Shiva Sutra 1.12
How can we recognize the ones who have reached God-consciousness? These fortunate souls are in a constant state of “amazement filled with joy” [SLJ].
Obviously this is not ordinary joy as experienced via the five senses. The happiness sent to the brain through the five senses is fleeting. In Sanskrit the word for happiness is often written with the word for misery and pain as one word sukhaduhkha. In this polarity universe, pleasure and pain are a package deal - one is always implied, embedded within the other.
This joy is not physical in the way that most of us are accustomed to experiencing limited ephemeral joys through the five senses. The joy of Self-Recognition that you are and have always been the One is subtle. Swami Lakshmanjoo emphasizes the idea that God-consciousness is not experienced through the five senses.
In the Paramarthasara, Verse 80 & 81, Abhinavagupta says: “Seeing everything as [his] Self, he drinks the wine of Self-Bliss filled in the whole phenomenon. …No other aim of life remains to be accomplished after the rise of satisfaction attained through such awareness.”
The sole purpose of this universe is the concealing and revealing of the Oneness for Its own Play. Therefore the ones who have come to the end of their journey and have Realized that they are what they have long sought, have nothing left to accomplish.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna expresses the same idea: “…having been understood, nothing further remains to be known here on earth.”
In the TantraLoka Abhinavagupta states: “For one intent upon being entirely in the highest perfection, the nature of which is being liberated while still alive, except for the attainment of the seed of the Heart, there is nothing at all that is of any use” [Muller-Ortega].
Swami Lakshmanjoo says that such a yogi is “never satiated with the experience” of this joy. This amazement filled with joy is not located in a specific chakra – for example at the root of the spine (muladhara) or between the eyes (ajna). Experiences limited to these chakras are inferior to the “fullblown I-consciousness” of the One [Jaideva Singh].
Even the highest chakra in the human body, the Sahasrara, is only “the highest point in human evolution and the first step in the highest divine evolution” [Satyananda onTantra]. We must not have expectations regarding what we will experience as we move closer to Home. Expectations based on previous five sensory joy will only block the emergence of a more subtle bliss. Think subtle!
Spanda Karika 1.11: “…then he perceives that he is one with this reality. For him, being wonderstruck and filled with wonderful joy, there is no possibility of traveling the path of repeated births and deaths.”
Shiva Sutra 1.13
Iccha sakttiruma kumari
Yoga means ‘union’ and those who are real yogis have achieved union with their real Self. This union, which is the sole reason for our universe, connects the realized ones with the Free Will (svatantrya) of the Supreme.
The Sanskrit word KUMARI expresses the idea of play — “that energy that plays in the universe, creating, protecting, and destroying it” [SLJ].
Kumari can also mean virgin in the sense of the purity that does not require any other for her enjoyment. The goddess energy, Shakti power, creates this world. She is not different from the Oneness, but takes on the temporal appearance of separateness and manifests the external hologram.
The realized Yogi gets this kind of svatantrya will - but having become the whole universe, he or she has no need for anything. Therefore he “does not, like ordinary people, possess gross desire” [SLJ]. When you are the universe, what remains to be desired?
Perhaps there are other universes to play in. This intriguing idea is suggested by Krishna himself in the Bhagavad Gita X.42: “I support this entire universe with a single fraction of myself.” So what does he do with the other ‘fractions’?
When we are done playing here, are there many other universes with completely different kinds of adventures for us to roam in? One translation of Abhinavagupta’s Paramarthasara, Verse 15, hints at this: “Maya-tattva …is thus the substantive cause of numerous universes floating in it like bubbles in an ocean.”
Ah, the adventure of loving God is never ending!
Essence of the Exact Reality or Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta, With English Translation and notes by B.N. Pandit; Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, New Delhi, 1991.
Kundalini Tantra, by Swami Satyananda Saraswati; Yoga Publications Trust, Munger, Bihar, India, 1984.
The Triadic Heart of Shiva, Kaula Tantricism of Abhinavagupta in the Non-Dual Shaivism of Kashmir, by Paul Eduardo Muller-Ortega; State University of New York Press, Albany NY, 1989.