Why worship a deity? Part 2

Tantra in the shakta form asks you to regard everything that you see as a form of Shakti. Even though you have had no higher experience one should try to regard them as such. One should try to regard all pleasant and beautiful things as Shakti, as well as things that are normally classified bad such as disease, famine and war. One should try to see a reason or sense or divinity even in things that appear to be destructive. It is the seeming contradiction and unfairness of the world that cause most people to be in a continual state of mental imbalance. They see death and illness and so many other distressing afflictions of the world as being unjust or unwarranted. They are continually torn between ugliness and beauty. They see strife side by side with peace and this leads to mental confusion. Even on an individual basis, a person is sometimes happy, sometimes unhappy; sometimes up, sometimes down; sometimes healthy, sometimes unhealthy. Tantra says you should try to see all these things as part of the cosmic process of creation, sustenance and dissolution. Regard all the pleasant and unpleasant things in the world as no more than the power and justice of Shakti. Instead of seeing bad in destruction and good in creation regard them all as facets of the power of Shakti. Remember, that for things to be created, they must also be destroyed. For things to be pleasant there must also be unpleasantness. It is not easy to accept these things when they affect a person directly, but one should try more and more to see everything as being no more than change brought about by Shakti. Good and bad are only human concepts. The more one is able to accept the world as it is, without making value judgements, the more calm and contented the mind becomes. One starts to tune in with the environment and to see harmony between processes where before one saw only disharmony. One begins to see unity instead of disunity and becomes receptive to cosmic vibrations and in turn to higher knowledge and bliss.

In the Mahanirvana Tantra it says that Brahman, the absolute, is known in samadhi by those people who look upon all things alike, who are above all extremes, such as heat and cold, good and bad, etc. who are devoid of all wandering thoughts and who are free of ignorance and doubts regarding the nature of their body and the Self. It clearly emphasizes that one should try to see harmony in everything in life without exception.

Tantra makes it clear that consciousness, Shiva, can be known through concentration and devotion to the manifestations of the world in the form of Shakti, which are really the embodiment of Shiva. Most people need a form or an object as a point of worship or concentration; and tantra says that this is perfectly acceptable and the way to the experience of the formless, objectless consciousness. Tantra says worship, absorb yourself in any object, Kali, Durga as you wish. There is no Shakti without Shiva and so one automatically leads to the other. This is the reason for the deification of some aspect of existence, no matter how obscure or unlikely.

According to tantric texts such as the Mahanirvana Tantra, even Shakti herself in the form of Parvati was confused about the reason for worship of her many forms. She asked Shiva how worship could lead anyone to the experience of Brahman or the supreme experience. Shiva answered: “You are the supreme manifestation (para prakriti) of Brahman, the supreme consciousness (paramatman) and from you has come the entire universe. You are its mother. You are the origin of all manifestation. You are the form of everything. Your root is in Brahman who is actionless. It is you, moved by desire, who create, protect and withdraw this world with, all that moves and is motionless. Therefore, by worshipping you your devotees will surely reach the Supreme.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *