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Abhinavagupta's Paramārthasāra (Paramarthasara): Stanzas 12 to 15 - Pure - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir
Paramārthasāra continues with four more stanzas. This is the fourth set of stanzas, which is composed of 4 out of the 105 stanzas constituting the entire work.
Of course, I will also insert the original stanzas on which Yogarāja is commenting. I will write a lot of notes to make this book so understandable to the average reader as possible.
Yogarāja's Sanskrit will be in dark green color while the original Abhinavagupta's stanzas will be shown in dark red color. In turn, within the transliteration, the original stanzas will be in brown color, while the Yogarāja's comments will be shown in black. Also, within the translation, the original stanzas by Abhinavagupta, i.e. Paramārthasāra, will be in green and black colors, while the commentary by Yogarāja will contain words in both black and red colors.
Read Paramārthasāra and experience Supreme Ānanda or Divine Bliss, dear Śiva.
Important: All that is in brackets and italicized within the translation has been added by me in order to complete the sense of a particular phrase or sentence. In turn, all that is between double hyphen (--...--) constitutes clarifying further information also added by me.
An objection: Therefore, with regard to what has been explained (this way:) "The universe shines in such Paratattva --the Highest Principle--", how does this take place as long as nothing is able to become manifest as different with reference to the Highest Principle ? (Because,) if the universe becomes manifest --appears-- as different from It --from the Highest Principle--, then (there would be) dismissal of the doctrine of non-duality. (And) if, in unity (with such a Highest Principle), "the universe becomes manifest", (then) how (would there be) fit or appropriate speech ? --since it sounds contradictory to say that the universe is in full unity with the Supreme Lord (a statement which indicates non-duality) and that at the same time it becomes manifest (a statement which indicates duality)--. Thus, by showing through an example that the (Highest) Principle is dual (and) non-dual with respect to that --to the universe--, (Abhinavagupta,) with the purpose of reconciling differences related to this (apparent contradiction), said1 :
Just as the variety (composed of) a city, a village, etc. when reflected in a mirror, (though) it is not different (from the mirror), shines forth as mutually differentiated --i.e. as a city, a village, etc.-- and also (as different) even from the mirror (itself), even so this universe, though it is not different from the Consciousness of the extremely Pure Paramabhairava --the Supreme Bhairava or Śiva--, shines forth as mutually differentiated and also (as different) even from Himself||13||
(The initial phrase "Darpaṇabimbe yadvannagaragrāmādi citram" in stanza 12 means:) Just as (when) the entire manifold variety (composed of) a city, a village, a fortress, a watchtower in the walls (of that fortress), the lands (surrounding it), a river, a stream, a fire, a tree, a mountain, a domestic animal, a bird, a woman, a man, etc. appears —with its own specific characteristics --i.e. each of those things forming the manifold variety keeps its own features--— reflected in a clear mirror. (The word "avibhāgi" in the same stanza means: Though such a variety is) "avibhāgi", i.e. (although) it shines (or) exists as not different from the mirror, (in other words, though) it hurls (its) form --a city, a village, etc.-- inside (the mirror) in unity with it --with the mirror itself--. (And), even though (this manifold variety) appears in unity with respect to that --to the mirror--, it shines forth "vibhāgenaiva ca parasparam" --such as Abhinavagupta says in the stanza 12--, viz. it shines forth (replete) with differentiation "by mutually keeping its own specific characteristics, (e.g.) a cloth is different from a pot (and) a pot is different from a cloth"2 .
Undoubtedly, the objects that reside inside it --inside the mirror-- are referred to as different (from each other), but in their not having abandoned the mirror, nothing which is different (from the mirror itself) is perceived (really. And, as a result,) even though the universe remains nonetheless in indistinguishable unity with the mirror, it is perceived as different everywhere.
Thus, "the mirror containing the reflection of a pot, etc. is then made invisible or hidden (by that reflection)". "This (is) not (so)" (because Abhinavagupta) said (at the end of the stanza 12): "darpaṇādapi ca" (or) "and (as different) even from the mirror (itself)" (in order to indicate that the mirror does not disappear due to the presence of the reflections on its surface).
Not only the objects themselves residing inside the mirror shine forth as different (from one another) but even (they appear) to be different from the mirror too. In consequence of which, the mirror, even though replete with various reflections, shines with an essential nature that transcends those reflections. However, it --the mirror-- does not become identical with them --with those reflections--, since there would be the perception (that:) "There is no mirror".
Nevertheless, even during the perception of various reflections (on the surface of a mirror), the knowledge (that) "this (is) a mirror" remains irrefutable to everybody.
Even (a group of objects) such as a pot, etc. does not particularize or distinguish the mirror so that it --the mirror-- appears here (as if) deprived of its own essential nature (in this way:) "This (is) a pot-mirror, this (is) a cloth-mirror" --in other words, none of those reflections makes the mirror something different from a mirror--.
Neither is the duality or difference created by space (and) time going to annihilate the essential nature with reference to it --the mirror-- --i.e. the mirror remains the same in spite of the duality created by space and time, which takes the form of multiple objects that are mutually different and are changing all the time--.
Therefore, "The mirror, bearing various reflections in itself, (is) only the mirror" --the mirror does not ever become anything else in spite of the multiple reflections on its surface--, (and as a result,) there is no destruction or removal of the doctrine of reflection --i.e. this doctrine postulated here by Abhinavagupta has no fault because the mirror remains the mirror always, viz. the Self is just the Self though this variegated universe is being reflected in Himself as if He were a Mirror--.
Then it is said (that there may be) this doubt or confusion: (According to the doctrine of reflection,) it is to be considered that "An elephant (resides) in a mirror". Nonetheless, there is certainly none (residing) in the mirror. This is so because of the absence of activity on the part of the object (inside the mirror itself, i.e. the object is not performing any activity inside the mirror but outside. Yogarāja, the commentator, specifies that) "This (type of) opinion or assertion (is caused) by a confusion indeed". So then, (in spite of that confusion,) the example based on the doctrine of reflection (is) undoubtedly successful --but Yogarāja is not explaining the nature of such a confusion yet... keep reading, please--. The nature of (that) doubt or confusion is examined immediately after.
--Now Yogarāja will proceed to explain the 13th stanza, fragment by fragment-- "Tadvat", i.e."even so", through the example (that deals with) the reflection of a city, etc. in a mirror, "jagat" (or) the universe, though it is not different from the Consciousness of the extremely Pure Paramabhairava --the Supreme Bhairava or Śiva-- who is the Light abounding in Perfect Bliss (and) who is preeminently devoid of all connection with time, i.e. though it is not different from that Light like a reflection in a mirror, comes to light as multiform with regard to knowers --subjects-- (and) knowables --objects--, which look different from each other. (Additionally, Abhinavagupta said) "tato'pi ca" (or) "and also (as different) even from Himself" (in the stanza 13), i.e. (the universe) shines forth as if emerged even from Consciousness because although Consciousness is appearing in the form of that --in the form of the universe--, It spreads as transcendental with reference to that --to the universe--, just like the mirror (is transcendental) with regard to the reflections3 .
Thus, the Light bearing the reflections (which appear as) the objects of the universe spreads as transcendental with regard to (these very) objects of the universe, i.e. (the Light of the Great Lord shines) with Its own essential nature as being the Experient of all --the divine Reality called Śiva (You!) is the One experiencing all the objects of the universe and therefore It is always transcendental with respect to them all because It is not "something to be experienced as a created thing" but the Experient Himself; this is the meaning--.
Even though the variety of states (that appears as) space, time (and) form, (and that) dwells in the objects becomes manifest here --in the universe-- alone, as (if it was the reflection) in a mirror, nevertheless, it does not come into contact with one's own nature --with the Mirror of one's own Self--.
For this reason, knowing that the variety (of a city, a village, etc. referred to in the stanza 12) is admitted as being (nothing but) Consciousness --as being nothing but the Mirror--, though Consciousness be one (and) many (at the same time, It is) only one, --i.e. knowing that such a variety of reflections in the Mirror is only the Mirror called Consciousness, as a result, though Consciousness could look like one and many at the same time, It really is only one--.
--Now the great Yogarāja begins to explain the nature of the abovementioned bhrānti (doubt or confusion) as regards this doctrine of reflection used to explain the relationship between the Lord and the universe, when the objection that "an elephant really is not residing in a mirror" was raised-- Nonetheless, the difference between Clearness of Consciousness endowed with divine Delight (and) clearness of an (ordinary) mirror is of such extent (as shown now --viz. the comparison has its own limitations, which are explained now--:) The external fragment --portion-- which appears as a city, etc., being thought of as a reflection, shines in a mirror that merely possesses clearness, but (that fragment or portion appearing as a reflection) is not self-created. Hence, the opinion or assertion that "this (is) an elephant", (as if an elephant resided) in the mirror, has to do with a confusion --it is erroneous in the context of an ordinary mirror--. However, the Light whose essence is one's Delight (and which is) one's own Consciousness, by laying hold of the universe in unity (with Itself), on the Canvas of Its Self, of Its own Free Will, manifests (this very) universe as (its) material cause4 .
The conclusion (is that:) "The capacity of creating --Śakti or Vimarśa, the Supreme Power-- that belongs to the Fortunate One --to Lord Śiva-- (and that) manifests the universe indeed", (is) certainly "the main feature that causes a difference between the Light (of the Lord and) something being inert (such as) clearness of a mirror, etc." --All in all, it is His Śakti or Power what makes Śiva mainly different from a mere inert mirror--.
This has (also) been expressed by the author (of this Paramārthasāra) --Abhinavagupta-- in his Īśvarapratyabhijñāvivṛtivimarśinī --his long commentary on Utpaladeva's Īśvarapratyabhijñā--:
"The entire universe shines forth --becomes manifest, appears-- inside, in the Self here, just as a variegated (flower) arrangement (appears) inside a mirror. Nonetheless, Consciousness seizes --captures, like a mirror-- the universe by means of Its own Essence (called) Vimarśana --Vimarśa or Śakti--... but the mirror does not (do) so (like Consciousness does)5 ."
In this way, as far as the Supreme Lord is concerned, there is no confusion related to differentiation or duality with respect to the multitude of objects created in His own Body, but as far as the experients subject to Māyā (there is) this manifestation of duality which (is nothing but) this confusion based on ignorance about (one's own) Fullness. Ignorance is absence of spreading of what is Full whose nature is based on non-dualism. (When this happens,) what is Full does not appear (then). Nevertheless, (when) what is not Full, whose essence is dualism, appears, (then) differenciation --objects different from one another and different from myself-- is perceived. This is the meaning6 .
Therefore, this doctrine of reflection (is) unobjectionable||13||
1 While the objection sounds "naive" to a Trika expert, it looks very serious to someone who is a layman in these matters. Compassionate Abhinavagupta has composed these two stanzas (12 and 13) to answer that elementary question anyway.
The one objecting is asking this: "If the universe shines or exists in the Highest Principle (in Śiva), how does the universal manifestation take place then? In other words, if nothing can become manifest as different from Him, then no universe should have arisen since there is no movement in Him, the Immutable One. The "objector" makes his point clear by saying that, on the one hand, if the universe becomes manifest as different from Him, from the Lord, then there would be dismissal of the doctrine of non-duality, because there would be two entities: "The Lord and the universe", and the entire non-dual question would just go to hell, hehe. On the other hand, if the universe becomes manifest "in unity" with Him... well, to say that would not be fit or appropriate. Why? Because it sounds contradictory to say that something appears and at the same time it is in full unity with its Cause. If it is in full unity with its Cause, then it should not appear in the first place, because all manifestation implies "duality" always, which is opposite to "non-duality or unity". That is what the one objecting meant to say by "then how would there be fit or appropriate speech?".
Of course, the one raising the objection has no idea about the "bhedābheda" relationship (duality in non-duality, or duality in unity, or unity in diversity... choose the way you want to call it) between the Lord and the universe. As I told you before, merciful Abhinavagupta will explain this by two stanzas. He will do so through an example extracted from ordinary life.
2 Yogarāja, the commentator, starts to explain the two stanzas little by little. Firstly, he elucidates the meaning of the phrase "Darpaṇabimbe yadvannagaragrāmādi citram" occurring at the beginning of the 12th stanza by saying that this "citram" or variety is manifold or multiple. He even expands the description given by Abhinavagupta regarding the things contained in such a variety: a city, a village, a fortress, etc. It is to be noted in that description that the words "nada" and "nadī" generally mean the same thing: "a river". Nonetheless, the difference is subtle, because "nada" is a river from a masculine viewpoint (being considered as masculine) and "nadī" is a river from a feminine viewpoint (being considered as feminine). As that subtlety cannot be included in the translation because in English, a river is... a river and that is it, hehe, I had to use an alternative translation which is right too. In other words, I translated "nada" as "a river" with all the bells and whistles, while I specified that "nadī" is "a stream". Something similar goes for the words "paśu" and "pakṣi". The first word is mostly translated as "animal", but as the second word means "bird" (which is an animal too), there would be contradiction if I had translated them so. Therefore, in order not to go into the complex question about the five types of animals according to the ancient scriptures (and all those complexities which look "trivial" in the present "non-zoological" context because the commentator is just naming "things" that are possible to be reflected in a clear mirror), I opted to include another legitimate meaning for the word "paśu": A domestic animal, in opposition to "mṛga" (a wild animal). In that way I could workaround the apparent redundancy.
So, the entire multiple variety consisting of all those things that are possible to be reflected in a clear mirror (a city, a village, etc.), when it is "actually" reflected in a mirror, retains its own specific characteristics. In other words, all those things the variety is composed of will appear on the mirror as such: As a city, as a village, as a fortress, etc. This is obvious, right? In turn, the whole variety is "avibhāgi" (from the crude word "avibhāgin"). This term "avibhāgi" is neuter in gender because it qualifies "citram" (the variety), which is a neuter noun. When you consult a dictionary for the meaning of "avibhāgin", the translation will probably be "not dividing or sharing" because the original verb "vibhaj" means "to divide, separate, etc.". This verb derives from the root "bhaj" (to divide, distribute, etc.) since "vi" is a mere prefix added to it. But even the Sanskrit dictionaries one could consult mostly fail to give the real meaning of that word "in practice", at least in the way it is used in Trika: "An avibhāgin is one who is not different or separate". I chose the adjective "different" and not "separate" to keep the cohesion of my translation of these stanzas as the commentator will continue speaking about "differentiation" and the like. Yes, I could have used "separate" instead, but the rest of the translation would have had to be reformed too in order to keep the coherence and structure. Oh Sanskrit, you are always so complicated!
And why am I taking the trouble to make all this clear? For non-scholarly readers? For all those Yoga professors teaching and teaching Yoga all day long and rarely knowing what they are talking about? For the few scholars proficient in Sanskrit reading my work? NO. It is for God, the Omniscient One! All I do is always for Him, the Core of my existence. Hence my perfectionism and my doing at the maximum of my capacity. Because though nobody could notice any mistake in my work, He will notice the least of my errors. I would prefer to die if I had to be one of those careless Sanskrit translators always in a hurry for selling his books full of mediocre translations leading people to more and more confusion... behaving like beggars while at the same time they dare translate the Word emanated from Him, the Opulent One. How could one sell what is not of his own? And on top of that, It is priceless! And how could someone be worried about his worldly welfare while simultaneously he serves the All-mighty One? Oh, human foolishness. Even this variety of foolishness is also reflected in the Mirror of His Pure Heart! I am speaking about this Spotless Mirror then, one's own Self, which is the Heart of all the beings. This Heart of His beats in both sages and fools because He is like that: Completely Glorious and Transcendent!
Now that the reader knows the true nature of this Clear Mirror called Śiva, his own innermost Self, his true Identity, he is fit for continuing to drink from the cup of wisdom passed to him by the Lord appearing as Yogarāja, the chief disciple of Kṣemarāja who was in turn the great disciple of venerable Abhinavagupta, the greatest Trika Master of all time. So, all this variety of things... manifestations arisen from His Power, from His Śakti... look around... all these objects and subjects... all of them are "avibhāgi-s" or non-different from the Mirror Itself who is Yourself. This is the meaning. And though they are like that, avibhāgi-s, i.e. though they hurl their forms (a city, a village, a man, a woman, etc.) inside the Mirror in unity with It, viz. with the Lord Himself, they shine forth replete with differentiation by mutually keeping their own specific characteristics. This woman is different from that man, this man is different from that woman, this river is different from that stream, etc. etc. All those things being reflected by the Mirror keep their inherent features and differences, but at the same time they cannot help being one with the Mirror Itself, with God!
The comparison with an ordinary mirror was made by Abhinavagupta in order to teach the beginners in Trika the real nature of His "bhedābheda" aspect or "unity in the diversity". The universe is totally one with Him but at the same time it looks different from Him, that is, it keeps its own characteristics. Look around again... all these objects and subjects, all of them seem to be different "from one another" (parasparam or anyonyam, i.e. "mutually"), and they also seem to be different from You. However, all that is mere appearance because none of them can stop being in unity with You, with the Lord. Why? Because all of them are reflected in the Mirror of Your pure I-consciousness at all times. Even what you call "you" (your ego called John, Daniel, Jane, etc.) is also a reflection in the Mirror of your own Self because ego is an object, i.e. a created thing and not the Highest Reality. This is the sense. If you read the stanzas and respective commentary without understanding this non-duality between You and the Lord, you are blind and deaf to the Trika wisdom. When you are that blind and deaf, you could become even a scholar perhaps, but without any Self-realization. Scholarship is necessary always but when it is without any Self-realization, then even scholarship is just fruitless.
3 After having explained the meaning of the stanza 12, in which there is a description about a city, a village and so on reflected in a mirror, Yogarāja now proceeds to explain the meaning of the stanza 13, where that example with the reflections in a mirror is used to "approximately" establish the relationship and nature of the Lord and the universe. I said "approximately" because there are two main differences between a mere mirror reflecting objects and the Lord as a Mirror of the universe: (a) There are no "external" objects in Him but all of them are rather "inside" Himself, (b) While an ordinary mirror is inert, the Lord is fully Conscious, i.e. Blissful, because, as the stanza 10 reads: "(He is One whose) Great Bliss (comes) from a rest on His own Self". All in all, the Lord is like a special Blissful Mirror indeed, with no reflected object existing outside Him. Though the comparison to an ordinary mirror is not totally precise, it is completely successful anyway. Those two differences I pointed out between an ordinary mirror and the Mirror known as the Supreme Self are the core of the aforesaid "confusion" mentioned by the commentator, which has not still been explained by him. He will do so later on.
When I started to translate the paragraph I said: "Now Yogarāja will proceed to explain the 13th stanza, fragment by fragment", and he did so, but unfortunately, I could not mark in quotation marks every fragment or the translation would have been very confusing. Twenty percent of my time translating is spent in reading/understanding Sanskrit and eighty percent is spent in putting all that into English so that the translation can be both so faithful to the original as possible and legible. In English (and in Spanish, Portuguese, etc. too), order in a sentence is fundamental. For instance, you can say "The dog which bit my brother" and it is understandable, but if you speak like Yoda or something: "The dog by which my brother was bitten", it is understandable too but... more complex. However, if you say: "Which the dog bit my brother" or "By which the dog my brother was bitten", the meaning becomes very confusing. That is not happening in Sanskrit where "order" is secondary and "coherent gender/number/declension in nouns and coherent verbal conjugation" are primary. Besides, in Sanskrit there is always repetition of the same declension. For example, that phrase "The dog which bit my brother" can be written like this in Sanskrit: "Which the dog bit my brother" by using the Past Tense of the verb "to bite", but in Classic Sanskrit the past particle is mostly used in order to avoid the trouble known as conjugations in Past Tense: "By the dog by which my brother bitten", and one has to add "was" there because the verb "to be" is generally omitted. But as order is secondary in Sanskrit, you could also write: "By which bitten my brother by the dog". Notice how there is repetition of "by... by". That is pretty common in Sanskrit and this scripture is no exception.
As the structures of Sanskrit and English are so different from each other, I have to make some compromises at every step. In this last paragraph written by the commentator, I could mark the following words and phrases occurring in the stanzas: "Tadvat", "jagat" and "tato'pi ca". And I could also add their respective meaning without breaking the structure in English. Anyway, there were other things I could not mark so easily because if I had done so the translations would have been very confusing: "Vimalatamaparamabhairavabodhāt", "vibhāgaśūnyamapi" and "ābhāti". These three expressions occur in the stanza 13 but I could not say: "Vimalatamaparamabhairavabodhāt (means)...", you know, but I had rather to translate all fluently in order not to break the structure of the sentences in English. So, I will use this note to explain the meaning of those expressions in a clearer way. Let us start:
— "Vimalatamaparamabhairavabodhāt" literally means "from the Consciousness of the extremely Pure Paramabhairava --the Supreme Bhairava or Śiva--", and Yogarāja explains it as "from the One who is the Light abounding in Perfect Bliss and who is preeminently devoid of all connection with time".
— "Vibhāgaśūnyamapi" literally means "though it is not different", and Yogarāja explains it as "though it is not different from that Light like a reflection in a mirror".
— "Ābhāti" literally means "it shines forth" (i.e. the universe shines forth), but Yogarāja does not add any additional explanation about it.
And with respect to the expression "anyonyam ca" occurring in the stanza 13, as its meaning is very clear, Yogarāja simply wrote a synonymous: "parasparam ca" (from each other). All in all, both anyonyam and parasparam mean the same thing: "mutually".
Now, regarding the meaning of the entire paragraph, as I told you at the beginning of this note, Yogarāja starts to explain the example of a mirror and its reflections, given by Abhinavagupta, but now in the case of the Lord and the universe. He says that the universe, just like a reflection in a mirror, though it is not different from the Consciousness of the Supreme Lord (the Mirror), comes to light as multiform or manifold, i.e. as replete with multiple subjects and objects. In this way, the fact that the Lord is "One" while the universe is "manifold" is rightly explained to people who are still to be instructed (remember that Abhinavagupta wrote this scripture for aspirants that are not still fully conversant with Trika). These subjects and objects the universe is composed of look like different from each other and also from the Mirror Itself (the Holy Lord). The universe looks like different even from the Lord Himself, because He is always transcendental with regard to the universe. Though the universe dwells in Himself, He is beyond it at all times, just as a mirror is always transcendental with reference to the reflections on its surface.
How is His Transcendental State possible to be understood by someone who is still a beginner in spirituality? This way: Imagine a "feather" being reflected in a mirror. Next, imagine an "elephant" being reflected in the same "mirror". When the mirror was showing the feather, it never became light like that feather. In the same way, when it showed the reflection of the elephant, it did not become heavy as an elephant. NO. The mirror remains always "beyond" the object being reflected in it. Likewise, whether "an ant" or "a galaxy" is reflected in the Mirror called the Great Śiva, it is the same to Him. Why? Because He is Transcendental regarding all that is manifested by His own Light on the immaculate surface of His own Self. He does not become little like an ant or vast like a galaxy but He rather remains Immutable. Oh Lord Śiva, You are so Great!
This is why He is the Highest Reality while the rest of subjects and objects, though they are in full unity with Him, remain as mere realities subject to mutation. This was explained in the first note by myself as "bhedābheda" relationship (duality in non-duality - duality in unity - unity in diversity, the three definitions meaning the same thing). Through this "bhedābheda" relationship, unity and duality between the Lord and the universe are explained in a rational manner to a mind that is still not spiritually mature. As an aspirant advances more and more, he will discover that the Truth is always "abheda" or non-dual because there was no movement in the Lord ever, i.e. there was no universal manifestation at all... but this is another story I will not explain to you now for not making you extremely confused.
And when you have a real experience of the Mirror, of your own Self, you do not know "when" or "where" that experience took place, because He is beyond space and time. You can know that you had that experience "today" but you do not know the exact moment or the place where you had it. This is so because the Self, as a Mirror, always transcends all the objects of this universe, which are as Its reflections. By "objects" I mean not only "things" one sees around but even "mind, ego, intellect, time, space, etc.", viz. all the realities that were manifested by His own Power or Śakti. Oh, Śiva is so Great! For this reason, sage Vasugupta mysteriously said in his Spandakārikā-s I.13:
... न त्वेवं स्मर्यमाणत्वं तत्तत्त्वं प्रतिपद्यते॥१३॥
... Na tvevaṁ smaryamāṇatvaṁ tattattvaṁ pratipadyate||13||
... However, that principle (of Spanda) is not thus perceived or realized, (that is), as a state of recollection||13||
By "principle of Spanda", the true nature of the Great Lord is indicated, obviously. This nature of His cannot be recollected ever because of Its being beyond the spatial-temporal framework. The doctrine which explains the relationship between the Supreme Bhairava (Śiva) and the universe by using an mirror and its reflections is known as: "Pratibimbavāda" or "The doctrine of reflection". Sometimes, it is also called: "Bimbapratibimbavāda" or "The doctrine of the object and its reflection". OK, it is enough!
4 The things are very simple in spite of the "eternally complicated Sanskrit". Listen up: In a previous paragraph the objection that "an elephant does not resides in a mirror really" was raised in order to refute the example given by Abhinavagupta. That objection was accepted by Yogarāja because after all, the example using a mirror is "an example" and not the Highest Reality, i.e. nothing that can be formulated in words, thoughts, etc. can be "exactly" representative of the Great Lord and His relationship with the universe. He additionally said that that objection was raised due to a doubt or confusion. Now, by the present paragraph he is explaining the nature of such a doubt or confusion. I already talked about such a confusion too in the note of explanation preceding this one.
Yogarāja said at first that "the difference between Clearness of Consciousness endowed with divine Delight (and) clearness of an (ordinary) mirror is of such extent" in the sense that he was going to show "the extension of the differences between an ordinary mirror and the Mirror known as the Great Lord", viz. he was going to exactly show the discrepancies between the example given by Abhinavagupta and the Highest Reality Itself. One of the differences between both is already hinted at when the commentator says that the Highest Reality is full of divine Delight and Clearness (Light), i.e. replete with Śakti and Śiva, respectively, while the ordinary mirror is not described as furnished with those two qualities because it is an inert object. This is the meaning of that apparently complex phrase.
Next, Yogarāja expands his explanation of the exact difference between the mere example that uses an ordinary mirror along with external objects and the Lord Himself and His universe. He says that "the external fragment or portion which appears as a city, etc., being thought of as a reflection, shines in a mirror that merely possesses clearness, but (that fragment or portion appearing as a reflection) is not self-created". This is the main difference between both, between an ordinary mirror/external objects and the Lord in conjunction with the universe. In a mirror only "a fragment or portion" is always reflected. No ordinary mirror can reflect the "totality of the universe". Hence the great sage used the word "bhinnam" (fragment or portion) to specify that. Next, he is clear stating that that portion must be thought of as a reflection and NOT as the objects themselves (a city, a village, etc.). In this way, that confusion about an elephant residing inside a mirror is just mere misunderstanding because between an ordinary mirror and the external objects there is a relationship based on the reflection of such objects on its surface. Anyway, the same thing is not true in the case of Śiva for two reasons: (1) The Lord contains the entire universe inside Himself and not only a fragment, (2) No object is reflected in Him "from outside" but that object rather resides inside Himself since His own Power creates it. In short, there are no "external objects" in His case. However, in the case of an ordinary mirror, the objects do not reside inside it but only their reflections do... that is why Yogarāja expressed "but (that fragment or portion appearing as a reflection) is not self-created", i.e. the mirror cannot create objects and then reflect them. NO, it cannot. It just reflects objects that were already created by "another agent". And these objects themselves are not inside it but only their reflections.
Therefore, the objection about "an elephant residing in a mirror" is refuted, because it is only valid in the case of an ordinary mirror and not in the case of the Mirror known as the Supreme Lord. While it is true that no elephant dwells inside a mirror, but only its reflection does, the same thing is not true in His case, because He is able to create objects, retain them in His own Self and also reflect them as a divine Mirror. In this way, the limitations between the example given by Abhinavagupta and the Highest Reality are notorious.
The commentator makes this notorious difference very clear when he says: "However, the Light whose essence is one's Delight (and which is) one's own Consciousness, by laying hold of the universe in unity (with Itself), on the Canvas of Its Self, of Its own Free Will, manifests (this very) universe as (its) material cause".
An ordinary mirror is neither the material cause of the objects being reflected in it nor is it laying hold of them in unity with itself (it is only laying hold of their reflections that way but not of the objects themselves). And the mirror is not doing so of its own free will but it is forced to do that because the objects are there for it to show their reflections. Finally, as it is obvious, an ordinary mirror being an inert object, is always without Delight as in the case of Consciousness (You!).
Still, in spite of all those inevitable limitations, the example expressed by Abhinavagupta in the stanzas 12 and 13 is very useful for people to get a glimpse of the relationship between the Lord and the universe, viz. they can start to understand that mysterious question by such a simple example.
5 Summing it up: The main difference between an ordinary mirror and Consciousness (the Supreme Lord) is that the former is without any capacity of creating or manifesting while the latter is replete with it. This capacity of creating or manifesting is known as Śakti, Vimarśa, Vimarśana, etc. In short, this capacity is the Power of Śiva by which He manifests the entire universe inside Himself. He is mentioned in the commentary as Light, Consciousness, etc., but all these words mean the same thing: The Supreme Śiva. To support his statement, the commentator quotes a passage of Īśvarapratyabhijñāvivṛtivimarśinī composed by Abhinavagupta himself. Īśvarapratyabhijñāvivṛtivimarśinī is the long commentary (because there is a short commentary called simply "Īśvarapratyabhijñāvimarśinī") on the superb work written by his Grandguru (the sage Utpaladeva, who wrote the main scripture of the Pratyabhijñā school of Trika: "Īśvarapratyabhijñā").
In that passage, Abhinavagupta states that though the analogy between a mirror and the Lord is very good to teach the relationship between Him and the universe, it is not without its inherent limitations. Abhinavagupta indicates that the main difference between an ordinary mirror and Consciousness (the Lord) is that while the latter captures the universe (as if It was a divine Mirror) through Its own Supreme Power (Vimarśana, Vimarśa, Śakti, etc.), the former does not do so because it is an inert object devoid of Supreme Power. The words Vimarśana or Vimarśa point out "awareness", i.e. that through His own Supreme Power the Lord is fully aware of the universe reflected in Himself. Nonetheless, the mirror is not aware of the objects being reflected in it due to the absence of Vimarśana or Vimarśa in it. OK, this is very clear now, right?
"Just as the variety (composed of) a city, a village, etc. when reflected in a mirror, (though) it is not different (from the mirror), shines forth as mutually differentiated --i.e. as a city, a village, etc.-- and also (as different) even from the mirror (itself), even so this universe though it is not different from the Consciousness of the extremely Pure Paramabhairava --the Supreme Bhairava or Śiva--, shines forth as mutually differentiated and also (as different) even from Himself".
These two stanzas (12 and 13) are speaking about the experience of a limited individual, obviously, and not about the experience of the Lord Himself. Both of them have to do with the limited individuals (called "the experients subject to Māyā" by the commentator) who are under the sway of that duality then and not with the Supreme Self. The Great Lord Śiva, like a divine Mirror, reflects the entire universe inside Himself, in His own Body. At the same time it is His own Power (Śakti) who manifested all that universe to Him. Therefore, there is no duality in His case, i.e. He does not see objects that are "different from each other" or even "different from Himself". His Śakti or Power is also Vimarśa or Awareness, which allows Him to be fully aware of all the objects at the same time, in complete unity with them all. This is the divine Experience.
Now, from the viewpoint of a miserable "experient subject to Māyā" (a māyāpramātā), the objects of this universe look like "mutually different" and also "different from himself". I could say many "scholarly things" about what a māyāpramātā is, e.g. that it is a category of experients consisting of two classes called "pralayākala" and "sakala", but I do not want to go into such complexities here. For now it is enough for you to know that a māyāpramātā is someone who is "convinced" he is not Śiva but an "individual". Someone who has "achieved" such a stupid condition is properly known as "māyāpramātā". He is subject to Māyā (not to Māyāśakti but to Māyātattva in this context, the sixth category in the process of universal manifestation... Abhinavagupta, Yogarāja and myself will speak about the difference between Māyāśakti and Māyātattva later... do not worry about that now then). Māyātattva is the abode of Māyīyamala (mayic impurity), which generates differences. In this way, all these limited individuals subject to the power of Māyīyamala are "convinced" that the objects created and reflected in Śiva (their innermost Self) are different from one another and even different from Śiva Himself too. This is called "manifestation of duality" by Yogarāja in this last paragraph, and it occurs due to the work of Māyīyamala. But where did Māyīyamala come from? It came from Māyātattva, obviously, and Māyātattva was produced because of the presence of Āṇavamala, the impurity pertaining to a limited individual or aṇu.
I could also say many scholarly things about Āṇavamala, but for now know this: Āṇavamala makes you feel that "you are not Perfect/Full". This lack of Fullness is at the root of individuality. All the individuals are experiencing it right now. This Āṇavamala is always called the "primordial ignorance". Ignorance about what? The commentator is stating it clearly in this last paragraph: "ignorance about (one's own) Fullness". So, all this confusion called "manifestation of duality", which is replete with differences (object A is different from object B, I love this person but not that one, this job is better than that job, I like this better, this is birth and that is death, this is pain while that is pleasure, etc.), is totally based on Āṇavamala, on one's own ignorance about his own Fullness. Why are the limited individuals running after this or that object? Because they think that they will attain "Fullness" if they can get all that. They will not, of course, because that is a self-delusion. Fullness is the Possession of the Lord alone and He gives It to an individual when He wishes so. This is His celebrated act of bestowing Grace upon an individual subject to Māyā.
When there is "spreading" of what is Full, i.e. total realization of Śiva, there is no ignorance at all. And as there is no ignorance at all, there is no duality as a result. The Highest Reality (Śiva, the Full One) is completely based on "non-dualism" (He is One always). Anyway, when there is absence of "spreading" of what is Full, when there is no realization of Śiva in oneself, dualism comes up as a natural consequence. Duality is the essence itself of what is not Full (the outcome of Āṇavamala, the primordial impurity). When the Great Lord says: "Now, I want to be not Full", His Power turns Him, the Glorious One, into a miserable limited individual bound to things, other people and so on. All this misery occurs because He lost His Fullness "willingly" and became an individual self that is always in trouble (by the way, do you know one?). All in all, duality is perceived only by the individuals, because they are subject to Māyā (and her ominous Māyīyamala). But in turn, Māyā and Māyīyamala arose from Āṇavamala, the primordial impurity based on "absence of Fullness". Therefore, Āṇavamala or His act of losing His Fullness at will is the root-cause of the perception of duality around and within oneself. In the experience of the Great Lord, as no Āṇavamala is bothering Him, duality cannot exist at all.
Consequently, in spite of its inherent limitations, the doctrine of reflection (pratibimbavāda) cannot be objected when it comes to explaining the relationship between the Supreme Śiva (You!) and the universe manifested by His own Śakti or Power. Through this simple doctrine, a limited individual can start to understand the Highest Reality and the universe properly!
In this way, after having established the state of the universe —which consists of thirty-six categories— in unity with (His) Light —(his study) being accompanied by an investigation about the essential nature of the Highest Principle—, (Abhinavagupta) also explains, by (a certain number of) aphorisms, the nature of each category of this (universe) according to the order of manifestation1 .
Through a division of (His) five Powers, (Paramaśiva) manifests the tattvic state composed of (the tattva-s or categories known as) Śiva, Śakti (and) Sadāśiva together with Īśvara (and) Sadvidyā||14||
The essential nature (of Paramaśiva --the Supreme Śiva--) was (already) explained right before (the present stanza) while investigating the Highest Principle. The five Powers called Cit --Consciousness--, Nirvṛti --Bliss--, Icchā --Will--, Jñāna --Knowledge-- (and) Kriyā --Action-- —which form His essential nature—, are the cause of a group of infinite powers. By means of a division —which (paradoxically) does not involve a separation from Him— of those five powers, this very Paramaśiva "bhāsayati", i.e. manifests with its own specific characteristics this tattvic state particularized by the number five --viz. He manifests the first five tattva-s or categories of the universal manifestation by assigning one of His five main Powers to each of them--. This is the meaning2 .
"What is it like ?" --i.e. What is the tattvic state manifested by Paramaśiva like?--. (Abhinavagupta) said "Śiva, etc." --in short, the tattvic state mentioned by Abhinavagupta consists of the following five tattva-s or categories: Śiva, Śakti, Sadāśiva, Īśvara and Sadvidyā (also known as Śuddhavidyā)--.
(The term) "tām" (in "Śivaśaktisadāśivatām"), expressed in that way, (implies the Accusative case of "tadbhāvā" or) that whose state or condition belongs to them. (Whom? To) Śiva, Śakti and Sadāśiva. Similarly, (the term "īśvaravidyā-mayīm" implies the Accusative case of "īśvaravidyāprakṛtiḥ" or) that in which the nature is Īśvara and Sadvidyā, yes!3 .
Here, the essential nature of each tattva is taught: Thus, (in the first place one has) Caitanya or Consciousness whose essence is a Great Light, who transcends all the tattva-s or categories (and) is full of the Delight of the Perfect I-consciousness (residing) within all the experients. This (is) the tattva or category (known as) Śiva.
In this context, "the investigation of the tattva-s or categories (will be carried out) with reference to a person to be instructed" --in other words, it will be carried out with respect to a person that is not yet instructed as regards these mysteries--.
The state of Śakti --the second tattva-- (is) this Ānanda or Bliss of that Fortunate One whose form is Cit or Consciousness (and) who feels "I become the universe". (She --Śakti--) is the essence of the universal state, (She is) Saṁvid or Pure Consciousness whose form (assumes) a slight expansion (since at this stage She is) the Seed-state of all the entities --objects and subjects of this universe--4 .
This (Śakti) Herself, in Her setting about (the task of) manifesting (and) dissolving the universe, has even Her form both full (and) empty --lit. emaciated--. (Because of this, She) is called Ekā or Unique in all the secret doctrines.
On the other hand, in this Seed-state of the universal manifestation (also) known as the Void that is beyond the great void, this very state of Sadāśiva --the third tattva or category-- (is) a Delight which is replete with the Perfect I-consciousness of the Great Lord (and which assumes the form of) "I (am) This" --i.e. "I am the universe"--, with complete unity (between "I" and "This". The category or tattva called Sadāśiva occurs) since there is a rest on I-consciousness on the part of the Kriyā portion --Kriyāśakti or Power of Action-- due to the predominance of Jñāna --Jñānaśakti or Power of Knowledge--.
The experients or knowers (called) Mantramaheśvara-s or the great lords of Mantra --"Aham" or "I"-- dwell here --in Sadāśivatattva--5 .
Likewise, right here --in the Seed-state of the universal manifestation--, this very state of His --of the Lord-- (called) Īśvara (is) a Delight in His own Self which (assumes the form of) "I (am) This" --"I am the universe"--, with complete unity (between "I" and "This"), where "I" and "This" (remain) after the manner of the (two) pans being held in equilibrium --lit. made equal in weight-- in a scales.
The experients or knowers (called) Mantreśvara-s or the lords of Mantra --"Aham" or "I"-- (reside) here.
Even in this --in the Seed-state of the universal manifestation--, this very tattva or category of the Fortunate One --the Lord-- (is known as) Śuddhavidyā --or Sadvidyā-- since it is of the essence of Knowledge. (It is) a Delight which assumes this form: "I (am) I (and) This (is) This", due to the predominance of the"This" side --the universe-- which makes the "I" side secondary. (This type of Delight) is indicated as if the baby (whose name is) Sadyojāta (pointed His) finger at (His own) head --as a baby who is totally fascinated by an object in front of him--6 .
Seventy million --7 crores or krores-- mantra-s as indicators or designators together with (the eight) Vidyeśvara-s exist certainly here --in Śuddhavidyātattva, the fifth category-- in order to elevate the limited individuals --lit. the animals-- —which are indicated or designated— toward (the level of) the Mantramaheśvara-s and Mantreśvara-s --great lords of Mantra and lords of Mantra, respectively-- through the essential nature of the (Śiva's) divine Grace7 .
Although there is no difference as far as the form or nature of Knowledge is concerned in the case of the experients or knowers (called) Vidyeśvara-s (who reside) in this Śuddhavidyātattva, there is (nonetheless a certain) spreading of difference --duality-- which has been manufactured by (His) Māyāśakti --His power to manifest difference or duality--. It is stated so in the Āgama-s or revealed scriptures --in the 64 Bhairavatantra-s--:
"Mahāmāyā --the great Māyā-- (is) above Māyātattva --the sixth tattva or category in the universal manifestation--..."
As a result, the Mantra-s --the experients or knowers belonging to the fifth tattva-- who dwell there --in Mahāmāyā, or "strictly speaking" in Parāmahāmāyā, the higher portion of Mahāmāyā-- are said to (become) "atoms" --individuals with certain limitation on this level-- due to (their) entrance into Mahāmāyā.
The experients or knowers (called) Vijñānākala-s, who (reside) above Māyātattva --the sixth category-- and below Śuddhavidyātattva --the fifth category--, (are) a recipient for Āṇavamala8 .
Thus, though this one essential nature of Śiva is beyond Turya --the Fourth State--, it is said to be endowed with a group of five tattva-s or categories whose essence is Turya9 .
Therefore, this one (Paramaśiva) becomes manifest as the Free Kartā --Agent or Doer--. (After that), His Light that (resides) in the states of Sadāśiva (and) Īśvara as "I (am) This" (becomes) this Karaṇa --Cause or Instrument of action-- whose essence (is) Pure Knowledge. And the emission of tattva-s or categories —which will be spoken about later on— starting with Māyātattva --the sixth category-- (and) ending in Dharā --earth, the last category, i.e. the 36th one-- (is) kārya --the effect--. So, the one Supreme Experient or Knower called the Great Lord —one's own Self— appears in the form of Agent or Doer, Cause or Instrument of action (and) activity (or effect)10 ||14||
1 Abhinavagupta has already explained the nature of the Highest Principle (the Supreme Self). Additionally, he also established the state of the universe, which consists of 36 categories (tattva-s), in unity with His Light, i.e. he established that there is total non-dualism from the Lord's viewpoint with respect to His universe. Anyway, from the viewpoint of a limited individual, dualism appears to be predominant. This non-duality in diversity and such were explained by him in detail before, by previous stanzas. Now, Abhinavagupta will go deep at the subject known as "tattva-s" or "categories of the universal manifestation", describing each category according to its order in the process of manifestation from the Lord Himself. He will do so through a certain number of aphorisms starting with the present one. It is to be noted that there will be some subtle "differences" I will mark between what is taught by Yogarāja and what is taught by the main Trika's scripture dealing with tattva-s (Ṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandoha). Nothing terrible, but rookies in Trika could be made confused if I do not explain those differences and the reasons behind them. You have been warned then. Do not worry about it anyway because I am in control of all this, as always. Without the Guru's help almost no disciple (except those very rare disciples that can get final liberation on their own, without the help of any Guru) can go nowhere in spirituality because the scriptures use to be sometimes very subtle or even extremely contradictory with respect to many subjects. The function of a Guru is to dissipate all the doubts through the moon of his knowledge. OK, it is enough for now!
2 The commentator states at first that the nature of the Supreme Lord (Paramaśiva) was already explained in the previous stanzas while the Highest Principle was being investigated by Abhinavagupta and himself. Next, he names the five main Powers of the Lord: Cit, Nirvṛti, Icchā, Jñāna and Kriyā (Consciousness, Bliss, Will, Knowledge and Action, respectively). It is to be noted that he used the word "Nirvṛti" instead of the well-known "Ānanda" (Bliss). Since both terms (Nirvṛti and Ānanda) are synonymous anyway, he is referring to the same "Power of Bliss" belonging to the Highest Principle. Yogarāja, the commentator, additionally says that these five Powers form His essential nature, i.e. they are the Core of the Great Lord. In turn, these five Powers of His are the source of infinite powers that appear as the entire universe one can perceive right now.
How does Paramaśiva manifest (bhāsayati or prakaṭayati) this first tattvic state, viz. this state particularized or distinguished by 5 tattva-s or categories known as Śiva (tattva 1), Śakti (tattva 2), Sadāśiva (tattva 3), Īśvara (tattva 4) and Sadvidyā --also called Śuddhavidyā-- (tattva 5)? (Note that Abhinavagupta designated the category Sadvidyā or Śuddhavidyā as "Vidyā" to meet the meter requirements... I am using the entire name of this fifth category in order not to produce confusion in the mind of the reader as the eight tattva carries the name of "Vidyā" too... OK, do not worry about this for now). The Lord manifests this first tattvic state by means of a division without this division necessarily having to involve a "state of separation from Him" (i.e. He divides but keeps the inherent unity with Himself always). He does so by keeping each of these first five tattva-s or categories with their own specific characteristics --e.g. His Power of Consciousness (Cit) is assigned to the category Śiva exclusively, and so on with the rest of tattva-s--. It is very simple to understand, is it not? Read, as always, the celebrated Tattvic Chart and all the pages dealing with Trika (overview): Trika 1, Trika 2, Trika 3, Trika 4, Trika 5 and Trika 6 for having a basic knowledge about tattva-s or categories. This will prove useful to understand all that Abhinavagupta and Yogarāja will say subsequently. Yes, I will explain it all to you in detail as always, but extra knowledge is always extremely helpful.
3 In a "terrifying" manner, the commentator explains the meaning of the terms "tām" and "mayīm" in "Śivaśaktisadāśiva-tām" and "īśvaravidyā-mayīṁ" (see the stanza itself, please). The final "ṁ" in "mayīṁ" is originally "m" (it changed to "ṁ" by the 10th Rule of Consonant Sandhi). So, the real word is "mayīm". In turn, those terms "tām" and "mayīm" are the Accusative case of "tā" and "mayī" (both feminine in gender). The Accusative case has to do with the direct object in a sentence. Effectively, both "Śivaśaktisadāśiva-tām" and "īśvaravidyā-mayīm" constitute the direct object of the verb "bhāsayati" or "(Paramaśiva) manifests". Anyway, there is another expression declined in Accusative case (as direct object) too: "tattva-daśām" or "the tattvic state". This is the main direct object affected by the verb "bhāsayati" while "Śivaśaktisadāśiva-tām" and "īśvaravidyā-mayīm" are also declined in Accusative case to denote that both are related to "tattva-daśām". This is pretty usual in Sanskrit but not in English. For example, if I translate "Śivaśaktisadāśivatāmīśvaravidyāmayīṁ ca tattvadaśām... bhāsayati" in a literal way, it would read:
"(Paramaśiva) manifests (bhāsayati) the tattvic state (tattva-daśām), i.e. the one whose state or condition (tām) (is the tattva-s or categories known as) Śiva (śiva), Śakti (śakti) (and) Sadāśiva (sadāśiva), and also (ca) the one that consists of (mayīm) Īśvara (īśvara) (and) Sadvidyā (vidyā)".
That is rather illegible and sounds ugly, right? That is why, for the sake of convenience, I had to simplify the translation while simultaneously I struggled to be faithful to the original text:
"(Paramaśiva) manifests (bhāsayati) the tattvic state (tattva-daśām) composed of (tām... mayīm) (the tattva-s or categories known as) Śiva (śiva), Śakti (śakti) (and) Sadāśiva (sadāśiva) together with (ca) Īśvara (īśvara) (and) Sadvidyā (vidyā)".
Now the text is much more legible to the reader, is it not? And those terms "tā" and "mayī" are used in this way: Every time I add "tā" to a word, the sense of "state of" is automatically added too. For instance: "bhinna" (divided) + tā = bhinnatā (the state of being divided = division). This affix "tā" (feminine in gender) is synonymous with the affix "tvam" (neuter in gender) and both form the well-known "abstract" nouns, e.g. bhinnatā = bhinnatvam = division. This is very simple of understand, right? Therefore, the phrase: "Śivaśaktisadāśivatā" (Nominative case) means "the state of Śiva, Śakti and Sadāśiva" and "Śivaśaktisadāśivatām" (Accusative case) means "the state of Śiva, Śakti and Sadāśiva" (but as direct objet of the verb). However, since I translated "tattva-daśām" as "the tattvic state" I could not be redundant with the word "state". In turn, "mayī" is the feminine form of the noun "maya", which means: "consisting of", "composed of", "full of", etc. Abhinavagupta wrote the noun in feminine because it is related to "daśā" ("state", which is feminine in gender in Sanskrit language).
Good! Now, the commentator reveals the meaning of those two words "tā" and "mayī" through a Vyadhikaraṇabahuvrīhi and a Samānādhikaraṇabahuvrīhi (Attributive Compounds whose members appear declined in different cases and in the same case, respectively, when the compound is "dissolved"), the first compound being Genitive and the second one Locative (read that page dealing with an introduction to this kind of compounds, please). Yes, it is a thorn in the ribs, I know, but Sanskrit is that entertained very often, hehe. Yogarāja explains "tā" as the Vyadhikaraṇabahuvrīhi (Genitive) "tadbhāvā"(the feminine form of "tadbhāva" - lit. "the becoming that"). As a result, "tā" would mean "the becoming that" (in feminine gender), right?... not completely... because the commentator "dissolves" the compound in order to make its meaning totally "clear" (yes, "clear" is a joke). Here you have it dissolved: "teṣāṁ bhāvo yasyāḥ sā" or "that whose state or condition belongs to them". Whom? To Śiva, Śakti and Sadāśiva (the first three tattva-s or categories). That is why he named them in the first place, can you understand me for God's sake?, hehe.
Next, he explains the term "īśvaravidyā-mayī" as the Samānādhikaraṇabahuvrīhi (Locative) "īśvaravidyāprakṛtiḥ", a compound that he dissolves this manner in order to convey its true meaning: "īśvaravidye prakṛtiryasyāṁ sā" or "that in which the nature is Īśvara and Sadvidyā". These are the two names of the tattva-s 4 and 5, respectively. At the end, he wrote "tathā iti" (sometimes written as "tatheti" too), in order to give emphasis. It can be translated as "yes!" in this context, i.e. "yes, I have finished destroying the reader!", hahaha. Just kidding!
OK, in order to simplify your complicated life as an aspirant to final liberation, I translated both "tām" and "mayīm" ("tā" and "mayī" declined in Accusative case) as: "composed of". As a result, the meaning of the stanza is much more compact now, balancing literality and readability in a decent manner, in my opinion. Yes, my explanation was not such a huge fun most assuredly, but life is hard, you know, hehe. If your intellect just cannot cope with all this knowledge, take it as merely informational then, please.
4 Caitanya or Paramaśiva assumes the form of a Great Light that is beyond all the rest of tattva-s or categories, and He is then accordingly called: Śivatattva or the tattva "Śiva". This Great Light resides in all the experients or knowers (from the great Sadāśivabhaṭṭāraka, who will be spoken about later, to the last Sakala or limited individual) as their own Self who is replete with the Delight of the Perfect or Full I-consciousness. It is Full or Perfect I-consciousness because it is not fragmented I-consciousness (e.g. I am like this, I am like that, I want this, I want that, etc.). This fragmentary I-consciousness turned to objects is called "ego" (tattva 15) and "by no means" is the real "I" or Śiva. When someone realizes Śiva, he is not interested in the universe any more. He does not want to perceive anything else but His own Glory. At that time, the senses of the Great Yogī are shut up automatically due to His prakarṣa or intensity. It is like seeing the sun directly... you are forced to close your eyes because of the intense light they receive. In the same way, when the Great Yogī enters Śiva-consciousness, he is forced to shut up their senses on account of His Great Light. This experience is full of Bliss always. Such a Bliss is known as Cidānanda or Bliss of Consciousness (Bliss of Śiva).
The investigation of the tattva-s performed by the commentator is so elementary to people well versed in Trika that he had to make this point clear by saying: "In this context, the investigation of the tattva-s or categories (will be carried out) with reference to a person to be instructed", i.e. it will only be carried out by him for the sake of those people who are not still properly taught about the theory of the universal manifestation in the form of a series of thirty-six tattva-s.
Finally, Yogarāja explains the second tattva (Śakti or Supreme Power) as Ānanda or Bliss of Śiva, the Fortunate Lord who feels through His own Supreme Power "I become the universe" (when Śakti manifests the third tattva or category). Essentially, Śakti is immutable as Śiva, then She manifests the universe NOT directly (since She cannot even move one millimeter away from Her Lord Śiva) but rather through Her group of powers (śakticakra). This Śakti, as tattva 2, is inherently formless as Śiva and is accordingly called "Saṁvid" or "Pure Consciousness". However, when She is about to manifest the third tattva, which you will study immediately after, Her form assumes a slight expansion because in this condition She is the "Seed-state" of all the entities (all the objects and subjects of this universe). At this point, She appears as a subtle Vibration in His Luminous Body (no way to define this by words, because these have still not emerged at this level). From this subtle Vibration the entire universe comes into existence. OK, it is enough for now or your intellect could collapse with so much information given simultaneously.
5 This Śakti Herself, in Her undertaking the task of manifesting and dissolving the universe, becomes both full and empty, i.e. both full of the universe consisting of manifoldness and devoid of all that when the universe is completely dissolved or withdrawn by Her. It is to be noted that the concept of "Void" in Trika is not "real Void" (total "nothingness") but rather "absence of objects" (and NOT absence of the Supreme Self as other system postulate). The theory dealing with the Void in Trika is not so simple since it "formally" enumerates 6 voids while describing the twelve stages of AUM (Read Meditation 6 to have a complete information about all I am going to say now, please, or you will not understand my description):
- Ūrdhvaśūnya or Higher Void. This is the the same as the stage of śakti (experienced in the skin).
- Adhaḥśūnya or Lower Void, which is located in the region of the heart.
- Madhyaśūnya or Middle Void, to be found in the region of the throat, palate, the space between the eyebrows, forehead and Brahmarandhra (the hole of Brahmā situated in the crown of the head, at twelve fingers from the space between the eyebrows)
- Vyāpinī or Vyāpikā (the One who pervades) located in the root of śikhā (the tuft on the head).
- Samanā (the One who is endowed with mind) is to be found in the śikhā (its middle portion).
- Unmanā (the One who is with no mind) situated in the last part of the śikhā (in its tip).
That is the formal way to enumerate the six voids then. However, the authors refer to the word "void" in different ways across the scriptures. For example, when authors speak about "śūnya" or "void", they "commonly" (but not always!) refer to the void of Māyā (the sixth tattva which will spoken about later on). Hence the technical term "śūnyātiśūnya" (the Void that is beyond the void) is to be "generally" (but not always!) understood as Mahāmāyā (the Great Māyā that is operative above tattva 6 but below tattva 5... this is a simplified way to describe her because she consists of two aspects... she will be spoken about later too, in the commentary on this very stanza). Yes, the "Void" subject is such a mess indeed!
Anyway, Yogarāja is specifying here that he is talking about "mahāśūnyātiśūnya" (the Void that is beyond the great void, i.e. the Void that is beyond Mahāmāyā or śūnyātiśūnya). In other words, he is talking about the stage comprising the tattva-s 3 to 5, where Śakti is in Her Seed-state as a subtle Vibration. In these three tattva-s or categories, there is always total unity between "I" and "This", between "I" and "the universe". Of course, as it is a "Seed-state", the universe is still like a sprout. All this is about experience and not about description by words, but you know, your intellect has to understand it somehow at first. Hence I took the trouble to explain this topic, which is very often so confusing to the beginners in Trika.
The first manifestation of "something" (i.e. the third tattva) in this Seed-state of Śakti is called Sadāśiva (the eternal Śiva). At this level, Śiva (the "I") feels "I am This", viz. "I am this universe", but the universe is indistinct or foggy in Sadāśiva (the third tattva), because it is still in its primeval condition. As I explained in the note 2, the five Powers mentioned by Abhinavagupta in the stanza are: Cit, Nirvṛti (or Ānanda), Icchā, Jñāna and Kriyā. As the word "power" is written "śakti" in Sanskrit, the authors generally name those five Powers this way: Cicchakti (derived from Cit-śakti, the Power of Consciousness), Nirvṛtiśakti or Ānandaśakti (Power of Bliss), Icchāśakti (Power of Will), Jñānaśakti (Power of Knowledge) and Kriyāśakti (Power of Action). Now, the commentator says that in Sadāśiva the Power of Action (Kriyāśakti) rests on the "I-consciousness" (on Śakti Herself who is one with Śiva --the "I"--) because the universe is still indistinct or foggy, i.e. it is still not full-fledged. Kriyāśakti is in charge of "turning the full-fledged universe planned by the Mind of the Lord" into a "concrete reality", but at this stage, this Power is "taking a nap" in Her, in I-consciousness since the universe is merely "a Desire" in His Cosmic Mind. Oh well, this is so difficult to describe by limited words! And this Desire in Himself is also a "knowledge" or "perception", though foggy in Sadāśiva. Hence, the commentator says that there is predominance of Jñānaśakti or Power of Knowledge.
The meaning of what the commentator said is very clear now (joking), but there is discrepancy regarding what is established in Ṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandoha (stanza 3 and respective commentary), where the Sadāśivatattva (the third category) is assigned the Icchāśakti (Power of Will) as the predominant Power here because in the experience "I am This" (I am the universe), there is predominance of the "I" over the "This" (universe). As this "I" is associated with "Volition", Icchāśakti is predominant in the third tattva. Anyway, Yogarāja assigns Jñānaśakti (Power of Knowledge) as being predominant in the tattva 3 and not Icchāśakti (Power of Will). What a mess really! The mystery is unraveled by Ṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandoha (stanza 2 and respective commentary) where Śakti (tattva 2) is called "that very transparent Will", i.e. Śakti is the independent Power of Will of the Lord. Therefore, there are two interpretations in this confused subject-matter. According to the traditional viewpoint given in Ṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandoha, Śakti is Icchāśakti (Power of Will) really, and also She has predominance of Nirvṛtiśakti or Ānandaśakti (Power of Bliss) because the Sovereignty and Supremacy of the Great Lord appears as different degrees of Astonishment and Delight in the Perfect I-consciousness, viz. in Śakti. In this way, Her first sprout called Sadāśiva (tattva 3) has predominance of Icchāśakti (Power of Will) since She Herself, its Mother, is Icchāśakti Herself. That was clear, was it not?
Nevertheless, according to Yogarāja, in Sadāśiva there is predominance of Jñānaśakti (Power of Knowledge) because he seems to assign Icchāśakti "only" to Śakti (tattva 2). These discrepancies are usual across the Trika scriptures as regards the study of the tattva-s or categories of the universal manifestation. In the end, as each of these Powers, viz. Icchāśakti, Jñānaśakti and Kriyāśakti, contains the other two too, the entire mystery is not so mysterious after all. Oh yes, this topic is extremely confused too, but for now just trust me.
Finally, the experients (You!) that dwell in the realization that "I am This", i.e. "the entire universe is My Body" are called "Mantramaheśvara-s" or great lords of Mantra. By "Mantra" in this context, the authors are never speaking about stuff like "Om̐ namaḥ śivāya", "Guru Om̐", "Om̐ namo vāsudevāya", "Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Rāma", etc. but about "Aham" or "I" (the Real "I" and not mere "ego" that is a mass of accumulated impressions in the form of "I am like this, I am like that", etc). If someone has become a Mantramaheśvara, my congratulations to him or her, because it is extraordinarily difficult to do that. In fact, nobody can without His Grace even realize the lowest category or tattva (Śuddhavidyā or Sadvidyā) in this set of five higher tattva-s. When through His Grace, you feel that the entire universe is Your own Body, you are no longer an limited individual always "in trouble", be sure, but the very incarnation of Merciful Sadāśiva who is always busy with conferring Grace to all the beings. Paradoxically, through His Grace you yourself become a Source of Grace to everybody.
All the states being experienced in the tattva-s 3, 4 and 5 (Sadāśiva, Īśvara and Śuddhavidyā) are NOT experienced in a specific place and time, because space and time were still not manifested by the Glorious Lord (You!). In this way, you, as an individual, cannot say when and where those states are residing. Yes, for the sake of convenience the Guru-s explain this as: "They reside in your own Self, inside you", but this is just a way of speaking, because there is no "inside" in such great states of consciousness. By "inside", those Guru-s intend to show the fact that those states are not "worldly", as it were, i.e. that they are not "outside you" but in your inner Self. Anyway, as I said before, that is just a mere manner of explaining states that are beyond space and time. All in all, what you call "you" (e.g. John, Jane, etc.) was created in a space and a time, but what "You really are" was not created ever! Therefore, You reside always without space and time. Oh yes, this is a matter of experience and not of mere theory, but one thing is completely true: "You are not an individual". If you insist on thinking you are one, you are called a "mūḍha" or a person who lives in a "moha" or "delusion". Yes, it is a self-delusion indeed!
6 This is one of the reasons why nobody wants to be in the Guru's shoes. While it is relatively simple to me to read all those "spooky" paragraphs composed by Yogarāja, eighty percent of my time is spent trying to write them in English in a legible way. And 1000% of my time is spent writing these long notes of explanation or nobody will understand an iota about what the commentator meant to say by all that. Oh yes, and this note of explanation is very likely to compete in extension with the very Bible if I do not manage to make it so short as possible. Because the depth of knowledge displayed by Yogarāja "in a few lines" is simply massive to the average reader. Also, this is one of the reasons why most people never understand Trika in spite of the tons of books that have already been published by other scholars. What do I mean? That only a few crazy persons like myself will take the trouble to explain to an aspirant all the intricacies contained in such deep paragraphs as the present ones in the Yogarāja's commentary. The task is "extremely" tedious indeed because to a Trika scholar the meaning is completely clear. Anyway, when he or she has to explain it to non-scholars, it takes endless hours! Nobody certainly wants to be in the Guru's shoes then! That is why I told you that at the beginning of this note. And remember that the Abhinavagupta's Paramārthasāra is intended for people who are "still" to be instructed, i.e. for beginners in Trika. Evidently the "quality" of the aspirants at the time when Abhinavagupta and Yogarāja lived in a physical body was "impressive" in comparison to the "present quality of the average aspirant" nowadays. As the caliber of the current aspirants is so "disappointing", I, Śiva (not Gabriel, the limited individual that is always in trouble), founded the "Non-dual Shaivism of Rosario" you can read about in the blog and also on Svātantryasūtram and Svātantryasūtravṛtti.
Well, I will explain all little by little to you, with the patience of a saint, so you can "swallow it" easily. Listen up: First of all, Yogarāja explains the tattva-s or categories 4 and 5 (Īśvara and Śuddhavidyā --also called Sadvidyā... I prefer this name always because "Śuddhavidyā", whose literal meaning is "Pure Knowledge", is also used to designate a state of Grace that emerges spontaneously in a great Yogī, and very often the aspirants mistake that for the fifth tattva, you know... oh, another long story!--). I must say that his explanation is almost "the opposite" to the traditional one given in texts like Ṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandoha. Why "almost"? Because there are some coincidences between both teachings. The entire thing looks like a "typo" in the original scripture, but it is too much of a big typo to be true indeed, i.e. it is too simplistic to think that someone wrote "Īśvara" when he or she had to write "Śuddhavidyā" and vice versa. Therefore, you will have to take this interpretation of the tattva-s 4 and 5 as a new one brought to us by Yogarāja.
For instance, Yogarāja affirms that in the Īśvaratattva (the fourth category), the Lord ("I") has the experience of "I am This" --"I am the universe"-- (like in Sadāśiva, the previous tattva) but this time "I" does not predominate over "This" but they rather remain in total equilibrium like the two pans of a scales. In short, in Sadāśivatattva "I" predominates over "This" because the universe is still indistinct or foggy (read the commentary on the stanza 3 in Ṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandoha), but in Īśvaratattva, the universe became sharper and as a result a balance between "I" and "This" was attained. Nevertheless, in Ṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandoha (stanza 4 and respective commentary), in Īśvaratattva the experience is NOT "I am This" (Ahamidam) but "This is Myself" (Idamaham) as the universe (This) predominates over the "Aham" or "I". And that is the difference between those two tattva-s, Sadāśiva and Īśvara, according to the traditional teaching given in Ṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandoha. Still, as I told you before, Yogarāja is not saying "exactly" that here regarding Sadāśiva and Īśvara. While the explanation of the former "almost" coincides with the one given traditionally, the explanation of the latter does NOT coincide at all. According to Yogarāja, there is total equilibrium between "I" and "This" in Īśvaratattva.
In turn, Yogarāja explains the fifth tattva (Śuddhavidyā or Sadvidyā) as "Ahamahamidamidam" ("I am I and This is This), which coincides with the traditional teaching expounded in Ṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandoha (stanza 4 and respective commentary), but next he says that on this level the "This" (the universe) predominates over "Aham" or "I", which is exactly the way Ṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandoha explains the Īśvaratattva! All in all, on the one hand, according to the traditional teaching, the equilibrium between "I" and "This" is achieved in "Śuddhavidyātattva" and NOT in Īśvaratattva as postulated by Yogarāja, and on the other hand, the "This" side or portion predominates over the "I" side or portion in Īśvaratattva and NOT in Śuddhavidyātattva as indicated here by Yogarāja. Such a mess! I will put it all in a table for you to understand my explanation in a better way:
|Coincidences and differences|
|Tattva||Experience according to the traditional teaching||Experience according to the Yogarāja's viewpoint||Predominant Power according to the traditional teaching||Predominant Power according to the Yogarāja's viewpoint|
|Sadāśiva||Ahamidam (I am This - I am the universe - "I" predominates over "This")||Ahamidam (I am This - I am the universe - "I" predominates over "This")||Icchāśakti (Power of Will)||Jñānaśakti (Power of Knowledge)|
|Īśvara||Idamaham (This is Myself - The universe is Myself - "This" predominates over "I")||Ahamidam (I am This - I am the universe - Total equilibrium between "I" and "This")||Jñānaśakti (Power of Knowledge)||Not clearly specified|
|Śuddhavidyā or Sadvidyā||Ahamahamidamidam (I am I and This is This - I am I and the universe is the universe - Total equilibrium between "I" and "This")||Ahamahamidamidam (I am I and This is This - I am I and the universe is the universe - "This" predominates over "I")||Kriyāśakti (Power of Action)||Not clearly specified|
And there you have it. As you can see now, both interpretations coincide with each other and at the same time differ from one another "drastically". Jñānaśakti predominates in Īśvaratattva according to the traditional teaching because of a distinct or sharp manifestation of the universe. In turn, according to this same viewpoint, Kriyāśakti is predominant in Śuddhavidyātattva because there is a more distinct apprehension or perception of the universe (This). The entire question is clearly explained in the commentary on the stanza 4 of Ṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandoha. Though Yogarāja specified that Jñānaśakti is predominant in Sadāśivatattva, he said nothing with reference to the predominant Power in the other two tattva-s. He only said regarding Śuddhavidyā (lit. Pure Knowledge) that it is called so because it is of the essence of Knowledge (Bodha), which is completely true, but he did not make clear about what Power is predominant on this fifth level. Bodha is a word that means two things in Trika: Consciousness and Knowledge. In this context, it means "Knowledge". As "I" (Śiva) apprehend or perceive the universe more distinctly in the fifth tattva (Śuddhavidyā), and at the same time there is complete unity between "I" and the "universe", it is pretty obvious why the fifth tattva is known as "Pure Knowledge", i.e. "Knowledge about the universe in total unity with it". By the term "pure" total unity is always indicated in this system. Nonetheless, Jñānaśakti (Power of Knowledge) does not predominate in the fifth tattva but rather Kriyāśakti does... for the reasons I explained to you before. OK, it is enough for now!
Finally, two things: First, Yogarāja said that the experients or knowers called Mantreśvara-s (the lords of Mantra, the lords of "Aham" or "I") live in the fourth tattva (Īśvara). Second, the Lord is depicted as the baby whose name is Sadyojāta pointing His finger at His own head in order to show the nature of the Delight experienced in the fifth tattva (Śuddhavidyā or Sadvidyā). Why? Because He is fascinated while beholding the universe right before Him, as it were. As He is "that fascinated", He forgets about Himself (hence Yogarāja concluded that the "This" portion or side predominates over the "I" portion or side in the fifth category known as Śuddhavidyā, viz. the universe is so fascinating to Him that He forgets about His own Self "almost"). Of course, "Aham" or "I" can never be "thoroughly" forgotten really. That is why the words "predominance and predominant" are constantly used to explain these three tattva-s. Since "I" and "This" are lastly the same Reality at this level of consciousness, neither is able to "completely" eliminate the other. This is very clear, right?
Now, a doubt could be raised with reference to why Yogarāja specified that the name of the baby was Sadyojāta [lit. "newly-born", from "sadyas (newly) + jāta (born)"]. Apart from the coincidence between the word "baby" and "newly-born", there is much more to it. Listen up: Lord Śiva is sometimes called Pañcavaktra because of His having five (pañca) mouths (vaktra-s). The names of these mouths are as follows: Īśāna, Tatpuruṣa, Sadyojāta, Vāmadeva and Aghora. These mouths are assigned to the first five tattva-s, "respectively": Śiva, Śakti, Sadāśiva, Īśvara and Śuddhavidyā. Therefore, Sadyojāta is Sadāśivatattva. One had expected that Yogarāja should have said "the Aghora baby" and not "the Sadyojāta baby" for obvious reasons, i.e. because Aghora is assigned to the Śuddhavidyātattva. Nonetheless, Aghora is really Sadyojāta... but with His finger pointed at His own head while He beholds the universe as if totally fascinated... can you understand it now? So, Yogarāja was really describing Aghora that way: As Sadyojāta completely fascinated by the universe! Now the things look clearer, do they not? (joking).
Yes, the teachings are so hard to understand always in Trika, but little by little you are making your way to your own Self through all this strenuous effort made by your intellect. This type of "hard-to-swallow" knowledge removes the "intellectual ignorance", one of the aspects of the primordial impurity known as Āṇavamala. If this intellectual ignorance is not removed while one is alive, even if one could have a glimpse of his own Self through meditation and similar methods, he will not enjoy his state of Liberation till the body falls. All in all, if the intellectual ignorance (ignorance about the scriptures) persists in that person, though he actually had a real experience of his own Self, he will not enjoy the state of Liberation while living (jīvanmukti) and will have to wait for mother death to arrive to do so. Therefore, to say that "someone is a jīvanmukta or liberated while living" and at the same time to say that "he is ignorant about the scriptures" is an absolute contradiction. That is not possible ever! To be completely liberated while the body is alive, one must have a genuine Self-realization along with a solid knowledge about the scriptures. If you only have Self-realization without any knowledge about the scriptures, that experience will gradually abandon you while you retain the body. The only way to stop it from abandoning you while your body is alive is through knowledge about the scriptures, through all this intellectual knowledge. People saying that "to study the scriptures is useless because only meditation is effective in producing Liberation" are completely ignorant, and there is no doubt about it. This is not my invention, as I always say, but it is a teaching that is postulated by the Trika tradition itself.
7 Yogarāja went a bit over the top here. Knowledge displayed by him is not for beginners in Trika evidently, except the aspirants at his time had the caliber of Vedic Seers! I am not kidding and you will see now why I said that. I will make this little paragraph so clear as possible within the limitations of words. First of all, the experients or knowers (pramātā-s) of the Śuddhavidyātattva (also called Sadvidyātattva) carry the name of "Mantra-s" (yes, their name "coincides with" that of the sacred formulae!). The chief of all these Mantra-s is "Anantabhaṭṭāraka". It was him who created 70 million mantra-s among which "Om̐ namaḥ śivāya" is said to be the king of them all. These mantra-s or sacred formulae act as indicators or designators of those experients themselves (i.e. of those Mantra-s residing in this fifth tattva or category). The word "vācaka" (indicator, designator) is a word with the power of manifesting "something" by itself. In this way, each of those 70 million mantra-s is a subject and never an object. All the mantra-s used by the human Guru-s were "created" by Anantabhaṭṭāraka. Oh yes, this is very complex, but I am speaking the truth. Therefore, as all these mantra-s are subjects and never objects, and also since they were created by the divine Anantabhaṭṭāraka, all of them are endowed with omniscience and omnipotence. This explains why a mantra given to you by your Guru is so important. Of course, I am summarizing this matter or we will end up with another Bible-size note.
Now, Anantabhaṭṭāraka did something else: He took 8 Rudra-s (liberated beings) and turned them into 8 Vidyeśvara-s or lords of Knowledge. Their names are the following: Śikhaṇḍī, Śrīkaṇṭha, Trimūrti, Ekarudra, Ekanetra, Śivottama, Sūkṣma and Ananta. These 8 liberated beings, though they reside in the fifth tattva, they descend in the higher portion of Mahāmāyā... a little below the fifth tattva itself but always above the sixth tattva (this will be spoken about later on, do not worry then). Why do they do that? To elevate the paśu-s (lit. animals, beasts), i.e. the limited individuals who are "vācya-s" or "indicated, designated". What do I mean by that? The word "vācya" means "an object", i.e. something which can be indicated or designated. A simple example: The "vācaka" (indicator or designator) "tree" indicates or designates the "vācya" (indicated or designated) or "object" known as "a tree". So, "The word indicates or designs the object", can you follow me? In this way, all that is "vācaka" is always "a subject" (turned to subjectivity) and all that is "vācya" is "an object" (turned to objectivity). Some readers could say, "But how could the limited individuals be called vācya-s or objects when they are evidently subjects?". They are called so because these limited individuals are immersed in "objectivity", i.e. they depend on objects and consequently it is as if they themselves were objects too. All that is manifested from the next tattva (the sixth one called Māyā) downward has to do with "objectivity". Since the limited individuals are like that, viz. "limited individuals" because they are subject to Māyātattva (the sixth tattva), all of them are turned to objectivity most of the time. Hence they are properly called "vācya-s" or "immersed in objectivity". Do you not believe me? What would you do if you lack water or food? You could even kill other people to get those "objects". Since you, as a limited individual, are like that, an absolute animal or beast (no jokes), you are called "vācya" or "immersed in objectivity". If the reader is not a limited individual, my apologies. Obviously, 99.9999% of all people on these planet are limited individuals, so the odds will be in my favor most of the time.
Besides, although the word "paśu" (animal, beast) might sound pejorative, it is totally accurate in defining the condition of a limited individual. He is always with the "pāśa" (noose) around his neck, constantly living in bondage, constantly bound to external objects, other people, jobs, money, etc. His state is so unfortunate that one cannot believe his eyes. He ignores all about Anantabhaṭṭāraka and his 70 million mantra-s, for example. It is like if your cat could know something about the files in your computer. That is not occurring, right? And if some day a paśu finally understands that it was Anantabhaṭṭāraka who created the 70 million mantra-s available for attaining final liberation, that person is no more a paśu... or at least is not the same paśu as before. He could be a kind of paśu+, hahahahaha. Regarding the "regular" paśu-s one can see all day long, they are all the time full of contradictions they rarely notice. For example, they say to follow a religion professing "love for the enemies" but at the same time they live by the "an eye for an eye" rule constantly. They call that "justice" but it is mere "revenge". As Gurdjieff affirmed, if my memory serves me well: "How are they going to love their enemies when they cannot even love their friends?". Oh, this Gurdjieff is always so funny. All in all, they do not notice that their behavior based on the "an eye for an eye" rule is a huge contradiction with respect to their religious beliefs, but due to the power of mother ignorance, they can keep living "in peace". Can you see why the name "animal or beast" has been rightly used in their case?
If you are not still convinced, you can consider all those "civilized" people that "right now" are thinking a lot about how to build weapons that are able to kill so many human beings as possible. Anyway, even if the "paśu" is "good", this is also "by chance" and not a fact born from his free will in the form of: "I have decided that I will be good all the time". Yes, this is very hard to swallow but if someone thinks that he is not bound, there are two possibilities: Either he is a liberated while living (a jīvanmukta) or another person deluding himself. The question called "final liberation" is significant when the person realizes his bondage and not before. People "imagining" that they are Free like the Lord will not go after final liberation because: What is the point of making all that hard effort when they are already liberated? Never underestimate mother ignorance and her tricks. She has simple tricks but they are very effective.
All these limited individuals, whether they are good, bad or something else, are the same in the end: Totally limited and constantly subject to mother ignorance and her traps. To elevate them from their wretched condition, Anantabhaṭṭāraka created these 70 million mantra-s and initiated those 8 Rudra-s (liberated beings) so they could turn into 8 Vidyeśvara-s. Through these Vidyeśvara-s, for example, the 70 million mantra-s are passed to humankind. The Vidyeśvara that I have met personally is Ekarudra. Our encounter occurred out of the space-time framework, obviously. For this reason, I cannot say when and where such an encounter took place really. Therefore, my line of knowledge comes through what Ekarudra gave me. For people that think: "Oh no, it was not Ekarudra but Śiva Himself!", yes, I knew that already. But just as one cannot have all the genuine human Guru-s at the same time only because all of them are Śiva Himself, or just as one has one father and one mother and not all the fathers and mothers of the world because all of them are Śiva Himself, even so I have all this knowledge passed to me by Ekarudra "for the most part" and not by all the other deities. If you receive something from the president of your country, whether he or she is giving it to you in person or through other people, it is the same in the end. The more wretched the paśu is the more worried he will be about divine knowledge being handed over to him ONLY by the Greatest Deity and not by a minor one. When someone is really hungry, he will eat whatever food he is given, whether such a food is given by God Himself in person or by just a simple human being.
There is one more mystery contained in the teachings of Yogarāja: He states that the Mantra-s want to elevate the limited individuals toward the level of Mantramaheśvara-s and Mantreśvara-s (the experients residing in the tattva-s 3 an 4), but he omitted the level of the Mantra-s themselves (the experients dwelling in the tattva 5)! As the explanation of why he said that is not so simple, I will simplify the things for you: The chief of the Mantramaheśvara-s bears the name of "Sadāśivabhaṭṭāraka". As I told you in a previous note, Sadāśiva (i.e. Sadāśivabhaṭṭāraka and the rest of experients in tattva 3) is always willing to confer divine Grace to the limited individuals. Anyway, neither Sadāśiva nor Īśvara (none of the experients living in the tattva-s 3 and 4) can give a mantra or sacred formula conferring liberation to a limited individual. They are helpless regarding that. But Śuddhavidyā (i.e. Anantabhaṭṭāraka and his Vidyeśvara-s along with the rest of experients living in tattva 5) can do so. I am speaking the truth. Just trust me for now, please.
Therefore, Śuddhavidyātattva is effective in passing the 70 million mantra-s to humankind "through the Grace coming from Sadāśivatattva". Yes, compassionate Sadāśiva is a form assumed by Lord Śiva, and in this sense, it is always Him who bestows divine Grace, but the Play of His works "like that". That is why Yogarāja specified: "toward (the level of) the Mantramaheśvara-s and Mantreśvara-s --great lords of Mantra and lords of Mantra, respectively-- through the essential nature of the (Śiva's) divine Grace". So, the compound "anugrahasvabhāvāt" has a double entendre: (1) As a mere determinative compound translated in this way: "through the essential nature of the (Śiva's) divine Grace"; or (2) As an attributive compound translated like this: "through the One whose essential nature is the (Śiva's) divine Grace", i.e. through Sadāśiva. And since all the 70 million mantra-s created by Anantabhaṭṭāraka were manufactured through the divine Grace of the Great Lord, they are endowed with divine Grace too. Now you can realize how deep the Yogarāja's teachings are!
The entire paragraph written by Yogarāja might also be translated in an alternative way, according to my studies, but I did not like the final result because I simply cannot understand it that way. If some day I can, i.e. if some day the final result is confirmed by some of the 64 Bhairavatantra-s or another authoritative Trika scripture, I will include that way of translating the paragraph, my promise. This kind of alternative translations happens very frequently due to the nature of Sanskrit itself. It is so rich in its vocabulary and structure that very often you can have two or even more ways of interpreting the same thing. OK, enough of revealing these mysteries for the time being!
8 Yogarāja continues to step on the accelerator. Take it easy because I will explain it all to you in detail now. I will start with a simple diagram for you to visually understand the things in practice:
Let us analyze the last paragraphs by the commentator:
(1) "Although there is no difference as far as the form or nature of Knowledge is concerned in the case of the experients or knowers (called) Vidyeśvara-s (who reside) in this Śuddhavidyātattva, there is (nonetheless a certain) spreading of difference --duality-- which has been manufactured by (His) Māyāśakti --His power to manifest difference or duality--."
By that statement Yogarāja meant the following: The 8 Vidyeśvara-s are Mantra-s (experients or knowers living in the fifth tattva). Anyway, in order to convey the 70 million mantra-s along with additional teachings to the limited individuals (starting with Pralayākala-s, who are sleeping deeply in Māyātattva, the sixth category), they have to descend a little below tattva 5 (you can see this in the diagram placed at the right). They descend in what is known as "Parāmahāmāyā" or the "higher portion" (parā) of Mahāmāyā". But what is Mahāmāyā after all? It is the region between the tattva-s 5 and 6 (between Śuddhavidyā and Māyā), which was manufactured by His Māyāśakti or Power to manifest difference or duality. "Māyāśakti" is NOT "Māyātattva" at all. Māyāśakti is simply His Power to produce duality where there should be only non-duality. As the 8 Vidyeśvara-s had to descend that way in Parāmahāmāyā they started to be somewhat affected by "the radiation of Āṇavamala (the primordial impurity generating lack of Fullness in the form of "I am not Full, I am not Perfect")", as it were. What happened to them? This: While they remained in the fifth tattva, they knew they were Śiva and at the same time they felt full unity with the "This" side or portion, i.e. with the universe. However, out of their absolute compassion to the limited individuals, they accepted to enter into Parāmahāmāyā in order to accomplish their mission as "the ones conveying or communicating" mantra-s and divine teachings to humankind, but they had to pay a price for that: In Parāmahāmāyā they still know that "they are Śiva Himself", or as Yogarāja expressed in such a difficult way indeed: "there is no difference as far as the form or nature of Knowledge is concerned in the case of the experients or knowers (called) Vidyeśvara-s". In short, they retain their Knowledge that they are Śiva essentially. However, as they entered into Parāmahāmāyā, which is a manifestation of His Māyāśakti (mayic power producing duality), they lost "their experience of unity with the universe" (which they had when they dwelt in the fifth tattva). That is why Yogarāja says that strange thing: "there is (nonetheless a certain) spreading of difference --duality--". Finally, the concept of Parāmahāmāyā (higher Mahāmāyā) is "tacitly" stated by Yogarāja when he says that such a duality "has been manufactured by (His) Māyāśakti --His power to manifest difference or duality--". Good, now this paragraph is very clear, is it not?
(2) After that, Yogarāja quotes the Āgama-s or revealed scriptures (not written by human hand), i.e. the celebrated 64 Bhairavatantra-s: "Mahāmāyā --the great Māyā-- (is) above Māyātattva --the sixth tattva or category in the universal manifestation--...".
And you can see that in the above diagram, where Mahāmāyā is shown with its two portions: Parāmahāmāyā (higher portion of Mahāmāyā) and Aparāmahāmāyā (lower portion of Mahāmāyā).
(3) Next, the commentator describes what I explained before to you regarding the Vidyeśvara-s and the price they had to pay for their entrance into Parāmahāmāyā to help the limited individuals that are constantly in trouble due to duality: "As a result, the Mantra-s --the experients or knowers belonging to the fifth tattva-- who dwell there --in Mahāmāyā, or "strictly speaking" Parāmahāmāyā, the higher portion of Mahāmāyā-- are said to (become) (ucyante) "atoms" --individuals with certain limitation on this level-- due to (their) entrance into Mahāmāyā."
The limitation being referred to is that the Vidyeśvara-s --who are really Mantra-s or experients originally residing in the tattva 5-- stopped feeling unity with the universe due to their descent in Parāmahāmāyā. Obviously, due to the influence of Āṇavamala (the impurity pertaining to the aṇu --lit. atom-- or limited individual), they became "atoms" too, i.e. individuals with that limitation I explained to you before. Anyway, they could retain their Self-realization, viz. they effectively realize they are Śiva in spite of the limitation they had to assume in their descent.
(4) Finally, Yogarāja speaks about the Vijñānākala-s, who dwell in Aparāmahāmāyā (the lower portion of Mahāmāyā): "The experients or knowers (called) Vijñānākala-s, who (reside) above Māyātattva --the sixth category-- and below Śuddhavidyātattva --the fifth category--, (are) a recipient for Āṇavamala."
The word "bhājanam" (recipient) literally means "partaker of". Consequently, the Vijñānākala-s are experients that are influenced by Āṇavamala and therefore they are also "atoms" or "aṇu-s" (limited individuals). Their limitation is the following: They retain "vijñāna" or knowledge about their unity with Lord Śiva. Anyway, they are "akala-s" or "devoid of Power or Śakti". All in all, they cannot move at all as in the case of the higher experients (Mantra-s, etc.) but they rather remain "fixed" in that state as "motionless" Śiva. Weird people indeed, haha! Joking apart, the Vijñānākala-s have no "kartṛtva" or "doership" because of the strong grip of Āṇavamala at this level. Lower experients, e.g. Sakala-s (experients endowed with ego, etc.) have extremely limited "kartṛtva" (doership) but almost nothing of "vijñāna" or consciousness of their unity with the Great Lord (Śiva). On the bright side, the Vijñānākala-s are free from the other two mala-s or impurities (Māyīyamala and Kārmamala), in other words, they see no differences or duality (which makes them free from Māyīyamala or the mayic impurity spreading differences) and at the same time, as they are motionless, they do no action (which makes them free from Kārmamala or the impurity related to feeling the doer of actions). OK, if you need more information about all these subtleties relating to Vijñānākala-s and mala-s, read Trika 4, please.
9 The commentator went too far again. If he continues writing like that I will be adding notes of explanation till the end of the universe. Now he is speaking about Turya, the Fourth State, which I must explain to you concisely or this note will be extremely long. Listen up: There are three ordinary states of consciousness known as waking or wakefulness (jāgrat), dreaming (svapna) and deep sleep (suṣupti). The nature of these states is that they change constantly, i.e. you have to move from one state to the next constantly. On the other hand, the Witness to all those states (You!) is in a State that never changes. This State is called Turya or "the Fourth State" because of Its being beyond the other three ordinary states.
Now, the first five tattva-s have for their essence this great State of Turya, but there is a little difference between the first two tattva-s and the remaining three ones: In the first two tattva-s, in Śivatattva and Śaktitattva, there is NO universe. There is only "Aham" or "I" here. As a result, the Witness (You!) is as if hibernating at this level since there is nothing to be witnessed due to the absence of a universe. In these two first tattva-s You enjoy only Consciousness and Bliss (Cit and Ānanda). However, when the "This" portion appears in the third tattva, the Witness (You!) is as if woken from His hibernation in Consciousness and Bliss. Within the realm of tattva-s 3, 4 and 5, the State of Turya or Witness is fully operative due to the presence of a universe to be beheld. But what is the difference then between all these tattva-s as far as the Self-experience is concerned? The subject-matter is very complex, but I will summarize it for you now: "Self-experience in the first two tattva-s is Full because there is no universe at all and Aham or Real I is felt completely. In the third tattva the Self-experience continues to be Full but there is a slight difference in quality as a universe appeared before the Lord (You!). In the fourth tattva the level of Self-experience keeps losing quality until in the fifth tattva Its quality is not so good as it was in the third one, for example".
Yes, Self-experience even in the fifth tattva (in Śuddhavidyā or Sadvidyā) is like that of the Kingdom of God when compared to the miserable happiness of a limited individual living all the time immersed in objectivity ("I am happy", "I am sad", "I need this", "I miss that person", "I watch this", "I have a lot of money", "I am top of the world", "I am down", etc.). The experience of a limited individual (all the experients from tattva 6 downward) regarding his own Self is abhorrent even in comparison with that of Anantabhaṭṭāraka (the chief of the Mantra-s of Śuddhavidyātattva), let alone when compared to the one you feel in tattva-s 1 and 2. I mean, Bliss is so massive in these first five tattva-s that one second of Joy in any of them amounts to entire lifetimes full of ordinary happiness. I have direct experience as regards that, and consequently I have no doubt about it. Yes, it is about experience then. Why do most people behave in the way they do? Because they feel their "I" improperly. If they could experience their Real "I", i.e. the State of Turya, they would stop behaving in the way they do right now. For example, they are so interested in all these objects and people around them because they did not have an experience of massive Bliss. As they do not know anything better that "this foolish worldly life", they think that they need to run after all that, do all those things such as begging for objects, love, bodily welfare and the like. When you have an actual experience of your own Self or real "I", the ordinary happiness looks like "horrible pain" in comparison, at least "at first" due to the drastic contrast. I am not joking but speaking the truth.
This State of Turya that dwells in the tattva-s 1 to 5 remains as a compact mass of Consciousness throughout the other three ordinary states then. Turya never departs from Its own nature as the Perceiver or Witness. Still, Turya can mix with the other three states and generate hybrid forms, as it were (e.g. Turya-jāgrat, a mixture of Turya and wakefulness). But the State of the Great Lord (Paramaśiva) is always beyond Turya, i.e. His essential nature is ONLY Turyātīta (the State beyond the Fourth One). The main characteristic of Turyātīta is that It never mixes with any other state of consciousness. It is a completely autonomous and unique State only enjoyed by Paramaśiva. It is also called the State of the Great Saints. As Paramaśiva is both near and far, both everywhere and nowhere, nobody can say what He is and what His State is indeed. Therefore, all descriptions relating to such questions will always fall short. Enough of this then!
10 Finally, Yogarāja summarizes the entire content of his commentary by saying the following: Paramaśiva (the Supreme Śiva) appears in three forms: (1) As Kartā --Doer or Agent-- in the categories 1 and 2, i.e. in Śivatattva and Śaktitattva; (2) as Karaṇa --Cause or Instrument of action-- in the categories 3 and 4 --Sadāśivatattva and Īśvaratattva--, which become the category 5 --Śuddhavidyātattva or category of the Pure Knowledge--, in other words, Sadāśivatattva + Īśvaratattva = Śuddhavidyātattva (the category acting as Cause or Instrument of action); (3) as Kārya --effect-- or Kriyā --activity-- in the form of all the categories from the sixth one (Māyātattva) down to the last one (the 36th one) known as Pṛthivītattva (though it can be called too: Dharātattva or even Kṣititattva, as the terms pṛthivī, dharā and kṣiti mean the same thing: earth).
Very well, this has been a rich stanza accompanied by a complex commentary no beginner (or even middle aspirant) in Trika living at this time could have understood without the help of Guru (the God's Grace-bestowing Power) appearing as the one who is right now writing. May this Great Paramaśiva who takes all these forms (beginner, middle aspirant, Guru, scripture, Abhinavagupta, Yogarāja, etc.) be praised forever!
(Abhinavagupta) expressed the essential nature of Māyātattva --the sixth category--1 :
This Freedom of the Great Lord, which (is) Supreme (and) able to carry out what is hard to be accomplished, (is) the Goddess Māyāśakti (or) the Self-concealing (Power) of Śiva||15||
Freedom (or) the capacity of manifesting the universe belonging to the Highest Lord, which --viz. Freedom- (is) Supreme (or) totally Independent --lit. "dependant on no other"--, (is also known as) this very power or śakti —whose name is Māyā— of that Śaktimān or Possessor of Śakti --epithet of Śiva--.
She (is known as) Māyā (because) the manifestation consisting of knowers (and) knowables, which ends in the Dharātattva --the 36th tattva, the last one-- is made measurable —it is totally limited— by Her, or else (She is called) Māyā (because) of Her deluding the universe2 .
Considering (the fact) that this (Māyāśakti) is related with the God --Śiva-- who is in the habit of playing, (She is called) the Goddess. However, "(She) is not at all a Māyā that is different (from Her own Lord) as (she is to one) of the followers of the doctrine of Brahma"3 .
Of what kind (is) that Freedom ? (Abhinavagupta makes it clear in the stanza:) "It is able to carry out what is hard to be accomplished". (It is like that: "durghaṭasampādana" because) "It can make or effect what is difficult", viz. (this Freedom of His) carries out (or) leads to the achievement of what is hard to be accomplished, (that is,) of the effect --the universal manifestation-- appearing in the form of (all these) subjects (and) objects4 .
This very Māyāśakti (is also) the Self-concealing (Power) of Śiva, of the One who assumes the state of limited individual of His own Free Will. (His Self-concealing Power) is (also) known as concealment of one's own essential nature (and) consists of the triad of impurities beginning with Āṇavamala5 ||15||
1 Careful with this subtlety!: "(Abhinavagupta) expressed the essential nature of Māyātattva --the sixth category--", i.e. he described, by the present the stanza, the essential nature or core of the sixth tattva but NOT the sixth tattva itself. In other words, Abhinavagupta is describing Māyāśakti by the present stanza and NOT Māyātattva. Māyāśakti is His Power to produce duality, Māyātattva being only "one" of Her products. It is very important to understand the difference between Māyāśakti and Māyātattva or there will be extra confusion. For example, His Māyāśakti generated the Mahāmāyā explained in the commentary on the previous stanza. After that, She generates Māyātattva (the sixth category). Therefore, Māyāśakti is a "Power" of the Lord, which manifests several things, e.g. Māyātattva, but She is NOT Māyātattva itself but rather its essential nature or nucleus. Am I clear enough? Good!
2 As I told you before, Māyāśakti (or Māyā plainly) is NOT Māyātattva. Māyāśakti is Svātantrya or the Absolute Freedom of the Highest Lord in order to manifest the universe along with all the duality contained in it. This Freedom is "ananya-apekṣa" or "dependent on no other", viz. It is completely Independent because of Its not depending on anyone else. It belongs to Śaktimān, the Possessor of Śakti (the Possessor of Svātantrya, as Svātantrya and Śakti are synonymous). Śiva alone is the Possessor of Śakti and nobody else is, viz. no limited individual endowed with ego can arrogate to himself the "status" of Possessor of Śakti. And as Śakti is the Real Doer all the time, no limited individual does nothing accordingly. If someone says: "I do", then he or she is either a person who has realized his or her unity with Śiva or he or she is another deluded person (the great majority of people on this planet). The illusion of being the Real Doer is overwhelming in this world. You can see it in action all day long, with limited individuals constantly promising that they will do things they will never be able to do in the end. People use to complain about those limited individuals that promise and never fulfill their promises, but as a matter of fact everything is a delusion, because if those people themselves complaining about others not fulfilling their promises could be in their position, they would behave in the same way: Completely powerless! Since one does not understand this simple truth, he will be the entire day protesting about other people not doing this or that as they should do it. Someone is pulling the legs of everybody. Who is that? His Māyāśakti!
That is why is called Māyāśakti or Māyā (plainly, not the Māyātattva), because She "deludes" the universe. Additionally, the commentator added the usual meaning of Māyā as derived from the root "mā" (to measure) when he said that the manifestation consisting of knowers and knowables (of subjects and objects), which ends in the last category or tattva (earth, the 36th tattva) is "made measurable" or "totally limited". Why? Because Māyāśakti does that, i.e. She finitizes the Infinite Lord. She makes Him, the One devoid of limits, a limited individual who is constantly at the mercy of all around. The meaning is clear now!
3 She is known as "the Goddess" because She is related to the God, to Śiva, who is in the habit of playing, i.e. who is prone to play with Himself. For example, He is one but at the same time appears as "many" for the sake of merely playing with Himself. He appears to be suffering a lot but simultaneously "He enjoys", and so on and on. When the sage is saying this, he is talking about You and not about another "Being" called Śiva. Nonetheless, this Māyāśakti such as stated by Trika is not as the one postulated by the followers of the doctrine of Brahma (the followers of the Advaitavedānta system), which looks like different and separate from Her Lord. For more information read Confusion between Vedānta and Trika in the Blog. In a nutshell: "Non-dualism is the Truth while dualism is the Play". He is One and this is the Truth, but at the same time He becomes "many"... and this is His Play.
4 Yogarāja asks: "Of what kind is that Freedom of the Lord?". Next, he answers his own question by the Abhinavagupta's words: "It is able to carry out what is hard to be accomplished". According to his own interpretation, the commentator explains this by saying that the most difficult task to be accomplished is the manifestation of the universe. Yes, he used difficult words to say the same thing, by calling the manifestation of the universe "effect or kārya":
"(this Freedom of His) carries out (or) leads to the achievement of what is hard to be accomplished, (that is,) of the effect --the universal manifestation-- appearing in the form of (all these) subjects (and) objects".
His Freedom leads to the achievement of the effect, i.e. of the universal manifestation composed of all these subjects and objects, which is hard to be accomplished. Yes, it is hard to accomplish that indeed. The universal manifestation is NOT happening in any time or space, I mean, it neither occurred in the past nor does occur at present nor will occur in the future. It just happens! However, nobody can say when and where. All this universe was invented by His Power "along with space and time" and not "in space and time". Guru-s generally teach that the universe is being manifested "right here and right now" as a way of explaining a process that is beyond the usual space-time framework. Since ordinary mind cannot work without the aid of space and time, it is given an explanation that is appropriate to its inherent limitations. Anyway, the truth is that the universe just appears but no limited individual bound to space and time can say when and where, because all the "when's" and "where's" were invented together with the universe itself. Yes, this could sound very strange, but I am speaking the truth. In fact, when you realize your own Self, when you realize that "You" are Śiva, you finally perceive that there was never a "universal manifestation" because nothing appears or disappears in Your Essence. OK, I will not keep speaking about this or your could be made very confused in the process.
Along with that difficult task of manifesting the universe, His Freedom in the form of Māyāśakti makes other things: "To transform the unlimited Self into a limited self". This is also very hard to accomplish. Next, when the limited self finally has reached a certain point of spiritual maturity due to His own Grace, that very Power of His transforms the limited self into the unlimited Self again. No limited individual can do that on his own, that is sure thing! Summing it up: "Everything is always related to His Freedom and not to the ridiculous actions of a limited individual living constantly in bondage because even this limited individual together with his miserable actions are also a product of His Freedom". People who think that they will attain the Supreme Self by means of their limited actions and thoughts, are called: "deluded people" or "mūḍha-s", i.e. people under the sway of Moha. Moha is synonymous with Māyā. In reality, the Great Lord will do as He wishes always. He cannot ever be forced by the actions of a limited individual to reveal Himself to him. This is the hardest-to-swallow thing in the case of a limited individual: That their spiritual practices are not forcing the Lord to do this or that. They are mere entertainment while He decides what He will do next!
That is one of the reasons why I am never interested in spiritual practices and when I give one to someone is just for having him busy with something while the process of Grace happens of His own Free Will. Ego "does need" to do something because he is convinced that he is the cause of the effects. But the effect called "final liberation" is too much Immense of an effect for ego to handle it. As a result, ego is absolutely powerless regarding that but due to the "self-delusion" he insists on doing "something" to attain the Lord "so fast as possible". The tricky Guru will keep him busy with some practices then. So, everything is always about His Freedom, and not about the actions of a limited person!
5 Though the commentator says "māyā", remember that in this context that always means "Māyāśakti" and NOT Māyātattva (a byproduct of His Māyāśakti or Freedom to generate duality). As the stanza states, Māyāśakti is the Self-concealing Power of Lord Śiva so that He can assume the state of limited individual "of His own Free Will". Pay attention to these words: "of His own Free Will". In the same way He assumed limitation "of His own Free Will", He will assume Freedom "of His own Free Will" again. The "doing" of a limited individual is useless with reference to the process of final liberation then, as that process is simply colossal! In order to see how the Self-concealing Power of Śiva works in practice, get a mirror and put it in front of you. Look at that man or woman being reflected in it. Well, that limited individual you can see... that is NOT You! Simple truth! What you are seeing is an invention of Your own Māyāśakti. She created the body and the individual dwelling "inside" the body. I mean, since what You Are really is not bound to space, the one dwelling "within" the body cannot be the Real You but another invention of Your own Freedom. Where are You then? Everywhere and nowhere, because Your Essence is always beyond all the stuff related to space. And the same thing is true regarding time. You seem to be "now" in front of that mirror (in the example) but that is also another invention of your Māyāśakti. When you finally realize "without a doubt" that what you consider "you" is quite an invent, at that time you realize your true Self, your Real "I". That is called "final liberation", "Self-realization", etc. Beyond the names, the experience is always the same thing: "Freedom!".
While you do not achieve Self-realization you remain a limited individual or paśu who is always "in trouble" whether you live in Argentina, China, USA, the moon, another galaxy, etc., whether you are rich, poor, etc., whether your body is beautiful, passable, ugly like hell, etc. All that is mere self-delusion, obviously, and consequently no real Bliss will emerge as a result. This Self-concealing Power of Śiva (You!) is also called concealment of your own essential nature (the Self of all). Such a majestic concealment is formed from three mala-s or impurities: Āṇavamala (the mala that brings about lack of Fullness), Māyīyamala (the mala that spreads differences) and Kārmamala (the mala that makes one feel he is a doer of actions). OK, as I use to say: Enough of this for now!
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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