Tag Archive: pratyabijna hrdayam

Madya Vikashac Cittananda Labhah (and moving from the core)

After my morning practice, while I was riding on the bus to Georgetown yesterday to volunteer at the Lantern, the sutra “madyama vikasha cittananda labah,” Pratyabijna Hrdayam, 17, started resonating in the forefront of my consciousness.  Swami Shantananda in The Splendor of Recognition, translates this sutra as “[t]he bliss of Consciousness is attained through the expansion of the center.” What an elegant reminder of the true purpose of practice and the essential basis for the alignment principle of “stabilize the periphery; move from the core” about which I wrote yesterday.

When we practice, we seek to go inward to discover that of our true nature that is light-filled and joyous.  We do so not just to stay in that place still and inert, but so that we can then extend out into every thought and action from a place of illuminated, blissful wisdom.  It will not change the fact of difficulties, challenges, strains, etc, but when we stabilize the outside, remember to go inward, and find the inner space of stillness and light, then when we move back outward into the world, we will be better able to respond in the highest.

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Pratyabijna Hrdayam Sutra 17 (and organic energy)

The 17th sutra is “madhya vikasha cittananda labhah,” which is translated by Swami Shantananda as “the bliss of Consciousness is attained through expansion of the center.”

Madyama, in our physical embodiment is the central channel, the sushumna nadi that runs vertically in the space of the spine.  One of the key actions of Anusara’s organic energy is expansion from the midline.  It is, in its essence, using the body to physically explore the bliss that comes from the expansion from the center.

If we can get bliss just from expanding, then why would we first draw in?  In applying the Anusara principles, we use muscular energy first.  We hug into our core before reaching out.  This parallels the yoga texts.  If, for example, one already embodies the perfect bliss of consciousness, one doesn’t need to study the sutras or to practice yoga, one would just live from that place of perfect bliss.

The way I think about it in terms of the Anusara principles, if one were perfectly open to grace and lived being fully open to and expressive of grace, there would be no need to explore, learn, or study any of the other principles.  That’s a rare being though.  Most of us, and definitely me, need practice to discover and embody even a glimpse of perfect bliss and grace.  So the expansion from the center comes after consciously softening and opening, after intentionally drawing in to strengthen and embrace, after making with discrimination further expansion, and after drawing in to contentrate mind and body with honed intensity.  With ever more refinement and practice, we then can experience and make offering a deeper bliss when we expand from our center.

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“Jiva is Shiva”

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.

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