Behold Shiva….the Destroyer….
On mount Kailash he sits and meditates,
Dancing in the cosmic rhythm,
Holding the halahal (poison) in his throat,
As his third eye opens,
The world sees pralaya (destruction)
He dispels fears of predators and prey,
Sundaranana, the most beautiful of all Gods!
When it comes to ‘destruction’, Hinduism has its specialist – Lord Shiva. There is a Creator (Brahma) and a Preserver (Vishnu) too, forming a trinity. As an ‘open source’ approach of living, Hindu mythology is richly metaphorical and allows us to draw meanings….and Shiva is an archetype that holds some answers for me…..
Shiva’s essence is a non-participation in life – a certain reclusiveness, a detachment, the austerity of a hermit. By not participating in worldly life, he doesn’t perpetuate the cycles (of violence-consumption-creation-recreation)….and so also every act of our participation in the old story perpetuates it (a Facebook post ups its valuation, a coffee at Starbucks puts bucks in their pockets)….as I withdraw from these (post on The Rules or have a local filter coffee), I take energy OUT of the system without refilling it…..
Shiva is the original artist – where the music and dance of life comes together….with an overdose of words in our spaces, we are colliding and de-energizing ourselves….it is time for art, for artivists to take over and bring in their colour, their togetherness so that we may all dance together on the cosmic rhythms….
Shiva holds the poison that emerged from the churning of the oceans….as we churn, before anything else, our negativity, our anger and our resentment will come forth….and it needs to be held…..it has the potency to annihilate us if left to spew forth…..
As Pashupati, Shiva dispels the fear of the predator (and we do tend to look at the 1% as predators and us as the prey)…As Boleynath he is One with Life making no distinction between matter and people, holding all with love….as Baidyanath he is the first Yogi…..it is a fascinating energy 🙂
And finally when his third eye opens, his dance of destruction (the Tandava) expresses his anger….the world ends…..To me the third eye is a place for intuition – a place from where we can see the constructed nature of these stories and their grip on us…..with the third eye, we can let these stories fall away and let new ones be born…..
Let us join Shiva, the coolest one…..here’s him smoking a joint! 🙂
This is inspired by work from Devdutt Patnaik, a remarkable scholar who is bringing forth traditional wisdom in new ways to us