What Can Shiv Teach New Humans?
Published On : 13th February, 2018
Humans need a reason to celebrate and we, Hindus, in particular, have designed festivals to mark important spiritual, celestial, agricultural and economic events. One of the major ones — Mahashivratri — falls mostly during February-March and is of immense importance to people on the spiritual path.
Mahashivratri — or the Grand Night of Shiv — is celebrated across the world to mark an expansion in spiritual energy within each individual. Mother Earth’s northern hemisphere is positioned in a manner that allows the higher dosages of cosmic energy to pass through the spines of devotees. Therefore, the festival is celebrated at night and most believers spend the night standing or dancing to allow the energy to climb all the way from the base of the spine to the head. Shiv, too, is depicted as the ‘Natraj’ doing his ‘Anand Tandav’ or the Dance of Creation.
Several legends are associated with Mahashivratri — among them — the day marks the marriage of Shiv to Parvati for householders. Ascetics believe that Shiv meditated for ages and then turned ‘absolutely still just as a mountain’ on a particular day that is marked as Mahashivratri and represented pictorially through Mount Kailash, the abode of Shiv and Parvati.
Shiv, the most powerful within the Hindu Trinity of Vishnu and Brahma, is also the first Yogi or the ‘Adiyogi’ and the Adi Guru or the first Guru. After Shiv became completely still, scores of people came to learn that art from him. However, just seven of them stayed back. Over time, he taught the art of Yoga to these seven men who came to be known as the Saptarishis. These wise men spread Yoga across the world and even now we have only seven main forms or types of Yoga.
Another legend describes Shiv as helping the world regenerate. A poison that could destroy the earth came up in the churning of the ‘milk ocean’ that both the Gods and the asuras did to establish supremacy over each other. Both sides prayed to Shiv to prevent the world from heading towards a disaster. Shiv swallowed the poison but retained it in his throat, which turned blue, earning Him the name ‘Neelkanth’ or the blue-throated one. That day is celebrated as MahaShivratri.
Finding the Shiv in you is a transformative experience. He is often depicted with a ‘third eye’ established on His forehead. The eye ‘opens’ to burn all desire and turns all false knowledge into ashes
These are the abilities of Shiv that we have to find in ourselves. Over time, old knowledge turns into poison and ourselves have to be regenerated through constant churning of new information. New Humans emerge from the debris of churning of the past and they literally save the society through newer and better tools.
While we run headlong into newer gadgets, better apps, more powerful phones and an even closer connect with technology, what we must not forget is our deep link with what powers the mind and the intellect: it is spirituality that differentiates humanity from other species. And it is the spiritually inclined that are more grounded in this age of virtual reality!