Author Topic: Pageants in Sivananda Lahari - 1  (Read 1258 times)


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Pageants in Sivananda Lahari - 1
« on: January 03, 2010, 12:22:06 PM »
I thought I should write something from Sivananda Lahari of Sri
Sankara, in commemoration of Siva-Nataraja for Ardra Darsanam,
that was celebrated in the Asramam on 1st January 2010.  Nataraja
is the most pictureous Siva image amongst the eight images of Siva.
There are several interesting pageants in Sri Sivananda Lahari.

The Verse 85 speaks about Siva's curious food, dress and adornment.

Jaladhimathana dhaksho daiva patala-bhedhi
 Na cha vana-mrugayayam naiva lupta praveena |
Achana kusuma bhusha vastra mukyam saparyam
  Kathaya kathamaham the kalpayaneendhu moule ||

O Lord, with crescent moon on the locks!  Your food is
poison, the dresses are the tiger's skin and elephant's skin.
I am not capable of churning the ocean. I am not capable of
breaking the netherworlds.  I am neither having felicity to
hunt wild animals.  Nor a clever hunter, am I.  How can I do
pujas to you with suitable food, flowers, ornaments, and attire?
Please tell me.

The essentials for puja to gods are attire, ornaments, flowers,
and food i.e. Naivedya.  For Siva, clothes are tiger's and elephant's skin; the best serpents can be obtained only from nether worlds.
The flower is moon that has to be procured by churning milky
ocean.  The food or Naivedya is poison, which again can be had
only by churning the milky ocean.  Sri Sankara is nonplussed
saying how can he bring these items to Siva puja.

Siva is a madcap.  His dress and oranments and food are making
him appear as a madcap.  Saint Manikkavachagar sings:

"I shall laugh at you, if you do not take me out of this trecherous
body-consciousness.  I shall call you a madcap who has skinned
the tiger and elephant, takes poison and that one who lives in
cremation grounds.  You are the madcap ruling over this madcap
with body-consciousness."   

I bow to You, the Lord of Hall of Consciousness,
With a curved foot, O Chidambareswara!  -  says
Kunchitanghristavam, a poem of hundred songs on the curved
foot of Siva, by AruL Nandi Sivam.

My wife on that early morning of 1st January 2010, offered her
eyetex to make a mark on Siva's cheek and Sivakamasundari's
cheek, so that evil eyes would not fall on her, from observers who are jealous of their beauty.  The priest took the eyetex and made
some marks to avoid evil eyes.  I was telling my wife: " For Sivakama
Sundari, she is beautiful, it is okay to fix a mark on her cheek.
Why such a mark for Nataraja, with all these madcap make-up?"
My wife said:  "You do not know, unless handsome, how this
Sri Vaisnava girl can love and marry this Advaita brahmin?
Siva is an Advaiti, he is Siva-Consciousness personified.  But
Sivakama Sundari, is the sister of Narayana, therefore a Sri
Vaishnavaite and from cowherd's caste. This is the first inter-caste marriage of the human civilization!"   

I am wondering how my wife could interpret in such a curious way,
the marriage of Sivakamasundari and Siva Nataraja.

Arunachala Siva.