This upcoming weekend will be the Maha Shivratri, which is the celebration of the Hindu God, Shiva. On this day, devotees fast, practice meditation and yoga in reverence of Shiva. Shiva means, “auspicious one” and he is usually depicted in meditation with a third eye at the brow, crescent moon, snake coiled around his neck, while holding a trident and a drum.
Although Kundalini Yoga is not a religious practice, some elements of spiritual teachings are found in many of its mantras and practices. When studying the teachings of Kundalini Yoga and those of Shaivism, one can find some similarities.
Shiva lived an ascetic life until he married and had children, becoming a householder. He represents the Destroyer and Deliverer aspect of the G.O.D. acronym, which also included the Generator (Brahma) and the Organizer (Vishnu). Shiva is considered to be the Lord of Yoga and it is believed that he had to master every type of yoga before he was gifted with Kundalini Yoga.
The primary teaching in Shaivism is non-dualism. Non-dualism means that the Creator and creation didn’t separate (Karta Purkh) and Kundalini yogis often say, “If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all.”
The only objective of the yogi is to merge with the Infinite and be aware of all that separates themselves from that Infinity, so that is may be transformed. Shiva’s seat is at the Third Eye (also known as the Ajna Chakra and Pituitary), which is where we merge from. The Third Eye is where we see the unseen (intuition), self-initiate and project.
There are a series of kriyas using Shiva’s mantra, Maha Mrityunjai.
Here are a few Kundalini Yoga kriyas that have some elements of Shiva in them:
Tershula Kriya/ Thunderbolt of Shiva
Shiva represents Tershula which is the past, present and future. It is said that one who believes they are the past, present and future; creates a place for God to come in. This meditation also helps with the self healing process and working with phobias.
Balance the Mind I & Balance the Mind II
These sets both use the Shiva Dance as part of the kriya. Dancing Shiva is also known as Nataranj. Dancing is a meditative state like other healing forms that releases, dissolves, restores flow, strengthens intuition and awakens creativity.
Creative Meditation of the Sublime Self & For Wealth and Intuitive Opportunity
Both of these meditations are done with the mantra, Hariang.
Doei Shiva Kriya
Helps open up intuitive capacity (The Eye of Shiva).
Shiva-Shakti Pose Venus Kriya
Another Dancing Shiva kriya. This one is done with a partner.
Haree represents Shiva with Har being Brahma and Haray being Vishnu.
Shiva is referenced as part of the Hindu trinity that make up the one God.