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Studying the Śivasūtravimarśinī's First Section (3)
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 hyphens (--...--) constitutes clarifying further information also added by me.
Kṣemarāja's Sanskrit will be in dark green color while the original Śiva's aphorisms will be shown in dark red color. In turn, within the transliteration, the original aphorisms will be in brown color, while the Kṣemarāja's comments will be shown in black. Also, within the translation, the original aphorisms by Śiva, i.e. the Śivasūtra-s, will be in green and black colors, while the commentary by Kṣemarāja will contain words in both black and red colors. Finally, any other Sanskrit text included (e.g. quotes from other scriptures, apart from those ones already occurring in the Śivasūtravimarśinī itself, of course) will have its own set of colors: Sanskrit and transliteration in black, while the translation will contain words in black and dark red.
The disciple asked his Master about Bliss of the Fourth State:
Disciple: Does Bliss of the Fourth State emerge directly or by a series of stages?
Master: The twelfth aphorism and the respective commentary by Kṣemarāja answer that:
The stages (bhūmikāḥ) of Yoga (yoga) (are) a fascinating wonder (vismayaḥ)||12||
Regarding this aphorism, I will only say that Kṣemarāja, in his commentary, quotes the aphorism I,11 of Spandakārikā-s, which states that:
स्मयमान इवास्ते यस्तस्येयं कुसृतिः कुतः॥
Smayamāna ivāste yastasyeyaṁ kusṛtiḥ kutaḥ||
"How (kutas) (can) this (iyam) vile (ku) transmigratory path (sṛtiḥ) (be) his (tasya) who (yaḥ) abides or stands (āste) astonished (smayamānaḥ), as it were (iva), while beholding (avalokayan) that (tam) essential nature (or Spanda) (sva-bhāvam) as (bhāvena) presiding over (the entire universe) (adhiṣṭhātṛ... iti)?"||
The word "sṛtiḥ" or transmigratory path is to be understood like a synonymous with Saṁsāra, the repetitive story. If someone realizes that all is his own Self, how can there be room for misery and suffering? How can depression arise in him? For that reason, a person who is really advanced in Yoga has always a smiling and peaceful countenance.
D: So, does such a Yogī keep taking great pleasure in the Self even during the day-to-day activities?
M: That is right. This is clearly expressed by the eighteenth aphorism.
The Bliss (that the Yogī feels in abiding as the Knower or Perceiver) (ānandaḥ) of the world (—consisting of subjects and objects—) (loka) (is his) delight (sukham) of Samādhi (samādhi)||18||
M: Some translators take simply the meanings of the dictionary and arrive at the following translation:
The Bliss (ānandaḥ) of the world (loka) (is) the delight (sukham) of (his) perfect concentration on the Self (samādhi).
However, this is not right, since the term "ānanda" is to be understood as "the Bliss that the Yogī feels in abiding as the Knower or Perceiver" in respect to the "loka". And "loka" can be translated as "world" but in the sense of "an aggregate of subjects and objects". Lastly, the compound "samādhisukham" is to be interpreted as "the delight of maintaining constantly the state of being the Supreme Knower". That is one of the dangers of merely attempting to translate complex texts like the present one with the help of a generic dictionary, because, apart from the technical terms pertaining to every philosophical system, there are words with multiple meanings according to the particular context. One should be very careful and always consult the authoritative texts or else with a teacher of the respective tradition. If one does not do so, those "fantastic" translations will arise, and with them even more confusion.
D: What else does Kṣemarāja continue to say?
M: Among other things he quotes Vijñānabhairava, which calls Vijñānabhaṭṭāraka, since the term "bhaṭṭāraka" is used as a token of respect. It declares the following:
ग्राह्यग्राहकसंवित्तिः सामान्या सर्वदेहिनाम्।
योगिनां तु विशेषोऽयं सम्बन्धे सावधानता॥
Grāhyagrāhakasaṁvittiḥ sāmānyā sarvadehinām|
Yogināṁ tu viśeṣo'yaṁ sambandhe sāvadhānatā||
"The consciousness (saṁvittiḥ) of object (grāhya) (and) subject (grāhaka) is common (sāmānyā) to all the embodied ones (sarva-dehinām); but (tu) in the case of the Yogī-s (yoginām) this (ayam) (is the) distinction (viśeṣaḥ): there is attentiveness (sa-avadhānatā) to the relation (between object and subject) (sambandhe)"||
The Yogī-s are attentive to the relation existing between object and subject, trying not to pay too much attention, in an exclusive way, to object or limited subject.
D: And what is that relation?
M: The object arises from the subject and not vice versa. When one deludes himself, he starts to think that all the objects have an autonomous existence in relation to him. Therefore, he suffers greatly in order to get objects and keep them. Besides, in losing them --this always happens-- he is immensely grieved by that fact. This occurs in that way because one does not pay enough attention to the "sambandha" or "relation" existing between subject and object.
The subject is immeasurably more important than the object, since the latter emerges from the former and not in the opposite manner. For that reason, if one loses objects but retains his wisdom, he realizes his condition as the source of all the objects. Thus, he is not more distressed at their loss or rejoiced by their obtainment. This is final Liberation or Enlightenment.
D: Great teachings have been given by simple words! May I not forget them!
M: Indeed! While one retains that awareness, that realization, there will be Great Bliss. But, alas if one does not!
The subject is the origin of the objects always. On account of that simple fact, one does not depend on objects for his Existence. The subject can remain without them, but those objects cannot remain manifested without oneself. This should be fully understood.
D: Does Kṣemarāja give any other teaching?
M: That is right! He also gives an interpretation of the aphorism in case it were to be read in a reversed way, that is, like:
The delight (that the Yogī experiences) (sukham) in Samādhi --i.e. the act of maintaining constantly the state of being the Supreme Knower-- (samādhi) (becomes) the bliss (ānandaḥ) of the people (loka)
... अथ च यदस्य स्वात्मारामस्य समाधिसुखं तदेव तत्तादृशमवलोकयतां लोकानामानन्दसङ्क्रमणयुक्त्या स्वानन्दाभिव्यक्तिपर्यवसायि भवति। एतदपि श्रीचन्द्रज्ञानग्रन्थेन प्रागुक्तेन (१-७) सुसंवादम्॥१८॥
... Atha ca yadasya svātmārāmasya samādhisukhaṁ tadeva tattādṛśamavalokayatāṁ lokānāmānandasaṅkramaṇayuktyā svānandābhivyaktiparyavasāyi bhavati| Etadapi śrīcandrajñānagranthena prāguktena (1- 7) susaṁvādam||18||
... Moreover (atha ca), that (yad) delight (sukham) of Samādhi --i.e. the state of keeping a continuous awareness of his Knowership-- (samādhi) belonging to the one (asya) who takes great pleasure (ārāmasya) in his own (sva) Self (ātma) ends (tad eva... paryavasāyi bhavati) in the manifestation (abhivyakti) of his (sva) bliss (ānanda) among the people (lokānām) who observe (avalokayatām) him --lit. such a person-- (tādṛśam) there --i.e. in that place and in that state-- (tad). (It happens) through (yuktyā) the transference (saṅkramaṇa) of joy (ānanda)|
This (etad) is also completely in conformity (api... su-saṁvādam) with the stanza (granthena) of venerable (śrī) Candrajñāna (candrajñāna) which was quoted (uktena) before (prāk) in the (commentary on the) seventh aphorism of the first Section (1-7)||18||
Read here the commentary on I, 7. The word "loka" in the compound "lokānandaḥ" is in its prātipadika (crude) form, i.e. without gender and number, and consequently it can be understood like "world" or "people" according to the manner you arrange the aphorism. Anyway, when you add gender and number to it (i.e. when you decline it), the meaning as "people" is to be declined in masculine plural. For example: lokāḥ (the people, Nominative). Hence the sage wrote "lokānām" (among the people) and not "lokasya", as the former is Genitive plural, while the latter is Genitive singular. Of course, both "lokāḥ" and "lokānām" can also be translated like "worlds" and "among the worlds" in other contexts.
D: What does that transference of joy mean?
M: It is very simple. Being the Yogī in a sublime state, he makes the others, by a process of identification, experience the same thing. It happens in that way since such a great being is fully conscious of his own Self, the Self of all.
This transference of joy occurs spontaneously and naturally because of the blissful condition of that holy Yogī. Generally, most people think that something "is to be done" to pass joy to others, but that is not true in this case. The mere presence of such a high-souled one is more than enough to carry it out. That which has been stated by the sage Kṣemarāja proves I am speaking the truth.
D: Dear Master, I know that this is a laghuvṛtti or short commentary on Śivasūtravimarśinī (i.e. you will not comment on all the aphorisms completely). Could you kindly tell me what the last aphorism of this Section declares?
M: I will do so, certainly. It is as follows.
By uniting (anusandhānāt) with the Great (mahā) Lake (hrada), (the Yogī has) the experience (anubhavaḥ) of the generative source --virility or potency-- (vīrya) of (all) mantra-s (mantra)||22||
D: I can see that the word "vīrya" may be interpreted as both "virility or potency" and "generative source".
M: Yes, you are right. When the Yogī becomes united with the Great Lake of his own Self-consciousness or Śakti, he has the experience of that very Self-consciousness in the form of "I Am". This is, all things considered, the generative source of all mantra-s. In short, he experiences the vastness of His Supreme Power.
All this I have affirmed is corroborated by Kṣemarāja by the following paragraph:
परा भट्टारिका संविदिच्छाशक्तिप्रमुखं स्थूलमेयपर्यन्तं विश्वं वमन्ती खेचरीचक्राद्यशेषवाहप्रवर्तकत्वस्वच्छत्वानावृतत्वगभीरत्वादिधर्मयोगान्महाह्रदस्तस्यानुसन्धानाद् अन्तर्मुखतयानारतं तत्तादात्म्यविमर्शनाद्वक्ष्यमाणस्य शब्दराशिस्फारात्मकपराहन्ताविमर्शमयस्य मन्त्रवीर्यस्यानुभवः स्वात्मरूपतया स्फुरणं भवति।
Parā bhaṭṭārikā saṁvidicchāśaktipramukhaṁ sthūlameyaparyantaṁ viśvaṁ vamantī khecarīcakrādyaśeṣavāhapravartakatvasvacchatvānāvṛtatvagabhīratvādidharmayogānmahāhradastasyānusandhānād antarmukhatayānārataṁ tattādātmyavimarśanādvakṣyamāṇasya śabdarāśisphārātmakaparāhantāvimarśamayasya mantravīryasyānubhavaḥ svātmarūpatayā sphuraṇaṁ bhavati|
The most venerable (bhaṭṭārikā) Supreme (parā) Consciousness (saṁvid) that emits (vamantī) the universe (viśvam), which begins (pramukham) with the Will (icchā) power (śakti) (and) ends (paryantam) in the gross (sthūla) objects (meya), (is) a Great (mahā) Lake (hradaḥ) due to (its) association (yogāt) with the characteristics (dharma) (of) (1) setting in motion (pravartakatva) all (aśeṣa) the currents or flows (vāha) (such as) the group (cakra) of Khecarī (khecarī), etc. (ādi), (2) being perfectly clear and transparent (svacchatva), (3) not being covered or veiled (anāvṛtatva), (4) being deep (gabhīratva), etc. (ādi). By uniting (anusandhānāt) with that (Great Lake) (tasya), (in other words,) by being internally aware (antarmukhatayā... vimarśanāt) of (one's) ceaseless (anāratam) identity (tādātmya) with it (tad), (then) does shine forth (sphuraṇaṁ bhavati), as a form (rūpatayā) of one's Self (sva-ātma), the experience (anubhavaḥ) of the generative source --virility or potency-- (vīryasya) of (all) mantra-s (mantra) which --the generative source-- is full (mayasya) of the Highest (parā) I-consciousness (ahantā-vimarśa) expanding (sphāra-ātmaka) (in the form) of a multitude (rāśi) of words (śabda)|
D: All this is very clear, with the exception of one thing: the group of Khecarī. What is the sage talking about?
M: There are four groups (cakra-s) of śakti-s or powers. I am not referring to the well-known energy centers to be found in the subtle body (e.g. Mūlādhāra), since the word "cakra" has mainly two possible translations. One of them is "wheel" -this translation is to be used with the celebrated lotuses in the subtle body-, and the other is "group" -which is used here-.
This śakticakra-s or group of powers are related to particular tattva-s (categories) in the following manner:
1) Khecarīcakra is connected with Puruṣa (tattva 12)
2) Gocarīcakra is connected with Antaḥkaraṇa (Buddhi -intellect-, Ahaṇkāra -ego- and Manas -mind-)
3) Dikcarīcakra is connected with Bahiṣkaraṇa (the Indriya-s or Powers of perception and action)
4) Bhūcarīcakra is connected with the bhāva-s or external objects
These śakticakra-s (groups of powers) indicate the processes pertaining to objectivity (apparent transformation into objects) of Supreme Consciousness. Khecarīcakra reduces oneself, the Absolute, to the condition of a limited experient or Puruṣa. Gocarīcakra furnishes him with an Antaḥkaraṇa (inner psychic organ) composed of intellect, ego and mind. Dikcarīcakra endows him with indriya-s (Jñānendriya-s and Karmendriya-s). Finally, Bhūcarīcakra confines me to external objects -desiring them, going through many sufferings to retain them, and experiencing pain in losing them-.
It is so called Khecarīcakra because its sphere of influence is Kha or Puruṣa (the Supreme Śiva contracted in the form of an individual soul, as it were). In turn, Gocarīcakra is known by this name as its field of action is Go or Antaḥkaraṇa -"go", apart from "cow", implies "movement"-. Antaḥkaraṇa is moving ceaselessly and puts the senses into motion, being their source. On the other hand, Dikcarīcakra is so designated because of its being the power or śakti moving in "dik" or "directions". The Indriya-s are related to the directions, hence they form the scope of Dikcarī. Lastly, Bhūcarīcakra has its field of influence en Bhū or existence. Therefore, all the bhāva-s or existing objects are within the reach of this group of powers.
Therefore, the Great Lake is the Supreme Śakti, one's own Self-consciousness. When one realizes that he "exists" as "I Am", experiences the potency of all mantra-s, since all of them have "Aham" or "I-consciousness" (i.e. I Am) for their source.
This last aphorism of the First Section of Śivasūtra-s, by mentioning the nature of Śakti, leads us to the Second Section in a masterly fashion. The following Section deals with Śaktopāya, the method of Śakti, viz. the means whose support is Self-consciousness.
D: Does Kṣemarāja add a conclusion to this First Section of his Śivasūtravimarśinī?
M: Here you have the entire text with which the sage ends this Section:
इति श्रीमन्महामाहेश्वराचार्याभिनवगुप्तपादपद्मोपजीविश्रीक्षेमराजविरचितायां शिवसूत्रविमर्शिन्यां शाम्भवोपायप्रकाशनं नाम प्रथम उन्मेषः॥१॥
Iti śrīmanmahāmāheśvarācāryābhinavaguptapādapadmopajīviśrīkṣemarājaviracitāyāṁ śivasūtravimarśinyāṁ śāmbhavopāyaprakāśanaṁ nāma prathama unmeṣaḥ||1||
Here ends (iti) the first (prathamaḥ) Section (unmeṣaḥ) called (nāma) Śāmbhavopāyaprakāśana --(the Section) revealing the means that pertains to Śambhu, i.e. Śiva-- (śāmbhava-upāya-prakāśanam), in Śivasūtravimarśinī (śivasūtravimarśinyām) written (viracitāyām) by venerable (śrī) Kṣemarāja (kṣemarāja) dependant (upajīvi) on the lotus feet --i.e. feet beautiful like a lotus-- (pāda-padma) of the eminent (śrīmat) spiritual preceptor (ācārya) Abhinavagupta (abhinavagupta), the great (mahā) devotee of Maheśvara, the Great Lord --epithet of Śiva-- (māheśvara)||1||
Succinctly he says that these twenty-two aphorism forming the First Section refer to Śāmbhavopāya, the means or method of Śambhu (i.e. Śiva). In this path there is a sudden realization that one is the Absolute. This spontaneous realization puts an end to the work of the three Mala-s or Impurities (Āṇava, Māyīya and Kārma).
Then, Śāmbhavopāya is a way in which one directs his Icchāśakti or Will Power in a very subtle manner, toward a condition of silently waiting for the revelation of the Supreme Self. He does not directs it toward any object, gross or subtle, but he simply applies it to Self-recognition. As oneself is not an object but the eternal Subject, he cannot be an object of concentration or meditation -though this way of speaking is commonly heard-. Both concentration and meditation need "objects". It cannot be said, strictly speaking, that directing the Icchāśakti toward that aforesaid Recognition be some kind of concentration or meditation.
The pure Self is a State, and not something to be achieved or taken like an object of meditation. This is always wrongly understood and gives rise to erroneous conclusions. When one realizes he is Him, abandons all desire of spiritual accomplishment. He does not wish to attain any "enlightened" state, he does not want to get any higher knowledge or supernatural powers, and he is not interested in having "visions" during his practices. It is not being lazy, but establishing oneself in his own Essential Nature. Since one's essence is formless, whether or not the forms are out there or in here is not a matter of worry at all. Such a person always retains the experience that he is the Subject. That fact occurs spontaneously.
Actually, everybody is in that condition of Subject, but the vast majority of them just do not realize it. It is a natural State, and not one which is strange.
D: Consequently, while there is a notion of spiritual goal, is there still slavery?
M: Exactly. When one fully realizes his Primordial Essence, ceases to seek and long for. He is not a seeker anymore, and there is no doubt about it!
And in this way, Master and disciple finished this supreme conversation about the crucial subject matter of Śāmbhavopāya dealt with in the First Section of Śivasūtra-s and magnificently commented by Kṣemarāja in his Śivasūtravimarśinī. In the next encounter, the Master will talk about the teachings given in the Second Section.
Well, the Master has described the teachings contained in the aphorisms (and commentaries) 12, 18 and 22: The stages in Yoga are wonderful; the Bliss that a Yogī feels abiding like the Supreme Knower of the world, consisting of objects and subjects, is his delight of Samādhi; and finally when such a person plunges into the Great Lake of the Supreme Power of the Lord, he experiences the generative source and potency of all mantra-s.
All the stages in Yoga are full of marvels (visions, fantastic sounds, journeys to stunning worlds, supernatural powers, etc.). Anyway, all that is just dust in comparison with the Highest State. Those experiences come to a seeker as a way to make his mind free and remove the fatigue brought about by the spiritual practices. When the Great Yogī becomes stabilized in the state of being constantly the Subject of all experiences, feels great delight. This delight is transmitted to the people beholding him too. At the end of his journey, that great being gets united with the Great Lake or Śakti, which is the origin of and the potency behind all the mantra-s. After this point, nobody can say what that Yogī is, really. We could call him, succinctly: Paramaśiva (the Supreme Śiva), though all descriptions will always fall short. He has attained the goal of human life according to venerable Trika. That is it!
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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