Lesson 15 of 22
In Progress

Session 12 – Verses 96 to 100

Noora L May 22, 2022

Guru yoga Meditation 4-9:30mins

A sequence of the verses start at 87 and ends at 98:
Verse 87 is the introduction – listen, oh Goddess, to this meditation 
Verse 88 – honour the Guru principle
Verse 89-90 – how to bow to the Guru principle in a śākta-upāya way – refine your mind contemplating teachings and śuddha-vikalpa (pure, helpful thought construct). The aim is dissolving stories, correcting misaligned worldviews (see: Tantra Illuminated, p.365, Śakta-Upāya in Practice). 
Verse 91-92 – how to contemplate (Guru yoga practice)
Verse 93-94 – more on how to bow in a śākta-upāya way, inner process of devotional reverence 
Verse 95 – alternate Guru yoga meditation by the Subhagodaya 
Verse 98 – conclusion 

Verse 96

न गुरोरधिकं न गुरोरधिकं न गुरोरधिकं न गुरोरधिकम्।
शिवशासनतः शिवशासनतः शिवशासनतः शिवशासनतः॥९६॥

Na guroradhikaṁ na guroradhikaṁ na guroradhikaṁ na guroradhikam|
Śivaśāsanataḥ śivaśāsanataḥ śivaśāsanataḥ śivaśāsanataḥ||96||

There is nothing higher / superior to the Guru / nothing exceeds the Guru principle, 
according to the teaching of Śiva, according to the teaching of Śiva, according to the teaching of Śiva, according to the teaching of Śiva.  

Verse 97

इदमेव शिवं त्विदमेव शिवं त्विदमेव शिवं त्विदमेव शिवम्।
मम शासनतो मम शासनतो मम शासनतो मम शासनतः॥९७॥

Idameva śivaṁ tvidameva śivaṁ tvidameva śivaṁ tvidameva śivam|
Mama śāsanato mama śāsanato mama śāsanato mama śāsanataḥ||97||

This indeed is Śiva / is a blessing. But this too is a blessing / is Śiva. But this too is a blessing / is Śiva. According to my teaching (= the teaching of Śiva). According to my teaching. According to my teaching. According to my teaching. 

The teacher is gesturing and saying ‘this’, showing something. 

Everything you feel, see, think is a manifestation of the One, and since you are also a manifestation of the One, you can equally say that everything you feel, hear, see and think is what you are appearing in that form. 

Verse 98 

एवंविधं गुरुं ध्यात्वा ज्ञानमुत्पद्यते स्वयम्।
तत्सद्गुरुप्रसादेन मुक्तोऽहमिति भावयेत्॥९८॥

Evaṁvidhaṁ guruṁ dhyātvā jñānamutpadyate svayam|
Tatsadguruprasādena mukto ‘hamiti bhāvayet||98||

Having meditated on the Guru in this way, insight arises spontaneously. 
I’m liberated by the grace of that sadguru

Sadguru – that I have invoked in this meditative process. This is about not developing spiritual pride. Insight arises, and you can think that you are so great, but contemplate that it’s on the basis of that meditative process that this insight is possible. 

Verse 99 

गुरुदर्शितमार्गेण मनःशुद्धिं तु कारयेत्।
अनित्यं खण्डयेत्सर्वं यत्किञ्चिदात्मगोचरम्॥९९॥

Gurudarśitamārgeṇa manaḥśuddhiṁ tu kārayet|
Anityaṁ khaṇḍayetsarvaṁ yatkiñcidātmagocaram||99||

One should do the purification of the mind through the path shown by the Guru / Guru principle. 
One should destroy / remove / dissolve everything that is impermanent and yet is ascribed to the Self. 

Why would any purification be needed given the fact that we are already God? This is about truly realising your innate divinity. Purifying the mind before they had neuroscience means rewiring the brain, potentiating new neural-pathways, reconfiguring our mental structures, conditioning, and behavioural patterns. Bringing the mind to a condition in which it thinks different kinds of thoughts, much happier thoughts, bringing it more into alignment to the essence nature. 

It is done by doing the practices that your teacher has given you. 

Everything that is impermanent and yet is ascribed to the Self = shedding all self concepts and all self-images based on that is impermanent, if it’s impermanent you can’t make a self out of it! Body, thoughts, memories, emotions are all impermanent so you can’t build self concept on those. 

It leaves you with nothing to hang on to. The mind is itself impermanent so can’t contemplate and cognize that which is eternal and not not-impermanent. 

This verse is encouraging a process that we can call ego dissolution, releasing self-images and self concept based on that which is impermanent, that we can call a temporary manifestation, our body-mind. 

Verse 100

ज्ञेयं सर्वस्वरूपं च ज्ञानं च मन उच्यते।
ज्ञानं ज्ञेयसमं कुर्यान्नान्यः पन्था द्वितीयकः॥१००॥

Jñeyaṁ sarvasvarūpaṁ ca jñānaṁ ca mana ucyate|
Jñānaṁ jñeyasamaṁ kuryānnānyaḥ panthā dvitīyakaḥ||100||

The essential nature of everything (sarvasvarūpa) is knowable and worthy of being known, and yet knowledge / cognition is set to be an attribute of the mind. One must consider any given cognition to be identical with its object. There is no other secondary path to awakening. 


The essential nature of everything is knowable & worthy of being known (jñeya); and [yet] knowledge is said to be [an attribute of] the mind. One must consider [any given] cognition to be identical with its ‘object’ — there is no other path (to awakening). [Meaning, there is no object separate from one’s consciousness of it.]

This verse teaches non-duality. There is not another second path, non-dual doctrine is taught here without it being named. 

There is an essence nature of all things that’s worthy of being known…. Yet knowledge is set to be an attribute of the mind, so how can knowledge help us access that which is prior to the mind?

Knowledge is something separate from that which is known. Knowledge is always second order reality, so it can’t help us access the true nature of reality which is prior to that knowledge and not contingent on it.  

In this non-dual view there is no difference between a cognition prior to interpretation and the object itself because there is nothing but consciousness. There is no object separate from your consciousness of it. The nature of what you are aware of is simply your awareness of it. 

There is a flavour to consciousness prior to interpretation when you are perceiving any given object (anything you are conscious of, also an emotion). Each conscious experience has a different flavour even prior to interpretation, prior to forming a thought concept about it. Before the thought there is a flavour of consciousness. 

Imagine you are in a room and someone comes and sits next to you. You don’t say anything, and they don’t say anything. They have a particular vibe, you never met them before. Someone else enters the room, and they sit there and do whatever they do, and they have a completely different and unique vibe. 

There is a vibe even before any interpretation, then you can make your interpretation, ‘oh I like this person, oh no, I don’t like this person’. Before the thoughts there is a flavour of consciousness that’s unique in everything.  

What the verse is saying is that there is no objective reality apart from conscious experience. Knowledge is inherently subjective but there is no objective reality. 

Consciousness always perceives from a vantage point (our body), and it always perceives in a particular way, and it could never perceive in a disembodied abstract non specific way that doesn’t have a vantage point. There is no objective reality, something that is apart from everyone’s experience of it. There is no such thing that has a nature apart from everyone’s experience of it, the thing itself apart from everyone’s experience of it. That’s just an imagined mental construct. There is only conscious experience. 

You listen to three people describing something that happened. You try to pay attention to what’s common to all their stories, trying to figure out what happened. What you are doing is you are building your own story of what happened. You instinctively trust one person more than the other, etc.

There is no other path to awakening – it comes from a source with a radically non-dual view. You must realise the non-objective nature of reality, that there’s no such thing as an observer-independent reality. There is only consciousness manifesting in the way that it does through and for each conscious observer. 

You can’t exist without what we call the universe and the universe can’t exist without you. You here means all the layers of the Self. Your body-mind, all that impermanent stuff about you, can’t exist without a whole universe, because it’s made of its environment. Yet, the universe can’t exist without you, without consciousness, because there’s no such thing as an unobserved phenomena except in imagination.

Cognition must be understood to be identical with the object of cognition. There is no object separate from the knowing, there’s only the knowing. The object is the knowing, and the knowing is the object.

Q&A: So the truth does not exist?

According to the non-dual view, the truth is that there is no objective reality. The truth is that consciousness manifests a world of experience for itself, joyfully. The truth is exactly what we can experience. When you imagine an objective universe that exists without anyone to observe it, that in itself is only in imagination, which is, of course, an aspect of consciousness. 

We have no evidence of a world existing separate from our awareness of it. And we have no evidence that there ever was. 

People usually just don’t understand the consciousness only view. That’s why they think they can refute it. You also can’t prove the consciousness only view, you can’t prove that there is nothing but consciousness. Neither can you prove that there’s a physical world separate from consciousness. That’s absolutely unprovable. And anyone who thinks it’s provable, just hasn’t thought the matter through very carefully. 

The point made in this verse is that: 

Only in this scenario, you can have true insight that is unmodulated or unmediated by your mental conditioning. Since everything is consciousness, and there’s no reality separate from consciousness, you can know the nature of reality because you yourself are consciousness, you can know the nature of yourself, and in so doing you know the nature of reality. 

If you believe that there’s an objective world, then you have to claim that we can’t know the truth. Because we can’t get outside of our own instruments of perception. We can’t get outside of our own brains. So if there’s an objective world, then it’s nothing like our perceptions because our perceptions are created by our brains. Everything we experience from that point of view is a controlled hallucination. 

Our perceptions are constrained in some ways by that objective world, but there’s no reason to think that the objective world looks anything like what we experience. Anil Seth and Donald Hoffman talk about that from different points of view. 

In the tantrik tradition we refute that notion. We say ‘you can know reality because reality is consciousness. If there’s any other reality apart from consciousness, we’re not interested in it. So therefore the enlightenment of the enlightened being is real if you accept this argument. 

Nānyaḥ panthā dvitīyakaḥ = there is not another path. One without a second, there is no secondary path.  

Q&A: How do we communicate?

There’s only one of us, there’s only one consciousness, so that’s why we can share experience and we can communicate. We’re communicating on the basis of a shared consciousness. How would we even evolve language if we were each a separate consciousness? So all beings that are conscious are conscious by virtue of participating in that one consciousness. 

For example, a tick has a very tiny Umwelt , it can only perceive the presence or absence of heat, and the presence or absence of butyric acid. There are only two things in the world of a tick. There’s nothing else in the experience of a tick. It can’t experience pain or pleasure. It can participate in the one universal consciousness only very slightly. If you have a much wider range of conscious experiences, it’s because you are participating in that one universal consciousness to a greater degree. And there might be other beings who can perceive far more than we do, just as we are to the tick. 

The brain doesn’t make consciousness, but it receives consciousness, the brain is actually a receiver, like a radio receiver. This is a very robust analogy because it explains why if you damage the brain, it alters the experience of consciousness. The brain is like a sophisticated consciousness receiver. There could be other brains of aliens or whoever that have even more bands, and we know there’s brains that have less. 

The brain doesn’t make the information. 

Let’s zoom in on the word jñeya and see how Abhinavagupta uses it, in Tantraloka chapter 2 he says: 

True insight is possible, and it reveals an ever fuller, ever expansive awareness of the reality to be known, the unknowable. And then verse 85, of the same chapter, ‘that which must be known, jñeya, is the state of abiding in one’s true home, which is the state of seeing free of all obscurations. One becomes stainless, meaning free of the three malas, by virtue of this pure insight described as clear, naked, reality’.

Those who experience in this mode never doubt the experience. It’s so clear, naked and real that nobody who experiences it could possibly doubt it. The state of seeing free of all obscurations, which we could call abiding and your true home, being with the totality of reality 100%  prior to the mind’s judgments and evaluations. 

Verse 106 – He uses jñeya to mean both God (here the word is used to indicate transindividual consciousness) and the goal of spiritual path. Back to our Guru-Gītā verse 100 – that which is knowable and worthy of being known is sarvasvarūpa, the essential nature of everything. The essence nature of everything is God (transindividual consciousness), and that is worthy of being known. 

Q&A: I’m stuck on the idea that if I die the table is still there.

You haven’t yet understood the view here which you can do with the direct experience of it. It’s as plain as the nose on your face but without the experience, it’s super difficult. If you die the table is still there. Sure, other people are having an experience of that table. There’s one consciousness, and it’s highly coordinated. There’s a pattern of existence, of manifestation through which phenomena manifest. The one consciousness with its countless different vantage points is incredibly well coordinated. 

If you die the vantage point that consciousness has through you has ceased, but consciousness is still seeing. And if there are tables, it’s still seeing tables. At some point, maybe there won’t be tables. 

Q&A: So can we say that we are all inside consciousness?

The body-mind is inside consciousness. There’s nowhere else for it to be. When you are consciousness contemplating itself, you’re still inside of it because there’s nowhere else to be, but you are at the back of it or at the base of it in a certain way. You’re on the ground floor in a way because it’s consciousness not only seeing phenomena, but seeing itself,  seeing that all phenomena are manifest within consciousness. There is no outside. 


Hareesh, Experience vs. Interpretation (first-order reality vs second-order reality)

Blog Posts on Tantraloka by Hareesh


dhyāna – ( in tantrik context ) visualization meditation
śākta-upāya – dissolving stories, correcting misaligned worldviews ( see: Tantra Illuminated, p.365, Śakta-Upāya in Practice )
śuddha-vikalpa – a pure, helpful thought construct