1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

The play of Male and Female February 10, 2010

This is an incredibly beautiful and profound poem from the Hindu Tradition of Advaita (non-dualism), by Jnanadev (1275 – 1296). I love the way it shows the play between the male and female elements in the Universe…

I offer obeisance to the God and Goddess,
The limitless primal parents of the universe.

They are not entirely the same,
Nor are they not the same.
We cannot say exactly what they are.

How sweet is their union!
The whole world is too small to contain them,
Yet they live happily in the smallest particle.

These two are the only ones
Who dwell in this home called the universe.
When the Master of the house sleeps,
The Mistress stays awake,
And performs the functions of both.

When He awakes, the whole house disappears,
And nothing at all is left.

Two lutes: one note.
Two flowers: one fragrance.
Two lamps: one light.

Two lips: one word.
Two eyes: one sight.
These two: one universe.

In unity there is little to behold;
So She, the mother of abundance,
Brought forth the world as play.

He takes the role of Witness
Out of love of watching Her.
But when Her appearance is withdrawn,
The role of Witness is abandoned as well.

Through Her,
He assumes the form of the universe;
Without Her,
He is left naked.

If night and day were to approach the Sun,
Both would disappear.
In the same way, their duality would vanish
If their essential Unity were seen.

In fact, the duality of Shiva and Shakti
Cannot exist in that primal unitive state
From which AUM emanates.

They are like a stream of knowledge
From which a knower cannot drink
Unless he gives up himself.

Is the sound of AUM divided into three
Simply because it contains three letters?
Or is the letter ‘N’ divided into three
because of the three lines by which it is formed?

So long as Unity is undisturbed,
And a graceful pleasure is thereby derived,
Why should not the water find delight
In the floral fragrance of its own rippled surface?

It is in this manner I bow
To the inseparable Shiva and Shakti.

A man returns to himself
When he awakens from sleep;
Likewise, I have perceived the God and Goddess
By waking from my ego.

When salt dissolves,
It becomes one with the ocean;
When my ego dissolved,
I became one with Shiva and Shakti.


18 Responses to “The play of Male and Female”

  1. Abhinayaraj Says:

    Simply Superb! 🙂

  2. Tomas Says:

    Thank you for the wonderful poem.
    It was not only beautiful, but the symbolical too:
    I received your poem as the reply to my question “why did my pictures should vanish from sight in the silence of the archives in case we all agree on the eternal value of the fine arts?” http://arthiker.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/the-fine-arts-bath/

    Two flowers: one fragrance.
    Two lamps: one light.

    Wow! your verses inscribe the dream of the humanity.
    Thank you for sharing of the miracle.

  3. mirel Says:

    the dance of duality and nonduality that occurs throughout the universe! expression is always seeking to reunite with its essence. Matter, manifestation always seeking union with Spirit…the one emanates from the other, like a fire and the heat it radiates.
    Die Einheit von Shiva and Shakti. to the divine game of duality, and to the fundamental unity that underlies it, I bow!!!
    terrific! really appreciated! besten Dank

  4. deanjbaker Says:

    interesting to see this – thanks

  5. […] The play of Male and Female […]

  6. Veni Says:

    Hearty Thanks for this post dearest Axinia.

  7. Triveni Says:

    hi axinia,
    i have been a silent reader and admirer of your blog for sometime now. but i couldnt stop to not mention the coincidence of the time when this article came out. Its interesting to see that this article was posted just 2 days prior to a festival called shivratri, that is celeberated in India – the day when ppl worship lord shiva in hindu tradition. interesting coincidence 🙂

    • axinia Says:

      thanks, Triveni, it’s indeed interesting, since i was not aware of Shivaratria celebrtion now 🙂 Yes, it fits prfectly, so it was a kind of unconsious tribute to Shiva-Shakti…

  8. kush Says:

    Another coincidence for you, Triveni !

    I was born on 12 Feb 1954. Today is !2 Feb i.e. Shivaratri and
    my Father,s name, who presently lives In Ghaziabad, India , is Shiva Prasad !

  9. kush Says:

    Actually these coincidences are all part of the magnificent
    plan of the Divine Force which has come into play and into our
    attention during these metamodern times, automatically making us aware of itself(Divinity) and its presence in a physical sense communicating with us through a connection it establishes with us(Our Subtle Being-The Spirit) when we are fully surrendered to it and we actually become subtle like it.This subtle is nothing but The All Pervading Power of Divine Love,as we may call it.
    Thisawareness/state/conciousness/vibrations is what Axinia actually refers to in most of her Blogs and comments.

  10. swaps Says:

    Strongly sybolistic I think. Axinia, since you can grasp it, kudos to you!

  11. Föhre Says:

    Wow, very beautiful!

  12. Vinayakah Says:


  13. Pavan Says:

    I am Shiva

    Beyond the ebb and flow and strain
    Beyond the waxing and the wane ~
    I am Shiva, I am Shiva

    By billowed Breath, the causeless Cause
    I am the great Eternal Pause ~
    I am Shiva, I am Shiva

    A joyous Font of endless Bliss
    Nought is there more or high than this ~
    I am Shiva, I am Shiva

    Transcendent, Far beyond and pure
    I the One, alone , endure ~
    I am Shiva, I am Shiva


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