Shakti: Why do you say that the process of Self-realization and the path of Liberation are twisted and misinterpreted and if so, what is the need to do so?
Shiva: As I said earlier, in order to attain me, one has to work with his body, mind and soul, in that order. Body means the gross body, mind is the subtle body and the soul is within the causal body. This is an explanation that can be understood by all. But for many, one question remains unanswered and that is about my omnipresence. If I am omnipresent, what is the need for identifying me as one below the causal body?
Shakti: I do have this doubt and I am also not able to comprehend.
Shiva: Can you measure infinitude? With biological eyes can any one measure vastness of the universe? I am that infinite and I have no boundaries and this is my macrocosmic form and this form can be seen only by you, as you are in no way different from me. You are inherent in me in this form. What is visible to normal biological eyes is my microcosmic form. The vastness of my incomprehensible macrocosmic form is seen in my microcosmic form (Kaṭha Upaniṣad). Though an ocean cannot be seen in its entirety, a drop of its water will tell you that it is an ocean. Similar is the difference between my macrocosmic and microcosmic forms. A drop of ocean water is an individual being and the entire ocean water is the universe. First this difference is to be understood.
Shakti: Do you mean to say that there is no difference between your macrocosmic and microcosmic forms?
Shiva: Yes, there is no difference at all. How can there be difference and if the difference is there, how can I become omnipresent? My macrocosmic form and microcosmic form are nothing but unmanifest and manifested forms. Not much is discussed about my unmanifest form, as it is virtually incomprehensible. The whole confusion arises only about my manifested forms.
Shakti: What is the difference between your unmanifest and manifested forms? Can you kindly elaborate?
Shiva: Let me explain this way. My unmanifest form is the entire universe and beyond. Human beings are aware of only the Milky Way (the galaxy containing the solar system; consists of millions of stars that can be seen as a diffused band of light stretching across the night sky) and there are innumerable such galaxies. Multiple theories exist only on my microcosmic forms, as these forms of mine are visible to biological eyes.
Shakti: I am not able to understand.
Shiva: Let us say that someone draws a circle. What is the origin of that circle? If someone is drawing a square, what is the point of origin of that square? For every object, there has to be a point of origin. Do you agree with me?
Shakti: Yes, I understand. For anything and everything, there has to be a point of origin and from that point, everything else originates. But what is that point of origin?
Shiva: It is not merely the point of origin, but also the point of absorption and this point is known as bindu or dot. I am that bindu.
Shakti: What is to be realized? Is it macrocosmic bindu or microcosmic bindu?
Shiva: There is no difference between the two. When I am all pervading, where is the question of macrocosm and microcosm? This difference is only due to limiting factors such as time and space and these factors are further compounded by the veil cast by you which is referred as māyā. These factors cause illusion and deception; their effects are so powerful that those who are not aware of these facts, get attached to your play māyā, the most attractive veil ever, created by you. Though there is no difference between the Self and the self, there is one subtle, yet perceptible difference. Do you know that?
Shakti: Yes, I am very much aware of this, as this is about me. In your macrocosmic form, I am inherent in you and in your microcosmic form I am sitting on your lap. You also gave me half of your body to me. Yes, I understand this. We always very close to each other.
Shiva: You are always right. But, I will explain this further. I told you about two dots, macrocosmic bindu and microcosmic bindu. Macrocosmic bindu is me, unhindered, unprotected, unveiled and this is my purest form. In this form, you are inherent in me. As you know you are my power. Here my power remains within me and not separated as an entity. If someone wants to name macrocosmic bindu, then it has three names – Paramaśiva, Para-Brahman and mahābindu. Liberation happens only in this form of mine and this form is not attainable at all, except one or two in a million.
Shakti: But these two bindus are interpreted differently. (Following descriptions are in no way related to kāmakalā)
Shiva: Yes, though they are interpreted differently, there is truth in that. My expansion happens like this. Mahābindu is the point of origin of creation. This me and here I decide to expand and when I decide to expand, I use a miniscule power of mine to divide into two parts. This miniscule portion of my infinity is known as Brahman. Some people call this as Shiva. This is the state of my nirguṇa, where I am without any attributes. Learned people call this form of mine as nirguṇa Brahman. This form of mine pervades the entire universe; this form of mine is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. You may ask why my Paramaśiva form is not like this. This is simply because my Paramaśiva form is inexplicable. Only I know that and even you are not aware of this form, though you are inherent in this form. It is a waste of time to explain this grandeur of mine. No purpose will be served in describing this. Further, this is the most secret aspect of all.
Shakti: I understand. You spoke about your nirguṇa form. You also said that I am inherent in your Paramaśiva form. My question is about my role in your act of creation?
Shiva: Your role in creation is far superior to mine. I referred to my Brahman form and Brahman form of mine is again divided into two and they are nirguṇa Brahman and saguṇa Brahman. Nirguṇa Brahman is known as Shiva and that is me and saguṇa Brahman is known as Shakti and that is you. This needs further explanation. My nirguṇa Brahman form is full of light and in order to diffuse my own light, I have created you by carving out my power. We have segregated our jobs. I perpetually infuse you with energy. My energy cannot act alone as my energy is static. You may ask why my energy cannot act. I am by nature, is lethargic. Though I am lethargic, I am aware of what is going on in the universe. I always remain as a witness to each and every action carried out in the universe. I am not the cause of their actions, but I am only a witness. No action goes unnoticed by me. There are two reasons for my lethargy. As I said, I always produce energy and pass it on to you to make you take care of the process of creation, sustenance and death of both movable and immovable. Without my energy, you cannot function. In order to make you function, I multiply again and form different minuscule bindus or dots. These bindus are called individual souls. Without I being an individual soul, no form can ever be formed. I am thus all pervading, omnipresent, etc. Now are you able to make it out?
Shakti: You only mentioned about nirguṇa Brahman; what about saguṇa Brahman?
Shiva: If nirguṇa Brahman is me, then saguṇa Brahman is you. In other words nirguṇa Brahman is Shiva and saguṇa Brahman is Shakti. Now understand that I am the bindu in any form and you form the rest of that form and this bindu in an individual is the soul, often called individual soul. Now recall our initial conversation and you will be able to place them now. In the path of realization, I as an individual soul should be realized first. This is called Self-realization.
Shakti: If you are to be realized, then where is the question of realising me?
Shiva: Without realizing you, I cannot be realized and that is why, everyone is worshiping you with great devotion. As discussed earlier, you cover individual soul with the veil of māyā and with māyā you play with everyone. You tease them and delude them with many attractions of the material world. This is your test for evaluating them. Once they pass out your tests, they realize that you are the cause that prevented them in realizing me. By making them to undergo these rigorous tests, you ensure that they are worthy enough to realize me.
Shakti: Do you think that I should make these tests more rigorous or less rigorous?
Shiva: This is fine. You make them run from pillar to post to realize you and me. They do not realize us. You make them to work rigorously through various rituals and again they do not realize us. All they have to understand is that they should use minds to realize us. We are within them and because of your play of māyā, they seek us elsewhere. What you are doing is enough, and just keep up the tempo. This is more than adequate.
Shakti: What do you want them to do?
Shiva: They have to sit and contemplate and understand the truth first. Then by working on their breath, mind and consciousness, they can easily realize us. This process is as simple as this. I will discuss about practicalities later.
Shakti: Is there anything else you want me to learn?
Shiva: There are many things that you should know. All these incidents are happening under your nose. I want to tell you about how we are marketed. I will also tell you simple methods to realize you and me. Though these things are to be learnt from a Self-realized person, I am duty bound to tell the world that we can be realized through simple ways. I want each one of them to spend a lot time with us. I am waiting for many people to come to me through you. I want to be their Guru. I was postponing this for some time. Since not everyone is pursuing the spiritual path, it is time for me to explain how simple it is to attain you and through you, me. I will continue to talk to you for many months to come. I am not going to stop with my conversation with you. I will make everyone to follow simple procedures to attain me.