One attains the state of what is held in the mind at the moment of yoga (union), so if the mind is always on God, one will attain God.
The Teachings of the Immortal, Lord Lakulisha,
Twenty-Eighth Incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Translations are in bold
Commentaries that follow are my own.
II:18 From that…
On account of that…
Because of that…
This sutra refers to the previous sutras concerning the sacrifice of giving oneself in surrender to the Divine, and the resulting tapas of ash-bath, by which one reaches the “highest state”.
Yes, of course we are already free and one with God, Truth, the Real, but we have been missing all the fun by being identified with the unReal. We have taken our bodies, our emotions, our minds, our personalities, and our actions to be ourselves and “who we are”, and we have taken all of this to be Real.
II:19 Practice tapas again…
When one is being identified with the unReal, one is distracted from sadhana and its objective. The solution to this is to initiate tapas again and again by frequenting the meditation room and surrendering oneself to God, the Real. This “super-excellent gift and sacrifice” is the tapas that takes us to the highest state.
II:20 With undiverted devotion to none other than Shankara.
He should be of undiverted devotion to Shankara.
Devotion not other than in Shankara.
This is the context in which we are to do our sadhana. The sutra is not worded in the positive, but in the negative. It does not say that we should be devoted to Shankara, it says that we should not be devoted to anything or anyone that is other than Shankara.
But who is Shankara?
Shankara is another name for Shiva, the transforming aspect of the Divine that transforms us to our natural state. We humans like to personify things. This is often helpful, but if we are going to do this, it is important that we understand what is being personified, especially if it is something to which we are going to devote ourselves.
So what is Shankara?
Shankara is the personification of God as Goodness. The Sanskrit word shankara, is defined as “auspicious and beneficent”. So by devoting ourselves to Shankara, we are devoting ourselves to the beneficent and auspicious aspect of God that transforms us to our natural, divine state.
What is meant by “devotion”?
Devotion, bhakti, is only possible when one attends to what one wishes to be devoted to. Besides being a word that conveys love, bhakti requires that this is aimed at the object of devotion without a break, just as the lover is constantly preoccupied with thoughts of the beloved.
In this sutra, the word bhakti is extended to “not-other-than” (nanya-bhakti). So we arrive at “devotion to that which is not other than” “that which causes the auspicious, beneficent and transformative”. We are being advised not to just surrender, but to surrender specifically to God, and only God.
Surrender ONLY to God,
the Cause of all that is Kind and Good.
To succeed in this, we must live in such a way that we are not distracted from this by anyone or anything at any time in any place. Applied to our sadhana, this sutra is telling us that, through surrender to God, the mind and attention will naturally be attracted to and attendant upon “that which is auspicious”.
Shankara is the Auspicious One that captures and holds
our full and undivided attention.
By always keeping one’s thoughts on God, one gets God. One attains the state of what is held in the mind at the moment of yoga, so if the mind is always on God, one will attain God. By attaining God, one ultimately attains Godhood and becomes liberated from the cycles of birth and death.
In the next installment of the Pashupat Sutras, we will learn a new term: Mind-No-Mind. See you then.
Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that you really are),