(Translated from the original version Hindi version at http://shivalaya.vnc.in/shiva-is-sunya.html )
The Dark Shiva
Often we compare light with truth, knowledge, pious and every thing that is positive and in the analysis we treat darkness as an icon of negative elements. But if it is so, why Shiva likes darkness? Why do we observe Maha-Shiva-Ratri (The Great Night of Shiva)? Maha-Shiva-Ratri, which is observed in one of the darkest nights is the most auspicious of All Shiva Meditations; why?
The reason is simple. Our basic assumption that darkness is an icon of devil or negative elements is not just wrong but also a grave mistake. As a matter of fact the light and darkness are complementary to each other much in the same way as Shiva and his creation – this universe. The Light is comparable to the universe and darkness is comparable to Shiva himself. Whatever the eye can see or the light can show – the land, the water, the river, the mountain, the life stock, the sun the moon, the starts, the planets etc. all are creations of Shiva; what we can not see is Shiva Himself.
Everything that has a origin or source, has got a fixed life and will have a definite end. Light has a source. The source burns itself to produce the light and finally ends. With it ends the light itself. It is of little or no importance as to what is the source of light? Weather it is as big as the Sun or as small as a lamp or what is the life of the source? What is important is, it has a life after which it will cease to exist. And even when the source exists an obstacle can cut off the source and thus the light itself. But the question is what if the source ceases to exist or is obstructed? What if there is no light? The answer is simple – Darkness.
Darkness is eternal – without any origin and without any end – darkness is omnipresent. The presence of light may give the allusion that the darkness is gone, but as soon as the source of light runs out of its life, we find darkness again, very much present and undaunted. Darkness is age less, indestructible and permanent – Darkness is like Shiva.
We often consider light as the source and icon of knowledge. It is natural since light empowers us to visualize and understand. But remember, we can learn only as much in the light as is the diameter of it. Science sees and believes things in the light of facts. As such what science can’t see, it doesn’t believe either. It believes something only when it is brought to light by facts. But this is a proven fact that by its own philosophy, science has repeatedly been embarrassed by its own success. Because every time a new discovery is made, it has either contradicted some of the past believes of Science or science itself had refused to believe it till that point of time. This is basically a demerit of the philosophy. In many a cases science publishes a new theory which contradicts some of the old accepted theory and which at some future date may be contradicted by some other theory. Is it not mirage? Remember, mirage is problem of vision, a problem of light. It may be difficult to see in the dark. But there is no mirage in the dark. Conclusion?
As long as we seek worldly and short term goals, light helps. But when we turn to seek a long term goal, something whose shape is not yet clear, light fails. What is the ultimate goal of human existence, is it not decidedly salvation? But what is salvation? It is end of desires. When there is not desire, there is no Objective. So is that without any desire, objective or expectation? It is darkness, the complete and the omnipresent darkness. At this stage we achieve Shiva. Even science will agree many of such miraculous discoveries are attributed to dreams, which lies in the reigns of darkness.
The universe is vast and magnificent. Our mighty earth, with all she contains is just a small portion of the Solar system. Hundreds of such earth can easily be accommodated in the huge Sun. Sun; with all its entire family of planets and moons is a small and insignificant member of the whole milky-way galaxy. Milky-way galaxy contains innumerable such and even bigger solar system. All these gigantic masses, the earth, the moons, the stars and the solar systems, whose complete knowledge are still a mystery for the science and human knowledge; are the creation of Shiva. But ever wondered what is that, that contains all these heavenly bodies? What is that ‘nothing’ which contains everything and where all these gigantic masses seem nothing but dots? The all surrounding darkness is Shiva. Shiva himself contains the Universe. He himself is the creator, root and the cause of this whole universe.
Where to Focus – Light or Darkness?
For a living being, there is no apparent option that goes without light, as the life depends on the Light. No wonder all the ancient civilization worshipped sun the best known source of light. The way a living being cant continue to live without work, it cant stay without the light. So we must focus of the light.
But does concentrating on Light obstructs our way to mediate for darkness? My point is simple – there is a more subtle and more vibrant meaning of this darkness which shouldn’t be ignored. Darkness is eternal, never ending. It doesn’t make sense to ignore it. And if we aim for the salvation it can be done only while we live. Once we die and become part of the eternal darkness we may not have chance to concentrate for it.
As I see it, concentrating on Light aspect takes us to re-birth; darkness to salvation.