THE POINT OF SHIVA & SHAKTI – The Soul
The dot represents the soul, the formless divine within us. Without the point no circle (symbol of universe) can not be drawn and no square (symbol of culture) constructed. Just as the existence of the circle presupposes the existence of the central point, the existence of the world presupposes the existence of a witness of the world – the soul (‘Atma’).
THE CIRCLE OF BRAHMA & SARASWATI – The Universe
The circle (the most spontaneous of natural shapes) the best represents the Hindu universe, because Hindus see the world as being timeless, cyclical and infinite. The universe is the medium through which the divine presents itself. It is window to the divine.
THE SQUARE OF VISHNU & LAKSHMI – The Culture
The square (with its sharp edges, the most artificial of shapes), when drawn within the circle of the universe, it best represents culture. Different cultures have different values, hence the square of cultures can be oriented in various ways, but always anchored to the rim of the circle at its corners. All cultures, however different, depend on nature for their survival.
THE TRIANGLES IN WHICH SOUL IS REALIZED & MATTER VALIDATED
In Tantrik geometry, the downward-pointed triangle represents ‘Prakriti’ (female principle, ever-changing aspect of life, mind and matter, nature) while the upward-pointed triangle represents ‘Purusha’ (male principle, unchanging aspect of life, consciousness, soul). Brahma causes the two of intersect, creating a six-pointed star that spins around Vishnu’s finger as the ‘Sudarsham chakra’. Shiva separates the two triangles to create his rattle-drum. The star-discus represents engangement of spiritual and material reality that gives rise to the world of name and form. The rattle-drum represents the separation of spiritual and material reality resulting in nameless, formless unmanifested. While pursuing the common goal of ‘sat-chitta-ananda’ God as Vishnu preserves the realm of ‘rasa’ (material fluids) while God as Shiva destroys the realm of rasa in the flames of ‘tapa’ (spiritual fire).
Inspired by Dr.Devdutt Pattanaik – A Decoding of Hindu Mythology
Photo: Zuzana Zwiebel – Hindu Temple wall in Varanasi
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