Shivasutra

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    shivasuutra

    *Introduction
    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 (1824-1883) and Aurobindo (1872-1950).
    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, 1995); 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
    centerstage 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.
    As is well known, the idea of brahman in the Vedas being a representation
    of all possibilities, as in the statement  praj~nana\dm brahman,
    was the inspiration in the conception of the wavefunction of quantum
    theory defined as a sum of all possibilites (Moore, 1989; Kak, 1995b).
    
    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.g . Kak, 1995a, 1995b, 1996a, 1996b, 1996c).
    The notion that the mind emerges somehow out of the complexity
    of the connections inside the brain is too simplistic to be taken
    seriously.
    It is like Baron M\unchhausen pulling himself out of the
    bog by his own bootstraps!
    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?
    
    The  Aphorisms of Shiva (\'Siva Sutras) (SS) are a late
    reiteration of the Vedic view of consciousness.
    According to legend, Vasugupta (c . 800 C.E . in Kashmir) `saw' the aphorisms
    (sutras) in his dream.
    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 systof knowledge may
    be seen elsewhere (e.g . Kak 1994, 1995c)).
    The commentary provided in this paper is not based on the
    commentatorial tradition from within Kashmir Shaivism
    (see e.g . Jaideva Singh, 1979; Dyczkowski, 1992) 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.
    *The universal and the individual in the SS
    According to SS the individual knowledge comes from associations.
    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 1995a for details).
    The binding energy is  called matrika (mat\drka).
    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 (1-12).
    
    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 1-164-20);
    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.
    What facilitates this illumination is the ``power of the will.''
    
    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.
    But what about the `meaning' of elementary sounds?
    This happens as one opens the `crack' between the universal
    and the individual.
    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 self---the 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.
    
    
    *The \'Siva Sutras
    Ths section presents my new
    English translation . For earlier translations see
    Jaideva Singh (1979) and Dyczkowski (1992). 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 (1994).
    
    *1- Universal consciousness
    
    1-1 Consciousness is the self.
    1-2 (Ordinary) knowledge consists of associations.
    1-3 Sets of axioms generate structures.
    1-4 The ground of knowledge is mat\drka.
    1-5 The upsurge (of consciousness) is Bhairava.
    1-6 By union with the energy centers one withdraws from the universe.
    1-7 Even during waking, sleep, and deep sleep one can experience
    the fourth state (transcending consciousness).
    1-8 (Sensory) knowledge is obtained in the waking state.
    1-9 Dreaming is free ranging of thoughts.
    1-10 Deep sleep is maya, the irrational.
    1-11 The experiencer of the three states is the lord of the senses.
    1-12 The domain of the union is an astonishment.
    1-13 The power of the will is the playful uma.
    1-14 The observed has a structure.
    1-15 By fixing the mind on its core one can comprehend
    perceivable and emptiness.
    1-16 Or by contemplating the pure principle one is free of
    the power that binds (to associations).
    1-17 Right discernment is the knowledge of the self.
    1-18 The bliss of the sight is the joy of samadhi.
    1-19 The body emerges when the energies unite.
    1-20 Elements unite, elements separate, and the universe is gathered.
    1-21 Pure knowledge leads to a mastery of the wheel (of energies).
    1-22 The great lake (of space-time) is experienced through the
    power of mantra.
    *2- The emergence of innate knowledge
    2-1 The mind is mantra.
    2-2 Effort leads to attainment.
    2-3 The secret of mantra is the being of the body of knowledge.
    2-4 The emergence of the mind in the womb is the forgetting of
    common knowledge.
    2-5 When the knowledge of one's self arises one moves in the
    sky of consciousness---the Shiva's state.
    2-6 The guru is the means.
    2-7 The awakening of the wheel of mat\drka (the elemental
    energies).
    2-8 The body is the oblation.
    2-9 The food is knowledge.
    2-10 With the extinction of knowledge emerges the vision of
    emptiness.
    *3- The transformations of the individual
    3-1 The mind is the self.
    3-2 (Material) knowledge is bondage (association).
    3-3 Maya is the lack of discernment of the principles
    of transformation.
    3-4 The transformation is stopped in the body.
    3-5 The quieting of the vital channels, the mastery of the
    elements, the withdrawal from the elements, and the separation of
    the elements.
    3-6 Perfection is through the veil of delusion.
    3-7 Overcoming delusion and by boundless extension innate
    knowledge is achieved.
    3-8 Waking is the second ray (of consciousness).
    3-9 The self is the actor.
    3-10 The inner self is the stage.
    3-11 The senses are the spectators.
    3-12 The pure state is achieved by the power of the intellect.
    3-13 Freedom (creativity) is achieved.
    3-14 As here so elsewhere.
    3-15 Emission (of consciousness) is the way of nature and so
    what is not external is seen as external.
    3-16 Attention to the seed.
    3-17 Seated one sinks effortlessly into the lake (of consciousness).
    3-18 The measure of consciousness fashions the world.
    3-19 As (limited) knowledge is transcended, birth is transcended.
    3-20 Maheshvari and other mothers (sources) of beings
    reside in the sound elements.
    3-21 The fourth (state of consciousness) should be used to
    oil the (other) three (states of consciousness).
    3-22 Absorbed (in his nature), one must penetrate (the phonemes)
    with one's mind.
    3-23 The lower plane arises in the center (of the phoneme).
    3-24 A balanced breathing leads to a balanced vision.
    3-25 What was destroyed rises again by the joining of perceptions
    with the objects of experience.
    3-26 He becomes like Shiva.
    3-27 The activity of the body is the vow.
    3-28 The recitation of the mantras is the discourse.
    3-29 Self-knowledge is the boon.
    3-30 He who is established is the means and knowledge.
    3-31 The universe is teh aggregate of his powers.
    3-32 Persistence and absorption.
    3-33 Even when this (maintenance and dissolution) there is no
    break (in awareness) due to the perceiving subjectivity.
    3-34 The feeling of pleasure and pain is external.
    3-35 The one who is free of that is alone (with consciousness).
    3-36 A mass of delusion the mind is subject to activity.
    3-37 When separateness is gone, action can lead to creation.
    3-38 The power to create is based on one's own experience.
    3-39 That which precedes the three (states of consciousness)
    vitalizes them.
    3-40 The same stability of mind (should permeate) the body,
    senses and external world.
    3-41 Craving leads to the extroversion of the inner process.
    3-42 When established in pure awareness, (the craving) is
    destroyed and the (empirical) individual ceases to exist.
    3-43 Although cloaked in the elements one is not free, but,
    like the lord, one is supreme.
    3-44 The link with the vital breath is natural.
    3-45 Concentrating on the center within the nose, what use
    are the left and the right channels or su\dsumna?
    3-46 May (the individual) merge (in the lord) once again.
    
    
    shivasuutra
    
    chaitanyamAtmA . 1-1.
    
    GYAnaM bandhaH . 1-2.
    
    yonivargaH kalAsharIram.h . 1-3.
    
    GYAnAdhishhThAnaM mAtR^ikA . 1-4.
    
    udyamo bhairavaH . 1-5.
    
    shaktichakrasandhAne vishvasaMhAraH . 1-6.
    
    jAgratsvapnasushhuptabhede turyAbhogasaMbhavaH . 1-7.
    
    GYAnaM jAgrat.h . 1-8.
    
    svapno vikalpAH . 1-9.
    
    aviveko mAyAsaushhuptam.h . 1-10.
    
    tritayabhoktA vIreshaH . 1-11.
    
    vismayo yogabhUmikAH . 1-12.
    
    ichchhA shaktirumA kumArI . 1-13.
    
    dR^ishyaM sharIram.h . 1-14.
    
    hR^idaye chittasaMghaTTAd.h dR^ishyasvApadarshanam.h . 1-15.
    
    shuddhatattvasandhAnAd.h vA apashushaktiH . 1-16.
    
    vitarka AtmaGYAnam.h . 1-17.
    
    lokAnandaH samAdhisukham.h . 1-18.
    
    shaktisandhAne sharIrotpattiH . 1-19.
    
    bhUtasandhAna bhUtapR^ithaktva vishvasaMghaTTAH . 1-20.
    
    shuddhavidyodayAchchakreshatva siddhiH . 1-21.
    
    mahAhradAnusandhAnAnmantravIryAnubhavaH . 1-22.
    
    
    2 - shAktopAya
    
    chittaM mantraH . 2-1.
    
    prayatnaH sAdhakaH . 2-2.
    
    vidyAsharIrasattA mantrarahasyam.h . 2-3.
    
    garbhe chittavikAso.avishishhTa vidyAsvapnaH . 2-4.
    
    vidyAsamutthAne svAbhAvike khecharI shivAvasthA . 2-5.
    
    gururupAyaH . 2-6.
    
    mAtR^ikAchakrasambodhaH . 2-7.
    
    sharIraM haviH . 2-8.
    
    GYAnaM annam.h . 2-9.
    
    vidyAsaMhAre taduttha svapna darshanam.h . 2-10.
    
    
    3 - ANavopAya
    
    AtmA chittam.h . 3-1.
    
    GYAnaM bandhaH . 3-2.
    
    kalAdInAM tattvAnAM aviveko mAyA . 3-3.
    
    sharIre saMhAraH kalAnAm.h . 3-4.
    
    nADI saMhAra bhUtajaya bhUtakaivalya bhUtapR^ithaktvAni . 3-5.
    
    mohAvaraNAt.h siddhiH . 3-6.
    
    mohajayAd.h anantAbhogAt.h sahajavidyAjayaH . 3-7.
    
    jAgrad.h dvitIyakaraH . 3-8.
    
    nartaka AtmA . 3-9.
    
    raN^go.antarAtmA . 3-10.
    
    prekshakANIndriyANi . 3-11.
    
    dhIvashAt.h sattvasiddhiH . 3-12.
    
    siddhaH svatantrabhAvaH . 3-13.
    
    yathA tatra tathAnyatra . 3-14.
    
    visargasvAbhAvyAd.h abahiH sthitestatsthitiH . 3-15.
    
    bIjAvadhAnam.h . 3-16.
    
    AsanasthaH sukhaM hrade nimajjati . 3-17.
    
    svamAtrA nirmANaM ApAdayati . 3-18.
    
    vidyA avinAshe janma vinAshaH . 3-19.
    
    kavargAdishhu mAheshvaryAdyAH pashumAtaraH . 3-20.
    
    trishhu chaturthaM tailavadAsechyam.h . 3-21.
    
    magnaH svachittena pravishet.h . 3-22.
    
    prANa samAchAre samadarshanam.h . 3-23.
    
    madhye.avara prasavaH . 3-24.
    
    mAtrAsvapratyaya sandhAne nashhTasya punarutthAnam.h . 3-25.
    
    shivatulyo jAyate . 3-26.
    
    sharIravR^ittirvratam.h . 3-27.
    
    kathA japaH . 3-28.
    
    dAnaM AtmaGYAnam.h . 3-29.
    
    yo.avipastho GYAhetushcha . 3-30.
    
    svashakti prachayo.asya vishvam.h . 3-31.
    
    stithilayau . 3-32.
    
    tat.h pravR^ittAvapyanirAsaH saMvettR^ibhAvAt.h . 3-33.
    
    sukha duHkhayorbahirmananam.h . 3-34.
    
    tadvimuktastu kevalI . 3-35.
    
    mohapratisaMhatastu karmAtmA . 3-36.
    
    bheda tiraskAre sargAntara karmatvam.h . 3-37.
    
    karaNashaktiH svato.anubhavAt.h . 3-38.
    
    tripadAdyanuprANanam.h . 3-39.
    
    chittasthitivat.h sharIra karaNa bAhyeshhu . 3-40.
    
    abhilAshhAdbahirgatiH saMvAhyasya . 3-41.
    
    tadArUDhapramitestatkshayAjjIvasaMkshayaH . 3-42.
    
    bhUtakaJNchukI tadA vimukto bhUyaH patisamaH paraH . 3-43.
    
    naisargikaH prANasaMbandhaH . 3-44.
    
    nAsikAntarmadhya saMyamAt.h kimatra savyApasavya saushhumneshhu . 3-45.
    
    bhUyaH syAt.h pratimIlanam.h . 3-46.
    
              AUM tat.h sat.h
    
    *Concluding Remarks
    
    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.
    The structure of the Kashmir school
    of consciousness goes beyond the categories of Sa.nkhya.
    I hope that others will examine other classics in this
    tradition (e.g . Abhinavagupta, 1987, 1989; Dyczkowski, 1987) and see for
    themselves whether it has any lessons for
    contemporary science;
    further connections between modern science and this tradition are
    presented in Kak (1992/4).
    
    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.
    Schr\odinger's use of Vedic insights is testimony to the fact
    that the metaphors in use by the ancient thinkers were holistic
    and similar to that of modern physics.
    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.g . Kramrisch, 1981) is a retelling
    of the astonishing insights of the science of consciousness.
    
    *References
    
    Abhinavagupta, 1987-  Tantraloka . With the Commentary
    Viveka of Jayaratha, R.C . Dwivedi and N . Rastogi (eds.).
    Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi.
    
    Abhinavagupta, 1989-  A Trident of Wisdom.
    State University of New York Press, Albany.
    
    Dyczkowski, M.S.G., 1987-  The Doctrine of Vibration.
    State University of New York Press, Albany.
    
    Dyczkowski, M.S.G., 1992-  The Aphorisms of \'Siva:
    The SivaSutra with Bhaskara's Commentary, the Varttika.
    State University of New York Press, Albany.
    
    Feuerstein, G., Kak, S.C., Frawley, D., 1995-  In Search of the
    Cradle of Civilization. Quest Books, Wheaton, IL.
    
    Kak, S.C., 1992/4- Reflections in clouded mirrors: selfhood in
    animals and machines . Presented at the  Symposium on Aliens,
    Apes, and Artificial Intelligence: Who is a person in the
    postmodern world? Southern Humanities Council Annual Conference,
    February 13, 1993-
    
     Kak, S.C., 1994- \The Astronomical Code of the \dRgveda.
    Aditya, New Delhi.
    
    Kak, S.C., 1995a . Quantum neural computing.
     Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics,
    vol 94, 259-313-
    
    Kak, S.C., 1995b . The three languages of the brain: quantum,
    reorganizational, and associative .  4th Appalachian Conf . on
    Behavioral Neurodynamics, Radford, VA, September.
    
     Kak, S.C., 1995c.
    The astronomy of the age of geometric altars.
     Q . J . R . astr . Soc., 36, 385-396-
    
    Kak, S.C., 1996a . Information, physics, and computation.
     Foundations of Physics, 26, 127-137-
    
    Kak, S.C., 1996b . Speed of computation and simulation.
     Foundations of Physics, 26, in press.
    
    Kak, S.C., 1996c . Why machines cannot be conscious.
    Presented at  Towards a Science of Consciousness, TUCSON II,
    Tucson, April 8-13-
    
    Kramrisch, S., 1981-  The Presence of \'Siva.
    Princeton University Press, Princeton.
    
    Moore, W., 1989-  Schr\odinger: Life and Thought.
    Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
    
    Singh, Jaideva, 1979-  \'Siva Sutras: The Yoga of
    Supreme Identity. Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi.
    

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