The Home of the Gods was called Brahma-loka and there lived Shiva, creator of the universe. He depicts the masculine manifestation and fell madly in love with Mahashakti (Maha means The Great) Shakti, the Divine Mother. Shakti was also a primal force in creating the universe alongside Shiva.
In studying the masculine/feminine aspects of ourselves we will see that they also must co-exist within, one can not live without the other….. but I digress….
Shiva was determined to marry Shakti except for one large problem. Mahashakti had a job to do as well, and part of that was to manifest the entire universe, including all the Gods and Goddesses. She is the transcendental Absolute! She is too universal to marry anyone!
Shakti tried to explain this to Shiva, but he was too madly in love to hear her. Finally, she had to put her foot down and severed all his advances. This was very hard on Shiva and he withdrew from the world and sat in a cave to meditate. But without Shivas' participation, the world began to fall apart. The evolutionary cycle of creation lost its balance and it began to run down.
The other Gods became worried and spoke to MahaShakti to see what she might do to convince Shiva to return. She decided to manifest part of her power as the Goddess Sati, which is an aspect of Shakti womanhood epitomizing beauty, devotion, and marital happiness. MahaShakti had Sati born into a family of deities, Sati was born intuitively knowing she would marry Shiva, and when she came to age she went to Mt. Kailash where Shiva was meditating and began to meditate outside of his cave.
Shiva was surprised to feel her presence, no one had been able to penetrate his meditation before. He opened his third eye and saw the beautiful Sati in all her brilliance. He invited Sati into his cave to meditate together, soon he realized he wanted to return to the world once again.
The next hurdle was that Sati’s father did not think Shiva worthy of his daughter, but Sati prevailed and her father reluctantly agreed, the two were married.
The happy couple made their home in Mount Kailash. Shiva fulfilled his duties to keep the cosmos running smoothly but spent most of his time blissfully together with Sati in their mountain hideaway.
Sati’s father, Daksh’s, fury knew no bounds, and in order to insult Shiva, he announced the grandest Yagna (Ritual) of that day and age and deliberately did not invite Sati and Shiva. Daksh invited all the divine beings, Gods, and Deities to this great event purposely making sure all knew that Shiva and Sati were not invited. Sati heard of this most grievous insult which was the last straw for her and became furious with her father. Shiva tried to calm his wife, but she was too determined to show her power over her father and stop all future slights. She returned to her parent's castle and crashed the ritual in front of all the most honored guests and confronted her father. He treated her with scorn and insulted Shiva again. This enraged her even further and she could not stand by while her father publicly insulted the Great Shiva, her husband yet again. Sati then leaped into the sacrificial fire and burned to death.
Shiva was devastated by having his wife and their marital love destroyed. Unable to control his fury, he dispatched a troop of warriors who demolished the sacrifice and decapitated Sati’s father. Later Shiva arrived to see the carnage that his men brought and his anger turned quickly to compassion. He revived the father but replaced his head with that of a goat. He lifted Sati’s body onto his shoulder and continued through the universe, oblivious of everything except his grief. His pain was unbearable, so he again abandoned his duties, retreated to his cave, and sought refuge in samadhi, transcendental consciousness.
This time the consequences of his withdrawal were even worse than before. Without Shiva to destroy the demons, they multiplied and began harassing the Gods and terrorizing humanity. Mahashakti decided she had to once again intervene to restore Shiva’s happiness and to prevent the universe from sinking into chaos.
She again manifested part of her power, this time as a dual Goddess of Shakti. One side, called Parvati, epitomizes the tender aspects of womanhood: love, motherhood, family life, abundance, nourishment, and harmony. The other side, called Durga, epitomizes the strong aspects of womanhood: creative power, intuitive wisdom, destruction of evil, and fierce protection of the weak. Born under a Gemini moon, Parvati-Durga could integrate these two sides. She knew it was her dharma (destiny and duty) to marry Shiva and restore the world to balance.
But Shiva was still in mourning. He wasn’t ready for another relationship, so when Parvati-Durga meditated outside his cave, Shiva ignored her. So untouchable was Shiva in his dismay that the Gods convinced Kama, the Lord of Love and Romance, to stir desire in Shiva. Standing at the entrance to his cave, Kama shot a sugarcane arrow into his heart.
Startled out of meditation, Shiva saw the gorgeous Parvati-Durga and was filled with lust. Then he saw Kama and realized he had been tricked. With a beam of fire he incinerated Kama and with harsh words sent Parvati-Durga away.
She left but didn’t give up because it was her Dharma. Through long practice, she became a master yogi and developed cosmic powers equal to Shiva’s. She achieved the ability to meditate on the highest spiritual plane, Shiva’s realm of solitude. Here he couldn’t banish her because she was his equal. They meditated together, and slowly, slowly Shiva’s pain-hardened heart melted with love, and he knew this lady to be Sati returning to him, a second gift and blessing from Mahashakti. Shiva asked Parvati-Durga for forgiveness for his rude behavior, then asked for her hand in marriage. She smiled Yes!
They were married in a perfect union that was attended by Gods as well as by nature spirits and human saints. The enlightening power of their union caused the demons to slither back into the dark corners of creation and the universe to swing back into harmonious balance.
Shiva is sometimes confused by his complex wife, but he adores both sides of her. The couple has two sons and a daughter, all devoted to different aspects of the spiritual path. Tthe family works together generating waves of positivity that pervade the cosmos and improve our lives to this day.
Shiva and Shakti are real. They live within us as we are the universe that God created. Shiva and Shakti exist in perfect harmony, without their presence we could not exist since the masculine and feminine exist within all beings equally and will reunite in perfect union the day we become God Realized (enlightened) and return home (OHM). They care about us. They can be contacted by looking within. They are the reason we search for our other half and The Perfect Union on earth. But, what we search for already exists within, all answers exist within. They will help us defeat the modern demons that threaten us which are our sicknesses, illnesses, anger, and depression as well as help us find peace, joy and Great Love that resides deep within us.
You are the greatest and first love story ever told.
The great love story of Shiva and Shakti is celebrated globally on Mahashivaratri, March 11.
*If you are curious about the energy of the masculine and feminine that resides within us all please check out this link to a lecture on this most amazing union that lives within! https://vimeo.com/545251916
Hari Om Tat Sat