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Tantrasāra (Tantrasara): Chapter 16
Parokṣadīkṣāprakāśanam - Explaining the mysterious initiation [or initiation of the absent one]
This is the sixteenth chapter (called Parokṣadīkṣāprakāśanam).
This work was written by the great Master Abhinavagupta and is a summary of Tantrāloka. Tantrāloka is the most important and voluminous work of the greatest Trika Master. Abhinavagupta was also the teacher of eminent Kṣemarāja and lived about 975-1025 AD in Kashmir.
This treatise whose name is Tantrasāra is a summarized encyclopedia of Tantra. Since it is a very advanced text in Trika Shaivism, there is no surprise if a neophyte finds it difficult to understand. To start to understand it, the level of the reader must be the one of a real disciple in Trika Shaivism. If this requirement is not met, then there will be a lot of confusion and constant disappointment. Because in spite of my great efforts to explain the things so easily as possible, to study this treatise requires some spiritual caliber. In this system, sometimes it is not possible even to write about certain topics due to the extreme limitation of the words. Because in the end, all this knowledge has to do with 'states', and it is extremely difficult to write about 'states' in a precise way. Abhinavagupta has done his best to accomplish this formidable task of writing about what is superior and intangible. Anyway, despite his incredible skills to carry out this, he is not revealing everything. It is not because he is all the time hiding things from the reader, but because he is sometimes hiding and on other occasions he just cannot write about some extremely subtle topics because of the limitation of the words.
Goal of life is Liberation. Man has searched for freedom always in human history, but according to Trika Shaivism that is not real Liberation. Real Liberation does not mean that your body should be free from some prison and things like that. Real Liberation amounts to attaining His Svātantrya or Absolute Freedom. When the Great Lord's Svātantrya is achieved, then you see unity in all the things, i.e. you stop seeing duality as before. All is forever identified with Svātantrya, with Him, and that is the end of the story called 'you in bondage'. From this point on nothing will get in your way, because if something apparently gets in your way, that is Svātantrya again. This constant awareness of unity in all is real Freedom. There is no other attainment greater than this!
Keeping the above in mind, now read Tantrasāra and experience Supreme Delight, dear Śiva.
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.
अथ परोक्षस्य दीक्षा द्विविधश्च सः - मृतो जीवंश्च। तत्र कृतगुरुसेव एव मृत उद्वासितो वाभिचारादिहतो डिम्बाहतो मृत्युक्षणोदिततथारुचिर्मुखान्तरायातशक्तिपातो वा तथा दीक्ष्य इत्याज्ञा। अत्र च मृतदीक्षायामधिवासादि नोपयुज्यते। मण्डले मन्त्रविशेषसन्निधये यत्र बहुला क्रिया उत्तममुपकरणं पुष्पादि स्थानं पीठादि मण्डलं त्रिशूलाब्जादि आकृतिर्ध्येयविशेषो मन्त्रः स्वयं दीप्तश्च ध्यानपरस्य योगिनस्तदेकभक्तिसमावेशशालिनो ज्ञानिनश्च सम्बन्ध इत्येते सन्निधानहेतवो यथोत्तरमुक्ताः। समुदितत्वे तु का कथा स्यात् - इति परमेश्वरेणोक्तम्। ततो देवं पूजयित्वा तदाकृतिं कुशादिमयीमग्रे स्थापयित्वा गुर्वासादितज्ञानोपदेशक्रमेण तां पश्येत्स च
मूलाधारादुदेत्य प्रसृतसुविततानन्तनाड्यध्वदण्डं वीर्येणाक्रम्य नासागगनपरिगतं विक्षिपन्व्याप्तुमीष्टे।
यावद्धूमाभिरामप्रचिततरशिखाजालकेनाध्वचक्रं सञ्छाद्याभीष्टजीवानयनमिति महाजालनामा प्रयोगः॥
एतेनाच्छादनीयं व्रजति परवशं सम्मुखीनत्वमादौ पश्चादानीयते चेत्सकलमथ ततोऽप्यध्वमध्याद्यथेष्टम्।
आकृष्टावुद्धृतौ वा मृतजनविषये कर्षणीयेऽथ जीवे योगः श्रीशम्भुनाथागमपरिगमितो जालनामा मयोक्तः॥
बहिरपीत्थं कथं न भवत्याकर्षणादौ विनाभ्यासादिति चेत् - रागद्वेषादियोगवशेन तत्प्रवृत्तावैश्वर्यावेशायोगात्। ततो नियतिनियन्त्रितत्वादभ्यासाद्यपेक्षा स्यादेव। इह त्वनुग्रहात्मकपरमेश्वरतावेशात्तथाभावः। परमेश्वर एव हि गुरुशरीराधिष्ठानद्वारेणानुग्राह्याननुगृह्णाति। स चाचिन्त्यमहिमेत्युक्तप्रायम्। एवं जालप्रयोगाकृष्टो जीवो दार्भं जातीफलादि वा शरीरं समाविष्टो भवति न च स्पन्दते - मनःप्रणादिसामग्र्यभावात्तदनुध्यानबलात्तु स्पन्दतेऽपि तादृशेऽपि तस्मिन्पूर्ववत्प्रोक्षणादिसंस्कारः पूर्णाहुतियोजनिकान्तः। अत्र परं पूर्णाहुत्या तस्य दार्भाद्याकारस्य परतेजसि लयः कर्तव्यः। एवमुद्धृतोऽसौ पूर्णाहुत्यैवापवृज्यते - यदि स्वर्नरकप्रेततिर्यक्षु स्थितः। मनुष्यस्तु तदैव ज्ञानं योगं दीक्षां विवेकं वा लभते - अधिकारिशरीरत्वादिति मृतोद्धरणम्। जीवतोऽपि परोक्षस्योत्पन्ने शक्तिपातेऽयमेव क्रमो दार्भाकृतिकल्पनजीवाकृष्टिवर्जम्। ध्यानमात्रोपस्थापितस्यैवास्य संस्कारः। दीक्षा च भोगमोक्षोभयदायिनी - स्ववासनाबलीयस्त्वाद्भोगवासनाविच्छेदस्य चासम्भाव्यमानत्वाद्बहुभिर्दीक्षायामूर्ध्वशासनसंस्कारो बलवानन्यस्तु तत्संस्काराय स्यात्। परोक्षस्यापि दीक्षितस्य तथैव ज्ञानाद्याविर्भाव इति।
परोक्षमभिसन्धाय दीक्षितेति किमद्भुतम्॥
Atha parokṣasya dīkṣā dvividhaśca saḥ - Mṛto jīvaṁśca| Tatra kṛtaguruseva eva mṛta udvāsito vābhicārādihato ḍimbāhato mṛtyukṣaṇoditatathārucirmukhāntarāyātaśaktipāto vā tathā dīkṣya ityājñā| Atra ca mṛtadīkṣāyāmadhivāsādi nopayujyate| Maṇḍale mantraviśeṣasannidhaye yatra bahulā kriyā uttamamupakaraṇaṁ puṣpādi sthānaṁ pīṭhādi maṇḍalaṁ triśūlābjādi ākṛtirdhyeyaviśeṣo mantraḥ svayaṁ dīptaśca dhyānaparasya yoginastadekabhaktisamāveśaśālino jñāninaśca sambandha ityete sannidhānahetavo yathottaramuktāḥ| Samuditatve tu kā kathā syāt - Iti parameśvareṇoktam| Tato devaṁ pūjayitvā tadākṛtiṁ kuśādimayīmagre sthāpayitvā gurvāsāditajñānopadeśakrameṇa tāṁ paśyetsa ca
Mūlādhārādudetya prasṛtasuvitatānantanāḍyadhvadaṇḍaṁ vīryeṇākramya nāsāgaganaparigataṁ vikṣipanvyāptumīṣṭe|
Yāvaddhūmābhirāmapracitataraśikhājālakenādhvacakraṁ sañchādyābhīṣṭajīvānayanamiti mahājālanāmā prayogaḥ||
Etenācchādanīyaṁ vrajati paravaśaṁ sammukhīnatvamādau paścādānīyate cetsakalamatha tato'pyadhvamadhyādyatheṣṭam|
Ākṛṣṭāvuddhṛtau vā mṛtajanaviṣaye karṣaṇīye'tha jīve yogaḥ śrīśambhunāthāgamaparigamito jālanāmā mayoktaḥ||
Bahirapītthaṁ kathaṁ na bhavatyākarṣaṇādau vinābhyāsāditi cet - Rāgadveṣādiyogavaśena tatpravṛttāvaiśvaryāveśāyogāt| Tato niyatiniyantritatvādabhyāsādyapekṣā syādeva| Iha tvanugrahātmakaparameśvaratāveśāttathābhāvaḥ| Parameśvara eva hi guruśarīrādhiṣṭhānadvāreṇānugrāhyānanugṛhṇāti| Sa cācintyamahimetyuktaprāyam| Evaṁ jālaprayogākṛṣṭo jīvo dārbhaṁ jātīphalādi vā śarīraṁ samāviṣṭo bhavati na ca spandate - Manaḥpraṇādisāmagryabhāvāttadanudhyānabalāttu spandate'pi tādṛśe'pi tasminpūrvavatprokṣaṇādisaṁskāraḥ pūrṇāhutiyojanikāntaḥ| Atra paraṁ pūrṇāhutyā tasya dārbhādyākārasya paratejasi layaḥ kartavyaḥ| Evamuddhṛto'sau pūrṇāhutyaivāpavṛjyate - Yadi svarnarakapretatiryakṣu sthitaḥ| Manuṣyastu tadaiva jñānaṁ yogaṁ dīkṣāṁ vivekaṁ vā labhate - Adhikāriśarīratvāditi mṛtoddharaṇam| Jīvato'pi parokṣasyotpanne śaktipāte'yameva kramo dārbhākṛtikalpanajīvākṛṣṭivarjam| Dhyānamātropasthāpitasyaivāsya saṁskāraḥ| Dīkṣā ca bhogamokṣobhayadāyinī - Svavāsanābalīyastvādbhogavāsanāvicchedasya cāsambhāvyamānatvādbahubhirdīkṣāyāmūrdhvaśāsanasaṁskāro balavānanyastu tatsaṁskārāya syāt| Parokṣasyāpi dīkṣitasya tathaiva jñānādyāvirbhāva iti|
Parokṣamabhisandhāya dīkṣiteti kimadbhutam||
Essence of Tantra (tantra-sāraḥ)
Sixteenth (ṣodaśam) chapter (āhnikam)
And now (atha) the initiation (dīkṣā) of the absent one (parokṣasya). (In this type of initiation,) he --i.e. the disciple-- (saḥ) assumes to kinds (dvi-vidhaḥ ca): Dead (mṛtaḥ) and (ca) alive (jīvan)|
There (tatra), he --i.e. the disciple-- is thus (entitled) to receive initiation (tathā dīkṣyaḥ) who died (mṛtaḥ) while doing service for (his) Guru (kṛta-guru-sevaḥ eva), or (vā) who has been banished (udvāsitaḥ), (or) who was killed by incantation, etc. (abhicāra-ādi-hataḥ), (or) who was killed when he was a child (ḍimba-āhataḥ), (or) if the desire of (receiving initiation) arises in him at the moment of dying (mṛtyu-kṣaṇa-udita-tathā-ruciḥ), or (vā) if (such a disciple) has obtained the descent of Power by some other means (mukha-antara-āyāta-śaktipātaḥ). This is the command (of the Supreme Lord) (iti ājñā)|
And (ca) here --in this context-- (atra), with reference to the initiation of a dead (disciple) (mṛta-dīkṣāyām), the consecration, etc. (adhivāsa-ādi) is not applicable (na upayujyate)|
In the maṇḍala (maṇḍale) where (yatra), for the nearness of a particular Mantra (mantra-viśeṣa-sannidhaye), (there are) numerous ritualistic activities (bahulā kriyā), (there should also be, as a complement,) the best (uttamam) materials (upakaraṇam) (such as) flowers, etc. (puṣpa-ādi), a place (sthānam) (such as) the seats, etc. (pīṭha-ādi), a circle (maṇḍalam) (such as) the trident with a lotus, etc. (triśūla-abja-ādi), a form (ākṛtiḥ) (such as) a special object of meditation (dhyeya-viśeṣaḥ), (and) the luminous (dīptaḥ) Mantra (mantraḥ) itself (svayam). (And there should also be) a connection (sambandhaḥ) with a yogī dedicated to meditation (dhyāna-parasya yoginaḥ) and (ca) with a jñānī (jñāninaḥ) full of an absorption into a devotion to That (tad-eka-bhakti-samāveśa-śālinaḥ). Thus (iti), these (things) (ete) are said to be (uktāḥ), in regular order (yathā-uttaram), the causes of the nearness (of the Mantra) (sannidhāna-hetavaḥ)|
If all those things are present together (samuditatve tu), what (else) can be said (kā kathā syāt)? — (That) has been thus declared (iti... uktam) by the Supreme Lord (parama-īśvareṇa)|
Then (tatas), after worshiping (pūjayitvā) God (devam), (the Guru) has to place (sthāpayitvā) in front (agre) his form --i.e. the form of the disciple-- (tad-ākṛtim) made of Kuśa --a particular kind of grass--, etc. (kuśa-ādi-mayīm); (next,) he should behold (paśyet) it --i.e. the form of the disciple-- (tām) according to the method of teachings and knowledge obtained from (his own) Guru (guru-āsādita-jñāna-upadeśa-krameṇa). And (ca) he --viz. the Guru-- (saḥ):
"After rising up (udetya) from Mūlādhāra (mūlādhārāt), (the Guru) should, by (his) power, grab hold (vīryeṇaākramya) of the shaft in which the courses of innumerable subtle channels are well spread and manifested (prasṛta-suvitata-ananta-nāḍī-adhva-daṇḍam); (next,) when the shaft has reached the ether of the nose (nāsā-gagana-parigatam), (the Guru) is able (īṣṭe) to penetrate (vyāptum) by throwing (it) --viz. by throwing the shaft-- (vikṣipan) until (yāvat) he covers (sañchādya) the group of (six) courses or path (adhva-cakram) with a net of flames which are beautiful as they are well engulfed by smoke (dhūma-abhirāma-pracitatara-śikhā-jālakena), which brings the desired soul near (abhīṣṭa-jīva-ānayanam). This is the device (iti... prayogaḥ) called great net (mahā-jāla-nāmā)||"
"At first (ādau) (all that) has been covered (ācchādanīyam) by this (great net) (etena) comes --lit. goes-- (vrajati) appears in front (of the Guru) (sammukhīnatvam) obediently --lit. under the influence of another-- (para-vaśam). Afterward (paścāt), although (ced) all (sakalam atha) has been brought close (to the Guru) (ānīyate), even (api) then (tatas) (he will find his disciple) such as he desired (yathā-iṣṭam) in the middle of the (six) courses (adhva-madhyāt). The Yoga (yogaḥ) with reference to the attraction (ākṛṣṭau) or (vā) extraction (uddhṛtau) in the case of a dead person (mṛta-jana-viṣaye), or else (atha) with reference to a living person being drawn or pulled (karṣaṇīye... jīve), called jāla or net (jāla-nāmā), has been declared (here) (uktaḥ) by me (mayā) as learnt from revealed scriptures and venerable Śambhunātha --the Kulaguru of Abhinavagupta-- (śrī-śambhunātha-āgama-parigamitaḥ)"||
If it be argued that (iti ced): How --or "why"-- (katham) is it not (na bhavati) in this way (ittham) even (api) outside (bahis)? (Because) there is no (vinā) practice (abhyāsāt) in attracting, etc. (ākarṣaṇa-ādau)? — (The answer is:) When there is an inclination to that (tat-pravṛttau), the absorption into the Lord might be impossible (aiśvarya-āveśa-ayogāt) on account of attachment, aversion, etc. (rāga-dveṣa-ādi-yoga-vaśena)|
For that reason (tatas), (there is) certainly a dependence on practice, etc. (abhyāsa-ādi-apekṣā syāt eva) due to the restriction by Niyati (niyati-niyantritatvāt)|
But (tu) here (iha), (there is) accomplishment --i.e. such an initiation of the absent one can be successful-- (tathābhāvaḥ) because of an absorption into the Supreme Lordship consisting of Grace (anugraha-ātmaka-parama-īśvaratā-āveśāt)|
Undoubtedly (hi), the Supreme Lord Himself (parama-īśvaraḥ eva), by presiding over the body of the Guru (guru-śarīra-adhiṣṭhāna-dvāreṇa), bestows Grace (anugṛhṇāti) on the ones who are fit to receive it (anugrāhyān)|
And (ca), as has been mostly said (ukta-prāyam), He (saḥ) (is) "Inconceivable Greatness" (acintya-mahimā iti)|
Thus (evam), the soul (jīvaḥ) which has been drawn/pulled/attracted by the device of the net (jāla-prayoga-ākṛṣṭaḥ) enters (samāviṣṭaḥ bhavati) into the body (śarīram) (of the disciple made of) Kuśa (dārbham) or (vā) into a fruit of a jātī --two possibilities "jasminum grandiflorum" or "nutmeg"--, etc. (jātī-phala-ādi). But (ca) it does not (na) vibrate --or also "move"-- (spandate) — (Why?) Because of the absence of the complete collection of mind, vital energy and so on (manas-praṇa-ādi-sāmagrī-abhāvāt). But (tu) by force of meditation on it --on this soul-- (tad-anudhyāna-balāt), it even vibrates --or "moves"-- (spandate api). Though it is like that (tādṛśe api tasmin), the ritual of the consecration by sprinkling (water), etc. (prokṣaṇa-ādi-saṁskāraḥ) which ends in the yojanikā with the full oblation --for joining the disciple with the desired state-- (pūrṇa-āhuti-yojanikā-antaḥ) (must be performed) as before (pūrva-vat)|
Henceforward (atra param), there must be (kartavyaḥ), by means of the full oblation (pūrṇa-āhutyā), a dissolution (layaḥ) of that form made out of Kuśa, etc. (tasya dārbha-ādi-ākārasya) in the Highest Light (para-tejasi)|
In this way (evam), he (asau) becomes liberated (apavṛjyate) through the full oblation indeed (pūrṇa-āhutyā eva) who has been extracted --i.e. drawn out-- (uddhṛtaḥ), whether (yadi) he was --lit. he is-- (sthitaḥ) in heaven, in hell, in (the world of) the spirits or in (the world of) the animals (svar-naraka-preta-tiryakṣu)|
But (tu) (if he is) a human being --i.e. if such a soul of the disciple took a human body in his next life-- (manuṣyaḥ), then (tadā eva) he obtains (labhate) Knowledge (jñānam), Yoga (yogam), initiation (dīkṣām) or (vā) discernment (vivekam) — (Why?) Because (the disciple in that case possesses) a body that is entitled (for that) (adhikāri-śarīratvāt). This is the extraction of the dead (iti mṛta-uddharaṇam)|
This (ayam eva) (is) the method (kramaḥ) when there is a descent of Power (utpanne śakti-pāte) in the case of someone who is alive but absent (jīvataḥ api parokṣasya): There is no attraction of the soul through the making of a form made up of Kuśa (dārbha-ākṛti-kalpana-jīva-ākṛṣṭi-varjam)|
(That is) the (purificatory) ritual (saṁskāraḥ) of the one who has been brought near only through meditation (dhyāna-mātra-upasthāpitasya eva asya)|
And (ca) initiation (dīkṣā) (is) giver of both enjoyment and Liberation (bhoga-mokṣa-ubhaya-dāyinī) — (Why?) Because of the preeminence in strength of one's own vāsanā-s --i.e. tendencies-- (sva-vāsanā-balīyastvāt) and (ca) because the cessation of the vāsanā-s of enjoyment is impossible (bhogavāsanā-vicchedasya... asambhāvyamānatvāt). In the initiation (dīkṣāyām) by many --i.e. by more than one Guru-- (bahubhiḥ), the saṁskāra of an elevated doctrine --i.e. the impression left by the act of reading an elevated scripture-- (ūrdhva-śāsana-saṁskāraḥ) (is) strong (balavān), but (tu) the other --i.e. the other saṁskāra as a purificatory ritual-- (anyaḥ) is (syāt) for the purification of that --i.e. for the purification of that impression created by the act of reading an elevated scripture-- (tad-saṁskārāya) --Abhinavagupta is very confusing here, I did my best by translating the word saṁskāra as both "impression" and "purificatory ritual" accordingly--|
The manifestation of Knowledge, etc. (jñāna-ādya-āvirbhāvaḥ) in the case of the absent (disciple) who has been initiated (parokṣasya api dīkṣitasya) (occurs) in the same way (as in the case of the present one) (tathā eva... iti)|
"What (kim) a wonder (adbhutam) (that), by a firm absorption into the Supreme Lordship (parama-īśvaratā-āveśa-dārḍhyāt), the Guru who enjoys Absolute Freedom --i.e. the Free Guru-- (svātantrya-bhāk-guruḥ) initiates --"dīkṣita" is a variation of the most usual conjugation "dīkṣate"-- (dīkṣita iti) an absent (disciple) (parokṣam) by (merely) aiming (at him) (abhisandhāya)!"||
TRANSLATION IS COMPLETELY FINISHED BUT THERE IS NO POLISHING YET
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