The Secret of Shiva: Why is He NOT a Destroyer?

“Sir, why do Hindus call Shiva the destroyer. If he is a destroyer, why do they worship him? I am very much interested in Hindu Puranas, that’s why I asked. I have read many of your articles that discusses the science behind the concept Hindu Gods. Here, I wanted to know why is he called a destroyer?” a question from Babu Joseph received in my website e-mail.
“Babu, tell me what did Shiva destroy?”
“He destroyed Asuras and a city…”
“So? According to our Puranas, even minor Gods in Hinduism have destroyed much more Asuras than him! Shiva is not a destroyer that’s why he never destroyed anything. And scientifically, we know that energy and matter can neither be created nor destroyed.”
“Then why does he was called destroyer? Is it because he destroys our ego, the illusion?”
“Did he destroy your ego or illusion?”
“No sir. I don’t believe in Hindu Gods. I am a Christian, though I read all Amar Chitra Katha and Purana stories. But as a proponent of science of Sanatan Dharma, you might know why he is called destroyer?”
“I didn’t call him destroyer. However, there are some destructive forces in inactive (inert) form in Shiva concept, that I know…”
“What are those?”
“Everything in this universe is perishable. You know that one day the Earth will die. All the species in the Earth will be wiped out.”
“Yes, I know it…”
“How is it possible?”
“There should be some natural calamities or man-made calamities…”Babu said.
“Such as?”
“Flood, Hurricane, Wildfire, Pandemic or man-made weapons like nuclear bombs”
“Yes, you’re right. All these forces are embodied in the concept of Shiva in the inert or inactive form. So to say, in a silent form. When it becomes violent, the annihilation happens..”
“I don’t understand…”
“Do you know any other names for Shiva?”
“Of course. Mahadev, Shankara, and Jatadhara, which means who has a heap of matted hair on the head…”
“There are lesser-known names for him like Vyomakesha, Gangadhara, Nagabhushana, Trilochana, Ayudhi, etc”
“What does that means?”
“Vyoma has two meanings in Sanskrit – sky, and air. Kesha means hair. He is Vyomakesha. He carries air inside his matted hair…”
“Haha…Naturally, inside matted hair, there will be air…” Babu said.
“He is also called Gangadhara. Puranas say Shiva held the mighty and legendary river Ganga that flows from the Himalayas in His matted locks so that the power of water does not destroy the earth.”
“And he as three eyes!” he teased in between.
“Yes, that’s why he is called Trilochana. Other names are Madhukalochanah (red-eyed)and Ravilochana (having the sun as the eye). Puranas say if he opens the third eye, fire comes out and burns everything…”
“Do you believe in such non-sense, Uday sir?”
“I am not discussing about beliefs, stories, and superstitions. I am telling you just what Puranas try to convey through the meaning of the words and description. The way Puranas explain, even a man of less than average IQ must understand his third eye symbolizes fire.”
“Ah, that…Yes. I know fire emerges from his third eye when he opens it. It’s just fiction. But how is it related to our subject?”
“It’s already covered the three natural forces that could cause the annihilation of earth. That’s air, water, and fire…All these forces are in the form of inactiveness in Shiva, which, if manifest into an active and torrential form can end the world. Just like a match stick can cause a wildfire.”
“Hmmm… you have got a point here. But what about pandemics and weapons?”
“He is also known as Ayudhi (one who carries weapons). The Trishul (Trident) of Lord Shiva is a weapon, right?”
“It is just a short-handled weapon, Uday sir…”
“Yes. A small weapon in an inactive form. Just a representation of a weapon. Incidentally, the Shiva-class Nuclear Missile is a starship and starfighter-launched thermonuclear weapon used by the United Nations Space Command…”
“You mean to say, Trishul is a nuclear weapon?”
“I didn’t say that. I just said Trishul broadly falls under the category of a weapon. So it can symbolize any weapon”
“Ah, a good try. The nuclear force also comes under the weapon category, so to say! So weapons can kill the world. You made your point. What about Pandemic?”
“Why did modern science select snake as the symbol of medicine, toxicology, and toxicology?
“Wow…I understood. Shiva is wearing a snake necklace! It sure can be a symbol of pharmacology even in the modern days! Snake is also poisonous that can kill people. Infectious diseases that are going to wipe out the human race…”
“Shiva is called Nagabhushana. Vasuki is the Serpent around his neck – as a necklace. Interestingly, he is also known as Nageshwar, meaning Lord of the snakes,” I added.
“So, you mean to say all these five destructive powers are in an inert form and that form is Shiva…”
“Yes, a small seed becomes a huge Banyan tree. Each force is sleeping like seeds (Beejam) in the Shiva concept. And to make it very easy to understand, our ancients illustrated it with the example that they know – Lingam”
“The phallus, yes, Shiva Lingam – Aha, that’s the best-known thing to express a concept… But it is also an image or representation symbolizing fertility or potency. Isn’t it a sperm (Beeja) displacement device…”
“I have already discussed the science behind Shivalingam in other articles. Shiva in silent form is Lingam. It is a symbol of generative energy -a silent form representing all these five forces – natural or man-made. Everything is in a sleeping form… But Shiva can turn from silent to violent, very violent, brutal and fury – that’s known as Rudra Tandav….”
“Yes, I have read about the Samhara (annihilation) Tandav….Destruction…”
“Again, I wouldn’t say destruction. Shiva is also called ‘Layakartaa’. Laya is not destruction; it means dissolution, to become one with the cause. For instance, if a pot is broken, it just becomes clay, from which it is made; destruction happens to the form, not the substance.”
“So Uday sir, you mean to say, this is not destruction but it is dissolution”
“Yes, it is withdrawal, absorption of the effect into the cause. It is a transformation process…”
“Yes, I have read it in your chapter secret of Trimurti in your book The God Illusion… and, that’s beautiful…I really appreciate your scientific analysis…”
“Babu, it’s not my analysis. My ancestors explained it very well, in between the lines, in the stories. Instead of blindly following the stories, we should try to understand the hidden meaning, that’s all…”
“Then why not everyone talks about science in Hinduism rather than upholding superstitions?”
“I don’t know. I am not here to criticize or blame others. As a science student, I need to apply science and go beyond blind belief and stories. When I worship my Gods – especially my favorite Gods like Vishnu, Shiva, Narasimha, Rama, Krishna, Anjaneya, Ganesha, Durga, etc – I can explain it with logic and rationale. However, such explanations are not mandatory in Hinduism. You can believe blindly or partly or not believe at all or see the science behind your beliefs… the choice is yours…” I told him.

The God Illusion

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