THE TWELFTH LIGHT (Chapter Twelve) 12
Wherein the Unseen Master reveals His Visible Form to the Devotees Om is the Eternal Sound Supreme. Of that all other sounds are born.
Sage Vyasa said: 1. By the Grace of Shiva, I shall now tell you how the Lord’s Glorious Revelation came to pass upon the Holy Mountain.
2. It is a great Mystery that shall always be connected with our Lord and Master, His Divine Majesty Whose Praises all the Worlds eternally sing and Who Alone has the Power to Deliver us from Darkness.
3. It is a Mystery that the Wise Ones have beheld with their inward eye and known in their heart for many a century and which shall now be declared unto you, in order that what has been unheard shall become heard of, what has been unthought shall become thought of and what has been not-understood shall become understood.
4. It came to pass when according to the ancient time reckoning Kali Yuga, the Age of Darkness, was about to begin – on the fourteenth day of the dark half of the month called Magha – before the Moonless day which is the darkest day of the month. On that holy day the Almighty and Most Merciful Universal Being graciously descended from His Celestial Abode in answer to the ardent prayers of those seeking the Light of Truth amidst the night of ignorance that had engulfed the World.
5. He appeared to His devotees – as He always does in moments of darkness – in the shape of a most pure and noble Ascetic sitting on a throne-like slab of stone beneath a mighty tree on the peak of Mount Kailasa beyond the snow-clad Himalayas.
6. His youthful body was of a blue shade like that of the clear Autumn Sky, His long auburn locks shined like the flames of a forest fire and the Crescent Moon herself adorned His forehead.
7. The Lord sat unmoved for a long while and, as He remained in deep contemplation, meditating upon Himself in silence, a dazzling Light streamed forth from His heart illumining all things about. And the Light of the Three Worlds, the Visible Form of the Unseen, dwelt upon Earth for three days and three nights.
8. Now the Mountain He was seated upon, was encircled on all sides by a great dark forest which became filled with a strange light, so that the beasts that dwelt therein and the humans in their villages on the forest fringe, knew not whether it was day or night.
9. The villagers said to themselves that such great a light must come from a forest fire. Yet far and wide no smoke was to be seen, and the animals and birds and all creatures of the forest were not in the least fleeing away in fear, but were all perfectly happy and at peace.
10. Seeing this, the village elders sent some strong and swift young men to see what that brightness might be. These went into the forest where they met a group of hunters and, having greeted them, they enquired about the Light.
11. But the hunters knew not. All they could say was that deep within the forest there lived one Sage, Duravasa Rishi by name, who passed his days in prayer and meditation. He was the wisest man they had ever heard of. He would assuredly have an answer if they asked him kindly. For, it seems, he had a name for being fierce when disturbed in his contemplations.
12. Having thus spoken, the hunters made ready to go about their business, which was hunting. On second thoughts, however, they wished not to incur the wrath of the Spirits of the Forest on what – judging by certain signs known to forest people – appeared to be a special day.
13. And so, they all set off upon their way following a Path that led to a grove of heavenly scented trees, at the far end whereof they came to the lonely cave wherein the Sage lived. Upon entering that hallowed dwelling, they found a fair maiden whose parents had passed away and whom the Sage had adopted as his daughter and disciple.
14. Rising from her deep meditation, she informed them that her father had already departed in the northern direction to find the source of that wondrous radiance. They, however, asked her to come with them, that she might show them the way.
15. Thus they all went on their way and, after a long journey that seemed like seven days and seven nights, they could see the Holy Mountain shining from afar. The closer they came the brighter it shined.
16. At the foot of the Mountain there lay a great Lake of pure water stretching far and wide. Its shores were lined with fine sand of gold-dust and precious gems. Rich grass and healing herbs grew in abundance on the green pasture all round upon which deer, wild horses and oxen grazed at will.
17. Swans and geese swam gracefully across its mirror-like face. The air was resonant with the sweet song of birds flying in and out of trees. Humming bees fed on the sweet-scented nectar of lotuses and other aquatic plants. Steps of blue stone led in and out of the cool water.
18. Yogis and Yoginis (female Yogis), some clad in tree-bark or deerskin, others wearing nothing at all, novices with shaven heads and adepts wearing long matted hair, bathed therein or fetched water in vessels made of coco-nut shell, gourd or human skull. Others meditated sitting upon large rocks. Children with smiling faces played on the banks and gathered flowers as offering to the Holy Gods.
19. Blooming lotus-flowers shined like the stars whilst sun-lit, white clouds glided over the water like waves so that one could tell not whether the Sky had come down to Earth or the Earth had risen up to the Sky. Indeed, the villagers and forest-dwellers thought that they had arrived in Heaven and were exceedingly amazed at that wonderful sight.
20. They marvelled greatly, seeing the Holy Mount itself mirrored in the blue water: Heaven reflecting in the Mirror of the Earth. And they knew not which was the more wonderful to behold, the Radiant Mountain or its reflection in the Lake.
21. Under the enchantment of that sacred place, they now thirsted even more after knowledge of the source of light. The thought passed in their mind: If this be Heaven, what Unmeasured Splendour awaits us in yonder Abode of Light?
22. Spellbound, they advanced towards the bright-shining Heavenly Mountain that stood upon the Roof of the World, not far from the Lake’s northern shore, rising high like the All-Supporting Pillar of Heaven.
23. Coming up closer, they saw that the Light emanated from that place. It was a strange and marvellous Light and at first they could not look at it, being as if blind. But as they became a little used to it, they looked up and saw a strange Youth in the midst of that Light, strong and handsome like a Forest-Spirit, surrounded by a circle of immortal Yogis.
24. Indeed, He had the appearance of the God of Yogis Himself. They saw His beautiful Sky- blue body adorned with prayer-beads and sacred snakes, His long flame-like hair, His smiling lotus-like face, His sparkling eyes radiating with an inner power like a secret glow of fire, and they could take not their eyes away from His Divine Countenance even if they had wished to.
25. As He sat there in silence they said to themselves that He must be the Divine Lord or Spirit of that Mountain. For, due to their proximity to Heaven and remoteness from the World of men, Mountains were known to be frequented by Unseen Beings from Above.
26. And they were overcome by a deep feeling of devotion. They saw the Sage bow and worship Him and they too bowed down to the ground and honoured Him with folded hands.
27. And they asked of Him, Who are You, O Lord? But He had a magic Drum in His hand and at once all the quarters of the World began to resound with the beat of the drum, and that enchanted sound entered their ears and invaded their heart so that their inner eye was flung open like a door and they could see the whole World before them: the Holy Sun, the Moon, the Sky, Wind, Fire, the Ocean and Rivers, the Earth with her Mountains and Hills and Valleys and Forests and Plants and Fish and Birds and Animals and Men.
28. He then raised the other hand in which He held a dazzling Trident, a three-pronged Spear brilliant like a myriad of lightning-flashes, and all was swallowed up by a silent darkness. And they understood that He was the Creator and Destroyer of the World, God of all clans, King of all the Gods, Master of the Universe and of all beings in the Universe and beyond the Universe. And they all bowed down and touched that holy ground with their brows.
29. They then lit a fire in His honour, offering Him sweet food and scented water and brought flowers to adorn Him and burned incense to worship Him. But the Lord of Heaven knew not hunger nor thirst, nor cold nor heat, not pain nor pleasure did He know, but was eternally immersed in a state of wonderful Bliss. Verily, the Bliss of Heaven was His only sustenance and food. And more and more men and women and small children came to gaze and wonder at that splendid Vision.
30. And they said unto Him: Worshipful Lord! pray tell us Your Blessed Name that we may know how to worship You. And He spoke: I Am All and Everything. I have so many names as there are things, words, or thoughts in this Universe and beyond.
31. The Wise Hermit from the woods, hearing this, exclaimed: Praise be to Shiva, the Mysterious and Most Glorious, the Unseen and Most Obvious, the Greatest God (Mahadeva), Our Supreme Lord and Master! And so they called Him, Lord (Ishvara), Master (Natha) and also, He Who Is Facing South (Dakshina-Murti) – as He sat against the Mountain whilst facing the multitude.
32. Others again, named Him, Shrikantha, He With a Glorious Neck, which was on account of His devouring the poison of ignorance that afflicts the World. For, only the Lord can remove the ignorance and the suffering of His creatures, by taking it up into Himself.
33. And seeing His Blissful State, they said: Most Merciful Master! pray teach us how we may find the Truth that leads from the darkness of human existence to the dazzling Light of Your Auspicious Presence; how to attain that State beyond pleasure and pain, beyond troubles and fears, beyond sorrow and desire, beyond birth and death, beyond time and space.
34. But He again caused the Four Quarters of the World to resound with the beat of His magic Drum and as that enchanted sound entered their ears it invaded their heart, opening the Secret Gates of Time and Space that they could see the whole World extending far and wide. They could see all the Worlds of the past, present and future quite clearly before their own eyes.
35. And He raised His Trident which opened the Unknown Gates of the Great Cave of the Dark Void and in an instant all that vanished as it came, leaving just darkness and empty space behind, when they heard a thunder-like Voice coming from no-where, Which spoke: The Highest Truth is Silence. It is to be found by going deep into the secret cave of your own heart.
36. They then understood that their little life was just a dream and that all this had come out of a Great Dark Void. Yet no sooner did they understand this, than a tremendous Light dawned upon them and the Unseen Gates of the Great Beyond opened up of themselves to reveal something that no mere mortal had ever seen before.
37. They saw-and-heard-and-felt-and-tasted a Secret greater than all Secrets, a Marvel more marvellous than any man could fathom, more indescribable than words could describe and even when described no mind could fully grasp. Beyond the Great Dark Void there shined an even Greater Light, the Light of Immeasurable and Never-ending Fullness which was the Secret Abode and Living Source of all darkness and all light.
38. This Living Light shafted through the Void in myriads of drops, waves and tides of rhythmic pulses like that of a young bride’s womb locked in the tender embrace of her beloved, like the soft belly of a fish in the deeps of the Sea, like the heart of a bird on the wing, like a butterfly in spring, like the wind tugging at the mane of a young horse, like dolphins leaping over waves, to finally freeze and crystallise into the solid World of Men.
39. Verily, the Dark Void itself, it seems, was full to the brim with innumerable things but had appeared void due to lack of light, just as a secret cave that though appearing at first empty like the vacant den of some solitary serpent, turns out to be full of long-forgotten treasures under the revealing light of a burning torch.
40. From Beyond All This, the Light of All Lights, the Secret Abode of all darkness and all light, pervaded the whole Universe with a wonderful Radiance so bright as the light of thousands of millions of Full Moons, cool, soothing and deeply satisfying, that filled all beings with an indescribable feeling of Supreme Delight, and all was engulfed in a boundless mass of vibrant Light and Love and Joy.
41. Drawn by the irresistible Light of that Radiant Sight, men and women from all the corners of the land came to that Most Holy of Mountains. A great multitude gathered there like a great swarm of bees and were overcome by a feeling of delightful Wonder that made them all reel with a strange drunkenness, like honey-bees that drink of the exquisite nectar of the sacred lotus- flower that blossoms in the cool waters of the blue mountain lakes.
42. But the Blissful Master addressed them again: My beloved children, you are most welcome to My World of Light. Yet entrance to that Sacred Abode, that lies within My Own Heart, requires a price that you yourselves have set. From the beginning of your life on Earth, in the course of many a lifetime, you have taken the life of countless living beings to sustain your own body, without even once considering the suffering you caused. This being so, it is now time for you to pay your karmic debt.
43. Only those shall See Truth Face to Face, who are ready to joyfully offer up their bodies and worldly life in Sacrifice to the Lord of Life. Rituals and prayers will not do. If you desire the Highest, a gift of your own selves is the only proper offering. Know you not that a body of light is the only fit garment for entrance into the World of Light? Self-sacrifice is the only way of becoming free from the burden of your bodies of flesh that you may acquire radiant bodies of Light. For, only what is Light can become One with Light.
44. Hearing thus, many begun to tremble with fear and spoke: O Worshipful Master! Ocean of Mercy! Saviour of the distressed! have mercy on us, O Lord of the Three Worlds! Leaving behind parents, children and wives, we came to seek refuge in You; what shall become of them?
45. But the Lord replied: Have you not understood that All This is a Dream? Of My Own Radiant Form I have fashioned All This. What I do, that I can also undo. When All This is undone, what remains is My Own Self, the Supreme, Immeasurable, Ever-lasting. I behold Myself in you, the Mirror of My Own Creation. Do you, on your part, behold yourselves in Me, the Mirror of Your Creator, that We may all become united and Live in Blissful Unity as One.
46. I, the Ever-Still yet Ever-Doing and Ever-Undoing, Creator of the Great Dream of Life, Fashioner of the Boundless Universe, Maker of men and other creatures, Am the Truth. Truth is a Supremely Blissful Ocean of Infinite Light and Power. It is both an Eternal Silence and a Harmony of all Sounds. It lives in the heart of all beings: Find first that Truth, and then you may worry about anything else, if need be. If you follow it diligently, the Inward Path of Light will take you to the Supreme Abode. I Myself shall be Your Guiding Light. And He made the Fear- Dispelling Sign with His hand.
47. Sage Duravasa, speaking like the Elder Brother watching over the Path that he was, said: Truly, we are the Children of Light. We are only down here because we have lost our way and become trapped in the dream of material existence, creating material bodies for ourselves. Yet to walk upon the Heavenly Path of Light we must put on new bodies of Light.
48. We belong to Shiva’s Infinite World of Light. No sacrifice can be too great for the privilege of walking on the Path that takes us to Our Original Homeland in Heaven. Remember that on this matter, Shiva, Our Lord and Master, the All-Seeing, the All-Knowing, Who is the Secret Soul of all things and Our True Self, has said: Only Light can return to Light. What the Lord speaks must come to pass.
49. And some who had a brave heart, following the advice of the Wise Hermit from the woods, said: Have we not wandered through the desolate wilderness of this World for long enough? Our Souls long to return to the Radiant Abode of Infinite Life and Freedom which is Our True Home. The only Path that leads us there is Shiva’s Path of Light.
50. Just as you cannot climb a mountain while carrying your household upon your shoulders, even so you cannot hope to enter upon the Path that leads to the lofty heights of Enlightenment if you are weighed down by body, mind and other things. And, what we leave behind is just a dream. Since the Lord Himself, in His Infinite Compassion, has offered to be our Guiding Light, how can we not accept His Gracious Offer? Assuredly, the Lord never speaks in vain. Show us Your Secret Path, O Master of the Greatest Secret!
51. And it was the third watch of the third night (that is, midnight), though the Sun shined even as in daylight. And the Great Magician, the Tremendous Three-Eyed Lord of the Three Worlds, the Universal Dream Master, having translucent sapphire-blue limbs and shining red locks, wearing the Crescent Moon as diadem while the Blazing Sun enhaloed His handsome Head and the Blue Sky stretched over His Divine Person like a Royal Awning, holding Drum and Trident in His hands as emblems of His Wondrous Powers and being attended by a host of Immortals and other Celestial Beings constantly chanting His Sacred Name, entered a Secret Cave deep into the mountainside taking with Him all those who had a brave heart, both male and female, to instruct them in the hidden Knowledge of the Truth.
52. Having been taken up into the womb of that Holiest of Mountains, they received from Lord Shiva Himself the Special Gift of the Mystical Elixir of Immortality in the form of the Great Mantra of Shiva, as a result whereof they were all reborn in His Light and were transformed there and then into Radiant Beings, into the True Children of Light which they had been all along without knowing.
53. And some of them went with the Lord to His Infinite Abode of Light, while others were sent by Him into the World of men that they might guard and teach His Word for the welfare of the entire Human Race whose Creator and Benefactor is none other but Shiva, the Kindly, the Lovely, the Adorable Lord of Unity, the Light of all Lights.
54. And of these wise men and women who, by the Grace of the Lord, acquired Divine Status and Equality with the Gods, some still roam the Mountains and the Woods, and at times they cross the Path of some earnest Seeker after Truth, and having compassion upon him, they reveal to him the Secret Teaching that leads to Infinite Life and Unmeasured Freedom. Yet unless the heart is utterly darkened and emptied of all vain things so that naught can be seen but the Light of Truth, there can be no hope of beholding the Blissful Master Who forever dwells within the secret cave of one’s own heart.
55. And it was decreed by the Sages of old that he who tells this Great Mystery to another shall be pervaded, purified, clarified and illumined by the Eternal Light of Knowledge, and he also who hears it. Praise be to Shiva, the Sun of Reality, the Deliverer from Darkness, Whose Praises all the Worlds eternally sing!
56. Verily, there is no other Teacher, no other God, no other Truth but the Lord Who is called Shiva: the Pure, the Kind, the Auspicious One. He is the One in Whom all things rest (Shi) and by Whose Power all things move (Va). From that One indeed everything comes and to Him everything returns.
57. All the Teachings upon Earth are born of Him. They are drops of the Fivefold Outpour of Divine Intelligence that pervades the World in the form of God’s Perfect Powers of Bliss, Will, and the rest.
58. Though being Eternally One, the Supreme Teaching manifests itself in a multitude of ways according to the capacity of each recipient.
59. As one life only is present in the various parts of the human body irrespective of their being higher or lower, of different shapes and distinct from each other, so the Teaching of Shiva is present in all Teachings.
60. As the working of the various parts of the body can only be understood in relation to the whole body to which they belong, so all Teachings are understood only when seen in the Light of Shiva’s Supreme Truth whereof they are but incomplete parts.
61. The various Teachings being but fragmentary portions of the One Truth, they confound and lead astray their adherents. But the Teaching of Shiva contains the Original, Unchanged, Undivided Truth.
62. As the tracks of all beasts, large and small, fit in the track of the Elephant, even so all Teachings are contained in the Teaching of Shiva.
63. Verily, as the Abode of Snow (Himalaya) is among Mountains, as the Moon among the Stars, as the Sun among all things that shine, so this Teaching of Shiva is the Lord of all Teachings.
64. Upon this Teaching all the Rulers of the World stand firm and their Kingdoms are prosperous and happy. Therefore, let one practise this Perfect Knowledge diligently, with devotion to the Lord and to one’s Spiritual Teacher, for it shall lead to success.
65. By the following of this Teaching one attains both worldly enjoyment and Spiritual Liberation. And, at the end of one’s earthly life, one goes to the Highest Heaven.
66. Let this Teaching be imparted to all who desire to know the Truth. For, by listening to it, their doubts shall vanish like Clouds in the Wind. Their sins shall fall off from their Souls like drops of water from lotus leaves. Their afflictions shall scatter in all directions like Jungle-fowl at the sight of a Hawk. Their enemies shall flee afar off in fear like Jackals at the roar of the mighty Lion.
67. Those who listen regularly to the Teaching of Shiva or meditate daily upon a verse in their heart, shall attain the Four Goals of Life (Chaturvarga) which are: Righteousness (Dharma), Material Prosperity (Artha), Love (Kama), and Spiritual Liberation (Shivatva).
68. For, it is by the Power of Yoga, which is Unity with the Lord, that Divine Righteousness is established in man’s heart. It is by the Power of Yoga, that man’s material life is kept in order. It is by the Power of Yoga, that man is united with the object of his desire. It is by the Power of Yoga, that man is United with the Lord. They who know this, shall roam the World like the Radiant Gods and move at will among those who are One with the Supreme.
69. Those who listen to the Teaching of Shiva with a clear understanding of its Spiritual Truth, are undoubtedly Great Yogis and shall be liberated in this life.
70. Those who with a pure heart listen to the Teaching of Shiva when about to die, shall go to Shiva’s Abode of Light, Which is Shivalaya, the Abode of all Purity and Goodness.
71. Those who listen to the Teaching of Shiva with great devotion even for a moment, shall not be harmed by misfortune. For, Truth drives off untimely death, ill fate and dangers of all kinds. It protects the faithful against bad dreams, evil Spirits and disease. It is the remedy of all ills.
72. Verily, the mere hearing of this Holiest of Holy Teachings shall make even the greatest sinner fit for Salvation if he repent and turn his heart to the Path of Righteousness. Having entered upon the Path, a Soul’s innermost wishes shall be fulfilled at Shiva’s Command. For what the Lord speaks that comes to pass.
73. Being the Word of God, this Holy Teaching shall be reverenced with great love and devotion. Its Written Form shall be carefully covered in fine cloth and tied with a silken cord. It shall be always kept in a pure place, before an Image of the Lord.
74. The Teaching of Shiva shall be regarded as God’s Visible Form and honour shall be done thereto in the same manner as His Own Worship.
75. The reading and discussing of the Teaching of Shiva shall be held in one’s own house, the house of a pious man, a Temple of Shiva, a sacred grove or a clean and quiet park. This should be known as particularly meritorious when performed on holy days such as the fourteenth of the dark fortnight (the day before New Moon) and during the holy months.
76. Those who make copies of the Teaching of Shiva and distribute them among the devotees shall earn much Spiritual Merit. Those who according to their ability bestow gifts to the holders of the reading for their pious service and for the advancement of Righteousness on Earth, such as food, clothes, land, livestock and so forth, shall earn even more merit.
77. But those who learn the Teaching of Shiva by heart shall earn the highest merit. For the study of the Teaching of Shiva leads to discipline and self-control. Self-control leads to concentration. Concentration leads to focus and clarity. Clarity leads to wisdom and wisdom leads to peace of mind, happiness, contentment and undying bliss.
78. Verily, whether one honours the Teaching of Shiva in thought, word, or deed, it shall dissolve all sins and remove all kinds of distress, physical, mental or Spiritual. It shall bring Liberation to oneself, one’s living next of kin and even to the remotest of ancestors.
79. Truly, the Teaching of Shiva has brought to pass many a miracle, to which the Saintly Sages (Sadhus) bear witness. For the Word of Shiva has the power to kindle the flame of devotion in the heart of the devotee; devotion attracts the Grace of the Lord; and His Grace attracts all kinds of things auspicious.
80. I have now spoken to you the Secret Teaching of Lord Shiva which was declared by Him at the beginning of Time for the Salvation of the World and by knowing which, one knows all secrets and all things that are worthy to be known.
81. The Supreme Lord Himself revealed this Teaching to the Holy Sages, Duravasa, Nageshanatha, Kapalin and Anandanatha.
82. Sage Duravasa Who Dwells Afar imparted it to his disciples, Tryambakanatha, Amardakanatha and Shrinatha, and these transmitted it to their disciples. I myself heard it from these and I have spoken it to you. Do you now impart this Greatest of Teachings to others that the Command of the Lord may be brought to pass.
83. Thus spoke Venerable Sage and God-Seer Vyasa, the worshipful son of Great Yogi Parashara and Charming Satyavati. May Shiva’s Grace and Peace be eternally upon them all!
84. Here ends the Secret of Shiva spoken in verses twelve hundred and thirty. Over the centuries, Shiva’s Eternal Teaching had become corrupt. Deprived of His Guiding Light, the World could no more tell Truth from Untruth. Yogi Soma-Natha, the humble devotee of Lord Shiva, like a dutiful gardener at the command of his Master, after enquiring into the Truth, has mended and set in order the course of the great stream of Spiritual Instruction known to the wise as Shri Shiva Rahasya (The Glorious Mystery Of Supreme Reality), that it may nourish the Divine World Garden through which it majestically flows, causing it to flourish and bear fruit for the welfare of all. May the Lord be pleased with my work and may it by His Grace bring Peace upon Earth! May all Souls be happy! Obeisance to the Supreme. OM.
End of Shiva Rahasya Purana.