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Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa[edit]

Heart, bliss, creative energy and free will[edit]

  • creative energy and absolute free will
    • Śakti is ever fresh creativity - (vimalakalā[1]-śrayābhinava[2]-sṛṣṭimahā), absolute autonomy{1}
    • visarga is yāmala - the union Śiva-Śakti{1}; sāmarasya - the perfectly unified, undifferentiated state; this state is the origin of all differentiation{2}
    • anuttarāmṛtakulam - the group of blissful energies of the Ultimate{2}
    • jagadānanda is the heart, union of Śiva and Śakti{1}; is experienced "with the eyes open"
    • the culmination of Śakti is in visarga; the result is ahaṃ{30}; ahaṃ is a+ha, that is abheda+bheda, and ṃ is their union (bhedābheda){30}

Consciousness, power, sameness, devi, five-fold act[edit]

    • svātmasaṃvitti - sva (own) atma (real self) samvit (consciousness) - consciousness of the Real Self
    • kaulika-sidhi - the spontaneous power to achieve identity with the universal Consciosness (Cit), in this very body{6}; perfect harmony of the microcosm with the macrocosm{7}
    • kecharī-samatā - sameness (homogeneousness) of the power of Consciousness to freely move about in the space of the heart; when kechari attains a level of stability and equality no matter where it moves{7}
    • the notion of devī, from the root "div" - to play, to shine, to go; also to adore and to surpass{11}
    • The five-fold act: Sṛśṭi, Sthiti, Saṃhāra, Vilaya, Anugraha[3]

Levels of the word[edit]

  • definitions
    • parāvāk is all pervading; beyond time and space; present in all experiences, always in equal measure; beyond the duality subject-object or question-answer{8}; full of wondrous delight of her own self{9}; pulsating(sphurati) light which is nothing else than uninterrupted I-consciousness{9}; is not depending on any conditions (supra-causal){8}; the non-māyīya word, the highest truth
    • paśyantī is always reflecting the essential nature of the Divine{8}; :H:-> paśyantī is the philosophical thought which attempts to reflect the Supreme, never perfectly achieving its target, taking infinite forms and variations in the process.
    • paśyantī - comprehends in a indeterminate way (nirvikalpa); here, there is no distinction between the word and the reality referred to (yet it can have infinitely variated forms, like the white light, analogically - parāvāk, after passing through a prism); yet it is subject to causal conditions, it acts as it is determined to act{8}; here there is just an incipience of difference{9}
    • madhyamā - there is an appearance of difference, inside the psychic apparatus{9}; this differentiation is consistent of jñāna and kriyā{9}
  • with relation to māyā
    • paśyantī - the commencement of māyā{12}
    • madhyamā - the word traveling through the inner senses{12}
    • vaikharī - the word traveling through the outer senses{12}
  • the word forms
    • undifferentiated knowledge at the level of parāvāk{13}
    • indeterminate (akalpita) knowledge at the level of paśyantī{15}
    • put into separate words and letters in madhyamā{15}
    • expressed in gross speech at vaikharī{15}
  • correspondence of the levels of the word with the three energies
    • paśyantī is will
    • madhyamā is knowledge{14}
  • pervasiveness
    • parāvāk is pervading paśyantī otherwise paśyantī would be supportless; also, without paśyantī, it would be impossible for sensations to exist{9}
    • the Supreme Consciousness(parā saṃvid), even while appearing as paśyantī and madhyamā, actually experiences Herself as the Supreme Consciousnes{9}; also called Devī
    • Anugraha is an "incarnation" of Śakti, but just as well, we can say it is an incarnation of Śiva{10}
    • continuity of the I-consciousnes - in all the seven subjects, in all objects, without interruption; nothing can be outside of Her{10}
    • one is able to carry his dealings always by entering parāvāk{13}
  • correlation of the three Godheads and thre fundamental eenergies
    • Sadāśiva had the predominant energy of jñāna{9}
    • Īśvara has the predominant energy of kriyā{9}
    • ...?
  • parā as past
    • from these three levels of the word, parā is regarded as the past{11,12} because it is the precursor of paśyantī, madhyamā and vaikharī; also in a grammatical sense of past tense
    • one earth day (a cycle for the planet), one breath euqual to a thousandth of a day (a cycle for the yogi) or a kalpa (a cycle for Brahmā) - they are all defined as various octaves of the day{12} -> (microcosm-macrocosm)
    • for the Consciousness, which is beyond time, there can be no concept of limited present (of "today"){12}
  • the four levels of the word : pārāvak -> paśyanti -> madhyamā -> vaikharī are described as undifferentiated -> indeterminate (a germ of difference) -> a sense of separatedness (and a distinction between jñeya/object of action and kārya/action) -> expressed as external{15}

Aham and maha[edit]

  • description of the two movements in the absolute
    • a-ha-m is parā in her aspect of creative energy{13}; (a is Śiva, ha is Śakti, m is nara); sṛṣṭi-bīja - the movement towards emanation
    • ma-ha-a is the withdrawal form of Bhairava{13}; saṃhāra-bīja - the movement towards resorption
    • the middle phoneme is always "ha" - Śakti - acting as the medium; Śakti is the entrance door into Śaiva philosophy{14}

Anuttara, all pervasiveness[edit]

  • the ultimate source of creativity
    • Bhairava assumes both the positions of Śiva and Śakti in expressing the agama{14}
    • Divine Grace is always uninterrupted in all experients; the ultimate link to God{14}
    • the very nature of Śakti is grace{8}
    • the Lord is always intent on creativity (see aham) freely bestowing the Divine Grace{14}; his always active presence in all is anuttara{15}
    • saṃghaṭṭa (union) / rudrayāmala (Divine Couple) = the united form Śiva - Śakti{15} - characterized by "stirring joy" kṣobha; source of creation; original and enduring state; life of all living beings
  • triads: (icchā jñāna kriyā) and (sṛṣṭi sthiti saṃhāra) and (udyoga avabhāsa carvaṇā) {17}

Delimiting the scope of this text[edit]

  • sources of the śāstra
    • Īśāna Tatpuruṣa Sadyojāta Vāmadeva Aghora are the five sources of śāstra; they represent predominantly cit śakti, ānanda śakti, icchā śakti, jñāna śakti and kriyā śakti{17}
  • why was the universe created by Śiva ?
    • the divine game of creation is caused by the fullness of delight (ānanda) existent in cit{18}
  • what is the purpose of human life ?
    • the purpose of human life is liberation (mukti), which is not to be understood as deliverance from the categories (tattva) but rather identity with the I-consciousness of Bhairava{19}
  • who can study this śāstra ?
    • only those who are "oriented" towards the Lord through grace{20}
  • what is the purpose of this text?
    • īśikā of the word "Trīśikā" is iśāna - the goddess, or Iśvarī, or Parā Śakti{17} - the subject of this book


  • about anuttara
    • where what limited beings calls external objective existence is felt only as an expression of the Self{3}{28}
    • characterized by the delight of consciousness, self luminating, all containing{4}
    • the experient of all{6}
    • Self-luminous Universal Consciousnes{6}
    • its essence is absolute Freedom{27}
    • not determined by time, embodiment of activity (kriyā){27}
    • the centre (heart) of all{27}
  • relation between kriyā and jñāna
    • kriyā śakti contains jñāna śakti too{30}
  • gradations in śāmbhava upāya :
    • bhūta, tattva, mantra, mantreśvara, śakti, etc
  • the status of the guru (similar to bodhisattva in Buddhism)
    • united with Bhairava, yet still present in this world in a physical body in order to help others{28}
    • his past kārma is erased, but the kārma currently unfolding is left untouched so as he can remain in this world
  • the limited being, aṇu
    • his life consists of prāṇa
    • considers the body (deha) or breath (prāṇa) as his Self{24}
    • they are determined by jñāna and kriyā{24}
  • the experient of void sūnya pramātā
    • who experiences only void, having no senses
    • devoid of any sense of objectivity
    • devoid of I-feeling
  • creative energy is also known as camatkāra
    • bliss
    • consciousness
    • ocean of Light
    • pervading all creation
    • expansive force of creation present in Śakti and Aṇu
  • time and space
    • the effect of time and space is the creation of the feeling of objectivity and non-objectivty{25}
  • the term anuttara (Supreme Reality) has been explained in 16 ways by Abhinavagupta
  1. that besides which there is nothing more, or additional{20}
  2. is the perfect I-consciousness, sum of all knowledge{21}
  3. better than the dualist notion of liberation - liberation from the categories, it is the recognition that all is Śiva{21}
  4. directly accessing the Bhairava nature, not being conditioned by gradual, step by step ascension, marked by the various force centers{21}
  5. not needing to cross (uttara) beyond this world; finding Bhairava here{21}
  6. beyond the limitation of speech{21}; unlimited; infinite
  7. beyond concentration and meditation; who cannot be named, lest the name would be just a limitation{22}
  8. hierarchies show only high and low, thus dualism; anuttara is beyond such gradations{23}
  9. equally present in all social castes{23}
  10. beyond the Śakti triads like paśyanti, madhyamā and vaikharī{23}
  11. beyond Aghorā, Ghorā and Ghoratarī Śakti{28}
  12. beyond the triad (parā parāparā and aparā) : (unity with Śiva, unity in diversity and diversity){23,28}
  13. negation of the dualist initiation ("to go beyond the worldly existence through impulsion"){23,24}
  14. life which exists without distinction in deha-pramātā, puryaṣṭaka-pramātā and śūnya-pramātā{24}
  15. expansive force of cit and ānanda (camatkāra){24,25}
  16. higher than even ākāśa (void){25}, void which is defined by a lack of succession
  • the 16-fold knot of the heart
    • reality composed of (4) : prameya(obj) pramāṇa(knowledge) pramātā(subj) pramiti(knowledge beyond the relation subject-object, nondual)
    • phases are (4): srṣṭi, sthiti, saṃhara and anākhya
    • thus they form 16 folds of the knot of the heart{30,27}
  • by achieving identity with anuttara, the totality of manifestation becomes anuttara itself{32}

Kula and Kaulika Siddhi[edit]

  • levels of Kula{31}
    • gross (sthūla)
    • subtle (sūkṣma)
    • ulterior (para)
  • Kula is the totality because{31}
    • it abides in objectivity by means of coagulation
    • it assumes bondage by its own Freedom
  • kaulika siddhi is achievement of bliss (ānanda){31}
    • ānanda is achieved by turning round (auto reflexion) (parivṛtya) of the Light of Universal Consciousness{31}
    • ānanda is also described as the I-feeling of Śiva{32}
    • ānanda is spanda - the eternal throb of delight in manifestation{32}
    • perception of objects is derived through kula{22} (body, prāṇa, puryaṣṭaka){33}
    • effortless identity with the divine consciousness -> no need for meditative practices{33,34}
  • Kula is the collective whole of the rays of śakti (śakti-cakra){32}
    • its center is Bhairava shining like the sun
    • its essence is Light
    • it acquires rest (nirodha) by identification with the Suprmem Bhairava
    • kula binds/limits in the sense of matter, but also charms consciousness{35}
  • self realization culminates in the actualization of the group of śaktis{32}
    • described as the most exquisite nectar{33}
    • a state of freedom (unrestricted by past and future)
  • process of manifestation
    • achieved by coagulation (āśyāna) of consciousness{35}
    • of the free will of the Divine Consciousness{35}
    • the process of creation by expansion of ānanda in cit (cit-ānanda is perfect freedom svātantrya; delight; cause and abode of creation){34}
    • the manifestation exists in anuttara as a form of Consciousness or vimarśa{37}

  • bhāvan
    • is defines as: dhāraṇā dhyāna samādhi
    • creative contemplation

  • ahaṃ{36}
    • a is anuttara
    • ṃ is anusvara - dot representing Śiva as always unified
    • from a to ṃ is Śiva
    • ha is Śakti
    • emanation starts from anuttara (a), unfolds in Śakti (ha) and terminates again in Śiva (Śiva in Śakti is anusvara - non-dual - even when containing the dual manifestations)

  • subjective experience (qualia) is possible because the body, senses, mind etc are pervaded by the energies of the I-Consciousness{36}

  • the eight siddhi as defines in Kashmir Shaivism{36,37}
    • aṇimā - assimilating the entire manifestation in cit
    • laghimā - discarding the sense of duality
    • mahimā - the sense of all-pervasiveness
    • prāpti - abiding in one's Self
    • prākāmya - viewing the variety of the world as the play of the Divine
    • vaśitva - unity of consciousness with all
    • īśitva - non-interrupted abiding as the Divine Consciousness
    • yatrakāmāvasāyitva - icchā śakti characteristic of Śiva
  • kecharī {38} - "who is abiding in kha" (kha is brahma, cit)
    • gocarī - brings about knowledge of objects (antaḥkaraṇa)
    • dikcarī - effects movements (jñānendriya and karmendriya)
    • bhūcarī - objective existents (mahābhutā and tanmātra)
  • gocarī dikcarī bhūcarī are non-distinct from kecharī which abides in anuttara{39}; they must be one otherwise there would be no connection between consciousness, the mind and the world
  • kecharī when perceived from a dualist perspective is : desire, anger, etc{39}
  • transmigration is the ignorance of the divine nature which is equally present everywhere{39}
  • the three malas{39}
    • ānava mala - this is the perceiving of oneself as small and imperfect
    • māyīya mala - striving to fill the perceived imperfection, one feels differentiation between oneself and the world, and between the objects{40}
    • kārma mala - under the influence of māyīya mala, one's actions leave traces (kārma seeds), which bound him to transmigration{40}
  • sattva, rajas and tamas are defined as "pleasure, pain and delusion"{40}
  • mahāghoras - energies of delusion; taking their powers from the multitude of words - they are to be known as Śakti (which is the real nature of the mental states) and in so doing to loose their limiting powers{41}
    • mahāghoras arise from the power of words and dwell in illusion while the śaktis arise from the phonemes and subsume to nirvikalpa{41}
    • the power of confusion of the mahāghoras is based on svātantrya{41}
  • stability in khecarī comes from the realization of the union of consciousness with bliss{42}
  • consciousness pervades and enlivens the whole body through the median channel (suṣumnā){42}
  • everything is an epitome of all things{42}
  • the seminal energy is identical with the one's Self; every act or sensation that brings enjoyment is intermediated by the mahāvisarga; one's lack of development of visarga brings a lack of sentience and a shallow existence{43}
  • grief too is related to visarga and is transmuted in the opposite by spiritual alchemy{44}
  • when prāṇa and apāna unite, Śakti fills suṣumnā and duality dissolves; I-consciousness is generated by the abundance of Śakti{44}
  • the absolute (akula) is reached after the union of Śiva and Śakti, in the expansive flow of consciousness (visarga){44}
  • for both man and woman, the seminal energy is the catalyst for an intense joy of orgasm, that needs to be directed into the central channel, and it will lead to the remembrance of the Self{44}
  • if at the moment of orgasm one realizes kechari-sāmya, his consciousness is carried with the expansive energy (the seminal energy is also identical with one's Self) into the pure realm{44-45}
  • thus the tantric sexual union is "worship of the creative aspect of the perfect I-consciousness"{45}
  • the central channel is related to the supreme Śakti{45}
  • the delight and excitement of orgasm is just a token of the delight of Brahman (or the delight of Ātman)
  • the initiatory path in Kaula is intermediated by sexual union: "by love, one should understand the achievement pertaining to Kula"{45}
  • The essence of all the text above: "anuttara brings about kaulika-siddhi and if understood, brings about kechari sāmya" {46}
  • indriyas as functioning in common people become indriya-śakti when in contact with higher consciousness and are known as karaneśvari, marīci-cakra{46}
  • sāmānya and viśeṣa spanda{46}
    • sāmānya is the tendency of Śiva and viśeṣa the tendency of Śakti
    • sāmānya is the general aspect; viśeṣa is the particular aspect
    • sāmānya is related to śānta-vīrya (peaceful state), the "a" phoneme and prakāśa; viśeṣa is related to vimarśa - rich variety of manifestation
    • sāmānya thus is the first stage of the expansion of anuttara, viśeṣa is the second stage
  • ojas - def. as the "vital lustre"; ojas is present in the five tanmātras (śabda, sparśa, rūpa, rasa and ghanda){47}
  • the nature of joy - it appears by union with perfect I-consciousness{47}


  • the meaning of "Devī uvāca"{47-48}
    • it is a dialogue inside the Self; an inquiry into its own nature; a self reflection; a recursive apprehension of itself
    • the supreme aspect is Parāśakti, Pārāvak, ahaṃ vimarśa contains the question-answer in an undifferentiated way
    • the paśyanti and madhyamā aspects are related to the desire to transpose the undifferentiated knowledge and the exposition of such knowledge as word, sentence
    • Devī is the one putting the question and Bhairava is the one giving the answer, but both of them are roles played by the Self in the game of self-reflection


  1. ^ vimala was Abhinavagupta's mother's name
  2. ^ abhinava also means new
  3. ^ Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa, Jaideva Singh, page 9