Chapter 85 — Relation of Shiva and Kali

Vasishta continued:—

Thus the goddess was dancing with her outstretched arms, which with their movements appeared to make a shaking forest of tall pines in the empty sky. This power of the intellect, which is ignorant of herself and ever prone to action, continued to dance with her decorations of various tools and instruments. She was arrayed with all kinds of weapons in her thousand arms, such as the bow and arrows, the spear and lance, the mallet and club, the sword and all sort of missiles. She was familiar with all things whether in being or not being, and was busy at every moment of passing time. She contained the world in the vibration of her mind, just as airy cities exist in the power of imagination. She herself is the world, just as imagination itself is the imaginary city.

She is the will of Shiva, as fluctuation is innate in the air and as air is still without its vibration. So Shiva is very quiet without his will or volition. The formless volition becomes the formal creation in the same manner as the formless sky produces the wind which vibrates into sound. So does the will of Shiva bring forth the world out of himself. When this volitional energy of Kali dances and plays in the emptiness of the Divine Mind, then all of a sudden the world comes out, as if by union of the active will with the great void of the Supreme Mind. Being touched by the dark volitional power, the Supreme Soul of Shiva is dissolved into water, just as an undersea fire is extinguished by its contact with seawater. No sooner did this power come in contact with Shiva, the prime cause of all, the same power of volition is inclined and assumes the shape of nature, converted to some physical form.

10 Then forsaking her boundless and elemental form, she took upon herself the gross and limited forms of land and hills, then beautiful gardens and trees. 11 She became like the formless void and became one with the infinite emptiness of Shiva, just like a river with its impetuous velocity enters into the immensity of the sea. 12 Then she became as one with Shiva by giving up her title of Shiva, and this Shiva the female form became the same with Shiva the Purusha who is the formless void and perfect tranquility.

13 Rama asked, “Tell me sage, how can sovereign goddess Shiva obtain her quiet by coming in contact with the supreme god Shiva?”

14 Vasishta replied:—

Rama, the goddess Shiva is the will of god Shiva. She is called nature and famed as the great Illusion of the word. 15 This great god is said to be the lord of nature and Purusha also. He is of the form of air and is represented in the form of Shiva, which is calm and quiet like the autumn sky. 16 The great goddess is the energy of the Intellect and its will also. She is ever active as force put in motion. She abides in the world in the manner of its nature and wanders all about in the manner of the great delusion. 17 As long as she is ignorant of her Lord Shiva, she ranges throughout the world who is ever satisfied with himself, without decay or disease, without beginning or end or a second to himself. 18 But as soon as this goddess becomes conscious of herself as the same as the god of self-consciousness, she is joined with her Lord Shiva and becomes one with him.

19 Nature coming in contact with the spirit forsakes her character of gross nature and becomes one with the sole unity, just as a river joins the ocean. 20 A river falling into the sea is no longer a river but the sea. Its water joining with seawater becomes the same salty water. 21 So a mind inclined to Shiva is united with him and finds its rest there, just as iron becomes sharpened by returning to its quarry.

22 As the shadow of a man entering into a forest is lost amidst the shade of the wilderness, so the shades of nature are all absorbed in the shadow of the Divine Spirit. 23 But the mind that remembers its own nature and forgets that of the Eternal Spirit has to return again to this world and never attains its spiritual bliss.

24 An honest man dwells with thieves so long as he knows them not as such. But as soon as he comes to know them as so, then he is sure to shun their company and fly from the spot. 25 So the mind dwells with unreal dualities as long as it remains ignorant of the transcendent reality. But as it becomes acquainted with the true unity, he is sure to be united with it. 26 When the ignorant mind comes to know the supreme bliss that attends the state of its self-extinction or nirvana, it is ready to rest it like an inland stream runs to join the boundless sea. 27 The mind roaming remains bewildered in its repeated births in the tumultuous world so long as it does not find its ultimate bliss in the Supreme, to whom it may fly like a bee to its honeycomb.

28 Who would forget his spiritual knowledge having once known its bliss? Who forsakes the sweet having had once tasted its flavor? Say Rama, who would not run to enjoy the delicious nectar, which pacifies all our sorrows and pains, prevents our repeated births and deaths, and puts an end to all our delusions in this darksome world?