Life · yoga · Yoga & Spirituality

Demystifying ‘Shiva’: That which is not

Finally, the time has come that we look deeper into what we were referring to as ‘Shiva’ in our previous articles. Let’s have a scientific understanding of what Shiva really is. ‘That which is not’ or the ‘Formless Eternity’ is referred to as ‘Shiva’. If we look from the perspective of quantum physics, today quantum physicists say that the eternal formless void is the source of all creation, including that which we can see and that which we can not. Hence what they imply to say is that there are no boundaries in the vast cosmos. All the boundaries which are mentioned in physics about cosmos are only notional & are used for the scientific understanding of different models of reality which we design to understand creation. The nature of the universe is such that it has no boundaries and this boundless ethnic space seems to be the womb of the creation. So when we refer to as Shiva or the formless eternity, we are essentially talking about the same bigger reality at the core of the existence.

Today quantum physicists say that the whole universe is expanding. Which means all the galaxies are moving away from each other at the speed of light. Secondly, there are some scientific facts which are available about the composition of the universe. 68 percent of this universe is invisible Dark Energy and this is the energy which is responsible for the expansion of the universe. 27 percent of the universe is Dark Matter. This is called as dark matter because it’s not visible, but still, it has the same properties just like a regular matter. Now the remaining visible universe left over is just 5 percent and 99.99 percent of this visible universe is interstellar dust. So we are finally left over with 0.01 percent of the universe. All the visible billions of stars,  Galaxies, and planets constitutes only 0.01 percent of the actual universe.

This clearly symbolizes where we stand in terms of our information, understanding & knowledge of the universe. All the visible universe is not even 1 percent of what actually lies out there. Which means ‘What is there’ is very very limited compared to the whole existence and What is not there is ‘Limitless’. So we can clearly say that ‘What is’, can either be here or there, But ‘What is not’ is everywhere. Hence in Yoga when we say ‘Shiva’, we are not talking about that ‘which is’, instead we are talking about that ‘Which is not’. And that which is not is everywhere. So Shiva is the limitless nothingness which seems to be the source of everything physical as well as non-physical in this universe. This is the scientific understanding of what Shiva actually is.

It’s not a god with supernatural powers, which we worship, Rather Shiva is a totally different dimension of energy which is beyond all kind of boundaries and possible imaginations. This is also known as boundless, dimensionless, nonphysical ever abiding & enduring nothingness or awareness.  Quantum physicists are saying that this nothingness could possibly be the source of the big bang and this whole creation. There is no empirical evidence for this because no scientific instrument is capable of measuring this, neither can this be observed objectively.  But if you are in yoga, you have this possibility wherein you can know this nothingness by experiencing it yourself. The only and only way to know this is to experience it subjectively.

Origin of Adi Yogi, The very first Yogi: It is said that around 15000 years ago, there appeared a yogi in the upper ranges of the mighty Himalayas. Nobody knows where he came from, what was his lineage. He simply appeared. Adi Yogi was also called as ‘Shiva’ because he raised his awareness to such a level, where he perceived ‘That which is not’. This is the reason Shiva & Adi yogi are used synonymously. Now when Adi yogi appeared, he simply sat unmovingly. People slowly started gathering around him totally surprised who this person possibly could be. The only way by which they could perceive that he was alive was that sometimes they used to see tears of ecstasy & blissfulness in his eyes. The Adi yogi remained there in the same posture for many days, months & years. Slowly people started going away with despair. But there were 7 people who were greatly fascinated towards Adi yogi. They somehow realized that there was something mystical about the Adi Yogi, otherwise, he couldn’t be sitting just like that.

These 7 people are now celebrated as the Sapt Rishis, the Seven Sages. They sat there for years, hoping someday Adi yogi will open his eyes. After waiting for many many years, Adi yogi finally opened his eyes and he saw that there were 7 people who were sitting in front of him. The seven sages requested Adi yogi to teach them this science & methods which he was using for himself. Adi Yogi Shiva was deeply moved by the Devotion of Sapt Rishis and he decided to transmit this science of yoga to them. Shiva taught them 112 different ways of attaining the ultimate nature of being. When Shiva was done from his side, he asked the sapt rishis to go all over the world and transmit the same science to the whole world. These 7 sages traveled all over the world and transmitted this yogic science to people. In India, the yogic process has been very very deeply rooted in our culture. Although our ancestors were not aware of the scientific understanding of it, it was very deeply rooted in their every action. But since few hundred years, the scenario changed because India was invaded by various forces and ruled by foreigners, in spite of that still in many parts of rural India this is intact.

In yoga, there have been identified 114 chakras. Chakras are the nodes where the naadis (energy paths) meets and redistribute themselves. Now out of these 114 chakras, two are outside our body so we can not do anything about it. So left over are 112. Out of 112, there are 4 chakras, which blossom by themselves, if we take care of the rest., Hence for these 4 chakras, we need not do anything. Remaining are the 108 chakras. So there are basically 108 different ways using which a human being can reach his ultimate possibility, which is the highest level of awareness which a person can attain. This is the reason in yoga 108 has been termed as a very very significant number. Even in a Rudraksha Mala, there are 108 beads, so that we can activate 108 chakras in our subtle body. If you go to some astronomical facts, 108 number again comes into the picture. For e.g, the distance between the sun and the earth is exactly 108 times the diameter of the sun. Similarly, the distance between the earth and the moon is exactly the 108 times the diameter of the moon. So all these facts carry a very deep meaning within themselves, these are not the mere coincidences.

If we talk about Buddha, He chooses just one of the ways out of 112 to attain his ultimate nature and this was the path of awareness. There are total 112 different ways which Shiva propounded. So in different times, depending upon the suitability and the relevance, yogis chose different methods to know the ultimate nature of their being.

Yoga is the only science which survived for almost 15000 years just on the basis of mere efficacy. There were no scriptures written about yoga. It was only delivered through the Guru-Shishya parampara (Teacher-Pupil tradition). It was very very late when Maharishi Patanjali came and he wrote Yoga Sutras in the forms of methods which people can follow, and he is known as the father of Modern Yoga, but before that yoga has survived only because it works and it works best when you do it the right way.


Happy Reading 🙂



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