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Spandanirṇaya begins. Firstly, Kṣemarāja displays a propitiatory prayer to Śakti (Śiva's Power). Secondly, he explains the relationship between Śivasūtra-s and Spandakārikā-s (the scripture on which he is about to comment). Thirdly, he summarizes the contents of the entire scripture as well as the first section. Finally, he starts commenting the aphorisms themselves.
This is the first set of 2 aphorisms out of 25 aphorisms constituting the first Section (dealing with Svarūpaspanda or Spanda as one's own nature). As you know, the entire work is composed of 53 aphorisms of Spandakārikā-s plus their respective commentaries.
Of course, I will also insert the original 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, go to "Scriptures (study)|Spandanirṇaya" in Trika section.
If you are wondering why I am "only" including the translation of the first two aphorisms and their respective commentaries in this document... well, you will find the answer soon, trust me.
Read Spandanirṇaya and experience Supreme Ānanda or Divine Bliss, 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.
She, the Power of the Primordial Vibration, the Śakti of Śaṅkara, who always perceives all (categories or tattva-s) which constitute the essential nature of Her own Self, from the earth up to Śiva, on Her own canvas formed from Her free and transparent Self through (that aforesaid) essential nature, just as a city (is reflected) in a mirror; (who is) the Goddess that sees --i.e. "that is conscious of"-- the virility or power of Mantra, (who is) the endless flash, constantly emerging, of the perfect I-consciousness whose essence (consists of) a multitude of sounds, is victorious in (this) world||1||
Although the Nectar of the Primordial Vibration (has been) slightly relished through Spandasandoha, I am (now) making a full effort for (giving to the students) the enjoyment of (completely) relishing That --i.e. the Divine Self in the form of Spanda--||2||
If all of you want to know the secret doctrine of Śiva, the exact interconnection of the aphorisms, the highest ascertainment of the Supreme Principle, a sharp and keen statement of argument, the right application of means, a detailed explanation which is correct and wise and clear in meaning, (so,) oh sages, fix (your) thought(s) upon this commentary or gloss of that venerable scripture dealing with the Primordial Vibration or Spanda, (and) obtain the wealth of (that very) Spanda!||3||
Here --i.e. in this world--, the greatness of the union with the Supreme, Śiva who is (always) intent on bestowing (His) grace on all, was revealed to the venerable master Vasugupta. (This master) received (from Śiva precise) instructions in dream (to find some aphorisms). Having obtained the most secret Śivasūtra-s --i.e. the aphorisms of Śiva--, which were engraved on the flat surface of a big rock, on the mountain Mahādeva only through the Divine's Will, (Vasugupta), by demonstrating the unity or agreement of reasoning, experience (and) revelation, condensed (the meaning of those aphorisms) in the form of 51 stanzas --śloka(s)-- (that, though) deep, (were) clear and lucid|
There --i.e. in that compendium consisting of 51 aphorisms--:
(1) The Supreme Vibration or Spanda as one's own nature is described through 25 (stanzas).
(2) Spanda as the emergence of natural knowledge is described through 7 (stanzas).
(3) Spanda as (the source of) the supernormal powers is described through 19 (stanzas)—
Thus, this scripture (dealing with) Spanda consists of three sections1 |
There --i.e. in that scripture--, in the very first section, (there is) firstly a laudation (to Śiva in the first stanza. Also,) through (that first) stanza, the purport of the (entire) treatise (has been) insinuated or suggested|
After that, through four stanzas, the principle of Spanda is established with (valid) reasoning|
Afterward, by two stanzas, the means for obtaining that (Spanda) with proper recognition is described|
Through the (eighth) stanza, the objection (raised against) the means is rejected|
By the (ninth) stanza, the means (is) certainly confirmed or ratified by describing (its) suitability for achieving the goal|
Later on, through only one (stanza) --i.e. the tenth one--, the essential nature of such a goal, which --i.e. the essential nature, not the goal-- is attainable by that means, is shown|
Subsequently, by the (eleventh) stanza, the absence of Saṁsāra or Transmigration2 (attained) by means of a firm apprehension of that --i.e. of the essential nature of the goal; this goal is obviously the Self--, is described|
Through the (next) two (stanzas) --i.e. twelfth and thirteenth--, by rejecting the doctrine that postulates nonexistence --i.e. Nihilism--, the divergence between the Spanda principle (and) that (doctrine) is declared|
Through the (fourteenth) stanza is stated the absence of decay for that (Spanda) even though (there is) decay for the effect that arises from that (Spanda or Cause) --i.e. the universe--|
This very (idea is so vehemently expounded) by the (following) two stanzas --i.e. fifteenth and sixteenth-- (that) the doctrine of nonexistence or not Self --i.e. Nihilism-- proves to be (completely) eradicated indeed|
After that, through only one (stanza) --i.e. the seventeenth one-- it is conveyed (that there is) always the attainment or realization of this (Spanda) for the perfectly awakened one, but for the partially awakened one (only there is attainment or realization) in the initial (and) final stages|
(Again,) by means of only one (stanza) --i.e. the eighteenth one-- is described the sphere of objects perceived or experienced by the perfectly awakened one|
Then, through another (stanza) --i.e. the nineteenth one-- is insinuated or suggested the means for the removal of the veil in the case of the perfectly awakened one|
By (((only one))) stanza --i.e. the twentieth one-- is described the concealed or veiled essential nature of the unawakened one|
Afterward, through only one (stanza) --i.e. the twenty-first one--, it is declared that (one) must constantly strive to obtain the state of perfectly awakened|
(Once again,) by (((only one))) stanza --the twenty-second one--, it is made known that some states of the ordinary life are characterized by the cessation of all states except That --i.e. Spanda--, (and consequently they are) suitable spheres or environments for getting in touch (with Spanda)|
After that, it is also said by means of the three (last) stanzas that one who has attained Enlightenment --prabodha-- must be on the alert in tearing apart the veil of the darkness --i.e. spiritual ignorance--, which is like a deep sleep, in a way befitting a Yogī, for (thus) maintaining the state of perfectly awakened — In this manner, the meaning and purpose (of the first section), beginning with "Yasyonmeṣa..." (and) ending with "... prabuddhaḥ syādanāvṛtaḥ" (has been summarized)|
And now the purport of the book is being explained in detail|
1 Here Kṣemarāja is overlooking the last two stanzas of which the fourth section is composed, maybe because they act as a kind of conclusion and do not deal with a specific subject. However, the entire scripture "actually" consists of "four" sections and "53" aphorisms, no doubt about it.
2 By "transmigration" it is not only indicated the cycle of birth-death-rebirth as most people surely think, but every kind of migration one is performing. For example, one constantly migrates from a form of thought to another by identifying oneself with those thoughts. The absence of all transmigration is attained, according to the author, by means of a firm apprehension of that essential nature of the Self.
We laud that Śaṅkara --an epithet of Śiva-- who is the source or cause of the glorious group of powers, (and) by whose opening (and) shutting of (His) eyes (there is) dissolution and emergence of the world||1||
(Śaṅkara means) one who does "Śam", (in other words, one who brings about) the Grace whose nature comprehends the Recognition of the expanse of one's own omniscient, omnipotent and absolutely free Consciousness, which is full of Non-dualism (and) Supreme Bliss calming the whole heat of the afflictions. We laud that very Śaṅkara (who is) one's essential nature, (and) we enter into Him through the immersion of the state of assumed1 experient produced by Himself by considering Him as excelling the universe. Here, the treatise2 will teach that entrance into Him (is) doubtless the fruit or result of Liberation while living|
Plural number (in "We laud..." is meant) to show or spread (one's own) identity with all those deserving divine Favor who are leered at (by Him) --i.e. who are looked at out of the corner of His eye--3 with a glance (full of) Grace|
Through (the term) "Tam" (in the aphorism) His condition or character of "extraordinary" is also alluded. (The author) proclaims that (aforesaid condition) by means of the first half (of the stanza) "by whose..."4 |
Here, the Supreme Lord, whose nature is the Light and Effulgence of Consciousness, (is) the Great God whose essential nature is the complete and absolute Freedom consisting of the Supreme Power (that appears as) both I and the emanated universe, which is always a vibrant flash of a compact mass of Bliss inasmuch as (Her)5 essence (is) the remembrance of the full and perfect I-consciousness which is the highest meaning of the multitude of sounds and words. For that reason, as She6 is essentially Cit or Consciousness, the Power of Absolute Freedom of the venerable Lord, (who is) also (known as) Acala or Motionless, though non-distinct (from Him7 ), displays the entire uninterrupted succession of manifestation, dissolution, etc. on Her own canvas like a city (reflected on a) mirror. (Again,) by future adequate arguments, (it will be shown that), even though She cannot be enlarged or expanded8 , She keeps presenting (Herself) as if supernumerary. (Besides,) She is called "Spanda" (because), according to the meaning of the root ("spand"9 ), She consists of a slight movement. Therefore, the Highest Lord (has) always the principle of the Supreme Vibration as His nature. He is never without Spanda indeed|
Some (even) hold that "The Highest Principle is without Spanda or Vibration (at all)"|
Thus, (should the previous statement prove true), this (universe) would be doubtless devoid of a Lord inasmuch as the nature (of that Highest Principle) is without any activity or vibration --i.e. Spanda--|
This scripture has been composed by the great Guru-s only to explain that one's own essential nature consists of Śaṅkara10 , who is full of the Power of the Supreme Vibration whose essence is quivering Flash, and (has thus been) appropriately named Spanda --i.e. "Spandakārikā-s"--|
This will be made clear (later on)|
And this very Power of the Supreme Vibration is I-consciousness which is only one compact mass holding in its bosom endless manifestations (and) dissolutions. (She is I-consciousness) of the nature of the Bliss arising from amazement11 , of all that is pure (and) impure (and) of the flashing exhibition of contraction (and) expansion of subjects (and) objects. (She is also) simultaneously full of Unmeṣa-s (and) Nimeṣa-s12 , (and) is to be revered by all esoteric doctrines, (no doubt about it)|
As has been said - That very (Principle of Spanda constitutes) the stage of Nimeṣa or Absorption that brings about the withdrawal or dissolution of the whole previously manifested group --grāma-- of tattva-s or categories from Śiva down to earth, as well as the stage of Unmeṣa --i.e. display or expansion-- which is the manifesting entity or creator with regard to the (new) state which is about to arise. The stage of Nimeṣa or absorption of the universe constitutes the Unmeṣa or display of the compactness of Consciousness. In turn, the stage of submergence --i.e. Nimeṣa-- of the compactness of Consciousness is the Unmeṣa or display of the universe|
As the revealed scripture puts it:
"The goddess (is) always (engaged in) licking and enjoying the taste of universal manifestation and (yet) She appears always as replete or full. This wave of the Ocean of Consciousness is the volitional power of the Lord."||
Undoubtedly, the glorious great Lord, by (His) Power of Absolute Freedom, assuming the role of the experients (known as) Śiva, Mantramaheśvara, Mantreśvara, Mantra, Vijñānākala, Pralayākala (and) Sakala13 as well as the role of their --i.e. of the said experients-- (respective) knowables14 , displays, in the descending course, through the play of concealing His essential nature, each of the succeeding (stages) by suppressing each of the preceding (stages), which stand inside (the succeeding ones) as (their) substratum though. Nevertheless, in the ascending course, He displays, for the Yogī-s treading the path of knowledge, each of the preceding (stages) by suppressing each of the succeeding ones. Therefore, that (Lord) exhibits, (in the ascending course), each of the succeeding (stages) in a expanded or developed form in each of the preceding (ones) by making (them) give up (their) contracted condition. But, He shows, (in the descending course), each of the preceding (stages), one after another, in a contracted or limited form by submerging or eliminating (their) expanded state|
Thus, this (Lord) reveals and displays everything as of the nature of everything else. This perception of differences (is), as it were, due only to the contraction caused to appear by Himself. In order to shatter that (erroneous perception), the teaching (of this scripture) is here presented. May this (expatiation) finish here|
And even though She is full of the unmeṣa or display of the flashing manifestations of blue, pleasure, etc., Consciousness15 is (both) of the nature of suppression of Her essential nature as identical with the experient or subject and of the nature of dissolution of the flashing manifestations of yellow, etc. which were previously displayed. So, in order to put an end to transmigration, (let) people of great intelligence examine and discern this Mistress (called) Light of Consciousness, whose essence (consists) simultaneously (of) both display (and) suppression, (and) who is well-known to one's own perception|
That is why this compound --lit. word-- "unmeṣanimeṣābhyām"16 (occurring in the first line of the present aphorism17 , is explained as) "by mere will" by venerable Kallaṭa18 in his own commentary (of Spandakārikā-s. Thus,) he explained (Unmeṣa --opening or display-- and Nimeṣa --shutting or suppression--) jointly --i.e. not separately-- as of the nature of the Power of Will|
(The following teaching has) also been summarized (by the author of Spandakārikā-s19 in the ninth aphorism of the third section):
"That is certainly to be known as Unmeṣa wherefrom there is emergence of another (awareness --according to Kṣemarāja-- or thought --according to others--) in one (person) who is (already) occupied with one thought. One should perceive that (Unmeṣa) by himself."||
In this (aphorism the author) will say: "Unmeṣa is the cessation of the thought (that had previously) begun, (which is) doubtless the cause for the emergence of the next (thought)"|
(This is so,) because there can be no rise or emergence of the next (thought) without the cessation of the thought (which had previously) arisen|
We develop this (topic) as well, later on|
Also, in this (fourteenth aphorism of the third section, the author) will clearly describe that "The emergence (of ideas implies) really the disappearance (of the sap of the Supreme Nectar of Immortality)":
"The rise of ideas which (takes place) in that (paśu or limited being implies) the loss of the sap of the Supreme Nectar of Immortality. From that, (such a conditioned being) becomes dependent. That (rise of ideas) has its sphere of influence in Tanmātra-s --the subtle features of all things--."||
(And) even in this (excerpt of the ninth aphorism of the first section, the author) will also point out that "Nimeṣa or cessation, whose nature is the disappearance of the agitation (as well) implies Unmeṣa or display of the Highest State":
"When the agitation thoroughly dissolves, then the Supreme State occurs."||
Thus, that only Power or Śakti, even having the nature of both --i.e. of Unmeṣa and Nimeṣa--, (is) sometimes employed20 predominantly as Unmeṣa or display (and) sometimes predominantly as Nimeṣa or cessation|
For that reason, this (would be) the explanation (of the first part of the aphorism21 ):
"From (His) Power or Śakti (acting as) the Cause (and being) closely connected with Him --i.e. with Śiva--, (there is) emergence of the world (or) universe, which begins with Śiva (and) ends in the earth element, when She --i.e. Śakti-- shows predominance in the display of Creation (and at the same time) conceals His own --i.e. of Śiva-- essential nature. (This) Emanation or Manifestation based on diversity and difference (is) really the submergence of the essential unity (with Śiva, and is) full of multiple varieties. In turn, from (that very) Power or Śakti, (there is) dissolution of the world when She --i.e. Śakti-- shows predominance in the submergence of externality (and at the same time) reveals His own --i.e. of Śiva-- essential nature. (This pralaya or dissolution) is the emergence of unity (and) the withdrawal of what consists of various differences. In this manner, pralaya or dissolution (is) also udaya or emergence, and udaya or emergence (is) also pralaya or dissolution"|
As a matter of fact, however, nothing emerges or disappears. We shall show (that it is) only the very Power of the Supreme Vibration, the Mistress, (who,) although is without any succession (and) composed of brilliant manifestations of similar nature --i.e. without succession either-- flashes as if arising and as if disappearing|
Regarding (the acts of) maintenance of the universe, concealment of ones' own essential nature (and bestowal of) divine Grace --anugraha--, since they are essentially particular emergences and reabsorptions... (and) not another thing... the Five-fold Act of the Supreme Lord22 has been abridged in the form of reabsorption (and) emergence --udaya--.
Also, (this subject has been) thus abundantly and conclusively discussed by me in Spandasandoha, in (my) gloss on the first aphorism only23 |
An objection (here)— From the viewpoint of venerable Mahārtha24 , the various reabsorptions (and) emergences --udaya-- of the world are brought about by the deities Sṛṣṭi, etc. Therefore, how is it (that in the present first aphorism) has been said this: "by whose, etc."25 . Having thus objected, (Kṣemarāja, in order to remove the doubt,) says (what has been expressed in this aphorism too): "... that Śaṅkara --an epithet of Śiva-- who is the source of the glorious group of powers"26 |
--Now, a first interpretation of the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" in the aphorism--
The group of powers27 (appearing in the form of) the luminous goddesses --devyaḥ-- (such as) Sṛṣṭi, Raktā, etc., (is) an aggregate consisting of twelve (deities). Its --i.e. of that aggregate or group-- "vibhava"28 (is, according to this first interpretation,) the immensity of the play whose nature (is) creative activity, maintenance, reabsorption (and) concealment. (And) "prabhava" (is) its cause|
--Thus, this first interpretation states that the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" means:
"The cause of the immensity of the play whose nature is creative activity, maintenance, reabsorption and concealment of the aggregate consisting of twelve deities, such as Sṛṣṭi, Raktā, etc.". In other words, the aphorism might also be translated in the following manner:
"We laud that Śaṅkara --an epithet of Śiva-- who is the cause of the immensity of the play whose nature is creative activity, maintenance, reabsorption and concealment of the aggregate of (twelve) deities (such as Sṛṣṭi, Raktā, etc., and) by whose opening (and) shutting of (His) eyes (there is) dissolution and emergence of the world."--
According to the Sacred Tradition, these goddesses, (by) always embracing venerable Manthānabhairava29 , the Lord of the group (of powers), undoubtedly bring about the play of the manifestation, etc.30 of the world|
And likewise, "Wherefore (is) the Supreme Lord the cause of the manifestation, dissolution, etc., of the world?". To dissipate (that) uncertainty, (there is) this following (interpretation of the compound) "Śakticakra..."31 |
--Now, a second interpretation of the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" in the aphorism--
Undoubtedly, the universe exists only as (being) "something"32 . It --i.e. the universe-- (appears to be) endowed with a state of luminous manifestation because it is made of Supreme Light|
According to the precept stated by the sage --i.e. Utpaladeva--33 :
"There is certainly a flashing manifestation for the multitude of living beings (because) they stand together in the Lord's Self. Without that --i.e. without their "previous" standing together in the Lord's Self--, there would be no contact with Icchāśakti --the Supreme Power of Will-- --i.e. there would be no possibility of manifestation, as Lord's Icchāśakti is the source of the entire universe--."34 ||
It is said (that) the real group of powers keeps appearing or becoming manifest as identical with the internal Light of the Supreme Lord --Īśvara--. Hence, it is proclaimed in the revealed scriptures the infinite Power of the Supreme Lord. The "vibhava" of the universe, which is as a matter of fact a flashing manifestation of that group of powers, consists of various reciprocal acts of junction (and) disjunction whose nature (is) infinite. Its --i.e. of those infinite reciprocal acts of junction and disjunction carried out by the group of powers-- "prabhava" (is) the cause|
Undoubtedly, that very Bhagavān or Lord --lit. Fortunate, Prosperous, etc.--, (by) mutually35 joining and disjoining in multiple ways all the flashing manifestations, which are identical with His own Self --i.e. with Himself-- (and) whose form is Vijñāna or Consciousness36 , is the cause of the manifestation (and) reabsorption (or dissolution) of the universe|
--Thus, this second interpretation states that the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" means:
"The cause of an infinite variety of reciprocal acts of junction and disjunction carried out by Śakticakra or the group of powers." In other words, the aphorism might also be translated in the following manner:
"We laud that Śaṅkara --an epithet of Śiva-- who is the cause of an infinite variety of reciprocal acts of junction and disjunction (carried out by) the group of powers, (and) by whose opening (and) shutting of (His) eyes (there is) dissolution and emergence of the world."--
That has been (also) said by exalted Kallaṭa37 :
"(He who is) the cause of the emergence of the Supreme Power of Śakticakra --i.e. the group of powers or śakti-s--, whose --i.e. of this Supreme Power of Śakticakra-- form or nature is Consciousness..."|
In this (context), the two interpretations (given by me are) also in conformity with the words of his --i.e. Kallaṭa's-- gloss or commentary|
--Now, a third interpretation of the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" in the aphorism--
Moreover, according to the viewpoint of the revealed scriptures:
"His powers (constitute) the entire world..."|
And also, in accordance with what is established here --i.e. in Spandakārikā-s-- regarding that --i.e. Śakticakra or the group of powers-- whose nature is the world:
"... therefore, there is no state that is not Śiva, (whether) in word, object (or) thought --cintā--..."38 |
--Thus, this third interpretation states that the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" means:
"The source or cause of the glorious group of powers appearing in the form of this world." In other words, the aphorism might also be translated in the following manner:
"We laud that Śaṅkara --an epithet of Śiva-- who is the source or cause of the glorious group of powers (appearing in the form of this world, and) by whose opening (and) shutting of (His) eyes (there is) dissolution and emergence of the world."--
--Now, a fourth interpretation of the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" in the aphorism--
According to the secret precept:
"That space of Consciousness which stands in the upper course of Khecarī --a kind of śakti or power-- (and) consists of the sphere of Vāmeśī."39 |
And also (according to what has been) completely investigated and discussed by me in Spandasandoha --See note 23-- (about it --i.e. Śakticraka--, Śakticakra or the group of powers) is composed --rūpam-- of Vāmeśvarī (or Vāmeśī), Khecarī, Gocarī, Dikcarī (and) Bhūcarī40 . Certainly, this (has also been declared) here --i.e. in Spandakārikā-s-- (by means of the statement occurring in the twentieth aphorism of its first section):
"Nonetheless, these (very emanations of Spanda), laboring diligently and incessantly to cover or veil their --i.e. of the people who have unawakened intellects-- (real) state or nature, (cause) people of unawakened intellect41 ..."|
(Śakticakra), which is going to be investigated and discussed --i.e. there will be more investigation and discussion about it in the future-- is constituted --bhūtam- by the manifold group of powers (in the form of Vāmeśī, Khecarī, etc.) as has been explained in the two (previous) interpretations.
--Thus, this fourth interpretation states that the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" means:
"The source or cause of the glorious group of goddesses known as Vāmeśī (or Vāmeśvarī), Khecarī, Gocarī, Dikcarī and Bhūcarī." In other words, the aphorism might also be translated in the following manner:
"We laud that Śaṅkara --an epithet of Śiva-- who is the source or cause of the glorious group of goddesses known as Vāmeśī (or Vāmeśvarī), Khecarī, Gocarī, Dikcarī and Bhūcarī, (and) by whose opening (and) shutting of (His) eyes (there is) dissolution and emergence of the world."--
--Now, a fifth interpretation of the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" in the aphorism--
According to what has been stated (in the sixt aphorism of the first section in Spandakārikā-s):
"... by which this group of organs or instruments --intellect, ego, mind, powers of perception and powers of action--, (though) insentient (proceeds) as (if it were) sentient by itself, (and) together with the inner group (of Karaṇeśvarī-s or goddesses of the senses enters) into the states of "Pravṛtti" --i.e. to go toward external things--, "Sthiti" --i.e. to maintain those very external things for a while-- (and) "Saṁhṛti" --i.e. to dissolve those external things in its own self--..."42 ||
(Śakticakra or the group of powers would) consist of the multitude of organs or instruments --intellect, ego, mind, powers of perception and powers of action--43 .
--Thus, this fifth interpretation states that the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" means:
"The source or cause of the glorious multitude of organs or instruments --intellect, ego, mind, powers of perception and powers of action--." In other words, the aphorism might also be translated in the following manner:
"We laud that Śaṅkara --an epithet of Śiva-- who is the source or cause of the glorious multitude of organs or instruments --intellect, ego, mind, powers of perception and powers of action--, (and) by whose opening (and) shutting of (His) eyes (there is) dissolution and emergence of the world."--
--Now, a sixth interpretation of the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" in the aphorism--
(Likewise, according to what has been expressed in the first aphorism of the second section of Spandakārikā-s:)
"Grabbing hold of that Force, the Mantra-s, full of the omniscient power, proceed to occupy themselves with their (respective) functions (toward the embodied beings), just as the powers of perception and action of (those very) embodied beings (proceed to occupy themselves with their own functions by also getting hold of that Force)."||
(Śakticakra or the group of powers) would be the eternal mantra-s44 .
--Thus, this sixth interpretation states that the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" means:
"The source or cause of the glorious group of eternal mantra-s." In other words, the aphorism might also be translated in the following manner:
"We laud that Śaṅkara --an epithet of Śiva-- who is the source or cause of the glorious group of eternal mantra-s, (and) by whose opening (and) shutting of (His) eyes (there is) dissolution and emergence of the world."--
--Now, a seventh interpretation of the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" in the aphorism--
(Finally,) according to what has been stated (in the thirteenth aphorism of the third section of Spandakārikā-s):
"He who has (his) glory deprived by Kalā, is used or enjoyed --i.e. falls prey to-- by the group of powers derived from the multitude of words. (Hence,) he is known as paśu or limited being."||
(Śakticakra or the group of powers would be) that whose essential nature is (the group) of deities (such as) Brāhmī, etc.45 .
--Thus, this seventh interpretation states that the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" means:
"The source or cause of the glorious group of deities (such as) Brāhmī, Yogīśvarī (or Mahālakṣmī), Māheśvarī, Kaumārī, Vaiṣṇavī, Vārāhī, Aindrī (or Indrāṇī) and Cāmuṇḍā." In other words, the aphorism might also be translated in the following manner:
"We laud that Śaṅkara --an epithet of Śiva-- who is the source or cause of the glorious group of deities (such as) Brāhmī, Yogīśvarī (or Mahālakṣmī), Māheśvarī, Kaumārī, Vaiṣṇavī, Vārāhī, Aindrī (or Indrāṇī) and Cāmuṇḍā, (and) by whose opening (and) shutting of (His) eyes (there is) dissolution and emergence of the world."--
Thus, in Spandasandoha --see note 23-- I have certainly explained in detail the "vibhava" (or) exalted position of the primordial group of powers, which has been (therefore) completely investigated and discussed, (and) whose nature is infinite. In that context, the term "prabhava" means one who presides or dominates, i.e. one who is free, and not one who is dependant like an animal46 |
--Now, an additional interpretation of the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" in the aphorism--
(Śakticakravibhavaprabhavam may also be considered) to be a Bahuvrīhi compound47 . (According to this standpoint), the term "vibhava" (would mean) the inner display or unfoldment of the mass of rays48 . Consequently, the term "prabhava", (as it is the last member of such a Bahuvrīhi compound, it should be understood as) "one whose emergence (and) manifestation" --note that in this interpretation "prabhava" would mean emergence and manifestation, and not merely "source or cause" as usually translated--.
--Thus, this additional interpretation states that the compound "śakticakravibhavaprabhavam", if taken as a Bahuvrīhi compound, would mean:
"One whose emergence and manifestation (consists of) the inner display or unfoldment of the mass of rays --i.e. the deities of the senses-- (also known as) the group of powers." In other words, the aphorism might also be translated in the following manner:
"We laud that Śaṅkara --an epithet of Śiva-- whose emergence and manifestation (consists of) the inner display or unfoldment of the mass of rays --i.e. the deities of the senses-- (also known as) the group of powers, (and) by whose opening (and) shutting of (His) eyes (there is) dissolution and emergence of the world."--
The purport is that a recognition of the Supreme Lord's Self takes place effortlessly by means of the perception of that inner essential nature|
Moreover, we laud Śaṅkara --i.e. Śiva-- who is the revealer of His primordial nature49 to those who are dedicated to devotion. (We laud) Him (who is) the source or cause of the Śakticakravibhava, i.e. of the vast expanse of the divinity (appearing in the form) of the Highest Consciousness. The dissolution (or reabsorption and) appearance or manifestation --udaya-- of the world, i.e. of that whose nature is the body, (and in fact) of the external universe too through its association --i.e. by using the body as a kind of bridge or nexus-- (is really) an emergence --unmajjana-- (and) submergence, in a succesive way, of That who Is --the Self--50 , in conformity (with the well-known teaching): "What (is) within (is also) without". (The aforesaid processes of dissolution and manifestation are carried out) by means of an opening and shutting of the eyes of that Self who is a compact mass of Consciousness (and) Bliss, (that is,) by revealing and concealing (His) essential nature|
Likewise, (it might be stated that there is) emergence or manifestation of the world, which is in close connection or unity with His Self, on account of "unmeṣa" --opening of His eyes--, whose nature consists of an expansion appearing as externality. In turn, (there is) submergence (of that very world) because of "nimeṣa" --shutting of His eyes--, which is essentially internality. (Therefore,) as far as possible (the aphorism might) even be formulated (as follows): "We laud that Śaṅkara who is the source or cause of the exalted position of the Goddess Consciousness whose essence is 'unmeṣa', etc. --i.e. 'nimeṣa'--, which produce emanation or manifestation of the universe, etc. --i.e. 'pralaya' or dissolution--"|
Even having entered the body, etc., the Supreme Lord, by opening (and) shutting --nimīlana-- the senses of one who is composed of the group of five, i.e. of Rūpa-tanmātra, etc.51 , brings about the manifestation (and) dissolution --saṁhāra-- of the world|
This has (also) been said by the knower of the secret principle --or else, "the truth of the esoteric teaching"--52 :
"Thus, that Lord, even in ordinary life, by entering the body, etc., (causes) the multitude of inner objects, which has the form of a thunderbolt53 , to appear outside by (His) Will."|
So that (people reading this aphorism) may receive the meaning in such a manner --i.e. in the way expressed above by Utpaladeva-- too, the guru or spiritual preceptor --the author of Spandakārikā-s, i.e. Vasugupta according to Kṣemarāja--, by abandoning (the phrase) "yasya svātantryaśaktyā", i.e. "(By) whose Power of Absolute Freedom", chose (to use the phrase) "yasyonmeṣanimeṣābhyām", i.e. "(By) whose opening (and) shutting of (His) eyes"|
In this respect, the praise or laudation of Śaṅkara (in the aphorism, means) "that whose nature is "samāveśa" or penetration --i.e. penetration into the Lord--, which --i.e. "samāveśa"-- is mentioned as what is to be attained --i.e. the goal--. (On the one hand, by taking "Śakticakravibhavaprabhavam") as a Bahuvrīhi compound --see note 47 for more information about this kind of compounds--, (in the following form): "Śakticakravibhavātprabhavo yasya", (that is,) "One whose manifestation is due to the inner display or unfoldment of the group of powers", (then,) the (inner) display or unfoldment of the group of powers is declared (to be) the means for the attainment of that ("samāveśa" or penetration in the Supreme Being. On the other hand, by taking "Śakticakravibhavaprabhavam") as a Tatpuruṣa compound54 , (which appears in the following form when dissolved): "Śakticakravibhasya... prabhavam"55 , (that is,) "The (prabhava or) revealer (of Śakticakravibhava), i.e. of the vast expanse of the deity of the Highest Consciousness to those who are dedicated to devotion", (then,) the fruit or result is mentioned|
This (is what Vasugupta, the author of Spandakārikā-s according to Kṣemarāja,) will say (in the nineteenth aphorism of the third section):
"... consequently, he (also) becomes the Lord of the group (of śakti-s or powers)."|
The connection of the meaning or signification (of Spandakārikā-s)56 (and) the means --upāya-- is that of the aim or goal (and) the means. So, the signification or meaning (of Spandakārikā-s), the means, (their) connection (and) the benefit or profit to be obtained --i.e. "prayojana", the fruit or result-- have been declared and stated through this very aphorism --i.e. the first aphorism of Spandakārikā-s, which has been completely commented by Kṣemarāja--||1||
4 Note that Kṣemarāja is referring to the first half of the original stanza in Sanskrit (yasyonmeṣa..., i.e. yasya unmeṣa...), and not to its translation into English, obviously. As you can see, the word "yasya" (whose) appears in the middle of the English translation despite it is at the beginning of the original stanza.
6 Kṣemarāja is again referring to that Parāśakti (Supreme Power) or Svātantryaśakti (Power of Absolute Freedom). In short, he is referring to Śakti or I-consciousness. As you know, "Parāśakti", "Svātantryaśakti" and "Śakti" are female in gender.
12 "Unmeṣa" and "Nimeṣa" literally mean "the act of opening the eyes" and "the act of closing the eyes", respectively. In this context, they may interpreted to be "emanation" and "absorption". When there is "Unmeṣa" of the universe, that is, cosmic emanation, there is "Nimeṣa" or absorption of I-consciousness. In other words, one's own I-consciousness is voluntarily reduced so that the universe may flourish. In turn, when there is Unmeṣa or growing up of I-consciousness, "Nimeṣa" or absorption of the universe is brought about consequently. This is explained by Kṣemarāja himself in his present commentary of the first aphorism... keep reading, please.
13 These are the seven experients according to Trika system: Śiva (tattva-s 1 and 2), Mantramaheśvara (tattva 3), Mantreśvara (tattva 4), Mantra (tattva 5), Vijñānākala (between tattva-s 5 and 6), Pralayākala (tattva-s 6 to 11) and Sakala (tattva-s 12 to 36). See documents of Trika section for more information.
16 Literally: "By opening (and) shutting of (His) eyes". See aphorism 1 above. Note that in the aphorism, "yasya" (whose) appears together with "unmeṣanimeṣābhyām" and thus the whole translation is "By whose opening (and) shutting of (His) eyes". Got my point? Well done.
18 Kallaṭa was one of the most important disciples of Vasugupta, the sage who found Śivasūtra-s on the mountain Mahādeva. According to Kṣemarāja, he is also the author of Spandakārikā-s, while other authors think that it was Kallaṭa himself. This is a matter of debate yet.
22 The Five-fold Act of the Supreme Lord consists of udaya (emergence of the universe), sthiti (maintenance of the universe), pralaya (reabsorption of the universe), vilaya --also known as tirodhāna or pīḍana-- (concealment of one's own essential nature) and anugraha (divine Favor or Grace). According to venerable Kṣemarāja, these five acts are in reality different forms of udaya-s (emergences) and pralaya-s (reabsorptions).
23 Spandasandoha is a preliminary work by Kṣemarāja, in which he only comments on the first aphorism of Spandakārikā-s. Afterward, he composed the present Spandanirṇaya, in which he extended his commentaries to the entire book, i.e. to all aphorisms of Spandakārikā-s.
24 Mahārtha is the well-known Krama school (also called Mahānaya), which arose in Kashmir about the 7th century A.D. This system states that the processes of universal emergence and reabsorption are carried about by a number of specific goddesses.
25 The objector is asking about why it is used the singular number in "... by whose opening (and) shutting of (His) eyes (there is) dissolution and emergence of the world", if the Krama system states that the processes of emergence and dissolution (i.e. reabsorption) are carried about by several deities. Remember that the Krama system is closely related to Trika. Hence that objection is valid in this context.
26 Thus, Kṣemarāja, by quoting a previous portion of this very first aphorism, declares that Śaṅkara (Śiva) is the source of those deities or powers (śakti-s) who carry about the processes of emergence and dissolution (reabsorption) of the world. Therefore, it is actually Śiva who brings about universal emergence and dissolution through His deities (also known as powers or goddesses). So, there is no real contradiction between the Krama and Trika systems on that point.
27 "Śaktīnāṁ... cakram" --group of powers -- may also be written as a compound: "śakticakram", i.e. "śakticakra", in its crude form (without any declension). Note that "śakticakram" is declined in the Nominative case. See Declension documents for more information. I am making this point clear to indicate that this interpretation is firstly analyzing the compound "śakticakra" in the aphorism.
28 Even though I translated "vibhava" as "glorious" in the original aphorism, there are many other interpretations, this being one of them. The same thing is true to "śakticakra" and "prabhava". I could not include all interpretations in my translation... that is why the commentaries exist, hehe.
29 The term "manthāna-bhairava" literally means: "The terrible and frightful Being who shakes (the universe)". Paradoxically, the term "bhairava" derives from "bhīru" (fearful). Some way, over the centuries it produced a term that came to mean the opposite. In short, Manthānabhairava is the Supreme Lord, the source of all. What else might I say then?
33 The sage Utpaladeva was the disciple of Somānanda, one of the renowned disciples of Vasugupta himself (the one who discovered Śivasūtra-s). In turn, Somānanda and Utpaladeva are the authors of the main books in the Pratyabhijñā section (the third section of the Trika's literature --See Trika section of this site for more information--). Śivadṛṣṭi and Īśvarapratyabhijñā are the most celebrated scriptures composed by Somānanda and Utpaladeva respectively.
38 See fourth aphorism of the second section in Spandakārikā-s, the scripture Kṣemarāja is commenting on right now.
40 Vāmeśvarī (also known as Vāmeśī) is the chief of the group of five śakti-s or powers: Khecarī (this power moves in the sphere of the limited experient), Gocarī (it moves in the sphere of the mind), Dikcarī (it moves in the sphere of the senses) and Bhūcarī (it moves in the sphere of the objects).
41 See that aphorism (I,20) in Spandakārikā-s for the rest of its translation. Spanda means "Vibration" literally. It is an epithet of Śakti, the Supreme Power.
42 Read aphorisms 6 and 7 of the first section in Spandakārikā-s to better understand the purport, as they are closely related to each other.
43 The powers of perception and action are Jñānendriya-s and Karmendriya-s. See Tattvic Chart (tattva-s or categories 17 through 26) for more information.
44 The eternal mantra-s are ultimately the embodiment of the primordial mantra of the Supreme Self. There are many sacred sounds, but none of them may "perfectly" represent the most subtle sound produced by the Absolute Consciousness. They are like rivers flowing into the ocean of the eternal sound of God. No gross tongues can utter that sound.
45 The deities referred to are those of the varga-s (groups of letters): a-varga (vowel group) is presided by Yogīśvarī (also known as Mahālakṣmī); ka-varga (guttural group) is presided by Brāhmī; ca-varga (palatal group) is presided by Māheśvarī; ṭa-varga (cerebral group) is presided by Kaumārī; ta-varga (dental group) is presided by Vaiṣṇavī; pa-varga (labial group) is presided by Vārāhī; ya-varga (semivowel group) is presided by Aindrī (also known as Indrāṇī) and śa-varga (sibilant and sonant aspirate group) is presided by Cāmuṇḍā. See Sanskrit alphabet (traditional arrangement) for more information.
46 The term "paśu" may also be pronounced "paśu". It literally means "animal", and in this sense its meaning is also applied to the "limited beings", which are like animals if compared to the Supreme Lord.
47 Bahuvrīhi or Attributive compounds are completely studied in Compounds (See Sanskrit/Compounds in the main menu). The same term "bahuvrīhi" may be used as a Bahuvrīhi compound. It literally means: "a lot of rice" (note that I added Visarga --ḥ-- to "vrīhi" in order to decline the noun in the Nominative case --see Declension for more information about declension--). In this sense, if literally translated would mean "a lot of rice", but as it is a Bahuvrīhi compound, the proper translation is "one who has a lot of rice". Likewise, this additional interpretation of the compound "Śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" specifies that it may be considered as a Bahuvrīhi compound: "One whose prabhavam...". Got it? OK, it is difficult for the rookies, but what the heck, you are in the Sanskrit universe here where all is always difficult. Anyway, if you still do not understand me, do not be in a hurry. You will understand in due course.
49 An alternative translation of "... bhaktibhājāmetatsvarūpaprakāśakam" might be "... who is the revealer of the primordial nature of this --i.e. of 'Śakticakravibhava', which is explained immediately after that-- to those who are dedicated to devotion". Well, I chose to translate "etad" as "His", which is also valid, but both translations are possible, I think, according to my present knowledge.
50 "Bhavataḥ" may also be translated as "Your", but since the Lord is always considered in the third person throughout the entire paragraph, to introduce here the second person would be inadequate. The word "bhavat", apart from being the crude form of "bhavān" (courteous "You"), also means "one who is or exists", and "bhavataḥ" is the Genitive case, in this case, i.e. "of one who is or exists". Remember that "tvam" is the common "you", while "bhavān" is "You" like if you were expressing "Your honor", "Your highness", do you understand? Thus, "bhavān" (derived from "bhavat") is much more courteous than a mere "tvam". In short, "bhavataḥ" may also mean "of Yours" or simply "Your", but it is better to translate it here as "of one who is or exists". I replaced "one" with "That" in the translation for the sake of convenience, of course.
51 The compound "rūpādipañcakamayasya" or "of one who is composed of the group of five, i.e. of Rūpa-tanmātra, etc." means in short "of a living being". All livings beings are composed of five Tanmātra-s (Rūpa, Śabda, Sparśa, Rasa and Gandha). See the Tattvic Chart for more information. The sense of this phrase is that the Highest Lord, even having entered in the physical body of a living being, brings about the manifestation and reabsorption of the world by merely opening and closing the senses of such a being. That living being is "you", right now. The world is manifested when your senses are opened by the Lord, and then it is reabsorbed when those very senses are closed by Him. What you call "the world" is simply a divine play of the Supreme Self, who lives in you as "You", according to Trika.
53 The word "bhānta" means two things: "one who has the form of a thunderbolt" or "moon". In this case, I chose the first translation. The hidden purport is that the multitude of inner objects rests within the Lord in a "shining" form, like that of a thunderbolt. Besides, the very term "bhāsayet" (causes to appear) occurring afterward, is derived from the root "bhās", which means "to appear", but also "to shine, be bright". In turn, the term "eva" (only, certainly, indeed, etc.) acts here as a mere expletive, i.e. a word that, though untranslated, contributes to the entire sense of a sentence. In this case, "eva" has been inserted there for the sake of emphasis.
54 The principal characteristic of the Determinative or Tatpuruṣa compounds is that they contain two members and the former "determines" the import of the latter. See documents of the Compounds subsection within the Sanskrit section (see main menu) for a detailed information about this particular type of compound. In fact, it is the most usual one among all kinds of compounds.
55 Kṣemarāja here considers the "Śakticakravibhavaprabhavam" as an inflectional Tatpuruṣa of the Genitive kind. When an inflectional Tatpuruṣa compound is dissolved, its first member (called "attributive) appears to be declined in the respective case (Genitive here, of course). The great sage states that the first member might be "Śakticakravibhava" and the second one "prabhavam". Thus, when the compound is dissolved, the first member should be declined in Genitive... and this is what occurs in the commentary: "Śakticakravibhavasya... prabhavam", got it? Well, if you do not understand it yet, go read the documents of the Compounds subsection (See Sanskrit/Compounds in the main menu).
(Here,) an objection regarding the existence of such a essential nature of Śaṅkara:
"What is the proof, and how (does) That --i.e. Śaṅkara-- create the world without (any) means e.g. material, etc.? (Moreover,) in the case of (He Himself) being the material of (which) that (world consists, His) disappearance would be brought about by the world, just as (disappearance) of the lump of clay (is brought about) by the jar1 . Also, in the case of existing a state of appearance --atirohita-- and disappearance --tirohita-- of the Lord, there would be a difference --i.e. there would be lack of unity-- in His essence. Besides, in the event of (His) re-emerging, a cause should be thought about or imagined (to explain that fact). And on the emergence of the world, (there would be) an inclination or tendency2 to dualism".
To remove these doubts or objections with one stroke, (the author of Spandakārikā-s --i.e. Vasugupta, according to Kṣemarāja--) says—
Since He has a unveiled nature --rūpa--, there is no obstruction to Him anywhere, in whom all this universe rests and from whom it has come forth||2||
There is no obstruction (or) impediment for (His) advancing anywhere, (whether) in space, time or form, to that very Self of Śaṅkara, who is a compact mass of Light (and) Bliss, (and) who is (also) one's own essential nature, since (His) nature (is) unveiled, i.e. since (His) essence is not concealed or hidden|
This (is) the purport or meaning|
Here, in this world, whatever (such as) vital energy, subtle body, pleasure, blue, etc., may possibly be considered to be a veil to the Light of Consciousness. (Anyway,) if that --i.e. vital energy, subtle body, pleasure, blue, etc.-- does not become perceivable or manifest (due to Prakāśa or the Light of Consciousness is) nothing3 . But, on its becoming perceivable or manifest, (then, it is) only the nature of Śaṅkara who consists of Light4 . So, what is obstructing whom, or what (is) the meaning of obstruction?|
(Vasugupta, the reputed author according to Kṣemarāja,) proves this very (fact) by means of this differencing phrase5 : "in whom", etc. --i.e. "in whom all this universe rests...", see first line in the aphorism--, (which particularizes or defines the meaning of the other phrase beginning with) "to Him" --i.e. "there is no obstruction to Him anywhere...", see second line in the aphorism--|
(The term) "yatra" (in the aphorism means "yasmiṁścidrūpe svātmani":) "in whom, i.e. in one's own Self --ātmā-- whose nature --rūpa-- (is) Consciousness". (In turn, the word) "idam" (means "mātṛmānameyātmakam":) i.e. "that which consists of experient or knower, knowledge or means of knowledge (and) knowable or object". (The expression) "sarvaṁ kāryam" (means "sarvaṁ jagat":) i.e. "all the world". (Finally, the term) "sthitám"--rests-- (means "yatprakāśena prakāśamānaṁ satsthitiṁ labhate":) i.e. "by whose Light or Prakāśa, (this entire world) becomes perceptible or manifest (and thus) obtains (its) true position"6 . (Therefore, the meaning of the whole phrase "yatra sthitamidaṁ sarvaṁ kāryam" is "in whom, i.e. in one's own Self whose nature is Consciousness, all this world consisting of experient or knower, knowledge or means of knowledge and knowable or object rests; that is, by whose Light or Prakāśa it becomes perceptible or manifest and thus obtains its true position". Then,) how can there be His obstruction by that (world)? Because in the event of His obstruction, that which is considered to be the obstructor --i.e. the world-- certainly would not appear. This is what is to be added to (the aphorism in order to complete its) meaning|
As has been expressed in Ajaḍapramātṛsiddhi:
"How might there be His restriction by the vital energy (if the latter's) nature --ātmā-- (is) Himself?"|
An objection (here):
"Prakāśa or the Light of Consciousness is (obviously the Light,) in its aspect as "sthiti" or "maintenance of manifestation", of that which has emerged --i.e. of the world--, but whence (does) its emergence (come)?7 "|
(To answer that question, the author) says (at the end of the first line of his second aphorism "yasmācca nirgatam":) i.e. "and from whom it has come forth"|
Having discarded Consciousness --Cit-- as the cause of the world, which may be proved by (simply) resorting to one's own experience from the viewpoint of memory, sleep, ideation (and) creation by yogī-s, it is not proper to consider Pradhāna, atom, etc.8 (to be the cause of the world, because) that is without any proof and adequate support|
Also, by the word "kārya" (in the aphorism) this very (fact) is alluded or implied, i.e. it is said that a "kārya" --lit. effect-- (or) product undoubtedly (results) from the activity of a doer or agent, but it is not the subsequent outcome of an inert or insentient cause. According to what has been declared in Īśvarapratyabhijñā (by the sage Utpaladeva), causality (in the case of something which is inert or insentient is not possible) because there is insufficiency of means of proof. This (concept) will occur too in this (scripture) --see the first line of the aphorism 14 of this first section of 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."|
By the word "sarva" --lit. all-- (in the aphorism), a state or condition of independence in respect of material, etc. on the doer's part is alluded or implied|
(It is) never seen that the product, (e.g.) a pot, etc., conceals the essential nature of the doer, (i.e.) the potter, etc.|
An (additional) objection:
"(Only) the emergence of that which is contained in something else occurs --i.e. there can be emergence of something only if it is already contained in another thing--. Therefore, is this (world) resting in a certain place at the very beginning?"
(The reply:) "It is nowhere resting, but only in That whose nature is Consciousness." (That is why) Vasugupta says "yatra sthitam", i.e. "in whom (all this universe) rests"|
Certainly, this (phrase, i.e. "yatra sthitam") is to be used by repetition --twice--|
This (is) the meaning: If the world did not exist in That whose nature is Consciousness, (enjoying) complete unity with the Light of Aham --i.e. "I-ness"--, then, how would it arise from that (very Light of Aham) without resorting --lit. independently-- to material, etc.?|
Inasmuch as, according to what has been established by the sacred tradition (in Parātriṁśikhā, stanza 24):
"Just as a large tree lies potentially in the seed of the banyan tree, so this world, (both) animate (and) inanimate, lies in the seed of the Heart9 ."||
And also, according to the afore-said reasoning or argument, (in Īśvarapratyabhijñā 5-10, it is declared that):
"And of what abides in the Self of the Master --i.e. the Lord--."|
(One might conclude that) this (world or universe) rests in that (Lord) flashing as identical (with Him). Therefore, it is proper (to affirm that) "This Lord --lit. Prosperous, Fortunate-- whose nature is Consciousness causes the world to emerge in the form of congealment of His own essence"10 |
Thus, the syntactical construction arising here (is "yatra sthitameva sadyasmānnirgatam":) i.e. "only because (all this universe) rests (or) exists in Him (it is able to) come forth from Himself"|
(In that case, the particle) "ca" --and-- (in "yasmāccanirgatam") would mean "eva" --only-- (and would be) displaced, i.e. its location would be a different one. (In short, according to the abovementioned precepts, the first line of the aphorism should have been written like this: "yatra sthitameva idaṁ sarvaṁ kāryaṁ yasmānnirgatam", i.e. "only because all this universe rests in Him it is able to come forth from Himself", instead of "yatra sthitamidaṁ sarvaṁ kāryaṁ yasmācca nirgatam", i.e. "in whom all this universe rests and from whom it has come forth")|
"If this world would have come out from that beautiful form of Light or Prakāśa, then it would not have arise, as it is not proper (to say that) it is outside Light and (at the same time) arising --i.e. becoming manifest--."
Having (so) objected, (this is the reply):
(The words should be) put together (this way,) by repetition: ("yasmānnirgatamapi sadyatra sthitam") i.e. "even (having) come forth from Him, (all this universe still) rests (or) exists in Himself"|
(Under those circumstances, the particle) "ca" --and-- (in the phrase "yasmācca nirgatam" in the aphorism) would mean "api" --even-- (and would be) displaced, i.e. its location would be a different one. (So, according to the above interpretation, the first line of the aphorism should have been written like this: "yasmānnirgatamapīdaṁ sarvaṁ kāryaṁ yatra sthitam", i.e. "even having come forth from Him, all this universe rests in Himself", instead of "yatra sthitamidaṁ sarvaṁ kāryaṁ yasmācca nirgatam", i.e. "in whom all this universe rests and from whom it has come forth")|
This which has been described is (to be understood as follows): That (world) does not has emerged from Him as does a walnut, etc. from a bag; but through His own Absolute Freedom, that very Lord --lit. Prosperous, Fortunate-- keeps on manifesting on His own screen or background --lit. wall--, like a city in a mirror, the form of the world as if different though non-different (from Him)11 |
Even (another) objection: "Well, thus (there is) a condition of non-obstruction to Him by the world in the two states of manifestation (and) maintenance. However, how (is) this (Lord) not concealed by the state of dissolution with reference to the world, which --i.e. saṁhāra or dissolution of the world-- resembles deep sleep (and) whose nature is absence (of knowables)? (Because) without a perceivable world, the perceiver, whose nature is Consciousness, is nobody at all."
This is indeed the reply: By repetition (of the phrase "yasmānnirgatamapi sadyatraiva sthitam",) i.e. "even (having) come forth from Him, (all this universe still) only rests (or) exists in Himself". (And by applying that precept to this particular case, it can be stated that,) the world which has emerged abides in a condition of identity with Him even during (its) state of dissolution. Undoubtedly, there is no other destruction of this (world) in the form of a void, since there is insufficiency of means to prove the existence of that (void), in accordance with what will be said (below), without Light or Prakāśa as being (its) background12 . This is the purport|
As has been said in the venerable scripture (known as) Svacchanda13 :
"(That which) is described as 'void' (is really) non-void. It is said that void (is) certainly 'abhāva'. Oh goddess, that is to be known as 'abhāva' in which the knowables or perceivable objects have been dissolved."||
Thus, all His universe --lit. effect-- becomes manifest only by means of His own Light --prakāśa--, and even (when that universe is) dissolved, it abides (or) exists as identical with His Light. (Whether) space, time, form, etc., nothing is fit or competent to be His obstructor— In this manner, "pervading, everlasting, inlaid with the universal Power (like a jewel)14 , self-luminous and eternally existent (is) this (Supreme) Principle."|
In the case of having to prove the existence of this (Supreme Principle), a miserable means of proof which reveals an unknown thing is not adequate, suitable or possible. On the contrary, the perfection and accomplishment of all things (such as) means of proof, etc. depends upon the perfection and accomplishment of this Principle|
That has been said by our spiritual preceptors in Tantrāloka (I, 55):
"That very Highest Lord (is) the supreme life of even those means of proof which certainly constitute the life of the things."||
This world, even when it has arisen from Him, rests in Himself. (And) having become manifest by His Light, it rests in Him also possessed of such a nature. (In other words,) it is identical with His Light (even after having been manifested by that very Light)|
His Light alone, considered in (its) entirety, is (enough) to prove (the existence) of it --i.e. of the world--. That which is known as the world (is) nothing else (but His Light or Prakāśa) indeed|
(Consequently, the phrase "yatra sthitam",) i.e. "in whom (all this universe) rests", should be used twice by repetition, in this context|
Thus, (as is) certainly proved by one's own experience, (there is) a condition of non-obstruction, always (and) everywhere, to this (Spanda) principle --tattva-- which reveals the joining or meeting point of manifestation, maintenance (and) dissolution, (and) which effects what is very hard to be accomplished|
As has been said by venerable preceptor15 Utpaladeva:
"Oh Lord of all, Your unprecedented (and) victorious16 condition of Supreme Lordship (is) devoid of anything to be reigned or ruled over. Even Your other (state of Lordship)17 (is also) so. (Through Your condition of Lordship,) this world in no way appears (to Your devotees or followers) as it appears (to the rest of people)18 ."||
The sense here (is) undoubtedly (that) nothing appears as different from the Splendor of Consciousness (because) the world becoming manifested is one with (that) Splendor|
Besides, since there is no obstruction to this (Spanda principle whether) in the state of cessation (as described) by the phrase ("yatra sthitam",) i.e. "in whom (all this universe) rests, (or) in the condition of expansion (as expressed) by the phrase ("yasmācca nirgatam",) i.e. "and from whom it has come forth", therefore a yogī must be certainly intent on entrance in his own essential nature even in both (types of) Samādhi-s or Perfect Concentrations: Nimīlana (and) Unmīlana19 |
That (very teaching) will be (also) expressed (in the second line of the 9th stanza of this first section):
"When the agitation thoroughly dissolves, then the Supreme State occurs."|
Moreover, (it is said) in like manner (in the first line of the 4th stanza of the second section of Spandakārikā-s:)
"Therefore there is no state that is not Śiva, (whether) in word, object (or) thought --cintā--."|
20 (Even though) there may be --sat-- somewhere an experient --pramātṛ-- who is a follower of the doctrine --vādin-- of the not-Self, such as a Buddhist, etc., and a proof --pramāṇa-- which is considered --abhimata-- to be annulling (the Self), there is no obstruction (to or) negation of Him --i.e. of the Self or Spanda Principle--, because if that is not (already) admitted to be real and existent, (i.e. if) the one who denies Him and the proof which (also) denies Him (are not already admitted to be real and existent indeed, then) this (denial becomes) a picture without any canvas. (For that reason,) the proof of this (Self or Spanda principle) "is manifested or revealed" undoubtedly by demonstrating that, (i.e. the existence and reality of the denier. Thus), this (declaration postulating that) "the Prosperous and Fortunate Lord, whose form is an eternally established Reality (and) one's own Prakāśa or Light, (does) exist" (is) tacitly expressed even by one who rises to deny (Him)|
This (point) will occur (later on) as well (in the first half of the first line of the 16th stanza), in here, (i.e. within this very section):
"(There is) no (cessation of that) inner state or nature which..."
Thus, this (scripture) certainly describes "the (Supreme) Principle (known as) Śaṅkara --Śiva or the Lord--, who consists of one's own essential nature, (who is both) transcendent (to and) immanent in the universe, (and) who brings about the manifestation, dissolution, etc. of (that very) universe". Consequently, that which is revered or worshipped in all (doctrines dealing with) the Supreme Lord or Parameśvara (is) nothing but the Spanda principle. (And) that diversity of worships shines forth because of His Absolute Freedom alone|
In fact, this --i.e. the universe-- (is) entirely just the essence of (His) Power. This (topic has) also (been) explained in an indirect manner (in the first line of the first stanza of the second section of this scripture:)
"Grabbing hold of that Force, Mantra-s21 , full of the omniscient power..."
Thus, there is no room for the aforesaid objection|
(Let) intelligent (people who are) disinterested and free from arrogance examine and investigate)22 for themselves the difference (between) what (is) being explained by all the other authors of commentaries and what has been expounded, in a small measure, by us there, on such venerable (scripture as) Spandakārikā-s or Spandasūtra-s --the aphorisms dealing with the Spanda Principle--, which are like gems of thought. However, that (difference) is not openly shown or explained by us, (in short,) word for word, (lest we) fall into trouble or misfortune (of ending up composing) a book (endowed with) heaviness in argumentation||2||
1 The purport is that, just as a lump of clay disappears when the jar is made of it, so the appearance of the world should cause the Lord to disappear too. Obviously, such a disappearance is only apparent because the clay is still there as well as the Lord.
2 The world "prasaṅga" also means "occurrence of a possibility, contingency, etc.". Thus, the term "dvaitaprasaṅgaḥ" might have alternatively been translated so: "(there would be) the occurrence of a possibility of dualism" or else "(there would be) the contingency of dualism", etc.
3 In other words, "it is not manifest" and not "it does not exist", because as a matter of fact "everything always exists" as it is born from the very Supreme Existence. When something has been manifested from this Light of Consciousness, it becomes perceivable to the Lord (You), and when it is not manifest, that very thing rests as the pure Light of Consciousness in His Self, i.e. in Your Self. Simple.
5 A "differencer" (viśeṣaṇa) is in Sanskrit grammar a word which particularizes or defines another word, which is known as "viśeṣya". In this case, it is not mere words but entire phrases acting as viśeṣaṇa and viśeṣya, respectively.
6 In short, the world appears as such, i.e. as a knowable or manifested object. Consequently, this object called "the entire world" can never veil the Supreme Subject from whom is born. This is the purport, in my opinion.
8 Pradhāna is also known as "Prakṛti" (see tattva 13 in the Tattvic chart for more information). Although Trika does not, some systems consider Pradhāna to be the cause of the world. The same thing is true regarding Paramāṇu-s or atoms (monads). Some systems postulate that the world is the creation of those atoms (see First Steps documents for more information about the various philosophical systems).
11 Just as the reflection of a city in a mirror, which though non-different from the original city, seems to be different.
12 Without the support of Prakāśa or Light, the existence of void cannot be sufficiently proved.
13 "Svacchanda" is a tantric scripture which is sacred to Trika system. Hence, it is often known as "Svacchandatantra". As many other tantric works, it consists of a dialogue between Śiva (acting as the guru or spiritual preceptor) and Śakti --the goddess-- (acting as His disciple).
15 You would expect "ācāryeṇa" (by the preceptor) and not in plural number: "ācāryabhiḥ" (by the preceptors), because the text is referring to one preceptor (Utpaladeva, in this case). However, it seems to be a common practice to decline the nouns "ācārya", "guru", etc. in plural, specially when the adjectives "śrī" or "śrīmat" --venerable, great, etc.-- are added to the compound as well.
16 There are two alternative translations if you consider the phrase "jayatyapūrvā" as "jayati apurvā" instead of "jayatī apūrvā" (such as was considered by me in the above translation; note that "jayatī" --victorious-- is the present participle, feminine, derived from the root "ji" --to be victorious, triumph, etc.--; of course, the gender of this participle is in accordance with the one of the compound "parameśvaratā", which is also feminine). These alternative interpretations are possible as the author chose to use the 4th Primary Rule of Vowel Sandhi or combination and replace the original "ī" or "i" (I ignore which one) with "y" (maybe this was done purposely by him, who knows?). Well, should the word be "jayati", the sentence would read: "Oh Lord of all, Your unprecedented condition of Supreme Lordship, which (always) triumphs, (is) devoid of anything to be reigned or ruled over". Also, the word "jayati" may be taken as a kind of Imperative, in the sense of "glory to!" or "long live!". Therefore, the text might be interpreted this way too: "Oh Lord of all, glory to Your unprecedented condition of Supreme Lordship, which is devoid of anything to be reigned or ruled over!". As you can see, there are several possible translations of the Utpaladeva's words.
17 It refers to the two supreme tattva-s or categories (Sadāśiva and Īśvara) which arise from Śiva (the Lord). Consult the Tattvic Chart for more information.
18 Needless to say that by "Your devotees or followers", the author is not referring "exclusively" to "śaiva-s" or followers of the celebrated deity known as Śiva. The author is speaking here of "the Supreme Lord" and not a particular deity. In Trika (Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir) the term "Śiva" is used to designate the Highest Self. By no means, Trika is speaking of the old "Purāṇic" Śiva (a personal god wearing a loincloth and sitting on a tiger skin, about whom you can read in such ancient texts as "Śivapurāṇa"). Over the intervening centuries, since the times when the Purāṇa-s were written up to the birth of Trika, the concept of "Śiva" was developed from a anthropomorphic deity up to the formless Reality which the Trika system deals with. You must understand this or the truth contained in Trika will always remain out of reach for you. Besides, if Śiva was not considered in Trika to be the Highest Lord but a mere personal deity, the followers of any other deity (Viṣṇu, Gaṇeśa, etc.) would be left out, which is completely absurd. Therefore, by "Your devotees or followers", Utpaladeva means to say "those people who are spiritually oriented indeed".
19 Nimīlanasamādhi is that Perfect Concentration in which your senses are closed to the external world and you attain complete unity with the inner Self (the Witness). On the other hand, Unmīlanasamādhi is that Perfect Concentration in which your senses are fully open and you perceive the entire world as a form of Śiva, your own innermost Self. Obviously, these states are "only" attained by divine dispensation or grace. If there is no divine grace, you will not achieve them, however resolved you may be. And he is a great yogī who deserves such a divine favor. Thus, the sage Kṣemarāja is speaking of a highly experienced yogī endowed with supreme wisdom and detachment and not of any mere seeker.
20 The following phrase is in absolute Locative (a special grammatical structure in Sanskrit), that is why I had to add "even though" at the beginning in order to give it a logical structure in English. Likewise, I am going to write the original words, i.e. without being declined in Locative case, between double hyphen (-- --) for the sake of making my translation even more transparent. Read the Declension documents for more information about Locative case. And if you are wondering what the heck is an absolute Locative? Well, in Sanskrit there is something known as "absolute construction" (whether in Locative or Genitive cases). What is that? Listen to the technical definition:
"When the participle agrees with a subject that is different from the subject of the verb, the phrase is in absolute construction".
A simple example: "Mūle hate hataṁ sarvam", which is "literally" translated this way: "In the root, in which has been killed, killed all". The main subject (i.e. the subject of the verb) is "sarvam" (all), and its verb is "hatám" (granted, this is past participle of the root "han"-"to kill", but this is the classic way of writing in Sanskrit, which prevents me from taking the trouble to conjugate the verb "han", got it?) In turn, the word "root" is "mūlam" and the participle agreeing with it is the first "hatám" (killed), which is now shown like this in the sentence: "hate". OK, as this first "hatám" (the participle) agrees with a subject ("mūlam") that is different from the subject ("sarvam") of the verb (the second "hatám" in this case), you have to decline both the participle and the subject which it agrees with in Locative. So, instead of "mūlam" and "hatám", you put "mūle" and "hate" (Locative case). Of course, you cannot translate the sentence literally, because it does not make any sense. Thus, you should add "even though, when, while, since, etc." to the sentence, according to the context, in order to give it structure in English, understood? Therefore, the translation of "Mūle hate hataṁ sarvam" would read:
"(When) the root --mūla-- has been killed --hatá--, all has been destroyed".
Note that I translated "hatám" as "has been destroyed" to avoid redundance. Also notice how I added between double hyphen the original crude forms of the words, i.e. without being declined in Locative. On the other hand, in some cases, I cannot use the absolute construction (oh, it is long to explain why) and I have to write the phrase with "yadā" (when) and conjugate properly, at least once. Now, suppose that I cannot use the absolute construction to express the former sentence. Good... I will have to write all this way then:
"Yadā mūlaṁ hanyate hataṁ sarvam" - "When the root has been killed, all has been destroyed".
Too long if compared to "Mūle hate hataṁ sarvam". On top of that, I had to conjugate the root "han" (to kill) in Passive Voice, 3rd Person singular ("hanyate")... how complicated for a rookie in Sanskrit like me! For that reason, it is better to use absolute constructions when possible. There is an absolute Genitive too, which is generally used under the same circunstamces as the absolute Locative, but it has its own particularities anyway. Oh, this is something I cannot explain here, obviously. Well, if you did not understand anything, do not worry about it, because this topic is somewhat strange. Just trust me, please.
21 By "Mantra-s", the author of the stanza is not referring "exclusively" to the sacred words (which, technically speaking, are not mantra-s either... oh well, a too long topic to explain it in a simple note), but to the experients of the fifth tattva or category (Sadvidyā). See Tattvic Chart for more information.
22 "Vicinvantu" is the 3rd Person plural, Imperative Mood, of the verb "vici" (to examine, investigate). As a matter of fact, "vicinvantu" means "let... examine and investigate", but I had to place that "Let" at the beginning of the sentence for the sake of convenience as the Sanskrit sentence structure is very different from that of the English language.
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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