Beyond Turya, beyond consciousness, Devotion after Liberation
Before I get into Siddharameshwar's discussion of Para-Brahman, (or Paramatman) or that which is beyond Turya, beyond the great causal state, beyond Brahman, beyond knowledge, which is truly yourself in every way, I stumbled upon this one chapter written by Nisargadatta based on one of Siddharameshwar's talks called Freedom and Devotion. Here he talks about the dryness of awakening, versus the wetness and bliss of devotion after awakening. This is from page 310 of the Master of Self-Realization:
“There is no useful way to freedom than to be in the company of Saints. When you see any form, any object, there arises some sentiment. When you see the guru, to have his glimpse or Darshan, the heart is overflowing with that feeling of reverence. In this way saintly company is the greatest. With respect to the saintly company, being near the Sadguru is the most purifying. Illusion has no place near him. Illusion does not remain in the proximity of the Sadguru. Most people live their lives in pain and give importance useless worldly benefits, only to become miserable and anxious. The individual foolishly gives importance to objective things, which are not important at all, and remains ensnared by illusion. But when one is in the vicinity of his sudguru, such useless distractions automatically disappear.
Uddhava said to Lord Krishna, “Liberation, or the state of Jivanmukta is not a happy state, although you may say so. Therefore, give me devotion to you. I do not want liberation, which is dry and tasteless. Liberation is possible by the blessing of the Sadguru, and it is necessary to have the understanding of reality. But please, give me devotion to you. Give me the worship of you which is superior to the liberation. In the past you bestowed upon many only liberation, but you did not give them this devotion to you. Please, with me, this deception will not do. Please bless them with your devotion, those who have attained real knowledge. Those who have neglected devotion to the guru declare that they have attained liberation are deluded. Please, give us devotion to the guru. Do not tell me that devotion to the guru is not necessary. You are able to make possible that which is impossible, and make impossible that which is possible. You have given liberation even to animals in the forest we only leave, and you have given liberation even to the cow herds (Gopis) who became so sacred that even their creator, Brahman, worshiped them. Unfathomable is the greatness of your devotion. He who becomes one with you holds all of your glory. Devotion contains within itself liberation. By devotion, liberation become sanctified. Even if I gain liberation, I desire only to be your devotee.”
(Comment: when I read this, I felt Robert appeared before me, and I felt utter surrender to his presence, with complete love.)
And so speaking, Uddhava held the feet of Lord Krishna with reverence. He would not let go. And God blessed him. "When the state of the totality of Brahman is attained, one thinks that devotion with its inherent duality is no longer needed. One should not suffer from pride of having achieved such a state. When one says that when liberation is attained, devotion does not remain, this is the pride of knowledge. Please, give he me devotion to you. For me, to be deprived of devotion to the guru is the greatest hindrance. So please give me that devotion which is beyond liberation."
(Comment: the following is a very important paragraph which relates the concept of devotion after liberation as being identical to the state of Paramatman, which is beyond Brahman, beyond Turya, beyond the great causal body, and is also the power that knows the way, that makes the universe unfold the way it should as Robert continually talked about.)
“Liberation itself is not a happy state.” This was my experience too in my second awakening, where I saw that nothing in the manifest world, within the states of consciousness, touched me. When I told Robert this, he stated, "Do you feel happy now, completely happy?
I actually lied to him. I did not want to tell him that I did not feel this happiness he spoke of. I let him think that I did. But my state was not of happiness, or bliss, it was just a recognition of what I was not, which did eventually result in a complete self-confidence in my understanding. Yet, I had not obtained the state of devotion after liberation. That came much, much later when I learned how to love God through his manifestations, which Siddharameshwar talks about in other parts of the text.
Clearly this book is one of the most remarkable texts I have ever read. It has struck me as deeply as the works of Nisargadatta when I first encountered him 25 years ago. Here the origin of the crystal clarity and boldness of Nisargadatta is clearly revealed in Siddharameshwar's teachings. The source of Nisargadatta's love for his teacher Siddharameshwar is made evident here, which allowed his boldness to function in every moment. In Nisargadatta, you see me the same boldness and sense of omnipotence, that you find in a great Zen master who is completely at home in himself. Zen Master Seung Sahn Soen Sa referred to this as being 100% sure of yourself, always walking forward boldly, not wobbling, not checking one's own mind to see if he or she is going in the right direction or has the right attitude. From moment to moment, you react to the world in an entirely appropriate way, but only because you love the world as you love yourself.