Shakti is the complementary energy of Shiva Consciousness, says SHILPY AHUJA
Shakti manifests as cosmic bodies, bright, colourful galaxies and as the dark dimensions of the universe. On Earth, with the warmth of her golden sunshine, she sustains life. She manifests as a tiny wildflower, along with giving us a mind and body to experience living. Her love and benevolence is all inclusive, whether good or bad, tiny or humungous, weak or strong.
We identify her as Mother Nature, Prakriti, Divine Mother and by other beautiful names, which connects us with her on a personal level.
Shakti is the complementary energy of Shiva Consciousness, the Supreme Creator who creates everything in the Universe.
A Philosophical View of Shakti
In Samkhya or Sankya philosophy, the Unmanifested Nature, Prakriti is formless, infinite and inactive. She becomes active and manifests when in contact with Purusha, Consciousness. Everything, in the world, physical events and experiences come from Prakriti Shakti.
She is the energy behind emergence and manifestation of experience through the cognitive emotional experiences of the human body.
This school of thought is strongly related to the philosophy of yoga, and forms the theoretical basis for the evolution of the mind, from lower to higher self, using kundalini shakti.
Prakriti has three qualities, Gunas, which are inseparable. The entire creation of the Universe and life’s progress is based upon the interplay of these qualities, in varying degrees.
The three qualities include rajas, the trait of activation, change, movement, action and proliferation; tamas is the trait of imposing restrictions, inactivity, and is a destructive, dark energy. Sattva is illuminating wisdom, which brings calm balance and harmony in chaos. Yogis aim to achieve sattva as it reduces rajas and tamas and makes liberation easier.
In Shaktism, Adi Parashakti is equated to the Supreme Brahman. She is the primordial feminine energy of creation and the energy behind growth, sustenance and destruction.
She is the supreme sacred energy, the zero energy that exists after destruction and before creation.
She is Nature and manifests as primary matter which further transforms through growth, sustenance and destruction in varying combinations to form the material world and us.
Mythologically, the three properties of Shakti are revered as three Goddesses, divine beings of higher energy and vibrations.
Goddess Lakshmi signifies growth and prosperity and is equated to Rajas Guna. Goddess Saraswati epitomises knowledge, wisdom and abstract thinking or sattva guna. Goddess Parvati is benevolent, yet destructive in the form of Kali, signifying tamas guna.
To balance creation, Gods were assigned duties to assist their Goddess wives. Devotees love and pray to Shakti and her incarnations. Goddess Parvati is believed to be the physical form of Shakti, who lived in a human body on Mount Kailash with Shiva.
During the nine days of Navaratri, devotees pray to the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga. Devotees pray to Shakti who is also called Navadurga for health, wealth, prosperity, spiritual advancement and salvation.
Maya is the illusionary power of Shakti which gives rise to space, time, and the universe with its different realms and our bodies.
Metaphysically, a tiny part of Shakti undergoes her own transformative journey to give birth to the Universe.
Energy together with her three qualities, constantly interplays as it passes through unknown spatial multidimensions. On Interacting with our energy vortices or chakras, it experiences distortions. One can only imagine that somewhere in the process, segregation occurs and through this differentiation, Maya forms matter, universe, earth and us.
In the human mind, Maya gives birth to duality through ego, due to which each of us identifies as a separate body. In the pure state, everything is vibrational energy and not restricted to physical matter.
Spiritual philosophies consider Maya to be the cause of ignorance, a hinderance in the realisation of Absolute Truth.
Quantum physics gives evidence of wave particle duality. It states that the basis of the material world is nonmaterial. At the minutest level, matter exists as waves and vibrational energy.
In the earthly realm, Shakti in the mother’s womb, orchestrates life when masculine and feminine elements join together. Through sophisticated physiological energy transformation, complex genetic code is decoded and hereditary information is accessed. This is the blueprint for forming the mind and material body for the foetus.
Birth is much more than a physiological process. It becomes spiritual and sacred when the individual soul confluences with the physical body, combining matter with spirit.
The Soul is witness to our actions in past lives and in the present. It retains memory of all our karma from our previous lifetimes.
These soul memories surface as natural tendencies of the person in their present life and could manifest as kindness, generosity, artistic qualities, selfishness, meanness or other behaviour.
In that sense, a person’s past life thoughts and actions, could possibly influence a person’s traits in a present life. The law of karma dictates that the energy we had sent out in our past life, will return in our present life.
Yoga philosophy states that an erect spinal cord and brain in straight alignment creates a pathway for Shakti of kundalini to move through our energy vortices (our chakras) to meet Consciousness, present as our seventh chakra.
As the energy ascends, passing along each chakra, it gives us gifts of creativity, healing and intuition.
Balance of Shiva-Shakti
When Shiva Consciousness and Shakti are in balance, all our cognitive abilities, intelligence, knowledge and learning from our practical life experiences join together like a fine network, giving clarity to our thoughts. Ignorance disappears.
When the ego disappears, Shakti and Consciousness become one and we gain profound spiritual wisdom as we realise the true spiritual purpose of birth and life.
With extreme clarity of thought, come memories of past lives.
Through this, we understand the reason behind the origin of a dominant trait. With sadhana, these traits can be mitigated or else they will continue to repeat themselves in a cycle of birth and rebirth. Meditation and yoga helps us reach the highest potential a human can reach.
Ancient sages and gurus showed us that we can change through kindness, will power, detachment, forgiveness, selflessness, meditation, and sadhana to reach the blissful balance of Shiva-Shakti energies. Through lifetimes of practicing Yoga, humans have liberated themselves from the endless cycles of rebirth and attained moksha.
The journey of life beautifully cements the relationship between Higher Energy, birth, and life.
Light can be only appreciated if one knows darkness.
By passing through the journey of life, we seek the eternal and awaken to the existence of Higher Energy, which fills our heart with love and gratitude.
We then experience the beautiful manifestations of Shakti and see her creations not only through our mind but enhance the experience through the sensory perceptions of the body.
Through Shakti, we experience Shiva consciousness.
On the serene canvas of the mind, when darkness is dispelled and illumination spreads, there the lotus with a thousand petals blossoms.
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.
Featured image of Goddess tridevi: Digital Painting by Harshit Pustake