Reality and Shiva – Shakti

Love permeates. I wanted to say “Love permeates every corner of this universe” but there are no corners in this universe. “Corners” in the universe are simply my imagination and application of limits to what I can perceive and not perceive. I know there are parallel universes, multiple universes, multiple times, multiple time-lines and no-time. Love is. Love is in all that we can perceive, and in all that we cannot know or perceive in this our limited individuality.


Early morning in Prashanti Nilayam. The breeze is cool, the electricity keeps going on and off, and the morning bath water is refreshing and cool. Blue skies herald another warm day. I noticed a fellow in the main street this morning, he is slowly going crazy-crazy. I didn’t believe the locals here when they told that there are more crazy-crazy people here. Many say the strongest energy on Earth resides here and attracts not only spiritual seekers of all hues and types, but also, the disturbed. The energy here – it simply exacerbates that which is within. If love, joy and peace are within, then these are multiplied. If anger, negativity and resentment are within, then events are mirrored without so that the choice for change in the most loving, supportive environment may be implemented. This is the touchstone of the selfless service by the ashram staff and seva dal. They always present love and understanding. (Yes, there are boundaries; we are in another country with its culture and customs, but the teachings of Sathya Sai and His Divine Love prevail.) So grace is given, from many sources so that the “repair workshop” may proceed.

Love permeates. I wanted to say “Love permeates every corner of this universe” but there are no corners in this universe. “Corners” in the universe are simply my imagination and application of limits to what I can perceive and not perceive. I know there are parallel universes, multiple universes, multiple times, multiple time-lines and no-time. Love is. Love is in all that we can perceive, and in all that we cannot know or perceive in this our limited individuality.

Love. It simply is.

Which brings me to Shiva-Shakti. Had a dream the other night where this lady was feeding me a banana, and in the background, a fellow was doing the Tandava dance. He was wearing a white punjabi suit, what I would simply call ashram whites. I have in the back of my mind Swami saying that God has incarnated many times, and tales by Swami of Shiva and Shakti visiting the parents of Shirdi Sai Baba, and Swami telling tales of Shiva and Shakti visiting devotees in Varanasi. Varanasi brings to mind the story of Sri Sri Yuketeshwar meeting with Mahavatar Babaji. It is all connected, somehow; God exists in all dimensions and none; in all universes and none, in all times and places, and in no-time and no-place. All confusing, yes?

I am thinking about this banana this lady – whom I now suspect to be Shakti or Parvathi – and what it might mean for me. On the temporal level, I avoid bananas, they make me burp. And I burp loudly. (Mind you, I couldn’t burp for the first 25 years of this life!) This banana, well, in the dream, it electrified me. Snap, bzzzz, crackle, shazoom, kabaam!!!!, whole body shaking, like this. Paralysed. Couldn’t move. Then I get up and this fellow in the white punjabi suit is looking at me, and starts this Tandava dance. Plop, plop, plop, one leg raised, arms raised like Nataraja, he plops off the scene out of the dream. Banana Lady is lying on the ground. End of dream.

I am sure the dream analysts among you will have a field day with this dream.

I am thinking about this dream and the entire universe and reality; everything is Shiva-Shakti. Somewhere, Swami describes the atom with its electron, proton, neutron as Shiva, Shakti, Brahmam, or something like this. Even black holes are filled with the light of the atman. Take a cell in the body, observe the electron, neutron, proton, and enter the space between. Enter this space, and see the entire universe. Look for a black hole, enter the black hole, and presto, the light of the atman is present. From the smallest of the small, the Anu to All, it is all right here in the human body.

I think to myself, the human is 22 x chromosome pairs, plus 22 y chromosome pairs, and the last chromosome pair, the 23rd pair, determines our gender. X and Y chromosome pairs are the Shiva-Shakti principle within.

Is it our destiny to know and experience both Shiva and Shakti within ourselves as expressions of Brahmam, of which our atman is part? Is it our destiny to be able to embrace that and embody this within ourselves? The reason I raise this question, is that in the world of this day and this age, there is a serious skewing of energy toward money, money, money, the culture of youth, the culture of the world community, with changes and irruptions in one country or fiscal system causing reverberations and change within another? Like the Global Financial Crisis? Do we have balance in this world?

Looking around in Prashanti Nilayam ashram yesterday, a startling impression came to my mind. The entire world is there; and the world is not there. It is a totally different culture which values all people, all wisdom, all spiritual effort. (There is no dis-valuing of youth, nor undervaluing of youth; observe the World Youth Conferences, and the students of SSSIHL, and their presence and participation here. Observe the presentations by Bal-Vikas and Youth groups from all over India – and elsewhere – in Sai Kulwant Hall – (and Australia, too!!! Hooray!!!)

“The body is Parvati and the Atma is Easwara. There was a spiritual aspirant who used to repeat the Mantra Sivoham as commanded by his guru. One day someone asked him the meaning of the Mantra he was chanting. He said Sivoham meant, ‘I am Shiva.’ But when questioned what is his relationship with Parvati, he slapped his own cheeks and said with a tone of having committed a great sin, Aparadham! Aparadham! (Blasphemy). If he really had faith in the Mantra he was chanting, he would have surely said – ‘Parvati is a part of my own being.’ He could not say so as he was attached to his body. Attachment to the body leads to his dualities, because of which man is suffering. Easwara and Parvati are present in every individual. The combination of these two aspects constitutes Manavatwam (mankind). Manava refers to human being. Ma means ‘sec’. Nava means ‘new’. So mankind is not new, it is ancient and eternal.”

Well, that puts paid to some of the more creative dream interpretation I was offered yesterday; seems to me that the dream is about honouring the feminine principle within, as Swami tells. Yet, Swami is telling that the feminine principle is both within and without. This, I suspect, is where the global culture is falling over itself, in its use of advertising, on television, in the movies and in the media.

Prashanti Nilayam. The seva dal asks me to take my floppy hat off at the security search. I take it off with a smile and put it on his head; he laughs! Nearby the Ganesh Temple, a fellow walks past me with a coconut in his hand, he has a little girl in tow. Walk up towards the Books and Publishing building. A Chinese lady has taken her chappals off and is doing pradakshina around the Golden Ganesh near the workshop administration office. Ladies stream out of the Supermarket. Families sit around eating ice cream made in the ashram. At the bookstore, a seva dal sits in the shade watching chappals. At the Sanathana Sarathi office (what a climb, up those stairs!), I am spoken to kindly. Fix subscription, off to Radio Sai Global Harmony Office. Very nice young fellow there shows me over the audio and video CD and DVD. I will return on the morrow.

Prashanti Nilayam is a place of love, of care, of service, of understanding, of laughter, of joy in the presence of the Lord. Love shares itself, love is found in the hearts of all whom one encounters. This is the place where the careworn, world-weary souls may come and find their hearts release from the wiles of the world and day-by-day life in the world itself. It is marvellous to be filled up with love, love, love; HIS divine love, and HIS divine love as manifest in the hearts and actions of HIS devotees, HIS seva dal, HIS ashram staff.

 

 

 

© Chris Parnell

 

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