By Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa
The Adi Shakti
One of the most ancient symbols of the sacred feminine is the Adi Shakti. The oldest form of prayer, the Adi Shakti symbolizes the lone woman, her arms raised to the sky, curved in a graceful arc, as if holding the entire world and supplicating the universe to align itself with her word. This ancient symbol is the key to unlocking the power of our own sacred feminine. It reminds us of our infnity, our divinity.
The Adi Shakti represents the creative power that lies within every woman. And yet for her Shakti to be in balance, a woman must also relate to her Bhakti, her devotional nature. She must balance the polarities of the woman and the mother within her. Whether or not she ever has children of her own, every woman contains these two unique identities: the woman and the mother. “As a mother you are supposed to sacrifice, tolerate, be very patient, be very thoughtful of others, and understand all the pros and cons of any situation. As a woman you must give nothing; you have to protect yourself first; and you need not tolerate any nonsense. Woman must be able to ascertain which is the correct relationship—woman or mother,” sword or shield. (© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, circa 1977) Woman is the Shakti and Mother is the Bhakti; every woman must learn to apply these two distinct identities with skill and subtlety. This is her grace.
A woman’s sword is her discerning nature, her capacity to see through to the root causes and motives in another and cut through them when necessary to protect herself or her family. A woman’s sword is her word, her bluntness, her capacity to call a spade a spade, her inability to suffer fools. A woman’s sword is her strength. Wielded wisely, she cultivates tolerance, prosperity, and peace. Used indiscriminately, she creates a great deal of damage. A woman’s mothering nature—her shield—is nurturing, infinitely patient, and protective. She is the shield, devoting herself selflessly, to the point of sacrifice when necessary, to her children or her cause. Applied justly, a woman’s mothering nature gives comfort and solace. Applied wrongly and she becomes a martyr, whose children loathe her and whose causes never receive the fruits of prosperity.
As a woman, you have the capacity to nurture everything into existence. You also have the capacity to destroy anything in your wake. Discerning when and how to apply Shakti or Bhakti means success or failure in your relationships, your goals, and even your destiny. Balancing these polarities is a woman’s grace.
Woman & Infinity
Everything comes from the creativity of the woman—all the good and all the bad. Until a woman recognizes her shadow (the negative aspects of her nature) and understands its origin (her constant search for security), she’ll continue to be ruled by it. A woman must accept her shadow, begin to manage it, and finally elevate herself above it. Otherwise, she’ll react from ego or personal agenda, rather than respond from consciousness. In fact, much of the behavior that is perceived as negative in a woman comes from this need for security. The search for security—material, financial, or emotional—is completely natural; her very nature as a woman and a mother, both physically and psychologically, demands security.
But it also makes her shortsighted. She loses her expansiveness, her connection to all that is. How can a woman maintain her grace and stay connected to her creativity, while at the same time trying to find the security she sorely needs, especially when the shadow side of her personality is so often triggered by insecurity? She must remember where her security truly lies—in Infinity.
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