Shiva Sai Mahadeva

Shiva Sai Mahadeva

Shiva Sai Mahadeva

Shiva Sai Mahadeva
By G. V. Subba Rao

EKAM SATH. God is one.
VIPRAAH BAHUDHAA VADHANTHI. But the sages call Him by various names.

The Divine comes down in human form in order to elevate the human, the crown of his creation, to the level of the Divine. Divine incarnations over the vast scale of Time are many: Avathaara Hi Asankheyaah, as the VishnuPuraana states. Although each of the Avathaars possesses all divine powers, they exercise selective powers as appropriate to the specific periods, purposes and problems required to be tackled.

We try to fathom the nature of a particular Avathaar by comparing and contrasting, and establishing similarities, equalities or congruences with an established Divine Personality in respect of their mutual characteristics, metaphysics or philosophy, powers, activities, appearances, including their names and their meanings; we then come to an inferential conclusion that the given divine manifestation or Avathaar closely approximates or resembles the primordial Divine principle or Form described in our ancient scriptures.

Using the established criteria for such comparisons, twenty five elements or considerations are elaborated below pointing out that the Sathya Sai Avathaar closely resembles the Shiva principle. Hence the appropriateness of the ending of the Haarathi (waving of lights) song with the expressions, Shiva-Sai-Mahaa-Dheva.

That Sathya Sai Baba is an incarnation of Shiva-Shakthi is attested by the Bharadhvaaja-incident, when the great sage, visiting Kailash, thought he was neglected by Shiva and Shakthi involved in their cosmic dance; later, Shiva graced sage Bharadhvaaja with a boon that He would be born thrice successively in the Bharadhvaaja Gothra or lineage: first, Shiva alone as Shirdi Sai, then Shiva and Shakthi together as Sathya Sai, and Shakthi alone as Prema Sai.

The name SAAYEE itself means: Shiva-Shakthi. Etymologically, the first letter Sa(h) signifies the supreme Divinity (Eeshvara) or Shiva. Ayee, the second word signifies Shakthi, Ambaa or the universal Divine Mother.If the two letters are joined, the euphonic combination becomes Saayee: The great Vedhik scholar and seer of the holy Manthra, the Sathya SaiGaayathree, the late Ghandikota Subrahmanya Shaasthry versified in Sanskrith as follows:

Shivah Sah Ithi Anena Ukthah
Ayee Ithi Ambaa Prakeerthithaa
Thath Samyogah Shivas-Saambah
Saayee Ithi Prathipaadhyathe

Baba has repeatedly declared the same, that his essential form is Shiva Shakthi. In an unusual interview Baba graced Shaasthreeji and myself (his son), Svaami created a tri-colour picture containing His bust in the middle of a Shiva Linga seated on the coils of a divine serpent, which covered the top of the Linga with its seven hoods (symbolic of the seven worlds or seven levels of consciousness). Svaami stated that this Saayeeshvara picture represented His “true form!”

If the word Eesha is reversed in its Sanskrith rendering, it becomes Shaayee, further reducing to Saayee or Sai, for short. Thus Svaami’s name as well as its meaning point in the direction of Shiva.

Baba draws to Himself devotees from all classes, castes, creeds, cultures, conditions, countries and from all types of people, just as Shiva whose devotees include both angelic as well as demonic persons. He is equally accessible to one and all, unlike Vishnu whom Dhevathas adore, but whom Raakshasas abhor. Vishnu, in charge of maintaining the world, uses DHANDA – the big stick and massive weaponry to bring into Dhaarmik line the wicked and the demonic.

Baba is easily accessible and also easily pleased just as Shiva who is called BholaShankar. He is Sulabha Prasanna and Aashu-Thosha. Baba daily walks around the lines of devotees graciously accepting their letters; He reaches them Himself with materializations of sacred ash, Vibhuuthi. He ministers individually to the needs and requirements of His devotees by loving grace of love-filled miracles.

In the famous Vedhik hymn, Namakam or Shath Rudhreeyam, Shiva is adored as Kruthsna Veethaaya Dhaavathe Sathvanaam Pathaye Namah! “Salutations to Shiva who rushes to the help and to the rescue of the devotees.” So does our Svaami, as attested by innumerable devotees from all over the wide world. Just as Shiva is termed as Adhya Vochath, Adhivakhaa i.e., one who eloquently praises and vouchsafes for his devotees, Baba praises even a small “mustard-like” service rendered by them in terms of “pumpkin-size” encomiums!

In regard to metaphysics, the Shiva oriented principle of “SHIVOHAM” and the SathyaSai teaching of Soham are non-dualistic, reflecting the Mahaa-Vaakyas: Thath Thvam Asi and Aham Brahmaasmi – (Thou Art That, and, I am the Divine). In Shiva worship, it is laid down that the worshiper must develop the feeling of one-ness with Shiva, Soham Bhaavenapuuyajeth. In the case of Vishnu it is near-blasphemy to say “VISHNOHAM”!

Shiva is the primal preceptor in the form of Dhakshinaa Muurthi. He is the Lord in Kailash facing the southern direction, Dhakshinaa Muurthi. He is the Lord of love and mercy, Dhaakshinyam. He teaches profound spiritual lessons by Chinmudhras or symbolic hand gestures, in which the right thumb (representing Paramaathma, the Supreme Self) closing with the index finger (i.e. Jeevaathma or individual self) indicates fullness or Puurnathvam. The other three outstretched fingers indicate the moving away of the wordy qualities of Sathva, Rajas and Thamas – goodness, passion and inertia. Through these divine hand-gestures Shiva, as DhakshinaaMuurthi boons the gift of Supreme Liberating Knowledge, Jnaana Dhakshina.

Similarly, the bed-rock of Sai’s teaching is Adhvaitha, non-dual equality of the individual and the Cosmic Self. Like DhakshinaaMuurthi, he is truly Adhvaitha Jnaana Bhaaskara, the Sun of the knowledge of supreme reality. Svaami’s silent, creative and transformational activities are effected, as it were, by His Shanmudhras or six types of hand-gestures or circling movements of the hand and fingers.

Shiva is described in Namakam as short in stature and handsome in form: NAMO HRASVAAYACHA VAAMANAAYACHA. He is also praised as being eternally youthful. NAMO MADHYAMAAYACHA APA GALBHAAYACHA. Baba can be described in similar terms of short stature and youthful and handsome in his divine demeanour! Short in stature but mighty in mind boggling miracles, as a U.N. diplomat in Delhi once stated: “How come! a five feet person draws five lakhs of people!”

Shiva is described as JATAA JUUTEE, with curly (matted) locks of hair. It is said in Rudhram: NAMAH KAPARDHINECHA VYUPTHA-KESHAAYA CHA “Prostrations to the Divine with (matted) curly hair and who is also clean shaven“! Shiva’s hair is described as completely black, HARI KESHAAYOPAVEETHINE PUSHTAANAAM PATHAYE NAMAH. Similarly Baba’s hair is also curly, bushy, and black, bearing striking resemblance with the description of Jataa Jutee. He is also clean shaven, “Vyuaptha Keshi”, like Shiva.

Shiva’s form is described in the Vedhik hymn: ASAU YASTHAAMRO ARUNA UTHA BABHRUS-SUMANGALAH i.e., crimson, red and orange which are the early morning colours of the Sun. These are the colours of Baba’s dress which is sometimes light red, sometimes deep red but almost always orange, the most auspicious colour.

Shiva’s body is adorned with holy. ash resulting from the burning of all desires as represented by Manmatha; it also signifies the truth that ultimately, every thing is not only transient but reduced to mere ashes or dust at the end. Shiva is therefore called Kaamaari, the destroyer of lust and also as Bhasmoddhulitha Muurthi, a divinity covered with holy ash. Similarly, Sathya Sai who is bereft of any selfish desire used to be covered with holy ash, gushing out as a stream from his empty hands during the Mahaa ShivaRaathri celebrations! It is well known that Baba creates at will, several times daily, in the view of thousands of people, undepleted amounts of holy ash by a mere wave of his empty hand. Like Shiva, Baba can be truly called a Vibhuuthi Sundhara (adorned by holy ash). Vibhuuti is the hall-mark of Shiva and so is SathyaSai’s. Vibhuuthi teaches us the lesson: “Dust we are and to dust we return.” This VairaagyaBhaava frees us from body oriented attachments.

Shiva’s first manifested form took the shape of a mighty egg shaped column of radiant effulgence, the Jyothirlinga which represents the primordial source, force and fulfillment of all Life. Linga symbolises the loving union of God and Nature, Purusha and Prakrithi, the basis of all creation which is pervaded by Divinity. During MahaaShivaRaathri days, Baba used to materialise a variety of Lingas in His stomach and emit them from His divine mouth symbolising the cosmic creative act. He also creates Shiva Lingas of all types from his empty hand and gifts them to devotees. Furthermore, He has taken out the original Lingas underlying the idols in such holy places as Somnaath, Badharinaath etc, recharging them in the process and restoring them back to their original niches and pristine glory. Baba is truly a Lingodhbava-kara, because ShivaLingas continue to emerge, as willed by Him, from His mere empty palm.

On Mahaa ShivaRaathri of 1961 Baba took out from his mouth the Aathma-Linga as a visible evidence of the Aathmik principle of Divinity, which inheres in all. During the 1974 Mahaa-Shiva-Raathri festival, Svaami manifested a ten-inch long, Aathma Linga. He then made the astounding declaration that the sight of this AathmaLinga, which is described by Kapila Maharishi, would free one from the transmigratory cycle of births and deaths! That Linga assumed different colours every ten minutes!

Simplicity and an austere bearing are the hallmarks of Shiva who is called Alankaara Varjitha free from ornamentation, unlike Vishnu who is praised as AlankaaraPriya or the one pleased with decorations. In the entire Vedhik pantheon of deities, every deity except Shiva, are bedecked with ornaments, practically from head to toe. Shiva, although without ornaments, showers all rich ornaments on his devotees; Kubera owes his proverbial wealth to Shiva.

Similarly, Baba is simple and austere, does not even wear a watch, although he creates time-pieces at will! Like Shiva, he is truly AlamkaaraVarjitha, bereft of ornaments, and also AhamkaaraVarjitha, with no trace of egotism. While Himself free from ornaments, Baba graciously materialises, day-in and day-out, jewellery, gold chains, lockets, wrist watches, icons of gold and precious stones for his devotees. He, like Shiva, is a divine jeweller showering Vibhuuthi, Lingas and precious ornaments. These articles serve as talisman of protection from the ills of body, mind and ego.

The adornments of Shiva are only natural entities, like the crescent moon radiating cool rays, the serpents round his neck and arms and the thousand-hooded Divine Serpent over His Linga (NaagaLinga ) symbolising His mastery over the Mind (Moon) and the myriad senses (serpents). In the tri-colour picture created by Svaami for the Vedhik scholar Pandith G. Subrahmanya Shaasthry, the seven-headed divine serpent hovers over the Linga in the midst of which Baba’s bust is manifested!

Similarly, Baba’s head is covered, according to Dr. Baranowski, an expert in Kirilian photography, by a large aura, a mass of shining bluish rays. Devotees see visions of Baba as a moving column of effulgent light, radiating cool rays like the Moon!

Like Shiva who is adored in the Vedha as VIRUUPEBHYAH VISHVARUUPEBHYAH, Baba can take any form, assume different names appearing in several places, simultaneously. Baba, when He was young visited Viruupaaksha temple along with a party of relatives and the then Chairman of Bellary Municipality; it was vouchsafed that He was seen simultaneously inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Deity as well as under a tree outside the temple at one and the same time! Sai literature has numerous instances of Baba’s simultaneous multiple appearances at far away places!

Baba, like Shiva, is a Gangaa Dhaari, the bearer and giver of Ganga waters, Baba in His early teens used to being given by His mother, an oil bath on His birthdays. On one such occasion, Baba declared that there was no need for pouring any water over His head; and lo and behold! Water started flowing from the top of His head and spilled over the mother and an attending relative!

Long afterwards in 1997, Baba gifted safe, piped drinking water supply to a million people in the parched Ananthapur district. He is truly a Gangaa Dhaari like Shiva who is associated closely with the lifes-supportinve waters, as mentioned in several hymns of Namakam dedicated to Shiva.

Shiva is called Jala Muurthi, the life-supportive water-form. This is extensively hinted in the holy Vedhik hymn of Rudhram or Namakam.

Namah Suudhyaayacha, Sarasyaayacha
Namo Naadhyaayacha, Namah Kuupyaayacha;
Namah Sikathyaayacha Pravaahyaayacha;
Namah Theerthyaayacha Kuulyaayacha.

Salutations to that Divinity
which is closely associated with lakes,
rivers, wells, reservoirs, and water falls.

Once I told Baba that hydrologists are sceptical of the long-term viability of water supply to the proposed Sathya Sai Water Project in the dry Ananthapur district and that the abiding solution is the inter-basin water transfer from the far-away Godhaavari river. Baba then made the astounding declaration that He guarantees water supply to the project for many centuries provided the water pipe-lines are built strong enough to last that long! In any case, the Godhaavari originates in Thryambakeshavara and he pointed out to His heart as the true place of origin of these waters!

When Svaami was in his early twenties, a restless youth who was an incorrigible cricket fan, was given the task of attending to Baba. Baba was reeling out cricket scores of a match being played in far away Madras in order to keep the youth happy! Even then, the boy kept asking questions of Svaami, particularly about the third eye of Shiva. Svaami looked intensely at the young man, when a jet stream of Vibhuuthi shot out with gale force from the middle space of the eye-brows of Svaami suchwise, that the youth was catapulted to the other end of the hall! The story is narrated in “Man of Miracles” and also reconfirmed to me recently by the then youth, now in his early sixties. Shiva is adored as Thryambaka the three eyed as in the famous hymn of liberation “ThryambakamYajaaMahe”, and so is Sai Baba a Thrayambaka the three-eyed one with his Jnaana Nethra, the third eye of wisdom, always open.

Shiva is worshipped in the ShathaRudhreeya Hymn as being Prathamo DhaivyoBhishak as the primordial divine doctor. In the same Vedhik text Shiva is adored as Vishva Bheshaje, Vishvaaha Bheshajee, Shivaa Rudhrasya Bheshajee. He is the expert physician curing all the ills. Another hymn praises Him as the Lord and Master of the world of Medicines, Bhuvanthave Vaarivaskruthaava OSHADHEENAAM PATHAYE NAMAH.

Like Shiva, Baba is the doctor of doctors, effecting innumerable cures of many illnesses of the Body, Mind, the Intellect and the Ego as well by his mere divine touch; Svaami materialises Vibhuuthi with curative properties, as well as actual medicinal tablets; He performed miraculous surgeries, including the materialisation of the necessary Surgical implements as asserted, confirmed and reconfirmed, particularly in Howard Murphet’s writings.

Shiva as DhakshinaMuurthi, is a complete celibate, teaching by silence the non-dualistic unity of Jeevaathma with Paramaathma. He is surrounded by the eternal celibates: Sanaka, Sanandha, Sanath-Kumaara and Sanaathana, the four mind-born sons of the creator Brahma. Thus Shiva is called Brahma-Charyaashrama Priya (fond of celibacy).

Similarly, Svaami is a complete celibate, Brahmachaaari, who is in constant integrated Braahmik consciousness, teaching non-dualism all His life. He is also surrounded by the student Brahma Chaaris, BrahmachaariPariveshtitha. Svaami repeatedly declares that His only property is His students.

Shiva is the Lord of Yogis, Yogeeshvara; while Vishnu (Krishna) is the Lord of the Yogas, Yogeshvara (vide the 18 yogas in the BhagavathGeetha). SathyaSai is Yogijanapriya, the darling and nourisher of the Yogis. He closely instructs, guides and sustains them to achieve perfection as in the case of the Yogik practitioners in the NarayanaGuha, to whom He gifted a vessel producing food and drink whenever needed!

Shiva is the master or conqueror of death; he is called Mruthyunjaya. Baba protects and saves devotees from untimely death i.e., Apamruthyuhara as in the case of Mr. Cowan in Madras, Mr. Raadhaakrishna of Kuppam and Pandith GhandiKota Subrahmanya Shaasthry in August 1985.

Shiva is seated on a tiger skin, Vyaaghra CharmaAaseena, suggestive of the control of cruel animalistic qualities. Svaami, in Prashaanthi Mandhir, is daily seated on a chair underneath of which is a tiger headed skin. In his wandering youth days, Svaami’s only luggage piece was a tiger skin (with a pair of towels)!

Shiva is an ascetic, a renunciate, a Mahaa Viraagi and dedicated to LokaSangraha, the welfare of the worlds (E.g. He swallowed deadly poison and saved the world). Svaami, likewise, is supremely detached within and intensely active without and performs loving selfless service, through free educational, medical, humanitarian relief activities, such as provision of drinking water supply to lakhs of people.

He tirelessly teaches SaiShadvarga, the six human values of truth, righteousness, peace, love, non-violence and selfless service/sacrifice for Lokasangraha in order to counteract the poison of Arishadvarga, the six inner enemies of Lust, Anger, Greed, Attachment, Pride and jealousy.

Svaami like Shiva is universal, transcends caste, class, creed, country, culture etc. He is beyond all orders and categories; He is truly an Athya Aashramee, like Shiva. He teaches universality:

“There is only one Race, the race of humanity; only one Religion, the religion of love; only one Language, the language of the heart and only one God and He is omnipresent!”

For each aspect of Shiva, there is a symbolic Yanthra or numerical (and geometrical) representation. In the case of Shiva, the Absolute, it is number nine. Letter “Shi” in the science of Manthras is signified by the number of five and the letter “va” equals number four, making a total of nine. Eeashvara connected with creation is signified by number eight. And an Avathaar is signified by number seven, which is the hall mark of ShivaShakthi. Sai is Sapthamayee, with seven fold powers, principles, and purposes.

Similarly, for each manifestation of Shiva there is a Manthra or sacred sound-formula. As Rudhra-ShivaMahaa-Dheva, the Manthra in the Gaayathree form is:

Thathpurushaaya Vidhmahe,
Mahaa Dhevaaya Dheemahi
Thanno Rudhrah Prachodhayaath.

In respect of Bhagavaan Baba, the Gaayathree manthra is as follows:

Om. Saayeeshvaraaya Vidhmahe
Sathya-dhevaaya Dheemahi,
Thannah-sarvah Prachodhayaath

We realise that Sai is Eeshvara i.e., Shiva.
We meditate on this God of Truth.
May That Almighty, All in-All personality, lead us toliberation.

Similarly, for each manifestation of Shiva, there is a Thanthra, a schema of adoration, worship and prayer. In the case of Shiva, the adoration is through the chanting of the Shatha Rudhreeyam; the worship is done by pouring water over the holy Linga, called Abhishekam, and the prayer is contained in the Vedhik hymn of Chamakam. In the case of SathyaSai, there are similar forms of adoration, worship and prayer: Sathya Sai Gaayathree chanting, Sai Ashtothara Naama Puuja and Haarathi with the waving of lights. The Haarathi song is addressed to Shiva-SaiMahaa-Dhevaa! and finally comes the distribution of Vibhuuthi, which is the hall-mark of both Shiva and Sai, the-visible manifestation of ShivaThathva being the non-dualistic principle of “Soham” (Sah + Aham = I am Divinity): SaiShivoham.

Baba has repeatedly asserted the innate Shiva Sai principle in the following verse:

Sarva Naama Dharam, Shivam
Sarva Ruupa Dharam, Shaantham
Satchidhaanandham Adhvaitham
Sathyam Shivam Sundharam.

The supreme Felicity which bears all names;
The supreme Serenity which assumes all forms;
The non-dual Divinity, the Being-awareness-Bliss
That is Truth, Goodness and Beauty.

In conclusion, we meditate on SAI SHIVOHAM, the five lettered, non-dualistic PanchaakshariManthra. It signifies oneness of Shiva, Sai, and our Self; this is in contrast to the dualistic manthras of Namasshivaaya.

SAISHIVOHAM means that this Sathya Sai is the visible living manifestation of the unitary Shiva principle of the identity of Jeevathma and Paramaathma, of the individual Self with the Supreme Self; this is the teaching of both Shiva and Sai and also the supreme teaching of AdhvaithaVedhaantha taught in the Upanishaths.




Commentaries On Mahavakyas Through Linga Creations

Kodaikanal Lingam

Kodaikanal Lingam

Ghandikota V. Subba Rao
Prashaanti Nilayam – July 1999

Bhagavaan Shri Sathya Sai Baba, as the incarnation or embodiment of Aathmik consciousness, is tireless in explaining in stunningly simplest possible terms the highest philosophical or, I should say, metaphysical or transcendental Upanishadhik statements. His casually repeated comments on the Mahaavaakya Chathushtaya, the four greatest declarations of Supreme Reality, are unequalled in the entire literature of Vedhaantha which is replete with elaborate but, I must say, very recondite and polemical commentaries of the various Aachaaryas (preceptors).

Svaami not only uses simple imageries, similes and metaphors, but also most uniquely illustrates these aphoristic TRUTHS by the materialisation of divinised objects representing or symbolising such Truths in the most telling manner. The latest innovation in the young computer World is called Virtual Reality. It is “Reality as it were”; as though it is real. Supreme reality; by itself, transcends the senses: it is above senses; the instruments of knowledge we have in this body are below the senses. Virtual Reality is only a reflection of Reality; at best it is an appearance of Reality like Maaya in Vedhaantha.

Bliss is the Lord’s form
Thaiththireeya Upanishath describes the bliss-filled formof the Divine Self, called PURUSHA, which is also the Omni-self or the supreme personality of the Godhead. This is pictured as a bird in a telling passage of this Upanishath. It says: Love is His head, Thasya Priyam Eva Shirah. Joy is His right side or wing, Modho Dhakshinah Pakshah. Delight is the left side or wing of this bird or Purusha, Pramodhah Uttharah Pakshah. Bliss is its Central truth or heart, Aanandha Aathmaa and Brahman is its tail or support, Brahma Puchcham Prathishthaa.

Again Baba uses another telling imagery in this connection, there is the vast ocean of Bliss in total awareness of the Supreme Reality, Aanandha Samudhra. When the Sun of knowledge, or Jnaana Bhaaskara, rises and its radiance heats up the waters of the Ocean of Bliss, vapours of consciousness rise and envelop the universal sky. Thus, Consciousness pervades the entire universe. This constant integrated awareness is called Prajnaanam and that is the Light that spreads its radiance all over the Cosmos and hence the statement, Prajnaanam Brahma.

Prajnaanam Brahma” is symbolised by Brahmaanda Linga
Prajnaanam Brahma is the foremost of the great declarations of truth explained in the Thaiththireeya Upanishath in the RigVeda. It declares categorically that Brahman is pure awareness. This is called a Svaruupa Lakshana or a statement, which lays bare the essential nature of Brahman, the Absolute Reality. It is said to be a Svasvaruupa Vaakya expressing the inherent essence of our own self or witnessing Self as being nothing but total awareness or fullest consciousness which pervades the Cosmos. This statement is expressed in the general, third person or impersonal form. Baba explains the import of this primordial nature of Brahman in the most unique manner. He says Amgam or body is the Sangam or meeting place of the Spirit on the one hand, and Matter or Prakrithi on the other. In the Jangam or the moving Spirit or Self; there arises the primordial manifestation of the vision of the LINGAM – from which emerge all micro and macrocosmic entities. In illustration of this unique statement that the all-pervading consciousness is Brahman, Baba materialises the Anda Pinda Brahmaanda LINGAM. This signifies the egg-shaped basic living cell, the egg-shaped human embryo as well as the egg-shaped macrocosmic universe.

He explains that the outer cover of the egg-shaped LINGA is the Anda or Prakrithi, the female principle and the inner Rasa or essence is the Pinda or Purusha or the male principle. These are mutually related and integrated. The outer shell is made up of matter and the inner core is Divinity itself. Thus, the body is a vessel containing Jeevaathma, the apparently individualised Self-effulgent Divinity. All living beings including an Avathaar or God in human form, are expressions of Anda Pinda-Lingam, which is also the shape of the Brahmaanda or cosmos, every particle of which is animated by Divine Consciousness.

Baba says that if one is completely free from anger and jealousy one can experience the vision of Divine Unity in all its Cosmic Diversity. It is the vision of unity in multiplicity that the Mahaa Vaakya: Prajnaanam Brahma evokes in us. In other words, the I, or, the Self in the microcosm, is the same as that in the macrocosm. This is the essence of the Anda-Pinda-Brahmaanda Lingam.

By contemplating on the profound truth, that the consciousness in the living cell (in the living human embryo, in the individual living being and in the innumerable universes or, cosmos as a whole) is nothing but the Self-same divine entity, we expand our individualised, self-limited consciousness into the Universal Divine Consciousness. The air in the bubble is the same as the air in the outside. When the bubble bursts, the air inside merges with the air outside.

This stage is called Saalokya, living in the realm of Spiritual Consciousness, expressed in the corresponding statement. “I am in the Light”. It signifies the expansion of the “I” consciousness into the “He” Consciousness and finally culminating in the unifying “We” consciousness. Baba says that all knowledge related concepts of Ajnaana, Jnaana, Vunaana, Sujnaana (negative, positive, specialized or spiritual types of knowledge) are only modifications of one and the same principle of PRAJNAANA. Prajnaana is immanent in the Anthahkarana as the inner principle, which absorbs and interprets the messages received through the senses. All the sense organs are Jada or insentient by themselves. It is Prajnaana that animates and activates the inertsenses and makes them instruments of inner consciousness. Prajnaana is the master who presides over the physical, mental, intellectual, emotional and ego oriented expressions of our Mind. Therefore, it is not correct to equate Prajnaana with mere intellect, knowledge or wisdom. These inner, sense-oriented entities are transient or impermanent.

All the senses function because of the divine, all-pervasive consciousness that operates in every being. All the great elements are pervaded by Prajnaana or divinity. For example, in water the Divine is present as Prajna. That is why, when a person becomes unconscious, water is sprinkled over him in order to restore his latent power of consciousness. The universe consists of innumerable objects in all of which, the one unchanging eternal principle is the Aathma, that is Prajnaana, and that is Brahman. There is no difference between Prajnaana and Brahman. Constant integrated awareness or Prajnaana is Brahman itself!

Prajnaanam Brahma expresses the truth of universal consciousness as Supreme Divinity. This is expressed in the indirect third person or a generalised, unparticularised declaration of the highest truth-wisdom. It is called Svaruupa Lakshana Vaakya or the statement defining the very nature or essence of Brahman – the Light Supreme. The dawn of this wisdom signifies living in Saalokyam – in the all-embracing spiritual consciousness. Sah + lokya: The one who is to be fully comprehended and its realisation is expressed as “I am in the light of supreme consciousness”. The light enveloping the individual and every other entity in the cosmos is Prajnaanam – the illumination of total awareness.

In terms of Sai Consciousness, the spirit of Mahaavaakya PRAJNAANAM BRAHMA, corresponds to the Sai Suurya Gaayathree:

OM Bhaaskaraaya Vidhmahe<
Sai-dheevaaya Dheemahi
Thanna-suuryah prachodayaath

This Manthra links the devotee with the Cosmic Divine Body visualised as Sai Suurya (Sai as effulgent Sun God).

Ayam Aathma Brahma” corresponds to Sadhaashiva Linga
The second great declaration is Ayam Aathmaa Brahma; this individual living Self is nothing but the Omni-self. This is termed as an Anubhava Vaakya. This statement is in the nature of an experiential statement flowing out of the glimpse of Divinity. This declaration is from the Atharva Vedha (Maanduukyopanishath). The light of Supreme All Pervasive consciousness is experienced in the inmost self. This statement internalizes the external light of Divinity. This corresponds to the feeling that, the Supreme Light of Divinity, is very much in the apparently individualised self.

The body is the moving temple of God and the deity inside is Jeevaathma, the embodied self imbued with the Eternal Life principle or the Shiva Thathva. If there is no Shiva principle in the body it only becomes a Shava or mere corpse. Shiva is the Light of Life and, as such, this statement corresponds to the mark or Linga of the eternal life principle. This Sadhaa Shiva Linga symbolises the Person who is ever of the form of Shiva. Here and everywhere, night and day, in joy and grief; he is Shivam i.e. happy, auspicious and graceful. Bliss or Aanandham is his breath, his motive force, his demeanour, and His inner and outer expression.

Baba materialises and then instructs us to install, the Sadaashiva Linga in our Consciousness and all things will he revealed to us by the grace of the Divine Indweller. Ayam Aathma Brahma brings us close to Divinity. It is thus comparable to Saameepya Mukthi, which is the state where we are freed from worldly thoughts and when all thoughts dwell only on the Divinity Supreme. This declaration revolves around the meditation on Thejas as the illuminating Shiva Consciousness. “That Light is in Myself’- is the ineffable experience of a spiritual practice called, Jyothir Dhyaana; internalising the vision of the radiant Sadhaa-Shiva-Principle or Linga installed within oneself.

In terms of Sai Consciousness, the Spirit of the Mahaavaakya, AYAM AATHMA BRAHMA, corresponds to the Sai Hiranyagarbha Gaayathree:

OM Premaathmanaaya Vidhmahe
Hiranyagarbhauya Dheemahi
Thannah-sathyah Prachodhayaath

This Manthra links the devotee with the Cosmic Divine Mind visualised as Sai Hiranyagarbha (Sai as the Golden Wombed God).

Thath Thvam Asi (Thou art That) ” Symbolised by Jnaana Linga
The third great Upanishadik declaration is Thath Thvam Asi – Thou art that. This statement is from the Chaandhogya Upanishath of the Saama Vedha. The great preceptor Uddhaalaka Aaruni instructed his son Shvethakethu in the secret of Brahma Vidhyaa – the Science of understanding of the Supreme Reality. This great instruction is repeated nine times to drive home the point that the Jeevathma, the individual Self should be realised as nothing but Paramaathma, the Supreme Omni-Self. Thathvamasi Swethaketho!is the final instruction of Uddhaalaka Maharishi. This is therefore called Brahmopadhesha Vaakya, the instructional declaration.

The spiritual aspirant for liberation or Mumukshu is directly addressed in the second person singular case and told, in no uncertain terms, that, he and the Divinity are one and the same. It corresponds to the realisation that, the Light of Supreme Divinity and the Light of Consciousness within are identical: “I and the Light are the same”. Thath Thvam Asi is symbolised by the Jnaana Lingam, the high water mark of realising the supreme knowledge or Brahma Vidhya. It is repeated nine times – nine being the representation of Parabrahma so that one is established firmly in the conviction that he is not the body, not the senses, not the mind, not the bundle of Vaasanas or the ego-self He is nothing but Divinity, The Supreme Self

This statement evokes the state of Saaruupyam-attaining the same form or characteristics of Divinity – being free of all other qualities. It corresponds to the principle of the eternal life breath – Vaayu Thathva, which permeates all beings. The particular spiritual exercise to reveal this state is called Sathyavathi, the incessant search into one’s own truth. The search of Koham, who am I, results in the knowledge of Brahman. This statement is represented by Jnaana Linga – the mark of supreme knowledge, as created by Baba.

In terms of Sai Consciousness, the spirit of Mahaavaakya, THATH THVAM ASI, corresponds to the Sai (Eeshvara) Gaayathree:

OM Saayeeshvaraaya Vidhmahe
Sathya-dhevaaya Dheemahi
Thannah-sarvah Prachodhayaath

This Manthra links the devotee with the Cosmic Divine Life visualised as Sai Eeshvara (Sai as the Supreme God).

Aathma Linga signifies “Aham Brahma Asmi” – I am Brahman
The fourth great declaration is “Aham Brahmaasmi”. This is from the Brihadhaaranya Upanishath of the Yajurvedha. It is in the first person singular case, expressing first hand knowledge with experience. This is called Anusandhaana Vaakya. The true import of’ this statement signifies the complete alignment of oneself with the Supreme Cosmic Self defined as Sathyam, Jnaanam, Anantham, Aanandham, Brahma. Truth, Omniscience, Infinity and Bliss characterise the Parabrahman.

This statement is represented by the infinite space principle Aakaasha Thathva. The fruit of the realisation of this great declaration is Saayujya itself i.e., uniting with Supreme Divinity. Its vision is symbolised by the creation by Baba of Aathma Linga: the Aathmik consciousness is united with Braahmik consciousness. The Brihadhaaranya prefaces this great statement with an introductory declaration. Brahma Vaa Idham Agra Aaseeth, “Verily, in the beginning, this was all Brahman”. It is then stated that Brahman knew Itself as “I am Brahman” “Aham Brahmaasmi”. When It knew Itself as Brahman, It became the Supreme All in All “Thasmaath Thath Sarvamaabhavath”. Then, the Upanishath declares that the one who realizes the import of this great truth becomes himself the All-in-All. It is so even now with respect to the demi-Gods, Rishis and humans. Even the demi-Gods cannot prevent the human from becoming this All-in-All, for the human Self has become their own Self! In terms of the analogy of Light of Consciousness, the meaning of this great statement is “I am the Supreme Light”. Therefore, the truth of this statement is represented by Baba’s creation of the Aathma Linga emerging out of his stomach and mouth on Mahaashiva Raathri night. The Aathma Linga is the ultimate experience of Braahmik consciousness. As Baba states: “The Aathma Linga is like the pot containing sea water, immersed in the self same sea”. “It is just like sugar only; which can be made into dolls of various shapes and forms”. “Just as water freezes into ice, Aathma freezes into the individual”. It remains the self-same water.

In terms of Sai Consciousness, the spirit of the Mahaavaakya AHAM BRAHMA ASMI corresponds to the Non-dual Sai Panchaakshari (five-lettered) formula:


This Manthra exemplifies the identity of devotee with Sai-Shiva (the Modern as well as the ancient Primordial Absolute Divinity).

The Imagery of Ganga Merging in the Ocean
First, there is the ocean of Aathmik bliss. Aanandha is the very form of Aathma. We are all waves of the ocean of Bliss, in terms of Aadhi Shankaraachaarya’s immortal poetic work of devotion called Aanandha Lahari. When the Sun of Braahmik consciousness shines and spreads its divine rays on the Ocean of Bliss, the waters evaporate creating vapours of (Bliss) Consciousness which rise and envelope the entire space. Thus consciousness pervades the Cosmos with all its microscopic life forms as well as the macroscopic Worlds. This phenomenon corresponds to the import of the first great Vedhaanthik declaration, Prajnaanam Brahma: Total Awareness is the very nature of the Cosmic Self. In order to illustrate the all inclusive concept of Braahmik consciousness, Baba speaks about and materialises from his stomach-womb as it were, the Anda Pinda Brahmaanda Linga which was emitted through his mouth on Mahaa Shiva Raathri days. The Linga is the egg-shaped total Cosmos in which exists the Andas, the egg-shaped living cells, the Pindas, the egg-shaped human embryos as well as the egg-shaped innumerable universes, Brahmaanda. This Linga symbolises the statement Prajnaanam Brahma.

To continue the metaphor of the ocean waters vapourising and spreading everywhere, the second phase begins when these vapours cumulate as rain-bearing clouds. These clouds, when they rise and touch the snowy abode of Shiva in the Himaalayas, precipitate as individual raindrops. This stage corresponds to the second Upanishadhik Mahaavaakya, Ayam Aathma Brahma:

This Aathma, embodied as Jeevathmas, is nothing but liquefied vapours of all-embracing consciousness. The formation of these raindrops of consciousness in an individualised form; is symbolised by Bhagavaan Baba’s creation and emission of Sadhaa Shiva Linga. Jeeva is none other than Shiva and without Shiva or vital Praanik force, the Jeeva will turn into Shava or a corpse only. Dheho Dhevaalayah Prokthah Jeevo Shivah-Sanaathanah, which means that the body is a temple of God and the Jeeva, the embodied soul, is none other than the most ancient and yet the ever fresh eternal Shiva.

Baba’s stunning, symbolic creation of Sadhaa Shiva Lingais the most appropriate reminder and homage to the eternal Shiva principle in the Jeeva, the embodied Aathma or Self.

Now, the third stage: The individual raindrops combine together and form into the life supportive waters of the Ganga which gurgles down the Himaalayan mountain slopes and enters the vast plain of Aaryaavartha. In its journey down the hills, and plains, it keeps rushing forward to its destination at Ganga-Saagar – the meeting point of Ganga with the ocean. After all, the Jeevathma cannot live in separation of the Paramaathma and the inexorable law of divine gravity helps it reach the Ocean of Divine Bliss Consciousness.

The rushing, down-flowing river is propelled by the instruction, Thath Thvam Asi, the third great Upanishaahik declaration: “Thou art That”. That stands for Paramaathma and Thou stands for Jeevaathma. This stage corresponds to the statement “I and the Light are the same”. Baba wonderfully manifests a Linga, which is called Jnaanalinga to symbolise the essential import of this Maha Vaakya! It represents the light of Supreme Knowledge of the essential unity of Jeevaathma and Paramaathma.

The Jeevaathmas in the form of the river of life,. Ganga, keeps yearning to reach and unite with the ocean of Paramaathma. But then, the Jeeva, which has acquired on its Journey the dirt and dust and all types of selfish trash is to be purified, before it can unite with the ocean. The ocean therefore, keeps pushing the river till such time that its purifying salinity penetrates more and more into the rushing dirty river water. This is the high-tide time when the ocean of Bliss overflows into the backwaters, which are drained of their dirt in the process.

When the river of life is finally received by the waters of the ocean of bliss, the merging River of Life experiences the import of the fourth great Upanishadhik declaration, Aham Brahma Asmi; “I am the Brahman; I am the Supreme Light and Supreme Love and the Supreme Truth”. Having tasted the nectarine divine essence, the merging river is filled with bliss: Raso Vai Sah; Rasagguhyevaayam Labdhvaa Aanandhee Bhavathi:

This is the most profound statement exemplifying the fullest alignment of the Jeevaathma, the embodied individual self, with the Paramaathma, the Supreme Omniself. Baba symbolises the import of this great statement, Aham Brahma Asmi by the creation and emission of the Aathma Linga, symbolizing complete Self-Realisation and Identity with Brahman.

The above four great declarations are the highest quintessence of Vedhaanthik wisdom. Baba is the most modern divine commentator who illumines the Mahaavaakyas as themselves by concretizing their import through the Creation of various types of Lingas. In effect, Baba’s Linga creations reveal the essential unity of the Jeevaathma with Paramaathma.


Healing Shiva Lingam 2

Sathya Sai Lingodbhava – Mystery Of The Shiva Lingam

Sathya Sai Shiva LingumsSathya Sai Shiva LingasSathya Sai Shiva Lingams

Sathya Sai Lingodbhava – Mystery Of The Shiva Lingam
Historical Background Of Lingodbhava by Professor N. Kasturi:

“Until 1956, the Shivaratri all-night vigil and Bhajan could be held in the Prayer Hall itself. Sai Baba sat on the silver chair placed on over a tiger skin on a low platform. When the slower hand of the clock hovered near eight, the Linga or Lingas indicated the desire to emerge and Baba showed signs of physical struggle to smoothen their way out. Year after year, 1 have stood on His left, holding silver jug of water. Seshagiri Rao stood on the right with a silver plate to receive the Linga as it fell out. At predetermined moments, proceeding through the gullet, the Linga presented itself for public view and personal use. One year eleven Lingas emerged in a row, one behind the other. Another year, there were nine. He has given Me one of the nine. It is worshipped with Mantras prescribed in the scriptures. The Linga miracle does happen annually on every Shivaratri day wherever Baba happens to be.” (Prof Kasturi, SS, 3/99, p.81)

Sathya Sai Baba: Meaning Of The Lingam (Lingham – Lingum):

“Just as OM is the ‘sound symbol’ of God, the Linga is ‘form symbol’ or visible symbol of God – the most meaningful, the simplest and the least endowed with appendages of attributes. The Linga means, that in which this Jagat (world of change) attains Laya or mergence or dissolution (Leeyate). All forms merge in the Formless at last. Shiva is the Principle of Destruction of all names and forms, of all entities and individuals. So, the Linga is the simplest sign of emergence and mergence.” (Sai Baba, SS, 3/99, last cover page)

Different Types Of Shiva Lingas – Siva Stones:

  • Hiranyagarbha / Hiranya-Garbha Linga
  • Sada-Shiva Lingam
  • Netra-Lingham
  • Narmada or Narmadeshwar Lingum
  • Jyotir-Linga
  • Jnana-Lingam
  • Atma Lingham
  • Angushta-Maatram Lingum
  • Anda-Pinda Linga
  • Aahtaloha Lingam
  • Vaidurya Lingham
  • Spatika Lingum
  • Padara Linga
  • Trapu Lingam
  • Ayasa Lingham
  • Seesa Lingum
  • Ashtadhtu Linga
  • Navanita Lingam
  • Durvakadaja Or Garika Lingham
  • Karpura Lingum
  • Ayaskanta Linga
  • Mouktika Lingam
  • Suvarana Lingham
  • Rajita Lingum
  • Pittala Or Kamsya Linga
  • Bhamsa Lingam
  • Guda Lingam Or Sita Lingham
  • Vamsankura Lingum
  • Pishta Linga
  • Dhadhidhugdha Lingam
  • Dhanya Lingham
  • Phala Lingum
  • Dhatri Linga
  • Gandha Lingam
  • Pushpa Lingham
  • Gosakru Lingum
  • Valuka Linga
  • Yavagodhumasalij Lingam
  • Sitakhanda Lingham
  • Lavana Lingum
  • Tilapista Linga
  • Netra-Lingam
  • Bana Lingham
  • Somnath Jyotirlinga
  • Bhoomi Lingum
  • Jala Linga
  • Agni or Thejo Lingam
  • Vayu Lingham
  • Akasha Lingum
  • Yajamana Linga
  • Chandra Lingam
  • Surya Lingham
  • Sthira Lingum
  • Ardhanarishwara Linga
  • Chaturmukhalingam
  • Amarnath Lingham

The Twelve jyotirlingas are:

  1. Somnatha
  2. Mallikarjuna
  3. Mahakala
  4. Omkara
  5. Kedara
  6. Bhimshankara
  7. Vishvanatha
  8. Tryambaka
  9. Vaidynatha
  10. Nagesha
  11. Rameswara
  12. Ghushnesha

According to the Agamas the lingas can be of two kinds, the cala i.e. moveable and the acala, i.e, immoveable. The cala lingas are again of different types: mrnmaya (earthen); lohaja (metallic); ratnaja (of precious stones); daruja (wooden); sailaja (of stone); and Ksanika (those made for temporary worship). The lohaja i.e. metallic lingas are made of 8 metals (gold, silver, copper, bell-metal, iron, lead, brass and tin) and the ratnaja ones are made of pearls, coral, vaidurya, topaz, emerald and bluestone. The acala or sthavara lingas are of 10 kinds (Svayambhuva, Purva, Daivata, Ganapatya, Asura, Sura, Arsa Raksasa, Manusa and Bana). The Makutagama calls them Sthira lingas and divide them into four classes: 1) Daivika; 2) Arsaka; 3) Ganapa and 4 ) Manusa.

Also see: Sathya Sai Baba Golden Healing Shiva Lingam