Tag Archives: kashmir shaivism

Matrikachakra – Kashmir Shaivism. 

In kashmir Shaivism, the sanskrit/Hindi Vowels represent Shiv, and the consonants represent the Shakti. Shiv is allegorically termed as light and Shakti as its luminosity. Shiv is static, Shakti is dynamic.

Param shiv, like the Brahman (of Advaith)  can not be defined, though the creativity, both non dual and dual of paramshiv can be expressed by the 36 elements or tattvas.
The first tattva or element according to Kashmir Shaivism is Shiv – an synonym for Chaitanya or Consciousness. All the activity goes on in this first element.

The sixteen vowels of KS are represented by the first Tattva-shiv.

Everything is Shiv-shakti. Even our language. When shiv(vowels) and Shakti(consonants) meet, a word is formed and when many words combine, a language is formed. The language is the expression of thoughts. The mind is nothing without these thoughts and they act as a support for mind. At the same time, it makes the mind to forget its  non-dual nature  and engages it in the world of duality. Thus, This language binds a pashu (empirical being) or liberates him/her. Every word is thus a manta for the Yogi.

The first alphabet अ represents Chaitanya. आ represents Anand or Bliss. A desire arises in Shiva to experience its nature-Ananda in duality as well. For that Shiva has to create Duality,  as to begin with there is nothing except shiv. This desire is represented by the next two alphabets इ  ई. The first one represents Iecha and the second one Ishan. As soon as the desire arises, the knowledge of duality too arises instantly in the heart(consciousness)  of Shiva. They are represented by the next two Vowels उ ऊ. They are known as unmesha and unnata.

At this point, an apprehension arises in Shiva, that what if Shiva forgets its real nature, once he manifests as duality(universe). Fearing that it might forget its real nature I. e Consciousness – bliss, he rests back in its nature that is अ आ( Consciousness-bliss). Retracting from knowledge to first stage(consciousness bliss) gives rise to the next 4 vowels

ऋ(r)  ॠ(r)  लृ(lr)  lrii(could not find the sanskrit alphabet on my phone). These are the four stages of void.

After retracting to the initial stage of अ आ, it strikes Shiva that it can not forget it’s real nature and Shiva comes out from the apprehension and carries forward from where it has stopped.
अ आ mixes with the Iecha इ ई thus giving rise to the next two vowels ए ऐ. Again अ आ now mixes with Gyan उ ऊ, and gives rise to the next two vowels ओ औ. These four vowels ए ऐ ओ औ represent the four stages of kriya or action of Shiva. ए ऐ ओ औ represent the least vivid, somewhat vivid, vivid and the most vivid action of Shiva.

The next vowel अं represent that though desire, knowledge and knowhow has risen in the heart(consciousness) of Shiva, yet it is still at the level of non-duality (represented by point). The next vowel is represented by two dots : The upper dot represents shiv and the lower dot represents shakti. In fact, it also signifies that at this level, it is the shiva that becomes the shakti.

From this point on, everything becomes shakti. It has been termed that the projection of shiv on shakti happens inversely,  that is, the first element appears as the last and the last tattva which is prithvi(Earth) appears as first. In other words, it implies that the subtler elements appear last and the grossest first. Thus the projection appears first as the
Panch Mahabhutas(five gross elements) represented by कvarg, then

Panch tanmatras represented by चvarg.

Panch karmindreyas(organs of action) represented by टvarg.

Panch gyanindreyas by तvarg

Antahkarn(5 internal organs) by  पvarg

5 kanchukas+maya(sheaths) by य र ल व

And

5 shuddh tattvas(pure elements) by श ष स ह.

The first vowel- which is Shiv is अ, and the last consonant is ह. When they combine with each other, they become अंह or Aham-that means  ‘I’  or ‘I am’. Whenever we say anything that has ‘I’, or wherever we refer to the first person, it is Shiv(and shakti) , to whom we are referring. Shiv is always the first person and thus we all are ‘Shiv’. Thus  ‘Aham’  is also a mantra which is meant for the contemplation for the sadhakas of Kashmir Shaivism as not only all the 36 elements are present in this mantra, but its philosophy as well.

The first vowel अ (Siva tattva) when joins with the last consonant ह(shakti tattva) , Aham अंह is formed. The expression of shiv-shakti tattva is This Aham or I (I am).

The third tattva Sadashiva denoted by स in Matrikachakra has an expression asअहं ईदम or I am this or thisness. The classification of first person with respect to thisness(universe or objectivity) is clear.

The fourth tattva is Isvara  represented by ष in Matrikachakra. This stage is represented by ईदम अहं or Idam Aham meaning  I am this or thisness. Idam or thisness has become the first person here and Aham has been relegated to inferior stage. The stage of objectivity is clearer to another degree.
The fifth tattva is Shuddh vidya represented by श in Matrikachakra and its expression is अहं ईदम ईदम अहं. Meaning I am this/thisness and this I am. The sense of duality is much more clearer than the previous stages.

From Aham at Shiv-shakti to Aham Idam Idam Aham at Shuddh vidya in the decreasing order of the subtleness or the process of subjectivity to objectivity has been displayed lucidly in the philosophy as well as epistemology of Kashmir Shaivism.

The attributes  of Shiva which is

Chaitanya (Consciousness)

Anand(bliss)

Iecha(will)

Gyan(knowledge) and

Kriya(action)

apply in this order in the 36 elements(but inversely)

The 36 elements in their order and as denoted by Alphabets according to Matrikachakra is given below.
1.Panch Maahaabutaas-five Gross elements
1.Prithvi(Earth) क  (Kriya)

2.Jaala(water) ख (Gyan)

3.Tejas/agni(fire)  ग (Iecha)

4.Vaayu(air)    घ  (Anand)

5.Akasha(ether)  ङ  (Chaitanya)
2.Panch Tanmatras-Five Subtle elements

1.Gandha(smell)च (Kriya)

2.Rasa(taste)छ (Gyan)

3.Roop(form)ज (Iecha)

4.sparsha(touch)झ (Anand)

5.Shabda(sound)ञ (Chaitanya)
3.Panch Karmendriyas-(five organs of action)

1.upastha(creation/reproduction)ट (Kriya)

2.paayu(excretion)ठ (Gyan)

3.paada(foot)ड (Iecha)

4.pani(hand)ढ (Anand)

5.vaak(speech)ण (Chaitanya)
4.Panch jnanendriyas-(five organs of cognition)

1.Ghraana-(nose, organ of smelling)च (Kriya)

2.Rasaana-(Tongue, organ of taste)छ, (Gyan)

3.Chakshu-(eye, organ of seeing)ज (Iecha)

4.Tvak-(Skin, Organ of touching)झ (Anand)

5.Srotra-(ear, organ of hearing)न  (Chaitanya)
5.Antahkarnas-(3+2 internal organs)

1.Manas-(mind)प Kriya

2.Buddhi-(intellect)फ Gyan

3.Ahamkara-(ego connected with objectivity )ब  Iecha

4.Prakriti-(nature/three Gunas i.e satvic,rajsic and tamsic)भ Anand

5.Purusha-(ego connected with subjectivity-reacts to prakriti)म Chaitanya
6.Sat Kancukas-(six coverings)

1.niyati-(limitation of place)य (Kriya)

2.Kaala-(limitation of time)र (Gyan)

3.raga-(limitation of attachment)ल (Iecha)

4.vidya-(limitation of knowledge)र (Anand)

5.Kala-(creativity)ल (Chaitanya)

6.maya-(illusion of individuality)व (Consciousness gets contracted in case when  subject becomes object and vice versa I. E object dissolves in subject)
7.Suddha tatvas-(pure elements)

1.Suddha vidya-(iness in iness—–thisness in thisness)श Kriya

2.isvara-(thisness in iness)ष Gyan

3.sadasiva-(iness in thisness)स Iecha

4.shakti-(iness)ह Anand

5.Shiva-(iness-being)-(अ आ इ ई उ ऊ ऋ ऋृ लृ lii ए ऐ ओ औ अं अः)

To continue..

Reference – Kashmir Shaivism books(mostly translated by Swami lakshmanjoo)

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The I-I (philosophy)

In Yog vashist, an allegorical anecdote is repeated ‘N’ times…
A witness witnesses a crow sitting on a coconut tree.As soon as the crow flew , a coconut fell down on the earth.The witness wrongfully co-relates that because the crow flew from the tree; a coconut fell down.
In reality, if the crow hadn’t flew, the coconut would have still dropped down.

It has been mentioned that it is the wrongful identification with this body(or mind) that is the root cause of all ignorance.

Sage vashist reveals to Rama that the greatest virtue is the renunciation of mind-the ephemeral ‘l’.

This ‘I’ is the reflection of the real unversal ‘I’-the Shiva. Shiva is the supreme ‘I’, the consciousness of the consciousness. The transitory ‘I’, that is according to KS-the contracted form the universal ‘I’- embodies itself or limits itself or creates an feeling of a separate ‘I'(duality or maya)

Out of play, the shiva(consciousness)(experient)who has the nature of Ananda(bliss)-wants to experience ‘Ananda’ in knowledge(pramana) as well as object of knowledge(prameya).But to have these both attributes, there should be time, space and ‘I’.

The supreme ‘I’ because of ‘Bliss’ creates maya, and the only one I.e ‘I’-the shiva-gets contracted , the attributes of universal ‘I’ gets contracted too once it comes In contact(or enters) Maya.

According to KS..following contractions happen to the universal ‘I’- who is originally full of
Chaitanya(consciousness)
Anand(bliss)
Iecha(will)
Gyan(knowledge)
Kriya(action)…

Chaitanya gets contracted and becomes Kala(कला)-limited creativity
Vidya(limited knowledge)
*Raga(attachment)*
Kaal(time)
And Niyati(…this is space)

Because ‘I’ the Shiva(consciousness of consciouness) is the universal first person, it always remains the first person, ‘I'(though limited, once it comes In maya) and the knowledge and object of knowledge remains the 2nd/3rd person. Because ‘I’ loose the unlimited creativity(because of contraction and becomes Kala) , the unlimited knowledge associated with it too gets contracted(vidya)….Then arises Raga(attachment)…..the ‘I’ is in the process of attaching itself to the objects of all the duality or differentiated consciousness. It becomes this whole universe full of sentient(in the form of knowledge and object of knowledge) and insentient beings(in the form of knowledge of insentient)….The universal ‘I’ becomes the ‘I’ of you and me and all beings.

Kaal and niyati…in other words denote the time and space. Space is internal too i.e ChidAkash…it denotes the space inside our mind, where thoughts and feelings rise and fall…

A child remains in the stage of non-duality(and bliss) , till he/she ignorantly superimpose their consciousness on their bodies and entrap themselves as , ‘I am this body ( in time and space)

If we meditate on the transitory ‘I’, and try to find out the source ‘ME’, we realise that we or ‘ME’ is a witness to all the physical and mental activities.We can negate anything and everything that we are witness of, because that is the 2nd/3rd person and the witness (of witness) always remains the first person.

If we delibrate further, we can go up to the void, out of which the mind and its thinking faculity arise. It is not possible to go beyond that void, through the means of mind -which is a synonym of duality.

Vedantis say when we are not aware of ourselves, mind comes into effect instantly; and when we concentrate on mind, it ceases to exist and we remain just as an awareness.But to maintain that awareness is difficult.

‘I’ of supreme consciousness  is non dual in nature so is the transitory (dual) consciousness as long as we maintain/center our awareness on it.

It too is pure awareness as long as we maintain that one-pointednesss. And it becomes truly dual ‘I’ when that awareness is broken, and that ‘I’ becomes the source of all duality…

However….it like shiva-The universal first person always remain the first person.

Abhinavgupta has mentioned Shiva as the ever present ‘NOW’, Shakti as ‘Future’ and past as ‘Pashu’ or ephemeral being.He also mentions that future and past have their origin in ‘NOW’-which is ever present.

This ‘NOW’ is again the synonym of ‘I’ or awareness.

In our lives too, everything is centered around ‘I’. Thinking of past or future is possible only because of ‘NOW’-the ‘I’.without this ‘I’ nothing exists not even ‘NOTHING’ or ‘VOID’.

The ephemeral being as written above denotes himself as ‘I’ and almost everyone belives or has experienced that ‘HE’ has never really changed, though his body has grown old. Somehow the witness(I) of the changes never change.

Subconsciously and linguistically, we have firm faith that the witness(I) is eternal.if someone dies, we say , May he go to heaven’ or VBAJ. What does that mean!

Who will go to heaven or Vaikunth? For example, if I imagine of my death, I immediately picture myself in Heaven/Hell or Vaikunth. Who is it that I am imagining myself to be! I will have no physical body but that does not deter me.Isn’t it that the ‘I’ that I imagine to go to heaven is the witness-whom I know by ‘I’.

It is for that ‘I’ we perform ‘Shraddh’ or other religious practices as we (all human race) have firm belief that the witness will remain, though somewhere else.

The ‘I’ is the first thought that arises when we wake up in the morning and it remains the last when we fall sleep.The dreams too are centered around the ‘I’ and so is the deep sleep.

Shiva- the ‘I’ is sarv-vyapak(ever pervading). He is the awareness of awareness.Revealing and concealing his own self is his play.

But nonetheless , he remains in us as the ever present witness whom we call ‘I’ .

 

(based on the philosophies of Vedant and Kashmir shaivism)

36 elements and the Basics of Kashmir Shaivism….

 

 Chaitanya (shiv ) (supreme consciousness )is the first element (of 36) according to Kashmir Shaivism(KS). Everything (whole universe) is held in Chaitanya and is non-different from it in reality. the next 35 elements of KS comes out of this first element. Just like the fire has no effect on space that holds it; or water can not wash away the space; earth can not weigh down space or air can not blow space…….similarly the gross world (universe) or subtle world though owe  their existence to Chaitanya, yet it is unaffected by it.
Chaitanya has also be referred as ‘Hridyam'(Heart) in the lingo of Ks and Advaith vedant.
The word “Hridyam” comes twice in ‘Shiv sutras’, and means ‘consciousness ‘ at both places.
The first slok of Shiv-sutras is ‘chaitanyam Atma’ meaning supreme consciousness is the reality of everything. chaitanyam is a synonym of ‘Atma'(that which holds everything ).
Chaitanyam due to its own will, when reflects in the mirror of Maya, diversifies, because of the self- imposed limitations namely anavamala(contraction of real nature), mayayimala (contracted knowledge) and karmmala(contraction of action ) and five kanchukas of maya(kala, kala, raga.niyati and vidya ).
Owing to this  contraction , the unlimited supreme consciousness becomes chit(mind).
This whole world has been termed as the solidification of the limited mind…this mind though owes its existence to Chaitanya, yet because of the forgetfulness of its real nature(that is supreme consciousness), it keeps on taking births after births..
It is the subtle body(Manas, buddhi, Ahamkar and 5 tanmatras), also known as ‘Puryashtak’, that sheds the old body and takes the new as an expression to fulfill a desire(that is endless).

Brahman and Atman has been too often used in the philosophy of Advaith Vedanta . Whereas in KS the emphasis is on Chaitanya.
Chaitanya  has been referred as an Ocean, and the waves as the different worlds/ jivas.
Because of the desire in Shiva(consciousness); time and space comes into effect. A wave (limited being) exists in time as well as space. It rises up(due to spanda in consciousness) in space and lives in a time frame(rising and falling of wave).Though it looks as if a wave is an independent entity ; but in reality waves are but Ocean. So in reality, nothing is happening.
This concept has been used by Advaith Vedanta as well as KS.
Another example to illustrate consciousness is Space and jar. Space is inside the jar. When the jar is broken ; nothing happen to the space inside it(as it is inside as well as outside).
Another example is of a newspaper, we read all the words ; while as we ignore the paper on which all the words and pictures are printed.
In Yoga Vashista, It has been said that ,From the supreme Brahman(consciousness), the mind first arose with its faculty of thinking and imagination. And this mind remains as such in that Brahman(consciousness), even as fragrance in a flower, as waves in Ocean and rays of light in the Sun. Brahman(supreme consciousness) which is extremely subtle and invisible, was forgotten, as it were, and thus arose the wrong notion of the real existence of the world appearance.
If one thinks that the light rays are different and distinct from the Sun, to him the light rays have a distinct reality. If one thinks that the bracelet made of Gold is a Bracelet, to him it is indeed a bracelet and not Gold.
But if one realizes that light rays are non different from the Sun, his understanding is said to be unmodified(nirvikalpa). If one realizes that the waves are non different from the ocean, his understanding is said to be unmodified(nirvikalpa). If one realizes that the bracelet is non-different from Gold, his understanding is said to be unmodified(nirvikalpa).

‘O’ Rama, whatever you do that is nothing but pure consciousness. Brahman(consciousness ) alone is manifest here as all this, for nothing else exists. there is no scope for ‘this’ an the ‘other’. Therefore , abound on even the concepts of liberation and bondage. Remain in the pure, egoless state, engaging yourself in natural activity.’
Said Sage Vasishta to Rama( from the book yog vashishta)

The 2nd element according to KS is the Shakti-tattva. She is also referred as Anand(bliss). Shiv and Shakti are intertwined and inseparable. Without Shakti,  Shiv become lifeless corpse(shav).. It is because of Shakti , Shiv has been been referred as Shaktiman.
The nature of consciousness (shiv) is Bliss (Shakti). Shiva is the light and Shakti  is the luminosity .Shiva is Prakash and Shakti is the Vimarsha. though for Many, they may sound two; but actually they are one .
Shiv and Shakti together are also referred as Aham. A ‘-represents Shiva and Ma’ represents Shakt. the letter ‘m’ indicates the whole ”pratyahara’, which are contained  in the letters from ‘a’ to ‘h’ and which has created according to KS one hundred and eighteen worlds, the thirty six elements, and five circles(kalas), has in reality created nothing. It is just one point.
All the vowels represent Shiv and all the consonants represent Shakti. When they meet together, a word is formed and then sentences are formed. It is by these words and sentences an impression is formed on the mind and one gets entangled in samsara; and when due to the Anugraha (Shakti) of Shiva, all the words and sentences unfold themselves as nothing but Shiva.
‘Aham’ in this stage is the ‘I’ of the universal ‘I'(Parmshiv). It also means as ‘I am’. this stage has been referred as Shiv pramtri(experiencer), as it is none but Shiva who is the real experiencer of everything through our senses.
All the actions (verbs) are but Shakti. All the actions carried out by mind and the sense organs are but Shakti. whatever one can think of, or whatever one sees or feels is but Shakti. She is the Maya Shakti , she is Maya, she is khechri, Buchari. She is ‘AMA’, ‘Kama’, ‘Parvati’. She is Sharika. She is Tripura, who dwells in the three stages of Waking state, Dreams and Deep sleep. She is also the Turiya.

The third element according to KS is Sadasiva tattva. This is also known as iecha(desire/will).Here Shiv-Shakti(Aham)(I am) expresses itself as ‘Aham-idam’ (I -ness or I am in this ness).I am this whole universe .This is a subjective   Tattva as is Shiv-Shakti, Iswara and Shuddh Vidya.

The pramatri (experiencer) of this stage is also termed as ‘Mantra-Mantreshwar’. this tattva further expresses itself as the five vital breaths, namely Pran(centered at Heart and moves upward. This is also known as Sun as the outgoing breath is hot/warm.  It’s movement is from Heart to Throat.) Apana(centered near the organs of sex and Excretion. and it’s movement is always downward ), samana( centered near naabi. aids in digestion), Udan vayu( moves from neck to the crown ) and Vyan( holds all the breaths in itself like the Akash.)
‘SadaSiva’ tattva is denoted by the letter ‘gha’ of Sanskrit.
The fourth element is ‘Ishwara tattva’. This is also known as Gyan(knowledge ). Here ‘Aham’ expresses itself as ‘Idam Aham'( this ness in I-ness).From Sadasiva tattva where the expression was ‘I am this whole universe ‘, it becomes ‘This universe is my own expression ‘.It further expresses itself in the five ‘Gyanindreyas'(organs of knowledge ). Here the Pramatri( experiencer) is known as ‘Mantreshwar’.
It is represented by the letter ‘na’ of Sanskrit.
The fifth element is ‘suddha vidya tattva’. This is also known as ‘Kriya'(action ). Here ‘Aham’ expresses itself as ‘Aham Idam-Idam Aham'( I-ness in thisness ; thisness in I-ness).The experiencer experiences at this level that this universe is not an illusion and this universe is my own expansion.The pramatri(experiencer) at this level is known as ‘mantra-Pramatri’. It expresses further as the five organs of action(Karmindreyas).
The letter ‘I’ of Sanskrit represents this tattva.
These first five elements come under the category of ‘Shuddh tattvas'(pure elements). Here there is no duality as yet.
After the first five tattvas(pure elements), the subjective non dual aspect of Shiva descends in Maya(6th element ).the subjective experiencer after entering / reflecting in Maya  becomes the Knowlege(pramana) and objects(prameya). Subjectivity ends and the world of Objectivity begins .One becomes many. The supreme consciousness tends to forget its own nature(in the mirror of Maya) yet it is aware of its own nature( because the Maya itself gets it’s power from it and that it is always aware of itself in the subjective plane of Sudda tattva). The diversified tri-Guni Maya is represented by the alphabet ‘ca’ of Sanskrit.The five unlimited powers of Parmshiv ( Chaitanya, Anand, Iecha, Gyan and Kriya) gets contracted after entering in the field of Maya and become the five coverings/sheaths namely Kala, Vidya,raga, Kala and Niyati owing to the triple ignorance namely Anavamala(contraction of Iecha),Mayaimala(contraction of knowledge ) and Karmmala(contraction of Kriya).
The first kanchukas namely ‘Kala'(7th element) creates an impression that it has limited creativity and  not unlimited .It is denoted by the letter ‘cha’ of Sanskrit.The second kanchukas namely ‘vidya'(8th element) creates an impression of limited knowledge .It is denoted by the letter ‘ja’ of Sanskrit.The third kanchukas is ‘Raga’ (9th element) meaning ‘attachment’. This is that attachment which results from not being full and that he must have this or that to make him full. It is denoted by the letter ‘jha’ of Sanskrit.The fourth kanchukas I.e the 10 th element is the ‘kala’. Here it means ‘Time’.The action of this tattva is to keep ‘purusa’ in a particular time or make him believe that he is 30 years old or 40 years old and and that he is not timeless or eternal. This tattva is represented by the alphabet, ‘Dha’ of Sanskrit .The fifth kanchukas ie the 11th element is ‘niyati tattva’. this element makes an impression in the experiencer in the Purush that he is residing in such and such place and not at all places.this is represented by the letter ‘ va’ of Sanskrit .
The next element(12) is the ‘purusa’ and 13 the is ‘prakriti’. these two tattvas are interdependent .
Prakriti is the element which is referred to as nature(three gunas, namely Sattvic, Rajsic and Tamsic ). ‘Purush’ is that which reacts to ‘Prakriti’ .purush is represented by the letter ‘ na’ and Prakriti as ‘ta’ of Sanskrit.
The experiencer(pramatri) form ‘Purush’ to ‘Maya’ tattva is known as Vijnankala pramatri’. This is Akin to the stage of ‘Deep sleep’.The ‘pralayakala pramatri stage’ lacks the mala(ignorance) of ‘Mayayimala’ and ‘karmmala. It has only one mala I.e ‘Anavamala’. This is our stage when we are in deep sleep.

The 14th element is ‘Ahamkar’(ego connected with Objectivity ).The 15th element is ‘Buddhi'(intellect ).The 16th element is ‘Manas’. Together these three elements is typically , what is termed as ‘Mind’. This is also referred as ‘Chitta’. The contraction of Chit-Anand shakti(Shiv-Shakti) due to ignorance(duality) is the ‘Chitta’.
At this level, the limitation of Knowledge has set in. Before this level, the knowledge is in a dormant stage.
The expression of Chaitanya is the Manas; the expression of Anand Shakti is Buddhi and Ahankar.
The Prakriti tattva(13 the element) has three attributes ie Sattvic, Rajsic and Tamsic. As already discussed , the further expression of Ishwar tattva(knowledge) and Shuddh vidya(Kriya ) is the Gyanindreyas (organs of Knowledge) and Karmindreyas (organs of action).
The three gunas of Prakriti makes the Gyanindreyas , Karmindreyas and Panch Mahabhoot(5 gross elements viz  Earth water air fire and Ether) as Sattvic, Rajsic and Tamsic respectively………
Buddhi, Ahamkar and Manas are represented by the letters ‘tha’ , ‘da’ and ‘dha’ of Sanskrit respectively…
After Antahkarnas,(3+2).. (Internal organs), comes the ‘Pancha Gyanindreyas ‘ (five organs of cognition)..
These are
(17th)Srotra-ear…organ of Hearing
(18th)Tvak-Skin, organ of touching
(19th)Cakshu-eye, organ of seeing
(20th)Rasana-tongue, organ of tasting.
(21st)Ghrana-nose, organ of smelling
They are represented by the  alphabets ‘na’, ‘ta’, ‘tha’, ‘da’ and ‘dha’ of Sanskrit respectively…

 

Pancha Karmindreyas (five organs of action ) consist of
(22nd)Vak(speech ), (23rd)pani(hand),(24th) pada(foot), (25th)payu(excretion) and(26th)Upastha(creative/reproductive).
They are represented by the letters ‘na’ , ‘ba’, ‘bha’, ‘Pha’ and ‘pa’ of the Sanskrit alphabets respectively

Panch tanmatra(five subtle elements) consist of:
(27th)Sabda(sound)
This tanmatra is found in Akasa tattva(32th element)
(28th)Sparsha tanmatra (touch); representing the gross element of (29th)vayu(air-the 33th element)
(30th)Rupa tanmatra(form), 29th element ; this is found in the gross element of agni(fire)(34th element)
(31st)Rasa tanmatra(taste)-the 30th element is found in the gross element of jal(water)(34th element) and Gandha tanmatra(smell) is chiefly found in the 36th element of Prithvi(earth)
The gross elements of Earth(36th), water(35th) , fire(34th), air(33rd) and Ether(32nd) are related to the tanmatras in this way
Earth-this has all the five tanmatras namely Gandha , rasa,rupa, sparsha, and Sabda.but the chief tanmatra connected with Earth element is Gandha(smell).
The water element has only four(rasa, rupa,sparsha and sabda ).the chief tanmatra connected with this element is rasa (taste).
The tejas(fire) element has only three tanmatras connected with it(rupa, sparsha, sabda)…the main tanmatra however is rupa(form) attached to fire element.
The vayu(air) Element has only two tanmatras connected to it(sparsha and sabda).the chief however is Sparsha.
The Akasa(ether ) has only one tanmatra attached to it and that is ‘sabda'(sound)
The Sanskrit alphabets representing these elements are
Earth(‘ksa’), water (‘ha’), fire(‘sa’), air(‘sa’), akasha(‘sa’)
Gandha(‘va’), rasa(‘la’), rupa(‘ra’), sparsha(ya) and sabda(‘ma’)
From Prikriti tattva to the jala(water) tattva, the experiencer (pramatr) is termed as Pralayakala pramatri. In this stage apart from anavamala; Mayaimala ( limitation of Knowledge ) too has set in.
This has also been referred as Dream state.

Sakala pramatr is the stage of the experiencer at Gross level. This has its effect on only one element and that is Earth.This level has all the three limitations namely Anavamala, Mayayimala and Karmmala(limitation of action).This is what is also known as the Waking state.
Pramatr, pramana and pramey meaning Experiencer, Knowledge(of object) and Object is an important concept of both Vedanta and KS.In the level of Shuddh tattvas(pure elements); there is only the Experiencer. It is a stage of non-duality.It is only after Shiva wants to experience his own state of duality; Maya (duality) comes into effect and thus the Knowledge and the Objects appear.
First the knowledge of Duality appears and the Mind is formed and then the Mind solidifies itself and the world materializes.

To realise that the Object(Prameya), knowledge of object (pramana) and the experient(pramatra) are not different from each other and that our real ‘self’is none other than Shiva-the universal experient is the essence of Kashmir Shaivism.

The three Malas(impurities/limitations) according to Kashmir Shaivism.

According to Kashmir Shaivism, there are 36 elements(from shiv tatva to prithvi tatva).By the pure will(icchca) of Shiva, The param shiva descends/ascends/emerges from the highest tattva i.e Chaitanya-(the supreme consciousness present in everything-be it living, dead, be it mind or matter, desires, actions, perceivable or unfathomable, be it a tiniest single cell or this whole of universe)-to the grossest element i.e prithvi(earth).In fact chaitanya cannot be expressed or written about.Yogis have stated that it is the state of being.

Chaitanya is an element synonym to shiva, whereas the next element i.e Ananda(Bliss)-is also known as Shakti. Shiva and Shakti are inseparable, hence Chaitanya and Ananda are also inseparable. The next three elements i.e sadashiva, ishwara and Shuddh vidya are synonyms to Iccha(will), Jnana(unlimited knowledge) and kriya(unlimited action).These five elements form shuddh tatvas(pure elements)
To this point, it is the undifferiated self of shiva. There is no maya element present there. From the shuddh tattvas to the six kanchukas(six coverings of maya), Swami lakshmanjoo has described another tattva(though technically not an element) as Mahamaya tattva or vijnankala.

The anavamala comes into effect in the sphere of the six kanchukas. Shiva due to his own will starts to experience the world of differentiation and becomes limited, owning to non-contemplation of his essential nature. Jnanshakti(the power of knowledge) gets polluted by the kanchukas or the coverings of maya and he becomes reduced to the limited knowledge. At last, it acquires utmost limitation in the formation of the psychic apparatus((antahkarana, i.e mann(mind), buddhi(intellect),ahamkar(ego), prakrati(nature) and purush(one that reacts to prakrati)) and the organs of sense(Bhuddindriya).This is mayayi mala(limitation brought about by maya) which brings about consciousness of difference among objects. This mayayi mala is the second impurity.

Kriya sakti(action) gets limited gradually in the sphere of difference when omnipotence is reduced to limited activity till at last by the formation of the organs of action, the empirical individual gets limited to the utmost extent. He thus performs good and bad deeds. This is the Karma mala or the limitation due to action.

source:books on Kashmir shaivism.

Upayas(means) in Trikha Philosophy(Kashmir Shaivism)

There are three upayas(means to get Grace/state of shiva) given in Kashmir Shaivism. They are:
1.Sambhavopaya (supreme means)
2.Saktopaya(medium means)
3.Anavopaya(inferior means)

There is another upaya known as Anupaya(no-means)-which is only meant for self-realized masters.

The concept of Moksha in Kashmir Shaivism is different from Advaith vendantis. For vedantis,the state of Shiva is sat, chit and Anand(All-truth,all consciousness,Bliss).Kashmir Shaivism argues that Shiva is already sat(truth) and there is no doubt in it. Instead, for Kashmir shaivism followers, The state of Shiva is Chit(all-consciousness),Ananad(Bliss),Iccha(rise of desire due to Shiv-Iccha),Gyan(knowledge) and Kriya(action).Sambhavopaya is Iccha(shiv-Iccha),Saktopaya is Gyan(Knowledge or means) and Anavopaya is Kriya(action).Iccha,Gyan and Kriya has been explained in detail in Kashmir Shaivism.

1.Sambhavopaya:
The state where thoughtlessness is maintained by the grace of master. A transcendental state of consciousness wherein the highly realized soul finds that whole universe has come out from sentences, sentences from words, words from letters and letters from that real “I” which is param shiva. The yogi finds that this whole universe is reflected in his own consciousness and that it is reflected from within rather than from without.
In sambhavopaya there are no means to travel upon. It is the meant. There is no where to go. The masters grace is of utmost importance in this upaya. Sambhavopaya functions in Matrikachakra(the world of alphabets,words and sentences),Pratyahara(withdraw of senses) and pratibimbavada (theory of reflection of shiva in 36 elements from shiva tattva to prithvi tatva).It is said that a Yogi in the Sambhavopaya state shines like the midday sun for the whole universe. Sambhavopaya is also called icchopaya.

2.Saktopaya:
Saktopaya is also called Gyanopaya. It is functioned by the means of energies as it is the means which originates from Gyan Sakti(energy of knowledge).In this upaya, the yogi does not have to recite mantras or be aware using his breath or concentrate on any particular spot. He has only to see and concentrate on that supreme being that is found in two actions without action. This is called centering in “Vigyana Bhairava Tantra”.
In Saktopaya centering can be practiced between any and all actions and or thoughts. In centering, the yogi must develop great velocity of awareness(firmness of awareness).There must be continuity in the cycle of yogi’s awareness. The yogi can center between any two thoughts or any two movements, between one thought and another thought, between waking and dreaming, between one step and the next step, between one breath and next breath. The saktopaya yogi must simply insert beakless awareness in the center of any two actions or thoughts. If this awareness is faulty and is not beakless then he falls and enters into the lowest upaya i.e anavopaya.
In this upaya the yogi must make himself capable of receiving Master’s grace.

3.Anavopaya:
Anavopaya is concerned with anu(individual soul).It is that upaya(means) which is functioned by the process of concentrating on uccara(breathing),Karana(organs of sensation),Dhyana(contemplation), and sthana pralkalpana(concentrating on some particular place).Anavopaya is also known as Kriyopaya.
Concentration on the breath is the essential element of the practice of cakrodaya. In practicing cakrodaya, one has to continue breathing deeply and find out the point, the center between the two breaths, the incoming and the outgoing breath. In cakrodaya the beginning points and ending points of the span of the breath are predominant. This is uccara , concentration on the breath .It can either be with sound or without sound.
Concentration on karana means having and maintaining one pointedness through vision or through any sense organ. It can be through vision or sound or any other sense organ.
Dhyana(contemplation ) is another mode of anavopaya. Dhyava is contemplation on some point. There are different forms of dhyana, like contemplating on heart, or on the meaning of some mantra(such as soham,aham or siva).contemplating on object is lower form of this upaya and concentrating on mantra is higher form as it is contemplation without any shape or form.
Sthana Prakalpana means concentration on some particular place. The higher form of sthana prakalpana, which is a practice of higher anavopaya,is that practice where one has to find out where each aspect of reality is found in the span of the breath. One has to see where the Devas and Lokpalas are residing, where is the location of Dawn and morning, the location of midday, sunset and midnight. Location and time when the Sun moves towards northern side and southern side. These are all Sthana Prakalpana, and these are the particular points, one has to concentrate on, to discover in the course of ones breath. The practice of Sthana Prakalpana is to see the vastness of this universe in one breath. The second and the lower from of Sthana Prakalpana, which is lower from of anavopaya is where one concentrate on different points in the body. These particular places for concentration are divided into three. One particular place for concentration is between the two eyebrows(bhrumadhya).The second place for concentration is the pit of the throat(Kantha kupa), and the third place of concentration is the heart(Hridaya).

In avavopaya the strength of one’s awareness is such that one has to take the support of everything as an aid to maintain and strengthen one’s awareness. In Saktopaya one begin with the center and then become established in that center. In sambhavopaya the strength of awareness is such that no support is needed, One is already residing in the meant.
It is important to realize that though there are different upayas, yet all these upayas lead one to the state of one’s transcendental consciousness. The difference in these upayas is that anavopaya will carry one in a long way, Saktopaya in a shorter way and Sambhavopaya in the shortest way. Although the ways are different, the point to be achieved is one…

source:Kashmir Shaivism-the secret supreme(by Swami Laksman joo)
siva-sutras-the supreme awakening(By swami lakshmanjoo)

The Thirty Six Elements(Kashmir Shaivism)and 24 elements of Advaith vedanta

There are 36 elements according to Kashmir Shaivism unlike the 24 elements which the vedantis acknowledge.
1.Panch Maahaabutaas-five Gross elements
1.Prithvi(Earth)
2.Jaala(water)
3.Tejas/agni(fire)
4.Vaayu(air)
5.Akasha(ether)

2.Panch Tanmatras-Five Subtle elements
1.Gandha(smell)
2.Rasa(taste)
3.Roop(form)
4.sparsha(touch)
5.Shabda(sound)

3.Panch Karmendriyas-(five organs of action)
1.upastha(creation/reproduction)
2.paayu(excretion)
3.paada(foot)
4.pani(hand)
5.vaak(speech)

4.Panch jnanendriyas-(five organs of cognition)
1.Ghraana-(nose, organ of smelling)
2.Rasaana-(Tongue, organ of taste)
3.Chakshu-(eye, organ of seeing)
4.Tvak-(Skin, Organ of touching)
5.Srotra-(ear, organ of hearing)

5.Antahkarnas-(3+2 internal organs)
1.Manas-(mind)
2.Buddhi-(intellect)
3.Ahamkara-(ego connected with objectivity )
4.Prakriti-(nature/three Gunas i.e satvic,rajsic and tamsic)
5.Purusha-(ego connected with subjectivity-reacts to prakriti)

6.Sat Kancukas-(six coverings)
1.niyati-(limitation of place)
2.Kaala-(limitation of time)
3.raga-(limitation of attachment)
4.vidya-(limitation of knowledge)
5.Kala-(creativity)
6.maya-(illusion of individuality)

7.Suddha tatvas-(pure elements)
1.Suddha vidya-(iness in iness—–thisness in thisness)
2.isvara-(thisness in iness)
3.sadasiva-(iness in thisness)
4.shakti-(iness)
5.Shiva-(iness-being)

According to the Vedanta the 24 elements consists of
1.Five tanmatras(same as in Kashmir shaivism)
2.five jnanendriyas(same as in Kashmir shaivism)
3.five karmindreyas(same as in Kashmir shaivism)
4.the five pranas or vital forces (not included in Kashmir Shaivism)
5.fourfold Antahkarn, namely-manas(mind), budhi(intellect), chitta(memory or sub consciousness) and ahamkara(egoism)

The five vital breaths are:
1.Pran Vayu
2.Apaan vayu
3.Saman vayu
4.vyan vayu
5.udaan vayu.
There are also five subsdiary divisions known as upapranas or upvayus namely:
1.naga
2.kurma
3.kekara
4.devdatta
5.dhanamjaya

Pran vayu
Breathing in and out; regulation of breath in mouth and nose; segregating and digestion of food and fluids ;Converting the waste-material of food and fluids into stool, urine and sweat, and converting vital fluids into semen is executed by the “Pran vayu”. It resides in the heart and moves up to the upper part of nose. Regulates the sense organs from heart and above.

Apana Vayu
Responsible for the excretion of faeces, urine and semen .Its movement is from the navel to downwards( reproductive organ and Anus).It resides in guhadesh(Reproductive organ and Anus).

Saman vayu
It resides in the navel .Its movement is from the navel to the heart.It stokes the gastric fires, aiding digestion, and maintaining the harmonious functioning of the abdominal organs. It integrates the whole of the human gross body.

Vyan Vayu
It mostly resides above the reproductive organ.It pervades the entire body, distributing the energy derived from food and breath through the arteries, veins and nerves.

Udaan vayu
Working through the throat(the pharynx and the larynx), controls the vocal cords and the intake of air and food. It is because of the Udaan vayu that the subtle body detaches from the gross body at the time of death.

Naga
It relieves pressure on the abdomen by belching.

Kurma
It controls the movement of the eye-lids to prevent foreign matter entering the eyes; it also controls the size of the iris,thereby regulating the intensity of light for sight.

Krkara
It prevents substances passing up the nasal passage and down the throat by making one sneeze or cough.

Devdatta
It cause yawnings and induce sleep.

Dhanamjaya
It produces phlegm, nourishes and remains in the body even after death and sometimes inflates a corpse.

refrences:Kashmir Shaivism-the secret supreme(swami laxmanjoo)shivsutras(explained by swami laxmanjoo)Patanjalyogpradeep and Light on pranayama by BKS Iyengar

Anugraha(Grace)/Shaktipata-Kashmir Shaivism

According to Kashmir Shaivism Anugraha(grace and Shaktipata takes place in nine ways:

1.tivrativra Shaktipata(Super Supreme Grace)
One attains the true self, real and true nature completely. The Grace is too strong for the body to resist; one has to give up one’s body(Death).He becomes a Master and elevates the hearts of the deserving disciples invisibly. He uplifts the mankind secretly. Once he is satisfied with his work, he submerges with Shiva according to his will .One who attains this form of Grace becomes super supreme Master.

2Tivramadyha Shaktipatha( Supreme medium Grace)
One attains the true and real self; but one does not leave body in this type of grace. One is said to be “Pratiba Guru”-master who is not made by master, but by his self(shiva),by one’s own grace. These masters live in their physical form to uplift the humanity. They are self-initiated masters.
One who is bestowed with this grace enters completely in the trance of Shiva-Shakti(Energy of Shiva).There are five signs in him, that are observed by people;
1.intense love for lord shiva.
2.Whenever he recites any mantra; the devta of the mantra appears before him at once; The fruits of the mantra are realized promptly.
3.control over the five elements.
4.His works are without any defects.
5.He masters all Shastras.

3.Tivramandha Shaktipatha(Supreme low grace)
By this types of Grace one’s mind desires to be at the feet of master. He gets a master who is all-knowing and perfect. There is no difference between his master and lord shiva. The master does not initiate him; but merely put his hand on his head or by just by the mere gaze of his master;. He becomes perfect and enters into transcendental meditation effortlessly at once. He becomes enlightened by the mere touch or look of his master.

4.Madhya tivra Shaktipatha(medium supreme grace)
By this grace one reaches at the feet of Master who is absolutely a perfect master.The disciple is initiated by the master unlike the above cases. The master gives him mantra and the way to tread. One gets enlightened partially; the disciple is not satisfied completely in his physical body. He gets his complete satisfaction after he leaves his body and becomes one with shiva at the time of his death.

5.Madhya Madhya Shaktipata(medium middle grace)
When lord shiva bestows this grace; an intense desire of achieving lord shiva rises in the mind of the disciple. One wants Lord shiva as well as the worldly pleasures and enjoyments of the world. He is initiated by an able master.Though the intensity of his desire is more on attaining the state of shiva,he attains bliss, but he cannot completely overcome his worldy desires . After the death of such a disciple; he enters the kingdom of paradise and enjoys the pleasures to his satisfaction. He does not come back to this mortal world; but is again initiated by the master there and he becomes enlightened and realizes the shiva and merges in him.

6.Madhya mandha Shaktipata(medium low grace)
There is an intense desire for attaining lord shiva as well as the pleasures of the world. He does not attain self-realization completely.After his death he enters the kingdom of paradise and enjoys to his satisfaction. After that he is born again in this mortal world and lives a short life(15-30 yrs).He focuses on lord shiva and devotes his short life to shiva and becomes complete with Shiva.

7.Mandha tivra Shaktipata(inferior supreme grace)
8.Mandha Madya Shaktipata(inferioir medium grace)
9.Mandha Mandha shaktipata(inferior low grace)
For 7,8 and 9 types of grace,one has to take many births, before one attains the state of shiva……

LAL DED HAS NO LINKAGE WITH ISLAMIC SUFFISM

LALLA HAS NO LINKAGE WITH ISLAMIC SUFFISM
Prof. M. L. Koul

R.N. Koul’s book on Lalla Ded has in no manner thrown any new light on the historical times that provided background setting for the emergence of a personality like Lalla who by and large shaped a response to the challenge posed by the forces of religious intolerance and obscurantism. A mere superficial reference to the religious and political turbulence, that ravaged the Happy Valley does not explain it. The learned author could have taken a cue from Sir Richard Temple, who, despite his distortions and misinterpretations, has surveyed the total political and religious scenario to ensure a thorough comprehension of the shaping processes of Lalla’s mind and thought. ‘Orthodex’ ‘Brahmanism’ and ‘aggressive Islam’ (due to some fanatics) fall into a pattern of cliches in absence of a relevant exposition objective in approach and premise. ‘A tradition or cult engendered by Hindu mystics and Muslim Sufis’ needs a thorough and dispassionate discussion which the author has given a short shrift.
There are evidences galore to establish that Kashmir enjoyed a tremendous reputation for being an abode of rishis (rishi vatika) harbouring a strong and coherent indigenous tradition of rishi-cult with its root systems embedded in the vedic age. In terms of history, Sufism in its essence was absolutely foreign to Kashmir. It was introduced in the religious ambience of Kashmir by the Muslim proselytizers. Most of them sought protection in Kashmir when they were under persecution in their native lands for their indulgence in politics and affairs mundane. A Sufi owing affiliation to the Kubrawe sect of sufism imposed twenty humiliating conditions on Hindus. The learned author does not seem to be sure which Sufi-cult he is alluding to. Does he refer to the same sufis that have authorized the chapter of inconoclasm and religious strife in Kashmir’ He is perhaps led-into the belief of the existence of a mis-labelled Sufi-cult in Kashmir by the native rishis, are perpetuators of the mainstream native tradition bequeathed to them by Lalla and her galaxy of cultural progenitors having no linkages with the Islamic Sufisim of Central Asian vintage.
In the sub-title of the book the learned author has perhaps more wittingly than unwittingly re-introduced an Islamised name for Lalla Ded. A similar campaign was spearheaded at the inaugural function of Lalla Ded Hospital, which was initially christened as Lalla Arifa Hospital by the powers that be. A person sitting in the audience challenged the far-fetched and unhistorical references to Lalla Ded. The function presided over by Sheikh Abdullah was literally disrupted by the vigorous intervention of an old man leaning against his scaff. The Sheikh dithered under a wave of protest by a number of genuine intellectuals including Pt Jaya Lal Koul and Pt PN Pusp (professors of classical vintage) and ordered formation of a committee to have a second look at the Lalla Arifa nomenclature. On the recommendations of the committee the Islamised nomenclature was dropped again to be picked up by the learned author for a new dress up a revival for wayward reasons, may, opportunist considerations.
Lack of thorough grounding in the basics of Kashmir Shaiva monism (paradvya) is the Achile’s heel of the whole work which in fact has impaired the critical evaluation and treatment of the pithy vakhs of Lalla. It is a misnomer to call Trika Shastra as Kashmir Shaivism. Trika is a strand of Kashmir Shaiva monism and understandably a part cannot represent the entire thought model. It is equally relevant to point out that Kashmir Shaivism is not an apt name for the system which has pristine non-dualism as its cardinal principle. The deceptive no-menclature gained currency with the publication of JC Chatterje’s first doctoral thesis on the subject. ‘The theory and practice of Kashmir Shaivism’ in which Lalla was initiated by her preceptor, Siddha Shri Kanth, was neither dualist nor dual-cum-non-dualist, but essentially monist in assumptions. Sir Richard Temple has expressed an amazing grasp of the over-riding spirit of Lalla when he chracterised her as ‘Shaiva Yogini’. Had the learned author heeded his appraisal, he would not have digressed to recount all forms of yoga that have little relevance in Kashmir Shaiva monist thought. Patanjali Yoga stresses the regression of human senses and other natural proclivities. But the monist thought recognised their positive role in the processes of higher ascension through their sublimation and satiation. The yogic terms have been absorbed in the system but stand ruminated with new nuances of meaning and semantics. The word ‘Bindu’ originally known as ‘Vindu’ denotes unidifferentiated condition of infinite luminous consciousness supreme. ‘The mystic moon and the mystic sun’ carry three shades of meanings in sync with Shaiva Yoga methodologies of Shambava, Shakta and Anava. In Shambava methodology the mystic moon and the sun are representative combination of supreme luminosity (Prakash) and I-consciousness (Vimarsa). In Shakta methodology they imply Jnana and Kriya and in Anava methodology they denote prana and apana. The mystic sun also symbolises an inflamable energy that burns out meshes of duality. The mystic moon also refers to ‘apana breath’ deemed as cool and invigorating and the mystic sun alludes to ‘prana breath’ which is suffused with warmth. Sahasrasar is the repertoire of infinite consciousness in the being supreme. ‘Hamsa’ is derivable to ‘ham’ and ‘sah’, the former indicates the divine will of the Lord and the latter divine knowledge. In Swacchand Tantra ‘Hamsah’ is explained in the sense of ‘I am That’ symbolising’ undifferentiated and indivisible being. ‘Sushumna’ is known by other variants like brahma-nadi, madhya nadi or madhya-dham. Buit as per Shaiva-yoga in tersm transcendental it is known as all pervading Samvit-Shakti penetrating the sentient and insentient objects.In the classic work of Ishwarpratybijjna utpaldev has explicitly explained five forms of prana-shakti as prana, apana, saman, udana, and vyana (Ishwarpratybijjna, 3,2,19).
A systematic study of Lalla’s Vakhs as is deftly made by BN Parimu in his book ‘Ascent of self ‘ establishes that she had undergone all relevant processes of becoming to mature into the state of divine consciousness which in Shaivite parlance is known as ‘Shiva Samavesh’. When initiated she had to work out the practices recognised under Anava methodology like japa, vrata, niyam, dhyam, dharna for yoking the sensesinatured tendencies for entry into the Shakta grade for higher elevation. An initiate is certainly helped is under proper guidance he practises all the formulae which the learned author has huddled under, Hindu, ritealistic system’. After a seeker attains higher phases of consciousness, such methodologies become redundant and are of nouse. In sivastatravali, utpaldev has put:-
Na yoga nor tapo Nacharkrama koapi preniyate!
Amaye Shivamarge asmin bhakti eka prashyaste !!
Lalla was a witness to the turbulent times. She was honing up her thought and working out its actualisation by harnessing her body potentialities and inherent urges. She through her vakh “Shiva chuy thali thali rozan, mozan Heund ta musalman..” castigated the proselytisers not to differentiate between Hindus and Muslims and called upon them to take to the path of Trika (trial of para, parapara and apara) which would lead them to self-recognition (pratybijjna). As an initiated follower of Shiva monism she had learnt to rise above the distinctions of caste and religion and disseminated the message to proselytisors who advocated and practised conversions as cure to imaginary ills out of xenophobic considerations.
In his curious explanation of the Vakh ‘temple is built of stone as the stone he worships’ the learned author establishes her as a ‘trend-setter’ as he has decried the ‘false pantheon of Hindu’s and ‘their blind faith’ in finding God by ‘singing hymns to the stone lingam’. As Lalla was thoroughly grounded in the fundamental precepts and tenets of Shaiva monism planked on tantric assumptions, she could not subscribe to external forms of worship signifying duality notwithstanding their efficacy at initatory stages. ‘Shaiva Bakhti’ rejects daulism and focuses on Shiva pervading the worshipper, the worshipped and instruments of worship as the focal point of worship. Tantras have not accepted any form of external and ritual worship and as Kashmir Shaiva monism has tantric asumptions as its substatum, Lalla as an initiated practitioner of it could not but reject it in ultimate analysis. She has in no way rejected or decried the pantheon of Buddhist and Hindu Gods who as per her thought considered them as various manifestations of Citi (supreme consciousness). Before coming to a far-fetched conclusions, the author should have considered the following vakh:-
Shiva of Keshava or Jina
or Brahma, the lotus born Lord
May be remove from me
the sickness of the world!
It may be He or He or He
(For He is one though variously called)
J.L. Koul’s rendering.
That Lalla danced naked as put in an emotion-packed vakh and moved about naked as per a legend has evoked various responses from scholars who have written upon Lalla’s life and her poetical outpourings. Shanker Pandit, a scholar and practitioner, suggested to replace the word ‘nangaya’ (naked) by the word ‘nonguy’, said to be a flower growing wild on mountain slopes. The learned author, Koul, finds a lot of incompatibility in Lalla ‘moving about naked’ and ‘her incarnation as the ‘Muse of knowledge’ and more prcisely ‘as the Muse of poesy’. In his attempt at reconciliation he attributes it to her ‘miraculous powers’.
The fact about Lalla remains that she was initiated by her preceptor, a perfect soul, through the laconic metaphor of ‘turn your gaze within’ which like an alchemy metamorphosed her whole being. She became one with the Shiva consciousness in a manner of absolute synthesis. As freedom (swatnatrya) is an inherent attribute, call it nature, of absolute consciousness, Lalla in the same condition of consciousness cognised her self and true cognition lies in the realisation that pure undifferentiated consciousness is infinite freedom itself. It is the same stateof infinite freedom that is symbolised by Lalla singing that she danced naked in joyecstactic.
What is said above is corroborated by the statement about Shambhava, Upaya in Malinivijaya Tantra. That is said to be Shambhava-Samavesha which happens to one whohas attained freedom from all ideation by an awakening imparted by the guru (preceptor) or by an intense awakening of one’s own.
There are other inaccuracies and mis-statements littering over the book. Kashmir Shaiva monism does not consider ‘flesh’ i.e. human body as ‘dross’. It has given the body an utmost importance as it serves as a vehicle for purposes spiritual. Five bhutas have been stated as five senses. ‘Moha’ is translated as illusory pleasures. It should have been translated as delusory pleasurers as Kashmir monism does not subscribe tothe thesis of world as an illusion or chimmera. World as per its tenets is a manifestatino of Shiva. It,therefore, cannot be termed as illusory. Delusory implies all that which is taken for self, but falls withinthe ambit of ‘not’self’. Desires and other natural urges are not to be crushed to powerdish non-existence’ nor are these to be ‘burnt’. Kashmir Shiava monism advocates the sublimation and gratification of senses and desires which paves the wa to the final state of self-cognition.
The book is a good reading especially in the portions where inner theme of the Vaakhs has been elucidated. Such an attempt pioneers a new trend in the exposition of Lalla Book: Kashmir’s Hermat Poetess Lalla Ded Alias Lalla Arifa by R.N. Koul Pages 101, Price 150.

Source: Kashmir Sentinel

Shivoham..shivoham…(advaith philosophy)

Here is an English translation of one of the most famous Hymns composed by Adi Shankarachariyaji….{in our Janthries(Koshur Calender) you will find this hymn marked “Shivoham Shivoham”}.This is a very profound announcement made by Great Shankarachariya about our Real Nature as well:those who commit this hymn to memory & recite it are really the Blessed ones. Shiva in the hymn has to be understood as Brahman of Vedant doctrine or Param Shiv of Kashmir Shaivism :

Om, I am neither the mind, intelligence, ego, nor ‘chitta,’
Nor the senses of smell and sight, neither ether, nor air,
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

I am neither the ‘prana,’ nor the five vital breaths,
Neither the seven elements of the body, nor its five sheaths,
Nor hands, nor feet, nor tongue, nor other organs of action.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

Neither fear, greed, nor delusion, loathing, nor liking have I,
Nothing of pride, of ego, of ‘dharma’ or Liberation,
Neither desire of the mind, nor objects for its desiring.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

Nothing of pleasure and pain, of virtue and vice, do I know,
Of mantra, of sacred place, of Vedas or Sacrifice,
Neither I am the eater, the food or the act of eating.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

Death or fear, I have none, nor any distinction of ‘caste,’
Neither father, nor mother, nor even a birth, have I,
Neither friend, nor comrade, neither disciple, nor guru.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

I have no form or fancy, the All Pervading am I,
Everywhere I exist, and yet I am beyond the senses,
Neither salvation am I, nor anything to be known.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!
…………..Adi Shankaracharya
source:Mr.pushker n bhat

kashmir shaivism(trika philosophy)

 

Kashmir Shaivism(trika philosophy)
“Let Shiva, who is my Self, let Shiva do pranam (bow down) to his real nature – to Universal Shiva, by his own Shakti, for removing the bondage and limitation, which is Shiva.” BY Swami laksmanjoo

“Trika philosophy is situated in the heart of that supreme energy of God consciousness. It teaches you to realize that this whole objective world, which is already in front of you, is not separate from God consciousness. You do not have to realize God situated in some seventh heaven. God and the individual are one, to realize this is the essence of Shaivism.”by Swami laksmanjoo
 

 

Kashmir Shaivism flourished around 900 ce in Kashmir. Often Abhinavgupta is creditided for bringing out the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism. Abhinavagupta, was the great Kashmirian Shaiva theologian. Abhinavagupta lived from about 975 to 1025 CE. His father Vimala and his mother Narasimhagupta conceived him in Kaula ritual. He was descended from Atrigupta, a brahman scholar brought to Kashmir by King Lalitaditya (c. 724 to 760). His father was a learned Shaiva and trained his son in grammar, logic, and hermeneutics. His mother died when he was a child and he considered this the start of his spiritual progress. Becoming filled with devotion to Shiva, he gave up thoughts of marriage and led the life of a student in the homes of Shaiva scholars.

The teachings of Kashmir Shaivism are derived from the ninety-two Tantras, also known as Agamas, revealed by Lord Siva in the form of a dialog between himself and the Divine Mother. Of these Tantras, sixty-four are considered purely monistic, eighteen are monistic-cum-dualistic, and ten are dualistic. Kashmir Shaivism derives its teachings from the sixty-four monistic Tantras, known as the Bhairava Tantras, the essence of which is called ‘Trika Shaivism’.

The philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism was passed on from master to disciple orally and Swami laksmanjoo was direct descendant in the unbroken chain of Masters of this oral tradition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAL DED

Lal ded is considered as one of the greatest Holywomen,Sufi,Yogi,poet of Kashmir.It is believed that Lal Ded was born in 1355 in Pandrethan to a Kashmiri Pandit family. Even as a child, Lalla was wise and religious-minded. She was married at the age of 12.Her mother-in-law was very cruel and treated her very badly.Even her husband treated her badly.She renounced the family at the age of 26 and became a devotee of lord shiva. Her verse are known as lal vakh in kashmiri and are a source of her wisdom as well as philosophy of Kashmir shaivism.
As on today Kashmir shaivism is on the verge of extinction and very few people are left who actually know this philosophy.

Some of the verses of lalleshwari(lal-ded) are written below:

Thousand times I asked my guru

A thousand times I asked my guru,
‘The name of the One who is known by No-thing’,
Tired and exhausted was I, asking time and again;
Out of Nothing emerged Something, bewildering and great

Coursing in emptiness

Coursing in emptiness,
I, Lalla,
dropped off body and mind,
and stepped into the Secret Self.

Look: Lalla the sedgeflower
blossomed a lotus.

For a moment I suppressed the bellows of respiration

For a moment I suppressed the bellows of respiration,
Lo and behold! The Lamp lit up brightly and I realized my Self!
The light within me sparkled out;
In the encompassing darkness, I seized at It and gripped It tightly
Give up imagining that the skill of killing desire, and meditating on the Self are too costly to buy;

He stands close by you

 

 

He stands close by you! Do not look for Him far away.
The void was dissolved in the Void!Searched for my self
searched for my Self
until I grew weary,

but no one, I know now,
reaches the hidden knowledge
by means of effort.

Then, absorbed in “Thou art This,”
I found the place of Wine.

There all the jars are filled,
but no one is left to drink.

 

 

There is neither YOU,nor I

There is neither you, nor I; neither the object of meditation, nor the process of meditation;
The Father of all action forgot Himself there.
The blind did not see any relationship and support there,
The devout merged with Him, the moment they saw the Lord!

WHEN MY MIND CLEANSED OF IMPURITIES

 

When my mind was cleansed of impurities, like a mirror of its dust and dirt,
I recognized the Self in me:
When I saw Him dwelling in me,
I realized that He was the Everything and I was nothing.
(these verses by lal-ded have been translated by Mr.B.N.Parimoo from kashmiri to english language.)