Shiva and Parvati   -   A Meditation

This story relates to Lord Shiva and Parvarti. As you may know, Shiva roams freely about the Universe, never feeling separate from it. But often on these sojourns He would leave Parvarti behind on Kailas mountain. Once she confessed to the great Lord that she gets lonely when He's gone and misses Him so much. Shiva said to her, "My dear, let me take you on a journey inside yourself. Here you'll be able to discover the means by which you will never feel lonely or feel any separation again. But in this process, your individual nature may be entirely lost. Are you willing to undertake this journey?" "O yes, my Lord", she answered, "I am ready to go wherever You will take me. I am completely Yours. Please guide me as You see fit."

"Alright, my dear, this is what you do. Seat yourself comfortably, making sure your seat is level and smooth, that you are neither too warm nor too cold, that all your bodily needs and your various duties have been attended to, and that there is nothing to disturb you. Let yourself be at peace with the world, setting all thoughts aside and quietly remain with yourself. Now, slowly let your eyes close; go deeper and deeper within yourself. Whenever you become aware of any experience, kindly tell me what you feel. Just report whatever is coming into your awareness. Take your time and be at ease. Whatever may happen will surely unfold on its own, in due course.

She sat quietly, breathing slowly, completely contented within herself. After a while she spoke, "My Love, I'm aware of all the parts of my body letting go of every strain. A wave of relaxation is flowing over me, giving me a wonderful feeling of peacefulness. I'm very happy sitting here so contentedly with You at my side. My whole being is at rest."

Shiva waited for some time as her mind sank inwards, deeper and deeper into herself. After some time had elapsed, and she had reached a new level of awareness, Shiva asked her, "Dear One, what do you feel now?" She said, "My Love, I'm aware of the cool breath coming in and the warm breath going out, coursing through my being, bringing life and vitality to every part. Everywhere there is a fine, shimmering energy. I feel wonderfully relaxed and peaceful. The breath comes in and the breath goes out... it is all so perfect. O, I am very happy."

Again Shiva waited as she delved more deeply inside herself and settled even further into her innermost being. After some time, He softly asked her, "Dear, what are you aware of now?" She took considerable time before she could answer, and then she said, "My Love, now an indescribable peacefulness is settling over me. In my mind's eye there is only the one. steady, beautiful image of You. It is most pleasing to see Your sweet form. With Your soft, doe-like eyes You are looking at me with so much tenderness and caring. Your expression is so loving. It fills my heart and brings tears of joy to my eyes. O, I am most happy to see You thus."

He allowed her to dwell in that joyful state for a long time, but He knew that she would transcend even this and go deeper still. And so, after more time had elapsed, He said to her, "My dearest One, what are you experiencing now?" And even as He spoke, she found herself entering another, even finer dimension of awareness, and she said quietly, "My Lord, Your lovely form is now dissolving. It is turning into a brilliant light, radiant and bright, and yet soft and comforting. What a marvellous light it is, effulgent beyond compare. It bathes all of space with its golden sheen, filling every corner with its luminescence. It seems to come from everywhere, splendrous and warm, dazzling and lovely. It saturates every part of my being with its glow. Everything is light... golden, wondrous light. O, I am very, very happy."

The great Lord sat beside her and joined in her experience, basking in the warm glow of that golden radiance. But He knew that she would go further still. When that time had come, and she was entering the last stage of her journey, He softly spoke to her yet once again, "My sweet One, what are you aware of now?" It seemed it took forever for her to answer, but then finally her voice stirred as if coming from a very deep place inside herself, and she said slowly and measurably, "My Love, the whole universe has become filled with the one pure sound. That wonderful golden light has become transformed into the ringing resonance of the OM. It is pealing like a bell throughout the worlds. It fills everything with its vibration. So exquisitely fine and pure and clear it is. Everywhere, in all of space and beyond, there is only OM.

Then, when it seemed that this was all there could ever be, the sacred OM filling the whole of space, she spoke again, in whispering tones, "And now, beloved, the Om is slowly dying down and there remains such a deep and profound Silence. It is the most peaceful calm imaginable. It is beyond all words. The mind cannot reach to describe it. It is Ananda itself." Then her voice faded out and she fell silent. She too had gone beyond.

Shiva saw a beautiful, beatific smile fill her face. She looked like the Madonna, a warm glow of serenity emanating from her whole being. But then once more a sound emerged from her. It came from the deepest recesses of her heart and He heard her say, "... I AM... I... " And then there was nothing more. Shiva was very pleased. He got up to make preparations for His own journey. Before He left, He came very close to her one more time, and whispered in her ear, "My sweet love, I go now. Let me take leave of you." He waited but there was no response. "Parvarti, my beloved, I go." She didn't stir.

For her there was no longer any Shiva or Parvarti, any going or coming, any parting or reunion. There was only that unfathomable peace. She was united at last with her Love. She was one with her immortal Self. When Shiva returned from roaming the worlds He found her still sitting there with the same beatific smile on her face and the same radiant glow surrounding her form. He touched her most gently and lovingly. She opened her eyes and seeing Him, her beloved, her heart filled with the sweetest feelings of love and thankfulness. She knew her journey was over; she was now complete. She would never be lonely again. And so, they lived happily ever after.