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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

SHIVA SUTRA II.5

Vidyāsamutthāne svābhāvike khecarī śivāvasthā. (Sūtra II.5)
विद्यासमुत्थाने स्वाभाविके खेचरी शिवावस्था॥
 
Vidyā – knowledge; samutthāna – emergence; svābhāvika – natural or inherent; khecarī – consciousness aligned with empirical Self; śiva – Śiva; avasthā – to abide in a condition.
 
When one thinks always about Śiva, it is natural that he loses his attention on his own self. When his consciousness is aligned with universal consciousness, leaving aside sensory influences, there emerges sudden spurt of his inherent supreme knowledge and in that condition, he realizes Śiva. The acquisition of knowledge becomes a precondition for realizing Śiva.
 
Vidyā means supreme knowledge, the knowledge about Śiva. Śiva means the purest form of illuminated consciousness, from whom everything in the universe originates. This supreme knowledge already exists in all the human beings. But due to the effect of māyā, this supreme knowledge do not manifest, unless efforts are initiated by means of one’s will power. If one does not have the necessary will to kindle this muted knowledge, it remains muted forever. Unless this inherent knowledge is made to manifest, the ultimate goal of spirituality cannot be attained. Therefore, this inherent knowledge has to emerge out to fix his consciousness beyond his own self.
 
Khecarī is a part of divine Śaktī known as Vāmeśvarī. She is called Vāmeśvarī because She causes the universe to emerge from the Supreme consciousness of Parā-Śiva or Paramaśiva. There is nothing beyond Paramaśiva. Any spiritual aspirant can reach only up to this level as there is nothing beyond That. Vāmeśvarī, by incessantly co-existing with Paramaśiva, reveals the nature of Śiva in a different perspective. The essential or true nature Śiva is not revealed by Her due to Her own inherent nature of māyā. It is important to understand that Śaktī is neither inferior nor superior to Śiva. But at the same time, it is to be understood that Śiva can exist without Śaktī, but He becomes inert without Her, whereas, Śaktī, cannot exist without Śiva. Unless both of them are present, creation cannot happen. This is the fundamental principle of creation.
 
Vāmeśvarī causes the creation of the universe through four of Her exclusive powers, given to Her by Śiva. They are kecarī, gocarī, dikcarī and bhucarī. These powers operate on the sphere of empirical Self, internal tools known as antaḥkaraṇa (mind, intellect, consciousness and ego – all at the individual level), the external organs (sensory organs) and external objects. These four together are called śaktī cakra. Out this four, kecarī is referred in this sūtra. Kecarī is the state of Śiva, which is the highest level of consciousness, pure, unpolluted, un-afflicted and above all Self-illuminating, from which alone Śaktī causes the universe to emerge. The consciousness of Śiva is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscience. But the consciousness of Śiva is veiled from individual self by the effects of māyā, the source of which is Śaktī.
 
This sūtra says, that one has to reach the stage of consciousness of Śiva to enjoy the bliss arising out His pure consciousness to attain liberation, by waking up his muted knowledge that is inherent in his self. To reach this stage, one has to transcend the other three exclusive powers of Vāmeśvarī. When an aspirant reaches the consciousness level of Śiva, the mantra “I am That” is automatically revealed to the aspirant. When the aspirant becomes Śiva, the reflex action is “I am That”.

Monday, September 27, 2010

SHIVA SUTRA II.4

Garbhe cittavikāso'viśiṣṭavidyāsvapnaḥ गर्भे चित्तविकासोऽविशिष्टविद्यास्वप्नः (sūtra II.4)
 
garbhaḥ - foundational ignorance. The cause of this ignorance is māyā or illusion; citta –mind; vikāsa – satisfaction; aviśiṣṭa - viśiṣṭa means excellent and by prefixing a, the meaning of viśiṣṭa is negated. Therefore aviśiṣṭa means inferior; vidyā – knowledge; svapnaḥ - dream.
 
An afflicted mind influenced by dualism is the cause for inferior knowledge which is referred as foundational ignorance. Knowledge is of two kinds and both unfold in the arena of mind as any experience can happen only in the mind. Therefore mind is considered as the cardinal factor in spiritual progression. One is the spiritual mind and another is the mundane mind. The essential factor that distinguishes the two is non-dualism. A person with an ordinary mind will look for the Lord either outside his body or beyond his consciousness and he continues to be associated with gross forms of Lord. Lord is extremely subtle in nature and beyond human perception. Such persons are religious but not spiritual. Being religious does not lead to liberation. At the most, it can lay a foundation for spiritualism. The Lord can only be realised and cannot be seen with a gross form. That is why, Lord is always referred as Self and self only refers to gross human form. A mind afflicted with illusion leads to dualism, which shows Lord as a different entity. The knowledge about self (gross human form) is said to be ignorant and compared to a dream. Such men make abortive attempts to see the Lord instead of visualizing Him.
 
This aphorism says that such attempt to perceive Him is like the state of dream. The dream is forgotten once one’s consciousness moves to lower level viz. awakening stage. The dream state is only temporary and nothing is achieved out of dream state. Dreams are nothing but the unfoldment of impressions in the mind or due unfulfilled desires called fantasies. Just like dreams lack reality, an ignorant mind also lacks in reality. Such minds are said to be inferior. Men with inferior mind simply waste their time by postponing eternal liberation.
 
Sage Patañjali says (III.36) “All enjoyment or experience is due false identification of the mind and the soul or Self, which are completely unmixed. Mind is for the sake of Self and not independent. Oneness with the Self gives knowledge.”
 
Even during spiritual progression one may come across certain siddhi-s (super human powers) that are to be ignored to realise the Ultimate Reality. If one gets associated with such self destructive powers, he is also said to be ignorant, even though he pursues the path of spirituality. This indirectly implies that merely following spiritual path is not enough, but one also needs to have will power and determination to realise the Lord. He cannot afford to nurture a second thought, the primary or sole thought process being his union with the Lord Himself. Lord is already united with him as He is inseparable from him and only thing that is required is to first understand and later realise this Reality.

Friday, September 24, 2010

SHIVA SUTRA II.3

Vidyāśarīrasattā mantrarahasyam विद्याशरीरसत्ता मन्त्ररहस्यम् (sūtra II.3)
 
Vidyā – the highest knowledge that is required to feel the oneness with the Ultimate Reality, Śiva; śarīra – bodily form and here it means core knowledge or vidyā referred above; sattā – excellence; mantramantra (not the routine mantra-s, but the supreme I consciousness); rahasyam – secret.
 
This sūtra means that the supreme knowledge of oneness with Ultimate Reality is revealed through the inherent essence of I consciousness that is present in empirical individual. Mantra here means the essence of non-dualism or oneness with Supreme consciousness. Realization of oneness of macrocosms with microcosms is dealt with in this sūtra. Such realization is called mantrarahasyam.
 
In the last few sūtra-s, word mantra has been frequently used. As discussed earlier, mantra here means principle of “I am That”. Affirming “I am That” is the essence of all the mantra-s. If an aspirant fails to make this affirmation, he cannot make significant spiritual progress. It is said that mantra-s consisting of alphabets are made only to establish a firm link with the concerned deity. Here mantra merely helps to concentrate on a gross form. Oneness with the concerned deity can happen only through thought process. Realization can happen only at the subtle level and not at the gross level. Subtle level is the domain of mind and gross level is the domain of senses. Mere chanting of mantra-s without understanding the underlying factor of “I am That”, the essence of Self-realization, does not carry the aspirant anywhere near the logical goal of bliss ultimate realization. This aspect of knowing is called secret. The self affirmation described above is the secret.
 
It has been repeatedly stated that the thought of dualism is a deterrent factor in spiritual attainment. Non-dualism is the foundational principle of spirituality. Non-dualism alone corroborates the omnipresent nature of the Lord. Merging of empirical consciousness with cosmic consciousness (cosmic because of omnipresent nature) is the secret of attaining spiritual consecration. Supreme knowledge refers to the understanding the subtle nature of Ultimate Reality. A scholar is different from a yogi. A scholar’s knowledge is gross in nature, but a yogi’s knowledge is subtle in nature. Gross can be realised through senses and subtle can be realised only through aligning individual consciousness with Supreme consciousness. Till such time the perfect alignment sets in through practice, right kind of spiritual progression cannot be attained.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SHIVA SUTRA II.2

Prayatnaḥ sādhakaḥ प्रयत्नः साधकः (sūtra II.2)
 
Prayatna – continued effort; sādhaka – adapted for the purpose of realization.
 
Persistent effort and dedicated practice is necessary to align his thought process with mantra and its deity. When one desires to advance spiritually, he has to align his thought process with the mantra of the deity. If this union is not established, there cannot be an effective spiritual progression of the practitioner. Śiva Sūtra-s have repeatedly emphasized the importance of one’s consciousness or awareness to realize Śiva, the Ultimate Reality. The previous sūtra is further expanded here. After having expatiated mantra in the previous sūtra, this sūtra provides practical guidance.
 
The practice is to be accompanied with dedication and desire to understand the Absolute. This can be achieved by forcefully directing his mind to concentrate within. Perseverance is more important than the desire to attain Him. With intense perseverance, inspirational thoughts arise in the form of internal flashes, provided a strong foundation is laid by effectively using the mantra. This has been already highlighted in sūtra I.13, where the will power of a yogi has been discussed. The foundational knowledge can be attained only by experience.
 
This sūtra stresses the importance of perseverance coupled with knowledge gained though experience to attain the highest goal of God realization.

Monday, September 20, 2010

SHIVA SUTRA II.1

Cittaṁ mantraḥ चित्तं मन्त्रः (sūtra II.1)
 
After having discussed Śāmbhavopāya in the first section, the second section consisting of ten aphorisms now deals with Śāktopāya.
 
Citta is unconditioned self awareness as opposed to ahaṃkāra (ego) that is conditioned by self-concern. Mantra in this context does not merely refer to mantra-s. Mantra is the essential tool to connect individual consciousness with cosmic consciousness. The general purpose of mantra is to establish his awareness firmly with the concerned deity. But, in this aphorism, Śiva says that mind itself is mantra. As far as this sūtra is concerned, citta cannot be simply explained as mind. It is the modification of the mind where the stage of supreme consciousness is attained by focusing within. This is the stage, where one’s awareness is disconnected from his senses. His mind at this point becomes devoid of sensory perceptions. Only if the mind becomes devoid of sensory perceptions, the higher level of consciousness can be reached. Only in the purest form of consciousness, Supreme Reality can be realised. Apart from delinking the mind from sensory perceptions, one has to get over sensory impressions also. Sensory impressions are more harmful than perceptions.
 
Mantra is one of the tools, by which one can control the wavering mind. The repeated recitation of any mantra makes a person to develop concentration. In the initial stages spiritual pursuits, it is not easy to control the mind. An effective control of the mind can be achieved only by persistent practice. Mantra’s main objective is to tune his mind to concentrate. As a byproduct, he is also protected from transgressing spiritual path. No mantra will fructify if proper alignment is not made between the practitioner, mantra and the deity. This is where consciousness assumes greater significance. Such alignment can happen only in the purest form of the mind. Purity of thought and mind is very important while pursuing spiritual path. That is why, mantra-s are recited mentally and not vocally.
 
There are two mantra-s that are referred here. The first one is prāsāda mantra and the second one is praṇava mantra. Prāsāda mantra refers to bīja sauḥ (सौः). This is known as the heart seed of Śiva and encompasses all the thirty six tattva-s. If one understands the underlying significance of this mantra, he gets liberated, as he enters the arena of Śiva-Śaktī union, the sole cause for world process. This means that he is able to transcend world process and gets rid of the painful process of transmigration.
 
The second mantra that is referred here is praṇava. It is said that praṇava referred here is not the ॐ, but Śaiva praṇava huṁ हुं. It is also said that mere recitation of mantra-s does not give any benefits to the practitioner. The main purpose of recitation is to make a person to concentrate and be attentive on the Supreme Reality. No amount of mantra chanting is of any help without developing ability of concentrate. Mantra-s cited here are only examples.
 
This sūtra says, that mind is mantra because it signifies the importance of lucid mind where the mind becomes capable of realizing the Supreme Reality, the highest and purest level of one’s own consciousness, with the help of Śaktī. Though the highest level of consciousness is Śiva, He can be attained only with the help of Śaktī, who formulates the necessary principles that are to be followed to attain Him.

Friday, September 17, 2010

SHIVA SUTRA 22

Mahāhradānusandhānānmantravīryānubhavaḥ महाह्रदानुसन्धानान्मन्त्रवीर्यानुभवः (sūtra 22)
 
Mahā – great; hrada – lake (could also mean river Ganges); anusandhānāt – union through mind; mantra – mantra; vīrya – efficacy or potency; anubhavaḥ - experience.
 
Great lake means the reservoir of divinity, the Supreme consciousness. A yogi, by establishing a link though his mind with Supreme Consciousness, which is also known as the embodiment of entire divinity experiences the efficacy of mantra-s, the creative source of sound. Sound has the capacity to create. The divine sound of ॐ is internally experienced in anāhat cakra. Sound originates from Śaktī; hence She is called Śabda Brahman. Only due to acts of Śaktī, subtle becomes gross. For example, combination of letters gives rise to words that become the vehicle of understanding and knowledge.
 
The ocean of divinity is localized within. This is called I consciousness. This I does not mean ego. Ego is the cause for identifying oneself as a different entity from Śiva. In this context, I refer to Śiva consciousness. The subtle form of Śiva consciousness is manifested in the form of different shapes and forms due to the creative power of Śaktī, who always stands united with Śiva. The one without the other becomes inert. She knows and understands the will of Śiva to create. She causes the creation through different energy levels, one of them being the sound. The collective sound of all the fifty one letters leads to ahaṁ (अहं), the foundational principle of I consciousness. This is different from ego, the cause for creation of individual identity. I consciousness is Śiva consciousness.
 
Union through mind is the union of individual consciousness with Universal consciousness by focusing within. Introverted focus leads to this conjugation, resulting in the experience of the Supreme power of autonomy of Śiva, in the form of highly potent Śaktī, from where manifestation unfolds extroversively. Spanda Kārikā (II.1) says, “Pure aspect of the universe consisting of mantra and others arises from that principle only is manifested by force and is merged in that only”. This means both creation and dissolution happens through Supreme I consciousness. In the process, there are two unions. The first one is the mental union with Śaktī, where the power of yogi’s consciousness gets energized to become eligible for union the highest level of pure consciousness, the Śiva consciousness. Without experiencing the first union, the final union is not possible.
 
With this 22nd sūtra, the first chapter of Śiva Sūtra-s is completed. In trika philosophy there are three principal paths called upāya-s. They are śāmbhavopāya, śāktopāya and āṇavopāya. Out of the three śāmbhavopāya is considered as the highest where a yogi enters Supreme Divine Consciousness with divine intervention. Here, a yogi need not do much on his own. In śāktopāya mental contemplation becomes important. The yogi’s practice and perseverance are significant here. In āṇavopāya, a beginning is made through the means of breath control, mantra-s, etc. The fist twenty two aphorisms deal with the highest of upāya-s, the śāmbhavopāya. The next section consisting of ten sūtra-s deals with śāktopāya.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

SHIVA SUTRA 21

Śuddhavidyodayāccakreśatvasiddhiḥ शुद्धविद्योदयाच्चक्रेशत्वसिद्धिः (sūtra 21)
 
Śuddhavidyā – pure consciousness arising out of purity of knowledge; udayāt – appearance; cakra – the combined effect of all śaktī-s or powers; īśatva – supremacy or masterly; siddhiḥ - attainment;
 
The yogi by using his will power (previous sūtra) realizes (by appearance) the collective effect of all śaktī-s (energies or powers) and attains mastery over them.
 
This is the process of connecting individual consciousness with universal consciousness. Śiva consciousness is the ultimate consciousness or universal consciousness. There is nothing beyond this point. Unless one’s own consciousness is in absolute purity, it is not possible to transcend several other higher levels of consciousness to reach the ultimate stage of universal consciousness or Śiva consciousness. When such a person is able to merge his individual consciousness with Supreme consciousness, he becomes That. In other words, he becomes transformed as Śiva. Only in that state, he is able to master all energy levels that keep the universe going. He attains supremacy only because of the purity of his consciousness level that arises only because of purity of his knowledge. Purity of knowledge can be explained as understanding the omnipresence nature of the Divine. Due to ubiquitous nature of Divine energy, every object that one comes across becomes divine. This is the basic explanation of pure knowledge.
 
The purity of consciousness takes place in two stages. In the first stage, one feels ‘I am also That’. This is significantly different from ‘I am That’, which is the second stage. In the first stage, the individual identity is not totally dissolved, whereas in the second stage there is no individual existence.
 
By persistent practice, ‘I am That’ gets firmed up and ultimately he becomes That Itself, paving way for dissolving ‘I am’ totally. There remains only ‘That’. Only in such a stage, super human powers as detailed in these sūtra-s are attained. When one transforms into Śiva, naturally he attains the powers of Śiva.
 
This stage can be attained only perseverance and practice. Sincerity pays rich dividends in spiritual practice.
 
For detailed interpretation on this sūtra please visit ŚIVASŪTRAVIMARŚINĪ

Monday, September 13, 2010

SHIVA SUTRA 20

Bhūtasandhānabhūtapṛthaktvaviśvasaṃghaṭṭāḥ भूतसन्धानभूतपृथक्त्वविश्वसंघट्टाः (sūtra 20)
 
bhūta – living beings; sandhān – joining or uniting; bhūta – living beings; pṛthaktva – separating; viśva – universal; saṃghaṭṭāḥ - joining together
 
This sūtra is virtually an extension of the previous sūtra. Śiva discusses certain superhuman powers that accrue to a yogi. In the last sūtra it was seen that the thought process of a yogi when energized with supreme consciousness, leads to desired effects. The present sūtra says that a yogi at his will can unite or separate any element from his own body or body of anyone else.
 
By focusing his awareness (which means fixing his consciousness) towards healing of his ailment or other’s ailments, the yogi is able disconnect the illness from the body of the one who suffers from the ailment. He is able to cure ailments using his will power and concentration. With his concentrated will power, a yogi is able to segregate any unwanted features from one’s body. This yogi is also able to satiate his hunger and thirst this way. His thought process alone satiates his requirements.
 
During this process, a yogi is able to disconnect his gross body from his awareness, transcending space and time. Thirst, hunger, ailments, etc are associated only with gross bodies. When a yogi is able to segregate his body from his consciousness, he does not experience thirst, hunger, ailments, etc as these pertain only to the physical body. He lives in his purified form of consciousness, which in no way gets associated with gross forms. By using viśvasaṃghaṭṭāḥ, Shiva has chosen to indicate that such a yogi can transcend time and space. He can explore past, feel the present and predict the future.
 
If someone approaches him, with an prognosticated issue, a yogi is able to fix his concentration on that issue and come to know of the future and accordingly, he suggests remedies to avoid catastrophe. Time, space and distance are not hindrances to that yogi, as he can transcend all the three. This becomes possible because of union of his will power with his purest form of consciousness. Such power of a yogi is known as yogic power. By practice, anyone can reach this stage.
 
Generally, a yogi does not involve himself in such superhuman acts, as he knows well that everyone has to suffer on account of his karma-s. Even Śiva does not transcend the law of karma.

Friday, September 10, 2010

SHIVA SUTRA 19

Śaktisandhāne śarīrotpattiḥ शक्तिसन्धाने शरीरोत्पत्तिः (sūtra 19)
 
Śaktisandhāneśakti + sandhāne – Upon uniting (sandhān means uniting) his willpower with his creative energy; śarīrotpattiḥ - śarīra + utpattiḥ - bodies are created. Usage of word utpattiḥ is significant, as it means producing an effect or a result. Here, effect is the union of yogi’s will power with his high level of concentration.
 
This sūtra says that high level of concentration on the divine power causes manifestation. Thought process of a yogi when energized with supreme consciousness, leads to desired effects. In other words, the thought process of the yogi is energized with his ability to fix his concentration on the desired object and as a result the desired object is manifested. This energy arises out of his act of making a single unit of his will power and concentration.
 
Willpower referred here is fully endowed with intellect that is beyond the influence of māyā. When one is not able to reach this highest level of concentration, no mantra initiation, no mantra recitation, no yogic technique would be of any use to him. Śiva, as the Creator brings out those not- totally eradicated desires, the impressions of which still remain as vāsana or impressions in the mind of yogi and make them to manifest. This is brought about by equalizing inhalation and exhalation so that prāna enters suṣumna nādi causing spiritual energisation.
 
Spanda Kārikā (verse III.2) says that when such energisation happens in the spinal cord, Śiva appears in his dream and reveals those objects that are prayed for.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

SHIVA SUTRA 18

Lokānandaḥ samādhisukham लोकानन्दः समाधिसुखम् (sūtra 18)
 
Loka – both objects and subjects. This means all that exist in the universe, both the subject and the object. In other words, loka refers to the world, where both the subject and object exist together. ānandaḥ - bliss, one of the attributes (sat-cit-ānanda) of the Brahman. samādhi – the eighth limb of aṣṭāṅga yoga of Patanjali. There are different stages of samādhi. Here, samādhi means entering into the stage of super consciousness in waking state. In other words, if one’s mind is stilled when he is awake, he is said to have entered into the stage of samādhi. sukham – rejoice.
 
This sūtra says that the rejoicing in bliss is the universe for a yogi. It is important that a yogi of this type has to continuously remain in a state of constant awareness, fixed on Śiva. He has to look at the universe through the eyes of Śiva. If samādhi is explained as trance in this context, a yogi now and then comes out of trance and gets worldly acquaintance. Trance is explained as that state of mind in which consciousness is fragile and voluntary action is poor or missing; a state resembling deep sleep. But this sūtra talks about the stage where the yogi is still awake while entering into the stage of samādhi. This means that he has to be a Self-realised yogi as he has to look at the universe through the eyes of Śiva. This can happen only if the yogi feels that he is Śiva Himself. To transform as Śiva, he has to repeatedly affirm with strong conviction and total dissolution of duality. Truly identifying oneself with Śiva happens only in the stage of nirvāṇa. Nirvāṇa is the stage where one’s ego is totally blown off. It is the cessation of existential being.
 
Bhagavad Gita (VI.15) explains the significance of this sūtra. Krishna says, “the self-governed yogi (which means his mind is totally under his control) engaging his soul in ceaseless union with Spirit, attains the peace of My being, the final nirvāṇa.” The importance of individual self is dissolved along with the destruction of egotism paving way to the universal consciousness, a state where the individual consciousness pervades everywhere. The yogi perpetually rejoices in bliss, like Śiva, as he knows that he is not different from Śiva. He has become Śiva Himself.

Monday, September 6, 2010

SHIVA SUTRA 17

Vitarka ātmajñānam वितर्क आत्मज्ञानम् (sūtra 17)
 
Vitarka means unfaltering consciousness (vitarka literally means reasoning, deliberation, consideration). Unfaltering consciousness is to be properly understood. The pure awareness also known as unfaltering or pure consciousness or the highest level of consciousness is sat-cit- ānanda (existence, consciousness and bliss) or the eternal Self and in the present context this refers to Śiva. This awareness is inherent quality of mankind. Destroying egoistic self and realising Supreme Self within, is the result of purifying one’s consciousness. Typically speaking, spirituality is nothing but destroying egoistic self and spiritual progression purely depends upon the extent of destroying his egoistic self. Beyond this, there are no dos and don’ts in spirituality. When the level of egoistic self decreases, vitarka increases which in turn leads to ātmajñānam. Vitarka is said to mean un-afflicted affirmation. When one says that he is Śiva without any conviction, he can never reach the state of Śiva. Conviction and belief go together. Unless one is convinced about something, he cannot have belief in that. If he is convinced, he begins to believe in that and when he has developed total belief, he himself over a period of time transforms into what he has believed in.
 
What is ātmajñānam? Knowledge of Self is ātma jñānam. Self is sat-cit- ānanda, also known as Śiva. Vitarka leads to ātma jñānam. Śiva is eternal. Worshipping Śiva is not to please Him. No one can please Him as by nature He always remains pleased. Worshipping is to be done with sole idea of becoming Śiva Himself. For transforming into Śiva, only inward adjustments are needed in the arena of mind. This sūtra says that ātma jñānam or Self realization is possible only in the purest form of consciousness. When Self is realised, he understands that he and Śiva are not different. He continues to enjoy ānanda within as he now knows that Śiva is within.

Friday, September 3, 2010

SHIVA SUTRA 16

Śuddha-tattva-sandhānād-vāpaśuśaktiḥ शुद्धतत्त्वसन्धानाद्वापशुशक्तिः (sūtrā 16)
 
Śuddha – pure; tattva – principle; sandhānāt - perpetual awareness; – or; (apaśuśaktiḥ = a + paśu + śaktiḥ) a –devoid of; paśu – individual soul; śaktiḥ - power.
 
Or by perpetual awareness of the Pure Principle, the individual soul or the aspirant becomes devoid of power that binds.
 
Pure Principle is Śiva. By default, purest form is Śiva. A yogi is able to establish his ever existing un-afflicted awareness on Śiva. To put this in other way, a yogi is able to fix his purified individual consciousness in the universal consciousness, the Śiva consciousness. His individual consciousness undergoes transformation to merge with the highest level of consciousness. This is known as cetanā cetana bhidā (bhidā – separation). Śiva has used Śuddha-tattva to point out that universe by itself always remains pure. But the individual self becomes impure because of natural impurities (mala) associated with it due to karmic afflictions. When an aspirant repeatedly affirms through sādhana or practice, his individual consciousness also becomes pure by pushing aside, the differentiated perception that binds an individual. This is what a yogi does.
 
This can be practiced by contemplating the individual self merging with the universe and Śiva consciousness simultaneously. When this type of meditation is practiced, differentiated perception gets dissolved, paving way for the realization of Supreme Self, Śiva. The practitioner is always filled with bliss as he does not consider himself as different from Śiva, as he is in the process of attaining emancipation.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

SHIVA SUTRA 15

Hdaye cittasaghaṭṭād dṛśyasvāpadarśanam हृदये चित्तसंघट्टाद् दृश्यस्वापदर्शनम् (sūtrā 15)
 
Hṛdaye - the essence of awareness or consciousness; citta - mind; saṃghaṭṭa - union; dṛśya - visible, the visible world; svāpa - the dreaming state (sūtrā 9); darśana - becoming visible through appearance.
 
The sūtrā says that when the mind is in conjunction with the essence of consciousness, the visible world appear as if in a dream state, where the objective world does not exist. In the highest level of consciousness, the objective world disappears as if the aspirant is in a state of nothingness. Nothingness or void is a state where everything else is negated. Such a state becomes possible only if the mind is not afflicted with thoughts originated from the senses. When the mind conjoins with the essence of consciousness, it has to be pure, as otherwise the consciousness also gets afflicted. An afflicted consciousness is of no use in spiritual progression. The essential principle of spirituality is one’s ability to establish oneness with the Supreme. The difference between a yogi and an aspirant is one’s dedication and sādhanā (practice).
 
The word svāpa is chosen by Shiva is not without reasoning. In this context, svāpa is used with the intent to mean void. Literal meaning of svāpa is the state of dreaming that has been discussed in sūtrā 9. In the dreaming state and beyond, the experience of the objective world is disconnected leading to state of void where there is neither experiment nor experience. In the case of a yogi, he is able to reach these stages even when he is awake. He is able to disconnect his mind from the objective world even while he is awake and unites it with the essence of consciousness. He now understands the spirit of Universality and Oneness. He is able to discard the influence of senses.
 
The void that is referred here is within the heart, the seat of soul. When one establishes a connection between his mind and soul, his consciousness transforms into universal consciousness. When one is able to do this by looking within (looking within is the process of connecting his soul and his mind, both of them are available within his inner self), he not only looks within, but also looking at the entire universe as his own. His consciousness now becomes the vehicle of Shiva consciousness.
 
Consciousness is multidimensional. But, the individual consciousness is generally limited to one’s mind. If the mind is afflicted, his consciousness also gets afflicted and becomes impure. If the mind is controlled by will power, then it is not influenced by sensory perceptions. This is yet another factor of interdependency (interdependence of mind and consciousness) in His creation.
 
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