Shiva and Shakti are one and the same.
There is no place that He is not.
There is no place that She is
They are one and the same.
She is in every thing.
She is in every word.
She is all there is.
See Her in
Hear Her in all sounds.
Know Her in all thoughts.
Feel Her in all feelings.
She is all there is.
She is the one in the three
Shiva and Shakti are one
and the same.
That is the secret.
At the end of the kali-yuga, the great destroyer of
the worlds, God manifested as the destructive principle Shiva, does a dance
called the tandava, and he appears, blue-bodied with ten arms, with lightning
and fire appearing from every pore in his skin, and does a dance in which the
universe is finally destroyed. The moment of cosmic death is the waking up of
Brahma, the creator, for as Shiva turns round and walks off the stage, seen
from behind, he is Brahma, the creator, the beginning of it all again. And
Vishnu is the preserver, that is to say,
the going on of it all, the whole state of the godhead being manifested as
many, many faces. "Breathe deeply," said Vijaya, "and as you breathe pay
attention to this smell of incense.
Pay your whole attention to it;
know it for what it is - an ineffable fact beyond words, beyond reason and
Know it in the raw.
Know it as a mystery.
and prayer - those were the three things that
'Abdullāh loved above all others.
The inexplicable data of
breathed incense, touched skin, felt compassion and beyond them, the mystery of
mysteries, the One in plurality,
the Emptiness that is all, the
Suchness totally present
appearance, at every
point and instant.
breathe," he repeated, "breathe," and in a final whisper, as
he sat down, "breathe ."
"Shivayanama," murmured the old priest ecstatically.
Together they moved
forward, climbed and, ¾ of the way up the altar stair sat down side by
side in the penumbra between darkness and the light of the lamps.
Quietly Robert began to talk about Shiva-Nataraja, the Lord of the
"Look at his image," he said. "Look at it with these new
eyes that the moksha-medicine has given you.
See how it breathes and pulses,
how it grows out of brightness into brightness ever more intense.
Dancing through time and out of time, dancing everlastingly in the
Dancing and dancing
in all the worlds at once. Look at him."
Scanning those upturned
faces, Will noted, now in one, now in another, the dawning illuminations of
delight, recognition, understanding, the signs
of worshiping wonder that quivered on the brinks of ecstasy or terror.
"Look closely," Robert insisted. "Look still more
After a long minute of
silence, "Dancing in all the worlds at once."
"In all the worlds.
And first of all in the world of matter.
Look at the great round halo,
fringed with the symbols of fire, within which the god is dancing. It stands
for Nature, for the world of mass and energy.
the dance of endless becoming and
It's his lila, his cosmic play.
the sake of playing, like a child.
But this child is the Order of
His toys are galaxies, his playground is infinite space and
between finger and finger every interval is a thousand million light-years.
Look at him there on the altar.
is man-made, a little contraption of copper only four feet high.
Shiva-Nataraja fills the universe, is the universe.
Shut your eyes and
see him towering into the night, follow the boundless stretch of those arms and
the wild hair infinitely flying."
"Nataraja at play among the stars and
in the atoms.
At play within every living thing, every sentient
creature, every child and man and woman.
Play for play's sake.
But now the playground is conscious, the dance floor is capable of
To us, this play without purpose seems a kind of insult.
What we would really like is a God who never destroys what he has
Or if there must be pain and death, let them be meted out by a
God of righteousness, who will punish the wicked and reward the good with
But in fact the good get hurt, the innocent
there be a God who sympathizes and brings comfort.
is impartial to death and life, of all evils as well as of all goods.
"We should consider every day lost on which we
have not danced at least once.
We should call every truth false which was
not accompanied by at least one laugh."
In the uppermost of his right hands he
holds the drum that summons being out of not-being.
Look at the
uppermost of his left hands.
Brandishing fire by which all that has been
forged is forthwith destroyed.
He dances this way - what happiness,
the epiphany !
Dances that way - and oh, the hideous fear,
Then hop, skip and jump.
Hop into perfect health.
Skip into cancer and senility.
Jump out of material life into
dissolution, out of dissolution again into
For Nataraja play is an end in itself, everlastingly
He dances and the dancing is his maha-sukha, his infinite
and eternal bliss."
"Eternal bliss," Robert repeated but questioningly,
"For the unenlightened there is no bliss, only the
oscillation between awe and
a sense of moral outrage at
the thought that pain mixed with pleasure is an integral part of Nataraja's
dance - our dying as our living."
"Suffering and sickness," Robert
resumed at last.
"Old age, decrepitude, death.
I show you sorrow. But that
wasn't the only thing the Buddha showed us. He
also showed us the ending of sorrow."
"Shivayanamar" the old
priest cried triumphantly.
"Open your eyes again and look at Nataraja up there on the altar.
In his upper right hand, as you've already seen,
he holds the drum that calls the world into existence and in his upper left
hand he carries destroying fire.
Life and death, order and
But now look at Shiva's other pair of
The lower right hand is raised and the palm is turned outwards.
What does that gesture signify?
It signifies 'Don't be afraid;
it is LIFE ! '
How can anyone
in his senses fail to be afraid?
How can anyone pretend that evil and
suffering are all right, when it's so obvious that they're all wrong!
Nataraja has the answer.
Look now at his lower left hand.
He's using it to point down at his feet. And what are his feet doing?
Look closely and you'll
see that the right foot is planted squarely on a horrible little subhuman
creature - the demon, Muyalaka.
A dwarf, but immensely
powerful in his malignity, Muyalaka is the embodiment of ignorance, the
manifestation of greedy, possessive selfhood.
Stamp on him, break
his back! And that is precisely what Nataraja is doing.
little monster down under his right foot.
Notice it isn't at this
trampling right foot that he points his finger; it's at the left foot, the
foot, as he dances, in the act of raising from the ground.
And why does
he point at it?
That lifted foot, that dancing defiance of the force of
gravity - it's the symbol of release, of moksha, of liberation.
dances in all the worlds at once - in the world of physics and chemistry, in
the world of ordinary, all-too-human experience, in the world finally of
Lumière Infinie .
. . "
"And now," Robert went on after a moment of silence, "I want you to
look at the other statue the image of Shiva and the Goddess.
Look at them there in their little cave of
shut your eyes and see them again -
And in their tenderness what depths of meaning!
What wisdom beyond all spoken wisdoms
in that sensual experience of spiritual fusion and atonement!
Eternity in compassion with time.
The One joined in marriage to
the many, the relative made absolute by its union with the One.
Nirvana identified with
samsara, the manifestarion in time and flesh and feeling of the Buddha
The old priest lighted another
stick of incense and softly, in a succession of long-drawn melismata, began
to chant something in
On the young faces before him Will could read the marks
of a listening serenity, the hardly perceptible,
ecstatic smile that welcomes a
sudden insight, a revelation of
truth and beauty.
"Liberation," Robert began
again, "the ending of
sorrow, ceasing to be what you ignorantly think you are and becoming what you
are in fact.
For a little while, thanks
to the moksha-medrcine, you will know what it's like to be what in fact you
are, what in fact you always have been.
What a timeless
But, like everything else,
Like everything else, it will pass.
And when it
has passed, what will you do with this experience?
What will you do with
all the other similar experiences that the mokhsha-medicine will bring you in
the years to come?
Will you merely
enjoy them as you would enjoy an evening at the puppet show, and then go
back to business as usual, back to behaving like the silly delinquents you
imagine yourselves to be?
Or, having glimpsed, will you devote your
lives to the business, not at all as usual, of being what you are in fact?
All that we older
people can do with our teachings, all that Pala can do for you with its social
arrangements, is to provide you with techniques and opportunities.
And all that the moksha-medrcine can do is to give
you a succession of beatific glimpses, an hour or two, every now and then, of
It remains for you to decide whether you'll
co-operate with the grace and
take those opportunities.
But that's for the future, Here and now,
all you have to do is to follow the mynah bird's advice:
Pay attention and you'll
find yourselves, gradually or suddenly, becoming aware of the great primordial
facts behind these symbols on the altar."
The old priest waved his
stick of incense.
At the foot of the altar steps
the boys and girls sat motionless as
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