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Thread: Cosmic Ocean, Streams, Symbols...

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    Cosmic Ocean, Streams, Symbols...

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~

    Namaste,

    This is from a previous post, and thought to start a new one on just symbols, meanings, etc.
    The Oceans, streams, waters as symbols are addressed below. I try and share the info I know on this... It would be great if other can address a few more or add a few... here's just an idea list:
    1. Natraj dancing - and who is he stepping on? a baby is there, why this?
    2. Siva with a snake sround his neck, and the cresent moon above his head - what is the meaning?
    3. Sri Visnu resting on ananta? what does this suggest ? this is the post below.
    4. Sri Krsna holding up a mountain with one hand?

    Please add more, as there is a rich supply of these symbols, allegory, myth that cradles deep meaning and truth... can we find it?

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    From Agni deva , then my contribution to this discussion:
    The gods represent the pleasure principle in ourselves. The demons represent the pain principle. ...
    The ocean of milk is the mind or the human consciousness. The mind is always compared to an ocean (mano sagaram) while the thoughts and emotions to the waves. T
    he mind as an ocean is in fact a universal symbol, known to other religions and cultures also. Mandhara, the mountain stands for concentration.


    From my teachings and studies I have a different view of these. Not sure of which gods the author is referring to, yet if the devata, then I believe these may be a bit off the mark. The devata are in fact cosmic impulses that exist. We, in the final analysis, that is our phycial bodies are the play and display of the 3 gunas. Our SELF is devoid of these 3 guna, as IT is beyond the 3 gunas. More on this in a differnent post, I want to get to the next section ( but will address this later if I may).

    The ocean of milk, is that of eternity, even bliss, the ocean of the Absolute. Think of Sri Visnu resting on Ananta ( the snake), the symbol for the infinite.
    So we have:
    Vishnu - the all pervading
    Ananta - from a or not + Anta or end. So the snake that Sri Vsnu lays down on has no end, or infinite/infinity.
    Ocean of Milk - throughout the veda, ocean and water is associated with consciousness. The ocean of milk ( purity or sukla of milk, finest substance, then) is the purity of consciousness. The Ocean ( without bounds) of milk , or purity and sweetness, is that pure consciousness of the transcendent. We also hear of 'streams' too... flowing waters ( of consciousness ) this is Saraswati. Flowing consciousess of luminious thought, that is , of inspiration, of richly luminious consciousness, based in the Absolute.

    So we have the All Prevading, rests on the Infinite, within the transcendent, some call Bliss. This is a much different view then that of above ( and one that I subscribe to).

    Now that said the devata that are rascals , some call demons, some rakshasa....we find them to be the dasyus, the danavas, the vrtas, the children of Diti or of divided nature. Some even call them the 'sense trafficker's - the horders of light.
    And they hide things from the native - where? in the mountains - the symbol for hardness of consciousness. In the veda they are seen hiding the cows (gau) in the mountains. Now, why would the kavi (rishi's) mention this? Cow's are the symbols for light , spiritual light no less.
    What else does the cow produce? Milk, the other symbol and butter for which we get ghee... the ghee is the symbol for the golden colored, pure, rich counsciousness! Ahhh.... all connected. But why are the danava's hiding the cows ( the light) in the Mountains? what is this hardness and this inertness? Ignorance! Ignorance that behind our thoughts is the reserviour of bliss consciousness that is there ( running) all the time, but who takes it from us? Our senses no less. ( the panis as the sense traffickers). Yet this ocean of bliss is behind the thoughts, where they are behind the senses, yes? What is there, then behind this? ....the SELF behind our 'self'.

    So, once we begin to understand this, we ask the devata for help ( yajya) and through this (yajna) Soma is produced ( the delight of existence)... thus we are delighted, and bliss is obtained, even for an instant. And we as humans are attracted like bee's to honey (madhu we find in the Upanishads). Now I have not experienced this bliss, but I do experience delight from actions, not every action, but its easy to identify it when this delight pours out. This nourshes the devata and they rejoice.
    Now, we gravitate to this joy and we all look for more of this. This can be 'more' fun, happiness, houses, car's, money, wifes, friendships, boats, knowledge, etc. This desire for more, more then just a fleeting moment of happiness is our march.
    This is 'hard wired' into us, to seek out this joy, happiness, delight. The only place we are completely satisfied is when we bath in it. This then has us looking for this all the time ( life afer life), wanting for this non stop joy... this is the motivation to find HIM, that fullness, that Bhuma, the fulless that one bathes in the SELF and is delighted, not having to go outside ones SELF to find Fullness - that is the spiritual experince of Moksa, of being with your Ishtadevata, of Dharmamega ( cloud pouring virtue).

    Its pointed out in the Gita , starting Chapt 3.9 , Krshna discusses how yajya sustains the devata and they sustain us. This is quite profound and worth the study. That is, the fruit of every action is the response of nature, yes? This is the laws of physics. We have freedom over actions alone never their fruits , says Krsna. It is our responsibility to give this offering to the devata. Krsna says 'he who enjoys their gifts ( from the devata i.e. the responses of nature) without offering to them is merely a thief' .
    So , this relationship with the devata is profound and key to our upliftment and advancement...Hence the Veda's discuss this in depth, but the knowledge is given to those that study, the wise, the ones with guru's that can convert the wise sayings of the veda to the sisya, and finally to those that are posessed of the SELF. Then it all comes together.

    More on this with your repsonse if you care to discuss, but wanted to start the 'ocean and water conversation' with this post. Thank you for letting me discuss this most uplifting concept.

    JalamVishnuh sthalam vishnuh vishnur-aakaashmuchhate
    sarvamjagam vishnuh sarvam vishnumayam jagat
    translates roughly to
    Water is Vishnu, Land is Vishnu, the whole sky/space is Vishnu
    The whole World is Vishnu and Vishnu is the Whole World
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Cosmic Ocean, Streams, Symbols...

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~
    Quote Originally Posted by MysticalGypsi View Post
    The idea of a wave seems to reflect the symbol of death and rebirth and also the energy of dancing.

    I was just reading about the baby-the demon of ignorance? Is there any sense that in dance, you can release yourself from evil or bad or lazy thoughts? Or for me dancing can be a from of meditation or something similar where you cleanse your mind?

    As far as the tiger skin in another depiction, I thought this was symbolic of mastering the ego, or skinning and conquering the ego.

    I have a question. In one home I saw a picture of I think Shiva with the Om sign on the right hand. I can't find this picture anywhere. It was a powerful picture. Is Shiva often pictured with the Om symbol on the right hand, because I cannot find it.

    Another question, what is the symbolism behind the matted hair, if any?

    (Disclaimer: If any of this is really ignorant, have mercy! I am a baby)
    Namaste MysticalGypsi,
    there is much in your post... not sure what is of greatest interest to you.
    The dance - the play and display of Siva for this whole universe. The baby He is dancing on - the symbol that He distroys birth-after-birth. The how is the most interesting... Contacting Siva (auspicious) in you, in your consciousness.

    Dance is good... many Vaisnava ( followers and devotees of Sri Visnu) are found rejoicing with the word of Krsna on their lips and dancing. It's uplifing.

    re: ignorance and just a babe... we are all visphulinga-nyaya - or sparks of the Divine. For me , its good to leave the ego at the door when we enter conversations about the Lord, the wisdom of the Veda's and agmas. Now, this may not be approprite in other forums, but for here you will need to feel comfortable that many , if not all, are helpful. We are students ( sisya) of life and of this great science. Until one proclaims on this forum, " I am the mover of the tree of samsara. My fame is like the mountains peak. Supremely pure I am. I am the very Imortal One as He is in the sun ( Surya or Aditi). I am the lustrous wealth. I am of great wisdom, immortal, undecaying.", we all come here to learn. This is the proclimation of the rishi Trisanku. There is no arrogance here. He realizes who he really is, and the recitation of this is intended for the acquistion of knowledge of the Self.

    Some may and will have more scriptual knowledge (strotriya), as we look to them for insights and guidence. We are all students... to think otherwise is the ignorance of the ego puffing up its chest.

    So, MysticalGypsi, bring value to this forum. Do your readings, ponder, and ask questions. Consider yourself an equal -leave the darpa ( from the root drp or pride) in the garage and come in and participate.. add to the conversations with your research, studies, ideas, and most important bring your doubts ( visaya, or vicikitsa suspicions) here. From this doubt we question our beliefs and ideas and look to others for insight and visista-jnana (qualified knowledge).

    Satyanna pramaditavyam
    Dharmanna pramaditavyam
    Kusalanna pramaditavyam
    Never swerve away from Truth
    never swerve away from duty
    never neglect your welfare; swerve
    not from any act for the protection of yourself
    Taittiriya Uanishad 1.11.1
    Last edited by yajvan; 06 January 2007 at 11:51 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Cosmic Ocean, Streams, Symbols...

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~
    Quote Originally Posted by MysticalGypsi View Post
    Could you comment some more on this:

    The baby He is dancing on - the symbol that He distroys birth-after-birth. The how is the most interesting... Contacting Siva (auspicious) in you, in your consciousness.
    Namaste MG,
    'well begun is half done' so says my teacher. Please consider reading Dancing with Siva. Is this the final word on Siva, no. This is a good entry level book by Satguru Sivaya Subramumiyaswami ( who has gone to mahasamadhi). You can find this on-line if you wish [ ISBN 0-945497-47-4 ]. You can , if you are inspired to consider the Siva Purana's. This, I would wait a bit till you're grounded in the knowledge.

    Also pls read the many posts here on the forum on Siva. Read of His names, the meaning of Siva ( some write civa, shiva, etc). He is the ocean of silence, the Absolute, the ligam that contains Brahma, Visnu, Siva. His most noted mantras are Namah sivaya and Om namah sivaya.


    pranams,
    Last edited by yajvan; 07 January 2007 at 08:50 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Cosmic Ocean, Streams, Symbols...

    Quote Originally Posted by MysticalGypsi View Post
    Could you comment some more on this:

    The baby He is dancing on - the symbol that He distroys birth-after-birth. The how is the most interesting... Contacting Siva (auspicious) in you, in your consciousness.
    Best Wishes Gypsi in advance,

    I know it. I know it.

    You will have pain and joy -- not unturbulent time, till the poison goes. People fear Shiva, since He catalyses upheaval in the consciousness, turning out everything hidden. He is dangerous and mischievous. But He shows a protective hand to all. Do not worry.

    Yes, as Varuna, He kills the smallness everywhere. Constrictions and restrictions removed, one becomes Avimukta, one's own boss. As Indra, He separates the heaven from the earth, i.e., He shows the Atma (Self) as separate from the Prakriti (nature), and keeps them separated. And He consumes the poison on the way, by sustaining as Vishnu. As Ganapati He removes obstacles and as Mother He will caress you. As Sun and Agni He will power your life. He will destroy that small ugly kid -- the EGO.



    But on the way, the destruction of ego becomes painful, often. And one cries a lot. Let this be heard by Aja Ekapad, Ahirbhudhnaya and the waters.

    Om Namah Shivayya
    Last edited by atanu; 08 January 2007 at 06:55 AM.
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

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    Re: Cosmic Ocean, Streams, Symbols...

    Namaste MysticalGypsi,

    Quote Originally Posted by MysticalGypsi
    I was just reading about the baby-the demon of ignorance? Is there any sense that in dance, you can release yourself from evil or bad or lazy thoughts?
    There is much behind the Nataraja icon. Yes, the baby is called the Apasmara Purusha, the demon representing ignorance. He could also be said to be representative of the individual bound by ego. Shivas dance, in Shaivism, is the dance of creation, sustenance and dissolution. The circle around the Nataraja is the entire universe as well as the single atom. Shiva dances this dance within the microcosm and the macrocosm. Nataraja is stretched out throughout this circle His all-pervasiveness. In one hand, He holds a small drum the first sound of creation, the primal vibration through which all things came to be. In another hand, He holds fire the fire of dissolution, the end of all things. Yet another hand is raised in abhaya mudra (fear-not gesture).

    Or for me dancing can be a from of meditation or something similar where you cleanse your mind?
    Yes, I think this idea is also there. There is a dance called tandava that followers of a certain sect called Ananda Marga perform as part of their practices.

    As far as the tiger skin in another depiction, I thought this was symbolic of mastering the ego, or skinning and conquering the ego.
    This is true. I just learned this in another thread not that long ago .

    I have a question. In one home I saw a picture of I think Shiva with the Om sign on the right hand. I can't find this picture anywhere. It was a powerful picture. Is Shiva often pictured with the Om symbol on the right hand, because I cannot find it.
    Yes this is quite common, Ive seen it many times. The idea in Shaivism is that the entire OM (manifest reality) is contained within Shiva. Theres much that could be said about OM, but thats another thread. In any case, Shiva is also called Omkareshvara (Lord of the Syllable OM). In fact, if you look very carefully at the Nataraja icon, youll see an OM. Tonights assignment: find the OM in the Nataraja icon .

    Another question, what is the symbolism behind the matted hair, if any?
    Shiva here is represented as an ascetic. Ascetics generally are not concerned about outward appearance and do not comb their hair.
    They grow their hair and keep them in matted locks. Apart from that, I'm not sure of any symbolism.

    I have a lot of interest in Shiva and studying Shiva.
    As you know, there are four main theological traditions in Hinduism: Shaivism focused on Shiva, Vaishnavism focused on Vishnu, and Shaktism focused on Shakti, the Divine Mother. The fourth one is Smartism, which is sometimes called liberal Hinduism. If youre interested in Shaivism, Id definitely recommend the trilogy of books by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami: Dancing with Shiva, Living with Shiva, Merging with Shiva. You can find them online here.

    OM Shanti,
    A.



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    Re: Cosmic Ocean, Streams, Symbols...

    Namaste Yajvan,

    The devata are in fact cosmic impulses that exist. Etc …
    Thanks for the thread and the post, Yajvan. I don’t disagree with your analysis actually. I think you’re right on. Symbolism, though, also exists at multiple levels. Atanu mentioned in the other thread about macrocosmic and microcosmic levels. I also accept the Devas as cosmic principles, but they’re also principles in the mind, within oneself, wouldn’t you agree? This goes back to idea of equating the individual with the universal, the pinda with the brahmanda, the vyasthi with the samasthi, Indra with the mind (lord of the senses), Agni with spark of individual consciousness, Brahma with mahat-buddhi or ahamkara, the fourteen chakras with the fourteen worlds of creation (7 lokas, 7 talas), etc.

    The ocean of milk, is that of eternity, even bliss, the ocean of the Absolute. Think of Sri Visnu resting on Ananta (the snake), the symbol for the infinite. So we have:
    Ananta - from a or not + Anta or end. So the snake that Sri Vsnu lays down on has no end, or infinite/infinity.
    Isn’t Ananta also called Shesha (Shesha-naga)? Shesha, I’m told, means remainder. Vishnu lays on the remainder of what’s left over from the previous creation. I wonder how this ties into the Ananta symbolism.

    The Ocean (without bounds) of milk , or purity and sweetness, is that pure consciousness of the transcendent. … Yet this ocean of bliss is behind the thoughts, where they are behind the senses, yes? What is there, then behind this? ....the SELF behind our 'self'.
    Yes, the Waters and consciousness. The universe began with the Waters didn’t it? Everything came from the Waters, everything is a symbolic flower (lotus) that was born of the Waters.

    The Oceans, streams, waters as symbols are addressed below. I try and share the info I know on this... It would be great if other can address a few more or add a few... here's just an idea list:
    1. Natraj dancing - and who is he stepping on? a baby is there, why this?
    2. Siva with a snake around his neck, and the cresent moon above his head - what is the meaning?
    3. Sri Visnu resting on ananta? what does this suggest ? this is the post below.
    4. Sri Krsna holding up a mountain with one hand?
    #1, we’ve discussed above. #2, we can discuss. #3, we're presently discussing. #4, I’m interested in hearing more about.

    OM Shanti,
    A.



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    Re: Cosmic Ocean, Streams, Symbols...

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~
    Quote Originally Posted by Agnideva View Post
    Namaste Yajvan,

    Thanks for the thread and the post, Yajvan. I don’t disagree with your analysis actually. I think you’re right on. Symbolism, though, also exists at multiple levels. Atanu mentioned in the other thread about macrocosmic and microcosmic levels. I also accept the Devas as cosmic principles, but they’re also principles in the mind, within oneself, wouldn’t you agree?
    Isn’t Ananta also called Shesha (Shesha-naga)? Shesha, I’m told, means remainder. Vishnu lays on the remainder of what’s left over from the previous creation. I wonder how this ties into the Ananta symbolism.

    Yes, the Waters and consciousness. The universe began with the Waters didn’t it? Everything came from the Waters, everything is a symbolic flower (lotus) that was born of the Waters.

    #1, we’ve discussed above. #2, we can discuss. #3, we're presently discussing. #4, I’m interested in hearing more about. OM Shanti, A.
    Namaste A,
    Yes, the devata as cosmic impulses and within us and the macroscopic... the principle here is , as above so below , the rishi's say. What we find in the universe can be found in ourselves. Why so? We are expressions of these forces/principles/impulses.

    I think of the intelligence that surrounds us... all the galaxies swirling, the seasons on time, birds migrating on time, flowers blooming, stars becoming neutron stars, the order of this whole universe. Think about all the functions that goes on in our bodies... the conversion of food to energy, oxygen absorbed into the blood, the making of cells, of DNA. All this is on automatic pilot yes? * the autonomic nervous system. Just think if we had to manage and make all those decisions in our bodies... impossible. This is that cosmic intelligence that manages the universe, that manages our functions. These are those impulses we are discussing... as above so below. The notion of an enlightened society is for each individual to be established in the SELF, Kavaliya. Then we allow this cosmic intelligence do the driving...all is done be these evolutionary powers. Our actions are HIS actions, this cosmic intelligence that guides the totality. Who could know better what to do on 'auto pilot'....the driving force of Dharma, unrestricted.

    One other thing that you mentioned is Siva's dance. A wonderful thing. Everything is in change, movement, vibration. This is the dance. The play and display of creation, maintenence and destruction, the dance. Yes, I agree, Siva's dance, a most universal thing that happens throughout the cosmos.
    Now, what is the commonality of all this? This is the essence of the Madhu vidya. That is, this diversity allows unity to hold it all together, and that all things are connected by this substratim, the Universal Purusha, the Honey, the Madhu. That the diversity allows the 'play' to happen and with that, the bliss is pressed out in the actions ( the soma of delight is pressed out) found in the diversity of actions and entities.... We have discussed this before and it's a delight to discuss this again.
    More as we hear from others and your thoughts.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Cosmic Ocean, Streams, Symbols...

    Quote Originally Posted by MysticalGypsi View Post
    Okay, just these posts here will give me two hours of study! If I find the Om, can I have a longer recess?

    I love Shiva. I wonder if one reason that I love Shiva is that from the time I was five, I have had people close to me die in succession over the years in a somewhat shocking story of constant upheaval from this world's perspective. I guess I have pursued Shiva before I even knew the name out of necessity.

    I remember being about five, hiding in the bushes outside in the snow, asking the air what was going on with all this death stuff. From there, so many people kept dying, I kept pressing more and more to know that magical Divine where I found peace, who dried your tears with refreshing cold wind, and whispered in your ear.

    I want to keep dying to self as much as I can. Sometimes I lose my way, but I keep coming back. Yesterday, I went for long hike in the woods, the river was swollen with floodwaters, and the forest had a light rain. It is hard to explain but it was so wonderful, so marvelous. The constant cycle in the forest always forces me to contemplate the birth, death....little trees growing from the remains of ancient trees. The flood waters creating a totally new scenario on the forest floor.

    And, when I left this really magical thing happened. And, it is hard to explain and maybe I should not try but it really sets the stage for the second half of my life.

    Shiva Shiva. I need to keep talking to Shiva.

    My eyes are wet. Often, I wonder though, why pain brings in Shiva? Is there any one who is Shiva lover but has not tasted the ultimate sorrow?

    Why Lord?

    Accept Me, My Lord.

    By Rabindranath Tagore



    Accept me, my Lord, accept me for this while.

    Let those orphaned days that passed without thee be forgotten.

    Only spread this little moment wide across thy lap, holding it under thy light.

    I have wandered in pursuit of voices that drew me yet led me nowhere.

    Now let me sit in peace and listen to thy words in the soul of my silence.

    Do not turn away thy face from my heart's dark secrets,

    But burn them till they are alight with thy fire.


    Om Namah Shivayya
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

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    Re: Cosmic Ocean, Streams, Symbols...

    Quote Originally Posted by Yajvan
    Now, what is the commonality of all this? This is the essence of the Madhu vidya. That is, this diversity allows unity to hold it all together, and that all things are connected by this substratim, the Universal Purusha, the Honey, the Madhu. That the diversity allows the 'play' to happen and with that, the bliss is pressed out in the actions ( the soma of delight is pressed out) found in the diversity of actions and entities.... We have discussed this before and it's a delight to discuss this again.
    Namaste Yajvan,

    How beautiful when it all comes together. Madhu Vidya, knowledge of the essence, of the nectar. A beautiful name for a beautiful thought. This whole topic has been a delight. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Regards,
    A.



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    Re: Cosmic Ocean, Streams, Symbols...

    Namaste MysticalGypsi,

    Quote Originally Posted by MysticalGypsi
    Okay, just these posts here will give me two hours of study! If I find the Om, can I have a longer recess?
    Take your time. Take as much time as you need. Take that recess. May the answers unfold within you!

    I love Shiva.
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Everything is the dance of Shiva, everything. Shiva is the Ocean of compassion. Shivane Daye (Shiva is Compassion a Vira Shaivite affirmation of faith).

    Shiva Shiva. I need to keep talking to Shiva.
    I too shall leave you with a poem. This one is by Akka Mahadevi, a great female mystic saint and Siddha of the 12th century CE.

    Lord, if You will listen, listen;
    If You won't, don't---
    I can't bear to live without singing of You.
    If You will look, look;
    If You won't, don't---
    I can't bear life unless I look at You and be happy.
    If You will agree, agree;
    If You won't don't---
    I can't bear life unless I embrace You.
    If You will be pleased, be pleased,
    If You won't, don't---
    I can't bear life unless I worship You.
    O Channa Mallikarjuna [Shiva], jasmine-tender,
    Offering You worship, I will play
    On the swing of happiness.

    OM Namah Shivaya.
    ~A.



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