Pratyabhijnahrdayam [english]

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Excerpted from the Introduction to:

  • Jai Deva Singh. Pratyabhijnahrdayam: The Secret of Self-Realization (3rd revised edition). Motilal Banarsidass. Delhi, India (1980).

Sutra 1: The absolute Citi (consciousness) out of it’s own free will is the cause of the Siddhi of the universe.Comments: Universe in this context means everything from Sadasiva down to the earth. Siddhi means bringing into manifestation, maintenance, and withdrawal. Citi – The absolute consciousness alone is the power that brings about manifestation. Inasmuch as it (Citi) is the source of both subject, object, and Pramaana (means of proof), no means of proof can prove it (i.e. it is it’s own source). Siddhi may be taken in another sense also. It may mean Bhoga (experience) and Moksa (liberation). Of these also the absolute freedom of the ultimate divine consciousness is the cause.

The word, “Hetu” in the sutra means not only cause in which sense it has been already interpreted above. It also means “means”. So Citi is also the means of the individual’s ascension to the highest consciousness where he becomes identified with the divine consciousness. Citi has been used in the singular to show that it is unlimited by space, time, etc. It has been called Svantantra (of free will) in order to show that it by itself is powerful to bring about the universe without the aid of Maayaa, etc. Citi is therefore the cause of manifestation, the means of rising to Siva, and also the highest end. This Sutra strikes the key-note of the entire book.

Sutra 2: By power of her own free will does She (Citi) unfold the universe upon her own screen. Comments: She brings about the universe by the power of her own free will, and not by any extraneous cause. The universe is already contained in her implicitly, and she makes it explicit.

Sutra 3:This (i.e. the universe) is manifold because of the differentiation of reciprocally adapted objects and subjects. Comments: The universe appears to be different and manifold because of the differentiation of experients and the objects of experience. These may be summarized thus:

  1. At the level of Sadaasiva-Tattva, the I-consciousness is more prominent; the experience of the universe is just in an incipient stage. The individual experient who rises to such a level of consciousness is known as Mantra-mahesvara, and is directed by Sadaasiva. He has realized Sadaasiva-Tattva, and his experience is of the form, “I am this”. The consciousness of this (the universe) is not fully marked out from the “I” at this level.
  2. At the level of Isvara-Tattva, the consciousness of both “I” and “This” is equally distinct. The individual experient who rises to this level is known as Mantresvara. The universe is clearly distinct at this stage, but it is identified with the Self. Mantresvara is directed by Isvara.
  3. At the level of Vidyaa-Tattva, the universe appears as different from “I”. There is an experience of diversity, though it is diversity-in-unity. The individual experients of this stage are known as Mantras. They are directed by Ananta-Bhattaaraka. They have an experience of diversity all round, of the universe as bieng distinct form the Self (though it may still belong to the Self).
  4. The stage of the experient below Suddha Vidyaa, but above Maayaa is that of Vijnaanaakala. His field of experience consists of Sakala-s and Pralayaakala-s. He feels a sense of identity with them.
  5. At the stage of Maayaa, the experient is known as Pralayakevalin. He has neither a clear consciousness of “I”, nor of “This”, and so his consciousness is practically that of the void.
  6. From Maayaa down to the earth, the experient is Sakala who experiences diversity all round. The average human being belongs at this level.

Siva transcends all manifestation. His experience is that of permanent bliss and identity with everything from Sadaasiva down to earth. Actually it is Siva who flashes forth in various forms of manifestation.

Sutra 4: The individual (experient) also, in whom Citi or consciousness is contracted has the universe (as his body) in a contracted form. Comments: It is Siva or Cit that by assuming contraction becomes both the universe and the experients of the universe. Knowledge of this constitutes liberation.

Sutra 5: Citi (universal consciousness) itself descending from (the stage of) Cetana becomes Citta (individual consciousness) inasmuch as it becomes contracted in conformity with the object of consciousness. Comments: The universal consciousness itself becomes the individual consciousness by limitation. The universal consciousness in the process of limitation has either (1) the predominance of Cit, or (2) the predominance of limitation. In the former case, there is the stage of Vijnaanaakala when Prakaasa is predominate, or Suddha-Vidyaa-Pramaaataa, when both Prakaasa and Vimarsa are predominant, or Isa, Sadaasiva, Anaasrita-Siva. In the latter case, there is the stage of Suunya-Pramaataa, etc. The universal consciousness itself by assuming limitation becomes individual consciousness. Jnaana, Kriyaa, and Maayaa of the universal consciousness becomes Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas in the case of the individual.

Sutra 6: The Maayaa-Pramaataa consists of it (Citta). Comments: The Maayaa-Pramaataa also is only Citta (individual consciousness).

Sutra 7:And (though) he is one, he becomes of two-fold form, three-fold form, four-fold form, and of the nature of seven pentads. Comments: The Cit is Siva Himself. Consciousness cannot be sundered by space and time.

  • 2-fold: Since by limitation it assumes the state of the experient and the object experienced, it is also of two forms.
  • 3-fold: It also becomes three-fold as it is covered with the Mala pertaining to Anu, Maayaa, and Karma.
  • 4-fold: It is also four-fold, becuase it assumes the nature of (1) Suunya, (2) Praana, (3) Puryastaka, and (4) the gross body.
  • 7-pentads: The thirty-five Tattva-s below Siva down to the earth is also it’s nature. From Siva down to Sakala he also becomes seven-fold experients and of the nature of five-fold coverings (from Kalaa to Niiyati).

Sutra 8:The positions of the various systems of philosophy are only various roles of that (consciousness or Self). Comments: The positions of the various systems of philosophy are, so to speak, roles assumed by the Self.

  1. The Caarvaakas, for instance, maintain that the Self is identical with the body characterised by consciousness.
  2. The followers of Nyaaya practically consider Buddhi to be the Self in the worldly condition. After liberation, they consider Self as identical with the void.
  3. The Miimaamsakas also practically consider Buddhi to be the Self inasmuch as they believe the I-consciousness to be the Self.
  4. The Buddhists also consider only the functions of Buddhi as the Self.
  5. Some Vedaantins regard the Praana as the Self.
  6. Some of the Vedaantins and the Maadhyamikas regard “non-being” as the fundamental principle.
  7. The followers of Paancaraatra believe Vaasudeva to be the highest cause.
  8. The followers of Saankhya practically accept the position of the Vijnaanaakalas.
  9. Some Vedaantins accept Isvara as the highest principle.
  10. The Grammarians consider Pasyantii or Sadaasiva to be the highest principle.
  11. The Taantrikas consider the Aatman as transcending the universe to be the highest principle.
  12. The Kaulas consider the universe as the Aatman principle.
  13. The followers of Trika philosophy maintain that the Aatman is both immanent and transcendent.

The Sutra may be interpreted in another way, viz., the experience of external things as color etc., and internal experience as pleasure etc., beocme a means of the manifestation of the essential nature of Siva or the highest reality.

Sutra 9:In consequence of it’s limitation of Sakti, reality which is all consciousness becomes the Mala covered Samsaarin. Comments:

  • Aanava Mala: The will-power being limited, there arises the Aanava Mala, the Mala pertaining to the Jiva (the individual soul) by which he considers himself to be imperfect.
  • Maayiya Mala: Omniscience being limited, there arises knowledge of a few things only. Thus there comes to be Maayiya Mala, which consists in the apprehension of all objects as different.
  • Kaarma Mala: Omnipotence being limited, the Jiva acquires Kaarma Mala.

Thus due to limitation:

  • Sarva-Kartrtva (omnipotence) becomes Kalaa (limited agency).
  • Sarvajnatva (omniscience) becomes Vidyaa (limitation in respect to knowledge).
  • Puurnatva (all fulfillment) becomes Raaga (limitation in respect of desire).
  • Niyatva (eternity) becomes Kaala (limitation in respect of time).
  • Vyaapakatva (omniscience) becomes Niyati (limitation in respect of space and cause).

Jiva (the individual soul) is this limited self. When his Sakti is unfolded, he becomes Siva Himself.

Sutra 10:Even in this condition (of empirical self), he (the individual soul) does the five Krtya-s like Him (i.e. like Siva). Comments: Just as Siva does the five-fold act in mundane manifestation as an unfoldment of His real nature, so does He do it – in the limited condition of a Jiva.

  • Srastrtaa: The appearance of objects in a definite space and time is tantamount to Srastrtaa (emanation), their appearance in another space and time and thus their disappearance to the individual soul constitutes Samhartrtaa (withdrawal)
  • Sthaapakataa: Continuity of the appearance of the objects constitutes Sthaapakataa (maintenance).
  • Vilaya: Because of the appearance of difference, there is Vilaya (concealment).
  • Anugraha: When the object is identical with the light of consciousness, it is Anugraha (grace).

Sutra 11: He also does the five-fold act of manifesting, relishing, thinking out, setting the seed, and disolution.

Comment: This is so from the esoteric stand-point of the Yogin. Comments: Whatever is perceived is Aabhaasana or Srsti. The perception is relished for sometime. This is Rakti or Sthiti. It is withdrawn at the time of knowledge. This is Samhaara. If the object of experience generates impressions of doubt etc., it becomes in germ the cause of transmigratory existence. This is Bijaavasthaapana or Vilaya. If the object of experience is identified with consciousness, it is the state of Vilaapana or Anugraha.

Sutra 12: To be a Samsaarin means being deluded by one’s own powers because of the ignorance of that (i.e. authorship of the five-fold act.) Comments: In the absence of the knowledge of the five-fold act, one becomes deluded by one’a own powers, and thus transmigrates ever and anon. While talking of Sakti, we would do well to realize that the highest Vaak Sakti has the knowledge of the perfect “I”. She is the great Mantra inclusive of the letters “a” to “ksa”, and revealing the empirical experient. At this stage, she conceals the pure distinctionless consciousness and throws up ever new forms different from one another. The empirical experient deluded by the various powers considers the body, Praana, etc., as the Self. Braahmii and other Sakti-s bring about emanation and maintenance of difference and withdrawal of identity in the empirical subject (Pasudasaa).

At the stage of “Pati”, they do the reverse, i.e. bring about the emanation and maintenance of identity, and withdrawal of difference. Gradually they bring about the state of “Avikalpa”. This is known as pure Vikalpa power. The above technique of establishing unity-consciousness is known as “Saambhavopaaya”. Now follows Saaktopaaya or Saakta technique of unity-consciousness.

Cit-Sakti in this context is known as Vaamesvarii. Her sub-species are Khecarii, Gocarii, Dikcarii, Bhuucarii. These bring about objectification of the universal consciousness. By Khecarii Sakti, the universal consciousness becomes an individual subject; by Gocarii Sakti, he becomes endowed with an inner psychic apparatus; by Dikcarii Sakti, he is endowed with outer senses, by Bhuucarii, he is confined to extermal objects. By Yogic practice, Khecarii brings about consciousness of perfect agency; Gocarii brings about consciousness of non-difference, Dikcarii brings about a snese of non-difference in perception, Bhuucarii brings about a consciousness of all objects as parts of one Self. There is a third technique known as Aanavopaaya. When the Aisvarya Sakti of the Lord conceals her real nature in the case of the individual and deludes him by Praana, etc., by the various states of waking, dreaming, etc., and by the body both gross and subtle, he becomes a Samsaarin. When in the Yogic process, she unfolds the Udaana Sakti, and the Vyaana Sakti, the individual comes to acquire the experience of Turya and Turyaatita states, and becomes liberated while living.

Sutra 13: Acquiring full knowledge of it (i.e. of the five-fold act of the Self) Citta itself comes Citi by rising to the status of Cetana. Comments: When the knowledge of the five-fold act of the Self dawns on the individual, ignorrance is removed. The Citta (individual consciousness) is no longer deluded by it’s own limiting powers; it re-captures it’s original freedom, and by acquiring a knowledge of it’s real nature, rises to the status of Citi (i.e. universal consciousness).

Sutra 14: The fire of Citi even when it descends to the (lower) stage, though covered (by Maayaa) partly burns the fuel of the known (i.e. the objects). Comments: If Citi is non-differentiating consciousness intrinsically, why is it that it is characterized by a sense of difference at the level of the individual? The answer is that even at the level of the individual, Citi does not completely lose it’s nature of non-differentiation, for all the multifarious objects as known are assimilated to Citi itself, i.e. in the knowledge-situation, the objects become a part and parcel of Citi. As fire reduces to itself every thing thrown into it, even so, Citi assimilates to itself all the objects of knowledge. Only owing to it’s being covered by Maayaa, Citi does not reduce objects of knowledge to itself completely, for owing to the previous impressions (Samskaara-s), these objects appear again.

Sutra 15: In the re-assertion of it’s (inherent) power, it makes the universe it’s own. Comments: Bala or power means the emergence of the real nature of Citi. Then Citi manifests the whole universe as identical with itself. This is not the temporary play of Citi, it is rather it’s permanent nature. It is always inclusive, for without this inclusive nature of Citi even body and other objects would not be known. Therefore, the practice recommended for acquiring the power of Citi is meant only for the removal of the false identification of oneself with the body, etc.

Sutra 16: When the bliss of Cit (universal consciousness) is attained, there is the lasting acquisition of that state in which Cit is our only Self, and in which all things that appear are identical with Cit. Even the body, etc. that is experienced appears identical with Cit. Comments: The steady experience of identity with Cit means Jivanmukti (liberation even in this physical body). This comes about by the dissolution of ignorance on the recognition of one’ true nature.

Sutra 17: By the development of the center is acquisition of the bliss of the spirit. Comments: By the development of the center can the bliss of the spirit be obtained. Samvit or the power of conscious ness is called the center, because it is the support or ground of every thing in the world. In the individual, it is symbolized by the central Naadi, i.e. Susumnaa. When the central consciousness in man develops or when the Susumnaa Naadi develops, then is there the bliss of the universal consciousness.

Sutra 18:Herein (i.e. for the development of the Center) the means are:

  • Dissolution of Vikalpa.
  • Sankoca-vikaasa of Sakti.
  • Cutting of the Vaahas.
  • The practice (of the contemplation) of the Koti (point) of the beginning and the end.

Comments: The first method is Vikalpaksaya. One should concentrate on the heart, should not allow any Vikalpa to arise, and thus by reducing the mind to an Avikalpa condition, and holding the Self as the real experient in the focus of consciousness, one would develop the Madhya or consciousness of central reality and would enter the Turya and Turyaatita condition. This is the main method of Pratyabhijnaa for Madhya-Vikaasa. The other methods do not belong to Pratyabhijnaa but are recommended for their utility. Sankoca and Vikaasa of Sakti. Sankoca of Sakti means withdrawing of consciousness that rushes out through the gates of the senses, and turning it inwardly towards the Self. Vikaasa of Sakti means holding the consciousness steadily within, while the senses are allowed to perceive their objects. Another way of acquiring Sankoca and Vikaasa of Sakti is the practice of Prasara and Visraanti in the stage of UUrdhva Kundalini. Emergence from Samaadhi while retaining it’s experience is Prasara or Vikaasa, and merging back into Samaadhi and resting in that condition is Visraanti or Sankoca. A third method is Vaaha-Ccheda, i.e. cessation of Praana and Apaana by repeating inwardly the letters “Ka”, “ha”, etc. without the vowels, and tracing the Mantra-s back to their source where they are unuttered. A fourth method is Aadyanta-Koti-Nibhaalana, i.e. the practice of fixing the mind at the time of the arising of Praana and it’s coming to an end between the Aadi, i.e. the first or heart and the Anta, i.e. the distance of twelve fingers from the heart.

Sutra 19: In Vyutthaana which is full of the after-effects of Samaadhi, there is the attainment of permanent Samaadhi, by dwelling on one’s identity with Cit (universal consciousness) over and over again. Comments: Even on the occasion of Vyutthaana, the Yogin sees the entire universe dissolve in Cit by the process of Nimiilana-Samaadhi. Thus he acquires permanent Samaadhi by Krama-Mudraa.

Sutra 20: Then (i.e.on the attainment of Kramamudraa), as a result of entering into the perfect I-consciousness or Self which, is in essence Cit and Aananda (i.e. consciousness and bliss) and of the nature of the great Mantra-power, there accrues the attainment of lordship over one’s group of the dieties of consciousness that bring about all emanation and re-absorption of the universe. All this is the nature of Siva. Comments: When one masters Kramamudraa etc., one enters into the real perfect I-consciousness or Self, and acquires mastery or lordship over the group of consciousness-dieties that bring about emanation and absorption of the universe. The perfect I-consciousness is full of light and bliss. No longer is the individual deluded into considering his body, gross or subtle, Praana or senses as the “I”, he now considers the divine light within as the real “I”. This real “I” is the Samvit, Sadaasiva, and Mahesvara. This I-conscousness means the resting of all objective experience within the Self. It is also called Svaatantrya or sovereignty of will, the primary agency of everything, and lordship. This consciousness of pure “I” is the fons et origo of all the Mantra-s, and therefore it is of great power. It is the universal Cit itself. By acquiring this consciousness, one becomes the master of these Sakti-s that bring about the emanation and absorption of the universe.

Excerpted from the Introduction to: Jai Deva Singh. Pratyabhijnahrdayam: The Secret of Self-Realization (3rd revised edition). Motilal Banarsidass. Delhi, India (1980).

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