Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

The feminine and masculine

Posted by Fredsvenn on September 27, 2016

To be man is not enough to be masculine and to be a woman is not enough to be feminine – the man might be feminine and the woman might be masculine – so if it is not about the gender what can then really be said about masculine or femine?

To me it seems to be similar to anima and animus, black and white, ying and yang etc. The swastika used in Buddhist art and scripture is known as a manji (Japanese; whirlwind), and represents Dharma, universal harmony, and the balance of opposites. In China, it is called wan.

It is derived from the Hindu religious swastika, but it is not identical in meaning. Round Manji The Manji is made up of several elements: a vertical axis representing the joining of heaven and earth, a horizontal axis representing the connection of yin and yang, and the four arms, representing movement- the whirling force created by the interaction of these elements.

When facing left, it is the Omote (front facing) Manji, representing love and mercy. Facing right, it represents strength and intelligence, and is called the Ura (rear facing) Manji. In Zen Buddhism, the Manji represents an ideal harmony between love and intellect.

Shakti (yoni) and Shiva (lingam) is united just like Mars and Venus – but they are one – they are the two parts of the coin. The lingam (meaning “sign”, “symbol” or “phallus”), an abstract or aniconic representation of the Hindu deity, Shiva, worshipped as a symbol of generative power, is often represented alongside the yoni (meaning “origin”, “source”, “vagina” or “womb”), a symbol of the goddess or of his consort Shakti (Kali), the female creative energy that moves through the entire universe.

Since the late 19th century, some have interpreted the yoni and the lingam as aniconic representations of the vulva and a phallus respectively. The lingam is the transcendental source of all that exists. The lingam united with the yoni represents the nonduality of immanent reality and transcendental potentiality.

Their union represents the “indivisible two-in-oneness of male and female, the passive space and active time from which all life originates”. Their union represents the eternal process of creation and regeneration. As Shiva is represented as an endless fire, Lingam-yoni denotes origin of an endless fire which created the universe.

Shiva (Śiva, lit. the auspicious one) is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. He is worshiped as the supreme god within Shaivism, one of the three most influential denominations in contemporary Hinduism. He is the destroyer within the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity that includes Brahma and Vishnu. In Shaivism tradition, Shiva is the “creator, destroyer and regenerator”.

At the highest level, Shiva is regarded as formless, limitless, transcendent and unchanging absolute Brahman, and the primal Atman (soul, self) of the universe. He is regarded as the patron god of yoga, meditation and arts.

Shiva has many benevolent and fearsome depictions. In benevolent aspects, he is depicted as an omniscient Yogi who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailash as well as a householder with wife Parvati and his two children, Ganesha and Kartikeya. In his fierce aspects, he is often depicted slaying demons.

Kali is worshipped by Hindus throughout India. Kali is also seen as divine protector and the one who bestows moksha, a term in Hinduism and Hindu philosophy which refers to various forms of emancipation, liberation, and release.

In its soteriological and eschatological senses, it refers to freedom from saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth. In its epistemological and psychological senses, moksha refers to freedom from ignorance: self-realization and self-knowledge.

In Hindu traditions, moksha is a central concept and included as one of the four aspects and goals of human life; the other three goals are dharma (virtuous, proper, moral life), artha (material prosperity, income security, means of life), and kama (pleasure, sensuality, emotional fulfillment). Together, these four aims of life are called Puruṣārtha in Hinduism. The term nirvana is more common in Buddhism, while moksha is more prevalent in Hinduism

The name Kali means Kala or force of time. When there were neither the creation, nor the sun, the moon, the planets, and the earth, there was only darkness and everything was created from the darkness. The Dark appearance of Kali represents the darkness from which everything was born.

Kālī is the feminine form of kālam (“black, dark coloured”). Kālī also shares the meaning of “time”, “one who is time” or “the fullness of time” with the masculine noun “kāla”—and by extension, time as “that which brings all things to life or an end.”

Other names include Kālarātri (“the night of death” or “the night of destruction”), and Kālikā (“the black one”). Kālī is also the feminine form of Kāla, an epithet of Shiva, and thus the consort of Shiva.

The homonymous kāla, “appointed time”, which depending on context can mean “death”, is distinct from kāla “black”, but became associated through popular etymology. The association is seen in a passage from the Mahābhārata, depicting a female figure who carries away the spirits of slain warriors and animals.

She is called kālarātri (which Thomas Coburn, a historian of Sanskrit Goddess literature, translates as “night of death”) and also kālī (which, as Coburn notes, can be read here either as a proper name or as a description “the black one”).

Kali is often shown standing with her right foot on Shiva’s chest. This represents an episode where Kali was out of control on the battlefield, such that she was about to destroy the entire universe. Shiva pacified her by laying down under her foot, both to receive her blessing, but also to pacify and calm her.

As she is also the goddess of Preservation Kali is worshiped as mother to preserve the nature. When Kali is standing calm on Shiva her appearance represents the preservation of mother nature. Her free, long and black hair represents nature’s freedom from civilization.

There are several interpretations of the symbolism behind the commonly represented image of Kali standing on Shiva’s supine form. A common one is that Shiva symbolizes purusha, the universal unchanging aspect of reality, or pure consciousness. Kali represents Prakriti, nature or matter, sometimes seen as having a feminine quality. The merging of these two qualities represent ultimate reality.

A tantric interpretation sees Shiva as consciousness and Kali as power or energy. Consciousness and energy are dependent upon each other, since Shiva depends on Shakti, or energy, in order to fulfill his role in creation, preservation, and destruction. In this view, without Shakti, Shiva is a corpse — unable to act.

In Norse mythology, Týr is a god of war and will take mead, meat and blood for sacrifice. If a warrior carved the rune Tîwaz on his weapon he would be dedicating it to Týr and strengthen the outcome of a battle to be in his favor. Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is in fact “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis.

There is sketchy evidence of a consort, in German named Zisa: Tacitus mentions one Germanic tribe who worshipped “Isis”, and Jacob Grimm pointed to Cisa/Zisa, the patroness of Augsburg, in this connection. The name Zisa could be derived from Ziu etymologically. This Zisa would be the female consort of Ziu, as Dione was of Zeus.

Hel is a being who presides over a realm of the same name, where she receives a portion of the dead. In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, Hel is described as having been appointed by the god Odin as ruler of a realm of the same name, located in Niflheim.

In the same source, her appearance is described as half blue and half flesh-coloured and further as having a gloomy, downcast appearance. The Prose Edda details that Hel rules over vast mansions with many servants in her underworld realm and plays a key role in the attempted resurrection of the god Baldr.

Scholarly theories have been proposed about Hel’s potential connections to figures appearing in the 11th-century Old English Gospel of Nicodemus and Old Norse Bartholomeus saga postola, that she may have been considered a goddess with potential Indo-European parallels in Bhavani, Kali, and Mahakali or that Hel may have become a being only as a late personification of the location of the same name.

Self realization and training

The two opposites

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