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Om Namah Shivay- – myth, belief, reality and poetry – Part 3

The Great God is the eternal life-principle. He incarnates in matter and comes within the orbit of individual experience. He is unmanifest in his universal form, but manifest in each individual body whether of men, animals or plants. At each level of manifestation, the immortal and divine nature of the Great God is evident. He represents the predominant effect of existence and the mysterious force called Life or Prana: Mrtyunjaya.

“Lord Bharga (the radiant god), respect to the lord of Devas, to ‘conqueror of Death’, to Rudra, to Isana ‘controller of the world’, to Kapar-din ‘one with matted hair’. Homage to the blue-throated Nilakantha, Sarva ‘the destroyer of all’, to the lord having a form with sky as a limb. Obeisance to Kala, the lord of Kala; obeisance to the lord in the form of Kala.”- said Yama.

He continued “Brahma, the grandfather of the worlds, becomes gratified by great holy rites. There is no doubt about it that he is the lord (i.e. and bestower) of boons always. So also Lord Visnu who can be comprehended only through the Vedas and who is the eternal Lord, is delighted by many Yajnas, fasts and other holy rites. He grants Kevalabhava (‘salvation’) whereby one is liberated. All men (conform to) my opinion. My words cannot be otherwise.When he is pleased, he grants all worldly pleasures and the riches of heaven etc. On being bowed down and not otherwise, the Sun-god grants health. The great god Ganesha, if we offer Arghya, Padya etc. and sandal paste and repeat the Mantras duly, makes our task free from obstacles.

So also all the other Guardians of the Quarters bestow benefits in accordance with their capacity. O Sankara, they are pleased with Yajnas, study of the Vedas, charitable gifts etc.This has caused a very great surprise to all the living beings here that the gateway to heaven has been opened wide.By the vision of Kumaras( sons of Brahma), ? Mahadeva, even all the sinners have become heaven-dwellers. There is no doubt about it. What should be done by me in the matter of deciding what should be done and what should not be done? Hitherto only those persons of meritorious deeds, such as those who are habituated to speak the truth, the quietcent ones, liberal donors, free and independent ones, those who have conquered their sense organs, non-covetous ones, those who are devoid of lust and base attachments, the performers of Yajnas, those who abide by righteous deeds and those who have mastered the Vedas and the Vedangas, attained heaven.

Sankara said:

“There are good emotions in the minds of the people of meritorious deeds whose sins have come to an end,O Dharma.

There is a great desire in them to go to a good holy spot or to visit good people. This desire is caused by previous Karmas.

It is only at the end of many births and rebirths that a feeling of devotion to me is generated in the minds of living beings. o Yama, it is the result of many repeated experiences in the course of many births with all feelings.

Hence all those in whom good feelings of devotion arise are meritorious ones. What has been the outcome of the repeated experiences of various births need not cause surprise.”

That’s why I say Life with its many dark sides, in all its beauty, grandeur, and magnificence is too short. For some life is full of screams, throat getting narrow and swollen, almost strangled. Stifling hopelessness with a tempest building inside. Some enjoy good health. I resuscitate ceaselessly because I am a Warrior Princess being perennially optimistic. God granted me the calmness to accept things that I cannot change, I dare to change the things I can and have the wisdom to know the difference.

It’s unusual how lightly people speak about the future as if they can hold it in their hands with the power to push it further off or bring it nearer.God is modest but he’s not punishious. Mind and brain are two different things and it’s my first-hand experience.I am perpetually stimulated. My mind never hesitates. I have opened the doors and windows of my mind and let every detail in and keep it to spruce up from the foulness. Rather than moving heavily and clumsily with a weary and defeatist attitude, my mind feels a joyous excitement with positive power, never being frustrated. Fear or flatter, lightning or thunder, the mind remains calm. Death does stalk us all but you can confuse him for some time by a few methods.By rekindling your passion, by doing at least one worthwhile thing. By urging your mind to be passionate about life and what you believe in and channel the energies and enthusiasms into things that we care about and not crush yourself into a jealous existence.

Mahadeva is named as Rudra and Siva in Indian tradition. Siva Mahadeva has been worshipped for thousands of years as the Great God of India. His cult extended from the homeland of the Sakas in Central Asia to Kanya Kumari or Cape Comorin on the seashore. There are numerous myths and legends associated with him. He was conceived as the God of the Mountain, married to the Daughter of the Mountain. The foremost teacher of Yoga. He expounds all the mystic doctrines and the occult religious cults of Tantras, Agamas ( collection of Tantric literature) and Samhitas. His great exploits are the vanquishing of the Andhakasura or the Demon of Darkness, and Tripurasura, the Demon of the three cities of Gold, Silver and Copper. He is also the controller of the Ten-Headed king of Lanka named Ravana who casts a challenge to all gods and men.

Siva is identified in the Vedas as the Immortal God, who has entered the mortal beings, who is the same as Agni or the mysterious Vital Fire manifest in matter or the five whole elements, who as Yogi consumed the God of Love, Kamadeva and re-created him in the subconscious world of the human mind and the conscious spheres of the human body or the central nervous system. It has been a matter of extreme happiness for us to gain an insight into the mysteries of Siva philosophy for the control of the Pranic energy. It is this aspect of the symbolism of Siva which received the greatest emphasis from the Vedic times and in the Puranas and Saiva Agamas.

The great Kailasa is the symbol of the highest mind on which God Siva has his eternal abode as the Universal Divine Principle wrapped in samadhi or mental illumination where Universal Consciousness throws open its innermost sheaths for the vision of man. The working and powers of the cortex or higher brain are still a mystery to modem science. The ancient Yoga-Vidya has explained them in an orthodox symbolism or terminology which deserves to be studied and interpreted for the modern man who wishes to understand the fully chartered map of his personality as expressed on the level of mind, vital airs and material elements. These three are the basic elements described as the three cities of Gold, Silver and Copper and symbolised as the demon Tripura, who could be pierced by a single shaft released from the bow of Shiva which is none other than the central nervous system, named as Sumeru or Pinaka that is the Golden Rod or Axis of the human body.

The vital energy of Prana is the fiery principle of metabolism.

The half-male and the half-female aspects of Siva symbolise the two Universal Parents also named as the Father and the Mother or Heaven and Earth throughout Indian literature and also other great religions of the world.

The Ganga is the river of Life, the great flood descending from immortal heaven to mortal earth. Shiva’s matted locks represent the world or creation in all its modalities and endless forms. The matted locks are as vast and complicated as the affairs of the world. The River of Life permeates every nook and corner of the worldly creation. There the flood of pranic energy remains concealed until it is released by the grace of Siva and as the outcome of the principle of tapas invoked by human beings. The river is named Ganga owing to her quality of movement, or the ceaseless flow from the beginning to the end of Time as a mighty stream which makes all bodies or material forms sanctified by its waters. The great dance of Rudra is demonstrated best in the rhythmic movements of the sun. Surya is an ideal of Nataraja Siva. The balance and rhythm underlying both in their dance poses, bespeak of the overriding rhythm which is the basis of cosmic creation. In each solar system, there is an axis around which all the movements and regulations are arranged as proceeding from a fixed centre and vertical line. God Siva arranges his dance steps inside a mandala of fire-flames and so does Surya; the sun-god has his being inside the periphery of his thousand rays. It should be noted that Surya is not the dead matter orb of 92 or more elements but according to the Indian conception, it is the visible form of the supreme divine or transcendent reality called Brahman.

The sun, moon and fire are said to be the triple eyes of the great god. Fire symbolises the central energy whereas sun and moon, its twofold extension as heat and cold, as light and darkness, or as the twin principles of Prana and Apara, the in-breath and out-breath, the introvert and extrovert forces that ceaselessly impact against the centre that remains stable and unmoved. That centre is called Sthanu, the axis mundi of the universe which is the same as the Great Arrow, Bana piercing the axial centre of the earth, the atmospheric region and Surya so that the three stand in integration for all time to come. Time is threefold but eternity is one; it cannot be parcelled out, however, one may wish to do so. So does the eternal aspect of the Great god remain undifferentiated and one without a second. But in nature or manifestation it is threefold.

The author of the Yajurveda has clearly said that Surya is the symbol of Brahman( universe), the light of Brahman is reflected in Surya. If we wish to have an idea of the effulgent lustre of Brahman let us look at Surya the sun god whose radiation is measureless and who is filling all space by his shining rays of light and heat up to the ends of the four directions. The full glory of Surya is beyond description. We may remember that in each orderly system of the world, there is a central sun representing the charge of energy and power in that system, we have millions and billions of such dazzling solar units, all placed in one axial alignment; and their totality would give some indication of the light and energy of Brahman. The same Brahman is the great God Siva.

The energy of his Tandava dance is beyond the power of words. Constellations are splashed as particles of dust in space by the movements of his feet. The impact and stirrings of energy released by his movements are beyond description both for science and philosophy. His matted locks dangle this side and that deriving their energised tendencies and dimensions from the depths of his spiritual being.

Siva is the lord of all creatures and therefore called Pasupati. The word Pasu is significant denoting a pranic centre. Each pain or living creature is an exemplar of the life-principle. In their differentiated aspects the pains are numberless and Siva as the archetypal divine principle of life is the Lord of them all. The bonds that keep them together are known as pasa. Unless these bonds are loosened both by the grace of the Lord and the endeavour of the devotee, no one can get rid of them and the soul that is soiled by matter remains bound in the snares of death. The five elements of gross matter are such a snare from which it is difficult to extricate oneself without the supreme laws of Salvation or Deliverance becoming operative in the life with which we are all bound. This is known as Sakrajala (same as Indrajata that is the mesh woven around the soul which is Indra.

Siva is surrounded by his ganas or hosts and pramathas or deformed beings. They are just caricatures of the human spirit or cartoons of normal personality, deformed and ugly beings, in whom the grotesqueness of mind and matter becomes concretised. The world is full of such specimens and aberrations of the life-principle or prana. They are all subordinated to Siva as the Lord of Fire or pranic energy; Siva is therefore called Ganapati. The fiery pranic principle when wedded to its counterpart the Soma or Parvati represents perfection and beauty but the deformities of the gana hosts are specimens of ugliness that are the hungry spirits yearning for their share of Soma, the immortal principle of beauty and spiritual satiation. The ganas are controlled by their leader, Nandisvara, the principle of bliss or Ananda.

On the body of Siva is besmeared dust or the ashes (bhasma). It signifies that fire is always accompanied by its ashes refused or dross. When fire burns some dross is left over as its surplus. When food is eaten and processed through the energy of digestive fire (jatharagni), some kind of surplus is thrown out and then only the process of assimilation remains balanced with that of elimination. Brahman eats his food called Brahmaudana the boiled rice of Brahman, and when his bowl of food is consumed and properly assimilated the surplus refuse that follows is the cosmos.

In fact, lord Siva had been dominating the Indian religious scene from the time immemorial. His presence has been witnessed in the ancient sites of Harappa and Mohenjodaro. He is also eulogised in the Vedic literature as Rudra and occasionally as Siva as well, besides by many other forms. While travelling from the Vedic to the Puranic times there had been a tremendous boost in his personality and he came to be known in many forms both, benevolent as well as terrific. Out of these, the terrific forms were relegated to the background, and his benevolent forms became more popular.

Narada also took his seat delightfully so provided it to him. Having been thus adored by the sages appropriately, Narada discussed with them wonderful stories, together with the glory of the Sivalihgas. At the same time, the sage Suta, who was well-versed in the Puranas himself, arrived in order to worship the sages, in the Naimisaranya. The dwellers of Naimisaranya welcomed him with the recitations of studs and songs, because he happened to be the pupil of (Romahaisana) Krsnadvaipayana Vyasa. Therefore, all the sages of Naimisa became desirous of listening to the stories of the Puranas. Then they enquired from the sage Suta about the glory of Sivalinga as propounded in the Puranas. One should faithfully worship lord Siva – the conqueror of the death. He bestows liberation as well as worldly pleasures. He is benevolent to all.

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Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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