Shiva fulfills all genuine requests, Divine Grace is a natural flow
Secure in himself and with complete faith in humanity, Shiva does not resort to unnecessary cunning ways lesser beings employ. To him the intent and emotion displayed, behind an offering far supersedes the action. His existence as the supreme godhead, is repeatedly demonstrated, as each time a bunch of deceitful demons try to manipulate him, he extricates himself from their ruthless clutches & saves the worthy. Such is the infinite wisdom of the lord divine.
Once, Vishnu got the gods (Devas) & demons (Asuras) to churn out nectar or Amrita, the elixir of immortality from the ocean of milk( presumably an allusion to the milky way galaxy). The ocean gave them many worthy returns, which were quickly consumed by all of them. At the end of all these activities, the ocean ejected a large amount of venomous toxin so powerful that it had the potential to destroy all of creation. Rendered powerless against such a force all the gods & demons then had no option but to beseech the mighty Shiva, to come to their aid. Compassionate & powerful as he is he undertook the dreadful task of drinking the poison. Of course, at this point his protective consort, who felt he was being ill treated, came to rescue him, by squeezing his neck as he drank the poison, so that it couldn’t go beyond his throat. His neck turned blue, which is how he came to be called “Neelkantha.”
In another tale portraying his merciful and compassionate aspect, he demonstrates how the intensity of emotion & honest love of a devotee is what he protects and rewards. A young tribal called Tinnan, went against the grain & offered flowers from the forest, which he wore in his head, to the lingam, water from the mountain stream, which he held in his mouth & meat after carefully removing the bones. This, he continued to do while everyone else, offered the ritualistic best including milk, flowers, incense, ashes & fruits. To test the worthiness of his disciples, Shiva gave eyes to the lingam, one of which began to bleed. Fearful that this would portend evil, the worshippers fled the place. Tinnan stayed on and tried to stop the flow of blood. When he could not succeed, he cut his own eye and offered it to the lingam. Tinnan, was thus a chosen soul who was welcomed to Kailash.
Such is the magnanimity of the Lord of lords. He does not leave anyone’s prayers unfulfilled. Those who come with a genuine heart & forsake all material gains for his grace, find room in his abode, sooner or later. It takes nothing but sincerity & desire.
Of course, an intellectual analysis may be done to assess, the level of grace one receives. The obvious repartee to which is- grace descends in quantum abundance & equal force for all seekers. The crucial factor is how much is the recipient ready & open enough to experience. If the negativities of his mind block him & he clothes himself heavily in the cloak of materiality, he will not see, hear or experience, any divine wisdom because he does not seek it. No, there is anything wrong with that. Grace for such a person limits itself to things like familial ties, kinship, social acknowledgement, intellectual pursuits or purchasing power.
For one who dares to go beyond, one who shuns luxury for austerities to free himself from bondage altogether, grace descends differently. Often for one such individual, misery is grace, because it cuts down accumulation of negative Karma & releases the individual to higher realms, beyond mind & body.
Know that he, the Supreme Shiva, is always there for you. The real question is how much of him do you seek. As a divine sage once said, “When the seeker is sincere, the master appears”.
Obeisance, O divine master, Humble me so, I may always be absorbed in thee!
OM TAT SAT