Shiva Virupaksha

Shiva, in the aspect of the master of the third eye 

  by yoga professor Gregorian Bivolaru

“In order to make pure and luminous the frontal eye of wisdom darkened now by impurities caused by ignorance, oh, Master, endless love revered to You is the supreme remedy.”,

Stavacintamani, 88.

Shiviat wisdom often invoke Shiva with the name Tryambaka or Virupaksha. “Shiva with the terrible eye”, due to his third eye, located in the middle of the forehead and symbolizing the complete opening of the secret centre of force, Ajna Chakra. This eye of fire, the sign of the oneness of the divine primordial, opposes the usual vision of those isolated in duality: “Without You, the entire universe is endowed with a dual viewpoint, fragmented, discovering objectivity (relationship Subject-Object). On the contrary, only You – Master of this universe – possess a completely unified vision (non-dual).”

The same poet continues: “A drop of Your happiness fallen on the earth gave birth to the Moon. A spark that issues from Your fire, destroyer of illusions, gave birth to the Sun. Oh, Lord, You, who penetrates with Your sight everywhere, we offer our entire being as an offering, to Your third eye, the unique seal of an inexpressible and transcendent greatness.”

The spiritual eye of illumination (Ajna Chakra), opened by the overwhelming love for God and that signifies the conscious Subject, which is known both through so-called knowledge and of the object of knowledge, is named by Utpaladeva “the eye of fire” – the one that consumes duality, thus totally and directly embracing the heart of divine love – and, also, “the luminous eye”, from which flow forth love and happiness, as well as the incomparable ambrosia of divine Life

True devotion, bhakti, that draws its essence from the ambrosia of the Grace of Shiva (amrita or soma), does not reveal all its secrets until the specific nature of this mysterious abyss (The Heart of God), in which all illusions of duality disappear, is fully understood. Even this specific character allows us to clearly distinguish the emotive sentimentality of the bipolar devotion subject-object – an imitation and pallid reflection of the great divine love – of frenetic love exclusively devoted to Virupaksha, which comes from oneness, feeds from oneness and tends only towards oneness.

Yogis and poets on this path of freedom and spontaneity (Svatantryavada), which is Kashmir Shivaism, compare this mysterious abyss with a cave or with a secret and mysterious heart. Even if it possesses its own luminosity, this cave usually remains invisible to us, because “Shiva permanently illuminates with the energy of his cognitive torch (jnana shakti) the multiplicity of things submerged in the integration of this profound and mysterious abyss (mahaguha), which is His Heart.” – Abhinavagupta

Using this image, Abhinavagupta explains the way in which the luminous ray that Shiva projects on the essence of pure, luminous vibrations (prakasha) carves out determinate form and being, satisfactory for the rational understanding, sensibility and volition of ordinary man, but which hides the profoundness as soon as the view (the senses) is attached to them. Thus forgetting about this cave and divine torch that illuminates it, the human being ceaselessly passes, from form to from, successively attaching itself to them in order to assimilate them. In order to discover the blinding beauty of these caves (the cavities of the Heart of Shiva) and to thus know the infinite Whole, man must modify the direction of the cognitive ray from the exterior (bahirvimarsa) and to focalize it to the inner depths (antivimarsa), projecting a uniting light on them.


If nothing is more mysterious and impenetrable than this abyss of the Heart of God, for the one who never foresaw Him – from where his name of guhya, rahasya (profound mystery, mysterious, hidden reality) came – however nothing is more evident for the who discovers Him, because being illuminated by Him, He manifests always, entirely spontaneous, for all beings.


In order to discover his profoundness, it is however necessary to adopt an interiorized attitude, completely different to all the usual attitudes of daily life.


Without this pure interiorizing that is manifested beyond the opposition subject-object, interior-exterior, man, be he introverted or extroverted, cannot pass, despite all his efforts, the threshold of divine life. He would like to know the essential Reality, the reality that is spontaneously undetermined and pure will, approaching it with his limited faculties and limitations, continuing to separate, to individualize and to delimit himself from the universe and God.

On the contrary, the yogi who realizes this unifying internalization can, through the renunciation of any discursive, cognitive action (sterile theorization or verbalization), explore the immaculate essence of pure Consciousness (prakasha), from where the free pulsating will of Shiva springs (vimarsha). These renunciations do not depend directly on his efforts, because nothing from that which is limited can guide him. For this reason, the great sages of all time insist on the unconditional abnegation to divine grace, in order to explain the essence of this simple experience, but indescribable in words.


February 2011


Also available in: Română Français

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