Part 14: Verses 53 - 56
Verse 53: Skill 30
The previous verse said that one should visualise that his entire body is burnt by kālagni. This verse says that one should visualise that the entire universe is being burnt by kalagini. Shiva recommends such visualisations not only for the purpose of purity of mind and body, but also for single pointed focus without any distractions. When the visualisation is completed to the last piece of the universe, Shiva reveals Himself.
Practically, it is difficult to visualise the universe burning, whereas it is easier to visualise our own body burning. Shiva does not jump from corporal self to the transfinite universe. It should be understood that transition between the two verses (52 and 53) should be gradual. When one is experienced in offering his body to kalagni, he should first begin by visualise burning tiny objects before him and gradually proceed to the ultimate visualisation of burning the universe. Persistent practice makes things happen over a period of time.
Verse 54: Skill 31
Meditate the elements of one’s own body or the universe merge one after another and at the end where there is nothing remaining to merge, Bhairavi is revealed. As already discussed there are three types of upāyās and they have been explained in verse 46. Śāmbhavopāyā pertains to mind (consciousness) and śāktopāyā pertains to gross matter. This verse talks about śāktopāyā as it involves body. This is a process where gross matters merge among themselves that gradually merges into subtle, subtler and subtlest. Brahman is the subtlest of all. This process is known as ‘vyāpāti’. Vyapati means invariable concomitance, an occurrence, or existence together or in connection with one another. Vyapati can be further explained as the knowledge that is derived from the knowledge of an invariable relation between what is perceived and what is derived. We can take fire and smoke as an example. Smoke is the result of fire and when smoke prevails, fire has to prevail. This is called invariable concomitance.
When a gross matter prevails (gross body made up of sensory organs), there has to be subtle elements such as mind, intellect, consciousness and ego (anthakkaranam or internal tools). One has to meditate that his gross form dissolves into subtler (kamakala) form and finally into subtlest (kundalini) form of Shakthi. When this happens, Shakthi is revealed in the form of Para-Shakthi (para means supreme). When Para-Shakthi reveals Herself, She will also reveal Shiva in due course. Only Para-Shakthi can reveal Bhairava or without realising Bhairavi, Bhairava cannot be realised.
This verse talks about different state of consciousness such as, awake, dream, deep sleep, turiya and turyatita. In the lowest level of consciousness, actions are performed. Mergers take place in the middle levels of consciousness and realisation takes place in the highest level of consciousness, where ‘I’ ness ceases to exist and you are lost as an independent entity.
Verse 55: Skill 32
If energy of prana is meditated upon both as gross and subtle at dvādaśāntā and mentally entering into it, he stands liberated. Dvadasanta is a place 12 inches outside a particular place in the body. Mostly this is used in kundalini meditation. Dvadasanta prevails in the upper three chakras (anaht, vishudhi and ajna) and sahasrara. Breathing should be deep and slow with sound. (Breathing with sound makes the kundalini ascend). If one breathes fast, the breathing will be shallow, leading to lesser intake of oxygen and consequent diminished energy level. One has to fix his awareness in any one of the above mentioned dvadasanta points, the points outside the body. In the initial stages of this meditation, one has sit in his normal meditative posture. Whichever posture is convenient to the practitioner that is the best suited posture for him. After sometime, during this meditation, one could lose his consciousness mildly. At that point of time, lie down flat without altering the quality of breathing or modifying the level of consciousness. A stage of drowsiness will engulf the practitioner. This is known as induced sleep stage. From induced sleep stage, he could move his consciousness to next higher level, the dream state. Now he dreams whatever he desires to dream. Though he continues to remain in the stage of awakening, he enters the dream state and beyond up to the final level of turiya.
During the entire process one should not stop making sound of breath. During this process, a conscious mind transforms into unconscious stage. This type of meditation is considered as one of the highest level of meditations. One should choose a place without any disturbance. It is important to note that when one is able to manipulate his level of consciousness to higher frequencies, which invariably happens at the highest level of meditation, one should not be undisturbed. Any sudden sound or touch could be calamitous. It should be remembered that in this meditation, consciousness is fixed in dvadasanta, 12 inches away from gross body. During such types of meditation, even someone enters his aura field it also could cause irreparable damage, as in these stages, one’s aura expands vastly.
Verse 56: Skill 33
One should meditate that the entire universe consisting of three stages, gross, subtle and Supreme dissolve successively into each other till there is nothing left in the mind to dissolve where it dissolves into pure consciousness. Shakthi is known as ‘maha-vidya’, made up of three aspects spiritual truth. Possibly this is the reason for using a triangle for representing Shakthi. The three aspects are nara (man), the gross; Shakthi, the subtle; and Shiva, the Supreme.
According to ‘Para Trishika Vivarana’, the universe comprising of both subjective and objective aspects is the ontogeny of ‘svatantrya’ (freedom) Shakthi. It is also said that Shiva is the sole possessor of Shakthi and the entire phenomenal manifestation is the varied form of His ‘svatantrya Shakthi’ also known as His sovereign autonomy or Para-vak. This sovereign autonomy is made up six forms known as ‘sadadhva’. ‘Sad’ means six and ‘adhava’ means path. ‘Sadadhva’ is again divided into two before getting divided into six. The two major divisions are subjective side and objective side known as vācaka and vācya. She Herself explains thus. “I", the same Para-vak Devi un-separated from Shiva (vācya) and sastra (vācaka) form the world and its referent. This Para-vak becomes Para-Shakthi. Therefore Shakthi is none other than Supreme Divine Consciousness which is not an abstract idea but living, throbbing conscious power or energy, which is known as Para-Shakthi, and constantly pulsating as “I”, or Para-vak, the sound and speech and their meaning. This explanation is provided to emphasise that gross divides into subtle, subtler and subtlest. Only the subtlest can transcend the mind to become purest form of consciousness. A practitioner starts his spiritual path by reciting verses aloud, then he gets initiated into mantra japa and finally he meditates to know the subtler things of life and starts enjoying the bliss. When he continues to dwell in bliss, he realises subtlest Brahman and ultimately merges with Him and thereafter he continues to exist as the Brahman. He loses his individual identity. He merely represents the Brahman.
According to this verse, one should refine his mind by dissolving gross matters into subtle matters. While doing so he, he attains the pure knowledge to realise Shiva. His citta, the individual consciousness transforms into citi, the universal consciousness (Pratyabhijnahrdayam. Sutra 13). He now enters the stage of Samadhi, where he realises Bhairava.