Through Kashmir Shaivism
by Virendra Qazi
philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism occupies a distinguished position among the
various schools of religious creed and thought. It provides the complete
analysis of human personality and delves into the deepest and most comprehensive
psychology of man. In this way, it makes the greatest contribution to furthering
of human understanding.
In fact, this universal
philosophy focuses on relation between God, Nature and Man, which transcends all
the barriers of time, place and diverse human-cultures. It leads to the highest
level of self-realisation revealing the inner most secrets of the nature of
Self. It integrates all the aspects of life, which are taken in totality. Thus,
rather than negation and denial, it celebrates life. Kashmir Shaivism is the
only school of Indian philosophy which can inspire us for both material and
spiritual progress. Besides making valuable contribution to the Indian culture,
it is the highest spiritual philosophy discovered and expressed in the world.
No doubt, Kashmir Shaivism is
presently evoking deep interest in west, with lot of pioneering research work at
leading universities in Europe and the United States. It is a matter of concern
that nothing much is done in the land of its birth, rather land of discovery of
this philosophy. We should ponder over this situation and consider the
importance of this philosophy in this strife-torn world. A thrill of self
confidence, the spirit of bliss, surpassing all barriers of caste, creed and
gender, no look back, no regret, the inner journey, see everything as creation
of God, etc - how prominently and conceptually these are emphasised in Kashmir
Shaivism. It should be our solemn endeavour to present this ancient philosophy
in common man's language so that a resurgence takes place with the goal of
UPLIFTMENT at individual, social, national and world as a whole. We can conclude
without any hesitation that Kashmir Shaivism is the religion of tomorrow.
EVOLUTION OF INDIAN RELIGIOUS
It would be pertinent to look at
the evolution of Indian religious philosophy. We have Carvakas School which is
the basis for lowest type of thinkers in India. Here good health, long life,
prosperity, pleasures, enjoyments, etc. are the only aims of this short lived
life. They believe socio political systems are needed for the achievement of
these aims. There is no heaven, no hell, no piety, no sin, no God no divine law.
Religion, therefore, is not needed at all. This theory is, in fact, the
expression of the truth perceived through senses in its grossest and crudest
Above the Carvaka shool is Mimansaka, which believe in the existence of heaven and hell, admission into
which are the results of ones good and bad actions. Vaisnava school believes
that there is still more superior place named VAIKUNTHA. Above them are NYAYA
and Vaisesika philosophies which believe in soul, time, space, law of karma,
omniscient and omnipotent ISVARA or PARMATAM. The finer exposition of the truth
is in SANKHYA and Yoga philosophies.
JARDUST AND VEDVYAS
If we take a detour and go
outside Bharat Desh, we can observe development of various philosophies and
interaction of many religious creed. In the ancient Iran, King Gastasp invited
an Indian Brahman "Vyas" by name for "Shastrarth" (religious
discourse) with his Raj Guru Jardust. The Parsi holy book "Shoteer",
gives detailed account of this interaction and praises Vyas as a very wise and
learned scholar of the time.
The various religious creeds
strived for universality as is quite evident in Sufism. The revolution was
created by Hazrat Mansoor. He was humiliated, made to ride a donkey through the
streets and finally hanged and his corpse burnt. His fault-Anal Haq (I am truth,
God). However, in deep humiliation be addressed to people "Forget not God
to see my plight, Trust in Him. He is with me like a friend. He gives me a cup
which He took first Himself".
THE ALMIGHTY LORD - FROM WHOM
EMANATES EVERYTHING AND WHO IS BEYOND ALL DIVERSITIES
After the detour let us come
back to our present world. Don't we see a revolution-World has become one
family. We talk of communication, net-working and we have surmounted all
barriers that separate man from main. Similarly, people can choose their own
creed, interact, analyse, approve and go their own way. However, inspite of all
this, we are pained at the violent diversity and discord in the world. We are
still confronted with the issue of caste, creed, language, religion and other
man made barriers.
Coming to the relevance of
Kashmir Shaivism for our times how would we describe our present day world ?
Some call it a great paradox, beyond anybody's comprehension. Perhaps we are
unable to follow this maze ? There are two phases which are quite explicit. The
first one is a deep despair. Indeed, it is a deep despair which confronts us
constantly. No achievement seems to satisfy us. Right from the beginning we
chase the daily minimum needs and spend or waste our entire life in it. Those we
feel are lucky are truly worse. They have more of dis-satisfaction, insecurity,
lust for upward move, prone to scheming and outside attacks.
Now, the second phase. Really !
can this world be all that bad. Daily we can experience the morning Sun, which
blesses us and dispels all darkness. The love of near and dear ones sustain us.
The beauty of nature, ever motivating and ever fascinating, thrills us.
What can we conclude from these
opposite, rather totally diverse explanations. It seems we have no answer ? So
let us take recourse to the wisdom of our ancient seers-our ancient knowledge.
The message is: good and bad are part of the same coin. Everything emanates from
the Almighty Lord, the Param Shiva. And recognition of this creed means
PARAM SHIVA AND HIS UNIVERSAL
Param Shiva is the ultimate
reality who is the nature of Bliss itself and all complete in Himself. He is
beyond description, beyond all manifestation, beyond limitation of form, time
and space. He is eternal, infinite, all pervading, all knowing and all powerful.
In fact, this reality is ineffable and beyond all descriptions.
From Param Shiva let us come to
universal manifestation; let us have a look at this creation of Lord. Kashmir
Shaivism postulates 36 categories of "tattvas" to explain the process
of cosmic evolution. Let us keenly focus our attention to this process of
universal evolution or universal experience, i.e., from God hood to Maya Shakti
which is the veiling or obscuring force of nature leading to psycho - physical
elements and finally the Panch Mahabhutas - five great elements : Earth, Water,
Fire, Air and Ether. Let us look further into this great descent or the process
of in-evolution, i.e. from God-hood to Man-hood.
The first outward manifestation
of the divine creative energy in the process of cosmic evolution is called Shiva
- Tattva. It is the initial creative movement of Paramasiva. Consciousness in
this condition is technically called chit. Further, it is the static aspect of
consciousness or like support of all things in the manifest world. It is like
the bed of a river or the canvas of a painting. It can never be seen, it can
only be known by its effects. In this condition, the emphasis is on the subject
without any awareness of the existence of the object. The Shiva Tattva is the
chit aspect of the universal condition of Sat-Chit-Ananda.
Since the Shiva Tattva
represents the passive aspect of the pure consciousness, it is dependent upon
the active or dynamic aspect to bring it into being. This is called Shakti
Tattva. Shakti is the active or kinetic aspect of consciousness. Just as an
artist pours out his delight in a poem, picture or song, even so the Supreme
pours out his delight in this manifestation called Shakti. Just as Shiva is the
chit aspect of the universal condition of Sat-Chit-Ananda, Shakti is the Ananda
aspect. When Shakti is predominant, supreme bliss is experienced. As
Mahesvarananda puts it beautifully in Maharthamanjari. "He (i.e. Shiva)
Himself full of joy enhanced by the honey of the three corners of his heart, viz
ICCHA, JHANA AND KRIYA, raising up His face to gaze at His own splender is
This Shakti Tattva represents
the force that produces a strain or stress on the surface of the universal
consciousness. It polarizes consciousness into positive and negative, the aham
and idam, the subject and object. As mentioned, Shakti or cosmic energy is said
to have three principal forms to account for the three fundamental psychological
steps that precede every action. Technically the first one is called ICHCHA
SHAKTI, the power of feeling oneself as supremely able and of an obsolutely
irresistible will. Second one is the JNANA SHAKTI, the power of knowledge or
knowing of consciousness which holds all objects in conscious relations with
ourself and also with one another. The KRIYA SHAKTI is the power of supreme
action, creating or assuming any and every form. One follows the other in
logical succession, and with the prominence of each respective form in the
process of the evolution of consciousness, the next three tattvas come into
being. These are respectively called Sadashiv Tattva, Ishvara Tattva and Shuddha
MAYA AND FIVE KANCUKAS
Now let us come to evolution of
material universe. The power of consciousness to separate and divide is called
Maya Shakti. This is the power to perceive differences. The term
"Maya" means illusion. Here it is used to refer to the veiling or
obscuring force of nature which creates a sense of differentiation. As such, it
makes universal consciousness which is unity, appear as duality and
The products of Maya are the
five kancukas or coverings which are KALAA (limitation of authorship or
efficacy) VIDYA (limited knowledge), RAGA (from all satisfaction to feeling of
interest and desire) KAALA (from eternity to limitation in respect of time i.e.
past, present and future) NIYATI (limitation in respect of cause and effect).
PURUSHA AND PRAKRITI
The result of Maya and its five
coverings as referred above are PURUSHA and PRAKRITI. Here the dual world of
mind and matter is permanently established. In order words, although the Lord is
absolutely free, he puts on Maya and her five cloaks, forgets his true nature,
limits His power and reduces Himself to an individual soul which is called
Purusha and its objective manifestation PRAKRITI.
BUDDHI, AHAMKARA AND MANAS
Now, let us come to the tattvas
of mental operation i.e. BUDDHI, AHAMKARA and MANAS. Buddhi is the ascertaining
intelligence which can be external i.e. a jar perceived through eye or internal,
like images built out of the impression left on mind. Ahamkara is the product of
buddhi. It is the I - making principle and the power of self - appropriation.
Manas is the product of ahankara. It co-operates with the senses in building up
perceptions, and by itself, it builds images and concepts.
We are continuing to focus on
the cosmic manifestations. The products of AHAMKARA are five powers of sense
perception or JNANENDRIYAS, five powers of action or KARMENDRIYAS and five
primary elements of perception or TANMANTRAS. The process of inevolution is
complete finally with panch Mahabutas as referred earlier.
Frankly, very important position
is given to Ahankara. In fact, it is the product of SHAKTI through the
intermediate Prakriti which obviously is a mode of the Divine Energy. Rajas
gunas is prominent here and other gunas are in subdued form. One can understand
significance of Ahankara by the story of the Buddha Bhikshu Upasena. As he tried
to over come this tattva by his "sadhana", his body got scattered
because there was no Ahankara up-holding it.
It is Important to understand
that, according to Kashmir Shavism, this analysis of all phenomena into
thirty-six tattavas has been worked out as a tool of understanding for the
ever-active and inquiring mind and as a form for contemplative meditation. At
higher sadhana the number of tattvas may get reduced. Finally a highly advanced
Shiva Yojin may see only the Shiva Tattva in the whole of creation.
DOCTRINE OF THE FOUR STAGES
IN THE MANIFESTATION OF SPEECH
The above description is
an endeavor of movement from individuality to universality. In this context, it
is interesting to mention about four type of speech. Speech is not only the
means to convey one's ideas to others, it is also a way to understand things
personally. When we choose to convey ideas to others, we generally use spoken
language, known as VAIKHARI. A finer form of speech that serves as the medium
for thinking and understanding, through which a person forms definite and
indefinite ideas about words and their meanings, is the mental speech called
MADHYAMA. It is an internal reflection of manifestation of awareness taking the
form of ideas. There is a still finer level of speech, far subtler in character
and resides in the inner-most part of our being. It is called PASYANTI. It is
known as the "be-holding speech" because through its medium
enlightened people can behold all objective existence within themselves. Beyond
this is PARAVAC the supreme speech or the transcendental speech. This consists
of pure awareness of the self. It is also called PARAVANI.
This doctrine can also be
understood by the example of an artist's creation from the grossest to the
finest level. His tangible creation like a painting, etc. can be VAIKHARI and
the images formed mentally, where his creation shines within him in the form of
MADHYAMA. Before even this exists a subtle creative urge like a stir, or
restlessness or inward flutter which is PASYANTI. Finally, at the most subtle
level, the original seed of the artistic creation lies in the innter most center
which is shining as PARAVAC, the Supreme speech.
After discussing the cosmic
manifestation in the form of tattva's and speech, let us come to bondage and
liberation as per Kashmir Shaivism.
From the absolute point of view
there is no bondage, yet when the Lord manifests as limited due to His own free
will, He forgets His own perfection and becomes bound. In other words, bondage
is nothing more than an individual's self - forgetfulness or ignorance of his
own perfection. Even in the state of apparent limitation he remains pure and
perfect although he is unaware of it. For the purpose of divine sport, the
Absolute voluntarily accepts the limitation of self - consciousness, which give
rise to limited desires. Because of these limited desires, the finite self
performs various finite actions and experiences their consequences. Thus, the
chain of karma leads the individual from bondage to bondage.
THREE MALAS (IMPURITIES)
This limitations which
constitutes the essential nature of the finite self is called MALA, which means
impurity or taint. It is a manifestation of divine free will and is of three
kinds. Anava Mala is the primary or innate ignorance of the individual soul. It
reduces the universal consciousness to a limited aspect. Mayiya Mala is the
limited condition brought about by maya. Karma Mala is the limitation in the
power of action. Anava Mala leads to Karma Mala, e.g. good or evil actions. This
leads to Mayiya Mala which brings about the experience of pleasure, pain, birth
and death due to the vasanas or habit energies of good and evil actions. It is
the force of the vasanas that carries the jivas from one life to another.
It is natural that we must
strive from bondage to liberation. Libration according to Kashmir Shavism means
PRATYABHIJNA or recognition of one's true nature which means the original, pure
I - consciousness. This pure I - consciousness is immediate, non-relational
awareness. To be integrated to the divine I is liberation. As Abhinavagupta puts
it "MOKSA OR LIBERATION is nothing else but the awareness of one's true
nature". The highest attainment, however, is that of Shiva Consciousness in
which the entire universe appears as I - consciousness.
SHAKTIPAT AND TRIKA YOGA
We most remember that it is not
simply by intellectual understanding that one gains awareness of true I -
consciousness. There has to be shaktipata - the descent of divine grace.
In order to earn grace, one has
to undergo spiritual discipline. This is known, as upaya or Yoga. Here we would
draw a line between two prevalent systems of Yoga in ancient India and Trika
Yoga of Kashmir. Ancient India had Yoga for monks like Patanjali Yoga and Hatha
Yoga and Yoga for householders which had evolved into various forms. Trika Yoga
on the other hand is free from all stringent restrictions and repressive
discipline. It discourages torturing the body and mind or starving the senses.
Abhinavagupta calling on the authority of his greatest preceptor, Sambhunatha,
clearly states that the senses can only give up their fascination for wordly
enjoyments through a spontaneous indifference arising from the blissful
experiences that Yoga elicts. In other words, once a practitioner has discovered
the inner bliss of the self, all the common sense pleasures will seem inadequate
by comparison and will, therefore, no longer be a temptation. He adds that the
senses are liable to adverse reactions if these are forcibly controlled.
Let us further define Yoga as
per Trika system. As per MALINIVIJAYATANTRA, "The unity of one (a finite
being) with another (Almighty God) is called Yoga by Siva Yogins".
The Yoga or upayas as per
Kashmir Shaivism are divided under four heads having relevant emphasis viz (1)
ANUPAYA (ananda or Bliss) (2) SAMBHAVOPAYA (ICCHA) (3) SAKTOPAYA (JYANA) (4)
ANAVOPAYA (Kriya or action). These upayas or means have been so categorised as
supreme means, medium means or inferior means, depending upon the individual
As already mentioned grace of
God, i.e., Shaktipata is independent of human effort. The Yoga of Patanjali
starts from lowest type and ends with those of the highest type so that
practitioner is led step by step into highest type of samadhi. But
Abhinabvagupta starts in his Tantraloka with the highest type of Yoga and comes
down gradually to lower type of its practices. He is of the view that aspirant
should catch hold of the highest practice and should try it. If, however, he
feels that he is not capable of treading the highest path, he can come down to
the path nearest to it. One may in this way come down to any lower path in
accordance with his psychological capabilities.
FOUR UPAYAS (MEANS)
The first one is Anupaya. It is
immediate through speediest descent of grace. Therefore, Diksha (initiation) has
practically no role. In this path to liberation no active process on the part of
the individual is involved. An aspirant has only to observe that nothing is to
be done. Be as you are: only reside in your being. This is attributed to ANANDA
SAKTI of Siva and is also called ANANDOPAYA. Here we can quote from famous
Shaiva saint of Kashmir - Pandit Krishan Joo Razdan :-
Oh Lord !
With your speediest Grace;
Make me transcend all - Will, Knowledge &
It is also called ICCHOPAYA
because it comes about by a mere orientation of the will. It is designed for
advanced aspirants, who by meditating on the Shiva Tattva, attain the highest
level of awareness. In this path, will predominates. It involves the practice of
maintaining the constant awareness that the universe is nothing but CHITI. Even
this must ultimately he transcended. Thus all mental activities stop and mind
shines without any flutter of ideas. The light of pure consciousness alone
shines in such practice and an aspirant discovers the pure transcendental aspect
of his self in that state. All this happens by means of intuition and not by
means of thinking or understanding capacities, both of which become absorbed in
the pure lusture of consciousness of the self in that state. A certain type of
bodily posture, as described in the sixth chapter of Bhagavadgita, becomes
helpful in the beginning of the practice of this Yoga, but it is not required
The same Yoga and mudra have
also been depicted in the poetry of Kalidasa in the third canto of his KUMARS
If a prerson feels that he is
not capable to succeed in the practice of sambhopaya, he can try SAKTOPAYA which
has its position just below it. It is also called Jnana upaya. Here the primary
concern is to realise the self through knowledge, meditation and contemplation
of ideas such as "SHIVOHAM" (I am Siva). Mental activity plays an
important role in this upaya. A regular practice in mental repetition of the
exactly correct nature of the real self leads to pure and limitless
consciousness in one self. Thus, a person having attained perfection in Sakta
Yoga, attains the Sakta Samavesa of Sivahold and becomes fit for the practice of
We are discussing the practice
of Yoga as per individuals capacities. For those who are not competent to
practice the two higher type of Yoga, there is ANAVOPAYA. Anu means the
psychological self, the mind body complex and this Yoga is useful to those
beings who live in the field of maya. It is also called Kriya Yoga because
mental activity of meditation dominates its practice. Certain objective elements
are taken as the targets of meditation in this Yoga and they are imagined to be
identical with Param Shiva and in this way a practitioner feels his
omnipresence. Some of these objective elements are nearer to one's self and some
are farther and the Anava Yoga is of several categories on this account, like
budhi being nearest to self, then prana, the life force, then deha, the physical
body and still further sthana, the phenomenal universe consisting of time, space
and the elements which have their palce in them.
Dhyana Yoga is the form of anava
yoga which is practiced with contemplative meditation on budhi. The word `dhyana'
means conteplation. There are different forms of dhyana. For example, you are
practicing dhyana when you contemplate on the lotus in your heart, or on the
meaning of some mantra such as "So-HAM".
The word "UCCARA"
means "breathing" uccara actually means concentration on the breath,
the power of life force - Prana, whose functions vary depending on whether we
are awake, asleep, in a transcendental state, and so on. One is supposed to
meditate upon this phenomenan with the understanding that they are nothing other
than one's own inner self. With practice one withdraws one's attention from the
body and the mind, and focuses on the most subtle elements of pure power of
prana/ aprana working in its functions. This technique is quite popular with
Buddhist. They have adopted it extensively. It is considered simple as compared
to other techniques.
The term karna denotes the
physical body, particularly "sense organ" which are to be made the
target of contemplate meditation. Physical postures are to be accompanied by
special form of contemplation which will help students realize the absolute
divinity of their own nature.
It is meditation on entities
outside the person like on some particular place alongwith contemplation of
non-dualistic theism. The two objects used are time and space. This Yoga carries
practitioners out of the limitations of time and washes its impression and they
develop an impression of eternity which becomes one with their essential nature.
The practitioners realize that they are eternal.
Ritual performance of many types
of initiation (DIKSA) are also considered to be aids to Trika Yoga, especially
for an aspirant of lesser ability. That helps him in acquiring greater ability
to practice any type of the above mentioned Yoga. Details regarding that ritual
have been discussed in detail in Tantraloka, the gist of which is given in
VIGYAN BHAIRAV TANTRA
It is a very ancient book on
Yoga. It goes directly to the heart of the problem of the union of human
consciousness with the Divine, avoiding mechanical worship, external rites and
ceremonies. It is a precious gem delineating the mystic approach to the Divine.
For this purpose, it makes full use of all the aspects of human life - prana,
manas, imagination and intuition. It contains 112 types of yoga. There is hardly
any other book on yoga which has described so many ways of approach to central
reality that is present in each man as his essential self.
SPECIAL FEATURES OF SAIVA
It should be noted that Saiva
Yoga is not a practice in suppression of the functions of mind as taught by
Patanjali. It is a practice in uniting the individual with universal by means of
interesting and blissfull practices as taught in Saiva scriptures. In fact, out-wardly
one may perform the age old, traditional or vedic rituals but inwardly he has to
seek the exact truth through some yogic practices taught in Trika System.
Maintaining the semblance of an ordinary house holder he has not to make any
show of the powers aroused through its practice. There is no restriction based
on caste, creed, gender etc. in eligibility for initiation in the Saiva yoga.
Even a lowest caste can become a disciple or even a preceptor if he attains
sufficient success in this practice.
DEVOTION FOR LORD
Finally, rather concluding, the
only condition for saivayoga is devotion and Urge. Devotion is an essential aid
to all the practices. An aspirant not blessed with devotion for the Lord can not
succeed in the practice or Saivayoga. The highest knowledge of the absolute
monism has been termed as the highest devotion.
Here, we can refer to Utpaladeva,
who commands the greatest reverence not only for his philosophic insight or
poetic genius but also for his supreme devotion to the Lord. His SIVASTOTRAVALI
can rightly be called ocean of devotion.
SPECIFIC FEATURES OF KASHMIR
At this stage, let us have
little summing up regarding specific features of Kashmir Shaivism. Indeed, it is
a religio - philosophical system elaborated mostly in the Pratyabhijna Darsana,
which means re-cognition of self. Siva voluntarily adopts self - velling and
becomes a jiva. The problem for the jiva is to recognise his self as Siva. The
Pratyabhijna philosophy first gives a description of ultimate reality, shows how
it descends to the level of the jiva or empirical individcual and how the jiva
can recognise himself as Siva and become liberated.
Comparing to the Vedanta
philosophy of Samkara, it accept the cosmic manifestation in totality. Some
religious thinkers say "Kashmir Shaivism accepts a great challenge".
Cit or Brahman is both prakasha and Vimarsha i.e. light and activity. Maya is
Siva-Mayi: Divine and perfectly real. The universe is not mithya. The universe
is Siva-rupa and therefore real. It is a display of the glory of the Divine.
Kashmir Shaivism adopts a
realistic and utilitarian attitude. It relies on three fold authority of (a) the
divine scriptures, (b) experienced preceptors and (c) One's own intuitiue
self-experiences to which the highest importance has been given. In fact, an
aspirant is allowed to adopt any system of practice in accordance with his
individual psycho - physical aptitudes.
LINGODDHARA - DIKSA
This is a very special feature
of Kashmir Shaivism. As per 17th chapter of TANTRASARA of
Abhinavgupta a man of another religious denomination can, if he so desires, be
initiated in Shaivism after being freed from his former belief. This has also
been explained in detail in 22 and 23 chapter (AHNIKA) of TANTRALOKA.
Now, let us have a clear
delineation regarding the definition of Kashmir Shaivism :
Kashmir Shaivism is a
process of discovery of individual soul as one with the Universal Being through
a process based on :
Correct knowledge of the exact nature of
universal elements. Practice in Trika Yoga. A highly affectionate and devotional attitude
towards the Absolute Reality.
We have discussed in detail the above three basis
of this philosophy, i.e., 36 cosmic manifestations or Tattvas, Trika Yoga or
upyas and the great stress on devotion to Lord.
RELEVANCE OF KASHMIR SHAIVISM
Before summing up relevance of
this philosophy let us have a look at the Indian philosophy in general. It is a
fact that no nation can achieve its desired national aims without the help of a
suitable philosophy. A deep rooted philosophy can urge
and inspire a nation
towards its national aims. The ancient Indian philosophy took comprehensive view
of human life and was practicable in that ancient social set up, served well for
thousands of years and India continued to be a prosperous country flourishing in
religion and philosophy. However, subsequently, impact of many great thinkers
have led us from faith to reasoning, practice to theory, etc. We were taken from
a practical path of all round progress towards an idealistic path of mere
theories and suitable only for few people. The result of this idealistic
approach by rulers and thinkers has been invasion and destruction at the hands
of more practical and powerful foreigners.
Kashmir Shaivism is the only
school of Indian philosophy which can inspire us for both material and spiritual
progress. It can serve as a sound basis for our national aims of establishing a
welfare state. This philosophy is to be presented in the present day style in
the light of the psychology of the youngest generations of our nation. The
message for them is that world should be accepted in totality. No problem of
society, state, nation and individual is to be ignored. A person can not succeed
in any aim of life if he shuts his eyes towards these problems. The whole life
lord Krishna, as depicted in Mahabharata is a glowing example of practical
As a pious house holder, we have
to enjoy tasteful worldly objects within the limits laid down by traditional
social laws and go on practicising Saiva Yoga side by side. Having attained
success in the Yoga and relished the blissful experience of self-awareness, one
losses interest in worldly enjoyments. This leads to self-recognition and
experience of one's practical God head.
Be in world - yet away from it.
As an elder person, we have to set such an example and create an inspiration for
others. Here, it would be very pertinent to narrate an incident of a realised
soul, a house holder. He was an elderly noble soul engrossed in his "Sadhna"
most of the time. During evening people would interact with him, join the
prayer, followed by little "prasad".
A bright young man had an
enlightening experience with him. It started with a doubt. Why this holy man is
interfering with the cosmic process ?. During distribution of "prasad",
the people would narrate their urgent family concerns to which he would reply
"Mother Durga will solve your problem".
One day this young man could
express his doubt as he could find a movement alone with him. The noble person
explained. "Look, my dear son, I am not living in some forest or hillok. I
consider all the people around as my family members. I only direct their
attention to God, the eternal Guide, who can give us the real wisdom to bear
pleasure or pain.
"Perhaps you are not
satisfied", he continued looking at his doubtful countenance. He directed
him to get up and reach for the broom which was at the farthest end of room,
hidden behind the door, "Dear, have a close look at the broom", he
suggested. "I can see circle of threads tied around" the young man
"I have since mastered the
ASHAT SIDDHIS (the eight super-national powers) which are tied with the broom
and kept at the farthest corner of the room", the holy man continued,
"I feel you are a bright deserving young man. You verily require my
blessings. Please ask any help or "aashirvad" and this broom will
grant you". The young man could, thus, realise the `level of attainment' of
this holy man, who knew the real meaning of attachment and detachment.
LALLESHWARI - HER
While expounding the relevance
of Kashmir Shaivism our deepest gratitude goes to Lalleshwari, whose teachings
give a unique opportunity to have insight into this mystic philosophy. She
conveyed its essence in a simple way for benefit of the humanity.
Emanating from the basic Creed
of Kashmir Shaivism she stresses positive acceptance of the material world
rather than the philosophy of escapism. We can rather say that God has made man
in His own image. It is His Own Maya Shakti which makes man to see differently.
Therefore, real joy can be gained as we live in this world and go about our
work. Avoiding suppression and denial like great puritans, we should exercise
moderation in living and turning away from the ambition of wealth, power and
pleasures of senses. This will prepare us for the inward journey to realize God.
We can, indeed, get the
spiritual thrill by reproducing a few mystical outpourings of her heart :-
GRACE OF GOD IS INDEPENDENT
OF HUMAN EFFORT.
Some Thou pushed
towards Bliss Thyself !
Some struggled very hard !
Some got drunk and obsessed :
Some one's Sadhna ended in Vain !
TO REALISE HIM OVERCOME THE
Shiva abides in all
that exists anywhere ;
Do not discriminate between a Hindu and a
If you are wise, recognize your true Self ;
That is the true awareness of God.
DO NOT ESCAPE THE WORLD
Some renounced their
homes, some the hermitages ;
stay as you are and be firm in your mind.
Thereby you will get established in the Self ;
What is the good of smearing ashes.
MODERATION IN LIVING
Overeating will not
permit you reach the goal ;
Willful abstention from food makes you
Eat moderately to be a normal person ;
Moderate eating would surely lead to unbolting
LOOK FOR GOD WITHIN
Looking for the mystic
Moon within me ;
It was--like searching for the like.
I found Narayana (Shiva) permeating everywhere/
Why this sport of diversity, Oh Lord !
Crossing the Six
Forests, came the SHESHIKALA
The Prakrti was sacrificed (burnt out) with the
With the fire of love, I roasted my heart,
Thus SHIVA was realized by me.
I, Lalla, entered
through the garden - gate of my soul ;
There, O Joy ! I found SHIVA united with SHAKTI.
Overwhelmed, I got immersed in Lake of Nector.
Even though alive or dead, what can existence do
unto me !
Let us work for upliftment as
our goal. With our own self - effort we should change and strive for
enlightenment. Let this change permeate from man to family, to state and nation
as a whole. Leading to universal good this will usher in peaceful and conflict