When by means of differentiated thought, that self is covered by ignorance... ~Swami Lakshmanjoo

Today’s excerpt is from Abhinavagupta’s Paramarthasara (The Essence of the Highest Reality) as revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo.

“He gives an example now [to illustrate] what is the difference between ignorance and knowledge; what is the difference between being posted in the Parabhairava state and being posted in the disgusted, trodden state of the jīva. He gives an example for that.”

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र्मलिनीक्रियते यथा न गगनतलम्।


रपरामृष्टः परः पुरुषः॥३६॥


malinī-kriyate yathā na gagana-talam /


aparāmṛṣṭaḥ paraḥ puruṣaḥ //36//

He gives an example now [to illustrate] what is the difference between ignorance and knowledge; what is the difference between being posted in the Parabhairava state and being posted in the disgusted, trodden state of the jīva. He gives an example for that.

Jala dhara dhūma rajobhir malinī kriyate yathā na gagana talam. Jala dhara, by heaps of clouds–this ākāśa, which is quite blue and crystal-blue always–if heaps of clouds come, they cannot affect this vast ākāśa. This vast ākāśa cannot get soaked in these clouds. Dhūma, if you burn the whole world, and there will be lots of smoke, and ākāśa will not be perceived by anybody at that time, but, in fact, ākāśa is great. [It] cannot be smoked, soaked in smoke. [It] is again that crystal-like blue.

In the same way, māyā vikṛtibhir, by this tossing here and there, and shooting here and there, of these rascals (this is māyā vikṛtibhir; these are the crooked ways of māyā), para puruṣa (Parabhairava) cannot be . . .

JONATHAN: Stained?

SWAMIJI: Not stained.

. . . cannot be confused. He won’t get any confusion. He will remain just like the ākāśa.

Parabhairava does not care if so many things happen in this world. He waits for the time when He likes [and] “brut”, at once, all is finished and there is only Parabhairava. So Parabhairava does not care for all of these dances, fruitless dances.

JOHN: But they are His dances. They are His dances. These fruitless dances are His play.

SWAMIJI: They are His dances but He does not care, He does not [care to] end it at once. [On the contrary], we are just limited beings, so we are in threat, [wondering] how it will be crossed over.

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एकस्मिन् घटगगने

रजसा व्याप्ते, भवन्ति नान्यानि।

मलिनानि, तद्वदेते

जीवाः सुख-दुःखभेदजुषः॥३७॥

ekasmin ghaṭa-gagane

rajasā vyāpte, bhavanti nānyāni /

malināni, tadvadete

jīvāḥ sukha-duḥkha-bheda-juṣaḥ //37//

In the same way, jivaḥ sukha duḥkha bhu, some individuals are happy, some individuals are [feeling] painful, some individuals are stuck in ājñāna (ignorance), moha (forgetfulness), stuck in snoring, some are in those mosquitoes. Those are also Parabhairava. That is “stuck-Parabhairava”. And, at the time of being stuck also, He is unstuck. He enjoys this also!

DENISE: The stuck-ness.


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शान्ते शान्त इवायं

हृष्टे हृष्टो विमोहवति मूढः।

तत्त्वगणे सति भगवान्

न पुनः परमार्थतः स तथा॥३८॥

śānte śānta ivāyaṁ

hṛṣṭe hṛṣto vimohavati mūḍḥaḥ /

tattva-gaṇe sati bhagavān

na punaḥ paramārthataḥ sa tathā //38//

When tattva gaṇe, this elementary world, is sante, [in its] appeased state, there is pralaya (destruction), there is nothing, only water, bas. From pṛthvī tattva to that . . .

Which one?

DENISE: Śānta . . .

SWAMIJI: . . . śāntātīta kalā, all tattva gaṇas are śānta, appeased.

What is the position of Parabhairava there? If you ask, “How is Parabhairavaexisting [there]?” Parabhairava is existing, bas, appeased! Parabhairava is appeased there. Parabhairava is appeased in the appeased elementary world, the thirty-six elementary world.

Parabhairava is furious in the furious [state of] these one hundred and eighteen worlds. When one hundred and eighteen worlds become furious, that is pralaya (destruction), crashing with each other. [At] that time, Parabhairava is like that.

But, in fact, Parabhairava is neither this nor that. He is above also, and watching this play of His own Self. Na punaḥ paramārthataḥ sa tathā, but, in fact, in the real sense, He is not like that. He is above that. He is that, He is not that, He is above that–three ways. Even more: He is not-not that, He is not-not-not-not that, He is the negation of that, He is the affirmation of that.

You can’t imagine how He does, and His play is out of our limited vision. You cannot visualize that. No, the limited soul cannot visualize that although, at that very moment, Parabhairava visualizes that! [Although] you say that, “It is not visualized”, [still] it is visualized! In the state of not being visualized [by you], it is visualized [at that very moment] by another being of His. There are so many giants of Parabhairava. One is this, one is this, one is this, one is this [Swamiji pulls many faces]. You cannot [imagine how many there are]. It is wonderful!


116 Limited individual.

117 Ether or space. In this instance, ākāśa means the sky.

118 Here, Swamiji was referring to the state of social unrest that was prevaling in Kashmir during 1990. [Editor’s note]

119 “(Just as) when the air contained in a single pot is full of dust, and other portions of air contained in other pots do not become dirtied, so likewise, these limited individuals enjoy the diversity of happiness and unhappiness.” John Hughes, Paramārthsāra (1972).

120 For an explanation of the five kalās, see Appendix A-8.

121 The assembly (gaṇa) of all the elements (tattvas). [Editor’s note]


Source: Abhinavagupta’s Paramarthasara (The Essence of the Highest Reality) revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo
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