This is an an excerpt from the Spanda Sandoha, which is a commentary on the first verse of the Spanda Karika as revealed by Swamij Lakshmanjoo. Available now as complete set under the title The Mystery of Vibrationless-Vibration in Kashmir Shaivism: Vasugupta’s Spanda Kārikā & Kṣemarāja’s Spanda Sandoha – revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo).
A central theme of the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism is the highly esoteric principal known as spanda which means vibrationless/vibration or established stable movement. In our Shaivism there are two texts that deal specifically with the spanda principal. The Spanda Karika (precise philosophical statements) on the Spanda theory and the Spanda Sandoha (exposition) of the spanda principal.
The theory of spanda was hidden in the body of the Tantras and was extracted by Vasugupta and given to us in the form of the Spanda Karikas. The Spanda Sandoha is a commentary by Kṣemarāja on the first verse of Vasugupta’s Spanda Kārikā.
“Negating the world is not the real think… wherever you are, you are There!
THERE IS NOTHING BUT SHIVA!”
viśvottīrṇo viśvamayaśca uttama akula-trikādi-āmnāya-upadeśadiśā svasvabhāva eva śaṁkaraḥ iti upapāditam,
Viśvottīrṇā, He is above this, above the level of the universe.
Viśvamayaśca, He is one with the universe. He is one with the universe . . .
. . . He is one with the universe and above the level of the universe, both (viśvottīrṇā and viśvamaya161). Uttama, and It is supreme, akula, without . . . He is akula (akula means anuttara, the most supreme state), trikādi āmnāya upadeśadiśā, and this is calculated, this is taught, in the Tantras which are nominated as Trika Tantras, Bhairava Tantras, monistic Tantras. That is trikādyi āmnāya upadeśadiśā. By that we come to this point that svasvabhāva eva śaṁkaraḥ, this Śaṁkara, the Lord Śiva is your own Self. You have not to go to search [for] It. Wherever you are already existing, that is the state of Lord Śiva. Bas, remain there. This is what he says.
na tu vedāntavādivat’viśvaṁ yat na tadeva brahma’ityevaṁ prāyam,
This statement of the Vedānta theory is absolutely incorrect. What statement of Vedānta? That where this state of worldliness ends, there you find the state of God consciousness.
DENISE: It’s wrong.
SWAMIJI: It is wrong.
JOHN: Say that one more time, sir?
JOHN: That statement.
SWAMIJI: No, when this is discarded, this state of . . .
SWAMIJI: . . . the state of . . .
ERNIE: The world.
SWAMIJI: . . . of the world is neglected, then you find the shining of God consciousness.
JOHN: Like “neti-neti”162?
SWAMIJI: “Neti-neti”, yes.
SWAMIJI: This is not the real thing, this is not . . . what is real? Wherever you are, you are There! Don’t worry.
nābhāvo bhāvyātāmeti na ca tatrāstyamūḍhatā /
yato’bhiyogasaṁsparśāttadāsīditi niścayaḥ //Sp.K. 1.12//
Nābhāvo bhāvyatāmeti, abhāva, the negation cannot exist. When you negate this state of God consciousness from the world, [then the world] is already negated, it is nowhere existing then. How could the world exist? How could the world appear from God consciousness if it was to be negated? It has come out from That body. Which body?
ERNIE: God consciousness.
SWAMIJI: The body of God consciousness. This [universe] is the outcome of That body. This is the reflection of His own body, [so] why should you neglect it? Go on enjoying this world and you are There.
SWAMIJI: But not always.
DENISE: Not always.
SWAMIJI: Once a month. Don’t be given to these pleasures.
Nābhavo bhāvyatāmeti, it is not abhāva. Abhāva is not, this is not . . .
JOHN: The negation of being or the negation of existence.
SWAMIJI: . . . negation is not the point. Affirmation is the point. As long as you negate, you are nowhere. As you . . .
JOACHIM: And the dualist. Negation is dualism.
SWAMIJI: Yes, negation is dualism. Negation is dualism between the world and Śhiva. Affirmation is, the world is Śhiva and Śhiva is the world. There is nothing [but Śhiva].
śaktayo’sya jagatkṛtsanaṁ śaktimāṁstu maheśvaraḥ /
This whole universe is His multitude of energies, and the holder of this multitude of energies is He Himself. I mean Lord Śhiva . . . or you.
161. Transcendent and immanent, respectively.
162. Lit., “not this, not that”, the via negativa of Vedāntic philosophy.
163. Kashmiri for “surely”.
Vasugupta’s Spanda Kārikā & Kṣemarāja’s Spanda Sandoha – revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo)