The mystical third eye of Shiva
The Pineal Gland or Third-Eye The pineal gland is considered one of the body's greatest mysteries. Today we know that it is an endocrine gland which secrets the hormone melatonin. It is shaped like a pine cone and placed exactly in the middle of the brain. The French philosopher Descartes suggested that the pineal gland, or the cone gland, as he called it, was the dwelling place of the soul, and the gateway to the spiritual world. But apart from this comment, western science has mainly ignored this gland and considered it more or less useless. Since Darwin it has been described as reminiscent of an eye which no longer is in use, and originates from earlier history of evolution when we were a more primitive species.
It is not until the last sixty years that science has started to uncover some of the pineal glands great secrets. After seven years of age small layers of calcification appears in the gland, and makes it look like a small cone in x-rays. Because it is situated in the middle of the brain, it is used to detect tumours of the brain, because this would displace the pineal gland from it's centre. With the exception of the kidneys, no other place in the body receives as much supply of blood as the pineal gland, and there is several indications that this gland plays a much greater role than previously thought. New discoveries have now shown that the hormone secreted by this gland, melatonin, has several effects :- - Decreases the aging process - Starts off puberty - Strengthen the immune system - Regulates body heat - Regulates oestrogen level among woman - Regulates sleep function The pineal gland is light sensitive, and is one of the reasons it is part of the body's biological clock, both in humans and animals, and has a regulating effect in sleep function. Melatonin has in fact also psychedelic effects, and can release special ecstatic and transcendental experiences, among meditators and mystics.
The mystical third-eye
According to several occult traditions, the pineal gland is connected to "The Third Eye", which is situated in the middle of the forehead, on a straight line from the pineal gland. With Shiva and The Buddha, the third eye is found described as a "shining spot" and "a flaming pearl", symbolising unity, transcendental wisdom and spiritual consciousness. This point is often used as point of concentration in meditation, because it is one of the places in the body where it is most easy to hold a steady focus, as well as it activates psychic energy. Concentration on this point will sooner or later give strong impressions of inner light, and is a method to get in contact with the energy dimension beyond the physical body. In the Bible there is a saying that refers to the third eye: "Let thine eye be single. That thy whole body shall be full of light." (Mark 6:22 and Luke 11:34. This is from the King James version of the Bible which was written in the time of Shakespeare. Later editions have other translations which often looses this interesting point made out by Jesus.) Shiva’s third eye has always fascinated people. It stands there dramatically on his forehead ready to release a missile of fire and destroy the world. Many people assume that is why Shiva is called the `destroyer’. He is often referred to as Tryambaka Deva, meaning "three-eyed Lord". The sun is said to be his right eye, the moon the left eye while fire is his third eye. While his other two eyes indicate his activity in the physical world, his third eye looks beyond the obvious. Lord Shiva is one of the Trimurti Gods of Hinduism who is widely worshipped by Hindus all around the world. Millions of devotees visit the various temples of Lord Shiva throughout the year, in the hope of seeking his powerful blessings. There are many interesting legends linked to Lord Shiva within the pages of Hindu mythology that are quite remarkable and fascinating even to this day. Shiva is generally portrayed with symbols like the trident, the crescent Moon, snakes, his drum (damru) and a third eye on his forehead. This third eye is the powerful destructive force in the universe. Let us find out how Lord Shiva got his third eye. How Did Lord Shiva Get Third Eye
1. Sati, the daughter of Daksha Prajapati, admired Lord Shiva and wanted to get married to him. But Daksha was adamant that his daughter should marry a Deva only. He held a huge yagna and invited all the Gods; instead of Lord Shiva. 2. Sati was quite unhappy with the exclusion of Lord Shiva from the yagya and jumped in the fire of the yagna. This was because Daksha had insulted Shiva in front of all the other Gods. When Lord Shiva arrived with his Ganas and came to know about the plight of Sati; he was quite enraged and destroyed the yagna, and killed Daksha in his Virabhadra manifestation. 3. Shiva picked up the charred remains of Sati’s body and tried carrying it home. He was extremely angry and saddened by this great loss. Shiva went to Kailash and sat in deep meditation, and took the vow to never marry again. The Opening Of The Third Eye
1. Meanwhile a demon named Tarakasura had got a boon that only Shiva’s son would be able to slay him. This was because he was aware of Shiva’s vow that he would not remarry again. He had become extremely powerful and captured the three Lokas. The worried Devas asked Lord Brahma for a solution. He said that Shakti was on earth as Parvati and Kamadeva needed to arouse love between them. 2. Kamadeva had gone to the Himalayas where Shiva as meditating and waited for the right moment when Parvati would be passing by. When Kamadeva saw Parvati approaching, he shot an arrow which struck Shiva. Shiva’s meditation was broken and he was drawn towards Parvati. But his anger was more intense than his love. He gazed furiously at Kamadeva and a third eye opened on his forehead, which shot a destructive beam of fire; which turned Kamadeva into ashes. That was the first time Shiva used his third eye. 3. There is another incident when Lord Shiva was compelled to open his third eye. Once Parvati playfully covered both Lord Shiva’s eyes from behind. Shiva’s eyes were the light of the universe and when they were shut, the entire universe succumbed to pitch black darkness. This is when Shiva opened his third eye again to give light and energy to let the Sun shine and return light to the universe. 7. Lord Shiva’s third eye was used by him during yet another incident. Once Indra and Brihaspati were going to Kailash to get a darshan of Lord Shiva. Shiva decided to test them by appearing as an enraged ascetic who blocked their way. But when Indra tried to attack him with his Vajra, Shiva was angered and his third eye opened. He would have burned Indra to death if it was not for Brihaspati’s prayers. Lord Shiva directed his third eye towards the ocean and as the power of it gave birth to a child named Jalandhara. 8. It is also believed that at the end of each Mahayuga cycle, when the world is destroyed, it is Shiva who helps destroy it with fire from his third eye. Then the energy from his third eye creates new celestial bodies again.