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SHIVA, THE GREAT GOD OF HINDUISM

Shiva

Shiva is one of the most important gods in Hinduism and is most worshiped throughout India, literally means "auspicious" and is also known as Mahadeva "the great god".


Hinduism is one of the main religions of India, but not the only one. India as a large and diverse country embraces many religions and beliefs. For us Westerners, Hinduism may seem like something very strange, so many gods, so many names and all with such curious aspects give us a feeling of distrust if they do not explain to us exactly where all their idiosyncrasies come from.


Under the Christian gaze, we have been instilled that there is only one God for men and to think that there are many gods is something ancient, from uncivilized cultures and what is worse, a heresy that leads them to hell.


The truth is that the explanation of why there are many gods in India is much simpler and easier than the criticism that we can make from our ignorance. It is not that there are many gods, deep down there is only one creative force Brahman, which is the Pure Universal Consciousness, what happens is that this consciousness manifests through various forms in our earthly plane and also in other planes or worlds that exist. are defined under the Vedic gaze.


So, one way to understand, venerate and approach that consciousness that manifests itself in multiple forms, is by giving it a name, a physical appearance and some specific qualities so that our human understanding can assimilate it more easily.


When you already know that, your heart and mind opens, you can understand and connect with the energy of each aspect of the divine from another place, judgments disappear and it can even be very entertaining to learn more details about the stories of each god.

“Om Namah Shivaya" I bow to lord Shiva

It is a very powerful mantra that confers on the one who recites it the Supreme Bliss of Existence.


SHIVA, THE THIRD GOD OF THE HINDU TRINITY


In the trimurti or Hindu trinity there are 3 gods: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.


BRAHMA

Brahma, it is not the same as Brahman that we talked about before, here it is a god with specific characteristics and not the Universal Consciousness and it symbolizes the creation, the deity that gave origin to the universe. Brahma with his mind creates the entire material universe, the creation of which in this existence manifests as Maya or an illusion. He then creates: the flat world (our world, Earth) and all other visible and invisible lokas or places, dimensions, worlds, planets and stars in the sky, where gods and other beings live. Brahma is depicted as a red or gold bearded man, with four heads and hands. His four heads represent the four Vedas and point to the four cardinal points.


VISHNU

Vishnu represents preservation. He is considered the guardian of men, since he protects the order of things (dharma) and appears on earth in various incarnations (avatars) to fight demons and maintain cosmic harmony. Vishnu is usually depicted with blue (dark or pale) skin, and with four arms, but he is most famously identified with his avatars, most especially Rama and primarily Krishna.


SHIVA

Shiva symbolizes the principle of the destruction, regeneration and reabsorption of the Universe. Here we are not referring to destruction as something negative, but as something that transforms, a necessary force for new things and situations to arise, a force that prevents stagnation. For example, at the level of personal growth, this force is necessary to leave behind old habits, thoughts, emotions or harmful structures and to be able to evolve on our spiritual path. He also represents the transcendent, since he is the one who leads man beyond forms.


REPRESENTATION OF THE GOD SHIVA

The most used way to represent the god Shiva is in his human form, sitting in a meditative attitude. His abode is on Mount Kailash in the Himalayas along with his wife Parvati. He has 2 sons: Ganesha, the elephant-headed god and Kartikeya, the god of war.


He has long hair and a part of it collected in the crown or 7th sahasrara chakra, which identifies him as the great yogi, the king of ascetics. From his hairstyle hangs a crescent moon that represents the power of time and night.


He has 3 eyes, the third in a vertical line that is normally closed, corresponds to the 6th ajna chakra that he sees beyond the visible and that destroys ignorance.


He has 3 horizontal lines painted with ash on his forehead that represent the 3 cycles of life: birth, growth and death.


Around his neck is a snake, which symbolizes the ego. Once he's already dominated, he can't control us or hurt us. His neck is blue, a symbol of victory over evil, by drinking all the poison that had been poured into the oceans and thus saving all beings in the world.


Depending on the representation of him, he may have 2 or 4 arms and is naked, except for a tiger skin on his hips and part of his torso, through which he symbolizes victory over all strength and the conquest of desire. His entire body is covered with ash that indicates the philosophy of life and death and reminds us that death is the ultimate reality of life.


In one of his hands he carries his weapon, a trident, which with its 3 points represent the 3 qualities of nature: creation, preservation and destruction. In another hand he carries his drum, the damaru, whose sound is the origin of the universal word that gives rise to all language and expression.


On his arms, hair and neck he wears malas or sacred necklaces of Rudraksha, the sacred seed with spiritual and medicinal powers.



SHIVA, THE FIRST YOGI

Shiva represents the Adiyogi or "first yogi" and the greatest of all yogis. Yoga is a traditional Indian discipline that involves the physical, mental and spiritual. It means union and the ultimate purpose of its practice is to reach the state of samadhi or the state of supra consciousness, transcending everything ordinary, sensory, time and space.


Shiva as a representation of this superior state of consciousness, also represents the creator of Yoga and it is said that it was he who revealed this spiritual science to the world, his first student being his wife, the goddess Parvati.


According to legend, when Shiva was practicing yoga, people used to see him doing various activities. Sometimes he was meditating in complete stillness, sometimes he danced and sometimes he stayed in various postures for a long time.


Seven men were delighted with Shiva's activities and approached him wanting to know what he was doing. On the day of Purnima (full moon), Lord Shiva decided to become the teacher of those seven men and teach them the path of Yoga. Thus he also became the first master of the Adiguru world.


When the teaching was completed, the seven men were called saptarishis, fully enlightened celestial sages. After gaining enlightenment from Lord Shiva, the sages were tasked with distributing their knowledge and enlightening the world.


One of the representations of Shiva as the creator of Yoga is Nataraja or the Lord of the Dance, who is venerated in many yoga centers and altars as the god who illuminates practitioners on their path as yogis. In it Shiva is seen dancing around a circle of fire in a posture that represents the dynamism and movement of the Universe and under his feet is a dwarf, who represents ignorance, earthly desire and the cycle of rebirth that imprisons the humans in Maya or the illusion of reality, which is erased by the dance of the deity.


Shiva lingam

The Shiva Lingam or Lingam is an aniconic or abstract representation of the god Shiva and you find it present in most of the Hindu temples dedicated to him.


This icon has a phallic shape, representing the masculine principle, and is usually carved in stone. Many times it is represented within a disc-shaped platform, the Yoni, which represents feminine energy.


So both together symbolize the fusion of the masculine and the feminine, microcosm and macrocosm, regeneration and creation that are present in all existence.


This abstract representation is widely used in Tantra Yoga practices.


MAHA SHIVARATRI: THE GREAT NIGHT OF SHIVA

Maha Shivaratri, also called "the great night of Shiva", is the most special festival for all devotees of Lord Shiva.


The thirteenth or fourteenth day of every lunar month or the day before the new moon is known as Shivaratri. Among the thirteen Shivratris that occur in a year, Maha Shivaratri, the one that falls in the Phalguna month of the Hindu calendar is the most spiritually significant. In the Gregorian calendar, its date is different from year to year, sometimes it falls in the month of February and sometimes in March.


On this night, there is a natural increase in the energy of the human being on the planet, where nature pushes him towards the spiritual peak. To help this natural surge of energy find its way, one of the fundamentals of this late-night festival is making sure you stay up all night.


This is how the devotees fast the day before, to clean and prepare their bodies, and during the night of Maha Shivaratri they do not sleep, but rather gather to meditate and sing mantras dedicated to God Shiva, a true party that generates a very special energy and powerful, permeating the temples and streets of India.


Maha Shivaratri is very important for people who are on the spiritual path and it is also very important for families. According to legend, Parvati, Shiva's wife, prayed and meditated on this day in order to ward off anything bad that could happen to her husband on that moonless night. Since then, Maha Shivaratri is considered as an auspicious day for women to pray for good luck for their husbands and children. Also, single women often pray to find a husband like Shiva, who is considered the perfect husband. That is why Maha Shivaratri is also celebrated as the wedding anniversary of Shiva and Parvati.



SHIVA & THE SACRED SEEDS OF RUDRAKSHA

Rudrakshas are the seeds of the rudraksha tree (Elaeocarpus Ganitrus), which range in size from 3mm to 40mm. Each seed has a series of segments, called mukhi. Those with 5 mukhi, represent Lord Shiva and are the most popular in Hinduism and Buddhism, and are generally worn in malas or sacred meditation necklaces worn around the neck.


His name rudraksha literally means the tears of Shiva. Legend has it that Lord Shiva sat in meditation for the welfare of humanity and cried tears of compassion. The tears crystallized when they touched the earth and transformed into rudraksha. Since then, they have been considered sacred, as they have a healing effect on the wearer.


A modern research paper published by Dr. Suhas Roy (Indian Institute of Technology) found that similar to magnets, rudraksha seeds work on the principle of dynamic polarity: blood circulation and heartbeat automatically induce a magnetic field around the body and, in particular, in the region of the heart. Rudraksha seeds transmit subtle electrical and inductive impulses with opposite polarity and intensity depending on the polarity and strength of this induced magnetic field.


This is how these seeds are thought to reverse the effects of stress, relieve depression, eliminate anxiety and other mood disorders, improve concentration, enhance relaxation, and exhibit anti-aging properties.


Wearing them daily as a mala or using them in meditation to recite a mantra 108 times is one of the best ways to reap its benefits.


3 MANTRAS TO CONNECT WITH THE ENERGY OF SHIVA

OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

Om Namah Shivaya I bow to lord Shiva

It is a very powerful mantra that confers on the one who recites it the Supreme Bliss of existence.


OM TRYAMBAKAM

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam Urvarukamiva Bandhanan Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat I meditate before the three-eyed god,

That he has a sweet fragrance and that he nourishes human beings.

May he free me from the slavery of ignorance and death

In the same way that the ripe fruit is detached from the vine.


OM NAMAH SHIVAYA GURAVE

Om Namah Shivaya Gurave Satchidananda Murtaye Nisprapancaya Shantaya Niralambaya Tejase


I bow to the true guru

That he gives us the forms of existence, consciousness and absolute bliss

That he always accompanies us and fills us with peace

That gives us freedom and shines with illumination


In collaboration with INDIA VEDA


With gratitude

Gabriela Ana

Holistic Health Coach

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GABRIELA ANA

Health Coach

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