Namah shivay! There comes a time in a Child’s life when everything seems magical and during such a period, I was lucky enough to have a guide like my beloved Baba.He would tell me tales of magical and otherworldly places and the glory of the mystic Siddhas. He would tell me of places where God Himself lived and could be witnessed if one so chooses. One of such places was the abode of Lord Shiva , Mount Kailash.
Having meditated so much on Shiva, Baba ji was at a vantage point to tell all the folklore associated with Mount Kailash. Seen here ruminating over Shiva in flesh and blood at the feet of Mount Kailash.
While growing up, I would dream of the place where Lord sits and where I would experience the ultimate divinity.
As luck would have it, one day, finally I got the chance to go to Kailash. Expectedly, I was ecstatic and overjoyed for since childhood, I had only fantasized of the divinity of that land and the opportunity to meet my god.
The approaching Kailash sent butterflies in Ishan ji s stomach. Seen here immersed in an animated discussion with Baba ji, Guru Ma, Jitendra bhaiya and the guide (on the right) at the market near the camp just before undertaking the final journey by road to Kailash
As Kailash drew near, my anticipation of the divinity started to grow and I began to weep in awe. The feeling that, finally I would meet my God began to overwhelm me. And when I stood below the holy mountain, I was in love. Ah! My Kailash. Ah! My Shiva .
Ishan ji mesmerized and enchanted by the serenity of Mount Kailash
Suddenly, my moment of surrealism and romantic tryst with the place was interrupted by the guide. He told me in the driest of tones “Kailash the abode of Lord Shiva do your pranam.” And I looked at him, taken aback at the lack of devotion in his eyes.
And suddenly, I found that the emotion of love for Lord was now replaced by my intrigue and bewliderment for this man’s blatant disregard of divinity. it was then that these words of Baba ji struck me “Never worship the idol my son. Through your heart see the God within the idol. The inanimate stone has no power. Through your heart, see not only the god in the idol, but invoke that God in the idol. Because it is the amount of love you have, which will awaken the God within the stone. For an indifferent man, the idol is but a stone. For Meerabai however, it is God Himself.”
Baba ji bathing in the divinity of Mansarovar lake
And then Baba ji would ask me, “What did you understand son?” I would say, “Father, I understood that if I have bhaav, I can invoke God.” And He smilingly He would say, “No mychild ,,, what you must understand is that if you can invoke the God in a stone, then you can invoke the God in each and every person, and each and every object. You have this power.”
Much to His dismay, Ishan ji did not find the tour guide attaching the deserved respect and piety to a pilgrimage of the enormity of Kailash. This was in stark contrast to the hallowed portrayal of the holy mountain which Baba ji had narrated to him in all these years
And at that time it struck me that this guide had not travelled a thousand miles to see God , he did not have decades to dream about the union.This poor man had been around Kailash all along. And because of that he had done one thing which comes so very naturally to us -- he took it all for granted.
Next, I thought ‘Can one take God in oneself for granted ifhe is around, all the time. And if we can take THE ALMIGHTY for granted, thenwhat all were we capable of.’
I started to look around myself. I was amazed. Even shocked.Everybody takes everything for granted especially that thing which matters the most. The physical body is taken for granted and abused till there is the dawn of a disease.
Relationships are taken for granted. Every husband thinks that I would have been better off with another, not thinking what if she was the one who was destined to give you the ultimate happiness.
THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE: Ishan ji says that of late, people have started to take their relationships for granted. They reckon that they wouldve been happier being with someone else. Such a feeling tantamounts to escapism and not giving kinships, their deserved due
I even see people taking there Guru for granted. We must be privy to the awareness that he is theeternal fountain of knowledge, and so what if a few words go here and there.People even take their lives for granted till finally there is time to die.
I found it rather amusing that people say that the divinity in them is gone and that they cant feel the romantic connection with God. When I saw the behavior of such a bunch, it was like that of a teenager who sends 500 friend requests to girls on facebook , because he is desperate, doesn’t care who accepts , as long as somebody does. He is not in love with any , but is desperate for any.
The numerous friend requests a desperate person sends on facebook as a callow and imprudent youth is not out of need but ruthless greed and misplaced priorities
The same trait i saw in another human being who knocks at all doors -- medicine, allopathy , naturopathy , yoga and spirituality. Like the teenager, he is not in love with any, he just wants somewhere, something to happen, someone to fall back upon.
And then they ask me where the divinity is gone. My answer to them is ironically, a question which they would do well to ask themselves ‘Where is the genuineness and sincerity of purpose?’
As I sat there, thinking of all the things I take for granted, my eyes fell on a reflection of myself. it was at that time the eureka that the one worth while person i take for granted, the one person who i always neglected, the one person to whom I must always be truthful but never am, the one person who can truly help me find Him is none other than I, myself.
Love thyself says Ishan ji
And that is the whole point when they say charity begins athome. What can be more ultimate a home to me than this body, this mind, thisself where the real I resides?
To all, Im compassionate. Baba ji asks, what about being compassionate to yourself? I am ready to forgive the world , but Baba ji says when will you forgive yourself ? I search the world to find somebody to love me but He says all is in vain, till you have not learnt to love yourself.
Such a practice is the first step in making you independent.This truly makes you a Shiv yogi. ‘Har hal me khushi’ means the power to be happy with this Self. Learn to enjoy your existence truly and unconditionally. You have truly only romanced if first you are at peace with what you call I.
And that was the whole point. When we live , slowly we start taking everything for granted -- the God,the body.
The Siddhas said that a time should come in life when one can truly realize how special life is, when he can rejoice, be happy,acknowledge the divinity. And this time, the siddhas say is the time of the Navratras.The time when a person should be in an eternal state of gratitude for what he has received and what he is about to receive in his life. and yes there must be Upvaas in the Navratras.
But remember,true gratitude is not given to the mother by not eating, but if you really want to be genuine towards the self and the Goddess.
All Shiv Yogis must undertake vrat or fasts for all nine days
The upvas for the nine days is that in these nine days not only will you not be angry, not raise your voice , not abuse, not be sad, but as my beloved Baba says -- HAR HAL ME KHUSHI.
In these nine days, you will be the one who searches diamonds even in the darkest of the diamond mines, the one who searches the reason to be grateful whatever the circumstances, that in these nine days you will become an oasis of love, warmth and comfort to all those who look towards you with expectations.
Understand that you deserve the best of the best and if in these nine days your words are musical and you are finding reasons to stay happy, then this is the ultimate gift you can give to the one who deserves and that is you.
Also in the days of the Navratras, choose to do the Amrit bhojan of raw foods without contamination as the energies are very high , and also before and after you do the Saptshati sadhna, invoke the Adhishtatri Devi (Presiding Goddess) of that day nine times.
Saptashati paath during Navratras is a sine qua non for a Shiv Yogi
If you are a Shree Vidya sadhak,then in the evening do the sadhna as taught by Baba ji and when you will combine the sadhna with the upvas, you will start to reconnect with the divinity.
I am not saying that the Goddess will be happy by your actions because its like saying that a glass of water will overflow the oceans.My dear Shiva loves you already. The Goddess is happy with you already.
Baba ji told me, God can never be angry with you, because if He is, then He is not God. You cannot make the infinite happy with your actions. They are always happy and blessing you. But yes, with your actions, you can connect yourself with this state of bliss. With your gratitude, you can connect to the Shiva and Shakti who love you the most.
So remember, the whole upvas, the whole sadhna, you are just doing for yourself , as you deserve to be loved by Him, that is the One who loves you the most .
And it is my message to you that your Baba has never taken you for granted. All his tapa , all his knowledge, all his spiritual wealth and all his wisdom he showers on you as he knows your worth. It is time you know yours.
So be aware and be in the know, acknowledge and accept that Shiva loves you.Your Baba loves you. And how to acknowledge this ? By loving yourself. Charity begins from home.
Lots of blessings from Baba ji and Ma