Advaita Anandam – The Dance of Non-duality


This divine energy, Siva, the mention of it allows the joy to sneak out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks. It happens when the heart is filled with love and when this love becomes boundless. It’s like every cell in the body wants to dance and scream so it does not go unnoticed by this momentary bliss. Perhaps this is the kind of bliss – a mind that is free from all that is not, and fixed on all that is, feels.  Chidananda Rupaha Shivoham Shivoham 

To be in this state while awake and while asleep, while eating and while starving, to be in this state in every breath … is perhaps the essence of Atma-Shatakam, a verse I have heard many times, but lately the words seem to pierce my being.

In sadness and grief, the mind and heart get easily fixed on that which can free us from this bondage. We seek refuge to find peace and freedom . The mind seeks answers for all the chaos. But when filled with joy and desire, does the mind seek order or question the source, the cause, with as much humility and eagerness? In my personal experience, no, it doesn’t.

My mind never bothered about anything when all its wishes were being fulfilled. Whenever my mind was given an opportunity to express joy and happiness, it would easily succumb to it and discover a thousand ways to express and boost the ego a little bit more. And soon that active yet restless joy would cease to exist.

In the past few years I had learned (through a few meditation techniques) to feel a deep sense gratitude for all the pain, grief, losses and practice forgiveness. I had become aware of how my ego was getting beaten up in all aspects of life, emotionally, financially, professionally, physically …phases of my life that I thought I could control or change.

It was trashed so badly that it finally had to set me free. It urged me to look within, yes. For what? For peace and happiness. Then shouldn’t the transient moments of peace and happiness in life also urge me to look within?

If I am grateful for the enemy, pain and loss, for showing me the path to the divine, then shouldn’t I be equally grateful for the friend, happiness and gain? If they share the same goal, which is, experiences through which one knows the Self (ref: yujyate anena iti Yogah) then is there really a difference? Or is it just imaginary ignorance born of falsity and hence unreal? And if so, then where is the path? and where are these experiences? And where is this I who is experiencing it? That which is whole and complete alone exists.

This awareness was enough. Enough to make me question, What is it that I really desire? When I desire something or someone, what happens after I own what I once desired? What happens once the orgasmic experience ends? And who is this ‘I’ asking questions? This awareness, of knowing that the mind plays tricks to make me believe that the ephemeral pleasures are here to stay, this awareness helps shift the focus back to divine ecstasy or to that limitless being : Cid-Aananda-Ruupah Shivoham Shivoham – I am the Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness; I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

With an understanding based on limited sensory experiences, where you and I exist, where past and future exist, where pain and happiness exist, where the desire to manifest or destroy prevails, where duality due to the senses, exists, how can a world based on such short-lived roots give us a taste of eternal bliss? Are we willfully ignorant or are we naturally disposed to it?

atma va are drastavyah srotavyah mantavyah nididhyasitavyah

The atman, should be realised – should be heard of, reflected on and meditated upon.

Ref: The Advaita Vedanta of Siva Samhita

Now, with the help of meditation, with the help of self-inquiry, the restlessness or residue left behind after outbursts of grief and ecstasy, is no longer welcomed in the ‘state/self’ which at times experiences this divine bliss. So though the ego sways away on the path of duality now and then, the Self, in its unfailing quietude, urges me to accept all these moments of pleasure without guilt, just as how I would rightfully accept the suffering and pain, and simply offer it to the unmoving bliss, to that moment of Siva which bestows its grace when I let go of my body, my mind, and all that I am not. Chidananda Rupaha Shivoham Shivoham

ADI SHANKARA – ATMA SHTAKAM

Mano-Buddhy-Ahangkaara Cittaani Naaham
Na Ca Shrotra-Jihve Na Ca Ghraanna-Netre
Na Ca Vyoma Bhuumir-Na Tejo Na Vaayuh
Cid-Aananda-Ruupah Shivo[a-A]ham Shivo[a-A]ham ||1||

Neither am I the Mind, nor the Intelligence or Ego,
Neither am I the organs of Hearing, nor that of Tasting, Smelling or Seeing,
Neither am I the Sky, nor the Earth, Neither the Fire nor the Air,
I am the Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness; I am Shiva, I am Shiva,

Na Ca Praanna-Samjnyo Na Vai Pan.ca-Vaayuh
Na Vaa Sapta-Dhaatuh Na Vaa Pan.ca-Koshah
Na Vaak-Paanni-Paadam Na Copastha-Paayu
Cid-Aananda-Ruupah Shivo[a-A]ham Shivo[a-A]ham ||2||

Neither am I the Vital Breath, nor the Five Vital Airs,
Neither am I the Seven Ingredients (of the Body), nor the Five Sheaths,
Neither am I the organ of Speech, nor the organs for Holding, Movement or Excretion, I am the Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness; I am Shiva, I am Shiva,

Na Me Dvessa-Raagau Na Me Lobha-Mohau
Mado Naiva Me Naiva Maatsarya-Bhaavah |
Na Dharmo Na Ca-Artho Na Kaamo Na Mokssah
Cid-Aananda-Ruupah Shivo[a-A]ham Shivo[a-A]ham ||3||

Neither do I have Hatred, nor Attachment, Neither Greed nor Infatuation,
Neither do I have Pride, nor Feelings of Envy and Jealousy,
I am Not within the bounds of Dharma, Artha (Wealth), Kama (Desire) and Moksha. (the four Purusarthas of life),
I am the Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness; I am Shiva, I am Shiva,

Na Punnyam Na Paapam Na Saukhyam Na Duhkham
Na Mantro Na Tiirtham Na Vedaa Na Yajnyaah |
Aham Bhojanam Naiva Bhojyam Na Bhoktaa
Cid-Aananda-Ruupah Shivo[a-A]ham Shivo[a-A]ham ||4||

Neither am I bound by Merits nor Sins, neither by Worldly Joys nor by Sorrows,
Neither am I bound by Sacred Hymns nor by Sacred Places, neither by Sacred Scriptures nor by Sacrifice,
I am Neither Enjoyment, nor an object to be Enjoyed, nor the Enjoyer,
I am the Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness; I am Shiva, I am Shiva,

Na Mrtyur-Na Shangkaa Na Me Jaati-Bhedah
Pitaa Naiva Me Naiva Maataa Na Janmah |
Na Bandhurna Mitram Gurur-Na-Iva Shissyam
Cid-Aananda-Ruupah Shivo[a-A]ham Shivo[a-A]ham ||5||

Neither am I bound by Death and its Fear, nor by the rules of Caste and its Distinctions,
Neither do I have Father and Mother, nor do I have Birth,
Neither do I have Relations nor Friends, neither Spiritual Teacher nor Disciple,
I am the Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness; I am Shiva, I am Shiva,

Aham Nirvikalpo Niraakaara-Ruupo
Vibhu-Tvaacca Sarvatra Sarve[a-I]ndriyaannaam |
Na Caa-Sanggatam Naiva Muktirna Meyah
Cid-aananda-ruupah Shivo[a-A]ham Shivo[a-A]ham ||6||