Although I was born into a Hindu family, many of my friends were Christian whilst I was growing up. I enjoy practicing Hinduism’s culture and traditions but my work involves me working with Buddhist monks and foreigners who are, or were, Catholic in many cases. With all these religious practices in my life, I feel like I am non-religious because I like all of them. My friend invited me to one of their festivals and trust me, every festival I have attended shared love, laughter, happiness and togetherness. This gives me the same spiritual feeling being Hindu.
Growing up I have heard many stories about different gods and goddess. As we have 33 million gods in Hinduism, there are always one or two festivals every month, which last many days, even weeks to months worshipping different gods. We believe that we have three main gods: Shiva - god of destruction, Vishnu - the preserver, and Brahma - the creator. Across the world, we Hindu people worship Lord Shiva as the god of all gods. I have always wondered why we worship the god who destroys the world as the main god. And, unbelievably, we smoke weed as the blessing of Shiva! As I started looking for the answer, I realised that I have always been connected spiritually with him.
I practice meditation every single day for at least thirty minutes. I didn’t know if I was practicing it in a Hindu way or a Buddhist way. As I started learning about spirituality and the power of the universe, I learned that Shiva created 112 ways of meditation which can lead humans to enlightenment. Buddha was able to master one of these ways.
I am always fascinated to see people who practice yoga everyday - they look so fit and much younger than their age. In fact, I tried to get into yoga primarily because I wanted to look as young and fit as the yogis. As I found out more about yoga practices, its benefits, and the connection or union we make with the spiritual world, my whole perspective on yoga and yogis changed. Even if you are a Westerner who has no interest in Hinduism, but in yoga, you might be shocked to hear yoga teachers believe the first yogi in this world was Shiva. All the yoga postures and yoga education we learn today are all the teaching of Shiva to make our life healthier. Nowadays, people are into Tantra sex - not forgetting that during the Tantric ritual sex, the male participants represent the god Shiva and the females represent the goddess Kundalini Shakti.
These are just some of the facts I have been able to acknowledge during my journey to spirituality. I am not sure if a god actually does exist as Shiva or not, but we know that the universe does exist and for now in my spiritual life, Shiva is the universe.
As I am sitting on the floor with my eyes closed, I imagine myself in the universe filled with stars which are giving my body powerful rays of light, repeating “om namah shivaya” for at least thirty minutes to an hour a day. This makes me feel as though my chakras are more powerful than ever before, and I feel the energy inside of me.
I don’t want this article to promote Hinduism but I want us to acknowledge the things that Shiva has to offer for our spiritual life. Meditation and yoga can help us to get our life to move forward towards spirituality, and many of us believe that Shiva was the creator of these. If he actually was the creator, then this Meditation and yoga we are practicing are amazing lessons for mankind and we should keep passing this from generation to generation.
I am 23 and there is still a long way to go to actually talk about spiritually with a deeper meaning. But for now, I am connecting my spirituality with the first yogi, the god of destruction, the god with the third eye, and the god who is a never-ending beam of light.