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Shaivism - Concepts and symbols - Masculine and feminine



Type of Spiritual Experience


According to Danielou, the feminine negative pole is the force of aggregation and creativity, the masculine positive pole is the force of disintegration and dissolution as well as division.

A description of the experience

Alain Danielou – While the Gods Play 

In the Shaiva pantheon, each aspect of the plan corresponds to a realization represented by a goddess. The opposition between male and female appears at every stage of manifestation. AII atoms, elements, forms, substances, and beings are an expression of it. These two principles are forever united and inseparable, and can only exist through one another, yet they are at the same time utterly opposed, completely contradictory and irreconcilable.

Sattva, the second of the Guna(s), the qualities or tendencies of Prakriti, is the principle of attraction and condensation, the negative pole. Sattva corresponds to the feminine principle, as represented by the goddess in her various forms….. The goddess is called Parvati, the Lady of the Mountain, for mountain peaks, which manifest terrestrial currents of energy, are the negative pole that attracts the celestial currents apparent in lightning.

The Shakta(s), who worship the feminine principle, believe that the aspects of the divine that can be reached through rites are part of the realized plan and not part of the abstract one. It is therefore the goddess and not the god who is the object of worship.

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps