Yoga with Melissa 144 Cycles: Beginnings, Middles and Endings Shiva Series: How Shiva Came to Life

by Melissa West on September 19, 2012

At the beginning of time there was water everywhere. There was no beginning and no end. Out of the water Vishnu manifested himself in his form lying on the “Sheshnaga” coils of snakes, floating on the water. While Vishnu was sleeping, a lotus flower sprouted from his navel, it had many petals and shone like a thousand Suns. From the cells of this lotus, Brahma was born.

Brahma began to wonder where he came from. He thought he might find the answers at the center of the lotus. He explored the center of the lotus for 100 years and found nothing, so he went back to the cell of the lotus for 100 years and found nothing. Then he did tapas and meditated for 12 years and Vishnu appeared to him. Brahma asked him, “Who are you?”

Vishnu said, don’t you recognize me? It is from my body you were created. But Brahma did not believe him and fighting ensued.

When Brahma and Vishnu began fighting a shining linga appeared. It had no beginning and no end. Vishnu suggested that he adopted the form of a swan to go up and Brahma should adopt the form of a boar to go down to try to find the end of the Linga.

They both looked for 4-thousand years but could not find the end of the Linga. They returned to the beginning and began to pray for 100 years. After 100 years the sound of OM was heard and Shiva appeared to them.

Shiva said, “We are all three parts of the same entity and have been divided. Brahma is the creator. Vishnu is the preserver and I am the destroyer.”

So what can we take away from this story? We live in a capitalist-consumer culture where we are programmed to create more and consumer more at all costs. I, me and mine are our mantras and great costs to ourselves and our planets. We become overwhelmed by this constant need to produce and create which is why we need Shiva’s destruction to bring things into balance. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva represent a perfect Trinity of creation, preservation and destruction that we can honour in the cycles our lives such as morning, noon and night, beginning, middle and end. Endings are not something to be feared but a natural part of cycles that need to be honoured as part of life. Reflect on endings in your life, how do you deal with them? With grace and ease? Kicking and screaming, resisting all the way? Today we will practice long holds so the focus will be on the ending of your poses and coming out of your pose. Props Needed: Blocks and Blankets

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