On Thurs 7 Aug 08 @9PM I had a deeply moving and spiritual experience when I lit candles and deeyas for Tibet. This was in unison with everyone in my time zone and done globally. I'd like to explore this and share my experiences with you and hear yours as we participate in universal collective prayer events together. I hope to work together with all the universe's beings as we move toward the ideal of Universal Collective Prayer.

Come join me in Universal Collective Prayer!

May God Bless Us All!

UCP-Universal Collective Prayer is produced by Meady's Musings Production . Copyright 2006-2011

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy Holi or Playful Phagwa 2010!

I've suspended the procession on the Festival of Shiv just to wish everyone a Happy Holi 2010 or as we call it here in Trinidad and Tobago a Playful Phagwa 2010! I'm not much into the celebrations this year as I was last year as my dad left the mortal coil less than a month ago and just not up to it! Also perhaps on UCP we are creating a religious calendar of our own because here on UCP the Festival of Shiv is still on! Well until today at least! I know I've not blogged in the last few days of it because I've simply been to busy with my fulltime job. But to make up for it I'm going on a special pilgrimage I've been wanting to do for a long, long time this afternoon at sunset and it will close off the Festival of Shiv here on UCP as our GRAND FINALE BLOG! Look for it...but for now Holi Hai!

And UCP is thankful that many readers have been hitting us up to share in the joy that was our 2009 Holi blogs as listed here if you haven't found them as yet!:

Happy Holi or Playful Phagwa 2009!

Phagwa/Holi Celebrations March 2009

But even though we're not playing as such this year...what's so bad about a little dhun (tune) at least so again Holi Hai! :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Festival of Shiv:Days 15, 16 & 17-Shiv's Things

First of all on UCP we apologize for not having individual blogs for each of the past two days of the festival and now having to lump all into one day as three! :) But as we from time to time remind readers the authors of UCP are hardly full time bloggers and as such sometimes our full time jobs and lives makes the UCP nearly impossible! Especially on a daily basis! And of course as we always remind readers if they want UCP's authors to become full time bloggers...hey start clicking on those Ads...LOL! Let's see how many cents would that be?

But now on with the festival...

I've blogged on Day 3 of the festival about rendering onto Shiva the things that are Shiva's and then went on to say that the things that are Shiva's are perhaps us-spirits and perhaps everything else spiritual...I think the whole metaphysical world is Shiva's.

However remember how I keep talking about how in Hinduism the big becomes the little bit and the little becomes big...i.e. it is marvelous a religion for looking at things from both the microscopic and macroscopic levels all at the same time! :)

So today I want to explore Shiv's things as in the things that adorn his 'murti' form. Let's use my beloved guru form picture as my illustration...and explain the things we see in this form which is just one form Shiv can be depicted in...

So now looking at the form let's go! I think this site gives a good explanation as below:

'Physical Attributes

Ganga: Sun is the focal point of the solar system and soul is the focal of the body. Similarly, Gan is the focal point of the divine consciousness of each object and also that of pavitrakas (pure particles). The source from which Gan flows is Gan gaha – Ganga. Gan flows from Shiva’s crown. Hence the notion, that Ganga has descended from Shiva’s crown.

The river Ganga on the earth contains a fraction of the principle of the spiritual Ganga; hence, it remains holy despite environment pollution. Thus, the water of the river Ganga is found to be the most pure, when compared to that of any other river in the world – a fact which is understood not only by those who understand the subtle dimension, but also by scientists.

Moon: Shiva adorns His forehead with the moon. Moon is considered to be the origin of the vibrations of affection, compassion and motherly love. This means that chandrama (lit. moon), represents a state in which these three types of vibrations are unified

The third eye

Shiva’s left eye is considered to be the first eye, the right eye to be the second and the eye (in subtle form) situated slightly above the midpoint between the eyebrows, is the third eye. The upward looking third eye represents the combined energy of both the eyes, the right and left. So also it is a seat of the divine energy. It is also known as Jyothirmath, vyaspith, etc.

Chandra (moon), Ark and Vaishvanar are the three eyes of the Shiva. Ark is the Sun of ajanajlok, whereas Vaishvanar is the Sun of karmadevlok.

Shiva is ‘three-eyed’, which means He can see all events of the past, present and the future.

According to the yogic sciences, the third eye represents the sushumna nadi (the central channel for the flow of kundalini in the body).

The Snake (Nag)

Bhujangapatihari is also one of the names of Shiva. Bhujanga means a snake, that is, pavitrak (pure particle). Pati refers to one who nurtures and Hari means one who wears garlands around his neck. The different types of the snakes represent a collection of pavitrakas. Superficially, these appear as snakes, but reality they are a kind of a ladder. For spiritual progress, one needs to hold on to their tails to rise.

There are nine snakes coiled around Shiva one on the head, one around the neck, one each around the arms, one each around the both the wrists, one around waist, one each around both thighs. In other words, His body is composed of pavitrakas themselves or snakes representing pavitrkas, which play around his body and arms, the form of the Universe.

The snake is also considered as Shiva’s weapon. The nine snakes in the Universe are also known as ‘Navanarayan’. Navanath too, have their origin in these nine snakes.

Kartikeya, Jotiba, Ravalnath and Sabbu are the deities, which manifest at times in the snake form.

The snake exists in some context or other in the form of any deity.

Our body has five snakes, one of which is female and is referred to as the kundalini. The five snakes move inside the body in the form of five internal airs or energies (vayus). The remaining four snakes are normally present in the body; they present only in those who are spiritually evolved.

The snakes represent the male principle. He is the deity, which bestows progeny.'

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Festival of Shiv: Day 13 & 14-Shiv a Family Grows!

Shiv and Parvati did a family grow...two sons Ganesh and Kartikeya...however while in earlier blog posts I marveled at how wonderful a religion Hinduism can be for having the ability to look at things microscopically and macroscopically both at the same time...well tonight I have to admit that same wonderful thing has now confused me! :) Because you have to admit Hinduism is like Greek mythology on steroids!:) And there are so many tales in Hinduism as to the exact origins of Ganesh and Kartikeya I don't know why they didn't just say they dropped from the heavens already! :) Or simply flew in with the stalk! LOL! But it seems the more I read on this the more I get confused but you see both the kids are such star kids in their own right so! I guess they are already to be honest super Gods so how could they have parents!:) LOL! I think is what they mean you know...but if we are pretending on the microscopic level it seems they make the stories in some like if Kartikeya was made through union from Shiv and Parvati but in other stories they make it as if Shiv's 'seed' alone spurred into the form of Kartikeya etc etc. All stories of Kartikeya seem to suggest he was nurtured and breast fed by more than one maternal celestial beings however! :)

And in the case of Ganesh well all the stories I've read say he was purely Parvati created and Shiv chopped off his head not knowing that Parvati had created him as her son while Shiv was off as always...after all she was lonely already and he was roaming all over the great big cosmos...but then he is a cosmic dancer can you blame the man for doing his job? LOL! I'd like to think from the Youtube vids I've pulled up from the TV serial Om Namah Shivay that the 'Gods' that reside on various celestial planes no doubt headed by Narad muni that cosmic wanderer himself had a hand in it! But in the end Shiv got the elephant head (a part of the story that makes me shed tears for the baby elephant whose head is taken...awww...:( )and fixed matters! And there you had it my Ishq devata Ganapati or Ganesh was re-born so to speak and all good to go again! So perhaps he is then indeed a creation of both Shiv and Parvati since his new head was placed by Shiv! :)

But everything in Hinduism is always not just microscopic and macroscopic but all inter-twined and interwoven...all over the space-time continuum so Kartikeya was to be born so that he could kill the rakshas Tarakasura and well Ganesh being my Ishq devata we all know of his many exploits on UCP already! :) But here are a couple excerpts to be enjoyed showing the 'Gods' coming from various celestial planes to salute the son of Shiv and Parvati, Kartikeya after he kills Tarakasura and then two more vids showing how Ganesh lost his head...mummy got mad...very mad (in all her nine forms mad!) and then daddy put on a head for him again! LOL! :)

And us here at UCP are left to wonder if in the Shiv household well Kartikeya always boasts about being a daddy's boy whilst Ganesh says he's a mummy's boy! :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Festival of Shiv: Day 12-A Fun Ode to Shiv and Parvati!

Today on the Festival of Shiv we join with our sister blog Meady's Musings and their Funtastic Fridays as they also loving and funningly celebrate Shiv and his courtship with Parvati! :)

Hope you enjoy it...OM NAMAH SHIVAY!

a comic strip!

For the details of the blog posting with accompanying explanations and rights as to where the pictures etc. used in the cartoon are attributed to, please read the full blog post on Meady's Musings here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Festival of Shiv:Day 11-Shiv's Marriage to Parvati!

Photo of carvings of Shiv-Parvati wedding in the Ellora Caves-Maharashtra, India taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Last Tuesday we explored on the festival of Shiv and discovered that yes indeed Shiv can be a family guy. And when we left off the Katha (story) on Tuesday he was on his way to his wedding...in fact we left off as we were following the Baraat (wedding procession) filled with ghosts and goblins each and every side!:)

Tonight on the festival of Shiv we shall explore the actual marriage of Shiv and Parvati and their Honeymoon so to speak on both the cosmic and microcosmic levels since as we also remarked last Tuesday, Hinduism as a religion has the amazing capacity to look at things from the big and small and just like in the Sesame Street classic song...That's about the size of it! It's all about where you put your eyes! :)

So let's put our eyes first on the microscopic details of the story on the material plane so to speak...can you imagine a man showing up for his wedding dressed in loin cloth, a necklace of skulls with ash smeared on his body accompanied by a host of glaring ghosts and goblins! OMG! Well neither did Parvati's family and all but the great goddess fainted and then she 'subtly' hinted to Shiv that he should please put on some wedding clothes...but she did this hinting in song and dance as shown in the classic film- Har Har Mahadev here...

Luckily Shiv changed and the wedding proceeded and then they went on to the honeymoon...which is shown here in a much later TV serial adaptation of the Shiv Katha that was titled Om Namah Shivay...

But what of the cosmic level of this marriage? Well I think this site sums it up well here:

"Throughout Hindu mythology it is well known that one of Shiva's principal functions is the destruction of cosmos. In fact, Shiva has about him a wild, unpredictable, destructive aspect that is often mentioned. As the great cosmic dancer, he periodically performs the tandava, an especially violent dance. Wielding a broken battle-ax, he dances so wildly that the cosmos is destroyed completely. In descriptions of this dance, Shiva's whirling arms and flying locks are said to crash into the heavenly bodies, knocking them off course or destroying them utterly. The mountains shake and the oceans heave as the world is destroyed by his violent dancing. Parvati, in contrast, is portrayed as a patient builder, one who follows Shiva about, trying to soften the violent effects of her husband. She is a great force for preservation and reconstruction in the world and as such offsets the violence of Shiva."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Festival of Shiv: Day 10-Lent and Shiv as a Yogi?

UCP-Universal Collective Prayer doesn't usually occur between the Catholic and Hindu worlds during the season of Lent. Since Maha Shivratri normally falls before Ash Wednesday and the start of the Catholic Lent season. In fact you will often find Maha Shivratri even falling on what people here on the island call Carnival Monday and Tuesday or the preceeding Fantastic Friday! So actually while Hindus are engaged in UCP others are engaged in fete or bacchanal or everything that might be considered the antithesis of the following Lent season. However because we here on UCP have decided to worship Shiv whenever we so Shiv willing please we are worshipping Shiv all February long and so on this here blog as we celebrate the Festival of Shiv so too does the Catholic season of Lent break upon us on Ash Wednesday!

I've not asked my brother in UCP Deacon Greg Kirk to join me today but I recall his blessings from last year's Ash Wednesday here! And reflect here in true UCP styling on how good a yogi Shiv is and so how he can be an ideal prototype for anyone who is looking to reflect this Lent season! Please note my Intent here is not meant to convert Catholics to Hinduism or Saivism but just to embrace what this blog is about...UCP by showing how things of good overlap and cross thread in all the great world religions...so indeed Catholics reflect in very much the same way Shiv does! (and Hindus emulate him). Both religions can learn from each other here and for sure engage in UCP-Universal Collective Prayer!:)

So here it is Shiv as a Yogi...as quoted from this site:

"For one who is ignorant of that light principle and only dwelling in the prakriti, in the material world, there would be no celebration in one’s life. He may tries to enjoy his life in many ways dancing, singing or drinking but these are not permanent, these push him towards misery. Because he uses only his mind and senses to enjoy this world. And the mind and senses have their own limitations. The real peace and celebration is beyond all the limitations. If your peace is dependent on something, then that is not peace. Peace is beyond everything. In Sanskrit the root word of peace is “Sham”. In vedanta there are six treasures are explained. The first treasure is also “Sham”, meaning control of mind and senses. You can connect the both the peace and control of the mind. When one overcomes the bondage of all the sensual attachment, then one could experience the “Shiva lingam or Jyotir lingam”, which is our real self, guide, God, or whatever you may call it"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Festival of Shiv:Days 8 & 9- Shiv as the Family Guy?

Photo courtesy of Webshots

Hinduism is a fascinating religion...at least we here on UCP always find so...since it seems to be so good at taking the big and making it little and also the little becomes the big...just like the Sesame Street tune shown here!:)

So these days on The Festival of Shiv we've been asking ourselves..."Can Shiv be the Family Guy?" LOL! I mean it's so perplexing to think of the cosmic figure hugging up with mummy...a kid on one lap and animals at his feet but yep it happens...and only in Hinduism folks...the big becomes the little bit...that's about the size of it...where you put your eyes...that's about the size of it! :)

According to Hindu legend in fact Shiv marries Paravati on MahaShivratri night! I always loved how my mommy told the story and was so excited by it! :) Especially by the fact that ghosts and goblins...yes folks you heard us right...all sorts of Bhoot (ghosts in Hindi) made up the wedding procession! :) In fact sometimes Shiv is called Bhootnath perhaps to honour those who made up his wedding procession? You see Shiv was just putting on a show and he is really this big cosmic size being so he really had no kith...no kin...so being the cosmic sized figure that he is...he is in charge of it all...and so it is and so it was...he rustled up some ghouls who were more than willing! :) Let's put on a wedding folks! And so it is so it was...

Later in our Festival of Shiv we shall tell more stories about how he then proceeded to his family grow and become yes indeed UCP's very own Family Guy! :)

But for now let's follow the Baraat(wedding procession)folks! Hmmm...as here on UCP we are left to wonder if when we all become 'Shivoham Shivoham...I am Shiv I am Shiv' if we will all too realise that we all too just putting on a show here on planet earth! ;) OM NAMAH SHIVAY!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Festival of Shiv: Days 5, 6 & 7 -These are some of my Favourite Shiv Things!

Days 5 and 6 of the Festival of Shiv leads me into the weekend and after the big night of Shiv celebs I figured I'd take it a bit easy on UCP's very own Festival of Shiv and show you on these days...in a combo blog...some of my favourite things related to Shiv. Of course it's not about Shiv really since Shiv is formless and timeless and boundless and everything less! In fact in some Vedantic traditions it is said that Shiv is everything that is not! However for me, try as I may daily and with especially hard effort yearly on Maha Shiv Ratri (the big night of Shiv). I'm still not Shivoham Shivoham and as a result I'm still Om Namah Shivaya(ing)and have these favourite things that I like about Shiv that perhaps will one day make me Shivoham Shivoham...I am Shiv...I am Shiv...for it is my life long pursuit to become more Shiv like!

So here are some of my favourite Shiv things...if you've been following UCP you may already be acquainted with some of them but as I journey forward...I learn and acquire some more favs...so here they all are!

1. The photo of Shiv's murti in Rishikesh that I use as a guru...mimicking his posture so that I can become as meditative as him.

2. My favourite recitation of the Shiv Rudrastakam that I only stumbled upon in the last days of 2009. And I've since been starting many a mornings with it! :)

3. An older favourite is this recitation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra but really I love any version of the recitation of this mantra. And my favourite explanation of it is on this CD version I have that is not on YouTube but I received from my grandfather in 2002 or there abouts and the swami who speaks I know not his name...however perhaps one of these days I'll share it here on UCP all the same as a sound file...if I can figure out how to do it Shiv willing! :)

4. The Shiv murti that I saw at the end of my pilgrimage in Kartik of 2009 to the El Dorado Shiv Mandir here in Trinidad.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Festival of Shiv: Day 4-Maha Shivratri and is Shiv Time Bound?

Photo courtesy the kindness and seva of the creators of the book What Is Hinduism? and the editors of Hinduism Today.

There is always much contention throughout the Hindu world as to when Maha Shivratri...the big night of Shiv should be celebrated...it's generally cool in India but once you start traversing those longitudes and those hours a counting well things start to get all neither here nor there and this guru says this...this body says that and all kinda ah things! :)

Here on UCP-Universal Collective Prayer if we look back at the origins of this blog...participating in a global candle/deeya lighting event(read blog's description above for details) in unison with people all over the world well we'd say we'd wish Maha Shivratri could take place at exactly the same time world over! But it's meant to be at night you see and then there is all this business with Mr. Sun you see ...Suryanarayana if you wish to use the Hindi/Hindu terms for him.

If you ask us at UCP we'd say check the time it is in India and then minus the 12 hours and you'd get what time it should be here in Trinidad for instance...if it is to be held in India from 6 PM to 6 AM Fri 12 Feb into Sat 13 Feb 2010 then well shouldn't the time then be 6 AM to 6 PM on Fri 12 Feb 2010 to celebrate it in Trinidad? But of course that's not night in Trinidad so what do you do? You either celebrate it on the Thursday night or the Friday night I guess. Dunno? Wish I could ask Shiv himself! :)

"Shiv when would you like your big night to be celebrated here on the island? Technically I'm out of the celebs as my dad left the mortal coil you know and the mourning period and all but for others on the island when Shiv when?"

But guess what the great thing is Shiv himself is not time bound! :) Since when can Mr. Suryanarayan tell Shiv what to do anyway! LOL! He is dancing all over the cosmos after all and is also the cosmos so to be honest can't we just all worship Shiv whenever we so Shiv willing please!:)

You know it! And let's continue to engage in UCP-Universal Collective Prayer...however we can wing it! :)

But if you're not convinced about this Shiv business as yet from your own inward journeys...you're still not...Shivoham, Shivoham. Well keep searching this Maha Shivratri in whatever time zone and location you may reside...Om Namah Shivay!;)

'In the ignorant state (i.e. without Self-Realization), one considers oneself separate from Shiva and recites ‘Om Namah Shivay’ (I bow to Shiva), but after Self-Realization, one comes into a constant awareness of being the Soul, which is separate from the body. So instead of bowing to Lord Shiva, he experiences the state of, ‘Shivoham, Shivoham’ meaning, “I am Shiva, I am Shiva.” I am the Soul and not the body. There remains no distinction between Shiva and myself. Shiva is my true Self and when I realize this, I become Shiva.' As referenced from this site

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Festival of Shiv: Day 3-Render onto Shiva the things that are Shiva's...

One of my fav quotes from the Bible that is attributed to Jesus is:

“Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” (“Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ”) (Matthew 22:21).

So I thought it would a be a good touch of UCP to draw from that phrase and today on Day 3 of the Festival of Shiv consider rendering onto Shiva the things that are Shiva's!

But exactly what are Shiva's things? :)

Well essentially I guess we all are Shiva's things if we see him as the cosmos itself...we are just a subset of Shiva then...and in the metaphysical or spiritual sense we are all just spirits which when united...well perhaps when united in UCP-Universal Collective Prayer become One...and that One is Shiv...

But perhaps in particular what Jesus meant in that quote about Caesar and his things and Shiva and his things is really that the things of the material plane give those to Caesar let him have it...but the things for Shiva well those were of the spirit...

So tonight on UCP I ask you to join me once again in this Universal Collective Prayer and surrender onto Shiva or God or the Universe or the Cosmos in whatever form or fashion you perceive it...

Do as Jesus said and render onto God the things that are God's!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Festival of Shiv: Day 2 of Salutations from One to the Other!

Yesterday on the prayers as we celebrated Day 1 of The Festival of Shiv we learnt that sometimes Bramha, Vishnu aur (and) Mahesh (Shiv) are up to games with each other or picking on each other in arguments and fights just like any gang of teenage guys! I mean Shiv taking the form of a beam of light to end a dispute between the other two...and saying catch me if you can...find my head and feet...what's with that? And with Brahma and all this lying business? Saying he found a flower atop Shiv's head when really it had fallen from Shiv thousand of years before! LOL! What's with you guys already!

I figure the games the Creator (Bramha), Sustainer (Vishnu) and Destroyer (Shiv/Mahesh) must play are not just meant to be boyish games...although that too! :) But also for the spreading of the energy you know...perhaps when Shiv spreads himself as a beam of light...that was some universal energy being stretched out (the universe expanding...entropy)and then when Bramha went above the energy (looking for a head)he also created something (apart from just pure mischief)...perhaps a world or two...and as Vishnu foraged below the beam of energy looking for Shiv's feet he must have stablised Shiv's energy in the Universe...you know keeping it put (sustaining it) while Mr. Bramha the creator drew from the energy of Shiv to do his thing above Shiv's energetic head...creating another planet perhaps...who knows to make up for Pluto that is a planet no more :(

And I guess if Shiv's energy is left fully unleashed it can destroy said worlds created by Bramha in a supernova for all to see! SO HE IS INDEED ALSO THE COSMIC DESTROYER..and perhaps he does his destruction in one swooping dance!...NATARAJ! Then said energy is harnessed again by Vishnu so that Bramha can create yet another world and so it goes...so it goes...

So no doubt there is always this strong interplay in particular between Vishnu and Shiv as one has to harness the other! And no doubt to do so one has to salute the other...such is their love for each other that when Vishnu's energy was shrunk into a human form on earth as Shri Ram...well guess what for Maha Shiv Ratri just like other humans (the form he had taken) he prayed to Shiv! And now tonight as we celebrate Day 2 of The Festival of Shiv...look at those two as they now behave like serious and loving men and bow in salutation to each other as they sing, pray, play musical instruments and dance for each other! :)

'A prayer to Lord Shiv by Lord Ram in Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan. The translation below is provided by Youtube user sherpa21987.

Om namaha Shivaya, Om namaha Shivaya, Om namaha Shivaya, Namaha Shivaya, Namaha Shivaya

Damaru paani shool paani hey Natarajan namo namo
(Bearer of the resounding drum, bearer of the awesome trident, I bow to You O' Cosmic Dancer)

Sheesh ganga bhasma anga karte dharan namo namo
(On Your head the holy Ganga, on Your body ascetic ashes)

Damaru paani shool paani hey Natarajan namo namo
(Bearer of the resounding drum, bearer of the awesome trident, I bow to You O' Cosmic Dancer)

Tum aadi-dev anaadi ho, tum anta-heen anant ho
(You are the primal Godhead without beginning, You are eternal, without end)

Om namaha Shivaya

Shrimant ho bhagawant ho, hey naat girijaa kant ho
(Yours is divinity, Yours benediction, You are the adored Lord of Uma, Daughter of Himalayas)

Om namaha Shivaya, namaha Shivaya, namaha Shivaya, namaha Shivaya

Shashi lalaat tanaha viraat, hey trilochan namo namo
(Your cosmic being dances as primordial energy, I bow to you, O' bearer of the fiery third eye)

Damaru paani shool paani hey Natarajan namo namo
(Bearer of the resounding drum, bearer of the awesome trident, I bow to You O' Cosmic Dancer)

Nis-saar is sansaar mein, Shiv naam kewal saar hai
(In this world devoid of meaning, Your name is the only meaning)

Om namaha Shivaya

Shiv shakti hai, Shiv bhakti hai, Shiv mukti ka aadhaar hai
(Shiv is power, Shiv is devotion, Shiv is the means to salvation)

Om namaha Shivaya, namaha Shivaya, namaha Shivaya, namaha Shivaya

Rom rom om om, hey aghanaashan namo namo
(I worship You with every atom of my being)

Damaru paani shool paani hey Natarajan namo namo
(Bearer of the resounding drum, bearer of the awesome trident, I bow to You O' Cosmic Dancer)

Damaru paani shool paani hey Natarajan namo namo
(Bearer of the resounding drum, bearer of the awesome trident, I bow to You O' Cosmic Dancer)

Om namaha shambawaiyachaha mayobhavayachaha
Namaha shankarayachaha mayuhskarayachaha
Namaha shivayachaha shivatarayachaha'

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Festival of Shiv: Day 1 of Shapes and Light! :)

There is this great story in Hinduism that Shiv took the form of a great beam of light to stop a dispute between Lord Vishnu and Bramha as quoted from this site:

"According to Indian mythology on the origins of Karthigay Deepam Lord Siva came down to earth in the form of a huge beam of light to intervene in a dispute between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma, whom were both proclaiming to be greater than the other. Lord Shiva said to them that whoever could find his feet or head would be deemed the greater.

Lord Vishnu took the form of a boar and dug deep into the ground in search of Shiva’s feet while Lord Brahma took the form of a swan and flew into the skies in search of Shiva’s head. Lord Vishnu failed in his search and returned. But Lord Brahma, found a piece of a flower said to have fallen from Shiva’s head some thirty thousand years ago, he grabbed this flower and proclaimed to be the greater.

Lord Siva realized Brahma’s deception and pronounced that there would never be a temple for Lord Brahma in this world. Lord Shiva then took the form of a great flame on earth known as Maha Deepam, and every year ever since that flame has been worshipped on the auspicious day of Karthigay Deepam."

Sometimes it is also said that Shiva entered the Lingam by riding a beam of light as quoted from this site:

'The Legend

In ancient times the city of Ujjain was known as Avantika. Once an ardent devotee of Shiva, Vrishabhsen ruled the city. The neighboring kings were envious of the riches of Ujjain and decided to launch an attack together and ransack the city. They sought the help of an asura named Dushan, who had been given the boon of being invisible by Brahma. They let mayhem loose in the city. A boy by the name of Shrikhar and a priest by the name of Vridhi led prayers to Shiva. The Lord heard their pleas and appeared from the ground in the avatar of Mahakaleshwar and vanquished the neighboring kings along with Dushan. Shrikhar and Vridhi further requested Shiva to reside permanently in Ujjain as the patron and protector of the city. On its own the lingam of Mahakaleshwar was formed and riding a beam of light Shiva entered the lingam.'

For me when I think of Shiv my super yogi I can easily see him dancing about in that beam of light!:)

And when I meditate on his form in my fav image of the statue of him at Rishikesh I see so many shapes!:)

I see the rectangle that forms between his arms, chest and lap. And also his legs are crossed sitting in a triangular perch...and the time I dreamt him on my head well he did come down in a spiraling swirl...as did the snake that entwined his neck and as did his hair that entwined the mighty Ganga! :)

Om Har Har Har MAHADEV! :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

UCP Salutes Pandit K. Dinnanath Dubay as He Leaves the Mortal Coil!

Here on the prayers we are in a slower dancing pace as we mark the release from the mortal coil of one of the great pundits/pandits of Trinidad and Tobago and also the father of the creator of UCP. As a result, UCP itself as a blog (and its other related blogs)are marking a mourning period and so the scheduled festival of Shiv on this blog that was carded for all February long will be delayed by one week and re-commence on Mon 8 Feb 2010.

Another blog has marked his death in a current affairs approach and you can check out that here. And my eldest brother has also shared his memories of our father here. But here on the prayers I'm going to salute him as the many decades long pundit he was.

However before I do that I will also tell you this...he gifted me his favourite harmonium just a few weeks before he dropped the mortal coil...perhaps a hint that I should pick up back with it...I did dabble in it when I was a child. So hmmm...maybe soon just like him I'll be pulling a dhun or two!:)I for sure must have inherited my LOLness (laugh out loudness) from him...for just as my brother recalled on his blog post I've always known him to be a pleasant, humble and down to earth man with a very LOLness nature! :)I must have gotten my eyes from him too and I've often been told I look identical to his mother, my paternal grandmother i.e. my aajee whom I never met as my father was orphaned very young. Also just like him I'm always reading about four books at a time and find vedic astrology fascinating! :)

Indeed it were tough times for my father as it was for many of Indian ancestry back on the island then...and his marriage to my mother did not last...people are not perfect...it is why we take the mortal coil to our lessons learn...and it's why we need to engage in Universal Collective Prayer! My mother is the daughter of another great pundit who graced the island for decades...the late Pandit Parasram Maharaj ...who for me was like this metaphysical being almost and after Shiv he is it for me! Seriously a tower of strength and a powerful patriarch if there ever was one! And my now late father would also attest to that!

Me,along with my two brothers grew up with our maternal grandparents... after the separation...nani and nana, my mother (who never remarried as she believes a Hindu woman only marries once)and the rest of my mother's family. My father eventually divorced my mother, remarried and had four children from that marriage.

But as I was saying those were tough times for my dad and there was always the need to engage in UCP-Universal Collective Prayer! In fact there must have been a significant need for that back in the days when Indians here on the island were mostly labourers on the plantations. And it is a well known story on the island by now that a major source of strength for the Indian community was the Ramayan...and of course why not...you're being oppressed by the 'white man'...he is your boss! And then you have this amazing story where your personal God...your Ishq Devataa (let's say) is this hero of epic proportions...the 7th Avatar of Vishnu come on earth to right the wrongs...the beloved warrior God Shri Ram! :)

So it was a great story to keep in your hearts while you toiled in hardship and found ways to eek a survival while still maintaining your spirit! And it is why tonight I not only salute my father but all pundits who have been at it in the past 150 plus years on the island...THANK YOU! By keeping the Ramayan in your hands and taking it to the people and reciting it in verse and song you gave them that message of hope that one day all would be right again! Again THANK YOU!

My father was into singing the Ramayan and up to late last year he released a CD- Ram Bharat Milap with Ramayan verses and bhajans. In his youth in Hermitage, his pundit training was heavily influenced by Rambharose Pundit and later on during his marriage to my mother he was also influenced by my nana's teachings (my nana was a noted island expert on the Ramayan and could quote and reference it like any Google search may now do!) and one of my mamos the late Pundit Dr. Samsundar Parasram. However my nana was not into this singing business...and in that arena my father found a companion in my other mamo...who thankfully is still alive...Pundit Dr. Rampersad Parasram...whom I'm hoping will pull a dhun or two at the funeral service tomorrow as we salute my father Pandit K. Dinnanath Dubay as he sheds off the mortal coil and sails up, up and away! :)

My father, I am learning since his mortal coil shedding seems to have many a beloved chela...from far and wide...spanning to North America as well...so many messages and notes saying how loved he was...one has even uploaded this video on youtube! :)

But now in true UCP styling I salute you my father the late Pandit K. Dinnanth Dubay with this tune and Ramayan excerpt as we say farewell at the funeral service tomorrow Wed 3 Feb 2010 at your home in Sangre Grande from 9 AM to the banks of the Caroni at 1PM. Please note another Pundit will be saying farewell to the mortal plane tomorrow as well...Pundit Doodnath...farewell Pundit and THANK YOU!

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