DURJATI – SHIVA, THE ASCET
The supreme anchor, Kapardin or Kapalin, with His hair pulled up in a loop, with a snake as sacred belt, and holding the cosmic fire (agni) in his hands, he animates and vibrates the garland of skulls which He wears around His neck, that symbolizes the celebration of the eternal cosmic dance.
In this hypostasis, Shiva symbolizes the divine consciousness, giving life, strength, and vitality to limited individuals lacking life and a consciousness of their own.
The universal consciousness is dancing in the immense “cemetery” of the universe, subject to time and becoming, drinking the magic nectar from a skull. It is the cosmic fire of sacrifice (Homa-Bhairava) in which the universe is given as an offering.
Shiva, the primordial hermit, covered with ashes, wandering alone (because of the absolute uniqueness of the Supreme absolute) through the cremation places and in the vastness of the ephemeral manifestation is the archetypal image of the yogi.
Bearer of the mysterious fire that burns ignorance He destroys His worshiper’s impurities and karmic bonds, transforming their heart into an ecstatic void.
Nonetheless, the great sages of the Kashmir Shivaism oppose the so-called saints or hermits (muni) who only try to superficially imitate
Shiva, and who do not discover Him despite the absurd tortures they subject their bodies to. Utpaladeva ironically writes on this issue: “only to amuse Himself, Shiva deceives the ignorant by appearing as a hermit.”
TRULY FREE IS THE ONE WHO LIVES THROUGH YOU
Genuine renunciation, source of the mysterious spiritual “night” should be of an inner nature, meaning in fact the “death” of the ego and its disappearance. True renunciation forsakes
suffering or joy, limited knowledge, discursive thinking, personal strive which is not always in harmony with the cosmic forces, paranormal powers, the attachment to illumination, even spiritual happiness and love, if they are accompanied by the slightest
This complete detachment from all that is not the Supreme cannot be obtained any other way than through a permanent and exclusive focus on Shiva, because only
the exclusive attachment to Him brings about the oblivion of the ego, transcending one’s individuality.
Consequently, this sacrifice of love does not consist of isolating ourselves form the universe, but in being permanently within God. The true hermits spontaneously give up everything, because their thirst is for God, and only for God.
Self-abandon goes hand in hand with sacrifice: the great yogis sacrifice themselves offering their entire being to the fire of the Divine Consciousness. From now on, only Shiva will act inside and through them.
They give themselves to Shiva, which now becomes their master. Transcending their limited and egotistical will, lost in the infinite will they are consumed recognizing the
nothingness of the ego. The strong bear the emblem of prostration on their forehead, representing the “sand” form the Divinity’s feet.
The one who is truly free is apparently and paradoxically, Shiva’s servant. In order to clarify this, the sage Utpaladeva said: “From all gods, sages, and humans, in this
triple universe, the ones that are truly free are only those
who live in You, the Supreme and Free God.”
Indeed, they live permanently in God, outside the limitations of the ego. We find an echo of this idea with the Sufi Mandsour Al-Hallaj, who says: “Everything that my heart wanted to happen has happened, because here am I, master of all beings, now that You, oh Lord, have become my
According to the law of detachment and renunciation, which is fundamental in all genuine spiritual disciplines, only the disciple that gives himself to Shiva may become his own master, and therefore master of the whole universe. Utpaladeva also said: “Glory to You, oh Lord, Master of the universe, who give Yourself to your own Self!”
This gift is the action through which Shiva creates the worlds in His universal Self (Paramatman), but on a human scale we are talking about the unmistakable gift of divine grace, when Shiva enters our heart
and becomes one with it, transfiguring it through a cosmic embrace.