In this excerpt from Abhinavagupta’s Paramarthasara (The Essence of the Highest Reality, Swami Lakshmanjoo explains why one who is Self realized does not get afraid.

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आत्मज्ञो न कुतश्चन

बिभेति, सर्वं हि तस्य निजरूपम् 

नैव च शोचति, यस्मात्

परमार्त्थे नाशिता नास्ति  ॥५८॥

ātma-jño na kutaścana

bibheti, sarvaṁ hi tasya nija-rūpam /

naiva ca śocati, yasmāt

paramārtthe nāśitā nāsti //58//

Ātmajña, he who has realized one’s own Self, na kutaścana bibheti, he does not get afraid of anybody.

Why he does not get afraid of anybody?

Sarvaṁ hi tasya nijarūpam, because His branches are everywhere scattered. You cannot get afraid of yourself.

DENISE: Yes, because He is everybody.

SWAMIJI: Yes, He is expanded; He has manifested His nature in every being. From [whom] will he get afraid?

Naiva ca śocati, and he does not get depressed also. When, amongst His manifestation, one passes away, one individual passes away, naiva ca śocati, he does not allow grief to agitate his being. Yasmāt, why? Paramārtthe nāśitā [nāsti], actually nobody dies. It is all one’s manifestation and one’s drama.

Now, Yogarāja puts in his commentary an example from the Utpalastotrāvalī of the Saṁgraha Stotra:


पश्यतीश निखिलं भवद्वपुः 

स्वात्मपक्षपरिपूरिते जग-

त्यस्य नित्यसुखिनः कुतो भयम् 


paśyatīśa nikhilaṁ bhavad-vapuḥ /

svātma-pakṣa-paripūrite jagat-

yasya nitya-sukhinaḥ kuto bhayam //139

Any person who, O Lord, observes this whole universe one-pointedly, he who observes this world one-pointedly, and realizes that this is the glamour of Your manifestation, this whole universe is the glamour of Your manifestation, he is actually situated in Your manifestation, or in his own manifestation. So he is always appeased and peaceful. Kuto bhayam, from [whom or what] will he get afraid? There is no other [than] his being.

One gets afraid from the opposite thing when there is no opposite thing at all existing.

Granthakāro’pi, Abhinavagupta has also penned down–Yogarāja says–the author of this Paramārthasāra has also penned down one śloka somewhere. He does not know where [it is] from, but it is of Abhinavagupta.

एककोऽहमिति संसृतौ जन-

स्त्राससाहसरसेन खिद्यते 

एककोऽहमिति कोऽपरोऽस्ति मे

इत्थमस्मि गतभीर्व्यवस्थितः 

ekako’hamiti saṁsṛtau janas-

trāsasāhasarasena khidyate /

ekako’hamiti ko’paro’sti me

ittham-asmi gata-bhīr-vyavasthitaḥ //

“Oh, I am alone here! I am alone! What shall I do? I am alone, iti saṁsṛtau, in this world.”

Janaḥ, an ordinary man, if he is the only one man in Neal, if there is only one man who is not dead, all [others] are dead, all are shot down, and there is nothing, and he is the one person now saved, and he sees houses and everything, varieties of houses, and no one living. It also happens in this world.

Ekako’ham, so I am alone!”

Saṁsṛtau, in this field of ignorance, janaḥ, that limited being, trāsa sāhasarasena khidyate, he is [crying], “Somebody will eat me. Somebody will come around at night time and he will [eat me].” And he closes the door in which he is living although there is nobody outside. There is no eagle, there are no dogs barking, nobody, but he is still afraid. He gets afraid still. He says, “Maybe somebody will come and eat me.”

Trāsa sāhasarasena, and he is nowhere. He has got sleepless nights, sleepless days. And he cannot digest his food also. He cannot prepare his food also. Because he is alone! What he will prepare? How he will prepare? This is [the limited individual’s] position.

Abhinavagupta says, “Now, look at me, what I think. I also say, ‘I am alone’. Ekako’hamiti ko’paro’sti me, I also perceive that I am only alone, I am only one.”

Who says?

Abhinavagupta says, “I am only one. Ko’paraḥ asti me, who is other than me existing in this whole universe?” Although he sees varieties of people, varieties of dogs, varieties of eagles, varieties of demons, although he sees, but he perceives them as not separate from his being.

Do you understand?

DENISE: As the expansion of his own nature.

SWAMIJI: His own Self.

DENISE: His own Self.

SWAMIJI: Nature? Not nature! His own Self. It is the expansion of his own Self.

How one can . . . you cannot get afraid of Viresh! If Viresh is sleeping in your bed and you will have sleepless nights–why? Viresh is your own expansion. Why should you get afraid of John? If he is sleeping with you, then will he also eat you?

DENISE: I don’t think so.


Itthamasmi, in the same way, in the same manner, I am situated in this world, gatabhīr, without threat, without threat.”


139 Śivastotrāvalī, 13.16.

(source: Abhinavagupta’s Paramarthasara (The Essence of the Highest Reality),
Revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo
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