Contemplating upon His own essence, Paramayogī Śiva stopped at the pinnacle of all existence. There, existence itself was reduved to Śūnya or nothingness, that He reached after rejecting all matter, all mind, all drives and impulses as Māyā (illusion). In that void divested of all names and forms, all that He could experience was pure blemishless consciousness. It was all transcendent, unchanging, eternal; but was that the absolute perfection?
Where was the throbbing motion of life, the dynamism of creation, the intensity of joy and love? Śiva soon realised that His consciousnes, though pure and eternal, was but cold and inert as the silent peaks of Mount Kailāśa.
It was ‘A’ (अ), the first of all alphabets, which though without anything beyond itself, had no expansion or contraction. Though pure, it was far from being perfect or Pūrņa. It was now that Śiva longed for someone's company, someone’s intense embrace, someone to overwhelm His empty being with the warmth of love and fullness.
That One was eternally co-existent with Himself, His own heart whose presence He felt as His chest throbbed with the touch of Her Lotus Feet as She moved to manifest Herself. Inherently pulsating as the core substance of His very existence and also present externally, She made Herself felt only when Śiva decided to rise beyond the state of nothingness. As she smiled, he found himself in the tight embrace of his own 'self'; and with the intensification of 'अ', reflected into itself and doubled into 'Ā’ (आ), He was already overpowered by the grandeur of Her omnipotent bliss of fullness which poured itself out as the mighty will to multiply (एकोहं बहुस्यामः).
With a begging bowl in his hand, He prayed, “By Thy Will, let me become many.”
Her overflowing fullness spread all around, prodded by its own nature to expand and contract.
Where was the void now?
What seemed to be a void till then now proved to be a grand storehouse of infinite potentials to be and become. In place of the vacant nothingness, now there was the full awareness of his complete being vested with a perfect 'I'-ness (पूर्णाहन्ता), by the grace of Hers who though transcended all, rejected nothing.
Every level of existence was filled with Her own pervasiveness and energy. All that was earlier rejected as Māyā, now reappeared as a living body of Truth. Even the experience of the grossest form of matter, Anna (food), was now an extention of this all encompassing perfection of Hers, who bore the name “Annapūrņā”.
May She, whose storehouse is inexhaustible, grace us today on the auspicious occassion of Annapūrņā Pūjā.
“annapūrņe sadāpūrņe śańkaraprāņavallabhe | jnānavairāgya siddhyarthańģ bhīkşāńģ dehi ca pārvatī ||”
Jaya Mā _/|\_