The Generative Principle

लिङ्गयोन्यात्मिका जाता इमा माहेश्वरीप्रजाः

Linga yony aatmikaa jaataa imaa maheshvarii prajaah – Brahma Samhitaa

All are reborn from Shiva through the union of male and female.

This is one of those hard to translate mantras that relies heavily on Sanskrit grammar and spiritual symbolism in order to be understood properly. This line from the Brahma Samhitaa spells out the process of birth and rebirth from the perspective of the Tetragrammaton, in the emanation from Godhead to the physical world based on the sexual union of male and female, both from a spiritual and physical perspective.

Linga and yoni – these words refer to the physical sexual organs, in addition to representing some of the most common physical representations of both Shiva and Parvati.

Aatmika means “comprised of the nature of”.

Jaataa means “having been born.”

Imaa is the vocative (address) meaning “all of these.”

Maheshvari prajaah refers to an address of Maheshvari by reference of her husbands – Thakura translates this as Maheshvara, meaning Shiva, however the noun is actually in the plural nominative. This would suggest either a reference to Shiva through reference to Shakti or Parvati, conjuring images of female and male in one phrase (as translated by Thakura), but it also implies that people in general are wedded to God. This suggests the marriage between God and man, much as is found in the representation of Krishna and Radha as the divine couple (worshipper and God, soul mate and soul mate, or alternately and most completely, soul mate + soul mate = God).

Taken together we have the union of spirit and flesh, the process of rebirth and the physical union of male and female. The text addresses all of creation, naming the process through which we enter once again into life on this Earth, and the fact the physical and spiritual are always in union, and the flesh proceeds from spirit.

Relating back to the original point, this process is also found within Kabbalah in the formula of the Tetragrammaton. The Yod represents the spiritual male, the initial Hod represents the spiritual female, and the final Vau and He represent the physical male/female. This shows the process of emanation from a spiritual source that embodies all complimentary opposites and takes form within Malkuth through the union of the physical male and female. Through birth we enter this world as tiny pieces of the divine, here to experience the kingdom, find God and find our way back again.

This phrase is not really possible to translate outside of explication – however, above is one attempt at putting it into literal words.

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