Shiva is the most innocent link amongst the Hindu concept of Trimurti, where Brahma is the Creator, Vishnu the Bearer and Shiva the Destroyer.
Why do we term the destroyer as innocent?
To understand this we first have to understand the entire concept of Shiva as the Ultimate Yogi, the Outlaw, the true Companion, the Saviour and the Supreme Being.
Shiva as a God is easy to relate to despite of his non-existent form.
The Creator creates but cannot guarantee the quality of his product because his work stops the moment the creation is complete. Man is supposed to be a supreme creation of God yet we are extremely flawed.
The Keeper cannot define nor have a say in creation. He has to ensure the functioning of universe and beyond as a process. Consider this entire system from a speck of dust on earth to the entire space and beyond (if there is) as a machine – A machine which runs non-stop. So while the Creator has created something so complex, the Keeper has to keep it going. He may give a permanent fixing to any errors or handle through make shift arrangements, we can never know. The Keeper has the option to choose what to fix and what not to fix.
This doesn’t mean we undermine the work of the Creator or Keeper. Their task is equally complex. Yet they have a choice to give way to the final link in the chain of Trimurti. They can pass it on to the Destroyer – Shiva.
Shiva on the other hand is Complete (Whole). He is the Law and the Outlaw. Shiva is a belief system. This makes his task as a Destroyer difficult. He is innocently holding the most difficult task in hand. He cannot pass it on. He cannot decide on basis of bias. He is not answerable to anyone and yet to everyone. He is worshipped by both – good & bad, virtuous & evil. Hence he is the Law and the Outlaw. Shiva does not decide on classification of person or point of view which makes his task as a Destroyer difficult but this makes him the right one for the role.
Shiva is a divine paradox. He is Aadi and he is Anant (i.e. he is the beginning and he is the infinite). He is Mrityunjaya (conqueror of death) and he is Bhootadipati (Lord of Ghosts and the dead). He is Ajath (birthless) and Badhaye (form of death). All this is because Shiva represents the universe as one. His eternal companion is Shakti(Cosmic Energy). Shiva is one with Shakti. His form of Ardhnaarishwar (half woman – half man) form represents both the male and female energies of the universe. It is not specific to the human form but all forms of universe have two opposite sides balancing each other. We can also relate it to the Chinese Philosophy of Yin & Yang.
Shiva represents this balance.
So how can someone who represents a balance considered to be the Destroyer?
This brings us to the concept of Trayambakam or Trinetra – the third eye of Shiva. Mythological stories mention that with the opening of the third eye of Shiva, everything in the Universe will be destroyed. This is a literal explanation. If we look into the concept of Shiva – he is the Yogeshwar (The Lord of Yoga). Yoga is not merely an exercise for physical well-being. Yoga is a practice of inner awareness. Shiva’s inner eye represents the a level of transcendence, where the universe as a whole is aware of its Aatma (Soul or Inner Self) and cleanses it or destroys the negative in process of attaining Siddhi (enlightenment).
The destruction of our inner faults and miseries is the most difficult process. It is not a one-time aspect. Inner cleansing is a tedious and continuous process. There are no makeshift or shortcut ways of attaining Siddhi. There is not one level of Siddhi, we need to keep working on it because while building the inner conscience is extremely difficult; losing it is a momentary task. Shiva is Siddheshwar (one who has mastered Siddhi). He has mastered the concept of a silent mind and represents the inner most self which is formless. The Shiv-Linga represents his cosmic form rather formlessness. This is the most popularly worshipped concept of Shiva.
The attainment of Siddhi is what makes Shiva the innocent one. He is incapable of Chhal (deceit). He is Bholenath (The Innocent Lord).
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