WHO IS SHIVA... RUDRA ,ARDHANARISVARA OR ADIYOGI ? ...SHIV-01
WHO IS SHIVA?-
1-Shiva is one of the principal deities or a form of Ishvara (God) representing one of the three primary aspects of the Divine ..Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshvara ;collectively as the Trimurti.
2-In the Trimurti system, Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva is the destroyer or transformer. Within Shaiva tradition he is viewed as the Supreme deity, whereas in Smarta tradition Shiva is one of the six primary forms of the Divine (the other five being Vishnu, Shakti, Ganesha, Kartikkeya and Surya). Followers who focus their worship upon Shiva are called Śhaiva. 3-His role as the primary deity is reflected in his epithets Mahadeva ("Great God"), Maheshvara ("Great Lord"), and Parameshvara ("Supreme Lord").
4-Shaiva, along with Vaiṣṇava traditions that focus on Vishnu, and Śhakta traditions that focus on the Devī (Goddess) are three of the most influential denominations in Hindu system.
5-Shiva is usually worshiped as the Shiva Linga. In images, he is generally represented as immersed in deep meditation or dancing the Tandava upon the demon of ignorance in his manifestation of Nataraja, the lord of the dance. 6-Shiva is referred to as 'the good one' or the 'auspicious one'. Shiva - Rudra is considered to be the destroyer of evil and sorrow. Shiva - Shankara is the doer of good. 7-Shiva is 'tri netra' or three eyed, and is 'neela kantha' - blue necked (having consumed poison to save the world from destruction). Shiva - Nataraja is the Divine Cosmic Dancer. Shiva - Ardhanareeswara is both man and woman. 7-He is both static and dynamic and is both creator and destroyer. He is the oldest and the youngest, he is the eternal youth as well as the infant. He is the source of fertility in all living beings. He has gentle as well as fierce forms.
8-Shiva is the greatest of renouncers as well as the ideal lover. He destroyes evil and protects good. He bestows prosperity on worshipers although he is austere. He is omnipresent and resides in everyone as pure consciousness. 9-Shiva is inseparable from Shakti - Parvati the daughter of Himavaan - Haimavati. There is no Shiva without Shakti and no Shakti without Shiva, the two are one - or the absolute state of being - consciousness and bliss. 10-The five mantras that constitute Shiva's body are Sadyojaata(EARTH), Vaamadeva(WATER), Aghora(FIRE), Tatpurusha(AIR) and Eesaana(SPACE). Eesaana is Shiva not visible to the human eye, Sadyojaata is Shiva realized in his basic reality (as in the element earth, in the sense of smell ) 11-The names of the deified (regard as a god) faces with their elements are Mahadeva (earth), Bhairava (fire), Nandi (air), Uma (water) and Sadashiva (space). 12-In the Trimurti, Śhiva is the destroyer, while Brahma and Vishnu are creator and preserver, respectively. However, even though he represents destruction, he is viewed as a positive force (The Destroyer of Evil), since creation follows destruction.
13-Other views contend that Śhiva produces Vishnu who produces Brahma and thus creation begins, within which the cycle of the Trimurti exists.
14-Śhiva also assumes many other roles, including the Lord of Ascetics (Mahadeva), the Lord of Boons (Rudra), and also the Universal Divinity (Mahesvara).
15-Worshippers of Śhiva are called Śhaivites who consider Śhiva as representing the Ultimate Reality. 16-In shiva temples, Navagrha (9 plantes), Ganesh, Skantha, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Vishnu, Brahma, Ashtathig balar(Power), Durga, Bairava, and all the other hindu gods will have the place, denoting the entire gods are uniquely said to Lord Shiva, so that only he is in shapeless (i.e. in linga form)
17-There are five different avatars of shiva:- 1. Bhairava 2. Nataraja 3. Dhakshinamoorthy 4. Somaskantha(सोमैस्कांदा) 5. Pitkchadanar(पित्क्चदनर्) In most of the South indian temples , we can see all the five suprems in shiva temple. all the five characteristics in a single face is said to be sadashiva. 18-Śhiva is not limited to the personal characteristics as he is given in many images and can transcend all attributes. Hence, Śhiva is often worshipped in an abstract manner, as God without form, in the form of linga.
19-This view is similar in some ways to the view of God in Semitic religions such as Islam or Judaism, which hold that God has no personal characteristics.
20-Hindus, on the other hand, believe that God can transcend all personal characteristics yet can also have personal characteristics for the grace of the embodied human devotee. Personal characteristics are a way for the devotee to focus on God.
21-Śhiva is also described as Anaadi (without beginning/birth) and Ananta (without end/death). 22-According to the Bhagavata Purana, Lord Śhiva manifested in his multiple forms from the forehead of Lord Brahma. When Lord Brahma asked his sons, the Four Kumaras, to go forth and create progeny in the universe, they refused.
22-1-This angered Lord Brahma and in his anger a child appeared from his forehead, which split into two - a male part and a female part. The male half started crying inconsolable and as a result, Brahma named him Rudra. The child cried seven more times and each time Brahma gave him a separate name. 22-2-The eight names thus given to the child were Rudra, Sharva, Bhava, Ugra, Bhima, Pashupati, Ishana, and Mahadeva. Each of these eight names are said to be associated with specific elements of the cosmos, namely the earth, water, fire, wind, sky, a yogi called Kshetragya, the sun, and the moon respectively.
22-3-This male child became Lord Śhiva, who was asked to go forth and create progeny, but when Lord Brahma observed the power, as they shared the qualities of Lord Śhiva, he asked him to observe austerities instead of creating progeny.
23-A slightly different version is told in the Shiva Purana: in the Śhiva Purana, Śhiva promises Brahma that an aspect of his, Rudra, will be born and this aspect is identical to Him. 24-The tale about Lord Śhiva being born and immediately splitting into two halves of male and female indicates the origin of the Ardhanarishvara - the union of substance and energy, the Being and his Shakti (force). 25-Śhiva is the supreme God of Śhaivism, one of the three main branches of Hinduism today (the others being Vaishnavism and Shaktism).
26-His abode is called Kailasa. His holy mount (Vahana) is Nandi, the Bull. His attendant is named Bhadra. Śhiva is usually represented by the Śhiva linga (or lingam), usually depicted as a clay mound with three horizontal stripes on it, or visualised as a flaming pillar.
27-In anthropomorphised (to ascribe human form) images, he is generally represented as immersed in deep meditation on Mount Kailash (reputed to be the same as the Mount Kailash in the south of Tibet, near Manasarovar Lake) in the Himalaya, his traditional abode. 28-List of Hindu deities, Ardhanari, Siddha Yoga, Aum Namah Sivaya, the foremost Saivite mantra, Shri Rudram, a Vedic chant on the early manifestation of Śhiva as Rudra, Kapalika, a secretive sect worship Shiva in it's Bhairava form, Aghori, Hindu views on God and gender.
WHO IS RUDRA?-
1-Rudra is a Rigvedic deity, associated with wind or storm and the hunt. One translation of the name is "the roarer".In the Rigveda, Rudra has been praised as the "mightiest of the mighty".
2-Rudra is one of the most popular names of Shiva used extensively in the Vedas to refer to him. In fact, an expression addresses him as Rudra Shiva. The literal meaning of the term Rudra seems to be roaring storm. The other meanings associated with this word are fire and fiery red. Looking from several angles, the term Rudra appears to focus on the fiery aspect of Shiva which is destruction
3-Rudra is the personification of 'terror'. Depending up on the poetic situation, Rudra can be meant as the most severe roarer/howler (could be a hurricane or tempest) or the most frightening one.The Shri Rudram hymn from the Yajurveda is dedicated to Rudra, and is important in the Shaivism sect. In it Rudra is referred as God of Gods.
4-Hindu theology talks of three principal manifestations of the Supreme Godhead namely Brahma the creator, Vishnu the protector and Shiva the destroyer. In this context, the fierce name of Rudra seems to be highly fitting the role of Lord Shiva.
5-The term Rudra is also associated with the term Rudra Tandava, the terrific dance of Shiva which he performs in the cremation grounds. The iconography of Shiva shows him wearing snakes as ornaments, a garland of skulls, the ashes of the cremation grounds smeared all over the body and wandering forth in red angry eyes.
6-A puranic story narrates an incident associated with the term Rudra. Once Brahma asked Rudra to create some beings as he was getting bored by creating ordinary mortals.
Owing to this request, Shiva created 11 immortal beings.
7-Rudra is really one though according to the different functions. He is considered to have eleven different forms1) Kapali 2) Pingal 3) Bheem 4) Virupaksha 5) Vilohit 6) Shastra 7) Ajapaad 8) Ahirbudhnya 9) Shambhu 10) Chand and 11) Bhav.They were together called as 11 Rudras.
8-Shiva is compassionate and merciful. Being the parent of the entire universe, he is endowed with the supreme role of taking care of their well-being. Chanting the name of Rudra shall invoke the blessings of Shiva and win his grace for the devotees.
WHAT IS THE MYSTERY OF ARDHANARISVARA FORM OF SHIVA?-
1-Ardhanarishvara is a composite androgynous form of Shiva and his consort Parvati. This form is shown as a fusion of half-male and half-female forms, split down in the center. The right half is depicted as Shiva, while the left half shows the female form of Parvati.
2-The very name Ardhanarishvara implies “the Lord who is
half- woman”. Since Ardhanarishvara represents the perfect synthesis of male and female forms, it also embodies the Prakriti and the Purusha, the feminine and masculine energies of the cosmos and also illustrates how Shakti, the Sacred Feminine, is inseparable from Shiva, the male principle of God. This form also symbolizes the all-pervasive, all-enduring nature of Lord Shiva.
3-Shiva-Ardhanarishvara is the divine glorious androgyne. The profound spiritual significance of this hypostasis of Shiva is very important for the Hindu tradition.
4-Shiva-Ardhanarishvara is the expression of the inseparable fusion between Shiva and Shakti – The Supreme Transcendent and the creative feminine energy, the masculine and feminine aspects, which then exists in a state of perfect neutrality and polar equilibrium.Shiva-Ardhanarishvara is also the divine, cosmic being that exists beyond any polarity or duality, situated above all complementary aspects that exist in manifestation
5-This hypostasis is associated also with the manifestation of divine grace. Shiva and Shakti are in reality an inseparable unity in the Supreme Being of God. God without form is, we could say, Paramashiva. By the free and almighty will of God the Father, beings are created and enter into the divine game of existence, in order to ecstatically discover God the Father, the one who creates all the worlds of manifestation.
6-The feminine and effervescent dynamism of creation is called Shakti. It is an integral part of the being of God. God and his feminine, fundamental, supreme power (Shakti) create and manifest absolutely everything that exists, in an inseparable fusion that comes from the being of God the Father.
7-Ardhanarishvara is the hypostasis in which Shiva demonstrates his feminine, inseparable power (Shakti) as being an integrated part of his being. In this hypostasis of his divine, macrocosmic game, Shiva Ardhanarishvara, Shiva and Shakti manifest and act like a single being. This is the expression of the mysterious grace of God.
8-Shiva and Shakti are just like ice and water, which in fact are the same substance in two different state of aggregation. Therefore, Hindu texts describe Shakti as being the lover of Shiva, because she is always inseparable from Shiva, either as the mother of Shiva, because Shiva comes from Shakti, because she is the manifestation of Shiva.
9- The half-masculine – half-feminine hypostasis of Shiva is an illustration of some syncretic images, in which two different but complementary aspects are represented in a completely united state. This is the representation of Shiva called Ardhanarishvara, in which the right half represents the masculine principal (Purusha/THE PINGLA ) that corresponds to Shiva himself, while the left half represents the feminine principle (Prakriti-THE IDA) or Shakti.
SHIVA AS A WORLD TEACHER/ADIYOGI;-
1-In Yoga, Lord Shiva is considered the Ādi Yogi and the Adi Guru. He is the foremost among the yogis and the first teacher of the science of Yoga. He is an ideal ascetic and an ideal householder, all in one.He is depicted as sitting in lotus pose on mount Kailāså, unmoved by the events of the universe.
2-It is said that Shiva first imparted his knowledge to Pārvati or Shakti, his spouse. Also, for the good of mankind, he taught the science of Yoga to the ancient rishis who passed on this knowledge to the rest of humanity. All yogic and tantric systems consider him as the first Guru. These teachings have come down to us in the form of Agama Sastras.
3-From these teachings, came various traditions which still exist. One of them is the Nava-Nāth Tradition founded by Matsyendranath, Gorakshnath and the seven other Gurus of the Nath Tradition, which is still prevalent mostly in North India.
4-In the South, it was the Siddha Agastiar or Agastya Muni, who disseminated this knowledge and created a lineage of Siddhas who specialized in Yoga, Tantra, Medicine, Astrology and other sciences. The tradition of 18 Siddhars is well known in South India.
5-Through his teachings, Lord Shiva does not give any philosophical explanations, but instead gives very direct instructions on the methods to liberation. Shiva Sutras and Vighyana Bhairava Tantra are popular texts that contain specific techniques to liberate the embodied soul from the limitations of the body and mind and experience his true blissful nature.
6-These techniques got refined over the centuries through various masters, who perfected this art and then taught it their disciples. Thus a Guru Shishya parampara was developed and the wisdom of yoga was passed on through the ages.
7-In the yogic culture, Shiva is not known as a god, but as the Ādi yogi or the first yogi – the originator of yoga. He was the one who first put this seed into the human mind. According to the yogic lore, over fifteen thousand years ago, Shiva attained his full enlightenment and abandoned himself in an intense ecstatic dance upon the Himalayas. When his ecstasy allowed him some movement, he danced wildly. When it became beyond movement, he became utterly still.
8-People saw that he was experiencing something that nobody had known before, something that they were unable to fathom. Interest developed and people came wanting to know what this was. They came, they waited and they left because the man was oblivious to other people’s presence. He was either in intense dance or absolute stillness, completely uncaring of what was happening around him. Soon, everyone left,except for seven men.
9-These seven people were insistent that they must learn what this man had in him, but Shiva ignored them. They pleaded and begged him, “Please, we want to know what you know.” Shiva dismissed them and said, “You fools. The way you are, you are not going to know in a million years. There is a tremendous amount of preparation needed for this. This is not entertainment.”
10-The Saptarishis were sent in seven different directions to different parts of the world to carry this dimension with which a human being can evolve beyond his present limitations and compulsions. They became the limbs of Shiva, taking the knowing and technology of how a human being can exist here as the Creator himself, to the world.
11-Time has ravaged many things, but when the cultures of those lands are carefully looked at, small strands of these people’s work can be seen, still alive. It has taken on various colours and forms, and has changed its complexion in a million different ways, but these strands can still be seen.
12-The Ādiyogi brought this possibility that a human being need not be contained in the defined limitations of our species. There is a way to be contained in physicality but not to belong to it. There is a way to inhabit the body but never become the body. There is a way to use your mind in the highest possible way but still never know the miseries of the mind.
13- Whatever dimension of existence you are in right now, you can go beyond that – there is another way to live. He said, “You can evolve beyond your present limitations if you do the necessary work upon yourself.” That is the significance of the Ādiyogi.
14-The most auspicious and useful work beneficial to mankind ever carried out by Lord Siva, is to impart the knowledge of Yoga, Bhakti, Jnana, etc., to the world. He blesses those deserve His grace and who cannot get out of Samsara without His grace. He is not only the World-Teacher but also an ideal example to the Jivanmukta or sage. He teaches by His very actions in His daily life.