top of page

The all-pervading couple

(Beautifully poetic verses of praise to Śiva and Śakti, the all-pervading couple, written by Jñānadeva in his Amr̥tānubhava, as translated by Dilip Chitre)


Thus I have offered my prayer To that undifferentiated Couple: God and Goddess rolled together Parent root of this world


Unity of being is their sole setting, Both wear the same light In primordial solitude Together they dwell


The difference between them recoils Delves deep into their bottomless unity: The very juice of inseparable Self Is its discovery


That God makes the Goddess complete: Without Her He is nothing Each exists by the Other - A single being


What a sweet fusion it is! This world cannot contain the two of them Yet the smallest o f particles Has them inlaid!


Both contract their own body To unsheathe their oneness: In the whole flow of duality They are half-and-half


Two sticks strike to make one sound Two flowers with the same fragrance Two lamps together cast Just one light


Two lips form one speech Two eyes form one vision So within these two is contained The whole of creation


This primeval couple revels In the duality it reveals Only to share the flavour Of the juice of oneness


That wife devoted to her husband, Who cannot exist without her Lord, The Almighty One, who is Nothing without his beloved


Through her his being is revealed Her being is founded upon him There is nothing to choose Between these two


Sweetness or sugar? Camphor or its scent? Choosing between the two is A crippling of choice!

(24) ‘Try to seize its entire glow, And you will hold the lamp itself!’ So within her you discover Śiva himself in principle


The sun flaunts its splendour At the source of all splendour is the Sun So eclipsing all differences Unity graces all Being


An object is imaged by its reflection From an image is its origin imagined So simulating itself Oneness feigns duality


The female who created her man By extracting its essence from nothingness Has, by the potency of his being, Become Śakti herself


She, the mistress of his life-breath, Without whom his Śivaness eludes Śiva, Has herself been moulded Out of Śiva


She embodies her Lord The glory of this world Springing out of him All by herself


Ashamed that her lover is Never to be seen, She wears the ornament of creation Teeming with his names and forms


Finding union too scarce She celebrates her passion With a flair for plenitude And diversity


She contracts her own body To let him peak He retracts himself To let her ascend


In order to embrace her, He stretches himself to the limits of vision In the process he becomes Stark naked himself


He is so subtly diffused throughout space, His appearance is like his vanishing Only to pamper her He assumes the form of the universe


It is she who arouses him, stimulates his hunger, Feeds him all that is knowable Including herself - Till he is satiated


When her lover hides himself, he cannot be found Except with her: Mirrors to each other Are these two


She is her lover’s body Her lover is the grace of her being They feast on each other Blended together


So much for the duality that rests on name and form And engulfs their synonymous light: I, Jñānadev, say I bow To Śiva the bride and the groom


Those two in whose embrace Both vanish: In the night of the absolute There is only insight


To ascertain what they are Speech reaches the point of its first stirring Experiencing total deluge Like the Ganga finding the ocean


As the wind with its movement finally diffuses Settling in the womb of space As the Sun itself would wither away In the light of cosmic deluge


Likewise, while observing them, The observer and the observation cease to exist: To that all-pervading couple I bow again

Śrīkaṇṭha Śiva & Kāmakalā Kālī

548 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All

2 comentarios

Nitesh Bhatia
Nitesh Bhatia
19 ene 2022

It (They) does a play of duality for itself (for the kids)

Me gusta

29 nov 2021


Me gusta
bottom of page