Lord Shiva has and always will be a majestic and thought provoking character for me. He has always captivated me in an unexplainable way; but only is it now that I am in a place of pure bliss that I can unravel the strong grip he has had over me for so many years. Lord Shiva just seems to have this presence, when you are close to him he literally takes your breath away. And rightly so he should, because what he will show you when you are ready will revolutionise your world forever.
Lord Shiva’s characteristics are those of enormous significance, only when you look very closely will you realise what they mean. Firstly it is important to understand that Lord Shiva is one of many forms, each one of his forms depicting different qualities of which you will find in each living being. The importance of this is to understand that we all have different characteristics which make us unique, but what is significant is that we are conscious of them and in full control of them. Then only can these characteristics become useful in finding out more about who we truly are.
The main aspects of Lord Shiva that I will elaborate on are as follows, each one of these will make you more conscious and more mindful, while you continue on your journey of life. The first trait of this divine cosmic being is his so called “third eye“. Shiva is said to possess, not only the two physiological eyes you and I have; but also an additional one which sits between the two. This third eye is the entrance to the mind. It is the eye what will eventually dissolve all Maya (illusion) that you see and will give rise to total reality. The eye is said to make one both more aware and conscious, eventually leading one to his or her true self, the true reality of pure consciousness. Once the third eye is said to be active you will find that you no longer are projecting the illusionary world that you see around you. Instead you will learn to embrace it in all its beauty and come to the realisation that you are the world and that the world is you.
Lord shiva is seen to carry a three pronged trishul (trident). The symbolic significance of this is to remind us about balance in life. Life is energy and its the flow of energy that governs balance. The energy system is made up of 72,000 nadis (channels), of which the main three sources are Ida, Pingala & Sushumna. Ida you will find on the left, Pingala on the right and Sushumna in the centre. Ida is said to represent the feminine aspect of ones self, calming, cool, emotional, seeking desires. Whereas the Pingala is said to represent the male aspect of ones self, anger, heat, emotionless, detached actions. Sushumna is the centre energy channel, which when once you have balanced your ida and pingala, you will enter, duality will become unity. People will spend there whole lives oscillating between ida and pingala; but those fortunate enough to enter sushumna will start to see the magic that awaits them. Life will suddenly change as kundalini is awakened, the once dormant coiled serpent that sat quietly in the muladhara chakra, will finally make itself known. Believe me you will know when you have entered sushumna, because that is when your ascension to pure consciousness will have begun.
Shiva no matter where you look, will always be depicted with cobra snakes adorning his body. In particular you will find a snake around his neck, the centre of the vishuddi chakra, the fifth centre of the energy system. Vishuddi literally means “especially pure”, cobras as you are aware carry a venomous poison of which the effects are very well documented. The symbolic meaning of the cobras in this case is to show that the vishuddi chakra acts as a block/filter to help prevent negative thoughts, emotions, energy or ideas from entering the energy system and thus keeping order and balance. Only that which is pure will be filtered through, thus ensuring your ascension remains upwards through the energy system.
The moon that adorns Lord Shivas head is a symbolic representation of the feminine characteristics of being cool, calm, patient, relaxed yet alert. You will find Shiva is depicted in a yogic pose, a position representing total relaxation and intoxication, he is pure consciousness. He is in a total state of bliss, completely immersed in self, yet he is fully alert. When you have found your real self, you will instantly find that you are totally relaxed and at ease. Its from this place that you will finally start to change not only your reality, but for those around you.
It is these symbolic representations that are a reminder of what the human race should be looking at, at all times to achieve. It is only by understanding your inner world and creating that inner space which is you sanctuary. Will you be able to find true balance and harmony, once you get that right your outer world will magically transform forever.
‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see’
– Henry David Thoreau