In the darkest night, the master of the spirits drenched in blood & ash, draped in tiger skin beneath his torso, got down Nandi, the bull calf and marched towards his mother fulfilling his promise with the light cast by Chandra, the Moon God resting in his dreadlocks. Standing before the gigantic gateway, the destroyer turned towards his devoted Nandi to command him to wait for him. Observing the gateway guarded by the uncountable number of invisible Devas, Shiva, the master of death was almost about to strike his Trishula, the trident onto the floor but Vasuki, the king of snakes and his loyal companion around his neck hissed about the impending doom.
The destroyer and the incarnation of death just smiled before twirling his Trishula to play the damaru, a two-headed drum embedded onto the weapon before he leaned back and plunged his weapon into one of the black clouds creating a huge ball of exploding energy that revealed the Devas as the energy touched them. Leaving his Trishula, as the damaru continued playing, Shiva walked amongst the infinite number of Devas in their astral forms manifested out of the energy of Shakti as they paved the way before kneeling to the almighty. Turning towards Nandi, Shiva noticed that his companion was worried about him and just smiled.
Standing behind the Trishul, Nandi pointed his silver horns towards the gateway and bellowed intending to race towards the master at the first sight of trouble. Noticing the Devas kneeling as he walked past them, Shiva continued his journey while listening to the clouds roaring beneath his feet as they cast lightning blessed with eternal happiness.
The Devas didn’t even blink enchanted by the beauty of the Adi Guru. In this aesthetic, they could see mortal and immortal, forgiver and punisher, death and life, light and dark, good and evil, zero and infinity, beginning and end, the male and female within one form. They were enthralled by the being, who was beyond the duality of Nature.
Approaching the gateway, opened by a thousand Devas, Vasuki slipped down to stand on his monumental head instead of the gateway. The King of the Snakes grew as gigantic as he was when the demigods and demons used to churn the Amrit, the Elixer of immortality. Staring at the Devas, he hissed in anger. He was bound to serve his master even at the sight of a distasteful future.
Entering the unending chamber built of cosmic power, Shiva smiled noticing Shakti sitting on a lotus as a child. In the upper left hand, she held spiritual knowledge and in her upper right hand, she held texts of materialist knowledge, while the front two hands blessed the destroyer.
As Shiva walked towards her, millions of Devas witnessed the two eyes of God, the left symbolising male and destruction while the right symbolising female and creation. Though they belong to the same being, these two beings served different purposes. Standing before the ever-smiling blissful child, Shiva fell on his knees and touched the child’s feet as Ganga residing in the dreadlocks of Shiva gushed to touch the feet of the supreme Mother.
Resting in Vajrasana, Shiva took off the chain of skulls around his neck and put it at the feet of the child completing his task. Continuing to smile, the child commanded, “None of us is truly immortal Neelakanta. Though you have fulfilled your responsibility and brought me the skulls of Creators and ended the cycle of creations. All our existences are bounded and defined by time.”
Glancing at her enchanting form, Shiva realised his mortality. Without a moment of hesitation, he turned towards Vasuki and Nandi to call for them before dissolving Ganga and Chandra within him. Within no time, his companions rushed towards him and left their mortal forms to merge into their master for eternal peace. They couldn’t for a moment exist without him and neither could he leave his companions.
Turning towards the child, Shiva asked, “Bala, let me witness your true form before I bow to time.”
The child with black braided hair, pale white round face with a big red bindi nodded and the Bholenath opened his third eye to witness the true form of Shakti as the damaru continued playing. In the chaotic abyss, Shiva could finally see the art, intricacy and unparalleled beauty of Shakti in the form of Sri Chakra.
Consumed by its beauty, Shiva didn’t even realise his body started turning to ash and without him even realising, he joined the One and when his body turned into ash, the child sucked all of the Devas into her to complete the cycle of creation.
When the child merged all the Devas into her, she turned into a white dot in the black canvas and time halted until a new cycle started. When the new cycle started, the dot manifested into life called Shakti and from the ashes rose another destroyer whom mortals called Mahadev.
This contribution is dedicated to Lakshmi, Manjusha, Parvati, & Anjali Chintalapati.