Bodhapancadasika by Abhinavagupta XIV
Fifteen Verses of Wisdom
TODAY I AM GOING TO TALK ABOUT A SHORT
text entitled “Fifteen Verses of Wisdom” (bodhapancadasika) by
Abhinavagupta, the great master of all aspects of Kashmir
Saivism. These fifteen verses provide a brief exposition, and capture
the essence, of the doctrine of Kashmir Saivism.
14. These two cycles, bondage and liberation, are the play of
Lord Siva and nothing else. They are not separate from
Lord Siva because differentiated states have not risen at
all. In reality, nothing has happened to Lord Siva.
In the two cycles of bondage and liberation, the cycle of
bondage is concerned with the not-knowing cycle. When you do
not know what you are doing, then you do not know where you are
established. That is the cycle of bondage. What is the cycle of
knowledge? It is liberation! What is liberation? Liberation exists
when you come to understand that it is only a trick, that it is the
play of Lord Siva and nothing else. At that point you understand
that nothing has happened, nothing is lost, and nothing is gained.
In brief and exact words, these two cycles, bondage and liberation,
are not separate from Lord Siva. Why? Because differentiated
states have not risen at all. It is only a trick that you are
ignorant and somebody else is elevated. But the question arises –
whose trick is it? Is it your trick or Lord Siva’s trick? It is your
trick. Why? Because if it were not your trick then you could not
be liberated. It is your own trick that has made you ignorant. You
fool yourself. And when that supreme force enters you it will
shatter this ignorance into pieces. You do not need anybody’s help
in shattering it. You have enslaved yourself; you can free yourself
and become a king.
You must understand that, in reality, nothing has happened to
Lord Siva. He is never ignorant, He is never elevated. From
which point would He be elevated? Was He not elevated before?
Why even use this word “elevation”? Elevation is meant for those
who are sunk or who are sinking. If He has never sunk down, and
you are one with Him, then why talk of elevating yourself? You
are already elevated, you are divine.
This is Kashmir Saivism. This theory of Saivism is misunderstood
by many people. You must first come to understand this
theory and then you will begin to become Lord Siva. According to
the theory of Saivism, you are Siva, and will eventually come to
the conclusion that you are Siva. And yet, you are not actually
Siva, because you have not achieved that state.
Even though you have not actually realized that you are Siva,
it is not a mistake to think that you are Siva. You should go on
thinking that you are Siva. You should always elevate yourself
with the thought that you are Lord Siva – but do not boast of this.
If you tell someone that you are Siva it means that you are not
Lord Siva. You must actually understand that if you are Lord
Siva, then this whole creation is all a joke, an expression of your
One might ask, “How do you know whether or not you are fooling
yourself thinking that you are Siva, or whether you really are
Lord Siva? How do you know?” The answer is that you will come
to know yourself because you will be blissful, you will always be
blissful. When you are in that state and when something bad happens
to you, you will not get worried; and when something good
happens to you, you will not get excited. While experiencing pain
you will be peaceful.
You must come to know and see in yourself situated in this
way. If you are not situated in this way and boast, saying, “I am
Lord Siva, I am Lord Siva,” you will be slapped and made to
understand that you are not Lord Siva.
To actually know who you are is a big problem. You have to
find out yourself where you are situated. It happens by the grace
of Lord Siva, or by the grace of a master, or by the grace of the sastras.
Retirado de Self Realization in Kashmir Shaivism The Oral Teachings of Swami Lakshmanjoo
Foreword by Lance Nelson