Utility

Tapasya and Shiva

Along the lines of my previous post, 'Converting Everything into Bliss,' I would like to bring up the concept of Tapasya, or Tapas, which is sanskrit for "heat" -for those who aren't familiar with this word. Tapas is, along with David's Transmission, the way to convert everything into bliss.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says:
"Physical sensations, truly, Arjuna,
Causing cold, heat, pleasure, or pain,
Come and go and are impermanent.
So manage to endure them, Arjuna"

The great Siddha Swami Muktananda said: "The word tapas literally means "heating." A person performs austerities in order to heat the senses, to control them, to make them his slaves rather than being enslaved by them."
"Endurance is the power to tolerate anything. No matter what pain you come across, digest it with joy. Accept it not under compulsion, but with great pleasure. Tolerate heat and cold, pain and pleasure. When it is cold, do not feel too cold; when it is hot, do not feel too hot. When there is pain, do not suffer too much; when there is pleasure, do not enjoy it too much. If you are able to remain uninvolved with these pairs of opposites, then you have the power of endurance."
"If you learn how to endure these things, then you will be able to remain calm and happy even in the worst difficulties..
Endurance and willingness to undergo tapasya are the signs of a seeker. In the Bhagavad Gita the Lord says, " Only he is a yogi who remains steady in both pain and pleasure." Therefore practice these qualities." - from the article, 'Tapasya is Positive Force,' Darshan monthly journal by the Syda Foundation. Issue 151, 1999.

There is the tapas of meditation, both when we are with David, and especially when we are away. What is that tapas? Well, it can be many things, but most fundamentally it concerns the arising of thought. Having paid particular attention to how thought operates in meditation, I notice how thought is predisposed to assess, comment on and hold a position relative to what's occurring during meditation. Thought is an interloper, and initially I felt acutely aware that this was hindering, or preventing absorption at different times, but then I realized that no one thought matters, that it's all a mirage, and though thought will continue however it does, I can afford to relax the self-contraction.
Recently, a friend shared with me that a sadhaka (spiritual practitioner) living in an ashram, whose sadhana was to always be working in the kitchen and continually washing dishes, always seemed happy, and my friend noticed this and thought to himself, "This guy must know something." When he approached the man and asked him if he could share anything with him, the man said, "O.k., you want to know something?... There is not ONE thought we can have that is NOT Shiva." I found this to be a remarkable answer. This is also tapas, and a means to converting everything to bliss, because, of course, Shiva IS Bliss. The fire of dwelling in difficult situations invites us to see everything as Shiva, all thoughts as Shiva,and this, in turn, creates friction, heat and endurance. Imagine any situation you don't enjoy that is a regular part of your daily life and apply this formula.
If your ready for some serious Guru Yoga, you can see everything as David, every thought as David. I have done this, and I can tell you, while it may get surreal at times, it is a powerful practice. I almost literally started to see David in every car, every person who walked by me, all day long. This was not a benign practice, but it is the nature of spiritual practice to produce this alchemical heat.
Sometimes, during talks, David will stir up the energy, by going into a crazy wisdom bhava, and speaks in ways, and about subjects that definitely push buttons. Many have noticed that the Transmission of the Shakti sometimes swells to a great intensity during these moments. This can be the moment of great heat. Sending us away stirred up and reeling, is what the Guru does. He/She tells us to go scrub toilets, insults us, ignores us, and in doing so that fire begins to heat up. If we misunderstand and run away, we might have missed an opportunity that might not present it self so gracefully in the future. The next time it might manifest in our lives in ways that are much more dramatic and difficult to digest. Doing Tapas with the Grace of the Guru can mitigate lessons being learned in much harder ways. The great Siddha Bhagavan Nityananda said something to the effect that, situations will just keep repeating until the lesson is learned. This is why tapas, as part of spiritual sadhana, is so important. Intentionally engaging with those situations, accelerating the lessons, digesting the tensions, turning up the heat, and cooking your little self, so that you are not the mere plaything of samsara anymore.
... And then when you are good and cooked, and the middle is not pink anymore, at some unpredictable moment... the Guru will eat you!

He who dwells in the fire,
he who dwells in the heart,
he who dwells in the sun,
he is One.
who knows this
...verily attains
the Oneness of the One.
-KAIVALYA UPANISHAD

Namaste

Comments

At some point of the spiritual journey one has to be brave or honest enough to evolve through "frictions", other than subconsciously avoid pain and seek for pleasure. Otherwise, how can it be possible to transcend duality?
But it has to come as an understanding, a surrender, or a true willingness to confront every difficulty, every little irritation, and use it as a springboard for evolvement.
The friction is also paramount in Gurdjieff's teachings and similar to the idea of Tapas. In order to transform energy, one performs "Self-Remembrance" during suffering (sometimes initiated suffering). The conscious observation is essential for the transformation. This Alchemy of Energy, the true possibility of transforming every coarse energy into subtle energy (or Bliss) is the great secret of Life.

By ocean