I recently happened to listen to the long forgotten devotional albums, Jyothi Vativaana Annamalai by UnniKrishnan and Om Namah Shivaya by SPB. Not that I am getting any religious than I was, but I stumbled across these in the pursuit of something else. It invoked a lot of childhood memories as my mom loved them and used to listen to them all the time, I wonder where those radio cassettes are lying now. Man, the time for cassettes has been long buried!
Anyway, my point is I loved hearing some of those songs and couldn’t get them out of my mind. Especially the “Shivaya Nama Om” song in UnniKrishnan’s album. What a voice! It was as if something from within your mind is calling out to you. I am not a fan of Idol worship or to be precise, man-made concepts of divinity. I am a believer of natural divinity in the form of a central force that is omni-present. So this song failed to invoke the spiritual aspect towards Lord Shiva as many would expect but what an internal insight it brought to me in the way of my beliefs and perspectives.
This experience left me pondering about divinity within every self and how we can peel through the layers of ego, human emotions and other superficial stuff and reach it. And the music composition just had me swaying to the tune with eyes closed. It’s been a while since I connected this deeply with anything that’s construed as religious.
When I was pondering over this, an intriguing question came to my mind. I know humans represent Lord Shiva in the form of a Lingam and that the shiva linga is the collective representation of lingam and yoni. That is the ultimate representation of the male-female oneness, creative energy and the potential of creation. You can check this wiki entry for more details. What had me thinking was another aspect of general belief that Lord Shiva is the destructive aspect in the process of life. I have heard how people name the lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva responsible for creation, protection and destruction stages of the life cycle. However, the shivalinga which is used to represent the lord of destruction actually represents the power and potential of creation. Therein, this paradox already shows that there is nothing but one divine energy which is probably too enormous for the amateur human minds to comprehend that they give names and forms to the force.
I don’t have any issues with naming the force to one’s belief and follow one’s preferences. What really bothers me is the fight over whose perspective is greater and forcing others directly/indirectly to believe that each one’s perspective is THE right one.What’s so bad about believing in something for your own sake? What’s so bad about letting another person believe something that is in contrast with what you believe and accept that it’s their right to do so?
And this divine paradox makes my belief stronger and shows me that I am on the right path. Whether I will reach the destination is a different thing altogether. Even now, I don’t force this perspective of mine on anyone. I am just sharing what sparked in my mind. I so wish the other side would do the same to me by not forcing me to believe what my mind can’t process. That’s so egoistic and there’s nothing divine about it.
Everyone has a way of connecting with the inner force and it’s better to let them do it. Enabling them to connect is one thing but forcing them to take the same path as us is a different thing which is just wrong. Because our perspective helps us connect with the inner self, if I force someone to believe what I do, it means I am forcing them to connect with my inner self the way I do. That defeats their purpose of seeking divinity.
Until later 🙂
P.S: Heavy, right? Yeah, I like to write about such thought processes as writing helps me to analyze myself.
I have never been religious, nor do I seek an inner voice. I am fine the way I am and have everything that I need. Cal on the other hand is religious and visits temples every week. He says it gives him peace. Reading gives me the same feeling. Maybe it is just me.
Yeah, that’s fine and exactly my point. Everyone has their own attitude towards this whole thing. As long as you at peace with who you are. However, there seems to be a lot of pressure to make others believe the same thing. Although I don’t want to stereotype, I am forced to say this – This forcing is done by the general population who follow the general beliefs. Why? Why can’t I believe something else? Why can’t I ask questions that you don’t have answers to? A simple ‘I don’t know’ whould suffice, but instead I am branded as the wrong one. Sigh!
As for me, these things intrigue me. I try to find answers to my questions and I try to find the correct questions to the answers I already have. That’s who’s me 🙂 And I am perfectly at peace with that.
I can’t really explain what your post did to me. I’m not extremely religious, but yes I do believe in God. I pray everyday. Something my Mom imbibed in me from a young age.
You actually enlightened me with a few details, I wasn’t aware of. Especially Hindi mythology. Thanks much! 🙂
Glad that I was able to enable you to seek your connection 🙂 Everyone has their own way of communicating with the inner self, you’re welcome 🙂
1. Congrats on my favorite topic and music albums. I fell in love with the same album a few years ago (probably a decade or two..).
//It was as if something from within your mind is calling out to you.//
Exact feeling I too got when I first listened to the song at a house in the same apartment where my friend stays on top of this house where I listened this song coming out through the window kept opened 😉
Next is the SPB’s Namashivaya album which is what made me get inclined to Lord Shiva until then I just had an awareness that Lord Shiva was one such deity. However, after Namashivaya, I was getting pulled into the divinity and the Ohm Chating is really awesome and I could feel that transformation in myself- to an extent.
I would like to really comment on the other aspects of your post but I am confused 🙁 Probably it requires re-reading!!! Let me do it later.
Is there a link between this post and after-marriage life? lol 🙂
Raghavan alias Saravanan M
Thanks anna, yeah I have heard them when I was a kid but was not just mature enough to acknowledge this deeply. All I knew was my mom loved it and they were some nice songs. True that these songs have such captivity.
Do comment on the other aspects once you get a hang of it 🙂
Link between this and after-marriage? Not at all, what makes you think so? I was, am and will always be this rebel asking questions, marriage didn’t change that bit 😉
Profound post! I agree with you. I’m not ritualistic and cannot conform to tedious ways of worshiping the Lord. But I do believe in the power and that He is one. Sad that we have to fight over the paths that lead us to the same destination. While on Shiva, you might like to explore more about him here: http://blog.ishafoundation.org/sadhguru/spot/shiva-ultimate-outlaw/
Thanks Uma, that link was an eye-opener in a lot but the one thought that sparked me like fire was -“Only nothing can hold everything, therein divinity is nothing and everything at the same time”.
This caught me off guard, because I had this idea as a seed in my mind and hence I talked about the divinty being a paradox. Never expected to be this close on that thought.
I have never particularly been very religious or even spiritual (much to my mothers dismay…), and have not even been voluntarily around anything remotely religious for many years now. (of course I must add, I got married at Guruvayoor, but the venue really did not have much significance for me, but it did for the husband and both families..). I firmly believe in picking your battles wisely, there is no point in being obstinate about your beliefs when you could go with the flow for harmonys sake. As long as noone is forcing me to alter my thinking to fit theirs, I am good. Personally, I find working with animals (which is my job) and doing simple good deeds for those not as lucky as most of us to give me the same feeling as people describe as that comes over them when they pray or do religious acts.
I completely agree with what you said about letting people follow their beliefs as they like. Husband on the other hand is moderately religious and tends to believe in a higher power. I am thankful that my feelings of “live and let live” are mirrored by him as well, so we peacefully coexist in our own beliefs. We have just agreed to disagree on certain aspects and that works for us. 🙂
Very true, it’s easier to go with the flow for harmony’s sake as you rightly said. My only expectation is that none forces to change my belief, because I don’t do that to anyone. In our case, the husband was brought up in a very religious family and hence had some difficulty digesting my “rebellious” thoughts. But with a bit of understanding we worked out that to each, their own beliefs. That’s how it should be 🙂
I have always been fascinated with hindu mythology too 🙂 Especially Lord Shiva. There are so many aspects to him that remains a mystery to me. And a lot of people seem to be gaining insights to the topic, Thanks to the historical fiction like the Shiva trilogy that’s coming out nowadays.
Btw, where are you? Long time no see!
True Aathira! Thank you for reading.
Am lost amidst an unbelievably hectic august traveling all over. Will be back soon 🙂 Thank you!