Here Swami Lakshmanjoo reveals that bondage and liberation are not separate from the reality of Lord Śiva. And why this theory of Shaivism is misunderstood. This is a continuation of a previous lecture on the Bodhapañcadaśikā [15 verses of wisdom] by Abhinavagupta, in which it says…
Bondage and Liberation are not separate from the reality of Lord Shiva. ~Swami Lakshmanjoo
एतौ बनधविमोक्षौ च परमेशस्वरूपतः ।
न भिद्येते न भेदो हि तत्त्वतः परमेश्वरे ॥१४
etau bandha-vimokṣau ca parameśa-svarūpataḥ /
na bhidyete na bhedo hi tattvataḥ parameśvare // 14 //
But in fact these two cycles of bondage and liberation; the cycle of bondage is concerned with that ‘not knowing cycle’, i.e. when you don’t know what you are doing. When you don’t know where you are established – that is the cycle of bondage.
And that cycle of knowledge, liberation (what is that?) when you come to understand that it is only a trick, it is the play of Lord Śiva and nothing else. Nothing has happened, nothing is lost, nothing is gained. When nothing is lost, nothing is gained, there is nothing right. And in that cycle you must understand that, you should not attach that kind of understanding in this cycle, i.e., in the cycle of ignorance.
Do you understand what I mean?
Etau bandha vimokṣau ca, but in brief words, in exact words, these two cycles of bondage and liberation, parameśa svarūpataḥ na bhidyete, they are not separate from Lord Śiva, both cycles.
This is Shaivism!
Both cycles are not separated from Lord Śiva.
Etau bandha vimokṣau ca parameśa svarūpataḥ na bhidyete, they are not different from the reality of Lord Śiva. Na bhedo hi tattvataḥ, because differentiated states have not risen at all. It is only a trick that you are ignorant and somebody else is elevated.
DENISE: His trick, whose trick? Lord Śiva’s trick.
SWAMIJI: His trick or your trick?
DENISE: It’s my trick?
SWAMIJI: Yes, it is your trick. If it would have not been your trick, how could you be liberated?
ERNIE: Or ignorant?
SWAMIJI: No, if you’re ignorant, for instance you are ignorant . . .
ERNIE: Is that a trick?
SWAMIJI: It is your own trick, that you have become ignorant.
DENISE: We fool ourselves.
SWAMIJI: Yes. When that force comes in you that, ‘I will shatter this ignorance into pieces,’ you will shatter it. You will shatter it. You don’t need anybodies help in shattering it, in discarding this ignorance.
BRUCE P: Because you have done it yourself, to see yourself.
SWAMIJI: You have done yourself to become slave, you can again . . .
STEPHANIE: Un-slave yourself.
SWAMIJI: . . . un-slave yourself and become king.
ERNIE: Or trick yourself in another way?
SWAMIJI: Yes, in another way.
Etau bandhavimokṣau ca paramesaśvarūpataḥ, na bhidyete na bhedo hi tattvataḥ parameśvare.
Because in reality Lord Śiva has, nothing has happened to Lord Śiva, he is never ignorant, he is never elevated.
From which point will he be elevated?
Was he not elevated before?
Why this word elevation?
Elevation is meant for those who are sunk, who are sinking down. If you have never sunk down, what for, what is the fun in elevating yourself. You are already elevated and divine.
This is Shaivism!
But you must come to understand this. This is the difference, because it is misunderstood by many people. This theory of Shaivism is misunderstood and you begin to [imagine you have] become Śiva.
And this misunderstanding also too . . .
ERNIE: Is a trick!
SWAMIJI: . . . is found in the divinity of Lord Śiva.
ERNIE: But, what is misunderstood about Shaivism, in this point?
SWAMIJI: No misunderstood that, “I am Śiva.”
ERNIE: But I don’t understand, that’s what . . . ?
SWAMIJI: No, you don’t understand . . .
ERNIE: Yes, I don’t understand that?
SWAMIJI: . . . you don’t understand that you are Śiva. [So] you are not Śiva! But according to the theory of Shaivism you are Śiva. Then you come to this [false] conclusion that, “you are Śiva!”
ERNIE: Where is the misunderstanding?
SWAMIJI: Because you are not actually Śiva, you have not achieved that state.
DENISE: So it is a mistake to think that you are Śiva, if you haven’t actually realized you are Śiva?
SWAMIJI: No, if you have not actually realized Śiva.
DENISE: You shouldn’t go around thinking that you are Śiva. Is that right?
SWAMIJI: No. You should always elevate yourself, you should always think that you are Lord Śiva. But don’t boast of this.
DENISE: Don’t tell anybody
SWAMIJI: If you tell anybody, it means that you are not Lord Śiva.
You know what happens to this India, and Kashmir?
People always cry in gatherings, ‘Kashmir is one part of India, Kashmir is one part of India, Kashmir is one part of India’, they go on announcing this. It means it is not [part of] India. So you should not announce. Announcing shows, proves, that you are not actually [Śiva].
ERNIE: So if you don’t announce, but let us say you keep it secret to yourself?
SWAMIJI: No, you must understand. You must actually understand it. Not till then . . . till then it is all a joke.
ERNIE: No, but I am trying to figure out how does one know?
ERNIE: How does one know when one is fooling oneself and when it is real, how does one know?
SWAMIJI: You will come to know yourself. Because you will be blissful, you will be always blissful.
kair liṅgair triguṇān . . .
When something bad happens to you, you won’t get worried. If something good happens to you, you wouldn’t get excited, then. If you have realized it.
BRUCE P: In pain you will be blissful?
SWAMIJI: In pain also you will be peaceful. And you must come to know and you have to see it for yourself, you have to see within yourself, ‘that you are situated in this way.’ If you are not situated in this way and say that, ‘I am Lord Śiva, I am Lord Śiva’, someone will slap you and make you understand that you are not Lord Śiva, you are just . . . with one slap.
ERNIE: This is a big problem?
SWAMIJI: This is a big problem. And you have to find out yourself, where you are situated.
ERNIE: Or with masters guidance?
It happens by the grace of Lord Śiva, or by the grace of master, or by the grace of śāstras.*
* “The Shaiva śāstras (sacred texts) emphasize the importance of threefold knowledge, i.e., knowledge from the master, knowledge from the śāstras, and knowledge from one’s own experience. For removing ignorance and realizing God consciousness a disciple has to first go to the master. Then the master will guide him and select which śāstras he should read. And by that śāstra he will come to his own experience. Once he has got that experience, he will again see if that experience is quoted in śāstras, and finally he will have that experience confirmed by his master. This is the way of thinking in Kashmir Shaivism.” Swami Lakshmanjoo, Tantrāloka 13, USF archives.
Source: Online course, “Kashmir Shaivism & The Transformation of Life”
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