Kashmir Shaivism: A dialogue between Shiva and Shakti

Shakti: What is true yoga? What is the real purpose?

Shiva: True yoga is loving and being attached to the Parabhairava state, the Supreme Bliss of Shiva. Moment to moment, in action and inaction, placing your awareness on the divine Shiva Consciousness without break. It is caring for nothing else but that state of Supreme Revelation.

It is only by the Grace of Parabhairava and your Master that you can enter into this state. Seeking that Grace is the highest purpose in life. But in reality, you can not seek that Grace, it will seek you when you are not looking, or you may be looking, and it will just land on you, or rise from within you, either way, it will absorb you completely until you become one with Parabhairava.

Shakti: What is the role and importance of physical yoga in this supreme awakening?

Shiva: You should seek out a Master that has knowledge and experience of the Parabhairava state over one who has perfected his body through yogic postures. Ultimately, all the yoga asanas are just pretend movements:

“Actually, the postures (asanas) explained in the yogadarsana are not really asanas at all. Sivayoga is the only posture that must be understood when you are seeking to understand the real posture for such a yogi. This real posture is the supreme energy of awareness. You are seated in that posture when you hold and possess the supreme energy of awareness. Then in each and every act of your life you are aware, you are seated in that posture. This is the real asana.” (Swami Lakshmanjoo, Shiva Sutras: the Supreme Awakening)

So when you are yearning for the true experience of Sivayoga, it is best to be physically near a being that is radiating the sate of Parabhairava and overflowing with divine bliss. Real yoga is not something learned in a book or classroom. It is imbibed by living and breathing near a realized being. Each act he does will be filled with the Parabhairava state. You should observe and mirror his divine body language. This will lead to the same inner state being awakened and expressed through you.

Shakti: Swamiji says that yoga is for building the body. You've also spoken the importance of getting the body ready. Asana is for preparing the body to hold enlightenment and bliss.

Shiva: Yes, asana does help prepare the body to hold enlightenment and bliss. When the inner awakening happens within you it is a powerful experience and the body should be fit and strong in order to hold and radiate it. All the eight limbs of yoga should be practiced as a whole.

Just because they are pretend movements does not mean one should not engage them. Actually, all activities are pretension other then the Parabhairava state. It is Shiva pretending to be a teacher, a cook, a warrior, an ant, and a galaxy of lifeforms and their movements. So Shiva can pretend to be a yoga teacher and teach yoga to students so they can grow strong and flexible and work their way towards the Supreme Parabhairava state. There is nothing wrong with any of this.

Shakti: Can you explain the power of speaking into the listening of another? And what is the self/other? What is the experience of feeling separate in form?

Shiva: Speaking into the listening of another comes from deep listening within yourself. Most of our problems can be solved just by taking a few moments to deeply listen to everything that is happening in our innerspace. When you listen clearly to yourself, you will be able to visualize and execute your daily routine without excessive inner chatter. And when this deep listening happens between two or more beings, they can visualize and change the course of entire world systems without much effort or planning.

Self and other is Parabhairava being overfilled with excitement and expanding into infinite beings. There is too much bliss and excitement in His contracted state, so He has to expand. It is simply His freedom of will to delude beings into limited forms and enjoy through them.

Feeling separate in form is like making a boat out of water and having it sail on the ocean. It is impossible, but it happens out of the supreme will of Parabhairava. It is all the glory of Parabhairava. Even if someone were to say there is no such thing as the divine or Parabhairava, that all this is mere nonsense, that is His glory too. He is shining everywhere.

Shakti: What can be said about the breath and yoga in a cosmic sense? Many people talk of pranayama as a unit of yoga, but the truth is that breath is not in a commonly understood relationship with prana, prana is beyond.

Shiva: Yes, prana is beyond just breath. It is a bridge to the Parabhairava state. Through yoga, spiritual initiation and kundalini awakening, it can be centered in your Sushumna nadi and surge upwards through your crown chakra. When properly harnessed, prana can funnel you effortlessly into the experience of turyia, the superconscious fourth state beyond waking, dreaming and deep sleep.

It can also keep you attached to your limited being by providing you with dazzling delights. The prana of the devas is even more subtle, and by attaching to that subtle enjoyment you may take the body of a deva in the next birth. But after a while, you will fall again to human form and be seeking the next rising of prana.

After lifetimes of rising and falling, you gain the maturity to enter into the Parabhairava state. When prana takes you to the samadhi state, you should hold your awareness there for as long as possible and allow the breath to become subtle and still. Then when you come out of that state, you should feel your superconscious bliss filling all states of consciousness eternally:

“Filled with the fragrance of the supreme glittering (sphurana) of Shiva consciousness, that yogi, slowly coming out from samadhi, feels his breath is filled with a supreme fragrance. And although his breath is moving out, he feels his breath is not moving out. He feels his breath is established in his Supreme Being. Then after exhaling very slowly, he experiences that the three states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep are filled with the dense nectar of Shiva consciousness and he comes out in the waking state with this fragrance. He is a king of yogis. He never loses the fragrance of Shiva consciousness.” (Swami Lakshmanjoo, Shiva Sutras: the Supreme Awakening)

So the compact bliss felt in samadhi after a time is extended into the outer world by your will and awareness. The rising and falling of your individual prana streams into the cosmic ocean of bliss, you become wedded to that ocean of bliss, and it is yours to enjoy eternally without limitation.

Shakti: How and why would he get enjoyment through limited forms? What's enjoyable about that when you are the ocean? What is bliss?

Shiva: The ocean of bliss is full and complete in itself, but enjoys the rivers flowing into it without getting agitated. And it allows itself to be drawn up into vapor and shower onto countless fields. So for the supreme yogi, “his joy of samadhi is bliss for the whole universe.” (Shiva Sutra 1.18.)

You should not just sit in a corner dissolving endlessly into that ocean. You should bring its blissful waters into every aspect of your life and act universally with responsibility.

“If you think that in practicing yoga, Shiva consciousness is to be possessed and that which is other than Shiva consciousness is to be discarded, that is not the proper understanding. The correct understanding is that you must unite these two together. Shiva consciousness must be united with objective consciousness and objective consciousness must be united with Shiva consciousness.” (Krama Strotra)

Bliss is Supreme Grace showering you from all sides. It is flowing like the Ganga from within you and above you and below you and into everything you see and do. Why would you come out from that state of Shiva Consciousness into the world when you are drenched with the nectar of eternal bliss? For absolutely no reason, just for fun, just as Supreme Parabhairava manifests and expands the universe through Shakti out of sheer delight!

And if you are just sitting there in that bliss, after a while, the divine may just possess you and make your body preform a divine mission. You will have no idea what is going on. But galaxies will be feeling your every movement. Devas, rishis and munis may come to your house and wake you up each morning. There will be no limit to the impact of your existence. Your very being will be vibrating with the universal existential essence.

Abhinavagupta says: “My master Shambhunatha described jagadananda as that state that is completely unencumbered, where bliss (ananda) is found shining, where it is universally strengthened by the Supreme I-Consciousness of Shiva, and where the six limbs of yoga—bhavana, dharana, dhyanna, pratyahara, yoga, and samadhi—are no longer used or required.” (Tantraloka 6:51-52)

Here your glory and glamor will be felt everywhere shining without any limitation or need of support. Jagadananda is the pinnacle of creation happening through you. Actually, all the limited joys in the universe are meant only for those real heroes residing in the Parabhairava state. Those who try to taste these joys who are not residing in that state will only be robbers and brought downwards. So you should, moment to moment, seek to achieve that state above all else.

“When your master reveals the universal truth to you, then you emerge from limitation and the whole universe becomes your possession. To possess the whole universe as your own self is real knowledge and that is netra and that is liberation.” (Netra Tantra 9.12)

This is the essence of Kashmir Shaivism. The height of all philosophies, yogas and religions. And soon, it will be recognized as a science all around the world. May you be filled with the eternally blissful nectar of Parabhairava by transporting yourself to His state! It is not far away from you! Seek the Reveler, not what is revealed! OM