Behind Nuptial Bowers – The effervescence of divine Interplay: Shiva & His Consorts
Behind Nuptial Bowers
The effervescence of divine Interplay: Shiva & His Consorts
Poised & self assured, bereft of any desire, immaculate in his wisdom, introverted in his gaze & indifferent to fear, the Lord of liberation, Nirguna Sadasiva, cannot escape the ensnaring charm of his beloved, feminine energies, Shaktis whose wiles & guiles are nothing but a plea for assistance from the Parameswara to extend his divine bliss on mortals trapped in the travails of the deadly sins like fear, anger, greed to name a few.
The yearning gaze & her feminine rapture are microcosmic forms of the expression of Prakriti, which is the feminine & finite nature with all its imperfections. Glorifying his unflinching stance, the goddess in her various forms as Gauri, Uma or Kali, draws him out of his cave of contemplation, to participate in the material world, so that humans can partake of his cosmic wisdom.
To the interested reader, the myth of Sati, daughter of Daksha, who fell in love with the unfettered Shiva& married him in defiance of her father’s will, is commonplace. Her act of self immolation at being accosted by her father who disgraced Shiva by not inviting him to a Yagna he organised is a clear indicator of her immense love for her husband & the honour she attributed to his wisdom. In turn, his love for Sati, is demonstrated when he unleashes terror in Daksha’s court & beheads Daksha through an ally, Virabhadra, a warrior on learning of his wife’s sacrifice. His use of brute force at the loss of his wife is a message for Daksha, the King, that the human mind that seeks control & fails to subordinate its animal instincts in the egostic delusion of self aggrandizement begets nothing by shame & destruction.
Similarly, the myth of Parvati, daughter of Himavan, who performed austerities to gain Shiva’s unwavering attention & united with him in an image of the domesticated householder, is an expression of the larger motif of the need for domestication to tame the wild & harness the image of stability. Her shakti energy is the abounding force that contains within its epicenter the radiance of his power & wisdom. In its form as the Lingam, the yoni, or the base which is symbolic of the womb, the seat of creation encapsules within it the Phallus like stone which is symbolic of masculine potency. The unison of the two is significant for birth, creation & sustenance.
Speaking of the amor & mutually harmonious exchange between Shiva & his consorts the intellectualizing mind can express itself in volumes, depending on the stretch of its imagination & interest. The tales of nuptial fusion & associated myth are but titillating fibres to arouse the emotional antennae & satisfy the intellect where experience fails to ratify.
The intensely spiritual however go further to shatter this mind construct & dichotomy . In search of the wisdom from the gods, the ardent seeker goes a step further to identify that the masculine & feminine energies, both exist in the individual life organism. These are awakened & channelized to achieve god realisation through intense meditation or tapsya, as is personified by Shiva represented as ardhnareshwara. These energy sources are present in their latent form, at the base of the human spine & stored as the dynamic Kundalini Shakti or serpentine power. It is upto the individual, who based on his karmic ledger, identifies with his life purpose of focusing on awakening this creative power to achieve god realisation. In such a manner of interpretation the masculine energy is associated with the rising Kundalini, which bestows spiritual ecstacies & freedom from the body-mind cage. The feminine energy on the other hand is associated with the downward flow of Prana (life-force), as it dissolves past Karma.
Understood, another way the downward flow of the vital fluids is used for activities of procreation & sense pleasure while its upward ascent enables spiritual progress & dissociation of the soul from the bodily cage towards Nirvana or Enlightenment as Shiva had it.