In De­vo­tion of Shiva

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

The de­vout spend the en­tire month of Sra­vana in the wor­ship of Shiva, cul­mi­nat­ing in the Sra­vana Purn­ima on Rak­sha Band­han day. Shiva is be­yond the gu­nas, as His tri­dent rep­re­sents all three, sattva, ra­jas and tamas. The ele­phant skin at­tire in­di­cates that he is be­yond pride; the tiger skin sym­bol­ises his going be­yond lust, and the snake around his neck rep­re­sents wis­dom and eternity. The Shivalinga sig­ni­fies the ba­sic prin­ci­ples of ad­vaita: non­d­ual, in­di­vis­i­ble, non-doer, non-en­joyer, un­at­tached, without qual­i­ties. The Shiva Mahima Sto­tra sees him as the In­ex­press­ible Truth. The three-eyed Shiva’s blue-stained neck is a sym­bolic re­minder of His ca­pac­ity to re­move poi­sons (the un­de­sir­able) from the world. The Ya­jur Veda de­scribes Shiva as the mas­ter-yogi and the re­pos­i­tory of knowl­edge. The Pan­chak­shara Mantra, “Om Namah Shivaye”, is a time­less chant of the name of Shiva, the in­scrutable-yet-easy-to-please Ashutosh.

To some Shiva is the em­bod­i­ment of as­ceti­cism. In his fierce Ru­dra as­pect, He is the God who re­leases men of bondage and wan­ders in cre­ma­tion grounds. To oth­ers, he is the Univer­sal Fa­ther, Bhole Baba, who blesses all without prej­u­dice. Fritjof Capra views the Shiva tan­dava, the pri­mor­dial dis­so­lu­tion and cre­ation, as an al­le­gory of the move­ment of sub-atomic par­ti­cles, draw­ing par­al­lels be­tween In­dian mys­ti­cism and nu­clear physics. So, Shiva is anadi, with nei­ther be­gin­ning nor end.

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