Vandana is prayer and prostration. Humble prostration-touching the earth with eight limbs of the body, with faith and reverence, before a form of God, or prostration to all beings, knowing them to be the forms of the one God, getting absorbed in divine love of the Lord-is termed prostration to God.
The Bhagavatam says: “The sky, air, fire, water, earth, stars, planets, cardinal points, trees, rivers, seas and all living beings constitute the body of God. The devotee should bow before everything in absolute devotion, thinking that he is bowing before God Himself.”
Sri Krishna says to Uddhava: “Giving no attention to people who laugh in ridicule, forgetting the body, and insensible to shame, one should fall prostrate on the ground, bowing to all beings even down to the dog, the cow and the ass.” Doing prostrations to others makes a man humble.
If a man entertains Narayarna bhava (feeling the presence of God in all) when he does prostrations, this will help him to realise that whatever he sees is God, that there is nothing but God, that the manifestation is the virat (cosmic) aspect of Brahman. This will help to develop devotion. Always feel that you are prostrating to the Lord himself – all living creatures, all objects are forms of God only.
May you all attain God-consciousness through the practice of prema (love) yoga. May your heart be filled with prema for the Lord. May the blessings of the Lord be upon you all. May you shine as bhagavatas, singing the Lord’s name, disseminating divine prema and radiating joy, peace and bliss everywhere!
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SIVA’S FINAL TEACHING
Purify your heart through selfless service, Be devoted to the Lord and obtain his grace,
Through japa (repetition of God’s name), kirtan (chanting), prayer and self-surrender.
Practise sanas (postures), pranayama (yoga breathing), etc. Abandon egoism, desire, anger and greed. Control all the senses. Cultivate discrimination and dispassion.
Practice the four means.
Hear the rutis (scriptures). Reflect and meditate ceaselessly. You will attain self-realisation.