One hears a lot about how Lord Shiva is a yogi and lives his live as an ascetic, forsaking the comforts of home and hearth. Those that do talk about the connection between Lord Shiva and domesticity, speak only of his connection to his sons Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya and a somewhat frolicsome relationship with Goddess Parvati. Very few people actually pay close attention to Lord Shiva’s sex life. Anybody who knows anything about this God would know that Shiva does nothing partially. In meditation, he is known as the Yogeshwar (the Lord of meditation), in his role as a performer Shiva is Nataraja (Lord of Dance), in his absolute control over the elements that constitute life, he is Bhooteshwar (Lord of the Five Elements). These are merely examples of the thousand odd names he is given which define him as being the best at everything. So why do we shy away from his prowess in bed?
The answer is simple, according to puritanical ethics, philosophers have always tried to think of meditation and spiritual aspirations as being fundamentally different from the demands of the flesh. Lord Shiva is the one God in the entire Hindu pantheon who does not shy away from the idea of sex. In his simplicity, Lord Shiva is the closest to the common man. He has no pretensions of gentrification or any form of artifice to bind and obfuscate anything that comes naturally. As such there are things to learn from his example even when it comes to sex.
Sex by itself is not impure, evil or dirty. It is a beautiful form of self expression that opens the door to transcendence through one’s body. It is the context in which it is seen that makes it a subject of moral bias. Cut off from all socially sanctioned definitions, sex emerges as just another activity that is essential for the procreation of life and for the development of a strong bond of intimacy between lovers. We live in a day and age where it has become very important for us to dispel the myths that surround sex and try to see it for the true physical and spiritual significance it has.
Legend has it that Shiva and Parvati were as physical in their relationship as they were intellectually inclined to one another. They would disappear for years and spend time with one another exclusively. At least in one of the puranic description about Shiva we learn that on a certain occasion Shiva and Parvati were so engrossed in having sex with each other that they remained hidden from everybody for over 1000 years and at the height of their sexual prowess, their passion shook the mountains to the utter embarrassment of other Gods and Deities.
So what is the secret behind such awesome sexual prowess? How did they manage to get it on so powerfully and with grace?
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Shiva and Sex – 5 Secrets to Rock Your World of Intimacy!
What is it that makes Shiva -the ideal husband? Is it his passionate nature or his ascetic disposition?
The answer to the question may be drawn from both of these aspects of Lord Shiva. While the very nature of Shiva the god is that of a destroyer, one who is fierce and filled with the potential to create chaos, he is also the god who is in absolute control of his emotions. He has to be, after all he has two such willful and headstrong wives! Lord Shiva does not let the determination of his wives annoy or frustrate him. He readily listens to what they have to say agreeing or disagreeing with their opinions in a gentle manner. He treats both Sati and Parvati as equals and not as subservient beings. He sees them as his companions, individuals with whom he can discuss anything and everything- whether it may be intellectual conversations, gathering or giving of advice or even just a light-hearted banter to make him smile. To him their opinion has high value and he enjoys banter and conversations with them. It is these amazing traits of the God alongside his legendary virility that there are many young women in India who wish that they would have an ideal husband like Shiva.
One must bear in mind that the times in which the legends of Shiva were written by sages was characterized by a kind of patriarchal hegemony that relegated the women in society to a secondary position when compared to their husbands or other male members in family life. This trend operated even in mainstream mythology since it was derived from mainstream culture. The legends of Shiva alone shows the kind of harmony and equality of status between husband and wife we strive for even in contemporary times in societies around the globe.
Whether it was with his first wife Sati or his second wife Parvati, Shiva always had immense love and respect for them. It was only after the death of his first wife that Shiva agreed to re-marry, that too after considerable coaxing by various Gods and Goddesses. Unlike other Gods, Shiva is not promiscuous except when it came to the charms of Mohini- the damsel avatar of Lord Vishnu. One may pardon him this indiscretion, considering the fact that Lord Vishnu was as powerful as him and could as such, manage to lead him astray.
The Ardhnareshwar avatar of Shiva and his acknowledgement of the different but equal status of the male and female energy, represented by the Shiv-Shakti dichotomy continues to show all and sundry the extent to which Shiva loved and treasured his female half. The process of generating and sustaining life is incomplete without the active participation of both forces. It is a reality Shiva encompasses even though he is all powerful and invincible.
Therefore when unmarried women pray to Shiva and Parvati to be blessed with husbands like Shiva, one may read in it, a conscientious and well reasoned choice. It symbolizes the appropriate choice for a man who is not materialistic in a narrow sense but has a passionate temperament, capable of introspection, sensitive thought and compassionate action.