The word Siva is synonym for Knowledge.
Sivaroopaat jnaanamahaha tvatto muktim
janaardanaakaaraat Sikhi roopaat eiswaryam
bhaaskaraat aarogyam bhavanti (saambakruta soorya stotram)
Purport: We obtain knowledge from Siva, liberation from Vishnu, wealth from Subrahmanya and health from Sun. Thus Siva is embodiment of Knowledge and also giver of knowledge. The paramaatma Lord Siva who is sat-chit-aananda is also satya-siva-sundara. Here the words “chit” and “siva” relate to knowledge – both secular and spiritual.
We are aware of the beautiful saying “chidaananda roopa sivoham”. When right knowledge sets in us, our mind and heart will be filled with bliss and peace. The mind becomes full moon and reflects the rays of knowledge in form of pleasantness. We, in bliss get absorbed in the Lord and become one with the Lord and be Siva.
Atman as Prajnaanam is the root and basis for our being. It is pure consciousness too. The Brahman is the chief cause for the formation of prapancham (world – inner mental world). Atman and Brahman are one and the same.
Purport: By Whom the world is born, and resides absorbed in Him and dissolves into Whom; who is the Lord, who is the root for all these, who is the origin, substance and dissolution; Who is everything; such Eeswara, the offspring of the Atman I pray and take refuge. Like this Bhagavata has described the parmatma, Eeswara, Parameswara who is non-dual to Siva and Kesava.
Evvaniche janinchu jagamevvani lopala nundu leenamai
Evvaniyandu dindu parameswarudevvadu moola kaaranam
Bevvadu anaadi Madhya layudevvadu; sarvamu taanayaina vaa
Devvadu; vaanini aatmabhavun eeswaru ne saranambu vededan
(potana bhaagavata 8-73)
Full devotion is Knowledge. Lord Sankara is servant to His devotees (bhakta kinkara). Sadaasiva the embodiment of knowledge is Silence-Incarnate. The Three-Eyed is adept in taking care of His devotees and is artistic in protecting His devotees. He took care of Markandey; protected him from Lord Yama and made Markandeya a chiranjeevi (who lives eternally). He is such care-taker of His devotees and is always available and His devotees can reach Rudra at any time in any circumstances. Lord Siva is our Father and takes care of us as one.
Sages like Vasistha, Vaamadeva, Gautama, have composed so many stotrams (praises and prayers) on Lord Siva. Right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari the Siva Tatva has spread and the worship of Lord Siva has transformed paramaata eeswara as Siva. The Nayanamaars of the Tamil land, the Saiva poets Nannechoda, Paalkuriki Somana, Srinaatha of the Andhra, have worshipped, and sung the praises of the Lord to their hearts’ content and composed lyrics and poetry on Lord Siva and imprisoned Him in their hearts. Basaveswara, Akkamahaadevi of the Kannada Desa have become one with Siva with their devotion and surrender.
The above Siva devotees are role models for us and examples of receiving showers of Siva’s compassion and love. All these are our guides and leaders in Siva Bhakti. Sri Ramana Maharshi is the dear child, of Arunaachaleswara the embodiment of brilliance of Knowledge. And also Sri Ramana Maharshi is lamp of and for Siva / Paramaatma Tatva and is golden replica in Knowledge of the Lord Arunaachaleswara. The 12 Jyotirlingas, 5 pancha bhoota lingas, and the like many great and auspicious temples adorn the length and breadth of the land of spirituality, our India. Such a Siva is under the whims and fancies of His devotees, bears Ganges on His head, is Consort of Goddess Parvathi and is Lord of the Pasus (Pasupathi). The Visweswara, the venerated Spouse of Goddess Aparna is Embodiment of Silence, roams always, an example for simple living is Form of Happiness and shines as It.
The Tapasvi, who is always in Meditation, married Haimavathi and became a house-holder. Such Siva is Ardhanareeswara and is an embodiment of advaita (sameness) of man and woman. Being the Form of Dakshinaamoorthy, who resides under the Banyan Tree, is Father to the World. Let that Siva make Knowledge and Dispassion dawn in us making us blessed and protect us through His Silent Blessings.