An important excerpt from the fifth verse of the Vijnana Bhairava: The Manual for Self Realization by Swami Lakshmanjoo, explaining the reality of supreme consciousness…
This is the question of Devī.
अपरायाश्च वा पुनः ।
पराया यदि तद्वत्स्यात्
परत्वं तद्विरुध्यते ॥५॥
aparāyāśca vā punaḥ /
parāyā yadi tadvatsyāt
paratvaṁ tadvirudhyate // 5 //
There are three energies. In fact, these śaktis are three-fold, triple śaktis–one is parā, another is parāparā, and the third is aparā19 20.
Parāparāyāḥ sakalam aparāyāśca vā punaḥ (sakalam means “in the cycle of functioning”), if parāparā is existing in the cycle of functioning, or [if] in aparā also the cycle of functioning is continuous, what lies in parā then21?
Parāyā yadi tadvatsyāt, if parā also holds the cycle of functioning [in sakala] how parā will be called supreme22? This is another question.
Because sakala rūpa means that which has kalanā. Kalanā means that which can be observed, that which can be perceived, that which can be heard, that which can be seen, that which can be touched. When there is sensation, any sensation, wherever there is sensation, that is sakala rūpa23 24.
When there is no sensation, only the supreme existence of God consciousness, that is parā25. It is without sensation, because sensation remains only there where the sensation is felt by the feeler. God consciousness is not felt; it is your own Self.
Because, for instance, you are John; you don’t feel John every now and then because it is your own nature, it is your own svarūpa. You can feel Jagdish, you can feel Jeremy, you can feel all others, but you cannot feel yourself always. Why? Because it is your own Self.
This is the case with parā also. In parā, the Self is already in the state of knowership, not the known. The Self is not known in the state of parā. Knowledge resides only in parāparā and aparā. In the parāparā state, knowledge resides, and, in aparā also, knowledge is . . .
JOHN: So there is sensation in parāparā?
SWAMIJI: You can feel the state of God consciousness in parāparā and in aparā. You cannot feel the state of God consciousness in parā; it is your own Self.
śantiṁ na labhate mūḍho yataḥ śamidaṁ iśyate / 26
Śānti, that duffer yogi does not achieve the absolute peace of God consciousness, because he wants it. As long as the urge is there, it is useless. As long as it becomes your nature, then it is right. It must become your nature; it must not become your urging [desired for] object.
That is what we feel in the state of parā.
Parāyā yadi tadvat syāt, if in parā also you will explain that “it is felt”, paratvam tad virudhyate, where is paratva there? Paratva is finished, paratva is absolutely vanished, it is nowhere to be found. This supreme state of God consciousness [paratva] is nowhere. Then paratva is as good as parāparā or aparā.
This is the question of Devī.
16. See verse 20.
18. Cakrarudham is spanda; anackam is aspanda; shakti svarupam is only energy.
19. Para, supreme; parapara, medium; and apara, inferior.
20. This is Trishirobhairava [see commentary on v3].
21. If the sakala rupa of para is just like the sakala rupa of parapara or just like the sakala rupa of
apara, then where is the supremacy of para found then?
22. Paratvam [supreme].
23. Sakala is where there is some sensation–it may be in form, it may be in space, it may be in time.
Only these three things exist: space, time, and form.
24. In rupa there are two things to be noted: mantra and form. By sauh you can feel that when you
are rising, it is that state where you are rising from up to down–that is the particular state of the
formation of that mantra. And sauh is the mantra. Its mantra is sauh, and its state is that movement
of rising down.
25. It has no space, it has no time, it has no form in the state of para, because it [para] is your own
26. Ashtavakra addressing his disciple King Janaka. [Editor’s note]