The whole universe, according to the Tantric Cosmology, is believed to have been created and sustained by two primary forces named as ‘Shiva’ and ‘Shakti’. These two forces are permanently in an indestructible union.
SHIVA represents the masculine deity. It symbolizes the constitutive elements of the universe, the consciousness.
SHAKTI is the dynamic potency and responsible for making the elements come to life. It symbolizes the feminine principle, the one that activates energy and power.
Shiva & Shakti – Consciousness and Energy
Talking from a metaphysical point of view, the divine couple of Shiva and Shakti represents the two aspects of the Union. The first is the masculine principle representing the abiding aspect of God and the other is the feminine aspect that represents energy. This force lets the elements of the world act.
Shakti means energy, movement, power, nature, change. It pertains to the maternal principle. In human as well as the animal world, the mother is considered to offer warmth, nourishment, and security. The mother loves the child the most and nourishes it in her own body. When it is born, she raises it sacrificing her own self until it becomes self-sufficient.
Shiva is pure consciousness. It represents the unlimited, unchanging and unswayable observer. Purusha (Shiva) has no desires. Purusha is an empty screen into which Prakriti (Shakti) projects her film.
Shiva and Shakti are essentially the manifestations of the divine consciousness. This means they are two sides of the same coin. In many pictures, the two powers are shown as being one half of one image. It is represented as a single being with half male and half female. The left side is usually the ‘Shakti’, the feminine energy or the Parvati, Divine Mother. The right side depicts ‘Shiva’, the masculine consciousness.
The meanings of Shiva and Shakti are often misunderstood when they are looked upon as ‘man’ and ‘woman’ and their union considered as a sexual relationship. In reality, sexuality is a natural thing and when sexuality and spirituality are mixed together, the misunderstanding arises.
- Sexuality means the union of man and woman
- Spirituality means the union of the divine and the human consciousness
In reality, the splitting of the primary principle during the creation gave rise to the duality within our lives. It is associated with a strong force which strives constantly to reunite with the other part. Shiva and Shakti exist within each of the living beings in the form of masculine and feminine principles. On the physical level, this causes a sexual attraction. Through this force, the feminine awareness is attracted by the masculine and vice versa.
Shiva And Shakti Union – The Tantric Couples
Tantra is derived from the root word ‘Tan’ which implies ‘to continue’, ‘to multiply’ or ‘to straighten’. The knowledge of tantra is not acquired from sculptures. It has rather descended on the yogis and the wise people through their divine vision. It has been bestowed upon them via cosmos in their deep state of meditation. Tantric sex is not about two people waiting to meet. It is the two dimensions of life waiting to converge in a divine union. Shiva and Shakti, cover one another in their own halves to represent the power which a man and a woman are in their completeness with each other.
Only when both the principles, the Shiva and Shakti union happens the movement, creation, and action can arise. As long as energy is not combined with consciousness, it is aimless and ignorant. Energy can produce nothing alone. Consciousness imparts its form, direction, and content. On the other hand, consciousness is sleeping power in absence of energy. It can cause nothing on its own.
Shakti resides in the Muladhara Chakra while Shiva in the Sahasrara Chakra. At the time when Purusha and Prakriti unite in the Sahasrara Chakra, the knower, knowledge and the object of knowledge unite. Once this happens, no desires remain within the human being. In this state of complete consciousness, there remain no polarities and so no sorrows. The only things that remain are an everlasting joy, unlimited compassion, unconditional love and complete understanding of the living beings.
As long as the consciousness is associated with the physical body, it is not able to remain in the Sahasrara Chakra. Hence, it returns to the Anahata Chakra, the residence of the Atma in the Heart Center. Any accomplished human being thinks, feels and acts from his heart. He is constantly conscious of the immortal soul and his consciousness is always associated with the divine consciousness.
A man on the Earth represents Purusha, the masculine power that empowers the entire creation while a woman represents the Prakriti, the feminine power responsible for creating everything. Today, when the woman in our society is considered as a weaker sex, it is worth understanding that if there was just the masculine energy in existence, there would have been everything but nothing because Shiva and Shakti union is everything but nothing on their own. It is the union of the two powers that empowers everything.
For any human being, the grace of the Divine Mother (Shakti) that lives within in the form of vitality and energy and the grace of the Divine Father (Shiva) residing within the person as knowledge and consciousness should unite together to give the eternal happiness and wisdom and lead him to cosmic consciousness.