Shaiva Pratyabhigya Darshan under Srividya
I am sharing with you this piece of highly significant knowledge with the blessings of my inspiration and my bhautik Guru respected Shri Mahaavtar Babaji.
We shall try to comprehend Pratyabhigya Darshan.
Decades ago this famous Shaiva Advait Philosophy used to be explained in an intense manner. Consequently, it got reduced to a method performing pooja and anushthan. Lately, people have resorted to shortcuts. Pratbhigyahridayam holds an important position in Shaiva Advait. Pratyabhigya basically means recognition and identification. Jeeva is Shiva but this fact has been unfortunately been forgotten. Pratbhigya Darshan helps in transforming the Jeeva avastha to Shiva avastha.
Pratyabhigya has eight main divisions : Parmarth or the ultimate element, Jagat or the world, Swatantravad or Abhasvad, Shaddvava, Shaankar Advait, Jeeva, Bandh, and Moksh or salvation.
It reminds us of an imaginative scientific story:
By the end of third world war everyone died except trees and mountains. A big tree thought to create loud noise as it used to do earlier. It fell on a big rock with a thud but there was no noise. What could be the reason? The reason was that there were no ears.
As the noise can be sensed only by ears, noise owes its existence to ears and has no existence on its own. It is impossible to have noise without ears to perceive it.
Likewise, light owes its existence to eyes. We normally believe that the sun shall rise and lighten the planet but the fact is that unless there are eyes, the sun rays are going to pass through emptiness. The light cannot be identified unless there is someone to see.
A rose flower has fragrance only when sensed by a passing person by his or her nose. So, ears, eyes, and nose are responsible for the existence of sound, light, and fragrance respectively…..Seems to be a case of twisted logic, a type which is necessary understand the outstanding Avaidyataa in Pratyabhigya Darshan.
Madhvacharya, author of Sarvadarshan Sangrah gave four names to Shaiva Darshan – Pashupat, Shaiva, Pratyabhigya, and Rameshwar Darshan. Pratyabhigya has been well translated by poet Jaishanker Prasad in his world famous work Kamayani.
Pratyabhigya Darshan is also known as Trik Darshan and Spand Darshan. Trik Darshan has given place to Pashu-Paash-Pati. According to Pratyabhigya, Shiva is the sole creator of the Universe. Shiva is both salvation(Moksh) and bonding(bandhan). Moksh is not possible till the jeevatma attains Pratyabhigyan or complete knowledge of Shivatva. Pratyabhigyan can be felt only after Ahamshivosmi.
Shakti is an integral part of Shiva
According to Pratyabhigya Darshan Shiva has five forms of Shakti:
• Chitpradhanye Shivtatva;
• Anandpradhanye Shivtatva;
• Icchhapradhanye Sada Shivtatva;
• Gyanshaktipradhanye Ishwartatva; and,
• Kriyashaktipradhanye Vidyatatva.
The above stated five elements relate to dominance of conscious mind/intellect, bliss, determination, knowledge, and action respectively. It is necessary to understand these elements correctly, failing which the understanding of Advaityata can be no more than childish. For correct and mature understanding we need intense practice and continuous dialogue with a genuine Guru.
Though Shaiv form dominates in Pratyabhigya Darshan, it conceptualizes universe created by integration of 36 elements. The same has been reiterated in Srividya – the first 15 of Panchdashi, 16th of Shodshi and 36 elements forming the whole universe. The Shaiv Darshan which talks of 36 elements, out of which five stated above direct us towards the true path while the rest are related to Maya or materialistic world. The latter constitute the Vimohini Shakti and encompasses art, vidya, raga, kaal, fate, paurush, nature, and intelligence. Shiva has therefore been referred to as a form of Parbramh.
Buddha says that there is life and process of life but no one is alive inside. And, then there is death. But no one dies. For Buddha, you do not exist in parts. Language creates Dvaitta. We say, “I am speaking.” But Buddha says speaking is happening but no one is speaking. Assessment of the above sentences can help us in understanding the five pure elements referred in the previous article.
Igniting the gyanyagya in Srividya sadhana is not easy, whether Dvait or Advait. The living form of Jeeva has been considered as Paashbadh. Paash means three types of mal or waste (aanav, mal, and mayee mal) and three types of layers or kanchukis. As long as Jeeva doesn’t get liberated from mal and kanchukis, it simply remains a pashu or animal.
In Pratyabhigya, three methods have been suggested for the much needed liberation of the Jeeva – Shambhav, Shaakt, and Aanav. In Sambhav Jeeva recognizes itself as Shivoham. Shaakt through pooja archana enables Jeeva to have face to face contact with Shiva and Aanav helps in being one with Shiva and enjoy this bliss every moment.
Pratyabhigya Darshan and Jeeva
According to Pratyabhigya Darshan, Jeeva exists in five forms or awasthas – Jagrat, Swapna, Sushrupti, Turiya, and Turiyateet. Jeeva has four identities – Sakal, Pralaykal, Vigyankal, and Shuddh. It is Shuddh that helps in achieving Paramshiva.
In battlefield soldiers are able to achieve intense bliss despite confronting death face to face. Initially they are afraid of death and tremble with fear but gradually they become habituated and death no longer alarms them and they become free of this fear. For understanding Advaitta we have to die again and again and we need to master this art of dying. There is a difference between the death of sthool sharir (the physical self) and the sookshm sharer (the soul or the Jeeva). Srividya Sadhana teaches us this difference and the art of death of sthool and sookshm sharer, obviously under the guidance of an able Guru. Soldiers enjoy such deep pleasure which common people cannot. May be that is why wars too can be attractive. More kshtriyas have achieved Moksh than brahmanas because the latter engage their minds all the time and live under a state of mental turmoil and confusion. All the 24 Tirthankaras of Jains, Ram, Krishna, and Buddha were all Kshtriya warriors. They were able to achieve maximum heights. Understanding and mastering death is necessary for Advaitta.
Parmarth refers to chitt or parasamvit which is non-physical embedded in dynamic matter. It is the union of self (aham) and the other (idam). It makes way for consciousness referred to as Prakashvimarshmaya in the Pratyabhigya Darshan. Parmarth as it has been used here is not leading worldly life and adhyatmic life one by one (Parmarthik Bhakti). In Pratyabhigya, the term Parmarth has been used to understand the origin and the functioning of light energy. As stated in Kathopnished, light is as long as God is emitting light. It is true that sun is emitting light and so is the diamond. But we are not talking about this light. Here we are referring to the Creator of the Universe. Our mind has an important role to play. The Sadhak has to work on this.
Our mind is always in search of a base. Osho had suggested that a Sadhak should just close his eyes and do NOTHING. But the Sadhaks find it difficult and are asking for support. May be a Mantra which they will cite repeatedly and keep their mind engaged. In Srividya Sadhana, the situation is no different. He is mesmerized with past memories while being with a photo of Shri Lalita and Panchdashi mantra. My experience is that one can feel mental peace in this way and satisfaction of performing jaap and a hope that Maa bhagwati will be happy, will bless me and one will attain Moksh. But all this is pure imagination.
The real benefit can come only when your chitt is completely empty. This is not easy. Being full with something is easier – something to do, full with Onkar or Ram or Jesus or say Aavmaria. It is highly discomfortable to be empty. But for entering the inner space it is necessary to stop looking for any support – mantra. Parmatma or shastra, and hasten the journey within by achieving emptiness.
The essence of Shrividya is To understand Shiva and become like Him. Change the Shiva within you into Shav.