Friday, March 8, 2013

The Dance of Shiva

 
Om tryambakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭi-vardhanam
urvārukam iva bandhanān mṛtyormukṣīya māmṛtāt

The above verse from Rigveda [7.59.12], known as the Mahamritunjaya  or the Death-conquering Mantra is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Ironically, it is Shiva Himself who is revered as the harbinger of the final Destruction of the World!

Who is Shiva? What are the origins of this mighty god in Hindu religion and what are the different facets of His personality? In this post, let us try to analyze this enigmatic god and learn what it means to be the Lord of Destruction..


Shiva, the Destroyer

As mentioned in the Page {33 Devas} of this blog, Lord Shiv, along with Prajapati Brahma and Shri Hari Vishnu, forms a part of the highest echelons of the hierarchy amongst Gods known as the Trimurti. All three fit into the scheme of things perfectly with their respective roles being coplimentary to each other.
  • Brahma, the First in the Trinity, is the Creator and Master of all Divine Ceremonies.  
  • Vishnu, the Preserver god who incarnates to help mankind face the challenges posed whenever Evil forces become too dominant in the Universe. 
  • Shiva, destroys at the End of Time and thus sustains the endless rhythm of the Universe ensuring a continuous cycle of renewal and growth.

Mahadev-Shiv-Pashupati-Rudra


In their mistaken belief, some scholars argue that Shiva had a pre-Aryan origin because he was worshiped in the Indus Valley. But, as mentioned in the page {Hindu History} of the blog, the Aryan Civilization, if not earlier, was at the very least contemporary to the Indus-Saraswati Civilization and Vedic scriptures, more likely than not, reflect the literally aspect of the same.

That the Mahabharat follows the Indus perception of Shiva again shows that the two developed same imagery and that this penultimate battle between Good and Evil occurred around the same time as the Indus-Saraswati Civilization! In an article titled {The Riddle of India's Ancient Past}the French proto-historian Michel Danino believes there are strong links between Vedas and the Harappan culture.

'We find statues and seals depicting yogis and yogic postures, we find a Shiva-like deity, worship of a mother-goddess, fire altars, all of which are suggestive of Vedic culture. Harappan symbols include the Trishul, the Swastika, the Conch shell, the Peepal tree, all of which are central to Indian culture. The Rig-Veda itself is full of references to fortified cities and towns, to oceans, sailing, trade and industry, all of which are found in the Harappan civilization.'


Pashupati Seal from Indus-Saraswati excavations


The Pashupati seal (2700 BCE) shows a three-headed figure sitting in a Yogic posture surrounded by animals, sometimes with an erect phallus, and more likely than not is an iconic representation of Shiva-Rudra. Exactly similar description arises in the Mahabharat, where the Lord is referred to as Trishira (having three heads); Digvasas (without clothes); Urddh-linga (with upward erect phallus), and Yogadhyaksha, or the Lord of Yoga.

As you probably know from my other posts, I love to find out the similarities between the mythologies from different parts of the world. Keeping up with the tradition, I here share with you the image of the horned god Cernunnos worshiped in Europe around 1st century CE.


The Horned Gods - Pashupati & Cernunnos


Just like Shiva, Cernunnos is believed to be the god of Nature and Fertililty and is still revered in Celtic mythology as the 'Lord of Animals' (quite similar to the Indus Pashupati!). Whatever the connection between the two, it is not easy to understand Shiva completely as he is described variously at various places with completely opposite attributes.

In Yajurveda, the contrary attributes are referred to as Rudra, the terrifying and Shiva, the auspicious (Sanskrit Shiv = Shubh). Some scholars believe Rudra to be the older form which was merged later with a 'Non-Aryan' god Shiva or Pashupati in later times. But do the scriptures support such a hypothesis?


Shiva, the Consummate Yogi
Rudra, the Destroyer of Creation
{Image courtesy - Devon ke dev, Mahadev}




 Shiva or Rudra?

The story of Rudra's birth is very interesting and is identically revealed in many Puranas.

As I had earlier mentioned in the post {Creation by Brahma}, inspite of Brahma's efforts at populating the world, the early sons of Brahma chose to follow the path of Spirituality instead of procreation and Brahma was sorely disappointed. His first creations, the Sanat Kumars, in fact abhorred entering the Samsar Chakra so much that they continue living the form of 5 year old kids and never attain puberty!

This, however, frustrated Brahma so much that from his forehead, (the region of the third eye) emerged a dark red/blue child bawling at the top of his voice. This angry baby was named Rudra (The Howler)!

Rudra born from Brahma's Frown


However, Rudra, was more spiritually inclined than Brahma, and decided to follow the path of Tapas or Penance and thus entered samadhi in the Garbhodak Ocean. It was only after a lot of cajoling and praying by Brahma, that He agreed to help in procreation and manifested 10 more beings with the same appearance as him (Binary Fission?!?). These are the 11 Rudras, and Rig Veda [2.33], describes Shiv as the Father-of-All-Rudras.

Thus, we see, that the scriptures find NO difference between Rudra and Shiva except that the first term encompasses eleven gods, the First and Foremost of whom is Lord Shiv. Therefore, the hypothesis that Shiva was a non-Aryan god who was merged with Rudra is baseless.


Lord Shiv with the Rudras



As regards the three-eyes, it is interesting to note that the Pineal gland in Human beings is located at the region of the Third-Eye and has tissue similar to that of the normal functioning eye. Indeed the gland in many vertebrates has cells similar to the photoreceptors of eye used for vision! Could it then be another vestigial organ that we humans possessed earlier but now has a very limited value??


The Deep Seated Third Eye
 Shiva, the only being with a Completely functional Pineal Gland?


Lord Shiv, then would be the most ancient progenitor of our race in whom the organ functions as it should. But Brahma got terrified of these three-eyed fierce forms and requested Lord Shiva to create a more benign aspect of Himself and that is how Shakti was given a form!



Shiva and Shakti

Rudra, thus took the form of Ardhanarishwar and generated a female principle from His left half who was the Rudrani. Each of the 11 Rudras similarly obtained a consort thus providing Brahma some satisfaction of seeing his creations multiply. Shiva's consort Uma  or Shakti is the primeval Goddess who also represents the Yogmaya of Lord Vishnu.

Lord as Ardha-naarishwar




The festival of Mahashivaratri marks the night when Lord Shiv was married to Parvati, the final form of Uma who was earlier born as Daksha's daughter Sati.


Shiva with His beloved Sati in happier times


The union of Shiva and Shakti is represented symbolically in the form of the Lingam and the Yoni. It symbolizes Hieros-gamos or the 'Sacred Union' between God and the Goddess that gives birth to creation. It is yet another tribute to the ancient Indians' acceptance of the sexual act as a natural phenomenon and one that needs to be worshiped and not abhorred.

The same union is celebrated in Tibetan Tantrism where it is referred to as Yab-Yum (Father-Mother). Shiva is depicted here as Yamantaka or End-of-Yama revealing the episode when He rescued Rishi Markandeya from Yamdev's noose literally at gun-point (Trident point if you please!).


Yamantaka Shiva in Yab-Yum formation


While both Shiva and Shakti represent the Male and Female forms, their vehicles also represent their innate attributes. Shiva's vehicle Nandi, the bull, represents magnificence, virility and proud masculinity while Parvati's vehicle, the mountain Lion or Singh represents her Power or Shakti and the taming of animal instincts by the Mother Goddess.

Archaeologically, we find this reflected in the Zebu bull seals of Indus-Saraswati Civilization (which may represent Nandi) and surprise, surprise, in a far-off valley in Turkey known as Yazili Kaya! The rock-cut friezes in these caves belong to 16th-17th century BCE and show a God Teshav riding a bull, while the accompanying Goddess Hakat rides a Lion and is accompanied by a young boy Kumarbi (Kumar Kartikeya?).


Zebu Bull from Harrapan seals
Yazili Kaya rock-cut frieze with God on Bull and Goddess on Lion


The worship of Shiva and Shakti thus represents an ancient rite of recognizing the Universe as a balance of the Male and the Female, the Doer and the Energy, the Yin and the Yang and the Yab and the Yum. The night of their union or Mahashivratri is also believed to be the night when Shiva appeared in the form of a Lingam of Fire and challenged the gods Brahma and Vishnu's contest for supremacy. That was the night Lord Vishnu's magnanimity came to fore while Brahma's cheating led to Shiva putting the curse that he would never be worshiped. The Somnath Temple in Gujarat commemorates this very occasion!


My visit to the Somnath Temple


We see now a reason why Shiva would have invoked belligerence in his father-in-law Daksha Prajapati. After all, Daksha was the eldest Manas-putra of Brahma and could not have taken kindly to this denigration of his father's position from the Head-of-the-Trinity to its bottom! Perhaps, that was also the reason, that he balked at the idea of his most favored daughter Sati, falling in love with the man he so heartily despised!!

Sati did eventually marry Lord Shiv against her father's wishes and ultimately sacrificed herself in the Yagnya fire at Kankhal, Haridwar to protect her husband's honor. Shiva carries the corpse of Sati on His shoulder lamenting His loss till Lord Vishnu uses His Chakra to disintegrate the body. Each part of the body falling on Earth provides a Divine foundation and thus are formed the 51 Shaktipeeths (Seats-of-Energy)!

This incident shows that Shiva and Vishnu work in tandem too and their Oneness-in-Duality is also seen in the combined form of Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Har) that depicts both deities as two faces of the same coin working hand-in-hand to ensure smooth functioning of the Universe.


Hari-Hara the Divine combination of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva


The story shows a completely new side of Shiva where the Supreme Master-of-Senses loses control and decides to take revenge by beheading Daksha!

Virbhadra, born from Shiva's locks beheads Daksha
Virbhadra statue carved out of rock at Kailash Temple, Ellora


This  is what makes Shiva more relatable to humans.. it shows that even at the highest level of spirituality, the bonds of affection may cause a person to slip and plunge into gloom or anger. 


Kailash, the Abode of Shiva

Talking about Kailash, the holy mountain is believed to be the abode of Shiv and Parvati. There are many mentions of it in the various Puranas and other scriptures like Ramayan and Mahabharat. The mountain is sacred for not only Hindus but also Buddhists, Jains and followers of Bon religion.


Satellite Image of Mt. Kailash with Mansarovar and Rakshas Taal
 Catching a glimpse of the Holy Mountain



Jains worship the region as their First Tirthankar, Rishabhdev attained Nirvana here (Check the post {India and Bharat} for more on Adinath Rishabhdev). Tibetan Buddhists worship Mount Kailash as the home of the Buddha Demchok or Chakrasamvara, who represents supreme bliss.

The followers of Bön religion credit the entire region, especially Kailash, as the seat of all spiritual power. Indeed the area gives one a feeling of entering a more spiritual plane especially when you see mountain peaks like that of the Om Parvat.


View of the Om Parvat en route to Mount Kailash


Inspite of numerous references to it, the readers might be surprised to know, that Kailash was not always the home of Shiva! Infact, some passages of the Shrimad Bhagvat Puraan state that the original abode of Sadashiv is at the boundary of this Universe at the Loka-aloka border!


The Original Abode of Lord Shiv



These verses in the Vayu Puraan, Chapter 39 shed more light on the details of this place:

[230] Beyond Brahmaloka and beneath the upper crust of the Cosmic Egg – in between these two is Shiva’s city, his divine abode called MANOMAYA.

[238] The city shines with scattered diamond dust. These worlds are lit from within, meaning their reality does not consist of reflected light, as does our material world.

[264-266] Lord Maheshwar [the transcendent Lord Shiv] of ten arms sports therein… He is respected and diligently worshiped by the people moving about in aerial chariots.

This, then is the Original and Supreme abode of Shiva where He resides till the end of Creation and is visited by the other gods in their space-crafts {Check the post Lokas or Alien Planets for more on this topic}. Kailash may actually be the temporary home where the Lord comes for a small time, maybe as a summer-retreat!


Shiva Family on Mount Kailash


This would also make sense, since geologically, the Himalayas (of which Mount Kailash is a part), did not rise up till about 5o million years ago! 

Since Hindu Timelines begin close to 155 Trillion years (the present age of Brahma), hence, obviously Lord Shiv would have had to live somewhere else before finally making Kailash His home!! Also, the Himalayas wont stay forever as the Pralaya or the End-of-the-World would destroy the World as we know it and Brahma would then remould it into a new shape.

At that time, Shiva would probably return to the abode known as Manomaya with His family and Kailash may or may not come into being again. 



Naimittik Pralaya

The destruction that takes place at the end of a daytime of Brahma is referred to as Naimittik, implying incidental or occasional opposed to Prakritik Pralaya that takes place at the end of Brahma's lifetime. {Check the post - Pralaya, the End of Days for more on this}

The characteristic of this destruction is that the three worlds (Bhur, Bhuvah and Swarga) continue to exist but are made uninhabitable. The souls of individuals also continue to exist to be reincarnated in the next daytime of Brahma.

The Shiv Purana [2.3.20.14-19] states that the fall off of the energy residing in the THIRD EYE of Shiva fell like lightning and Brahma had to take it to the ocean and keep it under check there else it could burn the entire creation!

The energy thus released was stored underwater in the shape of a mare and is known as the Vadava {Check this link for details - On Wings of Fire}. The fire-mare resides under the ocean (Molten Earth's core?) and one of the myths calls her wife of Yama and hence a harbinger of Death.


 Vadava Fire hidden below the Oceans



Swayambhu Manu alludes to this fire from Shiva's eye stating that in two cases Fire is born out of Water. One, at the time of Lightening and secondly, in the case of the under-water Vadava Mare. Brihadaranyak Upanishad [1.1.2] states that the open mouth of this mare keeps releasing fire in the Sea from time to time, perhaps alluding to submarine eruptions common in the ocean floor!


Submarine Volcanoes -  Flames of the Vadava Fire?

 Eruption of an Underwater Volcano




Normally, the fire is kept in check with the waters of the Global Ocean. But as Mahabharat verses [12.248.13-17] state, the end of the Day of Brahma is nigh that Rudra sparks off the fire again and this explosion from the mare's mouth in the Southern Ocean begins the process of Pralaya.  

Vishnu Purana [1.7.24-40] also agrees that this destruction would begin with an underwater explosion and shall be succeeded by a 100 year drought during which the seas, rivers, and streams will all be drained of water. The sun would be replaced by seven suns (will our Sun increase in size?), and the three worlds as well as the underworlds shall be burned bare of life. This then, is the Final Destiny of our planet and this is what we call Tandav, the Final Dance of Shiva. As each atom is created, another is destroyed and this continues forever in a cyclical manner. 


Shiva dancing the Dance of Destruction at Elephanta Caves
Shiva drinks poison to save Life yet also annihilates at the End of Time


I conclude this post with the invocation I started the post with as there is nothing better to pray for except getting out of this Samsara Chakra. This Mahashivratri, let us remember the Lord with our hearts and minds and pray for deliverance:

Om tryambakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭi-vardhanam
urvārukam iva bandhanān mṛtyormukṣīya māmṛtāt

OM, We worship Shiva, the Three-eyed fragrant Lord,
Who nourishes and nurtures all beings,
As is the ripened cucumber freed from its bondage (to the creeper),
May He liberate us from Death and take us to Immortality.

Aum Shanti: Shanti: Shanti:

113 comments:

  1. Epic blog by an epic personality! ^_^

    Addicted to your articles! Keep it coming !

    Har Har Mahadev!

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    1. Har Har Mahadev :)
      Thanx for the kind words!

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  2. Thank You Vineet bro for such valuable knowledge.
    Keep Going.

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  3. I love your information, i always wanted to know how the earth's core existed as molten fire...thank u so very much for all the information, it is very valuable as it links the science to the written word, thank u very much

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank YOU for visiting and commenting :)
      Har Har Mahadev!

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  4. Excellent article! We want more. Thank you!

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    1. Thanx buddy.. there are more articles available from the right hand panel under 'LABELS" and 'RECENT POSTS' :)

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  5. Replies
    1. Har Har Mahadev and a very Happy Shivratri to you and family :)

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  6. Sometime i wonder you gonna be next Amish tripathi

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    1. Hahaha @Ravi lets see what happens in the future ;)

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    2. WOW THE VEDAS HINDU KUSH THE EGYPTIANS AND THE MYANS MAY BEADVANCED TECH IN ALL PARTS OF THE OLD WORLD LOOKS LIKE THE ANCIENTS WERE NOT PRIMITIVE AS WE THOUGHT WHAT HAPPEN TO THEM TO.MAKE THEM RETREADS

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    3. Its the Age of Kali and i guess the forces of goodness take a retreat during this phase.. They would probably return with the beginning of the next Golden Age:)

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  7. Gaurav KulshrehthaMarch 10, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Jai Jai Shiv Shankar

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  8. Hinduism is truly a fascinating religion and a very big and diverse one. This almost seems like the wiccan concept of the lord and lady

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    Replies
    1. Well yeah Hindusim certainly is all encompassing and covers elements right from Nordic to Egyptian to Native American mythologies!

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  9. Very knowledgeable information, thank u very much

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  10. Hi there. Great post as always. You are doing a great job. I liked the part about the third eye the most...
    Jai mahakaal.

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  11. Vineetji,I happened to bump into your blog as I am reading the Voth of vayuputras .Great writing,stirring and might be turning point in life which time only has to tell.
    May the lord shive bless you.
    Regards,
    ramesh Kumar

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    1. Thanx Ramesh KUmar ji and I pray the Lord blesses us all :)
      Aum Namah Shivaye

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  12. Hello! Anybody There? Echo!
    Sorry, I couldn't congratulate you for the excellent post! Simply amazing, how you research abt the whole topic..

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  13. This info is invaluable. Where can I find out more?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahh well you can go throught the 7 Secrets of Shiva by Devdutt patnaik.. I like his works a lot

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  14. Um.. when is the next post?

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    1. Working on it... but might take a while :)

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  15. Just stumble on this blog. It is Gold rock. Proud to possess this wealth. Thanks.

    Practically have you gone through Amish Tripathi and Pattanaik works. I am not having good opinion about their works. It feel they are doing it for some ulterior motive to degrade Hindu Mythology and God, Goddesses. They bring down Gods to very earthy level.

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    1. Yes Das, I have read their works.. Amish's books are of course an effort to humanize the God Shiva and is clearly a work of fiction while Dr. Pattanaik's works are more towards simplifying the abstruse concepts for the lay man.. I believe both of them have done their own bit in popularizing our Gods and the mythology associated with them which makes it relevant for the common man.. these should not be interpreted as actual stories but the authors' interpretations of the concepts they represent.. Thanks for visiting and commenting :)

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  16. I am not receiving your comment by email. how to do it?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I don't know why that's happening.. the settings at my end are fine

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  17. I think you should write about this matter in paper like DNA, HT or TOI. We need voice of such highly intelligent people to counter such baseless humiliation. God bless you.

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    1. Welll I don't know whether they would be interested in publishing abt such stuff!

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  18. Can i share your link at social networking sites?

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  19. Today i read it again and felt the thrill another time. In Coimbatore Sadguru Jaggi Vasudevji established a huge mercury Shiva Lingam. As per his viewpoint, Shiva Lingam depicts the point of creation. During point of creation or big bang, universe created in the form of ellipse, means explosion was in form of ellipse. Hence the shape of lingam is elliptical.

    As per Dr.Vartak, Shiva lingam could be considered as a primitive model of DNA helix. Our Sages represented in symbolic form. By keeping on lingam on another it gives rise to a helical structure resembling DNA, the origin of life.

    In some blogs i have read the lingam is actually pineal gland of Shiva. Vedic Rishis had a lemon size pineal gland, but we have lost that.

    In wikipedia, unfortunately Ardhanarishwar is denigrated as an eunuch / hermaphrodite and people are reading this poison.

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    1. Yes that's the sad situation today.. We Indians read about our own mythology from the westerners point of view and think what they have written is correct!! That was the main purpose of starting this blog - to bring out the true nature of concepts from Hinduism to the world

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    2. For any help, obviously within my reach, i am there to help your mission. Any typing, editing etc. i can do free, for Hinduism.

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    3. Thanx a lot for ur generous offer :) will definitely get in touch with u if I need help

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  20. Um... Vineetji? Are you not posting this month?

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    1. Sorry dear no posts this month and probably the next too.. traveling around

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  21. when will ur next post come bro, wt it will b about?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ahhh well working on it buddy.. can't reveal the suspense :)

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    2. Wonderful Job there are lots of ancient and powerful secrets we can only imagine what the Nazis were really after during the last global conflict.

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    3. Well yeah.. some Hollywood movies like Captain merica have used this concept too but we cant really be sure what secrets they could explore

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  22. I was born and brought up in a marwari family which taught me existence of god and various stories of them.faith became a part of my inner consciousness.but then i went to school where i learned aryan invasion theory,different civilizations and religions.i started questioning if whatever i was told was a myth?if god exists?are all those stories are just creation of human minds.i have been trying to find connections between hinduism and reality from long time.a video on you tube"scientific vertification of vedic knowledge" was 1st in this search to quench my thirst but your blog is a real retreat.

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    1. Thanx a lot R-Ked.. yes that is the drawback of our curriculum.. it does not give us the TRUE picture of our history and cultural advancement and instead talks about what the British thought of us!

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  23. Very Impressive and knowledgeable Information. I am giving to you Sadhuwad... thank you bro.....

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    1. Much obliged Rishi.. thanx for visiting and commenting!

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  24. what a wonderful work ... god bless you vineet

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  25. Simply Amazed by your blog posts! A thought provoking blog indeed. I really appreciate your work, I just shared your blog, in my blog post with out your consent. Hope you don't mind.

    Happy New year!
    Sowmya

    ReplyDelete
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    1. No problem at all :)
      Thanx for visiting and commenting.. wish you a very Happy New Year as well!

      Delete
  26. Too good...superb sir...u have nailed the blog.....
    Maza aagaya
    I sm a Lord SHIVA fan...yes I should say FAN...and there were many things which I learnt......
    Now eagerly waiting for your blog on LORD SHIVA
    HAR HAR MAHADEV

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  27. Awesome article dude, amazing work quoting vedic scriptures combining it with scientific facts!!! I have gone through your previous article on Universe and absolutely fantastic... Great work and keep the good work going.!! Lord Mahadev is the innermost soul of every person and is the supreme lord presiding over all other deities, looking forward to your article on Supreme Lord Shiva, embodiment of higher knowledge and wisdom, also preacher of kundalini yogas..

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  28. Excellent insight in to the hinduism. thanks

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    1. Hi I am ajay why is shiva worshipped in the form of lingam

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    2. Well the lingam is actually a pillar of fire moving upwards and according to the Shiv Puran that is the way Shiva presented himself to Brahma and Vishnu first.. In Tantrism, the Lingam and Yoni represent the creative process that Shiva and Parvati who is the manifestation of Prakriti indulge in and has an esoteric meaning rather than a mundane one

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    3. Pranaams. The linga swarupa symbolizes the seat of our consciousness in every human being - all genders inclusive. Human consciousness represents the one and only witness to our individual minds which is why Shiva is hailed as Manonmanayave - The supreme seat of consciousness which can be understood as the pineal gland located in between the eyes. The human mind is the controller of the cognitive as well as the conative sense organs of which the primal instincts are that of sex and ego. One learns to controls these urges coming from the sense organs through the rigorous practice of Ashtanga Yoga through which it was deemed possible to see the light of the Brahman(Atma Jyothi). This is why Shiva is worshipped as Linga and it would be wrong to interpret the lingam as a male sense organ on another female sense organ. Just thought of clarifying the reason which I think is why we have the system of worshipping jyotirlingams in India - 12 of which represent the 12 constellations/rashi's in the zodiac :)

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  29. Bro thanx alot for al the information about shiv ji mharaj
    May god help u tu full fil ur all dreamz
    My blessing always with you

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  30. Astounded yet again by the beauty of Hinduism! I was brought up as a Vaishnavite. But I'm really drawn towards Mahadeva of late. Been reading up a lot on Him. This was a great read. Thanks a lot!

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    1. My pleasure completely and would you believe if I say the same's happening with me too!

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  31. Thanks for enlightening us. I especially love the way you relate vedas/puranas knowledge with the current researches made in astronomy to understand this cosmos which seems to be very complex from the perspective of Mr. Hawkins with his complex mathematical models and calculations.
    I have a query, though its not related to cosmos, regarding the use to hemp/cannibus in Indian culture. Can you please shed some light on how it is related to lord Shiva and festivals of Mahashivratri and Holi ?

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    1. First let me thank you for your kind words.. its glad to know one's efforts are appreciated :)

      regarding your query, cannabis was used by a certain section of yogis to attain a state of trance.. something like the happy high feeling one gets on intake of alcohol but deeper and longer lasting. The same trance can be achieved by means of meditation and the purpose of both is to let your mind be free from the trappings of the physical body so that the sub-conscious can take over and let you experience new realities :)

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  32. Hi Vineet,

    Thanks for this post and the effort you put for this. I really like the way you link things together. Love all your posts.

    However, I am confused here on few things, specially the birth of Shiva. I agree that Rudra is form of Shiva or Shiva manifested himself in several Rudras. But that fact Shiva was born from third eye of Brahma is something I have heard first time or kind off difficult to believe. What I could found is.. Shiva (Or Ardhnarishwar) is supreme/main source of energy which always existed in the universe in the form of fire lingam with the voice of OM.... much much before Vishnu or Bramha or this whole creation.

    Vishnu was born from that fire pillar and Brahma was born from Vishnu nabhi.
    When Brahma was tired of this creation work he did penance for several years to please Shiva. He asked for his help for his creation work. Shiva then appeared in the form of Ardhnarishwar and separated his shakti/female part from hismself and then sakti spread in the whole universe in the form of energy to help in creation work. That is called Adi shakti or Bhairvi the first form of shakti after separation from shiva.

    Shiva is called Adi- Anadi.... who was never born and will never die. There are sources in scriptures which at least talk about the End of Life of Bramha. Bramha again take birth before new creation... But Shiva can't die, he is the param pita, the first man, the source of male energy, the destroyer.

    So shiva taking birth from Brahma thrid eye is something I couldn;t believe.
    Pleae elaborate / help !!!

    Thanks
    Vinita

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    1. Hi Vinita,

      your query is quite genuine as this is the account that Shiavites believe in but ALL Puranas INCLUDING the SHIV Purana and the LING Purana mention Shiva taking birth from Brahma's forehead though the above account is also added to the narrative. The rest of the Puranas all talk about the order I have mentioned which is - Vishnu to Brahma to Shiva and i have taken the majority view while composing this article.

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    2. Hi Vineet,

      Thanks for answering.
      I know you compose article after much research so this must be majority view.

      Its just that, since childhood I was devotee of Lord Vishnu. As a child, I loved the way he looks specially his royal clothes :) . I knew Shiva as one of God but understanding the mighty shiva was something beyond my capabilities.
      But, now from last couple of yrs when I am fascinated by his personality, even while worshipping Vishnu, I am attracted to him. I want to know him more, understand him more. Please Please do some research on him :)

      Also, again one doubt in mind. If Shiva was born from Brahma, why don't we know him as his son like Sapt Sages or Manu or prajapati etc..
      Even shiva was his unborn or self manifested son… we could know him like Manu he was also swayambhu.

      Then, How could Shiva behead one fifth head of Brahma or curse his father because by doing this he would have PAPA/DOSHA and he would be trapped in the Kalachakra of Life & Death.
      As I know, Shiva is DOSHA Mukta, beyond any human GUNA, beyond the Kalachakra of life & death, That's why he never even incarnated like Vishnu, cause taking birth as human brings you inside the Kalchakra and you are not Papamukta.

      Sorry for asking so many questions !!!

      Thanks
      Vinita

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    3. Well there are loads of things that we take on face value without bothering to check the scriptures.. the mythologicals on television also corrupt many ideas like the series Mahadev portrays Shiva as the Supreme God and the one on Devi used to show her as the Original Being. What we need to do is to find a common ground amongst all these Puranas that highlight their own particular deity and come to a conclusion. Shiva does not need to incarnate coz that's not his job he is the destroyer just as brahma is the Creator. Lord Vishnu on the other hand is the Preserver so out of Hiw own mercy He comes down in the form of incarnations to help us.

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  33. Thanks Again,

    I know, these Indian serials are quite manipulative in story telling for their obvious reasons. I am not a regular viewer of these serials cause I am mostly out. Though I watched and liked few episodes of Mahadev when I was in India but I am not attracted because of a hero looking God :).

    I shall not put the details here but just wanna tell the reason of my curiosity towards him.
    My life, mental and physical health, my career everything went upside-down in last 4-5 yrs specially since my health started deteriorating. The only thing I gained during this period is new me different that I used to be. I developed interest towards spirituality, world religion, cults, visiting different parts of world, knowing different cultures and their roots. Also, a quest to know our own roots. And my fascination towards Shiva was one of the main thing which happened to me in this period while meditating, praying or in general.

    I hope I am not bothering you much with my questions, Its just I keep looking for these subjects and I found your blog.

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    1. It's not a problem at all :)
      It doesn't matter which form of God you feel drawn to for they all lead to the One Supreme Being so stop sweating about it and just soak in the Divine Love.. Shiva is no different from Vishnu they are just different manifestations of the same reality like milk and cheese!

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  34. According to Linga Puran, Lord Shiva appeared before Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma in form of a burning pillar which had no end but you are telling that Lord Rudra was born from Lord Brahma. If Lord Shiva had already appeared before than how can he be born afterwards?

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    1. Hi there.. this question has already been answered plz refer above :)

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  35. Bhava, Sarva, Rudra, Pasupati
    Ugra, Mahan, Bhima, Isana
    In each of these names is Mahadeva and Sruti
    To these precious names do I too offer my salutation.

    This site is Great

    Urmila Sharda Debi from Holland

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  36. Thank U sir for such a kind information
    even i m intrested in relating our mythology with astrony and science
    u have proved to be a boon for me
    thanks once again

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  37. different facts nicely brought together, looking forward to more such articles

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  38. Just to clear the doubt of Shiva being the destroyer and then taking a form from Brahma at the beginning of creation of a certain universe among the countless.. The trinity of creation, preservation and destruction happen in tandem.. Any souls that want the real truth about the supreme god and trying to put one above one is the exact reason we are born in this dimension.. Get above this ego and relate to god as this whole creation.. Life becomes a lot more understanding.. Keep the good work.. Vivek

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  39. Hi vineeth
    We want more from you.. keep writing...
    My question is as per Vishnu purana lord Vishnu comes first creates Brahma and rudra where as Brahma purana says Brahma did so and so done by lord Shiva insShiva or linga purana... which one to consider ...

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    1. Hey there... actually the Brahma and Vishnu Puraan both talk about Lord Vishn u being the Supreme its only the Shiva puraan that differs but even then it corroborates the account of Vishnu Puraan whereby Shiva emerges again from the forehead of Brahma. It depends on you which one you wish to follow and it makes no difference since the three of them are manifestations of the same Supreme God

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  40. Shiva is like the rock star among Hindu gods. Actually there is an incident where after a Deva Asura war, the devas pleaded Shiva do a cosmic dance for them and Shiva did his dance with Gandharvas and others joining with music.

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  41. Exceptional work Dr.Vineeth. Truly a great effort from your side to demystify the concepts and theories behind our traditions and cultures. I recommend you to go deeper into Shrimad Bhaagavatham and Rig Veda which would definitely help you in your journey. The authenticity of certain works have been too shallow nowadays and hence it has been difficult to obtain true information about such traditional concepts. I have certain first hand conversions of Bhaagavatham and Vedas ,which are authentic and would prove useful for your mission. Open for any support.

    Navaneeth Vaisravanath mana
    navaneethvn@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks a lot for your kind words Navaneeth.. can you share the translations that you have with me?

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  42. oh man your articles are amazing and it actually makes sense... wow great work... :)...

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  43. Hi Vineet,
    Amazing information in your blog. Keep it flowing :). Felt it was in my destiny to know this information through your blog.

    Had a question in my mind; At every Naimittik pralaya, if the Sun were to increase its intensity by 7 times and life on the habitable planet like Earth gets wiped off. On the next Brahma day, the reincarnation of the souls in physical plane would happen in the next planet away from Sun, in this case Mars ?

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    1. Hi Niranjan,

      Thanks a lot for your encouragement mate :)
      Well it may not necessarily be true for Sun increasing to seven times its size could actually destroy the entire solar system so I guess creation begins on a different planet altogether in a different solar system and Earth or Mars may no longer remain habitable

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  44. You have explained well on Shiva and Shakti. I am Really confused whether they existed truly as persons. One thing I know is Shiva is Soul and Shakti is Mind. Vineet You have almost explained the entire story of Shiva right from birth to different incarnations. Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram denote the Truth, Goodness and Magnificence, Lord Shiva represents the essence of perfect goodness and godliness.

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  45. That's why On the day of Mahashivratri, Lord Shiva is said to reveal his tandava form, the dance of Destruction.

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  46. That's why On the day of Mahashivratri, Lord Shiva is said to reveal his tandava form, the dance of Destruction. http://www.medyumsikayetleriniz.com

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  47. Hello sir..
    I have a doubt
    You said that the first creations of brahma were spiritually inclined... And when he couldn't populate the universe .. He got frustrated and due to his negative energy the asuras were created..
    You also said that after each brahma day all the life in the universe is destroyed .. But the next day when he wakes up .. Why does he make the same old mistake

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    1. Good question.. but Brahma doesnt really make the same mistake anymore.. judging by our population I think he's making more and more of humans now! And humans are placed bang in the middle of the evolutionary cycle so its upto us which path we want to take.. whether to go down to the level of Asurs or rise to the level of Devas

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  48. Fantastic article, waiting for the next one...

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