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This is the first and only set of 2 aphorisms constituting the fourth and last Section (dealing with the Epilogue). 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.
This is a "pure translation" document, that is, there will be no original Sanskrit, but sometimes there will be a minimal quantity of transliterated Sanskrit in the translation itself of the text. Of course, there will not be any word for word translation. Anyway, there will be transliterated Sanskrit in the explanatory notes. If you are a blind person using a screen reader and do not want to read the notes, or simply if you are not blind but want to skip the notes, click on the respective "Skip the notes" to keep reading the text.
Important: All that is in brackets and italicized within the translation has been added by me in order to complete the sense of a particular phrase or sentence. In turn, all that is between double hyphen (--...--) constitutes clarifying further information also added by me.
At the end of the book, by means of a expression having a double sense, (Kallaṭa --the main disciple of Vasugupta and original commentator of the Spandakārikā-s--) praises the supreme Spanda state and the speech of (his) Guru --Vasugupta--1 :
I pay homage to that wonderful speech of the Guru, which (is full of) manifold words --pada-- (with their respective) meanings, (and) enables (one) to safely cross the fathomless ocean of doubt||1||
To Her, to uncommon Mistress who, according to the axiom, 'She is said to be here --in the revealed scriptures-- the face of Śiva' --Vijñānabhairava 20--, (is the real) Guru; i.e. to (Her) who appears in the form of the spiritual teacher since She is the cause of the attainment of the State of Śiva|
Moreover, ('gurubhāratīm' means, according to the second sense of the aphorism,) 'to the Guru or Great Speech, i.e. to the Supreme Speech --Parāvāk-- since She embraces Paśyantī, etc.'. Similarly, (in the case of the first sense of the aphorism,) 'I pay homage to the wonderful teaching speech belonging to the Guru or spiritual teacher', (and in the case of the second sense of the aphorism,) 'I fully enter, since She is superior to all, into (that Parāvāk) which is citrā, i.e. whose form is the extraordinary --transcendental-- delight of I-consciousness'|
And likewise, I, with elevating effort, respectfully salute Her who is greeting (me back) as She throbs and flashes in all the states --in all the speech levels--, (and) I make Her, who is dedicated to the awareness of the essential nature, my chief aim in order to enter into Herself|
Of what nature (is She)? The doubt that (is) fathomless and difficult to be crossed (consists of) various stain(s) of uncertainty which are (just) absence of certainty with respect to the perfect I-consciousness. It --the doubt-- (is) an ocean due to its expansiveness. (She --Parāvāk or the speech of the Guru-- is) like a boat which enables (one) to rightly cross that (ocean). As regards (the word) 'tām' --to that One, to Her-- (in the aphorism), (this interpretation) is applicable in both cases --i.e. in the cases of She as Parāvāk or as the speech of the Guru--|
Similarly, with reference to the Speech that is Supreme --to Parāvāk--, to Her (which is vicitrārthapadā,) i.e. to the One whose states —reposes— (are) 'vicitrārthāni' (or) means of attainment of multiple (kinds of) Bliss of I-consciousness. (Or else,) with reference to the speech of the Guru, to Her (which is vicitrārthapadā,) i.e. to the One who consists of signified and signifier, (in a nutshell,) to the One who has words (and) meanings ordered in a pleasant arrangement2 ||1||
1 The first aphorism of this fourth section was composed by Kallaṭa, the main disciple of Vasugupta. You can see this aphorism at the end of his Vṛtti or commentary on Spandakārikā-s. According to Kṣemarāja, this aphorism can be translated in two ways. In the first interpretation of the aphorism, it praises the speech of the Guru (Vasugupta), while in the second interpretation, it praises the principle of Spanda (also called Parāvāk or Supreme Speech).
2 The Guru really is no human being but the Grace-bestowing Power of the Supreme Lord. That is why Kṣemarāja affirms that the Goddess is the real Guru. She is the cause of the attainment of the State of Śiva indeed, in his opinion, and the human Guru is nobody else than Herself appearing in that form for the disciples.
The second interpretation of the aphorism is not shown above (in the translation of the aphorism, along with the first interpretation) because it would look confusing to most readers. I only showed the first interpretation (with 'gurubhāratī' meaning 'the speech of the Guru'). Now I will teach you in detail about this second possible interpretation of the aphorism such as indicated by Kṣemarāja in his commentary here:
I pay homage to that wonderful --i.e. whose form is the extraordinary (transcendental) delight of I-consciousness-- Great Speech --viz. Parāvāk--, which (is full of) manifold words --pada-- (with their respective) meanings, (and) enables (one) to safely cross the fathomless ocean of doubt||1||
OK, now it is clear! Kṣemarāja will give a second interpretation for the term 'vicitrārthapadām' too, which I will explain later on.
And Parāvāk embraces the other three levels of speech: Paśyantī, Madhyamā and Vaikharī. While you can attain the different phases of these three kinds of speech, you cannot attain Parāvāk because the Supreme Speech is all. You cannot attain the All, obviously. And because it is like this, Liberation does not really mean the attainment of Parāvāk, literally speaking. It is no attainment for two reasons: (1) It is impossible to attain Parāvāk because She is all, (2) There is no ego there to attain something. It just happens to you. You could think that She attains you as 'you', as ego, are an object to Her. An object cannot attain the Supreme Subject by any means.
In the first interpretation of the aphorism (the most common interpretation), Kallaṭa is paying homage to the wonderful speech of his Guru, Vasugupta. His statement is based on the teaching that the 'speech of the Guru is more Guru than the Guru himself'. In the second interpretation, Kallaṭa would be paying homage to Parāvāk, who is the real Guru. All in all, whether he was speaking about the speech of his own human Guru (Vasugupta) or about the Supreme Speech (Parāvāk or Śakti, who is the real Guru), he is anyway paying homage to the Guru in the end.
Next, Kṣemarāja continues speaking like Kallaṭa and teaches that he is making Śakti his main aim in order to enter Herself. This is his teaching. Anyway, my teaching is that the main aim must be always Śiva (the Possessor of Śakti) and not Śakti. This is our difference of opinion. In general, Abhinavagupta and Kṣemarāja tend to prefer Śakti over Śiva, according to my experience, but this is not the right way, in my opinion. I never worship Śakti in any form. I only worship Him and Him alone. If I have Him, then I automatically have Her. There is something mysterious in my teaching, because it is not something that came to my mind all of a sudden from my own ego, but it was a revelation I got in deep trance. So, though Śiva and Śakti are one and the same Reality, one should only worship to the Śaktimān, to the Possessor of Śakti. This is Shaivism and not Shaktism.
One person in ignorance is someone who doubts about his own identity. He is not sure that he is Śiva. He hesitates at every step, and due to this hesitation, he falls prey to his own powers which tie him up. Kṣemarāja then explains the description of Kallaṭa —that either the speech of the Guru or Parāvāk enables one to safely cross the fathomless ocean of doubt— by comparing Śakti to a boat which is fit to carry oneself to the other side, to Liberation, which is characterized by absence of uncertainty about one's own Self.
Finally, Kṣemarāja shows two interpretations for 'vicitrārthapadām' in the aphorism. The first interpretation is the one shown in the translation given above, i.e. 'to the one which is full of manifold words with their respective meanings'. But the second interpretation would be: 'to the one whose states or reposes are means of attainment of multiple kinds of Bliss of I-consciousness'. OK, now I will reform the translation of the aphorism even more (the first reform was the interpretation of 'gurubhāratī' as Parāvāk). So, the full second interpretation of the aphorism, with all the changes suggested by Kṣemarāja would look like this:
I pay homage to that wonderful --i.e. whose form is the extraordinary (transcendental) delight of I-consciousness-- Great Speech --viz. Parāvāk--, whose states or reposes are means of attainment of multiple kinds of Bliss of I-consciousness, (and) enables (one) to safely cross the fathomless ocean of doubt||1||
By mentioning his own name whose majesty is well-known (and) urging the (spiritual) seekers by (their) firm faith (full of) respect (for him), (Vasugupta,) the author of the scripture --the author of Spandakārikā-s--, defines the great fruit of this scripture when it is kept secret1 :
Besides, (the act) of having obtained this treasure of knowledge, which is difficult to attain, (together with the act of) finally preserving (it) in the cave of the heart, is doubtless always for the good of the whole world, just as (it was for the good of) Vasugupta||2||
This knowledge enunciated in this scripture (is) certainly a treasure since it is the cause of the attainment of the goal of human existence --lit. human goal--. (And) though (it is) 'alabhyam' (or) difficult to attain, 'labdhvā' --see the aphorism--, i.e. after obtaining (it) from the surface of a stone (in the form of) the essence of Śaṅkara's teachings during a dream --viz. after obtaining it from the surface of a stone in the form of the Śivasūtra-s--, he --Vasugupta-- finally preserved --lit. (there is) preservation on his part-- that treasure of knowledge (in that), that is to say, he established --lit. (there is) establishment on his part-- (that treasure of knowledge) with certainty and conviction in that. (What is that? It is) the cave —because it provides space or room for entering into the Totality --the all-encompassing Reality--— (known as) the Heart, which --the Heart-- consists of Śiva and Śakti. (Additionally,) just as that (treasure of knowledge) turned out to be for the good of that Master and Guru called venerable Vasugupta, so also, since there is no restriction of rules with reference to the spiritual candidate --the disciple who starts treading the spiritual path--, it is always for the good of the whole world indeed when they finally and carefully preserve (it) in the cave of the heart and, protecting (it) from the one who does not have the same viewpoint, assimilate (it) by means of firm perception or realization. (By 'it is doubtless always for the good', it is meant that) it produces the attainment of a full absorption in one's own essential nature which is the eternal Śaṅkara. May there be welfare for all!2 ||2||
In this aphorism, Vasugupta mentions his own name, which would be a proof, according to Kṣemarāja, that he wrote the Spandakārikā-s and not his disciple Kallaṭa. In Trika system, the act of keeping the teachings secret is always celebrated. Why? In my opinion, because to speak about them with common people is just useless. They will be indifferent or discuss or become violent, etc. It is not their time to receive this knowledge and no way to bypass this requirement. Anyway, having published the translation and explanation of some Trika scriptures and their full commentaries too, I cannot affirm that I am the epitome of 'the act of keeping this knowledge secret', you know.
2 All this Trika knowledge is the greatest treasure because it sets a person free from spiritual ignorance (this constant lack of fullness). What could be more important than your Freedom? Men fight for freedom in the way they interpret it, but nonetheless they still remain in bondage. Bondage I am speaking about is internal and consists of several layers of limitations: Lack of fullness (the primordial ignorance) accompanied by notion of duality, false notion of doership, limited capacity to do, know, etc. It does not matter how free the physical body of that person may be, if he continues under the sway of such limitations due to his ignorance about his own essential nature, then he is in bondage anyway. This internal bondage cannot be removed by moving the body to a different position (a different country, for example) or by some mental exercise. No, it is only removed by His Grace. But His Grace has three ways of appearing in front of a person: (1) Śiva Himself in samādhi, (2) Śiva's scriptures and (3) the human Guru. So, if you can access the present scripture, you are receiving His Grace through this means. Apparently, anybody could access at will this scripture and any other Trika scripture, but this is not so, unfortunately. The Power of Śiva (i.e. Śakti) selects the people who will be able to access. Additionally, She also controls the level of access, i.e. if it will be shallow or deep. All this is not under the control of any ego then. There is an appearance of freedom with reference to accessing Trika scriptures, but it is just that: An appearance and not something real and true.
The Heart being mentioned in the aphorism is Paramaśiva, who is Prakāśavimarśamaya (consisting of Śiva and Śakti). The key to be successful is always to assimilate the sacred Spandakārikā-s' knowledge (and all the Trika knowledge) by means of firm realization of its truth together with the act of protecting it from the contact with the people who have other ideas about the Highest Reality. As I told you before, to share this knowledge with people having a different viewpoint will lead to indifference, discussion or even violence. When someone does so, such knowledge is always for his good, i.e. it generates in him realization of his true identity, i.e. that he is the Great Lord Śiva.
Though there is no estimated number of commentaries on this scripture and though (there are) intelligent people, they (are) mostly shallow-minded. Nonetheless, the ones who are proficient, skillful in perceiving the essence, (and) intelligent swans know the superiority of my commentary --lit. of my speech--1 ||1||
(Since) being in the middle of innumerable other commentators (was) intolerable (to him), Spandakārikā-s were not explained by my Guru --by Abhinavagupta--. Nevertheless, regarding this (scripture), I have previously shown a little bit of my peculiar viewpoint in Spandasandoha. But today, due to the fervent prayer of my own disciple whose name is Śūra, who is Śiva (and) who is full of an absorption in the Power of Rudra, it --Spandakārikā-s-- has been totally investigated by (me,) Kṣemarāja, by means of the extensive (explanation) of the Guru of my own Guru2 ||2-4||
They are not qualified with reference to this --i.e. with reference to the study of Spandanirṇaya-- whose intellect is not fit for (these) teachings (such as) it --i.e. the fit intellect-- has been explained by the true spiritual preceptors, whose confusion has not been shattered by the secret doctrine of venerable (Trika) Shaivism, (and) who, being of tender intellect --weak intellect--, have not previously tasted the nectar of sacred Īśvarapratyabhijñā. However, this --Spandanirṇaya-- can be enjoyed --lit. can be chewed-- by other perfect souls3 ||5||
That Supreme Vibration of Pure Consciousness, which is the abode of the glittering unequaled Delight, (always) triumphs, whose majesty of path is extremely far-spreading from Śiva down to the earth element, who flashes into view as variegated manifestations (in the form of) multiple states of emission --creation--, maintenance and dissolution, of whose extension the vast universe is a small particle4 ||6||
This venerable Spandanirṇaya is finished|
This is the work of venerable Kṣemarāja who received the teachings from glorious Abhinavaguptanātha --i.e. Abhinavagupta--, the Great Master and devotee of the Great Lord, who is (also) the disciple of the disciple of the celebrated author of Īśvarapratyabhijñā --i.e. Utpaladeva, Guru of Lakṣmaṇagupta--. May there be welfare for all!||
1 The meaning is that, at the time of Kṣemarāja, there were many commentaries on Spandakārikā-s (most of which are now lost) written by some intelligent people, but they were not fully quallified to explain these esoteric topics really. Nonetheless, the people who are capacitated, skillful in apprehend Spanda at any moment, and intelligent swans (i.e. endowed with competence to study Trika scriptures), are conscious of the excellence of Kṣemarāja's commentary.
Anyway, humble Kṣemarāja accepted the challenge and firstly wrote a commentary called Spandasandoha only on the first aphorism in Spandakārikā-s. But next, by request of his liberated disciple going by the name of Śūra, Kṣemarāja composed Spandanirṇaya, in which he commented on the whole Spandakārikā-s. Kṣemarāja did so by means of the extensive explanation of the Guru of his own Guru. Oh well, in my opinion, he is probably referring to Lakṣmaṇagupta (the disciple of Utpaladeva) who taught Abhinavagupta (the Guru of Kṣemarāja) all the schools of Trika except for Kula. Another candidate would be Bhaṭṭendurāja, disciple of Mukula (who was disciple of Kallaṭa himself), but he is said to have taught Abhinavagupta only 'dhvani' (poetry) and 'Bhagavadgītā'.
3 The adhikārī/adhikāriṇī or candidate must be furnished with the right kind of intellect such as defined by the true Guru-s of the tradition. It is an intellect able to reason in the right way about the Highest Reality. Besides, all the confusion in him about his own Self must have been completely destroyed by means of the teachings enunciated in Trika Shaivism. Finally, that person should have firstly studied Utpaladeva's Īśvarapratyabhijñā, the greatest work in the Pratyabhijñā branch of Trika Shaivism. This scripture is famous for teaching a disciple the right way to reason about the spiritual Truth. Hence Kṣemarāja is postulating that the study of Īśvarapratyabhijñā is the third requirement. All in all, practically the entire humankind, with the exception of a few perfect souls, is not qualified for the study of this scripture, and I am not exaggerating even a little bit. So, if you do not meet these requirements and at the same time you constantly feel you cannot understand the teachings postulated here, in Spandanirṇaya, there is nothing incredibly surprising then.
4 Spanda (the Power of Śiva) always triumphs because despite the constant obstacles and defeats, It remains forever as I-consciousness (like 'I AM'). There is no destruction of this Spanda even after the destruction of the body or even after the annihilation of the entire universe. The path of Spanda is extremely far-spreading because it extends from Śiva (tattva or category 1) down to the earth element (tattva or category 36), with all the multiple ramifications included in this process (myriad of states of manifestation, maintenance and dissolution), the entire colossal physical universe being just a small particle situated in a corner of Its --of Spanda-- Being. It is enough!
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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