These are not ordinary or normal practices. The usual gifts and sacrifices are offerings of various of one’s possessions and services which, though this is beneficial, does not bring liberation.
The Teachings of the Immortal, Lord Lakulisha,
Twenty-Eighth Incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Translations are in bold
Commentaries that follow are my own.
II:15 Surpassing gift, surpassing sacrifice,
A superexcellent gift and sacrifice.
Lavishly gave and sacrificed.
“Gift” refers to the gift of one’s self. Sacrifice refers to ash-bath (chapter one, 1-6). These are not ordinary or normal practices. The usual gifts and sacrifices are offerings of various of one’s possessions and services which, though this is beneficial, does not bring liberation.
II:16 And also surpassing austerity, or penance (tapas)….
And the penance of the super excellent penance.
Severely practiced penances also.
And suffering the penance again and again.
Because we practice surrender sadhana and now understand what is meant by “gift and sacrifice”, we might rephrase this sutra this way: “Surpassing tapas takes place because one surrenders oneself (gives) and sacrifices (ash-bath) repeatedly.”
These two sutras (15 and 16) should relieve the mind of learned ideas about sacrifice, austerity and penance (tapas), and giving. We find that they are not what we had believed them to be. In fact, we already know them, but because our circumstances have previously been ordinary, or normal, we have seen them as things we would rather avoid, when in fact, they are blessings in disguise.
By surrendering oneself to God (giving), sacrifice (ash bath), which is tapas, the natural means of attaining purity and fitness for union with God, occurs effortlessly and spontaneously in meditation.
So we see that these three—gift, sacrifice and austerity (tapas)—are all-inclusive. They are our means of advancing, through the sacrifice of ash-bath and tapas, by giving ourselves in surrender to God.
Tapas – From tap, ‘to burn or melt’. Tapas is the sacred fire that melts away impurities. Austerity and penance are common translations.
REMINDER: The point is not the suffering, but purification. It is not the side effects of overheating, headaches, restlessness, sleeplessness, etc., that is tapas, it is the process of purification that is tapas. Tapas is how purification takes place. Uncomfortable sensations are side-effects, and do not always accompany purification.
II:17 Which takes one to the highest state.
That leads (the sadhaka) to the highest state (union with Pashupati).
Enables us to reach the unreachable.
Thus attaining greatness.
Greatness, or the “highest state”, refers to the highest state of yoga, union with God and liberation.
So is there another state of yoga?
Yes. Before one can reach this “highest state”, the sun and the moon must unite. This is Ha-tha (sun-moon) Yoga (union), the union of prana and apana at the base of the spine that awakens the evolutionary force, kundalini. Or we could say that the united prana and apana is kundalini. This is Hatha Yoga, which one must pass through in order to reach Raja Yoga, royal union, and the highest samadhi.
II:18 From that…
On account of that…
Because of that…
° ° ° ° °
I believe that I am slowly learning not to overwhelm with too much at one time, so yes, I am leaving you hanging in the hope that you will return to find out what the outcome of this will be.
Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that you really are),