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Miracle of Witness Conciousness


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Ebook by Atmajyothi Prabhu

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Miracle of Witness Conciousness

  1. 1. Miracle Of Witness Consciousness (Based on Shiva Sutras) By Prabhu Atma Jyothi Publication,No 23, Srisailam, Indian Bank Colony, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Bangalore -9 Email : 1
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  3. 3. Know ThyselfThis book is about you. About your inner Self astaught by Enlightened Master Lord Shiva in theancient treatise called Shiva Sutras. It is aboutknowing your Higher Self which is Light ofawareness and discarding your lower self which isborn out of darkness of ignorance. Who You AreYou are the Eternal Self (Atman), Eternal Witness(Sakshi) – of the drama of life involving the play ofmind and matter.You are the Light of the Self (Atma Jyothi) whichis also the Light of Universe (Brahma Jyothi)knowing which you become the light for the world(Jagat Jyothi) - light of Love, Compassion andWisdom. 3
  4. 4. What you are not You are not the body, nor the mind nor the memory or the intellect.. You are not the doer, nor the enjoyer and not the thinker.The wisdom of what you are not is the essentialmeaning of “Atatwam Asi - Thou Art Not that” Enlightenment and Liberation Freedom from suffering by knowing who you are not, is called Liberation (mukti). Experiencing Eternal Peace (Para Shanti), Eternal Bliss (Ananda) by realizing who you are, is called Enlightenment. 4
  5. 5. Dance and Dancer Can the dance be different from the Dancer?Can the Creation be different from the Creator?Behold the Great Cosmic Dance and the Dancer, The Glory, the Beauty of Divine Dance Of Shiva and Shakti, Of Consciousness and Energy, In living and non living In mountain and valley In Sky, earth and water In fire and wind. In Mind and Matter In Atom and Molecules And Galaxies. 5
  6. 6. Cosmic Dancer –Nataraja on Cover Page The cover page depicts the cosmic dancer Shivain the form of Nataraja. Shiva is the UniversalConsciousness. Shakti – the energy is His Consort.The ancient sculpture of Nataraja represents thedance of the Cosmos. The dance of Nataraja goes onat all levels in the Universe – from galaxies to subatomic particles. He is the creator. He is thecreation. He is the dancer. He is the dance. He is thesubject. He is the object. We are all part of thiseternal Cosmic Dance. This is what Einstein has to say aboutrelationship between us and the Cosmos. “A human being is a part of the whole, called byus Universe, a part limited in time and space. Heexperiences himself, his thoughts and feelings assomething separated from the rest-a kind of opticaldelusion of his consciousness. This delusion is akind of prison, restricting us to our personal desires 6
  7. 7. and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Ourtask must be to free from this prison by wideningour circle of compassion to embrace all livingcreatures and the whole nature in its beauty.” –Albert Einstein. The sculpture represents the wonderful play ofShiva and Shakti– Creation, Sustenance anddestruction of the cosmos and also of participationin the cosmic drama in the form of individual soul„jiva’. It also represents the power of deluding andfreeing of the soul. The various symbols in thesculpture of Nataraja are described belowSarpa – Snake represents the kundalini, the energyresponsible for human evolution. Damaru – The drum in the upper right handrepresents the creation of cosmos in the form ofprimordial cosmic sound Om Agni – The fire in the upper left arm represents thepower of destruction of cosmos. Apasmara – The dwarf being trampled by Shivarepresents ignorance of the earth bound soul - jiva. Prabhamandala – Outer ring of fire represents the 7
  8. 8. subtle and gross principles of cosmos and the innerring represents water. Together the outer and innerrings represent duality inherent in cosmos. Uplifted left leg represents the power of wisdom forliberating the jiva.Left hand pointing to the left legassures the Grace of Shiva for the spiritual aspirant.Lower right hand provides abhaya – fearlessness inthe form of Grace of the Lord. Un-matted hairrepresents the chaotic condition of the universeduring the process of creation.Tandava - The dance performed by Lord Shivarepresents the cosmic dance of creation, sustenanceand destruction. 8
  9. 9. Table of Contents1.0 Who are you? .................................................. 122.0 Inner Self is Shiva! ..........................................473.0 The Bondage ................................................... 554.0 Path to Freedom ............................................. 775.0 Super consciousness ......................................996.0 Flowering of Bliss .........................................1127.0 Contemplations and Meditation ................. 1258.0 Recommended Books ....................................128Annexure I : Spiritual Heart .................................129Annexure II : Macrocosm and Microcosm .........132 9
  10. 10. Dedicated to the Lotus feet of SadguruFirst Edition – 24th May 2007, Kailas Manasa Sarovar.Revised Edition – 17th December 2010 – Gita Jayanthi. 10
  11. 11. Grateful AcknowledgementsTo the existence SupremeTo the Enlightened Masters – Rishis and SadgurusTo the group of spiritual aspirants - SanghaTo all my students - carriers of Light – Atma JyothisTo Guruji Shri Ram BhandarkarTo Shri Sudhindra Tirth MaharajTo the family deities Shri Kathyayini-BaneshwarTo my wife Mamatha,To my daughters Kathyayini and Maithreyi,To my parents Smt Shantha and Shri Devadas PrabhuTo my in-laws Smt Kasturi and Shri K.M.N.Kamath 11
  12. 12. 1.0 Who are you? "Enquire into the nature of yourself. Find out whoyou are and become free.” so said the EnlightenedMaster Ajja when we met him in his residence in asmall village of India. The glow in his face, the joyin his body language and the peace I felt in hispresence had a deep impact on me. I was startled byhis questions. This led me to a search for the answer- journey into my own consciousness. The questionbecame a quest a burning desire to discover myselfwhich led me to many great Spiritual Masters. 12
  13. 13. This book is based on the wisdom andunderstanding I gained during the course of myspiritual journey, described through framework of“Shiva Sutras” one of the most ancient treatise onthe topic of enlightenment and liberation. “ShivaSutra” is a dialogue between Enlightened MasterShiva and his spouse and disciple Shakti on thenature of enlightenment and path to liberation. To understand ourselves, we need to understandour bodies first. We have three bodies according toyoga as shown in the figure below. 13
  14. 14. First one is the gross body consisting of blood,flesh bones and all internal organs. Second one isthe subtle body, operating from the center of ourforehead which controls the physical body throughthe energy system of six chakras. The subtle body iscontrolled by causal body operating from the heartregion. We can explain the operation of these bodieswith the analogy of a car and its driver. 14
  15. 15. Who is the Driver? When we see a vehicle moving on the road, weknow that there is a driver inside who is steering thevehicle. Is it the physical body of the driver which isdriving the vehicle or his mind? It is the mind of thedriver which is controlling the physical body. Thecar and drivers body are visible but the actualdriver – the mind is invisible. This is how the subtledrives the gross. Similarly, the causal body andsubtle body drive the gross body in human beings. Beyond the three bodies, there is the fourth body.The fourth body is the pure awareness – divinity inus. While the gross, subtle causal bodies belong toindividual, fourth body is universal. It is common toall beings. The purpose of self-enquiry is todiscover our essential nature – higher Self – theFourth body. It is called Sakshi – the witness. Our Spiritual Heart Great Spiritual Masters pose one question. “Whoare you?” What is the importance of this question?It is an invitation for us to explore the treasure of 15
  16. 16. Kingdom of Divinity within us. All the majorSacred Books of the world declare this Truth.Lord resides in the Heart of every being – Bhagavad-Gita 18.61 Next question which arises in our mind is aboutthe Heart. What is this Heart and where is it?Obviously it is not the physical heart which is beingspoken of in this proclamation. The ancientlanguage of Sanskrit speaks of the heart as hridaya– center from which our sense of self arises. All ofus feel that we are the body-mind-intellect complex.This is feeling of “small i” or our lower self. Inreality we are not this lower self but the witness –sakshi. The witness in us is our Higher Selfrepresented by “big I”. The feeling of “small i”arises in our spiritual heart called antakarana. Thereal Self, the “big I” is beyond time and space andwitnesses the actions of ego self –“small i”. Thecall is for us to discover the Witness in us.. 16
  17. 17. The representation of our lower self and HigherSelf is shown in the figure in next page. Theessence of the wisdom of Higher self and Lowerself is given in the form of the story “Hiding Placefor God”. Higher Self Bliss, Love, Wisdom Lower self ( suffering) Hiding Place of God Out of creative urge, God created the beautifuluniverse. He populated the universe with plants,animals, and birds. All beings were living happily.Then God created man and woman. That was thebeginning of the trouble for God. Every day, Godstarted receiving complaints from man. This is notok, that is not ok. Winter should be hot and summershould be cool. So on and so forth. The list was 17
  18. 18. endless. God got fed up with this list. He wanted toescape from man. He tried to hide under the sea.Unfortunately for God, man created submarine andcaught hold of Him. Then God tried to escape tomoon. He was peaceful there till the first manlanded on moon. God was worried. Based on theadvice of his councilors, He finally found a safeplace to hide - in the Spiritual Heart of humanbeings. So far God is safe there. People aresearching for God in various places … Temple,church, mountain and sky. We are ignorant of our True Nature. Instead ofexperiencing the Bliss and Peace of our Higher Self,we suffer. We are stuck to our lower self.Fortunately for us, there is a way out of thissuffering. We can choose to drop our identificationwith the lower self to establish in the blissfulconsciousness of our Higher Self. For this,it isnecessary to understand our spiritual heart in greaterdetail before we proceed with our spiritual journey. The spiritual Heart has four components asshown in the figure below. 18
  19. 19. The four components of the Spiritual Heart are –the objective mind (manas), the subjective mind(buddhi), the subconscious (chitta) and the egosense (ahankara). The witness (Sakshi) illuminates all the fourcomponents of the Spiritual Heart. Just like thephysical heart which is responsible for pumping theblood, the Spiritual Heart generates feelings,emotions and thoughts which drive the physicalbody. 19
  20. 20. It is the Spiritual Heart which moves to anotherbody after death. It is here we have to discover theDivinity. In yogic terminology Spiritual Heart iscalled as the inner instrument (antakarana). Thefunctioning of the spiritual Heart is explainedbelow. Functioning of the Spiritual Heart The operation of the spiritual Heart is shown inthe ensuing figure. The inputs from sense organs arereceived by the objective mind (manas). When thesenses become aware of some object, an impressionof the object is created in the objective mind. Theobjective mind queries “what is this object”? Forfurther processing, the inputs pass through thesubconscious mind (chitta) – vast store house ofmemory and egoistic impressions (samskaras). 20
  21. 21. When the match for the object is found inmemory (smriti) associated egoistic impressions(samskaras) arise from the subconscious. For 21
  22. 22. example if chair is the object seen by the senses,chitta identifies the object as “plastic chair orwooden chair”. Egoistic impressions color theperception with “my chair, nice chair ... etc.” Theintellect takes decision based on the inputs fromchitta and directs the organs of action. Due toaccumulated impressions (samskaras), there is senseof ego – (ahankara) in every decision making. Thisego sense is our lower self. Spiritual Practices The purpose various spiritual practices (sadhana)is to reduce egoistic impressions in thesubconscious (chitta) so that intellect becomes free.The freed intellect operates directly under theguidance of the Witness (Sakshi) – our Higher Self.The purpose of practicing the three systems of yoga– Karma yoga, Bhakti yoga or Raja yoga is to purifythe chitta. Purification of chitta leads to serenity ofthe mind. Serene Mind can enquire into true natureof ego self and get freed from the bondage. Thisprocess of self-enquiry is Jnana yoga. 22
  23. 23. It is the process of self-enquiry which shatters theillusion of ego self and establishes us in our HigherSelf. The question “Who am I” is the tool used forself- enquiry. Whenever we ask the question “Whoam I?” we get various answers – “I am body/I amhusband/I am wife/ I am professional … etc.” Allthese answers are nothing but impressions in chitta.To find the rights answer a simple question of thisnature becomes difficult for us due to our blind spot.. Our Blind Spot The question “Who am I?” - appears to be verysimple. Any answer we get for this question – “I amman/woman, I am Indian/German, I am musician”fails to address this question. Every answer seems tobe defining some aspects of me rather than tellingabout me. In this age, when information on every little thingin the universe is at our finger tips, why do we findit is so difficult answer such a simple question? We 23
  24. 24. seem to have no difficulty in understanding verycomplicated subjects be it nuclear physics ormolecular biology. But we are at loss when we tryto understand ourselves. Why? We are good at understanding all things whichare objective in nature. But when it comes tosubjective matters, we are at a loss. We can see verysmall mistakes done by others while ignoring thegrossest blunder of our own relatives or ourselves.We seem to be suffering from a problem of shortsightedness. When it comes to something closer tous, our self-interest pops up. It distorts the vision. Itcreates the confusion. It is our blind spot. Thespiritual blindness is indicated through the characterof Dhritarasthra in the great epic Mahabharat. 24
  25. 25. Story of the Blind King Blind King Dhritarasthra in the epic story ofMahabharata represents the spiritual blindness ofhuman beings. He had one hundred children calledKauravas. He was very much attached to hischildren. He kept on ignoring the blunders done byhis children. Against the advice of the wisest peoplein his court, he ignored even the acts of outrage ofthe modesty of his own daughter-in-law Draupadi.Due to several such acts of injustice, a great battleensues where in all his hundred children get killedby cousins. Symbolically, the Kauravas representour egoistic negative thought patterns andPandavas represent our positive thought patternsand Dhritarasthra represents our spiritualblindness. Like blind king Dhritarastra in the epic story ofMahabharat, who tolerated every misdeed of hischildren due to the parental affection, our judgmenterrs when we look at ourselves. That is the reasonwhy we find the answer for the question “Who amI” so eluding. If we can observe ourselves and ouractions objectively and dispassionately, the answer 25
  26. 26. about the nature of our own self becomes soobvious. Cultivating this ability is calleddevelopment of witness consciousness (Sakshibhava). Witness Consciousness (Sakshi Bhava) Witnessing is the ability to watch. It is the abilityto see things as they are in a non-judgmental way.byperceiving things as they are. At the outset it mayappear to be a very simple task. But it is not. Everyperception of ours is colored by uncontrolled noiseof mental chatter arising out of our chitta. Everyconclusion we derive is corrupted by explicit andimplicit belief system. Mind sees reality based onthe impressions rather than seeing it as it is.Cultivating the witness consciousness frees theintellect from the mental chatter and helps us todevelop the ability of seeing things as they are. Development of witness consciousness is the 26
  27. 27. essence of spiritual life. It is the essence ofmeditation. It is the ultimate results of all the pathsof yoga, be it path of ac action (Karma Yoga) orpath of devotion (Bhakti yoga) or path of wisdom(Jnana Yoga) and royal path (Raja yoga). The lifeled in such a state is full of bliss. Witness consciousness is the ability to be adetached observer in every situation of life. Bondage and Liberation Intellect aligning with lower self “small i” basedon egoistic impressions in Chitta is called bondage.Intellect operating under the influence of thewitness in us – Sakshi is called liberation. One whois established in witness consciousness is called“enlightened”- sthita prajna by Shri Krishna. “ One who is not elated in joyful situation, anddoes not get depressed in sorrowful situations oflife, One whose mind is free from the attractions 27
  28. 28. and repulsions caused by objects of senses and Onewho is free from the afflictions of mind in the formof anger and fear is indeed enlightened “. –Bhagavadgita.2.56 That brings us to the question, how to develop thewitness consciousness and what to observe? Howto cultivate the ability of observing of various layersof our personality in an objective and non-judgmental way to discover the weaknesses andtreasures within us? The cultivation of this abilitynot only helps us elevate spiritually, but also helpsus function efficiently in the worldly matters.Witness consciousness helps us to shed thesuffering in our life and experience the eternal blisswhich is our true nature. Establishment in witnessconsciousness (sakshi bhava) frees us from thesuffering. 28
  29. 29. Pain and Suffering To be free from suffering, we should know thereal nature of suffering. Suffering is different frompain. Pain and pleasure are part of life, part ofexistence. Pain can be physical due to illness orinjury to the body or it can be mental because ofreasons like separation from loved ones or loss ofvaluables etc. While pain can be of temporarynature, suffering can be long lasting. The sufferingin our life is due to the prolongation of painpsychologically. Suffering is the wound in the mindwhich takes long time to heal. For example loss ofmoney can cause momentary mental pain but,brooding over that loss over and over againthroughout the life causes immense suffering. While pain is existential and absolutelyunavoidable, suffering is optional. Suffering is achoice made by the individual. Suffering can bereduced or eliminated by understanding the real 29
  30. 30. nature of suffering. Suffering is the mentalimpressions acquired during interactions in theworld. This is what we call as karma or karmicbondage. With a proper attitude towards life,suffering can be minimized or ever eliminated. Forthat we need to understand the nature of life. Flow of life Duality is nature of life. Nature is full ofcontradictions and opposing forces. Light anddarkness, peaks and valleys, cold and heat, soundand silence are all part of nature. Every happeningin nature is transient. Everything passes away in notime. Nothing is permanent. Darkness of nightfollows sunshine in the morning. Life flowscontinuously like a river. It is the fluidity of lifewhich makes life interesting and challenging.Every moment of life is new. Every moment, a freshresponse or perspective is needed to respond to lifemeaningfully. 30
  31. 31. While nature of life is fluidity, human mind wantsconcreteness and stability. The mind looks for statusquo. While change is the only permanent thing inlife, human mind craves for the stability. There canbe no stability or permanence in life. Very nature oflife is impermanence and change. This kind ofunrealistic expectation by the human mind is thecause of suffering. Root Cause of Suffering In the heart of our heart, we look for stability. Welook for maintaining what we have – status quo.While aging is the nature of body, we crave foryouthful look. While death and disease areinevitable for the one who is born, we would like toget rid of both. This is fighting against natural order.Science and technology may help us in this fight.We may find cure for some diseases or eveneliminate a few. We may find comfort in our air- 31
  32. 32. conditioned room by avoiding hot sun or chillywinds. But there is there is very little we can do tochange the essential nature of life. The essence ofnature remains same – ever changing and transient. All the changes in the external world - cold orheat, sunshine or darkness affect our mental world.Depending on the objects perceived in the externalworld, mental world undergoes changes in the formof attraction, repulsion, fear, anger and love.Favorable situations cause pleasure and unpleasantones cause pain. The mind constantly, hankers forthe sensation of pleasure and avoidance of pain.Nothing in nature or life is permanent while wewant all pleasant experiences to last permanently!This is the root cause of our suffering. We are likethe foolish king who wanted to carpet the wholekingdom! 32
  33. 33. Story of the foolish King There was a king who got injured by a thorn whilewalking in the garden. He got very wild and orderedthat from that day onwards his whole kingdomshould be carpeted. A very expensive propositionindeed! The order was implemented and many areasin the kingdom were carpeted with best of thecarpets imported from Persia. Soon, the kingdomran out of money required to fulfill the grand planof carpeting the kingdom. The king was worried. Hecalled for counseling from his ministers. Oneminister gave a brilliant idea. Instead of carpetingthe whole kingdom, the King should wear a pair ofleather shoes!Witness consciousness provides us this good pair ofshoes of equanimity while walking on the path oflife full of thorns! The ability to live life withequanimity is a great miracle indeed. The Greatest Miracle There are stories of miracles of yogis being able towalk on water. We are wonderstruck hearing thesestories. One such story is given below. 33
  34. 34. Walking on Water A Zen Master and a Yogi were waiting for aboat to cross the river. To impress the Zen Master,the yogi started telling story of his spiritualpractices. How intensely he practiced for 30 years.How he slept on stone, ate leaves and walked oncoal. How he attained the spiritual powers (Siddhis)of walking on the water. Zen Master was not impressed. He took a onerupee coin from his pocket and told the yogi. “Thisone rupee is all that it takes to cross the river. Whatis the point in wasting thirty years of spiritualpractice which can be simply accomplished with acoin of one rupee?” Whenever some feat is accomplished which defieslaws of nature then we call it as miracle. But thereis a greater miracle than walking on water orsending a man to the moon. It is living life in a stateof witness consciousness. Just like walking on waterleaves no foot prints, living in a state of witnessconsciousness leaves no impressions of the ofkarmic reactions in the mind. Without the karmicimpressions, there is no suffering in life here andhereafter. Life lead without such an attitude is like 34
  35. 35. walking on sand or earth. Just like every foot stepleaves prints on sand, similarly, every interaction inlife, every experience in life leaves a deepimpression in the mind. This is the cause ofsuffering. Attaining the Witness Consciousness ispeak of human achievement and can be called thefinal frontier for humans. The Final Frontier“Space... the Final Frontier.” - From the Television Serial Star Trek. I often wonder what the final frontier for the mankind is. Is it the outer space of galaxies and stars oris it the inner space of human mind andconsciousness? As per the ancient wisdom, it is theinner space of mind-consciousness which is veryimportant. Conquering the inner space leads todeepest peace and silence of mind. In India one whohas conquered the inner space of the mind, is calleda great Hero (Mahavira). 35
  36. 36. Being and Becoming Pure awareness is the inner reality and thematter the outer reality. While pure awareness is theformless, matter has a form. In the presence offormless awareness, matter keeps changing theform. Like waves in the ocean, forms arise from theformless, grow and merge back into the formlessessence. Most of the living beings are trapped in form,unaware of the nature of Inner Self – pureawareness and bliss. Getting trapped in form iscalled samsara getting established in inner self iscalled moksha or liberation. Continuous strife whichone undergoes to survive and grow in the domain ofform is the process of evolution. Life exerts intense pressure of survival on allliving beings. Everywhere there is competition forresources like food, water and a constant strugglefor survival. Every living being wants to become 36
  37. 37. better and better to survive in this rats race. Everymoment of life we want to become something betterand better. Better than our nearest competitor forsurvival. This is the process of becoming –evolution at the physical level. Like in the story of Jerry the rat who wanted tochange from being a rat to a cat, cat to a dog, dog toa man, so on and so forth to until he becomes a ratagain, one stuck in rats race for survival, gets fed upof constantly becoming something or someone andstarts looking for ways of just being his own trueself. Story of Jerry the rat There was a rat called Jerry. He was very muchafraid of the cat Tom and keeps praying God forsome help. Hearing his cries for help, a fairyappears before him and asks Jerry what does hewant? Overjoyed by the presence of fairy, Jerryasks for a boon to make him a cat. Lo! With a weaveof wand of fairy, Jerry becomes a cat. Bully, the dog living nearby, sees Jerry the catand starts chasing him. Running for his life, the cat 37
  38. 38. prays to fairy to make him a dog rather than a cat.Immediately, he is transformed into a dog. A man catches hold of Jerry the dog and chainshim. Jerry is very sad now and prays to fairy tomake him a man. His wish is fulfilled immediately. One day, Jerry gets drenched in rain and wishesto become a cloud rather than a man. Lo!, hebecomes a rain cloud. Rain cloud gets stopped by mountain. Now, Jerrywants to become a mountain. He thought he ishappy now. Suddenly he realizes that somebody isdrilling through the mountain. A rat is drilling holein the mountain. Now, Jerry wants to become a ratagain. So on and on the story goes. Human beings are like Jerry the rat. Neversatisfied with anything they get in life. Constantlythey keep chasing different objects in life. Lifebecomes literally a rat‟s race! At that point of time,some people wake up and try to find a way out ofstressful situation. If they are able to turn theirsights inwards through the practice of meditation, anew dimension of consciousness and innerawareness opens up. 38
  39. 39. As against the scientific theory of evolutiondealing with the competition for survival, theprocess of centering oneself in the bliss of innerawareness deals with process of the evolution ofconsciousness. While the theory of evolution dealswith evolution at the physical level, spiritualitydeals with the evolution at the level ofconsciousness. Scientific theory of evolution, explains theevolution of species based on the struggle forsurvival and existence. Stronger and strongerspecies emerge because of this struggle. This is how 39
  40. 40. man has evolved from his ancestor - monkey. Whilethe theory probably explains the evolution of thephysical body of life forms, it fails to address theissue of consciousness. We can see that as thespecies evolve, there is manifestation of higher andhigher degree of consciousness and self-awareness.This is the domain of spirituality - issuepsychological maturity leading to pure Self-awareness – enlightenment. The Enlightened Master Shiva provides a roadmap for evolution of human consciousness. Humanbeings have a great opportunity to evolve spirituallyinto Divine beings or fall down to lower level ofdemonic existence based on their actions. The key to evolution of human consciousness asoutlined in Shiva Sutra can be summarized in onesentence – “Somebody to nobody and nobody toeverybody”. The steps involved in the process aregiven below. 40
  41. 41. From Somebody to Nobody Pure Awareness (Shiva) (I) Energy Individual (i) (Shakti) - (Jiva) soul The figure above shows three entities.Awareness – Shiva, individual-jiva and the energy(Shakti). The Universal Consciousness is calledShiva. The energy of Universal consciousness calledShakti manifest as Existence – creation. Shivaassociates with a physical body in the form of mindto explore the Universe and such an entity is calledjiva - the individual soul. Identifying Self with the 41
  42. 42. body and mind complex, Jiva undergoestremendous existential struggle and evolves. This isthe process of evolution- of becoming somebody. This is the evolution at physical level.Beyond the physical level, there is a spiritualevolution which pushes jiva to higher and higherlevel of Self-awareness. This change is triggeredthrough deep relaxation and meditation. Progressivedetachment from external stimuli of sense inputsand moving towards the center of one‟s ownconsciousness brings about a remarkable change inthe individual. As one touches the source of one‟sown Self – Pure awareness, there is an experience ofdeep peace and tranquility. All aspects of day to dayliving of such an individual are transformed. This is the process of becoming somebody tonobody when the individual mind identifies with itssource of pure awareness. This can only happenwhen the individual sense of separation from theexistence called ego or (ahankara) disappears. 42
  43. 43. Individual ego sense (i) finding its source pureawareness (I) is called Self Realization. This is astate of pure subjective awareness where there is noobjectivity at all. This is the realization of Shiva. From Nobody to Everybody Establishment of mind in pure awarenessgradually opens up the dormant evolutionary energyShakti. At this stage, realization of all life, whole ofcreation as one entity not separate from theUniversal Self dawns. There is realization ofOneness of Shiva and Shakti, of oneness of mindand matter and that of awareness and energy. This isthe process of becoming everybody from beingnobody. The following diagram illustrates thisrealization. 43
  44. 44. This is the dawn of true Universal Love.Everything in the Universe appears as one‟s ownSelf. There is a deep understanding of oneness ofLife at this stage. Experience of one life forceflowing through the entire universe animating livingand non-living brings about tremendous sense oflove and compassion. This is the realization ofpower of Divine in the Universe (Shakti). Path to Higher Consciousness The remaining chapters of this book are based onthe teachings of Lord Shiva in the form of Shiva 44
  45. 45. Sutras. Shiva Sutra is a set of revelations by theUniversal Teacher Lord Shiva - about His Nature.Lord Shiva the Universal Self revealed theteachings to Sage Abhinavagupta of Kashmir whotransmitted it to the rest of the humanity through asuccession of teachers. Lord Shiva pours His Grace on us in the form ofteachings to awaken the Shiva consciousness in allof us. He points to us the fountain of bliss present inthe depth of our consciousness and means to tap thesame. Shiva Sutra is the nectar which frees us fromthe sufferings caused by the dualities of existence. Itis replete with practical techniques for spiritualevolution and gives clear guidelines for thepractitioners. There are two supplementary books to ShivaSutra called Spandakarika and Vijnana BhairavaTantra. Spandakarika provides insights into theNature of Shakti – power of Shiva and the VijnanaBhairava Tantra provides several practices leadingto Self-realization. 45
  46. 46. In the ensuing sections of this book, the path ofSelf-realization called Shambhavopaya and variousstages of realizations which the yogi passes throughduring his spiritual journey are described. An attempt is made to present the essence of ShivaSutra with minimum amount of technical details,Sanskrit terminologies and philosophicaldiscussions in view ease of reading. 46
  47. 47. 2.0 Inner Self is Shiva! Shiva is auspiciousness. Shiva is bliss. Shiva isthe consciousness. More importantly, Shiva is theSelf of one and all. It is said that God sleeps in rocks, dreams inplants, wakes up in animals and becomes aware ofHimself in human beings. Human being is thevehicle for Universal consciousness to the Glory ofthe Self as the creation. Lord Shiva is giving a call for all of us to wake 47
  48. 48. up from the dream of limited concept of self, basedon body-mind-intellect complex to experiencenature of Him in the core of our being. Toexperience Lord Shiva as our inner Self and as theSelf of the whole creation is to the find deepermeaning in life which frees us from the conflictsimposed by the perceived dualities of creation. Pure Awareness is one‟s Self.Pure awareness is the Self of one and all. Pureawareness is Lord Shiva whose nature is existence,consciousness and bliss. Everything and everyone isLord Shiva. There is nothing other than Lord Shiva.Lord Shiva is the inner reality of mind and body andouter reality of cosmos. Blissful nature of LordShiva is the sum and substance of the Universe. 48
  49. 49. Shiva and Shakti Shakti is the energy of Lord Shiva. Lord Shivaand Shakti are one. Shiva is Shakti and Shakti isShiva. They are inseparable like heat in fire orfragrance of flower. She is the Self-awareness ofShiva and also the power of consciousness by whicheverything else is revealed. She expresses in theform of infinite Will, Wisdom and Action of LordShiva. As Universal Mother, she creates, sustainsand destroys the whole Universe. Shiva and Jiva Jiva is the atomic soul manifested from LordShiva. Shiva is jiva and jiva is Shiva. By His ownpower of Will, Lord Shiva takes the form of infinitenumber of atomic souls or javas by restricting Hispower of Will, Wisdom and Action. The essential 49
  50. 50. nature of Lord Shiva existence, consciousness andbliss does not get affected in spite of His expansionas creation. Parama Shiva and Spanda Shakti Parama Shiva is the transcendent form of Shivaunaffected by taking the limited form of jiva. In Histranscend form, He is pure awareness. Shakti – theenergy, in the form of subtlest vibration is theheartbeat of Parama Shiva. Because of pulsation ofSpanda Shakti, whole of the Universe is createdsustained and dissolved. She is also called ParaShakti in this form. Shiva and Universe The creation is nothing but Lord Shiva. Universeconsisting of five elements space, air, fire, andwater and earth element are nothing but forms ofenergy. Energy is of the form Shakti – the 50
  51. 51. expression of Lord Shiva. In other words, thecreation is the creator. Shiva and His Manifestation 51
  52. 52. Mythological Shiva Lord Shiva is an unique combination of oppositesrepresenting dualities of nature. He is an ascetic onone hand and a householder on the other. Hismeditative posture represents the nature ofUniversal consciousness in a state of Self-absorption. Lord Shiva represents the Universal Self– pure “I” in the form of yogi in meditation. 52
  53. 53. Ardharnarishwara – Shiva and Shakti Shakti, the Universal Mother is the power ofconsciousness in the form of Will, Wisdom andAction. Lord Shiva as house holder creates theUniverse with his Shakti. Shiva and Shakti are notdifferent from each other. Ardhanareeshwara halfmale, half female form of Shiva and Shaktirepresents this Truth. This representation is akin to 53
  54. 54. the yin and yang, masculine and femininerepresentation in eastern cultures. 54
  55. 55. 3.0 The Bondage In the following Sutras, Lord Shiva considers thequestion of bondage and freedom. The roots of thebondage lie at the deepest recess of the mind. Deeprooted concepts, ideas, beliefs and habits held in theunconscious and subconscious layers of the mindput limitation on the capability of the individual andcurtail the freedom of thought and action. The 55
  56. 56. conscious mind becomes a slave of the unconscioushabit patterns. Real bondage is unconscious livingin total ignorance of our Divine nature. On the otherhand, freedom is leading a conscious life in fullawareness our own nature.Knowledge is the cause of bondage.The cause of bondage is maya and its associatedprinciples of kala.Limited knowledge is due to power inherent inalphabetsThe cause for all these types of bondages is theMatrika Shakti, power inherent in the alphabets,words, sentences and language 56
  57. 57. In transcendent form, Lord Shiva is omnipresent,omnipotent, and omniscient while jiva, manifestedform of Lord Shiva feels experiences all kinds oflimitations. Due to limited power of will, wisdomand activity, jiva feels constrained and feels a senseof bondage. Three types of bondage felt by jiva areas follows.  Bondage due to knowledge  Bondage due to differentiated perception  Bondage due to fruits of actionBondage due to knowledge (anava mala) Knowledge is the cause of bondage! This is avery startling statement by Lord Shiva. We will beunder the impression that it is the knowledge thatliberates. The knowledge which Lord Shiva speaksof is the knowledge about oneself based on theinteractions with the world! 57
  58. 58. For interaction in the world we take upon severalroles – husband, wife, businessman, boss,subordinate etc. Sooner or later, we forget that theseare the personalities we take up for interacting withthe world and start believing that we are thosepersonalities. It is like an actor forgetting that he isacting out and starts experiencing the pains andperils of the role he is playing. The mask which wewear for our social interaction becomes our identity.We forget our absolute Self and start believing thereality of our relational selves. We become ourmasks! This is the bondage caused by knowledge. 58
  59. 59. Any kind of interaction with the world leavesimpressions, images, and memories in theconsciousness and it is these images which causewrong knowledge and bind the individual. Absolute and Relational Selves Knowledge derived from sense input causes theforgetting one‟s own nature and identifying wronglywith the body, mind and intellect, the jiva feelssense of inadequacy. This feeling of inadequacy felt 59
  60. 60. by jiva due to imperfect knowledge is calledanavamala. The inadequacy in turn leads to desiresfor regaining fullness. Desires lead to actions whichin result in impressions in consciousness calledsamskaras. The impressions become. This pushesthe soul into bondage due to karma. Bondage due to maya (mayiya mala) Maya is the power of differentiated perceptionwhich causes the differences to appear where thereis none. Due to maya one appears as many. Unitaryexperience gets differentiated into multiplicity. At the level of Universal consciousness, ability ofdifferentiated perception is the creative act offreedom while at the individual level the sameability becomes the bondage. The power ofperception is called Maha maya at the level ofUniversal consciousness and maya for theindividual soul. 60
  61. 61. Maha maya is the creative power of Lord Shiva.Lord Shiva uses power of maya to manifest universeout of Him and assume the role of individual soul(jiva) to explore the universe thus created. Creationor existence has four fold manifestations.  Supra causal plane   Causal plane  Subtle plane  Gross plane. In supra causal plane, Lord Shiva with hisShakti visualizes the universe to be created in hisconsciousness. In this plane, the idea of creationemerges in the Universal consciousness. In causalplane, duality emerges due to play of maya. Of Hisown Freewill, limitations arise in consciousness ofLord Shiva for the purpose of creation. Power ofmaya creates the perception of differentiation withthe help of following associated principles andbrings about the limitations in Self. 61
  62. 62.  Principle of Kala - Concept of past present and future appear creating sense of limitation due to time. Principle of Vidya - Limitation in knowledge appears causing forgetfulness of own nature. Principle of Raga - Sense of inadequacy appears causing desires for fulfillment.  Principle of Kalaa - Concept of differentiation creates a sense of self and nonself.  Principle of Niyati - Concept of space creates a sense of spatial limitation. 62
  63. 63. Due to power of maya, bound soul which iscalled purusha and matter called as prakriti arecreated in the causal plane. Subtle bodies and subtlesensations are created in subtle plane. Gross bodiesand physical world of five elements of space, air,fire, water and earth is created in the gross plane. 63
  64. 64. Individual soul jiva enjoys the causal, subtle andgross plane of existence with the help of fivelayered body. The physical body (gross body -5) isused by jiva for enjoying the physical worldthrough the center of eyes in the waking state. Subtle body consisting of layers 4, 3, and 2respectively representing intellectual, mental and 64
  65. 65. vital (pranic) sheaths operates with the eyes ascenter and the gross body as vehicle in the wakingstate. In the dreaming state, subtle body enjoys thesubtle objects of dream world within the throatregion. The causal body called sheath of blissshown in layer 1 is the repository of all theunconscious impressions. The individual soulenjoys deep bliss in the dreamless sleep state whileresting in causal body. Beyond these three states of waking, dreamingand deep sleep, there is a supracausal state (turiya)experienced at the crown center. The bliss oftranscendental state of turiya can be enjoyed in atrance state (samadhi). At the individual level, maya is the binding forceof perception. Perception is the reality forindividual. Perception is based on the input fromsenses and inference derived from those inputs. 65
  66. 66. Inference is influenced by deep rooted subconsciousor unconscious belief systems which give a shape toreality. Thus maya is the power inherent in beliefsystems which alters the sense of reality based onperceptions. Altered sense of reality caused byperceptions becomes the bondage for the individual. Thus Lord Shiva the Universal Self uses thepower of maya to bind himself into a five layeredbody enjoying three states of consciousness ofwaking, dreaming and deep sleep and totallyforgetting the nature of Self which can be enjoyedin the supra causal state of consciousness. 66
  67. 67. Kali the Power of maya The binding power of maya is beautifullyrepresented in the mythological description. MotherMaha Kali represents the power of time in the formof veiling power of maya. For the purpose ofcreation, Lord Shiva of his own accord submits tothe power of maya Shakti. The mythological pictureof Mother Kali trampling Lord Shiva is therepresentation of Lord Shiva subjecting himself tothe power of time even though He is beyond time. Dark blue color of Mother represents the color of 67
  68. 68. infinity– the eternity of time. Garland of heads onher neck represents, the fifty two alphabets ofSanskrit representing the matrika Shakti powerresponsible for creation and bondage at the sametime cut heads represent the destruction. Her protruding blood smeared tongue is suckingout the blood of the demon called Raktabijasura. Itis said that for every drop of blood shed from thebody, Raktabijasura creates millions of copies ofdemons like him. Raktabijasura is nothing but evilthoughts and tendencies in us. Given half a chance,these tendencies multiply rapidly. Every thought and action in life sooner or laterbrings the results due to law of karma. Thus timeand karma are the great teachers. Mother Kali asprinciple of time is gracefully sucking the eviltendencies in us. She is happily wearing the apronof human hands. Hands indicate the action – karma.All the selfless action becomes an offering tomother in the form of dress. 68
  69. 69. Bondage due to Karma (karma mala) Every action leaves a subtle impression in theform of habit patterns in sub-consciousness of theindividual. These habit patterns called samskaraskeep compelling the individual to repeat similaractions over and again. Unfortunately for theindividual, same result is not guaranteed every time.Some times the results are favorable with pleasantexperiences and often they are unfavorable withunpleasant experiences. Constantly, there is a craving in the mind of theindividual to repeat the actions which bring moreand more favorable results and avoid those resultingin unfavorable results. These subconscious desiresfor experiencing the desired results again and againfrom the tendencies called vasanas. Like the futility of pouring ghee into fire forextinguishing it, attempt to fulfill each and every 69
  70. 70. desires rising in the consciousness leads one tonowhere. Every time a desire is fulfilled, craving formore of that gets created in the subconscious mind. The conditioned habit patterns of the mind(samskaras) and compelling nature of desires(vasanas) tie the individual into bondage due toaction – karma. This is called karmamala orimpurity due to karma. There is no way to clear theinnumerable subconscious impressions in thenormal course of ones life time. To fulfill thedesires, conditioned habit patterns, the individualsoul has incarnate many times. Every incarnationcreates more karmic impressions and this cycle goeson and on forever. The individual soul gets trappedinto a never ending cycle of bondage due to karma.The following figure illustrates various types ofkarma with an analogy to the arrows of the archer. 70
  71. 71. Matrika Shakti – The Cause for Bondage Matrika Shakti – the power inherent in thealphabets of the language is the cause for the threetypes of bondage described above. Universe is ofthe form of name and form (nama and rupa). Whilename belongs to the domain of mind, form belongsto the domain of matter. Name is the subjectiveaspect and form is the objective aspect. 71
  72. 72. All our experience of the inner world has comeout of sentences, sentence from words, words fromalphabets and alphabets from the deep levels ofunconscious mind. The transcendental vibration ofthe Universal Consciousness is the source of energyfor the whole structure of language starting from thealphabets. Language creates the inner world ofemotions, images and feelings. Language is the mechanism by which entiresubjective world and objective world is reflected inthe consciousness like images in the mirror. Without words, there is no thinking possibleand no communication possible. In other words,words give form to thoughts. Words create imagesand feelings in the mind causing the subtle formthought to manifest in the grosser form. Forexample, the moment someone thinks of the word“cow”, an image of cow gets formed in the mind.Similarly if someone else says the word “fool”,immediately feelings of anger arises in the mind.Thus the word creates inner world of feelings andimages. 72
  73. 73. At the pure awareness level, the sound and itsmeaning are inseparable. This is the transcendent(para) form of speech operating from UniversalConsciousness. As the vibrations of speech rise tothe heart center, subtle feelings related to meaningarise in the heart. This is the subtlest form of speechand is called pashynti. When the vibrations rise to the throat center, words 73
  74. 74. and images are formed. This is subtler form ofspeech and is called madhyami. Finally, grossest form of speech is expressedthrough mouth. This is called vykhari. At thegrossest level of speech, the sound and its meaningseparate out totally. Thus the words, sentences and language create theinner world of individual in the form of images,feelings. By identifying with these images, the jivagets enmeshed in false knowledge about the self. Reflecting on the role of words in creating theself-image and not identifying with the imagescreated leads to freedom. Freedom from the falseconcept of self-created by Matrika is achievedthrough this reflection. Power of Mantra Matrika Shakti is responsible for bondage on onehand and liberation on the other hand. Matrika 74
  75. 75. Shakti in the form of mantra acts as an aid in Self-discovery. Mantra is a word or syllable which isrelated to higher reality. Mantra is the representation of God in the formof sound.By repetition of the mantra gradually theperson starts experiencing the power inherent in thedeity of the mantra. Mantra thus becomes theliberator from bondage. Mantra has greater andhigher potency when the spiritual Master initiatesthe seeker. It is said that the power of recitation ofmantra made Panini - an idiot, into a greatgrammarian. Story of Panini – The Grammarian It is said that Panini the great grammarian ofSanskrit language was an idiot as child. His parentsgot fed up of him and disowned him. He was verydepressed because of this and wanted to commitsuicide by jumping into the river. There he watchedsome of the village woman washing the clothes.Years of washing clothes on the stone had createddepressions in the stone. Suddenly there was a flashof an idea for Panini. “If a depression can becreated even in stone while washing the clothes whycan’t my mind be changed by repeated exposure to 75
  76. 76. an idea?” He suddenly remembered the mantra “OmNamaha Shivaya” given to him by his Guru andstarted chanting the same. Slowly, all the impuritiesof his mind melted away and wisdom dawned onhim due to the vibrations of the mantra. He went onto become the greatest grammarian of Sanskritlanguage 76
  77. 77. 4.0 Path to Freedom Intellectually understanding the nature ofbondage and that of freedom does not solve theproblem of existence. Real freedom comes onlywith the help of experiential knowledge borne out oftrue wisdom. The path to freedom expounded byLord Shiva falls into three categories listed below.  Techniques based on will. (Shambhavopaya) – For the most advanced yogi.  77
  78. 78.  Techniques based on wisdom. (Shaktopaya) – For the advanced yogi.   Techniques based on action. (Anupaya) – For the beginner on the path of Self- realization.   Naturally, like any teacher who would like toaddress the most brilliant student first, Lord Shivagives out the technique of Shambhavopaya for themost advanced yogi in the ensuing sutras.Upsurge in consciousness is Bhairava Himself. Contemplation on wheel of Energies brings aboutend of differentiated universe. Grace of Sadguru 78
  79. 79. Shambhavopaya is in essence the path of Grace.Just like a rocket to escape the gravitational fieldrequires lot of fuel, but glides smoothly afterescaping the gravitational field, a yogi has to evolvethrough intense effort in the earlier stages. Hegraduates through techniques of Anupama andShaktopaya before he becomes eligible for theGrace of the Sadguru. It is a path of effortlessness. All that the yogi hasto do is to remain in thoughtless awareness with anattitude of total surrender for the Grace to descendin the form highest intuition – Bhairava leading toenlightenment. Thoughtless Awareness For the enlightenment or final liberation to occur,the yogi has to remain in a state of thoughtlessness.Mind is always in a state of constant flux.Subconscious impressions, images, feelings and 79
  80. 80. emotions clutter the mind. The nature of mind isalways to brood on the past or future. Past guilt,failures, fear and hope of future continuously hauntthe mind. Unless these chattering are silenced, thereis no possibility of opening to full intuition. Mindlike a sand hour glass continuously pours out frompast to future and does not stay even once briefly inthe present moment. When the mind is alert and stays totally in thepresent moment, getting dragged neither by thethoughts of past nor by the visions of future,thoughtless awareness develops. Staying in a stateof thoughtless awareness is the key toenlightenment or liberation. In a state of 80
  81. 81. thoughtless awareness, all the junk informationstuffed in the mind gets emptied out and a freespace is created for deep intuitive understanding ofUniversal Truths coming from the inner Self.Following figure shows the gateway to Higher Selfby means of present moment awareness. The termpresent moment awareness and thoughtlessawareness mean same thing since when mindfocuses totally on the present moment, all thoughtsdisappear. 81
  82. 82. EnlightenmentThe process of unfolding of enlightenment involvesfreedom from following bondages. Freedom from the bondage of Karma (Karma mala) The individual self identifies itself as the actor andenjoyer of fruits of action (karma) and getsentrapped in the cycle of karma. Realizing that theindividual self is the non doer while the real doer isthe energy of Lord Shiva, frees the self from thebondage of karma. 82
  83. 83. Freedom from the ignorance (Anavamala) Realizing the identity of individual self with theSupreme Self – Lord Shiva is liberation. It is therecognition that the inner feeling of “I” in oneself tobe same as that of Universal Self. This recognitionleads to a state of total freedom and bliss. Freedom Maya(mayiya mala) Realization of powers of Self in termsomnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience isfreedom from the limitations imposed by maya. Theliberated soul feels that pure awareness is theground of entire manifest and un- manifest world.He realizes that there is only one experiencer for allthe beings of the universe - Lord Shiva who is theinner self of all beings. Further, consciousness beingthe source and substratum of all the objectivephenomena, the objects are no different from one 83
  84. 84. another. This experiences oneness of the wholecreation fills him with bliss. Self-Effort and Grace Self-effort and grace are like two wings of a bird.Even though it is Lord Shiva who has taken theform of jiva, liberation is not automatic. Individualeffort has to be put in terms of getting rid of thelimitations. Following are some of the practiceswhich are helpful. Austerities like fasting for freeing the deep rooted habit patterns of the mind. Study of scriptures for removing the ignorance and freeing the intellect.  Selfless service to the needy and offering the fruits of physical, mental, verbal action to Lord Shiva for freedom from the bondage of karma.  Meditation for purification of subconscious mind and developing self-awareness. Surrender to Divine, Spiritual Master.  84
  85. 85.  Due to the spiritual practices, individual opens up for the Grace. Bestowing Grace is last of the fivefold acts of Lord Shiva – creation, sustenance, dissolution, bondage and liberation. Without the Grace there is no possibility of liberation or enlightenment. Any amount of self- effort won‟t be sufficient. It is said that the flow of Grace of Lord Shiva isunconditional and acasual. It is the Grace whichawakens the desire for liberation in jiva. It is the 85
  86. 86. Grace which shows him the path. It is the Gracewhich liberates. But individual has to preparehimself to receive grace. He has to make himselfempty vessel to receive the Grace through all thepractices. It is like saying there is abundant water insea. But what you can bring home from sea isdependent on your vessel you carry. One who takesa cup gets a cup of water from sea. One who takes abucket will get one bucketful. Grace is somethingsimilar. If one desires more grace, he has to preparehimself fully through spiritual practices. Enlightened Master The Enlightened Master (Sadguru) is therepresentation of Lord Shiva on earth. One who hasrealized total identification with the Lord Shiva theinner Self of all and one who sees the entire worldas manifestation of Lord Shiva is Sadguru. It is theGrace only which brings one closer to Sadguru. The 86
  87. 87. Grace of the Enlightened Master flows in the formof Shakti. The flow of Shakti from the Master toDisciple is called Shaktipat. A mere look, touch oreven few words can awaken the inner Shakti in theyogi depending on his ability to receive. It is theShaktipat which opens up deeper wisdom in a yogiwho has achieved a state of thoughtless awareness. For the full liberation, energy of the highestorder has to descend on the yogi destroying the lasttraces of ignorance. This energy of liberation iscalled Shaktipat. The role of the Sadguru is to helpthe disciple recognize his inner Guru – Atma Guru. Oneness with Lord Shiva The practice of thoughtless awareness leads one tothe state of Lord Shiva. When the energy of LordShiva descends in the form of Shaktipat on the yogiin a state of thoughtlessness, deeper inner wisdomopens up. This is not the knowledge gained through 87
  88. 88. senses. The soul feels the upsurge in consciousnesscalled Bhairav leading him to the highest wisdomand enlightenment. The embodied soul experiencesthe deepest bliss and delights in the experience ofoneness with the inner Self – Lord Shiva. Grace inthe form of Shaktipat only can liberate the bondedsoul. Developing Witness Consciousness State of thoughtless awareness can be developedby practicing the technique of witnessconsciousness. Whether one is sitting idle orengaged in some activity, mind is always busy.Subconscious impressions in the form of thoughts,ideas, and images rise to the level of conscious mindcontinuously. Inputs keep coming from senseorgans leading rise and fall of sensations andperceptions. Images, thoughts, ideas, emotions andperceptions keep appearing and disappearing inconsciousness. These are caused by various energymovements. These movements cause pleasant orunpleasant experiences. Fortunately for us, every 88
  89. 89. movement in consciousness whether pleasant orunpleasant passes away. Nothing is permanent. Butthe psychological scars left by all these movementslasts for long unless we are careful. All the trialsand tribulations of life, joys and sorrows make deepimpact on the subconscious mind. Unless one isable face to all the ups and downs of life withperfect equanimity, life becomes miserable. Witness Consciousness One can overcome the effects of these energymovements by developing witness consciousness.At the center of all these ceaseless activities beingdone by Shakti, the center Lord Shiva in the form of“I” consciousness remains unperturbed. All theShaktis rise from the center “I” and merge back into“I”. By centering one‟s awareness on absolute Self“I” and watching the energy movements from thatcenter one can become free from the psychologicalimpressions created by the ups and downs in life. 89
  90. 90. One should watch these energy movements in totalequanimity. Soon, he will fall into a state of deeptranquility of Self. With a firm understanding thatall the energy movements are transient, one shouldnot identify with any image or thought .This is thepath to freedom. Witness - The Divine in Human Development of the center of witnessconsciousness (sakshi bhava) itself is the way tomerge with Lord Shiva. As the center of witnessconsciousness develops, one develops detachmentto the fullest degree and bliss of Self starts flowing.Witness consciousness breaks the action-reactioncycle created by the karmic bondage. 90
  91. 91. This is what Mata Amritanandamayi says aboutwitness consciousness.Witnessing is a state in which you remain constantlydetached and untouched, simply watchingeverything that happens, without the interference ofthe mind and its thoughts. To become a witness is toreally wake up and become conscious of everythingthat happens, both within and without. But inreality, there is no within or without. In that state ofsupreme witnessing, you become the center ofeverything, just watching all the changes that occur.The changes never affect you because now you havebecome the center, the very life force of everything. - Mata Amritanandamayi 91
  92. 92. Wheel of Energies (Shakti Chakra) Creation, sustenance, dissolution, bondage andliberation are the fivefold acts of Lord Shiva. Theseacts of Lord Shiva are carried out by Shakti theenergy of Lord Shiva. Pure awareness, thetranscendental form of Lord Shiva is calledParameshwara and his energy is called spandawhich means vibration. Spanda is the movement inpure awareness for creation. She represents theabsolute freedom of the associated bliss. TheSpanda Shakti opertates in two poles of Self (Aham)and the creation (idam). She keeps swinging,pulsating between these two poles like a pendulumas shown in the figure below. 92
  93. 93. It is the pulsation of Spanda Shakti which creates,sustains and dissolves the Universe. This process iscalled unmesha and nimesha as shown in the figurebelow When the expansion in the form of Universetakes place, the Self nature and bliss is forgotten.With the dissolution of the Universe, the Self-awareness and bliss increases. 93
  94. 94. Spanda Shakti manifests as twelve different kindsof energies for creation, sustenance, dissolution,bondage and liberation. It is the Shakti whomanifests as matrika. These twelve Shaktis cause adifferentiated perception of observer, observed andthe process of observation in pure consciousnessand cause either bondage or liberation of theindividual based on the evolution of the soul.Process of observation is related to five senses – 94
  95. 95. eyes, ears, tongue, skin and nose and correspondingsensation. These energies continuously create ideas,thoughts, images, perception, feelings and emotionin individual. It is the spanda Shakti who manifests as heartbeat,blood circulation and various kinds of emotions,feelings and thoughts in individual. These energiesoperate through subtle energy channels called nadisand six major vortexes (chakras) of energy situatedin various parts of the spinal cord and nervoussystem as shown in figure below. 95
  96. 96. The energies operating through the nervous systemand chakras are responsible for various states ofconsciousness in human body. Awareness and contemplation on Shakti Chakra,the play of Shakti in one‟s own consciousness leadsto liberation. Establishing one‟s own awareness in astate of witness consciousness and being aware ofplay of twelve energies of Shakti chakra is the pathto liberation. Energy is consciousness in motion. Allmanifestations of energy including breath,heartbeat, perceptions, thoughts, ideas, andemotions can be traced back to the Self. If one closely observes the gap between twothoughts or in breath and out breath, the nature ofSelf is revealed as shown in figure below. Oneshould be aware and alert about the gap created bythe energy movement creating thought/breath toestablish fully in the Self. 96
  97. 97. Mother of the Universe Consciousness is the sole reality of Universe.The energy of consciousness Para Shakti in theform Will, Wisdom and Action creates, sustains anddissolves the Universe. Verily, Parashakti is theMother of Universe. It is Parashakti only who takeson various forms of Laxmi, Durga and Saraswati toact out the play of consciousness. They representthe various energies of Shakti Chakra. 97
  98. 98. 98
  99. 99. 5.0 Super consciousness We are all aware of three states of consciousnessnamely waking, dreaming and deep sleep. Turiya isthe state beyond these three states. Turiya is thebackground for all the three states. It is the state ofsuper consciousness. One who enters Turiya 99
  100. 100. experiences the eternal bliss of Self. In the ensuingsutras, Shiva explains the characteristics of each ofthese states.Bliss of fourth state of consciousness – Turiya isenjoyed (by realized soul) in waking, dreaming anddeep sleep state. All knowledge obtained by the mind by coming incontact with external world during waking state. Dream state is characterized by knowledge whenmind is not in contact with external world. Deep sleep is a state of unawareness of both theinternal and external world. 100
  101. 101. One who has assimilated all the three states ofconsciousness in the super conscious state is theCourageous One. States of Consciousness Waking, dreaming and deep sleep are normalstates of consciousness. These are called jagrat,swapn and sushupti respectively. All these statesarise and merge back into super consciousawareness called Turiya. Super consciousness is nota different state at all but the background for allthese states. The relationship between superconscious state and the other three states is like therelationship between ocean and the waves or skyand the clouds. Waves rise and fall in the ocean butocean is ever unchanging. Waves have the samequality as that of the ocean. Similarly, clouds appearand disappear in the sky. But sky itself neverundergoes changes. 101
  102. 102. The states of waking, dreaming and deep sleepare very different. It appears as though the personwho is in waking is different from the one who isgoing through dreaming or deep sleep. But becauseof the substratum of super conscious state, in spiteof the different experiences in different states ofconsciousness, the experiencer appears to remainsame. There is a beautiful story about Zen master whoquestions the reality of dreaming and waking stateof consciousness. Story of Dream of a butterfly A Zen Master woke up in the morning and startedcrying loudly. His disciples were perplexed. Theygathered round the bed and asked him “Sir, What isthe matter? Did you have any bad dream?” SobbingMaster told – “Yes! Yes! I had a very bad dream. Idreamt that I was a butterfly “. Students feltrelieved. They tried to console the master by saying- “Oh! That’s all. Now that you have woken up fromthat bad dream, you can be happy.” Master started 102
  103. 103. crying more loudly. He said “What to do? I don’tknow whether I am a Zen master who dreamt of abutterfly or butterfly dreaming that it is a ZenMaster. Which one is true? ” . Waking State In waking state of consciousness, the awarenessflows through the sense organs and focuses on theexternal word. Because of this reason, it is said thatwaking state consciousness is centered on eyes.Consciousness gets differentiated into subject jivaand object jagat. The subject is the one whoidentifies with body-mind complex and experiencesthe world as separate from the self. Even though theworld and subject are made up of same basicingredient - pure awareness, due to the effect ofdifferentiation, there is arousal of feeling ofseparation from the world. The unitary experienceof pure awareness gets differentiated into theperception, perceiver, and perceived. This leads tothe feeling of “i-ness”, “my-ness” separate 103
  104. 104. from the world. This apparent feeling of separationcauses the fear to rise. Through the sense organs of eyes, ears, mouth,skin and nose and also organs of action like mouth,hands, legs, sex and excretory organs, the individualself starts interacting with the world. The differentiated perception, play of maya isstrongest in this state of consciousness. Wakingstate is interspersed with other states ofconsciousness as shown in figure below. They arecalled waking-waking, waking-dreaming, waking-deep sleep, and waking-super conscious states. The degree of bliss felt in each of these states isrelated to the degree of Self-awareness. Leastamount of bliss is felt in state 1 and highest bliss isfelt in state 4. Since the operation of the maya is atits peak in waking state yogis call waking state asdeep slumber! 104
  105. 105. Dreaming State In dreaming state the consciousness starts inwardmovement. It is said that in dreaming state, theconsciousness is centered on the space in throatregion. The happenings in the waking state leaveimpressions on the subconscious. All the happiness,unhappiness, victories, losses, tensions and traumasof waking state leave impressions called samskarasin the subconscious mind. The individual mindprojects a dream world in which he starts enjoying 105
  106. 106. the subtle impressions. He starts fulfilling hiswaking time unfulfilled desires through the dreams.In dream state, the sense of ego is weakenedcompared to waking state. However, thoughtspatterns are strong in the dreaming state. Dreamstate is interspersed with other states ofconsciousness as dreaming-waking, dreaming-dreaming, dreaming-deep sleep and dreaming-superconscious as shown in the figure below. 106
  107. 107. For a yogi, dreaming state of consciousness is ahigher level awakening compared to waking state ofconsciousness. This is due to the fact thatconsciousness is in a state of inward movement. TheSeer of Mandukya Upanishad calls the inner state ofconsciousness in dream state as taijas – lightbecause it illuminates the inner world of thought,emotion, memories and ideas. According to Seer ofUpanishad, there is a higher degree of light orawareness in dreaming state compared to wakingstate. Deep Sleep State Deep sleep state is the state of total rest. Wakingstate and dreaming states cause unrest for theindividual self because of extroverted anddifferentiated nature of consciousness. Surprisingly,yogis consider deep sleep state as higher level ofawakened state compared to both waking anddreaming state. Upanishads call the individual self 107
  108. 108. in deep sleep state as prajna indicating a higherstate of wisdom in deep sleep state compared towaking and dreaming state. Since subjectiveawareness dominates in deep sleep state, individualself is very close to Universal Consciousness in thisstate. Again, yogis classify four sub-states for deepsleep namely, deep sleep-waking, deep sleep-dreaming, deep sleep–deep sleep and deep sleep-superconscious as shown in the figure below. 108
  109. 109. Super Consciousness Super consciousness is not another state likewaking, dreaming and deep sleep. It is called Turiyawhich means beyond three states of waking,dreaming and deep sleep. It is a background for allthe three states of consciousness being in state ofawareness and total bliss. This state is characterizedby complete absence of any thoughts ideas orvisions. Super conscious-waking, super conscious-dreaming, super conscious-deep sleep and beyondthe super consciousness are some of the phaseswhich can be recognized before one really gets fullyestablished in the super conscious awareness. Thesephases are shown in the figure below. 109
  110. 110. Beyond Super consciousness Super conscious state is the background state forall the three states of waking, dreaming and deepsleep. Super consciousness being the backgroundstate of every movement in consciousness be itthought, emotion, breathing, perception or idea, analert yogi is aware of super conscious state in thegap between every two thoughts, between in-breathand out-breath and also between various emotionalstates. One who realizes that each state of 110
  111. 111. consciousness is supported by and permeated bysuper consciousness, enjoys bliss every moment ofhis life. He is considered a hero because he isunperturbed by duality of life like happiness,unhappiness, attraction and repulsion etc. Turiyatita is a state in which transcends thestate of turiya. In Turiyatita state, the state ofwaking, dreaming, dreamless sleep and even turiyais realized as nothing but the expressions of pureconsciousness. This is a state of non-duality. Onewho has this realization experiences supreme bliss.He sees every manifest and unmanifest thing in theuniverse as glory of His own Self. 111
  112. 112. 6.0 Flowering of Bliss Path of Self Realization is path of joy. As onestarts exploring his inner consciousness he getsfilled with wonder. As the intuition develops,leading him closer and closer to the nature of Selfhe starts acquiring the latent power, loosening upthe bondages caused by maya. As he starts comingout of the bondages, he gets filled with bliss. Theglory of such a yogi who is on the path of Self-realization is described in the ensuing sutras. 112
  113. 113. Wonderful are the stages of (unfolding experiences)in Yoga.Such a Yogi will acquire the supreme Will power(Uma Kumari) of Lord Shiva.He experiences whole of the perceived Universe ashis body.By establishing ones mind in the heart (universalconsciousness), the whole world of perceptionsappears as ones own nature.Or by establishing uninterrupted pure awareness ofsupreme nature, energy of Lord Shiva is realized. 113
  114. 114. For such a realized soul any ordinary thoughtbecomes means of realizing one‟s own self. Heenjoys the bliss of the totality of the universe evenwhen he is not in trance (Samadhi). By putting his mind on Universal Energy, anybody – internal or external (in waking/dreamstate/deep sleep) is formed by his mere will. Such a yogi who is unbounded by space and timeis capable of helping humanity since he experienceshimself in all the bodies as Universal Self. 114
  115. 115. Even though, he manifest several miraculouspowers-siddhis, a Yogi who abstains from (using)such powers, attains lordship over the wheel ofuniversal energies through the rise of pureknowledge.By contemplating on the Great heart he experiencesthe power of the mantra. Wonders of YogaFortunate is the yogi who is on the path of yoga.Every day is a new day for him. Every moment isfilled with life. Like a scientist, yogi on the path ofSelf-discovery explores the inner consciousnesswith the curiosity of a child. Every day he comesout with precious discoveries from the bottom of 115
  116. 116. consciousness. Some of the jewels discovered onthe path of Self-realization are described in thefollowing sections. Seeing things as they are As one gets established in witness consciousness,he is able to withstand all the turbulences in lifewith calm serenity. He is able to observe veryobjectively and act decisively. In other words, he isin a position to see things as they are. Ability of trueseeing develops. This ability gives him the power ofeffective action. Release of Subconscious Blocks He has the ability to witness the subconscious andunconscious impressions of trauma, tragedies, andtensions coming to the surface of consciousness anddissolving without getting perturbed. This leads to aprocess of cleansing of subconscious giving a senseof deep relief and freedom. There is a tremendous 116
  117. 117. sense of healing of mind and the body due to thiscleansing activity. Descent of Grace As the inner cleansing intensifies, he becomes asuitable vessel for Divine Grace flowing through theSpiritual Master in the form of Shakti. This flow ofenergy called Shaktipat accelerates his evolution byawakening the latent power of kundalini at the baseof the spine. Kundalini is the energy responsibleascent of the soul to the higher realms ofconsciousness by further releasing the internalblocks Upward movement of Energy Awakened kundalini energy starts her journeyupwards through subtle centers of spinal cord. Thisjourney of energy starts from the energy centercalled muladhar at the base of the spine and ends in 117
  118. 118. sahasrar at the crown of the head. In the processshe opens up blocked energy centers, cleanssubconscious and unconscious impressions. Thisprocess of upward movement of energy and freeingup of blocks results manifestation of various powersof consciousness in Yogi. Experience of Divine Sensations The flowering consciousness can open up severalsubtle sensory experiences in the form of Divinesounds, smells, touch, taste, and lights. He may alsohave the vision of various deities and enlightenedmasters. Experience of subtle worlds There are several subtle planes of existencebeyond the gross earthly plane. Due to refinementof the senses, the vision of subtlest of subtle worldsopens up in the inner vision of yogi. 118
  119. 119. Extrasensory Perception Refinement of senses brings in the ability ofextra sensory perception like clairaudience, remoteviewing etc Realization of Lord Shiva and Shakti When the ascending kundalini reaches the crowncenter, the merger of the individual soul with theUniversal Self is complete. The individual sense of“I” becomes one with the Universal Self. This is therealization of Lord Shiva. The powers ofconsciousness, Shakti of Lord Shiva, startmanifesting through such a blessed being. This isthe realization of Shiva-Shakti. The Glory of such aDivine being is explained in the following sections. 119
  120. 120. Ascent to Higher Level of Consciousness The process of creation involves descent ofSupreme Consciousness into lower planes inprogressive stages of manifestation and contractionof power. As the yogi makes progress in hisspiritual practices, the process gets reversed and hestarts experiencing expansion of consciousness andpower in progressive stages of ascent ofconsciousness. Omni Potency Uma is the Supreme Will power of Lord Shiva.It is the Will power of Lord Shiva makes himmanifest the entire universe out of his own body ofconsciousness and take the body of jiva – individualself to explore the Universe. It is She who bestowsher grace on highly evolved yogi in the form ofintuitive flash which bestows liberation. Due tomerger of his self-identity with absolute identity of 120
  121. 121. Lord Shiva, yogi acquires the supreme Will powerand can manifest anything if he desires so. Omni Presence As the identification of yogi to the limited bodymind complex drops and his sense of individual “I”starts merging with the absolute “I” of universalconsciousness, he perceives his own Self shining inevery being. Whatever form he perceives, he seesShiva Consciousness itself shining. Omniscience Shiva is the sole experiencer in all the beings. Dueto identification with the Self, the mistakenperception of differentiation of the consciousnessinto perceiver, perceived and the process ofperception drops. With this, unitary perception withthe consciousness forming the basis of entirecreation is developed. He sees his glory of his own 121
  122. 122. Self in whole of the Universe. He experiences theUniverse as his own body. Liberation Dropping of the triple bondage of ignorance,maya and karma and identification with the trueSelf, yogi becomes liberated while alive –jivanmukta. Experiencing the fullest freedom of theSelf, he becomes the representation of Lord Shivaon the earth in human form. Flowering of Bliss Supreme It is said that there are seven stages superconsciousness (Turiya) each progressively leadingto higher and higher levels of bliss. Breath is thelink between the body and mind. The flow of breathindicates the state of consciousness. In the following 122
  123. 123. stages various refinements of the breath andassociated consciousness are indicated.Nijananda or bliss of own Self opens up when onebecomes aware of the Self in between in-breath andout breath.Nirananda or unlimited bliss experienced when thebreath becomes very subtle indicating subtle state ofmind.Parananda or the experience of blissful breathingdue to silence of the mind.Brahmananda or all pervading bliss when breathstops of its own because of very refined state ofmind.Mahanananda or great bliss when the subtle breathrushes to root chakra – muladhara. .Cidananda or bliss of consciousness when thesubtle energy of kundalini raises and reachessahasrara – the crown center.Jagadananda or Universal bliss when one isestablished fully in state of supreme I consciousness 123
  124. 124. and experiences the whole of Universe as ones ownSelf. In the state of jagadananda bliss of the deepestlevel of trance – Samadhi is experienced in everystate of consciousness. While walking, talking oreating, he experiences the highest order of bliss.Blessed Life Such a Divine soul is blessing to the earth.Wherever he goes and whatever he goes providesthe healing through words, action and just by hismere presence. All his actions are for the welfare ofthe whole creation. 124
  125. 125. 7.0 Contemplations and MeditationThe purpose of meditation and contemplation is toseparate the Seer from the Seen, the objects ofconsciousness from the subject for experiencing theeternal Bliss which is your own nature. Maintain thefollowing awareness throughout the day.1. Be aware that you are not the body, mind or intellect.2. Be aware that you are the witness (sakshi) for the happenings in body, mind and intellect.3. Be aware that you are the witness (Sakshi) to the happenings in the world.4. Be aware that the matter is nothing but objects in consciousness and not different from 125
  126. 126. consciousness itself.5. Be aware that the world is nothing but a projection in the pure consciousness.6. Be aware that the world is not different from pure awareness.7. Be aware that your true nature is pure awareness and bliss.8. Be aware that the suffering is caused by identifying with the body, mind and intellect.9. Be aware that the thoughts arise and fall into consciousness just like a wave arises and falls into the ocean.10. Be aware of the speech whenever you use the word “I” implicitly or explicitly. Are you referring to the “I” as body mind complex or pure awareness?11. Be in the present moment by becoming aware of the breath and sensations of the body.12. Be aware of how your speech and thoughts color the perceptions.13. Be aware how the memories of past color the perception of the present moment. 126
  127. 127. 14. Be aware that the gross, subtle and causal bodies are not you.15. Be the eternal witness in waking, dreaming and deep sleep state.16. Be aware that the witness (sakshi) itself is all pervading pure awareness.17. Be aware that the thoughts create the feeling of being the thinker while in reality there is no thinker.18. Be aware that the actions create the feeling of being the doer while in reality there is no doer.19. Be aware that experiences of the mind create the experiencer while in reality there is no experiencer.20. Be aware of the oneness of Shiva and Shakti – awareness and the content of awareness.21. Be aware how you experience pure silence and bliss whenever you enquire “Who am I”. 127
  128. 128. 8.0 Recommended BooksSiva Sutras by Jaidev Singh,Motilal BanarasidassPublishers, 2006Spanda Karikas by Jaidev Singh, MotilalBanarasidas publishers, 2000The aphorisms of Siva by Mark S.g. Dyczkowski,Indica Books,1998.Kashmir Shaivism, Swami Lakshman JooThe Universal, Shaiva Trust 1988.Play of Consciousness, Paramahamsa Muktananda,SYDA Foundation.The Supreme Truth, Absolute and UltimateSadguru Published by Sridhara Seva Mahamandala,Varadapura. 128
  129. 129. Annexure I : Spiritual HeartExplanation of the Logo of Spiritual Heart shownon the back of the cover page. Supports for Spiritual Life 129
  130. 130. Function of Spiritual Heart 130
  131. 131. Representation of Spiritual Heart of Liberated Soul 131
  132. 132. Annexure II : Macro and MicrocosmShiva - Pure awareness Shakti - Pure energyMA Force of Iccha (Will), Jnana (knowing), and Kriya (acting)CR Maya – force of differentiated perceptionOC 5 Limitations (Kanchukas)O Kalaa, Vidya, Raga, Kaala, NiyatiSM PrakritiM CreatrixI PurushaC Individual soulROC 5 Tanma trasO 10 indriyasS 5 TatwasM 132