A is for Awe C is for Clever

Maine winter
March 1, 2017

Shambhavi riffs on giving up cleverness—the Walmart version of primordial intelligence—and entering into the state of natural wonder. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi.


There is a famous mantra that happens to be the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet, and it’s “Ah.” The poet Lalleshwari from Kashmir, from the 14th century, said that the state of the realized yogi is one of continuous amazement. What are we amazed at? That first of all there is something here and not nothing. We’re amazed at existence. This “Ah” is actually the sound of amazement. It’s the first manifestation out of unconditioned Shiva Nature, and it’s the sound of amazement. Amazement is actually at the root of devotion.

People come to spiritual practice for lots of different reasons. Sometimes they just stumble into it. They don’t know why they are doing it. That’s always fun. But sometimes people start looking for a spiritual practice, or a spiritual teacher, because they are in pain, or they just have a sense that there is something more. But then having gotten into a situation in which you have teachings and a teacher, then you just start trying to be ordinary. There’s no amount of cleverness that will help you realize. No cleverness will help you realize. We have intelligence but that’s different from cleverness, the clever, trickiness of your fixations trying to perpetuate themselves.


Satsang with Shambhavi is a weekly podcast about spirituality, love, death, devotion and waking up while living in a messy world.