In his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, Abhinavagupta shared a important verse he wrote about the supreme Goddess – Para Devi in Kashmir Shaivism, where he explained… Who is the supreme Devi and where does she exist?
Tathā ca mayaiva śivaśaktyavinābhāva stotre [Bhagavad Gita, chapter 15, comm. verse 19]. I, [Abhinavagupta], have also somewhere in the Śiva Śakti Avinābhāva Stotra, I have penned down ślokas for Devī.
Who is Devī?
JOHN: Svātantrya śakti.
SWAMIJI: Svātantrya śakti (Lord Shiva’s absolute energy of independence), which is existing where? In manifestation, not above manifestation.
DVD 15 (46:18)
तव च काचन न स्तुतिरम्बिके
सकलशब्दमयी किल ते तनुः ।
निखिलमूर्तिषु मे भवदन्वयो
मनसिजासु बहिष्प्रसरासु च ॥
tava ca kācana na stutirambike
sakalaśabdamayī kila te tanuḥ /
nikhilamūrtiṣu me bhavadanvayo
manasijāsu bahiṣprasarāsu ca //
It is Devī Stotra by Abhinavagupta.
Tava ca kācana na stutir ambike. O Mother, O Mother, tava ca kācana stutir na, by going, by sitting in a meditation room aloof, leaving all activities aside and thinking of You, [reciting], “oṁ parā vāk devī namaḥ, oṁ parā vāk devī namaḥ, oṁ parā vāk devī namaḥ . . . parabhairavāya namaḥ, parabhairavāya namaḥ . . . ,” like this, and reciting [Your] name, that is not Your stuti (hymn)–Abhinavagupta says–that is actually not Your stuti, i.e., the one who sings [Your] glory in the secluded corner of the pūja room with all of the doors shut.
Why? Why is it not that?
Sakala śabdamayī kila te tanuḥ. O Mother, O great Mother svātantrya śakti, “this is jug, this is paneer, this is lime juice, this is ghee, this is parātha (bread),” sakala śabda mayī, this is also Your stuti. When I perceive [these things], this is also Your stuti (hymn). Sakalaśabda, You are not excluded there! Sakala śabda mayī kila te tanuḥ, this [objective world] is existing in Your universal body, O Mother.
So, nikhila mūrtiṣu me bhavad anvayo, and [Your] mūrti (form), You have got four arms and eighteen heads, like this–this is not Your body. Nikhila mūrtiṣu me bhavad anvayo, when I see Viresh, I see Mother; when I see Jonathan, I see Mother; when I see George, I see Mother; when I see that shikas, that mad [person], I see Mother. Nikhila mūrtiṣu me bhavad anvayo, I am united in Thee, O Mother! Manasijāsu bahiṣ prasarāsu ca, and while thinking thoughts, in those thoughts also You are existing for me!
DVD 15 (50:54)
इति विचिन्त्य शिवे शमिताशिवे
जगति जातमयत्नवशादिदम् ।
iti vicintya śive śamitāśive
jagati jātamayatnavaśādidam /
Going into the depth . . . myself, after going into the depth of this secret of Thee, jagati jātamayatna vaśādidam, I find that in this universe, it has happened automatically!
न खलु काचन कालकलापि मे ॥
na khalu kācana kālakalāpi me //
Each and every moment I am adoring You, thinking of You, O divine Mother! I have no one [else] in view, only You. You are existing [for] me in each and every mūrti [form], in each and every step, in each and every movement of this world.
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