Lord Siva

Tree of Knowledge

The meditating Siva is seen against the background of the snow-capped Himalayas. The white snow represents the absolute purity of His mind, His posture symbolises the ideal of harmony and poise experienced by a Realised person

— Swami Chinmayananda

Lord Siva represents the supreme Reality in its aspect of annihilator, the other two aspects being those of Sustainer (Vishṇu) and Creator (Brahma). Siva symbolises continuous destruction in the continuous process of creation, preservation, destruction and re-creation. The supreme Reality is described as the substratum upon which all creation, sustenance and destruction take place. This continuous chain of creation and destruction maintains the entire universe.

Lord Siva is married to the Goddess Uma, who represents perishable matter (prakriti). The power of destruction is always associated with destructible matter, since this power can manifest only when perishable matter is available.

Lord Siva is also known as the eternal Lord of meditation. With a serenely peaceful countenance, He sits in deep meditation on the top of the world, facing south – on Mount Kailash in the Himalayas. In this aspect, He is also known as Dakshinamurti, the dispenser of supreme Knowledge. The term dakshina means that divine power of subtle perception generated in a fully integrated, pure intellect. When this dakshina or power flows towards the vasana conditioned hearts of disciples, it is said to be ‘turned southward’. Siva thus assumes the form of a Guru and sitting on the peak of Kailash, turns southward to serve all seekers.

The meditating Siva is seen against the background of the snow-capped Himalayas. The white snow represents the absolute purity of His mind, His posture symbolises the ideal of harmony and poise experienced by a Realised person. In that state of Perfection, He is in total harmony with the external environment and happenings. A seeker, who wishes to meditate upon and reach the peak of human perfection, must first endeavour to maintain purity of mind, symbolised by snow. An impure and agitated mind cannot concentrate and meditate upon the Truth.

Siva sitting in meditation is a figurative representation of an ideal ‘Man of Poise’ who remains unaffected by all surrounding disturbances. Drawing inspiration from the dynamic silence within, such a person applies a steady mind in the din and roar of all marketplaces. Such a person is dynamic and serves as a leader of all beings.

From ‘Read Daily Live Fully – Excerpts from the Writings of Swami Chinmayananda’. (© Central Chinmaya Mission Trust, Mumbai, India)

 


Mahashivaratri Puja
will be celebrated at

Chinmaya Mission Temple
Charles Jolivet Street, Beau Bassin

Monday 4 March 2019
from 9.00 am to 12 midnight


* Published in print edition on 1 March 2019

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