Bhagavad-Gita: 18 Chapters in Sanskrit


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Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

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Kashmir Saivism 

Before the advent of Kashmir Saivism, Saiva Siddhanta Primer in Saiva Siddhanta was prevalent in Kashmir.  Then came along Vasugupta who presented Siva Sutra of 78 verses as an alternative to Saiva Siddhanta  They were based on Monistic Agamas and advocated a three-way Marga (pathway) to Moksa (liberation). His follower Ksemaraja made commentaries on Siva Sutra and gave details as to how Siva Sutra came about. It was of divine origin, a dream revelation made to Vasugupta (875-925 CE) by none other than Siva Himself. Upon instruction from Siva, Vasugupta found a tablet with inscription of Siva Sutra on the Mahadevagiri hill.  Authors believe the other version which says that Siva came in Vasugupta's dream and gave him a rendering of the entire Siva Sutra and instructed him to spread Monistic Saivism among his worthy followers.  The feather in his cap consists of three compositions: 1) Siva Sutra, 2) Spanda Karika, 3) Commentary on Bhagavadgita.

Kashmir Saivism is monistic; Cit or Consciousness is the One Reality. Consciousness and matter are identical and not separate. There is no division between God and the world. The world is not an illusion as depicted by Monistic Sankara (788-820 CE). Thus Sankara's Monistic Advaita Vedanta is different from Kashmir Saivism, which was non-existent while Sankara was alive. Kashmir Saivism borrowed heavily from other earlier Saiva sects such as Saiva Siddhanta, Advaita Vedanta; its origin is later in time around 9th century. It was fashioned as a distinct sect of Saivism, whose nucleus is Saiva Siddhanta.

Though all Saiva Sects have Siva as their centerpiece, each claim that Siva initiated each sect  with a distinct impress, with many commonalities. Vasugupta (875-925 CE) is the first proponent of Kashmir Saivism from revelation by Siva as depicted in Siva Sutras. The bothersome question is why Siva gave different versions of Saivism to different sects.

Siva Sutra which emphasizes PrakAsa aspect, is based on Monistic Agamas with three Margas according to the spiritual development of the Sadhaka. Three Upayas (means) are in descending order of the aspirant's spiritual development 1) Sambhava Upaya [Siva-centric], 2) Sakta Upaya [Sakti-centric], 3) Anava Upaya [individual soul-centric]. Sakta Upaya has nothing to do with SAktas and their practices. Sambhava centers around Sambhu--Siva; Sakta around Sakti; Anava Upaya around the individual soul. The 4th one is Anupaya meaning 'no path', in which Grace descends on the perfected Yogi without any effort on his part.

Spanda KArikA. This is an elaboration and explication of the essential basic principles in Siva Sutra in a verse form. This piece is authored by Vasugupta and emphasizes the Vimarsa aspect.  KArikA = verse.

Bhagavadgita Commentary is not in existence now.

Somananda, a disciple of Vasugupta studied deeply into Vasugupta's work and concluded that the system advocated by his Guru was suitable only for accomplished Yogis and not for ordinary mortals. This predicament bothered him sufficiently that Siva Himself revealed to him in a dream the Pratyabhijna doctrine (PD), which simplified the pathway to Moksa. PD had the explicit support of Siva and implicit support of the Sastras. Pratyabhijna is spontaneous recognition of the nature of the Divine in each human being.

Pratyabhijā means "recognition" and refers to the spontaneous recognition of the divine nature hidden in each human being (atman)

Somananda of Sivadristi  (Siva darsana--doctrine) fame offers his philosophical outlook in a clusters of two verses in Mangalashasanam (invocation of auspiciousness).

1.1) Siva, the causal substance is one with us.

1.2) I offer my obeisance to Siva.

1.3) Siva's nature is the material form of the universe.

1.4) Siva has His innate power in Him.

1.5) Our success to overcome the impediments with the mind, speech and body depends on Siva.

2.1) Siva is the essence and uniqueness of everything.

2.2) All are forms of Siva.

2.3) Perennial flow of cognition and activity.

2.4) Happiness and intelligence.

2.5) Pervasiveness.

3.1) Obeisance

3.2) Siva is eulogized for removing impediments.

Sivadristi consists of 700 verses. The following subjects are discussed.

1) Manifestation of Parmatman. Siva in sentient and insentient forms.

2) Refutal of Sabda Parabrahma Vada meaning rejection of Pasyanti (go to Sabda or Sound) as the highest reality. It corresponds to Sadasiva Tattva (go to TATTVAS-36). All manifestation and objects are forms of Siva and thus Pasyanti (Visual Sound) is one among them. Sabda or Sound

3) Refutal of Dualistic Saiva Siddhanta philosophy, Refutal of Yoga philosophy. The following premise is rejected by Kashmir Saivism: Sakta premise that Sakti is Power; Siva is Sava (dead) without Sakti; and Sivatva (nature of Siva) is dependent on Sakti.

Sivadristi cannot conceive Sivatva without its intrinsic abiding power. The dual concept of Saktiman and Sakti is alien to their belief. Saktiman (The Power-holder) without Sakti (Power) is unimaginable. How could you have a rich man without riches? Siva by His intrinsic nature is omnipotent. The refuter is of opinion that cold and ice, fire and heat, Dharma and Dharmin go hand in hand; one without the other is unheard of; so also Saktiman and Sakti are one. Siva alone without Sakti is an unsound proposition; Sivatva (Siva-ness) is all-pervasive; Sakti as an independent agent is groundless.  The opponents say Siva's pervasiveness in the world of matter implies mutability (VikAritva). They further add Siva is viewed as mutable if one accepts his all pervasive nature in objects and beings, subject to change. When Siva is subject to change, he can be inert, of many parts, and dependent on others; if all objects, beings and strivings are Siva, why should there be a worry about Bandha (bondage) or a desire to attain Moksa (liberation)? Everybody will get Moksa, whatever the case may be,  irrespective of their striving to attain Moksa.

Siva remains whole; there is no reduction division or attenuation, when Sivaness appears in objects.

Somananda counters the argument as depicted above in red letters. An accomplished Yogi is capable of creating out of thin air anything without any Upadana (matter). Yogis are known to materialize objects out of thin air. Siva's will power (Ichcha Sakti) is akin to Yogi's ability. A Yogi can create a battalion without partitioning his body. In like manner there is no partition (Vibheda) of Siva, when he creates the lower, the intermediate and the Higher objects. When Sivaness becomes objects, there is no reduction division, attenuation or dilution of Sivaness; He remains the same. There are as many Sivas as there are atoms, irrespective of time and place; he is here, there way yonder and everywhere all at the same time in the past, present and future. His Cid-rupa (Consciousness-form or Universal Consciousness) does not contract, though He manifests himself in every atom. Isvara is free from Klesa ( klis = pain; klesa = affliction, pain, suffering). The afflictions are Avidya (spiritual ignorance), Asmita (ego), Raga (desire), Dvesa (hatred), Abhinivesa (attachment to life on earth). Siva is ontologically and hierarchically superior to Isvara.

Everything is Siva (Sarvam Sivatmakam = EllAm Sivamayam = ġ ). He is ATHA meaning NOW, THEREFORE; This generally means AUSPICIOUS.  ATHA = A + THA = Siva + Sakti. Each object has two powers: an object-specific secondary power and a Primary Essential Supreme Power, that is Siva, common to all. There is oneness and all objects converge and merge in One. Somananda invalidated Sunyavada (Nihilism, Voidism) of Buddhists.

The nature of the Subject and object are identical (Samata Partipadanam). The knowledge of an object becomes part of the knower. Let me give you an example here. Omar Khayyam says, "The Moving Finger writes, and having writ, Moves on; nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line" This just gives us an idea how an object pen, the knower and the writer, and the writing became one. 

Somananda is critical of doctrines of Buddhist, Brahmavada, Pancaratra, Sankhyas, Nyaya Vaisesika....

Japa (muttering prayers) help an aspirant to identify himself with Siva. The act of worship of Lingam, the worshipper, the Lingam and the sacrificer are One and Siva Himself.

Somananda concludes by saying, "Siva is the highest Reality. He is the essence and identity of all beings. He is cidananda (Consciousness and bliss). He is Svatantra. He can create or do anything by sheer free will without the aid of any Upadana (instruments, materials). He manifests Himself through His powers of knowledge and action." Page 10 Pratyabhijna Philosophy by Tagare.

Pratyabhijna philosophy is further given enlightenment by Abhinava, who advances his philosophy by saying that there is no sweat or exertion such as breathing exercises and locks (Bandhas) practiced in Yogic system.  There is no renunciation of the world in Pratyabhijna. Utpala says that it is an easy way to Moksa.


Sivadristi of Somananda forms the framework on which Utpala builds Pratyabhijna and called his construct Isvara Pratyabhijna.  Pratyabhijna Sastra consists of 1) Isvara Pratyabhijna, 2) Vrtti, 3) Vivrti, 4) Vimarsini, and 5) Vivrti Vimarsini.  The foursome is described as exposition of Sivadristi of Somananda by Madhavacharya of 15th Century C.E. Utapala says freedom is the essential nature of man. Ignorance prevents man in knowing his Godhood. Recognition is the way to take back the complete freedom, omniscience and omnipotence.

1) Isvara Pratyabhijna = Self-Recognition and Self-Realization; Recognition of Siva; Spontaneous Recognition  2) Vrtti = Gloss or Explanation.  3) Vivrti = Commentary on Basic Text. 4) Vimarsini = Elaboration, Commentary on Treatise. Vivrti Vimarsini.= Auto-commentary.

More on Pratyabhijna. Pratipam and Jna are the constituent words. Pratipam is 'facing oneself and what is forgotten'. Jna is 'Knowledge'. Tagare--Pratyabhijna Philosophy.  The present experience is identical and in total conformity with what was experienced in the past; that is 'Recognition'. It is seeing or cognizing an experience, an object or a person presently before you. You know Mr.XYZ from the past. He remains in memory and yet that memory is not in the forefront of your consciousness. When you see him suddenly before you in Niagra Falls, you experience Pratyabhijna or Recognition.

You have knowledge of God from Sacred texts, from experience, from inference and from apprehension that one's own self is God. When an experience impinges on you that says, 'I am that very Lord', you have come to Isvara Pratyabhijna or Recognition of the Lord.

Abhinavagupta 990-1015 CE

Abhi was born of parents who migrated to Kashmir from Uttar Pradesh at the invitation of the then king of Kashmir Lalitaditya.  He elaborated (Vimarsini) on Utapala's Isvara Pratyabhijna.

Mahesvara is self-shining, omniscient and omnipotent. One does not need external light to reveal God. If something needs an external light to reveal it, it is an object and not God. The Self is self-luminous or partially self-luminous, He manifests Himself as Jiva (the individual soul) and remains identical with Mantra; Mahesas and Vijnanakalars are distinct from Vidyesvara. Between Parama Siva and insentient objects (Jada), the two extremes in the spectrum of manifestations, there are sentient beings or Jivas. The self-effulgence of Param Siva is obscured by MAyA. Pratyabhijna is removal of ignorance of Jiva.

The insentient objects lack knowledge and action. Their consciousness is veiled by Maya and thus reduced to insentience. The insentient objects have no independence and are subservient to the sentient. The individual self on account of knowledge and action power is Isvara. That is Pratyabhijna.

The individual soul is self-effulgent; otherwise the whole world is darkness and non-existent. It is the Spanda power that distinguishes the soul from the insentient objects. It is vibration, action power (Vimarsa). The light of consciousness is present in all sentient beings and thus all PramAtAs (Atmans) are One and One alone. It is One and the same self that shines as one self and the selves of others.  Omniscience of PramAtA is present from Sadasiva to a worm and it is Knowledge of One Knower.


Mahesvara is the soul of all living things. He is Consciousness. The universe is His form. Purusa (embodied soul with limitation = we the people), in his limited, contracted, abridged form, has limited freedom of action. Purusa's limited action is suffering because his Rajas (action, motion, passion) is a mixture of knowledge and ignorance. Sattva, the light of knowledge is pleasure. Tamas is complete ignorance.--Tagare,  Pratyabhijna Rajas = motion and passion; Sattva = Virtue, goodness; Tamas =darkness, ignorance.

Matter and objects are identical with Siva, Who is Prakasa and Vimarsa (Consciousness and freedom of action = knowledge and action). Maya, the power of Siva, creates dichotomy of consciousness into Aham and Idam. Aham is 'I'. Idam is This, the objective Sadasiva and Isvara. Prakasa, Vimarsa and MAyA are the powers of the Lord. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are Pleasure, Pain and Delusion engendered by the ignorance of the real nature of the soul and supposition that objects are different from soul. Sattva Rajas and Tamas are apart from the soul and are not the power of the soul. The Gunas (= modes = Sattva Rajas and Tamas) provide for diversity and help the Jiva to apprehend the manifestation or appearance of external objects. If Purusa were to possess the Gunas, he would have Svatantrya Sakti of Visvarupa (Absolute freedom of the Universal Form). But Purusa has limited sentiency, limited freedom, limited knowledge and limited action power. They all have to radiate from Pati to Pasu (= God to people).

Considering Pati and Pasus (Siva and individual soul), Pati (literal meaning  is chief; Christian equivalent is Shepherd, the Lord) has three powers SattA (sat = Being, Existence), Bliss and Power of Action.  Pasus (Individual souls, limited beings, We the people, literal meaning is 'animal': the Christian equivalent is 'flock') has Sattva and non-being (Asat). Rajas of Sat and Asat (Being and non-being) is pain and consists of Sattva and Tamas.  Sattva is Light; Rajas is a mix of Sattva and Tamas; Tamas is darkness.

Siva or Pati is the creator and maintainer of the multivariate world. Spanda (Vibration) and SphurattA (the Light that brings about the world process. Christian: let there be Light; there was Light.) indicate His freedom of Action. All these are the same as Vimarsa. It is also Bliss or Ananda because He is self-dependent.

PramAtA or Pasu is both being and non-being (Upanishadic Sat and Asat), and bliss and non-bliss. Pasu's light of knowledge and pleasure radiates from SattAnanda (Being and Bliss = Sat and Ananda) of Pati. Sat in Upanishads is SattA in Kashmir Saivism. The Lord has Cit (Consciousness and Sentience) also. Thus Pati is SattA-Cit-Ananda, the same as Sat-Cit-Ananda. Tamas Guna is lack of SattA (Being), PrakAsa (Light of Consciousness), and Ananda (Bliss). Rajoguna (Rajas) is a blend of Sattva and Tamas, called DvayAtmA (Two-tone soul), whose nature is pain (Duhkhatva). DvayAtmA is compared to a bird with distinct colors in its feather.

The objects are mere reflections (AbhAsas), which constitute IDAM (This) as compared to AHAM (I). Objects bring pleasure or pain or acceptance or rejection from the Pasu. But to Pati or Isvara, the objects proceed from His Pure Consciousness.


Ksemaraja on Pratyabhijna.

Pratyabhijna is the recognition of one's identity with Lord Siva.--Tagare, Pratyabhijna:  It is attainable along with Moksa or liberation. Cit is Parama Siva and individual soul.  Citi or Cit is ParA Samvit, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate Reality, also known as PrakAsa-Vimarsa-Maya. PrakAsa is not only self-luminous like the sun and also illuminating. It is Light and sheds light, without which objects are not seen. Vimarsa is the power to create the world of objects. It there are no objects to illuminate, where is the need for the Light. Vimarsa is Sakti, ParAsakti, ParA Vak, SvAtantrya, SphurattA, SAra, Hrdaya. Without Vimarsa, Siva is Jada or inert. Citi is Anuttara, that beyond which there is nothing higher --Tagare, Pratyabhijna. It is the highest and immutable principle. Citi is addressed as She, the creator of the Universe.

The Nature of the soul.

1) Citi is the cause of creation, maintenance and withdrawal.

2) PramAtA or the individual soul is Siva in a contracted form. (We the people)

3) Citta the individual consciousness is the contraction of Citi (Universal Consciousness) after descending from Cetana or Parama Siva.

4) Citta ascends to Cit after acquisition of knowledge of Pancha Krityas and attains to the status of Cetana.

5) The Fire of Citi, enveloped by the smoke of Maya in a descended (lower) state, incinerates Karma.

6) Identification with Cit  qualifies the individual soul for Jivan Mukti (corporeal liberation).


Citi is the cause (hetu) and creates, maintains and withdraws the universe having the Tattvas from Sadasiva3 to Earth36She is free-willed and does not need Avidya of Vedanta to create. The universe abides in Citi as a dormant entity (UnmIlayati).

AnurUpa: The third Tattva is Sadasiva3 with well established I-ness (AhantA, Aham, Subjective aspect) and nascent This-ness (Idanta, Idam, objective aspect). The ascending experient souls (PramAtrs) are the Mantra-Mahesvaras, presided over by Sadasiva.

Isvara4 the 4th Tattva apprehends Ahanta and Idanta as two entities, I and This, Subject and Object. Isvara is the presiding deity of Mantresvaras.

Suddha Vidya5 Tattva is the 5th Tattva and the individual souls in this stage of development is called Mantras. Here there is equal emphasis on Aham and Idam.

Below Suddha Vidya5 and above MAyA6 Tattva are present individual souls known as Vijnanakalars with pure consciousness with no power of action.

MAyA6 Tattva: Pralayakalar souls belong in this plane without consciousness of Aham and Idam.

MAya6 Tattva down to Earth36 Tattva: The Pralayakalars (We the people) are the individual souls at this plane.



Every individual soul is a Mini-Siva--Siva in a contracted form. Siva is Cit or Consciousness. The Universe is His body (VisvarUpa). Maya Sakti of Siva is responsible for the contraction of consciousness of the PramAtA and the contraction of the Body of Siva as a Banyan tree is contracted in a seed. (Individual soul = GrAhaka = PramAtA = Subject)

AnAsrita Siva: Siva1 Tattva is the First and Foremost of all Tattvas and has the Consciousness and the universe in a potential state within Him. Sakti2 Tattva is the agent to manifest the universe. Siva through the intermediation of Sakti2 manifests the universe in Sadasiva3 Tattva. Sakti interposes between Herself2 and Sadasiva3 Tattva and prevents Siva to experience the world of matter and thus Siva is in a state of AkhyAti or ignorance about the universe. AkhyAti is not actually ignorance in strict sense but is lack of experience of the universe, though Siva is replete with Knowledge (KhyAti). This, termed Cidaikya-AkhyAti-Maya, casts a spell by preventing Siva to experience the world. He is switching gears. Siva has PrakAsa or Light but His light is prevented from shining on objects by Sakti. This transient intermediate state of Siva (and inexperience) between Sakti and Sadasiva is called Anāsrita Śiva  (अनाश्रित शिव). The common analogy given for this condition is as follows. Sakti surreptitiously comes from behind Siva, and covers His eyes so that He momentarily does not see and experience the universe. Siva is disconnected from the world. Let me give you an example to illustrate this condition. When you shift gears from Reverse to Drive in a moving car , there is a moment of no movement and you are stationary. You have no momentum. You are held up for that moment without forward momentum. This is the moment when Siva knows Aham ( 'I"), but has not produced the universe Idam (That). Idam is waiting to be made. The universe is immanent (indwelling) and imminent. That gap (between immanence and imminence ) between the feeling of Aham and Idam is AkhyAti or lack of experience of objects.


  AnAsrita Śiva: A variant version of Anārita Śiva  अनाश्रित शिव

Anāsrita = mfn. not supported, detached, disengaged, independent, non-inherent. --Macdonell

 P141. Three-eyed Śiva, so called because a third eye burst from His forehead with a great flame when His wife (Parvati) playfully placed Her hands over His eyes after he had been engaged in austerities in Himalayas. This eye has been destructive. It reduced Kāma, the god of love  to ashes.  Siva Purana Translation by Shastri. Book one, page 141. Mohanlal Banarsidass pub.

Citta: Individual consciousness (Citta) is contraction of Citi or Universal Consciousness; Siva is 'Max' and I am 'Mini Siva'. Cetana, Citi and Citta are linear elements and are usually addressed in female gender, though they are various levels of consciousness. Cettana is the undiminished, uncontracted, wholesome Consciousness of the Lord. Citi is universal Consciousness of Isvara, Sadasiva... and also of the accomplished Yogis. Citta (Mini Siva) is the individual consciousness, limited and contracted. The individual soul is limited and thus its nature is full of Vikalpas (various activities). The powers of Siva like Jnana, Kriya and Maya transmute to Sattva, Rajas and Tamas in the individual soul.

Citta the individual soul is of the nature of Siva in its pure state but in impure state is MAyA-PramAtA becoming Pralayakalars and Sakalars having Malams or impurities.

By removing Malams and knowing the true nature of the soul, one attains liberation or Moksa from Samsara (birth, death and rebirth).

Atman: The Great Soul = CidAtmA.

1) It is indivisible by Time and Space.

2) It has the capacity to be the Light or Manifester and the manifested.

3) It becomes threefold by contamination with three Malas: Anu or Anava, Karma and MAyA Malas.

4) It can take on the nature of (a) Sunya with no experience, (b) PrAna (c) Subtle body with five Tanmatras, Manas, Buddhi and Ahamkara, (d) Gross body.

5) Seven Pentads: The descending Pentads from Siva to Purusha, the individual soul afflicted with the Kancukas (Restrictive jackets).

        5.1) Siva PramAtA (Siva), 5.2) Mantra Mahesvara (Sadasiva), 5.3) Mantrevara (Isvara), 5.4) Mantra (Ananta), 5.5) Vijnanakalars (MahamAyA), 5.6) Pralayakalars (MAyA), and 5.7) Sakalar class souls (Other).  See the chart above.

Siva is One and becomes all the above entities.  Siva in His pure state is of a Pentad of highest nature: Cit, Ananda (Bliss), Iccha (Will), Jnana (Knowledge), Kriya (Action). The ignorance or AkhyAti, renders it with a shroud (or jackets) of KalA, VidyA, RAga, KAla, and Niyati. These are known as Kancukas or limiting jackets.

If Siva is such a Great God, how come we have the Anu (the individual soul) mired in impurities and limited by Kancukas of MAyA? The limited Atman mired in malas and limited by Kancukas becomes a Samsarin, corporeal being subject to birth, death and rebirth. The Will power of Siva (Iccha Sakti) full of freedom with no restraint undergoes limitation into Anava Mala. Omniscience becomes limited knowledge; soul's immersion in MAya Mala produces Antahkarana or Inner Organ and external organs. Kriya Sakti (Action Power of Siva with omnipotence) undergoes dilution in the world of differentiation and multiplicity and becomes the limited and immersed in KArma Mala.


Plenitude of Sivatva becomes a stunted power in the individual soul. Samsarin is the embodied soul (We the people) with faded powers. When the powers blossom out into a full bloom, the individual soul becomes Siva.


Intrinsic Powers of Siva or Atman (Plenitude of Siva) Contracted powers of the limited individual soul (Kancukas)
Eternity = Beyond constrains of Time KAla7 (Limitation of life in terms of Time)
Omnipresence = All-pervasiveness Niyati8 (Limitation and subjection to Karma and destiny)
Omnipotence = unlimited Action Power. KalA9 (Limitation of power or learning)
Omniscience = unlimited Knowledge. VidyA10 (Limitation of knowledge)
Fullness, perfection, Wholesomeness RAga11 (Limitation of desire)


Siva1, Sakti2,  Sadasiva3,  Isvara4,  Sadvidya5, MāyA6,  Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11, Purusa12 Prakrti Tattva13,  Buddhi14, Ahamkara15, Manas16, hearing17 tactile sense18, vision and color19, tasting20, smell21, speech22, grasp23, ambulation24, evacuation25, procreation26, sound27, palpation28, form29, taste30, odor31,  ether32, air33, fire34, water35 Earth36.

Kashmir Saivism asserts that the Samsarin and the Yogi  are the Mini-Sivas performing their own brand of Srsti, Sthiti, Samhara, Vilaya and Anugraha (Creation, Maintenance, Destruction, Obscuration and Grace.


Vital Airs are a misnomer for Saktis.

Kashmir Saivism says that the pentad is a group of Saktis and not Vital Airs. UdAna's location is the throat and its function is concerned with the transfer of a dying person's subtle body to the next corporeal body in the next birth. Anatomical location of PrAna is from heart to nose and it controls 'upper organs' concerned with breathing and digestion. SamAna's anatomical location is from navel to heart and its physiologic function is to distribute digested nutrients to sense-organs  and Nadis. ApAna's location is from navel to feet and its functions are contraction of bladder and evacuation of bowels. It is down breath. VyAna's location is all over the body; its functions are blood circulation and activation of Nadis. Pranas are Saktis and not vital airs according to Ksemaraja as opposed to Patanjali Sastras which regard them as VAyus or Vital Airs. But the functional classification is common to both. VyAna is multidirectional; UdAna goes up; ApAna goes down; SamAna is equalizing; PrAna is normal breathing. Saktis of PrAna, ApAna and SamAna keep the soul in bondage--the state of Pasu with Malas or impurities. The Saktis of UdAna and VyAna are liberating in that the soul merges with and becomes Pati.

Binding and Liberating Saktis of Kashmir Saivism

The binding Saktis known as Aisvarya Sakti bind the individual soul by PrAna, ApAna and SamAna by putting the individual soul in the states of wakefulness, dream sleep and deep sleep with the help of organs, PrAna and Puryastaka (subtle body made of 5 Tanmatras, Manas, Buddhi and Ahamkara); this bondage makes the individual soul a Samsarin or world dweller. When UdAna Sakti is active and courses through Susumna Nadi, it is Turiya; when Vyana Sakti is active pervading the body and Nadis, the aspirant attains the state of Turiyatita, which is Jivan Mukti or corporeal liberation while alive on earth. It is attaining Sivahood or becoming Pati.

Kashmir Saivism says that Samsarin is a result of contraction of Consciousness of Siva and a product of delusion by one's own Saktis as depicted above. Agamas declare that the Supreme Lord Siva moves around incognito as embodied individual souls (We the people), when the Saktis enter the human body. End.

Citta the contracted consciousness of the individual soul becomes Citi and Cetana, when full knowledge of the five functions (Panca Krityas) is realized.


Ksemaraja was the pupil of Abhi and composed Pratyabhijna Hrdaya (the heart of Recognition).  He wrote commentaries on Vasu's Siva Sutra, Utpala's Stotravali and Krama Sutra.  Abhi and Ksema are the supporting central pillars of the Pratyabhijna edifice.


He commented on Pratyabhijna.

 Pratyabhijna philosophy: Fundamental concepts

Nature's wonders prompted man to think whether there is any one Entity controlling all these universes. Theists, atheists and agnostics were in the forefront as opinion makers. Vedists and Tantrics were the theists; Buddhists, Jains, Sankhyas, and Mimamsakas emphasized the illogical musings of the Theists and rejected the idea of God.

Some seers advanced the notion that there must be a hypostasis behind the universe, which they called Sat (Being, Existential Entity). That Sat became Siva, the auspicious. Other seers called that Sat as all-pervasive Vishnu.  Sat-Siva and Sat-Vishnu followers became Saivas and Vaishnavas respectively.

The Sat believers became divided into three main groups: Dualists, Non-dualists, Qualified Non-dualists.

Dualism: Sat, man (and beings) and the world are different between and among themselves. Sat is Being, whose essential constitution is Consciousness; anything that has no consciousness or sentience is Asat. Dualists are of fivefold belief, called panchabhedas (five differences).

1) Discernible division and dichotomy between God and the individual soul

2) Discernible division and dichotomy between God and matter

3) Discernible division and dichotomy between soul and matter

4) Discernible difference between two souls

5) Discernible difference between two insentient things.

Non-dualism = Advaita = Monism. There is practically no difference (identity present)  between God, the individual soul and matter; they are all Sat and one. Sankara is the proponent of monism. Kashmir Saivism does not accept Sankara's Rope and Snake theory of Brahman and the illusory universe.

Qualified Non-dualism = Vishistadvaida. The advocates, Ramanuja being the main proponent, say that there are Isvara (God), Chit (Sentient beings) and Achit (non-sentient matter); the latter two categories form the body of Isvara.

These three main divisions are seen in Saivism and Vaishnavism.  KASHMI1.gif updated to KASHMI9AB.jpg as of Jan 15, 2015



The Trika System of Triads

SIDDHA, NAMAKA AND MALINI are the three Agamas most important in Trika System.

The Trika system of Saivism has three points in its three-way relationship between Siva (Pati, Chief, the Ultimate Reality, First Perfection),  Pasu (the individual soul), and Pasa (the fetters or bonds that bound the soul to Samsara and transform him from Sivahood to a Pasu.  This is the monistic view of Vasugupta, which is similar to dualistic Saiva Siddhanta as far as the three principles are concerned.  Abhi presents the Triad as follows: 1) Para (Supreme or Highest), 2) Apara (not Supreme and lower), Para-apara (a mix of one and two).  . 

1) Para Triad: The Para has again a Triad called Para Triad: Siva, Sakti and their union--Prakasa, Vimarsa and their samarasya

Prakasa: Shining forth; Light; Principle of Self-revelation; Principle by which everything is known -(Tagare)

Vimarsa: Self-consciousness or awareness of Parama Siva full of jnana and kriya which brings about the world-process. (Dictionary); Immediate awareness (Visphurana) of I; the power to create or manifest;  Varivasya Rahasya Verse 4 says Vimarsa is inherent pulsation of Sakti (the beating heart-my interpolation). It is in conjunction with that power that Siva creates, sustains and withdraws the world--translation by P.S.S. Sastri.

 Samarasya = Identity of consciousness, union of Siva and Sakti;

2) Apara Triad: This has Siva, Sakti and Nara (Siva, Sakti, individual soul).

Another triad:

The Trika System has its backbone in three sacred texts: Agama, Spanda and Pratyabhijna.

1. Agama Sastra originated from Siva. Agama is an acronym for Agata Gata Abhimata. Nigama is an acronym too.

Agama = Acquisition of knowledge, science. Saiva Agamas glorify Siva and form the basis of Saiva philosophy. Vaishnava Agamas glorify Vishnu and Sakta Agamas, the Mother Goddess. There are many things common with Vedas but Agamas derive authority from their respective Gods, Siva, Vishnu, and Mother Goddess.

Agamas are egalitarian, intellectual, yogic, exoteric and esoteric Manual of Philosophy, Means and Realization, covering all possible devotional, inclinational and intellectual bent.  Transmission of Tantras (Agamas and Nigamas) from Guru to Sisya was witnessed, approved and blessed by Vasudeva (Krishna). It is called Agama because it emanated from the mouth of Sambhu (Siva) and went to Girija. It is called Nigama, because it emanated from the mouth of Girija (Parvati, daughter of Mountain, Himavat) and went to Girisa (the Lord of the mountain, Siva). gata = come from (mouth of Siva). Gta = going into (ears of Girija, Uma or Parvati). Abhi-mata = longed for, approved (by Vasudeva or Vishnu). gata + Gta + Abhi-mata = gamaAgama is acronym for Agata Gata Abhimata. Nigama = Ni + ga + ma = Nirgata + gata + sammata = go out (of the mouth of Girija, Uma or Parvati) + going into (Siva) + being of the same opinion, agreed to, approved by Vasudeva)    

There are other explanations of the Agama: for Pasa (bond), Ga for Pasu (individual soul or cow), Ma for Pati (the Lord). Pasa, Pasu and Pati form the triangle in Saiva Siddhanta and Kashmir Saivism philosophy, whereby the Lord, upon alleviation of bonds, takes the Pasu into his fold. for Sivajnana, Ga for Moksa, and Ma for Mala eradication offer another explanation, the last of which leads to Sivajnana of the soul ending in bliss.

2. Spanda Sastra is the versified form of the exposition of Vasugupta's Siva Sutras.

Spandex Theory --Throbbing, Expansion and Contraction, Dynamism, Pulsation, all applied to the Divine: Spanda Power of Siva

Spandex is a long-chain elastic Polymer that can expand and contract. Spanda in Sanskrit is quickening, quivering, atemporal vibration, throbbing, expansion and contraction....  Spanda Sakti consisting of Unmesa and Nimesa is Sakti of Siva.  Though they appear as sequential elements, they are concurrent in Siva. This is a divine energy; it appears to be spent by Siva and or Sakti and yet it does not diminish. Spanda is pulsation, quivering, motion, quickening in the womb. The universe emerges from Spanda power of Siva. Siva on one hand and souls and universe on the other hand are one. Take a chocolate candy, hard outside and gooey inside. The exterior shell and the gooey inside are the same though they may appear different.  Sivasakti and the universe are same. Siva is Kutastha  (Immovable, Immutable, occupying the Highest Place) Consciousness; we are Cidabhasa (intelligent reflections or apparition). Siva looks at himself in the mirror called Sakti and what He sees is Cidabhasa. If not for Him, we dont exist; if not for Sakti, there is no reflection. The universe is inherent in Spanda as the tree is inherent in the seed.  Thus the creation is Unmesa  (opening of eyes) part of Spanda power, and Pralaya (Cosmic Sleep, Subsidence) is the Nimesa (closing) part of Spanda Sakti. The Spanda Principle of Siva is the mover and shaker of souls and matter.  The Malas (Primer in Saiva Siddhanta) prevent the individual soul from realizing the Spanda Principle; that means we don't understand, appreciate and realize Siva.  The Yogi realizes the Spanda principle by knowing Siva is the Soul, we are his reflection, the universe of beings and matter are one with Siva, Sakti is our Progenitor, we are one with Siva-Sakti and we all should realize Him. 

Spanda power has its hypostasis in Siva and manifests the 36 Tattvas TATTVAS-36, which are the building blocks of the universe and beings. The world is the stage for the Spanda Energy of vibration according to Kashmir Saivism; the same is called in South India the Dance of Siva on the Cosmic Stage; the Lord dances in all elements; all his acts are dance, pulsation,  vibration or orbital motion down to subatomic particle; when the dance stops, the world ends with Nimesa; with Unmesa, the dance starts again and the universe pulsates with life. There appears to be some variance with Sankara's Vedic philosophy in that Spanda theory espouses that this world is NOT an illusion but a reality.

Spanda has two parts: Samanya and Visesa (general and particular or specific). Spanda Samanya refers to Consciousness and Visesa is the particularized manifestation such as the Tattvas, which in some cases have no resemblance to Consciousness as in Asuddha Tattvas. All these are vibrations, whether they belong to Consciousness or other Tattvas (insentient unconscious matter). Since they all originated from Siva-Sakti, they are all forms of Spanda. This is the view of perfected Yogi.  The Yogis who realized the Spanda Principle are able to drive the Prana up the Susumna Nadi and ultimately merge with the Ether of Consciousness. Kundalini Power.

Pratyabhijna Philosophy revolves around Regaining and Recognition of the identity of the Supreme and the individual soul; it involves both Siva and the individual soul; the latter was essentially Siva to start with, but attenuation takes place, which is decrease in energy occurring as the distance between Siva and the individual soul increases. The individual can only see the body and not the soul or the Consciousness of Siva. Pratyabhijna Darsana teaches an individual soul to turn the tide and finds its way to merge with the universal Consciousness of Siva.

The following form the core principles of Pratyabhijna as listed by Tagare, page 20, Pratyabhijna Philosophy. Links are provided for greater details elsewhere in this web site.

1. The Ultimate Principle; Pati: Para Siva. PATI

2. Pasu (Jivatman, individual consciousness or self or soul)

3. Visva (the universe and its 36 Tattvas, TATTVAS-36

4. Pasa, Mala, Bandha Primer in Saiva Siddhanta. The basic tenets are common between Dualistic Saiva Siddhanta and Monistic Kashmir Saivism, when it comes to #4.  Pasa =bonds; Mala = impurity; Bandha = bondage.

5. UpAya- Means of removing the Pasas.

6. DIksa --Initiation

7. Mokas --Liberation from Samsara

8. AbhAsavAda, the doctrine of shining forth (PrakAsa), meaning the manifestation of the universe by Siva.

9. SadadhA-- six-fold way.

1. The Ultimate Principle. Pati or Para Siva (Supreme Siva) is the First Perfection, Cit, Parasamvit. ParA-Samvit or Paramasiva being above Siva Tattva is not a Tattva.  He is the Universal Consciousness, Paramesvara,  He is transcendent and yet immanent in the universe.  Its nature is Bliss. It is totally free. There is no subject and object (GrAhaka and GrAhya) differentiation in Him. He is Prakasa and Vimarsa. Prakasa (Light, Self-effulgence, Knowledge) is the cause of the manifestation of the Universe. Prakasa needs Vimarsa (awareness of I-ness, self-consciousness) for activation; Prakasa by itself is Jada or inert (like the inert or Noblegases); enzymatic or electric Vimarsa is the power or Sakti that manifests, mutates,  maintains and withdraws the universe. Siva is Cit (Consciousness) and Saktiman; Vimarsa is the creative power of Siva in the form of Sakti whose other names are Para Sakti, Para Vak, Svatantrya, Sphuratta. Saktiman and Sakti are inseparable. Prakasa is Aham-tva (I-ness) Vimarsa is the awareness of I-ness and independent will or freedom (svatantrya) of Siva.  Vimarsa is compared to a seed that contains the Nyagrodha tree (Banyan tree); likewise it contains the variegated universe in the heart of Siva.  Para Siva has the following powers: Cit Sakti, Ananda Sakti, Ichcha Sakti, Jnana Sakti, Kriya Sakti (Consciousness, Bliss, Will, Knowledge, Action).

Cit Sakti: Synonyms and near-synonyms:  Prakasa (Shining Forth, self-effulgence; Source of Light), Self-Consciousness, Sentience, Supreme Speech, Svatantrya (Absolute freedom), Svatantra (absolute or unimpaired will --Tagare; Self-dependence), Vimarsa and Sivatattva. Cit Sakti has absolute and total independence without the need for external dependence for its acts. What is special about Prakasa is that it is self-contained power source of Light and does not need an object to illuminate and reveal. It is the intrinsic nature of Siva and not a power.

Ananda Sakti: It is the intrinsic nature of Siva and is Bliss itself.  Cit and Ananda form Cidanandaghana (Consciousness-Bliss-Mass.  Ghana = dense compact mass. Saivaites prefer the term Cidanandaghana rather than the common  term Sat-chit-Ananda (Being-Consciousness-Bliss). The reason is that Sat is implied in Cidanandaghana which does not exist without Sat.

Ichcha Sakti:  Will Power. It is power of imagination, power of action, power of transformation, power of creation, power of maintenance, power of subsidence or withdrawal.... He exercises Absolute Free Will in all he does. That earned Him the name Sadasiva or Sadakhya, the third Tattva in 36 Tattvas.

Jnana Sakti: Knowledge Power. It encompasses Absolute Knowledge of all objects and thus He is Isvara.

Kriya Sakti: Action power. This indicates His ability to create, change, mutate, assume any form...without any outside help or means. He is self-contained with regards to all needed implements for his acts. Thus He is called Sa-Vidya or Suddha-Vidya Tattva. TATTVAS-36.

Siva is the universe and beings, all contained in His Space; there is nothing outside Him or His space.  He does not need anything outside of Himself (Upadana) to create this universe. Actually, there is nothing outside of Him.  All objects and beings proceed from within Siva. Somananda in Sivadrsti says this power is analogous to a yogi who creates objects by his mere will.

Siva maintains five functions. Primer in Saiva Siddhanta. They are Srsti, Sthiti, Samhara, Vilaya and Anugraha. See the chart below for details.

Srsti: Kashmir Saivism is of the belief that Siva lets go of what is within Him. They all exist within Him and proceed from Him. He does not take the clay and makes a pot; instead, the pot itself comes out from within Siva.

Sthiti: He maintains what comes out from within Him.

SamhAra: He takes back what He produced from within Him. It is not destruction but withdrawal. An example. Siva brings out all His toys, exhibits them in the front of the store. Some he winds; some work on batteries; they do their thing all day long. when the time comes to close shop for the night, he turns them off, puts them back in the shop and shuts the doors. Next day, a new day begins and  the same goes in cycles.

Vilaya or Pidhana: (the equivalent counterpart is Tirobhava in Saiva Siddhanta). He veils and conceals the real nature of the individual soul. Vilaya = concealment like putting the sword in the scabbard.  Pidhana =  Vilaya

Anugraha: Favor. It is the Grace. Siva provides Grace to attain Moksa, liberation from Samsara.

Pasu: Individual soul, cow, animal. Pasu's definition is as follows. the one who is bound which includes Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, men, animals, plants. The individual soul has all the powers of Siva (omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, eternal satisfaction). Pasu, by being bound by Pasas or Malams (Anava, Karma and Maya) wields limited and circumscribed power. Individual soul's powers such as KalA, Vidya, RAga, KAla and Niyati are all limited in their scope. Penance and guidance from a Guru help remove Karma and Maya Malas.  Anava Mala, the most recalcitrant of all Malas, need Siva's favor to remove it, thus setting the stage for receiving Grace and Liberation.

Visva: The Universe proceeds from Siva all ready-made for deployment. It is not created. It is real and not a superimposition as a snake on a rope.  The products of the universe emerge from Him and exhibit themselves on His back such that there is no space outside of Siva. He draws them back during Samhara. This universe is eternal as Siva is and shows up on His back at Srsti and subsides in Him at Samhara. There is no creation or destruction, just appearance and withdrawal.  When the universe blossoms out, opens out (Unmesa) or expands (PrasAra) from inside His heart, He is called Sakti.

The Principles: TATTVAS-36

All the Tattvas are Sivarupa. The Pure Tattvas (1-5) are not subject to obscuration. They are ever in Bliss. Paramasiva is ontologically and hierarchically superior to the Tattvas.

0. Paramasiva = Purnahanta = The Perfect I-Consciousness. He is all sounds, all letters, all words, all sentences, all Tattvas,  and all existence. There is nothing that He is not. He has five powers: Sarva Kartritvam, Sarva Jnatvam, Purnatvam, Nityatvam, and Vyapaktvam (power of performing any and all acts, all knowledge, all fullness, eternality, and all-pervasiveness).  These powers become limited in the individual soul in the following Tattvas: KalA, Vidya, RAga, KAla, and Niyati.

1. Siva Tattva: From Parama Siva, Supreme Siva. Siva has the Will power of Prakasa and the Manifest Power of Vimarsa Sakti. He is the origin of Vibration. The Siva Tattva is the First Spanda (Vibration, Pulsation, Throb) of Parama Siva.  Siva Tattva is full of Ichcha Sakti, Jnana Sakti and Kriya Sakti (Desire or Will, Knowledge and Action).  In this combined state of Siva and Sakti, the individual soul on its ascent feels that he is Siva Himself.  The individual soul (Yogi) that has a felicitous ease of move up and down these Tattvas is a complete individual. This has a special bearing in Kundalini yoga.  Siva having that ease of move up and down between Sivaness and state of individuality is the Reality of Siva.  Siva that descends but cannot ascend is the state of reality of individuality.

2. Sakti Tattva. Though Siva Tattva is the First Vibration of Parama Siva, Sakti is the First Vibration or Spanda  of Siva Tattva. Siva Tattva is Static and Sakti is dynamic or kinetic. Siva and Sakti (Subject and object, Aham and Idam) are non-different. Siva and Sakti polarize so that Siva can manifest his ready-made universe and beings on Himself and thus, becomes the experiencing principle by his expression of the universe. Sakti is the seed that blossoms out as the universe.

3. Sadasiva or Sadakhya Tattva: His Will (Ichcha Sakti) exhibits knowledge and Action (Jnana and Kriya Saktis).  There are now Aham and Idam (I and This), which Siva experiences.  The subject is Aham and the object is Idam. Aham is the First Emphasis; Idam is the second. Aham has become aware of Idam (This).  Idam at Sadasiva stage is an outline, an image in the early stages of formation of the universe. It is of the nature of Idanta (This-ness) before it becomes a full-blown Idam (This). In Sadasiva Tattva, the universe is vague (Asphuta--not very distinct). The appearance of Asphuta Idam registers in the Consciousness along with Aham; thus He experiences He is the world (Aham asmi idam). That is registering of duality in Consciousness, in a subject-object configuration--I am This.  In the upward movement of the soul from Isvara Tattva, the individual soul feels one with the Transcendental Siva. Here the individual self feels the Self is in the universe.

4. Isvara Tattva: This (Idam) has become a distinct picture. Idam is explicit and unambiguous. Then there is a sudden feeling of awareness of the presence of This (Idam).  It is like a newborn baby brought into home from the hospital. Suddenly everyone notices the baby (Idam); Idam becomes the cynosure and thus the polarity of subject-object experience reverses and becomes object-subject, simply by newness of Idam: Idam-Aham configuration. This is the Unmesa (opening-blossoming) experience of the universe (baby). This new polarity spends itself and the I-ness and This-ness become equal--Experiencer and the experienced; subject and object are coequal.  Sadasiva and Isvara Tattvas are like OFF and ON switches.  Isvara experiencing THIS is called Mantresvara. In this state as the soul ascends, there is a feeling of Aham, full of consciousness, bliss, will, knowledge, and action. Equality of Aham and Idam is present here.  I am the universe.  This is where the soul unites with Siva on its upward move.  Here the the individual self feels the universe is in the Self.

5.  Suddha Vidya Tattva: At this stage, I-ness and This-ness are of equal weight and yet are one. The feeling in this Tattva is, "I am Siva. I and the Universe are dual." This is known as bheda-abheda-vimarsana-atmaka--difference-non-difference-self-awareness = Divine Unity in Divine diversity.

In all the above stages and Tattva (1-5), Divinity is experienced. From Tattvas 6 to 36, Divinity is not experienced.  Suddha Tattvas do not conceal the vision and nature of Siva, while Tattvas from 6-11 conceal the nature of Siva. 

In the retrograde involution of the individual soul- when all the Tattvas are absorbed-- the soul becomes pure and devoid of any Malas or impurities--products of Maya. The soul feels Svatantriya, Freedom.  He is Self, full of its real nature, full of consciousness, full of bliss, and full of Will, Knowledge and Action, indicating the state of Siva. In this state before the soul graduates to Isvara Tattva, there is a feeling of uncertainty between Aham and Idam.  it is the no-man's land between impure Tattvas and Pure Tattvas.  The soul has just extricated itself from the material world.


Elements or Tattvas of Limitation. Six limiting Tattvas = Sat-Kancukas

6. MAyA: It is the source of 5 Kancukas and the limiting principle of the Divine. Maya puts a limitation on the infiniteness of the experience of Sivaness by the individual soul so that the individual soul forgets its organic connection with Siva and thinks that it (the soul) and other distal Tattvas or objects are different from Siva. The five Kancukas (7-11) are the straitjacket of Maya, which severely dumb down the individual soul, though identical with Siva. Maya Tattva is the repository of Anava and Maya (Mayiya) Malas.

7. KalA: is normally the omnipotence of Siva, the power to do anything (Sarva Kartrtva) in this universe and also the Light of His Consciousness. KalA of the individual soul behaves as if its ability is severely restricted by the Maya. There is limited capacity to action, limited capacity for knowing, and impure knowledge. Abhi says that Siva goes into deep sleep (supthasthanin) and thus in his individual soul form, he is incapable of any action. The Kancuka KalA comes to his rescue and gives him a limited capacity for action and a limited knowledge.

8. Vidya: Normally Siva is Omniscient (Sarvajnatva). Maya has put a crimp on this all-knowing facility and rendered the individual soul with limited knowledge.

9. RAga: Siva is the Universal Consciousness with complete self-satisfaction (PUrnatva) so much so that He has no wants. But the individual soul lacks Purnatva and is full of unmet desires. The Supreme Will of Siva has the total Freedom to remain absolutely self-satisfied. This Freedom of Siva undergoes deformation in the individual embodied soul so much so the finite self seems to be in want all the time.

10. KAla: Siva has no Time element in Him; He is eternal. The individual soul has become subject to time, past, present and future.

11. Niyati:  Siva is all-pervasive and omnipresent in Time and Space. Niyati Tattva is the Chit Sakti of Siva that has contracted in such a way that the individual does not think of the all-pervasiveness of the Soul. Now you see that the Pure Consciousness of Siva has contracted in man who thinks in terms of limitation of body in space and time and not in terms of Siva Consciousness, all pervasiveness and omnipresence in Time and Space.

The Dumb-Down version of Sivaness in the individual soul


Individual soul

Siva as a Complete Entity

Limitations imposed on the soul & body.
Omnipotence KalA = Limited potency.
Omniscience Vidya = Parviscience.
Supreme Satisfaction RAga = inability to satisfy desires.
Eternality KAla = Time-limited existence
Total Freedom, All-Pervasiveness, Omnipresence in Time & Space Niyati: Subject to order.

This table replaces KASHMI3.gif

The Tattvas of Limited embodied Individual soul.

Subjective Purusa is corralled, confined and bound by a pentagon consisting of five Kancukas: Niyati, KAla, RAga, Vidya, and KalA.  Niyati tells Purusa (individual soul) that he is not omnipresent like Siva but confined to one place at one time; he cannot be in all places all the time.  KAla Tattva tells the individual that he is not eternal like Siva and has a countdown timepiece attached to him that counts down to the last moment of his life on earth. RAga Tattva tells the individual that he is not Whole and Complete without any wants like Siva, but has needs all the time. Vidya Tattva tells the individual that he is not Omniscient like Siva but has very limited knowledge. KalA tattva tells the individual that he is not Whole in various creative arts but has a lot of holes in his creative knowledge.

MAya Tattva is the creator of these five limitations and originates from Sakti. When Purusa is free from impurities and realizes Sivaness, the cloud of Maya and its cohorts lift and the individual receives Grace.

12. Purusa: The limited individual and the subject with five straitjackets 7-11. Trika philosophy depicts,  "Purusa is Siva, who subjected Himself to the Kancukas" according to Tagare.  Siva limits Himself so much to become Purusa that it is like a huge mountain reducing itself to an atom (anu).  Anu has no spatial connotation but is a referent to Siva's limited capacity in Purusa as avowed before.  Just imagine a professor of English literature suffering a stroke, becoming limited in memory and ability and relearning his alphabets in his rehabilitation. The individual soul is the watered-down version of Sadasiva (Tattva 3), where in he is the enjoyer or experiencer and the subjective manifestation of Aham asmi idam (I am the experience) of Vidya Tattva. These limitations are Antahstha, which is the internal state of limitation, a condition wherein the Kancukas stand in the way.

13. Prakrti = Primeval matter, nature. Mula Prakrti = root matter, primal matter; Mula karana = root cause.  Prakrti is the undifferentiated matter; it is inert because the latent qualities Sattva, Rajas and Tamas (Virtue, passion, and darkness) are inert or in abeyance. When Prakrti undergoes transformation, the process is Vikrta and the product is Vikrti, which has three qualities: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. In Sankhya system, all Purusas have one Prakrti; in Trika system, each Purusa has its own Prakrti.


Siva's Powers Prakrti's Gunas Individual Feelings
Jnana (Knowledge) Sattva (Virtue) Pleasure
Ichcha (Will) Rajas (Passion) Pain
Kriya (Action) Tamas (Darkness) Delusion
Prakrti's Gunas = Attributes of Nature.

This table replaces KASHMI4.gif

Tattvas 14-16: Buddhi, Ahamkara, and Manas: Antah-karana: Internal-organ, the seat of thought and feeling, mind, the thinking faculty, the heart, the conscience, the soul. ref: Monier Williams.

14. Buddhi: intellect. Thought is the first wave in the mind  and has to be adjudicated by Buddhi (Intellect) before a decision for an action is made.  Normal Buddhi is Sattva-dominant.

15. Ahamkara: Buddhi generates Ahamkara (the I-doer) or ego, which has the sense of possessiveness. Ahamkara determines whether an object is his or not. Its dominant quality is Rajas.

16. Manas. It is the mind derived from Ahamkara in a cascade fashion. Its function is to obtain knowledge of the external world and build a library of impressions, perceptions... from its distal elements such as the organs of perception (Jnanendriyas).  The Antah-Karana is the crossroads for the organs of perception and organs of actions where all perceptions are stored and all actions originate.

17-21 Tattvas: 17. hearing 18. tactile sense, 19. vision and color, 20.tasting, 21. smell. These again are produced by Ahamkara. Their respective organs of perception are ears, skin, eyes, tongue, and the nose.

22-26 Tattvas: 22. speech, 23. grasp, 24. ambulation, 25. evacuation, 26. procreation,

27-36 Tattvas: 27. sound, 28. palpation, 29. form, 30. taste, 31. odor,  32. ether, 33. air, 34. fire, 35. water, 36. earth.


Sauh Mantra is foremost among Mantras; It is like the seed of Nyagrodha tree (Ficus bengalensis); it grows and expands into a tree as Siva expands into 36 Tattvas. When the Tattvas involute into Siva, they subside in a retrograde fashion into Siva. From 6-36 Tattvas, they are all of external existence. These thirty-one Tattvas (6-36) exist in man. These elements again subside in Suddhavidya, Isvara and Sadasiva Tattvas (5, 4, 3), which again subside in Sakti and eventually in Siva Tattva.


Pasa: is Mala or impurity; it is Bandha or bondage.  The Jiva or the monad is Siva; on account of his avidya (ignorance) and memory loss, he forgets he is Siva and this ignorance is reduced to the state of anu engendering Anava Mala. The Malas abide in Maya.  Maya Sakti is an affliction of the individual soul, while it is Svatantrya for Siva (the Absolute Will of Siva or Svechcha). Maya Sakti is like a state trooper on a highway; the state trooper with the flashing lights goes at 100 miles an hour with impunity; he exercises his Will.  A commuter, that you are, has to abide by the speed limits.  The state trooper gets accolades for apprehending a speeder or an alleged criminal; he has to break the speed limits to apprehend. You speed at your own peril. Man and Siva are equal.  why are we afflicted by Anava Mala, while Siva is free of that affliction? The Will of Siva is the cause of infliction of Anava Mala on Jivatma. He has the Will to inflict or remove it on His own accord. Tagare quotes the following: So Abhinava's criticism of Siva's willfulness may be quoted from Tantraloka (8.82). He says Siva binds Jivatman at his own sweet will (or of his own accord) and liberates him at his own pleasure. --page 31 Pratyabhijna Philosophy. Tagare says, "In fact no school of philosophy has given a satisfactory explanation why god and individuals though identical, the individual is subjected to Samsara. The verbal jugglery of terms like MAyA and Avidya etc. do not give any logical, rational explanation. Trika is no exception." 

Hear, hear! the Free Will of expressing opinion against God-given tenets and His willful acts! That is the beauty of Hinduism; not even God and His dispensation are above adverse comments from humans. Actually God welcomes such comments, proving He is not a closed mind.

Malas: Impurities are of three kinds and common to Saiva Siddhanta and Kashmir Saivism. They are Anava Mala (para or the subtlest Impurity), Mayiya Mala (Suksma or subtle  Impurity), Karma Mala (Sthula or Gross Impurity.

Anava Mala: It is an innate impurity in connection with the status of the soul being an anu or limited or atomic (small); If Siva's Consciousness is a humongous mountain (Kailas), the human consciousness is an atom (anu).  This curtails the Siva Consciousness in man to the extent that he feels imperfect. Anava means also pride, self-will. It appears that Jains have more to say about Anava Mala. It obscures knowledge and action of the souls. It gives a false sense of freedom to the soul. It is like Verdigris on copper. It is like the chaff on the rice grain. It is like salt in brine. It is beginningless. It is integral to soul.  Darkness does not mask itself.  Anava mala masks itself as well as everything else. It beclouds the soul from exposure to knowledge. Anava Mala has no direct perception of knowledge but needs organs to gather knowledge. It is the cause of spiritual ignorance. Whatever knowledge it gets from sense organs is faulty and inaccurate.  adapted from Saiva Siddhanta--Schomerus.

Trika view of Anava: There is no fullness in Anava Mala (apurnata - no fullness).  This lack of fullness creates proportional increase in desire to make it complete. This Mala is Anadi, beginningless and eternal and expunged only by the Grace of Siva.  Soul, Anava Mala and Siva exist together. Siva is not affected by either of them, as the sun is not affected by the umbrella. "Anava Mala does not hide Siva, but only the faculty of the knowledge in the souls. He is the Lord of Anava Mala, having the power to free souls there from, and also because Anava Mala cannot begin to act without Him. Siddhiar 2.87 says that Siva and Sakti keep the three Malas active. This is Vilaya or veiling.

More on Anava Mala: Some of the information here is from Southern Saivism for the simple reason of explication. Some repetition to keep the context intact.

Anava Mala: Anavam comes from the word ANU, meaning atom, smallness, finitude. This impurity is congenital, intrinsic, and innate to every soul; there is no embodied soul without it, Brahma and Vishnu included. As the individual soul splits off from the Great Soul (chip of the Old Block), it immediately feels like an orphan separate from the Great Soul, God. The orphan soul feels its smallness, limitation, imperfection, ignorance, dependence and darkness and seeks knowledge through the senses of the body, forgetting its connection to and origin from the all-knowing Great Soul. This smallness and orphan status make the soul feel apart from its Father, thereby acquiring the feeling of  I, Mine, Me, My, pride, individual identity, will, limited knowledge and action (Iccha, Jnana and Kriya), which lead to other malas and accumulation of Karma.  It is darkness (irul), causes confusion (Marul) and ignorance (Avidya), and remains antithetical to Grace (Arul). Here the soul feels like an orphan, as if it is not connected to the Great Soul, Pure Consciousness or God. It is due to ignorance and matter enveloping the soul, preventing vision of the Great Soul. It is full of ego. It is a case of I, Me, My, and Mine, a quadrilateral corral for Pasus. Anava Mala is compared to verdigris covering copper or husk covering rice (Anava Mala covering soul). Siva is One but has the urge to be many; this split into many souls (without diminution of the Great Soul) have consequences and Anava Mala is that consequence. (There are some who believe that the anava-laden soul cannot be traced back to Siva, because Siva being pure cannot have produced an impure soul. The Mala is beginningless.  Siva is the only I in this universe; the souls that came off from Siva (Siva Sakti) mistakenly took that identity from Him; each one of them calls himself or herself, I.  I = the nominative singular pronoun, used by a speaker in referring to himself or herself.

The I of Siva has the power of creation, preservation, destruction and many more functions, which the human i does not have. Besides, the person refers the i to his body and not to the soul; that is the second problem. If the person still insists on referring to himself as the I, then he should acknowledge its origin from Siva and thus should have the knowledge that his or her soul is the I and the body is my.

KArma Mala: Anava Mala limits embodied soul's (Jivatman) powers of Knowledge, Action and Will. Before the soul was born with the body in this world, Anava Mala was part of the soul. The soul remained as I without an object to relate to. When the soul takes birth in the world with a body, it has all the equipment to live in this world, however defective or limited; the body and the world become its object. In the world the embodied soul has to act, which creates Karma Mala.  PATI. This files explains the Saiva Siddhanta aspect of Malas.

MAyIya Mala: MAya through its Kancukas puts a limitation on its knowledge and action. The homogeneity with other souls from  previous existence is lost and the newborn soul feels it is different from other souls and objects; this is Sarirabhuvankara--the condition resulting from acquisition of and becoming a body.

There is a little confusion in Kashmir Saivism books on the Malas. Tagare in Pratyabhijna says that Pralayakalars have Anava and Karma Malas. page 32.

Sakalar - a person with three Malas--Karma, MayIya, and Anava Malas.

Pralayakalar - a person with two Malas--Anava and Karma Malas. According to Kashmir Saivism, Mayiya Mala comes to zero from spiritual exertion and God's grace. In Saiva Siddhanta, Karma Mala comes to zero.

Kashmir Saivism of Lakshmanjoo edited by John Hughes agrees with Saiva Siddhanta on the presence of Anava and Mayiya (Maya) Malas in Pralayakalars.  page 52.

Vijnanakalar - a person with one Mala-- Only Anava Mala.PATI

Sudha-Suddha State = Sivaness. Individual shed all three Malas and attained Pure State of Sivaness.

KASHMI3.jpg modified to KASHMI3A.jpg


Sakala is a state of objective consciousness. When you look at a flower intently, you become the flower; the self-awareness is gone; the subjectivity dissolves in the object. This is complete objectivity of Sakala state. This is starting point in the fifteen steps in the ascent.  You move from Sakala Pramatri of looking at the flower and become aware of yourself, the flower disappears;  you remain and become you, the perceiver. The next step is to forget yourself and leave the object (flower) and you behind. Though the perceiver and the perceived object are in background, you fall into the void of absent subject and absent object experience; that is voidness of the Pralayakalar-Pralayakala Pramatri. The next step in the ascent is Vijnanakala Pramatri, when there is no subject-object awareness and yet you retain your consciousness.  The other ascending steps are Mantrapramatri, Mantresvara Pramatri, Mantramahesvara Pramatri and finally to the state if Siva. These steps inovolve an effort up to Maya Tattva. Any ascent above it is automatic.  This is called fifteen-step process- Panchadasividhih.  There is the thirteen-fold process for the more accomplished ones.  In the latter you have to rise being an individual to the Universal Being of Siva.  The others are the 11-fold process, 9-fold process, 7-fold process, 5-fold process, and threefold process. In the last one, Sadasiva is the object and Siva is the subject-perceiver. You become Siva, the subject-observer and perceived object. Idam is found in Siva; Siva is found in Idam.  The beginning point and the ending point are Siva. Compare it to the Salmon redd, the beginning and the end point.


There are Upayas or means to realize the Ultimate Supreme Consciousness.  Here I use Upaya and Marga interchangeably.  Upaya = means; Marga = pathway.

UpAyas: Means. The soul needs the means to get rid of the Malas,  obtain Anugraha or Grace of Siva and gain an entry into the Universal Siva Consciousness from the state of limited individual consciousness.  Spiritual discipline is the centerpiece of this effort.  It is also called Avesa (absorption in Siva). Abhi is of the opinion that an individual to should try and use Sambhavopaya the highest means first for realizing God Consciousness. Barring its success, one should proceed to the next best and so on. This list I have given goes from the lowest to the highest with Anupaya being in the epicenter of God realization. This entry is Samvesa.

Vasugupta recommends UpAyas: 1) AnavopAya 2) SAktopAya, 3) SAmbhavopAya. The fourth Upaya is AnupAya or AnandopAya (Ananda + UpAya = Bliss means. The pathways to Realization in Kashmir Saivism is by Ichcha and Siva (Sambhavopaya) by Jnana and Sakti (Saktopaya), by Kriya and individual soul (Anavopaya), and by bliss (Anupaya).  Ichcha = Will or Desire; Jnana = Spiritual knowledge; Kriya = action.  Ichcha, Jnana, Kriya and Bliss at the high end are the domain of Siva. We have the degenerate version of Ichcha, Jnana and Kriya and no bliss at all. Anupaya, Sambhavopaya, Saktopaya, and Anavopaya belong to the, Supreme, superior, middle and inferior means.  All these means or pathways measure the distance between you and the epicenter of Realization and also the strength of one's spiritual attainment. The closer one's starting point is to the epicenter, the more spiritually developed one is. Anavopaya, the action path is the longest  pathway to the epicenter; the starting point of Saktopaya is equidistant between the periphery and the epicenter; Sambhavopaya starting point is very close to the epicenter. Anupaya is not a pathway or "no means."  Anupaya Yogis, immersed in Ananda or bliss of Siva are at the epicenter of God or Siva Realization. They have nowhere to go; there is no need to go anywhere else; they are where they want to be; that is the Ultima Thule.  Nothing really happened; there was no expansion and no withdrawal of Siva's energy. All this expansion and withdrawal are a mental artifice. To start with there was no avidya or ignorance; why then there is a need to remove something that was not already there.  Yogi was already in a state of bliss; why then there is a need to obtain bliss, that was already there. In the state of Anupaya, there is no need for Kriya, Jnana or Ichcha and the related pathways.  Thus, they remain thoughtless, actionless and in their True Being.

There are four upayas or means: There are actually four entities that one can meditate on: the individual Body, the evolutes of Sakti, Siva Himself and Null means. They are respectively 1) Anavopaya, 2) SAktopaya, 3) SAmbhovopaya, 4) Anupaya. Progression from the first to the third is pAramparika.

Samkhya, Vedanta, Srivaishnava, and Saiva perspectives.

The ultimate aim of Samkhya-Yoga and Vedanta is to attain liberation (Mukti) which is isolation (soleness, Kaivalya). Samkhya Yoga helps isolation of the soul from Prakrti; Vedanta from Māyā. In Srivaishnava tradition, Kaivalya has an added import. It is liberation of the soul from matter, karma and rebirth but it has not earned its right to live in Paramapadam or Vaikuntam, the Ultima Thule of the soul in Srivaishnava tradition. This is one of the divisive issues between Ten Kalais and Vada Kalais of Srivaishnavism. It appears that Ten Kalais are satisfied with Kaivalyam, a lower achievement; the Vada Kalais insist that Vaikuntam or Paramapadam is the Real Thing. Below, read Nammalvar's opinion on Kaivalyam and Paramapadam (Soul realization Vs God realization). In Samkhya, liberation of the Self or Purusha means freedom from pain and suffering without the Vedantic Bliss. Samkhya Purusha or Self is the highest entity, Sat-Cit (Being-Consciousness) but there is no Ananda or Bliss. In Vedanta, the Self attains liberation meaning it is Sat-Cit-Ananda (Being-Consciousness-Bliss), identical with Brahman. It is Atmananda, the Bliss of Self.

கைவல்லியம் kaivalliyam   Final emancipation; மோட்சம்;  detachment of the soul from matter or further transmigrations; soul in free pure form released from bondage. (Soul is free but does not reside in Vaikuntam. Kaivalyam is the free state of the soul wandering in the perimeter of Paramapadam; soul can look in from outside but cannot get in. Kaivalyam guarantees freedom from rebirth but the soul does not enjoy the inner sanctum of Paramapadam and the company of Vishnu, Sri, Bhu, Nila and Nityasuris.) Kaivalya. 1. Absolute oneness, perfect isolation.

Kaivalyam in Srivaishnava Ten Kalai tradition is like a glass ceiling wherein you look through the glass but cannot get into Vaikuntam.  Vada Kalais believe in Vaikuntam as the only mark and place of liberation.

Kaivalyam is glass ceiling.  glass ceiling: An unacknowledged discriminatory barrier that prevents women and minorities from rising to positions of power or responsibility, as within a corporation.

Nammlavar opines that Kaivalyam is inferior to God-realization (bhagavat-sākşātkāra). Kaivalyam is ātma-sākşātkāra, equable resolution of Punyam and Papam, supreme happiness, self-realization... Kaivalya is the existence of the soul enjoying the bliss of Jivatman (S.M.S.Chari) and NOT Paramatman or Bhagavat.  That is serious. What is better?  Soul realization or God Realization. Kaivalya is NOT the Real Thing in modern parlance, according to Nammalvar.

In Kashmir Saiva tradition, the highest attainment is to acquire Sivaness (Sivatva). As in Vaishnava tradition, Saivite tradition has two attainments with differences: Atma VyApti and Siva VyApti (Self-Realization and Siva Realization). They can be obtained in corporeal state (while living). Of the two, the Atma VyApti is lower and Siva Vyapti is highest. VyApti (வியாப்தம்) means pervasion. In Atma Vyapti, one's soul is pure, perfect, pristine and free. All these adjectives are admirable but the soul is not one with Siva; it is lower attainment. In Siva Vyapti, there is oneness with Parama Siva (Supreme Siva) who is transcendent  and immanent in the universe. As different from Samkhya and Vedantic Self, in Siva-VyApti, the I-Consciousness of the Self dissolves in Siva Consciousness; you are Siva. Sivaness has pervaded; the river of your consciousness has merged with the ocean of Siva Consciousness. Your Citta (Limitation of Universal Consciousness in an individual)) does not die, but undergoes regeneration, transformation and transfiguration into Cit (Absolute foundational Divine Consciousness of Siva).  The individual Citta upon immersion in Cit becomes Citi (Universal Consciousness and the knower (Cetana). Citi is the Universal Consciousness and the ocean. When it descends into an individual, it becomes limited as Citta. You cannot put a ocean in a pot and likewise Citta has limitations. In like manner the Supreme Knower cannot be put into an individual embodied soul; naturally he becomes the little knower. He is Max and each one of us is a Mini.

1) AnavopAya  is the pathway of action of the individual soul, Anu. This soul is the least spiritually developed one. This path involves Kriya (action) on the part of the striving soul (KriyopAya).  It is also called BhedopAya because the premise is based on the difference between Aham and Idam.  Aham is the aspirant soul and subject; Idam is the object and the universe; thus, there is a duality. An experience of duality by an individual is a lower status in the spiritual advancement. To attain monistic feeling of higher spirituality, one has to work to accomplish it: This yogic effort consists of Control of breathing and the organs of senses, contemplation, Mantra Japa, Sthana Prakalpana.... Contemplation on the form of Siva is lower form of Anavopaya; contemplation on the formless Siva is the higher form of Anavopaya. Sthana Prakalpana is to imagine the whole spectrum of Siva's Universe in any of its individual aspects in the duration of one breath. One example is to think of the location of the sun at dawn, dusk, noon.... This is higher form. The lower form is to concentrate on the midpoint in the forehead (Ajna Chakra), the pit of the throat (Visuddha Chakra), and the heart (Anahata Chakra) in the body.  These Chakras are the reference points for those who are familiar with Kundalini yoga. Kundalini Power Anavopaya demands support from mental and psychical props (breathing control, contemplation etc. to attain the goal. 

Sense organs: One has to focus one's sight on a particular object without blinking  and with unbroken awareness until the object vanishes from sight. That point is the center.

Dhyana: Contemplation on a lotus in your heart or the meaning of a Mantra like Soham, Hamsa and the like.



2) SAktopAya: SAkti + UpAya.  One has to resort to Sakti or Vimarsa as the means. The means of Sakti or the universe. Saktopaya is inherent in Jnana Sakti (power of knowledge); thus it is also called Jnanopaya; it is the means or pathway of Sakti and Jnana. Every thought is a wave; it rises, perseveres and vanishes and new thought begins. There is a silent gap between thoughts wherein lies the universal Consciousness of Siva. You may say that these thoughts are intrusions into the Universal Siva Consciousness of the mind. The gap is the Sandhi or junction. This gap is also called Unmesa, the opening of eyelids, when there is a sudden flash of realization of Siva Consciousness.

There is no need for breath control. Once you find the Reality in the Sandhi and concentrate on it, one attains Siva Consciousness. Meditation on the gap where Siva and the universe exist help the aspirant attain the awareness,  "I am Siva (Sivo ham) and I am the whole universe (Atma eva idam sarvam)." The importance here is to maintain an uninterrupted chain of awareness to attain the realization of the universal Consciousness. That means the extraneous thoughts die down and the gap has become a continuous stream of Siva Consciousness.

Deep meditation wakes up the Kundalini Sakti in the Muladhara Chakra, which then rises to Sahasrara Chakra without any breath control. This is in contradistinction to conventional Kundalini Sakti which needs breath control to channel it up the Susumna Nadi. In Kashmir Saivism, just meditation suffices.  In the beginning of the process, there is duality of I and Siva or Atman and the universe (Aham-Idam). Thus it is called BhedopAya indicating the difference between Aham and Idam.  It is Jnanopaya originating from Jnana Sakti because it involves knowledge and mind.  With Saktopaya, the aspirant experiences absorption, which proceeds to Samavesa into Siva Consciousness.  SAmavesa = Being possessed by the Divine, absorption of the individual consciousness in the Divine.

It is all about centering and developing intense awareness. Centering is to find the silent center between two thoughts and remain firm in awareness of the center. The center-gap may be between thoughts, acts, breaths, wakefulness and dream states....

More on SAktopAya. One has to abide in Sakti in the mind. In SambhavopAya, one has to give up Vikala or thoughts. In SaktopAya, one keeps one's thought and it has to be Suddha or Pure Vikalpa or thought. Asuddha Vikalpa is to believe that the body-mind-Buddhi complex is the self.  Examples of Asuddha Vikapa are, 'I am poor, weak, ugly, ignorant'. it is all about thoughts reposing in Asuddha psycho-physical being. All these are Tattvas that constrict and restrict the soul. How do we get past these Asuddha Tattvas? What is Suddha Vikalpa?  Suddha Vikalpa is transcending all limited expressions of Reality --only the lower Asuddha  and Suddha-Asuddha Tattvas ranging from the Earth element to Siva Tattva. They are the faded Tattvas as depicted below.

Tattvas: Siva1, Sakti2, Sadasiva 3, Isvara4, Sadvidya5, MayA6, Kala7, Niyati8, Kala9, Vidya10, Raga11, Purusa12 Prakrti Tattva13, Buddhi14, Ahamkara15, Manas16,  hearing--Ears17, touch--Skin18, vision and color--Eyes19 , tasting--Tongue or mouth20, smell--Nose21,  speech-Larynx22, grasp-Hands23, ambulation--Feet24, evacuation--Anus25, procreation-Genitals26, sound27, palpation28, form29, taste30 , odor31,  ether32, air33, fire34, water35, earth36.

Siva is the Highest Tattva or Reality. Suddha Vikalpa is, "I am That. I am transcendent and immanent in the universe." Suddha Vikalpa removes the sense of duality. Suddha Vikalpa involves Mantra Sakti, Sat-tarka and Suddha Vidya.

Mantra Sakti: Here the Cittam (the mature mind) in its perfection brings about meditation and reflection on the Highest Reality enshrined in the Mantra and identifies with the deity of the Mantra. Mechanical repetition of Mantra has no value. The I-Consciousness of Siva is Sakti of Siva. Meditating on Sakti is SAktopAya. Sakti is the essence or the soul of Mantra. Mantras are letters, syllables, phonemes.... Thus Mantra is the body and Sakti (power) of Sakti. These Saktis are called Matrika. A Guru is necessary for initiation into Mantra, induction of Caitanya Sakti or power of consciousness into the Mantra and instructions in Matrika.. Caitanaya = Foundational Consciousness which has the power of knowledge and action (Jnana and Kriya Saktis). Matrika is the aggregate of all letters, and the I-Consciousness, which are the origin and source of all letters and thus the world of beings, quality and objects. A is the first letter and ha is the last letter; all the intermediate letters are included in these two letters. Elsewhere in this article you can see the chart that depicts the origin of Tattvas from the letters. Sat-tarka is good reasoning and cultivates Suddha Vikalpa or pure thought, which is that we are not the body and its cohorts but Self. This good reasoning or contemplation (Bhavana) helps man to realize that the Real and the Existent though appearing as non-existent because of obscurity appears as manifest Reality. This leads to Suddha Vidya or Pure Knowledge. The obscure becomes knowable, which becomes knowledge, which makes a man the knower.


3) Sambhavopaya = Śāmbhava Upāya. (the means or path of Sambhava or SamAvesa = Immersion of individual soul in Siva Consciousness). Sambhava = State of coming together. SamAvesa = Identical guise; Dress alike; Look alike; becoming non-different.  One has to resort to Sambhu or Prakasa as the means.  Here there is sudden flash of Siva Consciousness without the intermediation of any thoughts and dawn of realization that one's inner essential self is Siva. It centers on removal of Vikalpa or difference between two entities and admission into a thoughtless state in a continuous stream. The thoughts are gone; the gap between thoughts is now a continuous stream.  It is by Will (Ichcha Sakti) that the yogi can bring the thoughtless state and preserve it as long as he wants. This is best of the three Upayas or means.  The object of thoughtlessness is attaining Sivahood. How could a limited consciousness of an individual attain the universal Consciousness of Siva? The Guru or the master is the stand-in for Siva. It is by Anugraha (Grace) of Siva that the Yogi is able to go past the door of the universal Consciousness. When the aspirant enters Transcendental Consciousness, he finds that the 'I' (Aham) of Siva is the origin of letters (a to h), syllables, words, phrases, sentences and the universe. Aspirant's consciousness is the mirror that reflects the whole universe. Yogi's light exceeds the body light that serves only the firefly, the light of the jewels that illumines the proximate objects, the starlight that shines further, and the moonlight that shines still farther, and is like the sunlight that illumines the whole universe.  The master shines for the Yogi who dissolves in Guru's consciousness and thus disappears in the master. This absorption into Siva Consciousness can happen with or without Guru's awakening.  

More on Sambhavopaya. It is also known as AbhedopAya, the path of non-difference. Abhedam + UpAyam = non-difference + way, means, path, stratagem. This is identification of I and Siva. 'I' dissolves in Siva's consciousness (Sambhava Samavesa) and becomes one with Siva (Nirvikalpam) and thus 'I' experiences only Siva. Thought is the barrier between the individual self and Siva Consciousness, which is immanent in every one of us. Any amount of thought constructs to reach the Supreme is futile; the more you think, exert and spend an effort to seize it, the more it recedes. Annihilate the thoughts to reach Siva Consciousness. Wipe the slate of mind completely so that Siva Consciousness bathes your mind.

The unrealized soul is in deep sleep, a somnambulist or a zombie.

The Essential Self being the Divine Self is within everyone. It is concealed by Vikalpa or thought constructs. Once Vikalpa undergoes dissolution, we get a view of its presence. Just erase the thoughts and thought waves, the Divine Self is revealed. It is easier said than done.

4) Anupaya (no means) is entry into the world of Siva Consciousness without recourse to meditation, worship, chanting of Mantras and other efforts. The yogi is so advanced spiritually he needs no props or practices to attain Siva Consciousness.  He attains Sivahood with or without Guru's guidance and words. It is by pure Grace of Siva that he comes to realization.

Diksa:  In Kashmir Saivism Diksa means to give spiritual knowledge and destroy the fetters of Pasa-hood. Guru initiation is lighting the Divine flame in the spiritual heart of the disciple.

 Diksa, Guru Initiation and teaching, is of three kinds: Sparsa, by touch; Draksanjana or Digdrsti, by sight; and Manasa, by thought.  Sparsa initiation is compared to the loving tender nourishing and caring of the chicks in the warmth of the wings by the mother bird. The preceptor Guru draws to his mind the god or goddess, meditates on Sivapura in the hand, chants the Mula Mantra (root mantra) and touches the body of the disciple. The act of visual initiation and instruction is compared to the nourishing of the fry (baby fish) by sight by the ever vigilant mother fish. The Guru draws the image of the Deity in his mind with eyes closed, opens his eyes with delight and looks at the disciple. The act of thought initiation and teaching is compared to the nourishing of the baby tortoises by the mother by thinking about them.  Grace comes to the disciple proportional to the presence of Sakti in him. Where there is no sakti (in him), there is no liberation.  Initiation by Diksa Samskara (sacred rites) is the preliminary step before the actual event. The authentic Guru is Brahma himself without four heads, Vishnu himself without four hands and Siva himself without the third eye.

    Guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Siva all rolled into one. Guru is Gu and Ru; Gu is darkness and Ru is remover.  Guru dispels darkness, sin, and ignorance. Once Guru purifies himself both externally and internally and assumes the body of the deity he worships and propitiates, the body of the Guru is the same as the deity; his disciple receives a bit of the effulgence from the grace of the Guru. Initiation by mind (manasi Diksa is the best of all Diksas.  I will give you an idea of external purification of the body that the disciple should undergo at the beginning. He awakens in the morning; clears his mind of all impure thoughts; scrapes the coated tongue, cleans the mouth and face, and takes a bath.

In Kashmir Saivism Guru is not necessary for initiation. Abhi says that by acquiring Pratyabhijna, one can bypass Guru initiation. When all the Malas are removed, Spiritual knowledge descends into the soul of the individual and that is called SaktipAta, also called Sattinipatam (򾢿) in Saiva Siddhanta of Tamil Nadu. The descent of Grace on to the soul proceeding from Parasakti (Sadasiva) takes place at a slow pace (Manda) to start with, picks up speed (Mandatara) followed by intense (Tivira--Ţ-- in Tamil) and hyperintense (Tivirativara) penetration or pervasion.  Descent and pervasion are proportional to the graduated weakening of Anavamala; it appears as if Anavamala is weakened by maturity of Malas (like the ripe fruit falling off) and the graduated penetration of the soul by Grace (Sattinipatam). According to Unmai Vilakkam, the soul, Anava Mala, and Pati still hold together in Mukti or liberation. How is that possible? Anava Mala has morphed from an obstructionist to a facilitator (transformation). Once Grace has pervaded the soul, Anava Mala becomes the purveyor of Bliss in Suddha state; remember, once Anava Mala was a purveyor of nescience in Kevala and Sakala state. Tirodhana Sakti, which is the veiling power of the Lord, has morphed into Arul Sakti. Arul = Grace. The Grace receiver becomes a self-realized and self-recognized person full of Siva's Grace.  There nine grades of Grace: 1) Tivira Saktipata and Tivirativira Saktipata, 2) Tiviramadhya S, 3) Tiviramanda S, 4) Madhyativira S, 5) Madhyamadhya S, 6) Madhyamanda S, 7) Mandativira S, 8) Manda madhya S, and 9) Manda manda S.

Tivira = intense; Tivira-tivira = hyperintense; 2) Tiviramadhya = medium intense; 3) Tiviramanda = Intensity slow; 4) Madhyativira = medium intense; 5) Madhyamadhya = medium medium; 6) Madhyamanda = medium slow; 7) Mandativira = slow intensity; 8) Mandamadhya = slow medium; 9) Manda Manda = slow slow. The First three are the Real Gurus; the others are worthy disciples.  Individual Consciousness becoming the Universal Consciousness of Siva and attaining liberation is Pratyabhijna or Recognition of one's Real nature that is Sivahood or I-Consciousness.

1) The first Tivira and Tivira-Tivira Saktipata aspirant: The descent of Siva's Grace happens on individuals with the life-changing results in that the individuals becomes Master Gurus and disciples. The flow of Grace is categorized into nine channels from hyperintense flow and to slow-slow flow of Grace: Three main flows are: intense, medium and slow: each category has intense, medium and slow versions; all amount to nine categories.  The Hyperintense flow of Grace is like a deluge or a tsunami; the body, the mind and the soul are so overwhelmed by it such that the person dies. He is physically dead and yet he is alive in delivering Grace to others deserving Grace, who feel his presence. Siva has made him (the Guru) the repository of Grace for others to receive it from him.

2) The second Tiviramadhya Saktipata aspirant receives Grace but does not die from its hyperintense nature. He becomes Pratibha Guru,  a self-made Guru with the divinatory or intuitive Spiritual knowledge. He is a Guru whose knowledge is directly from Siva and not from an earthly Guru.

3) The third Tiviramanda Saktipata aspirant receives his grace from at the feet of the second Guru, who simply by obtained Grace by Guru's touch, gaze, embrace. The recipient at once elevates himself from limited individuality to Supreme transcendental state without the need for meditation, contemplation, Mantras, and worship.  His psyche undergoes change in that pleasure and pain and other dualities do not affect him. He has five auspicious qualities: Love of Siva, Mantrasiddhih, control over five elements, perfect execution of tasks, and a literati, a poet, a scriptural scholar.  Mantrasiddhih = instantaneous appearance of an invoked deity before him without any delay or wait upon chanting deity-specific Mantra.

4) The fourth Madhyativira Saktipata aspirant is a disciple who is not a well advanced spiritually so he does not receive Grace by mere touch, sight or embrace. He has to be initiated at the feet of a real Guru with Mantra and meditation. In his lifetime, he does not receive full enlightenment, but attains Videha Mukti (knowledge and liberation at death) as a bonus of his earlier initiation. This is in line with Ramanuja's Vaishnava premise that enlightened souls obtain liberation upon death and not during life.

5) The fifth Madhyamadhya Saktipata aspirant is the epicure and a Siva devotee at the same time. He likes to enjoy the world of pleasure and yet wants to realize Siva; His dominant mode is to attain Sivahood. He is initiated by a qualified Guru and becomes a realized soul but not competent enough spiritually to attain Siva Consciousness. He leaves his physical body, arrives in Svargaloka (heavenly world), receives a second initiation by the same Guru and goes to the abode of Siva.

6) The Madhyamanda Saktipata aspirant is predominantly an epicure and exhibits less aspiration to Sivahood; both exist in him, the latter less than the former. He attains self-realization but is incomplete because he is buffeted by the world of mundane desires. he goes to heaven after he dies, enjoys pleasures, comes down to earth, attains complete self-realization by Grace of Siva in a short life-span and goes to the world of Siva.

7), 8), 9) Mandativira, Mandamadhya and Manda Manda Saktipata aspirants are inferior types leading and living a worldly life of pleasures (Lokadharma), yet have the desire to attain self-realization, and think of Siva only when they have problems and interference with normal happy living. They take many trips to the world (transmigration of the soul, metempsychosis),  by Siva's Grace, attain self-realization and Sivahood and reach the world of Siva in due course of time. All aspirants with variable intensity of grace eventually reach the feet of Siva with his full grace.

Moksa (liberation). Bondage and Liberation are mental constructs of the Ignorant. Knowing that we are non-different from Siva is Liberation (Moksa). Not knowing that is bondage. Siva, the universe and the individual are non-different and that is realization.  He is Parasamvit (Supreme universal Consciousness) and we are one with it and that is Moksa. Jnana is knowing our real nature that is Being, Consciousness and Bliss. Ajnana is the cause of Samsara. There are two kinds of Jnana: Paurusa Jnana and Bauddha Jnana. Paurusa Jnana is related to Purusa, the Self and develops from Practical Knowledge; Bauddha Jnana is related to learning the Reality of the Self from Sacred Texts and develops from intellect and thinking. Paurusa Jnana is superior to Bauddha Jnana and takes you to Realization and Liberation by itself but only after you die (Videha Mukti). Bauddha jnana on account of deep thought into Monistic Saiva philosophy will help you attain Jivanmukti, Liberation while living.  Sacred texts call these two as Parabrahman and Sabdabrahman (Paurusa and Bauddha). Practical Knowledge is superior to sacred book knowledge, which by itself will not liberate you; Practical Knowledge by itself liberates you after death; Practical Knowledge and sacred book Knowledge give you Jivamukti--liberation before death; Theoretical Knowledge without Practical Knowledge is useless.  Theoretical Knowledge is an useful adjunct to Practical Knowledge but useless on its own.  Practical Knowledge has way to fade away and disappear; Theoretical Knowledge will keep your Practical Knowledge alive; in that sense Bauddha is more important than Paurusa. If you are looking for a Guru, look for one who has plenty of Paurusa and Bauddha Jnana. If you have to make a choice between a pure Paurusa Jnani-Yogi and a pure Bauddha Jnani-Yogi, it is better to choose the Bauddha Jnani (Theoretical Knowledge) because his intensity will take you committed to the end. The pure Paurusa Jnani-Yogi is not capable of sustaining your growth to the end.

The Doctrine of Free Will (SvAtantryavAda)

SvAtantrya is the Free Will of Siva-Paramesvara or Mahesvara, which means the Great Master-Controller of all. He is Cit, the Supreme Consciousness, which is the creative pulsating flash (SphurattA = Spanda) that brings about world manifestation. He is MahAsattA, the Supreme Power, not limited by time and space.. He is the Owner and User of the Free Will. His Will Power does not need any adjuncts (Upadana) to create and withdraw this universe. SvAtantrya is reflected in Avamarsa or Vimarsa (reflection) power of Paramesvara. This Vimarsa or reflection is His Cit Sakti (Supreme Consciousness), Ananda Sakti, Ichcha Sakti, Jnana Sakti, and Kriya Sakti, which are the cause of all Tattvas. The sequential arrival of Tattvas are as follows: the five Mahabhutas, the five Tanmatras, the five Karmendriyas, the five Janendriyas, three Inner organs, Prakrti and Purusa. Each one of these 25 Tattvas contain these five energies, but only one is dominant in each. Paramasiva's Consciousness is twofold: PrakAsa and Vimarsa (Light and a principle of self-revelation; self-consciousness of Parama Siva full of Jnana and Kriya responsible for creation.


AbhAsavAda: The Doctrine of manifestation of the universe by Para Siva. In Para Siva, the universe in its unmanifest state exists as undifferentiated contents of the peacock egg. The multivariate colors of the peacock feathers remain unmanifest in the egg. This is called the Analogy of Peacock egg. AbhAsa = Reflection, Phantom, manifestation. VAda = Doctrine, Exposition, Statement. Para Siva is compared to the most accomplished Yogi who creates objects by sheer Will and Power. All objects of the universe are within Para Siva, who manifests them by Will and Power and does not need any external material cause. In Parama Siva (Supreme Siva), the Knower, the Known (object), and the Knowledge remain in undifferentiated state.


Sakti Tattva is also known as Bindu Tattva, Bindu for Light. Creation is Sound and Light Show and therefore, Nada and Bindu are two sides of the same coin. But Nada is recognized as the origin of Bindu. While the coin is minted, Nada is the first stamp on the coin and Bindu is the 2nd stamp. Bindu is the origin of all manifestation, which starts of as VAcaka and VAcya (the word and the object it denotes), which remain undifferentiated to begin with. Thus letters, syllables and words are the origin of objects. The creative descent from VAcaka and VAcya is called pathways or Adhvas. The six Adhvas belong to Prana Sakti (Vimarsa Sakti) also known as Spanda, which makes the world appear and disappear from view of the supreme Lord. Vimarsa Sakti is hierarchically above the Prana and Jada Saktis, the last manifesting the universe.

VAcaka: Example. That round red nice looking juicy sweet-tasting thing.

Vacya: Example Apple.

The six paths of an aspirant with guidance from his or her Guru. The goal of these paths is to attain the state of Parama Siva.

1st Category. Pramana = Knowledge. VAcaka = Sabda = Sound. KAlAdhvA =  The path of Creation.

2nd Category. Prameya = Object of knowledge. VAcya-adhva = Artha or Object path. DesAdhvA =

1) Varnadhva =  Letters, Syllables; Function-form of an object. Subtlest Path.

2) Mantradhva =  Words with special power. Subtle Path

3) Padadhva =  meaning. Sentences. Gross path

1) Kaladhva = Subtlest Path. 5 KalAs. See below.

2) Tattvadhva = 36 Tattvas. The Subtle Path.

3) Bhuvanadhva = 118 Cosmoses. Gross Path (Sthula).

Let us take Mantradhva, the path of Mantra to attain the state of Siva. An aspirant under the guidance of a Guru chants and meditates on Siva to attain the state of Parama Siva. Tattvadhva is meditating on the Tattvas and Kundali and attaining Siva. Go to Kundalini Power to learn more about it. Bhuvanadhva is the hardest; one has to meditate on 118 Cosmoses. Our cosmos is in the milky way.  The Guru helps the aspirant to diligently dispose of these paths to attain the state of Parama Siva. Would you walk from your place to your destination, 5 thousand miles away? Would you take a plane ride from your place to your destination? The Guru will teach you how to avoid these long journeys and take a fast trip to Siva.

The KalAs and Tattvas dissolve to reach Anasrita Siva, the level of the void and then the Supreme Lord, Parama Siva, who contains all in the reverse order of creation. The aspirant follows this ascending path under the guidance of a Guru. The aspirant looks around and sees a world of multiplicity and variability such as mountains, rivers, lakes, houses, forests... which impinge on his consciousness; he must experience that he is different from them, recognize the underlying unity in diversity of objects, merge all the multivariate manifestations of Sakti in him as the Seer or the pure experiencer (PramAta). Guru helps him in this path.

Aspirant has to discover Bhuvanas in the five KalAs amounting to 118, their own deities and realize the underlying Reality --Sakti, the creator of Bhuvanas. Aspirant has to merge them all in Mula KArana, The Supreme Cause from which they emerged. He then has to realize his identity with the Spanda Sakti (Sakti Tattva) and reach the Supreme Goal, that is Siva.

Sabda is divided into lettered and visual, and unlettered and audible (Varnatkamaka Sabda and Dhvanyatmaka Sabda).  The lettered sound is eternal while the audible sound is fleeting. All unlettered sounds like a roar, thunder, drum-beat, laughter, crying...are Dhvanis (mere sounds), while articulate speech can be put down in letters (Varnas). Dhvanis have no meaning, while Varnas have meaning. Dhvanis can be expressions of fright, anger, ....Dhvanis can become onomatopoeic sounds with meanings, while most of them have no meanings. Varnas are vocal articulate meaningful sounds. Dhvanis by and large are vocal or no-vocal sounds with or without meanings. The Hindu view is that the Varnas or letters are eternal from creation to dissolution.  The Sound Om goes on for ever from creation to dissolution. In the world of cacophony, one cannot hear this background sound of Om. But Yogis at an advanced stage of Sadhana (spiritual attainment) can hear this sound, when there is absolute quiet in the night. Dhvani is Anitya (non-eternal), indiscriminate and variable (VIkArI), while Varna-Sabda (letter-sound or Word-sound) is Nitya.

When an object is presented in the form of Varna (letters) or Dhvani (sound), the mind becomes the object and that is called Vrtti (mental modification).  When you hear the word APPLE, your mind becomes the apple. The palpable apple is the gross object (Sthula artha) and the mental apple is the subtle object (Mental impression). Woodroffe points that the mind is thus both a cognizer (GrAhaka) and cognized (GrAhya), revealer (PrakAsaka) and revealed (PrakAsya), denoter (VAcaka) and denoted (VAcya).  The mind cognizes the apple, becomes the apple, reveals the apple, is the apple itself, the fruit (its body) and its essence (unmanifest seed or juice). The same principle is applied to a devotee who worships a deity. Chanting of Mantra makes mental modifications. The terms 'denoter' and the denoted are applied to Mantra, used in meditation. The power of Mantra is of two kinds: Vacaka Sakti and Vacya Sakti. Vacaka Sakti is to realize Saguna Brahman (Isvara, the fruit) and Vacya Sakti is to realize Nirguna Brahman (Brahman, the seed of the fruit). By meditating on the deity, he becomes the deity. There is an analogy given for this phenomenon, which is the Maxim of Wasp and Worm.  A worm thinks of the dreaded sting of wasp and is so much preoccupied with it, it does not think of anything else and becomes a wasp in its mind. The mind is the mirror of the object it thinks of.

The 5 KalAs of Siva are Nivrrti Kala1, Pratista KalA2, Vidya KalA3, SAnti KalA4, SAntyatita KalA5.
Bindu has five KalAs or powers: Nivrtti, PratistA, VidyA, and SAnti and SAntyatita. Another source tells that the Kalas are PItA, SvetA, ArunA and AsitA. These KalAs are present in the body and a guru can locate them for the pupil.
Nivrrti-Kalai= நிவிர்த்திகலை. It is the sphere of action of the Energy of Siva which emancipates the soul from bondage. Its origin is Prithvi (Earth) Tattva.
Piratitta-Kalai = பிரதிட்டாகலை. Siva Sakti takes the Jivama (the individual soul) to Mukti or liberation.
VittiyA-Kalai = வித்தியாகலை. It is the Energy of Siva which gives the liberated souls, knowledge through actual realization of seven kinds: Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11 Purusa12 and Mayai..
SAnti-Kalai = சாந்திகலை. It is the Sphere of action of Siva which calms down all the turbulent elements in fully ripe souls.
SantiyatIta-Kalai சாந்தியதீதகலை. It is the Sphere of action of Siva whereby Siva removes all afflictions in the realized and tranquil soul who has experiential Spiritual Knowledge and who relinquished desire and aversion.

More information on the KalAs of Bindu. From Nivrrti, to Pratishta, to Vidya, to Santa and SAntatita KalAs there is an ascent. Santatita Kala transcends all KalAs and is Parama Siva Himself. They depict the Tattvas as they ascend from inconscient Tattva Earth Tattva to Siva Tattva, the Universal Consciousness.

A: Nivrrti KalA is the working principle in Earth36 Tattva, the last KalA. Earth is where Kundali comes to rest after evolution and descent of all Tattvas. The next step is reversal, Nivrrti,  involution or ascent of all Tattvas back to Siva Tattva. It is like going from Z to A, A being the Earth Tattva, which has no consciousness while Z (Siva Tattva) has the Most Consciousness. Nivrrti Kala contains 16 Bhuvanas. The lowest point of this KalA is called KAlAgni Rudra Bhuvana.

B: PratistA is the Basis, Force or Inner Framework, that supplies Tattvas from Prakrti13 to Water35  on which the Outer Physical Universe is built. (Prakrti Tattva13,  Buddhi14, Ahamkara15, Manas16, hearing17 tactile sense18, vision and color19, tasting20, smell21, speech22, grasp23, ambulation24, evacuation25, procreation26, sound27, palpation28, form29, taste30, odor31,  ether32, air33, fire34, water35.)  Pratista KalA contains 56 Bhuvanas.

C: VidyA: The third KalA of Bindu is VidyA KalA, which is limited knowledge that a human has in comparison  to the Supreme. It is the dominant KalA of Tattvas and has 5 Kancukas ranging from MāyA6 Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11, Purusa12. These are related to VAma, Jayestha, and Raudri Saktis. MAyA6 is the source of 5 Kancukas (7-11) and the limiting principle of the Divine. Kashmir Saivism says MāyA6 puts a limitation on the infiniteness of the experience of Sivaness by the individual soul so that the individual soul forgets its organic connection with Siva and thinks that it (the soul) and other distal Tattvas or objects are different from Siva. The five Kancukas (7-11) are the straitjacket of Maya, which severely dumbs down the individual soul, though identical with Siva. Siva Tattva-Consciousness is Pure Diamond, while human consciousness is ordinary carbon; Diamond is the Highest Form of Carbon.  Maya Tattva is the repository of Anava and Maya (Mayiya) Malas. Vidya KalA contains 28 BhuvanAs.

D: SAnti KalA  is peace, which is free of duality, which (duality) is the source of sorrow. Santi KalA allows the glorious blissful experience of the returning soul on its upward march through Sadvidya5, Isvara4, Sadasiva3, Sakti2 Tattvas. Santa KalAs contain 18 Bhuvanas.

E: Santyatita KalA: "SAntyatita KalA  is Siva1 Sakti and annihilates duality and bestows bliss". One source tells that Bindu has two parts: Transcendental and creative. Creative lower part is involved with evolution of Tattvas. Abhinava Gupta says that there are 118 Bhuvanas or planes of existence.

KalA Diksa is based on the Tattvas involved in Pravrtti and Nivrtti, evolution and involution of the soul. Nivrtti Kala is between the feet and the knees, Pratistha Kala from the knees to navel, Vidya Kala from the navel to the neck, Santi Kala from the neck to the forehead, and Santyatita from the forehead to the top of the head. This progress from the feet to the head depicts the withdrawal or involution of the soul to a higher consciousness; the Sadhaka is born at the end of the journey amongst Yogins and Viras; all PAsas (bonds) are destroyed. (Note that the five elements are associated with anatomical body: Earth from feet to knees, Water from knees to navel, Fire from navel to throat, Air from throat to forehead and Ether from forehead to crown. The idea is that we are made of matter and Spirit, are firmly planted on earth, portray matter at the foot level and Spirit at the crown level. For us to involute into the Spirit we should ascend these elements from foot to the crown. When a priest or Sadhaka attains perfection, a rope representing his body and matter is burnt and he is now a pure Spirit. This is Santi-atita [Quietism] or Nirvana, absolute extinction of all desires and passions and attainment of perfect beatitude.)

The Sanskrit letters and their importance in Kashmir Saivism.

The concept of Alphabet and reflection.  His Ichcha Sakti (Will) is the First Cause of the Universe, which is a reflection of Himself.  We have three elements here: the object, the mirror, and the image. In this instance all three are Siva. Let me give you a scenario to explain the order in which the Tattvas are produced and the inverse appearance of reflected Tattvas. The Tattvas are produced from 1 to 36. The reflection of the universe is from 36 to 1, meaning Tattva 36 (the earth) appears first and Tattva 1 appears last or farther away in the reflection. Let us assume you stand at the edge of a lake. Your form is reflected in the water-mirror.  The real you are standing with head up and feet down; your image is feet up and head down (upside down) in the water-mirror; thus, your actual feet and the image-feet are touching each other while your actual head and the image-head are farther apart.  If you are not standing there, there is no image; so you and you reflection are one; thus, Siva and the Universe are one.


Unmesam and Nimesa are two aspects of one Sakti (power). Srsti or creation and unfolding of Tattvas (building blocks of the universe) are opening of eyes, while Pralaya or dissolution is Nimesa or closing of eyes. It is like the opening and closing of the bud. When the bud is closed, there is no fragrance; when it is open, there is fragrance.

In Kashmir Saivism, A is Cit Sakti, the power of Consciousness of Siva; U is Jnana Sakti, the power of Knowledge and momentum or the centrifugal force of Siva, by which the universe is created; this expending power or energy, Siva uses, does not diminish Him in any way; this Knowledge, this expenditure, this expansion are preludes to Unmesa which means uncovering,  opening of eyes, or the stage that is about to begin unfolding of the universe; Siva is in a state of apprehension (ūnatā = deficiency); Siva feels the foreboding that His Cit Sakti and Ananda Sakti (Power of Consciousness and Bliss) may diminish in this process of forward movement (centrifugal force of creation); Siva freezes and comes to a standstill. In this imminent expansion, Siva wants to remain in Cit Sakti and Ananda Sakti; He separates and rejects the universe from His own pristine nature. Yet the Universe is not formed; there is no manifestation. This is Amrita, meaning that he stays in His own Bliss (Ananda). He is frozen still; He does not budge; there is no thought of creative fervor; Siva does not accept the existence of the Universe in His nature (Anāsrita Siva = Siva in isolation or seclusion).  Siva says, "My Iccha Sakti (Will, Desire) is the cause of apprehension, agitation."  While His Will is in shambles, His Cit Sakti and Ananda Sakti exhibit a smugness by saying, "Why should there be any agitation; there should not be any problem in this going-out or coming-in (Unmesa and Nimesa)." Cit Sakti and Ananda Sakti get in touch with His Iccha Sakti (Will Power) and Jnana Sakti (Knowledge Power) and give them a fillip and bring out His Kriya Sakti (Action Power), which He is unwilling to initiate. His Action power is in a resting state; it has not blossomed out (Asphuta = not open). The next stage is for the Kriya Sakti to blossom out or manifest (Sphuta); Lo and behold there is brightness or vividness (Sphutatara); there is something happening; the Action Energy is flexing its muscles and getting ready to explode; Sphutatama happens--explosions, bursting, Lights and Action--and the universe is created. Siva's fears are unfounded: there is no diminution of Cit and Ananda Saktis; Siva kept His nature, though things are happening around Him. This is the culmination of Kriya Sakti which is M.  Now we have AUM resulting in the creation of the universe. 

Siva has five energies according to Kashmir Saivism: Cit Sakti, Ananda Sakti, Iccha Sakri, Jnana Sakti, and Kriya Sakti (Consciousness, Bliss, Will, Knowledge and Action). Svatantriya is His state denoting Absolute Freedom (of Will) and Total Independence. These powers or Saktis are reflection of Svatantriya. All 36 Tattvas are a reflection of His five powers and thus a reflection of reflection. Cit Sakti is an aggregate of all five Saktis (that includes Cit Sakti). All these Saktis are integral with the Sanskrit letters.

5 Saktis of Siva: Cit Sakti, Ananda Sakti, Iccha Sakri, Jnana Sakti, and Kriya Sakti. (Consciousness, Bliss, Will, Knowledge and Action). They reside in the 16 vowels: a,aa, i,ii, u,uu, ri,rii, li,lii, e, ai, o, au, m, h.


The Way of Siva: Follow the Sanskrit alphabets; English A-Z is Sanskrit A-H.
'a' is Anuttara the highest Reality and the First Step of Siva in creation and 'h' is the last resting state of Siva. All letters between a and h abide and exist in The First letter and the Last letter, a-ha. The universe of all letters exist within these two letters. a,aa, i,ii, u,uu, ri,rii, li,lii, e, ai, o, au, m, h
Take a-ha and add the m terminator: This is the Mantra of Siva, Aham (I). Siva says, 'Aham', meaning 'I'.
Aham in one syllable is the world of all letters and this comprehension of all letters in AHAM is called Pratyahara, which produced 118 worlds, 36 Tattvas, and 5 KalAs and is a point. m is anusvara.

The letter 'a' is anuttara; the letter 'h' is visarga; all vowels from a to h are Siva Tattva. (Some texts indicate that the dot  on 'ha' represents Sakti. This A-HA construct represents the manifestation of Siva from Sakti Tattva to Earth Tattva.) The remainder of letters are Sakti Tattva, the universe of 35 Tattvas, which are the reflection of His SvAtantrya, and not a creation. Cit Sakti, Ananda Sakti, Iccha Sakti, Jnana Sakti, and Kriya Sakti are the reflections of Siva's SvAtantrya; thus the Tattvas are the reflections of the five energies or Saktis of Siva. The five Mahabhutas, the five Tanmatras, five Karmendriyas, five Jnanendriyas... proceed from the five energies in a linear fashion. Cit Sakti contains five energies: Cit Sakti, Ananda Sakti, Iccha Sakti, Jnana Sakti, and Kriya Sakti. One Energy contains all five energies but one energy is dominant; thus there are 25 Tattvas from the last Tattva Earth to Purusa:  Purusa12 Prakrti Tattva13, Buddhi14, Ahamkara15, Manas16,  hearing--Ears17, touch--Skin18, vision and color--Eyes19 , tasting--Tongue or mouth20, smell--Nose21,  speech-Larynx22, grasp-Hands23, ambulation--Feet24, evacuation--Anus25, procreation-Genitals26, sound27, palpation28, form29, taste30 , odor31,  ether32, air33, fire34, water35, earth36.

The five Mahabhutas, the five consonants from na to ka  (na =Ether; gha=Air; ga= Fire; kha=Water; ka =Earth) originate from Cit Sakti (Anuttara) and Ananda Sakti, represented by letters a and aa. Cit Sakti is predominant in na and Akasa, the Ether; The reflection of Ananda Sakti is Vayu the air and the letter gha. The same rules applies in reflection of Iccha Sakti in Agni (fire) and ga; Jnanasakti in water and the letter kha; Kriya Sakti in earth and ka.

The five Mahabhutas, the five consonants from na to ka  (na =Ether; gha=Air; ga= Fire; kha=Water; ka =Earth) originate from Cit Sakti (Anuttara) and Ananda Sakti, represented by letters a and aa.
Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of
Predominant Sakti Cit Sakti Ananda Sakti Iccha Sakti Jnanasakti Kriya Sakti
product Ether air fire water earth
Letter na gha ga kha ka

The five Tanmatras the consonants from na to ca (na=sound; jha=touch; ja=Form; cha=taste; ca=smell) originate from Iccha Sakti, the letters i and ii when it combines with the five energies.

The five Tanmatras the consonants from (na=sound; jha=touch; ja=Form; cha=taste; ca=smell) originate from Iccha Sakti, the letters i and ii when it combines with the five energies.
Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of
Predominant Sakti Cit Sakti Ananda Sakti Iccha Sakti Jnana Sakti Kriya Sakti
product Sabda or sound Sparsa or Touch Rupa or Form Rasa or Taste Gandha or smell
Letter na jha ja cha ca

The five Karmendriyas, the five Consonants from a toa (a=speech; ha=hands; a=feet; ha=anus;a=genitals) originate from the letters  ṛi and  ṛī

The five Karmendriyas, the five Consonants from a toa (a=speech; ha=hands; a=feet; ha=anus;a=genitals) originate from the letters  ṛi and  ṛī
Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of
Predominant Sakti Cit Sakti Ananda Sakti Iccha Sakti Jnana Sakti Kriya Sakti
product Vak or Speech PAni or Hands pAda or Feet pAyu or Anus Upastha or Genitals
Letter a ha a ha a

The five Jnanendriyas, originating from the letters li and lī are the five dentals na to ta ( na=nose; dha=tongue; da=skin; tha=eyes; ta=ears).

The five Jnanendriyas, originating from the letters li and lī are the five dentals na to ta ( na=nose; dha=tongue; da=skin; tha=eyes; ta=ears).
Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of
Predominant Sakti Cit Sakti Ananda Sakti Iccha Sakti Jnana Sakti Kriya Sakti
product ghrAna or nose RasanA or Tongue Tvak or Skin Caksu or Eyes Śrotra or Ears
Letter na dha da tha ta

Manas, Buddhi, Ahamkara, Prakrti, and Purusa are the pentads and the five consonants from pa to ma (pa=Manas; pha=Buddhi; ba=Ahamkara; bha=Prakriti; ma=Purusa) originating from u and ū.

Manas, Buddhi, Ahamkara, Prakrti, and Purusa are the pentads and the five consonants from pa to ma (pa=Manas; pha=Buddhi; ba=Ahamkara; bha=Prakriti; ma=Purusa) originating from u and ū.  Jnana Sakti mixed with 5 energies.
Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of
Predominant Sakti Cit Sakti Ananda Sakti Iccha Sakti Jnana Sakti Kriya Sakti
product Purusa Prakriti Ahamkara Buddhi Manas
Letter ma bha ba pha pa

The six states of Purusa are Maya,  KalA, Vidya, RAga, KAla, and Niyati;  they are reconfigured to four by combining Niyati with RAga and KAla with KalA. These four correspond to four semi-vowels: ya, ra, la, va.

KAla and KalA indicate limitations of Time and Creativity of Purusa correspond to the letter ya; Vidya being limited knowledge to ra; RAga and Niyati being limitations of Desire and Destiny to la; Maya to va.  Kashmir Saivism claims that these limitations of Purusa are not the creation of Siva but the internal state (Antahasta) of Purusa. the Soul becomes Purusa when these limitations descend on the soul. Purusa is called self-limited entity.

               Semi-vowels:  ya = kAla & kalA; ra = Vidya; la = Raga & Niyati; va = MAyA
Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of Reflection of
Predominant Sakti        
product KAla & KalA Vidya RAga & Niyati MAyA
Letter ya ra la va

The four Suddha Tattvas (Suddhavidya, Isvara, Sadasiva and SAkti Tattvas are NOT creations of Siva Tattva but the 'swelling of the heat of His own nature.'

These four letters Śa  ṣa  sa  ha are called ūsma meaning heat of His own nature.
Tattva Suddhavidya Tattva Isvara Tattva Sadasiva Tattva Sakti Tattva
Relational State Aham-Aham / Idam-Idam Idam / Aham Aham / Idam Aham
State I-I / This-This This / I I / This I
letter Śa ṣa sa ha 

The letters are strung in a circle or wheel (of letters), Matrikachakra. The first letter is 'a' and the last letter is h; 'a' is dynamic Siva in starting creation and 'h' is resting Siva in that creation has come to a standstill. The first letter and the last letter encompass all the letters between them. Letter 'a' and 'ha' are combined with a terminal 'm' (Bindu) resulting in 'Aham', which is the Mantra of Siva, the Mantra of Universal 'I'. All letters of Sanskrit exist in 'a' and 'h'. That is Pratyāhāra,  Ahara in Sanskrit and Tamil is food. Bindu is the place where Siva and Sakti remain in union. The Triangle of A + Ha + M is the centerpiece and essence of Trika System. Another aspect of AHAM; A is Abhedam or non-difference; HA is Bhedam or difference; M is Bhedam-abhedam or Difference/non-difference.  AHAM is Sristi-Bija Mantra or creation seed Mantra.

MAHA is the inversion of AHAM, composed of MA+HA+A, which is Samhara Bija Mantra or Seed of resorption (Reabsorption) Mantra, the opposite of Creation Seed Mantra. This is the taking the centripetal journey to Siva, leaving behind all matter and taking only the Spirit to Siva. This is involution of the soul back to Godhead. The ascent from matter to spirit involves Kundalini Sakti absorbing all matter into her so that spirit alone reaches Siva.

Aham is divinized, finds a place in the heart of Siva and becomes the abode of all energies of Siva which are the substrate of the world of matter and beings. Siva creates this divine person 'I' and gives Him the power to create. Aham in another aspect is Matrikachakra the wheel of phonemic energies, which are the essence of Tattvas from the last Tattva Earth36 to Sadasiva Tattva3: Siva1, Sakti2, Sadasiva 3, Isvara4, Sadvidya5, MayA6, Kala7, Niyati8, Kala9, Vidya10, Raga11, Purusa12 Prakrti Tattva13, Buddhi14, Ahamkara15, Manas16,  hearing--Ears17, touch--Skin18, vision and color--Eyes19 , tasting--Tongue or mouth20, smell--Nose21,  speech-Larynx22, grasp-Hands23, ambulation--Feet24, evacuation--Anus25, procreation-Genitals26, sound27, palpation28, form29, taste30 , odor31,  ether32, air33, fire34, water35, earth36Aham is the Ultimate Resting Place of all things in the universe. Aham is the origin of 118 worlds, 36 Tattvas, and 5 KalAs (circles).

பிரத்தியாகாரம் = Pratyāhāra = Pirati  + AhAra (word used in Sanskrit and Tamil) =  One word or syllable is formed by combining the first letter and the last of Sanskrit alphabets and omitting the rest, which is the Mantra of Siva 'aha' . The Sanskrit word 'aha' ends with an M terminator (Anusvāra or after-sound) and thus the word is AHAM.  Prati or பிரத்தி (prati) is a modifier of the noun ஆகாரம். Prati means 'away', 'against.'  AhAram is food. It is staying away from food. Its first meaning is withdrawal of the senses which are food for the mind.  It also means that the the first letter and the last  (example: A-Z) contain in them all the other missing letters. A-Z has swallowed all the other missing letters and thus contain them. It is like saying New York or London is the shopping mecca for stuff from A to Z.

The Bee Analogy. There are Siva Pratyāhāra and Sakti Pratyāhāra. Siva is the Creator. Sakti exerts her independence and creates Her own world. In a combined effort, they create two worlds.  Sakti creates a world of Her own. Sakti's independence from Siva is exemplified by the Bee analogy. When the queen bee stops creating eggs, then the worker bees, without mating, create eggs of their own. This is the mating of Saktis. Siva is put aside; Sakti combines with Sakti to create their own world, which is expansion of Saktis. And this creation takes the first letter of the consonants, the letter ka, which is the first letter of the Saktis and combines it with the last letter of the Saktis, the last consonant  the letter Sa and produces the Mantra of Sakti, the Mantra Ksa. --Kashmir Saivism-John Hughes.

Go with the Bees. The Way of Sakti according to Kashmir Saivism.
Sakti is Power on Her own merits. She produces this world on Her own. It is divine parthenogenesis. She takes Herself away from Siva. Sakti makes Sakti and this combination creates the world of matter and beings. This is compared to bees which produce more bees without fertilization.
Honey bees from fertilized eggs of the queen have diploid cells--full complement of 16+16 = 32 chromosomes.
The ones from unfertilized eggs have haploid chromosomes--16 chromosomes from the diploid queen-mother.
These haploids are the hemizygous drones with big eyes. The fertilized eggs become the female worker bees with full complement 32 of chromosomes and diploid cells. The 16-chromosome haploid egg from the queen giving rise to hemizygous drones is called parthinogenesis.
The egg-laying worker female bee produces hemizygous haploid (16 chromosome) male Drones, who hang out with
other drones drifting from one hive and another hive to a nuptial flight with queen from other nest and die in the process
because the penis and associated abdominal tissues are ripped from the drone's body at sexual intercourse.
As you see the female worker bees without the benefit of fertilization produces drones. In like manner Sakti produces the world of matter and beings without the help of Siva.

Visarga: Go with the flow.

Here Sakti's creates the world of matter and beings by combining 'ka' the first consonant (without the benefit of the vowels) and the last letter 'sa'. Thus the consonantal combination is 'ksa', which is naturally the mantra of Sakti as 'aham' is the Mantra of Siva. Vowels abide in Siva; Consonants abide in Sakti.

The emitting aspect of Siva is called Visarga. The1st Visarga, SAmbhava Visarga abides in Ananda Sakti and is the letter 'a'. This is Supreme Siva Visarga, wherein there is no mind, no thought, no movement (CittaPralaya = Dissolution of the empirical mind in the higher consciousness). The 2nd Emitting Power of Siva is SAkta Visarga, represented by the last letter 'h'. This state maintains one-pointed awareness (Citta-sambhodah = Awakening of the individual mind). The 3rd Visarga, Anava Visarga is Apara Visarga (not Supreme, lower or inferior) and belongs to Narah (man) represented by the last letter 'ha'. Here the empirical mind reposes in the higher consciousness (Cittavisrantih). 

As you see, Sambhava Visarga is superior; SAkta Visarga is middling; and Anava Visarga is inferior.

Kashmir Saivism advocates a variant of this Unmesa and Nimesa aspects of Siva. He creates this universe for His own joy. Closing of His eyes (Nimesa), it advocates, is losing His Supreme Pure Consciousness at His own Will and hiding it in His creation. Unmesa is the opposite: regaining the lost Consciousness. 

to be continued