Pranam acharyaji and maa Shakti devipriyaji,
I am a 29 years old unmarried girl. It is said that Shiva loves kindness, compassion, pure heart and mind. To attain bhole baba one should be purely pure. But what is the level of purity? Is Shiva consciousness and self realization are different? I hear somewhere that He demands hard work and it is very difficult to get pratakshya darsan. Then what is the hard work? Respect to all but I only want to be faithful to Shiva. Pranayam and yoga helps in purification. But in this daily life it very difficult to spent whole day in spiritual practices. May be one day Shiva will appear in front of me.. Please clear my doubts and show me the path. Shivoham!
– Arpita S.
You asked “Are Shiva consciousness and self-realization different?”
The answer is yes, these two are different.
When you recognize yourself beyond the body, emotions, personal history of actions, mind, intellect and ego; When you discover that core of being in you that does not get impacted by your or others’ acts of charity, barter or exploitation, this is self-realization.
When you are able to see this experience of world as your own projection and your being becomes the common denominator in everything- animate or inanimate, beyond time and space that is Shiva Consciousness reflected in you.
“What is the level of purity (required for such an experience)?“
Your identification with the world, body and limited being are the three impurities. In tantric language it can be said that you are surrounded by three types of Malas namely – Maayeeya Mala, Kaarma Mala and Aanava Mala. So the purity means you should be able to 1. Dissolve the wrong identification of you being the body and thus its limitations 2. Should be able see through the futility or myth called ‘Cause and Effect’ 3. You should get rid of feeling limited in consciousness as a soul. Obtaining this purity would require you to take up some spiritual path as per your liking and availability.
“What is the hard work? (what should I do)“ you ask.
Shiva does not require anything from us. He is very much available here and now in our being and as an expression of bliss outside. If we need to experience Him we need to work on ourselves and develop that kind of vision to be able to make him pratyaksh in us. The hard work is – getting rid of your own desires and giving importance to the world and our limited self.
You say “Respect to all but I only want to be faithful to Shiva.”
There’s no other way except being one with the Shiva. Drop all your expectations from the world and complaints with the world only because nothing else is as important. Nothing else matters.
You’ve heard “Shiva loves kindness, compassion, pure heart and mind”
Shiva does not love kindness, compassion, Love.. he expresses himself as these. So be kind and seek the source of kindness within. Don’t just show compassion but seek the source of compassion within. Find out, where from this compassion arises? It is like seeing the eyes.. not seeing through the eyes. Just stay in this state of seeking..
You hope “May be one day Shiva will appear in front of me”.
Just hoping well is useless!
Neither there’s need for Shiva to appear in front of anyone nor he ever would because for him there is nothing like outside or inside. He is in everyone & everything and everything is in him. He is expressing his bliss through this manifestation. If you can appear in front of yourself without using a mirror you must be dreaming – In the same way Shiva can not appear in front of anyone rather he always manifests within.
Thinking well is wise; planning well wiser; doing well wisest and the best of all.
-Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath