“That’s what is it. Not this, not that, this too, that too. That’s who we are – ‘Tat tvam asi’.”

God and Goddess.
Purusha and Prakriti.
Observer and observation.
Subject and object.

A male form is essentially incomplete and presupposes the existence of female form. God cannot be incomplete, hence Hindu Trimurti has female counterparts. There is Saraswati for Brahma, Lakshmi for Vishnu and Shakti for Shiva. Together these three couples embody the Hindu understanding of ultimate divine.

The male forms of divine are associated with verbs: creating, sustaining and destroying; while the female forms of divine are associated with nouns:knowledge, wealth, power. Gods ‘do’ – Goddesses ‘are’. Gods are ‘active’ – Goddesses are ‘passive’. Goddesses may be knowledge, wealth and power; but Gods are knowledgeable, wealth and powerful. Thus the male form of divinity represents the ‘subject’ – he who is sensitive to life and he who response to life. The female form of divinity represents the ‘object’ – she who is life.

Around us are the goddesses. Within us are the gods. Inside are Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva – creating, sustaining and destroying. Outside are Saraswati, Lakshmi and Shakti – enlightening, enriching and empowering.

Inspired by Dr.Devdutt Pattanaik – A Decoding of Hindu Mythology

Photo:  Zuzana Zwiebel – Hindu Temple in Varanasi (God Shiva & Goddess Shakti with their children god Ganesh and god Kartikey; and with Shiva’s bull Nandi)

ART OF TRAVEL: www.shaktitrails.com

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