Impure Beings and Impure Worlds

Impure Beings and Impure Worlds

In the lower planes, shakti unveils its fivefold maya and veils the fivefold powers of Siva. This veiling creates illusory distinction between Siva and the beings and limits their awareness so that they do not know who they actually are or what their powers are. So while pure beings possess supernatural powers, impure beings are limited in their powers. While pure beings can move without moving, know without the effort to know, manifest things at will or live in a state of bliss, impure beings experience great difficulty in accomplishing them or cannot accomplish them at all. Shadows of their true selves, they are free beings in their inner worlds but bound in their external world. The following table explains which powers are concealed and what limitations arise from each concealment.

Energy of Siva Veiled or Concealed or Hidden The Veiling Aspect of Maya at Work Resulting Limitation
1 chit-shakti kaala (time) Limitations in the experience of absoluteness and unity of eternality or infinity.
2 iccha-shakti
niyati (space) Limitations in the execution and manifestation of will
3 jnana-shakti vidya (knowledge) Limitations in knowing
4 kriya-shakti kala (power) Limitations in manifestation
5 ananda-shakti raga (passion) Limitations in the experience of joy and love and sense of being.

The Grand Delusion

Maya is responsible for the delusion of souls. Ignorance is the cause of delusion and also in a way its product. Ignorance and delusion feed upon each other and keep the souls bound to their limited and deluded existence. Under its influence, souls act contrary to their true nature and suffer from an endless chain of cause and effect. Delusion manifests in several ways.

Deluded by maya beings:

Develop false notions of self
Develop attachment through senses with sense objects
Become selfish and egoistic
Fail to discriminate between truth and falsehood
Suffer from the limitations of time and space
Liberation the End of the Game

If the cyclical process of creation begins with the act of Siva and prakriti manifesting themselves in phases from source to the subtle and then to the gross, this cycle comes to an end only when they withdraw themselves from the gross into the subtle and then finally into the source itself. Individual souls have the freedom not to wait till it happens on the universal scale. They have the freedom to rid themselves of their impurities and limitations and rediscover their true nature. They can tear apart the veil of maya and set themselves free.

This happens only when a jiva recognizes its true identity. Recognition therefore (pratyabhijna) is the key to freedom. When the jiva becomes aware of its true Siva nature, it rests in the consciousness of Siva and becomes free. Intense aspiration, sincere and disciplined effort, commitment to the path, transcending the ego, guidance of the guru and divine intervention are some of the means to destroy the bonds and experience oneness with Siva.

Abhinavagupta mentions three types of liberation.
Paramuktas are the souls who become absorbed in Parasiva (formless Siva) after liberation.
Aparamuktas are the souls who experience oneness with Siva and join his world of pure beings with some of their individuality still intact.

Jivanmuktas are the souls who are liberated while still in their physical bodies. The Gorakshnatha tradition believes that once union with Siva consciousness is achieved in a state of samadhi, beings are never deluded again. They remain absorbed in their highest consciousness even while performing mundane tasks. They suffer no more from the impurities or duality. Whatever may the path they choose, for Jivanmuktas there are no more births and rebirths.

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!

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