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Being Perceived: Perception in Advaita Vedanta

Dr. Haramohan Mishra

Every knowledge-situation demands a subject and an object, the knower and the knowable, but the actual process of knowing, or how it results in knowledge, is what poses the crux of the problem. What is then “being perceived” and what exactly is the relation between the subject and the object? How we know is really more important than what we know. The mystery of the universe lies in the way we understand it. It is tantamount to our self-understanding, since understanding objects necessarily involves the understanding of the subject.
The perception of an object is always as much relative to the subject as to the object. All levels of existence and knowledge with the myriad complexities of the universe can only be understood by understanding the perceiver, which is the key to understanding the act of “being perceived”. This paper discusses the Advaitic view of “being perceived” and suggests that this view can serve, in the long run, to comprehend the mystery of perception and the relation between the perceiver and the perceived, in its true perspective.

We may take a case of visual perception and try to comprehend its process. The various levels of activities involved in this process, though seem to be simple are really not very easy to understand. By way of analyzing the process, we find subtler and subtler levels of activities involving finer and finer principles which lie behind the normal ranges of human mind. The physical and physiological levels of understanding of the process, somehow or other can be well understood. Scientific research has widened the horizons of understanding of man, but the other level, the metaphysical or the philosophical level of understanding of the subject and the object, their ultimate status and the exact relation between them, are not so easy to comprehend.

According to the modern scientific view of perception, the stimuli coming from objects are received by sense-organs (for example, the eye, in the case of visual perception), which pass them towards their respective brain-centers through neurons after which the cognition arises in the mind. In fact, the scientific theory does not differentiate between the brain and the mind. Even though some scientists accept mind as different from the brain, it is no more than an emergent property of the brain. The group of psychologists who uphold the Cartesian dichotomy of the mind and matter also believe that external stimuli from objects known as sensations come from outside which are arranged or conceptualized to form knowledge in the mind. This is the famous Kantian dictum, “percepts without concepts are blind, and concepts without percepts are empty”. The passivists advocate the passive reception of the sensations by the mind, whereas the activists grant some sort of activity to the mind. Thus is the process: light coming from the object is reflected on the retina, which stimulates nervous activity, consequently the sensation reaches the brain-centre where visual perception takes place. Some western psychologists show how from the distribution of light and shade of the picture in the retina we make an idea of the three-dimensional things of the external world. The gestalt psychologists are not satisfied with the atomists and therefore advocate that it is not the fragments of sensations but the whole, the unbroken image of the object that is received by the brain.

The basic difficulty in the western view is that it cannot do justice to the direct apprehension of external objects. The image of an object and its direct revelation existing outside cannot be the same. If we get only the image of the objects but not the objects themselves in knowledge, we cannot say that we get the exact but not the distorted picture of the reality existing outside. This leads to an ultimate skeptic or an agnostic view of the world. The purpose of knowledge is forfeited since it lands us in an absurd conclusion that knowledge cannot show us reality. On the other hand, without grasping the object as existing outside, no amount of explanation can project our internal percepts into external space and make us experience them in their real order, magnitude and dimension. It cannot draw any qualitative difference between the perception of the actual object and its imaginary perception in-so-far as its result is concerned. The scientific theory can at-least explain perception so far as the physical and physiological aspects are concerned. It cannot explain how from a pure physiological activity, a total new quality of psychological result is created. How do the physiological sensations come to assume the form of knowledge, is quite a different problem which science cannot explain. The fact is that the real root of the problem lies beyond the ranges of the physical or the physiological realms. To try to explain one with the help of the other is nothing other than a contextual error.

There are various theories of different schools of Indian philosophy where attempts have been made in different ways to explain perceptual knowledge. We find such speculations also in other philosophical systems all over the world. But the fact is that mere speculative thought coupled with even reasoning cannot account for the truth in perceptual knowledge. Metaphysical speculations are unrestricted, which can neither explain the things consistently nor can satisfy a candid search for the truth. The grimness of the problem demands a certain, consistent and satisfactory explanation which seems lying beyond the periphery of both speculative metaphysics and discursive reasoning.

Advaita Vedanta gives a different epistemological explanation of perception which is based on the Advaitic world-view. The first systematic exposition of the process of perceptual knowledge in Advaita literature can be found in the Vivarana of Prakasatma yati, which afterwards is adopted by Vidyaranya, Madhusudana, Citsukha and other great Advaitins till it finds a thorough exposition in the latest work, the Vedantaparibhasa of Dharmarajadhvarindra. Even though, like other metaphysical theories, the Vedantic theory of perception is endowed with speculations, reasoning and explanations, its real plausibility lies in its intuitive grasp of a higher ontological stand from where the epistemological problems of perceptibility can be explained satisfactorily. It is to be borne in mind that the Vedantic theory of perception is not simply another philosophical speculation; it does not intend to explain the physical, physiological or even the psychological mechanism of knowledge. Its real purport lies in-so-far as it makes us aware of the higher ontological reality that gives value and meaning to all our epistemic transactions.

According to Advaita Vedanta, all things of the world are superimposed on the substratum-consciousness (adhisthana-caitanya) which is also known as visaya-caitanya. The subject-consciousness (pramatr-caitanya) can only perceive an object when it becomes one with the substratum-consciousness or visaya-caitanya that forms the ground of the object. Though the pramatr-caitanya is in essence, one with visaya-caitanya, it does not recognize its omnipresence due to ignorance. This unity of the object-consciousness (the supreme consciousness which forms the substratum of all the objects of the world) and the subject-consciousness is achieved by vrtti or through the modification of the mind (antahkarana). The mind expands with the help of the sense-organs and assumes the form of objects, thus revealing them, as water takes shape of the container where it is kept or light takes the shape of the object that it illuminates. The vrrti or the modification of mind together with the reflection of consciousness destroys the concealment of ignorance thus revealing the object in consciousness.

The expansion of the mind and the mind taking the form of objects being perceived imply the unity of the objects and the perceiver. In the act of “being perceived”, the objects do not have any independent existence apart from the subject (Pramatr-satta-tirikta-sattakatva-bhavah). The discovery of this unity of the objects being perceived with the perceiver is what forms the real background of perception. Since this revelation of unity is only temporal, conditional and provisional, the final destruction of avidya is not achieved and duality still continues. It is negated only when one achieves true self-knowledge. Thus, every act of perception reminds us of our true nature, the all-pervasive supreme consciousness which reveals both the object and the subject. This is the “light of supreme consciousness that shines in and above the world, and above the heavens, the same light which also shines in one’s heart” says the Chandogya Upanisad. 1

It is to be noted that this contention of the Advaitins is not the same as idealism. The objects are not merely the conglomeration of ideas. They have their independent existence apart from that of the subject. But from a higher ontological standpoint, the objective world is nothing but a projection on the unlimited supreme consciousness which is one with the perceiver.

The physical, physiological and psychological explanations have nothing in contradiction with the Vedantic view. All of them, to a certain extent can be justified in their own levels. But the Advaita theory of perception explains perception from the highest point, which can very well be reconciled with the other levels of explanation. The Advaitins are not interested in explaining how light falls on the eye or what neurological changes occur in the brain. They are concerned with the other dimension of the process which transcends the scope of physiological study. They try to understand the underlying mystery of the subject-object unity and make us aware of the fact that knowledge is neither an adventitious quality of the subject nor is a product in the object affected by the process of knowing. It is the eternal light that simply illuminates, and neither affects anything nor gets affected by them. “Being perceived” is nothing other than being illumined by this eternal light, of course, through the conditioning of the subjectivity, which, like objectivity, is also imposed on the boundless supreme consciousness.

“The sun of knowledge neither rises nor sets, for he who knows this, it becomes the day of light forever”, says the Chandogya Upanisad.2

1.Chandogya Upanisad 3.13.7-8
2.Chandogya Upanisad 3.11.3

The Unknown Matrix : A Critique of the Advaita Theory of the Unknown

Dr. Haramohan Mishra

While it is obvious that an object is revealed by knowledge as known, it seems absurd to think that it is also revealed as unknown by knowledge. In other words, the problem consists of this; whether an unknown object is related to knowledge in some way or other, as a known object is related to it. Epistemological necessity compels us to accept a relation between knowledge and unknown, as otherwise there can be no assertion of difference between non-existent and unknown. Being unknown is as much knowledge-specific as being known since such a judgment ‘The pot is unknown’ is only meaningful in the context of a knowledge-situation. May be, the unknown demands a different kind of knowledge with a different sort of relation in an unconventional knowledge-situation. However, both knowledge, in the sense of revealing the object, and ignorance, in the sense of its absence, are meaningful within a higher knowledge-context – svrupa jnana or saksi jnana as it is explained by the later Advaitins. We will discuss in this article how Advaita Vedanta attempts to solve this problem, which explains itself as well as the world of experience, though it cannot be fully demonstrated in the logical plane, in as much as the root of the problem lies beyond the peripheries of both discursive logic and philosophical speculations.

For the establishment of the unknown object, the Advaitins say, there is necessity of some knowledge, otherwise, there being no proof for its existence, it would not be different from the unreal like the hare’s horn. So, its existence as the cause of sense-contact that makes its cognition possible would be without foundation1. It may be argued that there is no necessity of direct revelation of the unknown, as it can be established by inference. But it is not tenable as no logical link can be established between the unknown and the known. Inference, which is made possible through concomitance of two objects or their absence (anvaya-vyatireka), cannot take place in the case where an absolutely unknown entity is either of the two. If vyapti is admitted to be established between the unknown and the known in order to make inference possible, then, the unknown, in so far as it is grasped by knowledge at the time of ascertainment of vyapti, ceases to be unknown.2

Some of the opponents of Advaita may even think that there is no necessity of inference at all , as the object, before being known, can remain as absolutely unknown. So, there is no reference to the object either as known or as unknown. But this is not tenable, as the hypothesis that the object as unknown, being the basis of sense-contact, is the cause of the knowledge that manifests it as known, would be without foundation. Thus, there is the necessity of some kind of illumination or knowledge for the manifestation of the unknown object.3 So, such a statement ‘The pot is unknown’ (ajnato ghatah) becomes possible. The opponents may say that such a view contradicts the established truth that a relation between knowledge and object makes the latter known only. But, this is not tenable, as the kind of knowledge that seems to manifest the object as known is not the same which is responsible for the unknownness of the object. In fact, the Advaitins have differentiated vrtti jnana that is responsible for the intellectual cognition of the object as known from svarupa jnana (knowledge itself), which is eternal, immutable and responsible for manifesting objects as unknown. In fact, according to the Advaitins, svarupa jnana which is not different from saksi jnana is indifferent to both prama and aprama – valid knowledge and error.
It is desirable that we keep in mind the general epistemological view of the Advaitins as regard to how an object becomes known. According to Advaita, all objects are superimposed on the Brahman-Intelligence (Brahma-caitanya), which is also known as substratum-Intelligence (adhisthana caitanya) or object-Intelligence (visaya caitanya), in so far as it forms the ground of all the objects of the world. Though it is eternal Illumination itself, all the things are not illuminated always by it, because the concealment of ajnana (ignorance) is there. It cannot be said that Brahman being knowledge itself cannot be the basis of ajnana, as vritti jnana only is the destroyer of ajnana ,but not saksi jnana, which is said to be its revealer, otherwise this ajnana cannot be established. The Brahman-Intelligence illuminates the objects after the overpowering of ajnana. This overpowering (abhivava) is made through modification of the intellect, known as antahkarana vritti, combined with reflection of Intelligence (cidabhasa). It is said that the intellect assumes the form of the object, known as vritti, when it comes in contact with the object through the senses.4 Thus, intellect assuming the form of the object after reaching it serves as a link between the subject-Intelligence (pramatr caitanya) and the object-Intelligence (visaya caitanya).5 According to one view, the substratum Intelligence manifests the object after the shifting of ajnana, where as some Advaitins think that it is the reflection of Intelligence that manifests the object. Madhusudana Sarasvati upholds the former view, where as Vidyaranya maintains the latter. That which manifests the object is known as phala caitanya (fruit Intelligence).6
The substratum-Intelligence that forms the ground of the world manifests, the objects as unknown before their intellectual cognition. After the rising of vrtti, which destroys ajnana with the help of reflection of Intelligence, the same substratum-Intelligence illuminates the objects as known also. It is said that before the rising of vrtti, the pot is revealed as unknown by the Brahman, where as after its rising, it is revealed as known.7 Vidyaranya, following the writer of Vivarana, says that every thing becomes the object of witness-Intelligence (saksi-caitanya) either as known or as unknown.8 In some Advaitic texts, Brahma caitanya is described as the illuminator of the unknown, whereas in other places the witness is said to be the illuminator. There being no difference between Brahman and the witness, there is no opposition between these two view.9

Madhusudan Sarasvati has made a clear analysis of this. He says that the objects like pot, being insentient cannot be themselves unknown or known. So, when we say that the unknown is superimposed on the Brahman-Intelligence, it only means that the Brahman-Intelligence, which is unknown or concealed by avidya, manifests pot etc, superimposed on it. Thus, when the substratum-Intelligence is revealed, the objects like pot etc are said to be revealed and when it is concealed by avidya, the objects are also said to be concealed or unknown. It is proved, Madhusudan argues, that the objects like pot etc are superimposed on the unknown Illumination (ajnata sphurana), as that unknown Illumination, being revealed, reveals pots etc, otherwise they being insentient cannot be either known or unknown10. Thus it is clear that the object itself is neither known nor unknown; its known-ness and unknown-ness are due to the revelation and non-revelation of the Brahman-Intelligence respectively. Though the same substratum-Intelligence reveals the object as both known and unknown, the difference is due to the intervention and non-intervention of vrtti. Vrtti, prompted by reflection of Intelligence, overpowers avidya; so the object manifests as known. When there is no formation of vrtti, avidya remains as it was before, so, the object manifests only as unknown.

An objection may be raised by the opponents: How can there be ajnana in the Illumination, which is knowledge itself? How can the Illumination, which is concealed by avidya, manifest the object even as unknown? The obvious answer to the first question, given by the Vivarana school, is that pure knowledge or svarupa jnana is not opposed to avidya. That, which is opposed to avidya, is vrtti jnana prompted by the reflection of Intelligence. The simple answer to the second question is that avidya, which itself is false, cannot fully blur the Illumination, which is ontologically superior to it, otherwise avidya itself cannot be established. It is to be borne in mind that witness-knowledge, which is knowledge itself, is adduced as a proof for the existence of avidya, as it cannot be established by the pramanas, being opposed to them. The substratum-Illumination, which is indifferent to all, being the witness or the saksin, only manifests the object with no consideration of its knownness or unknownness, which is caused by antahkarana vrtti and avidya respectively. Vidyaranya says that ajnana, causing unknownness in the object, makes it manifest by the witness, as pramana, producing knownness in the object, makes it manifest by the witness11.

Further objections may be raised against this Advaitic account of the unknown. It may be said that the problem is based on a faulty linguistic use of the word unknown. Faulty linguistic uses tend our thinking to entify false categories. The Advaitins ingeniously manipulate the word in such a way that it seems as if unknownness necessarily implies some sort of knowledge. But ‘unknown’ is to be understood in such a way that it becomes free from any reference to knowledge. But this allegation of the non-Advaitins becomes indefensible when we try to analyze the possibilities of unknownness. What is meant by the possibility of unknown without reference to any sort of knowledge? How can such a possibility be ascertained without knowledge? The opponents can assume it half-heartedly without assigning any proof. They may say ‘some how’ or they may completely do away with unknown existence, which is equally absurd. Absence of any tenable explanation of the unknown necessarily leads to an uncompromising solipsism or to an all-devouring skepticism. Linguistic uses alone cannot entail ontological conclusions. It must be supported by logical necessity and metaphysical compulsions.
It is to be noted that manifestation of the unknown objects by an all-pervasive eternal knowledge is the outcome of a logical necessity. It is at once the repudiation of the inference of unknown by some of the realists and complete liquidation of it by the idealists. The Naiyayikas do not see the logical difference between inference of the unknown and manifestation of the unknown, for which they put them into one category. On the other hand, the Vijnavadins try to completely do away with the unknown existence of the objects. The problem has a much deeper metaphysical, psychological and esoteric dimension. Consciousness-studies in recent times have shown that underlying the conscious mind many levels of consciousness such as the subconscious, the unconscious and the super-conscious are there. Knowledge is not exhaustive with only the discursive and the empirical. Unconscious is as much an object of knowledge as the conscious. The Advaitins have accepted the eternal and all pervasive Brahman-Intelligence as the revealer of all unknown objects on the basis of a metaphysical compulsion. But the truth of Advaita can only be ascertained through direct realization. It is to be borne in mind that Brahman-Intelligence is not accepted on a speculative basis to account for the manifestation of the unknown objects. On the other hand, it is self-valid and self-luminous, which explains the perplexing problem of the unknown, otherwise inexplicable. Cit (consciousness) which is beyond words and mind, says Sarvajnatman, really makes all verbal and epistemic transactions possible12. The entire knowledge-paradigm covering the diversities of knowledge, ignorance, the conscious and unconscious is sustained and made functional by a higher level of consciousness which at the same time transcends and subsumes all its ranges.

Advaita epistemology, in general, seeks to prove that the problem of knowledge cannot be explained fully from the empirical stand point only as the root of it transcends the empirical level. Brahman-consciousness needs no empirical proof for its validity, as it is the ground of all epistemic transactions. It makes all knowledge possible and transcends the limitations of empirical existence. Thus, the Advaita approach to the problem of knowing the unknown gives a new perspective to epistemology by directing our search from the surface to the bottom, from the world of appearance to the underlying reality that sustains and gives meaning to the world of appearance.

1 Advaita Siddhi, pp.468-469, Parimal publication, 1982
2 Gudhartha Dipika on Bhagavadgita, pp. 82-83, Chowkhamba, 1983
3 “Knowledge, Reality and the Unknown” in Contemporary Indian
Philosophy, D.M.Datta, pp.296-297
Also “The Advaita Concept of Subjectivity” in Philosophy East and
West, KalidasBhattacharya, Ed. H.D.Lewis
4 Advaita Siddhi, Pratikarma-vyavastha, Ch. 1
5 Vedantasara with Gudharthabodhini, Haramohan Mishra, Vidyapuri,
6 Pancadasi, 8.5 ,
7 The Pancadasi of Bharatitirta Vidyaranya, T.M.P.Mahadevan,
Madras Universiy
8 Vivarana Prameya Samgraha, Achyuta Granthamala, p.57
9 Siddhantabindu, Bhandarkar,p.137
10 Gudhartha Dipika, pp.82-83
11 Vivarana prameya samgraha, pp.57-58
12 Samksepa Sariraka, Chowkhamba, 1.331

Tantric Esotery: Dimensions and Dynamics

Dr. Haramohan Mishra

A quest for the ultimate truth, a search for one’s own reality, and an inquiry into the meaning of life and its purpose, were streamlined and found expression in three great systems of philosophy in India, which by their intensity and exhaustiveness are unique and at the same time universal. These are the Sankhya-yoga system, the Vedanta and the Agamas. Among these, the Vedanta wherein the Vedic line of thought culminates and the Agama or the Tantra which stands prominent by its exhaustiveness, its pragmatic approach and moderation, got integrated with the religious and spiritual life of the people. The Vedantic approach with its intellectual rigor is meant for a few, but the Tantric, with its tolerant attitude, exhaustiveness and direct method, molded according to one’s spiritual and intellectual ability, is applicable to all, from the layman to the enlightened.

Tantras are varied and variegated like human nature itself, with difference in beliefs and ideals. They have a belief-system and world-view which are not altogether different from the mainstream world-view of Indian spirituality within which they provide a paradigm for religious and spiritual pursuits. Tantra is sadhana-intensive. From the external point of view, it is the grammar of rituals and from a higher standpoint it is the science of higher consciousness. Though there are so many different classifications of the Tantras, broadly they can be brought under two categories, viz. one type of Tantras describing in detail the rituals, forms and practices, the others, dealing with the more philosophical and esoteric doctrines, thus stressing the need of yoga and knowledge. There are wide varieties of practices, so we find much different types of texts which go by the name “Tantra”. We can take for example two Tantric texts which begin with the name “Yogini” but with thematic difference, viz. the “Yogini Tantra” and the “Yogini Hrdaya Tantra”. The former delineates a story in the mythological style how Yogini came to manifest, but in the latter, the word “Yogini” has a different connotation. Armrtanande in his commentary on Yoginihrdaya writes “Yoga means samyoga or contact. The para samvit, cosmic consciousness, which pervades the entire universe, and thus, exists in contact with anything and everything of the universe is Yogini.” We may compare the two works which bear the same name ‘ Tantrasara’ one by Krsnananda and the other by Abhinavagupta but which differ so much in their contents and context.

This difference is due to the attitude and attainments of their writer and practitioners. In fact, there is not only a single path to enlightenment. Different methods are prescribed taking into consideration different grades of adhikarins. In some Tantric texts of lower level, some bizarre practices are even prescribed. The difficulty is that a person who is not conversant with the variety and vastness of the Tantric literature will be confused and misled in discerning the genuine from the spurious. Though in the Tantric scriptures some fixed “upayas” are described according to their schools (as sambhava, sakta, anava and anupaya by Abhinavagupta), there are really infinite paths, from anupaya to anantopaya. This is why Abhinavagupta says –
“niravaranam abhati bhatyavrtanijatmakam
avrtanavrto bhati vahudha bhedasangamat”

“Sometimes Siva manifests without concealment; sometimes he manifests within concealment. He also manifests within and without concealment (partly concealed and partly unconcealed) because of the variety of differences through which he manifests.”

Among the schools of Tantra, the non-dual systems of Kaula, Srividya and Trika are the best so far as they represent the finest spiritual attainment as well as the best philosophical discussions. Kashmir Saivism, better described as Trika system, which synthesizes the best of the Agamic concepts is the culmination of the Agamic traditions.

According to Advaita Agamas, the supreme reality is one Illumination (prakasa) which is not only transcendental consciousness, but immanent in all, subsuming everything whatever is.
This ultimate reality, known as Siva is not a void, nor an attribute-less, action-less reality, but is endowed with unbound freedom, his Sakti, the power, through whom he creates, maintains, destroys, subsumes and graces the entire universe. Sakti and Siva are not different, they are one and identical. The individual soul encased in a body undergoing the experiences of birth and death, pleasures and pains etc is one with Siva, but it does not recognize its divinity because of ignorance. Sadhana is a process through which the individual regains his true self-knowledge. Tantric sadhana is only possible through Sakti. From the individual standpoint, Sakti is the source of bondage; she is also the cause of emancipation. This is what Vijnanabhairava declares- “Saivi mukham ihocyate” She is the door through which the sadhaka enters Sivahood.

Sadhana centers on Sakti with her infinite manifestations, which are organized under the three chief cosmic manifestations viz. will, knowledge and action, otherwise known as para, apara and parapara saktis. Tantric sadhana aims at reaching one’s own Siva-self, or identity with Siva. The principal sadhana is constant awareness of one’s own true nature and its relation with the world that is perceived. The consciousness, the perceived and the perceiver are common to all. But the yogis are only mindful of the true relationship as the Vijnanabhairava Tantra puts it.

In the highest form, puja (worship) is an all-expansive consciousness where the entire universe of objects rests on the consciousness of the sadhaka, as it is put by Sivananda, the celebrated commentator of the Nityasodasikarnava Tantra (not to be confused with Swami Sivananda, the famous saint of Rishikesh of modern India). Worship culminates in sadhana. Sadhana is an inward spiritual journey which ends in the recognition of one’s Siva-self.

The entire ranges of existence consisting of the various strata of realities subsumed by one ultimate reality, Siva, are the dimensions of Tantra; and Tantric sadhana covers the entire dynamics that operate under the all-pervasive Sakti, culminating in self-knowledge and emancipation. Various occult practices such as communicating with different higher levels and their inhabitants are found in some minor Tantric texts, but these are not the main objectives of Tantra. The sadhaka may encounter on his way some higher levels of beings and realities when doing his practices; he may have some extra-ordinary experiences, but sadhana really completes when the sadhaka gains self-knowledge, which is an immediate, intuitive knowledge of the reality. Tantric sadhana is neither empirical nor rational. It is, in the highest sense, not a process. It is non-discursive, non-rational, and non-procedural. It is intuitive and immediate like waking from a dream or recognizing one’s face from the reflection on a mirror.

Through mantras, forms and symbols, one has to rise to a higher level of consciousness and feel one’s expansion, until it consumes the entire ranges of existence, all the dimensions within the fold of one’s consciousness. The sadhaka has to enter into his body, prana, and mind through some techniques and feel the fine vibrations till all vibrations subside. When he reaches the level of unmani, and transcends the mind, the all-pervasive self-awareness manifests.

The Concept of Jiva in the Yogavasistha

Dr. Haramohan Mishra

In different branches of study we encounter different basic concepts such as the concept of matter, the concept of man, the concept of the state, the concept of morality, the concept of beauty, etc, which give us an idea of the way we relate to the things of the world. But the concept of jiva is more a fundamental one which gives us an insight into our own selves, a peep into our own reality, around which all other concepts revolve. This is not only a metaphysical idea, but a stark reality, from the standpoint of which we encounter the things of the world – we perceive, conceive, enjoy and transcend the world of objects. Our world-view necessarily flows from our conception of what we are, thereby determining our sojourn in the world or our pilgrimage for the eternity.

Jiva is commonly known as the individual consciousness marked by its association with the psycho-physiological mechanism known as the body characterized by birth, growth, reproduction and death. However, consciousness being the greatest mystery in the world where unconscious matter apparently predominates, the individual consciousness is also shrouded in mystery. Our study of consciousness as merely a biological phenomenon or even a psychological phenomenon with all its scientific fanfare is the outcome of a myopic vision, which does not withstand a philosophical scrutiny. The deeper meaning of the concept of jiva springs from its capacity of apperception and self-inquiry. It not only encounters and enjoys the things of the world but also tries to comprehend its own self. Self-perception tends it to assert itself, leading it along the path of self-inquiry, which consummates in self-knowledge at the end. From the state of being conscious of the objective world it turns inward, realizing the utter fruitlessness of sense enjoyment. This state, in which the jiva is neither totally wise nor unwise, is said to be the beginning of self-inquiry.1

The concept of jiva as given in the Yogavasistha is unique in both its conception and depiction. It seems to be the synthesis of the Vedantic and the Agamic views. The approach of this work is non-discursive yet comprehensive. Like the Upanisads, it does not conform to any rigid logical framework, though its basic tenets are quite conspicuous. The Vedantic world-view with an Agamic overtone is what the fundamental note of this work is. Though theoretical accuracy is never given importance in this work, the vision and perception of the basic non-dual reality are never lost. The mystery of jiva can never be solved in the relative plane of perception where the knower, knowable and knowledge appear to be distinct. However, the explanations given in the scriptures provide us the paradigms which facilitate our understanding. The essence of the teachings of the Upanisads which signifies Advaita in some form or the other forms the basis of the later Vedantic and the Agamic traditions.

In Advaita Vedanta, jiva is conceived as consciousness either conditioned by or reflected in avidya or antahkarana. The views are known as avaccheda vada and pratibimba vada. Both these examples are given in the Upanisads in order to explain the oneness of Brahman which is the same as Atman from the individual point of view. However, the later Advaitins have to take a lot of pains to meet the logical challenges arising out of such views. In fact, it is not so simple to explain the entire mystery by means of some examples. Still the mystery persists. Why at all there should be a reflection or a conditioning is not easy to comprehend. Advaita Vedanta tries to solve this by advocating that avidya is beginning less (anadi), anirvacaniya and does not stand any logical scrutiny. A group of Advaitins also accept the six beginning less principles like jiva, Isvara, pure consciousness, etc. There is no self-contradiction, since, though beginning less, the jiva-hood is never endless. To explain the things of the world, the Advaitins say that the world of objects with manas and the senses is only a product of maya, which like the prakrti of the Samkhyas is unconscious, but unlike it, is not separately real. Thus, according to Advaita Vedanta, the entire world, beginning from maya to the five mahabhuta-s, including the anthahkarana, is unconscious. The jiva, unlike maya and its creation, is of the essence of consciousness. But non-dualism is never affected, since maya and its manifold creation are nothing other than superimposition or adhyasa. We find in Advaita Vedanta, a perfect logical explanation expressed, upheld and defended boldly. But we should bear in mind what the great Advaitin Suresvara says, “In whichever method one gets proficiency in the non-dual self, here it is known as a prakriya which is valid yet un-established (anavasthita).”2 Explanations are intended to make others understand the truth, but by no means are these to be taken as the reality. The origination of jiva which is apparent but not real is only a prakriya devised to instruct the truth of non-duality.

In the non-dualistic Agamic schools, prominent among which is the Kashmir Saivism, Siva is said to have assumed the form of jiva with a desire to conceal his svarupa through his unbound power of freedom or svatantrya. The five powers of Siva, cit, ananda, iccha, jnana and kriya become limited. The power iccha becomes anava mala, jnana becomes mayiya mala, kriya becomes karma mala, omnipotence becomes kala, omniscience becomes vidya, plenitude becomes raga, eternity becomes kala and all-pervasiveness becomes niyati. Thus the bound consciousness, jiva, being limited is known as anu and being fettered is known as pasu. The numerous individuals are classified under six categories, viz., sakala, pralayakala, vijnanakala, mantra, mantresa and mantramahesa, beyond which is Siva endowed with his principal Sakti which manifests in innumerable forms. Through the aspect of Sakti, otherwise known as vimarsa as distinct from prakasa as Siva himself is known, the world of sabda and artha comes into existence. Since Sakti, unlike prakrti of the Samkhyas and maya of the Vedantins, is of the nature of consciousness, non-dualism is never affected. This Sakti , non-distinct from Siva, is the matrix and the material of the entire world. She (in the feminine) is variously called as kula, samarthya, urmi, hrdaya, sara, spanda, vibhuti, kali, vani, drk , etc, meaningful, as it is, in these special appellations. 3 The all-pervasive and all-knowing caitanya has assumed the form of citta through its self-limitation.4 This same citta has become prana as it is said, “prak samvit prane parinata.” Prana , inherently intent upon activity, is said to be spanda, sphuratta, visranti, jiva, hrt and pratibha. Assuming the form of the five vital airs, it consumes the entire body, so, the body appears as being filled with consciousness.5 Kashmir Saivism adopts both maya and prakrti of the Vedantins and the Samkhyas respectively and ingeniously incorporates these in its own fold. They lose their inherent nature in the new paradigms and become helplessly impotent in the presence of the imposing concept of the supreme Sakti. The process of creation is more akin to that of the Samkhyas than to the view of the Vedantins. So far as the concept of jiva is concerned, it agrees with the Vedantins in upholding this view that the jiva is essentially Siva himself. It needs to be awakened to its inherent divinity. Jiva, like Siva, is also endowed with both jnana and kriya which get distorted in this state. In the condition of vijnanakala, jnana alone manifests, which restricts it from acquiring its unconditioned freedom, its aisvarya. The remarkable difference between these two schools is this that, in Advaita Vedanta, caitanya is conceived as pure illumination devoid of activity(jnanarupam niskriyam),which relegates all activities to the realm of maya, where as in the Agamic schools, both kriya and jnana are said to be its essential nature.6

The Yogavasistha depicts the concept of jiva in a lucid and unique manner. It does not take any fixed sectarian view. Though its conception of jiva is basically non-dualistic, it does not always conform to either the theoretical paradigms of Advaita Vedanta or that of the Agamas. Characteristically it seems to be a great poetry of sublime revelations, unbound, as it is, by the rigidity of philosophical concepts and logical reasoning. With hundreds of stories adopted from earlier sources and designed ingeniously it brings home to the seeker self-knowledge in an inimitable manner. It abounds in thousands of illustrations, similes and metaphors which make self-inquiry a breeze. The concept of jiva is central to its description, since all its efforts are intended to awaken the jiva to its pristine glory.

In the Yogavasistha, the jiva is depicted as a minute spandana, vibration or wave in the unbound stir-less ocean of supreme consciousness. It is likened to a little bit flickering of the flame of the limitless consciousness, motionless as it is, like that of a candle in a place free from wind.7 As motion is to wind, heat is to fire and coldness is to ice, so is the jiva related to Brahman.8 The process in which the all-pervasive consciousness comes to assume the form of jiva is described in a vivid manner. In the utpatti prakarana, it is said, “From this Brahman which is of the essence of pure consciousness and supreme bliss, comes into existence jiva which is citta itself, and from citta the world emerges. This citta being concretized with awareness takes the form of ahamkara, as a tiny spark of fire furnished with plenty of fuel gains resplendence. The aham-bhava (remarkably different from ahamkara), supreme consciousness in the form of primary “I”-ness, being conditioned by space and time by its own resolution, like the movement of the wind, intent upon samkalpa, comes to be designated as ahamkara, citta, jiva, manas, maya and prakrati. This citta, of the nature of samkalpa, also fancies the tanmatra-s and becomes five-fold through resolution.”9 In the nirvana prakarana, the same process is again described, “Beginning-less and endless Brahman, the root of the world, free from all defects, luminous, of the essence of pure consciousness, which is devoid of limits of kala, being inwardly intent upon kalana, is known as jiva. This jiva obviously, within the body, grasps the objects and activates it. Because of the feeling of “I” or aham, it becomes ahamkara, by manana (thinking) it becomes manas, determining knowledge it becomes buddhi (intellect), providing outlet for Indra’s knowing (Indra here means the self) it becomes indriya, fancying the body it becomes the body, and imagining the ghata (pot) it becomes ghata. Of this nature, the self is perceived as the puryastaka (the self inseparably connected with the subtle body).”10

This process is also depicted elsewhere in this work with some minor alterations. However, the intention remains in tact. In this work, unlike in other systems, the theoretical differences among various principles such as the citta, jiva, manas, prakrti, maya, etc, are obliterated. It is noteworthy that the process of Brahman assuming the form of jiva as depicted here does not corroborate either the view of the Advaita Vedantins or that of the upholders of the Agama-s. The theoretical paradigms of Vedanta, the logically perfected explanations of pratibimba and avaccheda, the logically conceived and dialectically defended a-logical maya, the juxtaposition of drk and drsya , etc, do not correspond to the not-so-logically conceived, non-discursive and intuitive description of the Yogavasistha. The process of the origination of jiva as given in the Agama-s with its framework of the three mala-s and the five kancuka-s, does not conform to the manner in which it is described in this work. However, so far as the basic tenets are concerned, it agrees with both these schools. It is to be noted that in Kashmir Saivism, caitanya, citta, jiva and prana are never conceived as qualitatively different from each other, which resembles the view of the Yogavasistha. But the conceptual framework of the former does not stand in agreement with the depiction given in this work.

It is to be noted that the way Yogavasistha describes this concept broadly corresponds to the manner in which it is expressed in the Upanisads. The Brihadaranyka Upanisad, while describing how the non-dual reality assumes the form of the myriad things of the world, says, “He verily becomes prana by the activity of living (pranana), through speech (vadana) becomes vak, seeing the objects becomes vision, through manana (thinking) becomes manas, these are the names consequent upon his activities.”11 The interpretation of this line may differ keeping in view the specific stand-point of the interpreters. With Samkara we may take it to mean that the activity of prana, vak, caksu, etc, are superimposed on Atman, for which it appears falsely as such, or we may take this line in its face-value and maintain that such and such principles actually originate from Atman though thereby they do not become real on a par with the latter. It is to be borne in mind that in the non-dualistic framework, whether we view the world in a phenomenalistic manner or in a realistic manner, the world of objects is never conceived as of the same ontological status as that of the Absolute. If we adopt the latter stand-point, the interpretation of the Upanisads will bring us the same perceptions of the world as that of the Agama-s. This is, however, expressed in a broader sense; the world-view of this work is as free as that of the Upanisads. It satisfies both the Vedantic and the Agamic stand-points.

The primary aim of the Yogavasistha is to make the individual realize his true non-dual reality. In this sense, it is more a yogic work than a work on philosophy. No amount of philosophisation can make one free from the fetters of samsara. One has to practise the truth with an indomitable spirit, live it and realize the ultimate goal of life. This work inspires the seeker to probe the hidden realities underlying the apparent manifestations of his superficial being, providing him the means and the potentials to pursue the goal undeterred. It is not only important to explain the jiva-hood from the philosophical point of view, it is even more important to go deep into the recesses of one’s own being and to discover one’s true nature. The Yogavasistha oftentimes emphasizes this and unveils the secrets of self-discovery in no uncertain terms. According to it, the ativahika deha or puryastaka otherwise known as the subtle body is the conditioning of the jiva. The gross body disintegrates at the time of death, but the subtle body continues till one realizes his identity with Brahman. The yogic practices are intended for gaining control over this. The person who can control his subtle body will no longer be a puppet in the hands of fate. By unveiling the dynamics operating in the subtle spiritual levels, it brings home the subtle realities which hitherto remain unrevealed. When the mind is free from impure vasana-s and is prompted by purity, it gets converted into the ativahika body through which a person can travel in different subtle worlds while living verily within a gross body.12 Though, after death, every departing soul has to travel in the astral world through this, the ativahika deha remains inoperative in the gross body stage. Even after death it does not acquire that amount of freedom, unless one has realized its full potentials by sadhana in the previous body. A beautiful description of this is met with in the Lila upakhyana of the Yogavasistha (See the utpatti prakarana). Truth is not merely a concept; it is very much a reality. Our reductionistic conception of consciousness and our limited knowledge of the only form of carbon-based life, obtained from our so-called scientific research are the outcome of a deep-rooted ignorance which can never be uprooted unless we awake from the bodily sleep. Advancement in the scientific research in the fields of genetics and stem-cell cannot help us in waking from this bodily sleep. The Yogavasistha makes it conspicuous that the subtle body is not an imagination; it is a reality although of a different dimension, which can only be realized by getting rid of our deep-rooted ignorance that binds us to the gross body and the world of gross objects.

The seven stages of delusion of the jiva are bija jagrat, jagrat, maha jagrat, jagrat svapna, svapna, svapna jagrat and susupti. These are the elongation of the three states of consciousness, viz, waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep, described elsewhere. The jiva confined to these seven conditions passes from one delusion to the other like a boat fallen in a whirlpool. In some stages it remains in the state of svapna jagrat and in some other stages it experiences the state of jagrat svapna. The former is a special state of consciousness where a dream seems to be a long experienced reality, while the latter is what is known as manorajya or fantasy. A departed soul, so far as it continues as a preta, undergoes such experiences. Some states may last for a long time where as others may last for a short while.13 One who transcends these and thereby attains the state of turiya or the state of turyatita, he alone realizes his true non-dual reality.

The jiva encounters reality-shifts in its various stages of existence. Through the expansion of its field of perception, it discovers different layers of truth until it becomes aware of the fact that the entire world of matter with its own longtime associates, the subtle body and the gross body, is nothing but a figment of its own mind. This entire world is nothing more than an experience; there is no brahmanda (the universe); no samsara (the cycles of birth and death), no barriers, nor any distance caused by space and time. For him who has realized this, the entire world is even voider than the space, and for the other, it is impenetrable like a mountain hard as the thunderbolt.14

Through the parinami drsti of the Samkhya, it discovers its difference from prakrti and asserts its independence; through the vivarta drsti of the Vedantins it finds that the world of experience has only a relative existence and through the Saivi drsti of the Agama-s it subsumes the world of difference within itself. Self-knowledge, effortless and spontaneous, comes to the person who remains awake, as illumination happens to a person with open eyes when a candle is lit even without asking.15

The Yogavasistha synthesizes the views of both the Advaita Vedanta and the Advaya Agama and reveals the supreme glory of the Self in an inimitable manner which is unique in its conception as well as in the exposition.

1. Yogavasistha, 1.2.2, Chukhamba Ed., 2001
2. Brhadaranyaka Upanisad Bhasya Vartika, 1.4.402 Mahesh Research Institute Ed., 1982
3. Tantrasara, p.123, Choukhamba Ed., 1996
4. Pratyabhijnahrdayam, Sutra 5, Motilal , Ed., 1983
5. Tantraloka, 6.12, Sampurnananda Ed., 1992
6. Isvarapratyabhijna, 1.5.11, Motilal Ed. 1986
7. Yogavasistha, 3.64.6-8
8. ibid, 3.64.10
9. ibid, 3. 64.2; also 3.64.11-16
10. ibid, 6.50.14-18
11 Brhadaranyaka Upanisad, 1.4.7
12. Yogavasistha, 3.22.9-10
13. ibid, 3.117. 11-28
14. ibid, 3.28, 9; also 3.28.13
15. ibid, 2 .17.7

Kashmir Saivism: The Path and Destination

Dr. Haramohan Mishra

Kashmir Saivism, the Pratyabhijna School, as it is popularly known is, in some sense, the highest attainment in the Indian philosophical tradition. Like Advaita Vedanta it upholds a kind of non-dualism according to which the entire world is nothing but Siva, the non-dual supreme reality, as it is termed here.1 Unlike Advaita Vedanta which has its foundation in the Upanisads, Kashmir Saivism draws its inspiration from the ancient Agama works. Some other foundational works like the Sivasutras and Sivadrsti also supply the conceptual framework to this school.2 Non-dualistic world view, in whichever form it might have been conceived in different intellectual and spiritual traditions of the world, points to the same mindset and the same set of perceptions which go into its making. However, different schools adopt different methods to reach their conclusion depending on the manner they confront the world of experience. Here, the idiosyncrasies of the particular thinker and the belief-system of the environment where he is born and brought up play an important role. But it is imperative to study the set of experiences that mould the non-dualistic thinking since there only consummates the process of knowing, more so with regard to such sadhana-intensive disciplines as Kashmir Saivism.

In our entire quest, in all our journeys, we have a path and a destination. Sometimes we are not clear regarding our goal even though we have some faint ideas; even we may have some projected object as our goal; or we may not be aware of the right path which leads to our destination. In all our knowledge-situations, empirical, rational and intuitional, with reference to our myriad quests we may remain confused as to the path and destination, more so when we question their ultimate status and value.3 Speculative metaphysics divorced from real situations of life cannot make us reach the ultimate goal; apart from philosophical speculations, what we need is sadhana, a real method through which we expand and have the plenary Advaita-experience. Like Advaita Vedanta, Kashmir Saivism enunciates its standpoints and leads the pursuer along the path that consummates in enlightenment and emancipation.
The main problem of Kashmir Saivism is to find the reality of the world of phenomena as well to recognize one’s own reality. This is not only the ultimate destiny of the cosmic process but also the fulfillment of the individual life, since in all the scriptures ignorance is said to be the cause of bondage and knowledge is said to be the means of emancipation.4 But conceiving knowledge as well as ignorance differs from system to system. The ultimate reality here is termed as para prakasa, supreme illumination, the unbound consciousness which not only illuminates the entire universe but also sustains and gives value to all. It is not only the ultimate reality; it is the essential nature of the things, the knowable, since unless something is revealed it cannot have either manifestation or reality.5Even non-reality of the objects is solely grasped by some camatkara, the marvelous flash of revelation. The knowledge, “The sky-flower is unreal” is even possible being reflected in consciousness.6

The supreme consciousness, Siva is inseparably associated with his supreme Sakti, known as vimarsa. This vimarsa constitutes the essence, the nature of prakasa. Here there is a marked difference from Advaita Vedanta conception of reality. The Saivites of Kashmir hold that without vimarsa which is the very nature of prakasa the latter is not different from illumination emanating from inert objects like the crystal.7 Even though the ultimate reality is non-dual it is revealed in both the aspects; thus it is of the nature of prakasa-vimarsa. Vimarsa is said to be apperceptive, the self-perception or aham-bhava of prakasa. It is the ultimate repose, visranti of illumination, since it is free from all dependence.8 Sakti is anuttara pratibha of Siva, the unconditioned supreme freedom through which he becomes the entire universe.9She(in the feminine) is also known as svatantrya, sphuratta, para vak, sara, hrdaya etc. She is the immanence of the transcendent supreme Lord, the dynamic aspect of the self-contained stir-less supreme consciousness for which Siva is said to be both transcendent (visvottirna) and immanent (visvamaya). Ksemaraja differentiates his position from others by pointing to this; the Brahman of Vedanta, he says, is only transcendent.10 In the Devipancastavi, the divine Sakti is described as the power, body, the presiding deity, the inner self, knowledge, action, volition, senses, mind, lordship, the abode and the covering of the Lord. There is nothing which she is not of Siva.11

It is to be noted that even though the supreme reality is conceived as of both aspects in this system, non-dualism is not at all hampered. We find that, in this concept of Sakti, the maya of the Vedantins and the prakrti of the Sankhyas are assimilated. In the enumeration of tattvas, both maya and prakrti are included, even though being overpowered by the imposing Sakti they lose their importance. However, Sakti is remarkably different from both of them. According to the Sankhyas, prakrti is different from and independent of purusa, inert by nature and real, so the result is necessarily a dualism. According to Advaita Vedanta, maya is inert, dependent on Brahman, by itself not existent, neither real nor unreal. Since it is not an ontologically co-existent entity with Brahman (samana-sattaka), non-dualism is never affected. However, in Kashmir Saivism, Sakti being of the nature of consciousness (indeed, she is the very essence of consciousness), one with Siva and real, non-dualism is the necessary outcome. It is to be noted that, in contrast to the theory of falsity of the world of the Vedantins, it holds the world to be real. The theory of falsity of the world is advanced by the Advaita Vedantins to prove that Brahman is only real, where as the Pratyabhijna school takes the world to be real. But since nothing exists which is not Siva, non-dualism becomes evident with such a world view.
It is to be noted that Sakti is only the non-different dynamic aspect of the selfsame cosmic consciousness. The Vijnanabhairava says “The highest state of Bhairava free from all notions of direction and time, not characterized by space and intention, incapable of indication and indescribable by words, full of bliss of inner experience, free from all vikalpas, that state which is all-pervasive, is said to be Bhairavi, the supreme Goddess.” 12 As the power of burning is not different from fire, Sakti is not different from Siva. It is only the threshold through which the knower enters the object (becomes capable of knowing it).13

It is to be borne in mind that in order to explain the multiplicity of the world in face of the non-dual reality the Advaitins have to posit another principle maya, which, with all its effects, must be mithya, non-real (in the Advaita Vedanta language neither real nor unreal) on par of dream experience or appearance of the serpent on the rope. For the same reason the Sivadvayavadins of Kashmir posit Sakti, the unconditioned boundless freedom of Siva, which is as much real as Siva, with all her proliferation, the myriad things of the world on the evidence of the universal experience of the thing and its capacities such as the qualities, actions etc. For the Advaitins, jati, guna, kriya etc which are nothing but superimposition (adhyasa) on the substantive are false since their non-dualism does not tolerate difference. For the Sivadvayavadins, they are as much real as the substance; however they are not separate principles as they are conceived by the Nyaya-Vaisesika realists. These are only the manifestation, the powers of the substance. Saktiman is the dharmin and sakti is the dharma. This relation also holds good in the case of Paramatma and Para Sakti.14To repudiate the contention of the realists, Abhinava even states that sakti is the very being of the bhava which is only posited by the knower.15 However, one should not take it to be a form of idealistic phenomenalism. Spiritual wisdom, based as it is on intuitive revelations, is capable of a philosophical or a scientific interpretation. But in the core it is beyond the purview of both of them. It is a unique viewpoint which is intended to make one capable of the final Advaya vision through looking at the things as the manifestation of the power of the non-dual supreme reality. An attitudinal change and correction of vision are the starting point of sadhana.

Sakti is the cause of manifestation of the world. The individual jiva does not know its divine nature as it is limited by the five kancukas, the limiting factors projected by maya. Thus consciousness having its power diminished becomes jiva. Again by gaining his power it becomes free. The Spandakarika remarks, “That Sakti of Siva, having action as its nature, existing in the pasu, the bound soul, becomes the cause of bondage; however, when known as the path towards realization of one’s true nature becomes the source of all fulfillment.”16 That is why Sakti is said to be the door of entrance into Siva in the Vijnanabhairava, “When one enters the state of Sakti and thereby gets established in the vision of non-distinction, then he becomes Siva himself, so Sakti is declared as the door of entrance into Siva. As by the light of the lamp or by the rays of the sun difference of space and such other things are known, so Siva is known through Sakti”17
Sakti as the unbound freedom or svatantrya of Siva or as his svarupa vimarsa is one and identical with him. But in her manifestations, she is infinite in number. The innumerable manifestations of the world are his saktis. This is how Sakti is one and many. However, the main expressions of his Sakti are three, iccha, jnana and kriya, otherwise known as para, parapara and apara. Related to them are the three upayas, the paths of realization, sambhavopaya, saktopaya and anavopaya which are discussed in detail by Abhinavagupta in the beginning chapters of his famous treatise, the Tantraloka.
The entire process of regaining the pristine glory of jiva is known as sadhana, the spiritual practice for enlightenment, which culminates in grace and consummates in self-recognition. In this sense, Sakti herself is the path, the highest knowledge (vidya) and grace, (anugraha) of the Lord. “The idea of Siva is the highest conception of God as approached by the spiritual intuition of man” says sister Nivedita in her marvelous work “The Master as I Saw Him”. The conception of Siva-Sakti is the answer to the apparent dualism and ultimate oneness of all existence; it is the flowering and the fulfillment of all relationship through which we enter the heart of reality that is our own being and the essential nature of the universe
1. Spandakarika 2.4
2. Tantraloka 1.10-11
3. Allusion to the story of Alice’s encounter with the rabbit in
“Alice in the Wonderland”
4. Tantraloka 1.22
5. Tantraloka 1.52
6. Tantraloka 1.53
7. Isvarapratyabhijna 1.5.11
8. Siddhitrayi, Ajada- 22
9. Tantraloka 3.66
10. See Ksemaraja’s comments on Pratyabhijna hrdaya, Sutra 8
11. Pancastavi, ambastava 25
12. Vijnanabhairava 14-15
13. Vijnanabhairava 19
14. Vijnanabhairava 18
15. Tantraloka 1.69
16. Spandakarika 3.16
17. Vijnanabhairava 20-21
18. The Master as I Saw Him, p105

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