Spanda is the original pulsation of divine energy that creates the universe and remains embedded within every particle of it.
– Sally Kempton
The universe beats like a cosmic heart. The pulsation is on the macro-cosmic level, in which it unfolds our universe, holds it in place and then withdraws it after many millions of years; and on the micro-cosmic level in which the same pulsation takes place in every nanosecond with the creation of every thought and the beating of the human heart. In meditation this profound vibratory movement can be contacted in the stillness.
The spanda is the original impulse of energy that creates all life and all worlds, and that keeps them going. When you sense that pulsation inside yourself, you are sensing your own personal spark of that huge, primordial life force. In meditation, notice its throb as you get quiet. That throbbing energy gradually draws the mind into meditation. If you focus on it and follow it, it will lead you to its source, to the ultimate silence of the Self.
In Spanda, we again confront the idea of ‘apparent’ states, in this case apparent movement. For “the Supreme transcends all notions of space and time…Spanda, therefore…is the throb of ecstasy of the Divine I-consciousness,” which even though it appears to be moving, does not change at all and therefore is “spiritual dynamism without any movement in itself” but serves as the ultimate cause of all movements [Jaideva Singh/Spanda Karikas].
Abhinavagupta defines Spanda thus: “…Spanda is only a throb, a heaving of spiritual rapture in the essential nature of the Divine which excludes all succession [JDS/SK].” Interesting that Spanda is described as dynamic rapture, which reflects the idea of the ecstatic creative potency of God’s Being. This rapturous fullness must find expression in expansion, just as we seek to express our own experiences of overflowing love and joy.
Spanda’s non-movement/movement is said to expand and then contract. It is centrifugal as it moves out from the center, and then centripetal as it once again seeks that center. These alternating currents of rhythmical expansion and contraction, openings and closings are the metaphysical creative vibration-pulsations of the universe. The matrix emits the throb of pulsating waveforms, endless fractals, manifesting innumerable apparent multiplicities – as you and me and the entire universe.
The Ultimate is Spanda: it vibrates, it expands and contracts; it manifests and reabsorbs; it is full of waves and waveless; it is full of bliss and yet suffering occurs; it plays a game of hide-and-seek with itself in which ignorance alternates with knowledge, and in which enjoyment and liberation can coincide.
– Paul Eduardo Ortega-Muller (The Triadic Heart of Shiva)
Consciousness shines in various external and internal forms. There is no existence of objects apart from consciousness. Therefore the world is simply a form of consciousness.
The non-moving movements of the Shiva tattva as Spanda are continually expanding and contracting, coming into being and dissolving back into non-existence. While in truth, nothing was ever created. The state of Shiva, the Oneness, is in fact never altered, diminished, or lessened. The totality of God consciousness remains eternal, imperishable, and immutable. This whole universe…is no universe at all…it is the expansion of your own nature, nothing else. In reality nothing is created at all.