Lord Shiva was always concerned with the well-being of all the creatures. Loka: Samasta: Sukhino Bhavantu was his motto. Let all beings in the world be happy! Not only the Devas or the elites but all beings including the worms. What a Catholic and Universal love.
When Vasuki, the serpent king was about to vomit his poison, a single drop of which would have been sufficient to burn the entire world, Lord Shiva came forward hurriedly, collected the poison in his palms, and without any hesitation, drank it to protect the world. Thereby he established several facts:
- I am the leader. I am the only leader. Where others fear to tread, I can grab the opportunity and prove before the world that I am superior to all.
- I am a universal lover. My responsibility is to protect all, unsought and unsolicited. It was a sensitive and sensible volunteer’s action.
- I am a crisis manager. I have to swing into instant, in situ, action. No one needs persuade me. I have to act independently as per the situation demands. I am Shiva; all men are Shiva – the most auspicious. Shivo Aham.
- I am Satyam (the eternal truth), Shivam and Sundaram (the exhilarating beauty).
His actions to protect his devotees from crisis were spontaneous. There are several folk stories in circulation to prove his clemency.The best example was the granting of refuge and immortality to Markandeya. The boy was very devout, intelligent and a Satvik soul. As Prahlada who found his Lord Narayana (Vishnu) everywhere, and in every object including all atoms, Markandeya did, whatever he did, was the worship of the Lord.
Yadyad Karma Karomi Thatthat Akhilam,
Whatever karma I perform, all are, O Sambhu (Shiva) your adoration.
When Yama, the God of Death and Justice followed Markandeya, he ran off and sought refuge unto the Shivaling and embraced it, believing firmly that the idol would save him. The benefactor burnt his devotee’s enemy, however powerful he was, with the flames of his wrath. Shiva proved here that he was, as a master or Lord, or mascot or a subject of worship, always dependable.
Here, Lord Shiva became:
—Annadata – the one who feeds us
—Bhayatrath – one who eradicates our fear permanently
—Kanyam Prayachathi – one’s father-in-law
—Janitha – own father
—Upanetha – one that teaches us.
The supreme Lord maintained reticence even when Daksha crossed all limits humiliating and abusing him. Wherever Daksha got an opportunity to belittle the Lord he did not spare that occasion. Shiva bore all the insults not just because Daksha was his father-in-law but because of his own nature of restraint. Daksha was aware of the character of Lord Shiva who never forgave anyone that injured him. His father, Lord Brahma, once antagonised Shiva who nipped one of Brahma’s four heads. Shiva used this skull of Brahma’s head as his begging bowl and hence he was also named Kapali. Finally when he had to suppress the insolence of Daksha he did not involve directly but deployed his lieutenants.
SATI: Lord Shiva’s wife Parvati was Sati, the daughter of Daksha in her earlier life. Her self-esteem was in the highest order. She exhibited inimitable courage of self-sacrifice in her Yogic power before a huge assembly. Parvati was a charming but ordinary girl without any particular target in her life. She was a brilliant student and exposed rare talents in her childhood that made both Himavan and Mena wonderstruck always. When saint Narada revealed the secret of her past life and the mission of her present, she had no hesitation to choose her future path. No ambiguity. She steadfastly proceeded as per the destined course. After the incineration of Kama when Shiva shifted his place of meditation, she did not return baffled or abandoned her pursuit. Rather she made it aggressive. When Shiva appeared before her as Brahmachari and offered his help to her, she gracefully thanked him and trusted his friendship. She revealed her heart’s wish innocently. Later as the Brahmachari started provoking her, abusing and charging against her Lord, it was only natural on her part to prevent him harshly.
Na Kevalam Yo Mahato Apabhashate
Srunoti Tasmad Api Ya: Sa: Papabhak…
Not only the one that speaks ill of the great, is a partaker of the fruit of the sin, but the one who listens to him as well. This harsh or slightly unbecoming behaviour of Parvati brought her instant solution. She achieved her Lord and her mission.