Inner Peace - Dancing in the Fire
Updated: Dec 19, 2022
In Hindu mythology, there exists the God Shiva, a deity packed with symbolism.
Shiva is known as the destroyer...
Yet, he dances amidst the flames of destruction.
He has four hands.
With one hand, he destroys the old and stagnant with fire, while simultaneously calling in new creations with a drum that he holds in another.
A third hand is raised and open, palmside out, showing a sign of peace.
His final hand points to his raised foot, emphasizing his dance called lila, or play.
He simultaneously destroys and creates, all the while dancing and playing in Freedom.
Shiva has long, matted locks of hair that flow to the ends of the universe, symbolizing strength, connectedness, and unity in all of Life.
He is often depicted with a cobra wrapped around his neck, a representation of kundalini energy, continuous change, egoic small-minded fear and his fearlessness and Trust in Divine Nature.
Lastly, he stands atop a dwarf demon, representing the surmounting of spiritual ignorance.
Note that Shiva doesn’t kill the dwarf, he only stands atop.
Shiva has knowledge - vidya - of the True nondual nature of reality, and sees the necessity for ignorance. One wouldn’t know knowledge if it weren’t for ignorance.
A great indicator of inner peace or equanimity is being able to, like Shiva, dance in the fire - to be amidst the chaos but not be affected by it; even to be playful amidst life’s toughest situations.
(To be in the world, but not of the world.)
That being said,
What allows Shiva to view destruction and creation both as necessary processes, and what allows him to dance through the fire?
Most of the depictions of Shiva are of him meditating - maintaining connection to his Inner World.
Shiva’s meditative state is a reminder not to lose oneself completely in the material affairs of the world, but to always return back to the changeless calm and peaceful center that underlies the personality.
This Wisdom and Trust allows us to remain playful and dance in the fire.
Let's, like Shiva, dance through life.
Let's playfully destroy the old standards of society and culture that are harming us.
Let's call in a New Earth that allows all humans to flourish with Nature.