Intro To Hindu Deities: Ardhanaishwara, The Twin Flame & Balancing Masculine/Feminine

Have you ever contemplated bringing your brain hemispheres into balance and why that would be beneficial? How about practicing yoga for the benefit of bringing harmony to your inner masculine and feminine natures? Does alternate nostril breathing make sense to you—or are you curious? And let’s assume, at the very least, you see the value in balancing intuition with logic. That one seems to make sense. Well, wouldn’t you know that there is a Hindu deity who perfectly embodies these quests for inner balance and harmony! I believe by invoking this inner archetype, called Adhanaishwara, we may more fully reap the benefits of alignment and balance in our lives. Let’s look at the story of this aspect of the divine and how this works.

The Balance Between Masculine & Feminine

Depicted as half Shiva and half his beloved consort Parvati, Adhanaishwara is the embodiment of perfect wholeness and balance between one’s masculine and feminine components. You have probably seen at least one version of the half-man/half-woman being which has shown up all over Asia for centuries. Adhanaishwara has told the tale of the twin flame forever, the one which begins within the body of the self.

We know Shiva and Parvati to be husband and wife and the parents to Lord Ganesha, yes? They are depicted separately and as forms of the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine which also may show up as Krishna and Radha, Vishnu and Lakshmi, Brahma and Saraswati, or in Tantra and Shiva/Shakti. The point being: in most stories and traditions, the masculine and feminine components of the divine are shown in their own individual forms. But in the form of Adhanaishwara, we are presented with the concept that both co-exist together—within one form. This is the aspect of the Divine we are all working to come in-tune with—a perfect harmony between our masculine and feminine natures within.

It is easy to overly identify with the gender you were born into. In reality though, it matters not which physical form we came here to take—for on one level, the physical only dictates an outward experience of truth, but within us all we have both the masculine and the feminine qualities of divinity.

To become perfectly balanced—where our masculine and feminine natures dance and merge in divine inner union—is the state of the Ardhanaishwara as depicted in Hindu mythology. In this half-Shiva and half-Parvati state, sages of old were trying to translate the possibility of embodying both the masculine and the feminine within, in perfect harmony and balance like the most perfect marriage—such as seen in the characters of Shiva and Parvati. For in perfect union, it is as if they are One being, not two.

The Masculine

Let’s break it down. When the word “masculine” is spoken, many people automatically think “man.” However, this term is also used to denote specific qualities within the human and in Hatha Yoga the masculine quality of self is simply translated as “sun.” Masculine refers to dynamic action, to aggression, heat, the light, yang, linearity, logic, reason, the giver component, and movement. The left hemisphere of the brain is that which relates to and rules logic, reason, mathematics, and structure. When we are “being more masculine” it does not mean we are acting like a man, but rather, tapping into these more solar, dynamic qualities bestowed upon all humans.

The Feminine

The nature of the feminine is different from the masculine. You could say it is exactly opposite, or complementary. It is the “other side of the coin” so to speak, for where masculine speaks of logic, the feminine speaks of magic, creativity, the unknown, the unseen. The feminine nature tunes us into qualities of receptivity, non-linearity, the yin of existence, the dark, the hidden, the mysterious. The right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for music and artistic creations and therefore we can see that our feminine nature makes us more creative and spontaneous, where our masculine nature tends to plan and desire structure.

Twin Flames

There are so many differing opinions and beliefs surrounding the concept of the twin flame. The idea emerges from the deep inner knowing that we have both the masculine and the feminine natures within us—fused into one. We are One—the Beloved and Beloved. When we seek outside of ourselves for another who matches us, we often come up short and miss the mark, as we will only ever “find” what we first see inside. However, if we approach the situation from the reverse, and seek to become fully integrated and balanced within where our Ardhanaishwara nature is activated and embodied, we can then almost certainly expect that we will see this precise reflection outside of us as well. This is the truth of mirroring.

In order to find your Twin Flame, you must first find that you are your own Twin Flame. You must fall in love with the self to such a degree that an inner marriage occurs and you feel fully at One with yourself. Then, and only then can you manifest the same thing on the outside—in another fleshy human.

The aspect of the Divine within which is Ardhanaishwara is this perfect Twin Flame Union inside of us. By choosing to invoke this state of inner harmony and balance and opening up to the transformation which may need to occur in order to find alignment there, we call on Ardhanaishwara within. We can do this by saying something like:

“I now choose to invoke the aspect of Divinity in me which is Ardhanaishwara. I choose to activate perfect balance and union between my masculine and feminine natures and through this balance I choose to step into an inner marriage between these components within me. I call upon all that is within me, all my capabilities, all of my memories, my past lives, and ancestral lineage. I call upon gifts and talents, strengths and weaknesses in helping me to move through any blocks which may arise in me as I rise into the embodiment of the Holy Marriage within. As I step into my own Ardhanaishwara within, I know that I will see a dropping awayoutside of meof all that which is NOT in perfect harmony and balance, thereby making room to manifest for me the glorious mirror of the Twin reality before my eyes. In humility and honor I now choose alignment with both my receptive and my dynamic parts of self. I choose to allow structure when structure is called for and the dissolve when it is required. I allow my logical mind to trust my intuition and my intuitive self to trust reason. I ask these natures to work together within me so that I may embody the Divine, Balanced couple within my own body and mind. This I do with love and gratitude for I know this is my Fate and the fate of all beingsto know perfect wholeness within. And so it is.”