(Originally published on Jan. 08, 2010)
Our Sanatana Dharma is NOT a religion. Sanatana Dharma in a religious costume may be called Hinduism. However, identifying Sanatana Dharma using the word Hinduism is not correct.
GOD is only One and is present in several forms. Of the various forms, three forms represent three important aspects which are not separate from one another. It is impossible to separate these three primary forms – Saiva (the core), Vaishnava (the vibrancy) and Saaktheya (the power). However, one can realize his Self by worshiping any one form which would initially act as a guide but ultimately causing a confluence with the devotee (upasaka) thus, leading to the Realization of the Self.
Every person is spiritually vibrant irrespective of his/her belief in GOD and religious practices. Every object is vibrant; everything that is not seen by our naked eye is also vibrant. This vibrancy is Vishnu. This is also known as the “Chaithanyam”. The power that maintains the vibrancy is called Sakthi which is feminine in nature. The vibrancy is visible only when the Sakthi is active. It is possible to make the vibrancy passive by making the power also passive. In this state, what emerges as the core is called Sivam. This is also known as the state of Samadhi.
If you closely look at the structure of these three aspects, Sakthi binds vibrancy and its core. These three aspects cannot stay separately. They can also merge to form very powerful energy forms to handle special situations.
Siva and Sakthi merge to make the Ardha Nareeswara (genderless) form. This is an important state towards attaining the Samadhi state or the so-called state of superconsciousness. The vibrancy is passive here.
Siva and Vishnu merge to make Sankaranarayana. Sakthi is passive here.
Siva and Vishnu (with Sakthi) merge to form Dharma Sastha. Lord Ayyappa is an incarnation of Dharma Sastha.
Siva (with Sakthi) and Vishnu merge to form Santhi Durga. Goddess Durga is a form of Santhi Durga with certain amplified attributes for wiping out the evil.
One should know that every deity has all these three aspects in varying proportions. They all lead to the same truth. Every person also has an innate and distinct proportion of these three aspects; but maya blinds their spiritual vision. This is where Vedic Astrology plays a very vital role in determining the innate proportion present in the person and then, help selecting a Deity Who will synergize with the individual (through his/her pure devotion) and lead the individual to the Realization of the Self, which is beyond proportions.
Hindu temples are built based on these concepts; it is science in its purest form!