None of this material may be reproduced, apart from purely personal use, without the express permission of the Webmaster Web pages designed by Mike Magee. The U. Main Site at www. Than Truth there is nothing more excellent. Therefore has it been said by Me that when the sinful Kali Age is dominant, Kaula ways should be practised truthfully and without concealment - Mahanirvanatantra IV, , Woodroffe translation Shiva Sutra is a central text for Kashmir Shaivism. I first translated these mysterious verses in , said to have been revealed to a sage Vasugupta in a dream.
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I translated the Siva Sutra many years ago. An early version of that translation, together with a brief commentary, appeared in the Prachya Pratibha. I have since been asked by many friends to enlarge my commentary and this essay is a result of this demand.
Baton Rouge, May 15, Subhash Kak. Our knowledge of the physical world is based on empirical associations. These associations reveal the laws of the physical world. But how do we study the nature of consciousness? There is no way to observe one's own awareness because we are aware through the associations with the phenomenal world. The Vedas deal precisely with this central question of the nature of knowledge.
The consciousness aspect of the Vedas was emphasized most emphatically by Dayananda and Aurobindo It is seen with directness in the Upanishads. For an overview of the Vedic tradition see the recent book coauthored by me Feuerstein et al, ; this book summarizes new insights from archaeology and history of science. It has been less than a century that the theories of relativity and quantum physics have brought the observer center stage in physics.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the Vedic ideas, with their emphasis on cognition, have been a source of enduring inspiration in modern science. Modern science has had great success in explaining the nature of the physical world. But these successes have not brought us any closer to the resolution of the mystery of consciousness. In the application of quantum theory to the macroworld and in the neuropsychological explorations of the brain, one cannot any longer ignore the question of the observer e.
Kak, a, b, a, b, c. The notion that the mind emerges somehow out of the complexity of the connections inside the brain is too simplistic to be taken seriously. If mind emerges from matter, how does it obtain autonomy? If the world is governed by laws then how do we have free will? If our autonomy free will is an epiphenomenon then are we walking shadows? Should one consider consciousness to be the ground-stuff of reality? If that is so then what is the connection between consciousness and the physical world?
These are just the questions that we come across repeatedly in the Indian tradition. Is there something to be learnt from the insights of this tradition? According to legend, Vasugupta c. Siva Sutras led to the flowering of the Kashmir school of consciousness Kashmir Shaivism.
It is due to a very clear exposition of the issues the Kashmir Shaivism has come to be quite influential in contemporary scholarship. In this paper we present a translation, along with the Sanskrit text, of the 78 aphorisms of the SS. The 78 number itself has a very important significance in the Vedic system of knowledge may be seen elsewhere e. Kak , c.
The commentary provided in this paper is not based on the commentatorial tradition from within Kashmir Shaivism see e. Jaideva Singh, ; Dyczkowski, so as not to burden the reader with the unfamiliar vocabulary of the tradition. I present my translation, as well as my commentary, in as modern terms as possible.
Owing to this our phenomenal knowledge can only be in terms of the associations of the outer world. But the associations in themselves need something to bind them together. This is the binding problof neuroscience to which no solution, within the standard scientific paradigm, is known see Kak a for details. It is matrika that makes it possible for us to understand words or symbols strung together as language. Lacking matrika, computers cannot understand language or pictures.
Universal consciousness, as a unity, is called Shiva or Bhairava. Shiva makes it possible for the material associations of the phycisal world to have meaning. But the domain of the union of Shiva and the phenomenal world is puzzling and astonishing This is a restatement of a metaphor that goes back to the Rigveda where the mind is seen as two birds are sitting on a tree where one of theats the sweet fruit and the other looks on without eating RV ; one of the birds represents the universal consciousness, the other the individual one.
There is only one bird; the other is just the image of the first energized by the fruit! There is a paradox here which is left unresolved. But certainly root consciousness Shiva, prakasa, cit is what makes it possible to comprehend. In later texts the capacity of consciousness to reflect on itself is called vimarsa. Another metaphor that has been used elsewhere is that of the sun of consciousness illuminating the associations in the mind.
Innate knowledge is taken to emerge from the mind, which is equated with mantra, taken here to not as a formula but the inherent capacity to reflect. Mantra leads to the knowledge of the reality that lies beyond material associations. Consider sound made meaningful in terms of strings that, as words, have specific associations. The individual then gets transformed into a state where knowledge is his food.
The detachment from one's own associations is the key to the knowledge of the selfthe universal being. One is supposed to take oneself as an outsider. By separating the senses from the source of consciousness, one is able to reach to the heart of the self.
This section presents my new English translation. For earlier translations see Jaideva Singh and Dyczkowski Note that Jaideva Singh has 77 sutras whereas Dyczkowski has 79; for the reason why the canonical text is likely to have had 78 sutras see Kak Even during waking, sleep, and deep sleep one can experience the fourth state transcending consciousness.
When the knowledge of one's self arises one moves in the sky of consciousnessthe Shiva's state. The quieting of the vital channels, the mastery of the elements, the withdrawal from the elements, and the separation of the elements. The fourth state of consciousness should be used to oil the other three states of consciousness.
Even when this maintenance and dissolution there is no break in awareness due to the perceiving subjectivity. When established in pure awareness, the craving is destroyed and the empirical individual ceases to exist.
Concentrating on the center within the nose, what use are the left and the right channels or susumna? This brief paper is just an introduction for the cognitive scientist to the riches of the Kashmir school of consciousness. The contents of SS are very cryptic and one may not be convinced that it represents any advance over the ancient Upanishadic tradition.
But later texts speak of important details in the process of cognition. I hope that others will examine other classics in this tradition e. The Sanskritists who have worked on Indian theories of consciousness have been ignorant of the important insights of modern physics relating to the process of observation.
The argument that one need not know contemporary insights since they were unknown when the old texts were written is just plain wrong. But do we need to go beyond even this? Could the process of meditation on the nature of consciousness have led to insights that remain beyond the pale of our current understanding of the nature of reality? Kashmir Shaivism deals with concepts that also have a bearing on questions such as: How do the senses emerge in the emergence of the mind?
Could there be more senses than we possess? The whole mythology of Shiva e. Kramrisch, is a retelling of the astonishing insights of the science of consciousness. Note: The following links are mostly third party links. When you click on them, you may leave the website or the links may open in a new window. The meaning of Shankara or samkara. Significance of Lord Siva. Brahman according to Advaita and Dvaita schools of thought. Advaita Vedanta As It Exists. God and Self and Their Relationship in Hinduism.
Source : Original translation by Subhash C. The Sanskrit verses have been converted into Transliteration script and the entire manuscript has been rearranged and reformatted by Jayaram V for Saivism. The 36 Tattvas and Their Significance. Kashmiri Saivism, Philosophy and Practices.
Eightfold Yoga and Mantra Siddhi. Shiva Sutras English Translation Shiva. References Abhinavagupta, With the Commentary Viveka of Jayaratha, R. Dwivedi and N. Rastogi eds. Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi. Abhinavagupta, A Trident of Wisdom.
Shiva Sutras English Translation
I translated the Siva Sutra many years ago. An early version of that translation, together with a brief commentary, appeared in the Prachya Pratibha. I have since been asked by many friends to enlarge my commentary and this essay is a result of this demand. Baton Rouge, May 15, Subhash Kak.