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What Is The Shiva/Shakti Principle?

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Our world is filled with contradictions that coexist and make way for a balanced living. The Shiva/Shakti principle of Hinduism, which is a combination of masculine and feminine energy, explains the universe in terms of formed and unformed energy.

The Shiva/Shakti principle in Hinduism deals with the concept of feminine and masculine in relation to the expression of the universe. In the Hindu tradition, the god Shiva represents the formless universe and is the masculine energy in nature. He represents all the potential that existed in the universe before form and matter appeared. The goddess Shakti represents form in the universe and is the result of all the unformed energy from Shiva reaching it’s potential and expressing itself in form and matter and is feminine in nature.

The Flow Of The Energies In Yoga

Yoga is the practice of uniting the Shiva and Shakti principle in the body. Kundalini and Tantric yoga especially address the unification of the Shakti and Shiva principle in the body. In all the various practices, the goal is to create god consciousness, nirvana, and the liberation of suffering.

Three main energy currents in the body ultimately flow together through Yoga. The Shakti energy of the Ida energy path and the Shiva energy of the Pingala energy path unite at the root chakra Muladhara and travel up the central energy path of the Sushumna to unite at the Sahasrara or crown chakra. On the way up, the energy enlivens all the other energy centers in the body and creates the experience of unification and enlightenment.

Explaining With Science

In modern physics, you could say that the god Shiva is the representation of the universe before the “Big Bang.” He is all of the energy in its formless nature waiting to be expressed and given form. The goddess Shakti would be the representation of what comes after the “Big Bang;” all of the potential energy reaches its potential to express itself in form. The key is to remember that Shiva and Shakti coexist. In order to have one, you must have the other.

In electricity, Shiva and Shakti can be represented as the positive and negative current. We know that in order to harness the power of electricity, we need to harness both the positive and the negative current flowing together. Only then is electricity of use.

Balancing The World With Shiva/Shakti

There is, of course, an even more basic Shiva/Shakti principle at work here in the form of survival. In order for life on our planet to survive, this principle of positive and negative must be allowed to express itself. The result is the ability to reproduce form. Men embody the Shiva principle and women embody the Shakti principle. The impulse of Shiva/Shakti is what results in the reproduction of form in humans. Reproduction is the expression of the Shiva/Shakti principle. This same principle is found throughout nature and is what allows the constant creation of form.

Our world is held together by the balance of Shiva and Shakti. When these two basic energies are out of balance, it creates many problems. Men and women have a hard time relating to each other and nature too loses it’s ability to cooperate with itself. All spiritual practices, including Yoga, are designed to restore and maintain this energy balance.

This same principle and practice exists in all the different spiritual traditions of the world. They are simply an extension of this male/female pursuit of energetic balance. From the ancient Greeks, Gnostic Christians, Jewish Kabbalists, the Sufi tradition of Islam, and many more, we see the same principle and practice at work. It is truly the principle that unites us all through our pursuit of balance and harmony. 

Paul Sugar
Star Expert

I am the founder and Director of the Scottsdale Institute for Health and Medicine. I completed the advanced MBSR teacher training in 1994 at the Center for Mindfulness pioneered by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and am a Certified MBSR instructor through the Center for Mindfulness at the UCSD School of Medicine. In addition, I am a Mentor for the mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) certification candidates there. I have taught over 60 Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction- 8 week MBSR and MBCT programs and have delivered hundreds of mindfulness based workshops for over 20 years .I've taught mindfulness in the health care, corporate, academic, sports and private sectors. I have been practicing and teaching meditation, yoga and tai chi for over 40 years.

Paul Sugar
Star Expert

I am the founder and Director of the Scottsdale Institute for Health and Medicine. I completed the advanced MBSR teacher training in 1994 at the Center for Mindfulness pioneered by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and am a Certified MBSR instructor through the Center for Mindfulness at the UCSD School of Medicine. In addition, I am a Mentor for the mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) certification candidates there. I have taught over 60 Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction- 8 week MBSR and MBCT programs and have delivered hundreds of mindfulness based workshops for over 20 years .I've taught mindfulness in the health care, corporate, academic, sports and private sectors. I have been practicing and teaching meditation, yoga and tai chi for over 40 years.

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