When we recognize ourselves as a blend of Shiva-Shakti, we unite with the unending source of intuitive and calm energy within us, says SHILPY AHUJA

Nature has given us the gift of an experiential life journey marked by continuous change and transformation. Nature creates and nurtures one and all through dynamic energy exchange sent out by the highest creative energy. Birth brings us in close proximity with Nature and all through life, we have multiple interactions with it. We observe that birth, transformation and destruction is everywhere in Nature and is the basis for the fundamental cycle of life.

The deepest, darkest night changes into soft twilight. Sunrise scatters different hues onto the canvas of the sky, transforming darkness to light, from the unseen, unmanifested to the manifested and seen. We observe the evolution of a seed into a seedling. Humans evolve from a single cell to a complex foetus in the mother’s womb. Change is constant and we pass through adolescence to a stage when we have wrinkles and grey hair. Our bodies change, as do our thoughts.

Eventually, the energy exchange stops and we experience death. Documented examples of rebirth, however, challenge this thought. Case studies have shown subjects narrating intricate details from their past lives. It is believed that in reincarnation, the energy of the individual’s essence aligns into a new body and many other bodies in subsequent lifetimes. Bodies change, but the essence remains eternal. This essence is conscious energy because it has a memory, as subjects can recall their past birth lives. This individual essence is known as the soul.

Metaphysically, the unmanifested eternal energy supports nature and the soul in all of us. This eternal energy is the source of birth after death. This unmanifested, formless, conscious energy which is the stable source of all energy in the cosmos is Shiva.

Shilpy Ahuja

The Advaita-Vedanta traditions consider Shiva to be Para Brahman, without form or attributes. The energy of Shiva causes all manifestations and creations, yet, in itself, it remains formless and changeless. Therefore, Shiva, is the Absolute Truth which does not change with time and is beyond the time cycle of life and death. Devotees regard him as Mahakaleshwar. Shiva is eternal. Shiva is God.

Goddess Shakti is born out of the free will of Shiva, by the energy of vibration or spanda. Devotees believe that it was an impulse of love which caused the vibration. Goddess Shakti is not separate from Shiva, but is complementary dynamic energy originating from the stable energy of Shiva. Goddess Shakti creates dimensions of time and the illusion of the material world. She is Mother Nature. Together, the mind and the material body perform karma. We exercise our free will as we choose to perform our karma.

Through our choice of karma, we create or destroy ourselves. It is only when we recognize ourselves as a blend of Shiva-Shakti, that we unite with the unending source of intuitive and calm energy.

The journey of life gives us the opportunity to transform and refine the self into the Higher Self and unravel our true purpose in life – which is to find our divine inner self.

A traditional Madhubani painting titled Ardhanarishwar

According to Kashmiri Shaivism, Shiva and Shakti are nondual and are united at the point of origin. Shiva-Shakti have attributes which are different from each other, yet complement each other through their differences. Shiva-Shakti are One. This is the basis of the alchemy of life. Together they create, transform and destroy, giving birth to the cycle of life. Together, they blend into Ardhanareshwar, the manifestation where Shiva is depicted as half-male and half-female (Shakti) in one body.

At the macrocosmic level, the cosmic dance of energies of Shiva and Shakti cause dissolution and creation of the universe. When Shakti dominates, creation manifests and life propagates. When Shiva’s energy dominates, the energy recesses back to a single point of unity, to a point where nothing remains.

Thinkers and philosophers analyse and try to probe the relationship between the eternal energy of Shiva-Shakti, nature and us. The answer can be found in various philosophies and in oneself, through meditation.

At the microcosmic level, in a human body, Shiva is the eternal soul, the higher consciousness. This energy resides in the seventh chakra, the Sahasrara or Crown Chakra.

Shakti is the energy of the kundalini, which constantly rises or falls in a human body. Energy of the kundalini rises from the base of the erect spine, to reach the third eye, and finally rises to meet Shiva consciousness at the Crown Chakra.

In the quiet meditative moments of shunya, calmness, when thoughts cease to exist, the Supreme unmanifested energy touches sublime bliss and blends with the higher vibrational energy of Shiva leading to the experience of illuminating bliss and healing.

Shilpy Ahuja is a poet, writer and painter. She considers spirituality and family as the most important dimensions of her life. Shilpy is a bachelor of science from Delhi University, and pursued business studies. She is self-employed.

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