I acknowledge this graphic from the Net on the origin of Ganga at Gomukh.

In this 134 Verse and 108 dharana Shiva says

No knowledge or action exists within the changeless Self

Knowledge controls the changing external world perception

Contemplate this and reach the emptiness of Shiva


From maya, illusion, which is the ever-changing perceptional and situational reality, Shiva moves to the unchanging Atman here. Atman and Brahman are often interchangeable used in Hindu scriptures. Both refer to the unchanging truth of existence. Atman is the individual reality, the microcosm. Brahman is the cosmic reality, the macrocosm. The linkage between Atman and Brahman establishes the divine nature of the individual spirit, as the Self, exemplified by the great sayings or mahavakyas. Each of these scriptural mahavakyas such as aham brahmas or ayam atma Brahman refer to the congruence of the individual Self Atman being the same as the Universal Consciousness Brahman.

Maya veils this congruence. Through maya we perceive ourselves as something other than our divine Self. Shankara’s non duality principle of advaita is about the congruence of the individual Self and the Universal Consciousness. The path to the singular non dual truth of advaita is through elimination of maya.

Maya in turn is the creation of Prakriti, generally called as nature. Universal Consciousness is purusha, the unchanging reality. Purusha and Prakriti are two parts of the same reality. Purusha is Shiva and Prakriti is Shakti, his other half. When Shiva remains in silence, unchanging, not acting, all knowing as the Purusha, Shakti as Prakriti creates the illusion of the constantly changing temporal and situational reality of the day to world through her maya.

What most of us experience is maya, the knowledge of the ever-changing, always acting external world that has been created by the unchanging Purusha. Shiva says that whatever we term knowledge or wisdom is gained from this external world, which has been experienced by our senses and filtered by our condition mind. The Self itself, the core of what we are is unaffected by all this knowledge and experiences. It is unaffected and unchanging.

Shiva implies that knowledge cannot help us reach the inner Self. We need to move beyond knowledge to reach that which does not act of know, and yet creates all action and knowledge. The metaphor that come stop my mind is the source of Ganga at Gomukh, some 15,000 feet up in the Himalayan range. At Gomukh, Ganga comes out as a tiny stream of water from an opening in the mountain face. Perhaps if one could go in, her origin may be in a pool of still water fed by a subterranean spring. 2000 feet below, Ganga roars as Bhagirathi in full force, becoming stronger, fuller, fiercer and larger as she descends. At Gomukh, there is no action. In the land below, she is all action.

The Self, the unchanging divine microcosm, is a reflection of that Purusha, Shiva. The mind body that the Self occupies plays with the maya of the ever-changing world outside. Shiva tells us to remember the unchanging inner Self, which is still, empty, void, unchanging even as we experience the external world which is so attractive because of its action, knowledge and entertainment.

Be still within even as you experience the movement without. In that stillness you will find Shiva.