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 Spandakārikā-s (Spanda Karikas) - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir

A running commentary on the Śivasūtra-s


  Introduction

Hi, Gabriel Pradīpaka --wrongly-written Pradipaka-- again. The discovery of Śivasūtra-s --wrongly-written Shiva Sutras-- by Vasugupta marked the beginning of Trika system (also known as "Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir"), at least in its formal aspect. On Śivasūtra-s this entire philosophical system is based (an overview of the Trika literature). After Śivasūtra-s were discovered and spread by Vasugupta, he felt that he should somehow write a kind of running commentary on them. He did so, and his commentary was known as Spandakārikā-s --wrongly-written Spanda Karikas-- (a collection of concise statements in verse --kārikā-s-- about the Primordial Vibration or Throb --Spanda--). Spanda is synonymous with Śakti --wrongly-written Shakti or Sakti-- (I-consciousness). Spanda is the Power of Śiva --wrongly-written Shiva or Siva--, by which He is conscious of Himself. Besides, Spanda allows Him to manifest, maintain and withdraw the entire universe. Spanda is a Divine Throb, but not in a physical sense at all! It is a kind of movement in the space of Consciousness. Śiva is with no movements, but somehow something is moving in Him and this is Spanda. Well, it is difficult to explain this by using limited terms as it is a Divine Reality which lies beyond all words. There are four commentaries on Spandakārikā-s:

Vṛtti (by Kallaṭa --a disciple of Vasugupta--)

Spandapradīpikā (by Bhaṭṭotpala)

Vivṛti (by Rāmakaṇṭha)

Spandanirṇaya --wrongly-written Spanda Nirnaya-- (by Kṣemarāja --wrongly-written Kshemaraja or Ksemaraja--)*

*It is to be noted that there is another commentary by Kṣemarāja called "Spandasandoha", but it is only a commentary on the first aphorism of Spandakārikā-s.

Spandanirṇaya by Kṣemarāja was written in prose, and it is considered to be the most authoritative among the four. It is a very long commentary indeed, full of scholar terms and sesquipedalian compounds (long and abstruse compounds) to which Kṣemarāja seems to be addicted. On the other hand, Vṛtti by Kallaṭa gives a simple explanation of the kārikā-s. In turn, Bhaṭṭotpala wrote a commentary which is principally a compilation of quotes extracted from other books. However, the commentary by Rāmakaṇṭha (i.e. "Vivṛti") closely follows Vṛtti by Kallaṭa. As you can see, only Kallaṭa and Kṣemarāja wrote original commentaries.

I will be showing here only the translation of Spandakārikā-s. If you want a detailed explanation of the kārikā-s or aphorisms, go to "Scriptures (study)/Spandanirṇaya" in the Trika section.

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.

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  Section I: Svarūpaspanda

(Spanda as one's own nature)

यस्योन्मेषनिमेषाभ्यां जगतः प्रलयोदयौ।
तं शक्तिचक्रविभवप्रभवं शङ्करं स्तुमः॥१॥

Yasyonmeṣanimeṣābhyāṁ jagataḥ pralayodayau|
Taṁ śakticakravibhavaprabhavaṁ śaṅkaraṁ stumaḥ||1||

We laud (stumaḥ) that (tam) Śaṅkara --an epithet of Śiva-- (śaṅkaram) who is the source or cause (prabhavam) of the glorious (vibhava) group (cakra) of powers (śakti), (and) by whose (yasya) opening (and) shutting of (His) eyes (unmeṣa-nimeṣābhyām) (there is) dissolution and emergence (pralaya-udayau) of the world (jagataḥ)||1||


यत्र स्थितमिदं सर्वं कार्यं यस्माच्च निर्गतम्।
तस्यानावृतरूपत्वान्न निरोधोऽस्ति कुत्रचित्॥२॥

Yatra sthitamidaṁ sarvaṁ kāryaṁ yasmācca nirgatam|
Tasyānāvṛtarūpatvānna nirodho'sti kutracit||2||

Since He has a unveiled (anāvṛta) nature --rūpa-- (rūpatvāt), there is no (na.. asti) obstruction (nirodhaḥ) to Him (tasya) anywhere (kutracid), in whom (yatra) all (sarvam) this (idam) universe (kāryam)1 rests (sthitam) and (ca) from whom (yasmāt) it has come forth (nirgatam)||2||

1 Lit. "effect", that is, the universe is the effect while Spanda is its cause.


जाग्रदादिविभेदेऽपि तदभिन्ने प्रसर्पति।
निवर्तते निजान्नैव स्वभावादुपलब्धृतः॥३॥

Jāgradādivibhede'pi tadabhinne prasarpati|
Nivartate nijānnaiva svabhāvādupalabdhṛtaḥ||3||

Even (api) in the variety (of states) (vibhede), (such as) wakefulness (jāgrat), etc. (ādi), which --i.e. "the variety of states"-- is not separate (abhinne) from that (Spanda) (tad), (the principle of Spanda) continues to flow (prasarpati). (Spanda) does not (ever) (na eva) depart (nivartate) from Its own (nijāt) essential nature (sva-bhāvāt) as the Perceiver or Experient --upalabdhṛ-- (upalabdhṛtaḥ)||3||


अहं सुखी च दुःखी च रक्तश्चेत्यादिसंविदः।
सुखाद्यवस्थानुस्यूते वर्तन्तेऽन्यत्र ताः स्फुटम्॥४॥

Ahaṁ sukhī ca duḥkhī ca raktaścetyādisaṁvidaḥ|
Sukhādyavasthānusyūte vartante'nyatra tāḥ sphuṭam||4||

"I (aham) (am) happy (sukhī ca), I (aham) (am) pained (duḥkhī ca), I (aham) (am) attached (raktaḥ ca)", etc. (iti-ādi). Those (tāḥ) cognitions (saṁvidaḥ) remain (vartante) evidently (sphuṭam) in another (anyatra), in whom the states (avasthā) of happiness (sukha), etc. (ādi) are strung together (like beads in a necklace) (anusyūte)||4||


न दुःखं न सुखं यत्र न ग्राह्यं ग्राहकं न च।
न चास्ति मूढभावोऽपि तदस्ति परमार्थतः॥५॥

Na duḥkhaṁ na sukhaṁ yatra na grāhyaṁ grāhakaṁ na ca|
Na cāsti mūḍhabhāvo'pi tadasti paramārthataḥ||5||

Wherein (yatra) (there is) neither (na) pain (duḥkham) nor (na) pleasure (sukham) nor (na) object (grāhyam) nor (na ca) subject (grāhakam); (wherein) the state (bhāvaḥ) of insentience (mūḍha) does not (na ca) even (api) exist (asti)... that (tad) is (asti), in the highest sense (paramārthatas), (the principle of Spanda)||5||


  यतः करणवर्गोऽयं विमूढोऽमूढवत्स्वयम्।
सहान्तरेण चक्रेण प्रवृत्तिस्थितिसंहृतीः॥६॥
लभते तत्प्रयत्नेन परीक्ष्यं तत्त्वमादरात्।
यतः स्वतन्त्रता तस्य सर्वत्रेयमकृत्रिमा॥७॥

Yataḥ karaṇavargo'yaṁ vimūḍho'mūḍhavatsvayam|
Sahāntareṇa cakreṇa pravṛttisthitisaṁhṛtīḥ||6||

Labhate tatprayatnena parīkṣyaṁ tattvamādarāt|
Yataḥ svatantratā tasya sarvatreyamakṛtrimā||7||

That (tad) principle (of Spanda) (tattvam) should be inspected (parīkṣyam) with care (prayatnena) (and) respect (ādarāt), by which (yatas) this (ayam) group (vargaḥ) of organs or instruments --intellect, ego, mind, powers of perception and powers of action-- (karaṇa)1, (though) insentient (vimūḍhaḥ), (proceeds) as (if it were) (vat) sentient (amūḍha) by itself (svayam), (and) together (saha) with the inner (āntareṇa) group (of Karaṇeśvarī-s or goddesses of the senses) (cakreṇa) enters (labhate) into the states of "Pravṛtti" --i.e. to go toward external things-- (pravṛtti), "Sthiti" --i.e. to maintain those very external things for a while-- (sthiti) (and) "Saṁhṛti" --i.e. to dissolve those things in one's own Self-- (saṁhṛtīḥ), inasmuch as (yatas) this (iyam) natural (akṛtrimā) Freedom (svatantratā) of Its (tasya) (exists) everywhere (sarvatra)||6-7||

1 In other words, 5 Jñānendriya-s (Powers of perception), 5 Karmendriya-s (Powers of action), mind, ego and intellect.


न हीच्छानोदनस्यायं प्रेरकत्वेन वर्तते।
अपि त्वात्मबलस्पर्शात्पुरुषस्तत्समो भवेत्॥८॥

Na hīcchānodanasyāyaṁ prerakatvena vartate|
Api tvātmabalasparśātpuruṣastatsamo bhavet||8||

This (limited individual) (ayam) does not (na hi) direct or drive (prerakatvena vartate) the goad (nodanasya) of desire (icchā). But yet (api tu), by getting in touch (sparśāt) with the Force or Power (bala) of the Self (ātma), (that) person (puruṣaḥ) becomes (bhavet) equal (samaḥ) to That (tad)||8||


निजाशुद्ध्यासमर्थस्य कर्तव्येष्वभिलाषिणः।
यदा क्षोभः प्रलीयेत तदा स्यात्परमं पदम्॥९॥

Nijāśuddhyāsamarthasya kartavyeṣvabhilāṣiṇaḥ|
Yadā kṣobhaḥ pralīyeta tadā syātparamaṁ padam||9||

When (yadā) the agitation (kṣobhaḥ) of that (limited individual) who is incapacitated (asamarthasya) by his own (nija) impurity --aśuddhi-- (aśuddhyā) (and) who wishes --abhilāṣī-- (abhilāṣiṇaḥ) to do actions --i.e. to act-- (kartavyeṣu) thoroughly dissolves (pralīyeta), then (tadā) the Supreme (paramam) State (padam) occurs (syāt)||9||


तदास्याकृत्रिमो धर्मो ज्ञत्वकर्तृत्वलक्षणः।
यतस्तदेप्सितं सर्वं जानाति च करोति च॥१०॥

Tadāsyākṛtrimo dharmo jñatvakartṛtvalakṣaṇaḥ|
Yatastadepsitaṁ sarvaṁ jānāti ca karoti ca||10||

In that case (tadā), his (asya) innate (akṛtrimaḥ) nature (dharmaḥ) characterized (lakṣaṇaḥ) by knowledge (jñatva) (and) activity (kartṛtva) (appears), by which (yatas) (that person) then (tadā) knows (jānāti) and (ca... ca) does (karoti) all (sarvam) that is desired (īpsitam) (by him)||10||


  तमधिष्ठातृभावेन स्वभावमवलोकयन्।
स्मयमान इवास्ते यस्तस्येयं कुसृतिः कुतः॥११॥

Tamadhiṣṭhātṛbhāvena svabhāvamavalokayan|
Smayamāna ivāste yastasyeyaṁ kusṛtiḥ kutaḥ||11||

How (kutas) (can) this (iyam) vile (ku) transmigratory path (sṛtiḥ) (be) his (tasya) who (yaḥ) abides or stands (āste) astonished (smayamānaḥ), as it were (iva), while beholding (avalokayan) that (tam) essential nature (or Spanda) (sva-bhāvam) as (bhāvena) presiding over (the entire universe) (adhiṣṭhātṛ)?||11||


नाभावो भाव्यतामेति न च तत्रास्त्यमूढता।
यतोऽभियोगसंस्पर्शात्तदासीदिति निश्चयः॥१२॥

Nābhāvo bhāvyatāmeti na ca tatrāstyamūḍhatā|
Yato'bhiyogasaṁsparśāttadāsīditi niścayaḥ||12||

Nonexistence (abhāvaḥ) cannot (na) be contemplated (bhāvyatām eti), and (ca) there is no (na... asti) absence of stupefaction (amūḍhatā) in that (condition either) (tatra), because (yatas) by coming into contact (saṁsparśāt) with "abhiyoga" --i.e. by hearing the declaration made by the person who has just emerged from that state-- (abhiyogaḥ)1, it is true (iti niścayaḥ) that it --i.e. the condition of stupefaction-- (tad) (really) existed (āsīt)||12||

1 Even though, "abhiyoga" literally means "application", it is to be translated here as "the declaration made by a person who has just emerged from Samādhi or perfect concentration". It is not my own invention, as the sage Kṣemarāja makes that point clear in his Spandanirṇaya (the most authoritative commentary on Spandakārikā-s).


अतस्तत्कृत्रिमं ज्ञेयं सौषुप्तपदवत्सदा।
न त्वेवं स्मर्यमाणत्वं तत्तत्त्वं प्रतिपद्यते॥१३॥

Atastatkṛtrimaṁ jñeyaṁ sauṣuptapadavatsadā|
Na tvevaṁ smaryamāṇatvaṁ tattattvaṁ pratipadyate||13||

For this reason (atas), that (tad) artificial (kṛtrimam) knowable (jñeyam)1 (is) always (sadā) like (vat) the state (pada) of deep sleep (sauṣupta). However (tu), that (tad) principle (of Spanda) (tattvam) is not (na) thus (evam) perceived or realized (pratipadyate), (that is), as a state of recollection (smaryamāṇatvam)||13||

1 In short, "nonexistence" referred to in the previous stanza.


अवस्थायुगलं चात्र कार्यकर्तृत्वशब्दितम्।
कार्यता क्षयिणी तत्र कर्तृत्वं पुनरक्षयम्॥१४॥

Avasthāyugalaṁ cātra kāryakartṛtvaśabditam|
Kāryatā kṣayiṇī tatra kartṛtvaṁ punarakṣayam||14||

It is said (śabditam) that (there are) two (yugalam) states (avasthā) in this (principle of Spanda) (ca atra), (viz.) the state of deed (kārya... tva) (and) the state of doer (kartṛtva). Of those (tatra), the state of deed (kāryatā) is perishable (kṣayiṇī), but (punar) the state of doer (kartṛtvam) (is) imperishable (akṣayam)||14||


कार्योन्मुखः प्रयत्नो यः केवलं सोऽत्र लुप्यते।
तस्मिँल्लुप्ते विलुप्तोऽस्मीत्यबुधः प्रतिपद्यते॥१५॥

Kāryonmukhaḥ prayatno yaḥ kevalaṁ so'tra lupyate|
Tasmim̐llupte vilupto'smītyabudhaḥ pratipadyate||15||

Only (kevalam) the effort (prayatnaḥ... saḥ) which (yaḥ) is directed (unmukhaḥ) to deed (kārya) disappears (lupyate) in this (state of Samādhi) (atra)1. When that (effort) has disappeared (tasmin lupte), (only) a fool (abudhaḥ) (would) think (pratipadyate) "I have disappeared" (viluptaḥ asmi iti)||15||

1 The author refers to the Samādhi of void.


  न तु योऽन्तर्मुखो भावः सर्वज्ञत्वगुणास्पदम्।
तस्य लोपः कदाचित्स्यादन्यस्यानुपलम्भनात्॥१६॥

Na tu yo'ntarmukho bhāvaḥ sarvajñatvaguṇāspadam|
Tasya lopaḥ kadācitsyādanyasyānupalambhanāt||16||

There is (syāt) never (na tu... kadācid) cessation (lopaḥ) of that (tasya) inner (antarmukhaḥ) state or nature (bhāvaḥ) which (yaḥ) (is) the abode (āspadam) of the attribute (guṇa) of omniscience (sarvajñatva), on account of the nonperception (anupalambhanāt) of another (anyasya)1||16||

1 Only Śiva is the subject or perceiver and nobody else. If there would be another subject watching His cessation, then that person would be Śiva too and thus He would not cease at all. And if there would not be anyone else perceiving His cessation, then, how might such a cessation be asserted? Śiva is forever the only subject and there can never be His cessation or disappearance.


तस्योपलब्धिः सततं त्रिपदाव्यभिचारिणी।
नित्यं स्यात्सुप्रबुद्धस्य तदाद्यन्ते परस्य तु॥१७॥

Tasyopalabdhiḥ satataṁ tripadāvyabhicāriṇī|
Nityaṁ syātsuprabuddhasya tadādyante parasya tu||17||

To the perfectly awakened one (suprabuddhasya), there is (syāt), always (nityam) (and) constantly (satatam), the perception (upalabdhiḥ) of That --i.e. the Self-- (tasya), (and this perception of the Self) stays (avyabhicāriṇī) (throughout) the three (tri) states (of consciousness) (pada). However (tu), to the other one --i.e. to the one who is not fully awakened-- (parasya), (there is) that --i.e. the perception of the Self-- (tad) (only) at the beginning (ādi) (and) end (ante) (of each state)||17||


ज्ञानज्ञेयस्वरूपिण्या शक्त्या परमया युतः।
पदद्वये विभुर्भाति तदन्यत्र तु चिन्मयः॥१८॥

Jñānajñeyasvarūpiṇyā śaktyā paramayā yutaḥ|
Padadvaye vibhurbhāti tadanyatra tu cinmayaḥ||18||

The all-pervading (Self) (vibhuḥ) shines forth (bhāti) in the two (dvaye) states (of wakefulness and dreaming) (pada) accompanied (yutaḥ) by (His) Supreme --parama-- (paramayā) Power --śakti-- (śaktyā) whose nature (sva-rūpiṇyā) is knowledge (jñāna) (and) knowable (jñeya). Nevertheless (tu), in the other (anyatra) than those (two) (tad)1, (He appears only) as Consciousness (cit-mayaḥ)||18||

1 That is, in deep sleep.


गुणादिस्पन्दनिष्यन्दाः सामान्यस्पन्दसंश्रयात्।
लब्धात्मलाभाः सततं स्युर्ज्ञस्यापरिपन्थिनः॥१९॥

Guṇādispandaniṣyandāḥ sāmānyaspandasaṁśrayāt|
Labdhātmalābhāḥ satataṁ syurjñasyāparipanthinaḥ||19||

The emanations (niṣyandāḥ) of Spanda (spanda) that begin (ādi) with the qualities of "Prakṛti" (guṇa), (and) which obtain (labdha) their own (ātma) existence (lābhāḥ) by resorting (saṁśrayāt) to generic (sāmānya) Spanda (spanda), does not ever stand in the way (satatam syuḥ... aparipanthinaḥ) of one who possesses knowledge (of the Self) (jñāsya)||19||


अप्रबुद्धधियस्त्वेते स्वस्थितिस्थगनोद्यताः।
पातयन्ति दुरुत्तारे घोरे संसारवर्त्मनि॥२०॥

Aprabuddhadhiyastvete svasthitisthaganodyatāḥ|
Pātayanti duruttāre ghore saṁsāravartmani||20||

Nonetheless (tu), these (very emanations of Spanda) (ete), laboring diligently and incessantly (udyatāḥ) to cover or veil (sthagana) their --i.e. of the people who have unawakened intellects-- (sva) (real) state or nature (sthiti), cause people of unawakened intellect to fall (aprabuddha-dhiyaḥ... pātayanti) into the terrible (ghore) course or way (vartmani) of Transmigration (saṁsāra), from which it is difficult to come out (duruttāre)||20||


  अतः सततमुद्युक्तः स्पन्दतत्त्वविविक्तये।
जाग्रदेव निजं भावमचिरेणाधिगच्छति॥२१॥

Ataḥ satatamudyuktaḥ spandatattvaviviktaye|
Jāgradeva nijaṁ bhāvamacireṇādhigacchati||21||

For this reason (atas), he who (is) constantly (satatam) prepared (udyuktaḥ) for discerning (viviktaye) the principle (tattva) of Spanda (spanda), attains (adhigacchati) his own (nijam) (essential) state or nature (bhāvam) quickly (acireṇa), (even in) wakefulness (jāgrat eva)||21||


अतिक्रुद्धः प्रहृष्टो वा किं करोमीति वा मृशन्।
धावन्वा यत्पदं गच्छेत्तत्र स्पन्दः प्रतिष्ठितः॥२२॥

Atikruddhaḥ prahṛṣṭo vā kiṁ karomīti vā mṛśan|
Dhāvanvā yatpadaṁ gacchettatra spandaḥ pratiṣṭhitaḥ||22||

Spanda (spandaḥ) is firmly established (pratiṣṭhitaḥ) in that (tatra) state or condition (padam) into which (yad) (a person) enters (gacchet) (when he is) excessively angry (atikruddhaḥ), exceedingly pleased or delighted (prahṛṣṭaḥ), reflecting (mṛśan) "what (kim) do I do (karomi iti)?", or (vā.. vā... vā) running (for his life) (dhāvan)||22||


यामवस्थां समालम्ब्य यदयं मम वक्ष्यति।
तदवश्यं करिष्येऽहमिति सङ्कल्प्य तिष्ठति॥२३॥

Yāmavasthāṁ samālambya yadayaṁ mama vakṣyati|
Tadavaśyaṁ kariṣye'hamiti saṅkalpya tiṣṭhati||23||

Having taken hold (samālambya) of that (yām) (supreme) state (of Spanda) (avasthām), (a great Yogī) remains firm (tiṣṭhati) by resolving (saṅkalpya) "Whatever (yad) this (Self) (ayam) will tell (vakṣyati) me (mama), that (tad) I (aham) will do (kariṣye), certainly (avaśyam... iti)"||23||


तामाश्रित्योर्ध्वमार्गेण चन्द्रसूर्यावुभावपि।
सौषुम्नेऽध्वन्यस्तमितो हित्वा ब्रह्माण्डगोचरम्॥२४॥

Tāmāśrityordhvamārgeṇa candrasūryāvubhāvapi|
Sauṣumne'dhvanyastamito hitvā brahmāṇḍagocaram||24||

By taking refuge (āśritya) in that (supreme state of Spanda) (tām), both (ubhau) moon --i.e. apāna-- (candra)1 (and) sun --i.e. prāṇa-- (sūryau api)2 (meet together) in the course or way (adhvani) of Suṣumnā (sauṣumne), (and by rising up) through the upward (ūrdhva) path (mārgeṇa), (and) by (even) abandoning (hitvā) the sphere (gocaram) of the Brahmā's egg (brahmāṇḍa)3, they both get (finally) dissolved --they come to an end-- (astam itaḥ)||24||

1 "Apāna" is the specific vital energy that enters the body through inhalation.

2 "Prāṇa" is, in this case, the specific vital energy that goes out of the body through exhalation.

3 Brahmāṇḍa or "Brahmā's egg" is generally symbolic of "macrocosm" plainly, but in this particular context, it is to be understood as "body and Brahmarandhra". Brahmarandhra is the "Brahmā's hole", and it is to be found in Sahasrāracakra, in the crown of the head.


तदा तस्मिन्महाव्योम्नि प्रलीनशशिभास्करे।
सौषुप्तपदवन्मूढः प्रबुद्धः स्यादनावृतः॥२५॥

Tadā tasminmahāvyomni pralīnaśaśibhāskare|
Sauṣuptapadavanmūḍhaḥ prabuddhaḥ syādanāvṛtaḥ||25||

Then (tadā), moon --i.e. apāna-- (śaśi) (and) sun --i.e. prāṇa-- (bhāskare) get reabsorbed (pralīna) in that (tasmin) Great (mahā) Ether (vyomni). (To the partially awakened one, that condition is) like (vat) the state (pada) of deep sleep (sauṣupta), (and thus) he remains (syāt) stupefied (mūḍhaḥ). (However, a Yogī who) is not covered (by the darkness of ignorance) (anāvṛtaḥ) remains (syāt) awakened and enlightened (prabuddhaḥ) (in that very condition)||25||

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  Section II: Sahajavidyodaya

(The emergence of natural knowledge)

तदाक्रम्य बलं मन्त्राः सर्वज्ञबलशालिनः।
प्रवर्तन्तेऽधिकाराय करणानीव देहिनाम्॥१॥

Tadākramya balaṁ mantrāḥ sarvajñabalaśālinaḥ|
Pravartante'dhikārāya karaṇānīva dehinām||1||

Grabbing hold (ākramya) of that (tad) Force (balam), the Mantra-s (mantrāḥ), full (śālinaḥ) of the omniscient (sarvajña) power (bala), proceed (pravartante) to occupy themselves with their (respective) functions (adhikārāya) (toward the embodied beings), just as (iva) the powers of perception and action (karaṇāni) of (those very) embodied beings (dehinām) (proceed to occupy themselves with their own functions by also getting hold of that Force)||1||


तत्रैव सम्प्रलीयन्ते शान्तरूपा निरञ्जनाः।
सहाराधकचित्तेन तेनैते शिवधर्मिणः॥२॥

Tatraiva sampralīyante śāntarūpā nirañjanāḥ|
Sahārādhakacittena tenaite śivadharmiṇaḥ||2||

(Mantra-s,) whose denotation (as specific deities) has ceased (śāntarūpāḥ), (and) who are devoid of all limitations of office (nirañjanāḥ), get absorbed (sampralīyante) in that (Force or Spanda) (tatra eva) together (saha) with the mind (cittena) of (their) worshipers (ārādhaka). Therefore (tena), these (Mantra-s) (ete) are of the nature (dharmiṇaḥ) of Śiva (śiva)||2||


यस्मात्सर्वमयो जीवः सर्वभावसमुद्भवात्।
तत्संवेदनरूपेण तादात्म्यप्रतिपत्तितः॥३॥
तस्माच्छब्दार्थचिन्तासु न सावस्था न या शिवः।
भोक्तैव भोग्यभावेन सदा सर्वत्र संस्थितः॥४॥

Yasmātsarvamayo jīvaḥ sarvabhāvasamudbhavāt|
Tatsaṁvedanarūpeṇa tādātmyapratipattitaḥ||3||

Tasmācchabdārthacintāsu na sāvasthā na yā śivaḥ|
Bhoktaiva bhogyabhāvena sadā sarvatra saṁsthitaḥ||4||

Because (yasmāt) the individual soul (jīvaḥ) is identical (mayaḥ) with all (sarva) since all entities arise (sarva-bhāva-samudbhavāt) (from him, and) inasmuch as he has the feeling or perception (pratipattitaḥ) of identity (tādātmya) (with those entities) due to the knowledge (saṁvedanarūpeṇa) of them all (tad)1, therefore (tasmāt), there is no (na) state (sā avasthā) that (yā) is not (na) Śiva (śivaḥ), (whether) in word (śabda), object (artha) (or) thought --cintā-- (cintāsu). The experient (bhoktā) himself (eva), always (sadā) (and) everywhere (sarvatra), remains (saṁsthitaḥ) in the form (bhāvena) of the experienced (bhogya)||3-4||

1 In other words, "because the individual soul knows them all".


इति वा यस्य संवित्तिः क्रीडात्वेनाखिलं जगत्।
स पश्यन्सततं युक्तो जीवन्मुक्तो न संशयः॥५॥

Iti vā yasya saṁvittiḥ krīḍātvenākhilaṁ jagat|
Sa paśyansatataṁ yukto jīvanmukto na saṁśayaḥ||5||

Or (iti vā) he (saḥ) who has that (yasya) knowledge or realization (saṁvitti) (and) is constantly (satatam) united (with the Supreme Self) (yuktaḥ) views (paśyan) the whole (akhilam) world (jagat) as a (divine) play (krīḍātvena). He is liberated while living (jīvanmuktaḥ), there is no (na) doubt (saṁśayaḥ) (about it)||5||


अयमेवोदयस्तस्य ध्येयस्य ध्यायिचेतसि।
तदात्मतासमापत्तिरिच्छतः साधकस्य या॥६॥

Ayamevodayastasya dhyeyasya dhyāyicetasi|
Tadātmatāsamāpattiricchataḥ sādhakasya yā||6||

Only (eva) this (ayam) (is) the emergence (udayaḥ) of that (tasya) object of meditation (dhyeyasya) in the mind (cetasi) of the meditator (dhyāyi). (In short,) for a sādhaka or spiritual aspirant (sādhakasya) with firm will (icchataḥ), there is realization (samāpattiḥ... yā) of (his) identity (with that dhyeya or object of meditation) (tadātmatā)||6||


इयमेवामृतप्राप्तिरयमेवात्मनो ग्रहः।
इयं निर्वाणदीक्षा च शिवसद्भावदायिनी॥७॥

Iyamevāmṛtaprāptirayamevātmano grahaḥ|
Iyaṁ nirvāṇadīkṣā ca śivasadbhāvadāyinī||7||

Only (eva) this (iyam) (is) the obtainment (prāptiḥ) of the Nectar leading to Immortality (amṛta), only (eva) this (ayam) (is) the perception (grahaḥ) of the Self (ātmanaḥ). And (ca) this (iyam) initiation (dīkṣā) conducive to Nirvāṇa or Final Emancipation (nirvāṇa) bestows (dāyinī) the real (sat) state (bhāva) of Śiva (śiva)||7||

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  Section III: Vibhūtispanda

(Supernatural powers originating from Spanda)

यथेच्छाभ्यर्थितो धाता जाग्रतोऽर्थान् हृदि स्थितान्।
सोमसूर्योदयं कृत्वा सम्पादयति देहिनः॥१॥
तथा स्वप्नेऽप्यभीष्टार्थान्प्रणयस्यानतिक्रमात्।
नित्यं स्फुटतरं मध्ये स्थितोऽवश्यं प्रकाशयेत्॥२॥

Yathecchābhyarthito dhātā jāgrato'rthān hṛdi sthitān|
Somasūryodayaṁ kṛtvā sampādayati dehinaḥ||1||

Tathā svapne'pyabhīṣṭārthānpraṇayasyānatikramāt|
Nityaṁ sphuṭataraṁ madhye sthito'vaśyaṁ prakāśayet||2||

Just as (yathā) the Sustainer (of this world) (dhātā), when requested (abhyarthitaḥ) with desire (icchā), produces (sampādayati) (all) things (arthān) which abide (sthitān) in the heart (hṛdi) of that embodied soul (dehinaḥ) who is awake (jāgrataḥ) after causing (kṛtvā) the emergence (udayam) of moon (soma) (and) sun (sūrya), so (tathā) also (api) in dream (svapne), by abiding (sthitah) in the central channel (madhye), does (He) certainly (avaśyam) reveal (prakāśayet) always (nityam) (and) most clearly (sphuṭataram) (his) desired (abhīṣṭa) things (arthān) to him who does not neglect (anatikramāt) his entreaty (praṇayasya)||1-2||


अन्यथा तु स्वतन्त्रा स्यात्सृष्टिस्तद्धर्मकत्वतः।
सततं लौकिकस्येव जाग्रत्स्वप्नपदद्वये॥३॥

Anyathā tu svatantrā syātsṛṣṭistaddharmakatvataḥ|
Satataṁ laukikasyeva jāgratsvapnapadadvaye||3||

Otherwise (anyathā tu), the manifesting Power (sṛṣṭiḥ), according to its (tad) characteristics (dharmakatvataḥ), is (syāt) always (satatam) free (svatantrā) (to act) as (iva) in the case of the common people (laukikasya), during the two (dvaye) states (pada) of wakefulness (jāgrat) (and) dream (svapna)||3||


यथा ह्यर्थोऽस्फुटो दृष्टः सावधानेऽपि चेतसि।
भूयः स्फुटतरो भाति स्वबलोद्योगभावितः॥४॥
तथा यत्परमार्थेन येन यत्र यथा स्थितम्।
तत्तथा बलमाक्रम्य न चिरात्सम्प्रवर्तते॥५॥

Yathā hyartho'sphuṭo dṛṣṭaḥ sāvadhāne'pi cetasi|
Bhūyaḥ sphuṭataro bhāti svabalodyogabhāvitaḥ||4||

Tathā yatparamārthena yena yatra yathā sthitam|
Tattathā balamākramya na cirātsampravartate||5||

Undoubtedly (hi), just as (yathā) a thing (arthaḥ) that is perceived (dṛṣṭaḥ) indistinctly (asphuṭam) (at first), even though (api) an (extremely) attentive (sa-avadhāne) mind (cetasi) (might be involved in the process of perception), appears (bhāti) more clearly (sphuṭataraḥ) afterward (bhūyas), when beheld (bhāvitaḥ) with the vigorous exertion (udyoga) of one's own (sva) power (bala)1, so (tathā), by grabbing hold (ākramya) of the (Cosmic) Force (balam), whatever thing (yad) which actually (paramārthena) exists (sthitam) in any form (yena), in any place (yatra), in any condition (yathā), that (very thing) (tad) is immediately (na cirāt) manifested (sampravartate) in that manner (tathā)||4-5||

1 It refers to Cakṣurindriya or the power of seeing. This power causes the eyes to see, but it is not an organ but an energy.


दुर्बलोऽपि तदाक्रम्य यतः कार्ये प्रवर्तते।
आच्छादयेद्बुभुक्षां च तथा योऽतिबुभुक्षितः॥६॥

Durbalo'pi tadākramya yataḥ kārye pravartate|
Ācchādayedbubhukṣāṁ ca tathā yo'tibubhukṣitaḥ||6||

Even (api) a weak person (durbalaḥ), by grabbing hold (ākramya) of that (Spanda or Cosmic Force) (tad), is engaged (in doing) (pravartate) what is to be done (kārye) (and succeeds subsequently) through that very Principle (yatas). Likewise (ca tathā), he who (yaḥ) is extremely hungry (ati-bubhukṣitaḥ) conceals (āchādayet)1 (his) desire to eat (bubhukṣām)||6||

1 In the sense of "overcomes".


अनेनाधिष्ठिते देहे यथा सर्वज्ञतादयः।
तथा स्वात्मन्यधिष्ठानात्सर्वत्रैवं भविष्यति॥७॥

Anenādhiṣṭhite dehe yathā sarvajñatādayaḥ|
Tathā svātmanyadhiṣṭhānātsarvatraivaṁ bhaviṣyati||7||

Just as (yathā) (there is) omniscience (sarvajñatā), etc. (ādayaḥ) with regard to the body (dehe) when it is governed or presided (adhiṣṭhite) by this (principle of Spanda) (anena), so (also) (tathā), through the establishment (adhiṣṭhānāt) in one's own (sva) Self (ātmani), there will be (bhaviṣyati) thus (evam) everywhere (sarvatra)||7||


ग्लानिर्विलुण्ठिका देहे तस्याश्चाज्ञानतः सृतिः।
तदुन्मेषविलुप्तं चेत्कुतः सा स्यादहेतुका॥८॥

Glānirviluṇṭhikā dehe tasyāścājñānataḥ sṛtiḥ|
Tadunmeṣaviluptaṁ cetkutaḥ sā syādahetukā||8||

Depression (glāniḥ) (is like) a plunderer (viluṇṭhikā) in the body (dehe). It glides (tasyāḥ ca... sṛtiḥ)1 from ignorance (ajñānataḥ). If (ced) it is destroyed (viluptam) by that (tad) Unmeṣa --see the next aphorism-- (unmeṣa), how (kutas) might that (depression) exist (sā syāt) without (its) cause (ahetukā)?||8||

1 Literally, "glide of that" or "its glide", that is, the glide of glāni or depression.


एकचिन्ताप्रसक्तस्य यतः स्यादपरोदयः।
उन्मेषः स तु विज्ञेयः स्वयं तमुपलक्षयेत्॥९॥

Ekacintāprasaktasya yataḥ syādaparodayaḥ|
Unmeṣaḥ sa tu vijñeyaḥ svayaṁ tamupalakṣayet||9||

That (saḥ) is to be certainly known (tu vijñeyaḥ) as Unmeṣa (unmeṣaḥ) wherefrom (yatas) there is (syāt) emergence (udayaḥ) of another (awareness --according to Kṣemarāja-- or thought --according to others--) (apara) in one (person) who is (already) occupied (prasaktasya) with one (eka) thought (cintā). One should perceive (upalakṣayet) that (Unmeṣa) (tam) by himself (svayam)||9||


अतो विन्दुरतो नादो रूपमस्मादतो रसः।
प्रवर्तन्तेऽचिरेणैव क्षोभकत्वेन देहिनः॥१०॥

Ato vindurato nādo rūpamasmādato rasaḥ|
Pravartante'cireṇaiva kṣobhakatvena dehinaḥ||10||

From this (Unmeṣa) (atas... atas... asmāt atas), Vindu --divine light-- (vinduḥ)1, Nāda --divine sound-- (nādaḥ), Rūpa --divine form-- (rūpam) (and) Rasa --divine taste-- (rasaḥ) soon (acireṇa eva) appear (pravartante) to an embodied soul (dehinaḥ) as a disturbing factor (kṣobhakatvena)||10||

1 It can also be written "Bindu".


  दिदृक्षयेव सर्वार्थान्यदा व्याप्यावतिष्ठते।
तदा किं बहुनोक्तेन स्वयमेवावभोत्स्यते॥११॥

Didṛkṣayeva sarvārthānyadā vyāpyāvatiṣṭhate|
Tadā kiṁ bahunoktena svayamevāvabhotsyate||11||

When (yadā) (a Yogī) desiring to see (didṛkṣayā), as it were (iva), all (sarva) objects (arthān), abides (avatiṣṭhate) pervading (vyāpya) (them all), then (tadā), what (is the point) (kim) of saying (uktena) much (about it) (bahunā)? He will perceive or experience (that) (avabhotsyate) by himself (svayam eva)!||11||


प्रबुद्धः सर्वदा तिष्ठेज्ज्ञानेनालोक्य गोचरम्।
एकत्रारोपयेत्सर्वं ततोऽन्येन न पीड्यते॥१२॥

Prabuddhaḥ sarvadā tiṣṭhejjñānenālokya gocaram|
Ekatrāropayetsarvaṁ tato'nyena na pīḍyate||12||

Beholding (ālokya) all that is within the range of one's own perception (gocaram) by knowledge (jñānena), one should always remain (sarvadā tiṣṭhet) awake (prabuddhaḥ) (and) put (āropayet) all (sarvam) in one place (ekatra) --i.e. in Spanda--. Consequently (tatas), he is not (na) pressed or afflicted (pīḍyate) by another (anyena)||12||


शब्दराशिसमुत्थस्य शक्तिवर्गस्य भोग्यताम्।
कलाविलुप्तविभवो गतः सन्स पशुः स्मृतः॥१३॥

Śabdarāśisamutthasya śaktivargasya bhogyatām|
Kalāviluptavibhavo gataḥ sansa paśuḥ smṛtaḥ||13||

He who has (his) glory (vibhavaḥ) deprived (vilupta) by Kalā (kalā), is (gataḥ san) used or enjoyed --i.e. falls prey to-- (bhogyatām) by the group (vargasya) of powers (śakti) derived (samutthasya) from the multitude (rāśi) of words (śabda). (Hence,) he (saḥ) is known (smṛtaḥ) as paśu or limited being (paśuḥ)||13||


परामृतरसापायस्तस्य यः प्रत्ययोद्भवः।
तेनास्वतन्त्रतामेति स च तन्मात्रगोचरः॥१४॥

Parāmṛtarasāpāyastasya yaḥ pratyayodbhavaḥ|
Tenāsvatantratāmeti sa ca tanmātragocaraḥ||14||

The rise (udbhavaḥ) of ideas (pratyaya) which (takes place) (yaḥ) in that (paśu or limited being) (tasya) (implies) the loss (apāyaḥ) of the sap (rasa) of the Supreme (para) Nectar of Immortality (amṛta). From that (tena), (such a conditioned being) becomes dependent (asvatantratām eti). That (rise of ideas) (saḥ ca) has its sphere of influence (gocaraḥ) in Tanmātra-s --the subtle features of all things-- (tanmātra)||14||


स्वरूपावरणे चास्य शक्तयः सततोत्थिताः।
यतः शब्दानुवेधेन न विना प्रत्ययोद्भवः॥१५॥

Svarūpāvaraṇe cāsya śaktayaḥ satatotthitāḥ|
Yataḥ śabdānuvedhena na vinā pratyayodbhavaḥ||15||

The powers (śaktayaḥ)1 (are) constantly (satata) ready (utthitāḥ) to conceal or veil (āvaraṇe) the essential nature (sva-rūpa) of this (limited being) (ca asya), because (yatas) there can be no (na) rise (udbhavaḥ) of ideas (pratyaya) without (vinā) intermixture (anuvedhena) of words (śabda)||15||

1 Brāhmī, Yogīśvarī, Māheśvarī, etc. (i.e. the powers presiding over the varga-s or groups of letters --e.g. Brāhmī presides over Kavarga or Ka group formed from "ka, kha, ga, gha and ṅa"; see the Sanskrit alphabet--).


सेयं क्रियात्मिका शक्तिः शिवस्य पशुवर्तिनी।
बन्धयित्री स्वमार्गस्था ज्ञाता सिद्ध्युपपादिका॥१६॥

Seyaṁ kriyātmikā śaktiḥ śivasya paśuvartinī|
Bandhayitrī svamārgasthā jñātā siddhyupapādikā||16||

This (iyam) very (sā) Power or Śakti (śaktiḥ) of Śiva (śivasya), whose nature (ātmikā) is activity (kriyā), abides (vartinī) in the paśu or conditioned being (paśu) (and) binds (him) (bandhayitrī). (However, when Śakti) is known or realized (jñātā) as staying (in the aforesaid paśu) (sthā) like the way (mārga) toward one's own Self (sva), produces (upapādikā) success (siddhi)||16||


तन्मात्रोदयरूपेण मनोऽहम्बुद्धिवर्तिना।
पुर्यष्टकेन संरुद्धस्तदुत्थं प्रत्ययोद्भवम्॥१७॥

भुङ्क्ते परवशो भोगं तद्भावात्संसरेदतः।
संसृतिप्रलयस्यास्य कारणं सम्प्रचक्ष्महे॥१८॥

Tanmātrodayarūpeṇa mano'hambuddhivartinā|
Puryaṣṭakena saṁruddhastadutthaṁ pratyayodbhavam||17||

Bhuṅkte paravaśo bhogaṁ tadbhāvātsaṁsaredataḥ|
Saṁsṛtipralayasyāsya kāraṇaṁ sampracakṣmahe||18||

Completely stopped and besieged (saṁruddhaḥ) by Puryaṣṭaka (puryaṣṭakena)1 which arises (udaya-rūpeṇa) from (the five) Tanmātra-s --i.e. subtle elements-- (tanmātra) (and) resides (vartinā) in mind (manas), ego (aham) (and) intellect (buddhi), the subservient (limited being or paśu) (paravaśaḥ) experiences (bhuṅkte) the rise or generation (udbhavam) of ideas (pratyaya) derived (uttham) from that (Puryaṣṭaka) (tad), (along with) the enjoyment (of pleasure and pain coming from those very ideas) (bhogam). He transmigrates (saṁsaret) due to the continuance (bhāvāt) of that (Puryaṣṭaka) (tad). Therefore (atas), we (proceed to) explain (sampracakṣmahe) the cause (kāraṇam) of this (asya) dissolution (pralayasya) of transmigration (saṁsṛti)||17-18||

1 Lit. "city of eight", Puryaṣṭaka is an epithet of the subtle body (sūkṣmaśarīra or liṅgaśarīra), as it is formed from "buddhi (intellect), ahaṅkāra (ego), manas (mind) and the five Tanmātra-s or subtle elements". This is made clear by the subsequent explanation of the author.


यदा त्वेकत्र संरूढस्तदा तस्य लयोदयौ।
नियच्छन्भोक्तृतामेति ततश्चक्रेश्वरो भवेत्॥१९॥

Yadā tvekatra saṁrūḍhastadā tasya layodayau|
Niyacchanbhoktṛtāmeti tataścakreśvaro bhavet||19||

But (tu), when (yadā) taking root firmly (saṁrūḍhaḥ) in one place --i.e. in the principle of Spanda-- (ekatra), then (tadā), by controlling (niyacchan) the disappearance and emergence (laya-udayau) of that (Puryaṣṭaka) (tasya), (the ex-limited being) becomes the (real) enjoyer (bhoktṛtām eti) (and,) consequently (tatas), he (also) becomes (bhavet) the Lord (īśvaraḥ) of the group (of śakti-s or powers) (cakra)||19||

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  Section IV: Epilogue

(Two stanzas serving as a conclusion)

अगाधसंशयाम्भोधिसमुत्तरणतारिणीम्।
वन्दे विचित्रार्थपदां चित्रां तां गुरुभारतीम्॥१॥

Agādhasaṁśayāmbhodhisamuttaraṇatāriṇīm|
Vande vicitrārthapadāṁ citrāṁ tāṁ gurubhāratīm||1||

I pay homage (vande) to that (tām) wonderful (citrām) speech (bhāratīm) of the Guru (guru), which (is full of) manifold (vicitra) words --pada-- (padām) (with their respective) meanings (artha), (and) enables (one) (tāriṇīm) to safely cross (samuttaraṇa) the fathomless (agādha) ocean (ambhodhi) of doubt (saṁśaya)||1||


लब्ध्वाप्यलभ्यमेतज्ज्ञानधनं हृद्गुहान्तकृतनिहितेः।
वसुगुप्तवच्छिवाय हि भवति सदा सर्वलोकस्य॥२॥

Labdhvāpyalabhyametajjñānadhanaṁ hṛdguhāntakṛtanihiteḥ|
Vasuguptavacchivāya hi bhavati sadā sarvalokasya||2||

Besides (api), (the act) of having obtained (labdhvā) this (etad) treasure (dhanam) of knowledge (jñāna), which is difficult to attain (alabhyam), (together with the act of) preserving (it) (nihiteḥ) well (kṛta) inside (anta) the cave (guha) of the heart (hṛd), is (bhavati) doubtless (hi) always (sadā) for the good (śivāya) of the whole (sarva) world (lokasya), just as (vat) (it was for the good of) Vasugupta (vasugupta)||2||

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  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.

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