Friday, February 22, 2013
In addition to his version of the Gita, Janeshwar (13th century saint) also wrote other poems. Here is an excerpt from one of his works. It deals with the notion that Shiva (potentiality) and Shakti (manifestation) are one (non-dual). One cannot exist without the other. In fact, they are the same essence. This philosophical concept is expressed in Hindu thought through the beautiful image of Shiva and Shakti locked in union, a symbol that puzzles many westerners, but which is meant to convey more than sexual union. It can be interpreted as the union of all the many pairs of opposites, and grasping this connection is essential to all initiatory experience.
The poem has special meaning for those who know the bliss of Kundalini, for then indeed lover and beloved are one, and all opposites are reconciled into a single unity.
Although I had assumed that "Janeshwar" was a foreign term for me, I discovered, while researching his name, that I had in fact posted this very poem some two or more years ago on my blog. I had retained no conscious awareness of doing so, but obviously the poem made a deep impression on my at that time as well as now, so I am leaving the poem here for all to enjoy once more.
I love the notion (quoted above) that he may still be alive "anchoring his light body as a crystal of enlightened energy radiating" (out into the whole world).
Amritanubhav (The Nectar of Mystical Experience)
Chapter One: The Union of Shiva and Shakti
From Abhayananda's (the translator and author) Introduction to Chapter
"This, the opening chapter of Amritanubhav, is undoubtedly one of the
most strikingly beautiful poetic expressions of duality-in-unity ever
written. In it, Jnaneshvar, the poet, portrays, with symbol and
metaphor, that mystery which remains forever inexpressible in the
language of philosophy and logic."
The following is a selection of a few of the 64 verses from the first
I offer obeisance to the God and Goddess,
The limitless primal parents of the universe.
They are not entirely the same,
Nor are they not the same.
We cannot say exactly what they are.
How sweet is their union!
The whole world is too small to contain them,
Yet they live happily in the smallest particle.
These two are the only ones
Who dwell in this home called the universe.
When the Master of the house sleeps,
The Mistress stays awake,
And performs the functions of both.
When He awakes, the whole house disappears,
And nothing at all is left.
Two lutes: one note.
Two flowers: one fragrance.
Two lamps: one light.
Two lips: one word.
Two eyes: one sight.
These two: one universe.
In unity there is little to behold;
So She, the mother of abundance,
Brought forth the world as play.
He takes the role of Witness
Out of love of watching Her.
But when Her appearance is withdrawn,
The role of Witness is abandoned as well.
He assumes the form of the universe;
He is left naked.
If night and day were to approach the Sun,
Both would disappear.
In the same way, their duality would vanish
If their essential Unity were seen.
In fact, the duality of Shiva and Shakti
Cannot exist in that primal unitive state
From which AUM emanates.
They are like a stream of knowledge
From which a knower cannot drink
Unless he gives up himself.
Is the sound of AUM divided into three
Simple because it contains three letters?
Or is the letter 'N' divided into three
Because of the three lines by which it is formed?
So long as Unity is undisturbed,
And a graceful pleasure is thereby derived,
Why should not the water find delight
In the floral fragrance of its own rippled surface?
It is in this manner I bow
To the inseparable Shiva and Shakti.
A man returns to himself
When he awakens from sleep;
Likewise, I have perceived the God and Goddess
By waking from my ego.
When salt dissolves,
It becomes one with the ocean;
When my ego dissolved,
I became one with Shiva and Shakti.
(image found on internet)