- Yoga Pada, Chapter 1 (32 verses)
- Vidya Pada, Chapter 1: Detailed Exposition on the Three Eternal Categories (27 verses)
- Vidya Pada, Chapter 2: The Direct Blissful Experience of Absolute Oneness with Siva (63 verses)
- Vidya Pada, Chapter 3: The Nature of the Physical Self (62 verses)
- Vidya Pada, Chapter 4: On the Nature of the Inner Self (3 verses)
- Vidya Pada, Chapter 5: On the Nature of the Self Associated with Tattvas (19 verses)
- Vidya Pada, Chapter 6: On the Nature of the Self in the Form of Mantra (23 verses)
- Vidya Pada, Chapter 7: On the Nature of the Supreme Self (24 verses)
Yoga Pada, Chapter 1 (32 verses)
O, Sanmukha!, I will explain the disciplines of yoga as applicable to the one who is alone keeping himself dissociated from the company of worldly-minded persons, who is with settled mind, who is with deep sense of detachment by keeping his mind under control, who takes moderate food, who limits himself in his routine worldly activities and who sleeps moderately and keeps himself awake sufficiently. Listen to my instructions on yoga.
Only that person who has known well the nature of meditator, meditation and the fruit of meditation is fit enough to undertake the disciplines of yoga. The individual self is the meditator. Mind is meditation. The Great Lord Siva is the One to be meditated. The attainment of the supreme qualities of Siva, superior to which there is nothing, is the fruit of meditation.
Keeping the mind balanced well when honored or abused, and in the same way when delighted or distressed and having completely freed himself from being subject to excessive delight, fearfulness and despondency, the sadhaka should repeatedly practice the disciplines of yoga.
In the places such as a solitary house, charming monastery, auspicious temple charged with divinity, bank of river not frequented by the people, one’s own house, unapproachable dense forest, sequestered place hidden by the trees, places free from the disturbing sounds and the quiet place free from the presence of humans, animals, insects and so forth, in the places free from those which cause hindrances and disturbances to yoga-practice, in the places which are not owned by others and in the places well protected from the scorching heat of the sun, the sadhaka should commence the yoga- practice.
Having taken the usual ceremonial bath, maintaining purity in body and mind, having performed the succeeding rites such as getting besmeared with vibhuti and sprinkled with consecrated water, having prostrated before Siva and his Acarya (Guru) who has initiated him into the discipline of yoga, the sadhaka should attentively involve himself in the disciplines of yoga.
There are many postures suitable to yoga-practice such as padmaka, svastika, ardha pitha, ardha candra, sarvatobhadra and so forth. Having assumed a posture compatible to him and folding the hands together to express supplication, and keeping his body upright, having well aligned his head and having abandoned all the negative thoughts from his mind, O, Guha!, the sadhaka should practice yoga, with his mind well established within his own self.
Without allowing the upper row of teeth to touch the lower teeth and without allowing the tongue to touch the corners of the mouth, and keeping his eyes half-closed and raised, the sadhaka should repeat the mu’lamantra of Siva in a perfect way as instructed by his Guru.
The systematic repetition of mu’lamantra illuminates and makes known all the tattvas such as the subtle elements (tanmatras) and others to the embodied self. O, Sanmukha!, the sadhaka then becomes capable of severing his bonds born of these tattvas through the particular repetition of astra mantra instructed to him by his Guru.
The sadhaka who practises in this way need not repeat the hr’daya mantra, siro mantra, sikha mantra, kavaca mantra and netra mantra separately at the completion of mula mantra japa, since all the six anga mantras originate from that mula mantra.
Having equalized the outbreath and inbreath (prana and apana) and having enabled the breath to flow through within the central channel (susumna) and having arrested the workings of inbreath and outbreath, the well-skilled sadhaka should deeply meditate on Lord Siva.
Through the continued practice of such discipline, the sadhaka becomes capable of establishing himself in unfailing and inseparable union with the luminous form which is extremely subtle, pervasive, eternal and immutable.
The specific kind of pranayama known as sagarbha pranayama is of three kinds – the superior, intermediary and slow. The sadhaka should practice the control of breath through puraka (inbreath), kumbhaka (retention of breath) and recaka (outbreath).
By the practice of pranayama, the sadhaka incinerates all the defilements. By dharana, he annihilates all of his sinful effects. By pratyahara, he maintains himself completely free from the negative thoughts and vices. And by dhyana, he becomes capable of nullifying the effects of even those qualities which do not decay.
Inhaling the breath deeply to the extent possible and filling up the stomach with the breath taken inside is the mode of pranayama known as puraka. Closing all the passages meant for the flow of prana and keeping free from inhalation and exhalation, the sadhaka should remain seated like a vessel (kumbha) completely filled up to its mouth.This mode of pranayama is known as kumbhaka. The sadhaka should empty the stomach by slowly exhaling the prana. This mode of pranayama is known as recaka which is instrumental in driving the prana out.
Stretching the forearm, if one encircles his knee once from left to right simultaneously snapping his fingers, the time taken for doing such encircling once is called ma’tra. Twelve matras make one measure known as tala.
The pranayama done with the duration of 12 talas is of lower kind. That which is done with the duration of 24 talas is of intermediary type. The supreme kind of pranayama is that which is done with the duration of 48 talas.
The sadhaka who has known well the system of yoga should increase the duration of pranayama by one tala day by day. Increasing the duration of pranayama should not be done very swiftly or very slowly. He should increase the duration gradually and in due order.
Twice the supreme kind of pranayama is considered as dharana. Twice the duration of dharana is considered as yoga. Twice the duration of yoga is significantly known as yogasiddhi exclusively related to Lord Siva, the Supreme Self.
Then the sadhaka becomes capable of perceiving directly the five subtle elements- smell, taste, form, touch and sound (gandha, rasa, rupa, sparsa and sabda). He is able to see each element separately as associated with its associated seed letter and form by means of krama yoga, the yoga practiced step by step in due order.
Then he sees all those tattvas which are above the subtle elements. Ahankara manas, buddhi, guna, prakrti and purusa – all these tattvas as associated with their respective forms and qualities become evidently manifest to him.
Then, having seen the tattvas, vidya, kala, kala, maya and suddha vidya one by one in their due order, the sadhaka should dissociate himself from these tattvas by severing them with the mantra of sivaastra.
Then the sadhaka is able to see isvara tattva, the location of eight Vidyes’varas, and then the supreme sadasiva tattva. Having severed his bonds connected with these tattvas with the mantra of ksurikastra, he should enter the foremost tattva known as siva tattva which is subtle and unreachable even to the sages.
The knower of this supreme yoga system, having entered into the highest and subtle siva tattva becomes immortalized, evolves into the knower of all, doer of all, indweller of all, seer of all and the lord of all, comparable to Siva.
In all the Agamic Scriptures, the four eternal existents which are to be essentially known, have been explained. They are – pasu, pasa, pati and Siva. These are to be known systematically as set forth in the Agamas.
Having known in this way the ultimate One which is formed of eternal tattvas and which is the quintessence of all the Revealed Scriptures, the sadhaka evolves into a liberated embodied being (ji’van mukta). Even though he may be wandering in this world like an ordinary human being, for him this is the last embodiment. He will never get embodied hereafter.
Vidya Pada, Chapter 1: Detailed Exposition on the Three Eternal Categories (27 verses)
O, the Great Lord, I am intent on hearing from you the essential and immanent nature of the bound self and of the fettering bonds as they really are. Also, explain how the souls and the bonds get linked.
The Lord asked: “Of these two, pasu and pasa, which do you want to hear first, pasa or pasu?” Lord Skanda replied: “What are those bonds? What is that which is very often told as mala? For which reason the souls get chained with the limiting factors?”
“How the essential nature of Pati, who, being established in the specific state of authority, performs the fivefold cosmic function, could be known? How the essential nature of Lord Siva who is above and free from the specific state of authority has been explained?”
The Lord said: Pasu is the embodied self. To know or to do, it is always dependant on some other sources. Essentially it is of the nature of consciousness alone. But its knowledge and actions are limited by the eternal impurity known as mala. Because of its limitedness, it is in deluded state. It is entangled in the transmigratory process which terminates when the self is disentangled from the bonds and granted liberation. It is with limited knowledge and it is bereft of doership.
It is to be known that just as goldness exists concealed in copper, even so sivatva remains latent in an embodied self.
Just as the copper attains permanently the nature of being gold by the proper treatment with relevant alchemical substance, even so the embodied self attains sivatva by the supreme knowledge gained by it through Siva’s grace.
Just as ghee is present indistinctly in the milk, being mingled with it, even so sivatva remains unmanifested within the self which is associated with the limiting bonds.
Just as a physician talented in arresting the power of poison, annihilates the potency of the poison through his powerful meditation and through the power of mantras, even so the Guru accomplishes the removal of limiting potencies of the bonds through various kinds of initiation (diksa) related to Siva.
In the annihilation of poison, only the killing potency of the poison gets totally arrested by the power of mantras and herbal substances. So also, the limiting factors of all the bonds are totally subdued and severed by proper initiation.
Just as an alchemist incinerates with fire and fuels the verdigris and other impurities which conceal the goldness of the copper, even so the Guru incinerates the two primary bonds – anava mala and karma mala – of the competent embodied self by being the inner self of that self.
What are considered as bonds have appeared to the souls occasioning the state of embodiment and enjoyment for them. As held in this Agama, the primary bonds are of two kinds – dharma and adharma. They are the innate bonds of all kinds of souls. They exist in the souls as verdigris is present in the copper as its co-born impurity.
Those bonds which come under the category of adharma are of three kinds – the innate (sahaja), the adventitious (agantuka) and the associated (samsargika). Now, listen to my instructions as to how the existence of these three bonds is established and how these bonds are functioning.
O, Guha!, The tattvas such as tanmatras and others are of subtle nature and assume the form of subtle body. They get adjoined with the bodies pertaining to all the souls existing in all the planes of existence. Since these tattvas of impure realm (asuddha maya) limit the pervasive nature of the souls, these are considered as bonds. Even the pure realm known as suddha maya which is co-born and which reaches all the souls of all the worlds is considered as a binding factor.
All the bodies and the objects of enjoyment of all the worlds remain conditioned by these tattvas. Since they restrict the souls in respect of their knowledge and action they are of the nature of mala. Compared to the worlds, they are very subtle. They are eternal and they remain associated with all the souls as their innate impurity.
The organs of knowledge and action, internal instruments, objects which are recognised by them, physical bodies, all the worlds and the worldly objects meant for the enjoyment of the souls – all of these get evolved from the seed-substance known as maya. These evolutes are considered as the adventitious impurity (agantuka mala). As related to the two bonds- sahaja and agantuka – one more bond called the associated impurity (samsargika) occurs to the souls.
As related to anava mala and maya mala, the karma mala (samsargika) arises in two modes – merit (subha) and demerit (asubha). All the bonds effected by karma are called the associated impurities (samsargika) which yield their fruits to the concerned souls in terms of pleasure and pain.
The bodies are provided for the souls according to the fruits of the deeds done by the souls in previous birth. More deeds are done by the souls with the bodies given to them anew in this birth. The effects of karma earned previously were due to the body provided to the souls prior to that. Continued in this way it is known that there is a primal karma which necessitated the first embodiment.
The Lord Isvara provides fitting bodies to the defiled souls according to the effects of their previous deeds. The effects of mature karmas result in the creation of new bodies to the concerned souls. If there is no such effect of mature karma for a soul, then there occurs the dissolution of body, instrument, location and enjoyment in respect of that particular soul.
O, Guha, the holder of peacock banner ! As its essential nature, the self has the power of all-knowing and all-doing. But, since it is beginninglessly associated with the veiling impurity called anava, it is with limited knowledge and limited action. Because of such limitedness, the soul gets chained with adventitious mala (agantuka) and associated mala (samsargika). Eventually, the soul becomes constrained in its actions. Even though it is pervasive, it remains confined to a particular body.
Just like a father, on seeing the offences and violations committed by his son, chains him and confines him within a cell, even so, the soul which remains deluded being under the spell of anava mala attains the state of bondage which confines it to a particular body. Even though it is with insignificant power of doing an action, it is put in chains as occasioned by the presence of anava mala.
Being associated with a saint, even though a person remains unconcerned with the happenings of the world and unmindful of pleasure and pain, he gets chained and confined in view of the offences committed by him earlier. In the same way, even though a particular self attains perfection through the removal of potencies of the bonds, its present state of embodiment is kept continued because of the remaining effects of its deeds done by it previously.
It is to be known that the bonds are without beginning and end. The souls are eternal, being without beginning and end. The Lord who cuts asunder the bonds and disentangles the souls from bondage, in the same way, is eternal. He is the controller of pasu and pasa.
Pati, who is the protector of the souls and controller of the bonds is known as Sadasiva. He is the soul of all the mantras. His form is designed of five brahma mantras. This Sadasiva is the presiding and directing Lord of all the Mantras. In order to establish all the souls in His own state, He becomes the performer of fivefold cosmic function- creation, maintenance, dissolution and so on.
Thus the nature of Pati, who is the bestower of all the desired fruits has been well instructed to you. His form is conceived as gross, subtle and the mixed.
The transcendent Lord known as Siva is superior to Pati. He is beyond the realm and reach of mantras. Eternally He is free from the association of mala. He is untouched by the transmigratory phenomenon. There is nothing to serve Him as His seat or place. He is not to be identifiable with a name or form.
He is the all-knower. He has his presence within every soul and within every thing. He is free from likes and dislikes. He is facing all directions. Being formless He is beyond the comprehension of senses. There is nothing external to Him to support His existence. Extremely subtle so as to be even within a micro particle. Immutably eternal. He is in the highest plane of supreme consciousness which never changes or decays.
He is the only one to be called Bhagava’n. He is all-pervasive; immeasurable and beyond the scope of any valid proof (prama’n.a); incomparable. Just as oil is present throughout the sesame seed, even so He is present outside and inside of every existent.
Vidya Pada, Chapter 2: The Direct Blissful Experience of Absolute Oneness with Siva (63 verses)
O, Guha!, Next I will explain a specific meditative discipline in all its real characteristics. By practicing this specific discipline, the Supreme Reality which is subtle, which is within the heart of every being and which is eternally free from the association of the entire range of tattvas could be perfectly known even though it is incomprehensible to the human senses.One who knows this specific discipline attains identical existence with Lord Siva. So far this supreme discipline has not been revealed to anybody. Now listen to the instruction on this supreme science of meditation as transmitted from me.
This supreme discipline has been coming down through the continued lineage of the Guru from time immemorial. This is incomprehensible to all those who are affiliated to various systems, both religious and philosophical. This has been formulated for the attainment of complete liberation from the repeated phenomenon of birth and death. This is supreme in its kind and concerned with the ultimate benefit of all the souls.
“This Lord Siva who shines forth within the heart of all beings, who is self-luminous, who presents himself as all the souls, worlds and worldly objects, who creates and directs all the tattvas, who is of the nature of all the tattvas evolved by him from the maya, who is inconceivable, who exists in the highest transcendental plane which is beyond the range of all other planes occupied by other Gods and who transcends all the tattvas from the siva tattva to the prthvi tattva, is verily beyond the reach of speech, mind and name. Such a Lord is indeed Myself.” Let the highly refined seeker meditate on Lord Siva in this way with his mind completely free from modifications and differentiations effected by the limiting bonds.
That which is formless, which is of the nature of supreme consciousness, which is eternally existing, which is in eternal abode, which is eternally free from the constricting bonds, which is free from mutations, which is indescribable, which is beyond the possibilities of illustrative reasons and parables, which is beyond the classification of genders (male, female and neuter), which is indestructible, which is free from likes and dislikes, which is absolutely beyond the knowable and definable existents, which is inconceivable and whose transcendental existence cannot be doubted is really Myself. There is no doubt about this identity.
He who is the supreme Lord, who is of the nature of all mantras, who is one with absolute auspiciousness and purity, who is beyond the entire range of mantras and who is free from the cosmic phenomenon of manifestation and absorption is indeed Myself.
All this world constituted of the seen and the unseen, of the moveable and immoveable existents, is pervaded by me. I myself am the lord of the world. Only from me all things emerge, flourish and proliferate.
The entire range of worlds variegated with innumerably formed objects, all the tattvas from siva to prthvi in which these worlds of variegated forms exist – all these have their existence only in me.
Even those insignificant things which are actually seen and even those which are heard to have their existence, differentiated as exterior objects and interior objects – all are pervaded by me.
‘I am the individual self. Siva who is considered to be the Supreme Self is different from me.’ He who contemplates in this way being under the spell of ignorance and infatuation will never attain the exalted qualities of Lord Siva characterized by the power of all knowing and that of all doing.
‘Siva is different from me. Actually I am different from Siva.’ – The highly refined seeker should avoid such sort of vicious notion of difference. ‘He who is Siva is indeed Myself.’ – Let him always contemplate this non-dual union between Siva and himself.
One who is with one-pointed meditation of such non-dual unity gets himself established within his own self, always and everywhere. Being established within himself he directly sees the Lord who is within every soul and within every object and who presents himself in all the manifested bodies. There is no doubt about the occurrence such experience.
Within such a yogi who establishes himself in absolute non-dual union with Lord Siva and who keeps himself free from all sorts of differentiating notions, the exalted power of all-knowing gets unfolded in all its fullness.
He who is declared in all the authentic Scriptures as unborn, the creator and controller of the universe, the One who is not associated with body evolved from maya, the One who is free from the qualities evolved from maya and who is the self of all, is indeed Myself. There is no doubt about this non-dual union.
He who does not realize this truth will always remain as an eternally bound soul involved in the repeated phenomenon of being born again and again. He who realizes this truth gets immortalized and attains absolute purity. He becomes one with Lord Siva Himself. There is no doubt about this.
Therefore, the essential nature of the Self is always to be known and well investigated by those who are efficacious in pursuing the path of knowledge. The Supreme Self appears differentiated as the Trascendental (para) and the Immanent (apara). Likewise, the individual self appears differentiated as the gross (sthula) and the subtle (suksma).
The Supreme Self, Lord Siva, in His transcendental mode, is absolutely free from the activities concerned with the world, being of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. The Immanent Self, appearing as Sadasiva, is engaged in fivefold cosmic function – creation and so forth. The individual self, in its gross mode, appears in complete identity with the mantras with which it assumes the form of Lord Siva. The individual self, in its subtle mode, transcends the mantra-made form and establishes itself in absolute meditative union with the Supreme Self.
O, Sadanana, what is the benefit of expounding this through elaborated statements? By the use of specifically choiced words indicative of varied meanings and implications, the mind only becomes capable of effecting false and misguiding knowledge.
All attributes of all the objects are present in the self. By contemplating its total identity with a particular object associated with its own attributes, the self also, being in contemplative union with that object, becomes that particular object itself, leaving no room for any doubt.
Thus, the supreme science of self has been revealed very succinctly. Having known all these characteristics of the self, the refined seeker should meditate on the essential nature of his own self.
For the refined seeker who has devoted himself to the science of self which is supremely pure and which is auspicious and benefiting for all, there is no sacrificial ritual or sacrificial fees to be given in abundance considering various gods and deities.
For all those who have sunk into the ocean of endless transmigration and who are really intent on reaching the final resort, apart from the supreme science of self, there is no other giver of final resort.
Having become one with the Supreme Self, he who knows the essential nature of the self in all its dimensions and reality, effortlessly gets liberated from the bonds, even though he may be with bodily existence subjected to all states pertaining to the embodied life, such as waking, dreaming, sleeping and so on.
No other great attainment than the attainment of one’s own self [may want to capitalize Self in these verses, but Sabharathanam did not] is known here and elsewhere. So, by all means, the refined seeker should meditate on his own self with the firm resolute: “This self of mine is indeed He who is the Supreme One”.
This self is neither the inbreath nor the outbreath; nor the specific instruments significantly trained in breath control or meditation. The seeker should always conceive his self as the knower of all and as the one in its total fullness and perfection.
This self is neither inside the body nor outside the body. Neither it is at a greater distance nor at a closer point. It is in a supreme space which is beyond the range of 36 tattvas and of the worlds contained in them. The refined seeker should install his mind in that supreme place.
Pervading completely in all directions – across, above, below, outside, inside and so on – the self always exists in its own state being dissociated from all things. Being self luminous it shines forth with its own brilliance and illumines everything. The refined seeker should always meditate on his own self which is of such nature.
The self is not to be considered as absolutely non-existent (na sunyam). In its own state it is bereft of adjuncts such as body, instruments and so forth (na asunyam). But in its embodied state it is associated with relevant body, instruments, location and enjoyments (na sunyam). In its liberated state, it becomes one with Siva who is eternally free from the constricting adjuncts. The refined seeker should meditate on his own self as completely dissociated from adherence to such notion of state as existent or non-existent.
The refined seeker should meditate on his own self as bereft of birth and death, as self-subsisting being free from any supportive element, as free from any name and form, as not obscured by the constricting bond known as anava mala and as untouched by the three qualities – sattva,rajas and tamas – which evolve from maya.
He should meditate on his own self as absolutely independent, as the one which does not need any external support for its existence and brilliance, as immeasurable, as incomparable, as of absolute purity in its own essential state and as the eternal one.
Having abandoned all the worldly activities, being free from desire for worldly enjoyments and keeping himself away from the company of worldly minded persons, the refined seeker should meditate on his own self as guided by his own self and exist himself having installed his self within his own self.
Having completely abandoned all those attachments related to his location, lineage, caste and stages of life such as celibacy, house-holder and so forth, the refined and enlightened seeker should contemplate the essential nature of his own self.
‘This is the mantra I recite; this is the Deity I worship; this is mode of my meditation; this is my way of austerity’ – having abandoned all such differentiated notions, the refined seeker should contemplate the essential state of his own self only.
Having firmly fixed his contemplation in a significant mode which is free from the three positions – difference, non-difference and both – and having made his unique mode of contemplation to be absolutely independent, and having trained his mind to be motionless within his own self, the refined seeker should not think of any other discipline.
The essential nature of the self is inconceivable to those who are desirous of worldly enjoyments (na cintyam). But it is well conceivable by those who are intent on attaining the final liberation (na acintyam). In its embodied state, the self, being with constricted and insignificant knowledge only, is comparable to an inert object (na cintyam ). But in its liberated state, the self is of the nature of pure and unlimited consciousness (cintyam). Being completely free from adherence to any disputable views, the refined seeker should always meditate on his own self.
Keeping his mind completely independent in such a way that it is not influenced by the factors external to his self, he should constantly meditate on his own self whose real nature is inconceivable to the worldly persons and experience the bliss of his own self. That bliss which is experienced by him by becoming free from the association of tattvas which constrict the real nature of the soul and by getting himself installed in a transcendental plane lying beyond the range of tattvas is indeed the most supreme and ineffable bliss which does not increase or decrease, which is indescribable, which is inexplicable with illustrative reasons and examples, which is infinite and incomparable.
Within the refined seeker who has set aside all sorts of associated thoughts related to worldly pleasures and objects and who had transcended the fluctuations and modifications sustained by the mind, a significant state known as unmani bhava gets unfolded. When such a significant state (unmani bhava) dawns in him, there occurs Supreme and Ineffable Bliss to him.
For the seekers belonging to all castes and stages of life, different rules pertaining to directions, locations, appropriate time and so forth are prescribed in respect of the systematic practice of the disciplines of yoga. But no such different rules are laid down for those who are devoted to the path of knowledge.
Cows are of many colors. But the milk got from those cows is of only one color. Likewise the knowledge attained by those who pursue the path of knowledge is seen as undifferentiated like the cow-milk. Those who are associated with external and differing insignia are comparable to the cows of different colors.
Because the Supreme Self is within the heart of all beings by virtue of its pervasiveness and because it pervades over all other Gods who are pervasive, it is significantly known as the Great Pervasive (brahma vyapaka). It is oriented towards all directions and all souls. Having installed his own self in the Supreme Self of such greatness, the refined seeker should not take into considerations the features of particular direction and particular place.
For the refined seeker who meditates in this way and who has established himself in the Great Pervasive Supreme Self, there does not prevail any past deed nor its fruit. There is nothing to be performed now or in future. There is no injunction; no external insignia; no observable regulations pertaining to various stages of life.
Whether he walks or stands, sleeps or is awake, eats or drinks,– in all such activities and in all occasions, whether he is affected by stormy wind or extreme cold or excessive heat, whether he gets affected by the fruits of his past deeds or indigence or disease, affected by indigestion, fever and such others, the refined seeker who meditates on his own self, installs himself within his own self; attains calmness; he becomes self-content; and he evolves into a transcendental and pure being.
‘I exist in my own self; I have not come here from another place nor I am going to another place; I will not come in future nor I will go; I have not born; nor I will be embodied in future. All the bodies given to the self are evolved of prakrti (maya) which is associated with everlasting phenomenon conditioned by the past deeds of the bound self. The deeds of the bound self are effected by the bodies which evolve from maya and the continued embodiment through maya occurs due to deeds of the self. As such, I do not perform even an insignificant deed.’ With this firm resolute, the refined seeker who is the knower of Reality, should conceive himself as untouched by the effects of karma.
The advanced seeker who meditates on his own self does not get associated with the fetters born of maya. One who is free from the bondage of maya is called the Liberated. Such a person never gets defiled by the impurities born of maya.
Just as a lamp shines forth with brilliance, having completely dispelled the appearance of darkness, even so the self which has attained the supreme state shines forth with exceeding brilliance, with its darkness born of ignorance completely dispelled.
Just as the lamp gets extinguished with its own constituent elements when the oil is completely exhausted, even so the seeker in whom the exact conception of the self is ingrained gets himself established in his own self which is now in total identity with the Supreme Self, Siva. The flame of a lamp consists of three elements – space, air and fire. When the lamp extinguishes, the space element merges with outer space, the air element merges with air and the fire element merges with fire.
There is the presence of space enclosed within a pot. When the pot begins to wear away by constant use, only the pot becomes damaged, not the enclosed space. In the same way, the self residing in a body is comparable to the space.
When the pot becomes broken, the space enclosed in it mingles with the outer space and attains the quality of the outer space, having become one with it. In the same way, when the body evolved from the maya gets separated from the seeker, his self attains the essential qualities of Siva, being established in the Supreme Self.
In this way, the seeker who is fully qualified to practice such supreme kind of meditation as instructed by the Guru well versed in this Sarvajn”a Agama, becomes completely disentangled from all the bonds, evolves into all-knower and becomes all-pervasive by the constant practice of non-dual meditation.
Having set aside all those scriptures which contradict the truths enshrined in this Agama and having clearly understood the pure nature of the self as conceived in this Agama, the knower of this Agama, being refined and firmly resolved, should practice this non-dual meditation for the attainment of meditative union with the Supreme Self. Having realized with all certitude that there is not even a single discipline here superior to this yoga of non-dual meditation and having arrested all of his mental modifications and fluctuations, he should practice this supreme science of yoga. Upon such constant practice, he reaches a bodiless state and gets established constantly in that state. He reaches all directions and places simultaneously by virtue of his bodiless and pervasive nature; he becomes the Liberated Self. He becomes the possessor all the exalted qualities of Lord Siva who presents Himself simultaneously within and outside the universe replete with moveable and immoveable existents.
He attains the exalted state of sivatva characterized by the eight qualities: power of all knowing (sarvajnata) eternal contentment (trpti) eternally unobscured knowledge (anadi bodha) absolute freedom (svatantrata) unfailing power (alupta sakti) infinite power (ananta sakti) undefiled by engaging in cosmic functions (niramayatma) eternally pure form (visuddha deha)
For such an accomplished seeker (yogi), there is no initiation; no sacrament; no ritualistic hand-gesture (mudra); no specific design (mandala); no incantation; no worship; no meditation; no oblation; no performance of rituals.
For him there do not prevail the fruits of merit and demerit; no offering of cooked rice-ball accompanied with sesame and water to be made by him for the departed souls; for him there do not prevail any rules and directions restricting his activities; no fasting is ordained for him.
For him, there are no activities concerned with worldly enjoyments; no activities in respect of liberation; no observances in respect of various stages of life such as celibacy, house-holder and son; no entering into the fire; no falling down from the summit of a mountain; no throwing himself into the water.
Drinking the nectar of sivajnana and roaming about according to his own wish, he becomes eternal like Lord Siva; he evolves into an accomplished yogi and becomes absolutely free from the cosmic phenomenon of creation and absorption.
This is the truth; this is the truth; verily, this is ever-relevant truth. As asseverated by an oath, I swear this is truth. O, Guha!, there is nothing to be known as superior to this truth.
Being with absolute purity and pure consciousness, the supreme yogi of such an accomplishment purifies by his mere look all the manifested existents. He, being unbound and unshrouded, sees all things and all beings as pure expressions and manifestations of Siva through his pure contemplative vision.
Vidya Pada, Chapter 3: The Nature of the Physical Self (62 verses)
The physical body of the soul is inevitably prone to birth and death and it is of the nature of food. It is very much linked with the effects of its previous deeds which are manifold.
It is to be known that the physical body is constituted of proportionate mixture of five gross elements – space, air, fire, water and earth. It is of four kinds. The first one is the seed-born (udbhida). Trees, plants, grass, bushes and such others are the seed-born.
Insects, worms, moths and such others are known as the vapor-born (svedaja). Birds, crocodiles, fishes, snakes, tortoise and such others are known as the egg-born (andaja). Human beings and animals are known as the embryo-born (jarauja).
A seed deposited in the earth gets moistened by the water inside the earth and subsequently gets matured by the internal heat of the earth. Being transposed by the air inside the earth, it gains the germinating power by the space element within the earth. There are about 61 essential seeds which are nutritious to the human beings. For germination, they are moistened with water.
They become swollen and soft and attain the state of being the basic source of germination. From that principal source, sprouts come out and from the sprouts tender leaves are produced.
Stalk comes out from the leaf and then stems and tiny branches come out. Flowers come out from the stem and the flowers become the source of sap, essential for the grains. From the sap are produced unhusked grains.
When the grains become mature, plants are produced from them. Including the paddy, seventeen plants are considered to be most important.
These plants, including those which are known as annual plants, are of supreme kind. Other plants are considered as insignificant. The grains got from the plants are gathered, crushed and pounded and they become refined through various treatments.
By the household appliances such as the winnowing basket, mortar and others they become more and more polished and they are put into the pots and cooked by water and fire. At the final stage they assume the form of six kinds of food.
When the saucy substances get mixed with one another, they become pleasant to the taste. Seasoned items (bhaksyam), solid meals (bhojyam), drinkable items (peyam), items to be lapped up (lehyam), items to be sucked (cosyam), soups (piccilam) – these are the six kinds of food. Similarly there are six kinds of taste, sweet and others.
Taken as morsels and lumps, the food is chewed and swallowed by the embodied beings. First, the vital air (prana vayu) deposits the swallowed food in the receptacle inside the stomach. Having placed the food collectively there, the vital air enters into the food and separates it into two parts, as the solid and the liquid food.
Having kept the liquid substance over the abdominal fire, the vital air places the solid food over the liquid one. Keeping itself below the liquid, the vital air gently blows and kindles the abdominal fire. Being kindled by the vital air, the abdominal fire heats the liquid food.
In this way, the whole food is further cooked inside the stomach by the water heated up by the fire. The food, perfected in this way, becomes twofold –as excrements and essence.
The excrements come out from the body in the form of 12 impure substances. Ears, eyes, nose, tongue, teeth, genital organ, anus, nails – these are the places where the impure substances get accumulated. Added to these eight impurities, there are phlegm, sweat, feces and urine. These are the twelve impure substances of the body.
All the nerves (nadi) which reach around the entire body have been joined to the heart-lotus. Inside these nerves, the vital air deposits the essence. It frequently fills up all the tubular vessels with this essence. With the circulation of the blood, the essence spreads throughout the body.
Then, by the heat of the body which is operating inside the nerves, the essence first surrounds all the seven layers of the skin. Subsequently, blood is produced. From the blood originate the hairs of the body; then flesh is produced from the hairs; and form the flesh comes out the sinews.
From the sinews come out the veins. From the veins, the bones originate. Nails and marrow are the products of the bones. The strength needed for the instruments (karanas) and the seminal fluid which is endowed with productive power originate from the marrow.
In this way, it is said, that food taken inside the body assumes twelve kinds of modification. So, the semen virile comes from the food and from the seminal fluid this physical body is produced.
When the seminal fluid gets discharged and stays in the embryo during the period favorable for conception, it is dragged by the vital air and gets mingled with blood of that woman.
The seminal fluid gets augmented by the essence of sweet things; marrow gains strength from the essence of sour substances; bones are strengthened by the essence of salt; fat of the body is strengthened by the essence of pungent things; flesh gains strength from the essence of bitter things; and the blood gets augmented by the essence of astringent substances. In this way all the six kinds of essence which nourish the body enter into the primary ingredients (dhatu).
The essence turns into marrow and the seminal fluid in the eighth day after the food has been taken. Fire is present in all the existents of the all the worlds. All the moving and the non-moving beings are of the nature of fire. This seminal fluid is basically the essence of fire. At the time of seminal discharge, the soul associated with its aiding instrument and linked to the effects of its own previous deeds, enters gladly into the womb.
That seminal fluid, having mingled with the blood, assumes the form of fetus (kalala) in one day. Then after five days the fetus assumes a form which looks like water-bubble (budbuda).
Then this bubble-like form gets stabilized in seven days and turns into a ball of flesh (pesi) within one month. This mass becomes firmly covered with blood and flesh within fourteen days.
Then, within 25 days, sprouts begin to come out from the mass of flesh (pesi), like the new shoots of a seed. After a lapse of one month, five sprouts come out from the flesh-mass (pesi).
Then, neck, head, shoulder, spine, backside, stomach, hands, legs, two sides, hip and other limbs of the body appear within two months in due order. Within three months, joints of all parts of the body begin to sprout.
Within four months, fingers appear in due order. Face, nose and ears get formed within five months.
The bases of the rows of teeth, anus, nails and fissure inside the ears – all these appear within six months. The extreme bottom of anus, genital organ, buttocks, navel – all these also appear along with them within the same period. All the joints of the body get well developed within seven months.
Then, within the period of eight months, all the major limbs and the secondary limbs of the body appear distinctively and defectlessly along with the head.
The soul, being embodied in due order in this way and having attained a form constituted of five elements and a perfect stage, is seated inside the womb. In this way, it attains full growth by the powerful essence of food and of the six kinds of tasty substance (shadrasa).
Fastened with the umbilical cord, it grows day by day. Being inside the womb, the soul which is now endowed with a fully developed body gains the recollection of its previous state.
It becomes capable of experiencing pleasure and pain accompanied by sleep and dream. Being inside the womb, it begins to contemplate: “I died; then I took birth. Again I died and born again. Thousands of my previous births taken from varied wombs are now seen by me. Now, as soon as I take birth from this womb, I will get essential sacraments; I will do the righteous deeds as needed by the circumstances, by doing which this kind of constrained presence inside a womb will not occur to me further. Having come out from the womb, I will approach a Guru and entreat him to bless me with the supreme knowledge (sivajnana) which is capable of putting an end to the repeated phenomenon of birth and death.” In this way, the soul is seated there, being heavily afflicted with sorrow. Having come under the control of the effects of its previous deeds, it is inside the womb contemplating the means for liberation.
O, Guha!, actuating qualities which are primary and three in number subsequently arise in the embodied soul – satva, rajasa and tamasa. Satva is the primary disposition of the mind (bhava) and it is of illuminative nature. Rajasa is the primary disposition of the mind (bhava) and it is of the nature of desire. Tamasa is the primary disposition of the mind (bhava) and it is of delusive nature. From satva arises knowledge. From rajasa arises covetousness. From tamasa arise untruth, ignorance and carelessness.
Moreover, satva gives rise to compassion, fortitude, humility and firmness of mind. Rajasa gives rise to wrath, pride and mercilessness. Those who are rooted in satva ascend to the higher planes of consciousness. Those who are dominated by rajasa keep themselves in the middle state. Those who are under the dominant influence of tamasa being given over to the lowest qualities, descends to the lower planes.
O, Sanmukha!, in some persons satva operates prevailing over rajasa and tamasa. In some others, tamasa operates overpowering rajasa and satva. And in some other persons, rajasa functions prevailing over tamasa and satva. One of these three actuating qualities is always operating predominantly in each person.
Being likened to a thatched hut, the physical body is provided with slabs and frames in the form of bones which are fastened with sinews and veins. It serves as the receptacle for feces and urine. It is thatched with hairs of the head (kesa) and those of the body (roma). It is a resort for the afflicting diseases. It is provided with the main entry in the form of face. It is ornamented with eight windows in the form of nose, ears, eyes and so on. It is with two doors in the form of two lips. It is provided with the bolt and latch in the form of teeth and tongue.
The hut-like body is associated with continuous flow of sweat. It is replete with phlegm and bile. It is under the possession of infirmity and grief. It is amidst the fire of time-wheel, augmented by the fuel of lust and wrath. It is smeared with lasting sorrow.
It is afflicted with intense desire for worldly pleasures; defiled with stupidity; gone under the control of likes and dislikes. It is with the complete growth of limbs and secondary limbs; completely rolled up in infirmity and time-bound life. Daring the difficulties, it has come out through the passage of womb. It is with a frame wetted with feces, urine and blood. It is designed with six kinds of vestures (shatkosa).
The total number of bones provided in this physical body is to be known. There are three hundred and sixty bones. There are five hundred masses (pesi) of flesh.
This physical frame has been completely covered with thirty-five millions of hairs. The soul is in its worldly existence being provided with the gross body and the subtle body, visible and invisible respectively.
This physical body is associated with millions of nerves whose total number is so great as the number of hairs. Whatever impure sweat-like substances are inside the body, all of them exude out.
In a normal human body, there are thirty-two teeth; twenty nails. The measure of bile within the body is about one kudaba (12 handfuls). The measure of phlegm is about half of one adhaka (or, 8 kudabas). [Note: One adhaka is approximately equal to 3.5 kg (7 lb 11 oz). 16 kudabas make one adhaka.]
The measure of fatty exudation is about thirty palas. The measure of fetus is about fifteen palas; bubble-like mass of flesh in the womb is about five palas. The measure of fat is about ten palas.
The measure of royal blood which stabilizes the heart-beat is about three palas. The measure of marrow is about twelve palas. The measure of seminal fluid whose virility is the source of strength for the living beings is about half of one kudaba.
Taken collectively as a single mass, the measure of flesh is about one thousand palas. Blood is about one hundred palas. Feces and urine are immeasurable. This is the nature of the physical body provided to the soul, which body is both long-lived and short-lived.
Vidya Pada, Chapter 4: On the Nature of the Inner Self (3 verses)
The subtle sound which is constantly working within the physical body is inaudible to the ears. It becomes audible when it gets associated with the outbreath (prana) and inbreath (apana) which render audibility to the fully manifested sound (sthula vak). The self which is in identity with the sound, audible and inaudible, is declared to be the Inner Self. Sound (sabda) manifests in four forms- para, pasyanti, madhyama and vaikhari. Of these four forms, para and pasyanti function unaided by the vital air. Madhyama Vak functions with the help of udana vayu. Vaikhari Vak functions with the help of outbreath and inbreath (prana and apana).
From the constant function of the primal sound (para vak) arise all the sacred scriptures, Sanskrit language, Prakruta language as well as all those languages which are spoken in different parts of the world. These have come into existence in a systematic way and have been flourishing from time immemorial.
The long-tailed animals (pasu), the short-tailed animals (mruga), birds, crawling animals and down to the tiniest creatures which live in the depths of ocean are always articulating this sound. The Agamas maintain that all the beings, form the tiniest to the largest, are breathing; breath and sound are inseparable; so, all the beings are capable of communicating through sound.
Here ends the chapter on the Nature of the Inner Self
Vidya Pada, Chapter 5: On the Nature of the Self Associated with Tattvas (19 verses)
The five source elements which are essentially subtle, namely sound, touch, form, taste and smell, mind, intellect known to have been ingrained with eight qualities, quality (guna tattva), the unmanifest prakruti, the self equipped with five coverings (purusha tattva),
The self which functions being in total identity with these 36 principles is considered to be the tattva’tma. All the planes of existence meant for the experiences of the souls are within the hold of all these 36 tattvas which are of the nature of binding the souls and of veiling the knowledge of the souls.
The 36 categories (tattvas) are very subtle; they pervade the entire range of the worlds; they are interminable; co-born with the souls; they have their existence in each and every soul. They are known in two different modes – prakrti (source which gives rise to evolution) and prakriya’ (the categories which evolve from the source).
There is no knowledge superior to the knowledge related to prakriya’; no pervasiveness greater than the pervasiveness of Lord Siva; no accomplishment superior to the accomplishment gained through Sivayoga; no happiness superior to the one born of total cessation of likes and dislikes.
O, Sanmukha! (Skanda), at the rising of a particular tattva within one’s own body, the embodied soul acquires the nature of that tattva and sustains changes in its attitudes and actions according to the nature of that tattva.
When the embodied soul gets closely linked to a particular tattva and proceeds to do the decided work, that particular tattva arises and expands, surpassing the functions of all other tattvas. Being in full possession of that tattva, the embodied soul involves itself into various actions related to that tattva.
In this way, the embodied soul continues to exist, being united with all the tattvas one by one in due order. Such link is taking place frequently and endlessly. Since the souls are basically pervasive by nature, they are always roaming and persevering, being inseparably united with the tattvas.
O Skanda!, because of such intimate linkage with the tattvas, the embodied soul very often gains different states of mind as molded by a particular tattva. Thus, even though the tattvas are pervasive by nature, the rising and setting of a particular tattva is observed in each embodied soul.
O Sanmukha (Skanda), consequently the embodied soul acquires the notion of being the lord and controller of the tattvas. Basically the soul is of the nature of being in total oneness with whatever substance it comes into contact and hence it is held that the soul is of the nature of all sorts of desire and thought as assumed by the mind. The soul attains a state of mind perfectly tuned to the desires arising in it as aided by the related tattva.
The embodied soul which was holding the notion of being the lord of the tattvas, now becomes subservient to that particular tattva with which it remains closely linked and experiences pleasure and comforts. It is to be known that the presence of the soul is in that particular tattva until the concerned action gets completed. It always acts according to its state of existence in a particular tattva.
Therefore the initiated seeker should understand the nature of the link between the soul and the tattvas as explained here. He should realize the importance of getting dissociated from the hold of tattvas and aim at experiencing bliss by installing himself in the transcendental siva tattva which is untouched by the limiting principles, which is free from mutations and which is self-existent, being not propped up by any external support.
In view of the various states attained by the soul due to its intimate association with the tattvas, it is called by different names, each one indicative of its nature. Dehi, sarvagatah, suksmah, puranah, sasvatah, dhrvah, sarvatattvanam vyapakah, ajah, avyaktah, sana’tanah, asvatantrah, nibaddhah, cinmatrah, mala dusitah, sammudhah, anitya samsari, kincijnah, anisvarah, akriyah, atma, jantuh, puman, dehi’, purusah, pudgali, jivah, kapali, ksetrajnah – these are various appellations applicable to the self. It is to be known that these names are suggestive of the characteristics of the embodied soul. Contrary to these characteristics, there are transcendental qualities of Lord Siva which are essentially to be earned by each soul. It is these characteristics of the bound soul that enable the embodied self to assume innumerable bodies for its support.
All the qualities, superior as well as inferior, abide within each soul. But being associated with the inevitable fruits of its previous deeds, it assumes innumerable bodies through innumerable births.
Getting frequently embodied in all sorts of birth in order to be dispensed with the karmic effects, he roams incessantly until the redeeming knowledge gets unfolded in his mind. He is with bodily existence thickly shrouded by ignorance and gets immersed in the flood of afflictions and agony.
Having acquired perfect knowledge related to the transcendental state of Siva through the grace of Guru, he attains supreme state of everlasting blissfulness and calmness, very shortly after the dawn of perfect knowledge. He transcends the cyclic process of birth and death. Consequently, there occurs permanent cessation to all sorts of affliction.
Vidya Pada, Chapter 6: On the Nature of the Self in the Form of Mantra (23 verses)
Subsequently, I will explain the nature of the embodied self as conceived in the form of mantra. The mantra is efficacious in warding off all sorts of grief and distress; it is very effulgent in nature and hence it is illuminative; it is capable of removing the effects of all sinful deeds; it is supreme.
In the celestial beings, yakshas, kinnaras, celestial damsels, demons, ancestors of one’s own father, ancestors of one’s own mother, divine troops, siddhas, vidyadharas, the beings of naga-loka, gandharvas, animals, ghostly beings, human beings and in all such varieties of embodied souls and in all the tattvas beginning from siva tattva, the presence of mantra is well recognized.
Without the active presence of mantras, there is nothing in the entire range of non-moving things and moving beings. All those souls which exist as the breathing entities are, in reality, possess the respective forms activated by mantras.
For all the deities which present themselves in the form of tattvas, the first letter of their names becomes its seed letter. The seed letter is variegated into six by adding particular vowels from the 14 vowels of the Sanskrit alphabet. The anga mantras of each deity, which are 6 in number, are formed in this way.
It is to be known that the name of each deity itself assumes the form of mantra. But at the same time, that mantra is to be considered as ingrained with the nature of all tattvas. It is supreme. When it is pronounced by adding it with bindu and nada at its end, it becomes capable of yielding all the desired fruits.
By joining the particular vowels to the seed-letter, the six anga mantras are designed. It is to be known that the five brahma mantras are not applicable to the Deities. They are applicable to Lord Siva alone. The anga mantras get formed and variegated by joining the long-vowels with them. Among these anga mantras, the netra mantra is in association with anusvara (the 15th vowel). The astra mantra (the 6th anga mantra) is in association with visarga (the 16th vowel) but it is dissociated from the anusvara. The sadhaka should add bindu at the end of each seed-letter belonging to all other anga mantras.
These mantras get enkindled by the pranava letter OM and they are added with “namah” at the end. The mantras ending with “namah” are to employed while performing the worship (arcana). They are to be joined with “svaha” at the end while offering the oblations into the fire.
The ritualistic activities such as invoking the deity, preparation and consecration of arghya-water, purification of vessels, offering of three sips of water (acamana), preparation and consecration of special kind of ablution-water (snapana), mantra nyasa, systematic offering of flowers and cooked rice (bali), incantation (japa) and fire-ritual are to be performed as explained in the process of systematic worship of Lord Siva.
The same rule is to be followed for the exact worship of all the Deities who present themselves in the form of tattvas pertaining to them. All those activities for which the mantras have not been specifically told are to be performed with hrudaya mantra.
In this way, the sadhaka who has known well all the rules and directions of worship, should perform the rituals with perfect realization and concentration. It is set forth in the Scriptures that the sadhaka, being the knower of the nature of mantras, should contemplate his total identity with the Deity worshipped by him and with the tattvas related to that Deity.
The term ‘vacya’ denotes the Deity, the inspiriting soul of the mantra and the term ‘vacaka’ denotes the mantra which is considered to be the sonic body of that Deity. Based on such difference as ‘vacya’ and ‘vacaka’, the sadhaka should transmute himself into the form of mantra by means of nyasa and identify his soul with the Deity worshipped. The mantra-form of the sadhaka is considered in three modes: gross, subtle and transcendental.
To accomplish all those which are desired by him, the sadhaka should perform the necessary rituals, having known the nature of mantra in its three modes – gross, subtle and transcendental. The gross one is of the nature of audible sound. The subtle is of the nature of realization through deep thought. That which is beyond the scope of even the deep thought is declared to be transcendental.
The gross form of mantra is concerned with the words audibly articulated and it functions in the buddhi tattva. The subtle form of mantra enables the sadhaka to attain yogic accomplishments (yoga siddhis). The transcendental mode of mantra denotes the exalted state of liberation which is beyond the entire range of tattvas by reaching which the sadhaka never comes back to the mundane level.
Basically, the source-mantra (mula mantra) is only one. It assumes many forms of mantras according to the nature of the Deities. Even though many lamps are lit from the source-lamp, it is seen that there is only one source-lamp. In the same way, even though there are innumerable mantras, the basic mantra is only one. Even though the reservoir is only one, the water rushing out of the reservoir assumes many forms such as tank, pond, lake and so on. In the same way, the one basic mantra assumes many forms of mantras. The exact nature of the mantra is to be known in this way.
Whichever fruit is to be gained through mantra, the sadhaka should contemplate his own self to be in the form that mantra. The anga mantras are the variegated forms of that mantra. The limbs are conceived as external and the internal. The external limbs are physical and visible whereas the internal limbs are in total identity with the anga mantras.
Each Deity has its own specific form and this should be known by the sadhaka. The same form is to be meditated upon by him in the course of his vowed observances. The same form is to be contemplated by him while performing the worship of the Deity and while offering the sandal, flowers, fruits and such other things. All such activities are to be in conformity with the mantra and the Deity.
The sadhaka should contemplate the form of the Deity as delineated in the Scripture. The form of the mantra is to be conceived in the same way as the form of the Deity is thought of. Having known this truth, the sadhaka should perform the essential rituals.
Owing to the difference in the attitude or mental disposition of different disciples to whom the mantra is instructed by the Guru, the one and the only mantra appears to be differently formed and differently lettered. The light of the crystal stone appears in various colors when various objects of different colors are placed near it. So also, the instructed mantra appears in different forms and in different letters according to the nature of those who listen to the mantra.
Thus, the nature of the self in the form of mantra has been explained to you. The individual self which is in perfect identity with the mantra becomes capable of accomplishing all the benefits. He becomes the all-knower; he becomes capable of holding all the worlds and their existents within his own self; he becomes capable of assuming all the forms.
Vidya Pada, Chapter 7: On the Nature of the Supreme Self (24 verses)
Now I will speak on the essential nature of the most exalted one which is even beyond what is considered to be supreme. It is beyond the reach of mantras; it is bereft of all limiting factors; it is free from the attributes related to satvika, rajasa and tamasa; it is not confined to a particular location and time; it is free from the colors created by names and forms; it is the knower of all; all-pervasive; reveling in sublime calmness; it has its active presence in each and every soul; it is capable of simultaneously seeing and doing everything; it is bereft of organs and instruments needed for the ordinary beings; being without any support for its presence, it is self- subsistent; extremely subtle; indestructible; ever-existent; incomparable; immeasurable and beyond the validating proof. The exalted Supreme Self is extolled to be of such transcendental characteristics.
The essential nature of the self is to become one with the object deeply contemplated by it. If the sadhaka meditates continuously on a particular form, he assumes that form in due course. Whichever state is meditated upon by the sadhaka, that state becomes fully acquired by him. The nature of being one, the nature of being many and all such states are reflected in him according to his conception. All the qualities of the form meditated by him get unfolded within himself.
By meditating on the Supreme Lord, the sadhaka acquires such a high power as to bestow all the fruits desired by the devotees. He becomes the bestower of all. Even though he is one, he is seen in six different perspectives – bhutatma, antaratma, tattvatma, jivatma, mantratma and paramatma. Thus, the one and the same self presents itself in many shades.
The bhutatma is the self which remains associated with a physical body which is the outcome of the mixture of five principal elements. The same self becomes the tattvtma when it identifies itself with the tattvas which constitute the subtle body. the same self becomes mantratma, when it is in oneness with the form of mantra. The same self is called antaratma when it is associated with four modes of sound – para, pasyanti, madhyama and vaikhari. When it becomes the enjoyer of pleasure and pain, being associated with the three gunas and when it perseveres in worldly life, it is called jivatma. The same self becomes Paramatma when it remains freed from all these adjuncts –bhuta, tattva, mantra, vak and bhoktrutva (enjoying state).
The sadhaka who has elevated himself to the supreme state of being Paramatama becomes established in eternity and endowed with the exalted qualities of Siva (aisvarya) to see all the forms and the worlds within his own self. But, once he slides down to hold the notion of duality, he creates for himself the chances of rebirth, even though he has been endowed with the supreme qualities of the Lord. After taking birth, once again he takes efforts to elevate himself, such as offering services without expecting any reward, trying to know what is eternal and what is transient. When the effects of his previous deeds get annihilated and when he develops the attitude of looking at pleasure and pain or praise and abuse with equanimity, Guru’s grace descends on him.
When the proper time is reached to get himself dissociated from the bondage of tattvas, the supreme notion of non-duality gets unfolded in him. Even though the Supreme Self is only one, it appears to be manifold due to the state of mind vitiated by the notions of difference. Those who are not trained in the path of yoga and jnana keep themselves under the notion that they are different from Siva and being deluded by erroneous knowledge, they recite hundreds of names to eulogize the Lord who is only one and who is nameless.
When sivajnana, which is impeccable and pure, which is oriented towards all disciplines and all systems of thought, dawns in the heart of the sadhaka, he begins to realize the supreme qualities of his own self which are eternal and changeless.
“I am, indeed, the Supreme Self; I am the indweller in all the forms, Purusha, who is considered to be the source of all manifestations and evolutions; I am the Supreme and Absolute Reality; I am the one to be known by all and by all means; I am imperishable; all those things which are perishable emerge only from me as differentiated existents; I am completely free from the notion of existence and non-existence; I am One; I am Siva; I remain indestructible, even though I am pervading the perishable things”
Holding such views very firmly, the enlightened sadhaka remains completely free from the effects of karmas which are annihilated by his yogic disciplines. His knots of doubts are severed by his supreme consciousness. Being established within his own self and unaffected by modifications of mind, he contemplates his own eternal Self without any interruption.
Having dispelled all the impressions lingering in the mind, being with contented heart, being free from the three impurities – anava, karma and maya – and firmly rooted in the unassailable notion of non-duality, the sadhaka should always meditate on his own Self which is in total identity with the Supreme Self.
With the eye of consciousness which is not created by the evolutes of prakruti, which is eternal, pure, immutable, pervasive, extremely subtle and supreme, he sees within his own self the Absolute One which is always pure, imperishable, incomparable, unaffected by modifications and changes, beyond the reach of thought, eternally free from the three impurities, inexplicable through logical reasoning and illustration, well contended, free from the attributes, expressive of serene calmness, beyond the range of tattvas, undefiled by limiting factors, inconceivable and which defies all sorts of doubt.
He sees his own self as one with Siva who is the bestower of all, who presents Himself within every form and body, who is all-pervasive, whose compassion expands in all directions and for all beings, who is always free from the bondage and who does not need any support for His existence.
Being firmly installed within his own self, he sees the entire range of worlds characterized by differentiations, spiritual path related to tattvas, mantras and tantras, superior state, inferior state, formed things and formless things.
He becomes the knower of all. He becomes capable of seeing all the worlds and all the evolutes within his own being. He evolves into a perfectly fulfilled self. He remains as the One who is with absolute purity. He becomes the eternally liberated one. Being the Only One and seeing nothing except his own effulgent self, he experiences inexplicable and inexhaustible bliss.
O. Skanda, this Agama which unfolds the nature of Pure Existence of Siva and which has come out from the face of Siva has been instructed to you. This Agama is highly secret among the Scriptures which are to be kept secret. By all efforts, this Agama should be guarded well and be kept concealed to avoid access to the imperfect persons.
This Agama should not be revealed to those who are not disciples. Never should it be revealed to those who are not devotees. Thus the supreme nectar of knowledge has been explained to you. O, Guha, this Agama may be made known and explained to those who are least affected by the limiting factors.