The Shiva-Shakti Swarupa is with Us – By Arvind Yadavalli

Years ago, a child was born. From the womb, secure and safe, the child was ejected into this world of chaos, confusion, and tumult. Insecurity and fear held the child in their vice grip. Then the mother picked up the child and held it to her bosom. The beating heart, the pulsating rhythm of life calmed the child's wild fears and the child settled into its mother's arms in comfort - but for how long? A few months... a year at the most! Then it learnt to walk. 

Curiosity took over and the child began to explore. The world with its myriad mysteries - with its crests and troughs, tints and shades, brightness and shadows revealed its charms to this enchanted child. Slowly, the child began to see things in a new light, the light of understanding. An understanding that based itself only upon what was outside for what was within was yet to be known. 

Years passed and the child grew to youth - with all the pains and pleasures, joys and sorrows that life in all its diversity offered. Then came a time when all seemed empty. One instant everything was joyful; the next instant all was null and void. Where had everything gone? Where were the joys and pleasures the child had experienced all along? Where had the vivid visions and vistas of beauty that the world had projected vanished? The mind was in turmoil. The kaleidoscope of images swirled and twisted so much in anguish and confusion, akin to the time when it emerged from the mother's womb... the youth, a child again, cried out for succour. 

Then... then came a gentle voice. A voice that was sweeter than the most melodious of music. The voice of the Divine Mother. Reassurance that said, “My child, why fear when I am here!” On the cool velvet soft lawns of Trayee Brindavan sat the child, reborn as a child of Sai. The rising sun lit up the doors of heaven, anticipation grew with each passing second, and the heart beat in expectation and the breath quickened. The doors of heaven flew open and revealed The Mother in all Her splendour. The vision descended and moved closer but it blurred, for tears had now found their true goal. 

A person is born only when he learns that God is not a separate entity but is a part of his life and his life breath. To realize this is his ultimate goal. There is a difference between knowing and realizing, hearing and listening, seeing and perceiving. God says: “Whatever you do, I see; whatever you say I hear; whatever you think I weigh.” For Him seeing and perceiving are same, for He is all awareness. He is Akasha; so no sound can escape His cognisance. The immanent principle of everything - He is the Antaryami. There cannot exist a situation whererein He is unaware of what we do, see, think. For, what we do not know, He already knows. 

The Shakti and Shiva aspects are now here with us in the same frame. The Master and His Power are now with us - or rather we are blessed to be in the immediate proximity of Shiva - Shakti. The Shakti that created the world is now moving amongst us, teaching us, nurturing us. How is Mother Shakti doing it? Mother has multiplied Herself million fold so that She may love us all equally. The sense of equality arises in Man's limited understanding for, does not the Mother of the Universe possess the capacity to love Her own creation without having to multiply Herself? The love of a human mother is limited, but the Divine Mother is all encompassing. 

“Matamay Parvati Devi Pita Devo Maheswara
Baandhavaha Shivabhaktaascha Swadesho Bhuvanatrayam” 

We are now blessed to be in the presence of our Divine Mother and Father. How much is their Love? Let us take a small instance. The Darshan of Bhagavan. 

Arvind with Sri Sathya Sai

To have His Darshan everyday is a blessing that He out of His compassion grants of us. He, who is the embodiment of all Power and Love, He who is Rudra and Shankara, Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati all in one, He whose hand rules the world and pats the cheek of a little child. Out of His sheer compassion and love does He bid us seated, while He, the Lord of the entire cosmos walks around us. He blesses us with such that, akin to sunflowers, we sit and drink in the Divine Vision through our eyes, turning to Him even as He moves around us. 

Somewhere... somewhere does the bond lie. A deep, strong bond... an unbreakable bond that tethers each and every one of us to Him. It is the life's goal to follow the bond and reach Him. For has He not said, “I have separated Myself from Myself so that I may love My Self.” In other words He reiterates that we are His images while He is the object. 

Weary with the mind's vagaries, forlorn and fatigued, a slack and broken spirit does realise; all life is a sham when bereft of a yearning - a yearning for that eternal principle - the truth of one's existence. Where from have we come? Where are we going? Mother, where are you? As children lost in the dark, deep jungles of the world's illusion, holding onto it with both hands, unable to let go... unwilling to let go, we cry out to Her. And She, in all Her love grants us Her vision, a vision so beautiful, so enchanting that the hands release the hold on the world, eyes forget the world's imagery, ears attune to Her sweet voice and thoughts revel under Her Divine spell. 

Then do we turn away from the ephemeral and fly towards Her eternity; forget our wants and realise our needs! Banish the thoughts of affection and affectation and live in Love. Life gains a new meaning for now life knows its goal. The spirit gains a new power for now it knows its source. In what words can one convey one's ecstasy but in Thy own expressions? Mother, we love Thee. For, have You not said: 

The bird with you, the wing with Me;
The foot with you, the way with Me;
The eye with you, the form with Me;
The thing with you, the dream with Me;
The world with you, the heaven with Me;
So are we free, are we bound;
So we begin and so we end;
You in Me and I in You. 

Most beloved Mother, You have drawn us to Your Self. Make us worthy instruments of your most sacred cause. 

- Arvind Yadavalli
Student (1997-1999), Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Currently, Programme Manager, Reliance Foundation, Navi Mumbai

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