Q: Gurudev, the way today’s TV serials depict characters like Mahadev, Parvati, Jalandhar, etc., is it realistic? Please shed some light on this.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, it does not quite appeal to me either.
They show Parvati (the consort of Lord Shiva and form of Mother Divine) as someone who keeps getting angry, keeps getting upset so easily and keeps yelling every now and then. These are not divine qualities. Divine qualities are that of equanimity, happiness, naturalness, simplicity, and foresight. This is what should be shown.
See, there are some divine forces and some demonic forces. But these serials ignore this and are portraying these Divine characters as human being, and that too not normal human beings, but people who are emotionally unhealthy or filled with negativity and misery. So I do not think this as a very wise thing to do. This is one thing.
Secondly, you should not take the story as the real truth, but you should extract the deeper meaning behind the stories that are portrayed. Otherwise it becomes just another form of entertainment and nothing more.
For example, in the program, a demon named Jalandhara emerged. Now where did this demonic energy come from when everything is Lord Shiva? When there is nothing beyond Lord Shiva, then this demon too must have come from Shiva.
So all the demons that have ever emerged are a part of the Brahman, and not separate from it. This is what you must understand first.
The story goes that Lord Shiva became very angry with Indra’s arrogance.
Lord Shiva is the manifestation of peace (and is pure consciousness), and Indra represents the collective consciousness or mob psychology.
They say one Indra is equivalent to a 1000 eyes, which means representing a mob of 500 people. A crowd generally has a consciousness or mind of its own, what is known as mob psychology, which is most of the time destructive. They will go somewhere and burn or destroy some public property and create nuisance. This mob mindset always has a destructive tendency. So it was very natural for the Shiva Tattva (the element or principle of pure consciousness, and bliss) to get angry at this destructive consciousness of Indra.
So anger arose from the peaceful Shiva Tattva. But the anger did not stop there. Lord Shiva’s anger took the form of a demon (a personification of the destructive nature of the Lord’s fury). No matter where anger comes from, even if it comes from God, it will surely have a reaction and come back to that person. Everything ultimately returns back to the source where it originates from, even anger.
So the anger (represented by Jalandhara) too had to come back (and dissolve into) to Lord Shiva, who was its source. Lord Shiva invokes the Adi Shakti (referring to the Mother Divine as the primordial energy) to destroy Jalandhara.
Lord Shiva represents the peaceful aspect of consciousness, while the Mother Divine is the energy which is responsible for all activity in Creation. Now, Adi Shakti is the combination of three energies or powers: Gyan shakti (the power of knowledge), Kriyashakti (the power of action), and Icchashakti (the power of will).
So when Lord Shiva and Adi Shakti became one, they defeated the anger that came from Him. In this way they destroyed Jalandhara, the demon who kept trapping people in the web of delusion using his powers. This is the essence of the story.