(Excerpt from a satsang by Swamiji)
You have collected a heap of worldly attachments – slowly, slowly throw them away. A lot of grass is growing on the land of your heart. Clean it little by little and try to plant Katpaga trees. [Katpaga trees are wish-fulfilling trees.] In time to come you will feel that these trees will give you light. Living solitarily and with a one-pointed mind – these two things will change you into a person filled with grace. Without others knowing, you will go higher, higher and higher. For the atma to know peace, inside and outside, it should be in a state filled with Shiva-consciousness. Merge with the blissful state of the dance of Shiva. Then you will laugh at the worldly life and you will be contented.
We in the Sri Premananda Ashram celebrate Mahashivaratri in a grand way. Why do we celebrate and pray on that day? Because on that day the Lord Shiva, the Guru of meditation, gives us many blessings and grace. Fasting on that one day benefits you because it wipes away your sins. Mahashivaratri is a great day for all people on the spiritual path.
Shiva, the all-pervading supreme energy, is the divine teacher who takes you to the state of the deepest meditation. The worshipping of Shiva in a form will help you to attain illumination. Whatever seed you plant, its final form is already determined within it. Plant the seed of Lord Shiva within you. That Shiva-consciousness will grow into a great spiritual tree deep within you. When you come to that state of evolution you will feel that the whole world is one. Then you will come to the conclusion that the Shiva-consciousness is indeed the best kind of seed to plant!
The true purpose of the Hindu religion is to help us reach silence, to meditate and to receive grace and attain wisdom. There are many enlightened people who experienced different kinds of spiritual stages and who then taught others. According to their teachings, it is Shiva meditation that guides one to ultimate spiritual realization. All other sadhanas are meant to support us to come to this state. That is why Hindu Sanatana Dharma gives first preference to meditation and why you often see Lord Shiva in the form of someone in meditation.