Experience Satyam Shivam Sundaram through Lord Shiva this Mahashivratri

Mahashivratri is the time to worship Lord Shiva.

The nature of Shiva is said to be Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram. Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has explained the meaning of Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram in a beautiful way. He also guides us on how we can experience Lord Shiva within ourselves on the auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri.

To begin with, let us learn more about Lord Shiva.

What is Shiva?

Is Shiva a form? A person? Is he someone sitting in one place? Shiva is the space, the consciousness within. The entire universe is the manifestation of Shiva. Shiva is present in every atom of the universe - the summum bonum of the creation. Shiva is that principle (Tattva) from which everything gets created, is sustained, and finally where everything dissolves. Hence, you can never escape from Shiva, never step out of it.

Since Shiva represents that which is immeasurable, the infinite divinity, Shiva was never a person at all. To help children, youth, and others understand Shiva, they symbolized him using a form but Shiva is formless. That is why Shiva’s body is depicted in blue because blue signifies the sky - the all-encompassing infinity that is limitless and formless.

Thus, Shiva has no form, yet is present in all forms!

The philosophy of Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram

Satyam - The Truth

Satyam means truth. Truth is something you cannot avoid. Even if you try to avoid it, it will stare at you. Something that does not change over a period of time, is truth. It is the unchanging aspect within us. The permanent, the eternal source of energy, the eternal state of being, the one and only one is Shiva. Shiva is the absolute, the permanent and the only truth.

Shivam - The Consciousness

Shivam is our consciousness or the transcendental aspect within us. Just as Shiva is present everywhere, it is also present inside each one of us, as our consciousness. This consciousness is bliss, innocence, intelligence, the bestower of dispassion.

Consciousness is also called the soul, higher Self, or chetana or Shiva – there is no difference between the soul and Shiva. Isn’t it a miracle how the same consciousness is filled in every being in this creation? Nothing can be more amazing!

The Shiva Principle moves the whole world in an auspicious rhythm. The whole world is the dance of Shiva. In his dancing form, Lord Shiva is known as Natarja. We also have some yoga poses related to the dancing form of Shiva, known as Nataraj. We also have a pose in yoga known as Natarajasana.

Sundaram - The Beauty 

Sundaram means beauty. So, what is beauty? Is beauty an outward appearance, something that attracts our senses? Or, is there anything more to it?

Outer beauty

We see all around us the beauty of nature. We try to look beautiful to the outer world by wearing different kinds of clothes - with elaborate, intricate designs, various color combinations, materials, and so on. We add accessories and ornaments to our attire, and makeup on our face. We all want people to call us beautiful. It makes us happy if we appear beautiful in photographs.

Inner beauty

But do you want to feel beautiful from inside? While outer beauty is for the world to see, inner beauty is for you to experience. And the good news is, this inner beauty also reflects on your face and appearance. It reflects in your eyes, smile, and laughter. People enjoy your company too. It makes your talents blossom, and hones your skills. Your speech is sweeter and intellect sharpens, as it eradicates all the prejudices, wrong notions, misconceptions, and illusions that you held in the past.

Moreover, this inner beauty purifies your emotions by eliminating painful attachments, grief, jealousy, greed, lust, laziness, anger, and hatred, replacing them with their positive counterparts. It makes the time you spend on this planet beautiful. It makes your relationships beautiful. Food becomes tastier, and music more enjoyable. Your gait becomes graceful, and your voice melodious. It makes you appreciate yourself more, you stop blaming and comparing yourself with others. You realize how good, loving, and caring you are. Most importantly, it makes you realize all the love you have received and continue to receive through various channels.

So, you see, all this while, your inner beauty has been hiding deep inside you waiting for you to find it!

The real meaning of Sundaram

That which you cannot reject, is beauty. That which you cannot possess is beauty. Whenever you see something truly beautiful, your consciousness awakens, and you say - Wow! Beauty is something that kindles certain feelings and vibrations inside you. And, when you attempt to grab or possess beauty, you destroy it, you fall into aggression. Whereas, when you internalize beauty, it uplifts your consciousness. This beauty is Shiva. 

Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya has expressed this wonderfully in his composition “Waves of Beauty - Soundarya Leherein”. This beauty is the Shiva Tattva, the ultimate knowledge. 

So, Satyam (Truth), Shivam (Consciousness), Sundaram (Beauty) are synonymous. They are one and the same thing - the nature of the Shiva Tattva. In Sanatan Dharma, the Divine is regarded as beautiful; this is a unique understanding. Our Self is beauty. Since we all have the Shiva Tattva within us, we are all beautiful.

Thus, the concept of Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram is the manifestation of the Shiva Principle as truth, consciousness, and beauty. 

Watch this video to learn the meaning of Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram explained by Gurudev. 

Experiencing Shiva

If the Shiva Tattva is present within us, how can we experience it?

Shiva can be experienced through yoga. Yoga is not merely asanas (physical postures), it is the unification of the body, mind, and spirit when you are in silence, in deep meditation. Thus, Shiva can be experienced only in meditation.

Shiva - The Turiya Awastha

Our consciousness has three states – waking, dreaming, and sleeping. There is also a fourth state of consciousness where we are neither awake, nor dreaming, nor sleeping. In this state, the mind is awake, the body is resting, you know you are present, yet do not know where you are - this is Turiya Awastha, the fourth state of consciousness. This state of consciousness is Shiva. This state is experienced only in meditation. In this state, you are free from worries, and you feel meditative bliss. You experience deep rest. You become fresh, beautiful, innocent, and intelligent. 

So where should you search for the Shiva Tattva? Should you search for it in Mount Kailash? Not really. Search for it inside you, in meditation.

Mahashivratri - an auspicious time to experience Lord Shiva

Shivratri is a time to go deep inside yourself. Meditating on Mahashivratri is considered very auspicious to experience Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram. So, make it a point to meditate this Mahashivratri to get in touch with your soul and experience the true, transcendental, beautiful, benevolent, and unchanging aspect inside you.

So, why all this knowledge? It is because -

When you follow fun, misery follows you,

When you follow knowledge, fun follows you.

So, join the LIVE webcast of the Mahashivratri celebrations here at The Art of Living and discover the Shiva within you on this magical night!

If you would like to listen to Gurudev talk about Shiva, watch this video.

Based on wisdom talks by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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