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This is the fifth set of 5 aphorisms out of 25 aphorisms constituting the first Section (dealing with Svarūpaspanda or Spanda as one's own nature). As you know, the entire work is composed of 53 aphorisms of Spandakārikā-s plus their respective commentaries.
Of course, I will also insert the original 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, go to "Scriptures (study)|Spandanirṇaya" in Trika section.
Kṣemarāja's Sanskrit will be in dark green color while the original Vasugupta'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 Vasugupta, i.e. the Spandakārikā-s, will be in green and black colors, while the commentary by Kṣemarāja will contain words in both black and red colors.
Read Spandanirṇaya and experience Supreme Ānanda or Divine Bliss, dear Śiva.
This is a "pure translation" document, that is, there will be no original Sanskrit, but sometimes there will be a minimal quantity of transliterated Sanskrit in the translation itself of the text. Of course, there will not be any word for word translation. Anyway, there will be transliterated Sanskrit in the explanatory notes. If you are a blind person using a screen reader and do not want to read the notes, or simply if you are not blind but want to skip the notes, click on the respective "Skip the notes" to keep reading the text.
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.
In this way, after having explained (how) "a not fully awakened person determines, on the cessation of external activities, even the inapplicable --impossible to prove-- nonexistence --absence-- of the Experient (or) Self", (Vasugupta now) defines that, viz. the perception --in the sense of "recognition", because the Self or Experient cannot be perceived like an object-- of such a Self --lit. of the Self like which, i.e. the Self which was previously mentioned as the Experient-- in the case of the perfectly awakened and the unawakened ones --Vasugupta will describe how both the perfectly awakened one and the one who is not fully awakened realize their own Self or Experient--1 :
To the perfectly awakened one, there is, always (and) constantly, the perception of That --i.e. the Self--, (and this perception of the Self) stays (throughout) the three states (of consciousness). However, to the other one --i.e. to the one who is not fully awakened--, (there is) that --i.e. the perception of the Self-- (only) at the beginning (and) end (of each state)||17||
(The word) tasya (means) "of the essential nature --i.e. of the Self-- that is the subject of the treatise". Upalabdhi or perception (of that essential nature is) uninterrupted Light --because Śiva is the uninterrupted Perceiver--. Syāt (or) "there is" that (perception of the Self) to the (suprabuddha or) perfectly awakened one who is free from even the residual impressions of the state of unawakened --unenlightenment--. (How?) Through a firm grip of the abovementioned argument. (When does it occur? This perception of the Self or essential nature) stays —it is invariable— constantly, i.e. in the three states --pada-- of wakefulness, dream (and) deep sleep. (How long does it last?) "Always", viz. at the beginning, in the middle and in the end (of those states. All in all,) he --the perfectly awakened one-- always shines forth as one whose essential nature is identical with Śaṅkara --Śiva--. This is the meaning|
However, to the other one —to the unawakened one—, (there is perception of the Self) at the beginning —when the state desires to become manifested— and at the end —on the internalization consisting of a repose --when the mind finally rests on the Self--— of each of those states characterized by knowledge suitable to themselves, and not in the middle state --i.e. during the states-- characterized by the abiding --subsistence-- of the manifestation of things suitable to themselves --to those states of consciousness--2 |
That has been said in venerable Śivadṛṣṭi:
"But even that (state of Śiva) is indeed observed as abiding also in the states where there is contact with the Knower at the beginning of all knowledge, or at the end due to a repose on That --on the Self or Śiva--3 "||
(This subject has been studied) by Bhaṭṭalollaṭa too. He explained (it) in this way in his commentary (on Spandakārikā-s): "at the beginning and the end of that --of the three ordinary states of consciousness--"|
Having considered the words of the Vṛtti --commentary-- (composed) by most venerable Kallaṭa, we, out of respect for the words of that commentary, were not taught to explain the extremely clear meaning of the aphorisms by an obscure mental invention4 . Since, to the one who is not perfectly awakened, there is perception of That --of the Self-- at the beginning and at the end of those (three ordinary states of consciousness), for this very reason he is here fit for being turned into a perfectly awakened one by the teachings dealing with Spanda|
(Vasugupta) will say that (very truth in the stanza I, 21 that begins with:)
"For this reason, he who (is) constantly prepared for discerning the principle of Spanda, [attains his own (essential) state or nature quickly,] (even in) wakefulness5 "||
(and in the second line of I, 25:)
"... (To the partially awakened one, that condition is) like the state of deep sleep, (and thus) he remains stupefied. (However, a Yogī who) is not covered (by the darkness of ignorance) remains awakened and enlightened (in that very condition)"||
(And at the beginning of the stanza III, 2:)
"... so also in dream..."||
And (also in the stanza III, 12 beginning with:)
"... one should always remain awake..."||
Here --in this context--, with the aim of bringing the partially awakened one to the state of perfectly awakened --lit. in the case of a partially awakened one, for causing (him) to arrive at the state of perfectly awakened--, the teaching is going to fill even the middle state, characterized by the determination of objects, with the delight and enjoyment of the Fourth State, just as (he --the partially awakened one-- does with reference to) the initial (and) final points in the three states of wakefulness, etc.6 . We will investigate this (later on)|
Similarly , the aphorism of Śiva --I, 7-- (declares:)
"(Even) during such different (states of consciousness) as waking, dreaming and profound sleep, there is the delight and enjoyment of the Fourth State"|
In like manner, (in the aphorism III, 20 of Śivasūtra-s:)
"The fourth state of consciousness, (which is a Witness), should be poured like (a continuous flow of) oil into (the other) three, (that is, in waking, dreaming and deep sleep)"|
(and in I, 11 of the same scripture:)
"He is a master of (his) senses who is an enjoyer (of the aforesaid "ābhoga" or divine delight) in the triad (of waking, dreaming and deep sleep)"|
1 The expression "perception of the Self" is just a way to speak because He can never be perceived as if He was an object. The Highest Reality or Self has two aspects according to Trika: Śiva and Śakti. The former is the Self while the latter is His Power. This Power of the Self makes Him conscious of Himself. After performing this primordial act, the Power becomes the entire universe --the object--. But He, the Self (Śiva), remains the same, i.e. completely unaffected by the universe. Śiva has nothing to do with the universe (the object) because He is the Supreme Subject. Yes, His Power, who is one with Him, displayed the whole universal manifestation, but this act is just a trifle to Him. As a result, such a manifestation cannot ever touch Him at all! He is always "arodhya" or "unobstructed". Nothing can obstruct Him ever!
But what does it mean "in practice"? Listen to me: I always notice that not only the ordinary people but even the vast majority of spiritual aspirants are not properly conscious of their Self. I know this because I can detect their level of Self-recognition. Most of the spiritual aspirants are still too worried about "objects", whether the objects are subtle (e.g. mind, intellect, etc.) or gross (e.g. body, external things, people, actions, events, etc.). This is not purposely, of course, but because of the well-known innate impurity or Āṇavamala. Most of them speak about these spiritual topics too, but I can immediately notice that they do not understand them. Of course, I can detect this according to the measure of my own Self-recognition. Anyway, either my Self-recognition is immense or there are too many aspirants who are still not adequately conscious of their Self. They still mix Śiva with themselves in the sense of associating Him (the Immaculate One) with the little things of their lives, with their desires, etc. This is pretty common.
One person who is advanced in the spiritual path is not like those spiritual aspirants. NO. An advanced spiritual aspirant dwells more in the subjective side than in the objective one, i.e. he is more interested in the Subject or Self than in the object (mind, body, personal life, events, family, etc.). The Highest Reality as the Subject is NOT associated with anything that is objective. NO. Yes, it was the Power of the Self who manifested the objective universe, but the Subject Himself has nothing to do with it! And I am absolutely certain! In other words, I have direct experience of That as the Subject. Therefore, I do not need to infer/deduce or present scriptures as testimony, etc. NO, I do not need to do that. Well, if after so many years in spirituality I could not realize my own Self at least for one second, one would wonder what kind of aspirant I am. So, my achievement is not extraordinary but pretty normal and predictable.
Now, from my own experience with the Self, I know for sure that He is absolutely invulnerable. Gabriel (the object) is the whole day going through different experiences. As he is composed of body, mind, ego, intellect, etc., Gabriel cannot help moving and changing constantly. But all this dance has nothing to do with Me, the Self, i.e. Gabriel cannot affect Me ever! Just as Gabriel is an object to Me, your John, Jane, Giuseppe, Paulo, Cristina, etc. is an object to You. Me and You are, of course, the same Self always according to Trika. If you cannot understand this, you cannot succeed in Trika because it is essential for you to realize that "your body, mind, personal life, world, etc." has nothing to do with "You". The Self is never affected by the object. Whether you consider that your Self is the Lord or only a spark coming from His Fire (as other philosophical systems declare), the same truth remains, because even this spark is also His Fire in the end. Consequently, the Self is always superior to the object. I am speaking the truth.
That is why a perfectly awakened person, who can retain the recognition of his Self throughout all the states of consciousness, is never bewildered by the object or manifestation. By "bewildered" I mean that the object never makes him become disoriented as in the case of the vast majority of people. If you observe carefully the people, you will notice that they easily become disoriented. As they become disoriented in that way, they despair when they face tragedies. Pain, death, etc. bewilder them all the time. They cannot help it. Even the act of watching far huge galaxies bewilders them, because they cannot explain "so many" things "out there". They live the whole time in the shadows, with more mysteries than certainties. The more questions they answer, the more questions do arise, etc. etc. This is the life of a typical limited being, continuously bewildered by the universe and its mysteries, always full of uncertainties and fears. But this is not the case with a perfectly awakened person, because he has recognized his own Self (the Subject). As the Subject is the Core of all, once one perceives Him, he is no more bewildered by the universe, which is His manifestation. For example: death cannot bewilder him, because he knows that the Self is immortal. He just beholds as the bodies come and go while his Self remains as the immortal Pillar who holds everything together and united.
Even the ones who have realized their Self at least during "one second", understood during that single second that their Self has nothing to do with the drama known as the world, composed of body, mind, people, things, etc. From that understanding, these people know that the object is just an invention and not the Highest Reality as IT REALLY IS. Hence, even this low-category Self-realized people, hehe, are not bewildered by the universe during that single second. Now, imagine someone who actually recognizes his Self uninterruptedly and you will realize the magnitude of his accomplishment. The Self does not change at all, never dies or is born/reborn, etc. He is always the Highest Reality and nothing else. Through His Power, He is aware of all the things taking place in the objective side (the universe), but He is never affected by it. His State is inconceivable. You cannot think about it and understand it. NO. You have to realize Him in experience. Once you realize Him at least for one second, you also realize that what you called "you" is not "You" but "the object", i.e. the invention of His Power (in my own case: Gabriel and his life, family, problems, etc.). This is "elementary" spirituality. Still, most of spiritual aspirants I have seen so far cannot get it yet. Funny! OK, I wrote this lengthy note of explanation in order to reduce the number, obviously.
2 Each of the three ordinary states of consciousness (wakefulness, dreaming and deep sleep) has knowledge and manifestation of things suitable to themselves. For instance: In deep sleep there is a void, but you do not see this void in wakefulness. Likewise, you see so many things when you dream, but you do not see those very things in deep sleep. The Perceiver or Self remains the same, but the unawakened one cannot detect Him "during" those three states of consciousness. He just detects Him at the beginning, when the state is about to become manifested, or at the end, when his mind withdraws from the state and comes to rest on the Self. It is to be noted that by "the unawakened one", the author is not speaking about common people (the vast majority), but about a spiritual aspirant who is not still mature enough to perceive his Self during the three states of consciousness. Although this kind of aspirant is partially awakened, he is mentioned in this paragraph as "unawakened" in comparison with the suprabuddha or perfectly awakened one. This must be understood! The rest of the teaching is clear enough, I suppose.
3 I translated in that way because I had to read what Somānanda (the author of Śivadṛṣṭi) affirmed previously. For example, I translated "yāvat" as "but even" because the sage expressed before "Na paraṁ..." - "Not only..." as regards Śivatā or the state of Śiva (one's own Self). Also, "phale" (lit. in the fruit) is to be interpreted as "parisamāptau" - "at the end" according to the commentary by Utpaladeva (disciple of Somānanda). Finally, the expression "tadviśrāntyā" is to be understood as "tatraiva viśrāntyā" - "due to a repose on That Itself" according to Utpaladeva too. Well, as the commentary on this stanza is too long, I am not quoting it entirely. Besides, this stanza is linked to other previous stanzas, which makes the things even more complicated. With this clarification you have more than enough for now.
4 Kallaṭa was the main disciple of Vasugupta (the author of Spandakārikā-s). He wrote a commentary called Vṛtti on the work of his own guru. It is a very short commentary really, not so elaborate as the present one composed by Kṣemarāja. This sage said that he would not explain, out of respect to the words of the Kallaṭa's Vṛtti, the already very clear meanings of the aphorisms by means of an obscure mental invention, i.e. by a complicated explanation which is just the creation of his own mind.
5 I added the rest of the stanza in brackets in order to complete the sense. The term "ityādi", apart from meaning "etc.", it gives the sense that what is being quoted is the beginning of something bigger. Of course, I cannot be so specific the whole time in my word for word translation.
6 The prabuddha (partially awakened) is not the abuddha (unawakened). The latter is the ordinary person who has no interest in spiritual matters and consequently has practically no experience of his own Self as the Subject (the Witness) except for a very few times in his entire lifetime (no jokes). Normally, this happens when a tragedy hits him, because his ego decreases immensely at that time. But the prabuddha or partially awakened is certainly like a "unawakened one" compared to the suprabuddha (perfectly awakened), but in comparison with the abuddha, he is like a kind of god.
A prabuddha is an spiritual aspirant that is able to become aware of his own Self at the beginning or at the end of the three ordinary states of consciousness (waking, dreaming and deep sleep). For example, he experiences the delight and enjoyment of the Fourth State (the State of the Self as the Subject) when he is about to sleep by night, and when he wakes up in the morning. This type of person is fit for being transformed into a suprabuddha by filling the middle state of waking, dreaming and deep sleep with the delight and enjoyment of the Fourth State. The middle state is characterized by the determination of objects (e.g. this is a dog, that is a tree, this is a good thought, etc.). In other words, he is fit for having a constant experience of his own Self as He is really.
(Regarding) what kind of perception (of the Self) a perfectly awakened one has in the three states (of consciousness), (Vasugupta) shows separately that --i.e. the way a perfectly awakened one perceives his own Self-- (in the following aphorism):
The all-pervading (Self) shines forth in the two states (of wakefulness and dreaming) accompanied by (His) Supreme --parama-- Power --śakti-- whose nature is knowledge (and) knowable. Nevertheless, in the other than those (two), (He appears only) as Consciousness||18||
In the case of the perfectly awakened one, (his own) all-pervading essential nature whose core is Śaṅkara --Śiva--, accompanied by the Highest Power, shines forth usually in the two states of wakefulness and dreaming (in the following way: His Highest Power appears) as knowledge (and) knowable --the object-- in the middle phase, but in Her essential form --in the essential form of His Highest Power-- as the principle of Spanda --i.e. such as His Highest Power is-- at the beginning and at the end of the knowledge --in short, at the beginning and at the end of these states of wakefulness and dreaming where knowledge is displayed along with knowable--1 |
There --in the middle phase of waking and dreaming--, he sees the universe like Sadāśiva and Īśvara2 , i.e. as his own body. However, (the expression) "tadanyatra" (in the aphorism) --in the other than those (two)-- (means) "in deep sleep", and not "in deep sleep and Turya --the Fourth State which is a Witness to the other three--" —as others (interpret it)—, because irrelevance of Turya (here is shown) in the previous (aphorism by the phrase) "(and this perception of the Self) stays (throughout) the three states (of consciousness)" and since the perception of that (Self or Spanda) is itself Turya --lit. since there is the state of having the form of Turya in the case of the perception of that (Self or Spanda)--3 . (So, in deep sleep,) that all-pervading (Self) shines forth to him --to the suprabuddha or perfectly awakened-- only as Consciousness due to the cessation of all the knowables --objects--|
Thus, this --what was mentioned before-- is only aimed at the suprabuddha --the perfectly awakened one--. It was not (mentioned) with reference to the actual state (of ordinary people) --lit. the "actual fact", i.e. the state experienced by the vast majority of people--, because there would be inapplicability of this (statement): "Nevertheless, in the other than those (two), (He appears only) as Consciousness" (in the present aphorism. Why?) Because deep sleep is identical with delusion (or Māyā) in the ordinary life --lit. because in the ordinary life there is identity with delusion (or Māyā) in the case of deep sleep--, but with respect to Śiva --the Supreme Self--, even wakefulness and dreaming (appear only) as Consciousness --lit. because there is identity with Consciousness even in the case of wakefulness and dreaming--4 |
Besides, (it does not refer to deep sleep in ordinary people) because it would be unsuitable as regards the subject under discussion|
From here up to the end of the first Section, the book is conducive to the state of perfect awakening --to the state of suprabuddha-- of the partially awakened one. As (this point) is not understood by (other) commentators, therefore, let it be inspected by oneself --by the reader-- ! How much else will we write5 at every step (about this kind of misunderstandings)?||18||
1 The essential nature of everybody never does nothing by itself. This essential nature is Śiva, the Lord, and His state is always that of a Witness to the rest of states. He dwells in Turya or the Fourth State, completely untouched and unaffected by anything else. It is His own Power (Śakti) who performs manifestation, maintenance and dissolution of the universe as well as of the respective three states of consciousness (waking, dreaming and deep sleep). To ordinary people (unawakened), i.e. to people who have no interest in spiritual matters and spend their entire life running after objects (body, money, things, family, name, etc.), the Power of the Lord appears as knowledge and knowable during waking and dreaming, and just a few times in their lives She (the Power) appears as Spanda (specially during tragedies, when they realize how extremely limited they are). Nonetheless, in the case of a suprabuddha or perfectly awakened, His Power appears as knowledge and knowable during waking and dreaming, but everything is full of unity, replete with Saccidānanda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss). A suprabuddha does not lose sight of his own essential nature in spite of the manifestation of those two states of consciousness. In turn, at the beginning and at the end of waking and dreaming, he perceives His own Power such as She is, i.e. as pure Spanda. This is the glory of his achievement!
2 Sadāśiva and Īśvara are the tattva-s or categories 3 and 4 in the process of universal manifestation. In the former, one feels "I am This" (I am this universe), while in the latter, one feels "This is Me". In short, the perfectly awakened feels, as I mentioned in the previous note, full unity with the universe. To him, the entire manifestation whether in waking or dreaming is nothing but Saccidānanda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss). Read Trika 3 to pick up more information about this subject.
3 The phrase "tadanyatra" - "in the other than those (two)" means "in deep sleep". It cannot include Turya or Fourth State because the very "perception of the Self" being studied is itself Turya. The Self dwells in Turya constantly, and as Turya is a mass of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, It pervades the three ordinary states of consciousness (waking, dreaming and deep sleep). This very truth is stated in the aphorism I, 17 (the previous one), where it is said that this perception of the Self stays throughout the three states of consciousness (viz. through waking, dreaming and deep sleep). Therefore, Turya is not pointed out by the expression "tadanyatra" or there would be inconsistency as regards what was said before, in I, 17, where Turya and the perception of the Self are clearly shown as being one and the same thing!
4 All that which was mentioned before is related to the suprabuddha and not to an ordinary person. To an ordinary person, deep sleep becomes moha or delusion. So, he immediately becomes unconscious and can remember that state of void "after" he wakes up. A suprabuddha, instead, is able to remain conscious of the state of void while in deep sleep. To him, even that state of void appears only as Consciousness, since he is Śiva Himself. It is to be noted that any superior state of consciousness makes an ordinary person become stupefied (unconscious). For example, if one common person could enter Samādhi or perfect absorption in his own Self, he would automatically become unconscious. But someone who is perfectly awakened is not like that. NO. He retains his state as the Perceiver at all times and is never overcome by stupefaction or unconsciousness. This subject is clear now!
This is for Sanskrit students: As the author is addicted to use Ablative of abstract nouns (those ending in "tvāt"), the phrases are hard-to-translate in a literal manner by following the word for word scheme. The author could have used "yatas" (because) in order to make the things easier, but you know, he wrote everything like that and now I have to battle with his involved style.
What did I mean by all I said? Imagine that I want to write this: "Because you are identical with Śiva", then, by using "yatas" (because), the phrase would look like this: "Yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si" - "Because (yatas) you (tvam) are (asi) identical (samaḥ) with Śiva (śiva)". The expression flows naturally and there is no problem with translating it word for word. But see now the way Kṣemarāja would write that: "Tava śivasamatvāt" - "Because, in your case, there is identity with Śiva". This makes the process of translating word for word harder, since that "in your case" separates "because" from "there is identity with Śiva". If I were to write it in a extremely literal way, it would read: "In your case (tava), because there is identity (samatvāt) with Śiva (śiva)". And yes, the word for word translation would not run into any problem then, but legibility would. So, I have to workaround the problem very often writing all together and then specifying the literal meaning between double hyphen, e.g. "Because, in your case, there is identity with Śiva (tava śiva-samatvāt)" --lit. In your case, because there is identity with Śiva--. Yes, it took more effort on my part and in the end it is not so clear as "Because you are identical with Śiva", plainly!
There is another way to translate the expression, without using "in your case" but "to you": "Because there is identity (samatvāt) with Śiva (śiva) to you (tava)". Yes, now the word for word translation made more sense since there is no "in your case" messing around in the middle. In this way, a Sanskrit student can see how the phrase is structured (this is the main goal in taking the trouble to translate word for word). Anyway, there would have been much easier to write: "Yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si" - "Because (yatas) you (tvam) are (asi) identical (samaḥ) with Śiva (śiva)", and that is it! Time and intellectual energy saved!
This is one of the aspects of an involved style of writing. If you take into account that the sage is using those strange ways of expression frequently, to translate his texts is a real challenge, specially if the sentences are too long. Not that he cannot ever use them, but they are not necessary "always", because he could have chosen a clearer manner to say the same things. Well, one is unable to change this now, because the commentary is written as it is written... and no way. However, the subject is already complex even if Sanskrit was crystal clear. But no, on top of that, the sage writes in such a difficult manner.
This is not something only related to Kṣemarāja but also to other sages. Maybe they wanted to keep their teachings hidden to undeserving people. If this is the case, they succeeded, because only a translator with the patience of a demigod can keep translating texts composed in such a complicated style. This way of writing reminds me of some academic grammarians who write in such a difficult way that one must perform two studies: one related to Sanskrit grammar itself, and another related to the style of writing of those grammarians! I wonder, why is all this always so difficult? No marvel that God is short of saints nowadays if His treatises are written in such a difficult way! Most intellects just cannot survive in their presence! Evidently, my task is to simplify all this to the maximum extent of my own capacities.
There is a science called "pedagogy". Something that all teachers should study before becoming teachers. What is the point of knowing a lot if one is unable to convey in a simple way what he knows? Obviously that many spiritual subjects are so complex that even words cannot describe the things properly. Even Sanskrit, a sacred language designed specifically to deal with those subjects, falls short in expressing exactly certain realities. I can understand that, but I cannot understand why should one say in a difficult manner what can be said in more simple terms. I showed above that even a rookie in Sanskrit like myself can write in a simple way. As I said before, the only reason to go into extra complications would be in order to keep the teachings hidden. But this being a commentary (and in prose!), it should be elucidative in the full sense of word! OK, OK, just my opinion, but after so many hours fighting against the involved style of Kṣemarāja, I am a little tired of doing unnecessary intellectual acrobatics to understand him and accordingly arrange the word for word translation in a coherent manner. The only two things keeping my attention on the text are the profound knowledge of the sage and my service to the Supreme Lord.
And as my work is "real", i.e. it is meant for the Lord and for the good of the readers, and not for the cameras or for profit, I can give my opinion on the style of such a great author and sage as Kṣemarāja. Well, my entire life has been a war against obstacles. Now the obstacle is the involved style of this sage. OK, I will overcome all that in the end with my tenacity. Most spiritual aspirants feel intimidated by the obstacles on their path. They should develop tenacity and never give up. Spiritual ignorance is finally removed by the Supreme Self, according to Trika, but that does not imply that one will sit and wait for His help. NO. If a spiritual aspirant desires to be successful in his efforts, he must not give up even if the very lord of death is in his way. I am not joking.
There is constantly this idea that a spiritual aspirant is someone who is always with a smile on his face, full of peace, love, etc. This may be true in the case of a perfectly awakened one who is Free forever, but not in the case of someone still fighting for his freedom. Someone fighting for his freedom is a warrior, always battling with his own limitations, making tremendous efforts against his own misery, accomplishing almost impossible missions, etc. He is not a weak fellow frightened of a little mouse, so to speak! Spiritual ignorance is the hardest thing to deal with. Not that you will defeat that universal force with timid attempts. It is no show or business. NO. It is "real" like the Lord Himself. When that powerful spiritual aspirant shows he is deserving enough, the Lord removes his innate impurity and then he becomes perfectly awakened. Not before! On top of that, as the Lord is completely Free to give him Liberation at any time, that spiritual aspirant will have to keep fighting till the Lord decides to set him free.
5 Yes, "likhāmaḥ" means "we write", but Present Time also implies "immediate futurity". Thence my translation: "will we write" or the question will make no sense in English. The word "kiyat", in turn, means "how much else?" in the sense of "how far?", i.e. "how far will we write at every step (about these misunderstandings)?". The indeclinable "pratipadam" also means "at every word, word for word". In this case, the translation could be: "how much else will we write (about these misunderstandings) as regards every word?", etc. The amount of possible translations is too much! Once again, the author might have written the phrase in a clearer way so the translators would save so much time deciphering. This shows again the classic "theory vs. practice". You may have studied the entire Sanskrit grammar in theory, but when in practice, you frequently come up against this kind of things, which are disconcerting and obviously annoying.
Since even this middle state of wakefulness, etc. does not tie or stop the perfectly awakened one1, therefore (Vasugupta) proves (that very truth now):
The emanations of Spanda that begin with the qualities of "Prakṛti", (and) which obtain their own existence by resorting to generic Spanda constantly, does not stand in the way of one who possesses knowledge (of the Self)||19||
Qualities of Prakṛti (are) sattvá --quality of goodness--, rájas --quality of passion-- and támas --quality of ignorance--. They, whose place of development or evolution (is) the principle of Prakṛti, are to be understood here as residing in the principle of Māyā2|
As has been mentioned in venerable Svacchandatantra with reference to the arrangement of Māyā's pillow:
"One should consider the lower and upper cover(s) (of the Māyā's pillow) as red (and) white (respectively. And) one should regard the middle (cover as) dark. These guṇa-s are arranged (in that way) indeed3"||
(See II, 65 in Svacchandatantra)
Starting with them --with the qualities of Prakṛti--, the emanations of Spanda --lit. of spanda-s or vibrations-- —i.e. of all those (vibrations) which are particular streams --ramifications-- beginning with Kalā --tattva 7-- (and) ending with earth --tattva 36--— (consist of) streams (in the form of) bodies, senses (and) worlds along with the cognitions of blue, pleasure, etc., as well as —with respect to the yogī-s— (the cognitions of) Bindu --supernatural light--, Nāda --supernatural sound--, etc.... (all) those (things) do not ever stay in the way of someone who has no future birth, i.e. of the perfectly awakened one who possesses knowledge (of the Self. In short,) they do not conceal or veil his own essential nature. This is certain --i.e. there is no doubt about it-- ! Since those things obtain their own existence by having recourse to the aforesaid generic Spanda according to the viewpoint or doctrine already investigated here —(in I, 2) "in whom (all this universe) rests"—, therefore, (those things) arise from and are identical with that --with Spanda--. This is the meaning4|
"Those very (Powers which are) Jñāna --Knowledge-- and Kriyā --Action--, (along with) Māyā as the third in the case of the Lord with reference to the objects that are His own limbs, (appear), in the case of a limited being as Sattva, Rajas (and) Tamas"||
(See IV, I, 4 in Īśvarapratyabhijñā)
according to the viewpoint described in venerable Īśvarapratyabhijñā, (it is) the very Power of Consciousness, viz. the Supreme Mistress, (who,) shining forth in the state of venerable Sadāśiva, etc. in the form of the triad of Powers (called) Jñāna, Kriyā and Māyā spreads as the body of the (Lord's) Play in the form of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas due to an excess of contraction5. As the perfectly awakened one knows that everything, due to its being identical with the expanse of his own Power of Consciousness, (is) always presided over by That --by the Power of Consciousness--, does not interfere with the particular (forms) of Spanda, such as guṇa-s, etc., (but he rather) remains fully absorbed in the principle of Spanda only6||19||
1 The sage Kṣemarāja wrote "prabuddha" in order to point out the "suprabuddha" (the perfectly awakened one) in this context, and not the partially awakened one. He said that Vasugupta, the author of Spandakārikā, is going to prove, by the following aphorism, how the suprabuddha is never in bondage even in the middle state of waking, dreaming and deep sleep. The partially awakened one has the revelation of his own Self at the beginning and the end of those states, but he is in bondage in their middle phase. On the contrary, the suprabuddha is able to keep realizing the Self even during the course of waking, etc. According to the Trika system, this sublime state can only be attained by divine Grace and not by efforts.
2 The threes qualities of Prakṛti (tattva 13) are so called because they have Prakṛti for their place of development or evolution. In short, they arise from Prakṛti. And as this Prakṛti has emerged from Māyā (tattva 6), the three guṇa-s are to be thought of as residing lastly in Māyā. Therefore, the sage Kṣemarāja indirectly establishes that nothing coming from spiritual ignorance (Māyā) stands in the way of a suprabuddha (a perfectly awakened one). For more information about this topic, consult Tattvic chart, Trika 4 and Trika 5.
3 In his Svacchandoddyota (the great commentary on Svacchandatantra), Kṣemarāja himself explains the meaning of this stanza completely. The first portion of his explanation reads: "The upper (cover), i.e. Sattva, (is) white because it stays near Pure Knowledge. The lower (cover), i.e. Rajas, (is) red since it has to do with passing through a succession of states --Saṁsāra--. The middle (cover), i.e. Tamas, (is) black because it is eminently related to concealing of Knowledge".
The three guṇa-s or qualities of Prakṛti are like that then. It is to be noticed that Pure Knowledge (śuddhavidyā) is not the fifth tattva or category in the universal manifestation in this context. Here it is to be understood as I explained it in Meditation 3. In turn, Saṁsāra is bondage as it means "passing through successive states of birth, death and rebirth" as well as "passing through successive mental/bodily states". The sage specifies that the color of Tamas is black, because in the stanza of Svacchandatantra this is not very clearly established in saying that its color is "dark". I could keep quoting more and more teachings extracted from Svacchandoddyota, but this commentary is lengthier than Spandanirṇaya itself (the text I am translating). Hence I have to be cautious or my notes of explanation will be more extensive than the scripture itself!
4 As always, consult the Tattvic chart and all the pages from Trika 1 through Trika 6 in order to understand how the universal manifestation is displayed according to Trika. The tattva-s or categories between Kalā (tattva 7) and earth (tattva 36) are the progeny of Māyā (ignorance). These mayic manifestations are full of streams or ramifications in the form of bodies, senses y worlds along with the cognitions of blue, pleasure, etc. That is all what the ordinary people perceive. The phrase "blue, pleasure, etc." is commonly used in this type of texts to mention cognitions or experiences perceived by one's mind and senses. The yogī-s perceive more things than the ordinary people, e.g. supernatural light, supernatural sound, etc. All these manifestations, in spite of their being superior to the common human experience, become obstacles in the spiritual path in the case of advanced spiritual aspirants. One could say: "How is it possible for a supernatural manifestation to become an obstacle?". For someone who is about to get in touch with the Self (the Highest Reality), even all those supernatural manifestations are distractions. As the Highest Reality cannot even be delineated in thought, all those supernatural things are not the Highest Reality as It really is. The advanced aspirants look to come into contact with the Highest Reality alone, with the Self. They are not interested in anything else, even if this is supernatural in its nature. Nonetheless, in the case of a suprabuddha (a perfectly awakened one), none of those things, whether they be natural or supernatural, can stay in his way. He is unobstructed as his essential nature (the Self) is never concealed or veiled by anything at all. A suprabuddha is simply an advanced spiritual aspirant who realized the Highest Reality as It essentially is. This is sure thing!
In the second aphorism of the first Section of Spandakārikā-s (which has already been investigated by Kṣemarāja in the present Spandanirṇaya), it is clearly established that the Self is never obstructed by anything in this universe, which is a manifestation of His Spanda or Supreme Power, because it has emerged from the Self and rests on Him. As all those things that have arisen from Māyā are lastly a manifestation of Spanda alone, they will never veil the essential nature of a suprabuddha who has no future birth and is constantly aware of the Self. Such is the meaning!
5 Kṣemarāja is saying here that the very powers of Jñāna (Knowledge), Kriyā (Action) and Māyā (Ignorance) which shine forth in the state of Sadāśiva (tattva 3), Īśvara (tattva 4) and Sadvidyā (tattva 5) --consult the Tattvic chart together with Trika 3--, appear, in the case of a limited being (a being in bondage), in the form of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas as the Lord's Play. The interesting point here is that he assigns Jñāna, Kriyā and Māyā to the Sadāśiva, Īśvara and Sadvidyā tattva-s, when the latter are traditionally linked to Icchā (Will), Jñāna (Knowledge) and Kriyā (Action). Besides, Kṣemarāja himself mentions this traditional arrangement while he comments on the aphorisms of his own Pratyabhijñāhṛdayam. That is why the sage expressed: "according to the viewpoint described in venerable Īśvarapratyabhijñā" in order to mark that this teaching is not in accordance with the traditional view. His teacher, Abhinavagupta, comments abundantly on that stanza of Īśvarapratyabhijñā in both Īśvarapratyabhijñāvimarśinī and Īśvarapratyabhijñāvivṛtivimarśinī (his scholarly commentaries on Utpaladeva's Īśvarapratyabhijñā).
6 The Power of Consciousness is the Power of the Self, and the Power of the Self is Spanda. There is no difference here. As the suprabuddha or perfectly awakened one realizes that everything is one with the expanse of his own Power of Consciousness (with his own Self), he knows that everything is always controlled by the Power of the Self. Due to his perception of unity, he feels no obstruction on the part of the particular manifestations of Spanda, such as guṇa-s and such. Consequently he does not feel the necessity of interfering with all those things but he rather prefers to remain completely absorbed in the Spanda itself. This absolute indifference is really total detachment and a mark of spiritual enlightenment. People who are not suprabuddha-s, not realizing the inherent unity of everything, are always delighted or upset by the particular forms assumed by Spanda and as a result they look to interfere with all those things instead of remaining in their own Self. This is a mark of spiritual ignorance.
(Now Vasugupta, the author,) explains that, viz. how these (emanations of Spanda) bind the unawakened ones:
Nonetheless, these (very emanations of Spanda), laboring diligently and incessantly to cover or veil their --i.e. of the people who have unawakened intellects-- (real) state or nature, cause people of unawakened intellect to fall into the terrible course or way of Transmigration, from which it is difficult to come out||20||
Nonetheless, these aforesaid emanations of Spanda that begin with the qualities of "Prakṛti" —whose --of those emanations-- quintessence is always an emergence from That --from Spanda--—, laboring diligently and incessantly to cover or veil their (real) state or nature which consists of the principle of Spanda --i.e. the real state or nature of the people whose intellects are unawakened as well as the real state or nature of the limited yogī-s-- cause people of unawakened intellect as well as limited yogī-s to fall —(the former are) mostly all the worldly people who have not recognized their own principle of Spanda as the Power of the Supreme Mistress --Śakti-- (and) who think (their) bodies to be the Self; (while the latter are) the ones who consider vital energy, etc. as the Self— into the terrible (and) full of pain course or way of Transmigration, that is impossible to leap over (and) from which it is difficult to come out —(in short,) "humankind --lit. group of people-- is rescued from this (course or way of Transmigration) with difficulty by the spiritual teachers"—1 |
As has been said in venerable Mālinīvijayatantra:
"The ghoratarī-s --lit. very terrible-- who, by embracing the Rudra souls --liberated souls--, throw the individual souls who are clung to objects down and down, are called aparā-s or non-supreme ones"||
(See III, 31 in Mālinīvijayatantra)
In this way , this Supreme Power who has been previously explained as of the nature of the principle of Spanda is the Vāmeśvarīśakti because She emits the universe inside and outside and because She is related to the contrary course of Transmigration2 |
Four groups of deities called Khecarī, Gocarī, Dikcarī and Bhūcarī are produced from Her. (Such groups of deities) move in the Supreme Stage in the case of the perfectly awakened one, but impel the unawakened ones to more and more inferior paths|
Thus, those very Khecarī-s who, moving in Kha —in the ether of Knowledge/Consciousness—, (are) the causes of the spreding out of of non-duality, omnipotence, omniscience, perfection, omnipresence (and) of a state which is not driven by time in the case of the perfectly awakened; moving in the stage of knower of the void (and) remaining as sheaths, (are) the causes of limited agency, limited knowledge, attachment, restriction with reference to space and cause (and) of a state which is driven by time in the case of the unawakened one|
In the case of the perfectly awakened one, the Gocarī-s —the ones who move in the stages of Buddhi, Ahaṅkāra and Manas --tattva-s 14 to 16 forming the Antaḥkaraṇa o Inner Psychic Organ-- which --i.e. those stages-- consist in conversations (and) are characterized by the word 'gauḥ' --nominative case of 'go'--—, generate determination, ego-sense (and) ideas related to non-duality with his own Self, but in the case of the ones deluded by Māyā, (they generate determination, ego-sense and ideas) only related to duality|
In the case of the perfectly awakened one, the Dikcarī-s —the ones who move in the ten directions, i.e. in the stages of the external senses— are chiefly occupied with the spreading out of non-duality, (but) in the case of others --a.k.a. people who are not perfectly awakened--, they are the causes of the spreading out of duality.
Bhū (connotes) the state of knowables consisting of --i.e. the state of knowables-- the group of five, viz. form, etc.. The Bhūcarī-s move there --in Bhū or the state of knowables--. (In other words,) they attain identity with them --with those knowables-- by assuming a coagulated state which is nothing but their expanded forms. In the case of the perfectly awakened one, the Bhūcarī-s show themselves --though you might have expected 'ātmanaḥ' instead-- as endowed with bodies made of the Light of Consciousness, (but) in the case of others --a.k.a. people who are not perfectly awakened--, they keep spreading out limitation and separation everywhere. In this way, those four groups which appear in the form of experients/knowers, inner psychic organ --intellect, ego and mind--, outer senses --powers of perception and action-- (and) knowables/objects, (and) which are replete with (various aspects of) Spanda --Supreme Vibration-- (such as) qualities of Prakṛti, etc., throw --lit. cause to fall-- the ordinary people —i.e. the ones whose intellects are unawakened— as well as the yogī-s who are merely satisfied with the expansive manifestations of supernatural light, supernatural sound, etc. into Saṁsāra --transmigration full of misery--, which is an expansion of those principles/realities3 ||20||
1 Kṣemarāja will explain later the full meaning of this paragraph. Anyway, in the description 'all the wordly people who have not recognized their own principle of Spanda as the Power of the Supreme Mistress --Śakti-- and who think their bodies to be the Self': This is the group of common people (non-yogī-s) who retain the entire Āṇavamala --primordial impurity generating the notion that 'I am not Full'--, i.e. its two aspects of Pauruṣājñāna (ignorance about the Self, as they think that their Self has become many --the commentator explains this as 'they have not recognized their own principle of Spanda as the Power of the Supreme Mistress', i.e. they have not recognized that their Self is the Self of the universe--) and Bauddhājñāna (intellectual ignorance, since they think that their bodies are the the Self). In this group the limited yogī-s are included as they, though their Pauruṣājñāna has been removed by the Grace of their Guru-s during initiation, still retain Bauddhājñāna in a way subtler than ordinary people. That is why the commentator specified that these yogī-s 'consider vital energy, etc. as the Self'. They have abandoned the notion that they are their bodies (gross Bauddhājñāna), but anyway they feel that if they cannot breathe, for example, they die. This is because they are identified with the vital energy permeating the respiratory process. All of them are thrown into the terrifying Saṁsāra from which it is difficult to come out.
2 Śakti or Spanda is called Vāmeśvarī (lit. the Beautiful Mistress) because She emits the universe inside and outside (from the root 'vam' - 'to emit'). This is Her Mātṛkā aspect. Also, Śakti or Spanda is called Vāmeśvarī because She is related to the contrary course of Transmigration (from the adjective 'vāmā' - 'reverse, contrary'). This is Her Mālinī aspect. So, while Mātṛkā manifests the expansive universe, Mālinī makes it return to its Source, Śiva.
3 Vāmeśvarī is the presiding power over this set of four śakti-s composed of Khecarī (related to the 'knower or subject'), Gocarī and Dikcarī (related to knowledge/means of knowledge) and Bhūcarī (related to knowables or objects).
In the case of non-liberated beings, the Khecarī-s are the powers who move in the stage of deep sleep and cause in them five limitations regarding action, knowledge, will, time and space. But in the case of the liberated being, the Khecarī-s move in Kha --in the ether of Knowledge or Awakened Consciousness-- as in the liberated one (the Great Yogī), deep sleep is transformed into Consciousness (such as stated in the last part of I.18 above: "Nevertheless, in the other than those (two, He appears only) as Consciousness". And because this is so, these very powers bestow on him fully expanded powers of action, knowledge, will, bliss and consciousness.
In the case of non-liberated beings, the Gocarī-s or powers who move in Antaḥkaraṇa o Inner Psychic Organ consisting of intellect, ego and mind, generate determination (e.g. 'this is blue in color'), ego-sense (e.g. 'this is mine') and ideas (all kind of thoughts) only having to do with duality (e.g. this is my beautiful house, this is my family, those are my enemies, etc.). However, to the liberated being, the Gocarī-s produce determination, ego-sense and ideas related to unity with the Lord (e.g. I am the universe, all is already Mine, there is full unity between Śiva and Me, etc.).
In the case of non-liberated beings, the Dikcarī-s or powers who move in the external senses (composed of Jñānendriya-s and Karmendriya-s, viz. Powers of perception and action) just create more duality (e.g. I see this big forest, I see a lot of people, I hear different sounds, etc.). Nonetheless, to the liberated being, the Dikcarī-s reveal unity in all around (e.g. on seeing an object, the liberated being realizes that he is one with that object; on hearing music, he becomes one with it, etc.).
In the case of the non-liberated beings, the Bhūcarī-s or powers who move in the state of knowables or objects (they coagulate themselves and assume the form of all the objects, and consequently these objects are nothing but the expanded or developed forms of those very śakti-s) only generate limitation and separation everywhere (e.g. I live here but not there, I need a very fast space ship to travel to another galaxy, I will die --because the body will die--, etc.; in this way, they produce only misery to those disgraced beings). But to the liberated being, the Bhūcarī-s show themselves as endowed with bodies made of the Light of Consciousness, i.e. when the liberated one perceives objects around him, all of them do not look like mere objects but like radiant goddesses.
In a nutshell, all those four groups of powers extending from Māyātattva (sixth category) down to Pṛthivītattva (thirty-sixth category) cause non-liberated beings (ordinary people and all those yogī-s only interested in lower manifestations of Spanda such as superanatural light appearing in the space between the eyebrows, supernatural sound heard in that very space too, etc.) to fall into the awful pit called Saṁsāra (Transmigration from one body to another body, from one thought to another thought and so on), which (i.e. Saṁsāra) is just an expansion of all those things populating the realm of Māyā (from tattva 6 to tattva 36). If the word 'tattva' in the commentary is to be understood as 'principle or category of manifestation', so the translation would be like this: 'which is an expansion of those principles or categories of manifestation (from the sixth to the thirty-sixth one)'.
Since (it is) so:
For this reason, he who (is) constantly prepared for discerning the principle of Spanda, attains his own (essential) state or nature quickly, (even in) wakefulness||21||
He who is constantly prepared1 for discerning —i.e. for being aware of— the principle of Spanda, whose nature --of the principle of Spanda-- has already been mentioned and will be mentioned later on; (in other words,) he who is indeed constantly inclined to perceive the inner essential nature, quickly attains his own (essential) state or nature which is Śaṅkara even during jāgrat, i.e. even while he stays in the waking state. (This is also) in accordance with the viewpoint expressed in Bhagavadgītā:
"(Among the ones endowed with the highest faith, I consider them to be yuktatamā-s' --the ones who are most devoted to Me--) who, after fixing (their) mind(s) on Me, constantly --lit. constantly intent on or devoted to-- worship/serve Me"||
(See XII, 2 in Bhagavadgītā)
So, his inner essential nature, which is Śaṅkara, emerges by itself, (and) on which account, the partially awakened one, by attaining an ever-active absorption or samādhi --a samādhi which lasts forever--, becomes perfectly awakened, i.e. liberated while living. This is the meaning2 ||21||
2 By means of this spontaneous emergence of his totally Free essential nature which is the Great Lord, the prabuddha (partially awakened) becomes suprabuddha (perfectly awakened). In the state of prabuddha, he was only able to realize his unity with Śaṅkara at the beginning or end of the three states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep. Now, with the sudden appearance of his essential nature even in the middle of his activities, his prabuddha state is removed and replaced with the suprabuddha state, because only a suprabuddha can experience his unity with the Supreme Self even in the middle of the three states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep. And a synonym of suprabuddha in this context is jīvanmukta (liberated while living), as the great Yogī retains his physical body after the massive experience of Liberation. If he were to leave his physical body during the process of Liberation, he would become a videhamukta (one who got Liberation and abandoned the body), but this is not the case of the sublime Yogī mentioned by Kṣemarāja.
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