujayed Deban, Naktam Nacibacha  Sarbada Pujayed Debam, Diba Batkan Viburjayet. “



The flow of breath at the center, i.e. neither in the left nor the right, is the carrier of Lord Siva. Hence to fix the attention in Kutastha & remain calm on Life like Siva is Upabasa – fasting. For coming to Sanskrit Upabasa – Upa + Basa + Gham. Upa means near, Basa means to remain. Hence the total meaning comes to realise that 8 Sambhus dwell in thie very body & that constitutes true Upabasa. The senses are always out-going in nature. They compel men to irrational activities, do not allow the man to be drawn in. If Kriya is done, the senses with the mind drawn in and the Kumbhaka, the Kumbhaka stage is reached where in the Sadhak stays put at the feet of the Lord Siva. When he realizes that he is Siva, that is correct Upabasa. On the contrary if one goes on fasting from poverty for a century, the results he would get would equate to keep awake the whole of Siva Ratri and go on gossiping with, the neighbours or seeing pictures.


There is a word “Jagara” in Sivaratra. That Jagara is not for Jagarana – remain awake or avoid sleep. It is merely a distortion from Jagarh – Uttistha, Jagrata, Prapyabaran Nibodhata. That means from the toe to the tip, man is full of illusions delusions & error. To get rid of, all should practice Kriya & should rise above the 2 petaled leaf forming the Hamsa, the five Akashas above Kutastha form the five mouth caves of Lord Siva. If one can forget owning Manah, Budhi, Chitta, Ahamkar one can touch a spot to claim that he is jagrate “Awaken”. The one that touches this nectarian Sthiti understands what “Ananda” is & feels that his birth has been successful.


We born a big Dipa, (lamp) called Mahadipa (Big lamp)) during Sivaratri. That represents the opening of the 3rd eye, the Pragyan Chakhyu. Once this eye opens man sees Lord Siva wherever his eye falls. To raise the Mahadipa is open the Gyanachakyu.


Hari Om Tat Sat.


From “The Secrets & Significance of Idol Worships of the Hindus” First Edition 1984  Translated from the original Oriya Book: “Hindu Puja Rahasya”


Swami Hariharananda at Chuck's Gallery NYC, USA

Swami Hariharananda at Chuck's Gallery NYC, USA