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 Mālinīvijayottaratantra (Malini Vijaya Uttara Tantra) - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir

Tantra dealing with the victory of UttaraMālinī


Mālinīvijayottaratantra is, according to the great Master Abhinavagupta, the most important Tantra out of the 64 non-dualistic Tantra-s (Bhairavatantra-s) which the Trika system is based on. The story of how these 64 non-dualistic Tantra-s were manifested by the Great Lord Śiva is a long and complex one. I describe this story in a synthetic way on the Blog: Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir - Origin. Out of the other 63 Bhairavatantra-s, there are 10 which are specially worshiped: (1) Vijñānabhairava; (2) Svacchanda; (3) Rudrayāmala; (4) Mṛgendra; (5) Mataṅga; (6) Ucchuṣmabhairava; (7) Svāyambhuva; (8) Ānandabhairava; (9) Naiśvāsa and (10) Netra (also known as "Mṛtyuñjit"). Anyway, the most important ones among these eleven Tantra-s are just 5:

Mālinīvijaya or Mālinīvijayottara

This is the most important and authoritative Tantra according to Trika tradition. The word "Mālinī" refers to a particular arrangement of the letters in the alphabet, in which the vowels and the consonants are mixed (promiscuous arrangement). When the letters of Sanskrit alphabet are given in a regular order (Vowels, Gutturals, Palatals, Cerebrals, Dentals, Labials, Semivowels, Sibilants and Sonant Aspirate), this arrangement is known as Mātṛkā or Pūrvamālinī or Siddhā. In turn, when the same letters are shown in an irregular order, this arrangement is known as Mālinī or Uttaramālinī. On the one hand, Mātṛkā has to do with the manifestation of the universe from Śiva down to the earth element (the last category). On the other hand, Mālinī has to do with the evolution from the human soul from the lowest category up to the highest one, i.e. up to Śiva Himself. Hence the importance of Mātṛkā to understand the process of universal manifestation, and hence the importance of Mālinī to understand the process of Liberation or realization of one's own essential nature which is Śiva.

Here you have the Mālinī arrangement (the Mātṛkā arrangement is frequently seen in the orthodox/non-promiscuous form of the Sanskrit alphabet):

न ऋ ॠ ऌ ॡ थ च ध ई ण उ ऊ ब क ख ग
घ ङ इ अ व भ य ड ढ ठ झ ञ ज र ट प छ ल
आ स अः ह ष क्ष म श अं त ए ऐ ओ औ द फ
na ṛ ṝ ḷ ḹ tha ca dha ī ṇa u ū ba ka kha ga
gha ṅa i a va bha ya ḍa ḍha ṭha jha ña ja ra ṭa pa cha la
ā sa aḥ ha ṣa kṣa ma śa aṁ ta e ai o au da pha

It is lastly a compendium of 112 dhāraṇā-s or techniques to concentrate one's own mind. It is very important. Abhinavagupta (a great Trika master) called it "Śivavijñānopaniṣad" (The esoteric doctrine for the direct knowledge of Śiva). Through those dhāraṇā-s, you come in touch directly with Śiva, and no other ritual is necessary then. It is a Tantra really abstruse and full of deep esoteric meanings. You will find some stanzas extracted from Vijñānabhairava in the documents under Trika section.

Anyway, this scripture is not considered to be real Tantra, but a portion of holy Rudrayāmalatantra.


A long scripture. Ritual is emphasized as well as yogic techniques and Praṇava (Om̐). The celebrated division into twelve stages of the evolution of Om̐ in oneself has been taught here. Om̐ is originally Aum̐. When you repeat Aum̐, your mind should be concentrated on the following three places: (1) "a" in the navel; (2) "u" in the heart; and (3) "ṁ" in the mouth. The remaining 9 stages occur spontaneously while Aum̐ goes up to the highest level. Nevertheless, at the beginning of your practice with Praṇava (Aum̐), you do not realize them. As you begin realizing those 9 stages (one by one), your consciousness is gradually raised toward higher levels: (4) "Bindu" --a brilliant point of light-- in the middle of the eyebrows; (5) "Ardhacandra" --a half-moon-- in the forehead; (6) "Nirodhikā" or "Nirodhinī" --a straight line-- in the upper area of the forehead; (7) "Nāda" or "Anāhatanāda" --a unstruck spontaneous sound-- in the central channel or passage --Suṣumnā-- situated within the spinal column; (8) "Nādānta" in Sahasrāra (in Brahmarandhra) --the highest Cakra or Center of energy placed slightly above the crown of the head--; (9) "Śakti" in the skin; (10) "Vyāpikā or Vyāpinī" at the root of the tuft of hair (śikhā) on the head; (11) "Samanā" in the tuft of hair (śikhā) on the head; and (12) "Unmanā" in the last part of the tuft of hair (śikhā) on the head.

Apart from this, another important topic dealt with in this Tantra is 'The six courses' (Ṣaḍadhvā).


A very important text in which the divine pair (yāmala) of Rudra-s (Śiva and Śakti) is studied. It is said that the celebrated text known as Parātrīśikā forms the last part of Rudrayāmala. Abhinavagupta (the great master in Trika tradition) wrote two commentaries on Parātrīśikā called Parātrīśikāvivaraṇa and Parātrīśikālaghuvṛtti respectively. Parātrīśikā is also known as Trikasūtra, because the principal teachings of the Trika system are expounded in it.

Besides, as I mentioned before, Vijñānabhairavatantra is said to be included in this Tantra too.

Netra or Mṛtyuñjit

This Tantra studies a particular form of Śiva known as "Netra" (the Eye). This Netra is Mṛtyujit (the Conqueror of Death). Hence Netratantra is also called "Mṛtyujit". Another way to understand the term 'Netra' is, as sage Kṣemarāja explained it, 'the One which protects the restrained ones/the limited beings'.

Innumerable "mantric" techniques and names of godheads may be found in this work. The sacred Mantra Om̐ Juṁ Saḥ is also taught here.

So, Mālinīvijayottaratantra is had in high esteem in Trika Shaivism, and according to Abhinavagupta (the greatest Trika Master), it is the most important Tantra. All in all, Mālinīvijayottaratantra is the Core of the teachings of Trika Shaivism. Hence the importance of my translation and explanation. Additionally, Abhinavagupta has elucidated many obscure points present in Mālinīvijayottaratantra in his own Tantrāloka (his most important work). Though I cannot include massive notes of explanation (kind of mini Tantrāloka) here due to the big number of stanzas, I will try to explain all I can during my translation. To translate this Mālinīvijayottaratantra is an indispensable step I have to take in my mission of spreading the Trika Shaivism knowledge so much as I can.

In the process of translating this venerable Trika scripture, I am forced to read other scriptures in order to check different interpretations and such, all of which reduces my speed, obviously. At the time of my starting to translate this Tantra, I could not find any serious translation of every stanza. I only found explanations of isolated stanzas. So, my work is kind of pioneering in this. Finally, despite my striving for presenting a very accurate translation, the complexity of the topics and the cryptic teachings expressed by the Great Lord Śiva can very easily create some trouble in the case of any translator, in my opinion. All my translations are always for Him and Him alone. People are just eating the crumbs falling off His table of divine Knowledge. This being so, although I strive always very hard to offer Him the best I can do, I can make mistakes. So, if some scholar discovers some error on my part, he is welcome to contact me for extra clarification.

And do not worry about the story behind this Tantra as it is told in the first stanzas of the scripture itself. Let the sacred Mālinīvijayottaratantra begin!Start reading! 


 Further Information

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.

For further information about Sanskrit, Yoga and Indian Philosophy; or if you simply want to comment, ask a question or correct a mistake, feel free to contact us: This is our e-mail address.

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