Tag Archives: Shiva

Sing your world into being

shivaI have a daily ritual of chanting mantras.  I use a set of 108 prayer beads to count each mantra set and do one full round.  It takes me about an hour to complete the task, and then I meditate.

I never used to chant mantras so regularly, nor meditate every day, even though I believe in the efficacy of such rituals and actually create prayer beads that I sell to others.  But after my life became more assailed than usual, I felt I needed a bit more help.

There are many in the world who follow similar rituals, regularly.  Some of them buy my prayer beads(Some just wear them).

At the suggestion of an indian guru, my mantras hail the vedic gods, Ganesha, Shiva, and Lakshmi – but they could be to any gods or goddesses, or to one god, or none at all.

Mantras are simply prayers invoking divine energies (creation energies), and divine energies don’t have to have a face or a name.

In my experience and beliefs, the essence of god has many faces and many names, and these are represented in every faith or religion throughout the world – and even in the faith people have in themselves or in just living, as atheists and agnostics do.

When I first began my mantra rounds, I was calling Shiva in his form of BhairavaBhairava is a fiercer aspect of Shiva, but more actively protective, which the guru thought I needed at the time.  But as time passed, I felt that the energy was too strong and too forceful, and was not so good any more, so today I just pray my mantras to the all-encompassing Shiva and let him (the god) decide what form of his I need in my life.

As well, I added a joyful round of mantras to Vishnu/Krishna before closing that section with a Namaste to them all.  And then finished with the buddhistOm Mani Padme Hum’ mantras, sending out waves of pink healing energy into the world, to give something back…

It’s not always easy to stay focused during my mantra rounds.  Thoughts come and go even as I am uttering the words and names.  I find myself constantly trying to refocus on the multiple candle flames I light in the room, or to breathe in the incense to reawaken myself, even though I always begin my mantra sessions with deep pranic breathing.

I think it is the higher vibrational energy that does it.  My body gets more worked by it, and when I am so busy in my days or in my thoughts, already, it’s a natural reaction to drift, or even to nod off to sleep for a fraction of a second (more likely to happen when I do my mantras in a pre-dawn session).

I sometimes feel frustrated when that happens, because I think it is disrespectful to divine energies – though ‘they’ are telling me it’s okay, and that such thoughts belong only to human beings and the realm we live in.  (Apparently, the divine is much more accommodating).

When I first started my mantra rounds, I used to focus extremely well, fired by the needs that began them.  I would bring great concentration to bear on manifesting better conditions, and would quickly be flushed with a greater sense of empowerment, and noticed very quick changes going on in the world around me, afterwards.

Over time, again, I felt that such concentration was too forceful, and that things were not happening as naturally as they should.  The sense of power also made me over-forceful in my daily relationships, causing friction, which I didn’t like.

Today, I am quieter and gentler in my chanting, but that also means I am more likely to drift or nod.

I contemplated this problem during my rounds, and as usual received an answer.  I was told to not worry about focusing on manifesting the good energies of each divine being I was chanting to, but to just ‘sing my world into being.’

I was told to not worry about outcomes, and just trust that what needed to happen would happen.  So I did, and after that some nice and interesting things began to happen in my life, bringing more hope back.

But then I began to be concerned about this ‘singing my world into being.’   I thought – what if I sung something quite ‘wrong’ into being?  What if my drifting thoughts and micro snoozes set some ‘darker energy’ free to do its work?

I was surprised at the reply I got to those thoughts.  I was told to trust myself.  I was told to believe in my self.  I was told to ignore the flaws and failings of my daily life, the ‘trips’ in my personality, the fallibility of my tongue, or the ‘breezes’ wafting my emotions.

I was reminded that the gods do not need to clear away distractions to do their work .  To them, the noise of life was ‘white noise.’  No different to that of children trying to climb onto your lap when you are working.  They just don’t think about it, and the work gets done.  Like the parent of the child, they automatically deal with the ‘child’  whilst keeping focus on the work that needs to be done.  It is the focus that counts.

It is said that just saying or hearing the mantras will set their energies in motion.  But I wondered, nevertheless, how well my mantras were being set in motion if I was not really thinking of them while uttering them, or if I had nodded off for a moment between one set and another?  Where was my focus?

Then ‘they’ told me that this was not about my mind.  It was not about my heart.  It was not about my physical body or its presence in the world.  It was all about my spirit, and soul.

It was all about my essence, and the underlying factor of all my beliefs.  It was about what my ‘truth’ would ‘sing into being’ if I could have everything the way my spirit or soul wanted it to be, or could imagine it to be. 

I had to think about that.  Stopped mid mantra to do so.  Thought about what my soul aspired to – and realized with surprise that my soul effused ‘goodness’. 

You may ask why I felt surprised, but it is simply that, having come so far through the ‘scathings’ of life I really don’t feel that ‘pure’ a lot of the time, any more.  Damage has been done, that I felt must surely have ‘marked my soul’, no matter what good things I might still do in the world, or what efforts I make to reconnect with the divine through prayers or mantras.

However,  I was ‘told’ that the ‘bottom line of my soul’ is not related to human arguments and conflicts, or to the difficulties that embroil me at times, or that embroil anyone.  It is simply the underlying ‘truth’ of my existence. 

It is the ‘essence’ of me that rises up from the ‘muddy bottom’ of physical life, through the ‘murky waters’ of thoughts and emotion, to become the ‘lotus flower’ spreading its petals under the ‘divine sun’.  It is the ‘cosmic me’.

For life in this world is a schism between the mortal and immortal, the manifested and the never manifested, the physical and the divine.

I am a human being embroiled in the roleplays of a mortal life, but my soul and spirit are divine, and never stop ‘hearing’ the ‘symphony of stars’. 

That is how I can focus even though my body is dealing with distractions.

That focus came from the intentions I set up in doing the mantras at all.  It came from what I believed them to be, and from what I want from them – and that belief is far more than just being selfish… It is a belief in the ‘ultimate goodness of life’, that arose from everything I ever thought beautiful and everything beautiful I want my life to be.

This stems from my ‘soul’, and comes from hearing that divine music – the ‘symphony of stars’.  When I flow with or ‘sing’ that ‘symphony’, I am truly alive and living.  Thus, do I ‘become‘ and thus my world is sung into being’.

Having had this mini revelation, I then ‘saw’ Ganesha, dancing so freely, enjoying life just for the fun of being alive.

I ‘saw’ Shiva, sitting in meditation, serenely contemplating all the galaxies in the universe, and accepting life for what it is, ‘warts’ and all, as beautiful.

I ‘saw’ Lakshmi, not as the provider of wealth, but as the kind, generous and compassionate goddess, giving hugs freely and soothing troubled brows.

And I realized that the pure and unadulterated energy of ‘singing the world into being’ was what Krishna and Vishnu embodied.  It was love – love of life,  love of living, love of making the best of life and living, and love of being.

I loved being alive, for all its flaws and failings, struggles, traumas, and tragedies – and if I had to choose, I would choose just as Ganesha, Shiva, and Lakshmi did in my vision – to dance the dance of life, to be able to meditate serenely without attachment to the whys and wherefores or attaining solutions, and to provide simple nourishment for the assailed souls of all beings so that they could also ‘dance’ and fully be alive.

You may call that a dream, but now I feel good about ‘singing my world into being.’ 

I trust the energies of my deepest inner self to do what is ‘right’, to create what is ‘good’, and to manifest a better place despite what roleplays of life my mind, emotions and body may play out as I function outside my mantra sessions.

In this way, I feel I am manifesting changes in my life, from the inside out.  And when I send out the ‘pink waves of love’, spreading from my ‘pebble in the pond of life’ chanting ‘soul mind’ at the end of each session, I feel like I am sharing something good and wonderful.

This is what I feel it means to ‘get in touch with your source.’  This is what I think it means to ‘know your core essence.’

The deep tap root of life that we brought with us into the world of manifestation is always there.  We only need to look for it, and recognize it when we find it.  And it is ‘good’, because we do not come into the world with damaged souls.

We come here ‘pure’ and amazed by the magical realm we have entered.  And that awe and delight remains present, no matter how old we get or how much assails us, though it can seem to be buried under a ‘dung heap’.

When we ‘sing our world into being’ we ‘sing’ of that ‘magic’ that made us feel happy to greet each day as a child, before any damage ever began…

It’s not a ‘song’ as you physically know a ‘song’.  It doesn’t come from your mouth.  It doesn’t come from your mind, really.  It doesn’t even come from your heart.  It’s a soul memory, of who you really are, and who you really were, before you were born.

To gain access to that primal memory – first, you have to remember who you were as a child, before you ever got hurt.

Second, you have to remember how ‘fun’ it was to explore the world you were born into, then.

Third, you have to put aside the ‘damage’ that has happened, since, and just ‘dance the dance of life’, and in that way ‘sing your world into being’, just as you did way back then…

When your soul ‘sings’, all life becomes a symphony.  Your mind re-attunes to the ‘music of the universe’.  Your body becomes flushed with the ‘harmonies of life’.

What you emit, energizes.  What you imagine, becomes.  And the ‘lyrics’ of ‘universal love’ flow these words through you –

‘Let all beings be happy!’

That is more than a prayer.  It is also an act.  It is a manifestation that comes from innate choice, not forced, but natural – the choice of your ‘spirit’, living fully in its truth.

When your ‘spirit’ chooses to be happy, you will be happy, and others will feel your happiness and be affected by it – happiness is infectious.

When your ‘spirit’ chooses to have faith, you will find faith, and others will have faith in you – faith imbues.

When your ‘spirit’ chooses to smile, even when you don’t feel like smiling, smiling soon feels like the natural thing to do, and others will smile with you – smiling is a gift.

These innate choices allow your ‘soul‘ to ‘sing‘ and help you manifest a better life, not only for yourself but also for others – despite the distractions that come from the ‘white noise’ of living.

So, ‘sing’ your ‘world’ into being.

(Remember though: Like a germinating seed, the growth is from the inside to the out… and change takes time, with much occurring on the inside before the leaves of your ‘tree’ unfurl in the world – but there is a powerhouse of energy in that soul!)

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine

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Private

photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net
photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

If you’re wondering why my blogs have dwindled to a trickle, it’s because I am dealing with what feels like overwhelming personal issues right now.

These are of a level that rattle even the best inspirations and philosophies.

There is often a deep sadness that wells in my throat, my eyes, and my heart, and even as I try to manage it and realign to better modes, it is just there and is not going away, because the sadness is grief.

Because it is grief, it cannot be submerged or let go.  It can only be lived through.

I can let go of the situations that caused the grief and put them into correct perspective.  I can let go of the people who have now deliberately left my life and move on without them.  But it is much harder to accept that a piece of my heart has died.  It takes time for the ‘heartwood‘ to grow new ‘sap lines‘ for nourishment when the ‘tree‘ has been attacked.

There is an ash tree in my garden that was split in two by lightning in the last big storms we had.  We propped up the split halves because there was still a joining at the base, and the branches on the split trunks still thrived with green leaves.  But even with the propping, and hoping that the tree would bridge such a dramatic gap, nothing seems to be happening.

If we leave the tree like that and it doesn’t bridge the gap, the gap will fill with debris that will eventually rot the heartwood and bring disease to the tree.  So now we have decided to cut off the part that needs to be propped, and to see if the part that is left will be strong enough to heal itself and keep growing.

The tree is already forever changed by the split.  The scars are forever there even if we remove the part that can no longer stay up by itself.

Even in its new configuration, the tree will never be what it might have been, had it never been shattered by a lightning bolt event.

This is where I am at, too.  The parts I am hanging on to are still thriving but can  no longer be a real part of my life.  If I keep trying to heal the wounds, all I will do is encourage disease.  I have to let go.  I have to remove the connections that would destroy me.  And that is why I am grieving.

Of course, in all such scenarios, with a reduced form, there is the question of whether the ‘tree‘ will survive, anyway.  But at least it is still standing – that half, anyway – and only time will tell.  (And in the case of the ash tree, we will make good use of the wood, turning it into something beautiful, eventually – as all things past, good or bad, should become).

There are some who say that at times like these people should seek counseling or therapy, or some kind of healing, but truth to tell I have plenty of this.  I am a ‘healer’, myself, so I know how to access healing.  I am in touch with my ‘guides‘, so I have plenty of advice.  I’m just not happy with the advice I’m being given, and  I need time to grieve and time for ‘healing‘ to take effect.

In the past, I have seen other people for counseling and healing services.  They like to say that it’s best to talk about things with others, to let the overwhelming feelings out, but in my lifetime I have learned that doing so is not always a good thing.

What I learned is that when I tell others of the darker things that have happened or are happening in my life, they may listen sympathetically to a point but then they begin to paint my character with the brush of darkness.

Even where the dark things have happened because of other people and events outside my control, and not because of who I am or what I did, I ended up being further victimized by the judgement the others I communicated with placed on me.

I’m not sure if that happens with everyone, but it does happen to me, and I have come to the conclusion that my empathic abilities imbue my words with such intense power that in the end this is all those who hear them remember.  And when that intense power is focused on recalling the darkness that has beset me, then the darkness they feel in my words is all they are left with – not logic, not objectivity, and not compassion or sympathy.

I can rail at their misconceptions and misunderstandings but it does no good.  Talking with others about the things that hurt me usually ends up just making the hurt worse.  So I try to keep these private things to myself, these days.  They’re not anyone’s business but mine.  They are for me to deal with, alone.

As well, by focusing energy on those things at all, they become worse.  Where the mind focuses, there is power.   By focusing on the darker elements in my life, I give them power over me.  And then my gut churns all day long.

I’m all for truth and facing the darkness, but the human mental and emotional bodies can only take so much.  Such darkness needs to be in small doses, not a bombardment that lays you under persistent siege and wears you down.  That’s when dis-ease sets in.

I’m older now.  I have to take better care of myself if I am to live the life I want to live.  There is no time to waste on negatives for long.  But what can you do when, despite all your best efforts, events keep conspiring against you to bring you down?

The guidance I am given is to hang in there, and the future will be better.  But the future is not now.  The future does not deal with the pressure and pain I need to handle at this time, in this moment.

I have been trying to redirect my energies.  But I’ve stopped working on creating things for our business at present, because I don’t want anyone else to pick up any of the pain and sense of helplessness I am going through.

Everything I create takes on some of the energy I create it with.  I know that I will do more down the track, and that will be okay, then, but for now I need to get a handle on myself.  So I am working with what already is, in the business, and am taking  a short break from creating, at least for others.

On the other hand, I am halfway through another great artwork in my home, and now have streams of flying birds traveling in drifts and circles across the large ceiling space that spans my family room, dining area, and kitchen.

When I began it, my husband was concerned.  He thought it would be ‘too busy.’  When I was halfway through attaching the vinyl cutouts that are the birds, I got concerned myself, thinking it was bringing the height of the ceiling down.  But now all the birds are up, there is this great sense of movement and space, and energy.  It’s a good thing.  Not bad.

I’ve also been catching up on getting my rampant garden under control.  It’s been good to rediscover its well laid plan and the plants that have thrived in our very wet summer this year.

I’m okay when I’m doing these things, until I remember those who are no longer with me – those who once shared these spaces, who I would have shared these activities with in conversation, who I enjoyed having in my life as loving companions… (at least, who I thought were loving companions).  Then the sadness wells up from deep inside, again.

All will be well, eventually.  My creative energies are strong.  Truth to tell, not much has changed in my life, apart from having to face the fact that these were my love investments and my hopeful aspirations for the future of them, not theirs.

It is also hard to see those I love, who are still present in my life, suffering because of the actions of those who have left.  But life is about change, and change is a constant even when you think you have established safety and security.

All life is a whirl.  So I am waiting to see what happens, and leaving such motions in the ‘hand of destiny‘.  I will do what I need to do, until my heart is once more feeling the fullest joy of life.

In one of my ‘guidance‘ sessions, I talked with Shiva. This vedic god is known for his blue throat, because he drank the poisons of the world to save creation from its own machinations.

In the strivings of life, as people try to find their own ‘nectar of the gods‘, they often stir up deadly poisons with their selfishness.  And once that poison is set free, it cannot always be contained or dealt with, especially by those who released it.

They, too, can feel helpless that the actions they took to better themselves and their lives ended up releasing poison that could ruin everything.

The story of Shiva is that, by remembering that he is immortal and divine and not part of the destinies of the world or cosmos except by choice, he could make a sacrifice of himself by drinking the poison and removing it from the world – thereby ensuring that the goodness and prosperity that was sought was all that was left, and that those who brought it forth could enjoy it.

Sometimes, we have to make a sacrifice of ourselves so others can prosper.

That does mean accepting pain, because poison naturally brings pain with it.  And it does mean becoming forever marked by the poison, just as Shiva has been forever marked.  But just because you accept and take on the poison others send your way does not make you ‘bad’.  Shiva remains pure even though he bears the ‘mark‘ of poisoning.

Accepting the poison being sent your way does not mean you are ‘bad‘ and they are not.  It just means that deflecting or rejecting the poison does not help anyone, and neither does blaming those who send it.  All that can be done with such poison is to transmute it.

I know people who deal with the curses of others by cursing back.  But if you curse those who send curses, or rebound their curses back to them, their curses only escalate because they will be in even more pain and darkness, and acting upon their reactions to that.

The only way to remove a curse in action is to accept it and recycle its energy into something blessed.  And by doing so, you bless the cursers and help them find the harmony and prosperity they need to stop cursing.

That does not necessarily bring them back to you as companions in camaraderie.  Shiva spends most of his life alone, contemplating the cosmos, and only has a small circle of family to engage a worldly life with.

The joy in such sacrifice is not in bringing people back together who perhaps should not be together.  The joy is in ensuring that the poisons will no longer harm anyone and that life can be the beautiful place it is meant to be for all.

So I will keep my darker stories to myself, and will deal with them in private, knowing I am strong enough to do so, and that with time and cosmic contemplation I will transmute them into a different energy.

Curses  are just a manifestation of power and all power is neutral until shaped by a vessel of desire and intention.  The same electricity that powers the kettle you boil water to brew a cup of tea with also powers the chain saw that cuts down a tree.

I will absorb the curses currently denigrating my life and use the power to create blessings – and then watch out for the run of ‘happy buddha beads‘ I make after that, because they will be absolutely superb !

Love and blessings to all those suffering in any way in this universe.  Bear up.  Keep your eyes open for the ‘fireflies in the darkness‘, lighting the way.  The dawn is coming.

Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine

 

Rain

photo courtesy of cepolina.com
photo courtesy of cepolina.com

It has been hot for days.  So hot that you could not leave a window open.  So hot that you had to keep the curtains shut wherever the sun shone in, to prevent heat getting into the house.

Yes, we have air conditioners, but they cannot cope with such heat, either.  They struggled to do more than circulate warm air in our open plan house.

Outside, the garden was wilting.  The trees were losing their leaves.  I decided to risk the water bill and give them a drink.  They sang to me, afterwards, but the song was brief.  The heat went on.

I remember when we had our feast of Beltane, not so long ago – the beginning of November.  We threw flowers into the pond, then, praying for rain, but it didn’t come.

With the heat of the days enervating us so much, and hating to see another drought take away my garden, I prayed for rain each night.  I woke this morning wishing for rain, a respite, a drink, at least an overcast day to stop the sun beating down on us.

I was home, alone, when it happened.  The heavens opened, and it rained.  These were not drops, they were strands, they were sinews and muscles of rain, falling from the heavens to pound down on everything below.

At first, I was happy.  My garden would have a good drink.  I was glad that I had watered, too, because the rain would now soak into the soil and not just run off the surface.  It would be a good rain, a beneficial rain.  But then it kept on raining.

I am used to the storms in our sub-tropical region being heavy at times, but they always pass in a very short time.  They’re usually over in ten to fifteen minutes, but this one went on.

Our home was built on a sloping block where the surveyors said there was a water flow in wet weather.  Not a stream, but where the water gathers and flows downhill when it rains.  So we installed many catchments and drainage pits and pipes to channel the water away into the storm water drains  but still, in heavy rain our laundry courtyard, which sits on the upper part of the land where the water first gathers, struggles with the water dammed by our house.

Each wet season we check the drains to clear them of leaves and debris.  Despite a lot of water gathering there, they cope okay, usually, but this time they didn’t.  Those muscles of water pounded down and the courtyard water levels kept rising.

They flooded the garden shed and climbed the wall of the house slab.  It was eight inches deep and still gathering.  I feared that it would enter the house.

The drains were blocked.  I tried to unblock them over their grilles but only two began to gurgle.  I couldn’t move the grilles with my bare hands, the water was too deep, the rain was too heavy.  I couldn’t think straight.

I’m out there in a long kaftan, prayer beads I had just made hanging at my neck, the tassels soaked and wet cloth clinging to my skin.  All around me, lightning flashed and thunder cracked the ether.

When the lightning lit up the air with a huge branch just feet away from me, I gave up struggling with the grilles and dashed back inside.  For the next hour, I sat on my knees at the laundry door, scooping leaves off one of the drains that was still draining – a small opening just outside the laundry door – always watching the water levels against the brickwork, wondering if this little drain would be enough.

It was monotonous work, became automatic.  But then, the beauty of the water struck me, its clarity (where it didn’t have debris floating in it), the purity of the rainwater.  I reached my hand into it, felt its beauty, its life.

I sat back on my haunches for a moment (not for long, because the drain kept clogging with more debris), and looked up at the grey sky, the rain pouring down, and felt the trees and plants singing.  They weren’t worried about my house.  They were enjoying the beneficence pouring down on them.

I realized that the prayer beads I had just made were a wood called Saptaparni, also known as cheesewood or Milkwood Pine.  It’s a hindu sacred tree, belonging to the divine couple, Shiva and Parvathi.  The wood exudes a milky sap like the milk poured on a lingam, denoting the virility of life.  It is said to purify the doshas, to enable Panchakarma, the cleansing and rejuvenation of the body, mind, and spirit, restoring balance and well being.

I remembered my piece on the Tandava, written here, as the lightning cracked again. The lightning reminded me of Shiva.

Here was the blessing I had asked for, prayed for.  How many others had prayed for the same thing?  And now the heavens had opened up, and a deluge came down.  It really was a bit too much.  I wondered if this was the beginning of another flood.  We lived through a grand flood in our city not that long ago.  It’s not something I want to do again too soon.

So what could I do?  I thought of my rajadeva, could he help?  I remembered his kiss from long ago, and so I relived it, sending him a kiss and asking him for help.  Then I thought, I am an element of the divine.  I am co-creator of my existence.  What do I believe in?  I began to gently blow air through my lips, imagining that I was blowing the clouds out to sea.  I began to wave my hands above my head, imagining that I was waving the clouds further away.

I heard the thunder crack, so close.  The lightning flashed, too near.  My son’s little dog, a shihtzu, sat beside me like a lucky pixiu, watching my endeavors, not phased at all.  I thought, calm the ether, calm the elements, and reached out healing into the air, into the sky.

There was no immediate result, so I kept on working, scooping away the leaves and debris, throwing it onto the garden bed in the old vegetable patch so it wouldn’t re-enter the water.  I thought that perhaps my metaphysical efforts were not valid, that magic like that would not work in such large scope.

Then I noticed that the rain seemed a little less heavy, that the water levels had reduced a couple of milimeters, and then that the thunderclaps were becoming more distant.

In minutes, the rain had eased.  I was able to take some time to try to clear the other drains again.  My son’s little dog bounced through the water as if she was in the shallows at the beach – happy, excited.

Was it a coincidence, or a confirmation of what I believed?  Was I mad or was I living my spiritual dimension?

It didn’t matter.  I realized that blessings must come from the laws that hold this physical realm together.  When I wished for rain, it came, but only when the physical conditions could climb to a level that enabled that rain – and then, those same physical conditions meant that the rain would be heavy and prolonged.  Such is life on planet Earth.

The aftermath left water in our walls, leaking all over the inside window sills for hours.  The drainage hole in the laundry floor, which  connects to the outside drain, did well up and flood the tiles.  But that was the worst of it for us.

I was exhausted, but actually happy that my garden got a drink.  Plus it had been so hot, and my saturated garb had made me refreshingly cool.

Others did not fare so well.  By the time my husband came home and was able to remove the grilles and clear the drains, climb on the roof and clear the gutters again (that he had done not so long ago) a neighbor was working with a chain saw, trying to remove a tree that had come down.

On the news, we saw that flooding had happened all over our city, taking away cars with it, and many trees came down.  The tandava had wreaked destruction, but had also brought life – like the monsoons of India.

The respite was only brief.  The rain has come back, but is now slow and steady.  I can only wait and see if the ground will become so saturated that it will flood, like the last great floods we had.  (Not so good).  And the weather report is for more rain in the days ahead.  If it wasn’t for fear of past floods, I’d see it as a blessing.  So I am choosing to see it as a blessing, and taking a wait and see attitude for whatever else may come.

In every moment of challenge, there is beauty to be found, if you look.  I enjoyed walking through the water in my bare feet.  I enjoyed getting so saturated in the rain.  I enjoyed watching the dog gamboling in the water.  I loved the way the water felt when I wove my hand through it.

Yes, it was hard work.  Yes, I was exhausted.  But what a wonderful and immediate way to reconnect with life, with nature, and with the divine.

A moment of blessing, for all that.

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine

 

 

Nataraj

Photo courtesy of www,exoticindia.com
Photo courtesy of www,exoticindia.com

 

The vedic god, Shiva, is the god of creation and destruction.

I was once told (by my spirit mentor, the Rajadeva) that I am like Uma, who was Shiva’s second wife, (better known as Parvati), so I have made a special place for Shiva in my mind.

Most people in western society who aren’t familiar with the vedic gods tend to know the image of Shiva dancing the tandava or Nataraj (as shown in the picture, above), but even then may not fully understand what this image means.

Shiva is one of a triune of upper echelon gods and his cosmic task is to dance the cosmos into being, or into destruction.

In the Hindu view, Shiva is the god of yoga, who is able to transcend the human condition and the woes of the world, and it is believed that those who can meditate in the deepest trance-like states that Shiva attains can also achieve self-discipline and detachment, and therefore purity.

Shiva is one of the vedic gods who has had many worldly incarnations.  During one of his incarnations, he married a lovely demi-goddess named Sati.

Sati ended up by killing herself in a fire after attending a family gathering that her husband, Shiva, had not been invited to.

(This is where the ‘ sati ‘ ritual comes from, where a widow immolates herself in a fire at the funeral of her husband  – though the theme is not really related because Shiva was still alive when Sati killed herself).

She did so because she was ashamed of her family (who snubbed her when she came because she was married to someone they did not approve of) and distraught that despite her best efforts to prove Shiva’s worth to them, they continued to reject him just because he did not live his life according to their ways.

Sati mistakenly felt that she brought shame upon her husband because they were her relatives, so she killed herself in a gesture to honor him.  When Shiva found out what had happened, his rage and distress bubbled over.

Now, when you are a god and that happens, powerful forces come into play.  Shiva began to dance the tandava and under his stomping feet the whole universe began to disintegrate.

It wasn’t until the other gods came together in great force to plead with him that he finally saw sense and stopped dancing, allowing his grief and anger to settle.

Now, hearing this story, on one hand, you might commiserate with Shiva’s  grief at losing his beloved wife in such a senseless way.

On the other hand, you might question how and why a god might lose his sense of responsibility and presence to such a degree that he would almost blindly bring the universe to its knees under his tantrum – especially when that god is one who is capable of extreme asceticism and detachment from events.

So you need to know that Shiva didn’t get to such a position lightly, or even under some unhappy instant trigger.

Before Sati killed herself in shame, Shiva had counseled her many times about her family’s attitudes toward him.  He told her that he wasn’t really upset, that it had more to do with their character than it did with who he really was, and that she shouldn’t worry about it because it wasn’t affecting him at all.

Shiva was very wise and very cosmic in this attitude, and showed great generosity of spirit, as many do who follow spiritual paths and who do great deeds.  But despite his best efforts and intentions, and the wisdom he gave to others, he could not contain himself when pushed too far.

Even gods have a limit to how much they can take.  And even gods sometimes need a helping hand in realigning themselves to their inner truths once that ‘button‘ has been pushed.

Now,  we humans tend to forget that when we aspire to be ‘perfect’ or ‘better‘ than we suspect we are.  We rarely forgive others or even ourselves for throwing similar whammies or tantrums, no matter how relevant or with what justification they have.

People are often extremely judgmental about such things, possibly because, as Shiva’s tandava can be, such whammies can be dangerous.

When people feel threatened, they are extremely unlikely to put up with such modes, even if they are sympathetic to the reasons behind them.  No one likes menace.

You’d think that these modes of rejection of inappropriate or menacing behavior would be par for the course in the realm of responsibility inhabited by the gods, too, wouldn’t you?  But the fact is that gods and goddesses, whether multiple or singular, have far different agendas and viewpoints to the often ‘black and white‘ assumptions of human beings.

Read just about any story on the modes of a god or goddess, in any religion, modern or ancient, and at some stage you will find that they pretty well do as they please a lot of the time, even if that does hurt the humans they are apparently there to protect.

I’m not saying that they are completely fallible or that they don’t aspire to do better or to serve those under their care – but let’s face it, Gods do have disagreements that lead to wars. Gods do fight wars.   Life on planet Earth often suffers under collateral damage caused by the modes of the gods.  Not even the christian god is exempt from causing suffering, or from sending plagues or destruction.  Gods and goddesses are often more ‘human’ than humans !

Why then are we humans so bent on raising ourselves up to become like gods ?  Why do we aspire to be so perfect when not even the gods are perfect, or even pretend to be ?

Gods believe they are perfect as they are.  Their family and friends also believe they are perfect as they are.  Or if they don’t, the same troubles can be inflicted on them in much the same way they are inflicted upon us (like in Shiva and Sati’s story of being outcast by her relatives simply because they didn’t really like who she married).

What does stand out when it comes to godhood is that gods are forgiving.  So Shiva nearly destroyed the whole universe?  Did it matter in the long run?  No, not so long as he got ‘back on track’ and entered into creative and nurturing modes again.

Maybe being nigh on immortal helps them to maintain those modes. Let’s face it, they don’t die as often as we humans do, and they’re not so fragile.  Perhaps they can feel more forgiving simply because they feel less under threat, and more able to accept the destruction of the universe because they know inside themselves that they are capable of reinventing it at any time…

I think there is much to be learned in the stories about the gods and goddesses for we human beings, though.

No one needs to be perfect to be acceptable.  If we do break down under a load of stress and pressure, and do ‘wrong’ things for a time, that does not mean we are ‘bad’ people, necessarily.

Trying to live up to extreme standards set by ourselves or others is a mode prone to breakdown at some stage, because these are part of the basic themes of the universe – creation and destruction are cycles that alternate in the cosmos.

This may seem bad to those who build their lives on the illusion of security and permanence, but the fact is that nothing in life is ever truly secure or permanent.  Change is a constant in the universe, on every level.  Sometimes, it processes slowly, and sometimes rapidly, but change is inevitable.

As human beings, we rail against anything that threatens our welfare.  It’s part of the law of survival that we protect our welfare, so we spend a heck of a lot of our lives trying to do just that, and despite the obstacles and challenges that often get in the way of truly establishing its security.

As elements of the mind of god, we, too, have a sense of power inside ourselves, including the power of destruction and creation.  Perhaps we fear that power when we or others ‘go off the rails’, and thus imagine that more destruction than we can class as an acceptable loss may occur if such behavior is not curtailed?

In the image of Shiva dancing the tandava, you can see that he is atop a crouching demon.  In Vedism, demons are not so much evil, as such, but are people who express extremes, where expressing extremes sets the cosmos to imbalance and chaos. 

Under those modes, Shiva, himself, could be said to have temporarily become demon-like, when his tandavaspan out of control‘, yet the other gods remained true to him.  They trusted all they knew of him and did not frame their reference on one incident, even if that incident was extreme.

In the view of the universe, chaos is a necessary element of creation, and most things need to go through some degree of breaking down before they can be reconstructed in new and creative ways.  So destruction is necessary for new forms of life to begin.  Chaos is just the intermediary states that happen between the modes of integration – destruction – creation.

In the icon of the tandava, the demon beneath Shiva’s feet is saying that yes, deconstruction needs to occur before reconstruction or creation can happen, but ‘keep a hat on it‘ and don’t let things ‘get out of control‘.

It’s a warning – a reminder that the power of creation naturally holds the power of destruction, of which we must always be mindful lest the unleashing of that power becomes ‘blind and senseless’.

I don’t know many people who set out to be deliberately destructive.  (I do know there are some in the world, but that’s another story).  I do know, however, many brilliant, sensitive, kind and generous souls who were doing okay and were well received  by others, until the moment when they ‘lost the plot’ momentarily (as Shiva did), and thereafter found their actions examined with a persistent element of caution, just in case they ever did it again.

Maybe that wariness goes with having ‘danced the tandava’ but for a human being, who does not have the generous mercy of the gods to uphold their spirit as Shiva did, that sort of wariness is undermining and degrades and disrespects the structure of all they built before the breakdown occurred.

I am in awe of the forgiveness and acceptance of gods when it comes to being merciful and kind to those who are, and have been, in all other ways magnificent beings.  Gods know where their priorities lie.

Why should we keep kicking ourselves over an occasional or rare ‘whammy’ that has happened under extreme duress, when we have been pretty good human beings until then?

I had my own tandava, recently.  It didn’t last long but it was a ‘sky rocket’.  I’m over it now.  Life goes on.

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine

A personal story about Ganesh and my son, Sean.

Brass Ganesa Statue owned by SeanMy son, Sean, is disabled.  He was run over by a van at the age of thirteen, when he ran across a busy road near his school, after playing games with his brother when they were coming home one day,.

Sean spent eleven days in intensive care, fighting for his life, and ‘died ‘ thirteen times as his organs kept shutting down.  My family spent every moment by his bedside during that time, and were shocked to see the awful green liquid the nurses regularly pumped from his stomach – the color of spirulina.  Apparently, that’s what poison looks like in the body, and his body was being poisoned by the trauma of what happened to him.

Sean was in hospital for many months after he left intensive care (and spent years in rehabilitation ).  During that time, he emerged from a vegetative coma state, to slowly learn to manage his body and mind again.

He had to learn to move himself, and was at first like a new born baby with a floppy head and limbs that he had no control over.  He had to learn to not only eat, but also to swallow.

(He’d forgotten how to do that, and it was only then that we realized how much people learn as a baby.  Babies often have trouble swallowing their first solid foods, making their limbs work, and forming their first words).

He had to learn to talk again, and even today finds that hard, sometimes, because his tongue is always partially paralyzed – but we made him signboards so all he had to do was point at letters and words to get his message across.  He also got pretty good control over his thumb, and the ‘thumbs up‘ sign was often his response to people, as well as his smile.

When Sean smiled, his whole face lit up, along with his eyes.  It was amazing to see.  You’d think that what had happened to him would have set him back, or made him afraid of or angry at the world, but it didn’t  Instead, the energy that came from him was positive and glowing.  So, later on, we took to calling him our Ganesha.

Ganesha is a Vedic god who was the son of Shiva and Parvati.  He had an elephant’s head on a human body, but it’s how he got his head that aligned his story to Sean’s.

Ganesha’s dad, Shiva, was the god of yoga and meditation, as well as being the creator and destroyer of worlds.  Basically, he was/is among the highest hierarchy of the gods.

Shiva fell in love with Parvati  (also called Uma)  when he was already a very old man, so he was quite set in his ways by then.  Even though they had a great love match, Shiva still liked to get away on his own and would spend months, and even years, apart from his beloved as he went on solo meditation retreats in the mountains.

During those times, Parvati became quite lonely, so one day she formed a little baby out of clay and breathed life into it.  That baby was Ganesha.

Parvati and Ganesha had a great time together, and Ganesha did not meet his father until he was much older.   By then, he and his mother had some daily rituals, such as Parvati taking herself off to bed for an afternoon nap, and Ganesha guarding her door whilst she slept so no one would disturb her.

It was during one of these siestas that Shiva finally came home.   As usual, the first place he headed to was his wife’s boudoir for a bit of ‘meditation-breaking love-making ‘ – but when he got there, Ganesha was guarding the door.

Ganesha didn’t know who was being so aggressive about getting into the room and so he defended his mother’s door.  Shiva got angry that he wasn’t being allowed to see his own wife ( and he didn’t know Ganesha was his son ),  so a sword fight ensued, and during that fight Shiva cut off his son’s head with such force that it was flung into the cosmos and was never seen again.

Parvati was woken by all the hubbub, of course, and arrived just in time to see Shiva do the dastardly deed.   She burst into tears, telling him that he had just killed their son.

Now, Shiva is not only the ‘Destroyer‘ but also the ‘Creator‘, so he could make Ganesha live again.   What he couldn’t do was find his head to put it back on, so instead he went out into the world, declaring that he would bring back the head of the first baby born that he found.  That baby happened to be an elephant.

( Let’s not get into the awful feeling the mother elephant must have had to see her new baby decapitated… or why an omnipotent god like Shiva couldn’t find his son’s own head… this is a story, after all).

So Ganesha had an elephant’s head after that, and all the family reunited in love and happiness.

We thought this story fit with our son, Sean, because Sean was also disabled in a terrible accident, and Sean was also a beautiful kid who loved his mum, and who still smiles and dances and spreads delight in the world.  He once told me that it’s his mission to try to make everyone smile, so he bales even strangers up to smile at them, and if they smile back, he believes he has lightened their day.

I think that is a pretty good mission to have !

Like Ganesha, Sean is never going to not be visibly disabled, now – but he is still intelligent, perceptive, kind, charming, and extremely considerate and loving.

So, we have kept the god, Ganesha, close to us to remind us of our miracle, and our home is full of statues ( the picture at the top of this blog is of a statue only recently acquired by Sean ),  hangings, and tapestries of this lovely Vedic god, who is known today for his intelligence, for writing the Vedic scriptures, and for his ability to remove all obstacles, and to bring blessings and good fortune.

(I actually believe that ‘gods’ can manifest in human form, and in multiple humans at the same time, so who knows if Sean could perhaps actually be manifesting a piece of Ganesha?)

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how Ganesha has brought brightness to our lives, and how much his spirit lives in our son.

If you’d like to know more about Sean’s story, see some of his hospital photos, read the “God” poem he wrote about a year after his accident, and read the story “I Don’t Know” that he narrated to me as a six year old (I was the shadow writer), visit this link and click on the other links you find on the page as you explore.

Sean (nicknamed ‘Pumpkin’ as a child by me) did grow up to be a very fine man, and was once married long enough to have two beautiful daughters.  When I look at them today, and see the wonderfully happy relationship they have with their loving father, I am reminded that Ganesha also had two consorts, Riddhi (prosperity)  and Siddhi  (spiritual power).  Sean’s daughters also attract attention wherever they go, and I’m looking forward to seeing what their future holds…

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine