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The Ever-Changing Force of Life

Gurur Brahma

(The teacher is Consciousness.)

Gurur Vishnuhu

(The teacher is The Sustainier.)

Gurur Devo Maheshvaraha

(The teacher is The Dissolver, Shiva.)

Guruh sakshat param Brahma!

(To that Most High Teacher, adoration.)

Today, in continuing our look at The Center’s daily opening morning prayer (see the past two blogs for more on this), I want to share the Yoga Tradition’s third dimension of Divinity; namely, Shiva, the Ever-present, Ever-active Force of Change in our physical world.

Shiva is the equivalent of the constant movement of the molecules in our body, the perpetual circling of the sun, moon and stars, the personification of the Laws of Nature. Shiva, which is the reality of Energy moves everything physical, emotional, mental, intuitive and joyful in our daily lives. “Devo Maheshvaraha” (Shiva) is often translated as “The Dissolver.”

Why is Shiva called the Dissolver? Why is this force of nature considered an integral aspect of The Creator of Life, Brahma (Consciousness)?

Change is pervasive! Everything we want to do, all the plans that we have, are changed completely under the rule of Natural Law. Sometimes we can predict what will happen. Certainly, scientists wish to determine the changes that will definitely occur, but even “the best laid plans of mice and men” abruptly switch or don’t have the consequences that we had predicted. In Wisconsin, a good example of that is the weather!

So too, just like Christianity says that the Holy Spirit is in charge of all that happens in the physical world; and just like Judaism believes that the “wind” of God (“ruach”) blows where it wills; and just like St Francis of Assisi says that all of nature acts in a way that pleases God, so too does the Yoga Tradition say that all that changes, all that dies, all that moves from one form to another (even our thinking) is a dimension of the Most High Creator of Life (Consciousness).

All of life is “alive” with the constantly changing presence of this force. We can be sure of only one thing: “Life is constantly changing.” The good that we experience moves into a disappointing experience. The bad that has bombarded us, even if it be dramatic illness and death, is moving toward life and wholeness.

In the holistic health world, the purging of a person’s colon during a bout of diarrhea is considered a cleansing, healing process that the body needs to have in order to move again towards health. The Taoists say the same thing in their explanation of the yin/yang principle of life. There is a constant movement, constant “dissolving” of the present into a new present.

The Himalayan Yoga Tradition honors that movement of the physical world and believes that it is part of our human understanding of “God.”

I find it quite comforting that everything that happens in the world, if not meant directly for or against me, is filled with the presence of a loving Divine Being, that I call “The Divine Mother.” She is the Brahma (Universal Consciousness), the Vishnu (The Sustaining Force of Life) and the Shiva (The Ever-changing Dissolver) to whom I pray every morning.

Every morning, The Center volunteers and myself honor this Most High Teacher!


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