Shiva Sutras, third awakening

3.1. ātmā cittam Individual being is the mind entangled in the wheel of repeated birth and death. 3.2. jñānaṁ bandhaḥ (For this limited individual), all knowledge is bondage. 3.3. kalādīnāṁ tattvānāmaviveko māyā Being unable to possess the undifferentiated knowledge of the thirty-one elements, you live in those elements, from kalā to pṛithvī (earth), which are the expansion of the energy of illusion (māyā śakti). 3.4. śarīre saṁhāraḥ kalānām You must make all the circles (kalās) in your body enter one into the other from gross to subtle. 3.5. nāḍīsaṁhāra-bhūtajaya-bhūtakaivalya-
 bhūtapṛithaktvāni The merging of the movements of breathing, controlling the gross elements, diverting attention from all objective senses and directing it towards the center of the movement of the breath, and removing your consciousness from the grip of the elementary field, … 3.6. mohāvaraṇātsiddhih … these powers are brought into existence when a yogi’s consciousness is covered by the energy of illusion (māyā). 3.7. mohajayād anantābhogāt sahajavidyājayaḥ After conquering the field of illusion (māyā) by destroying its many impressions, one attains the victory of the pure knowledge of consciousness. 3.8. jāgratdvitīyakarah The waking state is another formation of his real nature of consciousness. 3.9. nartaka ātmā The dancer in this field of universal dance is his self of universal consciousness. 3.10. raṅgo’ntarātmā The player is the internal soul. 3.11. prekṣakāṇīndriyāṇi His own organs are spectators. 3.12. dhīvaśātsattvasiddhiḥ By means of a supreme intellect filled with awareness of the self, this yogī experiences that he is actually acting. 3.13. siddhaḥ svatantrabhāvaḥ The state of absolute independence is already achieved. 3.14. yathā tatra tathānyatra This (absolute independence) is the same in the external world as it was in samādhi. 3.15. bījāvadhānam Maintain breakless awareness on that supreme energy which is the seed of the universe. 3.16. āsanasthaḥ sukhaṁ hrade nimajjati Seated in that real posture, he effortlessly dives in the ocean of nectar. 3.17. svamātrānirmāṇamāpādayati Experiencing that this objective world Continue Reading →

Shiva Sutras, second awakening

  2.1. cittaṁ mantraḥ Mind is mantra. 2.2. prayatnaḥ sādhakaḥ (For such a yogī) pauseless effort brings about his attainment of God consciousness. 2.3. vidyāśarīrasattā mantrarahasyam The secret essence of mantra is establishment in the body of the knowledge of oneness. 2.4. garbhe cittavikaso’viśiṣṭa vidyāsvapnaḥ When a yogī’s mind is satisfied with the expansive body of illusion then he falls in the world of differentiated perceptions and his knowledge of being is just like that of ordinary living beings. 2.5. vidyāsamutthāne svābhāvike khecarī śivāvasthā The pure knowledge of God consciousness effortlessly rises and this state of Śiva is realized as one with the state of khecarī. 2.6. gururupāyaḥ The master (guru) is the means. 2.7. mātṛikācakrasambodhaḥ (The disciple attains) the knowledge of the wheel of the hidden mother (Mātṛikācakra). 2.8. śarīraṁ haviḥ The establishment of I consciousness on the body becomes an offering in the fire of God consciousness. 2.9. jñānamannam (For such a yogī) differentiated perception is his food, or knowledge of his own nature is his food. 2.10. vidyāsaṁhāre tadutthasvapnadarśanam Although he is established in God consciousness in samādhi, yet not being able to maintain awareness, after a short time he enters into the dreaming state.

Shiva Sutras, first awakening

1.01.  caitanyamātmā Supreme consciousness is the reality of everything. 1.02.  jñānaṁ bandhaḥ Knowing differentiatedly is bondage and not knowing undifferentiatedly is bondage. 1.03.  yonivargaḥ kalāśarīram Māyīyamala and kārmamala are also bondage. 1.04.  jñānādhiṣṭhānam matṛikā The Universal Mother commands this triple knowledge. 1.05.  udyamo bhairavaḥ That effort, the flashing forth of active awareness that instantaneously makes universal consciousness shine, is Bhairava. 1.06.  śaktiḥcakrasaṁdhāne viśvasaṁhāraḥ By establishing and meditating on the wheel of energies the differentiated universe comes to an end. 1.07.  jāgratsvapnasuṣuptabhede turyābhogasaṁbhavaḥ Such a heroic yogi experiences the expansive state of turya in the differentiated states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep. 1.08.  jñānam jāgrat External organic knowledge constitutes the waking state. 1.09.  svapno vikalpāḥ Internal perceptions and thoughts comprise the dreaming state. 1.10.  aviveko māyāsauṣuptam Forgetfulness and the negation of awareness is the dreamless state or māyā. 1.11.  tritayabhoktā vīreśaḥ The one who enjoys the oneness of the three states, waking, dreaming and deep sleep in turīya becomes the master of all organic energies. 1.12. vismayo yogabhūmikāḥ The predominant sign of such a yogī is joy filled amazement. 1.13. icchā śaktirūmā kumāri His will is the energy of Lord Śiva and it is called umā and kumāri, or for such a yogī his will is one with the energy of Lord Śiva, unobstructable, completely independent, always given to play. 1.14.  dṛiśyaṁ śarīram This entire perceived world is his own self, or 
His own body is just like an object to him. 1.15.  hṛidaye cittasaṁghaṭṭād dṛiśyasvāpadarśanam When his thoughts are diverted to the center of God consciousness then he feels the existence of God con- sciousness in oneness in the objective world and in the world of negation. 1.16.  śuddha-tattva-saṁdhānādvā’paśuśaktiḥ Or by aiming at the pure element of Śiva he possesses Śiva’s unlimited energy. 1.17.  vitarka ātmajñānam Any inference of Continue Reading →

Shiva Sutras

Shiva Sutras: The Supreme Awakening This spiritual treasure, gifted by God to the sage Vasagupta for the upliftment of human kind, is considered to be one of Kashmir Shaivism’s most important scriptures. The Shiva Sutras are divided into three parts. And according to Kshemaraja, the commentator, the three parts correspond to the three means (upayas) for the attainment of liberation as revealed by Kashmir Shaivism. These upayas are the means for traveling from individual limited consciousness to universal God consciousness. The first and highest means, for highly qualified aspirants, is called shambavopaya. The second, for aspirants of medium qualifications, is called shaktopaya. And the third, for inferior aspirants, is called anavopaya. Thus, the first awakening of the Shiva Sutras explains shambhavopaya; the second awakening explains shaktopaya, and the third awakening explains anavopaya. Drawing from the Malinivijaya Tantra Abhinavagupta defines shambhavopaya as the upaya wherein the aspirant achieves entry into supreme consciousness just by the grace of his master, without adopting any process. He does not use thought (dhyana), mantra, or any other aid to meditation. Shaktopaya he defines as the upaya where the aspirant achieves mystical entry (samavesha) through contemplation of that mental object which cannot be spoken or recited. Anavopaya he defines as the upaya where mystical entry takes place through concentration on parts of the body, contemplation (dhyana), recitation, taking the support of breath (uccara), and mantras. The means of traveling from limited consciousness to universal consciousness depends on the ability of the aspirant. Abhinavagupta tells us that the aspirant should always try for the highest and best thing first. Thus, in his Tantraloka, he has defined and elaborated the highest upaya, shambavopaya, first. His descriptions of shaktopaya and anavopaya follow. And so it is that the Shiva Sutras also start with the highest and most refined means. Photo on the left: Shiva Rock (Shankaropal), where fifteen hundred years ago, the Shiva Sutras were revealed to the Sage Vasugupta Order the Shiva Sutras: The Supreme Awakening study set Continue Reading →

Maha Shivaratri in Kashmir Shaivism

The festival of Maha Shiva-ratri, the ‘Night of Shiva’, is celebrated throughout India and the world by sincere devotees of Shiva. In Los Angeles we will privately celebrate Maha Shiva-ratri on the night of Monday, Feb 12th, 2018, which is a day earlier than the Vedic calendar, according to Kashmir Shaiva philosophy. Swamiji suggested to spend the night meditating as long as one wishes, followed by a light meal before retiring for bed. Wishing you a Happy Maha Shiva Ratri! “Śiva rātrī means that night where you are graced with the śaktipāta [grace] of Lord Śiva. In that night he bestows śaktipāta, tīvra-tīvra śaktipāta [intense grace] is bestowed to the one who deserves.” ~Swami Lakshmanjoo In this video excerpt, Swami Lakshmanjoo reveals the real meaning of Śiva rātrī, the dark night of Shiva . . . but first he explains another very beautiful verse about the greatness of Lord Śiva. View the video on YouTube . . . mahātmanām, the rahasyā, the secret of Shaivism – in the beginning of Kālī Yuga – pūrvam āsana mahātmanāṁ, ṛṣīnāṁ vaktra kuhare,1 the secret of Shaivism was residing in their heart. Teṣv eva ānugraha, they would explain it without writing [it down]. They didn’t write [down] the theory of Shaivism at all; it was in their brain. They would explain it, bas, and it would penetrate those to whom it was explained. And they were the same, i.e., they became the same. And there is another śloka of how great is Lord Śiva: dhyāyennityaṁ maheśaṁ rajatagirinibaṁ cārucandrāvataṁsaṁ / ratnā kalpojjvalāngaṁ paraśumṛga varā-bhītihastaṁ prasannam // padmāsīnam samantāt stutamamaragaṇair vyāghra kṛttiṁ vasānaṁ / viśvārdyaṁ viśva-vandhyaṁ2 nikhilabhayaharaṁ pañca vaktraṁ trinetram // Dhyāyet-nityaṁ maheśaṁ rajata-girinibaṁ cāru-candra-avātaṁsaṁ. Dhyāyet, you should concentrate, dhyāyet nityam, you should concentrate, nityam, ‘always’. When you are likely to meditate, and when you are not meditating, i.e., when you are sleeping, when you are snoring, when you are walking, Continue Reading →

Chapter 19

The Schools of Kashmir Shaivism Excerpt from the book Kashmir Shaivism: The Secret Supreme Chapter 19 Abhinavagupta listen to audio and download here   Kashmir Shaivism is known as the Pure Trika System. The word trika means “the threefold science of man and his world.” In the idea of trika, there are three energies: para (supreme), apara (lowest), and parapara (combination of the lowest and the highest). These three primary energies represent the threefold activities of the world. In the thought of the Trika, therefore, it is admitted that this whole universe and every action in it, whether spiritual, physical, or worldly, is existing in these three energies. The Trika Philosophy is meant for any human being without restriction of caste, creed, or color. Its purpose is to enable you to rise from individuality to universality. The Trika System is comprised of four sub-systems; the Pratyabhijna system, the Kula system, the Krama system, and the Spanda system. These four systems, which form the one thought of the Trika system, all accept and are based on the same scriptures (agamas). These scriptures form the ninety-two agamas of Shaivism. The monistic Bhairava Shastras are supreme (para) and are sixty-four in number; the mono-dualistic Rudra Shastras are medium (parapara) and are eighteen in number; and the dualistic Shiva Shastras are inferior (apara) and are ten in number. Pratyabhijna System The word pratyabhijna means “to spontaneously once again recognize and realize your Self.” Here you have only to realize, you do not have to practice. There are no upayas (means) in the Pratyabhijna system. You must simply recognize who you are. Wherever you are, whether you are at the level of Supreme Being, at the level of yoga, or at that level which is disgusting, you can recognize your own Nature then and there without moving anywhere or doing anything. For example, take the case of a bride and groom. The Continue Reading →


DISCIPLINE in Kashmir Shaivism In the summer of 1980 Swami Lakshmanjoo gave a series of lectures on “Practice and Discipline in Kashmir Shaivism.” These lectures, given in Kashmiri language, were later translated into English and published in the book, “Self realization in Kashmir Shaivism”. In his talk on Discipline, Swamiji followed the traditional interpretation of the Yamas (observances) and Niyamas (rules and regulations) as set out by Patanjali in his Yoga Darshana also known as the Yoga Sutras. It should be noted, that Kashmir Shaivism has a uniquely different approach to the eight limbs of Yoga (ashtanga yoga) than that outlined by Patanjali. “In Kashmir Shaivism the yamas, niyamas and asanas, are not added as limbs of yoga.” (Tantraloka 5th ahnika.) In his translation of the 4th chapter of Tantraloka, Swami Lakshmanjoo explains that Abhinavagupta has given importance to only six limbs of yoga–pranayama, pratyahara, dhyana, dharana, tarka and samadhi. Swamiji points out that the eight limbs of yoga, set out by Patanjali, help those aspirants residing on the lower level of practice, the means known as anavopaya. But for more advanced practice, the means known as shaktopaya and shambhavopaya, they are of no use. The main point in Kashmir Shaivism is “awareness.” In Trika Shaivism pranayama, pratyahara, dhyana and dharana are considered to be external ways of maintaining the strength of yoga. There is only one predominant limb of yoga that is “tarka.” Tarka means ‘perception which differentiates’. It is discriminating, transcendental logic. This fifth limb of yoga is the discrimination between individual and universal, i.e. discriminating logic and reasoning from within your own consciousness. Though the first three limbs of ashtanga yoga (yama, niyama and asana) are not mentioned in Kashmir Shaivism, Swamiji gave great importance to the yama of Ahimsa (non-violence) and the niyama of Ishvara Pranidana (devotion to Lord Shiva). The following Continue Reading →


PRACTICE in Kashmir Shaivism This is a discourse on the ways which will lead an aspirant to one-pointedness in meditation and to the Awareness which he aspires. The first requirement is an absolutely clean mind which knows no duality and has feelings of sameness for everyone. This “sameness” means you do not over or under-express love for any one person in particular, nor should you possess animosity against any person. If you do not possess this sense of feeling sameness towards everyone, your efforts to achieve the Truth and Absolute in meditation will be totally wasted and will go un-rewarded, like carrying water in a wicker basket to nowhere. In meditation there is no room for coarse feelings. The mind must be absolutely clean and purged of the acts of “seeming love” and “showing hate.” Both are evils. Only when the mind has been purged of them can you meditate with confidence. At that point you will be glorified by the fruits of this divine exercise of meditation. Now I shall explain how to enter this domain of meditation – this is my advice. MEDITATION When you have decided to meditate, the first important thing that has to be settled is the seat (asana), i.e. the place where you choose to sit for meditation. Here on this seat you have to sit absolutely motionless like a rock, with no movement of your body. You should not twitch your eyelids, move your lips, scratch your ears or nose, yawn or belch. You should be like a frozen body, absolutely motionless. It matters little in the beginning if thoughts continue to stream through your mind, rising and passing away. At this point you should simply avoid physical distractions such as moaning and sneezing. In an hours time you will feel your mind Continue Reading →


Kashmir Shaivism The tradition now known as Kashmir Shaivism is an ancient tradition which found its roots and flourished in the Valley of Kashmir. This valley, known as sharada peetha, (seat of learning), has remained a center of spiritual learning for over two thousand years. Many seekers made the arduous journey over the rugged Himalayas to the Kashmir Valley to enrich their knowledge. Timeless and with universal appeal the tradition of Kashmir Shaivism encompasses and gives full expression not only to the actual nature of reality, but also to the means to be employed to realize this reality. This teaching lays bare the very secrets of life. Early on the saints and sages of this tradition realized that because of the possibility of the misuse of the powers it revealed, these teachings should be concealed; hidden from that person who might attempt to use them for her or his own per- sonal selfish gain. For this reason the texts were encoded so that they would only be accessible to one who had the key, the key of the oral tradition which has passed from master to disciple in an unbroken chain. And this chain continued from ancient times to the present. It is by the grace of God, that even at times of great threat, Shaiva masters protected these teachings from possible extinction. Swami Lakshmanjoo Swami Lakshmanjoo was the last in an unbroken line of Kashmir Shaiva masters. As a boy his life was filled with a spiritual thirst to know and realize God. From a very early age he was filled with spiritual experiences. In fact these experiences were so intense that his parents thought he was suffering from hysteria. They were very concerned and approached their family guru, Swamiji’s grand master Swami Ram, requesting him to help their Continue Reading →