Even the puranas, that portray him with human attributes, are silent about his birth. Being Shankara – who has your welfare in his mind, he is close to our heart, yet he remains the most mysterious one riddled with contradictions.
He makes the profane sacred so he lives in burial grounds. Is it an attempt by ancient seers to remove taboos associated with places that people are reluctant to visit?
He remains unaffected even after taking so much poison. The world has both nectar and poison.
To remain unaffected by the poisons of the world requires the state of shivahood.
He is the embodiment of Isha Vashyam Idam Sarvam – as he lives everywhere.
He is known as kalantaka – the one that ends time. Do we have an indication towards the state of deep meditation or samadhi where one transcends time.
As part of the trinity – the role assigned to him is that of a destroyer. But he is the ultimate savior. During the churning of the seas, he drinks poison. At the time of descent of Ganga, he takes her on his head.
All contradictions manifest and merge in him. He is an embodiment of yin and yang. He is ardhanariswara : half man – half woman. He is an ascetic and a householder at the same time. He lives in Kailash, where there is only happiness and joy and in burial ground – the place of ultimate grief.
He is worshipped by Gods, human beings and demons. He is worshiped mostly as phallic symbol. At the same time he is known as the destroyer of kama – the god associated with lust.
He is the manifestation of the ultimate. He is nishkama, he is gnaneswara – lord of knowledge, he is mukteswara – lord of ultimate freedom. However, in puranas he is described as a householder who is prone to all human emotions.
He is worshiped by both Rama and Ravana. It signifies the impartiality of the primordial principle – the rit. It shows that the divine rejects none. All are part of Him. Of course finally Rama wins so that balance of dharma is maintained.
He is worshiped by the sober Gyani. At the same time he is the favourite God of the masts who indulge in addictive substances on his name. This could be misreading of the state of bliss or the twisted logic of the addict to rationalise their addiction and claim social acceptance.
He is truly a strange God who does not mind being part of strange and bizarre rituals. The sacred and the profane merge. All are welcome. Even his entourage consists of strange beings and non beings like goblins. Anybody can stake claim to him.
However, amidst all the chaos, He is calmness manifest. He remains centred and free from all attachments.
He is the mystic of mystics. I grapple for words to describe his full glory. To such a lord I bow down with reverence.
Om Namah Shivaya.