The legend says that when Sati died, Shiva was so overcome with grief that he isolated himself from the whole world. He retired into a dark cave buried amongst the snow covered peaks of the Himalayas. He became inclined towards ‘vairaagya’ (ascetism) again and rejected the outside world. He immersed himself in deep meditation and his sadhana was so vigorous that he started generating great amounts of heat and energy. Through his meditation, he acquired great knowledge and filled his body with energy. But all this knowledge was within Shiva and of no use to anyone. All the other gods were worried and started invoking the mother goddess. Shakti or the mother goddess appeared before them as ‘Kundalini’ a coiled serpent. In answer to their prayers, Shakti said that she will coil herself around Shiva and would wean out his knowledge and energy for the good of the world. Shakti then took birth as Parvati and united with Shiva again.
According to the tantric notion, kundalini is the feminine energy that resides at the bottom of the spine of every individual. Shiva is the top most chakra, the head. The kundalini or Shakti has to rise above in order to meet the top most chakra which is Shiva. It is the union of purusha and prakriti. A devotee can achieve this through rigorous yoga. It results into divine bliss, acquiring of more knowledge and union with the cosmological being.
Shiva and Shakti constitute the whole of universe. They are the masculine and feminine aspects. They both complete each other. According to Hinduism, they are the divine parents. Shiva is known as Jagatpita and Shakti is known as Jagatmata. From time to time they save creation from evil forces.
Shiva is the purusha and Skaktithe prakriti. It is considered that Shiva is the static purusha, a corpse without his consort Shakti. Shiva represents the constitutive elements of the universe, while Shakti is the dynamic potency that makes these elements come to life.
Shiva and his divine consort Shakti are inseparable from each other. There is no Shiva without Shakti and no Shakti without Shiva. Shiva is Shakti and Shakti is Shiva.