Okay first of all I have to go on a rant about Lord Shiva.
If Rama is perfection,Shiva is a dream!
I have been a great devotee of Shiva since my childhood.It might have to do something with that fact that men in my family..my grandad,my dad and my uncle all worship him.
You know actually saying that i am his great devotee wouldn’t be exactly correct.Its not as if every day i spend my mornings reciting mantras(psalms) and singing aartis!
Its more of like hes my favorite god you know..
I love the fact that unlike other gods he is not the epitome of perfection.
He is not always smiling and he doesn’t go about wearing gold ornaments and beautiful clothes.
He instead has anger that can destroy the world and wears tiger skin for clothing.
And yes he smokes chillum (weed)!
And yet he is Bhole baba i.e somebody who is appeased easily.Today also when i am in trouble i start praying to him.
It is said that his basic nature is like a child.If his anger is bad his love is so easily given.
But what impresses me the most is the way he treats his wife Parvati.
In Hindu marriages brides are blessed saying
That we hope that your husband loves you as Shiva loves Parvati.
Why not some other couple?
Its because the way Shiva treats his wife unlike the other gods part of the trinity.
Here is some background knowledge.
In hindu mythology three gods form the Trimurti(trinity).
Lord Bramha the creator
Lord Vishnu the cultivator
Lord Shiva the destroyer.
Lord Bramha’s wife is Goddess Saraswati or Savitri (the goddess of knowledge)
Lord Vishnu’s is Goddess Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth)
and Shiva’s Parvati.
Also some background knowledge about the goddesses.
In hindu mythology there is a concept of Shakti i.e Energy.
She is the personification of the great divine power of creation.Everything in the cosmos contains this energy to survive.
All female goddesses are usually some incarnation of Shakti or so.She is the divine mother.
Okay here i am clarifying beforehand that all the hindu mythology knowledge i am putting forth are things i have read
Hindu mythology is vast and there are many versions of the same story.Please don’t be offended or anything and if you know an alternate version to any story i would love to hear about it!
So please let me know.
Anyways coming back to the topic.
Lord Bramha can pretty obviously not be taken as a role model.
There is a story behind why we have possibly only one temple dedicated to Lord Bramha solely allover India .That is in Pushkar (Rajasthan).
I will present the story in short.Lord Bramha had to perform a yagna (a ceremony for god) at Pushkar for which he needed his wife.
But Savitri got held up and came late and when she came she was surprised to see another woman sitting beside Bramha and taking part in the yagna which was actually her place to be.
What had happened was that Bramha getting angry at being made to wait for so long had married another woman named Gayatri with the blessings of Lord Vishnu.
Now pretty obviously Savitri was highly offended and cursed Bramha that he wouldn’t be worshipped anywhere and she apparently also cursed Vishnu for his part that he would suffer separation from his wife n human form (which he did bytheway in the form of Rama ,that is another story).
Gayatri was able to override some part of the curse and thats why theres this one temple.
But thats it.
So thats how that story goes.
And Lord Vishnu.Well i have nothing against him but he does make Goddess Lakshmi sit at his feet.
In all the pictures and representations you see of him.Ma Parvati is seated right there.
As his equal.He is the divine half of Ardhnarishvar/Ardhnarishwari ( half male half female)
The divine union of Shakti/Parvati (Feminine) and Shiva ( Masculine).
Shiva without Shakti is Shava (dead).
Here i am going to tell two interesting stories about Shiva and Parvati which are not that common.
I also got to know them today only when i went to a dance show by the great classical dancer Dr.Sonal Mansingh.
Dr. Sonal Mansingh
What to say about her.Her wisdom and expressions amaze me every time i see any of her concerts.
She enacted these beautiful stories through her dance.
I hope i can get them across to you through my words!
Well coming to first one.
Shiva is a great dancer.For those of you who don’t know he is considered Natraja ..the lord of dance.He dances the Tandava.A very masculine sort of dance with strong expressions which i cant really describe!Basically it signifies the cycle of destruction and regeneration.
But Parvati is also a great dancer called Nateshwari the goddess of dance.She dances what is called lasya.A feminine dance with soft expressions and delicate steps.
Now once Shiva thought to himself that even though he is such a great dancer he never got as much applause as Parvati did.What was the reason behind this?
He decided to call a dance competition.
All the gods,goddesses,demigods etc were invited.
The competition started.
All of Shiva’s steps were matched beautifully by Parvati. Shiva found himself to be on the losing side again.
Then he decided to do something really different .It was meant to astound everyone.
He raised his right leg vertically straight right to his head and stopped triumphantly.
But there was silence.
Shiva was aghast.
He looked at Parvati ,who was angrily walking away.
Now as a woman in the hindu society Parvati had some limitations.She couldn’t raise her leg above her waist while dancing.
Shiva had cheated.
The audience’s sympathy lay with Parvati.
But Shiva felt saddened by Parvati’s rejection of him.
Through many efforts Shiva was able to please Parvati.He made her sit on a throne and danced in front of her until she forgave him.
Shiva Dancing in front of Parvati
Now you tell me?!Wouldn’t you want your husband to be like him?!
See that respect and that love.
Thats what admirable.
Its late so i will be getting back to the other story another day!
Till then adios 🙂