Balancing last week’s look at the Bushido Code I am looking at Shiva Shakti, the Hindu god.
It is worth examining who he is, what he represents and the lessons he has for today’s man. Some of you found Bushido too attached to violence and a destructive way of life, it’s interesting that Shiva is also connected to destruction. This seems to be a theme in men.
I looked, previously, at Shiva in Kali’s Sword, a post about women and their view of us men. In it I tell the story of Kali, Shiva’s consort, causing chaos on the battlefield. To calm her down Shiva lies down and lets her step on him. This shows how …
… when a man stands like a rock in the midst of female chaos she can lock on to him and let it all go.
This doesn’t seem to be about destruction, in fact it’s the opposite, preventing it.
Who Is Shiva Shakti?
Shiva means good or auspicious one. He is a Hindu god of ambiguity and paradox.
In Hindu legend he is supposed to destroy evil and sorrow and do good. He is self-controlled and celibate, as well being as the lover of Shakti, his spouse. He is responsible for change in the sense of death and destruction, destroying the ego and shedding old habits or attachments.
He is static and dynamic and creator and destroyer. He is the oldest and the youngest. He is the source of fertility in all living beings. He is omnipresent and resides in everyone as pure consciousness.
He is symbolised in an abstract form as the Shiva Lingam. The Lingam represents the male creative energy of Shiva and is worshiped in virtually every Hindu temple and home. The phallus is not worshiped as such, but through it Shiva is seen as pure consciousness. Embracing the base of the lingam is the yoni, the female organ, as the universal energy, as Shakti. Through profound understanding of this symbol, the mystery of creation can be understood as an act of love.
What Does Shiva Shakti Represent?
Shiva represents the aspect of the universe that cycles through the process of creation, preservation, dissolution and recreation. He represents mercy and compassion and protects people from evil forces such as lust, greed, and anger. He grants favours and awakens wisdom.
Everything that begins must also end. Nothing is destroyed but the illusion of individuality. The power of destruction associated with Shiva is purifying, on a personal and a universal level. Destruction opens the path for new creation, a new opportunity for the beauty and drama of illusion to appear.
The power or energy of Shiva is Shakti, his spouse. Shiva is inseparable from Shakti. There is no Shiva without Shakti and no Shakti without Shiva, the two are one consciousness and the absolute state of being.
What Lessons Does Shiva Shakti Have For Us?
It is helpful for me that Shiva displays destruction as a creative force. Too often in a man’s world destruction is and end in itself, even though it is cloaked in a the concept of a higher good. Here it is solely a purifying force that clears out evil and re-creates on a level of consciousness. There is no destruction without creation, without the responsibility for what follows.
This is engagement, something that men can find difficult. So much emotional, as well as physical, destruction is caused by disengagement.
What is more powerful, however, is that Shiva is seen as inseparable from Shakti. The masculine is inseparable from the feminine. It’s not that the masculine and feminine resides in all of us, it’s that the two are intertwined in universal consciousness. To be fully alive involves embracing both, to be one person we need to be two.
Shiva’s involvement with Kali has an interesting insight into the use of Male Power. Here he uses to calm Kali, the feminine, down. he does not by force or direct intervention but by just being there, solid and dependable. He is able to embrace Kali’s energy allowing her to trust again.
How Can We Connect With His Energy?
In Tantra there is a common meditation pose called Shiva Shakti. In it the man and woman are intertwined in a sitting position. The woman is in the man’s lap and their hearts and genitals are pressed together. In this pose the two become one, exchanging breath and energy.
Practicing this idea on an energetic level with our partner will create great power for both. Developing the ability to feel the pure consciousness that lies in both of you and in the combination is essential for any man.
If we also develop an awareness of the consequences of our actions we will find renewed ability to see the power of creation in the world. If we always look to creation and look beyond destruction we will see the world in a totally different light.
Shiva Shakti can give us power and compassion.
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