You can split the word “Shiva” into Sha, ee, and va , with each representing something. Sha is the short form of shareeram and thus represents the body.
Ee is the short form for eeshwara and thus represents life-giving energy. Va is the short form of Vayu and thus represents motion.As a whole, Shiva represents “body” having “life” and “motion.”
When the ‘ee’ is taken away Shiva becomes sha and va or Shava. This implies a body without life. Everything that has Shiva has life, and everything that does not have Shiva is Shava and so does not have a life.
Shiva can be described in three words, which are, auspicious, potential, and life. Shiva is all-embracing and the collective soul or realization. Those who realize this gets Ananda or Shiva Tattva.
Shiva and Shiva Tattva
Shiva is the complete universe. He’s present in every particle of the cosmos. There are three phases in Shiva Tattva, namely, Arupa, Rupa-arupa, and sarupa.
- Arupa does not have any form
- Rupa-arupa is a form that emerges from the formless
- Sarupa has form
Shiva is without a body and he wasn’t an individual at all. A form was created for representing the bottomless, the never-ending divinity, and for making it lucid to young people and others. Shiva is a theory or Tattva that is the origin of everything. It sustains everything and everything melts into it. Shiva can be described as consciousness. Due to being the highest good of the entire creation, Shiva has a blue body with blue signifying the infinite sky. The greatest miracle is that the same consciousness resides in all beings in this creation!
It’s formless yet it resides in every form
Rudrabhishekam is the summoning of Lord Shiva via mantra of Sri Rudram and performance of abhishekam. It brings prosperity, peace, hale and hearty body, spirit, and mind. It does away with negative vibes and defends the disciples from evil forces.In India, It is performed at well-known destinations that include Haridwar, Kashi/Varanasi, and Rishikesh.’Virupe-bhyo vishva-rupe bhyash-cha vo namo namah’ is a verse in Rudrabhishekam.Virupe-bhyo implies one without form while Vishva-rupe-bhyo implies that even then it resides in every form of the universe.Every form is the manifestation of the amorphous Shiva.
It had no beginning and It won’t End
There is a great story associated with Shiva. Once upon a time, Brahma the architect, and Vishnu the defender of the Universe were keen on finding Shiva for understanding it entirely. Brahma told Vishnu that while he seeks his head Vishnu should try and find his feet. They tried for thousands of years without success. The implication of the story is Shiva is without beginning and without end.
What is the way of knowing Shiva?
In Veda Saara Shiva Stotram, written by Adishankaracharya, a philosopher of India during the 18th century, there is a verse “Tapo yoga gamya.”’ This basically means that the way of finding Shiva is by tapa and yoga.You can also know it with Omkaara, which is the primeval sound of the cosmos.
What is the way of understanding Shiva
The earliest Rishis recommend 4 steps for understanding Shiva. They are:
- Anavopaya – the disciplining of one’s ego
- Anava – meditation
- Saktopaya – the activating of the energy centers by concentrating one’s thought in silence
- Sambavopaya – by freeing oneself from thinking
‘Shruti Gyan Gamyah’ is another verse in Adi Shankaracharya’s Veda Saara Shiva Stotram and it states that one can understand Shiva by awareness of the shrutis that can be heard while deep in meditation. This state is that of Samadhi. This fourth state is the place for finding Shiva Tattva.