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Shakti makes possible both self-awareness & selfhood

Shakti makes possible both self-awareness & selfhood
October 15
11:59 2018

Dr Robert Svoboda

Dr Robert Svoboda

Shakti is power, energy in both dynamic and static forms (we know its static form better as “matter”). Every imaginable thing and action in the universe arises from, exists in, and eventually returns to the primordial Shakti pool. Absolute, unchangeable, permanent, all-pervasive consciousness is the rock upon which the universe stands, and our cosmos and all conceivable cosmoses assemble themselves on that rock from the substance and dynamism of shakti.

Shakti makes possible both self-awareness and selfhood, for it is her nature to self-identify. The only difference between Adya, the foundation shakti of the universe, and you or me is that Adya identifies Herself with the Universal Totality, and we have become individuals within that totality. A relatively more or less better-developed sense of I-ness will produce relatively more or less sophisticated and complex individuals, but the “I-creating” power is fundamentally the same in every individual, stallion or star.

Adya and Her creations remain perpetually in motion, transforming and being transformed ceaselessly so long as the cosmos endures. Adya’s aim is to so contrive reality that consciousness may project into matter in ever-greater degrees of refinement. Bewildering in Her stupendous diversity, perplexing in her incorporation of both consciousness and ignorance into Her being, that Shakti who is the Totality of all shaktis partitions Herself to perform Her work. All Her subordinate shaktis can however be classified into one of two configurations: Chit Shakti or Maya Shakti.

Chit Shakti and Maya Shakti

My mentor, the Aghori Vimalananda, explained the relationship between these two shaktis thus:

Chit Shakti (the power of consciousness or subjectivity) identifies with the Unmanifested Absolute, and Maya Shakti (the power of unconsciousness or objectivity) identifies with the world, the manifestation of the Absolute. These two Shaktis cannot exist without one another. Even in the grossest matter there is a spark of consciousness – this is why I say that even rocks are alive – and even in the highest states of consciousness there is a particle of Maya, as long as there is even the least sense of individuality. Once you learn the truth of the universe, you forget your own individuality, and remember your true nature; only then, when you no longer exist, does Maya no longer exist for you.

Unity and duality exist in every human simultaneously, the One pervading the All and the All defining the One. Intelligence and sensation arise wherever Chit Shakti predominates, and ignorance and insensibility lead wherever Maya rules. The more you identify with your individuality, your microcosm, the more your shakti will function as your own personal Maya and the less She will reflect awareness of the macrocosm. As you identify less with your individuality you free your self-identifying power to reflect more of the reality of unalloyed consciousness, to increase her awareness of the One.

The human spine and spinal cord extend consciousness from the brain, the pole of greatest awareness that is called Shiva, to the coccyx, the pole of greatest density. Each bodily cell expresses its own sort of consciousness according to its own capacity. So long as your personal shakti busies itself predominantly with creating and reinforcing your limited human personality by self-identifying with your physical and mental attributes we call it ahamkara (ego).

Durga Puja and Dussehra are being celebrated on October 19. Dr. Robert Svoboda is the first Westerner ever to graduate and be licensed to practice Ayurveda in India. He was tutored in Ayurveda, Yoga, Jyotish, Tantra and other forms of classical Indian lore by his mentor, the Aghori Vimalananda. He is the author of twelve books.



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