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Nonduality

presents

Celebration of the Self

by

M

Truth, when not according to something, exists in all of its splendor in what seems to be at first a multitude of axioms. In the final analysis, however, it is the substrata of these apparant "points," the homogeneous sea of Consciousness from which all "various" truths come, which is the only Truth. In fact, the word "only" implies another...let us say "from which all arises is Truth."

Jai Gurudev!

My beloved Bhagavan, you are the truth that is Self evident in all things.

You are my Prana, my mind, my senses, my body.

O Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, you are my very Self.

My deep sleep is your Samadhi state; my waking state is devotion to you.

With each upward moving in-breath, Shri Gurudev, you fill my sahasrara.

With each downward moving out-breath, I let go and become lost in your greatness.

You are the conviction of my will; the light of my knowledge; the cause of all action.

May all my thoughts, speech, and action be consumed with praise and devotion!

Jai Gurudev! Jai Gurudev! Jai Gurudev!


About M:

35 years old

Live in Southern Missouri

My life is Shri Nityananda of Ganeshpuri (Shri Gurudev). Shri Swami Muktananda Paramahamsa (Baba) has been my model as a teacher
and a devotee of Shri Gurudev. Mahamandaleshwar Swami
Nityananda (Guruji) is the living legacy of the Divine Grace that is
Shri Gurudev; a legacy that has been lovingly cared for and passed
on by Baba.

This legacy can be found within the walls of Shanti Mandir, Guruji's
global ashram that has its American home in Pine Bush, New York.

http://www.shantimandir.com

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God is No-Thing (Transcendent)
God is All Things (Immanent)

God is never one thing.

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To these web pages, M has also contributed

The Chidakash Gita
The Sky of the Heart: Jewels of Wisdom from Nityananda
Nityananda: In Divine Presence

These are exceedingly valuable works. Also see
M's collection of links

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Real or Shadow?.

You have heard that the world is an illusion created by the mind. This world exists as the splendor God--This splendor is Parashakti--the real energy of the One; God, Paramashiva, Parabhrahma. At the highest reality, there is only God--only 'I' exists--the universal subject. Subject-object relationship is the perversion of Maya. Nothing exists that is not God. The blade of grass and the Mahayogi are "both" the One; there is no difference. This is called seeing with equanimity--seeing all as the One without a second.

Divisions, categories, differences, levels, states, etc...these are all the product of mind. Without the perception of innumerable jivas or individuals within the veil of Maya, their exists only God--no divisions, no chakras, no states of mind, no categories, no religions, no nothing....only the Self remains.

This is what is meant by the world being only a figment of the mind. God's energy is real; the division of God is unreal--Maya.

No mind, no division--only 'I' remains.

This is the blissful state of the mahayogi.

One can see the rose bush as consisting of thorns, roses, branches, etc... or one can see only a rose bush.

Prattling about whether the world is real or illusary is utter nonsense; In the final realization, only God, the One without a second, the Self of all, exists. The argument of whether the world is one of manifested reality or illusary shadow becomes the futile debate of scholars when we realize that both understandings--and indeed all understandings of apparent difference--are
equally the short-sighted perversion of Maya.

M

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The Nature of Sound

This is of the utmost importance: Nada, all sound, is of the nature of Om--all is Om. Om is the primordial sound of creation. This world is, at the most fundamental level, sound-energy. At the highest understanding, the Para level, Sound and energy are One, which is of the nature of movement. This movement without no means of support is Para Shakti, the power of God Shiva; literally the face of God. The result of the perfectly motionless, formless, qualityless Shiva--the light of
Consciousness--giving rise to Spanda--the Divine Creative Pulsation or Om is the bliss of Shakti . The yogi who realizes this attains to Satchitananda--Absolute Being/Consciousness/ Bliss.

Mahagurubhakti
M

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Avikalpa in Day to Day Life

By stilling all vikalpas (dichotomising thought constructs) during medi-
tation, one eventually, by virtue of practice, begins to carry a
thought free state into his day to day activities. This inward
absorption that is free of all vikalpas--even though the eyes are
turned outward and one is going about his daily business--is called
Bhairavi mudra or Khechari mudra. In fact, this one mudra is ideal
for when watching t.v. with family or friends. Instead of reaching out
to the t.v. and identifying with the images on the screen, stare at the
t.v. but keep the gaze inward; stay free of thoughts and free of reaching
out and grasping outwardly the t.v. program. This is a powerful exercise
that at once trains the mind, and leads one to the state of Bhairava, and
can be done with no one the wiser. As far as anyone knows, you are
absorbed in t.v.

Mahagurubhakti
M

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Puja

When one performs puja in the home shrine and, through constant practice, reaches a high level of attainment, he continues to perform puja.
In the beginning, puja is performed to a beloved deity or to the Guru;
in the end, puja is performed out of bliss; it is performed out of love;
it is performed out of celebration of the Self. If one claims to outgrow
puja, then he does not know. We do not outgrow puja, we grow into
its deepest understanding, its deepest and true meaning--the cele-
bration of the Self; the celebration of the play of Consciousness.

Mahagurubhakti
M

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Outgrow Puja?

"I have performed puja to its logical extent! I have outgrown puja!

I am liberated from ignorance!" Claims the yogi. "There is no further need."


Does the man and woman, after attaining to marital union to the point of

Thinking and acting as one, proclaim: "We are one--there is no need to be

Together anymore, for we are at once one within."

Do they disband and divide their things and go each their own way?

No!

They revel daily in the bliss of their harmonious union, their one-ness.

Through daily effort, this bliss lasts; it does not go away.

Through due vigilance, they never fall ignorant of their union.


Those who claim to have outgrown puja have only outpaced subtle

wisdom and attained to superb mental gymnastics.

Life is the celebration! Celebrate the Self daily!
---M

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Worshipper, Worshipping, Worshipped

Not three but One!

Worsh is at once worsh-ipper, worsh-ipping, and worsh-ipped

Worsh is Shiva! The Self of all! The One without a second! The Primal Guru!

When three become one, the fruits of meditation are gained.
---M

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Puja as Respite

From the moment of first contact with someone in the morning hours after waking, we establish ourself in a contextual role, "becoming" a host of things as the day goes on--to a host of different people.

Father, Husband, Wife, Son, Daughter, boss, employee, friend, foe, lover, saint, sinner, etc...we spend our days in relational awareness; that is to say, we spend our days interacting and re-acting to people, situations, places,
circumstances, and events.

The home puja is our great respite; our sanctuary of Satchidananda (Consciousness/Being/ Bliss). Puja worship is the practice of celebrating Self through one-pointed attainment. This focus stills all vikalpas (thought constructs); with a still mind, all pretense and veils of personality become transparent... Imaginary walls, defenses, and boundaries that are the
product of mind are forgotten--Turning inward, Awareness folds in upon itself, becoming Aware only of the light of Consciousness pervading all within and without.

In the beginning, when performing puja, there is a chanter, a chant, and a goal of chanting. When these three become One, the fruits of puja are attained.

Chanter and chant are One! Chant and goal are One! Goal and chanter are One!

Sit in the meditative posture; hold the book in the right hand, left hand on the knee in the lion pose; focus on the words being chanted with one pointed concentration; these four practices: Asana or posture, Mudra or pose, fixing the gaze; and one-pointedness -- these four things prepare the mind for true meditation.

Puja, chanting, bhajans (songs) and meditation bear fruit when performed in the morning at sunrise or upon rising, and in the evening at dusk or at the end of the day's activities.
---M

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Chakras

The base of the sushumna--the center called muladhara--is
the place of initiation, or the awakening of the divine
Prana-Kundalini by divine Grace or Shaktipat. Kundalini
never literally "sleeps," but rather, this is a term that implies
She never rises until we are ready.We may not think we
are ready, but it does indeed awaken despite ourselves sometimes.

The Anahata, or heart chakra as it is sometimes called, is
represented by two triangles that intersect. The downward
one represents Shiva (that from which all things come) and
the upward triangle represents Shakti (that which exists; all
things, Omkar--the power of God). Thisis the center of all manifestation.

The Sahasrara is the center of absolute Being. It is here
that all concepts, all notions, all illusion of difference, of "this
and that" disappears. It is absolute identification with God. The
yogi established in this knowledge is inwardly no different than
God. Once the karma of the body is dissolved, the yogi merges
forever into pure Consciousness, and further still, into that from which
Consciousness arises, that which no-one can put a name or limita-
tion on, so the sages of old settle for simply calling it "That." It is
here that we merge with the transcendental Lord; That from which
all things arise.

Mahagurubhakti
M

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Mind Illusion

You have heard that the world is an illusion created by
the mind.
This world exists as the splendor God--This splendor is
Parashakti--the real energy of the One; God, Paramashiva,
Parabhrahma. At the highest reality, there is only
God--only 'I' exists--the universal subject.
Subject-object relationship is the perversion of Maya.
Nothing exists that is not God. The blade of grass and the
Mahayogi are "both" the One; there is no difference. This
is called seeing with equanimity--seeing all as the One
without a second.

Divisions, categories, differences, levels, states,
etc...these are all the product of mind. Without the
perception of innumerable jivas or individuals within the
veil of Maya, their exists only God--no divisions, no
chakras, no states of mind, no categories, no religions,
no nothing....only the Self remains.

This is what is meant by the world being only a figment of
the mind. God's energy is real; the division of God is
unreal--Maya.

No mind, no division--only 'I' remains.

This is the blissful state of the mahayogi.

One can see the rose bush as consisting of thorns, roses,
branches, etc... or one can see only a rose bush.

Prattling about whether the world is real or illusary is
utter nonsense; In the final realization, only God, the
One without a second, the Self of all, exists. The
argument of whether the world is one of manifested reality
or illusary shadow becomes the futile debate of scholars
when we realize that both understandings--and indeed all
understandings of apparent difference--are equally the
short-sighted perversion of Maya.

M

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Inner Sound

I would like to introduce a meditation called the inner sound, nada or shabda. Some of you may have heard of it before. It is the primordial sound of creation, the unstruck sound from which all sound arises. Meditating on the inner sound is to listen to the sound of the Prana-Kundalini rising in the central nadi, the sushumna. This rise is called udana, and the unstruck sound, or anahata is the sound of Om. Contrary to what many people believe as necessary, one need not assist Kundalini in any way. Kundalini is the Divine Shakti of Shiva, She is Universal Consciousness. She is the intelligent goddess from which all intelligence arises; She is the essence of this world and all others. Kundalini is the individual drop of Shakti of the Supreme Principle present in each of us at the base of the spine. To presuppose we know what is best over her is the heart of a fool. I have heard many people say to me "I am feeling as though I have lost the spiritual high, what shall I do'? When we begin to assume what feelings or sensations are best for us, we lose our way. We grow in Grace only when we give ourselves up completely. The ups and downs, the surfacing feelings and strange behaviour are all part of the Divine Kundalini purifying us for higher spiritual states. Even when feeling "down" or "lacking the spiritual high" we must rejoice in the reality that it is of the divine way for us to realize the inner Self of all, and thus the "ups and downs" are necessary. We continue in our Sadhana and we have our full faith in God. The meditation of the Shabda is done in this way, with total faith and devotion (bhakti) . All that is necessary for this simple meditation is ear plugs or cotton.

--Prepare yourself in the normal way, and assume your usual meditative posture.

--Insert the ear plugs or cotton.

--Listen for the sound. It will be there, so there is no need to create a sound.

--It may sound like a buzzing, humming, vibrating, droning, whitewater in a river, ringing, or a combination of these.

--If you find your mind wandering, acknowledge this and gently redirect your attention to the sound.

--Go deeper into the sound, become one with the sound. Whatever you hear is okay.

--If in time you hear a new tone or tones, bring it to the forefront and go deeper into it. This is a higher vibratory rate, and tuning into it raises your own, bringing with it Grace. It is noteworthy that a higher vibratory rate does not necessarily mean higher in pitch.

--These tones and sounds have always been there. We only hear them anew because we have stilled the raging mind and listened for them.

--Not only is the sound the vehicle for grace, the act of giving it our full attention trains the mind and teaches us focus, which is useful for deeper meditation.

--In time you will not need the earplugs. This is a good sign, as you have become attuned to the Divine Shabda to a degree that you do not need aids.

--Most authorities recommend 15-45 minutes, but ultimately this is individual and varies greatly.

--Learning to spend prolonged time in concentration on the sound prepares us for the moment when we can drop even one-pointed concentration, and simply just be, existing in the thought-free state. This state, the thoughtless state, is the threshold of God-Consciousness.

I pray that this is useful.

Mahagurubhakti
M

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Crystal

At the elemental level, various elements combine to form a crystal.

Hold the crystal towards the sun, and points of brilliance flash across its surface.

Om spills over into innumerable vibrations; these vibrations intersect, interact, merge and subside.

Like the crystal, these waves of divine Chiti combine to form the world.

Jiva can be likened to the points of brilliance on the crystal of the world.

The light which shines forth illuminating, permeating, and sustaining the crystal is the divine splendor of the supreme Lord, the One without a second.

The flashes of brilliance owe their existence to the One Light.

During the unfoldment process of Self-realization, the yogi experiences siddhis, or supernormal powers. These powers are neither to be sought nor rejected; let Grace manifest itself as it will. Throughout the scriptures, there are stern warning that the yogi who gets caught up in these powers or
Siddhis, becoming desirous of them and using them for selfish will, will suffer greatly in his or her sadhana. The yogi never connects Siddhis with ego, but rather, marvels in astonishment at the Grace of God Shiva, the One without a second, the Self of all.

Mahagurubhakti
M

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Renunciation

True renunciation is not born of denial of the world.

There are more outward things to renounce than there are stars in the sky.

To deny oneself of outward things and yet desire them inwardly is merely aversion.

True renunciation is inward

True renunciation begins with indifference to attachment and aversion;

and culminates in the understanding that the whole wold is within.

Manas (mind) is restless; it wants this, it wants that. It wants to be entertained.

Stop focusing outward! Focus instead inward!

Only then can you show the mind a good place to rest.

---M

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The Gayatri Mantra is one of humanity's most ancient Vedic prayers. Daily chanting of the Gayatri is of great benefit; it transforms the mind and illumines the subtle intellect. Auspicious times to chant the Gayatri are at dawn, noon and dusk. Chanting it while showering is also beneficial, providing us with an inner bathing that coincides with the outer one. Chant the Gayatri before each meal. It is the great destroyer of karma.

Mantra:
Om bhur bhuvwa svwaha
Tat savitur verenyam
Bhargo devasya dheemahi
Dhiyo yonah prachodayaat.

Note: 'ee' is pronounced as in "seen"; 'aa' is pronounced as in "father."
'a' is pronounced as in "fun, sun."

Translation:
That which shines forth illuminating,
permeating, and sustaing the gross,
subtle, and causal worlds is the most
adorable splendor of the supreme Lord.
May that divine brilliance of the destroyer
of sins, through our meditations, inspire
and illumine our subtle intellect.

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The man in the line of sign-holders yells "Animal rights!" "No more testing on live animals!"

After a time he goes home. On his way, he stops by the market to pick up the evening's supper, hamburgers.

The cow is held at bay in a standing-room-only stall; this is to minimize the exertion of the animal, thereby conserving fat stores.

After a life in a stall, the mature cow is herded to another stall where its throat is prompty slit, forcing the life out of the animal as it bleeds to death.

Its hide stripped, it is quartered and sent to various supermarkets, where the meat is cut from the bone and packaged for timely consumption.

The man picks up his his purchase, so neatly packaged, and makes his way home.

Animal abuse indeed.

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Focus

Head or Heart? Which one to focus on?

The anahata or heart chakra is the place of spiritual unity
of Shiva/Shakti. It is the heart of all manifestation. All gross
and subtle principles emanate from this inseperable union,
the seat of which is in the heart.

The head is the seat of liberation. The head is the real heart;
it is the center of realization of the Self. It is the sky of the real
heart, the best heart. The sahasrara transcends manifestation,
right and wrong, hot and cold, up and down, high and low. It is
the doorway to the Self.

The heart is the feet; the head is the doorway.

Let the feet walk through the doorway!

---M

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Cycle of Birth and Death

See the raindrops fall!

Droplets of water, too numerous to count, each drop

slightly different from the rest.

Outwardly, no two are alike; inwardly they are the same.

They fall, and eventually they merge with the ocean.

Along the way they undergo a marvelous journey;

Through the earth; through the systems of various creatures;

Through streams and rivers, finally coming to rest in the

Ocean for a time.

Eventually, through the worldly process, they rise again into the clouds.


Jiva is like the raindrop; of various shapes and sizes, and

yet existing as one inward reality.

The journey which leads the raindrop to the ocean can be likened

to the journey of jiva through the world.

The ocean represents the subtle state where jiva resides pending rebirth.

The raindrop is subtler than the landscape; the dew that the droplet is

condensed from is subtler than that; the cloud subtler than the dew;

The sky subtler than the cloud.

The Sun burns away the dew in the sky.

The Sun can be likened to the light of Consciousness.

Let this inner Light burn away the dross of ignorance!

Like the Sun on the clouds, let this Light illuminate the

Subtle intellect, revealing subtle, subtler, subtlest.

Mahagurubhakti
M

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Inner Perfection

What is this inner perfection?

It is perfect understanding, the perpetual experience of Self.

Self realization! All is Shiva! The One without a second!

The yogi established in That exists as Satchidananda.

Is this inner perfection synonymous with a perfect personality?

NO!

Mental constructs such as personality have their roots in duality.

Perfection to one man is imperfection to another.

One who looks for this "personality perfection" in the Guru is himself

Operating from the perspective of duality, and as such, has already

Failed in understanding.


The fault finding process is, in itself, an indicator of fault in the accuser.

Be still and learn!
---M

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Three Awakenings


Three awakenings! Not one!

These awakenings three correspond with the three primary energies of:

Kriya--Divine action (Immanent),

Jnana-Divine Knowledge; Consciousness/Awareness (Immanent & Transcendent),

And Iccha-(Divine Will/Transcendent).


The first awakening corresponds with the first initial experience of the Self,

Instilling a burning desire for sadhana. This culminates in devotion or Bhakti

Yoga and mastery of Karma yoga, the yoga of inaction in action. Initially there

Is duality, giving way eventually to the sense of unity in difference.


This sets the stage for the second awakening; it is here that one's experience

Of Self takes form as the totality of the world and the world-process; one has

The experience of "I am This," giving way eventually to "This am I."


The third awakening is realization of Self; it is ego-death and the dissolution

Of all remaining duality through Divine Grace. Here one has the experience

Of simply "I," giving way eventually to pure Consciousness/Awareness, and

Ultimately to That which is above mental constructs and concepts entirely.
---M
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Death


Death of a loved one is the supreme test of faith. The seeker re-examines his or her place in understanding. When a loved one dies, we are, by our very nature, forced to become introspective--and it is here that we learn the hard truth--here we find the separation between the actual experience of the Self and the intellectual understanding only of That.

If we are firm in our experience of Self, then the passing of a loved one will be a time of inward rejoicing; this is because we know--not simply believe--but know--that the passing of the body is but another milestone
in the journey towards realization of Self.

This is not a call to callousness; quite the contrary, we allow ourselves the grief of the role father, mother, brother, sister, Daughter, Son, etc...and yet inwardly, we know at once that these tears are selfish ones, for we will miss them.

And yet, are they not one step closer to the goal of all?

How can one grieve with absolute conviction while knowing inwardly and with absolute resolve that Self is eternal? That death is but a mental construct?

All is Shiva!

Outwardly we cry the tears of humanity; inwardly we rejoice in the understanding that we and our loved ones are but one
Consciousness; that we travel down many paths, and yet they are all one path--the path that leads to re-cognition of Self.

---M
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Avikalpa--True Surrender


Devotion! Purity of motive! Surrender!

These three are the fruits of Bhakti, Jnana, and Karma yoga,

of which the culmination is the highest state attainable--avikalpa.

One stands at the threshold of God Consciousness when

Pretense, agendas, defense mechanisms, bias, categories,

etc...of the manas (mind) come to a stand-still.


The child thrashes in the bathtub, screaming " I can't find my

toy! Only when he becomes still--making the surface of the bath-

water calm--can he see the toy.


Bhakti yoga creates a sense of deep reverence and devotion.

Jnana yoga, when applied with Bhakti, attains to right understanding;

the fruits of which are purity of motive.

Karma yoga, when applied with Bhakti and Jnana, attains to humility;

the fruits of which are ego-death.


The mahayogi knows that there is never one yoga without the other.


The culmination of these yogas three is the unfoldment and rise of

the Prana-Kundalini. Upon reaching the sahasrara, one attains to

perfect peace.

Stillness of mind! It is the ultimate surrender! The highest price! And

yet it yields the greatest bounty!

Only by un-learning finite-ness do we attain realization of infinity.

No longer bound to any limiting position on any limited topic, we

cease being anything particular and simply be.

Satchidananda! Being/Consciousness/Bliss!

No longer at odds with existence in the throes of duality,

the realization that everything is just as it should be dawns.

The dawning of Self-realization!
---M

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Realize!

Where is there to go to better realize Self?

What is there to become to better realize Self?

All principles, gross and subtle forms are the playful

Sport of the One without a second.

All experiences are in Reality the One experience.

All experiencers are in Reality the One.

Where is this better place to realize God?

Where is this better thing to become to realize the Self of all?

It is within you, for truly all is God.


Does the right eye want to go to the left eye for a better view?

It is one sight!

Does the right ear want to go to the left ear for a better listen?

It is one hearing!

Why does the simple man want to become the famous man?

It is all one Shakti!


Wherever you are is a good means to realize Self.

Whatever you are doing is a means to realize Self.

Whoever you are is a good means to realize Self.


It is not a matter of traveling; it is not a matter of becoming,

It is a matter of realizing!
---M


Countenance

Seriousness is a direct side-effect of expanded ego.

Those that find joy in all things, and are themselves happy,
are the closest to realization

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Kundalini


What is this Prana-Kundalini?

Shiva, the One without a second, becomes the world, the experiencer, the experience, and the means of experiencing.

His Svatantrya, or absolutely independant free will to manifest, is His Para-Shakti. It is Shakti which resides immanently as
all things. Shakti is Shiva in action.

Shakti becomes everything, and yet remains unchanged--just as an intricate gold bracelet remains gold.

And so it is with man, who exists as jiva, and yet also unchanged as Prana-Kundalini.


There is no bad experience with Kundalini awakening! There is only bad experience with ego!

The man proclaims "I have no need of a guru, for I do not trust them." He states further "I have all the knowledge I need
from the many books I have read."

This man reads many books on Kundalini and performs many practices to invoke its rise in the sushumna.

This is the height of arrogance!

A little limited knowledge, when applied to sadhana, can be disastrous.

Why do you focus on Kundalini, and not on your sadhana?

You are a part of Kundalini; Kundalini is not a part of you.

Does the finger tell the head what to do?

No!

Check your ego friend, and let the Maha-Shakti do what She will.


Control the breath! Still the mind! Focus not on the rise of Kundalini, but on your sadhana!

Then you will see.

A man can lead a horse to the trough, but it will not drink until it is ready.

Likewise, the Prana-Kundalini will rise at the apportioned time.
---M

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Guru Principle


The Guru Principle can be seen in your home with a piece of cardboard, a nail, and a lamp.

Take the cardboard and the nail in your hands and poke a dozen holes in the cardboard at random locations.

Turn out all of the lights in the house except for the one lamp. Next, hold the cardboard up in front of lamp.

Notice that the same light shines through all the holes regardless of shape or size.

The light of the lamp can be likened to the Light of Consciousness, the Guru Principle.

The holes represent the Guru of form.

Like the holes in the cardboard, the Guru of form varies in size and location, and yet the Light of Consciousness shines the
same through them all.

Nothing was added to the cardboard for the lamplight to shine through, but rather, portions of the cardboard had to be
removed.

And so it is throughout the world that in various places and in various forms the dross of ignorance and ego have been so
removed that the Guru Principle shines through unimpeded into the gross world through the form of a man.

Such a man is called Guru.
---M

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The Pure Experience of Self

What is the pure experience of Self?

Can it be likened to knowing the thoughts of all creatures

Great and small at once?

No! This kind of limited understanding is mind-delusion.

Thoughts, experiences, places, things, people, ideas...

These are all transient--real though they may be, they

Are not Reality, for there is only one changless Reality,

God Shiva.

Wanting to know the thoughts and desires of all creatures

Is merely a form of power-control desired by the ego.

The Ultimate Reality is beyond this game called Maya!


The images you see on the television screen are all the

Display of one energy, and yet the images on the screen

Are countless in their variety.

Are these countless images the true nature of this energy?

No!

They are merely the display. The true nature of these images is

sound energy--of which the images are produced by meaningful

arrangements of vibration.

The true nature of this sound-energy can never be known by watching

Its display of images--one must get to the source.

The endless images on the television screen can be likened to

The endless thoughts that are produced in the gross world by Maya.

The sound-energy that produces them is Omkar!

Turn off your inner mental screen and still the endless chatter!

Then you will see the source of the images.
---M

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Expanded Awareness


You have heard the term "Expanded Awareness."

What is this "Expanded Awarness?"

Is it a literal expansion of the mental processes, allowing you the limited knowledge of neighbors and friends, townspeople,
and people in far away places? Is it a means to spy on the events in the world of grossness and duality?

No!

Let the perceivers of subtlety hear: Expanded Awareness is not a literal expansion; it is a contraction of duality! The death of the ego! The stilling of the mental processes! The merging of manas into buddhi!

One who knows well the Shaiva philosophy knows that the Self is Shiva; the light of Consciousness; the inner Witness of all activity.

Shakti is the Awareness/Experience of Shiva; inseperable and One are Shiva/Shakti. Shakti is the Awareness inherent in all things.

Only those under the veil of duality perceive Shakti or Awareness as expanding.

Shakti is everywhere! She is at once knower, the act of knowing, and the known. Nothing exists that is not Shakti.
Therefore, nothing exists that is not Shiva.

That which is above mentation; which is the transcendent inner source of all things that are immanent, is the Great Lord Shiva.

Look at this world! See Shiva in action! See the MahaShakti!

Where is there for this Awareness to expand? That is like saying the sky must expand in the sky, or that ether must expand into ether.

Awareness is there, it here, it is everywhere!

We cannot experience this Awareness because we are busy generating thoughts; thoughts grounded in duality. The mind leaps about from thought to thought, just as a monkey leaps about in a cage.

This is manas.

We must learn to still these thoughts, and contract the manas, sitting in perfect form with a quiet head.

This is buddhi, the intelligence of insight and the mother of contemplation. Through buddhi we feel the essence.

By contracting the mind and sitting in the inner Asana of centered silence, we establish ouself in the state that is the pre-requisite for pure Awareness.

I do not mean asana in terms of the seat; this asana is inner. It is the inner posture of centerdness, of stillness of mind.

This is the doorway to Satchidananda!

The Light of Being/Consciousness-Awareness/Bliss!

From one point of view it could seem that Awareness is expanding, but in fact, Awareness is ever-present.

In Truth, it is about the contraction of duality; of Shiva amnesia; of the veil of Maya.

The yogi contracts his mind, and the veil of duality with it, so that he sees what was there all the time. He then sees that the veil only fooled him into believing he was something he was not.
---M

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True Dedication


Shiva is the transcendental Lord; the eternal Witness, unaffected by the play. Shakti is the manifestation of Shiva owing to hisSvatantrya or absolutely independant free will. Through this supreme agency, Shiva experiences all the possiblities of Shiva through the agency of Shiva. He does this by manifesting countless limited experiencers on countless limited backdrops or world, and experiences countless limited situations. This way He lives His fullness, not just knows it. This is in accordance
with Shaivism which holds the view that Shiva is both prakasha (Light of Consciousness) and Vimarsha.

At any rate, all is Shakti and Shakti is Shiva. Therefore, all is Shiva. Knowing this; knowing that this world, your body, and all mental activity is nothing but Shakti and her veil of Maya, and that Shiva is the inner Witness watching his play, how can a person be the doer of anything? That person's very existence is the purposeful intention of Shiva to experience Hisself.

Therefore, the individual (which is only Maya) cannot produce anything, for he only believes he is existent as a seperate entity. Once the veil is lifted, all is Shiva.

Knowing throughout your day that all is Shiva and his Grande experience, one can rest in the knowledge that he or she is not a seperate entity nor creator of action.

Consider when you dream; all the people and all the settings or backdrops and all the experiences are really only a projection of your own mind. Even the seemingly insentient curtains in the room that you are dreaming about are sentient, because they are only inner projections of you. This is how it is with Shiva. There is a whole philosophical system devoted to
comparing the analogous activity of the Macrocosm and the Microcosm, and each night when you create a world within your head--becoming the experiencer, experiences, and the backdrop that it happens--you are doing on a Micro level what the Self, the Lord Shiva does on a Macro level. Even things that seem insentient are really Concsiousness; they are only latent.

Everything is Consciousness!

Resting in this knowledge, everything becomes devotional in nature. Acknowledging Shiva as the all, this is the real dedication; the actions performed are only consecrating this Supreme Knowledge.

L
M

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Wheel of Life

There is an analogy that is very illustrative of the way to mukti, it is the analogy of the spoked wheel. Shaped like the old wagon wheel, this wheel has an outer rim, dozens of spokes that travel towards its center, and a large central hub which has hole in its center (for the axle to slide through).

The wheel analogy here will be used in the context of the various philosophies and the seven perceiver stations from Shiva to the Sakala.

The outer rim represents station 7, the sakala, who is bound by all three malas (Anava-primal limiting condition, Mayiya-maya and her five coverings, and Karma mala, reducing the experient down desirous of perceived good and bad acts).

The spokes represent the various philosophical systems, i.e. Vedanta, Shaivism, Buddhism, Christianity, etc...

If one begins at one spoke or philosophy and experiences a change of heart, he must travel back to the outer rim to start anew again at a new spoke. Though many think this is not necessary, one must start from the essentials of any philosophy, lest they suffer unseen obstacles.

As one travels down the spoke of choice towards the hub, the first one half of the distance of the spoke represents station 6, or Pralayakala. Here the experient has been freed from Karma mala. The second half of the journey down the spoke represents sation 5, or Vijnanakala. Here the experient is freed from both Karma mala and Mayiya mala.

Reaching the hub is a milestone, for here begins the Universality of the experients understanding; this is in accordance with the universality of stations 4,3,2,and 1.

It is at the hub where the last limiting condition, the primal limiting condition of Anava mala ceases.

This makes the hub a milestone also in the sense that the experient has mastered the avikalpa state, or thoughtless state, which is the beginning of the truly universal experience. Dichotomising thought constructs, and mastery of them through the understanding of the dual nature of such allows the experient to merge into the higher mind.

It is at this stage that, due to the cessation of dichotomising thought constructs, that philisophical ideas become obsolete. It is from here (avikalpa) that true understanding forms.

With the above mentioned said then, station 4 is the first truly universal experience; the experient here is called Mantra. Here 'I' and 'This' (universe) are equal; there is unity underlying difference. Here Kriya or action is predominant.

Slightly deeper into the central hub is station 3, whereas the experient becomes more established in the 'I' side of experience. 'This' (the universe) is still clear, but is only an aspect of the Self. The experient here is Mantreshvara. Here jnana or divine Knowledge is predominant.

Finally, at the innermost section of the central hub (which forms the ring or rim of the central hole) is station two. Here 'I' is predominant as the experient surges towards the 'I' unity, but still has a dim experience of the universe. Here divine Will is predominant.

It is at this point that divine Will is necessary. Through divine Will or the Iccha of the Supreme, the remaining ignorance is burned away by the fire of Bhairava and the experient becomes no different from that of supreme Consciousness.

The hole at the center of the hub represents the formless Absolute, devoid of qualities and transcendent of form. It is here that one is Shiva, being no different than the Absolute.

We, all of us, no-one excluded, will reach the center of the hub. It is the only goal in our existence. All other goals are secondary and are contained within this one purpose. Prattling about which spoke is better is utter nonsense.

All of us pursue this hub down our own spoke, which is a highly individual thing.

Single minded of purpose we travel towards the Unity consciousness of the hub.

Mahagurubhakti
M

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KARMA, FATE AND WORLD PROCESS

M


The understanding that one possesses of karma naturally changes as one progresses in his or her sadhana.

There are those who say that one make's one's own fate, that one's future is solely the result of one's karmic deeds.

There are others who believe in predestiny.

These are both at once applicable, and immaterial. Behold:

Observe the next time you take a bath. Place your right hand on the surface of the water.
Put your left hand, pointing up, under the surface of the water near the front of the tub. Now, make a wave by gently splashing your right hand. Before the wave makes contact with the front of the tub, flick your left hand, which is underwater, upwards. You will see that the agitation on the surface cause by the left hand mitigates the wave made by the right hand.

The right hand represents one who is established in the gross world.

The wave made by this right hand represents karma made while ignorant.

The distance between the right hand and the left hand represent the line of time.

The left hand represents one established in the subtle nature, acquired over time.

The wave of the left hand which mitigates the first, and which came from the subtle, represents the notion that the yogi can mitigate existing karma. He cannot eradicate it, but he can mitigate it.

This would seem to lend weight to the notion of creating one's own karma, the making of one's own fate.

And yet, upon entrance into the Heart--the dawn of enlightenment--the yogi sees that there never was 'individual effort' at all. This is impossible. All objectivity, that is to say, the world, is identical with knowledge, and knowledge is that of the knower. Everywhere is the same nature, inward attainment and outward knowledge are in non-difference. Everything that exists is of the nature of Absolute Reality, and all objective phenomenon are the very activity of this Ultimate Reality, which is manifested in knowledge. This world is the knowledge-activity, which is the Will of the Knower. These three, that is to say, Knower, Knowledge and Known are One.

This whole world, which was formerly thought to be full of subjects, which are indeed the binding source of the Matrika, the power inherent in the alphabet, becomes an action verb to the yogi, that is to say, the activity of the Eternal Subject.

And so the latter statement of destiny would seem to apply.

And yet, it is both, and neither. Shiva resides as the 'individual' while taking part in the play as a bound soul, and resides unperturbed by His play, as that which all jivas are destined to awaken to, as the fount and source of all seeming objective manifestation.

Vibrating, expanding and contracting at an infinite rate is He, so that the state of the world and the Transcendent nature are of the nature of One-ness. This infinite vibration resonates throughout the span of these two poles, of seeming bound soul to the infinitude of Shiva.

This is the trick of Lord Shiva. For Spanda, the infinite vibration, takes place not as a seperate phenomenon, such as creator and created, nor as an extension of Shiva, such as projections of limbs. All of this takes place within the context of the Absolute Reality, that is to say, Spanda takes place on the ocean of Consciousness.
Observe:

Consider a glass. Fill it with water, and then touch a hairdryer to the side of the glass while it is on. The surface of the glass will becomes dizzy with activity, and yet the depths of the glass will remain calm.

The surface on which the waves take place is Shiva; the energy which creates the waves is Shakti, the waves on the surface is Shabda. This energy-vibration or Spanda, is the reflection of Shiva, that is to say, the Play, in which the perfectly calm surface of the ocean of Consciousness takes on specific qualities. These disturbances are moments of cognition, that is to say, Shiva is taking particular notice of Himself.

These waves or dynamic activity are the manifestation of the world process. All of this is the Spanda, or Shiva playing with all the possiblities; it is the play of Consciousness.

As soon as the energy becomes inactive, the waves stop. This is the dissolution of the world process.

From this analogy, one can see that the world is of the nature of dynamism, and is manifested due to Shakti or the energy of Lord Shiva. The energy which makes the waves, makes them from the ocean of Consciousness, which is identical to Shiva, that is to say, the waves or disturbances, are still only Consciousness, the ripples on the glass of water are still only water.

What is the depths of this glass? The Supreme Absolute, Paramashiva. Transcendent, free of qualities, it is the fount and source of all manifestation, as well as That into which all subsides. It is the depths, the Heart, the Ultimate Reality, the junction of manifestation and dissolution.

Coming to rest in the junction (sandhi), the Heart, the Absolute Reality--the level of Consciousness that Transcends convention--all worldly notions become moot. The play of Consciousness is one's own nature, as is the the Heart, from which all knowledge-activity arises and subsides.

The law of karma is relative, that is to say, the waves on the surface follow distinct laws, which are governed by the Will of Shiva.

All things which take place do so according to the law of karma and the Will of Shiva. The law of karma is indeed the will of Shiva.

Even the argument of whether the world is eternal or temporal should be a moot point among yogis, for by the simple glass analogy, we see that all that takes place and subsides does so within the context of the glass of water. The formless Absolute takes form as owing to Spanda, and when His energy of Shakti rests, it is resolved into this same formless Absolute.

One should not worry to much about this world process. One should focus rather on one's sadhana. Through meditation carried out with great faith and devotion, one will come to know the true nature, and that which is important will be known, whereas that which is unimportant will recognized also as superfluous and unnecessary.

Through the above means one should stay single pointed of mind, this is the only real and lasting goal.

Gurubhakti M


CHANTING

Question: Please tell us more about chanting. Is it the words themselves or the state they induce that make them effective?.

M
: We must first discard the above means of understanding. Mantra in the above view is seen as something other than Self, when it is in reality the 'face' of the formless Absolute. Sages tell us that mantra is the very face of
God, and I will now expound on this in lay terms so that we can all have a better understanding of the nature of sound and the importance of mantra japa.

If Shiva is the transcendental aspect beyond form and qualities, His Shakti is the dynamic aspect or the source of all change, indeed of all that is and that can be 'known.'

Shiva is both immanent as all things (Shakti), which are of the nature of dynamism and change, and remains the unchanging Principle upon which all of this takes place (Shiva). Our true nature is the totality of the immanence or display of Shakti, as well as the Changless Principle upon which it all takes place, or Shiva. In Trika, this is known as prakaasha-vimarsha or Shiva/Shakti.

It is like a television screen. The Screen upon which all takes place is Shiva, and the activity on the screen are the manifestations of Shakti. Shakti is the very energy which is the basis for all the dymanism and change on the screen. Shakti is not merely the dynamic world, but the energy which makes it possible. The forms and activity changes, but the energy or Shakti does not, it is Her display.

Let us look at the world for a moment. The rishis of thousands of years ago knew that the world was Om--sound energy, and only recently science has come upon the same conclusion, only with different words and means:

Gross matter is not what it seems. Take a door for instance. It seems solid, but it is not. We are only to big to pass through it. Radiation passes through it easily. Let us go on an imaginary journey now into the door, as we become smaller and smaller:

At first the door seems solid. As we become smaller, we begin to see that the door which seems inert and solid is really a conglomeration of atoms held together by the elecromagnetic forces of the atoms, which have electrons spinning around them. At this point we are slightly bigger than an atom, and the door now looks like a bag of worms, it is literally teaming with dynamic activity as the electrons of each atom spin at nearly the speed of light, both on its axis and around the atom itself.

As we get smaller (about the size of a proton) we see that the atoms are 99% space. If an atom, made up of a proton and neutron at its core, were the size of a softball, the electrons would be spinning in an orbit around the electron with the radius of an incredible mile in distance. This is how it looks to us. We also see now that the nucleus of the atom is quivering or vibrating, and spinning with an angular rotation. The nucleas is held together by the weak and strong nuclear forces. We also can see solar radiation pouring through the door, which now seems more like space than solid.

If we were to keep getting smaller and smaller, the dynamic activity would give way to infinitude....we would see the constutuents of the nucleus, and the constutuents of that, and that, and that....in the infinitely small is also the
infinitely large. Infinitude is not concerned with spacial or temporal distinctions. Eternity is eternity, and poles of experience like small and large are contained within it.

Another example of sound would be like this:

Sentences are made up of words. Words are made up of letters. Letters are made up of sound. Sound is in nature dynamism or activity. This dynamism or activity is the nature of energy. Energy in all its forms is Shakti. Shakti is the energy of Shiva. The light or prakasha that is Shiva has its nature in the Absolute Reality or ParamaShiva, which cannot be described with primitive dualistic language, it must be experienced, not told.

So you see now why the Rishis have called mantra the face of God. Sound-Energy is the form or face of the formless, like ripples of distinction in an eternally deep and clear lake.

Mantra in its highest form is Om, sound-energy, paraavaak, paraashakti, chiti, etc...it is the ripples in the ocean of Consciousness.

We are ignorant as to just how dynamic this world is. Right now, as I write this, radio waves, solar waves, television waves, light waves, waves of all sorts of frequencies to high and to low to see and hear, are passing through 'your' body. The mantra is a tool which we use to become consciously aware of this dynamism or Shakti in a frequency or form that we can conciously hear, so that we may come to feel the entire span of Om that we cannot sense as well. You can actually hear Om in the body. When, in meditation, the yogi hears Om as a humming or droning from deep within his nature, he is not hearing it with the physical ear, and it is not a sound that has been produced by striking something. Om is the primordial dynamism that is responsible for all dynamism, it is the unstruck sound. The reason that you are not hearing it with the physical ear is because you are actually having the experience of your immanent nature, you are experiencing the Divine Shakti; not a Shakti that is making itself known to you as a seperate thing, but it is you experiencing you.

Mantra is infinitely more than an affirmation, people in their ignorance only do not know it. They are not ready to understand that in the subtle nature of Om, all things are only the Shakti being played upon, by, and through Shiva. This is why the sages of old have told us to let Shakti carry you to Shiva. By becoming aware of your immanent nature, you are plunged inwards to experience your Transcendental nature as well, at which time words like transcendental and immanent will simply be verbal jockeying to you.

There is only Ultimate Reality. Distinguishing it as Shiva and Shakti, Transcendent and Immanent, are only to lead the sadhaka towards the experience of the true nature.

Mantra is absolutely indespensable in sadhana.

Thank you for the great question.

Gurubhakti M

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Soul

The soul is not a force unto itself which must be reconciled to God, but rather, it is the so-called limitation of Shiva by the three malas. Without the malas, there is no soul, only Shiva. Shiva is the all, the source, the malas, and the state of limitation. When this is digested into the Heart, this is jivan mukti. As we become, so do we dissolve. ~M


Eat Your Dog

Eat your cat! Eat your dog!

Eat them now! Gut your hamster, skin him and fry him in olive
oil.

What? What is this?! You can't eat your guinea pig?

Nonsense!

Listen to the three-fold wisdom:

Man does not eat his pet because he loves his pet; he spend
his days with his pet, and

yet he can eat an animal he has never met because he does not
know the animal, he has

never spent his afternoons with it.

This is selective compassion! Selective love!

Fill the greedy belly, for it is coarse in compassion and
cares not

Love one and eat the other; have love here and hunger there,

But do not claim to love all.

Either learn to eat your dog or to let the cow live!

Either be of the animal nature or be Godly of nature, but do
not straddle the fence my

friend, for if you fall you will certainly bust your gonads.

Guru Om Markandeya 5/17/02


Stairway To Peace

When one barters and argues with the Guru principle, it falls
silent and becomes the silent Shiva; when there is surrender,
the Guru principle is the dynamic and grace bestowing
Shaktipata, the Mother Devi.

All is within, there is no need for other extraneous objects
or people. In the beginning one practices this way, but this
is apara, which must give way to para-para, which is in the
head, this must give way to para, which is transcendent of
head and is the heart-sky.

Apara, external...parapara, mental.....para, peace state free
from gross objects and mental activity.

This apara is karma shakti which when expanded is kriya
shakti this parapara is jnana shakti which when expanded is
divine jnana; peace state this para is will or iccha shakti
which when expanded is the bliss of Shiva

objects or bhuchari shakti must come to rest into the senses
or dikchari shakti. These senses or dikchari must come to
rest in the psychic apparatus or antahkarana, called gochari.
This contracted psychic apparatus or gochari must be digested
into the subject or experiencer, called vyomachari.
Vyomachari must then realized supreme through expansion of
the ever present nature, Vameshvari.

All of these, bhuchari, dikchari, gochari, vyomachari, are
all subspecies or threads of Vameshvari, the Divine Mother,
Kali Ma. She is also called Khechari, the 'movement in the
void' of Consciousenss, the dynamic creative Bliss of the
Absolute Existence, Shiva.

All of this is to take place within. Do not let outer and
objects become predominant in your sadhana, for all is
within. Everything you need is within. All that is without is
already within.

Shakti will take you to Shiva, Shiva will take you to
Paramashiva. In Paramashiva, Shiva/Shakti are in perfect
equalibrium, there is no friction, there is no 'movement in
the void', there is only the Bliss that surpasses all mental
understanding, beyond energy, beyond Being, there is the
Absolute, Paramashiva, called Anuttara in the sacred Agamas.
Anuttara is beyond all, even beyond the idea of beyond, for
it is the source of all. The moment it is tried to be
defined, it transcends the attempt and reveals itself to be
the source of both the attempt and the definition.

Only stillness of mind will open the door to this supreme
within the heart, Anuttara. This door is the 'union' of
Shiva/Shakti, the Brahmarandhra, the heart-sky. It is here
that paurusha ajnana (primal ignorance) is revealed to be
transparent and without individual substance.

Guru Om Markandeya 4/14/02

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Perfect Peace

So you want perfect Peace, eh prilgrim?

Why does the presence of a saint bring such peace to all
creatures, even ones that are normally natural enemies? Why
do people become still, why do the cat and mouse become
complacent in their adversity in the presence of such a
being?

Listen closely to the three-fold wisdom:

The sage emanates perfect Peace because he does not think of
peace. His mind is still.

This is not a negative Peace that is simply 'devoid' of or
action or thought

Nor is it a relative Peace that sits in contrast to violence

It is Peace which rests in the fullness of Being, from which
all action proceeds. It is a Peace which is pure Awareness,
from which all knowledge proceeds. This peace is not a state
of mind, it is the very Center where mind returns from whence
it arose.

Absence of thinking is not peace! Stillness of mind is not
samadhi!

The mind waits, clever and patient, like the cat who preys on
the mouse. When the sadhak rises from meditation there it is!
Ever waiting to pick up right where it left off.

The mind must be purified, sublimated. Mind must learn not to
merely sit still for a time, but rather, must learn to be
sublimated, to merge into Buddhi, like ice dissolving in
water. Then peace reigns.

The body of such a one is a living mandala, the words of such
a one are a mantra, the gaze of such a one is Light Itself.

Such a being is Nityananda!

Guru Om Markandeya 4/30/2002


Bhakti

The scriptures tell us to love God with all our being, with
every moment of our existence, more than family, wife and
children.

What is meant by this exactly?

It is not a call to love our family less, no no, it is a call
to love all more

To love God first means to love all. God is the root, the
trunk, and the flower of life, the All-In-All. The dictum to
'love God first and foremost' is a dictum then to love all.

This means that we must not love our family less, but rather,
we should love the whole of existence as our family. It is a
call to love, this dictum.

This universal love is called samarasya or samávesha, meaning
'same sightedness'. In this universal love there is no room
to love 'this' more than 'that', nor is there any room to
'hate this' and to 'love that'.

Sadhana will bear lasting and meaningful fruit only when one
cultivates 'sameness' towards all. Sadhana will not bear
fruit when 'selective affection' for only a few exists, nor
will it bear fruit when hatred abides within.

See yourself in others, for love, hatred, anger, jealousy,
envy, desire, passion and greed are the same for all.

As you feel, so too does your brother.

As you need, so too does your sister.

To love God foremost is to love all, is to love itself.

Guru Om Markandeya 4/22/02

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Non-Doership

Non-doership!

What is non-doership? This requires an opposite, for in the
mind-world of particularity, there are two poles and a
mid-point to everything.

What ego delusion!

And yet, for the sake of right understanding (which comes in
increments for the mind, which has limited itself by its own
ignorance) the concept of non-doership must be understood.

Is the jiva (individual) doer?

Have you come into this being by your own power? Do you
maintain your existence? Do you have control over the
dissolution of this limited form?

No!

Consciousness-Being/Awareness-Experience/Bliss, or
Satchidananda is the immediate inner experience, which has
its causation in the Transcendental Lord Shiva.This Awareness
is not apart from Shiva, but is an inner reflection of Divine
Will to experience the fullness of Absolute Reality, which by
its very nature, exists in the fullness and splendor of its
totality.

Absolute Potential becomes Experience; all things are the
bliss of the Absolute.

The painter paints endless portraits throughout his lifetime.
Why hold beauty inside as potential? It is only natural for
the painter to paint his pictures. It is the bliss of his
expression.

And so it is with the Absolute.

Is Shiva the doer then?

No!

Transcendent Shiva is timeless, formless, and spacless. He
becomes his creation without himself undergoing any change
whatsoever; He neither diminishes nor increases.

Is Shakti (Shiva's svatantrya or free will to be any and all
things; His unlimited power) the doer then?

No!

In Kashmir Shaivism the initial creative throb is called
Spanda. It is constantly quivering, vibrating, expanding,
contracting, merging, seperating, etc...

This spanda is the Parashakti of Paramashiva. In Kashmir
Shaivism, Spanda is defined as "movement as it were." This is
because it is not really movement at all.

For there to be movement, there must be a mover, a means of
moving, the moved, and the backdrop for movement to occur on.

This is duality! There is only one reality!

Listen closely friend, for this is subtle wisdom.

There is dynamic action on a television screen, and yet does
the screen really move at all?

The screen sits perfectly still, and yet there is "movement
as it were" on the screen.

The screen is Shiva.

The "movement as it were" on the screen is Shakti.

The (illusion of) individual items on the screen is jivas, or
individuals.

The screen has become the innumerable objects on itself, as
well as the "movement as it were" of the objects for the sole
purpose of Shiva to experience the fullness of Shiva.

But even this example is rooted in the world of duality, for
the television is an object among objects.

Take the understanding one step further, and realize that the
"movement as it were" of the Divine Parashakti is not taking
place within the dualistic context of anything.

There is only Shiva!

Where is this doership?

It is in the mind-delusion of the head.

---Markandeya Oct. 3, 1999

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Kundalini

Listen closely friend, for this is the three-fold wisdom.

This is a short treatise that gives a cursory understanding
of the Kauliki Kundalini which resides as the goddess
Parashakti. She is the threefold Shakti of Lord Shiva: Shakti
Kundalini (Visarga Shakti or Creative Power of the Lord), the
Prana Kundalini (Breath of Life) and Paraa Kundalini (Highest
experience--Self Realization).

These are, respectively, the Intermediary Energy or Means of
Lord Shiva, the Inferior or Objective Energy of Lord Shiva,
and the Supreme or Subjective Energy of Lord Shiva.

These three Energies are also known as Will of the Knower
(Para or Subjective), the Knowledge or Knowing of the Knower
(Parapara or Intermediary), and the Known of the Knower
(Apara or Objective).

The initial Creative Throb of the Lord is described by the
great Shri Abhinavagupta as "the Creative Emission of the
Lord." This Spanda is called by many names that describe Her
action...A wave, shimmering, quivering, pulsing, opening and
closing, contraction and expansion, a vibrating, a resonance,
etc...

In Trika philosophy this is known as the Visarga Shakti or
Creative Power of Lord Shiva. It is the medium of the other
two energies known as Para and Apara. This Visarga Shakti is
the Kundalini Shakti, the intermediary energy of lord Shiva.
It is the seed of the other two energies.

Here we must look beyond the surface meaning of "three
energies". Indeed, the primary understanding that is given is
the literal meaning of "three energies." The subtle or
secondary meaning, however, is that these three energies are
in reality only three facets or actions of one energy. The
mystical application is that all things are not only built
upon these three energies, but that they are in fact one
energy which acts not only as the base of all things, but is
all things as well, being no different than the Lord of all,
the One without a second. The yogi who has this Unitive
vision has taken residence in his true nature as Lord Shiva,
the Lord of Maya.

It is in this understanding that we can perceive the
intermediary energy as the seed of the other two. In order
for the highest or Para to be realised, the created state of
the apparent world must first exist, that is to say, the Lord
according to his absolutely independant free will
(Svaatantrya), establishes the state of the world of apparent
multiplicity in order that he can forget or limit his
absolute. This limitation is not real, it is only relatively
real; it is a trick. Like the man with amnesia who cannot
remember his identity. It is within him, he only needs to
find it again, and when he does, he realizes this was always
his true identity; he only was tricked by the amnesia into
believing he was not who he really was the whole time. So we
see that the Creative Power of Shakti Kundalini establishes
the seed or medium by which the Lord can manifest the return
to the Highest Realization or Para Kundalini.

It is also by this Creative Power of the Shakti Kundalini,
that is the seed, which establishes the state of the world
that makes possible the inferior or objective energy, which
is the state of all objects or objectivity, including the
body and the state of the jiva. It is the state of the entire
world of multiplicity; of objects, thoughts, actions, and
means. This is called Prana Kundalini.

In the Creative cycle of Shakti Kundalini, the first move
into the arc of descent is in the form of Pranana Kundalini.
Pranana literally means "breath of life." It is not a
physical breath, it is the state by which life is made
possible and established; it is the force which makes the
non-breathing fetus in the womb exist as life; it is the
driving evolutionary energy that establishes man in his
journey towards the fullness of his existence.

The next move in the arc of Creative Descent is the
life-giving Prana Kundalini. It is the Prana Kundalini which
makes up the five pranas of the individual: praana, apaana,
samaana, vyaana, and udaana. It is this Prana Kundalini which
rests in the individual in the Muladhara as the Sleeping
Serpent.

It is this Prana Kundalini, by the Grace of Shiva, which
rises through the medium of Shakti Kundalini or Creative
Energy; When united in the head with the Absolute Principle
She resides as Para Kundalini or the enlightened one. The
yogi who resides in this state is the Lord of heroes.

Prana Kundalini is the naive goddess. She knows no ignorance;
she is ignorant to the duplicity of the world. This is why to
the bound soul who relies on limited knowledge fed to the
brain through the medium of the senses, she is present as a
sleeping serpent. She manifests the apparent state of
objectivity; She brings to this the state of life, and yet
Her knowledge of the true nature of this state is pure. She
is the pure knowledge (shuddha vidya) of Lord Shiva, residing
as amnesia or sleeping knowledge due to the ignorance brought
about by Maya. All of this is the Will of Lord Shiva.

It is one who has had the direct knowledge, that is to say,
the ever-present direct experience of the true nature of
Self, who has merged the Prana Kundalini in the head, where
She emerges through the subtle aperture known as
Brahmarandhra, digesting all objectivity as well as limited
knowledge into her own nature. The yogi who has so realized
sees the entire manifestation of the world as his own Self.
He resides as Para Kundalini, and is one with the great Lord
Parameshvara, being the Lord Himself.

It is worthy of note that the rise of Kundalini is in no way
due to individual effort. Indeed, though the yogi may
initiate the proper means by which the Prana Kundalini will
rise, it is only due to the Will of Shiva. From the bound
perspective at one end of the spectrum, individual effort is
valid. However, established in the supreme state, notions
like individual effort are no longer valid, all is Shiva. In
truth, individual effort and the Grace of Shiva are two
perspectives of the same Reality.

It is impossible for the ego to attain to Shiva by limited
means. Only by the Will of Lord Shiva does one propitiate the
rise of Kundalini by Grace. All of the spiritual aspirant's
activities must be seen as tools which were accrued not by
his merits, but by Grace alone. Even this proper insight is
only a gift of the Lord.

Therefore striving under individual effort and austerities
will not yield the final fruit. Indeed, one must reside in
the world, fulfilling his or her karma and living a dharmic
existence. Worrying about reaching an inner goal will only
serve as itself a distraction from the perfect center that is
to be attained. This inner asana or center cannot be attained
by effort, but by simpling existing in a state of being, free
from the dichotomous state of vikalpas. Purity of motive and
unswerving faith and bhakti are the rudder, the body is the
boat, the world is the ocean, and the Guru is the captain of
the boat, leading across the ocean of worldliness to the
Infinite.

May the Grace of the Lord vibrate within your Heart.

Guru Om, Markandeya

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HAMSA

I AM THAT

Listen to the threefold wisdom. Hamsa, I Am That, is among
the most sacred of mantras, along with the blessed mantras
sauh, Om, Aham and Om Namah Shivaya.

Hamsa is the expression of the three primary energies of Lord
Shiva, namely, Subjectivity, Knowledge or Knowing, and
Objectivity. These are also known as Iccha (Will), Jnana
(Knowledge), and Kriya (Activity).

The three primary energies are in truth only three facets of
Saguna (form) Brahman, the Goddess Shakti.

Look at the words "I Am That."

"I" is the power of the Subjective energy of Lord Shiva.

"Am" is the power of Knowledge or Knowing. This middle energy
is the seed of the other two.

"That" is the power of Objectivity.

"I" is Para, or Highest, the Subjective energy.

"Am" is intermediary, the cognitive energy.

"That" is inferior, the objective energy.

When, upon recitation of the mantra Hamsa received from the
Guru, the yogi begins mantra japa with a superficial
understanding.

The yogi understands Hamsa to mean "I" the ego--"Am" in
reality--"That" Lord Shiva.

This is the understanding from the point of view of the
limited mind.

Through continuous mantra japa (mantra repetition), the
mantra, which is the body of the Lord, burns away the
assumptions of the ego in the fire of Bhairava.

In the beginning, this repetition can be done in the mouth
(vaikhari). It must soon be repeated inwardly. This brings
the levels of speech to subtle, subtler, subtlest, as the
blessed mantra, the very body of the Lord, carries the yogi
through the level of the mind (madhyama), the heart
(pashyanti), and finally towards the supreme speech, the
subtlest level of existence (paravak). This subtlest level of
speech is all pervasive and undifferentiated, with no
particular locus. It is the pure essence of Being.

Paravak is the undifferentiated Om. Pashyanti is that place
in the heart where the seed of specificity or differentiated
ideas first begin to take shape, but are not yet separate.
Madhyama is that level that resides in the throat where the
idea or word is wholly formed and differentiated in the mind,
but not yet spoken. Vaikhari, the level of the mouth, is
where the differentiated, specific, limited word, born of
idea, is manifested. Here word and object have become
divided.

As the yogi is carried through the four levels of speech,
mantra becomes subtler, less specific. Upon entering unto the
level of pure speech, paravak, there is no difference between
word, thought, or energy. The yogi resides in the essence,
which is of the nature of dynamism or creative emission,
Parashakti.

Parashakti in the yogi resides as Parakundalini. It is
everywhere, and nowhere, and resides in potentia at the base
of the human psyche, in the root known as muladhara. It is
dynamic, and yet unmoving. Established in Para the yogi
experiences the Pure Knowledge, the direct experience of the
Lord, as Transcendental Formless, and also as the body of the
dynamic Shakti. This shattering of ignorance fills the head
of the yogi with awe. Distinctions and opposites, delusion
and aspiration are burned in the fire of Bhairava. The
paradox of Shiva/Shakti that so baffled the mind of the yogi
is no longer intellectualized in vain, but is easily and
naturally experienced as the Reality of God Consciousness.
Mind and body are transcended, and the Bliss of the Lord is
the Reality of the yogi.

In the process of succession, "I Am That" is digested; The
objectivity of "That" and the knowledge of "Am" are digested
into "I." The remaining traces of objectivity associated with
the subjective "I" are digested into the whole of Supreme
Knowledge, Para, which transcends the word or the notion of a
relative "I".

This objectivity, cognition, subjectivity, and the remaining
vestiges of objectivity in the "I' is known by the wise as
the three and one-half folds of the Shakti-Kundalini which
resides in the base of sushumna, in the muladhara. Within the
lower 1/3 of the muladhara is the resting place of Kundalini,
known as the sixth organ, Medhrakunda.

The first coil is objectivity, digested as the Kundalini
rises. Here expressed as "That."

As the Shakti-Kundalini rises, knowledge or knowing is
digested as the second coil unfolds.

The third coil of the Serpent that is digested is
subjectivity. For "I" alone remains.

But what is this half-coil? In the subjectivity of "I," there
remains a trace of objectivity, of relativity to the world,
due to the fact that the notion of "I" exists. "I" is a term
that is relative, that is to say, Consciousness is attached
to "I-ness."

It is in this final one-half coil that the last remaining
traces of objectivity are digested, establishing the yogi at
the door of Supreme Nature, Paramashiva.

The four levels of speech, the three and one-half coils, the
blessed mantra Hamsa, are all one process of digestion,
Behold:

"I Am That"--Vaikhari or gross speech, at the level of the
mouth. The first coil--objectivity of the Serpent Goddess.
This is digested.

"I Am"--Madhyama or subtle speech, at the level of the
throat. The second coil--Knowing of the Serpent Goddess. This
is digested.

"I"--Pashyanti or subtler speech, at the level of the heart.
The third coil--Subjectivity of the Serpent Goddess. This is
digested.

Transcendental Experience--Paravak or Supreme speech. The
last remaining one-half coil of the Serpent Goddess is
digested.This is Mukti, Moksha, liberation from Shiva Amnesia
while in the body.

These four levels of speech are presided over by the Matrka
Shakti.

The three and none-half coils of the Serpent is known as
Shakti Kundalini. She is 'asleep' to Truth, and being
'Outwardly' turned She is known as the jiva, or Prana
Kundalini. Turned inward and traveling upward, piercing the
grantis and risen to sahasrara, She is known as Para
Kundalini. Shakti, or Shakti Kundalini, is the medium energy,
the center from which she outwardly turns as the Prana
Kundalini or Jiva, and from which She inwardly turns and
rises to the doorway of Godhead, here called Para Kundalini.

Hamsa is the body of the Lord; both the descent into the
world process, and the ascent into the Godhead.

These three energies are various manifestations or powers of
Lord Shiva, this Supreme Energy is His svatantrya,
Parashakti.

May this understanding, through the Grace of Lord Shiva,
propel you inwards in your sadhana.

Guru Om, Markandeya

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KARMA, FATE AND WORLD PROCESS

M

The understanding that one possesses of karma naturally
changes as one progresses in his or her sadhana.

There are those who say that one make's one's own fate, that
one's future is solely the result of one's karmic deeds.

There are others who believe in predestiny.

These are both at once applicable, and immaterial. Behold:

Observe the next time you take a bath. Place your right hand
on the surface of the water. Put your left hand, pointing up,
under the surface of the water near the front of the tub.
Now, make a wave by gently splashing your right hand. Before
the wave makes contact with the front of the tub, flick your
left hand, which is underwater, upwards. You will see that
the agitation on the surface cause by the left hand mitigates
the wave made by the right hand.

The right hand represents one who is established in the gross
world.

The wave made by this right hand represents karma made while
ignorant.

The distance between the right hand and the left hand
represent the line of time.

The left hand represents one established in the subtle
nature, acquired over time.

The wave of the left hand which mitigates the first, and
which came from the subtle, represents the notion that the
yogi can mitigate existing karma. He cannot eradicate it, but
he can mitigate it.

This would seem to lend weight to the notion of creating
one's own karma, the making of one's own fate.

And yet, upon entrance into the Heart--the dawn of
enlightenment--the yogi sees that there never was 'individual
effort' at all. This is impossible. All objectivity, that is
to say, the world, is identical with knowledge, and knowledge
is that of the knower. Everywhere is the same nature, inward
attainment and outward knowledge are in non-difference.
Everything that exists is of the nature of Absolute Reality,
and all objective phenomenon are the very activity of this
Ultimate Reality, which is manifested in knowledge. This
world is the knowledge-activity, which is the Will of the
Knower. These three, that is to say, Knower, Knowledge and
Known are One.

This whole world, which was formerly thought to be full of
subjects, which are indeed the binding source of the Matrika,
the power inherent in the alphabet, becomes an action verb to
the yogi, that is to say, the activity of the Eternal
Subject.

And so the latter statement of destiny would seem to apply.

And yet, it is both, and neither. Shiva resides as the
'individual' while taking part in the play as a bound soul,
and resides unperturbed by His play, as that which all jivas
are destined to awaken to, as the fount and source of all
seeming objective manifestation.

Vibrating, expanding and contracting at an infinite rate is
He, so that the state of the world and the Transcendent
nature are of the nature of One-ness. This infinite vibration
resonates throughout the span of these two poles, of seeming
bound soul to the infinitude of Shiva.

This is the trick of Lord Shiva. For Spanda, the infinite
vibration, takes place not as a seperate phenomenon, such as
creator and created, nor as an extension of Shiva, such as
projections of limbs. All of this takes place within the
context of the Absolute Reality, that is to say, Spanda takes
place on the ocean of Consciousness. Observe:

Consider a glass. Fill it with water, and then touch a
hairdryer to the side of the glass while it is on. The
surface of the glass will becomes dizzy with activity, and
yet the depths of the glass will remain calm.

The surface on which the waves take place is Shiva; the
energy which creates the waves is Shakti, the waves on the
surface is Shabda. This energy-vibration or Spanda, is the
reflection of Shiva, that is to say, the Play, in which the
perfectly calm surface of the ocean of Consciousness takes on
specific qualities. These disturbances are moments of
cognition, that is to say, Shiva is taking particular notice
of Himself.

These waves or dynamic activity are the manifestation of the
world process. All of this is the Spanda, or Shiva playing
with all the possiblities; it is the play of Consciousness.

As soon as the energy becomes inactive, the waves stop. This
is the dissolution of the world process.

From this analogy, one can see that the world is of the
nature of dynamism, and is manifested due to Shakti or the
energy of Lord Shiva. The energy which makes the waves, makes
them from the ocean of Consciousness, which is identical to
Shiva, that is to say, the waves or disturbances, are still
only Consciousness, the ripples on the glass of water are
still only water.

What is the depths of this glass? The Supreme Absolute,
Paramashiva. Transcendent, free of qualities, it is the fount
and source of all manifestation, as well as That into which
all subsides. It is the depths, the Heart, the Ultimate
Reality, the junction of manifestation and dissolution.

Coming to rest in the junction (sandhi), the Heart, the
Absolute Reality--the level of Consciousness that Transcends
convention--all worldly notions become moot. The play of
Consciousness is one's own nature, as is the the Heart, from
which all knowledge-activity arises and subsides.

The law of karma is relative, that is to say, the waves on
the surface follow distinct laws, which are governed by the
Will of Shiva.

All things which take place do so according to the law of
karma and the Will of Shiva. The law of karma is indeed the
will of Shiva.

Even the argument of whether the world is eternal or temporal
should be a moot point among yogis, for by the simple glass
analogy, we see that all that takes place and subsides does
so within the context of the glass of water. The formless
Absolute takes form as owing to Spanda, and when His energy
of Shakti rests, it is resolved into this same formless
Absolute.

One should not worry to much about this world process. One
should focus rather on one's sadhana. Through meditation
carried out with great faith and devotion, one will come to
know the true nature, and that which is important will be
known, whereas that which is unimportant will recognized also
as superfluous and unnecessary.

Through the above means one should stay single pointed of
mind, this is the only real and lasting goal.

Guru Om, Markandeya

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THE GOAL OF LIFE

M

In the beginning, people ask "what is the goal of life?"

Is it to uphold dharma?

Is it to live as a shining example?

Is it to become a pandit (scholar of scripture)?

Is it to achieve liberation?

No!

Goal is delusion! For to have a goal is to have a beginning.

Lord Shiva is without beginning and end.

One must foster vairagya (dispassion); one must be
indifferent to the world.

Detachment! Renunciation!

One must live as a member of the world without worldliness.

Who are you to achieve anything!

You who are Shiva!

Satchitananda is not achieved, for it is the inner nature.

The body has nothing to attain, nothing to release.

Give up the body idea, and then you will see.

See your true nature. That which is all things and no-thing.

All things as Consciousness, and no-thing, as Transcendence.

In the beginning the yogi desires liberation; this is his
'goal.'

Fruit begins to bare when this 'idea,' this 'vikalpa' falls
away.

The inner asana, the Heart-Space is beyond 'vikalpa.'

Sitting in perfect repose, there is no goal.

There is only Shiva!

Guru Om, Markandeya

Ego

Chronic and habitual seriousness is a direct side-effect of
expanded ego. Those that find levity and happiness in all
situations and are themselves capable of self-deprecation are
in fact the closest to understanding their own true nature.

Guru Om, Markandeya

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