Pashupat Practices

The primary practices expressed in the Pashupat Sutras are surrender, bath-in-ashes, laughter, song, dance, etc. Secondary to this are practices for acquiring merit (good ‘karma’).

Esoteric Teachings of the Immortal, Lord Lakulisha,
Twenty-Eighth Incarnation of Lord Shiva.  

Taking a quick look over the Pashupat Sutras exposes two basic subjects. Everything taught in these sutras falls into one or the other of the two. They are, (1) sadhana practiced in seclusion, and (2) sadhana practiced in the world at large. The first of these are the primary practices of Pashupat Shaivism expressed as surrender, bath-in-ashes, laughter, song, dance, etc. Secondary to these primary practices, are practices for acquiring merit.

Why merit, and why is this important?

When not in engaged in the primary practice of surrender to God, one will be going into the village to beg food, etc., so we are given a practice that is commensurate with this sadhana and its purpose: to attain God-realization, liberation and the end of sorrows. This extends to the attainment of Divine Body, or immortality, which is not its purpose but an end product.

Beginning Yoga

The purpose of the sadhana practiced in the world at large, is the acquisition of merit. We must remember that these teachings, as mentioned in the sutras themselves, are given at the beginning of yoga (union). The recipients of these teachings have obviously been doing sadhana beforehand, and are at the point of becoming yogis (persons who have attained union). In order to progress, certain conditions are necessary. If one’s karma is not copacetic, more difficulties may arise than can be overcome without sufficient merit, or ‘good karma’. Hence the teachings on how to acquire it.

This practice can appear to be a deliberate setup for acquiring other people’s good karma and leaving them with one’s own baggage. This is how most translations read, but the translators are probably not yogis, though they do know their Sanskrit. So is this a setup? If the translators are to be taken literally, it is. But one might reasonably ask, “How can I avoid creating bad karma by deliberately setting up someone in order to steal their good karma and leave them with my bad karma?” This dilemma lies in not understanding the Principle behind these teachings.

____________________________________________

The Principle
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, making excuses or blaming.

To the degree another person creates their own bad karma by abusing you,
to that same degree, your own karma is burned up. This amounts to merit.

____________________________________________

Seen from this perspective, these teachings are not a setup at all, but are simply a way to increase one’s merit so that sadhana can continue to the fulfillment of its purpose. But the actual practice of this Principle is uncomfortable.

It is difficult to achieve the detachment necessary to allow people to not understand us, find fault with us or our actions, and insult, humiliate or abuse us, without our feeling compelled to defend ourselves. To avoid this situation, it is easy to say, “I don’t believe in this practice. I won’t steal other people’s good karma and leave them with my bad karma. It’s just not right!”  It is also not possible.

You cannot take another person’s good karma and you cannot make them take your bad karma. Obviously, when people are hurtful or mean, they are creating their own bad karma. The idea of stealing someone’s karma is not meant literally. It is a way of demonstrating how the law of cause and effect (karma) works by trying to get across the point of equal karma (“to the same degree”).

Practicing the Principle

OK, now that you’ve got the idea, how do you begin getting your feet wet with this strange practice?

Start with something easy. Pay attention and notice when an opportunity presents itself, and quickly decide whether to apply the Principle or not. If a situation is so loaded that you can’t get yourself to use it, be alright with that, but note the event and look for something easier to start with. Once you find your place in the scheme of things and start to apply the Principle, you can up the ante as you are able.

The up-side of all this is, when you are aware and ready to apply the Principle, you will not be able to hurt anyone yourself—physically, verbally, or mentally (bearing malice, hurtful thoughts). You will not be in a state in which such behavior can take hold—anger, fear and desire, the basis of hurtful behaviors, cannot take root in the midst of intention. This puts you in a very good position for acquiring a special power that results from the mastery of ahimsa* (harmlessness):

In your presence, enmity will flee.
There will be no violence of any kind, from any source, around you.

* Ahimsa – Harmlessness, non-injury, non-violence, non-killing. Ahimsa is the first of the Ten Keys to Success.

What goes around, comes around.
As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to God!),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

° ° ° ° °

Upcoming Blogs (not necessarily in this order):
Enlightenment and Ego
Enlightenment – What It Is
Enlightenment and Non-Doership
Kundalini (Series)

° ° ° ° °

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° ° ° ° °

Pashupata Sutram – Conclusions

Living the Mysteries, the spiritual journey of Durga Ma, Kindle version .99 cents. Available in hard copy through Amazon at PhoenixMetaphysicalInstitute.com

The Teachings of the Immortal, Lord Lakulisha,
Twenty-Eighth Incarnation of Lord Shiva.

Regarding the Sutras Concerning Insult

I believe that these practices are useful to some people and not to others.

For the strong young men of casts of entitlement and privilege, these teachings offered the opportunity to rise above pride and ego. For those of us whose personal history is littered with pain and struggle, I believe that they are potentially dangerous if carried to extremes (we humans have a propensity for extremes).

I reached this conclusion only this morning. A feeling of gratitude for a lovely morning that had previously seemed unlikely, had filled me, and I spoke my gratitude to Lakulisha and Divine Mother and felt their presence surround me. The result of this was that the inner debate I had been carrying on about these sutras was immediately resolved.

I have read and been taught much about this path, and have deliberated a great deal about these particular teachings. This has often left me with a sense of failure, but the one thing that has always trumped it has been what happens in the presence of Lakulisha and Divine Mother. Their presence is always warm simple beauty and profound Love, never abuse, humiliation or karmic concerns. Knowledge and study do not hold a candle to this Love. It is not a ‘feeling‘ in the emotional sense, and it is not mind. It is God. Study, translating mystical texts, and the blessings of oral teachings cannot touch the experience of the presence of God. Everything else is only a means of reaching this happy state.

The presence of Lakulisha is something I know from previous experience. I can recapture this experience by recalling it, and again find myself in His presence. I know the difference between this Love and emotions or mind: there is not even a small similarity. Lakulisha’s presence is never of the harsh quality of the customary translations and interpretations of His sutras. Either we are all translating them incorrectly, or we are understanding them incorrectly, and/or they are not meant for everyone.

The approach of setting people up to acquire their good karma is not for me—it is not for me to instigate. As I said before, “life will oblige” and provide plenty of opportunities. It is up to each of us individually to either accept these opportunities or not. We do the best we can at the time.

Beginning Yoga

It does not seem to be generally understood that these teachings are beginning teachings for those who would become yogis. I don’t mean beginners on the spiritual path, but beginning yogis and yoginis, those men and women who have attained union, which begins with sun-moon union (ha-tha yoga).

Does this mean that anyone who has not attained this union is a failure? No. But it does imply that these teachings may not be useful to anyone not wishing to become a yogi or a yogini. However, I do believe that, with correct understanding of the Principle behind them, they can be successfully applied by anyone who understands and faithfully practices ahimsa (harmlessness).* They are, after all, techniques.

____________________________________________

The Principle
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, making excuses or blaming.

____________________________________________

In other words, to the degree another person creates their own bad karma by abusing you, to that same degree, your own karma is being burned up. This amounts to merit. This is why this practice is considered a tapas (‘to burn’), and why tapas is translated as “penance” in these sutras.

When one is engaging the will outside of the meditation room, these techniques make sense during this time. This is the time the practices taught in these sutras were meant to be practiced. But the time eventually comes when surrender has no walls, there is no ‘meditation room’. So what happens to these teachings on insult and acquiring merit when that day comes? The spontaneous application of the Principle will arise according to the will of God, as one goes on with sadhana until it is completed.

* Ahimsa – This reference is to the first yama of the “Ten Keys to Success”.

° ° ° ° °

Upcoming Installments:

Next week we will briefly discuss and clarify some of the practices mentioned in the Pashupat Sutras. And later…..

Enlightenment and Ego, Part 1

Enlightenment and Ego, Part 2

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Lakulisha and Divine Mother send you their love.
Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to God!),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

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Pashupat Sutras V

This is the last chapter. Read my own conclusions on these sutras over the next two weeks.

The Teachings of the Immortal, Lord Lakulisha,
Twenty-Eighth Incarnation of Lord Shiva.

PPS Warning

V:1    Having no attachments, free from ties, independent and without obstacles

V:2    One who has become united with God (the yogi or yogini)

V:3    One’s own eternal Self (or soul)

V:4    Ever-existent and unborn

V:5    Is friendly and kind

V:6    Well-born, learned and wise

V:7    With mastery over the senses

V:8    Rudra (another name of Shiva) distinctly taught this

V:9    Reside in a secret place in a vacant house

V:10    A constant player

V:11    Mastery over the power of the senses is acquired

V:12    When thus engaged continually for six months

V:13    Most everything is accomplished

V:14    Beg alms

V:15    Accept meals that come to the vessel (begging bowl)

V:16    Take meat that is unspoiled with salt

V:17    Drink water afterwards (or otherwise)

V:18    Live like a cow or like a deer would live

V:19    Remain clean with the use of water (as opposed to ash-bath)

V:20    (Thus) the successful yogi or yogini is not associated with action or downfall (or loss or error)

V:21    Sing a song of praise from the soul, assiduously remembering the Beloved

V:22    To That Person, to God the Benevolent, or to both (as the result is the same)

V:23    Thus, yoga, union with God, begins

V:24    Omkara, the sound of OM, heard spontaneously in deepest meditation, is God

V:25    Concentration (of prana) is in the heart (or core)

V:26    Eternal, ever-present, all-pervading Supreme God, is directly perceptible and knowable as Omkara

V:27    (Omkara is) pure sound, formless God, beyond the range of the mind

V:28    (Omkara is) Supreme God, unlimited, unequaled, guru of the guru

V:29    [missing]

V:30    Abiding in a cremation ground

V:31    One’s dharma (merit) acquired

V:32    Living dependent upon what is available or what can be found or obtained

V:33    Finding direct contact with God

V:34    Constantly remembering God

V:35    One cuts through the root of the network of causes that produce defects (disease, anger, fear, attachment, desire, delusion, injury, etc.)

V:36    By means of buddhi (discrimination, discernment)

V:37    With full consciousness (noticing, observing, reflecting)

V:38    Remaining fixed on God

V:39    The mind securely fixed only on God becomes peaceful and free of sorrow

V:40    Careful to maintain this state, one gets to the end of sorrows by the grace of God

ENDING PRAYER

V:41    Now think these thoughts like a chant or a prayer done softly:

V:42    God, Master of all branches of learning

V:43    God of all beings

V:44    Creator of all creation

V:45    Let me be one with Shiva the Beneficent

V:46    Permanently

V:47    Shiva

God the Beneficent ends all sorrows permanently.

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to God!),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

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Pashupat Sutras IV

The restraint of keeping mystical teachings secret reveals the Eternal.  

The Teachings of the Immortal, Lord Lakulisha,
Twenty-Eighth Incarnation of Lord Shiva.

PPS Warning

IV:1    Concealed knowledge is the tapas that illuminates the Infinite

Keeping knowledge of the mysteries hidden is a tapas because the restraint of keeping silent when one would rather shout it from the rooftops, burns inside. This burning is a purifier that works like the process of separating gold from dross.

Tapas, from tap, ‘to heat, burn, melt’.

IV:2    Conceal practices     

‘Practices’ refers to ash-bath, laughter, song, dance, etc. (chapter one). One should maintain complete privacy for these practices (sadhana).

IV:3    Do not speak about this means of purification, but keep it secret

One must also not reveal the nature of one’s practice by talking about it to others. Display of knowledge lends itself to receiving praise and negates merit.

IV:4    All doors closed

All doors should be kept closed. The apparent meaning of this sutra is that, during meditation, all doors should be kept closed. But the word for ‘doors’ also means ‘gate, entrance, passage, opening, way, means, medium’ — all means of one’s spiritual success should be kept hidden; all entrances into the sadhana should be closed.

This sutra could also be interpreted as a reference to pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses via the five ‘gates’).

IV:5    By means of discrimination

One keeps all knowledge of sadhana, and the workings of sadhana, hidden by means of buddhi (intellect, discrimination). This sutra is telling us that disclosure of this knowledge is determined according to injunction and is otherwise kept hidden.

IV:6    In the world, go about like a madman

When you are out and about, go about mindlessly (this comes easily). By this means you keep your sadhana hidden. People will just think that you are crazy.

IV:7    Accept food prepared and given by others

The term ‘food’ is meant convey ‘livelihood’ in general, as well as food. Because you do not work for a living and accept food prepared and given by others, people think you are just using sadhana as an excuse for not having employment and getting others to do everything for you.

IV:8    People will think you are stupid and lazy

This makes you appear to others to be a lazy person, mindless and foolish, and they will not recognize you as a yogi or yogini.

IV:9    Abandonment of pride in this situation is the highest practice

People will have these wrong opinions about you.

These handed-down teachings are for the purpose of restraining indignant and angry behaviors and abandoning pride, and are considered the highest teachings of Pashupat Shaivism.

The remaining sutras are self-explanatory.

IV:10    Moreover, in a past age, Indra, lord of the gods, desirous of the attainment of purification, prosperity, and the end of sorrow, was the first of the gods to practice the Pashupata code among the asuras [those in opposition to the gods (devas – gods, players)].

IV:11    [As a result] Indra received their merits without the use of oblations [good deeds] or mantras.

IV:12    Righteous acts of false impressions done well result in the same [merit that Indra received].

IV:13    From this [practice], the censure of others amounts to nothing.

IV:14    [So] go about allowing yourself to be insulted and obtaining merit.

IV:15    Such actions are blameless and praiseworthy actions.

IV:16    [Among] all [other ways] this way is different and preeminent.

IV:17    It is a true way because it leads to liberation.

IV:18    Other ways are inadequate for this purpose.

IV:19    By this blameless path, the prescribed means of the code of Pashupati, union with God is imminent.

IV:20    And by this path no lover of God ever returns to this world.

Ending Prayer

IV:21    Now think these thoughts like a chant or a prayer done softly:

IV:22    I want to know that All-Knowing One,

IV:23    To become absorbed in that Great Player,

IV:24    Please God, get that to happen.

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to God!),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

__||   Apply for Remote Shaktipat Diksha

__||   Learn Ten Keys to Success for guaranteed success. An online course, free to my blog Followers.

__||   Have a look at Living the Mysteries, the spiritual journey of Durga Ma, compiled by Dr Terry Preston. Includes photos and writings from the notebooks of Durga Ma. Kindle version .99 cents. Also available in hard copy through Amazon at PhoenixMetaphysicalInstitute.com.

Pashupata Sutram III:20-26

True prayer is the surrender of oneself to God. True surrender is not limited to talking to God, but includes all spontaneous actions of the body, mind and feelings (kriya).

The Teachings of the Immortal, Lord Lakulisha,
Twenty-Eighth Incarnation of Lord Shiva.

PPS Warning

III:20    Now think these thoughts like a chant or a prayer done softly:
III:21    To the mild and gracious forms of God,

Because God is the Cause of all things, God has many forms according to the nature of the cause. Here, God is the mild and gracious Authority over innumerable bodies, the source of pleasure.

III:22    To the terrible forms of God that cause fear,

On the other hand, God is also not mild and gracious, but scary. The idea that God causes us to experience fear is something that we tend to resist. How can we surrender to a God that is scary? Why is God scary? God is scary because we resist God. It is the resistance that produces the fear. Because all that is is God, this is God being scary. A resolution presents itself here: don’t resist, surrender.

III:23    And to other, more terrible illusion-forming forms of God that cause fear,

We surrender to God even though it is God that is the cause of illusion for individual beings. Though we are looking for liberation, to get there we have to surrender to the Cause of illusion!

All there is is God—there isn’t anything else. So when we surrender to God, everything is included. If your sadhana gets stuck in the sand, it may be that you are omitting certain aspects of God from your surrender, like the scary stuff. Things will get better as you gradually take more apparent risks. I say “apparent” because there really is no risk. As Yogeshwar so often said, “God is not a cheat”.

III:24    To the innumerable forms of God, the cause of all forms that are the cause fear.

“The innumerable forms of God” are all of Us. We like to think of God as awesome rather than scary. It makes us feel better. God is scary because God includes all of us, and we are definitely scary—we are the cause of fear. We are scary as human beings, and we are even scary as divine individuals because we are not familiar with each other—with Truth, God, or even with our Selves—and the unfamiliar can be very scary.

III:25    To the innumerable mortal forms of God everywhere,

This prayer, this surrender, is the choice to accept all others without exception—ALL OTHERS—and even to accept them in their imperfect, mortal condition. If you are successful in this, you will reach nirbija samadhi. It is taught that nirbija follows sabija. This is due to the fact that we improve in our degree of surrender over time. Sadhana is a process, so there is a sequence.

III:26    To Rudra, God in the form of the Power to Face Fear, I surrender.  Let this surrender reach all scary others.

The depth of surrender we need to reach liberation is expressed in this prayer. To finalize the prayer, we surrender to the Power to Face Fear because we know we have fear and that it can limit our surrender, and we wish to achieve unconditional love, to surrender to everyone without limit. So we are sending notice—we are going to accept everyone whether they accept us or not.

We must ultimately accept all others.
We must come to love everyone unconditionally.

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to God!),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

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Pashupata Sutram, III:10-19

By getting misunderstood, ignored or insulted and not responding to it, you burn away negative karma and acquire good karma—it’s like money in the bank.

The Teachings of the Immortal, Lord Lakulisha,
Twenty-Eighth Incarnation of Lord Shiva.

PPS Warning

The context of these sutras is an Eastern culture two-thousand years ago, and the yoga sadhana of Pashupati, the purpose of which is liberation.

III:10    On account of that,

Because this happens …

This sutra is referring to the previous sutras, sutras 1-9, where we were made aware of a certain Principle we could utilize to neutralize our negative karma.

III:11    One goes about like a ghost.

“Like a ghost”, or “like a dead person”.
You are seen as a poor, crazy or lowly person.

We could take this literally, or we could interpret it as being dead, or invisible to a society that would deny one’s existence in general. In the culture in which these sutras were given, sadhus smear the body with ashes, wander in public unkempt with long nails and hair, dissociated from the social norm, in order to fulfill this practice.

III:12    Sleeping…

“Sleeping observance”.
People think you are a slothful, indolent and good-for-nothing person.

Now we begin to see a list of observances, or practices. (Notice the “or” in these sutras.) We can either look at them as willful practices, techniques that are applied when going about in the village, or we can see them as opportunities that may arise where we can apply the Principle. The difference is in one’s orientation. For example…

Your orientation is surrender: You unintentionally fall asleep in a public place, or slip into a meditative state while riding the bus, and others, believing you are sleeping, make fun of you.

Your orientation is technique: You go into the village and pretend to fall asleep. You fake loud snoring and even behave strangely as if having a bad dream. Believing you are sleeping, people insult you and make fun of you.

These practices do not replace one’s sadhana, but are supplementary to it.

III:13    Or trembling,

“Trembling observance”. Shaking, quaking, twitching, shivering, spastic.
People think you are crazy.

III:14    Or limping,

“Limping observance”. Lame, crippled.
People think you are disabled.

III:15    Or wooing.

“Amorous observance”. Flirting, acting attracted to the opposite sex, exhibiting loss of self-control.
People think you are a pleasure-seeker, lecherous and indecent.

III:16    Acting like that
III:17    [And] speaking like that
III:18    Causes you to get a period of being insulted, humiliated, held in contempt, disgraced or disregarded.

Traditionally, a person with any of these defects would not be initiated. Seeing you acting in these ways, because people would assume that you do not have the karma to qualify, you would be deemed unworthy of their respect and treated accordingly.

III:19    Because of being disregarded or insulted, over time you become skilled in tapas.

Tapas refers to the burning away of impurities, in this case, the burning away of one’s negative karma. Ridding oneself of negative karma and acquiring good karma is useful in that it is money in the bank, so to speak. It allows for you to be able to acquire the best conditions for completing sadhana and reaching the aim of moksha, liberation. Also, in Pashupat Shaivism, Divine Body, immortality, is recognized as an effect of success.

° ° °

These sutras have been interpreted as willful practices for several centuries. Most of you who know me already know that I do not take them this way, but simply as things that present themselves in life that can be turned to advantage. I have told my shaktipat initiates that, when they are not in the meditation room, they will be using their will anyway so they may as well use it for supplementary practices, such as asana, etc., that are supportive to their sadhana. It is in this spirit that the practices mentioned in these sutras are meant.

According to Kaundinya, these teachings, which are based on the law of cause and effect, are deliberate techniques for the purpose of attracting insult—you get the good karma of others who insult or abuse you, which in turn gives them your bad karma. If this is true, if it really works this way, we should note a lesson here: It works both ways—when you hurt, insult, abuse or humiliate someone, you are giving them your good karma and getting their bad karma. Something to think about, isn’t it?

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to God!),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

P.S. If you find all this a bit hard to swallow, reading the previous sutras should clear things up.

Remote Shaktipat Diksha

Ten Keys to Success
Practice these 10 spiritual principles for guaranteed success. An online course, free to my blog Followers.