Happy New Year!
This is an excerpt from the Hymns to Shiva, Utpaladeva’s Shivastotravali as explained by Swami Lakshmanjoo.

Swami Lakshmanjoo 1972

Chapter 17 (43:29)

पूजोपकरणीभूतविश्वावेशेन गौरवम् 

अहो किमपि भक्तानां किमप्येव च लाघवम्  ॥३५॥

pūjopakaraṇībhūtaviśvāveśena gauravam /

aho kimapi bhaktānāṁ kimapyeva ca lāghavam //35//

This is a wonder to me that those devotees of Thee, they have, on one side, they are reserved because they get entry, they get merged, in the substance of Your worship. They get merged in the substance of Your worship. When they handle flowers, they get merged in those flowers. They don’t worship You. Worship has not taken place yet but they get merged in those substances.

Pūjā upakaraṇānī bhūta viśva āveśena. And this substance of Thy worship does not take place with flowers and all of these limited substances. No. This whole universe! They feel that the whole universe is meant for offering to Lord Śiva. You have to offer this whole universe to Lord Śiva. So, on one side, I feel–this is a wonder to me–that they are reserved [in this respect].

Aho kimapi bhaktānāṁ kimapyeva ca lāghavam. And they are very shallow inside.

You know what is that?

“Shallow”301 [means that] they expose everything to everybody [laughter]. They expose all of the secrets of Thy worship to every-body. Nothing remains within them. They expose everything to everybody.

And they don’t expose anything as long as they are merged in that substance of this universal Being. This universe seems to them [to be] meant for Thy worship, so they are reserved. This is their reservation. And they expose that secret to everybody. This is their shallowness. They are very light; nothing remains hidden in them.

Chapter 17 (46:03)


भक्तानां क्षीरजलधिक्षोभादिव दिवौकसाम्  ॥३६॥

pūjāmayākṣavikṣepakṣobhādevāmṛtodgamaḥ /

bhaktānāṁ kṣīrajaladhikṣobhādiva divaukasām //36//

[beginning of verse missing in audio]

Akṣa vikṣepa. Bhaktānāṁ, Thy devotees who have got akṣa vikṣepa, who possess the vikṣepa, the agitation of all of their organs–śabda, sparśa, rūpa, rasa, and gandha, all of these organic functions–when they function this organic function, this function appears to them as Thy worship. When they see anything, when they have sex with a woman, it seems to them [as if] they are worshiping Lord Śiva. When they eat, it seems to them [as if] they are worshiping Lord Śiva. So, this akṣa vikṣepa, the agitation of this organic field, is just the worship of Thee for them.

DENISE: Is that śāmbhavopāya?

SWAMIJI: It is śāmbhavopāya.302

Pūjā maya akṣepa. So, kṣobhāt eva, by the akṣa vikṣepa, by the agitation of these organic sensations, the rise of nectar, supreme nectar, takes place in them. The rise of supreme nectar takes place in them [just] as supreme nectar rose from the agitation [of the milky ocean while] agitating that great snake, Vāsuki.

Because, [Vāsuki’s] eyes would sometimes go this way, sometimes go that way. His eyes would go sometimes this way, sometimes that way, when [that ocean] was churned.303 And so, his eyes were agitated by this press, and his eyes vomited blood at that time. That is akṣa vikṣepa.304 By that, the rise of nectar took place afterwards from kṣīrasāgara, from the ocean of the milky ocean.

In the same way, when Thy devotees are agitated in their organic field, by the mere agitation of the organic field, the rise of nectar of God consciousness takes place in them.


301  Lāghava: lightness of heart.

302  See appendix 2 for an explanation of the upāyas.

2. Upāyas

The meaning of the Sanskrit word “upāya” is “means”. The word “upāya” in Kashmir Śaivism is used to indicate the means to enter into Universal God Consciousness from individual consciousness. Our Śaivism proclaims that there are three means for entering into Universal God Consciousness: śāmbhavopāya (the supreme means), śāktopāya (the medium means), and āṇavopāya (the inferior means).

Āṇavopāya is the means found in the world of duality and is known as bhedopāya. The means which exists in the world of mono-duality, in the world where duality and nonduality exist together, is śāktopāya and is called bhedābhedopāya. That means which exists in the world of pure monism (abheda) is śāmbhavopāya and is called abhedopāya.

Śāmbhavopāya is also called icchopāya, as it is the means which exists in icchā śakti. The means which exists in jñāna śakti is śāktopāya and is called jñānopāya. Āṇavopāya is called kriyopāya because it is the means which is found in kriyā śakti.

Kashmir Shaivism–The Secret Supreme, 5.33-40.

[Lord Śiva’s] energies are the means; [His] energies have become the upāyas. The energy of His will is explained as śāmbhavopāya, the energy of knowledge is śāktopāya, and the energy of action is āṇavopāya. The energy of action is breathing exercises, reciting mantras, reciting ślokas (hymns), and pūjā (worship). All these are in action, in the world of action. So, all these things are included in āṇavopāya. And they will carry you to the state of Lord Śiva. And [the energy of] knowledge, this is śāktopāya. Perceiving, middle-ing, centering, all these are in the world of śāktopāya. They will also carry you to the state of Lord Śiva. And [the energy of] will is the first start of each and every action. That is śāmbhavopāya. That will carry you to Śiva’s state.

Swami Lakshman Joo, Tantrāloka 1:70, USF archive.

The difference between āṇavopāya, śāktopāya, and śāmbhavopāya is this: In āṇavopāya, the strength of your awareness is such that you have to take the support of everything as an aid to maintain and strengthen your awareness. In śāktopāya, your awareness is strengthened to the extent that only one point is needed as a support for your concentration and that point is the center. In śāmbhavop̄ya, the strength of your awareness is such that no support is needed. You are already residing in the meant (upeya). There is nowhere to go, just reside at your own point. The rest is automatic.

It is important to realize that though there are different upāyas, all lead you to the state of one transcendental consciousness. The difference in these upāyas is that āṇavopāya will carry you in a long way, śāktopāya in a shorter way, and śāmbhavopāya in the shortest way. Although the ways are different, the point to be achieved is one.

Kashmir Shaivism–The Secret Supreme, 5.33-40.

303  Vāsuki was used as the churning rope and the Mandāra mountain was used as the churning stick. [Editor’s note]

304  The sensual agitation caused by the organic field. [Editor’s note]

source: Hymns to Shiva, Utpaladeva’s Shivastotravali as explained by Swami Lakshmanjoo
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  1. August 10, 2022

    What exactly is the meaning of “reside in the meant”, as explained by Swami Laskhmanjoo, please?

    • August 10, 2022

      The upaya is the means, and the goal of the upayas is the meant (upeya).
      The practice is the upaya, and the goal of the practice is the result of achiving that state (meant).

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