Shakti Rising: Embracing Shadow and Light on the Goddess Path

by Kavitha Chinnaiyan, MD

As the digestive fire, she transforms food into nutrients and strength. As the waking state, she appears as every thought, emotion, and action. As the dream state, she is the play of the unconscious mind as it lives and acts out its fears and fantasies. As the deep sleep state, she is the absorption of consciousness into rest. As the evolutionary force of the planet, she is the movement of the tectonic plates that creates continents and oceans. As the great change, she is the earthquake, the tsunami, and the volcano. There is nothing in creation that isn’t a manifestation of Shakti, the divine feminine.

In tantric philosophy, the masculine force is called Shiva, and Shakti is his dynamic energy. In the beginning, there is only undifferentiated, timeless potential, or Shiva-Shakti together. The first movement in creation is that of self-recognition—Shiva turning to look at himself is Shakti, his I-Am. Shakti is Shiva’s power to experience himself. Creation is said to begin at this instant of seeming separation of Shakti from Shiva. Seeming because they are inseparable, just as fire can never be separated from its heat.

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© 2017 by Kavitha Chinnaiyan, a cardiologist who blends her medical expertise with her knowledge of yoga, Vedanta and tantra to help patients discover the end of suffering. This article is excerpted with permission from Shakti Rising: Embracing Shadow and Light on the Goddess Path to Wholeness by Kavitha M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., published by New Harbinger Publications, Inc. For more information visit

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