Shiva, is an enormous subject of contemplation, many aspects and stories are woven around Him. We focus on one angle.
Today as well as thousands of years ago, people were recognizing certain elements of nature.
Sooner or later they started to wonder… how it all hangs together;
and we…just as they, are puzzled by this.
Most people today would agree with this, so far. When opinion - poles are taken
So in earliest times, as well as today, we acknowledge,
Now in the experience of mankind, woman gives birth…so that which brings forth form…is She
(woman) … that who is the mysterious power behind, who can’t be seen
as such , yet seems to instigate, be necessary for birth - is HE (male)!
Now lets look at another way of trying to grasp this;
(Similar concepts are found also in other traditions on the globe: i.e. Japan, Australia etc.)
A stone of the sculptor – yet uncarved!
A stone washed in a river, carved by the rain out of a mountain; full of energy
yet no recognizable form!
An egg….yet unbroken…
This is worshipped as Shiva-Linga.
Now let’s come from a yet, a different angle.
People experienced such masters in other cultures as Shaman; so some of the symbols of this Yogi and the symbols of the ancient Shamanic traditions melted together.
We recognize Shiva today by these symbols, who all have many levels of meanings.
The white ashes…. White (containing all form; ashes have lost form….)
The trisect…. The three gunas….
The third eye… the knowing all… power
The matted hair…control over any vanity….
The tiger skin… control over lower urges/animalistic…
The snakes …. The blue throat…. Containing/controlling within him - all poison…
The rudraksha beads…..tears of compassion/ holding spiritual energy
The Ganges….., nurturing waters of life/sacred Mother
The drums… the sound of creation/rhythm/ vibration etc.etc…
The new Moon, silver crescent…. refers to New Form, beginning (The moon is often connected to memory , the past…yet the Shiva moon is just over the turning point, to the new beginning.)
Now this Ascetic…holds in himself all know-how and potentially of course is also holding past, present and future. Within himself, this Yogi holds the power to hide something, to veil…or to project, to conceal or reveal; he can hold something in himself (like the poison in his throat)
So this powerful Yogi, immersed in meditation, just sits there…. Motionless dreaming the dream of the universe… in the Himalayas, on the icy peaks of Mount Kailas….he sits there in total harmony with himself, in peace….He just is……until!
And now the story begins:
She was the daughter of the king of the Himalayas and his wife Mena, a heavenly Nymph.
Mena, Parvarti's mother was not very happy. She saw only the ash-smeared, wild, seemingly impotent Yogi! But as mothers do, she agreed and arranged a big wedding.
The biggest, most beautiful wedding ever to be; the whole of the Himalayas became a festive hall…Finally the day came…. Guests arrived in great splendor from all corners of the earth!
But then, as the tradition has it... the bridegroom arrived; still smeared with ashes, matted hair and a tiger skin around his naked body. He was accompanied by other Ascetics, Ghouls, madmen, snakes, tigers and wild beasts….mischief-makers, and drunkards… and all sorts of merry riff-raff ….in his company! He had mastered sense-withdrawal…he wasn’t effected by any of it, and accepted their company!
BUT ….the “mother-in-law” was horrified….!!!
She had hoped the bridegroom, would clear up his acts (as we do!). But, Oh NO, not this….
She would rather kill her daughter…than allow her to marry such unconventional rogue. She cried: “Lock the gates, don’t let him in! Shut the doors! We will have to find another husband…”
But the daughter was inconsolable!
Parvarti sobbed and sobbed and cried : “I want Shiva “…”only Shiva…” and then she went into her room and prayed with a fiery , intensity fueled by all the austerities she had lived.
“Oh Lord… make yourself beautiful…. Show them what they want to see…for my sake”
So Shiva did…he has the power to veil or unveil; after all he is all potential; by his will all is created. All aspects of creation….good bad, ugly, beautiful it was all the same to him…..he was a Yogi, with supreme detachment!
So he rang “the doorbell” Fanfares blew; conch-shells by the hundreds! And he stood there in total glory and beauty… of a young princely man;
…. and guess what: mother-in law was happy!
They got married…
They get married…tonight! !!! On Shivaratri!
Of course, every moment consciousness and energy get married, but on this special night, devotees celebrate their love, their wedding.
After the ceremony the pair settled on Mount Kailas…were they never stopped making love….
So this original pair… sustain the world through their lovemaking; meaning at the source of the world… is love!!!
He, the potential, the consciousness, the divine formless existence…and she, his energy, his Shakti, the creative female power ….spend their time in love-making…on Mount Kailash.
Shiva and Parvarti; Shiva and Shakti… in love!
Their wedding is the coming together of consciousness and manifesting power- in love!
But, they are yogis….they don’t come together in intercourse…they don’t produce biological children, they produce love!
This love is like a wish-fulfilling tree!
So it is said, that the wishes of all who celebrate this wedding get fulfilled; just as Shiva fulfilled Prakriti’s fervent wish ( a devotee’s wish) at the wedding, His grace showers a special gift on us…his “manifesting power”, his Shakti is at the service of those plans, ideas, wishes …that exist so far only in the subtle form .
Hence Shiva is also called the auspicious one… because: what ever sadness and suffering life contains… the great Yogi has the power and the potential to change it, through his Shakti, through his wife, the creative energy, he wills into existence, with love, anything he deems good.
Each of us, has still masses of unfulfilled potential, waiting to unfold.
Each of us is filled with the mark of Shiva!
Everyone of us, is “a Shiva linga”.
Shiva is everything, because everything has always the potential to evolve, to grow, to take form. Everything is on the journey of dissolution, creation, dissolution….The seed dissolves to let the tree grow.
Winter dissolves to let spring unfold.
A business closes to let a new one arise.
Every today has His mark, just as every breath has His mark….
Right now, become aware, of your out-breath… then, there is a moment of stillness where the potential exist for the in-breath. That moment, that stillness is Shiva!
It contains the new breath, the new moment, the new life.
Nothing is exempt from this constant process, where source ….becomes!
We might as well call it Shiva. Nothing exists, that is not Shiva,
And so he becomes the dancer, who creates the universe constantly with each step…creating , dissolving, creating, dissolving….all forms, all world, all universes…for ever new, for ever now..
Yet He …does nothing! Because he is that Still Turning Point, the Yogi who contains all possibilities; to that Shiva principal…. we bow. (Shiva tattva).
And here is were it becomes quiet concrete, relevant for us.
Now we understand, that Shiva is the original Yogi … as well as the ever-loving husband….
So the divine couple spent their life in to ways:
And it all began, on the night of Shivaratri….the most auspicious night in the yogic calendar.
Ohm namah Shivaya