FROM THE AGAMAS
Meditation and Initiation
Explaining the power of diksha and methods of meditative concentration
The following is a lucid translation of passages from chapters 7 and 8 of the Raurava Agama in which Sage Ruru expounds on various types of meditative concentration and on yogic initiation
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ISHALL PROCEED TO SPEAK ON A SIGNIFICANT DISCIPLINE OF YOGA related to the effective process of meditation. Lord Siva is perceived in two states—formed (sakala) and formless (nishkala). Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Aghora, Tatpurusha and Isana—these are the five constitutive mantras of the supreme Lord. This specific yoga discipline has been well expounded by the yogis of great accomplishments devoted to Lord Siva.
The great Ishvara, as Himself in the formless state, is the Supreme Lord. He pervades the entire extent of space. He is the ultimate Lord of the primal intelligence of the Universe. He is unsurpassed, excelling all other superior Deities. He is the knower and doer of all. He presents Himself everywhere and in every object that has taken shape. He reaches all directions simultaneously. He encloses Himself within all objects of all the worlds and within all the embodied beings. He is absolutely pure, never having been limited by the bonds. Our Lord Siva, of such greatness, is to be meditated upon forever.
Yoga is said to be consisting of six steps—pratyahara (sense withdrawal), dhyana (awareness at attention), pranayama (breath control), dharana (concentrated awareness), tarka (meditative contemplation) and samadhi (union). Of these steps, dharana will now be explained. Among the specific kinds of dharana, agneyi dharana is the first. It requires awareness to be fixed on the navel plane. By the continued practice of this dharana, all negative factors which could pull the sadhaka into lower consciousness are restrained.
Let the sadhaka who has known the effective path of yoga from
his master fix his concentrated thought at the heart-space and contemplate
the steady flow of divine nectar, streaming forth from the
microcosmic moon within. By the continued practice of this dharana,
known as saumya dharana, drops of divine nectar are showered over
all of his body and his surroundings. By this dharana, the sadhaka is
consecrated and established in the highest state of purity.
Let the sadhaka practice aisani dharana by fixing his thought and breath on the sahasrara chakra at the top of the head. This highest kind of dharana is capable of accomplishing everything and enables the sadhaka to achieve all of his lofty desires. Through the continued practice of such dharana, the sadhaka reaches the highest transcendental place of Lord Siva in a fraction of a second.
That which is known as amrita dharana is capable of yielding its fruits everywhere by means of its pervasiveness. It instills purity and auspiciousness into everything. It rains the nectar-drops of supreme consciousness, consecrating body and world. This dharana is to be done at the highest plane, twelve planes above the sahasrara.
At the very occurrence of the sun rising, the darkness is dispelled completely and instantaneously. Likewise, upon the performance of relevant diksha, the constricting bonds of the sadhakas, considered in terms of merit and demerit (dharma and adharma), get removed totally. Just as the Sun illumines all these worlds through His radiant rays, even so Lord Siva illumines the consciousness of the initiated souls through His host of Shaktis (powers) functioning in the divine path of mantras and diksha. These Shaktis exist pervading the body of the sadhakas who have been blessed with diksha.
Initiated: A sadhaka worships the Divine within himself
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The heap of dry grass thrown into the blazing fire gets incinerated completely and never again attains its original state of being dry grass. In the same way, the diligent sadhaka, supreme among human beings, who is blessed with relevant diksha reaches the adorable and worthy realm of Siva, effected through diksha and mantra. Thereafter he never gets embodied again.
At the cessation of his bodily existence, he becomes Siva Himself, being endowed with the essential features and aspects of Siva. Having gained all the qualities of Siva, he is inseparably united with Siva. The river which flows with sweet and pleasant water reaches deeply into the ocean and attains the qualities of salty water. At the very instant of complete merger with the ocean’s water, the river attains the nature of salty water, owing to the mighty power of the ocean. In the same way, the initiated sadhaka who has shed off his bodily existence attains oneness with Siva Tattva. There occurs no disunion between them.
DR. S. P. SABHARATHNAM SIVACHARYAR, of the Adi Saiva priest lineage, is an expert in ancient Tamil and Sanskrit, specializing in the Vedas, Agamas and Shilpa Shastras. This excerpt is from his recent translation of the Raurava Agama.