Swamiji Says Blog
Universal Shaiva Fellowship
Lakshmanjoo Academy
Why, when you are in samādhi and are unable to maintain awareness (Shiva Sutras 3.10)

Why, when you are in samādhi and are unable to maintain awareness (Shiva Sutras 3.10)

samadhi shiva sutras yogi Apr 08, 2024

Today’s lecture is an excerpt from the book the Shiva Sutras: The Supreme Awakening, by Swami Lakshmanjoo (Shiva Sutras 2.10), where Swamiji answers the question: “why, when you are in samādhi and are unable to maintain awareness, do you enter the dreaming state rather than the waking state?”


10. vidyāsaṁhāre tadutthasvapnadarśanam //

(Second awakening verse 10)

(The text below is from the book, it is not a transcript)

Although he is established in
 God consciousness in samādhi, 
yet not being able to maintain awareness, after a short time he enters into the dreaming state.

This is the meaning of this sūtra. When you have completely entered in samādhi and while in samādhi, you do not maintain your awareness wholeheartedly with great effort, then after a while you enter into the dreaming state. This happens to all yogīs. This losing awareness is the great crisis in the yogīc world. All yogīs generally experience this state of losing awareness. And when they do, they go to the dreaming state because that state is subtler than the waking state.

In the world of experience and awareness, the grossest state is the waking state. A more subtle state is the dreaming state. More subtle still is soundless sleep. And the most subtle state is samādhi. So it is very difficult to maintain awareness in samādhi. There is only one way you can maintain awareness in samādhi and that is when your master is exceedingly pleased with you. When he is pleased with you, you will be able to maintain awareness; otherwise, it is impossible.

But the question is why, when you are in samādhi and are unable to maintain awareness, do you enter the dreaming state rather than the waking state?

It is because in wakefulness you are more aware than you are in the dreaming state. For instance, say your father has been dead for two years. While you are in the waking state, someone says your father has come to visit. Will you believe it? No, you won’t believe it. If, on the other hand, you had this same experience in the dreaming state, you would believe it. So you are not as aware in the dreaming state.

But here the question can be raised, if awareness is not as full in the dreaming state as it is in the waking state, then why is the dreaming state said to be more subtle than the waking state? Surely, the waking state should be the subtlest because there is more awareness in that state.

The dreaming state is more subtle than the waking state because the awareness existing in the waking state, which is more full, is awareness of the differentiated state. In fact, the awareness existing in the waking state, or in the dreaming state or in the dreamless state, is awareness of differentiated perceptions. In these three states, undifferentiated perception does not exist. This is the nature of these three states.

If you meditate more and more, and expand your awareness in meditation, then initially you will enter samādhi through the dreaming state because the dreaming state is subtler than the waking state and you can maintain awareness more easily in that state. Initially, you never enter samādhi while in the waking state. You will always enter by way of the dreaming state. When your awareness is fully established, then you can also gain entry into samādhi while in the waking state.

And those yogīs who do not have much capacity or ability to meditate enter samādhi, not in the dreaming state, but in sound sleep. If they continue meditating, then after some time they will get entry into samādhi in the dreaming state. And when their awareness is further strengthened and developed, they will gain entry to samādhi through the waking state. Once you enter samādhi through the waking state, that samādhi becomes the most firm. So this is the reason why, when that supreme knowledge of God consciousness is weakened by the lack of awareness, you enter the dreaming state.

When it is said that the supreme pure knowledge of God consciousness, which is the expansion of knowledge of one’s own self, is destroyed by the lack of awareness, the destruction being referred to here is not real destruction. Saying the supreme pure knowledge of God consciousness is destroyed means this supreme pure knowledge of God consciousness subsides, it diminishes. And because of that lessening, the yogī enters the dreaming state and is thrown into the world of differentiated perception.

When, through meditating in continuity, your thought becomes ever more subtle, you will feel that you are about to go to sleep. Sleep comes for those who can not maintain awareness. Those who can maintain awareness do not fall asleep. They enter the gap, the junction of these two states of waking and dreaming. That junction is turya, the real state of being.

This is also said in Mālinīvijaya Tantra:

This state of God consciousness was not explained to Pārvatī by Lord Śiva until he was absolutely and wholeheartedly happy with her. It was at that time he explained to her the way of entering God consciousness. This is the reason why, even though your master has initiated you wholeheartedly, you still can not maintain awareness in that state. There must be ample satisfaction in the heart of your master first, before the entry into God consciousness occurs. (Mālinīvijaya Tantra)

The supreme path of reality was not explained to Pārvatī by Lord Śiva when he was not pleased with her. It was only when Lord Śiva was absolutely pleased with Pārvatī, his life partner, that he explained to her the reality of God consciousness. So the entry into God consciousness takes place only when your master is absolutely pleased with you.

Hence, the fruit of this entry into God consciousness comes after an utmost struggle. And even if that state of reality has come nearer to your awareness, even then you cannot maintain awareness there. It is very difficult to touch it. As soon as you want to touch it, you become unaware. You lose awareness. Your connection of awareness is severed at once. Kśemarāja tells us that if this happens, you must understand that your master was not really happy with you when he initiated you. Therefore, you must ask your master to initiate you only when he is completely happy with you. You must not pressure your master to initiate you. By using pressure, nothing can be accomplished. This is the teaching of Kṣemarāja. I don’t necessarily agree with this point of view.

It is further stated in the Mālinīvijaya Tantra:

The yogī who does not maintain awareness at the time he achieves supreme yogīc powers becomes detached from the awareness of God consciousness. This yogī has diminished his power of moving forward and the obstacles of life toy with him. (Mālinīvijaya Tantra)

At the point when a yogī attains supreme yogīc powers, his awareness may be prevented from further achievement because of his being so filled with the enjoyment of these powers. For example, a yogī gains the power of flying in the air. If at that time, because he is overjoyed—so happy to have gained so much—he becomes detached from the awareness of God consciousness, then his awareness decreases and his power of going forward on the path is reduced. Having weakened his power of going forward, through the attainment of these yogic powers, all the obstacles of life play with him.

In Spanda, in this verse it is said:

The creative energy of Lord Śiva, becoming independent of that yogī who is lacking awareness, plays with him who now acts and experiences wakefulness and the dreaming state just like ordinary people. (Spanda Kārikā 3.3)

This yogī lacks awareness. He does not maintain the full awareness of God consciousness. Because of this, the creative energy of Lord Śiva, previously contingent on his maintaining awareness, becomes independent of him. This creative energy plays with him just like she does with ordinary people. In wakefulness, he does what worldly people do and in the dreaming state, he experiences what they experience. Now there is no difference between this yogī and the common person.

So no matter what happens, a yogi must maintain awareness in continuity. This is what we are being taught here.

This is said in Mālinī Vijaya Tantra:

Do not become attached to yogic powers, be detached from them. (Mālinī Vijaya Tantra)

In Spanda, it is also said:

The one who is always completely aware to apprehend the essence of spanda in each and every movement of life quickly gains entry in God consciousness in the very state of wakefulness. (Spanda Kārikā 1.21)

So, beginning from the first sūtra of this chapter, cittaṁ mantraḥ, “the yogī’s mind is mantra,” śāktopāya is explained, which is filled with mantra vīrya and with mudrā vīrya.24

That means (upāya), wherein one, by meditating only with thought, gains entry in God consciousness, through maintaining awareness on an object of perception which can not be uttered, is called śāktopāya. (Mālinī Vijaya Tantra 2.22)

In śāktopāya, the object of meditation is not differentiated perception; it is an object of your own nature which you meditate on with thought. This meditation is not accomplished through the recitation of mantra. It is only accomplished with thought. You must maintain awareness of that object. This is the way of śāktopāya.

There are some yogīs who are treading on the path of śāktopāya who are unable to maintain awareness. For them, this last sūtra has been explained

When this yogī’s state of pure knowledge (śuddha vidyā) is destroyed by lack of awareness, he enters the dreaming state. At this point, his future is uncertain. God only knows what will happen to him. He has lost everything and from a yogīc point of view, he is a pauper.

So now, to aid this yogī, the author will explain the means called āṇavopāya whereby he can learn how, in time, he will be able to maintain awareness and thereby reach and secure entry into śāktopāya and, in the end, gain entry into śāṁbhavopāya.

This is the end of the Second Awakening.

24. See sūtras 1.22 and 2.5, for an explanation of mantra vīrya and mudrā vīrya

Source: Shiva Sutras: The Supreme Awakening, by Swami Lakshmanjoo

All Content is subject to Copyright © John Hughes

Visit the Lakshmanjoo Academy bookstore for books and e-books. Free audio accompanies each book.

Go to Bookstore

 Stay in the Loop

Receive email updates with blog posts, event notices and other offerings.

Your donations directly support our mission. Please consider making a donation.

Search Website

Stay in the Loop

Receive email updates with blog posts, announcements and more!

We respect your privacy.

© 2023 Lakshmanjoo Academy
(310) 837-0402 [email protected]
Damascus, OR

Search Website