This week’s excerpt is from Abhinavagupta’s Paramarthasara (The Essence of the Highest Reality).
Swami Lakshmanjoo chose to reveal the Paramarthasara because, as Abhinavagupta tells us, the Paramarthasara contains the complete essence of the teachings of Kashmir Shaivism. In this direct and clear-cut explanation, Swamiji reveals and clarifies the essential teachings of this profound philosophical and practical tradition.
View or download the video on YouTube.
SWAMIJI: Let us start his śloka from the beginning of the commentary, his commentary, Yogarāja’s.
चिद्घनोऽपि जगन्मूर्त्या श्यानो यः स जयत्यजः ।
स्वात्मप्रच्छादनक्रीडाविदग्धः परमेश्वरः ॥१॥
cidghano ‘pi jaganmūrtyā śyāno yaḥ sa jayatyajaḥ /
svātmapracchādanakrīḍāvidagdhaḥ parameśvaraḥ // 1 //
Cidghano ‘pi parameśvaraḥ, although parameśvara, Lord Śiva is cid ghana, filled with all-consciousness, but yaḥ jagat mūrtyā śyāna, who has taken the formation of the universe, and he is coagulated there; it is the coagulated formation of cid ghana. The consciousness of Lord is just rubbery. You know rubbery? It is liquid form, and it has frozen. The frozen state of that cid ghana is this universe.
This is also good. Yogarāja says that “this universe is the frozen state of Lord Śiva, whose consciousness of Self-consciousness, universal consciousness, is coagulated.” It has become . . .
JONATHAN: It mats together.
And svātma pracchādana krīḍāvidagdhaḥ, the main purpose of Lord Śiva is just to show the playful trick of hiding, how he hides his real nature. He has hidden his real nature in the manifestation of the world. In the manifestation of the world he is hidden. Otherwise he is also there.
योऽयां व्यधायि गुरुणा
विवृतिं करोमि लघ्वीम्
अस्मिन् विद्वज्जनार्थितो योगः ॥२॥
yo ‘yāṁ vyadhāyi guruṇā
yuktyā paramārthasārasaṁkṣepaḥ /
vivṛitiṁ karomi laghvīm
asmin vidvajjanārthito yogaḥ // 2 //
Yogarāja, I am . . . this Paramārthasāra saṁkṣepaḥ, the essence of Paramārthasāra, which was described by Śeṣa Patañjali to his disciple, his essence was really penned down by our great grand teacher of teachers, Abhinavagupta. He has penned down the essence of that Paramārthasāra which was sometime, in olden-ancient times, related to some disciple by Lord Patañjali.
JOHN: The same Patañjali as the Yoga Sūtras Patañjali?
In that I am making the effort of doing the commentary on those ślokas of Abhinavagupta.
Bas. These [introductory ślokas are done.]
Now Abhinavagupta’s śloka.
परं परस्थं गहनाद् अनादिम्
एकं निविष्टं बहुधा गुहासु ।
त्वामेव शंभुं शरणं प्रपद्ये ॥१॥
paraṁ parasthaṁ gahanād anādim
ekaṁ niviṣṭaṁ bahudhā guhāsu /
tvāmeva śaṁbhuṁ śaraṇaṁ prapadye // 1 //
Param, who is param (param means who is filled with five energies: cit, ānanda, icchā, jñāna and kriyā–you know these five energies?–that is param), param is pūrṇam, who is filled with these five energies. Gahanād parastham, who is above māyā, who is situated above (gahanāt means māyā); anādim, who has no beginning; ekam, who is one; and who has niviṣṭam, who has entered in various caves of the heart of universality.
He has entered in the cave of Parabhairava. He has entered in the cave of, just like from Parabhairava to the heart of a neglected insect. He has entered in the heart of an insect also, and he has entered in the heart of Paramaśiva also.
Sarvālayam, he is viśrānti, the abode of everybody. All are resting in that. Sarva carācarastham, and who is, where all jaḍa [inert] and cetana [conscious] classes are resting. “I bow to thee, O Śiva,” and śaraṇam prapadye, “I bow to thee and get entry in your stage for good.”
Source: Abhinavagupta’s Paramarthasara (The Essence of the Highest Reality
by Swami Lakshmanjoo (also available as video study set).
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