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Naturalness vs Karma Smackdown

Episode No. 18

Sahaja means naturalness, the fruit of direct realization practice. What is naturalness and how can we discover it? This satsang includes a brief meditation to help you directly experience the natural state. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi.


Somebody made the good suggestion that I talk about something to do with the fundamentals of the tradition that I teach in. This tradition is called Trika Shaivism or Kashmir Shaivism or Shaivite Tantra. It has lots of different names. But actually it’s one of many of what are called direct realization traditions, where the point is that something happens over time so that you are able to directly perceive and understand and come to embody your primordial essence nature, your enlightened essence nature. You’re doing that by encountering reality directly, not just by thinking about something or having a philosophy or a theory about something. You actually take steps. You do practices, and you work with a teacher to help you directly realize something about who you are. That’s what self realization actually is, knowing who you really are.

I was trying to think of a good way to say something about what is the essence of this tradition. And the one word that comes to mind is naturalness. The word for naturalness in sanskrit is sahaja. So, what we are trying to come to recognize, experience, understand in an embodied way, not just a mental way, and to embody ourselves is naturalness, sahaja. That’s not really an easy word to understand, but it’s easier to understand if we talk about what is the opposite of naturalness. Well, the opposite of naturalness in this tradition could be called constraint. It could be called contrivance. It could be called limitation. Naturalness is an unlimited quality of the base state of reality. It is just being natural without any conditioning. Another good word for naturalness is the unconditioned, and for the state that most of us are in, the conditioned. We are conditioned.