In this excerpt from the Mystery of Vibrationless-Vibration in Kashmir Shaivism: Vasugupta’s Spanda Kārikā & Kṣemarāja’s Spanda Sandoha, Swami Lakshmanjoo explains how, for elevated souls, the organs of the senses push him in the center of God consciousness. Verse 19 of the Spanda Kārikā by Swami Lakshmanjoo.
Audio 1 – 55:36
yatheyaṁ jāgrādimadhyadaśāpi prabuddhaṁ na badhnāti tathā upapādayati60
Audio 1 – 56:01
गुणादिस्पन्दनिष्यन्दाः सामान्यस्पन्दसंश्रयात् ।
लब्धात्मलाभाः सततं स्युर्ज्ञस्यापरिपन्थिनः ॥१९॥
guṇādispandaniṣyandāḥ sāmānyaspandasaṁśrayāt /
labdhātmalābhāḥ satataṁ syurjñasyāparipanthinaḥ //19//
Jñasya means, that yogi who is absolutely elevated (jñasya). He who has known, in the real sense, the state of Lord Śiva, he is jñasya (jñasya means, a fully-elevated yogi).
For him, guṇādispanda niṣyandāḥ, all these cycles of the guṇās61, all these cycles of organs, the activity of the organs, all organs (the organs of action and the organs of knowledge), . . .*
The organs of action are five and the organs of knowledge are also five. Śabda, sparśa, rūpa, rasa, and gandha are the organs of knowledge, and vāk, pāṇī, pāda, pāyu, and upastha are the organs of action. Vāk means, [speech], speaking; pāṇi is handling, holding; pāda is walking; pāyu is excretion of mala62; and upastha is the sexual [organ]. [These are] the five acts of kriyā, action.
*. . . that elevated soul takes hold of sāmānya spanda in that.
There are two sections of spandas explained in this spanda śāstra, movement. One spanda is viśeṣa spanda and another spanda is sāmānya spanda. Viśeṣa spanda is distinctive movement. Distinctive movement is found in the daily activity of life–distinctive movement. Going here and there, talking, eating, sleeping, joking, laughing, going to the movies, all these activities are distinctive, they are separated from each other (“distinctive” means, they are separated from each other).
JOHN: Beginning and end?
SWAMIJI: Not beginning and end. They are separated, e.g., one movement of talking is different from the movement of walking, the movement of walking is different from the movement of enjoying (the movement of playing)–all of this. They are different from each other. In this [differentiation], you find spanda. Spanda is existing there, but that spanda is existing in viśeṣa bhāva (viśeṣa bhāva is distinctive), in a distinctive manner.
And there is another spanda, that is sāmānya spanda (universal spanda). That is sāmānya spanda. Sāmānya spanda is found everywhere, just unchangeable and just in one formation. Sāmānya spanda is one [whereas] viśeṣa spandas are many, hundreds, thousands.
But that elevated soul takes hold of that sāmānya spanda, not viśeṣa spanda. In the activity of viśeṣa spanda, he takes hold of sāmānya spanda. So he is fine, he does not go down, he is not trodden down from the kingdom of God consciousness. His kingdom of God consciousness is still prevailing there, in viśeṣa spanda also. So, [taking hold of sāmānya spanda] while acting, that is what is called karma yoga (yoga in action).
Yoga in inaction, that is jñāna yoga63. When you don’t act, you remain in samādhi, meditating, all-round meditating, that is inactive yoga. In that inactive yoga, there is the possibility of coming down from that state, but in active yoga, when you rise along with thieves, who will steal your property? You are with thieves, you are rising along with your thieves, who would [otherwise] snatch all your good property from you–if you deal with, along with, thieves also. What are “thieves”? The temptations of the world, temptations of the world. There are so many temptations in the world. Those snatch away the treasure of God consciousness from you. You lose that treasure of God consciousness by those thieves. But you make friendship with the thieves. When you remain in the action of the world, [then] you are on friendly terms with the thieves also. What can they snatch from you? They will never snatch from you.
ERNIE: So, for a jñāna yogi, they are thieves, and for . . .
SWAMIJI: . . . the karma yogi, they are not thieves, they are friends–no problem.
JOHN: So jñāna yoga is inactive yoga.
SWAMIJI: Inactive, yes.
JOHN: So karma [yoga] is much higher than jñana yoga.
SWAMIJI: Of course. Karma is, kriyā śakti is, best!
JOACHIM: It’s kriyā śakti?
SWAMIJI: Kriyā śakti, yes. Jñāna śakti is lower and icchā śakti is lowest. But in Vedānta, you will find icchā śakti the highest, jñana śakti a bit lower, and kriyā śakti as wretched. They call kriyā śakti “bhrama”, illusion. But this is not an illusion for us. For Shaivites, kriyā śakti is just the real element to rise.
So, for those elevated souls, these guṇādi spanda niṣyan-dāḥ, these classes of the organs of the senses, they become labdhātmalābhaḥ, they just push him in the center of God consciousness.
The organs of action and the organs of knowledge. The organs of action and the organs of knowledge just push you inside God consciousness.
Those elevated yogis. It is not found in those who are not elevated–they are kicked down by these senses.64
And this is the way [that] jñasya āparipanthinaḥ, for an elevated soul, they become friends, not enemies. For those who are not elevated, they are enemies for them.
60 Kṣhemarāja’s introduction to verse 1.19.
61 Guṇas here means the organs. See Spanda Sandoha, page 237.
62 Lit., impurity, here referring to urine and feces, etc.
63 Yoga in knowledge (jñāna).
64 “At the time of enjoyment of those senses, vidyudvat ābhāsanam, that God consciousness is shining just like lightning for one second, in a flash. Tena tattadavasareṣu–but what you have to do there?–tattadavasareṣu, at those points, at those points of lightning, you have to be absolutely aware. If you are not aware, finished, you are as good as an individual being.” Swami Lakshmanjoo, trans., Śiva Sūtra Vimarśinī (LJA archives).
Vasugupta’s Spanda Kārikā & Kṣemarāja’s Spanda Sandoha
revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo).