Most think of meditation as sitting a certain way, making the mind quiet and executing a technique of some sort. This is not the case with surrender sadhana. This sutra presents an entirely different view, a view of sheer delight.
The Teachings of the Immortal, Lord Lakulisha,
Twenty-Eighth Incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Translations are in bold
“OR” indicates an alternate translation, also in bold.
Any commentary that follows is my own.
I.7 Reside in a house,
The Sanskrit is ayatanavasi. Ayatana refers to “a house” and vasi, “living in.” This sutra is translated as “a resident in a temple” by other translators. Ayatana can also indicate an altar, so it is easy to see how ‘temple’ could be assumed. However, the sadhana taught by Lakulisha is practiced in privacy and temples are not private. In a yoga path where privacy is not required for meditation, “a resident in a temple” would make more sense.
I:8 Surrendering to God with laughter, song, dance, sound of dun-dun, repetition and offerings,
One might consider this sutra as describing a wide range of possibilities with surrender sadhana. Most think of meditation as sitting a certain way, making the mind quiet and executing a technique of some sort. This is not the case with surrender sadhana. This sutra presents an entirely different view, a view of sheer delight.
The sound of “dun-dun” is made by striking a certain kind of drum.
I.9 On the right side of the form of the Great Player,
The Sanskrit, mahadeva, ‘great god’, is translated here as Great Player. This is an archaic translation more in keeping with the period of Lakulisha that is more suggestive of action. The gods are players in God’s lila, God’s play, or sport, the fun kind and the theatrical. Each of us is a god being human and interacting in this drama we call life, so each of us is a player. The Great Player, the Best Player, is Lord Shiva.
I.10 Wearing one cloth…
I.11 Or no cloth.
In those times, and in that place, with its mild climate and religious tolerance, it is not inconceivable that a yogi would have only one cloth (garment) and even go around wearing nothing at all. Even today this is practiced. But why? And is this really necessary? There is an option in sutra eleven: “Or”. So we can assume that one cloth and no cloth are alternatives.
A powerful indicator of the prevalence of ego is self-consciousness. I think we can assume that until one reaches a state of not being self-conscious, or embarrassed, that one would probably choose the alternative and wear a cloth (sutra 11), even in a place where going about naked would not lead to arrest. Based on this assumption, we may take this teaching as a reference to two states: the state of being self-conscious and the state of not being self-conscious. A state of non-self-consciousness is preferable, as non-self-consciousness indicates egolessness and egolessness what we want. Why? Because the ego is the kingpin keeping us in a state of separation from God, and what we’re after is union (yoga). Until a state of egolessness is reached, it is acceptable to do the acceptable, i.e., wear a cloth.
Translated into our own time and social climate, we would pay attention to this teaching under all circumstances, and when we feel embarrassed or self-conscious, or catch ourselves trying to avoid embarrassment, we would realize that we are still wearing one cloth, i.e., ego is still prevalent.
One might ask, If that’s the teaching, why doesn’t he just say so? The answer might be that the use of such a powerful mental image as going around naked will bring forth the most powerful teaching; the most powerful teaching will bring forth the best results.
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