This whole universe is just the means to recognize Lord Śhiva. ~Swami Lakshmanjoo

In this excerpt Swami Lakshmanjoo reveals “Why Lord Śiva has created this universe, which is śakti, His supreme energy?”

This lecture is from the Bodhapañcadaśikā [15 verses of wisdom]. You can study the complete text of the Bodhapañcadaśikā in depth in our online course, “Kashmir Shaivism & The Transformation of Life,” which is a wonderful introduction to Kashmir Shaivism.

This whole universe is just the means to recognize Lord Śhiva. ~Swami Lakshmanjoo

Bodhapañcadaśikā [15 verses of wisdom]

tasyaivaiṣā parā devī svarūpāmarśanotsukā /
pūrṇatvaṁ sarvabhāveṣu
yasya nālpaṁ na cādhikam // 5 //

Tasyaiva parā devī, this collective state of universe, which is reflected in the mirror of God consciousness; this whole universe, which is reflected in the mirror of God consciousness, is his supreme energy. And why he has created this supreme energy in his own nature? Just to recognize his own nature. This whole universe is just the means to recognize Lord Śiva. You can recognize Lord Śiva through the universe. You cannot recognize Lord Śiva by abandoning the universe.

So you have to observe and experience God consciousness in the very activity of the world. If you remain cut off from the universe and try to realize God consciousness it will take centuries. If you remain in universal activity and be attentive to realize God consciousness it will be very easy for you to understand. So this outside universe is created just for the sake of realizing his own nature. That is why it is called śakti. This whole universal state is called śakti, this is the means to realize ones own nature.

DEVOTEE: Without śakti, Śiva did not realize his own nature?

SWAMIJI: Śiva cannot be realized. Śakti is the source to realize Śiva.

BRUCE P: Yes, but you said that, ‘this was created so that he could realize his own nature’, before creation what was he?

SWAMIJI: No, the knowledge was there, but it was centralized in his own nature.

BRUCE P: But he did not recognize it?

SWAMIJI: Yes . . . he was not recognizing. It was there!

BRUCE P: It is there?

SWAMIJI: He wants that nature to be recognized.

BRUCE P: By himself?

SWAMIJI: By himself, yes. So how can he recognize? He must become ignorant first, then he can recognize.

BRUCE P: But why should he want to recognize?

SWAMIJI: It is svātantrya. Because if he does not recognize it, what is the fun of the universe? Universe is created just to recognize him.

JOHN: Just for fun.

SWAMIJI: Just for fun, yes . . . it is svātantrya. This is why in Śaivism this is svātantrya vāda [theory of svātantrya] everywhere. If he were only Śiva . . . he was there, he was in his full splendor of God consciousness . . .

ERNIE: There is no lack there?

SWAMIJI: No, it is full, it is already full.


SWAMIJI: When fullness is overflowed . . . you know what happens afterwards? He wants to remain incomplete, he wants to appear as incomplete, just to achieve completion. So this is the svātantrya. This svātantrya has created this whole universe. So in universe there is ignorance, and for ignorance you want to get rid of that ignorance. And there is a way, there is a way, that in the activity of world you will meditate and bas, reach the state of God Consciousness. So this is the fun of svātantrya.

BRUCE P: But then, the highest state is slightly lacking?


BRUCE P: Because, he has to depart from it in order to enjoy it again?

SWAMIJI: No, don’t you . . . have you not experienced when you are overjoyed.


SWAMIJI: You want to grief (grieve) . . . you want grief at that moment.

BRUCE P: Yes, you leave it slightly.

SWAMIJI: You leave it. You leave it when it is overjoyed. nijaśaktyā vaibhavabharāt aṇḍacatuṣṭya (quote from . . . ?) When it is overflowed, when it overflows then you want to disconnect it.

ERNIE: So that’s his position?

SWAMIJI: That is his position . . . disconnected because of too much of it (joy). You want to get disconnected from that state and then connect yourself, (then) it gives pleasure, that is svātantrya. This is why this whole universe is created. Otherwise there was no reason to create this universe, when God was there already in his own knowledge, completely.

BRUCE P: But then in his own, he is slightly lacking? Without uniting with the universe, he is slightly lacking?

SWAMIJI: No has to invite it, he has come in universe.

BRUCE P: Yes to enjoy . . .

SWAMIJI: To enjoy his own fullness of God Consciousness. Fullness of God consciousness he has enjoyed already, he was enjoying already.

BRUCE P: But then something happened?

SWAMIJI: No . . . too much, it was too much. So he wanted to disconnect it . . .

ERNIE: He just expanded.

SWAMIJI: . . . disconnect it for the time being and realize it again. So it is unmeṣa and nimeṣa. Unmeṣa is flourishing of that God consciousness and nimeṣa is winding that God Consciousness, extract and contract. Expansion and (contraction) i.e. unmeṣa and nimeṣa.

BRUCE P: Unmeṣa is expansion.

SWAMIJI: Unmeṣa is expansion, nimeṣa is . . .

BRUCE P: Contraction.

SWAMIJI: Yes. This is svātantrya. So this is the way, how this universe is created. Otherwise there was no room for this universe to be created. What for . . . if God Consciousness was already full? But it was over, over . . .

GANJOO: Overflowing.

SWAMIJI: . . . overflowing, and then he wanted to do something else.

ERNIE: When it was overflowing, śakti was still . . . ?

SWAMIJI: Śakti was in his own nature at that time. When it overflowed too much then he had to separate śakti from his nature. And then in śakti also Śiva is existing; and that Śiva was ignorant, and he wanted to have this fullness of his knowledge, as before. This is the way.

JOHN: So he contains both of these in himself at the same moment, though. There is not a point where he is separated from the universe and then . . .

SWAMIJI: No, at the moment he realizes his nature from ignorance to knowledge, he experiences at that very moment that it was already there. This is the proof, this is the proof of his being already filled with knowledge, in ignorance also. In ignorance also, when this ignorance vanishes from that individual, he experiences and this memory comes in his mind “that it was already there, it was already there.” (This memory comes) at the time of knowledge at the time of existence of God Consciousness.

ERNIE: So there was never really any separation at all?

SWAMIJI: No, (that) separation seems to be . . .


SWAMIJI: . . . by svātantrya. This is the way, how this universe is created. Otherwise there was no room for universe. You see you are happy, you are sad, you are in the center; I am too much happy, somebody is overflowing with happiness. In the same way this differentiation has come out because of that overflowing of that God Consciousness. The ecstasy of God Consciousness is overflowing and then this happened to his own nature.

śiveva gṛihīta paśubhāvaḥ (quote from . . . ?) Śiva has taken the formation of paśu, i.e. ignorant, beast. He has become beast.

ERNIE: A rock.

SWAMIJI: A rock . . . rock also. But at that very moment too also, svarūpāmarśanotsukā; svarūpa āmarśana is there, she is fond of . . . i.e. śakti, which is the embodiment of universe, she is fond of having, possessing, the state of God Consciousness. And pūrṇatvaṁ, she is complete there also. In the state of ignorance also she is complete; complete in each and every object. Pūrṇatvaṁ sarvabhāveṣu and this completion in each and every object is neither alpa (i.e. to little, nālpa) nor to much. It is same as it was in the state of fullness of God Consciousness, before creation of universe. It is the same there also.

BRUCE P: At the point of the object?

SWAMIJI: At the point of object also; in ignorance, in the field of ignorance, in the cycle of ignorance also it is full. Because this fullness he does not know, he does not know that I am full, he knows only at the time of realizing his own nature. When he realizes his own nature this memory comes in him, in his mind, ‘that I was already full, what for I was meditating?’

(source: The complete text of the Bodhapancadashika is available as
online course, “Kashmir Shaivism & The Transformation of Life”.

All Content is subject to Copyright © John Hughes.

  1. December 27, 2015

    It seems to me that Svamiji is talking about Om Purnam adah purnam idam…. everything is full, that is full and this is full; even when fulness is taken away from fullness, only fullness remains….and that which is taken away is also full!

    This is to be understood along the lines viz. ‘it is only logical to assume that there is something higher then logic’….hence the humor of Shiva: hasyarasa! Only free-willed and free-wheeling laughter!

  2. June 29, 2017

    Beautiful Philosophy of life.

  3. September 5, 2017

    He needed to explain “svatantrya” to clear the meaning.

    • Claudia Dose
      September 5, 2017

      svatantrya = absolute, independent, universal freedom

      • September 7, 2017

        Yes. But what I meant was in the context of the concepts of Yantra, Mantra and Tantra. The Sea-tantra or the tantra of the self.

  4. September 5, 2017

    Universal freedom is what the Hindu philosophy teaches in all its religious books. We have to observe n safeguard it.

  5. September 7, 2017

    O no…auto correct at work again. I meant Sva-tantra.

  6. September 7, 2017

    Svātantrya is a very technical term in Shaiva philosophy. I would suggest to read the excerpts on svātantrya from chapter 7 of Secret Supreme which sheds more light on the nature of svātantrya.

    In our Śaiva system, there are three malas or impurities. These malas reside in māyā. They do not reside in svātantrya śakti. Even though svātantrya śakti and māyā are one, yet they are different in the sense that svātantrya śakti is that state of energy which can produce the power of going down and coming up again, both at will, whereas māyā will only give you the strength of going down and not the ability of rising up again. Once you have come down, you cannot move up again. This is the reality of the state of māyā. It binds you.

    Māyā śakti is that universal energy which is owned by the individual being, the individual soul. And when that same universal energy is owned by the universal being, it is called svātantrya śakti. Svātantrya śakti is pure universal energy. Impure universal energy is māyā. It is only the formation that changes through a difference of vision. When you experience svātantrya śakti in a crooked way, it becomes māyā śakti for you. And when you realize that same māyā śakti in Reality, then that māyā śakti becomes svātantrya śakti for you. Therefore, svātantrya śakti and māyā śakti are actually only one and the three impurities (malas), which are to be explained here, reside in māyā śakti, not in svātantrya śakti.

  7. August 24, 2019

    This kind of understanding of the universe is being presented with simplicity and ease. Good fortune indeed !
    Thankyou 🌺🙏

  8. October 16, 2019

    In the 14th speech piece of Swamiji ,in the transcript , there is a question in brackets saying ” ( quote from ….? ) . I think that quote is from 4th sloka of Abhinavgupta’s paramārthasāra.


  9. May 13, 2020

    For students of Sciences, imagine a Sine wave of energy and correlate what n how Swamiji has explained the point of flexion of swatantriya sakti and point of inflexion of Maya sakti become clear to see with Swamiji’s explaining .
    One such sine wave (Einstein says, Particle is equivalent of Energy ) can be thought to be individual being , individual soul. The ocean of waves can be thought to be a universal set, which is further subset of bigger or furtheron whole universe. See, how we are part of universe as also Swatantriya Sakti out of its Free Will takes firm of a small wave to enjoy and have FUN , our and simple fun.

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