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Svātantryasūtravṛtti (Svatantryasutravritti) First chapter (aphorisms 1 to 4) - Non-dual Shaivism of Rosario
Svātantryasūtravṛtti begins. Firstly, I write, in Sragdharā meter, a laudatory prayer in honor of the pure Self. Secondly, I start the scripture itself.
This is the first set of 4 aphorisms out of 16 aphorisms of which the first chapter (dealing with Paramārtha, the Highest Reality) consists. As you know, the entire work is composed of a full commentary on the 48 aphorisms of Svātantryasūtram. Of course, I will also insert the original aphorisms on which I will be commenting. Even though the commentary is detailed enough, there are a few notes to make a particular point clear when strictly necessary. I write in Sanskrit so elementarily as possible, i.e. with short sentences, without too long compounds and without going into the overwhelming scholarship exhibited by the ancient sages. Although Sanskrit is not exactly "for the masses", yet my purpose is to explain everything in the simplest terms for all the spiritual aspirants to understand the teachings quickly.
My Sanskrit will be in dark green color while the original Svātantryasūtram's aphorisms will be shown in dark red color. In turn, within the transliteration, the original aphorisms will be in brown color, while my comments will be shown in black. Also, within the translation, the original aphorisms of Svātantryasūtram will be in green and black colors, while my commentary will contain words in both black and red colors. All the quotes extracted from other scriptures will be properly marked, obviously.
Read Svātantryasūtravṛtti and experience Supreme Delight, dear Self.
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. As it is very easy to get drown in the ocean of Sanskrit and Trika, hehe, all corrections (of any kind) are always welcome, of course.
आत्मा शुद्धप्रकाशात्मकघनमय एवास्ति चिच्छक्तिमात्रः
शक्तिश्चास्यात्मनः संविदमृतरसपूर्णा हि सानन्दशक्तिः।
विश्वं शुद्धप्रकाशात्क्षणिकमिह वितष्टं तु एतस्य शक्त्या
स्वाच्छन्द्याह्लादरूपौ मम हृदि अभिवन्देऽधुनैवात्मशक्ती॥
Ātmā śuddhaprakāśātmakaghanamaya evāsti cicchaktimātraḥ
śaktiścāsyātmanaḥ saṁvidamṛtarasapūrṇā hi sānandaśaktiḥ|
Viśvaṁ śuddhaprakāśātkṣaṇikamiha vitaṣṭaṁ tu etasya śaktyā
svācchandyāhlādarūpau mama hṛdi abhivande'dhunaivātmaśaktī||
The Self (ātmā), forming a compact mass (ghana-mayaḥ eva) made of (ātmaka) pure (śuddha) Light (prakāśa), is (asti) only (mātraḥ) Cicchakti --the Power of Consciousness-- (cit-śakti); and (ca) the Power (śaktiḥ) of this Self (asya ātmanaḥ), which is full of (pūrṇā) the nectarean (amṛta) sap (rasa) of Consciousness (saṁvid), (is) Ānandaśakti --the Power of Bliss-- (sā ānanda-śaktiḥ) indeed (hi). The transient (kṣaṇikam) universe (viśvam) is certainly hewn (vitaṣṭam tu) here (iha), from the pure Light (śuddha-prakāśāt), by His own Power (etasya śaktyā). Now (adhunā eva), in my heart (mama hṛdi), I salute respectfully (abhivande) the Self and (His) Power (ātma-śaktī), whose nature (rūpau) (is) Absolute Freedom (svācchandya) (and) Joy (āhlāda).
यावन्न पुरुषः स्वबन्धं चिनुते तावत्स परमार्थदृष्ट्या जीवन्मुक्तो वान्यो बद्धमात्रो पशुर्वा नूनम्। प्रायेण सर्वे स्वबन्धं न चेतुं शक्न्वन्ति तद्यथा तेषां स्वचित्तदेहपरिमिततामिषतां न द्रष्टुं बोद्धुं वा शक्न्वन्ति प्रतिपदम्। अमी जनाश्चेदमीषां बन्धस्य मात्रां बोद्धुं शक्नुयुस्तदा ते नैतावत्प्रमत्तचित्ता असावधानाः स्युरेव। दुर्दैवाद्यस्माद्बहवस्तत्सत्यं न बोधन्ति तस्मादसङ्ख्यचिन्तावृत्तान्तादिमयलौकिकत्वेन भासमानः संसारो बन्धः पुनः पुनः प्रवर्तते। केऽपि किन्तु स्वबन्धदशां बोधन्ति। येऽज्ञानबन्धैर्मुक्त्यन्विच्छन्तस्ते साधकसञ्ज्ञा न संशयः।
अनेकगुरूपदिष्टैर्नानावादैर्मोहिताः केचित्साधका जगत्यस्मिञ्छोकामिषतां यान्ति। अस्यात्मनोऽहैतुक्या करुणया स्वातन्त्र्यसूत्रं मया विरचितं निःशोकेन स्वतन्त्रताप्रमोदशालिना स्वात्मना तेषां साधकानामेव पुनः सम्बन्धार्थम्। इदानीमेवास्याहैतुक्यापि दयया स्वातन्त्र्यसूत्रस्य रहस्यार्थान् प्रतिपादयितुं विरचयामि वृत्तिमिमाम्। प्रथमसूत्रेण परमार्थः सङ्क्षेपत उक्तः—
यावचिन्त्यावात्मास्य शक्तिश्चैतौ परमार्थो भवतः॥१॥
आत्मा चात्मनः शक्तिश्च यावचिन्त्यौ चित्तातीतौ चिन्ताया अविषयावेतौ स्तः परमार्थोऽनुत्तरम्। सर्वाणि प्रमेयान्यपि भूत्वैताविमौ नित्यमप्रमेयौ स्थितौ स्वबुद्ध्या चानिश्चितौ। इत्थमेतयोः स्वभावोऽशक्यो वचनप्रतिकृतिमूर्त्यादिव्याकारेण वर्णयितुं यतः सर्वोऽयं प्रपञ्च एतयोरुदितः। यथा घटो घटकारस्वभावमुपलब्धुमशक्तस्तथैव चित्तमिदं तत्स्रष्टृस्वरूपस्योपलाभेऽशक्तं।
अत्र च सूत्रेऽस्मिन् आत्मा प्रकाशमात्र इव शुद्धबोधः क्रियाशून्यो निर्दिष्टो ब्रह्मेवाद्वैतवेदान्तदर्शने। प्रकाशो न मनागपि स्फुटं दृश्यज्योतिर्मात्रोऽप्रमेयत्वात्। यत्सत्ताधारमेतद्वक्तुं श्रेयस्या अभिधाया अभावात्प्रकाशशब्दः प्रयुक्तः। प्रकाशमात्रो निष्क्रिय इति हेतोः कर्मशालि विश्वं स्रष्टुं न शक्नोति।
आत्मनः शक्तिर्भवत्यहंविमर्शो य एतस्मै क्रियां दाता। एषोऽहंविमर्शो विमर्शपदमात्रेणापि कीर्तितः। यदि परमार्थः प्रकाशमात्रः स्यात्तदैवाहंविमर्शाभावत्वान्न विश्वं जायेत। यतो विश्वं नीलदेहादिसर्वभोग्यात्मकं तत आत्मना तस्य भोक्त्रा भवितव्यम्। स्वशक्त्यैवाहन्तां यात्वा प्रकाशविमर्शमयो भूत्वा चैष आत्मा विश्वं भोक्तुं शक्नोत्यन्ते। अत एव न परमार्थः कदाचित्प्रकाशमात्रोऽस्त्यपि तु प्रकाशविमर्शमयः परमार्थतः। तदुक्तं श्रीमत्पराप्रावेशिकायाम्
इह खलु परमेश्वरः प्रकाशात्मा प्रकाशश्च विमर्शस्वभावः विमर्शो नाम विश्वाकारेण विश्वप्रकाशेन विश्वसंहरणेन चाकृत्रिमाहमिति विस्फुरणम्। यदि निर्विमर्शः स्यादनीश्वरो जडश्च प्रसज्येत।
इति श्रीक्षेमराजनीत्यात्मनः शक्तिर्विश्वस्य सृष्टिस्थितिसंहारेषु तयैव कृतेष्वहंविमर्शवद्भवन्त्यास्ते। शिवस्त्रिकशासने सूचितः परमात्मा यः परप्रमाता स तु न हि प्रसिद्धः पौराणिकशिवो ब्रह्मविष्णुशिवत्रितयस्य देवो महायोगी यो व्याघ्रचर्मण्यासीनः कैलासगिरौ च वसन्। ये निजाशुद्ध्यसमर्था अविद्वांसोऽपण्डिता ज्ञानविज्ञानरहितास्ते कल्पिताचार्या अवश्यं निरवधिमोहरूपाज्ञानकारकाः । तस्य हेतोः स्वातन्त्र्यसूत्रेऽगाधाज्ञानकृतस्यानन्तसम्भ्रमस्य विनाशार्थ आत्माशब्दः शिवे मया प्रयुज्यते।
एवं च प्रकाशाहन्तारूपेण सर्वस्य भित्तिर्भूत्वात्मशक्ती भवतः परमार्थोऽवश्यम्॥१॥
Yāvanna puruṣaḥ svabandhaṁ cinute tāvatsa paramārthadṛṣṭyā jīvanmukto vānyo baddhamātro paśurvā nūnam| Prāyeṇa sarve svabandhaṁ na cetuṁ śaknvanti tadyathā teṣāṁ svacittadehaparimitatāmiṣatāṁ na draṣṭuṁ boddhuṁ vā śaknvanti pratipadam| Amī janāścedamīṣāṁ bandhasya mātrāṁ boddhuṁ śaknuyustadā te naitāvatpramattacittā asāvadhānāḥ syureva| Durdaivādyasmādbahavastatsatyaṁ na bodhanti tasmādasaṅkhyacintāvṛttāntādimayalaukikatvena bhāsamānaḥ saṁsāro bandhaḥ punaḥ punaḥ pravartate| Ke'pi kintu svabandhadaśāṁ bodhanti| Ye'jñānabandhairmuktyanvicchantaste sādhakasañjñā na saṁśayaḥ|
Anekagurūpadiṣṭairnānāvādairmohitāḥ kecitsādhakā jagatyasmiñchokāmiṣatāṁ yānti| Asyātmano'haitukyā karuṇayā svātantryasūtraṁ mayā viracitaṁ niḥśokena svatantratāpramodaśālinā svātmanā teṣāṁ sādhakānāmeva punaḥ sambandhārtham| Idānīmevāsyāhaitukyāpi dayayā svātantryasūtrasya rahasyārthān pratipādayituṁ viracayāmi vṛttimimām| Prathamasūtreṇa paramārthaḥ saṅkṣepata uktaḥ—
Yāvacintyāvātmāsya śaktiścaitau paramārtho bhavataḥ||1||
Ātmā cātmanaḥ śaktiśca yāvacintyau cittātītau cintāyā aviṣayāvetau staḥ paramārtho'nuttaram| Sarvāṇi prameyānyapi bhūtvaitāvimau nityamaprameyau sthitau svabuddhyā cāniścitau| Itthametayoḥ svabhāvo'śakyo vacanapratikṛtimūrtyādivyākāreṇa varṇayituṁ yataḥ sarvo'yaṁ prapañca etayoruditaḥ| Yathā ghaṭo ghaṭakārasvabhāvamupalabdhumaśaktastathaiva cittamidaṁ tatsraṣṭṛsvarūpasyopalābhe'śaktaṁ|
Atra ca sūtre'smin ātmā prakāśamātra iva śuddhabodhaḥ kriyāśūnyo nirdiṣṭo brahmevādvaitavedāntadarśane| Prakāśo na manāgapi sphuṭaṁ dṛśyajyotirmātro'prameyatvāt| Yatsattādhārametadvaktuṁ śreyasyā abhidhāyā abhāvātprakāśaśabdaḥ prayuktaḥ| Prakāśamātro niṣkriya iti hetoḥ karmaśāli viśvaṁ sraṣṭuṁ na śaknoti|
Ātmanaḥ śaktirbhavatyahaṁvimarśo ya etasmai kriyāṁ dātā| Eṣo'haṁvimarśo vimarśapadamātreṇāpi kīrtitaḥ| Yadi paramārthaḥ prakāśamātraḥ syāttadaivāhaṁvimarśābhāvatvānna viśvaṁ jāyeta| Yato viśvaṁ nīladehādisarvabhogyātmakaṁ tata ātmanā tasya bhoktrā bhavitavyam| Svaśaktyaivāhantāṁ yātvā prakāśavimarśamayo bhūtvā caiṣa ātmā viśvaṁ bhoktuṁ śaknotyante| Ata eva na paramārthaḥ kadācitprakāśamātro'styapi tu prakāśavimarśamayaḥ paramārthataḥ| Taduktaṁ śrīmatparāprāveśikāyām
Iha khalu parameśvaraḥ prakāśātmā prakāśaśca vimarśasvabhāvaḥ vimarśo nāma viśvākāreṇa viśvaprakāśena viśvasaṁharaṇena cākṛtrimāhamiti visphuraṇam| Yadi nirvimarśaḥ syādanīśvaro jaḍaśca prasajyeta|
iti śrīkṣemarājanītyātmanaḥ śaktirviśvasya sṛṣṭisthitisaṁhāreṣu tayaiva kṛteṣvahaṁvimarśavadbhavantyāste| Śivastrikaśāsane sūcitaḥ paramātmā yaḥ parapramātā sa tu na hi prasiddhaḥ paurāṇikaśivo brahmaviṣṇuśivatritayasya devo mahāyogī yo vyāghracarmaṇyāsīnaḥ kailāsagirau ca vasan| Ye nijāśuddhyasamarthā avidvāṁso'paṇḍitā jñānavijñānarahitāste kalpitācāryā avaśyaṁ niravadhimoharūpājñānakārakāḥ | Tasya hetoḥ svātantryasūtre'gādhājñānakṛtasyānantasambhramasya vināśārtha ātmāśabdaḥ śive mayā prayujyate|
Evaṁ ca prakāśāhantārūpeṇa sarvasya bhittirbhūtvātmaśaktī bhavataḥ paramārtho'vaśyam||1||
As long as (yāvat) a person (puruṣaḥ) does not (na) perceive (cinute) his own bondage (sva-bandham), so long (tāvat) he (saḥ) (is) assuredly (nūnam), from a spiritual viewpoint (paramārthadṛṣṭyā), either (vā) a Jīvanmukta --someone who is liberated while living-- (jīvat-muktaḥ) or (vā) another (anyaḥ) conditioned being (paśuḥ) who is merely (mātraḥ) bound (baddha). Most people (prāyeṇa sarve) are not able (na... śaknvanti) to perceive (cetum) their own bondage (sva-bandham), namely (tad-yathā), they cannot (na... śaknvanti) see (draṣṭum) or (vā) understand (boddum) at every step --on every occasion-- (pratipadam) that they are victims (āmiṣatām) to their own (sva) mental (citta) (and) bodily (deha) limitations (parimitatā). If (ced) those (amī) people (janāḥ) could (śaknuyuḥ) understand (boddhum) the magnitude (mātrām) of their (amūṣām) bondage (bandhasya), then (tadā) they (te) would not be (na... syuḥ eva) so (etāvat) carefree (pramattacittāḥ) (and) heedless (asāvadhānāḥ). Unfortunately (durdaivāt), as (yasmāt) a lot of people (bahavaḥ) do not (na) understand (bodhanti) that (tad) truth (satyam), therefore (tasmāt) transmigration --going from one thought to another, from one birth to another an so forth-- (saṁsāraḥ), (also known as) bondage (bandhaḥ), which appears (bhāsamānaḥ) in the form of worldliness (laukikatvena) full of (maya) innumerable (asaṅkhya) thoughts (cintā), events (vṛttānta), etc. (ādi), goes on and on (punar punar pravartate). Nevertheless (kintu), some people (ke'pi) understand (bodhanti) their (sva) state (daśām) of bondage (bandha). Those (te) (are) doubtless (na saṁśayaḥ) called (sañjñāḥ) spiritual aspirants (sādhaka) who (ye) search (anvicchantaḥ) for liberation (mukti) from bondage (bandhaiḥ) of spiritual ignorance (ajñāna).
In this world (jagati asmin), some (kecid) spiritual aspirants (sādhakāḥ), bewildered (mohitāḥ) by the multiple doctrines (nānā-vādaiḥ) taught (upadiṣṭaiḥ) by a lot of (aneka) spiritual teachers (guru), fall prey (āmiṣatāṁ yānti) to sorrow (śoka). Out of causeless Compassion (ahaitukyā karuṇayā) of this Self (asya ātmanaḥ), I composed (mayā viracitam) Svātantryasūtram --The aphorisms on Absolute Freedom-- (svātantrya-sūtram) in order to (artham) reconnect (punar sambandha) those (teṣām) very (eva) spiritual aspirants (sādhakānām) with their own Self (sva-ātmanā) that is free from sorrow (niḥśokena) (and) replete with (śālinā) Independence (svatantratā) (and) Cheerfulness (pramoda). Now (idānīm eva), out of His causeless Mercy (asya ahaitukyā... dayayā) too (api), I write (viracayāmi) this (imām) vṛtti or commentary (vṛttim) for explaining (pratipādayitum) the secret meanings (rahasya-arthān) of Svātantryasūtram (svātantryasūtrasya). By the first aphorism (prathama-sūtreṇa), the Highest Reality (parama-arthaḥ) is described (uktaḥ) succinctly (saṅkṣepatas)—
These two (etau), the Self (ātmā) and (ca) His (asya) Power (śaktiḥ) —who (yau) (are) inconceivable (acintyau)—, constitute (bhavataḥ) the Highest Reality (parama-arthaḥ)||1||
These two (etau), the Self (ātmā) and (ca... ca) the Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātmanaḥ), who (yau) (are) inconceivable (acintyau) —i.e. who are beyond (atītau) of mind (citta) (and consequently) out of the sphere (aviṣayau) of thought (cintāyāḥ)— constitute (staḥ) the Highest Reality (parama-arthaḥ) (or) Absolute (anuttaram). After having become (bhūtvā) even (api) all (sarvāṇi) the objects (prameyāni), these very two (etau imau) remain (sthitau) constantly (nityam) immeasurable --they are never a measurable object-- (aprameyau) and (ca) unascertained (aniścitau) by one's own intellect (sva-buddhyā) --the intellect cannot determine or establish what these two really are--. In this way (ittham), Their (etayoḥ) essential nature (sva-bhāvaḥ) is impossible (aśakyaḥ) to be depicted (varṇayitum) by a detailed description --i.e. an analysis-- (vyākāreṇa) that uses words (vacana), images (pratikṛti), forms (mūrti), etc. (ādi), because (yatas) all (sarvaḥ) this (ayam) manifestation --the universe-- (prapañcaḥ) has arisen (uditaḥ) from Them both (etayoḥ). Just as (yathā) a pot (ghaṭaḥ) is unable (aśaktaḥ) to understand (upalabdhum) the nature (sva-bhāvam) of the potter (ghaṭakāra), even so (tathā eva) this (idam) mind (cittam) is not able (aśaktam) to understand (upalābhe) the nature (sva-rūpasya) of its (tad) creator (sraṣṭṛ).
Here (atra ca), in this aphorism (sūtre asmin), the Self (ātmā) (is) indicated (nirdiṣṭaḥ) as (iva) Prakāśa or Light (prakāśa) only (mātraḥ), viz. (as) pure (śuddha) Consciousness (bodhaḥ) devoid of (śūnyaḥ) activity (kriyā), like (iva) Brahma (brahma) in the philosophical system (darśane) (called) non-dualistic (advaita) Vedānta (vedānta)1 . Obviously (sphuṭam), Prakāśa (prakāśaḥ) is not at all (na manāk api) mere (mātraḥ) visible (dṛśya) light (jyotis) since It is not an object --since It is not something to be perceived-- (aprameyatvāt). For want (abhāvāt) of a better term (śreyasyāḥ abhidhāyāḥ), the word (śabdaḥ) Prakāśa --Light, Effulgence-- (prakāśa) is used (prayuktaḥ) for describing (vaktum) This (etad) that (yad) is the support (ādhāram) of existence (sattā). Mere (mātraḥ) Prakāśa (prakāśa) is without any activity (niṣkriyaḥ); for this reason (iti hetoḥ) It cannot (na śaknoti) manifest (sraṣṭum) the universe (viśvam) which is replete with (śāli) actions (karma).
The Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātmanaḥ) is (bhavati) I-consciousness (aham-vimarśaḥ), which (yaḥ) gives (dātā) Him --the Self-- (etasmai) activity (kriyām). This (eṣaḥ) I-consciousness --ahaṁvimarśa-- (aham-vimarśaḥ) is also called (api kīrtitaḥ) "Vimarśa" (vimarśa-pada) plainly (mātreṇa). If (yadi) the Highest Reality (parama-arthaḥ) were (syāt) merely (mātraḥ) Prakāśa or Light (prakāśa), then (tadā eva), due to the absence (abhāvatvāt) of I-consciousness (aham-vimarśa), the universe (viśvam) would not appear (na... jāyeta)2 . Since (yatas) the universe (viśvam) consists (ātmakam) of all (sarva) the objects --the ones to be experienced-- (bhogya) (such as) blue (nīla), body (deha), etc. (ādi), then (tatas) the Self (ātmanā) must become (bhavitavyam) the experient (bhoktrā) of that (universe) (tasya)3 . Having acquired (yātvā) I-consciousness (ahantām) through His own Power (sva-śaktyā eva) and (ca) having become (bhūtvā) an aggregate of Prakāśa and Vimarśa --Light and I-consciousness-- (prakāśa-vimarśa-mayaḥ), this (eṣaḥ) Self (ātmā) can (śaknoti) finally (ante) experience (bhoktum) the universe (viśvam). For this reason (atas eva), the Highest Reality (parama-arthaḥ) is (asti) never (na... kadācid) only (mātraḥ) Prakāśa or Light (prakāśa), but rather (api tu) an aggregate of Prakāśa and Vimarśa --Light and I-consciousness-- (prakāśa-vimarśa-mayaḥ) really (paramārthatas). That (very teaching) (tad) is mentioned (uktam) in the beautiful (śrīmat) Parāprāveśikā (parāprāveśikāyām):
"Here (iha), the essence or self (ātmā) (of) the Supreme (parama) Lord (īśvaraḥ) (is) certainly (khalu) Prakāśa or Śiva (prakāśa); and (ca) Prakāśa (prakāśaḥ) (is) the essential nature (sva-bhāvaḥ) (of) Vimarśa or Śakti (vimarśa). That is called (nāma) Vimarśa (vimarśaḥ) (who, while acting) as the one who manifests (ākāreṇa), displays --i.e. maintains-- (prakāśena) and (ca) dissolves (saṁhāraṇena) the universe (viśva... viśva... viśva), flashes (visphuraṇam) (as) 'the natural (akṛtrima) I-ness' (aham iti)|
If (yadi) (the Supreme Consciousness) were to be (syāt) without Vimarśa or Śakti (nirvimarśaḥ), It would be consequently (prasajyeta) powerless (anīśvaraḥ) and(, as a result,) (ca) inert (jaḍaḥ... iti)|"
According to what is taught by venerable Kṣemarāja (śrī-kṣemarāja-nītyā), the Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātmanaḥ), during manifestation, maintenance and dissolution (sṛṣṭi-sthiti-saṁhāreṣu) of the universe (viśvasya) —(all of which) is performed (kṛteṣu) by that (Power) Itself too (tayā eva)—, continues (āste) existing (bhavantī) as (vat) I-consciousness (aham-vimarśa). In the Trika system (trika-śāsane), Śiva (śivaḥ) (is) defined (sūcitaḥ) as the Supreme (parama) Self (ātmā) who (is) the Highest (para) Experient (pramātā), and not (saḥ tu na hi) as the well-known (prasiddhaḥ) puranic (paurāṇika) Śiva (śivaḥ), the god (devaḥ) of the triad (tritayasya) (consisting of) Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva (brahma-viṣṇu-śiva), who (yaḥ) (is) a great (mahā) Yogī (yogī) sitting (āsīnaḥ) on a tiger's skin (vyāghra-carmaṇi) and (ca) lives (vasan) on the mountain Kailāsa (kailāsa-girau). Those (te) supposed spiritual teachers (kalpita-ācāryāḥ) who (ye) are incapacitated (asamarthāḥ) by their own (nija) impurity (aśuddhi), (who) are ignorant (avidvāṁsaḥ) (and) illiterate (apaṇḍitāḥ), (who) are devoid (rahitāḥ) of theoretical and practical knowledge --theory and direct experience-- (jñāna-vijñāna), (are) most certainly (avaśyam) agents (kārakāḥ) of spiritual ignorance (ajñāna) whose form (rūpa) (is) never-ending (niravadhi) delusion (moha). For that reason (tasya hetoḥ), in order to remove (vināśa-arthe) the endless (ananta) confusion (sambhramasya) brought about (kṛtasya) by unfathomable (agādha) ignorance (ajñāna), I used (mayā prayujyate), in Svātantryasūtra (svātantryasūtre), the term (śabdaḥ) "Ātmā" --the Self-- (ātmā) in the sense of "Śiva" (śive)4 .
In this way (evam ca), being (bhūtvā) the substratum (bhittiḥ) of all (sarvasya) in the form (rūpeṇa) of Prakāśa --Light-- and I-consciousness --Vimarśa-- (prakāśa-ahantā), the Self and (His) Power (ātma-śaktī) constitute (bhavataḥ) most certainly (avaśyam) the Highest Reality (parama-arthaḥ)||1||
1 For more information about Prakāśa and Vimarśa according to Trika (non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir), read: Trika 1 and Trika 2. Non-dualistic Vedānta is one of three kinds of Vedānta. In turn, Vedānta, as a whole, is one of the six orthodox (based on the sacred Veda-s) philosophical systems in India: Read First Steps 1, First Steps 2 and First Steps 3 to pick up more relevant information.
2 The concept of an emerging universe associated with I-consciousness might seem extremely advanced and only intended for supernatural beings, but it is very easy. Just answer this: When did you live without your "I"? Never, because you feel your own existence all the time despite your intellect elaborates theories after theories about a supposed previous and/or future nonexistence. I am completely sure about that because I feel my "I" fully. In fact, there is no one feeling the "I" partially. Besides, this "I" must be here or the universe is just nonsensical, viz. the universe cannot exist without "I" here. Imagine a universe without "I" now: "... drive home" or "... love ..." or "... have a dog", etc. The concept of "we", as an expanded "I", could not exist either. For example, imagine this: "... are humans", "let... make love and not war", "..., the founders of this republic", etc. The same is valid with reference to "you", "he" and so on. In fact, none of the previous phrases could even have been delineated without the presence of "I" right here and right now. Without I-ness, no universe is possible then because of the absence of a experient of that universe. If nobody were experiencing the universe, it could not appear in the first place. So, the connection between I-consciousness and the universe is natural. The idea of a universe completely devoid of "I-ness" is just happening on a mental level because nobody has experienced that ever. This is a mystery: So many people speaking about a universe existing without "I-ness" either in the past or in the future, but at the same time nobody has experienced that fully ever! If the reader is ready to understand the meaning behind my previous phrase, he can have a revelation of his own "I-consciousness". There is nothing difficult about it.
3 It is very common in scriptures dealing with Trika to define the universe like "blue, body, etc." in order to express that the universe consists of objects such as the blue color, the body, etc. The presence of these objects would be pointless if there was not someone experiencing them. This experient is the Self.
4 In Trika, the Self and His Power are called: Śiva and Śakti. Their technical names are Prakāśa and Vimarśa, respectively. There is a common belief that Śiva in the Trika system is the well-known puranic Śiva (the god who appears in the Purāṇa-s, the ancient narrations acting like a kind of commentary of the sacred Veda-s), who is a great ascetic, who lives on a certain holy mountain, etc. In turn, Śakti is often identified with the second wife (Pārvatī) of that god, etc., etc. All that nice puranic story has nothing to do with Śiva and Śakti as defined in Trika, because in this system they are inconceivable and not even possible to be delineated in thought. How could they be two people replete with attributes and stories then? At the most, it can be said that the concept of Śiva and Śakti in Trika is the result of a very long (many many centuries) evolution of the primitive puranic concept about them both. In fact, Trika's basic literature has nothing to do with Veda-s, Purāṇa-s and so forth, but it is strictly tantric.
All those people who do not have knowledge and experience enough about philosophy and spirituality, who are incapacitated due to their own impurity, when they assume the role of supposed spiritual teachers, they become indeed agents of spiritual ignorance, which appears in the form of an endless confusion such as that of considering the Trika's attributeless Śiva as the puranic Śiva who is full of attributes. In order to put an end to that mess brought about by all those supposed spiritual teachers, I use the word "Ātmā" (the Self) instead of the term "Śiva".
तयोरुभयोः स्वरूपं स्वातन्त्र्यानन्दात्मकैकघनत्वेनापि तत्सन्तताध्ययनाय वचोविषय एव द्विधाकृतम्॥२॥
तयोरुभयोरात्मशक्त्योः स्वरूपं स्वभावः स्वाच्छन्द्यप्रमोदमयैकघनत्वेनापि तद्द्विधाकृतं वचोविषये वचनापेक्षयैव तत्स्वरूपसन्ततोपोद्घातार्थम्। प्रकाशश्च विमर्शश्च नित्यसम्बन्धेनैकवस्तुनावतिष्ठेते। एतयोर्व्यतिरेकः केवलं वचोविषये बुद्ध्या तत्बोधाय यावद्वा यावद्वा। एवं नास्त्यात्मशक्तिरात्मन एव व्यतिरिक्ता कदाचन। किञ्चात्मा स्वशक्त्या सह नहि ज्योतिर्नादमनोदेहादिसगुणप्रमेया अपि तु तस्याक्षयनिर्विकारसाक्षी। तद्विशदीकृतं श्रीस्पन्दनिर्णये
यस्तु तत्तत्त्वमितीह तच्छब्देनास्य निर्देशः कृतः स
इति श्रीप्रत्यभिज्ञाकारिकोक्तनीत्या कल्पितस्यैवापारमार्थिकस्वरूपस्य न तु तत्त्वतः पारमार्थिकस्य।
इति श्रीक्षेमराजोपदेशतो न त्वेवं स्मर्यमाणत्वं तत्तत्त्वं प्रतिपद्यत इतीह स्पन्दे (१-१३) स्पन्दतत्त्वमात्मशक्तिरूपं निर्दिष्टं तच्छब्देनायं तु शब्दो नास्ति परमार्थस्तत्त्वतो यतः परमार्थो सर्वदोच्चाररहितं वस्तु। येषां ध्यानपूजासेवादिकुर्वतां जनानां कृत आत्मैव वचोविषये स्वागाधशक्त्या चोच्चार्यस्तदीश्वरब्रह्मादिकशब्दैर्वर्णनीयो भवति। इत्थमेष आत्मा द्विरूपत्वेन यो वर्णनीयः कल्पितज्ञाता च योऽवर्णनीयो वस्तुतः सज्ज्ञाता च। आत्मा च न स्वस्वतन्त्रतया हीनः कदाचन यतः शब्दविषये तदीश्वरब्रह्मादिकल्पितप्रमाता भूत्वापि स स्वतन्त्रः सततं स्थितः।
अहमात्मास्मीति नाहमात्मास्मीति वेमौ सङ्कल्पौ वचनप्रदेश एवात्मशब्दस्य कल्पितत्वात्। निःसन्देहमहंशब्दो वक्ष्यमानोऽपि कल्पितः। अनया रीत्योक्तोपदेशेन सर्वा विरोधोक्तिर्द्वैताद्वैतयोर्नष्टा सुनिश्चितम्।
यदि परमार्थो तदीश्वरब्रह्मादिशब्दात्मककल्पितज्ञातारं न कल्पेत तदा स न केनऽपि व्यवहर्तुं शक्येत कदाचित्। यद्येवं च नास्तिक्यमपि न स्यात्तदीश्वरब्रह्मादिसञ्ज्ञाभावत्वात्। अत्र त्वं पुनरुपलभस आत्मनः स्वातन्त्र्यं यस्मान्नानाशब्दसञ्ज्ञिततां लब्ध्वा स सर्वशब्दातीतस्वस्वरूपे नित्यं सर्वत्रावस्थितः। एष विभव्यात्मा सर्वदा स्तुतो भवतु॥२॥
Tayorubhayoḥ svarūpaṁ svātantryānandātmakaikaghanatvenāpi tatsantatādhyayanāya vacoviṣaya eva dvidhākṛtam||2||
Tayorubhayorātmaśaktyoḥ svarūpaṁ svabhāvaḥ svācchandyapramodamayaikaghanatvenāpi taddvidhākṛtaṁ vacoviṣaye vacanāpekṣayaiva tatsvarūpasantatopodghātārtham| Prakāśaśca vimarśaśca nityasambandhenaikavastunāvatiṣṭhete| Etayorvyatirekaḥ kevalaṁ vacoviṣaye buddhyā tatbodhāya yāvadvā yāvadvā| Evaṁ nāstyātmaśaktirātmana eva vyatiriktā kadācana| Kiñcātmā svaśaktyā saha nahi jyotirnādamanodehādisaguṇaprameyā api tu tasyākṣayanirvikārasākṣī| Tadviśadīkṛtaṁ śrīspandanirṇaye
Yastu tattattvamitīha tacchabdenāsya nirdeśaḥ kṛtaḥ sa
iti śrīpratyabhijñākārikoktanītyā kalpitasyaivāpāramārthikasvarūpasya na tu tattvataḥ pāramārthikasya|
iti śrīkṣemarājopadeśato na tvevaṁ smaryamāṇatvaṁ tattattvaṁ pratipadyata itīha spande (1-13) spandatattvamātmaśaktirūpaṁ nirdiṣṭaṁ tacchabdenāyaṁ tu śabdo nāsti paramārthastattvato yataḥ paramārtho sarvadoccārarahitaṁ vastu| Yeṣāṁ dhyānapūjāsevādikurvatāṁ janānāṁ kṛta ātmaiva vacoviṣaye svāgādhaśaktyā coccāryastadīśvarabrahmādikaśabdairvarṇanīyo bhavati| Itthameṣa ātmā dvirūpatvena yo varṇanīyaḥ kalpitajñātā ca yo'varṇanīyo vastutaḥ sajjñātā ca| Ātmā ca na svasvatantratayā hīnaḥ kadācana yataḥ śabdaviṣaye tadīśvarabrahmādikalpitapramātā bhūtvāpi sa svatantraḥ satataṁ sthitaḥ|
Ahamātmāsmīti nāhamātmāsmīti vemau saṅkalpau vacanapradeśa evātmaśabdasya kalpitatvāt| Niḥsandehamahaṁśabdo vakṣyamāno'pi kalpitaḥ| Anayā rītyoktopadeśena sarvā virodhoktirdvaitādvaitayornaṣṭā suniścitam|
Yadi paramārtho tadīśvarabrahmādiśabdātmakakalpitajñātāraṁ na kalpeta tadā sa na kena'pi vyavahartuṁ śakyeta kadācit| Yadyevaṁ ca nāstikyamapi na syāttadīśvarabrahmādisañjñābhāvatvāt| Atra tvaṁ punarupalabhasa ātmanaḥ svātantryaṁ yasmānnānāśabdasañjñitatāṁ labdhvā sa sarvaśabdātītasvasvarūpe nityaṁ sarvatrāvasthitaḥ| Eṣa vibhavyātmā sarvadā stuto bhavatu||2||
Even though (api) the essential nature (sva-rūpam) of Them (tayoḥ) both (ubhayoḥ) (is) one compact mass (eka-ghanatvena) composed of (ātmaka) Absolute Freedom (svātantrya) (and) Bliss (ānanda), it is divided into two (dvidhā-kṛtam) —only (eva) in the sphere (viṣaye) of words (vacas)— for its close study (tad-santata-adhyayanāya)||2||
Even though (api) the svarūpa (sva-rūpam) (or) essential nature (sva-bhāvaḥ) of Them (tayoḥ) both (ubhayoḥ) —of the Self and (His) Power (ātma-śaktyoḥ)— (is) one compact mass (eka-ghanatvena) consisting of (maya) Absolute Freedom (svācchandya) (and) Joy (pramoda), it (tad) is divided into two (dvidhā-kṛtam) in the sphere (viṣaye) of words (vacas) —with reference to (apekṣayā eva) the words (vacana)— for (artham) a close (santata) analysis (upodghāta) of that (tad) essential nature (sva-rūpa)1 . Prakāśa (prakāśaḥ) and (ca... ca) Vimarśa (vimarśaḥ) --Light and I-consciousness, viz. the Self and His Power-- abide (avatiṣṭhete) inseparably (nityasambandhena) as one Reality (eka-vastunā). Their (etayoḥ) separation or difference (vyatirekaḥ) (takes place) only (kevalam) in the sphere (viṣaye) of words (vacas) for the intellect to understand them both (buddhyā tad-bodhāya) so much as possible (yāvat vā yāvat vā). Thus (evam), there is never (na asti.... kadācana) a Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma) that is separate or different (vyatiriktā) from the Self Himself (ātmanaḥ eva). Besides (kiñca), the Self (ātmā) together (saha) with His own Power (sva-śaktyā) are not objects (prameyāḥ) endowed with attributes (sa-guṇa) (such as) light (jyotis), sound (nāda), mind (manas), body (deha), etc. (ādi), but rather (api tu) the imperishable (akṣaya) immutable (nirvikāra) Witness (sākṣī) of that --of those objects-- (tasya)2 . That point (tad) (is) is made clear (viśadī-kṛtam) in venerable Spandanirṇaya (śrī-spandanirṇaye):
"That (saḥ) special mention (nirdeśaḥ) about It --about Spanda-- (asya) which (yaḥ) has been made (kṛtaḥ) by the word (śabdena) 'tad' (tad) here --in the last line of the aphorism 13-- (iha): 'tattattvam' (or) 'that principle (of Spanda)' (tad tattvam iti), refers to the supposed (experient) (kalpitasya eva) whose nature (sva-rūpasya) is not the Highest Reality (apāramārthika), and not (na tu), as a matter of fact (tattvatas), to the (Experient) who is the Highest Reality (pāramārthikasya), in accordance with what was described (ukta-nītyā) in the venerable (śrī) Pratyabhijñākārikā-s --also called Īśvarapratyabhijñā-- (pratyabhijñākārikā):
'The Self (ātmānam) not deprived from (amuktam) Absolute Freedom (svātantrya... iti... iti)...'|"
According to the teaching (upadeśataḥ) of illustrious (śrī) Kṣemarāja (kṣemarāja), here (iha), in Spandakārikā-s I-13 (spande 1-13) —"However (tu), that (tad) principle (of Spanda) (tattvam) is not (na) thus (evam) perceived or realized (pratipadyate), (that is), as a state of recollection (smaryamāṇatvam... iti)"—, the Spanda principle (spanda-tattvam), whose nature (rūpam) is the Power (śakti) of the Self (ātma), is indicated (nirdiṣṭam) by the word (śabdena) "tad" --that-- (tad), but (tu) this (ayam) word (śabdaḥ) is (asti) not (na) the Highest Reality (parama-arthaḥ) truly (tattvatas) because (yatas) the Highest Reality (parama-arthaḥ) (is) at all times (sarvadā) Reality (vastu) beyond (rahitam) utterance (uccāra). For the sake of (kṛte) the people (janānām) who (yeṣām) perform (kurvatām) meditation (dhyāna), worship (pūjā), service (sevā), etc. (ādi), the Self Himself (ātmā eva), in the sphere (viṣaye) of words (vacas) and (ca) through of His own unfathomable Power (sva-agādha-śaktyā), becomes (bhavati) utterable (uccāryaḥ), viz. describable (varṇanīyaḥ) by words (śabdaiḥ) (such as) That (tad), Lord (īśvara), Absolute (brahma) and so forth (ādika). In this manner (ittham), this (eṣaḥ) Self (ātmā) has two forms (dvi-rūpatvena): a fictitious (kalpita) knower (jñātā) who (yaḥ) is describable (varṇanīyaḥ) as well as (ca... ca) a real (sat) Knower (jñātā) who (yaḥ) is indescribable (avarṇanīyaḥ) truly (vastutas)3 . Also (ca), the Self (ātmā) is never (na... kadācana) devoid of (hīnaḥ) His Absolute Freedom (sva-svatantratayā) since (yatas) even (api) having become (bhūtvā), in the sphere (viṣaye) of words (śabda), an invented (kalpita) experient (pramātā) (such as) That (tad), Lord (īśvara), Absolute (brahma), etc. (ādi), He (saḥ) remains (sthitaḥ) constantly (satatam) Free (svatantraḥ).
"I (aham) am (asmi) the Self (ātmā... iti)" or (vā) "I (aham) am (asmi) not (na) the Self (ātmā... iti)", these two (imau) notions or conceptions (saṅkalpau) (exist) only (eva) in the realm (pradeśe) of words (vacana), as the term "Self" is an invention (ātma-śabdasya kalpitatvāt). Of course (niḥsandeham), the term (śabdaḥ) "I" (aham), which will be talked about later on (vakṣyamānaḥ), (is) also (api) fictitious (kalpitaḥ). In this way (anayā rītyā), by means of the aforesaid teaching (ukta-upadeśena), all (sarvā) dispute or mutual contradiction (virodha-uktiḥ) between dualism and non-dualism (dvaita-advaitayoḥ) is definitely eliminated (naṣṭā suniścitam)4 .
If (yadi) the Highest Reality (parama-arthaḥ) had not invented (na... kalpeta) the fictitious (kalpita) knower (jñātāram) consisting of (ātmaka) terms (śabda) (such as) That (tad), Lord (īśvara), Absolute (brahma), etc. (ādi), then (tadā) It (saḥ) could not (na... śakyeta) be dealt with (vyavahartum) by anyone (na kena api) ever (na... kadācid) --i.e. nobody could never deal with the Highest Reality--. And (ca) if this be so (yadi evam) --if nobody could deal with the Highest Reality for lack of a way of addressing It--, even (api) atheism (nāstikyam) would not exist (na syāt) due to absence (abhāvatvāt) of the terms (sañjñā) That (tad), Lord (īśvara), Absolute (brahma), etc. (ādi). Here (atra) you perceive (tvam... upalabhase) again (punar) the Absolute Freedom (svātantryam) of the Self (ātmanaḥ), because (yasmāt) after having made Himself known (sañjñitatām labdhvā) by various (nānā) words (śabda), He (saḥ) stays (avasthitaḥ) continuously (nityam) (and) everywhere (sarvatra) in His own essential nature (sva-sva-rūpe) which is beyond (atīta) all (sarva) words (śabda)5 . (May) this (eṣaḥ) glorious (vibhavi) Self (ātmā) be (bhavatu) praised (stutaḥ) always (sarvadā)!||2||
1 This is always monotheism despite, in order to study the Highest Reality, It is divided into two: the Self and His Power. By the expression "one compact mass", their inherent unity is clearly pointed out anyway. The division, then, is only useful with the aim of studying the Highest Reality in detail. Nevertheless, one should always keep in mind that the Self and His Power form one Reality. If you have one you have the other one way or the other; they are the two sides of the same coin.
2 The Self and His Power are not objects but the Supreme Subject or Witness to the entire aggregate of objects known as the universe. They cannot be ever perceived and consequently recollected in the same way as one perceives and remembers mere objects. For example, if you see an apple, you can remember its form, color, odor, etc. But this cannot be done in the case of the Highest Reality. This point is elementary and crucial. Since the the Highest Reality (the Self and His Power, as it was stated in the first aphorism) has no form essentially because of its being beyond space and time, one can realize or recognize the Highest Reality but never perceive It like one does in regard to an object. When spiritual enlightenment arrives (i.e. recognition of the Highest Reality), one does not see, hear, touch, etc. anything that is "special" but Its presence as the Supreme Subject who is an impartial Witness of the universe is completely evident. This has to be fully understood. The division into the Self and His Power is made in order for helping the intellect to understand this Reality that is inconceivable, i.e. that no ordinary mind can think of properly.
3 The expressions such as "tattattvam" (that Principle), "spandatattvam" (the principle of Spanda), "Lord", "Absolute", etc. etc. are not the Self and His Power (the Highest Reality) a matter of fact, because They are beyond utterance always, viz. They cannot be put into words ever. Nonetheless, the Self Himself invents all those appellatives or names in order for people performing spiritual practices to be able to address Himself comfortably. He does so only in the field of action of words, as it is obvious, and by means of His own Power. As a result, the Self assumes a double form: Although He is really indescribable, He makes Himself describable. He is then the real Knower or Experient (the Witness or Supreme Subject) but at the same time He plays the role of a fictitious knower or experient appearing in the form of terms such as "That", "Lord", "Absolute", "God", etc. This is the meaning.
4 The Self is always Free and Independent. By that I mean that He has nothing to do with the state of one's mind, actions, success, failure, life, death and all that fuss. He is absolutely Supreme and no ordinary mind can understand Him rightly ever. However, He can be realized or recognized through direct experience. He is so Free because even after having become the fictitious experient or knower called "That", "Lord", "Absolute", "God", etc., He retains His Freedom always.
In turn, the notions "I am the Self" or "I am not the Self" exist in the realm of words alone, simply since the word "Self" is an invention of the very Self. Besides, the term "I" is also an invention happening only in the sphere of influence of words. This is why when one realizes or recognizes the Self, there is no "I" becoming "Him" and so forth. It is just "This" revealing Himself. If you analyze the phrase "I am the Self", you notice that if "I" is "the Self", why are they existing separately in the sentence? This is very subtle. The explanation is that the expression is only in the form of "vikalpa" in one's mind. Yes, in general usage, vikalpa is synonymous with "thought", but according to the sage Patañjali in his Yogasūtra-s I, 9, the term "vikalpa" can be used specifically in the case of a fluctuation or modification of mind based on verbal knowledge about something that does not exist. In this case, the reality behind the expression "I am the Self" does not exist indeed (it is just verbal knowledge or cognition), because "I" is already "the Self". The separation between "I" and "Self" is only made in the world of words and not "in reality". When one reads that kind of expressions, viz. "I am the Self" or even "I am not the Self", his mind assumes a state of fluctuation called vikalpa according to Patañjali. So, the reality behind that expression is only happening in the mind through a flow of words. Can you understand me? For God's sake, I hope so, hehe!
Additionally, all controversies between dualism and nondualism come to an end, because all of them are only occurring in the territory of words. Dualism and nondualism have nothing to do with polytheism and monotheism. NO, forget about that misconception if you have it in your mind. Dualism is to consider that one "is not" the Self totally but a creation or manifestation brought about by Him, while nondualism is to consider that one "is" the Self completely. Obviously, in this world, dualism wins for a vast margin. Still, there is never a dispute or mutual contradiction between them both. The apparent contradictions only arise in the realm of words and never "as a matter of fact". I mean, if someone realizes the Self "truly", he will have no problem with dualism and nondualism. He will understand both at the same time. The dispute arises only in the mind of people who did not realize the Self yet. As they are not Self-realized people, they fall prey to the multiple words. As all the words are produced by His Power alone, this Supreme Power deludes most people at all times and prevents them from attaining Self-realization.
5 People performing spiritual practices such as meditation, worship, service, etc. can deal with the Highest Reality (i.e. they are able to address It) because the Highest Reality created a fictitious experient or knower appearing in the form of "names" designating It (e.g. the word "God"). If It had not invented those names, nobody could address the Highest Reality in any way because of Its inconceivable (beyond human understanding) nature. Even the ones who deny the existence of the Highest Reality would be in trouble, and I am not joking. How to deny something when you ignore even how to name it in the first place? This is another reason why the presence of deniers of the Highest Reality just proves Its existence.
Finally, you (the reader) easily notice again how absolutely Free the Self is, since having made Himself known by multiple terms He dwells forever and everywhere in His own essential nature, in His own State (in Turya, the fourth state of consciousness, the state of being a Witness), which the words just cannot reach by any means. This means that whether He stays in the king of the sages or in the king of the fools, He enjoys divine Autonomy and Independence always. Nothing can disturb His State or obstruct His Will. As the entire universe is a mere manifestation of His opulent Power, what or who could get in His way then? If someone is trying to block the Self some way, he is the Self again. As the Self cannot block the Self ever, He remains unobstructed forever. When one realizes Him as He essentially is, one experiences the real meaning of the word Freedom in all respects.
So many people just cannot understand my teachings yet. Who are they? The Self, of course. And if some day someone can at last understand my teachings, that one is the Self too. He appears to be, through His majestic Power, in a state of ignorance and enlightenment at the same time. Anyway, He constantly remains in His own State as the Core of all. He is immutable and therefore He does not move a millimeter at any time. All the changes are manifested by His Power, but in the end there is no change at all. This apparent contradiction cannot be fully understood till one realizes Him through His Power. When one experiences Self-realization, he recognizes his own true Self, and at that moment he also realizes he was always the Self. Though the recognition or realization is new, one's own nature is always the same Self. May this glorious Self be praised always!
आत्मा प्रकाशात्मकशुद्धबोधोऽपि सोऽहमिति वचोविषये स्मृतः॥३॥
यः प्रकाशात्मकशुद्धबोधः सारत एवानन्द्यात्मा वचनविषये स्वशक्त्याहंविमर्शेनाहंस्थितित्वं लभते। यदैष आत्मा परमार्थहृदयः परमप्रमाता विश्वोत्तीर्णस्थितो न जातु विकल्पेऽप्युल्लेखितुं शक्यस्तदा कुतः सोऽहंरूपं भवितुं शक्नुयात्। अस्य शक्त्या किन्त्वात्मैवाहंभावेन परिणमति सङ्कुचिताहन्तामयाहङ्कारमात्र आत्मन उत्कर्षं निर्देशायेति यावत्॥३॥
Ātmā prakāśātmakaśuddhabodho'pi so'hamiti vacoviṣaye smṛtaḥ||3||
Yaḥ prakāśātmakaśuddhabodhaḥ sārata evānandyātmā vacanaviṣaye svaśaktyāhaṁvimarśenāhaṁsthititvaṁ labhate| Yadaiṣa ātmā paramārthahṛdayaḥ paramapramātā viśvottīrṇasthito na jātu vikalpe'pyullekhituṁ śakyastadā kutaḥ so'haṁrūpaṁ bhavituṁ śaknuyāt| Asya śaktyā kintvātmaivāhaṁbhāvena pariṇamati saṅkucitāhantāmayāhaṅkāramātra ātmana utkarṣaṁ nirdeśāyeti yāvat||3||
Although (api) the Self (ātmā) (is) pure (śuddha) Consciousness (bodhaḥ) consisting of (ātmaka) Prakāśa or Light (prakāśa), He (saḥ) is called (smṛtaḥ) "I" (aham iti) in the sphere (viṣaye) of words (vacas)||3||
The blissful (ānandi) Self (ātmā), who (yaḥ) (is) essentially (sāratas eva) pure (śuddha) Consciousness (bodhaḥ) consisting of (ātmaka) Prakāśa or Light (prakāśa), attains (labhate) the status (sthititvam) of "I" (aham), in the sphere (viṣaye) of words (vacana), through His own Power (svaśaktyā) (appearing) as I-consciousness (aham-vimarśena). When (yadā) this (eṣaḥ) Self (ātmā) —the Heart or Core (hṛdayaḥ) of the Highest Reality (parama-artha)—, (who is) the Supreme (parama) Experient (pramātā) remaining (sthitaḥ) beyond (uttīrṇa) the universe (viśva), can (śakyaḥ) never (na jātu) even (api) be delineated (ullekhitum) in thought (vikalpe), then (tadā) how (kutas) could (śaknuyāt) He (saḥ) become (bhavitum) "I" (aham-rūpam)? Nonetheless (kintu), the Self Himself (ātmā eva), by His Power (asya śaktyā), turns into (bhāvena pariṇamati) "I" (aham) in order to indicate (nirdeśāya) His (ātmanaḥ) superiority (utkarṣam) in regard to mere (mātre) ego (ahaṅkāra) composed of (maya) limited (saṅkucita) I-ness (ahantā). This is the meaning (iti yāvat)1 ||3||
1 The Self is forever the Core or Heart of the Highest Reality. He cannot even be delineated in thought by any means because of His being the Supreme Experient or Knower (and not an object). Consequently, He can never indeed become "I" except in the universe of words. He does so through His own Power. Additionally, His apparent transformation into "I" serves the purpose of showing that He is superior to mere ego, which is simply I-ness in the field of limitation. The meaning is already very clear from the text itself, but I wanted to develop a little bit on the subject.
या प्रथमस्पन्दात्मिकास्य शक्तिः साहंविमर्श एव॥४॥
आत्माविक्रियस्वरूपे शुद्धबोधाब्धौ सहसोदिता सूक्ष्मस्फुरितरूपेण मनागूर्मिः। सेयमूर्मिरात्मशक्तिरहंविमर्शवदुद्गच्छती। स्वशक्त्या चात्मा स्वसत्तां प्रत्यक्षमनुभवति। अत एवात्मा स्वशक्तिसहितोऽहंरूपः खलु निर्दिष्टः। स्वशक्तिं विनात्मा स्वसत्तां ज्ञातुं न शक्नुयात्तदविद्वांश्च स स्यात्प्रकाशमात्रो निर्बल एव।
सत्यं कॢप्तौ सत्यासत्यावसत्यं चेति सत्यत्रयम्। सत्यमिति परमसत्यं तद्यथैष आत्मा स्वशक्त्युपेतः सङ्क्षेपतः परमार्थः स्वातन्त्र्यानन्दैकघनरूपकः प्रकाशविमर्शमयोऽसंशयम्। कॢप्तौ सत्यासत्यावित्यात्मशक्तेरसङ्ख्येयप्रपञ्चा अनित्यतासुखदुःखलक्षणाः — तव देहः स्थूलोऽस्तीति तव देहः कृशोऽस्ति वा दृष्टान्तरूपेण। पूर्वोक्तदृष्टान्तापेक्षया यदि वा यत्सत्यमसत्यं वा तत्सर्वं कॢप्तसत्यं कॢप्तासत्यं वा तस्यानित्यतासुखदुःखसम्बन्धत्वात्। अन्ततोऽसत्यमित्यभावरूपेण सम्पूर्णासत्यं वक्ष्यमानं यत्केवलं वचनमात्रमिव वर्तते न तु वस्तुतः।
यदा यदात्मा केनाप्युक्तः कथितस्तदा तदा तत्सर्वं न सत्यं तत्त्वतः परमार्थतोऽपि त्वात्मशक्तेः प्रपञ्चो वचनक्षेत्रे सर्वदा। अत एव सत्यं परमार्थरूपं न शकितं वाच्य आरोढुं सर्वथा। एवं सारभूतसत्यं परमार्थात्मकं नानाशब्दाविषयकं स्वानुभवसम्बन्धि भवति नित्यं। यद्येवं कोऽर्थः कस्याप्यात्मज्ञानशालिशास्त्रेण — यतः सत्यस्य परमार्थस्य प्रत्यभिज्ञायै साधकस्य तत्स्वभावप्रपञ्चाद्युपलाभेन प्रयोजनम्। किञ्चाभ्यासस्य केनचित्प्रकारेणानुभवपुण्यराशीकरणं वक्ष्यमानं सादखेनावश्यं करणीयम्। तद्विना सत्यं न साधकस्य प्रकाशते कदाचन यस्माद्यद्यपीदृक्प्रकाशनं भवेत्तथापि तन्निरर्थकं स्यात्साधकस्यैवायोग्यत्वात्।
यद्धि यद्वाच्य आरूढं तत्तदात्मशक्त्या कॢप्तं कृतम्। अत्रार्थे सर्वमिदं स्वशक्तेर्विजृम्भितं देहाहङ्कारमनोविषयादिप्रमेयरूपकं केवलं कल्पितं न तु सत्यं परमार्थः प्रकाशविमर्शमयो नूनं खलु - दृष्टान्तरूपेण यदा यदा केनाप्यहमयं चित्तदेहादिविशेषोपेतो जनोऽस्मीत्युक्तं तदा तदा तत्सर्वमात्मशक्तिकल्पितमेव यतः स पारमार्थिकात्मानन्यरूपत्वेनोच्चारातीतस्तिष्ठति नित्यम्। नानाशब्दभिः स्वशक्तिः कॢप्तजनकुलपुरप्रदेशभुवनादीनि सृजत्यास्तेऽनवरतम्। तत्सर्वं सत्तावत्तात्त्विकं च न संशयः सम्यग्वास्तविकात्मशक्त्युत्थितत्वात्किन्तु तत्सर्वं सङ्कोचविषये सुखदुःखविकारादिसम्बन्धि कल्पितं खलु न च स्वाच्छन्द्यप्रमोदशालि स्वस्वरूपं परमसत्यमेव।
सङ्कोचरङ्गभूमौ स्तः कृल्प्तौ सत्यासत्यावनित्यतासुखदुःखलक्षनौ - अहमयं देहोऽस्मीति त्वमस्य प्रदेशस्यासीति वयं मनुष्यजातीयाः स्म इतीदं सुखावहमस्तीत्यदोऽसुखावहमस्तीति ते मम मित्राः सन्तीत्यस्ति तस्य विशेष इत्यादि केचिद्दृष्टान्ताः। अयमात्मशक्तिकृतः प्रमातृप्रमाणप्रमेयसमूहः सम्यक्तात्त्विकोऽपि सम्यक्कॢप्तं परन्तु। आत्मा परप्रमाता साक्षादनित्यतासुखदुःखाद्यसङ्युक्तो भवति तस्याकल्पितत्वात्। स्वशक्तेः सर्वमिदं च कल्पितं नाटकमिव विश्वरूपेण केवलं स्वतन्त्रात्मप्रत्यभिज्ञार्थं न चान्यथा। यो न स्वस्वच्छन्दात्मप्रत्यभिज्ञायामुद्यतः सः खलु बद्धोऽनेन च हेतुनेदृग्बाध्योऽन्यदेहमेतद्देहादन्यविकल्पमेतद्विकल्पादित्यादि संसरन्न विरमति।
असत्यं सम्पूर्णशून्यमभावरूपं वक्ष्यमानं शब्दविषयभिन्नं न मनागपि भवति कदाचित्। केन हेतुनेति यतस्तत्कल्पितसम्पूर्णशून्यं केनापि सदा प्रमीयते। को तस्य प्रमातेति पारमार्थ्यात्मकसत्यमेव। किं बहुनात्मनोऽभावोऽन्यत्कल्पितमात्मशक्त्या कृतमसन्देहम्। अन्यानि सौषुप्तादिरूपशून्यानि सर्वदैव सत्ताशालीनि तेषां स्मर्यमानत्वादभावस्तु न स्मर्यते कदाचनात्मनः स्मारकस्य नित्यसन्निधेः।
स्वसाङ्ख्यप्रवचनसूत्रे श्रीव्यासेन सत्यता तथा सूचिता
सत्यं यथार्थे वाङ्मनसे यथा दृष्टं यथानुमितं यथा श्रुतं तथा वाङ्मनश्चेति। परत्र स्वबोधसङ्क्रान्तये वागुक्ता सा यदि न वञ्चिता भ्रान्ता वा प्रतिपत्तिबन्ध्या वा भवेदिति एषा सर्वभूतोपकारार्थं प्रवृत्ता न भूतोपघाताय यदि चैवमप्यभिधीयमाना भूतोपघातपरैव स्यान्न सत्यं भवेत्पापमेव भवेत्। तेन पुण्याभासेन पुण्यप्रतिरूपकेण कष्टं तमः प्राप्नुयात्तस्मात्परीक्ष्य सर्वभूतहितं सत्यं ब्रूयात्।
इति। असौ तु सत्यता श्रीमद्व्यासेन निर्दिष्टानित्यतासुखदुःखमयविश्वरूपकल्पितानुषक्ता केवलं तद्यथा महाबुधस्य व्याख्या कॢप्तसत्यासत्यविषयगतैव। वास्तविकसत्यता नैवमपि तु सारभूतात्मात्मकस्वस्वरूपावस्थानम्। यद्यपि श्रीव्यासेनोपदिष्टेव सत्यता केनाप्यभ्यस्ता स तत्करोति स्वस्वतन्त्रानन्द्यात्मावस्थानयुक्त्या न चान्यथा। तदनुसारेणात्मावस्थानस्य सत्यविषयगतत्वात्तद्भवति सत्यता परमा सर्वकालं नूनम्॥४॥
Yā prathamaspandātmikāsya śaktiḥ sāhaṁvimarśa eva||4||
Ātmāvikriyasvarūpe śuddhabodhābdhau sahasoditā sūkṣmasphuritarūpeṇa manāgūrmiḥ| Seyamūrmirātmaśaktirahaṁvimarśavadudgacchatī| Svaśaktyā cātmā svasattāṁ pratyakṣamanubhavati| Ata evātmā svaśaktisahito'haṁrūpaḥ khalu nirdiṣṭaḥ| Svaśaktiṁ vinātmā svasattāṁ jñātuṁ na śaknuyāttadavidvāṁśca sa syātprakāśamātro nirbala eva|
Satyaṁ kḷptau satyāsatyāvasatyaṁ ceti satyatrayam| Satyamiti paramasatyaṁ tadyathaiṣa ātmā svaśaktyupetaḥ saṅkṣepataḥ paramārthaḥ svātantryānandaikaghanarūpakaḥ prakāśavimarśamayo'saṁśayam| Kḷptau satyāsatyāvityātmaśakterasaṅkhyeyaprapañcā anityatāsukhaduḥkhalakṣaṇāḥ — Tava dehaḥ sthūlo'stīti tava dehaḥ kṛśo'sti vā dṛṣṭāntarūpeṇa| Pūrvoktadṛṣṭāntāpekṣayā yadi vā yatsatyamasatyaṁ vā tatsarvaṁ kḷptasatyaṁ kḷptāsatyaṁ vā tasyānityatāsukhaduḥkhasambandhatvāt| Antato'satyamityabhāvarūpeṇa sampūrṇāsatyaṁ vakṣyamānaṁ yatkevalaṁ vacanamātramiva vartate na tu vastutaḥ|
Yadā yadātmā kenāpyuktaḥ kathitastadā tadā tatsarvaṁ na satyaṁ tattvataḥ paramārthato'pi tvātmaśakteḥ prapañco vacanakṣetre sarvadā| Ata eva satyaṁ paramārtharūpaṁ na śakitaṁ vācya āroḍhuṁ sarvathā| Evaṁ sārabhūtasatyaṁ paramārthātmakaṁ nānāśabdāviṣayakaṁ svānubhavasambandhi bhavati nityaṁ| Yadyevaṁ ko'rthaḥ kasyāpyātmajñānaśāliśāstreṇa — Yataḥ satyasya paramārthasya pratyabhijñāyai sādhakasya tatsvabhāvaprapañcādyupalābhena prayojanam| Kiñcābhyāsasya kenacitprakāreṇānubhavapuṇyarāśīkaraṇaṁ vakṣyamānaṁ sādakhenāvaśyaṁ karaṇīyam| Tadvinā satyaṁ na sādhakasya prakāśate kadācana yasmādyadyapīdṛkprakāśanaṁ bhavettathāpi tannirarthakaṁ syātsādhakasyaivāyogyatvāt|
Yaddhi yadvācya ārūḍhaṁ tattadātmaśaktyā kḷptaṁ kṛtam| Atrārthe sarvamidaṁ svaśaktervijṛmbhitaṁ dehāhaṅkāramanoviṣayādiprameyarūpakaṁ kevalaṁ kalpitaṁ na tu satyaṁ paramārthaḥ prakāśavimarśamayo nūnaṁ khalu - Dṛṣṭāntarūpeṇa yadā yadā kenāpyahamayaṁ cittadehādiviśeṣopeto jano'smītyuktaṁ tadā tadā tatsarvamātmaśaktikalpitameva yataḥ sa pāramārthikātmānanyarūpatvenoccārātītastiṣṭhati nityam| Nānāśabdabhiḥ svaśaktiḥ kḷptajanakulapurapradeśabhuvanādīni sṛjatyāste'navaratam| Tatsarvaṁ sattāvattāttvikaṁ ca na saṁśayaḥ samyagvāstavikātmaśaktyutthitatvātkintu tatsarvaṁ saṅkocaviṣaye sukhaduḥkhavikārādisambandhi kalpitaṁ khalu na ca svācchandyapramodaśāli svasvarūpaṁ paramasatyameva|
Saṅkocaraṅgabhūmau staḥ kṛlptau satyāsatyāvanityatāsukhaduḥkhalakṣanau - Ahamayaṁ deho'smīti tvamasya pradeśasyāsīti vayaṁ manuṣyajātīyāḥ sma itīdaṁ sukhāvahamastītyado'sukhāvahamastīti te mama mitrāḥ santītyasti tasya viśeṣa ityādi keciddṛṣṭāntāḥ| Ayamātmaśaktikṛtaḥ pramātṛpramāṇaprameyasamūhaḥ samyaktāttviko'pi samyakkḷptaṁ parantu| Ātmā parapramātā sākṣādanityatāsukhaduḥkhādyasaṅyukto bhavati tasyākalpitatvāt| Svaśakteḥ sarvamidaṁ ca kalpitaṁ nāṭakamiva viśvarūpeṇa kevalaṁ svatantrātmapratyabhijñārthaṁ na cānyathā| Yo na svasvacchandātmapratyabhijñāyāmudyataḥ saḥ khalu baddho'nena ca hetunedṛgbādhyo'nyadehametaddehādanyavikalpametadvikalpādityādi saṁsaranna viramati|
Asatyaṁ sampūrṇaśūnyamabhāvarūpaṁ vakṣyamānaṁ śabdaviṣayabhinnaṁ na manāgapi bhavati kadācit| Kena hetuneti yatastatkalpitasampūrṇaśūnyaṁ kenāpi sadā pramīyate| Ko tasya pramāteti pāramārthyātmakasatyameva| Kiṁ bahunātmano'bhāvo'nyatkalpitamātmaśaktyā kṛtamasandeham| Anyāni sauṣuptādirūpaśūnyāni sarvadaiva sattāśālīni teṣāṁ smaryamānatvādabhāvastu na smaryate kadācanātmanaḥ smārakasya nityasannidheḥ|
Svasāṅkhyapravacanasūtre śrīvyāsena satyatā tathā sūcitā
Satyaṁ yathārthe vāṅmanase yathā dṛṣṭaṁ yathānumitaṁ yathā śrutaṁ tathā vāṅmanaśceti| Paratra svabodhasaṅkrāntaye vāguktā sā yadi na vañcitā bhrāntā vā pratipattibandhyā vā bhavediti eṣā sarvabhūtopakārārthaṁ pravṛttā na bhūtopaghātāya yadi caivamapyabhidhīyamānā bhūtopaghātaparaiva syānna satyaṁ bhavetpāpameva bhavet| Tena puṇyābhāsena puṇyapratirūpakeṇa kaṣṭaṁ tamaḥ prāpnuyāttasmātparīkṣya sarvabhūtahitaṁ satyaṁ brūyāt|
iti| Asau tu satyatā śrīmadvyāsena nirdiṣṭānityatāsukhaduḥkhamayaviśvarūpakalpitānuṣaktā kevalaṁ tadyathā mahābudhasya vyākhyā kḷptasatyāsatyaviṣayagataiva| Vāstavikasatyatā naivamapi tu sārabhūtātmātmakasvasvarūpāvasthānam| Yadyapi śrīvyāsenopadiṣṭeva satyatā kenāpyabhyastā sa tatkaroti svasvatantrānandyātmāvasthānayuktyā na cānyathā| Tadanusāreṇātmāvasthānasya satyaviṣayagatatvāttadbhavati satyatā paramā sarvakālaṁ nūnam||4||
Now (idānīm) I begin (mayā... ārabdham) the exposition or discourse (vivaraṇam) about the Power (śakti) of the Self (ātma)—
His (asya) Power (śaktiḥ sā), which (yā) constitutes (ātmikā) the first (prathama) Vibration (spanda), (is) I-consciousness (aham-vimarśaḥ) indeed (eva)||4||
In the immutable essential nature (avikriya-sva-rūpe) of the Self (ātma), which is an ocean (abdhau) of pure (śuddha) Consciousness (bodha), (there) suddenly (sahasā) arises (uditā) a slight (manāk) wave (ūrmiḥ) in the form (rūpeṇa) of a subtle (sūkṣma) throb (sphurita). This wave here (sā iyam ūrmiḥ) (is) the Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma) rising (udgacchatī) as I-consciousness (aham-vimarśa-vat). And (ca) through His own Power (sva-śaktyā), the Self (ātmā) realizes (pratyakṣam anubhavati) His own (sva) existence (sattām). For this reason (atas eva), the Self (ātmā), accompanied by (sahitaḥ) His (sva) Power (śakti), is indicated (nirdiṣṭaḥ) as "I" (aham-rūpaḥ) certainly (khalu). Without (vinā) His Power (sva-śaktim), the Self (ātmā) could not (na śaknuyāt) know (jñātum) His own (sva) existence (sattām), and (ca) in His not knowing (avidvān) that (tad), He (saḥ) would be (syāt) mere (mātraḥ) Prakāśa or Light (prakāśa) (and consequently) powerless (nirbalaḥ eva)1 .
"(1) Truth (satyam), (2) invented (kḷptau) truth and untruth (satya-asatyau), and (ca) (3) absence of Truth (asatyam... iti)", (this is) the group of three truths (satya-trayam). "Truth" (satyam iti) (is) the Supreme (parama) Truth (satyam), namely (tad-yathā), this (eṣaḥ) Self (ātmā) endowed with (upetaḥ) His own (sva) Power (śakti); in short (saṅkṣepataḥ), (It is) the Highest Reality (parama-arthaḥ) consisting of (mayaḥ) Light and I-consciousness (prakāśa-vimarśa) forming (rūpakaḥ) a mass (eka-ghana) of Absolute Freedom (svātantrya) (and) Bliss (ānanda), undoubtedly (asaṁśayam). "Invented (kḷptau) truth and untruth (satya-asatyau iti)" (are) the innumerable (asaṅkhyeya) manifestations (prapañcāḥ) of the Power of the Self (ātma-śakteḥ), which are characterized (lakṣaṇāḥ) by transience (anityatā), pleasure (sukha) (and) pain (duḥkha). For example (dṛṣṭānta-rūpeṇa): "Your (tava) body (dehaḥ) is (asti) fat (sthūlaḥ... iti)" or (vā) "Your (tava) body (dehaḥ) is (asti) thin (kṛśaḥ... iti)". Regarding (apekṣayā) the aforesaid (pūrva-ukta) examples (dṛṣṭānta), whether (yadi vā) it is true (yad satyam) or (vā) untrue (asatyam), all (sarvam) that (tad) (is) an invented (kḷpta) truth (satyam) or (vā) an invented (kḷpta) untruth (asatyam) because it is associated with (tasya... sambandhatvāt) transience (anityatā), pleasure (sukha) (and) pain (duḥkha). Finally (antatas), "absence of Truth" (asatyam iti) (is) absolute (sampūrṇa) lack of Truth (asatyam) —which will be talked about later on (vakṣyamānam)—, in the form of (rūpeṇa) nonexistence (abhāva), that (yad) only (kevalam) exists (vartate) as (iva) a mere (mātram) word (vacana) but (tu) not (na) in reality (vastutas)2 .
Whenever (yadā yadā... tadā tadā) the Self (ātmā) is expressed (uktaḥ) (and) described (kathitaḥ) by someone (kenāpi), all that (expression and description) (tad sarvam) is not (na) totally (samyak) true (satyam) really (tattvatas) —in the highest sense (parama-arthatas)— but rather (api tu) a manifestation (prapañcaḥ) of the Power (śakteḥ) of the Self (ātma) in the field (kṣetre) of words (vacana) always (sarvadā). On this account (atas eva), it is not (na) possible (śakitam) to put (āroḍhum) the Truth (satyam), whose nature (rūpam) is the Highest Reality (parama-artha), into words (vācye) by any means (na... sarvathā). Thus (evam), the essential (sāra-bhūta) Truth (satyam), which is (ātmakam) the Highest Reality (parama-artha) (and) is not related (aviṣayakam) to the multiple (nānā) words (śabda), is (bhavati) always (nityam) connected with (sambandhi) one's own (sva) experience (anubhava). If this is so (yadi evam), what (kaḥ) (is then) the use (arthaḥ) of a scripture (śāstreṇa) replete with (śāli) knowledge (jñāna) about the Self (ātma) to someone (kasya-api)? — Because (yatas), in order for recognizing (pratyabhijñāyai) the Truth (satyasya), i.e. the Highest Reality (parama-arthasya), a spiritual aspirant (sādhakasya) needs to understand (upalābhena prayojanam) Its --of the Highest Reality-- (tad) nature (sva-bhāva), manifestations (prapañca), etc. (ādi). Besides (kiñca), by certain (kenacid) type (prakāreṇa) of practice (abhyāsasya), the aspirant (sādakhena) must accumulate (rāśīkaraṇam... avaśyam karaṇīyam) merit (puṇya) (and) experience (anubhava) —this will be discussed later (vakṣyamānam)—. Without (vinā) that (tad), Truth (satyam) does not (na) ever (kadācana) become revealed (prakāśate) to the aspirant (sādhakasya), since (yasmāt) even if (yadi api) such (īdṛk) a revelation (prakāśanam) were to happen (bhavet), even so (tathā api) it (tad) would be (syāt) useless and nonsensical (nirarthakam) because the aspirant himself is not fit (sādhakasya eva ayogyatvāt)3 .
Whatever (yad hi yad) is put into words (vācye ārūḍham), it is invented (or) manufactured (tad tad... kḷptam kṛtam) by the Power of the Self (ātma-śaktyā). In this sense (atra arthe), all (sarvam) this (idam) manifestation (vijṛmbhitam) of His Power (sva-śakteḥ) in the form (rūpakam) of knowables (prameya) (such as) body (deha), ego (ahaṅkāra), mind (manas), things (viṣaya), etc. (ādi) (is) only (kevalam) an invention (kalpitam) and not at all (na tu... nūnam khalu) the Truth (satyam), i.e. the Highest Reality (parama-arthaḥ) composed of (mayaḥ) Prakāśa or Light (prakāśa) (and) Vimarśa or I-consciousness (vimarśa) — For example (dṛṣṭānta-rūpeṇa), whenever (yadā yadā... tadā tadā) someone says (kena api... uktam): "I (aham) am (asmi) this (ayam) person (janaḥ) endowed with (upetaḥ) a particular (viśeṣa) mind (citta), body (deha), etc. (ādi... iti)", all (sarvam) that (tad) (is) an invention (kalpitam eva) of the Power (śakti) of the Self (ātma), because (yatas), as his nature --the nature of that person who says-- (rūpatvena) is identical (ananya) with the essential (pāramārthika) Self (ātmā), he --such a person-- (saḥ) constantly (nityam) remains (tiṣṭhati) beyond (atītaḥ) utterance (uccāra) --what he truly is cannot be formulated by words--. Through various words (nānā-śabdabhiḥ), His (sva) Power (śaktiḥ) keeps manifesting (sṛjatī āste) incessantly (anavaratam) invented (kḷpta) people (jana), invented (kḷpta) families (kula), invented (kḷpta) cities (pura), invented (kḷpta) countries (pradeśa), invented (kḷpta) worlds (bhuvana), etc. (ādi). All (sarvam) that (tad) exists (sattāvat) and (ca) (is) real (tāttvikam) without doubt (na saṁśayaḥ) since it has arisen (utthitatvāt) from the Power (śakti) of the Self (ātma), which is completely (samyak) Real (vāstavika). Nevertheless (kintu), all (sarvam) that (tad) (is) an invent (kalpitam) indeed (khalu), (an invent) relating to (sambandhi) pleasure (sukha), pain (duḥkha), change (vikāra), etc. (ādi) in the sphere (viṣaye) of limitation (saṅkoca), and (ca) not (na) one's own (sva) essential nature (sva-rūpam) (or) Supreme (parama) Truth (satyam eva) full of (śāli) Absolute Freedom (svācchandya) (and) Joy (pramoda)4 .
In the arena (raṅga-bhūmau) of limitation (saṅkoca), there are (staḥ) invented (kṛlptau) truth and untruth (satya-asatyau), which are characterized (lakṣanau) by transience (anityatā), pleasure (sukha) (and) pain (duḥkha) — Some (kecid) examples (dṛṣṭāntāḥ): "I (aham) am (asmi) this (ayam) body (dehaḥ... iti)", "You (tvam) are (asi) from this country (asya pradeśasya... iti)", "We (vayam) are (smaḥ) human beings (manuṣyajātīyāḥ... iti)", "This (idam) is (asti) pleasant (sukhāvaham... iti)", "That (adas) is (asti) unpleasant (asukhāvaham... iti)", "They (te) are (santi) my (mama) friends (mitrāḥ... iti)", "He feels better (asti tasya viśeṣaḥ iti)", etc. (iti-ādi). Although (api) this (ayam) aggregate (samūhaḥ) of perceiver (pramātṛ), perception (pramāṇa) (and) perceivable --the object being perceived-- (prameya) manufactured (kṛtaḥ) by the Power (śakti) of the Self (ātma) (is) totally (samyak) real (tāttvikaḥ), (is) however (parantu) completely (samyak) invented (kḷptam). The Self (ātmā), the Highest (para) Perceiver or Experient (pramātā) in person (sākṣāt), is not connected (asaṅyuktaḥ bhavati) with transience (anityatā), pleasure (sukha), pain (duḥkha) and so forth (ādi), because He is not an invent (tasya akalpitatvāt). And (ca) all (sarvam) this (idam) invention (kalpitam) of His Power (sva-śakteḥ), appearing in the form (rūpeṇa) of the universe (viśva) as (iva) a drama (nāṭakam), (is) only (kevalam) for (artham) the recognition (pratyabhijñā) of the Free (svatantra) Self (ātma), and (ca) not (na) otherwise (anyathā). He (saḥ) (is) certainly (khalu) bound (baddhaḥ) who (yaḥ) is not (na) intent on (udyataḥ) recognizing (pratyabhijñāyām) his own (sva) Free (svacchanda) Self (ātma), and (ca) for this reason (anena hetunā), such (īdṛk) a bound person (bādhyaḥ) does not (na) cease (viramati) to transmigrate (saṁsaran) from this body (etad-dehāt) to another (anya) body (deham), from this thought (etad-vikalpāt) to another (anya) thought (vikalpam), etc. (iti-ādi)5 .
Absence of Truth (asatyam) (or) absolute (sampūrṇa) void (śūnyam) whose nature (rūpam) is nonexistence (abhāva) —which will be spoken about later on (vakṣyamānam)—, apart from (bhinnam) in the sphere (viṣaya) of words (śabda), does not at all exist ever (na manāk api bhavati kadācit). "Why (kena hetunā iti)?", because (yatas) that (tad) invented (kalpita) absolute (sampūrṇa) void (śūnyam) is perceived or experienced (pramīyate) by someone (kenāpi) always (sadā). Who (kaḥ) (is) the perceiver or experient (pramātā) of that --of the supposed absolute void-- (tasya... iti)? The Truth (satyam eva), i.e. the Highest Reality (pāramārthya-ātmaka)! In short (kim bahunā), nonexistence (abhāvaḥ) of the Self (ātmanaḥ) (is) no doubt (asandeham) another (anyat) invention (kalpitam) manufactured (kṛtam) by the Power of the Self (ātma-śaktyā). The other voids (anyāni... śūnyāni) in the form of (rūpa) deep sleep (sauṣupta), etc. (ādi) (are) constantly (sarvadā eva) full of (śālīni) existence (sattā) because they are remembered (teṣāṁ smaryamānatvāt), but (tu) nonexistence (abhāvaḥ) is never remembered (na smaryate kadācana) due to the constant presence (nitya-sannidheḥ) of the Rememberer (smārakasya), viz. of the Self (ātmanaḥ)6 .
In his Sāṅkhyapravacanasūtra (sva-sāṅkhyapravacanasūtre), truthfulness (satyatā) (is) so (tathā) indicated (sūcitā) by venerable Vyāsa (śrī-vyāsena):
"Veracity or Truthfulness (satyam) (is) concordance (yathā) of speech (vāc) (and) mind --manas or manasa-- (manase) as regards the fact (arthe). Just as (yathā... yathā... yathā) (it has been) seen (dṛṣṭam), inferred (anumitam) (and) heard (śrutam), so (tathā) (should) speech (vāc) and (ca) mind (manaḥ... iti) (be; that is, one should speak and think of exactly as he has seen, inferred and heard). Hereafter (paratra), that (sā) word (vāc) (is true which is) uttered (uktā) for the sake of transferring (saṅkrāntaye) one's own (sva) knowledge (bodha) (to other people), if (yadi) (it) is (bhavet) not (na) deceitful (vañcitā), confusing (bhrāntā) or (vā... vā) senseless (pratipattibandhyā... iti). This (word) (eṣā) serves (pravṛttā) for (artham) the benefit (upakāra) of all (sarva) beings (bhūta-s), (and) not (na) for harming (upaghātāya) (those very) beings (bhūta). And (ca) thus (evam api), if (yadi) (that) spoken word (abhidhīyamānā) would have as its chief object (parā eva syāt) to damage (upaghāta) the beings (bhūta), it would not be (na... bhavet) truth (satyam)... it would be (bhavet) only (eva) sin (pāpam). Through that (tena) pretended (ābhāsena) virtue (puṇya), (which) only has the appearance (pratirūpakeṇa) of (real) virtue (puṇya), one gets (prāpnuyāt) to the painful (kaṣṭam) darkness of hell (tamaḥ). For that reason (tasmāt), after having investigated (parīkṣya), one should speak (brūyāt) the truth (satyam) that is beneficial (hitam) to all (sarva) beings (bhūta... iti)."
However (tu), that (asau) truthfulness (satyatā) pointed out (nirdiṣṭā) by illustrious (śrīmat) Vyāsa (vyāsena) (is) only (kevalam) connected with (anuṣaktā) the invention (kalpita) whose form is (rūpa) the universe (viśva) replete with (maya) transience (anityatā), pleasure (sukha) (and) pain (duḥkha), namely (tad-yathā), the explanation (vyākhyā) of the great sage (mahābudhasya) moves (gatā eva) in the sphere (viṣaya) of invented (kḷpta) truth (satya) (and) untruth (asatya). Real (vāstavika) truthfulness (satyatā) is not (na) like that (evam) but rather (api tu) abiding (avasthānam) in one's own (sva) nature (sva-rūpa) which is (ātmaka) the essential (sāra-bhūta) Self (ātma). Even (api) if (yadi) truthfulness (satyatā) as (iva) taught (upadiṣṭā) by venerable Vyāsa (śrī-vyāsena) is practiced (abhyastā) by someone (kena-api), he (saḥ) does (karoti) that (tad) by means of (yuktyā) an abiding (avasthāna) in one's own (sva) Free (svatantra) (and) Blissful (ānandi) Self (ātma), and (ca) not (na) otherwise (anyathā). Consequently (tad-anusāreṇa), since abiding in the Self moves (ātma-avasthānasya... gatatvāt) in the sphere (viṣaya) of Truth (satya), it --i.e. abiding in the Self-- (tad) is (bhavati) supreme (paramā) truthfulness (satyatā) at all times (sarva-kālam) indeed (nūnam)7 ||4||
1 The Self is basically Prakāśa or Light. If He were only that, He would never be conscious of His own existence. In this case, no universe would emerge as a result, because "I" (Aham) is the corner stone of the universal experience. His Power is also known as Vimarśa, which, appearing as I-consciousness, makes Him realize His existence. Prakāśa is like clay, and Vimarśa is the potter with his wheel. Of course, this is an imperfect example, because the potter and the potter's wheel are different from clay, but in the case of Prakāśa and Vimarśa both form a compact mass, i.e. they are in complete unity.
Therefore, as I say in the laudatory prayer in the beginning of this commentary: "The transient universe is certainly hewn here, from the pure Light, by His own Power." In short, the Power of the Self manufactures or invents an entire universe out of the Self Himself. In this sense, all this invent called the universe is completely real as His Power, but being something manufactured, it is never the Highest Reality (the Self and His Power) as It essentially is. Hence, the universe is always full of pleasure, pain, changes and the like.
2 The three levels of truth are: Truth, invented truth and untruth, and absence of Truth. The first one is the Highest Reality (the Self and His Power), the second moves in the field of action known as the universe, and the last one is never actually existing except in the realm of words. The first level is completely devoid of transience, pleasure and pain. It is the State of the essential Self and never an invention of His Power. The second level is just a giant invention manufactured by His tireless Power. At this level, there are never-ending truths and untruths that are always connected with transience, pleasure and pain. Finally, the third level is just a philosophical abstraction because in practice, as the Self exists constantly and forever, His absence is never really perceived. If the Self were to cease to exist, His Power would cease with Him, and the universe (the invent or manifestation of His Power) would experience a serious interruption. As nobody has ever experienced that interruption, to state that there is a state of total absence of Truth (i.e. nonexistence of the Self) is quite a nonsense, because every time a person experiences an apparent interruption of the universe in the form of a void, that experience is remembered by someone. Who is he? The Self! As a result, the experiences of void confirm the permanent existence of the Self instead of denying it. The subject related to nonexistence will be dealt with in depth in my commentary on the eleventh aphorism of this very first chapter.
3 As the Self cannot be described by any means, every time someone attempts to do that, the result is always not fully true (in the highest sense) but rather an invention or manifestation of His own Power in the plane of words. Therefore, the Self is always related to one's own experience. The obvious question now is: "What is the point of reading or writing a huge scripture replete with knowledge about the Self then?". The purpose is to understand the nature, manifestations, etc. of the Highest Reality. Additionally, a spiritual aspirant must accumulate merit and experience through various practices or he will be without any sādhanāśakti (power that comes from practicing). If that power is not in the aspirant, he will be a mere theoretician with no real power to fully realize the Self. Also, without merit and experience enough, the aspirant just cannot make the most of an experience of spiritual enlightenment simply because His Power draws the veil of ignorance. When this veil is drawn, the aspirant experiences the dark void of Māyā. This process also prevents his system from getting broken by the intensity of the experience. If someone, completely devoid of merit and experience, were exposed to a full revelation of the Highest Reality all of a sudden, he would just collapse instantly. It would be like an ant ascending to the category of human suddenly. If that were to happen, that person could not understand what is occurring to him. In theory, the Self can give Final Liberation to any creature bound by ignorance because of His Absolute Freedom, but in the vast majority of the cases He will give that treasure to the ones who are deserving and experienced. Then, Final Liberation also known as spiritual enlightenment is practically never cheap and available to everybody just like that. The subject related to accumulation of merit and experience will be analyzed in detail when I comment on the sixth aphorism of the third chapter later.
4 All that is put into words, it is an invention or manufacture of the Power of the Self. Certainly, this universe is a form adopted by His Power, but the universe is never the Highest Reality such as It essentially is. When one gets Final Liberation, this fact is very clear. Yes, the entire universe looks like an expansion of one's own Power, which is in full unity with Oneself (the Self). Anyway, it is still an invent and not the Self as He essentially is . Highest Reality is always the Self and His Power as Aham or "I". The rest is a manifestation of the Power. This can be confusing while one does not have the experience of Final Liberation, but after having gotten it, it is crystal clear. In turn, if the universe is seen fully as the essential Self, then it is not any more "the universe" but the Self Himself in person. In this way, all the phrases describing inventions, e.g. "I am this person with this body, mind, opinions, etc." is just an invention and never the Highest Reality. All that is within the reach of perception of senses and mind is invented, all that is in the mind is another invent too. In fact, the mind itself is invented. This world is also another invention of His Power. Why is all this an invent and not the Highest Reality? Because all those things are constantly associated with transience, pleasure, pain, change and the like, while the Self and His Power are always free from all that. The universe is absolutely real (never illusory as put by some philosophical schools), but still it is an invention and not the absolute Truth full of Freedom and Joy.
5 The Self is Real in the full sense of word because He is not an invent or manifestation carried out by anybody. The whole universe, appearing as a drama manifested by His Power is only for the sake of recognizing His own essential nature and not for mere sense pleasure. People are in bondage who cannot get yet that they were born as incarnations of the Self in order to elevate themselves to the plane of the Self Himself through a full recognition of their true spiritual nature. As they are in bondage, they experience pleasure, pain, change and the rest of miseries in this world. They will continue to transmigrate from one body to another body, from one thought to another thought and so on until they realize their own Self. What else could one say regarding this then?
6 Absence of Truth in the form of an absolute void or nothingness, i.e. nonexistence, is never existing really except in the world of words. Nonexistence was invented by His Power in order to veil His essential nature once again. The notion that absolute void is the goal of life is spread by several philosophical systems due to the great delusion perpetrated by the Power. If the Self could cease to exist, nonexistence would be possible. But as the Self is absolute existence in person, nonexistence cannot exist ever anywhere, because of the presence of the Self-existent One. There are, nonetheless, a series of voids such as that of deep sleep, but all of them are inventions of His Power and consequently they are perceived. As they are perceived, they can be recollected. The Self is both the One perceiving and the One remembering them all. As He is constantly existing, nonexistence is never remembered by anyone. This is so simple to understand that one wonders how there are some philosophical systems even today postulating that the absolute void (i.e. nonexistence) is the Highest Reality. This is another nonsense manufactured by His frisky Power undoubtedly. As I said in a former note of explanation, I will explain the nonexistence of nonexistence itself in the commentary on the eleventh aphorism of this first chapter .
7 In his Sāṅkhyapravacanasūtra, venerable Vyāsa gives a amazing explanation of what truthfulness is. He does so while he comments on the aphorism 30 of the 2nd section of Pātañjalayogasūtra-s. But that definition is only valid when pleasure, pain, transience, etc. do exist. It is not valid in the realm of the Truth Itself, viz. of the Self, because He is without a second, without pain, without pleasure, without transience and so on. That is why I stated respectfully, as an expansion of the explanation given by the great sage, that real truthfulness (i.e. truthfulness in the highest sense) is always an abiding in the Self who is Truth Itself in complete Freedom. Even if someone wants his behavior in life to abide by the precept pointed out by Vyāsa, he will do so only by abiding in his own Self and not otherwise. If one cannot abide in that way, he will not be able to follow that precept to the letter. How to be completely truthful if one ignores what Truth is? If one does not know his true Essence and continues to think that he is the limited individual endowed with body, mind, personality, opinions and similar trifles, how will he be able to follow the words of the great sage? This is not possible except one recognizes the Blessed One by His own Grace. Since truthfulness as put by Vyāsa is still dependent on abiding in the Self, I prove that "abiding in the Self" is at all times the highest mode of truthfulness. May this glorious Self be praised always!
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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