In this excerpt from the Hymns to Shiva, Utpaladeva’s Shivastotravali, Swami Lakshmanjoo tells of the “great story of torture in this universe” and Utpaladeva’s devotional plea to Shiva to “please clear Your path, and conceal all other activities of the universe for me for the time being”. This is the great story of my torture in this universe…

This is the great story of my torture in this universe... Teachings of Swami Lakshmanjoo

 

Chapter 4 (07:26)

उल्लङ्घ्य विविधदैवत-

सोपानक्रममुपेयशिवचरणान् ।

आश्रित्याप्यधरतरां भूमिं

नाद्यापि चित्रमुज्झामि ॥२॥

ullaṅghya vividhadaivata-

sopānakramamupeyaśivacaraṇān /

āśrityāpyadharatarāṁ bhūmiṁ

nādyāpi citramujjhāmi //2//

O Lord, this is the great torture for me. This is the great story of torture for me.

What is that story?

That story is ullaṅghya vividhasopānakramam, I have crossed all of the steps of yogic exercises, yogic practices, all sādhanās. I have crossed all of those steps and I have come to this supreme, uppermost limit of that step-less state (ullaṅghya vividhasopānakramam). And, not only that. I have achieved upeyaśivacara-ṇānāśrityāpi, I have touched the lotus feet of Lord Śiva also. But, the great torture, the great story of torture, is still existing for me and that is adharatarāṁ bhūmiṁ nādyāpi citramujjhāmi, I again go after these worldly pleasures and worldly senses. After achieving this highest state also, I hanker after these worldly enjoyments. This is the great story of my torture in this universe.

So, there is one request:

Chapter 4 (9:13)

प्रकटय निजमध्वानं

स्थगयतरामखिललोकचरितानि ।

यावद्भवामि भगवं-

स्तव सपदि सदोदितो दासः  ॥३॥

prakaṭaya nijamadhvānaṁ

sthagayatarāmakhilalokacaritāni /

yāvadbhavāmi bhagavaṁ-

stava sapadi sadodito dāsaḥ //3//

Bhagavan, O Lord, O my Master, prakaṭaya nijamadhvānaṁ, keep Your ways open for me; keep Your ways, keep Your avenues, open for me. I don’t ask You to keep the avenues always open; just for the time being, as long as I would pass through them and reach at Your feet (prakaṭaya nijamadhvānaṁ). And, at the same time, simultaneously, sthagayatarām akhila lokacaritāni, and close all of the doors of this tortured . . . the world of torture, the world of differentiated perception, the world of hankering after sensual pleasures. Keep them closed for the time being, yāvad bhavāmi bhagavan, as long as I would become Your slave. Till then, You have to do these two things for me.

What are these two things?

Just to keep Your avenues open, widely open, so that they don’t hinder me while passing. And, on the right side, on the left side, there are so many hindrances that appear, and those hindrances are loka caritāni, hindrances of hankering, going after [worldly pleasures].

Because, side-by-side, you are confused, you are confused every now and then in this universe. Although you have developed desire and devotion for Lord Śiva, at the same time, the other side also is appearing to show you some attractive figure, some attractive smell, some attractive taste, so that your attention is diverted towards [worldly pleasures].

Keep those doors closed for the time being, O Lord, as long as I would reach before Your lotus feet (yāvadbhavāmi, as long as I would reach before Your lotus feet). But I don’t [mean to] say, “as long as”. Please, make it possible for me to reach at Your lotus feet now.

I want to serve You wholeheartedly. This is my only desire in my . . . this is the only pleasure for me. Not desire. Pleasure.

Chapter 4 (12:01)

प्रकटय निजमध्वानं

स्थगयतरामखिललोकचरितानि ।

यावद्भवामि भगवं-

स्तव सपदि सदोदितो दासः  ॥३॥

prakaṭaya nijamadhvānaṁ

sthagayatarāmakhilalokacaritāni /

yāvadbhavāmi bhagavaṁ-

stava sapadi sadodito dāsaḥ //3//

O Lord, please clear Your path for me. I want . . . because Your path has become blunt to me, i.e., it is not clarified. I can’t see, I can’t see Your path. So, my journey is stuck. Prakaṭaya nijamadhvānaṁ, please clear Your path and sthagayatarām-akhila lokacaritāni, and conceal all other activities of the universe for me for the time being, till I achieve the state when I will become Your devoted slave. This is my desire in the end.

 

Source: Hymns to Shiva, Utpaladeva’s Shivastotravali
revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo

Copyright © John Hughes

CategoryKashmir Shaivism
  1. February 7, 2018

    And this is my desire

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