Thursday, January 23, 2020

Shiva Essay -- Character Analysis, Gokhale

Shiva represents the most essential goodness, yet is the destroyer of all. Shiva is male, and yet contains female. He is peaceful, yet with the literal blink of an eye he can destroy the universe. â€Å"He is the god of life and death, of destruction and rebirth† (Gokhale 8). How can all that is opposite be embraced within one single being? This is the mystery of Shiva. With his 1008 different names, this represents the mass of his unconceivable mysteries (Gokhale 3). As the god with the greatest following in the Hindu religion, Shiva is known for his divine family, his extraordinary powers, his appearance, and his millions of devotees. He is one of the most well known and most worshipped aspects of Eastern Philosophy, and has left a mark in the philosophical systems around the world today. Shiva the god first appeared in Eastern Philosophy in the year 2500 B.C.E., and was portrayed in a yoga-like position with three faces and two arms (Gokhale 9). The story is told by Gokhale that Parvati, Shiva’s wife, in her incarnation as Kali, embarked to achieve destruction (33). Shiva, attempting to halt her, turned himself into a corpse in order to block her path (33). Kali used the power of feminine energy, or Shakti, to revive Shiva (33). This revival transformed him from a shava, or lifeless corpse, into Shiva, the â€Å"master of the universe† (33). Once becoming Shiva, he soon began to form a family. Shiva’s family came to include his wife, Parvati, two sons, Kartik and Ganesha, and his sacred bull, Nandi (Gokhale 7). Sati was Shiva’s first wife, whom upon dying at a sacrificial ritual ceremony came to be reborn as Parvati (Gruenwald). Shiva and Parvati were once again immediately attracted to each other, and Parvati wanted to wed Shiva in... ...nd destruction is a preconceived notion around the world (Pandit). Shiva’s popularity and aspect is not only limited to the Eastern Hemisphere, but can be found in nations and cultures circling the globe today. Although Shiva is correctly labeled as the god of destruction, the title is often incorrectly perceived. While he does destroy, his destruction is used for the creation of new beginnings. Without Shiva, cycles would endlessly continue and evil forces would never be rid of from the Earth. These aspects of Shiva and the history he’s endured has earned him his position in the Hindu god triad. The many devotees to Shiva around the world have helped accumulate his popularity as one of the top recognizable gods in the world, along with his son Ganesha. Shiva is the mysterious key to unlocking and understanding one of the greatest aspects of Eastern Philosophy.

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