The Self - Gurudeva On the Multiple Ways To Realize God

The Self

Satguru Bodhinatha's Mahasivaratri Upadesh imparting Gurudeva's quintessential early teachings on realizing the Self; worshiping Siva as the source and Self of all that exists, starting with 1959, "The Self God" and 1968, "The Advaitin," "Dancing with Siva" and early versions of "Merging with Siva." Then the Shum-Tyeif approach. Makaif: The philosophy of the inner path of enlightenment. And from "Twelve Shum Meditations," October Mamasani: makaif, kaif, iikaif, imkaif.

Unedited Transcript:

Good evening everyone.

Starting with an introduction, Gurudeva's description of Mahasivaratri. It's found in "Dancing with Siva," Shloka 97:

"Mahasivaratri is the night before the new-moon in February-March. We observe it both as a discipline and a festivity, keeping a strict fast and all-night vigil, meditating, intoning Siva's 1,008 names, singing His praise, chanting Sri Rudram, bathing the Sivalinga and being near the vairagis as they strive to realize Parasiva."

We have a second definition which is almost the same it's in our lexicon. Instead of saying strive to realize Parasiva it says: "Worshiping Siva as the source and Self of all that exists." That's nice.

So my talk this evening is on the idea of realizing Absolute Reality, Parasiva and presenting a few different ways Gurudeva has described it over the years. First description, Gurudeva shared that I'm aware of is the talk entitled "The Self God" which he gave in 1959. So we have two paragraphs way back from 1959.

"The Self: you can't explain it. You can sense its existence through the refined state of your senses, but you cannot explain it. To know it, you have to experience it. And the best you can say about it is that it is the depth of your Being, the very core of you. It is you.

"If you visualize above you nothing; below you nothing; to the right of you nothing; to the left of you nothing; in front of you nothing; in back of you nothing; and dissolve yourself into that nothingness, that would be the best way you could explain the realization of the Self. And yet that nothingness would not be the absence of something, like the nothingness inside an empty box, which would be like a void. That nothingness is the fullness of everything: the power, the sustaining power, of the existence of what appears to be everything."

I thought the key terminology in that statement was interesting which is: "...Dissolve yourself into that nothingness...."

Many years later when Gurudeva developed the Shum concepts, in Shum we have 'imkaif' which is defined as: Pure awareness aware only of itself, dissolving. So continuity there, concept of dissolving is in both. What changed is in "The Self God" it is dissolving your self whereas, in the Shum definition it is dissolving awareness. In other words, Gurudeva in developing Shum started stressing the terminology of awareness which he did not use in the early years.

Then we get a very powerful one, "The Advaitin," June 1968.

"The inmost center of consciousness--located only after the actinic forces dissolve concepts of form and even consciousness being conscious of itself--is found to be within the center of an energy-spinning force field. This center--intense in its existence, consciousness only on the perimeter of the inside hub of this energy field--vitalizes all externalized form.

"Losing consciousness into the center of this energy field catalyzes one beyond form, time and space. The spinning hub of actinic energy recreating, preserving and dissipating form quickly establishes consciousness again. However, this is then a new consciousness, the continuity of consciousness having been broken in the nirvikalpa samadhi experience. Essentially, the first total conscious break in the evolution of man is the first nirvikalpa samadhi experience. Hence, a new evolution begins anew after each such experience. The evolutional patterns overlap and settle down like rings of light, one layer upon another, causing intrinsic changes in the entire nature and experiential pattern of the experiencer."

So what Gurudeva doesn't say is the energy spinning force field is of course located at the top of the head. So I want to comment on the first part: "The inmost center of consciousness--located only after the actinic forces dissolve concepts of form and even consciousness being conscious of itself--is found to be within the center of an energy-spinning force field."

So my comment is: Initially we need to give up awareness identifying with any state of consciousness. Once stable in that, then we need to give up our identity as awareness. That's what it's trying to say. The actinic forces, even consciousness being conscious of itself. The actinic forces dissolves that. So that one's pretty deep. This one is easier, but it gives good visual images.

["Merging with Siva," 1970]

"The Self is so simple. You have to be so simple to realize the Self, not simple-minded, but so unattached. Awareness has to be able to move so nimbly through the mind, like a graceful deer going through the forest, so deftly through the mind, that none of the sticky substance of the mind, so to speak, sticks onto awareness and holds it steadfast for a period of time. And only with that agility can you move awareness in quickly to the Source, in on itself, until you come out having realized the Self. It is an experience you come out of more than go into.

"If you were to explain Self Realization in another way, look at it in this way. Right out here we have a swimming pool. Beneath the surface of the water, we will call that the Self. The surface of the water, just the surface of it, we will call that the depths of contemplation, that pure consciousness, that most super-rarefied area of the mind, the most refined area of the mind of pure consciousness. We are going to dive through pure consciousness into the Self. We will call the physical body awareness. It's a body of light, and it's going to dive into the Self, into the depths of samadhi. But to do that, it has to break the surface, has to break pure consciousness.

"So, then, we make a preparation. Attention! We take all our clothes off. We put on a bathing suit and walk around the pool. We are getting ready for this great dive. Concentration! We pull our forces together, We don't quite know what is going to happen to us. Meditation! We look over the swimming pool. We look over the whole thing. We are studying out the philosophy of just what we are going to do. We even try to measure the depth of the Self. We talk to people about it and ask, 'Have you jumped in there?' Some say, 'No, but I intend to one day,' and others will answer, 'Yes.' 'Well, can you tell me something about it?' They say, ' No.' Then you go into contemplation. You just stand there. And you are completely aware of just standing there, right on the brink of the Absolute, and you are standing--so, so, much conscious that you're there, you are just aware of being aware. And then you laugh, and then you jump in. As your hands and head go into the water, they disappear. As the body breaks the surface, it disappears. As the legs go in, they disappear. And we are all looking at the surface of the swimming pool and don't see you there anymore. You just disappeared, the whole body.

"As you come out of that samadhi, first the hands and the head come up and begin to appear again--then the chest, then the entire torso. Then, as you climb out from the pool, the legs reappear, and finally the feet appear again. You are just the same as you were before, but you are all clean on the inside. Awareness has a new center. The center is way down in the bottom of there, someplace that you can't even talk about. You have realized, when you come out, that you have realized the Self.

"Before you went in, you knew all sorts of things about it. You could quote a thousand different things about the Self. You knew so much. And when you come out, you don't know anything about it at all. You know you have had a tremendous experience. You have had an inner bath. Then you go back into just enjoying the experience--contemplation. Then you begin to meditate, coming out again on the experience. And there is a vastness in you that awareness can no longer penetrate. It's a tremendous vastness; you just can't penetrate it anymore. You go in and in and in, and then all of a sudden you realize that you have realized the Self again. And you go in and in and in, and then all of a sudden you realize that you have realized the Self again. And everything is different.

"You look at the world from the inside out. You look at people from the inside out. You look at a person, and immediately you see how they came along through life. You look at their face, and you see what their mother looks like. You see what they were like when they were ten years old, fourteen, twenty, twenty-five years old; and now they are thirty. And at the same time you are seeing what they are going to look like when they are forty years old, and so forth. You see the whole sequence, all now. Then you really know, after that deep samadhi, that the mind, in all phases of manifestation, was all finished long ago. It's already complete.

"Before that, you try to believe in that concept. And it's a vast concept to believe in, because at certain times, when awareness is flowing in the external areas of the mind, it certainly doesn't look that way at all. Our perspective is limited."

So, my comment on all of that: "...then as you climb out from the pool the legs reappear and finally the feet appear again. You are just the same as you were before but you were all clean on the inside. Awareness has a new center..." That's the point I wanted to emphasize. "...The center is way down in bottom of there, someplace that you can't even talk about..." So it's the feeling that awareness has a new center that Gurudeva's stressing there.

This one is 1984, Lesson 1, "Merging with Siva:"

"Parasiva, Life's Ultimate Goal.

"That goal is to realize God Siva in His absolute, or transcendent, state, which when realized is your own ultimate state--timeless, formless, spaceless Truth. That Truth lies beyond the thinking mind, beyond the feeling nature, beyond action or any movement of the vrittis, the waves of the mind. Being, seeing, this Truth then gives the correct perspective, brings the external realities into perspective. They are seen as true unrealities, yet not discarded as such.

"This intimate experience must be experienced while in the physical body. One comes back and back again into flesh simply to realize Parasiva. Nothing more. Yet, the Self, or Parasiva, is an experience only after it has been experienced. Yet, it is not an experience at all, but the only possible non-experience, which registers in its aftermath upon the mind of man. Prior to that, it is a goal. After realization, one thing is lost, the desire for the Self."

So this is the only place I recall that Gurudeva uses that term, non-experience. It is the only possible non-experience.

What does that mean? The experiencer is awareness and when awareness is momentarily not present, it's dissolved, that is what is meant by a non-experience. So awareness has to figure out afterwards what happened when it wasn't around. During that one time.

1984, Lesson 2, "Merging with Siva," Like a Child's Self-Discovery.

"Look at a child standing before a mirror for the first time, feeling its nose,ears, eyes and mouth, looking at itself reflected in the glass. Feeling and seeing what has always been there is a discovery in experience. Parasiva is the same. It is always there in each and every human being on the planet. But involvement in the externalities of material existence inhibits this turning inward. The clouding of the mirror of the mind--that reflective pond of awareness which when calm sees clearly--or the ripples of disturbance on the mind's surface distort seeing and confuse understanding. Without a clear mirror, the child lacks the seeing of what has always been there--its own face. Parasiva is an experience that can be likened to the hand feeling and the eyes seeing one's own face for the first time. But it is not experience of one thing discovering another, as in the discovery of one's face. It is the Self experiencing itself. Experience, experienced and experiencer are one and the same. This is why it is only registered on the external mind in retrospect."

So again we have the idea of knowing what happened only after it happened.

Then we get our Shum approach, October Mamsani, 1970's, sometime.

This is makaif, Shim word, the definition of:


1) The philosophy of the inner path of enlightenment found within the vocabulary and structure of the Shum language. (So philosophy.)

2) Shum and Tyeif delineate the inner path to the Absolute Reality, Parasiva.

3) The collage makaif opens the area of the mind that makes the Shum language easy to learn by drawing forth insights from the superconscious.

Then the October Mamsani, gives it in Shum script.

Makaif, kaif, iikaif, imkaif.

So this is the short version. There's a longer version that was in our talk earlier this evening from Gurudeva. This is the shortened version which you have to have a shortened version to fit in the mamsani. It's not a very big space.

We have Gurudeva's comment on this in the mamsani:

"Here we have the straight path, the San Marga, which has been brought to Earth on the garden island of Kauai. San Marga, the straight path to God, has been named the San Marga Sanctuary. In this Sanctuary each one expresses his or her Truth as seen at that particular place on the Path of San Marga, the path to imkaif, the realization of eternal Parasiva. Imkaif is not the name of the ultimate state. It names the eradication of the name which names the brink of the Absolute, of the ultimate state, because in the Shum language, 'im' means 'no.' Imkaif means no awareness aware of itself, elimination of, the perpetuation of, and is the fulfillment of everything. The very nature of the construction of this most important word in the [Shum] language tells us that, 'That which is Absolute Reality cannot bear a name.' Imkaif is an intense state of iikaif, when awareness withdraws all energies from all bodies into a peak experience. Awareness's elimination of itself. The experience of imkaif may be brief. Imkaif is where time stops. Imkaif does not name what is found from the experience. It only names the entrance and what happens to kaif."

So my commentary is it's a three step experience.

First step:

Makaif philosophy starts with giving up the states of consciousness we normally dwell in. We need to disconnect or temporarily give up our normal routine of thinking and feeling so that we are just the experiencer. Awareness. Step one.

Second step:

The experience of just being awareness needs to be sustained or lengthened. That's the idea of iikaif. We're lengthening it; it's not just for ten seconds.

And then, that makes possible the third step:

The experience of just being awareness needs to be given up in the effort to dissolve awareness so that the Self alone remains.

Thank you very much.

Photo of  Gurudeva
It is not advisable to habitually sit for meditation with no particular goal or direction, for we often end up walking in mental or subconscious circles.