FROM THE AGAMAS
Where Souls Attain the Qualities of Siva
The eternal and endless existence of the most subtle plane of creation
The following is a lucid translation from the Matanga Agama, chapters 2, 3 and 4, continuing the revelations of the Paramesvara Agama. Matanga listens as Siva explains merging with God and Mahapralaya.
THE HIGHEST TATTVA, THE MOST RAREFIED REALM OF the supreme Lord, is full of resplendent rays of His shakti, illuminating the entire plane. That plane is the world meant for playful deeds related to perfected souls. He abides there, absolutely free from the state of becoming or evolving. Siva’s form in this highest realm is the power of knowledge and action.
“Sadasiva is the ultimate limit of all other forms. Supreme, He is capable of pervading even atoms. Omnipotent, He permeates the relevant deeds performed in the various planes of existence. Sadasiva transcends the cosmic functions and is unaffected by desire and aversion. Known simply as Existence, He is capable of protecting souls according to their maturity and fitness. Free from beginning and end, benign and compassionate, the Lord is said to be the possessor of form in a figurative sense only. Though He is present in the world of multiple realities and beings, His form is beyond direct perception.
“When Lord Sadasiva becomes free from His duty of maintaining authority over the properties of the tattvas and all the worlds, He is enabled to reach the plane above the world of souls—the Adhikara tattva. Having reached that supreme abode, He keeps Himself aloof from all cosmic activity. The specific plane in which Lord Sadasiva keeps Himself at repose is called Nivritti Bhuvana. It is the realm reached by perfected souls who have been united with it through relevant initiation. The dominant Lord of this realm is Sthiramurti, in the form of Sadyojata, who reigns there with unfailing efficacy.
“At the time of dissolution, mahapralaya, Lord Sadasiva withdraws into Himself all the worlds, tattvas and perfect souls, including Sthiramurti. Each tattva and world becomes absorbed in Him, one after the other.
“Above these realms and tattvas is Shantyatita Bhuvana, imperishable and free from modifications, a world in the laya tattva, the realm of absorption. The souls whose Siva-centered consciousness has been perfectly unfolded by Sadasiva reach this highest abode and attain the qualities of Siva. In this laya tattva, the form of Sadasiva is absolutely free from the association of actions. That form is composed of four murtis, as mentioned before. It is exceedingly pure and auspicious. In this innermost dwelling there is transcendental enjoyment befitting the Lord of all tattvas and all worlds.
“This power is granted to those in this deepest of realms—the laya-tattva. It is extensive, consisting of all existence. It is replete with masses of multi-faceted sources of enjoyment, serving as the material cause for a body fit enough to experience them. Occupied by the prominent anga and brahma mantras, the laya tattva is the source for the emergence of letters which are pure knowledge.
Siva creates all: From the deepest realms of existence, Siva issues forth all of creation
“Not impaired by false notions nor comparable to any other tattva, it is filled with the primary powers that promote the evolutions taking place within other tattvas. It is the abode of the Lord who is the protector of pure realms. For the sake of benefic enjoyments, to be experienced by highly perfected souls, the laya tattva never goes out of existence. It is endless, eternal and not associated with any world.”
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 Matanga Agama.