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1. The brilliance
of the One Being's light does not vanish in external light
or in darkness because all light and darkness resides in the
supreme light of God Consciousness.
2. This Being is called Lord Shiva. He is the essence and existence of all beings. The external objective world is the expansion of His Power and it is filled with the glamour of the glory of God Consciousness.
3. Shiva and Shakti are not aware that they are separate. They are interconnected just as fire is one with heat.
4. He is the God Bhairava. He creates, protects, destroys, conceals, and reveals His nature through the cycle of this world (The 5-fold Activity of Divine Consciousness). This whole universe is created by God in His own nature, just as one finds the reflection of the world in a mirror.
5. The entire embodied cosmos is His supreme Power (Shakti), which He created in order to recognize His own nature. This (Shakti), who is the totality of the embodied cosmos, loves the state of God Consciousness. She is in the state of ignorance, remaining perfectly complete and full in each and every object.
6. The supreme Lord Shiva, who is all-pervasive and fond of playing and falling, together with the Power of His own nature, simultaneously brings about the varieties of creation and destruction.
7. This supreme action cannot be accomplished by any other power in this universe except Lord Shiva (God), who is completely independent, perfectly glorious and intelligent.
8. The limited state of consciousness is unaware and cannot simultaneously expand itself to become the various forms of the universe. The possessor of independence is absolutely different from that unaware state of consciousness. You cannot, therefore, recognize Him in only one way. The moment you recognize Him in one way you will also recognize Him in the other way.
9. This Lord Shiva, who is completely independent (Svatantrya), has the diversity of creation and destruction existing in His own nature. And, at the same time, this diversity is found existing in its own way as the field of ignorance.
10. In this world you will find varieties of creation and destruction, some of which are created in the upper cycle, some of which are created below, and some of which are even created sideways. Attached to these worlds smaller portions of worlds are created. Pain, pleasure, and intellectual power are created according to the status of being. This is the world.
11. If you do not understand that there is actually no span of time, this misunderstanding is also the independence (Svatantrya) of Lord Shiva. This misunderstanding results in worldly existence (samsara). And those who are ignorant are terrified by worldly existence.
12-13. When, because the grace of Lord Shiva is showered upon you or, due to the teachings or vibrating force (shaktipat) of your Master, or through understanding the scriptures concerned with Supreme Shiva, you attain the real knowledge of reality, that is the existent state of Lord Shiva, and that is final Liberation. This fullness is achieved by elevated souls and is called Liberation in this life (Jivanmukti).
14. These two cycles, bondage and liberation, are the play of Lord Shiva and nothing else. They are not separate from Lord Shiva because differentiated states have not risen at all. In reality, nothing has happened to Lord Shiva.
15. In this way the Lord, Bhairava (Shiva), the essence of all Being, has held in His own way, in His own nature, the three great powers: the power of will (Iccha Shakti), the power of action (Kriya shakti, and the power of knowledge (Jnana Shakti). These three powers are just like that trident which is the three-fold lotus. And seated on this lotus is Lord Bhairava, who is the nature of the whole universe of 118 worlds.
16. I, Abhinavagupta, have written and revealed these verses for some of my dear disciples who have very little intellectual understanding. For those disciples, who are deeply devoted to me, I have composed these fifteen verses just to elevate them instantaneously.
A Tribute to the 15 Verses of Abhinavagupta
1. God is Awareness.
2. Awareness is sole the source of everything
- of All That Is.
3. Everything is a distinct awareness in itself.
4. Subjective Awareness is not the property or by-product of any Being, Body or Brain, any Ego, Self or Subject, or of any Physical Phenomenon whatsoever - whether in the form of Matter or Energy It is the ultimate Field Condition for our experience of any phenomena whatsoever - any Self or World, any Being or Body. As the Ultimate Reality (‘Anuttara’) it is the essence of Divinity.
5. The Divine (‘God’) is not a being ‘with’ Awareness. It is Awareness – understood as an Ultimate, Absolute Unbounded and Unified Field of Awareness.
6. Were The Divine Awareness a being - even a Transcendent or Divine Being - that would make it - ‘God’ - into One being among Many others - and thus a finite or bounded being rather than the Divine source of all beings - the source of All That Is. The Divine is the very Be-ing of beings, their emergence as Bounded Units of Awareness (‘bodies’) from an ultimate, unsurpassable Awareness Field (‘Anuttara’)
7. The Divine is not a body. It is what Bodies. All bodies are bounded shapes of Awareness taken by - and within - The Divine, understood as an Unbounded Awareness Field. The Bodying of The Divine Awareness is its very its very Be-ing, understood as its Creative and Destructive, Formative and Transformative Activity.
8. The Divine is not a Person. It is what Personifies Itself in all actual and potential Persons. Both personified Gods and human Persons are unique Personifications of the Divine Awareness.
9. The Divine is not bounded. The Divine Awareness Field that is SHIVA is what Bodies itself in the form of Bounded Units of Awareness or ‘Selves’ (JIVA) and thus comes to feel itself as a Self or ‘I’ that is both One and Many. Being a Self and Being a Body are the same - all Bodies and Selves being Bounded Units of Awareness or ‘Soul’.
10. Only through Awareness of Oneself as a unique individual portion, expression and embodiment of the Ultimate and Unbounded Awareness Field can we experience our own Self as that Field – not as a self with Awareness but as that Self which IS awareness and identical with The Divine.
11. The Divine Awareness is a Singular Unbounded Time-Space of Awareness that embraces all Beings and all Bodies, within it - whether Past, Present or Future, Actual or Potential. The Divine – Awareness has a Triune, Trinitarian or Threefold Nature(‘Trika’).
12. It is not only an Unbounded Awareness Field but a Unified Awareness Field uniting Three Fundamental Fields of Awareness:
13. MAHADEVA or SHIVA - The Divine Awareness as Awareness of BEING - the Field of All Actuality and All Actual Beings. This is the Field personified in the Hindu-Tantric Tradition by VISHNU.
· MAHADEVI or KALI The Divine Awareness as Awareness of ‘NON-BEING’ — the Field of All Potentiality and All Potential Beings that is the womb the Actual. This is the Field personified in the Hindu-Tantric Tradition by the Great Goddess (MAHADEVI or MA KALI).
· The Divine Awareness as Awareness of the BECOMING or COMING-TO-BE of all Potential Beings. This is the Field personified in the Hindu-Tantric Tradition by all the latent Self-Actualising Capacities, Potentialities, Potencies or Powers that borne within and from the womb of the great goddess or MAHADEVI (‘KALI’) as her ‘goddesses’ or SHAKTIS.
14. There is ‘Divine’, ‘Pure’ or ‘Transcendental’ Awareness and there is Experience – things we are conscious or aware OF. These two, symbolized by SHIVA as SHAKTI are both distinct and inseparable.
15. There are Experiences that emerge from or come out of Divine-Transcendental Awareness - and there are experiences OF awareness in its transcendental character: as the divine Light of Awareness (Prakasha), its Spatiality (Akasha), its Breath (Prana), its Substantiality (Prakriti) and Sublime Sensuality (Rasa).