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Svātantryasūtravṛtti (Svatantryasutravritti) First chapter (aphorisms 9 to 12) - Non-dual Shaivism of Rosario
This is the third 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 सदा विविक्तं तिष्ठति॥९॥
सर्वमिदं जगत्स्वपरिवर्तैः सहात्मशक्त्या विलासमात्ररूपमेव। आत्मा यः स्वाच्छन्द्यप्रमोदघनात्मक जगता न हि स्पृष्टो मनागपि जातुचित्। अणुजन्मनः पूर्वं च तस्य मृत्योः परं चात्मा चैतन्यभावेनास्ते। किञ्च स्वपरमशक्तिकॢप्तस्याणोर्जीवितरूपायां मध्यभूमिकायामप्यात्मा चैतन्यमिव तिष्ठति। सोऽद्वितीयः परमपदान्न स्तोकांशेनापि कदाचिच्चलति। सर्वशो निर्विकारश्च सदा निर्विघ्नेच्छानन्तानन्दशाली च स आत्मा सततं विविक्तं तिष्ठति यत्सर्वस्यानवच्छिन्नैकहृदयमिवास्ते। तदनुरूपेण य उपलब्धात्मदशो नरः सर्वदा सर्वत्रात्मवद्विविक्तः। तन्नरस्य देहो यदि जनौघवलयो यदि वा सम्यगन्यविश्लिष्टः स नित्यं विविक्तमास्ते। तस्य निवासः खलु कैलासः सहस्रार आनन्दालयः। यथा तद्बुधो देहचित्तयोरनात्मताभिमन्यमानस्तदर्थं च ताभ्यामात्मतां न युञ्जमानस्तथा स आत्मेव स्वतन्त्रश्च देहचित्तयोर्भाग्यातीतश्च। अपि चेदृशो धीमान्नरः सर्वेणात्मैक्यमुपलभमानो न केनापि पीड्यते। नात्मा शक्यश्चित्तेन वेदितुं यतः स तस्य वेदकः। अत एवात्मदशाया लाभः सदा स्वात्मतात्त्विकप्रत्यभिज्ञासम्बन्धी सन्देहो नास्ति।
समुत्थिते सहस्रारे शीघ्रमुक्तिचिह्नं तत्। प्रथमं सहस्रारः सम्यगुत्थितोऽल्पकालमेवानन्तरं तु ते काला दीर्घतराः शनैः शनैर्भूता आमोक्षात्तत्साधकस्य नूनम्। यदि सहसा साधनारम्भादेव सहस्रारः समुत्थितः सर्वकालं भवेत्साधकदेहो मृत्योरन्तिकं नीयेत बलात्। तद्विदेहमुक्तिः स्यात्तद्यथा देहत्यागेन संयुक्तो मोक्षः। किन्तु देहश्चेन्न त्यक्तो मोक्षकाले तज्जीवन्मुक्तिर्भवेत्। जीवन्मुक्तोऽनवरतं समाधिना समाविष्ट आदेहपातात्। ततः परं महासमाधौ प्रविश्यायं महात्मा परमार्थवदिहास्ते नात्र संशयः।
परन्त्वादावीदृशबुधोऽपि साधको भूतवान्न चान्यथा। आरब्धा मध्यो वृद्धश्चेति भूयिष्ठमिमे त्रयः साधकभेदाः। एकैकः साधकभेदो भावतो विशेषलक्षणोपेतोऽवश्यमेव।
यस्माद्यदात्माहमस्मि मे गुरुणोपदिष्टस्तस्मादात्मावस्थानं वर्जयित्वा न किञ्चिन्मया नूनं कर्तव्यमित्येवं ब्रुवाण आरब्धृसाधको भूयो भूयः। तथापि स तत्सर्वं न शक्नोति कर्तुमण्ववस्थया तस्य सम्यक्समीकरणात्। आत्माहमिति कथनमिदं तस्य सत्यमपि काल्पनिकमात्रं यतः स स्वात्मनो वास्तविकप्रत्यभिज्ञाहीनः। सुन्दरतमा स्त्री मे भार्यास्तीत्येवं सगर्वं निवेदयतः षण्ढस्य स आरब्धृसाधकोऽनुकरोत्येव यतो यथा पूर्वेण सा भार्याभुक्ता तथैवापरेण सा स्वातन्त्र्यानन्दरूपात्मावस्था न मनागपि भुक्तानुभूता वा तस्यासामर्थ्यात्। आत्मारब्धास्त्यपि वक्ष्यमानाणवमलात्मकनिजाशुद्ध्यसमर्थो भूत्वेदृशसाधकः सदा परतन्त्रो न तु किमपि दिव्यात्मेव स्वतन्त्रस्तत्त्वतः।
यद्यप्यहमात्मास्मि तदप्यात्मावस्थां न प्रत्यभिजानामि तस्मात्प्रतिदिनमात्मोपलाभार्थं मयात्मानं ध्यातव्यमिति मध्यसाधकेन तदुक्तम् — अन्त आत्मन्युपलब्धौ निरानन्दशुन्यतां गच्छाम्यहं किन्तु यद्गुरुणा शास्त्रैश्चात्मैवानन्दशाली निर्दिष्टस्तत्प्रमोदमयात्मदशोपलब्ध्यर्थे किं मया कर्तव्यमिति ब्रुवाणोऽपि मध्यसाधकः। अयं साधकभेदः कर्मलक्षणो यतस्ते मध्यसाधकाः सदात्मावस्थालाभाय कर्मपराः। मोहप्रतिसंहतस्तु कर्मात्मेति श्रीशिवसूत्रे सप्तषष्टसूत्रेणोपदिष्टम् — एवं च मध्यसाधकोऽज्ञानमोहितोऽपि तस्यासामर्थ्यात्। इत्थं मायाशून्यरूपप्रादुर्भूताज्ञानहेतोः स स्वात्मानमशेषेण भोक्तुमनुभवितुं वाशक्तः। केचिन्मध्यसाधका अप्यनृततुष्टेः शून्यावस्थामात्मतां मत्वा जीवन्मुक्तवदात्मनोऽभिमन्यमाना वस्तुतस्तु ते परमार्थे मूढमात्रा यत्सत्यं यतो मोक्षः सर्वदा विभव्यात्मावस्था स्वाच्छन्द्यानन्दमया न तु स्वातन्त्र्यप्रमोदौ विना शून्यता कदाचित्। तदेवोक्तं श्रीस्पन्दे
तदा तस्मिन्महाव्योम्नि प्रलीनशशिभास्करे।
सौषुप्तपदवन्मूढः प्रबुद्धः स्यादनावृतः॥
इति। श्रीस्पन्दनिर्णयेऽपि च
तदुक्तयैव नीत्या अभूतभावनयैवोत्थापितं परमेश्वरेणैव ज्ञानगोपनायै मूढानामुपेयतया तथा भासितमित्यर्थः।
इति। मध्यसाधकस्य शून्यतानुभवो विद्यते तस्यायोग्यतायाः। ततः पारमार्थ्यापेक्षया कल्पने व्यापर्तव्ये स स्वात्मवास्तवोपलब्धिलाभे प्रयत्नं हि कुर्यात्। यदिदं कृत्स्नं नित्यं परमात्मनस्तत्कस्मायपि किमिति स कञ्चिद्दद्यात्।
आत्मास्तीति वृद्धसाधकेनोक्तमस्य विश्वनाटकस्य नायकवदात्मनस्तस्योपलब्ध्याः। अत एव यद्यात्माणुरस्ति यदि वात्माणुर्नास्तीत्यादि तस्मिन् सर्वस्मिन् स न सपक्षपातोऽधुना। इति हेतोर्वृद्धसाधकः सदा स्वातन्त्र्यानन्दरूपकस्य स्वात्मन उद्यम उन्मज्जनेऽवहिततापरो वक्ष्यमानः।
यदा कस्यचिद्वृद्धसाधकस्य जागरस्वप्नसौषुप्तपदानामाद्यन्तेऽस्त्यात्मोपलब्धिस्तदा सोऽनवरतात्मोपलब्ध्यात्मके मोक्षे कल्पो न सन्देहः। तदेवोपदिष्टं श्रीमत्क्षेमराजेन श्रीस्पन्दनिर्णये
यत एवासुप्रबुद्धस्य तदाद्यन्तेऽस्ति तदुपलब्धिरत एवायमिहाधिकारी स्पन्दोपदेशैः सुप्रबुद्धीक्रियते।
इति। कदायं वृद्धसाधको भवति जीवन्मुक्तः सुप्रबुद्धो वा — यदास्य तेषां पदानां मध्य आत्मोपलब्धिर्विद्यते। ममोपदेशो दृढीकृतः श्रीमद्वसुगुप्तेन स्वस्यां श्रीस्पन्दे
तस्योपलब्धिः सततं त्रिपदाव्यभिचारिणी।
नित्यं स्यात्सुप्रबुद्धस्य तदाद्यन्ते परस्य तु॥
इति। किन्त्वेकतो वृद्धसाधकतायाः प्रसरः सुप्रबुद्धतां जीवन्मुक्ततां वा शनैः प्रवर्तते शक्तिपातनानाप्रकर्षानुरूपेणैवापरतश्च तत्साधकस्यात्मोपलब्धिः पञ्चमशिवसूत्रेण स्मृतेव यथावद्वर्तते
इति। भैरव आत्मन्युन्मज्जिते ब्रह्मरन्ध्रारूढात्मशक्तिः शिखायां प्रविश्य शिखाग्र उन्मनायां सम्प्रलीयमाना — अयं मोक्ष वक्ष्यमान आत्मावस्थालाभो भवति नूनम्। यस्माज्जीवन्मुक्तो मोहाभावलक्षणस्तस्मात्स नैव कदाचिदात्मानमुद्दिश्य मुह्यति — किमिति यतोऽयं सुप्रबुद्धः प्रत्यक्षमूलेनात्मज्ञानेन युतः सर्वदात एव चास्य ज्ञानं न जातुचिदागमानुमानतन्त्रम्। जीवन्मुक्तदशा स्पष्टं निर्दिष्टा श्रीस्पन्दे
ज्ञानज्ञेयस्वरूपिण्या शक्त्या परमया युतः।
पदद्वये विभुर्भाति तदन्यत्र तु चिन्मयः॥
इति। न किमप्यात्मकपटप्रबन्धे नित्ययुक्तस्य चिन्त्याणोर्ज्ञानमूला तात्त्विका परमार्थनिष्ठापि तु सुप्रबुद्धलब्धविविक्ताचिन्त्यात्मोपलब्धिसम्यङ्मूलैव॥९॥
Ātmā sadā viviktaṁ tiṣṭhati||9||
Sarvamidaṁ jagatsvaparivartaiḥ sahātmaśaktyā vilāsamātrarūpameva| Ātmā yaḥ svācchandyapramodaghanātmaka jagatā na hi spṛṣṭo manāgapi jātucit| Aṇujanmanaḥ pūrvaṁ ca tasya mṛtyoḥ paraṁ cātmā caitanyabhāvenāste| Kiñca svaparamaśaktikḷptasyāṇorjīvitarūpāyāṁ madhyabhūmikāyāmapyātmā caitanyamiva tiṣṭhati| So'dvitīyaḥ paramapadānna stokāṁśenāpi kadāciccalati| Sarvaśo nirvikāraśca sadā nirvighnecchānantānandaśālī ca sa ātmā satataṁ viviktaṁ tiṣṭhati yatsarvasyānavacchinnaikahṛdayamivāste| Tadanurūpeṇa ya upalabdhātmadaśo naraḥ sarvadā sarvatrātmavadviviktaḥ| Tannarasya deho yadi janaughavalayo yadi vā samyaganyaviśliṣṭaḥ sa nityaṁ viviktamāste| Tasya nivāsaḥ khalu kailāsaḥ sahasrāra ānandālayaḥ| Yathā tadbudho dehacittayoranātmatābhimanyamānastadarthaṁ ca tābhyāmātmatāṁ na yuñjamānastathā sa ātmeva svatantraśca dehacittayorbhāgyātītaśca| Api cedṛśo dhīmānnaraḥ sarveṇātmaikyamupalabhamāno na kenāpi pīḍyate| Nātmā śakyaścittena vedituṁ yataḥ sa tasya vedakaḥ| Ata evātmadaśāyā lābhaḥ sadā svātmatāttvikapratyabhijñāsambandhī sandeho nāsti|
Samutthite sahasrāre śīghramukticihnaṁ tat| Prathamaṁ sahasrāraḥ samyagutthito'lpakālamevānantaraṁ tu te kālā dīrghatarāḥ śanaiḥ śanairbhūtā āmokṣāttatsādhakasya nūnam| Yadi sahasā sādhanārambhādeva sahasrāraḥ samutthitaḥ sarvakālaṁ bhavetsādhakadeho mṛtyorantikaṁ nīyeta balāt| Tadvidehamuktiḥ syāttadyathā dehatyāgena saṁyukto mokṣaḥ| Kintu dehaścenna tyakto mokṣakāle tajjīvanmuktirbhavet| Jīvanmukto'navarataṁ samādhinā samāviṣṭa ādehapātāt| Tataḥ paraṁ mahāsamādhau praviśyāyaṁ mahātmā paramārthavadihāste nātra saṁśayaḥ|
Parantvādāvīdṛśabudho'pi sādhako bhūtavānna cānyathā| Ārabdhā madhyo vṛddhaśceti bhūyiṣṭhamime trayaḥ sādhakabhedāḥ| Ekaikaḥ sādhakabhedo bhāvato viśeṣalakṣaṇopeto'vaśyameva|
Yasmādyadātmāhamasmi me guruṇopadiṣṭastasmādātmāvasthānaṁ varjayitvā na kiñcinmayā nūnaṁ kartavyamityevaṁ bruvāṇa ārabdhṛsādhako bhūyo bhūyaḥ| Tathāpi sa tatsarvaṁ na śaknoti kartumaṇvavasthayā tasya samyaksamīkaraṇāt| Ātmāhamiti kathanamidaṁ tasya satyamapi kālpanikamātraṁ yataḥ sa svātmano vāstavikapratyabhijñāhīnaḥ| Sundaratamā strī me bhāryāstītyevaṁ sagarvaṁ nivedayataḥ ṣaṇḍhasya sa ārabdhṛsādhako'nukarotyeva yato yathā pūrveṇa sā bhāryābhuktā tathaivāpareṇa sā svātantryānandarūpātmāvasthā na manāgapi bhuktānubhūtā vā tasyāsāmarthyāt| Ātmārabdhāstyapi vakṣyamānāṇavamalātmakanijāśuddhyasamartho bhūtvedṛśasādhakaḥ sadā paratantro na tu kimapi divyātmeva svatantrastattvataḥ|
Yadyapyahamātmāsmi tadapyātmāvasthāṁ na pratyabhijānāmi tasmātpratidinamātmopalābhārthaṁ mayātmānaṁ dhyātavyamiti madhyasādhakena taduktam — Anta ātmanyupalabdhau nirānandaśunyatāṁ gacchāmyahaṁ kintu yadguruṇā śāstraiścātmaivānandaśālī nirdiṣṭastatpramodamayātmadaśopalabdhyarthe kiṁ mayā kartavyamiti bruvāṇo'pi madhyasādhakaḥ| Ayaṁ sādhakabhedaḥ karmalakṣaṇo yataste madhyasādhakāḥ sadātmāvasthālābhāya karmaparāḥ| Mohapratisaṁhatastu karmātmeti śrīśivasūtre saptaṣaṣṭasūtreṇopadiṣṭam — Evaṁ ca madhyasādhako'jñānamohito'pi tasyāsāmarthyāt| Itthaṁ māyāśūnyarūpaprādurbhūtājñānahetoḥ sa svātmānamaśeṣeṇa bhoktumanubhavituṁ vāśaktaḥ| Kecinmadhyasādhakā apyanṛtatuṣṭeḥ śūnyāvasthāmātmatāṁ matvā jīvanmuktavadātmano'bhimanyamānā vastutastu te paramārthe mūḍhamātrā yatsatyaṁ yato mokṣaḥ sarvadā vibhavyātmāvasthā svācchandyānandamayā na tu svātantryapramodau vinā śūnyatā kadācit| Tadevoktaṁ śrīspande
Tadā tasminmahāvyomni pralīnaśaśibhāskare|
Sauṣuptapadavanmūḍhaḥ prabuddhaḥ syādanāvṛtaḥ||
iti| Śrīspandanirṇaye'pi ca
Taduktayaiva nītyā abhūtabhāvanayaivotthāpitaṁ parameśvareṇaiva jñānagopanāyai mūḍhānāmupeyatayā tathā bhāsitamityarthaḥ|
iti| Madhyasādhakasya śūnyatānubhavo vidyate tasyāyogyatāyāḥ| Tataḥ pāramārthyāpekṣayā kalpane vyāpartavye sa svātmavāstavopalabdhilābhe prayatnaṁ hi kuryāt| Yadidaṁ kṛtsnaṁ nityaṁ paramātmanastatkasmāyapi kimiti sa kañciddadyāt|
Ātmāstīti vṛddhasādhakenoktamasya viśvanāṭakasya nāyakavadātmanastasyopalabdhyāḥ| Ata eva yadyātmāṇurasti yadi vātmāṇurnāstītyādi tasmin sarvasmin sa na sapakṣapāto'dhunā| Iti hetorvṛddhasādhakaḥ sadā svātantryānandarūpakasya svātmana udyama unmajjane'vahitatāparo vakṣyamānaḥ|
Yadā kasyacidvṛddhasādhakasya jāgarasvapnasauṣuptapadānāmādyante'styātmopalabdhistadā so'navaratātmopalabdhyātmake mokṣe kalpo na sandehaḥ| Tadevopadiṣṭaṁ śrīmatkṣemarājena śrīspandanirṇaye
Yata evāsuprabuddhasya tadādyante'sti tadupalabdhirata evāyamihādhikārī spandopadeśaiḥ suprabuddhīkriyate|
iti| Kadāyaṁ vṛddhasādhako bhavati jīvanmuktaḥ suprabuddho vā — Yadāsya teṣāṁ padānāṁ madhya ātmopalabdhirvidyate| Mamopadeśo dṛḍhīkṛtaḥ śrīmadvasuguptena svasyāṁ śrīspande
Tasyopalabdhiḥ satataṁ tripadāvyabhicāriṇī|
Nityaṁ syātsuprabuddhasya tadādyante parasya tu||
iti| Kintvekato vṛddhasādhakatāyāḥ prasaraḥ suprabuddhatāṁ jīvanmuktatāṁ vā śanaiḥ pravartate śaktipātanānāprakarṣānurūpeṇaivāparataśca tatsādhakasyātmopalabdhiḥ pañcamaśivasūtreṇa smṛteva yathāvadvartate
iti| Bhairava ātmanyunmajjite brahmarandhrārūḍhātmaśaktiḥ śikhāyāṁ praviśya śikhāgra unmanāyāṁ sampralīyamānā — Ayaṁ mokṣa vakṣyamāna ātmāvasthālābho bhavati nūnam| Yasmājjīvanmukto mohābhāvalakṣaṇastasmātsa naiva kadācidātmānamuddiśya muhyati — Kimiti yato'yaṁ suprabuddhaḥ pratyakṣamūlenātmajñānena yutaḥ sarvadāta eva cāsya jñānaṁ na jātucidāgamānumānatantram| Jīvanmuktadaśā spaṣṭaṁ nirdiṣṭā śrīspande
Jñānajñeyasvarūpiṇyā śaktyā paramayā yutaḥ|
Padadvaye vibhurbhāti tadanyatra tu cinmayaḥ||
iti| Na kimapyātmakapaṭaprabandhe nityayuktasya cintyāṇorjñānamūlā tāttvikā paramārthaniṣṭhāpi tu suprabuddhalabdhaviviktācintyātmopalabdhisamyaṅmūlaiva||9||
The Self (ātmā) stays (tiṣṭhati) always (sadā) in solitude (viviktam)||9||
All (sarvam) this (idam) world (jagat) together with (saha) its changes (sva-parivartaiḥ) is certainly (rūpam eva) only (mātra) a Play (vilāsa) of the Power (śaktyāḥ) of the Self (ātma). The Self (ātmā), who (yaḥ) is (ātmakaḥ) a compact mass (ghana) of Absolute Freedom (svācchandya) (and) Joy (pramoda), is not (na hi) even slightly (manāk api) ever (jātucid) affected (spṛṣṭaḥ) by the world (jagatā). Before (pūrvaṁ) the birth (janmanaḥ) of the atomic self --the limited individual-- (aṇu) as well as (ca... ca) after (param) his death (tasya mṛtyoḥ), the Self (ātmā) remains (āste) as (bhāvena) Consciousness (caitanya). Additionally (kiñca), the Self (ātmā) remains (tiṣṭhati) as (iva) Consciousness (caitanyam) even (api) in the middle stage (madhya-bhūmikāyām) whose form (rūpāyām) is the life (jīvita) of the atomic self (aṇoḥ) who has been invented (kḷptasya) by His (sva) Supreme (parama) Power (śakti). The One without a second (saḥ advitīyaḥ) does not (na) deviate (calati) even (api) a bit (stoka-aṁśena) from the Supreme State (parama-padāt) ever (kadācid). Absolutely (sarvaśas) immutable (nirvikāraḥ) and (ca... ca) constantly (sadā) replete with (śālī) infinite (ananta) Bliss (ānanda) (and) unimpeded (nirvighna) Will (icchā), the Self (saḥ ātmā) always (satatam) stays (tiṣṭhati) in solitude (viviktam), to wit (yad), He remains (āste) as (iva) the only (eka) uninterrupted (anavacchinna) Core (hṛdayam) of all (sarvasya). Accordingly (tad-anurūpeṇa), the person (naraḥ) who has realized the State of the Self (upalabdha-ātma-daśaḥ) (is) always (sarvadā) (and) everywhere (sarvatra) solitary (viviktaḥ) like (vat) the Self (ātma). Whether (yadi) the body (dehaḥ) of that person (tad-narasya) (is) surrounded (valayaḥ) by crowds (jana-ogha) or (yadi vā) (it is) totally (samyak) isolated (anyaviśliṣṭaḥ), he (saḥ) remains (āste) continuously (nityam) in solitude (viviktam). His (tasya) Dwelling-place (nivāsaḥ) (is) truly (khalu) Kailāsa (kailāsaḥ), the Abode (ālayaḥ) of Bliss (ānanda) in Sahasrāra (sahasrāre). As (yathā) that sage (tad-budhaḥ) considers (abhimanyamānaḥ) body and mind (deha-cittayoḥ) as the not-Self (anātmatā), and (ca) on that account (tadartham) (he) does not (na) associate (yuñjamānaḥ) the Self (ātmatām) with those two --with body and mind-- (tābhyām), therefore (tathā) he (saḥ) (is) Free (svatantraḥ) like (iva) the Self (ātmā) and (ca... ca) beyond (atītaḥ) the fate (bhāgya) of body and mind (deha-cittayoḥ). Besides (api ca), such (īdṛśaḥ) a wise (dhīmān) person (naraḥ), by realizing (upalabhamānaḥ) that the Self is one (ātma-aikyam) with all (sarveṇa), is not afflicted (na... pīḍyate) by anyone (kena api). The Self (ātmā) cannot (na... śakyaḥ) be known (veditum) by the mind (cittena) since (yatas) He (saḥ) (is) the Knower (vedakaḥ) of it --of the mind-- (tasya). For this reason (atas eva), the acquisition (lābhaḥ) of the State (daśāyāḥ) of the Self (ātma) (is) always (sadā) connected with (sambandhī) an actual (tāttvika) recognition (pratyabhijñā) of one's own (sva) Self (ātma), without doubt (sandehaḥ na asti)1 .
When Sahasrāra becomes fully active (samutthite sahasrāre), that (tad) (is) a sign (cihnam) of a soon (śīghra) Liberation (mukti). At first (prathamam), Sahasrāra (sahasrāraḥ) gets fully active (samyak-utthitaḥ) for short periods of time (alpa-kālam eva), but (tu) afterward (anantaram) those (te) periods of time (kālāḥ) become very gradually longer (dīrgha-tarāḥ śanaiḥ śanaiḥ bhūtāḥ) until the Liberation (ā-mokṣāt) of that spiritual aspirant (tad-sādhakasya) indeed (nūnam). If (yadi) Sahasrāra (sahasrāraḥ) were to be (bhavet) immediately (sahasā) active in a full way (samutthitaḥ) all the time (sarva-kālam) from the very beginning (ārambhāt eva) of the spiritual path (sādhanā), the body (dehaḥ) of the aspirant (sādhaka) would be forcibly led (nīyeta balāt) to death (mṛtyoḥ antikam). That (tad) would be (syāt) Videhamukti (videha-mukti), i.e. (tad-yathā) Liberation (mokṣaḥ) coupled with (saṁyuktaḥ) leaving (tyāgena) the body (deha). Nonetheless (kintu), if (ced) the body (dehaḥ) is not (na) left (tyaktaḥ) at the moment (kāle) of Liberation (mokṣa), that (tad) would be (bhavet) Jīvanmukti --Liberation coupled with keeping the body-- (jīvat-muktiḥ). A Jīvanmukta --someone who is liberated while living-- (jīvat-muktaḥ) (is) uninterruptedly (anavaratam) engrossed (samāviṣṭaḥ) in trance (samādhinā) till (his) body falls (ā-deha-pātāt). After (param) that (tatas), by entering (praviśya) into (his) great trance (mahā-samādhau), this (ayam) high-souled one (mahā-ātmā) stays (āste) here (iha) as (vat) the Highest Reality (parama-artha), there is no doubt (na... saṁśayaḥ) about it (atra)2 .
However (parantu), at the beginning (ādau), even (api) such (īdṛśa) a sage (budhaḥ) had to be (bhūtavān) a spiritual aspirant (sādhakaḥ), and (ca) (this) is not (na) otherwise (anyathā) --i.e. this process occurs obligatorily like that--. Broadly speaking (bhūyiṣṭham), these (ime) (are) the three (trayaḥ) categories (bhedāḥ) of aspirant (sādhaka): "beginner (ārabdhā), middle (madhyaḥ) and (ca) advanced (vṛddhaḥ... iti)". Of course (avaśyam eva), each of the categories (eka-ekaḥ... bhedaḥ) of spiritual aspirant (sādhaka) has (upetaḥ) intrinsically (bhāvatas) special (viśeṣa) characteristics (lakṣaṇa).
The aspirant (sādhakaḥ) who is a beginner (ārabdhṛ) speaks (bruvāṇaḥ) frequently (bhūyaḥ bhūyaḥ) like this (evam): "Since (yasmāt) (I was) taught (upadiṣṭaḥ) by my spiritual teacher (me guruṇā) that (yad) I (aham) am (asmi) the Self (ātmā), therefore (tasmāt) there is nothing (na kim-cid) for me to do (mayā... kartavyam) most assuredly (nūnam) except (varjayitvā) abiding (avasthānam) in the Self (ātma... iti)". Still (tathā api), he (saḥ) cannot (na śaknoti) do (kartum) all (sarvam) that (tad) because of his complete identification (tasya samyak-samīkaraṇāt) with the state (avasthayā) of atomic self (aṇu). "I (aham) (am) the Self (ātmā... iti)", this (idam) statement (kathanam) of his (tasya), although (api) true (satyam), (it is) merely (trividhā) theoretical (kālpanika), because (yatas) he (saḥ) lacks (hīnaḥ) an actual (vāstavika) recognition (pratyabhijñā) of his own Self (sva-ātmanaḥ). Like an eunuch (ṣaṇḍhasya) proudly (sagarvam) announcing (nivedayataḥ) thus (evam): "My (me) wife (bhāryā) is (asti) the most beautiful (sundaratamā) woman (strī... iti)", the aspirant (saḥ sādhakaḥ) that is a beginner (ārabdhṛ) does act (anukaroti eva), since (yatas) just as (yathā) the wife (sā bhāryā) is not enjoyed (abhuktā) by the former (pūrveṇa), even so (tathā eva) the State (sā... avasthā) of the Self (ātma) whose nature (rūpa) is Absolute Freedom (svātantrya) (and) Bliss (ānanda) is not even slightly (na manāk api) enjoyed (bhuktā) or (vā) experienced (anubhūtā) by the latter (apareṇa) due to his incapacity (tasya asāmarthyāt). Though (api) the beginner (ārabdhā) (is) the Self (ātmā), being (bhūtvā) incapacitated (asamarthaḥ) by his own (nija) impurity (aśuddhi) consisting of (ātmaka) Āṇavamala (āṇava-mala) —which will be spoken about later (vakṣyamāna)—, such (īdṛśa) a spiritual aspirant (sādhakaḥ) (is) always (sadā) dependant (tantraḥ) on another (para) and not at all (na tu kim api) Free (svatantraḥ) like (iva) the divine (divya) Self (ātmā) really (tattvatas)3 .
The middle aspirant says this (madhya-sādhakena tad uktam): "Although (yadi api) I (aham) am (asmi) the Self (ātmā), even then (tad api) I do not recognize --I do not realize-- (na pratyabhijānāmi) the state (avasthām) of the Self (ātma); therefore (tasmāt), I must meditate (mayā... dhyātavyam) every day (prati-dinam) on the Self (ātmānam) in order to (artham) realize (upalābha) the Self (ātma... iti)" — The middle (madhya) aspirant (sādhakaḥ) also (api) says (bruvāṇaḥ): "In the end (ante), when the Self is realized (ātmani upalabdhau), I (aham) enter into a state of void (śunyatāṁ gacchāmi) devoid of Bliss (nirānanda)... nevertheless (kintu), since (yad) the Self (ātmā eva) is indicated (nirdiṣṭaḥ) by the spiritual teacher (guruṇā) and (ca) by the scriptures (śāstraiḥ) as replete with (śālī) Bliss (ānanda), therefore (tad) what (kim) am I to do (mayā kartavyam) for (arthe) realizing (upalabdhi) the State (daśā) of the Self (ātma) which is full (maya) of Joy (pramoda... iti)?". This (ayam) category (bhedaḥ) of spiritual aspirant (sādhaka) is characterized (lakṣaṇaḥ) by karma or action (karma) as (yatas) those (te) middle (madhya) aspirants (sādhakāḥ) are always engaged in (sadā... parāḥ) actions (karma) in order to attain (lābhāya) the State (avasthā) of the Self (ātma). By the sixty-seventh aphorism (sapta-ṣaṣṭa-sūtreṇa) in venerable Śivasūtra-s (śrī-śivasūtre), it is taught (upadiṣṭam) (that): "However (tu), one who is a compact mass (pratisaṁhataḥ) of delusion (moha) (is merely) involved (ātmā) in actions (karma... iti)" — Thus (evam ca), the middle (madhya) spiritual aspirant (sādhakaḥ) is also deluded (mohitaḥ api) by ignorance (ajñāna) due to his incapacity (tasya asāmarthyāt). In this way (ittham), he (saḥ) is not able (aśaktaḥ) to completely (aśeṣeṇa) enjoy (bhoktum) or (vā) experience (anubhavitum) his own (sva) Self (ātmānam) because of (hetoḥ) ignorance (ajñāna) appeared (prādurbhūta) in the form (rūpa) of the void (śūnya) of Māyā (māyā). Due to a false satisfaction (anṛta-tuṣṭeḥ), even (api) some (kecid) middle (madhya) aspirants (sādhakāḥ), by thinking (matvā) that the Self (ātmatām) is a state (avasthām) of void (śūnya), consider (abhimanyamānāḥ) themselves (ātmanaḥ) as (vat) Jīvanmukta-s or liberated ones while living (jīvat-mukta), but (tu) as a matter of fact (vastutas) they are merely (mātrāḥ) confused (mūḍha) about the Highest Reality (parama-arthe) indeed (yad satyam), because (yatas) Liberation (mokṣaḥ) (is) always the State (avasthā) of the Glorious (vibhavi) Self (ātma), which --i.e. the State-- is full (mayā) of Absolute Freedom (svācchandya) (and) Bliss (ānanda), and never (na tu... kadācid) a state of void (śūnyatā) without (vinā) Complete Freedom and Joy (svātantrya-pramodau). The same thing (tad eva) has been expressed (uktam) in venerable Spandakārikā-s (śrī-spande):
"Then (tadā), moon --i.e. apāna-- (śaśi) (and) sun --i.e. prāṇa-- (bhāskare) get reabsorbed (pralīna) in that (tasmin) Great (mahā) Ether (vyomni). (To the partially awakened one, that condition is) like (vat) the state (pada) of deep sleep (sauṣupta), (and thus) he remains (syāt) stupefied (mūḍhaḥ). (However, a Yogī who) is not covered (by the darkness of ignorance) (anāvṛtaḥ) remains (syāt) awakened and enlightened (prabuddhaḥ... iti) (in that very condition)."
Besides (api ca), in venerable Spandanirṇaya (śrī-spandanirṇaye) (it is also told):
"According to the abovementioned precept (uktayā eva nītyā), it --the state of void-- (tad) is manifested (utthāpitam) by only imagining (bhāvanayā eva) what has not existed (ever) (abhūta). (The state of void) is shown (bhāsitam) by the Supreme Lord (parama-īśvareṇa eva) in that way (tathā) —viz. as a goal to be achieved (upeyatayā)— to the fools (mūḍhānām), in order to conceal and protect (gopanāyai) Knowledge (jñāna). Such is the purport (iti arthaḥ... iti)."
There is (vidyate) experience (anubhavaḥ) of void (śūnyatā) in the case of a middle aspirant (madhya-sādhakasya) because of his unfitness (tasya ayogyatāyāḥ). Then (tatas), instead of being occupied (vyāpartavye) in inventions (kalpane) with reference to (apekṣayā) the Highest Reality (pāramārthya), he (saḥ) should strive indeed (prayatnaṁ hi kuryāt) to acquire (lābhe) an actual (vāstava) realization (upalabdhi) of his own (sva) Self (ātma). As (yad) all (kṛtsnam) this (idam) (is) always (nityam) of the Supreme Self (parama-ātmanaḥ), consequently (tad) why (kim iti) should He give (saḥ... dadyāt) something (kañcid) to someone (kasmai api)?4
The advanced spiritual aspirant says (vṛddha-sādhakena uktam): "The Self (ātmā) Is (asti iti)", because he realized (tasya upalabdhyāḥ) that the Self (ātmanaḥ) is the star (nāyaka-vat) of this universal drama (viśva-nāṭakasya). For this very reason (atas eva), whether (yadi) the atomic self (aṇuḥ) is (asti) the Self (ātmā) or (yadi vā) the atomic self (aṇuḥ) is not (na asti) the Self (ātmā), etc. (iti-ādi), he (saḥ) is not (na) interested (sa-pakṣapātaḥ) in all that (tasmin sarvasmin) now (adhunā). On that account (iti hetoḥ), the advanced (vṛddha) aspirant (sādhakaḥ) is always engaged (sadā... paraḥ) in vigilance (avahitatā) for udyama (udyame) (or) the emergence (unmajjane) of one's own Self (sva-ātmanaḥ) whose nature (rūpakasya) is Absolute Freedom (svātantrya) (and) Bliss (ānanda), which will be spoken about later (vakṣyamānaḥ). When (yadā) there is (asti) Self-realization (ātma-upalabdhiḥ) at the beginning and at the end (ādi-ante) of the states (padānām) of wakefulness (jāgara), dreaming (svapna) (and) deep sleep (sauṣupta) of a certain advanced spiritual aspirant (kasyacid vṛddha-sādhakasya), then (tadā) he (saḥ) is doubtless fit (na sandehaḥ) for Liberation (mokṣe) consisting in (ātmake) uninterrupted (anavarata) Self-realization (ātma-upalabdhi). That very (truth) (tad eva) has been taught (upadiṣṭam) by illustrious Kṣemarāja (śrīmat-kṣemarājena) in (his) venerable Spandanirṇaya (śrī-spandanirṇaye):
"Since (yatas eva), to the one who is not perfectly awakened (asuprabuddhasya), there is (asti) perception (upalabdhiḥ) of That --of the Self-- (tad) at the beginning and at the end (ādi-ante) of those (three ordinary states of consciousness) (tad), for this very reason (atas eva) he (ayam) is here fit for (iha adhikārī) being turned into a perfectly awakened one (suprabuddhī-kriyate) by the teachings (upadeśaiḥ) dealing with Spanda (spanda... iti)."
When (kadā) (does) this (ayam) advanced aspirant (vṛddha-sādhakaḥ) become (bhavati) a liberated while living (jīvat-muktaḥ) or (vā) perfectly awakened (suprabuddhaḥ)? — When (yadā) there is (vidyate) to him (asya) Self-realization (ātma-upalabdhiḥ) in the middle (madhye) of those states (teṣām padānām). My (mama) teaching (upadeśaḥ) is confirmed (dṛḍhīkṛtaḥ) by illustrious Vasugupta (śrīmat-vasuguptena) in his (svasyām) venerable Spandakārikā-s (śrī-spande):
"To the perfectly awakened one (suprabuddhasya), there is (syāt), always (nityam) (and) constantly (satatam), the perception (upalabdhiḥ) of That --i.e. the Self-- (tasya), (and this perception of the Self) stays (avyabhicāriṇī) (throughout) the three (tri) states (of consciousness) (pada). However (tu), to the other one --i.e. to the one who is not fully awakened-- (parasya), (there is) that --i.e. the perception of the Self-- (tad) (only) at the beginning (ādi) (and) end (ante... iti) (of each state)5 ."
Nonetheless (kintu), on the one hand (ekatas), the progress (prasaraḥ) from the condition of advanced aspirant (vṛddha-sādhakatāyāḥ) toward the state of perfectly awakened (suprabuddhatām) or (vā) liberated while living (jīvat-muktatām) proceeds (pravartate) gradually (śanaiḥ) according to (anurūpeṇa eva) various (nānā) intensities (prakarṣa) of Śaktipāta or descent of Power --Grace-- (śaktipāta), and (ca) on the other hand (aparatas) Self-realization (ātma-upalabdhiḥ) in the case of that aspirant (tad-sādhakasya) occurs (vartate) exactly (yathāvat) as (iva) mentioned (smṛtā) by the fifth aphorism of Śiva (pañcama-śiva-sūtreṇa):
"Bhairava --Supreme Being-- (bhairavaḥ) (is) a sudden flash or elevation of divine Consciousness (udyamaḥ... iti)."
When Bhairava, the Self, emerges (bhairave ātmani unmajjite), the Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma) who has risen up to (ārūḍhā) Brahmarandhra (brahmarandhra), after penetrating (praviśya) into the śikhā or flame (there) (śikhāyām), gets completely dissolved (sampralīyamānā) into Unmanā (unmanāyām) at the tip (agre) of the śikhā (śikhā) — This (ayam) Liberation (mokṣaḥ), which will be talked about later on (vakṣyamānaḥ), is (bhavati) certainly (nūnam) the acquisition (lābhaḥ) of the State (avasthā) of the Self (ātma). Since (yasmāt) a liberated while living (jīvat-muktaḥ) is characterized (lakṣaṇaḥ) by the absence (abhāva) of Delusion (moha), therefore (tasmāt), he (saḥ) never (na eva kadācid) becomes confused (muhyati) with regard to (uddiśya) the Self (ātmānam) — Why (kim iti)? Because (yatas) this (ayam) perfectly awakened one (suprabuddhaḥ) is always possessed of (yutaḥ sarvadā) Self-knowledge (ātma-jñānena) based on (mūlena) direct perception (pratyakṣa), and (ca) for this very reason (atas eva) his (asya) knowledge (jñānam) never (na jātucid) depends (tantram) on testimony (āgama) (and) inference (anumāna)6 . The state (daśā) of a liberated while living (jīvat-mukta) (is) clearly indicated (spaṣṭam nirdiṣṭā) in venerable Spandakārikā-s (śrī-spande):
"The all-pervading (Self) (vibhuḥ) shines forth (bhāti) in the two (dvaye) states (of wakefulness and dreaming) (pada) accompanied (yutaḥ) by (His) Supreme --parama-- (paramayā) Power --śakti-- (śaktyā) whose nature (sva-rūpiṇyā) is knowledge (jñāna) (and) knowable (jñeya). Nevertheless (tu), in the other (anyatra) than those (two) (tad), (He appears only) as Consciousness (cit-mayaḥ... iti)."
True (tāttvikā) spirituality (parama-artha-niṣṭhā) is not at all (na kim api) based (mūlā) on the knowledge (jñāna) of the conceivable atomic self (cintya-aṇoḥ) who is always intent on (nitya-yuktasya) conspiring against (kapaṭa-prabandhe) the Self (ātma), but rather (api tu) (it is) totally (samyak) based (mūlā) upon realization (upalabdhi) of the solitary (vivikta) (and) inconceivable (acintya) Self (ātma) achieved (labdha) by a perfectly awakened one (suprabuddha) indeed (eva)7 ||9||
1 The Self is always the same Reality at all times and everywhere. He is totally Free and replete with Bliss. No description of His State can do It justice really, because He is so Awesome that only after realizing Him, one can fully understand His nature. Though He is everywhere, His Abode is Kailāsa in Sahasrāra, in the crown of the head. The person who realizes Him does assume His characteristics too. Such a sage is always beyond the fate of his mind and body, i.e. he does not associate his real "I" or Self with mind and body. I used the verb "to realize" because the verb "to know" is not the proper one as the Self is the Supreme Knower all the time. He is not an object to be known but the Knower of all. Hence, the acquisition of His State is always connected with an actual recognition or realization of one's own Self, and not with a "knowledge" about the Self. Can you follow me? Good!
2 Most people do not have their Sahasrāra fully active because it is not at all necessary in their case. Only the spiritually advanced ones are given the gift of a Sahasrāra fully active, at least for a certain period of time. It is His gift for a deserving aspirant who strived for Final Liberation for long. Sahasrāra is used exclusively for Self-realization always. For the rest of actions and processes, the rest of cakra-s is more than enough. It is like a racing car to be only used in circuits and not as a regular car that is used in the city, etc. In the same way, Sahasrāra is only intended for the acquisition of the State of the Self.
When Sahasrāra gets activated in a massive way, the person is forced to abandon his physical body due to the intensity of his Self-realization. This is Liberation coupled with leaving the body. On the other hand, if Sahasrāra gets activated gradually, as it were, at the time of his Liberation, he will probably retain his body. This is Liberation coupled with keeping the physical body. Anyway, from the viewpoint of the liberated one, there is no difference between abandoning or retaining the body because Liberation puts him beyond all those differences. Leaving or keeping the body is only significant for all those people watching how the sage attain Liberation. As the Highest Reality is a compact mass of Absolute Freedom and Bliss, once one realizes this compact mass thoroughly, all is the same to him.
3 Before becoming an enlightened being, every person had to be a spiritual aspirant first, whether in this life or in a previous one. There is no other way out. I defined three categories of aspirant according to his level of spiritual maturity. Of course, different scriptures have their own way to classify them, but my classification is one that is simpler to understand, in my opinion, since the aspirants are labeled as beginner, middle and advanced instead of, e.g. unawakened, awakened, well-awakened, perfectly well awakened (this description occurs in one of the most important Tantra-s).
The aspirant who is a beginner generally speaks about the Self like this: "I was taught that I am the Self... so, what else is left for me to do here?". In other words, he misunderstands the teaching and starts to act as if he were a fully enlightened person. This is because the main quality of ego is appropriation of that which is not of oneself. The beginner uses to speak like a liberated one without being one. In his case, the teaching appears only as a theory in his intellect and not as an actual realization of the Truth. Yes, he is the Self (as everybody is), but not having realized Him it is as if he was not the Self after all. The Self is svatantra or "dependant on Himself" while the beginner is paratantra or "dependant on another". For example, his happiness is always depending on the external circumstances. He has no autonomous "happiness" but it totally depends on external factors such as body, relatives, work, weather, etc. This is due to his innate impurity (Āṇavamala) bringing about "lack of fullness". I gave the example of an eunuch announcing that his wife is the most beautiful woman, but at the same time, since he is unable to enjoy her, having her as a wife in his case is practically useless. Another example is this:
"I have the fastest car ever"... "Where do you have it?"... "Parked in my garage because I do not know how to drive it".
That example also shows the condition of a beginner that, though he is the Self, not being able to realize Him, is unable to fully enjoy Him. In the example, that person will have to learn how to drive a car, and next he will have to go to a circuit and learn how to drive his awesome car at maximum speed without crashing. Can you follow me? All this process is known as "spiritual path". If the things were so easy as "to be the Self" and that is it, everybody would be quite liberated right now and forever. So, it is about "to realize that one is the Self" always. This is the difference between a beginner and a liberated person. While the former is still with his amazing car parked in the garage due to his incapacity, the latter is driving it at maximum speed. Yes, it is just an example, but very handy in showing how these spiritual processes really work.
4 The middle aspirant knows that he is the Self, but also knows that that is not enough. He strives for an actual realization of his own Self then. Anyway, he still believes that Self-realization is related to performing actions. So, his spiritual practice is full of actions, e.g. rituals, meditations through various techniques, chanting, etc. He frequently bumps into states of void because he is still not worthy to attain Final Liberation. Hence he experiences the Self who is Light and Bliss as a boring state of void who is only the result of the presence of his own innate impurity or Āṇavamala. Some of them, bewildered by the experience of mere void, start to think that that is Final Liberation. By the way, there are several schools of thought completely based on the state of void. They were founded by these middle aspirants who, in their ignorance, mistook the Self for something else, i.e. the void. In Śivasūtra-s (III, 35), this kind of aspirants are defined as a compact mass of delusion because they are all the time involved in actions. Despite the drawbacks in the form of a middle aspirant possibly being made confused by the experience of void, this stage is a necessary one in order to progress toward the stage of an advanced aspirant. For the most part, the middle aspirant will spend many years performing spiritual practices before getting to the final stage preceding Self-realization. I have also quoted Spandakārikā-s I, 25 and Spandanirṇaya I, 13 in order to make this topic even clearer.
5 The advanced spiritual aspirant is just fed up with "I", i.e. with ego, and only says: "The Self Is", because after so many years undergoing process after process, he realized his absolute powerlessness when it comes to an actual realization of the Self. The Self can be considered here, as it were, like a "real I" in contrast with "ego" (a false I). While ego is the superstar on the stage of one's life, one is bound to remain in bondage. The key to advance in spirituality is forgetting ego or false I. This is easier said than done, of course. In fact, it cannot be accomplished without the Grace of the very Self. As the advanced aspirant knows that, he puts Him in the first place always even if his ego takes offense at his attitude. People with a high degree of ego cannot advance in spirituality because their ego is the everlasting stone in their shoes. Ego is not only "arrogance", as usually interpreted, but false I-ness. For example: "I am Gabriel" or "I am this body" or "I am from this country" or "I am thin" or "I am not nice", etc. Although the advanced aspirant has to use his ego as a facade in order to work in this world (e.g. he cannot go voting and say "I am the unfathomable Self who has become all the parties here" or meet other people and state "I am all of you at every moment everywhere", because that, though true, would be just off-target and socially pestering, hehe), inside (i.e. internally), he puts the Self on the stage as the real superstar to be applauded and praised at all times.
Meanwhile, such an aspirant stays vigilant, with his mind completely empty, for His Revelation. At first, His Revelation or spontaneous Emergence occurs at the beginning and end of the three usual states of consciousness (waking, dreaming and deep sleep). Next, when the Self reveals Himself to him even in the middle of waking, dreaming and deep sleep, he attains the state of suprabuddha or perfectly awakened for the time His Emergence lasts. As the process continues, His Revelations last longer and longer until he is lastly able to experience Self-realization constantly, during the three states of consciousness. This person is a full suprabuddha or liberated while living.
6 Bestowal of Grace by the Self occurs gradually in general. And it happens exactly as described in Śivasūtra-s I, 5. When the Self emerges that way, spontaneously, His Power who has risen up to the hole of Brahmā (Brahmarandhra) in the crown of the head, after penetrating into the flame there, gets totally dissolved into the State of the Self called Unmanā. Yes, I will explain this subject fully when I write my commentary on the third section, but you can read something about it in Meditation 6.
According to the sage Patañjali, the way to get right knowledge is through direct perception, inference (deduction) and testimony: Pātañjalayogasūtra-s I, 7. As the perfectly awakened one is in such a high state of consciousness, he prefers direct perception over the other two ways to get right knowledge.
7 In order to fully establish what the state of a liberated one is like, I quoted Spandakārikā-s I, 18. True spirituality is always based on the knowledge of the perfectly awakened one who is Free like the Supreme Self, and never on the knowledge of an atomic self who is dependant on another the whole day and night despite all his airs of supposed independence. For example, a limited individual cannot cope with the simple task to keep his body working constantly for a lifetime. It is always the Self through His Power who is the real Doer and never the atomic self who is an invention of this very Power. This is why the key to Final Liberation is His remembrance and not the usual remembrance of the atomic self that is completely depending on the Self for every thing in his life, and that is always besieged by pleasure and pain. Regarding that, there is no doubt at all.
If someone now thinks: "But the atomic self is really the Self, you know", so he is a beginner in spirituality as it was explained above. Why? Because though true, if there is no actual Self-realization his saying is mere theory and not a constant experience. And if someone has that realization, he will not bring the question that the Self is the atomic self after all, because pointing that out would be just unnecessary and foolish. When I said that the atomic self is always intent on conspiring against the Self I meant to say exactly that, viz. occupied in constant machinations and off-target commentaries on This who is superior and completely Free: "The Self just does not exist... everything came from mere nothingness", "The Self exists and is only mine", "The Self, if He exists, is not fair to humankind at all", "Why is the Self abandoning His sons?", "My group is the only one in contact with Him", etc. Anyway, here a little hurricane comes and all those atomic beings run away in terror for their lives. What is lower cannot judge or take possession of This who is superior in all respects. Besides, when even the mosquitoes are the Self too, what is the use of mere statement in the form of "I am the Self" without any actual realization of this Blissful Self backing it up?
To be continued
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