~ Shiva Sutras, The Supreme Awakening ~

9. nartaka atma //

The dancer in this field of universal dance is his self of universal consciousness.
What is this universal dance? It is everything that you experience in your life. It may be coming. It may be going. It may be birth, death, joy, sadness, depression, happiness, enjoyment. All of this forms part of the universal dance, and this dance is a drama. In this field of drama, the actor is your own nature, your own self of universal consciousness. This self of universal consciousness is the one who is aware, he is the actor in this universal drama. Those who are not aware are not actors; they are played in this drama. They experience sadness, they experience enjoyment, they become joyful, they become depressed.

But those who are aware, they are always elevated; they are the real players in this drama. So it is your own self of universal consciousness which is, in fact, the actor. Why? Because he acts. The actor is he who conceals his real nature. When you conceal the real nature of your being and, to the public, reveal another form of your being, that is the behavior of acting.
So, Lord Siva is the real actor. And although his nature of universal consciousness is concealed to the public, in fact, he knows that he is that reality. Actually, being filled with that awareness of universal God consciousness, he sometimes appears in the waking state, sometimes in the dreaming state, sometimes in the dreamless state, etc. This, however, is actually his play. It is not his real action. His real action is his being in his own universal God consciousness in each and every moment of revealing his differentiated forms. At the time of revealing his differentiated formation in the waking state, he diverts his universal consciousness in the state of wakefulness. And also in that state, he finds he is playing. Actually, this is play, he is not becoming that state. For although he has become the waking state, he has not actually become the waking state and he has not become the dreaming state or the state of deep sleep. In fact, he is already there in that universal God consciousness.

In the hymns composed by Devi contained in the seventh chapter of the Tantras known as the Naisvasa Devi Mahesvaranartakakhye it is said:
In one way, O Lord Siva, you are actually residing in your own nature, and yet you have put on different coverings. Covering that universal God consciousness in one way, it appears as wakefulness and covering it another way, it appears as the dreaming state or the state of deep sleep.
It is because of these coverings that this universal God consciousness is not found.

Bhattanarayana has also said in his Sastra, the Stavacintamani:

O Lord Siva you have present in your own self the germ of universal existence from which this universe has expanded. It is from this seed that you create the drama of the three worlds, the drama of waking state, the drama of the dreaming state and the drama of the state of deep sleep. O Lord, you create these three types of drama from the sprouting of that seed which is already residing in your real nature. This is only the course of your action of awareness. Who else can act in this way to create this drama and then withdraw it again? (Stavacintamani 59)

The Pratyabhijna Sastra, which expounds pratyabhijna, the way of recognition, the secret of all tantras, also says the same thing,
O Lord, in this world which is absolutely unaware of what is existing, only you are aware. You are the creator of the drama of this universe. You are unique and the one who is actually awake in this dreaming state. (Pratyabhijna Karika)

He has established the covering of the waking state, the covering of the dreaming state, and the covering of the dreamless state because he has to maintain the drama of the universe. It is for this reason that he takes good care of this covering. Otherwise, this covering has no meaning. Meaning only exists in universal God consciousness.
So, this entire universe is actually the result of a colossal universal drama which is taking place. And who is the hero in this drama? Here the part of the hero is played by the internal soul who is also the universal soul in disguise.