The month of Shravan in July-August every year, is considered auspicious for introspection and meditation on Shiva. The Sanskrit word ‘Shravan’ is derived from its root syllable ‘shru,’ which means to listen. It indicates constant listening to ‘Anhad Naad,’the pure, peaceful and ceaseless sound of divine vibrations while meditating on Shiva.
Shravan Maas which is primarily dedicated to reverence and remembrance of Shiva, inspires seekers to introspect and meditate on his real identity, spiritual image, divine acts and attributes, to receive his blessings, benevolence and bounties.
The term ‘Shiva’ which means the benevolent, the benign, is the confluence of two syllables, ‘Shi’ and ‘Va’ meaning the ‘redeemer of sins’ and ‘liberator from sufferings’. For that, he is also named ‘Sada Shiva’, the eternal and universal benefactor. Mukteswar, Paapkateswar, Tritaapharak, Sidheswar, Sarveswar are some of Shiva’s other attributive names that connote his divine role and disposition.
In scriptures, Shiva is identified as being more minute than the minutest.
He is considered a divine dot, a point, the seed source of cosmic creation, sustenance and conclusion. Shiva Purana depicts him as an oval flame, Jyotirlinga, and his spherical replica as Shivalinga.
The Sanskrit suffix ‘linga’ signifies mark, sign, symbol, quality or characteristics of an entity that has two phonetic parts: lin, laya and gam, agaman respectively referring to the process of destruction and creation which Shiva epitomizes.
Shiva is Swayambhu, the self-manifest and is beyond birth and death cycles. He is above three aspects of time and three attributes of nature, for which He is revered respectively as Kaalatit and Trigunatit. As creator and controller of three main deities in the Hindu pantheon of gods, he is called Trimurti Shiva. With rajas in the form of Brahma, he creates; with sattva in the form of Vishnu, he preserves, and with tamas in the form of Shankar, he destroys.
Normally, people consider Shankar and Shiva as one. But Shankar has a human form and a subtle shape, while Shiva is without form, incorporeal, the self-effulgent divine light radiating its golden glow and reddish illumination in oval form. Shankar is always shown in corporeal form meditating on Shivalinga, the mundane symbol of the Supreme Godhead. Shiva descends and enters into his divine medium Prajapita Brahma to create virtuous satyugi world, before destroying vicious Kal Yugi culture.
Shravan Shivaratri commemorates these acts of Shiva who showers divine wisdom, virtues and powers on us, through his lessons on Raja Yoga meditation, for restoration of universal peace, love, health, harmony, happiness and heaven on earth.
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