Shiva - The Ultimate Truth
Shiva is said to be at the core of the centrifugal force of the universe, due to his responsibility for death and destruction. Unlike the godhead Brahma the Creator, or Shri Vishnu the Preserver, Shiva is the dissolving force in life. But Shiva dissolves in order to create, since death is necessary for rebirth into a new life. So the opposites of life and death, creation and destruction both reside in his character. Shiva is in the world and in the same time he is beyond the world. In the beginning nothing existed, neither the heaven nor the earth nor any space in between. So non-being, having decided to be, became spirit and said: “Let me become!”. He warmed himself, and from this was born fire. He warmed himself further still and from this was born light. He is the never-created creator of all: He knows all. He is pure consciousness, the creator of time, all-powerful, all-knowing. He is the Lord of the soul and of nature and of the three conditions of nature. From Him comes the transmigration of life and liberation, bondage in time and freedom in eternity. Some know him as Shiva the Beneficent. Others praise him as the Destroyer. For some he is Shiva the Ascetic, wandering the world. Or Adiyogi sitting on Kailash. And for others still he is the Great Lord, king of all creation. But it is as Lord of the Dance that all his aspects come together in one horrifically significant form. Nowhere else in the human world is there a clearer symbol of what a god is and does. He is also called Mahayogi, or the great ascetic, who symbolises the highest form of austere penance and abstract meditation, which results in salvation.