IIT Delhi: The Destination and the Dance

Acharya Prashant
4 min readJun 7, 2022

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner (Q): What is Shiva? What is Shakti?

Acharya Prashant (AP): These are symbols. Shakti represents everything in motion, everything that can be experienced, everything that you can think of; Shakti represents the totality of that. If Shakti represents everything in motion, one feels like asking, “Why is everything in motion in the first place? Why is everything moving?”

Let’s begin with ourselves. Why does the mind move so much? Why does the individual never rest anywhere? Why are we always thinking? Why do we always want to reach somewhere? What is this quest for attainment, and achievement? What is the desire that fuels all our movements?

We move — it seems commonsensical — so that we may come to a point where there is no further need for movement. Is that not so? No one moves to remain moving; no one walks to remain walking; no one begins a journey with no end. So, if we are constantly in motion, both physically and mentally, that tells us something about who we are.

We are entities deeply in desire of something, and that is why we are constantly in motion. Otherwise, who wants to move? Otherwise, why would there be such unrest and disquiet within? You would never find any person, even a non-human organism, that is perfectly still, whether physically or mentally.

Consciousness moves. Consciousness moves, and it moves in search of a final destination, a place where there is no movement at all, a place where there is no experience at all. The clock keeps ticking so that you can come to a certain and ultimate timelessness. We value experiences so much, we want experiences of all kinds, so that we may come to a point where there is no further need for experience, where we are beyond experience.

We keep looking at faces, we keep meeting people, we keep entering into relationships because we want to come to a point where there is no further need to look at any face or form, where there is no need to further remember any names. That point is symbolically represented by Shiva.

Shakti is movement. Shiva is the destination. Those who are inclined towards having the right kind of movement…

Acharya Prashant