The Illusory Nature of the World as per Vedanta vs. Trika
“You have heard Shantabrahmavada (Vedanta) proclaim that the world is an illusion created by the illusory power of Maya. That Brahman (God) is somehow “covered” by Maya. Brahman is knowledge alone, and all activity belongs to Maya.
You have also heard Ishvaradvayavada (Trika) proclaim that Maya is Shivamayi, the very power of Shiva (God) to invoke multiplicity. Maya is Lord Shiva’s will to create. Lord Shiva is both knowledge and activity.
Divisions, categories, differences, levels, states, etc…these are all the product of mind. Without the perception of innumerable minds operating within the veil of Maya (The illusion of multiplicity), there exists only God–no divisions, no chakras, no states of mind, no categories, no religions, no nothing….only the Self remains.
This is what is meant by the world being only a figment of the mind. God’s energy is real; the division of God is unreal; it is Shivamayi (Lord Shiva’s veil of dualities).
No mind=no divisions–only ‘I’ remains.
Prattling about whether the world is real or illusory is utter nonsense; In the final realization, only God, the One without a second, the Self of all, exists. The argument of whether the world is one of manifested reality or illusory shadow becomes the futile debate of scholars when we realize that both understandings–and indeed all understandings of apparent difference–are equally the short-sighted perversions of the dualistic mind.”
Markandeya Gita Song 17, by M
I have a question about a persons duty?
I have a question for those who may read this blog. If you could email me or post your response I would love to hear it.
My question is, does a person act against adharmic behavior or should the yogi see that adharmic behavior as the play of Consciousness, that behavior being Paramashiva as well? Or should a person act out against adharmic behavior, because it is ones karmic duty being aware of such behavior to act out against it?
Any input would be enlightening!
Om Namah Shivaya,
The Guru Principle and the Path to Yoga
“The Guru Principle can be seen in your home with a piece of cardboard, a nail, and a lamp.
Take the cardboard and the nail in your hands and poke a dozen holes in the cardboard at random locations. Turn out all of the lights in the house except for the one lamp. Next, hold the cardboard up in front of the lamp.
Notice that the same light shines through all the holes regardless of shape or size.
The light of the lamp can be likened to the Light of Consciousness, the Guru Principle. The holes in the cardboard represent the Guru of form.
Like the holes in the cardboard, the Guru of form varies in shape, size, and location, and yet the Light of Consciousness shines the same through them all.
Nothing was added to the cardboard for the lamplight to shine through, but rather, portions of the cardboard had to be
And so it is throughout the world that in various places and in various forms the dross of ignorance has been so removed that the Guru Principle shines through unimpeded into the gross world through the form of a person.
Such a person is called Guru.”
Markandeya Gita Song 16, by M
Love for God on the Path to Yoga
“The scriptures tell us to love God with all our being, with every moment of our existence: more than family, wife and children.
What is meant by this exactly?
It is not a call to love our family less, no no, it is a call to love all more.
To love God first means to love all. God is the root, the trunk, and the flower of life, the All-In-All. The dictum to
‘love God first and foremost’ is a dictum then to love all.
This means that we must not love our family less, but rather, we should love the whole of existence as our family. It is a call to love, this dictum.
This universal love is called samarasya or samávesha, meaning ‘same sightedness’. In this universal love there is no room to love ‘this’ more than ‘that’, nor is there any room to ‘hate this’ and to ‘love that’.
Sadhana (spiritual praxis) will bear lasting and meaningful fruit only when one cultivates ‘sameness’ towards all. Sadhana will not bear
fruit when ‘selective affection’ for only a few exists, nor will it bear fruit when hatred abides within.
See yourself in others, for love, hatred, anger, jealousy, envy, desire, passion and greed are the same for all.
- As you feel, so too does your brother.
- As you need, so too does your sister.
To love God foremost is to love all, this is the nature of love.”
Markandeya Gita Song 15, by M
You’re Never Too Good For Puja
“It is possible for us to come to the belief that we have performed puja (worship) to its logical extent, that we have even outgrown puja.
One may think “I am liberated from ignorance, and there is no further need.”
But I ask you, O Lovers of Shiva, does the man and woman, after years of marital union, and who come to the point of thinking and acting as one, proclaim: “We are one–there is no need to be together anymore, for we are at once one within.”
Do they disband and divide their things and go each their own way, giving up their marital vows?
Of course not.
They instead revel daily in the bliss of their harmonious union, their one-ness. Through daily effort, this bliss lasts; it does not go away. The wise couple know that marriage is a life-long practice that only deepens with time.
And so it is with puja; those who claim to have outgrown puja have only outpaced subtle wisdom and have attained to superb mental gymnastics.
Everyday, every hour, every minute, worship. True worship is internal; this is the best worship. The outer puja shrine is but a reflection of our uninterrupted devotion.”
Markandeya Gita Song 14, by M
Anuttarastika –Eight Verses on the Unsurpassable of Abhinavagupta
I found this beautiful devotional text by Abhinavagupta today courtesy of the Ishwar Ashram Trust. After reading it for the first time I was hit over the head with the hammer of bliss and transported into a state of meditation. It is eloquent, short and to the point. everything one needs to know about Self and the Trika is right here. No need for anything else!
Anuttarastika –Eight Verses on the Unsurpassable, by Abhinavagupta
Nor of contemplation, disputation, or discussion,
Nor meditation, concentration nor even the effort of prayer.
Please tell me clearly: What is supreme Truth?
Listen: Neither renounce nor possess anything,
Share in the joy of the total Reality
And be as you are!
In reality no world of transmigration exists,
So how can one talk about ‘humans in bondage’?
To try to liberate one free already
Is futile, for he was never in bondage.
All this just creates a delusion like that
Of the shadow of a ghost or a rope mistaken for a snake.
So neither renounce nor possess anything.
Enjoy yourself freely, resting in your self,
Just as you are!
What words can describe the unsurpassable? In the Absolute
Can there be any distinction between the worship,
The one who worships and the object of worship.
How and in whom can there be spiritual progress?
What are the degrees of absorption?
Illusion itself in ultimately the same
As non-dual Consciousness, all being the pure
Nature of the Self, experienced by oneself-
So have no vain anxiety! Continue reading
Saktopaya: Snana or Mental Bathing in the Trika
The other day I was reading an article that B.N. Pandit wrote in the Malini titled, The Trika Spiritual methods of Absorption. The article made many good points in regards to methods used in saktopaya, but the style that B.N. Pandit wrote in was very wordy and somewhat confusing. I had emailed an excerpt to my Guruji and gracefully he had rewritten it so I was able to digest it much easier.
B.N. Pandit wrote:
“The gaining of awareness concerning the actual and factual sate of existence in terms of being neither bound nor free is such a step that removes such tainted thoughts that become the source of limitation. Insofar as one subjects himself to such dialectical thinking that reflects only in terms of pairs of opposites, one would never know who one is. It is, therefore, asked of us to transcend such forms of thinking through such analysis as would give rise to the perception that views the individual existents as being neither bound nor free. This process of thinking is technically called bathing(snana)– precisely because it removes the impurity of ideas in the same manner as a bath in water removes the dirt from the body.”
My original question was that when B.N. says that its asked us to view individual existents as being neither bound nor free? I understand the bound part, but I thought that all of Paramashivas outward play, thanks to sakti, is Sivas svatantrya?
“Bound and Free are mental concepts. He is simply saying that we must transcend the mind–along with its operation or “mental modes” so that we can directly experience Nonduality rather than merely intellectualize it. For, when we think with terms that are of the mind, and thusly are dualistic, then we have ideations like “bound” and “free.” When the mind, the energy of cognition is digested into subjective energy, we move from “thinking” to “feeling”. Thinking is a pale re-creation in the head, whereas feeling is directly embibing sans mentation, and in so doing we lose our false identification with thoughts as the Self.” Continue reading
Discipline and Your Sadhana on the Path to Yoga
When I first began my inner search many years ago, I had always had a problem with discipline and even today sometimes its difficult. Living in the USA, working a 9-5 job and trying to survive financially may sometimes make our minds stray from our spiritual practice. My Guruji always stresses the importance of being consistent. When one begins to be consistent with their sadhana, the discipline that follows will blossom organically.
“Physical, Mental, Spiritual; everyday it is prudent to follow these disciplines three.
Physical discipline–Anything that brings the body to bear, such as: weight-training, running, walking, swimming, stretching, hatha yoga, even daily household chores fall under this category.
Mental discipline–The daily chanting or study of the works of great sages, saints, gurus, or Holy works such as the Vedas, the Upanishads, or the Tantras, or any tradition that bears wisdom. It can be ancient text or modern day words of wisdom. This fosters dharana (concentration; contemplation) which leads naturally into the third discipline.
Meditation–Or “dharana,” bringing the mind to bear; letting go of the myriad habit patterns and thoughts and holding on to one singular focal point. This can be the mantra, the breath (Hamsa breathing is both mantra and breath), an external object, and internal mental object, the form of the Guru, or the abstract meditation on the formless. The import is single mindedness.
These daily disciplines three bring us to the doorway of samadhi, mystical absorption.”
Markandeya Gita Song 12, by M
“What is Yoga? A Cursory Definition of Yoga
So what is yoga? Markandeya gives us a cursory definition of yoga and its fruit.
“Yoga means literally “To yoke” or “To join.” The fruit of yoga is meditation.
There are many types of yoga; three are oft mentioned and they are karma, bhakti, and jnana. Karma is “selfless action” that is performed without ego or thought of reward; bhakti is devotion, and jnana is knowledge. These three are one, for there is no knowledge unless one is devoted; there is no devotion unless one has the knowledge or understanding of why they are devoted; and there is no devotion or knowledge unless there is diminishing of ego and thought of reward.
The fruit of these yogas three is meditation. Karma moves us towards selflessness; devotion moves us away from ego; and jnana moves us away from identity with thought constructs as the Self.
Selfless, egoless, and thoughtless are three words that describe the same state, one of meditation.
There is never one of these yogas three without the other ones, and their fruit is one pointedness.
One pointedness is the doorway to samadhi (mystical absorption).
Be selfless, be devoted, and be of knowledge, and you will meditate with ease.”
Markandeya Gita Song 12, by M