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Fountains of Compassion

embody compassion
Episode No. 131

Does realizing the Absolute and the equality of all phenomena lead one to give zero fucks about others? Shambhavi talks about the inevitability of embodying greater compassion as one wakes up. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi

Podcast First Words

Tonight I want to talk about something that’s very fundamental to our tradition and that people often have questions about. This is a tradition called Trika Shaivism from North India. One way to describe why we’re practicing is so that we can realize the actual nature of ourselves and of reality. When you get in direct contact with that, you discover that everything is made of wisdom. Everything is made of one pervasive wisdom, one pervasive awareness. You discover that directly for yourself.

This past week I was reading an article by an academic in the Political Science Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was born in India, but now she teaches here. She writes about Tantric traditions and if they can be used to formulate some kind of radical politics. Her understanding of the Tantric traditions from India is rudimentary, not academically, but judging by what she talks about and writes about. She doesn’t have enough realization practicing in the tradition to understand what really happens when you do practices for a long period of time.

She did an interview that I listened to and the interviewer asked this question: If everything is made of the same wisdom or the same consciousness and energy, then there’s just one consciousness everywhere, and there’s not really any other person. Every one of us is just a playful expression of that one Consciousness. Then wouldn’t politics based on this be uncompassionate? Wouldn’t it be a I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude? Because if you’re the same consciousness as me, and we’re all an appearing of that one Supreme person, and there really isn’t anyone to harm, and there really isn’t any suffering because it’s all just a play of one thing—then why bother being good? Why bother being compassionate?

And this is a question I think almost every beginning student asks.