Shiva is pure state of consciousness and the nature of Shiva is quite different from the divine stories written in many scriptures. Shiva is a Upadathi ( Title) and not a God.
The stories revolve around a gross form of Shiva while the true nature of Shiva is too subtle to be observable, but its expanse and depth can be really understood even from the stories. Simplicity, purity, Love, acceptance, Neutrality and be continuously aware and being here is something not easily deniable even from the stories. When people talk about Stories from Shiva Purana two prominent Stories of Love emerge, One of Sati and other of Parvati. The stories are valid even now in the families and lifestyles too.
Two beautiful stories depicting Love of the eternal nature and the change of the Love happening through the Energy .
Sati was born as Dakshayani daughter of Queen Prasuti and Daksha Prajapati. Daksha had 89 daughters from Queen Prasuti and 116 from Queen Panchajani. But the crucial love was by Devi Sati for having Shiva as the Parameshvara (the most benevolent God to marry her). For it was a natural thing to happen for her as she was hearing stories and tales associated with Shiva through Sage Narada. The more and more proposals for her marriage came she rejected all of them for her inner craving was to be married to Parameshvara. Sati left the palace, and lived a life of austerity doing deep penance even to the extent of living on one leaf a day and slowly leaving that little nourishment. Shiva then finally acceded to her inner wish and consented to marry Sati. Daksha Prajapati was not happy with the alliance for Shiva was a renunciate, a Yogi and continuously lived in Sahaja Samadhi Avastha. But heeding to the inner desire of Sati the marriage happened. Daksha Prajapati was completely unhappy with the marriage, Sati was happy with the marriage for she was married to the one she desired the most from inner heart, for Shiva it was acceptance.
Daksha Prajapati was unhappy with Shiva for multiple things one Shiva had cut off one of the heads of Brahma(Creator) secondly Shiva was a renunciate, ascetic and lived a life of neutrality and Daksha didn’t like such people due to his richness, wealth, power and designation, thirdly during one of the Sabha of Brahmavadi’s (expounders of Veda), where Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma and all Gods and Divinities were present, Prajapati Daksha when he entered the Sabha, everybody stood up except for Shiva and Brahma. Brahma being a father he did not stand but the behaviour of Shiva was felt as insulting by Daksha, for two things one Shiva was married to His daughter Sati and secondly He(Daksha) was a King and also the Chief of the Sabha. Daksha had then hurled lot of abuses on Shiva and also cursed Shiva that ‘Shiva will not get his due oblations with other Gods’, Shiva did not say anything and left the sabha.
There is a huge difference between being happy or unhappy and acceptance. Unhappy and Happy emerges from a condition where Daksha basically cut his daughter away from her natal family due to unhappiness, Sati married Shiva with happiness. Both these happiness and unhappiness are logical, rationale in nature while acceptance is faith.
Shiva in His completeness had accepted Sati as His Love and offered her to become Shakti giving His Half Energy and Consciousness to Her, But Sati was completely unaware of it. For Shiva, Sati was a true disciple and one who did penance for seeking a boon of having Shiva as her Parameshvara, thus she was also Paramaishta one beloved to Shiva.
Happiness is a moment while acceptance is something which is completely from the inner spirit. Sati felt lonely, her need for meeting her family emerged within a short time. The core of her heart was associated with her love for her parents, family.
Daksha Prajapati organized a huge yajna (Fire Ritual). In this Yajna all the Gods, Divinities and prominent people were invited except for Shiva and Sati. Sati came to know about the Yajna and her desire to meet her parents became stronger. She asked Shiva, Shiva refused to go and also forbade her from going by telling her that Daksha her father hated Him and also it is wrong to go into a function uninvited. But the desire of Sati was overwhelming and her love for meeting her Father became strong. She couldn’t understand why Shiva is holding her back, She was going to meet her loving Father. Sati ignoring the warning of Shiva left to her fathers house. She was hoping that her father would come out and loving hug his lovely daughter, but nothing happened. She saw her mother but she met Sati alone and in isolation. This was too much for Sati and she felt something wrong and fear with doubt emerged in her decision. She moved into the Yajna sabha and there she found no seat for Shiva or Her, her father Daksha Prajapati upon seeing Sati, could not hold his anger back and started uttering insulting and abusive language for Shiva. Sati tried to reason with Daksha Prajapati but could not make her father understand the grave mistake He was committing. The more Sati tried to make Daksha understand the logic, reason the more it angered Daksha, it was this moment Sati realized her mistake of not hearing what Shiva was telling her. She realized her mistake that due to her personal bondage of love and affection of her parents she had completely ignored Her Parameshvara, losing her status, value and love of Paramaishta to become only a sister, daughter.The realization was that this abuse was being heaped on Shiva only because he had wed her; she was the cause of this dishonour to her husband for the family could never understand or respect Shiva nor could she truly and fully love Shiva to the purest level as Parameshvara.
The moment of her realization made her feel terrible, she prayed for gaining the insight to the pure essence of Shiva in the next birth and she jumped into the Yagya-agni (fire of the Yagya), dejected but being a Paramaishta, her inner powers burned her body allowing the spirit to merge back into the Pure Consciousness. The moment it merged back into consciousness Shiva came to know about it, and pure anger emerged from the consciousness of Shiva in the form of serpentine power forming Veerabhadra (Overpowering Positive Energy) and Mahakali (Mighty Dark Energy). Veerabhadra and Mahakali destroyed and killed all the sages, saints and Gods there burning down the whole of the Yagya shala. Veerabhadra cut the head of Daksha Prajapati and put the same into the fire.
Shiva came into the destroyed Yagya Sabha , His presence itself allowed the killed sages, saints and other Gods to come alive, Shiva gave life back to Daksha and then Shiva moved in to carry the burned body of Sati, He was lost, in a state of Shunyata, a state of gross level grief which held Shiva into a moment of time and space lost to the reality it was a moment of Rugna- Tandava in the form of Tirobhav-Anugraha Tandava the dance of disappearance, illusion and appearance. Shiva had lost His love in acceptance for neither Sati accepted his Love nor the family of Sati could accept Him. It was a difference of acceptance and moment of unhappiness and happiness.
Parvati was born to Himavan (King of ancient Himalayan Region) and Queen Menavati. Parvati is also called Haimavati, Parvati like Sati too was from childhood interested to have Shiva as her Parameshvara. She was also aware of the many things that had happened during the time of Daksha. She showed her interests to her parents who were initially apprehensive for after the time of Sati, Shiva was mostly engrossed in deep penance and was not inclined towards a family life. for they were not averse to Shiva, for they were believers and worshippers of Shiva and knew how privileged they would be to have Shiva as a part of family. Menavati initiated Parvati into the worship of Shiva. Parvati was interested deeply from heart and her faith in Shiva as Parameshvara was unmovable. This triggered a movement wherein Manmada or the Desire (Kama) emerges in Shiva, which Shiva burns down with his Conscious awakened Energy, but it brought Shiva out from the deep state of Samadhi to a state of Awakened Samadhi.
Parvati had to learn the ways of Shiva to become Shiva, she moved into deep jungles of the mountain and in isolation engages in the ascetic life filled with meditation, penance and surrendering to Shiva. Shiva becomes a Guru first to her and she surrendered and started deep penance following the ways of Shiva. Shiva was observing this and when Himavan prayed to Shiva that Parvati was devoted to Shiva and wanted Shiva as Parameshvara. Shiva said, ‘She has taken me as Guru, let her show she is a shishya too’.
As time passed Parvati went into deeper Penance and austerity, and these hardships were showing on the physical body of Parvati.
Shiva took a disguise of young attractive person and came to Parvati, asking why Parvati was doing such deep penance and austerity. Parvati told her inner desire in the most humble manner, to which the young person haughtily responded that Shiva was a coarse and barbaric person, who could not even see the penance and austerity of such a beautiful lady, she should be marrying Him instead for He was more young, suitable, rich and charming than Shiva. Parvati looked at the young boy, smiled and got back into the penance and worship of Shiva.
After some time, Shiva again disguised as a old person and asked the same question to Parvati. Parvati again replied in the same humble manner her intention, desire. Hearing this the old man declared Shiva as being a loner, ascetic, stern and a boring person who can make life of Parvati miserable. She is such a beautiful lady and she should be looking for more worthy people and charming as Vishnu or as powerful as Indra. Parvati looked at the old man and again got back into her routine of prayers, chants and penance.
Finally Shiva disguised himself as a deformed dwarf came to Parvati, becharmed and enamoured by her beauty and asked her hand for marriage and in return He the dwarf would remain slave for her throughout His life. Parvati again followed the same routine of ignoring the proposal and the proposer and went back into her penance.
It was this moment Shiva appeared as He was and accepted the prayer of Parvati. But this was not the end of the story for on the day of marriage, when the family of Parvati waited for the marriage procession, they were in for a huge shock. Shiva was wearing a garland of human skulls, open and flowing hair, full of snakes, having a tiger skin followed by ghosts, ghouls, flesh eating demons. It was a view none could have perceived even in the most ghastly manner, it was completely disgusting and abhorrent view. Himavan and Menavati both forbade Parvati from getting married to Shiva. Parvati just kept looking at Shiva, knowing in her heart and mind the truth, she prayed intensely from her heart to Shiva to change His ghastly appearance to something more appeasing. This is the moment surrendering happens where the energy, conscious and matter of the Guru(Master)-Sishya(Disciple) merge, leading to the emergence of the Satguru. The energy, conscious and matter is nowhere related with the body for it is pure energy, pure conscious and pure matter the subtlest aspect of the consciousness. This is the moment Shiva transformed himself into the most beautiful man anyone had ever seen who was followed by the true forms of the spirits and energies that bestowed one with the truth of consciousness. Shiva’s new beauty coupled with his immense cosmic powers finally convinced Himavan and Menavati to consent to the marriage from heart, and with the wedding vows the heavens rejoiced. The love and acceptance of Shiva was complete in both instances but in this instance, Parvati’s acceptance of Shiva as Parameshvara, made the choice quite different from that of Sati and here her faith also allowed the family too to realize this truth in completeness. It is only when love happens with acceptance that conditions fall off giving one a beauty of knowing oneness within the self and others without biasness.
In normal life and families too our priorities emerge from love based on conditions, logic and rationale, the moment the priorities are based on faith and acceptance love becomes pure and one in that moment of acceptance finds that the world has changed for them. The emergence of faith is needed to gain a fulfilling life where only on the basis of perservance, efforts and pure love, faith can emerge
~ Maitreya Rudrabhayananda
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