About the Book
This book, Siva Sutras: The Supreme Awakening, isrevealed by the twentieth century's great philosopher saint Swami Lakshmanjoo. This spiritual treasure, gifted by God to the sage Vasugupta for the upliftment of humankind, is considered to be one of Kashmir Shaivism's most important scriptures. Here, Swami Lakshmanjoo gives the reader a penetrating vision of the glorious journey of the Supreme Awakening: the traveling from limited individuality to absolute oneness with God. This secret teaching, contained with these pages, is revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo or the first time. Drawing on his own experience Swami Lakshmanjoo, basing his rendering on the esoteric commentary of Abhinavagupta's chief disciple Kshemaraja, shows us the way home.
Swami Lakshmanjoo was born in Srinagar, Kashmir on May 9, 1907. He was the last and the greatest of the saints and masters of the tradition of Kashmir Shaivism. Having a deep understanding of the philosophy and practices of Kashmir Shaivism, he was like a splendid and rare jewel. Beginning from childhood he spent his whole life studying and practicing the teachings of this unique sacred tradition. Because of his intellectual power and strength of awareness, he realized both spiritually and intellectually the reality of its thought.
This book is the distillation of over 16 tape, recorded audio lectures. It was Swami Lakshmanjoo's intent, in giving these lecture translations. To disclose in English the esoteric meaning of these Siva Sutras of Vasugupta as well as that of the commentary, called Vimarsini, by Ksemaraja, both of which were originally composed in Sanskrit. In attending these lectures it became obvious to this editor that Swami Lakshmanjoo was completely in command of his subject matter. Infact, his command of Sanskrit was superior to that of English, a condition he declared many times during his discourses. So, although absolutely fluent in Sanskrit many times he had to search or the appropriate word in English to clearly elucidate the Sanskrit texts. In fact on occasion he would tell us that he was not looking to translate the Sanskrit closely, but rather to give us the essential meaning of the text. Realizing that Kashmir Saivism is an oral tradition and to maintain the flavor and strict intent of Swami Lakshmanjoo's translation I have tried, as much as possible, to preserve his style of English and vocabulary. Because of this at times the English rendering may seem stilted, uneven and repetitive. I beg your indulgence and ask for your understanding in this regard. To be honest I am awed and humbled by the power and depth of Swami Lakshmanjoo's understanding. I only pray that I have been able to do justice to his rendering of this great Kashmir Shaiva scripture.
The text used by Swami Lakshmanjoo in this rendering is the Siva Sutra Vimarsini, published in 1911 as a volume in the Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies. This text was actually the first volume of an extensive series of Kashmir Shaiva texts which were collected, edited and published in the early part of the 20th century by the Research Department of Kashmir State under the authority of the Government of the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir. This work was done at the express wish of the Maharaja Pratab Singh who had a great fondness for Kashmir Saivism. Swami Lakshmanjoo, in using this early text of the Siva Sutra Vimarsini, discovered numerous errors, omissions and extraneous additions, which he corrected in his own copy and incorporated in this rendering. This original text in Devanagari, incorporating Swami Lakshmanjoo's textual corrections, is appended at the end of this book.
To preserve a smooth low of the text for the English reader, with the exception of the Sutras themselves the Sanskrit or the verses being referenced in Ksemaraja's commentary is not included in the body of this work. The interested Sanskrit reader can find these verses in their original Devanagari in the appendix
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