Shiva’s confession

Rasa Ravi, 2021

Between snow-clad noble trees stretching almost to the ocean of sky,
at the safe shadow of a mighty cave backing my adamant effort,
at the very mouth of the great mountain,
the praised mountain of suppression of emotions and desire,
I have been meditating for thousands of years,
I have been restraining from life since time immemorial,
and still, I am not satisfied,
still, I miss Something,
still, my being is not Full.

People venerate me as the Great Yogi,
but they see me only as a rigid picture,
but they see me only as an artistic statue,
but they see me only as an erected lingam,
but they see me only as abstract consciousness,
but they see me only as the highest tattva in philosophical insights.
They don’t see my struggle inside,
they see only the outward pose.

I am the greatest ascetic,
the embodiment of meditation,
full of control of the mind,
full of control of the breath,
full of control of the slightest body movements.
I am adored and admired for it,
but what people don’t see is that
I have been meditating for thousands of years,
I have been restraining from life since time immemorial,
and still, I am not satisfied,
still, I miss Something,
still, my being is not Full.

I may look like a grand majesty
intact with scarcity of food,
intact with snowfall,
intact with windstorms,
not afraid of wild beasts.
But inside,
my heart is frozen like an ice pond,
hard as rock,
and my sincere eagerness towards the Truth
is cooled to the point
that I cannot relieve my strife,
I cannot satisfy my thirst.

My determination to change things
is under a huge pile of snow,
not capable of moving in any direction.
So, I am motionless, too,
and ascetics revere me because of it.
But what they don’t see is that
I have been meditating for thousands of years,
I have been restraining from life since time immemorial,
and still, I am not satisfied,
still, I miss Something,
still, my being is not Full.

It was Your grace when You came to me as Ganga,
but I was so frightened by Your Force and Chaos
that I managed to diffuse Your Waters
in the curls of my long hair,
not allowing them to descend,
not allowing them to descend to the heart.
People venerate me that I the Great Yogi
controlled the mighty Waters,
but they don’t understand
that it was not a victory,
it was not glorious conduct to celebrate,
it was not a deed to be extolled in songs,
because it was the opposite what should be praised,
because it was a foolish act of fear.
I didn’t allow Your Waters to open my heart,
my heart ice-frozen as a rock.

You tried sending to me the Sun to grind my sullen sturdiness, but
I was afraid it would excite my senses,
I was afraid it would enable my feelings to go out of control,
I was afraid I could touch the warmth of love.
So, in a hurry, I instated the Moon on my head,
occupying it and not allowing the Sun to come.
I instated the Moon with its cooling light,
not disturbing my cold being.
What ridicule, O Goddess!
People are venerating me because of my rigidness,
being in full of control and concentration of mind,
but what they don’t see is that
inside I am begging You to come.

When You came to me as Inanna,
You taught me the circles and channels,
and alas, once again I treated You as being only a Woman.
I could not acquire Your deep core Teaching.
I was immersed only into consciousness,
but attained powerful results.
And people venerate me because of the I-consciousness,
but what they don’t know is that
I have been meditating for thousands of years,
I have been restraining from life since time immemorial,
and still, I am not satisfied,
still, I miss Something,
still, my being is not Full.

I did not listen to the deep core of Your Teaching,
that You cannot be controlled,
that the Heart cannot be controlled,
that Love cannot be controlled,
that consciousness cannot go there,
that control cannot go there,
that the ‘I’ cannot go there.

I am stuck with the image people use to describe me,
and yes, they are right, I am that frozen picture,
incapable of opening up to You,
no matter how diligently You try.
I always want to keep my control,
not to allow my feelings to burst out into life.

Because I, Shiva, am the embodiment of yogic control,
I don’t know how to give up my control,
I am truly afraid giving up my control,
the whole world—my mind—would collapse.
What would worshippers think of me
if I abandoned meditation and got a warm soup?
I am stuck as the embodiment of ascetics,
I don’t know how to give up control,
I don’t want to give up control.

In the very deep core of Your Teaching, You said
that I must give up myself being Shiva,
that I must give up being an embodiment of anything,
that I must give up being a god,
that I must give up being a being,
that I must surrender to You, not controlling anything,
have faith in You that You know better what is good for me,
letting the Power of Chaos pierce my whole being,
let the mind, the ‘I,’ the consciousness
to be possessed by You,
that then You will come to free my heart
and melt down the Himalayas
to a sunny meadow full of life.

But I don’t want to give up my control,
because I am Shiva, the great ascetic.