The meaning of Virabhadrasna. This is a story where themes such as strength, balance, affirmation, humility and forgiveness intersect.
The story of Shiva and Sati, two divine figures from Hindu mythology who represent cosmic opposites.
Through many incarnations, Sati longed for Shiva deeply, but faced opposition from her proud father Dakṣa.
Despite the predestined love between Sati and Shiva, their union was not easy.
At an event where Sati’s future husband was to be chosen, she had to throw a garland of roses over the congregation.
As she did so, she recited a Shiva mantra, invoking him. Thus, the garlands fell on Shiva, he being the chosen one.
Despite the anger of their father Dakṣa, they got married and lived happily on the mountain.
However, Dakṣa’s anger and resentment grew and he arranged a fire sacrifice, to which Shiva was not invited.
Outraged, Sati confronted her father and, impulsively, threw herself into the sacrificial flames, consuming herself.
When Shiva learned of this, he was filled with fury and contempt for Dakṣa.
Virabhadra, a warrior born of anger.
He summoned Virabhadra, a warrior born of his anger, to punish Dakṣa by cutting off his head.
After a series of events, a remorseful Shiva restored Dakṣa’s life, but Sati was already gone.
Even Dakṣa himself is sorry for his great ignorance.
Shiva carried Sati’s body and, in his pain, roamed the cosmos until Viṣņu intervened.
He suggested disintegrating Sati’s body and scattering her remains across the earth, creating sacred sites in honor of her.
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The meaning of Virabhadrasana
This is how the sakti piṭhas were born, places of great power throughout India.
The story highlights the need to control anger and pride.
It shows how humility and compassion can transform tragedy into wisdom.
It also illustrates the importance of taking decisive action to confront ignorance.
The characters in the story, such as Shiva, Sati, Dakṣa, and Virabhadra, convey profound lessons about emotional balance, humility, and fearlessness amid cosmic and personal challenges.
When you are in the warrior stance, take the opportunity to compose yourself and gather your strength, as Virabhadra did.
This story can give us the courage to take swift and decisive action to combat whatever ignorance we may encounter, both within and without.
Text based on the book “The Stories Behind the Poses. Balkaran, Raj”