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Yogic Philosophy

 A Short Analysis of the Sakta Doctrine of Power


All that is manifest is Power (Sakti) as Mind, Life and Matter. Power implies a power-holder (saktiman). There is no power-holder without power, or power without power holder. The power holder is Siva. Power is sakti, the great Mother of the universe.

All that is manifest....

There is no Siva without sakti, or sakti without Siva. The two as they are in themselves are one. They are each Being, Consciousness, and Bliss. These three terms are chosen to denote ultimate Reality, because Being or 'Is-ness', as distinguished from particular forms of Being, cannot be thought away. 'To be' again is "to be conscious" and lastly perfect Being-Consciousness is the Whole, and unlimited unconstrained Being is Bliss.

These three terms stand for the ultimate creative Reality as it is in itself. By the imposition upon these terms of Name (Nama) and Form (Rupa) or Mind and Matter, we have the limited Being-Consciousness and Bliss which is the Universe.

What then of Power when there is no Universe? It is then Power to Be, to self-conserve and resist change. In evolution it is Power to become and to change, and in its manifestation as forms it is as material cause, the changeful Becoming of Worlds. Becoming does not = God, for it is finite form and He is the formless infinite. But the essence of these forms is infinite Power which = infinite Power-Holder. It is He who puts forth Power and creates the Universe.

Rest implies Activity, and Activity implies Rest. Behind all activity there is a static background. Siva represents the static aspect of Reality and Sakti the moving aspect. The two, as they are in themselves, are one. All is Real, both changeless and changeful. Maya is not in this system "illusion", but is in the concise words of the Sakta Sadhaka Kamalakanta 'the form of the formless' (Sunyasya akara iti Maya). The world is its form and these forms are therefore Real.

Man is then as to his essence the static Power-Holder, or Siva who is pure Consciousness; and, as Mind and Body, he is the manifestation of Siva's Power, or Sakti or Mother. He is thus Siva-Sakti. He is as he stands an expression Power. The object of Sadhana or worship and Yoga is to raise this Power to its perfect expression, which is perfect in the sense of unlimited experience.

One mode of so doing is the Yoga here described - Kundalini Yoga - whereby man exchanges his limited or worldly experience for that which is the unlimited Whole (purna) or Perfect Bliss.

 


Further Reading.

The Serpent Power
The Secrets of Tantric and Shakti Yoga.

by Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe)


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