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 Spandanirṇaya (Spanda Nirnaya) Section III (aphorisms 11 to 19) - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir

Normal translation


 Introduction

This is the second and last set of 9 aphorisms out of 19 aphorisms constituting the third Section (dealing with Vibhūtispanda or supernormal powers originating from Spanda). 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

इदानीमत्रोन्मेषात्मनि स्वभावे देहप्रमातृतां निमज्जयति तदाकारामपि परप्रमातृतां लभत इत्याह


दिदृक्षयेव सर्वार्थान्यदा व्याप्यावतिष्ठते।
तदा किं बहुनोक्तेन स्वयमेवावभोत्स्यते॥११॥


यथा पश्यन्तीरूपाविकल्पकदिदृक्षावसरे दिदृक्षितोऽर्थोऽन्तरभेदेन स्पुरति तथैव स्वच्छन्दाद्यध्वप्रक्रियोक्तान् धरादिशिवान्तान्तर्भाविनोऽशेषानर्थान् व्याप्येति सर्वमहमिति सदाशिववत् स्वविकल्पानुसन्धानपूर्वकमविकल्पान्तमभेदविमर्शान्तःक्रोडीकरेणाच्छाद्य यदावतिष्ठत अस्याः समापत्तेर्न विचलति तावदशेषवेद्यैकीकारेणोन्मिषत्तावद्वेद्यग्रासीकारिमहाप्रमातृतासमावेशचमत्काररूपं यत्फलं तत्स्वयमेवावभोत्स्यते स्वसंविदेवानुभविष्यति किमत्र बहुना प्रतिपादितेन॥११॥

Idānīmatronmeṣātmani svabhāve dehapramātṛtāṁ nimajjayati tadākārāmapi parapramātṛtāṁ labhata ityāha


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


Yathā paśyantīrūpāvikalpakadidṛkṣāvasare didṛkṣito'rtho'ntarabhedena spurati tathaiva svacchandādyadhvaprakriyoktān dharādiśivāntāntarbhāvino'śeṣānarthān vyāpyeti sarvamahamiti sadāśivavat svavikalpānusandhānapūrvakamavikalpāntamabhedavimarśāntaḥkroḍīkareṇācchādya yadāvatiṣṭhata asyāḥ samāpatterna vicalati tāvadaśeṣavedyaikīkāreṇonmiṣattāvadvedyagrāsīkārimahāpramātṛtāsamāveśacamatkārarūpaṁ yatphalaṁ tatsvayamevāvabhotsyate svasaṁvidevānubhaviṣyati kimatra bahunā pratipāditena||11||


Now (idānīm) here (atra), (Vasugupta) said that (iti āha) (the yogī who) submerges (nimajjayati) the state of knower of the body (deha-pramātṛtām) in Unmeṣa (unmeṣa-ātmani), which is one's own essential nature (sva-bhāve), attains (labhate) Its form --the form of Unmeṣa-- indeed (tad-ākārām api), which is the state of the Highest Knower (para-pramātṛtām)1 :


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


Just as (yathā) on the occasion (avasare) of the desire to see (didṛkṣā) by means of thought-free perception --indeterminate-- (avikalpaka) whose nature (rūpa) is Paśyantī (paśyantī), the object (arthaḥ) that is desired to be seen (didṛkṣitaḥ) becomes displayed (sphurati) internally in unity --lit. endowed with internal unity-- (antar-abhedena), so (tathā eva) when (yadā) (such a yogī) abides (avatiṣṭhate) —viz. he does not move (na vicalati) from his samādhi (asyāḥ samāpatteḥ)— 'pervading' (vyāpya iti) all objects (aśeṣān arthān) included (antarbhāvinaḥ) (in the 36 categories of universal manifestation) —beginning with the earth element (dharā-ādi) (and) ending with Śiva (śiva-anta)— as mentioned (uktān) in the chapter (prakriyā) dealing with the (six) courses (adhva) in Svacchandatantra, etc. (svacchanda-ādi), i.e. like Sadāśiva (sadāśiva-vat)(whose experience is) 'I am all' (sarvam aham iti)—, covering --i.e. pervading-- (ācchādya), with an inner clasp (antar-kroḍīkareṇa) of unity consciousness (abheda-vimarśa), (a process that) initially (pūrvakam) (consists of) a repeated intensive awareness (anusandhāna) of the thought (vikalpa) about the inner Self (sva) (and) finally (antam) of thoughtless awareness (avikalpa), then --lit. in that time-- (tāvat), what (is the point) (kim) of explaining (pratipāditena) much (bahunā) about it (atra)? He will experience (avabhotsyate... anubhaviṣyati) by himself (svayam eva... sva-saṁvid eva) that (tad) which (yad) is the fruit (phalam) of the Bliss (camatkāra-rūpam) of absorption (samāveśa) into the state of the Great Knower (mahā-pramātṛtā) who swallows (grāsīkāri) the knowables (vedya) at once (tāvat) (and) which rises --i.e. the Bliss of absorption into the state of the Great Knower-- (unmiṣat) from the unification (ekīkāreṇa) of the entire (aśeṣa) objective reality (vedya)2 ||11||

1  When the yogī immerses his identification with the physical body in Unmeṣa —in the middle state between two kinds of awareness, according to Kṣemarāja, or in the middle of two thoughts, according to others—, i.e. when he transforms his identification in the form of 'I am the body' into 'I am Spanda'. As Spanda is Svātantryaśakti (the Power of Freedom), attaining full identity with It amounts to attaining Liberation.Return

2  Here Vasugupta is speaking about the yogī who is treading the path of Śāmbhavopāya (no support for concentration). He desires to realize unity between his Self and all the objects around. To accomplish this, he firstly empty his mind from thoughts and enters Paśyantī, the state of speech where there is only 'contemplation' without any kind of particularization, e.g. this is a pot, that is a jar, etc. It is with this state of Paśyantī devoid of any particularization that the yogī desires to perceive all objects in unity with his own Self. Certainly, as he is on the threshold of Liberation, there is nothing else to be said. Anyway, sage Kṣemarāja will add something:

He mentions that the expression 'all objects' refers to all the objects included in the 36 tattva-s or categories of manifestation as indicated by Trika Shaivism. In this state of absorption or samādhi, the yogī remains as Lord Sadāśiva (tattva 3 is the abode of Paśyantī speech) whose experience is indefinite (not particularized) in the form of 'I am all'. He mentions that this state of unity with all the objects is initially a process of constantly being conscious of the inner Self (a process in which one uses thoughts), and finally of expanding this inner consciousness into the entire universe (a process in which one uses no thought). When this is like this, there is no use in explaining much about it! He will experience Paramaśiva at the end —whose Knowledge --Knowledge of Paramaśiva-- swallows all the objects (knowables) immediately— in the form of Supreme Bliss which appears from the experience of unity with all the objects.Return

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 Aphorism 12

तस्योपलब्धिः सततमिति प्रतिज्ञाय तदनन्तरमुपपादितमुपायजातं परिशीलयतः सततं स्पन्दतत्त्वसमाविष्टत्वं सुप्रबुद्धस्य भवतीति तदनन्तप्रमेयसम्भिन्नत्वादुपदेश्यहृदये स्मारयन्ननुप्रवेशयुक्त्युपसंहारभङ्ग्याह


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


सर्वदा जागरास्वप्नसुषुप्तसंविदादिमध्यान्तपदेषु प्रबुद्धस्तिष्ठेदुन्मीलितस्पन्दतत्त्वावष्टम्भदिव्यदृष्टिः सुप्रबुद्धतामेव भजेत। कथं ज्ञानेन बहिर्मुखेनावभासेन सर्वं गोचरं नीलसुखादिरूपं विषयमालोक्य

तस्माच्छब्दार्थचिन्तासु न सावस्था न या शिवः

इत्युपपादितदृशा विमृश्यैकत्र स्रष्टरि शङ्करात्मनि स्वभावे सर्वमारोपयेन्निमीलनोन्मीलनदशयोस्तदभेदेन जानीयात्पूर्वापरकोट्यवष्टम्भदार्ढ्यान्मध्यभूमिमपि चिद्रसाश्यानतारूपतयैव पश्येदित्यर्थः। एवं च न केनचिदन्येन व्यतिरिक्तेन वस्तुना बाध्यते सर्वस्मिन् स्वात्मनः स्वीकृतत्वात्। यथोक्तं श्रीप्रत्यभिज्ञाकारेण

योऽविकल्पमिदमर्थमण्डलं पश्यतीश निखिलं भवद्वपुः।
स्वात्मपक्षपरिपूरिते जगत्यस्य नित्यसुखिनः कुतो भयम्॥

इति॥१२॥

Tasyopalabdhiḥ satatamiti pratijñāya tadanantaramupapāditamupāyajātaṁ pariśīlayataḥ satataṁ spandatattvasamāviṣṭatvaṁ suprabuddhasya bhavatīti tadanantaprameyasambhinnatvādupadeśyahṛdaye smārayannanupraveśayuktyupasaṁhārabhaṅgyāha


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


Sarvadā jāgarāsvapnasuṣuptasaṁvidādimadhyāntapadeṣu prabuddhastiṣṭhedunmīlitaspandatattvāvaṣṭambhadivyadṛṣṭiḥ suprabuddhatāmeva bhajeta| Kathaṁ jñānena bahirmukhenāvabhāsena sarvaṁ gocaraṁ nīlasukhādirūpaṁ viṣayamālokya

Tasmācchabdārthacintāsu na sāvasthā na yā śivaḥ

ityupapāditadṛśā vimṛśyaikatra sraṣṭari śaṅkarātmani svabhāve sarvamāropayennimīlanonmīlanadaśayostadabhedena jānīyātpūrvāparakoṭyavaṣṭambhadārḍhyānmadhyabhūmimapi cidrasāśyānatārūpatayaiva paśyedityarthaḥ| Evaṁ ca na kenacidanyena vyatiriktena vastunā bādhyate sarvasmin svātmanaḥ svīkṛtatvāt| Yathoktaṁ śrīpratyabhijñākāreṇa

Yo'vikalpamidamarthamaṇḍalaṁ paśyatīśa nikhilaṁ bhavadvapuḥ|
Svātmapakṣaparipūrite jagatyasya nityasukhinaḥ kuto bhayam||

iti||12||


Having affirmed that (iti pratijñāya) '(To the perfectly awakened one, there is, always and) constantly (satatam), the perception (upalabdhiḥ) of That --i.e. the Self-- (tasya)' —in I, 17 of Spandakārikā-s—, (Vasugupta) said that (iti... āha) to the perfectly awakened one (suprabuddhasya) there is (bhavati) constantly (satatam) the state of being absorbed (samāviṣṭatvam) into the Spanda principle (spanda-tattva) by practicing (pariśīlayataḥ) the collection (jātam) of means (upāya) presented (upapādita) immediately after (this introduction to the aphorism 12) (tadanantaram); (and) since there are innumerable objects mingled with That --with Spanda-- (tad-ananta-prameya-sambhinnatvāt), he (also) reminds (smārayan) (of it) in the heart (hṛdaye) of the disciple (upadeśya), (and) by way (bhaṅgyā) of conclusion (upasaṁhāra), (he specifies) the means (yukti) for entrance (into such Spanda) (anupraveśa)1 :


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


One should remain (tiṣṭhet) awake (prabuddhaḥ) —i.e. endowed with a divine viewpoint (divya-dṛṣṭiḥ) based on firmly taking hold (avaṣṭambha) of the Spanda principle (spanda-tattva) which has become displayed (unmīlita)— always (sarvadā) —viz. in the initial, middle and final positions (ādi-madhya-anta-padeṣu) of Pure Consciousness (saṁvid) during the states of wakefulness, dreaming and deep sleep (jāgarā-svapna-suṣupta), (and in this way) one would attain (bhajeta) the state of perfectly awakened indeed (suprabuddhatām eva)|

How (katham)? Beholding (ālokya) all that is within the range of one's own perception (sarvam gocaram) —i.e. object(s) (viṣayam) (such as) blue, pleasure, etc. (nīla-sukha-ādi-rūpam)— by knowledge (jñānena) —viz. by the external perception (bahirmukhena avabhāsena)(and) being aware of (all those objects) (vimṛśya) according to the viewpoint (dṛśā) presented (upapādita) (in the aphorism 4 of the second section of Spandakārikā-s):

"... therefore (tasmāt), there is no (na) state (sā avasthā) that (yā) is not (na) Śiva (śivaḥ), (whether) in word, object (or) thought (śabda-artha-cintāsu... iti)..."|

one should put (āropayet) all (sarvam)(in other words,) one should consider (jānīyāt) all (sarvam) as one with That --with Spanda-- (tad-abhedena) whether in the state with closed eyes or in the state with open eyes (nimīlana-unmīlana-daśayoḥ)— in one place (ekatra)(that is to say,) in the Creator (sraṣṭari), i.e. in Śaṅkara (śaṅkara-ātmani) (who is one's own) essential nature (sva-bhāve). The sense is that (iti arthaḥ), by firmly resorting (avaṣṭambha-dārḍhyāt) to the initial and final stages (pūrva-apara), one should also regard (api... paśyet) the middle stage (madhya-bhūmim) as the coagulation (āśyānatā-rūpatayā eva) of the sap (rasa) of Consciousness (cit)|

In this way (evam ca), one is not troubled (na... bādhyate) by any other separate reality (kenacid anyena vyatiriktena vastunā) because there is recognition (svīkṛtatvāt) of the one's own Self (svātmanaḥ) in everything (sarvasmin)2 |

As has been expressed (yathā uktam) by the author (kāreṇa) of Īśvarapratyabhijñā (śrī-pratyabhijñā) --that is, Utpaladeva-- (in his Śivastotrāvalī XIII, 16):

"Oh Lord (īśa), how (can there be) (kutas) any fear (bhayam) in (this) world (jagati) totally full (paripūrite) of the viewpoint (pakṣa) of his own Self (sva-ātma) to the eternally happy one (asya nitya-sukhinaḥ) who (yaḥ), in a state devoid of thoughts --also, 'without hesitation'-- (avikalpam), sees (paśyati) this (idam) entire (nikhilam) objective circle --i.e. the universe replete with objects-- (artha-maṇḍalam) (as) Your Form (bhavat-vapuḥ... iti)3 "|

||12||

1  The whole collection of means an advanced yogī uses in order to attain the state of the Suprabuddha (of the perfectly awakened one who constantly realizes Spanda) will be exhibited by Vasugupta after this brief introduction. Vasugupta also reminds in the heart of the disciple of the presence of innumerable objects mingled with Spanda. This is why the path of this advanced yogī is Śāmbhavopāya, in which a practitioner attains at will unity with all the objects without any support of concentration on anything else. By reading the aphorism and its commentary, all this is very clear!Return

2  Remember that Vasugupta and Kṣemarāja are speaking of an advanced yogī moving in the highest means (Śāmbhavopāya). The prabuddha or partially awakened one (the one who is only conscious of Spanda at the beginning and end of the three states of consciousness) is now urged to become conscious of Spanda even in the middle of waking, dreaming and deep sleep. Why? In order to attain the state of the suprabuddha or perfectly awakened one.

And how to do that? By using the Power of Will (Icchāśakti). In what way? By beholding all the objects around him while remembering the teachings given in II, 4 of this scripture, viz. that there is no state that is not his own Self, whether in word designating objects or in thoughts about objects or in the objects themselves. He should consider all these things to be only Spanda, which is the essence of his own Self. This is meaning of putting it all in one place, in Spanda, in Śakti who is one with Śiva. So, all this, initial, middle and final portion of the three states of consciousness is just the coagulation or solidification of the sap of Consciousness.

In this way, one cannot be troubled by another, because that 'another' was recognized as one with one's own Self. This is the meaning.Return

3  This process of becoming one with all is beautifully described by Utpaladeva in the aphorism 16 of the chapter XIII, called Saṁgrahastotram (Hymn acting as a compendium), of his Śivastotrāvalī. The purport is clear from merely reading.Return

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 Aphorism 13

ततोऽन्येन न पीड्यत इति यदुक्तं तत्र कोऽसावन्यः पीडकः कश्च पीड्यो यतः शिवात्मकमेव विश्वमुक्तमित्याशङ्क्य पाशानां पशोश्च स्वरूपं निर्णेतुमाह


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


इह योऽयं प्रकाशात्मा स्वस्वभावः शाङ्कर उक्तोऽसौ

व्यवस्थितः करोत्येष विश्वकारणमीश्वरः।
सृष्टिं स्थितिं च संहरं तिरोधानमनुग्रहम्॥

इति श्रीस्वच्छन्दशास्त्रदृष्ट्या निजशक्त्याश्लिष्टः सदा पञ्चविधकृत्यकारी स्वतन्त्रः स्पन्दललितेश्वरादिशब्दैरागमेषूद्घोष्यते। स्वातन्त्र्यशक्तिरेवास्य सनातनी पूर्णाहन्तारूपा परा मत्स्योदरी महासत्ता स्फुरत्तोर्मिः सारं हृदयं भैरवी देवी शिखा इत्यादिभिरसङ्ख्यैः प्रकारैस्तत्र तत्र निरुच्यते। पूर्णाहन्तैव चास्यानुत्तरानाहतशक्तिसम्पुटीकारस्वीकृतादिक्षान्तवर्णभट्टारिका तत एव स्वीकृतानन्तवाच्यवाचकरूपषडध्वस्फारमयाशेषशक्तिचक्रक्रोडीकारान्तःकृतनिःशेषसर्गप्रलयादिपरम्पराप्यक्रमविमर्शरूपैव नित्योदितानुच्चार्यमहामन्त्रमयी सर्वजीवितभूता परा वाक्। एषैव भगवत इयद्विश्ववैचित्र्यचलत्तामिव स्वात्मनि प्रथयन्ती स्पन्दत इत्यर्थानुगमात्स्पन्द इतीहोच्यते। एवं चेयद्विश्वशक्तिखचितपराशक्तिसुन्दरस्य स्वात्मनः स्वरूपगोपनक्रीडया स्वात्मभित्तावेवांशांशिकया निर्भासनं भगवान् यावच्चिकीर्षति तावदेकैवाभिन्नाप्यसौ तदीया विमर्शशक्तिरिच्छात्वं प्रतिपद्य ज्ञानक्रियारूपतया स्थित्वा शिवशक्तिपरामर्शात्मकबीजयोनिभेदेन द्विधा भूत्वा वर्गभेदेन तत्कलाभेदेन च नवधा पञ्चाशद्धा च स्फुरन्ती तद्विमर्शसारैरघोरघोरघोरतरैः संवित्तिदेवतात्मभी रूपैः प्रथमाना भगवतः पञ्चविधकृत्यकारितां निर्वहति। यथोक्तं श्रीमालिनीविजयोत्तरे

या सा शक्तिर्जगद्धातुः कथिता समवायिनी।
इच्छात्वं तस्य सा देवी सिसृक्षोः प्रतिपद्यते॥
सैकापि सत्यनेकत्वं यथा गच्छति तच्छृणु।
एवमेतदिति ज्ञेयं नान्यथेति सुनिश्चितम्॥
ज्ञापयन्ती जगत्यत्र ज्ञानशक्तिर्निगद्यते।
एवं भवत्विदं सर्वमिति कार्योन्मुखी यदा॥
जाता तदैव तद्वस्तु कुर्वत्यत्र क्रियोच्यते।
एवमेषा द्विरूपापि पुनर्भेदैरनन्तताम्॥
अर्थोपाधिवशाद्याति चिन्तामणिरिवेश्वरी।
तत्र तावत्समापन्ना मातृभावं विभिद्यते॥
द्विधा च नवधा चैव पञ्चाशद्धा च मालिनी।
बीजयोन्यात्मकाद्भेदाद्द्विधा बीजं स्वारा मताः॥
कादयश्च स्मृता योनिर्नवधा वर्गभेदतः।
पृथग्वर्णविभेदेन शतार्धकिरणोज्ज्वला॥
बीजमत्र शिवः शक्तिर्योनिरित्यभिधीयते।
वर्गाष्टकमिति ज्ञेयमघोराद्यमनुक्रमात्॥
तदेव शक्तिभेदेन माहेश्वर्यादि चाष्टकम्।
शतार्धभेदभिन्ना च तत्सङ्ख्यानां वरानने॥
रुद्राणां वाचकत्वेन कल्पिता परमेष्ठिना।
तद्वदेव च शक्तीनां तत्सङ्ख्यानामनुक्रमात्॥

इत्यादि। तथा

विषयेष्वेव संलीनानधोऽधः पातयन्त्यणून्।
रुद्राणून्याः समालिङ्ग्य घोरतर्योऽपरास्तु ताः॥
मिश्रकर्मफलासक्तिं पूर्ववज्जनयन्ति याः।
मुक्तिमार्गनिरोधिन्यस्ताः स्युर्घोराः परापराः॥
पूर्ववज्जन्तुजातस्य शिवधामफलप्रदाः।
पराः प्रकथितास्तज्ज्ञैरघोराः शिवशक्तयः॥

इति। एवं शब्दराशेः समुत्थितो वर्गनवकरूपो यो ब्राह्म्यादिदेवतावर्गः शिवसहितस्तस्य भोग्यतां पाश्यतां गतः सन् स एव शङ्करात्मा स्वभावः पशुः स्मृत आगमेषु तथोक्तः। ननु कथं भोक्ता महेश्वर इमामवस्थां प्राप्त इत्याशङ्काशान्त्यै विशेषणद्वारेण हेतुमाह कलाविलुप्तविभव इति। कलयति बहिः क्षिपति पारिमित्येन परिच्छिनत्तीति कला मायाशक्तिस्तया विलुप्तविभवः स्वमायया गूहितैश्वर्यः स्थित इत्यर्थः। अथ च कलया किञ्चित्कर्तृत्वोपोद्वलनात्मना शक्त्या तदुपलक्षितेन कलाविद्याकालनियतिरागात्मना कञ्चुकेन विलुप्तविभवः स्थगितपूर्णत्वकर्तृत्वादिधर्मः। भवत्वेवं भोग्यतां तु कथमसौ शक्तिवर्गस्य गत इत्यत्रैतदेवोत्तरम्। कलाभिरकारादिवर्गाधिष्ठायिकाभिर्ब्राह्म्यादिभिस्तद्वर्णभट्टारकाधिष्ठातृभूताभिश्च श्रीमालिनीविजयोक्तदेवतारूपाभिः कलाभिरकारादिवर्णैर्विलुप्तविभवः सङ्कुचितोऽस्म्यपूर्णोऽस्मि करवाणि किञ्चिदिदमुपादद इदं जहामीत्यादि विचित्रविकल्पकाविकल्पकप्रतिपत्तिकदम्बकान्तरनुप्रविष्टस्थूलसूक्ष्मशब्दानुवेधकदर्थितो हर्षशोकादिरूपतां नेनीयमान इव क्षणमपि स्वरूपस्थितिं न लभते यतोऽतोऽसावुक्तरूपः शक्तिवर्गेण भुज्यमानः पशुरुक्तः। कलया अख्यात्यात्मनांशेन विलुप्तविभवः सङ्कुचित इव न तु तत्त्वतः शिवात्मा स्वभावोऽस्य क्वापि गतस्तदभावे हि स एव न स्फुरेत्। तथावभासमनैरेव कलाभिः सङ्कुचितैः शब्दैर्ज्ञानैश्च विलुप्तविभवस्तथारूपमात्मानं न विम्रष्टुं क्षम इत्यर्थः॥१३॥

Tato'nyena na pīḍyata iti yaduktaṁ tatra ko'sāvanyaḥ pīḍakaḥ kaśca pīḍyo yataḥ śivātmakameva viśvamuktamityāśaṅkya pāśānāṁ paśośca svarūpaṁ nirṇetumāha


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


Iha yo'yaṁ prakāśātmā svasvabhāvaḥ śāṅkara ukto'sau

Vyavasthitaḥ karotyeṣa viśvakāraṇamīśvaraḥ|
Sṛṣṭiṁ sthitiṁ ca saṁharaṁ tirodhānamanugraham||

iti śrīsvacchandaśāstradṛṣṭyā nijaśaktyāśliṣṭaḥ sadā pañcavidhakṛtyakārī svatantraḥ spandalaliteśvarādiśabdairāgameṣūdghoṣyate| Svātantryaśaktirevāsya sanātanī pūrṇāhantārūpā parā matsyodarī mahāsattā sphurattormiḥ sāraṁ hṛdayaṁ bhairavī devī śikhā ityādibhirasaṅkhyaiḥ prakāraistatra tatra nirucyate| Pūrṇāhantaiva cāsyānuttarānāhataśaktisampuṭīkārasvīkṛtādikṣāntavarṇabhaṭṭārikā tata eva svīkṛtānantavācyavācakarūpaṣaḍadhvasphāramayāśeṣaśakticakrakroḍīkārāntaḥkṛtaniḥśeṣasargapralayādiparamparāpyakramavimarśarūpaiva nityoditānuccāryamahāmantramayī sarvajīvitabhūtā parā vāk| Eṣaiva bhagavata iyadviśvavaicitryacalattāmiva svātmani prathayantī spandata ityarthānugamātspanda itīhocyate| Evaṁ ceyadviśvaśaktikhacitaparāśaktisundarasya svātmanaḥ svarūpagopanakrīḍayā svātmabhittāvevāṁśāṁśikayā nirbhāsanaṁ bhagavān yāvaccikīrṣati tāvadekaivābhinnāpyasau tadīyā vimarśaśaktiricchātvaṁ pratipadya jñānakriyārūpatayā sthitvā śivaśaktiparāmarśātmakabījayonibhedena dvidhā bhūtvā vargabhedena tatkalābhedena ca navadhā pañcāśaddhā ca sphurantī tadvimarśasārairaghoraghoraghorataraiḥ saṁvittidevatātmabhī rūpaiḥ prathamānā bhagavataḥ pañcavidhakṛtyakāritāṁ nirvahati| Yathoktaṁ śrīmālinīvijayottare

Yā sā śaktirjagaddhātuḥ kathitā samavāyinī|
Icchātvaṁ tasya sā devī sisṛkṣoḥ pratipadyate||
Saikāpi satyanekatvaṁ yathā gacchati tacchṛṇu|
Evametaditi jñeyaṁ nānyatheti suniścitam||
Jñāpayantī jagatyatra jñānaśaktirnigadyate|
Evaṁ bhavatvidaṁ sarvamiti kāryonmukhī yadā||
Jātā tadaiva tadvastu kurvatyatra kriyocyate|
Evameṣā dvirūpāpi punarbhedairanantatām||
Arthopādhivaśādyāti cintāmaṇiriveśvarī|
Tatra tāvatsamāpannā mātṛbhāvaṁ vibhidyate||
Dvidhā ca navadhā caiva pañcāśaddhā ca mālinī|
Bījayonyātmakādbhedāddvidhā bījaṁ svārā matāḥ||
Kādayaśca smṛtā yonirnavadhā vargabhedataḥ|
Pṛthagvarṇavibhedena śatārdhakiraṇojjvalā||
Bījamatra śivaḥ śaktiryonirityabhidhīyate|
Vargāṣṭakamiti jñeyamaghorādyamanukramāt||
Tadeva śaktibhedena māheśvaryādi cāṣṭakam|
Śatārdhabhedabhinnā ca tatsaṅkhyānāṁ varānane||
Rudrāṇāṁ vācakatvena kalpitā parameṣṭhinā|
Tadvadeva ca śaktīnāṁ tatsaṅkhyānāmanukramāt||

ityādi| Tathā

Viṣayeṣveva saṁlīnānadho'dhaḥ pātayantyaṇūn|
Rudrāṇūnyāḥ samāliṅgya ghorataryo'parāstu tāḥ||
Miśrakarmaphalāsaktiṁ pūrvavajjanayanti yāḥ|
Muktimārganirodhinyastāḥ syurghorāḥ parāparāḥ||
Pūrvavajjantujātasya śivadhāmaphalapradāḥ|
Parāḥ prakathitāstajjñairaghorāḥ śivaśaktayaḥ||

iti| Evaṁ śabdarāśeḥ samutthito varganavakarūpo yo brāhmyādidevatāvargaḥ śivasahitastasya bhogyatāṁ pāśyatāṁ gataḥ san sa eva śaṅkarātmā svabhāvaḥ paśuḥ smṛta āgameṣu tathoktaḥ| Nanu kathaṁ bhoktā maheśvara imāmavasthāṁ prāpta ityāśaṅkāśāntyai viśeṣaṇadvāreṇa hetumāha kalāviluptavibhava iti| Kalayati bahiḥ kṣipati pārimityena paricchinattīti kalā māyāśaktistayā viluptavibhavaḥ svamāyayā gūhitaiśvaryaḥ sthita ityarthaḥ| Atha ca kalayā kiñcitkartṛtvopodvalanātmanā śaktyā tadupalakṣitena kalāvidyākālaniyatirāgātmanā kañcukena viluptavibhavaḥ sthagitapūrṇatvakartṛtvādidharmaḥ| Bhavatvevaṁ bhogyatāṁ tu kathamasau śaktivargasya gata ityatraitadevottaram| Kalābhirakārādivargādhiṣṭhāyikābhirbrāhmyādibhistadvarṇabhaṭṭārakādhiṣṭhātṛbhūtābhiśca śrīmālinīvijayoktadevatārūpābhiḥ kalābhirakārādivarṇairviluptavibhavaḥ saṅkucito'smyapūrṇo'smi karavāṇi kiñcididamupādada idaṁ jahāmītyādi vicitravikalpakāvikalpakapratipattikadambakāntaranupraviṣṭasthūlasūkṣmaśabdānuvedhakadarthito harṣaśokādirūpatāṁ nenīyamāna iva kṣaṇamapi svarūpasthitiṁ na labhate yato'to'sāvuktarūpaḥ śaktivargeṇa bhujyamānaḥ paśuruktaḥ| Kalayā akhyātyātmanāṁśena viluptavibhavaḥ saṅkucita iva na tu tattvataḥ śivātmā svabhāvo'sya kvāpi gatastadabhāve hi sa eva na sphuret| Tathāvabhāsamanaireva kalābhiḥ saṅkucitaiḥ śabdairjñānaiśca viluptavibhavastathārūpamātmānaṁ na vimraṣṭuṁ kṣama ityarthaḥ||13||


As (yad) has been said (uktam) (in the previous aphorism): 'Consequently (tatas), he is not (na) pressed or afflicted (pīḍyate) by another (anyena... iti)'. After doubting in this way (iti āśaṅkya): 'Since (yatas) it has been declared (uktam) that the universe (viśvam) is only Śiva (śiva-ātmakam eva), then (tatra) who (kaḥ) is that (asau) other (anyaḥ) pressing and creating affliction (pīḍakaḥ) and (ca) who (kaḥ) is the one being pressed or afflicted (pīḍyaḥ)?'. (In order to remove this doubt and also) to determine (nirṇetum) the real nature (sva-rūpam) of the bonds --lit. nooses-- (pāśānām) and the bound one, i.e. the limited being --lit. the one with the noose around his neck-- (paśoḥ), (Vasugupta) said (āha)1 :


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


Here (iha), this which (yaḥ ayam) (is) the luminous essential nature (prakāśa-ātmā sva-sva-bhāvaḥ) is said to be (uktaḥ) Śaṅkara --Śiva-- (śāṅkaraḥ):

"The Lord (eṣaḥ... īśvaraḥ), the cause (kāraṇam) of the universe (viśva), being (so) resolved (vyavasthitaḥ), carries out (karoti) the manifestation (sṛṣṭim), maintenance (sthitim) and (ca) withdrawal (saṁharam) (of the universe, as well as) concealment (tirodhānam) (and) revelation --lit. Grace-- (of one's own essential nature) (anugraham... iti)"|

According to the viewpoint (dṛṣṭyā) of the scripture (śāstra) (known as) venerable Svacchandatantra (śrī-svacchanda), He (asau), being embraced (āśliṣṭaḥ) by His own Power (nija-śakti), is always performing the five-fold act (sadā pañcavidha-kṛtya-kārī). (He,) the Free one (svatantraḥ), is proclaimed (asau... udghoṣyate) in the revealed scriptures (āgameṣu) by terms (śabdaiḥ) (like) Spanda, Lalita, Īśvara, etc. (spanda-lalita-īśvara-ādi)2 |

His (asya) Power of Absolute Freedom (svātantrya-śaktiḥ eva), who is eternal (sanātanī) (and) of the nature (rūpā) of the Perfect I-consciousness (pūrṇāhantārūpā), is called (nirucyate) —in various (scriptures) (tatra tatra)— in innumerable ways (asaṅkhyaiḥ prakāraiḥ) (by terms like): Parā, Matsyodarī, Mahāsattā, Sphurattā, Ūrmi, Sāra, Hṛdaya, Bhairavī, Devī, Śikhā, etc. (parā matsya-udarī mahā-sattā sphurattā ūrmiḥ sāraṁ hṛdayaṁ bhairavī devī śikhā iti ādibhiḥ)3 |

And (ca) on that account (tatas eva), His (asya) Perfect I-consciousness Itself (pūrṇa-ahantā eva) —the Glorious One (bhaṭṭārikā) who consists of the Powers of Anuttara and Anāhata --the letters 'a' and 'ha', respectively-- (anuttara-anāhata-śakti) (and) who contains (within Herself) like in a bowl (sampuṭīkāra-svīkṛta) (all) the letters (varṇa) from 'a' to 'kṣa' (a-ādi-kṣa-anta)(is no other than) the Supreme Speech (parā vāk) who is the Life of all (sarva-jīvita-bhūtā), who is the ever risen --always active-- Great Mantra which is unutterable (nitya-udita-anuccārya-mahā-mantra-mayī), (and) whose form or nature (rūpā eva) is simultaneous --i.e. without succession-- (akrama) Awareness (vimarśa) which nonetheless contains within Itself (antaḥkṛta... api) the entire (niḥśeṣa) uninterrupted series (paramparā) of manifestation, dissolution, etc. (sarga-pralaya-ādi) (and) which embraces (kroḍīkāra) the whole (aśeṣa) group of powers (śakticakra) composed of (maya) the vibration and expansion (sphāra) of the six courses (ṣaḍadhva) whose form includes (svīkṛta... rūpa) vācya-s and vācaka-s --objects (being denoted) and subjects (denoting)-- (vācya-vācaka)4 |

This very (eṣā eva) (Power) of the Fortunate One --the Lord-- (bhagavataḥ) who unfolds (prathayantī) within Herself (sva-ātmani) the motion (calattām), as it were (iva), of the universal diversity (iyat-viśva-vaicitrya), is here called (iha ucyate) 'Spanda' --(Supreme) Vibration-- (spandaḥ) in conformity with (anugamāt) the meaning (artha) (derived from the following phrase): (Spanda is) that which vibrates (spandate iti)5 |

Thus (evam ca), when (yāvat) the Fortunate One --i.e. the Lord-- (bhagavān), by playing (krīḍayā) to hide (gopana) the essential nature (sva-rūpa) of His own Self (sva-ātmanaḥ) —which --i.e. His Self-- is Beautiful (sundarasya) due to the (presence of) the Supreme Power (parā-śakti) inlaid (like a Jewel) with (khacita) the Universal Power (iyat-viśva-śakti), (if you will excuse the repetition,)—, desires to carry out (cikīrṣati) the manifestation (nirbhāsanam) in different portions (aṁśa-aṁśikayā) on the canvas (bhittau eva) of His own Self (svātma), then (tāvat) that (asau) Power of Vimarśa --the Power of being conscious of Himself-- (vimarśa-śaktiḥ) of His (tadīyā), though one and undivided indeed (ekā eva abhinnā api), becomes Will (icchātvam pratipadya) —which(, in turn,) takes the form (rūpatayā sthitvā) of Knowledge and Action (jñāna-kriyā). (Besides,) with the division (bhedena) into vowel and consonant (bīja-yoni) —which remind (parāmarśa) of Śiva and Śakti (śiva-śakti)—, She --the Power of Vimarśa-- becomes (bhūtvā) double (dvidhā). (Also,) with the division (bhedena) of varga-s or groups of letters (varga) and (ca) with the division (bhedena) of their --of the varga-s or groups of letters-- (tad) parts --viz. the letters themselves-- (kalā), She flashes into view (sphurantī) as ninefold (navadhā) and (ca) fiftyfold (pañcāśaddhā). (Finally,) appearing (prathamānā) in the form --lit. with the forms-- (rūpaiḥ) of the deities of Consciousness (saṁvitti-devatā-ātmabhiḥ) (known as) Aghorā-s, Ghorā-s and Ghoratarī-s (aghora-ghora-ghorataraiḥ), whose essence (sāraiḥ) is that (tad) (Power of) Vimarśa (vimarśa), She carries out (nirvahati) the authorship (kāritām) of the fivefold act (pañcavidha-kṛtya) of the Fortunate One --the Lord-- (bhagavataḥ)6 |

As has been declared (yathā uktam) in venerable Mālinīvijayottaratantra --also called Mālinīvijayatantra-- (śrī-mālinīvijayottare), (from 3.5 up to the first half of 3.16 --except for 3.14 as well as for the second half of 3.12--):

"The Power (sā śaktiḥ) who (yā) belongs to the Creator (dhātuḥ) of the world (jagat) is said to be (kathitā) inherent in (Him) (samavāyinī). This Goddess (sā devī) changes into the Will (icchātvam... pratipadyate) of that (Creator) (tasya) (when) He is desirous to manifest (sisṛkṣoḥ) (the universe).

Listen (tad śṛṇu) how (yathā) She (sā) becomes (gacchati) many (anekatvam) even though (api) She is (satī) one (ekā):

By announcing (jñāpayantī) with determination (suniścitam) that 'This (etad) knowable or object (jñeyam) (is) like this (evam... iti), (and) not (na) otherwise (anyathā... iti)!', She is called (nigadyate) Power of Knowledge (jñāna-śaktiḥ) in this world (jagati atra).

When (yadā) She becomes oriented (unmukhī... jātā) toward activity (kārya) (as) 'Let all this become (bhavatu idam sarvam) so (evam)!', then (tadā eva), by making (kurvatī) that thing (tad-vastu) here --in this world-- (atra), She is said to be (ucyate) (the Power of) Action (kriyā).

Thus (evam), though (api) She (eṣā) has two (main) forms (dvi-rūpā), She nevertheless undergoes (punar... yāti) endless (anantatām) changes (bhedaiḥ), according to (vaśāt) the characteristics (upādhi) of the (desired) objects (artha). (Consequently, this) Mistress (īśvarī) (is) like (iva) a thought-gem (cintā-maṇiḥ) --which yields its possessor all desires--.

Then (tatra), (when the Mistress) firstly assumes the condition (tāvat samāpannā... bhāvam) of mother (mātṛ), She is divided (vibhidyate) in two ways (dvidhā) and (ca... ca eva) in nine ways (navadhā), and (ca), (when such a Mistress is divided in) fifty ways (pañcāśaddhā), (She becomes) a wearer of a garland (mālinī) (made out of the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet).

With the division consisting (ātmakāt bhedāt) of bīja (bīja) (and) yoni (yoni), She appears in two ways (dvidhā). The vowels (svarāḥ) are considered to be (matāḥ) bīja or seed (bījam). (With) ka, etc. (ka-ādayaḥ) She is said to be (smṛtā) yoni or womb (yoniḥ) --i.e. the consonants are regarded as yoni--. (Therefore,) according to the division (bhedatas) of the varga-s or groups of letters (varga), (She appears) in nine ways (navadhā).

(And) according to the division (vibhedena) of the letters (varṇa) —separately (pṛthak)—, She shines (ujjvalā) as fifty (śata-ardha) rays (kiraṇa) --since there are fifty letters in the Sanskrit alphabet--. In this (context) (atra), bīja --vowel-- (bījam) (and) yoni --consonant-- (yoniḥ) are called --lit. is called-- (iti abhidhīyate) Śiva (śivaḥ) (and) Śakti (śaktiḥ).

'The set of eight (aṣṭakam) groups of letters (varga... iti)' is known as (jñeyam) Aghorā, etc. (aghorā-ādyam) in succession (anukramāt). And (ca) that (tad) very (eva) (set of eight groups of letters), according to the division (bhedena) of śakti-s or powers (śakti), has a set of eight (deities) (aṣṭakam) (such as) Māheśvarī, etc. (māheśvarī-ādi).

Also (ca), oh lovely-faced One (vara-ānane)!, She has been split (bhinnā... kalpitā) into fifty (śata-ardha) divisions (bheda) by the Highest Lord (parameṣṭhinā) as being indicator (vācakatvena) of the Rudra-s (rudrāṇām), whose number amounts (saṅkhyānām) to that --i.e. to fifty-- (tad). And (ca), in the same way (tad-vat eva), (She was made fiftyfold by the Highest Lord again, as being indicator) of the śakti-s (of such Rudra-s) --viz. the celebrated Rudrāṇī-s-- (śaktīnām) —whose number amounts (saṅkhyānām) to that --i.e. to fifty-- (tad)— in succession (anukramāt)"||

and so on and so forth (iti-ādi)7 |

Similarly (tathā), (in Mālinīvijayatantra 3.31 to 3.33):

"The ghoratarī-s --lit. more terrible ones-- (ghorataryaḥ... tāḥ) who (yāḥ), by embracing (samāliṅgya) the Rudra souls --liberated souls-- (rudra-aṇūn), throw (pātayanti) the individual souls (aṇūn) who are clung to (saṁlīnān) objects (viṣayeṣu eva) down and down (adhas adhas), are certainly aparā-s or non-supreme ones (aparāḥ tu).

The Ghorā-s --lit. terrible ones-- (tāḥ... ghorāḥ) who (yāḥ), by generating (janayanti), as before (pūrvavat), attachment (āsaktim) to the fruits (phala) of mixed actions --mixture of good and bad actions-- (miśra-karma), block (nirodhinyaḥ) the path (mārga) to Liberation (mukti), are (syuḥ) parāparā-s --partly supreme and partly non-supreme-- (parā-aparāḥ).

The Aghorā-s --lit. not terrible ones-- (aghorāḥ) (are) the powers of Śiva (śiva-śaktayaḥ) (who) bestow (pradāḥ), as before (pūrvavat), the fruit (phala) of the State of Śiva (śiva-dhāma) on the multitude (jātasya) of limited beings --lit. insects-- (jantu). They are eminently called (prakathitāḥ) parā-s or supreme ones (parāḥ) by the Knowers of That --i.e. by the Knowers of the Supreme Principle-- (tad-jñaiḥ... iti)8 "||

In this way (evam), becoming a victim and being an object of enjoyment --i.e. being used or enjoyed-- (bhogyatām pāśyatām gataḥ san) of that (tasya) —i.e. (of) the group (vargaḥ) of deities (devatā) (such as) Brāhmī, etc. (brāhmī-ādi) whose form is (rūpaḥ) nine varga-s --groups of letters-- (varga-navaka) (and) which --i.e. the group of deities-- (yaḥ) is derived --i.e. which has risen-- (samutthitaḥ) from the multitude (rāśeḥ) of words (śabda)—, he (saḥ eva), (though) his essential nature (sva-bhāvaḥ) is Śaṅkara (śaṅkara-ātmā), is known (smṛtaḥ) as paśu or limited being (paśuḥ) —he is referred to like this (tathā uktaḥ) in the revealed scriptures (āgameṣu)—|

An objection (nanu): 'How (katham) (did) the Enjoyer (bhoktā) —the Great Lord (mahā-īśvaraḥ)— reach (prāptaḥ) this state (imām avasthām... iti)?'. In order to remove (śāntyai) (such) doubt (āśaṅkā), (Vasugupta) expressed (āha) the cause (hetum) by means of (dvāreṇa) an adjectival phrase (viśeṣaṇa): 'He who has (his) glory (vibhavaḥ) deprived (vilupta) by Kalā (kalā... iti)9 '|

(Firstly:) The power of Māyā (māyā-śaktiḥ) (is) Kalā (kalā) (because) '(sā) kalayati' (kalayati) —lit. it casts (kṣipati) outside (bahiḥ)—, i.e. (because) it completely severs (paricchinatti) by limitation (pārimityena... iti). The sense is that (iti arthaḥ) (the Great Lord,) having His Glory (vibhavaḥ) deprived (vilupta) by that --by Kalā-- (tayā), remains (sthitaḥ) with (His) Lordship (aiśvaryaḥ) concealed (gūhita) by His own Māyā (sva-māyayā)10 |

(Secondly:) Moreover (atha ca), (another meaning for Kalā would be): He who has (his) glory (vibhavaḥ) deprived (vilupta)(in other words,) He whose characteristic (dharmaḥ) of Fullness, Doership, etc. (pūrṇatva-kartṛtva-ādi) is concealed (sthagita)— by Kalā (kalayā) (or) power (śaktyā) which is the ratification (upodvalana-ātmanā) of limited doership --limited action capacity-- (kiñcid-kartṛtva)(in a nutshell,) by the sheath(s) (kañcukena) of Kalā, Vidyā, Kāla, Niyati and Rāga (kalā-vidyā-kāla-niyati-rāga-ātmanā) marked by that --i.e. marked by limitation regarding activity-- (tad-upalakṣitena)|

Le it be so (bhavatu evam)! But (tu) 'how (katham) (did) he (asau) become an object of enjoyment (bhogyatām... gataḥ) of the group of powers (śakti-vargasya... iti)?'. This (etad eva) (is) the answer (uttaram) to this (question) (atra)11 |

(Thirdly:) He who has (his) glory (vibhavaḥ) deprived (vilupta) by the Kalā-s (kalābhiḥ), i.e. by Brāhmī, etc. (brāhmī-ādibhiḥ) presiding over (adhiṣṭhāyikābhiḥ) the groups (varga) which start (ādi) with the 'a' letter (a-kāra), and (ca) by the deities (devatā-rūpābhiḥ) enunciated (ukta) in venerable Mālinīvijayatantra (śrī-mālinīvijaya) who are the adorable rulers (bhaṭṭāraka-adhiṣṭhātṛ-bhūtābhiḥ) of those letters (tad-varṇa). (Summing it up, the one who has his glory deprived) by the Kalā-s (kalābhiḥ) who are the letters (varṇaiḥ) beginning with (ādi) the 'a' vowel (a-kāra). Because (yatas) he does not attain (na labhate) the state (sthitim) of (his own) essential nature (sva-rūpa) not even for a moment (kṣaṇam api), he is time and time again led (nenīyamānaḥ), as it were (iva), to joy, sorrow, etc. (harṣa-śoka-ādi-rūpatām) (and) tormented (kadarthitaḥ) by the penetration (anuvedha) of gross and subtle (sthūla-sūkṣma) words (śabda) that constantly enter (antar-anupraviṣṭa) (in the form of) multitude (kadambaka) of diversified (vicitra) perceptions or inclinations (pratipatti) which can be definite or indefinite (vikalpaka-avikalpaka). (As a result, he feels:) 'I am (asmi) limited (saṅkucitaḥ), I am (asmi) not Full (apūrṇaḥ), let me do (karavāṇi) something (kiñcid), I take (upādade) this (idam), I leave (jahāmi) this (idam), etc. (ityādi). For this reason (atas), he (asau) who has the aforesaid nature (ukta-rūpaḥ), in his being enjoyed (bhujyamānaḥ) by the group of powers (śakti-vargeṇa), is called (uktaḥ) paśu or limited being (paśuḥ)12 |

(Fourthly:) In his having (his) glory (vibhavaḥ) deprived (vilupta) by Kalā (kalayā) —i.e. by the portion (aṁśena) whose nature (ātmanā) is primordial ignorance --Āṇavamala-- (akhyāti)—, he (become) limited (saṅkucitaḥ), as it were (iva). However (tu), his (asya) essential nature (sva-bhāvaḥ) —which is Śiva (śiva-ātmā)— has not really gone (na... tattvatas... gataḥ) anywhere (kvāpi), because (hi) in its absence (tad-abhāve) he himself (saḥ eva) cannot become manifest (na sphuret)13 |

The sense is that (iti arthaḥ) in his having (his) glory (vibhavaḥ) deprived (vilupta) by words (śabdaiḥ) and (ca) cognitions (jñānaiḥ) narrowed down (saṅkucitaiḥ) by the Kalā-s (kalābhiḥ) which appear (avabhāsamanaiḥ eva) in that way --in the aforesaid four ways-- (tathā), he is unable (na... kṣamaḥ) to be aware of (vimraṣṭum) himself (ātmānam) such as he is (tathā-rūpam)14 ||13||

1  The one doubting this way is the typical smart person ready to destroy non-dualism by means of non-dualism. I could reply: 'Why is asking all this, after all, if there is only one Self?'. It is obvious that is the Play of the Great Lord. He plays to be bound and next to get Liberation again. This is very simple to understand. There is no shortage of morons then, you know, and all of them are the Great Lord too. Anyway, Vasugupta is much nicer than me and he will answer to this foolish question by means of the aphorism 13, and in the process he will describe the nature of the bonds and the bound one.Return

2  Here Kṣemarāja quotes a stanza of Svacchandatantra, as he himself declared, but despite all my efforts I could not find this stanza in the versions of Svacchandatantra I have. No idea why, but maybe he was using a version which is now lost.

This stanza of the Svacchandatantra teaches the well-known Pañcakṛtya or Fivefold Act carried out by Paramaśiva. Kṣemarāja is quoting it to ratify that it is the Lord Himself who is playing to bind and being bound. He is embraced by His Supreme Power, by His Svātantryaśakti or Power of Absolute Freedom, i.e. He is always endowed with Freedom. In the scriptures He is mentioned with various names, Kṣemarāja affirmed. Anyway, I disagree with him about the name 'Spanda', the Supreme Vibration. This name is assigned to Śakti instead. 'Lalita' means 'the Lovely one who is fond of playing', and again is a name you will see generally associated with Śakti (in the feminine form of the noun: 'Lalitā'). Strange mistakes, in my humble opinion. Now, 'Īśvara' (the Lord) is correct. And so on and on!Return

3  His Svātantryaśakti (Power of Absolute Freedom) or plainly Śakti is called by many names in the scriptures too: Parā (the Supreme One), Matsyodarī (Fish-bellied One, because She is replete with Vibration), Mahāsattā (the Great Existence, i.e. the Supreme I-consciousness), Sphurattā (Flashing Consciousness), Ūrmi (Wave), Sāra (Essence), Hṛdaya (Heart), Bhairavī (the Power of Bhairava), Devī (Goddess), Śikhā (Flame), etc.Return

4  Kṣemarāja explained the Sanskrit alphabet and its connection with tattva-s and śakti-s while commenting in Śivasūtravimarśinī II, 7. Additionally, I dedicated three documents to fully explain the meaning of his translation: First Steps (4), First Steps (5) and First Steps - 1 (appendix). So, from reading all that it is clear why Kṣemarāja is describing Śakti like this. And this Supreme Power is known as the Supreme Speech (Parāvāk) too. She is always active, never stopping even for one second. She is the Great Mantra (Aham) which is unutterable. The reader could think that because the Great Mantra is Aham, so it is utterable. No! It is just a way to indicate the Great Mantra, but this Great Mantra cannot at all be pronounced such as It is. The word Aham is only intended to provide a way to deal, by means of words, with this unutterable Reality. Anyway, this Aham (the word) is never the Great Mantra as It essentially is.

And She is Akrama or without any succession. She is immediate, because at the moment you want to realize your essential nature as the Great Lord, She is there for you as Aham. There is no process of evolution in Her non-dualistic nature. All the supposed process of evolution undergone by the yogī lies in Her mayic aspect but not in Her Core. That is why, if you are spiritually intelligent, you do not need to practice anything special. Liberation is immediate if you are intelligent enough. But, unfortunately, most yogī-s are not that intelligent and they are consequently thrown into the ocean of different spiritual practices. They are pushed down into Her aspect with succession (with krama). This is Her mayic aspect. In this aspect there are uninterrupted manifestation, maintenance and dissolution of the universe.

Finally here, the topic known as 'the six courses' has been thoroughly explained by me in the respective document: Trika: The Six Courses.Return

5  Though Śakti is completely motionless like Her Lord (Śiva), She moves though. This cannot be understood by the ordinary mind because it is beyond the mental circle. Also, She is called Spanda because She vibrates (from the root 'spand': to vibrate, throb).Return

6  The first movement of Śakti is Her transformation into Icchāśakti (Power of Will). Abhinavagupta and others assign this Power to the tattva 2 (Śaktitattva Itself), but other authors assign it to the tattva 3 (Sadāśivatattva) instead. Later on, as it were, as there is no time in this process for now, Icchāśakti becomes Jñānaśakti (Power of Knowledge) and Kriyāśakti (Power of Action). According to Abhinavagupta and others, Jñānaśakti is predominant in the tattva 3, while other authors assign her to the tattva 4 (Īśvaratattva). In turn, in the opinion of Abhinavagupta and others, Kriyāśakti dwells in the tattva 4, while other authors assign her to the tattva 5 (Sadvidyātattva).

Also, Śakti is said to be double because She turns into vowel and consonant. And then She becomes ninefold and fiftyfold (nine varga-s or groups of Sanskrit letters, and fifty letters contained in them). In general, there are eight varga-s or groups of letters instead, but Kṣemarāja considered the letter 'kṣa' (which usually is included in the eighth group --the sibilants or Śa-varga--) to be having its own group (the ninth one, in which she is the only member). When you study Sanskrit grammar, sometimes you can also see that the consonant 'ha' is placed apart from the group of the sibilants. Let us see all this in a table showing the traditional way to arrange the letters:

Vowels
A-varga अं अः
a ā i ī u ū e ai o au aṁ aḥ
Consonants
First Group
Subgroups Hard Soft
Unaspirate Aspirate Unaspirate Aspirate Nasals
Ka-varga
ka kha ga gha ṅa
Ca-varga
ca cha ja jha ña
Ṭa-varga
ṭa ṭha ḍa ḍha ṇa
Ta-varga
ta tha da dha na
Pa-varga
pa pha ba bha ma
Second Group
Ya-varga
ya ra la va
Third Group
Śa-varga क्ष
śa ṣa sa ha kṣa

So, in this case, Kṣemarāja spoke about 9 varga-s or groups of letters, because he considered the letter 'kṣa' to be forming its own group: Kṣa-varga. Sometimes too, the letter 'ha' is shown as isolated from the Sibilants (Śa-varga) and forming its own group. This would add up one more varga. Anyway, I never heard of 10 varga-s but 9 varga-s as a maximum. Therefore, the number of varga-s can be 8 or 9, according to the position of the letter 'kṣa'.

And now, regarding the famous number 50 assigned to the total number of letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Let us check if this is totally true: 16 vowels (check the above table) and 34 consonants. This equals 50! But, here the sad news: This is just true in this ideal philosophical framework where we are working. You will see that sometimes in the Sanskrit grammars, the letter 'kṣa' is not included. Why? Because, as a matter of fact, it is not a real letter but a conjunct (combination of two or more consonants) created from the union of 'ka' + 'sa'. Surprise! So, the number of letters is now: 49.

Also, some Sanskrit grammarians (like me) do not consider the vowel 'ḹ' (long ḷ) to be a real vowel. Why? For two reasons: (1) Because it was invented to keep the compatibility of short-long, and (2) Because it is practically never used in practice, if you will excuse the repetition. Then, these grammarians are not including it in the alphabet. Therefore, the number of letters is now: 48.

Besides, some grammarians say that there are only 9 vowels (a, i, u, ṛ, ḷ, e, o, ṁ and ḥ --in the alphabet ṁ and ḥ are written aṁ and aḥ to be able to pronounce them--), while the remaining 7 (ā, ī, ū, ṝ, ḹ, ai and au) are just expansions of the original vowels or, as in the case of 'ai' and 'au', they are formed by adding 'a' to 'e' and 'o', like this: a + e = ai; a + o = au. And they also discard the conjunct 'kṣa'. All in all, they only speak about 9 'real' vowels and 33 consonants. This amounts to 42 Sanskrit letters. Yes, this destroy the round number '50', but life is hard, you know. In all the fields of knowledge, things are no so simplistic. When you check with an expert, you receive extra complications which can easily spoil your day. OK, but for now, considering the 'ideal philosophical framework' where the Sanskrit letters are studied in Trika, yes, the number of Sanskrit letters amounts to 50.

Finally, according to sage Kṣemarāja, She (Śakti) becomes triple —Aghorā-s (not terrible ones), Ghorā-s (terrible ones) and Ghoratarī-s (more terrible ones)— and carries out the famous Five-fold Act (Pañcakṛtya) of manifestation, maintenance and dissolution of the universe together with concealment of one's own essential nature and its revelation. I will describe these three groups of goddesses in the 8th note of explanation. For now, it is enough.Return

7  Now I will explain this difficult long topic to you. Before starting with it, I want to tell you that in another version of Mālinīvijayatantra the reading is different: I will show you by quoting both versions, the one quoted by Kṣemarāja and the other I am quoting here. The final meaning is not changing substantially anyway. First the version by Kṣemarāja in this Spandanirṇaya of his. I will mark the stanzas by adding the respective number (all of them belong to the 'Tṛtīyo'dhikāraḥ' or 'Third chapter' of the scripture). Remember that Kṣemarāja omitted the entire 14th stanza as well as the second half of the 12th stanza. Additionally, he only included the first half of the final stanza mentioned here, the 16th one. OK, let us begin:

या सा शक्तिर्जगद्धातुः कथिता समवायिनी।
इच्छात्वं तस्य सा देवी सिसृक्षोः प्रतिपद्यते॥५॥
सैकापि सत्यनेकत्वं यथा गच्छति तच्छृणु।
एवमेतदिति ज्ञेयं नान्यथेति सुनिश्चितम्॥६॥
ज्ञापयन्ती जगत्यत्र ज्ञानशक्तिर्निगद्यते।
एवं भवत्विदं सर्वमिति कार्योन्मुखी यदा॥७॥
जाता तदैव तद्वस्तु कुर्वत्यत्र क्रियोच्यते।
एवमेषा द्विरूपापि पुनर्भेदैरनन्तताम्॥८॥
अर्थोपाधिवशाद्याति चिन्तामणिरिवेश्वरी।
तत्र तावत्समापन्ना मातृभवं विभिद्यते॥९॥
द्विधा च नवधा चैव पञ्चाशद्धा च मालिनी।
बीजयोन्यात्मकाद्भेदाद्द्विधा बीजं स्वारा मताः॥१०॥
कादयश्च स्मृता योनिर्नवधा वर्गभेदतः।
पृथग्वर्णविभेदेन शतार्धकिरणोज्ज्वला॥११॥
बीजमत्र शिवः शक्तिर्योनिरित्यभिधीयते॥१२॥
वर्गाष्टकमिति ज्ञेयमघोराद्यमनुक्रमात्।
तदेव शक्तिभेदेन माहेश्वर्यादि चाष्टकम्॥१३॥
शतार्धभेदभिन्ना च तत्सङ्ख्यानां वरानने।
रुद्राणां वाचकत्वेन कल्पिता परमेष्ठिना॥१५॥
तद्वदेव च शक्तीनां तत्सङ्ख्यानामनुक्रमात्॥१६॥

And if you cannot read original Devanāgarī (Sanskrit signs), here you have the IAST version:

Yā sā śaktirjagaddhātuḥ kathitā samavāyinī|
Icchātvaṁ tasya sā devī sisṛkṣoḥ pratipadyate||5||
Saikāpi satyanekatvaṁ yathā gacchati tacchṛṇu|
Evametaditi jñeyaṁ nānyatheti suniścitam||6||
Jñāpayantī jagatyatra jñānaśaktirnigadyate|
Evaṁ bhavatvidaṁ sarvamiti kāryonmukhī yadā||7||
Jātā tadaiva tadvastu kurvatyatra kriyocyate|
Evameṣā dvirūpāpi punarbhedairanantatām||8||
Arthopādhivaśādyāti cintāmaṇiriveśvarī|
Tatra tāvatsamāpannā mātṛbhāvaṁ vibhidyate||9||
Dvidhā ca navadhā caiva pañcāśaddhā ca mālinī|
Bījayonyātmakādbhedāddvidhā bījaṁ svārā matāḥ||10||
Kādayaśca smṛtā yonirnavadhā vargabhedataḥ|
Pṛthagvarṇavibhedena śatārdhakiraṇojjvalā||11||
Bījamatra śivaḥ śaktiryonirityabhidhīyate||12||
Vargāṣṭakamiti jñeyamaghorādyamanukramāt|
Tadeva śaktibhedena māheśvaryādi cāṣṭakam||13||
Śatārdhabhedabhinnā ca tatsaṅkhyānāṁ varānane|
Rudrāṇāṁ vācakatvena kalpitā parameṣṭhinā||15||
Tadvadeva ca śaktīnāṁ tatsaṅkhyānāmanukramāt||16||

And now the version I have of all these aphorisms. I will mark the different reading by highlighting in maroon color (and bold letters) ONLY in the IAST transliteration (as it is not very precise the process of highlighting Devanāgarī, at least with the font I am using):

या सा शक्तिर्जगद्धातुः कथिता समवायिनी।
इच्छात्वं तस्य सा देवि सिसृक्षोः प्रतिपद्यते॥५॥
सैकापि सत्यनेकत्वं यथा गच्छति तच्छृणु।
एवमेतदिति ज्ञेयं नान्यथेति सुनिश्चितम्॥६॥
ज्ञापयन्ती जगत्यत्र ज्ञानशक्तिर्निगद्यते।
एवंभूतमिदं वस्तु भवत्विति यदा पुनः॥७॥
जाता तदैव तत्तद्वत्कुर्वत्यत्र क्रियोच्यते।
एवं सैषा द्विरूपापि पुनर्भेदैरनेकताम्॥८॥
अर्थोपाधिवशाद्याति चिन्तामणिरिवेश्वरी।
तत्र तावत्समापन्ना मातृभावं विभिद्यते॥९॥
द्विधा च नवधा चैव पञ्चाशद्धा च मालिनी।
बीजयोन्यात्मकाद्भेदाद्द्विधा बीजं स्वारा मताः॥१०॥
कादिभिश्च स्मृता योनिर्नवधा वर्गभेदतः।
प्रतिवर्णविभेदेन शतार्धकिरणोज्ज्वला॥११॥
बीजमत्र शिवः शक्तिर्योनिरित्यभिधीयते॥१२॥
वर्गाष्टकमिह ज्ञेयमघोराद्यमनुक्रमात्।
तदेव शक्तिभेदेन माहेश्वर्यादि चाष्टकम्॥१३॥
शतार्धभेदभिन्नानां तत्सङ्ख्यानां वरानने।
रुद्राणां वाचकत्वेन कल्पिता परमेष्ठिना॥१५॥
तद्वदेव च शक्तीनां तत्सङ्ख्यानमनुक्रमात्॥१६॥

And now the IAST version with the respective highlights:

Yā sā śaktirjagaddhātuḥ kathitā samavāyinī|
Icchātvaṁ tasya sā devi sisṛkṣoḥ pratipadyate||5||
Saikāpi satyanekatvaṁ yathā gacchati tacchṛṇu|
Evametaditi jñeyaṁ nānyatheti suniścitam||6||
Jñāpayantī jagatyatra jñānaśaktirnigadyate|
Evaṁbhūtamidaṁ vastu bhavatviti yadā punaḥ||7||
Jātā tadaiva tattadvatkurvatyatra kriyocyate|
Evaṁ saiṣā dvirūpāpi punarbhedairanekatām||8||
Arthopādhivaśādyāti cintāmaṇiriveśvarī|
Tatra tāvatsamāpannā mātṛbhāvaṁ vibhidyate||9||
Dvidhā ca navadhā caiva pañcāśaddhā ca mālinī|
Bījayonyātmakādbhedāddvidhā bījaṁ svārā matāḥ||10||
Kādibhiśca smṛtā yonirnavadhā vargabhedataḥ|
Prativarṇavibhedena śatārdhakiraṇojjvalā||11||
Bījamatra śivaḥ śaktiryonirityabhidhīyate||12||
Vargāṣṭakamiha jñeyamaghorādyamanukramāt|
Tadeva śaktibhedena māheśvaryādi cāṣṭakam||13||
Śatārdhabhedabhinnānāṁ tatsaṅkhyānāṁ varānane|
Rudrāṇāṁ vācakatvena kalpitā parameṣṭhinā||15||
Tadvadeva ca śaktīnāṁ tatsaṅkhyānamanukramāt||16||

And now I will show the translation I made above (the one of the aphorisms quoted by Kṣemarāja in his present commentary on the stanza 13 in the third section of Spandakārikā-s). I cannot add numbers to clarify because the text in the translation flows from one stanza to the next sometimes (this is typical in poetry), i.e. the text from one stanza continues in the next stanza. If the text could be isolated in every stanza, then I could put numbers with no problems at all. Unfortunately, this is not the case:

The Power (sā śaktiḥ) who (yā) belongs to the Creator (dhātuḥ) of the world (jagat) is said to be (kathitā) inherent in (Him) (samavāyinī). This Goddess (sā devī) changes into the Will (icchātvam... pratipadyate) of that (Creator) (tasya) (when) He is desirous to manifest (sisṛkṣoḥ) (the universe).

Listen (tad śṛṇu) how (yathā) She (sā) becomes (gacchati) many (anekatvam) even though (api) She is (satī) one (ekā):

By announcing (jñāpayantī) with determination (suniścitam) that 'This (etad) knowable or object (jñeyam) (is) like this (evam... iti), (and) not (na) otherwise (anyathā... iti)!', She is called (nigadyate) Power of Knowledge (jñāna-śaktiḥ) in this world (jagati atra).

When (yadā) She becomes oriented (unmukhī... jātā) toward activity (kārya) (as) 'Let all this become (bhavatu idam sarvam) so (evam)!', then (tadā eva), by making (kurvatī) that thing (tad-vastu) here --in this world-- (atra), She is said to be (ucyate) (the Power of) Action (kriyā).

Thus (evam), though (api) She (eṣā) has two (main) forms (dvi-rūpā), She nevertheless undergoes (punar... yāti) endless (anantatām) changes (bhedaiḥ), according to (vaśāt) the characteristics (upādhi) of the (desired) objects (artha). (Consequently, this) Mistress (īśvarī) (is) like (iva) a thought-gem (cintā-maṇiḥ) --which yields its possessor all desires--.

Then (tatra), (when the Mistress) firstly assumes the condition (tāvat samāpannā... bhāvam) of mother (mātṛ), She is divided (vibhidyate) in two ways (dvidhā) and (ca... ca eva) in nine ways (navadhā), and (ca), (when such a Mistress is divided in) fifty ways (pañcāśaddhā), (She becomes) a wearer of a garland (mālinī) (made out of the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet).

With the division consisting (ātmakāt bhedāt) of bīja (bīja) (and) yoni (yoni), She appears in two ways (dvidhā). The vowels (svarāḥ) are considered to be (matāḥ) bīja or seed (bījam). (With) ka, etc. (ka-ādayaḥ) She is said to be (smṛtā) yoni or womb (yoniḥ) --i.e. the consonants are regarded as yoni--. (Therefore,) according to the division (bhedatas) of the varga-s or groups of letters (varga), (She appears) in nine ways (navadhā).

(And) according to the division (vibhedena) of the letters (varṇa) —separately (pṛthak)—, She shines (ujjvalā) as fifty (śata-ardha) rays (kiraṇa) --since there are fifty letters in the Sanskrit alphabet--. In this (context) (atra), bīja --vowel-- (bījam) (and) yoni --consonant-- (yoniḥ) are called --lit. is called-- (iti abhidhīyate) Śiva (śivaḥ) (and) Śakti (śaktiḥ).

'The set of eight (aṣṭakam) groups of letters (varga... iti)' is known as (jñeyam) Aghorā, etc. (aghorā-ādyam) in succession (anukramāt). And (ca) that (tad) very (eva) (set of eight groups of letters), according to the division (bhedena) of śakti-s or powers (śakti), has a set of eight (deities) (aṣṭakam) (such as) Māheśvarī, etc. (māheśvarī-ādi).

Also (ca), oh lovely-faced One (vara-ānane)!, She has been split (bhinnā... kalpitā) into fifty (śata-ardha) divisions (bheda) by the Highest Lord (parameṣṭhinā) as being indicator (vācakatvena) of the Rudra-s (rudrāṇām), whose number amounts (saṅkhyānām) to that --i.e. to fifty-- (tad). And (ca), in the same way (tad-vat eva), (She was made fiftyfold by the Highest Lord again, as being indicator) of the śakti-s (of such Rudra-s) --viz. the celebrated Rudrāṇī-s-- (śaktīnām) —whose number amounts (saṅkhyānām) to that --i.e. to fifty-- (tad)— in succession (anukramāt)||

And now I will translate the version with slight different reading for you (which was analyzed above), and at the same time, I will highlight, by the use of a different color and bold letters, the areas where there is a difference between both versions. The meaning is not significantly altered anyway:

The Power (sā śaktiḥ) who (yā) belongs to the Creator (dhātuḥ) of the world (jagat) is said to be (kathitā) inherent in (Him) (samavāyinī). Oh Goddess (devi), She (sā) changes into the Will (icchātvam... pratipadyate) of that (Creator) (tasya) (when) He is desirous to manifest (sisṛkṣoḥ) (the universe).

Listen (tad śṛṇu) how (yathā) She (sā) becomes (gacchati) many (anekatvam) even though (api) She is (satī) one (ekā):

By announcing (jñāpayantī) with determination (suniścitam) that 'This (etad) knowable or object (jñeyam) (is) like this (evam... iti), (and) not (na) otherwise (anyathā... iti)!', She is called (nigadyate) Power of Knowledge (jñāna-śaktiḥ) in this world (jagati atra).

However (punar), when (yadā) She appears (jātā) (like this:) 'Let this thing become (idam vastu bhavatu) so (evam-bhūtam)!', then (tadā eva), by making (kurvatī) that --the aforesaid thing-- (tad) in this way (tad-vat) here --in this world-- (atra), She is said to be (ucyate) (the Power of) Action (kriyā).

Thus (evam), though (api) this very (Goddess) (sā eṣā) has two (main) forms (dvi-rūpā), She nevertheless undergoes (punar... yāti) many (anekatām) changes (bhedaiḥ), according to (vaśāt) the characteristics (upādhi) of the (desired) objects (artha). (Consequently, this) Mistress (īśvarī) (is) like (iva) a thought-gem (cintā-maṇiḥ) --which yields its possessor all desires--.

Then (tatra), (when the Mistress) firstly assumes the condition (tāvat samāpannā... bhāvam) of mother (mātṛ), She is divided (vibhidyate) in two ways (dvidhā) and (ca... ca eva) in nine ways (navadhā), and (ca), (when such a Mistress is divided in) fifty ways (pañcāśaddhā), (She becomes) a wearer of a garland (mālinī) (made out of the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet).

With the division consisting (ātmakāt bhedāt) of bīja (bīja) (and) yoni (yoni), She appears in two ways (dvidhā). The vowels (svarāḥ) are considered to be (matāḥ) bīja or seed (bījam). With ka, etc. (ka-ādibhiḥ) She is said to be (smṛtā) yoni or womb (yoniḥ) --i.e. the consonants are regarded as yoni--. (Therefore,) according to the division (bhedatas) of the varga-s or groups of letters (varga), (She appears) in nine ways (navadhā).

(And) according to the division (vibhedena) of each of letters (prati-varṇa), She shines (ujjvalā) as fifty (śata-ardha) rays (kiraṇa) --since there are fifty letters in the Sanskrit alphabet--. In this (context) (atra), bīja --vowel-- (bījam) (and) yoni --consonant-- (yoniḥ) are called --lit. is called-- (iti abhidhīyate) Śiva (śivaḥ) (and) Śakti (śaktiḥ).

The set of eight (aṣṭakam) groups of letters (varga) here (iha) is known as (jñeyam) Aghorā, etc. (aghorā-ādyam) in succession (anukramāt). And (ca) that (tad) very (eva) (set of eight groups of letters), according to the division (bhedena) of śakti-s or powers (śakti), has a set of eight (deities) (aṣṭakam) (such as) Māheśvarī, etc. (māheśvarī-ādi).

Oh lovely-faced One (vara-ānane)!, She has been manufactured (kalpitā) by the Highest Lord (parameṣṭhinā) as being indicator (vācakatvena) of the Rudra-s (rudrāṇām), whose number amounts (saṅkhyānām) to that (tad), i.e. to the fifty different divisions (śata-ardha-bheda-bhinnānām) (that She assumed in the form of fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet). And (ca), in the same way (tad-vat eva), (She was made fiftyfold by the Highest Lord again, as being indicator) of the śakti-s (of such Rudra-s) --viz. the celebrated Rudrāṇī-s-- (śaktīnām) (whose quantity amounts) to that number --i.e. to fifty-- (tad-saṅkhyānam) --Sanskrit structure here is a little far-fetched anyway-- — in succession (anukramāt)||

The last part, with that 'tatsaṅkhyānam' is a little far-fetched but it could be correct if one remembers that Sanskrit in many scriptures can be extremely far-fetched many times. Or else, it could be a typo and the expression really is like in the version quoted by Kṣemarāja, viz. 'tatsaṅkhyānām', which looks much better from the viewpoint of 'structures in Sanskrit', as it agrees with 'śaktīnām' in the Genitive case (plural). OK, let us continue now a little more, and why not, we can include the stanza 14 and the second portion of the stanzas 12 and 16 just for fun. As you can see above, in the case of the stanza 16, Kṣemarāja clearly dropped that for a reason which will be clear later, after my translation of that missing part. Let us do it.

The entire aphorism 12 is revealed now (with the second portion translated and shown in bold letters and green color):

बीजमत्र शिवः शक्तिर्योनिरित्यभिधीयते।
वाचकत्वेन सर्वापि शंभोः शक्तिश्च शस्यते॥१२॥

Bījamatra śivaḥ śaktiryonirityabhidhīyate|
Vācakatvena sarvāpi śaṁbhoḥ śaktiśca śasyate||12||

In this (context) (atra), bīja --vowel-- (bījam) (and) yoni --consonant-- (yoniḥ) are called --lit. is called-- (iti abhidhīyate) Śiva (śivaḥ) (and) Śakti (śaktiḥ). And (ca) the Śakti --the Power-- (śaktiḥ) of Śambhu (śaṁbhoḥ), who --i.e. the Śakti-- is the Totality (sarvā api), is praised (in the scriptures) (śasyate) as the denoting One (vācakatvena)||12||

Though the Power of Śiva is All, nonetheless She is predominantly the One who denotes (the Subject) and not the one being denoted (the object). This is Her Mystery.

And now, the entire aphorism 14 is revealed (no need of bold letters and green color as it is the full aphorism and not a portion):

माहेशी ब्राह्मणी चैव कौमारी वैष्णवी तथा।
ऐन्द्री याम्या च चामुण्डा योगीशी चेति ता मताः॥१४॥

Māheśī brāhmaṇī caiva kaumārī vaiṣṇavī tathā|
Aindrī yāmyā ca cāmuṇḍā yogīśī ceti tā matāḥ||14||

They --i.e. the eight deities of the eight groups of letters-- (tāḥ) are believed to be (the following ones) (matāḥ): 'Māheśī --also called Māheśvarī-- (māheśī) and (ca eva) Brāhmaṇī --also called Brāhmī-- (brāhmaṇī), as well as (tathā) Kaumārī (kaumārī) (and) Vaiṣṇavī (vaiṣṇavī); (also) Aindrī --also called Indrāṇī-- (aindrī) and (ca) Yāmyā --also called Vārāhī-- (yāmyā), (along with) Cāmuṇḍā (cāmuṇḍā) and (ca) Yogīśī --also called Yogīśvarī or Mahālakṣmī-- (yogīśī... iti)'||14||

But the order given in the stanza is not the real order of the deities with reference to the respective varga-s or groups of letters. In the stanza, the author (Śiva) arranged the names of the goddesses in a way which meets the meter requirements. What do I mean by all this? First, the order given in the stanza is as follows:

  1. Māheśī or Māheśvarī
  2. Brāhmaṇī or Brāhmī
  3. Kaumārī
  4. Vaiṣṇavī
  5. Aindrī or Indrāṇī
  6. Yāmyā or Vārāhī
  7. Cāmuṇḍā
  8. Yogīśī or Yogīśvarī or Mahālakṣmī

But the real order is like this:

  1. Yogīśī or Yogīśvarī or Mahālakṣmī
  2. Brāhmaṇī or Brāhmī
  3. Māheśī or Māheśvarī
  4. Kaumārī
  5. Vaiṣṇavī
  6. Yāmyā or Vārāhī
  7. Aindrī or Indrāṇī
  8. Cāmuṇḍā

Now, in order to clarify this complex topic, I will show you the deities (in the right order) in conjunction with the respective varga-s or group of letters:

Vowels
Yogīśī or Yogīśvarī or Mahālakṣmī A-varga अं अः
a ā i ī u ū e ai o au aṁ aḥ
Consonants
First Group
Subgroups Hard Soft
Unaspirate Aspirate Unaspirate Aspirate Nasals
Brāhmaṇī or Brāhmī Ka-varga
ka kha ga gha ṅa
Māheśī or Māheśvarī Ca-varga
ca cha ja jha ña
Kaumārī Ṭa-varga
ṭa ṭha ḍa ḍha ṇa
Vaiṣṇavī Ta-varga
ta tha da dha na
Yāmyā or Vārāhī Pa-varga
pa pha ba bha ma
Second Group
Aindrī or Indrāṇī Ya-varga
ya ra la va
Third Group
Cāmuṇḍā Śa-varga क्ष
śa ṣa sa ha kṣa

Now it is very clear!

And what about the second missing half of the aphorism 16? I will follow the same procedure as I did with the aphorism 12, but I will use the version I have of the aphorism, i.e. not the one quoted by Kṣemarāja:

तद्वदेव च शक्तीनां तत्सङ्ख्यानमनुक्रमात्।
सर्वं च कथयिष्यामि तासां भेदं यथा शृणु॥१६॥

Tadvadeva ca śaktīnāṁ tatsaṅkhyānamanukramāt|
Sarvaṁ ca kathayiṣyāmi tāsāṁ bhedaṁ yathā śṛṇu||16||

And (ca), in the same way (tad-vat eva), (She was made fiftyfold by the Highest Lord again, as being indicator) of the śakti-s (of such Rudra-s) --viz. the celebrated Rudrāṇī-s-- (śaktīnām)(whose quantity amounts) to that number --i.e. to fifty-- (tad-saṅkhyānam) --Sanskrit structure here is a little far-fetched anyway-- — in succession (anukramāt). (Now,) I will mention (kathayiṣyāmi) (the names of) all (the Rudra-s) (sarvam ca) in accordance with (yathā) their --of the śakti-s or powers-- (tāsām) division (bhedam); listen (śṛṇu)!||16||

So, you can understand now why Kṣemarāja omitted the second half of the aphorism. All the fifty names of the fifty Rudra-s are mentioned from aphorism 17. I will mention his names soon, but firstly, I need to explain the meaning of these aphorisms quoted by sage Kṣemarāja (from 3.5 to 3.16):

The Power of the Great Lord is inherent in Him, i.e. She 'naturally' belongs to Him. There is nothing artificial in this. When He wishes to manifest the universe, She becomes His Power of Will in order to proceed to such a universal manifestation. Next, She becomes His Power of Knowledge by feeling: 'This knowable or object is like this and not otherwise!'. Finally, when She is trying to actualize the universe which was only an idea in the Mind of the Supreme Self, She becomes His Power of Action in the process. So, She feels: 'Let all this become so!'.

And after this first creative movement, She has to assume all the aspects of the creation. In this way, She becomes a gazillion of things. But anyway, She never became anything, because She is totally one with Her Lord (with Paramaśiva). She is called 'thought-gem' since She fulfills all the desires Her Master has.

A vowel is called 'bīja' or 'seed' because it fertilizes the 'yoni' (lit. womb, uterus), that is, the consonant. This is clearly understood if you consider the consonants in this light: You cannot pronounce them without the help of a vowel. For example, 'k'... how to pronounce it properly without the help of a vowel? It is not possible to adequately utter it without the support of a vowel. For instance: 'ka'... now it is easily utterable. So, vowels are seeds which make the consonants or wombs fruitful. Without vowels, the consonants would be just like barren women, unable to procreate.

Śiva is vowel and Śakti is consonant in this scheme. Yes, everything is Śiva in the end, because Śiva and Śakti are one. This one Reality is divided into two only for the purpose of being studied then.

In one of the aphorisms quoted from Mālinīvijayatantra, it is said that She is divided in nine ways (navadhā). It refers to the deities of the varga-s or groups of letters, but this time counted like 9 due to the isolation of the Kṣa-varga. Look at this:

Consonant 'kṣa' abandons the Śa-varga and forms its own 'varga' or 'group'
Śa-varga (eighth one) śa ṣa sa ha
Kṣa-varga (ninth one) kṣa

Now the Kṣa-varga constitutes the brand-new 9th varga. When Śakti appears in this way, a new deity arises: Śiva-Śakti. This goddess will become the presiding deity of the A-varga (the group of vowels), and the other goddess (the one previously presiding over the A-varga) becomes the presiding deity of the new Kṣa-varga. Look at the previous arrangement (if the Sanskrit alphabet is divided in 8 varga-s):

  1. Yogīśī or Yogīśvarī or Mahālakṣmī (presiding over the A-varga)
  2. Brāhmaṇī or Brāhmī (presiding over the Ka-varga)
  3. Māheśī or Māheśvarī (presiding over the Ca-varga)
  4. Kaumārī (presiding over the Ṭa-varga)
  5. Vaiṣṇavī (presiding over the Ta-varga)
  6. Yāmyā or Vārāhī (presiding over the Pa-varga)
  7. Aindrī or Indrāṇī (presiding over the Ya-varga)
  8. Cāmuṇḍā (presiding over the Śa-varga)

But if the Kṣa-varga (the ninth group of letters) is created, then the order slightly changes (I highlighted in bold letters the change):

  1. Śiva-Śakti (presiding over the A-varga)
  2. Brāhmaṇī or Brāhmī (presiding over the Ka-varga)
  3. Māheśī or Māheśvarī (presiding over the Ca-varga)
  4. Kaumārī (presiding over the Ṭa-varga)
  5. Vaiṣṇavī (presiding over the Ta-varga)
  6. Yāmyā or Vārāhī (presiding over the Pa-varga)
  7. Aindrī or Indrāṇī (presiding over the Ya-varga)
  8. Cāmuṇḍā (presiding over the Śa-varga)
  9. Yogīśī or Yogīśvarī or Mahālakṣmī (presiding over the Kṣa-varga)

Now, returning to the traditional 8 varga-s: The set of eight groups of letters or varga-s is known as Aghorā-s (not terrible ones), Ghorā-s (terrible ones) and Ghoratarī-s (more terrible ones), i.e. this set starts with the Aghorā-s and next it continues with the remaining two groups of deities. However, as I expressed in the previous note, I will explain these three aspects of the one Goddess in the next note of explanation. And each of these eight varga-s or groups has a particular presiding deity as I showed you above already.

The Power of God also became 50 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, each of them having two special presiding deities (Rudra and Rudrāṇī). There are 16 Rudra-s and 16 Rudrāṇī-s for the vowels and 34 Rudra-s (plus 34 Rudrāṇī-s) for the consonants. At the end of the aphorism 3.16 in Mālinīvijayatantra, Śiva said that He was about to mention the names of all the Rudra-s (see the stanza above, please). Very well, He did so in the stanzas 3.17, 3.18, etc. I will only give the names of the Rudra-s, because the names of their consorts (the Rudrāṇī-s) are easily created by transforming the masculine noun assigned as a name into its feminine form (e.g. Jaya ---> Jayā). These Rudra-s and their wives are eternally liberated, i.e. they never got Liberation but they were created like this, liberated from the start:

The group of fifty Rudra-s
Assigned to the 16 vowels Amṛta, Amṛtapūrṇa, Amṛtābha, Amṛtadrava, Amṛtaugha, Amṛtormi, Amṛtasyandana, Amṛtāṅga, Amṛtavapu, Amṛtodgāra, Amṛtāsya, Amṛtatanu, Amṛtasecana, Amṛtamūrti, Amṛteśa and Sarvāmradhara
Assigned to the 34 consonants Jaya, Vijaya, Jayanta, Aparājita, Sujaya, Jayarudra, Jayakīrti, Jayāvaha, Jayamūrti, Jayotsāha, Jayada, Jayavardhana, Bala, Atibala, Balabhadra, Balaprada, Balāvaha, Balavān, Baladātā, Baleśvara, Nandana, Sarvatobhadra, Bhadramūrti, Śivaprada, Sumanāḥ, Spṛhaṇa, Durga, Bhadrakāla, Manonuga, Kauśika, Kāla, Viśveśa, Suśiva and Kopa

OK, I suppose that I have made this difficult topic a little less difficult through my extensive explanation!Return

8  Regarding this set of three stanzas in Mālinīvijayatantra (3.31 to 3.33) there is a different reading, but only with reference to the stanza 3.31. I will show you by comparing both versions (the one quoted by Kṣemarāja here in his Spandanirṇaya and the one I have). To do this, I will use the method I used previously. Let us start by showing the version quoted by sage Kṣemarāja here, in both Devanāgarī and IAST:

विषयेष्वेव संलीनानधोऽधः पातयन्त्यणून्।
रुद्राणून्याः समालिङ्ग्य घोरतर्योऽपरास्तु ताः॥३१॥
मिश्रकर्मफलासक्तिं पूर्ववज्जनयन्ति याः।
मुक्तिमार्गनिरोधिन्यस्ताः स्युर्घोराः परापराः॥३२॥
पूर्ववज्जन्तुजातस्य शिवधामफलप्रदाः।
पराः प्रकथितास्तज्ज्ञैरघोराः शिवशक्तयः॥३३॥

Viṣayeṣveva saṁlīnānadho'dhaḥ pātayantyaṇūn|
Rudrāṇūnyāḥ samāliṅgya ghorataryo'parāstu tāḥ||31||
Miśrakarmaphalāsaktiṁ pūrvavajjanayanti yāḥ|
Muktimārganirodhinyastāḥ syurghorāḥ parāparāḥ||32||
Pūrvavajjantujātasya śivadhāmaphalapradāḥ|
Parāḥ prakathitāstajjñairaghorāḥ śivaśaktayaḥ||33||

And now the version I have of these aphorisms, by highlighting the differences in bold letters and maroon color (only in the IAST version):

विषयेष्वेव संलीनानधोऽधः पातयन्त्यणून्।
रुद्राणून्याः समालिङ्ग्य घोरतर्योऽपराः स्मृताः॥३१॥
मिश्रकर्मफलासक्तिं पूर्ववज्जनयन्ति याः।
मुक्तिमार्गनिरोधिन्यस्ताः स्युर्घोराः परापराः॥३२॥
पूर्ववज्जन्तुजातस्य शिवधामफलप्रदाः।
पराः प्रकथितास्तज्ज्ञैरघोराः शिवशक्तयः॥३३॥

Viṣayeṣveva saṁlīnānadho'dhaḥ pātayantyaṇūn|
Rudrāṇūnyāḥ samāliṅgya ghorataryo'parāḥ smṛtāḥ||31||
Miśrakarmaphalāsaktiṁ pūrvavajjanayanti yāḥ|
Muktimārganirodhinyastāḥ syurghorāḥ parāparāḥ||32||
Pūrvavajjantujātasya śivadhāmaphalapradāḥ|
Parāḥ prakathitāstajjñairaghorāḥ śivaśaktayaḥ||33||

Fortunately, the difference between both versions is minimal. OK, now the translations will be compared by highlighting in bold letters and green color what has changed:

The ghoratarī-s --lit. more terrible ones-- (ghorataryaḥ... tāḥ) who (yāḥ), by embracing (samāliṅgya) the Rudra souls --liberated souls-- (rudra-aṇūn), throw (pātayanti) the individual souls (aṇūn) who are clung to (saṁlīnān) objects (viṣayeṣu eva) down and down (adhas adhas), are certainly aparā-s or non-supreme ones (aparāḥ tu).

The Ghorā-s --lit. terrible ones-- (tāḥ... ghorāḥ) who (yāḥ), by generating (janayanti), as before (pūrvavat), attachment (āsaktim) to the fruits (phala) of mixed actions --mixture of good and bad actions-- (miśra-karma), block (nirodhinyaḥ) the path (mārga) to Liberation (mukti), are (syuḥ) parāparā-s --partly supreme and partly non-supreme-- (parā-aparāḥ).

The Aghorā-s --lit. not terrible ones-- (aghorāḥ) (are) the powers of Śiva (śiva-śaktayaḥ) (who) bestow (pradāḥ), as before (pūrvavat), the fruit (phala) of the State of Śiva (śiva-dhāma) on the multitude (jātasya) of limited beings --lit. insects-- (jantu). They are eminently called (prakathitāḥ) parā-s or supreme ones (parāḥ) by the Knowers of That --i.e. by the Knowers of the Supreme Principle-- (tad-jñaiḥ... iti)||


The ghoratarī-s --lit. more terrible ones-- (ghorataryaḥ) who (yāḥ), by embracing (samāliṅgya) the Rudra souls --liberated souls-- (rudra-aṇūn), throw (pātayanti) the individual souls (aṇūn) who are clung to (saṁlīnān) objects (viṣayeṣu eva) down and down (adhas adhas), are said to be aparā-s or non-supreme ones (aparāḥ smṛtāḥ).

The Ghorā-s --lit. terrible ones-- (tāḥ... ghorāḥ) who (yāḥ), by generating (janayanti), as before (pūrvavat), attachment (āsaktim) to the fruits (phala) of mixed actions --mixture of good and bad actions-- (miśra-karma), block (nirodhinyaḥ) the path (mārga) to Liberation (mukti), are (syuḥ) parāparā-s --partly supreme and partly non-supreme-- (parā-aparāḥ).

The Aghorā-s --lit. not terrible ones-- (aghorāḥ) (are) the powers of Śiva (śiva-śaktayaḥ) (who) bestow (pradāḥ), as before (pūrvavat), the fruit (phala) of the State of Śiva (śiva-dhāma) on the multitude (jātasya) of limited beings --lit. insects-- (jantu). They are eminently called (prakathitāḥ) parā-s or supreme ones (parāḥ) by the Knowers of That --i.e. by the Knowers of the Supreme Principle-- (tad-jñaiḥ... iti)||

And now I will proceed to explain the meaning in these three stanzas. There are, broadly speaking, three categories for Śakti:

(1) Aghorā-s (not terrible ones) are the powers of the Great Lord who push all the beings to Liberation. They carry only Grace and therefore they belong in the Parā class.

(2) Ghorā-s (terrible ones) are the powers of the Great Lord who only block the path to Liberation by generating attachment to the fruits of mixed actions. In other words, they block the beings from accessing the path to Liberation by creating attachment to the results of good and bad actions. These śakti-s only put hindrances. They belong in the Parāparā class.

(3) Ghoratarī-s (more terrible ones) are the powers of the Great Lord who help (they embrace) the beings in the path to Liberation but block the ones who are attached to objects. These powers put hindrances and remove hindrances. They belong in the Aparā class.

Obviously, it is all the time one Śakti or Power, but She, somehow, divides Herself into three powers to start with. In the end, She will end up being divided into myriad of powers. OK, enough of this!Return

9  All in all, this limited being who is Śiva but does not realize he is Śiva is a calamity. There is no other way to define him. He is absolutely nasty, and there is no doubt about it. Why is he like this? Because he is all the time something which is not himself in essence. So, he looks and feels nasty. Because he tries to be what he is not at all, and because he cannot be at all what he really is, he is absolutely disgusting. The whole day and night he is attached to everything, even to his own stupidity. In this way, he cannot be 'himself' even for a second. To be in his company feels like a calamity because it is. His manners feel completely false because what he is identified with is NOT himself. As result, everything in him feels false and in the end disgusting. His goals in life are just absolutely ridiculous. Though he is inherently Śiva, he nonetheless attempts to get happiness from the pile of garbage known as 'objects'. And he also tries to be happy by means of association with other similarly miserable paśu-s like him. He can never get it like this, but he does not know it. For all these reasons, he is the whole time in trouble, but he is so ignorant that he blames other people for his misery. Or he is so moronic that he thinks that having his body in a different place will bring him instantaneous happiness. He is totally lost in his own ignorance. A paśu like this is absolutely despicable, but anyway he will be at his height in the world of the fools. All this process of apparently transforming the Highest Self into this puppet called 'a limited being' is always an unpleasant one. But one day, when this foolish being starts to realize, by His own Grace, that he is Śiva, then he becomes adorable and worthy of reverence.

The goddesses of varga-s (which I explained already in the previous notes) constantly cheat this puppet-like paśu (limited being). The cheat is so obvious, but anyway he is trapped by it time and time again! He is completely caught by the combination of letters forming words. He lives every day on words and, therefore, it is no surprise that suffering is his constant refuge. But he is essentially Śiva! So, how did he reach such a terrible state? He did so by losing his glory in the hands of Kalā. But what is Kalā? To answer this, Kṣemarāja will give four possible alternatives.Return

10  First translation of the term 'Kalā': She is the power of Māyā. And by means of this power, the Great Lord is able to lose His Glory and become a despicable limited being. This power of Māyā is not Māyātattva (the sixth category) but Māyāśakti (the power to create duality). The Māyātattva is the final byproduct of this power generating duality. The word 'Māyā' comes from the root 'mā' (to measure). Māyā is what makes all finite, i.e. She turns what is infinite into something which can be measured. He is then deprived from His Glory by this power of Māyā.Return

11  Second translation of the term 'Kalā': She is one of the kañcuka-s or sheaths of Māyā. This kañcuka generates in the infinite Śiva the notion that: 'He cannot do beyond a certain limit'. And Kalākañcuka is also that which impels, i.e. that which pushes all the limited beings to perform actions. In this way, Kalākañcuka is the starting point of the law of karma as without any action this law could not be operative. I explain the five kañcuka-s in Trika 4. Anyway, a question is still left: How did he become an object of enjoyment of the group of powers? This question is answered by means of the third and fourth translations of the word 'Kalā'.Return

12  Third translation of the term 'Kalā': She is the goddesses of the varga-s. These goddesses are 8 or 9 in number according to the arrangement of the letters in the Sanskrit alphabet (as I explained before):

If the Sanskrit alphabet is arranged in 8 varga-s or groups of letters, then the presiding deities are as follows:

  1. Yogīśī or Yogīśvarī or Mahālakṣmī (presiding over the A-varga)
  2. Brāhmaṇī or Brāhmī (presiding over the Ka-varga)
  3. Māheśī or Māheśvarī (presiding over the Ca-varga)
  4. Kaumārī (presiding over the Ṭa-varga)
  5. Vaiṣṇavī (presiding over the Ta-varga)
  6. Yāmyā or Vārāhī (presiding over the Pa-varga)
  7. Aindrī or Indrāṇī (presiding over the Ya-varga)
  8. Cāmuṇḍā (presiding over the Śa-varga)

But, if the alphabet is arranged in 9 varga-s, then the presiding deities are as follows:

  1. Śiva-Śakti (presiding over the A-varga)
  2. Brāhmaṇī or Brāhmī (presiding over the Ka-varga)
  3. Māheśī or Māheśvarī (presiding over the Ca-varga)
  4. Kaumārī (presiding over the Ṭa-varga)
  5. Vaiṣṇavī (presiding over the Ta-varga)
  6. Yāmyā or Vārāhī (presiding over the Pa-varga)
  7. Aindrī or Indrāṇī (presiding over the Ya-varga)
  8. Cāmuṇḍā (presiding over the Śa-varga)
  9. Yogīśī or Yogīśvarī or Mahālakṣmī (presiding over the Kṣa-varga)

So, this limited being has his glory deprived by such deities presiding, as a whole, over the words of every language. And he is deluded by those words day and night, as even while dreaming he listens to words. And if those words are gratifying, he feels well. On the contrary, if those words are disheartening, so he feels bad. When a person is such a puppet, it is obvious that he can never be really happy in the full sense of word. He is just the whole time busy with the miserable activity of taking and leaving. What else could one express about his misery that has not already been shown in this world? Just take a book dealing with human history and see by yourself.Return

13  Fourth translation of the term 'Kalā': He has been deprived from his glory by Āṇavamala (by the impurity related to lack of Fullness). Āṇavamala is the primordial impurity from which the rest of impurities emanate. I explained Āṇavamala in Trika 4 too.Return

14  And what is the final consequence of his being deprived from his glory? That he is not able to realize his essential identity with Śiva, with his own Self. This condemns him to a life full of misery and constant trouble. He is in trouble not because there is someone or something doing something bad to him. NO, he is in trouble because he 'sleeps' from a spiritual viewpoint. As he is unable to recognize that he is Śiva in reality, he suffers the consequences of his blunder in the form of constant trouble. Even when everything is OK outside, he cannot be fully happy. He can only access glimpses of happiness that are just laughable. Because this is so, he and all his actions, thoughts, emotions, etc. are considered to be a calamity. If he cannot be 'he' as 'he really is', there is no much sense in all that he does, thinks, feels, etc. In the next aphorism, Vasugupta and Kṣemarāja will explain more things about the nature of bondage in this paśu.Return

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 Aphorism 14

अधुना पशुः सङ्कुचितदृक्छक्तिबाध्यः पाश्यश्चेत्येतद्विभजति


परामृतरसापायस्तस्य यः प्रत्ययोद्भवः।
तेनास्वतन्त्रतामेति स च तन्मात्रगोचरः॥१४॥


तस्य पशोर्यः प्रत्ययानां लौकिकशास्त्रीयविकल्पानां तदधिवासितानां भिन्नार्थज्ञानानां विकल्पानामप्युद्भवः विनाशाघ्रात उत्पादः स परस्यामृतरसस्य चिद्घनस्यानन्दप्रसरस्यापायो निमज्जनम्। उदितेषु भिन्नार्थेषु प्रत्ययेषु चिद्भूमिः स्थिताप्यपरामृश्यमानत्वादस्थितेव लक्ष्यते तत एवमुक्तम्। तेन च प्रत्ययोद्भवेनायमस्वतन्त्रतामेति तद्वशः सम्पद्यते। यदुक्तं श्रीशिवसूत्रेषु ज्ञानं बन्ध इति। श्रीमद्व्यासमुनिनापि मातापितृमयो बाल्य इति। श्रीमदालसयापि

तातेति किञ्चित्तनयेति किञ्चिदम्बेति किञ्चिद्दयितेति किञ्चित्।
ममेति किञ्चिन्न ममेति किञ्चिद्भौतं सङ्घं बहुधा मा लपेथाः॥

इति। प्रत्ययस्योद्भवस्तन्मात्राणि तीव्रातीव्रभेदसामान्यवृत्तयो गोचरो यस्य तथाभूतो भिन्नवेद्यविषय इत्यर्थः। अनेनेदमाह यावदियं भिन्नवेद्यप्रथा तावद्बद्ध एव यदा तूक्तोपदेशयुक्त्या सर्वमात्ममयमेवाविचलप्रतिपत्त्या प्रतिपद्यते तदा जीवन्मुक्त इति। यथोक्तम् इति वा यस्य संवित्तिरित्यादि। एवं च यत्पूर्वमुक्तं तस्माच्छब्दार्थचिन्तासु न सावस्था न या शिव इत्यादि न तेन सह परामृतरसापायस्तस्य यः प्रत्ययोद्भव इत्यस्य वैषम्यं किञ्चित्॥१४॥

Adhunā paśuḥ saṅkucitadṛkchaktibādhyaḥ pāśyaścetyetadvibhajati


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


Tasya paśoryaḥ pratyayānāṁ laukikaśāstrīyavikalpānāṁ tadadhivāsitānāṁ bhinnārthajñānānāṁ vikalpānāmapyudbhavaḥ vināśāghrāta utpādaḥ sa parasyāmṛtarasasya cidghanasyānandaprasarasyāpāyo nimajjanam| Uditeṣu bhinnārtheṣu pratyayeṣu cidbhūmiḥ sthitāpyaparāmṛśyamānatvādasthiteva lakṣyate tata evamuktam| Tena ca pratyayodbhavenāyamasvatantratāmeti tadvaśaḥ sampadyate| Yaduktaṁ śrīśivasūtreṣu jñānaṁ bandha iti| Śrīmadvyāsamunināpi mātāpitṛmayo bālya iti| Śrīmadālasayāpi

Tāteti kiñcittanayeti kiñcidambeti kiñciddayiteti kiñcit|
Mameti kiñcinna mameti kiñcidbhautaṁ saṅghaṁ bahudhā mā lapethāḥ||

iti| Pratyayasyodbhavastanmātrāṇi tīvrātīvrabhedasāmānyavṛttayo gocaro yasya tathābhūto bhinnavedyaviṣaya ityarthaḥ| Anenedamāha yāvadiyaṁ bhinnavedyaprathā tāvadbaddha eva yadā tūktopadeśayuktyā sarvamātmamayamevāvicalapratipattyā pratipadyate tadā jīvanmukta iti| Yathoktam iti vā yasya saṁvittirityādi| Evaṁ ca yatpūrvamuktaṁ tasmācchabdārthacintāsu na sāvasthā na yā śiva ityādi na tena saha parāmṛtarasāpāyastasya yaḥ pratyayodbhava ityasya vaiṣamyaṁ kiñcit||14||


Now (adhunā) (Vasugupta) analyzes (vibhajati) this (etad): 'The conditioned being (paśuḥ) is bound (bādhyaḥ) by the limited (saṅkucita) cognitive power (dṛk-śakti) and (ca) (as a result becomes) completely fettered (pāśyaḥ... iti)1 :


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


The rise (udbhavaḥ) of ideas (pratyayānām) —viz. thoughts (vikalpānām) related to the world or to scriptures (laukika-śāstrīya) as well as (api) thoughts (vikalpānām) which are cognitions (jñānānām) connected with different objects (bhinna-artha) perfumed --the cognitions-- (adhivāsitānām) by them --by such ideas-- (tad)— which (takes place) (yaḥ) in that paśu or limited being (tasya paśoḥ) (is) something that appears (utpādaḥ) (and) smacks of (āghrātaḥ) destruction (vināśa). It --such rise of ideas, etc.-- (saḥ) (implies) the loss (āpāyaḥ) (or) immersion --i.e. dissolution-- (nimajjanam) of the sap of the Supreme Nectar of Immortality --according to Kṣemarāja, the meaning of the compound 'Parāmṛtarasāpāyaḥ' in the aphorism is 'the loss of the supreme sap of the Nectar of Immortality' but according to me is 'the loss of the sap of the Supreme Nectar of Immortality', both interpretations (Kṣemarāja's and mine are valid)-- (parasya amṛta-rasasya), i.e. of the flow (prasarasya) of Bliss (ānanda) of the compact mass (ghanasya) of Consciousness (cit)|

Though (api) the State of Conciousness --the State of Śiva, the State of the compact mass of Consciousness-- (cit-bhūmiḥ) exists (sthitā) in the emerging ideas (uditeṣu... pratyayeṣu) which have to do with different objects (bhinna-artheṣu), since It is not certainly apprehended or perceived (aparāmṛśyamānatvāt) is indicated (lakṣyate) as (iva) not existing (asthitā). Hence (tatas) it has been said (uktam) so (evam) (in the aphorism, i.e. that there is disappearance of the sap of the Supreme Nectar of Immortality —or else, as put by Kṣemarāja, of the supreme sap of the Nectar of Immortality—)|

And (ca) from that (tena), i.e. from the rise of ideas (pratyaya-udbhavena), he (ayam) becomes dependent --lit. goes to a state in which there is no freedom-- (asvatantratām eti), (that is,) he comes under the influence of them --of such ideas-- (tad-vaśaḥ sampadyate)2 |

As has been said (yad uktam) in venerable Śivasūtra-s --in I, 2-- (śrī-śivasūtreṣu): 'The (limited or contracted) knowledge (jñānam) (is) bondage (bandhaḥ iti)'|

Also (api), (this has been affirmed) by the glorious sage Vyāsa (śrīmat-vyāsa-muninā): 'In childhood (bālye), he depends on father and mother (mātā-pitṛ-mayaḥ... iti)'|

(It has) also (been said) by venerable Madālasā (śrī-madālasayā api) (in Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa XXV, 15):

"Do not prate (mā lapethāḥ) frequently (bahudhā) about your materialistic association (bhautam saṅgham) (like this:) A little bit of (kiñcid) 'Oh father (tāta iti)', a little bit of (kiñcid) 'Oh son (tanaya iti)', a little bit of (kiñcid) 'Oh mother (amba iti)', a little bit of (kiñcid) 'Oh beloved one (dayita iti)', a little bit of (kiñcid) 'Mine (mama iti)' (and) a little bit of (kiñcid) 'Not mine (na mama iti... iti)3 '"|

'The rise (udbhavaḥ) of idea(s) (pratyayasya) whose (yasya) sphere of influence (gocaraḥ) (are) the Tanmātra-s (tanmātrāṇi) —which are the generic features (sāmānya-vṛttayaḥ) either intense or moderate (tīvra-atīvra-bheda)—' (means 'the rise of ideas) whose (yasya) sphere of influence (viṣayaḥ) is like this (tathā-bhūtaḥ), i.e. consisting of different objects (bhinna-vedya)'. This is the purport (iti arthaḥ)|

By this (which was expressed immediately before) (anena), (Vasugupta) declared (āha) this (idam): 'As long as (yāvat) this (iyam) spreading out (prathā) of different (bhinna) knowables (vedya) (exists), so long (tāvat) (a person) is indeed in bondage (baddhaḥ eva). But (tu) when (yadā), by means of (yuktyā) the aforesaid (ukta) teachings (upadeśa), (such person) realizes (pratipadyate), with unwavering awareness (avicala-pratipattyā) that all (sarvam) is identical with (mayam) himself (ātma), then (tadā) (he is) liberated while living (jīvat-muktaḥ iti)|

As has been affirmed (yathā uktam) (in the aphorism 5 of the section 2 of this scripture): 'Or (iti vā) (he) who has that (yasya) knowledge or realization (saṁvittiḥ)', etc. (iti-ādi)|

Thus (evam ca), there is no impropriety (na... vaiṣamyam kiñcid) (between) this (asya) (which has been said in the current aphorism III, 14,) viz. 'The rise (udbhavaḥ) of ideas (pratyaya) which (takes place) (yaḥ) in that (paśu or limited being) (tasya) (implies) the loss (apāyaḥ) of the sap (rasa) of the Supreme (para) Nectar of Immortality (amṛta... iti)', and what --lit. together with that which-- (yad... tena saha) has been stated previously (pūrvam uktam) (in II, 4 of this scripture,) viz. '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)', etc. (iti-ādi)4 ||14||

1  The cognitive power in the limited being ties him tight. Because he knows a lot about anything except about his own Self, he is deprived from his inherent Bliss. An analysis of this process of ignorance is about to be displayed by Vasugutpa and Kṣemarāja.Return

2  The rise of ideas, i.e. thoughts related to the world or to scriptures, puts an end to the enjoyment of the sap of the Supreme Nectar of Immortality. By 'scriptures', Kṣemarāja cannot be referring to the non-dualistic Trika scriptures (Mālinīvijayatantra, Svacchandatantra, Spandakārikā-s, Śivasūtra-s, etc.) but to the erroneous scriptures. For example: Buddhist scriptures teeming with erroneous concepts about the Highest Reality, Advaitavedānta and its eunuch Brahma, dualistic and qualified Vedānta and their ridiculous ideas of Liberation associated with moving to some place, etc.). The ideas inoculated by these inferior scriptures are effective in producing more and more bondage, and there is no doubt about it. On the contrary, the Trika scriptures are full of light and Grace bestowal. This would look like the statement of a fanatic of Trika system, but I invite you to see what I say by yourself. It will take you many years of investigation but in the end you will realize that the Trika scriptures are telling the Truth about you, about the universe and about the nature of God.

This God, whom we called Śiva in this Trika system, is a compact mass of Consciousness and Bliss. He is like this as He is everywhere. I mean, as He is in every place, He cannot really move since there is no place where to move to. And His State (the State of Śiva) is always present in all the ideas (right and wrong) which emerge in the mind of the limited being. Anyway, because he cannot realize this State, therefore it is indicated as if such State does not exist. And due to the emergence of all these ideas about himself and everything else, the limited being is not supremely Free. Why? Because Absolute Freedom (his essential nature) resides in the dimension where the ideas do not exist. So simple as that!Return

3  The limited knowledge is bondage. In other words, limited knowledge about who you really are. This lack of understanding that you are Śiva is bondage indeed. And the dependence on father and mother in childhood points out that he is not free, i.e. that he has lost his absolute Freedom and now is under the sway of mother and father. When a human being is born, he is pure Śiva. But next, by His own Will, he becomes associated with ignorant (mother and father), which generates in him the rise of ideas about who he is, what the world is, etc. For example: I am Gabriel and I was born in Argentina. But this notion is false because Śiva is one with me and consequently I am everywhere, and because I have never been born. A lot of foolish ideas populate the mind of the child after his association with ignorant people, and these ideas will prove very difficult to be removed later, if that human being starts treading the path to Liberation. All the trouble that person will experience will have its source mostly in his previous association with ignorant parents. That, plus the association with ignorant teachers at school, will suffice to make sure that that person will be in full bondage during his lifetime. Everything is just an invention because, in the first place, there is nothing like such a person called Mr. Gabriel, etc. The rise of ignorant ideas created all this absurd network of nonsenses from which it is very difficult to escape. And from such rise of ideas comes dependence, because Śiva is convinced that He needs someone or something to exist or be happy, etc.

The person is inherently Śiva. And Śiva has no mother, no father, no beloved one, etc. And everything belongs to Him. So, why is He saying 'mine' and 'not mine' when He is the owner of all? And if He is the owner of all, why should be worried about losing some things? How did Śiva become all this? By means of the rise of ideas. But in the end, when that person gets Liberation (if he is so lucky!), he will realize that nothing happened to Śiva. He remains the same the whole time. So, his bondage is false too. Sage Madālasā explained all this in an abridged manner in Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa XXV, 15.Return

4  All the objects you see around are the creation of the Tanmātra-s (tattva-s 27 to 31). The creation itself (the objects) consists of Mahābhūta-s (tattva-s 32 to 36), which are directly derived from Tanmātra-s (the patterns --generic features-- of all that can be heard, touched, seen, tasted and smelled. I explain all this in Trika 6. And all the ideas that have risen are related to objects. This is the way of ignorance, isn't it? They are not ideas about Svātantrya (Absolute Freedom), about the glory of the Great Lord, etc. NO. They are ideas about 'objects' (people are included as 'objects', because their physical bodies and egos are objects too). In this way, the Tanmātra-s are prevalent in a person in bondage, and he constantly forgets the Subject, which is not a by-product of Tanmātra-s but the essential Self of all.

While this spreading out of different objects exists, a person is indeed in bondage. Now, if you see a lot of objects around you in the form of things and people, etc., so you are in bondage. But when, through these teachings we are studying, you realizes that you are one with all those objects, so you are liberated while living (jīvanmukta). The constant spreading out of objects separate from you shows your bondage. But at the moment all those objects are perceived as one with you, bondage is over. As has been declared in the aphorism II, 5 of the present scripture: 'Or he who has that knowledge or realization and is constantly united with the Supreme Self views the whole world as a divine play. He is liberated while living, there is no doubt about it'.

Therefore, it is totally correct to affirm that despite the fact that there is no state which is not Śiva, at the same time one loses the Bliss of the State of Śiva due to the rise of ideas. There is no contradiction between non-dualism and dualism as the former is the underlying Truth and the latter is just a Play of Śiva. OK, I suppose that everything is clear now.Return

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 Aphorism 15

ननु यदि प्रत्ययोद्भवोऽप्यस्य परामृतरसापायस्तत्कथमुक्तं शक्तिवर्गस्य भोग्यतां गतः— इत्याशङ्कां परिहरति


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


चः शङ्कां द्योतयंस्तत्परिहाररूपं प्रमेयान्तरं समुच्चिनोति। अस्य पशोः स्वस्य शिवात्मनो रूपस्यावरणे भित्तिभूतत्वेन प्रथमानस्यापि सम्यगपरामर्शने तन्निमित्तं व्याख्यातरूपाः शक्तयः सततमुत्थिता यावद्धि परामृतरसात्मकस्वस्वरूपप्रत्यभिज्ञानमस्य न वृत्तं तावदेताः स्वस्वरूपावरणायोद्यच्छन्त्येव। यतोऽस्य यः प्रत्ययोद्भवो विकल्पकाविकल्पकज्ञानप्रसरः स शब्दानुवेधेन अहमिदं जानामीत्यादिना सूक्ष्मान्तःशब्दानुरञ्जनेन स्थूलाभिलापसंसर्गेण च विना न भवति— इति तिरश्चामप्यसाङ्केतिको निर्देशः प्रख्यः स्वात्मनि च शिरोनिर्देशप्रख्योऽन्तरभ्युपगमरूपः शब्दनविमर्शोऽस्त्येवान्यथा बालस्य प्रथमसङ्केतग्रहणं न घटेतान्तरूहापोहात्मकविमर्शशून्यत्वात्। स्थूलशब्दानुवेधमयस्तु विकल्पः सर्वस्य स्वानुभवसिद्धः॥१५॥

Nanu yadi pratyayodbhavo'pyasya parāmṛtarasāpāyastatkathamuktaṁ śaktivargasya bhogyatāṁ gataḥ— Ityāśaṅkāṁ pariharati


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


Caḥ śaṅkāṁ dyotayaṁstatparihārarūpaṁ prameyāntaraṁ samuccinoti| Asya paśoḥ svasya śivātmano rūpasyāvaraṇe bhittibhūtatvena prathamānasyāpi samyagaparāmarśane tannimittaṁ vyākhyātarūpāḥ śaktayaḥ satatamutthitā yāvaddhi parāmṛtarasātmakasvasvarūpapratyabhijñānamasya na vṛttaṁ tāvadetāḥ svasvarūpāvaraṇāyodyacchantyeva| Yato'sya yaḥ pratyayodbhavo vikalpakāvikalpakajñānaprasaraḥ sa śabdānuvedhena ahamidaṁ jānāmītyādinā sūkṣmāntaḥśabdānurañjanena sthūlābhilāpasaṁsargeṇa ca vinā na bhavati— Iti tiraścāmapyasāṅketiko nirdeśaḥ prakhyaḥ svātmani ca śironirdeśaprakhyo'ntarabhyupagamarūpaḥ śabdanavimarśo'styevānyathā bālasya prathamasaṅketagrahaṇaṁ na ghaṭetāntarūhāpohātmakavimarśaśūnyatvāt| Sthūlaśabdānuvedhamayastu vikalpaḥ sarvasya svānubhavasiddhaḥ||15||


An objection (nanu): 'If (yadi) the rise (udbhavaḥ api) of ideas (pratyaya) in this (limited being) (asya) (implies) the loss (apāyaḥ) of the sap of the Supreme Nectar of Immortality (para-amṛta-rasa), then (tad) how (katham) has it been said (uktam) that he is used or enjoyed (bhogyatām gataḥ) by the group of powers (śakti-vargasya... iti)?'. (Vasugupta now) removes (pariharati) (this) doubt (āśaṅkām)1 :


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


The word 'ca' (caḥ) expressing (dyotayan) a (sense of) doubt (śaṅkām) introduces --lit. gathers, accumulates-- (samuccinoti) another statement (prameya-antaram) which removes (parihāra-rūpam) that --i.e. that doubt-- (tad)|

The powers (śaktayaḥ) —which have been already explained (vyākhyātarūpāḥ)(are) constantly (satatam) ready (utthitāḥ) to conceal or veil (āvaraṇe) the essential nature (asya... rūpasya) —i.e. Śiva (śiva-ātmanaḥ)— of this limited being (asya paśoḥ), (in other words, they are) the instrumental cause of that (tad-nimittam) in their not permitting him to correctly realize --lit. in not seizing correctly-- (samyak aparāmarśane) (such essential nature) which spreads and extends (prathamānasya api) as the substratum (of all) (bhitti-bhūtatvena). As long as (yāvat hi) there is no (na vṛttam) recognition (pratyabhijñānam) in him (asya) that his own essential nature (sva-sva-rūpa) is the sap of the Supreme Nectar of Immortality (para-amṛta-rasa-ātmaka), so long (tāvat) these (powers) (etāḥ) are ready (udyacchanti) to conceal or veal (āvaraṇāya) his own essential nature (sva-sva-rūpa) indeed (eva)2 |

Because (yatas), in his case --in the case of the limited being-- (asya), the rise of ideas (pratyaya-udbhavaḥ... saḥ) —which (yaḥ) is a flow (prasaraḥ) of definite or indefinite (vikalpaka-avikalpaka) cognitions (jñāna)— can not take place (na bhavati) without the tinge (anurañjanena) of subtle (sūkṣma) internal (antar) words (śabda) and (ca) (without) the association (saṁsargeṇa) with gross (sthūla) words (abhilāpa) —e.g. 'I (aham) know (jānāmi) this (idam)', etc. (iti-ādinā)— — Thus (iti), even (api) in the case of animals (tiraścām), (there is) a clear (prakhyaḥ) non-conventional (asāṅketikaḥ) indication (nirdeśaḥ). And (ca) in oneself (svātmani) there is (also) (asti eva) the thinking power (vimarśaḥ) connected with sounds (śabdana) in the form of (rūpaḥ) an internal (antara) agreement (abhyupagama) becoming visible (prakhyaḥ) by the nod of the head (śiras-nirdeśa). Otherwise (anyathā), with reference to a child (bālasya), the first apprehension --i.e. understanding-- of conventional gestures (prathama-saṅketa-grahaṇam) would not be possible (na ghaṭeta) due to the absence (śūnyatvāt) of thinking power --awareness-- (vimarśa) relating to (ātmaka) the inner consideration of pros and cons (antar-ūha-apoha)|

The thought or idea (vikalpaḥ) consisting of (mayaḥ tu) intermixture (anuvedha) of gross (sthūla) words (śabda) (is) proved (siddhaḥ) by the experience (sva-anubhava) of everybody (sarvasya)3 ||15||

1  The objector wants to know the relationship between 'the rise of ideas removing the experience of the Supreme Nectar in the limited being' and 'the group of powers using or enjoying him'. Vasugupta explains this by means of the aphorism 15.Return

2  According to Kṣemarāja, the particle 'ca' acting as an expletive here (as a word that, despite adding some sense to the phrase, is never translated) expresses 'doubt'. However, this doubt is removed by the statement included in the rest of the aphorism itself: 'Because there can be no rise of ideas without intermixture of words'. By specifying the way the rise of ideas emerges, the doubt suggested by 'ca' is then removed. Oh yes, this is very subtle. Anyway, in my opinion, 'ca' is really emphasizing the phrase, i.e.: 'The powers are constantly ready to conceal or veil the essential nature of this limited being (indeed)'. OK, it is about divergence of opinions then.

All these powers (i.e. Brāhmī, Māheśvarī, Kaumārī, etc.) have already been explained before. They are always intent on concealing your essential nature (your Śivahood). However hard you try, it is very difficult for you to exactly realize who you really are. This tremendous difficulty is directly rooted in the constant work of such powers. It is extremely difficult to defeat them. It is only because of His own Grace that you will be able to vanquish them in the end, which amounts to the attainment of Liberation. But for Him to bestow His full Grace on you, He needs to be pleased with you. So, the whole problem is how to correctly please Him. There is only one way to do it, according to my experience: To devote your whole life to Him. It is not cheap achievement indeed! My statement is tricky like Him, because you cannot devote your entire life to Him without His Grace. So, it is a vicious circle from which you can escape through His Grace again.

These powers will continue to be ready to hide your essential nature till you get a full recognition that Śiva is You. Even during extreme devotion to Him, if there is duality between You and Him, then these powers will keep cheating you. The only way to cheat them back is to realize that, as a matter of fact, He is You. All the key to attain Final Liberation from these tricky powers lies on this simple teaching about inherent unity between You and Him.Return

3  And this rise of ideas cannot take place without intermixture of subtle and gross words. The former are always internal and the latter are always external. This even happens in animals, in which there are non-conventional indications. Conventional indications are created by means of language, for instance: 'Ten numbers are the basis to express quantities of something'. But every kind of animal has its special set of sounds only understood by the animals belonging to that species. Nonetheless, all these sounds could not be understood without the presence of the power of words inside the animal. If this is like this with animals, it is all the more so with humans. The little child can understand simple gestures in the faces of his parents due to the presence of this thinking power based on intermixture of words. Next, the child will learn how to create words on his own. Anyway, all this would not be possible without the previous support of the power of words inside. This topic does not need to be discussed any more because it is very simple to understand. It can be perceived by oneself at every moment.Return

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 Aphorism 16

श्लोकत्रयोक्तमर्थमुपसंहरन्नियतः प्रमेयस्य सामान्यस्पन्दतत्त्वादभिन्नतां प्रागुक्तामनुबध्नंस्तत्प्रत्यभिज्ञानाप्रत्यभिज्ञानमयौ बन्धमोक्षाविति लक्षयति


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


सेति श्लोकत्रयनिर्णीतत्वादियमिति प्रमेयपर्यन्तेन रूपेण स्फुरन्ती स्वस्वभावरूपस्य चिदात्मनः शिवस्य सम्बन्धिनी स्पन्दतत्त्वात्मिका पराभट्टारिकैव विश्ववैचित्र्यावस्थितिकारित्वात्क्रियाशक्तिः प्राङ्निर्णीतदृशा शिव एव गृहीतपशुभूमिके वर्तमाना प्राणपुर्यष्टकरूपममुं कर्तृतात्मनाहन्ताविप्रुषा प्रोक्षितं कुर्वाणा तथारूपेणाप्रत्यभिज्ञाय स्वरूपावारकत्वाद्धानादानादिपरिक्लेशहेतुत्वाच्च बन्धयित्री भवति। यदा तु स्वस्य शिवात्मनो रूपस्य यो मार्गः

शक्त्यवस्थां प्रविष्टस्य निर्विभागेन भावना।
तदासौ शिवरूपी स्याच्छैवी मुखमिहोच्यते॥

इति श्रीविज्ञानभट्टारकोक्तनीत्या प्राप्त्युपायः पराशक्तिस्तदात्मतयासौ क्रियाशक्तिर्ज्ञायते योगिना यदा वा विकल्पकाविकल्पकप्रसरेऽपि शिवस्वरूपस्य स्वात्मनोंऽशभूतमेवाशेषवेद्यमनेनेक्ष्यते तदास्यासौ परानन्दमयीं परां सिद्धिमुपपादयति॥१६॥

Ślokatrayoktamarthamupasaṁharanniyataḥ prameyasya sāmānyaspandatattvādabhinnatāṁ prāguktāmanubadhnaṁstatpratyabhijñānāpratyabhijñānamayau bandhamokṣāviti lakṣayati


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


Seti ślokatrayanirṇītatvādiyamiti prameyaparyantena rūpeṇa sphurantī svasvabhāvarūpasya cidātmanaḥ śivasya sambandhinī spandatattvātmikā parābhaṭṭārikaiva viśvavaicitryāvasthitikāritvātkriyāśaktiḥ prāṅnirṇītadṛśā śiva eva gṛhītapaśubhūmike vartamānā prāṇapuryaṣṭakarūpamamuṁ kartṛtātmanāhantāvipruṣā prokṣitaṁ kurvāṇā tathārūpeṇāpratyabhijñāya svarūpāvārakatvāddhānādānādiparikleśahetutvācca bandhayitrī bhavati| Yadā tu svasya śivātmano rūpasya yo mārgaḥ

Śaktyavasthāṁ praviṣṭasya nirvibhāgena bhāvanā|
Tadāsau śivarūpī syācchaivī mukhamihocyate||

iti śrīvijñānabhaṭṭārakoktanītyā prāptyupāyaḥ parāśaktistadātmatayāsau kriyāśaktirjñāyate yoginā yadā vā vikalpakāvikalpakaprasare'pi śivasvarūpasya svātmano'ṁśabhūtamevāśeṣavedyamanenekṣyate tadāsyāsau parānandamayīṁ parāṁ siddhimupapādayati||16||


Summarizing (upasaṁharan) the meaning (artham) enunciated (uktam) (in the previous) three (traya) stanzas (śloka), (and) strengthening (anubadhnan) the aforesaid (prāk-uktām) unity ---non-difference-- (abhinnatām) between the vast --lit. of such extent-- objective reality --the multitude of objects-- (iyataḥ prameyasya) (and) the generic principle of Spanda (sāmānya-spanda-tattvāt), (Vasugupta) defines (lakṣayati) 'bondage and Liberation' (bandha-mokṣau iti)' as non-recognition of That --of the principle of Spanda-- and recognition of That, (respectively) (tad-pratyabhijñāna-apratyabhijñāna-mayau)1 :


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


(She is called) 'That' (sā iti) because She was ascertained (nirṇītatvāt) in the (previous) three (traya) stanzas (śloka), (and She is called) 'This' (iyam iti) (because) She appears (sphurantī) in the form (rūpeṇa) (of this universe) which ends (paryantena) in the objective reality --objectivity-- (prameya). (She,) the Supremely Venerable Goddess Herself (parā-bhaṭṭārikā eva) —the principle of Spanda (spanda-tattva-ātmikā)— belonging to (sambandhinī) Śiva (śivasya) —who --i.e. Śiva-- is (rūpasya... ātmanaḥ) Consciousness (cit) (and) one's own essential nature (sva-svabhāva)—, the Power of Action (kriyā-śaktiḥ) —as She produces (kāritvāt) the state (avasthiti) of variety (vaicitrya) in the universe (viśva)—, by the previously defined viewpoint (prāk-nirṇīta-dṛśā), exists (vartamānā) in Śiva (śive eva) at the stage when He has acquired the state of limited being (gṛhīta-paśu-bhūmike). She sprinkles (prokṣitam kurvāṇā) him --the limited being-- (amum) who is identified with vital energy and subtle body (prāṇa-puryaṣṭaka-rūpam) with a drop (vipruṣā) of I-ness (ahantā) whose essence --i.e. the essence of the drop-- is (restricted) doership (kartṛtā-ātmanā). (In this conditioned being) who has (now) this state (of limitation) (tathā-rūpeṇa) (and) who does not recognize (his own Self) --lit. not recognizing-- (apratyabhijñāya), She becomes (bhavati) 'bandhayitrī' --the One who binds-- (bandhayitrī) because She hides (his) essential nature (sva-rūpa-āvārakatvāt) and (ca) because She is the cause (hetutvāt) of the trouble (parikleśa) (known as) leaving, taking, etc. (hāna-ādāna-ādi)2 |

However (tu), when (yadā) that (asau) Power of Action (kriyā-śaktiḥ) is known (jñāyate) by the yogī (yoginā) as identical with That (tad-ātmatayā), i.e. (as identical with) the Supreme Power (parā-śaktiḥ), like the way (yaḥ mārgaḥ) —means of attainment (prāpti-upāyaḥ)— toward one's own Self (svasya) whose essence is Śiva (śiva-ātmanaḥ rūpasya), according to the precept declared (ukta-nītyā) in (the aphorism 20 of) venerable Vijñānabhairava (śrī-vijñāna-bhaṭṭāraka):

"When in one who has entered (praviṣṭasya) into the state of Śakti (śakti-avasthām), there is a contemplation (full of) the feeling of non-difference (between Śiva and Śakti) (nirvibhāgena bhāvanā), then (tadā) that (being) --i.e. such disciple-- (asau) becomes Śiva (śiva-rūpī syāt), (since) it is said (ucyate) here --in the revealed scriptures-- (iha) that (Śakti) is the face (mukham) of Śiva (śaivī... iti)3 "|

or (vā) when (yadā), even (api) in the diffusion (prasare) of definite and indefinite (ideas in his mind --in the mind of the yogī--) (vikalpaka-avikalpaka), the entire objective reality (aśeṣa-vedyam) is perceived (īkṣyate) by him (anena) as being (bhūtam) a portion (aṁśa) of his own Self (sva-ātmanaḥ) who is Śiva (śiva-sva-rūpasya), then (tadā) She (asau) produces (upapādayati) the highest attainment (parām siddhim) replete with supreme Bliss (para-ānanda-mayīm) for him (asya)4 ||16||

1  Now Vasugupta says that bondage and Liberation are simply non-recognition of the Spanda principle and recognition of the Spanda principle, respectively. If you do not recognize this Principle in the entire universe, so you are bound by 'another'. But, by means of the divine Knowledge, you realize that the whole universe is nothing else but this principle of Spanda, then you are said to be liberated.Return

2  The expression 'Seyam' (sā iyam) in the aphorism means: 'This very', and it should be translated as a whole (and not as two separate words). Anyway, Kṣemarāja, playing with the literal meaning of each of those pronouns (i.e. sā = 'that' --feminine in gender-- and iyam = 'this' --feminine too--), gives an extra explanation by separating the words: She is called 'That' because She was already defined in the previous three stanzas, but She is called 'This' because She is now in front of you in the form of the entire objective reality.

She is the Supreme Goddess and the Power of Action belonging to the Great Lord who is one's own Self. She even exists in the stage when Śiva has become a limited being. She sprinkles him --the conditioned being-- with a drop of I-consciousness whose essence is limited doership. So, She exists in this limited being as a drop of I-consciousness. That is why that limited individual feels: 'I am Gabriel', 'I am John', 'I do this', 'I have that', etc. Everything is replete with limitation in his life. In this way, She hides his essential nature and pushes him to the miserable activity of leaving and taking (e.g. I dislike this but I like that), etc.Return

3  Nevertheless, when the yogī knows Her like the way toward his own Self, or when, even with his mind working (full of definite and indefinite ideas), he can perceive that the entire objective reality is just a fragment of his own Self, then She stops being a binder and becomes the bestower of the highest attainment.

Kṣemarāja quoted the aphorism 20 in Vijñānabhairava to show that She is the way toward one's own Self. Now I will translate for you the commentary by Kṣemarāja/Śivopādhyāya on this important aphorism. There is a little different reading: Śaktyavasthāṁ praviṣṭasya ---> Śaktyavasthāpraviṣṭasya. The meaning is the same:

शक्त्यवस्थाप्रविष्टस्य निर्विभागेन भावना।
तदासौ शिवरूपी स्याच्छैवी मुखमिहोच्यते॥२०॥

पराशक्तिरूपामवस्थां यदा प्रविशति वक्ष्यमाणोपायैः समाविशत्युपदेश्योऽणुस्तदास्य निर्विभागेन भावना भवति - शक्तेः शिवाभेदात्तदा स लब्धशाक्तबलः प्रशस्ततमशिवस्वरूपो भवत्येव यतः शिवस्येयं शैवी शक्तिर्मुखं प्रवेशोपायद्वारमिहागमेषूच्यते॥२०॥

Śaktyavasthāpraviṣṭasya nirvibhāgena bhāvanā|
Tadāsau śivarūpī syācchaivī mukhamihocyate||20||

Parāśaktirūpāmavasthāṁ yadā praviśati vakṣyamāṇopāyaiḥ samāviśatyupadeśyo'ṇustadāsya nirvibhāgena bhāvanā bhavati — Śakteḥ śivābhedāttadā sa labdhaśāktabalaḥ praśastatamaśivasvarūpo bhavatyeva yataḥ śivasyeyaṁ śaivī śaktirmukhaṁ praveśopāyadvāramihāgameṣūcyate||20||

"When in one who has entered (praviṣṭasya) into the state of Śakti (śakti-avasthā), there is a contemplation (full of) the feeling of non-difference (between Śiva and Śakti) (nirvibhāgena bhāvanā), then (tadā) that (being) --i.e. such disciple-- (asau) becomes Śiva (śiva-rūpī syāt), (since) it is said (ucyate) here --in the revealed scriptures-- (iha) that (Śakti) is the face (mukham) of Śiva (śaivī... iti)||20||"

When (yadā) a limited individual (aṇuḥ) which is being taught (upadeśyaḥ) enters (praviśati) into the state (avasthām) whose nature (rūpām) is the Supreme Śakti (parā-śakti) —viz. (when he,) through the means (upāyaiḥ) which will be described later (vakṣyamāṇa), gets fully absorbed (in the state whose nature is the Supreme Śakti) (samāviśati)—, at that time (tadā) there is (bhavati) in him (asya), by means of the unity between Śiva and Śakti (śakteḥ śiva-abhedāt), a contemplation (full of) the feeling of non-difference (between Śiva and Śakti) (nirvibhāgena bhāvanā); then (tadā) he (saḥ) becomes (bhavati eva) one who has gotten the force of Śakti (labdha-śākta-balaḥ) —i.e. one whose essential nature (sva-rūpaḥ) is the extremely praiseworthy (praśastatama) Śiva (śiva)—. (Why?) Because (yatas) this (iyam) Śakti (śaktiḥ) pertaining to Śiva (śivasya) is said (ucyate) here (iha) —in the revealed scriptures (āgameṣu)— to be the face (mukham) —i.e. the doorway (dvāram) serving as a means (upāya) to enter (praveśa)— of Śiva (śaivī)||20||

The expression 'nirvibhāgena bhāvanā' (contemplation full of the feeling of non-difference between Śiva and Śakti) is a state where there is Śivaśaktisāmarasya (where there is no difference between Śiva and Śakti). For example, in ordinary wakefulness, you see objects around you. At that moment, the objects are Śakti and the one watching (You!) is Śiva. They are separate then. Yes, yes, it is just a play but it looks like that. Now, there are points through which you can enter the state where there is the sāmarasya (uniformity) of Śiva and Śakti. In Āṇavopāya, the point is located between prāṇa and apāna (between inhalation/exhalation and exhalation/inhalation). In Śāktopāya, the point is between pramāṇa (perception) and prameya (object being perceived). In Śāmbhavopāya, such point is situated between Knowledge and Action (between Jñāna and Kriyā). Finally, in Anupāya, it is between Prakāśa (Śiva) and Vimarśa (Śakti). These points belong to Śakti, obviously. And why is so important to enter through those points into a state where Śiva and Śakti are not different from each other (Śivaśaktisāmarasya)? Because this Śivaśaktisāmarasya is none other than Paramaśiva Himself. Having realized Paramaśiva there is nothing left to be realized. This is the purport.

And I could not translate the commentary on this aphorism 20 in Vijñānabhairavakaumudī for a simple reason: Ānandabhaṭṭa, its author, decided to write a very long running commentary on the whole set of aphorisms 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21. He wrote in a way making it difficult to isolate the portion of the commentary which is related to the aphorism 20. Sad!Return

4  And this is a method pertaining to Śāmbhavopāya: To perceive even with one's mind fully active and replete with ideas that the entire universe is completely one with oneself. It is Śāmbhavopāya because there is no support in it, i.e. no concentration on anything at all.

All in all, when the yogī has this attitude and quickly moves in the direction of the unity of all the things, he acquires the Highest State (the State of Śiva).Return

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 Aphorism 17-18

इत्थंकारं पशुरत्र बध्यते वक्ष्यमाणोपायपरिशीलनेन च मुच्यत इति प्रतिपादयन् बन्धस्वरूपमुच्छेद्यत्वेनानुवदति


तन्मात्रोदयरूपेण मनोऽहम्बुद्धिवर्तिना।
पुर्यष्टकेन संरुद्धस्तदुत्थं प्रत्ययोद्भवम्॥१७॥

भुङ्क्ते परवशो भोगं तद्भावात्संसरेदतः।
संसृतिप्रलयस्यास्य कारणं सम्प्रचक्ष्महे॥१८॥


पुर्यष्टकोत्थितं भोगं भुङ्क्ते। यत एव प्रत्ययेषु सुखादिप्रत्ययोद्भवोऽत एवासौ प्रत्ययोद्भवात्पशुः परवशः शब्दानुवेधक्रमेण पदे पदे ब्राह्म्यादिदेवीभिराक्षिप्यमाणो न तु सुप्रबुद्धवत्स्वतन्त्रः। तस्य पुर्यष्टकस्य भावादेव पुनःपुनरुद्बोधितविचित्रवासनः संसरेत्तत्तद्भोगोचितभोगायतनानि शरीराण्यर्जयित्वा गृह्णाति चोत्सृजति च। यतश्चैवमतोऽस्य पुर्यष्टकसंरुद्धस्य या संसृतिस्तस्या यः प्रकृष्टो लयः पुर्यष्टकात्मकमलोच्छेदेन विनाशस् तस्य कारणं सम्यक् सुखोपायं प्रचक्ष्महे समनन्तरमेव ब्रूमस्तथा सम्प्रचक्ष्महे प्रकरणेऽस्मिन् स्वयं प्रतिपादितवन्तः। वर्तमानसामीप्ये वर्तमानवद्वेति वर्तमानप्रयोगः॥१८॥

Itthaṁkāraṁ paśuratra badhyate vakṣyamāṇopāyapariśīlanena ca mucyata iti pratipādayan bandhasvarūpamucchedyatvenānuvadati


Tanmātrodayarūpeṇa mano'hambuddhivartinā|
Puryaṣṭakena saṁruddhastadutthaṁ pratyayodbhavam||17||
Bhuṅkte paravaśo bhogaṁ tadbhāvātsaṁsaredataḥ|
Saṁsṛtipralayasyāsya kāraṇaṁ sampracakṣmahe||18||


Puryaṣṭakotthitaṁ bhogaṁ bhuṅkte| Yata eva pratyayeṣu sukhādipratyayodbhavo'ta evāsau pratyayodbhavātpaśuḥ paravaśaḥ śabdānuvedhakrameṇa pade pade brāhmyādidevībhirākṣipyamāṇo na tu suprabuddhavatsvatantraḥ| Tasya puryaṣṭakasya bhāvādeva punaḥpunarudbodhitavicitravāsanaḥ saṁsarettattadbhogocitabhogāyatanāni śarīrāṇyarjayitvā gṛhṇāti cotsṛjati ca| Yataścaivamato'sya puryaṣṭakasaṁruddhasya yā saṁsṛtistasyā yaḥ prakṛṣṭo layaḥ puryaṣṭakātmakamalocchedena vināśas tasya kāraṇaṁ samyak sukhopāyaṁ pracakṣmahe samanantarameva brūmastathā sampracakṣmahe prakaraṇe'smin svayaṁ pratipāditavantaḥ| Vartamānasāmīpye vartamānavadveti vartamānaprayogaḥ||18||


In this way (itthaṁkāram), explaining how (iti pratipādayan) here (atra) the limited being (paśuḥ) is bound (badhyate) and (how) (ca), by practicing (pariśīlanena) the means (upāya) which will be spoken about later (vakṣyamāṇa), he is (then) becomes liberated (mucyate), (Vasugupta) repeats (his description) (anuvadati) of the nature of bondage (bandha-svarūpam) for its elimination (ucchedyatvena):


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


He experiences --lit. he enjoys-- (bhuṅkte) the enjoyment (of pleasure and pain) (bhogam) arising from (utthitam) the Puryaṣṭaka --the subtle body-- (puri-aṣṭaka)|

Since (yatas eva) there is rise (udbhavaḥ) of the experience (pratyaya) of pleasure, etc. (sukha-ādi) with reference to ideas (pratyayeṣu), therefore (atas eva), due to the rise of ideas (pratyaya-udbhavāt), he (asau) (becomes) a subservient limited being (paśuḥ paravaśaḥ), i.e. through the method (krameṇa) of intermixing (anuvedha) words (śabda), he is at every step derided (pade pade... ākṣipyamāṇaḥ) by the goddesses Brāhmī, etc. (brāhmī-ādi-devībhiḥ). He is not (na tu) free (svatantraḥ) like the perfectly awakened one (suprabuddha-vat)|

Due to the continuance (bhāvāt eva) of that Puryaṣṭaka (tasya puri-aṣṭakasya) the various accumulated tendencies in him (vicitra-vāsanaḥ) are awakened (udbodhita) over and over again (punar-punar) (and as a result) he transmigrates (saṁsaret); (in a nutshell,) by getting (arjayitvā) bodies (śarīrāṇi) which are appropriate places where to enjoy (ucita-bhogāyatanāni) those experiences (tad-bhoga), he assumes (gṛhṇāti) and (ca... ca) abandons (utsṛjati) (bodies)|

And (ca) because (yatas) (this is) so (evam), therefore (atas), we (proceed to) explain (pracakṣmahe) immediately (samanantaram eva) —i.e. we (proceed to) speak (brūmaḥ) (about it)— the cause (kāraṇam) —the right easy means (samyak sukha-upāyam)— of the dissolution (layaḥ... tasya) —which (yaḥ) is intense (prakṛṣṭaḥ)(or) elimination (vināśaḥ) —by means of the eradication (ucchedena) of the impurities (mala) inherent in Puryaṣṭaka (puri-aṣṭaka-ātmaka)— of transmigration (yā saṁsṛtiḥ tasyā) of the one who is completely stopped and besieged (asya... saṁruddhasya) by Puryaṣṭaka (puri-aṣṭaka). Similarly (tathā), 'sampracakṣmahe' --lit. we explain (in Present Tense)-- (sampracakṣmahe) (could also imply recent Past Tense in the form of:) 'we ourselves have explained' (svayam pratipāditavantaḥ) (such easy means) in this section (prakaraṇe asmin)|

(According to the Pāṇini's Aṣṭādhyāyī 3.3.131,) the Present Tense can be used (vartamāna-prayogaḥ): 'As recent past or future --lit. in the proximity of Present Tense-- (vartamāna-sāmīpye) or (vā) as Present Tense (vartamānavat... iti)1 '||18||

1  All the accumulated impressions of past actions are residing in the subtle body (Puryaṣṭaka) and in the causal body (Kāraṇaśarīra). The impressions that are active during the present lifetime are in the former while the impressions that are not active during the current lifetime are stored in the latter. I explained this topic before, when I spoke about the several types of karma-s.

As he derives pleasure and pain with regard to ideas, one can affirm that the rise of ideas (and the inherent attachment to them) is what makes him a conditioned being replete with foolishness and misery. And these ideas arise from the intermixture of words. So at the end, it is the words which are making him that miserable. All in all, the deities presiding over the groups of letters (Brāhmī, Mahālakṣmī, Kaumārī, etc.) are deriding him, and in consequence of this he is not free like the suprabuddha (the perfectly awakened one).

And because his Puryaṣṭaka or subtle body continues to exist, the various accumulated tendencies in him are activated time and time again. As a result of this ignorant process he gets bodies which are fit for him to experience the fruits of such tendencies. In short, he transmigrates from one body to another body. This is called Saṁsāra, a real sickness.

The cure for this sickness will be given immediately (in the next aphorism). It has to do with the removal of the impurities existing in such Puryaṣṭaka. The word 'sampracakṣmahe' (we explain), according to the rule formulated by the famous Sanskrit grammarian Pāṇini, can be interpreted as recent past too: 'We have explained' (i.e. we have explained the way to cure this sickness known as Saṁsāra). And also, according to the same rule, 'sampracakṣmahe' could imply recent future: 'We are going to explain'. This could be another interpretation of that word in the aphorism. So, now, with the arrival of the aphorism 19, Vasugupta will describe the right method to eradicate this disease called Saṁsāra.Return

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 Aphorism 19 and end of Section III

एतत्प्रतिपादयन् आद्यसूत्रोक्तमर्थं निगमयति


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


यदा पुनरयमुक्ताः परतत्त्वसमावेशोपदेशयुक्तीः परिशीलयन् एकत्र पूर्णाहन्तात्मनि स्पन्दतत्त्वे सम्यगविचलत्वेन रूढः समाविष्टस्तन्मयो भवति तदा तस्येति पूर्वसूत्रनिर्दिष्टस्य पुर्यष्टकस्य तद्द्वारेणैव विश्वस्य निमीलनोन्मीलनसमावेशाभ्यां लयोदयौ नियच्छन् प्रथमसूत्रनिर्णीतदृशैकस्मादेव शङ्करात्मनः स्वभावात् संहारं सर्गं च कुर्वन् भोक्तृतामेति धरादिशिवान्तसमग्रभोग्यकवलनेन परमप्रमातृतां सतीमेव प्रत्यभिज्ञानक्रमेणावलम्बते। ततश्च प्रथमसूत्रनिर्णीतस्य शक्तिचक्रस्य स्वमरीचिनिचयस्येश्वरोऽधिपतिर्भवेत्। अनेनैव च देहेन महेश्वरत्वमवाप्नोत्येवेति यावत्। एवं चोपक्रमोपसंहारयोर्महार्थसम्पुटीकारं दर्शयंस्तत्सारतया समस्तशाङ्करोपनिषन्मूर्धन्यतामस्याविष्करोति शास्त्रस्य श्रीमाद्वसुगुप्ताचार्य इति शिवम्॥१९॥

इति श्रीस्पन्दनिर्णये विभूतिस्पन्दस्तृतीयो निःष्यन्दः समाप्तः॥३॥

Etatpratipādayan ādyasūtroktamarthaṁ nigamayati


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


Yadā punarayamuktāḥ paratattvasamāveśopadeśayuktīḥ pariśīlayan ekatra pūrṇāhantātmani spandatattve samyagavicalatvena rūḍhaḥ samāviṣṭastanmayo bhavati tadā tasyeti pūrvasūtranirdiṣṭasya puryaṣṭakasya taddvāreṇaiva viśvasya nimīlanonmīlanasamāveśābhyāṁ layodayau niyacchan prathamasūtranirṇītadṛśaikasmādeva śaṅkarātmanaḥ svabhāvāt saṁhāraṁ sargaṁ ca kurvan bhoktṛtāmeti dharādiśivāntasamagrabhogyakavalanena paramapramātṛtāṁ satīmeva pratyabhijñānakrameṇāvalambate| Tataśca prathamasūtranirṇītasya śakticakrasya svamarīcinicayasyeśvaro'dhipatirbhavet| Anenaiva ca dehena maheśvaratvamavāpnotyeveti yāvat| Evaṁ copakramopasaṁhārayormahārthasampuṭīkāraṁ darśayaṁstatsāratayā samastaśāṅkaropaniṣanmūrdhanyatāmasyāviṣkaroti śāstrasya śrīmādvasuguptācārya iti śivam||19||

Iti śrīspandanirṇaye vibhūtispandastṛtīyo niḥṣyandaḥ samāptaḥ||3||


While explaining (pratipādayan) this (etad), (Vasugupta) sums up (nigamayati) the meaning (artham) of what has been enunciated (uktam) in the first aphorism --in I, 1-- (ādya-sūtra)1 :


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


However (punar), when (yadā) he (ayam), practicing (pariśīlayan) the aforesaid devices (uktāḥ... yuktīḥ) contained in the teachings (upadeśa) dealing with the absorption (samāveśa) in the Highest Principle (para-tattva), takes root firmly (samyak avicalatvena rūḍhaḥ) in one place (ekatra) —viz. in the principle of Spanda (spanda-tattve) which is the Perfect I-consciousness (pūrṇa-ahantā-ātmani)—, i.e. (when) he is deeply absorbed in samādhi (samāviṣṭaḥ) (and consequently) becomes (bhavati) one with It --with Spanda-- (tad-mayaḥ), then (tadā), by controlling (niyacchan) the disappearance and emergence (laya-udayau) of 'that' (tasya iti) —viz. of the Puryaṣṭaka pointed out in previous aphorisms (pūrva-sūtra-nirdiṣṭasya puryaṣṭakasya)—, (and also) through it --through his act of taking root firmly in Spanda-- (tad-dvāreṇa eva), (by controlling the disappearance and emergence) of the universe (viśvasya) by means of samādhi with closed and open eyes (nimīlana-unmīlana-samāveśābhyām)(and also) in accordance with the viewpoint (dṛśā) ascertained (nirṇīta) in the first aphorism --in I, 1-- (prathama-sūtra)—, he --the ex-limited being--, by producing (kurvan) the withdrawal and manifestation of the universe (saṁhāram sargam ca) by (his) one essential nature which is Śaṅkara (ekasmāt eva śaṅkara-ātmanaḥ sva-bhāvāt), becomes the (real) enjoyer (bhoktṛtām eti); (and) by swallowing (kavalanena) all the objects of enjoyment --i.e. all the 36 categories-- (samagra-bhogya) beginning with the earth element and ending with Śiva (dharā-ādi-śiva-anta) through the method of recognition (pratyabhijñāna-krameṇa), he catches hold of (avalambate) the already existent (satīm eva) State of the Supreme Knower (paramapramātṛtām)2 |

And (ca) consequently (tatas) he (also) becomes (bhavet) the Lord (īśvaraḥ) —i.e. the Sovereign (adhipatiḥ)— of the group of śakti-s or powers (śakti-cakrasya) —i.e. of the multitude (nicayasya) of rays (marīci) of his own Self (sva)— which was ascertained in the first aphorism --in I, 1-- (prathama-sūtra-nirṇītasya)|

The sense is that (iti yāvat) he attains indeed (avāpnoti eva) the state of the Great Lord (mahā-īśvaratvam) in this very body --lit. through this very body-- (anena eva ca dehena)|

Thus (evam ca), showing (darśayan) the Great Reality (mahā-artha) —which is like a bowl (containing everything) (sampuṭīkāram)— at the beginning and at the end (of this book) (upakrama-upasaṁhārayoḥ), the glorious Master Vasugupta (śrīmāt-vasugupta-ācāryaḥ) reveals (āviṣkaroti) the preeminence (mūrdhanyatām) of this scripture (asya... śāstrasya) as the essence (sāratayā) of it (tad) —i.e. (as the essence) of the entire secret doctrine of Śaṅkara (samasta-śāṅkara-upaniṣad). May there be welfare for all (iti śivam)!3 ||19||

Here ends (iti... samāptaḥ) the third (tṛtīyaḥ) section (niḥṣyandaḥ) (called) supernormal powers originating from Spanda (vibhūti-spandaḥ), in the venerable Spandanirṇaya (śrī-spanda-nirṇaye)||3||

1  While explaining this, the author of Spandakārikā-s (Vasugupta) is summarizing the whole meaning of the aphorism I, 1 of this scripture:

"We laud that Śaṅkara --an epithet of Śiva-- who is the source or cause of the glorious group of powers, (and) by whose opening (and) shutting of (His) eyes (there is) dissolution and emergence of the world||1||"

So, the aphorism 19 is the last one of the scripture, as the last two aphorisms in section IV were added by Kṣemarāja --IV, 1 belongs to Kallaṭa really and IV, 2 is attributed to Vasugupta by Kṣemarāja--. In a nutshell, the entire Spandakārikā-s scripture consists of 51 aphorisms written by Vasugupta, but in his Vṛtti (commentary) Kallaṭa added one stanza of his own as the number 52. Additionally, Kṣemarāja added this very stanza to his Spandanirṇaya (in the section IV) plus one who was written, according to him, by Vasugupta himself. So, Spandanirṇaya contains 53 stanzas. Therefore, it is completely right to affirm that this stanza 19 of the third section is the last one of Spandakārikā-s. Hence it sums up the meaning of the first stanza of the scripture (I, 1).Return

2  Anyway, if such a limited being, practicing the devices which were taught in this scripture (e.g. the Unmeṣa method), takes root firmly in one place (in the Spanda principle who is Śakti or I-consciousness), then, by controlling the emergence and disappearance of the subtle body and the universe associated with it, the ex-limited being becomes the real Enjoyer (the real Player), i.e. the Śaṅkara described in I, 1 of this scripture. And, through the method of recognition, by swallowing (i.e. by realizing the underlying unity) all the objects of enjoyment known as tattva-s, from the first one down to the last one, he grabs hold of the eternally existent State of the Supreme Knower. He is not played by the group of śakti-s, but he becomes the real Player, as I stated before.Return

3  He becomes Śaṅkara, the Sovereign of the group of śakti-s forming the multitude of rays of his own Self. He attains the state of the Great Lord while he resides in the body, viz. he is a jīvanmukta. In this way, Vasugupta, showing the Great Reality which contains it all at the beginning of this scripture (in I, 1) and at the end of it (in III, 19), reveals the extreme importance of this book as being the essence of Trika Shaivism!

So, this scripture composed by Vasugupta is finished. The upcoming fourth section contains the stanza composed by glorious Kallaṭa and the stanza written by Vasugupta himself, according to Kṣemarāja, as I explained before. ¡May there be welfare for all the beings who devote their lives to the worship and service of Great Lord Paramaśiva!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.

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