The richness of Sanatana Dharma is in its creativity. The Rishi-s, seers, found exciting ways to teach complex concepts to the commoner. As always, they took a simplistic approach to aid memorization. They bundled together symbolisms into three major spheres: cosmic, inner world, and analytical.
Analytical perspective represents our physical and emotional worlds. The inner world signifies the spiritual realm. And, as the term implies, the cosmic denotes the universe in its entirety.
Here’s an esoteric view behind some Divine forms eulogized by millions:
- Cosmic Perspective: Lord Rudra is the manifested form of Parama Shiva. He signifies Kaal, the Time that. Time controls everything. It marks the beginning of this creation, and it also destroys and decays it all. Like Time, Lord Rudra is a part of this world yet way beyond it.
- Inner World Perspective: From this viewpoint, Lord Rudra is the entity that keeps us alive. Many sages did not believe in labeling that entity. They merely referred to it as ‘that which keeps us conscious’. In other words, the Consciousness. In death, we drop the body and our Consciousness. Hence, Lord Rudra is the Lord of Death.
- Analytical Perspective: Lord Rudra stands for Vairagya, non-attachment. If we don’t wish to be rocked by our emotions, we need non-attachment (objectivity). That is the supreme goal of most spiritual aspirants.
- Cosmic: Lord Vishnu symbolizes Space. He is the sustainer or the platform upon whom this entire universe rests. Space and Time work in conjunction always. While Shiva doesn’t take too many forms, Vishnu repeatedly appears in one avatar or the other. That is, while Time is just ticking away on its own, Space is dynamic. As science confirms, Universal Space is continually expanding.
- Inner World: At this level, Lord Vishnu represents our intellect. We would be as good as walking deads without it! In a nutshell, without our intellectual ability, we cannot sustain ourselves in this world.
- Analytical: From this perspective, Lord Vishnu denotes Sathvik qualities. Sathvik is very difficult to translate because it is not a single quality. Oversimplified, when we operate in the mode of goodness and peace, we are said to be Sathvik. It is the equivalent of living in a Zen mode.
- Cosmic: Lord Brahma emerges from Vishnu’s navel. According to the scriptures, the first element to evolve was Space. From Space were created the remaining four elements. While Vishnu is Space, Brahma represents air, water, fire, and earthy material. That is one of the reasons why Brahma has four faces.
- Inner World: At this level, Brahma represents our creative ideas that sprout from our intellect. Everything we see in this world germinated in someone’s intellect (Vishnu) at some point in Time (Rudra).
- Analytical: Here, Brahma represents the process of creation. That ranges from reproduction to artistic expressions. If we examine intensely, we will find that every Karma performed in this world embodies the process of creation in one form or the other.
- It is challenging to pinpoint Devi as the cosmic, inner world, or analytical. She is Shakti, the energy. She is everywhere, and this entire universe is dysfunctional without her. Living without her is like possessing an expensive smartphone that has absolutely no charge!
- At creation, Devi manifested as the brilliant light (Ābhā) alongside the primal sound (Om). Comparable to this Vedic view, science has found the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). It is the Big Bang’s remnant that is scattered across this universe. The radiation from CMB includes the quantum of light and background noise.
- The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another. Devi’s devotees recognize the same by considering Her as the Supreme force that can have numerous forms.
Nature is not just conceptual as science views it. Instead, it is filled with infinite living energy. Hence, the ancient sages sprinkled love and Bhakti into everything. Also, the Divine energy that has conceived this universe can manifest itself at will. That is the faith behind worshipping these Divine forms that represent Mother Nature.