Shiva “Consciousness” – The consciousness, as a whole is the essence of the whole creation and actually the whole creation is happening inside the realms of consciousness. We know the part of consciousness in us. The words “Aware” and “know” are the phenomena which belongs to the consciousness. Consciousness you can say, is the unconditional, unlimited, eternal and ever expanding awareness. The consciousness is the ultimate thing, but still you have to understand that this not the still thing, its all dynamic. The problem with the thinkers and commentators of spirituality is the lack of the practical experience. Thats why for everybody now silence, peace and meditation is still concept but it is not. Its all dynamic and moving. Like Swami Shivananda said once that “sitting on rock like a rock if you think thats meditation then you must have been fooled by some lazy idiot”.
Shakti “Energy” – The energy is the part and parcel of consciousness. Its the one who first started the real movement in the consciousness and gave rise to this incredible phenomena of creation. Shakti is nothing but the shadow of consciousness it doesn’t have its own separate existence. Its the same consciousness moving and changing forms and creating so many mirror images that now we don’t even know what is real and what is false. Shakti is the cause of the creation. Whatever we see, experience, know, and whatever is existing as we know it is just energy. We are not capable of understanding consciousness, we can just be for that to realize. But understanding is the thing can happen only in the realms of shakti/prakriti, to understand energy with energy from energy being a part of energy…
So now we have basic tools of understanding the phenomena. First of all you should always remember when you start to study spirituality never go like school textbook reading, or novel because it is always give you a wrong notion of it as abstract or very structured thing and it is neither. The whole concept of spirituality starts with experience of the extremes or duality and first stage of that experience is depression or breakdown or absolute confusion. It seems weird but until and unless you will go into those states very deeply and then surrender to the will of the situation, you have a slight chances of ever getting the real knowledge of the reality as told by saints and sages. And yes its not important for all to understand the spiritual phenomena because not everybody is even capable of it. So even if it will be made compulsory to study spirituality from childhood I think the world will be bigger mess full of idiots.
Yoga is the tool for tantra. Yoga doesn’t have a separate identity from tantra. The problem started with people thinking Patanjali’s yoga sutras as a final treaty on yoga. What Patanjali stated was the overview of the discipline of spiritual philosophy and concepts to start with. He was not giving you the direction or the pictorial view. He was just organizing his knowledge to be precise and there where we all got it wrong. 8 limbs of yoga are not the levels or the stages that you go through, those limbs are the art of mastering different layers of your existence. The traditional Sadhus in india when they talk about some practice you just have to notice the use of the words and you will get it just right. For example they are giving you some practice to experience something inside, they will give you this; sit in shashankasana, do dharna on the moon then go through a deep pranayama on the left side and then do pratyahar on the ears and go into dhyana. Did you understand the talk just happen absolutely not but doesn’t matter you got some real practice now. But you just saw how sadhus use the limbs for the practice and for them its just another thing for their journey within, which is continuous dynamic process. Yoga is all about going deeper into the duality to see the oneness and then tantra is the way to experience the oneness.
Theres one very interesting thing you all should know about traditional spirituality in the lineage. Yoga needs chaos in mind, seclusion, silence and detachment to perfect it but Tantra is other way round. Tantra needs overall stability within and without. The need of proper society is the need of tantra to happen thats why you see the whole culture of india is not based on yoga but the tantra. Whatever you see in the indian subcontinental society has nothing to do with yogis discipline but the tantric discipline.