(Last Updated on : 21/11/2014)
Chit Shakti is the power of consciousness or subjectivity and identifies with the unmanifested Absolute and Maya Shakti is the power of unconsciousness or objectivity that again identifies with the world, the manifestation of the Absolute. According to Kundalini meditation
, these two Shaktis cannot exist without one another. Even in the darkest hour, there is a spark of consciousness in any individual. As per the Kundalini beliefs, even rocks are alive and even in the highest level of consciousness, there is a component of Maya, as long as there is even the slightest sense of individuality. Once an individual learns the truth of the universe, the person often forgets his own individuality, and hardly remembers his true nature. Only when a person no longer exists, does Maya leave the body and soul of the individual.
The One exists in the All, and the All defines the One; unity and duality both exist simultaneously: such a notion gave birth to the concept of Chit Shakti and Maya Shakti. Wherever Chit Shakti is exhibited there is intelligence and awareness; otherwise there prevails ignorance and insensibility. The human body is like a vessel into which consciousness pours and according to the individual capacity, filling of the body is done through the nervous system. The spine and spinal cord expand consciousness from the brain, the spinal cord is the pole of greatest awareness, which is called Shiva
that reaches the coccyx or the pole of greatest density. Each body cell expresses its own sort of consciousness according to its own capacity.
At the base of the delicate spinal cord in the subtle human body lie the residual Chit Shakti and Maya Shakti of an individual. He thus possesses an energy, which remains unavailable to the individual as long as his consciousness remains firmly ingrained in the mundane. This energy of Chit Shakti and Maya Shakti is essentially the personal fragment of the cosmic power of self-identification. The element of ahamkara
exists in individuals, primarily due to these two shaktis. 'Ahamkara' means personal ego and pride in this case.
Just as discrimination is the chief quality of the intellect, ahamkara's chief feature is possessiveness. The proprietary overlordship of the person reminds him of his self-definition and allows the person to hold his own self in the world. Ahamkara self-identifies with every cell of the individuals body from conception until death. A person instantly dies as soon as Chit Shakti and Maya Shakti cease to self-identify themselves with the person. The more a person can identify with his/her individuality, the microcosm and both the shaktis functions as the persons personal Maya and the less the shaktis reflects the macrocosm; the person ceases to recognise his individuality. Thus more the macrocosm reflected by Chit Shakti and Maya Shakti, more is the awareness imbibed in a person.
Ahamkara and Kundalini are two names for the same power manifested in two different directions. Ahamkara connotes Maya Shakti and Kundalini depicts the Chit Shakti. Maya Shakti keeps one awake to the world and asleep to the Absolute, while Chit Shakti awakens one to Reality and puts one to sleep with regard to worldly matters. The consciousness of a living being is derived by the particular Shakti, which resides in him. The greatest Maya that humans experience is the Maya of the materialistic commodities, which makes up the life they lead on earth
. No incarnated being can be either wholly worldly or wholly spiritual; no matter how much enlightenment he has attained. Due to the influence of Chit Shakti and Maya Shakti, usually a human being cannot transcend his dark side completely so long as he remains embodied.
The expression of Shakti in the physical body is through 'prana' or the life force. Prana
is the power, which keeps body, mind and spirit functioning together as a living unit. All parts of one's being require prana. Physical life, fitness and endurance require that ahamkara self-identify strongly with the individual organism so that sufficient prana will enliven the body. Spiritual health requires ahamkara to renounce most of this attachment. An individual require the perfect amount of spiritual awareness to cover his ego in order to thrive.
The Chit Shakti and Maya Shakti are the conscious personalities that we like to think of as stable and constant. They are actually aggregates of ideas with which one temporarily self-identifies. These ideas are assembled into exhibits. At the moment of death, the ego completely forsakes the limited personality which it has supported for so many years. The perpetual shifting of self-identification among all human beings consumes great amounts of energy and keeps ahamkara preoccupied. Kundalini eventually awakens in every being in the universe.
The first sutra of the Brahma Sutras is "Atha ato brahma jijnasa" and these Sutras have already existed for thousands of years, and will probably continue to exist for a thousand more. The use of the word atha ('now') here signifies that there is no limitation of time when it comes to spiritual advancement. The individuals who remain stuck in Maya do so because they do not try to transmit their urge to individuation from Maya to Chit and easily allow themselves to be carried along by the current of their lives and of their neighbours' lives.
The Chit Shakti and Maya Shakti are, thus, the two important components of human life that helps one to recognise his real self and inner voice. These two shaktis are innate in human mind but realising this truth helps one to attain true spirituality.