World Sanskrit Conference (WSC) (17th : 2018)

Upāyas for Eternal Bliss in the Traita Philosophy T. R., Gowri 2019

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Notice for Google Chrome users:
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.

Item Metadata


70440-TR_Gowri_Upayas_for_eternal_bliss_2019.pdf [ 546.6kB ]
JSON: 70440-1.0390876.json
JSON-LD: 70440-1.0390876-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 70440-1.0390876-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 70440-1.0390876-rdf.json
Turtle: 70440-1.0390876-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 70440-1.0390876-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 70440-1.0390876-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

 Upāyas for Eternal Bliss in the Traita Philosophy  Gowri T. R. Proceedings of the 17th World Sanskrit Conference, Vancouver, Canada, July 9-13, 2018, Section 6: Tantra Studies.  Section Convenors: Diwakar Acharya, Michael Slouber, and Judit Törzsök
General Editor: Adheesh Sathaye Published by the Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, on behalf of the International Association for Sanskrit Studies. DOI: 10.14288/1.0390876.
URI: Suggested Citation Format: MLA:
T. R., Gowri. “Upāyas for Eternal Bliss in the Traita Philosophy.” Proceedings of the 17th World Sanskrit Conference, Vancouver, Canada, July 9-13, 2018, Section 6: Tantra Studies. Edited by Diwakar Acharya, Michael Slouber, and Judit Törzsök, 2019. DOI: 10.14288/1.0390876. APA:
T. R., Gowri. (2019). Upāyas for eternal bliss in the Traita philosophy. In D. Acharya, M. Slouber, and J. Törzsök (Eds.) Proceedings of the 17th World Sanskrit Conference, Vancouver, Canada, July 9-13, 2018, Section 6: Tantra Studies. DOI: 10.14288/1.0390876. Chicago:
T. R., Gowri. 2019. “Upāyas for Eternal Bliss in the Traita Philosophy.” In Proceedings of the 17th World Sanskrit Conference, Vancouver, Canada, July 9-13, 2018, Section 6: Tantra Studies, edited by Diwakar Acharya, Michael Slouber, and Judit Törzsök. DOI: 10.14288/1.0390876. Proceedings of the 17th World Sanskrit Conference, July 9-13, 2018 University of British Columbia, Vancouver, CanadaCopyright © 2019 by the author. Content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).   17TH    WORLD   SANSKRIT  CONFERENCEVANCOUVER, CANADA • JULY 9-13, 2018वैधुसव ्मकबुंटुकअ ारा यसं तृा यनसमवायःINTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SANSKRIT STUDIES THE 17TH WORLD SANSKRIT CONFERENCE, VANCOUVER, CANADA, JULY 9-13, 2018 Upāyas for Eternal Bliss in the Traita Philosophy Gowri T. R. Department of Sanskrit, Ethiraj College for Women Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Abstract The realization of the self is at the core of all the philosophies that have their ori-gins in what is geographically present-day India. The three philosophies of the Sanātana dharma emphasize on attainment of mokṣa through “yoga.” Jñāna, prapatti and karma yoga are the means to mokṣa in Advaita, Viśiṣṭādvaita, and Dvaita respectively. The technique of Traita is as simple as the aspirant is com-fortable in a position to realize Śiva. The continuous practice of dhāraṇā and be-ing able to sustain in the state of being Bhairava beyond the state of samādhi is mokṣa. The Traita declares Bhairava as the absolute and Śakti is an indistin-guishable aspect of Śiva, through whom Bhairava can be realized. The paper here tries to bring out the essence of the means/upāyas as outlined for realization, with a special reference to the text Vijñānabhairava in the Rudrayāmala tantra.  Keywords: Traita; Vijñānabhairava; Śakti; dhāraṇā; mokṣa Introduction The philosophies of Sanātana dharma are unique in establishing themselves. The key hold of all philosophies revolves around the eternal supreme brahman. The Advaita, Viśiṣtādvaita, and Dvaita emphasize the knowledge of the eternal be-ing, whereby Advaita emphasizes “brahman as knowledge,” Viśiṣtādvaita em-phasizes “know that eternal brahman to be Śrīmannārāyāṇa” and Dvaita empha-sizes on “the knowledge of one supreme reality that appears as duality in the rel-ative world.” All these philosophies declare ātman to be eternal. But one will al-ways be bound to the cycle of births and deaths unless he realizes his own self to be eternal. Each philosophy has prescribed a means to be followed. The paths defined by these philosophies are intellectual. They deal with the “WHY” of the things in this world. But, the doctrine of Trika holds a very unique position in attaining mokṣa.  The Traita / Trika is otherwise known as Kashmir Śaivism. In Traita, the one supreme reality appears as the threefold science of man and his world, the three energies, namely a) parā – Śiva (Supreme) b) parāparā – śakti (medium; Proceedings of the 17th World Sanskrit Conference, Vancouver, Canada, July 9-13 2018, Section 6: Tantra Studies, edited by Di-wakar Acharya, Michael Slouber, and Judit Törzsök. General editor: Adheesh Sathaye, 2019. DOI: 10.14288/1.0390876. GOWRI T. R. 2combination of the lowest and the highest) and c) aparā – nara (inferior). It ex-plains the realm of aparā śakti, which is found in the three states of jāgrat, svapna, and suṣupti, and finally, the province of parā śakti, the supreme energy is found in the fourth state of “turya.” The Trika declares the whole universe and every act in it, whether spiritual, physical, or worldly, exists within the three energies. It in-tends for any human being without the distinction of religion, color, caste, creed, etc. Its purpose is to enable the aspirant to rise from the state of individu-ality to universality. It is based on the āgamas that exist within Lord Śiva (the revelation of Śiva). Tantra can be called a doctrine but not a philosophy because it deals with the “HOW” of the things in the world, especially to attain mokṣa. The word tantra itself means “technique” or method. When it deals with the methodology in attaining mokṣa, then it becomes purely scientific. The question how to attain mokṣa is answered by Tantra in a technical way. In Tantra one need not know its reality by intellect, rather it should be realized by the change in the totality. Tantra is a science in which experiencing is vital than intellectual theo-ries. Śiva/Bhairava is the highest state of being.  The word tantra is made up by the joining of two words – tanoti (“expan-sion”) and rayati (“liberation”). It means liberation of energy and expansion of consciousness from its gross form. Legend says that Lord Śiva, in order to en-lighten the universe, manifested the tantras. When Śiva manifested the tantras, he appeared with five heads and eight hands.  These tantras are manifested in 1three ways. Initially ten tantras came into existence which were dualistic called Śiva tantras. Then eighteen tantras came into existence which were filled with the thought of monism cum dualism called Rudra tantras. Finally, the Bhairava tantras manifested from Śiva, who is monistic in nature. These Bhairava tantras are connected with Kashmir Śaivism. They are sixty four in number and are said to be supreme. Among the Bhairava tantras, there are a group of eight tantras known as the Yāmala tantras which relates to Traita in a very foundational level. The word yāmala means “union.” So, Rudrayāmalatantra literally means the Tantra of union between Rudra and his śakti, otherwise understood as the union be-tween the consciousness and the energy. The Vijñānabhairavatantra (VBT) forms a part of the Rudrayāmalatantra. The Rudrayāmala is used as a source by many other  “His five heads came into manifestation through his five great energies: cit śakti (all con1 -sciousness), ānanda śakti (all bliss), icchā śakti (all will), jñāna śakti (all knowledge), and kriyā śakti (all action). These five energies which appeared in his mouths, which are known as Iśāṇa, Tatpuruṣa, Aghora, Vāmadeva, and Sadyojāta experienced the sensa-tion of illuminating the whole universe” (Lakshmanjoo 1988: 89). Upāyas for Eternal Bliss in the Traita Philosophy 3āgamas, but the original appears to be lost. Strictly speaking, a yāmala is a differ-ent class of text and supposed to pre-date the tantras. However, manuscripts of the yāmala seem to be lost, except as quotations in later works. The VBT is the epitome of Rudrayāmala tantra It is a text which describes how to experience that supreme independent state of god-consciousness which is transcendental and immanent in its pristine purity. The text is a conversation between Śiva and Pārvatī where Śiva answers, technically, the questions of Pārvatī that are highly philosophical. The text deals with 112 techniques to enter into the universal and transcendental state of con-sciousness. These techniques are emphasized with dhāraṇā as the underlying tool.  The process of dhāraṇā is very natural for human beings. Dhāraṇā is noth-ing but concentration. In our day-to-day lives we use our energy for various ac-tivities, like talking, reading, etc. These activities bring us success because we concentrate and focus on it so that we succeed in that activity. The concentration here is directed towards the external world and is reflected in our external life. Similarly, there are certain activities which take place in our internal world, such as happiness, depression, etc. One can focus and concentrate on these internal activities where the awareness of the consciousness can be maintained continu-ously without break to realize the self. The VBT prescribes this form of dhāraṇā for one who can conceptualize their emotions. The text allows to utilize those activities for which we fall, and through those activities get elevated in the awareness. The Tantra never instructs to negate certain activities of ours like good, bad, etc. One can experience the state of Bhairava even in his states of en-joyment and weakness. Sādhana The Trika lays great emphasize on sādhana or practice. Sādhana is a process of internal refinement, which allows man to move towards perfection. The sād-hanas bestow the three qualities of omnipotence, omnipresence, and omni-science. These qualities are attained only when the inner awareness is stream-lined and refined. Every form of life is continuously refining itself and moving towards perfection. Sādhana is a way of hastening this process and ensuring that it takes place in a controlled manner. The basis of sādhana is abhyāsa, which means regular and uninterrupted practice. No matter what kind of a person you are, whether sāttvic, rājasic, or tāmasic, Tantra offers a way to bring you close to enlightenment. This is the uniqueness of Tantra. It never seeks to reform. In-stead, it says there is a path for you whether you are a person of very low intellect  GOWRI T. R. 4or of very high and elevated intellect. Even if you are in the clutches of anger, jealousy etc, you can start from where you are. The upāyas according to Tantra are broadly classified under four heads. They are anupāya, aṇavopāya, śāktopāya, and śāmbhavopāya. The aspirant has to pass from aṇavopāya to śāktopāya, and finally from śāktopāya to śāmbhavopāya. One upāya leads to another. Śāmbhavopāya The śāmbhavopāya is the highest means of realization. It functions in the mātṛkā cakra,  pratyāhāra, and pratibimbavāda. The Mālinivijayottaratantra defines śāmb2 -havopāya as “the one who preserves the thoughtlessness.” When the aspirant pre-serves the thoughtlessness continuously and by the grace of his master, he enters the transcendental consciousness where he finds that the whole universe has come out from sentences and sentences from words and words from letters and the letters from the real “I,” who is Paramaśiva reflected in his own conscious-ness. Śāmbhavopāya is also called icchopāya, as it originates from icchāśakti and it is that means which exists in the state of the meant. In śāmbhavopāya, there are no means to travel upon. One need to just reside in the meant. Once the aspirant is firm and fixed in the meant, the rest is done by the help of the master. One must reach that state where only the master shines for you and merge with the master’s consciousness. This merging with the master’s consciousness happens only for those who have reached a high, elevated and developed state of awareness. The awareness is fully directed to the present moment not to the past or future. This upāya is amply illustrated in VBT. Many of the practices employ this upāya to raise the awareness. There is a sense of choicelessness in this upāya be-cause there is no object or support on which the awareness is to be steadied. When the awareness is maintained continuously, the awareness loses its accus-tomed support and it turns within (inwardly). The inward awareness then be-comes steady and vigilant. This is the state of watchful awareness.   “Mātṛkā, the Universal Mother, is the master director of the triple knowledge consisting 2of āṇavamala, māyīyamala, and kārmamala. Here, the word mātṛkā means ajnātā mātā. Ajñātā mātā is the state where universal energy is known in the wrong way. When uni-versal energy is known in a correct way, it is simple svātantrya śakti. When it is known in the wrong way, it is energy of illusion and it is called māyā śakti. So mātṛkā is both. Mātṛkā means ajñātā mātā when universal energy is not known correctly and svā-tantrya when it is known correctly. This means that svātantrya controls the three in-struments of bondage. Svātantrya is your own will! If you bind yourself or if you free yourself, both are under your control” (Lakshmanjoo 2007: 26). Upāyas for Eternal Bliss in the Traita Philosophy 5To attain mokṣa, the aspirant has to know that the independent supreme state of god-consciousness is the formation of the universe and should perceive the undifferentiated knowledge. hṛdyākāśe nilīnākṣaḥ padmasampuṭamadhyagaḥ |
ananyacetāḥ subhage paraṃ saubhāgyamāpnuyāt || 49 || O embodiment of good fortune, one who contemplates with closed eyes and one - pointed concentration on the mantra in the middle of the lotus in the heart space achieves the highest spiritual realization. (SS 1.15) (Trans. by Satyasangananda Saraswati [2003: 209]). grāhyagrāhakasaṃvittiḥ sāmānyā sarvadehinām |
yogināṃ tu viśeṣo 'sti sambandhe sāvadhānatā || 106 ||
The subject-object consciousness is common to everybody. Yogis howev-er are especially alert regarding this relationship. (SS 1.18) (Trans. by Satyasangananda Saraswati [2003: 331]).  3Śāktopāya Śāktopāya is that upāya which functions by the means of energies. It is also called jñānopāya because it originates from jñāna śakti. Here, in this means, the aspirant is more important than the master. The aspirant has to make himself capable of receiving the master’s grace. He must work to develop a great velocity of awareness until he reaches the feet of the master. The aspirant does not have to recite mantras or control his breath to be aware on a particular spot. He just has to see and concentrate on the supreme being that is found in between two actions without action. In VBT, it is called “centering.”  ubhayor bhāvayor jñāne dhyātvā madhyaṃ samāśrayet |
yugapac ca dvayaṃ tyaktvā madhye tattvaṃ prakāśate || 61 || One should think of two objects, and in the event of such knowledge be-ing matured, then cast aside both and dwell in the (on the gap or space) middle. Having meditated in the middle, the experience of the essence arises. (Trans. by Satyasangananda Saraswati [2003: 232])  lokānandaḥ samādhi sukham: Here, the sūtra explains how the objective world and the 3subjective world are perceived by the yogis for whom both the objective world and sub-jective world are not different and are found inter-wined well (the yogis perceive objec-tive world in the subjective world and subjective world in the objective world), unlike the normal people who perceive the subjective world and objective world separately. GOWRI T. R. 6If the firmness is lost, the aspirant will be forced out of śāktopāya into aṇavopāya. It is only by maintaining an unbreakable chain of awareness one will be able to discover the reality between any two actions or thoughts. All actions and thoughts are the proper framework for the practice of śāktopāya. The aspi-rant of śāktopāya must insert continuous awareness in the center of any two ac-tions or thoughts. In śāktopāya also, the awareness is not steadied on. There is nothing to concentrate and meditate on. This upāya seeks to turn the attention towards what exactly is meant by “I” or self, thus understanding the deeper sig-nificance of mantras and supreme consciousness which is the source of all mantras. By focusing on this upāya, the awareness is elevated through the bhā-vanā of faith, sanctified and ultimately transformed by the energy of mantra. The aspirant intuitively realizes the supreme reality, which is his own self. Śāktopāya intends for the aspirant who is highly spiritually oriented. It is a process of self-enquiry. Aṇavopāya Aṇavopāya is concerned with the aṇu, the individual soul. It is the upāya which functions by the process of concentrating on uccāra (breathing), karaṇa (organ of sensation), dhyāna (contemplation) and sthānaprakalpana (concentrating on a particular place).  In uccāra, one has to concentrate on breathing deeply and find the center point between the two breaths. It is a very essential element of practice of cakro-daya. This uccāra can be with sound or without sound. 
The process of karaṇa is concentrating on a sense organ and maintaining one-pointedness continuously. If some aspirant concentrates through the sense of sight, he should concentrate without blinking his eyes at one point with unbro-ken awareness, eventually the point vanishes and the aspirant enters the vast-ness of the center. In karaṇa, one can employ all the organs of sensation. One must be aware of where the sensation arises in case if he prefers to concentrate on any other organ of sensation other than organ of sight. Through such a process one-pointedness is created and maintained in the long run.  Dhyāna means contemplation on a particular thing which is shapeless and formless. It is the highest form of aṇavopāya, just like contemplating on the hṛ-daya kamala or on the meaning of some mantra like so 'ham , śiva, etc. If one con-templates on a particular form or shape, it is a lower form of aṇavopāya. Sthānaprakalpana is a process of concentrating on some particular place. There are two levels of sthānaprakalpana – higher level and lower level. The high- Upāyas for Eternal Bliss in the Traita Philosophy 7er level of sthānaprakalpana comes under the higher level of aṇavopāya where one has to discover each and every aspect of the reality like where the devas re-side, location of the dawn, location of midnight etc in the course of breath. The practice of sthānaprakalpana is simply to see the vastness of the universe in one breath. tantryādivādyaśabdeṣu dīrgheṣu kramasamsthiteḥ |
ananyacetāḥ pratyante paravyomavapurbhavet || 41 ||
When one-pointed awareness on the prolonged inner sounds of differ-ent musical instruments, such as stringed, wind and percussion, is gradually established, in the end, the body becomes the supreme space. (Trans. by Satyasangananda Saraswati [2003: 195]). The lower level of Sthānaprakalpana is a practice in lower aṇavopāya. This is a process in which one concentrates on the different points in the body like bhrūmadhya, kaṇṭha kūpa, and hṛdaya.  Aṇavopāya is the means found in the world of duality and is called bhedo-pāya. The means which exists in the world of mono-duality is śāktopāya and is called bhedābheda upāya. That means which exists in the world of pure monism is śāmbhavopāya and is called abhedopāya. Aṇavopāya is called kriyopāya because it is the means which exists in kriyā śakti.  The limited jīva takes up some limited aspect, such as buddhi, prāna, or some object in space, as support and starts his practice of dhāraṇā. The support is selected based on one’s svabhāva that one is born with, and not on the social, moral or religious nature that one picks up as one goes along. The awareness is completely absorbed by it and drawn to the present mo-ment. The sādhaka should always be aware that the timeless state can be at-tained only when he is able to maintain constant unbreakable awareness in the present moment. Through such a process, the past, present and future become one timeless entity which is eternal. When the sādhaka realizes that timeless state, he transcends and experiences the self which is beyond the three aspects of material existence such as time, space and object. The past is just the creation of the mind which associates the past events with the imaginary time frame. Therefore, the sādhaka has to fix his mind on an object so that he remains fo-cused in the present. Anupāya Other than the above mentioned upāyas, there is another upāya which is accept-ed by Trika. It is anupāya. The word anupāya means na upāya, not an upāya/ GOWRI T. R. 8means. In this upāya, the aspirant has only to observe that nothing is to be done. Residing in your being is the only thing to be done and is the nature of this up-āya. Anupāya is attributed to the ānanda śakti of Śiva. It is also called ānan-dopāya. Anupaya is the only means when it comes to contemplating on the wheel of the energies where the heroic yogi can perceive the svatantrya śakti  found as 4one with Bhairava. Anupāya is the unexplainable reality of the liberated aspirant.  Upāyas classified according to VBT The upāyas prescribed by VBT are classified into three types – sthūla, sūkṣma, and kāraṇa. Sthūla are physical in nature and belong to the jāgrat state. They include those methods that relate to the breath like prāṇāyama and to the nādis such as mudras. The sūkṣma upāyas are subtle in nature and belong to the svapna state. They include the methods of dhāraṇā that relate to the psyche, such as japa, trā-taka,  and concentration on a symbol. The kāraṇa upāyas are abstract in nature 5and belong to the suṣupti stage. They include those methods that relate to the causal body such as dhāraṇā on emotions, ideas, thoughts and feelings. The as-pirant can choose any upāya that suits his temperament. It depends on where one’s awareness rests. The common underlying factor in all the practices of VBT is one’s own awareness which must be directed towards one single object to the exclusion of everything else. Whatever the object may be the awareness must be directed to attain mokṣa. The objects specified in different practices range from prāṇa and breath, to mātṛkā and mantra as well as nāda and cakras. Objects chosen to direct awareness To hold on to awareness, the aspirant has to choose on to some object. Prāṇa is one of the important object which an aspirant can choose to di-rect and hold awareness. Tantra asserts prāṇa to be the link between body, mind, and awareness. The existence of an individual can be categorized into five  Svatantrya śakti is the one energy in which all the energies of the world exist. She is the 4śakti of Śiva. She is the energy which/who takes the yogi, in flight, to the consciousness and causes the supreme knowledge of (pratibhā) being to radiate (Bhairava). The whole universe is filled with svatantrya śakti. Svatantrya śakti is where all the differentiated knowledge ends.  The trāṭaka technique is a visual technique in which the aspirant stares at something 5without blinking and holding awareness through which the essence of Bhairava can be experienced. Upāyas for Eternal Bliss in the Traita Philosophy 9sheaths in which the prāṇamaya kośa pervades and sustains the physical body. The prāṇa śakti is responsible for the entire creation. So choosing it as an object and directing the awareness will easily enable the aspirant to perceive the whole universe as his own self. Prāṇa śakti is represented in the physical body as kuṇḍalinī, which is the main focus of tantra and it claims that spiritual experi-ence commences only when it is awakened. The awareness becomes internalized only when the prāṇa śakti is aroused. The reunification of the consciousness and energy leads to the realization of the oneness of the jīvātmā and paramātmā. The cosmic consciousness or the highest spirit inhabits the cranium known as the sahasrāra cakra. When the jīvātmā unites with mahāśakti in the mūlādhāra, it sets the foundation for reuni-fication of the consciousness and energy. The mahāśakti, who sets the wheel of creation into motion is, in her physical form is in the shape of coiled snake called kuṇḍalinī. When she unites with the jīvātmā in the anāhata cakra, the resulting explosion completely overrides the electromagnetic circuits of the brain and to-tal illumination takes place in the sahasrāra cakra, the abode of Śiva, which has been described as thousand-petalled lotus.  ā mūlāt kiraṇābhāsāṃ sūkṣmāt sūkṣmatarātmikām |
cintayet tāṃ dviṣaṭkānte śyāmyantīṃ bhairavodayaḥ || 28 || Concentrate on the śakti arising from the root like the rays of the sun, gradually becoming subtler and subtler, until at last she dissolves in the dvādaśānta and Bhairava manifests. (Trans. by Satyasangananda Saraswati [2003: 165]). When the matter that constitutes man explodes, an enormous detonation occurs and immense heat is generated. This inner fire purifies the physical mat-ter to such an extent that the degree of the inherent energy liberated frees the consciousness from its clutches. The resulting experience of this energy conver-sion is so subtle that the yogis where speechless and couldn’t say a word about the experience. The only thing they said was “neti neti.”  Another important concept utilized in the dhāraṇā in VBT is śūnya or void. This is the dhāraṇā without any support where the space is the criteria for achieving the awareness. When the space is focused continuously, the mind dis-solves and the inner awareness crystalizes on a bindu, which is the śūnya. During such an instance, everything except the inner consciousness dissolves and the consciousness illumines from within.  GOWRI T. R. 10viśvam etan mahādevi śūnyabhūtaṃ vicintayet |
tatraiva ca mano līnaṃ tatas tallayabhājanam || 58 ||  O great goddess, one should concentrate on the universe as nothing but void. Dissolving also the mind like this, one experiences the state of laya or total dissolution. (Trans. by Satyasangananda Saraswati [2003: 226]). Trika: The non-kārmic doctrine The philosophies of Sanātana dharma accept the theory of karma. Also, mokṣa is determined according to the karma of a person. In these philosophies, mokṣa is realizing the self by the real knowledge. If a person is not able to attain mokṣa, it is due to the binding of the being towards the material world, which is tempo-rary. A person is bound to saṃsāra due to the “I-notion”, ego. This I-notion exists because of the past deeds, or karma. Though the whole universe is the manifes-tation of the supreme being, karma is a concept which is not controlled by the supreme being, because whatever good deeds a person does in this life, still he suffers in saṃsāra due to karma.  Trika does not accept the concept of karma. The experience of the limitless universal consciousness which is the supreme independent state of god-con-sciousness from the limited consciousness by the aspirant is apparently the state of mokṣa. According to Trika, the state of being bound in the limited conscious-ness is due to the lack of complete knowledge of Śiva. The aspect of saṃskāra does not peep into the enlightenment of an aspirant. The attainment of mokṣa is determined by the will of Śiva. If a person is bound by the limited consciousness, it is due to the malas or impurities which conceal the individual being.  The impurities or malas A person who is of limited consciousness is in that state because he lacks the complete knowledge of the of god consciousness, Paramaśiva. This is due to the malas that conceal the individual being. There are three malas: karma mala, māyīya mala and āṇava mala. All these malas reside in Māyā, the universal moth-er. The svātantrya śakti of Śiva, which is the pure universal energy of the univer-sal consciousness, is also called universal mother. It is known as māyaśakti when that svātantrya śakti is in the limited consciousness and is the sole reason for the differentiated perception of the world. The svātantrya śakti always allows the individual being to rise up to the highest state of Paramaśiva. The three malas are broadly classified into sthūla, sūkṣma, and para. The sthūla is karma mala, and is connected with actions. This impurity of action is the  Upāyas for Eternal Bliss in the Traita Philosophy 11saṃskāra of pleasure and pain. These malas, expressed through statements like “I am happy,” “I am sad,” etc., remain as impressions in the individual consciousness.  The māyīya mala is that impurity which creates duality, bhinnavedyaprathā, due to ignorance (avidyā).  The āṇava mala is the subtlest impurity which is the internal impurity of the individual. It stops one from becoming Śiva, although that individual may have realized his self. It is the sense of incompleteness though one is fully aware of his self. The āṇava mala and māyīya mala are impurities of perception. Karma mala is the impurity of action. The role of the master The role of the master is more of a transmitter than a teacher. His method of teaching is very subtle and refined. The knowledge gets transmitted directly from the master to the disciple when they are very well connected. Great impor-tance has been given to the master in any spiritual practice. The sādhana does not bear fruit without the blessings of the master. In VBT, the entire conversa-tion between Śiva and Pārvatī is in the context of the master and disciple. The master is none other than Śiva who uplifts the aspirant to the state of Bhairava. It is said that the universal consciousness is not equal to the one sixteenth of the part of the initiation from the master (Lakṣmīkaularnavatantra). This shows the greatness and magnificence of the master. At the same time, the aspirant has to rise and make himself eligible to accept the grace of the master. Śivasūtra 1.16, “śuddhatattvasaṃdhānād vā ‘paśuśaktiḥ |” clearly explains the state of an aspirant who has to put in his effort to receive the grace of the master. The Vijñānabhaira-va speaks to Pārvatī about this saṃdhāna: With one-pointed attention, you must feel and perceive that this universe and your body is simultaneously one with god consciousness. Then the rise of the supreme god-consciousness takes place. kararuddhadṛgastreṇa bhrūbhedād dvārarodhanāt |
dṛṣṭe bindau kramāl līne tanmadhye paramā sthitiḥ || 36 ||  By using the hands (as tools) to block the entrances in all directions, the eyebrow centre is pierced and bindu (or light) is seen. Being gradually absorbed within that, the supreme state is realized. (Trans. by Satya-sangananda Saraswati [2003: 184]). With a continuous process of saṃdhāna, the śuddha vidyā effortlessly comes into existence, and by the will of Lord Śiva, the real state of Śiva comes into being.  GOWRI T. R. 12Here the aspirant reaches the state of khecarī mudrā.  Through such a great effort, 6the aspirant enables himself to help his master elevate him and realize his self. The master is the one who puts before you the reality of god-conscious-ness. The Śivasūtra 2.6 says gurur upayaḥ |, which means that “the master is the means” to attain liberation. Conclusion  Tantra is said to be unique in its approach to mokṣa. Instead of wasting time in purifying the body and the mind, Tantra encourages the aspirant to flow with the tides of his nature and find and maintain awareness continuously without any break. There is no sign of negativity. Everything depends on the will of Lord Śiva. Tantra is a doctrine which relaxes the person, and if the person is able to realize himself as Śiva even in his vices, Tantra allows it because realizing oneself as Śiva is more important than the way a person is in this world.  Acknowledgments Prima facea, I am grateful to the Almighty for the good health and well-being that were necessary to complete my research paper. I would like to acknowledge the immense support provided by my family during the preparation of this re-search paper. Bibliography Lakshmanjoo, Swami. 1991 [1988]. Kashmir Shaivism: The Secret Supreme. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications. First Indian edition (originally published, 1991, Al-bany, NY: SUNY Press).   It is said in the Tantraṣaḍbhāva about khecari mudrā: “When you are treading the way of 6totality (kulamārgeṇa), you must see the totality in the piece of the totality. Take one part of the universe and see the whole universe existing there. That is the way of the totality… Take for example, a grain of rice. One has to see the energy that exists in the grain of rice. This one grain of rice has the power to produce not only thousands of plants, but millions and billions of plants. Innumerable plants exist in that one rice grain. So, one part of the world is complete in itself…[One] must, [treading[ the way of totality…[The khecarī mudrā is] “becoming one with the supreme consciousness” (Lak-shmanjoo 2007: 90). Upāyas for Eternal Bliss in the Traita Philosophy 13Lakshmanjoo, Swami. 2007.  Shiva Sutras: The Supreme Awakening, with the Com-mentary of Kshemaraja. Edited by John Hughes. Culver City, CA: Universal Shaiva Fellowship. Second Edition (original publication, 2001).  Satyasangananda Saraswati, Swami. 2003. Sri Vijnana Bhairava Tantra: The Ascent. Munger: Bihar School of Yoga.  Shastri, Pt. Madhusudan Kaul, ed. 1935. Svacchandatantra, vol. 6. Kashmir Se-ries of Texts and Studies, 53. Bombay: Nirnaya Sagar Press.  Shastri, Vishnu Datt. 1956. “Malini Vijayottara Tantra: A Source Book of the Trika Śāstra of Kashmir (together with an English translation and critical notes on its philosophic and religious significance).” Doctoral dissertation, Be-nares Hindu University. Retrieved from 


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items