We had a half-day Siva Yoga Mini-retreat in Helsinki on 26.2.2011. The number participating was few but we were all enthusiastic practitioners of Siva Yoga and we all knew Siddha Thirumular's Siva-mantra by heart. Most of us have started to learn the Three Divine Qualities. The Three Divine Qualities is the primary teaching of Thirumular's Siva Yoga.
Exercise during retreats consists of Siva Yoga's public contents: long Siva-mantra, double-breathing exercise and SoHam-meditation technique. The most important part of the exercise is to, regardless of the level of practitioner, tune in with Thirumular's consciousness. This is practiced by remembering Thirumular's name or his figure.
Legends tell that the story of Mahasiddha Thirumular begins from Mount Kailash of Tibet, a sacred place for both Hindu and Buddhist people. Kailash is a real exception among the places of pilgrimage of the world. It is incomparable in power and beauty. Kailash is the embodiment of Shiva. One can also find annotations of Kailash in numerous ancient legends. When the Master was living at Kailasha He was called Mahayogi Sundara Natha.
2707*: Siva's Five-Lettered Mantra Is the Final Refuge
Think of Him in your heart,
Praise Him as ”My Lord”
When the death approaches you, say:
”Lord, You alone are my Refuge;”
Then will you receive
The Grace of Lord Letters Five seated,
The Lord who resides
In the snow-clad mountain of North (Kailas).
*Thirumandiram, Siddha Thirumular.
As we began the retreat we naturally tuned in with Master's consciousness and presence. At first we sang five Om-mantras and moved on to long Siva-mantra, which is repeated with constant rhythm over and over. When sung aloud like this, the power of Siva-mantra clears all the movements of mind leading practitioner to calm and quiet state of consciousness (Siva-consciousness).
As we sang the first round of Siva-mantras (which lasts c.a. 20 minutes at a time), I focused to the mantra letter by letter remembering Master in my heart and letting myself to merge into group's singing and bhakti. Mantra was repeating in a steady, sometimes accelerating rythm. I felt as being sucked in this sound mass. Holding my eye lids closed I kept my eyes pointed up and in the middle of the eye brows; as per instruction.
For some reason I happened to look down to my body while having my eye lids still closed. I was first surprised and I quickly lifted my look up again. However, as I was still singing Siva-mantra my eyes turned back down again and with wonder-struck mind I watched how my own body was blue. I was sitting in full-lotus posture, tigerskin on my loins, a rudraksha-mala around my neck and long, dark hair on my shoulders. I looked my body and realized it was Shiva's body. I looked again and saw myself sitting on the top of Mount Kailash, the magnificient snowy peaks of Himalayas in front of me. I understood that Master's Siva-mantra flows from Shiva's body and transforms sadhaka's body into Shiva's body. I have been reluctant to think Shiva as a blue-skinned yogi as He is represented in Hinduism. Now I saw how my own body was Shiva's body with all the detail. When Sivakami Amma was still in her physical body she mentioned that Satgurudeva had recently changed his own figure to that of Shiva while emerging to some of his students.
I do not know how I would comment this. I think that at certain times we need to have these experiences. It was wonderful to sit on the top of Kailash in that huge body of Shiva in icy wind and brightness. I thank Master for this blessing, bowing at His Lotus feet.
Si Va Ya Na Ma
Ya Na Va Si Ma
Ma Va Ya Na Si
Si Ya Na Ma Va
Va Si Ma Ya Na
In Siva Thirumular's Love
English translation: Vishwamitra