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What Makes God God?

Himalayan Shiva
Episode No. 14

Shambhavi riffs on the nature of God, drawing on her own experience and the siddhas of the Trika tradition. “He is a God because he plays without concern for what is to be obtained or rejected.” -Abhinavagupta. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi.


Every now and then, somebody asks me what is a Deva or what is a God. Here Abhinavagupta is explaining what a God is in the tradition of Shaiva Tantra. He’s talking about Bhairava, the fierce form of Shiva that is popular in Shaiva Tantra. “He is a God because he plays without concern for what is to be attained or rejected.” He simply plays, and we know that playfulness is a form of self expression. He expresses himself without concern. That makes one a God doing it at that level. But at our level we can also learn to drop our limitations and express ourselves without concern for achievement or what we might lose. We can express ourselves freely as a form of play. His play is an outpouring of his own bliss and specifically his own undifferentiated bliss, in other words his unconditioned bliss. His play is just an outpouring. It just keeps continually pouring out from his real nature which is this unconditioned ananda: bliss, energy and clarity.