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

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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.

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