Complete Unification with the Absolute

I am not the mind, the intellect, the ego or the memory,

I am not the ears, the skin, the nose or the eyes,

I am not space, not earth, not fire, water or wind,

I am the form of consciousness and bliss,

I am the eternal Shiva…


I have no fear of death, no caste or creed,

I have no father, no mother, for I was never born,

I am not a relative, nor a friend, nor a teacher nor a student,

I am the form of consciousness and bliss,

I am the eternal Shiva…


I am devoid of duality, my form is formlessness,

I exist everywhere, pervading all senses,

I am neither attached, neither free nor captive,

I am the form of consciousness and bliss,

I am the eternal Shiva…

(Excerpts from The Nirvana shatkam of Adi Shankara)


The legend speaks that when the young Adi Shankara was looking for someone who would guide him to full realization with the Absolute Universal Divine Principle he met someone while wandering in the woods.  He did not recognize the person he met, only that he was of advanced age and very dignified.  The older man seeing the young boy inquire as to the purpose of his journey and asked to know who he was.  The legend goes that upon hearing the question, Adi Shankara responded with what is now known as the Nirvana Shatkam.  Being deeply impressed with the young boy’s answer, the older man (who was to become Adi Shankara revered guru) took him under his wing and guided him towards complete unification with the Absolute.   

What is interesting to point out here is that when Adi Shankara responded to his soon to be Guru, he responded in what is still considered to be the highest expression of perfect non-duality.  So powerful and alive was his response that it is still being chanted and used as a meditative aid to this very day.  For it can be clearly recognized that Adi Shankara had some profound and direct realization of some level of Absolute Truth to recognize that absolutely anything that can be objectified cannot be what he truly was.  His consciousness had already begun to stabilize itself within the Godhead that he referred to as Shiva.  

The interesting point, however, is that although Adi Shankara had come to a truly profound recognition as to the nature of what he was not there was still a sense of not fully stabilizing himself in the truth of what he actually was.  Hence, it was only after speaking the Nirvana Shatkam that he was accepted by a Guru to help him penetrate fully into the depths of his consciousness.  For although the statement; “I am the eternal Shiva…” is repeated at the end of every verse, this does not indicate that his awareness had merged with Shiva consciousness.  For it is a common response when one has rejected everything that one has previously thought of as me, to assume that an external one-ness must therefore be what I Am, for what else is left?  

It is easy to assume that “I must be God” when one has seen what one is not.  God, or in the case of Adi Shankara; Shiva, represents an abstraction.  A representation in words of That which cannot be expressed in words.  Yet, even when all of the primary qualities that you have taken yourself to be have been seen through, this only represents the first stage in true integration.  For to say “I am the eternal Shiva…”  is still expressing a split in consciousness.  There is I Am and then there is the eternal Shiva, and although in the everyday language of spirituality sounds like the highest truth it is, in fact, not.  For the simple reason that the principle of I Am can never be anything other than I Am.

To qualify this principle along side of another, although part of the process and extremely beneficial, is not the full expression of your expansion, but a sign of intense longing to reach the highest possible understanding a human manifestation is capable of.  So intense is this longing that one is willing to continuously reject any idea of themselves and hold onto the idea that they are one with the Divine Essence in order to create and energetic link in that direction.

Seeing how determined and serious the young Adi Shankara was he was accepted and taught how to fully merge his consciousness into the Absolute.  This is all being pointed out to show that the goal of spirituality that many on the path are striving for is but only the beginning.  For there are countless upon countless of books and teachings that are presenting the idea that when one attains a state similar to the state Adi Shankara spoke in the Nirvana Shatkam one has essentially become fully enlightened.  

To recognized that one is not the ego-mind construct is what so many are not only striving for, but are stopping at.  Although a truly beautiful and profound space for the individual on its journey towards complete unification with the Absolute Universal Divine Principle to have entered into, if one ceases to dive into the depths of consciousness after seeing with this level of clarity, the possibility of falling back into the ego-mind construct is all too possible.  

For at this stage in the individual’s journey there still exists a strong sense of Individual I that if left unchecked will reclaim the being.  Seeing that one is not an object that can exist apart from a subject is a stage in development where the being-ness is beginning to expand.  The sense of Individual I is becoming weaker but is not yet annihilated.

You should not stop on your journey.  It is all too easy to stop and become satisfied with states of awareness and clarity that you may gain along the way, but if true unification with the Absolute is the true call shouting from the depths of your being, you should not settle for anything less than that.



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