True Tantra

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Tantra quotes, texts

By Abhinavagupta

If a grain of paddy were made cleared of the husk and the inner of it at once, it cannot be restored to its original status howsoever covered by another husk and inner core. (85)

Likewise, the I-consciousness being once separated from its covering of the kancukas [layers of ignorance], even if continuing to dwell here in the world by virtue of the samskaras [impressions] of the past life, a liberated sould does not get affected by them. (86)

Enlightenment is ireversible. Once you have become liberated, you cannot become ignorant again. It is not possible.

As soon as the aspirant comes to this path which leads to the supreme goal of life by virtue of words of initiation coming from the mouth of the spiritual instructor, he gets transformed into Shiva through the extremely sharp transference of the force of consciousness. (96)

"Transformed into Shiva" means one becomes fully enlightened and liberated. In the Shaivaite tantras Shiva always means the Supreme state. This verse also stresses the importance of having a fully enlightened teacher. The teachers transfers the "force of consciousness", which is Shakti, to the student and this transference is known as shaktipat. Through shakltipat divine grace is ignited in the student and this grace operates in the student until the student becomes liberated.

One who has taken resort to the stairway leading to the ultimate goal, attains Shivahood as a consequence of getting settled in his inner being the sense of his oneness with the Supreme Essence. (97)

In the case of such an aspirant of yoga, it is likely to happen that he dies in the mid of the course of his journey without having reached his highest objective owing to an interval of rest meanwhile, though keen in his consciousness to attain it. (98)

Known as yoga-bhastra [one who has fallen from the high path of yoga], that kind of aspirant on account of his taking rest in the middle of the path [after his demise] gets the privilege of becoming the owner of objects of various sorts of enjoyment with the prospect of attaining oneness with Shiva in the next birth. (99)

Many ardent practitioners of yoga fail to attain the ultimate goal of jivan mukti (liberated while living). These verses explain that no effort is ever lost and that soon he or she will indeed attain the goal. The yogi usually fails because of worldly desires, so such an aspirant gets a life where he or she can fulfill those desires. After that life the yogi gets a life where he or she is again drawn to sadhana and attains liberation.

Whosoever, therefore, remains busy treading this path, attains Shiva-hood. Having thought over this [prospect], one needs to put in effort anyhow. (103)

If you interpret the preceding verses to mean you can be lazy and will reach the goal anyway, you are misguided. You have to make an effort always. Be focused on the goal and do your best to move towards it.

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