• Arun Kumar Subramanian

ShivaShakti and Shiva Tattva

ShivaShakti, one word that explains everything.

In Vedic culture (mainly in Shaivism) Shiva is the supreme God and his consort Parvati is the supreme Goddess. Shiva is the father and symbol of masculinity whereas Parvati is the mother and symbol of femininity. Shiva is formless, limitless and the unchanging absolute Brahman, Shakti is the energy of Shiva which creates, protects, transforms, hides (maya) and blesses everything. Shiva and Shakti are the same and different as well. That means Shakti was formed from Shiva but without Shakti there is no Shiva. Let me explain.

You, on a normal day do many things in your body. But most of the time you aren’t aware of it, say breathing, blood circulation, digestion of food, sleep, thirst, hunger and more. It is happening so that you can live and this energy is created by who? You, as a whole. If these are not working normally or let’s say stopped working completely then that human body won’t be addressed as a person anymore, it’ll be just a “body”. Soul is Shiva and the life energy in our body is Shakti. When the energy stops working soul will leave or when the soul decides to leave the energy will stop working. Without the presence of energy we can’t recognise a soul and without the presence of a soul we can’t see energies work. This is why it is said that everyone has Shiva and Shakti inside them because what we see outside is just the body controlled by the ShivaShakti from inside.

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Union of Shiva and Shakti

This is depicted in a much simpler form of Ardhanareeshwara in Indian temples (mainly in South India). One God with right half is covered with Shiva and left half is Shakti. You can use this concept in almost everything in the universe.

Let’s say you’re in front of a great looking aromatic and tasty food. Here the food is the Shiva and Shakti is everything you love about the food. Just think what will happen when you remove the Shakti out of the food. The aroma, taste and the looks when removed there will be no food.



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Lord Nataraja

Lord Nataraja is one form of Lord Shiva which holds lot of supreme principles. His right leg is still (standing) on the ground and his left leg is dancing (in the air). The standing leg represents Shiva which is still (silent as in the all-knowing) whereas the left leg represents Shakti which is dancing (responsible for every action). If Shakti has to dance then Shiva has to be still and without Shakti there will be no universe and there will be no you and me to talk about Shiva. There is only one ancient temple in India (Chidambaram, Tamilnadu, South India) where Lord Nataraja’s form is worshipped and the people of this town call this Chidambara Rahasyam, meaning the secret of Chidambaram. This is not a secret but an underlying Tattva (Indian philosophy) of Shaivism. Of course this has many layers and deep underlying concepts (36 tattvas in total) but I just explained it for a basic understanding.

Lord Nataraja is one form of Lord Shiva which holds lot of supreme principles. His right leg is still (standing) on the ground and his left leg is dancing (in the air). The standing leg represents Shiva which is still (silent as in the all-knowing) whereas the left leg represents Shakti which is dancing (responsible for every action). If Shakti has to dance then Shiva has to be still and without Shakti there will be no universe and there will be no you and me to talk about Shiva. There is only one ancient temple in India (Chidambaram, Tamilnadu, South India) where Lord Nataraja’s form is worshipped and the people of this town call this Chidambara Rahasyam, meaning the secret of Chidambaram. This is not a secret but an underlying Tattva (Indian philosophy) of Shaivism. Of course this has many layers and deep underlying concepts (36 tattvas in total) but I just explained it for a basic understanding.

In Vedic culture, the marriage between a man and woman is seen as the union of Shiva and Shakti.

Soul is Shiva, life energy is Shakti and what about the body which acts as the platform for both of them to perform something right, that’s Lord Ganesh. The Shaivites call this principle, “AUM”, the pranava mantra.

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