Friday, Feb 24'th, 2017 is Shiva Ratri (The Night of Shiva), a popular Indian festival with Universal spirit and significance. The festival is celebrated from 6pm to 6am on a particular night each year. The entire night is spent in wakefulness, meditation and chanting of the Shiva mantra: NAAA MAAA SHIII VAAA YAAA. With the chanting of this mantra, the power of the 5 elements that is already present in us, is energized: Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Space.
At Ekaa, we serve the festival by making accessible to the people the beautiful hand-crafted brass sculpture that personifies Shiva, Shiva who is really A Principle - and NOT a Person. The dance pose of the hand-crafted Shiva Nataraja brass sculpture, lifts the veil ever so gently, revealing the Essential Truths of creation. In his back right hand Shiva holds the hourglass drum that expels the sound of Creation. The heartbeat of life in wave like patterns exists momentarily in the span of time, arises and then disappears. The front right hand expresses the principle of Preservation, implying that Patience & Blessings are there for sustenance. Cessation is expressed through the back left hand which holds the fire that engulfs, consumes and turns to ash. The right foot suppresses and controls the mind that makes us small, ignorant and egoistic. The left foot gracefully rises up signifying the spirit of detachment and letting go. The front left hand is gracefully stretched in the elephant pose signifying auspiciousness.
THE HINDU RELIGION is accurately known as Sanatan Dharma, A religion without beginning or end. The religious philosophy rests on three essential pillars: The Unshakable Faith in the Existence of God; The Theory of Rebirth; and The Vedas as the founding texts to live a virtuous life.
Behind the enormous numbers, sizes and forms of God, there exists the One Ultimate Absolute Reality namely The Brahman, the basis, support and source of everything. This Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient God is a Principle. Since it is difficult to make a relationship with a principle, the principle is given a Personality and Form and so the 330 million Gods & Goddesses. Form evokes Love. Humans fall in love with the form of the deity and are then susestable to imbibe the virtues it represents, establishing an innate eternal bond. The deity becomes a medium to understand the core principles of the Universe: Creation, Preservation & Cessation
Eko Hum Bahu Sayami. From One, Of my Own Accord, I Become Many
The universe has One starting point, One source! The atom of everything from the human being to animals to the entire cosmos is fundamentally same. As it becomes complex it creates the visible diversity. The dance of creation though seemingly random, is intrinsically structured and synchronized; the dancer and the dance being the same. Moving with effortless ease the entire cosmos, planets, sun, moon and life itself flow in circular cyclic patterns like tides that rise out and away from the sea, inevitably to roll back into it once again. Pouring out of Shiva (Space) and subsiding back into Shiva. Of its own volition the unfathomable space spurts out its own vivid forms. From stillness to sound; from formless to form; from within to without; in perfect orchestration flows the dance of consciousness.