The Science behind Shiva and Sakti

Dr K K Aggarwal
Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee
President, Heart Care Foundation of India 


After the life force leaves the body even the wife does not likes to come near the body (Bhaja Govindam). This life force has no weight, water cannot wet it, air cannot dry it, and weapons cannot cut it (Bhagwat Gita Chapter 2).

The life force of a computer is its intelligence, which is fed in data. Similarly, the life force of TV is its image, of radio is its voice and a mobile phone is the data in its chip.

The scientific description of this life force comes from the first Maha Vakya, from Aitareya Upanishad in Rig Veda, which describes that “Consciousness or Intelligence is the Brahman (Pragnanam Brahma).

This life force or the intelligence represents the conscious energy, energized consciousness or energized information. In computer language, the intelligence has both the fed in data and the software to operate this data. The software is driven by the power of intention and by the process of attention.

In Vedic language the data is the “purusha or Shiva” and the software the “Sakti” (Shakti). While the data or the Shiva is inactive and idle, without Sakti or energy, the data has no value and it makes” Shiva” a “SAVA”.

When Sakti moves toward Shiva it becomes awareness or consciousness. In Vedanta language it is called as soul or Brahman.

For comparison, what relationship Matter and energy have in Physics; Purusha and Prakruti have in Samkya Philosophy; infinite and zero have in Mathematics; Potential and kinetic energy have in energetics; Meaning and word have in Linguistics and Father and mother have in sociology, the same is with Shiva and Sakti have in understanding the mystery of Vedanta.

Shiva and Sakti are thus two inseparable entities in Indian mysticism. Just as moonlight cannot be separated from the moon, sakti cannot be separated from Shiva. Kashmir Shaivism says that “Shiva without Sakti is lifeless (Sava) because wisdom cannot move without power”.

Shiva and Sakti are different from the masculine and feminine aspects of the human body. In tantric spiritual path, one seeks to develop a perfect harmony and balance between masculine aspects (example mental focus, will, intellect) and feminine aspects (example sensitivity, emotion).

Shiva or the data is classified in the body in three subgroups: creation, protection and destruction (of that which is obsolete and effete and unnecessary and toxic). These in Hindu mythology are called the “Brahma Vishnu and Mahesh”. Some add another two more dimensions in them making them five and these are “revelation and concealment”. One can find these qualities in anything that’s alive.

The sakti or the forces (power) are sub classified in five sub types.

1. Chitta Sakti: Pure consciousness or the awareness of God.
2. Ananda Sakti or pure bliss.
3. Gyana Sakti or the knowledge of God. It is the pure knowledge which means that knowledge which organizes and orchestrates the infinite correlative activity of the universe.
4. Kriya Sakti or ‘pure action’ which are the actions directed toward God (action which is non-binding—doesn’t have the bondage of karma. Action which has the bondage of karma comes from the ego. It’s based on beliefs and expectations and interpretations and fears and judgments and past memories, whereas non-binding action, which is non-Karmic, is called kriya—action rooted in pure awareness and creativity)
5. Desire (Icha Sakti: the desire or intention to unite with God)

Deepak Chopra in his Book, Path of Love Describes Shakti as under: If the voice of God spoke to you, Her powers would be conveyed in simple, universal phrases:

Chitta Shakti: “I am.”
Ananda Shakti: “I am blissful.”
Gyana Shakti: “I know.”
Kriya Shakti: “I act.”
Icha Shakti: “I will” or “I intend.”

These powers, if used towards acquiring spiritual wellbeing, any action (pure kriya) directed by the desire (pure ischa) leads to pure knowledge (pure gnana) and ends with internal bliss (ananda).

On the other hand, in routine life if these powers are governed by the ego, then the Action (Kriya) leads to Memory (Gyana or Gnana) and the memory leads to desire (Icha) and then action again.

According to Tantra, Satchidananda is called Shiva-Sakti, the hyphenated word suggesting that Shiva or the Absolute and Sakti or its creative power, are eternally conjoined like a word and its meaning; the one cannot be thought of without the other.

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