11:27 pm - Saturday November 28, 2020





By Ramakant Tiwari


Siva  is the Entirety, the Absolute Consciousness, Trimurti  of Creation, Sustenance and Dissolution, also Trimurti  of SattvaRaja  and Tama

Siva  is a confluence of two syllables, ‘Si‘ and ‘Va‘ implying ‘redeemer of evils’ and ’emancipator from agonies’.  According to Sivopanisad, He is the subtlest, minutest of all, entire existence. Along with SaktiSiva  is a synthesis of renunciation, detachment and selfless indulgence.


From Sruti-s and Smriti-s, first meaning of Siva  is ‘welfare / benediction’. “Sivamastu” means “Kalyanamastu” i.e. may you be blessed. He is said to serve all life forms with five countenances, two on left as Vamadeva  and Kalagni; two on the right as Daksinesvara  and Isana  and one in the centre as Kalyanasundarama. Second meaning is His cognition when in zenith of His existence. Third meaning is Sadasiva.


Daksinamurti Stotrama  describes Him as a sprightly Guru, facing southward, precepting His disciples in Jnana MudraLingastakama  recites glories of Advaita LingaSiva Mahimna Strotrama  describes Him as the Truth perceptible through Dhyana  alone. Yajurveda  describes Him as Mahadeva  i.e. the Master Deity. Pancaksara Mantra  i.e. OM NAMAH SIVAYA  is an eternal chant propitiating the inscrutable through gross means. Siva  is an embodiment of asceticism of the highest order. Rudra  in Him wanders around liberating men from incarceration of Maya  and Bholenatha  in Him blesses all without any reservations. From Lallesvari  in Kashmir to Karaikal Ammiyar / Nayanars of Tamil Nadu, from Swami Vivekananda  who had His vision in Amarnathji  and Kasi Visvanathji  to Ramana Maharsi  who discovered Him at Arunacala  in Tiruvannamalai, Siva  subjugates all. His Trisula  represents three Guna-s of Sattva, Raja  and Tama  being held under His command. Original cosmic Lingama  is believed to be located at Chidambarama  as an ellipsoidal Linga  around which entire cosmos revolves. When Maharsi-s Vyaghrapada  and Patanjali  prayed for boon to behold the cosmic dance, Bhagavana Siva  descended to perform the dance.


Bhagavana Siva  is the most mysterious of the Trinity, has infinite Upadhi-s and manifests. Some of the prominent ones are as under –


Daksinesvara  He showers Daksina  i.e. benediction on all creatures, 


Isana  Cares for all Jiva-s, 


Kalyanasundarama  The central one promotes benediction unto all, controls two roles of Vamadeva  and Kalagni,


Vamadeva  He is Rudra  i.e. one who teaches others by shedding their tears,


Kalagni  Also subjects to torture to teach them a lesson,


Sadasiva  The eternal benefactor,


Samkara  Performer of noble deeds,


Omkara  Origin of the primeval Spandana  of OM,


Ardhanarisvara  Manifest of DvaitaSiva-SaktiPurusa-Prakrti, man-woman,


Nataraja  Cosmic dancer of divinity and mysticism,


Lingobhava  Linga  of Agni  spanning entire existence, beginingless and ceaseless,


Nilakantha  Endowed with blue throat caused by ingestion of poison from ocean to protect the universe from certain annihilation,


Asutosa  One who honours wishes of devotees immediately,


Bholenatha  The compassionate and forgetful One,


Mahamrtityunjaya  Conqueror of death,


Paramesvara  The Ultimate, Absolute and Supreme One,


Pasupati  Deva  of all animals,


Rudra  The ferocious One who destroys evils and agonies,


Visvesvara  Deva  of entire universe,


Svayambhunatha  The one who incarnates on His own volition,


Trimukha  Three-faced One who creates, nurtures and destroys,


Muktesvara  The liberator who assures Moksa,


Papkatesvara  The redeemer for dissolution of evil Karma-s,


Siddhesvara  The provider,


Phalesa  The bestower of fruition,


He is also adored abroad under various names –


Phallos  Linga  like structure in Greece, derived from the Samskrita  word Phalesa  which means provider of all boons, worshipped on the darkest night i.e. Amavasya  as in our country,


Phallic  Symbols  adored in Java, Sumatra, Rome, Germany, Egypt, France, Syria, America, Brazil, aboriginal Australia and Sumerian valley,


Fudo Myoo  is revered in Japan as a mountain hermit who grants boons. He has long coiled tresses resting on his left shoulder. Fudo Myoo  is ringed by Agni  as with Nataraja. Sporting a trident, entwined by a dragon spewing fire, he looks like a serpent-coiled Siva. Flames spiralling upward, denote heat and energy representing Kundalini.


Bhismapitamaha  responded to Yudhisthira  when asked to describe Bhagavana Siva  by saying, “No less a person than Sri Krsna  or Bhagavana Visnu  can describe greatness of Bhagavana Siva.”

Sri Krsna  when requested to do so, responded by saying that it is impossible to describe all qualities of Bhagavana Siva


Ardhanarisvara  is one of his several manifests wherein He manifests Himself in such a way that His left half is female form while right half is male form. Female half is the representation of Sakti  in the name of Parwati  while the right half is Siva. If Parwati  is the cause of excitation of Kama  i.e. desires, Siva  is the destroyer of Kamadeva  i.e. Deva  of desires. If Parwati  creates phenomenal world through her cosmic dance known as Lasya  wherein various love-postures are expressed, Siva  destroys it through His cosmic dance of Tandava, dance of primordial dissolution and creation allegorical of vigorously moving sub-atomic particles. Siva  is pervaded by the power of Parwati  while Parwati  is pervaded by the power of Siva. So the manifest of Ardhanarisvara  is an integrated composite of opposites complementary to each other, into one cosmic entity. Representation of Ardhanarisvara  through an idol or picture is a metaphor confirming the Entirety being Siva  and Sakti  both, simultaneously.


Siva  and Sakti  also denote an integrate of Jnana  i.e. Cetana  and Kriya. These two are the two fundamental constituents of existence, eternally existing together and anyone of them being worthless without the other. Cetana  without Kriya  is redundant while Kriya  without Cetana  is unrestrained and unenlightened. Wave in water is water as well as wave both, concurrently. Existence of water is represented by it’s waves i.e. it’s dynamism. No existence worth it’s salt can exist without dynamism. Siva  and Sakti  together make Universal Deity. Without Sakti, Siva  is Sava  i.e. corpse. Without SaktiSiva  is unable to ascertain His own existence !! Through Sakti  alone, Siva  remains eternally conscious of what He happens to be. Translated into social dynamics, Nari  i.e. woman is adorable in Sanatana  culture, enjoys absolutely an equal status and privileges. Relationship between man and woman is like Siva  and Sakti. Man is incomplete without woman and woman is incomplete without man. 


Cosmic dance of Siva  as Nataraja  is of utmost significance. At Chidambarama  in Tamil Nadu, Siva  is depicted as performing Ananda-Tandavama  i.e. ecstasy-dance. Balanced on one foot with a faint smile hovering on His lips, declares that life must be encountered courageously within confines of moral-spiritual values. His body is the central axis balancing His outstretched arms carrying symbols of creation and destruction. Damru  is the symbol of creation and Agni, symbol of dissolution. Human existence swings consistently between these two extremes. Nataraja  symbolises the axiom that change is eternal and the very definition of existence. Creation provides seeds of destruction and destruction provides seeds of creation. This cosmic cycle must be undergone with resolute equanimity. Siva  holds one hand in Abhaya-Mudra  i.e. posture of benediction and protection, both at the threshold and vortex of ultimate salvation. His other hand intriguingly points to His raised left foot with the big toe pointing towards Akasa  symbolising Moksa, sole objective of human incarnation. Other foot subjugates a dwarf symbolising egoism that must be restrained and harnessed to attain universality. It also symbolises darkness that Nataraja  keeps at bay through His glorious splendour represented by the luminous arch of entire cosmos that encircles Him. Matted hair of Siva  represent complexities of gross existence continuously purified by the stream of Ganga. Sanctity and morality dissolve even the worst of troubles. He appears absolutely serene and calm. His Third Eye represents inner ocean of wisdom when closed. It is opened only on intense provocation inviting catastrophe of cataclysmic dimensions.


Sivapurana  mentions Jyotirlinga  i.e. oval flame form of SivaJyotih  means effulgence of Agni  i.e. fire. Linga  signifies mark, symbol of an entity that has two phonetic parts, Lin  or Laya  and Gama  or Agamana  respectively referring to the process of destruction and creation that Siva  epitomises. By worshipping Linga, we are indeed worshipping entire cosmos as an embodiment of sanctity and divine consciousness. Scientists too, have described the shape of universe as ellipsoidal. Siva  is effulgent and Trigunatita  i.e. having transcended Sattva, Raja  and Tama. With Rajas  in the manifest of Brahma, He creates. With Sattva  in the form of Visnu, He preserves and with Tama  in the manifest of Rudra, he destroys. When the universe is seeped in the darkness of delusion, Siva  appears in the manifest of Jyotirlinga. He dwells in the supreme abode of divine illumination and absolute tranquility called Param Dhama  located amid sixth element of sacred effulgence far beyond the gross universe. His divine consciousness revealed through Brahma, imparts insight to perceive the Self and other beings as Atma  i.e. tiny conscient point of divine effulgence in forehead and to experience it’s innate and original qualities of sanctity, serenity, love, bliss, wisdom and divine faculties. When we meditate on Siva, we weed out negative, vicarious traits, habits, leanings as they are not only sublimated in the subtle fire of divine communion but also be substituted with natural pure, positive and benevolent qualities and proclivities. Sravana  is the holy month dedicated unto worshipping of Siva.

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