Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Shiva has two extreme aspects attributed to him.

One is the quiet meditating sage.

This post is not about that.

This post is about when Shiva dances the Tandava. Rage or fury is one of the purest forms of emotion. It courses through your body with unimaginable force; a force which unleashed can scorch anything which dares stand in its path. The full blast of energy that Shiva's third eye can generate cannot be put into words. Simply put, nobody survives it... not the innocent, nor the guilty; neither the angel nor the the devil.

Na punyam na paapam
Na sukhyam na dukhyam
Na mantro na tirtham
Na vedam na yagya
Aham bhojanam naivya bhogyam na bhokta
Chidananda roopa Shiv-o-ham Shiv-o-ham

Beyond the concepts of 'paap' and 'punya',
Beyond the concepts of 'sukh' and 'dukh',
Neither to be found in 'mantras' or 'tirthas'
Nor to be attained by 'vedas' or 'yagyas'
I am THAT Shiva.

Originally meant in a very different sense, the above couplet ironically also applies to Shiva when he is angry. Sometimes, it is just necessary for the world to burn. Forests of pleasure which no longer promise fruits of happiness must be burnt down. Deep, very deep love signifies unquestioning passion. And the more energy and love that was invested in building the forest, the more anger and fury required to burn it down.

But it is a necessary evil. Without it, one just cannot go on. Not because one looks to a brighter, better future (that will inevitably follow) and certainly not because one wants to get rid of the rage, but just because there is rage right now which one must live. Right now is the time to clench one's fist and smash through every stone, every obstacle which either stands in your way or has been foolishly hurled in your direction.

Yes. Shiva is also about peace and prosperity.

Someday, I hope I shall be able to write about that too. Amen.


Bubblegum.... said...

Very well written. Can you translate 'Aham bhojanam naivya bhogyam na bhokta' exactly. I am not getting the meaning. and thanks..It was a 'woh bachpanki yadein' moment. I can still chant the strota. :)

Shekhar said...

Thanks Bubblegum. :)

According to "Rudra - The Idea of Shiva" by Nilima Chitgopekar, 'Aham bhojanam naivya bhogyam na bhokta' means "beyond familiar experience" with the stress being on experience.

Yes, it is one of those beautifully rhythmic stotras which I too heard the first time as a child when my mother used to recite it. :)

gwl said...

Awesome post on Rudra.