Attuning to the Avatars of Hinduism

Let us first concentrate on Shiva as he is portrayed in the chronicles of history of the Indian tradition, and then well reach beyond that particular picture and get into the essence of the being that he represents. He is pictured sitting on the top of mount Kailash in a state of samadhi. He has overcome the body functions, mastered the body functions; he has overcome his thoughts, he's able to master his thoughts, he's able to master his emotions, he's able to master his sense of identity. And so he represents a kind of Olympic victory of a super-human will, that is exercising mastery. So, the quality is mastery.

Now, that's the picture, but now we try to reach beyond the picture. What does that being represent for us, for the whole universe? Well, that extraordinary faculty that we all have, to master the most challenging conditions, and as a consequence are able to affirm the divine will over our fantasies. So, there's an emotion, the emotion of mastery, of being in control of situations which would otherwise go outside your control. So, let us try and experience in ourselves the being of Shiva beyond time and space. And that means dealing with hardships, with courage and control - instead of lamenting because conditions are difficult.

Rama is the embodiment of the knight, the first chivalry. He was at first an ascetic, banished by his father, but his main action was in life. "The life of Rama suggests that, spiritual strife apart, the struggle in the world is the first thing to face; and if one keeps to one´s own ideal through every test and trial in life, one will no doubt arrive at a stage when he will be victorious. It does not matter how small be the struggle, but victory won in the end of every struggle is the power that leads man farther on the path towards life´s goal. The life of man, however great and spiritual, has its limitations. Before conditions of life the greatest man on earth, the most powerful soul, will for a moment seem helpless. But it is not the beginning that counts; it is the end. It is the last note that a great soul strikes which proves that soul to be real and true." (Hazrat Inayat Khan)

Krishna is, of course, an anticipation of Christ. He is God having become a child and therefore becoming human. That´s the whole strength of Hinduism: instead of thinking of God right up there, bringing Him right down, seeing Him living right here amongst us. He is lovable and therefore arouses a feeling of love and affection. That´s when your heart goes out to God manifesting His creatures. That´s Krishna, even when it might be a deer or an animal in the forest or any creature that you feel love for.

(Texts from meditations with Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan)

Further attunements: