Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Kill Bull 4

 As usual during Navaratri, I speculate on a theme of the Bull's double nature and especially on this story of glorious victory of Sri Durga over him. I want to share my today's thoughts about it with you.
In Kill Bull 1 in search of a generality of bull's motives in many mythologies and religions, I find them at the Persians, the Mesopotamians, the Minoans, the Indus Valley, the Celts, the Canaanites, and many other cultures. The image of a bull comes up a lot, and when it does, it means masculinity, power, and violence. But it does not mean that any bull is the blood brother of Mahisasura. For example, some researchers do many comparisons of the bull symbol of Greek Zeus or Dionysus with the same at Shiva. I do not consent to any. Simply because they represent opposite directions. Dionysus represents the temporal transformed self and Shiva personifies the Oneness transcendent to the tension of the opposites - the detached consciousness of the centred Self. Symbolically, his Nandi as a manifestation of Dharma in all his earthy ferocity and divine  graciousness represents controlled virility, the creative potency transmuted into intellectual command of "the Rider of the Bull". If Shiva is the "One" of reconciled opposites, Dionysus is the self-divided "many" suspended between them. It resembles more on Mahisa. His bull is a symbol of man's instinctive center ruled by physical desire and survival. We find here a confrontation between man and beast, between the rational and the irrational. This dual encounter is echoed in the Greek legend of Theseus and the Minotaur.
Almost the key target in all these myths was the defeat of the Bull. Dionysus was said to have assumed the form of a bull before being torn to pieces. Mahisa has been separated from direct knowledge of the Source and the bull is now to be defeated (sacrificed). The bull becoming the sacrificial victim in ritual does it also sacred. I speak about it in Kill Bull 2 where I consider the meaning of the sacrifice during Durga puja. The form symbolizing Goddess and her sacrifice is sometimes the same, as in the case of the bull, offered as a sacrifice in honor of Durga.  As Kalika purana has told : "Mahadevi... is the goddess of the whole universe, the very universe itself." That is, we see the Great Goddess in all and her capacity of the Great Goddess to communicate throughout the life force and to renew herself in highly evolved and complex forms.
I continue to think about it in Kill Bull 3 where I see the battle as the man versus our internal bull. The dark elemental force of the bull is symbolic of the adversary that we must all face at some time in our lives. Therefore I find my personal sense of bullfight in which I see some echoes of ancient rituals. Simultaneously, I ask myself who was going to fight in the arena? It is need to have some boldness in recognising that it we are  ourself.

Why it is the boldness? Because the seeker should find his dark side, that enemy, battle with it and defeat it. Maybe the image of the bull in myths and legends stands for us that main task - to "kill" our lowest self. And then, the enemy can turn to something absolutely another. For example, in zen-Buddhism, the "the riding the bull" is the famous metaphor of the end of search of an enlightenment (satori) or the true self.  Maybe it is this state which Krishna named "who dwells in his inner self" in the Bhagavad Gita.
In the ending of Mahisa's story, the hate here is transformed into love, and the bull - into devotee. He has recognizes his inability to move towards the path of God-realization and seeks the help of Divine Power with fervent prayer. From now he is in the immediate proximity of the Goddess.
Today  an another big question excites me and I am compelled to face it every day.  If we are prepared to accept that all life polarities ideally exist in creative tension, anyhow we are compelled to choose the parties on which we are at that universal fight. We live during time when asuric forces are predominant all over the world. They create division, conflict and destruction and strive to prevent human beings from advancing to a higher awareness. If any force cannot arise and challenge this asuric dominance, then its negative energy and destructive consequences are bound to increase. That requires a fiery and dynamic form of Shakti, one that can combat worldly rajas through Divine rajas. And then, Sri Kali arises, the Divine Mother, Who has the real power to conquer the asuras.
A Divine energy must become dominant, absorbing the active force into a higher aspiration, making the asuras serve the God. All versions of the story of Mahisa's birth and death, they all contain the consistent themes of the triumph of good over evil as well as the divine abilities to restore order to the universe. And all of us participate in this fight every day -  when we prefer battle over passivity, Good over evil, Truth over lie, reason over energy, order over chaos, sanity over madness, sattva over tamas, Nandi over Mahisa, overworld over underworld, perfection and wholeness over degradation.
May the Divine Durga arises and bless us all on this battle!

Jai Ma Durga!

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