शरीरं त्वं शम्भोः शशिमिहिरवक्षोरुहयुगं
तवात्मानं मन्ये भगवति नवात्मानमनघम्।
स्थितस्संबन्धो वां समरसपरानन्दपरयोः॥
śarīraṁ tvaṁ śambhoḥ śaśimihiravakṣoruhayugaṁ
tavātmānaṁ manye bhagavati navātmānamanagham |
sthitassaṁbandho vāṁ samarasaparānandaparayoḥ ||
śarīraṁ - body; tvaṁ - Your; śambhoḥ - Śiva’s; śaśi – moon; mihira - moon; vakṣoruha – bosoms; yugaṁ - a pair; tavātmānaṁ - Your body; manye – appear; bhagavati – Parāśakti; nava ātmānam anagham – nine sinless characteristics; ata – therefore; śeṣaḥ ṣeṣi iti– this primary and secondary; ayam – this; ubhaya sādhāraṇatayā – common to both; sthita – existing; sambandha –relationship; vāṁ - between both of You; samarasa parānanda parayoḥ - Blissful state of overwhelmed interdependency.
“O! Parāśakti! Your appear as the body of Śiva, with Your twin bosoms of sun and moon. Therefore, I consider You as the sinless (meaning Pure) Śiva. The nine primary and secondary characteristics are common to both of You and both of You remain in the state of overwhelmed interdependency resulting in Blissful state.”
This verse authentically says that there is no difference between Śiva and Śakti. They are not two different entities or energies, as usually contemplated, but they are one. Śaṁkarācārya, while contemplating on Śiva gets the vision of Parāśakti. If Śiva is pure Light, She reflects His Light. If He is Prakāśa, then She is Vimarśa. Śiva alone has got Absolute Power of Authority, which is also known as His Absolute Freedom of Will or Svātantrya Śakti. Śiva has transferred His Power of Autonomy to Parāśakti and it is only Parāśakti, who causes the manifestation of various shapes and forms. Śiva is Pure Consciousness and He likes to remain as Pure Consciousness all the time. But at the same time, He had the desire to create the universe. In order to do this, He has created Parāśakti and transferred all His Powers to Her. Since there is no difference from between a person and his powers, obviously there can be no difference between Śiva and Śakti. They are one and remain inseparably united. Based on this fact, though Śaṁkarācārya contemplated Śiva, he had the divine vision of Parāśakti. Śaṁkarācārya gives evidence for this strange phenomenon. He saw sun and moon as Her bosoms. This vision does not fit Śiva and fits only Parāśakti. He describes Śiva as sinless, because Śiva is Pure Consciousness, known as Cit, the Absolute foundational consciousness that never changes.
There are nine primary and secondary characteristics that are common to both Śiva and Śakti. Vijñānabhairava explains the nine essential nature of Supreme and they are Śiva, Sadaśiva, Īśvara, Vidyā Māyā, Kalā, Niyati, Puruṣa and Prakṛti. But contextually these nine are not spoken of here. Śiva is also known as Navavyūhā, as His body is made up of the following nine attributes and they are kāla, kula, nāma, jñāna, citta, nād,a bindu, kalā and jīva (काल, कुल, नाम, ज्ञान, चित्त, नाद, बिन्दु, कला and जीव). These nine discuss about, time, nine angles of Śrī Cakra, His different names, knowledge, His manifestation in a human mind, origin and manifestation of sound, a point at sahasrāra where He resides in a human body, fifty one alphabets of Sanskrit known as mātṛkā –s and all the beings known as jīvātman-s. These nine may be considered as the primary characteristics. There are nine attributes to Her as well and these nine are represented by the nine triangles of Śrī Cakra. Her nine attributes are known as Vāma, Jyeṣṭha, Raudrī, Ambikā (the four upward triangles in Śrī Cakra known as Śiva Cakra-s), Icchā, Jñāna, Kriyā Śānta and Parā (the four downward triangles known as Śakti Cakra-s). If He has nine attributes, She too has nine attributes. These attributes are not independent, but dependent or interdependent. There are many verses in Soundarya laharī that talk about their unity.
Their interdependence is the cause for Bliss or they remain together in the state of Bliss. The two most important aspects of Brahman, Cit (Consciousness, the power of Self-revelation) and Ānanda (Bliss) are represented by Śiva and Śakti and they together is known as Cidānanda or Consciousness and Bliss. Cidānanda is possible only if they stay united.
There are two nāma-s in Lalitā Sahasranāma 792 and 999 which talk about their union and their interpretations are given below
Nāma 792 sāmarasya- parāyaṇā सामरस्य-परायणा
Parāyaṇa means devoted to or engaged with chief authority. She is devoted to the principle of equality. With whom She is equal? Of course, with Śiva. Without each other, they cannot function. They have attained each other after performing rigorous penance.
Śiva is Self-illuminating Brahman and Śaktī is His svabhāva. Svabhāva means nature, innate or inherent disposition. The nature of Śiva is reflected through Śaktī. Śiva can realise His Self only in Śaktī, who acts a mirror to Him. Śaktī is the power of doership of Śiva. It is said that the ultimate reality were to be merely Śiva, He would become inert. Brahman cannot become inert. Though Śiva continues to be inert, Śaktī, the power holder of Śiva acts as the energetic force in creation, sustenance and dissolution of the universe. Therefore Śiva without Śaktī or Śaktī without Śiva becomes torpid. They are known as the parent of the universe.
This nāma says that She is equal to Śiva. If Cit is Śiva, ānanda (bliss) is Śaktī. Cit- ānandā is Śivaśaktī.
Nāma 999 Śiva-śakty-aikya-rūpiṇī शिव-शक्त्यैक्य-रूपिणी (in brief):
Śaktī is primordial and latent energy of Śiva that alone manifests as the universe, its sustentation and disintegration and recreation. The consciousness referred by Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad is nothing but the domain of Śaktī. That is why it is said that Śaktī is the primordial and latent energy of Śiva. She exists along with Śiva and cannot be separated. If Brahman and consciousness are discriminately differentiated out of nescience, the question of creation and existence does not arise. In reality, such differential existence does not prevail. But for easier understanding of the complex issue of creation, Śiva and Śaktī have been perceived as two different aspects of the same entity. One cannot segregate the heat produced by the fire from the fire itself. The heat of the fire is primordially present in the fire. Neither fire, not heat can be of any use unless they subsist together. This is a typical example showcasing Śiva and Śaktī, the one without the other remain only an inert.
Śiva is Self-illuminating. Without His existence, the universe will be plunged into darkness. Śiva is present in prakāśa (illuminating) form. Prakāśa can be explained as visible, shining, universally noted, brightness, lustre, splendour, etc. Prakāśa also refers to Śiva and the Brahman. Śaktī is His vimarśa form. Vimarśa can be explained as reasoning, knowledge, consideration, reflecting etc. In spite of Śiva being the grandeur amongst the cognized existences, He cannot realise His own incomparable splendour without something that is able to reflect His grandeur. This is like a human not able to see his own self without an object that is capable of reflecting his image. Śaktī acts like a reflecting mirror where Śiva is able to realise His Reality, like a mirror reflecting the image of a person who stands before it. Pure consciousness is Śiva and realising the pure consciousness is Śaktī. If Śiva is not present, the consciousness itself does not exist. If Śaktī is not present, the presence of consciousness cannot be realised. In the state of prakāśa ‘I’ and ‘This’ stand united and in the vimarśa aspect ‘This’ is separated from ‘I’. Therefore prakāśa aspect is ‘I + This’ and vimarśa aspect is ‘This’ alone. ‘I’ is the origin of the universe and ‘This’ is the expansion of the universe. Śiva is cit and Śaktī is citi. Cit means foundational consciousness and citi means the consciousness that brings about cognitive operations. Śaktī segregates I and This. Without Śaktī this vital segregation cannot take place. Śiva causes the initial pulsation for creation that is carried forward by Śaktī.
Śaktī pushes forward the throb created by Śiva through different principles or tattva-s (thirty six) and sustains it through Her māyā or illusion. Māyā is the sole factor that separates a soul from the Brahman. She is the manifested conglutination of Śiva and Śaktī and therefore She is both the seed and the sprout. This also drives home the point that for creation, two objects are required. For example, a soul alone cannot be born on its own. It has to come into contact with prakṛti or Nature in order to manifest. Procreation is not possible without conjoining of masculine and feminine energies.
Moving on from the perceptible to subtle, a lot more is said about Their subtle conjugation. They are referred as two bindu-s (dots), white and red, denoting Śiva and Śaktī respectively. These two bindu-s, in mutual conjunction expand and contract. When they expand, the creation takes place by means of vāc (word) and artha (lit. meaning). Vāc means the Śabda Brahman and artha means thirty six tattva-s or principles. These two bindu-s which enter one another are known as Kāma-Kāmeśvarī. Śiva, the Supreme is in the form of the first alphabet of Sanskrit A (अ), is the cause of all sounds of Veda-s. He attains the form of a bindu after having entered His own vimarśa form, Śaktī, in whom the entire universe is dissolved. Like prakāśa form of bindu entering the vimarśa form of bindu, vimarśa form of bindu also enters prakāśa form of bindu, which is already within it. As a result of this conjugation, a third bindu called as miśra bindu is born. Miśra means combined. Now there are three bindu-s, white, red and miśra. These three bindu-s form a triangle, red and miśra are below and the white bindu is placed above them causing a perfect triangle. The miśra bindu has all the tattva-s or principles within itself and is the cause for further creation. This is the innermost triangle of Śrī Cakra. When these three dots are connected, the three connecting lines represent all the triads such as three guṇa-s, three stages of consciousness, icchā, jñāna and kriyā śaktīs, etc. This triangle becomes the cause for creation beginning with Brahma, Viṣṇu, and Rudra. These three dots are also referred as sun (top), moon (right) and fire (left). There is an inverted triangle below the three dots. The three connecting lines of this lower triangle represent three kūṭa-s of Pañcadaśī mantra (nāmā 89). The upper most bindu (of the upper triangle) is the face of Śaktī (the third eye, denoting dissolution, the two lower dots represent Her bosoms (representing nourishment or sustenance) and the inverted triangle below mean Her procreative organ (representing creation). This is known as kāmakalā and is considered as the most secretive principle of Śiva-Śaktī union.