The inside book flap on Jaideva Singh’s translation and commentary on the Pratyabijna Hrdayam, say “Jiva is Shiva.” Singh notes that “pratyabijna” means recognition. The tantric philosophy underlying this work holds that by have acted from absolute freedom (svatantriya) to become embodied (jiva), Shiva has forgotten his true nature. The point of the teachings in these 20 sutras is to help us, as embodied beings who have forgotten, to remember our shiva nature. What does this mean from a practical perspective? I think the point is to teach us to try to act and live reverently, to try not only to choose to seek the good for ourselves and others, but to see it.
You may have noticed that I do not say what I will be teaching. In my blogs and classes, when referring to the philosophy that inspires me, I speak of what I will be reading, what I will be contemplating, and what I will be exploring. It is not false humility. It is a recognition that reading and contemplating a work even several times over a few years is not enough to be “teaching” it. My teaching can, however, authentically be inspired by that level of exploration. I make offerings of what sparks me to think, to practice, and to want to continue to delve ever more deeply into the yoga practices.
This session, I will be reading, contemplating, and inspiring my own practices and my class plans from the Pratyabhijnahrdayam.
Pratyabhijnahrdayam: The Secret of Self-Recognition, J. Singh (Motalal Banarsidass Publishers, Reprinted 2008)
The Splendor of Recognition: An Exploration of the Pratyabhijna-hrdayam, Swami Shantananda with Peggy Bendet (SYDA Foundation, 2003)