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Svātantryasūtravṛtti (Svatantryasutravritti) First chapter (aphorisms 5 to 8) - Non-dual Shaivism of Rosario
This is the second set of 4 aphorisms out of 16 aphorisms of which the first chapter (dealing with Paramārtha, the Highest Reality) consists. As you know, the entire work is composed of a full commentary on the 48 aphorisms of Svātantryasūtram. Of course, I will also insert the original aphorisms on which I will be commenting. Even though the commentary is detailed enough, there are a few notes to make a particular point clear when strictly necessary. I write in Sanskrit so elementarily as possible, i.e. with short sentences, without too long compounds and without going into the overwhelming scholarship exhibited by the ancient sages. Although Sanskrit is not exactly "for the masses", yet my purpose is to explain everything in the simplest terms for all the spiritual aspirants to understand the teachings quickly.
My Sanskrit will be in dark green color while the original Svātantryasūtram's aphorisms will be shown in dark red color. In turn, within the transliteration, the original aphorisms will be in brown color, while my comments will be shown in black. Also, within the translation, the original aphorisms of Svātantryasūtram will be in green and black colors, while my commentary will contain words in both black and red colors. All the quotes extracted from other scriptures will be properly marked, obviously.
Read Svātantryasūtravṛtti and experience Supreme Delight, dear Self.
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. As it is very easy to get drown in the ocean of Sanskrit and Trika, hehe, all corrections (of any kind) are always welcome, of course.
तस्मादहंविमर्शरूपात्प्रथमस्पन्दात्परमस्य शक्तिस्त्रिविधा भवति॥५॥
प्रथममात्मशक्तिरहंविमर्श इव प्रादुर्भूता ततः परं सेच्छाज्ञानक्रियारूपेण त्रिविधा त्रिगुणा भवति विश्वसृष्टिस्थितिसंहारार्थम्। इच्छाशक्तिर्ज्ञानशक्तिः क्रियाशक्तिश्चेतीमास्तिस्रः शक्तयो नात्मशक्तिव्यतिरिक्ता अपि त्वेतस्या व्यापाराः। विश्वं सिसृक्ष्वामात्मशक्त्यामियं लालसैतस्या इच्छाशक्तिः। कथयन्त्यामात्मशक्त्यावहमेवं तत्करिष्यामीत्ययं निश्चय एतस्या ज्ञानशक्तिः। यद्विश्वं स्वेच्छापूर्वकं कुर्वत्यामात्मशक्त्यामियं कृतिरेतस्याः क्रियाशक्त्या कृता।
यात्मशक्तिरिदं विश्वं दर्शयति सैवापरिमितात्मानं नानामलमायाकञ्चुकयुक्त्याहङ्कारोपेतनरभावेन परिणमयति। सदा तच्चिन्तामेतच्चिन्तायास्तद्देहमेतद्देहादित्यादि संसरति ह्ययं नरोऽणुर्वा संसारी यत्सत्यम्। तस्मादात्मा सत्यरूपोऽणुना सङ्कोचविषयेऽवभसमानः स्वशक्त्यैव। सोऽणुः सुदृढपिधानवति घटे वायुरिव भवति। तद्घटे गतो वायुर्यद्यपि सर्ववायोः समोऽसंशयस्तथापि सोऽसमर्थोऽयोग्यश्च यतो घटेन बद्धः परिमितः सर्वकालम्। यदायं नरोऽणुर्वा त्रिकदर्शने साधकतामेति तदा यत्स्वस्वभाव आत्मरूपकः स गुरुणोपदिश्यते। किन्त्वस्य नूतनशिष्यस्यासामर्थ्यादयोग्यत्वाच्च स तं महोपदेशं न यथार्थं बोधति। तस्मादबोधान्निरर्थकप्रश्नदीर्घावलिरेव फलं भवेत्। इदानीमिमे प्रश्ना मया दृष्टान्तिता आत्माहं चेत्किमिति पीडामनुभवामीत्यात्माहं चेत्किमर्थं भीतोऽस्मीत्यात्माहं चेत्केन हेतुनोत्पतितुं न शक्नोमीत्यात्माहं चेत्किन्निमित्तं न बहुधनोऽस्मीत्यात्माहं चेत्किमिति संस्कृतशास्त्राण्याङ्ग्लभाषया विपरिणमयितुं न शक्नोमीत्यात्माहं चेत्किमर्थं कण्ठपाकमनुभवामीत्यात्माहं चेत्केन हेतुना मत्शक्त्या बध्यमानमपि मामुपैक्ष इत्यात्माहं चेत्किन्निमित्तं मम गुरुणा प्रयोजनं भवतीत्यादि।
तस्या नूतनशिष्यप्रश्नदीर्घावलेरुत्तरं दत्तमेतत्कः पृच्छतीति। तान् सर्वान् प्रश्नान् आत्मा परसत्यरूपो न पृच्छन् यतः स न भयं पीडामनिश्चयं वानुभवति कदाचन। इत्थं तस्य सर्वस्य पृच्छकः सोऽणुरात्मशक्त्या बद्धो योऽहङ्कारोपेतश्च। अयमणुः सुदृढपिधानवति घटे वायुरिव पूर्वोक्तः सर्वदोत्क्रोशति यस्माद्वायुरहं झञ्झावात इव वायां किन्त्वमुया रीत्या वातुं न शक्नोमि नूनमिति। अनेकानि दृढनिषेधवाक्यानि यद्यपि तेन नूतनशिष्येनोदितानि तथापि स न किञ्चित्प्राप्नोति तस्यासमर्थत्वात्। वास्तवकरणं केवलं सर्वसामर्थ्यशालिन्यात्मनः शक्त्या कृतं नहि चाणुनास्याः शक्तेः कल्पितेनैव कदाचित्।
यदायं नूतनशिष्योऽनुभवज्ञानवृद्धतरो भूतस्तदा स बोधति यद्वाङ्मात्ररूपेण विद्याभिमानेनैव बन्धेन मुक्तिर्न प्राप्ता जात्वसंशयः। शेषे सर्वभूतान्यात्मा सन्त्येव — किं तत इति। इत्थं साधकस्तस्मादक्षमबुद्धिकृतादबुधवितर्काद्विरमति यच्च तस्य मोक्षप्राप्त्यै तेन कर्तव्यं तत्क्षिप्रं कर्तुं प्रवर्तते। अत्र मोक्षप्राप्तिर्वास्तविकसिद्धिः परमार्थतः। अनुभवगुणराशीकरणं विना साधकः साधनाशक्तिहीनो भवति तस्य च सिद्धिः परमार्थदृष्ट्या नहि दूराधिरूढा। यथात्मा स्वेच्छयैव परिमिततां गतस्तथा स खलु स्वाच्छन्द्येनापि तेन सर्वेण बन्धेन मुक्तः। प्रागुक्ते दृष्टान्ते या घटपिधानमुत्कृष्य बन्धनादन्तर्वायुं मोचयती सैवानुग्रहरूपेणात्मेच्छा। सङ्कोचात्मकतद्पिधान आत्मस्पर्शेनोत्कृष्टेऽयं मोचितवायुरिवाधुनाणुः प्रथमं स्वस्वभावरूपकं प्रेमानुभवति। सङ्कोचे नष्टेऽणुः सम्यङ्मुक्तिं प्राप्य परमात्मा साक्षान् भवतीतः परं च महात्मा स्मृतः।
मुक्तिः पुनः शक्तिपाततीव्रतानुसारेणोत्पद्यते सदा। अतितीव्रः शक्तिपातश्चेत्साधको विदेहमुक्तः सहसा भवेन्न संशयो यदि च शक्तिपातो नातितीव्रस्तत विदेहमुक्तिस्थाने जीवन्मुक्तिर्विद्यते। स मुक्तो देहं त्यजतु न त्यजतु वा तत्सर्वं तस्य सममिव प्रतिभाति। किञ्च तस्य बुद्धिरन्ते परमार्थनिरूपणाय खलु क्षमा। नूतनशिष्यत्वे यस्मादात्माहं न किञ्चिन्मया कर्तव्यमिति तस्य प्राग्वितर्कः। किन्तु स्वाच्छन्द्यप्रमोदैकघनभूतस्य स्वात्मनः सम्यक्प्रत्यभिज्ञात्मकं मोक्षं लब्ध्वा यस्मादात्माहं न किञ्चिन्मया कर्तव्यं यत्तु परोपकारार्थे कार्यं तत्सर्वमवश्यं यथाशक्ति करिष्य इति तस्य मतमेवाधुना। स महात्मैवं चिन्तयन् यतः सोऽयमात्मा योग्येभ्यः साधकेभ्योऽनन्तानुग्रहं दातुमुद्यतः सर्वदा। स्वतन्त्रपुरुषः परमसत्येऽवतिष्ठन् स्वविभविशक्त्या सृष्टस्य विश्वस्य न विरुद्धः कर्हिचिदनेन च प्रकारेण स देहपातेऽप्यगतेन मङ्गलात्मशालिनित्यसमाधिना समाविष्टः सन्देहो नास्ति॥५॥
Tasmādahaṁvimarśarūpātprathamaspandātparamasya śaktistrividhā bhavati||5||
Prathamamātmaśaktirahaṁvimarśa iva prādurbhūtā tataḥ paraṁ secchājñānakriyārūpeṇa trividhā triguṇā bhavati viśvasṛṣṭisthitisaṁhārārtham| Icchāśaktirjñānaśaktiḥ kriyāśaktiścetīmāstisraḥ śaktayo nātmaśaktivyatiriktā api tvetasyā vyāpārāḥ| Viśvaṁ sisṛkṣvāmātmaśaktyāmiyaṁ lālasaitasyā icchāśaktiḥ| Kathayantyāmātmaśaktyāvahamevaṁ tatkariṣyāmītyayaṁ niścaya etasyā jñānaśaktiḥ| Yadviśvaṁ svecchāpūrvakaṁ kurvatyāmātmaśaktyāmiyaṁ kṛtiretasyāḥ kriyāśaktyā kṛtā|
Yātmaśaktiridaṁ viśvaṁ darśayati saivāparimitātmānaṁ nānāmalamāyākañcukayuktyāhaṅkāropetanarabhāvena pariṇamayati| Sadā taccintāmetaccintāyāstaddehametaddehādityādi saṁsarati hyayaṁ naro'ṇurvā saṁsārī yatsatyam| Tasmādātmā satyarūpo'ṇunā saṅkocaviṣaye'vabhasamānaḥ svaśaktyaiva| So'ṇuḥ sudṛḍhapidhānavati ghaṭe vāyuriva bhavati| Tadghaṭe gato vāyuryadyapi sarvavāyoḥ samo'saṁśayastathāpi so'samartho'yogyaśca yato ghaṭena baddhaḥ parimitaḥ sarvakālam| Yadāyaṁ naro'ṇurvā trikadarśane sādhakatāmeti tadā yatsvasvabhāva ātmarūpakaḥ sa guruṇopadiśyate| Kintvasya nūtanaśiṣyasyāsāmarthyādayogyatvācca sa taṁ mahopadeśaṁ na yathārthaṁ bodhati| Tasmādabodhānnirarthakapraśnadīrghāvalireva phalaṁ bhavet| Idānīmime praśnā mayā dṛṣṭāntitā ātmāhaṁ cetkimiti pīḍāmanubhavāmītyātmāhaṁ cetkimarthaṁ bhīto'smītyātmāhaṁ cetkena hetunotpatituṁ na śaknomītyātmāhaṁ cetkinnimittaṁ na bahudhano'smītyātmāhaṁ cetkimiti saṁskṛtaśāstrāṇyāṅglabhāṣayā vipariṇamayituṁ na śaknomītyātmāhaṁ cetkimarthaṁ kaṇṭhapākamanubhavāmītyātmāhaṁ cetkena hetunā matśaktyā badhyamānamapi māmupaikṣa ityātmāhaṁ cetkinnimittaṁ mama guruṇā prayojanaṁ bhavatītyādi|
Tasyā nūtanaśiṣyapraśnadīrghāvaleruttaraṁ dattametatkaḥ pṛcchatīti| Tān sarvān praśnān ātmā parasatyarūpo na pṛcchan yataḥ sa na bhayaṁ pīḍāmaniścayaṁ vānubhavati kadācana| Itthaṁ tasya sarvasya pṛcchakaḥ so'ṇurātmaśaktyā baddho yo'haṅkāropetaśca| Ayamaṇuḥ sudṛḍhapidhānavati ghaṭe vāyuriva pūrvoktaḥ sarvadotkrośati yasmādvāyurahaṁ jhañjhāvāta iva vāyāṁ kintvamuyā rītyā vātuṁ na śaknomi nūnamiti| Anekāni dṛḍhaniṣedhavākyāni yadyapi tena nūtanaśiṣyenoditāni tathāpi sa na kiñcitprāpnoti tasyāsamarthatvāt| Vāstavakaraṇaṁ kevalaṁ sarvasāmarthyaśālinyātmanaḥ śaktyā kṛtaṁ nahi cāṇunāsyāḥ śakteḥ kalpitenaiva kadācit|
Yadāyaṁ nūtanaśiṣyo'nubhavajñānavṛddhataro bhūtastadā sa bodhati yadvāṅmātrarūpeṇa vidyābhimānenaiva bandhena muktirna prāptā jātvasaṁśayaḥ| Śeṣe sarvabhūtānyātmā santyeva — Kiṁ tata iti| Itthaṁ sādhakastasmādakṣamabuddhikṛtādabudhavitarkādviramati yacca tasya mokṣaprāptyai tena kartavyaṁ tatkṣipraṁ kartuṁ pravartate| Atra mokṣaprāptirvāstavikasiddhiḥ paramārthataḥ| Anubhavaguṇarāśīkaraṇaṁ vinā sādhakaḥ sādhanāśaktihīno bhavati tasya ca siddhiḥ paramārthadṛṣṭyā nahi dūrādhirūḍhā| Yathātmā svecchayaiva parimitatāṁ gatastathā sa khalu svācchandyenāpi tena sarveṇa bandhena muktaḥ| Prāgukte dṛṣṭānte yā ghaṭapidhānamutkṛṣya bandhanādantarvāyuṁ mocayatī saivānugraharūpeṇātmecchā| Saṅkocātmakatadpidhāna ātmasparśenotkṛṣṭe'yaṁ mocitavāyurivādhunāṇuḥ prathamaṁ svasvabhāvarūpakaṁ premānubhavati| Saṅkoce naṣṭe'ṇuḥ samyaṅmuktiṁ prāpya paramātmā sākṣān bhavatītaḥ paraṁ ca mahātmā smṛtaḥ|
Muktiḥ punaḥ śaktipātatīvratānusāreṇotpadyate sadā| Atitīvraḥ śaktipātaścetsādhako videhamuktaḥ sahasā bhavenna saṁśayo yadi ca śaktipāto nātitīvrastata videhamuktisthāne jīvanmuktirvidyate| Sa mukto dehaṁ tyajatu na tyajatu vā tatsarvaṁ tasya samamiva pratibhāti| Kiñca tasya buddhirante paramārthanirūpaṇāya khalu kṣamā| Nūtanaśiṣyatve yasmādātmāhaṁ na kiñcinmayā kartavyamiti tasya prāgvitarkaḥ| Kintu svācchandyapramodaikaghanabhūtasya svātmanaḥ samyakpratyabhijñātmakaṁ mokṣaṁ labdhvā yasmādātmāhaṁ na kiñcinmayā kartavyaṁ yattu paropakārārthe kāryaṁ tatsarvamavaśyaṁ yathāśakti kariṣya iti tasya matamevādhunā| Sa mahātmaivaṁ cintayan yataḥ so'yamātmā yogyebhyaḥ sādhakebhyo'nantānugrahaṁ dātumudyataḥ sarvadā| Svatantrapuruṣaḥ paramasatye'vatiṣṭhan svavibhaviśaktyā sṛṣṭasya viśvasya na viruddhaḥ karhicidanena ca prakāreṇa sa dehapāte'pyagatena maṅgalātmaśālinityasamādhinā samāviṣṭaḥ sandeho nāsti||5||
I continue (āse) explaining (vivṛṇvan) the Power (śaktim) of the Self (ātma)—
After that (tasmāt... param) first (prathama) Vibration (spandāt) in the form (rūpāt) of I-consciousness (aham-vimarśa), His (asya) Power (śaktiḥ) becomes (bhavati) threefold (trividhā)||5||
At first (prathamam), the Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma) appears (prādurbhūtā) as (iva) I-consciousness (aham-vimarśaḥ); after that (tatas param), It becomes (sā... bhavati) trividhā (trividhā) (or) triple (tri-guṇā) in the form (rūpeṇa) of Will (icchā), Knowledge (jñāna) (and) Action (kriyā) for (artham) manifestation (sṛṣṭi), maintenance (sthiti) (and) withdrawal (saṁhāra) of the universe (viśva). "Power (śaktiḥ) of Will (icchā), Power (śaktiḥ) of Knowledge (jñāna) and (ca) Power (śaktiḥ) of Action (kriyā... iti)", these (imāḥ) three (tisraḥ) Powers (śaktayaḥ) are not (na) separate (vyatiriktāḥ) from the Power (śakti) of the Self (ātma) but (they are) rather (api tu) Its --of the Power of the Self-- (etasyāḥ) functions (vyāpārāḥ). When the Power of the Self (ātma-śaktyām) wishes to manifest (sisṛkṣvām) the universe (viśvam), this (iyam) ardent desire (lālasā) (is) Its (etasyāḥ) Power (śaktiḥ) of Will (icchā). When the Power of the Self (ātma-śaktyau) says (kathayantyām): "I (aham) will make (kariṣyāmi) it (tad) this way (evam... iti)", this (ayam) determination or resoluteness (niścayaḥ) (is) Its (etasyāḥ) Power (śaktiḥ) of Knowledge (jñāna). When the Power of the Self (ātma-śaktyām) makes (kurvatyām) the universe (yad viśvam) according to (pūrvakam) Its own (sva) Will (icchā), this (iyam) act (kṛtiḥ) (is) carried out (kṛtā) by Its Power (etasyāḥ... śaktyāḥ) of Action (kriyā)1 .
That very (sā eva) Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma) which (yā) exhibits (darśayati) this (idam) universe (viśvam), transforms (pariṇamayati) the unlimited Self (aparimita-ātmānam), by means of (yuktyā) multiple (nānā) impurities (mala) (and) sheaths (kañcuka) of Māyā (māyā), into (bhāvena) a limited individual (nara) endowed (upeta) with ego (ahaṅkāra). As (hi) this (ayam) limited individual (naraḥ) or (vā) atomic self (aṇuḥ) always (sadā) wanders (saṁsarati) from this thought (etad-cintāyāḥ) to that thought (tad-cintām), from this body (etad-dehāt) to that body (tad-deham), and so on and on (iti-ādi), (he is) saṁsārī or a transmigratory soul (saṁsārī) indeed (yad satyam). Therefore (tasmāt), the Self (ātmā) whose nature (rūpaḥ) is Truth (satya), through His very Power (sva-śaktyā eva), appears (avabhasamānaḥ) as an atomic self (aṇunā) in the field (viṣaye) of limitation (saṅkoca). The atomic self (saḥ aṇuḥ) is (bhavati) like (iva) air (vāyuḥ) in a pot (ghaṭe) covered by a hermetic lid (su-dṛḍha-pidhānavati). Although (yadi api) the air (vāyuḥ) contained (gataḥ) in that pot (tad-ghaṭe) is doubtless the same (samaḥ... asaṁśayaḥ) as all air (around) (sarva-vāyoḥ), even so (tathāpi) it (saḥ) (is) incapacitated (asamarthaḥ) and (ca) unfit (ayogyaḥ) because (yatas) (it is) confined (baddhaḥ) (and) limited (parimitaḥ) by the pot (ghaṭena) all the time (sarva-kālam). When (yadā) this (ayam) limited individual (naraḥ) or (vā) atomic self (aṇuḥ) becomes an aspirant (sādhakatām eti) in Trika philosophy (trika-darśane), then (tadā) he (saḥ) is taught (upadiśyate) by the spiritual teacher (guruṇā) that (yad) his own essential nature (sva-sva-bhāvaḥ) is the Self (ātma-rūpakaḥ). Nevertheless (kintu), because of incapacity (asāmarthyāt) and (ca) unfitness (ayogyatvāt) of this beginner pupil (asya nūtana-śiṣyasya), he (saḥ) does not (na) understand (bodhati) that (tam) great teaching (mahā-upadeśam) according to its true meaning (yathā-artham). From that (tasmāt) lack of understanding (abodhāt), the final result (phalam) is (bhavet) a long series (dīrgha-āvaliḥ eva) of useless and nonsensical (nirarthaka) questions (praśna). Now (idānīm), I present as examples (mayā dṛṣṭāntitāḥ) these (ime) questions (praśnāḥ):
"If (ced) I (aham) (am) the Self (ātmā), why (kim iti) do I experience (anubhavāmi) suffering (pīḍām... iti)?", "If (ced) I (aham) (am) the Self (ātmā), why (kim artham) am I (asmi) frightened (bhītaḥ... iti)?", "If (ced) I (aham) (am) the Self (ātmā), why (kena hetunā) can I (śaknomi) not (na) fly (utpatitum... iti)?", "If (ced) I (aham) (am) the Self (ātmā), why (kim nimittam) am I (asmi) not (na) rich (bahudhanaḥ... iti)?", "If (ced) I (aham) (am) the Self (ātmā), why (kim iti) can I (śaknomi) not (na) translate (vipariṇamayituṁ) Sanskrit (saṁskṛta) scriptures (śāstrāṇi) into English (āṅglabhāṣayā... iti)?", "If (ced) I (aham) (am) the Self (ātmā), why (kim artham) do I have (anubhavāmi) a sore throat (kaṇṭha-pākam... iti)?", "If (ced) I (aham) (am) the Self (ātmā), why (kena hetunā) did I allow (upaikṣe) myself (mām) to be bound (badhyamānam api) by my own Power (mat-śaktyā... iti)? --i.e. why did I allow my own Power to bind me?--", "If (ced) I (aham) (am) the Self (ātmā), why (kim nimittam) do I need a spiritual teacher (mama guruṇā prayojanam bhavati)?", etc. (iti-ādi)2 .
The answer (uttaram) being given (dattam) to that (tasyāḥ) long series (dīrgha-āvaleḥ) of questions (praśna) (asked) by the beginner pupil (nūtana-śiṣya) (is) this (etad) --i.e. this is the answer to that long series of questions asked by the beginner pupil--: "Who (kaḥ) asks (pṛcchati iti)?". The Self (ātmā), whose nature (rūpaḥ) (is) the Highest (parama) Truth (satya), does not (na) ask (pṛcchan) all (sarvān) those (tān) questions (praśnān), because (yatas) He (saḥ) never (na... kadācana) experiences (anubhavati) fear (bhayam), suffering (pīḍām) or (vā) uncertainty (aniścayam). In this way (ittham), the one who asks (pṛcchakaḥ) all (sarvasya) that (tasya) (is) the atomic self (saḥ aṇuḥ) who (yaḥ) is bound (baddhaḥ) by the Power of the Self (ātma-śaktyā) and (ca) is endowed with (upetaḥ) ego (ahaṅkāra). This (ayam) atomic self (aṇuḥ), previously (pūrva) mentioned (uktaḥ) as (iva) air (vāyuḥ) in a pot (ghaṭe) covered by a hermetic lid (su-dṛḍha-pidhānavati), constantly (sarvadā) yells (utkrośati): "Since (yasmāt) I (aham) (am) air (vāyuḥ), I should blow (vāyām) like (iva) a hurricane (jhañjhāvātaḥ). Still (kintu), I cannot (na śaknomi) blow (vātum) in that way (amuyā rītyā... nūnam iti)!". Even though (yadi api) there are a lot of protests (anekāni dṛḍha-niṣedha-vākyāni... uditāni) on the part of that beginner pupil (tena nūtana-śiṣyena), even so (tathā-api) he (saḥ) achieves (prāpnoti) nothing (na kiñcid) due to his incapacity (tasya asamarthatvāt). Real (vāstava) doing (karaṇam) (is) only (kevalam) performed (kṛtam) by the Power (śaktyā) of the Self (ātmanaḥ), which is replete with (śālinyā) omnipotence (sarvasāmarthya), and (ca) never (nahi... kadācit) by the atomic self (aṇunā) that is an invent (kalpitena eva) of this Power (asyāḥ śakteḥ)3 .
When (yadā) this (ayam) beginner pupil (nūtana-śiṣyaḥ) acquires more (vṛddha-taraḥ bhūtaḥ) experience (anubhava) (and) knowledge (jñāna), then (tadā) he (saḥ) understands (bodhati) that (yad), by the idea or fancy that one possesses knowledge (vidyā-abhimānena eva) appearing as (rūpeṇa) mere words (vāk-mātra), Liberation (muktiḥ) from bondage (bandhena) is not at all (na... jātu) obtained (prāptā), without doubt (asaṁśayaḥ). After all (śeṣe), all the beings (sarva-bhūtāni) are (santi eva) the Self (ātmā)! — So (kim tatas iti)? Thus (ittham), the aspirant (sādhakaḥ) desists (viramati) from that (tasmāt) foolish reasoning (abudha-vitarkāt) performed (kṛtāt) by an incompetent (akṣama) intellect (buddhi), and (ca) he proceeds (pravartate) to do (kartum) quickly (kṣipram) whatever (yad... tad) he needs to do (tena kartavyam) for attaining (prāptyai) his (tasya) Liberation (mokṣa). Here --in this context-- (atra), attainment (prāptiḥ) of Liberation (mokṣa) (is), in the highest sense (paramārthatas), real (vāstavika) accomplishment (siddhiḥ). Without (vinā) accumulating (rāśīkaraṇam) experience (anubhava) (and) merit (guṇa), a spiritual aspirant (sādhakaḥ) is (bhavati) devoid of (hīnaḥ) sādhanāśakti or the power of practice (sādhanā-śakti), and (ca) his (tasya) accomplishment (siddhiḥ), from a spiritual viewpoint (parama-artha-dṛṣṭyā), is not (nahi) far-reaching (dūra-adhirūḍhā). Just as (yathā) the Self (ātmā) becomes limited (parimitatāṁ gataḥ) of His own Free Will (sva-icchayā eva), even so (tathā) He (saḥ) becomes freed (muktaḥ) from all that bondage (tena sarveṇa bandhena) by His own Will (svācchandyena) too (api), certainly (khalu). In the example (dṛṣṭānte) mentioned previously (prāk-ukte), Will (icchā) of the Self (ātma) in the form (rūpeṇa) of Grace (anugraha) (is) that which (yā... sā eva), having taking off (utkṛṣya) the pot's lid (ghaṭa-pidhānam), sets the air inside free (antar-vāyum mocayatī) from (its) confinement (bandhanāt). When that lid, whose essence is contraction/limitation (saṅkoca-ātmaka-tad-pidhāne), is removed by the touch of the Self (ātma-sparśena-utkṛṣṭe), this (ayam) atomic self (aṇuḥ), (who is) now (adhunā) like (iva) air (vāyuḥ) that has been released (mocita), experiences (anubhavati), for the first time (prathamam), Love (prema) whose form (rūpakam) (is) his own (sva) essential nature (sva-bhāva). When contraction/limitation disappears (saṅkoce naṣṭe), the atomic self (aṇuḥ), having achieved (prāpya) complete (samyak) Liberation (muktim), becomes (bhavati) the Supreme Self (parama-ātmā) in person (sākṣāt), and (ca) from now on (itas param) he is known as (smṛtaḥ) a high-souled one (mahā-ātmā)4 .
However (punar), Liberation (muktiḥ) is always produced (utpadyate sadā) in conformity with (anusāreṇa) the intensity (tīvratā) of the descent of Power --i.e. Grace's bestowal-- (śakti-pāta). If (ced) the descent of Power (śakti-pātaḥ) (is) extremely intense (ati-tīvraḥ), the spiritual aspirant (sādhakaḥ) becomes (bhavet) Videhamukta --viz. one who attains Liberation and leaves at once his physical body-- (vi-deha-muktaḥ) immediately (sahasā), no doubt (about it) (na saṁśayaḥ); and (ca) if (yadi) the descent of Power (śakti-pātaḥ) is not (na) extremely intense (ati-tīvraḥ), then (tatas) there is (vidyate) Jīvanmukti --i.e. Liberation without death of the physical body-- (jīvat-muktiḥ) instead of (sthāne) Videhamukti --viz. Liberation with death of the physical body-- (vi-deha-mukti). Whether the liberated one (saḥ muktaḥ) abandons (tyajatu) or (vā) does not (na) abandon (tyajatu) the body (deham), all (sarvam) that (tad) seems (pratibhāti) the same (samam iva) to him (tasya). Moreover (kiñca), his (tasya) intellect (buddhiḥ) (is) at last (ante) competent (kṣamā) for examining (nirūpaṇāya) the Highest Reality (parama-artha) indeed (khalu). In the stage of beginner pupil (nūtana-śiṣyatve), his (tasya) previous (prāk) reasoning (vitarkaḥ) (was): "As (yasmāt) I (aham) (am) the Self (ātmā), I do not need to do (mayā kartavyam) anything (na kiñcid... iti)". Nonetheless (kintu), after having attained (labdhvā) Liberation (mokṣam) consisting in (ātmakaḥ) a complete (samyak) recognition (pratyabhijñā) of his own Self (sva-ātmanaḥ) who is (bhūtasya) a mass (eka-ghana) of Absolute Freedom (svācchandya) (and) Joy (pramoda), his (tasya) thought (matam eva) (is) now (adhunā): "As (yasmāt) I (aham) (am) the Self (ātmā), I do not need to do (mayā kartavyam) anything (na kiñcid), but (tu) I will certainly do (avaśyam kariṣye), to the utmost of my power (yathā-śakti), all that is to be done (kāryam tad sarvam) in order to (arthe) assist (upakāra) others (para... iti)". The high-souled one (saḥ mahā-ātmā) thinks (cintayan) so (evam) because (yatas) this very (saḥ ayam) Self (ātmā) (is) always (sarvadā) ready for (udyataḥ) bestowing (dātum) infinite (ananta) Grace (anugraham) upon fit aspirants (yogyebhyaḥ sādhakebhyaḥ). The free person (svatantra-puruṣaḥ), by dwelling (avatiṣṭhan) in the Supreme Truth (parama-satye), does not ever (na... karhicid) oppose (viruddhaḥ) the universe (viśvasya) manifested (sṛṣṭasya) by His glorious Power (sva-vibhavi-śaktyā), and (ca) in this way (anena... prakāreṇa) he (saḥ) gets absorbed (samāviṣṭaḥ) into a perpetual trance (nitya-samādhinā) full of (śāli) the blessed (maṅgala) Self (ātma), in (a trance) that is not gone (agatena) even (api) when the body falls --when it dies-- (deha-pāte); there is no (na asti) doubt (about it) (sandehaḥ)5 ||5||
1 After appearing as I-consciousness, the Power of the Self becomes threefold in the form of Powers of Will, Knowledge and Action. These three Powers are not separate "creations" but rather functions of the very Power of the Self. Its ardent desire to manifest the universe is Its Power of Will. Its Power of Knowledge is the plan that "I will make the universe in this manner". Its Power of Action is the one that finally transforms Its desire and plan into a concrete universe, which is completely "real" (never illusory or unreal) because emanated from the Real Power of the Self. For more information, read Trika 3.
2 The Power of the Self not only manifests the entire universe but also It manufactures the limited individual who is atomic in size. It does so through multiple impurities (mala-s) and sheaths of Māyā (generating difference or duality). For more information about this, read Trika 4. This atomic self is the Supreme Self but appearing without His inherent Fullness in the field of limitation. You do not need to go too far to see him in person. Just take a mirror and watch (no jokes). These teachings sometimes might look like related to "someone else", but NO, they are always related to the "reader". If the reader cannot get that, he or she cannot make the most of his/her reading. So, it is always about you, reader, and not about a remote Supreme Self who became an atomic self in some distant region of this galaxy, etc. When the reader is able to relate all these teachings to himself, they make sense and are useful. If these teachings are regarded as relating to "somebody else", they are unfruitful and useless.
The examples are always "approximate" and never "identical" with the real situation. That of the air contained in a hermetically closed pot is handy in order to understand the exact position of a limited individual (a. k. a. atomic self). When an atomic self is initiated by a Trika teacher (in fact, the same thing occurs in any spiritual path based on nondualism), he is taught that "he is identical with the Supreme Self". As he is limited by his own incapacity and unfitness, he mistakes the real meaning of the teaching for something else. The final result is a long series of internal and external debates replete with doubts about "If I am the Self, why... ?". This is pretty normal in regard to beginners in Trika. In the end, the pupil is little by little led to the acquisition of a new type of intellect by which he will be able to reason adequately. The intellect of the beginner pupils is not fit for reasoning about the Highest Reality because of its inherent limitation. If it were "fit", he would not be a beginner pupil at all, right? In the end, if the pupil is not conduced to the obtainment of a higher intellect and consequently keeps reasoning by the lower intellect, only the teacher is the one to be blamed.
If the spiritual teacher treats his beginner pupils as people devoid of limitation, he is not a good teacher. For example: If he teaches his beginner pupils "like a parrot" that "You are the Self", and at the same time he does not understand that those pupils cannot fully get such a teaching, he is not an adequate teacher. Spiritual teachers dealing with beginner pupils as if these pupils were Abhinavagupta himself in person, are never good teachers. As you surely know (or maybe not), Abhinavagupta is the greatest Trika teacher of all times. In this way, the teacher "must" understand that those pupils, being atomic selves, will take his teachings through their limited egos and not through a massive experience of the Self. If the teacher does not understand that, he is not mature enough as to be a spiritual teacher really. If the spiritual path were only related to "statements", books would be more than enough to attain Final Liberation. But in practice, those atomic selves appearing as beginner pupils will have to make a lot of efforts in the right direction before they can get a glimpse of what teachings such as "I am the Self" really mean/imply. Mere egos will say: "Oh, I am the Self", but being without real experience of the Self, they will continue to be so limited as before. If the teacher is good enough, he will lead those atomic selves to the possession of a higher kind of intellect. Through this top-notch intellect, they will be able to examine the Supreme Truth from an adequate perspective. In the end, this high-quality intellect will lead a pupil to Self-realization, i.e. to Final Liberation in the form of a recognition of his own Self. If the teacher does not know how to conduce his pupils to that type of intellect, he is only a source of information and not a real spiritual teacher. In this case, I do not see the point of being with such a teacher except for mere accumulation of knowledge. It is never enough to know that "I am the Self", but one must be able to experience that teaching thoroughly.
3 The Self never asks about His suffering, fear or uncertainty. He is immaculate and real in the highest sense of word. He has nothing to do with all those doubts raised by the beginner pupil. It is just ego or I-ness based on the identification with a physical body that is interested in all those things such as suffering, fear and uncertainty. This limited ego continuously protests, but his protest does not change anything regarding his limitation. Real doing is performed by the Power of the Self and not by Its invent (the atomic self or limited individual). Thus, if the limited self wants "to do" in a real manner, he must do so through the Power of the Self and not by himself. When the Power of the blessed Self remains available to a limited self, he is no more a limited self but the Self Himself. Availability of the Power of the Self is another name for Final Liberation (also known as spiritual enlightenment). If the Power of the Self is not available, the atomic self cannot do anything "really" because he is always dependant and not free in the truest sense. This teaching looks obscure when one is a beginner in spirituality, but it is completely clear in the final stages. Merely being the Self is not enough to have real Power then. One should have Self-realization or complete recognition of his own essential nature in order to recover his lost omnipotence. Difficult to explain in words, but simple to understand once the experience of the Self is within one's own reach.
4 When the pupil abandons the category of "a rookie" and acquires more experience and knowledge, then he finally gets that mere words will not make him a free person. At that moment, he stops his useless doubts and protests, and proceeds to make all that is necessary to do in order to have real "accomplishment" or "achievement", i.e. a real apprehension of his own spiritual nature. As he accumulates more experience and merit by meditating, chanting, serving his teacher, etc. he becomes fit to attain Final Liberation. My description is short but the process "generally" (viz. in the vast majority of the cases) takes a long time (years, decades or even lives). Pupils who are too prone to feel depression at the least failure will have to abandon that weak attitude or they will not be successful in getting Final Liberation from bondage, that is, they will remain limited selves or invents moving from one thought to another, from one experience to another, from one body to another, and so on.
When a pupil performs spiritual practices (meditation, chanting of mantra-s, service to the teacher or whatever his spiritual tradition prescribes for realizing the Self), he acquires a special power called "sādhanāśakti". The word "sādhanā" literally means "accomplishment, performance, worship, adoration, etc.", but in Yoga it is usually utilized as synonymous with "abhyāsa" (practice). As a pupil performs sādhanā, he gains that power and becomes different from another pupil who has just started the spiritual path. The difference lies in the increased spiritual performance of the one with sādhanāśakti in comparison with that of the rookie. This power is the final result of so many efforts carried out by a pupil. Finally, when the Self decides to bestow His Grace upon a pupil who has done all that he had to do, He sets him free instantly of His own Free Will. When this happens, the limited being experiences Love for the first time. This Love is not like anything he had previously experienced. It never begins or ends. It is totally unconditional and compassionate. Completely immaculate and holy. Only the ones who have experienced their own essential nature can understand my words. To be liberated amounts to be the Self fully. As the Self is immaculate and holy, the former limited individual becomes exactly like Him. At that time he understands in the fullest sense of word that the goal is not "to win" in life but to become identical with Him. Accordingly, a fully enlightened person is not someone who "wins" all the time in life, but one who is able to become identical with the blessed Self at all times. I explain this mysterious teaching in my upcoming commentaries.
5 An erroneous idea in spirituality is that the limited individual is now completely limited 24 hours a day, and next, when the Self bestows His Grace on him, he is completely enlightened 24 hours a day. This is not true at all but in exceptional cases where Grace bestowal is extremely intense and the liberated one is even forced to leave his physical body. In the vast majority of the cases, Grace bestowal is regulated and gradual in order not to kill the aspirant, you know. When even a miserable star like the sun can easily kill the physical body, just imagine how shocking the revelation of the Supreme Self has to be if given completely and 24 hours a day all of a sudden. So, Self-realization "in general" will start little by little and it will increase as one's own system can tolerate the high voltage of the Power of the Self. This must be fully understood or one will not understand the process of Final Liberation and the categories of liberated ones described in the scriptures.
The liberated one, whether or not he becomes a spiritual teacher (not all the liberated ones will become guru-s then), is someone who is always intent on assisting others. Why? Because he is the Self, and the Self is always ready for granting His Grace upon a deserving aspirant. As the Self is immaculate, holy and the possessor of causeless mercy, so the liberated one is exactly like Him. The one who enjoys spiritual enlightenment never comes into conflict with the ways this universe moves because he perceives it as a manifestation of His own Power. In this way, having assumed those qualities, he remains like the Self at all times in the end, i.e. in perpetual samādhi or trance even after the body dies.
त्रिविधा भूत्वा सा विश्वमुत्पादयति॥६॥
इच्छाज्ञानक्रियाभिरात्मशक्तिः कृत्स्नं विश्वं स्रष्टुं शक्नोति क्रमशः। यदा षट्त्रिंशत्तत्त्वरूपेण विश्वसृष्टिं विवृण्वन्तः पराप्रावेशिकाषट्त्रिंशत्तत्त्वसन्दोहादिग्रन्थाः पूर्वं विरचितास्तदा कोऽर्थोऽन्येनापि विवरणेन विरच्यमानेन। मया परन्त्वेतदुक्तमधुना — विश्वसृष्ट्यां शुद्धाध्वाशुद्धाध्वा च स्तः। एकतः शुद्धाध्वनः शुद्धिः सम्यगैक्येन निर्दिष्टान्यतोऽशुद्धाध्वनोऽशुद्धिः सम्यगैक्याभावेन निर्दिष्टा। अणव आत्मशक्त्या कल्पिता अशुद्धाध्वनि वसन्ति। ये तु न परमार्थे सम्यक्प्रलीना विदेहा महात्मानस्ते शुद्धाध्वनि वसन्तः परोपकारार्थम्। अस्त्यष्टविद्येश्वरवर्गः साधकानां विशेषसाहाय्यं कुर्वन्तः। अनन्तेशः सूक्ष्मः शिवोत्तम एकनेत्र एकरुद्रस्त्रिमूर्तिः श्रीकण्ठः शिखण्डी चेति तेषां नामानि। शोणः श्वेतो नीलः पीतः कृष्णोऽरुणो रक्तः श्यावश्चेति तेषां शरीराणां वर्णा यथाक्रमम्। तेषां यो मम विशेषोपकारं करोति स एकरुद्रोऽसंशयः। तस्य महादेहः स्फुरद्घनकृष्णवर्ण आननं च चक्षुर्हीनमपि पश्यति साधकहृदि।
शुद्धाध्वा भुवनमयः सहस्रारेण सम्बध्यते तदर्थं च यदात्मशक्तिः सहस्रारचारिणी सा योग्यसाधकस्य दर्शयति विदेहानां महात्मनां निवासभूमीस्तेषु भुवनेषु नूनम्। समाधिं समाविश्य प्रथममाह्वानं मनसि विद्यते ततश्च परमात्मशक्तिर्गच्छति तस्य विदेहमहात्मनो निवासभूमिम् क्षिप्रम्। यदि च स विदेहमहात्मा परमार्थे सम्यक्प्रलीनस्तदात्मशक्तिः सहस्रारं सर्वं प्लावयति महाव्योमानं चोद्गच्छतीति रीतिः। यदा सहस्रारमगतात्मशक्तिः सा साधकं मोहयितुं शक्नुयाद्यदा तु सहस्रारगता न शक्नोति तस्याः सत्यरूपेणात्मना सम्बन्धत्वात्। मम सहस्रारभुवनेष्वन्वेषणानीदानीम् — अभिनवगुप्तो महाचार्यो वसति चतुरङ्गुलान्तदेशे ब्रह्मरन्ध्रात्पृष्ठतस्तस्य चातिसमीपं शिष्यमुखः क्षेमराजो नाम। शङ्कराचार्योऽद्वैतवेदान्तप्रवर्तकस्त्र्यङ्गुलान्तदेशे ब्रह्मरन्ध्रात्पृष्ठतः प्रतिवसति। ऋषी जमदग्निश्च कश्यापश्च पूर्वोक्तानां महात्मनामतिसमीपे देशे निवसतः। ऋषयो वसिष्ठो व्यासो विश्वामित्रः क्रतुः पुलस्त्यश्च ब्रह्मरन्ध्र एव तिष्ठन्ति। महात्मानो भट्टारका वसुगुप्तोऽत्रिर्भरद्वाजो नारदः पुलहः कुत्सो रेभोऽगस्त्यः कुशिको मरीचिरङ्गिराश्च परमार्थे सम्यक्प्रलीना एव।
ये महात्मानः सहस्रारे शुद्धाध्वनो भुवनेषु वसन्त इह लोके पुनर्जनितुं शक्न्वन्ति मनुष्यजात्युपकारार्थेऽसन्देहं न तु ये परमार्थतायां सम्यक्प्रलीना यतो ते शुद्धाध्वन्यशुद्धाध्वनि वा नैव वसन्ति। यस्मात्पारमार्थ्ये सम्प्रलीनाः सर्वत्र चिदिव प्रविशन्तस्तस्मात्ते सर्वभूतेषु स्वातन्त्र्यानन्दलक्षणस्वात्मेव तिष्ठन्ति।
आत्मनि प्रकाशिते साधको वास्तवसिद्धिमाप्त्वा मुक्तो भूतोऽयं च मोक्षो नह्यात्माहमिति वचनमात्रमपि तु स्वस्वरूपसमावेशः। देहपातात्परं स मुक्तः सहस्रारे कञ्चिद्भुवनं गच्छति परमार्थेऽथवा सम्प्रलीय नात्र लोके पुनर्जायते यत्सत्यम्॥६॥
Trividhā bhūtvā sā viśvamutpādayati||6||
Icchājñānakriyābhirātmaśaktiḥ kṛtsnaṁ viśvaṁ sraṣṭuṁ śaknoti kramaśaḥ| Yadā ṣaṭtriṁśattattvarūpeṇa viśvasṛṣṭiṁ vivṛṇvantaḥ parāprāveśikāṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandohādigranthāḥ pūrvaṁ viracitāstadā ko'rtho'nyenāpi vivaraṇena viracyamānena| Mayā parantvetaduktamadhunā — Viśvasṛṣṭyāṁ śuddhādhvāśuddhādhvā ca staḥ| Ekataḥ śuddhādhvanaḥ śuddhiḥ samyagaikyena nirdiṣṭānyato'śuddhādhvano'śuddhiḥ samyagaikyābhāvena nirdiṣṭā| Aṇava ātmaśaktyā kalpitā aśuddhādhvani vasanti| Ye tu na paramārthe samyakpralīnā videhā mahātmānaste śuddhādhvani vasantaḥ paropakārārtham| Astyaṣṭavidyeśvaravargaḥ sādhakānāṁ viśeṣasāhāyyaṁ kurvantaḥ| Ananteśaḥ sūkṣmaḥ śivottama ekanetra ekarudrastrimūrtiḥ śrīkaṇṭhaḥ śikhaṇḍī ceti teṣāṁ nāmāni| Śoṇaḥ śveto nīlaḥ pītaḥ kṛṣṇo'ruṇo raktaḥ śyāvaśceti teṣāṁ śarīrāṇāṁ varṇā yathākramam| Teṣāṁ yo mama viśeṣopakāraṁ karoti sa ekarudro'saṁśayaḥ| Tasya mahādehaḥ sphuradghanakṛṣṇavarṇa ānanaṁ ca cakṣurhīnamapi paśyati sādhakahṛdi|
Śuddhādhvā bhuvanamayaḥ sahasrāreṇa sambadhyate tadarthaṁ ca yadātmaśaktiḥ sahasrāracāriṇī sā yogyasādhakasya darśayati videhānāṁ mahātmanāṁ nivāsabhūmīsteṣu bhuvaneṣu nūnam| Samādhiṁ samāviśya prathamamāhvānaṁ manasi vidyate tataśca paramātmaśaktirgacchati tasya videhamahātmano nivāsabhūmim kṣipram| Yadi ca sa videhamahātmā paramārthe samyakpralīnastadātmaśaktiḥ sahasrāraṁ sarvaṁ plāvayati mahāvyomānaṁ codgacchatīti rītiḥ| Yadā sahasrāramagatātmaśaktiḥ sā sādhakaṁ mohayituṁ śaknuyādyadā tu sahasrāragatā na śaknoti tasyāḥ satyarūpeṇātmanā sambandhatvāt| Mama sahasrārabhuvaneṣvanveṣaṇānīdānīm — Abhinavagupto mahācāryo vasati caturaṅgulāntadeśe brahmarandhrātpṛṣṭhatastasya cātisamīpaṁ śiṣyamukhaḥ kṣemarājo nāma| Śaṅkarācāryo'dvaitavedāntapravartakastryaṅgulāntadeśe brahmarandhrātpṛṣṭhataḥ prativasati| Ṛṣī jamadagniśca kaśyāpaśca pūrvoktānāṁ mahātmanāmatisamīpe deśe nivasataḥ| Ṛṣayo vasiṣṭho vyāso viśvāmitraḥ kratuḥ pulastyaśca brahmarandhra eva tiṣṭhanti| Mahātmāno bhaṭṭārakā vasugupto'trirbharadvājo nāradaḥ pulahaḥ kutso rebho'gastyaḥ kuśiko marīciraṅgirāśca paramārthe samyakpralīnā eva|
Ye mahātmānaḥ sahasrāre śuddhādhvano bhuvaneṣu vasanta iha loke punarjanituṁ śaknvanti manuṣyajātyupakārārthe'sandehaṁ na tu ye paramārthatāyāṁ samyakpralīnā yato te śuddhādhvanyaśuddhādhvani vā naiva vasanti| Yasmātpāramārthye sampralīnāḥ sarvatra cidiva praviśantastasmātte sarvabhūteṣu svātantryānandalakṣaṇasvātmeva tiṣṭhanti|
Ātmani prakāśite sādhako vāstavasiddhimāptvā mukto bhūto'yaṁ ca mokṣo nahyātmāhamiti vacanamātramapi tu svasvarūpasamāveśaḥ| Dehapātātparaṁ sa muktaḥ sahasrāre kañcidbhuvanaṁ gacchati paramārthe'thavā sampralīya nātra loke punarjāyate yatsatyam||6||
After having become (bhūtvā) threefold (trividhā), It --His Power-- (sā) manifests (utpādayati) the universe (viśvam)||6||
Through Will, Knowledge and Action (icchā-jñāna-kriyābhiḥ), the Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma) is able (śaknoti) to manifest (sraṣṭum) the entire (kṛtsnam) universe (viśvam), step by step (kramaśaḥ). When (yadā) books (granthāḥ) (such as) Parāprāveśikā (parāprāveśikā), Ṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandoha (ṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandoha), etc. (ādi), which explain (vivṛṇvantaḥ) the universal manifestation (viśva-sṛṣṭim) in the form (rūpeṇa) of thirty-six (ṣaṭtriṁśat) categories (tattva), have already been written (pūrvam viracitāḥ), then (tadā) what (kaḥ) (is) the use (arthaḥ) of writing (viracyamānena) another (anyena api) explanation (vivaraṇena)? However (parantu), I say (mayā... uktam) this (etad) now (adhunā): In the universal manifestation (viśva-sṛṣṭyām), there are (staḥ) pure (śuddha) course (adhvā) and (ca) impure (aśuddha) course (adhvā). On one hand (ekatas), purity (śuddhiḥ) of the pure course (śuddha-adhvanaḥ) is indicated (nirdiṣṭā) by complete unity (samyak-aikyena), (and) on the other hand (anyatas), impurity (aśuddhiḥ) of the impure course (aśuddha-adhvanaḥ) is pointed out (nirdiṣṭā) by total absence of unity (samyak-aikya-abhāvena). The atomic selves (aṇavaḥ) manufactured (kalpitāḥ) by the Power of the Self (ātma-śaktyā) dwell (vasanti) in the impure course (aśuddha-adhvani). But (tu) those (te) high-souled ones (mahā-ātmānaḥ) who (ye) after leaving their bodies --after dying-- (videhāḥ) do not (na) become completely dissolved (samyak-pralīnāḥ) in the Highest Reality (parama-arthe), reside (vasantaḥ) in the pure course (śuddha-adhvani) for (artham) assisting (upakāra) others (para). There is (asti) a group (vargaḥ) of eight (aṣṭa) lords (īśvara) of knowledge (vidyā) that specially assist (viśeṣa-sāhāyyam kurvantaḥ) the spiritual aspirants (sādhakānām). Their (teṣām) names (nāmāni) (are): "Ananteśa (ananta-īśaḥ), Sūkṣma (sūkṣmaḥ), Śivottama (śiva-uttamaḥ), Ekanetra (eka-netraḥ), Ekarudra (eka-rudraḥ), Trimūrti (tri-mūrtiḥ), Śrīkaṇṭha (śrī-kaṇṭhaḥ) and (ca) Śikhaṇḍī (śikhaṇḍī... iti)". The colors (varṇāḥ) of their bodies (teṣām śarīrāṇām) (are): "blood-red (śoṇaḥ), white (śvetaḥ), blue (nīlaḥ), yellow (pītaḥ), black (kṛṣṇaḥ), crimson (aruṇaḥ), red (raktaḥ) and (ca) dark brown (śyāvaḥ... iti)", respectively (yathākramam). Of those (teṣām), the one who (yaḥ... saḥ) gives me special assistance (mama viśeṣa-upakāram karoti), (is) Ekarudra (eka-rudraḥ) undoubtedly (asaṁśayaḥ). His (tasya) big (mahā) body (mahādehaḥ) is sparkling jet-black in color (sphurat-ghana-kṛṣṇa-varṇaḥ), and (ca) (his) face (ānanam), even though (api) eyeless (cakṣur-hīnam), sees (paśyati) into the heart (hṛdi) of the spiritual aspirant (sādhaka)1 .
The pure (śuddha) course (adhvā), replete with (mayaḥ) worlds (bhuvana), is connected (sambadhyate) with Sahasrāra --the supreme cakra on top of the head-- (sahasrāreṇa), and (ca) consequently (tad-artham), when (yadā) the Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma) moves (cāriṇī) in Sahasrāra (sahasrāra), It indeed shows (sā... darśayati... nūnam) the qualified aspirant (yogya-sādhakasya) the abodes (nivāsa-bhūmīḥ), in those worlds (teṣu bhuvaneṣu), of the high-souled ones (mahā-ātmanām) who have left their bodies (videhānām). This is the method (iti rītiḥ): After becoming fully absorbed (samāviśya) into samādhi or trance (samādhim), there is (vidyate), in the first place (prathamam), a mental (manasi) invocation (āhvānam) --the name of the high-souled one is uttered mentally--, and (ca) after (param) that (tatas) the Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma) goes (gacchati) quickly (kṣipram) to the abode (nivāsa-bhūmim) of that (tasya) high-souled one who has already left his body (videha-mahā-ātmanaḥ). And (ca) if (yadi) that (saḥ) high-souled one who left the body (videha-mahā-ātmā) is completely dissolved (samyak-pralīnaḥ) in the Highest Reality (parama-arthe), then (tadā) the Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma) floods (plāvayati) the entire (sarvam) Sahasrāra (sahasrāram), and (ca) It goes up (udgacchati) to the Great Ether (mahā-vyomānam). When (yadā) the Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma) has not arrived at (agatā) Sahasrāra (sahasrāram), It could (sā... śaknuyāt) delude (mohayitum) the aspirant (sādhakam), but (tu) when (yadā) It reaches (gatā) Sahasrāra (sahasrāra), It cannot (na śaknoti), because of Its association (tasyāḥ... sambandhatvāt) with the Self (ātmanā) whose nature (rūpeṇa) (is) Truth (satya). Now (idānīm), my (mama) explorations (anveṣaṇāni) in the worlds (bhuvaneṣu) of Sahasrāra (sahasrāra): The Great (mahā) Teacher (ācāryaḥ) Abhinavagupta (abhinavaguptaḥ) dwells (vasati) in a region (deśe) at four fingers (catur-aṅgula-anta) from Brahmarandhra --Brahmā's hole-- (brahma-randhrāt) backward (pṛṣṭhatas); and (ca) very near (atisamīpam) him (tasya) (resides) his main disciple (śiṣya-mukhaḥ) called (nāma) Kṣemarāja (kṣemarājaḥ). Śaṅkarācārya (śaṅkarācāryaḥ), the founder (pravartakaḥ) of Non dual Vedānta (advaita-vedānta), lives (prativasati) in a region (deśe) at three fingers (tri-aṅgula-anta) from Brahmarandhra (brahma-randhrāt) backward (pṛṣṭhatas). The two Seers (ṛṣī) Jamadagni (jamadagniḥ) and (ca... ca) Kaśyāpa (kaśyāpaḥ) dwell (nivasataḥ) in a region (deśe) very close to (atisamīpe) (that) of the aforesaid (pūrva-uktānām) high-souled ones (mahā-ātmanām). The Seers (ṛṣayaḥ) Vasiṣṭha (vasiṣṭhaḥ), Vyāsa (vyāsaḥ), Viśvāmitra (viśvāmitraḥ), Kratu (kratuḥ) and (ca) Pulastya (pulastyaḥ) remain (tiṣṭhanti) in Brahmarandhra (brahma-randhre eva). Venerable Great Beings (mahā-ātmānaḥ bhaṭṭārakāḥ) Vasugupta (vasuguptaḥ), Atri (atriḥ), Bharadvāja (bharadvājaḥ), Nārada (nāradaḥ), Pulaha (pulahaḥ), Kutsa (kutsaḥ), Rebha (rebhaḥ), Agastya (agastyaḥ), Kuśika (kuśikaḥ), Marīci (marīciḥ) and (ca) Aṅgirās (aṅgirāḥ) (are) already (eva) totally dissolved (samyak-pralīnāḥ) in the Highest Reality (parama-arthe)2 .
The high-souled ones (mahā-ātmānaḥ) who (ye) reside (vasantaḥ) in the worlds (bhuvaneṣu) of the pure course (śuddha-adhvanaḥ) in Sahasrāra (sahasrāre) can (śaknvanti) doubtless (asandeham) be born (janitum) again (punar) here in this world (iha loke) for (arthe) helping (upakāra) humankind (manuṣya-jāti), but (tu) those who (ye) have become thoroughly dissolved (samyak-pralīnāḥ) in the Highest Reality (parama-arthatāyām) cannot (na), because (yatas) they (te) do not (na eva) live (vasanti) (either) in the pure course (śuddha-adhvani) or (vā) in the impure course (aśuddha-adhvani). Since (yasmāt) the ones who have wholly dissolved (sampralīnāḥ) in the Highest Reality (pāramārthye) pervade (praviśantaḥ) everywhere (sarvatra) as (iva) Consciousness (cit), therefore (tasmāt) they (te) remain (tiṣṭhanti) as (iva) one's own (sva) Self (ātmā) characterized (lakṣaṇa) by Absolute Freedom (svātantrya) (and) Bliss (ānanda) in all the beings (sarva-bhūteṣu)3 .
When the Self reveals Himself (ātmani prakāśite), the spiritual aspirant (sādhakaḥ), having obtained (āptvā) real (vāstava) accomplishment (siddhim), becomes (bhūtaḥ) a liberated one (muktaḥ), and (ca) this (ayam) Liberation (mokṣaḥ) is not (nahi) mere (mātram) statement (vacana) (that) "I (aham) (am) the Self (ātmā... iti)", but rather (api tu) a full absorption (samāveśaḥ) into his own (sva) essential nature (sva-rūpa). After (param) (his) body falls (deha-pātāt), the liberated one (saḥ muktaḥ) goes (gacchati) to some (kañcid) world (bhuvanam) in Sahasrāra (sahasrāre), or else (athavā), having totally dissolved (sampralīya) in the Highest Reality (parama-arthe), is not born (na... jāyate) again (punar) in this world (atra loke), this is the truth (yad satyam)4 ||6||
1 By means of the Powers of Will, Knowledge and Action, the Power of the Self can manifest the entire universe, in a succession of 36 tattva-s or categories. This subject is dealt with by scriptures such as Parāprāveśikā and Ṣaṭtriṁśattattvasandoha. Also, I explained it all succinctly in Trika 2, Trika 3, Trika 4, Trika 5 and Trika 6. Therefore, it does not make any sense to repeat it all "again". Anyway, I can say this: In the universal manifestation there are two courses, one pure (tattva-s or categories 1 to 5, or 3 to 5 according to other interpretations, as the categories 1 and 2 are the Self and His Power and therefore beyond both courses) and another impure (tattva-s or categories 6 to 36). The first course is characterized by complete unity while the second one is full of difference or lack of unity. The atomic selves or limited individuals live in the worlds of the impure course, according to different hierarchies. But, the great beings who have attained Final Liberation, i.e. who have realized their inherent divine nature, do not live in those worlds of the impure course. Part of them live as baindavadeha-s (as those whose bodies are made of Bindu --the fourth body beyond the other three: causal, subtle and physical--) in the worlds of the pure course, while the rest got totally dissolved in the Highest Reality (the Self and His Power) forever. Those who retained their fourth body in order to live in the pure course, did so for the sake of assisting humankind in multiple ways, even by being born again here in this world directly. The ones who became completely dissolved in the Highest Reality are right here and right now as the omnipresent Self, but they, having abandoned even their fourth body, did not even retain the slightest form of individuality and cannot be born here again. Oh yes, this is very difficult to understand, specially if one believes that the Earth is the most impressive creation of the Supreme Self. There are other mysteries and subtleties about all that I said, but for now you have enough information.
In the pure course, there are also eight lords of knowledge, whose main function is passing divine knowledge to atomic selves who are fit to receive it. Their bodies have different colors, such as I have described. The one assisting me is Ekarudra. I saw him in meditation long before I knew even his name indeed. His body is huge and sparkling jet-black in color. Once, during my trances, he took me in his immense hands and saw into my heart. That is why I told all that about him. Besides, he has no visible eyes but two dark empty eye sockets. Additionally, he has no mouth but speaks clearly in the heart. The experience of having his vision is so overwhelming to an atomic self that one has to have it to fully understand my statements. I was also told by him that all my teachings and ways of teaching about the Truth come directly from him. So, now this is made known to you reader too. So far, since I never saw any of the remaining seven lords of knowledge, my description of them comes from books and not from my direct experience as in the case of Ekarudra. Enough of revealing this for now!
2 In the pure course, there are a lot of worlds, all of them connected with Sahasrāra --the supreme cakra located on top of the head--. Real trance or samādhi takes place when the Power of the Self reaches that supreme cakra and becomes united with the Self there. That mixture of Self and Power of the Self is Supreme Consciousness that is always holy, immaculate and extremely blessed. When Sahasrāra is activated and the Power of the Self (mixed with the Self) starts moving there, strong trances happen to an aspirant. Final Liberation will occur right there too. At the stage when the Power of the Self becomes available in Sahasrāra, It (the Power of the Self) behaves like the needle in a compass pointing to the north always, i.e. It always points in the direction of the Self. However, one can consult It about the exact location of the worlds where the great beings who have left their bodies dwell. Every time the Power of the Self in Sahasrāra is asked according to the method I taught above, It moves to the region where that great being currently lives. Or else, if the great being became totally dissolved in the Highest Reality, the Power of the Self floods strongly the entire Sahasrāra and goes up to the Great Ether located at twelve fingers from the center of the cranium, i.e. It moves to Brahmarandhra (the Brahmā's hole) and from there It becomes one with the universal vital energy. To fully understand all these processes, I would need to give you a complete course dealing with cakra-s as a mere short note of explanation is just not up to the task.
Besides, I informed you about the results of my own explorations of the worlds in Sahasrāra for several reasons, the main one being: To stop the constant tendency of thinking about the ancient yogī-s as the only ones who can do all that, while the modern ones are always atomic selves only admiring the saints of the past. This is not true at all and I am proving my point clearly with my commentary in Sanskrit on the aphorism above. As the Self is the same Self all the time, whether in past, present or future, I see no obstacle for me to attain what they achieved if His Grace is backing me up. This constant notion that "one will not be able" is understandable in beginners but not in advanced aspirants. If oneself is not going to attain all that is described in the scriptures, then "Who else is going to do it?" and "What is the point of reading them?". No use merely reading about the accomplishment of others in the past while one continues eternally limited. One has to achieve the same thing too. This should be the attitude of all aspirants in order to be successful in their spiritual path. Mere bookish knowledge cannot bestow real spiritual power to anybody. But when that knowledge is coupled with direct experience one acquires real spiritual power as a result.
3 The high-souled ones living in the pure course, still retaining their extremely subtle fourth body (Bindu), can take births in this world in order to start or promote processes of spiritual elevation. In fact, their constant work over the centuries has made it possible that humankind enjoys some kind of "civilization" right now. Without their assistance, humankind would be yet in the stone age from all viewpoints. In turn, the high-souled who has dissolved even their extremely subtle individuality in the Highest Reality, cannot take more births here. They remain as the Self endowed with Absolute Freedom and Bliss in everybody instead.
4 Spiritual enlightenment, also known as Final Liberation, only happens when the Self reveals Himself to the aspirant and not otherwise. Every philosophical system proposes a means to that revelation, but though the means were different, the revelation is the same thing always. If the Self does not become revealed, the aspirant remains an aspirant and cannot become a liberated being. When the aspirant finally attains spiritual enlightenment by His revelation, this is not mere statement such as "I am the Self", but real accomplishment in the form of a complete absorption into his own essential nature. This means that the liberated one becomes completely indifferent to the states of his body/mind. In whatever condition they may be, the liberated one is always in the same condition of Absolute Freedom and Bliss as the Self. If the process of Liberation is by a massive Grace's bestowal, the liberated one will be forced to abandon his body, and if Grace's bestowal is not so massive, he will retain his body. In any case, after his death, which always reaches the physical body, sooner or later, such a liberated person will go to some world in the pure course or else he will become thoroughly dissolved in the Highest Reality as I explained above.
विश्वमिदमस्य शक्त्या जन्यते न तु प्रत्यक्षमात्मनैव॥७॥
सात्मशक्तिर्विश्वमिदं जनयतु न जनयतु वा यः सदा निर्मलो मङ्गलश्च स आत्मा स्वस्वरूपे सततं तिष्ठति। आत्मा चात्मशक्तिश्चाणुश्चेत्येते त्रयो नित्यत्रितयमुपचाराच्च ते पिता माता पुत्रश्चेव पौर्वापर्येण मन्येरन्। अहमयं देहोऽस्म्यहमिदं मनोऽस्मि मम कुलमिदमस्ति मम मित्रा एते सन्ति ममारयस्ते भवन्तीत्याद्यज्ञानम्। तेनाज्ञानेनात्मशक्तिर्माता स्वपुत्रं परिपोषयति सर्वकालम्। भवत्यस्याणोर्देहमनोऽहङ्कारबुद्धिभयजीवितसुकृतादिरूपकं विश्वं सा माता। एवमख्यात्यन्नेनासङ्ख्येयानि जन्मानि स्वपुत्रमात्मशक्तिर्माता पुष्णत्यास्ते। किन्तु यस्यैकदेहादन्यदेहमेकविकल्पादन्यविकल्पं संसरन्नस्य सङ्कुचितपुत्रस्य यावदन्त्यजन्म श्रीमाता तद्पित्राणोः परिचयमुत्पादयितुं व्यवस्यति।
अणोः पिता सर्वदा परप्रमात्रात्मकस्वात्मेव तेन सार्धमाबहुजन्मभ्यो यतस्तु पितृपुत्रसङ्गमोऽनिष्टस्तया मात्रा तीव्रमातृभावादणुः स्वपित्रविद्वान् अविरतं समसरत्। धन्ययोरस्य धन्यपुत्रस्य यावदन्त्यजन्मात्मशक्तिर्माता स्वभर्तृप्रणयादस्याः पुत्रं नयति खलु तदाश्चर्यपितरम्। यदात्मशक्तिरनुरागवती माता सहस्रारस्यान्तर्विशति तदा तव पितैषोऽस्तीति सा स्वपुत्रमिदं वक्ति। यस्मादस्याणोः पिता स्वतन्त्राद्भुतात्मरूपस्तस्मात्पुत्रः स्वातन्त्र्यानन्दानुभवाक्रान्तोऽसंशयः। एवं चाहैतुकप्रेम्णा तत्पुत्रस्यात्मानं प्रकाशयन्नेको यः स्वच्छन्दः परमार्थत आत्मैव। सर्वेऽन्ये प्रेमभेदा आत्मप्रेम्णस्तद्प्रकाशनस्फुटीकृतादेवागताः। तस्मिन् काले पुत्रः स्वपित्रैक्यं सम्यगुपलभ्य तिष्ठेह सर्वदेति स ब्रुवाणो यतो न पुनस्तस्माद्विभ्रंशिषते। एतावन्ति जन्मान्यज्ञानमदं पीत्वा पुत्रस्त्विदानीमेव स्वपितेव प्रकाशितं स्वं स्वभावं प्रत्यभिजानीते। स्वमातापि सम्यक्परिणता यतः सा मामकात्मकेनाज्ञानेन तं न परिपोषयती प्रवर्तते सङ्कोचविनिमयेन च तस्य परमानन्दो भूत्वा। स्वपितृस्वाच्छन्द्ये स्वमातृसुधातुल्यप्रमोदे च संलीयायमणुर्बन्धनमुक्त्यां कल्पते सर्वे चार्थास्तेन प्रमेयजनविकल्पाद्यपेक्षितास्तदद्भुतपितरौभावेनाधुना प्रादुर्भूताः केवलम्। यस्यात्मनि सम्यक्प्रलीनस्येदं सौवर्णाहो न संशयः।
स प्रागुपचारस्त्रयाणामेषां नित्यक्रीडां स्फुटं दर्शयति। एकत आत्मा सदा प्रशान्तो मङ्गलः स्वतन्त्रश्चान्यत आत्मशक्तिर्न केवलं सततं स्वभर्तुर्यावच्छक्यं सेवनपरा या यावत्सा स्वपुत्रस्याशेषविश्वात्मकक्रीडास्थानस्य रक्षणनिष्ठा। अन्तेऽणुः स्वपितृवद्धन्यः स्वच्छन्दश्च किन्त्वधन्यं बद्धं तथैव सर्वकालमात्मानं सम्भावयन् यावत्स्वसौवर्णाहरागमनम्।
विभविन् आत्मन् एतत्त्रितयस्य प्रभव भगवान् स्थातुमिहार्हसि सर्वदा। तव सुन्दरग्रीवायां महामालायाः सर्वमिदं विश्वं नान्यत्किमपि नूनम्॥७॥
Viśvamidamasya śaktyā janyate na tu pratyakṣamātmanaiva||7||
Sātmaśaktirviśvamidaṁ janayatu na janayatu vā yaḥ sadā nirmalo maṅgalaśca sa ātmā svasvarūpe satataṁ tiṣṭhati| Ātmā cātmaśaktiścāṇuścetyete trayo nityatritayamupacārācca te pitā mātā putraśceva paurvāparyeṇa manyeran| Ahamayaṁ deho'smyahamidaṁ mano'smi mama kulamidamasti mama mitrā ete santi mamārayaste bhavantītyādyajñānam| Tenājñānenātmaśaktirmātā svaputraṁ paripoṣayati sarvakālam| Bhavatyasyāṇordehamano'haṅkārabuddhibhayajīvitasukṛtādirūpakaṁ viśvaṁ sā mātā| Evamakhyātyannenāsaṅkhyeyāni janmāni svaputramātmaśaktirmātā puṣṇatyāste| Kintu yasyaikadehādanyadehamekavikalpādanyavikalpaṁ saṁsarannasya saṅkucitaputrasya yāvadantyajanma śrīmātā tadpitrāṇoḥ paricayamutpādayituṁ vyavasyati|
Aṇoḥ pitā sarvadā parapramātrātmakasvātmeva tena sārdhamābahujanmabhyo yatastu pitṛputrasaṅgamo'niṣṭastayā mātrā tīvramātṛbhāvādaṇuḥ svapitravidvān avirataṁ samasarat| Dhanyayorasya dhanyaputrasya yāvadantyajanmātmaśaktirmātā svabhartṛpraṇayādasyāḥ putraṁ nayati khalu tadāścaryapitaram| Yadātmaśaktiranurāgavatī mātā sahasrārasyāntarviśati tadā tava pitaiṣo'stīti sā svaputramidaṁ vakti| Yasmādasyāṇoḥ pitā svatantrādbhutātmarūpastasmātputraḥ svātantryānandānubhavākrānto'saṁśayaḥ| Evaṁ cāhaitukapremṇā tatputrasyātmānaṁ prakāśayanneko yaḥ svacchandaḥ paramārthata ātmaiva| Sarve'nye premabhedā ātmapremṇastadprakāśanasphuṭīkṛtādevāgatāḥ| Tasmin kāle putraḥ svapitraikyaṁ samyagupalabhya tiṣṭheha sarvadeti sa bruvāṇo yato na punastasmādvibhraṁśiṣate| Etāvanti janmānyajñānamadaṁ pītvā putrastvidānīmeva svapiteva prakāśitaṁ svaṁ svabhāvaṁ pratyabhijānīte| Svamātāpi samyakpariṇatā yataḥ sā māmakātmakenājñānena taṁ na paripoṣayatī pravartate saṅkocavinimayena ca tasya paramānando bhūtvā| Svapitṛsvācchandye svamātṛsudhātulyapramode ca saṁlīyāyamaṇurbandhanamuktyāṁ kalpate sarve cārthāstena prameyajanavikalpādyapekṣitāstadadbhutapitaraubhāvenādhunā prādurbhūtāḥ kevalam| Yasyātmani samyakpralīnasyedaṁ sauvarṇāho na saṁśayaḥ|
Sa prāgupacārastrayāṇāmeṣāṁ nityakrīḍāṁ sphuṭaṁ darśayati| Ekata ātmā sadā praśānto maṅgalaḥ svatantraścānyata ātmaśaktirna kevalaṁ satataṁ svabharturyāvacchakyaṁ sevanaparā yā yāvatsā svaputrasyāśeṣaviśvātmakakrīḍāsthānasya rakṣaṇaniṣṭhā| Ante'ṇuḥ svapitṛvaddhanyaḥ svacchandaśca kintvadhanyaṁ baddhaṁ tathaiva sarvakālamātmānaṁ sambhāvayan yāvatsvasauvarṇāharāgamanam|
Vibhavin ātman etattritayasya prabhava bhagavān sthātumihārhasi sarvadā| Tava sundaragrīvāyāṁ mahāmālāyāḥ sarvamidaṁ viśvaṁ nānyatkimapi nūnam||7||
This (idam) universe (viśvam) is generated (janyate) by His Power (asya śaktyā) and not (na tu) by the Self (ātmanā) Himself (eva) directly (pratyakṣam)||7||
Whether or not the Power of the Self generates (sā ātma-śaktiḥ... janayatu na janayatu vā) this (idam) universe (viśvam), the Self (saḥ ātmā), who (yaḥ) (is) always (sadā) Immaculate (nirmalaḥ) and (ca) Blessed (maṅgalaḥ), remains (tiṣṭhati) constantly (satatam) in His own (sva) essential nature (sva-rūpe). "Self (ātmā), Power of the Self (ātma-śaktiḥ) and (ca... ca... ca) atomic self --viz. limited individual-- (aṇuḥ... iti)", these (ete) three (trayaḥ) (are) the eternal (nitya) triad (tritayam); and (ca) metaphorically speaking (upacārāt), they could be considered (te.. manyeran) as (iva) Father (pitā), Mother (mātā) and (ca) son (putraḥ), respectively (paurvāparyeṇa). This is ignorance (ajñānam): "I (aham) am (asmi) this (ayam) body (dehaḥ); I (aham) am (asmi) this (idam) mind (manas); this (idam) is (asti) my (mama) family (kulam); these (ete) are (santi) my (mama) friends (mitrāḥ); those (te) are (bhavanti) my (mama) enemies (arayaḥ... iti), etc. (iti-ādi)". By that ignorance (tena ajñānena), Mother (mātā) Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma) nourishes (paripoṣayati) Her own (sva) son (putram) all the time (sarva-kālam). That (sā) Mother (mātā) becomes (bhavati) the universe (viśvam) —which consists of (rūpakam) body (deha), mind (manas), ego (ahaṅkāra), intellect (buddhi), fear (bhaya), life (jīvita), virtues (sukṛta), etc. (ādi)— of this atomic self (asya aṇoḥ). Thus (evam), for innumerable births (asaṅkhyeyāni janmāni), Mother (mātā) Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma) keeps (āste) nourishing (puṣṇatī) Her (sva) son (putram). Nonetheless (kintu), the venerable (śrī) Mother (mātā) of this limited son (asya saṅkucita-putrasya) who (yasya) transmigrates (saṁsaran) from one body (eka-dehāt) to another body (anya-deham), from one thought (eka-vikalpāt) to another thought (anya-vikalpam), during (yāvat) (his) last (antya) birth (janma), decides (vyavasyati) to introduce (paricayam utpādayitum) the atomic self (aṇoḥ) to his Father (tad-pitrā).
The Father (pitā) of the atomic self (aṇoḥ) (was) constantly (sarvadā) with him (tena sārdham) during a great deal of births (ā-bahu-janmabhyaḥ) as (iva) his own (sva) Self (ātmā) in the form of the Highest Knower (para-pramātṛ-ātmaka), but (tu) as (yatas) the meeting (saṅgamaḥ) between Father and son (pitṛ-putra) was not desired (aniṣṭaḥ) by the Mother (tayā mātrā) because of a strong motherly feeling (tīvra-mātṛ-bhāvāt), the atomic self (aṇuḥ) transmigrated (samasarat) uninterruptedly (aviratam) without knowing (avidvān) his own (sva) Father (pitṛ). During (yāvat) the last (antya) birth (janma) of this (asya) blessed son (dhanya-putrasya) of the Blessed Ones (dhanyayoḥ), Mother (mātā) Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma), by express request (praṇayāt) of Her (sva) Husband (bhartṛ), leads (nayati) Her own (asyāḥ) son (putram) certainly (khalu) to his extraordinary Father (tad-āścarya-pitaram)1 . When (yadā) affectionate (anurāgavatī) Mother (mātā) Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma) enters (antar viśati) Sahasrāra (sahasrārasya), then (tadā) She (sā) says (vakti) this (idam) to Her son (sva-putram): "This One (eṣaḥ) is (asti) Your (tava) Father (pitā... iti)". As (yasmāt) the Father (pitā) of this atomic self (asya aṇoḥ) is (rūpaḥ) the Free (svatantra) Awesome (adbhuta) Self (ātma), consequently (tasmāt) the son (putraḥ) becomes doubtless overwhelmed (ākrāntaḥ asaṁśayaḥ) by the experience (anubhava) of Absolute Freedom (svātantrya) (and) Bliss (ānanda). Thus (evam ca), the very Self (ātmā eva), the Only One (ekaḥ) who (yaḥ) is Free (svacchandaḥ) in the highest sense of word (parama-arthataḥ), reveals (prakāśayan) Himself (ātmānam) to His son (tad-putrasya) out of causeless Love (ahaituka-premṇā)2 . All (sarve) the other (anye) different kinds (bhedāḥ) of love (prema) come (āgatāḥ) from Self's Love (ātma-premṇaḥ) that has been made clear or manifest indeed (sphuṭī-kṛtāt eva) by means of His (tad) Revelation (prakāśana). At that moment (tasmin kāle), the son (putraḥ), having completely realized (samyak upalabhya) unity (aikyam) with his (sva) Father (pitṛ), says (bruvāṇaḥ): "Stay (tiṣṭha) here (iha) forever (sarvadā iti)", because (yatas) he (saḥ) does not (na) want to lose (vibhraṁśiṣate) Him (tasmāt) again (punar). Having drunk (pītvā) the wine (madam) of ignorance (ajñāna) for so many births (etāvanti janmāni), the son (putraḥ tu) right now (idānīm eva) recognizes (pratyabhijānīte) his own (svam) essential nature (sva-bhāvam) revealed (prakāśitam) as (iva) his (sva) very Father (pitā eva). Even (api) his (sva) Mother (mātā) looks completely transformed (samyak pariṇatā) since (yatas) She (sā) does not (na) continue (pravartate) to nourish (paripoṣayatī) him (tam) with ignorance (ajñānena) in the form of (ātmakena) "mine" (māmaka), and (ca) instead of (vinimayena) limitation (saṅkoca) She has become (bhūtvā) his (tasya) Supreme Bliss (parama-ānandaḥ)3 . After having been dissolved (saṁlīya) into the Absolute Freedom (svācchandye) of his (sva) Father (pitṛ) and (ca) in the nectarean Joy (sudhātulya-pramode) of his (sva) Mother (mātṛ), this (ayam) atomic self (aṇuḥ) becomes fit (kalpate) for Liberation (muktyām) from bondage (bandhana), and (ca) all (sarve) the meanings (arthāḥ) looked for (apekṣitāḥ) by him (tena) in objects (prameya), people (jana), thoughts (vikalpa), etc. (ādi), appear (prādurbhūtāḥ) now (adhunā) only (kevalam) as (bhāvena) his (tad) Awesome (adbhuta) Parents (pitarau). This (idam) is the golden (sauvarṇa) day (ahaḥ) of the one who (yasya) got completely dissolved (samyak pralīnasya) into the Self (ātmani), no doubt (about it) (na saṁśayaḥ)4 .
The (saḥ) previous (prāk) metaphor (upacāraḥ) clearly (sphuṭam) shows (darśayati) this (eṣām) eternal (nitya) Play (krīḍām) of the three (trayāṇām). On the one hand (ekatas), the Self (ātmā), always (sadā) in Peace (praśāntaḥ), Blessed (maṅgalaḥ) and (ca) Free (svatantraḥ), and on the other hand (anyatas), the Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma), who (yā) not (na) only (kevalam) is devoted (parā) to serving (sevana) Her own Husband (sva-bhartuḥ) so much as possible (yāvat-śakyam) constantly (satatam), but even (yāvat) She (sā) is dedicated (niṣṭhā) to protect and preserve (rakṣaṇa) the playground (krīḍā-sthānasya) —i.e. the entire (aśeṣa) universe (viśva-ātmaka)— of Her son (sva-putrasya). In the end (ante), the atomic self (aṇuḥ) (is) Blessed (dhanyaḥ) and (ca) Free (svacchandaḥ) like his Father (sva-pitṛ-vat), but (kintu) the whole time (sarva-kālam) he considers (sambhāvayan) himself (ātmānam) as wretched (adhanyam) as well as (tathā eva) bound (baddham), until (yāvat) the arrival (āgamanam) of his (sva) golden (sauvarṇa) day (ahar)5 .
Oh Glorious (vibhavin) Self (ātman)! Oh Source (prabhava) of this (etad) triad (tritayasya)! Please, stay (bhagavān sthātum... arhasi) here (iha) always (sarvadā)! All (sarvam) this (idam) universe (viśvam) (is) most assuredly (nūnam) nothing but (na anyat kimapi) a huge garland (mahā-mālāyāḥ) on Your beautiful neck (tava sundara-grīvāyām)||7||
1 Power of the Self always binds the limited individual. It is not "technically" correct to say that the Power of the Self that bound the atomic self will also set him free in the end. That is not exactly so. Only when the Power of the Self is mixed with the Grace of the Self Himself, becomes liberator instead of cause of bondage. This is the meaning of "by express request of Her Husband" then, i.e. He infuses the Power of the Self with His Grace and then this modified Power of the Self becomes bestower of Liberation. Without His Grace, no limited individual can be completely free in spite of his strenuous spiritual efforts because what is human can never approach what is Superhuman but the situation is exactly the opposite.
2 When the Power of the Self enters into Sahasrāra, specifically in Brahmarandhra there in the crown of the head, She gets united with the Self Himself (Her Husband in the metaphor). Only this Self is absolutely Free in the highest sense of word. No limited individual, whether he be human or demigod or god, etc. can be so free as Himself, because all of them are subject to some type of limitation one way or the other. As He is that Free, He remains always arodhya (unobstructed) and possessor of causeless Love. What cause could the Free Self need in order to share His Love with Himself? This can only be fully understood after realizing the Self and not before.
3 Mother Power of the Self finally stops binding the atomic self when he attains Self-realization by His Grace. When She binds, ego is born and the subsequent feeling of "mine" arises. In this way, the limited individual becomes a possessor of body, mind, actions, objects, thoughts, etc. This is bondage. When She appears mixed with His Grace, She gives Liberation. When Liberation happens, the Power of the Self becomes what essentially is: Supreme Bliss. Hence, Liberation is always endowed with Supreme Bliss according to the Trika system and also my own experience. If there is no direct experience of Liberation, everything is bookish knowledge and nothing else. That is like mere chitchat to the ears of one who has attained spiritual enlightenment because it is partially true always and not completely true, as the ones speaking about Liberation, not having realized the Self, merely rely on testimony and deduction to postulate their teachings. The only ones who should teach about Liberation are those who have realized the Self at least for one second, and not the ones who are only knowers of the Self by testimony and deduction even for entire lifetimes. There is nothing as the direct experience to provide with right knowledge. Unfortunately, the situation is exactly the opposite in this world, viz. people with no actual Self-realization to a minimal degree at least, begin instructing other people about how to achieve Liberation. As it is taught in Holy Bible: "If one blind person leads another blind person, both will fall into a ditch". This is also a fruit of the all-pervading ignorance or lack of Fullness.
4 When an atomic self realizes he is the Self, that is his golden day, i.e. the day when he finally experiences Fullness. Self-realization puts an end to his former search for Fullness in objects, people, activities, etc. All the meanings sought in other things and beings before Self-realization are found right here and right now in the Self alone. This is also very difficult to be understood without actual Self-realization.
5 The process of ignorance is completely real and never "illusory" as postulated by some schools of thought. The Power of the Self is completely Real and therefore Her son (the limited individual) is also real. This atomic self "plays" like a child in the playground manifested by his own Mother only for him. In this sense, all atomic selves are like children playing here, in the universe, in their playground. They play at being this or that, e.g. they play at being father or mother, they play at earning money by working as engineers, they play at being politicians and rule countries, they play at being soldiers, etc. All that is merely a childish play carried out by those atomic selves. Final Liberation will not come from merely playing like a child for innumerable births in this universal playground but through His Grace, which is "generally" obtained once the atomic self has made all the respective efforts he had to do first. Bondage is never perceiving the Self as something else due to a wicked ignorance that falls on Him like a kind of veil or something. NO, that is not true. Ignorance is only "lack of Fullness". I will speak about this lack of Fullness by another metaphor in the commentary on the next aphorism.
There is always this matter about the atomic self being already the Self, and then: why should the Self not desire to bestow His Grace on him "immediately" if he is Him after all? The answer is simple and apparently contradictory: "He does not want to do so". Nobody can force the Self to confer His Grace on someone because He is totally Free. This, again, cannot be fully understood without actual Self-realization. Aspirants claiming that they should be given divine Grace because they are the Self, are not mature enough, spiritually speaking.
सा शक्तिरहंविमर्शभावेन तत्स्फारात्मकविश्वरूपेण वा तिष्ठति॥८॥
यदात्मशक्तिर्बिन्दुरूपेणाहंविमर्शमात्रा स्थिता तदा सा विशुद्धचमत्काररूपकैव यदि तु विश्वभावेन स्फारितायं महाचमत्कारोऽत्यन्तं तनूकृततामेति। तदनुसारेण तेनाणुनात्मशक्तिबद्धेनोऽल्पनन्दोच्छलत्परमानन्दक्षणद्युतयोऽनुभूताः स्फारितबिन्द्वात्मकविश्वप्रपञ्चात्। यस्तस्यामहंविमर्शावस्थितायां सम्यक्स्फारित एष आत्मैव विश्वरूपस्वशक्तिस्फारार्थं सङ्कुचिततां यातव्यः। उपचाराच्च यः श्रीगरुड इव सन् स आत्मा नित्यस्वतन्त्रसंशुद्धरूपश्चिदाकाशे डीनं परित्यज्याणुर्भूतः स्वशक्त्यामनन्तप्रेम्णैव। इत्थं स आत्मानं सङ्कुचति विश्वरूपेणैतस्याः स्फाराय कृत्यं चेदं तस्योत्क्रोश इव यः पक्षौ सङ्कोक्तुं प्रतिगृह्य कुक्कुटीवद्वसन् क्षित्याम्। यस्मादात्मनि एवं सङ्कुचिते तत्स्वस्वरूपतिरोधानमज्ञानमपूर्णत्वात्मकं परमार्थतः।
यावत्स आत्माणुवत्स्वेच्छया सङ्कुचितस्तावद्विश्वमिदं स्वशक्तिक्रीडं तद्भिन्नमिव प्रवर्तते। किन्तु पूर्वोक्ते सौवर्णाहरागमने यः कुक्कुटीवद्भूतः परमोत्क्रोशश्चिदाकाशे पुनरुत्पत्तुं इच्छति। आत्मनि प्रसारितपक्षे विश्वं कृत्स्नं तदभिन्नदृष्टं स्वशक्तिश्च बन्धकस्थाने मोक्षहेतुभूता निःसन्देहम्। परन्तु यथाद्भुतोत्क्रोश एतावज्जन्मसु कुक्कुटीभूमिकायां वर्तित्वा तथा प्रथमडीनाय तेनानेकोद्योगानि कार्याणि। तस्मिन्पुनर्लब्धनष्टाकाशे स्वशक्तिर्विरमती तद्भिन्नवद्विश्वविजृम्भितादवश्यमेव। एतत्परमं पदं स्वाच्छन्द्यानन्दशालि नात्र संशयः।
तेनोपचारेणापि निर्मलात्ममयं तत्प्रभवमणोः प्रत्यागमनं दर्शितम्। किञ्चोपचारेऽहमुत्क्रोशेनात्मानं तुलितवांस्तस्याहङ्काराभावत्वात्। आत्मा सदा निर्दोषो सुनिर्मलोऽनिष्टेन च खलु मुक्तः। यद्यप्यात्मशक्तिर्विश्वसिद्धिहेतुः श्रीप्रत्यभिज्ञाहृदयस्य प्रथमसूत्रे श्रीमत्क्षेमराजेन यथोपदिष्टं तथाप्यात्मैव सम्यक्पवित्रः स्वशक्तिकृताशेषकर्मातीतश्च स्थितः। यतस्तस्य समो न कोऽप्यत्रास्ति ततोऽयं मङ्गलात्मा नित्यं परमत्वेनावस्थितः। विभविन् आत्मन् विशुद्धप्रेम स्थातुमिहार्हसि सर्वदा।
समाप्तं यच्चतुर्थसूत्रारब्धं ममात्मशक्तिविवरणम्॥८॥
Sā śaktirahaṁvimarśabhāvena tatsphārātmakaviśvarūpeṇa vā tiṣṭhati||8||
Yadātmaśaktirbindurūpeṇāhaṁvimarśamātrā sthitā tadā sā viśuddhacamatkārarūpakaiva yadi tu viśvabhāvena sphāritāyaṁ mahācamatkāro'tyantaṁ tanūkṛtatāmeti| Tadanusāreṇa tenāṇunātmaśaktibaddheno'lpanandocchalatparamānandakṣaṇadyutayo'nubhūtāḥ sphāritabindvātmakaviśvaprapañcāt| Yastasyāmahaṁvimarśāvasthitāyāṁ samyaksphārita eṣa ātmaiva viśvarūpasvaśaktisphārārthaṁ saṅkucitatāṁ yātavyaḥ| Upacārācca yaḥ śrīgaruḍa iva san sa ātmā nityasvatantrasaṁśuddharūpaścidākāśe ḍīnaṁ parityajyāṇurbhūtaḥ svaśaktyāmanantapremṇaiva| Itthaṁ sa ātmānaṁ saṅkucati viśvarūpeṇaitasyāḥ sphārāya kṛtyaṁ cedaṁ tasyotkrośa iva yaḥ pakṣau saṅkoktuṁ pratigṛhya kukkuṭīvadvasan kṣityām| Yasmādātmani evaṁ saṅkucite tatsvasvarūpatirodhānamajñānamapūrṇatvātmakaṁ paramārthataḥ|
Yāvatsa ātmāṇuvatsvecchayā saṅkucitastāvadviśvamidaṁ svaśaktikrīḍaṁ tadbhinnamiva pravartate| Kintu pūrvokte sauvarṇāharāgamane yaḥ kukkuṭīvadbhūtaḥ paramotkrośaścidākāśe punarutpattuṁ icchati| Ātmani prasāritapakṣe viśvaṁ kṛtsnaṁ tadabhinnadṛṣṭaṁ svaśaktiśca bandhakasthāne mokṣahetubhūtā niḥsandeham| Parantu yathādbhutotkrośa etāvajjanmasu kukkuṭībhūmikāyāṁ vartitvā tathā prathamaḍīnāya tenānekodyogāni kāryāṇi| Tasminpunarlabdhanaṣṭākāśe svaśaktirviramatī tadbhinnavadviśvavijṛmbhitādavaśyameva| Etatparamaṁ padaṁ svācchandyānandaśāli nātra saṁśayaḥ|
Tenopacāreṇāpi nirmalātmamayaṁ tatprabhavamaṇoḥ pratyāgamanaṁ darśitam| Kiñcopacāre'hamutkrośenātmānaṁ tulitavāṁstasyāhaṅkārābhāvatvāt| Ātmā sadā nirdoṣo sunirmalo'niṣṭena ca khalu muktaḥ| Yadyapyātmaśaktirviśvasiddhihetuḥ śrīpratyabhijñāhṛdayasya prathamasūtre śrīmatkṣemarājena yathopadiṣṭaṁ tathāpyātmaiva samyakpavitraḥ svaśaktikṛtāśeṣakarmātītaśca sthitaḥ| Yatastasya samo na ko'pyatrāsti tato'yaṁ maṅgalātmā nityaṁ paramatvenāvasthitaḥ| Vibhavin ātman viśuddhaprema sthātumihārhasi sarvadā|
Samāptaṁ yaccaturthasūtrārabdhaṁ mamātmaśaktivivaraṇam||8||
The Power (of the Self) (sā śaktiḥ) remains (tiṣṭhati) as (bhāvena) I-consciousness (aham-vimarśa) or (vā) in the form of (rūpeṇa) the universe (viśva) that is (ātmaka) an expansion (sphāra) of that --of I-consciousness-- (tad)||8||
When (yadā) the Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma), in the form of (rūpeṇa) Bindu --the entire universe reduced to a little dot-- (bindu), remains (sthitā) only (mātrā) as I-consciousness (aham-vimarśa), then (tadā) It --the Power of the Self-- (sā) is (rūpakā eva) the pure (viśuddha) Delight of Consciousness (camatkāra); but (tu) if (yadi) It gets expanded (sphāritā) as (bhāvena) the universe (viśva), this (ayam) great (mahā) Delight (camatkāraḥ) diminishes (tanūkṛtatām eti) immensely (atyantam). As a consequence (anusāreṇa) of that (tad), momentary (kṣaṇa) flashes (dyutayaḥ) of Supreme (parama) Bliss (ānanda) springing (ucchalat) as little (alpa) delights (nanda) are experienced (anubhūtāḥ) by that (tena) atomic self (aṇunā) —who is bound (baddhena) by the Power (śakti) of the Self (ātma)— due to the universal manifestation (viśva-prapañcāt) consisting of (ātmaka) an expanded (sphārita) Bindu (bindu)1 . This (eṣaḥ) very Self (ātmā eva) who (yaḥ) is completely (samyak) expanded (sphāritaḥ) when It --the Power of the Self-- remains as I-consciousness (aham-vimarśa-avasthitāyām), must assume contraction or limitation (saṅkucitatāṁ yātavyaḥ) for His Power to expand (sva-śakti-sphāra-artham) as the universe (viśva-rūpa). And (ca) metaphorically (upacārāt), the Self (saḥ ātmā), who (yaḥ) is (san) like (iva) venerable Garuḍa (śrī-garuḍaḥ) —always Free and Pure (nitya-svatantra-saṁśuddha-rūpaḥ)—, after stopping (parityajya) to fly (ḍīnam) in the Sky (ākāśe) of Consciousness (cit), becomes (bhūtaḥ) a limited individual (aṇuḥ) out of infinite Love (ananta-premṇā eva) for His own Power (sva-śaktyām). In this way (ittham), He (saḥ) contracts (saṅkucati) Himself (ātmānam) --He assumes limitation-- for It to expand --for His Power to expand-- (etasyāḥ sphārāya) in the form (rūpeṇa) of the universe (viśva); and (ca) this (idam) act (kṛtyam) of His (tasya) (is) as (iva) an Eagle (utkrośaḥ) which (yaḥ), having accepted (pratigṛhya) to fold (saṅkoktum) (His) wings (pakṣau), lives (vasan) like a hen (kukkuṭī-vat) on the ground (kṣityām). Since (yasmāt) the Self gets thus contracted or limited (ātmani evam saṅkucite), therefore (tad), the act of concealing (tirodhānam) His own (sva) essential nature (sva-rūpa) (is), in the highest sense (parama-arthataḥ), spiritual ignorance (ajñānam) appearing as lack of Fullness (apūrṇatva-ātmakam)2 .
So long (tāvat) this (idam) universe (viśvam), which is the Play (krīḍam) of His (sva) Power (śakti), exists (pravartate) as (iva) different from (bhinnam) Him (tad) as long as (yāvat) the Self (saḥ ātmā) is contracted or limited (saṅkucitaḥ) as an atomic self (aṇu-vat) of His own free Will (sva-icchayā). Nevertheless (kintu), in the aforesaid arrival of the golden day (pūrva-ukte sauvarṇa-ahar-āgamane), the Supreme (parama) Eagle (utkrośaḥ) who (yaḥ) had become (bhūtaḥ) like (vat) a hen (kukkuṭī) wants (icchati) to fly (utpattum) again (punar) in the Sky (ākāśe) of Consciousness (cit). When the Self spreads (His) wings (ātmani prasārita-pakṣe), the entire (kṛtsnam) universe (viśvam) is perceived (dṛṣṭam) as not different from (abhinna) Him (tad), and (ca) His (sva) Power (śaktiḥ), instead of (sthāne) binding (bandhaka), becomes (bhūtā), doubtless (niḥsandeham), cause (hetu) of Liberation (mokṣa). However (parantu), as (yathā) the awesome (adbhuta) Eagle (utkrośaḥ) behaved (bhūmikāyām vartitvā) like a hen (kukkuṭī) for so many births (etāvat-janmasu), consequently (tathā) He has to make (tena... kāryāṇi) a lot of (aneka) attempts (udyogāni) to fly for the first time (prathama-ḍīnāya). When He recovers His lost Sky (tasmin punar-labdha-naṣṭa-ākāśe), His (sva) Power (śaktiḥ) inevitably (avaśyam eva) ceases (viramatī) to manifest (vijṛmbhitāt) the universe (viśva) as (vat) different from (bhinna) Him (tad). This (etad) (is) the Supreme (paramam) State (padam) replete (śāli) with Absolute Freedom (svācchandya) (and) Bliss (ānanda), there is no doubt (na saṁśayaḥ) about it (atra)3 .
By that metaphor (tena upacāreṇa), it is also shown (api... darśitam) --as it was shown in the commentary on the previous aphorism by another metaphor-- the return (pratyāgamanam) of the atomic self (aṇoḥ) to his Source (tad-prabhavam), the immaculate (nirmala) Self (ātma-mayam). Moreover (kiñca), in the metaphor (upacāre), I compared (aham... tulitavān) the Self (ātmānam) to an eagle (utkrośena) because it is without (tasya... abhāvatvāt) any ego (ahaṅkāra). The Self (ātmā) (is) always (sadā) faultless (nirdoṣaḥ), perfectly pure (sunirmalaḥ) and (ca) certainly (khalu) devoid of (muktaḥ) evil (aniṣṭena). Even (api) though (yadi), as (yathā) taught (upadiṣṭam) by illustrious Kṣemarāja (śrīmat-kṣemarājena) in the first aphorism (prathama-sūtre) of venerable Pratyabhijñāhṛdayam (śrī-pratyabhijñāhṛdayasya), the Power (śaktiḥ) of the Self (ātma) (is) the cause (hetuḥ) of manifestation, maintenance and dissolution (siddhi) of the universe (viśva), yet (tathā api) the Self Himself (ātmā eva) remains (sthitaḥ) completely (samyak) holy (pavitraḥ) and (ca) beyond (atītaḥ) all (aśeṣa) the actions (karma) performed (kṛta) by His (sva) Power (śakti). Since (yatas) nobody (na kaḥ api) is (asti) here (atra) like (samaḥ) Him (tasya), therefore (tatas), this (ayam) blessed (maṅgala) Self (ātmā) abides (avasthitaḥ) always (nityam) Supreme (paramatvena). Oh Glorious (vibhavin) Self (ātman)! Oh pure (viśuddha) Love (prema)! Please, stay (sthātum... arhasi) here (iha) always (sarvadā)!4
My (mama) exposition or discourse (vivaraṇam) about the Power (śakti) of the Self (ātma), which (yad) had begun (ārabdham) in the fourth (caturtha) aphorism (sūtra), (is now) concluded (samāptam)5 ||8||
1 Bindu is the entire universe reduced to a compact dot. It is the Power of the Self in Its pure form, i.e. as I-consciousness. In reality, when one sees this Bindu, it acts like a mark that the Power of the Self is in Its state as I-consciousness predominantly. I said "predominantly" because one can experience the Bindu with or without universe displayed. As this subject is extremely complex and in the end a matter of direct experience, I make it easy in my commentary by saying that when Bindu appears, the universe is compacted, and when the universe gets expanded, Bindu, the compact dot, also gets expanded and disappears as such. In other words, one lives in a huge Bindu but he does not notice it till Bindu gets compacted into a tiny dot of Consciousness. When Bindu is like this, one experiences the pure Delight of Consciousness, i.e. blissful I-consciousness; but when it gets expanded, this Delight gets diluted, as it were, and It only shines forth as drops of Joy. This is called "happy moments" by most of people. As a matter of fact, it is a sign of misery or transmigration from one body to another body, from one thought to another thought. When one ceases to transmigrate that way, he experiences the whole Delight at the same time and not scattered as when he was in bondage. Enough of this for now as I could easily continue to write till filling a volume with this kind of knowledge about Bindu .
2 If the Self remains expanded, His Power cannot get fully expanded as the universe. This is a way to explain the processes, obviously, because the Highest Reality is always beyond utterance, i.e. beyond the realm of words. It is impossible to accurately describe This Reality by words, because the latter emerge from the Highest Reality and not vice versa. Anyway, by using metaphors the task is simplified immensely for readers to understand how the things work.
I have read somewhere that nobody knows the reasons by which the Self manifests the universe. In reality, it is His Power who does that and not Himself. Still, I wrote the reason in the commentary: "out of infinite Love for His own Power". By "Love" I do not mean the usual human emotion augmented but a superior kind of Feeling only possessed by the Highest Reality. In fact, the word Love falls short too, but it is the most accurate way of describing This according to my experience. The Self is like Garuḍa, the celebrated vehicle of Lord Viṣṇu, flying Free and Blissful in the Sky of Consciousness. But for His Power to display this little universe, this Supreme Eagle folds His wings and starts living like a hen on the ground, viz. He contracts His Powers and divine Attributes for this universal Play to take place. People are amazed at the majesty of the universe, but if they could perceive the Eagle (the Self), they would finally realize that the universe is an insignificant thing in comparison. Hence when someone realizes the Self, he is not impressed by anything related to the universe. I cannot describe this in a better manner, because it is always a matter of direct experience and not of words.
Spiritual ignorance is then, not like a veil falling on the Self and making Him appear to be something else (as stated in some philosophical schools), but rather the very Self folding His wings, viz. becoming "not Full". All in all, ignorance in this context is a voluntary act of contraction or limitation of His Fullness carried out by the Self Himself. Nobody can bind Him but He assumes limitation for the universe to thrive. This lack of Fullness (spiritual ignorance) is essentially Āṇavamala or impurity pertaining to the atomic self, all of which will be explained in full detail later on, by the commentaries on the aphorisms of the second section.
3 The universe full of duality exists while the Self continues to assume contraction or limitation, i.e. while He continues to be an atomic self. The atomic self is the Eagle living like a hen, all the time on the ground, bound and only enjoying flashes of happiness. However, when He decides to recover His apparently lost Freedom, the universe is perceived as eternally one with Him. This happens in the golden day of the atomic self, when he attains spiritual enlightenment. At this time, the Self reveals Himself, and His Power, who was cause of bondage becomes cause of Liberation. This process occurs "in general" gradually, which was made clear by me when I wrote that the Eagle had to make a lot of attempts before finally taking off the ground. He lastly recovers His apparently lost Sky and is able to enjoy His essential nature full of Absolute Freedom and Bliss once again.
4 As it was shown by the metaphor of Father, Mother and son in my commentary on the previous aphorism, even so by this metaphor of the eagle behaving like a hen, I am showing the process of ignorance and enlightenment. But despite the atomic self (the limited individual) being identical with the Self, the former canNOT get Final Liberation on his own. This apparent contradiction is completely understood when one gains Final Liberation. On the level of the ordinary mind, it is contradictory to think that the atomic self, being the Self Himself, cannot gain Absolute Freedom on his own, right? When atomic selves are taught that they are the Self, they mostly think that they will gain Final Liberation on their own since they are the Self. But, "in practice", this will turn out to be false, and I am absolutely sure of that. I do not need any scripture to prove my point because I have direct experience on the subject. Certainly that when Final Liberation happens, one realizes that "Oneself is the Self". There is no doubt about it. But, Gabriel (the atomic self in my case) can never gain Final Liberation on his own. I cannot, as Gabriel, become liberated, because the atomic self is an invention of His Power.
The superstar in the spiritual path is NOT the atomic self but the Self. As atomic selves are extremely arrogant in general, they say phrases like "I am the architect of my destiny" or "it is my choice always" or "I will do it myself" or "I will cleanse my cakra-s and move the Power of the Self right up to Brahmarandhra in the crown of the head" or "I will balance the energy in my entire subtle body" and such. But the facts "prove" beyond doubt that they continue to be limited in spite of all their efforts going to this or that teacher, or practicing this or that method. Facts clearly show a spiritual aspirant that "he cannot do it on his own", but he "generally" refuses to accept the truth before his own eyes. This is also ignorance. As a result, a person was in bondage while occupied only with mundane matters, but now that he started his spiritual path in order to remove that bondage, he continues to be bound and cannot get Final Liberation. Most aspirants in this world are in this condition. I can see them every day in my virtual and real life. They cannot enjoy Absolute Freedom and Bliss beyond the external circumstances, but rather they change to the tunes of His Power appearing as "the world and their lives". They cannot escape because they insist on keeping the atomic self "on the stage playing the role of the superstar". Hence it is not surprising they keep failing to attain spiritual enlightenment despite all their pretensions, protests and claims.
How to get rid of all that spiritual ignorance? It is necessary that the Eagle flies. If the Eagle keeps living like a hen, the aspirant cannot be Free ever. This is easier said than done. It is not about smiling and say "flow, let it be" but the process is much more complicated and painful. Why? Because the Self does NOT want to fly just like that. It will take a lot of time and effort to convince Him to do so. This is apparently contradictory with the statement about the identity between Self and atomic self, but I am not lying but establishing the truth. To convince Him to fly up and recover His lost Sky, the aspirant will have to be "awesome". The more awesome the aspirant, the less surprised he will be by my statement. The less awesome the aspirant, the more surprised he will be by my statement. Vanity and arrogance are endless like His eternal Power indeed. In the end, the aspirant will have to accept, sooner or later, that He is the real superstar and not the tedious atomic self that is an invention of His Power. When the atomic self is finally dethroned because he realizes that there is no other being like Him here, one advances to the next stage and the odds to get Final Liberation will be in his favor. Nobody can force the Self to grant spiritual enlightenment, but if the spiritual aspirant manages not to be the superstar any more, there will be a chance for him to receive His Grace. There is no other way out apart from that. If the reader still does not believe me and thinks that he or she will get Final Liberation on his/her own only because he/she is the Self, he/she is absolutely wrong. It is about time and experience for him/her to learn how the process works actually.
So, there appears to be a kind of duality: "Self and atomic self", but there is none. Anyway, this does not imply that the atomic self will gain his freedom on his own. That will never happen like that and I am totally sure about that. Hence my praises to Him in this scripture. "Why should I praise to the Self if He is myself?", a reader could wonder. Because "myself" is an invent of His Power. If you can understand me now, good for you, and if you cannot, it is a question of time and experience. Whether in this lifetime or maybe in the next one, you will remember my teachings (in fact, the Trika's teachings) and accordingly you will realize Trika is fully right about the way to get Final Liberation. While the atomic self continues to be sitting on the throne, one cannot achieve Final Liberation ever. This is a law no atomic selves can break. One can go to supernatural worlds, one can get all supernatural powers, one can have the capacity to answer all questions always, etc., but that is not Final Liberation. When one is so Free as the Self, that is Final Liberation. Meanwhile, one remains bound to a greater or lesser extent.
The illustrious sage Kṣemarāja composed Pratyabhijñāhṛdayam, which consists of 20 aphorisms. The first aphorism of his Pratyabhijñāhṛdayam establishes that His Power is the cause of the siddhi of the universe. The word "siddhi" here is not to be interpreted as "perfection, supernatural power, etc." (its usual meanings) but as "manifestation, maintenance and dissolution".
This document was conceived by Gabriel Pradīpaka, one of the two founders of this site, and spiritual guru conversant with Sanskrit language and Trika philosophy.
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