--by Jaggi Vasudev (Mar 08, 2005)
The word Shiva literally means that which is not. That which is, is existence; that which is, is creation. That which is not is Shiva. If you open your eyes and look around, if your vision is for small things, you will see lots of creation. But if your vision is really looking for big things, you will see that the biggest presence in existence is a vast emptiness.
Just a few spots -- which we call galaxies -- are noticed, not the vast emptiness that holds. This vastness or unbounded emptiness, is Shiva. Science today says that everything comes from nothing and eventually goes back to nothing. Every religion, every culture on this planet has been talking about the omnipresent, all-pervading nature of the divine. The only thing that can truly be all-pervading is darkness -- nothingness or emptiness.
Generally, when seeking well being, we talk of the divine as the light. When we no longer seek well being, we are looking beyond our life in terms of dissolving. If the object of our worship and sadhna is dissolution, then, we refer to the divine as darkness.
The greatest source of light we know is the Sun. But you can stop the Sun's light with your hand. Not so with darkness -- it is everywhere. By merely putting your hand out you will not be able to obliterate darkness for darkness has no source; it is present everywhere.
Immature minds allude to darkness as devil. But, when you describe the divine as all-pervading, you're obviously referring to the divine as darkness, because only darkness is all-pervading. It is everywhere; it doesn't need support from anything. Light always comes from a source that is burning itself out. It has a beginning and an end. It is always from a limited source. Darkness has no source; it is a source unto itself. It is all-pervading, everywhere, omni-present.
Don't pass tonight without knowing at least a moment of the vastness of emptiness that we call as Shiva. Let this night not just be a night of wakefulness; let it be a night of awakening for every one of us.