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Pratyabhijñãrdayam – The secret of self-recognition – Jaideva Singh

Pratyabhijñãrdayam The secret of self-recognition – Jaideva Singh


Sutra I : The absolute Citi (Consciousness) out of its own free will is the cause of the siddhi of the universe.

Universe in this context means everything from Sadasiva down to the earth.

Siddhi means bringing into manifestation, maintenance, and withdrawal.

Citi – The absolute consciousness alone is the power that brings about manifestation. Maya, Prakrti is not the cause of manifestation. Inasmuch as it (Citi) is the source of both subject, object, and pramana (means of proof), no means of proof can prove it (i.e. it is its own source).

Siddhi may be taken in another sense also. It may mean bhoga (experience) and moksa (liberation). Of these also the absolute freedom of the ultimate divine consciousness is the cause.

The word ‘hetu’ in the sutra means not only cause in which sense it has been already interpreted above. It also means ‘means’. So Citi is also the means of the individual’s ascension to the highest consciousness where he becomes identified with the divine consciousness.

Citi has been used in the singular to show that it is unlimited by space, time etc. It has been called svatantra (of free will) in order to show that it by itself is powerful to bring about the universe without the aid of Maya etc.

Citi is, therefore, the cause of manifestation, the means of rising to Siva, and also the highest end. This Sutra strikes

the key-note of the entire book.

Sutra 2 : By the power of her own free will does she (Citi) unfold the universe upon her own screen.

She brings about the universe by the power of her own free will, and not by any extraneous cause. The universe is already contained in her implicitly, and she makes it explicit.

Sutra 3 : This (i.e. the Universe) is manifold because of the differentiation of reciprocally adapted objects and subjects.

The universe appears to be different and manifold because of the differentiation of experients and the objects experienced.

These may be summarised thus :

1. At the level of Sadasiva-tattva, the I-consciousness is more prominent; the experience of the universe is just in an

incipient stage. The individual experient who rises to such a level of consciousness is known as Mantra-maheSvara and is directed by SadaSiva. He has realized Sadasiva-tattva and his experience is of the form – “I am this”. The consciousness of this (the universe) is not fully marked out from the ‘ I ‘ at this


2. At the level of Isvara-tattva, the consciousness of both ‘I’ and ‘this’ is equally distinct. The individual experient

who rises to this level is known as MantreSvara. The universeis clearly distinct at this stage, but it is identified with the

Self. MantreSvara is directed by ISvara.

3. At the level of Vidya-tattva, the universe appears as different from ‘I’. There is an experience of diversity;, though there is unity in diversity. The individual experients of this stage are known as Mantras. They are directed by Ananta-bhattaraka.

They have an experience of diversity all round, of the universe as being distinct from the Self (though it may still belong to the Self).

4. The stage of the experient below Suddha vidya, but above Maya is that of Vijnanakala. His field of experience consists of sakalas and pralayakalas. He feels a sense of identity with


5. At the stage of Maya, the experient is known as

pralayakevalin. He has neither a clear consciousness of ‘I’, nor of ‘this’, and so his consciousness is practically that of the


6. From Maya down to the earth, the experient is sakala •who experiences diversity all round. The average human being belongs to this level. Siva transcends all manifestation. His experience is that of permanent bliss and identity with every thing from SadaSiva down to the earth. Actually it is Siva who flashes forth in various forms of manifestation.

Sutra 4 : The individual (experient) also, in whom citi or consciousness is contracted has the universe {as his body) in a contracted form.

It is Siva or Cit that by assuming contraction becomes both the universe and the experients of the universe. Knowledge of this constitutes liberation.

Sutra 5 : Citi (universal consciousness) itself descending from (the stage of) Cetana becomes citta (individual consciousness) inasmuch as it becomes contracted in conformity with the object of consciousness.

The universal consciousness itself becomes the individual consciousness by limitation.

The universal consciousness in the process of limitation has either (1) the predominance of cit or (2) the predominance of limitation. In the former case, there is the stage of Vjnanakala when prakasa is predominant, or Suddha-vidya-pramata, when both prakasa and vimarsa are predominant, or Ila, SadaSiva, AnaSrita-Siva. In the latter case, there is the stage of Sunyapramata etc. The universal consciousness itself by assuming limitation becomes individual consciousness. Jnana, Kriya and Maya of the universal consciousness become sattva, rajas and tamas in the case of the individual.

Sutra 6 : The maya-pramata consists of it (i. e. citta). The maya-pramata also is only Citta.

Sutra 7 : And (though) he is one, he becomes of two-fold form, three-fold, four-fold and of the nature of seven pentads.

The Cit is Siva Himself. Consciousness cannot be sundered by space and time. Since by limitation it assumes the state of the experient and the object experienced, it is also of two forms. It also becomes three fold as it is covered with the mala pertaining to anu, maya, and karma. It is also four fold, because it assumes the nature of (1) sunya, (2) prana, (3) puryastaka, and (4) the gross body. The seven pentads i.e. the thirtyfive tattvas below Siva down to the earth is also its nature. From Siva down to Sakala he also becomes seven fold experients and of the nature of five fold coverings (from Kala to Niyati).

Sutra 8 : The positions of the various systems of philosophy are only various roles of that (consciousness or Self).

The positions of the various systems of philosophy are, so to speak, roles assumed by the Self.

1. The Carvakas, for instance, maintain that the Self is identical with the BODY characterised by consciousness.

2. The followers of Nyaya practically consider BUDDHI to be the Self in the worldly condition. After liberation, they consider Self as identical with the void.

3. The Mimamsakas also practically consider Buddhi to be the Self inasmuch as they believe the I-CONSCIOUSNESS to be the Self.

4. The Buddhists also consider only the functions of BUDDHI as the Self.

5. Some Vedantins regard PRANA as the Self.

6. Some of the Vedantins and the Madhyamikas regard ‘NON-BEING’ as the fundamental principle.

7. The followers of Pancaratra believe Vasudeva to be the highest cause.

8. The followers of Sankhya practically accept the position of the Vijnanakalas.

9. Some Vedantins accept ISVARA as the highest principle.

10. The Grammarians consider PASYANTI or SADASIVA to be the highest reality.

11. The Tantrikas consider the ATMAN as transcending the universe to be the highest principle.

12. The Kaulas consider the UNIVERSE as the Atman principle.

13. The followers of Trika philosophy maintain that the ATMAN is both immanent and transcendent. The Sutra may be interpreted in another way, viz., the experience of external things as colour etc., and internalexperience as pleasure etc. become a means of the manifestation of the essential nature of Siva or the highest reality.

Sutra 9: In consequence of its limitation of Sakti, Reality which is all consciousness becomes the mala-covered samsarin.

The Will-power being limited, there arises the anava mala, the mala pertaining to the jiva by which he considers himself to be imperfect.Omniscience being limited, there arises knowledge of a few things only. Thus there comes to be mayiya mala, which consists in the apprehension of all objects as different.Omnipotence being limited, the jiva acquires karma mala. Thus due to limitation, sarva-kartrtva (Omnipotence)becomes kala (limited agency), sarvajnatva (Omniscience)becomes vidya (limitation in respect of knowledge), purnatva

(all fulfilment) becomes raga (limitation in respect of desire), nityatva (eternity) becomes Kala (limitation in respect of time), vyapakatva (Omnipresence) becomes niyati (limitation in respect of space and cause). Jiva (the individual soul) is this limited self. When his Sakti is unfolded, he becomes Siva Himself.

Sutra 10; Even in this condition (of empirical self), he (the individual soul) does the five krtyas like Him (i.e. like Siva).

Just as Siva does the five fold act in mundane manifestation as an unfoldment of His real nature, so does He do it – in the limited condition of a jiva. The appearance of objects in a definite space and time is tantamount to srastrta (emanation), their appearance in another space and time and thus their disappearance to the individual soul constitutes samhartrta (withdrawal); continuity of the appearance of the objects constitutes sthapakata (maintenance). Because of the appearance of difference, there is vilaya (concealment). When the object is identical with the light of consciousness,

it is anugraha (grace).

Sutra 11 : He also does the five-fold act of manifesting, relishing, thinking out, setting of the seed and dissolution. This is so from the esoteric stand-point of the Yogin. Whatever is perceived is abhasana or srsti. The perception is relished for sometime. This is rakti or sthiti. It is withdrawn at the time of knowledge. This is samhara. If the object of experience generates” impressions of doubt

etc., it becomes in germ the cause of transmigratory existence.

This is bijavasthapana or vilaya. If the object of experience is identified with consciousness, it is the state of vilapana or anugraha.

Sutra 12: To be a samsarin means being deluded by one’s own powers because of the ignorance of that {i.e. authorship of the Jive-fold act.)

In the absence of the knowledge of the five-fold act, one becomes deluded by one’s own powers, and thus transmigrates ever and anon.

While talking of Sakti, we would do well to realize that the highest Vak Sakti has the knowledge of the perfect ‘ I ‘ . She is the great mantra inclusive of the letters ‘a’ to ksa’, and revealing the empirical experient. At this stage, she conceals the pure distinctionless consciousness and throws up ever new forms different from one another. The empirical experient deluded by the various powers considers the body, prana etc. as the Self. Brahmi and other Saktis bring about emanation and maintenance of difference

and withdrawal of identity in the empirical subject (pasudaSa). At the stage of ‘pati’, they do the reverse i.e. bring about the emanation and maintenance of identity, and withdrawal of difference. Gradually they bring about the state of ‘avikalpa’. This is known as pure Vikalpa power. The above technique of establishing unity-consciousness is known as ‘Sambhavopaya’.Now follows Saktopaya or Sakta technique of unity – Consciousness. Cit-Sakti in this context is known as Vamesvari. Her subspecies are khecari, gocari, dikcari, bhucari. These bring about objectification of the universal consciousness. By khecari iakti, the universal consciousness becomes an individual subject; by gocari sakti, he becomes endowed with an inner psychic apparatus; by dikcari Sakti, he is endowed with outer senses, by bhucari, he is confined to external objects. By yogic practice, khecari brings about consciousness of perfect agency; gocari brings about consciousness of non-difference, dikcari brings about a sense of non-difference in perception, bhucari brings about a consciousness of all objects as parts of one Self. There is a third technique known as anavopaya. When the aisvarya Sakti of the Lord conceals her real nature in the case of the individual and deludes him by prana etc., by the various states of waking, dreaming etc, and by the body both gross and subtle, he becomes a samsarin. When in the yogic process, she unfolds the udana sakti, and the uydna sakti,

the individual comes to acquire the experience of turya and turyatita states, and becomes liberated while living.

Sutra 13 : Acquiring full knowledge of it (i.e. of the five-fold act of the Self) Citta itself becomes Citi by rising to the status of cetana.

When the knowledge of the five-fold act of the Self dawns on the individual, ignorance is removed. The Citta (individual consciousness) is no longer deluded by its own limiting powers; it re-captures its original freedom, and by acquiring a knowledge of its real nature, rises to the status of Citi (i.e. universal consciousness).

Sutra 14 : The fire of Citi even when it descends to the (lower) stage, though covered (by maya) partly burns the fuel of the known (i.e. the objects).

If citi is non- differentia ting consciousness intrinsically, why is it that it is characterized by a sense of difference at the level of the individual? The answer is that even at the level of the individual, Citi does not completely lose its nature of non-differentiation, for all the multifarious objects as known are assimilated to Citi itself i.e. in the knowledge-situation, the objects become a part and parcel of Citi. As fire reduces to itself every thing thrown into it, even so, Citi assimilates to itself all the objects of knowledge. Only owing to its being covered by Maya, citi does not reduce objects of knowledge to itself completely, for owing to the previous impressions (samskaras),), these objects appear again.

Sutra 15 : In the re-assertion of its (inherent) power, it makes the universe its own.

Bala or power means the emergence of the real nature of Citi. Then Citi manifests the whole universe as identical with itself. This is not the temporary play of Citi, it is rather its permanent nature. It is always inclusive, for without this inclusive nature of Citi even body and other objects would not be known. Therefore, the practice recommended for acquiring the power of Citi is meant only for the removal of the false identification of oneself with the body etc.

Sutra 16 : When the bliss of Cit is attained, there is the lasting acquisition of that state in which Cit is our only Self, and in which all things that appear are identical with Cit. Even the body etc. that is experienced appears as identical with Cit.

The steady experience of identity with Cit means jivanmukti (liberation even in this physical body). This comes about by the dissolution of ignorance on the recognition of one’s true nature.

Sutra 17 -By the development of the centre is acquisition of the bliss of the spirit.

By the development of the centre can the bliss of the spirit be obtained. Samvit or the power of consciousness is called the centre, because it is the support or ground of every thing in the world. In the individual, it is symbolized by the central nadi i.e. susumna. When the central consciousness in man develops or when the susumna nadi develops, then is there the bliss of the universal consciousness.

Sutra 18 : Herein (i.e. for the development of the Centre) the means are :Dissolution of vikalpa; sankoca-vikasa of Sakti; cutting of the vahas; the practice (of the contemplation) of the koti (point) of the beginning and the end.

The first method is vikalpaksaya. One should concentrate on the heart, should not allow any vikalpa to arise, and thus by reducing the mind to an avikalpa condition, and holding the

Self as the real experient in the focus of consciousness, one would develop the madhya or consciousness of central reality and would enter the turya and turyatita condition. This is the main method of Pratyabhijna for madhya-vikasa. The other methods do not belong to Pratyabhijna but are recommended for their utility. Sankoca and vikasa of sakti. Sankoca of sakti means withdrawing of consciousness that rushes out through the gates of the senses, and turning it inwardly towards the Self. Vikasa of Sakti means holding the consciousness steadily within, while the senses are allowed to perceive their objects. Another way of acquiring sankoca and vikasa of sakti is the practice of prasara and visranti in the stage

of urdhva kundalini. Emergence from samadhi while retaining its experience is prasara or vikasa, and merging back into samddhi and resting in that condition is visranti or sankoca. A third method is vaha-ccheda i.e. cessation of prana and apana by repeating inwardly the letters ‘ka’, ‘ha’ etc. without the vowels, and tracing the mantras back to their source where they are unuttered. A fourth method is adyanta-koti-nibhalana i.e. the practice of fixing the mind at the time of the arising of prana and its coming to an end between the ddi i.e. the first or heart and the anta i.e. the distance of twelve lingers from the point between the two eye-brows.

Sutra 19 : In vyutthana which is full of the after-effects of samddhi, there is the attainment of permanent samadhi, by dwelling on one’s identity with Cit (universal consciousness) over and over again.

Even on the occasion of vyutthana, the ydgin sees the entire universe dissolve in Cit by the process of nimilana-samadhi. Thus he acquires permanent samadhi by Krama-mudra.

Sutra 20 : Then (i.e. on the attainment of Kramamudra), as a result of entering into the perfect I-consciousness or Self which, is in essence cit and ananda {i.e. consciousness and bliss) and of the nature

of the great mantra-power, there accrues the attainment of lordship over one’s group of the deities of consciousness that bring about all emanation and re-absorption of the universe. All this is the nature of Siva.

When one masters kramamudrd etc., one enters into the real perfect I-consciousness or Self, and acquires mastery or lordship over the group of consciousness-deities that bring about emanation and absorption of the universe. The perfect Iconsciousness is full of light and bliss. No longer is the individual deluded into considering his body, gross or subtle, prana or senses as the ‘I’, he now considers the divine light within as the real ‘I’. This real ‘ I ‘ is the samvit, sadasiva and Mahesvara. This I-consciousness means the resting of all objective experience within the Self. It is also called Svatantrya or sovereignty of Will, the primary agency of everything and lordship. This consciousness of pure ‘ I ‘ is the fons et origo of all the mantras, and therefore it is of great power. It is the universal Cit itself. By acquiring this consciousness, one becomes the master of these saktis that bring about the emanation and absorption of the universe.


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