The enigmatic tale of Lord Shiva keeps us on the edge always. The charisma, the valour, the benevolence, and the unsophisticated personality of Shiva gave us an only a hint of what he really is.
If we talk about Hinduism, Shiva completes the wondrous trinity with the divines Brahma and Vishnu. Philosophers, historians, poets, and religious experts would tell you Shiva is everything but nothing. And if you know nothing, you will say, Shiva, is the destroyer who annihilate the universe.
None of the inferences hold true if taken separately. Although religious scriptures and ancient civilisations have been stating Mahadev through their texts, frescos, and Lord Shiva paintings, a lot of misinterpretation still floats around.
The distinguished irony
Do you know what the word ‘Shiva’ means? Shiva means auspicious. Sometimes, Shiva is also referred to as “something related to the creator”. While there are few eminent religious scholars who do not shy away from saying Shiva means “That, which is not”.
Quite interesting that one word has a different meaning for people. The first two meanings are quite similar to each other, the third though, is quite distinctive.
Shiva is nothing? I mean how can we relate to it? Because all my life I have learned that Shiva was the God, then I came to know his role and title of Adiyogi (the first yogi who walked this earth as mentioned in Yogic science) and now this?
Well, the thought may seem berserk but it is quite deep if you connect to it. Science is progressing at a rapid pace and every now & then we are getting closer to understanding the long road of the evolution of our universe and of course earth.
Today, we all know that our universe before the big bang was nothing. This nothing gave birth to something and if the prophecies are to be believed, then this something will be again dissolved in nothing. And the cycle goes on. Shiva is defined as this nothing, which always prevails, even where the light is not present and the rivers don’t flow, and the not even a single life exist.
We all are destined to come out of Shiva and fate will again suck us back to him.
Now, the problem arises when the novels, scholars, and artists who create exquisite Lord Shiva paintings argue against this. According to them, Shiva was a man who attained extreme enlightenment that no one could ever accomplish.
Shiva was also the founder of Yogic science. A lot of people perceive Yoga as a practice of folding legs and hands or exhibiting great flexibility. But, Yoga is an art to utilise your body to the limitless possibilities by attaining specific postures or asanas.
Interestingly, this kills the concept of perceiving Shiva as a non-being or nothing. I know not many people would like it when I would refer Shiva as the darkness, but let me complete first. Nothing can never include light; it can’t incorporate anything. Nothingness is a state where not even a single element can concur with. IMHO, this definition came from his ascetic nature.
Shiva is titled ‘Bholenath’ or the one who is super naïve because of his continuous state of transcendence he maintained. He could meditate to decontaminate his mind of any evil or a good thought. Yes, good also, because he knew that both good and evil occur together and absence of one may create misbalance. So he eradicated all the emotions.
That is why, the real attempt of people saying Shiva meaning “That, which is not” is maybe connecting with the lesson that through meditation one can enlighten himself/herself to a blissful state where nothing exists. And we all know, where nothing exists, God resides. That’s why in every religious scripture and tale, God is adjudged above human emotions and anything we can imagine.
A blend of spiritualism, science with Yogic science
Go through Lord Shiva paintings online and see how artistically artisans have tried to show the immaculateness and the dynamism by crafting him into a physical being or body. I am sceptical about when and how someone came of this blue-skinned physical figure because it is believed that Shiva walked on the earth 1, 15,000 years ago.
Moving on, the representational form of generic Shiva with crescent stuck in headlocks, and Ganga River flowing from his hair is the most common manifestation of Adiyogi. His forehead also has a third eye, which according to Hinduism Shiva opens only to annihilate the entire universe. However, the real story is that his third eye destroyed Kama (the god of love) who was sent by Parvati to get Shiva out of his transcendence state.
The Nataraja form of Shiva is known to be present in CERN’s headquarters in Vienna, Switzerland. Reason? Well, some say because CERN acknowledges the true and hidden meaning of this form.
Shiva is seen dancing in a particular posture inside the ring of flames and he seems happy (as he is shown smiling). Now, his stance is regarded as Yogic postures and the flame behind him is the eternal fire of materialism. Shiva is performing a cosmic dance i.e. also known as the dance of creation and destruction.
The entire idea to depict Shiva in a figural form is to make common people understand the true teachings. Although, there is one form that can be found in almost all of the Shiva temples around the world is quite abstract. This form is known as the ‘Linga’.
You might have seen it and might also have heard that it represents the phallus of Shiva, which is by far the most absurd explanation.
The Linga is a form of description of human life in Hinduism. The Vishnu and Brahma are considered proton and electron respectively, while Shiva is the neutron. The disc beyond the lingam signifies the Shakti (a form of energy field).
Till the time the neutrons and protons are same in number, the atom is stable. The very second neutron is touched, the atom becomes unstable. So, in theory, when Shiva is not disturbed and separated, it remains calm.
So, in terms of science, Shiva Lingam is a pure representation of an atom.
A lot has been said by the scholars and experts, various Lord Shiva paintings were created to match the significance and charm of this great deity, but still, the reality will be probably far stranger than what we know. What’re your thoughts? Let’s discuss.