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The Dance of Shiva

A Poem by Paresh

By

Shiva Nataraja

Nataraja: The Dancing Shiva

It is the Age of Darkness...
In his 28th incarnation, Lord Shiva
walks through an archway of torches
through dark corridors into the center of the earth
a halo of fire around his head
lighting the way like a miners' lamp
leaving footprints that glow in the dark,
waiting to be filled someday
by the masters who will follow

Shiva closes his eyes and the sun goes out
holds his breath and all of the creatures fall dead
covers his ears and the universe goes silent
not a water drop
not a heartbeat
not a sound from a songbird in any of the 4 corners

Shiva swallows the stars until they burn like coals through his eyes
his outline glows against the night sky like an eclipse of the sun
and sparks follow each of his movements like a shower of meteors

He lights up the sky with the Aurora
comets appear before dawn
he showers the earth with hot rocks that make the seas bubble and boil

He walks on full moon nights through broken temples covered with prayers in Sanskrit
through crumbling arches overrun with immense fig trees
and guarded by a cobra

Shiva hides behind Pluto in the dark recesses of the 7th galaxy
he greets us at death in that quiet place that is faint in our memories
that place that has always been there but we can't quite remember

When you cross that bridge to the other world, open the door and step through
step through the stars, swim through the Milky Way,
touch the very boundaries of the universe

and then...it is the Age of Awakening

On the Night of Shiva, as creation awaited,
the drum sounded and music awoke the vast silence with the vibration of om
and brought the universe into existence
Covered with ashes and pale blue in color,
Shiva sustains the universe through practice of austerities
He takes the first step and the world begins to spin
until the momentum of its own force keeps it in motion
rivers flow from the Nile to the Ganges and pour into the ocean
and trees turn from green to gold to bare branch a thousand times a day

And the dance begins...

The primal energy infuses everything and nature awakens
flowers bloom, waterfalls tumble into immense canyons,
and the animals evolve as consciousness races back to its source

Shiva reveals his secret to Matseyendra - Lord of the Fishes
the secret of the ages, the secret of yoga
and then turns into a statue at Kayavarohan,
awaiting discovery someday by one who seeks awakening

Awakening happens only in the next world, the next, and then the next
but the promise of awakening is here and now
and without the promise, there is only cold and darkness

But Shiva remains hiding just out of sight
he reveals himself last - if ever
for to discover Shiva is to understand the mystery that has no answer

So we create myths: Stonehenge, the Elephant Caves, pyramids,
Abu Simbel, the riddle of the Sphynx, the lost cities - Angkor Wat, Machu Piccu, Copan...
how were they built, and why?
it's quite simple - like Shiva, they have been there since the beginning

And the dance goes on even though worlds collide,
the sun burns out and the universe freezes
it just awaits the next step

Lord of the Other Universe - the One Beyond - Hari Om!

The dance begins
Dance continues
Dance never ends

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