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Shiva Sutra

Shiva Sutra

of Vasugupta

Chapter One


1.1 The Self is Consciousness

1.2 Limited knowledge is bondage.

1.3 Maya with its associated principles and kala, which gives origin to bodies and worlds, are bondage.

1.4 The letters of the alphabet from a to ksha are the basis of limited knowledge.

1.5 The sudden flash of divine Consciousness is the Lord (Bhairava = Shiva).

1.6 The destruction of the universe takes place through meditation on the group of shaktis, or powers.

1.7 The bliss of turiya, or the fourth state of Consciousness, arises even during the different states of waking, dream and deep sleep.

1.8 The waking state is perception. It is the state in which the Self is in direct contact with the objective world.

1.9 The dream state is mental activity. Its contents consist of the mental processes which occur in isolation from the objective world.

1.10 The deep sleep state is the inability to discriminate, which is caused by the power of illusion. This state is characterised by the absence of perception since the knowing faculty has ceased to function.

1.11 The supreme Lord Shiva is the witness or enjoyer of the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep.

1.12 The different stages attained in the course of yogic practice are filled with wonder.

1.13 The power of will is the maiden Uma.

1.14 The objective world around such a yogi appears to him as his own body.

1.15 When the mind becomes united with the heart, one sees everything as a form of Consciousness.

1.16 By contemplation of the pure principle of the Supreme Reality the yogi is freed from bondage.

1.17 The knowledge of the Self is conviction.

1.18 The bliss of loka is the ecstasy of samadhi. The yogi becomes aware of the bliss that pervades all the manifested worlds.

1.19 Through the meditative union with Shakti, siddhis, like the creation of bodies, become possible.

1.20 The yogi gains the ability to unite the gross elements, to separate them, and to know how and with which elements objects in the universe are composed.

1.21 Through the appearance of pure wisdom, the yogi attains mastery over the shakti chakra.

1.22 By mystically uniting with the great lake, the infinite reservoir of divine energy, the yogi experiences the vibrant source of mantra.


Chapter Two


2.1 The mind is mantra.

2.2 Right effort is the means; a seeker is one who makes effort.

2.3 The secret of mantra is the being of the body of knowledge.

2.4 Ordinary knowledge, or limited expansion of consciousness, which develops through the mind within the realm of maya is dreamlike and purely imaginary.

2.5 Through the natural unfoldment of pure knowledge, khechari, the state of Shiva, is attained.

2.6 The Guru is the means.

2.7 When the Guru is pleased he grants full knowledge of matrika (the letters of the alphabet).

2.8 The body is the offering.

2.9 Knowledge is food.

2.10 When pure knowledge is destroyed due to the pride or carelessness of the seeker, there arise visions or manifestations of illusory, dreamlike worlds.


Chapter Three


3.1 The individual self is the mind.

3.2 Limited knowledge is bondage.

3.3 The ignorance of the true nature of and the other tattvas, which are characterised by limitation, is maya.

3.4 The forces or tattvas in the body should be dissolved backwards into the Source.

3.5 Stoppage of the nadis (control of prana), conquest (control) of the elements, withdrawal of the mind from the elements, separation from the elements into Consciousness should all be brought about by yoga.

3.6 Supernormal power is due to a veil drawn by ignorance.

3.7 The knowledge of Reality is attained only on conquering that delusion completely.

3.8 He is awake who sees the outer world as his own light.

3.9 The Self is the dancer.

3.10 The inner Self is the stage.

3.11 The senses are the spectators.

3.12 The truth is realised by pure intellect.

3.13 A Siddha is supremely free.

3.14 As here, so elsewhere.

3.15 He should focus on the seed, the source.

3.16 Established in concentration on the Self alone, he easily plunges into the ocean of bliss.

3.17 Such a yogi can bring about the manifestation of objects according to his capacity.

3.18 When limited knowledge is destroyed, the cycle of births comes to an end.

3.19 The yogi should beware of the different ruling shaktis, Maheshwari and others, who are inherent in the different groups of alphabets such as the ka-group, through ignorance he may still be deceived by these shaktis.

3.20 The three states of waking, dream and deep sleep should be poured into the fourth state, or turiya, like the uninterrupted flow of oil.

3.21 The yogi should plunge his mind into the Self

3.22 When the prana is balanced, one attains equal vision.

3.23 If the yogi who has attained the turiya state remains satisfied with the delight he experiences at the beginning and end of that state and does not proceed to the state beyond turiya, his consciousness can revert to the lower states in the middle.

3.24 Even if such a fall occurs, if the yogi eliminates this intermediate state by constant contemplation of pure Consciousness, he can permanently regain steadiness in the turiya state.

3.25 The realised yogi becomes like Shiva.

3.26 Such a Self-realised yogi performs all his physical activities as acts of worship.

3.27 His common speech is like mantra.

3.28 His (charitable) gift is knowledge of the Self.

3.29 He who is established in Shakti becomes an agent of wisdom (i.e. a Satguru).

3.30 The universe is the unfoldment of his Shakti (power).

3.31 Maintenance and reabsorption are also a manifestation of his own Shakti.

3.32 Even though he is engaged in such activities, he remains unmoved because he is established in the awareness of the supreme Self.

3.33 The experiences of pleasure and pain in the life of such a Selfrealised yogi are confined to the periphery of his consciousness and do not affect his inner being.

3.34 One who is free of the influence of pleasure and pain is a liberated soul.

3.35 One who has become a compact mass of delusion is subject to karma, good and bad actions.

3.36 When a yogi ceases to see differences, he attains the power to create a new universe.

3.37 The power to create extraordinary things exists in him naturally on account of his experience of the divine power.

3.38 Turiya, the fourth state, should enliven and interpenetrate the other three states (waking, dreaming and deep sleep). 

3.39 Just as the mind is fixed in turiya during introspective meditation, so too during the ordinary conscious life of the body, senses and objects, one should remain established in the inner consciousness, even though the mind is turned outward.

3.40 When the jiva does not experience this state of turiya, he goes out on account of desire for objects and is carried from birth to birth.

3.41 When one is established in turiya, all one’s desires are destroyed; hence, one’s existence as a limited individual being also comes to an end simultaneously.

3.42 With the ending of desire, the body is seen simply as a covering and the yogi becomes liberated and attains the state of Shiva.

3.43 The connection of pure Consciousness with prana is natural.

3.44 The prana shakti flows in the left (ida), right (pingala) and the central (sushumna) nadis. By constant awareness it abides in the sushumna, the centre, which is supreme Consciousness.

3.45 The yogi will again be united with his true Self; that is, he will be reabsorbed into Shiva.

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