Pashupati is one of the oldest names of Lord Shiva in the form of the Lord of the Animals on the Harappan seal, a form which is also linked to the Celtic Cernunnos depicted on the Gundestrup cauldron.
This Sanskrit name is interpreted literally as the lord (Pati) of the animals (Pashu), and metaphorically as the God who frees the individual self from the ties that bind them to the material world. The name is invoked in several millennia old Sanskrit chants including compositions of Adi Shankaracharya and held in much reverence in Sanatana Dharma.
Recently I was talking with some friends when a person with this name joined us, and to my immense delight, he answered to the nickname ‘Pashu’, apparently oblivious to what the word meant in Sanskrit. Perhaps the short form of his name was not implied to mean ‘an animal’, but rather the metaphorical ‘Pashu’, a soul that is tied to the illusion that is the material world. Still, I could not help smiling, and marvelling at the beautiful ancient names that can be interpreted in so many ways. Sanskrit is truly the language of the source.
Shubh Deepavali to everyone celebrating today.
One of the many blessings from the Covid lockdown was being able to watch the original TV series Ramayan. Despite the limited technology and old-fashioned props like lotus flowers made from folded pink paper, there is something very genuine about this most popular adaptation of the historical epic, compared to which every other version looks like a regular costume drama.
The serial concludes, just like Maharishi Valmiki’s original epic in Sanskrit, with the joyous occasion of Lord Rama’s coronation at Ayodhya, portrayed in this song where the Vedas take human form and extol the virtues of Rama who was an avatar of the divine, and yet very much a man who once walked upon the earth.
King Rama’s timeline is roughly estimated between circa 4500 and 4000 BC, which is supported by various literary and archaeological evidences including the copper head discovered by the American explorers Harry H. Hicks and Robert N. Anderson which is assumed to be a representation of King Rama’s guru Maharishi Vashista.
This song from the serial depicts the blissful occasion of the homecoming and coronation of a beloved King and the establishment of Rama Rajya, an ideal form of governance of that age. But the effect is jarred ever so slightly towards the end by the producer dressed as a God, suddenly jumping into the scene like a jack in the box and proceeding to finish the song.
It still somehow fits into the scene and brings home the simplicity of the 1980s when the serial was produced and telecast. There are few people who do not long for the nostalgia of that period of the 80s and 90s, prior to the advent of the internet and mobile phones. Yet, many more of us would rather be in this era of open information that has brought real history and knowledge about everything one could want to everyone who seeks the truth. Only the truth about their origins, culture and real history can enlighten and empower individuals which can eventually lead to a stable, happy and inclusive society as it used to be, as Maharishi Valmiki says, during Rama rajya.