This conversation between Shiva and his partner Devi is a teaching about self-knowledge that could be up to 5,000 years old. It features in a number of ancient Indian texts and has been rewritten countless times up until today. This version, taken from the collection, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, is a more recent English translation transcribed by Paul Reps, prefaced with the beautiful assertion that it was originally chanted “in a language of love we have yet to learn.” It is basically Shiva’s answer to his lover’s question about reality and how to enter it fully; while Devi herself was enlightened, her questions were posed for the benefit of others. The text itself is long – covering 112 points in total – and will be divided into eight parts here on The Dewdrop. Click here to read Part 1, here for Part 2, here for Part 3 and here for Part 4.
Centreing (Part V: 57-70)
O Shiva, what is your reality?
What is this wonder-filled universe?
What constitutes seed?
Who the universal wheel?
What is this life beyond form pervading forms?
How may we enter it fully, above space and time, names and descriptions?
Let my doubts be cleared!
57. When on a bed or a seat, let yourself become weightless, beyond mind.
58. In a moving vehicle, by rhythmically swaying, experience. Or in a still vehicle, by letting yourself swing in slowing invisible circles.
59. Simply by looking into the blue sky beyond clouds, the serenity.
60. Shakti, see all space as if already absorbed in your own head in the brilliance.
61. Waking, sleeping, dreaming, know you as light.
62. In rain during a black night, enter that blackness as the form of forms.
63. When a moonless raining night is not present, close eyes and find blackness before you. Opening eyes, see blackness. So faults disappear forever.
64. Just as you have the impulse to do something, stop.
65. Centre on the sound a-u-m without any a or m.
66. Silently intone a word ending in AH. Then in the HH effortlessly, the spontaneity.
67. Feel yourself as pervading all directions, far, near.
68. Pierce some part of your nectar-filled form with a pin, and gently enter the piercing.
69. Feel : My thought, I-ness, internal organs — me.
70. Illusions deceive. Colours circumscribe. Even divisibles are indivisible.