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 has been divided into eight parts here on The Dewdrop. Click here to read Part 1, here for Part 2, here for Part 3, here for Part 4, here for part 5, here for Part 6 and here for Part 7.
Centreing (Part VIII: 99-112)
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!
99. This consciousness exists as each being and nothing else exists.
100. Be the unsame same friend as to stranger, in honour and dishonour.
101. When a mood against someone or for someone arises, do not place it on the person in question, but remain centered.
102. Suppose you contemplate something beyond perception, beyond grasping, beyond not being, you.
103. Enter space, supportless, eternal, still.
104. Wherever your attention alights, at this very point, experience.
105. Enter the sound of your name and, through this sound, all sounds.
106. I am existing. This is mine. This is this. O Beloved, even in such know illimitably.
107. This consciousness is the spirit of guidance of each one. Be this one.
108. Here is a sphere of change, change, change. Through change consume change.
109. As a hen mothers her chicks, mother particular knowings, particular doings, in reality.
110. Since, in truth, bondage and freedom are relative, these words are only for the terrified with the universe. This universe is a reflection of minds. As you see many suns in water from one sun, so see bondage and liberation.
111. Each thing is perceived through knowing. The self shines in space through knowing. Perceive one being as knower and known.
112. Beloved, at this moment let mind, knowing, breath, form, be included.