I am Shiva
Shantam and Shivam — among all of my other qualities I am shanta and I am Shiva, meaning that I am peace (mind you, not just merely peaceful, but peace itself) and I am Shiva (God). Almost all of us reading Hindu scriptures like the Upanishads would be familiar with the phrase “Aham Brahmasmi” which means that I am Brahman.
It’s quite natural to get startled by these terms, and especially if you are calling yourself God for the first time, yet slowly and gradually you would understand that this is the very essence of life. Our scriptures say that we are bounded by three gunas — namely the Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. The Sattva nature denotes the calm and composed nature in an individual, Rajas denotes activity and Tamas is the most inferior among all, it is a symbolism of inactivity and laziness.
Even though saints and enlightened people advise us to immerse ourselves and strive to be enriched by the Sattvic trait, Bhagwan Shree Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita urges valiant Arjuna to be always immersed in the knowledge of the Self and always be involved in a continuous effort to rise above the three gunas, thus firmly being established in the Self.
Swami Vivekananda would often say that every man must be taught to manifest the divinity already present in him. He would ask us to be absolutely fearless, brave and strong, and would say that weakness is death, and the weak have no place anywhere. When I am faced with the challenges of life, and when am often at the receiving end of innumerable setbacks from life, I just ask myself whether or not this life is worth living, and why is there so much suffering everywhere? What kind of a life is this?
Surprisingly, I can feel a sudden power inside of me that says that talking about such things is absolutely futile and that there are greater things in life that one has to look up to. “Like what” my ever-practical part would say. Like channelising my divine energy into everything that I can, says my heart. Whenever I tend to forget my real nature, it is this heart that reminds me of who I am, what I am worth and how I should not let momentary failures affect me.
As I began with the paragraph saying that I am peace and Shiva himself, this is the knowledge that has to be manifested within, and the whole process has to be repeated over and over again, till the time it’s not mixed within our blood. Swamiji would also ask us to never mind the failures, as they are nothing but momentary, and he urged us to try one more time, even if we failed a thousand times… Now, that’s some figure, right? You might be wondering who on earth has the perseverance to fail a thousand times and then try again?
Swamiji says that it is us, for we are the ever-powerful and immortal souls, there cannot be anything in this world that can deter us. We are powerful, we are peaceful, for we are nothing but Shiva. Shiva himself.
Read that again and just embrace yourself with this divine power.