Ah! A story at last!
So far we have learned that Siva helps those who seek Advaita, and that the Siva Puranam came to us from Siva, through Nandi, through Sanatakumara, through Vyasa, through Suta to Saunaka and the other Rishis. Parts of the Puranam were related by Brahma to 6 Munis and quoted by Suta.
We have learned that it is best to listen to stories of Siva, repeat them and understand them and that if we can’t do that, then we can worship Siva in His Vera (Body Form) or Linga (Symbol Form), with flowers, cooked rice and all manner of nice things that we might offer to an important guest like a king.
In the the Puranas, Vyasa and other composeres took real incidents and added many layers of meaning to it, so that they contain useful concepts and valuable information in them. Then they put these enhanced stories into poetic form, which made them easy to remember and hard to spoil. Then the sutas (story tellers) learned these stories by heart and went around to different places narrating them. So let us also look at the incident and then at as many layers of meaning as we can understand.
When Sanatkumura wanted to know the story of the SivaLinga, this is what Nandikeswara told him. Nandi is Siva’s devotee and Vahana (Vehicle). Nandi means happiness and Siva means Good. What better vahana for goodess than joy? Joy carries Good wherever it needs to go!
“A long time ago, Vishnu (the One who is Everwhere), was sleeping on Vishadhara (one who carries poison, a snake) surrounded by his followers. Then, came there, Brahma who knew the essence of great knowledge, and asked the beautiful Vishnu who was lying down. “Get up child and greet me!“, Brahma demanded. “I am your master! You are foolish and treachourous!” Vishnu was seriously annoyed but politely offered him a seat. Then Brahma accused Vishnu of arrogance. Vishnu said “Child, the world (jagat) is in me, and you consider it yours like a thief! You are born of the my lotus like navel, you are my son and speak unnecesserily!”
Oh Dear! Brahma is Vishnu’s son and he is calling his father his son! Among normal people this is nothing very new. Aurangazeb killed his father and asecended the throne. And we see hundreds of people demanding respect from their parents everyday, once they are grown up. Were Brahma and Vishnu just a normal father and son fighting for importance?
I think this incident could hide a debate between Knowledge and Creativity (represented by Brahma) and the World itself (represented by Vishnu). Knowledge is of the World. Can you know what is not there?
“Then they started fighting. Vishnu seated on the Garuda (the king of birds) and Brahma seated on his swan.“
Brahma’s vahana (vehicle) is the hamsa (swan). Brahma’s swan symbolises thought that has the ability to seperate milk from water. That means the clearest thought possible. Garuda is strong, devoted and powerful, has perfect vision and can kill poisonous snakes. Vishnu’s vahana, Garuda, is then strength, dedication and clear vision.
“Then the entire Deva Jathi assembled there on their vimanas to see what was going on. Brahma and Vishnu showered powerful and fire like weapons on each other, while the Devas showered flowers upon them, talking excitedly amongst themselves. Vishnu became tired and started breathing heavily. So he hurled the Mahesvara Astra on Brahma. Then Brahma threw the Pasupata (weapon of Pasupati) at Vishnu’s Chest. The sky was hot, fiery and there was a terrible, frightening wind.“
This part makes me think that a fiery event (meteors – aurora borealis – comets) was witnessed in the sky.
“The Devas thought that even a blade of grass cannot be destroyed without Siva’s grace and frightened by the battle they went to the Kailasa-Sikhara (peak of Kailasa) where they found Chandrasekhara (he who carries the moon on his head. The Amaras (immortas – Devas) were glad to see him there in the Pranavakara (form of Omkara), and they ‘Pranemuhu’ (saluted him), There, in his assembly on a platform, on a spread decorated with gems, they saw the the Best of the Devas (Deva Pungava), seated with Uma. He was decorated with the best symbols and qualities and the Vedas
were praising him. Siva blessed them.”
Those were the days when the Kailasa Paravatham was in India’s territory. Now, I am told, we would need a passport to go there. ChandraSekhara and Gangadhara, one who bears the Moon and Ganga may be given a “naturalist” interpretation. You can see the moon rise over an eastern mountain peak and the Ganga and her tributaries flow down from the Himalayan peaks. The Manivishtara Mandapa can be understood as a gem studded sky.
The immortals worshipping the infinite can be taken in a spritual sense or in the astronomical sense of the luminaries, surrounding the brightest luminary.
The Vedas worshipping the Pranavakara (Siva) can be understood in a spiritual and abstract sense. But there is also living today a tribe in Sri Lanka called the Vedhas.. if these were called the Vedas in ancient times, then they could have been the people worshipping Siva on Kailasa.
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Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula