In today’s excerpt Swamiji explains the most important ingredient to meditation (Tantraloka Ch11 verse 81).
taduktaṁ varadena śrīsiddhayogīsvarīmate // 81 //
tena guptena guptāste śeṣā varṇāstviti sphuṭam /
This is why Bhagavan Bhairava, Lord Śiva, has explained in Mālinīvijaya tantra that when meditation, or any practice, is done without the development of pramiti bhāva1, it becomes useless. So meditation should be done with the attachment of pramiti bhāva, there must be pramiti bhāva.
JOHN: That means meditating with awareness.
SWAMIJI: Meditating with awareness in each and every spark . . .
JOHN: Each and every moment.
SWAMIJI: . . . because there are sparks. When you meditate you have not to put one mind for meditation, “oṁ namaḥ śivāya.”
For instance there is mantra, “oṁ namaḥ śivāya,” it is to be repeated in continuity but not through your tongue, not through your words, it is to be repeated in awareness, in pramiti bhāva . . . what you are speaking. You must know what you are speaking. When you speak and you don’t know what you are speaking it is useless, that japa becomes useless.
JOHN: You mean you must have your attention.
JOHN: You must be aware during meditation.
So what are sparks? You said sparks . . . that means?
SWAMIJI: Because it must produce sparks. Actually, because the theory of Buddhism, it stands in this point. In this point the theory of Buddhism [stands].
You know Buddhism?
That it is . . . for instance, there is a thought–a thought appears in me–that thought produces sparks, sparks in continuity. For instance, “this is Ernie,” this one thought came in me. And just after one hundredth part of a second, another thought develops, “this is Ernie”. Another thought after this is connected, “this is Ernie . . . this is Ernie.” And it gets, and it gets . . .
SWAMIJI: No, it does not get strength! It gets . . .
SWAMIJI: Continuity is.
But that first glow of that thought is subsided a little, a little, by and by, by and by, by and by. That should not take place. It must be just as fresh as it was at the first moment of practice. So you should do practice in such a way that the continuity of this production of sparks of the same thought should be as fresh as it was at the beginning point. You should not get . . .
SWAMIJI: . . . it becomes faded. It fades and fades afterwards.
JOHN: And then you go from that after; it becomes more dull, more dull, more dull . . .
SWAMIJI: More dull, more dull, then . . . [Swamiji yawns] . . .
DEVOTEES: [Laughter . . . !]
SWAMIJI: . . . then you go to sleep afterwards. So this happens.
So, the way of meditation is, just to meditate and hold the first freshness. And this first freshness must live in the cycle of these sparks, in the cycle of these sparks of this thought of meditation. The first fresh thought must pervade throughout, then your meditation is successful. Otherwise it is useless.
That is what he says, in Mālinīvijaya Tantra Lord Śiva has said; tena guptena tena, when it is locked, when it is subsided, when it is covered by other thoughts, other subsided thoughts, tena guptā, that pramiti bhāva is subsided, it subsides by and by; śeṣā varṇā then afterwards there are only letters and words and sentences.
JOHN: There’s no meaning.
SWAMIJI: There is no meaning. It is meaningless.
BRUCE P: But can’t you carry pramiti bhāva along with all those thoughts?
SWAMIJI: When you develop strength; you have to be alert.
ERNIE: Then it doesn’t matter what thought you have?
ERNIE: You can have any thought if you have the strength?
Any thought will take you to the state of God consciousness; but there must be one thought and this first fresh thought, like that, in all the cycles of thought.
JOHN: Then why do we use mantras? If any thought will carry you, why use special thoughts?
SWAMIJI: Speciality, that does not count, special thoughts only we produce in the beginning in disciples. Afterwards, when they have developed this strength of awareness of pramiti bhāva then it does not matter. You can give rise to any thought, any disgusted thought.
ERNIE: An apple.
SWAMIJI: An apple, anything, and it will carry you to God consciousness.
BRUCE P: Thought becomes mantra.
SWAMIJI: Thought becomes mantra. Because in each and every word there is the residence of God consciousness. God consciousness is residing in each and every action, each and every word; so it does not matter. In the beginning we produce mantras just to create faith in the devotee that, “I am reciting mantra of God!”
This is also mantra of God: “this is specs (spectacles, glasses), this is specs, this is specs.” When you say, “this is specs, this is specs,” just from the very [first} fresh point, [have] attentive awareness; it will carry you to God consciousness. And just embrace your girlfriend; while embracing your girlfriend it will carry you to God consciousness if you develop that awareness of pramiti bhāva there. It does not matter; mantras are not only mantras.
It is said in the same Mālinīvijaya tantra:
TL 11 CD 236 (12:55)
śloka ghatādi yatkiṁcit . . . /
You can do [it with] any topic, just discuss some points of your business, but there, if you maintain awareness and pramiti bhāva you will rise to God consciousness. You will not rise, you have not to rise; you’ll get establishment in that.
Establishment, you have not to get establishment also; it is there! It will appear. It will appear to you.
JOHN: So this strength of maintaining this spark in continuity, that means having that break-less awareness.
SWAMIJI: Break-less awareness, that fresh, just . . .
JOHN: Where it doesn’t move to another thought.
SWAMIJI: No [affirmative].
JOHN: Stay on that, keep on.
SWAMIJI: This is śāktopāya.
1. When there is objective state also attached to subjective state that is not pramiti bhāva, that is pramātṛi bhāva. And when that objective state is connected with cognitive state also that is pramāṇa bhāva. When that objective state is completely pure objective state that is prameya bhāva. And pramiti bhāva is complete subjective consciousness without the slightest touch and traces of this object. Pramiti bhāva is the life of all the four.
(source: Audio Archives of the Universal Shaiva Fellowship
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