Utpaladevācārya¹ was a luminary within kaśmir śaivism. His offer on bhakti is the śivastortāvalī and is devotional to its core. If there is bhakti there must be 2 for that to occur.
Originally Posted by caitanya
We are informed and encouraged by utpaladevacāra and his writings of the śivastortāvalī which he says, wherever one finds the Supreme, His presence ( in this case Lord śiva) it is worth having; he continues and says, wherever you (Lord śiva) are not found, that is worth abandoning. This is from the chapter called rahasyanirdeśanāma dvādaśaṁ stotram. This says, the 12th stotra or hymn (dvādaśaṁ stotram) revealing of a secret (rahasyanirdeśanāma). This is one of the secrets utpaladevacāra offers us.
It seems simple enough. Within one's practice of devotion gravitate to that which the Supreme is most abundant to you , abandon the others. So, where is the ‘secret’ ? It is, iteyaṁ sārasaṅgrahaḥ - this in essence is saṃgraha, the summary, the epitome, the marrow of what is offered in this view. Pending one’s comprehension this can be viewed as mildly interesting or profoundly insightful.
Being immersed in devotion is substantial. It is not a fashion; something that is put-on and taken off later. It is kratu, a resolve, that 'this is so, not otherwise'. When this is complete we have niṣpatti avastha¹.
- Ualadevācārya – utpala+deva+ācārya utpala = blossoming, any flower + deva = divine, of highest excellence + ācārya is the master, knowing or teaching the ācāra or rules, the spiritual guide.
- niṣpatti = completion + avastha = state
The highest level ( most bathed-in, immersed, as one would say) is the continuous and perpetual condition of bhakti that occurs every second of every day.
But one must ask, how can this even occur? In between worship I need to shop, pick up food, get my dry cleaning; oh, I have to go pay my bills, I have to….
In this state of doing (some call kalā śarīra) the native is in a differentiated/fractionalized level of awareness. The mind at times is surrounded by devotion, the temple, pūjā and in a millionth of a second the mind is off doing grocery shopping in the mind; running here and there. There must be more to this, there must be something deeper and more robust to comprehend. In viśiṣṭādvaita vedānta this view would be called out as a continuous stream of remembrance of God, uninterrupted – like a flow of oil from one vessel to another. There is no break or pause; it is continuous, pure, unending (niḥśeṣa without remainder).
What then is this ? It is bhagavat-cetana (god consciousness). This is undifferentiated awareness… it is without break or pause. Yet one must be mindful that this is not the next stop in consciousness… that is, wake – dream – sleep - bhagavat-cetana is constant.