"Shiva represents the assured capacity to reduce delusions to ashes." — The Aquarian Almanac

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February 13, 2015 Theme for Contemplation: The Yoga of Shiva

” When that light has risen, there is no day, no night, neither existence nor non-existence; Shiva, the Blessed, alone is there.”

– Shvetashvatara Upanishad

In the Brahmapura, wherein is the abode of the Brahman, wherein is the abode of the form of a white lotus, known as the Dahara, O Sage, in the middle of it is the ether known as the Daharakasa.  That ether is Siva, the infinite existence, non-dual consciousness and unsurpassed bliss.  That Siva should be sought to be realized by all those who strive for emancipation.  

This Siva is the witness established in the hearts of all beings, without any exception, and manifests himself to the seeker, in accord with strength of vision and degree of spiritual development attained by the seeker.  Hence this Siva is known as the heart of all beings and the liberator from the bonds of worldly existence.

अस्मिन् ब्रह्मपुरे वेश्म दहरं यदिदं मुने । पुण्डरीकं तु तन्मध्ये आकाशो दहरोऽस्ति तत् । स शिवः सच्चिदानन्दः सोऽन्वेष्टव्यो मुमुक्षुभिः ।।

अयं हृदि स्थितः साक्षी सर्वेषामविशेषतः । नेनायं हृदयं प्रोक्तः शिवः संसारमोचकः ।।

Pañcabrahmopaniṣat (40-41)

Why is Shiva so cherished by ascetics in the Indian tradition?

I think some Hindus cherish Siva, while others do not.  I have personally meet a man who claimed Siva to be the one who "lives in the cremation grounds, amongst the dead."
Such literal representations, one would miss the deeper meaning of cremation grounds.

Siva is known as the Great Yogi and Supreme Ascetic to the Saivist.  Many texts refer to Siva in an array of designated names, consisting of 1008 in number as found in the Siva Sahasranamastotram.

One can also look to the Tantric and Agamic texts for detailed information about Siva according to one specific philosophy.

On another connected note; Siva plays an important role in the philosophy behind Sanskrit Grammar.  As a student, we are requested to memorize and understand the Śivasūtrāṇi, or Māheśvara Sūtrāṇi.  This also can be understood as having deep Occult roots regarding the sciences of sound.  What is commonly said is;

"At the end of His Cosmic Dance, Siva, the Lord of Dance, with a view to bless the sages Sanaka and so on, played on His Damaru fourteen times, from which emerged the following fourteen Sutras, popularly known as Shiva Sutras or Maheshwara Sutras."

अ इ उ ण् | ऋ ऌ क् | ए ओ ङ् | ऐ औ च् | ह य व र ट् | ल ण् |ञ म ङ ण न म् |झ भ ञ् | घ ढ ध ष् |ज ब ग ड द श् | ख फ छ ठ थ च ट त व् |क प य् |श ष स र् |ह ल् |

a i u ṇ | ṛ ḷ k | e o ṅ | ai au c | ha ya va ra ṭ | .la ṇ | ña ma ṅa ṇa na m | jha bha ñ | gha ḍha dha ṣ | ja ba ga ḍa da ś | kha pha cha ṭha tha ca ṭa ta v | ka pa y | śa ṣa sa r | ha l

February 14, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: The Yoga of Shiva

“Just as a well-kindled fire reduces fuel to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of wisdom reduce all actions to ashes.“

— Shri Krishna

February 15, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: The Yoga of Shiva

“Those who are really earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation.”

— Susan B. Anthony


A Buddhist monk once said that "The enlightened being has no friends and no enemies". In an everyday sense this seems harsh, almost cold, but in another way it is deeply compassionate, or seems that way to me. 


An enlightened being is like the sun.  Does the sun choose whom to give its rays?  Does the sun have any personal preference on where to shine?

Right on Barb.

What if the whole human race was like family to the individual?  What if all men and women were brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, daughters and sons to one?  What would that be like?  How would one live? feel? think?

Alex I just recalled a passage from Light on the Path I believe to paraphrase: No man is your enemy and no man is your friend but all alike are your teachers.   Something like that.

One can even see this in the Bhagavadgita itself;

[6.9]  He is esteemed, who is of the same mind to the good-hearted, friends, foes, the indifferent, the neutral, the hateful, relaives, the righteous, and the unrighteous.

[18.51] Endued with a pure reason, controlling the self with firmness, abandoning sound and other objects, and laying aside love and hatred...

[2.38] Then, treating alike pleasure and pain, gain and loss, success and defeat, prepare for the battle, and thus wilt thou not incur sin.

Again, this can be in relation to Barbaras quotation about the Sun- as it does not discriminate as to where its Ray shine.  It freely flows and casts Its radiance equally unto all places and people.

So, how does all of this relate to the Yoga of Siva?  What makes this tread uniquely about Siva and the teachings of the Saivists? 

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Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on February 17, 2016 at 11:03am

I think we don't need to see this concept exclusively in the light of the Saivist tradition. I think we can try to look at it in the broadest theosophical terms.   Could we say there is a Yoga (Discipline) of Creativity (Brahma), a Yoga of Sustainability (Vishnu) and  a Yoga of Regeneration (Shiva)?  Could an individual create self-induced and self-devised efforts to discover and burn out, one by one, self limiting delusions and illusions, and replace them with regenerative ideas and identifications?  The mythology and symbolism of Shiva could provide insights and inspiration for such an endeavor.

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on February 17, 2016 at 5:38pm

Could we say there is a Yoga (Discipline) of Creativity (Brahma), a Yoga of Sustainability (Vishnu) and  a Yoga of Regeneration (Shiva)? 

I suppose you could if you'd like. I certainly wouldn't be the one to say one couldn't hold this opinion.  Though I personally wouldn't bother to isolate any of the three, or to say that one is able to be independent from the others, as the totality, I believe, should be understood as Yoga- being the synthesis of all three, as all three are fundamental for Union. 

Could an individual create self-induced and self-devised efforts to discover and burn out, one by one, self limiting delusions and illusions, and replace them with regenerative ideas and identifications? 

Yes, true.  But it might not be possible without the understanding of, and firm dedication to Occultism.   The idea behind Regeneration is quite mystical, almost paradoxical in fact.

Generally speaking, the Yogi who endeavors for the ultimate Union seeks only the regeneration that can be had in the sacred cremation grounds- the Mahashmashana- the abode of Siva.  What is this cremation ground, and what is that which is set aflame? B. Shankar states;

It is Mahashmashana because it is the death of the individual man from whose ashes the regenerated man springs into existence electrified by the Song of Life. If he has emerged from this final struggle triumphant, then he is a full-blown adept, a Jivanmmukta, who has entirely merged himself in the One Life." 

Further from TSR;
"By the acquisition of True Knowledge all sins are consumed by the fire kindled in the hearth of heart (cidāgnikuṇḍam)."
To regenerate in the sense of Siva-s Yoga, is to set aflame the separative notion of selfhood, to literally sacrifice the self through Knowledge (including moral and ethical dedications) yoked with what was above called "the Song of Life" which, according to other texts is none other than the Kuṇḍalinī.  
TSR confirms regarding ;
The transfer is only possible when the Mahātmā who transfers it, has completely identified himself with his seventh prinviple, and annihilated his Ahankāram, and reduced it to ash in the cidāgnikuṇḍam and has succeeded in making his thoughts correspond with the eternal laws of nature and in becoming a co-worker with nature."

In the Light on the Path, we see it puts forth to sacrifice ones Humanity,  to the surrendering of personal rights, and most importantly;

"...parting with the sense of individual rights, the disciple must part also with the sense of self-respect and of virtue. This may sound a terrible doctrine, yet all occultists know well that it is not a doctrine, but a fact. "

Either way, to the student or to the Mahātmā, regeneration is at the threshold of every stage. 

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on February 18, 2016 at 3:52pm

All I am saying is that we don't always need to complicate the subject to derive some benefit from it.  Death  and Regeneration, as a principle, is a force in nature to which the symbolism of Shiva is attached.  You could say it is letting go of things on the  human level,  of our selfish desires, our expectations for various outcomes, eventually our bodies.  If we figure out small ways to work in these directions of letting go of false attachments it will lead us down the path to the deeper and fuller prospects that  Kristan is pointing to.  I think meditation is an exercise in letting go.

Permalink Reply by Alex Williams on February 18, 2016 at 3:34pm


I think what you have said is true. To generalise a little, we might say that all experience has value. Again, it is hard for the discerning ego to take on, but the only way forward is through acceptance of what comes. That is the path.


PS - I'm not claiming any kind of enlightenment here, far from it.  

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on February 18, 2016 at 3:55pm

Please don't worry about enlightenment issues here, most theosophists should realize the profound summit of that attainment and those who make claims of it for themselves reveal just how far they are away from it.

Translation: We are all students here and all have something to offer and something to learn from each other.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on February 16, 2016 at 10:53pm

February 16, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: The Yoga of Shiva

“I count religion but a childish toy,

and hold there is no sin but ignorance.”

— Christopher Marlowe

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on February 18, 2016 at 4:17pm

February 18, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: The Yoga of Shiva

” They have been shipwrecked on the Ocean of His Knowledge and have been consumed by the Fire of His Love.”

— Al-Ghazali

Permalink Reply by Peter on February 19, 2016 at 6:28am

The Mahatma KH writes:

'Believe me, there comes a moment in the life of an adept, when the hardships he has passed through are a thousandfold rewarded. In order to acquire further knowledge, he has no more to go through a minute and slow process of investigation and comparison of various objects, but is accorded an instantaneous, implicit insight into every first truth. Having passed that stage of philosophy which maintains that all fundamental truths have sprung from a blind impulse … and left far behind him that other class of thinkers … who hold that fundamental truths are derived from the intellect alone, and that we, ourselves, are their only originating causes; the adept sees and feels and lives in the very source of all fundamental truths – the Universal Spiritual Essence of Nature, SHIVA the Creator, the Destroyer, and the Regenerator. As Spiritualists of to-day have degraded “Spirit,” so have the Hindus degraded Nature by their anthropormorphistic conceptions of it. Nature alone can incarnate the Spirit of limitless contemplation. “Absorbed in the absolute selfunconsciousness of physical Self, plunged in the depths of true Being, which is no being but eternal, universal Life,” his whole form as immoveable and white as the eternal summits of snow in Kailasa where he sits, above care, above sorrow, above sin and worldliness, a mendicant, a sage, a healer, the King of Kings, the Yogi of Yogis," such is the ideal Shiva of Yoga Shastras the culmination of Spiritual Wisdom.'

(Letter No. 31; The Mahatma Letters to A.P.Sinnett - Trevor Barker edition)

Permalink Reply by Peter on February 19, 2016 at 6:30am

From “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharishi”:

3rd February, 1938;  Talk 450.

Miss Umadevi, a Polish lady convert to Hinduism, asked Sri Bhagavan: I once before told Sri Bhagavan how I had a vision of Siva at about the time of my conversion to Hinduism. A similar experience recurred to me at Courtallam. These visions are momentary. But they are blissful. I want to know how they might be made permanent and continuous. Without Siva there is no life in what I see around me. I am so happy to think of Him. Please tell me how His vision may be everlasting to me.

Maharshi.: You speak of a vision of Siva. Vision is always of an object. That implies the existence of a subject. The value of the vision is the same as that of the seer. (That is to say, the nature of the vision is on the same plane as that of the seer.) Appearance implies disappearance also. Whatever appears must also disappear. A vision can never be eternal. But Siva is eternal.

The pratyaksha (vision) of Siva to the eye signifies the existence of the eyes to see; the buddhi (intellect) lying behind the sight; the seer behind the buddhi and the sight; and finally the Consciousness underlying the seer. This pratyaksha (vision) is not as real as one imagines it to be, because it is not intimate and inherent; it is not first-hand. It is the result of several successive phases of Consciousness. Of these, Consciousness alone does not vary. It is eternal. It is Siva. It is the Self.

The vision implies the seer. The seer cannot deny the existence of the Self. There is no moment when the Self as Consciousness does not exist; nor can the seer remain apart from Consciousness. This Consciousness is the eternal Being and the only Being. The seer cannot see himself. Does he deny his existence because he cannot see himself with the eyes as pratyaksha (in vision)? No! So, pratyaksha does not mean seeing, but BE-ing.

“To BE” is to realise - Hence I AM THAT I AM. I AM is Siva. Nothing else can be without Him. Everything has its being in Siva and because of Siva.

Therefore enquire “Who am I?” Sink deep within and abide as the Self. That is Siva as BE-ing. Do not expect to have visions of Him repeated. What is the difference between the objects you see and Siva? He is both the subject and the object. You cannot be without Siva. Siva is always realised here and now. If you think you have not realised Him it is wrong. This is the obstacle for realising Siva. Give up that thought also and realisation is there.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on February 19, 2016 at 10:45am

February 19, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: The Yoga of Shiva

“I am neither mother nor father, neither the gods nor the worlds, neither scriptures nor oblations nor shrines; in deep dreamless rest I am neither abandoned nor in a state of absolute non-existence. I am the secondless, supreme and attributeless Bliss of Shiva.”

— Shankaracharya