Shiva as Shambhu

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  • Updated  20 Sep 2019
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Shiva as Shambhu

I have often wondered how vastly diverse shiva’s characteristics are. One day, he is the most fearful creature and the next he is calm and composed. He is weirder than a yaksha or Gana yet he is more beautiful than Kamdeva himself. He resides in forests and crematory yet he is the only hindu god with a complete family. Shiva is everybody ‘har har Mahadev’ yet he is so different from everybody. He is the source of all knowledge yet he is beyond knowledge. 

Shambhu is yet another name of shiva, with such divergent meanings. ‘sham’  has a lot of meanings in Sanskrit. Blissful, calm, pacify, suppress and destroy. 

Shiva is the lord of destruction. He has the power  to end the world. He is fierce. His anger is known to all. Even so, when we see him meditating, he is calm and peace-full. He is adiyogi, creator of yog  better known as yoga. 

He is a pacifier. You see shiva has a snake around his neck, and a bull is his vehicle. Lion is the pet of maa  Gauri, but it never harms the bull. Ganesha has a mouse as a pet and Kartikaye has a peacock with him. All the animals are sworn enemies of each other, but they never attack each other in Kailash. Shiva is the god of happiness and bliss. 

Shiva is the source of all energy, all pawer, and all happiness. He is also known as Chidananda. Chit  implies consciousness and ananda means happiness. Shiva is happiness. The sense of joy that we feel within depends on the enrapture of lord Shiva. There is no greater bliss than Shiva himself. He keeps himself  uncovered so the pleasures can pass continuously. Acquirement of divine blissfulness of self is the secret os the name shambhu. 

Some people also put forward the view that ‘Shambhu’ comes from the word ‘Swayambhu’, meaning self created. 

Shiva has not-taken birth. He has self created himself. He is that beam of light, which does not have a source; he comes from nihility, can amplify himself.  He can grow and sustain himself out of himself and then condense itself back into non existence; back to his prebirth form. This power of shiva is ‘shambhu’.   

Shambhu or Swyambhu is autonomous. Shiv has emerged from a pillar of fire that has no source, no limits, no fuels and hence, the fire or Shiv may be called Swayambhu. 

Shiv is an austere-and independent being, absorbed in deep mediations, detached from the world, not inclined to engage with Prakriti, Cosmos or celestial world. He is sitting in a yog-mudra with closed eyes, and an erect phallus, without any external stimulations, whatsoever, which he doesn't need anyway, because he is swayambhu.

When I chant his name shambhu, there is a very experience that I encounter. Generally shiva boisterous and absurd. Shambhu, on the other hand, is benign and beauteous. He is calm and gentle. The vibrations of ‘shambhu’ takes me to a different level of equanimity, expanding me into a new dime nsion of self which is beyond bodily awarenesses. 

 

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