3 types of spiritual practices

All spiritual practices in the world can be classified three levels:

#1: Anva Upaya: 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.

#2: Shakta Upaya: Above Anva is ShaktaShakta is only mental, i.e., inside. It is the effect of the meditative state that is referred to as Shakta Uppaya.
For instance: When you sing, meditate, practice pranayama and the Sudarshan Kriya. (Kriyabegins with Anva Upaya but then it leads to Shakta Upaya, where you experience that you are just energy.) Here, there is no effort, there is no doing, just a little bit of effortless effort.

#3: Shambava Upaya: Then comes the Shambava or Shiv Upaya which is just pure awareness.Shambava Upaya means that there is no means (way) to do it, it is just a happening, it will just happen. Even then it is still called an Upaya.

Moving towards Shiva

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 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.

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