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Śivasūtravimarśinī (Shiva Sutra Vimarshini) Section II (aphorisms 1 to 10) Pure - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir
Śivasūtravimarśinī continues: Kṣemarāja keeps commenting the aphorisms.
This is an only group of 10 aphorisms of which the entire second Section (dealing with Śāktopāya) consists. As you know, the entire work is composed of 77 aphorisms of the Śivasūtra-s plus their respective commentaries.
Of course, I will also insert the Śiva's aphorisms on which Kṣemarāja is commenting. Even though I will not comment on either the original sūtra-s or the Kṣemarāja's commentary, I will write some notes to make a particular point clear when necessary. If you want a detailed explanation of the hidden meanings in this scripture, go to "Scriptures (study)/Śivasūtravimarśinī" in the Trika section.
Read Śivasūtravimarśinī 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.
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.
Now, (Śāktopāya,) the means pertaining to Śakti1 , is described|
The second Section firstly ascertains the nature of mantra by starting with an examination of its --i.e. of the mantra-- essential characteristic as declared in the aphorism which is at the end of the First Section. In that (aphorism it is stated succinctly that) "Śakti is an expansion of the generative source --virility or potency-- of (all) mantra-s"—
The mind (of someone who constantly ponders over the Highest Reality is) the Mantra||1||
Citta --in this context-- (is) "that by which the Supreme Principle is pondered over (and) investigated". (So, it is) consciousness whose form or nature (consists of) an examination of Prāsāda, Praṇava, etc.2 which are the essence of the Perfect Sphurattā --lit. "a throbbing gleam", this is an epithet of Śakti who is one's own I-consciousness--. That very (Citta is) mantra; (and mantra) is considered as --lit. having so considered-- "this by which the nature of the Supreme Lord is deliberated on secretly, i.e. (by which, such a nature) is pondered on inwardly in unity3 "|
From this very (fact), it is (etymologically and acrostically) interpreted or explained its --i.e. of the mantra-- characteristic of manana (or pondering over) what is made up of the Highest Sphurattā --lit. "a throbbing gleam", as mentioned before; in short, "I-consciousness"-- as well as (its other) characteristic of trāṇa (or protection) consisting of a termination of Saṁsāra --i.e. transmigratory existence-- full of difference or duality4 |
Moreover, (it is) just the mind of the devotee which has attained union with That --the Supreme Self-- by its being quite devoted to intensive awareness of the mantra's deity (which is) mantra, and not the so-called conglomeration of manifold letters|
That is said in most venerable Sarvajñānottara:
"(Those) are not mantra-s which are uttered. And even the deluded (and) conceited gods and celestial musicians, due to the illusory knowledge, consider those as mantra-s"||
(The same truth has) also (been stated) in venerable Tantrasadbhāva:
"She who is regarded as the imperishable Śakti --i.e. I-consciousness-- is certainly the soul of mantra-s. Oh handsome one!, without Her, they --viz. the mantra-s-- are fruitless like autumnal clouds --because these clouds do not rain at all--"||
It has been said in most venerable Kaṇṭhīyasaṁhitā:
"(If) the mantra (and) the practicer of the mantra are different from each other, (then such a mantra) never succeeds. All this (is) the root of knowledge (in Mantrayoga.) It does not succeed (if practiced) otherwise"||
In Spandakārikā-s this is explained indirectly:
"... together with the mind of (their) worshipers. Therefore, these (Mantra-s) are of the nature of Śiva"||
(See Spandakārikā-s II, 2)
2 Prāsāda is the technical name of the mantra Sauḥ, which is studied in detail by me in Parāprāveśikā. There are several kinds of Praṇava as I explain in Meditation 6, but in this context it means Śaivapraṇava (viz. Hūm̐).
3 By a mantra one deliberates in secrecy on the nature of the Supreme Lord, viz. one ponders over it inwardly while at the same time he keeps complete unity with the Supreme Lord (the deity of the mantra) and the mantra itself. And this is the secret of the muttering of a mantra: oneself, the Lord and the mantra are the same thing. If a person who mutters a mantra fails to do so (i.e. if he cannot attain and keep that realization about the inherent unity between him, the Lord and the mantra), then the mantra does not bear proper fruits. And there is no doubt about it.
4 Etymologically, the term "mantra" comes from the root "man" (to think). Hence one of the first literal meanings of this word is "instrument of thought". But acrostically, "mantra" comes from manana + trāṇa, that is "reflection + protection". The well-known definition of "mantra" as "mananāttrāyata iti mantraḥ" or "mantra is that which protects by means of reflection" shows clearly the acrostic. In short: a mantra is that which protects the one who reflects on it (i.e. the one who ponders over it). Mantra protects in the sense that terminates the transmigratory existence, i.e. the continuous identification with the ever-changing thoughts, feelings and so on, which is a sign of slavery. Anyway, transmigratory existence can also be understood as being born to die and dying to be reborn.
And of this (mantra)—
(Zealous and spontaneous) effort (is) effective in fulfillment||2||
Prayatna (is) that spontaneous effort based on firmly taking hold of the first emergence of the desire to explore the mantra whose nature has been previously mentioned (in the first aphorism)1 . (And) that (prayatna is) effective in fulfillment, i.e. it bestows identity with the deity of the mantra on the one who ponders over the mantra --in short, prayatna makes one realize he is the deity of the mantra, viz. the Supreme Lord--|
That (same truth) is declared in venerable Tantrasadbhāva:
"Oh dear one!, just as a bird in the sky seeing meat (on the ground), draws (it) toward itself quickly with natural onset and impetuosity indeed, even so undoubtedly the chief among the Yogī-s draws along (his) mind to Bindu2 . Just as an arrow placed on a bow runs (after its target) after stretching (the bow) with effort, even so, oh handsome one!, Bindu runs --i.e. flows, advances, expands-- by means of uccāra --viz. movement of the mind upward, that is, to Bindu--"||
Elsewhere (it has) also (been stated):
"Apprehension --i.e. realization-- of That --the Supreme Lord-- (is) the true being --essence-- of the mantra..."|
Here --i.e. in the aforesaid verses of Tantrasadbhāva-- (the term) "tadvat" --even so-- (indicates) that the chief among the Yogī-s, by his own spontaneous effort, draws along the mind, (which is to be regarded in this context as) karma or the object (in active construction)3 , to Bindu. (In other words,) "he makes (his mind) attain to the Highest Light of Consciousness"|
"Even so, Bindu, the Supreme Light of Self, runs i.e. moves, expands by means of uccāra, which is a spontaneous elevation (of the mind)". This is the meaning|
This has been described in Spandakārikā-s by this (aphorism):
"Only this (is) the emergence of that object of meditation in the mind of the meditator. (In short,) for a sādhaka or spiritual aspirant with firm will, there is realization of (his) identity (with that dhyeya or object of meditation)"||
(See Spandakārikā-s II, 6)
1 Prayatna is zeal and spontaneous effort based on firmly taking hold of the first emergence of the desire for quest of the mantra. When that desire emerges for the first time while one repeats a mantra, taking hold of it in a spontaneous firm way is prayatna.
2 In Trika, the term "bindu" means so many different things that is almost overwhelming the task of explaining all its possible meanings by a simple explanatory note. Anyway, in this context it means the undivided Light of Consciousness, i.e. the Light of one's own Self.
3 "Karma" is used here as a technical term of Sanskrit grammar. It means the object related with a certain action performed by the subject o "kartṛ". In this context, the construction is active and that is why the word "manas" (mind) is declined in Accusative case. On the other hand, if the construction were to be passive, the term "manas" should be declined in Nominative case. You might say "Oh, my God, how difficult!", and you are right, hehe, anyway I give you a simple example in English now:
"He moves the mind" - Active construction; where "the mind" is the object of the action "to move", being "he" the subject. In turn, in Sanskrit, "the mind" should be declined in Accusative case.
"The mind is moved by him" - Passive construction; "the mind" continues to be the object of the action, but, in Sanskrit, is to be declined in Nominative case.
Still, as the term "manas" is a neuter noun ending in "as", both Nominative and Accusative cases coincide with each other in singular number (in dual and plural too, but the term changes to "manasī" and "manāṁsi", respectively), i.e. both cases use the same word in singular: "manas". So, you will not detect the difference unless you be proficient enough in Sanskrit grammar. However, with other nouns, e.g. "yoga", you will notice the difference very easily, because Nominative and Accusative in singular are different: "yogaḥ" (Nominative) and "yogam" (Accusative). Finally, if you have no idea about what I was talking before, you are in really need of reading Declension (1), oops!
(The following aphorism) has in view the previously mentioned1 generative source --virility or potency-- of the mantra which is to be accomplished by such an aspirant (who makes a zeal and spontaneous effort)—
The (luminous) Existence or Being (of the Perfect I-consciousness, which consists of multitude of words) whose essence (is) knowledge (of the highest non-dualism, is) the secret of the Mantra||3||
(The attributive compound, also known as Bahuvrīhi,) "vidyāśarīra"2 (means) that whose essence (or) nature is knowledge, viz. knowledge of the highest non-dualism. (This vidyāśarīra) is a glorious multitude of words. The One who (is) the (luminous) Existence or Being of that (vidyāśarīra is none other than) Sphurattā --lit. "a throbbing gleam", this is an epithet of Śakti-- whose nature (is) the perfect I-consciousness which is not different --lit. full of unity-- from the entire universe. (And) She --i.e. Sphurattā or the divine Śakti-- (is) the secret (or) mystery of the mantra-s3 "|
That has (also) been said in venerable Tantrasadbhāva:
"Oh dear one!, all mantra-s consist of letters and they --i.e. the letters-- (are) forms of Śakti. Śakti is to be known as Mātṛkā4 indeed, and She --i.e. Mātṛkā-- is to be known as having the nature of Śiva"||
In that very (scripture) --viz. in Tantrasadbhāva--, this matter, though exceedingly secret, has been clearly displayed|
Accordingly, after making (the following) introductory composition (as a warning):
"(People) do not know that the Guru is God nor --lit. as well as-- the practices enunciated in the scriptures. They are attached to hypocrisy (and) dishonesty, have lust for their goal (and) are devoid of kriyā or spiritual activity. For this reason, oh goddess!, the generative source --virility or potency-- (of the mantra-s) has been concealed by Me. On account of that concealment, they --i.e. the mantra-s-- (are) protected and preserved. What remain (are) only letter-s indeed"||
(Śiva) starts (His explanation of that mystery) --lit. having started--:
"The One who (is known as) Mātṛkā (is) truly full of the highest splendor. This universe, from Brahmā --the Creator-- down to the last of the worlds is pervaded by Her. Oh goddess, worshipped by the gods!, (that highest splendor) always resides there --in Mātṛkā-- and is filled up (with Her). Oh dear one!, therefore I will tell you clearly, for (your) complete ascertainment, as That which is in the letter "a" --i.e. Śiva, the Supreme Lord-- is omnipresent in (all) letter(s) (of the alphabet)"|
(Śiva continues to say):
"That Śakti or (divine) Power is described as 'supreme, subtle (and) devoid of ācāra --viz. rules of conduct, spiritual practices and so on--'. (She,) by enclosing within Herself the heart's Bindu, appears in the form of a fast asleep snake5 . Oh highly fortunate Umā!, while sleeping there She thinks of nothing. Having cast within (Her own) womb the fourteen worlds along with moon, fire, sun (and) stars --nakṣatra--, that goddess appears as if unconscious due to poison --i.e. after manifesting the entire universe She remains sound asleep there, as if unconscious--.
(Then,) oh fair one!, She gets awakened with the vibration of the highest knowledge, being churned by Vindu --Bindu or Vindu is the same thing, as "b" and "v" can generally be interchanged-- that is situated in (Her) womb. The churning (goes on) for a while indeed with whirling force in the body of Śakti (till,) with the penetration (of Bindu, additional) Bindu-s --drops of light-- are produced firstly --i.e. at first--. They --the Bindu-s or drops of light-- (are) very brilliant and full of great splendor.
However, when the subtle Kalā Kuṇḍalī --i.e. the ring-like Kalā or Śakti-- is aroused by that --viz. by the vibration of the highest knowledge--, (then) oh dear one!, the mighty four-phased Vindu dwelling in the womb of Śakti becomes straight by the union of the churner --Śiva in the form of Vindu-- (and) that which is churned --Śakti--. The śakti or power that passes exactly into the middle of the couple of Vindu-s --i.e. of Śiva and Śakti-- is called Jyeṣṭhā.
(Besides,) on Her being agitated by Vindu, the very straight line (is known as) Amṛtakuṇḍalī. (In turn,) She is (also) known by the name of Rekhiṇī --viz. one whose form is a straight line--, being both Vindu-s --the one of Śiva on top, while the other of Śakti is below-- at the end of which --i.e. of Rekhiṇī--. She is called Tripathā --i.e. the one who have three courses or paths-- (and) is known by the name of Raudrī (as well). She is designated as Rodhinī on account of Her obstructing the path to Final Liberation.
(Finally,) Ambikā, whose form consists of a piece of moon (is) like a half-moon. Thus, the Highest Śakti (who is) only one appears certainly in three ways --viz. Jyeṣṭhā, Raudrī and Ambikā--. Through these (three forms of Śakti), by means of junctions and disjunctions, the nine groups (of letters) are brought into existence. And She, being characterized by nine groups (of letters), is described in nine ways.
Oh goddess!, She is contained in the five mantra-s (known as) Sadyojāta, etc. successively. For that reason, oh leadress of the gods!, She is described (and) is to be known in five ways. Oh goddess!, She is said to be in twelve (since) She exists in the twelve vowels. She is present from the letter 'a' to the letter 'kṣa' in the form of fifty varieties.
(While) remaining in the heart, She is said to consist of one atom; (and) in the throat, She is said to be composed of two (atoms). However, always located in the root of the tongue She is to be known as formed from three atoms. In the tip of the tongue, there is production of letters, (and) there is no doubt about this. The production of word(s) (happens) in this way. (The world, which is) the aggregate of all created things whether animate or inanimate is pervaded by words"||
etc., by these and other statements expressed in the book --i.e. Tantrasadbhāva--, Mātṛkā consists of Parāvāk --Supreme Speech or Parāśakti, wherefrom all letters arise--, who is the Śakti or Power of the Highest Bhairava --the Supreme Lord--. For this very reason, since it has been said (in Tantrasadbhāva) that there is emergence or appearance of all letters on account of the varieties (generated) from the junction of the extension of the śakti-s whose names (are) Jyeṣṭhā, Raudrī (and) Ambā or Ambikā, (it is) only that fortunate Vidyāśarīrasattā —(luminous) Existence or Being (of the Perfect I-consciousness, which consists of multitude of words) whose essence (is) knowledge (of the highest non-dualism)—, as (already) explained, which is the secret of the mantra-s that are embodied in the close union of letters. This is what has been shown and taught (by the above quote of the renowned Tantrasadbhāva)|
In every Āgama --revealed scripture--, this (is) the intention of the statement about the emergence of the mantra-s according to the extension of Mātṛkā (and) Mālinī6 |
We carried out the heavy work (to show) the concordance between the Āgama-s (and) the Śivasūtra-s since (the latter) are a compendium of the essence of the secret Āgama-s. So, (people) must not be discontented with us|
Thus, even if after (all) concordances with the Āgama-s (we have indicated) the secret, meaning is (still) not understood, then worship of a true Guru --spiritual preceptor-- is to be performed|
This meaning of the (present) aphorism has been shown by this couple of kārikā-s --aphorisms-- in Spandakārikā-s.
Grabbing hold of that Force, the Mantra-s...|
(See Spandakārikā-s II, 1 and 2)
2 The Bahuvrīhi compounds are attributive ones. When they are dissolved, the word "yad" (which, who) appears declined in any of the possible cases (except Vocative). Here, it appears declined in Genitive singular: yasya (of which, of whom, whose). For more information, read my introduction to attributive compounds.
3 In spite of the verbose Kṣemarāja's gloss that might make some people confused, the teaching shows a simple fact: If you repeat a mantra without paying attention to I-consciousness or Śakti, your mantra will not lead you to the final goal, i.e. your own Self. That is why this is Śāktopāya (the means pertaining to Śakti). In Śāktopāya the concentration is always on the root of the mantra, i.e. I-consciousness, and not on the mantra itself. Of course, during your practice you go through many phases, but in the end your attention must rest on I-consciousness (Śakti) or your mantra will not be successful since She alone is the secret of the mantra-s. She is the Power giving rise to all mantra-s, and there is no doubt about it! This is the meaning.
4 For picking up more information about Mātṛkā, read the fourth aphorism (and its commentary) of the First Section.
5 The meanings of many things contained in the quote of this Tantra are so deep and esoteric that I made the decision not to comment anything about them all here from now on. This must be explained in depth in my studies under the Trika section. The reason is very simple: If you do not have enough "basic" knowledge and experience in this (cakra-s, kuṇḍalinī, etc.), a short explanatory notes will just bring more confusion and misunderstandings. And including too long notes of explanation here is just not practical. As you read the rest of the quoted text you will see my point very clearly. Anyway, if you consult Meditation 6 you will be able to pick up plenty of relevant information about this subject matter (some names change but the characteristics remain).
6 The meaning of Mātṛkā and Mālinī was succinctly explained by me in the third note of I, 22.
(What is expressed by the following aphorism accrues) to those whom such a potency of this mantra, (which --i.e. the potency-- is) also a means to the union with the aforesaid Great Lake1 , does not touch (their) heart(s) through the Will of the Supreme Lord, but rather whose mind(s) are set on limited supernatural powers born from Śakti (such as) Vindu, Nāda, etc.2 , (that are) merely secondary—
Mental satisfaction in (limited) mayic powers (is) a (mere) dream (based upon) inferior knowledge||4||
Garbha or mayic powers (is) primordial ignorance --ignorance about one's own Self-- (also known as) great Māyā. That mental satisfaction there, i.e. in that (Garbha) which is the manifestation of limited supernatural powers derived from the mantra, (is) contentment in (such) a conditioned phenomenom --lit. in a phenomenom that reaches only to such extent--. That (is) knowledge common to all people (and consequently) inferior or not special. (It is) impure knowledge that has to do with knowing only a little. It (is) most certainly a dream, viz. a strange confusion made up of thoughts (and) based on differences --i.e. duality--|
That (is also) declared in Pātañjalayogasūtra-s:
"Those (supernormal powers) are obstacles or hindrances in Samādhi, (but) accomplishments in Vyutthāna --i.e. the ordinary state of consciousness in which the mind fluctuates--"||(III-37)
That very (truth) has been shown by this (aphorism in Spandakārikā-s):
"From this (Unmeṣa), Vindu --divine light--, Nāda --divine sound--, Rūpa --divine form-- (and) Rasa --divine taste-- soon appear to an embodied soul as a disturbing factor"||
(See Spandakārikā-s III, 10)
1 See I, 22 at the end of the First Section.
2 Vindu (or Bindu) and Nāda are to be interpreted in this context as unimportant supernormal lights and sounds coming to an aspirant during his spiritual practice, all of which are a disturbing factor in the end. Of course, the author is not speaking about the Supreme Vindu and Nāda that are the divine pair of Śakti and Śiva.
But when the Yogī, after regarding as vain even the accrued limited supernatural power(s), firmly resorts to the Highest (Śakti), then—
On the spontaneous emergence of the (Highest) Knowledge, (occurs) a movement in the unlimited space of Consciousness, (which is known as) the state of Śiva||5||
On the spontaneous emergence --samutthāna-- of the (Highest) Knowledge whose nature has been previously indicated (in the third aphorism of the present Section), viz. on the natural arising --samunmajjana-- (of Knowledge of the highest non-dualism) which happens merely by the wish of the Supreme Lord (and) which lowers --i.e. which moves down to a lower level-- the limited supernatural powers, Khecarī mudrā —i.e. "this that moves in Kha (or) the space of Consciousness"— becomes manifest|
What kind of Khecarī? (She --Khecarī-- is) the state belonging to the possessor of such a state, i.e. to Śiva (or) the Lord of Consciousness. (This state) consists of a springing up of one's own Bliss|
(In this context, Khecarī) is not at all what turns out from a particular form (adopted by certain parts of the body) in this way:
"After assuming the lotus posture, the Yogī, (remaining erect) like a stick, should fix the lord of the senses --i.e. his mind-- on the navel; (then,) so long he should lead that --the mind--, as long as --i.e. until-- (it reaches) the group of three (śakti-s moving) in the space of the head1 . Having held (his mind) there --in that state--, he should set that (mind) in motion --i.e. drive it forward-- quickly by the (abovementioned) Khatraya or group of three (śakti-s) moving in the space (of the head). Once he has attained --lit. having assumed-- this (condition of Khecarī), the great Yogī acquires movement in the sky --i.e. he can fly in the sky--"||
(See Mālinīvijayatantra VII, 15-17)
but (Khecarī is really) that whose essence (consists of) the Supreme Consciousness as defined in venerable Tantrasadbhāva:
"... (the Yogī) attains the Highest State by the path of Kula --i.e. Śakti-- always truly. (When) that (state of his --of the Yogī--) moves in all beings, (then) is it known by the name of Khecarī"||
Thus, here --in this context--, (both) the potency of mantra-s and the potency of mudrā2 (are) indicated as this whose only form (appears like) an emergence of one's own essential nature that is Consciousness, by soothing all the disturbances derived from Māyā, which --i.e. Māyā-- has to do with differences --viz. duality-- --in short, both the potency of mantra-s and the potency of mudrā are essentially Khecarī--|
That (teaching is also) mentioned in Kulacūḍāmaṇi :
"(There is only) one seed --or seed-mantra-- which the (whole universal) manifestation consists of, and (there is only) one mudrā (called) Khecarī. He in whom these two occur is established in the state of Atiśānta3 "||
In Spandakārikā-s the potency of mudrā has been summarized by defining the essential nature of the potency of mantra-s:
"When the agitation... thoroughly dissolves, then the Supreme State occurs"||
(See Spandakārikā-s I, 9)
By the half (of that aphorism), it was indirectly indicated the nature of Khecarī as expressed in Kulacūḍāmaṇi, though from another viewpoint||5||
1 Khatraya or "the triad of the space" is the group of the three powers (śakti-s) called Śakti, Vyāpinī (also known as Vyāpikā) and Samanā. Read my explanation of the stages 9, 10 and 11 in Meditation 6 to pick up more relevant information.
2 The term mudrā is not be interpreted here as in Haṭhayoga, where it is defined as a disposition of certain parts of the physical body (or even the entire physical body). No, that is not true in this case. In this context, mudrā is to be regarded like a state that gives Joy, dissolves bondage and seals up, i.e. makes the mind merge with the Supreme Self. So, Khecarī mudrā is the mudrā or blissful state that moves in the infinite space of Consciousness. In other words, Khecarī mudrā is the state of Śiva such as the present aphorism points out. Also, since one of the epithets for Śiva is Khecara, the term Khecarī mudrā clearly indicates His state.
3 The word "Atiśānta" may be translated in two ways. First, taking the meaning "excessively" for the prefix "áti", the term would mean "excessively śānta or pacific". Lastly, taking the meaning "beyond, past", it would mean "beyond śānta or what is calm (i.e. stationary)". In this sense, the state of Atiśānta achieved by the great Yogī in whom those two (the seed --Aham or I-consciousness-- and Khecarī) occur is one full of Spanda or the divine Vibration of the Self. Spanda is Śakti, viz. I-consciousness, and consequently never stationary but in constant movement. This is the meaning.
Now here, with respect to the acquisition of the potency of mantra (and) mudrā, (Śiva says)—
The Guru (is) the means||6||
Guru (is the one who) proclaims (and) teaches the true meaning. He (is) here the means showing Vyāpti1 |
That (is) what has been said in venerable Mālinīvijayatantra (where Śiva tells Pārvatī):
"(Moreover,) he (is) said to be a guru equal to Me (who knows all these tattva-s or categories as they really are, and consequently) reveals the virility or potency of mantra-s"|2
(See Mālinīvijayatantra II, 10)
Since such a (subject matter) is well-known --i.e. guru, etc.--, it is not summarized in Spandakārikā-s|
Nevertheless, this (subject matter) has (somehow) also been summarized by the final word(s) (in that scripture) --i.e. by the penultimate stanza in Spandakārikā-s--:
"I pay homage to that wonderful speech of the Guru, which (is full of) manifold words --pada-- (with their respective) meanings, (and) enables (one) to safely cross the fathomless ocean of doubt"||
(See Spandakārikā-s IV, 1)
Or the guru (may be defined like) the Grace-bestowing Power of the Supreme Lord|
As has been mentioned in venerable Mālinīvijayatantra:
"That (Grace-bestowing Power) has been said (to be) the group of powers, (and) that has been said (to be) the mouth of the guru"|
Also in venerable Mantriśirobhairava:
"The power residing in the mouth of the guru is greater than the guru (himself)"|
That very (Grace-bestowing Power) that gives a favorable opportunity (is) the means||6||
2 The missing first line of the stanza: Yaḥ punaḥ sarvatattvāni vettyetāni yathārthataḥ| is to be supplied to understand why I added "Moreover...who knows all these tattva-s or categories as they really are" in parentheses to my translation. OK, now it is clear.
Therefore, from a pleased Guru—
(From a pleased Guru accrues) enlightenment regarding the group of letters||7||
"Accrues to the disciple"; this is the remaining part (of the aphorism)|
According to the process indicated in venerable (scriptures) Parātriṁśaka, etc., Anuttarākula is the essential nature of the first aspect of I-Consciousness.
(Then, this first aspect of I-Consciousness, that is, pure Śakti,) is expanded in the form of Ānanda (vowel "ā"), and by means of Her Manifesting Power --which appears as the stages of Icchā (vowel "i") and Īśana (vowel "ī")-- displays the state of Unmeṣa (vowel "u") whose essence is Jñāna. And through Her Opulence, which is the origin of the sparkling manifestation of objects, (that very pure Śakti brings) Ūnatā (vowel "ū" into existence).
(Next, this very Śakti) manifests the Will --which has two forms (i.e. "i" and "ī")-- combined with that which is merely a "light" similar to the flash of a lightning (i.e. the element "fire" whose body or kula is "r". She) also (manifests Icchā or Will) combined with that whose nature is firmness (i.e. the element "earth" whose body or kula is "l". From these combinations, the vowels "ṛ, ṝ, ḷ and ḹ" arise. These vowels are not really produced letters but heard sounds) because they are (merely) colored or tinted by the sounds "ra" (and) "la" (i.e. by the letters of fire and earth respectively; note that "ra" is simply "r" --seed letter-- plus "a", and "la" is "l" --seed letter-- plus "a". Not only) because of what was stated in the previous sentence, but also inasmuch as (the vowels ṛ, ṝ, ḷ and ḹ) appear as (subtle) objects assimilated to their own light, they are known as Imperishable (letters). And since they are merely tinted by the objective manifestation, they are not able to give rise to other seed letters. (As a result,) this group of four seed letters is designated Eunuch.
(After that, Śakti) manifests the seed letter Trikoṇa --i.e. the vowel "e"-- by means of the combination of Icchā --i.e. "i"-- with Anuttara --i.e. "a"-- and Ānanda --i.e. "ā"--, which were previously referred to. And through the union of Unmeṣa --i.e. "u"-- with Anuttara --i.e. "a"-- and Ānanda --i.e. "ā"--, (She manifests) the letter "o", whose nature indicates (the appearance of) Kriyāśakti. (Afterward,) by combining these aforesaid groups formed from two seed letters, --i.e. the groups "a-ā" and "e-o"--, (Śakti) manifests Ṣaṭkoṇa --i.e. the vowel "ai"-- and the seed letter Śūla --i.e. the vowel "au"--. Because (in the letter "au") there is predominance of Kriyāśakti --at its height-- pervaded by Icchāśakti and Jñānaśakti, (the Goddess manifests that letter) as composed of the union or combination of the three (abovementioned) śakti-s (i.e. Icchā, Jñāna and Kriyā).
(Following, Śakti) displays Bindu, whose nature is a undivided Knowledge of the universe, to its very frontiers (indeed). (Afterward, this Śakti) shows the stage of Visarga consisting in a couple points which are full of simultaneous outward (and) inward emission. (So,) because of all this (which has been mentioned, the Supreme Goddess) --through (Her) inner Awareness-- shows this universe as resting only on Anuttara --i.e. the vowel "a"--; but by means of (Her) outer Awareness, (She) manifests --through the śakti-s or powers a-i-u-ṛ-ḷ-- five groups of five letters (each) --beginning with the letter "ka" and ending in the letter "ma"-- as an aggregate (of five groups formed from five tattva-s or categories each) --(starting with tattva 36 or earth element) and ending in Puruṣa —tattva 12—--|
And for each śakti (that is, for each of those five letters --a, i, ṛ, ḷ and u--) there is a group of five śakti-s. Thus, from each (of these śakti-s) an emergence of five (letters is brought about)|
(After that,) from the same śakti-s --beginning from "ā"-- (the Supreme Power) manifests the four letters known as Antastha (that is, the letters "ya, ra, la and va") --in agreement with the terminology which is used in Śikṣā (the science of phonetics)-- since they reside, together with Niyati and the other Kañcuka-s, within Puruṣa. (On the other hand,) in the revealed scriptures they are designated by means of the term Dhāraṇā, because they support the universe by holding the stage of "limited knower or experient". Above that (Māyātattva, the Venerable Śakti) manifests the four letters known as Ūṣmā (that is, the letters "śa, ṣa, sa and ha"), since they are displayed on the dissapearance of difference and on the (subsequent) appearance of non-difference|
And here, (that is, in the Ūṣmā letters, Śakti or I-consciousness) exhibits ultimately the completely perfect Amṛta letter (the letter "sa"), which is situated at the end of the whole Manifestation. After that, (She) shows the Prāṇabīja, (the letter "ha". She does) that in order to make one realize or recognize that this universe [whose form comprises Vācaka --(words)-- (and) Vācya --(objects denoted by those words)-- and consists of the expansion of the six courses or paths] becomes full-fledged or full-grown in Anāhatamaya, (an epithet of the letter "ha"), due to Anuttaraśakti (the letter "a" or Śiva)|
Therefore, the principle or essence of I-consciousness, whose nature is the Virility or Power of the Great Mantra, (is as follows): "The universe, by means of Pratyāhāra, is permeated by Anuttara and Anāhata (i.e. the letters "a" and "ha" respectively, which are) certainly Śiva and Śakti. (For that reason,) it --i.e. "the universe"-- only consists of This --i.e. "Śiva and Śakti"--"|
As has been said by the verses of Utpaladeva, our eminent (and) supreme Master:
"The Rest or Repose of the Light of Consciousness within Itself (is) undoubtedly known as the I-concept. That is certainly called Rest or Repose inasmuch as it excludes all expectation. Moreover, it is Absolute Freedom, Main Doership as well as Complete Supremacy"|
Therefore, that which (has been called) so far "the essence of Mātṛkā", that very thing has been shown at the end through the Kūṭabīja --kṣa letter--. (This Kūṭabīja) is a Pratyāhāra of "ka" letter (and) "sa" letter. (Thus, that Kūṭabīja) is formed from the combination of the essences --sāra-- of Anuttara (and) Visarga (respectively). Enough of bringing to light that which is secret!|
(Sambodha, in the aphorism,) is Complete Enlightenment consisting of an Absorption into one's own Essential Nature, which is a Compact Mass of Consciousness (and) Bliss. (Complete Enlightenment) regarding the aforesaid group of powers (whose integrants are) Anuttara, Ānanda, Icchā, etc., (and which) is connected with Mātṛkā, whose --i.e. of Mātṛkā-- Efficacy or Power has been indicated in the Revealed Scriptures in the following manner:
"... There is no knowledge higher than (that of) Mātṛkā"|
This (has been) dealt with here through mere indication|
(This has been) certainly spread (and) revealed through the verses of our Master in venerable Parātriṁśakāvivaraṇa, Tantrāloka, etc.|
In venerable Siddhāmṛta (it has) also been declared (by Śiva Himself to Pārvatī, his consort):
"Here that Kuṇḍalinī (is) the Seed who is Life (and) whose essence is Consciousness. The triad whose name is Dhruva --vowel 'a'--, Icchā --vowel 'i'-- and Unmeṣa --vowel 'u'-- is born from Her, (and) from that (triad), again , (the rest of) letters (arise).
From Visarga (is produced the group of letters) that begins in the letter 'ka' (and) ends --anta-- in the letter 'sa'. And , (in turn,) that (Visarga appears) in five ways:
(1) Outside, (in the form of the universe) and (2) inside, (3) in the heart, (4) in Nāda --i.e. in the throat in this case-- (and) certainly (5) in the Supreme Stage --i.e. between both of eyebrows--. (Besides,) that Bindu --i.e. Visarga-- undoubtedly pervades from the heart up to the top of the skull, (that is), up to the Self (Himself).
However, the mantra-s devoid of initial 'a' (and) final 'ma' --i.e. devoid of 'aham' or 'I', viz. Śiva--, are like autumnal clouds.
The (essential) characteristic of a Guru (is that) he explains (to his disciples that Mahāmantra or Great Mantra) whose measure (is as follows:) It begins with 'a' (and) ends with 'ma' --i.e. 'Aham' or I, viz. Śiva--. The Knower, (that) Divine Bhairava, is to be worshipped like Myself.
Seeing that --to such a Guru-- any thing, whether it be a hymn of praise, a laudatory song, etc., is united or connected with (the Mahāmantra or Great Mantra) beginning with 'a' (and) ending with 'ma'; therefore, (such a Guru) knowing in that way, sees everything only as a Mantra"|
This (has been) also (stated) in the Spandakārikā-s:
"This very Power or Śakti of Śiva, whose nature is activity, abides in the paśu or conditioned being (and) binds (him. However, when Śakti) is known or realized as staying (in the aforesaid paśu) like the way toward one's own Self, produces success"||
(See Spandakārikā-s III, 16)
(Thus,) through this (quote) has been indicated (the same idea) but indirectly||7||
Of such a (Yogī) who has achieved enlightenment regarding the group of letters—
The body (of a person into whom the aforesaid enlightenment was poured becomes) an oblation||8||
The body whose nature is gross --physical--, subtle, etc. (and) which is sprinkled with the state of knower --i.e. with I-ness-- in all (the beings), in the case of the great Yogī, it (becomes) an oblation to be offered in the highest fire of Consciousness since he is constantly plunged (in a state where only) Cit --Consciousness-- is (perceived as) the knower or experient --mātṛ-- because of the cessation (of the notion that) the body is the knower or experient --pramātṛ--1 |
That has been expressed in venerable Vijñānabhairava:
"(When the aggregate of) elements, senses, objects of the senses, etc., along with the mind, is poured into the fire where there is complete dissolution of the great void, (then) that (is true) oblation. The ladle (is) Cetanā2 "||
Also in venerable Timirodghāṭa:
"(In the case of) one who (is) dear, who (is) a friend, relative, donor, (or) who (is) greatly beloved, oh goddess, by devouring (the notion that his) body (is) That --the Self--, the Woman --i.e. the Śakti-- in the space of Consciousness rises undoubtedly"||
Here, the global meaning (is) the extinction (of the idea that) the body is the Knower or Experient --Pramātṛ--|
Even in venerable Bhagavadgītā:
"Others offer all actions of the indriya-s --the Powers of perception and action-- and the actions of the vital energies in the fire of the Yoga of self-control --also "control of mind"-- kindled by knowledge"||
(See Bhagavadgītā IV, 27)
In Spandakārikā-s, (the same teaching) has been summarized by this (aphorism):
"When the agitation... thoroughly dissolves, then the Supreme State occurs"|
(See Spandakārikā-s I, 9)
"The agitation is the idea that the Self --lit. 'I'-- is the body, etc.", (according to what) venerable Kallaṭa (wrote) in his commentary (on Spandakārikā-s)||8||
1 In this context the body is not only the physical one, but also the subtle, causal and supracausal bodies. The supracausal body is Bindu, a dot of blue Light where the huge universe appears as a tiny mass of pure Consciousness. This aggregate of four bodies appears generally "sprinkled" with I-ness or ego, i.e. the vast majority of people are convinced that they are their bodies. However, this is not the case regarding a great being, as even the spiritual body (supracausal), which is so subtle in comparison to the physical body, becomes an oblation to be offered to the fire of God just like clarified butter, etc. are offered to the fire during a sacrifice by the priests. Why? Because that holy being has attained the goal of life, having realized that the real knower or experient is Cit (the Supreme Self) and not the body. So, after final Liberation, such a high-souled one is not more interested in the fate of his body. Therefore, he leaves the matter in God's hands.
The divine Self can make him retain his body and this state is called "Jīvanmukti", or else He can make him abandon it (Videhamukti). All in all, those holy beings will stay among the rest of people by retaining all their four bodies, or they will retain three, two or even one (the supracausal body); or else, they will not retain any body and merge with formless Cit. When they retain their four bodies or even one, it is always for the good of people due to the compassion of the Lord. Some of them retain their four bodies for a while, and when they abandon their physical bodies at the moment of death, they retain only the supracausal body to live in Siddhaloka (the world of the perfected beings). Anyway, from the viewpoint of the liberated soul, there is no retaining or discarding bodies at all. It is only from the viewpoint of a limited being sprinkled with I-ness that those processes occur. OK, enough of talking about these mysteries!
2 I will have to explain this complex stanza to you, a little bit at least: The term "ālaye" means "in ālaya". If you search the word "ālaya" in the dictionary, you'll get "receptacle, house, dwelling, etc. Nonetheless, here it is to be interpreted as "ā + laya" or "completely + dissolution". In other words, the particle "ā" amounts to "samantāt" (wholly, completely, etc.). Anyway, the final result is not "complete dissolution" but "that where there is complete dissolution" as the word works as a Bahuvrīhi (for more information, see Attributive compounds). OK, that interpretation was not a brilliant idea I had when I woke up in the morning today. No, it belongs to the same saint that is now commenting on the present scripture, viz. Kṣemarāja. He composed a commentary on Vijñānabhairava as well. On the stanza 149 (the one that is quoted here), he comments:
"Mahāśūnyasya śūnyātiśūnyapadasya ā samantāllayo yatra paratattvātmani vahnau..." — "Into the fire (the highest tattva or category, i.e. Śiva) wherein there is complete dissolution of the great void, viz. of the state of void beyond the void..."
The term "mahāśūnya" or great void is defined by the sage as "śūnyātiśūnyapada" or the state of void beyond the void. Kṣemarāja does not explain this term in depth there, but as he indicates in his commentary on Svacchandatantra (a very important tantric scripture) that "śūnyātiśūnya" (the void beyond the void) is "Mahāmāyā" (the great Māyā), such an interpretation can be used in this context too. The tattva or category called "Māyā" is the sixth one. This Māyā is a void. As "Mahāmāyā" is operative in the tattva-s 3 to 5, it can be said that she is the void beyond the void indeed. Mahāmāyā produces difference but excludes separation (e.g. I am the universe - i.e. I am different but not separate from it), while Māyā generates both difference and separation (e.g. I am not the universe - i.e. I am different and separate from it). OK, this is clear enough, I think.
"Cetanā" is the "srúk" or ladle, because just like the ladle pours clarified butter, etc. into the fire of a sacrifice, even so Cetanā pours Citta (mind and its progeny in the form of elements, senses, objects of the senses, etc.) into Cit or pure Consciousness (Śiva). Though the term "Cetanā" cannot be translated precisely in English (or any other language), Kṣemarāja mentions that:
"... cetanā viśvānusandhātrī śaktireva sruk..." — "Cetanā, the all-exploring Śakti or Power, is the ladle indeed"
Apart from "exploring", the term "anusandhātrī" means "uniting", in short, Cetanā unites mind, senses, etc. with the Supreme Lord. Good, I have to stop here or this note will be too long. I have only scratched the surface anyway.
And of this (Yogī)—
The (limited) knowledge (is) the food||9||
That (limited knowledge) which has been described previously (in this way:) "The (limited or contracted) knowledge (is) bondage " by the second (aphorism) of the first Section, (is) the Yogī's food because it is eaten (or) devoured (by him)1 |
(That teaching) is in agreement with what (has been) formerly (declared in the following stanza of Bhargaśikhā):
"Then, (when there is such a disappearance of the universe,) he --the sublime Yogī-- devours everything --viz. he becomes one with everything--, (whether it is) death and time --Kāla is also the deity presiding death--, the bundle of activities, the network of changes, identification with knowledge (of objects), the multitude of thoughts of oneness (with the Supreme Self or) manifoldness"||
Moreover, (there is another purport for this aphorism within the scope of the abovementioned meaning): That knowledge which consists of Self-consciousness (is) his food (since,) by bringing about full satisfaction, (it becomes) the cause of rest in one's own Self|
That is declared in venerable Vijñānabhairava:
"The satisfaction causing plenitude that arises day to day in him who is established2 in one of many Yukti-s (or Yoga-s) here --i.e. among those concentration techniques taught in this scripture--, (constitutes,) in this respect, absolute perfection"||
(The term) Yukti, (as a whole,) means in that (stanza) the knowledge of one hundred and twelve stages or degrees (of Yoga) indeed3 |
This has been summarized by this aphorism:
"... one should always remain awake..."||4
(See Spandakārikā-s III, 12)
1 "To devour" in a Trika's context is the same thing as "to realize unity". For example, "to devour the limited knowledge" is "to realize that oneself is it". When there is not "another" bothering you, the conflict ceases and peace is obtained. This is confirmed by III,12 in Spandakārikā-s, which the commentator will quote at the end of his commentary on the present aphorism.
4 Yes, you can go to III,12 in Spandakārikā-s and read the entire stanza. Anyway, I am adding its translation here:
"Beholding all that is within the range of one's own perception by knowledge, one should always remain awake (and) put all in one place --i.e. in Spanda--. Consequently, he is not pressed or afflicted by another||12||"
But when (the Yogī) is not thus attentive constantly, then even in the case of (this) knower (of the Self, it occurs what the following aphorism teaches,) owing to the flagging or weakening of his attention—
On the submergence of the (Pure) Knowledge, there is appearance of mental modifications (like in a dream) arising because of it, (that is, "arising because of the previous submergence of the Pure Knowledge")||10||
On the submergence (or) immersion of the Pure Knowledge, which is an expansion of the aforesaid knowledge --the one mentioned in the previous aphorism--1 , there is appearance (or) clear emergence of svapna --lit. dream--, i.e. of the manifold manifestation, full of differences, of mental modifications (like in a dream. That svapna) arises because of it, viz. because of the residual impressions of (Pure) Knowledge fading away in a gradual manner2 |
That is declared in venerable Mālinīvijayatantra (by the Lord), beginning (with the following while He talks about the attainment of Śivatā or the state of Śiva which is the same as the emergence of Pure Knowledge):
"This is taught by Śaṅkara --i.e. Śiva-- when He is pleased indeed!3 (But) even when it is taught somehow or other, the impression (of that Pure Knowledge or state of Śiva) does not remain"||
(Afterward, it is stated in Mālinīvijayatantra that:)
"(However,) to the one who does not stay attentive even when he achieves --lit. on the achievement-- merely latent impressions (generating limited supernatural powers), the Vināyaka-s --a certain kind of demons-- urge and impel to transient enjoyments"||
That very (instruction) has been summarized by this (aphorism) in Spandakārikā-s:
"Otherwise4 , the manifesting Power, according to its characteristics, is always free (to act) as in the case of the common people, during the two states of wakefulness (and) dream"||
(See Spandakārikā-s III, 3)
For this very (reason), it is taught (that) "(the act of remaining in his essential nature) is to be always performed by the Yogī whose chief object is the awareness of Pure Knowledge"|
According to what has been stated in venerable Pūrva --i.e. in Mālinīvijayatantra-- --in the third line that closes the above stanza beginning with "(However,) to the one who does not stay attentive..."--:
"Therefore, by means of (his) desire for (reaching) the Highest Reality, (such a Yogī) should not get in close contact with those (transient enjoyments)"|
Also, in Spandakārikā-s (it has been said:)
"For this reason, he who (is) constantly prepared for discerning the principle of Spanda, attains his own (essential) state or nature quickly, (even in) wakefulness"||
(See Spandakārikā-s I, 21)
Thus, (the Second Section,) beginning with this (aphorism): "The mind (of someone who constantly ponders over the Highest Reality is) the Mantra" —aphorism 1 of the second Section—, (firstly) shows --lit. "after showing" or "showing"-- that Śāktopāya, which is defined by the revealed scriptures --Āgama-s-- (in the following manner:)
"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 --i.e. attained through Śāktopāya--"||
(See Mālinīvijayatantra II, 22)
is mainly related to the intensive awareness of the potency of mantra and mudrā. (Afterward,) by the (last) aphorism (of the current Section) —aphorism 10 of the second Section—: "On the submergence of the (Pure) Knowledge, there is appearance of mental modifications (like in a dream) arising because of it, (that is, "arising because of the previous submergence of the Pure Knowledge")", which is directed toward (a seeker) with a weak attention, an opportunity is given in this connection for presenting Āṇavopāya, (i.e. the upāya or means that is dealt with in the next Section)5 |
May there be welfare (for all beings)!||10||
1 Pure Knowledge is nothing but an expansion of the limited knowledge, or else the latter is a contraction of the former. If someone thinks that both are different from each other, he has not still realized the core of Reality.
2 Of course, my translation of the last portion was an adaptative one since the structure in English is not equal to the one in Sanskrit. Literally in Sanskrit it reads: "tadutthasya kramātkramanyakkṛtavidyāsaṁskārasya" - "of the one which arises because of it, of the one in which the residual impressions of Knowledge are fading away in a gradual manner". As this is right in Sanskrit but difficult to be read in English, I had to arrange the sentence in a different way and also add terms in parentheses to complete the sense: "(That svapna) arises because of it, viz. because of the residual impressions of (Pure) Knowledge fading away in a gradual manner".
3 The phrase "Na ca... aprasannena", when translated literally, means: "Not... by one who is not pleased". The particle "ca" here does not mean "and" (the conjunction), but it works as a mere expletive adding emphasis to the expression but remaining untranslated. In turn, when there is the combination of "na + na" or "na + a privative particle", the result is a strong affirmation. The privative particle in this case is "a" in "a-prasannena". Hence I translated everything in affirmative and added "indeed" for the sake of adding more emphasis: "when He is pleased indeed!". Oh well, just a grammatical comment for Sanskrit students wondering why I did all that.
4 "Otherwise", that is, "when the Yogī neglects his entreaty and stops being conscious of his essential nature". Read the previous two aphorisms in Spandakārikā-s to fully understand the meaning here.
5 The last aphorism of this section gives the opportunity or occasion (anuṣaṅga) for presenting Āṇavopāya since it indicates that Śuddhavidyā or Pure Knowledge has disappeared. Pure Knowledge is vital for being successful in Śāktopāya, but the seeker whose attention is weak loses sight of that Śuddhavidyā. So, what method or upāya will a seeker resort to? The response is: Āṇavopāya. This is the meaning.
From the beginning (of the scripture), the number of aphorisms (now adds up to) thirty-two --22 of the first Section and 10 of the second Section--||
Here ends the second Section called Śāktopāyaprakāśana --(the Section) revealing the means that pertains to Śakti--, in Śivasūtravimarśinī written by venerable Kṣemarāja dependant on the lotus feet --i.e. feet beautiful like a lotus-- of the eminent spiritual preceptor Abhinavagupta, the devotee of Maheśvara, the Great Lord --epithet of Śiva--||2||
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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