The Shaivite Rishis of Kashmir have a great concept called “Sivalok Unmilana”. According to their understanding, it is Lord Shiva who creates the whole Universe, including Brahma, who is otherwise thought of as creator in most texts.
At the end of each world cycle, Shiva goes into a deep meditation, which can be longer than the age of the Universe itself. When He gets out of that meditation in his cave after aeons, it is said that He has recollected all the past associations from within the cave of memory . Family and friends from bygone yugas come back to his thought as He now gazes at the present. His enormous jata (hair) indicates the timeline.
And He creates from this memory and fondness. One by One, all his beloveds from the past emerge to make a new beginning , a new world, a new time cycle. It is said Shiva can create a whole new world from the ashes of the old; that at the end of every life cycle, only Shiva remains, and then he projects forth a new creation, and this is called “Sivalok Unmilana” – The manifestation of a new world by the opening of His eyes.This is the great Vidya ( skill) of the Lord, and this is His great power that none else can have.
And Shiva amazes Himself also. The Kashmir Rishis say ‘ Vismayo yog bhumika’ the stations of yoga constitute great wonder. And we see from a closer look on Shiva’s eyes that his recollection of all that He has been, amazes Him too.
And perhaps He realises that He does not even require ash to re-create, He does not even require the end of a world cycle, but that He can create out of mere thought. And Life begins once again.
And in those fascinated eyes, is the code.
The memory of all the past, gives life to the future ; Ultimately, at the end of the cosmic day, it is all as Shiva wills.
The wise have known this and lived their lives accordingly, not wanting to be set aside after one creation, but to be cast again in every new play of Shiva.
Shiva ganas ( the friends of Shiva) think of Moksha ( salvation) not as a passage into a bodiless realm, nor even a wish to end the cycle of birth and death; but rather to be in a world near Shiva, at all times!
May we all aspire to be in the best memories and fondness of Shiva Ashutosa, The Great God who is easily pleased.
Aum Namah Shivaye.
( Shail Gulhati is a Jammu based Shaivite author)