Excerpt from the Bhagavad Gita in the Light of Kashmir Shaivism revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo, which we studied during our Weekly Sangha #76. In Chapter 12 verse 9, Krishna tells Arjuna, “If you cannot do that (devote everything to Me) if you have not that kind of strength… (to focus all of your might and all of your desires and all of your thoughts and ambitions and desires and cravings and longings towards Me, [asking], “how should I achieve that”.)”
DVD 12 (18:23)
अथावेशयितुं चित्तं न शक्नोषि मयि स्थिरम् ।
अभ्यासयोगेन ततो मामिच्छाप्तुं धनञ्जय ॥९॥
athāveśayituṁ cittaṁ na śaknoṣi mayi sthiraṁ /
abhyāsa-yogena tato māmicchāptuṁ dhanañjaya //9//
If you cannot do this, this kind of sādhanā (practice) . . .*
When you are absolutely . . . when you have focused all of your might and all of your desires and all of your thoughts and ambitions and desires and cravings and longings towards Me, [asking], “how should I achieve that”, in madness, in sanity, in . . . in each and every action he does that.
*. . . if you cannot do that, if you have not that kind of strength, abhyāsa yogena tato māmicchāptuṁ dhanañjaya, go on meditating then between two breaths – go on meditating – in the course of time, this will lead you to that state where you will die [crave] after that Bhairava.
So there is . . . all ways are His!
Some are a bit longer, and some are shorter, and some are just . . . just they start and the starting point is the ending point for them. As soon as they start, they end. Their sādhanā ends there and then, when they start . . . with intense desire.
That is tīvra tīvra śaktipāta (super-supreme grace).389
DVD 12 (20:50)
अभ्यासेऽप्यसमर्थः सन्मत्कर्मपरमो भव ।
मदर्थमपि कर्माणि कुर्वन्सिद्धिमवाप्स्यसि ॥१०॥
abhyāse’pyasamarthaḥ sanmatkarmaparamo bhava /
madarthamapi karmāṇi kurvan-siddhim-avāpsyasi //10//
If you cannot do this meditation, if you are not capable of doing meditation because of your environment, e.g., of your being householder . . .*
You have not that much time that you could do practice, because as soon as you do practice, your kith and kin want something and they give you blows, “give us tea, give us chai, give us toast!”
*. . . if you cannot do abhyāsa (meditation), never mind.
Then mat karma paramo, then feed your children . . . feed your children, but think “these children are created by Me – Lord Śiva, Parabhairava, (I mean Lord Kṛṣṇa) – they are created by Me, so I serve them, I serve Lord Kṛṣṇa!”
So, feed Viresh, feed Shanna, feed everybody, feed your husband, feed your guru, feed your master. Madarthamapi karmaṇi kurvan siddhim, you will reach, you will reach there, don’t worry.
DVD 12 (22:44)
अथैतदप्यशक्तोऽसि कर्तुं मद्योगमास्थितः ।
सर्वकर्मफलत्यागं ततः कुरु यतात्मवान् ॥११॥
athaitadapyaśakto’si kartuṁ madyogamāsthitaḥ /
sarvakarmaphalatyāgaṁ tataḥ kuru yatātmavān //11//
If you cannot do this also, because of too much children, too many children, too much society, you cannot do . . . you cannot think, “that I am serving God,” because the time does not remain for you to think of God – never mind.
Then, surrender everything to Him!
Whatever you do, whatever you think, think of the Lord:
“O Lord, I cannot serve You, I cannot think of You, I have surrendered to You.”
But surrender with awareness!
Go on surrendering, “Acha (okay), this is for Him, this is for the Lord.” Go on doing everything; doing chapatti for the Lord, doing chapatti for . . . like that. That is also a way that you will rise. It will take some time, but you will rise.
Amumevāśayamāśritya laghu-prakriyāyāṁ mayaivoktam [comm. verse 11].
“I have, regarding this śloka of Lord Kṛṣṇa,” Abhinavagupta says that, “I have in my stotra of Bhairava, in my stotra of the Lord, I have penned down these ślokas:”
ūnādhikamavijñātaṁ paurvāparyavivarjitam /
yaccāvadhānarahitaṁ buddher-viskhalitam ca yat //
tatsarvaṁ mama sarveśa bhaktasyārtasya durmateḥ /
kṣantavyaṁ kripayā śambho yatastvaṁ karuṇāparaḥ //
anena stotra-yogena tavātmānaṁ nivedaye /
punar-niṣkāraṇam-ahaṁ duḥkhānāṁ naimi pātratāṁ //
“Ūnādhikama vijñātaṁ, I don’t know what is to be done and what is not to be done; paurvāparya vivarjitam, I don’t know what is to be done first and what is to be done afterwards; yat ca avadhāna rahitaṁ, and I have lost my awareness, I cannot put awareness on one point; buddher viskhalitam ca yat, I am always fickle-minded390 – O God, please forgive me for this, for not remembering You!”
You should think like that, you should, after doing all of this nonsense from morning to evening, then in the end, while resting, you should pray, you should call God at the time of sleeping:
“God I have not been able to think of You,
and I am sleeping now,
I leave everything to You,
and I will sleep now because I am tired.”391
This way also you will rise, in the course of time.
DVD 12 (27:10)
Now the conclusion of all of these treatments for entering into God consciousness, sooner or later.
श्रेयो हि ज्ञानमभ्यासाज्ज्ञानाद्ध्यानं विशिष्यते ।
śreyo hi jñānamabhyāsājjñānāddhyānaṁ viśiṣyate /
Knowledge is better than doing practice392 – jñānāt dhyānaṁ viśiṣyate – if there is knowledge, dhyāna (meditation) becomes successful, and by dhyāna, karma phala tyāga, you can leave (tyāga) all of the asking of fruits (phala) from your actions (karma); and then, in the long run, you will achieve peace of mind.
So it is never too late to mend!
389 Tīvra tīvra śaktipāta means “super-supreme grace.” See footnote 33. See also Kashmir Shaivism–The Secret Supreme 10.66. [Editor’s note]
390 Tatsarvaṁ mama sarveśa because I am Your devotee, I am filled with torture of this world; durmate, I have no intellect, kṣantavyaṁ you should forgive me for that. [Because] yatastvaṁ karūṇāparaḥ . . . You are embodiment of forgiveness. Bhagavad Gītā (1978).
391 “Anena stotrayogena, by this way, tavātmānaṁ nivedaye, I sur-render my everything before You, punarniṣkāraṇamahaṁ duḥkhānāṁ naimi pātratāṁ, and then I won’t be the victim of torture and crisis in this world.” Ibid.
392 “Jñānam (knowledge) is āveśātma, just entry in God conscious-ness, i.e., fixing your mind on the point of God consciousness. Abhyāsā-cchreyaḥ, it is better than practice. It is why in Shaivism it is said that yoga in action is divine. Yoga in meditative mood is not so divine, as yoga in action is divine. The more you work, and at the same time you are aware of your breath, you are aware of your center of meditation, you will become divine . . . very quickly. . . . One days practice in this way will be as good as one thousand [days] practice in your meditation room. It is why, because of that āveśa (absorption), dhyāna (meditation) becomes purified, dhyāna becomes strong. Viśeṣatvaṁ yāti, abhimata-prāptyā, because it fills your desire of getting entry in God consciousness.” Ibid.
For ‘Yoga in Action’ see also Kashmir Shaivism–The Secret Supreme 15.101-103.
To be continued with part 2 next week. It will contain an unpublished earlier recording of the same verses, that John made in 1978, when Swamiji first did the Bhagavad Gita in English. This will really start to give the crux of Shaiva philosophy and what Shaivism means, about meditation and practice.
Copyright © John Hughes