Shakti…the Path to Shiva!

Like all spiritual aspirants, I have the deepest desire to experience this beauty called “Shiva”  – the all encompassing truth. It is a difficult one to grasp as it is within the atom of atoms and is beyond the infinite as hailed by the scriptures as also shared by our dear Master, Mohanji as below.

“It is the source of the mind, yet it is no mind. It is the source of desires, yet it has no desires. It is the source of elements, yet it has no dependency on them. It is the source of time, yet it is timeless. It is all the space, yet it is unfathomable spaceless space, complete and full, beyond fullness. It is the soul of the fire, water, air, earth, space, suns and galaxies, yet it is independent from all of it. It never gives or takes. It is never born nor has death. It is expansion, bliss and beauty. It is unexplainable. It is Shiva”

As I contemplated on the deep Shiva tattwa shared by my Guru, thoughts started to form.

“If Shiva is beyond the elements, Shakti infuses herself in the elements to enable us to experience Shiva! 

Namah Shivaya Vazhga

Naadhan thal Vazhga

Imai pozhudum en nenjil neengadaan thaal vazhga!

“Long live the Lord’s Name “NamaShivaya!”

Long live the Lord’s Feet

Long live the Lord’s feet who does not leave my heart even for a split second!”

My thoughts were now flowing in a steady stream and I capture them below.

While Shiva is all opposites juxtaposed, Shakti (energy) can be felt and she acts as the light leading us to this all-encompassing beauty called Shiva! To me, She is the supreme manifested and unmanifested energy that emanates and merges with Shiva, as Ardhanareshwara.

As I reflected on how Sakthi experiences Shiva as elements , “The Pancha Bootha Sthalams came to my mind!”

Panchaboothas are the five primal elements of the universe – Earth (Prithvi), Water (Aapa), Fire (Tejo), Air (Vayu) and Space/Ether(Akasha). From the stories I have grown up listening to and reading, Shiva himself manifested as the five Lingas. Now, as I recollect these familiar stories in a new light, a facet of Shiva can be touched by connecting to the Shakti aspect in each of these panchabootha shrines!

The Prithvi Sthalam (Place) or the Earth aspect is in Kanchipuram. Here, the Devi creates a Shivalinga with shore sand and worships Him and hence is considered as Prithvi Linga (of the earth). To me, the subtle meaning revealing itself is that the Devi has filled the concentrated essence of herself so that she experiences Shiva as Earth. She even guards Shiva, her beloved, from being swept away by the ocean currents by hugging him and in essence becoming Him!

The second sthalam is Jambukeshwaram. Here, Devi Parvathi transfers her energy in the form of water surrounding the Shivalinga (form worshipping the formless) as she worships him under the Jambu tree! She thus experiences Shiva as water! This linga is known as Appulingam!

The Tejo or Agni sthalam is Tiruvannamalai also known as Arunachala. Here the Goddess becomes jyothi (or light) and merges in the light of Shiva! If Shiva is the infinite light, She shows the path to dissolve into him – the finite can perceive only the finite and the infinite can do so with the infinite. For the finite, to perceive the infinite, it has to lose its assumed identity and become one with the infinite.

In this context, another quote of Mohanji comes to mind. “Everything has to burn before Shiva wears the Ash!

I wonder if Shakti, as Dakshayini (The first incarnation of Devi), cast herself in the yogic fire because She was sure that her benevolent Lord would pick her up at least as Ash! Shiva is the unfailing master. If one fails to reach him while in the manifested elements (body), he will surely pick one up as ash!

Srikalahashti is the vayu Sthalam. Here, the Shivalinga is self manifest (Swayambhu). I picture Shiva as the stillness perceived by the dynamic Pranic Shakti! Here Lord Shiva liberates three beings -a spider, a snake and an elephant for their true devotion. The Devi is known as – “Gyana Prasunambika” – The flower of wisdom.

The story goes that the Spider(shri), Snake(kala) and Elephant(hasthi) all worshipped Shiva in their own limited capacity. The spider spun a web to protect the lingam from the heat. The snake offered the most precious gems to the Lord and the elephant cleaned the Linga by pouring water (Abhishek). The benevolent Lord accepted it all. One day, there was a fire and the spider sacrificed itself to protect the Lord. The elephant and the snake, in a fit of rage arising from their ownership of the Lord, meet their end as well! It is here that the power of wisdom, is significant in the journey to liberation(Gyana sakthi). It does not matter how low or high the birth is but when divine wisdom dawns, conflicts resolve and Shiva offers the fruit of liberation.

The final aspect is the infinite space-chitakasha or the limitless sky of consciousness. Chidambaram (Akasha lingam)  is a representation of the Akash tattva-(The infinite aspect ).The beauty of the shrine is Shiva is in the sanctum sanctorum  as Lord Nataraja (The Lord of Dance). While in other temples, Shiva is worshiped in the abstract form (lingaswarupam)), all offerings here are made to the beautiful images of Nataraja and Goddess Sivakami. Chidambaram also represents the Ananda tandavam.(Blissful dance) -The dance of Shiva and Shakti in perfect synchronization. The beauty is the dance, the bliss is the dance.

This reminds me of Mohanji’s words on Kriya from which I infer that “Dance is the ultimate!

Yes! Shiva and Shakti dance and the entire cosmos is a result of their dance. No one can understand any tattva if Shiva and Shakti are separated. They are one. The beauty is that Oneness. Kailash is seen if the Shivashakti principle is perceived!

The Guru appears to establish this unifying principle – “He for God and She for the God in Him”!

In summary, all forms of Shakti are truly Shiva’s. The body is also made of the five elements driven by Shakti to experience Shiva! I also see the panchabhootha sthalams as a cryptic message for us to unravel the path to ultimate liberation – by graduating each of the levels to the final frontier.

It starts with us being “grounded (prithvi)” and stabilized in our faith,
allow the experiences to flow like water (”aapa”), light the “fire” of spiritual seeking in ourselves (“agni”), expand our inner being through these experiences (“vaayu”) and finally prepare to be dazzled by the cosmic dance of limitless energy (“Ether”) which is when we are liberated. To get there, we have to preserve and channelize the Shakti (energy) that we are imparted – so we let Her guide us and take us along with her to where she (and we) truly belong.

As we approach the Shivaratri festival, let us meditate on Shiva and Shakti, performing the Ananda Tandava, in our Chit Akasha! May the Divine Family bless us with a speck of their eternal bliss to celebrate life in “Shivanandam!”(Joy that is Shiva)

I connect the dots for myself. This is what my Guru Mohanji has initiated me on… The “Shakti path” to Shiva!!


Sathya Shivakumar

Mohanji-Invoking the Divine Mother within!

 It was a bright sunny morning! We had an unexpected guest near our house.It was a cow! Holding the tender hands of my daughter, I asked her to offer prayers to the cow after I fed it some fresh greens. She asked me,”Why should I pray to something that cannot protect itself?”. She left me thinking, as she quietly boarded her school van caressing the cow and touching her eyes as a gesture seeking blessings. Her question lingered in my mind . I dived deep on the question and by evening, I had an answer!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 32293467_1775904059133990_8637603051038834688_n.jpg

“All beings that give unconditionally and selflessly are so much in the giving mode that they will not worry about their own safety or protection. However, they bless us when we care for them. The one beautiful word  for this is “Maa” l. The one who gives her very self – the womb to you, the one who nourishes, sustains, loves and sacrifices for you without ever expecting anything in return! When you reciprocate and care for her, that simple act alone will protect you! That is why we say “Go Mata!” It’s milk nourishes you. To anything that is truly natural, we prefix it with mother- Mother tongue, Motherland,Mother Earth! Mother invokes the feelings – natural,dear to the heart, nourishment, freedom! Because she allows that freedom, time and again we test her by approaching the Mother with unending asks”. I looked at my little one’s face who was waiting for more. “Maa is unconditional love and this is why we venerate such beings, who give selflessly with the suffix Mata but she is as vulnerable as you are! You have to protect her, respect her and she will bless you and protect you!”, I concluded.                                                                                                                                                                                ***
Unconditional love and selfless service!Awareness is the key!”, Mohanji’s words reverberated the hall during the Acharya Training.  It was piercing through the dense clouds of the doubting mind. I was connecting these words to my own explanation and understanding. I was seeing another dimension of the Divine Mother! When the Guru principle awakens in us, it is in the giving mode – Giving completely!” Guru Mata!” As Mohanji spoke, I felt the Divine Mother appealing to us to expand this love emanating from our self, starting with family and extending to the world at large without barriers and boundaries. I was having doubts. How is it even possible? Then the story of Adi Sankaracharya flashed. The revered one, was walking by the banks of river Tungabadra on a scorching sunny day. He saw  a cobra raising it’s hood for a frog about to give birth and protecting it from the raging heat. He was overwhelmed that even natural enemies had overcome their instincts and infused love! Sringeri  thus became the abode of the “Divine Mother Goddess – Sri Sharadamba!” and the seat of the philosophy “I am that!” She rides on the Hamsa (swan) as a reminder to discriminate the good from the bad and ultimately to realize “the self” in all! ” This “LOVE” is possible! The divine mother consciousness is the thread that connects all states and transcends them shining as light and love!

Divine Harmony

If we go beyond the barriers of the physical form, Mohanji ,is our Dear Guru Mata kindling the flames of the divine mother’s love in all of us. We will have greater clarity if we visualize Guru principle as a mother who wants all the children to be peaceful and be loved . She propels us to this unity! She is the energy that time and again arises spontaneously, to lead us from darkness to light! She unifies us, so that we can reflect this in the Universe. She gives the experiences through lifetimes, for that awareness! The differences are to be dissolved in the fire of awareness. We are purified by this fire and this leads to a conscious existence where actions express gratitude not greed! She dissolves kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and matsarya in her light. It is indeed an irony that we even misuse the powers She confers us with, while leading us to light. Again, She as “Ma”,  is vulnerable and a mystery but if we resolve to guard her divine spark in us, She does not give up! With obstacles broken(Vigna Nasini), She ascends through the various seats piercing even the knots of the trinities until She becomes Shiva! She becomes Shive but does not stop here. She, as “Skanda Mata”, with Shiva and Sakthi in perfect symphony, gives us the Guru who descends to be the eternal source of light!


“Ma!” – The commanding voice stirs me! Moments of soaring! I again shrunk back from that expanded feeling, to the one as Sathya, to make some snacks for the hungry little one, hearing my own mother’s voice, who made me land abruptly from my flight (She knows me so well!).”First play your role as a mother to your kids then the world..everything starts from home!”. Feeling limited and at the same time elated to experience the joy of being a mother, I look up to the GuruMata to hold me like a mother cat carrying her kitten to safety, to protect us and  I beseech  her grace to touch as many lives with motherly love and bestow me the wisdom to hold her in reverence always and treasure her !

Ma Mohanji

The Lalitha sahasranamam begins with the verse  “Shri Mata!“-She who is the auspicious mother!”. Chidagni kunda sambudha -Born from the altar of the fire pit of consciousness. Lalitha is also praised as Guru Mandala Roopini!“The embodiment of Guru Mandala and in conclusion as Srimath Tripurasundari -The three fold, SriShiva-She as Shiva , Sri Shivashakthaikyaroopini-She  who is the  unification of Shiva and Sakthi, Lalithambika-The easily approachable mother! It now makes me wonder if the letter M is so powerful because it-means “Mother-DIVINE!’ M will be a constant reminder for us to Mirror the love of the Divine Mother

Guru Mandala roopini


AUM My humble Pranams to Shri Maa Mohanji!  🐝

“Ya Devi Sarva Booteshu Maatru roopena samstita!

Namasthasyai Namasthasyai Namasathasyai Namo Namaha!

I hereby offer my salutations to all those who have nourished me-My Mother, My Country, Mother Earth, and “GURU MATA”as the divine mother consciousness assuming myriad forms -sometimes gentle, some times fierce ,sometimes outside ,sometimes inside, at times man, at times woman , at times child – so that  we shine as children of pure light and love!