Symbolism – Photo of Shiva Murti in Ganga in Rishikesh during June 2013 Flood




Shiva murti in Ganga in Rishikesh is very famous. Shiva is always worshiped in the linga form – Shiva is formless. All animate and inanimate are his forms. But in Rishikesh man created a human form of Shiva. (Sorry to say but this murti in itself was encroachment and against the basic tenants of Shiva worship – Shiva should always be worshiped in linga form). During the June 2013 flood in Rishikesh, the image of furious Ganga above the danger mark lashing on the Shiva murti was flashed across the world.




The murti of Shiva at Rishikesh is serene and calm. It is not of Kal Bhairav – one who consumes everything at the end of an eon. It is also not that of Shiva performing the Rudra Tandava. Perhaps human imagination cannot capture these two forms of Shiva in a murti. Those that even witness a minute part of It are consumed by It even before they realize what is happening.

During the flash flood, Ganga was continuously and violently hitting the murti of Shiva. But the serene face of Shiva was visible throughout.

Is Ganga asking Shiva to shed serenity and open his third eye? Is she asking Shiva to perform the Rudra Tandava?

We have polluted Ganga beyond imagination – we practically dump all waste into Her.

There is no limit to human greed and avarice.

Rampant felling of trees and unplanned development – encroachment of river bed, series of dams, creating roads in terrains not suitable for it, loosened soil due to deforestation causing frequent landslides, clearing of forest for building hotels…

Within a year we will see all this encroachments back? We will forget this destruction and return to greediness.


How long can Shiva remain calm and serene?