A Passage from Utpaladeva’s
Utpaladeva, a Kashmir Shaivite sage who lived in the tenth century, was both a venerated philosopher and an ecstatic being with immense love for Lord Shiva. In his Shivastotravali, this great sage expressed his bhakti, his devotional love, through a series of Sanskrit songs of praise that are sung in Kashmir to this very day.
In the first song, “The Pleasure of Devotion,” Utpaladeva tells us that the love we experience for our own Self is the very nature of Lord Shiva, for the Lord alone is the Self of all. In our deep recognition of the Lord’s all-encompassing and unconditional love, we experience everything in existence as saturated with the infinite bliss of devotional love.
Shivastotravali, 1.6–9; Constantina Rhodes Bailly (trans.), Shaiva Devotional Songs of Kashmir: A Translation and Study of Utpaladeva’s Shivastotravali (Albany, NY: SUNY, 1987) p. 30.