Friday, December 18, 2009
Hooray, hurrah!! Hari-Hara!?!?!?
I shall admit I've not gone to the trouble of dating the aforementioned terms denoting and exclaiming jubilation, nor of endeavoring to uncover whatever etymological literature might exist on said subject. Nonetheless, tis not too much to infer that these interconnected English terms are derived from--be it via "dispersion" or spontaneous or "inspired" minds connected--the figure Hari-Hara, who is half-Vishnu ("Hari")/half-Siva ("Hara"), the Maintainer and the Destroyer united as one, yet delineated down the center and maintaining the integrity of two.
This incarnation as the inspiration for terms of celebration seems self-evident, as this figure shows maintainance and the destruction of sin go more than hand-in-hand, and displays the possibilities for transformations intrinsically exist in the subtle nature of the universe and humanity. As I understand it, this form expresses the direction of powers of destruction towards purification of the state of things here and now, specifically manifest to fight some demon or other in myth but more generally expressing the application of measured destruction to maintain, that humanity might continue towards truest potential without getting mired down in the muck.
The trope of yoga ("union" or "yoke") as two becoming one in body is also presented as Ardhanarishwara, Siva and Sakti as one, an idelic representation of male and female in perfect balance. There is in fact a physical condition called tetragametic chimerism which occurs when two seperately fertilized ovum join early in a pregnancy and become one person maintaining two sets of genes. In most extreme forms, those with this condition show characteristic lines of pigmentation down the center of the body. In tetragametic human hermaphroditism one half of the body is male and the other half female (see November 2008 post, "What is Marriage?").
Hari-Hara is also known as Shankaranarayana, which is Shankara--Siva in party mode, plus Narayana--Vishnu, who's also known as Krishna and Buddha. In recognizing in what "modern science" calls a medical condition as actually indices of yoga, these ancient mythically expressed teachings show science and faith meeting in an aesthetically wholistic metaphor, in iconographic and mythic mode made accessible and rife with meaning (for another example of Hindu mythology as truly "scientific," see November 2008 post, "Ten Avatars of Vishnu: Evolution Personified"). HariHara is the potential for destruction to help maintain, for deconstruction and purification to not utterly destroy the edifice but transform and in fact strengthen. This is the hopeful proclamation that what we need is perhaps not a violent overthrow of the system, but a subtle level purge, a fire applied to temper the metal which upholds society, to renovate and remodel and dispel and dispose of corruption without need to blow-it-all-the-fuck-up!!
Anyhoo . . . "hooray and hurrah" for HariHara!!