Shiva Sutras 3.15 & 3.16 - The Seed of the Universe & Immersion in Consciousness
Shiva Sutra 3.15
The Sanskrit word bija means the seed and cause of this whole universe. The understanding that everything manifested is contained in a single seed is reached in higher states of consciousness, Samadhi.
The Oneness manifests as all the worlds, as the glory that is Earth’s Nature, and in each and every being – and yet all that is contained, eternally present in a single seed, bija. This is the greatness of the free will (svantantrya) of Shiva, God consciousness, Parabhairava.
Para means the highest and Bhairava is the combination of the three metaphysical principles in one word: BHA indicates the maintenance of the world, RA the withdrawal or dissolution of the world, and VA the projection of the world. [Jaideva Singh] Thus Parabhairava expresses the three metaphysical principles that are the foundational essence, the cosmic forces that make up our universe.
Bija is the seed and cause of the universe; bija is “the supreme energy of Shiva, svantantrya shakti. [SLJ]” The term shakti is synonymous with power and is the manifesting power of Shiva. Because the power of shakti manifests everything, she has many Sanskrit words that describe various nuances of her aspects. Here she is bija, the cause of the universe in seed form.
Shakti is also spanda the creative pulsation of Shiva, the foundational consciousness, motion-less movement. The movements, vibration and pulsation of spanda are only apparent – the temporal appearances of illusory forms emanating from the eternal motion-less stillness that is the One. The manifest is simultaneously un-manifest, because the Oneness is never affected or changed by the appearance of the universe. These contradictions are useful and challenge us to alter our conditioned linear thinking.
Bija is to be continually meditated on in the intense focused practice of a “break-less awareness.” Swami Lakshmanjoo tells us that the aspirant must “put your mind and your intellect on a point that is to be meditated on, again and again, in continuity, without pause.”
This capacity to achieve a break-less awareness will come after your realization. “Because before you have realized it, you won’t have the strength of awareness to do it in continuity. At the time you realize it, that strength of meditating on it in continuation comes spontaneously. [SLJ]”
This achieved spontaneity will make us active. “…after you realize the reality of the Self…you will remain fully active for the remainder of your life. [SLJ]”
The path Home is sometimes bewildering and often presenting the chicken or the egg puzzle – which comes first? Are our ‘achievements’ the result of our own endeavors, or are they merely God’s grace? Is our heartfelt devotion for God a result of our own will, or is it the will of God that immerses us in such feelings. Is the intensity of a disciplined focus our own doing? Or is this intensity the grace of God within?
Shiva Sutra 3.16
Asanasthah sukham hrade nimajjati
The yogi who is seated in the real posture (asana) of the supreme energy of awareness effortlessly dives in the ocean of nectar. [SLJ] In this sutra Swami Lakshmanjoo explains that the physical postures (asanas) are “only imagination. The real asana actually exists when you are truly residing in the state of absolute awareness, the awareness of Self.”
Everything is consciousness. A yogic posture without its equivalent consciousness is meaningless. The external trappings of a spiritual life are fraudulent without real understanding from experience. In my experience, flowing purple robes, mystic ornaments, and a profusion of symbols do not indicate true enlightenment. For example Swami Lakshmanjoo wore simple clothes, his hair was cut short, and he did not preside over his disciples from a golden throne. His consciousness was all.
The Sanskrit word sukham here indicates that the yogi has reached the stage where his practice is “effortless” which “means that without exerting any effort in respect to breathing or yogic exercise, contemplation of meditation, he remains seated in that posture. [SLJ]” This posture symbolizes the state of consciousness of those heroes who have entered into God consciousness.
At this point in the journey the external means of spiritual practice are no longer necessary. Without any effort, the yogi in an internal way “immerses himself in the ocean from which the universe rises and expands. [SLJ]” You dissolve into and become one with, immersed and imbued with the nectar that is the ocean of consciousness. Your consciousness enters into God consciousness. All words are mere attempts to describe the subtle feelings that are beyond words, beyond the five senses and the intellect.
The teachings in the Sanskrit texts use the words ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’ in a unique way. It can be confusing at first. The Oxford dictionary defines the word subjective as ‘based on or influenced by personal opinions.’ This usage is more often heard in the west.
The word ‘subject’ is also used in English grammar as the word that performs the action of the verb. So when the texts talk of the ‘subjective consciousness’ they are referring to the subject, or I consciousness – and not a personal subjective opinion. The thinking in the Sanskrit texts is connected and interwoven into Sanskrit grammar, and so a grammatical reference is natural and to be expected.
The word ‘objective’ has the same difficulty. In the dictionary it can be defined as ‘not influenced by personal feelings or opinions: historians try to be objective.’ While the meaning of the word ‘object’ is ‘a physical thing that can be seen or touched’ or ‘a person or thing to which an action or feeling is directed.’
In the Sanskrit texts, the word ‘objective’ refers to the external manifested universe – that which is outside and projected by the subject. The subject is the interior ‘doer’ and the object is the external, what is done.
When we reach the state of God consciousness, we become the state of the revealer – the subject, subjective consciousness. We are no longer in the state of what is revealed – the objective universe.
The sequence of events described in this sutra are that the yogi moves from external means and realizing his/her own nature as the One – to an internal means, which relies on thought and Grace, and thus moves into the “supreme nectar” of dissolving in the Ocean of God consciousness.
SPANDA-KARIKAS, The Divine Creative Pulsation, translated into English by Jaideva Singh; Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Delhi, 1980. 2005.