Today's guest post is brought to us by the eloquent Sangraal of Insights of an American Shakta. If you haven't found his blog yet, please do so. He is an amazing writer and really keeps you on your toes mentally.
By Love, You Come
The religions of Sanatana Dharma are soon to celebrate the festival of Holi. The colorful holiday anticipating Spring has a number of genesis in the mythos, two.of which I will give in a synopsis below.
There is the legend of Prahlad, a devout follower of Lord Vishnu, who was being persecuted by an asura that had tricked Brahma into giving him a boon that prevented him from being killed by man or beast, on the ground or in the air, during day or night, within or without his house. The asura Hiranyakashipu, the epitome of arrogance, shortly thereafter demanded that all people cease the worship of the gods (especially Vishnu who had previously killed his equally abhorrant brother), and worship him instead. His own son, Prahlad, however, refused him and went on serving Vishnu.
Hiranyakashipu, angered at the audacity of his own son to defy his orders (and to worship Vishnu of all the gods!), began violently persecuting the boy and attempted numerous , sadistic ways to murder Prahlad. From tossing him in a pit of vipers to burning him alive, Vishnu alway prevented harm to his fervant devotee. Eventually tiring of the madness, Vishnu descended in the lion-man form of Narasimha and approached Hiranyakashipu. Neither man nor beast, he took the asura to the porch of his home (neither within nor without the house), upon his lap (neither upon the ground nor in the sky) and during dusk (neither day nor night) and brought the asura to his demise via evisceration. Having broken not one arm of the boons, Prahlad and the rest of humanity was saved from the arrogant asura.
In another story, Kamadeva (the.Hindu cupid!) was trying to get Shiva to marry Parvati and aggressively did so by launching an arrow at him while in meditation. As few things are more insane than disturbing the Lord of Pure Consciousness during meditation, Shiva's third-eye opened during the disturbance which rendered the love god to ashes. Kamadeva's wife, Rati (devi of passion), pleaded with Lord Shiva to restore her husband, who eventually agreed that He would. However, Kamadeva could not be brought back fully, but instead was incarnated to a mental image. The transcendance of Love, then, became a faculty far greater the physical manifestation of lust. Love truly is the height of spirituality.
And, it is love that brings these two stories together. Love of the gods for their devotees and as a medium through which the spirit evolves.
It is love that brings the Sun through His course each year, reborn after the cold darkness of the Winter months. It is the power through which He is reborn through the awesome omnipresent Goddess-- the shakti, power, behind all things, material and immaterial. As the first seeds sprout from their previously frozen prison, we are called to be reminded of the continuity of Life. Through Love, the wheel turns.
We are born. We are preserved. We die. All three are functions not only in part governed by Him, but also that unto which He is subject. It is something all things, from the tiniest microorganism to the greatest of people--and, even ideas!-- are prone to endure. But, it ends not there. As with all things, we endure rebirth. If not absorbed into that cosmic Consciousness, we return as do the plants, the birds, man and the Lord of the Earth, macrocosmized in the Sun. And it is such things, as are all acts of love and pleasure, Her ritual.
I welcome you back, O Sun, known as Surya and many other Names, back into your visible chariot as you bring Light and Rebirth to a world darkened by your departure. As you trail the Heavens and send shadows to flee and as you incarnate by seed, root, stem, leaf and bud, let us invoke you by Your Highest Faculty and make the next turn of the Wheel bloom brightly by the fruit of our devotion.