There are three levels of spiritual practices.

  • Anva Upaya
  • Shakta Upaya
  • Shambava Upaya

All practices in the world can be classified into these three.

Anva is the lowest, means the very beginning. All the japa, mantras, yogasanas, breath control - everything comes under Anva Upaya. They are called Upayas, which means remedies.

So the purpose of Anva and Shakta Upaya is to go to Shambava Upaya wherein you become one with Shiva (the fourth state of consciousness). There is no two, there is no doer, you are Shiva, and that is Shambava Upaya.

Usually people who have experienced some degree of Shambava Upaya, they simply discard the other levels. If you read, some people have said that there is no point in doing pranayama, or there is no point in chanting mantras, or there is no point in doing Pooja. They are all talking from the level of Shambava Upaya, but all these practices have their own place too.

These three Gunas come in cycles, one after the other. It is natural to experience these three qualities from time to time. Sometimes you feel happy, joyful, and alert (Sattva). Sometimes you feel restless, sad, burdened with too many things to do, and have many desires (Rajas). And sometimes you just feel dull, sleepy and lazy (Tamas).

Though we experience all the three qualities from time to time, we can still keep our levels of Sattva high by leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Spiritual practices such as meditation, chanting, etc., also contribute towards keeping the Sattva levels high. The higher the Sattva, the more happiness and clarity one experiences.

For example, if you go to the Prime Minister of Canada, then going to the Mayor of St Mathieu's doesn’t matter much. But suppose, the Mayor of St Mathieu's has a say as well, then even if you go to the Prime Minister, the mayor of this town can put some hurdles, isn't it? The bureaucrats can put some hurdles. So the ancient system is attending to everybody and giving everyone their rightful place. And that why Anvaand Shakta Upaya are maintained because they have some purpose. This is deep knowledge.

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