Contemplations from the 3rd Lesson on the Shiva Sutras
Sutra 2: Jnanam bandhah
‘Knowledge held on to, becomes bondage.’
The nature of your original mind is boundless empty openness. It contains, at all times, every possibility that ever was and will ever be, it is the source of all knowledge. It’s your BIG MIND, something like the Internet. Your personal mind or little mind is akin to a ‘PC’. On its own it can input, store and process information, which is useful but desperately limited. Yet, how would it be if you are able to connect the ‘PC’ of your little mind, into the Internet of the BIG MIND and download what you need when you need it!
In this second sutra, Shiva is urging us forward, saying: “Forget what you think you know, for there is so much more if you are willing to let go. Your old knowledge is like a graveyard, stop resurrecting corpses of the past and come live in the aliveness of the present. Don’t let your mind hold onto knowledge and build a temple of it. Use it and move on, keep opening your mind, however painful, to new possibilities.”
Our personal mind is limited and if we depend on its stored knowledge, over time this knowledge will become a prison for us. What we know does not make us who we are. Who we are is who we are and what we know is what we know. Don’t confuse the two. We are not what we think ourselves to be, we are what we are when we stop thinking! What is the good of gaining all the knowledge of the world if we have no idea who we are? Shiva says ‘Any knowledge without knowledge of the Self is not only limited, its bondage’.
If you want to grow in wisdom, put down what you know, empty yourself and listen, for there is an intelligence available to you that cannot be learned, only tuned into, but this station never plays the same music twice.
How would it be if you saw an ex-lover? How many slides of the past would come before your eyes to colour your perception and distort your reality? Maybe it has been seven years since you saw him, not a single cell in his body is the same. He is a completely new person; yet, all you can see is the man from seven years before. Shiva says, ‘knowledge is bondage’.
You are a conscious being, how much has your understanding of life changed in the past year? The knowledge and understanding you had a year ago was fine for then but not for now. What you saw as truth then, is not your truth now. So is it not so that the understanding you have now will also seem limited in a year from now?
It is only through the force of this realization that we will be prompted to check ourselves when we become aware we’ve formed fixed ideas, opinions and beliefs, or pass judgment on others.
This self-watching is our work for the week in this 3rd lesson of the Shiva Sutras.