Shiva is a word that seems to belong to the Indian culture, but what it represents is something Universal, exceptionally necessary now in any culture and especially in the West, in the era of maximum spiritual decay in which we live and of significant alleviation of the manifestation of the Eternal Masculine in the lives of people.
Shiva, consciousness and consciousness, the Eternal Masculine – is the qualitative aspect of being, while inseparable from Him is the aspect of power, energy or intensity, the quantitative aspect – Shakti.
Shiva is masculine to the aspect of power, which is feminine.
Shiva is the infinite and transcendence (without being separated from immanence) and can manifest himself as being at the same time immanent and transcendent – the model, ideal state to which people aspire even without knowing it, seeking to live life as fully but also as purely as possible.
Shiva is the Center, it is the Essence, it is the Miracle and the Divine.
He structures the universe and generates the meaning of existence, it is the sacred, the ultimate aspect, the Supreme god – Mahadev.
There are several perspectives about Shiva:
– the aspect of consciousness, inseparable from its shakti energy
– the aspect of transcendence, which transcends any limits and which sustains and controls everything
– the level of consciousness characterized to manifest at the same time transcendent and immanent – the absolute spirituality lived in the middle of life
– one of the aspects that make up the Hindu triad Trimurti – Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Maintainer) and Shiva (the One who reabsorbs the Universe in his Heart or the Destroyer); he is different from Brahma and Vishnu and yet one with them
– The Eternal Masculine, God – in the hypostasis of the Supreme Man.
When worshiped as Ishvara – any particular aspect or facet of the Supreme Being He can be understood under many fascinating divine hypostases – He is, for example,
The pure one,
The Supreme Spiritual Master,
is the Sovereign of Love,
The Supreme Lover,
The proponent of any being (no matter how spiritually backward he may be),
The Supreme Yogi,
The Good and All-Forgiving God,
The Omniscient and the Omnipotent,
is the Good Shepherd of beings who seek spiritual light,
is the Sovereign of Manifestation (or the World),
it is the terrible and sudden purifying One of the World of wickedness and ignorance,
is the Immutable One, completely immune to any disorder, interference or poison,
is he who sustains any spiritual evolution,
it is the Cosmic Dancer and thus exists in every aspect of the manifestation,
he is the Savior of the whole world,
The Master of Time and… More.
Shiva is Ananta, the one who is never born and never dies.
In benevolent aspects, he is described as an all-knowing yogi who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailasa, as well as a husband with wife Parvati and their two children, Ganesha and Kartikeya.
Shiva is also considered to be the patron god of the arts and of the transforming spiritual path of yoga.
The main attributes of iconographic Shiva are the third eye on the forehead, the serpent Vasuki around his neck, the crescent adornment, the holy river Ganga flows from the tangled hair, the Trishula – the trident – symbol of Unity in Diversity and the damaru drum as a ritual tool.
Shiva is usually worshiped in the symbolic form through his Lingam, a form of worship that is characterized by great efficiency.
Five is a sacred number for Shiva.
The worship of Shiva is a pan-Hindu tradition, widely practiced in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Shiva forms a tantric couple with Shakti, the embodiment of energy, dynamism. Shiva is the transcendent masculine aspect, offering the divine inner support of the existence of all beings.
Shakti manifests itself in several female deities. Sati and Parvati are the main consorts of Shiva. She is also referred to as Uma, Durga (Parvati), Kali and Chandika.
Kali is the manifestation of shakti in her terrible appearance. The name Kali comes from Kala, which means black, transcendence. In the various Hindu Shakta cosmologies as well as the beliefs of the tantric Shakta worshipers worship Them as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also revered as Bhavatārini – the savior of the Universe. Kali is represented as the consort of the Sovereign Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing or dancing.
Shiva is the male force, the power of peace, while The Shakti translates into power and is regarded as the feminine force.
In the Vaishnava tradition, these realities are portrayed as Vishnu and Lakshmi or Radha and Krishna. Both Shiva and Shakti have different forms. Shiva has forms such as Yogi Raj (the common image of Him meditating in the Himalayas), Rudra (an angry form) and Nataraja, the dancer.
The symbolic and ritualistic dance of Shiva can be Lasya – a light form of dance, associated with the creation of the world, and Ananda Tandava – the terrible dance, associated with resorption.
Forms of meditation with Shiva (just a few):
– reference to the masculine essence manifested in any man
-meditation with yantra, corresponding mandala
– meditation of reference to the phallic symbol – Shiva Linga
– meditation that uses a special music suitable for this purpose
– meditation with one of his mantras.