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 Śivasūtravimarśinī (Shiva Sutra Vimarshini) Section III (aphorisms 23 to 33) Pure - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir

Pure translation


Śivasūtravimarśinī continues: Kṣemarāja keeps commenting the aphorisms.

This is the third set of 11 aphorisms out of 45 aphorisms of which the third Section (dealing with Āṇavopāya) 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.

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.


 Aphorism 23

However, when this (Yogī) does not thus enters the state beyond Turya or Fourth State --viz. Turyātīta, also called Turīyātīta, the Highest State--, which is attainable through the intensity of the firm grip of (his) attention to the inner Turya, but (does) rather continue feeling quite contented merely with the camatkāra --delight full of astonishment-- of Turya perceived at the initial (and) the final points (of wakefulness, dreaming and deep sleep), then, in his case—

In the intervening stage, (that is, neither at the initial nor at the final stage of waking, dreaming and dream sleep), there is generation of inferior (mental states)||23||

In the case of the Yogī who has enjoyed the elixir of Turya at the initial (and) the final points (of the three ordinary states of consciousness), in madhya —in the intervening state or stage— does arise avaraprasava --lit. inferior generation--, viz. a contemptible manifestation (of) inferior (mental states) which is characteristic of vyutthāna --any state but Samādhi, i.e. vyutthāna is the ordinary condition most people experience--|

"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'). (II, 10) (of the current scripture)". As pointed out by the meaning of the said aphorism, he does not get confused perpetually. This is the purport|

(In this connection, it has been) expressed in venerable Mālinīvijayatantra:

"(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. Therefore, by means of (his) desire for (reaching) the Highest Reality, (such a Yogī) should not get in close contact with those (transient enjoyments)"|

(This was) quoted previously as well --in the commentary on II, 10--1 ||23||

Skip the notes

1  The stanza was quoted when Kṣemarāja commented on the 10th aphorism of the second Section. The stanza there appears in a fragmented way, two lines first and then the remaining third line was quoted isolatedly closer to the end of his commentary. I specified all that in my translation of II, 10.Return 


 Aphorism 24

Thus, even when the generation (of inferior mental states) occurs, if (the Yogī) also sprinkles the intervening state or stage with a firm grip of the elixir of Turya --the Fourth State--, then—

When there is union between the real I-consciousness and the objects, (there is also) reappearance (of the Bliss of that fourth state of consciousness which had) disappeared (due to the arising of the aforesaid inferior states of mind --see aphorism 23--)||24||

Union of the real I-consciousness with mātrā-s (or) objects|

"Whatever one perceives through the eye(s) or whatever (becomes) an object through the speech; whatever the mind thinks of, whatever the intellect ascertains; whatever is appropriated by the ego, whatever exists as a knowable; and (even) what does not exist, He --i.e. Paramaśiva, who is a compact mass made out of the Light of Consciousness-- must be investigated zealously and carefully in those indeed1 "||
(See XII, 163-164 in Svacchandatantra)

In accordance with the precept(s) defined by venerable Svacchandatantra, in the case of (the Yogī) who, everywhere and at all times, repeatedly and intensely becomes aware of his own nature as being a compact mass of Consciousness (by realizing that) "I (am) this universe", (there is) reappearance (or) emergence of one's own essential nature full of the Bliss of the (apparently) removed Turya —an only compact mass (of Consciousness)— --because the Yogī was not attentive enough, Turya or the Fourth State concealed Itself from him--, which --i.e. one's own essential nature-- had disappeared due to the aforesaid generation of inferior (mental states. In short,) full attainment or accomplishment of (his) unity with that --with Turya-- happens to the Yogī. This is the meaning|

That (very teaching) has been said in venerable Svacchandatantra, beginning with:

"Since even the mind of the Yogī-s forcibly moves to and fro2 "||
(See final portion of IV, 311 in Svacchandatantra)

(following with:)

"Whose mind --as the seat of feelings and thoughts-- is full of the Highest Principle --as being his only object of knowledge--, steady (and) wholly desireless. His mind does not move, --i.e. it does not deviate from the Highest Principle--, even when he falls into all the states --viz. though he undergoes all sorts of circumstances--. Wherever (his) mind goes, (the Yogī) should think of the Highest Principle right there. As everything is full of Śiva, where will (his mind) go after moving?3 "||
(See IV, 312-13 in Svacchandatantra)

and (ending with):

"In all the objects and in all the purposes/aims of the senses --viz. enjoyment of objects-- —; (the best of the Yogī-s) who may be involved (with those realities), wherever he may investigate, there is not absence of Śiva anywhere --there is no place where Śiva does not exist--4 "||
(See IV, 314 in Svacchandatantra)


Skip the notes

1  Let us make some points very clear now... well, so clear as possible (lol!):

(1) "vācā vā yaśca gocaraḥ" - "or whatever (becomes) an object through the speech": There are four speech levels, viz. Parāvāk, Paśyantī, Madhyamā and Vaikharī. On one hand, Parāvāk (lit. supreme speech) is the stage in which the sound (vācaka) and the object (vācya) that is denoted (manifested) by such a sound are in absolute unity. On the other hand, Vaikharī is the stage in which vācaka and vācya are completely separated. Vaikharī is the gross speech, i.e. the one expressed by the physical tongue. In Vaikharī both sound and object are different and completely separate. In the middle there are two intervening stages, namely, Paśyantī and Madhyamā. In the former, the sound and the object denoted by it are different from each other but they are not separate; and in the latter, the sound and the object are different and separate, but they are separate from one another "only" on a mental level. The "gocara" or object mentioned in the Svacchandatantra's stanza is vācya or object. In turn, by the word "vācā" or "through the speech" it is meant to say "through Paśyantī, Madhyamā and Vaikharī", because in Parāvāk there is no object at all. So simple! Oh yeah! This is just hilarious really. So many hidden meanings in such a short phrase! Before you faint to the ground from the frustration, please, take a look at the meaning of Parāvāk in the Trika glossary.

(2) "Manaścintayate yāni" - "whatever the mind thinks of": That "yāni" or "whatever" is in plural (neuter gender). It refers to sukha (pleasure), etc.

(3) "Ahaṅkṛtāni yānyeva" - "whatever is appropriated by the ego": Here again "yāni" is in plural (neuter gender). Ego is the tattva or category 15 in the scheme of universal manifestation according to Trika. Ego is constantly appropriating things, attributes, moods and so on. For example: "This is mine" (ego takes possession of a thing) or "I am so smart" (now it is the turn of an attribute) or "I am sad" (now the guy appropriates a mood, i.e. being sad), etc. If you need more examples, just realize what ego does inside yourself right now. But in spite of the intense activity of appropriating performed by this nice tireless ego, "I" remains in solitude and is never touched by any thing, attribute, mood, etc.

(4) "yacca vedyatayā sthitam" - "whatever exists as a knowable": A knowable is simply an object. It is called "knowable" because it can be known by the Subject (the Supreme Lord). Anything that can be known by the Subject is a knowable. This was simple, right?

(5) "Yaśca nāsti" - "and (even) what does not exist": In other words, "and even what is not perceivable as a manifested reality".

(6) "sa..." - "He --i.e. Paramaśiva, who is a compact mass made out of the Light of Consciousness--...": This is not my invention but something that the very sage Kṣemarāja comments on this stanza in his Svacchandoddyota: "Sa iti citprakāśaghanaḥ paramaśivo..." - "(The term) 'He' (means) Paramaśiva, who is a compact mass made out of the Light of Consciousness". The original word for "He" is "saḥ", but "ḥ" (Visarga) is to be dropped before a consonant ("t" in "tatraiva" in the above stanza) by the 10th Rule of Visarga Sandhi.

In a nutshell, the Supreme Being must be zealously and carefully investigated in all those abovementioned realities.Return 

2  First, a message intended for Sanskrit students: Before you fill my inbox, hehe, with questions and/or complaints about that weird conjugation "cañcalīti", let me explain the following step by step: "cañcalīti" is a Frequentative (also called Intensive) of the root "cal" (to move) conjugated in 3rd P singular, Present Tense. As you know, Frequentative intensifies the action of the verb, e.g. "calati" means "he/she/it moves" but "cañcalīti" means "he/she/it moves intensely, hither and thither, to and fro, etc.". You could say, "NO, it should be cañcalyate then", but the topic is not so simple. There are two kinds of Frequentative, one is Ātmanepadī and the other is Parasmaipadī. The specimen "cañcalyate" is an Ātmanepadī one while "cañcalīti" is a Parasmaipadī one. The former is very usual in classic Sanskrit while the latter occurs "generally" in the Veda-s. So, you are very likely not to find any explanation about the Parasmaipadī Frequentative in an elementary Sanskrit grammar. You need an advanced one for that. But watch it too, because the root "cal" (to move) forms its Parasmaipadī Frequentative in an irregular manner. And if somebody happens to have the brilliant idea that "cañcalīti" is "cañcalī + iti", this is not possible at all. Why? Because even if you consider "cañcalī" to be the feminine gender of "cañcala" (moving to and fro), though "cañcalā" would be more correct, "manas" (mind) is neuter in gender. Consequently, the structure of the sentence gets utterly broken. So, believe it or not, here you have it, a Parasmaipadī Frequentative occurring in a Tantra, when in general they occur in the Veda-s. OK, it is enough. With this brief explanation I prevented my poor inbox from being flooded, cool!

Now, for all the people reading this document, Kṣemarāja specifies in his Svacchandoddyota: "Kuṭilaṁ calati bhogābhilāṣeṇa vyutthānameva dhāvati nābhiṣṭaṁ padamavaṣṭabhnāti yaditi yasmādevam||311||" - "(The term) 'yad' (in the stanza means) 'since (even the mind of the Yogī-s) is like this'. (So, because such a mind) does not grab hold of the desired State --viz. Nirvyutthānasamādhi or a Samādhi devoid of any ordinary state of consciousness--, it moves and runs after the crooked vyutthāna --the ordinary state of consciousness-- due to desire for enjoyment".

I added the word Nirvyutthānasamādhi because the sage introduced it while commenting the first portion of this stanza (which was not quoted in the present scripture). In this context, Samādhi is to be understood as the Supreme State where a Yogī remains penetrating everything. Summarizing it, Samādhi is here the attainment of unity with all the things. Very good!Return 

3  The translation is tricky, as usual with Svacchandatantra. Therefore, I need to quote the Svacchandoddyota again for you to understand everything as you should. The first two lines belong to the stanza IV, 312. Kṣemarāja comments the following in his excellent Svacchandoddyota: "Jñeyaṁ ca yathā vyākhyātaṁ paratattvaṁ bhāva āśayaḥ sthiro niścalaḥ pūrṇo nirākāṅkṣaḥ samantataḥ sarvaṁsarvikayā turapyarthe||312||" - "As has been explained, 'jñeya' --lit. knowable-- is the Highest Principle --i.e. the Supreme Being as the only object of knowledge, as it were, to such a great Yogī--. (The term) 'bhāva' (means) the mind as the seat of feelings and thoughts. 'Sthira' (is) steady, motionless. (The meaning of the word) 'pūrṇa' (is) desireless, wishing nothing. 'Samantatas' (means) 'completely, wholly'. (And) 'tu' (is to be interpreted) in the sense of 'even when'".

The third and fourth lines belong to the stanza IV, 313. The sage comments as follows: "Mana eva paratattvaikyabhāvanāvāsitaṁ kartṛ yathoktaṁ jñeyaṁ sarvatra cintayatyeva|" - "Manas --the mind--, the doer, being influenced by the contemplation on the unity with the Highest Principle, thinks at all times only of the abovementioned jñeya --the Supreme Being as the sole object of knowledge of the Yogī--".Return 

4  Now, the entire commentary of Kṣemarāja on this stanza in his Svacchandoddyota:

"Indriyāṇi cārthaścaindriyakaṁ prayojanaṁ viṣayopabhogasteṣu sthito yogivaro yo nirūpyeta vicāryeta yatra kutrāpi nāsyāśivamasti sarvasyāsya prakāśamānatayā prakāśaghanaśivaikātmyāt||314||" - "Senses and 'artha' or 'purpose/aim of the senses', viz. enjoyment of objects—; the best of the Yogī-s who may be involved with those (realities), wherever he may investigate or examine, there is no state devoid of Śiva to him. Everything appears as the Light of Consciousness in his case, because of (his) identification with Śiva who is a compact mass of Light||314||".

Hopefully I was skillful enough and I interpreted the meanings in a proper way. Now, you can understand my way of translating the stanza IV, 314 of Svacchandatantra.Return 


 Aphorism 25

Thus, the Yogī who has obtained pre-eminence and excellence—

(That superb Yogī who has attained to the fourth state) becomes equal to Śiva||25||

Through the intensity of the contact with Turya or the Fourth State, he attains the state of Turyātīta --lit. which is beyond Turya-- (and) becomes equal to the divine and adorable Śiva who is a perfectly transparent (and) free mass of Consciousness (and) Bliss; (and) while the bodily aspect does not vanish --while he is still alive--, (such a Yogī) is like Him|

With the disappearance of that --of the body after death--, that (Yogī is) Śiva Himself in person|

(It was) so (said) in venerable Kālikākrama (too):

"The glorious Bhairava --i.e. the Supreme Lord-- said: 'Therefore, having understood always (and) without any doubt from the mouth of the guru --spiritual teacher-- the means of union (with Śiva), one should contemplate (on Śiva), devoid of thoughts, with emotion --with feeling--1  (and) with a sense of identification with Him, till he achieves sameness or identity with Him'"|


Skip the notes

1  "Avikalpena bhāvena" may be optionally translated as "with a state devoid of thoughts", because the word "bhāva", apart from "feeling, emotion" and other huge pile of possible meanings, means "state, condition". OK, I just wanted to make this point clear.Return 


 Aphorism 26

And even in this way --i.e. even when he has attained full identification with the Supreme Lord--, according to the method described (in the scriptures), viz. "Because (there is) this (body), therefore through bhoga or object of enjoyment, etc.", since, (while the body lives,) the purpose is merely letting the objects of enjoyment fallen to one's share pass1 , the continuance of the body of this (Yogī) is not to be neglected. (Śiva) said so (in the following aphorism)

Remaining in the body (is his) vow, (that is to say, he retains a physical form on account of his enormous compassion to humankind; it is really a pious act on his part)||26||

In accordance with the viewpoint mentioned (previously), with reference to the Yogī who is like Śiva (and) who lives with the state (of) "I (am) Śiva", what (is called) remaining (or) existing in the body (is) certainly (his) vow. (So,) in the (particular) case of this (Yogī) who is totally devoted to the worship of the ever-present Supreme (Self) in the form of the awareness of his own essential nature, (such a vow) is observed as an act of piety|

(It has been) so (declared) in venerable Svacchandatantra (as well):

"Just as in a well-kindled fire, the flame is seen in the sky, so the Self, (though) undoubtedly existing in body and vital energy, is merged in His State --in the state of Śiva--2 "||
(See IV, 398 in Svacchandatantra)

In accordance with what was expressed (in the stanza of Svacchandatantra), it is declared that there is a condition of being full of Śiva in the (Yogī) who (still) exists in body, vital energy, etc. --though he is still retaining his body, vital energy, etc., he is fully merged in God!--|

No vow other than the maintenance of the body is appropriate for him|

That (has been) said in venerable Trikasāra:

"He who is wise is always marked with Mudrā-s --Seals--3  arising from the body. He alone is said to be a holder of Mudrā-s. The rest of people (are) certainly holders of bones"||

In venerable Kulapañcāśikā also, (it has been stated that):

"Having seen somebody who does not have any perceptible (religious) mark, the Marīci-s --the Supreme Powers-- converse (with him). They do not meet with the one who has (religious) marks because (such Supreme Powers) are very occult and mysterious"||


Skip the notes

1  Let me be more specific regarding this: "úpanata" means "fallen to one's share", "bhoga" is "object of enjoyment" and "ativāhana" is "letting pass". In short, "letting the objects of enjoyment fallen to one's share pass", in the sense of "enjoying those objects as they naturally arrive and then letting them go". There is neither attachment nor aversion in the process. The sage is speaking about a great Yogī who has attained final Liberation while living, of course. The vast majority of people just long for more objects than those fallen to their lot "naturally". On top of that, they develop attachment and aversion in the process. All that ignorant behavior brings them nothing but immense trouble and pain. Well, you surely know this story, hehe.Return 

2  The entire Kṣemarāja's commentary on this stanza in his Svacchandoddyota reads:

"Dehamantraprāṇātmaśivapadānāmaucityāt kāṣṭhāraṇivahnitacchikhāmbarāṇi dṛṣṭāntaḥ| Tenāraṇimanthanayuktyā supradīpte prajvalite vahnau sati yathā śikhā jvālā dāhyaṁ dagdhvāmbare dṛśyate tatra layāt tadātmabhāvaṁ prāptāvalokyate tadvaddivyakaraṇamantrāraṇisamuttejanena dehe yaḥ prāṇastasmin supradīpte madhyordhvavāhyudānāgnitāmāyāti dehe sthito ya ātmā prokta śuddhavijñānakevalarūpo vahniśikhātulyaḥ samanāntaṁ samastaṁ dehadāruṁ daghdvā tasminpade līyate nirupādhiparamaśivaikātmyametyevetyarthaḥ||398||" - "For the sake of convenience, a comparison (has been made) between wood, (two) pieces of wood used for kindling fire by friction, fire, its flame --i.e. the flame of the fire-- and sky and the states of body, mantra, vital energy, Self and Śiva (respectively) --in short, the analogy is like this: 'wood - body', '(two) pieces of wood for kindling fire by friction - mantra', 'fire - vital energy', 'flame - Self' and 'sky - Śiva'--. Therefore, just as when there is a well-kindled or lighted fire, the śikhā or flame burning the fuel is seen in the sky, viz. (such a flame) is seen reaching its true nature by merging itself into that --into the sky--, so the vital energy which is in the body, being greatly inflamed by the (two) pieces of wood in the form of mantra or divine sound, becomes the fire of udāna flowing upward through the middle passage --i.e. through Suṣumnā-- when it is well-kindled. The Self, whose nature is only pure Consciousness, is said to reside in the body (too). He is like the flame of a fire. By burning all the wood known as body, which ends in Samanā, (this Self) merges into that State, i.e. He certainly attains oneness with Nirupādhiparamaśiva or Paramaśiva without attributes. This is the meaning."

Very good! Now, with this didactical explanation of the sage Kṣemarāja, the meaning of the stanza is very clear indeed. For more information about Samanā, etc., read Meditation 6 and stanza/commentary III, 5 of the present scripture.Return 

3  In this particular context the term Mudrā refers to Seals performed by parts of the body (e.g. hands) or even the entire body. If you hear many people who speak (and even write) about Yoga, the meaning of Mudrā is Seal because it apparently closes/seals the circuit in one's system so the energy will not go out and it will be thus preserved inside. Anyway, this is a good example of why I always opine that only Yoga experts and scholars can say something which is worth being heard. In the first place, the energy cannot go out because there is neither "outside" nor "inside" in the case of Śakti. This is very hard to grasp for ordinary people who are convinced that there is a universe out there different from themselves and whose pursuits are mostly mundane, but any aspirant with enough experience in Yoga can understand me perfectly. If somebody practicing Yoga still cannot understand me, well, he or she is not enough mature from a spiritual viewpoint.

So, there must be no fear of "losing" energy because the circuit is "open". In fact, the concept of "energy" is also tricky, because in reality it is "power" (Śakti). Śakti is always the possession of Śiva (You!) and cannot ever be lost by any means. It is just one's Māyā or Ignorance who forces oneself to believe that Śakti could escape from the system if the circuit is open. Oh good God, I have been hearing that erroneous concept of "Mudrā-s which prevent Śakti from escaping one's system" for years, hehe, yes, my own Māyā indeed!

Therefore, in order to remove this mayic concept, I can say the following: The real purpose of Mudrā is to make the mind become united with the Self. This is why it is termed "Seal". There are other meanings derived from various roots, but the one I gave you is the main meaning in the vast majority of contexts. And, as a matter of fact, nobody can perform "genuine" Mudrā-s at will but these arise spontaneously due to the Grace of the Lord. Hence the stanza states that only a great Yogī is a holder of Mudrā-s while the rest of people performing those Seals just hold bones.Return 


 Aphorism 27

Of this kind (of Yogī)

(His) conversation (is) the muttering (of a Mantra or prayer)||27||

"I (am) certainly the Highest Self or Spirit, (I am) Śiva, the Supreme Cause"||
(See final portion of IV, 399 in Svacchandatantra)

As defined in venerable Svacchandatantra, (his conversation is the muttering of a Mantra or prayer) since (such a Yogī) is constantly full of the highest contemplation on I-(consciousness)|

"(I)-consciousness (or) the Supreme Power who is omniscient, i.e. replete with knowledge, belongs to the One who is the greatest God among the gods (and) whose nature is the Highest Consciousness"||

As defined in venerable Kālikākrama, whatever conversation, etc. of the (Yogī) who has attained the uncreated I-consciousness consisting of the great Mantra, all that amounts to his japa --muttering of a Mantra or prayer-- whose essence is the incessant repetition of the awareness of the deity (of the great Mantra) who is one's own Self1 |

That (very teaching) has been expressed in venerable Vijñānabhairavatantra:

"That contemplation which is performed over and over again on the Highest State (is) japa in this (context). Such a spontaneous --i.e. sounding by itself-- sound whose nature is a Mantra (constitutes) the object of japa --i.e. such a spontaneous sound is to be contemplated on again and again--2 "||

So also, (it is declared in the same scripture):

"(The subtle mantra) 'Haṁsa, Haṁsa' goes out with the sound 'Sa' and goes in again with the sound 'Ha'. (For this reason), the living being constantly mutters that mantra. Day and night (this living being mutters it) 21,600 (times). The muttering of the Goddess has been indicated to be easy (for the wise, but) difficult for the unwise3 "||


Skip the notes

1  The deity of the great Mantra is Śiva (one's own Self). This Śiva is inseparable from His Śakti or divine Power appearing as "I-consciousness". Therefore, the great Mantra is being repeated automatically and incessantly in the form of "Aham" or "I". Without "I" nothing could ever become manifest. So, as this sublime Yogī is constantly aware of "Aham", all his conversations are like his japa.Return 

2  As hinted at in the previous note, japa in the case of this great Yogī is not even a muttering of a mantra as usually understood but simply contemplation on the Highest State (the State of Śiva). Aham or I is the sound which continues to sound by itself incessantly. Therefore, contemplation of Aham or I (the Highest State) is what constitutes japa for this high-souled one. Now, everything is clear, right?Return 

3  For more information about this topic, check Varṇa in Meditation 5.Return 


 Aphorism 28

(Through the following aphorism, Śiva) spoke about the conduct or behavior of this (Yogī) who practices such japa and vrata --See the previous two aphorisms--—

Knowledge of the Self (is his) gift (for us all)||28||

That knowledge of the Self, who is the aforesaid --See I, 1-- Absolute Consciousness, consists in realizing (this Self). That (knowledge is) his gift. And considering (the roots from which the term dāna or gift is derived): "The perfect essential nature is given (as a gift. By this gift,) the difference (between Śiva and) the universe is cut (or) divided --i.e. duality ceases--; the essence of Māyā is cleansed (or) purified, and the innate state —whose nature is Śiva — which has been acquired by this (great Yogī) is preserved (or) protected1 "|

However --i.e. despite the possible meanings of the term dāna or gift according to the different roots--, knowledge of the Self (is) a gift because it is given (or) imparted by him to the pupils who dwell near or in his house2  --the main meaning is the one derived from the root "dā" or "to give" then--|

That (very teaching) has been (clearly) expressed (by the following stanza):

"The best Yogī-s, well-established in Kulācāra --the unity of Śiva (the Lord), Śakti (His Power) and nara (the individual soul)--, will rescue (limited beings) from the vast ocean of transmigratory existence by (their mere) presence or touch3 "||


Skip the notes

1  Succinctly, for Sanskrit students, the roots are as follows: dā (to give, house or class 3), do (to cut, house or class 2), dai (to cleanse, house or class 1) and dī (to preserve, house or class 2).Return 

2  The word "antevāsibhyaḥ" is the Dative (plural, masculine) of "antevāsin". The Nominative case (singular, masculine) is "antevāsī" or "a pupil who dwells near or in the house of his teacher". It is very interesting what the sage Kṣemarāja wrote, because one would have expected "śiṣyebhyaḥ" or "to the śiṣya-s or pupils", in a general way, whether they dwell near or far from their teacher. I could have overlooked this and translated "to the pupils", but it would not have been accurate. According to the stanza being quoted next, the sage is giving more importance to Grace being imparted by sight or touch. Hence the necessity of having the pupils within reach, from a physical viewpoint.Return 

3  Here the stanza teaches that the main ones among the Yogī-s will set conditioned beings free by their mere presence (i.e. by sight), and also by their touch. Another name for "knowledge of the Self" is "Grace", i.e. "divine Grace" or "anugraha". According to my tradition, Grace can "additionally" be bestowed upon pupils through a mantra or by mere saṅkalpa or volition, i.e. at will. Evidently, these two additional methods are mostly used with those pupils who are not antevāsī-s, viz. who do not dwell near or in the house of their guru (e.g. myself!). As Kṣemarāja is speaking about the antevāsī-s in this context, the methods to initiate disciples by sight (dṛk) and touch (sparśa) are the only ones being mentioned.Return 


 Aphorism 29

According to what has been stated, he is always equal to Śiva. (Therefore,) he alone (can) really (be) the teacher --someone who makes oneself recognize his own essential nature-- of pupils, because, being devoted to vrata, japa and caryā or religious practices in this way, he has achieved (mastery over) his own group of powers. (Śiva) said so (in the following aphorism)

He who (is) established (in the group of powers or Śakticakra is) indeed a means of wisdom||29||

[The term "avipasthaḥ" --established (in the group of powers or Śakticakra)-- is to be interpreted in the following manner:] avipa (means) "one who protects the avi-s (or) animals --the limited beings--", (that is,) the group of powers (composed of) Māheśvarī, etc. according to the viewpoint declared (in) "Māheśvarī and other goddesses (who have their sphere of influence) in 'ka' group, etc., (and are) the mothers of the limited beings, (become his presiding deities). (III, 19) (of the current scripture)". (The term "sthaḥ" in "avipasthaḥ" means that) that (great Yogī) remains there --in that group of powers or Śakticakra-- (and) shines as the lord (of such powers) since he knows his exalted state or position --lit. since his exalted state or position is known--. He (is) "jñāhetuḥ" (or) "a means of wisdom" (on account of his being) the means or source of that "jñā" —"that which knows "—, viz. Jñānaśakti or Power of Knowledge. (For that reason,) he is fit for instructing and awakening (his) pupils by the Power of Knowledge --i.e. by his wisdom--|

Nonetheless, another being (apart from that kind of Yogī), being subject to the group of powers, he is not a lord over himself. How would he awaken others (then)?|

With regard to the word "yaḥ" --who-- (occurring) in this aphorism, the word "saḥ" --he-- is to be supplied (to complete the sense) --resulting in "he who"--|

The word "ca" (has been used) in the sense of "hi" --indeed, certainly, etc.--|

Since he —i.e. this (Yogī) who is established (in the group of powers or Śakticakra)(is) a means for awakening knowledge, therefore it has been rightly said that: "Knowledge of the Self (is his) gift (for us all). (III, 28) (of the current scripture)"|

However, other (authors), from the standpoint of nirukta --a kind of explanation or interpretation of the words-- (based on the maxim) "according to similarity of the syllables it would express " --i.e. according to the similarity of syllables a particular term expresses a meaning which derives from words linked to its syllables--, (maintain that): "yo" (points out) yogīndra —a lord among the Yogī-s—, "vi" (indicates) vijñāna —special knowledge—, "pa" (suggests) pada —state—, (and) "sthaḥ" --established--, which is the last syllable of this (expression) --viz. Yo'vipasthaḥ in the aphorism--, (forms, along with "pada", the term) "padasthaḥ" —established in a state—|

"Jña" (points out) jñātā —knower—, "he" (indicates) heya —rejectable—, "tu" (indicates) tucchatā —worthlessness—, (and) by Visarga --"ḥ" at the end of hetuḥ in the aphorism-- the creative power (would be suggested). By the word "ca", not expressed (here) in a conjunctive sense --the particle "ca" is not to be understood here as usually, i.e. as the mere conjunction "and"--, an agent or doer is referred to. Having so employed (this method of interpretation, these other authors) explain (the aphorism in the following way:)

"The one who is a lord among the Yogī-s, through the power of (I-)consciousness, is established in a state of special knowledge about the nature of his own essential Self. He must be considered to be knower and doer. In that case, he rejects this (universe), by considering (it) worthless and unsubstantial. (In a nutshell,) he does not accept (the universe)1 "|

This (kind of interpretation) does not please us because it is not very agreeable with the association or relation between the meanings of the words, and because it is possible to show, in every aphorism, a succession of such explanations by thousands||29||

Skip the notes

1  This portion is very tricky as far as its translation is concerned. This is why, for the good of all Sanskrit students (and my own good too, hehe), I will make the process of translating clear by a note of explanation. According to my present knowledge, the right translation is the one I wrote, i.e. "In that case, he rejects this (universe), by considering (it) worthless and unsubstantial. (In a nutshell,) he does not accept (the universe)|". OK, that translation arose in order to meet the requirements of a modern western mind, but what about being more literal and starting to think like the ancient ones?: "In that case, he attains the state of being rejectable, worthlessness (and) the state of being unsubstantial of this (universe). (In a nutshell,) he does not attains (its) acceptability|". Oh, that hurt!

Well, I suppose that the structure of the phrase in Sanskrit and my way of translating it is now clear for the students.Return 


 Aphorism 30

And of this (Yogī)

The universe (is) the expansion or unfoldment of his own Power||30||

Since he has been said to be like Śiva, therefore, just as from the viewpoint of the sacred texts, the Śiva's universe is full of His own Śakti or Power:

"His powers (are) the entire world, etc.1 "|

so, the universe (is) an unfoldment (or) expansion —a flashing of the Power of Action (which manifests the world)— of his own Śakti whose nature is Consciousness|

That has (also) been declared in venerable Mṛtyujit --Netratantra--:

"Because God is the Highest Reality as pure Consciousness and Jñāna (or Consciousness) exists in many forms, (and since God becomes) the Protector of the restrained or conditioned beings —of the ones living in bondage—, therefore He is said to be Netra2 "||
(See IX, 12 in Netratantra)

and also in Kālikākrama:

"Consciousness shines --becomes manifest-- inside (and) outside in various ways --e.g. inside like pleasure, outside like a pot, etc.--. There is no existence of objects without consciousness. Therefore, the world (is) a form of consciousness. Without consciousness, the objects are not perceived by anybody. Consciousness has become the nature of those (objects, and) through it (each one of them) is ascertained and clearly distinguished. By the application of affirmation and negation, there is division --lit. with/through the division-- of positive and negative bhāva-s or objects --viz. manifest and unmanifest--. The objectivity --i.e. the state of being an object or jñeya-- of the objects (is perceived) as having consciousness for its essence by force of bhāvanā or realization of one's nature. In the case of knowledge and knowable, they are the same thing --lit. (there is) an only form-- due to a simultaneous apprehension --in short, knowledge and knowable are perceived at the same time because if one of them is not present there is no existence--"|


Skip the notes

1  That "etc." stands for the suspension points.Return 

2  Because this stanza contains very deep knowledge, I will quote the entire commentary that Kṣemarāja wrote on it in his Netroddyota. As a by-product, you will understand why I translated the stanza in the particular way I did: "Devaḥ parameśvaro jñānamayaścinmātraparamārthaḥ| Tacca jñānaṁ bahudheti svātantryātsaṅkocamābhāsya nānātvamāśritya sthitam| Ataśca saṅkocābhāsabhājo ye nigūhitasvarūpatayā niyantritā ābhāsitā devena tata eva baddhāsteṣāṁ nānādarśanopāsābhiḥ svasvarūpaprathāhetutayā yato devastrāṇaṁ tasmānniruktadṛśā netramucyate na tu cakṣurgolakatayā||12||" - "God, the Supreme Lord, is 'jñānamaya' --lit. full of knowledge--, viz. the Highest Reality in the form of pure Consciousness. That Jñāna (or Consciousness), having assumed manifoldness (and) manifested contraction through (Its) Absolute Freedom, exists 'in many forms'. Hence, those who participate in the manifestation of contraction, being their essential nature concealed (or veiled), are manifested by God as restrained (or conditioned) beings. And for that reason, they are in bondage. (Nonetheless,) through their worships and homages prescribed by various philosophical systems and doctrines, God (turns into) their 'Trāṇa' or Protector because He becomes the cause for the expansion of their own essential nature --i.e. the essential nature of those limited beings ceases to be concealed--. On that account, from a etymological viewpoint, He is said to be 'Netra' --in other words, the term Netra is the abbreviation of 'niyantritānāṁ trāṇam' or 'protector of the restrained/limited beings'--. (He) is not (called 'Netra') in the sense of 'eyeball' --since the usual meaning of the term "netra" is "eye"--||12||".

Very good! And remember, whether you are one whose essential nature is concealed or expanded (or a mixture), the Highest Reality is always your real Self. If you read this scripture and think that the author is speaking about "another" person who has attained such a high state of consciousness, you are thinking wrongly and only accumulating book learning. If you do not realize your essential nature while reading, tataḥ kim (what then?). So, the truth is that this scripture deals with You alone! The entire universe tells Your story, dear Lord!Return 


 Aphorism 31

Not only (is) the universe the expansion (or unfoldment) of his own power in the stage or state of (its) manifestation, (but also) with reference to the other two (states) following it—

Both the maintenance (of the universe and its) reabsorption (are also the unfoldment of his Power)||31||

(The phrase) "(are also) the unfoldment of his Power " (should) follow (the aphorism in order to complete the sense) --this is why it was already added in parentheses to the translation of the aphorism--|

Sthiti or maintenance of the universe manifested by the Power of Action, which --i.e. sthiti-- is an external appearance (lasting) for some time, with regard to various experients1 , and laya or reabsorption which is a repose on the Experient --one's own Self-- who is pure Consciousness, these very two --sthiti and laya--2  (are) only an expansion or unfoldment of his own Power --of the Yogī's power who is equal to Śiva--. Undoubtedly, the various knowable(s) --objects-- which appear and disappear --i.e. which become manifest and unmanifest-- consist only of his own Conscious Power --i.e. the Power of Consciousness--, since otherwise there would be impossibility of apprehension or perception of this (universe) --being less literal but more explicit "since apprehension or perception of this universe would be impossible otherwise", i.e. if the objects appearing and disappearing were not only his own Power, the act of perceiving them would not be possible--|

For this very reason, (when) in venerable Kālikākrama (it is declared that):

"There is division --lit. with/through the division-- of positive and negative bhāva-s or objects --viz. manifest and unmanifest--, etc."||

(such a statement) was said with respect to maintenance and reabsorption (of the universe)|


"He who perceives the entirely pure Consciousness, which is devoid of support --viz. it does not depend on any object to exist-- (and) whose nature is one's own pratyaya or I-consciousness, (is) an emancipated soul while living3 ; there is no doubt (about it)"||


Skip the notes

1  For more information about the seven experients, read note 4 in III, 19 of the present scripture.Return 

2  For Sanskrit students: "tau" is the Nominative dual (masculine) of "tad" and "etau" is the Nominative dual (masculine) of "etad". Usually "tad" means "that", while "this" is indicated by the word "etad". Anyway, "tad" can also mean "this" according to the context. In this case, to translate "tau" as "these two" is more appropriate than translating it as "those two". And of course, the expression includes "very", when "tad" and "etad" come together, e.g. tau etau (which, by the 6th Primary Rule of Vowel Sandhi, turn into "tāvetau"... but the author could have optionally written "tā etau" by the 7th Primary Rule of Vowel Sandhi): "those very two" or else, as in this case, "these very two". You can confirm what I said about "tad" also meaning "this" by simply consulting any decent Sanskrit dictionary.Return 

3  For Sanskrit students again: When "n" is at the end of a word and preceded by a "short" vowel, it changes to "nn" if followed by a vowel according to the 2nd sub-rule of the 15th Rule of Consonant Sandhi. Hence the original expression "jīvan eva" turned into "jīvanneva" in the stanza. Evidently, the author knew this rule! (joking).Return 


 Aphorism 32

A doubt!: "Thus, (in the case of a great Yogī oriented toward objects,) his (inner state) experiences anyathātva --lit. difference-- or a break in the awareness of his essential nature during the states of manifestation, maintenance and reabsorption (of the universe), whose appearances differ from one another" --in short, since manifestation, maintenance and reabsorption of the universe differ from each other regarding their appearance, the inner state of the great Yogī should change too every time he experiences those three, one after the other--. In order to extinguish (that) doubt, (Śiva) said—

Even though there may be occurrence of those (three previous processes, viz. manifestation, maintenance and reabsorption of the universe), there is no break (in the inner state of the great Yogī) because of (his) condition as the (Supreme) Knower||32||

Even though there may be occurrence (or) emergence of those, i.e. of manifestation, etc., there is no break (or) motion (in the inner state) of this Yogī because of (his) condition as the (Supreme) Knower, (to wit,) since he is the Perceiver full of the blissful awareness of Turya --the Fourth State--, (and) because there would not be manifestation of anything at all in the case of a break in that --in his state as the Supreme Knower--1 |

That (truth) was declared in that (book) itself --in Kālikākrama--:

"When there is disappearance of what has been manifested by Ignorance or Māyā, one's essential nature --the essential nature of Consciousness-- does not disappear. As there is absence of appearance --manifestation-- (and) disappearance (as far as Consciousness is concerned), therefore there is no real disappearance (in Its case). Since (even) Ignorance is figuratively mentioned as appearing and disappearing, how then (can) It --i.e. Consciousness-- be said to have disappeared, (when) that (Consciousness), by nature, has not (ever) disappeared?"||

This was mentioned by this (aphorism) in Spandakārikā-s:

"It is said that (there are) two states in this (principle of Spanda, viz.) the state of deed (and) the state of doer. Of those, the state of deed is perishable, but the state of doer (is) imperishable"||
(See Spandakārikā-s I, 14)

and also (by these other two aphorisms):

"Only the effort which is directed to deed disappears in this (state of Samādhi). When that (effort) has disappeared, (only) a fool (would) think 'I have disappeared'.
There is never cessation of that inner state or nature which (is) the abode of the attribute of omniscience, on account of the nonperception of another2 "||
(See Spandakārikā-s I, 15-16)


Skip the notes

1  Changes are detected due to the presence of something which is immutable. If the Supreme Knower or Perceiver, i.e. Consciousness (You!), were ever to change, that is, if He experienced a break or motion in His essential nature, who would notice the other changes then? As these other changes are perceived the whole time as they happen (e.g. wakefulness, dreams, pleasure, pain, void, happiness, external things getting old, etc.), the Highest Reality (You!) never abandons Its own essential state. It is sadodita or nityodita (lit. always arisen), viz. ever-present. One cannot say the same thing about all that has been produced by Ignorance or Māyā, which is full of changing realities. Hence those who postulate that Consciousness changes or mutates are wrong from beginning to end.Return 

2  Not only in this case, but every time you see a Spandakārikā-s' stanza being quoted, read the respective explanation written by the same sage Kṣemarāja in Spandanirṇaya (his scholarly commentary on Spandakārikā-s).Return 


 Aphorism 33

Of this Yogī—

(This sublime Yogī) considers pleasure and pain as something external||33||

(This great Yogī) considers --lit. consideration-- (or) perceives --lit. perception-- pleasure and pain born of contact with objects as a mere --lit. as being a mere appearance-- "This" --viz. as something being perceived by one's own essential nature which is "I" or "Subject"--. (In a nutshell, he considers or perceives the two) as something external, (such) like blue, etc., and not like the common people (consider them both, that is,) as something touching --coming into contact-- with the "I". In his case, as expressed by the meaning of the aphorism "The universe (is) the expansion or unfoldment of his own Power. (III, 30) (of the current scripture)", everything shines forth as clad --in the sense of "consisting of, full of"-- in (his) I-consciousness, and not (as if) pleasure, pain, etc. were connected (with his I-consciousness) --as if these experiences were somehow affecting his "I" or essential nature--. Such is the explanation according to this previous (aphorism)|

How (can) the Yogī, in whom the state (of regarding) the subtle body --composed of intellect, ego, mind and subtle elements-- as the Experient or Knower --the Self-- has been extinguished, be touched --i.e. be affected-- by pleasure and pain (when these two are related to intellect, ego and mind)?|

The same thing has also been said in venerable Pratyabhijñāsūtravimarśinī:

"There is no pleasure, pain, etc. for those who have transcended the stage of (limited) experient --the one who is controlled by Māyā or Ignorance-- (and) attained the state of the Real Experient --i.e. Śiva-- even when there might be a clear perception of pleasure (and) pain presented by their various causes1 . Or else, (due to a full immersion in the Light of Consciousness,) pleasure, etc. are not produced --lit. is not produced-- because their causes are absent2 . Then, (whether they are in Turya or Turyātīta), there is (only) manifestation or presence of natural Bliss indeed"||

Hence, by this (aphorism), (the same truth) has been stated in Spandakārikā-s:

"Wherein (there is) neither pain nor pleasure nor object nor subject; (wherein) the state of insentience does not even exist... that is, in the highest sense, (the principle of Spanda)"||
(See Spandakārikā-s I, 5)


Skip the notes

1  Those great beings do not experience pleasure and pain even while going through wakefulness, dreaming and deep sleep, because they rest on Turya (the Fourth State), which is a witnessing state. In other words, they perceive the drama of the world process as a Witness and therefore they cannot experience pleasure and pain as something related to their real "I". They perceive them both as something external.Return 

2  When the great Yogī-s attain Turyātīta, the state beyond the Fourth One (viz. when they attain pure Consciousness devoid of any universal manifestation), the causes of pleasure and pain are absolutely gone. Attachment (rāga) and aversion (dveṣa) are the respective causes for pleasure (sukha) and pain (duḥkha). If the causes are completely absent because a person is fully plunged into the Light of his own Self, the effects cannot arise at all. Simple!Return 


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Gabriel Pradīpaka

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