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.
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.
BRUCE P: Yes.
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 . . .
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”.
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