The same inquisitiveness, experimentation, openness, and logical thinking required in studying physical science (obviously in the waking state) is also necessary in studying spanda--the conscious pulsation. The experiences that the study of the conscious pulsation brings are real as per Einstein's definition of reality since they also contain "sense perceptions that are common to different individuals... and in a measure, impersonal." Many researchers, whom we call saints, separated by time and space and not in direct contact with one another, have reported the same sensory experiences. Also they have reported experiencing something common: that which is beyond sense perceptions.
The subject matter of the current text Spandakarika is the study of general nonrelational universal consciousness and special individual consciousness or awareness. The study leads one to experience that both are one and the same consciousness, whose essential nature is existence or truth and bliss, and whose manifestation is the entire universe regarded as consciousness's pulsation.
The eternal power that gives life to the manifest and non-manifest universe is called `Sankara.' This is the state of oneness of Prakasa and Vimarsa. This itself is the oneness of Siva and Sakti. The differentiation between Siva and Sakti is only documental. In reality they are inseparable just like the word and its meaning or the two sides of a coin. Sakti is called Vimarsa. This Vimarsa can be both in the `Aham' and 'Idam' form. `Aham' means Parasiva and `Idam' means Jagat (creation). Vimarsa itself is Spanda. This is the autonomy of Siva. It is also known as Chetana Sakti, Chiti Sakti and Samvit. Being conscious, Spanda Sakti eternally vibrates independently. At the very same time, it is both inwardly and outwardly faceted - inwardly in the form of `Aham' and outwardly in the `Idam' form. Even though perceived in the form of the universe, it is beyond the universe. Even though it is one, it is transmitted in various forms. The entire universe is the outward expansion of the Spanda Sakti of Siva.
The simile of the ocean can be used to describe the Spanda Sakti. The ocean is sometimes full of waves and at other times, waveless. This Sakti is both full of waves and waveless at the very same time: this is its strangeness. Just like the magician takes out objects from his bag and presents them to the audience, the Spanda Sakti elaborates the universe hidden within itself and like the magician withdraws it again. This Sakti itself becomes both the Pramata and Prameya. Even in these states of Pramata and Prameya, it does not forget that its true state is beyond the universe. The Spanda Sakti can also be compared to the potter who Creates many different kinds of pots from clay. The pots are preconceived in the mind of the potter. The only difference is that the potter has to utilize the Upadana (material cause) from outside whereas the Spanda Sakti itself takes on the form of the Updana.
The following aphorism of the Spanda Karika outstandingly describes the absolute power of Spanda Sakti.
Na duhkham na sukham yatra na grahyo grahako na ca
Na casti mudhabhavo pi tadasti paramarthata
In that independent Spanda Tattva (Principle), there exists neither the state of sorrow nor joy. It is beyond the external measurements of Sabda (word), Sparga (touch), Rupa (form), Rasa (taste) and Gandha (smell). It also does not have the Mitapramatrbhava of the Jiva (individual being) who is limited in the body. Also, unlike the Jiva, the Spanda Tattva does not lack the ability to make any object the subject of its knowledge. This Tattva is always present in the eternal form.
This Spanda Sakti pervades each atom of the universe. It is because of which the inert sense organs function as conscious. Shaivism believes that the Jivatma (individual soul) can become Parameswara by awakening his spiritual energy through Sadhana. Two forms of Siva have been described in Shaivism-Patipramata and Pasupramata. Patipramata is Siva because he is absolutely independent. He himself becomes Pasupramata (Jiva) in the contracted autonomous state. He can once again grow to be Patipramata by recognizing his true Self. The Spanda is so subtle that only those Siddhayogis who have received Saktipat from a Siddha Guru and are situated in the highest state through Sadhana, can experience it. In a way, this Tattva can be called indescribable.
My revered Gurudev Baba Muktananda Paramahamsa believed the Spanda Sastra to be completely scientific and would even discuss it with modern scientists.
I am very pleased to know that Chitra and Umesh Nagarkatte through great effort and Sadhana have translated the Spanda Karika, an inexplicable scripture of Kashmir Shaivism, into English to present it to the modern scientists. They are worthy of appreciation.
It is my desire that the modern scientists study this scripture, integrate it into their practice and work for the welfare of the universe through the philosophy of the Supreme Principle.
The book SpandaKarikas ,* written by the sage Vasugupta and commented upon by Shri Bhatta Kallata, a direct disciple of Vasugupta, as well as Ksemaraj is a logical system. The subject matter of this book is the essential nature of Shiva, or the universal Self or Consciousness, as creative pulsation. The purpose for writing the book is to show that an individual can become aware of his or her consciousness as identical with Shiva and become liberated. Both liberation and bondage are relative ideas. Forgetfulness of one's own nature is regarded as bondage and its remembrance is liberation. All human suffering starts due to this forgetfulness. This is because feelings of limitation in knowledge and capability arise, and desires followed by anger, greed, infatuation or fear, pride and jealousy, collectively known as the six inner enemies, are born in the mind of the individual. Thus he or she acts under the sway of these feelings, troubling himself or herself and others. The remembrance of one's own nature brings about the liberation from the feeling of limitation and its consequences. This remembrance should be a constant awareness. It should become as natural as one's identification of oneself as a man or a woman. The goal of the book is to enable an individual to claim his or her already existing identification with Shiva. The book describes how to attain this identification.
The text is divided into three sections. The first section of twenty-five verses describes Shiva's creative pulsation, or Spanda, as the dynamic aspect, which is identical with the essential Self of each person. This part also teaches the means for experiencing the Spanda. The second section consisting of seven verses describes how the creative pulsation is identical with the whole universe, and teaches how to experience this aspect of the Spanda. Realization is not complete without experiencing both of these aspects of Spanda. The third section of eighteen verses describes mostly the supernormal powers attained by the realization of the Spanda. Some of these powers can easily serve as an exit from continuous experience of the Self and an entry into a cycle of misery and happiness. These verses so far form the fifty verses of the Spanda Karika. The fifty-first verse points to the good that accrues to people who take upon themselves the study of the Spanda principle and realize it. The last verse lauds the power of the Spanda state and simultaneously the power of the word of the Guru.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Children’s Books (79)
Brahma Sutras (85)
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