Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Mountain Meru

Many time it is happening, that the Natha Scriptures mention the existence of two planets, situated within the human body, which are Chandra (Moon) and Surya (Sun). It is told that the Moon is situated at the region of Ajna Chakra, little bit above the middle of eyebrows, while the Sun is situated at the region of Manipura Chakra at the level of navel. The level of Ajna Chakra is also recognized as Chandra Mandala and the level of Manipura Chakra as Surya Mandala. Also it is told that the Moon corresponds to the Left Side and the Sun to the Right Side. While the mention of these planets could be clearly seen from scripture to scripture, the logic on basis of which this has been done is not so clearly apparent.

In the diagram above, which is the illustration from my forthcoming book, I have attempted to reconstruct the two dimensional structure of the Legendary Mountain Meru or Sumeru (the Mountain of God), with the proper assignment of the Seven Planets to its different levels, which on the microcosmic level correlated to the various levels of the individual awareness within the human body. I hope that this illustration could be much helpful for those who want to understand the inner principles of the Siddha Siddhanta, in its various formats, from tradition to tradition, as well as for the interpretation of the planetary relationship in the similarly structured inner traditions of the world.


In accordance with the general opinion, expressed in the Indian scriptures, there are the Fourteen Levels of Creation known as Lokas and Patalas; the Seven Higher, which are situated above (+) Zero Level (0) and called Seven Heavens, and seven lower, which are situated bellow (-) and called the Seven Regions of Netherworld. To speak approximately, the Four Higher regions are presided by the Moon and the Supreme Spirit, which resides at the topmost level known as Satya Loka or the Place of Truth. The three levels below them  are ‘the Three Regions’ of the human existence: Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ and Svaḥ or Bhurloka, Bhuvarloka and Svarloka, presided by the Sun and the Lord of Senses and Mind Indra. The topmost of these three is the Heavens of Indra (Svarga), and signifies the most exited state of the human life experience.

The Seven Lowest Regions are also known as the Seven Circles of Hell, the Seven Regions of Netherworld or the Seven Patalas, presided by the Lord of Time Saturn (Dharmraja) and wrathful deities related to time, such as Mahakala Rudra, Bhairava and Kali. The Seven Higher Regions also could be defined as corresponding to the Seven well known Chakras, along with their respective places within the human body, while the Seven Lower Regions are roughly could be defined as residing within the tail, the feature almost absent (for good) from the human body, but more developed in the lower forms of life. The Six Higher Regions taken together with Saturn, are recognized as the Seven Houses of the Sun, the Seven Rulers of Creation and the Seven Lights of the Earth. The two more planets recognized in India, which are Rahu and Ketu aren’t shown here, but in actual sense, they are not planets, but signify the mutual obstruction between the Sun and the Moon. The multiplication of the above mentioned number of planets on the Twelve Signs of Zodiac forms another Perfect Number of the Siddha Tradition, which is ‘84’.

The Related Traditions

The above mentioned arrangement, has been done on the basis of the comparative study of the various esoteric traditions of the world; it is recognized by the numerous Spiritual Traditions of India, as by Vedic Rishis as well as by the followers of Agamas, Vajrayana and others; by the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley, by the Ancient Egyptian Tradition, along with the Teachings of the Hermes Trice-Great and all what can be called Hermeticism; by Judaism including Mandean Religion and Kabbalah; by Christianity including the first hand Gnosticism, by all authentic Alchemical Traditions including the original Raseshvara, as well as by all so called Pagan, Dravidian and Shamanic Traditions all over world. Such order of the planets was also supported by the pioneer of astrology Ptolemy, who could not recognize its esoteric meaning, and thought it was merely the graphical representation of the structure of the macrocosmic solar system. In his composition known as Tetrabiblos (book 1 chapter 23), he has mentioned Egypt and Chaldea as the original sources of his information. In accordance with some Mesopotamian sources, in ancient times, the description of this arrangement of planets was inscribed by Hermes on his Emerald Tablet, and later recovered from Sippara, after the Great Deluge described in the Bible. Moreover, this arrangement, in somewhat modified state, also integrated in the traditional sequence of the Seven Days of Week. Such wide recognition of the same principles within the various spiritual traditions, separated from each other by their geographical regions and the periods of time, is the strong testimony proving their correctness.

The Place and Time of Origination

Tirumantiram 4.1425: Verily, those who have transcended the Nine Spiritual Centers, saw the Lord, whom the nine continents seek. They saw the Continent, which is beyond of all continents; indeed, they are the Pure (suddha) Shaivas. TM 5.1433: They fixed their thoughts on Perfection and lost the consciousness of self-existence; they followed the Twelve-Way Path to the Divine Rapture; they have reached the End of Vedas. That is the vision of those of Pure (suddha) Shaiva Way.

As about the place, time and source of the origination of the Siddha Siddhanta, at this point the numerous spiritual traditions of the world agree unanimously: it is came not from the human origin, but from the One Unborn Lord, One Shepherd or One Cowherd, who is beyond of grasp of time and always present everywhere, and who is ever Auspicious to all subjects of creation. As such, the Supreme Self is never far from those who are sincerely want to know Him, and desire the mutual companionship with Him. On those who want Him more then anything of this world this world, He bestows His Divine Power, through the Grace of which they obtain the Place of Oneness, devoid from all sorrows of the embodied existence (Pad Nirvan). All those who have merged their individual existence in the Divine Existence, knew it not through the verbal descriptions of others, but through their individual awareness raised through the Circles of Powers to the Height of the Supportless Being. And those who have attained it always did this by sacrificing their lower self for the sake of the Supreme Self (Īśvara praṇi dhānā).

Samādhi-siddhir-īśvarapraṇidhānāt | Yoga Sutra 2 || 45 ||

Yoga Sutra 2.45: The Supreme State is attained through the offering life to the Lord (Īśvara).

daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te | BG 7.14

Bhagavad Gītā 7.14: The Supreme Lord has told, ‘It is almost impossible to transcend my Divine Illusion (Māyā) consisting of the Three Modes of Ignorance (Gunās). Only those who have totally surrendered themselves to Me can cross over it.’

Exodus 33.20: But," He said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." Exodus 33.11: The Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.

Tirumantiram 4.1250: As I realized Him, our Isa, I lost myself; as I united in Him, I became one with Him; as I embraced the Lord of All Worlds, I remained in Divine Fulfillment; as I entwined at the Feet of the Primal One, I received the Grace of His Shakti.

jab mai thā tab hari nahī, ab hari hai mai nahi |
sab andhiyārā miṭi gayā, jab dipak dekyā māhi || Saint Kabir

Saint Kabir: When I was, then the Lord was not there, when the Lord is there, I am not there. All darkness disappeared in front of me at once, when I saw the light shining in my heart.

We can say that they have merged into the One Lord, or we can say that the One Lord has incarnated through them, there is no difference in these sayings, for they have realized the oneness with the Spotless Mind of God, and became reborn anew (life-death-life beyond embodied life). Their personal experience, described and expressed by them in multiple formats, has became famous through the ages as the Siddha Siddhanta or the Path of Those Who Attained the Divine Perfection. Since all of them have reached the Same Place, their descriptions in the midst of the regional and temporary differences, demonstrate the presence of the similar principles from tradition to tradition. For the simplification of the complicated process of the Spiritual Transformation, the Siddha Yogis has developed the numerous techniques purposed to assist in the individual spiritual grow; with the passing of time, those methods have became perfected and classified. While in earlier times, the Siddha Siddhanta was considered as the purposed for the close circle of initiated, and was passed on only in the encoded state or in the texts with ambiguous meaning, at the period of the Mahasiddha Movement, with the growing of human awareness, these methods were made openly available by the Great Siddhas to the wider circle of people, in local dialects.

Doha Kosha: 93 So O learned people, please have patience with me, for there is no reason for hesitation; that which I have heard by the word of my Master, why should I speak of it secretly?

The Embodied Image of the Primordial Lord Ādi Nāth

Gurū to Śrī  Gorakṣ Nāth Ji (and Guru is Goraksh Nāth), Bāla Rupa (the Form of Innocent Child), Svayaṁ Jyoti Svarupa (the Form of Self-Existing Light), Alakshya Svarūpa (the Form Beyond of All Definitions), Ayoni (Non-Born).

Amongst other Great Siddhas, the Guru Gorakh Nath is recognized by the Natha Yogis as having two forms: one is the Form of the Universal Teacher of the Siddha Path, Leading to the Final Liberation, and other is the Form of the Individual Embodied Manifestation of the Same Principle. He is the Perfectly Pure Soul within every body, if one comes to know him, then only one may know Oneself in Truth. As the first form, he is present within each individual body in two states, one is concealed and other is revealed:

ghaṭi ghaṭi gorakṣ phirai nirutā | ko ghaṭa jāge ko ghaṭa sūtā |
ghaṭi ghaṭi gorakṣ ghaṭi ghaṭi mīna | āpā paracai gura mukhi cīnha || Shabdi ||38||

Shabdi 38: In the bodies of everyone, Gorakh moves silently; in some bodies, he is awakened; in other bodies, he sleeps. In everyone’s body there are Gorakh and Matsyendra; it is upon you to become acquainted with the presence of the faithful disciple.

Gorakh Nāth sakal ghaṭ vyāpī, kāṭai kali mala, tārai bhava pīrā | Nava Nāth Stuti

Nava Nāth Stuti: Gorakh Nāth dwells in all bodies (reflected in all bodies), cuts away the darkness of Kali (the power of time) and helps one to swim over of the experiencing of misery.

Guru Nanak: ‘O Baba, Gorakh is the Lord of the Universe; He is always awake and aware. He alone is Gorakh, who sustains the earth; He created it in an instant. Binding together water and air, He infused the breath of life into the body, and made the lamps of the Sun and the Moon. To die and to live, He gave us the Earth, but we have forgotten these blessings.’

In accordance with the Natha Tradition, in his second form, he is known as the Personal Manifestation of the Same Universal Liberating Principle of the Auspicious Primordial Lord Ādi Nāth Shiva (Ādi  Nāth Avatār, Śiv Gorakṣ, Śiva Rupa), who being moved by compassion, appears in the different regions of the world for taking care of Creation (viśva bhara yoga śakti udāra phailāe hai) and spreading the Knowledge of Yoga amongst people (āpane kiyā yoga prakāśa). He is the Lord of the Nine Great Lords of Creation (Nava Nātho me Nāth hai), he is their soul, One God served by all (Eko Devā, sarvatra sevā), he is identical with the God Creator (Pūrṇa Brahma Karatār). Being naturally free from the clinging to the cyclical existence (Ādi Puruṣ avināśī, nirguṇ guṇa raśī), he descends down from the Height of Heaven and accepts an embodied form, only to break apart its bondage (nija kar ghata marī), and in such way, manifest the True Path of Yoga to those who seek it. Because he is not of this world of the gross material existence (ayoni), many times his teaching appears as so contradicting to the accepted social believes and as challenging the minds of ‘normal’ people. No need to repeat here that Guru Gorakh Nath, who resides within everyone in the form of the Pure Awareness, isn’t limited to one period of time or to one locality, but ever present everywhere.

The True Value of Awareness

Tirumantiram 5.1560: Shiva laid the Divine Ancient Path that leads to the Home Eternal. Seek Him that way, and know that you are He; you shall duly find Him within yourself. TM 5.1437: You and He are not two separate, you and He are but one united. Freed of all sectarian shackles, take your stand so; adore the Feet of the Supreme Power (Paraparai) and become One with Shiva; in this way the Siddhanta fulfills. TM 5.1481: When you listen the Voice of Silence after burning up the Five Impurities, you would become a pure liberated (mukta), and I and you would merge in one. And by the Unblemished Grace granted by Jnana, you shall enjoy the Bliss Divine; verily, then by the Path of Truth (Sat Marga), you would become He, indeed. TM 5.1492: Through this Path of Communion (Saha Marga), the Yogis pierce the circles (adharas) and purify the energetic channels (nadis); they visualize the sixteen kalas (of Moon), and glimpse their heavenly radiance. And then they are merging in the Supreme Awareness, with all their organs of sense, internal and external, brought to rest. Doha Kosha 110: Two trees sprung from One Seed, and for that reason there is but One Fruit. He who thinks of them as indistinguishable thus, is released from Nirvana and Samsara. Doha Kosha 60: So long as you do not recognize the Supreme One in yourself, how should you gain this incomparable form? I have taught that when error ceases, you know yourself for what you are. Doha Kosha 89: The same without as within. Firmly established at the 14th stage, the bodiless form is concealed within the body. He who knows this is released thus. TM 5.1555: The Only Being, the Eternal Being, within you He dwells! When you say so, these ignorant men laugh low. Poor folk! If instead they seek Him within in prayer, then shall they meet Him, the Incomparable One.

How are numerous the objects of the Created Existence, but how many of them have the capability to comprehend even their own existence? And where is the Supreme Lord to be found? And why ‘I’ is always written in capital letter, in the same way as the names of the Lord? The Awareness (Caitanya) is the precious thing in the ranks of Creation, because wherever it is, there is He, with his Power, for the awareness came trough Him. It is for the sake of this awareness that that the complete Universe with all its animated and unanimated objects came into existence, for what is the use of the multiplicity of forms, without anyone to comprehend their existence? And what a wonder of the creative design, and what a luxury it is: The complete Universe with its Divine Order is provided for each embodied soul!

piṇḍamadhye carācarau yo jānāti sa yogī piṇḍasaṁvittirbhavati || SSP || 3 || 1 ||

Siddha Siddhānta Paddhati 3.1: The yogi who knows the all movable (or animate) and immovable (or inanimate) objects of the universe within the individual body, became the knower of the body (piṇḍa).

A Drop in an Ocean

The saying that the Path of Yoga could be compared with the melting of a drop in an ocean, so that they would become one, couldn’t be accepted as exactly correct, for it forgets to mention the awareness of the drop. Where it would disappear? And what one should reach and where one should go? In real sense, the drop would become the ocean itself, because its awareness would remain the same; only the way, how one perceives oneself would be changed. Instead of disappearing, the small would abandon its limitations and become large. So is the Path of Siddhas, it raises the same awareness from gross levels to subtler, till it reaches the Topmost One, when the feeling of separation (ayoga) disappears permanently. No need to mention here that out of all subjects of creation, it is only human beings, who have the capability to do both: to comprehend this existence and to raise their awareness to the Place of the Primordial Lord.

The Wide Popularity

How does it happen that the Siddha Siddhanta has became integrated into so many spiritual traditions all over the world in so many formats? If we consider how the Teachings of the Great Siddhas gained its wide popularity, and split the matter in the individual cases, then we will come to conclusion that they did this not by the skillful conversations and voracious learning of scriptures, but by the demonstration of the real Divine Presence and the real Divine Power through their lives. Nobody can deny the manifestation of the Divine Power in front of their eyes, and the real things always were highly valuated; and it was because of their spiritual authority that the Great Enlightened Seers of past have became instrumental behind the creation of the established religious traditions. Many have claimed that they have attained the Supreme State, but the statements of few only were accepted as valid, for the numerous kings, by whom the social religious ordination was shaped, were never convinced by merely words, but were demanding the real prove of the Divine Authority.

The Path which Works

The Doctrines of Siddhas has become prevalent so widely not because the superiority of their dogmas over the ideas expressed by other thinkers, but because their methods were working practically, and allowed instead of speculating about the Divine Realms, directly experience them. And those methods were working practically because they were based not on the mental speculations created by people, but on the correct knowledge of the Divine Order (Sanatana Dharma), which remained ever same since the moment the creation has happened and even before it. The theories breaded in mind could be compared with the pointing of finger into sky; how can mind lead to that which could not be reached or defined by words? There is One God, whose Power makes every single thing in this world happening; all who have reached Him, have reached verily the Same Place; and they did this not by the power of their imagination, but by walking the Path leading to the place which is far beyond of the reaching of empirical mind. That’s why, the Siddhas from the height of their raised awareness, could always easily see the essential ones underlining the foundation of all religions; the main reason why the principles of the Siddha Siddhanta could be so easily integrated into the various religions of the world is because it couldn’t be done otherwise.

The Universal Path

Archa Dipam: 1 O! Come you together from all parts of this world! See, this is the time for finding that condition of Love, which will secure us the Grace of that Gracious, and Supreme Light, which is One, which is All, and which is the Life of life. AD 2: O! Come you together, to see the Divine Presence, which will give you liberation; and do not enter the paths of those doctrines, which stumble in untruth. AD 3: Oh! That great overflow of the boundless joy of union, with the Gracious One, is rising and flows over. It is prevailing everything and yet remains One! Come You together to partake of It, and obtain bliss, before ever our bodies perish!

Tirumantiram 5.1498: His Holy Feet are our Rock of Refuge, His Commandments (Adesha), our defense battlements. Verily, He is the finite shore for the surging tide of the embodied souls (jivas) on the Earth; He pervades thus, the Seven Worlds equally. TM 5.1570: The Primal Lord has spanned the Seven Worlds, He stands as the sea of the multiple life here below, and in union with the Supreme Power (Para Shakti) that knows no separation, He pervades all; verily, the Lord is the Beginning and End of the Entire Existence of All.

Because those who has became perfected through the Divine Power and established in the Divine Spirit (Siddhas), were not satisfied with the merely mental speculations, they have chosen to follow the Practical Path of the Realization of the Supreme State, the Path of the Living Divine Presence:

ātmeti paramātmeti jīvātmeti vicāraṇe |
trayāṇāmaikyasambhūtiḥ ādeśa iti kīrtitaḥ || SSP || 6 | 94 ||

SSP 6.94: To contemplate on the individual soul (ātmeti) as being identical with the Supreme Soul (paramātmeti) and with the own embodied soul (jīvātmeti), and realize Oneness of these three (in own life), is called Ādeśa or the Divine Order.

Although this Path, being integrated into so many regional spiritual traditions of the world, separated from each other by time periods, regional customs and circumstances, isn’t so obviously apparent, it always remained the same: Because the Supreme Lord already knows about everything better, the Way of Virtue is to follow his Divine Order or Adesha, after realizing the Divine Presence in own life. The last condition is very important one, for many have claimed that they have attained the realization of the Supreme State, but did they done this after actually realizing the Living Divine Presence in their lives? Even mad people have tendency to claim that they have direct communication with God, but such statements have no another proof then their verbal expression, while their way of action directly contradict this. And of course, there always were some, who after reading few books, instead of merging in the Pure Mind of God by following the proper Spiritual Path, have announced themselves to be gods, and own whims for the God’s Revelations; and they did these being blinded by their pride:

binu guru panth na pāīe bhūlai se jo bhenṭ
jogī sidhdh hoi tab jab gorakh se hau bhenṭ || (Padmāvat)

Padmavat: Without Guru one can't get the Path, don't forget about this truth; yogi becomes siddha (attaining success in sadhana) when he meets Goraksh.

guru kī vācā khojai nāhī ahaṁkārī ahaṁkār karai |
khojī jīvai khoji gurū ko ahaṁkārī kā pyaṁḍa parai || Shabdi ||151||

Shabdi 151: Goraksh said, ‘those whose egos are inflamed, they do not try to find where the words of Guru lead. Those who search for their life, they will find their Guru, but the proud will never become the ‘masters’ of their bodies.’ (Literally, their bodies are not belonging to them).

sāca kā sabad sonā kā rekha | nigurāṁ kaucā ṇaka sagurā kau upadesa |
gura ka munḍiyā guna me rahai | nigurā bhramai auguṇa gahai || Shabdi ||149||

Shabdi 149: Goraksh said, ‘the Word of Truth (Sāca kā Sabad) is like the line made of gold. Those without Guru, are getting nothing, but those with Guru, have obtained their lesson. Those who were properly initiated by their Guru, they become established in Goodness, but those who wandering without Guru, always carry with them only their numerous flows (auguṇa gahai).

The Shakti Pata or the Path of the Divine Power

Tirumantiram 4.1055: Where the Lord is, there His Consort Maha Devi is; where there is a fleshy body, there is She as the Protectress of Life. Wherever there is space, there is She, and beyond also; She is everywhere, the Sovereign Over All Things.

The way to realize the eternal companionship with the Supreme Lord is the Way of the Direct Spiritual Union, which in other words can be defined as the Tantra of Yoga. It is called ‘tantra’ because of its practical nature, which straight away, purposed to bring up the desired results, and because it works. On the Path of Siddhas, nothing need to be acquired or brought in from outside, only the obstacles prevented one from seeing the Divine Self, should be removed one by one. In the process, the Nine Doors of the body should be gradually brought under control, and the Life Force should be redirected from attending their activity, towards the Tenth Door, the Door of Realization, leading to the Supreme Self.

Since the Supreme Lord is recognized as always residing in the realms which are beyond of the conditioned existence (unborn), and has delegated all his responsibilities concerned this world to His Divine Power (the First Emanation, essentially indifferent from the Primordial Lord), it is through His Divine Power, by which the whole existence is prevailed that he can be approached. Indeed, it is the only the Divine Mother, who can make one relived from the illusion created by her, and raise one’s awareness to the State of the Direct Perception of Truth, devoid of separation. The spiritual seeker may not have the same awareness with the Supreme Lord, but His Personal Power, surely does; the awareness of the Lord and His Divine Power are truly inseparable:

śivasyābhyantare śakti śakterābhyataraḥ śivaḥ |
antaraṁ naiva jānīyāccandracandrikayoriva || SSP || 4 || 26 ||
SSP 4.26 Śakti abides in Śiva, and Śiva abides in Śakti, there is no difference between these two, as between the Moon and moonlight.

Shiva is the unchanging aspect of the same awareness (akula), Shakti is the dynamic aspect of it (kula); even in her separation She is inseparable from Her Lord.

Tirumantiram 4.1157: The Benevolent Lady remained with Her Spouse, sharing Her half with the Supreme Lord; follow that Lady of the Divine Light and gain Her support, and you will become purified and all sorrows will come to end. TM 4.1066: She stood as body and life, She, the Para Shakti, took me to the Shiva State. She entered in me and stood one in my awareness; She of the Unearthly Light, She that holds the Book of Knowledge in Her hand divine. TM 5.1524: She, of shapely breasts and delicate beauty, is the Damsel of the mountain regions. If you adore Her with devotion, She cuts the bonds of birth asunder; grants the prowess of mighty penance (tapas); scorches the soul's forgetfulness and leads you to the Path of Liberation. TM 4.1103: She, the Goodly Lady, is the Supreme Mistress of all penances (tapas), She the State of Mind Beyond of Thoughts (Manonmani), who by Her Glance of Grace dispels the darkness of Maya. Stand and adore Her gently, having worshiped Her, no more births shall be yours.

That is why the Siddha Path is mainly the Path of the Awakening of the Supreme Goddess Kundalini, also known as the Path of the Supreme Power or Śakti Pāta:

kathanācchaktipātadvā yadvāpadāvalokanāt | prasādāt sva guroḥ samyak prāpyate paramaṁ padam | SSP 5 || 62 ||

SSP 5.62: The Supreme Destination (Param Pada) is attained by the obtaining the Path of the Supreme Power (Shakti Pata or the awakening of the Personal Divine Power), through the proper supervision and grace of the own Guru, through his sayings and through the acknowledgement of his orders (literally looking at his feet).

saśailavanadhātrīṇāṁ yathādhāro'hināyakaḥ |
sarveṣāṁ yogatantrāṇāṁ tathādhāro hi kuṇḍalī || HYP || 3 | 1 ||

HYP 3.1: Verily in the same way as (yathā hi) the chief (nāyakaḥ) of serpents (ahi) is the support (ādhāraḥ) of the earth (dhātrīṇām) with (sa) all its mountains (śaila) and forests (vana), so (tathā) (is) the Divine Power Kuṇḍalinī (kuṇḍalī) doubtless (hi), the support (ādhāraḥ) of all (sarveṣām) methods (tantrāṇām) leading to the Spiritual Union (yoga).

suptā guruprasādena yadā jāgarti kuṇḍalī |
tadā sarvāṇi padmāni bhidyante granthayo'pi ca || HYP || 3 | 2 ||

HYP 3.2: When (yadā), the sleeping (suptā) Divine Power Kuṇḍalinī (kuṇḍalī) becomes awakened (jāgarti) through the grace (prasādena) of the spiritual preceptor (guru), then (tadā) all (sarvāṇi) lotuses (padmāni) along with (api ca) all knots (granthayaḥ) are passed through (bhidyante).

yena saṁcālitā śaktiḥ sa yogī siddhibhājanam |
kimatra bahunoktena kālaṁ jayati līlayā || HYP || 3 | 120 ||

HYP 3.120: That (sa) yogi (yogī) by whom (yena) the Power (śaktiḥ) has been moved (saṁcālitā), attains (bhājanam) the Ultimate End of the yoga practices (siddhi). What (kim) more (bahunā) to say (uktena) here (atra)? The death (kālam) becomes playfully conquered (līlayā jayati)!

Tirumantiram 4.1154: They who define God as "This" and "That", they Know Him not. They know not the True One who grants the Ultimate Liberation, they know not the Great Lady of tresses, bedecked with honeyed-flower and conferring grace; they are of muddled understanding. TM 4.1229: The way becomes Sat Marga (the Path of Truth), when all evils are driven away; from that Virtuous Way, all good deeds are arise. Indeed, the Shakti is the Mistress of that Way of Truth (Sat Marga). TM 4.1199: Sakti is the Lady of Sadhaka, She is the Mistress of Liberation. This they know not, and in vain, their devotion went in other ways, wretches they are; like a beaten dog, they scream and wail.

vedanā anādi dharmasya paramātmatva bodhanā|
varjanā aparamātmatve tasmādvidyeti socyate|| Svacchanda Tantra

Svacchanda Tantra: She is called the Supreme Wisdom [parā] (vidyā) because She makes known the Ordination which has no beginning; she awakens to the Supreme Self and abandons all that have inferior (apara) nature.

The Glory of the Divine Wisdom

Panaretos Sophia 6-8: Wisdom is glorious, and never fades away, and is easily seen by them that love Her, and is found by them that seek Her. She prevents them that longing for Her, so that she first reveals herself to them. He that awakes early to seek Her, shall not labor, for he shall find Her sitting at his door. Therefore, to think upon Her, is the perfect understanding, and he that watches for Her, shall quickly be secure. For she goes about seeking those who are worthy of Her, and she shows herself to them cheerfully in the ways, and meet them with all providence. For the beginning of Wisdom is the sincere desire of discipline.  And the care of discipline is love; and love is the keeping of Her laws; and the keeping of Her laws is the firm foundation of incorruption.  And incorruption brings us near to the God. Therefore the desire of Wisdom leads to the everlasting Kingdom of God…

For in Her is the Spirit of Understanding: Holy One, manifold, subtle, eloquent, active, undefiled, sure, sweet, loving that which is good, quick, which hindering nothing, beneficent, gentle, kind, steadfast, assured, secure, having all power, overseeing all things, and containing all spirits, intelligible, pure, subtle. For Wisdom is more active than all active things, and reaches everywhere by the reason of Her purity. For she is a vapor of the Power of God, and a certain pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty Lord; and therefore no defiled thing come into Her; for she is the brightness of the Eternal Light, and the Unspotted Mirror of the Lord's Majesty, and the Image of his Goodness. And being but one, she can do all things; and remaining in herself the same, she renews all things, and through nations conveys herself into holy souls, she makes the friends of God and prophets, for God loves none, but him that dwells with Wisdom…

She glorifies Her nobility by being conversant with God; yea and the Lord of all things has loved Her, for it is she that teaches the Knowledge of God, and is the chooser of his works. And if riches be desired in life, what is richer than Wisdom, which makes all things? And if the skill to do work; who is a more artful worker than she of whom all things that are? And if a man love justice: Her labors have great virtues, for she teaches self-control, and good sense, and justice, and fortitude, which are such things as men can have nothing more profitable in life. And if a man desire much knowledge: she knows things of past, and judges of things to come; she knows the subtitles of speeches, and the solutions of arguments; she knows signs and wonders before they be done, and the events of times and ages.

The Divine Grace

Tirumantiram 4.1053: There is no Celestials who know Her not; there is no exceptional austerity (tapas) that is not for Her; except Her, the Five Great Lords perform nothing, except Her, I know not, another way to reach the City of Salvation. TM 5.1430: She transcends the worlds of Matter, pure and impure, and the seven states of turiya awareness, and the categories of real and unreal. She is Paraparai, She grants the deliverance of the soul, She is ever within. She is the Lord's Divine Grace, the Power of Grace (Arul Sakti) that is all pervasive. TM 4.1068: Sing Her praise, adore Her Feet, thus beseech Her and worship Her, Meditate on Her, who is with elephant goad and noose and cane of sugar; She, the Primal Virgin Lady. TM 4.1074: She as the Supreme Mistress of all creation stood, She the Uncreated Being, Tatparai; She is the Fourteen Worlds that created from Bindu; She is the World of Celestials, She is Mind and Intellect goodly, She is the Shiva State too. TM 4.1112: He who wears the crescent moon on His head, He who has the Third Eye in His Forehead, In Him, She, the full-breasted Lady in union abides, looking toward Him, who is at the peak of the Mount Meru within; The Flowery Vine, too, stood there. TM 4.1077: The Three Gods are there contained; they who meditate on Her will not go by the way of the embodied souls (jivas) bound by Tattvas; the blessed ones, who meditate on Tiripurai, they become radiant. TM 4.1131: Untroubled by the ways of ego (anava), looking inward, steadying the wavering mind, centering it on high, thus when they realize the praiseworthy Supreme (Para), they and He for ever one become.

The Prayer for Wisdom

Panaretos Sophia 9: God of my fathers, and Lord of mercy, who has made all things with your Word, and by your Wisdom has appointed man, that he should have dominion over the creatures that were made by you; that he should order the world according to equity and justice, and execute justice with an upright heart. Give me Wisdom that sits by Your Throne, and cast me not off from your children. For I am your servant, the son of your handmaid, a weak man of short time, and falling short of the understanding of judgment and laws…

 Send Her from your Holy Heaven, from the Throne of your Majesty, so that she may be with me, and may accompany my labor, so that I may know what is acceptable to you. For she knows and understands all things, and shall lead me soberly in my works, and shall preserve me by Her Power… 

For who among men is he that can know the Counsel of God? Or who can think what the Will of God is? For the thoughts of a mortal men are fearful, and our reasoning is uncertain. For the corruptible body is a load upon the soul, and the earthly habitation presses the mind down, to ponder upon many things. And hardly do we guess aright at things that are upon earth; and with labor do we find the things that are before us. But the things that are in Heaven, who shall search out? And who shall know your thought, except those whom you give your Wisdom, and send your Holy Spirit from above? And so the ways of them that are upon earth may be corrected, and men may learn the things that please you? For by Wisdom they were healed, whosoever have pleased you, O Lord, from the beginning.

Tirumantiram 4.1123: She is the Light that shines in those who severed their Karmas hard, She is the Truth of all those who reach Her. She is the Lady that took me into Her vassalage, the Lord is Her Spouse, yet beginningless is She. TM 4.1105: She is the Virgin seated in Muladhara, She is the Unrivaled Mistress, She is the Lady Supreme, She beckoned me apart, She separated my impurities. She loved my heart, and there She entered. TM 4.1060: She is the Mistress of Worlds, She rules over my heart, She performs continuous austerity (tapas), She is lovely as peacock, She is Virgin conquered all knowledge, She stands filled in my heart. TM 4.1061: She who thus stands bedecked in jewels, with beaming kalas, She entered my heart, The Seven Worlds to adore She entered the Holy Dance arena; She is the Mind beyond of thoughts (Manonmani), the Jewel of Inmost Thought, She is Ever Auspicious (Mangali), and in me She merged, non-separable forever. TM 4.1107: As I was steeped in slumber divine, She, Manonmani, came, and by Her be-bangled arms drew me close, and into my mouth transferred Her luminous spittle of Grace And said, "No more shall you slumber, my son." This is the miracle She performed. TM 4.1132: This Mistress of the Great Elements (Tattvas), of Herself She arose and illumined the Moon in the astral sphere within. Unto a column of treacle the light of Kundalini bright rises, know you, where that Fawn dances!

The Three Kinds of Knowledge

In accordance with the division of the created existence into the three zones, which are Heaven (the World of Spiritual Realms, the Highest Region), Earth (the World of the conditioned existence in the Gross Physical Realms, the Middle Region) and Netherworld or Hell (the World of Suffering and Darkness, the Lowest Region), the Siddha Siddhanta divides knowledge into three categories, which are: the Heavenly Knowledge, the Earthy Knowledge and Ignorance. Ignorance (avidya) pushes awareness below, into the experiencing of suffering. The threefold mundane knowledge (vidya) tie it in the middle, in the region of the mixed experience of the limited freedom and revolving in the constant cyclical existence. And the spiritual knowledge (jnana or para vidya) leads soul upwards, to the liberation from all kinds of suffering and to the Supreme Bliss (nirvana). From the point of view of the Enlightened Seers, the three fold (having three modes) worldly knowledge is also considered as the form of ignorance or the limited knowledge, binding soul to the suffering in the continuous movement of the cyclical existence (samsāra).

The Wandering of Awareness

bindumūlaṁ śarīraṁ tu śirāstatra pratiṣṭhitāḥ |
bhāvayanti śarīraṁ yā āpādatalamastakam || Gorakṣa Śataka || 68 ||

Gorakṣa Śataka 68: Indeed (tu), the bindu (bindu) is the root (mūlam) of the body (śarīram), for this reason (tatra) it should be established (pratiṣṭhitā) in the head (śirāḥ). This body (śarīram) comes into being (bhāvayanti) [as the gross body], if it (yā) falls (āpāda) from its place at the top of the head (tala mastakam).

ākṣipto bhujadaṇḍena yathoccalati kandukaḥ |
prāṇāpānasamākṣiptastathā jīvo na tiṣṭhati || GS || 38 ||

GS 38: In the same way (yatha) as a ball (kandukaḥ) strike (ākṣiptaḥ) by the rod (bhujadaṇḍena) moves (uccalati), so (tathā) the embodied soul (jīvaḥ) being sized (samākṣiptaḥ) by the upper vital air (prāṇa) and lower vital air (apāna), does not rest (na tiṣṭhati).

prāṇāpānavaśo jīvo hyadhaścordhvaṁ ca dhāvati |
vāmadakṣiṇamārgeṇa cañcalatvānna dṛśyate || GS || 39 ||

GS 39: Being controlled (vaśaḥ) by the upper and the lower vital airs (prāṇa apāna), the embodied soul (jīvaḥ), rushes (dhāvati) up (ūrdhvam) and (ca) down (adhas) through Left (vāma) and Right (dakṣiṇa) paths (mārgeṇa), indeed (hi), due being restless, [it] does not perceive [the Supreme Self or own true form svarupa] (na dṛśyate, literally ‘don’t sees’).

rajjubaddho yathā śyeno gato'pyākṛṣyate punaḥ |
guṇabaddhastathā jīvaḥ prāṇāpānena kṛṣyate || GS || 40 ||

GS 40: In the same way (yathā) as a hawk (śyenaḥ) tied up (baddhaḥ) with a string (rajju), although (api) it goes away (gataḥ), is drawn (ākṛṣyate) back (punaḥ), so (tathā) the embodied soul (jīvaḥ), bound (baddhaḥ) by the [three] modes of nature (guṇa), is drawn (kṛṣyate) by the upper and lower vital airs (prāṇa apānena).

The Wheel of Time

The Kala Chakra (the Wheel of Time) can be compared with the complicated mechanism (yantra) composed from the rotating wheels situated at the different levels of the Great Mountain; then lower level is, then stronger is centrifugal power; the topmost point is completely devoid of motion. Being ensnared by the yoke of the karmic activities, the human awareness, which is essentially the mirrored Awareness of the Supreme Self, in the process of its descend to the different levels, becomes entrapped in the Circles of Powers, where it experiences the periods of good and bad feelings. One and the same awareness, which is in its pure state is essentially free from all sorrows of existence, after descending through Right, Left and Middle Paths, becomes entrapped into the realms of the conditioned cyclical existence (Tin Lokas), and even below it. The necessity pushes mind, and mind pushes breathing; in such way, karmas bind the embodied soul to the lower regions of confusion. With the descend of awareness from the more subtle regions to the grosser, it gradually looses its identity with the Supreme Self, and becomes more and more entrapped by the hold of the material existence. As the side effect of its descend, the pairs of opposites come to existence: along with capability to feel good, comes the vulnerability to feeling bad, along with happiness, sorrow comes side by side, along with life death is born. Side by side with the qualities, which could be defined as rather virtuous, the qualities of the various forms of wickedness also appear. While the virtuous actions lead one to happiness, the vile actions push one in the experiencing misery. While knowledge leads one to the gradual liberation from sorrows, the ignorance pushes into the state of the constant feeling of burning.

īśvara uvāca:
kalanāsphūrtirūpeṇa saṁsārabhramatāṁ gatam ||
etadrūpaḥ samāyātaḥ sa kathaṁ moha sāgare YB || 27 ||
niṣkalaṁ nirmalaṁ sākśāt svarūpaṁ gaganopamam |
utpattisthitisaṁhārasphūrtijñānavivarjitam YB || 28 ||
nimajjati varārohe tyaktvā vidhiṁ punaḥ punaḥ |
sukhaduḥkhādimoheṣu yathā saṁsāriṇāṁ sthitiḥ  YB || 29 ||

Yoga Bija 27: The Supreme Lord has told: ‘O [Goddess] comparable with the Ocean of Delusion! Now, I narrate how the attribute-less form, which has acquired attributes becomes whirled into activity, and pooled by it, descends (from its enlightened state) to the wondering in the world of the material existence. YB 28: The attribute-less and devoid of all imperfections, pure like the sky, experienced within himself Supreme Self is beyond of birth, existence and destruction, and all kinds of activities. YB 29: O Beauteous Parvati, this Pure From, again and again gives up the knowledge of the own Pure Nature, repeatedly involves itself into the experiencing of joy, sorrow and delusion, and becomes involved in the worldly activity (departs from its own Supreme Self)”.

The Life Force

When awareness (bindu), becomes dislocated from its fixed place at the top, and becomes whirled into the circles below, it appears then as the Life Force or Prana Shakti. Prana Shakti is both, the supporter of awareness and the Power causing the gradual appearance of the Ego, Mind and the Five Great Elements, along with the sense facilities and the organs of actions assigned to them. When the Life Force descends down to the grossest levels, it becomes wasted there. This process could be compared with the functioning of the sand-watch, once all sand is finished, the game is over. The soul, which is essentially free, has to take the consequent rebirths, in the various worlds, in accordance with the sum of its good and bad deeds. The only way to prevent this state of things is not to allow Bindu to move down from the Summit of the Great Mountain.

One and the same Divine Power becomes responsible as for the appearance of the individual body (internal) with its awareness of self existence, as well for the bringing into motion the Complete Creation (external) with its providence (casual). From these, the triple division comes forth: the observer, the object of observation and the act of observing; the knower, the object of knowledge and the act of knowing; the experiencer, the object of experience and the act of experiencing. From this triple division, the three kinds of burning, tormenting the embodied soul are produced, which are the sorrow arisen from oneself (adhyātmam), the sorrow arisen from the external world (adhibhūtam) and the sorrow arisen from the filling of the mutual separation with the Supreme Self or the lack of providence (adhidaivam). By the gradual removal of the both sided separation of the individual embodied soul and the Supreme Soul, all of the Three Kinds of Burning become extinguished. When the Triple Awareness (of the Supreme Lord, of the Divine Power and of the Individual Embodied Soul) has merged into One, the sense of duality and the sorrows arisen from it, disappear forever. When all Three Bindus have became one, and have been firmly established at their place at the top, the Perfect Divine Order remains unobstructed by the interference of the empirical mind. The mind comes from the necessity to have body, but life exists even beyond of body.

yatsukhaṁ tatsvargaṁ yadduḥkhaṁ tannarakaṁ yatkarmatadbandhanaṁ yannirvikalpaṁ tanmuktiḥ svarūpadaśāyāṁ nidrādau svātmajāgaraḥ śāntirbhavati | evaṁ sarvadeheṣu viśvarūpaparameśvaraḥ paramātmā'khaṇḍasvabhāvena ghaṭe ġhaṭe citsvarūpo tiṣṭhati || SSP || 3 || 13 ||

SSP 3.13: When there is happiness (sukha), then it is Heaven (svarga); when there is sorrow (duḥkha), then it is Hell (narak). When there is unfulfilled providence causing the engagement of the mind (karma), then it is bondage (bandhana); when the mind activity has ceased (nirvikalpa), then it is liberation (mukti). The awakening of the own soul, from the state of slumber on the account of the Supreme Self, produces inner peace. Thus the Supreme Lord, the Image of the world, the Supreme Soul having the nature of the Unceasing Self Awareness, resides in every individual body.

The Spiritual Initiation

The Universal Siddha Path can be defined as formed by the Tree Consequent Initiations (Dīkṣā) leading to the Four Stages of Realization and passing through the Five Stages of the Spiritual Transformation (Sanatana). Although in the various spiritual scriptures there could be found more perspectives of the same stages, this article would be concentrated mostly on the above mentioned order.

The Sanskrit word ‘dīkṣā’ is derived from the root ‘dīkṣ’, which can be translated in English as ‘to consecrate’; the most common translation of the word dīkṣā́ in English is ‘to initiate’. The English word ‘initiate’, in its turn comes from the Latin words ‘initiat-‘ or ‘initiare’, which have meaning 'begin'. In this context, the meaning of the term ‘initiation’ can be translated as the formal ritualistic admission of a person into fold of religion or an established spiritual tradition, society, sect or selected category of people, which provides access to the new level of knowledge and understanding, and consequently transforms the way how one perceives own life. The purpose of dīkṣā is more then merely initiation to the new dimensions of knowledge, but it also simultaneously commences the process of the liberation from the certain category of impurities and imperfections (malas), separating the yoga practitioner from the Supreme Self:

kāmakrodhalobhamohamadamānāhaṃkārāśceti sapta bandhanāni || Āmaraugha Śāsana || 25 | 1 ||

Āmaraugha Śāsana 25.1: Sensual desire (kāma), wrath (krodha), greed (lobha), delusion (moha), intoxication by the filling of self importance and own power (mada), the desire to be honored (māna) and the sense of oneself (ahaṃ-kārā) are the Seven Bondages.

The above mentioned Seven Bondages also known in the various Holy Scriptures as ‘the inner enemies of the embodied soul’ or ‘the gates leading to hell, bind the soul to the suffering in the remains of the conditioned existence (karma). Out of them, the desire (kāma) is the root of the appearance of rest; it is desire which makes one live the center and penetrate the boundary of the Circle of Fire, which in its turn, leads to losing the Pure Awareness. When the karmic effects, which bind the soul to the roaming in the lower regions, become removed, the powers preventing awareness from the upward movement would also disappear. In such way, the individual awareness becomes raised stage by stage, from initiation to initiation; from one level to other.

bandhurātmātmanastasya yenātmaivātmanā jitaḥ |
anātmanastu śatrutve vartetātmaiva śatruvat BG || 6.6||

BG 6.6: The Self is the friend of the self for him who has conquered himself by the Self, but to the unconquered self, this self stands in the position of an enemy like foe.

The Pure One can be approached only by equally pure. The Absolute Power requires its proper respect, devoid of all selfish motivation. At the primary stage of the Yoga practice, the connection between the embodied living soul (jivatma) and the Supreme Soul (Paramatma) is very weak, and they natures appear as much in contradiction with each other, but with the further progress, this gap becomes less and less. During the yoga practice, the embodied soul has to gradually realize its natural state as indifferent from the nature of the Supreme Soul. In the primary stage of the Yoga practice, the hold of the material existence (mind+nine doors) is very strong, but later on, it slowly becomes transcended. When the critical mass of Sattva becomes gradually accumulated, the hold of the gross body and ego becomes loosened; then the embodied soul starts understand and appreciate its real nature (beyond of Tenth Door), which is naturally beyond of the effects of time. When that which is natural for the Supreme Self becomes the natural for the embodied soul, the Uninterrupted Spontaneous State (Niruthana Param Pada) comes forth spontaneously, and the objectives of the Yoga practice (sadhana) become fulfilled.

Warning: Because the raising of the awareness to the higher levels simultaneously enables the spiritual aspirant with the certain amount of powers, which potentially could be abused, the consequent initiations are supposed to be performed after the testing of his intentions and integration.

The Four Initiations

Tirumantiram 5.1508: In the worship of action (kriya) there are the Four Sacraments: Samaya Dīkṣā (the Initiation leading to the mutual agreement) prepares heart for the Tabernacle of the Lord and Visheśa Dīkṣā (the Selective Initiation) installs the faith firm. Nirvana Dīkṣā (Divine Initiation leading to the Final Bliss) helps to realize the Truth of Faith, and Abhiṣeka Dīkṣā (the Final Anointment) confers the state of the Supreme Samadhi.

Tirumantiram 5.1512: In the pilgrimage of soul towards the Lord, the Shaiva Path defines the Stages Four: It is auspicious, when the Self forges a kindred tie with Shiva (in Saloka or awareness of Lord’s existence). It is auspicious, when the Soul realizes itself as near to God (in Samipa or proximity). It is auspicious, when it leaves Samipa (and reaches Sarupa or the Form of God). It is auspicious when it enjoys the final bliss of Shivananda, the inextricable union in Sayujya (Oneness).

In the various scriptures of the Siddha Siddhanta Tradition, the Three Stages of Initiation are generally recognized:

1. Samaya Dīkṣā, or the ordinary formal initiation in the spiritual tradition (the First Right Hand Outer Initiation presided by Surya and Dharma);

2. Visheśa Dīkṣā, or the Special Initiation, which results in the awakening the Divine Power Kundalini and obtaining Shaktipata (the Left Hand Inner Initiation presided by Chandra and Yoga);

3. Nirvana Dīkṣā, or the Divine Initiation leading to the permanent liberation from all kinds of bondage, suffering and further taking rebirth (the Second Both Sides Inner-Outer Initiation presided by Agni, when the Dharma and Yoga are brought in the perfect harmony).

utpattisthitipralayāś ceti mārgatrayam || Āmaraugha Śāsana || 23 | 1||

Āmaraugha Śāsana 23.1: Manifestation (utpatti), Sustenance (sthiti) and (ca) Dissolution (pralayāḥ) these are (iti) the Three (trayam) Ways (mārga).

kriyā cecchā tathā jñānā brāhmī raudrī ca vaiṣṇavī |
tridhā śaktiḥ sthitā yatra tatparaṁ jyotiromiti || GS || 86 ||

GS 86: That (tad) Supreme (param) Light (jyotiḥ), where (yatra) the threefold (tridhā) Creative Power (śaktiḥ) resides (sthitā), [as] action (kriyā), desire (icchā), and knowledge (jñānā), [and as] Brāhmī, Raudrī and (ca) Vaiṣṇavī, is Om (om iti).

The first of the Three Initiations presided by the Lord of creation Brahma and his consort, the Great Goddess of Learning Sarasvati (Icchā Śakti); the second by the Lord of sustenance Vishnu and his consort the Goddess of Universe Lakshmi (Jñāna Śakti); and the third by the Lord of Dissolution Mahakala Rudra and his consort the Goddess of Destruction Rudrani (Kriyā Śakti). Normally, these There Powers remain in dispersed state, but when they are focused properly and directed simultaneously to the One Aim, the liberation could be attained for sure.

Tirumantiram 3.752: The Yogi who through the spinal column ascends the adharas above, sees the Three Mandalas together, bound by rapture. Those who saw that vision saw the end of Karmas; those who saw that not, die to be born again. TM 3.852: Sixteen the kalas of the Moon, twelve of the Sun and ten of the Fire; the Yogi experiences them all in the upward journey of the Life Force (Prana) through the Middle Chanel (Sushumna), and all that becomes his mystic knowledge (Jnana).

To know one has first strive for knowledge; hence as the first stage of the attainment of the Divine Wisdom, the Supreme Power appears as the Energy of Will or Icchā Śakti. Where there is will, there is the way, for nothing is accomplished in this world without preceding intentions. From the will to find out, the Path to Knowledge could be attained. Therefore, at the second stage the Supreme Power appears as the Energy of Knowledge or Jñāna Śakti, which produced from the proper awakening and ascend of Kundalini. For the accomplishment of the Process of the Spiritual Transformation, the merely knowledge isn’t enough; for that reason at the third stage of the attainment of the Divine Wisdom the Divine Power appears as the Energy of Action or Kriyā Śakti, which makes it inevitable.

Since the objective of the Siddha Path is the raising and merging of awareness, it also can be defined as 1,2,3, where one is equal to Three; two equal to Two; and three equal to One Awareness. The first initiation is of gross realms, the second of subtle realms and the third of casual realms, of Earth, Water and Fire. In accordance with this order, the Three Major Initiations could be defined as the Purification by Earth, the Purification by Water and the Purification by Fire. Or in other words, as the Purification by the Goddess of the Earth and Wisdom, by the Goddess of Grace and of the Heavenly Waters and by the Fiery Goddess of Liberation, or as the Three Stages of the Attainment of the Divine Wisdom. At the first stage, the Shakti appears to the spiritual aspirant as an outer manifestation, at the second as inner manifestation, and at the third as transcending both in union.

The first two initiations are also widely recognized as the Right (Sun) and Left (Moon) Paths; or as the Path of attainment through action (pravritti) and the Path of attainment through disengagement (nivritti). They also known as the Path of Duality (dvaita) and Non-Duality (advaita), of being (vyakta) and nonbeing (avyakta), of existence and nonexistence; as well as Sakala (consisting of parts) and Nishkala (undivided) and as Saguna (with attributes) and Nirguna (attribute-less). The Third Initiation is the Path of Twilight (Sandhya) or the Middle Path leading to realms, which are above of all pairs of opposites and beyond the reaching of time (akāla).

sūryacandramasau dhattaḥ kālaṁ rātrindivātmakam |
bhoktrī suṣumnā kālasya guhyametadudāhṛtam || HYP || 4| 17 ||

HYP 4.17: The Sun (sūrya) and the Moon (candramasau) are produce (dhattaḥ) the Time (kālam), having the nature (ātmakam) of night and day (rātrin-diva). That the Middle Channel (suṣumnā) devours (bhoktrī) the time (kālasya), this is (etat) declared (udāhṛtam) as secret (guhyam).

While at the first stage of attainment, the spiritual seeker (jigyasu) directs own efforts to recognize the Divine Presence in own life and in the second to awaken the Divine Power within, the third initiation could become possible, only if the second condition has been fulfilled. The Third Initiation is truly divine, because it is imparted directly to the mind of the yoga practitioner, by the awakened Supreme Power (Śakti Pāta):

teṣāṁ satatayuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prītipūrvakam |
dadāmi buddhiyogaṁ taṁ yena māmupayānti te BG || 10 || 10 ||

BG 10.10: To them who are ever steadfast, worshipping Me with love (prītipūrvakam), I give the Buddhi Yoga (or the experience imparted directly to the mind) by which they come to Me.

TM 4.1133: When the Grace of Shakti of the True Knowledge enters in the midst of the five senses of worldly (mayic) knowledge, they know the Wisdom (jnana) that remains forever. For sure, She abides in the minds of those who desire Her intensely. TM 5.1523: That Damsel of Grace is in the Garden of the Heavenly Father, She approaches you, reveals the mystery of the births beyond count, and destroys their very seed; and then you vision the Primal One. That indeed, is the fruit of Her Grace. TM 5.1518: She tempted the Soul with craftiness; took him to Her bosom, shook him from stupor, dispelled his multitude of karmas, destroyed them to the roots, filled him with rapture, lifted the veil of his ignorance and granted many favors; and then, bestowed on him Her Grace that illumines.

From the perspective of the Natha Sampradaya, the persons who have passed the same Three Stages of Initiation could be defined as Avalambi, Sathi or Jigyasu (the Outer Initiation in the Tradition), Aughaṛ (the Inner Initiation in the Tradition) and Darśanī (the Final Initiation leading to Nirvana), but there exist some subtle differences, which would be discussed later in this article.

The Fourth Initiation

pūrakaṁ ca bhavedbrahmā kumbhako viṣṇurucyate |
recakastu tathā rudro trāṭakañca nirañjanaḥ || Yoga Sāra Manjaryām ||

Yoga Sāra Manjaryām: And (ca) inhalation (pūrakaṁ) is (bhavet) the Lord of Creation Brahma (brahmā), the retention of the breath (kumbhakaḥ) is called (ucyate) The Lord of Sustenance Vishnu (viṣṇuḥ), (tathā) exhalation (recakaḥ), indeed (tu) is the Lord of Dissolution Rudra (rudraḥ);  and (ca) the stoppage of the eyes movement (trāṭakaḥ) is the Perfectly Pure One (nirañjanaḥ).

TM 3.740: Here I am in the Sphere of Moon; leaving this I reach the Region of the Great Void of the Twelve, which situated in the Sphere of the Lord (Pati) Supreme; and from there I pass on to the Farthest Beyond; to discover what is there, this I seek.

Sometimes, the Fourth Initiation, known as Abhisheka (the Final Anointment), is also mentioned, which is not the initiation in true sense, but rather the final permanent establishment of the awareness in the Supreme State, the Center of the Triangle or the last half coil of Kundalini, also known as the Spiritual Rebirth or the Second Birth. But of course, since it is finalizes the raising of awareness to the existence in the new realms (Nirutthan Param Pada), when turya becomes permanently replaced with turyātita, it also can be defined as an initiation into the new realms of life.

dvijasevitaśākhasya śrutikalpataroḥ phalam |
śamanaṁ bhavatāpasya yogaṁ bhajati sajjanaḥ || Goraksha Shataka || 6 ||

Goraksha Shataka Verse 6 The most excellent ones (sajjanaḥ) are always engaged in the worship (bhajati) [of the tree] of yoga (yogam), extinguishing the filling of constant burning (bhava tāpasya), whose branches (śākhasya) are serviced (sevita) by the double bourn (dvija), whose fruits (phalam) are the knowledge of ancient lore (śruti) and the tree fulfilling all desires (kalpataru).

In Kashmiri Shaivism, the same Four Stages of initiation known as the First Awakening (Śāmbhava Upāya), the Second Awakening (Śākta Upāya), the Third Awakening (Āṇava Upāya) and the Fourth Awakening (Anupāya).

In the yoga scriptures, the Divine Power Kundalini sometimes mentioned as being ‘coiled up’ three and a half times around the Shiva Linga; the three coils represent the tree stages of attainment and the half of coil the last stage. Consider the Image of the Supreme Lord as Shiva Linga; its foundation is the first stage, the circle in its middle with two snakes is the second stage, and its topmost part is the third stage of the spiritual awareness. The stopping water flow from the Kailash (the huge bronze pot fixed above it), so that it always remains full, corresponds to the Fourth Stage, which is the devoid of modifications autonomous state (kevala). Such arrangement is also identical with matras (letters AUM+half matra) or padas (feet) of Omkara (the Primordial Self-existing Sound).

na vijānāti śītoṣṇaṁ na duḥkhaṁ na sukhaṁ tathā |
na mānaṁ nopamānaṁ ca yogī yuktaḥ samādhinā HYP 4 || 111||

HYP 4.111: The yogi (yogī) absorbed (yuktaḥ) in Samādhi (samādhinā) knows (vijānāti) neither (na) cold (śīta) nor heat (uṣṇam), as well as (tathā) neither (na) sorrow (duḥkham) nor (na) happiness (sukham), and (ca) neither (na) respect (mānam) nor (na) disrespect (upamānam).

cittaṁ na suptaṁ nojāgratsmṛtivismṛtivarjitam |
na cāstameti nodeti yasyāsau mukta eva saḥ HYP 4 || 110||

HYP 4.110: That (asau) whose (yasya) mind (cittam) is neither (na) sleeping (suptam) nor awakened (no jāgrat), devoid (varjitam) of acts of remembering (smṛti) (and) forgeting (vismṛti), and (ca) neither (na) vaniqueshes (astameti, literally ‘setting down’) nor (na) rises (udeti), he (saḥ) is certanly (eva) liberated (mukta).

sarvāvasthāvinirmuktaḥ sarvacintāvivarjitaḥ |
mṛtavattiṣṭhate yogī sa mukto nātra saṁśayaḥ HYP 4 || 107||

HYP 4.107: The Yogi who (yogī) remains (tiṣṭhate) like (vat) one dead (mṛta), free (vinirmuktaḥ) from all (sarva) states (avasthā) (and) with all (sarva) worries (cintā) abandoned (vivarjitaḥ), he (sa) is liberated (muktaḥ), there is (atra) no (na) doubt (saṁśayaḥ).

Note: the turya state means ‘the Fourth State’, because it appears side by side with other three states of the awareness of Soul, while the turyātita state is beyond of all four of them, because it remains uninterrupted.

The Tree Kinds of Impurity

buddhi viṇāsai maṇa marai tuṭṭai jahaṁ ahimāṇa |
so māyāmāya paramapau tahiṁ ki bajjai jhāṇa || 61 || Doha Kosha

DK 61 When the intellect has been destroyed, when the mind has died, when the feeling of self-importance has been broken apart, such is the Supreme State, beyond of cognition of real and unreal, as it is known by those who worshiped it.

Q - Why the ashes must be put on in three horizontal stripes?
A. - As a visible sign that by the ashes the three kinds of spiritual pollution are removed, namely, bondage by the sense of self-projected image (Ahamkara or I am this), bondage by the sense of necessity (Karma), and the bondage by ignorance (Maya).

In accordance with the Southern Indian Siddha Tradition, these three consequent initiations are purposed to remove the three kinds of impurity (malas), which are Māyā mala, Karma mala and Anava mala. Literally translated the word mala means excrement. Māyā Mala is to accept illusion for real and the real for nonexistent; Karma is the bondage by the fruits of the good and bad actions, leading to the rotation in the cyclical existence; and Anava mala is the sense of Ego or the desire of the embodied soul for the continuance of the individual existence (breathing)...

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Note: the verses from Tirumantiram are the slight modification of the translation made by Dr. B. Natarajan.