Kashmir the land of great Divine learning
By Shail Gulati
author is a practising Shaivite mystic and has authored two books 'A Yogi and
The Snake' and 'Naamroop-A Tribute to the Divine.'
Part 1 |
| Part 3
The Sastras of Trika
Literature which make the foundation of Kashmir’s Non-Dual Shaivism are divided
into three Parts:
prepared by Ksemaraja, the disciple of Abhinavagupta, serves as a digest to the
prtyabhijna philosophy of
Self Re-cognition in the kashmir shaiv darsana.It makes an excellent primer to
understand the darsana.The following texts have been taken from Shri Jaideva
Citi svatantrâ viúvasiddhihetu?
Citi, (pronounced Chitih)
which is power of absolute consciousness, by its own free will (svatantrya/independence),
is the cause of manifestation, preservation, and again re absorption or
withdrawal of the Universe into itself , also called dissolution.
This is a description of
Godhead, and before time and space are created, it alone is, in itself. It is
Cit, or Para Samvit , perfect Prakasa Vimarsa , it is all knowing, omniscient,
and all powerful, omnipotent. Its power, non different from itself, is Citi.
By Her own power, she unfolds
the Universe on her own screen.
This is a direct statement on
the understanding of Kashmir Shaivism, that God is both the efficient, as well
as material cause of the Universe, that is to say, He creates out of his own
will, on his own self, there is no extraneous material, and even the analogy of
the potter and the pot of clay, fails here, since the potter emanates or
projects out of himself, not out of clay.
That Universe, so unfolded, is
manifold , consisting of many subjects, who are objects for the others in
The potter was one, the
projector was one, but the pots are many, the projection features many. The
various projections, though coming from the same source, and thus essentially
the same, are different from the other, like one is a conical pot, the other
rounded the third triangular and so on. When they view the other as an object,
they see others as different from themselves, and therefore begin to be more
difference than identity. Spiritually, this means that the manifold creation
gets adapted to each other as subject and object in a reciprocal manner, in my
perception you are my object, but in yours, I am an object, you are the subject
that views me. Or, simply, that even though we are all essentially the same, but
still no two people are alike. Thus, the identity of the oneness of Cit has
been veiled (vilaya), by Citi itself!
(But) even while he has been
reduced to such individual experients, each individual has the Citi contracted
within him, as Citta.
So even while each Experient
finds himself limited from birth, and/or limits himself in life, it doesn’t mean
that he doesn’t have the primal consciousness in him, he always does , albeit in
a contracted manner. The fact is, one cannot survive without the Citi, that
gone, the body would be lifeless. Citi , always present in each being in a
small measure, is called Citta.
Thus does Citi contract itself
in conformity to the object of consciousness, Cetaya.
Such that in the high
Experient of Sadashiva, there is predominance of Prakasa Vimarasa, that is,
light (pure knowledge) and power (the power of knowledge knowing itself), but in
the Pasu (a soul bound by ignorance of its divine nature, using its ability as a
human, and thus akin to a lower species of animal) there is predominance of the
contraction, and therefore great dullness. Therefore emanating from the same one
Cit, the power of citi reduces itself into myriad forms of differing life,
In individuations, who think
they are separate from the One cit. By Dhyana(contemplation, meditation) one may
loosen the contraction and advance to a higher stage.
Even the Mayapramata, highly
deluded being, consists of Citta.
Even if we think we are not
divine spirit , but only the physical body, this does not alter the real fact of
Though We are in a state of
delusion, our divinity is always the force behind our sustenance.
And thus, though He is one, he
becomes two, three, and many.
As is said in the Taittiriya
Upanishad, for Brahman as source of all, he desired, may I be many, may I be
Thus too, it becomes easier to
understand the positions of various systems of philosophy. They are only various
reaches of that consciousness of Self.
Like the Hill and the
climbers, each successively exalted Darsana is like the climber who has already
traversed the path and is now on top, he can see Panoramically (wholly) at what
stage the other is, but not vice versa.
Thus a Carvaka, or gross materialist, will tell the believer of soul, ’show me
your soul’, let me test it, and so on , and the spiritualist will insist, that
everything that is transient, is more like a dream, less of a reality. Swami
Vivekananda, said they both think that the other is a dreamer!
And, in all honesty, at all times, no one Darsana deliberated misleading; they
actually spoke of the vision, as they saw, much like only one who has seen the
moon in its entire phases, will know the truth that it is always full, it only
appears to wax and wane. The man who has only seen a crescent, will find it
difficult to talk of a full moon, and vice versa. So too, the non dualism of
Kashmir Shaiv is Paradvait, Dvait and Advait both. Thus Siva spoke of the dual
as well as non dual Tantras.
Consequently, highest Siva
who’s reality, is all consciousness , because of such limitation of his own
Sakti, becomes a mala (dross) covered Samsarin.
The travelling soul is covered
with Mala because of constriction of His power(Sakti).
For even in the limited state
of Jiva, Siva does retain the five acts, in a limited way, and it is all his
perception of what happens as :
Sthiti (maintenance or
Samhara (dissolution or re
-absorption back to the pristine),
Vilaya ( veiling of the
divine nature by Malas) , and
Anugraha ( revelation of the
divine by grace).
There may be a cat, but for
you it comes into existence when you see it, so you give it its Sristi
(creation) in your world. If you were to close your eyes, the cat would still be
in the world, but not in your world for then. if you remember the cat you are
preserving it , maintaining it by memory. and so on. therefore, in a limited way
you are still playing Siva
And so on you go, manifesting, relishing, experiencing, dissolving etc
To be a samsari means to be
deluded by one’s own power , because of ignorance of such authorship of the
fivefold act. Samsari aka traveling soul is bewildered and infatuated by his own
powers as ignorance leads him into delusions.
Since this power of delusion or concealment is Vilaya, obscuration or
forgetfulness of one’s divine nature, one should understand that the very
recognition that one is deluded, marks Anugraha, grace, and the process of
re-cognition of one’s (lost) nature begins.
And as the process ripens,
through Sadhanas and methods , acquiring the full knowledge of the five fold act
accrues, and Citta expands from its contracted form to become Citi itself.
It can be seen that the fire
of citti, keeps burning the fuel of the known objects.
Citi is ever at work! taking
you back to your pristine consciousness. but you may accelerate this, by
roasting, as they say, the chestnut over and over again..! The fuel is partially
consumed by the fire of Citi though its still delusional and is in inferior
In the re -assertion of that
power, it, through the aspirant, accomplishing the prasara, or outgoing
(expansion) of the divine senses, comes to fulfillment , such that it makes the
entire universe its own by assimilation.
Ballabbhe vishvaatmasatkaroti, the world is the same as your pristine SELF. That
is, he assimilates universe to himself.
cetyamâne?vapi cidaikâtmyapratipattidâr?hya? jîvanmukti?
Liberation while one retains
his physical body.
When this bliss of cit is attained, there accrues a lasting acquisition (a
stability) of identity with cit, even while having the body, and this is
This means that one does not
have do die, or lose the physical body, to attain to the subtler realms and
consciousness itself, the great promise is to attain to the essence here, in
this body, and be free from the delusion of life as one earlier thought it to
be. Indeed , the reverse seems to be true, if you die without knowing God while
alive, there’s little chance, you’ll come back to birth , knowing him.
By the sustained development
of this centre(of consciousness) , by the sustenance of this stability on Samvit
itself, there is lasting of the bliss.
This sutra seems like a
repetition, but Shaiv Darsana has the understanding of Vipula, the thickening of
that stability on centeredness. Like an actor who goes over his lines over and
over, who gets used to playing the role of king, becomes natural about it. While
Advait Vedanta goals “Sat Chit Ananda”, consciousness, blissed at knowing itself
as the ultimate,
Kashmir Shaiv exhorts to reach
Cid Ananda Ghana, which denotes the reaching of the true consciousness thickly,
like a forest of dense bliss consciousness. Even in traditional yogi literature,
once one reaches Sahasrara, the crown , by definition itself, the lotus of
thousand petals opens, here thousand denotes Anant, infinite...The Vedantic
realization, is called Atma Vyapti, and the thickened
Vipula, Shaivic goal , is Shiva Vyapti.
One who has Atma Vyapti, has full knowledge of the self, but lacks the powers,
while one who has Shiva Vyapti, gets the dynamics also.
The lesser realization is about pure being, the higher realization is about
being and becoming, both.
To repeat, again, Prakasa, and prakasavimarsa both, Advait, or Paradvait.
For the development : Upayas
are given for dissolving all thoughts, constriction and unveiling of power.
At this point the Pratyabhijna
gives a few means beginning with sukhopaya, or anupaya, which cannot be taught,
and then gives a few other methods, as sadhanas to reach at one ment with Shiva.
Since the methods may be found in the successive upayas, it is better to get
versed with the Upayas for detail.
By reflecting upon the Oneness
with Cit experienced in samadhi, there is the lasting bliss even in vyutthana.
Samadhi is to go into the
deepest meditation, and merge with pristine consciousness. Vyuthana is when you
arise from that Samadhi. The former passes on its effects to the latter.Kashmir
shaivism says, therefore, by constant reflection on that Oneness with cit, as
experienced in samadhi, we are lead to a permanent state of samadhi, even while
not in meditation.
You may call samadhi ‘being in
meditation’, and vyutthana ‘meditation in being’.
Such alternation of swinging
between the actual inner state of smadhi, and the externalised reflection over
it, is called Krama mudra. Regular practice of this inner-outer swing, of krama
leads to the permanent state of Bhairava avastha, which is to simply know, that
inner or outer..all is siva.
By attainment of such krama
mudra and bhairava, as a result of entering into the perfect I -consciousness or
which is in essence Cit and ananda and also of the nature of power of the great
mantra, there accrues Lordship over the group of the deities of consciousness
that bring about all emanation and re-absorption of the Universe. All is the
nature of Siva.
When one is completely
established in Siva consciousness in Samadhi and Vyutthan, One gains Lordship
over every power of emanation and re-absorption that arises from consciousness,
because, all is the nature of Siva.