I sit here in silence
Bursting with life,
Bursting with enthusiasm
As I mull over the presence
Of the Lord rediscovered
Yet there is no one
To share with, this little joy
My mind is elated
A world new it sees
Thats where the Lord dances
With ghouls jumping around in glee
The verses of a Nayanar
Flow through my mind
I bow to the bhakti of Karaikkal Ammaiyar
The verses sung by Karaikkal Ammaiyar Pey bring to light, the intriguing documentation of the workings of a cremation ground. What might appear to be a fearful place, with screaming ghosts pulling out the flesh of burning corpses as they dance around enjoying the meal is a definition that bhakti knows no place, and has no bias to situation. In the middle of this strange theater, Lord Shiva dances as Nataraja, the flames of the corpses light up his stage.
In another work, the tamil poetry of Thirumanthiram, brings to light a different Nataraja. He resides in the Sushumna nadi, his stage is none other but the zone on the forehead between our brow. When the individual spiritual awakening reaches its mark, Nataraja performs on the forehead stage of enlightenment, where the third eye awakens, and issues the light of union with Lord Nataraja.
Yet another reference says Nataraja is the essence of Shi Va Ya Na Ma. He is the energy, the pulse of the sacred syllables that one recites deep within their mind as he dances in the blooming lotus of the heart, the hrudaya kamalam.
I am surrounded by apasmara, I am unable to imagine the Lord, I am distracted by the many people and relationships I am tied into. I am distracted by this maya of which I am a part. I am unable to imagine beyond my capacity, the root essence of Lord Shiva Nataraja. I cry over my miserable state, I cry because I am born in Kaliyuga, I cry because I am not trying hard enough to know and realize the divine presence of Lord Shiva. I am conscious and yet am not. I am awake and yet am not. I observe and yet am blind, what worth am I then in this life?
Wake my soul O Lord Shiva, to the vibration of the sound of your damaru, create in me that zest and that rhythm to live. Burn my desires in the fire bowl you hold, burn me to ash when I merge with you Lord. Guide me to your feet, wash away my apasmara, my nature and my pulse is all but yours to hold. Smash my ego O Lord, I, the miserable apasmara lie below, graced by your divine feet, as you stand crushing my ego to dust. I see the swirl of your jata, i see the graceful ganges dance, I see the sun, the crescent moon, adorn your divine crown. I see the serpent twirl, a jewelled necklace round your neck, I see myself so far down away from this paradise.
And here I sit in silence, watching people around, there is no meaning to see, there is no music to life. I dream of the great Lord dance, the divine natya between my brow, the firey ring forms the third eye on my fore. The fire issues forth, the agni awakens within me, bringing life to Trayambaka the three eyed Lord, the sun and moon dance along. Such is the beauty of Shiva, divine auspitious and warm.
Bhakti delivers this experience,
Bhakti awakens the self,
Bhakti knows no place nor beauty in form.
Bhakti knows no gender
Bhakti knows no judgement.
Bhakti is all that is needed
at home or in a dark cremation ground.
Bhakti is beyond knowledge,
Bhakti is beyond wisdom,
Bhakti is all it takes to reach the kingdom of heaven.
Bhakti is the music
Bhakti is the song
Bhakti is that experience
To watch the great Lord perform.
Photo courtesy: Creative commons, Flickr.com - Ravages Photo stream