On The Divine Father
Awakening Spark, March 3, 2019
On the night of March 4 – 5, 2019 Hindus will be celebrating the festival of Maha Shivaratri, or the Great Night of the Father, Shiva.
Celebrations are marked by an all-night vigil, accompanied by singing of hymns and praises to the great Lord, and near non-stop offerings to the phallic image of the Father, the Shiva Lingam.
In this post we look at the greatness of the Divine Father.
Lord Shiva in the Hindu Trimurthi, is the great Destroyer. Before him come Lord Brahma, the Creator, and Lord Vishnu, the Supporter (Preserver).
Shiva is the great redeemer. He is the destroyer of the ego. He takes us from false identification with mind, body, and senses to identification with our true Selves as undivided, undifferentiated Consciousness.
Shiva is represented in Hinduism in two distinct ways. In one form he is humanoid, filled with symbolism that points to his true nature- the second form that is devoid of all qualities and attributes.
In this second form, he is represented by an unassuming phallic image, the Lingam. The Lingam is always placed on a pedestal symbolising the yoni, or womb. Thus the Divine Mother is always associated with, and identified with, the Divine Father. There is no separation between the two.
The Divine Mother is the manifestation of the Divine Father. She is active and immanent, whereby He is latent and transcendent. All forms are Hers. Anything reachable by the mind, intellect, senses, and ego is Hers. The Father, Shiva lies beyond all this.
The Great Night of the Lord, the Maha Shivaratri reminds us of this Truth. That we are pure Consciousness, beyond name, form, and identity. Adi Shankaracharya’s most famous hymn, the Nirvana Ashtakam, reminds us, “I AM Shiva”.
The symbology that adorns Shiva is rich and potent in pointing to this truth.
Shiva is represented as being naked, digambara, or more accurately translated as having the cardinal directions for his clothing. This speaks at once to the infinitude of Shiva, and the negation of all things material.
His body is smeared with ashes from the crematorium- He is the ultimate repose when death (of body and ego) takes place.
His neck is adorned with a garland of skulls. From Shiva, the pure Consciousness, we individuate and experience many layers of creation, through many lifetimes. To Shiva we return.
On and on the symbology goes, ever deeper, luring the mind into the unfathomable depths of Consciousness. There, the ego is lost, subsumed by Itself- Shiva.