Monday, February 16, 2015

Parvati's Mirror



Herath is now often remembered as the day of Shiva's marriage. A day of Shiva. A reflection of state of our society today. A correction: it is day of Parvati and Shiva. A small ritual in a Kashmiri Pandit wedding involves the bride holding up a mirror and the couple seeing each other's reflection in it. A Pandit wedding is essentially a recreation of the wedding of Shiva and Parvati. The bride, Parvati holds the mirror and brings a certain self-realization upon Shiva. A balance. The nature of Shiva changes at this self-realization. The approach, the methods to explain him, changes. A war of ideas is settled. All made possible by Parvati, and the mirror she holds. Harsha V. Dehejia explains in 'Parvatidarpana: An Exposition of Kasmir Saivism through the Images of Siva and Parvati (1997)':


"Shiva's first cognition discovers the sensuous Parvati
but he cognises yet again and sees the mirror in her hand
The first cognition reveals the lustful Parvati
the second cognition none other than Shiva himself
in the mirror of Parvati.
Shiva is wonderstruck, he experiences the rasa of adbhuta
at the transformation brought about by the mirror
a movement from the enigmatic dvaita to the restful advaita
such is the wonder of pratyabhijna that creates the majestic
advaita
not the advaita of negation but of affirmation, not where the mind whispers neti neti
but the chitta joyously exclaims iti iti."



Image: Shiva and Parvati (holding mirror), Kashmir, 10th or 11th century. Cincinnati Art Museum. [source: wiki]
The Pratyabhijna thoughts started in Kashmir with the writings of Somananda (875–925 CE) and Utpaladeva (ca. AD 900–950).

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Herath Mubarak.

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Update:
11 Feb, 2016

The mirror ritual from my marriage.


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