Practice in Parabhairavayoga
I, Guru Gabriel Pradīpaka, start now, with the indispensable help of the Supreme Power contacted in samādhi, my long dissertation about Abhyāsa (Practice) in my venerable Parabhairavayoga. I dedicate my full work to the lotus feet of the adorable Paramaśiva who, though invisible to profane eyes, shines as the entire universe. May this Glorious Lord, who is at the beginning and at the end of all, be pleased with this slight effort I am about to make for uplifting the whole humankind!
Besieged by His unfathomable ignorance, most people live without ever recognizing that their own Self is none other than Paramaśiva Himself. To take them out of their dark misery, I already elevated them by kindling the torch called Parabhairavayogasaṁsthāpanapracodanam, which consists of 92 aphorisms containing the core teachings of Parabhairavayoga. Not completely pleased with that, I intensified the fire of such a torch by adding a short commentary known as Parabhairavayogasaṁsthāpanapracodanalaghuvṛttiḥ for their darkness to be totally eliminated. Anyway, in order to make sure that even the least trace of ignorance will not remain in them, I am now kindling the luminous torch of Abhyāsa or Practice!
I will explain the complex topic called ‘Practice’ in Parabhairavayoga in this way:
(1) The main foundation lies in the Trika’s upāya-s (methods pertaining to Trika system) but I will add elaborate practical explanations from my own personal experience with these upāya-s.
(2) I will add some practices pertaining to my direct lineage coming from Svāmī Muktānanda to spice up the whole thing.
So, this is ‘Practice’ (abhyāsa) according to Parabhairavayoga which is mainly based on Trika’s methods but contains some additional practices as well as particular approaches derived from my own sādhanā or spiritual path.
Though most things will be based on scriptural teachings, others, coming directly from my own personal experience based on many years of vigorous efforts and special instructions secretly passed on to me by my teachers and even by the Lord Himself might make a distracted scholar confused as for the exact origin of all that knowledge. In this way, many of such statements could easily look like oddities due to the lack of official support by any well-known scripture. Anyway, nobody will be able to refute them because of absence of the same exact experience. By keeping this in mind, the readers should read and assimilate all my teachings with great care.
May all this little effort I am about to make be for the welfare of all the serious aspirants desirous to attain the Highest Goal in life!
Sources of divine Grace
According to Trika philosophy (also known as ‘Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir’), full spiritual Liberation from bondage is only achieved with the assistance of divine Grace and NOT through efforts. This must be kept in mind always or nobody will understand why this is like this or like that.
There are only three sources of divine Grace:
- Śiva (everybody’s Self)
- Śiva’s scriptures (viz. 64 Bhairavāgama-s such as Mālinīvijayatantra, Svacchandatantra and so forth, plus Śivasūtra-s)
- Human Guru (the cosmic Grace-bestowing Principle appearing in a human form)
And there are only four speech levels:
Parāvāk (Supreme Speech), Paśyantī (the seer), Madhyamā (the middle one) and Vaikharī (common speech).
- Human Guru constantly dwells in Madhyamā, where there is distinction between ‘the word denoting an object (e.g. the word ‘apple’)’ and ‘the object itself (e.g. an apple)’ but only on the mental level. Anyway, he can move to Vaikharī or the stage of common speech associated with the physical tongue (where ‘the word denoting an object’ and ‘the object itself’ are totally different from each other not only on the mental level but also on the physical one) in order to teach disciples by means of human languages. Human Guru is the source of divine Grace which is easiest to be understood by all the spiritual aspirants.
- Śiva’s scriptures constantly reside in Paśyantī level, where there is no distinction between ‘the word denoting an object’ and ‘the object itself’, i.e. both words and their objects form one Reality. Nevertheless, these scriptures go all the way down to Vaikharī, where they are read on a physical level (i.e. like a book), but more often than not, misinterpreted by all the spiritual aspirants.
- Śiva Himself permanently dwells in Parāvāk (the Supreme Speech), which is beyond utterance (which is beyond uttered sound), i.e. He is beyond the whole group of letters. Though He can move down to Vaikharī speech, His instructions are misunderstood by the vast majority of spiritual aspirants as they still insist on thinking like common human beings think.
In this way, to understand Śiva, the Śiva’s scriptures are indispensable. And to understand these scriptures, the help which comes from the human Guru is extremely necessary too. This triad works like this for the most part, except in the case of very advanced aspirants who are capable of directly understanding Śiva (their own Self) and of quickly getting Liberation due to their rare capacity. But this kind of very elevated disciples is mostly absent on this level of bondage in which most aspirants exist.
Process of Liberation in Parabhairavayoga
The primordial ignorance or akhyāti is also known as Āṇavamala (impurity related to lack of Fullness) in Trika philosophy. Parabhairavayoga, being mostly based on Trika, also postulates that Liberation is freedom from that Āṇavamala, i.e. it is attainment of Fullness. This is succinctly delineated in the aphorism 15 of my Parabhairavayogasaṁsthāpanapracodanam (and respective short commentary) and more expansively defined in the aphorism 36 of the same scripture:
In Parabhairavayoga (parabhairavayoge), the final (uttama) Goal (arthaḥ) (is) realization (upalabdhiḥ) of one’s own inherent unity with Him (sva-tad-nisarga-ekatvasya).
In Parabhairavayoga, the final Goal (is) realization of one’s own inherent unity with Him.
परभैरवयोगे मद्योगे स्वतन्निसर्गैकत्वस्य स्वस्य तदकृत्रिमैक्यस्योपलब्धिर्ग्रहणमुत्तमार्थोऽवसानभूमिः। यः खलु वक्ष्यमाणाणवमलरूपात्मन्यस्ताख्यात्याच्छादितः परमशिवसहजाभेदोऽयं परभैरवयोगपरमार्थाधिगमार्थाय निःशेषेण प्रकाशितव्यः॥१५॥
Parabhairavayoge madyoge svatannisargaikatvasya svasya tadakṛtrimaikyasyopalabdhirgrahaṇamuttamārtho’vasānabhūmiḥ| Yaḥ khalu vakṣyamāṇāṇavamalarūpātmanyastākhyātyācchāditaḥ paramaśivasahajābhedo’yaṁ parabhairavayogaparamārthādhigamārthāya niḥśeṣeṇa prakāśitavyaḥ||15||
In Parabhairavayoga (parabhairavayoge) —in my Yoga (mad-yoge)—, the final (uttama) Goal (arthaḥ), i.e. the concluding Stage (avasāna-bhūmiḥ), (is) realization (upalabdhiḥ) of one’s own inherent unity with Him (sva-tad-nisarga-ekatvasya), viz. perception (grahaṇam) of one’s own natural oneness with Him (svasya tad-akṛtrima-aikyasya). This (ayam) innate (sahaja) unity (abhedaḥ) with Paramaśiva (parama-śiva), which (yaḥ) is certainly covered (khalu… ācchāditaḥ) by self-imposed (ātma-nyasta) primordial ignorance (akhyāti) in the form of (rūpa) Āṇavamala (āṇava-mala) to be described subsequently (vakṣyamāṇa), must be completely revealed (niḥśeṣeṇa prakāśitavyaḥ) so as to (arthāya) attain (adhigama) the supreme (parama) Goal (artha) in Parabhairavayoga (parabhairavayoga)||15||
In Parabhairavayoga —in my Yoga—, the final Goal, i.e. the concluding Stage, (is) realization of one’s own inherent unity with Him, viz. perception of one’s own natural oneness with Him. This innate unity with Paramaśiva, which is certainly covered by self-imposed primordial ignorance in the form of Āṇavamala to be described subsequently, must be completely revealed so as to attain the supreme Goal in Parabhairavayoga.
तत्प्रकाशत्यागः-निषेधो नरस्य निजाशुद्धिरूपाणवमलनामधेयः॥३६॥
Tatprakāśatyāgaḥ-niṣedho narasya nijāśuddhirūpāṇavamalanāmadheyaḥ||36||
The act of renouncing/denying (tyāgaḥ-niṣedhaḥ) His (tad) Light (prakāśa) is called (nāmadheyaḥ) Āṇavamala (āṇava-mala) or (rūpa) the primordial impurity (nija-aśuddhiḥ) of a limited individual (narasya).
The act of renouncing/denying His Light is called Āṇavamala or the primordial impurity of a limited individual.
तत्प्रकाशस्य तदालोकस्य त्यागः-निषेधो नरस्याणोर्निजाशुद्धिरूपाणवमलनामधेयः। यदा महेश्वरोऽशेषपारिमित्यमुत्पदायितुं व्यवस्यति तदा सर्वशक्त्यात्मकस्वस्वभावावरणे तिरोधानकृत्ये सा प्रथमगतिर्या स्वेच्छाशक्तेर्महासङ्कोचमात्रत्वेन भासमाना यन् मायातत्त्वोपरि सद्विद्यातत्त्वाधश्च तस्य मायाशक्तिकृतमहामायाहृदये स्वपूर्णत्वबृहदाकुञ्चनत्वेन वक्ष्यमाणपौरुषबौद्धाज्ञानरूपाणवमलाख्यार्थात्प्रकाशोपेतानां स्वातन्त्र्यहीनानामपरामहामायास्थानां विज्ञानाकलनामनां प्रमातॄणां च निखिलेन मायाशून्यरूपकारणशरीरमयानां प्रलयाकलनामधेयानां प्रमातॄणां चाखिलेन सूक्ष्मस्थूलशरीरमयानां सकलाभिधानानां प्रमातॄणां च प्रपञ्चे हेतुरेवाणवमलमेतद्भवति॥३६॥
Tatprakāśasya tadālokasya tyāgaḥ-niṣedho narasyāṇornijāśuddhirūpāṇavamalanāmadheyaḥ| Yadā maheśvaro’śeṣapārimityamutpadāyituṁ vyavasyati tadā sarvaśaktyātmakasvasvabhāvāvaraṇe tirodhānakṛtye sā prathamagatiryā svecchāśaktermahāsaṅkocamātratvena bhāsamānā yan māyātattvopari sadvidyātattvādhaśca tasya māyāśaktikṛtamahāmāyāhṛdaye svapūrṇatvabṛhadākuñcanatvena vakṣyamāṇapauruṣabauddhājñānarūpāṇavamalākhyārthātprakāśopetānāṁ svātantryahīnānāmaparāmahāmāyāsthānāṁ vijñānākalanāmanāṁ pramātṝṇāṁ ca nikhilena māyāśūnyarūpakāraṇaśarīramayānāṁ pralayākalanāmadheyānāṁ pramātṝṇāṁ cākhilena sūkṣmasthūlaśarīramayānāṁ sakalābhidhānānāṁ pramātṝṇāṁ ca prapañce heturevāṇavamalametadbhavati||36||
The act of renouncing/denying (tyāgaḥ-niṣedhaḥ) His (tad… tad) Light or Splendor (prakāśasya… ālokasya) is called (nāmadheyaḥ) Āṇavamala (āṇava-mala) or (rūpa) the primordial impurity (nija-aśuddhiḥ) of a limited individual (narasya) —of an atomic self (aṇoḥ)—. When (yadā) the Great Lord (mahā-īśvaraḥ) decides (vyavasyati) to bring about (utpadāyitum) full limitation (aśeṣa-pārimityam), then (tadā) the first movement (sā prathama-gatiḥ) in the act of tirodhāna (tirodhāna-kṛtye) —i.e. in the act of concealing (āvaraṇe) His own (sva) essential nature (sva-bhāva) which consists of (ātmaka) all (sarva) the powers (śakti)—, that (yā) appears (bhāsamānā) merely as (mātratvena) a great (mahā) contraction (saṅkoca) of His (sva) Power of Will (icchā-śakteḥ), namely (yad), (that appears) as a massive contraction (bṛhat-ākuñcanatvena) of His (sva) Fullness (pūrṇatva) in the core (hṛdaye) of Mahāmāyā (mahā-māyā) manufactured (kṛta) by His Māyāśakti (tasya māyā-śakti) —above (upari) the Māyā category (māyā-tattva) and (ca) below (adhas) the Sadvidyā category (sadvidyā-tattva)—, is called (ākhyā) Āṇavamala (āṇava-mala) with its two aspects of pauruṣājñāna and bauddhājñāna (pauruṣa-bauddha-ajñāna-rūpa) —which –the two aspects– will be spoken about later (vakṣyamāṇa)—; in other words (arthāt), this (etad) Āṇavamala (āṇava-malam) is (bhavati) indeed the cause (hetuḥ eva) of the manifestation (prapañce) of the experients/knowers (pramātṝṇām… pramātṝṇām… pramātṝṇām) called (nāmanām… nāmadheyānām… abhidhānānām) Vijñānākala-s (vijñāna-akala) —dwelling in (sthānām) the lower portion of Mahāmāyā (aparā-mahāmāyā), endowed with (upetānām) Light –Śiva– (prakāśa) (but) deprived of (hīnānām) Absolute Freedom –Śakti– (svātantrya)—, Pralayākala-s (pralaya-akala) —completely (nikhilena) identified with (mayānām) the causal body (kāraṇa-śarīra) in the form of (rūpa) Māyā’s void (māyā-śūnya)— and (ca… ca… ca) Sakala-s (sakala) —totally (akhilena) identified with (mayānām) the subtle (sūkṣma) (and) gross (sthūla) bodies (śarīra)—||36||
The act of renouncing/denying His Light or Splendor is called Āṇavamala or the primordial impurity of a limited individual —of an atomic self—. When the Great Lord decides to bring about full limitation, then the first movement in the act of tirodhāna —i.e. in the act of concealing His own essential nature which consists of all the powers—, that appears merely as a great contraction of His Power of Will, namely, (that appears) as a massive contraction of His Fullness in the core of Mahāmāyā manufactured by His Māyāśakti —above the Māyā category and below the Sadvidyā category—, is called Āṇavamala with its two aspects of pauruṣājñāna and bauddhājñāna —which –the two aspects– will be spoken about later—; in other words, this Āṇavamala is indeed the cause of the manifestation of the experients/knowers called Vijñānākala-s —dwelling in the lower portion of Mahāmāyā, endowed with Light –Śiva– (but) deprived of Absolute Freedom –Śakti–—, Pralayākala-s —completely identified with the causal body in the form of Māyā’s void— and Sakala-s —totally identified with the subtle (and) gross bodies.
Now, I had to use the term ‘primordial ignorance’ to define this mysterious Āṇavamala, but as a matter of fact there is no ignorance in the sense of absence of Knowledge. NO, there is only lack of Fullness, something which is related to Will and not to Knowledge. Simply an individual cannot feel Full as Śiva Himself. And because he cannot feel fully satisfied with himself, he will try to search for satisfaction somewhere else in this vast universe. In this manner, his transmigration begins, from one body to another body, from one desire to another desire, from one useless thought to another useless thought, etc. And this is called Saṁsāra or Transmigration then. To completely destroy it, Āṇavamala must be removed. Anyway, according to my own personal experience, this removal is just ‘opening’ and not a real destruction. To make this clearer, first, in an fully ignorant person who constantly transmigrates in the above-mentioned way, Āṇavamala is rigid almost the whole time. In other words, that person could have once or maybe two times during his entire life a glimpse of his Śiva’s nature, which is concealed by Āṇavamala, as it were. And next we have the disciples in a spiritual path (e.g. in Parabhairavayoga). In their case, Āṇavamala is more flexible and they have more often some glimpses of their inherent Śivahood appearing as different degrees of Bliss and Freedom. And finally, in a liberated Yogī who realized his complete unity with Śiva, Āṇavamala is totally flexible and controlled at will by such an enlightened person, i.e. he can enjoy different degrees of Bliss and Freedom according to his Will at different moments. For example, when he is alone, he will unleash the experience of His Bliss and Freedom to a great extent, but when he is talking with people, since such a massive Bliss and Freedom would prevent him from fluently speaking (like a person having an orgasm and at the same time having to seriously speak about something), he will still unleash Bliss and Freedom but in a smaller degree. Or else, he can put full Āṇavamala back again and he will look Bliss-less like a common person. In this manner, he can cheat other people by looking like another ignorant person in bondage. All this is very mysterious always because He is very mysterious.
All in all, Āṇavamala behaves like a kind of dam, the whole time controlling the magnitude of Bliss and Freedom descending from Śiva to lower levels of existence. This must be fully understood or you will never understand why you have experiences of His Bliss and Freedom without yet being a liberated person. Āṇavamala is always flexible with disciples to the extent of their advance in the so-called spiritual path. I said ‘so-called’ because path implies distance, but there is no distance between you and the Mighty Śiva as you are already Him. This is always difficult to understand due to His powerful Māyā (which is the outcome of Āṇavamala or denial of His Light) such as I explained in the aphorism 37 of Parabhairavayogasaṁsthāpanapracodanam (and respective short commentary):
एतन्निषेधजन्य उद्भूतान्धकारो मायाख्यः॥३७॥
Etanniṣedhajanya udbhūtāndhakāro māyākhyaḥ||37||
The resulting (udbhūta) darkness (andhakāraḥ) being brought about (janyaḥ) by this denial (etad-niṣedha) is known as (ākhyaḥ) Māyā (māyā).
The resulting darkness being brought about by this denial is known as Māyā.
एतन्निषेधजन्य एतत्प्रत्याख्यानप्रभव उद्भूतान्धकारो मायाख्य उद्भूततिमिरं मायानाम। मायेयं महेश्वरस्वभावमावृण्वतीवानन्तसर्वज्ञशिवं सततं संशयमयेन प्रतिपदं भ्रान्ताकुलितचेतनेन वराकनरेण परिणामं गमयति यथाक्रमं भेदप्रथाशुभाशुभकर्मविषयपरिमितकर्तृत्वात्मकाभ्यां मायीयकार्ममलनामधेयाभ्यां द्व्यधिकमलाभ्यां च यथाक्रमं क्रियाज्ञानेच्छानन्दचिच्छक्तिघटिततत्पञ्चमुख्यशक्तिगणसङ्कुचितरूपैः कलाविद्यारागकालनियत्यभिधानैः पञ्चकञ्चुकैश्चोपकृता॥३७॥
Etanniṣedhajanya etatpratyākhyānaprabhava udbhūtāndhakāro māyākhya udbhūtatimiraṁ māyānāma| Māyeyaṁ maheśvarasvabhāvamāvṛṇvatīvānantasarvajñaśivaṁ satataṁ saṁśayamayena pratipadaṁ bhrāntākulitacetanena varākanareṇa pariṇāmaṁ gamayati yathākramaṁ bhedaprathāśubhāśubhakarmaviṣayaparimitakartṛtvātmakābhyāṁ māyīyakārmamalanāmadheyābhyāṁ dvyadhikamalābhyāṁ ca yathākramaṁ kriyājñānecchānandacicchaktighaṭitatatpañcamukhyaśaktigaṇasaṅkucitarūpaiḥ kalāvidyārāgakālaniyatyabhidhānaiḥ pañcakañcukaiścopakṛtā||37||
The resulting (udbhūta… udbhūta) darkness (andhakāraḥ… timiram) being brought about or generated (janyaḥ… prabhavaḥ) by this denial (etad-niṣedha… etad-pratyākhyāna) is known as/called (ākhyaḥ… nāma) Māyā (māyā… māyā). This (iyam) Māyā (māyā), by drawing a veil (āvṛṇvatī), as it were (iva), over the essential nature (sva-bhāvam) of the Great Lord (mahā-īśvara), transforms (pariṇāmam gamayati) the infinite all-knowing (ananta-sarvajña) Śiva (śivam) into a miserable limited individual (varāka-nareṇa) who is constantly full of doubts (satatam saṁśaya-mayena) (and) whose mind (cetanena) is troubled (ākulita) by error (bhrānta) at every step (pratipadam), assisted –i.e. Māyā being aided– (upakṛtā) by two additional impurities (dvi-adhika-malābhyām) called (nāmadheyābhyām) Māyīyamala and Kārmamala (māyīya-kārma-mala) —which consist of (ātmakābhyām) a spreading out (prathā) of duality/differences (bheda) (and) limited (parimita) doership/agency (kartṛtva) relating to (viṣaya) good and bad (śubha-aśubha) actions (karma) respectively (yathākramam)— and (ca… ca) by five kañcuka-s or sheaths (pañca-kañcukaiḥ) known as (abhidhānaiḥ) Kalā, Vidyā, Rāga, Kāla and Niyati (kalā-vidyā-rāga-kāla-niyati) —which are the contracted aspects (saṅkucita-rūpaiḥ) of His (tad) group (gaṇa) of five (pañca) main (mukhya) Powers (śakti) composed of (ghaṭita) the Kriyā-Jñāna-Icchā-Ānanda-Cit śakti-s (kriyā-jñāna-icchā-ānanda-cit-śakti), respectively (yathākramam)—||37||
The resulting darkness being brought about or generated by this denial is known as/called Māyā. This Māyā, by drawing a veil, as it were, over the essential nature of the Great Lord, transforms the infinite all-knowing Śiva into a miserable limited individual who is constantly full of doubts (and) whose mind is troubled by error at every step, assisted –i.e. Māyā being aided– by two additional impurities called Māyīyamala and Kārmamala —which consist of a spreading out of duality/differences (and) limited doership/agency relating to good and bad actions respectively— and by five kañcuka-s or sheaths known as Kalā, Vidyā, Rāga, Kāla and Niyati —which are the contracted aspects of His group of five main Powers composed of the Kriyā-Jñāna-Icchā-Ānanda-Cit śakti-s, respectively—.
Anyway, even after the hard work of tireless Māyā, Śiva remains the same Śiva. I will summarize this teaching about Āṇavamala now:
In a person who is completely ignorant about his being Śiva, Āṇavamala is practically rigid during his whole life (i.e. it lets through the stream of Bliss and Freedom to a limited degree only once or two times in his entire life)
In a disciple treading a spiritual path, who is partially ignorant about his being Śiva, Āṇavamala is more flexible (i.e. it periodically lets through the stream of Bliss and Freedom to a greater degree than in the case of a completely ignorant person)
In the great Yogī instead, the whole process of unleashing Bliss and Freedom is directly controlled by the Will of such an enlightened person (i.e. he experiences different degrees of Bliss and Freedom at will)
However, to make the things even more complicated, Āṇavamala has two aspects: pauruṣājñāna and bauddhājñāna. I have given a precise definition of these two kinds of ajñāna or ignorance in the aphorisms 50 and 52 of my Parabhairavayogasaṁsthāpanapracodanam (and respective short commentary):
Bauddhājñāna (bauddha-ajñānam) (is) considering (mānitvam) the physical body, vital energy, etc. (deha-prāṇa-ādau) to be oneself (ātma).
Bauddhājñāna is considering the physical body, vital energy, etc. to be oneself.
बौद्धाज्ञानं धीविषयाविद्या देहप्राणादावात्ममानित्वं जडशरीरवाय्वाद्ये चिच्छाल्यात्माभिमानता। ममोपदेशोऽभिनवगुप्तस्य परमार्थसारे षष्टितमसूत्रस्य तद्व्याख्यायां योगराजेन दृढीकृतो वक्ष्यमाणपौरुषाज्ञानपूर्वकबौद्धाज्ञानात्मकमख्यातिमुक्तवति तस्मिनज्ञानमख्यातिजनित आत्मन्यनात्माभिमानपूर्वोऽनात्मनि देहादावात्माभिमानलक्षणो मोह इति॥५०॥
Bauddhājñānaṁ dhīviṣayāvidyā dehaprāṇādāvātmamānitvaṁ jaḍaśarīravāyvādye cicchālyātmābhimānatā| Mamopadeśo’bhinavaguptasya paramārthasāre ṣaṣṭitamasūtrasya tadvyākhyāyāṁ yogarājena dṛḍhīkṛto vakṣyamāṇapauruṣājñānapūrvakabauddhājñānātmakamakhyātimuktavati tasminajñānamakhyātijanita ātmanyanātmābhimānapūrvo’nātmani dehādāvātmābhimānalakṣaṇo moha iti||50||
Bauddhājñāna (bauddha-ajñānam) (or) ignorance (avidyā) relating to (viṣayā) the intellect (dhī) (is) considering (mānitvam) the physical body, vital energy, etc. (deha-prāṇa-ādau) to be oneself (ātma), (in other words,) it is to erroneously think (abhimānatā) that the inert physical body, life breath, etc. (jaḍa-śarīra-vāyu-ādye) are the Self (ātma) replete with (śāli) Consciousness (cit). My (mama) teaching (upadeśaḥ) is confirmed (dṛḍhīkṛtaḥ) by Yogarāja (yogarājena) in his explanation (tad-vyākhyāyām) of the 60th aphorism (ṣaṣṭitama-sūtrasya) in Abhinavagupta’s Paramārthasāra (abhinavaguptasya paramārthasāre), when he described (uktavati tasmin) the primordial ignorance (akhyātim) consisting of (ātmakam) bauddhājñāna (bauddha-ajñāna) together with (pūrvaka) pauruṣājñāna (pauruṣa-ajñāna) —which will be spoken about later (vakṣyamāṇa)—: ‘Ajñāna (ajñānam) (is) the Delusion (mohaḥ) begotten (janitaḥ) by the primordial ignorance –Āṇavamala– (akhyāti) whose mark –of such a Delusion– (lakṣaṇaḥ) is the erroneous conception (abhimāna) that the not Self (anātmani) —body, etc. (deha-ādau)— is the Self (ātma) –this is Bauddhājñāna or intellectual ignorance–, which is preceded by (pūrvaḥ) the erroneous conception (abhimāna) that the Self (ātmani) is the not Self (anātma… iti) –this is Pauruṣājñāna or ignorance about the Self–‘||50||
Bauddhājñāna (or) ignorance relating to the intellect (is) considering the physical body, vital energy, etc. to be oneself, (in other words,) it is to erroneously think that the inert physical body, life breath, etc. are the Self replete with Consciousness. My teaching is confirmed by Yogarāja in his explanation of the 60th aphorism in Abhinavagupta’s Paramārthasāra, when he described the primordial ignorance consisting of bauddhājñāna together with pauruṣājñāna —which will be spoken about later—: ‘Ajñāna (is) the Delusion begotten by the primordial ignorance –Āṇavamala– whose mark –of such a Delusion– is the erroneous conception that the not Self —body, etc.— is the Self –this is Bauddhājñāna or intellectual ignorance–, which is preceded by the erroneous conception that the Self is the not Self –this is Pauruṣājñāna or ignorance about the Self–‘.
Pauruṣājñāna (pauruṣa-ajñānam) (is) considering (mānitvam) the Self –oneself– (ātmani) to be a limited individual (nara), i.e. a person in bondage (baddha-jana-ātmaka).
Pauruṣājñāna is considering the Self (oneself) to be a limited individual, i.e. a person in bondage.
पौरुषाज्ञानम्स्वरूपविषयाविद्यात्मनि परमशिवे बद्धजनात्मकनरमानित्वं संसारिजन्त्वात्मकाण्वभिमानः। यदा परमेश्वरोऽद्वयं स्वस्वरूपं प्रमातृप्रमेयवैचित्र्येण भेदेन जानाति तदा स पौरुषाज्ञानवश उच्यते दुर्बलबुद्धिभ्योऽनायासकृतं वा यदाहं सुशुप्तिस्वप्नजागरासु प्रलयाकलसकलरूपो बद्धवराकक्षणभङ्ग्यज्ञशक्तिहीननरोऽस्मीति स्वतन्त्रानन्दिनित्यसर्वज्ञसर्वकर्तृपरमशिवस्य निश्चयस्तदनुसारेण च स तस्माद्भिन्नमिव प्रमातृप्रमेयसमूहमवबुध्येत तर्हि तेनैव स्वोन्नतस्वभावोऽपहीनः पारिमित्यं चाश्लिष्टमवश्यम्॥५२॥
Pauruṣājñānamsvarūpaviṣayāvidyātmani paramaśive baddhajanātmakanaramānitvaṁ saṁsārijantvātmakāṇvabhimānaḥ| Yadā parameśvaro’dvayaṁ svasvarūpaṁ pramātṛprameyavaicitryeṇa bhedena jānāti tadā sa pauruṣājñānavaśa ucyate durbalabuddhibhyo’nāyāsakṛtaṁ vā yadāhaṁ suśuptisvapnajāgarāsu pralayākalasakalarūpo baddhavarākakṣaṇabhaṅgyajñaśaktihīnanaro’smīti svatantrānandinityasarvajñasarvakartṛparamaśivasya niścayastadanusāreṇa ca sa tasmādbhinnamiva pramātṛprameyasamūhamavabudhyeta tarhi tenaiva svonnatasvabhāvo’pahīnaḥ pārimityaṁ cāśliṣṭamavaśyam||52||
Pauruṣājñāna (pauruṣa-ajñānam) —ignorance (avidyā) relating to (viṣaya) the essential nature (sva-rūpa)— (is) considering (mānitvam) the Self –oneself– (ātmani) to be a limited individual (nara), i.e. a person in bondage (baddha-jana-ātmaka); (in a nutshell, it is) to erroneously suppose (abhimānaḥ) that Paramaśiva (parama-śive) is an atomic self (aṇu), viz. a transmigratory (saṁsāri) creature (jantu). When (yadā) the Supreme Lord (parama-īśvaraḥ) knows –perceives– (jānāti) His non-dual nature (advayam sva-sva-rūpam) as dual (bhedena), i.e. as a variety (vaicitryeṇa) of subjects and objects (pramātṛ-prameya), then (tadā) He is said to be (saḥ… ucyate) subject to (vaśaḥ) pauruṣājñāna (pauruṣa-ajñāna); or (vā) simplified (anāyāsa-kṛtam) for those whose intellects are weak (durbala-buddhibhyaḥ), when (yadā) the Free, Blissful, Eternal, Omniscient and Omnipotent Paramaśiva is convinced that (iti svatantra-ānandi-nitya-sarvajña-sarvakartṛ-paramaśivasya niścayaḥ) ‘I (aham) am (asmi) a bound (baddha), miserable (varāka), transient –ephemeral– (kṣaṇabhaṅgi), ignorant (ajña) (and) powerless (śaktihīna) limited individual (naraḥ) consisting of (rūpaḥ) the sakala and pralayākala experients or knowers (pralayākala-sakala) in wakefulness, dreaming and deep sleep (suśupti-svapna-jāgarāsu)‘ —and (ca) consequently (tad-anusāreṇa) He (saḥ) perceives (avabudhyeta) the multitude (samūham) of subjects and objects (pramātṛ-prameya) as (iva) different (bhinnam) of Himself (tasmāt)—, then (tarhi) He has discarded (tena eva… apahīnaḥ) His own (sva) sublime (unnata) essential nature (sva-bhāvaḥ) and (ca) embraced (āśliṣṭam) limitation (pārimityam) indeed (avaśyam)||52||
Pauruṣājñāna —ignorance relating to the essential nature— (is) considering the Self –oneself– to be a limited individual, i.e. a person in bondage; (in a nutshell, it is) to erroneously suppose that Paramaśiva is an atomic self, viz. a transmigratory creature. When the Supreme Lord knows –perceives– His non-dual nature as dual, i.e. as a variety of subjects and objects, then He is said to be subject to pauruṣājñāna; or simplified for those whose intellects are weak, when the Free, Blissful, Eternal, Omniscient and Omnipotent Paramaśiva is convinced that ‘I am a bound, miserable, transient –ephemeral–, ignorant (and) powerless limited individual consisting of the sakala and pralayākala experients or knowers in wakefulness, dreaming and deep sleep’ —and consequently He perceives the multitude of subjects and objects as different of Himself—, then He has discarded His own sublime essential nature and embraced limitation indeed.
When Bliss and Freedom descends to the body, they are experienced in the intellect. Hence, if the intellect is not up to the task because of its being permeated by bauddhājñāna (intellectual ignorance), you will feel no Bliss and Freedom. This type of ignorance is marked by the notion that the inert body, breath, etc. are Śiva (one’s own Self). This ignorance is only removed by a vigorous study of Śiva’s scriptures and not otherwise. In this case, human effort must applied in this direction. Nonetheless, without His Grace you cannot approach even one of His scriptures. So, though a human is apparently studying by himself, this is just appearance because His Favor opened the way for such person before and now it constantly pushes him forward.
In turn, pauruṣājñāna or the strong notion that one’s essential nature (Śiva) is dual (i.e. that He has become myriad of objects and beings around), is only removed by initiation coming directly from Śiva during samādhi or trance, or coming through human Guru, etc. No human effort is effective to remove this type of ignorance. Only His divine Grace can do the trick here.
Now, the ideal process for completely removing Āṇavamala would be like this:
- Removal of bauddhājñāna by strenuous study of Śiva’s scriptures for (generally) a long time.
- Removal of pauruṣājñāna by initiation coming from the human Guru who is the personification of Śiva or from Śiva Himself during samādhi.
Anyway, the process is most of the time the opposite with removal of pauruṣājñāna coming first and next that of bauddhājñāna. Why? Because the disciples are for the most part of low quality and they just cannot wait for initiation after many years of studying difficult scriptures in Sanskrit; or else because the human Guru needs to remove pauruṣājñāna in so many disciples as possible at the same time at a definite moment as a part of his mission of expanding the blessings of the Supreme Lord; or else both cases at the same (low quality disciples and a Guru in a hurry). So, this is what usually happens with reference to the process of Liberation being completed while one remains in the physical body.
Now, what happens when the process is not completed during one’s life?:
- On one hand, if the person receives genuine initiation (whether from the human Guru or from Śiva Himself in samādhi) —and as a result his pauruṣājñāna is totally removed—, but he cannot remove bauddhājñāna by studying Śiva’s scriptures, then he will have to wait for death in order to fully enjoy his state of Liberation. During his life, his enjoyment of Liberation will be absolutely unstable (not at will like in the case of a fully liberated person who removed pauruṣājñāna and bauddhājñāna) due to the presence of bauddhājñāna blocking, as it were, his intellect.
- On the other hand, if the person succeeds in removing bauddhājñāna by a vigorous study of Śiva’s scriptures but at the same time he does not succeed in receiving initiation from the human Guru or Śiva, then that person will be quite a scholar but not a liberated person even after death. So, after the fall of his body, he will have to get another birth and try again. Anyway, this time it will be easier for him as he successfully removed bauddhājñāna in his previous life.
In a nutshell, removal of pauruṣājñāna is more important that removal of bauddhājñāna for attaining Liberation, but without removing bauddhājñāna the aspirant will have to wait for the body to fall during death in order to fully enjoy his state of Liberation. This topic is extremely mysterious and complex but with the knowledge I have just passed onto you now, you have more than enough for your studies and practices in Parabhairavayoga.
But what is Liberation in Parabhairavayoga?
The definition of Liberation here totally coincides with that of Trika, of course. Liberation means the attainment of Freedom. This State of Freedom is called Svātantrya in Sanskrit. And this Svātantrya only belongs to Svatantra (the Free One), i.e. Śiva. And because this is so, no other being can appropriate this Freedom. No! A person can enjoy this Svātantrya only when He shares It with such person and not otherwise. In this respect, no efforts made by any limited being is effective for the achievement of Svātantrya. It is always His act of mercy then.
Now, the word Svatantra literally means ‘depending on oneself’, viz. free. In this sense, only Śiva is completely Free because the rest of beings depend on Him for everything (even for saying ‘I’, because this ‘I’ has also been borrowed from Him). In this way, no effort made by any being is effective for attaining Liberation because all a limited being has is just ‘borrowed’ from Him (‘I’ included). This incapacity shared by all the beings is overwhelming ignorance.
But what is the exact definition of this state of Freedom one gets during the process of Liberation? This:
‘It is the experience of Freedom. It is an expansion of all one’s Powers of Consciousness, Bliss, Will, Knowledge and Action. It is Peace beyond human understanding. It is like removing a very heavy rock from one’s back, figuratively speaking. As a consequence, one escapes from bondage marked by repetitive attachment to everything around and inside his mind (and from all the pain created by such attachment). I call this State: Encapsulated State. Because nothing coming from inside or outside can disturb your State. Though many experiences come to your body and to your mind, you remain completely indifferent to them. This is a sure mark of Liberation indeed!’.
So, Liberation in a person is marked by his absolute indifference to all that is external or internal, whether it be pleasant or unpleasant. Nonetheless, whether or not the liberated person will show this mark to other beings is always his decision. In common life full of spiritual ignorance, there is the constant belief that ordinary people can ‘act’, i.e. that they can show at will different attitudes and personalities like an actor on a movie. This is just a fantasy. Bondage will force people to behave in a predictable way and they cannot help it. For example, when you receive a very good news, you cannot help being happy and showing your happiness to other people; and when you receive a very bad news, you cannot help being unhappy and showing your unhappiness to other people. If you think that you can show at will different personalities despite the kind of news you receive, so you are either a genuine liberated person or another bound person serving mother bondage like one of her children. If your case is the latter, this imagination must be removed first or no Liberation will be possible, i.e. Liberation from bondage makes sense when one was in bondage before, but if one is already free, Liberation is irrelevant. In this way, the biggest weapon bondage has in its arsenal is this ‘fantasy of being free’. This fantasy is very powerful and constantly becomes a stone in everybody’s shoes, even in the case of disciples striving for Liberation. This constant free attitude based on ignorance and all the time denied by the ‘facts’ in everybody’s lives is the greatest obstacle to Liberation. On account of its scope, this fantasy should be considered to be a real ‘plague’, no doubt about it! Because what is the point of making great efforts for achieving Liberation when one is already free?
All in all, only a liberated person can show different personalities at will. Sometimes he will show his liberated state and sometimes he will not. This is very tricky and one of the reasons why it is so difficult to detect a liberated person if you are not liberated too. Because a liberated person is much more spiritually intelligent than you, he can delude you and show you something else, in the same way you can delude a cat. If he does not want you to recognize him as a liberated person, he will hide his sublime state from you and no way for you to detect him. So, only a liberated person can detect another liberated person. This should be fully understood in order to remove a lot of confusion.
And why does a liberated person hide his free state from another person approaching him? There are many possible reasons, for example, if he is a Guru and does not want you to be his disciple because you are not still ready for his teachings. So, he will stop you from becoming his disciple by showing bondage. In the end, you will be disappointed in him as ‘he fell from Yoga’ and abandon the idea of being his disciple. The behavior of a liberated person is always very mysterious because of his dwelling beyond mind. As all bound people around him are like animals in his perception, it is very easy for him to cheat them. Only another liberated being can understand his ways.
Importance of Abhyāsa or Practice
Liberation comes after removing Āṇavamala. For removing Āṇavamala, you need to remove its two aspects: pauruṣājñāna and bauddhājñāna. For eliminating pauruṣājñāna you need initiation by a human Guru or by Śiva in samādhi; and for eliminating bauddhājñāna you need to study Śiva’s scriptures. When this is like this, so what is the use of abhyāsa or practice? We need to make a few points very clear or you will never understand how to attain Liberation and waste your time tangled in endless confusion:
- No practice can bring you Liberation because Liberation is about ‘being’ and not about ‘doing’. There is no ‘doing’ effective for attaining Consciousness (Śiva) because you just cannot practice Consciousness. You ‘are’ Consciousness or you ‘are not’, and no way to be Consciousness by practicing. This could look complicated or even like science fiction, but it is very simple to understand if you are spiritually intelligent enough.
- Even if with practices you could manage to approach Liberation, you will sooner or later face Āṇavamala and no way to go past it without His help. So, practices could maybe bring you near Āṇavamala but no way to cross it without His favor.
- Though initiation from Śiva needs samādhi, you do not necessarily have to meditate for a long time to get it. No, He can induce spontaneous samādhi in you without your practicing anything. So, meditation is not bringing you Liberation either.
- And even if ‘studying scriptures could look’ like a practice done by someone, it is all His Grace again, because no limited individual can even approach one of His scriptures if He does not wish so.
- Liberation is His ‘act of Grace’ for a limited individual besieged by bondage. It is His ‘act of Mercy’ and nothing else.
- So, Liberation is about His doing and not the about doing of a limited individual who is a universal laughingstock constantly experiencing tribulation.
- He can appear directly like Śiva, if the disciple can understand Him, or else like the human Guru who is His personification, if the disciple still needs instructions in human languages to understand.
- No limited individual is ready to get Liberation at will, because he does not know anything about it, because he cannot do anything about it and because he goes nowhere in spite of all his activities.
This viewpoint about spiritual practices not giving Liberation to anybody has been summarized by me in the aphorism 17 of Parabhairavayogasaṁsthāpanapracodanam:
न कश्चिदभ्यासो जनाय तदुपलब्धिं दातुं कल्पोऽभ्यासिनोऽसमर्थत्वात्॥१७॥
Na kaścidabhyāso janāya tadupalabdhiṁ dātuṁ kalpo’bhyāsino’samarthatvāt||17||
No (na kaścid) spiritual practice (abhyāsaḥ) is effective (kalpaḥ) in giving (dātum) that realization (tad-upalabdhim) to a person (janāya), because the one practicing is ‘asamartha’ or incapacitated (abhyāsinaḥ asamarthatvāt).
No spiritual practice is effective in giving that realization to a person, because the one practicing is ‘asamartha’ or incapacitated.
न कश्चिदभ्यासो ध्यानस्वाध्यायजपादिमयो जनाय नराय तदुपलब्धिं तत्ख्यातिं दातुं कल्पः क्षमोऽभ्यासिनोऽसमर्थत्वादक्षमत्वात्। यत्पूर्णत्वानुभवापेक्षया तदत्यन्ताशक्तिविषयमेतन्नरमुख्यासामर्थ्यं तत् तद्दुर्गत्यतिरिक्तभारपूर्वकमधिकरपरिमिततावशिष्टदीर्घावलिमुत्थापयति॥१७॥
Na kaścidabhyāso dhyānasvādhyāyajapādimayo janāya narāya tadupalabdhiṁ tatkhyātiṁ dātuṁ kalpaḥ kṣamo’bhyāsino’samarthatvādakṣamatvāt| Yatpūrṇatvānubhavāpekṣayā tadatyantāśaktiviṣayametannaramukhyāsāmarthyaṁ tat taddurgatyatiriktabhārapūrvakamadhikaraparimitatāvaśiṣṭadīrghāvalimutthāpayati||17||
No (na kaścid) spiritual practice (abhyāsaḥ) such as meditation, recitation of sacred texts, muttering of a mantra, etc. (dhyāna-svādhyāya-japa-ādi-mayaḥ) is effective or competent (kalpaḥ… kṣamaḥ) in giving (dātum) that realization or perception (tad-upalabdhim tad-khyātim) to a person (janāya) —to a limited individual (narāya)—, because the one practicing is ‘asamartha’ or incapacitated/unable (abhyāsinaḥ asamarthatvāt akṣamatvāt). The main incapacity of this limited individual (etad-nara-mukhya-asāmarthyam tad), which has to do with (yad… viṣayam) his absolute (tad-atyanta) powerlessness (aśakti) when it comes to (apekṣayā) experiencing (anubhava) Fullness (pūrṇatva), arouses (utthāpayati) the remaining long series of additional limitations (adhikara-parimitatā-avaśiṣṭa-dīrgha-āvalim) accompanied by (pūrvakam) their extra burden of misery (tad-durgati-atirikta-bhāra)||17||
No spiritual practice such as meditation, recitation of sacred texts, muttering of a mantra, etc. is effective or competent in giving that realization or perception to a person —to a limited individual—, because the one practicing is ‘asamartha’ or incapacitated/unable. The main incapacity of this limited individual, which has to do with his absolute powerlessness when it comes to experiencing Fullness, arouses the remaining long series of additional limitations accompanied by their extra burden of misery.
But anyway, if this is so, what is the point of practicing something? Why is the human Guru taking the trouble to explain in length all the practices in Parabhairavayoga if they are not effective in producing Liberation from burning bondage? Now the answer to this important question:
‘Because the person in bondage suffers from misery and all the resulting bad qualities coming from that sickness such as vanity, triviality, stupidity, stupefaction, lack of faith, impatience, arrogance, etc., he just cannot study scriptures for a long time in order to remove bauddhājñāna, and just wait for the Lord’s Grace in initiation in order to remove pauruṣājñāna. One mark of his massive ignorance is his constant activity and illusory doership. He just cannot accept that the only action which is necessary is his studying Śiva’s scriptures with the help of a human Guru who is the personification of the Mighty Lord, and that even this action is Grace-boosted all the time. And because the conditioned person is like this, he, due to his absolute foolishness, constantly tries to hurry awesome Śiva into giving Liberation to him. Owing to his pestering attitude, human Guru (the personification of Śiva Himself) will have to trick him into believing he is helping him and the Lord in the process of his Liberation from unfathomable bondage. So, he will be all the time busy with practices and consequently he will stop from pestering Guru and Lord. The process is similar to that of a patient going through surgery and being given anesthesia not only for the obvious pain but also for him to be calm and not to start bothering the doctors around.’
In a nutshell, practices are meant to keep disciples busy with something while the Lord and Guru, as it were, do what is important and relevant in the backstage. I taught the same truth by the aphorism 18 of Parabhairavayogasaṁsthāpanapracodanam:
कस्मिंश्चिच्छिष्यानां व्यापारायाभ्यासः केवलम्॥१८॥
Kasmiṁścicchiṣyānāṁ vyāpārāyābhyāsaḥ kevalam||18||
Spiritual practice(s) (abhyāsaḥ) only (kevalam) serve the purpose of keeping the disciples busy (śiṣyānāṁ vyāpārāya) with something (kasmin-cid).
Spiritual practices only serve the purpose of keeping the disciples busy with something.
कस्मिंश्चित्कस्मिनपि कार्ये शिष्यानां छात्राणां व्यापाराय व्यग्रत्वायाभ्यासो ध्यानप्राणायामासनादिरूपं केवलम्। शिष्यस्य दिनं स्वगुरुप्रचोदिताभ्याससङ्कुलं तस्याधिकदुःखावहसापेक्षक्रियापूर्वनिरर्थकविकल्पाविक्षितदशार्थे॥१८॥
Kasmiṁścitkasminapi kārye śiṣyānāṁ chātrāṇāṁ vyāpārāya vyagratvāyābhyāso dhyānaprāṇāyāmāsanādirūpaṁ kevalam| Śiṣyasya dinaṁ svagurupracoditābhyāsasaṅkulaṁ tasyādhikaduḥkhāvahasāpekṣakriyāpūrvanirarthakavikalpāvikṣitadaśārthe||18||
Spiritual practice(s) (abhyāsaḥ) such as meditation, control of the breath, postures, etc. (dhyāna-prāṇāyāma-āsana-ādi-rūpam) only (kevalam) serve the purpose of keeping the disciples busy (śiṣyānām chātrāṇām vyāpārāya vyagratvāya) with something (kasmin-cid), i.e. with some activity (kasmin-api kārye). The day (dinam) of the disciple (śiṣyasya) is full of (saṅkulam) spiritual practices (abhyāsa) prescribed (pracodita) by his (sva) Guru (guru) in order for him not to be distracted (tasya… avikṣita-daśā-arthe) by useless (nirarthaka) thoughts (vikalpa) accompanied by (pūrva) their respective (sāpekṣa) activities (kriyā) leading to (āvaha) additional (adhika) pain (duḥkha)||18||
Spiritual practice(s) such as meditation, control of the breath, postures, etc. only serve the purpose of keeping the disciples busy with something, i.e. with some activity. The day of the disciple is full of spiritual practices prescribed by his Guru in order for him not to be distracted by useless thoughts accompanied by their respective activities leading to additional pain.
Apart from serving like a kind of cheat to keep disciples occupied with something the whole day, the spiritual practices have a sedative effect too, which is very helpful after many hours spent studying scriptures, serving the Guru, experiencing internal changes, etc. I succinctly gave the same teaching by means of the aphorism 19 in the same scripture as before:
स्वस्थानप्रत्यावृत्त्यभिधेयस्य तीव्रप्रसरस्य सहनाय शान्तिकरवदप्यभ्यासः॥१९॥
Svasthānapratyāvṛttyabhidheyasya tīvraprasarasya sahanāya śāntikaravadapyabhyāsaḥ||19||
Spiritual practice(s) (abhyāsaḥ) also (api) act as sedatives (śāntikara-vat) to tolerate (sahanāya) the intense process (tīvra-prasarasya) of ‘returning Home’ –i.e. realization of one’s identity– (svasthāna-pratyāvṛtti-abhidheyasya).
Spiritual practices also act as sedatives to tolerate the intense process of ‘returning Home’ (i.e. realization of one’s identity).
स्वस्थानप्रत्यावृत्त्यभिधेयस्य स्वात्मानं प्रत्यागमनाख्यस्य तीव्रप्रसरस्य तिग्मप्रयाणस्य सहनाय मर्षणाय शान्तिकरवच्छान्तिदनिर्विशेषमप्यभ्यासः। अभ्यासं कुर्वाणः शिष्योऽन्तरदर्शनतत्तद्लोकगमननादादीञ्च्छ्रद्धाविरहग्लानि-सर्वव्यञ्जनोच्छेतॄन्बहुविधान्तर्विकारसञ्जातक्लमापहानेवानुभवति॥१९॥
Svasthānapratyāvṛttyabhidheyasya svātmānaṁ pratyāgamanākhyasya tīvraprasarasya tigmaprayāṇasya sahanāya marṣaṇāya śāntikaravacchāntidanirviśeṣamapyabhyāsaḥ| Abhyāsaṁ kurvāṇaḥ śiṣyo’ntaradarśanatattadlokagamananādādīñcchraddhāvirahaglāni-sarvavyañjanocchetṝnbahuvidhāntarvikārasañjātaklamāpahānevānubhavati||19||
Spiritual practice(s) (abhyāsaḥ) also (api) act as sedatives (śāntikara-vat śāntida-nirviśeṣam) to tolerate or forbear (sahanāya marṣaṇāya) the intense process (tīvra-prasarasya) —the impetuous process (tigma-prayāṇasya)— of ‘returning Home’ (svasthāna-pratyāvṛtti-abhidheyasya), i.e. of ‘coming back to one’s own Self’ (sva-ātmānam pratyāgamana-ākhyasya). While performing (kurvāṇaḥ) spiritual practice(s) (abhyāsam), a disciple (śiṣyaḥ) experiences (anubhavati) inner visions (antara-darśana), journeys (gamana) to various (tad-tad) worlds (loka), divine sounds (nāda), etc. (ādīn), which extirpate (ucchetṝn) all (sarva) the symptoms (vyañjana) of depression (glāni) (and) lack of (viraha) faith (śraddhā), (and) certainly remove (apahān eva) the fatigue (klama) produced by (sañjāta) the manifold (bahuvidha) internal (antar) changes (vikāra)||19||
Spiritual practice(s) also act as sedatives to tolerate or forbear the intense process —the impetuous process— of ‘returning Home’, i.e. of ‘coming back to one’s own Self’. While performing spiritual practice(s), a disciple experiences inner visions, journeys to various worlds, divine sounds, etc., which extirpate all the symptoms of depression (and) lack of faith, (and) certainly remove the fatigue produced by the manifold internal changes.
To travel to various worlds, to hear divine sounds, to experience inner visions, etc. are not Liberation. However, they serve the purpose of removing depression and lack of faith. If a disciple had firm faith in the Lord, he would need none of those experiences. Anyway, because average disciple is just trivial, he needs all that to keep his mind in a desirable state.
Someone can say now that if Śiva wishes so, He can shine on anybody and that person will get immediate Liberation. That is absolutely true, but in general He will not do it. So, what is the point of speaking about oddities? I am always speaking about average disciples and not about very fortunate disciples who receive instantaneous freedom from bondage. After all, such lucky disciples do not need my teachings and help, do they?
So, if a disciple is spiritually intelligent, he does need to practice. Why? Because he will just study scriptures for a long time and next receive initiation, or vice versa as I explained before. He will just do what his Guru is telling him to do. Nothing more, nothing less. Now, because average disciple is not intelligent enough, he will be given spiritual practices for the aforesaid reasons. All is completely clear now!
OK, enough of talking about this topic now. In the next chapter of my long dissertation I will continue to teach you how to practice in Parabhairavayoga.