Swami Lakshmanjoo, Kashmir Shaivism

This is an excerpt from the Spanda Sandoha, an exposition of Kṣemarāja on the first verse of the Spanda Kārikā written by Vasuguptanātha, revealed to us by Swami 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).

“He has given the indication of the spanda principle in his Spanda Kārikā. The treasure of all śāstras is existing in the first śloka of Spanda Kārikā.”



Audio 4 – 08:51

unmīlitaṁ spandatattvaṁ mahadbhirgurubhiryataḥ /

tata eva tadābhoge kiṁcitkautukamasti naḥ //3//

[Kṣhemarāja]: What was the need for me to expose, to give, the exposition of the spanda principle here? It is because mahat bhirgurubhir, because mahadbhirgurubhir, Vasuguptanātha, the great master, he has unmīlitaṁ, he has hinted upon this spanda principle in his Spanda Kārikā. He has given the indication of the spanda principle in his Spanda Kārikā.


DEVOTEES: Vasugupta.

SWAMIJI: Vasugupta.135
It is why I have got curiosity to open it. I have developed curiosity to open the principle of this spanda.

tatra ādyameva sutraṁ vimṛiśyate, paramādvaya-prakāśāndamayamaheśvarasvarūpapratyabhijñāpanāya samastaśāstrārthgarbhāṁ samucitāṁ stutimimāmupadideśa śrīmān vasuguptaguruḥ.

Ādyameva sūtraṁ vimṛśyate, the first sūtra is being exposed. This first sūtra of the Spanda Kārikā is being exposed here. The first sūtra, you know? It is:

Audio 4 – 10:22

यस्योन्मेषनिमेषाभ्यां जगतः प्रलयोदयौ ।
तं शक्तिचक्रविभवप्रभवं शङ्करं स्तुमः ॥१॥
yasyonmeṣanimeṣābhyāṁ jagataḥ pralayodayau /
taṁ śakti-cakra-vibhava-prabhavaṁ śaṁkaraṁ stumaḥ //

This is the first sūtra of the Spanda Kārikā. You have already read it.

And this sūtra is here exposed, will be exposed exhaustively by me.

Who is [“me”]?

JOHN: Kṣhemarāja.

SWAMIJI: Kṣhemarāja.

Audio 4 – 10:47

paramādvaya prakāśānandamaya maheśvarasvarūpaprat-yabhijñāpanāya samastaśāstrārtha garbhāṁ samucitāṁ stutimimāmupadeśa śrīmān vasuguptaguruḥ [repeated]

Paramādvaya prakāśa ānanda maya maheśvara svarūpa pratyabhijñā, just to recognize (pratyabhijñāna, just to recognize) the nature of Maheśvara136, the nature of Maheśvara’s svarūpa137, which is filled with supreme prakāśa and vimarśa of nectar, . . .

Supreme prakāśa means “light” and vimarśa means “the feeling of supreme nectar”. Where there is prakāśa and ānanda (light and nectar), that is Maheśvara svarūpa, that is the reality of Maheśvara.

. . . just to recognize that reality of Maheśvara, Vasugupta guru (master), the previous master, the ancient master, Vasugupta, has samasta śāstrārtha garbhāṁ samucitāṁ stutim imām upādeśa, this first śloka of the Spanda [Kārikā] he has put forth, this first śloka in which you find samasta-śāstrārtha, you find the treasure of all śāstras138. You find that the treasure of all śāstras is existing in this first śloka of the Spanda Kārikā. And so, this samucitām stutim, this [hymn that is] samucitām, which is just to the point, just an appropriate stuti he has put here in this first śloka, and this first śloka is:

Audio 4 – 12:53

yasyonmeṣanimeṣābhyāṁ jagataḥ pralayodayau /

taṁ śakti-cakra-vibhava-prabhavaṁ śaṁkaraṁ stumaḥ //

Do you understand it?

ERNIE: Um-mmm (disagreement).

SWAMIJI: It is very easy to understand it. You just put your attention.

By whose unmeṣa and by whose nimeṣa (unmeṣa is “opening your eyes” and nimeṣa is “closing your eyes”), with the opening of your eyes and with the closing of the eyes, you find–by whose opening and closing of the eyes–you find the destruction and creation of this whole universe. You find that the universe is destroyed and it is created. By unmeṣa, this universe is destroyed, and by whose nimeṣa (closing His eyes), the universe gets rise.

JOHN: Withdrawn or . . .

SWAMIJI: No, it is not withdrawn. It rises. The universe is created by closing His eyes. By opening His eyes (unmeṣa), the universe is destroyed. When He opens His eyes, the universe is destroyed. When He closes His eyes, the universe rises.

JOHN: Why that way?

ERNIE: Whose eyes?

JOHN: God’s.

SWAMIJI: God’s eyes.

JOHN: Why when He closes His eyes is it . . . ?

SWAMIJI: When He opens His eyes, this means, when He opens, when His eyes are open, He is in His own nature.

ERNIE: Really open.


ERNIE: Not like we think of . . .

SWAMIJI: No, no. He has not these [physical] eyes. When He opens His eyes, it seems He is residing in His own nature, so you won’t find this universe, you will find . . .

ERNIE: He sees the real world.

SWAMIJI: When He opens His eyes, it means He opens His nature. When He opens His nature, that is, in other words, the destruction of the universe, the destruction of the differentiated universe. When He closes His eyes, that means, when He ignores His nature, the universe appears into its being.


135 Vasugupta is credited with the authorship of the Spanda Kārikā, which is an exposition of his own Shiva Sutras, the seminal text of Kashmir Shaivism that was revealed directly to him by Lord Śiva.

136 An appellation of Lord Śiva. Lit., a great lord, sovereign, chief.

137 Own condition, peculiarity, character, nature.

138 Scriptures.


All Content is subject to Copyright © John Hughes


  1. May 28, 2015

    Munus Manzi Dayana Karus Gouras Padh Pooz Hai

  2. April 25, 2016

    It is a beautiful explaination of opening and closing Eyes. Thanks for sharing. Will the book be available in india against Indian currency?

    • April 25, 2016

      Yes, it is available via our website also to India, we are shipping from a printers in Europe instead of the US, which will shorten the shipping time and make it affordable.

  3. May 19, 2017

    Hello. I would be grateful if you answer a question, concerning the first verse of Spanda Karika. Swami Lakshmanjoo made clear that unmesa corresponds to destruction of the universe and nimesa to its emergence. Why then in the Utpaladeva’s Isvarapratyabhijna Karika III.1.3 unmesa corresponds to the Isvara-tattva and nimesa to Sadasiva-tattva, which seems as the reversal of the above correspondence?


  4. May 30, 2017

    This is how humans and their engagements operates. There is no way (path or kiriya) for a person to know his nature but by some accident if this human knows some how ( opeining of eyes ) his position in the engagement around him ,then the universe ,,(the span & influence of his engagement ) falls and the universe of engament vanish . Only when he becomes indifferent to this awakinng (closing of eyes) does the universe ,(the span & ,influence of his engagement) arise and normal activity happens ,the engagement takes place and senses start working and certifying the engagement .

  5. June 2, 2017

    So, one can rightly characterise Sadasiva-tattva as both nimesa and unmesa and Isvara tattva as both unmesa and nimesa depending on transcendent or immanent accent. Am I correct?

  6. September 11, 2022

    Please is this still working for everyone or is it just me? Cant play this one

    • September 11, 2022

      Thank you for letting us know. It should work now.

  7. September 11, 2022

    Thank you so much

Write a comment:


Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Copyright © 2022 John Hughes Family Trust All Rights Reserved