The Supreme Unmanifested
Shiva is the supreme unmanifested. The supreme power, the supreme energy, the supreme creator, the source of all creation, the soul of all creation. This is Shiva. And Shiva continues through all the entities which are animate or inanimate in this world and Shiva represents the whole consciousness, the consciousness which is beyond all the space, all the times, all the materials and all the beings. So Shiva is an enigma, Shiva is you, Shiva is me, and Shiva is pervading the whole universe. You can call Shiva any name.
When I say Shiva, it is the supreme unmanifested represented by the Shiva linga, the egg-shaped material which contains the whole universe or which represents the whole universe. The first form is an egg shape, and Shiva linga can contain the maximum possible energy and that is why all the atomic reservoirs of the world are in the form of Shiva linga.
Shiva is an aspiration of every yogi, anybody who is walking the path of spirituality. He is the ultimate yogi, one who is absolutely established in stillness, who is behind every activity but at the same time is totally inactive, somebody who is not pushed into thinking, pushed into talking or pushed into action, somebody who is established in absolute stillness, but the source of every action. Even when he is extremely dynamic, he is extremely still.
He is the ultimate yogi god. I say ‘he’ but he is genderless. ‘He’ is both Shiva and Shakti. The latent, the power, the energy aspect, and the creative aspect. ‘He’ is Ardhanarishvara, half-man, half-woman, both genders merge in the supreme entity.
So Shiva is something which cannot be explained in any terms or cannot be understood through the intellect. Shiva needs to be experienced. And when you experience Shiva, you become Shiva, and when you become Shiva, you are absolutely still, the mind completely collapses, dissolves, and you become completely occupied in the state of Shiva, and Shiva is definitely a state, a feeling, a bhav, and in that bhav, it’s total bliss – satchitananda, complete bliss state or the state of perpetual bliss. Shiva is beyond time, beyond space, beyond all the gunas, all the flavours. He is called the time as well as the timelessness. He is called the eyes or the wisdom, or the third eye to see the whole universe, or the perpetual state of being the whole universe. So when a yogi stills his mind, and becomes Shiva, he is not separate from Shiva, he becomes one with Shiva. Shiva can be called any name, Para Brahma, Maha Vishnu, Brahman, Godess… anything whatever you call it is the supreme unmanifested. All the manifestations came from the supreme unmanifested and will dissolve back into the supreme unmanifested at some point in time. So we have to consider Shiva as everything… or nothing.
Shivarathri is one day dedicated to the connection or increasing the connection with Lord Shiva. On this day people fast, they do not eat food, they sometimes eat once or they do not eat any food at all. And they connect to the aspect of Shiva within themselves using chants of om namah shivaya or any of the chants of Shiva. Depending on the people’s flavour or style, it can be bhakti, devotion, you can keep chanting and connecting, or jnana, through the knowledge, reading the books about Shiva or connecting on that level, or raja yoga path, dissolving the mind and becoming Shiva, or the service path, karma yoga path which by serving and feeding the poor, animals and birds. Or we can collect everything together and do yogic practices, you can do all these aspects together in one day and also connect to Shiva in any level, connecting to the spine and feeling the breath through the spine to the top of the head and back. You can also operate on the energy level inside doing the abishek of Shiva linga, the form of the supreme unmanifested, the superconsciousness in the form of linga. It is said that not even a drop of water is wasted or goes unrecorded if it falls on the Shiva linga, which means every drop of water that we pour on the linga enhances our connection with the supreme unmanifested, the power of Shiva. Shiva is a state and it is the state that we are aspiring to reach and in that state we do not exist as the separate being from the consciousness called Shiva, we become one with Shiva.
It also represents that we are surrendering the darkness inside us to the light. Shiva state is supreme brightness, absolute brilliance. So when we surrender the darkness which is the ignorance in us at the feet of the Lord, we become bright, we become one with the god. So we are also taking the bath in the supreme brightness on that day. When we keep the inner space clean, Shiva resides there. The energy called Shiva exists in you. You become the temple of Shiva. We aspire to make our inner space a temple of Shiva (Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna… don’t worry about the manifested forms, I am talking about the consciousness which is unmanifested). If you keep the inner space clean, the unmanifested supreme consciousness in the form of brightness stays inside you and you will become a beacon of light to the world outside. This is exactly what we are aspiring to be by Shivarathri. You become brightness so that the whole world becomes brighter because of you.
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Transcribed by Biljana Vozarevic