Saturday 16 October 2021
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Shakti, A Reflection

Sauvik Rahahttps://www.sirfnews.com/
Former lecturer in chemistry at Ramanuj Gupta Junior College, Silchar; Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science

All that a man acquires in his lifetime, all his possessions — material, monetary, physical, vital, and mental — are varied aspectual forms of the singular Shakti, borrowed for responsible and mindful use, to be employed for the enrichment of life by Shakti’s fulfilling arousal in one’s being and facilitation of Her fructuous self, interactive functioning in what is Her own sphere. This thorough surrender by dedicated service of the Shakti by way of sincere and culminating appreciation of Her bestowals is the only path to regain one’s pristine, unmanifest state of existence. Arrogance is, therefore, not a sin. It is downright unreceptive (and therefore, sheer obtuse) to be arrogant. Never a prerogative of a practising sadhaka. Even disgruntlement at a perceived failure to gain custody is pressing of one’s egotistical, profane and hence impuissant will on Her puissant, continuative will — in itself a severe perturbation — and thereby is a confinement to the limited play of Shakti at an inferior plane. Victim playing, in the same vein, is a graver trespass, for it is indeed tantamount to mocking at the benefaction She in Her bliss has justly proffered. Inordinate emotionalism and sentimentalism, unless steered to Her with purposive awareness and unpretentious industry, impede one’s otherwise easy unfolding into the sublime consciousness She hides in Her inmost kernel, from which She springs up as a total manifestation. Of course, what is reached by the gross sense or the sharpest of human faculties — Her apparent operativeness — is not even the most proximate periphery of Her sovereign self, which remains essentially as inscrutable as the supreme mystery. The most peripheral becoming and as cognizant of in the most inferior fashion, nonetheless, is real for it emanates from Her who being its cause without ceasing to be what She infinitely is, engenders the becoming and its experience as an effect — commensurate with the stage of experience and evolution cumulated up till it.

It is the degree of the subjection of that one immanent consciousness of the supreme being to Shakti that inspires the separateness and variegation of objects in the discernible existence which thus is devoid of rigid partitions — Her infiniteness (that entails the elusive dimensions of reality, of which the empirical man’s exploring intellect at times gets romantically curious and which leaves him awestruck the remainder of the time, and beyond) and Her cardinal consciousness (which by virtue of Her eternally inextricable identity with the supreme being is again verily Hers) thus negated and thereby shrouded duly by just Her in varied grades across a range of objects with insentience through other life forms up the hierarchy of organised matter to a man with optimum sentience in this overwhelming phenomenon of turning finite (whose constraints of varied nature and degree also undeniably generate from the varied serpentine casts of Her outrolled configuration). What is apparent in operation is the graded diminution of this consciousness from the point of Her ineffable infinitude till Her confinement in the infinitesimal of the insentient gross. This polarisation of Her cardinal consciousness, that lays forth the subject-object structure with an apparent distinction between aham and idam and effected so (as mutually exclusive) by just Her as the self-negating power of Maya, arises from Her volitional play with the supreme being giving rise to finite centres, each with a set of qualities explicit and the remaining of Her infinite qualities implicit, and the multitudinous planes of reality in each of which what manifests in one state is to be found existing differently in the rest for all that are to either emanate in patent actuality or prevail in latent potentiality in any frame of reality imperatively are indeed founded and existent albeit in another inexplicable way in the boundless receptacle of this unfathomable, immutable, partless and formless Consciousness of Shakti; at the native point aham and idam remain in their indistinguishable union as this indivisible consciousness even as it sees itself being reflected in itself in the scheme of its self-induced and seeming dichotomisation.

As Shakti descends, She undergoes graded concealment of consciousness alongside its corresponding densification and a graded conception of diverse subtle modes of reality arises with the emergence of the tangible at some point as She eventually involves Herself into the nescience of materiality wherein Her consciousness having been the most deeply embedded assumes virtual stasis and appears wholly implicit. From this nescience of matter progressively emanates the pre- and the elemental life forms as the exhibition of consciousness get increasingly pronounced, is steadily let loose. As organisation and complexity enhance in matter with the appearance of higher life forms, consciousness duly emerges in the front with increasing luminosity. In the realm of the tangible, this otherwise irreducible (but here a gradually liberating) consciousness of Shakti sees an optimal manifestation as the normal cognitive and psycho­motor capacities of a man. This human state that has been arrived at following great strifes and trying ordeals may at length undergo elevation to the divine fullness through the arduous discipline of sadhana. The ascent of Shakti from the state of Her most intensified embedment to Her partial exhibition in a man’s sentience to Her primordial fullness is, in essence, a progressive actualisation of the modes of reality She had ingeniously conceived in the course of Her involuted descent. The phenomenon of Her rediscovery is consummated in an exhaustive and definitive fashion when a Sadhaka rises up to and establishes himself in the indivisible consciousness. Every stage of self-exhibition through which Shakti forges ahead is thus significant in that the potency of becoming in subsequent stages is held therein and is hence an indispensable prelusive to the realisation of Her splendid Wholeness. This apparent delimitation of Her consciousness by Her divisive maya shakti engenders the very existence of the subject-object split and, ergo, this imprisonment in Avidya Shakti wherein only partial experience can be availed is the very reason man with his natural and absolutely normal limitations and the realm of objects that he distinguishes himself from exist. Indeed, Her obscurity (often assigned the misnomer of Maya) and perceived so to an extent at any stage of Her evolvement (and hence ascribed to the fact of the associated sentience being still in development and yet to attain the fullness of Her consciousness and being an irrefutable part of Her circumferential contraction, which is a result of Her sovereign play and which, in turn, is paramount to Her wholeness) is neither not-real nor illusion nor partially real. Besides, what ascension to make if She hasn’t instated Her descent? What may She rise up from if not the self-imposed mirage of Her own slumber? This play, incapable of being expressed in the verbal form and grasped hazily (at least in the unexalted state of mind), is — although not certainly in entirety — what She is. What is, therefore, supposedly an obstacle is the very vehicle that is capable of ensuring man’s return to divinity. This is not to say that Shakti sadhana advocates mindless immersion in the inferior dimension of the tangible taking it for everything Shakti is in Her entirety as a perfect pretext for dissolution of the senses in their gratifying engagement with the gross matter (what it is made of in its vulgar notion). On the contrary, it is through one’s immersion in Shakti in whom is the esse of all things of finite worth that Shakti and thereby Her Fullest Awakening is realised in the finitised frame of a human body. Shakti is, therefore, duly venerated only in a thorough emancipatory appreciation of the very limitedness man is bound to.

Sentience and insentience are mere Mayika stages upon the very substratum of Her Consciousness — Maya being Her aspect that demonstrates Her inestimable mystery and comes forth to drive Her play. Nothing that surfaces ever lacks Her Consciousness for it is this that inheres everything. Her Prakriti, in and out of which objects — as they manifest in possession of their respective svabhavas — are real, is only erroneously identified with the realm of the tangible and erroneously dismissed either as unreal, or, not-real, or, partly unreal in the designation of each of which and its comprehension as such She is variedly misapprehended as being associated with unconsciousness. Either as Prakriti or as Maya, She is consciousness and it is She in and as the finite sees Herself as the mundane sentience and insentience as long as She desires to put Herself through this concealment or forgetfulness. The distinction between the states of sentience that induces the contrariety as regards the knowledge of Her nature is, ergo, only inevitable — a mind transformed and elevated above the cobweb of samsara shall, perforce, see Her differently than the one held in its bondage. The finite, the determinate owes its very appearance to this negation of that which is infinite, that which defies determination. Shakti with the veiling play of Her consciousness generates limited forms which again in their essence are just Herself in Her multifarious emanations and which, therefore, display varying degrees of the same consciousness; some of them even appearing as inconscient to the brightest human mind equipped with formidable empirical laws and yet so constrained as to fumbling to uncover a coherent explanation or even a mere description of the vast sweep of this reality that is most vicinal to it.

This consciousness of Shakti that infills everything is then the original datum in which is worked out and encoded the later development and differentiated manifestation. In this infinite consciousness of Hers, forms emerge out of the supreme void, happenings and becomings and all moulds of perishable and imperishable truths likewise take shape, all only when authorised by Her in strict obedience to Her mobile and dynamic Perception and thereafter, only as a consequence of Her numinous Uttering of their names, while She again is the raw ingredient and also the subtlest potency in all these constitutions. It is She in Her four fundamental formulations of wisdom (warm and luminous), strength (swift, effective and redemptively intolerant), harmony (galvanic, fluent and needfully cohesive) and perfection (discerning, resolved, unrelenting and implementing) institutes Her chronoscopic ascension in Sadhakas who have most deferentially allowed into their whole beings full and wholehearted access to Her Ineffably Primal Glory. The Sadhaka, in whom has surged an abundance of Her Beatitude, while in the finitisation of time, space and causality, is powered to extend his capacity to its fullest spectrum enabling an experience of the Infinite through every interface of the myriads of the gross, finite centres (animate or inanimate). His will transformed thus and unified with Her Will, he realises his sole object of the merging of his svarata into virata — this then is, in truth, the bodhana of Shakti and Her abiding union with Parameshwara in the body of a sadhaka. (Worth mentioning here as a side note is the inevitable placement of Mahalaya in antecedence to Bodhana in the phenomenon of Devi Upasana — a subtle interpretation of the sort may be drawn). In this Fullness of experience vaulted into by Sadhana, the Sadhaka indistinguishable from Shakti Herself loses Her obscurity (and his Bhranti) and sees nothing extant outside and distinct from Her to be misprised as an illusion — She, the Real exists with and in Her ineffably splendid infinitude. The dichotomy that arises at the normal plane of experience producing the sense of the experienced being outside and separate from the experiencer dissolves, not in any way akin to an abstract objectless knowing, in the totality of consciousness wherein is secured and reified the coalescence of aham and idam into an undivided unity. Thus Fully established in divinity, the experienced, the act of experiencing (neither of which is within or without) and the experiencer, all exist at once in blissful union. A harmony of Dvaita and Advaita, thereby, prevails in the perishable world of matter only at the Antaratman of such a siddha purusha — till this full-blown attainment, privation and grievances of varied forms and degrees remain in operation.

A sagacious sadhaka, who has progressively surrendered his whole being to Shakti without a shred of a desire to take anything from Her and has (and continues to build on) the intent to yield an increasing amount of such an unconditional surrender, gets simultaneously aware of the workings of Shakti in and through him which, as he realises by degrees, indeed constitutes the subtle manner of the reclamation of Her own Self. His faith (patient and serenely discriminating) undergoes growth by leaps and bounds and his former desire to verify Her presence or Her nature as to if it is jada in principle or para-Brahman sheds on its own as He embarks on a labour of love at whose starting he ventures out to bring about a shuddhi of the manifest and the unmanifest matter he is bounded by sans any tendency to get caught up in things that may eventually turn out to be superfluous and downward-dragging, safe in the knowledge that what is deemed as his Moksha rests only upon and is Her Shining forth — right in his entire being. He comes to acknowledge Her fierce and yet beatific dynamism that he becomes faintly aware of in the course of his spiritual progression and is yet content with the prevailing focus on the firm settlement of Her quiescent nature for he regards the fact that She blossoms within him as She wills and sees fit which is as much as he earns.

The volatility of any intensity that takes on brutish forms in extreme cases with severe mental afflictions arising out of circumstances acting as perfectly rational basis as a result of howsoever structured but unbridled and ineluctably teasing approach, therefore, better be foregone, at least, out of sheer reverence for Her matchless, indeterminable formidability (veritably inenarrable by our descriptions of it as neti neti or iti iti), and equanimity judiciously cultivated, ever-vigilant not to elicit any inferior engrossment with the coarse, material components of life in absolute compliance with the implicative as well as the direct exhortations of The SrimadBhagavadGita. For She, the ever-restive, stands upon Him, the eternally still — neither shall stand the slightest derision, the infinitesimal neglect. Any amount of contact with Parameshwara is accompanied by a proportionately reverence-filled submission to His Shakti and has to be so if the yearning to be reinstated to its Divine status has already flowered in the core of the Jivatman and is to proceed towards a grand, settled fruition.[1]This Adhyatmika discourse on Shakti would not have materialised, as the author realises to the hilt, without the benevolent blessings of Her most intimate, most adorable sons namely, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda, Maharshi Sri Aurobindo Ghosh, Subhas Chandra Bose, Sri Sri Bamakhyapa, Sri Ramaprasad Sen and Sir John George Woodroffe through whose darshana of Her nature She has been revealed to this world and in whom She attained Her awakening too and thereby further revealed. I offer my deepest bows to these sadhakas and their elders, gurus, preceptors and associates who belonged to the paramparas that led to their final, transformative making as Shakti so willed. My heartfelt obeisances also to ones who have likewise attained Her proximity through Shakti Sadhana. (May Shakti grant clemency to this Atman still vestured in Avidya if it finds greater fulfilment in seeking Her out at the feet of Sri Aurobindo in the realm of its mind.) And since Shakti is the mover of all animate and inanimate things, this piece of writing about Her nature and functioning (of which whatever the little acquaintance She has permitted me), again felt at a deeply personal level, must have been willed by Her only. Hence, my sincerest obeisances to Parameshwari. All errors and shortcomings, as usual, are wholly mine.

References

References
1 This Adhyatmika discourse on Shakti would not have materialised, as the author realises to the hilt, without the benevolent blessings of Her most intimate, most adorable sons namely, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda, Maharshi Sri Aurobindo Ghosh, Subhas Chandra Bose, Sri Sri Bamakhyapa, Sri Ramaprasad Sen and Sir John George Woodroffe through whose darshana of Her nature She has been revealed to this world and in whom She attained Her awakening too and thereby further revealed. I offer my deepest bows to these sadhakas and their elders, gurus, preceptors and associates who belonged to the paramparas that led to their final, transformative making as Shakti so willed. My heartfelt obeisances also to ones who have likewise attained Her proximity through Shakti Sadhana. (May Shakti grant clemency to this Atman still vestured in Avidya if it finds greater fulfilment in seeking Her out at the feet of Sri Aurobindo in the realm of its mind.) And since Shakti is the mover of all animate and inanimate things, this piece of writing about Her nature and functioning (of which whatever the little acquaintance She has permitted me), again felt at a deeply personal level, must have been willed by Her only. Hence, my sincerest obeisances to Parameshwari. All errors and shortcomings, as usual, are wholly mine.

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