I acknowledge this graphic from the Net. For some reason, this image of the evening ‘arti’ ritual came up for me as I worlked through this verse.
In this 110 Verse and 85 dharana of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra Shiva says
As waves from water, flames from fire and rays from the Sun,
As all activities seemingly separate arise Me,
Reflect and realise Shiva state
We have talked about the concept of maya before. Shankara, probably the best exponent of this concept, embodied it in his concept of advaita, non-duality. About a 1000 years before Shankara, Buddha too articulated the Upanishad refrain that the only thing unchangeable in this Universe is the creative energy. The Upanishads called it Isa. Buddha explained this saying that all else in this universe that we sense and experience is impermanent. The absolute unchangeable reality for him was ‘nirvana’, moving beyond mind and body realities.
What Shiva talks about here is the dualities of nature arising from the non-duality of the Creator. All that is created has duality. Everything that is created experiences this reality in duality. Hence the yin and yang of Tao, papa and punya
of Hinduism, the sinful and holy states of Christianity. In reality, in the absolute reality of the Universal Creator, there is no such distinction. There is no judgment based on that distinction.
Yama, the Lord of Death in Hinduism is also the Lord of Justice. But, as one reads the Kathopanishad, one understands that yama does not judge. Each individual judges one’s own acts, and karma is the result of this internal introspection, and expectations arising from it. These expectation create the next evolutionary movement according to Krishna, in the Bhagavad Gita.
A deep enquiry into what we do, what we are and who are, as Ramana Maharishi taught, allows us to explore the dualities of our own lives and realize the undivided, singular non-duality within us. It is not difficult, and it’s not easy, it’s a bit of both. We need to be interested in this self exploration.
As we explore, layers of our own perceived differentiation disappear, and a commonality starts to appear. Not everyone may or need to have the death experience as Ramana did. But, one does experience a disengagement from the daily grind of mind and body into a realization that something beyond does exist, and that somehow fulfills.
I found the 10 day Vipassana meditation helping me realize this state for the first time. Gradually i learnt to do this on my own, using Ramana’s guidance and the yoga nidra meditation. Every one of you can too.
You will then realise that you are not the wave or the ripple, not even the ocean, but water; not the flame but the fire; not the ray but the Sun; and from these realization to a deeper realization that you are also not the water, fire or Sun, but the energy that created all this. That is Shiva’s import.