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Thread: spandakārikā - the 1st verse, wholeness

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    spandakārikā - the 1st verse, wholeness

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    The spandakārikā-s is an offering from within the trika view¹ of Reality .... Spanda ( vibration/throb, ~motionless movement~) is considered the 4th school. This ( as with many other schools) has been extracted from the tantra-s¹ and āgama-s¹ found in śivāt-śāstra.

    There are several commentaries¹ on the spandakārikā-s ( 53 kārikā-s/verses in total¹); the following 3 are of great interest ( to me).
    • spandakārikā-s by vasugupta-ji ( the original work)
    • spandanirṇaya by kṣemarāja – this is ‘nirṇaya’ or discussion, complete ascertainment
    • spanda-sandoha by kṣemarāja – this is ‘doha’ or the milking ( doha = the milking of the whole herd); it is the ‘milking’ , extracting the most nourishing knowledge from the 1st kārikā offered in this great work. It is so much so that we are told that all of the śāstra’s essence ( milk) can be found in this one kārikā ( concise statement)


    I mention these as it informs us we are in good company. I also have one side note. The spanda-sandoha was written first by kṣemarāja-ji. Due to the urging of his student
    he followed up with his is full ‘nirṇaya’ or discussion on the total of the spandakārikā-s.

    I stand on the shoulders of several others for their support on this matter i.e. svāmī lakṣman-jū, jaideva singh, the explanations and commentaries

    of kṣemarāja , pradīpaka, john hughes, etc. All errors can only be attributed to me.

    the 1st
    kārikā

    यस्योन्मेषनिमेषाभ्यां जगतः प्रलयोदयौ।
    तं शक्तिचक्रविभवप्रभवं शङ्करं स्तुमः॥१

    yasyonmeṣanimeṣābhyāṁ jagataḥ pralayodayau|
    taṁ śakticakravibhavaprabhavaṁ śaṅkaraṁ stumaḥ||1

    At first glance, you may not see anything ~special~ about this 1st kārikā...
    We praise (stu+maḥ) that (tam) śaṅkara (śaṅkaram) by whose (yasya) opening (and) shutting of his eyes (unmeṣa-nimeṣābhyām) appearance and dissolution (udayau & pralaya) of the world (jagataḥ); who is the source (prabhavam) of the glorious (vibhava) group/wheel (cakra) of powers (śakti) ||1

    Yet with this 1st line kṣemarāja-ji offers a whole book (spanda-sandoha) on this matter... What can be there? What is ‘hidden’ (gūḍha) within it? We are told that the essence of all śāstra's are contained in this one śloka.

    Let me offer some of the insights that have been made available in a few upcoming posts.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    words

    • Trika is = to non dual ( advitīya kaśmir śaivism) and is referred to as anuttara trika by abhinavagupta. It too has additional names:
      • ābhāsvasa paramārtha – the highest or whole truth (paramārtha) of all that is existing (ābhāsvasa)
      • advaita darśana – non-dual (advaita) view , doctrine , philosophical system, understanding (darśana)
      • svātantryavāda - explanation , exposition (vāda) of total and absolute independence (svātantrya)
      • pratyabhijnavāda -explanation , exposition (vāda) of spontaneous Self-recognition (pratyabhijna)
      • rahasysa sampradāya - the secret (rahasysa) tradition (sampradāya)
      • tryambaka sāmpradāya – the tradition (sampradāya) of tryambaka muni ( this tryambaka means 3 eyed, 3 leveled, even 3 mothers). Tryambakanātha was the son of durvāsā ṛiṣi.
      • trika śāsana or trika śāstra – trika teaching (śāsana) or trika scriptures (śāstra).


    • Other commentaries (bhāṣya) on this work:
      • A vṛtti is offered by kallaṭa-ji, a student vasugupta - vṛtti is a commentary , comment , gloss ; it is too considered a style of composition; it also means ‘rolling down’.
      • The spandapradīpikā is offered bhaṭṭa utpala-ji – pradīpikā is pra + dīpikā or fulfilling (pra) + illumination (dīpikā) on the subject of spanda
      • A vivṛti is offered by rāmakaṇṭha-ji, a student of utpaladeva¹ who in turn was the grand teacher of abhinavagupa-ji. A vivṛti is making clear or manifest , explanation , exposition. Rāmakaṇṭha-ji informs us that his work closely follows the work offered by kallaṭa and his vṛtti.




    • The 53 kārikā-s
      • tri-niḥṣyandaḥ within this śāstram: the 3 ‘sections’ (niḥṣyanda at times means chapter, yet svāmī lakṣman-jū advises us it means ‘flow’ or nis+ṣyanda) are the following:

    · sva-rūpa spandaḥ with 25 verses (pañcaviṁśatyā).
    · sahaja spandaḥ with 7 verses (saptabhiḥ).
    · vibhūti spandaḥ with 19 verses (ekonaviṁśatyā)
    · The last section offers conclusions with 2 verses

    • FYI: niḥṣyanda = niḥ+ ṣyanda = nis+ṣyanda ; nis = out + ṣyanda = flowing, streaming
    • Utpaladevācārya – utpala+deva+ācārya utpala = blossoming, any flower + deva = divine, of highest excellence + ācārya is the master, knowing or teaching the ācāra or rules, the spiritual guide. Utpaladevācārya was a luminary within kaśmir śaivism

    Last edited by yajvan; 19 June 2016 at 01:10 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #2
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    Re: spandakārikā - the 1st verse, wholeness

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    First, it seems prudent to define trika śāsana (trika teaching) from which this spandakārikā arises. It has been asked if trika = 3, why are there 4 schools? Wouldn’t trika śāsana mean 3 teachings?

    The term trika does in fact mean 3, but it is not referring to the darśana-s (schools or views) within it. It is the view of parā, parāpara and āpara. What are these? It has a few implications. The trika or 3 śakti’s (energies) of the Supreme (śiva)
    • parā śakti – the highest or supreme
    • parāpara – middle-most
    • āpara – lower


    It is also considered the 3 states of sristi, sthiti and saṃhāra.
    • sṛṣṭi – ‘letting go’ ; that is the rising forth, the ~appearance~ of creation; we find this in the 1st sūtra we are reviewing.
    • sthiti – ‘standing upright or firmly , not falling’; it is the notion of stability or maintaining...this too will be implied in the 1st sūtra; it is the ‘in-between state’ that offers stability between the condition of appearance and dissolution.
    • saṃhāra – ‘contraction’ , ‘dissolution’ ; people tend to use the term destruction here but it will miss the point that will be offered in the 1st sūtra.


    Another 3 is will (icchā), knowledge (jñāna) and activity (kriyā) found on the 3 levels of parā, parāpara and āpara. And in this case the adjoining 3 are śiva, śakti, and nara. Most are comfortable or have a feel for śiva & śakti, but what of this nara? Nara is known as ‘man’ and therefore the code for all people. Yet it too is more. It is all beings, it is the total world ( universe) and all and everything that can be inside this.

    So why bring this up ? Because within the 1st kārikā 'the glorious (vibhava) group/wheel (cakra) of powers (śakti)' are addressed. This brief understanding helps make the connection of why it is even offered and allows us an entry point for discussion.
    The other offer that one may wish to review before we get knee-deep in this 1st kārikā is ‘by whose (yasya) opening (and) shutting of his eyes (unmeṣa-nimeṣābhyām)’. You will find a reasonable review ( but not exhaustive) of this opening/closing of the eyes starting with the 4th HDF post:
    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...mp-destruction


    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3
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    Re: spandakārikā - the 1st verse, wholeness

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    Regarding this spanda.

    Most do not run into this word every day but all access it ( animal, mineral, vegetable , galaxies, solar systems, beings on every and any level). So, before one can properly address the 1st kārikā above it seems to make sense to get a better ( more robust ) definition in place regarding spanda¹.

    My guidance on this is offered to me via the spandanirṇaya authored by kṣemarāja; as mentioned before ‘nirṇaya’ = discussion, complete ascertainment and is therefore kṣemarāja-ji’s light on this matter of spanda. And to help along jaideva singh provides his guidance too, so once again we are in good hands.

    Various ācāryaḥ inform us this spanda is a throb, a quiver, a slight movement; all well and good. This is to get our mind aligned to the notion and introduction of this subject. Yet we wish our insight to rise (ārurukṣu – to rise, ascend) and we need to click down a few levels. Abhinavagupa-ji says this throb excludes all succession – that is, it is not like a spring. He uses the term ‘kiṃcid calana’ or something (of a) movement. We in street verbiage may say ‘ it’s something like or close to the notion of movement’. Yet this is still a pickle because ‘movement’ occurs in space and time and is therefore not perfectly accurate, hence the term kiṃcid or ‘something’. Abhinavagupta-ji goes on to say that this kiṃcid makes sense because it is ‘as if’ the Immovable (Supreme) appears to be moving; it appears to have a variety of manifestation.

    This ‘movement’ is also considered vimarśa and technically means examination, deliberation, consideration. In this application and within advitīya kaśmir śaivism it is a big deal. It is Self-awareness. It is the Supreme aware of Itself. My teacher called it Self-referral. It is like saying the Supreme surveys Itself. The wonderment of this surveying is that it is perpetual, never ending, no vacation, no time off. This in and of itself (then) is spiritual dynamism, one may say restful liveliness, restfully alert. Utpaladeva-ji¹ says this spanda is another name for this Self-awareness or vimarśa. Because this spanda is ever present, immutable (unchanging over time) and is absolute in its freedom (svātantraya) it is none other than maheśvara ( the Great Lord).
    Svāmī lakṣman-jū has used the term motionless movement, vibration-less vibration for this spanda. I think of it at times as a dam that is filled with pure water that is aware, that it knows that it can go over the wall any time it wishes, that it is full of potential, and since it knows this it is Self-aware (vimarśa).

    A bit more - considering sāmānya spanda & viśeṣa spanda
    We are told in the spandakārikā-s (1.19) that, the jñasya (the jñānin, the uplifted yogi who knows śivaḥ) takes hold of sāmānya spanda. Now what’s this?
    The spandakārikā-s offers a few flavors or discussion points on spanda:
    • spanda itself as the umbrella discussed above and;
    • that of looking at its nature from the standpoint of sāmānya spanda and viśeṣa spanda.

    You are very familiar and intimate with viśeṣa spanda, so let’s start here.

    Viśeṣa spanda
    = distinctive movement.
    The term viśeṣa means characteristic difference , peculiar mark , special property , specialty. It is your daily movement in life ... all the things one does, thinks about, dreads, opines, acts or not acts on as a human being outward facing to the world. It is talking, thinking, walking, running, laughing, biking, playing ball, sailing, sewing, mowing, flying, jumping, sleeping, crying, laughing, etc. These actions are distinct from one another and there are thousands of them; some very small that occurs in a moment ( a blink of the eye, a passing thought or emotion, a pain in the toe, etc.) or 8 hours of resting, etc. We as humans are very good at this. You instinctively know this by the questions you ask others : ‘what do you do ?’, or ‘where would you like to go ?’ or ‘what would you like to accomplish ?’ or ‘let’s do something’ or ‘let’s play a game’ - you are expressing viśeṣa spanda.

    We are told this in the 9th kārikā:

    निजाशुद्ध्यासमर्थस्य कर्तव्येष्वभिलाषिणः।
    यदा क्षोभः प्रलीयेत तदा स्यात्परमं पदम्॥९॥
    nijāśuddhyāsamarthasya kartavyeṣvabhilāṣiṇaḥ|
    yadā kṣobhaḥ pralīyeta tadā syātparamaṁ padam ||9

    This says in general,
    within one’s organs of perception there you find one’s own impurity¹ nija-aśuddhi; one then desires ( some say craves) to perform and do actions
    (kartavyeṣvabhilāṣiṇaḥ). Why ? because the organs of perception are outward facing and this causes agitation (yadā kṣobhaḥ); yet when the
    awareness/attention is directed inwardly this agitation is destroyed (pralīyeta) , and then (tadā) the supreme condition (paramaṁ padam¹) arises
    (syāt).

    These outward directed actions are no less fueled by viśeṣa spanda, of which we just reviewed. It seems quite natural for all these actions and likes-dislikes to occur when one is outward facing; it is supported by viśeṣa spanda. This in being human seems quite easy and natural to do.
    But what of this inward facing? What then occurs there and what spanda principle supports that functioning? We will address this in an upcoming post.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    words


    • spanda - consider sa+pan+da for those that like to look up roots to words.
    • Utpaladeva-ji offers this view in the īśvarapratyabhijñākārikā 1.8.11 ; īśvarapratyabhijñākārikā = the concise statements/discussion on the recognition of the Lord.
    • padam – is ‘pada’ and is usually viewed by the reader as a ‘step’; yet it is also defined as position , rank , station , site , abode , home.
    • impurity - we are told in the īśvarapratyabhijñākārikā that pure and impure has nothing to do with dirt or if you are washing your hands & face. It is when the unity of
      Being shines only that is pure; when this Being is co-mingled with diversity ( objects, finite things, etc.) then we're in the realm of impure. Think of pure gold and gold
      co-mingled with other metals. Or think of totally unbounded ( pure) and bounded, limited within space, time and cause ( impure).

    Last edited by yajvan; 09 August 2016 at 03:02 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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