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Shiva Sutras

Contemplation from the Siva Sutra’s
The Siva Sutra was revealed to and written down by Vasugupta around 875-925 CE. Vasugupta was not a guru. He was an ordinary man who, through deep devotion and practice, was gifted this divine revelation.

There are 77  sutras and the text, which acts both as pointing out instructions and as view teachings, describes our true nature beyond mind- our Sva Svarupa. The sutrasinspire us to work with the mind and open up its boundaries.

Here is the first verse from the Siva Sutra for you to contemplate!“Caitanyam atma”Caitanyam means: consciousness, intelligence, pure awareness
Atma means: self, self-experience, principle of life, nature, essence, sensation, character

My teacher describes the self  as not being a soul or spirit, an attribute or a thing! The self, he says, is best described as being a capacity or a function of the ultimate that comes through as energy and is not a discrete object. This means, that the individual exists as an emanation of essence (see translation of caitanyam above).

In non-dual Tantra, one of the powers of consciousness is its power for reflective self-awareness.  As an emanation of essence/consciousness, this reflective self-awareness means that we have a knowing in us that something is happening. This self-knowing is extremely important, and is not an action initiated by an individual object towards a subject. Rather, this self-knowing is inherent in the subject and is an integral aspect of it. Given that the atman is not an attribute, then this is what makes our atman not a discrete object. And, my teacher goes on to explain that this verse is what destroys any sense of an ego!….phew…..this takes a lot of contemplation and some basic understanding of the view of non-dual Tantra to really understand. So I encourage you to sit with this verse and use it to contemplate in your meditation practice!

“Consciousness is my self” “
Consciousness is my essence”
“Consciousness is the principle of life”
“All we have and are is awareness”

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The Vijnana Bhairava Tantra

The Vijnana Bhairava Tantra (VBT) first appeared around the 9th Century- 850 CE and is one of the main source texts from the Trika lineage of the classical Tantrik traditions. The author of the text is unknown, but modern day Sanskrit scholars say that it may have been written by a woman!

Vijnana means consciousness or insight and Bhairava is a fierce form of Shiva or consciousness that is present in all times and places. Rajanaka Ksemaraja, a very well known Tantrik master in his time wrote a commentary of the VBT and stated that Shiva is referred to as Bhairava because he makes us cry out in fear of remaining in the dream state after having an initial spiritual awakening. Due to this cry of longing to know your true nature, Shiva/Bhairava manifests in the radiant domain of our heart.

The VBT is played out as a dialogue between Bhairava/Shiva & Bhairavi/Shakti. Verses 1-23 contain the dialogue between Bhairava and Bhairavi. Verses 24-135 are practices and Verses 136 are insight verses.

Bhairavi is the feminine form and she is the state of complete fullness and intensification of being in presence. When consciousness has an intense immediacy, that’s Shakti! Shiva is pure open, spacious, free, empty, grounded consciousness. It pervades everything and this no-thingness is the ground of being.

The texts states that some people can enter the state of Shiva through Shakti, and teaches that by going into the intensity of an experience, you can enter pure presence and openness. The Vijnana Bhairava contains accessible practices that focus on both awareness cultivation and energy body work.

There are awareness cultivation techniques which are designed to alter the quality of your daily life so that you experience more centredness. When you abide in that centre you feel a still point and you feel more into the flow of life, then you start to act and speak from that centred scared space and not act and speak from the  wounded ego, psychological mind.

The aim of the text is to lead us to a direct experience of our own Divine consciousness. 

Our expanded awareness, where all labels, psychological understandings of ourselves and division melt away.

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