If there’s one god who can offer you lessons in the “Art of Living”, it has to be the popular Hindu deity, Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is a part of Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh and is associated with Moksha which is relief from the cycle of birth and death. Popularly known as the lord of mercy and compassion, Shiva can annihilate evil, destroy ignorance as well as grant wisdom.
Here’s a quick look at the 10 different life lessons we can learn from this great Hindu god.
1. Never Ever tolerate evil.
Lord Shiva was known as the destroyer of evil. He couldn’t tolerate injustice and destroyed the evil rakshasas in a fair manner. Similarly, we should also try to keep zero tolerance for the evil happening around us and take a stand against injustice.
2. Happiness Does not Equal to Materialism
What belongings did Lord Shiva have? His snake? Trishul? Damru? He dressed in animal skins etc. Yet, he reined the universe. Therefore, if you have nothing it doesn’t mean you are missing out in life. Being attached to wealth or assets only leads to being tied down – physically, mentally and emotionally. Yes, buying things do give us happiness but it is only momentary until we find something better. It is all about experience and not assets.
3. Keep calm and carry on
Shiva was called a ‘Maha Yogi’ because he meditated for hours for the well-being of the universe. His calm state of mind was disturbed only due to extreme reasons, but otherwise he would always be in a meditative state of mind. Thus highlighting the fact that you can win half the battle just by being calm in a stressful situation. It’s really the best strategy to sorting out a problem.
4. Your Obsession will be your Downfall
Ravana’s obsession over Sita led to his end. Therefore, your obsession will lead to nothing but your own destruction. Lord Shiva never obsessed over anything. He was free from all desires.
5. You must learn how to suppress negativity gracefully
Shiva was a ‘neelkanth’ because he swallowed poison named ‘halahala’, that emerged from the ocean. Only Shiva could have consumed this poison and suppressed it in his throat. The important lesson to take back from this incident is to take negativity in our stride, and turn it into positivity.
6. Respect your Spouse
Shiva was ‘Ardhanarishwar’, where half of him was Parvati. He treated Parvati with utmost respect and care. She was his ‘shakti’ and he gave her the importance she deserved. Mata Parvati was always by Lord Shiva’s side. In fact lord Shiva is known as Ardhanarishwar, i.e. half man and half woman, and therefore, Ma Parvati was an essential part of him. With this truth, he always treated her with utmost respect. She was his Shakti and Shiva can never be apart from strength. Therefore, our spouse – wives or husbands, partners in life, are truly our better halves and we need to treat them with absolute respect and love.
7. You must control your ego and let go off pride
A man or a woman’s ego is the biggest cause of all delays, bitterness and obstacles. What is an ego but for a stubborn state of mind? It has ruined many goals, relationships, ideas and dreams. It makes one bitter and aloof. So what is the point of ego? Did you know Lord Shiva carried the Trishul to keep his ego in check? He never let his emotions get the better of himself. Similarly, he did not tolerate anyone’s ego either.
8. Do thorough research on something you’re likely to get into
Always research before you venture into something new. Ganga Ma, encased in Lord Shiva’s hair represents the end of ignorance. She embodies unfathomable knowledge. Denial doesn’t help anyone and therefore, it is important to gather information before you plan to start anything new.
9. Nothing Lasts Forever
Maha yogis don’t fall for ‘moh maya’. They know that life is ephemeral and what happens today is not going to exist forever. Time changes and so do we.
Dance like no one is watching you. Lord Shiva’s tandav shocked and awed, destroyed the world. Dance is a medium of expression. The lord chose to express his rage and today dance is a great way to channel one’s energies into something constructive. It helps calm the mind too.