Second Section: Shiva Sutras 2.1 & 2.2
The Shiva Sutras are divided into three sections, each one relates to a particular means (upaya) of awakening. The first section explains Shambhavopaya and defines this means to your goal as the yogi “who preserves thoughtlessness” [SLJ].
The second section is concerned with Shaktopaya, which utilizes mental activities such as an intensely concentrated focus to transform inner forces that bring about the individual’s immersion in the Divine [K.Walla].
Shaktopaya is described as a great velocity of an unbroken chain of awareness that allows the yogi “to discover the reality between any two thoughts or actions” [SLJ].
This reality between any two thoughts or actions is understood to be the Supreme God Consciousness, the Oneness. In the Bhagavad Gita XI.20, after Krishna has revealed his Divine Cosmic Form, Arjuna says to him: “In all directions the space between heaven and earth is filled and pervaded by You alone.”
The manifested universe is contained within the One - God consciousness, but the One is not limited to or by Its external manifestation. The Oneness is ubiquitous, found everywhere permeating the external temporal illusory hologram. Thus you can use any point in the hologram to enter into God consciousness. However unless you are fully engaged in an intense effort and acutely aware, any of the ways you choose to approach the God will not be effective.
The word mantra here in this sutra does not mean the mere reciting of some Sanskrit words. Mantras are wonderful and they can make us feel good temporarily; but this sutra reveals the uncomfortable truth that even if we chant all day, if our mind is wandering, our efforts are fleeting at best. Our efforts must be active, intensely focused, not distracted, and not passive.
The word Mantra here refers to the “thought of a sacred word” which arises in the mind of one absolutely purified. The mantra that will bring you to the real understanding of your Self, in all Its glorious expansion, “lives in a secret world” and is recited with consciousness, not lips. [SLJ].
When with an adamantine will you connect your consciousness with the God-within, then mantra serves the divinity in your mind.
“The life of all mantras is solely the energy of God consciousness. When that energy is absent, the these collections of words are useless…” (Tantra Sadbhana) [SLJ].
Once again we are reminded of the intense effort required to achieve God consciousness. There must be no pause in our effort [SLJ]. We could not expect the One, who created this entire universe for concealing and revealing Itself, to make this adventure in consciousness easy.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna that only very few succeed who try to reach God consciousness - and yet he also promises that none of our efforts are lost. Eventually all will reach the goal throughout the cycles of time.
For those who are ready now to come Home, weary of the repeating play in space/time, their efforts must be without any pause. Our western way of thinking is essentially compartmental. We have been taught to keep church separate from state. Church is on Sunday and the rest of the week, most do not think of God.
Kashmir Shaivism teaches that we must become aware of God consciousness not only permeating this entire universe - but in our every act, our every thought, in every moment throughout our days and nights, even in the dream state. No matter what we are doing, we need to remain undistracted from our goal and saturated with an unrelenting effort to find God within and indeed everywhere.
This “pauseless effort” is most easily achieved when we are “filled with intense desire and fervent longing” [SLJ]. Even the most intellectual erudite Kashmir Shaivite masters have written inspiring love poems to God. For example Abhinavagupta’s Abhinavastotravalih and the Shivastotravali of Utpaladeva. This longing for God is known as Union through Devotion, or Bhakti Yoga in other systems.
We have all been in love, I hope at least once, and we know from our own experience that when we are in this wonderful state of sweet madness, we think of our beloved and nothing else. We happily remain in a delightful perpetual self-created euphoria by always remembering, dreaming of and longing for the one we love.
When we want God as much as we have ever wanted anyone or anything, then such ‘pauseless’ effort is not so difficult. Krishna tells Arjuna that by devotion and love of God we come to know and realize God in Truth, and this knowledge creates our entrance into God consciousness [Bhagavad Gita XVIII.55].
As Swami Lakshmanjoo says, an “intense desire and fervent longing…originating from the center of your heart. By that force, this great yogi directs his mind to that point of supreme God consciousness.”
The Bhagavad Gita, translated by Winthrop Sargeant; State University of New York Press, 1994.
A Peep Into The TANTRALOKA and Our Cultural Heritage, by Koshalya Walli; Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi, 1998.
Abhinavastrotravalih of Abhinavagupta-padacarya, edited and translated by Shashishekhar Chaturvedi; Chaukhamba Surbharati Prakashan, Varanasi, 2011.
Sivastotravali of Utpaladeva, A Mystical Hymn of Kashmir, Exposition by Swami Lakshmanjoo; D.K. Printworld Ltd., New Delhi, 2008.