By this means, sorrow and misfortune will be warded off or destroyed.
It is particularly important to remember the setting in order to interpret these sutras: You are in an Eastern culture two-thousand years ago, practicing the yoga sadhana of Pashupati, Lord of the Fettered, in order to become un-fettered—you seek Truth and liberation.
The Teachings of the Immortal, Lord Lakulisha,
Twenty-Eighth Incarnation of Lord Shiva.
III:1 Unmanifested marks,
Previously, we learned that some aspirants place a horizontal line of ash across the forehead to indicate the completion of meditation—one line for each of the three meditations of the day. You now abandon this practice and, when in public, you are no longer recognized as an aspirant.
III:2 Manifested actions.
You have reached a stage of sadhana that, when you go into the village where everything that you do is visible to everyone, your actions are not consistent with what is expected.
III:3 One is held in low regard…
Because of the learned conceptions of others about what is expected, what you say and do causes you to be considered less than ordinary, and you will be insulted, abused, disregarded or ignored altogether.
III:4 By everyone everywhere.
No matter where you are or where you go, you will run into this. People everywhere have their preconceived ideas and opinions about what is proper, and will judge you as wanting. So what do you do?
III:5 Disregard this and and move on…
You do your best not to respond to insults and abuses, etc., but disregard them walk away.
III:6 [And] sorrow and misfortune are warded off or destroyed.
Traditional: Your sins get removed or destroyed. This gives new meaning to the use of the word “sin”, which begins to look more like “bad karma”.
III:7 Because of the slander and abuse made by others,
III:8 They acquire your sins…
III:9 [And] you receive their merit.
Ah-ha! So this is how it works: You just let people say and do what they will and walk away. And what does this get you? It clears another piece of your karmic slate until sorrow and misfortune disappear.
Done deliberately, this looks like a technique for acquiring karmic credit as you systematically collect the good karma of others while leaving them with your garbage. But there is a principle being presented in these sutras, and this is the real nugget we are looking for.
When others abuse you, your karma will evaporate
to the same degree that you are treated badly
if you don’t cancel the opportunity by defending yourself.
That most people will not understand what you are doing in taking up this sadhana goes without saying. They will not understand, think you are nuts, and treat you accordingly. By applying the Principle, your own negative karma will evaporate.
These sutras are traditionally taken as deliberate willful practices among Pashupatas. I do not believe this was the original intent of Lakulisha. During the time of Kaundinya, it was young male members of the most privileged caste who were initiated into Pashupat Shaivism. Perhaps these teachings were used during those times to bring down ego and entitlement in favor of a little humility.
Lakulisha is said to have had only four close disciples, two men and two women to whom he taught surrender sadhana. Willful practices would have been counterproductive. I believe these sutras are meant to tell us how to turn difficult situations to our advantage. I don’t believe we are really meant to deliberately cultivate abuse. It isn’t necessary. Life will oblige.
Conditions are everything in this sadhana, but it is not so easy to find favorable ones. In his commentary, Kaundinya offers the following:
“Blessed is that land where there are many cows, pure food, pious kings, and sacred rivers which are enjoyable to all men. The aspirant desiring spiritual success should go to such places.”
° ° °
Now we understand why Jesus remained silent when Harod, concerned for his own political back, was trying so desperately to get Jesus to explain Himself and extricate Himself (and Harod) from a bad situation. As a child, this drove me crazy. I couldn’t understand why, when He had a way out, Jesus wouldn’t speak on His own behalf. But I didn’t know about Pashupata Shaivism then. Now I do. And I believe Jesus did also.
I have never come across another text containing these teachings. They appear to be unique to Pashupat Shaivism. If this is so, Jesus certainly seems to have been to India—it’s only a caravan away—for this and other yogic customs found there are all over the Gospels and in the writings of Paul.
Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to God!),