Vachanas (sayings) of Veerashiva philosophers (Sharanas)of the 12th century are a treasure house of philosophical and spiritual thoughts tinged with the contemporary social context. They are pertinent to our lives today. Please feel free to share this blog with your friends and family and let us know if you have comments, through the comments window at the end of the posting! Thanks!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Vachana 19 Naadapriya shivanembaru - Devotion is true Worship
naadapriyanU alla(is not Music lover), vEdapriyanU alla(is not lover of Vedas) ,
bhaktipriya(lover of Devotion) namma(our) kUDala saMgamadEva(Lord Kudala sangamadeva).
They say Lord Shiva is a music lover, He is not!
They say Lord Shiva is a lover of Vedas, He is not!
Although RaavaNa impressed the Lord with his music, his longevity was reduced in half!
Although Brahma expressed his immense expertise on Vedas, his head was snipped off!
Our Lord Kudala sangmadeva is not a music lover, He is not a lover of Vedas, He is a lover of Devotion!
The previous Vachana advocated making worship of the Lord (devotion) a part of our lives from the very beginning. Basavanna gave the highest place to devotion in the equipment of the spiritual seekers. He himself was known as Bhaktibhandari (treasurer of devotion). He refers to various forms of God people have invented to facilitate worship. It is obvious that we imagine God to have the same form as us. Each mythological episode adds a new attribute to God making His form vary to suit the episode. We have invented various forms of worship – with flowers and fruits, with elaborate offerings of food, with extensive chanting of His names, etc.
Basavanna uses two examples in this Vachana to illustrate that such practices are not important. Raavana, the ruler of Lanka was considered a great musician and an ardent devotee of Shiva. He fabricates a musical instrument using his nerves as strings and offers his music to Lord Shiva, who blesses him with longevity. Raavana eventually develops such a high ego that he starts thinking no end to his powers. He kidnaps Sita, the wife of Rama and demands that she marry him. This act was against all norms, and resulted in Lord Shiva withdrawing the longevity boon by cutting it in half.
Impressed by Brahma’s extensive knowledge of Vedas (the oldest scriptures of Hinduism), Shiva offered him the most important task of creation of the world. As he continued his work of creation, the ego in him developed to an extent to make him feel that he is much more powerful than the Lord who assigned him the important task. To control his ego, Lord Shiva had to snip one of Brahma’s heads off.
In both of these cases the humility that devotion brings was forgotten, thereby the means used to impress God (music, Vedas) did not serve the purpose. Basavanna concludes the Vachana saying that the Lord is simply a lover of devotion, and nothing else is needed to impress Him.
What is truly important for worship is the development of inner strength to be a devotee. Faith and humility are prime ingredients of true devotion. Without those, all other means used in worship will only enhance the ego, which in turn destroys us.
In recent postings, we have addressed three paths for God realization: action (karma), knowledge (jnaana) and devotion (bhakti). Action without knowledge does not produce proper results. Knowledge without proper action is not of any use. Devotion complements the knowledgeable action to complete us. All the three paths are essential for spiritual attainment and realization of the ultimate reality which we call Shiva. The paths are not exclusive of each other, but complementary. They constitute one spiritual path.
Let us follow the threefold path of action, knowledge and devotion to become humble, equanimous, and realize the Lord within us!