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S1va

Who is qualified for shaktipat (shiva's grace) and why so many levels?

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The types of shaktipat start from super supreme grace of Shiva, with some medium levels and also ending with some inferior levels of grace.  This is obviously going to raise the question, why so many levels or types of grace and who is qualified for which type of Shiva's grace?

 

Does Shiva (or Gurus) discriminate based on certain qualifications to determine who gets which level of grace?  Will someone that is virtuous and follow all ethical rules will get the supreme grace and those with lesser virtues get the inferior grace?  The answer is 'No'.  All devotees are the same to Shiva and he is giving away his divine grace all the time and does not discriminate.  It just depends on where the accepting person is and how much of expansion he/she can withstand.  Let's first start with who is qualified for the divine grace? 

 

In order to understand this, it may be good if a person understands the concept of all five acts of Shiva.  Why do we even need the divine grace in the first place?  It is the mysterious and voluntary act of Shiva 'Tirodhana' or Obscuring grace that made us forget that we are the divine.  This act of forgetting is the basis for the existence of everything and for the dive play or 'leela' to continue.  If everyone remembers right away they are divine, the game is over.  As per the KS philosophy, at some point in evolution each jiva arrives at a point, wherein they have had enough of indulging in the worldly activities, the pleasures and the pain.  It simply does not interest anymore and may be the whole thing looks like just suffering as how Buddha described the samsara.  When a person reaches this point where they start feeling, they need to go beyond, perhaps to the source, the divine grace kicks in at this point.  It is generally the opening of the heart that opens the door for divine grace in my opinion.

 

Coming to the different levels, it just depends on where each person is in their journey and evolution.  More importantly perhaps how long and how ready they were and waiting for the divine grace.  Some examples generally given are the wood that is really dry catches the fire rapidly, burns quickly and may produce a large flame.  In the same way, those that are really ready like that dry wood perhaps catch something like the super supreme grace and immediately get to the image of Shiva.  For others it may take some time.

 

What is certain is divine grace just acts the same way like the fire that is burning the wood.  Everyone that gets the transmission undeniably goes through a transformation that puts them in a whole new trajectory or path, the aim & goal of their existence and the destination changes forever.

 

(I have quoted the post from the topic 'Five acts/powers of Shiva' that Jeff shared about the forms of grace that Shiva bestows for reference and to read about the different types and levels of grace. )

 

Note:  I created this topic originally in TDB (The Dao Bums) forums.  Some replies and quotes are also copied from there.

Edited by Siva

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On 9/10/2018 at 3:31 PM, Jeff said:

I hope you dont mind, but I thought it might be interesting to add the forms of grace that Shiva bestows, as it also highlights the nature of the tradition being very guru centric. From The Secrete Supreme...

 

In the kingdom of spirituality. Lord Siva creates masters and disciples through His fifth act, the act of grace (anugraha). This grace is ninefold and, therefore. He creates masters and disciples in nine different ways. 

 

The first and highest level of grace is called tivrativra sak-tipata. Tivrativra saktipata means "super supreme grace." When Lord Siva bestows super supreme grace on anyone, then that person becomes perfectly self-recognized. He knows his real nature completely and in perfection. At the same time, however, this kind of intense grace can not be resisted by his body, so he throws away his body and dies. This person becomes a master; however, he accomplishes the act of his mastery secretly in the deserving hearts of disciples. He is not visible in this world. Only those who are deserving experience his subtle existence. 

 

The second intensity of grace is called tivramadhya saktipa-ta. This is "supreme medium grace." The effect of this grace of Lord Siva is that the recipient becomes completely and per-fectly illumined, but does not leave his body. He is said to be a pratibha guru, that is, a master who is made not by another master's initiation, but by his self, by his own grace. He expe-riences spontaneous enlightenment. These particular masters live in this world with their physical bodies for the upliftment of mankind. 

 

The third intensity of grace is called tivramanda saktipata, which means "inferior supreme grace." In one who has received this grace the desire appears for going to the feet of a spiritual master. And the master that he finds has received the second intensity of grace, tivramadhya saktipata. This master is perfect. He is all knowing. There is no difference between this master and Siva. The master does not initiate him, rather, he simply touches him with his divine hand, or gazes upon him, or embraces him, and at that very moment this disciple, who is a recipient of medium supreme grace, perfectly tran-scends individuality and enters into that supreme transcenden-tal state without the need of practicing japa (recitation) or dhyana (contemplation), etc. Although he still experiences pleasure and pain in his physical body, it does not affect him, as his being has become supreme. That master who has received this particular intensity of grace, which is known as Rudra sakti-samavesah, is called Rudra sakti-samavistah because he has completely entered into the trance of Rudra sakti, the energy of Siva. He exhibits five signs which can be observed by others. The first sign is his intense love for Lord Siva. The second sign is that whenever he recites any mantra, the devata (deity) of that mantra appears to him at once without his having to wait. This is called mantrasiddhih. The third sign which can be observed is that he has control over the five elements. The fourth sign is that what-ever work he begins, he completes that work without defect. And the fifth sign is that either he is a master of all the scrip-tures or he becomes a great poet. Lord Siva, through these three supreme intensities of grace, creates masters in the kingdom of spirituality. With lower intensities of grace Lord Siva creates worthy disciples. 

 

The fourth intensity of grace is called madhyativara sak-tipdta. This is "medium supreme grace." Through the effect of this intensity of grace, the disciple reaches the feet of that mas-ter who is absolutely perfect. But because the foundation estab-lished in the mind of this disciple is not quite completely per-fect, the mere touch or glance of this perfect master will not bring this disciple to enlightenment. He, therefore, initiates this disciple in the proper fashion by giving him a mantra and teaching him the proper way of treading. Through this initia-tion, the disciple becomes enlightened but during the period of the existence of his physical body, he is not completely satisfied with this enlightenment. When he leaves his physical body at the time of his death, however, he obtains completely satis-factory results from the initiation he had received earlier and becomes one with Siva. 

 

The fifth intensity of grace is called madhyamadhya sak-tipdta, which means "medium middle grace." When Lord Siva bestows this particular intensity of grace upon someone, the intense desire for achieving the existence of Lord Siva arises in this person's mind. At the same time, however, he does not want to ignore the enjoyments of the world. He wants to enjoy worldly pleasures along with wanting to realize the existence of Lord Siva. Yet the intensity of his desire is only for achiev-ing Lord Siva's state. So, although he is initiated by a master and realizes his real nature as Lord Siva, his real self, and enjoys the bliss of that state while remaining in his physical body, simultaneously he also enjoys the pleasures of the world. But as these worldly pleasures, which take place in this mortal field of the universe, are not real pleasures, at the time of his leaving his physical body, he enters into the kingdom of para-dise (svargaloka) and enjoys all the worldly pleasures to his entire satisfaction. After he has satisfied his desire for worldly pleasures, he does not come down again into this world but is again initiated by his master, who is all-pervading, while he remains in heaven. Through this initiation, he becomes com-plete and realizes the reality of his supreme nature and he enters into the kingdom of Lord Siva and merges in Him com-pletely from heaven itself.

 

The sixth intensity of grace is called madhyamanda saktipa-ta, which means "medium inferior grace." The effect of this grace is very much like the effect of medium middle grace; however, the difference lies in predominance. The effect of medium middle grace is that in the mind of the disciple arises both the desire for attaining the state of Lord Siva and the desire for experiencing worldly pleasures. The predominant desire, however, is for attaining the state of Lord Siva. The effect of medium inferior grace is also that in the mind of this disciple arise both the desire for attaining the state of Lord Siva and the desire for experiencing worldly pleasures. However, the predominant desire here is for experiencing worldly pleas-ures. Though he achieves self-realization, it is not complete because of the agitation he experiences seeking worldly pleas-ures. So at the time of his leaving his physical body, this inten-sity of grace carries him from this mortal world first to para-dise, where he enjoys the pleasures of the world. But while in paradise he does not gain the fitness to begin practicing for attaining the realization of his self. He must, therefore, be again reborn and come down into this mortal field. And from that very birth he sentences his mind toward the fulfillment of his self-realization. Although his life in this mortal realm is very short, as Lord Siva wants to carry him quickly to his own state, he becomes absolutely complete in that short span of time and enters, in the end, into the transcendental state of Siva. The above three medium intensities of grace take place in the field of aspirants living in the kingdom of Sivadharma. Those aspirants have the inclination to achieve the state of self-realization at least half hourly during the day and at least twice during the night. The remaining period they keep aside for worldly pleasures. 

 

The following three inferior intensities of grace - manda tivra (inferior supreme), manda madhya (inferior medium), and manda manda (inferior inferior) - take place in the field of aspirants living in lokadharmah, the kingdom of worldly life. These aspirants have the desire for achieving self-realization, the state of Lord Siva, only when the pains and pressures of this world become too much to bear. At that moment, they want to abandon everything and achieve self-realization but they are not able to, and though they want to leave this worldly life, they cannot. These aspirants have more tendency for worldly pleasure and less tendency for realizing their Self. But, as the grace of Lord Siva shines in them, in the end, which may take many lifetimes, they become one with the supreme being. This is the greatness of Lord Siva's grace - that no matter what intensity of His grace is with you, it will carry you to his nature in the end.

 

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Here is another example that I can think of to relate this concept.  Some feel that they are ready, they are suffering they want to get out and need divine grace right now.  It may feel like the God or divine has abandoned and we are not getting the attention and we are just on our own.  This can create frustration and bring out talk and philosophies like the 'guru is always inside', we should not rely on outer things, etc. etc.

 

Let's take the example of a small child that is playing in the sand with other kids.  Initially the child loves the sand and the play activities with the other kids.  He/she is enjoying the push/pull and the jumping and the joy of playing with other children.  Eventually the child gets tired and a little exhausted and hungry, wants to get out.  To the child it feels like all this time, she was on her own and playing with all the other kids and having fun, the Mom is not in the picture anywhere.  The child does not know that the mother is just behind the window and she was observing all of this right from the start.  When the child first gets tired the Mother does not know that yet.  The child can get frustrated, not seeing Mother anywhere, she starts to think the Mother has perhaps abandoned, though she knows in her heart that the mother loves her and will never abandon her.  The child starts to get cranky and cry, as soon as the mother notices this, she runs to comfort the child.  To feed and make sure that the child is cared for.  A mother can never abandon her child not for a moment, in the same way the divine (shiva/shakti - who are like the father and mother to everyone) never abandons any jiva.

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On 9/12/2018 at 12:27 PM, Jonesboy said:
On 9/12/2018 at 11:18 AM, s1va said:

  All devotees are the same to Shiva and he is giving away his divine grace all the time and does not discriminate.  It just depends on where the accepting person is and how much of expansion he/she can withstand. 

 

 

Excellent thread s1va,

 

I thought this was very important. It is very hard to not be afraid, to grasp when you are experiencing such an expansion.

 

Like you have mentioned, even if you do grasp, Shiva is always around, won't take offense and is always there with more grace.

 

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So, on the one hand we have:

On 9/19/2018 at 11:16 AM, S1va said:

All devotees are the same to Shiva and he is giving away his divine grace all the time and does not discriminate.  It just depends on where the accepting person is and how much of expansion he/she can withstand.

 

And on the other, from my extremely limited understanding:

 

On 9/19/2018 at 11:17 AM, S1va said:

In the kingdom of spirituality. Lord Siva creates masters and disciples through His fifth act, the act of grace (anugraha). This grace is ninefold and, therefore. He creates masters and disciples in nine different ways. 

Which leads back to s1va's question of, how does he decide? And the descriptions of the nine types make it sound like one never knows where one might end up, but wherever it is that's your label and position now. No changing that. 

Or maybe it's all just for fun? Siva mixes and matches the nine types looking for the best combination of types?

What's interesting, and slightly painful, is that the more I try to understand these texts, the more removed I feel from the divine. How can I possibly evolve and progress in a universe about which I don't have even a basic understanding?

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1 hour ago, Trish said:

So, on the one hand we have:

 

And on the other, from my extremely limited understanding:

 

Which leads back to s1va's question of, how does he decide? And the descriptions of the nine types make it sound like one never knows where one might end up, but wherever it is that's your label and position now. No changing that. 

Or maybe it's all just for fun? Siva mixes and matches the nine types looking for the best combination of types?

What's interesting, and slightly painful, is that the more I try to understand these texts, the more removed I feel from the divine. How can I possibly evolve and progress in a universe about which I don't have even a basic understanding?

 

Hi Trish.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts and raising those questions.  I will answer them with my limited understating.  You may get better answers from others here.

It all seems to be a divine play, however I doubt it is for fun in the way you meant with mixing and matching.  I think everyone gets according to their capacity or what they can handle at the moment.  Like there is a reason to levels.

In order to expand on this further, I am going to take an example from the Vedic astrology.  There are nine objects that are considered as planets in Vedic astrology including Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu and Kethu.  Rahu and Kethu are considered shadow planets, they are the nodes where Earth intersects with Sun and Moon.  I will post a link that describes a mythical story about how those 2 came into existence.

This may sound not relevant to your question.  But please stay with me.  Each planet signifies various things but one factor primarily.  For instance Sun signifies soul and Moon the mind, etc.  Rahu signifies outwardly pleasures and worldly activities and Ketu signifies spiritual activities.  Each planet is also considered as primary significator of one particular event.  For instance Venus signifies love, marriage, partner, etc.  Jupiter, the guru or getting Spiritual guidance.

Kethu is the planet that signifies moksha or liberation or realization.  The final thing that delivers the human from the samsara, the cycle of birth and death and suffering. Yet Kethu is considered as a malefic planet in Vedic astrology alongside Rahu who pulls a person completely into worldly activities.  One may wonder why? Kethu should be the only benefic planet and all others malefic.  Because Kethu is the planet with the responsibility to deliver moksha or realization.  He is assigned that task by the universe or God.  No other planet can grant that.  Yet he is a malefic.

It is because the way Kethu goes about in delivering what he needs to give.  He is depicted with snake head and human or divine body.  This means Kethu cannot think (he doesn't have a human brain), he just simply wants everyone to be liberated right now and acts impulsively to achieve this.  He is also called doomra Kethu.  The person that burns anything that comes inbetween him and his goal.  For example, let's say someone is trying to buy a house.  The person is saving money, working hard and buys the house.  Let's say the Kethu's period of primary governance starts in this person's birth chart (Each planet has the primary say in a person's life at different times allotted to them based on birth time).  If Kethu decides that it is not in this person's best interest to buy this house and live in it, because it doesn't help the goal of Moksha/Realization, but is just a diversion.  Getting attached to more things and getting further into this world of illusion.  With this conclusion, Kethu will try to do anything to stop that person from buying and living in that house.  Including literally burning that house (therefore the name doomra Kethu), if other planets are positioned to support his action.  The reasoning is, the person will get over the house and focus towards spiritual realization instead of wasting time on other worldly things.  Similarly, if a person loves someone and wants to marry them, Kethu sees this as an obstacle to realization and spiritual life.  He will burn the prospect of that marriage or even literally burn the bride/groom the person is supposed to marry, anything to avoid and focus and get to realization.  This is Kethu's version of divine grace, or getting a person to realization :) Everyone is ready right now and let them all get there, if not, I will show them the way.

Compared to this, we can consider Jupiter (the planet that is supposed to be Noble and compared to Guru), with the actions of Shiva and his divine grace.  Though Jupiter also knows, ultimately the person wants realization, he gently guides a person there, giving only as much as a person can handle.   Due to the past karma's from numerous lifes, we have placed numerous karmic knots on top of ourselves that are not easy to untangle.  Trying to remove them all immediately or forcefully can cause more harm than good.  I feel this is why Shiva's grace has many levels of seekers and Gurus.  To help us untangle gently from where we are.

Sorry, if I bored with a lengthy example or story!  I understand it can be frustrating at times not knowing.  I go through this also, all the time - Siva.

 

 

 

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Thanks for the examples, Siva - that's helpful. I do get the idea of ruthless compassion., and really feel profound gratitude when I recognize it in action.  The same with the idea of receiving according to one's capacity. There is just something about the nine types that seems indifferent and random to me. I suspect that it's my own lack of capacity to receive the knowledge.

Thanks for taking the time to explain. I will be riding the short bus for now... :)

 

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28 minutes ago, Trish said:

Thanks for the examples, Siva - that's helpful. I do get the idea of ruthless compassion., and really feel profound gratitude when I recognize it in action.  The same with the idea of receiving according to one's capacity. There is just something about the nine types that seems indifferent and random to me. I suspect that it's my own lack of capacity to receive the knowledge.

Thanks for taking the time to explain. I will be riding the short bus for now... :)

 

Glad to be part of the discussion.  Another way I see it is the balancing between the Shiva's acts of tirodhana (obscuring the truth) and anugraha (divine grace).  The obscuring illusion has to be very strong and impenetrable for the whole thing to work.  Otherwise, everyone will come to know they are Shiva and the game will be over very fast.  The other three acts -- srishti (creation), stithi (sustenance) and samhara (dissolution) -- may lose meaning if it becomes a predictable puzzle.  Certain level of randomness in appearance is needed to keep the game going.  In the same way, if divine grace is powerful and acts right away and what is obscured becomes clear right away, this will also lead to a quicker end of the game.

In the interests of keeping the game (Leela) going, which is truly our inner interest as well, perhaps some randomness or seeming indifference is warranted.  Anyway, that's how I understand or interpret it.

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2 hours ago, Trish said:

Interesting to contemplate being the board game of the gods.

Rather than seeing as the game of gods, it's our own game.  There is no seperate gods playing and we as separate beings. We are the ones playing. It's a game of memory, just slowly remembering who we really are :)

 

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