Friday, September 17, 2010

Trika Shaivism: Malas and Upayas


Today we will discuss few basic aspects of Trika Shaivism also known as Kashmir Shaivism. First let us understand the meaning of the word “Trika”. The word comes from the three energies of Lord Shiva. The first energy is called Para Shakti; the second is Para-Apara Shakti and third is Apara Shakti. Para Shakti means the subjective energy. Para-Apara Shakti means the cognitive energy and the Apara Shakti means the objective energy. During the last talk on 30 States of Being we understood that a common man who is in Jagrut avastha is lost into objectivity and becomes one with the object and the subjective energy is just not there. That aspect represents Apara Shakti. It is pure objectivity. Gyani who is in absolute state of consciousness, fully aware represents Para Shakti, pure subjective energy and a seeker, a sadhak, on the way, who is walking the path of spirituality, sometimes getting glimpses and coming back to the world of objectivity, that is mixture of both Para-Apara Shakti and that is cognitive energy. So, you must understand three levels of energy of Lord Shiva - Para Shakti, Para-Apara Shakti and Apara Shakti, subjective energy, cognitive energy and objective energy. The word “Trika” means these three energies and these three energies are ONE only. It is Shiva only. That is the real meaning of the word “Trika”.

In Apara Shakti that is objective energy, there is sadness, agony, there are troubles, there is experience of pleasure and pains, there is duality and the individual soul called Jiva is caught into the wheel of birth and death and that is why all the troubles are there at the level of Apara Shakti, objective energy. The root cause of this is ‘Mala’ – the impurity. The impurity of avidya which comes from the Mayiya mala makes the individual soul, Jivatma associated with sansara and it gets caught up in the circle of birth and death. That is the fundamental and basic trouble of the world. Lord Buddha said that there is Dukha in sansara, there is misery in life. The reason for this is that the person is caught up in the objectivity. That is the root cause of Dukha, the misery of the sansara.

In Kashmir Shaivism it is said that you have to use the cognitive energy, the Para-Apara Shakti and move towards the Para Shakti, the subjective energy. If you reach the subjective energy by taking help of the cognitive energy, you can drop out of the wheel of birth and death, you can go beyond the Dukha, the misery of sansara and you can become Jeevan Mukta. This is the meaning of the Fundamental word “Trika” and the “Trika” system gives you the proper map of moving from the objective energy to subjective energy by using cognitive energy. All the great Masters of the world are in a way talking of the same thing but in different language that is why we do not understand. Why I love Kashmir Shaivism is because everything is so very clearly defined, it’s a proper shastra, a proper map where every individual is taken care of. In certain Master’s system only certain type of people are taken care of. In another Master’s system another type of people are taken care of, in Kashmir Shaivism everybody is taken care of. You will understand at what level you are, what type of person you are and what type of sadhana is required for you and accordingly you move faster.

Your individual sadhana will depend on what your capacity is, at what level of awareness you are and that will decide what type of sadhana you should do and the beauty of our Indian Scriptures is that they start from the highest and then they come down. If you don’t understand then you come down. Patanjali also talks about Samadhi right in the beginning and if you don’t understand then you come down. If you are a capable person and if you are at that height, you need not come down.

So in Kashmir Shaivism also, you start with Sambhavopaya. Sambhavopaya is for those people who have the highest level of awareness. Those whose awareness is high, they can go for Sambhavopaya, it is also known as Icchopaya because it is based on Iccha Shakti and in this Sambhavopaya you attain to God consciousness without doing anything. There are no efforts required. Only requirement is you should always remain into that thoughtless awareness of I consciousness, the universal I consciousness, in the “I am”- ness. If you remain into that the individual “I” consciousness, ego dissolves and with the Grace of the Master you attain to liberation or Jeevan Mukta State. Without you doing anything, it happens. Only requirement is that you are able to sustain that thoughtlessness and you should be into that awareness of I am ness, the universal consciousness and with the Grace of the Master, instant Jeevan Mukta state is available.

In this upaya, Sambhavopaya, you really don’t have to work. Master has to work a lot. It is the Master’s Grace that liberates you. The last step, liberation happens as a Grace and that is true. In this body also the liberation happened because of the Guru’s Grace. That last thing you can’t do on your own because if you are the doer, the ego is there. The total annihilation of the ego happens only with the Master’s Grace. Guru kripa hi kevalam! If you don’t like the word Guru Kripa say Ishwara Kripa, say Grace of Lord Shiva, whatever you like, but it is Grace and not your individual doing. So at the level of Sambhavopaya you don’t work because whatever you can do you have already done, your level of awareness is high. You have learnt to sustain the thoughtlessness and you are aware of that thoughtlessness. First you are able to maintain your nirvichar stithi, the state of thoughtless mind, you are consistently able to maintain that and you are aware in that, for example in deep sleep state also you are thoughtless but there your awareness is not there. Here the requirement is you are able to maintain the thoughtlessness but you are also aware of that thoughtlessness. If that is possible for you then that is very high level of your ability. If you have that high degree of ability of maintaining that I consciousness then you are fit for Sambhavopaya. You need not do anything, only requirement is that you are there in the presence of the Master. In the presence of the Master Grace happens; instant liberation happens. That is called Sambhavopaya, the first type of upaya for the highest level of seeker.

The second level of upaya for the medium category people is called Shaktopaya. It is based on Gyan Shakti that is why it is also known as Gyanopaya. Sambhavopaya is based on Iccha Shakti and Shaktopaya is based on Gyan Shakti. This is for the medium category people, those who are seekers, those who have done lot of sadhana and those who have not reached to the level of maintaining thoughtless awareness continuously but they are getting glimpses occasionally, those are the people at the level of Shaktopaya. A Shaktopaya criterion is one-pointedness. At least you are able to contemplate on thought given by Master and you are able to focus on to the gap between the two thoughts. That is the minimum requirement. If you can see the Gap between the two thoughts then you are at the level of Shaktopaya and that one pointedness of seeing the gap between the two thoughts is the requirement for the Shaktopaya. If you can do so, here your efforts are higher, Master cannot do because you have to learn with your own practice and come to a point where you can sustain your thoughtless state with awareness that is called thoughtless awareness. If you can sustain the thoughtless awareness then you have come to the level of Sambhavopaya, then Guru can work. Then Guru’s Grace can liberate you instantly. But you have to come to that. So, at the Shaktopaya level you have to learn to capture the gap between the two thoughts. If you can do so you will get into the transcendental consciousness or God consciousness with your practice of capturing the gap between the two thoughts. As you go deeper the gap will widen, over a period of time you will be able to sustain your thoughtless awareness. When you are able to sustain your thoughtless awareness, just with the presence of the Master you will be able to catch the flame and the liberation happens instantly. So Shaktopaya will lead you to Sambhavopaya. Liberation will happen only with Sambhavopaya.

Those who are not able to get into that also then we have one more upaya called Anavopaya. Anavopaya is for the people who have no capacity to capture the gap between the two thoughts. They cannot see the thoughts. The aloof attention, sakshi bhava is not yet developed, so they cannot recognize the gap between the two thoughts. They cannot even see their thoughts because the separation has not happened. Lot of work needs to be done. This is also known as kriyopaya because it is based on kriya Shakti. Here lot of work needs to be done by the seeker because it is based on Kriya Shakti and here the Karma mala is very high, so you have to do lot of karmakshalan first. Then you will become little lighter and you will come to the level of Sakshi Bhava, aloof attention and all the practices whether it is watching the thoughts or watching the breath, inhalation and exhalation or mantra, or focusing your attention on some part of the body, specially the chakras, pranayam, all these practices are part of Anavopaya. It starts with Chakrodaya dhyana; you watch your inhalation and exhalation, take help of breath to increase your awareness, at least you come in the present moment as you do so and while doing as you grow into awareness you will be able to catch the turning point of the breath. If you can catch the turning point of the breath, sandhikal jagrukta, with lot of practice you will be able to capture the gap between the two thoughts. If you can do so you have come to the level of Shaktopaya. Then you have to get rooted into that gap and you have to practice how to sustain that thoughtless awareness. If you can sustain that thoughtless awareness you have come to the level of Sambhavopaya and in Sambhavopaya you have to do nothing. You have to just sustain that thoughtless awareness, in the presence of the Master, the flame jumps and instant Jeevan Mukti, the final jump happens. That is the Grace of Lord Shiva.

These three upayas are there. Anavopaya is based on kriya Shakti, Shaktopaya is based on Gyan Shakti; Sambhavopaya is based on Iccha Shakti. So there are three Shakti levels and three upayas and depending upon what type of person you are; what is your ability of maintaining that thoughtless awareness, you should choose one of these upayas. If you are able to sustain thoughtless awareness you need not do any of the practices, that is the fundamental of Kashmir Shaivism. It comes from top and it goes to lower levels. So everybody need not work hard on doing Chakrodaya dhyana and all. You are already able to maintain your thoughtless awareness so there is no need to do Chakrodaya dhyana. You have crossed that level long back. If you are able to maintain your aloof attention then the basic processes is not necessary, mantra is not necessary. What will mantra do if you are already able to get into sandhikal jagrukta? Then mantra is not for you. Then don’t cling on to the mantra. Some people they do that. You have already crossed that level. You don’t need that.

So, depending on what type of person you are, you get the sadhana and every person gets individual sadhana. That is why these three upayas are there and it comes from the top. If you are at Sambhavopaya level you don’t need, if you can’t manage then there is Shaktopaya level. If you have read the books of my Master Shri Dada Gavand, entire philosophy of Shri Dada Gavand is that of Shaktopaya and he does not move from there. He does not come down to Anavopaya at all. He simply talks of watching the thoughts with aloof attention, recognize the gap, go on doing that, increase the gap and it will happen. He does not come down to the level of breath also. There is no Anavopaya in his philosophy. There is only Shaktopaya, Shaktopaya and Shaktopaya. But that is for only one type of seeker and it is for this reason that most of my friends are not able to understand him. You may try hard but you will not understand his philosophy because he is operating only from Shaktopaya. Those who are at the level of Sambhavopaya, they don’t need to do that also. Just be in the presence of the Master and it happens instantly. You just have to be grateful, share the silence and say bye-bye. You may meet again or you may not meet again but the job is done. But the whole world, most of the people exist at the level of Anavopaya. That is why you have to start with watching the breath.

I wonder if the people are at the level of Anavopaya because many people can’t even watch the breath. When they watch the breath for the first time, they say ‘Oh I am breathing’. Even breath awareness is a big thing for an ordinary person. Even with your breath awareness immediately you will come to the present moment. Power of Now, you will understand. You don’t understand the Power of Now also because that is breath awareness that is Anavopaya. All yogasan, pranayam, all that you are learning is Anavopaya only. Because you can’t practice Anavopaya you have to do yogasan. Yama, Niyama, asan, Pranayam is for those people who cannot practice Anavopaya. Ashtang yoga prepares you for that and makes you a sadhak. To become a sadhak you must do these basic practices of Yama, Niyama, asan, Pranayam, Pratyahar and then you are fit for Anavopaya. Quite a long way to go, but it is not as difficult as you understand.

If you are initiated and you do what you have been told to do, you can go through the whole thing in 40 days. That is called Grace of Lord Shiva. If you practice what have been given in initiations, everybody is given different initiation; it is like magic for you. If you do that, even 40 days are enough. Otherwise even 40 births are not enough. That is the power of initiations. That is why in Dwarahat Shibir only those who are initiated are allowed. But what I am seeing right now is that those who are initiated are also not practicing it properly because sometimes the time is not there, or they have forgotten what they got in initiation because you are not supposed to write, you are supposed to practice daily. So those who have doubts, they can meet me today after the session and get it clarified… but do it. Only then you will walk the path. You have to be sincere about the sadhana.

There is one more upaya if you don’t like these three, if you find them difficult, there is one more way and I like it most because there you have to do nothing. Watching your breath is difficult, when you are travelling in train and people are pushing, how can you watch your breath? Watching the breath is difficult. Anavopaya is difficult and lot of hard work is there.

So the fourth type of upaya is called Anupaya. Anupaya means no upaya. You don’t need any upaya, my dear friend, because you are already Shiva. Whether you know it or not what difference does it make? Why do you want to do all these things? You do it to realize your Shivattva, that you are Shiva. But you are anyway Shiva. If Shiva wants to realize the Shivattva Shiva will realize. If Shiva does not want to realize Shivattva, Shiva will not realize. Why should you bother? Be happy. It is called Anandopaya and it is based on Anand Shakti of Lord Shiva. That is the higher level. Lower level is Kriya Shakti; that is the fifth element from the top; that is Anavopaya. Fourth element from top is Gyan Shakti; that is Shaktopaya. Third element from top is Iccha Shakti. That is Sambhavopaya. The second element, that is Shakti, in fact that is the bliss that is Anand Shakti. That is Shiva’s Shakti; that is Shiva only but that is in the form of Shakti but both are one. That is called Anand Shakti. Based on that Anand Shakti, it is Anandopaya.

You stay in the state of bliss because you are Shiva. You don’t need to do anything. You need not go through Anavopaya and all that. It is not for you. You are much evolved beings. You have crossed the level of Iccha Shakti. Many of you don’t have Iccha of doing sadhana which means you have crossed that level. Shiva in you does not have any Iccha of doing any sadhana which means you have gone beyond that level also, that’s a level of bliss that is the level of Ananda, and you need Anandopaya which means doing nothing. Just enjoy your blissfulness, enjoy your beingness. In that beingness, there is joy, there is Ananda, there is bliss and that bliss is called Anandopaya. Swami Harish Madhukarji has said ‘Sada anand me jeena’ that is the ultimate sadhana. He is talking of Anupaya. People did not understand, with long face they listened. Where is Ananda here? If you are living life with a long face, you can’t even enjoy your job. Where is the Ananda? There is Dukha here, what Buddha talks about. Anand means enjoying all the time, there is no seriousness anywhere. There is only the bliss. In a state of being there is bliss and the example that I normally give is the example of Anupaya because I work a lot on Anupaya. The wave and the ocean are the same. What wave needs to do to become the ocean? Nothing! Wave only has to understand that the wave is the ocean. That is all. Have a cup of tea, enjoy, dance, sing and be happy. You don’t need to do anything really. Wave is the ocean. With that understanding live happily, enjoy your life like a normal person but you are rooted into turyatitta, you are a Gyani. You are at the level of turyatitta. Sarvatobhadra – everybody is Shiva. What do you need to do? Nothing! Recognize Shivattva in everybody and be happy. There is only Shiva and nothing else. That understanding keeps you in the bliss state and that is called Anandopaya. That is the ultimate that is possible where nothing is to be done. These are the basic four upayas in Trik Shaivism. We will do five minutes of meditation and allow this knowledge to seep into your system and be very sure which upaya you need and be honest about it so you start walking on the path.

------------------------------------ After five minutes of meditation -----------------------------------

Now we will go into the details of Malas. Mala means impurities. In Kashmir Shaivism we talk about three different types of impurities - Gross type of impurity, subtle type of impurity and the subtlest type of impurity, the Para type of impurity. The gross type of impurity (Sthula Mala) is karma mala. It is the grossest of all because action is involved. The subtle type of impurity is Maiya mala. It is only perception not the action and the subtlest type of impurity, the Para aspect comes into the picture is Anavamala. The individual jiva is anu, small. Shiva has come below the blanket of Maya and is wearing five jackets or Kanchukas, limitations. Because of all these limitations Shiva’s unlimitedness is lost and he has become small, jiva, anu. So the Anavomala is there, that is the subtlest of all.

We need to understand the fundamentals of the malas, the impurities the essential aspects of it. Listen carefully. It looks very simple but if you understand from the higher level, you get the essence of it. The first five elements – Shiva, Shakti, Sadashiva Tattwa, Ishwara tattwa and Suddha-Vidya tattwa, these are called the five purest energies. These five purest energies could not create the world. The manifestation could not happen so Shiva used his Swatantra Shakti and with this Swatantra Shakti he created the magic power in the form of Maya Shakti so that he can come under the Maya and enjoy the diversity of being many different beings. Because Shiva wanted to enjoy the diversity of becoming Jiva, he had to play the trick, he has to use his Swatantra Shakti, create Maya Shakti and then come down under his own Maya Shakti to forget his infiniteness and become the Jiva. So the universal energy which is owned by the Universal being Shiva is called Swatantra Shakti and universal energy owned by individual being, Jiva is called Maya Shakti. Both are same only but that is the trick of Lord Shiva. He used the Swatantra Shakti and he created the magical power of Maya Shakti and then he came down under that Maya Shakti to become the Jiva.

Now where are these Malas? The Malas are not there in the Swatantra Shakti. The malas or the impurities are there only in the Maya Shakti or elements below Maya Shakti. They are not there in the Swatantra Shakti. How do we differentiate between these two? The Swatantra Shakti has got the Swatantra, the freedom of going down from the Shiva element to Earth element and has got the freedom of going up from the Earth element to Shiva element. So Swatantra Shakti is free to be at any element and experience at all levels. It can go up and go down and is free to do whatever it wants to do. That is the power of Lord Shiva. Maya Shakti because of its impurities has the binding effect on Jiva. That binding effect on Jiva does not allow him to go up. So Jiva always remains under the effect of Maya, it goes down but not up. That is the magical power of Lord Shiva. And that is why for a baddhatma, for a Jiva it is so very difficult to breakthrough this Power of Maya because it does not allow you to go up. It only allows you to go down from where you are and that is how this Jiva is caught in this circle of birth and death. Until the Grace of Lord Shiva happens he cannot breakthrough the circle of birth and death on his own. It is only the Grace of Lord Shiva. So, on its own there is no possibility of getting the breakthrough.

You may wonder why Shiva played this trick. There is a reason and that is the whole essence of the whole Kashmir Shaivism philosophy. Shiva played this trick to become Jiva and forgot its own essential nature, the Swatantra Shakti, his own universal beingness because he wanted to experience this joy of re-cognition of his own Swatantra Shakti. So, to experience that joy of recognizing one’s own Swatantra Shakti first he had to forget and then he had to recognize, so he enjoys. Shiva is Shiva only. It’s only for that joy of Re-cognition, realizing, re-knowing, it’s like knowing that you are Shiva; that was the joy Shiva wanted. That is why the whole game of sansara. First come down, forget, suffer as a Jiva, go into the circle of birth and death, do a lot of sadhana and then re-cognize that I am Shiva only. The game is over. It is leela, Shiva’s leela. Come down, forget, be a badhatma, be like a fool and do sadhana and re-cognize that you are Shiva and enjoy. Just for that re-cognition of that Shivattva Shiva played this trick. But to play this trick the element of Maya is wanted and the impurities belong to Maya and not to Swatantra Shakti. These impurities bind you and they do not allow you to go up, they allow you to go down only.

So the grossest impurity is karma mala, the subtler impurity is Mayamala and the subtlest of all is called Anavamala. So we have to start understanding from Anavamala. Shiva used his Swatantra Shakti to create the trick and created Maya Shakti. First he created the Mahamaya. It does not come into the 36 elements but there is the element of Mahamaya. Mahamaya’s daughter is Maya that is the sixth element from top. Only under Maya he could create the limitations so the panch kanchukas come into the picture and under the effect of panch kanchukas comes Purusha. That Purusha with the help of Prakriti created the grosser twenty four elements or twenty three elements if you consider Prakriti as twenty fourth. This is how the manifestation happened. Without these impurities, manifestation cannot happen.

How to understand this? You cannot make ornaments with pure gold. For gold to transform its form; to come to the form of ornament you need to inject some impurity into the gold and then you can make ornaments. Like that pure energy, Universal energy of Lord Shiva called Swatantra Shakti cannot manifest. Of course, it is the same energy that is manifesting but impurity is wanted and that impurity is injected at the level of Maya because it is the Maya Shakti that is able to come down. You can come down only under the effect of Maya, otherwise it is not possible. So the subtler aspect of Mala is Anavomala. How that anavomala has happened? It is because of the panch kanchukas, the five jackets that Shiva wears. After coming down below the blanket of Maya, Shiva puts on the five jackets. Those five jackets are limiting.

We will go into the details of these elements next Thursday. Today you just understand the basics. So under one blanket (of Maya) there are five jackets. After these five jackets he created Purusha. So Shiva is converting itself into Purusha and that Purusha has all these limitations. Shiva has become small in the form of Purusha. Purusha is not virat, Purusha is small, it is called anu and that is why this Anavomala. Effect of Maya and the panch kanchukas is the mala. Now this mala is not real because it is not really at the level of action. Action level is only the karma mala, real mala, this is only the perception error. You believe that you are under the effect of Maya so it is there. If you believe that you are Shiva, you understand that the wave and ocean are one, immediately that is Shiva. It is only at the level of perception. With understanding you are released. Even if you are released, at the physical level you cannot have the infinite physical power, you cannot have infinite time, all those infinite energies are not available and even if you experience turya you will not be able to sustain turya because your capacity to sustain is lost as you have become anu, you have become small. So this Anavomala is the root cause that does not allow you to sustain that thoughtless awareness. The other day many of my friends were asking me that we have understood conceptually, I can see the thoughts, I can see the gap, the gap is there for sometime but suddenly we don’t know what happens, it is not sustained. You are talking about sustaining for 45 minutes here we cannot even sustain for one minute. Suddenly something happens and it is lost. Why is it happening and who is doing it? Don’t worry. It is only Shiva who is playing the trick, playing the trick under the effect of Maya through this Anavomala. Because you are anu, you find it difficult to sustain yourself in thoughtless awareness. That is the perception error that has come. It is the Anavomala that does not allow you to sustain your thoughtless awareness for 45 minutes. If you can, you will become Shiva and you will be out of the effect of Maya and that is the sadhana. That is the sadhana to come to the level of sustaining thoughtless awareness for longer duration. That is the sadhana the Jiva has to do to become Shiva. So this is the subtlest of all called Anavomala.

The subtler aspect, the middle aspect is called Mayamala. Under the effect of Maya you cannot see the things the way they are. This is another perception error. It is because of this Mayamala you see yourself as different, your brother as different, your sister, your wife, your husband as different. You don’t see them as they are because all are Shiva, all are one. From where does that perception error come? That duality enters because of Maya. That is called Mayamala. It is an impurity, a mala. It is because of that impurity, that duality comes into picture, advaita is lost and dvaita comes into picture. For Dvaita Maya is required. Only under the effect of Maya you feel you are different and the other person is different and duality is there. Actually it is not there. This is called perception error. So what is the way to come out of this thing? Remove this perception error, see Shiva, God in everybody and you are out of it. That’s all. That is why so much of importance is given to this understanding, and then you really don’t need to do anything. It is just a perception error. It is like there is darkness and there is a rope. You think it is a snake and you fear. What do you need to do to protect yourself from the serpent that is not there? It is just a rope. This is called perception error. Under the effect of Maya you feel you are different and other person is different. It is just a perception error. You really don’t need to do anything. Moment we put on the light, you see that it is a rope, the fear is gone instantly and then you laugh at it saying like a fool I have been afraid of a rope. Actually it is a rope and not a serpent. It was just a perception error. This also is perception error and it has entered into our system because of what is known as Mayamala. It is the Mayamala which creates this perception error and creates the duality.

Anavomala and Mayamala, Anavomala is the subtlest, Para and Mayamala is the subtler aspect of it and both are perception error. The real trouble which is the grosser aspect of Mala is Karma mala because action is involved. In the other two it is only the perception. Perception error can be corrected in the presence of the Master just by understanding. If you keep yourself awake and understand, then it is gone instantly. You really don’t need to work because it is not there. You just need the light, just get rid of the darkness and serpent becomes the rope. It is rope only, it is only the perception error, and you need the light to recognize that.

But karma mala is not like that. Karma mala is actually the grosser aspects of your own doings. Once the Jiva comes under the effect of Maya, ego building happens and that ego has its own power, however anu, however small, it has its own doership and under that doership he does the karmas and karma mala is real at that level. It is gross. If you have killed somebody you have to undergo the effect of being killed. If you have hurt somebody you will have to necessarily undergo the effect of being hurt by others. Law of karma is amazingly true under the effect of Maya because the actions that you do are real. In Kashmir Shaivism we do not consider this sansara as unreal. This sansara is real, your action is real. So action, karma mala is also real and is at the grossest level that needs lot of cleansing. That is why karmakshalan is so very important. Without karmakshalan, in reality, tangible changes do not happen.

Few years back, in 1996 I understood this without Kashmir Shaivism. Kashmir Shaivism came to me only in 2007 but in 1996 this understanding happened to me with the Grace of Lord Shiva and from then onwards I started creating the technology of Karmakshalan. This was the insight I got in 1996 that unless you remove the effects of karma mala the real growth of sadhaka cannot happen. That is why so many people do so many practices and they do not get the results. There are so many sanyasis who wear saffron robe and do their kriyas and prayers, why everybody does not get breakthrough? Why only few people get breakthrough? The reason is unless you go through karmakshalan, because it is a real impurity, gross level impurity, you have to unburden yourself of it. That is why these three sciences become important, the science of Seva, the science of Meditation and the science of Antahkarana.

Science of Seva is at the level of Karma mala, it is the grossest of all, so at the grosser level you have to serve humanity unconditionally, that seva aspect, the unconditional seva, you go out of the way and help. The person may even talk ill about you and still unconditionally you serve humanity. That is the way you will delete your karma. Karmakshalan kriyas are there, sadhanas are there, talking out, and many other ways of karmakshalan are there. That is a must because it is actually there, it is real. Unless it is deleted that perception error cannot go that easily because you are actually caught up in grosser level of mala, the impurity; karma mala. That is the reason, even if you listen for hundred times that wave is the ocean, you may give lecture on wave is the ocean but still from inside it will not click. The perception error will remain because it is not intellectual. Karma mala is real because it is at the level of action. Of course from the ultimate view point it is not real, nothing is real that is vedantic point of view. But in Kashmir Shaivism if Shiva is real then Shiva’s creation which is sansara is also real and your karma is also real and your karma mala is also real and that is the reason why you cannot recognize Shiva without deleting your karma and this sounds more logical, more genuine, more closer to the truth as it is experienced. That is why karmakshalan is so very important. Once the karmakshalan happens and you are little out of this binding of karma, then be with the Master your perception error can go and the growth can happen very fast on the path of spiritual journey. Without karma delete exercise perception error cannot be removed. So science of service comes into picture to delete your karmas.

Then science of meditation comes into picture. If you keep watching your thoughts, your thoughts will subside and you will be able to capture the gap between the two thoughts and when you get rooted into thoughtless awareness, that is the time you are out of the bindings of Mayamala. That is why Shri Dada Gavand’s Philosophy of Shaktopaya and that is the way to come out of Mayamala. And Anavomala, that anu, smallness aspect is there as long as you are there in physical body. Even if you are rooted in tattvatitta, even a Gyani has his own limitations because of the body. That is gone only at the time of death of the Gyani. When the Gyani dies that last limitation is gone, he becomes universal in the true sense but as long as the body is there, the bodily limitations exists even with the Gyani. For example a Gyani person like Shri Ramana Maharshi also will feel hungry. That hunger is felt by the body because that is the need of the body. Gyani will also go for urination or toilet because that is the function of the body and the body level limitations will remain but Gyani will not have unnecessary fears, he will not have unnecessary worry, undue thoughts, that aspect will not be there because the perception error is not there. But nevertheless the body is the anu, the binding aspect is there and only at the time of death it is gone, with this we complete the chapter of impurities - the Malas.

Next Thursday we will go into the details of 36 elements, at every level we will understand from Earth element to Shiva element and from Shiva element to Earth element. Swatantra Shakti says that you should be able to go up and you should be able to come down and go to any level at your will. That is the beauty of Kashmir Shaivism and that is meant for grihasthis. Kashmir Shaivism is the ideal Map for grihasthis because anybody can practice. You don’t need to take sanyas, you don’t need to drop out, practices are very simple and you don’t need to give too much of time. It is more of practices and lot of understanding. You don’t have to slog and this map has simpler aspects, the limitation of caste, creed, color, gender, sex is just not there. It is universal and it is for everybody. Every human being can follow Kashmir Shaivism. It is for all. It is kind of Universal understanding, Universal religion, Universal practices. It is for all and absolutely for grihasthis because here sansara is real. If you say brahma satya jagat mithya then you feel like going away from jagat, going away from sansara and you take to saffron and become a Swami or sadhu or a sanyasi. There is something wrong in that understanding and it becomes right and correct understanding because of this very beautiful map of Kashmir Shaivism. Even sanyasis can practice, everybody can practice, it is for all.

Kashmir Shaivism has four schools of thought even though all four are one only they are all under Kashmir Shaivism but the approach is little different, they are focusing on some particular aspect. The first school of thought is known as Pratyabhijna system or school of thought. Pratyabhijna system says that the world, the sansara is not unreal; it is not mithya even though Pratibimbavadah is there. There is a real moon and then there is the reflection of the moon in the lake water. The reflection is not the moon because the reflection is there it is indicative that the moon is also there. This is called Pratibimbavadah, but the reflection of the moon is in the lake water or you see your own reflection in the mirror, it is not in that sense. Here the understanding is, the reflection of the energy of Shiva is within the consciousness of Shiva only. The Sansara or the creation is not like the reflection of the moon in the lake water, it is the reflection in the consciousness of Shiva only that is why it is true and not mithya and they say that it is not the mirror; it is like the two cups reflecting, so reflection is within oneself. So Shiva’s energy is reflected into the consciousness of Shiva and this reflection is not untrue, the reflection is true. If Shiva is true, that Chaitanya tattwa, the truth is there and this is also the truth because the creation of Shiva cannot be untrue. So Brahma satya, jagat also satya. That is the major difference between the vedantic understanding and Kashmir Shaivism understanding because the reflection is in the cup form, it is called visarga (:), the two dots. The upper dot is called Shiva and the lower dot is called Shakti and the Shakti creates the sansara and the reflection happens in the consciousness of Shiva only. This system of understanding is called Pratyabhijna School of thoughts.

The second aspect is called Krama school of thought. Krama means sequence, step by step, one by one. There is time, there is space, and there is form. You have to use time, space and form and you have to go systematically, kramawise, sequentially you have to go and you have to do sadhana for going out of this krama which means going beyond time, space and form. But this is a system because you are caught you have to start from where you are and then you have to go beyond. You are normally caught into time, space and form, you go beyond this the time becomes timeless, the space becomes spaceless and the form becomes formless and you get absorbed into that niraguna, nirakara, the ultimate God consciousness but you have to start from where you are. That is the krama system, a new way of looking at it.

Then there is Kula system. Kula means individual family, there you have to recognize your individual energy that is the Jiva part of it and then you have to recognize the Universal energy that is the Shiva part of it. So you start from your Kula, your own individual energy, do sadhana and see from the Shiva’s point of view, the Universal energy, and you are absorbed into the God consciousness with that understanding. That is the Kula system, the third one.

The fourth one is called the Spanda system. Ultimately you can come to the level of Devi, Shiv-Shakti aeikyarupeni that is where the experience is. That experience is the effervescent silence. That effervescent silence is not the dead void. That effervescent silence has the vibratory aspect where the vibrations are not there. This is little contradictory but it is so! If the vibrations are there it is not called spanda, it is called Spandana, that ‘na’ is negating the spanda, that Spandana is vibration. But before the vibration becomes the vibration what was there? Whatever that is that is called Spanda. Kinchit kalata is the first sutra of that school, about to vibrate. It has not as yet vibrated, it is about to vibrate, potentially vibrating, started vibrating. Where is your thought before it becomes the thought? So you have to go one step further. Like that what was there before the void, the dead silence? Before the dead silence there is effervescent silence, so you have to go deeper. That effervescent silence is the Shakti, bliss, Anandopaya comes from there. Experience of that is the experience of Spanda, Kinchit Kalata, about to vibrate, beautiful school of thought that is called spanda.

These four schools of thought are there and all four focus on different aspects but they are very much the part of Kashmir Shaiva darshan. Same philosophy is looked from different angles by different Masters and that is the beauty. It is a very rich system. So Kashmir Shaivism has got all these four systems. In 2007 also I talked on Spandakarikas, this year we will cover up all. There are beautiful scriptures that are available. In December when you have 8 days residential retreat we will elaborate more on this, get little more glimpses from each school of thought and see overall how beautifully the Kashmir Shaivism flower blooms in your consciousness. Shiva recognizes Shiva and feels ecstatic! The whole game ends there. So if you want to end your game Kashmir Shaivism is the beautiful way.

We stop here. Next Thursday we will discuss 36 elements. Thank you very much.


  1. All these inputs coming in well organised sequence are really enriching our understanding of Kashmir Shaivism. Personally the inputs about Anupaya being based in the Shakti element, where Bliss is inherent nature, was of great significance to me. That clarified the meaning of "Always being in good cheer is the best spiritual practice" to me.

  2. Dear Guruji, More points came in this talk which we had not heard in the year 2007 when you spoke on the same topic. Marvellous scripture. With Gratitude !!!

  3. Kashmir Shaivism very nicely blends 3 Malas , 3 Upayas and all the 36 elements. Thank you so much for giving us the understanding of the same.

  4. Interesting that 80% of your talk is a direct reading from Swami Lakshmanjoo's book "Kashmir Shaivism, The Secret Supreme" first published in 1985. Maheshvaranath

  5. Dear Sri Maheshvaranath, It is not 80% but 100% same as Swami Lakshmanjoo Maharaj is the only source and inspiration for us. Entire knowledge of Kashmir Shaivism came to me from Swamiji during Shaktipat.
    Thanks for your comments. Keep in touch.