Shravan is starting on 23rd July. What's your plan for Shravan this year?
"Mahadev might be watching me" This belief of mine has been deeply rooted in my mind since childhood. Chanting mantras and doing various rituals associated with Mahadev is always a part of my daily routine. In fact, every morning in my life, I dress up as if it's a festival dedicated to Shiva.
You'll never see me in clothes like shorts or sleeveless t-shirts, evenn when I'm all alone at home. I remember Mahadev so much all day that I feel he would see me with his divine sight of grace at least some or other time. So I always try to be presentable for him. Always happy in my own world, dressed up well and celebrating every day of my life as a festival dedicated to my aaradhyeh dev, Shiv Shankar. This is one kind of my devotion towards him. So for me, every day is a Monday, every night is a Shivratri, and every month is a Shravan.
From where does this devotion come to you?
My parents didn't have any children even after 12 years of their marriage. So one divine day, they were guided to reach Trimbakeshwar, and there they did a grand Yagya anushthaan with a desire to get blessed with a child. And then that same year, I was born. So Trimbakeshwar became like a second home to my family and me. I have been going there three to four times every year with my family ever since my birth. It is from there that my life became all about Shiva.
How was your childhood, spiritual or just like any normal kid?
When kids of my age were enjoying their cakes, chocolates & ice creams, I was fasting very strictly every Monday. Not to please my God but just to be involved truly in his devotion.
At the age when my school friends were reading novels and comics, I was studying Shiv Mahapuran and Vedas. Because I always wanted to have knowledge which is rare and not available in any school textbooks.
Today I'm a Filmmaker, but filmmaking was also a part of my childhood games. I used to gather all the small children of my society and assign them various mythological characters and then become a Director of the stories narrating the events related to Mahadev. Like cutting off Ganesha's head, burning Kaamdev, Giving boons to Assuras, and so many other things.
Being a kid, things just didn't stop there. I used to play my own game called "Tapasya" on the stopwatch after putting a timer on to see for how long can I stand on one foot with both my hands joined up together and chant "Om Namah Shivaya" this was my all-time favourite game:)
From his damru to his moon. From all his rudraksha and accessories to his complete appearance. Each and everything about Shiva fascinated me so much that it became an intrigued part of my life. Every story about him, his Kailash, his family and his Ganas became the subject of my prime interest since I was a kid.
When I grew up, I started travelling to all his divine destinations, including all Jyotirlingams, all Five Kailash and all Five Kedars. The more I kept travelling, the more I became what I am today.
Whoever sees you will understand that you're a Shiva Bhakt. How do you see yourself?
Like how Dr, IPS, IAS and all are the titles which you get with a lot of hard work. You cannot call yourself Dr, IPS or anything without putting effort into it. Similarly, "Bhakt" is a divine title that you get with all your extreme devotion and that too by the world when you reach that level of devotion. You cannot call yourself Bhakt on your own. People see me as a Shiv Bhakt. This is truly a divine grace of my aaradhyeh dev Shiva. But I see myself only as his Dass. I always say this,
"Naa Sukh ka, Naa dukh ka, mein toh bina kisi baat ka har din roota hu. Dass hu Mahadev ka, apne ashruo se unke charan dhota hu."
There is no single day in my life where I don't cry thinking about Shiva. And every time when I cry, I feel like I'm washing his holy feet with my tears. I'm soulfully his Dass. This is my only identity and nothing else:)