Brahma-purāṇa contains a conversation between Shiva and Mother Goddess Uma. Shiva explains:
- “Humans who seek to obtain the ultimate state should develop deep inclination as well as dedication towards truthfulness (satya) and righteousness (dharma). Be truthful at all times.
- They should be peace-loving. Both at mental and physical plane they should be at peace. There are many who appear irritable and take pride in the fact that they are short-tempered. It is wrong! In no way it is an admirable trait! ‘If I get angry I will act like a lion. I will be as wicked as a fox’- people who make such statements need to be treated properly. Perhaps they are exhibiting the traits of their earlier births when they were born as lions or foxes.
- They should refrain from injuring any living entity in the universe either physically, mentally or verbally. Ahimsa (non-violence) is a must! Try to drive away mosquitoes using repellents. Do not kill them. Instead we take great pride in killing the mosquito that sits on our hand. It is wrong! Only when an animal is harming other innocent animals we have the right to kill it. Not otherwise. For instance when a rat eats away small innocent birds it can be killed. As this is done to protect other living entities Shiva the witness takes over the sin. This is dharma. However going to the rat-hole, dragging the rat and killing it is unacceptable! Never deliberately harm other living entities.
- They should not have attachments of any sort. Practice dispassion. Learn to see defects (dosham) in attachments and desires. Never entertain desires.
Don’t even demand talismans from Swamiji. He gives per His discretion. Why do we need talismans, pendants or Rudrakshas when He resides in our hearts? ‘Why should I seek tiny rocks from the mountain when the mountain itself is with me? It is enough if You are with me Swamiji’- this should be our prayer. But when He calls you specifically and gives you a talisman, do not refuse. It is a medication He is giving you. On your part never demand or desire.
- They should develop feelings of equal-mindedness in every aspect.
Only that person, who while performing auspicious deeds, strictly abstains from using weapons, speaks lovingly to others and practices non-violence reaches heaven.
- Shivaratri Feb 2017