“That is far at the same time that is near” Upanishads

in History/Philosophy/Spirituality

What has been the greatest love story you have ever known? Well, if you don’t know the love story of Lord Shiva and Shakti then you have never known anything at all. For it is a story of creation, the symphony of stillness and movement. Lord Shiva is the lord of Divine energy, whereas Shakti is Divine energy herself.  One cannot be seperated from another, nor could they live without each other. You may think that in this relationship Shiva dominates Shakti, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. What is a lord of divine energy without his divine energy?

Their love story began when Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma wanted to meet the source from which all the universe was created, the golden womb that gave birth to them. She presented herself as their birth mother, as a mother of the universe. She explained that they were born to create for her, to create a world and live in it. She would be manifested in many forms, but above all in three very significant ones – as their wives. As a test, she manifested herself in front of them as Mahakali (the one who is beyond time). Their reaction to her ghastly form determined their fate. Brahma- the one who turned away from knowledge (her)  got a goddess of knowledge Saraswati. Vishnu – the one who tried to create a different source of creation in his mind when given a glimpse of her form was given the goddess of illusion (Maya), widely known as Lakshmi. And finally to Shiva – who expressed only pure love for her supremely powerful manifestation, she didn’t give him a manifestation in the form of a goddess, she gave herself as his wife. For there is only one possible response to complete love – to love back in entirety. He was given the greatest of honours but also the greatest of challenges. She manifested in the form of Sati, but without the memory of her true nature. His mission was to help her remember who she is.

Shiva took a wow to fulfill his mission but it took him 108 reincarnations of her to finally inspire her faith in herself. That journey was meant to be an example for all feminines in the universe (human or goddesses) about the power of a woman. Shiva lost his wife, again and again, always mourning her loss but never doubting she will rise again for them to be together. No matter the name she took upon herself, she was his Shakti (power), she was the reason for his existence. Time and time again he tried to awaken her faith in herself, telling her that without her the God of creation (Shiva) is merely a corpse. And time and time again she fought with the tradition that was embedded in her, telling him that he is her beginning and her end. And so they danced through 108 lives together, being torn but never separated. In one of her many forms goddess Parvati, Shiva manifested them both into Ardhanarishvara – one body which forever represents the equality of male and female.

Siva and Shakti are in fact the first and absolute twin flames, divine counterparts that were put as an example of unconditional love (Shiva) and devotion (Shakti). For what is love without devotion and what is devotion without love? 

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