Life is a fantastic process of evolution. Yesterday is not today, so today will not be tomorrow. In fact, there is nothing like yesterday, today & tomorrow. Whatever is seen and felt is in a constant state of motion. Hence for some it is dynamic, whereas some others find it static. For some it is just one, like one God, yet some others perceive a multiplicity. For some, Form matters, but for many others it is Formlessness. What is the form of a zero (0)? Or is a zero the form itself? Doesn’t every other shape take its birth from the zero? Doesn’t every other shape finally merge into the zero? Though modern science conceptualizes Black Holes in the universe, but that is far away from this all encompassing zero. Zero is the Eternity, whichever way one might start: from left or right, one can go on adding form/figures into eternity and yet it will not see the end of the effort. For the zero is its own beginning and end. When an evolved human being reaches that level of zero, (s)he achieves zero or complete equanimity, total peace, supreme happiness or Chidanand. That is the moment of rest or Shivratri (also called Mahashivratri)- the blissful moment of rest when body & mind become one in the realization of the Only One!
What makes it possible? The answer is: understanding of the true meaning of happiness and unhappiness. Our ordinary life force comprises kaam, krodh, mad, moh and lobh. Translated into English it means desires, prominent of which is sex; anger; hubris; attachment and greed. Success or failure to achieve o, wholly or in part, leads to happiness; failure causes unhappiness. This is the driving force, this is the Life Force.
How an individual seeks to achieve happiness in life, depends on the chemistry of the person. Generally, an individual is endowed with one of the three dominating traits or attributes called Guna –Rajogun,Tamogun and Satogun. A person dominated by rajogun tends to seek power over others like a king . He has dominance of rulership qualities and will generally be found to be in the role of a Manager as compared to others. The one dominated by tamogun will display a natural love for military or police service.If not military or police, the person is likely to engage in activities that can be termed as violent. The satoguni is that kind of a personality which is given to administer justice, righteousness, treating others with affection and kindness, loves peace and promotes co-existence.
There is nothing good or bad, as each action changes significance with the change in circumstances, time, place or person. The very survival of the cosmos depends on this duality of good and bad. The universe is consists of the duality of Gun & Dosh. Gun is the positive aspect and Dosh the negative aspect. It is the Positivity & the Negativity together that make the Universe. Man-woman, day-night, life-death etc exemplify this duality. An evolved human being realizes the significance of striking a balance in the positivity and negativity of life. Ordinarily, we expend the entire life time in seeking happiness alone.
We refuse to take unhappiness in its stride. But is it possible to be only happy? How would it feel without some amount of unhappiness? Similarly, can we take only unhappiness? How will it look without happiness? The undeniable fact remains that so far nobody has claimed to be only happy or only unhappy! In a moment of unhappiness, which is always flitting, a person can go to the extent of even committing suicide. Such acts of self-harm are resorted to when a person fails to strike a balance between happiness and unhappiness. How to strike this balance? Is it easy to do so or difficult? Nothing is difficult nor everything easy. Nothing comes easily. One works to achieve the required balance. Balancing the rajogun, tamogun & satogun gives adequate power to an individual to regulate the attruibutes of kaam, krodh, mad, moh & lobh. It is neither difficult nor anything out of the ordinary. In simple terms it is called Yoga or control over one’s own attributes. Rather than allowing the attribute and tendencies to gain control of life, the person should be in a position to regulate it consciously. Lord Shiva represents that kind of a balance in life; the balancing of the positivity & the negativity. He is known to have drunk the worst form of poison at the beginning of the world (churning of the ocean according to the spiritual literature), which symbolizes all the negativity of Life. But he never allowed it to go down below his throat , as a result of which He turned blue at the throat, earning another name of Neelkanth for Himself. Had it gone below, it would have killed him. Metaphorically, if an individual can withhold all the life’s negativity in her/his throat and not allow it to go down, her/his life will be worth living. The lesson is: never surrender to negativity when it tries to overwhelm the mind. It is bound to affect, but can be cooled down with the positivity that comes one’s way. Lord Shiva is called Mahadev or Mahayogi only because He perfomed what others only dreaded.
One ought to take a moment out for meditating on the subject. Should one always seek happiness? Is seeking happiness the ultimate goal of life? Is it important to live life as it comes or endlessly pursue happiness? What next to happiness? Since every individual has his personal experience to share, my own consciousness tells me that there is more to experience beyond happiness and unhappiness. When the limits to happiness and unhappiness get unravelled, a different kind of equanimity descends, which stays far longer. Perhaps, for the remainder of one’s lifetime. As the feeling of happiness or unhappiness ceases to overpower consciousness, the process of detachment starts, leading to Sanyas (the state of walking into the realm of higher consciousness or sublimity, regaining the stature of zero from where it all started initially). That rare moment is Mahashivratri ! That is Satyam, Shivam,Sundaram or the Truth, The Beauty and the Bliss. Shiva is the end of duality. It is the convergence of duality in the Unity of the only Truth. It is forever. It goes on and on and on. Hence it is called Sanatan in the Hindu religion, which also known as the Sanatan Dharma or Sanatan religion. The essence of Hinduism lies in following a religion that recognizes and respects this motion, continuity, dynamism and permanence. There is no stopping midway, howsoever knowledgeable one might become at any point in this entire cycle. If the zero gives birth to plurality only to merge into the singularity. So let it be! Knowledge is ever singular. It is science. It has no plurality. How it is pursued, makes the difference. But that is another matter as rituals steps into the field of pure science.
So happy Shivratri to all those who seek bliss, peace, equanimity and supreme happiness of arriving in the state of mind beyond happiness and unhappiness.