The Power of the Third Eye
While most of us believe that the two eyes bestowed upon us are enough to soak in the beauty of the world, the spate of DSLR owning amateur photographers (or for that matter the professional ones as well) believes that even one is enough for the precision in their works of art. Not so much for Lord Shiva, he wants all three.
Interestingly the concept of the third eye has been vividly described in a lot of cultures like Taoism, Christianity, Gnosticism, Theosophy and other esoteric disciplines. The focus of this article is to however highlight the Hindu connotations of the third eye referencing Lord Shiva.
Known as the Trymbaka Deva (literally meaning ‘three-eyed Lord’), the Sun (symbolizing love) is his right eye, the Moon(symbolizing justice) is left eye and fire is the third eye. Symbolically the third eye is perceptive and capable of destroying evil. The term destroyer has been used to address Shiva, in part, due to the presence of the third eye. The two eyes have the limited emission of power required to view the universe but the third eye emits energy enough to destroy all evil residing in the universe. While destruction may have negative connotations it needs to be understood that all that has a beginning by necessity, must have an end. Destruction only removes the illusion of individuality and does not denote an end. Hence, the act of destruction by Lord Shiva’s third eye is merely to give birth to something better. Destruction opens an opportunity for change and newer creation.
The origin of the third eye takes us to the popular story of how a playful move by Lord Shiva’s wife lead to the creation of the ultimate weapon of destruction. According to the Mahabharata, Parvati closed Shiva’s eyes by placing her hand over them while he was meditating. Her juvenile act leads to a blackout in the universe and chaos. So Shiva created a third to restore order. The unbridled light from the fire of his third eye made everything visible.
The third eye is also symbolic to insight or spiritual knowledge. It denotes wisdom and intelligence and the opening of the third eye also represents the vanishing of ignorance.
Scientifically, the mythological third eye is located near the Pineal gland that affects the modulation of wake/sleep cycle and other motor functions. Some studies even show that it may influence the action of recreational drugs, such as cocaine and antidepressants, and make them avoid brain damage. Maybe it is time to attempt introspection of the kind that would encourage our third eye to open and deliver us from the world infested by ‘Maya’.