Tenth Night: Nitya Nitya


Tenth Night: Nitya Nitya “Forever Forever”

Energy: Life is short: seize the moment


Nitya Nitya controls all moving bodies and presides in all parts of you. In her twelve hands, she holds a noose, a goad, a white lotus, a sugarcane bow and flower arrows, a shield, a trident, a book, a skull, and abhaya mudra (fearlessness).

All these goddesses are called “Nityas,” which means “eternal” or “forever,” so Nitya Nitya is “Forever Forever.” The Nityas embody the paradoxical nature of the moon, which is always and forever going through the same cycle again and again, but also by definition no single night–no single moment, in fact, lasts forever, because the moon and the earth are in constant spin around each other. As humans, we have a sense of forever, of eternality, and yet there is literally nothing in the universe that we know of that actually lasts forever, including the universe itself.

This is the climactic moment within the sexual narrative: the long, arresting orgasm, which, for many of us, is a moment where nothing else exists: we are feeling so purely that our thoughts go quiet. Nitya holds the trident and the skull, normally Shiva’s weapons, but she turns them upside down. Shiva is a god of death, and Nitya, commanding these weapons, transforms them into the petit mort, the little death, which orgasm is sometimes called in French. This is a death to thought, fear, analysis, worry; a death to everything but this moment.

Nitya holds a skull in her hand upside down, like a vessel. Drink from this cup, she seems to say: knowing that you will die, what moments will you keep with you? What moments are you allowing to pass you by? What moments have staked their claim on your past so you are less able to experience this moment, right now?


Sit or lie down and enter this moment as fully and completely as you can. Experience the sensations of your skin, your breath, your guts, your emotions. Stop time travelling to the past or future and let this mundane, perfect moment last forever, simply because you are present in it. Cultivate this skill for the next time you get kissed.

Writing prompt: 

Describe, in as much vivid detail as you can, a moment that you wish could last forever. Use every sense organ you have: taste, touch, smell, sight, sound and intuition.


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Writer, yoga teacher, studio owner.