Statue of Shiva in Rishikesh, India
Statue of Shiva in Rishikesh, India
The yogic tradition began some 10,000 to 15,000 years ago or so, when Shiva—the first yogi, the first guru; dispeller of darkness and phenomenal being of light—transmitted the science of yoga to his seven disciples.
We do not know exactly how many thousands of years ago for sure. That is still a debate. These disciples, the Saptarishis, came to be known as seven great sages, including the well-known Agyasta Muni, who went south. In this time that predates religion, Shiva taught his disciples 112 ways of realizing union with the Divine and experiencing pure cosmic consciousness—in other words, to be in yoga with the Source of creation.
Shiva’s transmission included the ultimate science of yoga —-the spiritual knowledge that opened the gateway to a perfect harmonic marriage, within which all human beings can transcend their limitations and realize their ultimate potential by experiencing their true nature and Divine presence. Shiva, known by many as the lord of the yogi and yogini and whom we lovingly and reverentially call the Adi yogi and Adi guru, transmitted powerful and effective tools for individual transformation, self-realization, and liberation.Shiva sent the seven Saptarishis to seven different parts of the world to carry this supreme knowledge and with it, the awareness that individuals can evolve beyond their present compulsions and human nature. They became known as the limbs of Shiva.
Wherever you are now at this stage of cosmic conscious evolution, you can go beyond the physicality of this realm too. Shiva clearly demonstrated we human beings can evolve beyond our present limitations if we do the necessary work on ourselves with diligence, perseverance, and focus. That is the significance of Shiva’s legacy and his phenomenal gift to humanity. Thus, personal transformation is the only way to transform the whole—to expand the collective consciousness on earth.
Throughout the ages, many masters, siddhas, yogi, and yogini have said that a being of great magnitude, a Maha Avatar, has come to earth many times to help when our planet was near disaster and in trouble. People know this being by many names, and yet Shiv-Goraksha Babaji—the Nameless One—has been recognized as the reincarnation of Shiva, the Adi guru himself. Little was known of Mahavatar Babaji Gorakshanath in the Western hemisphere until the famous book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda was published in 1946.
Shree Ananda Mayi Ma (a female saint of India)
Maha Avatar Shiv-Goraksha Babaji
One who is self-created, self-born
There are no historical records relating to the life of Shiva. In the yogic tradition, he is considered a “Swayambhu” (Svayambhu- Sanskrit: स्वयम्भू, romanized: Svayambhū, literally “self-born”), a Sanskrit word that means one who is self-created, self-born. Paramahansa Yogananda’s book claims that the immortal avatar has resided for untold years in the remote Himalayas of India.
Regardless of his past incarnation or name, Shiva’s pure essence, his cosmic consciousness, permeates over from eternity to infinity. Earth shall pass away, but he shall always be in this existential moment, eternally living within our hearts, souls, and spirits. It is even challenging for many sages, Siddhas, yogini, and yogi to fathom his transcendental, magnificent, and majestic nature. His spiritual and Divine stature is incomprehensible to the logical mind. You can only experience his supreme pure consciousness when you are in either a state of Bhava samadhi (devotional state ofequanimity and unity consciousness), or other type of samadhi such as Nirvakalpa.