The principle reason we have a lot of deities in Hinduism is to remind you that God is Consciousness. Every single energy has a form which has a representative energy on earth. Whichever form that you feel connected to, or helps you to understand and feel God’s love, is the form of God to you. It is the energy that connects to you.
Let’s take the prasatham that you enjoyed just now. The ingredients used to make it include rice, ghee, milk, nuts, cashew nuts, sugar and so many other things. When they are all combined, it’s prasatham. When it’s separated, it’s not – each ingredient has its own energies.
The Rishis have done the same thing – they want you to have a reflection of the energies of God. So, if you see Ganapathy, with his elephant head, tusk, coconut, and so on, it means that this is the energy that is able to remove whatever negative energy is around and within you. You can’t put an elephant, coconut, sugar, flour, tusk and everything else in front of you and say it’s Ganapathy. It has to have a form that has the combined energies all these ingredients which gives it the energies of Ganapathy. This is the dharma of the mathematical computation of the energy matrix that results. Everything in this universe is in this matrix.
According to this dharma, whatever you want you will be able to absorb from the universe. However, if your mind brings the negative energy in front of it, you have put blockages. No doubt the universe is there to align your being, the Self and physical body to be successful. You don’t do that. Your mind is more powerful than that because you mind becomes the biggest hurdle.
WHO ARE THESE RISHIS?
Rishis are beings who astral travel across the whole universe. While we are not used to travelling between these realms, the Rishis are. There are 14 living earths around the whole universe and the Rishis travel to most of them. What is different among these different earths is the intellect level of the different beings in the different realms. Your physical body may expire here. But your soul can be born in another universe or earthly dimension. While you’re there, you may have a memory of being here and it may look like here. It’s almost the same.
Rishis are different from the Siddhas. The Siddhas are people who have understood the energies and aligned it to their physical bodies. They have used those energies to enhance the capabilities of the physical body. They are able to be as heavy as a mountain or as light as a feather. The Rishis don’t have physical bodies, but they can take on any physical body when and if they want. They are the intermediaries between Gods and human beings. This is why rishis have got a stronghold on God as well. They are so powerful.
Why are they so powerful? Because the concept of God’s existence is dependent on the celebration of God by the human being. It is what determines the evolution of man.
Everything that God has created has to be exercised by human beings. We humans are God’s playground. We are God’s Lego. However, if the toys are created and nobody is using it, then that creation is wasted. So, it’s the Rishis who write the operating manual on how these things are supposed to function. That’s why you celebrate God. If you don’t celebrate God, you’re useless. Celebrating God is part and parcel of how you should go back to God. That’s the standard operating model for all humans. Even if you don’t celebrate God, a simple act of gratitude is good enough.
In essence, the creation meets the creator through celebrations like Shivaratri.
WHY DO WE STAY AWAKE DURING SHIVARATRI?
When we pray to Lord Shiva during Shivaratri (during this ammavasai time), the energy is exalted. When energy is exalted, your connectivity to universal energy is stronger. So that’s why you have Shivaratri.
Why do you have to keep awake? Because if you lie down, the energies within your body are horizontally aligned and the physical components of your body will get affected. When you pray by sitting straight and keepings your spine erect, all your chakras are in alignment and it is easier to get connected to the universal energies and Consciousness.
Lastly, our prayer often involves the act of doing ‘namaskar’ before the deity. It is also a customary greeting for Indians to greet someone using the same gesture of placing our palms together. When we do this, we are saying, “I am respecting the soul in you who is also in me.” In the Vedas, we call this the atamanjali mudra. When all five pressure points are connected, it increases the brain power to come to a focus and, thereby, remove everything else in your mind. You are able to see the other person without judgment. In prayer, when you put your palms together, you release everything and see God in pure consciousness. That’s how simple it is.