“Woman is the most sublime ideal”– Victor Hugo
To know a woman is a trip to the unknown, a challenge of creation, a genuine spiritual path that starts from the finite and ends in the infinite. This stairway to the essence of the woman is built from the stairs of the physical, psychical, mental and spiritual knowledge, and melts in the ecstasy of the complete mergence with the eternal feminine.
In Tantra, we recognise the rediscovery of the mystery of the woman. Each beautiful woman who is full of vital energy is the embodiment of SHAKTI – the feminine principle.
Every woman has to become aware of this reality to accomplish at maximum her vocation to be a Woman. A woman who activates at maximum her ‘state of shakti’ has all chakras harmoniously activated, manifests a powerful vitality, sensuality, spiritual force, pure love, intuition, refinement, intelligence, wisdom and surrendering to the divine will. For women in general, the awakening of the state of Shakti is a sign of a real evolution.
The profoundly spiritual transfiguring feeling towards the fascinating mystery of birth and fecundity and also the recognition of everything that is far, enigmatic, transcendent, invulnerable in Woman symbolize the sacred and the Divine, the ineffable essence of the ultimate reality. Each woman is absolutely unique; each manifests a specific energy because each represents essentially one face of the sublime supreme energy of God, SHAKTI.
“SHAKTI is the essence of Bliss.” Devi Purana
In tantric cosmogony, the term Shakti defines an unbelievable complex aspect of the universe, which bears numerous nuances. Some of these are: cosmic creative force, mother who gave birth to everything, cosmic energy, seductive woman, devoted sister, terrible power who destroys all limitations, Goddess who grants divine gifts, feminine force residing especially in beautiful, vital and spiritual women, fundamental energy Kundalini Shakti, etc.
So, The Tantrics say that in order to define Shakti one has to know Her. The problem arises once one gets to truly know what Shakti is because then any attempt of classifying it, any concepts disappear as these cannot comprise the sublime of Shakti, regardless of its potential degree of philosophical value. According to the tantric view of Shakti, She has innumerable ways of manifesting herself.
She is the famous energy Kundalini or the snake coiled at the base of the spine, the immense energy that yogis awaken and contemplate equally with fascination and fear, totally charmed by it. Nevertheless, the snake is merely a symbol of the spiritual path, not the path itself. The divine energy, Shakti, as tantric philosophy has it, does not allow to be confined in any form, formula or ritual.
Subtle as the earth, imperceptible as the water, bright as the fire, free as the air, infinite as the space she traverses all elements belonging to this world, without ascertaining the identity of any. The renowned master Vimalananda said once that speaking of enlightenment without knowing Shakti is simply a joke.
There is a Hindu myth about how Shakti first appeared. The importance of this myth does not necessarily lie in its imagery, but in its symbolism. The legend says that a monstrous demon, Mahisa, was threatening the foundation of the universe itself, and the existence of all gods. Brahma and the whole pantheon called Shiva and Vishnu for help. Enraged, the gods emitted their energies as a fire coming out from their mouth. These different divine flames unified into a one as a burning cloud, and finally took the shape of a goddess with eighteen arms. This goddess, Shakti was the one who succeeded in defying the demon and at the same time saving the universe. The important thing to note here is that the gods seem to have somehow restored their energies to the Primordial Force, the Source from which everything emerged in the very beginning.
Shakti represents also the force of transformation and regeneration, an extraordinary ascendant force that may lead to ecstasy, in the tantric opinion. Moreover, according o the same sources, Shakti represents the beatific force of orgasm, the thrill of sexual pleasures amplified through the profound fusion between the two lovers. She is the divine game of love itself.
She is also called “Lalita” or “Lila”, both meaning “the one who plays.” Tantra through the eyes is definable in terms of frames of mind, but not Her who is the Mother”, and “she is everything perceivable effable and beyond perception/conception; having a form, she is nonetheless formless”.
The tantrics have distinguished two aspects in which she becomes manifested: static and dynamic.
Shakti is Maya, (illusion) who appears as the phenomenal world and hides the Absolute Consciousness from the ignorant. As subtle and undifferentiated energy of the universe, she is Parashakti. These forms are not separated, but co-exist in a fundamental manner.
The sacred books, the Tantras, speak of the goddess Dakini, totally and eternally free, who is the Supreme Absolute itself: “When there exists nothing, Sun, Moon, planets, nothing else but the void, then only my Divine Formless Mother exists.”
One of the fundamental practices recommended by the Tantric masters in order to achieve the control of Kundalini is the practice of sexual continence (read more) followed by a sublimation and transmutation of the energy resulted from here. This is one of the most direct ways of becoming aware of our inner Shakti. In this case, the sexuality must be understood as a genuine ascension on the spiritual path.
The Hindu people have always respected the woman and considered the sexual union as the most sacred act, an act of worship. In this respect, the Tantric texts are categoric: “we cannot find God without love”. Tantra goes further and presents the Divine Being as a glorious ANDROGEN – the perfect and harmonious combination of feminine and masculine.
In other works the Divine is presented as the SHIVA – SHAKTI, couple in ecstatic sexual union with continence. By unifying the man and the woman through love and transfiguration, they become the divine couple SHIVA – SHAKTI, thus they can complete one another at all levels of being creating a Glorious Androgen.