Shaivism - Concepts and symbols - Androgyny and Ardhanarishvara
Type of Spiritual Experience
Shiva and Shakti are always joined, in effect the universe operates by a combination of male and female energy interacting.
The Divine spark.
This combination of male and female is represented symbolically by androgyny or one of the principal aspects of Shiva - the Ardhanarishvara, the hermaphrodite.
A description of the experience
Swami Karpatri – Shri Shiva tattva
"the power to conceive (vimarsha) and the power to fulfil (prakasha), when reunited, are immediately manifested as a limit point (bindu), or localization which is the starting point of space and time.
From this point starts the vibration or sound (nada) which is the substance of the universe.
Space is a female principle, a receptacle, whilst time is an active, male principle. Their union, symbolised by the divine hermaphrodite, represents the Eros [Kama], the creative impulse.