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.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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