Friday, October 30, 2015

When Shiva gets Beautiful!

Yes! Shiva is getting beautiful, really beautiful.

Back in 2012, as I used to walk from my home to bus-stop, crossing a temple, I used to get to watch Shiva adorned beautifully with garlands of different colours. The temple's main priest is keen towards such special rituals for Shiva. But as the time passed, all the priests of the temple started losing interest in doing any extra rituals that are not part of their normal duty. It seems they were not being paid enough and they started ranting their plight before any devotees who would potentially offer some money. All this saga follows to this day and the temple doesn't seem to be as happening a place, as it was when it was built in 2011.

But suddenly today evening, as I was walking past the temple, I saw that the Shiva Lingam was adorned well. The first thought that came to me was - "నాన్నా ! ఎంత అందంగా ఉన్నారు!" I don't think there are specific words in Telugu to distinguish between the beauty of a man and that of a woman. That sentence when translated to English reads - "Dad! How beautiful you look!" Now, I don't feel like reading it as - "Dad! How handsome you look!" Infact, that just doesn't read right at all, for it is not at all about looks, though that thought was indeed inspired by some outer adornments. I think the aesthetics in the temple only lead us to the inner radiance of God. So yes, some outer adornments don't really harm!

So as those thoughts lingered in my mind, I was thinking how in fact Lord Narayana is famous for being "Alankaara Priyudu" (The one who loves adornments) and how it is often said Lord Shiva can be pleased with just water and bilva patram (Leaf of a Bel tree). There was definitely some seemed...

Now tell me, when does Shiva get beautiful? You know when?...When He becomes The Mother!!! Today morning, I happened to tune into Chaganti Koteswara Rao gari pravachanalu on TV. He was talking about why the idol of Devi Meenakshi is often carved with three hands (and not four!) In that context he refers to an interesting story wherein, in the kingdom of Raja Raja Pandiyan, some 12 princes, all arrogant with pride due to their royal birth/upbringing, interrupt the penance of Sage Brihaspathi (not sure, don't remember, maybe it was Sage Brighu) and get "blessed" with a curse that they would be born as pigs. After they realize their mistake, they plead the sage to somehow remit the curse. Then the sage says that Lord Shiva himself would feed milk to them as their mother. Ok the story is a bit long and I don't intend to cover it here, but the bottom line that Chaganti garu tried to emphasize was that Shiva and Shakthi are inseparable and that He is there in Her and She in Him. And that both of them can don each other's roles. In that story, in a moment of astonishment, Devi Meenakshi with a hand on her chin exclaims - "Shivudu thalli ayinaadu!" (and not "Shivudu thalli ayinadhi!" ;-))

It is not just Truth that gets beautiful when Shiva reveals it, even Shiva Himself gets beautiful... :-)

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