Understanding The Pillar In Lord Shiva Paintings

Understanding The Pillar In Lord Shiva Paintings

Amish Tripathi and his trilogy on Lord Shiva has made him the next pop icon of the 21st century in India. The fiction intermixed with symbology behind lord Shiva paintings could be seen here and there. It makes him look as human as we all are and not as a god having superpowers. He is like some other human who is battling all odds to understand the purpose of his life. He is not above us, he is amongst us and his spirit is within us. He also has ups and downs like our own and he tries to get free only by being patient and pragmatic.

Some people wonder from where did life come on this planet and that too complex one. From where did the seeds of life descended on the earth and populated this planet? What was there before the beginning? These questions puzzled the greatest minds in history and the clouds of mystery are yet to get blown. Astronomers and scientists are coming with theories as to how everything we saw came into existence out of nowhere.

According to the popular Big Bang theory, the world was a ball as big as a closed fist under extreme pressure and it exploded to create the universe. The universe is expanding very fast into all directions. But, we don’t know where. There must be some end to the infinite. The other Brane theory, which comes under the string theory, says that this 3-D reality precluded a multidimensional reality in the form of branes. As per this, we came into existence because of the collision of these branes which supposedly had four dimensions. This cycle will go on and it might have happened before. This will go on repeating.

But, the question still stands! From where did it all come? No theory could give a satisfactory answer to this problem. We don’t know for sure that from where did we all come. So is the case with Lord Shiva. He was there in the beginning and he would be there after the end in some form. Shiva is the embodiment of all the basic elements of existence. He is unaffected by time. He is time itself. In mythology, we find what made him the God of Gods- Mahadev as he is often depicted in Lord Shiva paintings online.

Once, when there was nothing to rule and god had not yet perceived the idea of creating either Earth or man, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu were debating over their capabilities. Both of them claimed the one was superior to the other and the creation can’t have two bosses so they should find out the true one and establish the superiority once and for all. While they were talking, out of nowhere emerged a pillar of fire which seems to have neither an end nor a beginning. They both agreed that whosoever would find the end to the pillar of fire would become the God of gods.

So, Lord Vishnu took the form of a boar to dig the end of the pillar and Lord Brahma chose to fly in the form of a swan to find the other end. Both of them failed to find the end and origin of the pillar and Lord Vishnu gave up on completing his task. Oblivious of the fact that Lord Brahma had failed too, he believed whatever lies Lord Brahma told him. He falsely claimed that he had found the provenance of the pillar and there was a flower of Ketaki on its top. He also made Ketaki lie on his behalf, so she did.

The pillar started to shake after Brahma told the lie and it exploded. An infuriated Shiva emerged from the pillar and cursed Lord Brahma that he would not be worshipped by anyone for lying and Ketaki’s flower was cursed to not be offered to any God. Lord Shiva is believed to be the Adiyogi. He is unaffected by three Gunas that play an important role in forming the personality of a human being i.e. Rajas, Satva, and Tamas.

This mythological pillar is believed to have connoted the Axis Mundi. It is that imaginary lines on which the earth rotates. Mount Kailash is the abode of Lord Shiva. No one has ever succeeded in reaching the top of the mountain. Mysterious things happen there. People say that their hairs and nails at exceedingly fast rates. The nails and hairs usually take two weeks to grow this big.  Some say it is too symmetrical to be a naturally made mountain. It is believed that it is connected to the other ancient structures like Stone Hedge in London, pyramids of Egypt, North Pole, etc.

There are many mysteries that we can’t understand or comprehend. This is the power of God. At least we could bring one Lord Shiva painting home and try to speculate!

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