Shiva Sutra 1.22 – The Ocean of Consciousness
Consciousness is the great ocean. “In fact, this universe is created by this supreme energy of consciousness…[SLJ].” Everything is consciousness. When we unite our consciousness with that vast ocean, we merge into the state of the supreme ‘I’ (mantra virya).
The word mantra is used here in the understanding that the universe arises from the supreme I-consciousness, which is the source of all mantras. Mantras are made up of sound as letters. The “essence of all these sounds is one sound, the soundless sound…[SLJ].”
Kashmir Shaivism contains a Theory of the Alphabet (Matrikacakra) detailing precisely the emergence of the universe through sound as letters. This universe is a reflection of the sweet free will (svantantrya) of God consciousness and it is this reflection of God’s free will “that gives rise to each succeeding letter [SLJ/Kashmir Shaivism].”
The great Ocean of Consciousness contains everything within it. When you are able to maintain in an unbroken focus the Union (yoga) of your consciousness with this great Ocean, the Shakti power of God’s free will is revealed. These Shakti powers create all knowledge, and the acts of manifestation, preservation, and destruction. The potency of the mantra of I-consciousness is experienced by uniting with the Shakti power of this ocean within you [Jaideva Singh].
Thus you come to feel how the universe is manifested from that God consciousness that you are and have always been.
Sutra 1.22 completes the first section of the Shiva Sutras, which is “the first awakening” because it pertains to the supreme means to enter into Universal God Consciousness termed SHAMBHAVOPAYA.
Swami Lakshmanjoo defines Shambhavopaya thus: “By preserving thoughtlessness…one enters into that transcendental consciousness where he finds that this whole universe has come out of sentences and sentences from words and words from letters and letters from the real ‘I’ which is Parama (highest) Shiva. …this whole universe is reflected in his own consciousness…from within rather than from without [SLJ/KS].”
The idea that our universe is created from within us is very old in Sanskrit metaphysics. Samkhya, perhaps the most ancient system, says that the universe is made up of consciousness and energy organizing, woven together into the solidification of matter. Each of us is generating our individual hologram moment-to-moment by our own thoughts. Everything that happens to you, you do to yourself; no one is to blame, no one but you is responsible for your life.
Shambhavopaya is meant for very advanced yogis who are able to maintain “the continuity of thoughtlessness” with an adamantine focused will and the grace of an enlightened Master. Years ago I heard this merging of consciousness with a teacher described as a kind of spontaneous psychic osmosis. Consciousness is contagious for the ones who have elevated their frequency-of-being to resonate with the Liberated Master.
Kashmir Shaivism is primarily mental and delineates the manifestation of the universe in great detail using numerous specific Sanskrit terms. There are in this system 36 TATTVAS or elements: the great elements, the subtle elements, the organs of action, organs of cognition, internal organs, six coverings (concealing our real nature), and the pure elements.
It is said that the disciplined study of the tattvas will bring you closer to your own God consciousness. Yoga means ‘union’ and union with the Oneness is achieved through knowledge – by a deep love for that knowledge of God. When you study these sequences of elements you are in my view, reading the manual of how you created all this!
Swami Lakshmanjoo shares this linear-thinking shattering truth: When you arrive in God consciousness, you understand that “even though this whole universe has been created, the nature of His Self, which is full of consciousness and bliss, has not been lessened at all. Nothing has happened. He is only residing in His own point [SLJ/KS].”
Nothing has happened. You always are that which you have sought. You were never anything other than the One.
KASHMIR SHAIVISM, The Secret Supreme, Revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo, edited by John Hughes; The Universal Shaiva Fellowship, 2003.