Who Is Shiva?

Lord Shiva, among the great deities of Hinduism, most personifies the practice of Yoga. As Yogeshvara, the great lord of Yoga, Adi Natha, Adi Yogi and Mahayogi, he rules over all aspects of Yoga relative to body, mind and consciousness.

For those looking to understand the origins of Yoga and the role of all yoga practices within it, they must first look to Lord Shiva, not only relative to historical teachings, but as the eternal presence of Yoga as the Supreme Consciousness behind the universe.

Shiva Mahadev is the lord of asana practice with 84 lakhs of asanas said to have derived look from his movements. This shows Shiva’s connections with the numerous Yoga asanas known and unknown. As Nataraj, the lord of the dance, his dance and gestures also reflect yoga postures, starting with the 108 main traditional poses of Indian dance.

Shiva symbolises the immortal Prana, the undying force of eternal existence and pure Being. He is honoured as Mrityunjaya, the one who conquers death. Tantric yoga teachings about Prana relate to Shiva, who holds the inner power of pranayama. Pranic mantras like Hamsa and So’ham relate to Shiva.

Lord Shiva is the source of all mantras. He is Omkara, the primordial cosmic sound, and from his drum all the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet arise and reverberate. Specifically Shiva is said to be all the vowels but he encompasses every aspect of primal sound, nada and music.

Shiva is the lord of meditation, depicted seated in deep meditation, dissolving the entire universe into himself. In his Dakshinamurti or youthful form, he is the teacher of Jnana Yoga, the yoga of knowledge, through the power of the silent mind, enlightening all the great Rishis.

Wishing everyone a very happy Shivratri – more power to you!

Source : Vedanet.com