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 Mālinīvijayottaratantra (Malini Vijaya uttara Tantra): Chapter 1 (pure) - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir

Pure translation


Mālinīvijayottaratantra starts. This first chapter consists of 50 stanzas. I am adding my explanation under every stanza or group of stanzas.

Read Mālinīvijayottaratantra and experience Supreme Delight, dear Śiva.

This is a "pure translation" document, that is, there will be no original Sanskrit, but sometimes there will be a minimal quantity of transliterated Sanskrit in the translation itself of the text. Of course, there will not be any word for word translation. Anyway, there will be transliterated Sanskrit in the explanatory notes. If you are a blind person using a screen reader and do not want to read the notes, or simply if you are not blind but want to skip the notes, click on the respective "Skip the notes" to keep reading the text.

Important: All that is in brackets and italicized within the translation has been added by me in order to complete the sense of a particular phrase or sentence. In turn, all that is between double hyphen (--...--) constitutes clarifying further information also added by me.


 Chapter 1

And now the first chapter in Mālinīvijayottaratantra|

The rays of the moon of wisdom generated --the rays-- from the mouth of the Supreme Lord, which are able to destroy the enemies of Jagadānanda --the Bliss of realizing that the entire universe is the Supreme Śiva--, (always) triumph||1||

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Jagadānanda is the highest Bliss to be achieved in Trika Shaivism. Its attainment amounts to Liberation in this system. It is the supreme Joy of realizing that the universe is not different from Paramaśiva, one's own Self. In a nutshell, it is the Bliss emerging from the total realization of unity with all the things.

 The great Seers Sanatkumāra, Sanaka, Sanātana, Sanandana, Nārada, Agastya, Saṁvarta, Vasiṣṭha, etc., inspired by the Power of Śiva, desiring to know the Supreme Principle (and) being greatly delighted after duly saluting the Destroyer of the demon Tāraka --Kārttikeya, one of the sons of Śiva-- —who is the Savior of the ones who are sunk in the ocean of the world --in Saṁsāra or Transmigration replete with misery--—, told him: "Oh Lord, we have come (to you) desirous of (achieving) success in Yoga. Since it --that success-- is not possible without Yoga, therefore tell (us) that (Yoga so we can be successful). He --Kārttikeya-- was addressed --lit. said-- in this way by those Seers who wished (to learn such a) Yoga||2-5||

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All these famous Vedic Ṛṣi-s, inspired by the Grace of Paramaśiva, resorted to Kārttikeya (the Destroyer of demon Tāraka) in order to achieve success in Yoga. They came to him as he is celebrated due to his compassion to people sinking in the ocean of Saṁsāra or Transmigration full of sorrow (to be born to die, and to die to be reborn, etc.). After saluting him properly, they felt extremely happy for that. Then, they asked him to teach them that Yoga which is the key to be successful in Yoga. This sounds a little redundant, but it is true: You cannot meet with success in Yoga without practicing Yoga.

 After bowing to the Great Lord --Śiva--, the extremely glad one --Kārttikeya-- answered: Listen up (because) I will fully explain Mālinīvijayatantra which has come out of the mouth of the Supreme Lord (and) which grants the fruit of all perfections: After prostrating Herself before the Lord of Umā —before the One who stays in His own Place --in His own Self--, bestows worldly enjoyment and spiritual Liberation, (and) is worshiped by the gods—, Goddess Umā --i.e. Pārvatī-- said this: The Siddhayogīśvarītantra, extending up to ninety million (of stanzas), which was previously narrated by You, consists of three divisions. In the Mālinīvijayatantra, which is characterized by (including) thirty million (of stanzas), the path of Yoga has been extensively described by You, oh Great Lord! Similarly, again, by means of twelve (thousand stanzas), a compendium of that --of the version with thirty million stanzas-- has been declared (by You)||6-10||

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Now Kārttikeya begins to tell the story of Mālinīvijayottaratantra. He narrates that the Goddess (Pārvatī), i.e. Umā (the Splendor of Paramaśiva), one day approached the Great Lord and started to describe the story of this scripture:

First there was a massive Tantra called Siddhayogīśvarītantra containing 90 million stanzas (overwhelming!). This Tantra was divided into three sections dealing with bheda, bhedābheda and abheda (dualism, mixture of dualism and non-dualism, and non-dualism). As this first version was absolutely heavy, Paramaśiva reduced it to 30 million stanzas (still overwhelming!). This version was called Mālinīvijayatantra. In it, the path of Yoga has been extensively explained by the Great Lord. But again, Paramaśiva needed to reduce the size due to the weak intellects of the beings. He then created a 12,000 stanzas version, which is a compendium or summary of the 30 million stanzas version.


 Stanzas 11 to 21

Even that extensive (version containing twelve thousand stanzas) could not be grasped by the thousands of beings endowed with little intellects. For this reason, oh Supreme Lord, after having succinctly summarized that (twelve thousand stanzas version into an even shorter version) for the good of the ones having weak intellects, narrate as a favor (this new shorter version of the Tantra which, despite its conciseness, is able to) produce total success --success in all--. Then, the King of the universe --Paramaśiva--, so said by the Goddess, after smiling, proclaimed||11-12||

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Even such a short version of the scripture containing 12,000 stanzas could not be understood by the thousands of small-minded ones. Though it looks like a joke, it is not one. Many important scriptures in the Vedic tradition are lengthier than that. So, Śakti kindly asks Paramaśiva two things: (1) Summarize the still long version being composed of 12,000 stanzas, and (2) narrate it for the spiritual success of all the beings. As a result, the Great Lord had to smile, because even the 12,000 stanzas version was very difficult for a lot of people at that time. The final result was the scripture we are studying right now: A super compressed version furnished with only 1281.5 stanzas called Mālinīvijayottaratantra. I can say that, at the time I am writing this translation and notes, the scripture should be shortened into something even smaller in size, e.g. 10 stanzas. The problem now is not only the massive presence of people with weak intellect, but also the overwhelming presence of people without any intellect almost. By 'intellect' here I mean: An intellect which is minimally fit for studying scriptures of this magnitude and depth. The intellect being referred to here is not an intellect that is only good for mathematics and so on.

 Oh Goddess, listen up! (Now) I will relate Mālinīvijayottaratantra containing the doctrine of Siddhayogīśvarītantra, which --i.e. Mālinīvijayottaratantra-- has not been declared to nobody (else)||13||

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The last compression of the massive teachings contained in Siddhayogīśvarītantra is known as Mālinīvijayottaratantra (the Tantra we are studying right now).

 I previously obtained this (Tantra) from non-terrible Paramātmā. It should be really known what is acceptable and what is rejectable. Śiva, Śakti, Savidyeśa-s --i.e. Mantramaheśvara-s--, Mantra-s, Mantreśvara-s and Āṇava-s --i.e. Vijñānākala-s--; this group of six is said to be 'acceptable' to the spiritual aspirants who are desirous of (good) results (in their spiritual path). Mala --i.e. Āṇavamala--, Karma --i.e. Kārmamala-- and Māyā --i.e. Māyīyamala--; all (this) completely mayic world is said to be 'rejectable'. This matter should be definitively understood||14-16||

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Though the Great Lord Śiva is obviously the Supreme Self (Paramātmā), since He is now positioned as the narrator, He can say that He received this Mālinīvijayottaratantra from the Supreme Self (Paramātmā), in whom there is no duality at all in the form of someone narrating and someone listening to the narration. So, it is Himself in an inferior aspect receiving the teachings from Himself in a superior aspect. And this superior aspect is always non-terrible because it is merged into the non-dualistic Truth.

Next, Śiva exhibits the name of the five pramātā-s (experients/knowers) of the first five tattva-s (read Tattvic Chart): Śivapramātā (experient/knower of Śivatattva and Śaktitattva), Mantramaheśvara (experient/knower of Sadāśivatattva), Mantreśvara (experient/knower of Īśvaratattva) and Mantra (experient/knower of Sadvidyātattva). Additionally, a fifth experient called Vijñānākala (experient/knower of the upper region of Mahāmāyā, between tattva-s 5 and 6) is also included as 'acceptable', i.e. his state is desirable despite of the stain of some limitation. But next, all the absolutely mayic world derived from the three mala-s or impurities (Āṇavamala, Māyīyamala and Kārmamala), i.e. from Āṇavamala between tattva-s 5 and 6 down to the earth element (tattva 36), is 'rejectable' always.

Āṇavamala inoculates the notion of 'lack of fullness' in the minds of all the beings affected by limitation. Māyīyamala inoculates the notion of duality, and Kārmamala inoculates the notion of doership. All these three mala-s are to be abandoned.

In this mayic world there are two experients/knowers: Pralayākala (deeply sleeping in the womb of Māyātattva) and Sakala (the lowest experient/knower being affected by the whole three mala-s). This matter about what is acceptable and rejectable should be perfectly understood or a lot of confusion will arise. And this confusion is again an undesirable result from the mayic world.

 After knowing this (which is to be rejected and) after abandoning (it) completely, (the spiritual aspirant) acquires the fruit (known as) all the perfections. There --in the group of what is acceptable--, Īśa --i.e. the Śivapramātā-- (is) the Doer of all (that exists), Peaceful, Omniscient (and) the Lord who accomplishes all --i.e. He can do, undo or do otherwise at will--||17||

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When the spiritual aspirant not only know what is rejectable but so he is able to completely abandon it, then he gets all types of perfections in Yoga. In the group of what is acceptable, Īśa (i.e. Śiva), is the One who does all that exists in this universe. He is completely Peaceful, i.e. His essential nature cannot be altered by the impetuosity of the creation of different objects. He is also Omniscient because His Power pervades it all. Besides, He can do, undo or do otherwise at will, i.e. He is the Lord who accomplishes all.

 (He is also) consisting of parts, without parts (and) infinite, and also His Śakti or Power is like this. At the beginning of the universal manifestation, He, desirous of creating at will, awakened eight individual souls (known as) Vijñānakevala-s --Vijñānākala-s--. (Their names are as follows:) Aghora, Paramaghora, Ghora --lit. he who is Ghora--, Ghorānana or Ghoramukha --lit. the one who has the face of that, i.e. the face of Ghora--, Bhīma, Bhīṣaṇa, Vamana as well as Pivana. After appointing these eight doers of (the universal acts of) maintenance, dissolution, protection (of the universe along with) Grace (bestowal on the beings) to the posts --lit. to the lordship-- of Mantra and Mantreśvara, He, like them, manifested --lit. He, like them, again manifested-- seventy million Mantra-s together with their arrangements --lit. together with their circles--||18-21||

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Paramaśiva has parts, has no parts and is infinite. He covers all the possibilities always. And His Supreme Power is like Him because is absolutely one with Him. There is no time or space in His essential nature despite the use of a conjugation in periphrastic perfect tense indicating remote past: bodhayāmāsa (He awakened... a long time ago). Nonetheless, in order to display the universal Sport, in the Tantra He specifically wrote: 'At the beginning of the universal manifestation'. At that time, in this universal Play, He awakened, i.e. He promoted eight Vijñānākala-s (stationed between the tattva-s 5 and 6) to the tattva-s 4 and 5, transforming them into Mantreśvara-s (lords of tattva 4) and Mantra-s (lords of tattva 5). And because all this 'creation' is only Him always, He, like them, proceeded to create 70 million Mantra-s (both the Mantra knowers and the sacred formulas constituting their bodies) together with their arrangements (deities and everything else related to such Mantra-s). These Mantra-s specifically emanated from the mouth of Anantabhaṭṭāraka, the chief of the Mantra-s.


 Stanzas 22 to 30

All these high-souled Mantra-s grant all the fruits. Ātmā or Self --Paramaśiva-- is known to be fourfold. In Him, the Vijñānākala knower is subject to one mala or impurity --i.e. Āṇavamala--. The Pralayākala knower is both subject to Āṇavamala and Kārmamala. They --the sages-- maintain that mala (is) ignorance (and) the cause of the sprout of Saṁsāra --Transmigration full of sorrow--||22-23||

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Ātmā or Self is the Great Lord because there is nobody else here. This Ātmā is said to be of four kinds. Kṣemarāja explains this well in his commentary on the seventh aphorism of his Pratyabhijñāhṛdayam. There he explains that He becomes śūnya (the void), prāṇa (the vital energy), puryaṣṭaka (the subtle body) and śarīra (the physical body). Void is the sphere of the Pralayākala knower who remains in deep sleep, while the vital energy, and the subtle and physical bodies are the sphere of the Sakala knower who remains in dreaming and wakefulness. The subtle body is constituted by intellect, ego, mind and the five subtle elements (Tanmātra-s), while the physical body is fully formed by Mahābhūta-s (gross elements).

Vijñānākala knower is a middle stage between the mayic world (tattva-s 6 to 36) and the kingdom of God (tattva-s 1 to 5). This knower is semi-divine for sure. He is full of the realization that he is Śiva, but he has no Freedom (he cannot move). So, he is hardly acceptable, but acceptable nonetheless, such as the Tantra previously indicated. The superior knowers (Śivapramātā, Mantramaheśvara, Mantreśvara and Mantra) are always divine and highly acceptable indeed. Anyway, the Pralayākala and Sakala knowers are rejectable always. One should perfectly understand this truth or a lot of confusion will emerge later in his spiritual path.

 Right and wrong actions are characterized by (the presence of) pleasure, pain, etc. By force of Lord's Will, there is in him --in the limited knower-- the desire to enjoy||24||

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Actions following dharma such as indicated in the scriptures or not following it, are marked by the experiences of pleasure, pain, etc. By the Will of Paramaśiva, the desire to enjoy arises in him (in the limited knower who is just Him but appearing in a very conditioned way).

 In the case of this one who desires to enjoy, the King of the Mantra-s --Paramaśiva--, after entering into (His own) Māyā with all the powers produced the universe for (the limited knower) to be successful in generating enjoyment||25||

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The King of all Mantra-s (since He, in the form of Anantabhaṭṭhāraka --the chief of the Mantra knowers--, generated the 70 million Mantra-s), in the case of Himself appearing like a limited knower, firstly penetrates into His own Māyāśakti (not Māyātattva), i.e. into His Power to create duality, with all His śakti-s or powers (i.e. all the higher powers in Him will also go through contraction and limitation like Him and they will appear as all the beings and objects in the vast universe). After entering like this, He produces the entire universe only for the limited knower (who is Himself also) to succeed in generating enjoyment. There is no other reason for this universe in this downward movement of Śakti, from Śiva (tattva 1) down to the earth element (tattva 36). In the future, also created by Him in this universe, such a limited knower will wish to stop his frantical search of enjoyment in order to attain his own essential nature again. This is the upward movement of Śakti. In this ascendant movement, the existence of the universe is only for pushing the limited knower to higher and higher levels of consciousness. There is no other reason for the existence of the universe during the upward movement of the Supreme Power.

 And the One who is one, (if you will excuse the repetition,) whose nature is Vyāpinī, who is without parts (and) the Treasure of the universe, is said to be the Mistress of Śiva, who is --i.e. this Mistress-- without beginning and end and devoid of change and decay||26||

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The stanza is describing Māyāśakti or the Power of Śiva which is able to create duality where there is only non-duality. The Māyātattva is just a byproduct of this Māyāśakti. She is only one. Her nature is Vyāpinī because She penetrates it all. Additionally, She is also called Vyāpinī because of her penetrating into the Śikhā above Brahmarandhra. To understand what I am saying, please read Meditation 6 (the last three stages). She has no parts despite Her becoming endless portions in this universe. She is the Treasure of the universe because of Her being an infinite Source of Freedom replete with Bliss. She has no beginning or end too, and never changes or decays even a little bit. She is verily the Great Power of the Lord always busy in creating duality for the Sport called the universe to go on. He and She remain eternally one and the same Highest Reality indeed.

 She --Māyāśakti-- gave birth to the Kalātattva --category 7-- from which Puruṣatattva --category 12-- was born, which after generating the capacity for doing, consequently emitted --manifested-- Vidyātattva and Rāgatattva --categories 8 and 9--||27||

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For understanding tattva-s or categories, apart from the already mentioned Tattvic Chart, you can start with Trika 2 and next continue to read all the pages up to Trika 6 in the 'Trika (overview)' subsection of the 'Trika' section in our main website. All the tattva-s, from Kalātattva (category 7) down to Niyatitattva (category 11) are the well-known kañcuka-s or sheaths of Māyātattva (category 6). And sometimes, even Māyātattva is also considered to be another sheath.

 Vidyātattva --category 8-- divides the action of this (limited knower) into cause and its effect, and Rāgatattva --category 9-- makes him become attached to its own impure enjoyments indeed||28||

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The limited knower being referred to here is Sakala, because Vijñānākala is not affected by Kārmamala, and Pralayākala, though affected by this mala, is only potentially so as he is all the time engrossed in the void of deep sleep. And only limited beings perform actions (karma). The Lord performs 'acts' (kṛtya) always. In the case of the limited being (Sakala in this context), Vidyātattva (category 8) separates or divides his actions into cause and its effect. In other words, in the world of the limited knower, the actions have a cause and their respective effects. This paves the way for the Karma Law to get fully operative later. Additionally, Rāgatattva (category 9) gratifies him with its own limited impure pleasures, which forces him to grow attached to such enjoyments. So, the limited being, leaving aside his own inherent Supreme Bliss, embraces the new miserable pleasures which are just an invention of Rāgatattva.

 Niyatitattva --category 11-- impels this individual soul toward his own actions. And Kālatattva --category 10--, remaining in the form of tuṭi-s, etc., casts him outside --i.e. divides and separates him--||29||

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Niyatitattva (category 11) pushes this limited knower to perform actions, which finally triggers the machinery of Karma. Kālatattva (category 10), remaining in the form of all kinds of measurements (tuṭi-s and the rest), divides and separates him. In other words, it divides him in multiple parts and separates him from his essential state as Niṣkala or Without any parts at all (undivided). One tuṭi is the space occupied by two and a quarter fingers laid side by side. This unity of measurement is used to understand the yogic processes of breathing. For example: The entire exhalation occupies 16 tuṭi-s from the center of the heart, where it starts, up to the external point where it ends. This amounts to 36 fingers. Yogī-s make efforts to reduce this 'natural' span of breathing to 15, 14 or even 13 tuṭi-s. The shorter the number of tuṭi-s the more one realizes his own divinity. There are techniques given in Vijñānabhairava, in which knowledge about tuṭi-s is fully used, and in Tantrāloka (chapter 7) Abhinavagupta explains this topic in detail. Enough of this for now!

 From that Kalātattva --category 7--, (Māyāśakti) emitted --manifested-- Avyakta --the unmanifested Prakṛti (category 13)--. From that (Prakṛti, She emitted) the Guṇa-s --Sattva, Rajas and Tamas--, (and) from them (She emitted) the intellect endowed with eight attributes --category 14--. (Afterward,) from the intellect (She emitted) ego --category 15--||30||

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Directly from Kalātattva (category 7), the Māyāśakti of Paramaśiva manifested Avyakta, the unmanifested Prakṛti (category 13) which is the source of all the materialistic creation. Next, from that very Prakṛti, She (Māyāśakti) manifested the three Guṇa-s or Qualities of Sattva (Goodness), Rajas (Passion) and Tamas (Darkness). After this, from those Guṇa-s She manifested Buddhi or intellect (category 14), which is furnished with 8 attributes, viz. (1) dharma (virtue), (2) jñāna (knowledge), (3) vairāgya (dispassion), (4) aiśvarya (lordship), (5) adharma (absence of virtue), (6) ajñāna (ignorance), (7) avairāgya (absence of dispassion) and (8) anaiśvarya (absence of lordship). The first four are sattvic while the last four are tamasic. Finally here, this glorious Māyāśakti emits Ahaṅkāra or ego (category 15) from Buddhi itself. While intellect is indicated as the determinative faculty, ego is just that which appropriates. For example, one has a thought all of a sudden, and ego thinks: 'I think'. The constant work of ego appropriating thoughts, emotions and the like as well as external objects and people creates the notion that one is the mind and that one is connected with other objects or beings through affection, attachment, etc.


 Stanzas 31 to 40

That --i.e. ego-- (is) of three kinds --viz. taijasa (sattvic), vaikārika (rajasic) and bhūtādika (tamasic)--. From that taijasa (aspect of ego), Manas --category 16--, the lord of senses, was born --this also includes Jñānendriya-s or Powers of perception (categories 17 to 21)--. After that, from that vaikārika (aspect of ego, arose) the senses --i.e. the Karmendriya-s or Powers of action (categories 22 to 26)--. (And) from the third (aspect of ego, i.e. from bhūtādika), the subtle elements --the Tanmātra-s (categories 27 to 31)-- (were produced)||31||

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Ego has three aspects: (1) Taijasa, which is sattvic and gives rise to Manas (mind) and Jñānendriya-s (Powers of perception) (categories 16 to 21), (2) Vaikārika, which is rajasic y gives rise to Karmendriya-s (Powers of action) (categories 22 to 26), and (3) Bhūtādika, which is tamasic and gives rise to the subtle elements (Tanmātra-s) (categories 27 to 31). You can clearly see all these categories in the Tattvic Chart.

 Power of hearing, powers of feeling by touch and of seeing, power of tasting (together with) power of smelling (are the five) Powers of perception indeed. The (five) Powers of action (are) power of speaking, power of handling, power of excreting, power of sexual activity and restfulness, and power of locomotion, in succession||32||

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All this is clear, as I specified before, from reading the Tattvic Chart. Anyway, there is a little difference regarding order in the case of the Powers of action. The real order is the one given in the Tattvic Chart, i.e. power of speaking, power of handling, power of locomotion, power of excreting and power of sexual activity and restfulness. Meter requirements sometimes force a writer to adapt his text in strange ways. So, it is understandable. In prose, due to the absence of such strict requeriments, there is not such problems.

 From Kalātattva --category 7-- down to Kṣiti --the element earth, category 36--, this (is) the circle of Saṁsāra --Transmigration full of misery--. All (this) world (containing) oceans, etc. changes --i.e. moves-- by the Will (of Paramaśiva)||33||

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All the mayic world where the Pralayākala and Sakala knowers reign is the whole circle or territory of Saṁsāra (Transmigration from one mood to another mood, from one emotion to another emotion, from one body to another body, etc., all of which is replete with sorrow). This whole world containing oceans, continents, innumerable living beings, etc. changes (i.e. moves, continues to work) only due to the Will of the Great Lord. There is no other cause of this. As this is so, one cannot say that one is separated from His Will. There is never such a separation anywhere. This false notion of being separate from the Will of the Supreme Lord is summoned by His own Māyāśakti too.

 He Himself, (through His own Māyāśakti,) manifested that supreme duality of Kalātattva, etc., which --the supreme duality-- remains as the worlds, in order to be successful in getting enjoyment for the ones desiring to enjoy||34||

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The entire universe is just a compact mass of Joy and Consciousness because it emerged from the Great Lord who is a compact mass of Joy and Consciousness. He made all this slight effort of manifesting the universe only for the beings who desire to enjoy. And He is all these beings too since in this compact mass of Joy and Consciousness there is no room for anyone else. To fully realize this simple truth amounts to the attainment of Final Liberation in Trika Shaivism.

 Thus, the people who side with this (group of categories) from Kalātattva down to the earth element are to be known as Sakala-s by the ones who desire to destroy that state --the state of Sakala--||35||

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Here the Lord defines the state of a Sakala knower very precisely. His territory extends from the category 7 down to the category 36. In the category 6 (in Māyātattva), there is the knower called Pralayākala who is deeply immersed in the void of Māyā. Most of the living beings are engrossed in enjoying the universe one way or another. Anyway, there is a very small group of living beings who desire to destroy the state of Sakala or enjoyer of the universe. This is the group of the serious spiritual aspirants who are not entirely satisfied with the level of enjoyment they are having. They want the whole thing and not only a limited portion of the All. The only way to destroy this state in oneself is moving in the direction of considering the entire universe to be a compact mass of Joy and Consciousness and not otherwise.

 The ones who have approached both Śiva and Śakti strive --lit. make effort-- (in destroying the state of Sakala) by means of the practice of making (the physical universe) reabsorb --lit. of making (the physical universe) disappear-- in this (ego or category 15) which consists of three states --viz. taijasa, vaikārika and bhūtādika--||36||

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There is this practice performed by the yogī-s, in which they reabsorb all the tattva-s from Manas (mind, the category 16) down to the earth element (tattva 36) in their source, i.e. in Ahaṅkāra (ego, the category 15). This ego has three aspects, as I mentioned before: Taijasa (sattvic), vaikārika (rajasic) and bhūtādika (tamasic). I explain this technique to reabsorb all the physical universe in ego and beyond here: What is enlightenment according to the six traditional philosophies and Trika?

They do not want the universe and limited enjoyments. These yogī want the Delight of Paramaśiva who consists of Śiva and Śakti instead. Despite all the practices they may perform: The total destruction of the state of Sakala (and of Pralayākala too) only happens by realizing that this entire universe is just the Body of the Great Lord. The attitude of unity in all the things ultimately leads to Liberation of this wretched Sakala state which is just another Play of frisky Paramaśiva. At the end of all their practices, these yogī-s, by completely perceiving that the universe is only a compact mass of Joy and Consciousness, will lastly attain their goal.

 Thus, Śiva in person, after having bestowed His Grace upon one hundred and eighteen thumb-sized Rudra-s on account of their doership --lit. fitness-- in all the universe, appoint (them) to the rank of Mantreśvara. They --the 118 Rudra-s--, after getting his own spheres of influence, grant Brahmā, etc. —who were desirous of getting the fruit called worldly enjoyment and spiritual Liberation— (such a) fruit in accordance with their own force --in accordance with the force of Brahmā, etc.--. They also (give this fruit) to the Seer-s, and afterward to the great lords of the manvantara-s --periods in which the Manu-s rules--||37-39||

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This is extremely long to explain really. Śiva Himself, the Adorable One, elevated a group of 118 Rudra-s (eternally free souls), whose bodies are the size of a thumb, on account of their doership, i.e due to their fitness in performing their duty regarding manifestation, maintenance and withdrawal of the universe. He promoted them to the category 4 (Īśvaratattva), to the tattva where the Lords of the Mantra (the Sovereigns of Aham) reign supreme. Next, after these 118 Rudra-s took possession of their own circles (territories), gave Brahmā, etc. the fruits of worldly enjoyment and spiritual Liberation. Of course, the magnitude of this experience of worldly enjoyment and spiritual Liberation is in accordance with the level of strength of Brahmā, etc. Later, the very 118 Rudra-s gave the same fruit to the Seers (Ṛṣi-s) such as Atri, Pulastya, Marīci, Vasiṣṭha, etc. And afterward, they gave the same fruit to the great lords of the manvantara-s (periods of around 308.5 million human years in which the Manu-s or Progenitors of humankind rule). Currently humankind is under the sway of the seventh Manu of this Kalpa (period of 4,320,000,000 human years in which Brahmā is awake, i.e. it is the day of Brahmā), whose name is Vaivasvatamanu (the son of the god of the sun). There are 14 Manu-s per Kalpa... oh well, it is something very long to explain and understand. With this is more than enough for you. As these 118 Rudra-s live in the fourth tattva where time does not exist, Śiva (the author of the Tantra-s) is using Present Tense. Anyway, for the sake of clarification I used the Past Tense in my explanation here.

 (The sages) say that this special knowledge about what is to be abandoned or accepted proclaimed by Śiva (is) enough in this world beginning with Brahmā and ending in a tuft of grass, which --the world-- has merely arisen||40||

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Within the kingdom of Brahmā (the creator of the material universal), this teaching dealing with what is to be accepted and what is to be rejected is enough. This universe has just merely emerged from the depths of the Power of Śiva as if it were a sprout.


 Stanzas 41 to 50

After bestowing divine Grace on the multitude of limited beings --lit. atoms--, thirty-five million Mantra-s created by Śiva go to the state where there is no unhappiness --lit. where there is no sickness--||41||

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In other words, those thirty-five million Mantra-s in Sadvidyātattva (category 5) got full Liberation. In a nutshell, half the number of all Mantra-s created by Anantabhaṭṭhāraka (the chief of the Mantra knowers) attained final Emancipation which is realization of inherent unity with Paramaśiva.

 Thus, in the case of this Ātmā or Self, on account of his fitness --due to the fitness of this Ātmā--, at some moment, the peaceful Power of Śiva who is the bestower of the fruit of spiritual Liberation is contacted (by him --by Ātmā--) --i.e. there is a connection with such a Power--||42||

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When this Ātmā is ready to receive spiritual Liberation, the peaceful Śakti of Lord Śiva appears at some moment and bestows such a Liberation on him. She is peaceful because there is no objects in Her. When one sees objects as different from subjects, this is bondage. But when one sees objects and subjects merged into the Supreme Power, this is Liberation.

 After that connection with Her --with the Power of Śiva--, someone is immediately released, (while) in the case of someone (else, his) union with ignorance ceases (after some time)||43||

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At the moment of the contact with the Power of Śiva, some will be immediately liberated, while others will need more time. This is the meaning.

 The one who, being engrossed in the Power of Rudra --Śiva--, desires to attain (Bhukti and Mukti --worldly enjoyment and spiritual Liberation--, then,) by the Will of Śiva, he is led toward a true Guru in order to get wordly enjoyment and spiritual Liberation||44||

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Only real spiritual aspirants (the ones who are engrossed in Śakti) with a genuine desire to attain not only wordly enjoyment but, more importantly, spiritual Liberation, are led to a genuine Guru who is nothing but the personification of the Supreme Master.

 After worshiping him --i.e. after worshiping the true Guru-- (and) after obtaining the initiation of Śaṅkara --Śiva-- from that pleased (Guru, the real seeker) immediately (gets worldly enjoyment and spiritual Liberation, and dies) or after enjoying (for some time while living), he attains Śiva after the body falls||45||

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After receiving the initiation of Śiva, in very few cases, the experience is so overwhelming that the spiritual aspirant gets Bhukti and Mukti and just leaves the body immediately. Great Yogī-s like this are called videhamukta-s (liberated ones who abandoned the body at the time of their Liberation). In most cases, the Great Yogī will survive the massive experience of His Glory and will continue to live like a jīvanmukta (liberated while living). Anyway, his Liberation is not complete due to the presence of the body (Śiva has no body). So, after he lives here for some time, he leaves his body and merges into Śiva.

All this process is without krama or succession, i.e. it is akrama or direct.

 After receiving the initiation in Yoga (and) after acquiring (proper) knowledge (about Yoga, that spiritual aspirant) practices Yoga. At the end of that (practice of Yoga), he obtains perfection in Yoga (and the resulting) eternal State --the State of Śiva--||46||

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For other people, the attainment of worldly enjoyment and spiritual Liberation is not so fast and direct. They instead need another kind of initiation: The initiation in Yoga. After receiving this initiation, and after having gotten all the necessary knowledge about Yoga, that spiritual aspirant practices Yoga for, generally, a long time. At the end of all that yogic process, he achieves perfection in Yoga and the resulting eternal State, i.e. he enters into the Being of Śiva.

This process is with krama or succession, i.e. it is not direct but it requires the spiritual aspirant to practice Yoga for, generally, a long time.

 By this Yoga based on succession, he attains the Supreme State (and) he does not become a limited being --paśu-- again, (but) he (would rather) stay in his pure essential Self --in his own Self--||47||

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After attaining perfection in this Yoga based on succession (an indirect means to worldly enjoyment and spiritual Liberation), such a spiritual aspirant attains the Supreme State (the State of Śiva) and from that moment he will never become a limited being again. Instead, he will completely rest on his own essential Self which is full of Light.

 This Ātmā or Self is certainly of four kinds and again fourfold. The Śuddhātmā or (Pure Self) is said to have the divisions of ācāryatva --Guruhood--, etc.||48||

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One way to divide Ātmā or Self into four kinds is like this: (1) Jīvātmā (microcosmic Self), (2) Śivātmā (macrocosmic Self), (3) Paramātmā (Supreme Self beyond the universe) and (4) Śuddhātmā (also called Nirmalātmā), which is completely immaculate, never touched by actions and associated with pure intelligence. According to Śiva, each kind of Ātmā there contains again other four divisions. Here Śiva is specifying that the divisions of ācārya (master), sādhaka (adept), putraka (spiritual son) and samayī (neophyte) are coming under Śuddhātmā. In Tantrāloka (chapter 4) you can read more about initiation of ācārya, sādhaka, putraka and samayī. It is a long topic really.

 The Guru --ācārya-- and the sādhaka --adept-- should do the triad of Nityakarma --daily obligatory actions--, etc. And, by the command of Śiva, the other group of two --putraka and samayī-- (should do) only Nityakarma during the whole life||49||

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There are many kinds of karma (actions, duties, rites) which are to be done. The traditional division for these types of karma is as follows: (1) Nityakarma (daily obligatory actions, e.g. ablutions, japa or muttering of a mantra, meditation, etc.), (2) Naimittikakarma (occasional rites to be performed on certain occasions, if you will excuse the repetition, in a special way according to the precepts of the Guru), and (3) Kāmyakarma (optional rites, e.g. rituals for some desire in the heart of the aspirant to come true). While the categories of ācārya and sādhaka can perform the three types of karma, the remaining two categories (putraka and samayī) can only perform Nityakarma during their whole life, by Śiva's bidding. Anyway, Abhinavagupta, the greatest Trika Master, does not seem to be very interested in these karma-s. He only recommends daily worship of the chosen deity by following the instructions given by the Guru.

 This very (topic dealing with) what is acceptable and rejectable has been proclaimed (here --in the first chapter--). On knowing this which is the sum of all the knowables --objects--, there is absence of secrecy regarding all the siddhi-s||50||

Here ends the first chapter in venerable Mālinīvijayottaratantra||1||

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Śiva is now declaring that this first chapter is about the special knowledge about what is acceptable and rejectable. I never found a name for this chapter anywhere, but you could call it: 'Upādeyaheyavijñānam' (Special knowledge about what is acceptable and rejectable). This science of what is to be accepted and what is to be rejected is very important. 'Śivapramātā (Śiva Himself), Mantramaheśvara (Great Lord of the Mantra Aham --I AM--), Mantreśvara (Lord of the Mantra Aham), Mantra and even Vijñānākala (the knower who knows he is Śiva but at the same time has no Śakti or Power (no Freedom)' are acceptable. But 'Pralayākala (the knower who has no Power after experiencing a dissolution —the knower of the void of deep sleep—) and Sakala (the knower who has limited power and is bound by all the three mala-s or impurities)' are rejectable.

The word 'siddhi' has many meanings (achievement, perfection, supernatural power, etc.). In this case, in my opinion, it should be interpreted as 'achievement'. So, the last part of the stanza would read: 'there is absence of secrecy regarding all the achievements'.

From the Śiva's viewpoint, practically almost the whole humankind dwells in a state (Pralayākala and Sakala) which should be rejected. Yes, it is correct. Only a few people, by means of His Grace, can escape from the clutches of His terrifying Māyā. There is no doubt about this. Hesitation about the desirability or undesirability of the states of Pralayākala and Sakala must be discarded or one's own elevation to higher levels (the acceptable ones) will never take place.


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Gabriel Pradīpaka

This document was conceived by Gabriel Pradīpaka, one of the two founders of this site, and spiritual guru conversant with Sanskrit language and Trika philosophy.

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