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जावास्क्रिप्ट अक्षम है! इस लिंक की जाँच करें!

 Śivasūtravimarśinī (Shiva Sutra Vimarshini) Section III (aphorisms 1 to 11) - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir

Normal translation


Śivasūtravimarśinī continues: Kṣemarāja keeps commenting the aphorisms.

This is the first set of 11 aphorisms out of 45 aphorisms of which the third Section (dealing with Āṇavopāya) consists. As you know, the entire work is composed of 77 aphorisms of the Śivasūtra-s plus their respective commentaries.

Of course, I will also insert the Śiva's aphorisms on which Kṣemarāja is commenting. Even though I will not comment on either the original sūtra-s or the Kṣemarāja's commentary, I will write some notes to make a particular point clear when necessary. If you want a detailed explanation of the hidden meanings in this scripture, go to "Scriptures (study)/Śivasūtravimarśinī" in the Trika section.

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.

Read Śivasūtravimarśinī and experience Supreme Delight, 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.


 Aphorism 1

इदानीमाणवोपायं प्रतिपिपादयिषुरणोः तावत्स्वरूपं दर्शयति—

आत्मा चित्तम्॥१॥

यदेतद्विषयवासनाच्छुरितत्वान्नित्यं तदध्यवसायादिव्यापारबुद्ध्यहङ्कृन्मनोरूपं चित्तं तदेवातति चिदात्मकस्वस्वरूपाख्यात्या सत्त्वादिवृत्त्यवलम्बनेन योनीः सञ्चरतीत्यात्माणुरित्यर्थः। न तु चिदेकरूपस्यास्यातनमस्ति। अत एव चैतन्यमात्मा (१-१) इति स्वभावभूततात्त्विकैतत्स्वरूपप्रतिपादनाशयेन पूर्वमात्मा लक्षितः। इदानीं त्वेतदीयसङ्कोचावभासप्रधानाणवदशौचित्येनेति न पूर्वापरवैषम्यम्॥१॥

Idānīmāṇavopāyaṁ pratipipādayiṣuraṇoḥ tāvatsvarūpaṁ darśayati—

Ātmā cittam||1||

Yadetadviṣayavāsanācchuritatvānnityaṁ tadadhyavasāyādivyāpārabuddhyahaṅkṛnmanorūpaṁ cittaṁ tadevātati cidātmakasvasvarūpākhyātyā sattvādivṛttyavalambanena yonīḥ sañcaratītyātmāṇurityarthaḥ| Na tu cidekarūpasyāsyātanamasti| Ata eva caitanyamātmā (1-1) iti svabhāvabhūtatāttvikaitatsvarūpapratipādanāśayena pūrvamātmā lakṣitaḥ| Idānīṁ tvetadīyasaṅkocāvabhāsapradhānāṇavadaśaucityeneti na pūrvāparavaiṣamyam||1||

Now (idānīm), (Śiva,) being desirous of explaining (pratipipādayiṣuḥ) Āṇavopāya (āṇava-upāyam)1 , firstly (tāvat) shows (darśayati) the essential nature (sva-rūpam) of a aṇu or limited being --the individual Self-- (aṇoḥ)

The individual Self (ātmā) (is) mind (cittam)||1||

Citta --in this context-- (cittam) (is) this (etad) which (yad), because of its being clad (ācchuritatvāt) with desires (vāsanā) for objects (of senses) (viṣaya), consists (rūpam) of buddhi --intellect, i.e. the tattva or category 14-- (buddhi), ahaṅkāra --ego, i.e. the tattva 15-- (ahaṅkṛt) (and) manas --ordinary mind, i.e. the tattva 16-- (manas), which are always (nityam) engaged in (vyāpāra) ascertaining (adhyavasāya), etc. (ādi) about them (tad) --viz. about the aforesaid objects--2 . That very (citta) (tad eva) (is) ātmā --the individual Self-- (ātmā) (or) aṇu --lit. atom, i.e. the Supreme Self being reduced to a mere limited being-- (aṇuḥ) (because,) as it primordially ignores --lit. due to primordial ignorance-- (akhyātyāḥ) that its (sva) real nature (sva- rūpa) is (ātmaka) Consciousness (cit), constantly moves on (atati), i.e. (the whole time) it goes (sañcarati) to (various) forms of existence (yonīḥ) by clinging (avalambanena) to the conditions or qualities (vṛtti) of Sattva (sattva), etc. (ādi... iti)3 . This is the meaning (iti arthaḥ)|

(As a matter of fact,) there is no (na tu... asti) wandering (atanam) of this (asya) (ātmā) whose nature is nothing but (eka-rūpasya) Consciousness (cit)|

For this very reason (atas eva), ātmā (ātmā) (has been) formerly (pūrvam) indicated (lakṣitaḥ) (as) "Consciousness which is omniscient and omnipotent (caitanyam) (is) ātmā --the Self or true nature of Reality-- (ātmā iti)" in I, 1 (of the present scripture) (1-1), with the intention (āśayena) of establishing and explaining (pratipādana) its (etad) real (tāttvika) nature (sva-rūpa) which is (bhūta) its (sva) true state (bhāva)|

But (tu) now (idānīm) (the definition of ātmā) is suitable (aucityena) to (its) state (daśā) of aṇu --i.e. limited being-- (āṇava), (all of which) has mainly to do (pradhāna) with its (etadīya) appearance (avabhāsa) in limitation or contraction (saṅkoca). Thus (iti), there is no inconsistency or impropriety (vaiṣamyam) between the former (pūrva) (and) the later (definition) (apara)4 ||1||

1  Āṇavopāya is the means pertaining to the aṇu or individual Self (i.e. a conditioned being). So, the third Section dealing with the means or method that uses an aṇu's viewpoint has begun.Return 

2  By the word "etc." the author indicates the activities of ego and ordinary mind. While buddhi ascertains about objects of senses, ego is occupied in taking possession of them (e.g. this thing is mine). Manas (ordinary mind) is nothing else that the vikalpa-s or thoughts associated with those very objects. The three form the Antaḥkaraṇa or inner psychic organ according to the Trika system. Therefore, citta here is "mind" but in the sense of Antaḥkaraṇa and not like mere manas. This is the difference between citta and manas. Got the point? Well done!Return 

3  In other words, the qualities of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. For more information, read my study of these three qualities of Prakṛti.Return 

4  By "I, 1" the author indicates the first aphorism of the first Section of the present scripture, obviously. And that aphorism is also the very first aphorism of venerable Śivasūtra-s. There, the innate nature of "ātmā" is clearly defined as "Consciousness which is omniscient and omnipotent" (Caitanya). However, in this third Section it is not its "essential condition" what is being described, but rather its "āṇavadaśā" or "state of aṇu or limited being". Under these circumstances, ātmā is the same as citta (the aggregate of intellect, ego and ordinary mind). In other words, with its appearance in limitation, the Supreme Self who is essentially nothing but pure Consciousness, becomes identified with citta. There are not "two" ātmā-s at all, one unlimited and the other limited! So, there is no inconsistency between what I, 1 and III, 1 declare with reference to ātmā.Return 


 Aphorism 2

अस्य चित्तस्वरूपस्याण्वात्मनः—

ज्ञानं बन्धः॥२॥

सुखदुःखमोहमयाध्यवसायादिवृत्तिरूपं तदुचितभेदावभासनात्मकं यज्ज्ञानं तद्बन्धः। तत्पाशितत्वादेव ह्ययं संसरति। तदुक्तं श्रीतन्त्रसद्भावे

सत्त्वस्थो राजसस्थश्च तमस्थो गुणवेदकः।
एवं पर्यटते देही स्थानात्स्थानान्तरं व्रजन्॥

इति। एतदेव

तन्मात्रोदयरूपेण मनोऽहम्बुद्धिवर्तिना।
पुर्यष्टकेन संरुद्धस्तदुत्थं प्रत्ययोद्भवम्॥
भुङ्क्ते परवशो भोगं तद्भावात्संसरेत्...।


... अतः।
संसृतिप्रलयस्यास्य कारणं सम्प्रचक्ष्महे॥

इत्येतत्प्रतिविधानाय स्पन्दशास्त्रे॥२॥

Asya cittasvarūpasyāṇvātmanaḥ—

Jñānaṁ bandhaḥ||2||

Sukhaduḥkhamohamayādhyavasāyādivṛttirūpaṁ taducitabhedāvabhāsanātmakaṁ yajjñānaṁ tadbandhaḥ| Tatpāśitatvādeva hyayaṁ saṁsarati| Taduktaṁ śrītantrasadbhāve

Sattvastho rājasasthaśca tamastho guṇavedakaḥ|
Evaṁ paryaṭate dehī sthānātsthānāntaraṁ vrajan||

iti| Etadeva

Tanmātrodayarūpeṇa mano'hambuddhivartinā|
Puryaṣṭakena saṁruddhastadutthaṁ pratyayodbhavam||
Bhuṅkte paravaśo bhogaṁ tadbhāvātsaṁsaret...|


... ataḥ|
Saṁsṛtipralayasyāsya kāraṇaṁ sampracakṣmahe||

ityetatpratividhānāya spandaśāstre||2||

Of this (ātmā) (asya) who is (now) (ātmanaḥ) an aṇu or limited being (aṇu) whose nature (sva-rūpasya) is citta (citta)

(Mind-born) knowledge (jñānam) (is) bondage (bandhaḥ)||2||

That (tad) knowledge (jñānam) (is) bondage (bandhaḥ) whose nature (rūpam) is modes (vṛtti) of ascertainment (adhyavasāya), etc. (ādi)1  full of (maya) pleasure (sukha), pain (duḥkha) (and) stupefaction or delusion (moha), (and) which --i.e. the knowledge-- consists of (ātmakam) the manifestation (avabhāsana) of differences --duality-- (bheda) proper (ucita) to them --i.e. to the aforesaid modes-- (tad)|

Since (such an aṇu or limited being) is bound (pāśitatvāt) by that (mind-born knowledge) (tad... eva), it (ayam) transmigrates (saṁsarati) indeed (hi)!|

That (tad) is (also) said (uktam) in venerable Tantrasadbhāva (śrī-tantrasadbhāve):

"Standing (sthaḥ) in Sattva (sattva), Rajas --lit. relating to Rajas-- (rājasa) and (ca) Tamas (tama), (and) knowing (vedakaḥ) (only) through (his) senses (guṇa), the embodied one (dehī) wanders around (paryaṭate) in this way (evam), moving (vrajan) from one place (sthānāt) to another (antaram) place (sthāna... iti) --actually and figuratively--2 "||

This very (truth) (etad eva) has been repeated (anūditam) by means of this (quote) (anena):

"Completely stopped and besieged (saṁruddhaḥ) by Puryaṣṭaka (puryaṣṭakena) which arises (udaya-rūpeṇa) from (the five) Tanmātra-s --i.e. subtle elements-- (tanmātra) (and) resides (vartinā) in mind (manas), ego (aham) (and) intellect (buddhi), the subservient (limited being or paśu) (paravaśaḥ) experiences (bhuṅkte) the rise or generation (udbhavam) of ideas (pratyaya) derived (uttham) from that (Puryaṣṭaka) (tad), (along with) the enjoyment (of pleasure and pain coming from those very ideas) (bhogam). He transmigrates (saṁsaret) due to the continuance (bhāvāt) of that (Puryaṣṭaka) (tad... iti)..."|
(See Spandakārikā-s III, 17 and a portion of the 18th)

In the scripture (śāstre) dealing with Spanda (spanda) --in short, in the Spandakārikā-s--, in order to prevent (pratividhānāya) this (transmigration or Saṁsāra) (etad) (the author specifies:)

"... Therefore (atas), we (proceed to) explain (sampracakṣmahe) the cause (kāraṇam) of this (asya) dissolution (pralayasya) of transmigration (saṁsṛti)"||
(See Spandakārikā-s, remaining portion of III, 18)


1  Ascertainment or inquiry is the work of buddhi or intellect. By "etc." the author is tacitly mentioning the activities of "ordinary thought full of fancies" and "self-conceit", which are proper to manas (ordinary mind) and ahaṅkāra (ego). All in all, the sage Kṣemarāja is talking about citta, i.e. the antaḥkaraṇa or inner psychic organ.Return 

2  From one city to another city, from one mental state to another mental state, from one desire to another desire and so on. All this leads nowhere!Return 


 Aphorism 3

ननु च

ज्ञानं प्रकाशकं लोक आत्मा चैव प्रकाशकः।
अनयोरपृथग्भावाज्ज्ञाने ज्ञानी प्रकाशते॥

इति श्रीविज्ञानभैरवोक्तदृष्ट्या ज्ञानमपि प्रकाशमयमेवेति कथमस्य बन्धरूपत्वम्। सत्यमेतद्यदि परमेश्वरप्रसादादेवं प्रत्यभिज्ञायेत यदा तु तन्मायाशक्तितो नैवं विमर्शस्तदा—

कलादीनां तत्त्वानामविवेको माया॥३॥

किञ्चित्कर्तृतादिरूपकलादिक्षित्यन्तानां तत्त्वानां कञ्चुकपुर्यष्टकस्थूलदेहत्वेनावस्थितानां योऽयमविवेकः पृथक्त्वाभिमतानामेवापृथगात्मत्वेन प्रतिपत्तिः सा माया तत्त्वाख्यातिमयः प्रपञ्चः। तदुक्तं श्रीतन्त्रसद्भावे

कलोद्वलितचैतन्यो विद्यादर्शितगोचरः।
रागेण रञ्जितात्मासौ बुद्ध्यादिकरणैर्युतः॥
एवं मायात्मको बन्धः प्रोक्तस्तस्य दरात्मकः।
तदाश्रयगुणो धर्मोऽधर्मश्चैव समासतः॥
तत्रासौ संस्थितः पाश्यः पाशितस्तैस्तु तिष्ठति।

इति। स्पन्दे तु

अप्रबुद्धधियस्त्वेते स्वस्थितिस्थगनोद्यताः।


Nanu ca

Jñānaṁ prakāśakaṁ loka ātmā caiva prakāśakaḥ|
Anayorapṛthagbhāvājjñāne jñānī prakāśate||

iti śrīvijñānabhairavoktadṛṣṭyā jñānamapi prakāśamayameveti kathamasya bandharūpatvam| Satyametadyadi parameśvaraprasādādevaṁ pratyabhijñāyeta yadā tu tanmāyāśaktito naivaṁ vimarśastadā—

Kalādīnāṁ tattvānāmaviveko māyā||3||

Kiñcitkartṛtādirūpakalādikṣityantānāṁ tattvānāṁ kañcukapuryaṣṭakasthūladehatvenāvasthitānāṁ yo'yamavivekaḥ pṛthaktvābhimatānāmevāpṛthagātmatvena pratipattiḥ sā māyā tattvākhyātimayaḥ prapañcaḥ| Taduktaṁ śrītantrasadbhāve

Kalodvalitacaitanyo vidyādarśitagocaraḥ|
Rāgeṇa rañjitātmāsau buddhyādikaraṇairyutaḥ||
Evaṁ māyātmako bandhaḥ proktastasya darātmakaḥ|
Tadāśrayaguṇo dharmo'dharmaścaiva samāsataḥ||
Tatrāsau saṁsthitaḥ pāśyaḥ pāśitastaistu tiṣṭhati|

iti| Spande tu

Aprabuddhadhiyastvete svasthitisthaganodyatāḥ|


An objection (nanu ca)! In view of (dṛṣṭyā) what has been said (ukta) in venerable Vijñānabhairava (śrī-vijñānabhairava):

"In the world (loke), knowledge (jñānam) (is) giver of light (prakāśakam) and (ca eva) ātmā (ātmā) (is) giver of light (prakāśakaḥ). The knower (jñānī) becomes manifest or revealed (prakāśate) in knowledge (jñāne) since there is no (a... bhāvāt) difference (pṛthak) between these both (anayoḥ... iti) --viz. between knowledge and knower--1 "||

(so,) even (api) "the (mind-born) knowledge (jñānam) is full (mayam eva) of light (prakāśa... iti)", (then,) how (katham) (is) it --i.e. mind-born knowledge-- bondage (asya bandharūpatvam)?2 |

This (etad) (is) true (satyam) if (yadi), through the favor (prasādāt) of the Supreme (parama) Lord (īśvara), one could recognize (pratyabhijñāyeta) in such a manner (evam) --i.e. to realize that even mind-born knowledge is full light--. However (tu), when (yadā) through His māyāśakti (tad-māyāśaktitaḥ)3  there is no (na) realization (vimarśaḥ) like that (evam), then (tadā)

Non-discrimination (avivekaḥ) of (such) principles (tattvānām) as Kalā (kalā), etc. (ādīnām), (is) Māyā (māyā)||3||

This (ayam) non-discrimination (avivekaḥ) of the tattva-s or principles (tattvānām) from Kalā --tattva 7-- (kalā-ādi) down to the earth --tattva 36-- (kṣiti-antānām) —whose natures (rūpa) are limited (kiñcid) doership (kartṛtā), etc. (ādi)— arranged (avasthitānām) as Kañcuka-s, puryaṣṭaka (and) gross body (kañcuka-puryaṣṭaka-sthūladehatvena)4 , which --i.e. non-discrimination-- (yaḥ) (consists of) perceiving (pratipattiḥ) as identical (apṛthak-ātmatvena) those (tattva-s) which are regarded (abhimatānām eva) as separate (pṛthaktva), (is) Māyā (sā māyā) (or) a manifestation --i.e. the tattva 6-- (prapañcaḥ) full (mayaḥ) of primal ignorance (akhyāti) about the Supreme Principle (tattva)|

That (tad) has been said (uktam) in venerable Tantrasadbhāva (śrī-tantrasadbhāve):

"This (limited being) (asau) has his consciousness (caitanyaḥ) covered (udvalita) by Kalā (kalā), the objects of his senses (gocaraḥ) are displayed (darśita) by Vidyā (vidyā); he is dyed --i.e. he is (emotionally) affected-- (rañjita-ātmā) by Rāga (rāgeṇa), (and) is endowed (yutaḥ) with organs (karaṇaiḥ) of perception (buddhi), etc. (ādi). Thus (evam), the mayic (māyā-ātmakaḥ) bondage (bandhaḥ) is said (proktaḥ) to be heartrending (dara-ātmakaḥ) to him (tasya). In a word (samāsatas), the Guṇa-s --Rajas, Sattva and Tamas-- (guṇaḥ) depend (āśraya) on that --i.e. of Māyā-- (tad), and also (ca eva) righteous and unrighteous activities (dharmaḥ adharmaḥ) (depend on Māyā). Abiding (saṁsthitaḥ) in that (Māyā) (tatra), he (asau) is in bondage (pāśyaḥ), (and) remains (tiṣṭhati) bound (pāśitaḥ) by those (abovementioned things) (taiḥ) indeed (tu... iti)"|

In Spandakārikā-s (spande tu) this (teaching) (etad) has been expressed (uktam) indirectly (bhaṅgyā) by means of this (first line of the aphorism) (anena):

"Nonetheless (tu), these (very emanations of Spanda) (ete), laboring diligently and incessantly (udyatāḥ) to cover or veil (sthagana) their --i.e. of the people who have unawakened intellects-- (sva) (real) state or nature (sthiti), (cause) people of unawakened intellect (to fall) (aprabuddha-dhiyaḥ... iti)"|
(See Spandakārikā-s I, 20)


1  Another possible translation for prakāśaka is "revealing" or even "revealing light". The knower is none other than the ātmā whose nature is "light", because the one who sheds light is not different from the light itself. Therefore, knowledge (light) and knower (giver of light) are the same thing always.Return 

2  For Sanskrit students: The phrase "kathamasya bandharūpatvam" literally means "How (katham) of this --i.e. of its-- (asya) the state of having the nature of bondage (bandharūpatvam)?". Of course, I cannot translate it like that, oops!Return 

3  Māyāśakti (lit. mayic power) is not the same as Māyātattva (or Māyā, plainly), the sixth category in the process of universal manifestation as taught in Trika. No sir! Māyāśakti is His power for bringing about differences (duality) where there is eternal unity. Therefore, His favor or prasāda is simply His removing māyāśakti, which reveals the inherent underlying unity. So, if someone enjoys His favor, the mind-born knowledge can never bind him because such a person realizes that even that miserable knowledge is also light. Freedom and bondage are then related to His removing or not māyāśakti. It is that simple!Return 

4  Kalā is the seventh tattva (category or principle) in the universal manifestation. The nature of Kalā is limited doership. By "etc.", the author tacitly mentions the natures of the rest of tattva-s (from 8 through 36 --the earth--). Kañcuka-s are sheaths of ignorance, while puryaṣṭaka is the subtle body composed of buddhi (intellect), ahaṅkāra (ego), manas (ordinary mind) and the five Tanmātra-s (subtle elements, the tattva-s 27 through 31). For more information about all these things, and also to understand the next quote of Tantrasadbhāva, read Trika 4, Trika 5 and Trika 6.Return 


 Aphorism 4


शरीरे संहारः कलानाम्॥४॥

महाभूतात्मकं पुर्यष्टकरूपं समनान्तं यत्स्थूलं सुक्ष्मं परं शरीरं तत्र याः पृथिव्यादिशिवान्ततत्त्वरूपाः कला भागास्तासां संहारः स्वकारणे लयभावनया दाहादिचिन्तनयुक्त्या वा ध्यातव्य इति शेषः। यदुक्तं श्रीविज्ञानभैरवे

भुवनाध्वादिरूपेण चिन्तयेत्क्रमशोऽखिलम्।
स्थूलसूक्ष्मपरस्थित्या यावदन्ते मनोलयः॥

इति। तथा

कालाग्निना कालपदादुत्थितेन स्वकं पुरम्।
प्लुष्टं विचिन्तयेदन्ते शान्ताभासः प्रजायते॥

इति। एवमादि च सर्वागमेष्वस्ति। अत एव

यो भवेत्स समावेशः सम्यगाणव उच्यते॥

इति श्रीपूर्वशास्त्रे ध्यानाद्येवाणवत्वेनोक्तम्। एतच्च स्थूलत्वात्शाक्तोपायप्रकाशात्मनि स्पन्दशास्त्रे न सङ्गृहीतम्। यत्त्वत्र पर्यवसानभङ्ग्या शाक्ताद्यस्ति तदस्माभिरत्रापि स्पन्दग्रन्थात्संवादितं संवादयिष्यते च किञ्चित्॥४॥


Śarīre saṁhāraḥ kalānām||4||

Mahābhūtātmakaṁ puryaṣṭakarūpaṁ samanāntaṁ yatsthūlaṁ sukṣmaṁ paraṁ śarīraṁ tatra yāḥ pṛthivyādiśivāntatattvarūpāḥ kalā bhāgāstāsāṁ saṁhāraḥ svakāraṇe layabhāvanayā dāhādicintanayuktyā vā dhyātavya iti śeṣaḥ| Yaduktaṁ śrīvijñānabhairave

Bhuvanādhvādirūpeṇa cintayetkramaśo'khilam|
Sthūlasūkṣmaparasthityā yāvadante manolayaḥ||

iti| Tathā

Kālāgninā kālapadādutthitena svakaṁ puram|
Pluṣṭaṁ vicintayedante śāntābhāsaḥ prajāyate||

iti| Evamādi ca sarvāgameṣvasti| Ata eva

Yo bhavetsa samāveśaḥ samyagāṇava ucyate||

iti śrīpūrvaśāstre dhyānādyevāṇavatvenoktam| Etacca sthūlatvātśāktopāyaprakāśātmani spandaśāstre na saṅgṛhītam| Yattvatra paryavasānabhaṅgyā śāktādyasti tadasmābhiratrāpi spandagranthātsaṁvāditaṁ saṁvādayiṣyate ca kiñcit||4||

Therefore (atas ca), in order to put and end (praśamāya) to this (bondage) (etad)

The dissolution (saṁhāraḥ) of the parts (kalānām) --of the tattva-s or principles of manifestation-- in the body --physical, subtle and causal-- (śarīre) (should be accomplished by Bhāvanā or creative contemplation)||4||

Śarīra --lit. body-- (śarīram) (means here) the gross (body) (sthūlam) that (yad) consists (ātmakam) of great (mahā) elements (bhūta) --viz. tattva-s 32 through 36--, the subtle (body) (sukṣma) that (yad) is (rūpam) puryaṣṭaka (puryaṣṭaka) --viz. intellect, ego, ordinary mind and Tanmātra-s--, (and) the highest (body) --i.e. the causal one-- (param) that (yad) ends (antam) in Samanā (samanā) --viz. the body formed from vital energy and subtle mind up to Samanā, the latter being the Śakti or Power of the Lord displaying herself as thought from śūnya or state of void down to the tattva 361 --. In that (śarīra or body) (tatra), those (yāḥ) kalā-s (kalāḥ) (or) parts (bhāgāḥ) are (rūpāḥ) the tattva-s --principles or categories-- (tattva) beginning with (ādi) the earth --tattva 36-- (pṛthivī) (and) ending in (anta) Śiva (śiva). The dissolution (saṁhāraḥ) of those (parts) (tāsām) into their own causes (sva-kāraṇe) must be meditated on (dhyātavyaḥ) (either) by Bhāvanā --creative contemplation-- (bhāvanayā) of the disappearance (of one tattva into the preceding one) (laya) or (vā) by means (yuktyā) of thinking (cintana) about burning (dāha), etc. (ādi)2 . This is to be supplied (to the aphorism to complete the sense) (iti śeṣaḥ)|

That (yad) was said (uktam) in venerable Vijñānabhairava (śrī-vijñānabhairave):

"One should think (cintayet) gradually --i.e. little by little-- (kramaśas) about the whole (universe) (akhilam) appearing as (rūpeṇa) Bhuvanādhvā (bhuvana-adhvā)3 , etc. (ādi), by remaining (sthityā) in gross, subtle and causal --i.e. by dissolving one into the other successively-- (sthūla-sūkṣma-para) till (yāvat) (there is) at last (ante) dissolution (laya) of mind (manas... iti)"||

So also (tathā):

"One should imagine (vicintayet) that his own (svakam) body (puram) has been burnt (pluṣṭam) by Kālāgni (kāla-agninā) rising (utthitena) from the great toe of the right foot (kālapadāt). In the end (ante), the light (ābhāsaḥ) of Śānta --lit. the Peaceful One, i.e. Śiva-- (ante) arises (prajāyate... iti)4 "||

There is (asti) such (a description of the dissolution) (evam-ādi ca) in all the Āgama-s --the revealed scriptures-- (sarva-āgameṣu)|

For this very reason (atas eva), in venerable Pūrvaśāstra --i.e. Mālinīvijayatantra-- (śrī-pūrva-śāstre), dhyāna (dhyāna), etc. (ādi eva) are said (uktam) to be āṇava --i.e. belonging to Āṇavopāya-- (āṇavatvena):

"The complete (saḥ... samyak) absorption into one's essential nature (samāveśaḥ) that (yaḥ) occurs (bhavet) by means of Uccāra, Karaṇa, Dhyāna, Varṇa and Sthānakalpanā (uccāra-karaṇa-dhyāna-varṇa-sthānaprakalpanaiḥ), is known as (ucyate) Āṇava (āṇavaḥ... iti)5 "||
(See II, 21 in Mālinīvijaya)

This (kind of methods) --i.e. Āṇavopāya's methods-- (etad ca), because of its being gross (sthūlatvāt), has not been summarized (na saṅgṛhītam) in Spandaśāstra --viz. Spandakārikā-s-- (spanda-śāstre), which reveals (prakāśa-ātmani) Śāktopāya (śāktopāya) --in short, Spandaśāstra deals with Śāktopāya--|

Nonetheless (tu), whatever (yad) pertaining to Śāktopāya (śākta), etc. (ādi) may be found (asti) here (atra) as a concluding means (paryavasāna-bhaṅgyā), that (tad), even (api) in this (context) (atra), was made concordant (with Āṇavopāya) (saṁvāditam) by us (asmābhiḥ) from the book (granthāt) dealing with Spanda (spanda) --i.e. by quotes extracted from Spandakārikā-s itself--, and (ca) will be made concordant (saṁvādayiṣyate) (in the future too, just) a little (kiñcid)||4||

1  For more information about Samanā, read the last three stages of Meditation 6.Return 

2  In order to perform creative contemplation (a kind of visual imagination) of the dissolution of every tattva into the preceding one, one must first have full knowledge about the tattvic scheme as formulated by the Trika system: Tattvic Chart. The method that uses burning is described here while I explain Dhyāna according to Āṇavopāya.Return 

3  Read my study about the Six Courses to fully understand that topic.Return 

4  The term "Śānta" also means "Peace". So, there is this twist in the translation. But, of course, the Supreme Lord is that Peace too. Additionally, in some versions of Vijñānabhairava, the final portion varies from "prajāyate" (arises) to "तदा भवेत्" - "tadā bhavet" (then, there is). Therefore, the translation twists again: "Then, there is a flash of Peace lastly". Here you have it... you will not want to be a translator after all that, haha. Joking apart, sometimes, I can be pondering even for about one hour over the most exact/possible meaning of a single term. Some strange paragraphs can take hours, not because I do not understand the meaning quickly (reading Sanskrit is rather easy in my case... well, generally at least, because sometimes the text is so nightmarish that I get stuck for a while) but because I want to be so accurate/literal as possible while at the same time the reader will be able to understand me. In this way, it is not just a matter of merely consulting a dictionary and, oh dear!, you have the exact translation magically. Really?

The first main problem with this is that every term can contain a huge pile of possible meanings according to the different contexts, and you will have to choose only one from them in general. Other meanings cannot be found in a "regular" dictionary, and you are bound to resort to other sources (e.g. commentaries in Sanskrit and the like). On other occasions, the translations of very difficult passages must come by divine revelation or one just gets stuck and cannot advance anymore. Though repeated salutations to the Lord please Him and the Merciful One gives the translation finally, most of the time it is just about His ahaitukī karuṇā or causeless compassion. I meant that, out of sheer compassion, He brings the hidden meanings to light from the depths of His own Being and a revelation occurs in the mind of the "apparent" translator. It is the light of Śānta, it is a flash of Peace, as the possible translations of the above Vijñānabhairava's stanza specify. In the end, everything is just His work and skills. These are His scriptures as well. For this reason, as you translate this sacred language, your individuality fades away and He remains alone. No surprise, because the divine Lord is the only One here! What you call "you" is not "you" but "He" always.Return 

5  Read Meditation 4 and Meditation 5 to fully understand this. But also read Meditation 1 as an introduction to the long topic.Return 


 Aphorism 5

एवं ध्यानाख्यमाणवमुपायं प्रदर्श्य तदेकयोगक्षेमान् प्राणायामधारणाप्रत्याहारसमाधीन् प्रदर्शयति—


योगिना भावनीयानीति शेषः। नाडीनां प्राणापानादिवाहिनीनां सुषीणां संहारः प्राणापानयुक्त्याकत्रोदानवह्न्यात्मनि मध्यनाड्यां विलीनतापादनम्। यदुक्तं श्रीमत्स्वच्छन्दे

अपसव्येन पूर्येत सव्येनैव विरेचयेत्।
नाडीसंशोधनं चैतन्मोक्षमार्गपथस्य च॥
रेचनात्पूरणाद्रोधात्प्राणायामस्त्रिधा स्मृतः।
सामान्या बहिरेते तु पुनश्चाभ्यन्तरे त्रयः॥
आभ्यन्तरेण रेच्येत पूर्येताभ्यन्तरेण तु।
निष्कम्पं कुम्भकं कृत्वा कार्याश्चाभ्यन्तरास्त्रयः॥

इति। भूतानां पृथिव्यादीनां जयो धारणाभिर्वशीकारः। यथोक्तं तत्रैव

वायवी धारणाङ्गुष्ठ आग्नेयी नाभिमध्यतः।
माहेयी कण्ठदेशे तु वारुणी घण्टिकाश्रया॥
आकाशधारणा मूर्ध्नि सर्वसिद्धिकरी स्मृता।

इति। भूतेभ्यः कैवल्यं चित्तस्य ततः प्रत्याहरणम्। यदुक्तं तत्रैव

नाभ्यां हृदयसञ्चारान्मनश्चेन्द्रियगोचरात्।
प्राणायामश्चतुर्थस्तु सुप्रशान्त इति श्रुतः॥

इति। हृदयान्नाभौ प्राणस्य विषयेभ्यो मनसश्च तत्रैव सञ्चारणादित्यर्थः। भूतेभ्यः पृथक्त्वं तदनुपरक्तस्वच्छस्वच्छन्दचिदात्मता। यदुक्तं तत्रैव

भित्त्वा क्रमेण सर्वाण्युन्मनान्तानि यानि च।
पूर्वोक्तलक्षणैर्देवि त्यक्त्वा स्वच्छन्दतां व्रजेत्॥

इति। भूतसन्धानभूतपृथक्त्वविश्वसङ्घट्टाः (१-२०) इति यत्पूर्वमुक्तं तच्छाम्भवोपायसमाविष्टस्यायत्नतो भवति। इदं त्वाणवोपायप्रयत्नसाध्यमिति विशेषः॥५॥

Evaṁ dhyānākhyamāṇavamupāyaṁ pradarśya tadekayogakṣemān prāṇāyāmadhāraṇāpratyāhārasamādhīn pradarśayati—


Yoginā bhāvanīyānīti śeṣaḥ| Nāḍīnāṁ prāṇāpānādivāhinīnāṁ suṣīṇāṁ saṁhāraḥ prāṇāpānayuktyāikatrodānavahnyātmani madhyanāḍyāṁ vilīnatāpādanam| Yaduktaṁ śrīmatsvacchande

Apasavyena pūryeta savyenaiva virecayet|
Nāḍīsaṁśodhanaṁ caitanmokṣamārgapathasya ca||
Recanātpūraṇādrodhātprāṇāyāmastridhā smṛtaḥ|
Sāmānyā bahirete tu punaścābhyantare trayaḥ||
Ābhyantareṇa recyeta pūryetābhyantareṇa tu|
Niṣkampaṁ kumbhakaṁ kṛtvā kāryāścābhyantarāstrayaḥ||

iti| Bhūtānāṁ pṛthivyādīnāṁ jayo dhāraṇābhirvaśīkāraḥ| Yathoktaṁ tatraiva

Vāyavī dhāraṇāṅguṣṭha āgneyī nābhimadhyataḥ|
Māheyī kaṇṭhadeśe tu vāruṇī ghaṇṭikāśrayā||
Ākāśadhāraṇā mūrdhni sarvasiddhikarī smṛtā|

iti| Bhūtebhyaḥ kaivalyaṁ cittasya tataḥ pratyāharaṇam| Yaduktaṁ tatraiva

Nābhyāṁ hṛdayasañcārānmanaścendriyagocarāt|
Prāṇāyāmaścaturthastu supraśānta iti śrutaḥ||

iti| Hṛdayānnābhau prāṇasya viṣayebhyo manasaśca tatraiva sañcāraṇādityarthaḥ| Bhūtebhyaḥ pṛthaktvaṁ tadanuparaktasvacchasvacchandacidātmatā| Yaduktaṁ tatraiva

Bhittvā krameṇa sarvāṇyunmanāntāni yāni ca|
Pūrvoktalakṣaṇairdevi tyaktvā svacchandatāṁ vrajet||

iti| Bhūtasandhānabhūtapṛthaktvaviśvasaṅghaṭṭāḥ (1-20) iti yatpūrvamuktaṁ tacchāmbhavopāyasamāviṣṭasyāyatnato bhavati| Idaṁ tvāṇavopāyaprayatnasādhyamiti viśeṣaḥ||5||

In this way (evam), after describing (pradarśya) the āṇava method --i.e. pertaining to Āṇavopāya-- (āṇavam upāyam) called (ākhyam) dhyāna (dhyāna), (Śiva now) describes (pradarśayati) prāṇāyāma, dhāraṇā, pratyāhāra and samādhi (prāṇāyāma-dhāraṇā-pratyāhāra-samādhīn)1 , which are (handy) for the acquisition and preservation (yogakṣemān) of that (dhyāna) (tad) alone (eka)

(The Yogī should bring about) dissolution (of the vital energy) (saṁhāra) in the subtle channels (nāḍī), conquest (jaya) of the gross elements (bhūta), withdrawal (of his mind) (kaivalya) from the gross elements (bhūta) (and) separation --pṛthaktva-- (pṛthaktvāni) from the gross elements (bhūta) (by means of Bhāvanā or creative contemplation too)||5||

"(These methods) should be effected or accomplished through Bhāvanā --creative contemplation-- (bhāvanīyāni) by the Yogī (yoginā)", this is to be supplied (to the aphorism to complete the sense) (iti śeṣaḥ)|

The saṁhāra (of the vital energy) (saṁhāraḥ) flowing in the subtle channels (nāḍīnām) (or) tubes --suṣi-- (suṣīṇām) that carry (vāhinīnām) prāṇa (prāṇa), apāna (apāna), etc. (ādi), (consists of) producing or effecting (āpādanam) the dissolution (of that vital energy) (vilīnatā) into one place (ekatra), i.e. into the middle subtle channel (madhya- nāḍyām) —viz. (into Suṣumnā), whose nature (ātmani) (is) the fire (vahni) of udāna (udāna)—, by means of the device (yuktyā) of prāṇa and apāna (prāṇa-apāna)2 |

That (yad) is stated (uktam) in venerable Svacchandatantra (śrīmat-svacchande):

"One should inhale (pūryeta) through the left (nostril) (apasavyena) (and) exhale (virecayet) through the right (nostril) (savyena eva)3 . This (etad) (is) complete purification (saṁśodhanam) of the subtle channels (nāḍī) and (ca.. ca) of the path (mārga-pathasya) to Liberation (mokṣa) --i.e. Suṣumnā--. From the act(s) of exhaling (recanāt), inhaling (pūraṇāt) (and) stopping --i.e. retaining-- (rodhāt) (breath,) prāṇāyāma (prāṇa-āyāmaḥ) is said to be (smṛtaḥ) triple (tridhā). These (three prāṇāyāma-s) (ete) (are) certainly (tu) common (sāmānyāḥ) (and) external --because breath is retained outside, not inside the body, after exhaling it-- (bahis). However (punar ca), (there are) three (trayaḥ) that are internal --because breath is retained inside, not outside the body, after inhaling it-- (ābhyantare). The three (trayaḥ) internal (prāṇāyāma-s) (ābhyantarāḥ) are to be performed (kāryāḥ ca) (in this way:) By the internal (prāṇāyāma) (ābhyantareṇa) one should exhale (recyeta) (and) by the internal one (ābhyantareṇa) one should inhale (pūryeta) indeed (tu). (Lastly, by the internal one) one performs --lit. having performed-- (kṛtvā) tremorless (niṣkampam) retention of the breath (kumbhakam... iti)"||
(See stanzas 294-297 in the 7th paṭala of Svacchandatantra)

Conquest (jayaḥ) of the gross elements (bhūtānām) (such as) earth, etc. (pṛthivī-ādīnām) (is) mastery or dominion (over them) (vaśīkāraḥ) by means of concentrations or dhāraṇā-s (dhāraṇābhiḥ)4 |

As has been said (yathā uktam) in that very (Svacchandatantra) (tatra eva):

"Air-related (vāyavī) concentration (dhāraṇā) in the great toe (aṅguṣṭhe), fire-related (one) (āgreyī) in the middle (madhyatas) of the navel (nābhi), earth-related (one) (māheyī) in the region (deśe) of throat (kaṇṭha... tu), water-related (one) (vāruṇī) with its seat --i.e. seat or focus of the concentration-- (āśrayā) in the uvula (ghaṇṭikā), (and finally,) concentration (dhāraṇā) on the ether or space (ākāśa) on the top of the head (mūrdhni). (This series of concentrations) is said (smṛtā) to bring about (karī) all (sarva) the supernatural powers (siddhi... iti)5 "|
(See stanzas 299-300 in the 7th paṭala of Svacchandatantra)

Withdrawal (kaivalyam) of the mind (cittasya) from the gross elements (bhūtebhyaḥ) (is) therefore (tatas) pratyāhāra (pratyāharaṇam)|

That (yad) is declared (uktam) in that very (Svacchandatantra) (tatra eva):

"(Restraining and checking very gradually the vital energy in the navel) by transferring (it) (sañcārāt) from the heart (hṛdaya) down to the navel (nābhyām) and also (ca) (restraining and checking) the mind (manas) (in the navel by the device of withdrawing it) from senses and objects of senses (toward the navel) (indriya-gocarāt), the fourth (caturthaḥ) prāṇāyāma (prāṇāyāmaḥ) (known as) the very tranquil or calm one (supraśāntaḥ) (takes place) indeed (tu). This is what has been taught (iti śrutaḥ... iti)6 "||
(See stanza 297 in the 7th paṭala of Svacchandatantra)

Through the transference (sañcāraṇāt) of the vital energy (prāṇasya) from the heart (hṛdayāt) down to the navel (nābhau), and also (ca) (through the transference) of mind (manasaḥ) toward it --i.e. toward the navel-- (tatra eva) from the objects of senses (viṣayebhyaḥ) (by pratyāhāra or the device of withdrawal). This is the meaning (iti arthaḥ)|

Separation (pṛthaktva) from the gross elements (bhūtebhyaḥ) (is assuming) the nature (ātmatā) of the pure (svaccha) (and) independent (svacchanda) Consciousness --i.e. Śiva-- (cit) that is unaffected (anuparakta) by them --i.e. by the gross elements-- (tad)|

That (yad) is said (uktam) in that very (Svacchandatantra) (tatra eva):

"Oh goddess (devi), after gradually piercing through (bhittvā krameṇa) all (the granthi-s or knots --heart, throat, etc.--) (sarvāṇi) which (yāni ca) end (antāni) in Unmanā (unmanā), by the experiences --acting as a means-- (lakṣaṇaiḥ) previously mentioned (pūrva-ukta) (in the sixth paṭala or chapter of Svacchandatantra); by abandoning (tyaktvā) (all that, the Yogī) attains (vrajet) (Supreme) Freedom (svacchandatām... iti)7 "|
(See stanza 327 in the 7th paṭala of Svacchandatantra)

That (tad) which (yad) was formerly said (pūrvam uktam) in I, 20 (of the present scripture) (1-20), viz. "(The other supernormal powers of the enlightened Yogī are: the power of) putting together (sandhāna) existent entities (bhūta); (the power of) separating (pṛthaktva) them all --i.e. the existent entities-- (bhūta) (and the power of) assembling --saṅghaṭṭa-- (saṅghaṭṭāḥ) everything (viśva... iti) (what has been separated by space and time)", takes place (bhavati) effortlessly (ayatnatas) to the one who has entered (samāviṣtasya) into Śāmbhavopāya --the means pertaining to Śiva-- (śāmbhava-upāya)|

But (tu) this --i.e. what I, 20 describes-- (idam) is to be accomplished and achieved (sādhyam) with effort (prayatna) in Āṇavopāya --the means pertaining to the limited being-- (āṇava-upāya). This is the difference (iti viśeṣaḥ)||5||

1  These terms are to be understood practically in the same way as they were defined by the sage Patañjali in his Yogasūtra-s II, 49 (prāṇāyāma) - III, 1 (dhāraṇā) - II, 54 (pratyāhāra) - III, 3 (samādhi), respectively. To pick up all the information you need, read those aphorisms on the page containing all the original sūtra-s, i.e. Pātañjalayogasūtra-s, and also on the one explaining Aṣṭāṅgayoga.Return 

2  This long topic has been dealt with when I explained Uccāra in Meditation 4. The device of prāṇa (the vital energy going out with the exhalation) and apāna (the vital energy coming in with the inhalation) is simply a breathing stoppage that forces the vital energy inside to proceed toward Suṣumnā (the middle or central channel). I spoke about Suṣumnā in Meditation 6 as well. When prāṇa and apāna get stabilized in the middle channel, that is samāna. Finally, this samāna is dissolved in udāna, hence the latter is figuratively called "a fire". Oh well, read those pages, please, so that I do not have to write an interminable note here, lol.Return 

3  Despite "savya" and "apasavya" mean literally "left" and "right" respectively, I interpreted "savyena" and "apasvyena" such as Kṣemarāja indicates in his commentary on Svacchandatantra, i.e. as the indeclinables "to the right" and "to the left". He starts his commentary on VII, 294 in Svacchandatantra in this way: "सव्येन दक्षनासापथेन रेचयेद्रेचकं कुर्यादपसव्येन वामेन पूर्येत वायुपूरणं कुर्यादित्यर्थः" - "Savyena dakṣanāsāpathena recayedrecakaṁ kuryādapasavyena vāmena pūryeta vāyupūraṇaṁ kuryādityarthaḥ" - "He should exhale —i.e. he should perform the act of breathing out— through savya —i.e. through the right nostril—; (and) he should inhale —i.e. he should fill with air— through apasavya —i.e. through the left (nostril)—. This is the meaning". So, now it is clear, right?

Besides, since I saw serious inconsistencies between the stanzas quoted here and the original ones of the Svacchandatantra (possibly some typos in the process of transcribing), I made the decision to directly import those original stanzas from the venerable Svacchandatantra to the text of the Śivasūtravimarśinī in order to fix all the errors. Am I crazy? Yes, at least temporarily! These translations, studies and explanations can easily drive a person mad, be sure, not only because they are extremely difficult to perform and my intellect is always at 100% for hours, but because the text contains, apart from the teaching, overwhelming powers emanating from the signs themselves. I cannot describe the experience in words. It is just like being in the presence of something extremely healing and radioactive at the same time. People constanly saying that they are in search of God (the absolute Lord of the entire universe), believe me, most of them do not know what they are saying. If a limited being, as such (i.e. without His grace, without any special preparation/training, etc.), finds the Lord and His Power, his physical body will not survive the experience. The impact of the experience is so blessing that kills your individuality to its very roots! All these texts I am translating were written by Him Himself and commented by great sages. Therefore, they are full of His Power and divine mysteries. When one approaches them, he should be very careful and respectful then.Return 

4  The term "dhāraṇā" (concentration) must be interpreted here such as the sage Patañjali defined it in his Yogasūtra-s (III, 1).Return 

5  Kṣemarāja comments extensively on these two stanzas of the Svacchandatantra, giving the exact method to practice them. Anyway, the reader is advised to not study that lest he gets all the supernatural powers in the process! My God, you will not want to get all those superpowers, be sure. As the eminent sage Patañjali declares in his celebrated Yogasūtra-s (III, 37):

"ते समाधावुपसर्गा व्युत्थाने सिद्धयः" - "Te samādhāvupasargā vyutthāne siddhayaḥ" - "Those (supernormal powers) are obstacles or hindrances in Samādhi, (but) accomplishments in Vyutthāna --i.e. the ordinary state of consciousness in which the mind fluctuates--".

So, while those supernatural powers are real achievements for someone whose goal is remaining in the ordinary state of consciousness in which the mind works all the time, they are like a curse for someone wanting to remain in Perfect Concentration (Samādhi) and finally attain Liberation.

OK, back to topic. The first paragraph of the Kṣemarāja's commentary on these two stanzas of Svacchandatantra will make my own translation be much more understandable, I guess:

"पाददेशे तिर्यग्गतेः नाभौ जाठराग्नेः कण्ठे स्थितिपदे धरण्या घण्टिकायां रसस्य ब्रह्मरन्ध्रे च व्योम्नः सद्भावात्तथैव धारणा उक्ताः।" - "Pādadeśe tiryaggateḥ nābhau jāṭharāgneḥ kaṇṭhe sthitipade dharaṇyā ghaṇṭikāyāṁ rasasya brahmarandhre ca vyomnaḥ sadbhāvāttathaiva dhāraṇā uktāḥ|" - "The concentrations are described (as follows:) On the one who moves horizontally --an epithet of the air-- in the region of the foot; on the belly-fire in the navel; on earth —whose state is standing firmly— in the throat; on water in the uvula; and, likewise, on the ether or space —which is (one's own) real Being— in Brahmarandhra --i.e. in the central hole of Sahasrāracakra, on top of the head--".

Oh, good, now it is clear, right? If you expected another word for word translation in this note, you are crazier than myself, haha. Do not worry, the translation is right. Just trust me then. Anyway, you can check it with the help of a dictionary if your Sanskrit knowledge is enough to do so. Word by word translations are very nice but so time-consuming as well. This is why I am not including them in the explanatory notes.

Of course, air, belly-fire, earth, water and ether/space, are the well-known Mahābhūta-s (lit. great elements, i.e. the gross elements), viz. the tattva-s or categories 32 through 36 in the scheme of universal manifestation according to the Trika system.Return 

6  Oh well, in order to understand why I translated that stanza of Svacchandatantra in the way I did, you will need to read the "entire" Kṣemarāja's commentary on such a stanza. The topic is very complex but his words will dissipate all the doubts. By the way, the entire commentary that Kṣemarāja composed on Svacchandatantra is known as Svacchandoddyota. This contains 15 paṭala-s or chapters, and the scholars know that Kṣemarāja was his author from the very start when the sage wrote in the fifth verse of his introduction to the book: "क्षेमराजो विवृणुते श्रीस्वच्छन्दनयं मनाक्॥५॥" - "Kṣemarājo vivṛṇute śrīsvacchandanayaṁ manāk||5||" - "Kṣemarāja slightly explains the doctrine of venerable Svacchandatantra". Yes, despite that the word manāk (slightly, a little, in a small degree) looks like a kind of joke, he is right in regard to other great Sanskrit scholars and sages, but not in respect to the rest of us, obviously. Anyway, seeing the depth and spirituality of the teachings given in the venerable Svacchandatantra, yes, the sage was rather concise (about 2000 pages, I am not kidding). Of course, for a Western mind used to read summaries all the time, his commentary will look like very voluminous, but it is just an appearance... let us try to be optimistic, please, lol. Sorry, Lord, but I have to be a little sarcastic here and play some jokes or I will die while beholding the concise Svacchandoddyota right in front of me now. Yes, I have it in front of me right now, friend. The amount of teachings and wisdom contained in this book is simply overwhelming. No human being could fully "understand" this book even in an entire lifetime, but with His divine favor everything is possible, you know.

Now, back to topic with his "brief" commentary on VII, 297 (7th chapter, stanza 297). Remember that the previous stanzas (from the 294th) of Svacchandatantra were already translated above [see "One should inhale (pūryeta) through the left (nostril) (apasavyena) (and) exhale (virecayet) through the right (nostril)... (Lastly, by the internal one) one performs --lit. having performed-- (kṛtvā) tremorless (niṣkampam) retention of the breath (kumbhakam... iti)"]. So, the technique commented by Kṣemarāja starts from that tremorless retention of the breath. Check the stanza VII, 297 above to understand the meaning of this commentary:

"निष्कम्पकुम्भकानन्तरं हृदयसञ्चारादिति शनैः शनैर्हृदयादधःसञ्चारयुक्त्या प्राणं नाभ्यामेव नियम्येत्यर्थात्तथा मन इन्द्रियगोचरादिति तत्प्रत्याहारयुक्त्या नाभ्यामेव मनो नियम्य मनोनियमपूर्वकं प्राणं नाभौ नियच्छतः सुप्रशान्तः प्राणायामो भवति॥२९७॥" - "Niṣkampakumbhakānantaraṁ hṛdayasañcārāditi śanaiḥ śanairhṛdayādadhaḥsañcārayuktyā prāṇaṁ nābhyāmeva niyamyetyarthāttathā mana indriyagocarāditi tatpratyāhārayuktyā nābhyāmeva mano niyamya manoniyamapūrvakaṁ prāṇaṁ nābhau niyacchataḥ supraśāntaḥ prāṇāyāmo bhavati||297||" - "(This prāṇāyāma comes) immediately after the tremorless retention of breath. (In the stanza,) 'hṛdayasañcārāt' really means 'Restraining and checking very gradually the vital energy in the navel by the device of transference --i.e. by transferring the vital energy-- from the heart downward --i.e. down to the navel--'. So also, 'mana indriyagocarāt' (means) restraining and checking the mind in the navel by the device of withdrawing (it) from that --i.e. from senses and objects of senses-- (toward the navel). By restraining and checking the vital energy in the navel, along with restraining and checking of the mind (there too), the prāṇāyāma (called) supraśānta --very tranquil or calm-- takes place||297||"

It is the fourth prāṇāyāma because of its following the previous three internal ones: exhalation, inhalation and retention of the breath. Now you understand why I translated the above stanza in the way I did it.Return 

7  The word "lakṣaṇa" means "mark, attribute, characteristic, etc.". So, "lakṣaṇaiḥ" would mean "by the marks, attributes, characteristics, etc.". Anyway, the sage Kṣemarāja explains in this way the meaning of "lakṣaṇaiḥ" in his commentary on this stanza of Svacchandatantra:

"लक्षणैरिति प्रणवाधिकारोक्तैरनुभवैर्युज्यत इति शेषः" - "Lakṣaṇairiti praṇavādhikāroktairanubhavairyujyata iti śeṣaḥ" - "(The word) 'lakṣaṇaiḥ' (in the stanza) means that 'he is endowed with the experiences mentioned in the Praṇavādhikāra --i.e. the sixth chapter in Svacchandatantra, also known as Pañcapraṇavādhikāra--'. This is to be supplied (to the stanza to complete the sense)"

So, the purport is that the Yogī is able to pierce through all the granthi-s (knots), etc. up to Unmanā through his being endowed with the experiences of various states associated with every stage. These experiences are mentioned in that chapter of Svacchandatantra and act like a means for him to attain the Supreme Spirit. I have written a study about "The way of Praṇava" in Meditation 6.Return 


 Aphorism 6

एवं देहशुद्धिभूतशुद्धिप्राणायामप्रत्याहारधारणाध्यानसमाधिभिर्या तत्तत्तत्त्वरूपा सिद्धिर्भवति सा मोहावरणान्न तु तत्त्वज्ञानादित्याह—


मोहयतीति मोहो माया तत्कृतादावरणात्प्रोक्तधारणादिक्रमसमासादिता तत्तत्तत्त्वभोगरूपा सिद्धिर्भवति। न तु परतत्त्वप्रकाशः। यदुक्तं श्रीमल्लक्ष्मीकौलार्णवे

स्वयम्भूर्भगवान्देवो जन्मसंस्कारवर्जितः।
निर्विकल्पं परं धाम अनादिनिधनं शिवम्॥
प्रत्यक्षं सर्वजन्तूनां न च पश्यति मोहितः।

इति। विगलितमोहस्य तु

मध्यमं प्राणमाश्रित्य प्राणापानपथान्तरम्।
आलम्ब्य ज्ञानशक्तिं च तत्स्थं चैवासनं लभेत्॥
प्राणादिस्थूलभावं तु त्यक्त्वा सूक्ष्ममथान्तरम्।
सूक्ष्मातीतं तु परमं स्पन्दनं लभ्यते यतः॥
प्राणायामः स निर्दिष्तो यस्मान्न च्यवते पुनः।
शब्दादिगुणवृत्तिर्या चेतसा ह्यनुभूयते॥
त्यक्त्वा तां परमं धाम प्रविशेत्तत्स्वचेतसा।
प्रत्याहार इति प्रोक्तो भवपाशनिकृन्तनः॥
धीगुणान्समतिक्रम्य निर्ध्येयं परमं विभुम्।
ध्यात्वा ध्येयं स्वसंवेद्यं ध्यानं तच्च विदुर्बुधाः॥
धारणा परमात्मत्वं धार्यते येन सर्वदा।
धारणा सा विनिर्दिष्टा भवपाशनिवारिणी॥
स्वपरस्थेषु भूतेषु जगत्यस्मिन्समानधीः।
शिवोऽहमद्वितीयोऽहं समाधिः स परः स्मृतः॥

इति श्रीमन्मृत्युजिद्भट्टारकनिरूपितनीत्या धारणादिभिरपि परतत्त्वसमावेश एव भवति न तु मितसिद्धिः॥६॥

Evaṁ dehaśuddhibhūtaśuddhiprāṇāyāmapratyāhāradhāraṇādhyānasamādhibhiryā tattattattvarūpā siddhirbhavati sā mohāvaraṇānna tu tattvajñānādityāha—


Mohayatīti moho māyā tatkṛtādāvaraṇātproktadhāraṇādikramasamāsāditā tattattattvabhogarūpā siddhirbhavati| Na tu paratattvaprakāśaḥ| Yaduktaṁ śrīmallakṣmīkaulārṇave

Svayambhūrbhagavāndevo janmasaṁskāravarjitaḥ|
Nirvikalpaṁ paraṁ dhāma anādinidhanaṁ śivam||
Pratyakṣaṁ sarvajantūnāṁ na ca paśyati mohitaḥ|

iti| Vigalitamohasya tu

Madhyamaṁ prāṇamāśritya prāṇāpānapathāntaram|
Ālambya jñānaśaktiṁ ca tatsthaṁ caivāsanaṁ labhet||
Prāṇādisthūlabhāvaṁ tu tyaktvā sūkṣmamathāntaram|
Sūkṣmātītaṁ tu paramaṁ spandanaṁ labhyate yataḥ||
Prāṇāyāmaḥ sa nirdiṣto yasmānna cyavate punaḥ|
Śabdādiguṇavṛttiryā cetasā hyanubhūyate||
Tyaktvā tāṁ paramaṁ dhāma praviśettatsvacetasā|
Pratyāhāra iti prokto bhavapāśanikṛntanaḥ||
Dhīguṇānsamatikramya nirdhyeyaṁ paramaṁ vibhum|
Dhyātvā dhyeyaṁ svasaṁvedyaṁ dhyānaṁ tacca vidurbudhāḥ||
Dhāraṇā paramātmatvaṁ dhāryate yena sarvadā|
Dhāraṇā sā vinirdiṣṭā bhavapāśanivāriṇī||
Svaparastheṣu bhūteṣu jagatyasminsamānadhīḥ|
Śivo'hamadvitīyo'haṁ samādhiḥ sa paraḥ smṛtaḥ||

iti śrīmanmṛtyujidbhaṭṭārakanirūpitanītyā dhāraṇādibhirapi paratattvasamāveśa eva bhavati na tu mitasiddhiḥ||6||

In this way (evam), the supernatural power (siddhiḥ sā) —constituted (rūpā) by various (tad-tad) realities (manifested by the Supreme Self) (tattva)— that (yā) (is produced) by means of purification of the body, purification of the gross elements, Prāṇāyāma, Pratyāhāra, Dhāraṇā, Dhyāna and Samādhi (dehaśuddhi-bhūtaśuddhi-prāṇāyāma-pratyāhāra-dhāraṇā-dhyāna-samādhibhiḥ), occurs (bhavati) because of a veil (āvaraṇāt) (drawn by) Moha --i.e. Māyā-- (moha), and not (na tu) because of knowledge (jñānāt) of the (Highest) Principle --which is not a mere tattva or manifested reality but one's own real Being-- (tattva). (The author of the Śivasūtra-s, i.e. Śiva,) said so (iti āha)

Supernatural power (siddhiḥ) (occurs) because of a veil (āvaraṇāt) (drawn by) Māyā or Ignorance (moha)||6||

Moha (mohaḥ) is what deludes (mohayati iti), i.e. Māyā --ignorance-- (māyā). Because of a veil (āvaraṇāt) drawn (kṛtāt) by that (Moha) (tad), there takes place (bhavati) the supernatural power (siddhiḥ) obtained (samāsāditā) by the aforesaid (prokta) succession (krama) of dhāraṇā (dhāraṇā), etc. (ādi), which --i.e. the supernatural power-- appears in the form (rūpā) of enjoyment (bhoga) of various (tad-tad) realities (tattva)|

However (tu), (that supernatural power) does not (na) (denote) the manifestation (prakāśaḥ) of the Highest (para) Principle (tattva)|

That (yad) is declared (uktam) in venerable Lakṣmīkaulārṇava (śrīmat-lakṣmīkaulārṇave):

"God (devaḥ), the divine Lord (bhagavān) who is self-existent (svayambhūḥ) (and) without (varjitaḥ) residual impressions (saṁskāra) of (previous) births (janma) --i.e. God is not under the law of Karma (cause and effect)--, by being deluded (by His own Māyāśakti) (mohitaḥ), does not (na ca) see (paśyati) Śiva (śivam) who is without any thoughts (nirvikalpam), who is the supreme (param) Abode (dhāma), who is beginningless and endless (an-ādi-nidhanam) (and) who is present before the very eyes (pratyakṣam) of all beings (sarva-jantūnām... iti)1 "|

Nonetheless (tu), to the one whose delusion (mohasya) has been dissolved (vigalita):

"By resorting (āśritya) to the vital energy (prāṇam) that is in the middle (madhyamam) --viz. udāna--, in between (antaram) the passages (patha) of prāṇa and apāna (ādi), and (ca) (afterward) by resorting (ālambya) to the Power of Knowledge (jñāna-śaktim); and (ca eva) having established himself (stham) in that (Power of Knowledge) (tad), (the Yogī) should take (labhet) his seat (āsanam) (there)2 .

Because (yatas) the Supreme (paramam) Spanda or Vibration --i.e. Śakti-- (spandanam) that is beyond (atītam tu) the subtle (prāṇāyāma) (sūkṣma) is obtained (labhyate) after abandoning (tyaktvā) the gross (sthūla) state (bhāvam tu) of the vital energy (prāṇa), etc. (ādi) --i.e. the gross prāṇāyāma composed of exhalation, inhalation and retention of the breath-- and then (atha) the subtle (prāṇāyāma) (sūkṣmam) which is internal --i.e. it is marked by udāna ascending inside Suṣumnā-- (āntaram), (therefore,) that (tad) Prāṇāyāma --viz. the Supreme Spanda or Vibration-- (prāṇāyāmaḥ) from which (yasmāt) (the Yogī) does not (na) fall (cyavate) again (punar) is prescribed (as the most excellent) (nirdiṣṭaḥ)3 .

Since (hi) that (yā) condition (vṛttiḥ) of sound-as-such (śabda), etc. (ādi) --i.e. the five Tanmātra-s or subtle elements, tattva-s 27 to 31-- (brought about) by the qualities of Prakṛti --tattva 13-- (guṇa) is experienced (anubhūyate) by the mind (cetasā), by abandoning (tyaktvā) it --i.e. by abandoning that condition-- (tām), (the Yogī) enters (praviśet) that (tad) Supreme (paramam) Abode or State (dhāma) by mentally seizing the Consciousness that is devoid of thoughts (sva-cetasā)4 . This is said to be Pratyāhāra --withdrawal-- (pratyāhāraḥ iti proktaḥ) which cuts away (nikṛntanaḥ) the noose (pāśa) of transmigratory existence --Saṁsāra-- (bhava).

Having transcended (samatikramya) the attributes (guṇān) of thought (dhī) (and) having meditated (dhyātvā) on the supreme (paramam) all-pervasive (Reality) (vibhum) —which cannot be meditated on --i.e. which is not an object of meditation-- (nirdhyeyam)— as being one's own Light (sva-saṁvedyam) —which is fit for meditation (dhyeyam)5 , that --i.e. the act which has just been mentioned-- (tad ca) the wise (budhāḥ) know (viduḥ) as Dhyāna or meditation (dhyānam).

Dhāraṇā or concentration (dhāraṇā) (occurs when) the Supreme Being (parama-ātmatvam) is always held (in consciousness) (dhāryate... sadā) by him --i.e. by the Yogī-- (yena). That (sā) concentration (dhāraṇā) is pointed out (vinirdiṣṭā) as being able to remove (nivāriṇī) the noose (pāśa) of transmigratory existence (bhava).

In this (asmin) world (jagati), the thought (dhīḥ) of sameness (samāna) (in the form of) 'I (aham) (am) Śiva (śivaḥ)', 'I (aham) (am) the One without a second (advitīyaḥ)', in regard to (all) the beings (bhūteṣu) appearing (stheṣu) as oneself (sva) (and) the others (para), is known as (smṛtaḥ) the highest (saḥ paraḥ) Samādhi or perfect concentration (samādhiḥ... iti)"||

(Therefore,) by the precept(s) (nītyā) (above) defined (nirūpita) in most venerable (śrīmat... bhaṭṭāraka) Mṛtyujit --i.e. Netratantra-- (mṛtyujit), also (api) by Dhāraṇā, etc. (dhāraṇā-ādibhiḥ) there is (bhavati) certainly (eva) an absorption (samāveśaḥ) into the Supreme (para) Principle (tattva), and not (na tu) (only) a limited (mita) supernatural power (siddhiḥ)||6||

1  If you think that the scripture is speaking about some other God than You Yourself, you do not understand properly. It is You (your real Self, not your ego called John, Juan, etc.) who is self-existent and not ruled by the law of Karma. It is You who, deluded by your own mayic power (which manifests duality), do not perceive Śiva (your essential nature) who is devoid of any thoughts, who is the supreme Abode or State, who is without any beginning or end, and who is present before the very eyes of all beings, to wit, who is pretty obvious to all of them. No matter how great Trika scholar you may be, if you fail to understand that you are essentially God, you will never understand Trika indeed. Even in this means (i.e. Āṇavopāya) where the viewpoint of a limited being is prevalent and the delightful play of devotee-Lord, bondage-Liberation and so on is at its height, you must not lose sight of Reality ever.Return 

2  Udāna runs through Suṣumnā (the central subtle channel). In turn, apāna is associated with Iḍā and prāṇa with Piṅgalā. Hence the scripture says that Udāna is in the middle, in between the passages of prāṇa and apāna, since Suṣumnā runs in between the passages (nāḍī-s or subtle channels) known as Piṅgalā and Iḍā. As Udāna ascends, its state of vital energy is gone and it develops into Power of Knowledge (Jñānaśakti) due to the emergence of Cit or pure Consciousness (Śiva). So, finally the Yogī should take his seat there, in Jñānaśakti.Return 

3  The gross prāṇāyāma is simply exhalation, inhalation and retention of the breath. The subtle prāṇāyāma is related to the emergence of udāna in Suṣumnā. When Udāna develops into Power of Knowledge and finally the Yogī becomes established in the Supreme Spanda or Vibration, he attained the most excellent prāṇāyāma. This sublime prāṇāyāma that is even beyond the subtle one is not to be understood as mere restriction or control (āyāma) of the vital energy (prāṇa) but rather as a cessation of the vital energies participating in the varieties of gross and subtle prāṇāyāma-s, i.e. prāṇa (exhalation), apāna (inhalation), samāna (retention) and udāna. The Supreme Spanda or Vibration is nothing but Śakti (the Power of the Lord), the Source of all vital energies. So, it is no surprise that the best prāṇāyāma is the state where all the vital energies or prāṇa-s come to an end in Her again.

There is no fall of the Yogī since he has attained Śakti who is inseparable from Her Lord Śiva. In this way, the great Yogī, fully realizing his unity with Cit or pure Consciousness (i.e. Śiva), never returns to the ordinary state of consciousness, viz. he does not come back to misery any more. OK, it is enough for now.Return 

4  The expression "sva-cetasā" does not mean in this context "with/by his own mind" but "अविकल्पसंवित्परमार्शनेन" - "avikalpasaṁvitparamārśanena" or "by mentally seizing (paramārśanena) the Consciousness (saṁvid) that is devoid of thoughts (avikalpa)". In other words, the Yogī should enter the Highest State with full Self-consciousness. This is the meaning.Return 

5  In this context "svasaṁvedyam" means "स्वप्रकाशम्" - "svaprakāśam" (as being one's own Light), and "dhyeyam" is "ध्यानार्हम्" - "dhyānārham" or "fit for meditation". Apparently, there is a contradiction in the phrase because, how could one meditate on the supreme all-pervasive Reality that cannot be meditated on? That is why the expression "dhyeyaṁ svasaṁvedyam" was added afterward. In short, the Highest Self cannot be meditated on since He is not an object of meditation but the Supreme Subject in all. But one can meditate on Him, as it were, as being one's own Light, i.e. by realizing that oneself is Him. The term "dhyātvā" (having meditated) is to be taken here as "विमृश्य" - "vimṛśya" (having realized, been conscious/aware of). In this sense, despite one cannot meditate on the Supreme Lord as being an object, he can realize his inherent unity with Him. Now the meaning is clear.Return 


 Aphorism 7



मोहस्याख्यात्यात्मकसमनान्तपाशात्मनो मायाया जयादभिभवात्। कीदृशाद् अनन्तः संस्कारप्रशमपर्यन्त आभोगो विस्तारो यस्य तादृशात्


इत्यादिना निरूपितरूपायाः सहजविद्याया जयो लाभो भवति। आणवोपायस्यापि शाक्तोपायपर्यवसानादित्युक्तत्वात्। तथा च श्रीस्वच्छन्दे

समनान्तं वरारोहे पाशजालमनन्तकम्।


पाशावलोकनं त्यक्त्वा स्वरूपालोकनं हि यत्।
आत्मव्याप्तिर्भवत्येषा शिवव्याप्तिस्ततोऽन्यथा॥
सार्वज्ञ्यादिगुणा येऽर्था व्यापकान्भावयेद्यदा।
शिवव्याप्तिर्भवत्येषा चैतन्ये हेतुरूपिणी॥

इति ग्रन्थेनात्मव्याप्त्यन्तस्य मोहस्य जयादुन्मनाशिवव्याप्त्यात्मनः सहजविद्यायाः प्राप्तिरुक्ता। यदुक्तं तत्रैव

आत्मतत्त्वं ततस्त्यक्त्वा विद्यातत्त्वे नियोजयेत्।
उन्मना सा तु विज्ञेया मनः सङ्कल्प उच्यते॥
सङ्कल्पः क्रमतो ज्ञानमुन्मनं युगपत्स्थितम्।
तस्मात्सा तु परा विद्या यस्मादन्या न विद्यते।
विन्दते ह्यत्र युगपत्सार्वज्ञ्यादिगुणान्परान्॥
वेदनानादिधर्मस्य परमात्मत्वबोधना।
वर्जनापरमात्मत्वे तस्माद्विद्येति सोच्यते॥
तत्रस्थो व्यञ्जयेत्तेजः परं परमकारणम्।




Mohasyākhyātyātmakasamanāntapāśātmano māyāyā jayādabhibhavāt| Kīdṛśād anantaḥ saṁskārapraśamaparyanta ābhogo vistāro yasya tādṛśāt


ityādinā nirūpitarūpāyāḥ sahajavidyāyā jayo lābho bhavati| Āṇavopāyasyāpi śāktopāyaparyavasānādityuktatvāt| Tathā ca śrīsvacchande

Samanāntaṁ varārohe pāśajālamanantakam|


Pāśāvalokanaṁ tyaktvā svarūpālokanaṁ hi yat|
Ātmavyāptirbhavatyeṣā śivavyāptistato'nyathā||
Sārvajñyādiguṇā ye'rthā vyāpakānbhāvayedyadā|
Śivavyāptirbhavatyeṣā caitanye heturūpiṇī||

iti granthenātmavyāptyantasya mohasya jayādunmanāśivavyāptyātmanaḥ sahajavidyāyāḥ prāptiruktā| Yaduktaṁ tatraiva

Ātmatattvaṁ tatastyaktvā vidyātattve niyojayet|
Unmanā sā tu vijñeyā manaḥ saṅkalpa ucyate||
Saṅkalpaḥ kramato jñānamunmanaṁ yugapatsthitam||
Tasmātsā tu parā vidyā yasmādanyā na vidyate|
Vindate hyatra yugapatsārvajñyādiguṇānparān||
Vedanānādidharmasya paramātmatvabodhanā|
Varjanāparamātmatve tasmādvidyeti socyate||
Tatrastho vyañjayettejaḥ paraṁ paramakāraṇam|


(Śiva) said (āha) this --lit. that-- (tad) (when Moha or Delusion is conquered)

(The Yogī acquires) mastery (jayaḥ) of the Natural (sahaja) Knowledge (vidyā) through an all-pervasive conquest (jayāt anantābhogāt) of Māyā or Ignorance (moha)||7||

Mohajayāt (mohasya... jayāt) (means) through the subjugation (abhibhavāt) of Māyā (māyāyāḥ), whose nature --i.e. of Māyā-- is (ātmanaḥ) (being) a noose (pāśa) that ends (anta) in Samanā (samanā) (and) consists of (ātmaka) primordial ignorance (akhyāti)1 |

Through what kind (of subjugation) (kīdṛśāt)? Through that kind (of conquest) (tādṛśāt) whose (yasya) ābhoga (ābhogaḥ) (or) expansion (vistāraḥ) (is) ananta or unlimited --i.e. boundless-- (anantaḥ), viz. which extends up to (antaḥ) the cessation (praśama) of the residual impressions (of past actions) (saṁskāra)2 |

(So,) there is (bhavati) mastery or conquest (jayaḥ), (in other words,) acquisition (lābhaḥ) of Natural Knowledge (sahaja-vidyāyāḥ) whose nature (rūpāyāḥ) is defined (nirūpita) (in the following fragment of Svacchandatantra:)

"She brings about examination (vedanā) of the beginningless characteristic (of the Lord) --i.e. His absolute Freedom or Svātantrya-- (anādi-dharmasya), etc. (iti ādinā)3 "||
(See IV, 396 in Svacchandatantra)

(Acquisition of Natural Knowledge was spoken of) even (api) (in the context) of Āṇavopāya (āṇava-upāyasya) since it --i.e. Āṇavopāya-- is said (iti uktatvāt) to end (paryavasānāt) in Śāktopāya (śākta-upāya)|

So (tathā ca), in venerable Svacchandatantra (śrī-svacchande), beginning with (upakramya):

"Oh handsome one (vara-ārohe)!, (there is) an endless (anantakam) network (jālam) of nooses (pāśa) reaching up to (antam) Samanā (samanā... iti)"||
(See IV, 432 in Svacchandatantra)

(and ending with:)

"After abandoning (tyaktvā) identification of oneself (avalokanam) with nooses --i.e. bonds-- (pāśa), that (hi yad) act of viewing (ālokanam) one's own essential nature (sva-rūpa) (takes place). This (eṣā) is (bhavati) Ātmavyāpti --lit. inherence in the Self-- (ātma-vyāptiḥ)4 . Śivavyāpti --lit. inherence in Śiva-- (śiva-vyāptiḥ) (occurs) in a manner different (anyathā) from that --viz. from Ātmavyāpti-- (tatas). The artha-s --desired objects-- (ye arthāḥ) (are) those whose characteristic (guṇāḥ) is omniscience (sārvajñya), etc. (ādi). When (yadā) (the Yogī) contemplates, (within himself, on those artha-s) (bhāvayet) as pervading (everything) (vyāpakān), this (eṣā) is (bhavati) Śivavyāpti (śiva-vyāptiḥ), which is cause or means (hetu-rūpiṇī) for (the promotion or development) of Caitanya (caitanye... iti) (into Svātantrya or the Absolute Freedom of the Supreme Lord)5 "||
(See IV, 434-435 in Svacchandatantra)

(Thus,) according to the book --i.e. Svacchandatantra-- (granthena), it is said (uktā) that (there is) the acquisition (prāptiḥ) of Sahajavidyā --Natural Knowledge-- (sahaja-vidyāyāḥ) whose nature (ātmanaḥ) is Śivavyāpti --inherence in Śiva-- (śiva-vyāpti) (conducive to) Unmanā --the state of Śiva, full of His Absolute Freedom-- (unmanā) through a conquest (jayāt) of Moha or Māyā (mohasya), which spreads up to (antasya) Ātmavyāpti or inherence in the Self (ātma-vyāpti) --in other words, Māyā ends when Ātmavyāpti appears--|

That (yad) has been said (uktam) in that very (scripture) (tatra eva) --viz. Svacchandatantra--:

"For that reason (tatas), by abandoning (tyaktvā) Ātmatattva --lit. the principle of the Self, i.e. Ātmavyāpti or inherence in the Self-- (ātma-tattva), (the Yogī) should attach (himself) (niyojayet) to Vidyātattva --lit. the principle of divine Knowledge-- (vidyā-tattve). That (Vidyā or divine Knowledge) (sā) is to be known (vijñeyā) as Unmanā --the state of Śiva-- (unmanā) indeed (tu). Manas --lit. mind, i.e. a state where mind is working-- (manas) is said to be (ucyate) a notion or desire (saṅkalpaḥ). (Such a) notion or desire (saṅkalpaḥ) (is) knowledge (jñānam) (taking place) gradually (kramatas), while Unmanā --the Supreme State devoid of mind-- (unmanam) (occurs) simultaneously (yugapad) (and is) firm --i.e. everlasting-- (sthitam). Therefore (tasmāt), since (yasmāt) there is no (na vidyate) other (one) (anyā), She (sā) (is) certainly (tu) the Highest (parā) Vidyā --i.e. divine Knowledge-- (vidyā). Here --when the Highest Vidyā arises-- (atra) indeed (ca) (the Yogī) acquires (vindate) the superior (parān) qualities (guṇān) of omniscience (sārvajñya), etc. (ādi), simultaneously (yugapad). (1) She brings about examination (vedanā) of the beginningless characteristic (of the Lord) --i.e. His absolute Freedom or Svātantrya-- (anādi-dharmasya); (2) arouses and causes to perceive/understand (bodhanā) the state of the Supreme Self (parama-ātmatva); (and) (3) excludes (varjanā) what is not the state of the Supreme Self (a-parama-ātmatve); because of (all) that (tasmāt) She (sā) is called (ucyate) 'Vidyā' (vidyā iti). Established (sthaḥ) there --in the state devoid of mind (unmanā), i.e. in the Supreme Self-- (tatra), he manifests (vyañjayet) the Highest (param) Light (tejas) --viz. the Light of the Lord--, the Supreme (parama) Cause (kāraṇam... iti)"||
(See IV, 393-397 in Svacchandatantra)


1  Samanā is the Śakti or Power of the Lord displaying herself as thought from śūnya or state of void down to the tattva 36. For more information about Samanā, read the last three stages of Meditation 6.Return 

2  A unlimited expansion, i.e. all-pervasive. Hence my translation in the aphorism: jayāt anantābhogāt - through an all-pervasive conquest. Saṁskāra-s are the residual impressions of past karma-s or actions. The aggregate of all those residual impressions is ego. So, when such an aggregate is removed, one's own individuality is over and the Lord remains alone in the form of your own Self (You Yourself!).Return 

3  The sage Kṣemarāja quoted the entire stanza before, in the aphorism 21 of the first Section. Anyway, he will quote it fully again in the present commentary of this aphorism.Return 

4  This is the first stage in the process of Final Liberation according to Trika. The bonds are all the limitations such as Kañcuka-s, ego, mind, body, etc. When one perceives his inner Self or essential nature as being only Jñāna or Knowledge, devoid of all Kriyā or activity, this is Ātmavyāpti or inherence in the Self (viz. inherent and inseparable presence of the Self in the Yogī). In this case, the Self is perceived as a Witness isolated from everything else. Such as the sage Kṣemarāja expresses in his commentary on this stanza of Svacchandatantra: "... स्वरूपं पासोत्तीर्णचिन्मात्रत्वं यद्..." - "... svarūpaṁ pāsottīrṇacinmātratvaṁ yad..." - "... (The term) svarūpa (in the stanza is) what consists of merely Consciousness that transcends the nooses or bonds...".

In turn, the term "avalokana", though literally means "beholding, seeing, etc.", according to Kṣemarāja is "आत्मत्वेनाभिमनन" - "ātmatvenābhimanana" - "to think (something) to be oneself". Hence my translation of "avalokana" as "identification". This clarification will help people understand why I translated in the way I did, specially those people studying Sanskrit in depth. Svacchandatantra is full of "apparent" inconsistencies, as if the author did not follow now and then the strict grammatical rules. Therefore, the translators need to read the scholarly commentary of Kṣemarāja (i.e. Svacchandoddyota), as he belongs to the tradition and consequently knows the secret meanings of many obscure terms and expressions occurring in venerable Svacchandatantra. By the way, Svacchandoddyota is the only commentary on Svacchandatantra. There was another one by a different commentator, but it was lost over the centuries.

Besides, and now addressing the Sanskrit students: Svacchandatantra is a clear example of theory vs. practice, I mean, you can study all the grammatical rules but when you face certain "real" texts you cannot translate them. Why? Because they do not follow the grammatical theory, whether because there were errors in the transcription, or because the author encrypted secret meanings in strange ways, or because the style is very old, or simply because the meter requirements demanded a twist in the way of writing. That is why I dislike to teach Sanskrit language by examples such as "This is a box - This is my cat" and the like, as if Sanskrit was English, Spanish, etc. In doing so in excess, though it is apparently indispensable when one teaches newbies Sanskrit, it will make the student think that the real texts will follow logical nice patterns always. This is the main reason why many advanced Sanskrit students are completely unable to translate "by themselves" a real text at first, in spite of all their massive grammatical knowledge.Return 

5  For Sanskrit students: the text "Sārvajñyādiguṇā ye'rthā vyāpakānbhāvayedyadā" looks strange because the word "tān" [those - Accusative plural of tad (m.)] is missing. So, there is no apparent connection between "Sārvajñyādiguṇā ye'rthāḥ" and "vyāpakān" as the former is declined in Nominative plural, while the latter is in Accusative plural. Now, for the rest of mortals (lol!): I need to make some points very clear so you understand why I translated the stanza in the way I did. To accomplish all that, I will translate the entire Kṣemarāja's commentary on the two lines "Sārvajñyādiguṇā ye'rthā vyāpakānbhāvayedyadā| Śivavyāptirbhavatyeṣā caitanye heturūpiṇī||" in his Svacchandoddyota:

"ये वक्ष्यमाणाः सर्वज्ञत्वसर्वकर्तृत्वादिगुणा धर्माः परमोपादेयत्वेनार्थ्यमानत्वादर्थास्तान्व्यापकानिति अशेषमन्तरभेदेन क्रोडीकुर्वतो यदा स्वात्मनि भावयेत्तदा तद्भावनापरिनिष्पत्तिरात्मनः शिवव्याप्तिः सा च भावके चैतन्ये हेतुरूपिणी प्रयोजिका तत्प्रसादादेव शुद्धात्मनस्तद्भावनाप्ररूढेः॥४३५॥" - "Ye vakṣyamāṇāḥ sarvajñatvasarvakartṛtvādiguṇā dharmāḥ paramopādeyatvenārthyamānatvādarthāstānvyāpakāniti aśeṣamantarabhedena kroḍīkurvato yadā svātmani bhāvayettadā tadbhāvanāpariniṣpattirātmanaḥ śivavyāptiḥ sā ca bhāvake caitanye heturūpiṇī prayojikā tatprasādādeva śuddhātmanastadbhāvanāprarūḍheḥ||435||" - "The artha-s --desired objects--, which will be studied later, are those whose guṇa or characteristic is omniscience, omnipotence, etc. since they are pointed out as most excellent. When (the great Yogī) contemplates, in his own being --i.e. within himself--, on those (artha-s) as 'pervading' (everything), i.e. as embracing everything by internal non-duality, then perfection in his contemplation (is) his Śivavyāpti (or inherence in Śiva, the Supreme Lord). This (Śivavyāpti) is cause or means for the promotion or development of Caitanya --Consciousness-- in the pure-minded one who has attained that contemplation through His favor alone".

Now a short explanation of what the sage said: While at first, in Ātmavyāpti, the great Yogī experienced his essential nature as mere Jñāna or Knowledge, completely devoid of Kriyā or Action, after that, the artha-s such as omniscience, omnipotence, etc. are contemplated as pervading or embracing everything by internal non-duality. In short, the powers of omniscience, omnipotence, etc. are projected onto everything, and the entire process results in the Yogī viewing unity in all the things. The Self is not seen any longer as isolated from the rest, but on the contrary, the Yogī realizes that his Self is the Supreme Lord (Śiva) and consequently the entire universe.

Anyway, there are phases in the process. The first symptom of Śivavyāpti is Kramamudrā. In this Mudrā (Seal) there is sequence or succession (krama). How? The Yogī cannot stop his eyes from opening and closing successively. When the eyes are closed, he beholds his inner Self, and when they are open, he sees the entire universe pervaded by the same Self. This sequence continues for some time and is completely controlled by the Lord (i.e. no ego is able to bring about this at all). Nonetheless, the appearance of Kramamudrā and the resulting realization that everything is the Supreme Self is not Final Liberation according to Trika. Final Liberation is only attained when the Yogī achieves the Absolute Freedom (Svātantrya or Svācchandya) of the Lord. And in this sense Śivavyāpti is "भावके चैतन्ये हेतुरूपिणी प्रयोजिका" - "bhāvake caitanye heturūpiṇī prayojikā", i.e. "cause or means for the promotion or development of Caitanya --Consciousness--". Development or transformation into what? Into Absolute Freedom! All in all, Śivavyāpti leads to Final Liberation indeed. And this occurs only in the pure-minded one who has attained that kind of contemplation. And of course, it is only due to His favor and not otherwise (e.g. by personal efforts). There are more mysteries here, but the Lord is telling me that it has been more than enough.Return 


 Aphorism 8



लब्ध्वापि शुद्धविद्यां तदैकध्यव्याप्तौ जागरूकः पूर्णविमर्शात्मकस्वाहन्तापेक्षया यद्द्वितीयमिदन्तावमृश्यं वेद्यावभासात्मकं जगत्तत्करो रश्मिर्यस्य तथाविधो भवति। विश्वमस्य स्वदीधितिकल्पं स्फुरतीत्यर्थः। यथोक्तं श्रीविज्ञानभैरवे

यत्र यत्राक्षमार्गेण चैतन्यं व्यज्यते विभोः।
तस्य तन्मात्रधर्मित्वाच्चिल्लयाद्भरितात्मता॥

इति। श्रीसर्वमङ्गलायामपि

शक्तिश्च शक्तिमांश्चैव पदार्थद्वयमुच्यते।
शक्तयोऽस्य जगत्कृत्स्नं शक्तिमांस्तु महेश्वरः॥




Labdhvāpi śuddhavidyāṁ tadaikadhyavyāptau jāgarūkaḥ pūrṇavimarśātmakasvāhantāpekṣayā yaddvitīyamidantāvamṛśyaṁ vedyāvabhāsātmakaṁ jagattatkaro raśmiryasya tathāvidho bhavati| Viśvamasya svadīdhitikalpaṁ sphuratītyarthaḥ| Yathoktaṁ śrīvijñānabhairave

Yatra yatrākṣamārgeṇa caitanyaṁ vyajyate vibhoḥ|
Tasya tanmātradharmitvāccillayādbharitātmatā||

iti| Śrīsarvamaṅgalāyāmapi

Śaktiśca śaktimāṁścaiva padārthadvayamucyate|
Śaktayo'sya jagatkṛtsnaṁ śaktimāṁstu maheśvaraḥ||


In this way (evam), this one (ayam) who has reached Natural Knowledge (āsādita-sahaja-vidyaḥ)

(The Yogī who has attained to Sahajavidyā or Natural Knowledge is) awake and watchful (jāgrat), (while) the second one, (i.e. "the world") (dvitīya), (appears) as (his) effulgence of light (karaḥ)||8||

Even (api) after having obtained (labdhvā) the Pure Knowledge (śuddha-vidyām), on the attainment (vyāptau) of concentration (aikadhya) on that --i.e. Pure Knowledge-- (tad), (the Yogī remains) awake and watchful (jāgarūkaḥ). With regard to (apekṣayā) his own (sva) I-ness --the portion Aham or I-- (ahantā) consisting of (ātmaka) perfect (pūrṇa) Vimarśa --i.e. Śakti-- (vimarśa), that which (yad) (is) the second one (dvitīyam), (which) is considered (avamṛśyam) as This-ness --the portion Idam or This-- (idantā), (which) appears (avabhāsa-ātmakam) as an object --to the Supreme Subject or I-- (vedya), (in short,) the world (jagat)1 ... (well,) that (tad) (is) his (yasya) effulgence of light (karaḥ) (or) splendor (raśmiḥ). He --the great Yogī-- is (bhavati) of such a sort --i.e. like that-- (tathāvidhaḥ)|

(All in all,) his (asya) universe (viśvam) shines forth (sphurati) like (kalpam) his own (sva) splendor (dīdhiti). This is the meaning (iti arthaḥ)2 |

As (yathā) has been said (uktam) in venerable Vijñānabhairava (śrī-vijñānabhairave):

"In whichever thing --e.g. blue, pleasure, etc.-- (yatra yatra) Caitanya or Consciousness (caitanyam) of the Omnipresent One --i.e. Parabhairava, the Highest Lord-- (vibhoḥ) is manifested (vyajyate), since that thing --i.e. blue, pleasure, etc.-- is characterized only by It --by Caitanya of the Omnipresent One-- (tasya tad-mātra-dharmitvā), (so,) through dissolution (layāt) in Cit --Consciousness who is omnipresent-- (cit) (one gets endowed) with the essence (ātmatā) of plenitude (bharita... iti) --in short, one experiences the plenitude of Parabhairava, the Highest Lord--3 "||

Also (api), in venerable Sarvamaṅgalā (śrī-sarvamaṅgalāyām):

"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 (kṛtsnam) world (jagat... iti)"||


1  For more information about Aham and Idam (I and This), read Trika 3.Return 

2  And of course, all this detailed description is nothing but the state of Śivavyāpti which was spoken of in the commentary on the previous aphorism.Return 

3  An ordinary person considers that the objects being perceived by his senses are related only to the senses, brain, etc. But in the eyes of a great Yogī, this is not like that, because he realizes that Consciousness of the Omnipresent Lord is in whichever thing he may be perceiving. Just like a mirror containing the reflections of multiple objects is not different from those reflections, so, the great Yogī realizes that all he perceives through his senses is only God. The Subject (God) is present as all these objects around here, such as blue, pleasure, etc. And, since these things are characterized only by the Lord, by dissolving his mind in this Lord (Consciousness), the great Yogī attains Bharitātmā or the "One whose essence is full" (i.e. Parabhairava, the Highest Being). Having so done, he gets endowed with the essence of plenitude. This is the meaning.Return 


 Aphorism 9

ईदृशश्चायं सर्वदा स्वस्वरूपविमर्शाविष्टः—

नर्तक आत्मा॥९॥

नृत्यत्यन्तर्विगूहितस्वस्वरूपावष्टम्भमूलं तत्तज्जागरादिनानाभूमिकाप्रपञ्चं स्वपरिस्पन्दलीलयैव स्वभित्तौ प्रकटयतीति नर्तक आत्मा। तदुक्तं श्रीनैश्वासदेवीमहेश्वरनर्तकाख्ये सप्तमपटले देवीकृतस्तवे

त्वमेकांशेनान्तरात्मा नर्तकः कोशरक्षिता॥

इति। भट्टश्रीनारायणेनापि

विसृष्टाशेषसद्बीजगर्भं त्रैलोक्यनाटकम्।
प्रस्ताव्य हर संहर्तुं त्वत्तः कोऽन्यः कविः क्षमः॥

इति। सर्वागमोपनिषदि श्रीप्रत्यभिज्ञायाम्

संसारनाट्यप्रवर्तयिता सुप्ते जगति जागरूक एक एव परमेश्वरः॥


Īdṛśaścāyaṁ sarvadā svasvarūpavimarśāviṣṭaḥ—

Nartaka ātmā||9||

Nṛtyatyantarvigūhitasvasvarūpāvaṣṭambhamūlaṁ tattajjāgarādinānābhūmikāprapañcaṁ svaparispandalīlayaiva svabhittau prakaṭayatīti nartaka ātmā| Taduktaṁ śrīnaiśvāsadevīmaheśvaranartakākhye saptamapaṭale devīkṛtastave

Tvamekāṁśenāntarātmā nartakaḥ kośarakṣitā||

iti| Bhaṭṭaśrīnārāyaṇenāpi

Visṛṣṭāśeṣasadbījagarbhaṁ trailokyanāṭakam|
Prastāvya hara saṁhartuṁ tvattaḥ ko'nyaḥ kaviḥ kṣamaḥ||

iti| Sarvāgamopaniṣadi śrīpratyabhijñāyām

Saṁsāranāṭyapravartayitā supte jagati jāgarūka eka eva parameśvaraḥ||


And (ca) this (Yogī) (ayam) endowed with such qualities (īdṛśaḥ) (is) always (sarvadā) engrossed (āviṣṭaḥ) in the consciousness (vimarśa) of his own (sva) essential nature (sva-rūpa)

(This very Yogī is) a Self (ātmā) (that is merely) a dancing actor (nartakaḥ)||9||

He acts and dances (nṛtyati), i.e. by the play (līlayā eva) of his (sva) movements (parispanda) he exhibits (prakaṭayati) on his own screen --viz. the screen of his Consciousness-- (sva-bhittau) the manifestation (prapañcam) of multiple (nānā) roles (bhūmikā) during the various (tad-tad) states of waking (jāgarā), etc. (ādi) --i.e. sleep and deep sleep--. (This manifestation of multiple roles) has for its root --i.e. it is based on-- (avaṣṭambha-mūlam) his (sva) essential nature (sva-rūpa) that is hidden (vigūhita) within (antar). Thus (iti), (he is) a Self (ātmā) (that is merely) a dancing actor (nartakaḥ)|

That (tad) is declared (uktam) in the prayer of praise (stave) performed (kṛtaḥ) by the goddess (devī) in the seventh chapter (saptama-paṭale) of venerable Naiśvāsatantra (śrī-naiśvāsa) entitled (ākhye) "Goddess (devī) (and) Great (mahā) Lord (īśvara) as a dancing actor (nartaka)":

"You (tvam), in one aspect (ekāṁśena), (are) the inner (antar) self (ātmā), the dancing actor (nartakaḥ), (but in another aspect, You are) the protector (rakṣitā) of Your own essential nature as the Supreme Being (kośa... iti)1 "||

(It has) also (been said) (api) by Bhaṭṭaśrīnārāyaṇa (bhaṭṭaśrīnārāyaṇena) (in his Stavacintāmaṇi):

"(You have brought about) the Drama (nāṭakam) of the three worlds --heaven, hell and earth-- (trailokya), which contains (garbham) the true (sat) seed or source (bīja) of all (aśeṣa) that has been manifested (visṛṣṭa)2 . Having (You) presented the prologue (of this Drama) (prastāvya), Oh Hara --an epithet of Śiva-- (hara)!, what (kaḥ) poet (kaviḥ), other than Yourself (tvattaḥ... anyaḥ), is fit (kṣamaḥ) for bringing it to its conclusion (saṁhartum... iti)3 ?"||

(And even) in venerable Īśvarapratyabhijñā (śrī-pratyabhijñāyām), which contains the secret doctrine of all Āgama-s or revealed scriptures (sarva-āgama-upaniṣadi), (you can read the following):

"When the world is asleep (supte jagati), only (ekaḥ eva) the Supreme (parama) Lord (īśvaraḥ), the One who sets in motion (pravartayitā) the dancing drama (nāṭya) (known as) Saṁsāra --i.e. Transmigration full of misery-- (saṁsāra), is awake (jāgarūkaḥ... iti)"||


1  In His aspect as the inner self (antarātmā), He is a dancing actor who, because of his connection with puryaṣṭaka (subtle body made of intellect, ego, mind and subtle elements), is bound by tendencies or vāsanā-s of good and bad actions, which force him to wander around from one form of existence to another. That is to say, he takes endless births due to those tendencies. He is therefore subject to Saṁsāra or Transmigration (viz. misery). It is termed "inner self" since it is within the outer self (physical body). In turn, the word "kośa" is not to be interpreted as "sheath" in this context, but as "स्वस्वरूपपरमात्मत्व" - "svasvarūpaparamātmatva" or "Your own essential nature as the Supreme Being". Summing it up, the Great Lord is both the limited being bound by his subtle body, etc., and the Supreme Being dwelling always in His own divinity. He protects His essential nature in the sense that He does not allow anything to touch it. In this way, He, in His innermost essence, remains always beyond the entire manifestation brought about by His Māyā or Ignorance. So, He is all always. This is the meaning.Return 

2  The term "bīja" (seed, source) means here Māyā and her progeny (Prakṛti, etc.), but in drama, it means "the origin of the plot". So, the possible translation of this stanza is double, on one hand, Māyā is the seed originating all the existents, and on the other hand, She is also the origin of the plot of this universal Drama. This is the meaning.Return 

3  Since the Lord wrote the prologue or "prastāva" of this universal Drama, who else other than Him is able to write its "saṁhāra" or conclusion? When one realizes his own essential nature and consequently the truth that everything and everybody is Him, this is the conclusion of the Drama. Anyway, this state can only be attained through His favor and "not otherwise" (e.g. by personal efforts) according to the Trika system. Despite the personal efforts can take oneself to a certain state of consciousness, the conclusion (Final Liberation) is always "written" (figuratively speaking) by Him alone. This is the meaning.

An additional subtlety: The term "kaḥ", apart from "what, who", also means "प्रजापति" - "Prajāpati" (Lord of the creatures), i.e. the One who created the living creatures. The Prajāpati topic is a very long one for this note of explanation. For now, just understand that if this meaning is introduced in the translation, there is this twist: "(Where) is the Prajāpati other than Yourself...?" The rest is clear, I suppose.Return 


 Aphorism 10

एवंविधस्यास्य जगन्नाट्यनर्तकस्य भूमिकाग्रहणपदबन्धस्थानरङ्गमाह—


रज्यतेऽस्मिञ्जगन्नाट्यक्रीडाप्रदर्शनाशयेनात्मनेति रङ्गस्तत्तद्भूमिकाग्रहणस्थानमन्तरात्मा सङ्कोचावभाससतत्त्वः शून्यप्रधानः प्राणप्रधानो वा पुर्यष्टकरूपो देहापेक्षयान्तरो जीवः। तत्र ह्ययं कृतपदः स्वकरणपरिस्पन्दक्रमेण जगन्नाट्यमाभासयति। उक्तं च श्रीस्वच्छन्दे

अन्तरात्मा स विज्ञेयः...॥


Evaṁvidhasyāsya jagannāṭyanartakasya bhūmikāgrahaṇapadabandhasthānaraṅgamāha—


Rajyate'smiñjagannāṭyakrīḍāpradarśanāśayenātmaneti raṅgastattadbhūmikāgrahaṇasthānamantarātmā saṅkocāvabhāsasatattvaḥ śūnyapradhānaḥ prāṇapradhāno vā puryaṣṭakarūpo dehāpekṣayāntaro jīvaḥ| Tatra hyayaṁ kṛtapadaḥ svakaraṇaparispandakrameṇa jagannāṭyamābhāsayati| Uktaṁ ca śrīsvacchande

Antarātmā sa vijñeyaḥ...||


(In the following aphorism, Śiva) spoke (āha) about the stage (raṅgam) or place (sthāna) (where) this kind (evaṁvidhasya asya) of actor (nartakasya) in the dancing drama (nāṭya) (called) the world (jagat) plants (his) feet (pada-bandha) (and) plays (grahaṇa) (his) role (bhūmikā)

The stage (for that Nartaka or dancing actor to play --see 9th aphorism--) (raṅgaḥ) (is his) inner (antar) soul (ātmā) (which consists of the causal and subtle bodies)||10||

Raṅga or stage is (iti raṅgaḥ) where (asmin) the Self (ātmanā) takes delight (rajyate) with the intention (āśayena) of showing (pradarśana) the play (krīḍā) of the dancing drama (nāṭya) (known as) the world (jagat). (In other words, raṅga is) the place (sthānam) (where the Self) assumes (grahaṇa) various (tad-tad) roles (bhūmikā). Antarātmā (antar-ātmā) (is) the soul or being (jīvaḥ) that is internal (antaraḥ) with respect to (apekṣayā) the (physical) body (deha). (Such a inner soul) has the subtle body (puryaṣṭaka) for its form (rūpaḥ), (and) its nature (satattvaḥ) is a contracted (saṅkoca) manifestation (avabhāsa) whose essential part (pradhānaḥ... pradhānaḥ) (is either) void (śūnya) or (vā) vital energy (prāṇa)1 |

This (Nartaka) (ayam), who has his feet planted (kṛta-padaḥ) on that (stage) (tatra hi), manifests (ābhāsayati) the dancing drama (nāṭyam) (called) the world (jagat) by a succession (krameṇa) of movements (parispanda) of his own (sva) (inner) senses (karaṇa)2 |

(It has been) said (uktam ca) in venerable Svacchandatantra (śrī-svacchande):

"Getting into contact (samāyogāt) with the subtle body or puryaṣṭaka (puryaṣṭaka), he (saḥ) wanders around (paryaṭet) in all forms of existence (sarva-yoniṣu) (and is consequently) known as (vijñeyaḥ) the inner (antar) being or soul (ātmā... iti)...3 "||
(See X, 85 in Svacchandatantra)


1  What the author meant to say is simply that the nature of the inner soul is the causal body (void and vital energy, which are a contracted manifestation of Śakti), but its form (like a garment) is the subtle body or puryaṣṭaka (intellect, ego, mind and the five subtle elements known as Tanmātra-s). This is why I added in my translation of the present aphorism: "which consists of the causal and subtle bodies".Return 

2  The movements of his inner senses are the vibrations of the Natural Svātantryaśakti of the Lord (His Power of Absolute Freedom).Return 

3  The suspension points stand for the remaining part of the stanza: "निबद्धस्तु शुभाशुभैः।" - "nibaddhastu śubhāśubhaiḥ|" - "that is certainly bound by good and bad (vāsanā-s or tendencies)". That which was added in parentheses by me fully agrees with what the sage Kṣemarāja comments in his Svacchandoddyota: "तत्सम्बन्धाद्वासनारूपैः शुभाशुभैर्निबद्धः सन् योनेर्योन्यन्तरं प्रसरन्" - "Tatsambandhādvāsanārūpaiḥ śubhāśubhairnibaddhaḥ san yoneryonyantaraṁ prasaran" - "Due to (his) connection with that (subtle body or puryaṣṭaka), he continues to be bound by good and bad vāsanā-s or tendencies (resulting from good and bad actions, and therefore) moves from one form of existence to another". Everything is very clear now, right?Return 


 Aphorism 11

इत्थमन्तरात्मरङ्गे नृत्यतोऽस्य—


योगिनश्चक्षुरादीनीन्द्रियाणि हि संसारनाट्यप्रकटनप्रमोदनिर्भरं स्वस्वरूपमन्तर्मुखतया साक्षात्कुर्वन्ति तत्प्रयोगप्ररूढ्या विगलितविभागां चमत्काररससम्पूर्णतामापादयन्ति। यच्छ्रुतिः

कश्चिद्धीरः प्रत्यगात्मानमैक्षदावृत्तचक्षुरमृतत्वमश्नन् (...इच्छन्)॥
(कठोपनिषदि अ० २। व० १। मं० १)


Itthamantarātmaraṅge nṛtyato'sya—


Yoginaścakṣurādīnīndriyāṇi hi saṁsāranāṭyaprakaṭanapramodanirbharaṁ svasvarūpamantarmukhatayā sākṣātkurvanti tatprayogaprarūḍhyā vigalitavibhāgāṁ camatkārarasasampūrṇatāmāpādayanti| Yacchrutiḥ

Kaściddhīraḥ pratyagātmānamaikṣadāvṛttacakṣuramṛtatvamaśnan (...icchan)||
(Kaṭhopaniṣadi a. 2 | v. 1 | maṁ. 1)


In this manner (ittham), of this (asya) who acts and dances (nṛtyataḥ) on the stage (raṅge) of the inner (antar) being or soul (ātma)

The senses (of that Nartaka or dancing actor) (indriyāṇi) (are) the spectators (of his playing) (prekṣakāṇi)||11||

The senses (indriyāṇi) of the Yogī (yoginaḥ) —faculty of seeing (cakṣus), etc. (ādīni)— undoubtedly (hi) behold (sākṣāt-kurvanti) inwardly (antar-mukhatayā) their own (sva) essential nature (sva-rūpam) which is full (nirbharam) of excessive joy (pramoda) in exhibiting (prakaṭana) the dancing drama (nāṭya) (called) Saṁsāra --i.e. Transmigration-- (saṁsāra). By the development (prarūḍhyā) of the representation (prayoga) of that (dancing drama) (tad), they cause (Yogī) to enter (āpādayanti) into the fullness (sampūrṇatām) of the flavor or taste (rasa) of Camatkāra (camatkāra)1 , in which --i.e. in the fullness-- the difference or duality has vanished (vigalita-vibhāgām)|

As the Veda-s (express) (yad śrutiḥ):

"(However,) some (kaścid) wise man (dhīraḥ), gaining (aśnan) —desiring (icchan)2 — immortality (amṛtatvam) with reverted eyes (āvṛtta-cakṣus) --viz. introspectively--, beheld (aikṣat) the Self (ātmānam) inwardly (pratyak... iti)"||
(In Kaṭhopaniṣad II, 1, 1)


1  Camatkāra literally means "astonishment, surprise", but in an artistic environment it means "delight of the artistic experience", while in Trika it means "bliss of the supreme I-consciousness". So, this term is one of those words you cannot translate accurately all the time because it varies according to the contexts. In this case, since Trika is being taught, you could interpret it to be "bliss of the supreme I-consciousness", but at the same time, as a dancing drama is being spoken of, you can consider the translation "delight of the artistic experience" as perfectly valid too. To include both translations in the text was not convenient. That is why I left Camatkāra as such there. Sometimes people complain about these "bothersome" (lol!) Sanskrit terms in the middle of sentences in English, Spanish, Portuguese, etc. They complain because they do not understand that the exact translation is sometimes so long and/or varied that it is just not convenient to include it in the sentence itself. English, Spanish, Portuguese and the rest of vernacular languages are so limited and ambiguous while Sanskrit is so unlimited and precise, you know.Return 

2  Two possible readings: "अश्नन्" - "aśnan" - "gaining" or "इच्छन्" - "icchan" - "desiring". It is usual finding scriptures with multiple readings in certain portions of the text. No surprise here then.Return 


 Further Information

Gabriel Pradīpaka

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