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 Mālinīvijayottaratantra (Malini Vijaya uttara Tantra): Chapter 2 (pure) - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir

Pure translation


photo 1 - candlesMālinīvijayottaratantra continues. This second chapter consists of 60 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 2

And now the second chapter|

And now the manifestation of these tattva-s --categories-- which begin with the earth element --category 36-- in succession is briefly described for the yogī-s to succeed in Yoga||1||

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The second chapter of this crucial scripture in Trika Shaivism starts. Śiva is here, in the first stanza, announcing that he will describe the universal manifestation —from the category 36 up to the first one— in His very special style. It is a very brief description indeed. If you want a more traditional explanation of the 36 categories, you can check Ṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandoha. Additionally, you can check the full scheme of the 36 categories in the Tattvic Chart.

 The earth element --tattva or category 36-- is divided into (two) portions: Śaktimān --Possessor of Śakti-- and Śakti. That --the earth element--, together with its own form --the form of the earth element--, is to be certainly known as fifteenfold||2||

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Śiva (the Śaktimān or Possesor of Śakti) lives with His Power (with Śakti) in every tattva or category of the universal manifestation as pramātā (knower) and his respective śakti or power. It is said that this earth element (tattva or category 36) is fifteenfold (and in fact, all the tattva-s up to Prakṛti —category 13— are also fifteenfold, which Śiva will announce in the stanza 4) as it contains 7 pramātā-s (knowers), their 7 śakti-s and the svarūpa or the essential form (the tattva itself here, and the same thing will be valid with each of the tattva-s up to Prakṛti). So, 7+7+1 = 15. By 'it contains pramātā-s and their śakti-s', I mainly meant that the tattva-s (all of them except for the first and the second ones) are perceived by a pramātā. For example, from the viewpoint of a mere Sakala (the lowest knower), Pṛthivītattva is merely the solidity in all the objects of this universe, but in the eyes of any of the superior experients, e.g. Mantreśvara, the earth element is the Supreme Goddess (the Wonder) being revealed in the form of that object. Therefore, what is just solid matter to the Sakala is a Source of Bliss and never-ending Delight to the Mantreśvara. I will show all this in a didactic table when Śiva finishes His description, i.e. under the stanza 7.

 The Śaktimān-s --the Possessors of Śakti-- are said to start with Śiva --Śivapramātā-- and end with Sakala --Sakalapramātā--. And likewise, their śakti-s are to be regarded (as sevenfold) by the wise||3||

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Now Śiva is expressing what I explained under the stanza 2. Anyway, the names of the 7 experients/knowers are as follows: (1) Śivapramātā (categories 1 and 2), (2) Mantramaheśvarapramātā (category 3), (3) Mantreśvarapramātā (category 4), (4) Mantrapramātā (category 5), (5) Vijñānākalapramātā (between categories 5 and 6) together with (6 and 7) Pralayākalapramātā and Sakalapramātā (categories 7 to 36). Later Śiva will show you that the things are not so simple regarding the sphere of every experient/knower. Also, these are their respective śakti-s or powers, viz. the powers who enable the respective pramātā-s to stay in their states: (1) Śivapramātāśakti (i.e. the Supreme Śakti), (2) Mantramaheśvarapramātāśakti, (3) Mantreśvarapramātāśakti, (4) Mantrapramātāśakti, (5) Vijñānākalapramātāśakti, (6) Pralayākalapramātāśakti and (7) Sakalapramātāśakti.

Now, to be completely clear and avoid a possible confusion: I add the word 'pramātā' (knower/experient) at the end of the name of every experient/knower but I am speaking about the same experients/knowers. For example:

'Sakalapramātā' means 'the experient/knower called Sakala'. And the same for the rest of the pramātā-s. So:

  1. Sakala = Sakalapramātā
  2. Pralayākala = Pralayākalapramātā
  3. Vijñānākala = Vijñānākalapramātā
  4. Mantra = Mantrapramātā
  5. Mantreśvara = Mantreśvarapramātā
  6. Mantramaheśvara = Mantramaheśvarapramātā
  7. Śiva = Śivapramātā

Yes, I may look like captain 'Obvious', but considering how weak most intellects are in this world, it is better to prevent than sorry.

 In this way, this big group of tattva-s --categories-- from the water element --tattva or category 35-- up to Prakṛti --tattva or category 13-- is to be regarded by the ones desiring (to get) their fruit as divided in these (fifteen) portions||4||

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Now Śiva specifies that the fifteenfold nature of Pṛthivītattva (earth element) is also applicable to all the categories from Āpastattva (category 35 also called Jalatattva) up to Prakṛtitattva (category 13). Why is the division like this? In other worlds, why only the tattva-s between the 36th and the 13th are fifteenfold? This will be clear when Śiva explains the division of the tattva-s into eggs (aṇḍa-s) later on.

 By this method, (the group of tattva-s or categories) from Puruṣatattva --category 12-- up to Kalātattva --category 7-- is to be regarded as thirteenfold. And the Pralayākala-s --specifically speaking, the Savedyapralayākala-s here-- (are to be regarded as elevenfold,) as the (number) of Rudra-s||5||

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By the method of removing 2 (the lowest pramātā and his respective śakti), Śiva is now affirming that all the tattva-s between the 12th and the 7th have a thirteenfold nature. Here the lowest pramātā is Sakala. This pramātā is removed along with his śakti, which generates a reduction in the number 15 into 13 (six pramātā-s, six śakti-s of these pramātā-s, plus the svarūpa or object, i.e. 6+6+1 = 13). The svarūpa here is not the tattva like in the previous case, but the pramātā or knower himself who was removed from the list. So, in this case, Sakala is the svarūpa. What does it mean? That in this portion including the tattva-s 12 to 7, the Sakalapramātā is an object to the other pramātā-s. But what is the meaning of this? Listen up: There is in Trika Shaivism the division of (1) pramātā (knower or perceiver), (2) pramāṇa (knowing or perceiving, which of course includes the power for knowing or perceiving) and (3) prameya (knowable or object being known or perceived). Pramātā is the experient (knower or perceiver). Another name for him is: śaktimān (possessor of śakti). Pramāṇa is the śakti or power of each of the pramātā-s, while prameya is the svarūpa in this context. All in all, every pramātā (except for the Śivapramātā) is an object (prameya) to the next pramātā/pramātā-s. For example, Sakala is an object to the higher six pramātā-s. If you keep this in mind, the method of reduction by 2 here will be appropriately understood.

Anyway, it is interesting to understand what exactly is 'śakti of a pramātā'. Abhinavagupta explains this very well in the chapter 10 of his Tantrāloka. I will create a table for you to understand better:

Chart 1: Śakti-s of the experients/knowers
PRAMĀTĀ ŚAKTI or POWER Brief explanation
1 Sakala Sakalapramātāśakti = Distinct Vidyā and Kalā (distinct limited knowing and doing) as there are objects Sakala is the most limited experient and consequently he is in full possession of these ridiculously limited powers of knowledge and action. He has no real Knowledge anyway, and his doership is just nothing in comparison to the original Power of Action belonging to the Great Lord. In him these limited powers of knowledge and action are completely active indeed due to the presence of objects around.
2 Pralayākala
(Savedyapralayākala and Apavedyapralayākala)
Pralayākalapramātāśakti = Indistinct Vidyā and Kalā (indistinct limited knowing and doing) as there are no objects This experient is the same Sakala but sleeping. So, the same miserable powers accompany him. Anyway, in the Pralayākala these powers are indistinct, i.e. not completely operative like in the Sakala, as there are no objects around.
And there is the division into Savedyapralayākala and Apavedyapralayākala. The former is the state of Pralayākala with some impression of objectivity in it (e.g. when, after waking up, you can remember that you were sleeping very peacefully without any dreaming). The latter is the state of Pralayākala without any impression of objectivity in it (e.g. when, after waking up, you cannot remember any associate experience, i.e. you just wake up and have no idea about what happened other than 'I was just sleeping')
3 Vijñānākala Vijñānākalapramātāśakti = Fading Vidyā and Kalā (fading limited knowing and doing) but still persisting due to the residual traces While the previous experients are 'rejectable', as taught by Śiva in the first chapter of this scripture, the experient known as Vijñānākala is 'acceptable'. In comparison to the other two (Sakala and Pralayākala) is almost like a god. Why? Because in him the limited powers of knowing and doing are fading for sure.
4 Mantra Mantrapramātāśakti = Arising Śuddhavidyā or Pure Knowledge
(Vidyā and Kalā are latent)
This experient is 'about to awake' due to the emergence of Pure Knowledge (the Knowledge that 'I am Śiva'). Anyway, this experience is not yet fully stable in him. Traces of limited knowing and doing are still in him. For example, he considers the universe to be unreal due to the presence of limited knowing even though in a tiny proportion.
5 Mantreśvara Mantreśvarapramātāśakti = Arisen Śuddhavidyā or Pure Knowledge
(absence of Vidyā and Kalā)
This lord of the Mantra (I-consciousness or Aham) is 'awakened'. In him there is no presence of the limited powers of knowing and doing.
6 Mantramaheśvara Mantramaheśvarapramātāśakti = Arisen Śuddhavidyā or Pure Knowledge which is becoming Icchāśakti or Power of Will
(absence of Vidyā and Kalā)
This great lord of the Mantra is 'awakened' too. Śuddhavidyā is eager to turn into Icchāśakti here. And of course, there is absolute absence of the limited powers of knowing and doing.
7 Śiva Śivapramātāśakti = Svātantryaśakti (Power of Absolute Freedom) And this is the Lord Himself. When one attains this level of Experience, one becomes Him. Here Icchāśakti, Jñānaśakti and Kriyāśakti (Powers of Will, Knowledge and Action) turn into Svātantryaśakti.

Now Śiva starts to sound confusing, because instead of speaking about tattva-s or categories (He will do it in the next stanza) being elevenfold, He says that the Pralayākalapramātā is elevenfold. No problem, because you surely know that this pramātā is generally associated with Māyātattva. So, the sphere of tattva-s is now only one tattva: Māyātattva (category 6). And this stage is elevenfold because Pralayākalapramātā and Sakalapramātā are excluded, which leaves only 5 higher pramātā-s (Śivapramātā, Mantramaheśvarapramātā, Mantreśvarapramātā, Mantrapramātā and Vijñānākalapramātā) and their respective śakti-s. And the object or svarūpa is now the Pralayākalapramātā himself (which is not any more a pramātā or knower here). So, 5+5+1 = 11. Śiva did not mention this number specifically but He rather said that the number is like the number of Rudra-s. According to my present knowledge, He was speaking about these 11 Rudra-s: Śambhu, Pinākī, Girīśa, Sthāṇu, Bharga, Sadāśiva, Śiva, Hara, Śarva, Kapālī and Bhava.

Finally, though Śiva did not mention it specifically, He was speaking about the Savedyapralayākala-s here (check the chart above for clarification).

 Similarly, Māyātattva --category 6, the abode of the Apavedyapralayākala-s-- is also to be regarded (as elevenfold). The Vijñānākala-s are ninefold. Likewise, the Mantra-s (are) sevenfold, (and) the Mantreśvara-s fivefold||6||

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And now, Śiva mentions the Māyātattva finally. And, of course, it is elevenfold as Pralayākalapramātā. Anyway, despite He does not mention it specifically, He is speaking about the dwelling-place of the Apavedyapralayākala-s or Apavedyapralayākalapramātā-s here. In the above chart, as I said before, I shed light on these two kinds of Pralayākala-s.

And the Vijñānākalapramātā-s are ninefold due to the method of remove 2 from the last number: 11-2 = 9. Śiva is not mentioning the tattvic area here as He did in the case of Pralayākala-s, but it is between tattva-s 5 and 6. You can succinctly call it: Māyordhva (above Māyātattva), i.e. the region called 'Mahāmāyā'. Here the Vijñānākalapramātā is excluded from the group of pramātā-s and assigned as svarūpa or object. In this way, four pramātā-s stay (Śivapramātā, Mantramaheśvarapramātā, Mantreśvarapramātā and Mantrapramātā) along with their śakti-s. So, 4 knowers plus their 4 śakti-s plus svarūpa equals 9 (4+4+1 = 9).

And the Mantra-s (i.e. Mantrapramātā-s) are sevenfold. In a nutshell: 3 knowers + 3 śakti-s + svarūpa (Mantrapramātā here) = 7. And the Mantreśvara-s are fivefold, because 2 knowers + 2 śakti-s + svarūpa (Mantreśvarapramātā here) = 5 (2+2+1 =5). I continue to use all the time the same method of removing the last pramātā and his śakti as specified before.

 The Mantramaheśvara-s (are) threefold. Śiva really cannot be divided. (When) He is briefly described, there is division in Him, (but when He is described) in full detail, He is infinite||7||

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The Mantramaheśvara-s are threefold because: 1 knower + 1 śakti + svarūpa (Mantramaheśvarapramātā here) = 3 (1+1+1 =3). And the Great Lord cannot be divided at all. Śiva cannot be divided because He is the Subject and cannot be perceived by anyone. There is no subsequent division of the Supreme Lord then. He is always One. Nonetheless, He can be divided but only briefly in the minds of the ones who are proficient in enumerating. However, when He is tried to be described at great length, the one describing realizes that He is infinite as He is One. Variations only happen in the other experients for the sake of the continuance of the Play called 'the universe', since if there were no variations in the universe, it would become immediately like its Lord, i.e. 'One'. In the stanza 35, Śiva will show the way in which the Highest Knower can be divided into 5 despite being 1. OK, enough of this.

Now a full chart showing all the things taught by Śiva in the first 7 stanzas:

Chart 2: Pramātā, pramāṇa and prameya generating a world of experiences

of stage
1 FROM THE EARTH ELEMENT (CATEGORY 36) UP TO PRAKṚTI (CATEGORY 13) Sakala Sakalapramātāśakti The tattva itself 15
Pralayākala Pralayākalapramātāśakti
Vijñānākala Vijñānākalapramātāśakti
Mantra Mantrapramātāśakti
Mantreśvara Mantreśvarapramātāśakti
Mantramaheśvara Mantramaheśvarapramātāśakti
Śiva Śivapramātāśakti (Svātantryaśakti)
2 FROM PURUṢA (CATEGORY 12) UP TO KALĀ (TATTVA 7) Pralayākala Pralayākalapramātāśakti Sakalapramātā (or Sakala, plainly) 13
Vijñānākala Vijñānākalapramātāśakti
Mantra Mantrapramātāśakti
Mantreśvara Mantreśvarapramātāśakti
Mantramaheśvara Mantramaheśvarapramātāśakti
Śiva Śivapramātāśakti (Svātantryaśakti)
3 MĀYĀ (CATEGORY 6) containing Savedyapralayākala-s and Apavedyapralayākala-s (the two kinds of Pralayākala-s) Vijñānākala Vijñānākalapramātāśakti Pralayākalapramātā (or Pralayākala, plainly) 11
Mantra Mantrapramātāśakti
Mantreśvara Mantreśvarapramātāśakti
Mantramaheśvara Mantramaheśvarapramātāśakti
Śiva Śivapramātāśakti (Svātantryaśakti)
4 MAHĀMĀYĀ (REGION BETTWEN CATEGORIES 6 AND 5) Mantra Mantrapramātāśakti Vijñānākalapramātā (or Vijñānākala, plainly) 9
Mantreśvara Mantreśvarapramātāśakti
Mantramaheśvara Mantramaheśvarapramātāśakti
Śiva Śivapramātāśakti (Svātantryaśakti)
5 SADVIDYĀ (CATEGORY 5) Mantreśvara Mantreśvarapramātāśakti Mantrapramātā (or Mantra, plainly) 7
Mantramaheśvara Mantramaheśvarapramātāśakti
Śiva Śivapramātāśakti (Svātantryaśakti)
6 IŚVARA (CATEGORY 4) Mantramaheśvara Mantramaheśvarapramātāśakti Mantreśvarapramātā (or Mantreśvara, plainly) 5
Śiva Śivapramātāśakti (Svātantryaśakti)
7 SADĀŚIVA (CATEGORY 3) Śiva Śivapramātāśakti (Svātantryaśakti) Mantramaheśvarapramātā (or Mantramaheśvara, plainly) 3
8 ŚIVA-ŚAKTI (CATEGORIES 1 AND 2) Śiva Śivapramātāśakti (Svātantryaśakti) Śivapramātā (or Śiva, plainly) 1
(because pramātā, pramāṇa and prameya are all dissolved in Parapramātā, in the Supreme Subject)

Hopefully, now this topic is a little bit clearer.

 Thus, the garland of worlds which is divided into these portions should be clearly known (and) worshiped during the Yoga (practice) by the yogī-s in order to succeed in Yoga||8||

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The meaning is that, as I wrote in the title of the above Chart 2, from the division of pramātā, pramāṇa and prameya into all those portions, a garland of worlds of experience is brought about. The practitioners of Yoga should perfectly know and worship this garland full of wonderful realities so as to attain accomplishment in Yoga. In other words, in order to achieve Liberation from Saṁsāra replete with misery.

 Oh Śāṅkarī --the Śakti of Śaṅkara, i.e. Pārvatī--! He who knows even one of these tattva-s and worlds obtains the fruit of Yoga||9||

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And the fruit of Liberation from Saṁsāra is gotten by a yogī who at least knows well one of these tattva-s and worlds.

 However, he (is) said to be a Guru equal to Me who knows all these tattva-s --categories-- as they really are, (and consequently) reveals the virility or potency of mantra-s||10||

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When a yogī is fully proficient with reference to all these tattva-s (and related worlds) since he knows them as they really are, and as a result, he is able to reveal the glorious essential Aham (I-consciousness) to all the living beings who are ready to receive such a revelation, then it can be affirmed without a doubt that he is a Guru equal to Śiva.


 Stanzas 11 to 20

The men who are touched, talked and seen by him whose mind is pleased --i.e. by this Guru equal to Him-- are liberated even from the sins committed in their (last) seven births||11||

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People who are merely in contact with this genuine Guru —i.e. people whom he talk to or people he touches or people he only see— are liberated from all the sins they committed even in their last seven lifetimes. Such is the glory of being in contact with him.

 Nonetheless, those living beings impelled and inspired by Śiva who are initiated by him --by the Guru equal to Śiva--, after obtaining the desired fruit, go to the State where there is no unhappiness --lit. where there is no sickness--||12||

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But the real disciples of this Sadguru (genuine Guru) get it all. In a nutshell, they get Liberation from Saṁsāra (they stop moving from one birth to the next birth) and go to the Supreme State of Śiva. It is not going somewhere with their bodies, minds, etc. They just experience an expansion of his essential Powers.

 In the one who is always established in that, i.e. in an absorption in the Power of Rudra --Śiva--, one should perceive these marks or characteristics||13||

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Regarding Grace bestowal by Śiva, there are multiple levels from combining the three basic levels of 'intense, middle, weak'. For example: intense-intense, intense-middle, intense-weak, middle-intense, middle-middle, etc. Now, with respecto to the three first levels:

Intense-intense — This is the strongest form of Śaktipāta (Grace bestowal). The descent of the Power of Śiva on him --on the yogī-- is so massive that he immediately becomes conscious of his inherent unity with the Great Lord. This also generates the collapse of the physical body as the intensity of the discharge is just intolerable to it. After leaving the body, this Great Being lives secretly here, in the Self, but without being noticed by anyone but the ones who are very advanced in spirituality. He continues to work for the elevation of sincere disciples but always from the shadows, as it were.

Intense-middle — This the second intensity of Śaktipāta. The discharge of Śakti is also enormous but not enough to kill the physical body. This great being is called 'Prātibhaguru' because he became a genuine Guru by his own Guruhood, i.e. by the Light of his own Self (Pratibhā). He did not need another Guru to attain Guruhood.

Intense-weak — This is the third intensity of Śaktipāta. And this is the yogī mentioned in the current stanza ('In the one who is always established in that, i.e. in an absorption in the Power of Rudra...'). So, this type of elevated yogī has the wish to find a Guru, and the Guru for him will be the one of the second intensity of Śaktipāta (a Prātibhaguru). He does not receive initiation from such a Guru but this Guru rather touches him or stares at him, etc. By this mere contact, the yogī attains Liberation without performing any spiritual practice. It is this kind of yogī then who bears the five marks described in the next three stanzas.

 In him, this (is) the first mark: Very firm devotion to Rudra --Śiva--. The second (mark is the following:) There is Mantrasiddhi --success with the mantra-s--, which immediately awakens (in him) confidence||14||

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This mark of very firm devotion to the Great Śiva is shared by all the great śaiva-s. The difference lies then in the other marks. And what is Mantrasiddhi?: It is to repeat a mantra and immediately have the vision of the deity of such a mantra. All in all, the deity of any mantra will be immediately pleased with this kind of great Yogī.

 And the third mark is said to be dominion over all the living beings. (The sages) say that the fourth mark (is) completion of the work which has been begun||15||

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All the living beings are under the sway of a Yogī like this. Besides, there is this special mark too: What he starts, he finishes. This mark is an important one and a sign of total control over his mind.

 Attractive poetic skill furnished with ornaments is regarded as the fifth (mark). And causelessly/suddenly rises in him --in the one having this mark-- knowledge about the meaning of all the scriptures||16||

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With the development of the skill regarding poetics, the other skill having to do with knowledge about the meaning of all the scriptures is subsequently developed too.

 Oh lovely-faced One, according to the division of bhūta, tattva, ātmā, mantra and śakti, the absorption in the Power of Rudra --Śiva-- is said to be fivefold||17||

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This is easy to understand. The difficult to understand thing will occur in the next stanza.

 (The absorption) called 'bhūta' (is) fivefold. Similarly, the other (absorption called 'tattva') (is) thirtyfold. (The absorption) whose name is 'ātmā' (is) said to be threefold. (And the absorption) called 'mantra' (is) tenfold||18||

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I will explain all this under the next stanza, when Śiva finishes describing the five stages of bhūta, tattva, ātmā, mantra and śakti.

 (The absorption) called 'śakti' must really be regarded as twofold. (Therefore,) this absorption (of five kinds --bhūta, tattva, ātmā, mantra and śakti--) is said to be divided in fifty portions||19||

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Abhinavagupta explains this in his Tantrāloka I.186 (briefly, by the way) and subsequent aphorisms. I will try to elucidate to a certain extent (because I do not want to generate even more confusion for now) what Śiva expressed: (1) The absorption (samāveśa) called 'bhūta' is fivefold because it has to do with the five gross elements (tattva-s 32 to 36). (2) The absorption called 'tattva' is thirtyfold because it has to do with the tattva-s (categories) extending from Gandhatanmātra (category 31) up to Śaktitattva (category 2), by excluding the five gross elements (included in the previous absorption) and Śivatattva. (3) The absorption whose name is 'ātmā' is threefold because it has to do with Puruṣa, Vidyā —i.e. Śuddhavidyā— and Śakti (in turn, these three realities of Puruṣa, Vidyā and Śakti) pervading everything are subdivided in 4, 10 and 3 respectively). (4) The absorption going by the name of 'mantra' is tenfold as it has to do with the first ten stages of Aum̐ from the letter A (first stage) up to Vyāpinī or Vyāpikā (stage 10). I wrote a full document explaining this: Meditation 6. (5) Finally, the absorption known as 'śakti' is twofold because it has to do with Śakti and Śiva. Therefore: 5+30+3+10+2 = 50 (fifty portions).

In this way, you have now a better understanding of the Śiva's words here. I did not explain the subdivisions of Puruṣa, Vidyā and Śakti for not adding extra confusion.

 (In turn,) it --the absorption-- is declared to be 'āṇava' and also 'śākta' with similar qualities. Thus, one should note that even the 'śāmbhava' (absorption) is divided in these portions --in the fifty portions mentioned in the previous stanza--||20||

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So, this fiftyfold division is pervading each of the three main divisions of the absorption in the Power of Rudra. This group of three consists of: āṇava, śākta and śāmbhava. And these three kinds of absorption are again only śāmbhava, because the three ones have to do with Śiva even though the first two do so indirectly. This adds a layer of extra confusion, obviously, but it needed to be clarified.

Besides, it is interesting to note that Śiva divides the absorption in the Power of Rudra in this way: āṇava, śākta and śāmbhava, in this order, while Abhinavagupta uses the opposite order, i.e. 'śāmbhava, śākta and āṇava'. In other words, according to Abhinavagupta, one should start with the highest type of absorption (śāmbhava), and if one cannot do it, so one should proceed to the second one (śākta), and if one cannot do it, so his last refuge is the third kind of absorption (āṇava). This order given by Abhinavagupta points to saving time in one's own spiritual path then.

Each of these three types of absorption will be described by Śiva starting with the next stanza.


 Stanzas 21 to 35

The complete absorption into one's essential nature that occurs by means of Uccāra, Karaṇa, Dhyāna, Varṇa and Sthānakalpanā, is known as āṇava||21||

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This āṇava absorption is generally known as 'Āṇavopāya' or the means pertaining to the Aṇu or Puruṣa (the limited individual). It deals with absorptions in which the yogī uses visualizations, breathing, body, etc. to be successful. I explain all this in Meditation 4 an Meditation 5.

 The one who ponders by (his) mind over the Reality which is not within the range of utterance obtains an absorption (in the Supreme Self). Here, that (absorption) is to be considered as śākta||22||

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This śākta absorption is usually called 'Śāktopāya' —the means pertaining to Śakti, the Power of Rudra (Śiva)— in Trika Shaivism. It deals with absorptions in which the yogī concentrates on the Reality that is impossible to be pronounced, i.e. on Aham (I-consciousness). This Reality is to be found in the middle point of all movements (e.g. between breaths, between thoughts, etc.). I explain all this in Meditation 3.

 It is said that the śāmbhava absorption (is) this which takes place only in one who thinks of nothing through an awakening (bestowed) by the Guru||23||

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This śāmbhava absorption is generally known as 'Śāmbhavopāya' —the means pertaining to Śiva Himself— in Trika Shaivism. It deals with an absorption in which one just removes all his thoughts at will and just waits for the Grace of Lord Śiva in order to attain Liberation from Saṁsāra. It is the last part of the spiritual path, in general. I say 'in general' because a very few lucky ones can directly start with Śāmbhavopāya and quickly get Liberation after that. In their case, Śāmbhavopāya is not only the last part but also the starting point of their spiritual path. I explain all this in Meditation 2.

 Concisely described, this --the three types of absorption-- is said to (reach the number of) one hundred and fifty portions successively, (but) described in detail, there is no enumeration in its case --i.e. the portions of the three kinds of absorption are innumerable--||24||

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If one keeps in mind that there are fifty types of absorption in each one of these three main absorptions (in Āṇavopāya, Śāktopāya and Śāmbhavopāya), then it is easy to understand why Śiva said that there are 150 portions (i.e. 50x3 = 150) in those three means. But this is a concise description indeed. If one goes into detail, so there is no final quantity for the number of possible absorptions, viz. they are innumerable.

 Though succinctly different portions or divisions are spoken about, (anyway,) here portions or divisions regarding the fruit called Saṁvitti --Consciousness, i.e. Śiva-- should not be conceived or imagined by the wise people. This should be (fully) understood||25||

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As I said under the previous stanza, they are innumerable. Nonetheless, the fruit of all this effort performed by the yogī, i.e. Śiva, has no portions or divisions. In other words, He is only One and Undivided. The wise people should fully understand this simple truth.

 The series of all the types of absorption should be recognized —separately according to their functions and activities— by the wise people as consisting of five divisions, i.e. as wakefulness, dreaming, etc.||26||

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All these types of absorption have five divisions: The five states of consciousness, viz. jāgrat (wakefulness), svapna (dreaming), suṣupti or suṣupta (deep sleep), Turya (Fourth State) and Turyātīta (the State beyond the Fourth One). In other words, these five divisions pervade everything, from Sakala (the lowest experient/knower) up to Mantramaheśvara (the great lord of the Mantra who is only second to Śiva Himself). The Great Lord has no division, of course, as He is 'One'. However, through the deep intelligence of wise scholars, He can also get endowed with five divisions. This just happens in their own rich imagination since Śiva is infinite and exists everywhere as a compact mass of Consciousness, and therefore He really cannot be divided at all.

This teaching will be much easier to understand by reading my below explanation about the stanzas 27 to 35 as I include a didactic chart.

 There, in the fifteenfold portion --from the earth element (category 36) up to Prakṛti (category 13)--, that triad (constituted by) svarūpa --the tattva itself, from tattva 36 up to tattva 13--, sakala and (his) śakti (is) this state of waking. (The other) powerless two (knowers) --Pralayākala and Vijñānākala-- are to be regarded as completely (residing) in the states of dreaming and deep sleep. (In turn,) it is said that the group of Mantra, Mantreśvara and Mantramaheśvara (dwells) in Turya --in the Fourth State--. (Finally,) oh lovely-faced One --i.e. Pārvatī--, Śakti and Śambhu --Śakti and Śiva-- are to be regarded as (residing) in Turyātīta --the State beyond Turya--.

In the thirteenfold portion --from Puruṣa (category 12) up to Kalā (category 7)-- (dwell) svarūpa --Sakala here--, both powerless (knowers) --Pralayākala and Vijñānākala--, Mantra, Mantreśvara, Mantramaheśvara, and also Śakti and Śambhu --Śakti and Śiva-- are said (to be found here).

In the Pralayākala portion --i.e. in the elevenfold portion situated in Māyātattva (category 6)-- (reside) svarūpa --Pralayākala here--, both Vijñānākala and his śakti, Mantra, Mantreśvara, Mantramaheśvara as well as Śakti and the Lord --Śakti and Śiva--, as before.

In the portion mentioned as ninefold --between Māyātattva (category 6) and Sadvidyātattva (category 5)-- (are positioned) svarūpa --Vijñānākala here--, Mantra-s, Mantreśvara-s, Mantramaheśvara-s --lit. lords of those, i.e. lords of the Mantreśvara-s-- as well as Śakti and Śambhu --Śakti and Śiva--, (and) as before, the five states --viz. jāgrat, svapna, suṣupta or suṣupti, Turya and Turyātīta (wakefulness, dreaming, deep sleep, the Fourth State and the One beyond the Fourth State)-- are stated (to be here, in this portion).

In the sevenfold portion --in Sadvidyātattva (category 5)-- (are situated) the five (entities) to be known as svarūpa --Mantra here--, Mantreśvara, Mantramaheśvara, Śakti and Śiva, oh Fair One --i.e. Pārvatī--.

In the fivefold (portion) --in Īśvaratattva (category 4)-- (reside) svarūpa --Mantreśvara here--, śakti of Mantramaheśvara, Mantramaheśvara as well as Śakti and Śambhu --Śakti and Śiva--.

In the threefold (portion) --in Sadāśivatattva (category 3)--, one should perceive svarūpa --Mantramaheśvara here-- (and) the division formed by Kriyāśakti, Jñānaśakti, Icchāśakti and Śiva.

Though (Śivapramātā, the Highest Knower,) has no division, (He becomes) fivefold due to the (divisions of) Kriyāśakti and Jñānaśakti --lit. lords engaged in (all) the activities, or in Turya--, Icchāśakti --lit. devoid of that (devoid of activity and knowledge) and impelling--, Ānandaśakti --lit. cessation of Will-- (and) Cicchakti --Cit-śakti, lit. remaining in her own Self--.

Thus, in this division consisting of five, it is said that Reality should be known||27-35||

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Of course, when Śiva speaks about 'Śakti and Śiva' He is speaking about 'Śivapramātāśakti and Śivapramātā'; and when Śiva mentions 'Śiva', He means 'Śivapramātā' only. Well, I guess that now the whole thing is much clearer.

I am adding a complete chart in which it is easy to see the five divisions of jāgrat (wakefulness), svapna (dreaming), suṣupti or suṣupta (deep sleep), Turya (Fourth State) and Turyātīta (the State beyond the Fourth One). This Chart 3 is easier to understand when it is watched along with the Chart 2 under the stanza 7. A last thing, I add 'pramātā' after the usual name of the experient/knower, but the final meaning does not change really: Sakala = Sakalapramātā, Pralayākala = Pralayākalapramātā, etc. (the word 'pramātā' simply means 'experient/knower' and just produces the meaning of, e.g. 'Sakala experient/knower' or 'the experient/knower called Sakala', etc. OK, I suppose that all this is very clear. One does not need to be a Sanskrit scholar to understand it:

Chart 3: The five states of consciousness pervading all

of stage
1 FROM THE EARTH ELEMENT (CATEGORY 36) UP TO PRAKṚTI (CATEGORY 13) jāgrat the tattva itself + Sakalapramātā + Sakalapramātāśakti The tattva itself 15
svapna Pralayākalapramātā
suṣupta or suṣupti Vijñānākalapramātā
Turya Mantrapramātā, Mantreśvarapramātā and Mantramaheśvarapramātā
Turyātīta Śakti and Śiva
2 FROM PURUṢA (CATEGORY 12) UP TO KALĀ (TATTVA 7) jāgrat Sakalapramātā Sakalapramātā (or Sakala, plainly) 13
svapna Pralayākalapramātā
suṣupta or suṣupti Vijñānākalapramātā
Turya Mantrapramātā, Mantreśvarapramātā and Mantramaheśvarapramātā
Turyātīta Śakti and Śiva
3 MĀYĀ (CATEGORY 6) containing Savedyapralayākala-s and Apavedyapralayākala-s (the two kinds of Pralayākala-s) jāgrat Pralayākalapramātā Pralayākalapramātā (or Pralayākala, plainly) 11
svapna Vijñānākalapramātāśakti
suṣupta or suṣupti Vijñānākalapramātā
Turya Mantrapramātā, Mantreśvarapramātā and Mantramaheśvarapramātā
Turyātīta Śakti and Śiva
4 MAHĀMĀYĀ (REGION BETTWEN CATEGORIES 6 AND 5) jāgrat Vijñānākalapramātā Vijñānākalapramātā (or Vijñānākala, plainly) 9
svapna Mantrapramātā
suṣupta or suṣupti Mantreśvarapramātā
Turya Mantramaheśvarapramātā
Turyātīta Śakti and Śiva
5 SADVIDYĀ (CATEGORY 5) jāgrat Mantrapramātā Mantrapramātā (or Mantra, plainly) 7
svapna Mantreśvarapramātā
suṣupta or suṣupti Mantramaheśvarapramātā
Turya Śakti
Turyātīta Śiva
6 IŚVARA (CATEGORY 4) jāgrat Mantreśvarapramātā Mantreśvarapramātā (or Mantreśvara, plainly) 5
svapna Mantramaheśvarapramātāśakti
suṣupta or suṣupti Mantramaheśvarapramātā
Turya Śakti
Turyātīta Śiva
7 SADĀŚIVA (CATEGORY 3) jāgrat Mantramaheśvarapramātā Mantramaheśvarapramātā (or Mantramaheśvara, plainly) 3
svapna Kriyāśakti
suṣupta or suṣupti Jñānaśakti
Turya Icchāśakti
Turyātīta Śiva
8 ŚIVA-ŚAKTI (CATEGORIES 1 AND 2) jāgrat Kriyāśakti Śivapramātā (or Śiva, plainly) 1
svapna Jñānaśakti
suṣupta or suṣupti Icchāśakti
Turya Ānandaśakti
Turyātīta Cicchakti (Cit+śakti)

Now all this complicated stuff is easier to understand, I guess. Nevertheless, the reader could wonder: What does this teaching really mean in practice? I will try to clarify this point for you to have an idea of the importance of this complete Yoga taught by the Great Śiva. I will use simple terms in order to make it all easier. Let us take the first stage in the above chart (the one extending from tattva 36 up to tattva 13):

  1. There are four categories of knower or perceiver: Parapramātā (the Supreme Knower, i.e. Śiva), pramātā (knower, perceiver, subject), pramāṇa (knowing, perceiving), prameya (knowable, object).
  2. Jāgrat (wakefulness) is the state where a living being is completely engrossed in the 'prameya' (object) only. Though his subjectivity (his 'I', the 'pramātā') is still there, he practically forget it the whole time.
  3. Svapna (dreaming) is the state where a living being is completely engrossed in the 'pramāṇa' (knowing, perceiving), i.e. in the saṁskāra-s or impressions left by the objects. And again he practically forgets the pramātā all the time.
  4. Suṣupta or suṣupti (deep sleep) is the state where a living being is completely engrossed in the 'pramātā' but without being conscious of that. This lack of consciousness about the pramātā creates a massive void.
  5. Turya (Fourth State) is the State where a living being is completely engrossed in the Parapramātā and is totally conscious that he is Śiva but without being yet fully established in this identity/unity with Him.
  6. Turyātīta (the State beyond the Fourth One) is the State where a living being is completely engrossed and established in the Parapramātā. This is the Highest State.

These 5 states of consciousness can be attained in every stage (i.e. in the fifteenfold stage, in the thirteenfold stage, etc.), but obviously, the fifteenfold stage is just a massive obstacle to everyone in Yoga. Most yogī-s just move in the state of the fifteenfold aspects or variations. What do I mean by all this? I will explain it below, but before a synopsis of the 7 experients/knowers and their location in the tattvic scheme:

  1. Sakalapramātā resides in all the tattva-s from tattva 7 down to tattva 36 (according to Jayaratha, the commentator of Tantrāloka, the Sakalapramātā is Puruṣatattva).
  2. Pralayākalapramātā dwells in the Māyātattva (tattva 6), but penetrates all the tattva-s from tattva 6 down to tattva 36.
  3. Vijñānākalapramātā lives in the Mahāmāyā (between tattva-s 5 and 6), but penetrates all the tattva-s from Mahāmāyā down to tattva 36.
  4. Mantrapramātā is located in tattva 5, but penetrates all the tattva-s from tattva 5 down to tattva 36.
  5. Mantreśvarapramātā resides in tattva 4, but penetrates all the tattva-s from tattva 4 down to tattva 36.
  6. Mantramaheśvarapramātā dwells in tattva 3, but penetrates all the tattva-s from tattva 3 down to tattva 36.
  7. Śivapramātā dwells everywhere (He penetrates all the 36 tattva-s), but in this context you can say that He lives in tattva-s 1 and 2.

I will show in practice the Yoga of the different aspects or variations such as exhibited in the above chart (keep the chart on sight to check as I explain):

  1. Fifteenfold portion (from tattva 36 up to tattva 13): Here the svarūpa or object is the tattva itself. To understand this consider the process of meditation, in which you take an object for concentration, e.g. an earthen pot representing the earth element --tattva 36-- (though you can take any tattva between the 36th and the 13th, e.g. the Jñānendriya-s or Powers of Perception, anyway, it is in general more difficult so than with an earthen pot, obviously). Next you start to concentrate and continues doing so till you even forget the subject (the Sakalapramātā) and the object is the only thing in your perception (this is called samādhi by Patañjali in his Yogasūtra-s). This is 'jāgrat' or 'wakefulness' here because the svarūpa is very clearly manifest, plus the Sakalapramātā and his śakti (though they seem to be absent due to the extreme concentration on the object, they are anyway present here). When you are in this state of samādhi, you are in the svarūpa or object (the first portion in the fifteen aspects or variations). From here you have to begin ascending to the subject by using the Sakalapramātāśakti. How? By paying more and more attention to the subject or Sakalapramātā who is watching the object. While in the process of moving to the subject, you experience impressions of the earthen pot in front of you (i.e. you do not see that pot anymore because you closed your eyes and only remember its form, color, etc.). This is 'svapna' or 'dreaming' here. Finally, you arrived at the subject (at the Sakalapramātā) and are totally aware of your state as the witness to the earthen pot. Afterward, you must forget this limited subject (the knower or perceiver called Sakala) and make efforts to ascend even more, toward the Vijñānākalapramātā. But before reaching this pramātā, you enter into a void. This void is the state in which the Pralayākalapramātā lives ('suṣupta' or 'suṣupti' — 'deep sleep'). If you stay here and do not strive to ascend to the next subject or pramātā, you will descend to the state of Sakala later, as most human beings in the morning, when they wake up from deep sleep. You do not want this, obviously, so you force yourself to be conscious of the void while you stay in the void. This requires an enormous effort on your part and a big portion of Śiva's Grace too or your efforts will prove futile. By 'Śiva's Grace' I do not indicate only the supernatural Grace coming directly from your own Self who is Śiva, but I also include the Favor of your own Guru and the Favor of the Śiva's scriptures.

    So, finally, you can rise from the state of Pralayākalapramātā and enter into the state of Vijñānākalapramātā. From here you can experience an entry into 'Turya' ('the Fourth State', the State of Śiva in his different aspects). Here it is not about making efforts but about Grace only. When you can cross the borderline of Āṇavamala between tattva-s 5 and 6 due to His causeless Compassion, you successively penetrate into the states of Mantrapramātā, Mantreśvarapramātā, Mantramaheśvarapramātā and Śivapramātā automatically. And yes, you attain the State of Śiva and the fruit of Liberation (i.e. you attain 'Turyātīta' or 'the State beyond the Fourth One' here), but it is just temporary. You do not have the necessary strength to stay in the Highest State. So, you must proceed to do it all again but from the next level: The thirteenfold aspect or variation. All the sequence of the five states (wakefulness, dreaming, etc.) will appear again for all the remaining stages but in a successively higher level each time.
  2. Thirteenfold portion (from tattva 12 up to tattva 7): Only yogī-s with more power can enter this round of concentrations. To master this process you must have mastered the previous fifteenfold process. Here the object cannot be an earthen pot, Jñānendriya-s, etc. (none of the tattva-s between the 36th and the 13th). The object or svarūpa is here the Sakalapramātā himself (and his power is included too). Here the pramātā (the subject) is Pralayākalapramātā, while his śakti is what enables him to concentrate on Sakalapramātā. If you did not master the fifteenfold process, you will not understand what concentrating on Sakalapramātā really is. So, you start to perceive the Sakalapramātā first till he fills all the field of your perception. Next, you move little by little to the subject or Pralayākalapramātā. When you are finally conscious of this knower, you enter into a void. From this void you have to elevate yourself by the force of your efforts and Grace (in reality, everything is Grace always). Your goal is now to attain the Vijñānākalapramātā in which the void is not any more overpowering you. Finally, you attain the state of the Vijñānākalapramātā and you are sure of this because you can be conscious of the void without being overpowered by it. This is the mark of an advanced yogī. Afterward, to enter into the remaining higher experients/knowers is automatic and powered by Śiva's Grace only. So, you attain Turya and Turyātīta again but through the thirteenfold process this time. Now you have more strength to stay in your own nature, i.e. in the State of Śiva. Anyway, this is again temporary and you are led to the next process (to the elevenfold one).
  3. Elevenfold portion (in tattva 6): To master this process you must have mastered the previous thirteenfold process. Here the object is the Pralayākalapramātā himself (and his power too, of course). Here the pramātā (the subject) is Vijñānākalapramātā, while his śakti enables him to concentrate on Pralayākalapramātā. So first you concentrate on Pralayākalapramātā till he fills all the field of your perception. After this, you gradually move upward, toward the subject or Vijñānākalapramātā. You confirm that you have achieved this experient/knower when you are able to be a witness to the void of Māyātattva (tattva 6). In other words, when you can witness the void of deep sleep and never be overpowered by it, so you attain the Vijñānākalapramātā stage. And from here, all is automatic because Vijñānākalapramātā is the doorway to the State of Śiva. Therefore, the states of Mantrapramātā, Mantreśvarapramātā, Mantramaheśvarapramātā and Śivapramātā are spontaneously achieved by force of His Grace alone. In this way, you attain the Highest State again, but your power to get yourself established in the State of Śiva is still not strong enough. So, you are naturally led to the next process (to the ninefold one).
  4. Ninefold portion (in Mahāmāyā, between tattva-s 5 and 6): It is obvious that to master this process you must have mastered the previous one. Here the object is the Vijñānākalapramātā himself (and his power is included as well). Here the pramātā (subject) is Mantrapramātā, while his śakti allows him to be one-pointed on Vijñānākalapramātā. As ascending from Vijñānākalapramātā up to Śivapramātā is automatic and powered by Grace only, there is no effort on your part in this ninefold process. But even after reaching the Highest State again, it is not enough for consolidating your achievement of Turyātīta. You are automatically conduced to the next process (to the sevenfold one).
  5. Sevenfold portion (in tattva 5): All here is totally automatic. The object is Mantrapramātā (with his power), and the subject is Mantreśvarapramātā. The śakti or power of Mantreśvarapramātā permits him to focus his attention on Mantrapramātā. The rest happens as before, automatically by the Grace of Śiva. But again you cannot firmly get established in the Highest State. So you are led to the next process (to the fivefold) without any effort on your part.
  6. Fivefold portion (in tattva 4): All automatic again. The object is Mantreśvarapramātā (and his own śakti or power) and the subject is Mantramaheśvarapramātā. The śakti of Mantramaheśvarapramātā enables him to be concentrated on Mantreśvarapramātā. The elevation to higher states will occur by itself, due to the Grace of the Supreme Lord. However, you fail once more to get firmly established in the Highest State. Therefore, you are carried on to the next process (to the threefold one) without doing nothing at all.
  7. Threefold portion (in tattva 3): The whole thing is also automatic again. The object is Mantramaheśvarapramātā (and his śakti) and the subject is Śivapramātā. The Śakti (the Supreme Power) allows Him to be completely focused on Mantramaheśvarapramātā. But this division into Śiva and Śakti is only for the sake of studying these topics. In practice, both are the same Reality and there is no difference between them. The entry into the Śiva State is spontaneous due to the Massive Power of the Great Lord. Now you find yourself firmly established in Your State. This is the final achievement of Liberation.

There is no 'onefold process', to call it some way, because in Śiva the object and the subject are one and the same. Therefore, there cannot be any concentration on an object since subject and object are merged into the divine Consciousness. Anyway, Śiva Himself is dividing His own State here in five due to the presence of His main śakti-s (Kriyāśakti, Jñānaśakti, Icchāśakti, Ānandaśakti and Cicchakti - Power of Action, Power of Knowledge, Power of Will, Power of Bliss and Power of Consciousness, respectively.

That is why you may listen to Guru-s saying something like this: 'I attained Liberation but I needed more time to get stabilized on the Highest State'. In other words, such a Guru got Liberation in the fifteenfold process but, because he did not have the strength to get firmly established in the State of Śiva, he needed to move through all the remaining processes (thirteenfold, elevenfold, etc.).

Very well, maybe now this complex topic is more understandable to you.


 Stanzas 36 to 40

Again, (another) division regarding the names of these states --i.e. of wakefulness, dreaming, deep sleep, Fourth State and the State beyond the Fourth One-- is brought to light (here). The name of wakefulness is considered to be twofold: Piṇḍastha (and) sarvatobhadhra||36||

Skip the notes

And Śiva is now giving alternative names for the five states of consciousness according to ordinary people, yogī-s and jñānī-s. This will be very clear by watching the Charts 4 and 5 under the stanza 46.

 (The sages) proclaim that the dreaming has two names: Padastha (and) vyāpti as well. The two names of deep sleep (are): Rūpastha (and) mahāvyāpti||37||

Skip the notes

See Charts 4 and 5 under stanza 46.

 Turya --the Fourth State-- is rightly said to be: Pracaya and Rūpātīta; (while) the sages proclaim that Turyātīta --the State beyond the Fourth One-- (is) Mahāpracaya||38||

Skip the notes

See Charts 4 and 5 under stanza 46.

 This division is (in turn) said to be separately subdivided in tattva-s or principles --not the 36 categories here--. Listen, to the best of your power, all these five tattva-s --principles--||39||

Skip the notes

See Charts 4 and 5 under stanza 46.

 The combination of living beings, tattva-s --principles of manifestation-- and expressions is regarded as objectivized --lit. conquerable--. (The sages) affirm that that --the bhūtatattvābhidhāna-s or living beings, tattva-s and expressions-- (is) the state of wakefulness. They consider the other --the one not being like this, i.e. absorbed in the 'objectivized'-- to be the state of dreaming||40||

Skip the notes

See Charts 4 and 5 under stanza 46.


 Stanzas 41 to 53

Mantra-s, Mantreśvara-s along with Mantramaheśvara-s are said to be the state of deep sleep --rūpastha--. The Fourth State --Rūpātīta or Turya-- (is) the Supreme Śakti which, though endowed with activity --i.e. She is immanent in the universe-- is transcendental --lit. free from sickness--||41||

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See Charts 4 and 5 under stanza 46.

 (The tattva or principle) which is without any manifoldness, without any manifestation, which is pure, which remains in His own Self (and) which is beyond all, knowing which one is completely liberated, is called Śiva||42||

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And He is Turyātīta. See Charts 4 and 5 under stanza 46.

 Piṇḍastha --wakefulness-- (is) fourfold: Abuddha, buddha, prabuddha and suprabuddha.

Padastha --dreaming-- (is) also fourfold: Gatāgata, suvikṣipta, saṅgata (and) susamāhita.

The one whose name is rūpastha --deep sleep-- must be certainly regarded as fourfold by the ones who are familiar with Yoga: Udita, vipula, śānta (and) suprasanna.

And the other --i.e. Rūpātīta or Turya, and also Turyātīta-- (is divided into): Manonmana, ananta, sarvārtha --the three divisions of Turya--; satatodita (is beyond Turya) --i.e. it is Turyātīta, which has no subdivision--||43-45||

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See Charts 4 and 5 under stanza 46.

 That --the Highest Reality or Paramaśiva-- which remains in Mahāpracaya --in Turyātīta, the State beyond Turya-- is to be regarded as one --in other words, there is no division here--. Thus, the fivefold course (has been enumerated --the course of the five states of consciousness--). Now, the threefold (course) --another way to divide the same thing-- is being described (in the next stanza)||46||

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With two complete charts now, the whole thing about the five states of consciousness will look much easier to understand:

Chart 4: Multiple names for the five states of consciousness
1 First state jāgrat
--the kingdom of prameya or object/knowable--
A combination of living beings, tattva-s and expressions
(adhiṣṭheya or objectivized)
Sakalapramātā and Pralayākalapramātā piṇḍastha
(lit. remaining in the lump, i.e. becoming one with the object)
(lit. completely auspicious, i.e. everywhere full of Śiva)
2 Second state svapna
--the kingdom of pramāṇa or knowing/perceiving--
The work of the saṁskāra-s or impressions derived from contact with objects
(adhiṣṭhāna or objectivization)
Vijñānākalapramātā padastha
(lit. standing on one's feet, i.e. remaining where you are)
(lit. pervasion, i.e. one totally pervades the dreams)
3 Third state suṣupta or suṣupti
(deep sleep)
--the kingdom of pramātā or subject/knower--
Negation of objectivity and subjectivity
(adhiṣṭhātṛ or objectivizer)
Mantrapramātā, Mantreśvarapramātā and Mantramaheśvarapramātā rūpastha
(lit. remaining in one's own form, i.e. in one's own Self)
(lit. great pervasion, i.e. transcending the dreaming state --devoid of objects and impressions of objects--)
4 Fourth State Turya
(Fourth State)
--the Kingdom of Parapramātā or Supreme Subject/Knower--
The State of the Essential Nature or Self
(Saṁvid or Consciousness)
Parā Śakti
(the Supreme Śakti or Power)
(lit. Beyond form, i.e. beyond mere contact with the Self --in other words, 'establishment in one's own Self'--)
(lit. Totality, i.e. all the universal manifestation lies here)
5 Fifth State Turyātīta
(the State beyond the Fourth One)
--the Kingdom of Parapramātā or Supreme Subject/Knower in His Greatest Glory--
The Highest State
(The State beyond the universe)
Śiva Satatodita
(lit. Constantly risen or active)
They had no name for this State as they could not practice Yoga here because there is no subject or object. So, they had to use their imagination to create this name for It
(lit. the Great Totality, i.e. it is even beyond the totality of the universal manifestation)

And now the Chart 5 showing the subdivisions of the states of consciousness (except Turyātīta, which mixes with no other state). In Mālinīvijayottaratantra, Śiva gives names for the combinations of states of consciousness, e.g. 'abuddha', 'buddha', etc., but I added the original name showing the combination, i.e. 'jāgrat-jāgrat' (wakefulness in wakefulness), 'jāgrat-svapna' (dreaming in wakefulness), etc. The same logic applies to the other combinations. Hopefully you understood me.

Chart 5: The four states of consciousness and their respective subdivisions (Turyātīta has no subdivision)
1 jāgrat
--the kingdom of prameya or object/knowable--
(wakefulness in wakefulness)
Complete absorption in objectivity, which amounts to a state of full ignorance. Constant identification with both external objects (e.g. the physical body) and internal objects (e.g. ego). The vast majority of humankind lives here during their waking state, as they call it. Obviously, it is like a joke because this is total obscurity and absolute lack of awareness about the divine essential nature (Parapramātā or Supreme Subject). Śiva called it 'abuddha' because here there is total unawareness.
(dreaming in wakefulness)
Absorption in the saṁskāra-s or impressions of objectivity while waking. This state is commonly known as 'daydreaming'. Śiva called it 'buddha' not because you are here enlightened or something but because you have a little awareness, i.e. you are not absorbed in objectivity as before but you are now absorbed in the impressions of such objectivity.
(deep sleep in wakefulness)
Absorption in subjectivity. Lack of awareness about objectivity and impressions of objectivity. Śiva called it 'prabuddha' because you are more awakened (lit. well-awakened) to your essential nature here. Though it is not full awareness about Parapramātā (Supreme Subject) during wakefulness, if you reach this state will be fully aware of Parapramātā at the beginning and at the end of wakefulness only.
(Turya in wakefulness)
(perfectly well-awakened)
Absorption in supreme subjectivity. This the state where you are fully aware of Parapramātā (Supreme Subject) during wakefulness. The difference with the previous state is that in this state you are aware of Parapramātā even during wakefulness and not only at the beginning and end of it. Śiva called it 'suprabuddha' because at this stage you are perfectly well-awakened.
2 svapna
--the kingdom of pramāṇa or knowing/perceiving--
(wakefulness in dreaming)
(coming and going)
It is an absorption in the impressions (svapna or dreaming) but mixed with an absorption in objectivity (jāgrat or wakefulness). For example, you are all the time only conscious of objects during the dream (this is wakefulness) but at the same time you do not care about inconsistencies in such objectivity. For example: You see now a car in your dream and next, all of a sudden, an elephant appears in its place. Anyway, you do not feel concerned with the sudden change, but you take it as 'normal'. Śiva called it 'gatāgata' (lit. coming and going) because things continue to change their form all the time in your dreaming but you do not care about it.
(dreaming in dreaming)
(very dispersed)
It is full absorption in the impressions so that one thing perceived in a dream is not connected with the next thing. For example: You are watching TV, but next you are a superhero, and later you are looking at a sheep, etc. There is total dispersion, i.e. an absolute lack of interconnection with reference to the objects in a dream. That is why Śiva called it 'suvikṣipta' or very dispersed. The difference with the previous state is that now you are only moving through impressions, so the objects you see are not really objects but impressions of the objects. This means that their form will be often distorted and sometimes will look just very crazy.
(deep sleep in dreaming)
There is some subjectivity in the middle of your experience of impressions of objects. For example: If suddenly your late mother appears in your dream, you realize that this is impossible and that the explanation for this incoherence is that you are actually dreaming. In the previous mixtures (wakefulness in dreaming and dreaming in dreaming) you do not notice the connection between the different objects during a dream. In other words, there is some awareness regarding the subject. That is why Śiva called it 'saṅgata' or associated, because you become associated with subjectivity to a certain degree.
(Turya in dreaming)
(very absorbed or engrossed)

Absorption in supreme subjectivity again but while sleeping. This the state where you are fully aware of Parapramātā (Supreme Subject) during the state of dreaming. The difference with the previous state is that in this state you are aware of Parapramātā even during any dream, and not only that, but you can also remove all the dreams and enter into full absorption or samādhi, but temporarily because another dream will come and overpower you. And again you will remove this dream and enter into samādhi again, and so an on. Śiva called it 'susamāhita' because at this stage you are very absorbed in samādhi.

3 suṣupta or suṣupti
(deep sleep)
--the kingdom of pramātā or subject/knower--
(wakefulness in deep sleep)
All objectivity and impressions are completely absent here. It is a state of void where you are absolutely unaware of everything. So, when you wake up, you remember nothing. Śiva called it 'udita' because here you are rising from the impressions of objectivity and moving toward your essential nature which is pure Light and Joy.
(dreaming in deep sleep)
Here you somewhat (from time to time) know that you are in deep sleep (i.e. in subjectivity beyond objectivity and its impressions). In a nutshell, you are not completely unaware like in the previous state. Śiva called it 'vipula' because here your awareness that you are in subjectivity becomes more and more vivid.
(deep sleep in deep sleep)
Here the awareness that you are in the middle of subjectivity is continuous in the background. The difference with 'vipula' is that now the perception that you are in the subject persists throughout the state and is not only happening from time to time. Śiva called it 'śānta' because your constant perception of subjectivity here remains in a state free from agitation, i.e. you experience its peace during the time the state lasts.
(Turya in deep sleep)
(very auspicious)
This state is like the previous one but now you experience the bliss of subjectivity. This is the difference. Śiva called it 'suprasanna' because it is very auspicious, viz. it is replete with bliss as you get in touch with the Parapramātā or Supreme Subject.
4 Turya
(Fourth State)
--the Kingdom of Parapramātā or Supreme Subject/Knower--
(wakefulness in Turya)
(beyond the mind)
The Glory of the State of Turya (i.e. the experience of the Parapramātā or Supreme Subject full of Bliss) starts to appear but only slightly. Śiva called it 'manonmana' because at this time you completely abandon all the thoughts.
(dreaming in Turya)
The Glory of the State of Turya is now much more vividly manifest for you. Śiva called it 'ananta' because now you experience the infinite nature of your own Self (the Parapramātā).
(deep sleep in Turya)
(all the things)
The Glory of the State of Turya is here totally full. This is the highest level of Turya, no doubt about it. Śiva called it 'sarvārtha' because though you realize that Parapramātā is infinite, anyway you discover that even the entire group of limitations also exists in Him.
5 Turyātīta
(the State beyond the Fourth One)
--the Kingdom of Parapramātā or Supreme Subject/Knower in His Greatest Glory--
no subdivision This is the culminating point. There is nothing higher than this. In this State there is no objectivity or subjectivity. It is the Highest State teeming with massive Bliss appearing as Peace beyond human understanding. This State permeates all the other states. That is why when you realize Turyātīta you realize that you always realized It. It is absolutely universal and no word is able to define It. It is the Final Experience, it is merging into the essential nature of the Great Śiva who is your own Self.

Hopefully, after my long exposition, you understand now all this complex topic a little better.

 (The territory of) Ātmātattva is said (to extend) up to Vijñānākala. (The area starting in Mantra and) ending in Īśvaratattva --category 4-- is called (the territory of) Vidyātattva. (The sages) regard the rest as the State of Śiva --i.e. as the Śivatattva, but not the category 1 in the well-known 36 tattva-s scheme, but the 'principle' including Mantramaheśvara and Śivapramātā knowers--||47||

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There is another way to divide all this reality. It was called the 'triple course' by Śiva in the stanza 46. (1) Ātmātattva —the principle of Ātmā— extending from tattva 36 up to Mahāmāyā (the region of Vijñānākalapramātā between tattva-s 5 and 6). (2) Vidyātattva —the principle of Vidyā (not the tattva 8)— extending from tattva 5 (the region of Mantrapramātā) up to Īśvaratattva (tattva 4). And (3) Śivatattva (not the tattva or category 1 here) —the principle of Śiva— extending from tattva-3 up to tattva-s 1 and 2 (the regions of Mantramaheśvarapramātā and Śivapramātā). Check the Tattvic Chart if you need to refresh your memory about the arrangement of the 36 tattva-s or categories.

 In this way, the course (containing three tattva-s or principles), which was divided there --in the previous stanza-- in these portions, has been mentioned. Now, the division of all the paths simultaneously is proclaimed||48||

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Now that the simple explanation of the three courses is finished, Śiva proceeds to explain the four aṇḍa-s (eggs).

 This group of four eggs is briefly said (to consist of): 'Pṛthivī egg, Prakṛti egg, Māyā egg and Śakti egg'||49||

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This division into four eggs coincides with the lower 4 Kalā-s in the division into five Kalā-s included in the 'ṣaḍadhvā' (the six courses of the universal manifestation). I have already given a mere glimpse of this extremely complex topic. On the one hand, there is the subjective side composed of 'varṇa', 'mantra' and 'pada', and on the other hand, there is the objective side consisting of 'kalā', 'tattva' and 'bhuvana'. Every category is counted in a special way, e.g. there are 36 tattva-s, etc. However, the number differs across the scriptures. For example, Abhinavagupta counts 118 bhuvana-s (worlds) by following Mālinīvijayottaratantra, while in the fourth chapter of Svacchandatantra, Śiva counts 224 bhuvana-s. This subject is absolutely complex and requires me to translate all the stanzas of Svacchandatantra dealing with this topic plus the commentaries by Kṣemarāja in his Svacchandoddyota. It is impossible here, of course. Anyway, I can quote a few stanzas in Svacchandatantra (chapter 4) only for you to have some idea about this:

The six courses are to be regarded one by one. Listen --Śiva says to Pārvatī-- its --of the six courses-- number again and again. (In the vācya side --in the objective side--,) the kalā-s are to be regarded as 5 (while the number of) tattva-s is 36 indeed||198||

(The next course) is to be considered to be (consisting of) 224 worlds. (And) here --in the vācaka or subjective side-- (there are) 81 pada-s --lit. words-- (and also) a group of 50 varṇa-s --lit. letters-- is mentioned||199||

(And) the mantra-s are regarded as 11. Thus, this (is) the circle of the (six) courses. When he --the initiated one-- attains Purity, the initiated one obtains Liberation||200||

The Kṣemarāja's commentary on these stanzas is surprisingly very short, only he knows why. Besides, Kṣemarāja usually writes in his Svacchandoddyota (the great commentary on Svacchandatantra) the number of the last stanza being commented in a group of stanzas (in this case 200), but he comments on them all always, of course. One would expect in this case something like this at the end of the commentary:||198-200||, but unfortunately it is not happening. OK, now his extremely short commentary:

Purity (in this context) is said to be 'the revelation of Paramaśiva' to him --to the initiated one--||200||

Fortunately, Abhinavagupta elucidates ṣaḍadhvā in the chapters 11 and 12 of his celebrated Tantrāloka. Yes, it is a massive and abstruse elucidation really but elucidation anyway.

And now, regarding the four eggs or enclosures, this topic is mentioned by Abhinavagupta in his Paramārthasāra (stanza 4). I gave full explanation under that stanza, of course. So, I do not need to write a long explanation here.

 (Though) the two (eggs called Pṛthivī and Prakṛti) (are) separate, they are not counted separately, one by one. The first (egg) --Pṛthivī egg-- is pervaded by the Dhārikā(kalā). In that (egg), (only) one tattva or category --i.e. tattva or category 36-- is acknowledged --viz. Pṛthivī or earth, the lowest gross element--. With reference to the (group of) word, letter and mantra, one should think of (them) separately, one by one, as being the "kṣa" letter, (which also takes the form of the 'kṣa' word --pada-- and the 'kṣa' mantra). It should be known that sixteen worlds —from the world (called) Kālāgni up to Vīrabhadra (are present in this Pṛthivī egg. This) is said to be the Sixfold Course --or Six Courses--. The second (egg) --Prakṛti egg-- (is pervaded) by the Āpyāyinī(kalā). There --in this egg--, one perceives twenty-three peaceful tattva-s --categories--, the same number of letters beginning with 'ṭa' --i.e. 23 letters--, five words, five mantra-s and fifty-six bhuvana-s or worlds||50-53||

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It is good to have the Tattvic Chart at hand in order to follow my explanation:

The scope of the Pṛthivī egg is only one tattva: Pṛthivītattva (category 36). It is pervaded by the Dhārikākalā (in my opinion, this is another name for the Nivṛttikalā). Not only there is 1 tattva here but also 1 pada (lit. word), 1 varṇa (lit. letter) and 1 mantra, and all of them are only 'kṣa'. Remember that the total number of pada-s, varṇa-s and mantra-s is 81, 50 and 11, according to Svacchandatantra. According to Mālinīvijayottaratantra, there are then 16 bhuvana-s or worlds (from Kālāgni --the lowest world existing at the end of the fire of time-- up to Vīrabhadra --the highest one in this egg--. According to Svacchandatantra, there are 224 worlds, but according to Mālinīvijayottaratantra (and Abhinavagupta, the great admirer of Mālinīvijayottaratantra), there are 118 worlds. The six realities of kalā, tattva, bhuvana, varṇa, mantra and pada as a whole are the mysterious ṣaḍadhvā (Six Courses).

The scope of the Prakṛti egg is 23 tattva-s: From Āpastattva (category 35) up to Prakṛtitattva (category 13). It is pervaded by the Āpyāyinīkalā (in my opinion, this is another name for the Pratiṣṭhākalā). One perceives here, not only 23 tattva-s but also 23 varṇa-s beginning with 'ṭa', 5 pada-s, 5 mantra-s and 56 bhuvana-s. At the end of the current chapter (chapter 2), I will place a chart summarizing all these important teachings about these four eggs of Brahmā.


 Stanzas 54 to 60

In the third (egg) --Māyā egg-- (pervaded) by Bodhinī(kalā) there are seven tattva-s or categories and twenty-eight --lit. four times that, i.e. four times seven-- worlds, (together with) seven letters (plus) two words and two mantra-s --lit. a couple of two--||54||

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The scope of the Māyā egg is 7 tattva-s: From Puruṣatattva (category 12) up to Māyātattva (category 6). It is pervaded by the Bodhinīkalā (in my opinion, this is another name for the Vidyākalā). One detects here not only 7 tattva-s but also 28 bhuvana-s, 7 varṇa-s, 2 pada-s and 2 mantra-s.

 The fourth (egg) --Śakti egg-- (is pervaded) by Utpūyinī(kalā). There, (the sages) observe a triad of tattva-s or categories. (Likewise, there) one perceives three letters, one mantra and one word. (In addition,) one notices (there) (the presence of) eighteen worlds, succinctly speaking.

(Finally, beyond all eggs, there is) the Śivatattva --category 1--, which is supremely peaceful. The Avakāśadākalā (dwells) in Him. (There) one perceives a group of sixteen vowels, one mantra and one word.

Thus, the Sixfold Course --or the Six Courses-- has been concisely mentioned||55-57||

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The scope of the Śakti egg is 3 tattva-s: From Sadvidyātattva (category 5) up to Sadāśivatattva (category 3). It is pervaded by the Utpūyinīkalā (in my opinion, this is another name for the Śāntikalā). Here, one observes no only 3 tattva-s but also 3 varṇa-s, 1 mantra, 1 pada and 18 bhuvana-s.

And beyond all the four Brahmā's eggs lies the Great Lord of all which is totally peaceful (not agitated by objectivity, impressions and subjectivity). There is 1 tattva here (because Śaktitattva is only an expansion of Śivatattva and not a real separate tattva). Anyway, in order to study the Supreme Lord and His Supreme Power, both of them are separated to simplify the process of teaching and learning. This Śivatattva is pervaded by the Avakāśadākalā (in my opinion, this is another name for the Śāntyatītākalā). Apart from 1 tattva, one perceives here 16 varṇa-s (16 vowels in this case), 1 mantra and 1 word. There is no bhuvana here.

 As all the pure and impure universe originates from the eggs of Brahmā, therefore all of it --pure and impure universe-- (is) pure (since it) is impelled by these pure eggs of Brahmā||58||

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The pure universe contains the tattva-s 3 to 5, while the rest of tattva-s (from 6 to 36) is the impure universe. Pure and impure here are not moral-related but unity-related. So, pure means 'with unity' while impure means 'without unity'. In the end, since all these four eggs of Brahmā are pure as they consist of the 4 Kalā-s --4 aspects of the Supreme Power of Śiva-- (Śāntikalā, Vidyākalā, Pratiṣṭhākalā and Nivṛttikalā), then even the impure universe is pure as it is impelled (displayed and kept into view) by such eggs.

 Oh virtuous One!, the peaceful group of four lords (residing) in these eggs separately —viz. 'Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Rudra and Īśvara'— should be known||59||

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Four lords are the rulers of these eggs. The Pṛthivī egg is ruled by Brahmā, the Prakṛti egg is ruled by Viṣṇu, the Māyā egg is ruled by Rudra and the Śakti egg is ruled by Īśvara. These four lords are mentioned and briefly explained by Abhinavagupta in the sixth chapter of his Tantrasāra.

 A lord (in the aforesaid group of four) --lit. he-- is said to be above another lord --lit. above him-- who is superior in good qualities with regard to that lord --lit. is superior in good qualities with regard to whom--. All this has been spoken to You --i.e. I have said to You all this which is so important--. What other thing do you (want to) ask about?||60||

Here ends the second chapter dealing with 'pervasion' in venerable Mālinīvijayottaratantra ||2||

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Viṣṇu is superior to Brahmā, Rudra is superior to Viṣṇu and Īśvara is superior to Rudra, by following the rule that 'the higher the more superior'. Now a chart showing synthetically the teaching about the eggs of Brahmā (though Viṣṇu, Rudra and Īśvara are the presiding deities of the three last eggs, all these four eggs are collectively called 'eggs of Brahmā'):

Chart 6: The four eggs or enclosures
(lit. letters)
(lit. words)
(lit. worlds)
1 Pṛthivyaṇḍa
(Pṛthivī egg)
(category 36)
Brahmā 1 1 1 Dhārikākalā
1 16
2 Prakṛtyaṇḍa
(Prakṛti egg)
From Āpastattva (category 35) up to Prakṛtitattva (category 13) Viṣṇu 23 5 5 Āpyāyinīkalā
23 56
3 Māyāṇḍa
(Māyā egg)
From Puruṣatattva (category 12) up to Māyātattva (category 6) Rudra 7 2 2 Bodhinīkalā
7 28
4 Śaktyaṇḍa
(Śakti egg)
From Sadvidyātattva (category 5) up to Sadāśivatattva (category 3) Īśvara 3 1 1 Utpūyinīkalā
3 18
5 Śivatattva
(Śiva category)
Category 1
(which includes the category 2 too)
Śiva 16 1 1 Avakāśadākalā
1 0
Totals according to Mālinīvijayottaratantra 50 10 10 35 118
Totals according to Svacchandatantra 50 11 81 36 224

After this synthetic chart, the things look much clearer for sure.

And in this way ends the second chapter dealing with 'vyāpti' or 'pervasion' in Mālinīvijayottaratantra. May there be welfare for all the real devotees of the Great Śiva!


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Gabriel Pradīpaka

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