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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Hinduism

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Old 08-02-2018, 05:40 AM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is online now
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The Absolute Difference of Indifference

Qualified Monism in Shaivite Philosophy

It is time I stopped goofing off and getting serious here; as serious as a Hindu Scholar and great devotee of Lord Shiva can be.

Maybe this will go way over the top, maybe some of it will stick, but I totally understand the whole deal with Advaita Vedanta - from the rather 'biased' view of a Bhakti Yogi, of course.
I've just spent the past week revisiting the Shiva, Linga and Skanda Puranas, all the Shaiva Agamas, Sutras and the whole Trinetra (Trika) school of Shaivite Thought in comparison with the Pashupati, Kaula and Siddhanta versions of the basic question; "does this 'thing' called Shiva/Mahadeva, exist outside of Brahman which encompasses all and is full 'purna' of its own effulgence (vimarsha)?"

Through reading all these myths and legends, one gets a view of the Hindu Epic, the Ramayana from a whole different perspective to the schools of early Vaishnava (Vishnu -centric) interpretations of it through Goswami Tulsidas, to Madhava and Ramanuja and thus to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who started the whole Sankirtan Movement (Mantra Marg) back in the 15th Century.

So, even in the Shaivite Paranas, we get the story of Ravana and what happened to him and also, how Lord Rama (an avatar of Lord Vishnu) worshiped Lord Shiva to get His blessings to slay this great Devotee of Lord Shiva...and Ravana, as you may all recall was also an incarnation of the 'Door Keeper' of Vishnu Loka and his real name is Jaya - who was cursed by the Sanat Kumara to take human birth worshiping Lord Shiva, for denying the Ascended Masters access into 'Heaven'...Jaya's brother (the other half of Jaya) was called Vijaya and Vijaya took birth as Ravana's brother, Kumbhkarna...who was like a 50ft tall, 10 ton giant...but I digress because I just like telling this story. lol
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:03 AM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is online now
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I still call Lord Rama, "Rama Dewa" and Sita, I still call 'Shinta" then of course, I also call this thing named 'Brahman' "Achintya" and the God who gets written as "Shiva", I pronounce it as "Ciwa" and of course, Rudra or Sadashiva just gets "Widhi" as in "Ida Sang Huang Widhi Wasa" also, Mahadeva's 'full title' is "Maharajah Dewata" but this concept or rather 'impersonal non-concept' called 'Brahman' is subjectively experiential, when even that which is experienced as 'being something' by one person, another person can have a duplicate experience according to the arrangement of perceived energy and vibration existing within any given frequency...but there was one thing for sure here, I wasn't just a regular 'Hindu'....I belonged to Agama Hindu Dharma, who worships the 'three-in-one God' of Brahm, Wisnu and Ciwa as Achintya - as Widhi. It's a Dualism which leads directly to Non-Dualism, through incorporation of the three experiences of manifested Consciousness; "Birth, Middle-Age and Death" as in keeping with the Human Condition.

This 'three-in-one God' is called the 'Trimurthi" but I noticed that whenever I saw Lord Shiva's Trishula...when ever I saw the three lines of ash on His forehead and counted how many eyes He had... from a very young age, I was like "so, tell me again, why should I even bother with the OTHER two?" and it's still a good question for me...I knew that I was Shaivite and a Shiva devotee from 'day 1' of Hindu Orthodoxy, really. Wherever I went in Indonesia, be it Bersakih Temple, The Buddhist megolith of Borobudur (which rivals Angkor Wat in splendour) or Chadi Sukuh ('the Pyramid'), I was seen and understood as some kind of "Balinese Shaivite Shaman" and I was aware of also being Divinely guided by something that I knew, understood/perceived was not 'Me' or "Self", but I also realised I could not say 'Neti Neti' (this isn't real) to it either. From there, I saw Shiva AS the 'Trimurti' and He had similar 'names'..."Tryambakaya...Trilochanaya...Tripuranta kaya...Trikalagnikalaya" and I mean, who NEEDS the 'other three' when it just happens that there's the 'all in the nothing and nothing in the all' which remains after the fact anyway?
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:03 AM
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I'm then reminded of the Vimanas (vehicles) of all the Trimurti and Shiva is the only one who rides an 'earth beast' whilst the other two ride a 'winged beast', however special attention is to be paid to Lord Brahma's mount, "Hamsa" or the 'Swan of discernment/discrimination' and the name ALSO represents the breath in Pranayama and the subtle noise/sigh it makes as it travels in and out through the nostrils as the energetic currents circulate up the spine respectively..."Ham...Sa(So)....Ham...Sa(So) on and on it will go like this and after a while, with a slight change in mental perspective...only a very slight change...it will start playing in the mind in 'backwards mode'..."So...Ham....So.....Ham" and "So...Ham" in Sanskrit, means "I ...AM" and so, with every breath, consciously or subconsciously, one connects with their own inner Divinity and the 'discernment'? the 'discrimination'? That is only the slight shift in perspective which disrupts the whole thought cycle. Yet, as I merged into Being, there was still a 'Being' who I could not 'merge' into because it somehow seemed to be the source OF the 'merging' or created the whole ability to do so and from that point on, I adopted all of the Yoga Kriyas taught by Swami Svatmarama who 'invented' Hatha Yoga based on what Patanjali already laid out before him and Dakshinamurthy (Lord Shiva) LONG before all that (at the second age of Manu IIRC).

Well, Lord Brahma got the 'Swan who discriminates where the inhalation stops/starts and the exhalation does likewise'...Lord Vishnu got the prototype for an Indonesian Domestic Airline fleet and thought "I really like my ability to look into the future, so let's call MY 'flying ship' "Garuda" - it is also VERY interesting to note how Lord Shiva appeared as 'half man, half griffin bird' to kill Narsimha Deva and liberate Lord Vishnu's soul from the clutches of a 'self-righteous demon' who was dishing out Karma to a name I can never spell, but it's starts with the letter 'H" and ends with a "U".....my memory needs some work, it seems.
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:04 AM
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Discrimination, discernment (and also 'splitting philosophical hairs') all arises from the difference...the difference of indifference. What makes everything, even 'non duality' or Lord Shiva or Brahman seem 'different' to us? even though the whole essence, the whole of Consciousness is basically "one" but for the drop to 'become the ocean' it must realise that it was once a 'drop' or else it would have always been 'the ocean' irrespective of 'droplet status' and for Purusha to become Prakriti, it must still 'exist' as Purusha because there is nothing which, by any nature, 'cannot exist' or be 'non-existent' because it seems is was this total void, this absence of anything we can even 'think of' as 'Consciousness' or 'Shiva' which created all matter in existence.

It also seems that I have had a very rich and colourful experience of the whole religion of Hinduism and the customs, lifestyle and the whole "Sanatan Dharma" tradition, not only in this lifetime, but over many of them and whenever I want to, I can just 'pick a scene' that relates or corresponds and right now, I am thinking of the Shiva Tandava Stotram and the composer OF it - Ravana (before he became an 'evil with power crazy dude' and had to be 'put out of his misery for his OWN good')...well, Lord Shiva gave Ravana MANY boons and one of them was massive, Herculean strength (like his brother, Kumbhkarna)...so, one day, Ravana decided to test this to the limit and try to lift up Mt. Kailash while Shiva and Shakti were sitting on it...he succeeded, until Lord Shiva did His 'Tandava dance' assumed massive immeasurable proportions and weight and then buried Ravana under half a mountain of snow and ice (but didn't kill him) and of course, Ravana saw the joke, the lesson of humility, tears came as He surrendered to Shiva on the spot and spoke the most grammatical and syntactical algebraic poem to Lord Shiva ever - the Shiva Tandava Stotram (and I cannot get past the 6th verse of it STILL - or I will forget the first verse). lol
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:05 AM
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I started studying the Spanda Karikas (again) before my attention was grabbed by the Pashupatis and Lingayats and also by the school of Shaiva Siddhanta and all of the Agamas that "Agama Hindu Dharma" was and is still based upon. It was also tiring to speculate as to some finitude of the Infinite - of which this 'finititude' is only a part, but contains the essence OF the "all" - the source of Consciousness rather than the manifestation OF it, the One who holds the Celestial Mirrors up beyond the Right Ascension of the Meridian to gaze at His own 'reflection' in the form of Prakriti or Shakti. I mean I knew and understood this whole 'drill' ever since birth and it was, well, boring me Spritually (even though I also knew and understood this is my 'Path') and it was then, I found out that I was of the "Pashupati School' of Shaivism and NOT the Kaula as I had originally speculated - it's because the Aghori are Tantric Monists (and I could never seem to be able to get my head and heart around THAT one - I mean, is there a 'duality' or isn't there a 'duality' or does both exist simultaneously, just like every grain of sand on all the beaches...every drop of water in the ocean....every star and galaxy in the Universe and every breath and heartbeat which makes me what 'I am' and that is "I totally belong to Shiva, so how could I EVER 'exist/be' as Shiva"?

Within moments of this realisation, I was covered in Vibhoot (sacred ash) facing North-East and chanting the Rudra Gayatri Mantra...and I sorta emptied about 6 packets of ash all over the Shiva Lingam and started with the Shiva Kavacham (Shiva's Holy Armour of 'spiritual protection' before I began the 'ritual'...three lines on the forehead (the 'third eye'), three lines on the throat (representing integrity in communication and honesty in speech), three lines on each upper arm, representing the heart chakra and solar plexus, three lines on the lower abdomen, and that's the seat of Shakti, the 'sacred' and the Soul/fire in Man and then three lines on each upper thigh, and that's to keep us grounded, stable and rational with those aforementioned 'powers of discernment'. I then, took the Rudraksha Mala from around a huge picture of King Basavanna (one of the greatest Shaivite mystic saints "Siddhars" in the Lingayat Tradition) and then naked, before the universal Soul, I started to do 108 rounds of the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra (intersposed with the Panchakshara Mantra and the Shiva Panchakshara Stotram), but, the Rudrashtakam was playing in the background and I ended up chanting that instead...until I woke up the next morning, still naked, laying on my bedroom floor, gazing upwards into the half-closed eyes of this beautiful, angelic vision and I'm like "eh? what happened to Bhairava? - I was kind of enjoying that." The pictures and statues all seemed to 'smile' at that point, and there was no sense of where my body/mind or whatever I conceive as "I" stopped and everything else "began" and then I go "oh great...not THIS ride again?" in true, Adi Shankaracharya style, with a bit of Patanjali's (Vasuki's) philosophy thrown into the mix for good measure...which sorta also defines me as a 'Tantrika'...yeah, a 'dualist Tantrika' who would have even thunk it? (and who even CAN fathom that one out?)
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:06 AM
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So, with that, I bade farewell to all those Kashmiri Schools save one - the largest Shiva Temple and association within it - Pashupatinath, but I also had strong ties to Besakih Temple in Indonesia and also Mahabalipuran Temple in India. I knew I had ties to the Aryans and also the Dravidians, who seemed to have 'invented' the whole "human concept' of a 'Lord Shiva' to start with, it was where two 'Tribal Deities' met, Pashupati and Rudra -thus, Hinduism is born among the Indus Valley population...trade routes then brought the sea-faring 'Kham people" with Hinduism and Buddhist practices to South-East Asia and then those who were both Hindu AND Buddhists, the "Vajrayanas" came down from Nepal/Tibet to settle within the borders of North Vietnam and Borneo and teach...that was in about the 11th/12th Century, AD (at the time of Kublai Khan) and the King of Indonesia cut off the ear of Kublai Khan's messenger, sending it back to the Mongol with "this is what we have to say to a 'peaceful surrender" and many Hindus were killed in that war, but the Mongol Army was eventually driven back and out of Indonesia and Asia Minor.
Even the "Akashic Records" seem to make for good reading at 6am, laying naked, prostrate and fully ash-clad, with the waning crescent moon still luminous in the dawn sky as I greeted Surya Deva through bleary eyes, then one ray came through my bedroom curtains and illuminated the face of Lord Shiva's image - a vintage calendar from 1972 - the very first thing I saw which made me 'understand' it all back then and I made my praise to the Atma Lingam via the Jyotir Lingam and want to wash all of the ash off, then try to find the Lingam of Lord Shiva I had buried entranced the previous night in packets of Homa/Hawan Ash and clean it off as well as make amends through the offering of a white frangipani flower - because yeah, Shiva/Ciwa is the White Colour representing purity, Brahma is Red, Vishnu is Black/Blue so that must mean that Ayappan (Hari-Hara) is a very light, whitish-Blue. :p
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:06 AM
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So, I find it, then dust off the African drums, the Dholak, the Bongos and I start puting Bollywood "Bhangra Beats' to boring, sacred hymns (Lingashtakam) and make the connection with the spirit of Vibration that emanated from the reflection of Spanda from within the 'Great Arc' of cosmic Self-reflection, reflecting itself AS Self ...as the first 50 characters of the Devanagari alphabet which, of course, started with the letters A-U-M and this is also the 'time signature' of Lord Shiva's Damru...and so, I lose myself in a trance again for the next 45-60 minutes before deciding that I now 'stink enough' to go and wash all the sweat, tears, saliva, vibhuti off, and rinse the rudraksha and put on my bindi, my long ankle-length saffron skirt, my long sleeved white cotton blouse tied with a sash of black and white checks, with a red border and do some Shree Chakra Vidya Puja instead which, in turn (through applying reductionism to the Tattwas) leads me on to all the principles of Swara Yoga (the Yoga of Pranic Pathways) and back to "So Ham/Ham So" - "I am that Swan" (but the Swan is still the Swan...just one that "I AM" now) - I still don't get it, but I also know it cannot be explained once non-duality seems to negate itself through it's own 'non-existence' beyond the whole Spanda of Refelective Consciousness (Vimarsha) and so, this will probably be understood by me at the time of leaving my 'physical body'.

After chanting, drumming, praying, crying tears of surrender in full devotion to this 'Great Soul" who I have been 'aware of' all my life, I bathe, dress, worship the inner and outer 'Shakti' and then eat something light, like the banana I just offered to Lord Shiva or some dates and I wash it down with a bottle of probiotic yoghurt and I may have some oats and honey or just rice crisps with soy if I am super-hungry...or a glass of kale juice if I am in 'self punishing mode". After breakfast, I usually head off to the ocean (two streets away) and walk barefoot on the sand to "ground myself" but what usually happens is that I wade out to waist-height in whatever I am wearing and get knocked off my feet countless times by surf while I am trying to make offerings to Varuna Deva (Poseidon) and to keep his sharks WAY back from my general vicinity if he wished these oblations to continue ( I have a fear of sharks which usually and abruptly ends all my 'beach sessions').
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:07 AM
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After this, I either take in a Yoga/Tai Chi class, do some relaxation therapy or physiotherapy, reiki or counselling before it's like 1pm and lunchtime hits and I have my first cup of coffee to avoid the mid-afternoon 'crash' and I sit, trying to focus on how far I can consciously radiate my own pranic aura as I eat a salad and/or a sub in the mall, I am also not a vegetarian, but I do not eat beef, pork, lamb etc only poultry, seafood, eggs, cheese with fresh salad and much garlic, ginger and apple cider vinegar topped off with watermelon and strawberry low-fat yoghurt...but this isn't meant to be a menu or how to eat the 'right way'...just following the events of my 'normal' day. Before and after meals, I also show gratitude to Lord Shiva for 'another day, another meal'. I don't seem to make a big deal out of it, really...like going to the latrine 4-6 hours later and of course, I can speed-read and remember every word (and expect everybody else to have that same ability). lol
After some social obligations for personal growth in the 3D world and fueling the physical body with repast, I'll hit the books/internet or just chant mantras or colour mandalas, write in my book/journal, make flower garlands for Shiva and Shakti living on my altar...and some time in the middle of it all, I will have my second daily shower, send off e-mails and translate Sanskrit texts into Hindi, Javanese or English...and that's when I stumbled upon a little booklet (in free PDF Format) which has been way down on my 'must read' list for about a year now...but now seemed to be the 'right time' I read it.
It is called: Shaivism - Confusion of Identity by Anadi (who I have never heard of) and here it is, in entirety:
http://anaditeaching.com/new/wp-cont...f-Identity.pdf
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:08 AM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is online now
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It is one of those rare books/articles I found myself fully agreeing with every word of it - every, single word...just like the Shiva Chalisa or the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra - which should have given you ALL the big 'hint' if Shiva IS Bhairava, who was instructing Parvati in the 112 ways to realise this? =) I am also fully cognizant of the total distinction between Bhakti, Para Bhakti and Apara Bhakti when Hamsa gets involved in it and not awareness with subsequent cognition...and to put that one as simply as possible, "I belong to Shiv...every part of what I am reaches out with everything "I" am to just have one perfect 'touch' of what this 'Light Being' is which at its core, contains every Loka in existence and so, I also remembered why I left the VBT about a year ago - it was as if I didn't need it! - see Bhairava wave to you as a tree in the wind...see Him lap your feet with the ocean waves and your face with the tongue of a cute puppy or kitten".

I also understand now that everything is not "One" as in "I am THAT" or "I am Shiva (Shivoham)" but Shiva is simply and no more than 'Shiva' could ever naively BE - JAI BHOLENATH! and simple pleasures and offerings please Him into satisfaction: JAI ASUTOSHA! We have the same 'essence' or Jiva/Atman AS the ONE (Brahman, Achintya...'Widhi") and Prakriti is resplendent within Purusha in that "Lotus of 1,000 Petals" then you understand the goal of 'Dualist Tantra' has therefore been actualised into direct experience and also any indirect relation to that whole experience (in which there is nobody experiencing it anyway and that's the whole beauty of it).

So, it was with this feeling (bhava) and mindset I approached Anandi's thesis on the matter of the differences between all the comparative schools of Shaivite philosophy in regards to whether Shiva actually physically exists as a 'Being' or not...and of course, the Shiva Agamas are going to say "no...you ARE that" and the Shaiva Siddhantas who say "We are only a small part of the whole which is Shiva and therefore, Shiva exists as separate from who "I" am because it simply seems to me that Shiva is everything "I am NOT" - and that's where all the Unconditional Love and devotion comes into it and occasionally, I'll get the "Just stop, shut up and relax - let me show YOU now!" and I melt...I totally, melt into my Heart-Space where my mind finally 'gets it' and the teachings and experiences with the "Rudra Granthi" become the whole 'stumbling block' of others going through what I did (and often still go back to) 'humanising' a 'God' so that something they are ALREADY familiar with, in a certain way that can familiarise itself in another way... and then it becomes "show me more parts of Your true, Infinite Nature that I haven't already seen yet. I mean, "dear Shiva, can I bring this puppy along for the ride? She is called "Ego"...you may even grow to like Her TOO, one of these lifetimes".
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:09 AM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is online now
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Then, I read this in the book and I quote it here:

"Pashupata Shaivism and Shaiva Siddhanta: Original Shaivism

Pashupata Shaivism and Shaiva Siddhanta are among the most ancient traditions of Shaivism. They both posited the duality between the soul and Shiva. The Pashupatas (from ‘Pashupati’, a name of Shiva that means ‘lord of souls’) are the oldest known sect of Shaivite ascetic monks.

Their original philosophy was dualistic, but gradually (mainly due to the influence of one sage, Lakulisha) it evolved into dualistic cum non-dualistic monism ('bheda-abheda'). According to Lakulisha,following liberation, the soul does not merge with Shiva; it continues to exist separately, but it is free from pain.

In other words, a liberated being maintains closeness ('sayujya') with Shiva but does not dissolve into him" (This sounded very familiar to me...not only that, it had been a direct experience and quite a few times, at that). It went on:

"Siddhanta means "the settled view," as it was seen to be the final vision of Shaivism at the time. Shaiva Siddhanta can be translated as ‘perfected Shaivism.’ Shaiva Siddhanta posited a dual nonduality,or what is called ‘qualified duality’, meaning one can reach unity with Shiva while still remaining distinct from him.

Here, one reaches sameness with Shiva but not oneness, meaning we realize our nature as the light of Shiva while retaining our individual sense of self. After liberation, jiva (or individual soul) enjoys a special relationship with Shiva called ‘bheda-abheda’ (separation and non-separation), which literally means "the duality in unity between the two." (and also the 'Unity in Diversity' in Sanskrit on the Indonesian Flag - this is my edit). I'll post more direct quoting:

"The duality between the 'linga' (shiva) and 'anga' (soul) continues to exist, one being the whole and the other being the part, while unity still prevails. While this is a more correct view of reality than non-dual Shaivism, its understanding of the soul still remains very limited. To speak of the soul outside of the context of her evolution into embodying her complete individuality and becoming whole is meaningless."

I realised that I was really starting to like the whole "vibe" of this and where it was going, because it was starting to sound like the epiphany I had at the end of my whole 'phase' into total, monistic Advaita Vedanta as per Shankara, Patanjali, Swami Laksmanjoo...but I'll continue quoting:

"Our spiritual actualization is not only about reaching unity with Shiva, but above all, awakening our higher subjectivity. Initially, there is no soul to speak of, just a fragmented illusion of personal identity."

Then later, there was this:
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