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 Śivasūtravimarśinī (Shiva Sutra Vimarshini) - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir

Commentary of Kṣemarāja on the Śivasūtra-s - Only the translation


Hi, Gabriel Pradīpaka --wrongly-written Pradipaka-- again. The discovery of the Śivasūtra-s --wrongly written Shiva Sutras or Shivasutras-- by Vasugupta marked the beginning of Trika system (also known as "Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir"), at least in its formal aspect. On the Śivasūtra-s this entire philosophical system is based. You may have an overview of the Trika literature here. There are four commentaries on the Śivasūtra-s:

Vṛtti (by unknown author)

Vārttika (by Bhāskara)

Vimarśinī --wrongly-written Vimarshini-- (by Kṣemarāja --wrongly-written Kshemaraja or Ksemaraja-- this commentary is being studied right now)

Vārttika (by Varadarāja, also known as Kṛṣṇadāsa)

Of those commentaries, I chose to translate Kṣemarāja's Śivasūtravimarśinī (or simply "Vimarśinī" --wrongly written Shiva Sutra Vimarshini or Shivasutra Vimarshini--). This commentary is considered to be the most authoritative. It is a long commentary indeed, full of secret teachings being revealed by the words of the sage.

The Vṛtti is pretty much like Vimarśinī. Hence, it could be argued that either Kṣemarāja's Vimarśinī molded itself on the Vṛtti, or the latter was simply a condensed version of the former. In turn, Bhāskara's Vārttika is an original work in verse. Sometimes the interpretations given by Bhāskara are somewhat strange and ambiguous. Anyway, they can be looked upon as new interpretations despite they are dubious. For that reason, I think that his commentary is not as reliable as Vimarśinī. Kṣemarāja's Vimarśinī was written in prose and gives detailed explanation of every topic dealt with in the Śivasūtra-s themselves. It is by far the most complete work on this sacred scripture of Trika. Finally, Varadarāja's Vārttika is a mere "rehash" of Kṣemarāja's Vimarśinī, but in verse.

How were the Śivasūtra-s discovered by the sage Vasugupta? This question has three possible answers:

  1. According to Bhāskara, a Siddha (a perfected being) revealed the Śivasūtra-s to Vasugupta in a dream.
  2. According to Kṣemarāja, they were found by Vasugupta engraved on a flat stone by following the instructions given to him by Śiva --wrongly-written Shiva or Siva-- during a dream.
  3. It were taught by Śiva to Vasugupta in a dream, according to Kallaṭa (a disciple of Vasugupta himself).

Well, three different interpretations with three common points: 1) The Śivasūtra-s were revealed by a higher Reality (Śiva or a Siddha); 2) They were not written by any human being; and 3) Vasugupta was the recipient of that revelation.

Due to the length of the scripture, I decided to divide the translation into several documents as you can see above. The present document acts as a sort of "portal" document. If you want a detailed explanation of the hidden meanings in this scripture, go to "Scriptures (study)/Śivasūtravimarśinī" in the Trika section.

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. Of course, I will say as little as possible, since the complete explanation is being written in other section, as I specified previously.

Nothing else to be said. Read Śivasūtravimarśinī and realize your inherent divinity.


 Further Information

Gabriel Pradīpaka

This document was conceived by Gabriel Pradīpaka, one of the two founders of this site, and spiritual guru conversant with Sanskrit language and Trika philosophy.

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

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