Contemplations from the 15th lesson on the Shiva Sutras.


Let your body be an oblation to the fire of God Consciousness – Be an offering to life rather than a demand on Life.

This week’s pearl of wisdom for our inner engineering sees Shiva invite us to try on a new and splendid item of transformative regalia just to see how it fits us. This time the one true teacher, Lord Shiva, is pointing to a nuanced change in the approach to life, of the aspirant on the path. He’s indicating a shift which, while maybe only slight at its source, can have far reaching and astronomical ramifications as it plays out energetically and exponentially into the Universe at large.

In this Sutra, Shiva is asking us to consider the qualitative and tangible differences, felt from an internal point of view, when each thought, word and deed is made an offering to Life rather than being a demand on Life. He’s suggesting that we turn inwards once more, and this time experiment with how it actually feels in our own body when (through our mental activity, speech and actions) we give it up as an oblation or devotional offering to Life, compared with how it affects us internally when we clutch, force, expect, assume, gripe, need and just generally make egoic demands on the stuff and the flow of life.

 He’s saying; observe how, to demand, inevitably results in some degree of limitation, an inner contraction of our energy, a narrowing of the scope of our experience if you will. If we monitor the internal feedback when we’re in a demanding state, we’ll clearly feel the weight of expectation and its attendant fear of disappointment. Or else we may have our demands met but immediately start to feel the tension around the risk of losing that which we demanded, or the constant onset of change and the ultimate dissolution of the status quo to which we’re clinging. In any case we can sense the extra energetic exertion needed to abide in this demanding state, and the unavoidability of its endgame which will always be framed in one of the DIS’s… DIS-appointment, DIS-illusionment, DIS-enfranchisement, DIS-turbance... DIS-ease.  

Mahadev says, take a check on the origins of this weakened, needy state of demand, and all roads lead back to the overarching fear of lack. They lead back to this commonplace, scarcity mind-set, this sense that somehow we’re not enough and that our completion or fulfilment, in fact, depend on some fabled Golden Fleece outside ourselves. To some external source which can solve all our problems, ease our ills, pay the mortgage, give a great foot massage and most importantly never ever ever leave us… or change, grow old, break, rust, lose a leg, blow a fuse, or be generally affected by the inexorable, infinite, eternal and ineffable flow of the entire Universe and Life itself!! WAKE UP!! Shiva implores us. Wake up and be free!!

Feel for yourself how lack never gives up; it’s Mick n Keith’s inspiration for the song ‘I can’t get no satisfaction’, because even in the meeting of its ceaseless demands, lack just opens its insatiable maw once again and cries out at the DIS- satisfaction of having its needs met. Obesity, Affluenza, work/sex/substance addiction; these are just some of the offspring of this hotbed of need and gluttony, a self-perpetuating, bottomless pit which can only lead us eventually to teetering on the brink of an existential vacuum.

So, says Shiva, notice how, by contrast, we feel when we open our hands and offer, we open our hearts and yield, when we open our eyes and our minds and thoroughly experience Life without expectations, a world without preferences; letting everything flow freely, richly and truly. No limits, no lack, no fear, no demands.

Try this on for size and see how it is interwoven with the simple sagacity of all the proceeding Sutras, how it is underpinned by the very understanding at the basis of our consciousness. But most important of all, see how it makes us feel. Empowered or weakened? Liberated or trapped? Limited or boundless? Then when we have the answers writ large across our nervous systems as sensory feedback, our job is to choose which state we wish to embody, offering or demand?

Shiva’s advice is crystal clear…………..


Let your body be an oblation to the fire of God Consciousness – Be an offering to life rather than a demand on Life.

~ by Elliot Donnelly.


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