सुधामप्यास्वाद्य प्रतिभयजरामृत्युहरिणीं
विपद्यन्ते विश्वे विधिशतमखाद्या दिविषदः।
करालं यत्क्ष्वेलं कबलितवतः कालकलना
न शंभोस्तन्मूलं तव जननि ताटङ्कमहिमा॥

sudhāmapyāsvādya pratibhayajarāmṛtyuhariṇīṁ
vipadyante viśve vidhiśatamakhādyā diviṣadaḥ |
karālaṁ yatkṣvelaṁ kabalitavataḥ kālakalanā
na śaṁbhostanmūlaṁ tava janani tāṭaṅkamahimā ||

sudhām api āsvādya – even after consuming the nectar (conferring immortality); pratibhaya jarā mṛtyu hariṇīṁ - immunity from dreadful old age and death; vipadyante – perish at the time of annihilation; viśve vidhi śatamakha ādyā – all including Brahmā, Indra and others; diviṣadaḥ - gods and goddesses; karālaṁ yat kṣvelaṁ - that dreadful poison; kabalitavataḥ - after consuming; kālakalanā na – no destruction;  śaṁbho - Śiva; tanmūlaṁ - the root cause; tava janani tāṭaṅka mahimā – the power of Your ear studs, O! Divine Mother.

“O! Divine Mother! Even after drinking the nectar that confers immunity from the dreadful old age and ultimate death, Brahmā, Indra and other gods and goddesses perish at the time of annihilation. But Śiva, even after consuming that dreadful poison, does not get destroyed and the root cause for this is the power of Your ear ornaments.”

This verse elucidates the power of Parāśakti. When the cosmic ocean was churned, there appeared a pot full of divine ambrosia which had the potency to stop ageing and give immortality. Everyone wanted to have that ambrosia and due to Viṣṇu’s play all the gods and goddesses had their dosage. Before the appearance of this ambrosia, there appeared dreadful poison that was capable of annihilating the universe. Having known this, Śiva began to consume this dreadful poison. On seeing Śiva drinking this poison, His Cosmic Consort Parāśakti merely kept Her fingers on Śiva’s throat to stop the poison going down into His system and the poison did not go down and stopped at His throat itself. Thus, Śiva’s throat became blue in colour and because of this blue coloured neck, He is also addressed Nīlakaṇṭha. The verse says that Parāśakti could stop the percolation of that dreadful poison by merely holding His throat is because of Her ear ornaments. These kinds of ear ornaments (ear studs) are worn by married women, a sign of auspiciousness. Nothing needs to be said about the power of Her ear ornaments. That is why, Lalitā Sahasranāma 22 says, tāṭaṅka-yugalī-bhūta-tapanoḍupa-maṇḍalā, which means that She is wearing sun and moon as Her ear rings.

Śivānandalaharī (verse 32) conveys the same meaning. This verse wonders “kiṁ te nīlamaṇirvibhūṣaṇa mayaṁ śaṁbho mahātman vada किं ते नीलमणिर्विभूषण मयं शंभो महात्मन् वद”. Śaṁkarācārya asks Śiva, “Is this Your blue sapphire ornament? Answer, O! Brahman.” The same message is conveyed in Kalayāṇavṛṣṭistavaḥ (verse 6), also composed by Śaṁkarācārya.

Śiva and Śakti is not just another couple, not even a divine couple. They are not two, but they are One. They do not even exist in two different bodies, but exist in a single body. They do not even exist in ardhanārīśvara form. In this form, though they exist in a single body, one side is man’s body and another side is a woman’s body. Here also there is discrimination. The reality is that in the body of Śiva, Śakti exists in a subtle manner, very powerful, yet invisible. For Him, She is the soul and for Her, He is the soul. They exist in each other and not in two separate entities. When someone is praying to Her, he also prays to Him and when one prays to Him, he also prays to Her. Worshipping Divine Mother has become popular because Śiva lives in Her as Her Soul. Therefore, indirectly Śiva is worshipped. Only She can reveal Śiva and He can never be approached directly. He is Self-illuminating and His Light will blind human eyes. Even if He appears in person, the whole world would be burnt to ashes.

The conveyance of this verse is that Śiva and Śakti are not different from each other and worshipping any one of them yield the desired results. The best mantra to worship both of them is om hrīṁ namaśivāya ॐ ह्रीं नमशिवाय, which is known as Śaktipañcākṣarī.