Chapter 39 — Shiva on the Internal Worship of God

Shiva resumed:—

I will now describe to you the way of inner worship of the spirit in spirit, which is reckoned as the holy of holies and the dispeller of all darkness. This mode of worship also depends on mental meditation. It is conducted in every state of life, whether sitting, walking, waking or sleeping. It requires the supreme Shiva, who is always situated in the body of man and who is the cause of the perception of all things, to be worshipped in spirit and in the spirit of man.

Whether you think him as sleeping or rising, walking or sitting, or whether you conceive him touching or making intangible contact with anything, or as quite unconnected and aloof from everything about him, 5 or whether you take him as enjoying the gross objects, or shunning them all by his spiritual nature, or as the maker of all outward objects, and the one who ordains all forms of action, or whether you consider him as remaining quiescent in all material bodies, or that he is quite apart from all substantial forms, you may worship him in whatever form your understanding presents him to you, or as what you can best conceive of him in your consciousness.

Whoever has fallen in and is carried away by the currents of his desires, and who is purified from his worldliness by the sacred ablution of his good sense, should worship the Shiva linga as the symbol of understanding by offering whatever is his knowledge of God. He may be contemplated in the form of the sun, shining brightly in the sky, or that of the moon which cools the sky with its benign moonbeams.

God is always conscious in himself of all sensible objects, which are ever being brought to his awareness by means of his senses, just as breathing brings fragrance to the nostrils. 10 He gives flavor to all sweets and enjoys the sweetness of his joy in himself. He employs breaths as his horses, and carried in the car of respiration, sleeps in the cave of the heart. 11 Shiva is the witness of all sights and the actor of all actions. He enjoys all enjoyments and remembers all of what is known. 12 He is well acquainted with all the members of his body and he knows all that exists and doesn’t exist. He is brighter than all luminous objects and is to be thought upon as the all-pervading spirit. 13 He is without parts and without the totality of all parts. Being situated in the body, he resides in the emptiness of the heart. He is colorless himself, yet he paints all things in their many colors. He is the sensation of every member of the body. 14 He dwells in the faculty of the mind and breathes in the respirations of all beings. He resides within the heart, the throat and the palate of the mouth. He has his seat between the eyebrows and in the nostrils (as conscious intellect and the subtle breath of life).

15 He is situated beyond the limit of the thirty-six categories of Saivite scriptures, as he is beyond the ten powers (shakti) known to the Shaktas. He moves the heart and gives articulation to sounds. He makes the mind fly about like a bird in the air. 16 He resides both in ambiguous words and words with alternative meanings, situated in all things like oil in sesame seeds. 17 He is without blemish or parts, compact with all the parts of the world taken together. He is situated alike in a part of the lotus-like heart of the wise, as well as in all bodies in general. 18 He is as clear as the pure and spotless intellect. The imputation of parts or divisions to him is only the work of mere imagination. He is seen palpably in everything at all places. He is perceptible to us in our inner perception of him.

19 Though originally of the nature of universal consciousness, yet he appears in the form of individual souls according to the desires of men. Residing in every individual, he is divided into endless dualities. 20 Then this god thinks of himself as an embodied being, endowed with hands, legs, and other body parts with its hairs, nails and teeth. 21 He thinks of having various different powers and faculties and he is employed in a variety of actions according to the desires of the mind.

He feels happy when served by his wives and servants. 22 He thinks the mind is the porter at the gate, conducting information of the three worlds to him. He thinks that his thoughts are his chambermaids, waiting at his door with clean clothes. 23 He believes his knowledge of his individual ego is his greatest power and wife, and his power of action is his mistress. He thinks his knowledge of various ancient beliefs are his decorations.

24 He knows his organs of sense and action are the doors to the house that is his body. He is conscious of being the infinite soul from which he is inseparable. 25 He knows himself to be full of the Universal Spirit, filled by and filling others, and that he has the admirable figure of the body through his dependence on the Divine Spirit. 26 He knows that he is filled with the Godhead within him and therefore he is no contemptible soul himself. He never rises or sets or is glad or displeased at anytime. 27 He never feels fully satisfied or hungry, nor does he long after or forsake anything. He is ever the same and of an even course of action, temper and conduct and form at all times. 28 He retains the gracefulness of his person, the clarity of his mind, and the calmness of his views at all times. He is ever the same since his birth, and the self-composure of his soul never forsakes him at anytime.

29 He is devoted to the adoration of his god for long days and nights. The mind abstracted from his body becomes the object of his worship. 30 This god is worshipped with whatever offerings are available to the devotee. All the powers of the understanding are employed in the adoration of the sole Intellectual Spirit. 31 God is to be worshipped with all things suitable for the ritual. No attempt should be made to make any offering which has never been made before. 32 Man being endowed with a body should worship the Lord with his bodily actions and with all things that lead to bodily enjoyment. 33 So Shiva is to be worshipped with food and drink of the best and richest kind, with beddings and seats and vehicles as one can afford to offer.

34 Men must also entertain their souls, which are the homes of the Divine Spirit in their bodies, with all kinds of things that they think are pleasurable to themselves, such as excellent food and drink and all other things that give enjoyment and pleasure. 35 They must diligently serve the Supreme Soul in their souls regardless of any calamity, difficulty, danger or disease that may befall them, and also when they are overtaken by the illusions of their misunderstandings. 36 The ends of all the efforts of mankind in this world, being no more than life, death and sleep, are all to be directed in the service of the soul of nature.

37 Whether reduced to poverty or elevated to royalty or carried by the currents of casualty, men must always serve their souls with the flowers of their best efforts. 38 Whether overwhelmed by conflict and confusion or buffeted in the waves of mishaps, whether undergoing troubles or enjoying the comforts of domestic life, men must serve their souls at all times.

39 When the gentle beams of feeling fellowship with others spreads over the breast of kind hearted men, and when the sweet influence of sympathy melts the heart, then we serve the soul seated inside. 40 When a man has restrained the turbulent passions of his heart by the power of his right judgment, and he has spread the vest of soft tenderness and sweet content over his heart and mind, then let him worship the serene aspect within himself. 41 Let men worship the soul upon the sudden changes of their fortunes, both when they come into possessions and when they lose their enjoyments.

42 The soul should be adhered to and adored, both when you lose and when you abandon your legal or illegal possessions and enjoyments of anything on earth. 43 Isha, the lord of wealth, is to be worshipped by renouncing all wealth which one may have collected by his own efforts or otherwise. 44 Do not regret what is lost. Make use of what you have and adore the Supreme Soul without any inconstancy in your mind and soul.

45 Retain your constancy amidst the scenes of men’s wicked pursuits. Maintain your vow of holy devotion of the Supreme Spirit at all times. 46 Everything appears as good in the sight of the godly who view all things in God. Everything appears mixed with good and evil to the worshipper of material wealth. Therefore look on all things as situated in the Divine Spirit and continue in your vow of the adoration of the Supreme Soul. 47 Things that appear as pleasant or unpleasant at first sight are all to be taken in an equal light by those who are firm in their vow to worship the one Universal Soul.

48 Give up thinking yourself as such a one or not such a one. Forsake all particularities and knowing that all is the universal One, continue in your vow of adoring the Supreme Soul. 49 Worship the Supreme Spirit always residing in all forms and changes of all things. 50 Forsake your pursuit after things and your attempt to avoid anything. Remain indifferent to both extremes. Continue in your adoration of the soul at all times. 51 Neither seek nor forsake anything, but receive what comes to you of itself or by your own lot. Enjoy all things as the sea does the streams of water that flow into it of their own accord.

52 Placed in this wide world of misery, man should take no heed of the lesser or greater sights of grief that constantly present themselves to his view. They are like fleeting shades and colors that paint the empty dome of the skies and soon vanish into nothing. 53 All good and evil befall us by turns at the proper time, place and action. Therefore take them with unconcern and serve your own soul.

54 Whatever is mentioned as fit offerings for worship of the Supreme Spirit, the calmness of your soul is considered the best and fittest offering. 55 Things of different tastes, such as sour, bitter, acid, sharp and pungent, are useless in the service of the spirit. The calm and sweet composure of the soul is delectable to the Supreme Spirit. 56 Equanimity is sweet to taste. It has the supernatural power of transforming everything to ambrosia. 57 Whatever a man thinks upon with the ambrosial sweetness of his disposition, the same is immediately changed to ambrosia, just like nectar-like dew drops under moonbeams. 58 Calmness expands the soul and gladdens the mind, just as sunlight fills the dome of heaven. The unchangeable calmness of the mind is the highest devotion.

59 The mind of man must shine with an even luster, like bright moonbeams in their fullness. The mind must blaze with the transparent light of consciousness, like a bright crystal in sunlight. 60 He who is employed in his outward actions of life with his mind as bright as the clear sky, free of the mist of worldly affections, is said to be the full knowing devotee. 61 The true devotee shines as brightly as the clear autumn sky when worldly impressions are effaced from the heart and not seen even in dreams, when the cloud of ignorance is cleared away and the fog of egoism is utterly scattered.

62 Let your mind be as clear as the moon and as spotless as the blazing sun. Let your mind hide the thoughts of the measurer and measured. Let it have simple consciousness of itself, like a newborn child, perceiving only the steady light of Consciousness, the seed of all intelligence. Then you will attain the state of highest perfection in your lifetime.

63 Living amidst the fluctuations of pain and pleasure, attending on the lot and actions of all living beings occurring at their fixed times and places, remain in the steady service of your soul, the leader of your body, by tranquilizing all the passions and desires of your heart and mind.