"Universal Consciousness: Of its Own Free Will" by Swami Muktananda

in Siddha Path, Feb. 1983 :13.

p. The Pratyabhijnahridayam is a very important universal doctrine, and is one of the principal texts of Kashmir Shaivism. There is a saying in Karnataka tha whatever happens, you must always repeat at least three words from Pratyabhijnahridayam every day. [ **author Jaideva Singh and published in 1982 by Motilal Banarsidass, Bungalow Road, Jawahar Nagar, Delhi India 110-007].

The first sutra of the Pratyabhijnahridayam is

chiti svatantra vishva siddhi hetuhu:"Chiti, the supreme Consciousness, has of Its own absolute free-will brought this universe into existence." Chiti is God's creative power, His dynamic energy, which is completely one with God. Everything from the supreme Lord Himself to the smallest creature of the earth is contained in that Chiti and is illuminated by It.

The creation of all this, from the higest principle to the lowest, is the work of Chiti. Its preservation, with all its light, is also the work of Chiti. When having created the universe and preserved it, the Lord finally withdraws it into Himself, Chiti is the cause of that withdrawal. Moreover, the same Chiti which carries on the working of the entire universe is also the one who gives the fruit of all the actions that go on in the world. Chiti not only gives the highest fruit, but also is the means by which it is received. It is the giver of all attainments as well as the means for that attainment.

Chiti is abolutely free. There is nothing which is beyond Chiti, nothing which is freer than Chiti, nothing which is greater than Chiti. Chiti is of the form of supreme Shiva, and is in no way different from Him. Moreover, Chiti is in no way different from every thing in the universe.

In a dormant form It abides in everything that is in the universe. By Its light the entire universe is illuminated and goes through its daily activities. And finally, the same Chiti reabsorbs the world into Itself.

Some people say that it is not God, but God's maya which is the cause of the creation of the universe. Shankaracharya defined maya asthat which is not. So much effot and so much thinking have gone into understanding what that may is of which Shankaracharys said, "Maya is what is not."

Some people say that the cause of the universe is prakriti, or what is loosely translated into English as Nature. But prakriti cannot illuminate God. It is itself inert, so it cannot really illuminate the universe. Only that which is light itself can illuminate.

So Chiti is the cause of the entire universe and its source. Chiti is also the secret and the basis of what goes on in the universe. The sense of space, the sense of time, the sense of form, all arise from Chiti. The world is divided into so many different areas; there are so many countries, so many parts of the universe. There are so many different phases of time. But all these various things that appear are not different form Chiti. They are all a part of Chiti Itself.

The Vignana Bhairava [** Author: Jaidev Singh same publisher as above and published in 1979] says that variations in space, time and form do not apply to Chiti. Chiti is just one perfect universal Self. And that is why the entire diversity of the world is contained in that unity which is Chiti.

Chiti is the cause as well as the effect, and this relationship is constant between Chiti and the universe. Whatever is in the cause is also manifested in the effect. In pot made of clay, the cause and effect might appear different, but in reality they are exactly the same. It is after all the same clay, whether it is in its original form or in the form of anythimg which is created out of it. Like the difference betwen "clay" and "pot" all the differences we see are only differences in name, and these names have been given by us. There is no difference at all in the fundamental essence of anything.

Chiti is the seer as well as the seen. Jnaneshwar Maharaj has said about this: "When I see you, you are the object I am seeing. When you see me, I am the object you are seeing. So who is the object and who is the subject, when both are the same?" Between object and subject there is no differentiation. Both are Chiti.

The bound person, or the ignorant person, is one who does not understand Chiti and who becomes completely attached to his limited body and personality. He is in love with himself alone and thinks that nothing else exists. He thinks that he, his house, his wife, his children, his pet cats and dogs, and the little things he possesses are all that constitute the world. He makes the all-pervading Self into a very small thing by confining it to his own little self. He considers what is universal to be small. Naturally he is impure, becuase he is creating impurity inthe realtiy which is absolutely pure.

The Self is completely independent, and cannot be affected by death, by the passage of time or by any other phenomenon at all. How can someone be independent who considers this mortal body of his, the body which is subject to death at any moment to be of prime importance? How can such a person ever be free? That is why a great poet has said, " If you want to know khuda(God) then get rid of khudi (ego)." If you want to know the great Self, if you want to know God, then annihilate your small self. The moment you have annihilated the small self, then you will realize that the great Self is you yourself. You yourself have always been that great Self, and you realize this the moment the small self is erased. The poet-saint Nanak said: "Where are you looking for Him? In temples? In Churches? That is not where you hve to look for him. God lives within your Self. There is a temple inside you where God dwells,. That is where you should look for Him. " Give up your small aham, the small "I" that you have become enslaved to, and only think of So'ham. So'ham. Understand the real truth. Obtain the proper understanding. That Self is what you really are....

The great knowers thave called Him Consciousness, the Consciousness which dwells inside. And that Consciousness is your real Self, your real inner Self. The great seers, the great sages who knew everything, have said that purusha, that Self, lives inside your heart and is the size of a thumb. That is the most luminous of all things, and He is inside you. That One rules over the past, present and future. By knowing Him, a person overcomes all fears.

The Upanishads ask,"What pain, what suffering, what difficulty can that person have who has once known Him, who has once seen Him? That is the One which is absolute Bliss. That is the One which is the greatest happiness." The great Maharastrian poet-saint, Krishnasuta says, "How can one who experiences that bliss, have any suffering or any fear? For him who sees everything as the same, there is neither suffering, nor pain, nor anything of which he can be afraid."