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Kashmiri Shaiva mystic Utpaladeva in his Shiva Stotravalli says,

This fearful world has well-nigh come to an end; the heavy dross of the mind has melted away; still there is, O Lord, not the least opening in the bolted panels of Thy city gates. 4.15

What he meant is despite getting rid of all the conditionings of the mind, he is yet to become the nectar. The commentator has commented on the verse as

The verse is suggestive of what is known in mystic circles as Sunya Bhumi. It is a negative experience and must be overcome with relentless effort combined with the Lord's grace.

Do we find the phrase in any of the scriptures or the works of scholars, mystics, acharyas, etc.? And what does the phrase connote if at all we find the phrase somewhere?

  • It is like the distance between 0 to 1. Apparently, there is no distance, yet they are separated by infinite numbers,ie., 0.1, 0.2 to 0.99999?? In SPIRITUAL realm, except the God, no one will be able to tell for sure, what will come next, when will the ULTIMATE stumbling block "I", will melt away, as there is difference between well-nigh (almost) come to an end and came to an end. – srimannarayana k v Feb 22 at 2:10
  • The commentator , in my view, did not understood the issue properly. Apparently, it is Shunya Bhumi, but it is not as such. As long as the stumbling block "I", has not been dissolved, the gates will not open. The BIG question is, when will the "I" get melted?? Only the God can answer. – srimannarayana k v Feb 22 at 2:13
  • Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said once that it is like experiencing upcoming water from the ground below, yet could not get it. – srimannarayana k v Feb 22 at 2:17
  • I see. But I am looking for the specific phrase. @srimannarayanakv – Memosophical. Feb 22 at 9:06
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In SPIRITUAL realm, we have to follow, what our GURU prescribes to us, be it a mantra japa or naama japa or meditating on a form, etc.

At times, we may not perceive or have a feeling of progress in our SPIRITUAL path, resulting in disappointment or frustration. Some may call it Sunya Bhumi or a negative experience.

In this context, the following are the excerpts from the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi. They might be useful for all SPIRITUAL practitioners.

  1. These people want some japa, dhyana, or yoga or something similar. Without their saying what they have been doing so far what more can be said to them?

    Again, why japa, its phalasruti, etc.? Who is it that makes the japa? Who gets the fruits thereof? Can they not look to the Self?

    Or again, even if instructed by others to do japa or dhyana, they do it for some time, but are always looking to some results, e.g., visions, dreams, or thaumaturgic powers.

    If they do not find them they say they are not progressing or the tapas is not effective. Visions, etc., are no signs of progress.

    Mere performance of tapas is its progress also. Steadiness is what is required.

    Moreover they must entrust themselves to their mantra or their God and wait for its Grace. They don’t do so. Japa even once uttered has its own good effect, whether the individual is aware or not.


  1. M.: This question is relevant to matters of non-self, but not to the Self. Do you doubt the existence of your own Self?

    D.: No. But still, I want to know how the Self could be realised. Is there any method leading to it?

    M.: Make effort. Just as water is got by boring a well, so also you realise the Self by investigation.

    D.: Yes. But some find water readily and others with difficulty.

    M.: But you already see the moisture on the surface. You are hazily aware of the Self. Pursue it. When the effort ceases the Self shines forth.

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