Once upon a time, long long ago, more than a 1000 years ago, far far away, in a very beautiful land , there lived a very nice man. He was very gentle, very kind and very God loving. One day he had a dream. In the dream God came to him and said“Wake up! Wake up!”. God then continued,” Behind a beautiful garden in your land, there is a huge mountain.Go there! At the bottom of the mountain you will find a big rock. On the rock there is a secret message for you! You must teach it to others, especially to those who are interested! “
Upon waking up, the nice man went running to the place . He saw the garden! He ran behind the garden and indeed he did see the huge mountain! There was a stream with clear water running! And at the bottom of the mountain there was a big rock! Just as he touched the rock, it turned upside down! On the big rock, a message was found carved on it! The message was 77 short sentences, in the form of a special code. The nice man was so surprised! He paid great attention to each alphabet in the message. He prayed, he meditated, and he thought a lot about the message on the rock.
During those days, in the place where he lived, different people had different ideas about God. Some people felt that there was no God. Others were saying that the Holy books did not have the final say in everything. Yet others were saying that this whole world may not be real. People were getting confused, and some people even started losing faith in God.
They were asking questions, and nobody seemed to have the right answers. Some of the questions were: Who is God ? Who are we? How can we reach God? How was this universe created? and so on. The nice man knew, that if he thought long enough he would definitely get the answers for all these questions. And, surely he did!
Remembering his dream, the nice man patiently tried to understand every word in the message with great attention and great devotion. Slowly he understood the code! Immediately he decoded the message! Some very important information came out! He alone knew that God himself was the author of it! He remembered that God had sent the message for all His children, each and every one of us, all over the earth~ for all of mankind!
The answers were simple, yet very important! ~God is loving, God is kind and God is nice. God created the whole universe as a play. God is the director, the producer and all the actors!. God puts on different costumes to play different roles. Sometimes he acts as if he is really stupid, sometimes as if he is really ignorant, and sometimes as if he is very dumb! But, what happens is~ sometimes the actor forgets who he really is. He thinks he is actually the stupid person he is pretending to be !!!!!!
At the end of the play God removes all the different costumes from everyone. Then the actor realizes he is not the stupid person at all, but he is really God himself! So, we all are really God, from the beginning to the end of this very important play called ~“The Play of Life”! In the end everyone realizes, they are all God !~ including the actor, the producer, the director and everyone else.
Anyway going back to the nice wise man ~he was well respected and everybody liked him very much. But just like everyone else, he too was becoming old ~ and one day the nice old man died peacefully. He was a great teacher and many students learnt from him. They too were God loving like him. They too sat and prayed, and they too meditated, just like him. They too understood, that so much can be learnt from that message on the rock. So, they also taught others. Soon there were lots of people who lived and taught like the nice wise man.
All these nice wise men taught that God is always Calm, but has an Energy. When there is a Stir, this energy can Create anything. God’sCreation is everything and everyone in this universe.
So they taught to love God, to learn from God, and to do good for all of God’s children, who are all our brothers and sisters. But people wanted more details and so they taught them all the details on ~how to worship God, how to feelGod and how to understand God. Together their 3 teachings are called a Triad.
These teachings were written down in threeimportant books. This is how the message on the rock became so important. This is a true story! Now read on :
The mountain is .................Mahadev!
The garden in front of it is.....Shalimar!
The rock is called................Shankar Pal!
The stream in front of it is.....Harvan!
The place is near.................Srinagar!
The land is .........................Kashmir!.
God is ...............................Shiva!
The 77 messages are called the Shiva Sutras!
The nice man who had the dream was Vasugupta ! .
His students were Som-ananda & Kallata:
Based on the message on the rock,
Vasu-gupta taught how to worship God ,
Kallata then taught how to feel God.
& Som-ananda taught how to understand God.
These triad teachings are called *Trika !
Each of Vasugupta’s students had students and they in turn had their own students.So the teachings went on and on and on and on! One of them became very famous, more than all the others ~he was a nice wise man called Abhinava-gupta!
God is calm ~ParamShiva !
God’s energy is Shakti !
God’s stir is Spanda!
God’s creation is Leela!
God’s children are us~ParamShiva too!
So, if we are ParamShiva too,
we too have a hidden energy (shakti),
we too can stir (spanda)
to create anything in the Play of our Life (leela) !
So, remember God is you & you are God !
You have the Energy
~Mental energy ,physical energy ,spiritual energy and more!~
The sky is your limit!.
So come on, Stir your energy!
Use it or you will lose it!
Get motivated !
a good career
& a good family
with great values!
Now ask your parents and grandparents to show you the mountain, the rock and the 3 set of books!
The books are :
Agama on how to love and worship God,
Pratyabhijna on how to understand God. &
Spanda on how to feel God
To be continued......
Note for Parents
Our story for children here is based on actual facts surrounding the revelation of the Shiva Sutras, to Vasugupta and the Trika Shastra that developed later. The Shankarpal rock still exists, though no longer is the “message” on it!
The beginnings of the history of Shaivism in Kashmir are believed to have started from the pre-Vedic period. It later developed alongside early Vedism and over the millennia it bloomed further, with periodic revelations, meditative insights and philosophical systems. Much in the same way, Shaivism developed throughout India with regional variations and influences within each region. In Kashmir, it is believed that Sage Durvasa gave it a new launch in the 3rd or 4th century. Later in the 8th century, the same sutras were revealed to Vasugupta.
Very simply put, Agama includes the ways, means, methods or techniques for self realization. It is based on an existing form of belief, with yogic practices, philosophical content, logic and devotion. It includes the Krama, Kula etc. Sadly, the modern misconception is that the practice of the agamas is mostly related to methods of worship alone, though for a child this much alone, can be an easy introduction. Pratybhijna is the philosophy or the recognition of God within. Spanda , refers to the inner mystical experience of consciousness.
Therefore, starting with Agamic yogic devotion, followed by recognizing the awareness within through Pratybhijna , a seeker experiences through Spanda, the intrinsic nature of the reality within.
The term Trika, refers not just to the three teachings, *Trika more importantly refers to the “ man, universe and the ultimate principle governing the world’’ ie the three energies, from the lowest to the supreme ie apara, parapara and para, so also the triad of Nara, Shakti and Shiva.
In conclusion, Kashmir Shaivism stands out as a jewel in the crown among all branches of Shaivism, with the hallowed words of the great Swami Lakshman Joo, “ The Trika Philosophy is meant for any human being without restriction of caste, creed or color. Its purpose is to enable you to rise from individuality to universality”.
For further reading :
Shiva Sutras translated by Swami Lakshman Joo .
Shiva Sutras ~The Yoga Supreme Identity by Jaideva Singh
History of Kashmir Shavism by B.N. Pandit
Kashmir Shaivism The three main divisions by Dr R K Kaw in the book Lalla Rookh Rediscovered by K.L. Kalla.
Specific Principles of Kashmir Shaivism by B.N Pandit .
|*Dr. Nandita Shankar, *A practicing neurologist, she lives in Florida, with her husband , and spends her spare time enjoying her children and grandchildren , writing/editing articles on Hinduism and conducting local satsangs, teaching Jyotish to female physicians and others , and researching the similarities between Hinduism and Judaism primarily through the scriptures , having recently received a certification from Harvard University for the latter . .
This story about the begining of shaviasim is very good and gives a clear insight into shavisim please keep on writing about it in your further issues as well.thanks for it
Added By Sunaina Kaw
Very nice narration. An easy way to understand Kashmir Shavism. Expecting more from the author.
Added By Vikram Tikoo
Thank you Ms.Nandita Shankar Ji for this account of Kashmiri Shaivism, it was indeed very engrossing and enlightening. The story is quite easily understandable and would prove to be very helpful in making our generation and the ones to come, aware of our culture. Looking forward to the next article.
Added By Nakul Kampasi
NanditaJi, I was born in Kashmir and grew up there. I always knew about Kashmiri Shaivism but always believed that it would be too much of an effort to understand it. After reading Message on A Rock, I could speak to a classroom of kids and make THEM understand. Thank you for one of the best I have read in Shehjar.
Added By Arun Kaul
Absolutely out of the world I had heard of Shaivist philosophy as distinct from other philosophies of India, but I understood its basics only after reading this beautiful write-up. The author deserves all the compliments!
Added By Ruchi Raina
Well, the write-up really motivates me to keep my faith in God and in my own Self as well. The way the story is narrated provides strength to a 16-year-old student like me to try out my own will power. From now on, I am willing to go and see the rock to feel that Yes, God is near by.
Added By Kirti Mahajan
Dear. Ms. Shankar I read your story, and then read it again and again. I have read it at least six times now and everytime I read it I see a new truth unfolding through your writing. I am really grateful that you have shared this story with us. It is a story about Kashmir Shaivism not only for children but for parents as well. God Bless you! Sunanda
Added By Sunanda Vasisht
This short yet beautiful story "Message on the Rock" for children on 'Kashmir Shaivism' is for every living being on this earth. It depicts the true meaning of spirituality. I admire the author's creative mind and her ability to simplify this story for children so beautifully. Her ability to inspire children is seen in lines that 'God' is present in all of us in the form of mental, physical and spiritual energy; all we have to do is to realize this energy and channelize it rightly!"
Added By Suman Raina