Lord Shiva, who we know as Bholentah, is undescribable without going poetic.
So how would someone, who loves Shiva describe him?
To ordinary mind he is a God who destroys the evil. He is a warrior who would stop at nothing to ensure evil is completely obliterated but in this process he destroys all, that is corrupt, all that is rotting and all that is adharmic.
It is not easy being him but isn’t this the case in our lives too? He is the Bholenath- the aspect of the supreme soul that is all naive and child-like and innocent. But let us look around and we will find humans with these qualities are roughed up the most. Their innocence is taken advantage of by the most unholy creatures till they break down, but Lord Shiva says to not turn the other cheek but embrace every last drop of courage and fight to retain Dharmic values or else generations after generation would have to suffer at the hands of an unjust, an uncouth, and an unredeemable system.
Lord Shiva is a force of goodness and even in destruction, he sows the seeds of all that is Dharma and goodness. Shiva for Hindus is thus, the source of beginning as well as the end. But I believe that He, the almighty, is very much like us, just that he represents our truest most innocent self that we often think as a weakness, but is actually the potent weapon to tackle evil.
Means, I am the Supreme Soul and it is not an egoistic statement for we recognize ourselves, in the purest form as innocent as Lord Shiva who is the Supreme Soul. At the beginning of the time, the Lord destroyed the ego of Lord Brahma, the root cause of all that is evil and provokes people to lie, and told his counterparts Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma to stabilize Mother Earth. By doing this, Lord Shiva became the precursor of all that is divine, and those who deviate from Dharma will definitely invite his wrath.
But what is Dharma? Does Dharma represent a book or a religion? Does it represent a code that we must all follow?
Dharma, the word, does not anywhere mean religion, and nor was it codified in any book which will make Hindus go for the kill if others did not adhere to it.
Hindus have several books, where different aspects of Dharma were explained through epics like Ramayana, Mahabharat, and Puranas. For example Dharma of a father and mother is to protect and provide for their children without fear and instill in them good values. Similarly, a daughter’s Dharma is to provide for her parents and also to her in-laws and same goes for the son.
Dharma is, therefore, to my knowledge just basic righteousness that we were born with, to care for, to not steal, to not harm, to protect nature, to not abuse power, to not hurt animals or plants, to not create groups to attack others on basis of race or beliefs, to be fair and just, to not allow manipulation, to not kill, to not hurt and others like that.
Dharma says extend compassion but it should not be absorbed only by humans but by all sentient beings. Lord Shiva’s biggest devotees are a snake Vasuki and bull Nandi. His son Ganesha is depicted with an elephant head while his elder son Murugan has an affinity with a peacock. His wife, Goddess Parwati is most kind to all living forms as she is the ultimate feminine power who provides protection and food without discrimination.
In Shiva and his family, we find unadulterated love for he embraces even animals and ghosts. Why ghosts? Because Lord Shiva’s Third Eye can see beyond a being’s shape and form. It sees what and where our ‘normal’ eyes would fail.
Therefore, to love Shiva one must also possess this sight to some extent and embrace others without hate or distinction of any belief system.
Meditation is therefore a must for everyone who loves Shiva.
By Namta Gupta