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Tantrasāra (Tantrasara): Chapter 2
Anupāyaprakāśanam - Explaining Anupāya [devoid of means]
This is the second chapter (called Anupāyaprakāśanam).
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.
अथानुपायमेव तावद्व्याख्यास्यामः। यदा खलु दृढशक्तिपाताविद्धः स्वयमेवेत्थं विवेचयति सकृदेव गुरुवचनमवधार्य तदा पुनरुपायविरहितो नित्योदितोऽस्य समावेशः। अत्र च तर्क एव योगाङ्गमिति कथं विवेचयतीति चेदुच्यते - योऽयं परमेश्वरः स्वप्रकाशरूपः स्वात्मा तत्र किमुपायेन क्रियते न स्वरूपलाभो नित्यत्वान्न ज्ञप्तिः स्वयम्प्रकाशमानत्वान्नावरणविगम आवरणस्य कस्यचिदप्यसम्भवान्न तदनुप्रवेशोऽनुप्रवेष्टुर्व्यतिरिक्तस्याभावात्। कश्चात्रोपायस्तस्यापि व्यतिरिक्तस्यानुपपत्तेस्तस्मात्समस्तमिदमेकं चिन्मात्रतत्त्वं कालेनाकलितं देशेनापरिच्छिन्नमुपाधिभिरम्लानमाकृतिभिरनियन्त्रितं शब्दैरसन्दिष्टं प्रमाणैरप्रपञ्चितं कालादेः प्रमाणपर्यन्तस्य स्वेच्छयैव स्वरूपलाभनिमित्तं च स्वतन्त्रमानन्दघनं तत्त्वं तदेव चाहम् तत्रैवान्तर्मयि विश्वं प्रतिबिम्बितमेवं दृढं विविञ्चानस्य शश्वदेव पारमेश्वरः समावेशो निरुपायक एव तस्य च न मन्त्रपूजाध्यानचर्यादिनियन्त्रणा काचित्।
उपायजालं न शिवं प्रकाशयेद्घटेन किं भाति सहस्रदीधितिः।
विवेचयन्नित्थमुदारदर्शनः स्वयम्प्रकाशं शिवमाविशेत्क्षणात्॥६॥
Athānupāyameva tāvadvyākhyāsyāmaḥ| Yadā khalu dṛḍhaśaktipātāviddhaḥ svayamevetthaṁ vivecayati sakṛdeva guruvacanamavadhārya tadā punarupāyavirahito nityodito'sya samāveśaḥ| Atra ca tarka eva yogāṅgamiti kathaṁ vivecayatīti ceducyate - Yo'yaṁ parameśvaraḥ svaprakāśarūpaḥ svātmā tatra kimupāyena kriyate na svarūpalābho nityatvānna jñaptiḥ svayamprakāśamānatvānnāvaraṇavigama āvaraṇasya kasyacidapyasambhavānna tadanupraveśo'nupraveṣṭurvyatiriktasyābhāvāt| Kaścātropāyastasyāpi vyatiriktasyānupapattestasmātsamastamidamekaṁ cinmātratattvaṁ kālenākalitaṁ deśenāparicchinnamupādhibhiramlānamākṛtibhiraniyantritaṁ śabdairasandiṣṭaṁ pramāṇairaprapañcitaṁ kālādeḥ pramāṇaparyantasya svecchayaiva svarūpalābhanimittaṁ ca svatantramānandaghanaṁ tattvaṁ tadeva cāham tatraivāntarmayi viśvaṁ pratibimbitamevaṁ dṛḍhaṁ viviñcānasya śaśvadeva pārameśvaraḥ samāveśo nirupāyaka eva tasya ca na mantrapūjādhyānacaryādiniyantraṇā kācit|
Upāyajālaṁ na śivaṁ prakāśayedghaṭena kiṁ bhāti sahasradīdhitiḥ|
Vivecayannitthamudāradarśanaḥ svayamprakāśaṁ śivamāviśetkṣaṇāt||6||
Essence of Tantra (tantra-sāraḥ)
Second (dvitīyam) chapter (āhnikam)
Now (atha), I will at once explain --lit. we will at once explain-- (tāvat vyākhyāsyāmaḥ) Anupāya --lit. devoid of means-- (anupāyam eva)|
When (yadā khalu) someone, firmly penetrated by a descent of Power (dṛḍha-śakti-pāta-āviddhaḥ), discerns (vivecayati) in this way (ittham) by himself (svayam) after listening (avadhārya) the word of (his own) Guru (guru-vacanam) only (eva) once (sakṛd), then (tadā punar) his (asya) always active (nitya-uditaḥ) absorption (samāveśaḥ) is without any means (upāya-virahitaḥ)|
And (ca) here (atra) "only (eva) tarka or reasoning (tarkaḥ) (is) the limb of Yoga (yoga-aṅgam iti)". (Otherwise,) "how (katham) (is it that) he discerns (vivecayati iti)?". If (ced) that is said (ucyate), (this is the answer:) This very (yaḥ ayam) Supreme Lord (parama-īśvaraḥ) (is) the self-luminous (sva-prakāśa-rūpaḥ) one's own Self (sva-ātmā), (then) what (kim) can be accomplished (kriyate) with reference to Him (tatra) through a means (upāyena)? (This which can be accomplished regarding Him through a means) cannot be (na) the attainment of one's own essential nature (sva-rūpa-lābhaḥ) since It --this essential nature-- is eternal (nityatvāt). (And) it cannot be (na) the understanding (that one is Śiva) (jñaptiḥ) since (Śiva) is self-illuminating (svayam-prakāśamānatvāt). It cannot be (na) the destruction of veils (āvaraṇa-vigamaḥ) since there are no veils at all (in Śiva) (āvaraṇasya kasyacid api asambhavāt). (Moreover,) it cannot be (na) the penetration of That --i.e. of Śiva-- (tad-anupraveśaḥ) since there is nobody penetrating who is different and separate (from Him) (anupraveṣṭuḥ vyatiriktasya abhāvāt)|
In this regard (atra), since there is insufficiency of means to prove (the existence) of something being different and separate (from Śiva) (tasya api vyatiriktasya anupapatteḥ), what (kaḥ) (is then) a means (upāyaḥ)? For that reason (tasmāt), this (idam) one (ekam) Whole (samastam) —a Reality or Principle which is only Consciousness (cit-mātra-tattvam)— is not divided (akalitam) by time (kālena), is not split (aparicchinnam) by space (deśena), is not blackened (amlānam) by the upādhi-s --viz. limiting attributes-- (upādhibhiḥ), is not circumscribed (aniyantritam) by the forms (ākṛtibhiḥ), is not indicated (asandiṣṭam) by words (śabdaiḥ), (and) is not unfolded (aprapañcitam) by the means of acquiring Pramā or right knowledge (pramāṇaiḥ). (This Whole is,) in all the principles from Kāla or time down to the instruments of perception (kāla-ādeḥ pramāṇa-paryantasya) (manifested) by Its own Will (sva-icchayā eva), the cause of the attainment of one's own essential nature (sva-rūpa-lābha-nimittam ca). (Such a Whole is) a Reality or Principle (tattvam) which is a free compact mass of Bliss (svatantram ānanda-ghanam). It (tad eva ca) (is) "I" (aham). The universe (viśvam) (shines) reflected (pratibimbitam) inside (antar) It --inside "I"-- (tatra eva), in Me (mayi). He thus firmly discerns (evam dṛḍham viviñcān). Constantly (śaśvat eva), his (asya) absorption (samāveśaḥ) in the Supreme Lord (pārama-īśvaraḥ) is not dependent on any upāya-s or means (nis-upāyakaḥ eva). In his case (tasya ca), there is no (na... kācit) restriction such as mantra-s, worship, meditation, observances, etc. (mantra-pūjā-dhyāna-carya-ādi-niyantraṇā)|
"The multitude of upāya-s or means (upāya-jālam) does not reveal (na... prakāśayet) Śiva (śivam). Does the thousand-rayed one --i.e. the sun-- shine (kim bhāti sahasra-dīdhitiḥ) due to a pot (ghaṭena)? By discerning (vivecayan) so (ittham), that person of noble appearance (udāradarśanaḥ) immediately (kṣaṇāt) enters (āviśet) self-luminous (svayam-prakāśam) Śiva (śivam)"||6||
Without a global explanation yet
This document was conceived by Gabriel Pradīpaka, one of the two founders of this site, and spiritual guru conversant with Sanskrit language and Trika philosophy.
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