Most of us have heard of the Shakti as being the supreme power.

Shakti is also understood as Mother Goddess and we often hear about Shiv + Shakti as the masculine and feminine aspect of the Divine.

Interestingly, each one of us has three leading Shaktis (powers) that direct us. We live our lifestyle, chase our goals based on these shaktis knowingly or unknowingly .

The three Shaktis are :

1). Iccha Shakti (Desire. The power to want)

2). Gnana Shakti (Knowledge. The power to know how to do things)

3). Kriya Shakti (Action. The power to carry it out for the want)

As a basic information we must first realize that this principle of Tri Shaktis is applicable at any form of activity – whether it is Rajasic activity, Tamasic activity or Satvik activity.

The steps generally applied are in the same order as the Shaktis are mentioned above ;

The Want to do something

The knowledge to do it

The action of doing it

Iccha Shakti is the trigger – it comes first. The desire for something leads one to gain the knowledge of gaining it, followed by the action. Iccha has to be there for someone to do the action so in a sense we can say that Iccha Shakti is needed to gain the knowledge as well as to do the action.

Everything in our lives needs these three Shaktis. Sometimes we might be limited in Kriya part so we cannot do the action as required. That doesn’t diminish the Iccha Shakti – but due to physical, financial or emotional restrictions the Kriya Shakti faces hurdles.

To understand further let’s visualize an apple on the table. The apple has been there but until I do not have the desire, the Iccha to eat it, it will stay there like an object. Once I have the Iccha to eat the apple – I will make the effort and walk towards it. If I do not have the Iccha to eat the apple I might not walk towards it and it would stay as it is where it is placed.

To walk towards it is is the Kriya. To do the Kriya – the knowledge of walking had to be present – This knowledge is the Gnana (Gyan). If I did not have the knowledge of walking, I wouldn’t know how to get the apple even if the Iccha is there.

The Iccha being there, and the knowledge being there, if I am restricted by limbs or any other reason I cannot do the Kriya even if the Iccha and Gnana are there.

Significance of tri Shakti for spiritual upliftment:

I must have the Iccha to realize the SELF – The desire or the want for Self realization.

Then I must know how to do it – The Gnana or knowledge of how to do.

Having the Iccha and the Gnana, I must put up with the Practice.

We often express the desire for spiritual upliftment and even claim to know the process but fail to reach the goal. This failure comes due to lack of practice. We know what is to be done and often start off having understood the steps yet face a stagnant pause – and then it all collapses as we get demotivated by failure. The hard work seems too much to invest ourselves into.

Sometimes, despite the Iccha, the Gnana and the Kriya – there comes a phase when the grasping power starts to diminish and slows us down. This becomes a challenge or a block that comes from our own vasanas that keep drawing us outwards. The vasanas (outwardly desires) are based on our previous karmic activities or previous unfulfilled vasanas.

Despite all efforts we might slip a little sometimes when seeking the spiritual progress. Living in a world full of vasanas and attractions, of name, fame, success, recognition, misery, sorrow and comparisons the spiritual success often takes a set back but we mustn’t be disheartened and must not lose hope. We must again create the desire – the Iccha and again follow it and do it. That’s the secret of success not only I spiritual gains but also for any other goals of life.

Sometimes, we might have to change our Gnana also to attain the goal. Life teaches us that what we thought of as appropriate is not as appropriate any longer. Applications and ideas evolve with time and experience. To understand this – we may want to choose a couple of things that we can relate to -where we could follow the Gnana and Kriya till the end to be successful or be able to follow it or broke it off.

The examples could be from our everyday life – as building the business or attempting examinations or even planning a trip or even spiritual progress; (a) the desire was there (b) the stairs were there but we could/couldn’t climb (c) Finances were needed – got it/didn’t get it (d) the actual doing is different from what was thought and planned (e) the capacity if limited (f) the doubts creeping in – is it the right thing to do or not. We can choose one example from physical world and one from spiritual world – examine it -in your life or in another’s life. Feel free to share the options in the comment box at the end of the write up.

When we share our thoughts with others and read or listen to others’ thoughts about this, we know we are not alone and others have similar journeys.

When there’s a failing it is not a good feeling for failing means unfulfilled desires. To lift ourselves up from this we must understand – When there’s a failing – the Iccha Shakti must be put to practice again to pursue the desire with Kriya Shakti.

Sometimes, The Iccha Shakti leading to Kriya Shakti without Gnana Shakti leads us nowhere, doesn’t take us further.

When we are happy that you have achieved the desire in the end – we must be careful enough to not get attached to the results. Attachment even if it is with spiritual gain can recreate vasanas within us and pull us away from the goal that we achieved with so much practice. Acknowledge the result, be happy and then we must let it go. The burning desire that we hold to do something, to make something happen, once done, we must leave it at that.

To keep focusing on the burning desire again and again – we must be at a plateau : accept it and then think that when the time is right it will happen. With such an attitude – it will not become a big vasana that we carry forward.

These Shaktis – Iccha + Gnana + Kriya should be pursued in Grihasth Ashram (Family Life) as well as in spiritual life. But, if we are hung up on something – and keep going in circles about it – it will lead us to self destruction and not to progress. Failure for whatever reasons it comes – we must be in acceptance and not engage ourselves in a blame game of blaming outer forces or people – it leads us nowhere.

Having had the Tri Shaktis and put them to practice – we must live with an understanding that – everything that we want in life may not manifest. Sometimes we cannot change the outside factors that restrict our success – then let us let it go, accept it and move on. At times even when we do not achieve a desire – we can try to modify it or change the desire but must not keep rigid rules about things. That’s life’s practicality. We are rewarded only when the time is ripe and right for us.


Inspiration Source : Kamal Tolia

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