The Appearance of Lord Shiva
On the night of the new moon in February, Indians celebrate the festival of Shiva-Ratri and on this night all devotees, yogis and swamis meditate until dawn. Traditional ceremonies and celebrations took place in Sri Udaipuriji's ashram. On this night dedicated to Lord Shiva, Srimati Chandan Deviji heard that numerous devotees had already been granted a vision of his Divine form.
"Maybe he will also bless me with his darshan," she mused.
She vowed to fast until blessed by Lord Shiva's appearance. In the unshakable belief that she would meet him face to face, she emerged deep into meditation and began to chant the Holy mantra,
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
"My Reverence to Lord Shiva"
Her devout prayer was heard and at one o'clock in the early morning hours, God Shiva appeared before her and spoke in a pure, melodious voice:
"My obeisance to you, Divine Mother! The tapasya and prayers you performed in earlier lives shall now bear fruit. Grace is bestowed upon you, as you shall have the privilege of conceiving the highest Lord, king of the Universe. On the auspicious and blessed day of his incarnation in this world, the whole Universe will be filled with Divine Light. You and I will meet again, as one day I will come here to greet him. Furthermore, you will give birth to three sons and one daughter, all with pure and Holy souls."
After this, the form of God Shiva vanished and Srimati Chandan Deviji emerged from her meditation.
As her gaze once again returned to this world, she thought with consternation: "Such grace has just been showered on me! Lord Shiva himself, the Ocean of Divine Love and Wisdom, blessed me with his presence! But I was so preoccupied that I could not even present him with the proper reception!"
Full of awe, she reflected on the prophecy revealed to her and she kept wondering when and how it would happen.
This same night, Srimati Chandan Deviji had the experience of a glorious, radiant light descending upon her - filling her, body and soul. Thus she received a gift from heaven, Vishwa Deep Jyoti Paramatma, the Divine Self, whose radiance illuminates the entire cosmos.
Nine months later, on Kartika Amavasya Deepawali, called "Diwali," the Hindu Festival of Lights, Srimati Chandan Deviji had a dream at exactly 3:30am, in which she had the vision of Lord Vishnu arriving, seated on Erawat his white elephant with seven trunks. In his hands Lord Vishnu held his insignias of shanka (conch shell), chakra (disc), gada (club) and padma (lotus). He was accompanied by Lord Shiva, clad in a tiger skin and riding on Nandi his bull. From his long, matted hair flowed the Ganga river (Ganges).
Half an hour after this dream on Diwali, at four a.m. — the hour of brahma muhurta — on November 8, 1828 AD, the Protector of all creatures incarnated on this Earth — Bhagwan Sri Deep Narayan Mahaprabhuji.
At the moment of his birth, he appeared to his mother in a vision as the Divine child Krishna, who endears himself to all. Mataji Chandan Deviji realized that her son, conceived by the grace of Lord Shiva, was a Divine incarnation.
In this memorable hour several miracles occurred. The oil lamps within the village houses suddenly lit of their own accord and white flower blossoms gently fell from the sky.
On waking in the morning, the villagers were filled with an inexplicable inner joy. First, they were amazed to see the burning oil lamps and then the streets covered with white flowers. Some attributed the miracles to Lord Rama, in whose glory Diwali is celebrated. Some believed it to be the work of good spirits and others thought these miracles were performed by an invisible Divine power of the universe. No-one knew how all this had happened.
Sri Udaipuriji Maharaj, overjoyed that a Divine son had been born to him, gave gifts to the priests and the poor and reverently thanked God in his prayers.
It is a tradition in India that after the birth of a child an astrologer is summoned to cast the Horoscope and choose a suitable name. Therefore Pandit Premshankar Shastracharya, a great scholar of astrology, was consulted.
On completing his calculations, he said to Sri Udaipuriji: "This is indeed a special day! Such a planetary alignment is extremely rare and only exceptional personalities are born at such an hour. Your son will be gifted with extraordinary spiritual and supernatural powers. He is a great Soul, a Divine Master and his name shall be Deep. Those who receive his Blessings will experience spiritual peace and enlightenment. This child will be like the shining Sun, not only for his family, but also for all of India and the whole world. He will be highly renowned. It is my good fortune to have been chosen to name this great Soul."
darshan = vision or blessing from God or a Saint
tapasya = exercise of asceticism
Vishwa Deep = Universal Light, jyoti = flame, paramatma = the Supreme, Divine Self
Kartika Amavasya Deepawali, or Diwali = one of the highest festivals in India and wherever Indian people live. It celebrates the day when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after he had defeated the demon Ravana. On this day (and night) people light oil lamps and candles in their houses and windows. It is a festival of light, which conquers the darkness.
The white elephant with seven trunks symbolises wealth and wisdom.
brahma muhurta = hour of dawn
Mataji = mother
deep = light
Next Chapter: Mahaprabhuji's Childhood
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Overview: The Incarnation of the Divine Self OM VISHWA DEEP in the form of Sri Mahaprabhuji