Shiv Katha: The Night of Spiritual Awakening at Amritsar, Punjab

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Shiva is known as the destroyer and the transformer in Hindu mythology. He is the supreme who destroys so that transformation can happen and something new can be created. There are both benevolent and fearful representations of Lord Shiva but the real Shiva is formless and limitless. All the iconic attributes of Shiva like Trishul (Trident), Serpent, crescent moon and river flowing from his matted hair are the metaphors. To understand the nuances of Lord Shiva, DJJS organized the auspicious Shiv Katha held from 14th September 2018 to 18th September 2018 at Amritsar (Punjab).

Sadhvi Sumedha Bharti Ji, the orator of the event, during the narration of Katha, decoded the true meaning of Shivratri. Sadhvi Ji said that in contrast to the popular belief, in which Shivratri is regarded as the night of the wedding ceremony of Parvati with Shiv, Shivratri is the night of spiritual awakening. She explained her argument by citing the story of Shivratri as mentioned in the Kotirudra Samhita of the Shiv Purana.

According to the Shivratri myth mentioned in the Shiv Purana, at a certain place there lived a hunter named Gurudruha. Every day he used to go to forest to kill animals to feed his family. Once, on a Shivratri day, the hunter proceeded to hunt as per his usual routine. He went deep in to forest and reached a pond.  He climbed up a nearby Bilva tree under which was situated a Shiv-linga. Unaware of the presence of Shiv-linga beneath the tree, he sat on one of its branches and began to wait for his prey. After sometime, a thirsty deer came to the pond to drink water. As soon as the hunter mounted the arrow on his bow to kill the deer, some of the water from his water-skin, which he carried on his self during hunting, along with some Bilva tree leaves spilled on the Shiv-linga below. This alerted the deer. The deer, aware of the fate that awaited him, turned towards the hunter and requested him to allow him to visit his family one last time before dying. Witnessing the deer’s sense of responsibility towards its family, the hunter had a spiritual awakening which led to a change of heart and the hunter eventually allowed the deer to live and return to its family. On the other hand, after this encounter the hunter embarked on a spiritual journey which eventually led to his enlightenment (Brahm Gyan).

Sadhvi Ji said that, it is to this process of spiritual awakening that this story of Shivratri from the Shiv Purana refers to. Hence, Shivratri is a reminder to all the spiritual seekers that anyone at any time can start their spiritual journey. However, without the grace of a true spiritual master (Guru) the journey will never be in the right direction and will not attain completion. This is the reason why it is important to seek a Guru who can enlighten the inner self. His Holiness Ashutosh Maharaj Ji is one such true spiritual teacher of the present era and his disciples are the perfect examples of the fact that inner awakening is possible even in today’s time.

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