03-11-12

Gita Society of Belgium

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Cosmic Dance of Lord Shiva

 

Written and also arranged from various manuscripts and articles by

Philippe L. De Coster, B.Th., D.D.

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Balancing Eroticism with Meditation

 

Shiva has always been one of the most fascinating characters of Indian mythology and religious thought. He is mysterious, difficult to pin down and seemingly full of contradictions. He is both the creator – the source of life, appropriately represented as a phallic symbol — as well as the much-celebrated destroyer, stark and severe. He is an alienating and overwhelming ascetic but also the embodiment of the erotic sentiment. In fact, he is a householder par excellence, second perhaps only to Rama, as a worthy husband to first Sati and then Parvati, and a loving father to Kumara.There are two primary myths in the narrative tradition on Shiva that epitomise this dual aspect of his nature. The first concerns the seduction of the great ascetic by Parvati.Engrossed in tapas, Shiva paid no regard to the young maiden visiting his mountain hermitage. The gods watched with interest and concern because, at this time, the demon Taraka had usurped their power and could only be slain by a son born of Shiva. Observing Shiva’s obstinacy, Indra sent Kama to excite him and break his tapas. But Shiva burnt the love God to ashes with a flame emanating from his third eye, thus proving his power over sexual passions. It was only when Parvati embarked on equally rigorous tapas that Shiva relented and allowed himself to be seduced.In the second myth, Shiva appears in disguise before a group of sages who were practising intense asceticism with their wives. Accusing Shiva of seducing their wives, the sages castrate the god. At that point, Shiva reveals himself and teaches the sages to worship his fallen linga.In both these myths, asceticism and eroticism confront each other head-on. While one concept seemingly defeats the other, in reality the two exist side-by-side. These myths seem to mock any attempt to construe them as opposing forces.
This idea is quite common in Sanskrit literature, where tapas is often considered a powerful creative force. The Vedas describe how the One and the world were created through tapas. Similarly, the Kamasutra states that great passion is not born of untamed desire. A successful lover is one who has gained control of his senses and obtains his powers by study and meditation.
In fact, the importance that Hinduism gives to descendants makes it impossible to hold up asceticism as an ideal or, at least, as the sole ideal. While tapas can lead to freedom from rebirth, procreation is essential in order to have one’s last rites performed correctly. Shiva represents the coexistence of the two roles society expected of men — to marry and beget sons but also to seek a union with God. Shiva stands for the idea that it is possible — in fact, necessary — to have both.

 

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Shiva, the Female Symbol

 

The female symbol is a symbol for the Mother Goddess; she is the life giver (Hebrew: chavvah = EVA) like the female earth, who gives life. Shiva and the Mother Goddess are still present until today in the Kaaba and mostly men (!) worship the black stone inside the female Goddess symbol on a corner on the Kaaba in Mecca, and after a precise washing procedure, they kiss and touch devote the female symbol. Like the Hindus at Mt. Kailash, they turn around seven times the Kaaba. The female part of Shiva is the black Kali, the destroyer of life.

 

The white Mt. Kailash is a symbol for Shiva, because Shiva is the creator, AND the black destroyer of live. His main symbol is the phallus. He is sitting there on the white Mt. Kailash in timeless meditation with his wife Parvati. As a symbol of lingam and yoni this was not only be worshipped in India, but also by the people in Arabia (Sanskrit: 'Arbab_stahn' - 'Land of horses') long before Mohammed has had his spiritual visions. Now the yoni/lingam symbol in Mina is a place where pilgrims throw little stones to it. But they do no really know, why they do that.

 

The Shiva male symbol is present in the towers of the Mosques, but was also distributed all over Europe, as the tree in spring, when life begins again in nature, as p.e. in Bavaria in Germany. There wearing then nine year old girl's candles with a serpent, which is also a symbol of Shiva on the 'White Sunday'.

The flying white horse Kalki from the Veda's of India, which is also present in the old stories told about Mohammed, and also in the Nordic myths of Scandinavia as the horse of Odin.

 

SHIVA TATTVA

 

In Me the universe had its origin,

In Me alone the whole subsists;

In Me it is lost-Siva,

The Timeless, it is I Myself,

Sivoham! Sivoham! Sivoham!

 

Salutations to Lord Shiva , the vanquisher of Cupid, the bestower of eternal bliss and Immortality, the protector of all beings, destroyer of sins, the Lord of the gods, who wears a tiger-skin, the best among objects of worship, through whose matted hair the Ganga flows.

 

Lord Shiva is the pure, changeless, attributeless, all-pervading transcendental consciousness. He is the inactive (Nishkriya) Purusha (Man). Prakriti is dancing on His breast and performing the creative, preservative and destructive processes.

 

When there is neither light nor darkness, neither form nor energy, neither sound nor matter, when there is no manifestation of phenomenal existence, Shiva alone exists in Himself. He is timeless, spaceless, birthless, deathless, decayless. He is beyond the pairs of opposites. He is the Impersonal Absolute Brahman. He is untouched by pleasure and pain, good and evil. He cannot be seen by the eyes but He can be realised within the heart through devotion and meditation.

 

Shiva is also the Supreme personal God when He is identified with His power. He is then omnipotent, omniscient active God. He dances in supreme joy and creates, sustains and destroys with the rhythm of His dancing movements.

 

He destroys all bondage, limitation and sorrow of His devotees. He is the giver of Mukti or the final emancipation. He is the universal Self. He is the true Self of all creatures. He is the dweller in the cremation-ground, in the region of the dead, those who are dead to the world.

 

The Jivas and the world originate from Him, exist in Him, are sustained and rejected by Him and are ultimately merged in Him. He is the support, source and substratum of the whole world. He is an embodiment of Truth, Beauty, Goodness and Bliss. He is Satyam, Sivam, Subham, Sundaram, Kantam.

 

He is the God of gods, Deva-Deva. He is the Great Deity-Mahadeva. He is the God of manes (Prajapati). He is the most awe-inspiring and terrifying deity, Rudra, with Trisul or trident in His hand. He is the most easily pleased (Asutosha). He is accessible to all. Even the untouchable Chandalas and the illiterate rustics can approach Him.

 

He is the source of all knowledge and wisdom. He is an ideal Yogi and Muni. He is the ideal head of an ideal family with Uma as his devoted wife, Lord Subrahmanya, the brave general of strength and courage, Lord Ganesa, the remover of all obstacles.

 

© November 2012 Gita Society of Belgium – Satsang, Ghent, Belgium

 

 

 Meditation - The Way to Happiness

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