Shiva and Shakti are the male and female complementary components of Absolute Reality. They are often represented in a loving embrace. In their sacred dialogues, are questions about the nature of existence, one acting as the compassionate Mahaguru and the other serving as the wise disciple. It would appear, in essence that they are wondering about themselves. The whole celestial gurukula is a symbolic setting. Within a symbolic setting, and the sort of answers they provide, there is an intimate relationship between asking and answering, between inquiring and discovering, between learning and teaching, and between wonder and revelation.
This is a thread that runs through much of Hinduism’s religious scripture and philosophies: that divine wisdom is inherent within each of us, and that the sincere and determined quest to discover it is a hallmark of its latent presence. In some formulations, Absolute Reality conceals itself from itself, differentiates itself into male and female, student and teacher, and so on, only to delight in the play of re-integration and Self-discovery.
God and Goddess hide themselves from themselves, and then ask each other the fundamental questions that form the basis of all religion and philosophy. What is the nature of this mystery and our place within it? Wisdom is not found only in the answers but in the questions; not only in revelation but in inquiry. This interplay characterizes Mahavidya, Great Wisdom Mothers. Dasa makes them ten while they represent the one Supreme Goddess Mother Devi.
The spectrum of these Mother Goddesses cover the whole range of Feminine Divinity. This encompasses fierce and horrific goddesses at the one end to ravishing beautiful and loving ones at the other end to give the meaning of Mahavidya: Maha – great, Vidya – Knowledge. They are Goddesses of Great Knowledge.
The Mahavidya Mothers are KALI: the Eternal Night, the Goddesses of Time, TARA: The Goddess Who Guides through Troubles, TRIPURASUNDARI: She who is Lovely in the Three Worlds, BHUVANESVARI: She Whose Body is the World, CHINNAMASTA: The Self-Decapitated Goddess, BHAIRAVI – The Fierce and Terrible, DHUMAVATI: The Widow Goddess, BAGALAMUKHI: The Paralysing Goddess, MATANGI: The Outcaste Goddess and finally KAMALA, the ever-beautiful Lotus Goddess.
Hara Hara Mahadeva
(draft Intro to Mahavidyas)
Yogi Ananda Saraswathi