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Abhinavagupta's Paramārthasāra (Paramarthasara): Stanzas 4 to 7 - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir
Paramārthasāra continues with four more stanzas. This is the second 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.
अधुना समुत्पत्तिक्रमेण पीठिकाबन्धं विधाय विश्ववैचित्र्यचित्रेऽस्मिन् जगति पारमेश्वरमनुत्तमं स्वातन्त्र्यमेकमेव संयोजनवियोजनकर्तृत्वहेतुः — इति तच्छक्तिविकासमेव विश्वमण्डचतुष्टयमुखेनावेदयन् ग्रन्थमवतारयति
शक्तिर्माया प्रकृतिः पृथ्वी चेति प्रभावितं प्रभुणा॥४॥
चिदानन्दैकघनेन प्रभुणा स्वतन्त्रेण भगवता महेश्वरेणाण्डचतुष्टयं विश्वाच्छादकत्वेन कोशरूपतया वस्तुपिण्डभूतमिदम्। यदुक्तम्
इति। प्रभावितं प्रकाशितं भवनकर्तृतया वा प्रयुक्तम्। कस्मात् — इत्याह निजशक्तिवैभवभरादिति। निजः स्वात्मीयो योऽसावसाधारण इच्छाद्यः शक्तिप्रचयः तस्य यद्वैभवं विचित्रः प्रसरस्तस्य योऽसौ भरः समुद्रेकस्तस्मात् — इति। भगवतः किल स्वशक्तिविकासस्फार एव जगन्निर्माणं। यदुक्तं श्रीसर्वमङ्गलाशास्त्रे
शक्तिश्च शक्तिमांश्चैव पदार्थद्वयमुच्यते।
शक्तयोऽस्य जगत्सर्वं शक्तिमांस्तु महेश्वरः॥
इति । किं रूपाण्डचतुष्टयसङ्ख्या — इत्याह शक्तिर्माया प्रकृतिः पृथ्वी चेति। विश्वस्य प्रमातृप्रमेयरूपस्य पराहन्ताचमत्कारसारस्यापि स्वस्वरूपापोहनात्माख्यातिमयी निषेधव्यापाररूपा या पारमेश्वरी शक्तिः सैवाच्छादकत्वेन बन्धकतया शक्त्यण्डम् — इत्युच्यते। सदाशिवेश्वरशुद्धविद्यातत्त्वपर्यन्तदलं सद्वक्ष्यमाणमण्डत्रितयमन्तः समन्ताद्गर्भीकृत्यावतिष्ठते — इति कोशरूपतयैषा शक्तिरनेन शब्देन सञ्ज्ञिता। एतस्मिनण्डे सदाशिवेश्वरावेवाधिपती।
अन्यच्च मलत्रयस्वभावं मोहमयं भेदैकप्रवणतया सर्वप्रमातॄणां बन्धरूपं पुंस्तत्त्वपर्यन्तदलं मायाख्यमण्डम् — इत्युच्यते। तच्च वक्ष्यमाणमण्डद्वयमन्तः समन्तात्स्वीकृत्य स्थितम्। अण्डाधिपतिश्चात्र गहनाभिधानो रुद्रः।
तथा सत्त्वर्जस्तमोमयी प्रकृतिः कार्यकरणात्मना परिणता सती पशुप्रमातॄणां भोग्यरूपा सुखदुःखमोहरूपतया बन्धयित्री प्रकृत्यभिधानमण्डम् — इत्युच्यते। तत्रापि महाविभूतिः श्रीभगवान् विष्णुर्भेदप्रधानोऽण्डाधिपतिः।
तथा पृथ्वी चैवं मनुष्यस्थावरान्तानां प्रमातॄणां प्रतिप्रकाररूपतया स्थूलकञ्चुकमयी बन्धयित्री — इति कृत्वा पृथ्व्यण्डम् — इत्युच्यते। तत्रापि चतुर्दशविधे भूतसर्गे प्रधानतयाण्डाधिपो भगवान् ब्रह्मा — इति। एवं परमेश्वरविजृम्भितमिदमण्डचतुष्टयं भगवतेत्थं प्रकाशितं परिस्फुरति॥४॥
Adhunā samutpattikrameṇa pīṭhikābandhaṁ vidhāya viśvavaicitryacitre'smin jagati pārameśvaramanuttamaṁ svātantryamekameva saṁyojanaviyojanakartṛtvahetuḥ — Iti tacchaktivikāsameva viśvamaṇḍacatuṣṭayamukhenāvedayan granthamavatārayati
Śaktirmāyā prakṛtiḥ pṛthvī ceti prabhāvitaṁ prabhuṇā||4||
Cidānandaikaghanena prabhuṇā svatantreṇa bhagavatā maheśvareṇāṇḍacatuṣṭayaṁ viśvācchādakatvena kośarūpatayā vastupiṇḍabhūtamidam| Yaduktam
iti| Prabhāvitaṁ prakāśitaṁ bhavanakartṛtayā vā prayuktam| Kasmāt — Ityāha nijaśaktivaibhavabharāditi| Nijaḥ svātmīyo yo'sāvasādhāraṇa icchādyaḥ śaktipracayaḥ tasya yadvaibhavaṁ vicitraḥ prasarastasya yo'sau bharaḥ samudrekastasmāt — Iti| Bhagavataḥ kila svaśaktivikāsasphāra eva jagannirmāṇaṁ| Yaduktaṁ śrīsarvamaṅgalāśāstre
Śaktiśca śaktimāṁścaiva padārthadvayamucyate|
Śaktayo'sya jagatsarvaṁ śaktimāṁstu maheśvaraḥ||
iti | Kiṁ rūpāṇḍacatuṣṭayasaṅkhyā — Ityāha śaktirmāyā prakṛtiḥ pṛthvī ceti| Viśvasya pramātṛprameyarūpasya parāhantācamatkārasārasyāpi svasvarūpāpohanātmākhyātimayī niṣedhavyāpārarūpā yā pārameśvarī śaktiḥ saivācchādakatvena bandhakatayā śaktyaṇḍam — Ityucyate| Sadāśiveśvaraśuddhavidyātattvaparyantadalaṁ sadvakṣyamāṇamaṇḍatritayamantaḥ samantādgarbhīkṛtyāvatiṣṭhate — Iti kośarūpatayaiṣā śaktiranena śabdena sañjñitā| Etasminaṇḍe sadāśiveśvarāvevādhipatī|
Anyacca malatrayasvabhāvaṁ mohamayaṁ bhedaikapravaṇatayā sarvapramātṝṇāṁ bandharūpaṁ puṁstattvaparyantadalaṁ māyākhyamaṇḍam — Ityucyate| Tacca vakṣyamāṇamaṇḍadvayamantaḥ samantātsvīkṛtya sthitam| Aṇḍādhipatiścātra gahanābhidhāno rudraḥ|
Tathā sattvarjastamomayī prakṛtiḥ kāryakaraṇātmanā pariṇatā satī paśupramātṝṇāṁ bhogyarūpā sukhaduḥkhamoharūpatayā bandhayitrī prakṛtyabhidhānamaṇḍam — Ityucyate| Tatrāpi mahāvibhūtiḥ śrībhagavān viṣṇurbhedapradhāno'ṇḍādhipatiḥ|
Tathā pṛthvī caivaṁ manuṣyasthāvarāntānāṁ pramātṝṇāṁ pratiprakārarūpatayā sthūlakañcukamayī bandhayitrī — Iti kṛtvā pṛthvyaṇḍam — Ityucyate| Tatrāpi caturdaśavidhe bhūtasarge pradhānatayāṇḍādhipo bhagavān brahmā — Iti| Evaṁ parameśvaravijṛmbhitamidamaṇḍacatuṣṭayaṁ bhagavatetthaṁ prakāśitaṁ parisphurati||4||
Now (adhunā), after building (bandham vidhāya) a pedestal (pīṭhikā) (by a description of) the successive stages (krameṇa) of the creation (of this scripture) (samutpatti), (Abhinavagupta) makes the book descend --makes it land on that pedestal-- (grantham avatārayati) by announcing (āvedayan), by means of (mukhena) a group of four (catuṣṭaya) eggs (aṇḍa), that the universe (viśvam) (is) only (eva) the expansion (vikāsam) of that (tad) Power (śakti), viz. the unsurpassed (anuttamam) Absolute Freedom (svātantryam) —which is only (eva) one (ekam)— of the Supreme Lord (pārama-īśvaram), that is the Cause or Agent (hetuḥ) of Doership (kartṛtva) with reference to unions (saṁyojana) (and) separations (viyojana) in this world (asmin jagati) variegated (citre) with all (viśva) the varieties (vaicitrya)1 :
Because of the abundance (bharāt) of Glory and Magnificence (vaibhava) (present) in His own (nija) Power (śakti), this (idam) group of four (catuṣṭayam) eggs (aṇḍa) (is) separately (vibhāgena) manifested (prabhāvitam) by the Lord (prabhuṇā): "Śakti (śaktiḥ), Māyā (māyā), Prakṛti (prakṛtiḥ) and (ca) Pṛthvī (pṛthvī... iti)"||4||
This (idam) group of four (catuṣṭayam) eggs (aṇḍa), which is (bhūtam) a roundish mass (piṇḍa) of substance (vastu) forming (rūpatayā) a sheath (kośa) (and) concealing (ācchādakatvena) the universe (viśva), (is manifested) by Prabhu (prabhuṇā), the Free Fortunate One (svatantreṇa bhagavatā), the Great Lord (mahā-īśvareṇa) who is a compact mass (eka-ghanena) of Consciousness (cit) (and) Bliss (ānanda). That (truth) (yad) (was also) expressed (uktam) (here):
"... An egg (aṇḍam) is said to be (ucyate) a roundish mass (piṇḍaḥ) of substance (vastu... iti)."2
(The term) "prabhāvita" (in the stanza) (prabhāvitam) is used (prayuktam) (in the sense of) "prakāśita" --manifested, displayed-- (prakāśitam) or (vā) as agency (kartṛtayā) of the act of becoming (bhavana)3 . Where from (kasmāt)? (Abhinavagupta) said (eva) so (iti): "Because of the abundance (bharāt) of Glory and Magnificence (vaibhava) (present) in His own (nija) Power (śakti... iti)". (The reply is then:) "From that" (tasmāt), viz. (from) "bhara" (asau... bharaḥ) which (yaḥ) (is) abundance (samudrekaḥ) of that (asau... tasya) "vaibhava" --Glory and Magnificence-- (vaibhavam) that (yad) (is) a multicolored --manifold-- (vicitraḥ) Expansion (prasaraḥ) of that (asau... tasya) multitude (pracayaḥ) of powers (śakti) which is special (asādhāraṇaḥ) (and) begins with (ādyaḥ) (the Power of) Will (icchā). (Such a multitude of powers is) "nija" (nijaḥ) (or) of His own (sva-ātmīyaḥ). The development (sphāraḥ) (or) expansion (vikāsa) of His (sva) Power (śakti) —(of the Power) of the Fortunate One (bhagavataḥ kila)— (is) indeed (eva) the creation (nirmāṇam) of the world (jagat)4 . That (very teaching) (yad) has been declared (uktam) in venerable scripture Sarvamaṅgalātantra (śrī-sarvamaṅgalā-śāstre):
"There is said to be (ucyate) only (eva) two (dvayam) categories (padārtha), viz. Śakti --Power-- (śaktiḥ) and (ca... ca) the Possessor of Śakti (śaktimān). The Possessor of Śakti (śaktimān) (is) the Great (mahā) Lord (īśvaraḥ) certainly (tu) --i.e. Śiva--, (and) His (asya) śakti-s or powers --the multiple aspects assumed by Śakti-- (śaktayaḥ) (are) the entire (sarvam) world (jagat... iti)."
What (kim) (is) the form (rūpā) (of this which is) called (saṅkhyā) "the group of four (catuṣṭaya) eggs (aṇḍa)?". (Abhinavagupta) said (āha) so (iti): "Śakti (śaktiḥ), Māyā (māyā), Prakṛti (prakṛtiḥ) and (ca) Pṛthvī (pṛthvī... iti)". "Śakti (śakti) egg (aṇḍam... iti)" is said to be (ucyate) Śakti (śaktiḥ), who (yā) (is) the Mistress of the Supreme Lord (pārama-īśvarī) whose function (vyāpāra-rūpā) is the denial (niṣedha) of the universe (viśvasya) formed by (rūpasya) knowers (pramātṛ) (and) knowables --objects-- (prameya) even though (api) it --the universe-- is the essence (sārasya) of the Delight (camatkāra) of the Highest (parā) I-consciousness (ahantā). (In this way,) She (sā) Herself (eva), being (mayī) akhyāti or ignorance (khyāti) that veils (apohana-ātma) the essential nature (sva-rūpa) of the Self --the Supreme Lord-- (sva), (gets endowed) with a condition that produces concealment (ācchādakatvena) (and) bondage (bandhakatayā). The fragment or portion (dalam) bounded by (paryanta) the tattva-s or categories (tattva) Sadāśiva (sadāśiva), Īśvara (īśvara) (and) Śuddhavidyā (śuddhavidyā), (i.e. the Śakti egg), forms an embryo (garbhī-kṛtya avatiṣṭhate) with Sat (sat) (or the remaining) three (tritayam) eggs (aṇḍa) —which will be spoken about later (vakṣyamāṇam)— completely (samantāt) inside (it) (antar). Thus (iti), since She has the form (rūpatayā) of a sheath (kośa), this (eṣā) Śakti (śaktiḥ) is named (sañjñitā) by this (anena śabdena), (viz. Śakti egg). In this egg (etasmin aṇḍe), Sadāśiva and Īśvara (sadāśiva-īśvarau eva) (are) the regents (adhipatī)5 .
And (ca) the other (anyat) "egg (aṇḍam) called (ākhyam) Māyā (māyā)" is said to be (ucyate) a fragment (dalam) (beginning with Māyātattva and) ending in (paryanta) Puruṣatattva (puṁs-tattva), whose nature (sva-bhāvam) is the three (traya) mala-s or impurities (mala), consisting in (mayam) delusion (moha), characterized by proneness to (pravaṇatayā) duality (bheda) alone (eka), (and) whose form (rūpam) is bondage (bandha) of all the experients or knowers (sarva-pramātṝṇām). That (Māyā egg) (tad ca) appropriates --makes its own-- (svī-kṛtya sthitam) the (remaining) two (dvayam) eggs (aṇḍa) —that will be talked about later (vakṣyamāṇam)—, (which remain) completely (samantāt) within (it) (antar). And (ca) the regent (adhipatiḥ) of the egg (aṇḍa) here (atra) (is) the Rudra (rudraḥ) whose name (abhidhānaḥ) (is) Gahana (gahana)6 .
Likewise (tathā), Prakṛti (prakṛtiḥ), composed of (mayī) Sattva (sattva), Rajas (rajas) (and) Tamas (tamas), is (satī) transformed (pariṇatā) into effects/products and senses (kārya-karaṇa-ātmanā). The "egg (aṇḍam) called (abhidhānam) Prakṛti (prakṛti... iti)" is said to be (ucyate) that which constitutes (rūpā) (all the) objects of enjoyment (bhogya) of the experients (pramātṝṇām) (known as) paśu-s or animals --limited individuals-- (paśu); (and as this egg is endowed) with a nature (rūpatayā) (consisting of) pleasure (sukha), pain (duḥkha) (and) delusion (moha), it binds or ties up (bandhayitrī). There --in the Prakṛti egg-- (tatra api), venerable Lord (śrī-bhagavān) Viṣṇu (viṣṇuḥ), who possesses great might (mahā-vibhūtiḥ) (and) in whom dualism prevails (bheda-pradhānaḥ), (is) the regent (adhipatiḥ) of the egg (aṇḍa)7 .
And (ca) in this way (evam), similarly (tathā), Pṛthvī (pṛthvī), which consists (rūpatayā) in (different) species (pratiprakāra) of experients (pramātṝṇām) that end in (antānām) vegetables (sthāvara) (and) humans (manuṣya), being (mayī) a gross (sthūla) shell (kañcuka), binds or ties up (bandhayitrī). Having so considered (iti kṛtvā), (this one is then) said to be (ucyate) "the Pṛthvī (pṛthvī) egg (aṇḍam... iti)". There --in the Pṛthvī egg-- (tatra api), "Lord (bhagavān) Brahmā (brahmā... iti)", being preeminent (pradhānatayā) in the fourteenfold (caturdaśavidhe) creation of beings (bhūta-sarge) --i.e. in the fourteen material worlds--, (is) the regent (adhipaḥ) of the egg (aṇḍa). In such a manner (evam), this (idam) group of four (catuṣṭayam) eggs (aṇḍa) developed (vijṛmbhitam) by the Supreme (parama) Lord (īśvara) suddenly shines forth (parisphurati) (totally) displayed and manifested (prakāśita) in this way (ittham) by the Fortunate One --the very Supreme Lord-- (bhagavatā)8 ||4||
1 Yogarāja is describing poetically the arrival of the 4th stanza. He said that Abhinavagupta firstly built a pedestal in the form of the stanzas 2 and 3, which contain the successive stages of the creation of this scripture. After having done that, Abhinavagupta makes the book descend, makes the book land on that pedestal, i.e. he starts to teach Trika philosophy in depth. The match has begun and the ball is rolling on the pitch! The sage begins his exposition of Trika by announcing, by a group of four eggs, that the universe is only the expansion of the Supreme Lord's Svātantrya (His Absolute Freedom). Svātantrya is another name for Śakti (the Power of the Self), which is the Cause or Agent of Kartṛtva (Doership) because Śakti is the real Doer always. None of these limited individuals around here and there is doing anything at all, but rather all that is being done is carried out by Śakti. And this Power of the Self, this Power of the Supreme Lord, is fond of producing unions and separations in this world variegated with all the varieties. Meanings of various epithets for Śakti can be found in the note 10 of Parāprāveśikā.
All in all, Śakti is prone to the acts of uniting and separating while at the same time She brings about an entire manifestation full of multi-colored varieties. Do you not believe me? Look around. If the reader thinks that Śakti is not "his own Power", the reader is having the wrong attitude while reading this scripture. All that is written in Paramārthasāra has to do with You, reader, and the Plays of Your own Power. Reading the scripture without an attitude of unity with the Supreme Lord will not bear any fruit because the same all-pervading wretched duality will be present once again. Duality goes nowhere all the time because the Supreme Truth is the Light of Supreme Non-dualism. You are the Lord reading about His own essential nature and the Plays of His own Śakti and not otherwise. If the reader constantly brings duality between him and the Supreme Lord to his reading, he will not understand Paramārthasāra at all. The same statement is valid with reference to the study of any other Trika scripture, of course. Final Liberation cannot be attained if one does not identify with the Supreme Lord.
2 Prabhu means "Lord". In this context, this term is used to designate the Highest Lord, obviously, who is a compact mass of Consciousness (Śiva) and Bliss (Śakti). He is also called the Fortunate One because of His being full of all that is really Auspicious. These four eggs are roundish masses of substance. According to my current knowledge about Trika, the teaching about the four eggs has not been given by Abhinavagupta in any other scripture apart from this one. As I will explain to you subsequently, the scopes of these eggs coincide with those of the last four Kalā-s or Primeval Powers. These Primeval Powers are like "Containers" in which the entire universal manifestation is stored in portions. Eggs have been indicated as "roundish masses of substance" and therefore they cannot be identified with the last four Kalā-s directly since Powers are not "substance". Abhinavagupta will not at all talk here about the Kalā-s, but the connection seems too obvious. The last four Kalā-s act like Containers for whole sets of tattva-s, exactly like the eggs do, but the latter seem to be products of such Kalā-s though Abhinavagupta has not mentioned this explicitly.
3 The term prabhāvita generally means prakāśita or manifested, displayed. But here Yogarāja gives an additional meaning: "bhavanakartṛtayā" (lit. "as bhavanakartṛtā"). What is this bhavanakartṛtā? I translated it as: "agency (kartṛtā) of the act of becoming (bhavana)". Agency or kartṛtā means "the state of being the agent or doer of an action". All this terminology comes from the sage Utpaladeva who wrote "सत्ता भवत्ता भवनकर्तृता - Sattā bhavattā bhavanakartṛtā - Existence (sattā) is the state of One who becomes (bhavattā), i.e. agency of the act of becoming (bhavanakartṛtā). Sattā is an epithet of Śakti (the possessor of kartṛtā or kartṛtva --both words are synonymous--, such as I pointed out in the first above note). She is the real Doer of the universe, or more technically speaking, She is the origin of the śakticakra (group of powers), which carries out the process of manifestation as indicated in the third note under the stanza 1. Abhinavagupta, in his first commentary on Utpaladeva's Īśvarapratyabhijñā, which is known as Īśvarapratyabhijñāvimarśinī, stated in 1.5.14 of that scripture: "सत्ता च भवनकर्तृता सर्वक्रियासु स्वातन्त्र्यम्। - Sattā ca bhavanakartṛtā sarvakriyāsu svātantryam| - And (ca) Existence (sattā) (is) agency (kartṛtā) of the act of becoming (bhavana), viz. Absolute Freedom (svātantryam) in regard to all activities (sarva-kriyāsu)". In other words, the term bhavanakartṛtā (agency of the act of becoming) is nothing but Absolute Freedom (Svātantrya), that is, Śakti.
The meaning of prabhāvita is then, according to Yogarāja, not only "manifested" (the group of four eggs which "has become", which "has been displayed") but also the agent of such a manifestation, i.e. Śakti (the Power of the Lord). This is so because in Trika, that which has been manifested is not different from the One who has manifested it. The four eggs must not be seen as "creations" of a Power only but rather as the forms this Power assumes. In the case of a potter making a pot, the potter and the pot remain separate, but this is not true in the case of Śakti and the four eggs. NO. She is both the agent or doer/maker of those four eggs and the four eggs themselves. In reality, technically speaking, it is not She Herself but Her emanations appearing as the celebrated śakticakra. Why? Because Śakti is immutable as Śiva Himself, and consequently She never moves even a millimeter away from Her Possessor. Therefore, neither of the Two assumed different forms, but rather it is the group of powers emanated from Śakti Herself that assumes all the forms of the universe. In this way, both Śiva and Śakti never "become" anything since They are the immutable "I AM".
4 Where is the group of four eggs displayed or manifested from? After quoting what Abhinavagupta expressed in the stanza itself, Yogarāja said: "From that", all in all, from the śakticakra or group of powers emanated from Śakti. These powers are always referred to as "Glorious" (read the commentary on the first aphorism in Spandanirṇaya). This is what was meant by Abhinavagupta by "the abundance of Glory and Magnificence present in His own Power". The term "vaibhava" (Glory and Magnificence) is shown as being a multicolored Expansion of that multitude of powers, which is special and begins with the Power of Will. The śakticakra is verily a multicolored or multiple Expansion or Emanation from Śakti Herself such as I have already explained to you. The Power of Will is the first power of the śakticakra and appears along with the tattva 3 (Sadāśiva). As Śakti is of His, of the Fortunate One, of the Supreme Lord, the entire śakticakra is accordingly of His own too. This śakticakra or Expansion/Development of Śakti constitutes the universe, which is mentioned by Yogarāja as "the creation of the world". Śakti is not directly the universe but rather She is the universe through Her own powers. Śakti (I-consciousness) never abandons Her Lord Śivá, not even for the shortest instant.
5 The four eggs are called Śakti, Māyā, Prakṛti and Pṛthvī. The first egg is the Śakti egg, whose scope is the tattva-s or categories 3 to 5 (Sadāśiva, Īśvara and Śuddhavidyā --also known as Sadvidyā--). This scope coincides with that of the Kalā called Śānti or Śāntā. The function of Śakti is in this context the denial or "isolation" of the universe, formed by knowers and objects, from the Supreme Lord Śiva. As this universe is "extracted" and "isolated" from Śiva by Śakti, She "denies" the divine nature of the universe, and this one becomes "another thing" apart from Śiva. It is in this sense that She is akhyāti or ignorance veiling the essential nature of the Supreme Lord, because She shows a universe different from its own Lord! This is mere appearance, obviously, because the universe is constantly the essence of the Delight of the Highest I-consciousness, but the Lord starts to believe, due to Her influence, that the universe is different from Him. This is the Worst Self-Fraud ever!... and here you have it, in front of your very eyes. Look at the objects and people around. All of them seem to be "different" from You! This emergence of duality and the apparent "downfall" of the Lord from His Highest State down to this one of a limited individual was firstly started by Śakti when She extracted the universe from You and denied that the universe is You Yourself appearing in that form. That is the Self-Fraud! Now the limited individual (Śiva after having fallen victim to Her Fraud) is immersed in misery. And if he is a spiritual aspirant, his only way out of this misery is a recognition of his own essential nature, which is divine and one with the Highest Lord. This will lastly lead to a recognition of the universe itself as being indeed an expansion of one's own powers and not as something existing apart from Oneself (the Supreme Lord), such as the fraudulent Śakti insists on showing it.
This is not a mere Fraud but a Self-Fraud, because Śakti is never different and separate from Śiva. She is not an external agent deluding Śiva, but rather She is His own Power convincing Him, the Immutable Self, that He has undergone mutation and experienced a downfall from His ever-present divine essential nature. What you call "the world" is not really the world, but Your own Self-Fraud! Who are these parents when the Supreme Lord is Aja or Unborn? Who are these people around when the Supreme Lord is Eka or One, i.e. Solitary? What are these three states of consciousness designated as wakefulness, dreaming and deep sleep if the Supreme Lord is never tired and consequently He never needs to take a rest? Who are these ones coming to celebrate the birthday of Nityātmā, the Eternal Self? Who is this one traveling from one place to another place when the Supreme Lord is Acala or completely immovable because He pervades all? You have no parents, no country, no states but Your own Supreme State, no birthday, no movement and so on and on. All those things You seem to have are the fraudulent inventions of Your own Power through Her śakticakra or group of powers. The Self-Fraud starts with this first egg (Śakti egg), where You feel that the universe is different from You. You retain unity with it anyway, because it is the first phase of the Self-Fraud. This first phase is still "divine" because the universe is perceived as different from Yourself but not as separate from Yourself, i.e. there is duality and unity at the same time. It is bhedābheda or unity (abheda) in the diversity (bheda), viz. a mixture of non-dualism and dualism. In Śiva-Śakti (tattva-s 1 and 2) there is abheda or unity alone, and in the tattva-s 6 to 36 there is bheda or duality alone.
With the arrival of the remaining three fraudulent eggs (Māyā, Prakṛti and Pṛthvī eggs), called Sat (Being, i.e. "all this that exists") by Yogarāja because their scope is the tattva-s 6 to 36 (read notes 47 and 48 and the respective text related to them in Parāprāveśikā), the Fraud will be complete and You will lose even that experience of unity you had in Śakti egg. After having been so deluded by Your own Powers, your Goal now is to regain your lost essential divine nature, which was paradoxically never lost. Everything was just a Self-Fraud!
The regents or presiding deities of this first egg that starts the process of bondage are Sadāśiva and Īśvara, generally known as Sadāśivabhaṭṭāraka and Īśvarabhaṭṭāraka, the term bhaṭṭāraka being added to the names to show great respect and veneration. These two regents reside in the tattva-s Sadāśiva and Īśvara, respectively.
6 The Māyā egg is a fragment or a piece of the universal manifestation whose scope is the tattva-s 6 to 12 (from Māyā-tattva down to Puruṣa-tattva; read Trika 4 and Trika 5 for more information). The scope of this egg coincides with that of the Kalā called Vidyā. This egg draws a veil on one's essential nature and exhibits duality instead. It has exclusively arisen for the spreading of duality in the form of multiple knowers and knowables (subjects and objects) when in reality there is only one Self constantly staying in His divine "I Am" State. The present egg is the field of delusion appearing as the three mala-s or impurities known as Āṇavamala, Māyīyamala and Kārmamala. The first impurity makes You, the Fullest One, not completely full and perfect; the second impurity spreads difference or duality between You and the multitude of subjects and objects forming the universe; finally the last impurity is nothing but the vāsanā-s or tendencies (acting like vessels) which will grow into full-fledged saṁskāra-s or latencies (impressions derived from actions, which are accumulated in this egg) when karmāśaya or karmic content (through good and bad actions) is poured into them (I explain this strange topic in FAQ 1-Meditation, when I describe the causal body). Nevertheless, the last two mala-s or impurities will hit You totally when the remaining two eggs, contained in Māyā egg, come into existence. This will mark highest point of Your apparent dwelling in the field of limitation.
Puruṣa (tattva 12), generally designated as "individual soul", is Śiva Himself (You!) but processed by the Māyā egg, which is really unfortunate. In this way, what most people consider "great", it is terrible for someone wanting to attain final liberation from all this misery. The process of final liberation or spiritual enlightenment will culminate in the recognition that all this is the essence of the Supreme Delight, but in the meantime, all these last three eggs are hellish to someone who still remains in bondage. This is completely true, but if the reader does not believe me and is not brave enough as to ponder over what his life has been and is (no jokes), he can turn on his TV and watch others' unhappiness and foolishness. As I know these eggs fully, even if the reader lives on the other corner of the galaxy, I perfectly know that he will be suffering even in the middle of pleasures. No limited individual can enjoy Real Happiness if he still continues under the sway of all these eggs, specially the last three ones. This insanity known as "bondage" is manufactured by these three last wretched eggs beginning with that of Māyā.
The regent of this egg is Gahana (the impenetrable one), who, according to my explorations into my own Self, is Durga (the Rudra mentioned by Mālinīvijayatantra on the list of 50 Rudra-s I gave in the note 10 of the first stanza). The consort of this Rudra or liberated being who presides the current egg is the Rudrāṇī called Durgā (the well-known goddess). What I am saying about Gahana being Durga has not been written anywhere else so far. It is just a knowledge emerging from my own spiritual experience.
7 The Prakṛti egg is a fragment or a piece of the universal manifestation whose scope is the tattva-s 13 to 35 (from Prakṛti-tattva down to Āpas-tattva; read Trika 5 and Trika 6 for more information). The scope of this egg coincides with that of the Kalā called Pratiṣṭhā. Prakṛti, as the tattva 13, is composed of three qualities (guṇa-s): Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, called by Yogarāja, pleasure, pain and delusion, respectively. The delusion lies in a person believing that by pleasure he will get rid of pain. As a matter of fact, pleasure will lead to pain almost immediately very often. Such is the delusion carried out by this egg. Besides, Prakṛti generates effects or products together with the senses to enjoy such products. For example: Objects of enjoyment along with the respective organs of the senses in order for them to perceive and enjoy such products. All this process of pleasure, pain and delusion leads nowhere, as one easily can deduce. No doubt that this egg is a source of constant pain directly or indirectly (disguised as pleasure). The ones who fall prey to this egg are known as paśu-s or animals. The sage is not referring to "real animals" but to "apparent" human beings behaving like animals. People in bondage, caught by all these limitations, are generally called paśu-s for many reasons, but the three main ones are:
1) Their happiness is at the mercy of all that is within (thoughts, emotions, etc.) and without (external objects, other people, etc.). They do not have autonomous Happiness but their joy is always depending on all those things; 2) They bite their saviors. Just as a wild animal will very often attack the one trying to save it, these animals bearing the label "human beings" usually attempt to destroy their liberators. They do not want final liberation from bondage but rather continue to enjoy all these objects of enjoyment exhibited by this wretched Prakṛti egg. Genuine Guru-s will not try to save them then, at least not directly, lest they be bitten in the process by those animals. Such animals must firstly become spiritual aspirants (a special kind of animals) and afterwards qualify as disciples (almost human beings) for the true Guru-s to save them finally; 3) As a consequence of the previous two characteristics, these paśu-s or animals go nowhere, because to go "somewhere" means to go toward final liberation and not to more and more bondage.
Human beings (the real ones) are not like those paśu-s evidently. Real human beings are called saints, liberated ones and the like. The rest of people are not real human beings but animals ignorantly claiming to be what they are not. This is very difficult to swallow for most people, but the facts speak by themselves. Take a book dealing with human history and you will see my point. In fact, this is not my point, because the term paśu (animal, beast) designating almost the entire humankind is not my own invention. It is very often used to describe all those people endowed with the three main characteristics I explained to you before.
The regent or presiding deity of this egg is Lord Viṣṇu, the one who possesses great might (mahā-vibhūti). The word "vibhūti" means "might" but specially that of supernatural nature. In other words: Supernatural powers. All these powers are an obstruction in one's path to final liberation and must be abandoned and never touched even with a long pole. Yogarāja specifies that in Viṣṇu dualism prevails. Therefore Lord Viṣṇu is not bestower of final liberation. I do not need to read this to know that truth anyway, because I had a direct experience with Lord Viṣṇu. He lives in a world where joy is absolutely colossal, surrounded by women chanting with such a devotion that your heart is torn apart by the sound. I remember their open mouths on the bridges, chanting the names of Viṣṇu. The very figure of Lord Viṣṇu is totally impressive, dressed up in majestic garments. Nonetheless, he never gave me any final liberation. Devotion, going to higher worlds, being in the presence of Viṣṇu, all those things will not give spiritual enlightenment ever. I am completely sure about this because I was there in person. I am not promoting sectarianism in the form of Viṣṇu vs. Śiva, but I have direct experience of both realities. The One bestowing final liberation is Śiva and not Viṣṇu. I am not speaking about the Vedic Śiva (or strictly speaking, the puranic Śiva), the one who is an ascetic living in a cave and sitting on a tiger skin, etc. NO. I am speaking about Tantric Śiva who is the Light of the Supreme Non-dualism, the Lord of lords, who is beyond space/time and cannot even outlined in thought. This One is the real Bestower of final liberation, and not Viṣṇu or any other deity that only acts as a regent. I am speaking the truth. People can continue to worship any deity, even the most little one if they wish so, but that does not mean they will become fully liberated from bondage. Besides, Viṣṇu is immersed in dualism, and no final liberation will be real final liberation if dualism goes on and on, because dualism is always related to bondage one way or the other. Even in the tattva-s 3 to 5 (the Śakti egg), there is a very subtle dualism as Śakti extracted the universe from Śiva though there is also a underlying unity.
The process of final liberation must proceed rightly through the knowledge indicated in the Trika philosophy. In the culminating point of this process, all duality is to be gone, even that residing in the Śakti egg, because "if you see another you will be afraid", i.e. in the realm of duality you will always be in bondage however slight this bondage could be. One has to recognize that "oneself" is the Light of Supreme Non-dualism replete with Absolute Freedom. This achievement of His Absolute Freedom marks the end of bondage once and for all. As it is obvious, all these processes cannot happen in duality, i.e. feeling that oneself and the Lord are not one and the same thing. Therefore, according to the knowledge exhibited in this scripture along with my direct experience about these subject-matters, I can affirm that Śiva alone grants final liberation and not Viṣṇu. I repeat: This is no sectarianism but the fruit of a real experience of liberation backed up by the teachings of this scripture.
8 As it is obvious, both terms, Pṛthvī and Pṛthivī, are synonymous and their meaning is "earth". In this case, the earth element or tattva 36. I generally use Pṛthivī in my writings, but here Abhinavagupta used the variant Pṛthvī (read Trika 6 for more information). The scope of this egg coincides with that of the Kalā called Nivṛtti. Later on it will be taught that in each of the tattva-s, all the tattva-s exist, and this is specially true with reference to the last tattva called Pṛthvī. In the Pṛthvī egg reside the fourteen material words presided by Lord Brahmā. Hence this egg is full of different species of experients that end in vegetables and humans. It is a gross shell, a gross egg that, of course, binds or ties up. There are superhuman beings dwelling in this egg, but none of them is fully liberated because they are all still in bondage, the very regent Brahmā included.
Now, a list of the fourteen material worlds, from the highest world down to the lowest one. My description is mainly based on the narration of the sage Vyāsa while he comments on Pātañjalayogasūtra-s III.26 in his Sāṅkhyapravacanasūtra:
- Brahmaloka or Satyaloka — The world where Brahmā, the regent of Pṛthvī egg composed of the fourteen materials worlds, dwells. There are four kinds of gods here: Acyuta-s, Śuddhanivāsa-s, Satyābha-s and Sañjñāsañjñī-s. These gods live in layers, one over the other, not in residences. Each of them enjoys different types of joy.
- Tapoloka or Taparloka — Here there are three kinds of gods: Ābhāsvara-s, Mahābhāsvara-s and Satyamahābhāsvara-s. They live on meditation and know all that is occurring in regions below and above theirs.
- Janaloka — There are four types of gods here: Brahmapurohita-s, Brahmakāyika-s, Brahmamahākāyika-s and Amara-s. They have complete mastery over elements and organs. In general, all these three higher worlds belonging to the sphere of Brahmā contain gods with such powers.
- Maharloka — This is the Prājapatya region (the region of the Prajāpati-s, the lords of the living beings). There are five groups de deities here: Kumuda-s, Ṛbhu-s, Pratardana-s, Añjanābha-s and Pracitābha-s. As always, they need no food except meditation. They also have mastery over the gross elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether).
- Svarloka — The heaven. As this world has five planes, Mahendraloka (the world of the great Indra, the regent of Svarloka) being the main one among them, Svarloka is sometimes called Mahendraloka, plainly. By the way, in Mahendraloka within Svarloka, there are six types of deities: Tridaśa-s, Agniṣvātta-s, Yāmya-s, Tuṣita-s, Aparinirmitavaśavartī-s and Parinirmitavaśavartī-s. They have their desires fulfilled instantly and have several supernatural powers.
- Bhuvarloka — Also known as Antarīkṣa (the atmosphere) where an immense quantity of deities live. All of them are a little above the human beings. They are not very interesting but most aspirants are in awe when some of them appear in their meditations.
- Bhūrloka — The term literally means the "earthly or terrestrial world" but it actually is a large ethereal region attached to this earth, from Sumeru hill where certain deities dwell down to the earth itself called Vasumatī. Oh yes, this is complex, because to fully explain it to you I would have to include the entire Vyāsa's description here, which not only includes hills but also islands, mounts, gardens, etc. Take it easy then!
- The seven nether worlds — These are not the six hells (naraka-s) but the seven nether worlds (known generally as pātāla-s)... another long story I will tell you some day. These nether worlds are located in the lower portion of Bhūrloka, hence sometimes only 7 worlds are spoken about and not 14. The names of the nether worlds are: Mahātala, Rasātala, Atala, Sutala, Vitala, Talātala and Pātāla. Beings dwelling in these wretched worlds suffer, specially because they have organs of perception, but being their powers extremely restrained, they cannot ever have their desires fulfilled. In this sense, the earth could be considered as a quasi-hell for some people experiencing a horrible karma, you know.
OK, it is enough. All those 14 worlds, from my viewpoint, are worth 1 cent and a half. No serious spiritual aspirant after final liberation should be interested in them. No matter how impressive even Brahmaloka may seem to be, it is still a material world suffering from destruction sooner or later, i.e. these 14 worlds are not everlasting like the Supreme Self. Final liberation has to do with realization of the eternal Supreme Lord and not with all these foolish worlds residing in a foolish egg called Pṛthvī, I am completely sure about that. Though one will have to travel to some or all the 14 worlds during his spiritual path, invitation from celestial beings that dwell in those worlds should not be accepted ever. This is not my invention but an instruction that was established by Patañjali himself in his Yogasūtra-s III.51. The undesirable results have to do with forgetting that final liberation is not to go to any world, or even to enjoy celestial things or supernatural powers, but rather to attain His Absolute Freedom. When one attains That, one does not travel to anywhere, one does not want to see anything and so on. One just enjoy Supreme Peace and Bliss that are beyond human understanding. The real disciple wants This and not to go to those 14 wretched worlds that are still under the sway of mother death.
If that is my opinion on those 14 material worlds as a whole, you already know my opinion on this little world called earth, which is so low in the scale of creation. Yes, everything in this universal manifestation is the Self in the end, even the filthiest worm crawling somewhere, but there is a hierarchy too. None of the things and none of the beings contained in these four eggs will give you final liberation. He is Bestower of final liberation who is not bound by any of these four eggs. His name is: Paramaśiva, the Supreme Śiva. The whole lot of deities, gods, regents, etc. is an emanation of His Light and Absolute Freedom, there is no doubt about it!
एवमेतदण्डचतुष्टयं प्रतिपाद्यात्रैव भोग्यभोक्तृत्वप्रतिपादनपरतया विश्वस्वरूपनिरूपणाय कारिकामाह
भोक्ता च तत्र देही शिव एव गृहीतपशुभावः॥५॥
तत्र तेषु चतुर्ष्वण्डेष्वागमप्रसिद्धेषु विश्वमिदमन्तर्मध्ये वर्तते। कीदृशम् — इत्याह विचित्र इति। रुद्रक्षेत्रज्ञभेदभिन्ना नानामुखहस्तपादादिरचनारूपास्तनव आकारा विशिष्टसंस्थानरूपेणाश्चर्यभूताः। तथान्योन्यभेदेन सातिशयानि करणानि चक्षुरादीनि। तद्यथा — रुद्रप्रमातॄणां निरतिशयानि सर्वज्ञत्वादिगुणगणयुक्तानि तैः किल सर्वमिदमेकस्मिन् क्षणे युगपज्ज्ञायते सम्पाद्यते च। क्षेत्रज्ञानां पुनरेतान्येव करणानि परमेश्वरनियतिशक्तिनियन्त्रितानि सन्ति घटादिपदार्थमात्रज्ञानकरणसमर्थान्येव न तैः सर्वं ज्ञायते नापि क्रियते। तत्रापि योगिनामतिशयः करणानाम् — यन्नियतिशक्तिसमुल्लङ्घनात्तदीयेः करणैर्दूरव्यवहितविप्रकृष्टमपि परिच्छिद्यते परप्रमातृगतं च सुखदुःखादि ज्ञायते। एवं च तिरश्चामपि नियतिशक्त्या सङ्कुचितानामपि मनुष्येभ्योऽप्यतिशयः करणानां विद्यते। तद्यथा — गावः स्वगृहं व्यवहितमपि पश्यन्त्यश्वा रात्रावपि मार्गमीक्षन्ते गृध्रा योजनशतगतमप्यामिषमवलोकयन्ति पक्षिणो मक्षिका मशकपर्यन्ता आकाशविहारिणो दृश्यन्ते सरीसृपा उरसा पन्थानं गच्छन्ति दृशा च शृण्वन्ति शब्दानुष्ट्रा दूरादपि गर्तात्श्वासमात्रेण सर्पमाकर्षयन्ति — इति। एवं सर्वत्र करणवैचित्र्यमूह्यम्। तथा भुवनान्यागमप्रसिद्धानि वर्तुलत्र्यश्रचतुरश्रार्धचन्द्रछत्राकारतया सातिशयसंस्थानानि — इति। एवं विचित्रो नानातिशयाद्भुतस्वभाव एषां तनुकरणभुवनानां सन्तानोऽविरतबन्धप्रवाहो यस्मिन् विश्वस्मिन् तदेवंविधं विश्वम्। एवंविधे चात्र भोग्यस्वभावे विश्वस्मिन् भोक्त्रा भाव्यम् — इत्याह भोक्ता च तत्र देहीति। मलत्रयाघ्रातो देहो भोगायतनं विद्यते यस्याणोः स देही सुखदुःखादिस्वभावः शरीरी सुखदुःखादिमयेऽस्मिन् भोक्ता सुखदुःखाद्यनुभविता पशुप्रमाता — इति कथ्यते। ननु परप्रमात्रपेक्षयाणुमात्रस्यापि न भेदो विद्यते कुतस्तद्व्यतिरिक्तो देही नाम वराकः। यदुक्तम्
प्रदेशोऽपि ब्रह्मणः सार्वरूप्यमनतिक्रान्तश्चाविकल्प्यश्च।
एकैकत्र च तत्त्वेऽपि षट्त्रिंशत्तत्त्वरूपता।
इति न्यायाच्चैक एव स्वशक्तियुक्तो महाप्रकाशवपुरेव परमेश्वरः प्रमाता सर्वतोऽभिन्न एवावभासते। ततो भिन्नस्याप्रकाशमानस्य देहिनोऽस्तित्वाभ्युपगमेऽपि प्रकाशमानत्वानुपपत्तेर्न सत्ता निश्चीयते। प्रकाशते चेत्तस्मिन् परब्रह्मात्मनि तर्हि प्रकाशाभिन्न एवैकः प्रमाता — इति पुनरपि किम्परत्वेनायं भोग्यभोक्तृलक्षणः सन् भेदः — इति सर्वं समर्थयमान आह शिव एव गृहीतपशुभाव इति। योऽयं भगवान् समनन्तरं प्रतिपादितश्चिदानन्दैकघनः स्वातन्त्र्यस्वभावः शिवः स एव स्वरूपगोपनासतत्त्वः सन् स्वेच्छया नट इव देहप्रमातृभूमिकां समापन्नः पाल्यत्वात्पशुत्वात्पशुसत्तालक्षणश्च सुखदुःखादिमये स्वयंनिर्मितेऽस्मिन् भोग्ये भोक्ता देही — इति कथ्यते न पुनः शिवव्यतिरिक्तं किञ्चित्पदार्थजातमस्ति। एष एव च भगवान् शिवः स्वातन्त्र्याद्भोक्तृभोग्यलक्षणं प्रमातृप्रमेययुगलकं क्रीडनकमिव समुत्थापयति यदपेक्षयायं भेदप्रधानो व्यवहारः। तस्मादेतदेव परमेश्वरस्य स्वातन्त्र्यं निरतिशयं यत् पूर्णस्वरूपतापरित्यागेन भोक्तृभोग्यस्वभावं पशुभावमापन्नोऽपि सर्वप्रमातॄणामनुभवितृतया स्वात्मनि प्रस्फुरंश्चिदानन्दैकघनः शिव एव॥५॥
Evametadaṇḍacatuṣṭayaṁ pratipādyātraiva bhogyabhoktṛtvapratipādanaparatayā viśvasvarūpanirūpaṇāya kārikāmāha
Bhoktā ca tatra dehī śiva eva gṛhītapaśubhāvaḥ||5||
Tatra teṣu caturṣvaṇḍeṣvāgamaprasiddheṣu viśvamidamantarmadhye vartate| Kīdṛśam — Ityāha vicitra iti| Rudrakṣetrajñabhedabhinnā nānāmukhahastapādādiracanārūpāstanava ākārā viśiṣṭasaṁsthānarūpeṇāścaryabhūtāḥ| Tathānyonyabhedena sātiśayāni karaṇāni cakṣurādīni| Tadyathā — Rudrapramātṝṇāṁ niratiśayāni sarvajñatvādiguṇagaṇayuktāni taiḥ kila sarvamidamekasmin kṣaṇe yugapajjñāyate sampādyate ca| Kṣetrajñānāṁ punaretānyeva karaṇāni parameśvaraniyatiśaktiniyantritāni santi ghaṭādipadārthamātrajñānakaraṇasamarthānyeva na taiḥ sarvaṁ jñāyate nāpi kriyate| Tatrāpi yogināmatiśayaḥ karaṇānām — Yanniyatiśaktisamullaṅghanāttadīyeḥ karaṇairdūravyavahitaviprakṛṣṭamapi paricchidyate parapramātṛgataṁ ca sukhaduḥkhādi jñāyate| Evaṁ ca tiraścāmapi niyatiśaktyā saṅkucitānāmapi manuṣyebhyo'pyatiśayaḥ karaṇānāṁ vidyate| Tadyathā — Gāvaḥ svagṛhaṁ vyavahitamapi paśyantyaśvā rātrāvapi mārgamīkṣante gṛdhrā yojanaśatagatamapyāmiṣamavalokayanti pakṣiṇo makṣikā maśakaparyantā ākāśavihāriṇo dṛśyante sarīsṛpā urasā panthānaṁ gacchanti dṛśā ca śṛṇvanti śabdānuṣṭrā dūrādapi gartātśvāsamātreṇa sarpamākarṣayanti — Iti| Evaṁ sarvatra karaṇavaicitryamūhyam| Tathā bhuvanānyāgamaprasiddhāni vartulatryaśracaturaśrārdhacandrachatrākāratayā sātiśayasaṁsthānāni — Iti| Evaṁ vicitro nānātiśayādbhutasvabhāva eṣāṁ tanukaraṇabhuvanānāṁ santāno'viratabandhapravāho yasmin viśvasmin tadevaṁvidhaṁ viśvam| Evaṁvidhe cātra bhogyasvabhāve viśvasmin bhoktrā bhāvyam — Ityāha bhoktā ca tatra dehīti| Malatrayāghrāto deho bhogāyatanaṁ vidyate yasyāṇoḥ sa dehī sukhaduḥkhādisvabhāvaḥ śarīrī sukhaduḥkhādimaye'smin bhoktā sukhaduḥkhādyanubhavitā paśupramātā — Iti kathyate| Nanu parapramātrapekṣayāṇumātrasyāpi na bhedo vidyate kutastadvyatirikto dehī nāma varākaḥ| Yaduktam
Pradeśo'pi brahmaṇaḥ sārvarūpyamanatikrāntaścāvikalpyaśca|
Ekaikatra ca tattve'pi ṣaṭtriṁśattattvarūpatā|
Iti nyāyāccaika eva svaśaktiyukto mahāprakāśavapureva parameśvaraḥ pramātā sarvato'bhinna evāvabhāsate| Tato bhinnasyāprakāśamānasya dehino'stitvābhyupagame'pi prakāśamānatvānupapatterna sattā niścīyate| Prakāśate cettasmin parabrahmātmani tarhi prakāśābhinna evaikaḥ pramātā — Iti punarapi kimparatvenāyaṁ bhogyabhoktṛlakṣaṇaḥ san bhedaḥ — Iti sarvaṁ samarthayamāna āha śiva eva gṛhītapaśubhāva iti| Yo'yaṁ bhagavān samanantaraṁ pratipāditaścidānandaikaghanaḥ svātantryasvabhāvaḥ śivaḥ sa eva svarūpagopanāsatattvaḥ san svecchayā naṭa iva dehapramātṛbhūmikāṁ samāpannaḥ pālyatvātpaśutvātpaśusattālakṣaṇaśca sukhaduḥkhādimaye svayaṁnirmite'smin bhogye bhoktā dehī — Iti kathyate na punaḥ śivavyatiriktaṁ kiñcitpadārthajātamasti| Eṣa eva ca bhagavān śivaḥ svātantryādbhoktṛbhogyalakṣaṇaṁ pramātṛprameyayugalakaṁ krīḍanakamiva samutthāpayati yadapekṣayāyaṁ bhedapradhāno vyavahāraḥ| Tasmādetadeva parameśvarasya svātantryaṁ niratiśayaṁ yat pūrṇasvarūpatāparityāgena bhoktṛbhogyasvabhāvaṁ paśubhāvamāpanno'pi sarvapramātṝṇāmanubhavitṛtayā svātmani prasphuraṁścidānandaikaghanaḥ śiva eva||5||
In this way (evam), after expounding on (pratipādya) this (etad) group of four (catuṣṭayam) eggs (aṇḍa), (Abhinavagupta) here --in the fifth stanza-- (atra eva), being intent on (paratayā) explaining (pratipādana) the state of enjoyer and object of enjoyment (bhogya-bhoktṛ-tva), expressed (āha) an aphorism --lit. a concise statement in verse-- (kārikām) for defining (nirūpaṇāya) the nature (sva-rūpa) of the universe (viśva):
In (antar) there (tatra) --in the group of four eggs--, this (idam) universe (viśvam), which is a manifold (vicitra) continuous flow (santānam) of worlds (bhuvana), sense organs (karaṇa) (and) bodies (tanu), (exists). And (ca) in that --in the universe-- (tatra), Śiva (śivaḥ) alone (eva), having assumed (gṛhīta) the state (bhāvaḥ) of a limited individual --lit. animal, beast-- (paśu) (in the form of) an embodied being (dehī), (is) the Enjoyer (bhoktā)||5||
"Tatrāntar" --in there-- (tatra antar), i.e. within (madhye) those (teṣu) four (caturṣu) eggs (aṇḍeṣu) that are well-known (prasiddheṣu) from the Āgama-s or Revealed Scriptures (āgama), this (idam) universe (viśvam) exists (vartate)1 . Of what kind (is it)? --viz. what is this universe like?-- (kīdṛśam) — (Abhinavagupta) said (āha) so (iti) (in the stanza): "Manifold" (vicitraḥ iti). The different (bhinnāḥ) varieties (bheda) of Rudra --liberated beings-- (rudra) (and) limited beings (kṣetra-jña) have tanu-s --lit. bodies-- (tanavaḥ) arranged (racanā-rūpāḥ) with multiple (nānā) mouths (mukha), hands (hasta), feet (pāda), etc. (ādi), i.e. they have forms (ākārāḥ) that are (bhūtāḥ) extraordinary (āścarya) due to (their) particular appearance (viśiṣṭa-saṁsthāna-rūpeṇa). Likewise (tathā), because of the differences (bhedena) from one another (anyonya), they --liberated and limited beings-- have superior (sātiśayāni) sense organs (karaṇāni) such as eyes (cakṣus), etc. (ādīni). For example (tad-yathā): The unsurpassed (niratiśayāni) (sense organs) of the Rudra experients (rudra-pramātṝṇām) possess (yuktāni) a number of good attributes (guṇa-gaṇa) (such as) omniscience (sarvajñatva), etc. (ādi). By those (sense organs) (taiḥ) indeed (kila) all (sarvam) this (idam) --anything-- is known (jñāyate) in one instant (ekasmin kṣaṇe) simultaneously (yugapad), and (ca) accomplished or carried out (sampādyate) (too in one instant simultaneously)2 . However (punar), these (etāni eva) sense organs (karaṇāni) of the limited beings (kṣetra-jñānām), being (santi) restrained (niyantritāni) by the niyatiśakti (niyati-śakti) of the Supreme (parama) Lord (īśvara), are only capable (samarthāni eva) of producing (karaṇa) knowledge (jñāna) about mere (mātra) things (padārtha) (such as) a pot (ghaṭa), etc. (ādi)3 . (In short,) all --i.e. anything-- (sarvam) is neither known (na... jñāyate) nor (na api) accomplished (kriyate) by those (sense organs) (taiḥ). Even in that case (tatra api), (there is) the preeminence or superiority (atiśayaḥ) of the sense organs (karaṇānām) of the Yogī-s (yoginām), that is to say (yad), by passing beyond (samullaṅghanāt) niyatiśakti (niyati-śakti), even (ápi) something or someone situated in a remote place (viprakṛṣṭam) (or) lying concealed (vyavahita) at a great distance (dūra) is defined accurately (paricchidyate) by their sense organs (tadīyeḥ karaṇaiḥ), and also (ca) pleasure (sukha), pain (duḥkha), etc. (ādi) present (gatam) in other (para) experients (pramātṛ) is known (jñāyate) (by them --by such sense organs--)4 .
Similarly (evam ca), even (ápi) in the case of the animals (tiraścām), though (api) they are contracted or limited (saṅkucitānām) by niyatiśakti (niyati-śaktyā), there is (vidyate) superiority (atiśayaḥ) of (their) sense organs (karaṇānām) even (api) with reference to those of the human beings (manuṣyebhyaḥ). For instance (tad-yathā): "Cows (gāvaḥ) see (paśyanti) their own house --the stable-- (sva-gṛham) even though (api) it is concealed from view (vyavahitam); horses (aśvāḥ) see (īkṣante) the road (mārgam) even (api) by night (rātrau); vultures (gṛdhrāḥ) see (avalokayanti) the prey (āmiṣam) though (ápi) it is located (gatam) at one hundred (śata) yojana-s (yojana) --1440 km (if one yojana is equal to 14.4 km), or else, being more conservative, 400 km (if one yojana is equal to 4 km)--; birds (pakṣiṇaḥ), flies (makṣikāḥ), (and even) extending as far as (paryantāḥ) (the very) mosquitoes (maśaka), (all of them) are seen (dṛśyante) roaming through (vihāriṇaḥ) the sky (ākāśa); snakes (sarīsṛpāḥ) go (gacchanti) (their) way (panthānam) on (their own) chest(s) (urasā), and (ca) they hear (śṛṇvanti) sounds (śabdān) by (their) sight (dṛśā); (and) camels (uṣṭrāḥ) draw (ākarṣayanti) a serpent (sarpam) out of (its) cave (gartāt), even (api) from afar (dūrāt), by means of (their) breathing alone (śvāsa-mātreṇa... iti)". In this way (evam), it is to be noted and inferred (ūhyam) the manifoldness (vaicitryam) with reference to the sense organs (karaṇa) everywhere (sarvatra). Likewise (tathā), "the bhuvana-s or worlds (where all those beings live) (bhuvanāni), which are well-known (prasiddhāni) from the revealed scriptures (āgama), by assuming circular, triangular (and) quadrangular aspects (vartula-tryaśra-caturaśra... ākāratayā) (as well as) those of a half-moon (ardha-candra) (and) an (open) umbrella (chatra), (do) have superior shapes (sātiśaya-saṁsthānāni... iti) (too)".
Thus (evam), (the expression vicitratanukaraṇabhuvanasantānam in the stanza means) the continuity (pravāhaḥ) of uninterrupted (avirata) ligatures (bandha) in whatever cosmos (yasmin viśvasmin), i.e. the continuous flow (santānaḥ) of these (eṣām) worlds, sense organs and bodies (tanu-karaṇa-bhuvanānām), which is vicitra --lit. manifold-- (vicitraḥ) (or) extraordinary (adbhuta-svabhāvaḥ) and with different (nānā) (degrees of) superiority (atiśaya). That (tad) which is of that kind (evaṁvidham) (is called) "the universe" (viśvam). And (ca) with regard to that (atra) universe (viśvasmin) which is of that kind (evaṁvidhe) (and) whose nature (svabhāve) is being bhogya or "to be enjoyed" (bhogya), (the obvious question arising is that) it --the universe-- is to be (enjoyed) (bhāvyam) by an "enjoyer" (bhoktrā) (or the whole thing would be senseless) — (Abhinavagupta) said (āha) so (iti) (in the stanza): "And (ca) in that --in the universe-- (tatra), (Śiva alone, in the form of) an embodied being (dehī), (is) the Enjoyer (bhoktā... iti)". (If) in the case of an atomic self --a limited being-- (yasya aṇoḥ) there is (vidyate) a deha or body (dehaḥ) (which), being scented (āghrātaḥ) by the three (traya) impurities (mala), (is) the resting place (āyatanam) of enjoyment (bhoga), (then) he (saḥ) (is) a "dehī" (dehī) (or) someone possessed of a physical body (śarīrī) whose nature (svabhāvaḥ) (is related to) pleasure (sukha), pain (duḥkha), etc. (ādi)5 . It is said that (iti kathyate) the bhoktā or enjoyer (bhoktā), i.e. the one experiencing (anubhavitā) pleasure (sukha), pain (duḥkha), etc. (ādi) in this (asmin) (physical body) replete with (maye) pleasure (sukha), pain (duḥkha), etc. (ādi), (is to be known as) paśupramātā or an experient who is an animal or beast (paśu-pramātā)6 .
An objection (nanu)!: (If) even (api) in the case of a mere (mātrasya) atomic self --a limited individual-- (aṇu), there is no (na... vidyate) difference (bhedaḥ) with respect to (apekṣayā) the Highest (para) Experient (pramātṛ) --there is no difference between such a limited individual and the Supreme Self--, why (kutaḥ) is (he) called (nāma) a miserable (varākaḥ) embodied being (dehī) who is different from (vyatiriktaḥ) Him (tad)? (The answer to that question) has been (already) expressed (this way) (yad uktam):
"Even (api) a (small) region (pradeśaḥ) of Brahma (brahmaṇaḥ) has all the forms --i.e. it is omnipresent-- (sārvarūpyam), cannot be surpassed (anatikrāntaḥ) and (ca... ca) is beyond thought (avikalpyaḥ... iti)."
And (ca) according to the axiom (nyāyāt):
"Even (api) in each of the tattva-s or categories (eka-ekatra ca tattve) there is the form (rūpatā) of the thirty-six (ṣaṭ-triṁśat) tattva-s (tattva... iti)."
only (eva) one (eka) Experient (pramātā), viz. the Supreme (parama) Lord (īśvaraḥ) who is united with (yuktaḥ) His own (sva) Power (śakti) (and) whose essence (vapus eva) is the Great (mahā) Effulgence or Light (prakāśaḥ), shines (avabhāsate) as not different (abhinnaḥ eva) from all (sarvatas) --in unity with all--7 . (Therefore,) even if (api) there was admission (abhyupagame) of the existence (astitva) of an embodied being (dehinaḥ) who, in being different (bhinnasya) from Him (tatas), is not revealed by His Light (aprakāśamānasya), since there is insufficiency of means (anupapatteḥ) for the manifestation (prakāśamānatva), existence (sattā) cannot be ascertained (na... niścīyate). (However,) if (ced) he is revealed by His Light (prakāśate), in that case (tarhi): "one (ekaḥ) Experient (pramātā) (alone), who is not different from (abhinnaḥ) (His) Light (prakāśa) indeed (eva), (remains) in That (tasmin) whose nature (ātmani) is the Highest (para) Brahma (brahma... iti)". On the other hand (punar api), this (ayam) duality (bhedaḥ) characterized (lakṣaṇaḥ) by enjoyer (bhoktṛ) (and) enjoyed (bhogya) --by subject and object-- exists (san) only to that point or extent (kim-paratvena) --it is only valid from that viewpoint--8 .
Thus (iti), the one who thinks (samarthayamānaḥ) of everything (sarvam) --i.e. Abhinavagupta-- said (āha) (in the present stanza): "Śiva (śivaḥ) alone (eva), having assumed (gṛhīta) the state (bhāvaḥ) of a limited individual --lit. animal, beast-- (paśu... iti)". He Himself who (yaḥ ayam) (is) the Fortunate One (bhagavān), i.e. Śiva (śivaḥ), whose essence (svabhāvaḥ) is Absolute Freedom (svātantrya) (and) who is a compact mass (eka-ghanaḥ) of Consciousness (cit) (and) Bliss (ānanda), as will be explained (pratipāditaḥ) immediately after (samanantaram), conceals (saḥ eva... gopanā-satattvaḥ san) His essential nature (sva-rūpa) of His own Will (sva-icchayā), (and,) like (iva) an actor (naṭaḥ), He plays (samāpannaḥ) the role (bhūmikām) of an experient (pramātṛ) endowed with a physical body (deha). And (ca) since the state of being a paśu or animal --a limited individual-- (paśutvāt) is protected and nourished (by Him) (pālyatvāt), He is characterized by (lakṣaṇaḥ) the existence (sattā) of paśu-s (paśu). (As a result,) He is said (iti kathyate) (to become) an embodied being (dehī) who is an enjoyer (bhoktā) with regard to this (asmin) bhogya --the one to be enjoyed, viz. the universe-- (bhogye) which is full of (maye) pleasure (sukha), pain (duḥkha), etc. (ādi) (and) has been created (nirmite) by Himself (svayam).
Nonetheless (punar), there is (asti) nothing (na... kiñcit) that, having arisen or emerged (jātam) from a padārtha --two possible translations here: either lit. "from the meaning of a word" or "from a tattva or category of the universal manifestation"-- (pada-artha), is different from (vyatiriktam) Śiva (śiva). And (ca) this very (eṣaḥ eva) Fortunate (bhagavān) Śiva (śivaḥ), through (His) Absolute Freedom (svātantryāt), sets up --causes to arise-- (samutthāpayati) the pair (yugalakam) of experient --knower-- (pramātṛ) (and) experienced --knowable-- (prameya) appearing as (lakṣaṇam) enjoyer (bhoktṛ) (and) enjoyed (bhogya), as if it were (iva) a plaything or toy (krīḍanakam). (Just) with reference to (apekṣayā) that (yad) (is all) this (ayam) question (vyavahāraḥ) about what is chiefly dual (bheda-pradhānaḥ) --duality between experient and experienced, enjoyer and enjoyed--. Therefore (tasmāt), this (etad eva) Absolute Freedom (svātantryam) of the Supreme Lord (parama-īśvarasya) (is) unsurpassed (niratiśayam), inasmuch as (yad) only (eva) Śiva (śivaḥ) flashes (prasphuran) in one's own Self (sva-ātmani) as a compact mass (eka-ghanaḥ) of Consciousness (cit) (and) Bliss (ānanda) endowed with the State of Experient (anubhavitṛtayā) of all the experients (sarva-pramātṝṇām) even (api) after His assuming (āpannaḥ) the condition (bhāvam) of paśu or animal --the limited individual-- (paśu) —which essentially consists of (sva-bhāvam) enjoyer (bhoktṛ) (and) enjoyed (bhogya)— by abandoning (parityāgena) the State of (His) Perfect and Full Essential Nature (pūrṇa-sva-rūpatā)||5||
1 In Trika, 92 Āgama-s or Revealed Scriptures are indicated: 64 are Bhairavāgama-s (completely non-dualistic); 18 are Rudrāgama-s (a mixture of both non-dualism and dualism); and finally 10 are Śivāgama-s (completely dualistic). Dualism is when you consider the Supreme Lord as different from you. Non-dualism is when you consider that there is no difference between you and the Supreme Lord, i.e. you are the Supreme Lord and the Supreme Lord is you. Mixture of non-dualism and dualism is when you consider that you are in unity with the Supreme Lord but at the same time you are not exactly like Him, viz. you are different from Him despite your being in unity with Him, in the same way heat coming from a flame is part of such a flame and in unity with it, but is different from the flame itself. Just a mere example for you to understand me. Triká (non-dualistic northern India's Shaivism) is mainly interested in the 64 Bhairavāgama-s and not in the other two sets of Revealed Scriptures, which are mostly worshiped by another form of Shaivism called Śaivasiddhānta (southern India's Shaivism that is characterized by the presence of dualism and non-dualism). Well, another long story as it is always the case in this huge universe known as Shaivism.
2 Rudra-s or liberated beings are 50 as I explained before (in the note 10 of the first stanza). They are in charge of the manifestation, maintenance and withdrawal of the universe. They are not able to veil one's own essential nature or reveal it. These acts are in charge of Śiva Himself, the Supreme Lord. He alone is able to veil His own Self and reveal Him to someone at will. No one else can do that because only Śiva is endowed with Absolute Freedom (Svātantrya). For this reason, a great Yogī that is fully enlightened is never impressed by Rudra-s (however powerful they may be), let alone by other human beings, but only by Śiva. Because Śiva alone is Bestower of final liberation. People being impressed by other people, the universe, gods or even Rudra-s are not still fully awakened to their own Self (Śiva).
3 The niyatiśakti of the Supreme Lord is the power (śakti) that generates restriction (niyati) in the sense organs of the limited beings. The word niyati (restriction) in this context has nothing to do with the Niyatitattva (category 11 of the universal manifestation - See Tattvic Chart for more information). The term śakti means "power" and not "energy" as it is sometimes translated. What is the difference? Because an energy is inert (jaḍa) while a power is conscious or living (caitanya). By "inert" I did not mean "static". For example, electricity is a dynamic energy but it is inert. Why? Because it is not conscious or living. What is this?? For example: The outlet on my wall here delivers 220 V. If I happen to put my fingers into it, I will receive 220 V and not only the quantity of voltage that is required for my body not to die in the process. Electricity is not that intelligent! By certain devices electricity is made intelligent, apparently, but it essentially remains inert or unintelligent always because it lacks consciousness. A power is not like that, i.e. inert. Remember that inert and conscious/living are not at all synonymous with "static" and "dynamic", respectively, but rather with "devoid of consciousness" and "endowed with consciousness".
A power can be relatively static then and still it is a power and not an energy. And an energy can be moving everywhere, but it is still inert because of its not having consciousness by itself. For example: The celebrated Kuṇḍalinīśakti is Śakti Herself (the Power of the Self, the Power of Śiva) but stationed in the body, as it were. She is conscious/living/intelligent. If not so, i.e. a power, for instance, the bodies of the ones meditating on Śiva in themselves would evaporate during the process. Why? Because when one meditates on his own Self that way, one gets in touch with Kuṇḍalinīśakti sooner or later. If She was not intelligent enough, one would receive a shock of infinite magnitude and the whole body would evaporate instantly. But that is not happening, isn't it? Why? Because She is conscious (caitanya) and adequately/compassionately regulates the "voltage" for one's body not to die during the meditation.
Consequently, when this Kuṇḍalinīśakti regulates and limits the power of perception in the sense organs of the limited beings, She is known as niyatiśakti.
4 The great Yogī-s can do that easily because space and time has no relevance in their case. How is this possible? Time exists only when one "has something to do" and not before or after that. If you have nothing to do, there is no time for you. The problem is that in "bondage", one has always something to do. In this way, the notion of time continues to exist. I am not saying that time is an illusion or nonexistent in an absolute way. NO. It is just relative to the level of consciousness of the one perceiving. If time was an absolute reality, it would not change across the species. For instance: the day of Brahmā (the regent of the highest material world called Brahmaloka - Read the last note of the previous stanza) lasts 8,640,000,000 human years (if my memory serves me well) while the day of a human being just lasts 24 hours. Those differences across the species show that time is not a "solid" reality as most people use to think of. In the case of great Yogī-s who have attained Self-realization, time is so relevant like mere chaff driven off by the wind. People in bondage, obviously, are always so afraid of time.
And space is not important in the case of the great Yogī-s because it can be easily bent by the trances. Modern science specifies that an object with a great mass can significantly bend the space around it, e.g. the sun. In the same way, a great Yogī, whose "spiritual" mass is extreme, can easily bend the space around him. Space can be compared to a square fabric that is suspended in the air. When the fabric is unfolded that way, the four corners look separate from each other. Anyway, if you drop a heavy ball in the middle of that fabric, it will curve accordingly and the corners will come closer to one another. If the ball is very very heavy, the four corners will be brought together in the end. Likewise, when a great Yogī enters into trance, his spiritual mass becomes infinite like that of the Self. This is because he and the Self are one and the same Reality. He is Śiva and Śiva is him, there is no difference here. As a result, all the objects that seemed to be far away from each other when one dwells in the ordinary state of consciousness, appear now simultaneously in "one place". This is very easy to understand, right?
5 By "atomic self", Yogarāja refers to puruṣa (tattva or category 12 in the universal manifestation). At that level, Śiva has assumed contraction or limitation but He has not entered into any subtle body yet... let alone a physical one. With the arrival of tattva-s 14 (intellect), 15 (ego) and 16 (mind), along with the Tanmātra-s [subtle elements (tattva-s 27 to 31)], this atomic self who is purely "subjective" is transformed into "ego" that is turned to "objectivity", i.e. that is interested in objects. This interest in objects will bring about the manifestation of the physical body or sthūladeha in order to enjoy them. When this gross body (scented by the three impurities known as Āṇavamala, Māyīyamala and Kārmamala - Read Trika 4) is finished, the atomic self is then turned into a dehī or embodied being. This completes the process of bondage. In other words, with the arrival of the embodied being, Śiva makes sure that He will suffer like an animal for years to come. From the Śiva's viewpoint, all this is a divine Play, but from the embodied being's viewpoint all this is a great tragedy.
6 This embodied being is a paśu (lit. animal, beast) or paśupramātā (lit. an experient that is an animal or beast) because his happiness is always at the mercy of external or internal factors (weather, money, thoughts, emotions, etc.), because he uses to bite his liberator (e.g. disciples attacking his spiritual Guru-s directly or indirectly) and because he goes nowhere in the end (i.e. he does not attain final liberation from bondage). I made this point clear in the 7th note of the previous stanza.
7 The Highest Reality is always "non-dual". Therefore, even after assuming the form of all these miserable embodied beings, Śiva shines always in unity with all of them, as the Supreme Self. Dualism is always related to ignorance. When most people are confronted with the question that "they are God Himself" (absolute non-dualism), they usually say: "How could we be God when we are so imperfect, so limited?". In this way of reasoning, they show their ignorance. They are identified with their physical and subtle bodies consisting of gross elements, mind, ego, intellect, etc. They are not conscious of their divine Self who is Śiva. Even people that are apparently religious have the same ignorant way of reasoning about their identity. Next, they say that God is All-mighty... but if this is true, He can be all of those people too, at 100% in each of them. If those apparently religious people reply that God cannot be all of them, at 100% in each of them, then their God is Almost-All-Mighty. As there are always this kind of incoherence in dualism (bheda), dualism must be strongly rejected by wise people that are in search of final liberation. Even the mixture of dualism and non-dualism called bhedābheda appearing as "I am one with God but at the same time I am different from Him" must also be rejected as an useless thing, because it is still tinged with dualism. The Truth is always non-dual (abheda) in the form of "I am God, I am Śiva" or better "God is me, Śiva is me". This is the only way out of bondage.
8 This statement could look like "science fiction" or "supernatural" but it is very easy to understand if one reasons adequately. His Light or Effulgence (Prakāśa) is not mere inert light, i.e. a light that is devoid of intelligence or consciousness. For example, all the light emanating from this lamp placed in front of me now is inert. However, the Light of my real Self (Śiva) is conscious and intelligent. Due to this Light I can see the inert light of this lamp right here and right now. And if I close my eyes, I can see darkness due to this Light too. And in my dreams, I can watch all that is happening in my mind by the Light of my real Self again. And even in the void of deep sleep, I can see all that by this Light. And this Light is not only mere Prakāśa but It is conscious or intelligent as it is endowed with Vimarśa or Śakti. It is Light knowing that It is Light that illuminates all. If somebody happens to ask: "But how do you know that His Light is there?". Because if His Light was not there I would have never become aware of all those things. For instance, how did I come to know about the void present in deep sleep? Because I perceived it somehow. How? By His Light. Simple to understand, right?
"Even if there was admission of the existence of an embodied being who, in being different from Him, is not revealed by His Light, since there is insufficiency of means for the manifestation, existence cannot be ascertained": Dualism suggests that there is an embodied being who can exist being different from Him. But there is insufficiency of means for his manifestation. Why? Because one cannot go any other place where His Light is not present there. Do you not believe me? Try to go some place where His Light is absent. You cannot do that, because His Light goes with you as Yourself, as your real Self (Śiva). As this is so, there is always insufficiency of means for proving that an embodied being can be manifested by "another thing" but His Light. As a result, one cannot ascertain or establish the existence of such an embodied being ever! Do you know some person endowed with a body who has not been revealed by His Light that is in unity with yourself? No, because even if you merely think of someone like that, that thought is also illuminated or revealed by His Light.
And all that is not being revealed by His Light, which is truly Your Light, simply does not exist at all. And even this nonexistence is also illuminated by Your Light because you are right now thinking about it. How long will it take for you to realize that you are Śiva then? Self-realization, i.e. Śiva-realization, is not something you will attain practicing meditation for years, or undertaking long pilgrimages, etc. NO! All that is for your mind. Self-realization has only to do with His Grace and your right way of reasoning about your real Self. If you do not know how to reason, you are easily defeated by your own powers. Look around! All that you can perceive is the work of your own powers. You are the One who watches all this work, illuminating it by Your Light. All this around is being revealed by Your Light, which is not mere inert light but conscious Light. Accordingly, Your Light is to be known as the Light of all lights, because It is always illuminating even the total absence the light. How long will it take for you to realize this?
What I have just taught you is confirmed by Yogarāja:
"(However,) if he is revealed by His Light, in that case: 'one Experient (alone), who is not different from (His) Light indeed, (remains) in That whose nature is the Highest Brahma'".
All in all, since this embodied being is always revealed by the Light of your own real Self, he is always in unity with this Light, i.e. you are always in unity with Your own Light, with the Light of your real Self (Śiva) despite your wandering in bondage as a limited experient full of imperfections, who is an enjoyer of all these miserable objects of enjoyment such as thoughts, emotions, dreams, colors, other people, meals, money, etc. A little portion of Brahma (the Absolute) is so great as Brahma Himself. Dualism is always delusive and ignorant, while non-dualism is the Truth. For that reason, bondage has to do with dualism while final liberation, also known as Self-realization, has to do with non-dualism. Consequently, someone who seeks complete liberation from bondage, by avoiding inferior dualistic viewpoints, should take refuge in the Light of Supreme Non-dualism always!
The final two paragraphs written by Yogarāja in his present commentary only express what I have explained here in detail. No need for me to additionally comment on those two paragraphs then. You are Śiva, the Highest Experient whose essential nature is a compact mass of Consciousness and Bliss. Remember this Truth constantly and recover the Absolute Freedom you never lost!
एवमप्येकश्चित्स्वभावः प्रमाता स यदि मायादिप्रमातृप्रमेयवैचित्र्येण नानात्वादनेकः — इति कथं विरुद्धयैकतया व्यवह्रियत एकश्चेत्किमिति नानारूपः — इति छायातपवद्विरोधाद्विरुद्धधर्माध्यासः समापतति न पुनरनेकरूप एकश्च पदार्थः स्यात्। यदुक्तम्
अयमेव भेदो भेदहेतुर्भावानां यद्विरुद्धधर्माध्यासः कारणभेदो वा।
इति। लौकिकमत्र दृष्टान्तं प्रदर्शयन् दार्ष्टान्तिके चोद्यं समर्थयते
नानाविधवर्णानां रूपं धत्ते यथामलः स्फटिकः।
यथैकोऽपि स्फटिकमणिस्तत्तल्लाक्षानीलाद्युपाधिवैचित्र्यसहस्रेण तत्तद्वैचित्र्यं स्वात्मनि धारयंस्तथा विचित्रितो भवति न पुनस्तस्य स्फटिकताहानिरेतावता समुत्पद्यते। एतदेव स्फटिकमणेर्मणित्वं यत्तत्तद्विशेषेणाच्छुरितेऽपि तस्मिन् स्फटिकमणिरयम् — इत्यबाधिता सर्वस्य सर्वदैव प्रतीतिः। केवलमत्रामी लाक्षादयः स्फुरन्ति — इति व्यवह्रियते न पुनर्लाक्षाद्युपाधिः पटमिव तं विशिनष्टि येन स्वरूपविप्रलोपोऽस्य स्यात्। तस्मादेतदेवामलत्वं मणेर्यदुपाधिरूपान् आकारान् बिभर्ति स्वस्वरूपतया च प्रथते। तथैवायमीश्वरः स्वतन्त्रश्चिदेकघन एककोऽपि स्वच्छे स्वात्मदर्पणे देवमनुष्यपशुपक्षिस्थावरान्तानां रुद्रक्षेत्रज्ञादिपदार्थरूपाणां विशेषाणां स्वयं निर्मितानां च रूपत्वं वर्णवैचित्र्यं स्फटिकमणिवत्स्वात्माभेदेन धारयंस्ततोऽपि समुत्तीर्णत्वादहम् — इत्येवमखण्डचमत्कारोपबृंहितं नानारूपमप्येकं स्वात्मानं प्रत्यवमृशति। इत्थमप्यस्यैकताखण्डनामयो भिन्नरूपो देशः कालो वा न कश्चिद्विद्यते यदपेक्षयैतस्य स्वात्ममहेश्वरस्य विरुद्धधर्माध्यासादिदूषणमुच्येतापि। साक्षात्कारलक्षणं चित्रज्ञानं नानाभेदसम्भिन्नमपि परैरप्येकमेव तदभ्युपगतम्। यथा
अशक्यदर्शनस्तं हि पतत्यर्थे विवेचयन्॥
इति प्रमाणवार्त्तिके। किं पुनः सर्वतः पूर्णस्य ज्ञातुश्चिदेकवपुषः स्वतन्त्रस्य याविमौ देशकालौ भेदकतयाभिमतौ मूर्तिवैचित्र्यक्रियावैचित्र्याभ्यां यस्य समुल्लासकतया स्थितौ कथं तस्यैव भगवतो व्यवच्छेदकौ स्याताम्। यदि नाम देशकालयोः कदाचित्संविदो भेदेन स्थितिरभविष्यत्तदा तत्कृतोऽपि विरुद्धधर्माध्यास उदपत्स्यत — इति तत्र सम्भावना स्यात्। यावता तयोः संवित्प्रकाशेनैव स्वात्मसत्तासिद्धिः — इति सिद्ध एवानेकस्वभावोऽप्येक एव महेश्वरश्चिन्मूर्तिर्भेदधर्मे पुनर्विरुद्धधर्माध्यासो दुरुद्धर एव — इति॥६॥
Evamapyekaścitsvabhāvaḥ pramātā sa yadi māyādipramātṛprameyavaicitryeṇa nānātvādanekaḥ — Iti kathaṁ viruddhayaikatayā vyavahriyata ekaścetkimiti nānārūpaḥ — Iti chāyātapavadvirodhādviruddhadharmādhyāsaḥ samāpatati na punaranekarūpa ekaśca padārthaḥ syāt| Yaduktam
Ayameva bhedo bhedaheturbhāvānāṁ yadviruddhadharmādhyāsaḥ kāraṇabhedo vā|
iti| Laukikamatra dṛṣṭāntaṁ pradarśayan dārṣṭāntike codyaṁ samarthayate
Nānāvidhavarṇānāṁ rūpaṁ dhatte yathāmalaḥ sphaṭikaḥ|
Yathaiko'pi sphaṭikamaṇistattallākṣānīlādyupādhivaicitryasahasreṇa tattadvaicitryaṁ svātmani dhārayaṁstathā vicitrito bhavati na punastasya sphaṭikatāhāniretāvatā samutpadyate| Etadeva sphaṭikamaṇermaṇitvaṁ yattattadviśeṣeṇācchurite'pi tasmin sphaṭikamaṇirayam — Ityabādhitā sarvasya sarvadaiva pratītiḥ| Kevalamatrāmī lākṣādayaḥ sphuranti — Iti vyavahriyate na punarlākṣādyupādhiḥ paṭamiva taṁ viśinaṣṭi yena svarūpavipralopo'sya syāt| Tasmādetadevāmalatvaṁ maṇeryadupādhirūpān ākārān bibharti svasvarūpatayā ca prathate| Tathaivāyamīśvaraḥ svatantraścidekaghana ekako'pi svacche svātmadarpaṇe devamanuṣyapaśupakṣisthāvarāntānāṁ rudrakṣetrajñādipadārtharūpāṇāṁ viśeṣāṇāṁ svayaṁ nirmitānāṁ ca rūpatvaṁ varṇavaicitryaṁ sphaṭikamaṇivatsvātmābhedena dhārayaṁstato'pi samuttīrṇatvādaham — Ityevamakhaṇḍacamatkāropabṛṁhitaṁ nānārūpamapyekaṁ svātmānaṁ pratyavamṛśati| Itthamapyasyaikatākhaṇḍanāmayo bhinnarūpo deśaḥ kālo vā na kaścidvidyate yadapekṣayaitasya svātmamaheśvarasya viruddhadharmādhyāsādidūṣaṇamucyetāpi| Sākṣātkāralakṣaṇaṁ citrajñānaṁ nānābhedasambhinnamapi parairapyekameva tadabhyupagatam| Yathā
Aśakyadarśanastaṁ hi patatyarthe vivecayan||
iti pramāṇavārttike| Kiṁ punaḥ sarvataḥ pūrṇasya jñātuścidekavapuṣaḥ svatantrasya yāvimau deśakālau bhedakatayābhimatau mūrtivaicitryakriyāvaicitryābhyāṁ yasya samullāsakatayā sthitau kathaṁ tasyaiva bhagavato vyavacchedakau syātām| Yadi nāma deśakālayoḥ kadācitsaṁvido bhedena sthitirabhaviṣyattadā tatkṛto'pi viruddhadharmādhyāsa udapatsyata — Iti tatra sambhāvanā syāt| Yāvatā tayoḥ saṁvitprakāśenaiva svātmasattāsiddhiḥ — Iti siddha evānekasvabhāvo'pyeka eva maheśvaraścinmūrtirbhedadharme punarviruddhadharmādhyāso duruddhara eva — Iti||6||
Notwithstanding (evam api), (in His being) "one" (ekaḥ) Experient (pramātā) whose nature (svabhāvaḥ) is Consciousness (cit), if (yadi) He (saḥ) (becomes) "many" (anekaḥ iti) because of multiplicity (nānātvāt) (appearing) as the diversity (vaicitryeṇa) of knowers --experients-- (pramātṛ) (and) knowables --objects-- (prameya) (generated) by Māyā (māyā), etc. (ādi), how (katham) is He designated (vyavahriyate) as "one" (ekatayā), which is the opposite (to "many") (viruddhayā)? (Besides,) if (ced) (He is) "one" (ekaḥ), why (kim-iti) (is He) multiform (nānā-rūpaḥ)? Thus (iti), due to the contradiction (virodhāt) —like (vat) sunshine (ātapa) contained in a shadow (chāyā)—, a superimposition or false attribution (adhyāsaḥ) of essential qualities (dharma) that are opposite (to each other) (viruddha) would appear suddenly (samāpatati). Moreover (punar... ca), "one" (ekaḥ) thing (padārthaḥ) is (syāt) not (na) "multiform" (aneka-rūpaḥ).
That (same truth) (yad) has been expressed (uktam) (in this way):
"This (ayam eva) difference (bhedaḥ) among the objects (bhāvānām) is caused (hetuḥ) by the difference (itself in them) (bheda) or else (yad... vā) (it is the result of a) superimposition (adhyāsaḥ) —produced by a variety (bhedaḥ) of causes (kāraṇa)— of essential qualities (dharma) that are opposite (to one another) (viruddha... iti)."
Due to the presence of someone who uses an example or simile as a proof (dārṣṭāntike), (Abhinavagupta) resolves --finishes off-- (samarthayate) the difficult question raised to invite for controversy (codyam) by showing (pradarśayan) here --in the sixth stanza-- (atra) an example (dṛṣṭāntam) related to ordinary life (laukikam)1 :
Just as (yathā) a pure (amalaḥ) crystal (sphaṭikaḥ) assumes (dhatte) a form or aspect (rūpam) containing various colors (nānāvidha-varṇānām), even so (tad-vat) the Lord (īśaḥ) also (api) (assumes) the form or aspect (rūpatvam) of gods (sura), human beings (mānuṣa), animals (paśu) (and) trees (pādapa)||6||
Just as (yathā) a crystal (sphaṭika-maṇiḥ), though (api) one (ekaḥ), takes (dhārayan) upon itself (sva-ātmani) all that (tad-tad) manifoldness (vaicitryam) appearing as a thousand (sahasreṇa) varieties (vaicitrya) of various (tad-tad) qualifying attributes (upādhi) such as red dye (lākṣā), blue (nīla), etc. (ādi), even so (tathā) (the Lord) becomes (bhavati) variegated (vicitritaḥ). Besides (punar), meanwhile --while the crystal takes upon itself all that manifoldness of colors, etc.-- (etāvatā) no (na) decrease or diminution (hāniḥ) in its (tasya) condition as a crystal (sphaṭikatā) takes place (samutpadyate)2 .
This very (condition) (etad eva) (is also) the condition as a maṇi --lit. gem-- (maṇitvam) in the case of the crystal --lit. crystal-gem-- (sphaṭika-maṇeḥ), which (yad) (makes that), even (api) when it --the crystal-- is covered (ācchurite... tasmin) with various different characteristics --e.g. red dye, blue, etc.-- (tad-tad-viśeṣeṇa), (there is) always (sarvadā eva) in everybody (sarvasya) the unimpeded (abādhitā) perception (pratītiḥ) (that) "this (ayam) (is) a crystal (sphaṭika-maṇiḥ... iti)"3 .
"Only (kevalam) those (amī) (qualifying attributes such as) red dye (lākṣā), etc. (ādi), shine forth (sphuranti) here (atra... iti)"... this is what is said (vyavahriyate). However (punar), the qualifying attribute (upādhiḥ) (such as) red dye (lākṣā), etc. (ādi) does not (na) make it --the crystal-- different (na... tam viśinaṣṭi) as (it does) in the case of (iva) a piece of cloth (paṭam), (and) on which account (yena) there is no (na... syāt) annihilation (vipralopaḥ) of its --of the crystal-- (asya) essential nature (sva-rūpa)4 .
Therefore (tasmāt), this (etad) (is) indeed (eva) the total purity (amalatvam) of the gem --the crystal-- (maṇeḥ), which (yad) (allows the crystal) to bear (bibharti) forms (ākārān) appearing (rūpān) as the qualifying attribute (upādhi) and (ca) (simultaneously) manifest itself (prathate) with its own essential nature (sva-sva-rūpatayā).
Likewise (tathā eva), this (ayam) Free (svatantraḥ) Lord (īśvaraḥ), who is a compact mass (eka-ghanaḥ) of Consciousness (cit), though (api) solitary (ekakaḥ), on the extremely clear (svacche) mirror (darpaṇe) of His own (sva) Self (ātma), holds (dhārayan) —in unity (abhedena) with His own (sva) Self (ātma)—, as if He were (vat) a Crystal (sphaṭika-maṇi), the diversity (vaicitryam) of colors (varṇa), i.e. the Form (rūpatvam) of the different characteristics (viśeṣāṇām) that appear (rūpāṇām) as the categories (padārtha) beginning (ādi) with Rudra-s --liberated beings in charge of manifestation, maintenance and withdrawal of the universe-- (rudra) (and) limited individuals --lit. knowers of the field-- (kṣetra-jña) (and) ending in (antānām) gods (deva), human beings (manuṣya), animals (paśu), birds (pakṣi) (and) vegetables (sthāvara), as well as (ca) (the remaining) things which have been created (nirmitānām) by Himself (svayam)5 . (Also,) since (this Free Lord) dwells beyond (samuttīrṇatvāt) even (api) that --all the things having been enumerated-- (tatas) (as) "I" (aham iti), thus (evam), He is conscious of --lit. touches-- (pratyavamṛśati) His own Self (sva-ātmānam), which is closely clung (upabṛṁhitam) to the undivided (akhaṇḍa) Delight (camatkāra) (and) is "one" (ekam) even though (api) appearing as multiform --replete with various forms-- (nānā-rūpam)6 .
In this way (ittham api), there is no (na kaścid vidyate) space (deśaḥ) or (vā) time (kālaḥ), whose nature(s) (rūpaḥ) have to do with difference or duality (bhinna), breaking (khaṇḍana-mayaḥ) His (asya) unity (ekatā). (So,) with regard to (apekṣayā) that (subject-matter) (yad), a refutation (dūṣaṇam) of the superimposition or false attribution (adhyāsa) of essential qualities (dharma) which are opposite (to each other) (viruddha), etc. (ādi) in the case of this (etasya) Great Lord (mahā-īśvarasya), who is one's own (sva) Self (ātma), has been (tacitly) expressed (by Abhinavagupta in the stanza) (ucyeta) certainly (api). (And) the cognition (jñānam) of a painting (citra), which --the cognition-- has to do (lakṣaṇam) with clear or direct perception (sākṣāt-kāra), though (api) it is completely divided (sambhinnam) in multiple (nānā) parts or portions --subcognitions-- (bheda), it is admitted (tad abhyupagatam) as being only (eva) one (ekam) by others --by the Buddhists-- (paraiḥ api).
As (yathā) (has been established) in Pramāṇavārttika (pramāṇavārttike):
"In the cognition (vijñāne) of a painting (citra), the qualifying attribute (upādhiḥ) of (this) knowledge (jñāna) such as blue (nīla), etc. (ādiḥ), is only one --viz. it is not different from the cognition of the painting itself-- (ananya-bhāk) (or) its perception --the perception of the qualifying attribute-- (darśanaḥ) would be impossible (aśakya). (In fact, even) the one distinguishing or differentiating (vivecayan) that --the qualifying attribute of this knowledge-- (tam) is indeed included (hi patati) in (this) matter (called "cognition of a painting") (arthe... iti)7 ."
(Then,) in the case of the Free (svatantrasya) Knower (jñātuḥ) who is thoroughly (sarvatas) Full (pūrṇasya) (and) whose only essence (eka-vapuṣaḥ) is Consciousness (cit), how much more or less (kim punar) (can) these (two) (imau), space and time (deśa-kālau), which (yau) are considered as (abhimatau) makers of differences or duality (bhedakatayā), remain (sthitau) as the ones making Him appear (yasya samullāsakatayā) as the diversities or varieties (vaicitrya... vaicitryābhyām) of form (mūrti) (and) action (kriyā)? (And) how (katham) could (those two) be (syātām) delimitors (vyavacchedakau) of that (tasya eva) Fortunate One --the Lord-- (bhagavataḥ)?
If ever (yadi nāma), at some time or other (kadācid), there would be (abhaviṣyat) existence (sthitiḥ) of space and time (deśa-kālayoḥ) as different (bhedena) from Consciousness (saṁvidaḥ), then (tadā) the superimposition (adhyāsaḥ) of essential qualities (dharma) that are opposite (to one another) (viruddha) "might arise" (udapatsyata iti) as a result or consequence (kṛtaḥ api) of that (duality) (tad), i.e. there might be (syāt) an assumption or supposition (sambhāvanā) regarding that (tatra)8 .
(Still,) inasmuch as (yāvatā) in the case of both --of space and time-- (tayoḥ), the establishment (siddhi) of their own (sva-ātma) existence (sattā) (occurs) through the Light (prakāśena) of Consciousness (saṁvid) alone (eva), (then) it has thus been proved (iti siddhaḥ eva) (that) the Great Lord (mahā-īśvaraḥ) whose form (mūrtiḥ) is Consciousness (cit) (is) only (eva) "one" (ekaḥ) even though (api) (He seems to be) of the nature (svabhāvaḥ) of many (aneka). Nonetheless (punar), in the case that the essential qualities (dharme) producing differences (bheda) (were considered as independent from the Great Lord, then) the (theory about a) superimposition (adhyāsaḥ) of essential qualities (dharma) that are opposite (to each other) (viruddha) (would be) "difficult to remove (dus-uddharaḥ) indeed (eva iti)9 "||6||
1 Now, a dārṣṭāntika (one who uses a dṛṣṭānta -an example or simile- as a proof) raises the following doubt: "If the Great Lord is 'one', why is He said to become 'many'? And why is He multiform then? This would imply that an 'adhyāsa' (superimposition) must be summoned in order to explain the multiplicity in the Great Lord as in the case of Advaitavedānta (one of the three types of Vedānta), where Brahma, the Absolute that is devoid of any activity, is postulated as having the superimposition of Māyā (the illusory power of ignorance). As a result of that superimposition, the upādhi -substitute- called Īśvara (also known as Saguṇabrahma or Brahma with attributes) arises in the form of the "Lord of the universe" (for more information about these Advaitavedānta's statements read "Confusion between Vedānta and Trika" as well as "Learning to reason adequately"). Yogarāja, the commentator, is not specifying the philosophy this dārṣṭāntika follows, but according to his way of reasoning, I presume he is very probably a follower of Advaitavedānta. This kind of followers is prone to explain the processes by superimpositions (adhyāsa-s). As they cannot think of the Highest Reality (Brahma) as being "one" and "many" at the same time, and also since they cannot conceive that Brahma can be formless and multiform at the same time, they resort to a Māyā (the illusory power of ignorance) superimposed over the Reality of Brahma for explaining the coexistence of Brahma (devoid of activity and form) and universe (full of activities and forms). Trika does not support this viewpoint at all!
The one objecting the truth that the Great Lord is both one and many at the same time, as well as multiform even though He has "one form", quotes a passage to prove his point. In a nutshell this passage says that the difference among the objects is always produced either because the objects are essentially different from one another or because there is a superimposition over one of them or both. For example: A table is different from a chair because both objects are essentially different, but two identical tables can be different from each other simply because they were painted with different colors. Therefore, the color "superimposed" over the tables produces the difference between them. In the same way, the Supreme Lord (Paramaśiva), being one and having only one form, must have "something superimposed" so that He can appear as many and multiform. This is the argument presented by the one who objects. Abhinavagupta will sweep away his argumentation by another dṛṣṭānta -example or simile- extracted from the ordinary life. The 6th stanza is then simply his formulation of such an example.
2 Abhinavagupta compares the Lord to a pure crystal, because just as a crystal reflects all near it without changing its essential nature, even so the Lord exhibits multiplicity and various forms in spite of His being one and formless. When I say "formless" I mean that His form cannot be outlined even by the subtlest intellect. The difference between a mere crystal and the Lord is only that the crystal is reflecting objects that are outside itself. Besides, the crystal is not aware of the presence of such objects and their respective reflections on it. In this way, the Lord would be like a "divine" Crystal that reflects objects that are inside Himself and at the same time He is fully aware of their presence. All this multiplicity of beings, objects, roles, etc. cannot affect the purity of this divine Crystal. This is why when one fully realizes the Lord, viz. when one recognizes his own essential nature, what one perceives is the immutable Reality that has never been affected by anything. Śiva, the Great Lord, remains always the same and completely unaffected by all that is reflected on Him. This Śiva is You right here and right now and all these objects around along with all the thoughts in your mind, and the rest of things that are still unmanifest but ready to be manifested in the future, are reflecting on Your own Purity. And the space and time where all those things and thoughts dwell are also being reflected on Your own Purity. In this way, You seem to be "variegated" and full of different states and qualities, while simultaneously You remain completely Immaculate like a divine Crystal. This is the right way to think about "Oneself" and the universe. This kind of attitude cuts the chains of one's own ignorance at once.
3 When everybody takes a crystal, however covered it may be with colors, they say: "This is a crystal". There is no doubt about it, because the nature of the crystal overpowers the rest of qualifying attributes (e.g. colors) added to it. This is very easy to understand, right?
4 When everybody takes a crystal, they are fully aware that it is a crystal in spite of the presence of qualifying attributes on it (e.g. colors), and they just say: "Well, all these things added to the crystal are here"... but that does not change their mind about the nature of the crystal itself, i.e. all these qualifying attributes do not change the nature of the crystal itself as they do in the case of a piece of cloth (e.g. a piece of cloth soaked in red dye) since they do not annihilate the essential nature of the crystal at all. They are just here, being reflected by the crystal or even on the crystal (like painting), but they do not penetrate into the core of the crystal itself. So, the essential nature of the crystal remains unaltered. Likewise, all these things "inside" the Great Lord (You!) do not change Him. They are real, because they are existing within the Lord, but they cannot affect His innermost nature. When one says: "I am thin", "I am dull", "I am intelligent", "I am rich", etc., one is not speaking about Oneself but only about the physical body, the mind, external things, etc. What Oneself IS remains the same all the time. This is what one realizes at the moment of final liberation: "That Śiva (Oneself) never changed even though so many things seemed to have happened to Him".
5 Thus, due to the total Purity of this Great Lord, He can be the immutable Lord of all and at the same time be full of multiple forms. All the categories or padārtha-s, beginning with Rudra-s (the liberated beings in charge of the universal manifestation, maintenance and withdrawal) and the knowers of the field -the individual souls dwelling in the category 12 or Puruṣatattva- and ending in gods, human beings, animals, birds, vegetables and the rest of things manifested by the Lord Himself -in short, all that has emanated from the category 13 or Prakṛtitattva (viz. tattva-s 14 to 36)-... all that is held in unity with Himself by the Great Lord, as if He were a divine Crystal, though His own essential nature never changes even a little bit. This example shows unity and diversity existing simultaneously without contradicting each other.
6 And this Great Lord Śiva, since He dwells as "I", is fully conscious of His own nature (His Self). This Self is closely clung to the undivided Delight (i.e. to Śakti, the Power of Śiva Himself) that appears as His own "I-consciousness" (I AM). This is happening now: The reader is conscious of himself though so many objects and beings are being reflected on him. This is not happening to a distant Śiva who nobody knows, because Śiva is the Essence of the reader himself. If the reader "reads" all this and at the same time he thinks that he is not Śiva, he will not ever understand this scripture adequately. And the undivided Delight or Śakti is what Śiva experiences constantly in the form of different moods, from the extreme absence of Bliss to the extreme presence of Bliss while meditating, etc. All this is His "undivided" Delight. This Delight is "undivided" (akhaṇḍa) because It is always "one and the same one". So, all the moods, from the complete absence of Bliss to the complete presence of Bliss are also His Bliss or Delight.
Spiritual aspirants still bound by their own ignorance believe that Bliss is only happening when they are "extremely happy" in meditation, chanting of mantra-s and the like, while the rest of states are full of "something else" (not of Bliss). In this way, their Bliss lasts the time they are meditating, chanting, etc. in lotus posture, for example, but the rest of the day, when they are busy with other "worldly" things, they are not in Bliss but "sunk in misery". This erroneous concept as far as the real nature of Bliss is concerned is usually seen in this world. But real Bliss is not like that because if that was true, i.e. that Bliss is only lasting a while and the rest of the day one is sunk in "another thing that is not Bliss", such a Bliss would be "divided" and consequently worthless. Who would want a Bliss like that, a Bliss that lasts only while one is meditating, chanting, etc.?
Such aspirants that are incapacitated by their own impurity (Āṇavamala), look to make the rest of states apart from the one they experience in meditation, chanting, etc. "blissful" too, but they fail miserably. Because they do not have to "make" anything but only have the right attitude about the real nature of Bliss: "Sadness is Bliss", "pain is Bliss", "worries are Bliss", "stupidity is Bliss", "happiness is Bliss", "indifference is Bliss" and so on and on. When they learn to consider all those states, generally branded as "worldly states", as Bliss and Bliss alone, they finally succeed. So, even if they are sunk in total misery, they will be replete with "undivided" Bliss. This is the Key to escape from bondage, which is characterized by "absence of Bliss"... not because Bliss is not present in bondage but rather because "one thinks that that absence of Bliss is NOT Bliss". Spiritual enlightenment is always about having the right attitude, the Śiva's attitude (e.g. the right attitude about Bliss) and NOT about practices such as meditation, chanting of mantra-s and so forth.
7 When it is taught that space and time do not affect the Self, the hidden purport in that statement is shown here with the example of a crystal reflecting red dye, blue, etc. Space and time, like colors, only dye the crystal but never alter its essential nature. When someone says: "I am 19 years old" or "I live in Brazil", he really means "My body is 19 years old" and "My body live in Brazil". Śiva, his Self, dwells everywhere and nowhere at the same time. This is why that person is said not to be either inside or outside his body, because the Self is not bound to space and time like the body is. All in all, all these bodies you can see (including yours) contain a person (the Self) who is neither inside nor outside it. Yes, this is not mental but it lies beyond the arena of mind.
This analogy using a crystal refutes the theory of the superimposition hinted at by the one objecting. To give more support to such an analogy, Yogarāja quotes a fragment of a Buddhist scripture, the Dharmakīrti's Pramāṇavārttika, where the author indicates that there is total unity between the qualifying attributes of a painting, such as its colors, and the cognition (the act of knowing) of the painting itself. They are only one and the same thing. If it was not so, nobody could perceive the qualifying attributes (e.g. the colors there). In fact, even the one beholding the painting is included in the process known as "cognition of a painting". As a result, there is complete unity between knower, knowledge and knowable or no cognition would be possible. In the same way, there is full unity between the Self as a crystal and all the reflections taking place in Him. This is very easy to understand, right?
8 In this way, space and time are not making the Great Lord appear as the multiplicity you find in this universe, since they themselves are also reflections on the crystal of the Highest Reality. Also, space and time, being mere reflections, cannot confine the Great Lord by any means, i.e. they cannot delimit the Self.
The only way one could imagine that the theory of the superimposition of essential qualities that are opposite to each other (e.g. the many selves superimposed over the "only Self") is right, it would be in the case that space and time were different from the Self. With the existence of such a duality, the theory of the superimposition could be valid. But as that is never occurring, i.e. space and time are not different from the Self because if they were so, viz. different from Him, they would not exist at all in their not being perceived by Him, such as Kṣemarāja explained it extensively in his Śivasūtravimarśinī I.1, the theory of the superimposition is never valid in the case of the Great Lord Śiva.
9 As it has been proved then, space and time are not different from Śiva and consequently they cannot delimit Him or alter His nature at all. Never! So, the presence of all the beings that are living in the framework of space and time is not contradicting the Truth that the Self is only "one", because all of them are also not different from the Self Himself. Therefore, there is no need to summon the theory of superimposition to explain the presence of many selves in one Self. This theory dealing with superimpositions would only be difficult to remove in the case that there were essential qualities that produce differences (e.g. space and time) but existing "apart from the Great Lord". With the arrival of this duality, the theory of the superimposition would therefore become valid. Anyway, as this is not the case, because the Lord is one with space and time, the presence of all the things contained in space and time does not deny His solitary Existence. It is clear, isn't it? Now, when Yogarāja and I were speaking about the Great Lord (a.k.a. Śiva, the Self), we were talking about the reader and not about someone else. I am making this point clear, because the Great Lord is prone to forget Himself in this Play of His.
नन्वेक एव संवित्सतत्त्वः प्रमाताभ्युपगतस्तनुकरणभुवनतां समापन्नः सन् स एवानेकतां यातः - इति चेत्तर्हि तन्वादिविनाशे स एव विनष्टः स्यात्तदुत्पत्तौ वैष एव तदोत्पद्येत। एवं प्रतिप्रमातृ स एव जायतेऽस्ति - इत्यादि षड्भावविकारतया व्यवच्छिद्यते पुण्यपापस्वभावकर्मवैचित्र्येणैतस्यैव भगवतः स्वर्गनरकादिभोगः प्राप्तः - इति कथमुच्यते - स्वस्वरूप एव शिवः - इति। दृष्टान्तद्वारेणैतदपि समर्थयते
गच्छति गच्छति जल इव हिमकरबिम्बं स्थिते स्थितिं याति।
तनुकरणभुवनवर्गे तथाऽयमात्मा महेशानः॥७॥
यथा जलप्रवाहे याति सति हिमकरबिम्बं चन्द्रवपुर्वस्तुवृत्तेनाकाशस्थं स्वयमचलत्तात्मकं जलप्रवाहान्तःपतितमपि तद्गच्छति प्रयाति इव तथा तस्मिन्नेव क्षणेऽन्यत्र जलाशये निःस्तिमिते सति तदेव हिमकरबिम्बं स्थितिं गच्छतीव — इत्युभयथा सर्वप्रमातृभिरेतत्सम्भाव्यते न पुनः परमार्थेन तत्तथैव स्यात्। नापि जलगतौ देशकालौ भेदकतया चन्द्रमसः स्वरूपं गगनस्थं परामृशतः केवलं जलमेव तादृशमथ च तत्प्रतिबिम्बितस्य चन्द्रबिम्बस्य जलगतचलत्ताचलत्तादिको भेदो व्यवह्रियते — इत्येतावता गङ्गाजलगतस्य कर्दमपतितस्य वा शशिनः स्वस्वरूपतायां न काचित्क्षतिः। तथैवायमात्मा चैतन्यस्वभावः स्वयं निर्मिते तनुकरणभुवनसमूहे परिक्षीणे सति समुत्पन्ने वा प्रक्षीणः समुत्पन्नश्च — इति मायाव्यामोहितानां व्यवहारमात्रमेतज्जलगतचन्द्रवन्न पुनः स्वात्मा जायते म्रियते वा — इति। गीतासु एवमेवोक्तम्
न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचित् नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः।
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे॥
इति। तस्मादन्यमात्मा महेशानः स्वतन्त्रः सर्वस्वात्मप्रत्यवमर्शस्वभावः सर्वप्रमातॄणामनुभवितृतया प्रथमानस्ततस्तत्तदवस्थाविप्रलोपे समुत्पत्तौ वा स्वस्वरूप एव। एतदेव च दुर्घटकारि महेशानत्वं संवित्तत्त्वस्य यत्तथा तथा पशुप्रमातृतया स्वर्गनरकादिभोगभोक्ताऽपि सर्वानुभवितृतया संवित्स्वरूप एव। प्रत्युत पुण्यपापस्वर्गनरकक्षुत्पिपासादिको योऽयं पशुभावो बन्धकतया नियतः स यदि भगवता स्वात्मप्रकाशेन प्रकाशितः परामृष्टश्च स्यात्तदा यथोक्तां स्वात्मनि सत्तां लभतेऽन्यथा निःस्वभाव एवैषः — इति कथं स्वात्मनस्तस्यैव महेशस्य स्वरूपविप्रलोपायोच्यते। सर्वथा निर्मितमेव वस्तु संहार्यं समुत्पाद्यं वा देहादिरूपं स्यान्न पुनर्नित्ये भगवति चैतन्ये समुत्पत्तिविनाशौ कदाचिद्भवेताम्। तस्मादेक एवात्मा ग्राह्यग्राहकतया नानारूपस्वभावः सन् पुनरपि सर्वानुभवितृतया सर्वस्यैकतया प्रथते — इति न काचिदद्वयवादक्षतिः॥७॥
Nanveka eva saṁvitsatattvaḥ pramātābhyupagatastanukaraṇabhuvanatāṁ samāpannaḥ san sa evānekatāṁ yātaḥ - Iti cettarhi tanvādivināśe sa eva vinaṣṭaḥ syāttadutpattau vaiṣa eva tadotpadyeta| Evaṁ pratipramātṛ sa eva jāyate'sti - Ityādi ṣaḍbhāvavikāratayā vyavacchidyate puṇyapāpasvabhāvakarmavaicitryeṇaitasyaiva bhagavataḥ svarganarakādibhogaḥ prāptaḥ - Iti kathamucyate - Svasvarūpa eva śivaḥ - Iti| Dṛṣṭāntadvāreṇaitadapi samarthayate
Gacchati gacchati jala iva himakarabimbaṁ sthite sthitiṁ yāti|
Tanukaraṇabhuvanavarge tathā'yamātmā maheśānaḥ||7||
Yathā jalapravāhe yāti sati himakarabimbaṁ candravapurvastuvṛttenākāśasthaṁ svayamacalattātmakaṁ jalapravāhāntaḥpatitamapi tadgacchati prayāti iva tathā tasminneva kṣaṇe'nyatra jalāśaye niḥstimite sati tadeva himakarabimbaṁ sthitiṁ gacchatīva — Ityubhayathā sarvapramātṛbhiretatsambhāvyate na punaḥ paramārthena tattathaiva syāt| Nāpi jalagatau deśakālau bhedakatayā candramasaḥ svarūpaṁ gaganasthaṁ parāmṛśataḥ kevalaṁ jalameva tādṛśamatha ca tatpratibimbitasya candrabimbasya jalagatacalattācalattādiko bhedo vyavahriyate — Ityetāvatā gaṅgājalagatasya kardamapatitasya vā śaśinaḥ svasvarūpatāyāṁ na kācitkṣatiḥ| Tathaivāyamātmā caitanyasvabhāvaḥ svayaṁ nirmite tanukaraṇabhuvanasamūhe parikṣīṇe sati samutpanne vā prakṣīṇaḥ samutpannaśca — Iti māyāvyāmohitānāṁ vyavahāramātrametajjalagatacandravanna punaḥ svātmā jāyate mriyate vā — Iti| Gītāsu evamevoktam
Na jāyate mriyate vā kadācit nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ|
Ajo nityaḥ śāśvato'yaṁ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre||
iti| Tasmādanyamātmā maheśānaḥ svatantraḥ sarvasvātmapratyavamarśasvabhāvaḥ sarvapramātṝṇāmanubhavitṛtayā prathamānastatastattadavasthāvipralope samutpattau vā svasvarūpa eva| Etadeva ca durghaṭakāri maheśānatvaṁ saṁvittattvasya yattathā tathā paśupramātṛtayā svarganarakādibhogabhoktā'pi sarvānubhavitṛtayā saṁvitsvarūpa eva| Pratyuta puṇyapāpasvarganarakakṣutpipāsādiko yo'yaṁ paśubhāvo bandhakatayā niyataḥ sa yadi bhagavatā svātmaprakāśena prakāśitaḥ parāmṛṣṭaśca syāttadā yathoktāṁ svātmani sattāṁ labhate'nyathā niḥsvabhāva evaiṣaḥ — Iti kathaṁ svātmanastasyaiva maheśasya svarūpavipralopāyocyate| Sarvathā nirmitameva vastu saṁhāryaṁ samutpādyaṁ vā dehādirūpaṁ syānna punarnitye bhagavati caitanye samutpattivināśau kadācidbhavetām| Tasmādeka evātmā grāhyagrāhakatayā nānārūpasvabhāvaḥ san punarapi sarvānubhavitṛtayā sarvasyaikatayā prathate — Iti na kācidadvayavādakṣatiḥ||7||
An objection (nanu): If (ced) "the Experient or Knower (pramātā), who is really (satattvaḥ) Consciousness (saṁvid), (is) admitted (abhyupagataḥ) (as being) only (eva) one (ekaḥ), (but that) He Himself (saḥ eva), in His having assumed (samāpannaḥ san) (the aspects known as) body, senses and worlds (tanu-karaṇa-bhuvanatām), becomes (yātaḥ) many (anekatām... iti)", then, in that case (tarhi), when there is destruction (vināśe) of body (tanu), etc. (ādi), He Himself (saḥ eva) would be (syāt) destroyed (vinaṣṭaḥ). Or else (vā), when that --body, etc.-- is produced (utpattau), then (tadā) He Himself (eṣaḥ eva) would be produced (utpadyeta).
Thus (evam), each experient or knower (associated with body and so on) (prati-pramātṛ) is divided (vyavacchidyate) according to the six changes applicable to a positive entity (ṣaḍ-bhāva-vikāratayā), (and as a result,) "he (saḥ eva) is born (jāyate), exists (asti), etc. (iti-ādi)". (Consequently,) in the case of this very (etasya eva) Lord --the Fortunate One-- (who has become a limited experient or knower) (bhagavataḥ), enjoyment (bhogaḥ) of heaven (svarga), hell (naraka), etc. (ādi) would be obtained (prāptaḥ) according to the variety (vaicitryeṇa) of karma-s or activities (karma) whose nature is (svabhāva) virtuous (puṇya) (or) sinful (pāpa). So (iti), how (katham) is it said (ucyate) (that) "his --of this limited experient or knower-- (sva) essential nature (sva-rūpaḥ eva) (is) Śiva (śivaḥ... iti)".
(Abhinavagupta) also resolves --finishes off-- (ápi samarthayate) this (objection) (etad) by means of (dvāreṇa) an example (dṛṣṭānta)1 :
Just as (iva) the image (bimbam) of the moon (himakara) moves (gacchati) in flowing water (gacchati jale) (and) does not move (sthitim yāti) in still (water) (sthite), even so (tathā) this (ayam) Self (ātmā), the Great (mahā) Master (īśānaḥ), (behaves) as regards the group (varge) (composed) of body (tanu), senses (karaṇa) (and) worlds (bhuvana)||7||
Just as (yathā), in a stream or current (pravāhe) of water (jala) that is moving (yāti sati), the image or form (bimbam... vapus... tad) of the moon (himakara... candra) which is really (vastu-vṛttena... stham) in the sky (ākāśa) —it itself (svayam) (being) completely motionless (acalattā-ātmakam) even though (api) fallen (patita) inside (antar) a stream (pravāha) of water (jala)— moves (gacchati), goes (prayāti), as it were (iva); even so (tathā), at that very moment (tasmin eva kṣaṇe) elsewhere (anyatra), in a pond (jala-āśaye) which is not still (niḥstimite sati), that (tad eva) image (bimbam) of the moon (himakara) does not move (sthitim gacchati), as it were (iva). Thus (iti), this (situation) (etad) is thought possible (sambhāvyate) by all the experients or knowers (sarva-pramātṛbhiḥ) in both cases (ubhayathā), but (punar) that (tad) is (syāt) not (na) like that (tathā eva) in reality (parama-arthena) --viz. though the reflected image of the moon appears to be moving or remaining still, all that is mere appearance--2 .
Space and time (deśa-kālau), which are connected with (gatau) the water (jala) (and are) endowed with the capacity to generate differences (bhedakatayā), do not (na api) touch (parāmṛśataḥ) the essential nature (sva-rūpam) of the moon (candramasaḥ) which is (stham) in the sky (gagana). (It is) only (kevalam) the water (jalam eva) which is like that (tādṛśam). Moreover (atha ca), in the case of the image (bimbasya) of the moon (candra) reflected (pratibimbitasya) in it --in the water-- (tad), it is said (vyavahriyate) that the difference (bhedaḥ) has to do with motion (calattā), absence of motion (acalattā), etc. (ādikaḥ) present (gata) in the water (jala). So (iti), to that extent (etāvatā), (whether) in the case (of the image) of the moon (śaśinaḥ) present (gatasya) in the water (jala) of Ganges (gaṅgā) or (vā) descended (patitasya) upon mud (kardama), there is no (na kācid) loss or damage (kṣatiḥ) with respect to its essential nature (sva-sva-rūpatāyām).
Even so (tathā eva) this (ayam) Self (ātmā) whose essence (svabhāva) is Caitanya --Consciousness in Absolute Freedom-- (caitanya) (behaves) regarding the self-created (svayam nirmite) aggregate (samūhe) (composed) of body (tanu), senses (karaṇa) (and) worlds (karaṇa) when (this aggregate) disappears (parikṣīṇe sati) or (vā) arises (samutpanne). This (etad) (question about) "disappeared (prakṣīṇaḥ) and (ca) arisen (samutpannaḥ)" (is) merely (mātram) (a matter of) usage or common practice (vyavahāra) in the case of those who are bewildered (vyāmohitānām) by Māyā (māyā), as (va) the (image of the) moon (candra) present (gata) in the water (jala). However (punar), "one's own (sva) Self (ātmā) neither (na) is born (jāyate) nor (vā) dies (mriyate... iti)". It was said (uktam) so (evam eva) in the verses of Bhagavadgītā (gītāsu)3 :
"It is never born (na jāyate... kadācid) or (vā) dies (mriyate). This (embodied soul) (ayam) has not come into being (na... bhūtvā) or (vā) will come into being (bhavitā), nor (na) is coming into being (right now) (bhūyaḥ). This (embodied soul) (ayam) (is) unborn (ajaḥ), eternal (nityaḥ), perpetual (śāśvataḥ), ancient (purāṇaḥ). (It is) not (na) killed (hanyate) when the body (śarīre) is killed (hanyamāne... iti)."
Therefore (tasmāt), this (ayam) Self (ātmā), the Free (svatantraḥ) Great (mahā) Master (īśānaḥ), whose essence (sva-bhāvaḥ) is awareness (pratyavamarśa) of all (sarva) in Himself (sva-ātma), spreads (prathamānaḥ) like the state of Experient or Knower (anubhavitṛtayā) in all the experients or knowers (sarva-pramātṝṇām). Consequently (tatas), (He is) certainly (eva) one's own (sva) essential nature (sva-rūpaḥ) in the annihilation (vipralope) or (vā) rise (samutpattau) of the various (tad-tad) states (avasthā).
And (ca) this (etad eva) State of being the Great Master (mahā-īśānatvam) belonging to the Principle (tattvasya) (called) Consciousness (saṁvid) does (kāri) what is very hard to be accomplished (durghaṭa), viz. It (yad), by getting endowed with the state of the experient (pramātṛtayā) (known as) paśu --lit. animal, beast, i.e. the limited individual-- (paśu) in this and that way (tathā tathā), (becomes) even (api) the experiencer (bhoktā) of enjoyment (bhoga) in heaven (svarga), hell (naraka), etc. (ādi) whose --of that experiencer-- essential nature (sva-rūpaḥ) (is) Consciousness (saṁvid) with the capacity to experience (anubhavitṛtayā) all (sarva)4 .
On the contrary (of what one could think) (pratyuta), (with reference to) this (ayam) state (bhāvaḥ) of paśu or limited individual (paśu), being restrained (niyataḥ) by the force generating bondage (bandhakatayā) (and) consisting of virtue (puṇya), sin (pāpa), heaven (svarga), hell (naraka), hunger (kṣut), thirst (pipāsā), etc. (ādikaḥ), if (yadi) it --such a state in bondage-- (saḥ) is (syāt) manifested (prakāśitaḥ) and (ca) touched --experienced-- (parāmṛṣṭaḥ) by the Fortunate One --the Lord-- (bhagavatā) through the Light (prakāśena) of His own (sva) Self (ātma), then (tadā) (this state of paśu) gets (labhate) (its) aforesaid (yathā-uktām) existence (sattām) in one's own Self (sva-ātmani) (or) otherwise (anyathā) it (eṣaḥ) would not have any essence (niḥ-sva-bhāvaḥ eva). So (iti), how (katham) is (the state of paśu) said to be (ucyate) for the annihilation (vipralopāya) of the essential nature (sva-rūpa) of that Great Lord that is one's own Self (sva-ātmanaḥ tasya eva mahā-īśasya)?5
In every respect (sarvathā), that which consists of (rūpam) body (deha), etc. (ādi) is (syāt) a created (nirmitam eva) thing (vastu) that can be eliminated (saṁhāryam) or (vā) produced (samutpādyam). Nonetheless (punar), production and elimination (samutpatti-vināśau) never (na... kadācid) exist (bhavetām) with regard to Caitanya or Consciousness in Absolute Freedom (caitanye), i.e. the Eternal (nitye) Lord (bhagavati).
On that account (tasmāt), only (eva) one (ekaḥ) Self (ātmā) becomes (svabhāvaḥ san), (on the one hand,) manifold --multiform-- (nānā-rūpa) in the form of objects and subjects (grāhya-grāhakatayā), (and), on the other hand (punar api), spreads (prathate) in unity (ekatayā) with everybody (sarvasya) as the Experient (anubhavitṛtayā) of all (sarva). In this way (iti), there (can) be no (na kācid) removal of (kṣatiḥ) the non-dualistic (advaya) doctrine (vāda)6 ||7||
1 Summing it up, the one that objects is saying that there would be the following conclusion if the Self who is only one becomes many: "With the generation of body, senses and worlds, as the Self becomes all that, when body, senses and worlds finally disappear, the Self would also disappear along with them. And in turn, when they are produced again, the Self would appear together with them again".
In this way, there would be a Self appearing and disappearing all the time in all of the individual selves associated with body, senses and worlds. This is the doctrine of the multiple selves born from only one Self. All these individual selves go through the six changes applicable to a positive entity (ṣaḍ-bhāva-vikāra). This subject-matter was already explained in the note 9 of the stanzas 2-3. At the end of his objection, he is trying to prove that since the individual selves experience misery almost all the time in the form of heaven, hell, etc. due to their actions, then how could these miserable individual selves be considered as the Supreme Self Himself (Śiva)? What he is attempting to do is to remove the non-dualistic doctrine between Supreme Self and individual self, i.e. that the individual self although his misery is the Supreme Self anyway.
To finish off this objection in a understandable way, Abhinavagupta wrote the present stanza, which contains an example of the ordinary life: The image of the moon being reflected in the water.
2 The Supreme Self is compared to the image or form of the moon being reflected both in a stream of water and in a pond. Though the water in the pond is NOT still, as clearly specified by Yogarāja by the expression "niḥstimite sati - which is not still" (one would have expected the expression "stimite sati - which is still" instead, right?, because it would sound more logical), the reflection of the image of the moon will remain stationary because a pond is not a stream of water (e.g. a river). Anyway, what is happening to the reflection is not happening to the moon itself at all. All the limited experients think both situations possible, i.e. the image of the moon moving or remaining still. But that is not taking place in reality, because the moon is in the sky and not in the water. This is very easy to understand, of course. In the same way, the Supreme Self, though He appears to be going through different states such as "having a body, senses, worlds", He remains the Same One all the time, completely Pure and Immutable. In this manner, the theory of multiple independent selves is eliminated. There is only one Self and all the multiple selves that are manifested by the Power of this Self are like the reflection of the moon in the water. All of them seem to be experiencing this or that state, but all that does not affect the real Self in them all.
3 It is just the way the water is. This has nothing to do with the moon itself. Likewise, what the individual selves do or do not do never affect the Immaculate Self of all. The entire aggregate of body, senses and worlds, whether it appears or disappears, never touches His Absolute Purity. Nonetheless, it is a common practical among all these individual selves that are mere reflections of the Supreme Self and are still bewildered by His Māyā (His Power to make differences) to speak like this: "This person has been born" or "This person has died". All this has nothing to do with the Great Śiva, the Immortal One, obviously, just as all that is happening to the image of the moon being reflected in the water has nothing to do with the moon itself. This is easy to understand in theory, but in practice, oh my God... His Māyā clouds the intellects of saints sometimes. Hence, it is no surprise to have all these limited individuals around living completely at the mercy of the deceitful appearance of birth and death, isn't it?
4 He is the Great Master because nobody can own "all" as He can. He says: "Now", and you get final liberation. He says: "Not now", and you do not get final liberation. It is that simple, but most of these limited individuals around think that they will be able to force the Great Master by some methods or practices. If to perform practices were effective in revealing the Great Master, He would not be a Great Master but another servant. That is not possible then. Practices are mere pastimes for people that await His final decision about their liberation. Egos in most people hate to hear this because they want to exhibit their freedom somehow. But what freedom will they show when they have none? Inside, very inside, reader, you perfectly know that you are not free really... and on top of that you have no idea what to do in order to solve this problem. But as this truth is obvious but very difficult to swallow, those people are given practices for them to be entertained while the "real Work" is performed by His Power. Finally, if the decision is "Yes" in this life for him or her, a person gets final liberation in a trice whether he was doing a spiritual practice at that time or merely playing a videogame or driving a car or looking for a cat, etc. As He is one with everything, nothing can obstruct His Will. Most people want a democracy in their spiritual path, but that is impossible. If a democracy could be possible in His case, He would not be called "the Lord" but "the President" or something like this.
What is that which is very difficult to be accomplished?: It is bondage and final liberation. Only His Power can do this. It was His Power who contracted Śiva down to the level of a limited individual in bondage. So, it is only His Power who can expand Śiva up to the level of Great Master again. This cannot be accomplished by any individual self who is merely a reflection of the Great Master in the water of His own Māyā. And of course, all these things connected with bondage and final liberation are also mere appearances, because when one gets final liberation one realizes that there is no final liberation because one was always Śiva and not the limited individual endowed with body, senses and worlds. What one calls "individual self in bondage" is as if the moon thought that its image being reflected in the water is "itself" and consequently all that is happening to that image is happening to itself too. When this ignorance disappears, viz. when one realizes the Truth, Śiva is realized such as He always is. In other words, final liberation is when the moon at last realizes this simple fact: "All that is happening to its image in the water is not happening to itself". When that happens, that is final liberation. Anyway, there was no liberation really because the moon was always the moon. The same thing is true regarding individual selves in bondage attaining final liberation and realizing the simple fact that they were always Śiva and Śiva alone.
5 The state of paśu (lit. animal, beast) or limited individual has been manifested by His own Power (by Śakti Herself). So, it cannot ever annihilate the essential nature of the Great Lord that is one's own Self. By annihilation or vipralopa, the author is referring to the act of eclipsing the Supreme Self. Apparently, all this ignorance exhibited in this foolish world is eclipsing or obstructing the Great Master, and as a result, all of us will need to do many practices to remove it finally... but this is false, because this ignorance itself was manifested by His own Power and gets constantly its existence in Him. In this way, such an ignorance can never get in the way of the Great Master.
And this ignorance is not ever transforming Him either, i.e. "the Great Master turned into a limited individual and leaving behind His glorious essential nature". This is a false statement because the Great Master, Śiva, never turned into anything else. It was simply His own Power who generated the "celebrated" state of paśu or limited individual, as the image of the moon being reflected in the water. Therefore, it will be His own Power who shows the Truth again, i.e. that the reflection cannot affect the One being reflected. When one realizes this Truth, that is final liberation from his self-invented bondage.
6 Body, senses, worlds, etc. are things being created by Śakti. As they are so, they can be eliminated by Śakti too. But this Glorious Śiva who is the Great Master is Śaktimān or the Possessor of Śakti. Then, how could He be created by His own Power? And since He is not created He cannot either be destroyed. This is the meaning of: "Nonetheless, production and elimination never exist with regard to Caitanya or Consciousness in Absolute Freedom, i.e. the Eternal Lord".
Only one Self (Śiva) appears as all these subjects and objects one can perceive, and at the same time He dwells in all of them as the Experient or Knower of all. While He looks like an individual experient (like the image of the moon being reflected in the water), He retains His condition as the universal Experient (the moon itself). This is the purport.
As a result of all that, there is no way this non-dualistic doctrine called Trika can be removed or refuted.
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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