Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A spiritual explanation on "Lord Shiva" as shown on a private channel

A few days back, dear friend Mr.Rajarshi Nandy on Facebook asked a curious question via the usual status update.

To tell in brief about Rajarshi ji, he is one person who gives some detailed yet perfect explanations - driven by sheer logic on spiritual subjects / terms / definitions / incidents & what not! But, strictly adheres to topics on spirituality only - on Facebook & Twitter. It always interests me to learn more about the reasoning behind what we call as mythology & shun to probe further. This dear friend helps me precisely doing that. Now, read the post, you would know it.

Now, back to the post. The status update read: 
"Just one question to the makers of the serial Devo Ki Dev Mahadev. From which comic book did you take this latest episode from, about Shiva's Aghor-rupa?"

So, as curious as it might seem, the answer is as puzzled. I gave up the moment I read the last word of the status update. Hence, asked him to explain (read answer) himself. And, he gave this wonderful explanation.

In my opinion, I see the following flaws in that episode.

1. Shiva is said to have five faces at five directions. Of these, Aghora is one of the faces, which looks at the southern direction. South is the direction of Yama and death. Shiva's Aghora rupa is not an unnatural state to Him.

2. This episode seems to suggest that because Kali entered into great tamas, Shiva had to, a bit unhappily, take on his Aghora rupa. That is doubtful as an interpretation, not to mention disparaging in a subtle way to the theological and philosophical aspects of Kali. 

3. As per the most prevalent lore, the form of Shiva who smears himself with ash from funeral pyres and conducts rituals in a cremation ground is called Bhairava. That form has his own mythology and story - of how Bhairava was created from Shiva and then he cut off Brahma's fifth head and made a begging bowl out of it. ETC. He is also known as Smashan Shiva.

4. Aghora is a extreme culmination of Vamachari Tantra. Behind the apparent madness and chaos, there is a strong philosophy. Of course, many have abused this path, but that does not really mean that it cannot be used by a competent seeker for Self-realization. It's philosophy is to take headon everything that in normal condition perverts, pollutes, disintegrates or pulls a normal consciousness into greater materialism, and then by force of Will and Grace of the Supreme transform them completely into something Divine. Going into the heart of darkness until you reach the Light. This path has no dogma, no specific scripture, no dos and don'ts. Only the most stable seekers, ones with maximum self-control and will-power can succeed in this path. Dangers are plenty. One by one every one of the great pasha - chains - that bind the consciousness have to be faced and then overcome.,Doubt, Fear, Lust, Desire, Hatred, Attachment ETC.. 

5. Shiva is anyway the destroyer. If he is not Smashanvashi, then which other Devata will be? Why this squeamishness about depicting his Aghora form?

6. It showed that the Rishis and Brahma were disturbed about the long term consequence of Aghora. I wonder why. Rishi Durvasa was a great worshiper of Bhairava. Anyone who worships Bhairava form of Shiva, will eventually, to culminate the worship into its Highest Essence, will have to engage in a serious manner with cremation grounds and charnel grounds. Rishi Vasistha was a great worshiper of Mahachchinna Tara, which is almost Aghora.

7. Their depiction of some Aghoris with stuffed black toys dancing was almost comical. That toy they had in their hands is a small object sold around Kala Bhairava temple in Kashi, and used by people to ward off the 'evil-eye'. Its efficacy is questionable, its scriptural backing is non-existent.

8. They showed that the Aghoris were exulting Kali to remain 'krodhit'. Kali is the force of destruction. Smashan Kali more so. It is not out of anger that the destruction happens, but because it is Her Dharma to do so. 

9. Finally, some of the best Aghoris - with no frills, no drama, to theatrics - only a clear purpose and a disciplined dedication to their sadhana can be found in the Kinnaram Ashram in Kashi. They have systematized the sadhana is an organized manner. If one is interested, go meet them and ask them. There maybe individuals too who have perfected Aghora sadhanas, but tracing them is more difficult. Whatever came out in that serial was a romanticized, comical version of the scriptwriter's fantasy about what Aghora must be, rather than what it really is.

Disclaimer: This post is posted with permission of Rajarshi ji. The whole conversation can be read here. Thanks to Rajarshi ji for permitting me to post this here.