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Shiva The Consciousness And The Bliss

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Shiva The Consciousness And The Bliss

Academic and curator Alka Pande looks into the phenomenon and wonders who is Shiva? Is he a God? Is he a concept? Is he truth? Is he a representation of the phallus? Is he a destroyer? Is he the lord of dance?

Shiva-Parvati Ardhanarishvara, 10th-century, Nepal Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Is he a God? Is he a concept? Is he truth? Is he beauty? Is he consciousness? Is he a representation of the phallus? Is he a destroyer? Is he the lord of dance? Is he the only primordial God? Is he the holy trinity? Or is he the God of the Dalits?

Shiva is all of the above and more. The Nirvana Shatakam by Adi Shankaracharya symbolises Shiva perfectly. I am citing two verses, the opening and the closing, of the six-verse Nirvana Shatakam composed by the iconic Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. The shlokas read:

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