Shakti had now made herself very well known to me. She had revealed herself to me in the most powerful of ways. It was as if slow and easy revelations was not really in her best of interests. It became apparent that she knew exactly what she was doing and to fully grab my undivided attention she had to come at me with full force. Believe me when I say “full force” this was a force to reckon with.
Shakti or pure divine energy is said to be the essence of all that exists in life. She cannot be created nor can she be destroyed. All shakti does is merely transfer from one state on to the next. ‘Shakti’ or ‘Prakriti’ is symbolic of the feminine aspect of a person’s nature, it is the activating power and energy that leads to both motion and change. As I explained previously “Shakti” had been a word I had been exposed to from a very young age; but now was the right time to find its true meaning, its true origin. Where was I going to begin “I thought” it was easy when I finally realised. The best place to begin was at home, the home where I had first heard the term. Unexpectedly I did not have to search very far as what I was looking for had always been in plain sight for me to see. Within every hindu family home, you will always find some form of small temple or mandir. This temple is always beautifully designed and in it houses a selection of deities selected carefully by each family. The temple represents a place of worship, a place where a devotee can be one with the divine.
Hinduism has always been classed as a polytheistic religion whereby people believe in a multitude of different gods and goddesses, each having their own reasons and purpose behind their beliefs. Usually beliefs are passed down through different generations and rituals of these deities continue happening without any real questioning. This is something I had also been accustomed to during my younger years, questioning any aspect of beliefs would never really lead to definitive answers. In essence I had always felt like the blind had been following the blind when it came to idol worship. Every time I had tried to open my eyes to the whole ritualistic process my questioning had fallen completely on deaf ears. Its as if it was better to just stay quiet and follow what everybody else around me was doing. Unfortunately I had never really been the one to follow without reasoning, something in me had always pushed me to question everything and this is exactly what I was doing right now.
I began by researching more about the temple that had been housed in my families home for many years. It had a multitude of deities present, all based I assume on what members of my family had beliefs towards. As I would look at these idols and pictures so many questions would arise in my head. Were these images representations of actual people? Had they looked like this previously? How can their me so many idols, baring in mind that India has around 33 million gods and goddesses. In my mind I kept thinking “with so many religions in the world, mostly monotheistic how can hindus believe in this many gods and goddesses”. These are the types of thoughts that ran through my mind daily and with so much to think about and possible avenues to take, I decided to begin my quest with the deity that had always stuck out to me no matter where I had looked. This deity which I had, had an unconscious affinity towards for so long went by the name of Shiva, “Shiva the destroyer” as he was commonly known. Shiva was not alone, sat closely beside him was his wonderful family which consisted of his most beautiful and loyal consort Parvati and their two gracious sons Ganesh and Kartikaya.
Religion had just offered me door too look through. Its as if something was supporting me in my search, and on a deeper level it felt like I was always being guided towards the right direction.
‘Religion is to follow someone else’s word as truth; whereas spirituality is to discover your own truth’– Yogi Kanna