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The embodied Self

Tr. Jaideva Singh

lundi 30 avril 2018

Introduction to the ninth verse


A question arises here “Why does this embodied Self not shine in all its perfection, even though it is of the nature? of the greatest lord ? why does it require the touch of the force of the inner Self, the Experient par excellence ? In reply to this question, the author says :

Text of the verse

When the perturbation of that empirical individual who is incapacitated by his own impurity and is attached to actions disappears, then the highest state appears.


Nija means one’s own. (Now aśuddhi or impurity is explained). First of all there is the mala [1] or limitation pertaining to the aṇu or jīva, the empirical being which consists in the consciousness? of imperfection. This āṇava mala is the first aśuddhi. This occurs when Icchā-śakti? (Will power of Śiva) becomes limited owing to non-contemplation of His essential nature which is brought into play by the absolute? Freedom of Śiva Himself.

Jñānaśakti (the power of knowledge?) being polluted by the five kañcukas or coverings (of Māyā?) arisen from that (āṇava-mala) gradually acquires limitation in the sphere of difference so that its omniscience becomes reduced to limited knowledge and at last it acquires utmost limitation in the formation of the psychic apparatus (antaḥkarana) and the organs of sense (buddhīndriya). This is māyīya limitation (i.e. limitation brought about by Māyā) which brings about consciousness of difference among objects. This māyīya mala is the second aśuddhi.

Kriyā śakti (the power of activity?) gets limited gradually in the sphere of difference when omnipotence is reduced to limited activity till at last by the formation of the organs of action?, the empirical individual gets limited to the utmost extent. He thus performs good and bad acts. This is the Kārma mala or limitation due to action. This is the third kind of impurity. [2]

Thus by such impurity, the individual becomes devoid of omniscience and omnipotence.

(Now Kṣemarāja explains the phrase Kartavyeṣu abhilāṣiṇaḥ of the text.)

Being thus incapacitated he is attached to all kinds of actions—worldly and those prescribed by the scriptures. On? account of the non-attainment of all his desired objects, he is distracted by his desires and is unable to find rest in his essential nature even for a moment.

(Now Kṣemarāja explains the remaining half of the verse from Yadā . . . upto padam).

When by a firm support? of the reasoning already mentioned and also to be mentioned later on and of self-experience, his perturbation [3] appearing in the form of an experient who is helplessly dominated by desires, thoroughly dissolves (pralīyeta = prakarṣeṇa liyeta) through the vanishing of the misconception of the not-Self as the Self and of the Self as the not-self, then the highest state, viz. the spanda-principle will emerge i.e. will come within the range of recognition of that experient. Not that the Spanda-principle is something that comes into existence? only at that time, for it is eternal (i.e. the Spanda-principle is always there ; only its recognition is new).

It has been rightly said in Vijñānabhairava : “O dear one, when the ideating mind? (manas), the ascertaining intellect (buddhi), the vital energy (prāna śakti) and the limited experient, I—this set of four dissolves, then the previously described (tat) state of Bhairava appears”, (verse, 138).

Those who by the phrase ‘one’s own impurity’ think that there is a separate substance called mala (dross) have been indirectly criticized in the above commentary.


If man? is really divine, why is he so imperfect and stands in need of the power of the inner Self ? The ninth verse contains the answer to this question.

The divine plan of evolution contains two movements. There is first of all gradual descent of the Self in inconscient matter?. Two things? happen in this process of descent. The empirical being forgets his essential divine nature. This is āṇava mala. Secondly, he gets confined to subtle and gross bodies. This is māyīya mala. As he is engaged in all sorts of good and bad acts, these leave behind their impressions in his mind which act as a a strong force dragging him down to material existence of further experiences. This is Kārma mala. These limiting conditions are called aśuddhi (impurity, limitation) in the verse.

It is only at the human? level that ascent to the divine status? can start. The main obstacle in his ascent is his pseudo-self that arrogates to itself the status of the main actor in the drama. This pseudo-self has been called kśobha in the verse, for it is this that is responsible for all the fret and fever of life. When this is dissolved, then Self-forgetfulness is replaced by Self-recollection and man’s evolution is complete.

Voir en ligne : SPANDA-KĀRIKĀS

[1Aśuddhi or impurity simply means mala. Mala does not mean an impure substance but only limiting condition.

[2The experient becomes limited by three kinds of mala — ānava, Māyīya and Kārma. Āṇavamala is the primal limiting condition which reduces the universal consciousness to an anu, a small, limited entity. It is owing to this that the jīva (individual soul) considers himself apūrna, imperfect, cut off from the universal consciousness. In this condition, the individual forgets his essential divine nature.
māyīya mala is the limiting condition brought about by māyā that gives to the soul its gross and subtle body. It is bhinna vedya prathā—that which brings about the consciousness of difference owing to the differing limiting adjuncts of the bodies.
Kārmamala arises on account of the limitation of the organs of action and is due to the residual impressions of good and bad actions.
Anava mala is the innate ignorance of one’s essential nature. Māyīya mala arises on account of the limitation of jñāna-śakti (the power of knowledge), and Kārma mala arises on account of the limitation of Kriyāśakti.

[3Kśobha or perturbation is due to primal ignorance owing to which the limited individual considers the not-Self, as Self and the Self as the not-Self.