29th May, 2011: The eagerly awaited day, when the foundation stone for the Tripur Shiva Peetham was laid by Shri Maharaj Ji. Devotees had already flocked to the ashram the previous evening in huge numbers and the morning only saw, more of them pouring to witness this momentous occasion. The significance of the Tripur Shiva Peetham was laid open by Shri Maharaj Ji before he climbed down to the deep foundation pit where the power of the Lord – Parameshvari Shiva would be seated in the form of the Shri Yantra formed both through the skilled craftsmen using the materials of mother Nature and the various devoted sadhakas. Amidst chanting of the mantras from the Vedas and the Upaniṣads, the foundation was laid. Shri Maharaj Ji also laid in the bosom of mother Earth the Shri Yantras that various devotees had meditated upon all this while. These practices would go on and on until the Shri Yantra comes to life in the hearts of the devotees; when that subtle form of the yantra, made from the vibes of mantras, nada & jyoti would be established in the external mould of the Tripur Shiva Peetham. Particularly touching was how the entire gathering was involved in the entire process. The bricks that went into the foundation were sanctified by touches of the entire gathering. And the devotees in turn felt blessed that they were touching the holy bricks upon which were to stand the structure of the powerful Dhyan Mandir.
After the foundation was laid and the ceremony neared its completion, the devotees were asked to assemble in the hall for the monthly Sunday sabha where Shri Maharaja Ji would as usual enthuse the devotees with inspiring words, show them the direct, straight path to life’s ascent. Before the discourse is started, the atmosphere is charged by the melodies that sing the drunkenness of the Lord’s name. Hymns were sung in the traditional Punjabi folk style, kavalis, and the melodious Gurbani shabda keertan. All this while the devotees kept flowing in to pay their obeisance to the Master. The gathering was also addressed by the electrifying words that flowed from the heart of the renowned lawyer and devotee Mr. Bodharaja. In spirited words, he expressed his feelings towards the Master, the uniqueness that he had experienced in the Master, and inspired everyone to use the opportunity of the Master’s company to find lasting satisfaction in life and at least, to rise above the petty worldly quarrels. His speech drew the mosaic of our lives which often get entangled in the web of little quarrels for land, property, relationships. And as he narrated this part, the lawyer in him spoke forth brilliantly and made sure that his words inspired many devotees to make their lives simpler, holier, and easier by leaving aside the tit-bits of mere material possessions for the supremely more valuable peace of mind.
And finally, that melodious voice was once again singing the Vedic invocations as is its custom before a discourse, to hear which one would travel to the last corner of the world and whose melody melts the heart, lightens the body until it begins to sway of its own accord in rasa and bliss. It was obvious the Master would speak on the concept of the Tripur Shiva Peetham today. The Master’s speech is presented below:
‘The foundation of the Tripur Shiva Peetham was laid today and we hope and will also try that the work reaches completion at the earliest, probably in 1-2 years. The site that the Divine Will has selected for this Dhyana Mandir had been the seat of meditation of a mahatma in the past and is thus pure, a tirtha. Tirtha is a place that is like a gateway to the beyond; like the Ganges is a tirtha, diving into which one can reach the realms that exist beyond the body, mind, and senses. There is no doubt that this entire Earth has been created by the Divine power, yet some places and sites acquire greater significance; just like the same earth is fertile somewhere and barren at others; just like the human body is more significant than the animal or plant bodies and the body of a Brahmajñani (the Knower of Brahma) is more significant than that of an ordinary mortal. These tirthas are also of two kinds: jangam and sthavara. The former refers to the body and being of a Brahmajñani and the latter to the sites and places on the earth that provide a direct link with the higher realms. Any place where a saint has lived and meditated and performed tapa, is a tirtha. The great significance of the tirthas is brought out clearly by the shastras as follows:
Once Shivaji and Parvatiji were traveling around the earth. All of a sudden Shivaji stopped and bowed down to the site facing them. When Parvatiji inquired him the reason for doing so, He replied, ‘Years before, this site has been purified by the tapa of my devotee and so I bow to this sanctified land which has become a tirtha.’ The two continued their walk when they arrived at a site where Shivaji bowed down once more. ‘Now what is special about this land?’ – inquired Parvatiji. ‘On this land, a devotee of me would perform tapa, three hundred years hence. So this land is already pure and is calling out. It is a tirtha too.’
The mound that has been just cleared had been kept in its original form from the very beginning. It had been protected ever since for it was calling for something special to take its place. It had been home to numerous serpents. As it was being cleared, within 3 days, about 10 huge snakes were caught, and then they were left free near the canal. In fact, this place has been a free slithering space for serpents. Every rainy season, you would find them all over, sometimes they even pay a visit to our room. But there are volunteers namely Pratap, Lakshaman, Darsha who always safely catch the serpents and leave them free near the canal. So this mound, which has been cleared now, and the adjacent land, will give place to the Tripur Shiva Peetham.
To understand the significance it is all about how we look at the name itself. Shiva is the primal force, the dynamic agency of Shiva which carries on the play of the cosmos. A direct link can be formed with this dynamic agency by invoking this power and establishing it in a specific form as is envisaged through the Tripur Shiva Peetham. The Shri Yantra is that form through which the divine Shakti can be thus invoked, for this unique Yantra is a map of the subtle cosmos, its cycles of creation and annihilation.
There is a deep relation between mantra and yantra. The mantra is not something that is written on a piece of paper; it is a condensed form of sound vibrations. It also has a subtle form which can also be seen if one has those eyes that can see it. Its form is just like the form of the waves rising and falling in the ocean. However, yantras were devised by the sages to give that subtle form of the mantra a physically tangible reality, which our eyes can see. The Shri Yantra which is the subtle map of the cosmos helps us to see those aspects of the creation which the naked eye cannot see, which the great telescopes cannot discover for us; for there are still more to the physical form of the sun and the moon that the telescopes help us see. It is this world that has been mapped in the Shri Yantra and more so. For at the center of the Shri Yantra, lies the bindu; in fact there are two bindus. One of these is too subtle to be seen. It signifies Brahma. Then there is the manifest bindu which signifies the manifested power of Brahma. Surrounding the bindus is the expanse carried through triangles. The three vertices of a triangle signify icchā, kriyā, jñāna or active will, dynamic action and perennial knowledge. We could also elaborate this further by saying that the three vertices signify the sushumna, pingala and the ida where the sushumna denotes the divine will or icchā, pingala denotes the kriya and ida signifying the jñāna. It is this icchā which is at the helm of creation, about which the scriptures say एकोहं बहुस्याम (ekohaṃ bahusyām) or in other words the primal Word that was with God and was in fact One with God. We shall not go into more details right now regarding the Shri Yantra and conclude by saying that it is the link between the pinḍa (microcosm) and brahmānda (macrocosm).
For an aspirant desirous of walking this path, it is first necessary to love the feet of the Lord, surrender oneself there, and along with that go on performing one’s duties in the best possible manner. It doesn’t matter how much who can do and serve, it only matters that whatever amount of power and resources you have you devote them to the full, utilize them all in the spirit of service to the Lord. In the Gita, the Lord mentions fours kinds of devotees. However, for all of them, the condition is the same, to come to the Lord, surrender to Him your all. If you have greater power you will have to use all of it to serve, not spare an inch, not keeping an ounce unutilized. And if you do not have so much power, still you will have to use all of that to come closer to God. Yes, it is there, that this power, these resources should be used in the welfare and good of all, wishing well for all.
Yantras have another huge significance. Just like there is water that runs on the ground. It can be controlled and directed using a dam. But if the water has entered into the ground, to use one needs to employ powerful motors to lift it. Similarly, our minds have grown so much engrossed in the material external world of the senses that the dam of detachment and vairagya is often insufficient to direct it back to the inner path. To lift such a mind from the dark abyss of materialism to the lofty heights of pure, pristine existence, the sages devised yantras (which means powerful machines/tools).
To conclude, we would only like to say that indeed this human birth and body is very rare; so rare that even the devas yearn to be given this human birth –which is a golden chance to ascend to the highest peaks of existence. The progress in the higher realms is slower. We must use all our muscle, might, and mind in our work and put all our faith only in God. For example, say you are ill and need to take medicine. Do take it but keep your trust in God who is going to draw the essence of that medicine into the body and make it do its rightful work. In this way, both welfare here and hereafter will be ours. The worldly works will find success and simultaneously the mind will be satisfied and content. Otherwise, if we forget to put our trust in the right place, we might earn lots of money, but simultaneously we will also earn loads of ego that will ruin all our peace of mind.
Two words in this context for extremely committed aspirants: Though one may not be crowned with worldly success yet, to still keep right on the path, to sacrifice everything for its sake, will surely bring one reward from the Ultimate which is what matters at the last. Often the Lord also sets in tough circumstances to check whether the aspirant actually desires Him or his devotion is just on the surface. One should be ready to give the tough exams and pass them with full merit.’
The discourse concluded with the very melodious and very popular Shri Rama Dhun, that the Master had created last year. Soon everyone was swaying and as the rhythm picked up the pace so did the swaying and the bliss that accompanies the music, which was doubled, for this was music sung for the source of Bliss itself. Soon the tempo reached such a height that the percussionists found it difficult to keep pace and they took recourse to fast dham dham dham beats. That only added further to the intensity of the atmosphere. And amidst this ecstasy, the melodious voice of the Master was always heard in the backdrop as it extended itself throughout the five octaves in various fast rhythmic variations. When it all came to a stop, some devotees were heard wailing, crying out for Rama, others became stiff as a log, eyes closed, diving deep into meditation.
Then the Master announced about his upcoming tour of various states of India and the fact that He has to leave soon after for in the evening the train had to be boarded from Ludhiana. And thus, this auspicious occasion – when the foundation was finally laid for the Tripur Shiva Peetham and when the Master inspired all to utilize all their might and power in carrying their duties and keeping their faith and trust firmly in God for gaining total fulfillment in life – was concluded.