Sunday, March 10, 2013

Happy Mahashivratri - Maha Kumbh Mela 2013

Festivals mark a significant milestone in one's life. It is a ritual to transform oneself from being one to the purified one. Hindus believe taking a dip in the Holy River Ganges washes their sins off and renews their spirituality. It’s akin to Christians walking Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem during Easter, or the time at the Wailing Wall for the Jews and doing Hajj for Muslims.

One has to focus on the essence of each religious activity; there is devotion, beauty and wisdom in it for those who believe.  You can wish Happy Shivratri, Happy Maha Shivratri to your Hindu friends.

Nearly 9 million people have already taken a dip in the Holy Sangam, the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivratri, bringing the Maha Kumbh, the great gathering to a close on Sunday, March 10, 2013. Kumbh mela is an annual event but the Maha Kumbh is every 12 years.

Click the picture to see larger version

Interesting stats and photos, courtesy New York Times

The Sanatana society writes, “Shiva is the god of the yogis, self-controlled and celibate, while at the same time a lover of his spouse (shakti). Lord Shiva is the destroyer of the world, following Brahma the creator and Vishnu the preserver, after which Brahma again creates the world and so on. Shiva is responsible for change both in the form of death and destruction and in the positive sense of destroying the ego, the false identification with the form. This also includes the shedding of old habits and attachments. “

“All that has a beginning by necessity must have an end. In destruction, truly nothing is destroyed but the illusion of individuality. Thus the power of destruction associated with Lord Shiva has great purifying power, both on a more personal level when problems make us see reality more clearly, as on a more universal level. Destruction opens the path for a new creation of the universe, a new opportunity for the beauty and drama of universal illusion to unfold. As Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram or Truth, Goodness and Beauty, Shiva represents the most essential goodness.”

Shiva is a Hindu deity, one of the three most influential denominations in Hinduism. He is "the Destroyer" or "the Transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine.

About a decade ago, on my daily Radio show called Wisdom of Religion, all the beautiful religions,  Swami Nityananda my weekly guest described  the  Shiva Sahasranama (1000 names) in greater detail. Every aspect of nature can be broadly defined in 1000 different names and those names reflect the God qualities that one can acquire through mediation and destruction of ego within. 1000 is not a finite number, it is a metaphoric number, just as Muslims have 99 names of God to denote infinity.

Note: I have been focusing on the essence of each religious festival for over 20 years, we wrote in Asian News since 1993, then broadcasted on Asian News Radio through 2000 and since then, it has been published in forums, blogs, sites and news papers. If we all can learn to see the beauty of each faith, then we have transcended in to the realm of getting closer to God, which means in tune with the universe to function cohesively and effectively with the entire creation.


Happy Shivratri !

....... Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace,Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site indexes all his work through many links.

1 comment:

  1. If you are interested in some new ideas on religious pluralism and the Trinity, please check out my website at It previews my book, which has not been published yet and is still a “work-in-progress.” Your constructive criticism would be very much appreciated.

    My thesis is that an abstract version of the Trinity could be Christianity’s answer to the world need for a framework of pluralistic theology.

    In a constructive worldview: east, west, and far-east religions present a threefold understanding of One God manifest primarily in Muslim and Hebrew intuition of the Deity Absolute, Christian and Krishnan Hindu conception of the Universe Absolute Supreme Being; and Shaivite Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist apprehension of the Destroyer (meaning also Consummator), Unconditioned Absolute, or Spirit of All That Is and is not. Together with their variations and combinations in other major religions, these religious ideas reflect and express our collective understanding of God, in an expanded concept of the Holy Trinity.

    The Trinity Absolute is portrayed in the logic of world religions, as follows:

    1. Muslims and Jews may be said to worship only the first person of the Trinity, i.e. the existential Deity Absolute Creator, known as Allah or Yhwh, Abba or Father (as Jesus called him), Brahma, and other names; represented by Gabriel (Executive Archangel), Muhammad and Moses (mighty messenger prophets), and others.

    2. Christians and Krishnan Hindus may be said to worship the first person through a second person, i.e. the experiential Universe or "Universal” Absolute Supreme Being (Allsoul or Supersoul), called Son/Christ or Vishnu/Krishna; represented by Michael (Supreme Archangel), Jesus (teacher and savior of souls), and others. The Allsoul is that gestalt of personal human consciousness, which we expect will be the "body of Christ" (Mahdi, Messiah, Kalki or Maitreya) in the second coming – personified in history by Muhammad, Jesus Christ, Buddha (9th incarnation of Vishnu), and others.

    3. Shaivite Hindus, Buddhists, and Confucian-Taoists seem to venerate the synthesis of the first and second persons in a third person or appearance, ie. the Destiny Consummator of ultimate reality – unqualified Nirvana consciousness – associative Tao of All That Is – the absonite* Unconditioned Absolute Spirit “Synthesis of Source and Synthesis,”** who/which is logically expected to be Allah/Abba/Brahma glorified in and by union with the Supreme Being – represented in religions by Gabriel, Michael, and other Archangels, Mahadevas, Spiritpersons, etc., who may be included within the mysterious Holy Ghost.

    Other strains of religion seem to be psychological variations on the third person, or possibly combinations and permutations of the members of the Trinity – all just different personality perspectives on the Same God. Taken together, the world’s major religions give us at least two insights into the first person of this thrice-personal One God, two perceptions of the second person, and at least three glimpses of the third.

    * The ever-mysterious Holy Ghost or Unconditioned Spirit is neither absolutely infinite, nor absolutely finite, but absonite; meaning neither existential nor experiential, but their ultimate consummation; neither fully ideal nor totally real, but a middle path and grand synthesis of the superconscious and the conscious, in consciousness of the unconscious.

    ** This conception is so strong because somewhat as the Absonite Spirit is a synthesis of the spirit of the Absolute and the spirit of the Supreme, so it would seem that the evolving Supreme Being may himself also be a synthesis or “gestalt” of humanity with itself, in an Almighty Universe Allperson or Supersoul. Thus ultimately, the Absonite is their Unconditioned Absolute Coordinate Identity – the Spirit Synthesis of Source and Synthesis – the metaphysical Destiny Consummator of All That Is.

    For more details, please see:

    Samuel Stuart Maynes