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What is triple awareness in Kashmir Shaivism

What is triple awareness in Kashmir Shaivism

kashmir shaivism shiva sutras triple awareness Jul 24, 2023
In this excerpt from the Shiva Sutras: The Supreme Awakening Swami Lakshmanjoo explains how a “yogī whose God consciousness is destroyed by the state of illusion becomes dependent on his action.” Swamiji then reveals how to overcome this with “Triple awareness.”


“Triple awareness carries one to God Consciousness!” ~Swami Lakshmanjoo


Shiva Sutras 3.35

35. mohapratisaṁhatastu karmātmā //

The yogī whose God consciousness is destroyed by this state of illusion
is dependent on his action.

On the contrary, the yogī whose God consciousness is destroyed by this state of illusion is dependent on his action. The past, present and future actions (karmas) of this yogī, whose God consciousness has been destroyed by the illusion of duality, will control him and make him their plaything. He is just an ordinary human being. He is not capable as a yogī. Having his state of being destroyed by this illusion of duality, he thinks, “This is pain and it is not good. This is pleasure and it is better than pain. I have a good job which is very nice. I have been fired and I am very sad!” This is the state of individual being.

The Sanskrit word moha means ignorance (ajñāna). The words prati saṁhataḥ mean “who is constricted by this ignorance, this illusion” (moha). He is not the player of pain and pleasure as a yogī is. Being shrunk by illusion, he is pain and pleasure’s plaything. He is said to be the embodiment of action (karmātmā) and as such, he is dependent upon action. Actions will control him. He is always stained (kalaṅkita) by good and bad actions.

This is well said in the Kālikākrama Śāstra:

When this yogī does not maintain the awareness of God consciousness, having his God consciousness covered by ignorance, then because of his differentiated perception of the world, he does not experience the thirty-six elementary states of the universe, beginning with the element Śiva and ending with the element earth, in a supreme or universal manner. Only the states of good and bad appear to him, which are unfortunate and which, when experienced, cause supreme pain to shine within him. Because of this, he has become an absolutely unfortunate being. (Kālikākrama Śāstra)

Shiva Sutras 3.36

So, although such a yogī has become dependent on his past actions, as ignorant persons are, when, by the means of the absolutely independent grace of Lord Śiva, his state of perfect independence again shines, then…


36. bhedatiraskāre sargāntarakarmatvaṁ //

He drives away the field of differentiated perceptions and enters into a new world of God consciousness.

In this verse we are told, “He drives away the field of differentiated perception.” This means the differentiated perceptions of that subjective being are kept apart from his self. This subjective being is that individual who is residing in the sakala and pralayākala states because he has defined his ego in relation to the body (śarīra), the vital breath (prāṇa), the self of the dreaming state (puryaṣṭaka), and the self of deep sleep (śūnya), and not in relation to his own real nature of God consciousness.

The Sanskrit word tiraskāre, which I am rendering as “drives away,” does not mean he totally ignores this differentiated perception. Here, “drives away” indicates that he ignores it through the mind. Although internally he does everything that other individuals do, he is not attached to those differentiated perceptions. So, although he lives in these differentiated perceptions, the nature of his God consciousness shines forth and these perceptions subside.

Then, successively, he enters into the world of mantra pramātā, mantreśvara pramātā and mantramaheśvara pramātā, which are, consecutively, the states of śuddha vidyā, īśvara, and sadāśiva31.

Then, ignoring the previous state of degraded individual consciousness, he (sargāntara karmatvaṁ) enters into a new world of God consciousness wherein whatever he thinks, whatever he desires, comes true. This is already illustrated in Svacchanda Tantra:

When you fix your awareness not only in two, but in three, you are carried to God consciousness and you become one with Svacchanda.32 (Svacchanda Tantra)

What is the meaning of “triple awareness”? The verse tells us there must be triple awareness, not just awareness of two. Awareness of two is the awareness of two actions, such as inhaling and exhaling. Triple awareness includes the junction, the gap, between any two actions, between inhaling and exhaling and between exhaling and inhaling. It is the junction between one step and another step, between one thought and another thought, between one sensation and another sensation, etc. When you are aware of the three centers, then you are carried to Svacchanda, to God-consciousness.

And so it is explained in this verse in the Svacchanda Tantra, as he becomes one with Svacchanda (with Bhairavanātha), then differentiated perceptions do not exist. In another verse in the same Tantra, we are told:

He becomes so great he terrifies Brahma, Viṣṇu, and Indra, the Siddhas, Daityas, and those who rule the great deities, garuḍa, etc. He causes them to be fearful, or if he is satisfied with them, drives fear away from them. He is the bestower of boons and curses. Even the Lord of Death cannot stand before him. By the power of his will, he can level great mountains. (Svacchanda Tantra 6.54–55)

Shiva Sutras 3.37

This is not difficult for him to attain, because:

37. karaṇa śaktiḥ svato’nubhavāt //

The power of creation is the experience of every individual.

It is the experience of each and every individual being that while they are in the dreaming state or using their imagination, they have the power to create and destroy as they will (karaṇaśakti). When you are intoxicated with alcohol, you can think that you are the Lord and that no power can weaken you. That is your conception in that state. Or, when you enter the dreaming state, you can create a motorcar to drive, the road to drive on and the fields and vegetation to drive through. In this dream, the road is created by you, the motorcar is created by you, the trees on the sides of the road are created by you, and it is you who are seated in the car and you are you. Everything in this dream is you. If somebody comes in front of you and stops your car, that is also you. In this dream, you create the entire universe yourself because in dreams no one else is created except your own glory. So in this way, the power of creation is experienced by every individual, and in the same way, the power of creation of this yogī is universal.

It is your own experience that in the world of imagination or in the world of dreaming, you have the power of doing and undoing, enabling you to create a world by your own power of thinking, a world you are unable to create in the waking state.

In this respect, it is said in the Pratibhijñā Kārikā:

So according to the thoughts he chooses, every individual being has the power of knowing and acting. (Īśvarapratyabhijñā Kārikā 1.6.11)

So, when it is proven that the power (karaṇa śakti) to create and destroy already exists, then when he desires with an intense force of awareness, that desire will come true not only in the dreaming state or world of imagination, but also in the waking state. He can also create worlds of his own in the waking state. In fact, he can create whatever he desires in the outside world and these worlds which he has created can also be perceived by others.

It is also said in Tattvagarbha:

When those individuals, who are masters of the dreaming state and the world of imagination, discard the absence of the establishment of awareness and secure and strengthen the power of their awareness, then their desire becomes just like the heavenly wish-fulfilling tree (kalpataru).33

They become just like Lord Śiva and being just like Lord Śiva, whatever they desire, whatever they think, that becomes true.


31. In any experience, there is the known, the object of perception, the means of experiencing, and the experiencer. The Sanskrit word for the object of perception is prameya. The word for the means of experience is pramāṇa, and the word for the subject of the experience is pramātṛi or pramātā. To further clarify, the pramātṛi is the state of the knower where the knower is attached to the known—to the object. In śuddhavidyā tattva, you find the state of mantra pramātā, which is also called śuddhavidyā pramātṛi. In īśvara tattva, you find the state of mantreśvara pramātā, which is also called īśvara pramātṛi. And in sadāśiva tattva, you experience the state of mantra maheśvara pramātā. In the above three states, you find that both the state and the state holder—the state and the experiencer of that state—exist together simultaneously.

32. Svacchanda is that Bhairava who is absolutely filled with free will. etc. He causes them to be fearful, or if he is satisfied with them, drives fear away from them. He is the bestower of boons and curses. Even the Lord of Death cannot stand before him. By the power of his will, he can level great mountains. (Svacchanda Tantra 6.54–55)

33. The kalpataru tree is one of the five trees of heaven, fabled to fulfill all desires.

Source: From the third awakening of the
Shiva Sutras, The Supreme Awakening, by Swami Lakshmanjoo)
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