‘Shiva’ is a common enough name in India. It is after all the name of one of the major deities in Hinduism, one third of our Holy Trinity, ‘Shiva the Destroyer‘. Along with ‘Brahma the Creator’ and ‘Vishnu the Protector’, he tries to maintain ‘World Peace’ and limit chaos; ‘tries’ being the key word here 😉 since he so often is responsible for creating it 😛 He’s like that is Lord Shiva – he means well but is quick to grant boons not always to the worthiest people 😉 And still I think in his wisdom, in granting these boons to the undeserving, he cleverly send them down the path that will ultimately lead to their destruction, by Vishnu the Protector – a supreme strategist in my view! A little heavenly Good Cop/Bad Cop action 😉
Today is ‘MahaShivratri‘ – his festival, a sacred day when he is especially revered and worshiped by millions of Hindus for a myriad of reasons. Me – I’m not into rituals, but I like Shiva! He’s rather likable – simple, direct, quick to love and quicker to anger – rather like moi 😛 Perhaps that’s why I identify with him. Or perhaps it’s because he’s fearless and wise and tolerant – accepting into his fold all the people no other Gods want! Uh huh! In Hinduism we have Gods that aren’t that different from us humans – discriminating 😉 Or perhaps it’s because he’s a God of extremes and contradictions, more than any other. As ‘Mahadev’ – loosely translated as ‘Great God’, a God for the Gods, like Brahma & Vishnu; he is the embodiment of all that is good and wise and honourable. He is gentle, tender, trusting, all-knowing, respectful of women and compassionate. As ‘Rudra’ – he is the destroyer of evil, an avenger of wrongs, a shield for the hapless. In a righteous rage, he dances the ‘Taandav’, his terrible dance of destruction which in layman lingo means “DO NOT MESS WITH ME!! I’M SO TOTALLY PISSED OFF!! I’M GONNA OPEN MY 3rd EYE and BURN YOU TO A CRISP!! NOW!!!” Or it could just be because he loves his ‘Somras’ – God-speak for liquor and you know I love mine! But mostly I think it’s because he’s all of the above and a family man to boot – with his loving wife Parvati (The Ying to his Yang), and his two sons Kartikeya and Ganesha (the Elephant-headed God). As a woman, I cannot help but admire his multi-tasking abilities 😉 Here is an older post I found on Mahashivatri, Om Namah Shivay, which might be of interest.
Which brings me to my very own Xiva – yes this one’s spelt with an X! Yup – I have my very own Destroyer! Lucky me 😛 It’s quite a meaningful name actually, the full form being ‘Xivananda’ – an amalgamation of ‘Xiva’ and ‘Anand’ meaning Happiness – and I can testify to the fact that this ‘Xiva’ has indeed been the bringer of much joy to me 🙂 He is an occasional granter of wishes and has two left feet, but in other ways quite similar to his Godly namesake! He is fearless (sometimes scarily so ;)), compassionate and pretty darn smart. He’s also notoriously easy to please – a fine whisky and some fish is all it takes to put him in a good mood! And he’s a family man underneath the workaholic exterior, although I need to remind him of that ever so often. I should know – we’ve been married for 21 years 😛 You see – not so different from his Godly namesake 😉 Oh I’m no Parvati either! I lack her discipline and steadfastness and much more besides. But I think in my own way I’m a good wife to my Xiva. In the family, he’s called Girish – another name for Lord Shiva! My aunt told me once, that my great-grandmother always wanted me to marry a boy named ‘Girish’, so much so that she had decided to change his name if it turned out to be anything else 😛 Imagine that! Pretty radical – the women in my family! She passed away before I even met Hubby, but I’m beginning to think it’s no co-incidence that he’s called Girish 😉 Stranger things have happened 😛
So just two days after we’ve celebrated women, why not make ‘Mahashivaratri’, a day to celebrate the ‘Shivas’ in our lives – Gods and Men? The men who have nurtured and stood by us. Who have danced with us and shielded us from harm and destroyed dangers that stood in our way? The good men – the heroes, the men who matter and the men who count. Fathers, brothers, sons, grandfathers, friends, teachers, mentors, husbands, lovers…Men who were there when we needed them and Men who understood that we wanted them to stay especially when we were yelling at them to leave. The ‘REAL’ Men! Let’s celebrate their goodness, their righteousness, their honorable conduct and their principled souls. They’ve earned our respect and perhaps in recognizing, honoring and nurturing these qualities in them and those who will come in the future, we will be able to better our crumbling world and restore the balance in our fragile Universe. Coz Lord knows that’s what this World needs – harmony between Shiva & Parvati – a balance that will allow us to be the best we can be. Who knows – Shiva might even help us! Lend us his wisdom and infinite experience 😉
This has turned out to be quite a ramble 😛 But I just needed to get some of the stuff that clogs my brain out onto paper! Also any excuse to share more Sanjay Patel pictures 😛 Feeling much lighter now 😉 Thanks for reading – those of you who do 🙂
Hope the Weekend has been good for you!
- Shivratri – A Divine Night to freed from all Sins!!! (fondfamily.com)
- Hindhu Festival – Maha Shivaratri (raxacollective.wordpress.com)
- Om Namah Shivay (crazygoangirl.wordpress.com)