Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Outlook of Shiva (Śivadṛṣthiḥ)

Śivadṛṣthiḥ literally translates, "outlook of Śiva".  It is entirely a matter of perspective.  Śiva, Brahman, Consciousness, GOD - or whatever you choose to call it - It is nothing other than yourself.  You are nothing other than Śiva in all of his freedom, glory, transcendence, and splendor.

Why then is it the experience of most people that this is not the case?  Most people are acutely aware of their own limitation.  They suffer.  Why is this so?  Because of the erroneous presumption that they are the ego, the body-mind complex, the personality, the jīva, alone.  They mistakenly place their faith in the notion of "I" as distinct from "an other".

"GOD exists within you, as you", to quote Baba Muktananda.  But, in the case of the average person, Śiva is peering out through layers upon layers of caked-on mental conditioning.  In this case It sees reality through the distorting lens of duality.  Thus, we must not simply accept the idea that everything is GOD, lest we continue to suffer the ups and downs of gain and loss, joy and sorrow, hope and fear, clinging and rejection, ad infinitum.  We must resolve to settle for nothing less than the direct experience, in all of its fullness, that one is nothing other than the Being of which everything is an expression.

Then the conviction of the reality of the world is rendered inert like a seed that has been cooked in oil.  Experience attests that the world exists, but the unfiltered experience of reality attests to the existence of being something that is more real.  The jīva becomes Śiva by merit of this shift in perspective.


We can only see in this way by scraping off the mental conditioning that has accumulated over the course of an unthinkable number of lifetimes.  The way that we do this is through sādhanā, spiritual practice, AKA tapasya (austerities).  Along the way, you will have flashes of self-recognition as Śiva, peering through a chink in this mental armor, catches a glimpse of himself, the only "thing" that exists.  The first glimpses of this that we see are the spaces that I mentioned in "The Immediate Benefits of Meditation" that break up the continuity between external events and the conditioned responses that tend to follow them.


Eventually, the fire of yoga burns off all of these mental impurities and all that is left is a solitary and blissful Śiva dancing in the ashes of his former bondage.


You see, the mind throws up a veil.  That is what we are used to seeing.  But when the veil is torn away, everything is only one unified field.  Perhaps you can imagine a world where everything is only the Beloved but, just in case you can't, I will tell you what I can.  It is beautiful; it is perfect; it is bliss; it is already here; and it is worth the effort to realize this.  Whether this is understood or not, the fact remains that this Reality is the sole support of everything that is worth-while in life.  I have seen this and, consequently, the only thing left for me to do in life is clear out the clutter that keeps me from constantly maintaining this perspective and to help others do the same.


This blog entry is part of a series.  For more information on meditation, see also So You Wanna Meditate, The Immeditate Benefits of Meditation, and Beyond Mantra. These articles are excerpts from the meditation handbook, So You Wanna Meditate.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful! Thank you for such immense healing gifts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All in a day's work. It's good to make your acquaintance, Cynthia. Blessings. OM Namo Narayana.

      Delete