BHAIRAVA – THE TRANSCENDENTAL ASPECT OF SHIVA
Shiva envelops both the darkness and the light in an incomparable radiance. He does not have a definite way of being, because this would be a limitation, and He is not confined by anything.
He is the third wonder, from beyond existence and non-existence and He has no attributes. He is that hypostasis of God, whose distinctive sign is that He does not really have any limitations.
Thus the yogi who aspires to identify himself with Shiva in this hypostasis will not know any stages in his spiritual quest and development.
Utpaladeva invokes this hypostasis with burning desire:
“We beg of You, with great humility, for Shivas blissful night, whose radiant essence always sheds its own uncreated light to reign inside of us. In it, the moon (feminine aspect) and the sun (masculine aspect) as well as all other dualities melt and unify.”
The mysterious night of the undifferentiated state, which represents Shivas absolute purity, is an aspect that leads to the final state of nirvikalpa, signifying a consciousness that is now united with Shiva.
The night of ecstatic bliss, in which the worshipper is overwhelmed by the presence of the ineffable Paramashiva, is the night of the spiritual hero (vira), who reached his destination.
Whether he is awake or asleep, the worshipper knows the conscious sleep (yoganidra) of love, which will lead him to the undifferentiated state of bliss (nirvikalpa).
Due to the extraordinary intensity of his will, discursive thinking is put to sleep for the world of illusion, because the whole being of the worshipper is resting in the blissful tranquility of Gods infinite love.
This supra-conscious sleep (yoganidra) encompasses the heart as well, the mind loses its concepts and images, being re-absorbed in un differentiation, thus allowing the pure consciousness to exist.
The heart also becomes empty of all that is not Shiva: memory, concrete devotion, small spiritual joys, so that in the end only Shivas infinite, pure and void state remains. In fact, for the loving heart of the worshipper, this is what true spiritual devotion means.
The mysterious night of un differentiation which accompanies the devotees advance on the path varies according to the stage at which he is and according to the intensity of his love and devotion.
If the path ends in “the night” (meaning the state of the blissful void), this “night” will appear unbelievably sweet but it can be a bit difficult at times. Sometimes the worshipper will advance slowly, carefully feeling the path ahead of him, almost confused, unable to perceive the divine presence in his heart, even though he had known the joy of this presence a long time ago.
The ardent aspiration for the union with Shiva becomes more and more intense as the yogi advances on this spiritual path. However, terrible obstacles and confrontations with the ego await the devotee as he advances on this path.
Even after the yogi has experienced the revelation of his supreme self, ATMAN, all doubts now being scattered, even if the devotee has only one addiction and dependence – on Shiva – he may still experience sadness because of a fragmented vision and his incapacity of perceiving Shiva without interruption.
But this will soon pass and the divine splendor will now shine for him in all its glory, even if sometimes, like a ray of hope, it will manifest only during the direct experience of bliss, the state of Samadhi, and not during sleeping or awakening. On this path grace, renunciation, beatitude and aspiration, for the union with Shiva, are ineffably intermingled.