You have to develop awareness in such a way that this consciousness of that centering your mind pervades in each and every movement, in dull movement and conscious movement also. ~Swami Lakshmanjoo

In this excerpt from Abhinavagupta’s Tantraloka, Chapter 5,  verse 11-15) Swami Lakshmanjoo revealed why we should practice and how (in Kashmir Shaivism). “How you should travel on that individual way, he says in this next śloka.”

“You have to develop awareness in such a way that this consciousness of that centering your mind pervades in each and every movement, in dull movement and conscious movement also.”  ~Swami Lakshmanjoo

Chapter 1 of Abhinavagupta’s Tantraloa is available now, click here to order…

You have to develop awareness in such a way that this consciousness of that centering your mind pervades in each and every movement, in dull movement and conscious movement also. ~Swami Lakshmanjoo

buddhau prāṇe tathā dehe 
deśe yā jaḍatā sthitā /
tāṁ tirodhāya medhāvī 
saṁvidraśmimayo bhavet  //
(Quote from commentary of verse 10.)

This is reference here.

. . . in intellectual body, in the body of prāṇa, buddhau prāṇe, and in the elementary body, dehe; and deśe not only in there, in external space, form . . .

DEVOTEE:  Standila, maṇḍalādi?


. . . yā jaḍatā sthitā, this jaḍatā is already there existing. Tāṁ tirodhāya medhāvī, the one who is a realized one, the one who is filled with awareness, he has to subside that jaḍatātirodhāya and give rise to that consciousness, give rise to that conscious state in the beginning and in the end and in the center.

DEVOTEE:  But awareness is always growing in the extremities at first.

SWAMIJI:  At first.

And you have to develop awareness in such a way that this consciousness of that centering your mind pervades in each and every movement, in dull movement and conscious movement also.

DEVOTEE:  And then also in the progression of this samādhi, first in the point between waking and sleeping, and then with complete freedom moving from waking to sleep.


DEVOTEE:  Without loss of awareness.

SWAMIJI:  It is why krama mudrā is also there.

tatra svātantryadṛiṣṭyā vā 
darpaṇe mukhabimbavat //11//
viśuddhaṁ nijacaitanyaṁ 
niścinotyatadātmakam /

Tatra there, he realizes himself absolutely separated from these three bodies, niścinoti atadātamakam, absolutely separated from these three bodies; absolutely separated from prāṇa [breath], absolutely separated from intellect [buddhi], and absolutely separated from the physical body [deha]. Then he gets full entry in that God consciousness.

buddhiprāṇadito bhinnaṁ 
caitanyaṁ niścitaṁ balāt  //12//
satyatastadabhinnaṁ syāt-
tasyānyonyavibhedataḥ  /

By the force of ignorance, balāt (bala does not mean ātma bala there; bala is this force of ignorance), this is the pressure and force of ignorance that, buddhi prāṇadito bhinnaṁ caitanyaṁ niścitaṁ, this is concluded that “the state of intellect, the state of breath and the state of physical body is absolutely separated from God consciousness.” It is the force of ignorance; the force of ignorance has led you to this conclusion . . .

Which conclusion?

DEVOTEE:  That these three are separate?

SWAMIJI:  . . . that these three are separated from God consciousness.

DEVOTEE:  But in the course of āṇavopāya this winding up is emphasized?

SWAMIJI:  Winding up is emphasized.

DEVOTEE:  Though in śāktopayā this course of illusion is short.

SWAMIJI:  [Last statement ignored.]

Satyatas, but, tad abhinnam syāt tasyānyonyavibhedataḥ, but that is tat abhinnam, in fact, in true sense, that God consciousness is adjusted in each and every individual state of being; in prāṇa also, in intellect also, and in the physical body also.

SCHOLARSo this is the real meaning of mantra vīrya.

SWAMIJI:  This is mantra vīrya, yes.

SCHOLARThat this is realized internally . . .

SWAMIJI:  Yes, this is mantra vīrya.

SCHOLAR. . . and then moves into . . .


DEVOTEE:  . . . saṁvit cakra.


śuddhatvādeva jāyate //13//

In fact, the collective individual form of all forms is held because it is perfect purity, viśvarūpa avibheditvaṁ. Avibheditvam, collective individual form, collective form of individuality, [the] collective form is God consciousness. Separatedly, if you observe these three states separatedly, you are away from God consciousness. If you observe these three states collectively, then you are one with God consciousness, even [in] these individual states, in different states, separated states also.

mūrtyantaravirodhataḥ  /14a

Because the limited establishment of three bodies, only three bodies are to be functioned, not the fourth one.

Which one?

DEVOTEE:  Śūnya pramātṛi bhāva [the state of voidness].

SWAMIJI:  Śūnya, yes.

Because the limited establishment of three bodies is existing when one formation out of these three is felt separated from other two formations. This limitedness comes only when you see the intellectual body is separated from physical body and the body of breath; and the body of breath is separate from intellectual body and the physical body; and the physical body is separated from the intellectual body and the body of breath. When you collectively understand and observe what is the reality of that, that is God consciousness. So there is the possibility of rising to God consciousness by these limited ways. So āṇavopāya is no less than śāktopāya in that way. You should not think when you adopt the means of āṇavopāya you are adopting the inferior means, it is not the inferior means; it is really the real means, the real way.


antaḥ saṁvidi satsarvaṁ 
yadyapyaparathā dhiyi  //14
prāṇe dehe’thavā kasmāt-
saṁkrāmetkena vā katham /
tathāpi nirvikalpe’smin-
vikalpo nāsti taṁ vinā  //15
vikalpena tu niścayaḥ /


Antaḥ saṁvidi satsarvaṁ yadyapi, although in internal God consciousness, antaḥ saṁvidi, in internal God consciousness sarvaṁ sat, everything is existing in internal God consciousness; otherwise, aparathā, otherwise, dhiyi prāṇe dehe kasmāt katham saṁkrāmet, how can this God consciousness would be felt in these three limited bodies. It means that, that God consciousness is existing in these three bodies, in these three limited states. Tathāpi nirvikalpe’smin vikalpo nāsti, even then, if it is nirvikalpa; nirvikalpa state is already residing there, [then] what it the use of practice, why should we practice at all, it is only waste of time?

If nirvikalpa state is already there in body, in the body of intellect and in the body of breath, [if] that God consciousness is exactly residing there, if it is true, then what is the use of practice?

DENISE:  To recognize it?

SWAMIJI:  But it is recognized. It is already there, it is recognized, you can’t live without that.


Tathāpi nirvikalpe’smin vikalpo nāsti, even then because in this nirvikalpa state of God consciousness, vikalpo nāsti, you don’t find the taste of that, you don’t find the effulgency, that pleasure, that joy; that joy of God consciousness is not there. So in order to find out that joy there, you have to practice, you have to do practice.

Taṁ vinā dṛṣṭe api adṛṣṭā kalpatvaṁ, although it is there, it is just, rathyāṁ gamane tṛṇa parṇādivat, when you walk on the road, you go in motorcar or chariot or anything or cart; on the road side there are leaves, there are blades of grass, you find them lying down on either side, right and wrong, right and right, right and left; right and left, but they leave no impression in your intellect, no saṁskāra [impression] of those things. In the same way if God consciousness is there existing, they don’t leave that impression. Impression leaves only when you are face to face observing that God consciousness. And that observing God consciousness face to face is done only in practice, is maintained only by practice. So practice is essential for this.


source: Abhinavagupta’s Tantraloka Chapter 05, verse 11-15, by Swami Lakshmanjoo,
from the audio archives of the Lakshmanjoo Academy
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