Sunday, August 9, 2015

Shiva's Drum

Shiva, Lord of the Cosmic Dance
According to Hindu mythology, Shiva is the lord of the cosmic dance and the cosmic sound of AUM, from which the entire universe in generated. Shiva is often depicted with an "hourglass drum" or damaru, which provides the music for the dance, and symbolizes the act of the creation of the universe through sound. The sounding of Shiva's drum produced the first sound (Nada, the source of creation) in the void of nothingness; its pulse setting up a rhythm to which Shiva began his dance of creation.

The damaru is a small drum with two drumheads, which symbolize the two states of existence--unmanifest and manifest. When a damaru is vibrated, it produces dissimilar sounds which are fused together by resonance to create one sound. The drumbeat is the tuner sound, the sound that fuses the unmanifest and manifest aspects of vibration into one resonance. The sound thus produced by the damaru symbolizes Nada, the cosmic sound of AUM, which can be heard during deep meditation. According to Hindu scriptures, Nada is the source of creation. It is through this drum that the universe was created, and through it the universe will be destroyed and renewed again in the endless cycles (rhythms) of time. 

The damaru, like all double-headed drums, constitutes a microcosm of the universe, unites the masculine and feminine principles, and produces sounds with a tremendous dynamic range. By playing a double-headed drum we become co-creators. In such a drum there is balance between male and female forces. Earth and Sky, Matter and Spirit, Shiva (divine masculine) and Shakti (divine feminine) are working together in perfect harmony. With clarity of thought and intent, the drummer becomes a co-creator of all that is needed to benefit all beings unto seven generations. To learn more, look inside my book Shamanic Drumming.

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