What Are Siva's Three Perfections?
Path to Siva Commentary, Lesson 12
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2017-01-14
The idea of Monistic Theism is seen in the three perfections of God Siva. Theism is the face of evolving, monism is always the Truth. We have pure consciousness and the source of pure consciousness, Absolute Reality. The soul body is maturing. The nucleus of your soul and Parameshvara are identical, you just have to realize it. Imkaif, Parasiva, one of the three perfections--you can't describe it.
Path to Siva, Lesson 12
Twelve Shum Meditations: Gurudeva's The Advaitin, 1968.
Good morning everyone.
Leading up to reading Lesson 12 from Path to Siva. "What Are Siva's Three Perfections?"
First some quotes describing God. These are from Dancing with Siva.
"The Vedas explain, 'Self-resplendent, formless, unoriginated and pure, that all-pervading being is both within and without. He transcends even the transcendent, unmanifest, causal state of the universe.'"
"The Vedas say: 'He is God, hidden in all beings, their inmost soul who is in all. He watches the works of creation, lives in all things, watches all things. He is pure consciousness, beyond the three conditions of nature.'"
And the last one:
"The Agamas say: 'Parameshvara is the cause of the five manifest aspects: emanation, srishti; preservation, sthiti; dissolution, samhara; concealment, tirobhava; and revelation, anugraha.'"
Confusing, right? Three different descriptions of God, each one of which contradicts the other. And it's one of the challenges of reading scriptures like the Upanishads is they, they jump perspectives quite regularly. There's one perspective of God, there's another perspective of God to another perspective of God. The reader can end up getting confused. And that's where Lesson 12 comes in.
Three perfections. The understanding God's nature is three-fold, each of the quotes was a different perfection. Then we don't get confused. We have a way of categorizing what we're hearing. Oh, that's describing this perfection of God. Oh, that's describing that perfection of God. And therefore, we have mental clarity. It goes to clarity on what we're hearing. We don't need to get confused.
"Perfection is the word Gurudeva used to describe God Siva's three flawless aspects: Absolute Reality, the Divine Mind and the Primal Soul. Gurudeva described the One Being of Siva in this way to help devotees better understand the totality of His being and to tune into each perfection in worship and meditation. The three perfections also apply to each of us, as God Siva naturally creates souls in His image and likeness. The first perfection, Absolute Reality, Parasiva, is our inmost essence, the Self God. What is the Self God? Gurudeva explained, 'It is That which is beyond the mind, beyond thought, feeling and emotion, beyond time, form and space.' The second perfection, Siva's vast, Divine Mind, known as Satchidananda or Parashakti, is our own superconscious mind. It radiates as divine light, love, energy and knowing. When we touch into that level of our being, we become aware of the pure consciousness flowing through all things. Our sense of I-ness dissolves and we experience unlimited love and bliss. Siva's third perfection, the uncreated Primal Soul, Parameshvara, is the fullness of God, ruler of the universe, creator of our soul and all that exists. To love God is to know God. To know God is to feel His love for you. Parameshvara's resplendent body may be seen in mystic vision. It is the ultimate prototype of our own soul body, which is like the Primal Soul, but less brilliant, because it is not yet mature. The Primal Soul, God's personal aspect as Lord and Creator, is depicted in many forms: Nataraja by Saivites, Vishnu by Vaishnavites, Devi by Shaktas. To understand Siva's three perfections, think of a perfect mango. It has a skin, sweet fruit and a seed. Yet it is a one fruit. The skin is Siva's body, the fruit is His Divine Mind and the seed is His inmost essence and being."
The idea of Monistic Theism is seen in the three perfections of God Siva in that when we think of Siva as the soul body, Parameshvara, and it's always as a soul, then we're separate of course. It is separate and it is lighter. We are a less bright divine being. Same idea but like a small compared to a large. A dim light compared to a bright light. We're different. There's theism.
But when it comes to the other two perfections, your consciousness will transcend it, absolute, we're identical.
There's a concept about the nucleus of the soul which isn't here but this is in the Dancing with Siva version. The idea of nucleus as center of the soul. If you go to your center and I go to my center and Siva goes to His center we end up in the same place somehow. Don't ask me how that works. Somehow we're stepping into a realm is not spatial. The example I use, just to give a simple idea, is to hold up a rudraksha strand and we have the beads, each of them, and then we have the God bead. So the beads are like the soul, the God bead is Parameshvara and the string going through all of us. So the string is like the nucleus of the soul; if the bead looks inside itself there's only one string and the string goes through all the beads.
So likewise, if we look inside our self we find that string; we find that identity. It comes in two forms: we have pure consciousness and then the source of pure consciousness or Absolute Reality. That's monism. We go inside, we experience those two perfections. And that's always true. As Gurudeva likes to say, you know: Just all we have to do is realize it; it's always the case. Cause the nucleus of your soul and the nucleus of Parameshvara are identical. You just have to realize it. Nothing has to happen other than to realize it. Whereas, your soul body is maturing. That, the difference between being and becoming. Soul body is becoming something, it's maturing through experience. Whereas, the nucleus of the soul is being, it doesn't change, it's always identical. In that sense monism is always the Truth and then the theism is the face of evolving, becoming closer to Siva, being more like Siva.
One of my favorite descriptions regarding Parasiva, which in Shum is called Imkaif is in the, The Advaitin, it's Gurudeva's writing which is in the front of the Twelve Shum Meditations.
"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, 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 that's when you're looking up through the top of your head, that's what can be encountered. That's Gurudeva's saying. Very beautiful experience.
"Losing consciousness into the center of this energy field catalyzes one beyond form, time, space..."
So that's the idea of Imkaif. Meaning it's not there. So that's really, this way of saying it. "Losing consciousness into the center of this energy field..." is the experience of Imkaif, Parasiva. One of the three perfections. One you can't describe.
Aum Namah Sivaya.