Love, enjoyed by the ignorant
That very same love, tasted by one with understanding,
Enjoy all the pleasures of love fearlessly,
For the sake of liberation.
The Divine Marriage
When you tune in to Parvati, you tune in to your own longing for sacred partnership. Parvati incarnates as the feminine side of a form of marriage that many modern romantics crave: the union between the fully realized feminine and the fully realized masculine, the dance of intimacy where two powerful beings become one without sacrificing their individuality. She represents the dynamic feminine in active partnership with her beloved masculine counterpart.
Part of Parvati’s mystery is that even as a wife she remains a virgin, in the sense that her independence is always intact. Even when she becomes a mother, it is done without intercourse: the son of her body, Ganesha, is produced out of her own sweat and the skin flakes of her body.
Her beloved, Shiva, is sometimes described as “the Lord even of those people who have no Lord.” Because, ultimately, he is consciousness itself, the infinite intelligence within which everything takes form, Shiva has no preferences, no favourites. He’s the freest of free beings, the ultimate detached witness. Left to himself, Shiva never gets entangled in the chaos of ordinary life. He disdains the idea that there might be some reason to enter the manifest world. Like a hermit in a cave, he needs the feminine to bring him down to earth, even to allow him to act and give blessings.
Parvati, of course, knows Shiva actually needs the very thing he resists. The divine masculine cannot act in the world without her, his dynamic counterpart. Shiva and Parvati ultimately stand for the union of stillness and power. Their story is definitely a myth about the inner journey to wholeness, the yogic merging of energy with spirit, inside you and me. Ardhanarishvara is the union of Shiva and Parvati in form (see image to the left). The cosmic masculine and the cosmic feminine are never two. In the process of differentiating, individuating, and embodying, they seem to separate–their apparent polarity becoming the world of dualities. The ecstasy and the pain of life in a body is precisely in the illusion of separation in which wisdom and love seem to come apart and have to be brought together again–at which point we recognize that the separation was purely an illusion.
As a couple, Shiva and Parvati are in constant conversation. Esoteric teachings are part of their pillow talk. Metaphysical scriptures and yogic texts flow from their intimate conversations and enliven the dialogues with which they entertain themselves during the space between their lovemaking. Shiva and Parvati teach you Tantra.