There are six Centres (Chakras) within the body, specified as suitable for performing Dhyana Yoga. They are: Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha and Agna. Only those who have located and experienced these spots can be called Sanmargins. The fifty letters of the alphabet lie distributed amongst these six spots. The fifty-first is the Pranavam, *Om. Sivanandam flows when the Pranavam is realised.
* A causes Ahamkara to function; U, Buddhi; M, Manas; Bindu causes Citta to function; and Nada, the soul. Thus knowledge is like waves in the sea. If you take these letters together, they form the Pranava (AUM). When one considers the presiding deities for Nada and Bindu which are associated with AUM, which dwells in the knowledge of the inner faculties (Manas, Buddhi, Ahamkara and Citta), they are Sadasiva and Isvara. In M, U and A the deities are the Supreme and Mal and Ayan. — Gordon Matthews.
The source of all Bija Mantra (Seed Mantra), the Pranava (Om), is the articulate equivalent of that primal “Sound” which issued from the first vibration of the Gunas of Siva.
ANDA - LINGAM:
Anda - Lingam symbolizes the world. Even Devas miss this inner meaning, and worship merely the external form. All divine manifestation, the world as we know it, creation, preservation and dissolution, all these are the acts of Siva.
While the Lingam in the temple points to the qualities of Siva, the cupola above signifies His external manifestations. Siva is worshipped in the form of a Lingam, which may be made of pearls, sapphires, emeralds, wood -stone, Holy-Ash, rice grains, flowers, sand, buttermilk, cow-dung, copper, fire etc. The Agamas contain instructions as to the type of Lingam suitable for worship by men belonging to various stages in the pilgrimage of life. If the entire world is visualized as a Lingam, the Lingam’s base should denote the earth; its banam, the sky; water for its bath, the sea; water receptacles, the clouds; flowers in the garland, the stars; clothings, the directions.
PINDA - LINGAM:
In Pinda-Lingam, the human body is visualized as a Lingam.
SADASIVA - LINGAM:
In this visualization, Siva manifests Himself as Sadasivam which creates the world through the instrumentality of Sakthi as substance and quality. The heart of this Lingam is GnanaSakthi; its head, Adi-Sakthi; hair, Ichcha-Sakthi; armour, Kiriya-Sakthi. The form of this Lingam is the Pranava, Om, and should be considered as assimilating in itself all the features of the nine forms in which Siva is worshipped.
The Anma-Lingam is a representation of the components of the Pranavam, Om. Its base is Bindu, and over the Bindu is Nada. The union of Bindu and Nada is signified by Anma-Lingam.
God lives in the soul as Gnana, like perfume in the flower. As Gnana itself is Siva, we call this Gnana-Lingam. Whatever the form of worship, be it of Siva or Sakthi, the object of all those who pursue the path of Gnana is Siva. Gnana Lingam is worshipped whilst in the state of Sivogam.
This is the form that confers godliness on those who are able to perceive that He manifests Himself as the quality behind the seen world.
(Tirumular: “My Guru instructed me to fix the Brahmarandhra at a Centre near the larynx, to keep my mouth shut, and to think always of God. But I was wandering here and there, tormented by doubts. God blew away the clouds which were responsible for my doubts and took me under his fold. I was, therefore, able to know Him who protects all the souls. Our relationship grew more and more intimate, and we reached a stage when there was no difference between “I” and “He”. We lived together. Day and night, body and soul, these are opposites; they will remain so if the duality between “I” and “He” is not removed. This duality must vanish, for then alone you can attain His Grace.”)
In Siva Puja, the mind is the sanctum sanctorum; the body, temple; the mouth, entrance gate; the soul, Sivalingam; the five sense organs, lamps; devotional songs, food offerings. Worship Siva with humility and love by identifying your soul with Him.
If you offer worship at the shrine merely as a matter of routine, if you do not put your mind and heart into the worship, you cannot reach Him. Reaching Him means reaching the state of unconsciousness when the organs of sense and perception are quiescent; when the soul is in the state of pure experience, that is, the state of Samadhi, during which the breath itself remains suspended.
To feed a Gnani is equivalent to feeding the three worlds. Even if you feed a billion Brahmins or build houses for them, even if you build thousands of temples, they can never produce the same amount of good as that which accrues out of feeding a single Gnani.
GREATNESS OF DEVOTEES:
The devotees of Siva experience neither pain nor pleasure. They never die. It is such devotees who can approach Siva. These devotees generally eat only once a day and even then only sparingly, only such quantity as is needed to keep them alive. They have no likes and dislikes; hunger does not hurt them. The entire universe gets reduced to a point in the body of the tapasvi who never eats. When the soul of the Sivagnani leaves the body, it attains Mukthi and does not return.
When a Gnani dies (when his soul departs), his body must not be burnt, but should be entombed; burning will produce grave consequences to the people and to the State. Also, the body should be entombed strictly according to the specifications laid down.
The sun acquires four characteristics, according as he dwells in this world, in the universe, in the mind, and in Gnana, Andadittan, Pindadittan, Manadittan, and Gnanadittan. Andadittan gives light and sustenance to the seven worlds. Pindadittan is the soul which having removed its Malas, resides in God’s mind. Manadittan is the light in the soul which leads to Knowledge. Gnanadittan is the manifestation of Paranada which opens out in the soul like a lotus. Sivadittan is the Sivaprahasam that gives light to the above four Adittans. The soul that abides in Sivadittan goes through several stages and acquires names appropriate to each stage, such as Purusha, jeeva, pasu, bodha etc.
CONTROL OVER SENSE ORGANS:
We have within ourselves five mad elephants that cannot be tied to their posts. They can be brought under control only when the mahout as well as the elephants become weak and emaciated.
There are five lions in the forest, and they roam about as they like. The forest can be made safe only if the lions are deprived of their claws and teeth.
He owns five birds. They are picking grains separately in five enclosures. But there are nine holes through which they can escape.
A king has five sons and ninety-six ministers. Each son wants to rule as the king. To whom are the people to pay taxes? How can they live if they make payment to all of them? The way out for them is to overthrow all the five sons.
Gnanis are those who have gained absolute mastery over their sense organs. Pray Siva, and, along with the cessation of mental activity, the sense organs will become progressively mute. Such an achievement cannot however be had without the guidance of a Satguru, that is, a Guru who is competent and true to his principles. The seeker after Truth is led astray if he is instructed by a spurious product who styles himself Guru as a means of earning his livelihood. One must therefore exercise great care in choosing one’s Guru, in addition to leading a blameless life. The following principles, if kept in mind and strictly adhered to, will help one to prepare oneself for the great task. They are:
Resist worldly attractions.
Do not forget God.
Pray as long as you can.
Always speak the truth.
There is a God, irrespective of what others might say to the contrary.
The world is one, and there is but one God.
Noble thoughts will remove fear of death.
Use the body as an instrument for worshipping God.
Finish your task in this life itself and do not postpone it to another life.
On the death-bed, do not let your mind wander, but keep it fixed on God.
The world is transient. Seek, therefore, His grace, and He will show you the way.