Tuesday, September 28, 2010

He shattered impurities three - egoity, illusion and karmA - mantrA 116

srigurubhyO namahA

In the next mantrA of this section, the sage speaks of the electromagnetic fire / energy that is generated and used to transform the limited jIvA into the unlimited siva. The process of yoking the energy generated through different kinds of sAdhanA to rid the pAsA or the ties that bind the jIvA are discussed.

வேயின் எழுங்கனல் போலேஇம் மெய்யெனும்
கோயி லிருந்து குடிகொண்ட கோன்நந்தி
தாயினும் மும்மலம் மாற்றித் தயாஎன்னும்
தோயம தாய் எழுஞ் சூரிய னாமே. I.1.4.116.

He Shattered Impurities Three--Egoity, Illusion and Karma

Like the spark that within the bamboo indwells,
So, Nandi Lord, from this body-temple flamed;
With sweet compassion gentler than a mother's,
He shattered the Impurities Three
And like unto the sun on the ocean of mercy arose. I.1.4.116.

Com - Like the spark that within the bamboo indwells, Like the fire that emerges from within the bamboo spontaneously, So, Nandi Lord, from this body – temple flamed; the lord siva who resides within this precious temple known as the body (emerges). With sweet compassion gentler than a mother’s, He shattered the Impurities Three (and then) like the mother (cow) which cleans the external dirt off its calf by licking repeatedly and with great care, He removes the three kinds of impurities that taint the jivA through His compassion and grace And like unto the sun on the ocean of mercy arose. Thus, He our Lord Nandi is verily the supreme sun which arises from the ocean of mercy.

# This is a very important mantra and there are some esoteric layers of meaning to this which need to be learnt from a competent guru. A brief explanation of sorts below –

The words ‘ vEyin ezhunkanal pOlE’ / ‘Like the spark that within the bamboo indwells’, refers to the natural phenomena whereby, when the bamboo rub against one another the friction that is generated produces a spark/fire. When the spark occurs, it immediately ignites the dry bamboo and the entire forest is soon burnt to the ground. This here is a carefully constructed and poetic metaphor for the actual ritual of initiation or dIkshA. As the effulgence that occurs in the navel area of the initiate as a result of the upadEshA of the guru burns through the forest of tattvAs and destroys them.

The words ‘ vEyin ezhunkanal’ here is the upamAna. While the next line ‘ meiyenum kOyililirundu kudikonda Kon nandi’ is the upamEyA. For the benefit of those who are not familiar with the alankAra displayed here –

upamAnA roughly can be described as that with which something is compared (for the sake of establishing a relationship/ comparison between two things).
upamEyA on the other hand can be roughly described as that whose comparison is done (with the other). Thus a known and often experienced example (the case of the fire in the bamboo) is used to describe something that is not so thoroughly or commonly known (that siva is ever resident within the gross body of the disciple).

To further elaborate – even though the fire that resides within the bamboo is not obvious to the eye normally, the fact that the power to produce a spark and erupt into flames is present within the bamboo is understood by the physical observation of the phenomena when the bamboo catches fire. In a similar vein, the siva who is resident within this body though not obvious normally (when one is inclined materially), the truth that He is ever there becomes clear when after the upadEshA of a satguru one experiences the effulgence that arises from the navel centre and rids one of the taint of misapprehension.

Very artfully, the sage has revealed the upadEsha rahasyA or the secret truth (that the supreme lord siva is ever resident within each and every one of us and that when free from the taint of the impurities, the jIvA is siva) through comparing the upamEyA to the upamAnA. Through knowing this truth, knowledge or realisation of the Self is born.

The immense Atma shaktI or Self which is within each and every sentient being is known variously through many names as a result of its different/ varied functions or action. The AtmA or self is possessed of the AkAshA (ether) attribute of the supreme. It rules this physical body through the two nAdIs or energy channels known as idA and pingalA. These nAdIs are highly subtle and are not visible to the naked eye, though they operate both within this observable and manifest physical/gross body and the imperceptible subtle/ etheric body. These nAdIs are possessed of energy impulses which are differentiated into positive and negative charges.

When one is involved in thinking/imagination etc, this energy becomes the thought energy (icchA shaktI). When one is involved with the products of the phenomenal world and is engaged in activity it becomes the active energy (kriyA shaktI). Thus we can understand upadEshA to be the process through which one is able to obtain a method to increase ones capacity to both generate and conduct high currents of this raw energy that can then be yoked to develop the inner states of realisation.

Those who follow the path of kriyA (i.e karma yOgA) hold that a certain electromagnetic force/energy is generated when one performs specific actions that are ordained and that are of this phenomenal world. The hatha yOgIs hold that this type of electromagnetic energy can be produced by uniting the two kinds of currents in the body and practise pranayama through which they merge the prAnA and apAnA. Those following the path of g~nyAna yOgA or the path of knowledge hold that this state is attainable by uniting the vision of the two eyes at the centre point. Religions like Islam and Sikhism hold that the pranavA (all causative supreme sound) can be produced by merging the sound knowledge of the two ears. The various schools like shaiva, shaktA, kashmIra shaivA, Buddhism(mahAyAnA) etc hold that it is possible to transcend the body by the sexual union of the male and female when the kAmAgni or the fire of desire has been transformed into the yOgAgni.

The important aspect to note here in all the above examples is that the frictional energy is converted/ transformed into an electromagnetic fire/ energy that helps one to transcend the phenomenal to achieve a super conscious level.Check Spelling

The condensed meaning of the above mantra thus would be that at the right time when the jIvA has attained to the right level of maturity, siva Himself appears in the phenomenal world in the body of a guru and gradually with great compassion guides the devotee to the heights of Self realisation and enlightenment by ridding the jIvA of all his taints/ impurities.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pati, Pasu and Pasa are eternal - mantrA 115

SrigurubhyO namahA

In this beautiful verse, the siddar speaks of the triad of the pati, pasu and pAsA - three very important concepts which the reader needs to get quite familiar with. The separate natures and description of each of these three as well as their interconnection are very essential principles for the devotee to recognise. This helps not only in the understanding of the temporality of the phenomenal world, but also serves to fully enable the understanding of reality or self state. These concepts are at the base of shaiva siddhAntA - so there will be plenty more description and sufficient fleshing out of these truths throughout the text. As we are currently in the upadEshA section of the text, the sage speaks of those very important truths that become as it were the foundation of wisdom in the mind of the devotee. Hence the stress on proper understanding.

பதிபசு பாசம் எனப்பகர் மூன்றில்
பதியினைப் போற்பசு பாசம் அனாதி
பதியினைச் சென்றணு காப்பசு பாசம்
பதியணு கிற்பசு பாசம் நில் லாவே. I.1.3.115.

Pati (God), Pasu (Soul) and Pasa (World) are Eternal

They speak of the Three--Pati, Pasu and Pasa;
Beginningless as Pati, Pasu and Pasa are:
But the Pasu-Pasa nears not the Pati supreme:
Let but Pati touch! the Pasu-Pasa is as naught. I.1.3.115.

Com - They speak of the Three – Pati, Pasu and Pasa; (When we consider) the three things that are known as the Pati (lit. Lord) or siva, pasu (lit. cattle) or jIvA and pAsA or bondage/tether Beginningless as Pati, Pasu and Pasa are: we will realise that, like the Pati (siva) the other two (i.e. the jIvA and the bondage) are also beginningless. But the Pasu – Pasa nears not the Pati supreme: (Though this is the case) the limitations of the jIvA hood and the limitations of the bondage do not ever accrue to the supreme pati or siva. Let but Pati touch! The Pasu – Pasa is as naught. (Thus) when the supreme pati siva becomes manifest in the jIvA, then its own pasu ness or limitations to consciousness and the bondage become removed.

# In this mantra we are introduced to the triad which is a very cardinal aspect in the kashmIra shaivam in particular and shaiva siddhAntA in general. First of all we will take a quick look at what these terms mean and what they refer to.

Pati – The word pati literally means Lord, Master, Husband etc. In the context of the siddhAntA this term is used to describe the supreme siva as He is the Lord of all. He is ever free and possessed of the various vibhUtIs or powers of omnipresence, omnipotence etc. The term also implies His supreme sovereignty on both the world and the jIvA or individual soul.

Pasu – The word literally means cattle. In the Hindu scriptures we find that this word has been used to describe people in general and in the tantrAs we can see that this term refers more accurately to a specific type or category of people. In the context of the siddhAntA this term is used to refer to the individual soul or jIvA. This is because the jIvA, unlike the supreme siva, is not free. The jIvA is tethered (much like the cow that is kept tethered to the stake) and can only move within the limits of the ‘rope’ that tethers it. The main implication of this term is that the nature of the jIvA is not free.

Pasa – This is the actual tether or bondage that limits the jIvA and keeps the jIvA from realising its true nature as siva. The scriptures variously describe the pAsA’s to be three, six, eight, etc depending on the school of thought. But keeping within the context of what we are now looking at, it is sufficient to understand the term pAsA as referring to the 3 malAs or impurities spoken of in the preceding two mantrAs (i.e. Anava malA, mAyika malA and kArmika malA). It is of note that it is this pAsA that ‘ties’ the individual soul and prevents the realisation that the jIvA without the taint of these impurities is in reality the supreme siva. To put it simply the root ignorance or avidyA (misapprehension) is what is termed pAsA.

With the above mantra we can understand that the difference between the siva (pati) and the jIvA (pasu) is that the latter is tied down to limited reality due to the effects of the pAsA (tether), while the former is ever free as the supreme lord.

Siva refers to the swarUpa avasthA (Self state) and it is unbroken/ eternal (akhandA) in nature. The word sadAsiva as the sage described in the previous section is that state (tat swarUpA). Thus we have that sadAsivA is who is known as pati or the Lord. Pasu is used to describe the jIvA as the word is indicative of being tied/ tethered by the various attachments which are collectively known as pAsA.

The words’ pasupAsam anugA ‘ means that both the state of limited perception (due to the effects of being tied) and the ties themselves do not attach to siva or the pati. He is forever in a state transcendent to them and is unbroken awareness in nature. The gathered meaning of the above verse suggests that when the akhandA or unbroken aspect of consciousness begins to manifest in the jIvA, then the pasu attitude and the pAsA or ties that bind one to such a limited reality are destroyed fully.


Friday, September 17, 2010

He planted His feet on my heart - mantrA 114

srigurubhyO namahA

In the 114th mantrA, the sage elaborates further on the topic of the inner awakening of the devotee. He describes the process whereby the Grace of siva descends through the transmission/dIkshA by the guru and cuts asunder the ties that bind the sAdhakA to this world cycle. It is evident from this mantrA that it is only when the 'eye of grace' or the 'inner eye' is open that one is really able to cultivate quietude and absorption.

களிம்பறுத் தான்எங்கள் கண்ணுதல் நந்தி
களிம்பறுத் தான்அருள் கண்விழிப் பித்துக்
களிம்பணு காத கதிரொளி காட்டிப்
பளிங்கிற் பவளம் பதித்தான் பதியே. I.1.2.114.

He Planted His Feet on My Heart

All impurity He shattered--our Nandi, Forehead-eyed,
Shattered to pieces before His opening Eye of Grace,
His Eye, at whose radiant light impurity quails;
So transfixed He His Coral Feet on heart of mine,
Crystal turned. I.1.2.114.

Com - our Nandi, Forehead –eyed, All impurity He shattered – Our Lord, the three eyed siva cut asunder the ties / pAsa (the three impurities Anava malA, kArmika malA and mAyika malA) that bind the jIvA to the endless trans migratory cycle. Shattered to pieces before His opening Eye of Grace, through the transmission of His supreme Grace He cut asunder the ties that bind. His Eye, at whose radiant light impurity quails; Not only that, through His Grace He brought forth the dawn of the sun of enlightenment (sivasUrya) to ensure that no further darkness (of the impurities) could ever attach itself to the devotee. So transfixed He His Coral Feet on heart of mine, Crystal turned. And He further imprinted the pure coral like deep red colour effulgence and transformed the crystal like jIvA.

# The opening of the Eye of Grace has the following meaning – The first step for the jIvA to attain to enlightenment is to be eligible for the same. This is what is also known as adikAri bhEdA – rather than be of the view that everyone is eligible for every kind of path or knowledge, the wise understand that the eligibility criteria differ based on the path and the bhAvA (disposition) or kind of individual. In order for one to be eligible, two things are necessary. First is the individuals own desire or liking to tread that particular path or reach that certain state. Second is what is termed ‘irai arul’ or the grace of God. It is only when these two things are achieved that one has the eligibility to attain knowledge.

Here it is good to note that the desire of the individual can come gradually (over a period of time) or it can just happen very suddenly and all at once. But regardless of whether it comes gradually or suddenly, it is always the merits (punyA) and the vAsanAs from one’s past lives that is the main reason for its manifestation. The mantrAs 1614, 1636 and 1638 of this same text will make this much clearer.

Sense knowledge (eg. Sound, sight, etc) reaches the mind through the medium of the sense instruments and the mind becomes engaged with the phenomenal world. As long as the mind remains absorbed in the external reality of the phenomenal world the inner eye or the eye of grace will not awaken/open. It is also true that when the inner eye or the eye of grace does awaken, then one is no longer absorbed in the external world phenomenon. These two opposites are states/ centres in the brain/mind of the sAdhakA.

With advanced practise a kind of heaviness (akin to the swelling of the udder of the cow prior to it being milked) ascends and develops in the front brain (the frontal lobe). When this heaviness becomes quite pronounced it arrests the five cognitive instruments (aim pulan) and their knowledge/ stimuli and a deep blue light becomes visible in the region of the forehead to the sAdhakA. And when the mind of the sAdhakA becomes immersed/ merged into that blue light, the imagination/delusion and the restlessness of the mind will cease to be.

It is this state of being that is known as the opening of the third eye or the eye of grace. And it is this eye in the forehead that is the centre for the subtle (sUkshma) vision and perception of the j~nyAni or enlightened being. Using this eye, the wise are able to ‘see’ even that most subtle state that can be termed as the kAranA or the causative state for this material and phenomenal world. It is only those who have attained to this state who are termed as ‘self-realised’ or ‘enlightened’ and it is only those who have attained to this state who can be said to have ‘known’ siva.

Thus from the above mantra we can understand that the supreme siva through the medium of His grace, first removes the cause of bondage of the sAdhakA and then will imprint the red coral like light which will pave way for the opening of the third eye or the eye of grace.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010


srigurubhyO namahA


He descended from heaven and filled me with Grace - mantrA 113

srigurubhyO namahA
May the regular reader excuse me the two week delay in getting this post out! As I mentioned in the last post, with the 112nd mantrA we came to the conclusion of the preface like pAyiram or introductory section of the thirumandiram and from this mantrA we begin the first tantrA.

Like with any other subject and like a good author, the sage set out in the first section to provide a summary of sorts of the subject material of the text and also to paint a picture that will entice the seeker into making up his or her mind that this a worthy path. With that done, the sage wastes no further time in preambles and proceeds straight into the core instructions of the shaivA school. This core wisdom of the AgamAs, he divides into nine sections titled tantrAs and gradually guides the reader to perfection. As we will be marking our entry into the first tantrA with the mantrA below, I had wanted to publish the first mantrA of this section either on the ganEsha chaturthy or following it. Obviously, I have not been able to publish it on the day! So, with the chaturthy vratAs being completed now and with the supreme mahAganapathy firmly established in my heart, I beseech Him on behalf of all of us to remove all the obstacles that stand in our way to attaining perfection. May He shower on us His wisdom and grace and fill our hearts with His radiance that we may be able to really grasp the teachings of the sage to attain to the shivOham state.

Now coming to the text - The first stage in the life of a spiritual seeker is approaching a master/ guru and being accepted by the guru as a disciple. After such acceptance, the guru then conducts the dIkshA or the initiation ceremony and renders the disciple pure and fit for the path of sAdhanA. This two fold activity of transmission of shakti and cleansing of the accumulated taint/sins in the disciple is acutely important and without it, the path becomes impossible to tread and perhaps even futile.

So here too, at the very start of the first tantrA, the sage proceeds to conduct the dIkshA of sorts by revealing the merits of a real guru who is ever established in the truth and by giving the upadEshA or divine instructions to the disciple/reader to enable them to be fit to make the journey to siva. From now onward till the very end of the text, there will be plenty of mantrAs which are possessed of multiple meanings where they are all simultaneously true. There are also plenty of mantrAs which discuss deeply subtle and highly esoteric topics and reveal the deep secret gems of the shaiva tantrAs. Let it be known that I will not be able to discuss some of those advanced topics or sampradAya rahasyAs (secrets of the lineage) on this public space as they are to be revealed to the initiates at different stages of their spiritual progress. I will however try my very best to explain the mantrAs so most of us can understand the intent of the sage. If at points, my commentary does not do a good job of explaining things properly, please feel free to email me regarding your doubts and I will try my best to explain them privately through mail to those who need to understand them better.

I also request you, the reader, to proceed now with great care and devotion; paying plenty of attention to what is actually being said as they are all great revelations. Once again, may ganapathy remove the obstacles that stand in the way of our perfection. May my guru, whose holy pAdukAs are my sole refuge guide me in this endeavour. OM.

முதல் தந்திரம்

.1.. உபதேசம்

விண்ணின்று இழிந்து வினைக்கீடாய் மெய்க்கொண்டு
தண்ணின்ற தாளைத் தலைக்காவல் முன்வைத்து
உண்ணின்று உருக்கியோர் ஒப்பிலா ஆனந்தக்
கண்ணின்று காட்டிக் களிம்பறுத் தானே. I.1.1.113.


He Descended From Heaven and Filled Me With Grace

He come down from Heaven, clothed in body,
Karma to match, stretched forth His cool Feet of Grace, planting them firm
On my head; and lo! inside me He stood, melting my yielding heart;
And filled my eyes with peerless bliss, past all compare,
All impurity dispelled. I.1.1.113.

Com - He come down from heaven, lord siva descends from the paramAkAshA (subtle ether), clothed in body Karma to match, and manifests with a form (body) that is according to the fruit of one’s past lives (i.e. according to karma).stretched forth His cool Feet of Grace, planting them firm On my head; and He (siva) plants His holy feet, full of the sweetest grace, and cooling in nature, firmly on the crown of the head to provide sanctuary for the jIvA. And lo! Inside me He stood, melting my yielding heart; (then) abiding within the innermost cave of ones being, He melts the hearts (body) and minds of the jIvA. And filled my eyes with peerless bliss, past all compare, and standing within the eye (third eye) He reveals a state of bliss that is beyond compare. All impurity dispelled. And (thus) He tore asunder the pAsA (tie/tether/ attachment/bondage) that binds the jIvA to the endless cycle of birth and death.

# This mantra as we saw above is the first mantra of the first tantrA. The section that this opens is titled ‘ upadEshA’. This term ‘upadEshA’ can be understood as initiation or transmission of knowledge. The words that are spoken by the guru to the disciple are known as upadEshA. Through this section and the teachings contained within, the sage highlights the truth that the inner eye / spiritual eye of the disciple opens only as a result of the grace of a satguru. The first and most important stage in the life of a spiritual seeker is obtaining the grace of the guru.

The tantrAs speak volumes about the importance of a guru in the path of spiritual awakening and they declare unanimously the truth that the guru is at the core of any sAdhanA. The kaplasUtrA declares ‘ sri guru sarvakArana Shakti:’ – Ones guru is All competent power and is the root cause of everything. The words of the guru to the disciple that will enable him/her to walk the arduous path of sAdhanA and provide the disciple the faculty of discrimination is what is presented in this first section.

In this and the mantrAs to follow, the sage discusses the merits of a guru and deals with the detailed description of the shaiva siddhAntA (the shaiva philosophy) and the qualities of the jIvA, his weaknesses etc. These concepts will form the back bone of the teachings and hence it is necessary that we devote ample time to fully understand and absorb these truths. They will be of great value as we proceed further along the path to attain to shiva hood.

The words ‘ clothed in body, karma to match’ refer to the truth that it is the supreme siva who manifests in the physical plane as the guru to suit the tendencies of the individual. The tendencies of the individual are a product of his/her previous lives and the fruits of the actions performed therein. Thus, based on the karmic results/ fruits of the individuals previous lives, they are born with certain strengths and weaknesses. Thus they are eligible for different methods/paths based on their character (which again is based on karma). The sage here reveals that one’s guru is non different to siva, even though he/she may be walking this world in a physical body. That body is simply to be in the same level as the disciple so that it would be possible to transmit the Grace to the disciple.

The words ‘ planting His feet firmly on my head’ refer to the act known as dIkshA or initiation. It is through this process that the wisdom/knowledge is transmitted as energy from the master to the disciple. Here the words refer to the attainment of the Grace of siva.

The reference to ‘standing within and melting the heart and mind’ is to convey the truth that once the initiation has happened, the siva/guru energy abides within the inner core of the disciple where it slowly and gradually works on the emotional, mental and physical body of the disciple. Over time, when the disciple is following the words and teachings of his guru, the sAdhanA produces certain responses in the physical and mental spheres of the sAdhakA and melts away the avidyA (misapprehension/delusion), anger, greed etc and changes the state of being of the sAdhakA.
The word ‘kaLimbu’(translated here as impurity) in tamil refers to pAsam or the taints of attachment. This is variously called, bondage, tether, tie, bind etc. In classical texts, it is also known as malA or impurity. It is apt to note here that the malA or impurity that clings to the jIvA is classified into three kinds.

Anava malA or the taint of the ego principle.
kArmika malA or the taint of karma (action) and
mAyika malA or the taint due to mAyA (illusion).

The above three are all collectively known as pAsA and it is these that tie/tether the siva to thinking and feeling that he is jIvA (embodied). So, the combined meaning of the above mantra reveals that siva manifests in the physical plane as the guru in accordance to the fruits of the individuals karma and through his grace and compassion is able to transmit the Grace of the supreme. Moreover, guiding from within, He gently takes the individual on a path that gradually cleanses the impurities of countless births that have become lodged deeply in their psyche to elevate the individual to a state of everlasting bliss. The state of Self – which is beyond compare. This state of being, is the best antidote to the impurities that bind the jIvA to the trans migratory cycle. Eventually, being freed from the bondage of the impurities the jIvA realises his true state as sivA – which is really the very purpose of the path being shown by the guru.


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Siva is jIvA - mantrA 112

srigurubhyO namahA
We now have the 112st mantrA - which is the closing mantrA of the pAyiram or the introductory verses. In this section, the sage has dealt extensively with the idea of siva consciousness; the spiritual paramparA or lineage to which this text belongs; the reason behind the birth of this path; the virtue and spiritual merit of the AgamAs; the place and identity of the trimUrthy / trinity.

All of this sets the ground for what the sage has in mind - the true transmission of knowledge. The rest of the text is divided into nine tantrAs, each of them containing a vast treasure trove of Agamic wisdom. The sage slowly guides us like a true guru guides his disciples, compassionately and with great clarity. So, here we are, the last mantrA of the pAyiram.

தானொரு கூறு சதாசிவன் எம்மிறை
வானொரு கூறு மருவியும் அங்குளான்
கோனொரு கூறுஉடல் உள்நின்று உயிர்க்கின்ற
தானொரு கூறு சலமய னாமே. 10.9.112.

Siva Is Jeeva

In one Part, He, Sadasiva my Lord;
One heavenly Part in Heaven resides;
One Kingly Part, the spirit that the body heaves;
One His Part to all motion transformed.10.9.112.

Com -In one Part, He, Sadasiva my Lord; My Lord sadAsivA is one part of the supreme principle known as paramasiva (refer mantrA 111) One heavenly Part in Heaven resides; who abiding in the AkAshA (ether) principle pervades all tattvAs and remains also transcendent to the tattvAs at the same time. One Kingly Part, the spirit that the body heaves; The same siva resides in the body as prAnA (life current), the king (of the body). One His Part to all motion transformed. Yet another aspect/ part of this siva is in the form of spandA (vibration).

# In this mantra, which is the last of both this sub section and of the entire pAyiram or introduction section of the thirumandiram, the sage introduces us to the idea of spandA. First, the sage states that the manifestation known as sadAsiva is but a modification of the supreme paramasiva tattvA. This same principle, when pervading the AkAshA or ether principle (which is the first evolute among the bhUtAs or the elements) can be understood to be pervading all tattvAs – as the AkAshA aspect is evident in all other modifications as this is the first medium for the establishment of the worlds. This same lord of AkAshA, when within the confines of the body (sthUlA or elemental/gross/physical body) is manifest as the prAnA or life principle.

The term prAnA should be taken to mean the ten variants – the five main prAnAs : prAna, apAna, udAna, vyAna and samAna; and also the five subsidiary prAnAs : nAga, kUrma, kirukara, dEvadatta and dhananjaya. The life principle prAnA and its variants are responsible for the birth and continuity of life in the physical or gross body. Those readers who are interested to know more about the ten prAnAs and their activities, please refer to the hata yOga pradIpikA or similar texts. Thus, we have that the siva is manifest as prAnA in the body, enabling it to continue living.

The term ‘spandA’ which can be understood as vibration or motion is a very important one. It forms the core of the Kashmir shaivism or the trikA siddhAntA. The sage does not at this juncture dwell on the greater meanings of that vibration here, so I will also refrain from a detailed description of the same right now. In the main body of the text however, we will see much more of this and then in the appropriate context I will provide more details. Here, it will suffice to note that the sage mentions that another important aspect of siva is in the form of spandA or vibration/ motion (within the body). The birth of the spandA is in itself an indication of spiritual advancement in the seeker and an indicator that the sAdhakA is proceeding in the right direction.

From the above mantra it becomes clear that, the One supreme paramasiva is Himself sadAsiva and as sadAsiva He is the guide and friend to the jIvAs and is the only remedy for the disease of samsArA or entanglement in the cycle of birth and death.

This marks the end of the pAyiram or introduction phase of the text. From the next mantra, we proceed to the teachings. The First TantrA starts with the subsection titled ‘upadEshA’/ initiation.