During my recent pilgrimage in India, I was exposed to an unimaginable amount of new influences and experiences.
One day that stood out to me was the celebration of Shivaratri.
It is the Dawn of Shiva, where devotees and worshipers spend the celestial occurance chanting mantras of Shiva.
I know that having a “favorite ” diety kind of defeats the premise of understanding that each diety is only a reflection of a facet of the infinite expression of God.
So in that case, Shiva is my favorite facet of the divine,
Shiva has always been a favorite of artists and there are thousands of different depictions.
After studying the Nivana Shatakam Mantra, I think I got my first glimpse into a better understanding of what Shiva truly represents.
One of the stanzas stood out to me in the description of Shiva:
Aham Nirvikalpo Nirakaara Roopah Vibhur Vyapya Sarvatra Sarvendriyanaam Sada Me Samatvam Na Mukthir Na Bandhah
Chidananda Rupah Shivoham Shivoham
I am formless and devoid of all dualities I exist everywhere and pervade all senses Always I am the same, I am neither free nor bonded I am pure knowledge and supreme bliss, I am Shiva,
I am all auspiciousness, I am Shiva.
The concept of Shiva is larger than I could ever truly represent, so I chose to form the likeness of the figurative Shiva by depicting his body made of the dark matter of the Universe.
On a more personal note during the creation of this image, my Father passed away.
In the Buddhist tradition, there is a practice for praying for the liberation of departed loved ones.
This practice involves choosing the deity of your choice and visualizing him above you in the clouds and petitioning its compassion to send down radiant light into onto the should of the departed being, in this case my father.
In my meditation, it was this image of Shiva that I fixated onto my father.
I dedicate all the positive merit that this artwork generates to the memory of my father James “Rick” Jones.
It is my hope that this image of Shiva can help deepen the understanding to the infinite nature of Shiva and how valuable having any comprehension of what he represents can be to the human consciousness.
|Lyrics of Nirvana shatakam with translation….. Shivoham ! Shivoham !|
|1. Mano BuddhyA-hankara ChittaNi naaham Nacha Shrotra Jihve Na Cha Ghrana Netre Nacha Vyoma Bhoomir Na Tejo Na Vayuh Chidananda Rupah Shivoham Shivoham||I am not mind, intellect, ego and the memory. I am not the sense of organs(ears, tongue, nose, eyes and skin). I am not the five cbvcuelements ( sky or ether, earth,b Mv. Mmq0 light or fire, the wind and the water). I am supreme bliss and pure consciousness, I am Shiva, I am all auspiciousness, I am Shiva.|
|2. Na Cha Prana Sangyo Na Vai Pancha Vayu Na Vaa Sapta dhatur Na Vaa Pancha Koshah Na Vak Pani Padam Na Chopastha Payu Chidananda Rupah Shivoham Shivoham||I am not Prana ( energy) nor five vital airs (PanchVayu), nor the seven essential material( sapta dhatu ) , nor the five sheaths of the body ( pancha kosha ). I am not the organ of speech, nor hand nor the leg, nor the organs of procreation or the elimination ( anus). I am supreme bliss and pure consciousness, I am Shiva, I am all auspiciousness, I am Shiva.|
|3. Na Me Dvesha Ragau Na Me Lobha Mohau Mado Naiva Me Naiva Maatsarya Bhavah Na Dharmo Na Chartho Na Kamo Na t Chidananda Rupah Shivoham Shivoham||I have no hatred or dislike, neither greed nor liking, no delusion, I have no pride or haughtiness, nor jealousy. I have no duty to perform(dharma), no desire for any wealth or pleasure(kama) , I have no liberation ( moksha) either. I am supreme bliss and pure consciousness, I am Shiva, I am all auspiciousness, I am Shiva.|
|4. Na Punyam Na Papam Na Saukhyam Na Dukham Na Mantro Na Teertham Na Veda Na Yajnaha Aham Bhojanam Naiva Bhojyam Na Bhokta Chidananda Rupah Shivoham Shivoham||I have neither virtue, nor vice. nor pleasure or pain, I do not need mantras(sacred chants), nor pilgrimages. nor scriptures (Vedas), rituals or sacrifices (yajnas). I am neither the enjoyed nor the enjoyer, nor enjoyment. I am the supreme auspiciousness of the form of consciousness-bliss(chidananda Rupah). I am the auspiciousness I am supreme bliss and pure consciousness, I am Shiva, I am all auspiciousness, I am Shiva.|
|5. Na Me Mrityu Shanka Na Me Jati Bhedah Pita Naiva Me Naiva Mata Na Janma Na Bandhur Na Mitram Gurur Naiva Shishyah Chidananda Rupah Shivoham Shivoham||I have no fear of death, nor do I have death. No doubt about my existence, nor distinction of caste. I have no father or mother, I have no birth. I have no relatives, nor friend, nor the guru, nor the disciple. I am pure knowledge and supreme bliss, I am Shiva, I am all auspiciousness, I am Shiva.|
|6. Aham Nirvikalpo Nirakaara Roopah Vibhur Vyapya Sarvatra Sarvendriyanaam Sada Me Samatvam Na Mukthir Na Bandhah Chidananda Rupah Shivoham Shivoham||I am formless and devoid of all dualities I exist everywhere and pervade all senses Always I am the same, I am neither free nor bonded I am pure knowledge and supreme bliss, I am S|