Shiva – His Drum of Consciousness, part two
Consciousness and Speech Series VII.
Sacred Speech Masterclass VII, part 2.
When Shiva plays his damaru, his drum of consciousness, the Shiva Sutras, the phonemes of Speech, are heard by the great master of sacred speech, Rishi Panini, on the night of Maha Shivaratri. This is the great inspiration and foundation of his great composition, the Ashtadhyayi.
There was a hunter, who was an evil man. He did not wish well on anyone and he lived a fairly miserable life. He went hunting one day, and in going into the forest, he passed by a village which was celebrating Shivaratri. He looked at all the people, and all the flowers, and they had decorated the Shiva linga – there were great festivities going on. In the true form of a grouch, he said, “Ba, humbug. What a bunch of B.S. I am going to go off to the forest and kill myself a deer.”
So, indeed, he scoffed at the devotion of the faithful, and went off into the forest, to stalk his prey. But instead of stalking his prey, he became stalked by a tiger. To escape the tiger, he found a tree and he climbed up to the top of the tree, holding onto its top most branches, shivering in fear.
What he didn’t notice was that the tree, being an especially old tree, was an bilva tree which is a tree that is worshipped in many parts of India, especially by devotees of Shiva. At the base of this tree, many years before, someone had installed a little shiva linga, and a little temple, a sort of micro temple, right at the base of the tree. And leaves, and plants, and grass had grown up, so he had no reason to have noticed it.
He climbed up the tree. And, because he was frightened, and because the tiger was somewhere close by, he did not allow himself to sleep. At one point, he had to spit. So he spit down, and his spittle, went on this ancient linga. While holding onto the tree,the bilva tree, which has the bilva fruit and the bilva leaves which are the most important leaves to offer to the Shivling. So, some of these bilva leaves fell off the tree, on top of the linga.
The end of the story is finally that dawn came, and the sun rose, the tiger was gone, the hunter was able to get down from the tree, and without even knowing it, without even being conscious that we was doing the full Shiva puja on Mahashivaratri night, he had done it, and he became liberated. It’s the irony of the story, of such an undeserving man, even performing the proper ritual on the night of Mahashivaratri, even he would get liberation from this. So I suggest, that at least spend part of the night up if you can. At least, maybe spend a half an hour, at the very minimum, meditating, after midnight, and I believe that you will get very good results from this.