Shakti: My Lord! You have taught me 64 tantras several yugas ago. The universe that you have created billions of years ago is undergoing constant changes. Is there anything you would like to teach me, which is more relevant to the present time period, I mean kālapuruṣa (kālapuruṣa has two meanings – 1. time personified; 2. a servant of Yama, the god in charge of death)
Shiva: You are making a generalized statement of yugas. According to human beings, yuga means time period. As you know, earth is a miniscule of the entire universe created by me. Yuga actually means infinite time, the time that can never be comprehended by anyone. But, people for the sake of easier understanding divided yugas into four divisions – Satya, Tretā, Dvāpara and Kali yugas and these four put together is known as Mahāyuga (great yuga), which comprises of 4,320,000 years. But scientists have proved that the age of the universe is about 13.80 billion years. Even this is only estimation. Truth is incomprehensible and only I know the age of the universe. I have created the universe with an intent that it should evolve continuously and it is happening now and it will continue to evolve. I am happily witnessing and enjoying how people talk and discuss about yugas.
Shakti: Then why people talk about kali yuga as dark age? There is a perception that over a period of time the quality of yugas deteriorates. Is this true?
Shiva: Yes, this is true and unfortunately so. When I created human beings, I gave them the sixth sense, which is meant to look within. Hence sixth sense is called intuition and is related to their evolved mental state, which should be utilised not only for normal activities, but also for looking within. If normal activity is mundane in nature, then looking inwardly is known as spirituality. This is the significant difference between human beings and other beings. I have endowed human mind with an exclusive capacity to create, organise and research and these qualities together are known as intelligence. One can be liberated only if he is able to maintain perfect equilibrium between his mind, intellect and prāṇa (breath).
Shakti: Then what is the difference between mind and intellect?
Shiva: Mind is explained as “saṁkalpa-vikalpātmākaṁ manaḥ संकल्प-विकल्पात्माकं मनः” Saṃkalpa means decision and vikalpa means indecision. Decision and indecision are the nature of the mind, explaining its vacillation. Intellect is known as buddhi. It is said “niścayātmikā buddhiḥ निश्चयात्मिका बुद्धिः” Niścayātmikā refers to the inherent nature of the intellect viz. its form of certainty. The indecisive nature of the mind now looks up to intellect for guidance. If the mind is the disciple, then the intellect is the True Guru. I am not referring to the self proclaimed gurus. I am referring to someone who is accepted as a Guru by the society and people at large. In times of confusion, like the disciple seeking guidance from his spiritual preceptor, mind also takes recourse to the intellect in order to overcome its state of indecisiveness. Intellect is an evolvement of the guṇa-s, though it has more of sattva guṇa (quality). This I will discuss later.
Shakti: Can you please elaborate?
Shiva: I will put this way. Many times, people get into depressive and oppressive moods. Why? They simply use their mind to find a solution. Mind, which is also known as the subtle body is mundane in nature and cannot take independent and correct decision. Mind enjoys the inputs from sensory organs. When the mind is so attached to sensory inputs, how it can function. Mind is not multidimensional in nature. When men throng their minds with multiple inputs, it loses its functionality leading to depression, self pity, anger, frustration, pride, prejudice, etc.
Shakti: You said mind is subtle body. Can you tell me more about this? I will be grateful, if you can explain your act of creation and absorption.
Shiva: You know very well that I am ubiquitous. I am all pervading. Nothing in the universe will move without me. I am the cause of everything that exists in this universe, including you. I am both macrocosm and microcosm. I will explain how a human being is created, sustained, transmigrated and ultimately absorbed. Absorption is liberation, which is different from realizing me, which people call as Self-realization. In the first place, please understand that Self-realization is different from Liberation. Anyone who has the necessary volition to realize me will ultimately realize me, the Self. What are needed are his perseverance, dedication, sincerity and absolute faith in me.
Shakti: Is there any difference between spirituality and devotion?
Shiva: Plenty of differences and these differences are very significant. We are deviating from the subject you wanted to know. However, I will explain the differences in a nutshell. Devotion is Dvaita or duality.
Shakti: Dvaita is duality? How come? Is it not the path of realization?
Shiva: Yes, it is a path to realization, but not the only path. What is Dvaita or duality? There are two objects. One is the worshiper and another is you. What he does while worshiping you? He visualizes you in a form and considers you someone different from him. They know you as māyā; yes, they are right and you are māyā. Where are you in the form of māyā? Where do you function by remaining as māyā? By remaining in his mind, you make his mind afflicted. You make him attached to his senses and his mind gets afflicted with his sensory inputs. Thus, he is not working on his mind to purify it and instead he gets attached to your idols and spends a lot of time by decorating you with flowers, offering you naivedya, etc. During this process, he is seriously concerned about the sequence of rituals rather than thinking about you. He gets angry when something is not done properly. Sitting opposite to your idol, he screams for pūjā materials. Is he devotional? Have you ever tasted anything that is offered to you?
Shakti: Yes, I watch all his activities and surely I am not happy because, he does not think about me. Always I feel sad for these people who identify me in an idol. It pains me a lot. How to overcome my pain?
Shiva: You can’t and it will pain. It is your motherly love for him that makes you to feel the pain. He is acting as per his karma. When the time is ripe, he will transform. At that time he will move away from external worship to your mantra japa.
Shakti: How mantras really work?
Shiva: You know that very well, as all the alphabets originate only from you. Alphabets when arranged properly cause certain vibrations in the subtle body (mind). Such vibrations arise due its friction with prāṇa. Though you are aware of this, I still want to explain how this happens. Inhale fully through yogic breathing (while inhaling expanding abdomen and while exhaling contracting abdomen). Now start reciting OM, by giving more emphasis on M and prolong its pronunciation by closing your lips making nasal sound while exhaling. You will feel the vibrations in your ājñācakra. Similarly every letter has subtle vibrations. These vibrations can be felt only by the mind and mind is seated an inch above ājñācakra (just above the meeting points of eyebrows). Repeat the mantra by keeping your consciousness in that place. After a few rounds of repetition, you will forget the repetition of the mantra, as the mantra gets absorbed by your mind, which in turn works on your consciousness by purifying your consciousness. This is how a mantra should be used. As you know, you can be realized only in his mind and only you can reveal me to him. Otherwise, it is not possible for anyone to reach me directly. Hence you are adored as Śiva-jñāna-pradāyinī (LS 727).
Shakti: You mean to say that every mantra should be recited only like this? But I find many use mālā of beads and count the mantra they recite.
Shiva: Probably they could be in the infantile stage of their spiritual path. Like evolution, one has to evolve spiritually too. They will also change over a period of time, provided they are destined to realize me.
Shakti: You promised me to explain the process of creation and liberation.
Shiva: You are seeking my answers for multiple questions!!
Shakti: It is my inquisitiveness. I will ask you in detail on these topics. By this I am only reminding me the topics that are to be covered. You please consider my preliminaries as a sort of introduction.
Shiva: When a man and a woman unite, sperms are pushed by prāṇa to interact with an egg. Out of several millions sperms produced, only one is able to unite with the egg and the resultant cell is known as zygote, which consists of DNAs of both the parents in equal proportion. This develops into embryo for the first few weeks and later on it is called foetus. The moment zygote is formed the prāṇa which pushed the sperm to unite with the egg forms a protective membrane around zygote. I am the zygote and you are the protective membrane. I am the Soul and you are māyā. This is how we always remain together. Your Vāk devi-s praised you in 999th nāma of Lalitā Sahasranāma as Śiva-śakty-aikya-rūpiṇī.
Shakti: I think I have let you know what I really wanted to know by way of a preamble. Now you have to decide how you are going to explain everything, from a human beings birth to death or transmigration or liberation.
Ø Graphic video on Human conception or fetilization