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Shiva offers lesson in Art of Living

Summing up the discussion on the concept underlying Lord Shiva, let us see how he keeps the whole existential order in perfect balance. Despite evolutionary barrier of incommunicability amongst the varied creatures forming His entourage, selflessly He remains in accord with all of them at one go.  Overlooking their individualistic vagaries, He does not differentiate.  It is not that He would not be aware of their individualistic limitations, as His eyes, half open and half closed would signify.  It implies that knowingly ignoring their limitations, He holds them together.        


Why? Is Lord Śiva under any compulsion to do that?  Absolutely not, He purposely does that.  For, He knows that all creatures, by themselves, are imperfect, and incapable of meeting existential needs all by oneself.  But all put together complement and supplement each other to together make out a self-sufficient world.  If each one of them is bound by individual limitations, they are simultaneously also armed with such virtues, as would be necessary to nourish and sustain the collective existence.      


Take the case of a trivial looking termite, which otherwise is known to spoil wood, paper, and if left unattended can damage the crops also.  But then, they dig hole deep inside the soil structure to facilitate entry of oxygen and activate creative potential of the earth mass.  In the process, the termite eats earth mass, and to digest it, its body releases necessary enzymes.  It consumes a small part that it would need for its own sustenance, and excretes the rest, and that being rich in enzyme, further add to the fertility of the soil.  The termite, however, meets its end before the crop comes up, but not before serving the cause of larger existence.  Similarly, bacteria in a drain or a sewer pit treat the night soil, but for which, life will become inhabitable. In fact, all the creatures form a food chain, which together sustain the existential order, while at the same time not allowing them to grow beyond due to maintain biodiversity balance.  There is nothing in existence, without a specific assignment in support of the collective existence.  


Lord Śiva, therefore, in order to get the best out of one and all and facilitate smooth run of the worldly order, purposely ignores their individual limitations.  But it doesn’t come about easy.  He absolves all and sundry of the three types of sins– Daihika (Body bound), Bhautika (External), and Daivika (Cosmic), they attract, as fallout of cause-effect chain they are bound to and varying environmental conditions.  He absorbs them all with the three phalanges of the trident, as would His poison fed blue neck imply.  He does that in the larger interest of the existential order, but for which the very existence may become questionable.       


Serving as provider, He nourishes the whole living order with all His resources in hand - the cosmic energy drawn through lunar crescent, water stream of river Ganges.  Remember, we plunder the earth in a bid to secure our survival.  But, the earth on its part bears with it kindly, and still supports us with all provisions - the food it produces or water bodies it holds in its womb, vital to our existence. We, knowingly or inadvertently, vitiate even the atmosphere, which could disturb ecological balance, evidently detrimental to our healthy existence.  Nature, however, on its part has been kind enough to make provisions for absorbing them all, but for which our very existence would be at stake.   


Lord Śiva enjoys the confidence of all.  For, He selflessly serves them all without any sense of differentiation, with the sole noble objective to ensure a smooth run of the existential order.  His selflessness is exemplified by being bare bodied, despite being symbolically the source and effective cause of creation. It actually is a lesson in ‘The Art of living’.  


The message loud and clear is that the existential order is premised on the concept of “Unity in diversity”. Accordingly, a harmonious coexistence of all and sundry is called for.  In this scheme of things, multitude of species and objects in existence are to discharge their assigned roles towards essential sustenance and smooth run of the living order.  The interdependence of their existence needs to be underlined here.  For, it is their efforts in totality that could take care of the existential needs of the living order.  Lord Śiva, therefore, wishes to get the best out of all and ensure smooth run of the worldly order as would the bull pull the cart unhindered.

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