Part 1 is here
My mother belonged to a religious family and had worshipped a white Shivlinga from a long time. When I was in her womb, she read the part of childhood leelas of Sri Krishna from Shrimad Bhagwat and the complete Shiv Puran. In this way, the sound “SHIVA” got engraved in depths of my heart even before I was born. Moreover, all the purans discuss topics such as devotion, yog, etc.
On my birth, the family astrologer declared that since he is born with rising sun (5:55 am), he himself will become like a rising sun. He will have a “Karma-Kundli”, which means he will write his own fate. Anyways, I was born with suparis (betelnuts) stuck in my hair and white powder over my body.(my mother developed cravings for betelnut and slate-pencils when I was in her womb!) My mother tells I would sleep during the day, and would disturb them all night. (Not my fault, she read leelas of naughty Krishna 😄)
The first few years of my life were marked by diseases and head injuries. Within a few weeks after my birth, I got digestive disorders. When I was around 2, I got pneumonia and I was left with a weak respiratory system. I also got a gaanth (tumor, not cancerous), over my right eyebrow, which was operated. At that time, we used to live on rent in upper rooms of a house. I once slipped and hit the balcony. I got a nice cut on middle of my forehead, which my mother now explains as, “It looked as if it was opening of third eye, there was a fountain of blood.” Luckily, there was a clinic in neighborhood and I got some nice stitches. Later, when I was 5, I got a hit on left side of my head at back in school. (So, I saw gate of suffering at an early age 😉). I was lean, lazy, day dreamer, bibliophile and physically weak. Further, my mother is short tempered (actually our ancestors were warriors, so anger is in our blood), so sometimes I got beaten up nicely. But she worked as a goad as you will know from some further incidents.
Once an old woman at a pyau,(public drinking water places) gave my father a rudraksh bead which she had got from Kumbha. From that time, it rests in my neck, sometimes cord needs to be replaced. That bead is the only ornament that I wear, that I actually like to wear. At that time, I didn’t know much about Shiva, it was probably some 12-13 years back.
In later childhood years, I used to watch movies like Baal Krishna, Baal Ganesh, Baal Hanuman, etc and serials such as Ramayana, Sri Krishna, etc, that was my only link to divine. I would sing there background musics and songs just for fun, not in form of prayer or devotion, just because I liked it. Around in class 3rd or 4th, I got a coughing problem. It was dry coughing. I emptied bottles of cough syrup of different brands but none helped. I couldn’t eat rice at night. I would cough like an old man. Sometimes, I had continuous coughing at night, my chest pained, I felt helpless, I couldn’t sleep, nor could my parents. During those times, I learned Hanuman Chalisa to seek divine help. Hanuman’s strength, intellect and devotion inspired me. Hanuman Chalisa chanting gave me some physical strength. I would chant it continuously, it did help a little. Allopathy, Homeopathy, spice combinations with honey, all failed. Finally, once a homeopathic doctor recommended my mother to give me hot milk with turmeric added in it. A pinch of turmeric did what nothing else could do. This instilled my faith in Ayurvedic remedies and ancient culture of India. By end of class 6th, I started a little exercising and little yoga which for me meant only asana and little breathing exercises.
Nearly around 2012-2013, we began facing water shortage. We live on outer parts of city and that too in Rajasthan. That time, the area was not so populated as it is today. It was such a shortage that we often had to fetch water from my Nani’s in big containers or from some public water supply. I remember filling buckets when sometimes water would come at 5’o clock. I would often sing two chants when I would fill water : “Hari Sharanam Shri Hari Sharanam … ” and “Om Narayanay” (2nd one is from Allu Arjun’s movie 😄). Around 2014, a water storage tank (on which some drunk people climb in movies!) was built in our area and after that we have not faced such water shortage. This gave me more faith in divinity.
In 2014 beginning, during March, a channel was telecasting the old “Om Namah Shivay”, but I couldn’t watch it due to exams. I wanted to know about him. I just knew that he was a part of trinity and was destroyer of world, which is the prevailing notion. Moreover, the incident of 6th class I mentioned in Prem-rog had disillusioned me a little. So, it was obvious for a vairagi (renunciant), who was the slayer of cupid to interest me. Who was Shiva exactlty?
There was a turn of events in 2014, when I was in class 7th. Around that time the same Shivlinga that my mother had worshipped earlier was brought home from my Nani’s home and following the instructions I began a ritualistic abhishekam with water. I don’t remember what I thought. I was just doing it because I was asked to do so. One of common dreams I had was of lion or tigers. Sometimes, I saw them as my pet.
Inspired by some serials and some other events, I started baby attempts on meditation. How? In next post ☺️.