Shiva Shakti

William Arthur Mills

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(at left) “Hidden Mother”:  In this 37.5” x 9” acrylic painting on wood, I have depicted the energies (prana), known as the Ida and Pingala nadis, as they make their ascent up the sushumna, piercing the chakras. The sushumna nadi, the main channel sometimes referred to as the “silver cord”, is symbolized here by the actual length and width of this painting.

The seven major intersections of the archetypes of consciousness are known as the chakras.  Kundalini awakening occurs as the kundalini shakti flows through the chakras, systematically piercing, and thereby stimulating, these subtle energy centers.

Briefly, the seven major chakras as depicted here are:

1. Muladhara: base of the spine (red)

  1. 2.Svadhistana: genital/sacral plexus area (orange)

  2. 3. Manipura: solar plexus/ navel region (yellow)

  3. 4. Anahata:  heart center (green)

  4. 5. Vishudha:  throat center (blue)

  5. 6. Ajna: third eye, eyebrow center (indigo)

  6. 7. Sahasrara: crown of the head (violet)

Mother Kundalini , the dynamic Supreme Shakti , is the one unified, infinite energy that animates every form in the universe. She ceaselessly calls out to Her partner, Shiva, to guide Her home to the pure, formless state of the changeless witness within:  the Self. The glorious hermaphrodite, Ardhanarishwara, emerges as the one deity, as  Kundalini Shakti unites with Her Shiva in the Sahasrara chakra- the union of matter and spirit.

The Union of Shiva and Shakti

An excerpt from The Nectar of Self-Awareness

By Jnaneshwar Maharaji

Now I pay my respects to the God and Goddess who are the limitless primal parents of the universe.

The lover himself, out of boundless love, becomes the beloved, and the beloved becomes the lover.  Each taking the place of the other, they reside on the same charming spot.  They are made of the same substance and share the same food.

They are so averse to separation that not even their child, the universe, can disturb their union.

Seated on the same ground, wearing the same garment of light, they dwell together in eternal bliss.

Difference, seeking to enjoy itself, sought to find itself in them; ashamed at it failure, it found only their union, and vanished without a trace.

How sweet and mysterious is their union!  Though the whole universe is too small to contain them, they dwell together happily in the tiniest particle.

Each regards his spouse as his very life, and neither creates so much as a blade of grass without the other.

These two alone dwell together in the house of the universe.  When the master falls asleep, the mistress remains awake to the world and performs the roles of both.

When either of them awakens to the state of the Self, however, the whole house and everything in it is consumed, and nothing is left behind.

Abashed at the nakedness of her formless husband, she weaves the universe of names and forms from her very being, and clothes him in it as a resplendent garment.

Shakti is the radiant body of Shiva;  Shiva is the inner beauty that makes her glow.  Only when these two ingredients are blended can the feast of love be enjoyed.

When a mirror is withdrawn, the image that appeared in it merges with its object.  Ripples vanish when the wind grows still.

A man comes to himself when he awakens from sleep.  In the same way, I have found the God and Goddess by laying my ego at their feet.

Surrendering its separated form, salt merges wit the ocean. Sacrificing my individuality, I have merged with Shiva and Shakti.

“Oneness”/ acrylic on wood (mounted on wood)/ 5” x 13”/ 1999

See “Illumined Words” Page

"Hiss! Kundalini sting ego mine

With nectar poison so sublime

Piercing my rainbow Lotus shrines

Making me to myself Divine!

Kundalini bless me with thy blaze

Delusion, suffering fear efface

Spine darkness; with they lightening light

Fragrance me! Negative karma ignite!

You are livingness! its Life you keep

Oh Mother of the mystic deep!

Remove shadow of death from me

In Shiva deathlessly to be!"

-from Dew-Drops of the Soul

by Yogiraj Gurunath

“The Dance of Shiva-Shakti 1”/ acrylic on unbleached linen/  24” x 18”

“The Dance of Shiva-Shakti 2”/ Acrylic on unbleached linen/ 36” x 30”

The divine power,
the kundalini, shines
like the stem of a young lotus;
like a snake, coiled around upon herself,
she holds her tail in her mouth
and lies resting half asleep
at the base of the spine.

       -Yogakundalini Upanishad

These two paintings explore the rhythmic ‘dance’ of our cosmic parents, Shiva and Shakti.  Theirs is an ecstatic dance of light and vibration, ‘co-creating’ in the vast field of consciousness. All are partaking in this infinite mystery, the Cosmic Dance of Shiva-Shakti eternally creating Itself!

“Kundalini”/ Ink on paper/ 8.5” x 11”/ 2004

“MOTHER”/ ink on paper/ 8.5” x 11”/2006

“Shiva”/ ink and colored pencil on paper/ 11” x 8.5”/ 2007

“All Pervasive Radiant Mother”/ ink on paper/ 8.5” x 11”/ 2006

“MOTHER MATRIX of ALL ENERGY (No. 2 )”/ ink on paper/ 8.5” x 11”/ 2007

The ambrosial left leg of the Ardhanarishwara / acrylic on canvas/ 72” x 46”/2005

See “Divine Hermaphrodite” Page.

“Shiva-Shakti/ Consciousness-Energy”/ ink on paper/ 11” x 8.5”/2008

“Father-Mother-All”/ ink on paper/ 11” x 8.5”/2007

“Shiva”/ ink on paper/ 11” x 8.5”/2006

“SHAKTI”/ ink on paper/ 8.5” x 11”/ 2006

"The Primordial Power is ever at play. She is creating, preserving, and destroying in play, as it were. This Power is called Kali. Kali is verily Brahman, and Brahman is verily Kali. It is one and the same Reality." -Sri Ramakrishna

"Is Kali, my Divine Mother, of a black complexion? She appears black because She is viewed from a distance; but when intimately known She is no longer so. The sky appears blue at a distance, but look at it close by and you will find that it has no color. The water of the ocean looks blue at a distance, but when you go near and take it in your hand, you find that it is colorless." -Sri Ramakrishna

"The worship of Shakti is extremely difficult. It is no joke. I passed two years as the handmaid of the Divine Mother. But my natural attitude has always been that of a child toward its mother. I regard the breasts of any woman as those of my own mother." -Sri Ramakrishna

"God is engaged in three kinds of activity: creation, preservation and destruction. Death is inevitable. All will be destroyed at the time of dissolution. Nothing will remain. At that time the Divine Mother will gather up the seeds for the future creation, even as the elderly mistress of the house keeps in her hotchpotch-pot little bags of cucumber seeds, 'sea-foam', blue pills, and other miscellaneous things. The Divine Mother will take her seeds out again at the time of the new creation." -Sri Ramakrishna

“The embodied soul is supreme, whole, eternal, consisting of nothing, stainless. It is the ultimate atomic particle, the Natha. It is supreme Shiva, all pervading. It is the ultimate jiva, it is Hamsa, the soul of Shakti.” -Kaulajnananirnaya Tantra

“Lord Shiva represents the aspect of the Supreme Being (Brahman of the Upanishads) that continuously dissolves to recreate in the cyclic process of creation, preservation, dissolution and recreation of the universe. Lord Shiva is the third member of the Hindu Trinity, the other two being Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu.” -anonymous source

Shakti is the radiant body of Shiva;  Shiva is the inner beauty that makes her glow.  Only when these two ingredients are blended can the feast of love be enjoyed.  

-Jnaneshwar Maharaji, The Nectar of Self-Awareness

“Shankara’s Paintbrush” /acrylic and paper on wood/ 23.5 x 16”/ 2003

“This universe- everything- and beyond- is nothing but the one story of our Cosmic Parents. Shiva, the Lord of Silence, is the auspicious I AM ‘ness’ beyond all thought. He is the supreme stillness, eternally fused in divine union with His celestial spouse, Maha Shakti. Mother is everything that moves; and, in Her transcendental forms, beyond everything that moves. Father is the incomparable peace which witnesses all movement. The Wisdom Mother, Saraswati, in particular, is the very source of all words; as well as the gift of speech itself. Shiva, however, is the immutable wisdom beyond all words and concepts.”

                                                                                                      -William Arthur Mills

Series of Shiva Lingam paintings/ 11” x 8.5”/ acrylic and mixed media on paper, 2011-2012 (new page of series currently under construction).

“Shaivite Sadhu (Postcard from Arthur Hyatt Scott)”

Acrylic with paper postcard and mantra on wood/ 24.5 x 17”/ 2003

                  “Empress of Duality”/ acrylic on canvas/ 30” x 24”/ 1996

“Listen”, says the Sovereign Goddess of All Worlds, “The infinite consciousness  known as the Self, and the infinite field of time and space, are all one substance pervaded by the same infinite consciousness”.

Empress of Duality

The Divine Mother embodies countless aspects and forms for Her devotees. It is said that She assumes the chosen form that is most dear and meaningful to each devotee. In this understanding, She is the supreme maya of this world of name and form; as well as the great formless, non-differential consciousness beyond it. The Great Mother is the primal universal energy that manifests all life forms; animate and inanimate (it doesn’t matter to Ma). She is very definition of the ephemeral and transitory; yet, She is sometimes worshiped as utterly changeless and perpetually enduring. Regardless, Mother is the life pulse of the universe; all of which is a dazzling spectacle of Her indivisible cosmic power.

Occasionally, when we are exceedingly fortunate, we are offered a peek behind some of the phenomenal forms that Her consciousness takes on. The wisdom of the Mother shall prevail far beyond what words, perception, or concepts could possibly ever offer. In this knowledge, we see that we are all mere instruments in Her supreme glory. Mother is the sole reality behind all appearances. She is all the senses of perception; as well as all the objects of perception. In stillness, we intuit Her divine wisdom and embodiment behind the myriad complexities of name and form.

                                                                                        -William Arthur Mills

The Divine Hermaphrodite/ acrylic on canvas/ 72” x 46”/ 2005

See “Divine Hermaphrodite” Page.

However, the Great Mother’s story could never be told unless we where to  include Her peerless silent witness and divine consort-  the Great Father and Lord of true knowledge, Shiva. Lord Shiva is the eternally pure, infinite consciousness itself. For me, the cosmic masculine principle is so exquisitely expressed in the divine name of Shiva (which means “auspiciousness”). Maheshwara, another popular name for Shiva, means  “the Great God”, referring to Him as the Supreme Yogi. In their most exalted aspects, Shiva, and His spouse, Parvati, are the very models of a yogi and yogini, representing all auspicious concepts of silence and stillness.

                                                                                            -William Arthur Mills

Shiva is pure consciousness; Parvati is the auspicious power, and agent, of His consciousness at play in all the worlds. Together, they reign supreme, as the God and Goddess of the Universe- our Cosmic Parents. Shiva, encompassing the still, timeless silence, and Parvati (Shakti), the ever-changing multiplicities of nature, together, have become everything. In their sacred union, the changeless luminosity beyond all duality.

                                                                                                           -William Arthur Mills

The Great Hermaphrodite is a concise model for the conceptualization of the merging of duality and non duality. Witnessing- experiencing- and be-ing- the supreme living embodiment of all power, the Father-Mother God is the recognition of our timeless Oneness with all aspects of consciousness. In this particular model, everything is Shiva-Shakti. Theirs is an ecstatic dance of immutable intelligence and incomprehensible power, pervading all that is and ever will be. This divine aspect of divinity is impeccably deified by Ardhanarishwara, meaning “the God Who Is Half Woman (or Goddess)”.

                                                                                                    -William Arthur Mills