Monday, September 27, 2010

36 Elements of Kashmir Shaivism


Today’s topic is 36 Elements of Kashmir Shaivism.

When I started reading Kashmir Shaivism the first thing that struck to me was that it was like diamond coming in my hands. The diamond has many facets. In Kashmir Shaivism if we see, the different facets throw light on to different aspects of objective world as well as subjective world. That is how it makes your understanding complete. So we have got this diamond in our hand and all the new facets are coming in front of us every time when Sir is speaking. That is how the understanding is becoming complete. Now we will start with today’s topic of 36 elements.

When we speak about 36 elements, they are basically the fundamental building blocks of creation. Shiva decided to create the Universe from his Iccha Shakti, It is Lord Shiva’s will, so it is independent and unlimited. It is Shiva’s Svatantrya Shakti. Thus out of his independent will, he decided to create the Universe because he wanted to experience what is it to be in various forms of creation - and through them, have the enjoyment of different experiences. So he decided to create the Universe. When he thought of that, the first thing that happened was he started expanding. When we say Shiva, it is Param Shiva - the Supreme Subjective Consciousness which is all pervading and absolutely inert. From any inert thing, the creation cannot emerge. So the first thing that started was Shiva started expanding. When he started expanding Shakti came out of it. Shiva is the first element in Kashmir Shaivism and Shakti is the second element. Now Shiva and Shakti are inseparable. Shiva is the consciousness aspect and Shakti is the bliss energy aspect of the same thing. They are together and unless they are together further things cannot happen. Only Shiva or only Shakti alone is incapable of creating anything. So Shiva started expanding. From that emerged Shakti. In Shakti Shiva is very much there. It is the expanded Shiva.

Shiva decided to have this Universe and how this Universe will be? It is the reflection of Shiva in his own nature. It is not that the mirror is different and the object is different and the object is getting reflected into that mirror. No! Shiva himself is the mirror and he decided to reflect the Universe in his own nature. So in the process of expansion Shakti came. To make the understanding of 36 elements easier we can see it this way - it is actually the process of creation of anything that gets created. Whether it is the creation of Universe or creation of any other thing like you are starting a factory or it is a creation of the movie, any process of creation goes through this. To make the understanding easier let’s take an example. When you think that I want to start a factory does the factory manifest on its own? No, there is a process through which it goes and the work happens in phases. The work does not happen overnight. The first thing is the will that you have to start something, then you start getting the knowledge of what all possibilities are there. When you have the knowledge then you start thinking that if I have to do then how will I do? In creation when it is going to start it goes through this.

In the same way Shiva decided that if the Universe has to come into existence, then there has to be energy which will work for him. From Shiva, the energy of consciousness Chit Shakti emerged Shakti which is the energy of bliss and they are in bliss. Chidanada they were in that blissful consciousness state; but again for the universe to get created what was needed was Iccha Shakti, the power of will to create the Universe. Iccha Shakti is not translated as power of desire. It is the power of will. It’s the inner will which is Iccha Shakti. From his nature first what he created was Iccha Shakti. If he has the will to do something only then that thing can happen. If that inner will is not there then that thing will not happen. First Shiva created will in the form of energy of will, power of will which is called Iccha Shakti. Thus the third element was created which is called as Sadashiva – the power of revealment of Shiva. It says “I am the Universe”

From that he further expanded and created Gyan Shakti that is the Energy of Knowledge. The fourth element got created, which was Ishvar - the Power of Concealment of Shiva. If you want to create something unless you have the knowledge how will you proceed further? So it is the Gyan Shakti, the Energy of Knowledge that is created. Now Shiva expanded into that, he did not create it, he expanded into that aspect of creation and there he says, “This Universe is Me”.

So first came Shiva, then the second element Shakti, third Sadashiva, fourth Ishvar. That is From the Pure Subjective Consciousness, Paramshiva, first emerged the Energy of Consciousness, Chit Shakti. Then it expanded into Energy of Bliss, Anand Shakti. Further it gave rise to Iccha - the Energy of Will. Further Shiva moved and created Energy of Knowledge. which is the Gyaan Shakti, the Energy of Knowledge. You may have the knowledge but will the things happen? No, unless you start working on it things cannot happen. For that what you need is Kriya, the Energy of Action. There are lots of big project we see. If they remain in the mind will the manifestation happen? It cannot happen. So you need to have the plan of action. Thus came the fifth element Shudhhavidya, the Energy of Action of Shiva. Now the next phase starts. These are the five Shuddha tattvas,

Here the action has not yet started, the plan has just manifested in the mind of Shiva. It has not yet manifested in the objective world. Shiva is the Subjective Consciousness, it has decided to experience what it is to be in a body and he wanted to experience the creation, So the Objective Consciousness is the objective world and Shiva is the Subjective Consciousness. From there it is coming down now. Till now all these were the Pure elements.

If we have pure gold and when we try to make ornament out of that pure gold, we first have to add impurity and only from that impure and hardened material the ornament can be made. And this process is applicable in creation of anything if you want to have a sustainable creation, when the impurity is added the action starts. A pure element is an inert element. It does not act. When the impurity is added to it, the action can be started. So further to these first five pure elements starts the next phase.

It is actually a phase. I will tell you about a further chapter of The Secret Supreme, which is about Shadadhvan which tells about different phases and different paths and how in each phase this work is carried out.

Next phase is he wants to become a Jiva. From here the phase of adding the impurity begins. Here Shiva has all the unlimited powers and with those unlimited powers, he will not be able to become a Jiva, that is a Limited Being. So in order to bring Himself into a limited form, what he does is he first creates the veil of Maya – the illusion. So the next element is the element of Maya, the power of illusion. Why is it needed? If you are unlimited how will you become limited and experience it. Illusion has to be created. With the unlimited power of will that is Svatantra Shakti he decided that he wants to become limited and he wants to experience it - so this veil of Maya! Thus by coming under the veil of Maya and wearing five jackets of limitedness, the five Kanchukas, now Shiva becomes Purusha which is the limited being. How does he become that?

The first thing is the limited aspect of creativity. Nature of Shiva is Sarvakartutvam that is unlimited creativity. He can do anything that he wants to do and His Svatantrya Shakti is such that there is nothing to oppose it. Whatever he wants to do he can do it. Here first aspect of limitedness comes. Limited being can do something but that will be limited because Shiva has created this veil of Maya under which Shiva thinks that only limited things can be done. But it is Shiva only. All through these 36 elements this aspect has to be kept in mind that it is the Shiva who is descending. That means all these basic 36 elements are not separate from Shiva. Shiva himself is descending through these 36 elements.

The first aspect which comes is the limited aspect of creativity that is Kalaa. When we say “Chandra ki Kala”, it is a phase, a part of moon. Normally Kalaa word, we use in context where we mean any art form. But these art forms also why we started calling Kala? It is because it is the limited aspect of entire creativity. That is why we call music as Kalaa, dance as Kalaa because it is just one part and not whole! Thus from here only this word Kalaa has got attached to performing arts. So Kala is the limited creativity. Let us take the analogy of starting a factory or a film production. You can have limited products. You cannot produce unlimitedly.

Proceeding further on the analogy that I gave you if you start thinking, you will understand the further aspects and you do not have to mug up the elements. You have decided to create, it is going to be limited creation, so you have to know in that limited aspects what all things could be created or how to create them. So the third element Vidya tattva comes into picture - the limited power of knowledge in the sequence of Pure-impure elements. Here Shiva’s capacity is Sarva-jnananatvam – all knowing! From that Sarvajnananatvam, coming under the veil of Maya he decides that I can know only limited. So the aspect of limited knowledge - Vidya tattva emerged. How are these limitations felt? You always feel that I want to know this I want to know that too. Only learning this is not sufficient; let me learn that too! Ultimately you feel that there is a limitation on what all you can know. Why does one feel that way? It is because under the veil of Maya and in the effect of Vidyaa tattva it is the Shiva who is saying that I can know limited. So whatever I can know will be limited. So this vidya tattva keeps on telling you that you will know limited.

These are the Shuddha-ashuddha tattvas or the Pure-impure elements that we are discussing. First is Maya under which the five Kanchukas or jackets come. The first was Kalaa tattva, after that was Vidya.

Now the third is the Raaga tattva, the limited attachments. Purna madaha, Purnamidam, Purnaat purna mudachyate. Purnasya, purna maadaya Purna mevaavashishshyate – a Wholeness, completeness! That is Shiva’s real nature which is Purnatvam - completeness. But when it comes to limitedness it says that something is lacking in me. If I get this I will become complete. Something lacking in you, this feeling is given by Raag tattwa, the power of Limited Attachment! You cannot attach to infinite things. This limited attachment makes you think that I have only limited things and if I have this I will become complete, this purnatvam of Shiva has got converted into Raaga tattva which is the limited aspect of it.

From this the next thing that comes is Kaal. Shiva’s nature is Nityatvam. Shiva is eternal. That eternal being when it wants to come into that limited aspect, it will be for a particular duration and that is from where comes the Kaal tattwa which says that today I am sitting here, yesterday I was there and tomorrow I will be there. Aspect of today, tomorrow, yesterday came from this Kaal tattva because of this limitedness of time. Otherwise Shiva is eternal! Tomorrow, today these aspects are not there and that is where this aspect of aging also comes into picture. If there is Nityatvam will there be concept of aging? It won’t be there because we are eternal. But we say, “I am 47 years old or 54 years old or whatever! Aging came from the limitedness of time which tells you that you can live only for a limited span of life. That is why when Sir Keeps on explaining about the immortal Masters, it is this aspect that they have gone beyond, that is why they have become immortal. They don’t have the concept of 54 years old and all that. They are eternal, their existence is eternal. They have crossed this aspect, they have gone beyond Maya and they have beyond this tattva also.

On the basis of same analogy, you have decided to create say a factory. For the same limited aspect now you have got the knowhow. Further you decide only these products can be manufactured. Next is this much time is required for the production to come into existence. Next is where it will be? It cannot be everywhere, it is limited thing that is going to come up, so it will have a particular place and that is Niyati, the destiny – the limited aspect of Space. This is the limited aspect of Shiva which tells that it is the limited aspect of space. Sarva-vyapakatvam is the quality of Shiva which means all-pervading. From there it has come to the tattva which is the limitation that is Niyati. That is why we say that I wanted to go there but I could not because I cannot be at two places simultaneously. I can be only at one place at any given time. The Jiva when it comes into the body says that I will be at one place at any given time. That is how the Niyati Tattva came. These are the Shuddha-ashuddha tattvas. Thus coming under the veil of Maya and wearing the Panch kanchukas of Kalaa, Vidya, Raaga, Kaala and Niyati now Shiva has become Purusha, the Limited Being.

Purusha is the ego which is connected to subjectivity. It has still some connection with Shiva; it has not yet entered the world of pure objectivity. You can say that these Pure-impure elements were the management level. Earlier Shuddha tattvas or the Pure Elements was the director level. Now comes the production level where Purusha and Prakriti are there. There Shiva and Shakti they were inseparable, here there is Purusha and Prakriti. Purusha responds to Prakriti and Prakriti takes charge of the creation. The first five elements are Shuddha elements, the next seven elements are Shuddha-ashuddha elements with veil of Maya with five Kanchukas which the Purusha wears.

The phase of Impure Elements begins now. Now the creation enters into the actual objective world. From here Shiva through Prakriti tattva starts manifesting in the objective world. When you want to make something you have to know what are the ingredients required, what are the things that are required for the project. There comes the aspect of ashuddha tattvas, the 24 impure elements from where the objective world is created. It is the pure subjectivity which through this process is experiencing objectivity. Through Prakriti now Shiva has now started its further phase of creation. Here we will start from the lowest tattva.

In the process of creation also you see it always comes this way. First the idea is conceived at, and then the plan becomes ready in mind. There you come from higher level. But when the actual manifestation has to happen you have to start collecting the ingredient which is the lowest phase off the ladder of creation. In these 36 rungs of ladder, the lowest rung is that of Earth element. Panch Mahabhutas or the Five Great Elements come on to the lowest five rungs. Panch mahabhuttas are the Earth, Prithvi tattva – that which gives rigidity or solidity. Then Jala, Water – that which gives fluidity, followed by Agni or Tejas tattva - Fire – which has two aspects, lower heat aspect and higher light aspect. Next is Vaayu tattva - the Air and last Akaash tattva - Ether or Space element. These are the Panch Mahabhutas. Why are they called as Panch Mahabhutas? We call this world as “Bhautik Jagat”. From these Panch Mahabhuttas this world is made up and that is why it is called “Bhautik Jagat”- manifested world.

These Panch Mahabhuttas have association with Panch Tanmatras, the residence of the five sense perceptions. We can say Tanmatras are the abodes of sensations.

Tanmatra associated with space or ether element is Shabd. Rather than going step by step into these things let us first have overall view of the whole thing. We have panch Jnanendriyas – the five sense organs of perception and Panch Karmendriyas – the five organs of action. Panch Gyanendriyas what do they do? Constantly the inputs are coming to them. They are sensing the inputs and these inputs have reflection in your consciousness and they are stored as psychic impressions in your memory. How does this process happen? The outer reflection of the Shabd tanmatra is in the ether, space and the inner reflection of that is in the ears. Gyanendriya which is associated with the shabd tanmatra is Shrotra or ear and the element which is associated with the shabd tanmatra is Aakash or ether.

This way if you correlate you will understand the whole thing. Next is the air element, for air element Sparsh or the touch is the tanmatra because it is the movement of air which creates the sensation of touch. Air is the element, touch is the tanmatra and it is reflected in Gyanendriya or organ of cognition on Tvak or skin. Next is fire. Why are you able to see me or why am I able to see you? It is because of the light. If the light is not there we won’t be able to see. So the form which we see is because of the light. That is why Fire or Agni is the element, Roop is the tanmatra. The Form that you see is the tanmatra and with what you see, eyes or Chakshu is the Gyanendriya. Next element is Jala or Water. For water the tanmatra is Rasa or the taste and the Sense organ is tongue or Jnanendriya is Rasanaa. Many times we say that the food there is very tasty because the water there has a taste. It is different. So it is the water that gives the taste and that is why Rasnaa or the tongue is the Gyanendriya. This tongue is always kept wet by saliva. Whatever you eat if that does not melt into the saliva you will not be able to taste anything. Tongue does two jobs that is of speaking and second is of tasting. Last element is Prithvi - Earth, Ghrana or the nose is the Gyanendriya and Gandha or the smell is the tanmatra. When we say that there is a flower and the fragrance of flower is coming, actually what happens is that the molecules of that flower travel and reach the nose and only then can we smell. If you understand the correlation then you don’t have to remember the tanmatras and Gyanendriyas.

Now we have this picture of Panch Mahabhuttas and Panch tanmatras and Panch Gyanendriyas. In between from lower side after five elements and the tanmatras come Panch Karmendriyas or the five Organs of Action. When you have the perception at the same time the action also has to be there otherwise if there is no movement in this world you will not be able to have different perceptions. There come the organs of action or Karmendriyas. These Panch Karmendriyas are Vak, Pani, Pada, Payu and Upastha. Vak or the tongue is the first karmendriya. Again Vak means Speech and is related to tongue. If you see further chapters there these things are explained that basically the five energies of Shiva – Chit Shakti, Ananda Shakti, Iccha Shakti, Gyan Shakti and Kriya Shakti, these five energies are percolating up to the lowest element Earth and they are creating this entire universe. For your own reference what you can do which I did and my understanding became complete, I made a table for all these things. Right from Akasha element to earth element write the associated tanmatras and in the first column you write the five shuddha shaktis - Chit Shakti, Ananda Shakti, Iccha Shakti, Gyan Shakti and Kriya Shakti. Then you will see how these are created from those five energies. These tables I will give you soon.

The first karmendriya is Vak which is the tongue, Pani or hand which is the Organ of Giving, the job of hands is to give or Aadaan. Pada means leg and movement, vihar or moving around is the job done by legs, Payu is the Organ of Excretion. Upastha is the Sex organ and its job is procreation.

Panch Mahabhutas, Panch tanmatras, Panch Karmendriyas and Panch Gyanendriyas make twenty tattvas. Now four more impure elements remain in which uppermost is Prakriti. Under Prakriti is the Ahankar tattva or the ego, under which is Buddhi tattva or the intellect and under that comes Manas or mind. and the twenty fifth tattva of Purusha goes above and comes under Pure-impure elements. If you start seeing from Ananda Shakti, all these are made up with the help of Gyan Shakti. Kashmir Shaivism is all about experiencing, it is not just about knowing intellectually. There is one more chapter in ‘The Secret Supreme’ which tells you that there are two types of Gyanas, one is Paurusha Gyan and other is Bauddha Gyan. Bauddha Gyan is the intellectual knowledge and Paurusha Gyan is the experiential knowledge, only experiential knowledge is not sufficient. With experiential knowledge you will be liberated - but after death! And what will happen is if you have the experiential knowledge and don’t have the understanding of it, the bauddha knowledge of it, slowly you will start forgetting and the knowledge will fade out. Unless you give the expression and tell others about it that knowledge will fade away and you won’t have anything to tell for the next generation and that is why always experiential knowledge has to be accompanied by the intellectual or the Bauddha knowledge. But only intellectual knowledge if you have that is not going to liberate you and will not serve any purpose. With that the ego becomes strong and you keep yourself away from actually experiencing all these things. That is why Kashmir Shaivism all the time stresses on the practices and the intellectual understanding of the experiences. Through practices you will be experiencing something and those experiences if you want to express to others you have to have proper terminology.

When Kashmir Shaivism came in my hand I thought that in TAO too many programs have happened and through those programs we had so many experiences; but those were tit bit experiences, some experience here, some experience there but when the entire Jigsaw puzzle comes in front of you, you start understanding which is the missing link. This Kashmir Shaivism is the map which unfolds the entire jigsaw puzzle with each and every piece in it to understand.

We were talking about Purusha, Prakriti, Buddhi, Ahamkar and Manas. Manas, Buddhi and Ahamkar together are called as antahkarana. ‘Karana’ in Sanskrit means organs and ‘antah’ means inner. These are the three inner organs. Manas does the job of Sankalpa nirmana, it is a thought creating factory, whether it is necessary or not. When I look there I think that this is the chart. Is it necessary to think that? No, but mind will go on doing its job ceaselessly; constantly it will go on creating thoughts. It is Manas which creates the thought so it predominantly contains Kriya Shakti and it is manifested from Gyan Shakti. This correlation you can find in the chapter on Matrikachakra in “The Secret Supreme”. So if you get the knowledge of how these thoughts are generated, then through that you can understand the Manas tattva. Manas constantly creates thoughts; but for taking any action these are referred to the higher agency of Buddhi tattva or intellect. For knowing what is right and what is wrong. There should be some agency which will tell you what is right and what is wrong for that the reference is buddhi, the intellect. The intellect tells you right or wrong, the discrimination aspect. Next comes the ego or Ahankar tattva. Purusha again is the ego but is associated with subjective consciousness; here Ahankar is also ego but associated with the objective world. Ego says I like this or I like that and these tags are put by the ego which is associated with the objective world. It also creates the separateness. I am different than others. Predominant Iccha Shakti when combined with Gyan Shakti creates ego. How does the ego work? “I want” to do this. It is your limited Iccha Shakti and that too in ashuddha tattvas from that comes the ego element, the Ahamkar tattva. If you have the knowledge or Gyan of that or understand how your will is trying to operate through you in limited way, then you understand the Ahankar tattva.

Next up on the ladder is Prakriti tattva which is predominant Ananda Shakti. It is the natural state of object which is created but because of further things which add the impurities, in the process that nature is lossed and that is why Prakriti tattva is also known in English as nature. The nature of any being is to be happy, but here again in limited sense. If you understand that then you understand the Prakriti tattva which functions in the sphere of impure elements. On the higher twenty fifth rung of the ladder, next to Prakriti tattva comes the Purusha. Purusha and Prakriti they are together and inseparable. So there are 24 ashuddha tattva, Shuddha-ashuddha tattvas are seven – Purusha with the covering of five Kanchukas with one blanket of Maya. The five Kanchukas you do not have to mug up, just try to understand, it is the limited creativity which is Kalaa tattva, limited knowledge is Vidya tattva, limited attachment is Raaga tattva, limited time is Kaala tattwa and the final is the limitation of space, Niyati. Sarvakartutvam, Sarvagyanatvam, Purnattvam, Nityatvam and Sarvavyapakatvam, they are converted into limited aspects of kalaa, vidyaa, raaga, kaala and Niyati. These are the five Kanchukas and Purusha wearing these five Kanchukas and the blanket of Maya is the limited being. So when we start understanding, then we enter from Shuddha tattvas to Shuddha-ashuddha tattvas, experientially how do we start understanding these things?

Experientially when you start feeling the limitation, like you say I am here but I could have been there. then when you start pondering over that, when you meditate upon that then you come to understand that it is the limitation which is being felt by the Jiva. I have the unlimited choice of being anywhere at any given time but because of the limitedness of space that I feel, I choose to go to one particular place at any given time. That is how Niyati functions. When we start understanding the limitedness of our being and accept it because as long as Shiva is operating through the body this limitedness is going to be there, when you understand this through practices or through inner understanding then you come to a point from where you can enter into the experiential aspect of Shuddha tattvas. If you keep struggling into the limitedness you will remain into Shuddha-ashuddha tattvas. That is what limitedness takes you to, the Shuddha-ashuddha tattvas. If you want to go to the Shuddha tattvas from there you have to accept this limitation and then go beyond.

There are different practices, different upaya or means of realization like Anvopaaya, Shaktopaaya, Shambhavopaya, etc. Sambhavopaya is at Iccha Shakti levels, Shaktopaya is at Gyan Shakti levels and Anavopaya is at kriya Shakti level. when you start practicing all these things you start experiencing these aspects, your limitedness, you go beyond the veil of Maya and from there one experiences Shiva through these 35 elements, Shiva is the 36th element. So Param Shiva through these 36 elements became Jiva and now through the limitedness of the Jiva he is experiencing what it is to be limited and he again wants to go back and experience His real nature of unlimitedness. Again he goes up the rungs of ladder and climbing these thirty six rungs he again becomes Shiva.

In Kashmir Shaivism there is description of descending paths and ascending paths. In Kashmir Shaivism this is known as adhvan. There are six paths through which this process can happen and these six paths are such that there three higher paths are from the angle of subjective consciousness, from Shiva’s angle, those are called as Vacakadhva path. Vacaka means the one who sees, who observes, who creates. Shiva is the one who observes, who creates, who sees and these are the paths seen from this angle. Vacya means that which can be read, which can be observed, so it is the objective world. This entire Trika Shaivism philosophy is based on Trika, the three. What are the three? They are the observer, the means of observing and that thing which is being observed, the object. The paths which are from the angle of observer are called vacakadhva path and the paths which are on the object side they are called as vacyadhva path.

There are three vacyadhva paths one is called as bhuvanadhva, the path of worlds. Yogis in their meditation experienced that there are 118 worlds. That is - how we have our world, we have our solar system, we have our galaxy, the same way there are 118 such worlds. If one traverses these 118 worlds then one can reach the level of creator, the Shiva. That is one path which is called bhuvanadhva path which goes through the worlds. The second path is called as tattvadhva path. Through these 36 elements which are described above, from earth or Prithvi tattva to Shiva you can go in ascending order and you can experience the subjective consciousness. This is the path of tattvas which is called as tattvadhva path and the third path is kaladhva path. As I told you in the beginning, the creation happens in phases. Take for example the ashuddha tattvas or Shuddha-ashuddha tattvas you cannot go on experiencing one by one because they are all interconnected and their interplay is going on all the time. If you can understand the entire phase of creation of the ashuddha tattvas it will be easier.

So came the subtlest of objective paths, kaladhva path which says that there are five enclosures in which these 36 elements are enclosed and the creation happened in those enclosures, in those kalas, in those phases. The last stage of creation is called as Nivritti kala. Nivriti is the word that tells you where the full stop is put and you come out of that activity. That is indicated by the word nivritti. So under nivritti kala comes only the earth element. When everything manifests completely and Shiva decides that it is time to put a full stop and come out or to become nivrita. So in the nivritti kala comes only earth element that is the grossest, so the experience of that can take you to the further higher subtler aspect of understanding. Next phase is called as Pratistha Kala. Pratistha means that which comes into manifestation or Pratishtha means to establish, the phase in which establishment happens is Pratishtha. In Pratistha kalaa 23 elements i.e. from water element to Prakriti come. That is where the gross manifestation happens. If you understand these you go beyond that.

Next kalaa is vidya kalaa. Purusha, Panch Kanchukas and Maya they come under Vidya Kala, in this kalaa comes the knowledge which tells you how the creation in the objective world is going to be. If you want to understand the Shuddha-ashuddha element, together you can understand if you know this vidya enclosure, vidya kalaa. Next is Shanta kala. These are four Shuddha or pure elements except Shiva. Those are Shakti tattva, Sadaashiva, Ishvar and Shuddha Vidya, these four tattvas. The associated energies created by Shiva in which Shiva himself has expanded. those four they are not actually working. If you see in the whole creation these four energies are not actually participating, those energies are silently working and making the manifestation happen. If they start actually participating, then there will be no one to watch how the game is going on. These energies are passively involved in the creation. That kalaa is called as Shanta kala. Shanta Kala consists of Shakti tattva, Sadaashiva, Ishvar and Shuddha Vidya . e. Kriya Shakti, Gyan Shakti, Iccha Shakti and Ananda Shakti.

Finally comes the innermost core, Shantatita kala, the one that is beyond Shanta also. It is the basis of the entire creation. it is the Chit Shakti or the Shiva element which comes in Shantatita Kalaa. If you go in phases like this, understanding the tattvas and their role in creation becomes easier. Amongst three Vacyadhva paths, bhuvanadhav is the grossest path. if your awareness has to travel through all the 118 world, how much time will it take to experience and understand and what level you must reach to for understand these things. Bhuvanaddhav is the grossest path, subtler than that is the path of elements, tattvadhva path. But still it is gross, it is about knowing each element, rather than that if you can understand the entire creation in phases, if you know the working of the enclosures, you can cross and go directly into the higher levels, kalaaddhva is still subtler path from which the Jiva can realize what Shiva is.

If you start reading,you will see the Sanskrit words chosen for describing all these things are so beautiful and apt. if we start understanding the meaning of the Sanskrit words, then half the job is done. Then Kashmir Shaivism is not that difficult. Second thing is we have all experienced these things some time or the other through different workshops which are carried out by Sir here. That experiential knowledge is there in the background. So when this further knowledge of paths and malaas and upaayas comes, you can actually relate to those things because you have the experience. That is how this beautiful diamond which has come in our hand i.e. the diamond of Kashmir Shaivism, we all must go into the depth of it, into the vastness of it, Shiva is unlimited. Whatever one can experience one must experience and the Mastery is that the Shiva has come down to the level of Shiva so he goes on understanding and goes on ascending from the lowest element to the highest element, the Mastery lies in again coming down to the lowest element and your awareness is able to settle in any of these states. Are you comfortable in any of those states keeping your awareness. That is what Mastery is about.

When we come here and start talking, have we really understood, are we able to communicate that to others, this we understand and we start going deeper into our own self. The swadhaya begins. Your own chapter opens up and through that you start understanding these things. When that happens i.e. when your own chapter opens and this understanding starts flowing out then it becomes your own understanding. Then you don’t have to search for the words, you don’t have to mug up the things, nor do you have to refer to anything and Kashmir Shaivism gives ‘n’ number of ways of understanding these things. States of Pramatri or the perceiver, the states of being, stages of Turya, Malaas, Upaayaas from every angle you can see. You come to know where exactly you are and where next you will go. Not only that, why it is called as Master’s scripture is that when one becomes the Master one has to help the disciple, while helping that disciple if you know what level Shiva is experiencing through that disciple it becomes easier to lift that disciple to the next level from where the journey becomes much faster. A beautiful diamond has come in our hands and we must make the best use of it, go to the depth of it.

Dwarahat Shibir is waiting for all of us for beginning of practical aspect of it, when I read all this I knew why Lakshman Joo Maharaj is the last person to give this oral tradition. It is so difficult to understand. But that Master was so great that he compiled all this knowledge in English. Otherwise if this would have been in Sanskrit and I don’t think anyone of us would have been able to understand that. It was because of his disciple John Hughes who spent the prime time of his life with Maharaj ji and that too as early as when his first child was two years old, he went to Maharaj and he stayed with Maharaj. Then he compiled all these things in English. Because such great Masters had such great disciples and they had done such great work, all these things could reach to us in palatable form. This knowledge is so subtle that even if you read it in English also, you still feel that you are reading in Sanskrit. But through Master like Sir, we are getting it in a ready to serve manner. The knowledge if taken at the intellectual level is not graspable you have to go through the experiencing part of it and there the Master will put you into the situation where you will experience it. Such Masters unless they are there we will not be able to understand the scriptures even if it is put in the silver platter and gold platter and given to you, you will not be able to eat it unless there is someone to tell you how you can digest it.

Thank you Sir, Thank you Lakshman Joo Maharaj and Thank you to all the earlier Masters who have given this way of scientific spirituality to us. It is a real scientific way of understanding. If A does this, this way and if B does this, or C does this the same way, let it be A, B or C or anybody as long as they do it in that scientific way, they will experience these things because it’s a proven science. Here in TAO we have always been following the path of scientific spirituality. This is the ultimate scripture of scientific spirituality which has come into our hand that will give proper understanding to all the budding Masters. Thanks to all of you, thanks to all the Masters. Om shri Guruye Namaha.

Q. What are the vacakadhva paths.

A: The explanation comes in the third Chapter of Matrikacakra. The path which is from the subjective consciousness side is Vacakadhva Path. We say that the vedas have come in which way ? The seers saw them first, then they came in the syllables, then the words were formed and then the mantras were formed and out of the mantras came the Richas and thus Vedas. vacakadhva path is exactly that. The subtlest of that is called as varnaadhva, verna means the syllables the alphabets, the next is padaadhva which is the path of words and next to that is mantraadhva is which is path of sentences. These are the subtler paths. To traverse on to that we need subtler knowledge of all other things that is why it is known as vacakadhva path. Matrikacakra chapter if you read these explanations have come that ‘a’ and ‘aa’ are Shiva and Shakti. We will do this chapter later on because if the power point presentation is given then the understanding will be much easier.

Here I would like to share one experience that I had. In 2002 or 2003 when we used to have Shakti Sadhana at Solegaonkarji’s terrace. We used to have the regular Navratri sessions where all the nine days we used to have Tavariyaji’s excercises followed by meditation.That was Shakti sadhana. It used to be early in the morning. At sunrise time we used to be there on the terrace. Around that time the exercises were over and we were just breathing on twelve cycles rhythm of Tavariyaji. Suddenly I happened to open my eyes. I saw the rising Sun and I went on seeing because it was so beautiful and automatically after some time my eyes closed. That state was a beautiful meditative state. My eyes closed and in front of the closed eyes I saw the reflection of Sun on the inner screen and on that screen I saw the entire manifestation of Aum. How the Aum comes into existance and that is the secret of creation which I understood when I read matrikacakra, till then I was thinking that it is one bindu which split into two dots and the two dots started spreading. The entire description is there, how these different shaktis, the first shuddha elements, they are not created energies, they are called as swellings of the heat of Shiva. They are actually Shiva’s expansions only. How that happened, I have actually experienced through that Omkar. But I had not understood the meaning of it till I read matrikacakra. When I read matrikacakra I understood that. That is also one of the paths to understand the creation. It needs different kind of experiences and more of elaborated academic study of all the scriptures also.

Q . How can one go about understanding experientially the Manas, Buddhi and Ahankar tattvas. Should one go in sequence or how should one proceed?

A: these three together form antahkarana, three inner organs and that is why I told you about understanding in phases. Here also you have to understand three things together. As I told you Manas is the constant factory where the thoughts are manufactured, those thoughts when they go to Buddhi and refer to it, the good and the bad part of it and all, memory is created, the impressions, the word used in Kashmir Shaivism is not memory, it is impressions, impressions are stored and that makes the ego and when buddhi says do this or do that it is the discriminating intellect which gives the options that this is good action and this is bad action; but Ahamkar depending on the karmamala decides what is to be done in that particular moment or what the Ahankar thinks is right and wrong in that moment. If we start understanding first the working of mind, how these thoughts are created, then it becomes easier to proceed further. That is why practice of Chakrodaya and Ajapa gayatri is given in Kashmir Shaivism, if we start practicing that, we start seeing the thoughts. Otherwise the Manas element is the chaotic area where seeing it becomes difficult, where understanding it becomes difficult but if we start practicing Chakrodaya and ajapa gayatri and start getting into the sandhi aspect of it then we can go into the sandhi of thoughts as well from there we can see how buddhi and ahankar is connected to manas and understanding all three together this way will help you transcend it.


  1. Dear friends,
    This is the transcription of video talk given by Bharati Madam on last Thursday at Tao. VCD of this talk will soon be available. Your comments and questions are welcome but will be answered only after Dwarahat Shibir. See you at Dwarahat!!! <3 Prem

  2. Sir,Bharti mam,namaste.
    36 element's knnowledge reached us very high level of understanding and happyness.With your own experience it make easy to understand us.Thanku very much,with hartfull love and gratitude. Ma Vijaya

  3. the talk by Gurumai on 36 elements made our understanding the same very easy. we now need not byheart it. it has now become very easy to understand how Shiv became Jeev and how we have to proceed again to become Shiv. thank u very much with luv and gratitude for all the understanding Guruji and Gurumai are giving to us.

  4. Thank you so much Bharati Madam for this wonderful brief explanation of 36 elements with the six fold path of the universe.Your explanation of sanskrit terms make it easy to understand without needing to by heart any of it.

  5. We were very fortunate to attend this session. The understanding that came as a result of simple flowing language used by bharati madam was simply fantastic. Many thanks to bharti madam!

  6. Thanks a lot to you all! let Lord Shiva's Grace shine on all... All the time! let everyone's understanding become complete!!!