That – the Primordial
That, Shiva, is my Father, my Teacher, my God.
He is described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras in the following manner:
I.25 “There is an unmatched seed of omniscience.”
I.26 “Unaffected by time, He is also the Teacher of the most ancient teachers.”
I.27 “The sacred sound OM is His symbol.”
The Tamil word civam (in Sanskrit siva) is an abstract noun meaning benevolance, auspiciousness, and the highest form of God in which He exists as pure consciousness.
He is where everything begins from, the Primordial. A large tree starts from a small seed. Shiva is the one before the seed. If there is one first seed that life begins from, it is Shiva who has given it; he is the giver of all creation.
The Lord’s Prayer goes: “Our Father who art (in) heaven…” Heaven is a metaphor for consciousness, being limitless, equal for everyone, containing everything. The sentence states that the Father is consciousness.
I would like to let you know, with humble joy, that Shiva is still there for you. He is also there for billions of other people. He is still passing on His wisdom, in the same way he did to the yogis.
My Primary And Most Important Teacher is Shiva
My Teacher is beyond existence.
When you are in a conscious state, then towards God, there is yet another even deeper consciousness. And then there is nothing.
This is where my Teacher resides.
Once we read a text from an ancient scripture which described the relationship between the teacher and the student. It said that when a student comes to his or her teacher and bows, tears splash from his or her eyes. Not roll, but splash. This is the sign of your readiness – how much you have surrendered and realized who the teacher really is to you. And when I look towards my Teacher, I still sometimes find tears in my eyes. And this is not because I have created some kind of an imagination or phantom, but always as a result of a real connection. The song in the video above was recorded on my birthday in 2019 – when I sing and my voice stops, then that is the moment of experience, a connection.
That Who is Beyond All Things
The singular God is called Ishvara (see Wikipedia). This is the God from whom all the other parts of creation originate. There is only one God. There are no others – all the other Gods are his different facets. All energies begin from nothingness, or That. We can enquire what is the source of primal energy? Once we start to investigate, we reach the power of will, then intention, and from there on – the statics where there is no fluctuation whatsoever. And this is what we call God, or That – the One beyond everything. The Primordial.
That is one and absolute.
The original cause, source, and goal of all existence.
The beginning and the end of everything.
Beyond shape and shapeless. Limitless.
Absolute and unchanging. Infinite.
Perfect. Omniscient. Creator. The first Guru.
Siddhars Named the Singular God Shiva
There is an old story of how yogis, the ancient scientists, used to study their essential origin. They were also searching for the beginning – the beginning of all beginnings. And they found something limitless. They discovered a phenomenon which had not been born, and nobody knew where it had come from, to where it was going, or from where it originated. They discovered that it was absolutely perfect. It contained everything, yet it was beyond everything. They discovered that they themselves originated from it. The ancient yogis discovered that where we all come from – where everything starts and returns – is perfect. There is nothing lacking or excessive about it. It is existence, state, and also a being – all in one.
They named it Shiva. Some would just say That, the Primordial. Therefore God – the Primordial – already exists. According to this experience and tradition humans have not invented him but rediscovered him.
There is cosmic consciousness beyond every individual consciousness. Siddhar Patanjali calls it Ishvara, as Isha means Shiva. The word svara in Sanskrit means the True Self of a person. Sva means “of oneself”. Ishvara therefore means Shiva – the essence of every person. It is the Supreme Being who penetrates all creation, being simultaneously separate from it.
Siddhars refused to define or describe God. For Siddhars, God was the Supreme Omniscience – the source of consciousness and bliss. We should avoid creating an imagination of God.
In the Beginning, There is Only Shiva
He is the Primordial. The final manifestation in which he manifests himself is our physical world. The physical world is a hundred – or maybe even a thousand – times smaller than the invisible world. The invisible is manifested in the physical. Shiva is behind everything, but he is very hard to grasp, since he is not a thing. He is not a pretty flower. He is not a wonderful state of being or a clear vision. He is something that we cannot even fathom. All the things that we can see, hear, feel, taste, and smell – these are His “decorations.” All these phenomena have been named, selected, and analyzed by us, and we have a need for these decorations. Even when we pray we use our prayer as a thing to receive another thing. When we think about something, we use our thoughts – which are also things. Some people seek experiences that can be gone through. Everyone is looking for a thing of some kind.
In yoga we know that Shiva has a vibration – he has a sound, Namah Shivaya … Before this sound there is another sound, which is called Om. These subtle sounds can be heard in deep meditation, which is a state of non-attachment. These are natural sounds. It is believed that when we mimic and repeat this sound, it helps us. It may help us to reduce things – thoughts in our head. But Shiva is also beyond these sounds.
One Fine Day, Jiva Realizes That S/He is Shiva
Every person got one part of him to themselves – the part by which you know that you exist. This part is called one’s True Self. This True Self is Shiva. Jiva is individual existence and Shiva is omnipresent existence. The aim of yoga is to be once again united with the most perfect, to restore this initial perfection. As a human being, in the body of a human, you have that possibility – to reach God. The elevation of the soul continues until you reach God, Shiva. Everything you do on that path can be called dharma. Everything that the soul does in ordinary life is called karma. On the karmic path, the soul will not be elevated because of all the activities that the soul undertakes on this level.
A yogi acts to approach God. All activities are merely the means to get there. Hence, yogis turned to Shiva, as he had completed this path and stayed there, but also preserved the path. This path is still here. Siddhars and yogis follow his Teaching, or his Path. And they reach their goal. The closer a person gets to That, the more they start to experience That and become a part of That. For example, once you identify with That, you get the power to influence things and people. Influencing in the yogic way is guiding others towards their True Self. The underlying logic here is very simple: the closer you get to God, the more of his qualities you possess.
Shiva is First and Foremost the Absolute Consciousness
A meditating Shiva is a yogi – Shiva in the form of a yogi. He is the first yogi or Adiyogi. Shiva is also the initiator – the giver of the entire system of Kriya Yoga. He has an infinite number of different powers and characteristics, and Siddhars are the people who have achieved these same powers. They are God-like. The aim of yoga is to return to the place you have come from – to reach Shiva. Kriya Yoga is a path to get there. In order to discover Shiva, it is essential to use your consciousness and your power of discernment – as first and foremost in your everyday life, while doing whatever it is you are doing. Your relationship with Shiva has to be genuine – without any filters, faith, imagination, or memories.
Shiva is first and foremost the absolute consciousness. Consciousness is the phenomenon which enables you to know that you exist. If there is no such existence, there is nothing else. Consciousness is the so-called base. This base is universal; it can move and fall on absolutely anything. This is where a certain misunderstanding or oblivion comes into play. Being oblivious of having consciousness. Being oblivious of having a base – the base of our existence. Therefore, it is important to become rooted at the base. Consciousness, or a static space, is one of his manifestations.
When Shiva is depicted as sitting in a meditation – in a fixed position, at peace, eyes half-open – it shows that he is not concentrated on things, but on consciousness. Consciousness is one of his facets, which every person also possesses. The use of this needs to be developed as the priority. All other inner practices also bring you closer to Shiva, but these are very long paths to take.
The Source of Insights i.e. the Universal Teacher
Ancient yogic scientists studied everything that existed in practical terms, by posing questions and getting answers. They also found out where answers originate from. Consciousness enables you to understand; insight is one of its qualities. Knowledge that you have received through insight is not from books or memory – it has another source, which existed before books. Yogis discovered that insight as a phenomenon exists everywhere, and everyone has access to it. It gives you new knowledge and therefore is equal to learning. Hence, yogis called this source the Universal Teacher, Shiva, Ishvara. The knowledge that is accessible to people in this way is basically the same knowledge that belongs to God, the Primordial.
To explain it more, I will describe one of my processes of practical study. I was studying how insights as an event happen – what is behind this phenomenon. By examining it, I found out that it was an infinite flow of information. If you get into that flow, you suddenly know everything. It is like a space where all knowledge is available in each and every moment. As I explored it, I found myself in this space. All the absolute knowledge was suddenly available to me. In the old scriptures, the place where information about the entire world is preserved has also been called Akasha, or God’s consciousness. At some point, I understood that it was pointless to try and retain such an immense amount of information. So I decided that instead, I would merge and become one with this source. And then it happened. All that flow of information suddenly just stopped. And what followed was complete silence.
But now, when somebody asks a question, I can immediately source an answer directly from that place.
Non-attachment Means to Give Up Everything in Order to Gain All
In the yogic tradition, That is also shown as an ascetic. If an ascetic gets involved in a process, then it is in a destructive manner – by getting rid of the process. This is why they say that Shiva is a destroyer. Asceticism also represents the non-attachment of Shiva. God is always non-attached, but this does not signify indifference. Shiva is described as a loving God. He is also the Creator. It is not possible to create without loving your creation. At the same time, he always stays non-attached to it. Non-attachment is his quality. All creatures move towards achieving non-attachment; to achieve an absolutely perfect primal state.
In order to become a limitless Shiva, you need to become like him – to achieve non-attachment. Achieving this, in this world, is what yoga is about.
Even the ones who are non-attached must have a goal. One should not become attached to the goal, but it must be kept in sight.
This goal is Shiva.
ॐ नमः शिवाय्