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Thread: Possessed of the Heart

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    Possessed of the Heart

    Hari O


    I wrote in a recent post under the jyotiṣh file folder
    Yet one could ask , what is the overall goal or intent of the devatā-s? Nothing less then svasaṃvedana (self-consciousness) in its fullest
    And what is that? Pratyabhijñā or the re-recognition of the SELF (svātman). This begins, says Abhinavagupta, by the individual becoming sahdaya - possessed of the heart, full of feeling.

    What is Abhinavagupta alluding to here? He is suggesting that the individual open one's self the finer levels of existence, of Being. This has been called the 'heart', consciousness, Supreme Consciousness, anuttara, the un-passable. We can talk more on this if there is interest, yet it would be best to have the strong start on the meditation folder on this subject.
    How does one open one's self to this sahdaya? It is all in where the individual direct their attention ( awareness ) some call this yasya¹ or concerted effort toward a particular end. From a meditative point of view this could be called a upāya - by which one reaches one's aim or means. And there seems to be a sequence of events that occur.

    Let me offer these up for your consideration 2 complimentry points of view on this i.e. Abhinavigupa¹ and that of Patañjali. For those that paractice a medititative technique will ( I think) recogize some of these items via their experience.

    When one meditates there is an inward absorption. The first is called āṇava or small, fine. The notion is that of citta-viśrānti. This means Consciousness or the awareness of the practitioner (sādhu) is calm; effortlessly resting within itself, awake, aware, yet in repose. This suggests the awareness is lively, awake, yet not directed outward, out into duality or the diversity.

    From this inward absorption leads to śūnyatānala. This is śūnya is defined as void. And anala means belonging to. So it's the experience belonging to the void - or- to extend the idea, it means possessing nothing.
    How does this make sense? It means that all perceptions become absorbed, immersed or 'possessed' in the consciousness of the SELF (svātman). This is called citta-sambodha. We know what citta is from the above definition, so what is this sambodha? It means perfect knowledge or understanding. My teacher has said this level is residing in the home of all knowledge, hence it is perfect knowedge, because it is perfect consciousness.

    What is next? citta-sambodha leads to śāmbhava, that is, belonging or sacred to Śiva. The sādhu is completely absorbed in the silence of the SELF, Śiva.

    This is called citta-pralaya. We know what citta is, and pralaya means dissolution , reabsorption , destruction , annihilation. Why call it this? Because the finite consciounsess of the individual is now absorbed in the Universal Consciousness, Śiva.
    • The inward absorption brings about śūnyatānala, resulting in śāmbhava, hence;
    • the trika (3) step approach: citta-viśrānti -> citta-sambodha ->citta-pralaya.
    Now, how would Patañjali voice this idea in his Yogadarśana? Samādhi Pada sutra 1. 2
    yogash citta-vrtti-nirodha
    yogash - the act of yoking , joining , union
    citta: the field of consciousness i.e. thinking , reflecting , intelligence , reasoning
    vrtti: A modification, patterned spinning, bias, recurring thought patterns; vacillations & fluctuations
    nirodha: cessation, cancellation, dissolution, stillness, restraint.

    Patañjali informs us yogash occurs when citta-vrtti is nirodha (stilled). This 'stilled' would be equal to pryalaya mentioned above.
    The mind or ego identifies with the whirlings that continue day-in-day-out i.e. a state of mind where the observer identifies with these permutations of the mind. this ceases or yogash occurs when citta-vrtti is nirodha.

    That is, yoga is there already, we need to just remove the 'noise level'. Just like a room filled with children playing, jumping, etc. We remove the children and the room is back to its state of silence...

    So what is this state of yoga योग then... this yoking, connection, junction, union? It is being possessed of the SELF, of ātman, aham, Śiva.

    Some Observations
    The Upaniṣads say that SELF is is present everywhere and fills us up to our nail-ends ( finger nails). Yet when viewed partially it is seen as incomplete. That is, the view of the Ultimate (anuttara) is hindered by one's awareness that is caught up in finite objects, in fluxuations, chatter.

    There is so many things that this mind can be entertained with, that it goes from object-to-object, thought-to-thought, emotion-to-emotion, as a bee visits as flowers flying from one to another unceaselessly (vrtti).

    Yet the Spandakārikā-s , Vijñāna Bhairava, Patañjali’s Yogadarśana, and many more inform us we can experience this Reality, this pure consciousness (Śiva) within ourselves if we set up the conditions for this to occur.

    For those that experience this pure consciousness, it is not something one has to toil and dig for - just allowing it to occur in a very innocent and natural way and in time it unfolds more and more. We have chosen to call these 'ways' upāya-s, yet they are techniques and can go by other names from other schools.

    Truly there is in this world nothing so purifying as knowledge; He who is perfected in Yoga, of himself in time finds this within himself. Bhāgavad gītā, Chapt 4, 38th śloka.


    words used
    • yasya यस्य- to be endeavoured ( a conscientious or concerted effort toward an end)
    • upāya-s उपाय - that by which one reaches one's aim , a means or expedient
    • āṇava आणव - fine or fine , minute ; exceedly small
    • citta चित्त- is thinking , reflecting , intelligence , reason ; and ci चि means to fix the gaze upon , be intent upon; We can see consciounsess at the core of these items; As cit चित् then is to fix the mind upon, attend to, be attentive, observe, take notice. At its root it means 'knowing' , obviously from thinking and reflection. it also means ' to pile up' . I will assume from thoughts, and ideas, 'piling up'.
    • viśrānti विश्रान्ति - rest or repose; a mental posture of calm
    • śūnyatānala -sūnya शून्यis defined as void + ānala आनल belonging to
    • svātman स्वात्मन् - one's own self.
    • sambodha सम्बोध - perfect knowledge or understanding
    • śāmbhava शाम्भव - relating or belonging or sacred to Śiva
    • praylaya प्रलय - dissolution, reabsorption, destruction, annihilation
    • citta + vrtti: taken as a whole is the the wavering, vacillations, agitations, within the field of consciousness
    • The Triadic Heart of Śiva - Kaula Tantricism of Abhinavagupta - Paul Eduardo Muller-Ortega ( this is a study of Parātrīśikālaghu-vṛttiḥ written by Abhinavagupti-ji)
    Last edited by yajvan; 06 August 2008 at 01:24 PM. Reason: added Triadic Heart of Śiva book reference
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva


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