Srila Giri Maharaja
Date: April 3, 2008
To: Ratnanabha das
Subject: Re: Question’s
Dear Ratnanabha Prabhu,Please accept my humble dandavat pranams in remembrance of our Divine Masters.I have studied your email carefully and, while I think I know what you want, it is not so clear.I did not want to keep you waiting any longer for a response, however, so I will tell you what little I know from memory and what I can ascertain through some research.Srila Sridhar Maharaja told us there are, I believe, 5 tattvas that are very difficult to understand. I don’t recall all of them but, Shiva tattva was one. So, already you have introduced a subject that Srila Guru Maharaja warned us is very difficult.Fortunately, you have already done some research yourself and offered a variety of thoughts descriptive of Shiva. Your confusion seems to be harmonizing all of them as they appear diverse and in some instances contradictory. They are not, but may appear so due to insufficient knowledge of the subject, which we both admit.I searched many of Srila Sridhar Maharaja’s books to refresh my memory of the ideas I’m stating here but could not find the references I sought. I assume, therefore, that what I remember is from hearing from him directly or from a tape. As such, I cannot offer a quotation to support all my statements.
That said, another item I recall is that Srila Guru Maharaja said Shiva has two aspects one residing in the spiritual world and one in the material. This I will explain below.
The confusion, as I see it, lies in the fact that when the term “Shiva” is used, it is often done without reference to which aspect of Shiva is being referred to.
There is a Shiva Loka in the spiritual sky where the eternal, divine aspect of Shiva as some particular shakti of Krishna resides with his followers.
- “We are interested in understanding this gradation: what is the Viraja river, what is the spiritual sky, the planet of Lord Shiva, the Vaikuntha world of Vishnu, Lord Rama’s Ayodhya, and then Krsna in Dwaraka, Mathura, and Vrndavana? We want to know the realistic view of the whole gradation of devotional thought.” –SGHG
There is another Shiva Loka within the material universe where Sri Shiva, as a demigod and devotee of the Lord “vaisnavanam yatha sambhuh”, resides with his wife goddess Parvati and their followers.
- “I have so much indifference towards this world that I am mainly interested in knowledge and penance; This holds the better portion of my interest. Whatever little inclination I have for devotional service to Narayana is very negligible. Sometimes I have such an apathetic spirit towards Narayana that I even fight with Him in favor of one of my disciples! I am disgusted with my position. Penance, power, mystic yoga perfection, and indifference to the world; that is my business.” Srila Sridhar Maharaj stating Lord Shiva’s talk with Narada –SSK
Srila Sridhar Maharaja then explains that this Shiva represents jnana-misra bhakti “This is jnana”