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Śivasūtravimarśinī-hṛdaya (Shiva Sutra Vimarshini Hrdaya) - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir
The core of the scripture that examines the Śivasūtra-s
Hi, Gabriel Pradīpaka --wrongly-written Pradipaka-- again. The discovery of the Śivasūtra-s by Vasugupta marked the beginning of Trika system (also known as "Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir"), at least in its formal aspect. On the Śivasūtra-s this entire philosophical system is based. It is always a good idea to have an overview of the Trika literature. There are four commentaries on the Śivasūtra-s:
Vṛtti (by unknown author)
Vārttika (by Bhāskara)
Vimarśinī (by Kṣemarāja --this commentary is being studied right now)
Vārttika (by Varadarāja, also known as Kṛṣṇadāsa)
The present document deals with Śivasūtravimarśinī (or simply "Vimarśinī") by Kṣemarāja. This commentary is considered to be the most authoritative. It is a long commentary indeed, full of secret teachings being revealed by the words of the sage.
The Vṛtti is pretty much like Vimarśinī. Hence, it could be argued that either Kṣemarāja's Vimarśinī molded itself on the Vṛtti, or the latter was simply a condensed version of the former. In turn, Bhāskara's Vārttika is an original work in verse. Sometimes the interpretations given by Bhāskara are somewhat strange and ambiguous. Anyway, they can be looked upon as new interpretations despite they are dubious. For that reason, I think that his commentary is not as reliable as Vimarśinī. Kṣemarāja's Vimarśinī was written in prose and gives detailed explanation of every topic dealt with in the Śivasūtra-s themselves. It is by far the most complete work on this sacred scripture of Trika, and that is why it deserves to be studied in detail. Finally, Varadarāja's Vārttika is a mere "rehash" of Kṣemarāja's Vimarśinī, but in verse.
How were the Śivasūtra-s discovered by the sage Vasugupta? This question has three possible answers:
- According to Bhāskara, a Siddha (a perfected being) revealed the Śivasūtra-s to Vasugupta in a dream.
- According to Kṣemarāja, they were found by Vasugupta engraved on a flat stone by following the instructions given to him by Śiva during a dream.
- It were taught by Śiva to Vasugupta in a dream, according to Kallaṭa (a disciple of Vasugupta himself).
Well, three different interpretations with three common points: 1) The Śivasūtra-s were revealed by a higher Reality (Śiva or a Siddha); 2) They were not written by any human being; and 3) Vasugupta was the recipient of that revelation.
But, what the heck is this "Śivasūtravimarśinī-hṛdaya" --wrongly written Shiva Sutra Vimarshini Hrdaya-- or "The core of Śivasūtravimarśinī"? Though the author of this work is apparently Gabriel Pradīpaka, he has done so through the Grace of Śiva Himself, the Supreme Self. Thus, in the end, it is really Śiva who will explain the essence of the teachings given by Kṣemarāja in his celebrated Śivasūtravimarśinī. He will do it through a dialogue between a master (guru) and his disciple. Therefore, be sure that this work contains many secrets and mysteries being revealed. Be warned that some of these revelations may be difficult to be understood to an ordinary intellect. They are experiences passed on a mere mortal like myself (Gabriel Pradīpaka) so that they may be spread throughout the world.
Now, a summary of the Śivasūtravimarśinī-hṛdaya's chapters (only the main topics to be dealt with are outlined):
Chapter 1: (a) The encounter between master and disciple; (b) a propitiatory prayer to God; (c) explanation of the reason why Kṣemarāja composed his Śivasūtravimarśinī; (d) discovery of the Śivasūtra-s; (e) how the Śivasūtravimarśinī is ordered.
Chapter 2: Portions of the comments on the aphorisms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 18 and 22 belonging to the Śivasūtravimarśinī's First Section are studied here.
Chapter 3: (a) Portions of the comments on the aphorisms 1, 3, 6, 8 and 10 belonging to the Śivasūtravimarśinī's Second Section are studied here. (b) The commentary on the seventh aphorism is studied completely, i.e. there are links to the three pages where I have already given full explanation of it.
Chapter 4: (a) The comments of the aphorisms 1, 3, 6, 9 and 19 are fully studied. (b) Portions of the comments on the aphorisms 10 and 11 belonging to the Śivasūtravimarśinī's Third Section are studied here too.
Chapter 5: (a) The comments of the aphorisms 26, 28, 35 and 45 belonging to the Śivasūtravimarśinī's Third Section are completely analyzed.
Chapter 6: This chapter is mainly composed of a concise exposition of the teachings which have been given by the master to his disciple. There is an epilogue too, of course, in which further dialogues between them are announced. In those next dialogues they will continue to study the portions not being examined in the present Śivasūtravimarśinī-hṛdaya, which has merely summarized, for the welfare of everybody, the gem-like knowledge contained in the venerable Kṣemarāja's Śivasūtravimarśinī.
Finally, I want to pass this message of Śiva to the readers who have come to drink from this ocean of wisdom. OK, I will have to meditate on His divine form right now and write so exactly as dictated by Him. Listen up, because this is serious and also the cause for me to publish the Śivasūtravimarśinī-hṛdaya:
"Trika, also known as Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir, was certainly born in Kashmir (India), but as its name denotes (Shaivism) is primordially Mine. There is at present fear that the living tradition supporting Trika may be interrupted in India due to the lack of authentic masters. To all those people being afraid of that interruption, I want to say the following: I am the living tradition and give My knowledge to anyone I wish, whether or not he may live in India. Even an ignorant man or woman residing in a remote region can be an authentic master of the living tradition if I want him|her to be so. And I will prove My words through the Śivasūtravimarśinī-hṛdaya. Thus, nobody should fear an interruption of the Trika's living tradition because I am the Immortal Being who can never be interrupted by anything."
Oh well, I tried to be so accurate as possible. His Voice pierced my heart and filled it with waves and waves of His Śakti or divine Power. Therefore, I am already empowered by Him to successfully begin and finish my sacred work. His Grace will be doubtless supporting my words. Let them flow then!
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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