Contemplations from the 16th lesson on the Shiva Sutras.


Where knowledge of our True Self is forgotten; at that very point, dreaming begins.

What is The True Teacher all about with this Sutra? Shiva is saying that we should become alert to the fact that when we forget our True nature, from there we will start to daydream. He urges us to realise that at the point when we lose connection with our Truth, there arises a necessity to start creating a false alternative; a fantasy or daydream to occupy the ever voracious imagination. Shiva says that when we understand this we should break the spell and WAKE UP!

 We must understand this process and take back the energy being lost in these vapid, impotent, mental meanderings. Stop daydreaming along the way through life and snap back to reality, to what is, here and now. Lazy daydreaming has become habitual, but it’s empty and it’s a waste of our precious time and energy. Be wakeful, Shiva entreats us wisely, be awake you’re missing it! We’re missing life as we saunter about in a dream state like some existential somnambulist, just living a half-life instead of being fully present and engaged in this remarkable, wondrous experience which is unfolding all around us (see Sutra 7 VISMAYO YOGABUMIHI).

Mahadev’s caveat is that this awakening and staying awake is effortful though, it does require some degree of wilful exertion on our part, and so we are likely to encounter some internal resistance at first because we’re so used to the easy entertainment of wishful thinking or aimless planning or hollow stocktaking or whatever form the dream may take. If we can learn to break the habit by continually pulling ourselves back from the dream state as soon as we know we’ve dozed off, then our ‘wake up muscles’ get stronger, our ‘immediate action on snoozing drills’ get slicker and sharper and, by necessity therefore, our connection to Self becomes firmer and more durable as a consequence. When we’re better and more regularly established in our true nature, then inevitably life flows with more Zing and our actions within it carry more Oomph, being as they are, rooted in reality not some uninspired fantasy which has been regurgitated and reheated for the umpteenth time.
Shiva says, make the effort to learn where and when the dream begins and then keep snapping back, because when we can take these further steps to Self-Mastery then our speed and surety along the path to illumined living will increase in harmonious accordance.

Where knowledge of our True Self is forgotten; at that very point, dreaming begins…
Know this and break the somnolent cycle of reverie…
Do that and Liberation shall be yours.

~ By Elliot Donnelly


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