The Ocean of the Heart II

Yesterday's blog entry prompted me to look up the passage in the Kularnava Tantra which gave Anusara Yoga it's name (14:36). I have a translation that is not the most user friendly. It reads:

"The disciple receives the Guru according to the impact of the Shakti (Shaktipata); where there is no impact of Shakti there is no fulfillment."

The preceding three sutras to sutra 14:36, speak on the various kinds of initiation without rituals that are given to a devotee, bringing to mind personal experiences of various forms of initiation received:

"Oh my Beloved! Initiation and instruction by touch is likened to the slow nourishing of its young by the bird with the warmth of its wings.

Initiation and instruction by sight is like the nourishing of its young by the fish through it seeing alone.

Initiation and instruction by thought is like the nourishing of its young by the tortoise by only thinking of them..."

I recalled that on two occasions, the Shiva scholar, Paul Muller-Ortega, at the Denver gathering of Anusara Yoga certified teachers, shared with us his own translations of sutra 14:36. The first of these was more freely rendered and cogent. The next day, he gave us another interpretation after reflecting further on the sutra that was more explicit and poetic:

"By the flowing descent of the Divine in the form of grace itself, the disciple is initiated."


"To the degree and conformity that the great flowing force of the Divine is manifested as the descent of the Shakti - there the student feels moved, and is inclined by grace. And in that place where the Shakti does not descend - there is no discernment and groundedness of life - and the Shakti does not arise."

This sutra haunted me all of yesterday, particularly as I plodded through messy piles of arcane and esoteric texts at Nataraj Bookstore, one of my favorite places to go and lose myself for a few hours. I kept thinking of the various ways in which we are initiated, some more subtle, others more dramatic - still others, more formal - but all of them fruits of the gift of grace.


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