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It is said that in the abode of Shiv, all are welcome – bhoot, pret, pisach, yaksh, kinnar, manav, dev, daanav. Shiv does not discriminate between positive and negative, both are a part of Shiv, essential to maintain the balance in Creation. The reason why someone is closer or further away is because of their shakti, which is accumulated through sadhna and seva under the sanidhya of one’s Guru. If there is Guru kripa, the being’s ego dissolves and he/she merges into Shiv. In the absence of Guru, the ego increases exponentially as one’s siddhis/shaktis increase and blinded by ego and desire, he/she drifts apart even after accessing Shiv. Let me explain this with the story of Bhasmasur.

Bhasmasur performed intense tapa and sadhna for many-many years to please Lord Shiv. So much heat and attraction was generated by his penance that it started creating an imbalance in creation and Lord Shiv was compelled to come to him. Bhasmasur wanted to be the most powerful being in Creation and requested the Lord to grant him immortality. Lord Shiv told him to ask for another boon, since he could not have been granted immortality. Bhasmasur thought for a while and requested Lord Shiv to grant him a boon such that whoever’s head he puts his hand on, is reduced to ashes. “Tathastu,” replied Lord Shiv and granted him the boon. Bhasmasur’s penance ended, he traded his entitlement for the boon and the balance in Creation was restored.

With this, Bhasmasur’s ego knew no bounds, he thought to himself that with his new found siddhis he could reduce anyone to ashes…including the Lord of the Three Worlds himself. With malice in his head, he expressed the desire to test his boon in front of Lord Shiv to be sure that it works. The omniscient Lord knew what was to come next but waited for Bhasmasur to finish. “Since there is no one else in the vicinity on whom I can test my powers, Oh Lord! I would want to test them on you,” said Bhasmasur. With this he sprang towards Lord Shiv with his hand raised. Lord Shiv knew the potency of his boon and also the consequences if Bhasmasur succeeded in his ways. As Lord Vishnu is the Preserver, so Lord Shiv invoked him to preserve Creation by finding a solution to this problem.

Lord Vishnu then took the form of the enchanting Mohini and appeared before Bhasmasur. Bhasmasur was swept away by her beauty and unable to resist her attraction, requested the Goddess to be his wife. Mohini, the epitome of Vishnu’s maya, told Bhasmasur that she would marry him if he could match her in her dance moves. Bhasmasur was blinded by desire and forgot all about the boon and about chasing Lord Shiv and started dancing to the moves of Mohini. Mohini, seeing her plan working, tricked Bhasmasur to perform a move where he had to touch his head…thus ending the being with the highest ego who with his tapasya had got the ultimate boon from Lord Shiv.

Moral of the story is that anybody walking the path of Shiv has access to phenomenal shakti. The more shakti he/she acquires, in the absence of Guru the more the ego inflates and more destruction he/she will carry out in and around him/herself. All is acceptable to Shiv for he is the Adi Guru who will take any nonsense from his shishyas smilingly. But Vishnu’s maya, Narayani, does not spare such people and ensures their destruction. The Puranas are full of such episodes. None survived then, nor would any survive now…and survival is not only of the body. It is also destruction of the soul which takes birth in lower levels of existence/hells, Guru droh being the foremost cause.

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