Shiva Shakti – In Gaudiya Vaishnavism

Shiva and Shakti have a unique position in Gaudiya Vaishnavism. At the intersection of the Spiritual realm and Material realm is the Mahesa Loka where Shiva and Shakti revel. However the representation of Shiva and Shakti in Gaudiya Vaishnavism requires special mention. Lord Shiva is the expansion of Advaita Acarya who is the combined incarnation of Mahavishnu and Sadashiva. Goddess Shakti is the expansion of Seeta Thakhurani in Gaura Leela. Shiva represents auspiciousness of the highest kind. Lord Shiva is the most elevated Vaishnava. During Rama Avatara , His ishtha devata is Rama and during Krishna Avatara His ishtha devata is Sri Krishna. In Kaliyuga Lord Shiva’s ishtha devata is Gauranga alone.

Shiva is the representation of Samasti Guru. Hence He is also considered as a partial expansion of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Shiva is always in the constant meditation of Sankarshana who is the expansion of Nityananda Prabhu. The associates of Lord Shiva are the ghouls, goblins and ghosts which are destructive in character. These different “yonis” (representation of living entities) find peace and serenity in the presence of Shiva. Lord Shiva never ever forsakes these entities. Such is the benign nature of the one who is all-auspicious, Shiva. Shiva represents the universal Guru. A true Guru is one who shows mercy on the most distortedshiva-parvati-acrylic-wall-hanging-bt78_l of living entities and shows them the path even though the living entities may seem incorrigible. However by prolonged mercy of the Guru , these most unfortunate beings even though may not qualify to be disciples , are shown the way to higher living by the pure mercy and love of the Guru.

Shiva represents servitude. Shiva is the topmost servant of the Lord and takes the position of a primary caretaker so that the Lord is served in the best possible manner. Shakti is the aspect of Yogamaya in the spiritual world. Thus Shiva represents Guru tattva and Shakti represents Yoga Maya. It is the combination of Shiva and Shakti that truly connect one in the material world to the spiritual world which abounds with the Leela of Sri Radha and Krishna. Unless one is blessed primarily by Shiva and Shakti , one can never truly get qualified to be accepted by Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. The conduit that connects material to spiritual is Shiva-Shakti. One who worships Shakti as Yoga-Maya will be truly blessed to take up the role of a female hand-maid servant of Srimati Radhika in the eternal pastimes. It is recommended that a person who is a house-holder should maintain a small photograph of Shiva and Shakti at a place where the Guru Parampara is kept.  This will ensure a balance of spiritual power in one’s residence. Absence of the Shiva-Shakti aspect will not enable smooth connection of the devotees at the residence to the realm of Sri Radha and Krishna although the temple space may abound with Sri Vigraha of Radha Krishna ,Girirajji or Gauranga. The presence of Shiva and Shakti will help the energies of the devotee through Samasti Guru and Yoga maya Shakti to Guru Parampara and then to Vraja Mandala and Gaur Mandala. This is the scientific significance of presence of small photograph of Shiva Shakti at the altar.

In Navadweep there is a place called Nawadweep Kasi. In this place Lord Shiva arrives during the time of Gaura Aarti by borrowing the swan of Sri Brahma so that He may not miss the aarti. In this place Shiva awards liberation to those who leave their body here by uttering Gaura Nama in the ears of people leaving their bodies at the time death.

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