Tag Archives: Shiva

Symbolism of Shiva & Significance of Shivaratri!

SHIVARATRI represents the State of Realisation – Jivanmukti. Ratri signifies darkness – the darkness of spiritual ignorance (Avidya). Shiva is the personification of Auspiciousness – the Awareness or the Knowing Principle. 

Where Shiva “is”; Ratri “is not” (Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya). To reach this Highest State, the spiritual seeker is advised UPAVASA and JAGARANA. 

Upa means “near”. Vasa means “to stay”. Therefore, UPAVASA not only means “fasting”, but in its broader perspective it means “to stay connected with the Higher God-principle”. JAGARANA means “to be alert and aware”. Hence, Upavasa and Jagarana means “to be constantly and consistently identified with the Lord and simultaneously to be in a state of inner awareness, so that the mind does not move away from its focus. In the inner Upavasa-Jagarana State alone, the Vision of the Divine can take place and this is referred to as Shiva Darshana. 

Lord Shiva is the Lord of Ascetics (Sanyasins). He is also the personification of Dispassion (Vairagya). As Dakshinamurthi, he represents the Adi Guru, imparting the Atma Vidya (Subjective Science) to his disciples through eloquent silence with the help of the Jnana Mudra (Chinmudra). As Nataraja, the Lord of Naada and Nritya, he represents the dynamic cycle of creation, sustenance and dissolution – at the universal and individual levels. The SHIVA-LINGA represents the Formless-form of Lord Shiva. The Linga, in its truest form is actually elliptical in shape. It represents the entire Cosmos wherein all planets and celestial bodies are moving in elliptical paths (Keplers Laws of Planetary Motion)! The upper half of the elliptical-shaped Shiva Linga which is visible to us in the sanctum of the temples represents the manifested universe of things and beings. The lower portion of the elliptical-form which is not visible represents the Unmanifest, Absolute Substratum or the Adhishtana for the manifested universe. The elliptical-shape allows maximum absorption of spiritual energy from the Cosmos and radiation of the same to the surroundings.  

To the spiritual seeker, Lord Shiva represents both the PATH and the GOAL. Lord Shiva residing on the snow peaks of Kailasa represents Tapascharya (austerity). The All-pervading Lord is clothed with the very directions from all sides (Dik-ambara). The perennial flow of Ganga from his matted locks stands for the “flow of Spiritual Knowledge”. The moon adorning his head represents the mind which is well integrated with Knowledge! Parvati seated next to the Lord represents Shakti – the ability and capacity to walk the spiritual path. Sankara wears the eternal flow of Time as an ornament round his neck in the form of a snake. The Lord has three eyes representing the sun, moon and fire – the natural sources of light. The two horizontal eyes represent EXPANSIVENESS or SPACE. The third vertical eye represents DEPTH or TIME. Also, the Lord’s RIGHT eye represents the SUN (Life-force, Purusha). The LEFT eye represents the MOON (Matter, Prakriti). The relation between the two factors: Matter and Energy or Prakriti and Purusha, gives rise to the entire universe of things and beings. The THIRD EYE of the Lord represents VIVEKA or DISCRIMINATION or the FIRE-of-KNOWLEDGE which helps the seeker to transcend the concept of duality.

Shiva wields the three-pronged weapon in his hand – Trishula. The three prongs represent transcendence over: the three states (waking, dream, deep sleep), the three gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas), three periods of time (past, present, future), and the three equipments (body, mind, intellect). Lord Shiva resides in the burning ghat (smashana vasi). The burning ghat represents the “inner state” of a realised person where the entire world of plurality with its names, forms, qualities and activities are all burnt up and transcended in the Fire of Spiritual Knowledge (Jnana-Agni). The only residue left behind is the One, Homogeneous White Ash – the Truth behind the entire plurality! The Lord adorns himself with this “Ash”. This is the Ultimate Glory – the Real Vibhuti – of a Man of Realisation. Lord Shiva has Nandi (Bull) as his vahana (vehicle). Nandi represents an individual who has complete mastery over his equipments as well as one who has totally surrendered to the Lord. Such an individual becomes the “fit instrument” for the Lord to function through for the welfare of the world. The Lord is invoked and worshipped with the sacred bilva leaves which are a cluster of three leaflets. The three represent all the tri-groups which one has to transcend in his seat of meditation to reach the State of Enlightenment – Iswara Darshana.

“Om Namah Shivaya! Hara Hara Mahadeva!!”

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Talks on Lord Shiva and Shivaratri : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLa-mk1aBgQPQR0qtgX_KInYdqG_MKjV2L

Lord Nataraja of Chidambaram!

The Rishis who lived in Darukavana (pine forest) engaged themselves in intense tapas and yagnas continuously. Due to their meritorious activities, they became very powerful and consequently very arrogant and full of pride. They thought that they could control all the devatas because of their austerities and mantras-siddhis. When Lord Shiva heard of their attitude, he set out to destroy their pride. He disguised himself as a pious man. On the behest of Shiva, Lord Vishnu took the form of Mohini and accompanied Shiva as his wife. Both of them came to Darukavana. The rishis and their wives were totally mesmerized by the beauty and charm of the divine couple and became distracted from their austerities. A little later, the rishis realized that they had been distracted from their austerities and became angry. 

The rishis started a yagna to attack and counter the couple without knowing that it was Lord Shiva and Vishnu in front of them. In the ‘yagna-fire’, they invoked a ferocious tiger and directed it towards Lord Shiva. The Lord killed the tiger and wore its skin around his waist. Next came a serpent from the sacrificial fire. Shiva seized it in his hand and wore it round his neck as an ornament. A wild elephant was invoked next, which the Lord easily killed. A demon called Apasmara (representing ignorance) was sent next. The Lord put him under his feet and rendered him immobile. Various hurdles and obstacles in the form of mantras were sent towards Lord Shiva. He converted them all into anklets and wore them round his feet. Having met all the challenges successfully, the Lord started his wonderful and most awesome cosmic dance called “Ananda Tandava” (the dance of eternal bliss). The Lord danced and Lord Vishnu watched the beautiful Tandava! The rishis were stunned at the breath-taking, beautiful Cosmic Nritya (Dance). Lord Shiva’s Tandava represents Creation, Sustenance, and Dissolution. The rishis realized their mistake and prostrated to the Lord and asked for forgiveness.

After reaching Vaikunta, Lord Vishnu who was witness to the great Shiva Tandava narrated the entire episode and described the Tandava in particular to Adi Sesha. Adi Sesha was very eager to see the unique and divine dance of the Lord. Sri Hari told him to proceed to the Thillai forest (mangrove forest), which is Chidambaram (Tamil Nadu), and perform tapas. Adi Sesha manifested as Sage Patanjali and came to the Thillai forest. He was joined by Sage Vyaghrapada. They made a Shiva-linga and invoked and worshipped Lord Shiva in it. 

Lord Shiva was pleased with their penance. It was on the auspicious day of Margazhi Purnima that the Lord performed the Tandava for them. The star on that day was Arudra Nakshatra which is associated with Lord Shiva. Chidambaram was the only place in the universe that has the strength and stability to become the divine stage for the Lord of Dance, NATARAJA, for his Cosmic Dance. Hence this auspicious day is known as ARUDRA DARSHANAM.

All the devatas, rishis, and gandharvas came to witness the dance. Celestial musicians sang. Narada played his veena and Nandi played the mridangam. The Vedas became the Lord’s anklets! The devatas and rishis who had witnessed the great performance requested the Lord to continue his Nritya for the welfare of the whole world. Lord Nataraja agreed and made Chidambaram his abode.

Chidambaram means “covered or clothed with knowledge”. The Lord is worshipped there in the form of Nataraja (with form), as crystal Linga (form-less), and as Akasha or Space-linga (invisible). Hence, this kshetra is one of the Pancha Mahabhuta Kshetras. There are five sabhas in which Lord Shiva performed five different types of Tandavas. CHIDAMBARAM is the KANAKA (Golden) Sabha where the Lord performed the ANANDA TANDAVA. The temple was designed and consecrated by Sage Patanjali himself who is the author of the ‘Yoga Sutras’. The structure of the Chidambaram temple is very unique and can be related to the entire structure of a human being. The temple is located at the centre point of the world’s magnetic equator. Lord Nataraja represents the five great Elements necessary for creation. He symbolises the Pancha Kriyas: Srishti (Creation), Sthiti (Sustenance), Samhara (Dissolution), Tirobhava (Veiling) and Anugraha (Showering of Grace). SHIVA TANDAVA represents Life and Life’s activities (micro and macro) in the entire Cosmos.

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Lord Shiva meets Balagopala!

Lord Sankara wished to personally go down to Vrindavan and have darshan of Yashoda’s darling Balagopala and and to witness His wonderful lila. He took the form of a sadhu and went to Nanda’s house seeking alms.  Yashoda brought food for him, but the Lord said that he wanted to have darshan of Krishna. Yashoda looked at him and said that she cannot allow him inside because her darling little Krishna would get frightened seeing a person with unfamiliar attire and body all smeared with ash. He pleaded and pleaded, but she told him to go away. Lord Shiva feeling very disappointed went to the banks of the Yamuna; sat there and intensely invoked Krishna. His ardent longing reached Krishna! There in Nanda’s house Krishna started crying. Yashoda tried consoling him, but in vain, the crying became more and more intense and all efforts to make him stop crying failed. Suddenly she realised that she had displeased a sadhu and may be this was the effect of it. She sent her people to search for, and if found, bring the sadhu to her house. They found the sadhu and brought him back. Yashoda welcomed him and the moment he entered the house, Krishna stopped crying. Overwhelmed with joy and happiness on seeing the indescribable beauty and charm of Balagopal, Lord Shiva took the sweetly smiling baby Krishna in his arms. The touch of the tiny feet of the Lord with golden anklets sent Lord Shiva into blissful ecstasy! Yashoda was so pleased that she requested the sadhu to stay there permanently since it made her darling child so happy. Lord Shiva agreed on two conditions — everyday Krishna’s charanaamrit and the food offered to Balagopala will be given to him. She promised. To commemorate this incident, later on, an altar for Shiva called “Nandeshwar Mahadev” was installed by the descendants of Lord Krishna. Even to this day, the charanaamrit and naivedyam offered to Krishna and Balaram at their temple in Vrindavan is in turn brought and offered to Nandeshwar Mahadev!! The Nandeshwar Mahadev temple in Vrindavan stands as a sentinel guarding Nandagopa’s house. [PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children] I Am delighted to inform you all that I have authored a book of stories for children titled: ” Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava -1″. The book was released for Deepavali. This book features 25 unique and popular short Stories with beautiful illustrations from our Epics, and from the life of our Saints, Sages and Rulers… This is indeed a wonderful gift for children especially to be given as a prize for competitions! You can order in bulk too. Orders are welcome for libraries, schools etc.. Please note that Ebook kindle versions and paperback version [B&W illustrations] can be bought online..Find the links.. Zorba Store:- https://www.zorbabooks.com/…/bharatiya-katha-vaibhava…/ Amazon:- https://www.amazon.in/dp/9390011663?ref=myi_title_dp Amazon (outside India) : https://www.amazon.com/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-SHREEDARSHAN-K-ebook/dp/B08N53PM3B/ Note: To buy the full colour version book (paperback with colour illustrations) please contact the author , as they are only being printed on author’s request .Those who wish to avail of this offer, please contact/message me.(Especially if you want a full color version book, please inform at the earliest..) For bulk orders and discounts on B&W version and for colour version books you can contact For orders please whatsapp : 9739003467 Email: naadopaasana18@gmail.com

Lord Vaidyanatha – The Healer of Diseases

Lord Vaidyanatha

The Devatas finally defeated the Asuras after long battle and returned back to the heavens. Lord Indra was worried as the Devatas were suffering greatly from the painful wounds caused by the weapons of the asuras. To find a method to heal their sufferings, Indra approached Brahaspati (Guru of the Devatas).  Seeing their plight, Brahaspathi asked them to go to earth and worship Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva is indeed the healer of all sufferings. Hence Brahaspathi asked them to go to Vaideeshwara temple and pray. (Vaideeshwara temple is situated in Tamil Nadu, about 27kms from Chidambaram. Here Lord Shiva is worshipped as Lord Vaidyanatha, the universal doctor).

As instructed, the Gods of the heavens rushed to Vaideeshwara temple and prayed to Lord Shiva seeking the Lord’s grace and blessing to remove their pain and sufferings from the wounds.

Pleased with their prayers, Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati at once started from Kailasa to Vaideeswara temple riding on Nandi. Lord Shiva went to the temple in guise of a doctor and Devi accompanied Him as His helper. Lord Shiva took some medicine from the casket which Devi had in her hand and applied it to the wounds of the Devas. The wounds immediately disappeared and all the Devatas were completely healed.

Lo! Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati appeared in their true form and blessed all the Devatas. The Devatas offered pearls to Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati as an offering. Devi Parvati gave it to her son Lord Subramanya, and he adorned it. From then, Lord Subramanya came to be known as “Muthukumaraswami”.

Lord Shiva then proclaimed that the soil of this place which healed the wounds of the Devatas will be given to the devotees as Prasad. This Prasad will become famous as a cure for all diseases.

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

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Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava – Vol 2 [ Books for children] : Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.in/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-2-Shreedarshan/dp/9390640199/

Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava – Vol 1 [ Books for children] : Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.in/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-1-Shreedarshan/dp/9390011663/

[For bulk order of books and for discounts please contact : naadopaasana18@gmail.com or WhatsApp: 9739003467]