Lord Shiva is known as the demi-god of destruction and a very little detail is known about his exalted beautiful position as a Vaishnavacharya, apart from his other confidential passtimes which pleases the devotees to the utmost core.
We will attempt to discuss a few inner loving aspects and mercy (kripa) of Lord Shiva by remembering the vani (words) of Rasika Acharyas.
I will write as inspired from within by Sri Vrindavan Dham at the time of writing this (Today 21.02.20 happens to be Shivaratri and Sri Vrindavan Dham just inspired me impromptu to write this article). Let's see how this shapes out by blessings of Sri Vrindavan Dham.
|Other Names||Bholenath, Sada Shiva, Sambhu, Batuknath, Bhuteshwar, Gopeshwar|
|Prayers Composed||Radha Kripa Kataksha Prayers|
|Gopi Form||Gopeshwar Mahadev|
|Most Dear object||Devotion unto feet of Radharani and Krishna|
|Gaur Lila Manifestation||Advaita Acharya|
Lord Shiva is Vaishnavacharya, or the Acharyas of all Vaishnavas. There is a famous verse mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 11 which states - Vaishnavam Yatha Sambhu! It means that Lord Shiva is the topmost amongst all Vaishnavas. Vaishnavas are the followers of Krishna (or Vishnu who none other than Krishna's expansion. You can find the details about this in Srimad Bhagavatam 1st Canto, 3rd Chapter).
Nobody can approach the devotional service unto our Shyamsundar Krishna without the kripa (mercy) and blessings of our beloved Lord Shiva.
Radha Kripa Kataksha
Radha Kripa Kataksha is a list of prayers that Lord Shiva makes to attain the causeless mercy of our Swamini (Queen) Sri Radha.
These prayers describe the very touching deep tattva and have glories and praise of the inner confidential position of Srimati Radharani in every syllable, every sentence. Lord Shiva has beautifully narrated all these prayers while in a conversation with Mother Parvati (as described in Urdhvamnaya-Tantra).
In the very last verse, Lord Shiva states that if one sings Radha Kripa Kataksha at Radha Kund, then Sri Radhika will come and take the devotee directly in Vrindavan Prema Rasa. It is a very confidential discussion but I don't know why Sri Vrindavan Dham inspires me at the time of writing this to divulge this here (might be for any few sincere seekers reading this).
Chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra sincerely guides all direction directly in the heart of the sincere seeker. This Kali Yuga is all about nama! (If you are really desperate to know what is so confidential about Vrindavan Prema Rasa, you must read this confidential meaning of Hare Krishna Mahamantra and intensely chant this regularly)
Shetra-Pal (Protector) of all temples of Krishna
Wherever there is a temple of Krishna, there exists a temple of Lord Shiva just in the vicinity or on the borders of the city where the Krishna temple is located. Lord Shiva is the shetra-pal or protector of the Dham (Any place where there is a Krishna temple is a dham in itself).
Without Lord Shiva's mercy (kripa), it is impossible for anybody to gain the feet of Sri Krishna, what to talk about our prana-priya (Most Dear to Life) Swamini Srimati Radharani who can be only obtained to those who have excessive mercy (kripa) of both Krishna as well as Lord Shiva!
Most priya (dear) object of Lord Shiva
Once a devotee was doing tapasaya (austerity) in devotion for Lord Shiva. Becoming happy with the devotee's love, Lord Shiva appeared and asked him for any boon. The devotee warmly replied that he is illiterate and doesn't know anything except for love for Lord Shiva. So if Lord Shiva wanted to give him anything, then he just might give his most dear thing.
Lord Shiva was stunned by the sweet demand of his dear devotee. Nobody had asked him for this! The most-dear thing of Lord Shiva himself!
Lord Shiva asked for some time from his devotee. At his abode on Kailash mountains, He was in deep thinking about this demand of his dear devotee. Had it been anything else, he would have given like this. But this was a demand of Lord Shiva's most dear object itself.
Mother Parvati appeared there and asked Lord Shiva on why he was in such deep thinking.
When Lord Shiva narrated the entire story to Mother Parvati, she also asked him for the answer. Now, Lord Shiva was in more dilemma!
Eventually, he told both Mother Parvati and his devotee of his most dear thing, and that is vraj-prema-bhakti unto the feet of Sri Radha and Sri Krishna in the groves of Vrindavan!
So, when Lord Shiva is really happy with somebody and if that devotee prays for this rare confidential Vrindavan Prema Rasa, Lord Shiva gives it immediately. One can feel this real-time.
Home of Lord Shiva - Kailash Mountains
Lord Shiva can have all the luxuries but he chooses to live a secluded life in the Kailash Mountains just to be in his meditative trance.
He lives in the isolated and extremely cold Himalayas, just to remain in fixed meditation on the passtimes of Radharani & Krishna without any hindrance or disturbance of any sort.
This is the level of absorption in our devotion which we should aim for. He should be our source of inspiration to awaken our love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Radha and Sri Krishna.
Lord Shiva is a renunciate in spite of being married and hence lives a secluded life up on Kailash Mountains to meditate on the inner beautiful passtimes of Radharani and Krishna.
Upon being insulted by Daksha (Sati's father) in front of all, he chooses to stay silent.
It's only when even Mother Sati jumped into the fire that Lord Shiva got angry and did the Tandav Dance (the dance of destruction) but was stopped and pacified by words of Lord Vishnu.
It means that he can't withstand if somebody offends his devotee! What to speak about Vaishnavas, to whom he beautifully blesses and guides them to the confidential service of Radha-Krishna easily.
One of the names of Lord Shiva is Bholenath. It means the one who becomes easily pleased. That's why if somebody prays to him for his most treasured object of Radha-Krishna, he gives the Divine Couple to his devotee very easily.
Lord Shiva desired to take part in rasa-dance of Krishna with the gopis. But as Krishna is the only purush (male or enjoyer) and everything else is prakriti (female or object of enjoyment), hence no apparent male is allowed in the rasa dance. Being Vaishnavacharya, Lord Shiva aspires to taste the inner rasa-dance every now and then and hence, takes the form of gopi. His gopi form is called as Gopeshwar Mahadev.
Lord Shiva is the shetra-pal (protector) of Vrindavan Dham in the form of Gopeshwar Mahadev. The Gopeshwar Mahadev Temple in Vrindavan has the deity of Lord Shiva in the form of a gopi.
Ravan carrying Lord Shiva to Lanka
The demon Ravan after years of meditation onto Lord Shiva gained a boon to carry Shiva to Lanka. Lord Shiva agreed to Ravan's terms to take him to Lanka, but he put forward a condition. The condition was that if Ravan drops the Shiva idol at any place, Lord Shiva will settle there and will make it as his abode. Ravan complied with Lord Shiva’s wishes. Ravan began with the journey, carrying Lord Shiva’s idol to his Lanka.
The other demigods were worried. Ravan was taking Lord Shiva to Lanka! They had to stop him. Lord Ganesh, son of Lord Shiva changed his demeanour to a little boy and with his supernatural capabilities, forced an urge in Ravan’s bladder to ease himself. Ravan saw the small boy and asked him to keep holding the idol of Lord Shiva, while he emptied his bladder. Thus, Lord Ganesha disguised as a small boy placed Lord Shiva onto the land while Ravan was out there to ease himself. Thus Lord Shiva got a new abode, and that is known as Devghar in today’s age. Devghar is one amongst 12 Jyotirlingas.
Lord Shiva chasing Mohini Avatar of Krishna
Lord Shiva puts his name to shame just to glorify the name of his Lord, Sri Krishna. He runs after Mohini, a feminine aspect of manifestation of Krishna. Mohini is the most beautiful and thousands are literally running after her. Yet nobody has got the better of her because she is an illusion! She is a beautiful illusion. Shiva becomes so much attracted by her beauty that he releases his semen while chasing her. All the source of gold mines on the earth today is referred to in our Vedic Scriptures as the places where Shiva dropped his semen.
He let go off his reputation to just glorify the name of Krishna. Mohini is so fascinating and attractive that no one can get over her attraction. That is maya or illusion in today’s world. Even though he could have controlled his urge, he intentionally goes running after Mohini just to glorify the attractive aspect of Krishna. This is devotion.
We are living in an illusion today. You know, what is the biggest illusion?
The biggest example of an illusion is a movie theatre. You are watching a movie. There comes an action sequence. The hero is fighting the goons for the heroine. You begin to imagine yourself as the hero. You begin to weave up stories about the romantic time with the heroine and the action fights with the goons. And this is nothing but just pure imagination. Mere speculation! Mere illusion!
Similarly, you know what is the biggest illusion? We think of ourselves as bodies, whereas we are actually eternal souls. We are originally Satchidananda, which means that we are eternal, full of knowledge and full of pleasure. Check How should beginner's approach spirituality guide to begin your journey to revive your original eternal constitutional position.
Lord Shiva descends as Adi Shankaracharya to preach about the Brahman. Brahman is nothing but effulgence or rays of Krishna. That is the concept of moksha, which is to be merged in Brahman. To those who are special kripa-patra (object of mercy) and to those who had adhikar (eligibility), Adi Shankaracharya gave them his treasure - the original passtimes of Vrindavan in form of Jagannath Astakam prayers amongst many. In Jagannath Astakam prayers, Lord Shiva as Adi Shakarcya sings prays of Krishna and Radharani!
These Jagannath Astakam prayers are sung at all rath-yatras held globally. Srila Prabhupada started rath yatra in all major cities of the world.
In Gaur Lila, Lord Shiva appears as Advaita Acharya.
It is Advaita Acharya who prays for Krishna to descend in the form of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to give the holy names to the world. Check the inner confidential article on inner Vrindavan mood of Panchtattva here.
Ideal prayers one should pray to Lord Shiva
Lord Shiva tells to Mother Parvati in Radha Kripa Kataksha prayers that one should pray to Radharani for Her most dear treasure (who is none other than Krishna. We won't get into it in more detail as of now. Those who wish to explore this subject in detail can read this article).
In a similar way, devotees should pray to Lord Shiva for his most dear treasure!
Ganga (Descend to earth)
It is from Lord Vishnu's feet that Ganga originates. But had she entered earth directly, her force would have destroyed bhuloka (earth). Hence, Lord Shiva offered Ganga to land on his hair-locks, and then on earth (Ganga appeared on earth on the prayers of King Bhagirath which is a discussion for another day).
Conclusion and note for Lord Shiva Devotees
In spite of all the modern advancement, people are unhappy. There is some missing link. And the link is Krishna itself. Without Him, everything, however, and whatever materially sound it may be, is incomplete. Lord Shiva teaches that if you chase Mohini or Maya, you would always be discontent because Mohini is nothing but an illusion, a mirage. And my friend, if you chase Krishna, Mohini will automatically come to you because she is none other than Krishna personified.
Thus on this auspicious occasion of Shivratri, We should pray in the feet of Lord Shiva to bestow us with his most dear thing - devotion unto Radha and Krishna. It is because that is the ultimate search, the ultimate happiness. Radha! Krishna!
Jai Jai Shri Radhe!
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