Kundalini Splendor

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Friday, December 22, 2006

The Aphorisms of Siva 

Who could resist a book titled "The Aphorisms of Shiva?" Certainly, not me. I picked this one up recently in a second hand book store and have enjoyed exploring its sacred wisdom. According to ancient legend, the aphorisms were given to the great rishi called Vasugupta in a dream. They were then passed down master to pupil through the ages. This version, edited by Mark S. G. Dyczkowski, was published by the State University of New York Press as part of its important series in Tantric studies.

Here is what I opened to a few days ago:

(first, a question from the pupil to Lord Shiva):

How is the yogi who is constantly dedicated to this practice?

The Lord said:

Among all the causes that concur (to give rise to phenomenal existence) Shiva stands supreme. His nature is consciousness and (his)form boundless Light. Thus because Shiva is such and the adept constantly applies himself to the practice of Yoga, he is like Him in all respects even while he acts in this world and (thus he) is liberated in this life by the vitality of that higher knowledge.

Here is the explanation of the passage:

The yogi who is constantly dedicated to this practice has attained, through his pursuit of Shiva's pure nature, Shiva's own level of existence and so savors the bliss of liberation in this very life even while the energies which function through the body continue to operate and so is like Shiva. Eventually, when the worldly experience which has fallen to his lot and that which he must still enjoy is exhausted, he is liberated after the death of the body and then attains a share of identity with Shiva.

It seems to me that this passage expresses a universal truth and desire. All of us are in our hearts "yogis" (aspirants), striving to bring outselves into closer attunement with divinity, by whatever name we may call it, or however we may envision it. We hope that we can, in Christian terms, "put on the body of Christ," or express more fully in our own essence what is called "Buddha nature." We constantly strive to make ourselves more complete, more nearly whole, by contemplating and emulating sacred power in its highest manifestation, which is by nature beyond the material realm. And we hope that by our devotion and dedication we too may come closer to the state of the "Siddha," the perfected being. And many of us hope and believe that once we leave the earthly (confined) condition we will be able to merge more fully with the Divine Essence, in a state some call heaven

And here is a further commentary on how dreams may reveal hidden sacred truth, by the editor of the series, Paul E. Muller-Ortega:

For most of us, to dream is to partake of the evanescent, to float nightly in images of unreality, shards of memory, bizarre and frightening episodes that may yield without warning to beautiful and alluring scenes. But the luminous dreams of a Siddha, a perfected being, escape this chaotic fragmentation and function as transparent filters for the apprehensions of truth. Having recognized the living truth of the freedom-imbued declaration, "Shivo'ham"--"I am Shiva"--the Siddha lives in a state of attunement, a powerful, sacrificial translucence through which the great light can shine. While the ordinary, contracted being exhibits only a resistive opacity, the Siddha yields to the truth even in dreams.

Many other cultures also believed that in dreams the gods speak to us. Dreamwork (dream analysis) has become more and more common in recent years.

May the gods speak to you in your dreams!

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