namo bhavāya cha rudrāya cha
namaḥ śarvāya cha paśupataye cha
namo nīlagrīvāya cha śitikaṇṭhāya cha
namaḥ kapardine cha vyuptakeshāya cha
namaḥ sahasrākṣāya cha śatadhanvane cha
namo girīśāya cha śipiviṣṭāya cha …[5th Anuvaka of Rudram]
Prostration to the one who is the most dear (pleasant), to the one who is the most dreaded terroriser (frightening).
Prostration to the one who kills living beings with arrows, to the Lord (benefactor) of all living beings.
Prostration to the blue-necked one (disfigured (discoloured) naturally), to the one with whitened throat (throat smeared with Bhasma (ash); disfigured (discoloured) artificially).
Prostration to the wearer of matted tangled locks of hair, to him of shaven beard.
Prostration to him of a thousand eyes (view from one point to everywhere), to him who has the capability of hundred bowmen (view from everywhere to one point – concentration of the view from all directions).
Prostration to the Lord of mountains (conjoint into a mass), and to him who is all pervasive (disjoint and diffusing everywhere).
* * *
The highest reach of the intellect is when it conceives the Supreme in diverse themes which are binary opposites, like “most pleasant” and “dreaded terroriser”, the creator of things and their inevitable destroyer, who can be both a thing and its direct and binary opposite.
But the highest reach of the human consciousness (not the intellect) is when one can transform oneself to a great degree such that one may perceive both aspects of a binary opposite happening, not one at a time, but SIMULTANEOUSLY! It is impossible for the intellect to even imagine what this means, let alone visualize, because the mind is designed to see things in fragments, and bits, one at a time specially in case of things which are opposite to each other. For example if one is moving, then it means for the mind that the entity is not standing still; if one is most pleasant than one cannot be a dreaded terroriser at that very instant. If A is present then it cannot be that A is not present at the same time and place. It is always either or for the mind. But the consciousness can outdo even that restriction, in its maximum states of subtlety. It can “see/perceive” how a thing can move and stand still at the same time, how it can create a sweet harmony and unleash terrifyingly destruction at the same time, how a thing can be present and yet its exact opposite can also be present at the very same moment. For the Omnipotent is truly capable not only of all that is difficult, but also all that is impossible and all that is beyond the reach of the farthest imagination!
Photo: Sculpture from 10th century Madhya Pradesh depciting Sadasiva flanked by Shakti in two diverse forms as the peaceful and harmonious Parvati and the terrifyingly destructive Chamunda. In bewteen the two extremes forces stands Sadasiva as the anchor.