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The Jivamala
BHAIRAVANATH
The Life of a Shiva Devotee

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Section XX - The Mind Of Shiva


My time of practice and learning mostly focused upon mantras, as the transformer of spiritual energy. They became like living personalities to me, like energetic companions. To work with them in sexual action must be like the sex of a king - there would be companions there to help and participate. I figured that in this way they were protective - if I started to fall, I could call upon the mantra, and it could save me.

Of course, I was not entirely certain what it meant to fall. The whole practice was fallen, if one wished to be a celibate renunciant. Yet some yogis performed the sadhana and grew stronger. Others performed it and went back to the world.

Dadaji said that I must be like Shiva, who could enjoy both extremes, but not be committed to either. Lord Shiva created and destroyed, expanded and contracted, was bound and also renounced. It was a big question among renunciants - should we act like the gods? Sometimes they are our models, but sometimes they are bound by dharma (ethical rules based on one's caste or role in society), and sometimes they even violate dharma playing tricks on people, betraying them and being dishonest. It is hard to follow their actions.

Dadaji said that when I perform with a woman, I must visualize a great circle of light running between us into Shiva's heaven and back again. This is the real heavenly Ganges [river] which the lord caught in his hair (according to the Puranas or medieval holy books). That is only half of the story. The Ganges flowed through him and returned to heaven in his meditation - he is part of a great circle of energy, the pranashakti chakra. That is not within a person, but a person may be part of it, like a bead on a mala. Lord Shiva is the great bead at the beginning and the end, and we are crystal beads transparent to the light which moves through us.

My time of learning taught me to be transparent like a crystal bead. The texts say that we will be conquerors, the lords of other yogis, but they do not test us. Anybody who allows the greed and power of the ego to dominate will never be part of the great circle. He may gain siddhis (yogic supernatural powers) but he will never merge into the lord.

I make my body the body of Shiva, and place his powers in every part and organ. There is no place for my vanity to hide. I purify each part, expelling any bad karma lurking there. To practice an impure ritual, I must be very pure.

Section XXI

I asked Dadaji, "What is the point of such practice?" I would do it because the lord wanted me to, but it was certainly nothing I would choose on my own. Was there any real benefit, besides useless siddhis like walking on water and reading the minds of worldly men? I didn't want women or gold, or power in the world. Wasn't the whole thing sort of worthless?

Dadaji said,

We are slaves of the lord's will - he knows more than we do. Perhaps there are seeds from a past life that must be cleansed in this way. Perhaps he wishes to test your devotion. Let me tell you - many people are tested by the gods, and this certainly is one that most people would prefer. Indeed, I know sadhus who would wish with all their hearts for such a command - but the lord knows them and he will not give into their secret lusts. You are tested by what you don't want, not what you do. Or he may want you to imitate him, as a husband as well as a yogi. I have heard that your girl is not like Parvati, but who knows the will of the lord? Perhaps he will change her - or perhaps you will change her. We obey the god's wishes.
Long sadhana gives one a strange perspective - the inner world becomes brighter and more real than the outer world. That is why yogis need to be renunciants - it is difficult to move from the rivers of consciousness to bargaining in the marketplace. It is almost a painful transition.

My body was not my own. It was the abode of the gods. Each morning I welcomed the gods and goddesses into my limbs and organs. They lived there - not me - I was only visiting. My body was a bright lake of lotuses for them, and they laughed and played and meditated there. I rode the boat of my soul through there, and saw the brightly colored currents running like veins through the waters. I followed them and learned which went where, for the mantras took the energy and guided it through them.

The inners waters sparkled with light. Sometimes an impulse of the ego or greed or lust would arise, and it would be like a great dark shadow on the bright waters. I was not yet perfect, and subject to restlessness and questioning. But I knew the lord wanted this. So I tried as hard as I could to please him, and be the kind of yogi that he wanted.

Section XXII

Dadaji explained that the bodily channels stimulated in sexual action were twofold - they could carry sexual fluids, but also spiritual energies of the heavier kind. He said that yogic energies were light, but some spiritual energies were coated with rajas (energy of passion and activity), and allowed action in the world by the use of mind. Rajas is heavy and it coats the sattva (spiritual energies) like snowflakes and icicles outlined in bright red sindur (vermilion). It is transferring rajas that is hard, because rajas is heavy. Only the sexual channels are strong enough to transfer it from the physical body into the other energy centers.

He asked if I had ever had sex. I hung my head and said "No, though I have imagined it sometimes." I know this was bad but the thoughts would come spontaneously, without my desiring them. I have never touched a woman with lust, or a man, for that matter.

Dadaji said,

Such thoughts come to everyone - that is not a problem. But if you have never performed the act, you may not be able to maintain your meditative detachment when you do. Do you know how it works?
I said, "I have seen animals - I know what goes where. But I am not certain if there is anything else that humans do that animals do not."

Dadaji said, "You are good on the meditative side, but I think you will have to be initiated before you go to a girl who is also a virgin. Continue your meditation. I will be back in three days."

I did so, and spent my time on the shining river, and watched the goddesses dance on the lotuses, with their conches, and flowers, and weapons. They would alternate in form between peaceful, and warrior-like.

After a few days, Dadaji returned. He brought with him an older women, perhaps in her forties. She was dressed plainly with little jewelry, though clearly she was not a renunciant. Dadaji said,

Padmajnani was once a tantric yogini, thought now she is a pujari (ritual priestess) of Shiva at a small shrine. I asked if she would initiate you as you respond to the call of Lord Shiva. She has meditated upon this, and is willing to do it. So thank her.
I said, "Padmajnani, I thank you for your generosity, and I will obey your commands. Here, you are the authority, and I am your student."

Section XXIII

Padmajnani smiled, and said, "You have a good attitude for a student. Many yogis have a hard time having a woman for a teacher."

I said,

I am ignorant, and I know this. There is no reason for me to be proud. I cannot insult one who is wiser than I am, and has consented to teach a student who is poor.
Padmajnani went off to speak with Dadaji, and I returned to my meditation. I wanted to make sure that I knew how to return to the bright waters.

Later that evening, Dadaji said that he had to leave. He would return the next morning. He told me to learn from my new teacher.

Padmajnani came to me with more jewelry - she said that it was traditional in tantric practice. She wore amulets as well, and her hands and feet were reddened. She had me lay on the ground, and told me that she would rub my body with coconut oil. Then she took off her robe and it was clear that her body was still firm and youthful.

My body responded to her, and I was like Shiva but she said to relax and meditate. In each place that she rubbed, I must chase out any sin, chant a mantra, and place a deity. She went over my whole body. I returned to the bright waters, and was again a visitor in my body.

Then she rubbed my linga (sex organ), and I was thrown from the world of light into the physical world. She said, "Slowly, slowly, keep the worlds together." So I went back and alternated attention between one world and the other. When I could more or less maintain attention on both worlds, she said now we will be like Shiva and Shakti (have intercourse). You must maintain your awareness like Shiva's. If your focus comes too much to the physical body, let me know and I will cease to move. So she sat upon me, and it sent feelings of bliss through my body. I truly felt like a god. My body rushed to hers, and I said, "I cannot hold the meditation." Then she froze and I got the focus of my attention back. Again she moved, and my awareness was scattered. This was really very difficult. It gave me new respect for the god. I looked for the crystals edged in red light and I saw the pure yogic energy coated with the red surface of desire and instinct. I tried to move it along, but it was stuck. I told her this, and she said, "You are neglecting the work of the breath. Breathe deeply, and push the energy forward."

So I controlled my breath, and chanted the mantras of movement and transformation, and heard the tantric bells chiming. The sattva energy was like snow reddened by the setting sun, and it began to move like an avalanche of snow. I moved it through the bright river, through the channels of the bright colors, and it moved up the rivers towards the ocean. Then there was sky and it became deep blue, and then purple, and then a great ruby shone in its midst. It was a wish-fulfilling gem, the result of the union of the energies. But I had no wishes except to see my lord, and please him.

It burst open, and in its center was a deep shining blue pearl. In its center were Shiva and Shakti together. That image too burst, and I saw the mind of Shiva, deep blue and infinite. It came toward me like a great storm, and then I merged into it. I was one with the lord.

Section XXIII

So the goal of training was to merge the energies together, my own and the energies of the universe. My consort as Shakti liberated my own shakti to merge with the infinite blue Shakti of Lord Shiva. It was one level of energy upon another. It was as if human beings were simply linkages of energy, connecting the physical world- the worlds of transformation, and the divine world of the god. When they came into harmony, a channel was created between all of them, and energy could move up and down them like a tidal surge.

When I became one with Lord Shiva, it was as if the universe exploded. There was radiant blue light everywhere, pulsing in waves like the vast gush of a waterfall coming into a lake. You could not stand against it - it could carry the whole world away. I became those waters spreading out through infinity, creating stars and planets, dancing the dramas of universal change.

I was the lord, and I saw the many levels of manifestation, like rainbows upon rainbows. I was old and young, beautiful and ugly, male and female, powerful and weak. I was a sage, and an actor, a warrior and a farmer, a dancer, and a crippled old man. I would enter these roles, and live them out for the sake of variety. I would multiply my identity out into a million parts, and each glittering fragment would be the beginning of a world. I was a fountain scattering drops, a volcano spewing forth sparks, an earthquake throwing tiny crystals in all directions. All of these became worlds.

Part of this infinity was still, like a vast quiet evening, but looked at another way, it was an infinite lake of sapphire quicksand pulling in all form. From one side, the universe explodes and multiplies; from another it contracts and sucks everything in. It expands and contracts beating like the drum of the lord of the dance, beating like a heart. The whole universe is a living presence - the mind and heart of Lord Shiva.

I expanded into infinity, and contracted back into my body. I was still in the cave. Padmajnani had covered me with a blanket, and was chanting OM SHIVA HUM. It was so strange to be back in a human body. Padmajnani smiled at me, and said, "Welcome back, young yogi."


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