Shiva and Shakti – Awareness and Aliveness…

shiva and shakti

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“Utterly fearless and uninhibited it is this consciousness that brings into manifestation and sustains the infinite variety of beings, from the creator to the blade of grass. It is ever dynamic and active, yet it is more inactive than a rock and is more unaffected by such activity than space.” ~ Yoga Vashishtha

Shiva is often called the awareness and Shakti is the aliveness. Shiva represents the unmanifest and Shakti the manifest; Shiva the formless and Shakti the formed; Shiva consciousness and Shakti energy, not only in the cosmos as a whole but in each and every individual. Shiva is the sacred ground on which Shakti creates. The roots of Shakti is in Shiva. Without the stillness and groundness of Shiva, the creative potential of Shakti becomes unmanageable. Without the creative potency of Shakti, Shiva becomes an observer lacking the ability to create or manifest. Shiva and Shakti merge to create Oneness and dissolve into this oneness where the masculine and feminine cease to exist and the pure consciousness of creation manifests in its place.

Shiva and Shakti symbolize an intrinsic duality, balance, and the freedom to embody and dance with our devotion and prayer in any form. Though one is manifested and the other unmanifested, they are in the ultimate sense one and the same One is the principle of changelessness and the other, the principle of change – Shakti is change within changelessness while Shiva is changelessness as the root of change. The experience of perfect unity of the changeless and the changeable, the dissolution of duality, is the aim of Tantra, and thus of Yoga.

Everything you see around you, whether physical, psychic, mental or whatever, is Shakti, both individually and collectively. This includes everything from a pebble to the sun. All manifestations of Shakti come from the underlying substratum, Shiva. Shiva and Shakti continue to unite and separate for eternity, just like we, in our humanness, oscillate between wholeness or oneness and separateness.

One energy with many names and forms. There is one energy that keeps taking on new shapes and forms. In Tantra the name of that energy is Shakti, which is the manifesting, or feminine force that is actually one and the same with its only apparent companion Shiva, the latent, or masculine. Each time the energy takes on a new form, we give it a new name. Shakti becomes Kundalini Shakti, or simply Kundalini. Kundalini becomes the energy of Prana, which flows in patterns or channels called Nadis, and concentrates itself by forming intersections known as Chakras. The subtle energies condense and become known as earth, water, fire, air, and space, forming our experience of the gross world. With Kundalini awakening, the primal energy of Shakti awakens in its true form.

Seek to experience that one energy. To know, in direct experience, that unchanging truth, the one energy that is the substratum of all of the names and forms, is one of the ways of describing the universal goal of spiritual life. It is the experience of the union of Shakti and Shiva, creation and its ground, feminine and masculine, even though they were never actually divided in the first place. It is like wetness that is never separate from water, sweetness that is never separate from sugar, and warmth that is never separate from sunlight.

Blessed Eternal Life…

The omnipotent God is eternally existing in two aspects. What all We can see and sense in the external universe is the outer aspect of Him. The cause and effect of this boundless universe is the Inner aspect of Him. Though these two aspects are eternal, the outer – one is visible and ever changing on the other hand the Inner – one is invisible and changeless. From the Inner – most the Almighty power is ever expressing out all to appear, disappear and reappear in the whole universe. The man with all his sense organs, reasoning mind material and mechanical aids is unable to find out either the Outer – most of the universe or the Inner-most of himself. All the sciences and philosophies are trying unsuccessfully to probe towards either extremity. The material scientist’s vision is reaching some stellar region while he has actually visited and landed the lunar sphere. The spiritual philosophers and yogis have gone deep into themselves and there they have experienced some Divine mystic power. From this Inner experience of the Self or soul which is permanent, the knowledge of the two aspects of God has come to light.

what and what not

Nuclear science has given out some atomic energy of electromagnetic forces. But these forces are not Divine. From the nucleus of the material atom when the life energy comes out some physical body is built around that particular atom. Along with that life energy sensuous knowledge too develops and blossoms into intellectual mind in the human life. This mind has been endowed with the reasoning power by which the man is exploring all the outer and inner truths. Here, it is to be known that all the above energies have come out from the nucleus of one atom or other. That life giving atom in man is found out, to be shining from the mid head of the man through out his life time. The mystic atom of life and light is switched on and off by some unknown agent. The higher psychic knowledge of yogis has revealed that the mystic atom is the Divine soul atom of Atman. This soul atom is the Eternal abode or God who is One Supreme. Being existing Omni presently for ever, He is commanding and ruling from this atom for all the creation and destruction in the world.

From the above paragraph it is clear that the soul atom of man is really the Eternal throne of God Himself, His Omnipresent attribute makes Him to express out from everywhere. In any form of expression He projects only very small portion of His Being; but that too comes to realization when the man transcends to that soul plane. There is none but Himself existing Eternally without changing in the innermost and with changing outwardly. Hence, in man too, the soul and living body are really the double expression of God Himself. Till now the man was holding himself to be a physical being of temporary life. Even a yogic philosopher by his unripe soul knowledge was thinking that he was only a soul being brought out to this physical life in order to get the self realization. After that soul realization he merges into it and loses the outer frame. Thus his Divine knowledge and soul experience come to an end. To this soul atom the eternal life is to come through the outer life only. From outside one cannot life as eternal life. Therefore he must at first take his lodging at the soul abode.

The soul atom is common to both God and man. In reality of higher Divine experience, man and God are one and the same. Without clinging to the sensuous life the man is to live a pure life of Divine Love from the Innermost. By His Omni grace this Divine man is entitled to live an Eternal Blessed life. This Eternal life of God is the Divine right of man. To be unaware of this Divine right and passing away ignorantly is not the Will of God.

Death is not the end of the man. In death, only the physical body is lost. After the physical death the soul unfolds its life energy to form another body of new birth in this world. Here, one is to know something about the spirit body and the spiritual world. At the time of death, the outer body begins to decay and dissolve, in the meantime the spirit form that comes out of the corpse continues a ghost life for a longer period. This spirit or ghost may enter in some other body and reveal something nor a holy one of Divine quality. This spirit of a departed person may be guiding its devout followers and worshippers for a long time. But through that medium, no one can get the highest salvation. The true Divine life is to come directly from the Soul itself.

The soul knowledge and life are obtainable only in the physical life of material world. Unless one realizes his Divine soul life in this world he cannot live in Oneness of Him. Therefore he who lives in God will be blessed with immortalization. This is the Deathless life. Without understanding this Eternal Life, all the people of the world are passing on and passing away. The worldly religions are not teaching the humanity about the Supreme Truth of Almighty God, who is Only One for all. The present scientific mechanical life, the religious material life and the physical spiritual life cannot enable the man to obtain the Blessed Eternal Life.

Eternal and a Blissful life is the goal of man. This life opens from the soul or Innermost of every one. So it is not bound against any religion. There is no hindrance to any body to live in any circumstance.

People of the world without knowing the most Supreme Divine Truth are imagining and demonstrating many many things about God, Atman, soul and spirit. The religious scriptures, philosophical treatises, scientific theories and all the isms of today have not brought a peaceful and happy life in the world. It is seen that some fast changes are happening in all the life of mankind. The Omni gracious Light of God is spreading on the horizon of the Inner world. This truth of Divine Light has been revealed and realized by our Swami Ramalingam (Thiru Arutprakasa Vallalar of Vadalur). As a Proof of his true realization he has attained immortality. Those who come to abide in the Soul Divine can perceive him and live a life of compassion in Oneness of himself. The old attainment of soul stage is, not at all a death less life. The life that is evolved from that Eternal soul transforms the nature of body to fill up by everlasting light of Grace. Hence the deathlessness to man is the Divine Will and order.


Why Swami Vivekananda still matters…


He taught us how to realise the universal consciousness beyond the limitations of time and space within our own minds and hearts…

Modern India rests upon the inspiration that Swami Vivekananda awakened over a hundred years ago. His life and teachings became the spirit that infused the country’s independence movement and proclamation of self-rule, not only at a political level but at intellectual and spiritual levels as well.

The modern yoga movement began globally with Vivekananda, who brought India’s ancient yogic heritage to the entire world, and soon made yoga into a common word and practice in every continent. Vivekananda helped revive yoga in India, taking it from a specialised practice for a few select renunciates, and turning it into a universal science of consciousness that everyone can explore and benefit from.

While the great scientist Albert Einstein discovered the law of relativity, showing us the limitations of a time-space view of reality, Swami Vivekananda taught us how to realise the universal consciousness beyond the limitations of time and space within our own minds and hearts. Vivekananda was not just an intellectual genius but a spiritual visionary.

Yet a hundred years after Einstein and Vivekananda, humanity is still caught in the same divisions and conflicts in time-space reality, which these great teachers taught us how to overcome.

The meaning of September 11

Swami Vivekananda on September 11, 1893 at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago spoke to all people as brothers and sisters. He pleaded to his audience to reject the many divisions and barriers created between people, particularly those erected in the name of religion, which can permanently separate people into hostile camps. He invoked the yogic spirit of oneness as the solution to our individual and collective problems. He encouraged humanity to enter a new era of unity consciousness and let these regressive divisions disappear forever.

The young Swami from distant India was able to awaken his foreign American audience to a new vision of a universal life and single humanity. That spark set in motion forces of spiritual transformation that have since taken many forms.

Unfortunately, now September 11 has another meaning, which is the beginning of the era of terrorism and unexpected catastrophic attacks on innocent people throughout the world. Terrorism is based upon a rejection of the message of Swamiji that humanity constitutes of a single organism and reflects a single self, which is the essence of all religion and all deeper thought.

Terrorism is the ultimate expression of the divisive mind that places belief and ideology over life and feeling. It reflects an outer view of reality that wants to control the minds of people rather than let them be free to discover who they really are.

The challenge today

Yet terrorism is not an isolated phenomenon but is connected to many other world problems born of lack of human unity and a failure to honor the sacred nature of all life.

Today we are exploring the realm of information but have not understood the greater importance of consciousness. Information does not always unite us. It can reinforce separate identities. We are similarly looking to the outer mass media, rather than to our inner connection with the cosmic mind. Mass media, used incorrectly, can make us more intolerant, rather than more compassionate. Our world has not yet rejected the artificial divisions of nation and creed that marked the era before global communication and which can be reinforced by wrong use of the new technology.

Swamiji did not just teach ideas but emphasised the building of character, making the soul and spirit powerful, so that we are no longer the slaves of desire, opinions and impulses from the outer world. It is not just what we know or what we own but who we are that truly matters.

Swamiji’s message was the lion’s roar of Vedanta, the great upanishadic teaching that each individual is the self of the entire universe. He taught that you are not merely this small physical body, this mere brain, or even this complex mind. In the core of your being, you are one with the universal consciousness and all of its powers. Once we know this, even the thought of harming another person cannot arise.

Humanity cannot discover its true unity merely at an outer level of technology and communication, however helpful these may be. It cannot erect that unity based upon upholding the divided identities of an earlier era. It is a unity of heart and consciousness that is required. Yoga can show us the way.



The Guru – Your Private Tutor


The most important thing a spiritual Master does for his spiritual children is to make them consciously aware of something vast and infinite within themselves, which is nothing other than God Himself.

Guru is a Sanskrit word which means “he who illumines.” The one who offers illumination is called a Guru. According to my own inner realisation I wish to say that there is only one real Guru, and that is the Supreme. No human being is the real Guru. But although the Supreme alone is the real Guru, here on earth we value time. If we Find someone who can help . us on our journey towards illumination, we take his help, and we may call him our Guru.

A spiritual Master or Guru is like the eldest child in the family, and the seekers are like his younger spiritual brothers and sisters. Spiritual Masters tell and show their younger brothers and sisters where their Father, the Absolute Guru, is.

The real Guru is not in the vast blue skies. He is inside the very depth of our heart. You may ask, “If He is inside our heart, then why is it necessary for us to take help from somebody else to find Him?” Although this invaluable treasure is inside our heart, we cannot see it or feel it, so we need help. A friend of ours, who we call our Guru or spiritual teacher, comes to us and teaches us how to find our own treasure.

It is not obligatory to have a living Guru, but it is certainly advisable. You know that there is a goal, and you want to reach that goal. If you are wise, you will accept help from someone who can show you the easiest, safest and most effective path to the goal. If you want to take hundreds and thousands of years to realise God, having a spiritual Master is not necessary. But if you want to reach the goal as soon as possible, then certainly it is a necessity.

If you have a Master, it facilitates your inner spiritual progress. A spiritual Master is your private tutor in the spiritual life. There is a big difference between a private tutor and an ordinary teacher. An ordinary teacher will look at a student’s paper and then give him a mark. He will examine the student and then pass him or fail him. But the private tutor personally encourages and inspires the student at home so that he can pass his examination. At every moment in life’s journey, ignorance tries to examine you, but your private tutor will teach you how to pass the examination easily. It is the business of the spiritual teacher to inspire the seeker and increase his aspiration so that he can realise the Highest as soon as possible.

In order to learn anything in this world you need a teacher in the beginning. To learn mathematics you need a teacher. To learn history you need a teacher. It is absurd to feel that for everything else in life you need a teacher, but not for meditation. Why do people go to the university when they can study at home? It is because they feel that they will get expert instruction from people who know the subject well. There have been a few, but very few, real men of knowledge who did not go to any university. Yes, there are exceptions; every rule admits of exceptions. God is in everybody, and if a seeker feels that he does not need human help, he is most welcome to try his capacity alone. But if someone is wise and wants to run toward his goal instead of stumbling or merely walking, then certainly the help of a Guru will be immeasurable.

Right now, perhaps, I am in London. I know that New York exists and that I have to go back there. What do I need to get me there? An airplane and a pilot. In spite of the fact that I know that the plane can take me to New York, I cannot get there without the help of the pilot. Similarly, you know that God exists. You want to reach God through meditation, but someone has to take you there. As the pilot takes me to New York, someone has to take you to the consciousness of God which is deep within you. Someone has to show you how to enter into your own divinity through meditation.

A spiritual Master comes to you with a boat. He says, “Come. If you want to go to the Golden Shore, I will take you. Moreover, once you get into my boat, you can sing on the boat, you can dance, you can even sleep; but I will bring you safely to the Shore.” If you say that you do not need anybody’s help, if you want to swim across the sea of ignorance alone, then it is up to you. But how many years, or how many incarnations will it take you? And again, after swimming for some time you may become totally exhausted and then you may drown.

Without a Guru, your progress will be very slow and uncertain. You may get high, elevating experiences and not give them adequate significance. Or doubt may enter your mind, and you may think, “I am just an ordinary person, so how can I have that kind of experience? Perhaps I am deluding myself.” Or you will tell your friends about your experiences, and they will say, “It is all a mental hallucination!” But if there is someone who knows what the inner reality is, he will be able to assure you that the experiences which you have are absolutely real. The Master encourages the seeker and inspires him. And if the seeker is doing something wrong in his meditation, the Master is in a position to correct him.

Once you complete a course, you no longer need a teacher. If you want to learn how to sing, you go to a singer and learn from him. If you want to be a dancer, you go to a dancer. Once you become a good singer or dancer, you don’t have to go to the teacher anymore. In the spiritual life it is the same. You need help in the beginning, but once you become extremely advanced, you will not need anybody’s help.

If someone becomes a true disciple of a Master, he does not feel that he and his Guru are two totally different beings. He does not feel that his Guru is at the top of the tree and he is at the foot of the tree. No! He feels that the Guru is his own highest part. He feels that he and the Guru are one, that the Guru is his own highest and most developed part. Therefore, a true disciple does not find any difficulty in surrendering his lowest part to his highest part. It is not beneath his dignity to be a devoted disciple, because he knows that both the highest and the lowest are his very own.

He who inspires you is your real teacher He who loves you is your real teacher. He who forces you is your real teacher. He who perfects you is your real teacher. He who treasures you is your real teacher.

Sri Chinmoy, The Guru

The Inner Cry…


Aspiration is the mounting cry, the climbing cry inside our heart. We can enter into the divine consciousness through our inner cry. This cry is not for name and fame. This cry is our total, unconditional, unreserved oneness with God, who is the Inner Pilot of our life-boat.

We have to make God a living reality in our day-to-day lives. We have to feel that God’s presence is of paramount importance. If we do not eat every day, we starve our body. Similarly, we have to feel that if we do not pray and meditate every day, then we are starving our spiritual body. When we aspire with our heart’s tears, we see that God is coming down to us, descending from above. It is just like two persons meeting; one is on the first floor and the other is on third floor. We go up to the second floor. There we meet and fulfill each other.

The stairway to the second floor is created by our heart’s cry. This is the cry of aspiration; it is not like shedding tears when you do the wrong thing. The heart is crying and yearning like a mounting flame burning upward, always rising. God descends with His Grace, like a river running downward. When aspiration and Grace meet together, we come to experience the divine fulfillment of union with God.

Sri Chinmoy, The Wings of Joy

What is the spiritual life?

Here we are all seekers, seekers of the infinite Light and the eternal Truth. What does this mean? It means that we have accepted the spiritual life soulfully and consciously.

The paramount question is, “What is the spiritual life?” The spiritual life is something that is natural and normal. It is always natural and it is always normal, unlike other things that we come across in our day-to-day multifarious activities. The spiritual life is normal and natural precisely because it knows its Source. Its Source is God the infinite Light and God the eternal Truth.

When we follow the spiritual life, we come to feel that a life of peace need not always remain a far cry. We come to feel that a life of love, the love that expands, need not always remain a far cry. Everything that fulfils us divinely and supremely, we can achieve and claim as our very own if we follow the spiritual life. Right now Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure we do not have at our disposal. But when we practise spirituality, when our inner cry, which we call aspiration, climbs up high, higher, highest, at that time Peace, Light and Bliss we get not only in abundant measure but in infinite measure. And we can achieve and treasure these divine qualities in the inmost recesses of our hearts. When we practise the spiritual life soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally, we try to bring to the fore the divinity that we all have. And this divinity is nothing short of our perfection.

Here we are all seekers. Each seeker represents the ideal and the real. The ideal is self-transcendence and the real is God’s all-pervading Consciousness.

If we want to grow into the real and the ideal in us, we have to clean our mind thoroughly of the undivine thoughts that are constantly assailing us. And we have to empty our heart and fill it with infinite Light and Delight. Then God the Real and God the Ideal will be able to sing and dance in our aspiring being.

Here we are all seekers. We are all chosen instruments of the Supreme, our Beloved Supreme, the Eternal Pilot. We can prove this soulful statement of ours, not by words but by deeds, by our serving love and loving service.

Loving service. Our loving service can prove to the world at large that we are the chosen instruments of the Supreme, for the Supreme. When we love the Supreme soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally in our aspiring mind, we heighten our God-Height; and when we serve the Supreme soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally in our aspiring mind, we deepen our God-Depth.

Since we are the chosen instruments of the Supreme, our immediate necessity is God-realisation and our absolute duty is God-manifestation. In the fulfilment of our immediate necessity, we can become the torch-bearers of infinite Truth and the harbingers of God-Vision within us and without. In the fulfilment of our absolute duty, we discover that we are God-seeds and God-fruits. Let us offer our God-seed to the Supreme; let us place it at His Feet, so it may grow into a divine tree that can lift humanity to the highest transcendental Height. Let us also offer to the Supreme our God-fruit. Let us place our God-fruit at His Feet for His Manifestation, His total and complete Manifestation here on earth.

– Sri Chinmoy, Spirituality