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  • I am all pervasive as I have no form nor attributes
    I am always impartial to everything and everyone
    I am free from everything and
    have no attachment to anything
    I have no wishes for anything, because
    I'm Everything, Everywhere, Everytime
    always in Equilibrium.
    I am indeed that knowledge
    consciousness and bliss.
    I am Shiva, I am Shiva .

    --- Adhi Sankhara.

    According to the legend, thousands (or maybe millions) of years ago there was a great churning of the oceans. Maybe it was a tsunami, who knows? But during this churning, called Samudra Manthan, a pot of poison sprang up from the ocean. How did anyone know it was poison and not nectar is anybody's guess but it sure terrified the hell out of the gods and demons who rushed to Shiva and asked him to help.
    Shiva obliged by drinking the poison but instead of swallowing it he held it in his throat. This caused his throat to turn blue and so they called him Nilkantha, the blue-throated one. The world was saved and thus began the practice of observing Mahashivratri.
    On this day a three-tired platform is arranged around a fire. The topmost one represents heaven, the middle one space and the lowest one represents the earth. The platforms are decorated with urns. Leaves of mango and bael (aegle marmelos) are placed on a coconut, the coconut representing the head of Shiva while the uncut husk on the top symbolizing the hair on Shiva's head.
    Oh yes, the datura fruit and flower, although considered poisonous, is also offered to Shiva. Wikipedia says that in some cultures datura has been used as a poison and a hallucinogen.
    Shiv is the name of someone we know but honestly he is not at all god-like. He calls himself a family friend but he backbites and schemes like a demon. Maybe someone should offer him datura leaves and flowers.
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