Non-dual Devotion

Non-dual Devotion

28 Dec 2019

"How wonderful it is that the mind, O Lord, In essence the seed of all suffering, When doused with the nectar of devotion, Bears the magnificent fruit of beatitude." - Utpaladeva, Shivastotravali - translated by Constantina Rhodes Bailly

Devotion in a non-dual tradition is a peculiar thing and yet the Shaiva's of Kashmir such as Utpaladeva and Bhattanarayana poured out their devotion to Shiva endlessly. They used language that not only conveyed the strength and commitment of their devotion but which also expressed the profoundness of their mystical tradition.

"With my eyes closed, Relishing the wonder of inner devotion, May I worship even the blades of grass thus: "Homage to Siva, my own consciousness!" Having seen the world as consisting of your nature And having realized the pleasure Of your nondual form, Still may I never part With the enjoyment of the spirit of devotion."

In essence they praised that which they realized to be non-different from their own consciousness. Not satisfied with seeing the Highest as an impersonal Absolute, realizing their non-difference and discarding this world of diversity (as did the Vedantins of their time) they instead offered their devotion to a personal God, the supreme person or Maha-Purusha, as an expression of their own true essence. They reveled in the marvel of it all and the joy of being able to palpably feel, see and taste this Divine love in everything and everyone, recognizing it as an expression of the One.

"The devotion of a Narayana or Utpaladeva is a brand of spirituality which cannot be framed by philosophical concepts such as monism, dualism, pantheism, etc. Striving to trace a path between the two – the personal God of theistic dualism and the impersonal Absolute of the Vedantins, these devotees have discovered the God of love -- living Reality endowed with a free energy, rejoining thus the popular forms of the ancient Shaivism." - Lilian Silburn