Pic courtesy: Rani Muthu
The goal of the soul is to attain enlightenment. By all ways and means the soul tries to achieve this enlightenment or moksha sooner or later. Most practices, rituals, mantras and traditions in Hinduism have always aimed at attaining this.
Quantum physics spent all these years studying matter only to derive at the fact that matter does not exist and everything is a wave, in the energy form. This is what spirituality has been emphasizing all throughout that everything is energy.
Everything in this universe is made up of energies. You, me, our computers, the food we eat, our accessories, birds, plants, trees, earth, Moon, Sun and all planets, all that we see and touch and feel are all energies.
Thus, it is right by all means to say that humans are a miniature of this universe. Whatever happens in the universe in a mega scale, happens in us in a diminutive scale. The part reflects the whole. The microcosm reflects the macrocosm. Human beings reflect the cosmos.
Religion, as we know, is the path we undertook to lead us to the Home. It is the path that we sought to lead us to enlightenment. Every God created and worshipped in Hinduism is nothing but the energy form, that in one way or the other helps achieve our goal in attaining this moksha or nirvana.
Let’s understand Shiva and Sakthi before Muruga… after all He is Son of Theirs.
When you say ‘not this, not this, not this’ and discard everything, what remains that is Shiva tatva. Confusing isn’t it? Let me make it simple.
We know that we are not the body, not the mind, not the memory, not the ego, not the emotions. We are the soul or the atma, otherwise called the consciousness. The consciousness is Shiva.
Atma only is Shiva. It is the masculine principle. Shiva is the meditative aspect of the entire universe. He pervades the entire universe. He has no form, but is in every form. Shiva is peace, infinity, beauty and the non-dual one. Shiva is eternal. This higher consciousness that is pure is the same consciousness that is present in every living being in this creation. Yes, it is the same consciousness that is in us.
Shiva is the lord of dissolution. Anything that dissolves, goes into space. This is Shiva tatva.
As the name indicates, Sakthi is the activating power and energy. It is the female principle. It is the nature. It is the primordial cause of the material world. From this Sakthi evolves all other elements. The body, mind, emotions, thoughts, ego are all interrelated parts of Sakthi. She is the material cause of the universe.
Sakthi is not conscious in itself. It is latent. Sakthi and its manifestation exists to provide experience to the soul or consciousness so that the consciousness can gain mastery over the external factors and come to an understanding of the true nature.
Shiva and Sakthi cannot exist without each other in this earthly world. Until Sakthi or energy is impregnated with consciousness, Sakthi is ignorant, distorted and blind. Energy alone cannot produce anything. Shiva or consciousness gives Sakthi the direction. Vice versa, Shiva or consciousness, without Sakthi or energy, is dormant and cannot do anything on its own. It needs energy. In Tamil there is a saying ‘சக்தி இல்லையேல் சிவன் இல்லை, சிவன் இல்லையேல் சக்தி இல்லை’. This means there is no Sakthi without Shiva and no Shiva without Sakthi.
We all know the gross body, the body which we can touch and feel. The subtle body is the other body that we cannot see, that which carries our mind, our impressions a.k.a. Karma. Then, there is the causal body which is the consciousness, atma or the soul.
In the sleeping state, when we sleep, the physical body is at rest. In the dreaming state, the subtle body is active and that is why we get dreams (dreams from the impressions in the mind). In deep sleep, both the physical and subtle bodies go to sleep but the causal body is still awake and aware.
The prana or life force energy flows through the subtle body through channels called naadiis. These energy channels or naadiis have energy points at various locations called the chakras. The chakras are cone shaped (triangle with circle at the mouth). The Chakras are signified as lotuses with few or more petals (the base chakra has few petals and the number of petals increases from the base to the sahasrara). The one energy as it flows through the various chakras manifests in different forms. There are several chakras in our body, but 7 chakras are the most important.
1. Muladhaara or Basic Chakra – this chakra is at the base of the spine. If the prana is high, the energy here manifests as enthusiasm and if the prana is low, the energy here manifests as inertia.
2. Swadisthana or Sex Chakra – the same energy from the Basic chakra flows through this chakra. It is 4 inches above the base of the spine. Energy manifests here as lust or creativity.
3. Manipura or Naval Chakra – this is in the naval area. The energy manifests here as greed and jealousy or generosity and joy. That is why all these emotions are depicted with the tummy. Lord Ganesha is depicted with a big tummy to indicate generosity. It is the same with laughing Buddha and Santa Claus.
4. Anahata or Heart Chakra – This is located in the center of the chest. Energy here manifests as love, hatred or fear. Only one of these emotions exist at a given time. For example, when there is love, there is no fear or hatred.
5. Vishuddha or Throat chakra – Energy here manifests as grief or gratitude. We have seen that both during grief and gratitude our throat chokes.
6. Ajna or Third Eye chakra – Energy here manifests as anger or alertness.
7. Sahasrara or Crown Chakra – Energy here manifests as sheer bliss.
Now that we have an idea of the different chakras and the emotions associated to these, let’s move on to connecting all that we saw above.
As we saw earlier, the Sakthi or energy is not conscious without Shiva. This unconscious latent energy called the Kudalini is dormant at the base of the spine (Muladaara or Basic Chakra)
On the other hand, Shiva or the consciousness is at the crown of the head (Sahasrara or Crown Chakra).
If the person is low in prana or life force energy, then, as we saw above, the energy shows in the Basic chakra as inertia. This inertia prohibits the Sakthi energy to rise up and unite with the Shiva or consciousness in the crown or Sahasrara chakra.
When the Sakthi arises and united with Shiva, that is called liberation or nirvana or enlightenment. There is no more duality, only absolute oneness, the two merging into one. Once this is achieved, then there is nothing else but bliss and unconditional love. This is what all the souls are longing for.
In puranas, lord Muruga is born from the fire from Shiva’s third eye. This divine fire settled in six lotuses and was brought up by the six angels called Kaarthigaas. After he grows up he is handed over to Parvathi and united into one single boy. This boy then goes out to kill Surapadhma, the Asura who has all along been torturing the devas. He does this with the help of The Vel. This is called Surasamhaara.
Most of us know this as a story. Now here’s the story decoded.
Lord Muruga is that energy which helps us in attaining the moksha. That energy which helps unite the Kundalini Sakthi with Shiva, the higher consciousness, the child uniting the parents.
This is the energy distributed and traveling across the six chakras in us, from the Mooladhara through the Ajna chakra (Mooladhara, Swadishtana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishudda and Ajna).
Chakras are indicated as lotuses with few to many petals. The 6 chakras are the 6 lotuses.
Asuras are not rakshashas residing elsewhere. These are those attributes in us that cause problems or are hindrances to our spiritual growth. These attributes inflict those spiritual characteristics in us that help in our growth. These spiritual characteristics are called the Devas.
Now, here, the Asura Surabadhmaa, is the ego in us that prohibits us from going into the path of enlightenment. The ego is the “I” that separates itself from the Divine. This is what causes us to think that there are “Two”. That which makes us think that the “I “and The Divine are two different things. Once the ego dissolves, the “I” dissolves, and we realize we are no more two, but One. The maya or the illusion that projected the One as Two different entities, now dissolves. This realization and dissolving is Moksha.
Through devotion, sadhanas, meditation, knowledge and seva, the energy distributed in the 6 chakras, unites into one single energy (Lord Muruga) on the Sahasrara, and destroys the asura (the ego) that was preventing us all these days from attaining the moksha. This energy helps unite the Sakthi energy with the Shiva energy called Moksha.
The Sahasrara on the head is the peak otherwise referred to as the hill. The Muruga energy uniting into one and rising up to the top of the hill is the reason why we see Lord Muruga temples on hills. In Tamil there’s a saying “குன்று இருக்கும் இடம் எல்லாம் குமரன் இருக்கும் இடம்”, meaning wherever there is a hill, Murugan a.k.a Kumaran will be there. This does not literally mean hill. It indicates that all human beings will eventually attain enlightenment as the Muruga energy unites into one single energy at the Sahasrara (at the peak or the hill).
This Muruga energy that extends from the base to head, touches the Kundalini Sakthi in the base and the Shiva energy in the head. It touches both the energies. It is thus referred to as the son of Sakthi and Shiva.
Also, it touches the Ichcha Sakthi on top, the energy of our intention and the Kriya Sakthi at the base, the energy of manifestation. The formless to the form. The intention to manifestation. These energies are feminine energies. In stories these are referred to as Devasena and Valli, indicating that Muruga married them both. Here marriage means association with the two feminine energies.
Many argue that lord Muruga has two wives. Unfortunately we do not know how to decode the stories.
The six abodes of Lord Muruga, namely Thiruparangkundram, Thiruthani, Pazhani, Thiruchendur, Swamimalai and Pazhamudhir solai refer to the six chakras from Mooladhara to Ajna.
Sa Ra Va Na Bha Va is the six letter mantra of Lord Muruga.
Muruga preaching The Pranava mantra “OM” to Shiva only means that the soul knows who it is and the realization of the OM while uniting with Shiva is indicative of this.
Vel by itself has great significance. It is triangular in shape and points upward. A triangle is formed by joining three points, two at the base and one on top right? The two at the base indicates the duality we live in (Shiva and Sakthi a.k.a Purusha and Prakriti) and the union of these two into one is the one point on the top of the triangle.
This union signified by the Vel indicates Moksha. The Vel can thus unite the two to one and release us from the maya of duality. In Surasamhara, Muruga uses the Vel to kill Surapadma, the ego, thus releasing the devas, leading us to enlightenment.
The story of Surasamhara, where Lord Muruga kills Surapadhma is said to have happened in the month of Aippasi (between October and November).
If we analyze the festivals closely, The Asura Mahishasura (inertia) is killed during the period of Navarathri, which occurs during the first to mid part of October. Asura Narakasura (greed) is killed during the period of Deepavali, which occurs during the latter part of October. Asura Surapadhma (ego) is killed during the Surasamhara, which occurs during the first to mid part of November.
This is the autumn season, when the trees shed the old leaves in order to get new ones in spring. Animals get ready to hibernate to rejuvenate fresh in spring. This is the time of the year for us to get rid of the asura attributes like inertia, greed, ego and increase the prana to lead towards liberation which is the ultimate goal of the soul.
Many religious stories and even theories have been encoded. Passwords encoded have to be decoded for validity. Encoding was perhaps done for a cause, but passwords if not decoded, can lock us out!!