Ellam Ondre


Know that the world as a whole is your undecaying body and that you are the
everlasting life of the whole world. Tell me if there is any harm in doing so? Who
fears to go the harmless way? Be courageous. The Vedas teach this very truth. There
is nothing but yourself. All good will be yours. Yea, you become the good itself. All
that others gain from you will be good only. Who will work evil to his own body
and soul? A remedy is applied if there is an abscess in the body. Even if the remedy
is painful, it is meant to do good only. Such will be some of your actions; they will
also be for the good of the world. For that reason, you will not be involved in
differentiation. I put it briefly: The knower of unity will act as one should. In fact,
the knowledge of unity makes him act. He cannot err. In the world, he is God made

— Ellam Ondre, p.10



Silent Witness

The Purusha, the Real Man in us and in the world, is really unmoving; He is the motionless and silent spectator of a drama of which He himself is the stage, the theatre, the scenery, the actors and the acting. He is the poet Shakespeare watching Desdemona and Othello, Hamlet and the murderous Uncle, Rosalind and Jacques and Viola, and all the other hundred multiplicities of himself acting and talking and rejoicing and suffering, all himself and yet not himself, who sits there a silent witness, their Creator who has no part in their actions, and yet without Him not one of them could exist. This is the mystery of the world and its paradox and yet its plain and easy truth.

— Sri Aurobindo, The Karmayogin


Moksa and the means of its attainment in Kashmir Shaivism

shiva_by_christasvengel-d6hyf9nAs Abhinavagupta tells it, when Lord Shiva is completely alone, bereft of his creation, he exists in the full splendor of his God Consciousness. He does not need to recognize his own nature, because it is already there. Nevertheless, he wants his own nature to be recognized. This recognition gives him great joy. But, because it is already there, there is nothing to recognize. So, in order to recognize his nature, Shiva must become ignorant of his nature. He must seemingly separate himself from his nature. It is only then that he can experience the joy of recognizing it.

This, Kashmir Shaiva’s say, is the play of the universe. Because of Lord Shiva’s freedom, his Svatantrya, this universe is created solely for the fun and joy of this realization. It is Shiva’s play to seemingly leave his own nature so that he can find it and enjoy it again. This is the dance of Shiva, the joyous game in which he is continuously creating this universe–to lose himself and then find himself.

In order to seemingly depart from his own nature, to lose himself in his creation, he must withdraw his God Consciousness. And in order to find himself, he must again expand his God Consciousness. This process is known as nimesa (closing) and unmesa (opening). It is the supreme energy of God which gives rise to nimesa and unmesa. Nimesa is the withdrawal of his God Consciousness, and unmesa is the expansion of his God Consciousness. Both of these states are contained within Shiva simultaneously.

By withdrawing his God Consciousness, Shiva conceals himself in his creation. Only Shiva has this power, the power of his own Svatantrya, to totally disregard and hide his own nature and then to find it again. But what is it that he finds when he rediscovers his own nature? He finds, upon realizing his own nature, that it was already there. For the Kashmir Shaiva, this is the real essence of this teaching. Lord Shiva loses his nature only to find it again–and when he does he realizes that it was already there.

He wants, in the external universe that he has created, to completely disconnect his God Consciousness and then to realize that it was never disconnected. For although it is disconnected, in the real sense, it is not disconnected at all. In finding it he realizes that it was never lost. He experiences that there was never really any separation from his God Consciousness. Separation only seemed to exist. For Shaivism this is the greatest mystery of existence and Lord Shiva’s supreme act.

In clarifying this process, Lakshmanjoo tells us that what this yogi is experiencing is the fusing of his/her inner and outer worlds in the oneness of God Consciousness. He says that the aspirant’s I-Consciousness, his/her universal Consciousness, is diluted in consciousness-of-this, consciousness of the external world, and consciousness-of-this is diluted in I-Consciousness. Here the fullness of I-Consciousness absorbs “thisness,” external objectivity, and produces the oneness of internal mystical trance (samadhi) and external experience (vyutthana). The nature of this yogi and the external world become one. They are experienced as being completely united, one with the other. There is absolutely no difference between them. This process of krama-mudra–resulting in the absolute oneness of universal Consciousness and the outer world–is the state of absolute independence. The yogi, in this state, experiences that the internal world of mystical trance and the external world are absolutely the same. This independence and absolute oneness gives rise to the state of jagad-ananda (universal bliss).

To further explain this state of jagad-ananda, Abhinavagupta says, “My master Shambhunatha described jagad-ananda as the state that is completely unencumbered, where bliss (ananda) is found shining, where it is universally strengthened by the Supreme I-Consciousness of God, and where the six limbs of yoga–bhavana, dharana, dhyana, pratyahara, yoga, and samadhi–are no longer used or required.”

This aspirant, whose being has become absolutely independent (svatantratmaka) and who possesses the state of jagad-ananda, is said to be a jivanmukta, a being who is liberated while living. In the Bodhapancadasika, Abhinavagupta tells us that when the aspirant attains real knowledge of reality, which is the existent state of Lord Shiva, that is final liberation. What is this real knowledge? Real knowledge exists when the aspirant comes to understand that this whole objective universe of diversity and duality is just a trick, the play of Lord Shiva. That does not mean that it is a trick which creates an unreal world. For the Trika Shaiva liberated yogi the world does not disappear as the teachers of Advaita Vedanta like to proclaim. The goal is not the world-oblivion of kaivalya (isolation). We have seen how this objective world is just as real as Lord Shiva. The trick lies in the fact that it causes the limited individual to experience this world of diversity as the only reality. Real knowledge exists when the aspirant becomes one with God Consciousness, which is the same as attaining perfect Self-knowledge. In possessing real knowledge he/she knows that the world of differentiation is not actually different from Shiva, the supreme reality.

The cycles of bondage and liberation are both one with Lord Shiva. It is only his trick that we think that some souls are bound in ignorance while others are elevated. As only Lord Shiva exists, there is not any second thing that could cover or bind him. It is only his play that we think that this covering of diversity actually exists as a separate reality which covers him. There is not a second being or reality. His trick, therefore, is our trick. Why? Because we are Lord Shiva. We have concealed ourselves in order to find ourselves. This is his play, and therefore it is our play.

This is clearly illuminated by the concept of anupaya. The Sanskrit word anupaya literally means ‘no upaya.’ We have already seen that in Kashmir Shaivism there are three upayas, sambavopaya, saktopaya, and anavopaya. In addition to these three upayas another called anupaya is also mentioned. As the name implies, anupaya is not actually an upaya, for in anupaya there are no means. The one who has attained anupaya has only to observe that nothing is to be done. Just to be is enough. In anupaya the aspirant experiences that everything is filled with his own God Consciousness. In fact, anupaya is the unexplainable reality of the liberated aspirant. In anupaya the Shaiva yogis are filled with the realization that they were never ignorant and are therefore not now liberated. They know that nothing was lost and nothing is gained. What could they have been ignorant of and what are they liberated from? They experience that it was their own play, their trick that they appeared ignorant before and liberated now. They know that they are Shiva and that this world is their own playground.

~Moksa and the means of its attainment in Kashmir Shaivism

By John Hughes


Rig Veda 6:16

Bharadwaja Barhaspatya

b3f0aa64cbb594adcf1c095dad62f2471. O Fire, thou art set here in all as the Priest of the call in the sacrifice, set by the gods in the human being.

2. Offer worship with thy rapturous tongues in the Rite of the Path to the Great Ones. Bring the gods to us, do them sacrifice.

3. O ordainer of works, mighty of will, by thy revealing light [[Or, with thy straight going]] in the sacrifice thou knowest the tracks of the gods and their highways.

4. Now has the Bringer of the Treasure with his horses of swiftness aspired to thee for a twofold bliss; he has sacrificed in the sacrifices to the king of sacrifice.

5. O Fire, for the Servant of Heaven [[Divodasa]] who presses the wine, for Bharadwaja the giver of the offering, the multitude of these desirable things!

6. Thou art the Immortal messenger; lend ear to the laud of the seer and bring the Divine People.

7. Men deeply meditating aspire to thee that the godheads may come to them; mortals they aspire to the God in the sacrifice.

8. Bring into sacrifice thy perfect sight and thy will; rich are thy gifts and in thee is the joy of all who desire.

9. Thou art the Priest of the call set here in thinking man, his carrier with mouth of flame wiser in knowledge than he. O Fire, sacrifice to the people of heaven.

10. Come, O Fire, for the advent; voiced by the word, come for the gift of the oblation: sit, the Priest of our invocation, on the grass of the altar.

11. O Angiras, we make thee to grow by our fuel and our offering of the clarity; flame into a vast light, O ever-youthful Fire.

12. O God, O Fire, thou illuminest towards us a wide light of inspired knowledge and the vastness of a perfect force.

13. O Fire, Atharvan churned thee out from the Lotus, from the head of every chanting sage. [[Or, on Pushkara; or, the Lotus of the head of every chanting sage.]]

14. And Dadhyang too, the Seer, Atharvan’s son, kindled thee a slayer of the Python adversary and shatterer of his cities.

15. Thee the Bull of the paths set full alight, most mighty to slay the Destroyers, a conqueror of riches in battle upon battle.

16. Come to me and let me voice to thee, O Fire, true other words; for thou growest by these moon-powers of the Wine.

17. Wheresoever is thy mind and thou plantest that higher discernment, there thou makest thy house.

18. O Prince of Riches, the fullness of thy treasures meets not the eye and it is for the few; [[Or, let not the fullness of thy treasures meet the eye only of the few;]] take then joy in our work.

19. Fire of the Bringers is approached by us, the slayer of the Python adversary conscious with a multiple knowledge, the Servant of Heaven’s Fire, master of beings.

20. This is he that unconquered, unoverthrown shall by his greatness win and give to us a treasure beyond all earthly things.

21. O Fire, by a new illumination like the old and joining it, thou hast stretched out the Vast with thy light. [[Or, built the Vast with thy light.]]

22. O friends, offer to the impetuous violence of Fire the hymn and the sacrifice; sing the illumining verse, chant to the Ordainer of works.

23. This is he that must sit through the human generations, man’s Priest of the call with the seer-will, the Messenger, the Carrier of the oblation.

24. O Prince of the Treasure, do worship here with sacrifice to the Two Kings who are ever pure in their works, to the sons of the Indivisible Mother, to the company of the Life-Gods, to Earth and Heaven.

25. O Fire, O Child of Energy, full of riches is thy vision for the mortal, the vision of the immortal, and it imparts to him its impulse.

26. Let the giver be the best by work of the will; today winning thee let him become one overflowing with affluence: a mortal, he shall taste the perfect purification.

27. These are thy men whom thou guardest, O Fire, and they find the speed of thy impulse and move to universal Life, fighters piercing through the armies of the enemy, fighters conquering the armies of the enemy. [[Or, piercing through the enemies who war against them, (bis).]]

28. Let the Fire with his keen energy of light overwhelm every devourer; Fire conquers for us the riches.

29. O wide seeing Fire, God who knowest all births that are, bring to us the treasure with its strength of the Heroes; O mighty of will, slay the demon keepers.

30. O God who knowest all births that are, guard us from sin and from him that worketh calamity; O Seer of the Word, protect us.

31. The mortal of evil movements who gives us over to the stroke, guard us, O Fire, from him and his evil.

32. O God, repulse on every side with thy tongue of flame that doer of wickedness; oppose the mortal who would slay us.

33. O forceful Fire, extend to Bharadwaja the peace [[Or, the wide spreading house of refuge]] with its wideness; extend to him the desirable riches.

34. Let Fire the seeker of the treasure kindled and brilliant and fed with our offerings slay with his flame of illumination the encircling Adversaries.

35. Let him become the father of the Father in the womb of the Mother; let him break out into lightnings in the Imperishable, let him take his seat in the native home of the Truth.

36. O wide seeing Fire, God who knowest all births that are, bring us the Word with its issue, the Word whose light shines in Heaven.

37. O thou who art made by our force, we come to thee of the rapturous vision bringing our offerings for thy pleasure and let forth towards thee, O Fire, our words.

38. Like men that take refuge in the shade, we have arrived to the refuge of thy peace, there where thou blazest with light and art a vision of gold, O Fire.

39. Thou art like a fierce fighter shooting arrows and like a sharp horned Bull; O Fire, thou breakest the cities.

40. They bring him like a beast of prey, like a new born child they bear him in their hands, Fire that effects the Rite of the Path for the peoples.

41. Bring to us this great discoverer of riches, bring the god for the coming of the gods; let him take his seat in his own native home.

42. In the felicitous Fire that knows all things born the Master of your House is born to you; sharpen to his intensity the beloved guest.

43. O God, O Fire, yoke those horses of thine that do well the work and can bear thee sufficient for our passion.

44. Come to us, bear towards us the Gods that they may eat of [[Or, come to]] our pleasant offerings and drink our Soma wine.

45. O Fire of the Bringers luminously lightening with thy incessant flame upward burn; spread wide thy light, O ageless [[Or, imperishable]] power.

46. Let the mortal who would serve with his works the God in the advent, aspire bringing his offering to the Fire in the Rite of the Path; let him with uplifted [[Or, outstretched]] hands and with obeisance of surrender make shine the summoning Priest of Earth and Heaven, the fire of true sacrifice. [[Or, who worships the Truth with sacrifice.]]

47. We bring to thee, O Fire, by the illumining word an offering that is shaped by the heart. Let there be born from it thy impregnating bulls and thy heifers.

48. The Gods kindle, most strong to slay the Python adversary, the supreme Fire, the Horse of swiftness by whom the Riches are brought and pierced the demon keepers.


Zohar, Toledot

“Come and see: Whoever engages in Torah, maintaining every work of creation perfectly, fittingly. Every single smooth member in the human body corresponds to a creature in the world. For just as a human being is composed of members upon members, all standing rung upon rung; arrayed one upon another, yet all one body, so too the world: all those creatures are members upon members, standing one upon another, which when all arrayed actually form one body.

“All these resemble Torah, for Torah is entirely members, joints, sections – standing one upon another, all arrayed, becoming one body. When David saw this handiwork, he opened and said, O YHWH, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures (Psalms: 104:24)

— Zohar, Toledot 1:135a


From “Specific Principles of Kashmir Shaivism”


“Perfectly pure beings, having evolved the world through their own natural vilasa [exuberant divine play], and offering all things as oblations to the sacred fire of their own pure and perfect Consciousness, excel all while drinking deep the nectar of the blissfulness of their own vilasa, vibrating within their heart”

(Amritavagbhava, Atmavilasa, IV.24).

Such a yogin takes up the limitations of the world, absorbs them into himself, and offers them into the sacred fire of pure I-consciousness. The ability to thus transform the mundane and limited into the finest and purest is the highest goal of all life.

— B. N. Pandit, Specific Principles of Kashmir Shaivism



Bodhapancadasika – Fifteen Verses of Wisdom

1. The brilliance of the One Being’s light does not vanish in external light or in darkness because all light and darkness resides in the supreme light of God Consciousness.

2. This Being is called Lord ‘Siva. He is the nature and existence of all beings. The external objective world is the expansion of His Energy and it is filled with the glamour of the glory of God Consciousness.

3. ‘Siva and ‘Sakti are not aware that they are separate. They are interconnected just as fire is one with heat.

4. He is the God Bhairava. He creates, protects, destroys, conceals, and reveals His nature through the cycle of this world. This whole universe is created by God in His own nature, just as one finds the reflection of the world in a mirror.

5. The collective state of the universe is His supreme Energy (‘sakti), which He created in order to recognize His own nature. This ‘Sakti, who is the embodiment of the collective state of the universe, loves possessing the state of God Consciousness. She is in the state of ignorance, remaining perfectly complete and full in each and every object.

6. The supreme Lord ‘Siva, who is all-pervasive and fond of playing and falling, together with the Energy of His own nature simultaneously brings about the varieties of creation and destruction.

7. This supreme action cannot be accomplished by any other power in this universe except Lord ‘Siva, who is completely independent, perfectly glorious and intelligent.

8. The limited state of consciousness is insentient and cannot simultaneously expand itself to become the various forms of the universe. The possessor of independence is absolutely different from that insentient state of consciousness. You cannot, therefore, recognize Him in only one way. The moment you recognize Him in one way you will also recognize Him in the other way.

9. This Lord ‘Siva, who is completely independent (svatantra), has the diversity of creation and destruction existing in His own nature. And, at the same time, this diversity is found existing in its own way as the field of ignorance.

10. In this world you will find varieties of creation and destruction, some of which are created in the upper cycle, some of which are created below, and some of which are even created sideways. Attached to these worlds smaller portions of worlds are created. Pain, pleasure, and intellectual power are created according to the status of being. This is the world.

11. If you do not understand that there is actually no span of time, this misunderstanding is also the independence (svatantrya) of Lord ‘Siva. This misunderstanding results in worldly existence (samsara). And those who are ignorant are terrified by worldly existence.

12. & 13. When, because the grace of Lord ‘Siva is showered upon you, or due to the teachings or vibrating force of your Master, or through understanding the scriptures concerned with Supreme ‘Siva, you attain the real knowledge of reality, that is the existent state of Lord ‘Siva, and that is final liberation. This fullness is achieved by elevated souls and is called liberation in this life (jivanmukti).

14. These two cycles, bondage and liberation, are the play of Lord ‘Siva and nothing else. They are not separate from Lord ‘Siva because differentiated states have not risen at all. In reality, nothing has happened to Lord ‘Siva.

15. In this way the Lord, Bhairava, the essence of all being, has held in His own way in His own nature, the three great energies: the energy of will (iccha-‘sakti), the energy of action (kriya-‘sakti), and the energy of knowledge (jñana-‘sakti). These three energies are just like that trident which is the three-fold lotus. And seated on this lotus is Lord Bhairava, who is the nature of the whole universe of 118 worlds.

16. I, Abhinavagupta, have written and revealed these verses for some of my dear disciples who have very little intellectual understanding. For those disciples, who are deeply devoted to me, I have composed these fifteen verses just to elevate them instantaneously.