Saturday, 25 February 2017

God Shiva and his divine association with number Five (Pancha)

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Lord Shiva
The Hindu trinity has three primary gods Brahma and Vishnu, and Shiva. Lord Shiva has countless mystifying aspects. He is formless, limitless, transcendent and unchanging absolute Brahman, and the primal Atman (soul, self) of the universe. Shiva is paradoxical and has many benevolent as well as fearsome depictions. In benevolent aspects, he is depicted as an omniscient Yogi who lives as an ascetic on Mount Kailash, but has a consort  Parvati with two children, Ganesha and Kartikeya. His fearsome  aspects, are revealed in the  slaying  of demons- dark forces.  He banishes our ego and ignorance and is blissful. Regarded as Adiyogi, Shiva is synonymous with yoga, meditation and arts. He is believed 
to be patron Yoga god. For reasons that are beyond our comprehension, Shiva, who is omniscient,  has a close affinity for
the number five.  In what way  does he have a close link with five (pancha) ? Let us look at some of the strange and owe-inspiring facts.

01. Lord Shiva has Pancha mukam - five faces hence he is called Iymuka Shiva (Shiva with five faces) in Tamil. They are Esaanam. Thath purusham, Agoram, vaamadevam  and Sathyojatham. Each of his face has a different color, depending on the direction in which it is facing. The face in the center Isaanam (grace) is shinning in color - sort of glassy in nature; east facing Thath Purusham  (supreme Spirit)  is golden color; south facing Agoram (destruction and regeneration) is dark in color; north facing Vaama Devam   (healing and sustenance) is  red in color; west facing Sathyojatham (creation) is white in color.
Five ttavas according to face. Bhagavadgitausa
Shiva is the Lord of dancers and also a king of actors. The Cosmos  is His theater and there are many steps in his repertory. The amazing thing is He himself is an actor and audience.  The Lord with five different faces  dances in five elements under three conditions: Formless (Arupa), Form/formless (Rupa-Arupa), and Form (Rupa). His original and intrinsic state is one of formlessness (Arupa) which is called Sivam. His act of love for the souls manifests in a form, Maheswara; the intermediate state between form and formlessness is Sadasiva.  When you consider Suddha Tattvas (Siva, Sakti, Sadasiva, Mahesvara and Suddha Vidya Tattvas), Mahesvara is engaged in obscuration and Sadasiva confers Grace. What Mahesvara conceals, Sadasiva reveals.
 
 Siva has yet another face; it is a hidden sixth face (Tamasa face) which has the color of  Nilakanta (blue throat) caused by poison Kalakuta from the Ocean of Milk held in his throat. Kaalakuuta / kalakuta = Ambassador or emissary of Death.  He is also known as Shitikantha (peacock-throated).

02. Among the many Shiva temples, five temples - Chidambaram, Madurai, Thiruvilankadu, Tirunelveli and Kutralam, are very revered and are referred to as  the five sabhas, where, it is said, Lord Shiva danced to please his  devotees. Among his several mystifying dances, five of them draw our attention. The Sabhas (halls) and the dances are as follows:

Rathina Sabha (hall of rubies; rathnachabai) :Kali Thandavam,  Vada Aaranyeswarar Temple at Thiruvalangadu, near Chennai.
Kanaka Sabha Golden roof, Chidambaram. .bhagavadgitausa.com/

Kanaka Sabha (golden hall;porchabai) Ananda Thandavam, Natarajar Temple  at Chidambaram, Cuddalore District.
Wonderful Indian Architecture
Rajata Sabha (silver hall; Vellichabai) Sandhya Thandavam, Meenakshi Amman Temple  at Madurai, Madurai District

Thamira Sabha (copper hall; Thamirachabai), Muni Thandavam, Nellaiappar Temple at Tirunelveli, Tirunelveli District.

Chithira Sabha (hall of pictures;  chitasabai),Tirupura Thandavam, Kutralanathar Temple at  Courtallam, Thiruvarur District.

Five functions of nataraja's dance.www.bhagavadgitausa.com
03. Lord Shiva is entrusted with five divine duties. They are: Destruction (left posterior hand with flame). Concealing Grace, planted right foot. Creation, right posterior hand with the drum. Revealing Grace, left anterior hand pointing down to left foot--Jiva's refuge. Maintenance (Sthiti), right anterior hand with supinated upright palm. (A-bhaya mudra—fear-not symbol). In Nataraja''s famous dance Cosmic dance, there are  five main functions as you may see in the image of Nataraja's dancing pose. The main purpose of his dance is to release man from illusion.

Among his important duties, Shiva establishes a perfect balance by systematically carrying out the duties of creation and destruction. For example new land forms are created on one side and some existing land forms are destroyed and pushed into the earth, Volcanic activities, earth quakes, earth's plate movements (Plate Tectonics) are  worthy of mention.

04. Pancha Puranas are written in praise of Lord Shiva. They are five in number in Tamil:  Thevaram, Thruvachakam, Thiruvisaipa, Thirupallandu and Periya Puranam. In many temples of Shiva, hymns from Thevaram and Thiruvachagams are sung during puja hours by Oothuvaars ( Shiva devotees specialized in the singing of Tamil hymns).

05. In the case of worship of Shiva, pancha vilvam (bilva leaves
), Noochi, Vila, Maavilankai, Kiluvai leaves are used. 

06. Yet another fact is the chanting of Nama Shivaya mantra. It has five letters in Tamil. When you enter the Shiva temple, it is good, if you chant Namachivaya mantra when you go round the Prakara (corridor). The above mantra  can be written in Tamil in five different ways using the same five letters. Sivaya Nama, Masivaya Na, Nama Sivaya, Yanama Siva, Vaya Namasi. Here,  Entity = the soul’s journey to Grace

 Na = Veiling or Tirodhana. Ma = Mala or impurity, Si = Lord Siva, Va = Arul or Grace, Ya =The Jiva or individual soul,

07. During the Shivaratri, a Shiva devotee ought to do five duties. They are: Smearing Veepoothi on the forehead, wearing Rudratsha mala, Chanting of Namashivaya (having Pancha atcharam), Bilva archana and  singing of devotional hymns.

 08. Lord Shiva is an embodiment of Pancha Bootham - five essential elements for our survival on this earth. They are water (Jalam), fire (agni), Akash (Sky), air (Vaayu) and earth (bhoomi).


09.  Muladhara triangle-Kundalini : There are five combinations and they are  Earth and Brahma, Water and Vishnu, Fire and Rudra, Vayu and Rudra, Akasa and Sadasiva.
 

10. The  Panchaakshara of Nataraja are, as one can see in his cosmic dance posture: Fire in the hand, Right foot on demon Muyalakan, drum, out-stretched hand, left anterior hand,dispelling fear.

11. Siva's five dances Arpuda, Ananada, Anavarta, Pralaya and Samhara are enshrined in the Golden Hall Kanaga Sabha) of Chidambaram. Chidambaram = Cit + Ambaram = Consciousness + Ether, sky, or atmosphere = Ether Consciousness: this is the Sanskrit version. Tamil version is: Chidambaram = Cit + Ambalam = Consciousness + Hall = Hall of Consciousness.

12. Sudha Tattvas are  1. Siva Tattva, 2. Sakti Tattva, 3. Sadasiva Tattva, 4. Isvara or IsaTattva, 5. Suddha Vidya Tattva(m).


"Siva is the Primordial Being, the middle and the incomprehensible limitless Principle beyond the beyond. He is Effulgence and Supreme knowledge. He is the Origin of all. He is the One pervading all. He is the male and the female. He abides and dances in Thillai (Chidambaram). Praise to His sacred Feet". --

                                 ..........    Appar, Sekkizar Verses Verse 350.
Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiva  
http://www.bhagavadgitausa.com/LORD%20OF%20DANCE.htm