April 7, 2011 on 10:00 am
Dear Spiritual Explorer: I am going on a meditative yoga retreat and would like to wear something of a yogic nature. Can you recommend something for me? Erin M., Michigan City, MI
Dear Erin: May I recommend the Shiva Women’s T shirt which is shaped to fit a woman’s contours, no matter your size. It comes in purple, lavender and blue, illustrated on the front and back and is very washable. It even folds up easily in your suitcase so you can buy a few and know you will have space for your yoga pants.
Let me tell you something about the God Shiva whose countenance graces this T-shirt. Shiva is the austere, meditative yogi wearing the original Dred locks who sits upon a mountaintop and must be lured by many beautiful goddesses to pay attention to them. Many stories are written about these goddesses who did untold austerities to win Shiva’s attention. This kind of behavior might be similarly seen with some women who go to great lengths to win male attention, including changing the form of their bodies and faces. It is my belief that women like this are not really in touch with their inner beauty which in my experience comes from feeling peaceful, confident and spiritual on the inside. These feelings usually find their way to the surface with older women in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, notwithstanding many of them have fallen prey to the inevitable wrinkling and shrinkage of skin.
But back to Shiva. Lord Shiva represents an aspect of the Supreme Being. Shiva’s particular aspect continuously dissolves the world to recreate it in the cyclic process of creation, preservation and re-creation. Sometimes when people hear that he represents the “Destroyer,” they feel it is a pejorative word. However, as one realizes that creation is sustained by a delicate balance between opposing forces of good and evil and the balance becomes disturbed, Lord Shiva dissolves the universe for creation of the next cycle. The belief is that this enables unliberated souls to have another opportunity to liberate themselves from bondage with the physical world. Shiva’s acts may be compared to spring turning to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter and once again to fall. The cyclic nature of Lord Shiva and the world in general make us remember our very own cyclic natures, and that we are not always expected to be “on,” and have moments where we fall into dormant seeming behavior. Thus humans ape nature and vice versa.
Now that you know the esoteric aspects of Shiva, know Shiva also to be strong, meditative, austere, all qualities which can be yours as you come into touch with your true nature as a Shiva devotee.
Thanks for writing. Spiritual Explorer