Śiva in the streets of India: invocations, prayers and transformations

Arturo Gutierrez del Angel

He is a professor-researcher in the Anthropological Studies Program of El Colegio de San Luis. Member of the National System of Researchers (sni) since 2008. His research has focused on mythology, religions and rituals. He has specialized in visual anthropology, particularly in the relationship between photography, plastic and cultural expressions. He has worked with groups from western and northern Mexico, such as the Wixaritari or the Na'ayari. He has published five author's books and six books as co-author, apart from publications in national and international magazines. He has exhibited his photographic work in museums and galleries, and has 20 photo exhibitions, including those related to Asia, The moment of the Gaze: 5 Asian countries.

orcid: 0000-0002-2974-1991

Greta alvarado

PhD in the Anthropological Studies program at El Colegio de San Luis, Mexico. Research topic: The Sikh diaspora in Mexico [ongoing]. Diploma in Asia, Universidad del Chaco Austral, Argentina (2020). Official Master in Advanced Studies of Art (2015-2017) and Specialist in Art from India. Faculty of Geography and History of the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. Since 2019 she is a professor of the course India: art and society in the Academic Coordination of Art and in the Department of Art and Culture of the uaslp.

orcid: 0000-0002-7514-7037


Introduction

00

Kālī, the power of time and eternal night

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Temple, New Delhi, 2018.

Kālī, Hindu goddess who embodies force and destructive power. It is the supreme night that devours everything that exists. He wears a garland of skulls around his neck. The dead leave a mark that rests in the power of time. She is the beneficent goddess of sleep, Ṥiva's companion. The mighty god, before her, is only a corpse; both recreate the birth and destruction of the universe. They are a nature that is made and undone as it lives and dies. In this image it is observed how the devotees offer coconut shells with a fire inside, while the image of Kālī is pasted on the marble of the wall.


01

The dancing cobras of the desert

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Thar Desert in Rajasthan, 2018.

The dancers of kalbelia, folk dance from the Thar desert (northwestern India, Rajasthan state) are characterized by their sensual movements, with a display that expresses mythical passages or messages related to nature. In this image, next to the fire, movements that recall the meandering of a cobra are recreated.


02

Ardhanārīśvara

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Mural in Vārāṇasī, 2018.

Ṥiva, as a deity, is a unit, but at the same time it is he and Ṥakti, the feminine energy, concentrating two identities. Seen like this, he is an androgynous named Ardhanārīśvara, that is, the lord whose half is a woman. The image shows its duality that, more than sexual, demonstrates the possibility of a unified power that is concentrated and manifested in these images. The masculine and the feminine are united thanks to the sparks of desire, source of life and creation.


03

Love offering

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Hoshiarpur, 2018.

At Hindu weddings in northwestern India, the bride and groom circle Agni, the god of fire, seven times, who devours and digests all the oblations that are presented as offerings to the gods. Through him, the devotees communicate with the inhabitants of the heavenly spheres. Mantras are also chanted and the Brahman (priest) reads passages from holy books. The wedding dress is reddish in color, as it refers to śakti, feminine (menstruation) and solar energy.


04

Brāhmaṇ in the luminous city of Śiva

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

In this image we see a Brahman sitting on some steps in the city of Vārāṇasī. Next to it there is a solar image, impregnated with saffron color, whose rays illuminate a prayer in Sanskrit that invites us to greet and invoke the god Sūrya, the Sun. In the Mahābhārata it is narrated that the brightness of this star on earth was violent ; Therefore, Viśvakarman, the architect, cut an eighth of its rays from the solar star, fragments with which he created Ṥiva's trident (Daniélou, 2009: 149).


05

Ritual prayer

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Rajasthan, 2018.

Garlands of flowers are sold outside the temples so that the devotees can offer them to the gods. The venerated god, seeing and smelling them, succumbs to their spell and comes to listen to the requests of the faithful. In the image we see a woman from Rajasthan who wears a veil with which she covers her face from the sun and protects her face from the gazes of passersby.


06

Invocation to Gaṇeśa

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Rajasthan, 2018.

In the temples different rituals are celebrated. The picture shows a Hindu wedding in a temple in Rajasthan. The bride and groom, families and devotees are seen leaving offerings to Gaṇeśa, the elephant-headed god. The aim is that with his trunk he helps future spouses to eliminate the obstacles that may arise in his new life as a couple.


07

The sound of worship

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Jaipur, 2018.

Pictured is an urban musician in the labyrinthine streets of Jaipur, India. He plays a stringed instrument called ravanahatha; its name comes from the king of Sri Lankā, Rāvaṇa, who is said to have used it to worship Ṥiva (Daniélou, 2009: 166). The songs tell stories related to the gods and their adventures.


08

The presence of If you

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

In the image we see Ṥiva sitting on the tiger's skin carrying a trident, an instrument that recalls the three actions of the universe: creation, destruction and conservation, and a damaru, an hourglass-shaped drum that has boleadoras at the ends and that when shaking the handle produces a heavenly sound. The snake around his neck is the dominance of desire. The blue brushstrokes on the neck indicate the residues of a poison that he drank so that it would not mix with the elixir of immortality. The goddess Gaṅgā springs from the hair of the god, and is the manifestation of the river Ganges that descends to earth.


09

Steps to eternity

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

When one walks among the ghāṭs1 From the city of Vārāṇasī, on the steps leading to the Ganges River, he meets different deities. In the image he is seen prostrate on the stairs a Ṥiva in his phallic invocation (liṅga-yoni), and the largest orange image on the wall is Hánuman, the monkey god, and the smallest is Gaṇeśa. The bone-colored figure is Durgā, a goddess who rides a tiger or a lion. He has several arms in which he wields weapons that were given to him by some gods to annihilate a asura (demon) called Mahiṣa.


10

Devotee of If you

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

The sādhus they generally inhabit Vārāṇasī and are devotees of Ṥiva. They are ascetics who adopt penance and austerity as a way of life. In this way they achieve enlightenment and eternal happiness.


11

Deity in transit

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Rajasthan, 2018.

As if they were moving altarpieces, buses, taxis, floats, shop signs, etc., narrate different passages from Hindu mythology. On the upper plate we can see a protective amulet: the image of the goddess Durgā, one of the avatars of the consort of Ṥiva.


12

Maheśvara, the great god

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Shree Durgiana Tirath, Amritsar, 2018.

This enclosure is dedicated mainly to the goddess Durgā, and it is also known by the name of the temple of silver, due to the color of some doors. Here devotees worship Ṥiva, especially on Mondays (somavāra), day dedicated to this god. The sculpture shows him in a state of meditation that supposes unity with everything that exists; he stands above all gods, he is the great god, Maheśvara, with the serpent coiled around his neck. On the left side is his trident and his damaru. The devotees have left garlands of flowers on his body as offerings.


13

Veneration and daily life

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Rajasthan, 2018.

Local markets or shops are among the favorite places for Ṥiva to be present. We see that this outlet is called "Shiba" and sells everyday items such as vests and underpants. Thus, this god materializes in the most unexpected and everyday places: the myth creates a memory ploy for the wanderers.


14

Purification

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Khajuraho, 2018.

In traditional Indian architecture, stairways are built that end, or begin, in a lake or fountain. They are particularly attractive to pilgrims who visit them, drink the waters and immerse themselves in them. In the image we see two pilgrims on some steps washing their clothes and taking a bath in Khajuraho, India.


15

Ethereal flowers

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Rajasthan, 2018.

The various components of the offerings correspond to the elements of existence: water when the deity is washed, fire in oil lamps, air in incense, earth in the aroma of perfumed oils and flowers, ethereal element. Thus, the preferred offerings of the deities are coconuts and flowers, particularly marigold garlands (Tagetes erecta), which are often sold outside the temples. In the image you can see a devotee who goes to the temple and first buys a flower necklace to leave at the feet or hang from the neck of some deity.


16

Between life and death

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Rajasthan, 2018.

On a foggy morning in Vārāṇasī, on the bank of the Ganges, various activities are carried out such as washing clothes in local laundries, the barber shaving the hair of the deceased's relatives in mourning and the boats from which they are thrown the ashes of the dead.


17

Transformations of If you in mumbai

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Mumbai, 2018.

In the image you can see an urban temple dedicated to the liṅga-yoni, the phallic form of Ṥiva and the vagina that represents Ṥakti, the feminine energy. On the yoni we can see a cosmic egg, another of the forms of Ṥiva. On one side of the sculpture is Nandin, the bull that serves as a vehicle for the phallic god.


The three essences of the universe

18

Sacred cavity

Greta Alvarado. New Delhi, 2018.

In the image you can see a curious niche in the streets of New Delhi. In the center you can see a painting with Ṥiva, Pārvātī and their son Gaṇeśa. On the left side, the goddess Durgā with weapons in her multiple hands. On the right side, Sarasvati, goddess of knowledge; Lakṣmī, goddess of fortune and Gaṇeśa, the elephant-headed god who removes obstacles. There is also a liṅga-yoni decorated with flowers.


19

The golden embryo

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Ajmer, 2018.

Brahmā is a bearded sovereign with his four heads pointing to the cardinal points. This god is attributed the creation of the Universe, the creative principle or the golden embryo (Hiraṇia-garbha). In Ajmer it is related that the devotees stopped worshiping him because he lied to Ṥiva, told him that he had reached the summit of the liṅga. Knowing that it was not true, Ṥiva pronounced a curse on him. Except in some temples, such as Ajmer, hardly anyone would present offerings to him.


20

The dream of the world

Sergio T. Serrano Hernández. Archaeological Survey of India Museum, Mumbai, 2016.

When Viṣṇu sleeps on water, he dreams, creates and preserves the world. While Ṥiva is the destroying principle, Viṣṇu is the principle of continuation, it is the symbol of perpetual life.


21

Phallic worship

Sergio T. Serrano Hernández. Ellorā Cave, Aurangābād, 2016.

Phallic form of Ṥiva known as ῡrdhvaliṅga, an erect penis that indicates continence and the rise of semen within the body. It is located on the yoni, the vulva, feminine energy. Devotees lay offerings of flowers, oil lamps, and rupees, the Indian currency.


22

Abode of the gods

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Khajuraho, 2018.

The image shows an ancient stone engraving that is the plan or sketch of a temple, and within it a liṅga-yoni. It is what we consider a reduced model of the universe.


Divine seduction

23

Consecration

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

Devotee making an offering with holy water from the Ganges river, leaves and flowers, to a liṅga-yoni protected by kuṇḍalinī, a serpent that is the source of spiritual energies.


24

Ancient footprints

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Khajuraho, 2018.

In some of the Khajuraho temples we see ancient footprints, traces of a missing body: a body that leaves the memory in the detailed sculpted feet.


25

"Break them skulls"

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

The stalls where different items for cremations are sold are called "skull breakers"; they are found on the banks of the Ganges River in Vārāṇasī. This name comes from the times when a phase of the funeral ritual consisted of breaking the skull of the deceased so that his soul was released; at present the skull fracture has been replaced by that of a coconut. Several stalls sell floral offerings, cloths to cover the dead, and coconuts.


26

Gods guarding a portico

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Temple of Durgiana. Amritsar, 2018.

In the relief of the doors the contours of Ṥiva and Durgā are observed, in an embossing technique. In the upper frieze is Nara-siṃha, half man and half lion, avatar of Viṣṇu, emptying the intestines of a demon named Hiraṇya-kaṥipu (covered with gold). Brahmā is seen on the left and Ṥiva on the right.


The phallic god: transfigurations and invocation

27

The line of fire

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

On the bank of the river Ganges we see a ritual with a renewed scenery, in which the gods present in Vārāṇasī, such as Gaṅgā and Ṥiva, are blessed through a ritual called ārtī, which consists of the circular movement of oil lamps with images of snakes, manipulated by ritual specialists. This "show", which takes place every night, is performed mostly for visitors. One of its main characteristics is that extremely striking and abundant resources are displayed in the space: colored lights, sounds, flavors ...


28

Transfiguration of the liṅga

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. National Museum, New Delhi, 2018.

This piece belongs to the Chola dynasty, from the century xii. It shows the exact moment when, from the depths of the cosmic ocean, a huge liṅga on fire. Brahmā mounted on his goose and flew into the sky to see how far the liṅga, while Vishnu turned into a wild boar to dive and find the origin. However the liṅga it continued to grow towards both extremes. Some time later, one side of the li sega opened and Ṥiva emerged as the supreme force of the universe.


Video 1

Mukhaliṅga

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. National Museum, New Delhi, 2018.

Mukhaliṅga it is a phallic form of Ṥiva with five faces of the god; the fifth face is usually invisible, as it is only seen through inner understanding. One of the faces looks upwards, the others towards the four cardinal points. Ṥiva is the ruler of the five spatial directions, each face has a distinctive color: pearl, yellow, cloud, white and red. In some villages, during the winter months they are wrapped in woolen cloth to heat the semen (subtle energy) that is stored there.


29

Saffron brushstrokes

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

In the image you see a sādhu resting, and below, on the ghāṭs, there are several liṅgas-yonis and other deities. The saffron color in the clothes of the ascetic and the gods is characteristic in Hinduism, as it is related to fertility and sacrifice.


30

Tirtha

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. New Delhi, 2018.

The tīrthas they are spaces where you can move from an empirical and sensitive reality to a transcendental one. Their presences go unnoticed by most people, but they are everyday places that have a particular and subjective beauty. Each place is selected as a continent that keeps the figures of the gods and the offerings; They are located at a crossroads, like this small altar, located on a corner between the busy streets of Delhi. The devotees have placed a liṅga-yoni adorned with flowers, an abstract representation of the phallus on the vulva, a creative combination of masculine and feminine forces, as well as Nandin, the bull that guards the image, and various representations of feminine goddesses. Candles and plates with offerings are left for them.


31

The deed of the Universe

Sergio T. Serrano Hernández. Udayagiri Caves. Orissa, 2016.

Ekamukha liṅga, Ṥiva-faced phallus. It is the visible form of the divine creator and emblem. By worshiping him, you get pleasure and liberation. The earth and the cave are the womb; the stone erect the phallus that fertilizes it. This duality make up a microcosm, the reflection of the deed of the universe.


Video 2

Rudra abhiśeka

Greta Alvarado. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

Rudra abhiśeka, the bath of Rudra (the avatar of Ṥiva as god of storms), consists of a consecration ritual and its devices vary according to particular traditions; can be led by a Brahman (priest) in the temples, or by some devotee who worships the liṅga-yoni which is placed in the tīrthas, sacred places that are marked under a tree, in a corner or a significant cross.


32

Darshan, a game of glances

Sergio T. Serrano Hernández. Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, 2016.

Among the streets of the neighborhoods there are some very ingenious temples. Under the tree a liṅga black stone; Eyes have been drawn to indicate that Ṥiva has re-emerged in sculpture. His eyes engage what is called darshan, a game of gazes between the devotee and the deity. On this figure a brass or sheet vessel is hung, in which a small hole is made in the lower part, which is filled with water and milk so that the liquid is continuously dripping on the liṅga. In this way, the male vital liquid is referred to: semen. As we see in the image, in the urban temple there is also a yoni and a snake kuṇḍalinī made of copper, in addition to the trident and Nandin. The passerby, when passing through these street temples, adorns them with floral offerings and rings the bells hanging from the branches of the tree, calling on the god to make sure they have their attention.


Tantra, eroticism and frenzy

33

Sacred eroticism

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Khajuraho, 2018.

In the image we see a male figure, considered an allusion to Ṥiva and another, female, which is Ṥakti. Their intertwined bodies represent a microcosm that shows the deed of the world through tantric ritual, a sexual game as a principle of creation performed by the "original couple" and reproduced by humans.


34

The divine embrace

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Khajuraho, 2018.

The image shows the divine embrace. The sculptures are a microcosm that combines the playful aspect of creation with eroticized bodies. For the sculptors, each sexual movement was a cause for astonishment that was embodied as an ode to pleasure and creation.


35

«A you and me that becomes“ yours ”»

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Khajuraho, 2018.

The bodies sculpted in stone, naked, in unscrupulous sexual positions, playful, embody prakṛti (the feminine) already puruṣa (the masculine), for which they must be understood, as suggested by the great Mexican poet Octavio Paz (2004: 36), as «a you and me that becomes 'yours'».


36

The unfathomable secret of creation

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Khajuraho, 2018.

As you look at them, the subtly carved sculpture passages at Khajuraho do not cease to cause amazement; they amaze, admire and above all, arouse a secret excitement accompanied by a set of questions: whose bodies are they? Why do they allude to the graphic of eroticism? Thus, we must look at them with the same admiration and detachment towards nature that possesses the unfathomable secret of creation.


37

The hymn of the god of love ... (the fiery form of If you)

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Khajuraho, 2018.

The first call is the invocation of the god (hiṅkāra)
The proposition represents the lutes (prastāva)
Laying with the woman is the hymn of glory (udgītha)
Lying down facing the woman is the chorus (pratihāra)
The climax is the ritual consecration (nidhāna)
Separation is the final hymn (nidhāna)



This is the hymn of the left-hand-god [igneous] (Vāmadeva) made about the act of love (Chāndogya Upaniṣad, 2, 13, I, apud Daniélou, 2009: 304).

38

Cosmic orgasm

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Khajuraho, 2018.

Inside each being there are portions of cosmic energies destined to be awakened. Just as the creatures of Ṥiva seduce the Lord to come to meet them, in this case dialogue, certain rituals and meditations awaken that part of the gods within themselves. His presence is the very ecstasy of meditation and the tantric practices that produce ānanda, an experience of happiness, a cosmic orgasm ...


The reflection of If you in the mythological mirror

39

Fulmination of desire

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel Vārāṇasī, 2018.

In the image you can see some sādhus covered with the ashes of cremated bodies. Two carry a blanket that simulates tiger skin. Sometimes Ṥiva is personified sitting on her or wearing a skin of this great cat, mount of the goddess Durgā (avatar of Pārvatī), one of the representatives of ṥakti, feminine energy. By sitting on this skin, the god hunts and conquers desire, that is, he does not give in to sensual temptations.


Nandin, the joy

40

Nandin, the joy

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Khajuraho, 2018.

Each deity has an animal that helps him to display the qualities that each one has on the cosmographic scene. The bull Nandin guards the liṅga of black stone on a yoni reddish stone. The devotees have left flowers as offerings. Nandin, like Ṥiva, has the powers of transformation, folding, contraction, multiplicity, and is the vehicle in which the god is transported.


41

Nandin maṇḍapa (pavilion)

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Khajuraho, 2018.

The temple room that houses Nandin or other deities is a place full of purity; no one can enter with shoes because otherwise they would be dirtying the room. The gaze on the deity is not free, but the orientation of the temple and the location of the figure make one have to walk in a clockwise direction, leaving the right side of the devotee towards the object of worship; a bow is made and the nose or legs, back or any part of the bull's body can be stroked to receive his blessing.


Vegetable hierophanies

42

Vegetable hierophanies

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Khajuraho, 2018.

The tree is the center of the universe and the axis mundi; it is where the diversity of forces found runs: connection of the earthly, the underworld and the celestial plane. They are, as Eliade says, "vegetal hierophanies" where the sacred is revealed through vegetation: the cosmic tree of life that gives rise to the most diverse myths that allude to this twisting of the plot between different planes of empirical existence, but also its opposite (Eliade, 1981: 32). Devotees ring the bells on the tree to get the attention of the gods and make sure their requests are heard. Plastics are tied to the branches that give a bright and multi-colored appearance.


43

The cosmic tree

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Durgiana Temple, Amristar, 2018.

The trees are margins that invite us to think about the borders of different realities, between the earthly (microcosmic) reflection of Jambudvīpa, and the sky, like the splendid cosmic tree that is in the center of the mythical Mount Meru. A trident (alluding to a phallic shape) has been fitted into the opening of the trunk. The outline of the cavity has been outlined in gold to emphasize it and indicate the shape of a vulva. Around the trunks, the devotees tie fabrics or threads preferably red, a color linked to ṥakti, the feminine energy, as an offering for a specific request. Inside the cavity are some nascent figures.


Vārāṇasī, the floating city

44

The mirror of the Universe

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

Vārāṇasī exists because the river Ganges exists; one is the continuation of the other, without one the other does not exist, one thinks of the other and continues in the marine deltas; they are the mirror of the universe and therefore an intermediate cosmos between the celestial and the terrestrial. In the image we observe the greatness of this embrace between an overflowing nature and a humanized image of the city through the ghāṭs.


45

Vārāṇasī, the floating city

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

The city is a commemoration of Ṥiva, and therefore it is full of temples for him. Some have painted drawings of liṅgas in the dome. One of the main temples is the so-called Kashi Vishvanath, an ode to the phallic form of the god and the destiny of many pilgrims. Ṥiva walked from Kedarnath (in the Himalayas) and settled in the form of a linga at the Kedar temple in Vārāṇasī.


46

Death permeates all the senses

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

It is said that this city keeps the Universe in motion by the flow of life and death that meet there: life provided by the liṅga de Ṥiva, penis torn from the body of the god who fell in the city; death that permeates all the senses as you walk among the smoking funeral pyres. Everyone wants to die with the dignity that this city gives when it turns to ashes which will feed the dampness of the waters of Gaṅgā and help the universe reproduce. By being cremated in Vārāṇasī, the chain of your karma is broken.


47

Ghattiya

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

The walker can observe on the bank of the river Ganges some men called ghattiya whose task is to safeguard the belongings of those who decide to dive into the Ganges. In addition, they do a ritual in which they bless you at the end of the ablutions.


Wandering presences and conquerors of death

48

Conquerors of death

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

In this image we see a sādhu performing ascetic disciplines. Their skin has been rubbed with funerary ashes, which become a component opposed to death, as they are endowed with magical qualities: they make sterile women fertile, or they are amulets that care for the houses of women in labor. On the right side there is a blanket that emulates a tiger skin and a trident, symbols of Ṥiva.


49

If you wandering

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

In the image you see a sādhu playing the flute. Comb your hair in jaṭāmukuṭa, knots raised in a ponytail, like Ṥiva's image. Decorate your musical instrument with a trident, called triṥūla, which symbolizes the three fundamental tendencies of nature: creation, preservation and destruction. Ṥiva is also called Ṥūlin (the one with the trident). The sadhῡs They say that Ṥiva descended to earth disguised as a yogi, walks around naked and begs for alms. For this reason, it is sometimes said that the god wanders the streets in the form of sādhu.


50

The last sacrifice

Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Vārāṇasī, 2018.

Cremation is the last sacrifice offered to the gods. The ashes and residues of the dead belong to Ṥiva, and are transported in a boat to be thrown into the Ganges River. Ṥiva is the boatman and at the same time is the boat that takes to the other world. A Ṥiva mantra is recited in the ear of the dead, known as tarati, so that they can swim and obtain salvation.


Bibliography

Daniélou, Alain (2009). Myths and gods of India. Girona: Atalanta.

Eliade, Mircea (1981). Treatise on the history of religions. Mexico City: Era.

Paz, Octavio (2004). Glimpses of India. Barcelona: Seix Barral.

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