Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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Universal Master

Hari OM

Story-day is for cultural exploration, puraanas and parables and finding out about leading lights in spiritual philosophy.

This is the final (for now) of our focus on the form of Lord Shiva. Today let us ponder upon his manifestation as LORD JAGADEESHWARA. Here we find Him in total meditative pose. His stillness knows no bounds - yet we also get the feeling that much is moving within. Here is the very kernel of all the energy in the universe. Here is Universal Love.

Sri Jagadeeshwara is the lord of all who would follow the spiritual path, who would meditate to the ultimate end, and who would then seek to bring their understanding to the world.  It is for this reason that the temple at Sandeepany Sadhanaalya, the primary gurukula campus of Chinmaya Mission, is the home of this मूर्ति/muurti (image). It is here that दीक्षा/deekshaa (investiture/ exclusive observation) takes place; where the Guru confers a spiritual name and blesses the simple clothes to be worn (yellow or orange accordingly) - and generally this occurs at Maha-Shivraatri.

We need 'men of the cloth' for our guidance. Just as mountaineers and other adventurers require their experienced guides. The journey is made so much less formidable when we have the company of those who have already trodden the path.

Those who wear such vestments are clearly visible as 'instruments of the Lord'; same can be said for those of any faith who wear the outward signs of their spiritual commitment. In theory, this means that an acceptably high level of purity and clarity has been attained within: but of course the individual, still present in human form, continues to be subject to all the nonsense that gives! Until such time as the ultimate goal is reached and they become God-men (a rarity indeed), the ego must constantly be battled, the senses constantly disciplined. This is why many will withdraw into bastions of faith - cloisters for the Christian, forests and caves for the Vedantin; noble enough in their continued Higher focus. There are others, though, who seek to bring the solace and enlightenment to the society. In doing this they must face all the same temptations and frustrations this brings. In their seeking to guide, they must guard against their own 'slippage'.

These guides, themselves, require such a one further along than they are - and in the case of sanyaasins, this is Lord Jagadeeshwara.  He is the one to whom they can turn for their guidance and encouragement. They can attune themselves to Him, receiving His challenges when they stray - for He will lay down the obstacles to make the traveller rethink their course! - accepting with gratitude His upliftment and the smoothing of the path.

Sri Jagadeeshwara is the ultimate साधु/saadhu (renunciate), living only on bhikshaa (alms food), possessing nothing beyond basic clothing and items of devotion, using all time not taken up with mananam or teaching for meditation. Simplicity and supreme focus are His examples. These become the rewards of His devotees.

Taking His name is itself a devotion and a meditation form.

जगत्/jagat = relates to all the elements, to mankind, to mobility, to all the worlds, to the cosmos
ईश/eesha = supreme, total mastership, owning
वर/v(w)ara = best, precious, most excellent, princely

These are but a few of the meanings when the name is broken into its component parts. As is often the case, and particularly in Sanskrit, bringing the parts together gives a greater whole. 

The Supreme Master of All He Surveys is Our Most Excellent Prince!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post and colorful photo!

    Happy Weekend to you,
    artmusedog and carol


Hari OM
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