Awakening at the Chit Sabha, Chidambaram
I have reached a strange feeling in my journey in Shiva realization. A series of thoughts just hit me one one after another. I feel a strange futility in writing. How can I explain my experience of the divine formless Lord in words when I realize I cant really communicate the intensity or its essence in entirety?
I have realized the different layers of learning. I am excited about my finds but I am unable to share it with anyone...not that they wont listen but they may not realize the real beauty in it. How do you tell a blind man the color of bright orange flowers that grows and blooms on the tree in front of him? I feel alone, I feel some where from here my journey is that of a lone one, and no amount of explaining is going to get my thought across to anyone. And yet for some strange reason... I write.
Oh Lord Shiva, I stand speechless again at the door of your divine hall. The Vishnudharmottara says that the Supreme Brahman is formless, yet Agastyar created Urvashi by drawing her form out of mango juice, redifining the essence of beauty to all in heaven. He brought life to her character, he brought power to her form by just drawing a few lines to describe her. Such was the beauty of the divine apsara, who danced her way into the hearts of all the devas at Indra's court. Such was the power of painting and art that it gave life to imagination. This is the real power of art in expression.
Even more mystifying is the divine hall of dance on earth, the chit sabha at Chidambaram. The Golden hall in which Lord Shiva performs. In this grand venue, the Natya Raja's presence is felt, his formless self takes life within the lines of grace at this power center and he lights up the floor that gave birth to the Akasha linga.
I stand here spell bound, staring at the hall, where no one stands, where nothing moves. I look on into the sanctum, far inside surrounded by a door of flickering lamps. No flowers adorn his being, but just pure jewellery covers his self. He is Lord Nataraja, the Lord of dance, of expression, of life.
This is divine illusion, this is divine reality as the Lord awakens the rhythm into the air and the bells resound. The lamps rise, various flames light up this interior as the priest performs Arti. This is a dream, where in this chamber he raises his leg with grace. Its a delight, its a heavy feeling in the heart as one breaks down to absorb this amazingly unique form of the lord.
Within his chamber, shrouded by the deep backness of ignorance, the flames of enlightenment are lit. Within the resounding echo of mantras that wash the floor, he steps on Apasmara purusha. As the divine light of Arti rise he blesses us in Abhaya. How expressive is he, how handsome his face, how lavish his appearance in the glow of gold, and how his presence lights up the floor of dark ignorance. Indeed what a divine illusion, brought so magneficiently to life, indeed the light of enlightenment appears to be a figment of Lord Shiva's imagination, one that he makes us want, while we suffer in the blackness of its ignorance.
Imagination is a talent, it is the power to imagine, to describe beauty and attributes, to describe form and color, to describe action and rules and give it life... isnt this world just Lord Natarja's imagination, one even greater than that of Agastya?
I am speechless, I realize why most of the adorations written are in poetry. There is no better form to explain or express HIM in any better way. Language is limited to those who dont know how to use it, sound is powerful to those who know how to. Its so beautiful when we realize that this post in English is all powerless while just a single word "Hrim" can encapsulate the very energy of the Goddess Durga. How hopeless I am, that I dont even know how to craft the beauty of the Lord that i see within my limited imagination.
I simply stare at his divine form dance, silhoutted by the rising flames that gracefully dance around him. Speechless, silent, awakened.
Courtesy: Raja Deekshitar A heartfelt thanks to him for granting me this divine vision at Chidambaram.
Stella Kramrisch - Vishnudharmpttara Part 3