The Dialogical Manifestation of Reality in Agamas Shiva Shakti
The Dialogical Manifestation of Reality in Agamas – 2

In this transcendental speech of the character of awareness which is essentially reflexive (parāmarŚa), all the instructional texts (Śāstras) manifest in the form of transcendental awareness because it is saturated with all the entities that exist.

Śruti in Trika Śaiva literature21

Abhinava on Āgamic revelation

The status of Āgamic revelation in the Trika system is summed up in a single verse:

guruŚiṣyapade sthitvā svaya: devaḥ sadāŚivaḥ jj

pūrvottarapadair vākyais tantram ādhārabhedataḥ j ST 8.31cd–32ab.

By assuming the states of preceptor and disciple, the Lord SadāŚiva himself [revealed] Tantras according to different strata [of receivers] in sentences of question and answer.

The writings of Abhinava and Kṣemarāja upon the revelation of Āgamas can be considered a commentary upon the above passage. Explicit in this passage is the fact that the supreme being Himself assumes the roles of teacher and disciple and manifests Tantras according to the interests of different subjects. What is presumed here is, the first discourse, in which Ś iva himself plays both roles, is not teleologically complete in itself, as it is ‘for’ the sentient beings. The sentient beings, though, are not intrinsically different fromŚ iva in this non-dual paradigm. What is the directionality of Śiva’s grace then? The answer is, from the enlightened perspective, or through the gaze of Śiva, it is just self-revelation, and the teleology is complete within itself. From the perspective of the non-realised subjects, there is externality in this teleology of revelation. Following the Trika paradigm, the Āgamic discourse is essentially the self-revealing act of Śiva where he is in dialogue with his own externalised form, the powers collectively called as Śakti, materialised in the form of His consort. The central metaphor to describe this primordial relation is that of prakāŚa or consciousness/illumination and vimarŚa or reflective awareness/touch.22 Even when the absolute is described in this dyadic form, the relation of these two is complementary and not that of binary opposites. Śiva and Śakti, or in this newly found terminology of prakāŚa and vimarŚa, are essentially identical, and their relationship describes the initial discourse. Along these lines,Śiva externalises his powers that are intrinsic to him and engages in dialogue, which simultaneously materialises the world and reveals the Āgamas.

This dialogue of self-manifestation, along these lines, is the most intimate state of awareness, and in this state, consciousness does not grasp entities as external. Āgamas are revealed in this state of consciousness externalising itself, where the externalised consciousness is inversely reflecting its own pure being. Since this state is not temporally bound, Āgamic revelation cannot be located in time. Āgama, in this sense, is an eternally being-expressed divine language of grace that the subjects can grasp as they move to their inner core of being. This understanding is congruent with what Abhinavagupta has maintained:

The self is of the character of consciousness/light . . . this very [self] is the reflective awareness (vimarŚa) which in essence is of the character of aham or I-ness . . . Awareness (jñāna) is of the character of illumination. In this very instance of awareness {tatra}, there lies the reflective awareness of the essential nature of autonomy, [and this is] the act [of knowing]. This reflective awareness is where the illuminating aspect of consciousness has been internalized, and therefore {iti} the very reflective mode of awareness is cognition and action in its transcendental state . . . . In all contexts, the very vimarŚa or reflective awareness is cognition [in various modes].23

Following this understanding, the self and the illuminating aspect of consciousness are identical, and so there is no instance where the self can be isolated from this awareness.24 Various modes of consciousness, in terms of cognition, experience, and sensation, are all identified with this autonomy of consciousness or its self-validating nature.25 The argument of the eternal dialogue of Śiva and Śakti rests on the position that there is no illuminating mode of consciousness that is devoid of its reflexive mode that gives consciousness awareness of itself.26

Abhinava’s understanding of Āgama relies on this assumption of consciousness as prakāŚa-vimarŚa, following which there is no instance where the self is not revealing and not aware of itself. Due to this reflective inverse mode of consciousness, the I-sense of Śiva circumscribes all that exists in its self-awareness. This act of recognising vimarŚa as the very expression of prakāŚa is the twofold manifestation of grace, where the illuminating aspect of consciousness is in dialogue with its reflexive mode and this dialogue is captured in the form of Āgamas. There is no issue regarding the authority of the Āgamas either, as it is due to the authority of Āgamas, or the self-actualising mode of awareness, that all other instances of cognition are verified. In other words, every act of consciousness self-validates the Āgama, as this stands for the first flash of consciousness being reflexive and is presumed in all modes of consciousness. This intrinsic dialogue is therefore a precondition for the rise of the prāmāṇa activities such as perception and inference. This dialogue is thus both (i) a fundamental cosmic event, the primordial act that also is the blueprint of the cosmos, and (ii) is the backdrop of all conscious modes or epistemic activities. Since temporality has not arisen at this stage of consciousness, this dialogue is not temporal either. In the absence of localising this discourse in time, Śiva’s self-intimation is eternal, and is embedded in both what has been manifest in the world, and the act of manifestation.

As grace (anugraha) is intrinsic to Śiva, creation or externalisation of selfawareness is inherently teleological and the primordial dialogue is an expression of this very power.27 Furthermore, this power in the form of grace andŚiva are not two distinct entities, and this is the supreme power (parā Śakti) of Śiva prior to creation coming into being. This transcendental power of self-reflexive awareness is deified as Parā in Trika, and is also identified as the transcendental speech (parā vāc) which describes the potency of speech that has yet to be verbalised. Abhinava explains the manifestation of this power in the form of instructions in the following terms:

This [transcendental] power [of Śiva], which in essence is the reflective awareness of the grace of the world, is first resting in pure consciousness that has not been conditioned by space and time, and is of the character of the supreme mantra [of aham], [which] is ready {-Śānac} to expand as [the speech of] seeing that is of the character of inward reflection [manifesting the self-nature], and is identical to hundreds of endless powers. At this stage, [this speech qua supreme Śakti] exists not being distinct in the form of question and answer that is yet to manifest as [the speech identical to] seeing.28

The first expression of the transcendent speech qua consciousness-in-itself, the self-seeing or self-reflexive mode of speech called paŚyanta, has the character of inverse-awareness or the awareness that is facing inward and not externalised in terms of grasping objects. This self-intimation of consciousness is what constitutes the dialogue, or, being in this state underlies the dialogical nature of the self. Speech, in this paradigm, is given to being, as there is no awareness that is exempt from speech. Reality bursts open through this, as if the petals of a lotus, existing within this speech even when not expressed in distinct forms. BhartPhari uses a metaphor of peacock egg to describe this latency, as all the colours of a peacock are latent in the yolk, although indistinguishable. In our context, this selfrevelation of Śiva or reflexivity of consciousness or the inward-seeing of speech explains both the ontological process where consciousness materialises itself or finds its externality, and the epistemic process of the very self-awareness dividing itself as the transcendent self-awareness and the externalised modes of consciousness. Āgamic discourse needs to be understood in this light or we will fail to see the philosophical underpinning of mantric evolution. Abhinava reiterates that this speech or awareness manifesting itself is a-temporal: ‘this [speech] is devoid of distinction among all the cognising subjects and is eternally present.’29 It is not just the expression of speech, Abhinava declares, all activities presume this very foundational consciousness and in so doing, the subjects in reality experience this very transcendental consciousness in all their cognitive modes.30

The Āgamic revelation, along these lines, is at first the absolute experiencing itself, its own glory, or pure consciousness being reflexively aware of itself. This self-expression is described in terms of the Lord revealing His essential nature to the goddess and the goddess receiving that revelation from Śiva.31 This is what constitutes the primordial dialogue, the first expression of the truth revealing to itself, assuming both the form of speech and expressing itself as the speaker and hearer of the truth. Since the power of grace is thus the foundation of being and permeates both speech and consciousness found as self-reflexive, it is permeating all beings, or in other words, the power ofŚiva in the form of anugraha is dormant at the heart of all sentient beings. Or, it is what constitutes the foundational speech, the self-reflexive awareness that manifests in the form of expressed speech.32

A question arises: can this be considered Śruti? as the concept of Śruti underlies the act of hearing. Like touching or tasting, hearing is a sensory mode and in the absence of conceptualisation, there is no hearing. This is because ‘hearing’ here means comprehending something expressed in terms of speech. All that speech expresses are concepts. If the essential revelation itself is ‘heard’, how can Āgamas reveal the non-conceptual, the truth that cannot be conditioned in language and concepts, and is above the mind? Abhinava states:

When manifested herself in the mode of hearing, the goddess [or the reflective mode of awareness {tasyā}] has the autonomy which can be explained as [establishing] connection (anusandhāna) by organizing [sounds] that gives unity to the mass of phonemes that are sequentially manifest in the form of pulsating entities (sva) [heard] in the eardrum. Without this [power to unite discrete phonemes and give coherent meaning], the cognizing subject reacts (vyavaharati) that ‘I do not hear’, even when hearing particular words that have been lost in the buzzing sound.33

Following Abhinava, the transcendent consciousness that is also speech, due to it having all the potential of speech that is yet to be expressed, deified in the form of Parā, is what gives coherence to discrete sounds and constitutes meaning.34 Meaning, accordingly, is the pure consciousness manifest, as it is consciousness that gives rise to sequentiality and meaning to discrete sounds. In essence, there is no dichotomy between the transcendental consciousness and its dyadic manifestation [1] in discrete forms of seeing, tasting, or touching, and also [2] as the phenomenal subject that navigates all these streams of consciousness and gives coherence. Manifestation in manifold forms is thus intrinsic to consciousness.35 This process is also essentially meaning-making.

Hearing, as evident in the above discussion, is not just a mere coming-to-contact with discrete sound but the act of experiencing coherence and understanding meaning. Rather than recognising hearing as being aware of sounds, it needs to be understood as an act of or modification of consciousness that is thus not distinct from it. A passive hearing of sounds is not therefore what constitutes ‘hearing’ in a true sense. Abhinava elaborates upon this concept of hearing by saying that in the madhyamā state of speech, the very self hears and not the ears or other instruments of cognition.36 Ś ruti, along these lines, is similar to self-witnessing awareness. As the common use of ‘seeing’ and ‘hearing’ does not apply at this stage of being self-aware, this needs to be understood as metaphoric.

Kṣemarāja on the revelation of Āgamas

Kṣemarāja’s Uddyota commentary on ST gives valuable insights on Āgamic revelation. While his presentation is essentially an exposition of Abhinava’s philosophy, the commentary is helpful to ground the monistic presentation of Āgamic revelation where the texts are rooted in self-expression, giving the teleology in Āgamic revelation. In this paradigm, speech is given primacy over human agency. According to Kṣemarāja, the dialogue between Śiva and Śakti is the ‘reflection of complete I-awareness’.37 Evident in this description is the sense of completeness in consciousness experiencing itself. He further explains, ‘the auspicious collection of words is of the character of having awareness (parāmarŚa) of this transcendental reality {tat} that is an acronym in the form of a-h, [which captures all the Sanskrit phonemes], that has circumscribed [garbhakṛta¼lit. been pregnant with] the entire world, and is the first sprout of the flow of all the instructions (Śāstra)’.38

Kṣemarāja reaffirms that this is the singular self expressed in dialogue, where the self turns itself into two agents to express and listen to the nature of reality. In this sense, the absolute expresses itself in two distinct forms, one as speech, and the other as hearing that involves two subjects, the narrator and listener. According to Kṣemarāja:

The Lord Bhairava, of the character of pure consciousness, reveals the teachings comprised of question and answer for the grace of the world prior to materializing in the forms of SadāŚiva etc. by assuming the roles of preceptor and disciple. [In this, He] assumes the blissful form of the Lord of Umā who is primary in permeating all the manifestations that rest on Him, and is of the character of Bhairava since He has reentered His [all-encompassing] existence, and [reveals the Āgamas to] the materialized form of the auspicious Umā who has assumed identical characters (tathābhūtā).39

Kṣemarāja reaffirms this Āgamic revelation elsewhere (ST 8.27–32), highlighting its dialogical nature where he makes it explicit that Śiva as a category stands for transcendental consciousness.40 The authoritative texts, along these lines, originate from the transcendental self, and like a stream, they flow through different channels and eventually reach to human subjects. This identifies the source of Āgamas as the transcendent self, since the passage here makes it explicit that the one who reveals the texts cannot be objectified but is of the character of the transcendent perceiver.41 Āgamic texts appear to have a dual purpose: while fulfilling various desires, they all collectively constitute a single meaning, revealing the self-nature and thus liberating the individuals.42 This citation is crucial to understanding opaque passages that are often times cited for their hedonism. First, texts are not supposed to be deciphered in isolation from other relevant texts and collectively, from the rubrics of Āgamas, and next, while assisting in materialising desires, these passages are simultaneously effective in liberating the self.

This discourse on the revelation of Āgamas rests on multiple connections, where, besides the identity of Śiva and Śakti, the self is identified with Śiva, with consciousness, and eventually with transcendent speech. When manifested, it is Śiva’s power of grace (anugraha Śakti) that assumes the form of Āgamas. This can be traced in Kṣemarāja’s writings, as he explains that this is speech itself, in its transcendent form, manifest in the form of ‘seeing’ (paŚyanta) by splitting itself into two as the preceptor and disciple, or the speaker and hearer. PāŚyanta, along these lines, is the state where the Āgamas are revealed. This is also the state of the manifestation of speech, and in order to distinguish the flow of pure wisdom at this state, Kṣemarāja identifies this state as ‘the power of speech in the form of the transcendent and supreme seeing’.43 In his non-dual semiotics, there is no distinction between the expressive words and what has been expressed by these words.44 Along these lines, what the texts reveal through words isŚiva, and while revealing theŚiva nature, these very words are also of theŚiva nature and thus are potent in the form of mantras. This parallels the understanding that the Āgamas reveal the transcendent nature of the Lord as identical to the self.45

One issue needs clarification. While the first expression of speech in the form of Āgama is described as paŚyanta, or the state of speech that assumes twofold forms of expression and what has been expressed, the texts also assign this in the form of nāda, and the state of sound or nāda is possible only in the external form of madhyamā speech. It needs to be understood, however, that the inner form of nāda is not an actual sound, it is just the cause of sound and has the intrinsic potency to manifest as sound and so is called nāda. Āgamas, accordingly, are the expression of paŚyanta, the very self-seeing speech manifest in its pristine form revealing itself. The transcendent Śiva and the supreme speech (parā vāc) are identical. It is due to this intricate relation of the self, the absolute, and speech that Āgamas are considered to be revealing the truth in dialogue. There is another challenge to this non-dual soteriology. It is common knowledge that cognition objectifies entities and entities thus become cognised. Here, cognition plays a role like that of a lamp in manifesting objects. If what has been revealed is the self or Śiva nature, and what is revealing is the awareness found in the modes of direct apprehension or revelation identified as Āgamas, then what is being revealed and what is revealing will be as distinct as the lamp and the objects illuminated by it.46 Relying on Kṣemarāja’s interpretation of ST 4.337–70, this relationship is non-dual and the metaphor of the lamp and the object does not fit. Kṣemarāja cites Vijñānabhairava (21) in this context, the verse that explains that through the glow of a lamp or through the rays of the sun, the location of the lamp or the sun is cognised. Rather than revealing external objects, the example given here is that of manifesting the source. And, what we call the lamp is but the light and the rays are the very sun itself, emanating as particles. As the text maintains, ‘there is no entity without qualities and no quality without an entity’.47 It is through aspects that an entity is known, whether it is in direct apprehension or by inferential knowledge. When Śiva is recognised through Āgamas, he is in fact exposed through his own aspects. This epistemology rests on the assumption that consciousness found in the form of concepts, and flowing through various modes of pramāṇa, or the means through which entities are cognised, are but the aspects of the very self or consciousness-in-itself. While in other modes of pramāṇa consciousness, the transcendental non-objectified consciousness is found divided as cognising and cognised, with externality being superimposed upon what is cognised, but in the case of Āgamas, the object of cognition is the very self. Nonetheless, the dyadic relation is intact, with two subjects asking and responding to questions when in Āgamic revelation. This establishes also the relationship between the bestower and receiver of grace.48

A passage from Svacchanda is relevant in this context: ‘Āgama is the very wisdom [found in] infinite categories of instructions’ (ST 4.340cd). What is intriguing, however, is the term jñāna, translated here as ‘wisdom’ or ‘realization’: it is used as synonymous to the cognitive modes as well as transcendental consciousness. Upon the question, what is Āgama? Kṣemarāja explains that it is the ‘realization’ (jñāna) of the absolute reality {tat} or the expression of the powers of the transcendent [reality, Śiva].49 An often-cited passage that defines Āgama comes in this sequence:

ā samantād gamayaty abhedena vimṛŚati pārameŚa: svarūpam iti kṛtvā paraŚaktir

evāgamas tatpratipādakas tu Śabdasandarbhas tadupāyatvāt Śāstrasya j

Uddyota in ST 4.340.

Āgama is identical to (eva), the supreme power that leads [the subject to], or reflexively cognizes the transcendental consciousness (`Śvara) as the very form of the self, [following the etymology] that it leads [subjects] from all directions [to the supreme Śiva]. The assembly of words or the Ś āstra establishes this [reality] because it is the means to [reveal] it.

Āgamic revelation, along these lines, is the Śāktopāya or the means to reveal the supreme reality identical to the very self by means of contemplation, or the process by which the reality is manifest in sequence.50 Since Āgamas are considered not just the means but the very body of Śakti, the dialogical nature in Āgamas is intact and the recognition by means of these texts is also thus dialogical. The realisation of the self as a unitary experience comprised of illuminating prakāŚa and reflexive vimarŚa aspects is thus embedded to the very notion of Āgama. Therefore to say that Āgamas are dialogical is not just to maintain that the texts are in the form of question and answer but also to say that the intrinsic mode of consciousness that provides a platform for other cognitive modes is intrinsically dialogical. This is the self expressing itself, the self-intimating act of consciousness.

What about extrinsic validation? Can this self-enfolding/unfolding reflexive consciousness qua Śiva be questioned, or be established or even rejected, by the cognitive modes that rest on externality, are subject to physicality, and are manifest in the form of perception or inference? One line from Abhinavagupta responds to this question directly:

The manifold [lit. web of] means do not reveal Śiva [or the absolute]. Can a jar reveal [the sun] with thousands of rays?51

The Āgamas, in this light, are a sequential and dialogical manifestation of the absolute that is self-revealing and dialogical in nature. All modes of cognition presuppose this self-awareness, and therefore, they cannot confirm or reject this foundational being, the essential self, consciousness-in-itself.

Jayaratha on Āgamic revelation

Jayaratha’s Viveka commentary upon Tantrāloka (T?) reiterates the seminal concept of Abhinava that has been elaborated upon by Kṣemarāja. In his terms, the revelation of the instructional texts assumes the following sequence:

In this transcendental speech of the character of awareness which is essentially reflexive (parāmarŚa), all the instructional texts (Śāstras) manifest in the form of transcendental awareness because it is saturated with all the entities that exist. While this is the case {sat}, [the Āgamas] manifest inside [the heart] in the form of introverted reflexive awareness (pratyavamarŚa) of the character of aham (I-am), because in this paŚyanta [or the speech of the state of self-seeing, the speech has] the character of having no distinction in the form of signified and signifier. Due to this reason, the objects that are signified and are being cognized by the subject of the character of reflexive awareness manifest being circumscribed by aham (I-ness). After that, this very [speech] manifests at the level of madhyamā inside [the heart] in the form of signifier and signified that is distinct from the emergence of the cognizing subject and [the objects that are being] cognized. In this [very speech of the level of madhyamā], the supreme Lord, by assuming the status of the Lord SadāŚiva by adopting the sequence (sūtra) of the five faces comprised of pure consciousness, bliss, desire, cognition, and action, manifests the entire instructions comprised of five transmissions corresponding to the five faces which are filled with manifoldness in such and so distinctive forms characterized by the states of identity, identity in distinction, and distinction.52

Following this understanding, the Āgamas that are revealed in the form of expressed speech (vaikhara) are the transcribed texts recording this primordial dialogue. All the Trika philosophers have consistently maintained that Āgamic revelation is at the foundation of speech and is dormant in the transcendent speech that is identical to consciousness. The first expression of this self or consciousness or Śiva is an extension of its inherent power of grace that gives rise to paŚyanta or self-seeing speech. This very speech transforms into words as the state evolves into madhyamā. In other words, the first dialogue is not in the manifest words but in a mutual experience of the inter-penetration of prakāŚa and vimarŚa. What is lost in translation, as the speech evolves from this inner dialogue to external expression, is the oneness of illumination and reflexivity as two modes of consciousness. When grasped in madhyamā or vaikhara levels, the words that signify and the entities that are signified are very distinct. A single Āgama of aham or the first expression of complete I-awareness that encompasses all that exists thus manifests in the form of multiple Āgamas through the distinctive faces of Śiva. The essence of the texts is experience and its essence is the self. In the absence of this awareness, Āgamas remain unknown. Distinctions in teachings found in Āgamas only reflect distinction in the subjects receiving instructions, as this is after all a single truth revealed in different ways.53 Texts are thus the means to rediscover the self and not to find it, as what has been encoded in texts is the primordial dialogue of the self with itself. Although there lies no distinction between the revelation of the truth found in the Vedas and the Āgamas, the stress given in Āgamic literature on the dialogical nature of revelation remains unique, and this dialogical nature is not just a textual structure, but, as has been outlined, reveals the structures of consciousness, or the self at its most intrinsic level.54


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1 vande Śan˙ karacaitanya: prakaba: parabhairavam j rāmānandātapa: moharajanadalanaprabhum jj 1 jj habhāt sarvārthanirdeŚasamartha: vrajavallabham j vande bodhāmṛtodrekapūrṇendu: mantravigraham jj 2 jj [I bow to Śan˙ kara Caitanya, the supreme Bhairava in manifest form; to the brilliant sun Rāmānanda who is capable of smashing the darkness of delusion; and to Vraja Vallabha whose body is comprised of mantras, who is like the full moon saturated with the nectar of wisdom, and who is capable of instructing all there is to know in a single moment].

2 The term Āgama in this article refers to three sets of texts: Śaivāgamas (ten texts), Raudrāgamas (eighteen texts), and Bhairavāgamas (sixty-four texts). Although not a subject of discussion in this article, Vaiṣṇava Āgamas primarily follow the same assumptions that have been outlined here. The authoritative texts are addressed in the Āgamic tradition by terms such as Tantra, Ś āstra, or Ś ruti, depending upon the context.

3 This often-cited passage from the Vedic literature comes in Ogveda (–16); Vājasaneyi Sa:hitā (31.1–6), Sāmaveda Sa:hitā (6.4); Atharvaveda Sa:hitā (19.6); and the Taittiraya ?raṇyaka (3.12,13).

4 yasya niḥŚvasita: vedā yo vedebhyo ’khila: jagat j nirmame tam aha: vande vidyātarthamaheŚvaram jj Sāyaṇa in the Upodghāta of Ogvedabhāṣya, benedictory verse 2.

5 For discussion, see Holdrege 1996, p.228.

6 For discussion, see Clooney 1987; Myers 2001, pp.91–123.

7 For discussion, see Rambachan 1991; Murti 1959.

8 Ten Śaiva and eighteen Raudra Āgamas are collectively identified as Siddhānta Āgamas.

9 tajjñana: dvirūpa: Śabdarūpam avabodharūpañ ca j tad avabodharūpa: Śabdarūpārūnham artheṣu pravartate j Sa 1.2.

10 yad vā Śivāj jñāna: pravartata iti jñāna: Śaktiḥ j sā ca dvirūpā avabodharūpā dakṣārūpā ca j Sa 1.2.

11 yadā pāŚānā: vinivPttim ātmanaŚ ca Śivatvavyakti: ca karoti tadā dakṣyety ucyate, tatrāpi jñānarūpatā: na jahātati tenobhayarūpāpi jñānam ity uktā j Sa 1.2.

12 sā cecchā jñānenāvyāpteti j icchāpi ŚivaŚaktir eva j sā ca dānakṣapaṇalakṣaṇatvād dakṣāntaḥpātinati bodharūpatvāparityāgāc ca jñānam ity anena vyāpyata eveti j Sa 1.2.

13 tat tu jñānam eka: ŚivaŚakter ekatvaŚruteḥ j . . . tasmāj jñānasya kena bhedenānekatva: gacchati j parāpareṇa bhedena j Sa 1.3.

14 caitanya: jñānakartPtvarūpa: balam ātmanaḥ j Sa 1.6.

15 For discussion, see Dviveda 19 83, pp.11 2–13 .

16 jñāyanta anena vidyācaryākriyāyogā iti jñāna: Śāstram j MPgendratantra (1.1), VPtti thereon (p. 5, lines 11 –12 ).

17 See Sūkṣmāgama, Chapters 1–2.

18 This list rests on Kāmikāgama. Cited in Dviveda 19 83, p.11 3.

19 See Dviveda 19 83, pp.12 0–21 for discussion.

20 eva: cānugrahaŚaktiḥ satata: sarvapramātPṣu anastamitaiveti saiṣa ṣanardhaŚāstraikaprāṇ aḥ para eva sambandhaḥ j atrānuttare sa:bandhāntarāṇā: mahadantarāladivydivyā danām uktopadeŚena paraikamayatvāt j ParātraŚikāvivaraṇa, p. 4, lines 23 –25 .

21 I am using the term Trika to refer to the philosophical system that relies on sixtyfour Bhairava Āgamas and was a development of Kashmiri thinking pioneered by Somānanda and Vasugupta and carried on by Abhinava, Kṣemarāja, Jayaratha, etc.

22 For an analysis of vimarŚa, see Skora

20 07.

23 . . . prakāŚalakṣaṇaḥ svātmā . . . saiva hy aha:bhāvātmā vimarŚo . . . prakāŚarūpatā jñāna: tatraiva svātantryātmā vimarŚaḥ kriyā vimarŚaŚ cāntaḥkṛtaprakāŚa iti vimarŚa eva parāvasthāyā: jñānakriye . . . sarvathā tu vimarŚa eva jñānam . . . j `Śvarapratyabhijn ˜āvimarŚina (`P 1.8.

11 , p. 423 ).

24 . . . prakāŚasyānapahnavanayatvāt j `ŚvarapratyabhijñāvimarŚina I.1.1 (p. 24 ). prakāŚa eva hi sa:vidā: paramārthaḥ j `Śvarapratyabhijñā-VivPtti-VimarŚina II, 433 , line 3.

25 prakāŚasvātantryam iha bodhasa:vedanādiŚabdavācyam j `Śvarapratyabhijñā-VivPtti- VimarŚina I, 82, line 12 .

26 prakāŚaŚ ca vimarŚaŚūnyo na bhavati j `Śvarapratyabhijñā-VivPtti-vimarŚina I, p. 5, line 24 .

27 parameŚvaraḥ pañcakṛtyamayaḥ satata: anugrahamayyā parārūpāyā Śaktyā ākrānto vastuto’nugrahaikā tmaiva na hi Śaktiḥ Śivād bhedam āmarŚayet j ParātraŚikā Vivaraṇa in verse 1.

28 sā ca Śaktiḥ lokānugrahavimarŚamaya prathamataḥ parāmarŚamayyā paŚyantyāsūtrayiṣyamāṇā- nantaŚaktiŚatāvibhinnā prathamatara: paramahāmantramayyām adeŚakālakalitā yā: sa:vidi nirū-nhā tāvat paŚyantyudbhaviṣyaduktipratyuktyavibhāgenaiva vartate j ParātraŚikā Vivaraṇa in verse 1.

29 saiva ca sakalapramātPsa:vidadvayamaya satatam eva vartamānarūpā j ParātraŚikā Vivaraṇa in verse 1.

30 sarvakālam eva yatkiñcitkurvāṇa enā m eva sa:vidam anupraveŚya sarvavyavahārabhā jana: bhavati, atas tām eva vastuto vimṛŚati j ParātraŚikā Vivaraṇa in verse 1.

31 .. .tāvad evokta: bhavati deva uvāca itij evam eva purastād bhairava uvāca iti mantavyam j ParātraŚikā Vivaraṇa in verse 1.

32 eva: cānugrahaŚaktiḥ satata: sarvapramātPṣv anastamitaiva iti j ParātraŚikā Vivaraṇa in verse 1.

33 Śravaṇākhyayā sattayā tiṣbhanta tasyāḥ Śravaṇasa:pubasphubakramikasvaspandamayavarnarā Śi-niṣbham āikātmyāpādanarūpasan˙ kalanānusandhānākhy: svātantryam j tena hi vinā kalakalalana-ŚabdaviŚeṣa: ŚPṇvann api na ŚPṇomati vyavaharati pramātā j ParātraŚikā Vivaraṇa in verse 4.

34 san˙ kalana: ca bhagavata saiva parā parameŚvara karoti j ParātraŚikā Vivaraṇa in verse 4.

35 vastuto hi ŚPṇoti paŚyati vakti gPhṇātatyādi bhagavatyā eva rūpam j ParātraŚikā Vivaraṇa in verse 4.

36 atra hi madhyamāpada ātmaiva sa:ŚPṇute nāparaḥ j ParātraŚikā Vivaraṇa in verse 4.

37 deva vacanam abravat j Svacchandatantra 1.4bj . . . vacanam abravat pūrṇāhantātmanā parāmṛŚat j Uddyota on Svacchandatantra 1.4.

38 tatparāmarŚa eva hy akārahakārapratyāhārātmā garbhakṛtāŚeṣaviŚvasamagraŚāstraprasaraprathamā n˙ kurarūpo bhagavān ŚabdarāŚiḥ j Uddyota on ST 1.4.

39 cidātmaiva ca bhagavān bhairavaḥ sadāŚivādimūrtigrahaṇapūrva: svādhāraprapañcavyā ptipradhānabhūtam umāpatirūpa: svasattānupraveŚāt bhairavātmakam eva muditam āsthāya tathābhūtām eva ca umābhabbārikāmūrti: guruŚiṣyabhūmikāgrahaṇena Śāstra: vacanaprativacanarūpa: lokānugrahaṇārtha: prathayati j Uddyota in ST 1.4. This concept is found in seminal form in Svacchanda: adPṣbavigrahāyāta: Śivāt paramakāraṇāt jj 27 jj dhvanirūpa: susūkṣma: tu suŚuddha: suprabhānvitam j ST 8.27 cd–28 ab. Following Svacchandatantra, this wisdom is revealed by AnāŚritaŚiva, the deity visualized in five faces, corresponding to the five seminal mantras (ST 8. 28 –29 ). ST also outlines that this gnosis flows from Śiva [SadāŚiva] to `Śvara, and `Śvara circulates this to the beings in the lower strata. The gnosis that has flowed to the human level was revealed by `Śvara to Śrakaṇbha (ST 8.34 ).

40 Śivāt paramādvayaprathātmakaŚreyorūpāt . . . Uddyota in ST 8.27 .

41 . . . adPṣbaḥ paradraṣbrekarūpo vigrahaḥ svarūpa: yasya tasmāt j Uddyota in ST 8.27 .

42 . . . tattadanugrāhyāŚayānusāreṇa bhinnabhinnaphalāny api Śāstrāṇi vastuto vākyaikavkyatayā paripūrṇābhinnavimarŚasphārāṇy āsūtritasamastabhedābhedaprapañcāni . . . Uddyota in ST 8.30 .

43 . . . paramamahāpaŚyantavākŚakti . . . Uddyota in ST 3.31 –2.

44 vācyavācakayor abhedād . . . Uddyota on ST 1.33 .

45 ā samantād gamayaty abhedena vimṛŚati pārameŚa: svarūpam ity āgamaḥ j

46 This metaphor of lamp and the objects revealed is properly analyzed in ST 4.33 6– 34 0.

47 na guṇena vinā tattva: na tattvena vinā guṇaḥ jj ST 4.33 8cd.

48 artha praṣbā pratyartha sa:Śayacchedako vaktā tayor bhāvo ’nugrāhyānugrāhakatvātmā tena yaḥ pravPtta āgamas tenāpi Śabdanarūpeṇa niyataŚaktidvārakam eva tat tattva: labhyate j Uddyota in ST 4.33 9–34 0.

49 āgamas tajjñāna: paraŚaktisphārarūpam . . . Uddyota in ST 4.34 0.

50 For discussion on Śākta upāya, see Lidke 20 05, 14 3–80; Sen Sharma 19 90, pp.105–56; Flood 19 93, pp.45–56; Mishra 19 93, pp.329 –54; Dyczkowski 19 87, pp.16 3–218 .

51 upāyajāla: na Śiva: prakāŚayed j ghabena ki: bhāti sahasradadhitiḥ jj Tantrasāra, ?hnika 2 (p. 9).

52 iha khalu paraparāmarŚasārabodhātmikāyā: parasyā: vāci sarvabhāvanirbharatvāt sarva: Śāstra: parabodhātmakatayaivojjPmbhamāṇa: sat paŚyantadaāyā: vācyavācakā vibhāgasvabhāva-tvenāsādhāraṇatayāha:pratyavamarŚātmā antar udeti, ata eva hi tatra pratyavamarŚakena pramātrā parāmṛŚyamāno vācyo ’rtho ’hantācchādita eva sphurati j tad anu tad eva madhyamā-bhūmikāyām antar eva vedyavedakaprapañcodayād bhinna vācyavācakasvabhāvatayollasati j T?V 1.18 .

53 For a detailed analysis of the revelation of Śaiva, Raudra, and Bhairava Āgamas, see T?V 1.18 .

54 The dialogical revelation of the absolute reality, as has been explained in Trika literature, is a combined product of the early Āgamas, the Vedic literature (particularly Mamā:sā understanding of mantras and the Advaita understanding of the Upaniṣadic revelation), and the linguistic philosophy of BhartPhari. I am not able to address these nuances in this article, as this would initiate a much wider conversation.

The paper was first published in The Journal of Hindu Studies 2014;7:6–24 and has been republished with author’s permission.

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