Hinduism

One day, Brahma and Vishnu were quarreling. Brahma claimed, ‘I created the world. I must be God.’ Vishnu retorted, ‘That you seek validation means you cannot be God.’ ‘Then who is the God?’ Brahma demanded to know.

I Am God, I Am Shiva, Shiva, Bholenaath, Shivji, Fire, World, God Balakrishnan K

In response a pillar of fire appeared between them. It stretched up beyond the dome of the sky and below the foundations of the earth. And the fire seemed to be burning without any fuel.

Both Brahma and Vishnu decided to look for the ends of this pillar of fire. Brahma took the form of a swan and flew up to find its top. Vishnu took the form of a boar and dug his way down, determined to find its base. Brahma flew for months and years but there was no sign of the tip of the fiery pillar. Vishnu dug for months and years but there was no sign of the base of the fiery pillar. Finally, exhausted, the two returned to share their findings. ‘This pillar of fire has no base,’ admitted Vishnu. ‘It is endless and infinite.’ Brahma, however, lied. ‘I found the tip. I even found Ketaki flowers on it. I have done what you couldn’t do. I am greater than you. I must therefore be God.’

As soon as Brahma said this, the pillar of fire burst open and out came another God, who looked like a mendicant, smeared with ash and wrapped in animal skins. ‘Liar,’ he shouted pointing to Brahma. ‘You lie so that you can delude the world with your lies so as to dominate everyone around you and feel powerful. You are not God.’ He then turned to Vishnu and smiled, ‘You admit the truth. You are humble enough to accept limitations. You are curious to know what lies beyond the horizon. You are not intimidated by uncertainty or afraid of ignorance. You are in the process of becoming God.’

Brahma trembled and bowed to this self-assured being. Vishnu watched him in awe. The mendicant identified himself, ‘If the formless can be given a form then I am he. I am God, I am Shiva.’

I Am God, I Am Shiva, Shiva, Bholenaath, Shivji, Fire, World, God, Kotilingeshwara,Balakrishnan K

Since that day the stone pillar or lings is worshiped by all, a reminder of the pillar of flames that appeared between Brahma and Vishnu. Those who look at this image as merely a stone image are like Brahma, people who lack imagination and who do not yearn for wisdom. Those who look at this stone image as a symbolic container of an idea are like Vishnu, people with imagination who yearn for the truth that exists beyond the tangible.

~ Devdutt Pattanaik from 7 Secrets of Shiva

— I am God, I am Shiva

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