Cherished Memoirs 50 – Lord Shiva, the “Thyaga” – Raja

This series chronicles interesting experiences recounted by the devotees of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji. These articles are translations from the series, “Madhuramaana Mahaneeyar” that is published every month in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine.  The original article was written by Dr. Bhagyanathanji, Personal Secretary of Sri Swamiji.

Lord Shiva, the “Thyaga” – Raja

This year Sri Swamiji celebrated Vasanthotsav, the spring festival, for the Divine Couple Sri Premika Varadan and Sri Madhuri Sakhi in a grand manner at Madhurapuri Ashram from May 31 to June 9. Every evening saw the Divine Couple taken out on procession with Sri Swamiji singing and dancing in divine trance. This was followed by the rendering of Yugala Shatakam, 100 hymns on the Divine Couple (10 daily), while They were seated in a swing beautifully decorated with fragrant flowers.

During this time, on June 8, Sri Swamiji also celebrated the birth anniversary of Sri Kanchi Mahaswami (Sri Chandrasekhara Saraswati Swami of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam). On that day Sri Swamiji reminisced the sacrificing nature of Lord Shiva, that had touched the core of his heart.

“On visiting a place we always search for a comfortable place to sit. When someone is occupying a chair we do not like to sit on the floor. We do not like to sit in a dirty place either. We always avoid sitting next to someone we feel is of a lower status.

If there is a place that no one likes and do not even like to think of, it is a cremation ground. However, Lord Shiva occupies a cremation ground, deeming it to be pure! While all like to adorn themselves with pearl, coral and diamond ornaments, Lord Shiva adorns Himself with the terrible skull that is shunned by all! He anoints Himself, not with sandal paste or other perfumes, but with ashes found on the cremation ground! Even fragrance-free flowers have a price tag on them. But Lord Shiva decorates Himself with wild flowers such as oomatham, the common weed thumbai, erukkam, etc. that no one likes. Will anyone choose to eat bitter food when he would not even touch a dish that he merely dislikes? When that is the case, would anyone consume poison? Well, Lord Siva did, and that too voluntarily!

“Lord Shiva says, ‘You need not offer me a separate place to sit. You sit in a clean and comfortable place. I will sit in the place that all shun. Give me things like ash, skull, poison that you all shun; I shall accept them all joyously.’ Who will speak this way? Can anyone ever be so sacrificing? That is why Lord Shiva is Himself Thyagaraja! (‘thyaga’ means sacrifice: ‘raja’ means king). Let us be devoted to Him and earn at least a little of that sacrificing nature and dispassion.”

I share with all of you the interesting things that Sri Swamiji reminisced on Mahaperiyava’s jayanthi.

Dr. Bhagyanathan, personal secretary to His Holiness Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji
Originally published in MadhuraMurali Tamil monthly magazine, July 2017 issue

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