Lost in the surrounding din my little mind tried hard to keep the internal silence intact. Words, sounds and all the wasted energy continued to pierce through the walls of my defenses to cut into this silent world I called my own. Moving from event to event, across people of various backgrounds I happened to make interesting conversation with a couple of them.
These people were regular folk who had found their happiness in the little things they did. Yet they caught the essence of Shiva when they described him in what they had read in poetry, in dance, in abhinaya,in music... Listening to them and observing them was a totally overwhelming experience...Why? Their description captured Lord Shiva and my emotions jumped more with every word and action that expressed itself.
In their expression I looked on, to hear the primordial sound echo across the floor as they recited a few verses. In their action I could hear the damaru play aloud echoing the sound of OM, bringing its all encompassing presence into my mind and soul. In their actions lived Shiva in his divine movements as they depicted the deer, the gajasamhara, the taming of the snake, the opening of the third eye, the grand nataraja, the fire bowl of enlightenment furiously burning on, and abhaya, that single message of Fear not.
He was there, present in their thoughts, in their movements, in their actions and in the life that twinkled in their eyes as they described him. This is bhakti, shivahood and the presence of Shiva makes the heart melt when they look into the middle of thin air and shake the imaginary damaru, through the art of Bharata or make the sound through the verses of Manikyavachakar... There is Shiva coming alive in front of him.
It is beautiful to see his character appearing as they paint him through their abhinaya, as they bring forth the awakening third eye, sway around to show the flying jata mukuta, moving in grace to show the beauty of gangadhara shiva, showing the swift aggression in tying the tiger skin around his waist. Isnt this just the beauty of lord Shiva that makes tears well up in my eyes. At this moment, all the world stops, its the perfect getaway from the din.
This is probably a step closer to the experience of feeling Shiva consciousness, when the heart skips a beat and the tears roll out and bliss engulfs us and we identify Shiva in the movements of an unassuming soul who just danced a few steps around to describe him or just recited a few verses as they explain the same bliss that they felt.
Jatatavee gala jjala pravaha pavitha sthale|
Gale avalabhya lambithaam bhujanga thunga malikaam||
Dama ddama dama ddama ninnadava damarvayam|
Chakara chanda thandavam thanothu na shiva shivam||
From the forest of his matted lock, water flows and wets his neck,
On which hangs the greatest of snake like a garland,
And his drum incessantly plays damat, damat, damat, damat,
And Shiva is engaged in the very vigorous manly dance,
To bless and shower, prosperity on all of us.
Jata kataha sambhramabrama nillimpa nirjari|
Vilola veechi vallari viraja mana moordhani||
Dhaga dhaga daga jjwala lalata patta pavake|
Kishora Chandra shekare rathi prathi kshanam mama||
The celestial river agitatedly moving through his matted hair,
Which makes his head shine with those soft waves,
And his forehead shining like a brilliant fire-daga daga,
And the crescent of moon which is an ornament to his head,
Makes my mind love him each and every second.
Shiva echoes all around us, Shiva purifies the thoughts in our minds, Shiva brings us peace and an unnatural blissful excitement that can reduce all other miseries in our lives to nothing. This is the state of constant equilibruim that I hope to achieve some day as life passes me by. This is probably the slow but sure way to the highest realm of Satya Loka.
Shiva Thandava Stotram
Translated by P. R. Ramachander