Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Shout Outs To Shiva Ji!

I'm not a religious person by any means. My sister often says I'm the most fickle "believer" she knows. This is probably true. Though science and mythology clashes so much it is sincerely difficult for me to stay constant in one faith, I do value the lessons learned from various deities. As a teacher and a woman, naturally, I am drawn to the Goddess of Knowledge, Saraswati. However, as a lifelong student and human being, I am completely hooked on the great God of Destruction/Transformation Shiva Ji.
Hindus revere Shiva as the great God of Dance (Nataraja), he is known to be a family man. The father of Ganesha (the elephant God who is Remover of all Obstacles) and Murugan (the God of War and Victory, fully equipped with six faces) he is a faithful husband to the wonderful Parvati. The Goddess of Power, Parvati is able to hold the fort down while Shiva meditates upon Mt. Kailash. His rage is apparently so intense--and quick--that it is only through dance and the patience of Parvati that is able to remain calm and collected most times.
The union between Shiva and Parvati is one I've greatly admired for quite some time now. A dynamic duo full of passionate love and contradictions, "The couple jointly symbolise at once both the power of renunciation and asceticism and the blessings of marital felicity." Tonight, in the Indian subcontinent people are celebrating Shiva Ratri in full-force. My friends and family in Nepal are gathering around to fast in honor of Shiva and eventually consume Bhang, a special treat available once a year in abundance and usually at temples like Pashupati Nath.
Here in Michigan Bhang is sadly pretty hard to come by. Not to mention it's illegal. Fortunately, Bhang-like Brownies, though illegal, are a bit easier to obtain in the greater Ann Arbor area. Some friends of mine are gathering tonight to celebrate the legacy of Shiva Ji. We will reflect on how we have destroyed and or transformed our own lives in the past year. Sharing stories about how our relationships can use some guidance from the marriage of Shiva and Parvati, we will also look to the future and see if we can make some changes for the better. Shiva was a master Yogi who sometimes meditated for years at a time. He was proudly celibate, yet a lover and devotee of his wife.

There are many reasons I adore Lord Shiva, but my main reason is he is a multi-dimensional God who contains layers and layers of wonders. The great poet Walt Whitman has a line in his poem, The Song of Myself which speaks volumes to me.
"Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes."
I admire Shiva Ji with all his contradictions and multitudes. He is a God who leads a life that is very tangible for mere-mortal Yogis/Yoginis like you and I.

Jai Sam Bho!


  1. Om Namah Shivaya! Memories are flooding, of how we used to love going to Pashupati nath temple as little kids. I just love love reading your blogs! Your writings are phenomenal. And did you know that Anita is the name of Parvati, no wonder dad Gaury Shankar and I get along so well.I like to believe that marriages are made in heaven and some one must be waiting for you as well, somewhere! ox

  2. Pashupati Nath will always be great... with so many monkeys and Sanyasins... how could it not?