Thursday, 7 July 2011

Siva and Sakti

Siva and Sakti

Sakti Tattva is really the negative aspect of the Siva Tattva. Though they are spoken of separately they are really one. Sakti Tattva is the will of Siva.

Ambal, Ambika, Gauri, Jnanambika, Durga, Kali, Rajesvari, Tripurasundari are all other names for Sakti. Sakti is Herself pure, blissful consciousness and is nature itself born of the creative play of Her thought. This Sakti cult is the conception of God as the Universal Mother.

Sakti is spoken of as Mother, because that is the aspect of the Supreme in which She is regarded as the genetrix and nourisher of the universe. But God is neither male nor female. He is named according to the body in which He is manifested.

Hinduism is the only religion in the world which has emphasised much the motherhood of God. The Devi-Sukta appears in the tenth Mandala of the Rig-Veda. It was revealed by Bak, the daughter of Maharshi Ambrin. In this Rigvedic hymn addressed to the Divine Mother, Bak speaks of her realisation of God as Mother who pervades the whole universe. In Bengal, Mother-worship is very prevalent. ‘Ma’ is always on the lips of every Bengali.

Siva and Sakti are essentially one. It is said in the very first verse of Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsa that Sakti and Siva stand to each other in the same relationship as the word and its meaning. Just as heat and fire are inseparable, so Sakti and Siva are inseparable. Lord Siva cannot do anything without Sakti. This is emphasised by Sri Sankaracharya in the first verse of Saundarya Lahari.

Sakti is like the snake with motion. Siva is like the motionless snake. Waveless ocean is Siva. Ocean with waves is Sakti. The transcendental Supreme Being is Siva. The manifested, immanent aspect of the Supreme is Sakti. Siva is attributeless. He is Nishkriya. Sakti is with attributes. She creates. Sakti is compared to a rope made up of tricoloured threads.

Mother Kali dances on the breast of Siva. She has terrible form but She is not really terrible. She is all-merciful and gentle. She wears a garland made up of the skulls. What does this mean? She wears the heads of Her devotees. How loving and affectionate She is to Her devotees!

Kali is the Divine Mother. She is the Sakti or power of Lord Siva. She is the dynamic aspect of Siva. Siva is the static aspect. Lord Siva is like a dead corpse. What does this signify? He is absolutely calm, motionless, breathless, with His eyes closed in Samadhi. He is actionless, changeless. He is untouched by the cosmic play or Lila that is eternally going on, on His breast.

He is absolutely dead to the world. He is beyond the three Gunas. There is no duality, no plurality, no relativity, no differentiation between subject and object, no distinction, no difference, no Triputi, no Dvandvas, no Raga-Dvesha, no good and evil in Him. He is ever pure, Nirlipta (unattached). And yet He is the source, substratum, support, first cause for this universe. He simply gazes. Sakti is vitalised. She works and creates. In His mere presence Sakti keeps up the play of this universe or Lila. The whole world is a mere vibration or Spandana in Him. He is superconscious and yet He has cosmic consciousness. He constitutes all the names and forms and yet He is above all names and forms. This is a great marvel and a supreme mystery which cannot be comprehended by the finite intellect.
Without Siva, Sakti has no existence and without Sakti, Siva has no expression. It is through Sakti that the Impersonal Supreme Being Siva or Nirguna Brahman becomes the Personal Being or Saguna Brahman. Siva or Nirguna Brahman becomes the Personal Being or Saguna Brahman. Siva is the Soul of Durga or Kali. Durga or Kali is identical with Siva. Siva is Satchidananda. Durga or Kali is Satchidananda Mayi. Siva and Sakti are one and neither is higher than the other. Sakti is Chit, Chidrupini, Chinmatra Rupini.

Siva and Parvati

O Devi! all auspicious one, giver of success and prosperity, we bow to Thee! Shower peace and amity on this earth and protect us ever more by Your kind compassion at a glance!

The daughter of the king of Parvatas, Himavan is Parvati. She is the wife or Sakti of Lord Siva. She is the matrix of the universe. She is the revealer of Brahman. She is not only Loka-Mata or World-Mother but also Brahma-Vidya. One of Her names is Sivajnana-Pradayini. She is also called Sivaduti, Sivaradhya, Sivamurti and Sivankari.

The grace of Devi is an indispensable factor for the attainment of God-realisation. Parvati or Sakti is all-in-all. You must rouse the Sakti by Yoga. Then the grace of Sakti will lead you to God-realisation and the attainment of the final emancipation and the achievement of infinite, eternal supreme bliss.

The glorious story of Parvati is related in detail in the Mahesvara Kanda of the Skanda Purana. Sati, the daughter of Daksha Prajapati, the son of Brahma, was wedded to Lord Siva. Daksha did not like his son-in-law on account of His queer form, strange manners and peculiar habits. Daksha performed a sacrifice. He did not invite his daughter and son-in-law. Sati felt the insult and went to Her father and questioned him. He gave Her a displeasing reply. Sati got enraged at this. She did not want any more to be called his daughter. She preferred to offer Her body to fire and to be born again as Parvati to marry Siva. She created fire through Her Yoga’s power and destroyed Herself in that Yogagni.
Lord Siva sent Virabhadra. He destroyed the sacrifice and drove away all the Devas who assembled there. The head of Daksha was cut off and thrown into the fire. Lord Siva had a goat’s head stuck to the body of Daksha at the request of Brahma.


Lord Siva repaired to the

Himalayas to do austerities. Asura Taraka had a boon from Brahma that he should die only at the hands of the son of Siva and Parvati. Therefore the Devas requested Himavan to have Sati as his daughter. Himavan agreed. Sati was born as Parvati, the daughter of Himavan. She served Lord Siva during His penance and worshipped Him. Lord Siva married Parvati.

Narada proceeded to Kailasa and saw Siva and Parvati with one body, half male, half female in the form of Ardhanarisvara. He wanted to see their play at dice. Lord Siva said He won the game. Parvati said that She was victorious. There was a quarrel. Siva left Parvati and went to practise austerities. Parvati assumed the form of a huntress and met Siva. Siva fell in love with the huntress. He went with her to her father to get his consent for the marriage. Narada informed Lord Siva that the huntress was Parvati. Narada told Parvati to apologise to Her Lord. They were reunited.

Siva assumed the form of Arunachala hill as a Linga. He subdued the pride of Brahma and Vishnu who were quarrelling as to their relative greatness. Arunachala is a Tejolinga. Parvati saw Siva as Arunachala-Isvara. Siva took Parvati back to His side and made Her again Ardhanari.

Asura Taraka greatly oppressed the Devas. Mahi-Sagara-Sangama-Kshetra was his capital. Lord Subrahmanya, the second son of Parvati, killed the Asura on the seventh day after his birth.

Parvati created a child with the face of an elephant for Her pleasure. He was Lord Ganesa. He was made the Lord of all creatures to remove their obstacles. One day Lord Siva offered a fruit saying that it would be given to that child who would go round the world first. Lord Subrahmanya proceeded on a tour round the world. Lord Ganesa went round His father Siva, the Maha Linga who enveloped the whole universe, and got the fruit.

Parvati had a dark skin. One day Lord Siva playfully referred to Her dark colour. She was much touched by Siva’s remark. She went to the Himalayas to perform austerities. She attained a beautiful complexion and came to be called Gauri. Gauri joined Siva as Ardhanarisvara by the grace of Brahma.

One day Parvati came behind Lord Siva and closed His eyes. The whole universe lost life and light. Siva asked Parvati to practise austerities in order to make amends for Her folly. She proceeded to Kanchi (Kanjivaram) and did rigorous penance. Lord Siva created a flood. The Siva Linga which Parvati was worshipping was about to be washed away. She embraced the Linga. The Linga remained there as Ekambaresvara. She remained there as Kamakshi for the welfare of the world.

Parvati ever dwells with Siva as His Sakti. She is the Divine Mother of this universe. She sheds wisdom and grace on Her devotees and makes them attain union with Her Lord. Salutations to Parvati and Siva, the real Parents of all beings.

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