Has Valentine’s Day jaded you on the idea of love, or are you a die-hard romantic? I have to admit, I can only deal with so much of the commercialized nonsense before I want to roll my eyes and wander off in pursuit of something more substantial. But when it comes right down to it, what is more substantial than love?
Now, before you open your mouth to argue with me, keep in mind that I’m not talking about the synthetic version of love that is touted by Hollywood and romance writers. Love has nothing to do with how attractive someone is, how much they buy you for Valentine’s Day or how great they make you feel in bed. Those are pheromones and survival instincts talking. That is the ego’s version of love; a version that is directly related to the body; to what makes you feel good and perpetuates the survival of the species.
(Side Note: Interesting, isn’t it that humanity has adapted so easily! It used to be that a woman who was looking for a mate; for a potential father for her children looked solely at the characteristics that would protect her and her children; broad shoulders, rugged features etc. Things that said he was strong and virile. Today she may still look at his features, but she also looks at his pocketbook)
No, what I’m talking about here isn’t the kind of love that you can rubber stamp inside of a greeting card or convey through a piece of jewelry. The kind of love I’m talking about here; the substantial kind of love; is the kind of love that lasts a lifetime; that holds steady through all of life’s challenges and which – no matter what you throw at it, never diminishes. In fact, it just keeps getting stronger. It is this kind of love on which the Universe itself was built and which is represented best by the Hindu deities of Shiva and Shakti.
While the mystics of many religions emphasize the concept of divine love, and while some have a feminine aspect of God that is celebrated in one form or another, it is only in the Hindu tradition that God is seen as having two separate and distinct aspects; Male AND Female; each of which is absolutely necessary for life in the universe as we know it to exist.
Known as the Eternal Lovers or the original twin flames; Shiva and Shakti are the ultimate male and female aspects of God. While some see them as actual beings, others see them as representing the most powerful and dynamic forces in the universe; consciousness and creation – energy and movement – life and love.
Shiva (the male aspect) is always seen as incredibly powerful. He represents consciousness, potential, pure energy and life itself. But by himself he is impotent, for all the power in creation is nothing if you don’t do something with it.
Shakti, on the other hand, is the power of creation. She takes Shiva’s energy and transforms it into physical manifestation. She is the wild energy that underpins all of creation and the love that ties everything together and which enables and encourages life to renew itself.
Without him, Shakti has nothing to work with. Without her, Shiva could accomplish nothing. Only by working together can they create something bigger than themselves; only together do they have the power to create life; a power that they have passed down to every living thing that they create. Indeed, if the story of creation could be re-written, it might go something like this:
In the beginning there was nothing but God. And God, being alone, knew that the only way to create something more than itself; was to split itself into two pieces so that those pieces could combine and create something bigger than either of them by themselves could hope to be. Male and Female created he them. And so the dance of love began.