Tantra Magazine

PART 1
O, God, finding in the ocean of Your happiness the harmony of the primordial unity, set my Heart free from this senseless state of separation from time. (Utpaladeva)

O, God, help me to
to perceive the entire world,
Always intoxicated with
The fragrance of your presence,
So intensely and so deeply
That I, myself, am eventually
completely filled with it.
Only then, O, Shiva ,
Will I not disturb You
With my humble prayers
(Utpaladeva)

The fundamental elements of Shaivism are based on four different concepts:
1. the fundamental categories of manifestation (tattva-s)
2. the concept of the spiritual Heart
3. the role of Energy
4. the Divine Grace

THE STAIRS GOD USES TO DESCEND INTO THE WORLD
According to the Shaivit teachings, the entire Universe is the expansion of the Supreme Consciousness (God the Father) through Shakti (Gods manifesting energy), in the form of the 36 categories of manifestation (tattva-s).

The divine cosmic process of the emanation and absorption of the Universe is described by means of the 36 tattva-s.

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This is the way in which the Supreme Consciousness (Paramashiva or God the Father) apparently constrains itself into a limited universe, the individual consciousness thus being able to experience infinity.

The 36 tattva-s also describe the inverse process through which the Supreme Consciousness gradually reveals its own nature to the individual consciousness experiencing the endless bliss of spiritual communion with God.

The 36 tattva-s are divided into four groups, representing the four stages of existence and of creation, corresponding to the four states of consciousness.

There are:
1. the physical level, related to the vigil state
2. the astral level, related to the dream state
3. the causal level of existence, related to the dreamless sleep state
4. beyond the causal level (atmic level), related to the ecstatic and cosmic Consciousness.

THE ROAD BACK BEGINS WITH BUT A FEW STEPS

1. THE AWAKENING OF THE SOUL
In Kashmir Shaivism, one meaning of the spiritual heart concept is that of the soul. But not the whole soul, only its purest part, which in yoga is called Jivatma.

Jivatma is the living spirit, the life-giving spirit, the soul that during the incarnation process, successively embraces one body or another, one way of thinking or another.

This soul is the center, the heart or the essence of the human being, and only afterwards do the mind and body follow. This is what really defines us.

This is the first significance of the spiritual Heart and here you can easily notice the resemblance to Christianity, because authentic Christianity sustains exactly the same.

In Christian symbolism, Jesus is sometimes represented with His heart burning, a symbol of an awakened soul. This awakening is the first step on the self-knowing path and without it there can be no real spiritual evolution.

The awakening of the soul confers life, spiritual discrimination and the power to control one’s inferior tendencies.

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2. THE REVELATION OF THE SELF
The second significance of the spiritual Heart is that of the ultimate center of the human being, which is Atman, the Supreme Divine Self, that Sparkle of Divinity within each of us.

The Shaivit traditional texts clearly assert that in the evolution process, the revelation of one’s true Self is the next stage that follows the awakening of the soul.

But here the concept of spiritual Heart is more profound and much vaster, because it is the divine essence within us (the immortal Self mentioned by most of the authentic spiritual traditions), surrounded by the other subtle bodies or kosha-s, (body, mind and prana). But all these are just directions for manifestation and reflection, ways through which the essential Heart, transcending time and space, expands.

The soul is the reflection of the immortal Self. Shaivism considers that real spiritual evolution begins only after the first steps are taken, the awakening of the soul and the revealing of the true Self.


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