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 Spandanirṇaya (Spanda Nirnaya) Section I (aphorisms 11 to 16) - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir

Normal translation


 Introduction

This is the fourth set of 6 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.

Kṣemarāja's Sanskrit will be in dark green color while the original Vasugupta's aphorisms will be shown in dark red color. In turn, within the transliteration, the original aphorisms will be in brown color, while the Kṣemarāja's comments will be shown in black. Also, within the translation, the original aphorisms by Vasugupta, i.e. the Spandakārikā-s, will be in green and black colors, while the commentary by Kṣemarāja will contain words in both black and red colors.

Read Spandanirṇaya and experience Supreme Ānanda or Divine Bliss, dear Śiva.

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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 Aphorism 11

अथ यतः करणेति निजाशुद्ध्येति सूत्रप्रतिपादितोन्मेषक्रमसमाधानसाक्षात्कृतस्य स्पन्दतत्त्वस्य दृढावष्टम्भाद्व्युत्थानमपि समाध्येकरसं कुर्वतो भवोच्छेदो भवतीत्याह


तमधिष्ठातृभावेन स्वभावमवलोकयन्।
स्मयमान इवास्ते यस्तस्येयं कुसृतिः कुतः॥११॥


उक्तोपपत्त्युपलब्ध्यनुशीलनप्रत्यभिज्ञातं तं स्पन्दतत्त्वात्मकं स्वभावमात्मीयमाधिष्ठातृभावेन व्युत्थानदशायामपि व्याप्नुवन्तमवलोकयंश्चिन्वानः

न व्रजेन्न विशेच्छक्तिर्मरुद्रूपा विकासिते।
निर्विकल्पतया मध्ये तया भैरवरूपता॥

इति तथा

सर्वाः शक्तीश्चेतसा दर्शनाद्याः स्वे स्वे वेद्ये यौगपद्येन विष्वक्।
क्षिप्त्वा मध्ये हाटकस्तम्भभूतस्तिष्ठन्विश्वाकार एकोऽवभासि॥

इति श्रीविज्ञानभैरवकक्ष्यास्तोत्रनिर्दिष्टसम्प्रदाययुक्त्या निमीलनोन्मीलनसमाधिना युगपद्व्यापकमध्यभूम्यवष्टम्भादध्यासितैतदुभयविसर्गारणिविगलितसकलविकल्पोऽक्रमस्फारितकरणचक्रः

अन्तर्लक्ष्यो बहिर्दृष्टिर्निमेषोन्मेषवर्जितः।
इयं सा भैरवी मुद्रा सर्वतन्त्रेषु गोपिता॥

इत्याम्नातभगवद्भैरवमुद्रानुप्रविष्टो मुकुरान्तर्निमज्जदुन्मज्जन्नानाप्रतिबिम्बकदम्बकल्पमनल्पं भावराशिं चिदाकाश एवोदितमपि तत्रैव विलीयमानं पश्यन् जन्मसहस्रापूर्वपरमानन्दघनलोकोत्तरस्वस्वरूपप्रत्यभिज्ञानाज्झटिति त्रुटितसकलवृत्तिः स्मयमानो विस्मयमुद्रानुप्रविष्ट इव महाविकासासादनाच्च सहसैव समुदितसमुचिततात्त्विकस्वभावो यो योगीन्द्र आस्ते तिष्ठति न त्ववष्टम्भाच्छिथिलीभवति तस्येयमिति सकलजगत्कम्पकारिणी कुत्सिता जननमरणादिप्रबन्धरूपा सृतिः प्रवृत्तिः कुतो निजाशुद्धिलक्षणस्य तद्धेतोरभावान्नैव भवतीत्यर्थः। यथोक्तं श्रीपूर्वशास्त्रे

तत्त्वे निश्चलचित्तस्तु भुञ्जानो विषयानपि।
नैव संस्पृश्यते दोषैः पद्मपत्रमिवाम्भसा॥
विषापहारिमन्त्रादिसन्नद्धो भक्षयन्नपि।
विषं न मुह्यते तेन तद्वद्योगी महामतिः॥

इति॥११॥

Atha yataḥ karaṇeti nijāśuddhyeti sūtrapratipāditonmeṣakramasamādhānasākṣātkṛtasya spandatattvasya dṛḍhāvaṣṭambhādvyutthānamapi samādhyekarasaṁ kurvato bhavocchedo bhavatītyāha


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


Uktopapattyupalabdhyanuśīlanapratyabhijñātaṁ taṁ spandatattvātmakaṁ svabhāvamātmīyamādhiṣṭhātṛbhāvena vyutthānadaśāyāmapi vyāpnuvantamavalokayaṁścinvānaḥ

Na vrajenna viśecchaktirmarudrūpā vikāsite|
Nirvikalpatayā madhye tayā bhairavarūpatā||

Iti tathā

Sarvāḥ śaktīścetasā darśanādyāḥ sve sve vedye yaugapadyena viṣvak|
Kṣiptvā madhye hāṭakastambhabhūtastiṣṭhanviśvākāra eko'vabhāsi||

Iti śrīvijñānabhairavakakṣyāstotranirdiṣṭasampradāyayuktyā nimīlanonmīlanasamādhinā yugapadvyāpakamadhyabhūmyavaṣṭambhādadhyāsitaitadubhayavisargāraṇivigalitasakalavikalpo'kramasphāritakaraṇacakraḥ

Antarlakṣyo bahirdṛṣṭirnimeṣonmeṣavarjitaḥ|
Iyaṁ sā bhairavī mudrā sarvatantreṣu gopitā||

Ityāmnātabhagavadbhairavamudrānupraviṣṭo mukurāntarnimajjadunmajjannānāpratibimbakadambakalpamanalpaṁ bhāvarāśiṁ cidākāśa evoditamapi tatraiva vilīyamānaṁ paśyan janmasahasrāpūrvaparamānandaghanalokottarasvasvarūpapratyabhijñānājjhaṭiti truṭitasakalavṛttiḥ smayamāno vismayamudrānupraviṣṭa iva mahāvikāsāsādanācca sahasaiva samuditasamucitatāttvikasvabhāvo yo yogīndra āste tiṣṭhati na tvavaṣṭambhācchithilībhavati tasyeyamiti sakalajagatkampakāriṇī kutsitā jananamaraṇādiprabandharūpā sṛtiḥ pravṛttiḥ kuto nijāśuddhilakṣaṇasya taddhetorabhāvānnaiva bhavatītyarthaḥ| Yathoktaṁ śrīpūrvaśāstre

Tattve niścalacittastu bhuñjāno viṣayānapi|
Naiva saṁspṛśyate doṣaiḥ padmapatramivāmbhasā||
Viṣāpahārimantrādisannaddho bhakṣayannapi|
Viṣaṁ na muhyate tena tadvadyogī mahāmatiḥ||

iti||11||


Now (atha), there is (bhavati) extirpation (ucchedaḥ) of transmigratory existence (bhava) --i.e. bondage and misery come to an end-- to the one who makes (kurvataḥ) even (api) the ordinary state of consciousness (vyutthānam) equal to (eka-rasam) Samādhi --profound absorption in one's own Self-- (samādhi) by a firm grip (dṛḍha-avaṣṭambhāt) of the principle (tattvasya) of Spanda (spanda) which has been realized (sākṣāt-kṛtasya) through a perfect contemplation (samādhāna) using the Unmeṣa method (unmeṣa-krama). (The Unmeṣa method) was explained (pratipādita) in the aphorisms (sūtra) "Yataḥ karaṇa..." (yatas karaṇa iti) --aphorisms 6-7-- (and) "Nijāśuddhyā..." (nija-aśuddhyā iti) --aphorism 9--1 . (Vasugupta) said (āha) so (iti):


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||


(The first line of the aphorism, "Tamadhiṣṭhātṛbhāvena svabhāvamavalokayan", means) while beholding (avalokayan) (or) perceiving (cinvānaḥ) that (tam) one's own (ātmīyam) essential nature (sva-bhāvam) —which is (ātmakam) the principle (tattva) of Spanda (spanda) recognized --i.e. realized-- (pratyabhijñātam) by constant study (anuśīlana) (and) understanding (upalabdhi) of the abovementioned (ukta) argument (upapatti)— as (bhāvena) presiding over (the entire universe) (adhiṣṭhātṛ), viz. as pervading (vyāpnuvantam) even (api) the state (daśāyām) of vyutthāna --the ordinary state of consciousness-- (vyutthāna). According to the traditional teaching (sampradāya-yuktyā) indicated (nirdiṣṭa) in venerable (śrī) Vijñānabhairava (vijñānabhairava) (and) Kakṣyāstotra (kakṣyāstotra), (namely):

"When there is development of the middle state (vikāsite... madhye) by means of the cessation of the vikalpa-s or thoughts (nirvikalpatayā), Śakti (śaktiḥ) in the form (rūpā) of vital air (marut) neither (na) goes (outward) (vrajet) nor (na) does She enter (viśet). By Her --when She assumes that state-- (tayā), (a Yogī obtains) the nature (rūpatā) of Bhairava (bhairava... iti) --he realizes his own Self--2 "||

and also (tathā):

"After throwing (kṣiptvā) by the mind (cetasā) all (sarvāḥ) the powers (śaktīḥ), (such as) the power of seeing (darśana), etc. (ādyāḥ) into each of their (respective) objects (sve sve vedye) —simultaneously (yaugapadyena) (and) in all directions (viṣvak)—, by standing (tiṣṭhan) in the middle (madhye) like (bhūtaḥ) a golden (hāṭaka) pillar (stambha), You alone appear (ekaḥ avabhāsi) in the form (ākāraḥ) of the universe (viśva... iti)!"||

(Then, according to that traditional teaching, the Yogī remains) with (his) group (cakraḥ) of senses (karaṇa) widely open (sphārita) simultaneously (akrama) (and) with (a state where) all (sakala) (his) thoughts (vikalpaḥ) vanished (vigalita) because these two (etad-ubhaya), Visarga and Araṇi --technical names for Nimīlanasamādhi and Unmīlanasamādhi, viz. perfect absorption in the Self while the eyes are closed and perfect absorption in the Self while the eyes are open, respectively-- (visarga-araṇi) are firmly settled or established (adhyāsita). (Such a Yogī attained that state) by a firm grip (avaṣṭambhāt) of the middle (madhya) state (bhūmi) which simultaneously (yugapad) spreads --i.e. pervades-- (vyāpaka) through Nimīlanasamādhi and Unmīlanasamādhi (nimīlana-unmīlana-samādhinā).

(Therefore, this Yogī) has entered (anupraviṣṭaḥ) the holy (bhagavat) mudrā --seal-- (mudrā) of Bhairava --the Supreme Self-- (bhairava), which is mentioned in the revealed scriptures (āmnāta) (in this way:)

"With (one's) attention turned inward (antar-lakṣyaḥ) (and) the gaze (dṛṣṭiḥ) turned outward (bahis), without (varjitaḥ) closing or opening the eyes --without twinkling-- (nimeṣa-unmeṣa). This (iyam) (is) the (sā) Bhairavī mudrā --the mudrā of Bhairava-- (bhairavī mudrā), kept secret (gopitā) in all the Tantra-s (sarva-tantreṣu... iti)!3 "||

(After having entered Bhairavī mudrā,) he sees (paśyan) the great (analpam) multitude (rāśim) of objects (bhāva) arising (uditam api) in the space or ether (ākāśe eva) of Consciousness (cit) (and) dissolving (vilīyamānam) right there (tatra eva) like (kalpam) a long series (kadamba) of multiple (nānā) reflections (pratibimba) appearing (unmajjat) (and) disappearing (nimajjat) inside (antar) a mirror (mukura). The best (indraḥ) of the Yogī-s (yogī) who (yaḥ), having broken all (his) mental modifications --having dissolved all his thoughts-- (truṭita-sakala-vṛttiḥ) instantly (jhaṭiti) —after one thousand (sahasra) births (janma)— by means of a recognition (pratyabhijñānāt) of his (sva) extraordinary (loka-uttara) essential nature (sva-rūpa) that is a mass (ghana) of unprecedented (apūrva) Supreme (parama) Bliss (ānanda), abides (āste) —he stands (tiṣṭhati), he does not desist (na tu... śithilī-bhavati) from the grip (of the principle of Spanda or I-consciousness) (avaṣṭambhāt)— astonished (smayamānaḥ), i.e. as if (iva) he had entered (anupraviṣṭaḥ) Vismayamudrā --the mudrā of amazement-- (vismaya-mudrā), suddenly (sahasā eva) —due to (his) achievement (āsādanāt ca) of the Great (mahā) Development or Expansion (vikāsa)— experiences the emergence --lit. risen-- (samudita) (of his) proper (samucita) real (tāttvika) nature (sva-bhāvaḥ)4 . How (kutas) (can) "this" (iyam iti) vile (kutsitā) transmigratory path (sṛtiḥ) (or) pravṛtti --i.e. active worldly life-- (pravṛttiḥ) which consists in (rūpā) the continuous series (prabandha) of being born (janana), dying (maraṇa), etc. (ādi) (and) causes tremor (kampa-kāriṇī) in all (sakala) people (jagat) (be) his --of that great Yogī-- (tasya)? It is not (na eva bhavati), due to the absence (abhāvāt) of its cause (tad-hetoḥ) characterized (lakṣaṇasya) by "nijāśuddhi" or "innate impurity" --the Āṇavamala-- (nija-aśuddhi). Such is the meaning (iti arthaḥ)5 |

As mentioned (yathā uktam) in venerable (śrī) Pūrvaśāstra --also known as Mālinīvijayatantra-- (pūrva-śāstre):

"Someone whose mind is fixed (niścala-cittaḥ tu) on the Supreme Principle (tattve), even though (api) enjoying (bhuñjānaḥ) objects (viṣayān), is not (na eva) touched (saṁspṛśyate) by the vices (doṣaiḥ) just like (iva) a lotus-petal (padma-patram) (is not touched) by water (ambhasā). The one who is equipped (sannaddhaḥ) with the mantra (mantra), etc. (ādi) that remove (apahāri) the poison (viṣa), even though (api) eating (bhakṣayan) poison (viṣam), does not (na) become unconscious (muhyate) by it (tena). Likewise (tadvat), a Yogī (yogī) of great understanding (mahā-matiḥ) (is not poisoned by this Saṁsāra --transmigration full of misery and bondage--)"||

||11||

1  Unmeṣakrama is the "Unmeṣa method" or even better: "Unmeṣa's way". Anyway, I translated "krama" as "method" and not "way" for the sake of being more descriptive. However, it is not a method but simply "the way" in which the Supreme Self decides to get in touch with the Yogī. The word "unmeṣa" means many things, but in this special context is synonymous with "udyama" or "a sudden flash or elevation of divine Consciousness". At the beginning of his commentary on the aphorisms 6-7, Kṣemarāja said:

"That principle (of Spanda) being investigated with respect, faith --śraddhā-- and care --prayatna-- should be inspected such as it has been established in the Śivasūtra-s:

'Bhairava --Supreme Being-- (is) a sudden flash or elevation of divine Consciousness'

(In other words, it should be inspected) as being a sudden flash or elevation whose nature is Bhairava --the Supreme Self--, viz. as the cessation of all the differences or dualities, as the expansion of one's own vigor or power (and) as the act of applying oneself to the perfect (and) inner essential nature|"

To someone who has experienced his own Self (the principle of Spanda) in that way, this miserable transmigratory existence, where one is born in order to die, and die in order to be reborn, does end, because how could it survive in the presence of That? The principle of Spanda is in everybody as their real essence or "I", but the vast majority cannot realize It. So, this person who has realized It is extraordinary. He did so by His Grace alone, which emerged spontaneously. It is to be noted that this great Yogī was in the stage of Śāmbhavopāya and then he attained Final Liberation by His touch. You learn from the Śivasūtra-s that there are three "means or methods" (upāya-s): Śāmbhavopāya, Śāktopāya and Āṇavopāya. Most spiritual aspirants are practicing Āṇavopāya, some others are engaged in Śāktopāya and just a few are in the stage of Śāmbhavopāya. All these upāya-s were concisely explained by me in Meditation 1, Meditation 2, Meditation 3, Meditation 4 and Meditation 5. Additionally, you can expand your knowledge about the upāya-s by reading the exquisite Kṣemarāja's Śivasūtravimarśinī.

The Yogī who attained Śāmbhavopāya remains attentively waiting for His revelation. Such a high aspirant does not need to do anything else but remain vigilant. The sage Kṣemarāja mentioned this kind of aspirant when he said in his commentary on the aphorisms 6 and 7:

"(Besides,) because instruction is not necessary in the case of a Yogī who has directly perceived the Tanmātra-s (and) is attentively applied to come into contact with the Highest Principle by himself..."

An simple example now, for you to understand how this process of the upāya-s work in practice:

Let us take someone who is desirous to be a surfer... yes, a surfer. Now, I am not an expert in this matter of surfing (except in "surfing the Web", hehe), but I can imagine that the process should consists of three stages, broadly speaking:

  1. Gathering all the right information about surfing, taking classes and... of course... getting a surfing board.
  2. Going to a suitable beach and starting to swim.
  3. Waiting for the wave and surfing!

In the same way, an spiritual aspirant generally will start with Āṇavopāya, which serves as kind of getting ready. He can spend many years performing practices of Āṇavopāya (e.g. visualizations, postures, concentrations on external objects, fixing his mind on breath, etc.). He accumulates merits and experience during all this process. It is very similar to "gathering all the right information about surfing, taking classes, getting a surfing board". Next, he will gradually go beyond Āṇavopāya, toward Śāktopāya. Here, he will learn about how to become conscious of his own I-consciousness (Śakti). At this point, he is very likely to use a mantra or sacred formula in order to succeed faster. This is very similar to "going to a suitable beach and starting to swim". When he is finally successful, he will move toward Śāmbhavopāya, where there is just "vigilance". In other words, his only practice here will consist in being alert to the emergence of God (his own Self or real "I"). It is very similar to a surfer standing on his board and waiting for the wave.

Well, just as it would be useless (and even absurd), to make a surfer standing on his board and waiting for the wave go through the previous two stages (gathering information, taking classes, getting a board, finding a suitable beach and starting swimming) "again", so it is useless to a very advanced Yogī going through Āṇavopāya and Śāktopāya again. Why? Because he is attentively devoted to come into contact with the Supreme Self. When he is about to attain Final Liberation, what is the point of using other lower means? The only reason for him to do so would be for the sake of teaching Āṇavopāya and Śāktopāya, or, maybe, like a mere pastime. Anyway, the latter is not probable, because a very advanced aspirant who spent so many years in search of Final Liberation will not waste his time in that way, in my humble opinion. It would be like a surfer that spent so much time being instructed and practicing, and right at the moment of riding a big wave with his awesome skills and board, makes the decision of going to buy another surfing board!, hehe. Well, it could occur, but it would be a little incoherent, you know.

There is a special mark in a very advanced Yogī. Listen: The ordinary person (i.e. an average person without any spiritual training and so on) is always desiring to do actions (read the aphorism 8) because of his agitation. For example: he thinks about a certain problem and then tries to solve it, or he desires a woman and then tries to get pleasure with her, or he needs more money and goes out to get it, etc. Well, his mental agitation leads him to do all those things. Sometimes he succeeds in satisfying his desires, and other times he does not. When he succeeds, he feels happy for a while, and when he does not succeed, he feels depressed, sad, etc. A very advanced spiritual aspirant does not behave like him at all! As he is well trained and has proper knowledge about the nature of Reality, the first thing he will do when his mind moves that way (e.g. worried about a problem or desiring pleasure or needing money, etc.) is the following: "An inspection of his own Self".

His behavior is difficult to be described, but here we go: He understands that the solution to his problems, that the source of his pleasure, money, etc. is NOT something external but his own "I". So, he will not immediately move like an ordinary person does, but he will attempt to remain in his own Self at all costs. He will inspect his own essential nature till he can feel His Unmeṣa, viz. until the Lord emerges in the form of his own Self. If you do not like the word "Lord" or "God", just call It "That" (in an impersonal manner). Beyond the names, Reality is just Reality. And such a great Yogī knows the "way" or "krama" of this Reality. He knows that Reality likes to emerge spontaneously and bestow divine Grace upon deserving people. Due to the accumulated merits, he also knows that he is fit for receiving that Grace fully, sooner or later. So, he just does not pay attention to his inner agitation (problems, desire for pleasure, money, etc.) and uses all that momentum to inspect That (the real "I"). He knows that, as a limited individual, he cannot direct the goad of his desire or will, but if he succeeds in getting in touch with his own Self or "I", he becomes like That (read the aphorism 8).

When he succeeds in such an inspection, That arises and gives him Final Liberation, i.e. he realizes his divine "I". This realization at first lasts a little while. Then, it will last more and more time till the Yogī becomes fully stabilized on such a realization. When even his ordinary state of consciousness (vyutthāna) has the same taste (ekarasa) as his samādhi or perfect absorption in the Self, viz. when he is able to experience That at all times, he is said to have attained the goal of life (his divine "I"). No bhava or transmigratory existence (from one thought to the other, from one body to the other, etc.) is possible after this.

Lies bring about "agitation". As the false "I" is not "real" in the sense that is not your own real "I" but an invention consisting of a false identification with body, mind, etc., is, as a matter of fact, a "lie". As a result of its presence, an agitation occurs. Now, I will say something that it could sound crazy: The final purpose of the agitation is realization of your own Self and not "solving problems, getting pleasure, money, etc.". If one is duly trained and instructed, he will use his agitation in order to achieve Final Liberation and not for solving problems, getting pleasure, money, etc., because the latter will produce even more agitation. So, this is the mark of a great Yogī, that he cuts the chain of ignorance by directly inspecting the nature of the Perceiver or Knower (his own Self or real "I") on the occasion of the agitation. He does not run after problems, people, money, etc. but remains in his real "I" or principle of Spanda. Therefore, while breath is still in this physical body, one should strive to be like such a Yogī. May God be praised always!Return 

2  The stanza being quoted is very tricky. In the commentary of Kṣemarāja and Śivopādhyāya, the stanza is fully explained. I will translate for you, as a gift, the entire commentary on this 26th stanza of Vijñānabhairava:

"मरुद्रूपा शक्तिर्न व्रजेत् — हृदो द्वादशान्तं न यायान्न च विशेत् — द्वादशान्ताद्धृदयं न गच्छेत्केवलं मध्ये मध्यनाडीधाम्नि विकल्पहान्युपायतो विकासिते सति। अत्रायं भावः — दर्शनादीनां सर्वशक्तीनां समूहं स्वे स्वे विषये युगपद्भावेन प्रक्षिप्य स्वं स्वभावं स्पन्दतत्त्वात्मकं तदाधारमवलोक्य निर्विकल्पतया निमीलोन्मीलनसमाधितायुगपद्व्यापकमध्यभूम्यवष्टम्भादध्यासितैतदुभयविसर्गारणिविगलितसङ्कल्पभावाक्रमविस्फारितकरणचक्रतया

अन्तर्लक्ष्यो बहिर्दृष्टिर्निमेषोन्मेषवर्जिता।
एषा वै भैरवी मुद्रा सद्यस्तत्पददायिनी॥

इति भैरवी मुद्रानुप्रविष्टत्वे जाते सति मरुद्रूपा शक्तिर्न बहिः प्रसरेन्नान्तः प्रविशेदेवंविधया तया भैरवरूपता भवेत्तया प्रशमितप्राणापानभावाभिव्यक्तभैरवीयरूपतया भैरवरूपधारी योगी भवत्येतत् श्लोकद्वयं मध्यमधामाश्रया आणवी भूमिः॥२६॥" -

"Marudrūpā śaktirna vrajet — Hṛdo dvādaśāntaṁ na yāyānna ca viśet — Dvādaśāntāddhṛdayaṁ na gacchetkevalaṁ madhye madhyanāḍīdhāmni vikalpahānyupāyato vikāsite sati| Atrāyaṁ bhāvaḥ — Darśanādīnāṁ sarvaśaktīnāṁ samūhaṁ sve sve viṣaye yugapadbhāvena prakṣipya svaṁ svabhāvaṁ spandatattvātmakaṁ tadādhāramavalokya nirvikalpatayā nimīlonmīlanasamādhitāyugapadvyāpakamadhyabhūmyavaṣṭambhādadhyā-sitaitadubhayavisargāraṇivigalitasaṅkalpabhāvākramavisphāritakaraṇacakratayā

Antarlakṣyo bahirdṛṣṭirnimeṣonmeṣavarjitā|
Eṣā vai bhairavī mudrā sadyastatpadadāyinī||

iti bhairavī mudrānupraviṣṭatve jāte sati marudrūpā śaktirna bahiḥ prasarennāntaḥ praviśedevaṁvidhayā tayā bhairavarūpatā bhavettayā praśamitaprāṇāpānabhāvābhivyaktabhairavīyarūpatayā bhairavarūpadhārī yogī bhavatyetat ślokadvayaṁ madhyamadhāmāśrayā āṇavī bhūmiḥ||26||" -

"Śakti, in the form of vital air, does not go (outward) —i.e. She does not go from the heart to the (external) dvādaśānta --a point situated at twelve fingers from the nose--— nor does She enters —i.e. She does not move from the (external) dvādaśānta to the heart (either)—. (She does so) only when there is development of the middle (state) —viz. of the state of the middle subtle channel --Suṣumnā--— by means of the cessation of the vikalpa-s or thoughts|

With reference to what was mentioned, this is the meaning: After throwing simultaneously the multitude of all powers, (such as) the power of seeing, etc., into each of their respective objects, (one should) behold --lit. beholding-- that support, i.e. his own essential nature which is the principle of Spanda, by a state devoid of thoughts, viz. by a firm grip of the middle state that simultaneously pervades Nimīlanasamādhi --perfect absorption in the Self while the eyes are closed-- and Unmīlanasamādhi --perfect absorption in the Self while the eyes are open--. (In other words, one should behold his own essential nature or Self) by keeping the group of senses widely open simultaneously due to a state where his thoughts vanished because these two, Visarga and Araṇi --technical names for Nimīlanasamādhi and Unmīlanasamādhi--, are firmly settled or established. (This is Bhairavī mudrā, which will be described by the following stanza, in an 'easier' way:)

"With (one's) attention turned inward and the gaze turned outward, without closing or opening the eyes --without twinkling--. This (is) certainly Bhairavī mudrā, which confers His State immediately"

When there is entering into Bhairavī mudrā --i.e. when one enters Bhairavī mudrā--, the Śakti in the form of vital air does not move outward, nor does She enter --viz. breathing stops--. By Her, while She is in that way, the nature of Bhairava takes place --one can realize his own nature essential or Bhairava when She assumes that condition--. By that form of Bhairavī --His Śakti-- manifest in the state where prāṇa and apāna --vital air going out and in, respectively, through exhalation and inhalation-- have ceased (to move), the Yogī obtains the nature of Bhairava --lit. he becomes a holder of the Bhairava's nature; in short, he realizes his own Self--. This couple of stanzas (belongs to) the stage of Āṇavopāya, which resorts to the 'middle state'".

Now you understand why I translated the stanza of Vijñānabhairava in the manner I did. It was not my invention but my interpretation was based on this "simple" commentary, lol. Oh yes, it was a little hard to understand, specially if you do not have direct experience of those states, but nobody said that studying Vijñānabhairava and the respective commentaries would be a stroll in the park, hehe. NO, it is a serious challenge!

OK, if I have to further explain "even" the difficult commentary on the "extraordinarily" difficult stanza of Vijñānabhairava, this note of explanation will be like three mammoths in a row, hehe. Anyway, take it easy, because the sage Kṣemarāja will say something "similar" even in his commentary on the present 11th stanza of Spandakārikā-s (just keep reading the text and you will see). For picking up more relevant information about the topic of the middle state, dvādaśānta, etc., check Śrīgurupādukāpañcakam - Commentary and Meditation 5.Return 

3  To fully understand what has been said, read note 2 (the previous one) if you did not do so yet. In turn, in order to get more information about the Tantra-s, read Tantricism - Overview.Return 

4  Yes, Kṣemarāja has a style that is really "involved", with extralong sentences that can kill a big rhino, haha. On top of that, I am always so literal as possible in my translations because I am thinking about the Sanskrit students reading the translation and trying to decipher the way the sentences in Sanskrit are written. Beyond all those obstacles, I can say that Kṣemarāja has personal experience in matters that are very secret, and, "compassionately", he is sharing that with us. What he described pertains to the phases a great Yogī experiences right before attaining Final Liberation. So, it is not a minor question but the most important thing in life. And by "in life" I mean "everybody's life". What could it be more important that the attainment of one's real divine "I"? Nothing at all!

Well, as my translation of the long Kṣemarāja's sentences consisted of also long sentences, I will explain them to you in detail now, for removing any possible doubt. Listen:

The "middle state" means "the state of the middle subtle channel", i.e. the state of Suṣumnā. As you surely know, there is a subtle channel running through the spinal column, from its basis up to Brahmarandhra (on top of the head). Now, the Yogī develops the middle state little by little, in the course of many years full of strenuous efforts. Right before Final Liberation, that development or "vikāsa" is complete. When that happens, he feels how Kuṇḍalinī (the Power of the Self, i.e. Spanda) flows strongly through Suṣumnā up to Brahmarandhra on top of the head. He had felt Her before, of course, but when the development is complete, She flows very strongly through the middle subtle channel. The Yogī is very surprised about that strong surge of Kuṇḍalinī, but this is just the tip of the iceberg, because what he will experience after that will be absolutely overwhelming.

Most spiritual aspirants have some experience as for meditation with the closed eyes. As they advance in their spiritual development, they lastly attain Nimīlanasamādhi after a few years generally. This is a profound absorption in one's own Self (samādhi) that happens when one has his eyes shut (nimīlana). So, this great Yogī has plenty of experience about that kind of absorption with the eyes closed. Anyway, after feeling how Kuṇḍalinī moved strongly through Suṣumnā up to Brahmarandhra, he starts feeling "a Presence" coming near him from inside --"from inside", I use this for want of a better expression, because the Lord cannot be described in a space-time framework at all!--. The Lord is approaching him in that indescribable way, and he can fully feel Him. You can call the Lord: That (in an impersonal manner), if you like. Lord, That, Reality, Self, essential nature, etc. are the same Truth always. Remember this. When the Lord comes close to him, i.e. when That comes within the reach of his recognition (pratyabhijñā), the Yogī experiences a colossal Joy in Nimīlanasamādhi, much greater than ever before. Anyway, this is not the end of the process of Final Liberation but just the beginning. It takes some time, obviously, despite my description looks short.

OK, one day, That comes near him again and the Yogī remains with his eyes open in Unmīlanasamādhi (an absorption in one's Self with the eyes open). But this time, Unmīlanasamādhi is not as before, because he notes that he cannot close his eyes, even by force. NO. He will remain with his eyes open (without closing or opening them, i.e. without twinkling at all) while That grabs him from inside, as it were. This is Bhairavī mudrā. If I said that the Yogī had experienced a colossal Joy while in Nimīlanasamādhi, now in Bhairavī mudrā the Bliss is extracolossal. He remains like a golden pillar in the middle of all objects. He is Śiva in person. He perceives that the objects appear and disappear in the space of Consciousness like reflections in a mirror.

But something else occurs after remaining in Bhairavī mudrā through His Grace. As the two kinds of absorption —Nimīlanasamādhi and Unmīlanasamādhi— are firmly settled or established in him, his mind just stops. At this point, the Bliss the Yogī experiences is so huge that he is "forced" to open his mouth and firstly inhale vital air. After a while, he exhales vital air through his mouth, and the process of inhalation/exhalation continues in this way. Sometimes the tongue even lolls out naturally. This is Vismayamudrā or the mudrā of amazement. He opens the mouth spontaneously just as during an orgasm in a sexual intercourse. Anyway, in the usual orgasm the Joy of one's Self is felt through different gross organs and this is why it is not fully satisfying and lasting. However, the Yogī experiences the Joy of his own Self in a direct massive way, without the need of any gross (or even subtle) organs acting as intermediaries.

As the Self pervades both Nimīlanasamādhi and Unmīlanasamādhi, the great Yogī could experience Him in both ways (with his eyes closed and open). While he abides astonished there, with his mouth and eyes open for hours and hours, he cries enormously. So many people run after common orgasms during so many years, till their bodies just cannot deliver more pleasure in that way. Therefore, imagine a state where you could feel millions orgasms every second during hours or days. Since the Bliss is unprecedented, he cannot help crying like a baby. He is not sad, but absolutely struck with astonishment! He ignored "in practice" that so much Joy could exist inside though he knew that "in theory", and now that this Bliss has finally emerged, he cannot believe what he has found. This is the exact sensation.

The process continues during the time which is necessary. Every day, the Yogī spends several hours absolutely overwhelmed by the Joy coming from his own essential nature, his Self, his real "I". He abides astonished, he does not desist from his grip of the principle of Spanda or I-consciousness. This is a way of speaking, because in reality, it is the compassionate Lord who grabs the Yogī and by force keeps him completely one-pointed on Him. As the process of Final Liberation comes to an end, the Yogī is given other states, e.g. he is no more interested in sense enjoyments, he experiences His omniscience, etc. But, beyond all these additional experiences, only one thing keeps all his attention: the unprecedented Bliss. This is because he never felt something like that before. But he is able to experience That now, after innumerable births or lives.

In due course, the process is finished and he attains Final Liberation. Nobody can say when it will "exactly" happen, because the Self is absolutely Free. Still, after that experience of astonishing Bliss, the days of his transmigratory existence as a limited being are numbered. One day, all of a sudden, due to the Great Development or Expansion of Consciousness and Bliss, his own essential nature (his proper real nature, his true "I") will emerge on Its own, and this is the end. From that time on, he will live like a liberated one (Jīvanmukta) or discard his physical body (Videhamukta). Whether or not the body is retained, such a great Yogī is the Supreme Śiva Himself enjoying Absolute Freedom.

If you are already a liberated one, you already knew all that, obviously. But if you are still a spiritual aspirant making his way, keep these teachings with you like a kind of map. They will confirm all your future experiences with your own Self when the time of your Liberation finally comes. Now, it is very clear!Return 

5  The Lord bestows Final Liberation upon this Yogī by removing Āṇavamala (the primordial impurity). According to Trika, all impurities but Āṇavamala can be removed by effort. Āṇavamala is only removed by His Grace and NOT otherwise according to this philosophical system. When the primordial impurity is finally removed, the Yogī enjoys Absolute Freedom and the transmigratory existence cannot affect him any more.Return 

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 Aphorisms 12-13

अथ ये श्रुत्यन्तविदक्षपादमाध्यमिकादयः क्षोभप्रलये विश्वोच्छेदरूपमभावात्मकमेव तत्त्वमवशिष्यत इत्युपादिक्षंस्तान्प्रतिबोधयितुं तदुपगततत्त्वप्रातिपक्ष्येण लोकोत्तरतां प्रकरणशरीरस्य स्पन्दतत्त्वस्य निरूपयति


नाभावो भाव्यतामेति न च तत्रास्त्यमूढता।
यतोऽभियोगसंस्पर्शात्तदासीदिति निश्चयः॥१२॥
अतस्तत्कृत्रिमं ज्ञेयं सौषुप्तपदवत्सदा।
न त्वेवं स्मर्यमाणत्वं तत्तत्त्वं प्रतिपद्यते॥१३॥


असदेवेदमग्र आसीत्।

इत्याद्युक्त्या श्रुत्यन्तविदाद्यभिमतोऽभावो भाव्यतां नैति भावनाया भाव्यवस्तुविषयत्वादभावस्य न किञ्चित्त्वाद्भाव्यमानतायां वा किञ्चित्त्वे सत्यभावत्वाभावात्किञ्च भावकस्यापि यत्राभावः स विश्वोच्छेदः कथं भावनीयो भावकाभ्युपगमे तु न विश्वोच्छेदो भावकस्यावशिष्यमाणत्वादिति न विश्वाभाव एव तत्त्वम्। अथ कल्पितोऽयं भावको विश्वोच्छेदं विकल्पकल्प्यमानं भावयन् भावनापरिनिष्पत्तौ भाव्यतादात्म्यादभावरूपः सम्पद्यत इति पक्षः। तत्रोच्यते तत्राभावभावनायां नामूढता न च तत्रास्त्यमूढतापि तु मोह एवास्ति

तस्माद्भूतमभूतं वा यद्यदेवातिभाव्यते।
भावनापरिनिष्पत्तौ तत्स्फुटं कल्पधीफलम्॥

इति न्यायाद्विश्वोच्छेदात्मन्यभावे भाव्यमाने न कदाचित्परमार्थाप्तिर्भवति। अथोच्यते

सर्वालम्बनधर्मैश्च सर्वतत्त्वैरशेषतः।
सर्वक्लेशाशयैः शून्यं न शून्यं परमार्थतः॥

इति नागार्जुनोक्तमीदृशं तच्छून्यमिति। सत्यं यदि चिदानन्दघना स्वतन्त्रा पारमार्थिकी भित्तिभूता भूरभ्युपेयते यथा विज्ञानभैरवादौ पारमेश्वरीं

दिक्कालकलनातीता।

इत्यादिना पारमार्थिकीं भित्तिभूतां चिद्भूमिमवस्थाप्य शून्यभावनोक्तान्यथा न शून्यमिति शून्यैवेयमुक्तिः यद्यदेवातिभाव्यत इति प्रतिपादितत्वात्। यत्तु

सावस्था काप्यविज्ञेया मादृशां शून्यतोच्यते।
न पुनर्लोकरूढ्येव नास्तिक्यार्थानुपातिनी॥

इत्यालोकमालायामुक्तं तत्तु सत्यं त्वादृशामविज्ञेया अविज्ञेयत्वाद्वक्तुमशक्येत्युच्यताम् शून्यतेति तु कुतः शून्यतापि च यावद्भाव्यते तावद्विकल्पोल्लिखितत्वादसौ विज्ञेयैव। यदि च त्वादृशां सा ज्ञातुमशक्या तत् तत्पदसाक्षात्काराभिज्ञसद्गुरुसपर्या कार्या न तु शून्यतेति स्वमनीषिकयैव व्यवहृत्यात्मा परश्चागाधे महामोहे निक्षेप्तव्य इत्यलम्। अथ कुतो ज्ञातं तत्र मूढतास्तीत्यत्रानेनोत्तरमाह यत इति। अभियोगः समाधानोत्थितस्य कीदृगहमासमिति तदवस्थाभिमुखविमर्शात्माभिलापस्तत्संस्पर्शात् तद्वशाद्धेतोस्तदासीदिति यतो निश्चयो गाढमूढोऽहमासमिति यतोऽस्ति प्रतिपत्तिरतो मोहावस्थैव सा कल्पिता तथा स्मर्यमाणत्वात् सा चानुभूयमानत्वादनुभवितुः प्रमातुरवस्थातृरूपस्य प्रत्युत सत्तामावेदयते न त्वभावमिति विश्वाभावावस्थायां चिद्रूपस्याखण्डितमेव रूपं तिष्ठतीति नामुष्याभावो जातुचिद्वक्तुं शक्यत इत्युक्तं भवति। ननु दृष्टं निश्चितं नीलादि स्मर्यते न च शून्यभूतस्य न्यग्भूतबुद्धिवृत्तेर्निश्चयोऽस्ति तत्कथमुक्तं तदासीदित्यौत्तरकालिकान्निश्चयान्मूढता सेति। उच्यते वेद्यस्यैषा गतिर्यस्मात्तदिदन्तासारमिदन्तया यावत्प्रमात्रा स्वात्मोपारोहेण न निश्चितं तावन्न स्मर्यते वेदकस्तु कल्पितशून्याद्यवस्थासु सङ्कुचितोऽप्यसाङ्केतिकाहन्तापरमार्थ एवेति न तस्य स्वात्मनि पृथक्तास्तीति तन्निश्चायको विकल्पः— इत्यहंविमृश्यमेव तदा स्वसंवेदनेनैव सिद्धं शून्यप्रमातृरूपं विश्वप्रतियोगित्वाच्च सङ्कोचसारं सदुत्तरकालं स्मर्यत इति न काचिदनुपपत्तिर्यस्मादेवमतस्तच्छून्यात्मकं पदं कृत्रिमम्

तस्माद्भूतमभूतं वा यद्यदेवातिभाव्यते।

इति तदुक्तयैव नीत्या अभूतभावनयैवोत्थापितं परमेश्वरेणैव ज्ञानगोपनायै मूढानामुपेयतया तथा भासितमित्यर्थः। ज्ञेयं ज्ञातव्यं ज्ञेयरूपं च सदा सुषुप्तवदिति दृष्टान्तः। अयं भावः— सदा सुषुप्तं मोहरूपमप्रयाससिद्धं सर्वस्यास्त्येव तत्किमनेन समाधिप्रयत्नोपार्जितेनान्येन शून्येन कृत्यं द्वयस्याप्यवस्तुत्वाविशेषादिति। प्रायश्चास्मिञ्च्छून्ये दुरुत्तरे महामोहार्णव एव वेदान्तविदक्षपादसाङ्ख्यसौगतादिप्राया बहवोऽनुप्रविष्टाः। स्पन्दतत्त्वसमाविविक्षूणामपि च शिथिलीभूतप्रयत्नानां शून्यमेतद्विघ्नभूतम्। यद्वक्ष्यति

तदा तस्मिन्महाव्योम्नि।

इत्यारभ्य

सौषुप्तपदवन्मूढः...।

इति। अत एतदुच्छेदे ग्रन्थकारस्य महान् संरम्भो लक्ष्यते। तथा चेह हेयतयैव तन्निर्णीयापि पुनरपि निर्णेष्यते

कार्योन्मुखः प्रयत्नो यः...

इत्यत्र। ततोऽस्माभिरेतद्दूषणारम्भः कृत इति न नः कोपः कार्योऽत्रभवद्भिरुपदेशनिभालनदत्तकर्णैः। सौगतेषु दूषितेषु श्रुत्यन्तवादादयो दूषिता एव तुल्यन्यायत्वादिति नाभ्यधिकमुक्तम्। तदिदानीं प्रकृतमेव ब्रूमहे तत्तु स्पन्दाख्यं तत्त्वमेवमिति शून्यवन्न स्मर्यमाणत्वं प्रतिपद्यते तस्य सर्वदानुस्यूतोपलब्ध्रेकरूपस्य कदाचिदप्यनुपलभ्यत्वायोगात्। तथा चाहुः

विज्ञातारमरे केन विजानीयात्।

इति। यद्यपि च समावेशदशा व्युत्थितेन प्राणादिसंस्कारवशात्स्मर्यते तथापि न तावदेव स्पन्दतत्त्वमपि तु सर्वानुस्यूतानवच्छिन्नप्रकाशानन्दसारपरप्रमातृरूपमेव तत्। यद्वक्ष्यति

तस्माच्छब्दार्थचिन्तासु न सावस्था न या शिवः।

इति। अतोऽस्यानवच्छिन्नचमत्काररूपस्य न जातुचित्स्मर्यमाणत्वं मूढत्वं वा। यस्तु तत्तत्त्वमितीह तच्छब्देनास्य निर्देशः कृतः स

स्वातन्त्र्यामुक्तमात्मानं...।

इति श्रीप्रत्यभिज्ञाकारिकोक्तनीत्या कल्पितस्यैवापारमार्थिकस्वरूपस्य न तु तत्त्वतः पारमार्थिकस्य। न प्रतिपद्यत इत्यनेनेदमाह अस्य तत्त्वस्य स्मर्यमाणत्वेन प्रतीतिरेव नास्तीति॥१३॥

Atha ye śrutyantavidakṣapādamādhyamikādayaḥ kṣobhapralaye viśvocchedarūpamabhāvātmakameva tattvamavaśiṣyata ityupādikṣaṁstānpratibodhayituṁ tadupagatatattvaprātipakṣyeṇa lokottaratāṁ prakaraṇaśarīrasya spandatattvasya nirūpayati


Nābhāvo bhāvyatāmeti na ca tatrāstyamūḍhatā|
Yato'bhiyogasaṁsparśāttadāsīditi niścayaḥ||12||
Atastatkṛtrimaṁ jñeyaṁ sauṣuptapadavatsadā|
Na tvevaṁ smaryamāṇatvaṁ tattattvaṁ pratipadyate||13||


Asadevedamagra āsīt|

Ityādyuktyā śrutyantavidādyabhimato'bhāvo bhāvyatāṁ naiti bhāvanāyā bhāvyavastuviṣayatvādabhāvasya na kiñcittvādbhāvyamānatāyāṁ vā kiñcittve satyabhāvatvābhāvātkiñca bhāvakasyāpi yatrābhāvaḥ sa viśvocchedaḥ kathaṁ bhāvanīyo bhāvakābhyupagame tu na viśvocchedo bhāvakasyāvaśiṣyamāṇatvāditi na viśvābhāva eva tattvam| Atha kalpito'yaṁ bhāvako viśvocchedaṁ vikalpakalpyamānaṁ bhāvayan bhāvanāpariniṣpattau bhāvyatādātmyādabhāvarūpaḥ sampadyata iti pakṣaḥ| Tatrocyate tatrābhāvabhāvanāyāṁ nāmūḍhatā na ca tatrāstyamūḍhatāpi tu moha evāsti

Tasmādbhūtamabhūtaṁ vā yadyadevātibhāvyate|
Bhāvanāpariniṣpattau tatsphuṭaṁ kalpadhīphalam||

iti nyāyādviśvocchedātmanyabhāve bhāvyamāne na kadācitparamārthāptirbhavati| Athocyate

Sarvālambanadharmaiśca sarvatattvairaśeṣataḥ|
Sarvakleśāśayaiḥ śūnyaṁ na śūnyaṁ paramārthataḥ||

iti nāgārjunoktamīdṛśaṁ tacchūnyamiti| Satyaṁ yadi cidānandaghanā svatantrā pāramārthikī bhittibhūtā bhūrabhyupeyate yathā vijñānabhairavādau pārameśvarīṁ

Dikkālakalanātītā|

ityādinā pāramārthikīṁ bhittibhūtāṁ cidbhūmimavasthāpya śūnyabhāvanoktānyathā na śūnyamiti śūnyaiveyamuktiḥ yadyadevātibhāvyata iti pratipāditatvāt| Yattu

Sāvasthā kāpyavijñeyā mādṛśāṁ śūnyatocyate|
Na punarlokarūḍhyeva nāstikyārthānupātinī||

ityālokamālāyāmuktaṁ tattu satyaṁ tvādṛśāmavijñeyā avijñeyatvādvaktumaśakyetyucyatām śūnyateti tu kutaḥ śūnyatāpi ca yāvadbhāvyate tāvadvikalpollikhitatvādasau vijñeyaiva| Yadi ca tvādṛśāṁ sā jñātumaśakyā tat tatpadasākṣātkārābhijñasadgurusaparyā kāryā na tu śūnyateti svamanīṣikayaiva vyavahṛtyātmā paraścāgādhe mahāmohe nikṣeptavya ityalam| Atha kuto jñātaṁ tatra mūḍhatāstītyatrānenottaramāha yata iti| Abhiyogaḥ samādhānotthitasya kīdṛgahamāsamiti tadavasthābhimukhavimarśātmābhilāpastatsaṁsparśāt tadvaśāddhetostadāsīditi yato niścayo gāḍhamūḍho'hamāsamiti yato'sti pratipattirato mohāvasthaiva sā kalpitā tathā smaryamāṇatvāt sā cānubhūyamānatvādanubhavituḥ pramāturavasthātṛrūpasya pratyuta sattāmāvedayate na tvabhāvamiti viśvābhāvāvasthāyāṁ cidrūpasyākhaṇḍitameva rūpaṁ tiṣṭhatīti nāmuṣyābhāvo jātucidvaktuṁ śakyata ityuktaṁ bhavati| Nanu dṛṣṭaṁ niścitaṁ nīlādi smaryate na ca śūnyabhūtasya nyagbhūtabuddhivṛtterniścayo'sti tatkathamuktaṁ tadāsīdityauttarakālikānniścayānmūḍhatā seti| Ucyate vedyasyaiṣā gatiryasmāttadidantāsāramidantayā yāvatpramātrā svātmopāroheṇa na niścitaṁ tāvanna smaryate vedakastu kalpitaśūnyādyavasthāsu saṅkucito'pyasāṅketikāhantāparamārtha eveti na tasya svātmani pṛthaktāstīti tanniścāyako vikalpaḥ— Ityahaṁvimṛśyameva tadā svasaṁvedanenaiva siddhaṁ śūnyapramātṛrūpaṁ viśvapratiyogitvācca saṅkocasāraṁ saduttarakālaṁ smaryata iti na kācidanupapattiryasmādevamatastacchūnyātmakaṁ padaṁ kṛtrimam

Tasmādbhūtamabhūtaṁ vā yadyadevātibhāvyate|

Iti taduktayaiva nītyā abhūtabhāvanayaivotthāpitaṁ parameśvareṇaiva jñānagopanāyai mūḍhānāmupeyatayā tathā bhāsitamityarthaḥ| Jñeyaṁ jñātavyaṁ jñeyarūpaṁ ca sadā suṣuptavaditi dṛṣṭāntaḥ| Ayaṁ bhāvaḥ— Sadā suṣuptaṁ moharūpamaprayāsasiddhaṁ sarvasyāstyeva tatkimanena samādhiprayatnopārjitenānyena śūnyena kṛtyaṁ dvayasyāpyavastutvāviśeṣāditi| Prāyaścāsmiñcchūnye duruttare mahāmohārṇava eva vedāntavidakṣapādasāṅkhyasaugatādiprāyā bahavo'nupraviṣṭāḥ| Spandatattvasamāvivikṣūṇāmapi ca śithilībhūtaprayatnānāṁ śūnyametadvighnabhūtam| Yadvakṣyati

Tadā tasminmahāvyomni|

ityārabhya

Sauṣuptapadavanmūḍhaḥ...|

iti| Ata etaducchede granthakārasya mahān saṁrambho lakṣyate| Tathā ceha heyatayaiva tannirṇīyāpi punarapi nirṇeṣyate

Kāryonmukhaḥ prayatno yaḥ...

ityatra| Tato'smābhiretaddūṣaṇārambhaḥ kṛta iti na naḥ kopaḥ kāryo'trabhavadbhirupadeśanibhālanadattakarṇaiḥ| Saugateṣu dūṣiteṣu śrutyantavādādayo dūṣitā eva tulyanyāyatvāditi nābhyadhikamuktam| Tadidānīṁ prakṛtameva brūmahe tattu spandākhyaṁ tattvamevamiti śūnyavanna smaryamāṇatvaṁ pratipadyate tasya sarvadānusyūtopalabdhrekarūpasya kadācidapyanupalabhyatvāyogāt| Tathā cāhuḥ

Vijñātāramare kena vijānīyāt|

iti| Yadyapi ca samāveśadaśā vyutthitena prāṇādisaṁskāravaśātsmaryate tathāpi na tāvadeva spandatattvamapi tu sarvānusyūtānavacchinnaprakāśānandasāraparapramātṛrūpameva tat| Yadvakṣyati

Tasmācchabdārthacintāsu na sāvasthā na yā śivaḥ|

iti| Ato'syānavacchinnacamatkārarūpasya na jātucitsmaryamāṇatvaṁ mūḍhatvaṁ vā| Yastu tattattvamitīha tacchabdenāsya nirdeśaḥ kṛtaḥ sa

Svātantryāmuktamātmānaṁ...|

iti śrīpratyabhijñākārikoktanītyā kalpitasyaivāpāramārthikasvarūpasya na tu tattvataḥ pāramārthikasya| Na pratipadyata ityanenedamāha asya tattvasya smaryamāṇatvena pratītireva nāstīti||13||


Now (atha), the Vedantī-s or followers of Vedānta, the Naiyāyika-s or followers of Akṣapāda --the founder of the system Nyāya, i.e. Gautama--, the Mādhyamika-s or followers of the Mādhyamika system --a Buddhist school--, etc. (ye śrutyantavit-akṣapāda-mādhyamika-ādayaḥ)1  indicated (upādikṣan)2  (that), when there is dissolution of the agitation (kṣobha-pralaye), "Tattva or Reality (tattvam) remains (avaśiṣyate) only (eva) as (ātmakam) nonexistence (abhāva) in the form of (rūpam) the destruction (uccheda) of the universe (viśva... iti)". In opposition to (prātipakṣyeṇa) the Reality or Truth (tattva) as experienced (upagata) by them (tad), (Vasugupta) defines (nirūpayati) the extraordinary character (lokottaratām) of the principle (tattvasya) of Spanda (spanda) —the subject-matter of the (present) treatise (prakaraṇa-śarīrasya)— in order to awaken (pratibodhayitum) them (tān) (from the deep sleep of their ignorance):


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), it is true (iti niścayaḥ) that it --i.e. the condition of stupefaction-- (tad) (really) existed (āsīt)||12||
For this reason (atas), that (tad) artificial (kṛtrimam) knowable (jñeyam) (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||


Nonexistence (abhāvaḥ) as imagined (abhimataḥ) by the Vedantī-s (śrutyanta-vit), etc. (ādi), according to the argument (presented in Chāndogyopaniṣad) (yuktyā):

"In the beginning (agre), this (idam) was (āsīt) nonexistent (asat) indeed (eva), etc. (iti-ādi)3 "|

cannot (na) be contemplated (bhāvyatām eti) because there must be a real object to be contemplated (bhāvya-vastu-viṣayatvāt) for the contemplation (to take place) (bhāvanāyāḥ). Or (vā), since nonexistence is nothing --lit. due to nothingness of nonexistence-- (abhāvasya na kiñcittvāt), even if it was (considered as) something (kiñcittve sati) (and thus) it could be contemplated (bhāvyamānatāyām), there would nonexistence of nonexistence --lit. due to the nonexistence of nonexistence-- (abhāvatva-abhāvāt), (because "nothing" is "nothing" and not "something". If "nonexistence" disappears in its becoming "something", then, there is nonexistence of that very nonexistence). Moreover (kiñca), where (yatra) there is nonexistence --absence-- (abhāvaḥ) even (api) of the contemplator (bhāvakasya), how (katham) (is) the destruction (ucchedaḥ) of the universe (viśva) going to be contemplated (bhāvanīyaḥ) (then)? However (tu), if there is admission (abhyupagame) of a contemplator (bhāvaka) --if the presence of a contemplator is admitted to exist--, (consequently) there is no (na) destruction (ucchedaḥ) of the universe (viśva) because the contemplator remains --lit. due to the continuance of the contemplator-- (bhāvakasya avaśiṣyamāṇatvāt) (as a witness). So (iti), nonexistence (abhāvaḥ) of the universe (viśva) is not (na) certainly (eva) Reality (tattvam)|

Now (atha), this is the position (of the followers of Mādhyamika Buddhism) (iti pakṣaḥ): "This (ayam) imaginary --invented-- (kalpitaḥ) contemplator (bhāvakaḥ) contemplates (bhāvayan) the universal (viśva) destruction (ucchedam) —which is being conceived (kalpyamānam) by his imagination (vikalpa)—, (and) on the perfection (pariniṣpattau) of (his) contemplation (bhāvanā), he (himself) becomes (sampadyate) nonexistent (abhāva-rūpaḥ) because of (his) identification (tādātmyāt) with the object of contemplation --nonexistence, in this case-- (bhāvya)"|

With reference to that (argument) (tatra), it is said (as a reply) (ucyate): on that (tatra) contemplation (bhāvanāyām) of nonexistence (abhāva) there is no (na) absence of stupefaction or insentience (amūḍhatā), i.e. the absence of stupefaction or insentience (amūḍhatā) does not (na ca) exist (asti) there (tatra), but rather (api) there is (asti) stupefaction or insentience (mohaḥ) indeed (eva)

"Therefore (tasmāt) (whether) existent (bhūtam) (or) nonexistent (abhūtam), whatever (yad yad eva) is excessively imagined (atibhāvyate), on the perfection (pariniṣpattau) of the contemplation (bhāvanā), that (tad) (is) evidently (sphuṭam) a result or product (phalam) of imagination (kalpadhī... iti)"||

According to the (abovementioned) principle (nyāyāt), on the contemplation of nonexistence --lit. on nonexistence being contemplated-- (abhāve bhāvyamāne) —which is (ātmani) destruction (uccheda) of the universe (viśva)— there is (bhavati) never (na kadācid) the attainment (āptiḥ) of the Highest Reality (parama-artha)|

Then (atha), it is said (ucyate):

"(Void or śūnya is) that which is entirely devoid (aśeṣataḥ... śūnyam) of all (sarva) supports --lit. those characterized by supporting-- (ālambana-dharmaiḥ ca), of all (sarva) tattva-s or categories (of universal manifestation) (tattvaiḥ), (and) of all (sarva) latent impressions (āśayaiḥ) derived from the (five) Afflictions (kleśa). (Nonetheless,) it is not (na) a void (śūnya) in the true sense of the word (parama-arthataḥ... iti)4 "||

That (tad) (is) "void" (śūnyam iti) such as (īdṛśam) described (uktam) by Nāgārjuna (nāgārjuna)|

True (satyam)!, if (yadi) the Free (svatantrā) Power of the Supreme Reality (pāramārthikī) —that is a mass (ghanā) of Consciousness (vit) (and) Bliss (ānanda)— is admitted (abhyupeyate) as being the substratum (bhūr) acting as background (bhitti-bhūtā), just like (yathā) in Vijñānabhairava (vijñānabhairava), etc. (ādau), by the stanza beginning with (ādinā)

"(The Supreme State) is beyond (atītā) the notions (kalanā) of direction (dik) (and) time (kāla... iti)"|

the contemplation (bhāvanā) of the void (śūnya) is described (uktā) by establishing (avasthāpya) that the (Divine) State (bhūmim) of Consciousness (cit), (also known as) the Power of the Supreme Lord (pārameśvarīm) (or) the Power of the Supreme Reality (pāramārthikīm), acts as the background or substratum (bhitti-bhūtām). Otherwise (anyathā), this (iyam) statement (uktiḥ) "it is not (na) a void (śūnyam iti)", (proclaimed by Nāgārjuna), would be certainly void --i.e. meaningless or nonsensical-- (śūnyā eva), since it has been taught (above) (pratipāditatvāt): "whatever (yad yad eva) is excessively imagined (atibhāvyate... iti)5 "|

That which (yad tu) is said (uktam) in Ālokamālā (ālokamālāyām), viz.:

"That (sā) State (avasthā) --viz. the Highest Reality-- is said to be (ucyate) void (śūnyatā) which is something (kā-api) unknown (avijñeyā) to people like ourselves (mādṛśām). It is not (na punar) that which follows as a consequence (anupātinī) of the sense (artha) (given to it) by atheism (nāstikya) according to the popular meaning (loka-rūḍhyā iva)"||

that (tad) (is) true (satyam) indeed (tu)! (Still, as) it is unknown (avijñeyā) to people like yourselves (tvā-dṛśām), it should have been said (ucyatām): "It cannot be described (vaktum aśakyā) because it is unknowable (avijñeyatvā... iti)". But (tu) why (kutas) (to call it) "state of void" (śūnyatā iti)? Besides (api ca), so long (tāvat) that (asau) state of void (śūnyatā) is verily known (vijñeyā eva) as long as (yāvat) it is contemplated or conceived (bhāvyate), because of its being delineated (ullikhitatvāt) in thought (vikalpa)|

And (ca) if (yadi) that (State) --the Highest Reality-- (sā) cannot be known (jñātum aśakyā) by people like yourselves (tvā-dṛśām), therefore (tad), worship (saparyā) to a true (sat) spiritual teacher (sva) who is skillful (abhijña) at realizing (sākṣāt-kāra) that (tad) State (pada) should be performed (kāryā). One (ātmā) —together with the other (paraḥ ca)— must not be thrown (na tu... nikṣeptavyaḥ) into the unfathomable (agādhe) great delusion (mahā-mohe) for making use (vyavahṛtya) (of the term) "state of void" (śūnyatā iti), according to one's own judgment (svamanīṣikayā eva). Enough of this (iti alam)!|

Now (atha), "how (kutas) is it known (jñātam) that there is (asti) stupefaction or insentience (mūḍhatā) in that (state of void) (tatra... iti)?". With reference to this (question) (atra), (Vasugupta) expressed (āha) the answer (uttaram) by this (phrase) (anena): "because... (yatas iti)" --i.e. because by coming into contact with "abhiyoga"--|

Abhiyoga (abhiyogaḥ) (is) the declaration (abhilāpaḥ) —whose nature (ātma) is an examination or reflection (vimarśa) related to (abhimukha) that (tad) state (of void) (avasthā)—: "In what condition (kīdṛk) was (āsam) I (aham... iti)?", (expressed) by someone who has risen (utthitasya) from samādhi --perfect concentration-- (samādhāna). By coming into contact (saṁsparśāt) with it --with abhiyoga-- (tad), i.e. due to (vaśāt) (or) on account of (hetoḥ) it (tad), because (yatas) (there is) certainty or determination (niścayaḥ) (that) "that --the condition of stupefaction or insentience-- (tad) (really) existed (āsīt iti)", (in other words,) since (yatas) there is (asti) the statement (pratipattiḥ) "I (aham) was (āsam) excessively (gāḍha) unconscious (mūḍhaḥ... iti)", therefore (atas), the state (avasthā... sā) of stupefaction or insentience (moha) (is) artificial (kalpitā) as it is recollected (smaryamāṇatvāt) in that manner (tathā). On the contrary (pratyuta), that (state of stupefaction or insentience) (sā ca), being experienced (anubhūyamānatvāt), (just) declares or makes known (āvedayate) the existence (sattām) of the Perceiver (anubhavituḥ) (or) Experient (pramātuḥ) whose nature (rūpasya) is being the experiencer of (such) a state (avasthātṛ), and not --i.e. it does not declare-- (na tu) "nonexistence" (abhāvam iti). In the state (avasthāyām) of nonexistence or absence (abhāva) of the universe (viśva), the undivided (akhaṇḍitam) nature (rūpam) of Consciousness (cit-rūpasya) --the Perceiver or Experient-- certainly (eva) "abides" (tiṣṭhati iti). Its (amuṣya) nonexistence (abhāvaḥ) can never (na... jātucid... śakyate) be proclaimed or described (vaktum). This is what is meant to be said (iti uktam bhavati)|

An objection (nanu)!: (A knowable object such as) blue (nīla), etc. (ādi) is recollected (smaryate) (after having been) seen (dṛṣṭam) (and) determined (niścitam). But (ca) there is no (na... asti) determination (niścayaḥ) of that which is (bhūtasya) void (śūnya) because the activity or function (vṛtteḥ) of the intellect --the determinative faculty-- (buddhi) is off (nyagbhūta) (at that time). Then (tad), how (katham) is it said (uktam), from the subsequent determination (auttara-kālikāt niścayāt) "that (tad) (really) existed (āsīt... iti)" (expressed by the one who has just emerged from the state of void, that) "that (tad) (is) a state of stupefaction or insentience (mūḍhatā... iti)"?6 |

(Now the reply:) It is said (ucyate) that this (eṣā) state or condition --mode-- (gatiḥ) pertains to the object --the knowable-- (vedyasya). Therefore (yasmāt), so long (tāvat) that (tad) whose essence (sāram) is being "this" (idantā) --"that whose essence is being this" = "the object"-- is not (na) recollected (smaryate) as long as (yāvat) it is not (na) determined (niścitam) as being "this" --as an object as such-- (idantayā) by the experient (pramātrā) who rises (upāroheṇa) up to one's own (sva) Self (ātma)7 . However (tu), though (api) contracted or limited (saṅkucitaḥ) in the artificial states (kalpita... avasthāsu) of void (śūnya), etc. (ādi), the Knower (vedakaḥ) (is) the Highest Reality (parama-arthaḥ) (in the form of) the unconventional (asāṅketika) state of "I" (ahantā... eva iti) --i.e. the real "I"--. In one's own Self (sva-ātmani), there is no (na... asti) separation (pṛthaktā) from Him (tasya... iti). (There is only) a thought (vikalpaḥ) determinative (niścāyakaḥ) of Himself (tad) — Thus (iti), then (tadā) it has been proved (siddham), by one's perception (sva-saṁvedanena eva), (that there is a experient) perceived (vimṛśyam eva) as "I" (aham) (and) whose form (rūpam) is the śūnyapramātā --the experient of void, also known as Pralayākala-- (śūnya-pramātṛ). (It is this śūnyapramātā who) is recollected (smaryate) afterward --after one emerges from the void-- (uttara-kālam) as being (sat) chiefly consisting of (sāram) contraction or limitation (saṅkoca) --extremely limited due to the Āṇavamala or innate impurity-- in correlation (pratiyogitvāt) with the universe (viśva... iti) --which is expanded as that very void--. Hence (yasmāt), there is no (na kācid) inconclusive argumentation or failure of proof (anupapattiḥ). As this is so (evam), consequently (atas) that (tad) state (padam) of void (śūnya-ātmakam) (is) artificial (kṛtrimam).

"Therefore (tasmāt) (whether) existent (bhūtam) (or) nonexistent (abhūtam), whatever (yad yad eva) is excessively imagined (atibhāvyate... iti), [on the perfection of the contemplation, that (is) evidently a result or product of imagination] --the rest of the stanza was added in brackets--"|

According to the abovementioned precept (uktayā eva nītyā), it --the state of void-- (tad) is manifested (utthāpitam) by only imagining (bhāvanayā eva) what has not existed (ever) (abhūta). (The state of void) is shown (bhāsitam) by the Supreme Lord (parama-īśvareṇa eva) in that way (tathā) —viz. as a goal to be achieved (upeyatayā)— to the fools (mūḍhānām), in order to conceal and protect (gopanāyai) Knowledge (jñāna). Such is the purport (iti arthaḥ)|

Jñeya (jñeyam), i.e. that which is to be known (jñātavyam) and (ca) whose form (rūpam) is knowable (jñeyam), (is used as) an example (in the aphorism 13) (iti dṛṣṭāntaḥ) (in order to show that the state of void is) always (sadā) like (vat) deep sleep (suṣupta)|

This (ayam) (is) the meaning (bhāvaḥ) — Deep sleep (suṣuptam) (has) always (sadā) the nature (rūpam) of Moha or Delusion --Māyā-- (moha) (and) is (asti eva) accomplished (siddham) by everyone (sarvasya) effortlessly (aprayāsa). Then (tad), "what is the point (kim... kṛtyam) of this (anena) other (anyena) void (śūnyena) to be gained (upārjitena) by the effort (prayatna) of samādhi --perfect concentration-- (samādhi) since there is no difference (aviśeṣāt) in regard to unreality (avastutva) of them both (dvayasya api... iti)"?|

And (ca) as a general rule (prāyas), many (bahavaḥ) enter (anupraviṣṭāḥ) this (asmin) great (mahā) ocean (arṇave eva) of Moha or Delusion --Māyā-- (moha) (called) void (śūnye), which is difficult to be crossed (duruttare). (The ones who do so are) mostly (prāyāḥ) Vedantī-s or followers of Vedānta (vedāntavit), Naiyāyika-s or followers of Akṣapāda --the founder of the system Nyāya, i.e. Gautama-- (akṣapāda), the followers of Sāṅkhya (sāṅkhya), Buddhists (saugata), etc. (ādi)|

This (etad) void (śūnyam) has become (bhūtam) an obstacle (vighna) even (api ca) to those who are desirous to enter (samāvivikṣūṇām) the principle (tattva) of Spanda (spanda) (because) they relax their efforts (śithilī-bhūta-prayatnānām)|

(Vasugupta, the author of Spandakārikā-s,) will say (vakṣyati) that (yad) --in I, 25--, beginning with (ārabhya):

"Then (tadā)... in that (tasmin) Great (mahā) Ether (vyomni... iti)"|

(and ending with:)

(To the partially awakened one, that condition is) like (vat) the state (pada) of deep sleep (sauṣupta), [(and thus) he remains] stupefied (mūḍhaḥ... iti)|

Therefore (atas), it is noticeable (lakṣyate) the great (mahān) desire and enthusiasm (saṁrambhaḥ) of the author (kārasya) of the book --i.e. Vasugupta-- (grantha) to destroy (ucchede) this (theory of void) (etad)|

(Vasugupta,) even (api) after proving --after establishing as truth-- (nirṇīya) that that --the theory of void-- (tad) is so (tathā ca) here --in I, 25-- (iha), i.e. (that) is (something) to be abandoned (heyatayā eva), will also establish as truth (punar api nirṇeṣyate) (the following) in this (aphorism) --in I, 15-- (atra):

The effort (prayatnaḥ) which (yaḥ) is directed (unmukhaḥ) to deed (kārya... iti)|

For that reason (tatas), we have made --lit. made by us-- (asmābhiḥ... kṛtaḥ) an effort (to show) (ārambhaḥ) its --of the theory of void-- (etad) faults (dūṣaṇa). Thus (iti), there should not be (na... kāryaḥ) anger or irritation (kopaḥ) with us (naḥ) on the part of you, the worthy ones! (atrabhavadbhiḥ), who listen --lit. who give ear to-- (datta-karṇaiḥ) (and) perceive --see-- (nibhālana) the teaching (upadeśa)|

When the Buddhists are censured by their faults (saugateṣu dūṣiteṣu), the followers of the doctrine (vāda) of Vedānta (śrutyanta), etc. (ādayaḥ) (are also) censured (dūṣitāḥ eva) because there is similarity in (their) reasoning (tulya-nyāyatvāt). Thus (iti), nothing else (na abhyadhikam) is said (uktam) --i.e. the author does not go into details--|

Therefore (tad), now (idānīm) we are going to speak (brūmahe) about the subject (of this book) (prakṛtam eva) --viz. about Spanda--. That (tad tu) principle (tattvam) called (ākhyam) Spanda (spanda) is not (na) thus (evam) —in this way (iti)— perceived or realized (pratipadyate) like (vat) the void (śūnya), (that is,) as a state of recollection (smaryamāṇatvam), because it is impossible (ayogāt) for It (tasya) to be absent (anupalabhyatva) at some time (kadācid api) --lit. because of the impossibility of Its absence at some time--8  inasmuch as (Spanda) is the uniform (eka-rūpasya) Perceiver or Experient (upalabdhṛ) (in whom all the states are) always (sarvadā) strung together (like beads in a necklace) (anusyūta)|

So (tathā ca) (the sages) said (āhuḥ) (in Bṛhadāraṇyakopaniṣad IV, 5, 15):

"Ah! (are), how --i.e. by what means-- (kena) does one know --or "should one know"-- (vijānīyāt) the Knower (vijñātāram... iti)?"||

Even (api) if (yadi) the state (daśā) of absorption in the Self (samāveśa) is recollected (smaryate) when one comes back to vyutthāna --the ordinary state of consciousness-- (vyutthitena) by means of (vaśāt) the residual impression (saṁskāra) of vital energy (prāṇa), etc. (ādi), the principle (tattvam) of Spanda (spanda) is not (na) really (tāvat eva) thus (recollected) (tathā api), but rather (api tu) It (tad) (is) only (eva) the Highest Experient (para-pramātṛ-rūpam) whose essence (sāra) is uninterrupted (anavacchinna) Light (prakāśa) (and) Bliss (ānanda) in which all (the states) (sarva) are strung together (like beads in a necklace) (anusyūta)|

(Vasugupta) will say (vakṣyati) that (yad) (in II, 4):

"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... iti)"|

For this reason (atas), there is never (na jātucid) a state of recollection (smaryamāṇatvam) or (vā) stupefaction --insentience-- (mūḍhatvam) in the case of this (principle of Spanda) (asya) whose nature (rūpasya) is the uninterrupted (anavacchinna) Delight of I-consciousness (camatkāra) --Spanda cannot be recollected because It is not an object but the Subject, and It is not the void of unconsciousness/insentience either--|

That (saḥ) special mention (nirdeśaḥ) about It --about Spanda-- (asya) which (yaḥ) has been made (kṛtaḥ) by the word (śabdena) "tad" (tad) here --in the last line of the aphorism 13-- (iha): "tattattvam" (or) "that principle (of Spanda)" (tad tattvam iti), refers to the supposed (experient) (kalpitasya eva) whose nature (sva-rūpasya) is not the Highest Reality (apāramārthika), and not (na tu), as a matter of fact (tattvatas), to the (Experient) who is the Highest Reality (pāramārthikasya), in accordance with what was described (ukta-nītyā) in the venerable (śrī) Pratyabhijñākārikā-s --also called Īśvarapratyabhijñā-- (pratyabhijñākārikā):

"The Self (ātmānam) not deprived from (amuktam) Absolute Freedom (svātantrya... iti)...9 "|

(And) by this (phrase) (anena) --in the last line of the aphorism 13--: "na... pratipadyate" (or) "is not... perceived or realized" (na pratipadyate), (Vasugupta) said (āha) this (idam): "There is no (na asti) apprehension (pratītiḥ eva) of this (asya) principle (of Spanda) (tattvasya) as a state of recollection (smaryamāṇatvena... iti)"||13||

1  Read First Steps (1), First Steps (2) and First Steps (3) to achieve a better understanding of the different philosophical systems in Sanskrit.Return 

2  For Sanskrit students: "upādikṣan". This rare specimen is conjugated in Aorist Tense (7th variety), 3rd P, plural, Parasmaipada. Aorist Tense is similar to Past Tense in English, but there are several things one should take into account too: Read Verbs (1) to pick up more information about Aorist Tense. It is NOT a present participle as one could believe at first glance. NO. The verb is "upādiś", derived from the root "diś" (being "upa" and "ā" mere prefixes added to the root, obviously). The verb "upādiś" means "to inform, indicate, declare, etc.", hence "upādikṣan" was translated as "they indicated" —do not mistake this verb with the well-known "upadiś" (to teach), because "upādiś" is formed from "upa + ā + diś" while "upadiś" consists of "upa + diś"—. It is to be noted that the conjugation is Parasmaipadī, because the verb "upādiś" is like that, though the root "diś" could also be conjugated in Ātmanepada in this way: "adikṣanta". Therefore, since the verb "upādiś" is to be conjugated in Parasmaipada (and not in Ātmanepada), the sage Kṣemarāja wrote: "upādikṣan" and not "upādikṣanta". Well, hopefully you understood me. The study of Aorist Tense is one terrifying portion of "Verbs" in the Sanskrit grammar, you know. Aorist Tense is almost nonexistent in Classic Sanskrit (since 500 BC up to date). Being Spandanirṇaya about one thousand years old, I wonder why Kṣemarāja conjugated the verb in that archaic manner. Weird! We must pray to God for him not to do it again, hehe.Return 

3  The sage Kṣemarāja is not criticizing the Vedānta or even Chāndogyopaniṣad, but he is simply pointing out that some followers of Vedānta misunderstood the teachings by taking "asat" as "nonexistent", in a literal way. I can prove my point, for example, by simply showing you the commentary Rāmānuja wrote on that portion. Rāmānuja was the founder of Viśiṣṭādvaitavedānta, one of the three types of Vedānta. What Kṣemarāja quoted occurs at the very beginning of the third lesson or adhyāya, nineteenth section or khaṇḍa, i.e. in III, 19.1. Rāmānuja comments after quoting the respective portion:

"असदेवेदमग्र आसीत्। इदं जगदग्र असदव्याकृतनामरूपमासीत्।" -

"Asadevedamagra āsīt| Idaṁ jagadagra asadavyākṛtanāmarūpamāsīt|" -

"Asadevedamagra āsīt — This world was 'asat' in the beginning, i.e. it existed as unmanifest name and form".

Note that "this" refers to the universe and not to Brahma (the Absolute). Besides "asat" should not be taken in a literal way as "nonexistent" but as "unmanifest name and form". The word avyākṛta is a technical term of Vedānta that can be translated as "unmanifest". Still, its meaning is much deeper and subtler. I translated it in that manner for want of a better/shorter definition in English. Avyākṛta is an elementary substance from which everything was created. By no means it is "nonexistent". NO. It DOES exist indeed. Well, the point is that "asat" must not be taken in a literal way like "nonexistent". Therefore, Kṣemarāja, as I said before, is criticizing the followers of Vedānta who misunderstood the real meaning of "asat". In all philosophical schools there are always groups of people that tergiversate the teachings because of their simple ignorance about the deep meanings of some technical words. This is no surprise then.

Regarding his criticism about Buddhism, etc., please, always take into account both the time and place where he lived: Kashmir and the Middle Ages. It was, for example, a time and place full of philosophical debates against Buddhism. Even Vasugupta, worried about what some Buddhists were doing in Kashmir, prayed to the Lord for a solution and in this way he got the celebrated Śivasūtra-s. Besides, these people are "sages", i.e. great spiritual personalities and not mere argumentative aspirants looking for a little victory. You can realize their wisdom by merely reading the present treatise: Spandanirṇaya, where Vasugupta and Kṣemarāja are describing and teaching extraordinary truths.Return 

4  That stanza was written by Nāgārjuna (as Kṣemarāja will express), the famous Buddhist master. The five Afflictions mentioned there are the well-known five Kleśa-s defined by the sage Patañjali in Yogasūtra-s II, 3.Return 

5  If in English is already a tongue twister, in Sanskrit is a super tongue twister, haha. Funny! Well, despite the laughters, the matter is serious, because what the sage is trying to prove is that the void as put by the Mādhyamika-s (the followers of Mādhyamika Buddhism) is not the Highest Reality because the Highest Reality has to be "something" or It would never be "attained" by anyone. Nobody can achieve the void because if it is a "real" Void (absolute nothingness), even the one attaining it would disappear too. What is the use to attain a Highest Reality where you disappear in the process? So funny! Who is going to enjoy Final Liberation if the Highest Reality be a Void really? Because the aspirant previously in bondage, after attaining Final Liberation, would vanish along with his bondage too, haha. Sorry, but I cannot stop laughing. This Play of the Lord is so cool! Yes, that teaching of the Mādhyamika-s at the time when Kṣemarāja flourished was "void", haha.

Fortunately, the great Buddhist master Nāgārjuna "fixed" the things by saying that "it is not a void in the true sense of the word". In this case, Kṣemarāja agreed because "void" is dealt with like in Vijñānabhairava, i.e. like something existing indeed. Certainly, when one meditates deeply, sometimes he enters a condition of void which is full of stupefaction or insentience, viz. one remains unconscious there, like in deep sleep. Anyway, as one "remembers" that state of void, it "existed" as mere stupefaction or unconsciousness while at the same time the Highest Reality remained the same as the Witness to the void. If the Highest Reality had not remained as a witness, one would not be able to remember the void which was experienced. So, the Highest Reality has "existence" and is not "mere nothingness". Therefore, by the word "void" one only indicates that "there is no manifest world as in wakefulness or dream" but NOT that there is nothing at all, because the very Perceiver of that void keeps existing always. The Perceiver or Lord is never void or He could not remember anything ever! If there be a real Void, there would be many problems to explain the memory processes too, because the Void appearing now and then would be erasing all the memories, haha. Well, that problem with the Void theory will be discussed later by Kṣemarāja himself. Besides, no Karma Law would be possible, because all the records of your good and bad actions would be erased too. This would be cool if only touched the bad records, hehe.

I am verily impressed by the Lord and His Plays. Why? Śivasūtra-s were revealed to Vasugupta for him to be able to refute the Buddhist teachings in Kashmir. Now, the Lord had to become those Buddhists first, haha. Great move! He manifested all those Buddhists in Kashmir in order to give Śivasūtra-s to Vasugupta. After that, Trika could fully develop as a solid philosophical system we can enjoy now. I suppose that Buddhism was somehow affected too with all those debates occurring at that time. The Lord is both the ones that follow Him and the ones that deny Him. If you lose sight of Him, you will not understand what is happening here. OK, now it is clear, right?Return 

6  The objection is clearly formulated in spite of, perhaps, the confusion produced by my own translation which is constantly like the act of a tightrope walker in the sense that I must always arrange it all in a way that is "so literal as possible" as well as "so legible as possible". On top of that, English is not my native language! As I cannot "avoid" any word in my "word for word" translation, I am forced to include them all. Most Sanskrit translators do not use my method and in this way they are more free to make the sentences more legible... but they are also more free to summarize too much, add their own opinions to the text (without clearly marking them in some way) or even make mistakes. And this is a fact I can observe frequently with my trained eye. In short, I can see when another translator is sweating and then summarizing it all in order to keep going and so on. This is very obvious to me, but it will surely go unnoticed to the vast majority of readers. This is the tragedy!

A slight twist in the translation of a little phrase could change dramatically the entire meaning of a teaching. I have seen people believing for years that a text says something... which it does not say really! Well, this is pretty common among people ignoring Sanskrit grammar, and inaccurate translations are the eternal cause for their disgrace. I, by no means, want to be another cause for the already enormous disgrace of so many people. I am not joking, but speaking seriously. If there are any errors in my translations, be sure that my own laziness/imagination/tiredness are not the cause for it. What is the cause then? Only the reach of my knowledge/experience at the time of writing that translation. Obviously, I am not speaking about mere typos.

For all those reasons, I prefer to use the word for word method because it keeps my human laziness/imagination/tiredness at bay, forcing me to "read everything such as it was written" and not as my mind "would wish it had been written". Besides, I am always thinking about the Sanskrit students reading my translations and needing to know how I could pull it off, i.e. the way the sentences are structured in Sanskrit, etc.

Well, regarding the objection, Kṣemarāja affirmed previously: "Abhiyoga (is) the declaration —whose nature is an examination or reflection related to that state (of void)—: "In what condition was I?", (expressed) by someone who has risen from samādhi --perfect concentration--. By coming into contact with it --with abhiyoga--, i.e. due to (or) on account of it, because (there is) certainty or determination (that) "that --the condition of stupefaction or insentience-- (really) existed", (in other words,) since there is the statement "I was excessively unconscious", therefore the state of stupefaction or insentience (is) artificial as it is recollected in that manner."

What the objector is saying is specifically that "how can there be certainty or determination that that condition of stupefaction or insentience --i.e. unconsciousness-- really existed if the intellect was OFF at the moment of the experience of void?". The intellect is the determinative faculty by which one determines what an object is, e.g. "it is blue" in case one sees that color. However, if the state of void is artificial, that is, if it is invented or manifested from Supreme Consciousness as the rest of objects, but it is NOT the Supreme Consciousness essentially, then how could it be determined to exist without an intellect ON? This is the doubt!. Now Kṣemarāja will proceed to remove it. Keep reading the text, please.Return 

7  By the phrase: "by the experient who rises up to one's own Self", the sage is making clear that despite there are seven classes of "experients", all of them are, in the end, one's own Self (Śiva). Therefore, in spite of the variety of experients, there is always and everywhere "one Experient" (You!). Read more about the seven experients in the fourth note of Śivasūtravimarśinī III, 19. There is another possible translation for this sentence if one considers another possible meaning of "upāroha" (derived from upa + ā + roha). As the word "roha" also means "shoot, sprout, etc.", "upāroha" might mean the same thing: shoot, sprout, etc., viz. "an impression". In this case, "upāroheṇa" should be translated as "through the impression". In this way, the sentence:

Therefore (yasmāt), so long (tāvat) that (tad) whose essence (sāram) is being "this" (idantā) --"that whose essence is being this" = "the object"-- is not (na) recollected (smaryate) as long as (yāvat) it is not (na) determined (niścitam) as being "this" --as an object as such-- (idantayā) by the experient (pramātrā) who rises (upāroheṇa) up to one's own (sva) Self (ātma).

will have to be transformed into

Therefore (yasmāt), so long (tāvat) that (tad) whose essence (sāram) is being "this" (idantā) --"that whose essence is being this" = "the object"-- is not (na) recollected (smaryate) as long as (yāvat) it is not (na) determined (niścitam) as being "this" --as an object as such-- (idantayā) by the experient (pramātrā) through the impression (of such an object) (upāroheṇa) (retained in) one's own (sva) Self (ātma).

Anyway, though the last translation is possible, I prefer the first one. Hence I translated so in the text itself.

What the sage is establishing is simply that it is always one's own Self (the Experient) who determines that an object "exists" and not the intellect itself. Till the Self does not determine an object, the object cannot be recollected. As in the state of void the intellect --determinative faculty-- is OFF, there seems to be this inconvenience of how the very state of void could be determined to exist then. However, being the intellect itself a manifestation of this Self, even in the absence of the former the latter can carry out the determination with no problems at all! And when the intellect is working, it is again one's own Self who is really working through it. Therefore, the absence of an intellect ON will not mean any inconvenience at all, because the Self can determine by Himself always. Kṣemarāja will say something similar soon. Very clear!Return 

8  As the word "upalabhya" means "perceivable, perceptible", then "upalabhyatva" is "the state of being perceivable or perceptible". Finally, the term you see in the text is "anupalabhyatva", viz. "absence of the state of being perceivable or perceptible"... long... better, "absence of perceptibility". However, I chose the translation "absence" plainly, because Spanda is not "something to be perceived" but the "Perceiver". Yes, the phrase in Sanskrit is clear to me: "anupalabhyatva" is "absence of perceptibility", i.e. a state where Spanda is not detected to exist... but it took me a while to understand the word rightly. Nonetheless, the readers might be made confused with that definition since the verb "to perceive" is involved there. I mean, Spanda is "impossible to be perceived" because It is the Perceiver or Experient. So, in my opinion, it is better to translate it as "absence" (in the sense of "absence of detection") instead of "absence of perceptibility" as this last translation might be considered as if Kṣemarāja was saying that the Perceiver can be perceived, which is not right. OK, hopefully you understood my point.

The entire phrase "anupalabhyatvāyogāt" literally that means: "because of impossibility of absence of perceptibility", but also the following translation is acceptable: "because of unsuitableness of absence of perceptibility". In short, making it legible: "because it is imposible for It --Spanda-- to be absent" or "because it is not suitable (to say) that It is absent". Now you can understand my way of translating!Return 

9  To understand why the sage Kṣemarāja declared: "in accordance with what was described in the venerable Pratyabhijñākārikā-s --also called Īśvarapratyabhijñā--" you would have to read the entire stanza of that scripture (exactly I, 5, 16) along with the previous one (i.e. I, 5, 15) and also the entire commentary by Abhinavagupta (the famous Kṣemarāja's guru). As that would take too much time, I already did it in your place. Summing it up (because the commentary is extralong and complex): The Highest Reality cannot be described by any means. NO word exists which is able to "exactly" express what That is. Then, for the sake of people performing meditation, worship, service, etc., the Highest Reality "invents" (manifests) an "artificial" Highest Reality (which I translated in the text as "the supposed experient whose nature is not the Highest Reality") which is a "fictitious experient or knower". So, the Highest Reality manifests something you can call "Master", "Lord", etc. by your mind. Next, the Highest Reality or Self deals with Its own manifestation as if the Self (i.e. the Highest Reality) had a "double" nature (one that is impossible to be known/described and other that is knowable/describable).

In this way, the Highest Reality, though impossible to be known or described, makes Itself knowable and describable for being able to deal with Itself! Cool! The Highest Reality does so by Its Absolute Freedom or "Svātantrya". And still, this Self or Highest Reality, "due to Its Absolute Freedom" is never deprived from this Absolute Freedom even after assuming the form of a "fictitious experient or knower" such as "Master, Lord, etc.". Hence the quoted portion of the stanza reads: "The Self not deprived from Absolute Freedom". Now you know why the sage quoted that portion of stanza extracted from Īśvarapratyabhijñā.

In the text on which Kṣemarāja is commenting (i.e. in Spandakārikā-s I, 12-13), the Highest Reality or Self is designated as "tattattvam" or "that principle" (you can read it in the last line of aphorism 13). The word "tat" there, derived from "tad" (that), refers to the "knowable/describable" manifestation that the Highest Reality or Self made out of Itself and NOT to the Highest Reality or Self Itself, because the Highest Reality or Self cannot be described/indicated/named/etc. Got the point?

Anyway, as human beings do NOT have any other manner to "designate/describe/name/etc." the Self or Highest Reality, they are forced to use words such as "Master, Lord, that principle, etc." Well, now it is very clear, I suppose. These teachings have many implications: For example, to say "I am the Lord" or "I am not the Lord" is only happening in the world of words, because the "Lord" is just an invention (a supposed experient) manifested by an indescribable/unspeakable Highest Reality. In fact, the very term "Highest Reality" is "again" another invention to explain something that is not possible to explain with the parameters we normally use (words, images, etc.). So, the Highest Reality is neither a Lord, nor an "I" nor a void nor anything else which can be put into words, but one is forced to describe That somehow in order to study It, worship It, meditate on It, etc. If the Highest Reality had not manifested/invented that "Lord", "I", "Master", "Spanda", etc. out of Itself, one would be unable to deal with It, and as a result, no worship, meditation, study, etc. would be possible. Imagine people saying: "May... be praised!", "What is the nature of ...?", "... manifested this universe", "I am the eternal ...", haha. In fact, one should not even use suspension points to indicate the Highest Reality, hehe. Philosophical studies, worship, meditation, service, etc. would be impossible to undertake under such circumstances! Even atheism would be nonexistent, because "how to deny something which cannot even be uttered?", haha. This is why it is generally said that the presence of an atheist "just" affirms the existence of what he or she is denying. So funny!

Here you see the Absolute Freedom of this Highest Reality, because even after becoming "someone knowable by words" (e.g. Lord, God, Master, etc.) in order to deal with Itself in a comfortable way, It retains Its indescribable nature always and everywhere. When one is limited, the processes of life, death, pleasure, pain, day, night, creation, destruction, people, absence of people, bondage, liberation, good, evil, worshippers, atheists, etc. are seen as realities occurring in a space-time framework. But, when one, as to speak, realizes the Highest Reality (yes, yes, just a way to describe what cannot be described), all those processes appear to him like "the movement of a Reality beyond space-time". So, to a person who has realized his own Self (the Highest Reality), all these processes of life, death, pleasure, pain, etc. appear in way that is not possible to describe in a space-time framework. OK, dear reader/indescribable Highest Reality, hehe, now the subject should be clear to you!Return 

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 Aphorisms 14-16

ननु यत्र स्थितमित्यादौ चिद्रूपस्यैव विश्वकार्यरूपताग्राहित्वमुक्तं तद्धानोत्थापितं कृत्रिममभावात्मकं रूपं तेनैव गृहीतमिति कथमस्यानवच्छिन्नचमत्काररूपममूढत्वमित्याशङ्कायामाह


अवस्थायुगलं चात्र कार्यकर्तृत्वशब्दितम्।
कार्यता क्षयिणी तत्र कर्तृत्वं पुनरक्षयम्॥१४॥
कार्योन्मुखः प्रयत्नो यः केवलं सोऽत्र लुप्यते।
तस्मिँल्लुप्ते विलुप्तोऽस्मीत्यबुधः प्रतिपद्यते॥१५॥
न तु योऽन्तर्मुखो भावः सर्वज्ञत्वगुणास्पदम्।
तस्य लोपः कदाचित्स्यादन्यस्यानुपलम्भनात्॥१६॥


अत्र स्पन्दतत्त्वे कार्यत्वं कर्तृत्वमिति च शब्दितं शब्दव्यवहारमात्रेण भेदितमवस्थायुगलमस्ति वस्तुतो हि तदेकमेव स्वतन्त्रप्रकाशघनशङ्कररूपं तत्त्वं कर्तृसत्त्वाव्यतिरिक्तया प्रकाशात्मना क्रियया व्य्पाप्तं तदभेदेन प्रकाशमानं तत्त्वभुवनशरीरतदभावादिरूपत्वं स्वीकुर्वत्कार्यमित्युच्यते तदन्यस्य कस्यापि कारणत्वायोगात्। यथोक्तं श्रीप्रत्यभिज्ञायाम्

जडस्य तु न सा शक्तिः सत्ता यदसतः सतः।
कर्तृकर्मत्वतत्त्वैव कार्यकारणता ततः॥

इति। तस्य चेदमेव कार्यत्वं यदयं विचित्रदेशकालाद्याभाससंयोजनवियोजनक्रमेणानन्तान् देहनीलाद्याभासांश्चिदात्मनः स्वरूपादनतिरिक्तानपि मुकुरप्रतिबिम्बवदतिरिक्तानिवाभासयति यावच्च किञ्चिदाभासयति तत्सर्वमाभास्यमानत्वादेव बहिर्मुखेन रूपेण क्षयधर्मकं क्षयश्चास्येदन्ताभासनिमज्जनेनाहन्तारूपतयावस्थानमत एव देहादेर्ग्राहकस्य यो वेद्यांशः स एव भगवता सृज्यते संह्रियते च न त्वहन्ताप्रकाशात्मकं कर्तृरूपं तस्य देहाद्यावेशेऽपि भगवदेकरूपत्वादतस्तत्र तयोः कार्यकर्तृत्वयोर्मध्यात्कार्यता क्षयिणी कर्तृत्वं चित्स्वातन्त्र्यरूपं पुनरक्षयं जगदुदयापाययोरपि तस्य स्वभावादचलनात्। चलने तु जगदुदयापायावपि न कौचिच्चकास्यातामिति मूढाद्यवस्थायामप्यखण्डितचमत्कारसारममूढमेवैतत्। नन्वभावसमाधाननिष्पत्तौ सुषुप्तादौ चास्य कर्तृत्वं नोपलभामहे क्वचिदपि प्रवृत्त्यदर्शनात्। सत्यं कार्योन्मुख इन्द्रियादिप्रेरणात्मकव्यापारप्रवणो यः प्रयत्नः संरम्भः सोऽत्र कार्यक्षयपदे लुप्यते विच्छिद्यते तस्मिँल्लुप्ते सत्यबुधोऽभावसमाध्यपहारितात्मरूपो मूढो विलुप्तोऽस्मीति मन्यते। यः पुनरन्तर्मुखोऽहन्ताप्रकाशरूपः स्वभावोऽत एव सर्वज्ञत्वगुणस्यास्पदमुपलक्षणं चैतत्सर्वकर्तृत्वादेरपि तस्य लोपो न कदाचित्स्याद्भवतीति न कदाचिदपि सम्भावनीयोऽन्यस्य तल्लोपमुपलब्धुः कस्याप्यनुपलम्भाद्यदि स कश्चिदुपलभ्यते स एवासावन्तर्मुखश्चिद्रूपो न चेदुपलभ्यते तर्हि सा लोपदशास्तीति कुतो निश्चयः। अथ चान्यः कश्चित्तल्लोपं नोपलभतेऽअपितु स एव प्रकाशात्मा तत्कथं तस्याभावः। एवं चान्यस्यानुपलम्भनादित्यत्रान्यकर्तृकस्योपलम्भस्याभावादित्यर्थः। अथ च घटाभावो यथा घटविविक्तभूतलाद्युपलम्भनान्निश्चीयते तथैवात्माभावोऽप्यात्मविविक्तस्य कस्यचिदुपलम्भान्निश्चीयेत तदुपलम्भकसत्तावश्यं भाविनीति तदुपलम्भकस्वात्मनास्तिता न सिध्यति। यदि च कार्योन्मुखप्रयत्नलोपे स लुप्येत तदोत्तरकालमन्यस्य कस्याप्युपलम्भो न भवेदन्योपलम्भाभावः प्रसज्येतेत्यर्थः। अपि चान्यस्य बहिर्मुखस्य प्रयत्नस्य सौषुप्तादावनुपलम्भात्कथमन्तर्मुखस्य तत्त्वस्य वालिशैर्लोप आशङ्कितो यतोऽन्यस्य लोपेऽन्यस्य किं वृत्तम्। अथ चान्यस्य कार्योन्मुखप्रयत्नस्यानुपलम्भादनुपलम्भप्रकाशनान्न कदाचित्प्रकाशात्मनोऽन्तर्मुखस्य तस्योपलब्धुर्लोपो यतोऽसावन्तर्मुखो भावः सर्वज्ञत्वगुणस्यास्पदं तामप्यभावदशां वेत्त्येवन्यथा सैव न सिध्येदिति। अन्यस्येति कर्तरि कर्मणि च षष्ठी। अन्तर्मुखे कार्यत्वप्रतियोगितामिव कर्तृत्वस्य सम्भाव्यावस्थात्वमुक्तं वस्तुतस्तूक्तयुक्त्या तस्यावस्थातृत्वमेव। अन्तर्मुख इत्यन्तः पूर्णाहन्तात्मकं मुखं प्रधानं यस्येति योग्यम्॥१६॥

Nanu yatra sthitamityādau cidrūpasyaiva viśvakāryarūpatāgrāhitvamuktaṁ taddhānotthāpitaṁ kṛtrimamabhāvātmakaṁ rūpaṁ tenaiva gṛhītamiti kathamasyānavacchinnacamatkārarūpamamūḍhatvamityāśaṅkāyāmāha


Avasthāyugalaṁ cātra kāryakartṛtvaśabditam|
Kāryatā kṣayiṇī tatra kartṛtvaṁ punarakṣayam||14||
Kāryonmukhaḥ prayatno yaḥ kevalaṁ so'tra lupyate|
Tasmim̐llupte vilupto'smītyabudhaḥ pratipadyate||15||
Na tu yo'ntarmukho bhāvaḥ sarvajñatvaguṇāspadam|
Tasya lopaḥ kadācitsyādanyasyānupalambhanāt||16||


Atra spandatattve kāryatvaṁ kartṛtvamiti ca śabditaṁ śabdavyavahāramātreṇa bheditamavasthāyugalamasti vastuto hi tadekameva svatantraprakāśaghanaśaṅkararūpaṁ tattvaṁ kartṛsattvāvyatiriktayā prakāśātmanā kriyayā vypāptaṁ tadabhedena prakāśamānaṁ tattvabhuvanaśarīratadabhāvādirūpatvaṁ svīkurvatkāryamityucyate tadanyasya kasyāpi kāraṇatvāyogāt| Yathoktaṁ śrīpratyabhijñāyām

Jaḍasya tu na sā śaktiḥ sattā yadasataḥ sataḥ|
Kartṛkarmatvatattvaiva kāryakāraṇatā tataḥ||

iti| Tasya cedameva kāryatvaṁ yadayaṁ vicitradeśakālādyābhāsasaṁyojanaviyojanakrameṇānantān dehanīlādyābhāsāṁścidātmanaḥ svarūpādanatiriktānapi mukurapratibimbavadatiriktānivābhāsayati yāvacca kiñcidābhāsayati tatsarvamābhāsyamānatvādeva bahirmukhena rūpeṇa kṣayadharmakaṁ kṣayaścāsyedantābhāsanimajjanenāhantārūpatayāvasthānamata eva dehādergrāhakasya yo vedyāṁśaḥ sa eva bhagavatā sṛjyate saṁhriyate ca na tvahantāprakāśātmakaṁ kartṛrūpaṁ tasya dehādyāveśe'pi bhagavadekarūpatvādatastatra tayoḥ kāryakartṛtvayormadhyātkāryatā kṣayiṇī kartṛtvaṁ citsvātantryarūpaṁ punarakṣayaṁ jagadudayāpāyayorapi tasya svabhāvādacalanāt| Calane tu jagadudayāpāyāvapi na kauciccakāsyātāmiti mūḍhādyavasthāyāmapyakhaṇḍitacamatkārasāramamūḍhamevaitat| Nanvabhāvasamādhānaniṣpattau suṣuptādau cāsya kartṛtvaṁ nopalabhāmahe kvacidapi pravṛttyadarśanāt| Satyaṁ kāryonmukha indriyādipreraṇātmakavyāpārapravaṇo yaḥ prayatnaḥ saṁrambhaḥ so'tra kāryakṣayapade lupyate vicchidyate tasmim̐llupte satyabudho'bhāvasamādhyapahāritātmarūpo mūḍho vilupto'smīti manyate| Yaḥ punarantarmukho'hantāprakāśarūpaḥ svabhāvo'ta eva sarvajñatvaguṇasyāspadamupalakṣaṇaṁ caitatsarvakartṛtvāderapi tasya lopo na kadācitsyādbhavatīti na kadācidapi sambhāvanīyo'nyasya tallopamupalabdhuḥ kasyāpyanupalambhādyadi sa kaścidupalabhyate sa evāsāvantarmukhaścidrūpo na cedupalabhyate tarhi sā lopadaśāstīti kuto niścayaḥ| Atha cānyaḥ kaścittallopaṁ nopalabhate'apitu sa eva prakāśātmā tatkathaṁ tasyābhāvaḥ| Evaṁ cānyasyānupalambhanādityatrānyakartṛkasyopalambhasyābhāvādityarthaḥ| Atha ca ghaṭābhāvo yathā ghaṭaviviktabhūtalādyupalambhanānniścīyate tathaivātmābhāvo'pyātmaviviktasya kasyacidupalambhānniścīyeta tadupalambhakasattāvaśyaṁ bhāvinīti tadupalambhakasvātmanāstitā na sidhyati| Yadi ca kāryonmukhaprayatnalope sa lupyeta tadottarakālamanyasya kasyāpyupalambho na bhavedanyopalambhābhāvaḥ prasajyetetyarthaḥ| Api cānyasya bahirmukhasya prayatnasya sauṣuptādāvanupalambhātkathamantarmukhasya tattvasya vāliśairlopa āśaṅkito yato'nyasya lope'nyasya kiṁ vṛttam| Atha cānyasya kāryonmukhaprayatnasyānupalambhādanupalambhaprakāśanānna kadācitprakāśātmano'ntarmukhasya tasyopalabdhurlopo yato'sāvantarmukho bhāvaḥ sarvajñatvaguṇasyāspadaṁ tāmapyabhāvadaśāṁ vettyevanyathā saiva na sidhyediti| Anyasyeti kartari karmaṇi ca ṣaṣṭhī| Antarmukhe kāryatvapratiyogitāmiva kartṛtvasya sambhāvyāvasthātvamuktaṁ vastutastūktayuktyā tasyāvasthātṛtvameva| Antarmukha ityantaḥ pūrṇāhantātmakaṁ mukhaṁ pradhānaṁ yasyeti yogyam||16||


An objection (nanu)!: In "in whom (yatra) (all this universe) rests (sthitam), etc. (iti-ādau)" --in Spandakārikā-s I, 2--, it is said (uktam) that in the case of Consciousness (cit-rūpasya eva) there is (Its) assuming (grāhitvam) the form (rūpatā) of kārya (kārya) (or) universe (viśva) --i.e. Consciousness assumes the form of the universe--. (Consequently,) "an artificial form (kṛtrimam... rūpam) —consisting (ātmakam) of a negation --void-- (abhāva)— was assumed (gṛhītam) by It (tena eva) --because void is also part of the universe--. (Such an artificial form) has arisen (utthāpitam) from (Its) act of abandoning (hāna) That --Its own nature-- (tad... iti)". How (then) (katham) (is) It --Consciousness-- (asya) (said to be) uninterrupted (anavacchinna) Delight of I-consciousness (camatkāra-rūpam) (and) devoid of stupefaction or insentience --without unconsciousness-- (amūḍhatvam)? Thus (iti), (Vasugupta) said (the following) (āha) with reference to (that) doubt or objection (āśaṅkāyām)1 :


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||
Only (kevalam) the effort (prayatnaḥ... saḥ) which (yaḥ) is directed (unmukhaḥ) to deed (kārya) disappears (lupyate) in this (state of Samādhi) (atra). When that (effort) has disappeared (tasmin lupte), (only) a fool (abudhaḥ) (would) think (pratipadyate) "I have disappeared" (viluptaḥ asmi iti)||15||
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)||16||


In this (atra) —in the principle (tattve) of Spanda (spanda)— it is said (śabditam) (that) there are --lit. there is-- (asti) two (yugalam) states (avasthā), (viz.) "the state of deed (kāryatvam) and (ca) the state of doer (kartṛtvam iti)", differentiated or separated (bheditam) by merely (mātreṇa) the use (vyavahāra) of words (śabda). Because (hi) as a matter of fact (vastutas) That (tad) (is) only (eva) one (ekam) principle (tattvam) whose essence (rūpam) (is) Śaṅkara --Śiva-- (śaṅkara), a mass (ghana) of Free (svatantra) Light (prakāśa). (This principle), being pervaded (vypāptam) by an Activity --i.e. Spanda-- (kriyayā) whose nature (ātmanā) (is) Light (prakāśa) (and) which is not different or separate (avyatiriktayā) from the existence (sattva) of the doer (kartṛ), shines forth (prakāśamānam) in unity (abhedena) with that (Activity or Spanda) (tad); (and) by Its assuming (svīkurvat) the form (rūpatva) of tattva-s --categories of universal manifestation-- (tattva), worlds (bhuvana), bodies (śarīra) —as well as the absence (abhāva) of (all) that (tad)— It --the principle-- is called (ucyate) "the object" --the effect, what has been done by the doer-- (kāryam iti), because there cannot be (ayogāt) causality (kāraṇatva) on the part of any other (principle) (anyasya kasya-api) than that (one) (tad)2 |

According to what has been stated (yathā uktam) in venerable Īśvarapratyabhijñā (śrī-pratyabhijñāyām):

"The power (sā śaktiḥ) (known as) existence (sattā) is not (tu na) of the insentient --e.g. a seed-- (jaḍasya) (but of Cetana --the Supreme Śiva--), whether (yad) (it) --the sprout-- exists (sataḥ) (or) does not exist (asataḥ) (in the cause). Hence (tatas), the relation between cause and effect --between kāraṇa and kārya-- (kāryakāraṇatā) (is really) the principle (tattvā eva) of doer and action --of kartṛ and karmatva, being karmatva the action, i.e. what was done by the doer-- (kartṛkarmatva... iti)3 "||

He --the Lord, i.e. Śiva-- (ayam) exhibits (ābhāsayati) this (idam eva) state of deed --manifestation of objects-- (kāryatvam yad) of His (tasya ca) (in this way:) By means of the process (krameṇa) of uniting (saṁyojana) (and) separating (viyojana) various (vicitra) manifestations (ābhāsa) (such as) space (deśa), time (kāla), etc. (ādi), He makes appear (ābhāsayati) (other) endless (anantān) manifestations (ābhāsān) (such as) body (deha), blue (nīla), etc. (ādi), which, though nondifferent (anatiriktān api) from His essential nature (sva-rūpāt) which is Consciousness (cit-ātmanaḥ), (shine forth) as (iva) different (atiriktān), like (vat) the reflections (pratibimba) in a mirror (mukura). And (ca) whatever (yāvat... kiñcid) He manifests (ābhāsayati), all (sarvam) that (tad), because of its being manifested (ābhāsyamānatvāt eva), (is) perishable --lit. characterized by destruction-- (kṣaya-dharmakam) with reference to its external form (bahirmukhena rūpeṇa). Nevertheless (ca), its (asya) destruction (kṣayaḥ) (is) abiding (avasthānam) in the form (rūpatayā) of Aham or the (real) "I" --Śiva-- (ahantā) by plunging (nimajjanena) the manifestation (ābhāsa) of Idam or This --the object-- (idantā) --so, there is no real destruction actually, but a mere withdrawal of the objective aspect or manifest form, i.e. an abiding in the Self or real "I"--. For this reason (atas eva), only (eva) that which (yaḥ saḥ) (constitutes) the knowable (vedya) portion (aṁśaḥ) of the experient (grāhakasya)(such as) body (deha), etc. (ādeḥ)— is manifested (sṛjyate) and (ca) withdrawn (saṁhriyate) by the Divine Lord (bhagavatā), and not (na tu) the doer (aspect) --i.e. the knower portion-- (kartṛ-rūpam) —which is (ātmakam) the Light (prakāśa) of the (real) "I" (ahantā)—, because of (his) oneness (ekarūpatvāt) with the Divine Lord (bhagavat) even (api) after his entering (tasya... āveśe) the body (deha), etc. (ādi). Hence (atas), "tatra" --read aphorism 14-- (tatra), i.e. out of (madhyāt) those two (tayoḥ) —viz. from among (madhyāt) the states of deed --or knowable object which has been or is being done-- and doer --the subject or knower-- (kārya-kartṛtvayoḥ)— the state of deed --all that is objective-- (kāryatā) (is) perishable (kṣayiṇī), but (punar) the state of doer (kartṛtvam), whose nature (rūpam) is the Absolute Freedom (svātantrya) of Consciousness (cit), (is) imperishable (akṣayam) since he does not deviate from his essential nature --lit. since there is not his deviation from the essential nature-- (tasya sva-bhāvāt-acalanāt) even (api) during the manifestation and dissolution (udaya-apāyayoḥ) of the world (jagat)|

But (tu) if there was deviation (from his essential nature) (calane), neither (api na kaucid) (of the processes) —viz. manifestation and dissolution (udaya-apāyau) of the world (jagat)— would appear (cakāsyātām). Thus (iti), even (api) in the states (avasthāyām) of stupefaction or insentience --the void-- (mūḍha), this (principle of Spanda) (etad) (is) only (eva) Sentience --absence of stupefaction or insentience, i.e. it is not a void!-- (amūḍham) whose essence (sāram) is a undivided (akhaṇḍita) Delight of I-consciousness (camatkāra)4 |

An objection (nanu)!: On the consummation (niṣpattau) of samādhi --perfect absorption-- (samādhāna) of void (abhāva) and (ca) in the state of deep sleep, etc. (suṣupta-ādau), we do not perceive (na upalabhāmahe) Its state of doer --Spanda as the Subject-- (kartṛtvam) anywhere (kvacidapi) because of imperceptibility (adarśanāt) of (Its) activity (pravṛtti) --i.e. because Its activity is not perceived--|

True (satyam)! The effort (prayatnaḥ... saḥ) (or) ardent desire (saṁrambhaḥ) which (yaḥ) is directed (unmukhaḥ) to deed (kārya) —viz. (which) is directed toward (pravaṇaḥ) the function (vyāpāra) of (ātmaka) setting the senses, etc. in motion (indriya-ādi-preraṇa)— disappears (lupyate) (or) stops (vicchidyate) in this (state of Samādhi of void) (atra), i.e. in the state (pade) of cessation (kṣaya) of deed (kārya) --when perception of objects comes to an end because one enters the void--. When that (effort) has disappeared (tasmin lupte sati), (only) an abuddha (abudhaḥ) —viz. a fool (mūḍhaḥ) whose sense of Self --the Subject-- (ātma-rūpaḥ) has been carried off or removed (apahārita) by the Samādhi (samādhi) of void (abhāva)— would think (manyate): "I have disappeared" (viluptaḥ asmi iti)|

However (punar), the inner (antarmukhaḥ) essential nature (sva-bhāvaḥ) which (yaḥ) is (rūpaḥ) the Light (prakāśa) of the "I" (ahantā), for this very reason --for being the Light of the "I"-- (atas eva), (is) the abode (āspadam) of the attribute (guṇasya) of omniscience (sarvajñatva). And (ca) this --i.e. its being the abode of the attribute of omniscience-- (etad) implies (upalakṣaṇam) (that It is) also (api) (the abode) of omnipotence, etc. (sarvakartṛtva-ādeḥ). (Then,) Its --of the inner essential nature or Spanda-- (tasya) cessation (lopaḥ) never (na kadācid) occurs (syāt) (or) takes place (bhavati iti). It is not possible at any moment (na kadācidapi sambhāvanīyaḥ) on account of the nonperception (anupalambhāt) of some other perceiver (anyasya... upalabdhuḥ kasyāpi) of Its (tad) cessation (lopam) --i.e. because nobody is seen as perceiving Its cessation--. If (yadi) someone (saḥ kaścid) is perceived (upalabhyate) --i.e. if there is someone seeing Its cessation--, he himself (saḥ eva) (is) that (asau) inner (antarmukhaḥ) Consciousness (cit-rūpaḥ). (And) if (ced) (someone) is not (na) perceived (upalabhyate) --i.e. if there is nobody seeing Its cessation--, in that case (tarhi) how (kutas) (is there such a) certainty (niścayaḥ) (that) "the (sā) state (daśā) of cessation (lopa) exists (asti... iti)"?5 |

Moreover (atha ca), nobody else perceives --lit. anyone else does not perceive-- (anyaḥ kaścid... na upalabhate) Its (tad) cessation (lopam) except (apitu) He Himself --the Self or essential nature-- (saḥ eva), whose essence (ātmā) (is) Light (prakāśa). Therefore (tad), (He being this eternal Light,) how (katham) (is) His (tasya) nonexistence or absence (abhāvaḥ) (possible)?|

Thus (evam ca), (the phrase) "on account of the nonperception (anupalambhanāt) of another (anyasya... iti)" (in the aphorism 16 means) in this (context) (atra) "because of the absence (abhāvāt) of the perception (upalambhasya) of another (anya) doer or agent (kartṛkasya) --i.e. of another subject--". Such is the sense (iti arthaḥ)!6 |

And likewise (atha ca), just as (yathā) the absence (abhāvaḥ) of a pot (ghaṭa) is determined (niścīyate) from perceiving (upalambhanāt) the ground (bhūtala) without --lit. free from-- (vivikta) the pot (ghaṭa), so (tathā eva) the absence (abhāvaḥ) of the Self (ātma) would also be determined (api... niścīyeta) from the perception (upalambhāt) of someone (kasyacid) devoid of (viviktasya) Self (ātma). (However, according to the argument) "the existence (sattā) of the perceiver (upalambhaka) of that --of the absence of Self in someone-- (tad) is inevitable (avaśyam bhāvinī iti)", (consequently) nonexistence (nāstitā) of one's own (sva) Self (ātma) as the perceiver (upalambhaka) of that (absence of Self) (tad) is not (na) proved or established (sidhyati) --in short, it cannot be proved that one ceased to be while perceiving that hypothetical person devoid of Self, because if that nonexistence of oneself had been real one would not have realized the absence of Self in the other person--|

And (ca) if (yadi) on the cessation (lope) of the effort (prayatna) directed (unmukha) to deed --to all that has been manifested-- (kārya) He --the Subject-- (saḥ) were to cease or disappear (lupyeta), therefore (tad) afterward (uttara-kālam) there would not be (na bhavet) perception (upalambhaḥ) of anybody else (anyasya kasyāpi), (and) the absence (abhāvaḥ) of perception (upalambha) of other (beings) (anya) would be the (inevitable) consequence (prasajyeta). This is the meaning (iti arthaḥ)|

Besides (api ca), on account of the nonperception (anupalambhāt) of another (anyasya)(in the sense of nonperception) of an external effort (on the part of the senses) (bahirmukhasya prayatnasya) during deep sleep, etc. (sauṣupta-ādau)— how (katham) (is) the cessation (lopaḥ) of the internal principle (of Spanda) --of the Subject-- (antarmukhasya tattvasya) suspected (āśaṅkitaḥ) by the fools (vāliśaiḥ)? Because (yatas), on the cessation (lope) of one thing (anyasya), how (kim) is (this cessation) occurred (vṛttam) to another thing (anyasya)? --less literal and more legible: "Because how can the cessation of one thing affect another thing?"-- etc. (ādi)|

And likewise (atha ca), on account of the nonperception (anupalambhāt) of another (anyasya)(in the sense of nonperception) of an effort (prayatnasya) directed (unmukha) to deed --to the objective manifestation-- (kārya), (which results in the appearance of a void)—, i.e. on account of the manifestation (prakāśanāt) of (this) nonperception (anupalambha), there is never cessation (na kadācit... lopaḥ) of that (tasya) internal (antarmukhasya) perceiver --the Subject-- (upalabdhuḥ) whose nature (ātmanaḥ) is Light (prakāśa). (Why?) Because (yatas) that (asau) inner (antarmukhaḥ) state or nature (bhāvaḥ) --the Subject or Self-- (which is) the abode (āspadam) of the attribute (guṇasya) of omniscience (sarvajñatva) knows (vetti eva) even (api) that (tām) state (daśām) of absence or void (abhāva). Otherwise (anyathā), "that (state of absence or void) (sā eva) cannot be established or proved --lit. is not established or proved-- (na sidhyet iti)"|

(The word) "anyasya" --"of another" in the aphorism 16-- (anyasya iti) (is) in Genitive case --the sixth one-- (ṣaṣṭhī) (to convey the sense) in (both) Nominative case (kartari) and (ca) Accusative case (karmaṇi)7 |

In regard to the word "antarmukha" --i.e. "inner"-- (in the aphorism 16) (antarmukhe): (by the use of that specific term) the possible or probable (sambhāvya) state (avasthātvam) of doership --the condition of the Subject as the doer-- (kartṛtvasya) as the counterpart (pratiyogitām), so to speak (iva), of the state of deed --the object-- (kāryatva) is mentioned (uktam). As a matter of fact (vastutas tu), by the aforesaid argument (ukta-yuktyā) His (tasya) condition as the Knower of the (various) states (avasthātṛtvam eva) (has been declared too)|

(The term) "antarmukha" (in the aphorism 16) (antarmukhaḥ iti) is to be used --interpreted-- (yogyam) in this way (iti): "antár" (antar) (means) "consisting (ātmakam) in the perfect or full (pūrṇa) I-consciousness (ahantā)", (and) "mukha" (mukham) (means) "whose (yasya) main or most important characteristic (pradhānam)" --more legibly, "the principle of Spanda is This whose main or most important characteristic consists in the perfect or full I-consciousness", i.e. Spanda is "I AM"--8 ||16||

1  The objector was clear in his formulation "in Sanskrit", but my "word for word" translation might look complicated. The matter is very simple: "In Spandakārikā-s I, 2 it is said that all this universe comes forth from Consciousness and rests on It. So, Consciousness has assumed the form of the universe. As a consequence of Its assuming the form of the universe, It has also assumed the form of the void --which is called artificial since it is not It but Its invention--. Why? Because the void is a part of the universal manifestation. In this case, how then is Consciousness said to be uninterrupted Delight of I-consciousness and devoid of unconsciousness?".

Now it is more legible. Obviously, to make it more legible I had to abandon the strict "word for word" translation. There must be a balance between being legible and being literal. The word for word method tends to be more literal than legible. This is intended for people desiring to check how the scripture was composed in Sanskrit. Yes, the rest of people will suffer a little, but I always use to add a note of explanation every time I cannot keep that balance in the way I would like to. Besides, as the style of Kṣemarāja is involved, I am fighting not only against the usual difficulties of having to translate a scholar treatise like the present one but also against the way in which it was written in Sanskrit. By "involved" I do not mean that Kṣemarāja is making grammatical mistakes. NO, I mean that he writes too long sentences, uses lengthy compounds, too many adjectival phrases in a row, etc. All this makes the already difficult process of translating even more difficult. OK, I cannot blame him really, because he wrote all that about one millennium, you know. Even old English is tricky, right? Good, keep reading the text, please.Return 

2  As the sage is addicted to write "extralong" sentences and I am addicted to follow him so literally as possible to the very hell if necessary, hehe, you get mammoth translations as a result. Besides, the last sentence could not be broken in several short ones because what he said about "causality" affected a big portion of what he mentioned before. Well, hopefully you have understood me. OK, as I could not keep the balance between being literal and being legible in the translation, I will explain it all little by little:

In the principle of Spanda there are two states: the state of deed (kāryatva) and the state of doer (kartṛtva). As the word "kāryatva" derives from "kārya" --that which has been done, that which is being done, deed, etc.--, it was translated in that way --i.e. the state of deed-- instead of "state of that which has been done or is being done". Why? Because it is very long and confusing. So, "kāryatva" refers to the "state of deed" in the sense of "object" --the universe--, because it is the object the one which has been done or is being done. Got the point? Hence "kāryatva" might "also" be translated as "objectivity" or "objective universe".

In turn, since "kartṛtva" derives from "kartṛ" --doer, agent, etc.--, it was translated in that way as "the state of doer". So, "kartṛtva" refers to the "state of doer" in the sense of "Subject" --the Supreme Self manifesting the universe--. Hence "kartṛtva" might "also" be translated as "subjectivity". Despite the "kartṛ" or Subject undergoes several limitations till He becomes a mere "sakala" or "limited experient", it is to be noted that in this context Kṣemarāja is speaking about the Highest Subject or Self. Good!

These two states of deed and doer look like different or separated only by the use of words, because they are one and the same Reality. This principle of Śaṅkara or Śiva (the Self as "I") —who is Light or Prakāśa in total Freedom— is pervaded by Śakti (His Power or Spanda) —who is mentioned as being an Activity whose nature is the same Light and as not being different or separate from the existence of the doer—. As Śakti or Spanda makes Śiva feel: "I am", She is not different or separate from the very existence of the "doer" (the Lord!). This being so, the principle appears in unity with that Activity or Spanda. And, by assuming the form of the universe (composed of tattva-s, worlds, bodies, the absence of all that, etc.), this very principle is known as "the object". In other words, this Activity or Spanda pervading the Lord Himself —and not being different from Him—, emits the entire universe or "the object", which is an "effect" or something which is done by the doer (by the Lord or Self).

All that has been established is thus, simply because there cannot be causality on the part of any other principle than that one, i.e. because no other principle can be the cause of all that. It is only one principle which brings Subject and object (doer and deed) into existence, so to speak. This is the purport! Now everything looks totally clear!Return 

3  The terms "seed" and "sprout" that I added come from the commentary by Abhinavagupta on this stanza. Also, the interpretation of "yad" (usually meaning: who, which, etc.) as "yad vā" (whether) comes from the same commentary. The same is true regarding why I added the word "Cetana" or "Supreme Śiva" as the real Doer or Cause. In fact, the entire interpretation comes from that commentary because the stanza itself is so abstruse that it can be understood in several different ways! The Abhinavagupta's commentary is even more complicated than the stanza itself! "Unfortunately", I was forced to read it entirely in order to understand the stanza properly. And I could understand it finally, but "by no means" I will write its translation here because it would add more "unnecessary" confusion. With Spandanirṇaya and the involved Kṣemarāja's style of writing we have more than enough!Return 

4  The objector, in the introduction to the commentary on the stanzas 14-16, strived to prove that Spanda is a void or nonexistence. In other words, he was trying to prove that Spanda is ultimately "asat" (lit. nonexistent or nonexistence). But the word "asat" should not be taken as meaning "nonexistent or nonexistence" (in a literal way) even in Advaitavedānta (not to mention in Trika). NO. "Asat" is "unmanifest". It does exist, but it is not manifest. This is the sense.

The sage proved that Spanda is not a void in the sense of "nonexistent", but Existence Itself. It assumes the state of asat or unmanifest when taking the form of a void but it is NOT nonexistent. The word "sat" (existent or existence) derives from the verb "as" ("to be" in the sense of "to exist") when the Kṛt or Primary affix "at" is added to the base. The base is constructed with the form the root assumes before the ending of the 3rd P, plural, Present Tense: "santi" (they are). As the termination is "anti", the base is "s". So, I add the affix "at" to "s": "sat". Simple! Read Affixes (1) to learn more.

Now, the aspect "Sat" (Existence) of the Supreme Being is very important. Most Indian philosophies agree with each other regarding this aspect of His, but not all of them affirm that Bliss or Ānanda is an essential part of Him. For example, systems like Trika and Advaitavedānta are systems Saccidānanda (Sat-Cit-Ānanda or Existence-Consciousness-Bliss) because they declare that Final Liberation is full of That in "that manner". But other systems are only Saccit (no Bliss in the Final Liberation). These systems declare that Enlightenment does not involve Bliss but only "cessation of pain and pleasure". Well, I speak a little more about this subject in First Steps (3).

The sage Kṣemarāja showed that Spanda (the Supreme Being) "exists" at all times, and never deviates from Its own essential nature. In other words, the sage is saying that Spanda is characterized by Sat or Existence. Spanda is not a void, is not nonexistence, but the Highest Degree of Existence. This is not mere theory but a fact that is so evident in everybody. One's own Self or Spanda "never" deviates from Its own essential nature. One never feels that he did not exist in the past. One's intellect can establish whatever it wants, but one does not feel nonexistence ever. I use the verb "to feel" because I cannot find a better one. I use it in the sense of "to detect". In other words, one can think about his possible "nonexistence" before being born, but he cannot feel/detect it. NO. One feels himself as existing all the time. This is a undeniable truth that everybody experiences constantly.

Even what most people call "death" is nothing else than a repose on the "I" after abandoning the state of "This". I mean, destruction is just a word to name that process, because in the end nothing is destroyed. NO. Everything is lastly becoming unmanifest in regard to its external form, because the Doer or Subject remains always the same. This is so since the Doer is Sat or Existent/Existence. Well, one thing is noticing that His aspect Sat is always ON in everybody, and a very different thing is to have a direct experience of Sat as such (i.e. pure). This process of experiencing Spanda as "pure" Sat is rather frightening. It happens naturally all of a sudden. The Yogī feels as if a mountain was falling on him. Not "on his body" but "on him". I cannot explain it in a better manner. For example: "you were sitting there, very relaxed, when the entire roof fell on you". It is something like this. The strange thing is that "nothing" (physically speaking) is falling on you. This is the experience of His Sat.

After you recover from the first contact with "pure" Sat, you notice that you do not pay any more attention to other verbs such as "to know" or "to do". NO. All your attention is on "to be", i.e. on the Sat aspect of the Lord. The sensation is so irresistible that you cannot even think of anything else but "Existence". The perception of Existence is so overwhelming that you forget the other aspects such as "to know" and "to do". No Bliss either, just Existence pervading everything the whole time. The experience could last several hours while you are there, trembling in trance and full of His Sat. This is one of the most terrifying experiences a spiritual seeker will have to undergo because the sensation of being crushed by something immense is extremely "real". Therefore, His Sat aspect is extremely solid and staggering. It must be like that, because Spanda cannot deviate from Its own essential nature ever. So, through Its massive all-pervading Existence who is Life of all lives, Spanda makes sure that the process of manifestation and dissolution of the universe will take place always. Good!Return 

5  The reader should not be made confused by the words: Spanda, essential nature, inner Consciousness, etc. All those terms refer to the "same thing", viz. the Highest Reality. Therefore, all of them are synonymous with Śiva, Śakti, Paramaśiva, Lord, God, Absolute, etc. Yes, there are always some subtle technical differences in the definitions, but this is only taking place in the world of the words (e.g. Spanda is Śakti or the Power of the Lord, but as Śakti is one with the Lord, Spanda is the Lord in the end). Trika affirms that one's own essential nature or Self is the Lord, is Spanda, is God, is the Absolute, etc. Then, you should consider all those words used to define your own Self as identical in this context. True, while one studies some subjects in depth, he should pay attention to the subtle differences between the various definitions, but this is not the case now.

Regarding the argument presented by Kṣemarāja: he continues to prove that the aspect Sat (Existence) of your own Self or essential nature is eternal. It never "departs from Its own nature". It never "ceases". This essential nature is all the time ON, never sleeps, never goes on vacation. Because if the essential nature or real "I" was to take a vacation, the entire universe would collapse automatically. Even death is not affecting one's essential nature, because in order to die "someone" must be dying. That "someone" who is dying never dies, because if he would die he could not behold his own death. Yes, it is difficult to describe, but I affirm, with all my heart, that death is not occurring ever. What the vast majority of people call "death" is simply a body being unmanifested. As the vast majority of people are convinced that they are the bodies, death is very real to them. Anyway, death is never touching their essential nature, because, being Sat Itself, It can never cease to exist. Therefore, despite the stats seem to declare that innumerable living beings have been dying for eons, nobody died, ever! Nobody was born either, ever! I am speaking the truth. Birth and death are only affecting the bodies, not the Self or Being. He is called "Being" for His existing uninterruptedly.

Nevertheless, according to Trika, though everybody is the immortal Spanda essentially, most of them will not realize It in practice. This is because Spanda or Self conceals Itself from most people. One might wonder: "Why?". Because they are undeserving as their merit is not enough to have Its revelation. The Power of this Spanda or essential nature is so monumental that It can veil certain portions of Itself to Itself. An ordinary human mind cannot understand this. If someone is thinking: "Well, but Trika affirms that one is the Self already". Yes, but since one generally fails to realize that Truth, it is as if one was not the Self "in practice". And how to accumulate merit then? According to Trika, one must practice by following the teachings given in the Śivasūtra-s (along with its detailed explanation: Śivasūtravimarśinī), i.e. one must follow the three methods or upāya-s. After performing those methods for, generally, many years, the Lord decides one day that the amount of merit is enough and reveals His nature to the "fortunate aspirant". Although the explanation looks dualistic, the experience is completely "nondualistic", as it were, because in the end what the "fortunate aspirant" will realize is beyond the range of words. The "fortunate aspirant" will be shown his own essential nature or Self in a inconceivable way.

At the time of His revelation, that "blessed one" will understand that he is not the false "I" and all that is associated with it (individuality, body, mind, etc.). NO. He will recognize his essential nature as IT IS, as Saccidānanda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss). This recognition is called Final Liberation, of course. Liberation from what? Liberation from Āṇavamala (the innate impurity) which leads the Supreme Self to consider Himself to be a limited individual. Āṇavamala, according to Trika, can be removed by the Lord alone. Only the One who wrote the prologue of the transmigratory existence of this limited being is able to write its conclusion. May this compassionate Lord be praised always!Return 

6  There is a double sense here. Yes, the sage is specifying that in this context the phrase "on account of the nonperception of another" means "because of the absence of the perception of another doer or agent (subject)", i.e. nobody else is seen as perceiving the end of the Supreme Self. Besides, even if one were to perceive someone whose Self has "apparently" ceased (e.g. a dead man), the Self would continue to exist as oneself (the Subject who perceives). Absolute cessation or disappearance of the Self cannot be seen anywhere, because His Sat aspect always manages to remain as the "existing" Subject. This is why the Subject always exists and is "only" one. There are not "two or more" Subjects really (except in one's imagination).

Someone could say: "But I perceive different people out there". The reply to this is: "Yes, but not different Subjects". Why? Because He is the person himself who is asking. Besides, even if that person were to imagine that different Subjects dwell in different bodies "out there", he cannot perceive them "directly". So, if this person is ignorant from a spiritual viewpoint will think: "The Subjects in them are invisible". But if he is instructed and experienced, spiritually speaking, will not think like that. Because he will realize that the Subject is the whole time "himself". And if that person is extraordinarily instructed and experienced, well, in that case, he would not have asked that question in the first place.

But there is another meaning for the phrase "on account of the nonperception of another". According to the aphorism 15, only the effort directed to deed disappears when one enters the void. In other words, as the effort to set the senses in motion and keep them directed toward their respective objects ceases, the manifestation of such objects also ceases and one enters the Samādhi of void --absorption in the void--, where the objective world has altogether disappeared. But though "another" (i.e. the effort made by the senses to perceive, which results in the unmanifestation of the universe) is not perceived in the void, this does not imply that "there is nothing" (nonexistence). NO. The Subject (the doer or agent) always abides as such, completely unaffected by the universal unmanifestation. Why? First, on account of His immortal Sat aspect which endows Him with Absolute Existence; and second, there is always the question: Why should the disappearance of something have always to do with the disappearance of another thing? Therefore, those who look to hold the position that the cessation of the universe "necessarily" implies the cessation of the Subject are just holding a nonsensical argument.

It is impossible, but even if one could prove that the Subject ceases along with the universe, there will be always the problem of "how will the universe manage to arise again if the Subject ceased?". Because, not being perceived by anyone, how could the universe be meaningful then? I mean, what is the purpose of a universe arising for "nobody"? Of course, everybody's experience shows that the Subject never ceases, because there is constantly Someone perceiving the manifestation and dissolution of the world. Who is that? Oneself! Because there is one Subject only.

Yes, one could conceive by his intellect the existence of multiple Subjects, and even one could imagine them all ceasing to be, etc. But, as the intellect is a manifestation or invention of the Subject according to Trika and many other philosophical systems, it is not fit for proving that. It would be like my PC proving my cessation, hehe. Anyway, you could tell me that I am using my intellect to generate argument: NO. Intellect is just the means (as well as my hands on the keyboard are a means) to convey you that knowledge. The real core of such an instruction is the Subject Himself who is experienced naturally by everybody. If the reader resorts to his own experience, he will realize "without a doubt" that he "never" ceased/ceases to exist. And in the event that the reader considers that he ceased to exist at some point of his past, etc. (e.g. during a kind of short/temporary death), there is always the problem of explaining how he knows that if he really "ceased to exist". What most people meant in those situations is that "their bodies ceased to exist", but not themselves essentially. When one believes that the body is the real Self, there is this problem with death, but when one recognizes that his real Self is the immortal essential nature or Spanda, death is no more a trouble.

Also, by "manifestation and dissolution of the world" I mean "all these objects and people around, that appear and disappear, all these thoughts that appear and disappear, etc.". I am not speaking about the mammoth universe beheld by the astronomers, which is full of galaxies, etc., which appeared at a certain time and will disappear in the far future. NO. The universe of the astronomers is not the real universe but an invention of the Lord for them to behold through their equipments. Yes, this colossal invention is also a part of "the universe", but not a relevant one to a human being. I am not saying that science is nonsensical. NO, I am saying that the Lord is a Joker. Why? Because an average astronomer will be there for years trying to detect when the universe began or when it will be finished, measuring absolutely overwhelming distances between galaxies that look like specks of dust in the great framework of an expanding universe. The same astronomer will behold that there are stars that make the sun look like a joke, galaxies that are so immense that the Milky Way is like their back yard, etc. He will see all those marvels, etc., but "generally" will fail to realize that his Self is immensurable and therefore the Greatest Reality by far! Not realizing that his own real "I" is most impressive than all that he observes through his telescope, he remains a limited being anyway. Yes, an astronomical limited being, because he lost sight of the Greatest Reality, his Self, his real "I". What is the point of watching the space in that case?

NO, I am not saying that astronomy is useless (this would be another nonsense), but it cannot explain the Mystery of the origin and destiny of this universe "while" the astronomer fails to recognize his own divine "I". Of course, I am speaking "in general", but as I like astronomy too, I constantly notice how the astronomers fail to understand that the Core is in themselves, not outside, in a distant frontier, etc. Besides, one's own physical body could be star dust and the like, but one is not the dull physical body but the immortal Self who is beyond space and time, who is impossible to measure and describe. If one does not understand this simple truth, what is the use of understanding how distant galaxies move and so on? But if one realizes his own Self, his real "I", then he will understand everything simultaneously and will be in a position to "fully" explain the origin, nature and processes of the universe. And not before! Though this looks like a discourse against astronomy or astronomers, this is not so. NO. It is against the innate ignorance pervading practically the whole humankind.

Just as the Lord manifested the void and stopped the spiritual advancement of many people, now He seems to be fond of manifesting a hyper huge universe full of endless galaxies, etc. Consequently so many people will be investigating that hyper huge universe that they will not notice that the Most Important Thing is themselves. Because, what could that hyper huge universe do if its immensurable Perceiver --Oneself-- was not NOW and HERE watching it? Good joke, Lord!

Also, even those colossal galaxies will come to an end sooner or later. In this sense they are like any other object: perishable! So, if somebody is wise enough will undertake first the study of his own immortal Self because this Self is imperishable. Unfortunately, due to the Lord's joke, the things are exactly upside down, i.e. in general, a person will start with the inspection of the mammoth universe by neglecting his own Self. As this is nonsensical, the conclusions he will arrive at will also be "nonsensical". To study the perishable after pushing aside the Imperishable: this is a mark of spiritual ignorance. This being the case, what is the point of paying attention to the interpretations and conclusions of somebody who is so ignorant? The matter of "shortage of real guidance" in the present humankind is a serious problem. Humankind needs wise people who have managed to overcome the Lord's jokes and received His Grace. Only these sages can act like beacons here.

When someone attains Self-realization, when he becomes so Free as the Supreme Self, all the apparently colossal universe is dramatically perceived as very little. To someone who became enlightened the entire universe is perceived as something insignificant resting on a corner of His Being. This is not my own invention after a feverish night of Sanskrit translations, but something that it is indicated in the scriptures. For example, the sage Patañjali says something like that in his Yogasūtra-s IV, 31, where he declares that the knowables (objects) appear to be few to someone in the process of achieving Final Liberation. So, there is a kind of rule that could be formulated in this way: "The more spiritually ignorant a person is, the bigger it will seem the universe to him". This is so because spiritual ignorance is marked by a predominance of "the object". But in a wise person, full of right understanding, the Subject is predominant and the object is secondary. Consequently, when one attains Final Liberation (i.e. when one realizes the Subject in oneself), his knowledge becomes infinite and the entire universe is perceived as insignificant and easy to be known. While one does not have this experience, he finds it difficult to understand how is this possible, no doubt about it. Therefore, it is lastly a matter of realizing the Highest Reality in oneself by the Grace of this Highest Reality.

For that reason, in the past You bewildered a lot of people with Your void, oh Lord! Now, you are making them confused with this hyper mammoth universe "out there" which causes one's existence to look even more miserable than ever before. Therefore, stupefied due to Your void in the past, and now shocked by Your astronomical universe, they keep failing to realize their Essence. Really, Your Power to veil Your own nature is absolutely astonishing, Lord! So, this is the way in which one should address the Supreme Self in the modern times: "I want neither the void nor this hyper huge universe, I want YOU, my Self!". And once the Highest Reality is fully realized in oneself, the rest is automatically known thoroughly. After that realization one can leads the life he wishes, because the goal of life has been attained. And yes, he could opt to keep watching far brilliant spheres, etc., but now he knows the Truth behind all that colossal manifestation and is no more bewildered and deluded by it.

OK, summing it up!: "on account of the nonperception of another" means "on account of the nonperception of another Subject", as the sage declared, but also "on account of the nonperception of objectivity (because the effort directed to it on the part of the senses has ceased)" (when one enters the void and the universe disappears because the senses are no more operative). Now it is very clear!Return 

7  To understand this subject you have to read my explication of the cases in Declension (1). Anyway, I will explain what the author meant in the present context: Nominative case is designated in Sanskrit as "kartṛ" while Accusative case is called in Sanskrit "karma". Those two words also mean "subject" and "action/object". So, you already know what I will say, right? The term "anyasya" or "of another" (declined in Genitive, in the aphorism 16) conveys the sense in Nominative case this way: "on account of the nonperception of another = because another (Subject) is not perceived", i.e. there is only one Subject always. In turn, the same term "anyasya" conveys the sense in Accusative this way: "on account of the nonperception of another = when the Subject does not perceive another --the effort made by the senses in order to perceive, which results in the unmanifestation of the universe--", i.e. when the objective universe (action/object) has been dissolved and the Subject just perceives a void. Then, the aphorism 16 declares the following two things:

"There is never cessation of that inner state or nature which (is) the abode of the attribute of omniscience, because another (Subject) is not perceived||16||"

"There is never cessation of that inner state or nature which (is) the abode of the attribute of omniscience, when the Subject does not perceive another --viz. the effort of the senses in order to perceive, which results in the unmanifestation of the universe or state of void--||16||"

Therefore, the Subject (the inner state or nature) never ceases to be, even when the object or universe is unmanifest. Besides, He never ceases because of His being the only Subject. If He were to cease, the universe would cease forever and could not arise again ever! Yes, yes, it is difficult but understandable if you intellect makes the proper effort. Nobody said that reading Spandanirṇaya would be like reading a passing novel, hehe. Joking apart, as you read the scholar Kṣemarāja's commentary, you realize how deep the meaning contained in the Spandakārikā-s is. Evidently Vasugupta, its author, knew what he was doing.

Hence, study of the works of these great personalities is so important. Final Liberation is a matter of "understanding" and not of "practices". Certainly, for many years the "practices" will occupy a large portion of the day of any spiritual aspirant. But as he approaches to the end of his journey, right understanding becomes prevalent. If someone has this type of right understanding, he does not need to perform any spiritual practice. But of course, in general, most people will get a subtle intellect full of right understanding after performing practices for many years. This is practically a rule, but as always, there are exceptions. This is why, in a spiritual community, there are several activities occurring every day. Each of those activities aims at a particular aspirant of a certain level. Also in general, the higher the level of an aspirant the lesser he moves, in the sense that his "practices" are more static (physically speaking) because they are related to "a pure intellect full of right understanding". They remain vigilant and desirous to get in touch with the Supreme Principle, hence their stillness. Hopefully you understood me "rightly", hehe.Return 

8  Spanda is Śakti, the Power of the Lord who is one with Himself! She is like His face. Just as you start knowing a person when you can see his face, so you begin to know Him through Her alone. And as the Lord is nobody else but your own Self, the process of knowing Him involves automatically the process of knowing "yourself". The term "antarmukha" was inserted by Vasugupta in order to show that the Subject is the counterpart of the object (or deed), which is external. Since this terminology of "inner" and "external" is not very accurate but only a way to show the difference between Subject and object/deed, Kṣemarāja wrote "iva" ("so to speak") in his commentary. In reality, the Subject or Self is the Knower persisting through all the states of consciousness. He is not inside or outside, because space cannot even touch Him slightly. So, we have to use all these terms to describe Him, you know.

In the end, despite "antarmukha" literally means "inner, internal", the commentator specifies an additional interpretation: "This whose main or most important characteristic is the perfect/full I-consciousness". Therefore, Spanda is the real "I", the essential nature, the Power of the Lord, the Power of the Self, the Subject and so on. It is the Highest Reality in all. Without this perfect I-consciousness nothing could exist. Since it is never disturbed by anything, It remains the same through all the states, processes, changes, etc. It never grows or decreases at all. Accordingly, as this Highest Reality is so, one should pray to It in this manner: "भगवन् कृपां कुरु मे" - "Bhagavan kṛpāṁ kuru me" - "Oh You, glorious Lord, be merciful to me!".Return 

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Gabriel Pradīpaka

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

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



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