8. veebruar, 2024

Śiva sūtras 1-2 with comments

The Shiva Sutras


1.1 caitanyamatma

The independent state of supreme consciousness is the reality of everything.


Beneath the curtain of each atom lies concealed the life increasing beauty of the face of the Beloved.

– Mahmud Shabistari (14th century Sufi poet)


Everything in this entire universe is God consciousness, including non-material things such as thoughts. It is all one.

God is not far away from us, not up in the clouds or seated on a golden throne high in some inaccessible heaven. God is within us. Therefore, there is nowhere to ascend to. We have no distance to cross, except in our own consciousness. God is waiting eternally within our Hearts, waiting patiently for us to turn and embrace that which we always are.

The beginning sutra (a thread) reveals to us that everything and everyone in this entire universe is in fact the Free Will of the Supreme Consciousness. Everything is the Oneness. And the Oneness is absolute Free Will Consciousness. What more is there to know?

The Oneness takes on the temporal 'appearance' of Separation as the many Selves - you and me and every other being in all the Myriad Realms in this universe. We appear to be separate, but in reality are not. There is only the One, only one Self (Paramatma), one Being.

For those of us who have not yet achieved enlightenment, this truth is difficult to 'feel' because we identity with our individual personality-self and not with the eternal Self within, which is always patiently waiting for us to turn inward and recognize the truth of our real being.

Once we reconnect with that Supreme Consciousness within, we realize that 'there is no plurality of Self. Consciousness is only one Self' [J.Singh - JS]. The Sanskrit word caitanya for consciousness is non-relational, meaning there is no subject-object relation. There is no word in English that conveys this subtle distinction.

For example the Sanskrit word Prakaṣa is defined as pure consciousness, shining, luminous, effulgence. Prakaṣa is not physical light, but rather the light of consciousness by which everything appears. There is no English equivalent.

The entire universe is the absolute Free Will svatantrya of the Supreme Consciousness. Everyone is an expression of the Free Will of the Supreme Consciousness - the good and the bad. Everything is filled with God Consciousness and therefore 'nothing is right and nothing is wrong' [Swami Lakshmanjoo - SLJ]. It is all God.

We are the Veiled portions of the Oneness playing here in the eternal cycles of creation/expansion and contraction/dissolution of Time and Space. When we are weary of our 'play' we turn within and in longing seek that which we have always been. We recognize the God-within as our real Self and not the individual personal-self, our current life body data-collecting vehicle.

The means by which we come to realize our God Consciousness is also God Consciousness, because there is 'nothing that exists and nothing that that not exist' [SLJ] anywhere that is not God Consciousness.

We already are that which we seek!

These kind of mind-cracking perplexing contradictions are wonderful and propel us beyond linear material-world thinking.

The first verse of another Kashmir Shaivite text, the Pratyabhijnahridayam, resonates with this Shiva sutra. It uses a lovely metaphor to describe the Free Will of the Supreme Consciousness playing: '...the universe comes forth into being (literally opens its eyelids), and continues as existent, and when it withdraws its movement, the universe also disappears from view (literally shuts its eyelids)' [JS].

Thus it is God's Play - the 'playfulness' of the Oneness that conceals Itself, hides enfolded ubiquitous within this universe which is the appearance of temporal multiplicity we know as Life on the earth-plane.

Like lovers who have been separated and are intensely reunited, it is in this sense of Play (LILA), a sort of cosmic hide-and-seek, that the One sweetly reveals Itself to Itself over and over in varying ways throughout the endless Cycles of Time.


1.2 jnanam bandhah

Knowing differentiatedly is bondage and not knowing undifferentiatedly is bondage.


However, there is nothing that is separate or different from God consciousness, so it is not as if there is some separate entity or object which would somehow have the ability to veil or conceal God consciousness, but rather, it is the Supreme Lord Himself (Shiva) who, out of the very power of his own free-will, brings about the self-veiling or self-concealing of Himself. This is due to his power of Mahāmāya, the great Illusion. This self-imposed limitation alone is what constitutes the source of bondage.

Bondage occurs when:

  • You see the appearance of differences.
  • You forget that you are universe.


This universe is the expression of God's Love. The Oneness covers Its ubiquitous immensity in the Veils of Forgetting (kanchuka) and throughout returning Cycles of Time, enjoys the journey of sweet Remembering by Its own Grace (anugraha). This playful concealing and revealing of the Oneness is the sole purpose, meaning the one and only reason for the existence of our lives and this entire universe. We are all this Oneness.

That Absolute Oneness 'lets go' and 'pours forth' (sristi) the plenum eternally implicit, immanent and inherent within It - and takes on the appearance of Separation. The Veiling process or bondage consists of limited differentiated knowledge, the appearance of distinctions, differences. Bondage is also ignorance of your real eternal state, not knowing that your consciousness is in fact undifferentiated knowledge [SLJ], the One.

How does the Oneness veil Itself? By the infinite power of Its own Freedom (svatantrya), the Oneness 'appears' to become temporal multiplicity. Knowledge of endlessly mutating, fractalizing, replicating differences and distinctions is bondage.

No matter how many systems you master and regardless of the great heights of worldly brilliance you rise to, if you have forgotten that there is only the One - you are in bondage. Therefore the state of being unaware that everything and everyone that exists is not separate from you, as the Consciousness of the One Self, is bondage also.

This differentiated knowledge includes those ways of thinking that you consider to be inferior, stupid, or evil. They are also a manifested projection of the Oneness through whatever vehicle has construed them. This is why making judgments traps you. When you judge others you are drawn into a lower frequency of consciousness that does not admit and include Oneness. Judgment will hold you in a limited frequency.

Discernment is necessary, but must carry no attachment and entrapment through emotional charge. Discernment is closer to a detached observation.

Swami Lakshmanjoo says, 'impurity is ignorance' and sin is only the ignorance of your true identity, meaning how far your consciousness imagines itself to be separated from the Oneness that you are and always have been.


Susan Ferguson