Re: spandakārikā - the 1st verse, wholeness
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:
यदा क्षोभः प्रलीयेत तदा स्यात्परमं पदम्॥९॥
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
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.
- 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 04:02 PM.
because you are identical with śiva