Bhagavad-Gita:Chapters in Sanskrit


(All 18 chapters in Sanskrit, Transliteration, and Translation.)










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Bhagavadgita in English




















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 Why is it that human consciousness is limited and the world of objects is limited?

What is it, then, which veils consciousness and thus produces world-experience? The answer is Power or Shakti as Māyā. Māyā-Śakti is that which seemingly makes the Whole (Purna) into the not-whole (Apurna), the infinite into the finite, the formless (into forms and the like). It is a power which thus cuts down, veils and negates. Negates what? Perfect consciousness.  Is Śakti in itself the same as or different from Śiva or Chit? It must be the same, for otherwise all could not be one Brahman. But if it is the same it must be also Chit or Consciousness. Therefore it is Saccidānandamayī 1 and Cidrūpiṇī.2

And yet there is, at least in appearance, some distinction.  Śakti, which comes from the root Śak, "to have power", "to be able," means power. As She is one with  Śiva as Power-holder (Śaktiman), She as such Power is the power of Śiva or Consciousness. There is no difference  between Śiva as the possessor of power (Śaktiman) and Power as It is in Itself. The power of Consciousness  is Consciousness in its active aspect. Whilst, therefore, both Śiva and Śakti are Consciousness, the former is the  changeless static aspect of Consciousness, and Śakti is the kinetic active aspect of the same Consciousness.

1 That is, its substance is Sat, Cit, Ānanda. The suffixes Mayī and Rūpiṇī indicate a subtle distinction - namely, that She is in Herself,

Cit, and yet by appearance the effect of the Power something different from it.  

2 In the form or nature of Cit. As the Kubjikā Tantra says, the Parama Kalā is both Cit (Cidrūpa) and Nāda (Nādarūpā).

The  particular power whereby the dualistic world is brought into being is Māyā Śakti, which is both a veiling (Avarana) and projecting (Vikshepa) Śakti. Woodroffe, Serpent Power, page 31-32



 The Principal Upanisads Dr. Radhakrishnan, Page 81. September 21, 2013

The limited from the Unlimited

The world is the creation of God, the active Lord. The finite is the self-limitation of the infinite. No finite can exist in and by itself. It exists by the infinite. If we seek the dynamic aspect we are inclined to repudiate the experience of pure consciousness. It is not a question of either pure consciousness or dynamic consciousness. These are the different statuses of the one Reality. They are present simultaneously in the universal awareness.

The dependence of the world on God is explained in different ways. In the Chāndogya  Upaniṣad, Brahman is defined as tajjalān as that (tat) which gives rise to (ja), absorbs (lī) and sustains (an) the world. The Bṛhad-Āraṇyaka Upaniṣad argues that satyam consists of three syllables, sa, ti, yam, the first and the last being real and the second unrealmadhyato anṛtamThe fleeting is enclosed on both sides by an eternity which is real. The world comes from Brahman and returns to Brahman. Whatever exists owes its being to Brahman. The different metaphors are used to indicate how the universe rises from its central root, how the emanation takes place while the Brahman remains ever-complete, undiminished. 'As a spider sends forth and draws in (its thread), as herbs grow on the earth, as the hair (grows) on the head and the body of a living person, so from the Imperishable arises here the universe.'





 கண்டமும் அகண்டமும் = The Divisible and the Indivisible.

Advaita based on Deivaththin Kural by Periava,

Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamy

(May 20, 1894 – January 8, 1994)

Translation Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

 July 27, 2013. Only one sun exists. Every droplet reflects the sun. Though the reflections are many, there is only one sun. There is one sun and many reflections. Likewise, all living beings are many shining Lights of Wisdom (aivoi = அறிவொளி), which are all one Brahmam's reflections. Sri Adhi Sankaracharya has explained in Brahma Sūtra Bhāsya.

The hypostasis of all, the Indivisible One, the Supreme Intellect, and the Sakti beyond the beyond appear in us as the limited and the divided. It is TAT (THAT) as mentioned in Vedas. The meaning of THAT (Tat) is THAT which is beyond the beyond. Though it appears far away, it is far and yet near to us. TAT is you, so says the Veda.

The reason, that the world is māyā (மாயை) according to Advaitam, is this world is not the Ultimate Truth.  It is a phenomenal truth. Its existence is dependent on Brahmam. The scientists have advanced the same opinion. Brahmam is the Supreme Truth or Ultimate Reality (பரமார்த்திக சத்தியம்). World is a phenomenal truth, so say Advaitam and the scientists, who add  that the worldly movement (or happenings) is relative and not absolute.

māyā (மாயை) definition.

மாயை = Māyā = false appearance, illusion

மாயாலட்சணம் māyā-laṭcaṇam = attributes of Māyā (Advaita.) Properties of Māyā, numbering five, viz., acattu, caṭam, anittam, tukkam, kaṇṭam; மாயையின் கூறாகிய அசத்து சடம் அநித்தம் துக்கம் கண்டம் என்னும் மாயையின் ஐவகை இயல் புகள். (W.)

acattu = Illusion as opposed to Reality or Sat. 

caṭam = Inanimate

anittam = a-nitya. That which is transient or unstable.

tukkam = duḥkha. Sorrow, distress, affliction.

kaṇṭam = part (not whole).


September 19, 2013. Siva and Sakti

In Īśvara  we have the two elements of wisdom and power, Śiva and Śakti. By the latter the Supreme who is unmeasured and immeasurable becomes measured and defined.

 Immutable being becomes infinite fecundity. Pure being, which is the free basis and support of cosmic existence, is not the whole of our experience. Between the Absolute and the World-soul is the Creative Consciousness. It is prajńāna-ghana or truth-consciousness If sat denotes the primordial being in its undifferenced unity, satya is the same being immanent in its differentiations. If the Absolute is pure unity without any extension or variation, God is the creative power by which worlds spring into existence. The Absolute has moved out of its primal poise and become knowledge-will. It is the all-determining principle It is the Absolute in action as Lord and Creator. While the Absolute is spaceless and timeless potentiality, God is the vast self-awareness comprehending, apprehending every possibility.1

Brahman is not merely a featureless Absolute. It is all this world. Vayu or air is said to be manifest Brahman, pratyakṣam Brahma. The Svetāśvatara Upaniṣad makes out that Brahman is beast, bird and insect, the tottering old man, boy and girl. Brahman sustains the cosmos and is the self of each individual Supra-cosmic transcendence and cosmic universality are both real phases of the one

Supreme. In the former aspect the Spirit is in no way dependent on the cosmic manifold, in the latter the Spirit functions as the principle of the cosmic manifold. The supra-cosmic silence and the cosmic integration are both real. The two, nirguna and saguna BrahmanAbsolute and God, are not different. Jayatirtha contends that Samkara is wrong in holding that Brahman is of two kinds--brahmano dvairūpyasya aprāmākatvāt 2 It is the same Brahman who is described in different ways.

apprehending every possibility.1 = Eckhart says 'God and Godhead are as different as heaven from earth. God becomes and unbecomes. ' 'All in Godhead is one, and of this naught can be said. God works, but Godhead works not. There is no work for it to do and no working in it. Never did it contemplate anything of work. God and Godhead differ after the manner of working and not working.        When I come into the Ground, into the depths, into the flow and fount of Godhead, none will ask me whence I have come or whither I go. None will have missed me, God passes away' Sermon LVT Evans' E T 

The Principal Upanisads Dr. Radhakrishnan. Page 64.



Tattva in Sanskrit means Thatness, which generally means Truth or principles. In this context it means building blocks of the universe. Samkhya philosophy lists 25 Tattvas and Saivism 36 Tattvas.

As you may notice, Tattva, Tat, That and Tattuvam (தத்துவம்) are cognate words. Here is another proof of interconnectedness of Indo-European, Sanskrit and Tamil words.

Idaṁ = This; Idaṁtā = Thisness.  Ahaṁ = I. Ahantā = I-ness or Ahaṁkāra = I-Maker; Individual ego.

Everything that you see, feel, touch, taste, smell, hear, measure... is made of Tattvas. It may be one Tattva or many Tattvas in combination, cooperation or conflict. All Tattvas take their origin from Sakti (Siva-Sakti).  They are the brick and mortar of our existence and of the universe. The Tattvas come down in a cascade, the distal substance being a transmuted proximal substance. It is derivation, transformation, augmentation, mutation, transmutation, amalgamation or any other processes that you can think of in this world.

They are observable and measurable. These processes may be linear and or branched but never parallel. There is no parallel force that Tattvas compete or cooperate with. Sakti is their only source. This expansion outwards is the stuff of life and living. The contraction is subsidence back into the source, Sakti and Siva-Sakti. Expansion is Pravrrti (பிரவிருத்தி) and contraction is Nivrrti (நிவிர்த்தி). Woodroffe observes, Devi (Sakti) joyful in the mad delight of Her union with the Supreme Akula,1 becomes Vikāriī 2 -that is, the Vikāras or Tattvas of Mind and Matter, which constitute the universe, appear.

 Ramana Maharishi talks about the Supreme, the Sakti, Pravritti and Nivritti.

K: Is the energy (of the Real, the Supreme) that produces all these worlds changing and transitory or changeless and eternal?

Maharshi: The Supreme that changes by reason of His energy is yet changeless. This profound mystery, sages alone can unravel. Change is activity (vyapara) and activity is termed energy (Sakti). The Supreme created these worlds by His energy (Sakti). Activity being twofold – evolving (pravritti) and withdrawing (nivritti) – the Supreme also withdraws these worlds by His energy (Sakti), as the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, IV.5.15 states:

(यत्र त्वस्य (= त्व् स्य) सर्वं त्मैवाभूत् तत् केन कं पश्येत् )

yatra tv asya sarvam ātmaivābhūt tat kena kam paśyet

But where everything has become one's own Self, by what and whom one should see....

Where, for one, everything has become Atma alone, what is there to be seen, and by whom? In this passage relating to the activity of the Supreme in withdrawing (nivritti) the universe, first the term “everything” (sarva) is used. That refers to the multiplicity of appearances which prevailed at the time when duality was experienced. The other term “became” (abhut) refers to some activity. The term “Atma alone” (Atmaiva) expresses the fact that all differentiating activity is finally withdrawn into the Supreme Self (Atma) only.

Thus we have the high authority of the Vedas to show that one Atma alone exists forever and is Real and that all else is illusory and evanescent.

Woodroffe: Serpent Power.

1.      Supreme Akula,1  Akula is a Tantrik name for Siva; Sakti is called Kula, which is Mātr, Māna, Meya. In the Yoginl-hrdaya-Tantra it is said (Ch. I): 

      Mātr = pramātā = Subject = knower; Māna  = Pramāna  = means of Knowledge or Knowledge;  Meya =  Prameya  = the known = object--Krishnaraj.

      Kulam meya-mana-matr-laksanarh. kaulastatsamastih. These three are Knower, Knowing, Known, for that is Consciousness as Sakti;

2.      Vikāriī 2  is Sakti;  விகாரம் (Vikāram) means 'change, alteration, transformation.'  That is a Substrate becoming a Substance which again is the substrate for the distal substance (Compare this to Helium becoming other substances); The deity that undergoes such a change is Sakti and thus is called Vikāriī .

In the infinite and formless Prakriti (= the first cause of matter, Nature) there is a strain or stress appearing as form. On the relaxation of this strain in dissolution, forms disappear in formless Prakrti, which as manifested power (Sakti) re-enters (retrograde involution) the Brahman Consciousness. These Vikrtis are the Tattvas issuing from Prakrti, the Avidya-Sakti---namely, the different categories of Mind, Senses and Matter.  It is not just Magna Mater but more and actually the Mother of Magna Mater. Prakrti = Productive. Prakrti is cognate with Procreatrix (Procreator). Vikrti = produced.

Maya or Prakriti is the material cause, Sakti the Instrumental and Siva the Efficient cause.

Five gods emerge first and later the Maya Sakti emerges as the potential source of the individual soul and its limiting adjuncts followed by inanimate matter. You may notice that the Supreme Being of the nature of Pure Consciousness (1st Perfection) sends out five delegate-deities with subordinate power; later Sakti Tattva takes on the function in the creation of the individual soul with human consciousness, far reduced in Light, Power and Splendor with inherent limitations; Sakti goes on to give the soul a body, organs... and other Tattvas to sustain life on earth. The Power, Splendor and Light of a zillion suns of Siva's Consciousness are reduced to one candlelight of human consciousness. Kashmir Saivism says that Siva's Consciousness contracts and abides in PramAtA, the individual soul. Siva's Universal Body (Visva Sarira) contracts and abides in the body of the individual soul. It is like the banyan tree that comes contracted in a seed. Thus we are all Mini-Sivas in consciousness and body.

Woodroffe. The bodies are threefold: causal (Karana-sarira, or Parasarira, as the Saivas call it), subtle (Suksma-sarira); and gross (Sthula-sarira). These bodies in which the Atma (soul) is enshrined are evolved from Prakrti-Sakti, and are constituted of its various productions. They form the tabernacle of the Spirit (Atma), which as the Lord is "in all beings, and who from within all beings controls them". The body of the Lord (Isvara) is pure Sattva-guna (Suddha-sattva-guna-pradhana). This is the aggregate Prakrti or Maya of Him or Her as the Creator-Creatrix of all things. --Woodroffe. Sattva = virtue and goodness. Guna = quality.


Siva the undifferentiated Consciousness becomes the universe of beings and matter, which are made of Tattvas (Principles or  Building blocks).  What is Supreme, noumenal, transcendental and limitless becomes phenomenal, limited and mundane through His Sakti....This descent is Pravrrti or evolution into 36 Principles. When the Tattvas go back to the source, it is Nivrrti or involution. (Think of mined iron ore becoming its end product like the car and the wrecked car sent back to the smelter to become the car again. Siva is Pure Metal; we the people are metal-slurry.) Siva in the process of creating the universe of beings and matter uses Sakti and Maya. The function of Sakti is to veil and limit Consciousness in its Pravrrti aspect. Pravrrti and Nivrrti are two way street, One of Expansion (Evolution) and One of Contraction (Creation and Reabsorption). Siva1 creates Suddha Tattvas (Pure Principles) meaning the entities have His Pure consciousness ( Sakti2,  Sadasiva3,  Isvara4,  Sadvidya= the top Brass or Officers of Siva Unlimited.).  These Pure Tattvas are put in place for five functions: Creation, Maintenance, Obscuration, Grace and Destruction. Then He creates Suddha-Asuddha Tattvas (Pure-Impure Principles)  through Sakti2.  In this stage Siva's Consciousness is severely limited in the human being, a Tattva known as Purusa12 .

The twenty-fifth entity is Purusa, ’the soul, ‘which is neither producer nor produced, but eternal, like Prākṛti. It is quite distinct from the producing or produced elements and creations of the phenomenal world, though liable to be brought into connection with them. In fact, the object of the Sānkhya system is to effect the liberation of the soul from the fetters in which it is involved by union with Prākṛti. It does this by conveying the Pramā or ‘correct knowledge ‘of the twenty-four constituent principles of creation, and rightly discriminating the soul from them its Pramāṇas, or ‘means of obtaining the correct measure of existing things, ’being reduced from four (see p. 72) to three, viz. Dṛishṭa, Anumāna, and Āpta-vaćana, ’perception by the senses,inference, and credible assertion or trustworthy testimony.’  The root and substance of all things (except soul) is Prākṛti. It is no production. Seven things produced by it are also producers. Thence come sixteen productions. Soul, the twenty-fifth essence, is neither a production nor producer. -- Monier-Williams Indian Wisdom  page 92

 Here is a mixture of Pure and Impure Principles. The third category of Tattvas are Asuddha Tattvas or Impure Principles which a human needs for his body and sustenance on the earth. In the last category, Siva's consciousness is absent and He exists as matter and His last tattva is an insentient earth36.  This is a self-imposed limitation of Siva in the universe of beings and matter. Siva (Sakti) takes back all His Tattvas into Himself in destruction of the universe of beings and matter (Recycling).  We are all Mini-Sivas with everything conceivable in us in a mini state.   This is Mini Me talking to Mini You.

 Purusa12 = that which dwells in the citadel of the heart.

The Principal Upanisads, by Dr. Radhakrishnan, Page 90.  September 2, 2013.

Purusha = soul + body (with five constraints or restrictions. We are limited beings.)

Jīva is literally, 'that which breathes,' from jīv 'to breathe.' It referred originally to the biological aspect of man's nature which goes on throughout life, in waking, dream and sleep. It is called Puruṣa in the sense of puri-śaya or 'that which dwells in the citadel of the heart.' This means that the biological serves the ends of another, the soul or psyche. 'It is this soul which reaps the fruits of deeds and survives the death of the physical body. It is the bhoktṛthe enjoyer, kartṛthe doer1 It is the vijńāna-maya ātmā. The Jīva consists of a material body, the principle of breath (prāṇa), regulating the unconscious activities of the individual, and the principle of conscious activities (manaswhich uses the five sensory organs (indriyasof sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste and the five organs of action, viz speech, hands, feet, excretory and generative organs. All these are organised by vijńāna or buddhiThe basis of the individuality of the ego is vijńāna or intelligence which draws round itself mind, life and body.1 The ego belongs to the relative world, is a stream of experience, a fluent mass of life, a centre round which our experiences of sense and mind gather. At the back of this whole structure is the Universal Consciousness, Ātman , which is our true being.


Umapathi Sivanar defines Purusha12 as the soul with five Constraints, Jackets or limitations in his composition Sivapprakasa, Verse 41.  SivapprakAsam

Purusa12 . The learned say Puruta Tattvam (Purusha Tattva) is the soul that consumes the fruits proceeding from  five Tattvas (KalA, Vidya, RAga, Niyati and KAla. By Saiva Agamas and KalA Suddhi, Purusha Tattva attains purity. Prakriti is the First Cause, and expands into three Gunas (modes or qualities). The First Cause is also called Aviyaktam (Unmanifest with no mass). It is the progenitor of gods, man and matter. It is the Cause and the Caused Product. Scientists of today call Avyaktam, Singularity.  Guna Tattvas, Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas, transform into good and evil fruits causing happiness and misery. Each one of the Gunas take two more Gunas and in all there are nine Gunas. Sattva = Virtue and goodness; Rajas = motion and passion; Tamas = Darkness and sloth.

Gunas, modes, attributes, or qualities do not manifest as long as they are in equilibrium, which is compared to the fragrance in the bud, meaning that the fragrance remains unrevealed.

கலை, வித்தை, ஆராகம், நியதி, காலம் (KalA, Vidya, RAga, Niyati, and KAlam = Learning, Knowledge, Desire, Order(destiny), and Time) are the five Kankucas (பஞ்ச கஞ்சுகம்) or the Five Jackets. In association with the five jackets, and becoming eligible to consume the fruits of Karma, the soul acquires the name of Purusha. There are five afflictions (பஞ்சகிலேசம்): (அவிச்சை, ஆங்காரம், அவா, ஆசை, கோபம் = Spiritual ignorance, Ego, Covetousness, Desire, Anger). Some others list the following: Distress, Pain, Anguish, Sorrow, and Grief.  We are all Purushas with these afflictions and the five restraining jackets. These five jackets are our limitation to our learning, limitation in acquiring knowledge, our inability to fulfill all of our desires, our subjection to order and lack of freedom, and our limitation in lifespan (Time). Now you know Siva is limitless and we are the limited Sivas.



February 12, 2013.  Cascade of Tattvas compared to the Cascading elements in Big Bang and Supernovae.

Burning of Hydrogen, Helium, Carbon, Neon, Oxygen and Silicon produce elements up to iron and Nickel. Assembly of heavier elements takes place within the stars and supernovae.   

Let us take the Big Bang and the Supernova. The Big Bang made the Hydrogen and Helium. Hydrogen is the stem substance of all substances in the world. Nuclear fusion converts hydrogen into Helium and other substances.

Stage 1. The Big Bang made hydrogen, helium and traces of lithium by primordial Big Bang nucleosynthesis, while all heavier elements are made in stars and Supernovae.  Hydrogen fuses into Helium. Stars burn (fuse) Helium into carbon.

Stage 2. Exploding Supernovae made elements.

Gas, dust, metals…populate the interstellar medium (between the star systems).

The White Dwarf detonates in a thermonuclear explosion converting the Carbon and Oxygen to heavier elements like nickel, magnesium, iron… These elements found in the earth are derived from the exploding  Supernovae by a process known as nuclear fusion and nucleosynthesis for elements heavier than iron.  We are all made of star dust.

When Carbon burns (fuses) with Helium in Supernova, it yields Oxygen; When oxygen burns, it yields Neon; Neon burns with helium to yield Magnesium.  This cascade is very much like the process that you see in Tattvas: one Tattva yielding the next Tattva. These Tattvas attain gradual and increasing solidity from the beginning to the end.


 Metals are formed when stars fuse hydrogen and helium into heavier elements. Two protons and two neutrons are the nucleus of a helium atom, which turns out to be very stable. Three helium nuclei make a carbon nucleus; four, oxygen; five, neon; six, magnesium; seven, silicon; eight, sulfur; and so on. Every time we add one or more protons and enough neutrons to keep the nucleus together, we make a new chemical element. If we subtract one proton and three neutrons from mercury, we make gold, the dream of the ancient alchemists. Beyond uranium there are other elements that do not naturally occur on Earth. They are synthesized by human beings and in most cases promptly fall to pieces. One of them, Element 94, is called plutonium and is one of the most toxic substances known. Unfortunately, it falls to pieces rather slowly.---Carl Sagan. January 24, 2014


TATTVA3.jpg is modified to TATTVA3AB.jpg as depicted below.



First there is Void (Singularity) and later Consciousness. Consciousness thinks the Thinkables and speaks the Speakables, when the thinkable becomes an audible sound.   The Speakables become alphabets, syllables, words.... Remember all this is sound. What is a thinkable? Thinkable is a visual sound (Example. Generally speaking, God thinks of apple; Apple appears in His mind's eye; that is visual sound of Apple. The mental sound, Apple, explodes out of His voice box and becomes an audible sound of "Apple". God thinks and says  the word Apple and the Apple appears before Him. Here you appreciate God's Will, Thought, and Word in the creation of an Object. (God said, 'Let there be Light; there was Light.') Once the word is spoken it is articulate sound. Sound is the origin of Thinkables, Speakables, alphabets, words, objects, beings, and the whole universe. When the word acquires meaning, it becomes an object that it denotes. Objects originate from Sound, one becomes two and two becomes three and so on. There is addition and duplication; there is multiplication, differentiation, mutation and a whole universe of diverse objects and beings. That diffuse impalpable Consciousness gives rise to mind, without which there is no world. During deep sleep, when the mind is in abeyance, there is no world of beings or objects for you.

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda  Volume 1     [  Page : 447-448 ]   THE GITA I

Swami Vivekananda says the following about thoughts, words and objects. The Vedas are simply words that have the mystical power to produce effects if the sound intonation is right. If one sound is wrong it will not do. Each one must be perfect. [Thus] what in other religions is called prayer disappeared and the Vedas became the gods. So you see the tremendous importance that was attached to the words of the Vedas. These are the eternal words out of which the whole universe has been produced. There cannot be any thought without the word. Thus whatever there is in this world is the manifestation of thought, and thought can only manifest itself through words. This mass of words by which the unmanifested thought becomes manifest, that is what is meant by the Vedas. It follows that the external existence of everything [depends on the Vedas, for thought] does not exist without the word. If the word "horse" did not exist, none could think of a horse. [So] there must be [an intimate relation between] thought, word, and the external object. What are these words [in reality]? The Vedas. They do not call it Sanskrit language at all. It is Vedic language, a divine language. Sanskrit is a degenerate form. So are all other languages. There is no language older than Vedic. You may ask, "Who wrote the Vedas?" They were not written. The words are the Vedas. A word is Veda, if I can pronounce it rightly. Then it will immediately produce the [desired] effect. (The origin of ancient Sanskrit is 5000 B.C.; the Upanishads [are at least] two thousand years before that. Nobody knows [exactly] how old they are.)

Let me give you an example from Bible: Genesis:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Genesis: God thinks the thinkable: Light. God speaks the speakable: Let there be Light. The next thing we know is there was Light. Light is an object that came from God's thinkability and speakability.

Tattvas are the building blocks of the universe and beings. They proceed from Siva. It starts with Divine Supreme Consciousness in its first dimension, descends to human consciousness with its Kancukas or limitations in its second dimension, acquires all material needs of the body, mind, and soul in its third dimension. The realization of the First dimension of  Universal experience and Transcendental Unity is available only to liberated souls (Vijnanakalars). Second dimension is available to all limited beings (We the people) and souls as individual experience. The third dimension makes provision for existence of the corporeal soul in the phenomenal world by providing ego, mind, intellect, sensory and motor organs and material for life, existence and maintenance.

The following passage is adapted from the book, Saivism in Philosophical Perspective by Sivaraman.

In Saiva Siddhanta, Māyā6 is the First Cause and an expression of God's Will (Iccha). Māyā is dependent on God and not dynamic on its own accord and this character is Asat (அசத்து = non-being).  Māyā is the innate power of the Sakti (Parigraha-śakti).  Siva is its hypostasis and its cause. Siva’s Will is its immediate cause.  Māyā is an object that has a function.  An object and the knower are different entities. The knower may not know everything about an object. That is not the case with Siva who activates Māyā which produces the object. Siva is the knower and knows the object to its fullness, since Siva is the owner of Māyā and the creator of the object through Sakti. The Divine Will, prior to Māyā, is the knowing Consciousness and determines the object's existence, structure and function.  Siva is the agent; Sakti is the instrument; Māyā6 is the object.

Ananta is a mature soul belonging to Vijanankalars free from all Malas (impurities) except Adhikara-mala (Anava Mala).  Ananta is the representative agent or surrogate-agent of cosmic functions, possessing infinite knowledge and freedom. (We are not really free: We cannot walk without legs, see without eyes... while God walks without legs, sees without eyes, touches our lives without hands....) Siva effects a change in Maya through Ananta, who under the stress of Divine Will disturbs the condition of MāyA6 and evolves Kāla7 Tattva (Time) and so on.  Agent Ananta embodied, determinate and endowed with knowledge and action, works on preexisting Maya. Siva’s direct agency exceeds the domain of limited agency of Ananta.  Bindu, the pure counterpart of impure MāyA6  undergoes change under the stress of Cit Sakti. Cit = Consciousness of Siva through Sakti) Siva is the agent and Sakti is the instrument in relation to Bindu.  The five Suddha Tattvas (Siva1, Sakti2,  Sadasiva3,  Isvara4,  Sadvidya5,) are the functional aspects of Siva and the evolutes of Bindu.  God is prius (Munnavan = முன்னவன்) and creates everything out of non-intelligent MāyA6, which does not assume priority or parity with Him.  End of the passage. Suddha = Pure.

Tattvas are 36 in number in the descending order. The first five are Suddha or Pure Tattvas (1-5). The second 7 Tattvas are Suddha-Asuddha  or Pure-Impure Tattvas (6-12). The Third category of 24 Tattvas are Asuddha or Impure Tattvas (13-36). Certain deities preside over some of these Tattvas: the sun over the eye; the quarters over the ear; two Asvins over the nose; Prachetas over the tongue; wind over the skin; Fire over the voice; Indra over the hand; Vishnu over the feet; Mitra over the anus; Prajapati over the genitalia; Moon over the Manas; Brahman over the Mind; Siva over Ahamkara.

The Cascade of Tattvas

Siva1, Sakti2, Sadasiva 3, Isvara4, Sadvidya5, MAyA6, Kala7, Niyati8, Kala9, Vidya10, Raga11, Purusa12 Prakrti Tattva13,
14, Ahamkara15, Manas16,  hearing--Ears17, touch--Skin18, vision and color--Eyes19 , tasting--Tongue or mouth20, smell--Nose21,  speech-Larynx22, grasp-Hands23, ambulation--Feet24, evacuation--Anus25, procreation-Genitals26, sound27, palpation28, form29, taste30 , odor31,  ether32, air33, fire34, water35, earth36.

Since all the elements in the cascade came from Siva-Sakti, all beings and all the universes pulsate with Siva-Sakti. Beings and universes are Siva-Sakti. Sakti is the second element in the cascade. So Siva is all.

Saiva Siddhanta believes that there is a chasm between Pure Consciousness of Siva on one hand and Maya, Purusa, Tattvas, and matter on the other hand. This chasm can be traversed by Sakti; there is no physical connection between Siva and matter; all apparent connections are through the intermediation of Sakti. Yes, He is Water, Air, Fire, Ether and Sky. Let me explain this apparent contradiction.  Siva has three levels of perfection: Supreme Siva1, Parasakti2 and Parameshvara3. Parameshvara3 has  connection with matter through Sakti. Supreme Siva1 is Atattva (Not THAT, not matter). Atattva is NOT mutable, while Tattvas (matter) are mutable.

Supreme Siva,  1st perfection,  The following are other epithets. SivaLinga, Absolute Reality, Paramatman or Supreme Atman, Nirguna Brahman (Brahman without attributes or ParaBrahman, Brahman without Parvati), A-Tattva (Beyond Tattva),  Niskalatattva = the Tattva without Kala or Prakriti. Niskala (No Kala [parts] = No manifested Sakti), Niskriya (No action = actionless), Asabda (No sound = beyond sound = unmanifest sound), Amanaska (without Manas or mind), Nir-vikalpa Samadhi (absence of differentiation; union; absorption, nondual state between Yogi and Brahman). Siva is Niskala, meaning he has no parts, he is whole, he is undivided, he is absolute or Nirguna Brahman--Brahman without attributes; undifferentiated Brahman. As you see here, there is no connection between 1st perfection and matter. Realized Yogis commune with Siva at this stage in Nirvikalpa Samadhi.

Mind = that which is an internal organ of perception, volition, and action. -- Monier-Williams

Horizontal relationship among other entities and sects

Nirguna Brahman = Supreme Narayana (Adhi Narayana) = Parasambhu Siva = Brahmamayi (Here you get an instance where attributeless undifferentiated Brahman becomes Clinical Brahman [Saguna Brahman, Brahman with attributes] who can be any of the following depending on the sect of the worshipper: Vishnu of Vaishnavas, Siva of Saivites, or Devi of Saktas (worshippers of Mother Goddess.) Their common hierarchic superior is genderless non-sectarian undifferentiated Para Brahman or Nirguna Brahman.  Vaishnavites do not believe in Brahman without attributes. Their Parabrahman has attributes or Kalyana Gunas.

Parasakti: 2nd perfection = Supreme Sakti, Sakala (many forms; consisting of parts as opposed to Niskala--no parts. kala = part), Saguna Brahman (Brahman with attributes, Sabda Brahman or Sound Brahman (the One with Thinkability and Speakability), Sakala Siva with attributes and actions, Saguna Brahman with Maya Parvati), Sat-Chit-Ananda (Sachidananda, Being-Consciousness-Bliss), Sa-vikalpa Samadhi (Duality between object and Subject [Idam and Aham, Yogi and Brahman], differentiation.) KalA (கலா) has many contextual meanings and for our purpose we use only a few:  Learning, Parts, Power, Digits of the moon.

Paramesvara: 3rd Perfection, Supreme Isvara or Controller of the phenomenal world. Paramapurusa (Supreme Purusa), manifest Brahman --clinical Brahman, Siva-Sakti. This is where Siva, who maintains the portfolio of destruction, has connection with matter through Sakti.

The Supreme Paramasiva (Parabrahman Siva)  lives in Satyaloka. Sambhu lives in Maharloka. Sadasiva, Isa, Rudra, Vishnu, and Brahma, whose abodes are Tapoloka, Janaloka, Svarloka, Bhuvarloka and Bhurloka,  preside over the five elements respectively: Earth, water, fire, air, and ether.  Paramasiva is the abiding place of all Devatas.

Here is the depiction of Perfections of Siva (1st, 2nd and 3rd) in a flowchart.

siva-hierarchy.gif is modified to siva-hierarchyA.jpg


A slightly different view of formation of Tattvas

SivaLinga: How do you represent an entity that has no form, and is beyond attributes and imagination? Lingam is that aniconic Icon. It is the rounded, elliptical, aniconic image usually set in on a circular base, or Pitha, according to Lexicon in Dancing with Siva by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. Sivalinga is Parasiva (Supreme Siva beyond all forms and qualities. The base (Pitha) represents Parasakti.

AnAdilinga = Anadi + Linga = without beginning + Linga. Also it is known as swyambhu or self-existent. Anadilinga is supernatural Linga-shaped outcroppings as a natural formation from the earth. These are not fashioned by human hand. Anadi Lingas are present at Vaidyanatha, Tarakesvara and Chandrasekara (Chittacong). 

Alinga, Linga, Lingalinga

Alinga -   A = not + Linga = mark. the Non-Mark, the entity which cannot serve as mark for inferring the existence of something else; the causa finalis. Epithet of the fundamental material substance, the causa sui.--Indopedia definition.

Linga is Mark and the Mark of male is Phallus; thus Linga means phallus; that is the sign of Siva. The question comes up why Lingam is the way it looks. Let me explain. If there is smoke, there is fire. The rising smoke is the sign that fire is present in an unseen distant hill. When you see Washington Monument, you think of Washington, though the monument does not look anything like President Washington. The monument, everyone decided, should be stupendous and elegant to honor the First President of the young nation. Just as the Washington Monument is an abstract form of President Washington, Linga is an abstract form of Siva and a generative principle. Siva, according to Saivites, is the First God; He is the Father of all beings; He is the First One to say, "Aham" meaning I, the First I in the Universe. There was no one else in the universe except His Sakti (Power by His side). Being (SattA) or the Supreme Being is of two kinds: Arupa (Formless) and Rupa (with form). Arupa kind consists of Aham and Idam ( I and This). Aham is Prakasa and Idam is Vimarsa. Siva and the Heart of the Lord are Siva-Sakti. Siva is Cit (Consciousness) and Sakti Cidrupini (Form of Consciousness). Cidrupini = Caitanya Rupa. He is Para and She ParA. The long A (ParA) indicates female gender. The short a is male (Para) He is Sava (dead) and She is Sakti. If Siva does not have Sakti (power), He is dead.  He is Akula and She is Sakti.  Siva and Sakti are Sivā or Sive. Thus, Siva and Sakti is a unitary force from which the First I  (through Sakti) became He, She, and It, which cover everything in the Universe; I or One became many.  Siva experiences the Universe as Parasakti (Paranada and Paravak). Idam exists as Parasakti. Lingam is an obelisk well grounded in a labial vestibular pedestal and the aniconic form (Niskala) of Siva. The three white stripes, sandalwood, red dots, and the serpent at the base of the lingam have significance. The serpent represents Sakti-Kundalini.

 Prakasa and Vimarsa; Excerpt from The Garland of Letters page 109

As the Vimarśinī on the Pratyabhijnā says—It is the “I-experience not looking towards another” (Ananyonmukhah ahampratyayah). It is the self-side of experience, Prakāśa or Jńānamātra, which is such, because of the negation of all objectivity or not-self by Śakti-Tattva. For this Jńānamātra, She, as Vimarśa-Śakti, provides through gradual stages the objects of its experience. Her function is negation (Niśedha-vyāpāra-rūpā Śaktih) of all objectivity so as to produce the mere subjective knowing (Prakāśamātra) which is the Śūnyātiśūnya. She then evolves from Herself the objective world in order that it may be the content of the Śiva consciousness. She is pure Will ever associated with Śiva. She is the seed of the whole Universe of moving and unmoving things then absorbed in Herself.  

Icchā saiva svacchā

santatasamavāyinī satī śaktih.

Sacarācarasya jagato

bījam ̣ nikhilasya nijanilīnasya. (Tattva-Sandoha, 2.)


Prakasa = Luminosity, radiance.  Vimarsa = Action-power (Krishnaraj) Vimarsa is the Kartitva (doership) Sakti of Siva. Prakasa --> Vimarsa is the Sakti, the Svabhava (own nature, characteristic) of Siva. It is so to speak, the mirror in which Siva realizes his own grandeur, power, beauty. Vimarsa form is the power latent in Pure Consciousness of Siva. The reflexive aspect of Śiva - that is - Śiva is perceiving Himself (reflecting on his own nature). Vimarsa is Sakti's inherent pulsation (like the inherent pulsation and contractility of the heart). Vimarsa is self-referential nature of consciousness. Kartitva is the power of action.  (It appears that Vimarsa is more complicated than Prakasa.)  Prakasa (splendor) is the heart and Vimarsa (Sakti = power) is the pulsation; One without the other does not exist--Krishnaraj. The Para Devi is Prakāśa-vimarśa-sāmarasyarūpinī. This is the Nirvikalpajńāna state in which there is no distinction of "This" and" That", of "I" and" This". In Vikalpajńāna there is subject and object.  Nirvikalpajńāna = undifferentiated state. Vikalpajńāna = differentiated state.

 Woodroffe: Prakāśa-mātra is unitary existence.  Paramaśiva has two aspects--- Prakāśa and vimarśa, or Kāmeśvara and Kameśvari the Paralinga. Prakāśa  = asphuasphūtīkara, or manifestation of what is not manifest. Vimarśa: This word comes from the root mrish = to touch, to affect, to cogitate. It is that which is pounded or handled by thought, that is, object of reflective thought. Pradhana and Prakrti also involve the meaning "placing in front "; that which is so placed is object. All three terms denote the principle of objectivity.

Super-Supreme Siva. Alinga is One without Mark.: The Great Supreme Vyaktam (manifestation) is beyond the ancient atma Mahan, which is beyond intelligence, the essence of the mind; the latter is beyond the mind, which is beyond the senses.  Beyond avyaktam (Unmanifest entity) is the entity who is all-pervasive and devoid of any mark (alinga). Knowing him brings liberation and immortality.  Linga consists of prakrtic elements such as buddhi, ahamkara, manas, indriyas and Tanmatras (intellect, ego, mind, sense organs and subtle elements); the Super-Supreme is not tainted with these factors or limitations; therefore, it is not subject to Samsara (life on earth). Linga status marks manifest Isvara, while Alinga status carries no marks and is unknowable; it is avyaktam, primordial, undifferentiated, unmanifest, noumenal state. Eyes have never seen this form. He can be known by (spiritual) heart, mind and (spiritual) wisdom. Mental focus helps apprehend Reality. When the five senses (vision, hearing, taste and speech, touch and grasp) and the mind come to a standstill and the intellect does not stir, that is the highest state (Paramam). When the prakrti-bound senses and the mind come to an arrest, the spiritual world that lies beyond the grasp of the senses comes into access.  This is yoga; it needs control of the senses; distractions make yoga come and go.

Another view:

    The three qualities of the insentient and the sentient, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas assume an ontological status in Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra under the aegis of Mahesvara for creation, sustenance, and dissolution of the universe. Mahesvara pervades them all, and in their roles, they are called Alinga, Linga, and Lingalinga.  He is Pradhana (primordial unmanifested matter), Bija (the seed), and Yoni (the womb). Prakrti, the unmanifest matter, wakes up to become manifest and fecund upon the glance of the Lord Mahesvara.

The Linga and the icon:

   SivaLinga is attributeless Nirguna Brahman. It is a point of coalescence and condensation with no mass, where all Tattvas merge into transcendental Singularity.

Nataraja is the Saguna Brahman, the clinical Entity with attributes and the wielder of all Tattvas and Prakrti.

Threefold Siva:

    Some others look at Siva in three forms: Mahesa, Sadasiva, and Nishkala Siva. Mahesa is Sakala form, having body parts, a clinical form; Sadasiva is Misra rupa (mixed form), both with and without attributes; Nishkala (Nirguna) Siva has no form or attributes and is full of Bliss; therefore, it is called Ananda Rupa (Bliss form). In Dance festival (Nritotsava = Nrit +Utsava = Dance Festival), it is the (Ananda Tandava) Bliss Dance by Nishkala Siva.

Many Lingams:

    Configuration of various Lingams are based on the Bhutas or elements: Fire, Earth, Wind, Water and Sky or Ether. The idea is that Siva exists in all elements; thus he exists in your body, whether you know it or not. Thus you body is sacrosanct. Don't maltreat it; don't abuse it; take care of it well; don't blow it up, your own or others.

Element Lingam Place
Fire Fire Lingam Tiruvannamalai
Earth Earth Lingam Kanchipuram
Wind Wind Lingam Kalahasti
Water Water Lingam Jambukeshvar (Trichy)
Sky or Ether Sky Lingam Chidambaram

When the curtain to Chit Sabah (Hall of Consciousness) in Chidambaram is drawn, what you see is an empty space representing Sky Lingam; this is the Chidambara Rahasyam (the Secret of Chidambaram); the Lord exists in all the apparently empty spaces from the atom to the vast spaces of cosmos; thus, he is the Cosmic Dancer; he is the gravitational Dark Matter and the expanding Dark Energy. The Red Mountain of  Tiruvannamalai is the Fire Lingam.

Linga Worship by gods and others, Linga material,  and their respective mantras.

Skanda Purana Chapter 13 tells that anyone who abandons worshipping of Siva, abandons the nectar from his hand and chases a mirage. This universe is Siva and Sakti marked with Linga and Bhaga; they are Rudra and Ambika, the Father and the Mother; anyone abandoning them and making offerings to manes has less merit.  Verses 144b-194 indicate the beings, the Lingas they worship, and the mantra japas. This is not a full list--listed 58/100. The Mantras constitute Satarudriya (100 names of Rudra or Siva). Visvakarman, the celestial carpenter,  is the designer and manufacturer of Lingas of disparate material for the Devas to worship.

The god who worships Siva--the First horizontal Column.
The material that goes to make Linga--the Second horizontal column.
The name of Siva (one among many) that the god worships--the third horizontal column.


Brahma Sanaka Saptarishis Indra The Sun The Moon Fire god Sukra
Hataka linga Krishna (black) Linga Darbha Linga Adamantine Linga Copper Linga Pearl Linga Sapphire Linga Ruby Linga


Jagatpradhana   Visvayonika Visvatman Visvasrj Jagatpati Visvesvara Visvakarman


Kubera Visvedevas Wind god Vasus The Mothers Raksasas Guhyas Jaigisavya
Golden Linga Silver Linga Brass Linga Bell-metal Linga three metal Linga iron Linga Lead Linga Brahmarandhra Linga
Isvara Jagatam Pati Sambhu Svayambhu Bhutesa Bhutabhavyabhavodbhava Yoga Yogesvara


Nimi Dhanvantari Gandhravas Raghava Bana Varuna Nagas
Lingas in his two eyes Gomaya linga Timber Linga Lapis Lazuli Linga Emerald Linga Crystal Linga Coral Linga
Sarva Sarvalokesvaresvara Sarvasrestha Jagajjyestha Vasistha Paramesvara Lokatryamkara


Bharati Sani Ravana Sidddhas Bali Maricipas
Taralinga Sangamavrta Jasmine plant Linga Manasa Linga Linga of gleaned grains Flower Linga
Lokatriyasrita Jagannatha Sadurjaya Kamamrtyujaritiga Jnanatman Jnanagamaya


Kapila Devas Kama Saci Viswakarman Vibhisana
Valukalinga Gold Linga Jagary Linga Salt Linga Prasada Linga Dust Linga
Varada Sitikantha Ratida Babhurukesa Yamaya Suhrttama


Lakshmi Yogins Humans Urvasi Siddha Yoginis Dakinis
Lepya Linga all-pervasive Linga all kinds of Linga red lead linga Sandalwood Linga Mamsa-Linga
Harinetra Sthanu Purusamnaman Priyavasana Sahasraksa Midhusa


Manus Agastya Valmiki Daityas Dasnavas Clouds
Anna Linga Rice grain Linga Valmika (ant hill) Black mustard Linga Wind Linga Nira (H2O) Linga
Girisa Susanta Ciravasi Ugra Dikpati parjanyapati


Skanda Yama Mandhata Cows Birds Earth
Stone Linga Black iron Linga Sugar Linga Milk Linga Sky Linga Merulinga
Senanya Dhanvin Bahuyuga Netrasahasraka Sarvatmaka Dvitanu


Pasupati Brahmanas Vasuki Padma Sages Goddess Siva
Sacred Ash Linga Brahmalinga Visa Linga Srngi Linga Knowledge Linga Mercury Linga  
Mahesvara Jyestha Sankara Dhurjati Cirasthana Tryambaka  

If one wants Purusarthas (virtue, wealth, love, and liberation), Hara-Siva should be worshipped. He brings all three worlds to his devotee.

    Siva is Sunya (Void, Singularity), worshipped by Yogis; the yogic path is very difficult to follow to reach Sunya. Those who want to enjoy worldly pleasures should worship the visible and palpable Linga. (Skanda Purana I.ii.33.25-34)

   Skanda Purana i.II.33.27... says bathing Linga in pure water, the whole universe from Brahma to a blade of grass is propitiated. Bathing Linga with Pancamrita is tantamount to bathing and propitiating the Pitrs. Offering seasonal flowers in worship of Linga is worshipping the whole universe. If a talented man offers Naivedya to Linga, it is tantamount to feeding the whole universe.  Whatever is offered to linga in worship, large or little, brings joy to all.  As Agni is the all-devouring mouth of Devas, Linga is the mouth of all worlds. Installation of Linga in a temple gives logarithmic benefits with each successive construction. Constructing a rounded pinnacle on top of the temple gives a place in the world of Rudra till the end of Kalpa for him and 21 generations in his family.

The universe and beings are called Tattvas, principles, or building blocks. Para Brahman (Nishkala Brahman, Nirguna Brahman; Supreme Brahman without attributes) is all Consciousness and Sakti is the power of Consciousness. When Para Brahman decides to create the universe and beings, He becomes Clinical Brahman, technically known as Saguna, Sabda, Sound Brahman, Maya-Brahman. When both Siva and Sakti come together in Mithuna (union), the experience or thrill is NAda; the product is Maha Bindu, which becomes three Bindus, also known as KAmakala. BINDU.  Kriya-Sakti (Action) is the origin and repository of Sabda and Artha (sound and meaning- Sabda Brahman or Sound Brahman or Logos). Bindu cascades down into Lords of Tattvas in the process of differentiation (Suddha Tattvas) and Tattvas of Mind and Matter (Suddha-Asuddha, Asuddha Tattvas). Sambhu, the presiding deity of Ajna Chakra, is responsible in the creation of Sakti, Sadasiva, Isa, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra.  From Maha Bindu comes Bindu.  Nada and Bindu are two saktis (power). Naada (NAda) is sound and Bindu is dot, or point. Nada and Bindu are the progenitors of Tattvas, the building blocks of the universe. (Sadasiva, Isa, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra are collectively called five Sivas.)

Siva is Ham and Sakti is Sa; Hamsa is the union and Mantra too; the product of this union is also Hamsa; thus Hamsa is the universe and beings.

Here is a simplified version of the cascade resulting in Tattvas. For more information go to BINDUTANTRA. Also see the diagram at the top of the page.

Siva-Sakti→Mithuna or union→experience NAda→Mahabindu→Bindu (Sabda Brahman)→Tattvas.

Nada and Bindu are aspects of Sakti for utilitarian purpose (Upayogā-vastha), wherein she comes to a swollen state (= ready to create = Creation =  Ucchūnāvastha).

Here is how consciousness, sounds, objects came out of the Nisabda and Nispanda (soundless and motionless) Parasiva and ParAsakti. To begin with, there was no sound and no motion. The Will to move and make sound came from Iccha Sakti. Jnana Sakti (Knowledge power) wonders and thinks, "Yes, I can. I have MahaNada and Nada in Me. I can do wonders with them." That is how Sristi-Kalpana, Cosmic and Creation ideation dawned on the Supreme, who conceives the outline of the universe of sounds and objects. That is called Mantavya or Thinkable (State of Thought)SamanA2 or Sakti Tattva is the One who thinks the thought of the Thinkable. UnmanA1 of Siva Tattva is the one who exhibits Herself as the Universe descending from Sunya (Void) to DharA (Earth36).  Samana2 and UnmanA1 are the same Sakti depending on the function, the former of the Thinkables and the latter of display of Herself as the Universe. SamanA residing in Sakti Tattva is VyApini when She withdraws into Herself all the Thinkables, which are Her creation.  So SamanA not only thinks the Thinkables but also absorbs the Thinkables. She thinks the Thinkable when She is in the creative fervor; She absorbs the Thinkables when the whole universe and beings subside in Her.  Sakti has twelve states of evolution (downstream cascade of and or upstream Tattvas) from the Unmanifest to the Gross:  Unmana1, Samana2, Vyapini3 , Anjani4 , Mahanada5, Nada6, Nirodhini7, Ardhachandra8, Bindu9, Ma-kAra10, U-kAra11, and A-kAra12.  10, 11, 12 are part AUM (Om). It is worthwhile to remember that all these Sakti aspects display their powers at appropriate times in the evolution or involution. They exist in the literal sense only after the universe has evolved from Prakrti.

Unmani = UnmanA; Samani = SamanA.  In the following descriptions, KalA means the Inner Force of the Tattvas.

When Unmani is disunited from Manas and devoid of all attachment to all worldly things, it becomes Unmani1 Having reached Unmani, one does not return. Siva Sutra Verse 3.8 says once he who attains oneness with Unmana, the world appears as a ray of light. Dualism disappears for him.

 Siva Sutra:

3.8. जाग्रद् द्वितीयकरः।  jāgrad dvitīyakaraḥ. जाग्रद् = jāgrad = awake; द्वितीय = dvitīya = the second one; करः = kara = ray (hand)  He is awake to the fact that this world is a ray of His light. Krishnaraj.

(He is) one who is always awake i.e. who is always at -one-ment with Unmanā and in whom the world appears as his effulgence of light. Jaideva Singh.

Singh: having obtained the pure Vidya (UnmanA), and having obtained perfect identification with it, he is ever awake (jagrat).

Being awake means remaining always in the state of UnmanA. Consciousness is the hypostasis of all manifestations. There is Saktiman, the possessor of Sakti. Sakti is the manifest world. This world is not mere This or Idam; but is a ray of His light.

Bhaskara says that the Jagrat, being Jnana Sakti, grasps by its hand the Universe as non-different from Jnana.



NirvAna Sakti has two KalAs or Inner Force: NirvAna KalA and AmA KalA, the 17th and 16th kalAs respectively. Nirvana Sakti is both Unmani1and Samani2. Nirvana KalA is Vyapini3 or Sakti Svarupa and above the 16th kala.  Nirvana Sakti is the AntargatA (Indweller) of AmA KalA which is the AntargatA (inner container) of Nirvana KalA.  Ananda is the Bliss or Joy which arises from the union of Para (Bindu-Rupa Siva) and ParA (Sakti or Prakrti); from such union flows the nectar, of which AmA KalA is the receptacle. --Woodroffe.  AmA is the one that maintains the bodies. AmA is also the Sakti (Urdhva Sakti-Rupa = Form of Sakti that moves [the soul] upwards) who propels the soul towards (upwards to) Brahman. When man gets liberated he (or she) moves from matter to spirit in upward fashion. As he moves up, the matter drops one by one and the pure spirit goes up to merge with Sakti and Siva.

In Pravrtti, beings and the world of objects are created. In Nivrrti, they come to the source.

The embodied soul sheds matter as it goes up and this is beautifully explained in Jainism.

Princely Vardhamana rejuvenated Jainism concept; the name Mahavira came about following his enlightenment in 600 B.C. Mahavira = Great hero. Latin Vir (virtue) and Sanskrit Vira connote virtue and heroism. It was a protest movement against animal sacrifice: Ahimsa (non-injury) is the central tenet of Jainism. (Puranas did not recommend animal sacrifices; instead, seeds older than three years, not capable of sprouting, were recommended for sacrificial use.) He opposed Yajna and Jnāna Margas, and he believed in Karma and Samsāra. Karma is a sticky stuff, as Vāsanā (perfume) that clings to the Jiva, weighs it down, and prevents it from moving up to Isatprāgbhara, which means “slightly tilted” dome or sphere. That is the supreme destination for the liberated Jivas. These Jivas (individual souls) stay down at various levels of existence ranging from matter, to plant, to ameba, to animal, to man according to the weight of Karma of the individual entity. As the Karmic load lightens, the bubble, the individual soul, rises from the lowest possible regions through intermediate zones to Isatprāgbhara, where supreme and splendid isolation (Kaivalya) is the norm. (All this sounds like distillation in a lab.) How is it possible that all these Jivas or monads gather on the crowded undersurface of this tilted dome or the cranial bone (its other name), which is whiter than milk, shinier than the most lustrous gold, and more translucent than a crystal, to enjoy a splendid isolation? It is not isolation in the ordinary sense. As the Jiva rises higher and higher from the lowest to the highest, it sheds the dissolved impurities (Karma); when it reaches the undersurface of the tilted dome, it is clear, translucent, and pure. The many-times-distilled and rising bubble undergoes isolation from all impurities: That is isolation from all dualities and impurities of the world such as pleasure and pain; love and hate; vagaries of life; the sights, sounds, and smells; and the limits of being matter, plant, animal and human. The conditioned, limited, and deficient knowledge of the human being stays behind and the Jiva in splendid isolation (from the impurities) is all awareness, all knowledge, all Truth, and all omniscience.

AmA KalA is Creative Sakti and becomes Nirvana KalA of Pure Consciousness. Remember State of Nirvana is a higher than AmA.

 AmA KalA = 16th KalA = Vyapika Sakti = Paratpara = Receptacle of the Nectar that flows from the union of Para (Bindurupa Siva) and ParA (Sakti). It is the Creative aspect (Anjani) of Vyapini Tattva. AmA is both Srstyunmukhi (looking towards creation) and Urddhva-Saktirupa (looking upwards or towards liberation; takes the soul to liberation upwards.) Ama is Creative Anjani and Adhomukhi, (and Liberating).  Srstyunmukhi is Adhomukhi meaning downward-turned-mouth (petals). Petals turned down before Kundali ascends.

NirvAna KalA  = 17th KalA = Vyapini Tattva  = Sakti Svarupa = VyApini Tattva. It is the Supreme aspect of VyApini Tattva as Vyapika is more excellent than Ama KalA. It is the CinmAtra SvabhAvA or Pure Consciousness aspect of AmA KalA. AmartAkArarUpini.  VyApinI = Expansive. Nirvana Sakti is the Antargata (Indweller) of Nirvana KalA.

AmA KalA and NirvAna KalA are two aspects ( creative and supreme ) of VyApini Tattva as VyApikA and Anjani.   NirvAna KalA is more excellent or beyond AmA KalA--16th KalA.  TATTVA11.gif


NirvAna Sakti  or Samani in Sakti Tattva is  the abode of PAsajAla (bondage).

NirvAna KalA is CinmAtra SvabhAvA or Pure Consciousness aspect of  what in the creative aspect is called AmA KalA.


Unmana1 is the stage when there is no sound, no motion, no change in Siva Tattva. Unmana1 is closing of the eyes, Nimesha (= shutting the eye, Nivrrti, involution, retrograde movement of the pure soul, Dissolution.). Unmana1 of Siva Tattva is the one who exhibits Herself as the Universe descending from Sunya (Void) to DharA (Foundation, Earth36) and names Herself  Samana2 .  Unmani is Sivapada, beyond KAla (Time) and KalA (parts; without KalA =  undivided). Nirvana Sakti is Unmani. When Samani is disunited from Manas and devoid of all attachment to all worldly things, it becomes Unmani1.  Having reached Unmani, one does not return. Think of this: Unmani is Zero from which all numbers proceed; Unmani is Zero into which all numbers subside.

Samana2  Memory aid (So many things come into existence.--Downstream pathway.)

Samana2 of Sakti Tattva, thinks the Thinkables and opens her eyes (Unmesha =  opening the eyes, looking up. Upward motion of the eyelids = Creation). Samana2 belongs to the downstream pathway of Tattvas. The Thinkables become things later on. SamanA is in Sakti Tattva. Samani has seven KalAs (Inner Force, displays of power): Sarvajna, SarvagA, DurgA, SavarnA, SphrhanA, AmrtA, Amrta-SambhavA, Vyapini3 . NirvAna Sakti is SamanApada or Samani, the life and origin of all beings (SarvesAm YonirUpini).

Vyapini3  வியாபினி (She takes back everything she created--Upstream; Nivrrti )

Samana2 calls Herself Vyapini3 when She withdraws the Thinkables into Herself. She abides in Sakti Tattva. Vyapini3  belongs to and is involved in the Involution, retrograde or upstream pathway of Tattvas, Kundali, and the pure individual soul. Nirvana KalA (KalA = Inner Force) is Vyapini Tattva or Sakti SvarUpa.

Anjani4  (Creative force.  Pravrtti, downstream. Creative force becomes silent when the soul goes up for union with Siva-Sakti.)

Samanacalls Herself Anjani4 residing in Sakti Tattva and carries out the function of creation with regard to Thinkables. She belongs to downstream cascade of Tattvas in the creation of the universe of beings and matter.  Anjan means generation, begetting, becoming prolific. In a downstream creation of the Tattvas Samana becomes Anjani. In upstream ascent of the soul, Anjani becomes silent and inactive.

As you see Samani (a)2 calls Herself Vyapini3 when our soul goes upwards to merge with Siva. She calls Herself Anjani4 , when our soul descends down to be born with a body.  Vyapini3 is the Dissolution force after we die and takes us to merge with Siva; we dissolve in Siva in a pure state. Anjani4 is the Creative force that gives our soul a body and puts us on the earth.


Mahanada5 (Great Sound or Great Melody) residing in Sadasiva Tattva moves strongly from its Siva Form and makes the Very First Sound in the Universe. Mahanada has one KalA: Urdhva Gamini (Upward going, mover, propeller.) Sadasiva Tattva is the giver of Grace to the returning pure souls and thus Urdhva Gamini propels the pure soul upwards to Unmani -complete liberation. This is Nivrrti as opposed to Pravrrti.

NAda6 நாதம்

NAda6, one Form of Sakti as others, also called Sadasiva Tattva fills the whole universe with Nadanta. Here the Aham and Idam are equal. Nada has four KalAs: Indhika, DipikA, RocikA, and MocikA and possibly RecikA.


Nirodhini7, நிரோதினி. another Sakti resting in Sadasiva Tattva, ceases to operate in its universal scope of Nada and does so limitedly. Nirodhini7 is limited Nada. Nirodhini Sakti has five KalAs (power): Rundhini, Rodhini, Raudri, Jnana Bodha, TamopahA. Rundhini and Rodhini are obstructing Saktis that prevent lower experiencers such as Brahma and other Devatas attempting to enter into the higher state of Nada. Simply put, they are Bouncers or Obstructors and Facilitators. They deny Anugraha or Grace to the undeserving. KalA Jnana Bodha confers wisdom to the deserving and KalA Tamopaha dispels darkness in the deserving. These kalAs are known as Sarvadeva-NirodhikA (All gods Obstructors). They prevent the fall of Devas from higher station and the rise of undeserving deities to a higher station. The deserving go up to merge with Siva-Sakti. The undeserving are prevented upward mobility.


Ardhachandra8, residing in Isvara Tattva, is operational in the creation of the Speakables. Ardhachandra  has five KalAs: JyotsnA, JyotsnAvati, KAnti, SuprabhA and VimalA. They are Sarvajna-pada-samsthita (Knower of All knowledge). Thinkables, having been thought, become Speakables before they become objects. God or Goddess thinks "Apple"; speaks the word "Apple"; sees the "Apple" before Him or Her.


Bindu9 is Para Sakti Herself of the nature of inseparable illumination (Prakasa) in regard to the whole range of the Speakables. She resides in Isvara Tattva.

Tamil lexicon lists the following sixteen mystic centers in the body.

The sixteen mystic centres in the body in which Šakti manifests herself, viz., mētai, arkkīcam, viṣam, vintu, arttacantiraṉ, nirōti, nātam, nātāntam, catti, viyāpiṉi, viyōmarūpi, aṉantai, aṉātai, aṉācirutai, camaṉai, uṉmaṉai; மேதை, அர்க்கீசம், விஷம், விந்து, அர்த்தசந்திரன், நிரோதி, நாதம், நாதாந்தம், சத்தி, வியாபினி, வியோமரூபி, அனந்தை,


The Goddess creates this world and takes it back. She has Iccha, Jnana, and Kriya saktis (Will, Knowledge, and Action). We the people also have these powers in limited amounts and in a different order: jnana, iccha, and kriya. Goddess has the necessary (preexisting, antecedent, or prior) Knowledge as part of Her constitution; Iccha, Jnana, and Kriya saktis are Her natural or Innate Perfections. We the people do not have knowledge when we are born; we have to acquire it; it is always limited; likewise, our will and action are limited; that is the difference between a deity and man. Before we exercise our will or desire to make a computer chip, we have to acquire knowledge first; thus the order in man is knowledge, will and action. In a deity, she Wills, uses Innate Knowledge and Acts.

(The Cosmic Iccha Sakti (Will to create) has come down as individual sexual desire to produce progeny in human. --Haiharananda Bharati. The same is true of Jnana and Kriya Saktis.)

There are six paths (Adhvans) leading to realization of the Supreme. They are KalA (power or attribute), Tattva (principle or Category), Bhuvana (Region, world), Varna (letters), Pada (words) and Mantra.  One source tells that the Bhuvanas are related to Kundalini Chakras and higher entities: Muladhara Chakra the lowest and Unmana1 the highest. Bhuvanas represent different levels of mind and spiritual development. Others say the Bhuvanas are the ethereal, the serial, the igneous, the watery and the earth region.

Bindu has five KalAs or powers: Nivrtti, PratistA, VidyA, and SAnti and SAntyatita. Another source tells that the Kalas are PItA, SvetA, ArunA and AsitA.   These KalAs are present in the body and a guru can locate them for the pupil.

A: Nivrrti KalA is the working principle in Earth36 Tattva. Earth is where Kundali comes to rest after evolution (Pravrrti) and descent of all Tattvas. The next step is reversal, Nivrrti,  involution or ascent of all Tattvas back to Siva Tattva. It is like going down from Z to A, A being the Earth Tattva, which has no consciousness while Z (Siva Tattva) has the Most Consciousness. Nivrrti Kala contains 16 Bhuvanas.

B: PratistA is the Basis, Force or Inner Framework, that supplies and supports Tattvas from Prakrti13 to Water35  on which the Outer Physical Universe is built. (Prakrti Tattva13,  Buddhi14, Ahamkara15, Manas16, hearing17 tactile sense18, vision and color19, tasting20, smell21, speech22, grasp23, ambulation24, evacuation25, procreation26, sound27, palpation28, form29, taste30, odor31,  ether32, air33, fire34, water35.)  Pratista KalA contains 56 Bhuvanas.   Ahamkara15  = ’self-consciousness or individuality.'--Monier-Williams.

C: VidyA: The third KalA of Bindu is VidyA KalA, which is limited knowledge that a human has in comparison  to the Supreme. It is the dominant KalA of Tattvas and has 5 Kancukas ranging from (MāyA6) Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11, (Purusa12). These are related to VAma, Jayestha, and Raudri Saktis. MAyA6 is the source of 5 Kancukas (7-11) and the limiting principle of the Divine. Kashmir Saivism says MāyA6 puts a limitation on the infiniteness of the experience of Sivaness by the individual soul so that the individual soul forgets its organic connection with Siva and thinks that it (the soul) and other distal Tattvas or objects are different from Siva. The five Kancukas (7-11) are the straitjacket of Maya, which severely dumbs down the individual soul, though identical with Siva. Siva Tattva-Consciousness is Pure spotless Diamond, while human consciousness is ordinary carbon; Diamond is the Highest Form of Carbon.  Maya Tattva is the repository of Anava and Maya (Mayiya) Malas. Vidya KalA contains 28 BhuvanAs.

Kancukas definition: Forms of Sakti, whereby the natural perfections of Consciousness are limited. Thus from all-knowing it becomes little-knowing; from being almighty, it becomes a little-doer, etc. The term Saṁcosa expresses the same idea. --Serpent Power page 39 by Woodroffe.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa on the Mud of Maya holding man away from God.

Saying 18. God is to man what a magnet is to iron. Why does He not then attract man? As iron thickly imbedded in mud is not moved by the attraction of the magnet, so the soul thickly imbedded in Maya does not feel the attraction of the Lord. But when the mud is washed away with water, the iron is free to move. Even so, when by the constant tears of prayer and repentance, the soul washes away the mud of Maya that compels it to stick to the earth, it is soon attracted by the Lord to Himself.


D: SAnti is peace, which is free of duality, which (duality) is the source of sorrow. Santi KalA allows the glorious blissful experience of the returning soul on its upward march through Sadvidya5, Isvara4, Sadasiva3, Sakti2 Tattvas. Santa KalAs contain 18 Bhuvanas.

E: Santyatita KalA: "SAntyatita kalA annihilates duality and bestows bliss". One source tells that Bindu has two parts: Transcendental and creative. Creative lower part is involved with evolution of Tattvas.

Ma-kAra10  (alphabet M of AUM--OM)

Ma-kAra10, moving in Maya Tattva, is Rudra Devata and manifests diversity. The KalAs of Rudra are TamomohA, KsudhA, NidrA, Mrityu, MAyA, BhayA, JadA. It is the M in AUM (Om)


U-kAra11, the Sakti residing in Prakrti Tattva, creates objects as separate existences. Vishnu's KalAs are RAjas, RAksA, Rati, PAlyA, KAmyA, Buddhi,

 MAyA, NAdi, BhrAmani, Mohini, Trsna, Mati, KriyA. It is the U in AUM.


A-kAra12 Sakti is known as MAntrI KalA (the creative art or process considered as Sound or Mantra), When the creation of Tattvas has come to an end because objectivity is completely revealed. Brahma's KalAs are Siddhi, Rddhi, Dyuti, Laksmi, MedhA, KAnti, Dhrti, SudhA. It is the A in AUM

 The Supreme Samana2  thinks, "I am alone all by myself."  That is the Supreme Aham or I-Consciousness. When His imagination (Thinkables) runs galore, He develops Idam or This-Consciousness. There is going to be "This" besides the lone Myself.  (Idam besides Aham.) Nada6 is diffuse sound like the distant thunder and diffuse clouds; there is no shape, no contour, no color. That will end. They will all soon acquire those qualities in Ardhachandra8 .Nada Sakti goes to work and spreads Nadanta throughout the universe. The Vacya or Speakables appear in Bindu9. The Bija Mantras appear; Sanskrit sounds appear; there are objects everywhere; Mantras in alphabet (Varna), syllables (Pada), phonemes, quasi-morpheme and its series, morphemes, words (Vak), phrases, sentences (Vakya), verses, and passages appear. A-kAra12 marks the end, when sounds and objects are revealed. You, the carpenter wants to make a chair; that is the Thinkable state. You say "I want to make a chair"; that is Sound or Speakable. You make the chair; that is the object. This is how Stirless Sound, Thinkable, Speakable, Sound and Object come into being in the appearance of universe and beings.

Here is a depiction of Sound from the Stirless Sound (Nispanda) to Thinkables to Speakables to Articulate Sounds and to objects.  It is the Logos becoming objects, in the western tradition.  TATTVA8.gif




  Nada and Bindu are two saktis (power). Naada (Nada) is sound and Bindu is dot, or point. Nada and Bindu are the progenitors of Tattvas, the building blocks of the universe. Supreme Consciousness divides itself into subject and object in time and space.--Woodroffe.  Sakti divides again into Bindu, Nada and Bija. Bindu is Siva and Bija is Sakti. Nada is the relationship between the two. Nada is action and Bindu is static; Nada is white and Bindu is red. Skanda Purana says that Siva-Sadasiva is of the nature of Nada (divine sound) sitting in AkArapIthikA (Pedestal of the letter A) and Five-letter Mantra Namasivaya.  Parasiva and ParAsakti, ontologically superior to Nada and Bindu, are Soundless and motionless (NiSabda) and NiSpanda). Sabda = sound. Spanda = contraction and expansion, vibration, motion.  Nada transforms into Bindu which is Isvara Tattva, the origin of the worlds. Bindu's abode is Satyaloka, which abides in the pericarp of the thousand-petalled Lotus, Sahasrara Chakra in the highest cerebral Center, according to Woodroffe.


The Tattvas have three major categories: Suddha Tattva, Suddha-Asuddha Tattva, and Asudddha Tattvas (Pure, Pure-Impure, and Impure Tattvas. See the diagram below. Pure Tattvas have Pure Consciousness. Pure-Impure Tattvas have Prakasa and Jada (brightness and inertness). The Impure Tattvas are Jada, matter and insentient. TATTVA7.jpg


Siva acts through Sakti, which can jump back and forth over the chasm, while matter cannot be traced back to Siva Consciousness. The soul has a proximate connection with Siva Sakti in Sakala, Suddha, and Siva in liberated state; he controls and pervades everything through his Sakti. Sakti acts as his agent and surrogate in contact with matter. Sakti is eternal (anādi rūpā) Brahman (Brahma rūpā) both Nirguna and Saguna.

Note: When All souls receive Grace and merge with Siva, it is not a physical union; it is a union in spirit. Siva and the merging souls keep their separate identity in the union. But all the pure liberated individual souls are homogenized (like the milk in the carton, you don't know which and how many cows it came from, but Siva and the individual souls know) when they "merge" with Siva. Homogenize = to make uniform.

The transformation of the Spirit, Pure Consciousness, or Paramatma (Supreme Atma or Soul) through a  cascade of Tattvas from Spirit through knowledge to lesser consciousness to matter is depicted here as an evolutionary process and the Tattvas measure the distance between individual soul and matter on the distal end and Pure Consciousness on the proximal end. Consider the chasm that separates Siva from matter.

Supreme Siva's other names: Atattva or Parasiva, Supreme Tattva, (Beyond tattvas-- Beyond all elements, Absolute Reality)1st perfection, Siva Linga, Paramatman,  Niskala, Niskriya, Asabda, Amanaska, Parabrahman. Nir-vikalpa Samadhi, Paranada--->Nada.  Niskriya is "actionless one" while Sakriya is prone to action.

Niskala =  Nis + Kala = devoid of manifested Sakti. Niskala Siva: Nirguna Brahman, not associated with creative sakti. Sakti association present in latency. Niskala = Nis + Kalā = without + Prakriti.

Nirguna Brahman: Brahman without attributes. Asabda: Soundless,  Niskriya: actionless, Amanaska: without Manas or mental functions (compare to: Blank Slate, Clean Slate, hard drive with no data.) Attava = A+Tattva = A+That, That = product, category; A-tattva: before Tattva, not that, not a product, beyond that, Brahman, Truth. Para Brahman = Supreme Brahman. Nirvikalpa = no differentiation. Nada = sound. Paramatman = Supreme Atman or Soul.  TATTVA2.gif

Suddha Tattvas  or Siva Tattvas

In the above depiction, Siva Tattva has the highest Consciousness, which diminishes in a gradient fashion to Suddha Vidya Tattva. This is a two-way street from 1 to 36  and 36 to 1. Siva Tattva uses Sakti Tattva to create this world of gods, beings and matter. From one to 36, there is diminution of Siva Consciousness from the highest #1 to the insentient 36th Tattva, the earth.  The First Pentad is the five Suddha Tattvas or Pure Principles (gods). These entities can be compared to Board of Directors. But Siva is number one, Sakti #2, Sadasiva #3, Isvara #4, and Suddha Vidya #5. Their powers and Consciousness diminish from one to five. Each one has an important function: Siva is Supreme although Sakti is equal to him. Sakti is like a Vice-President. Together with Siva, Siva-Sakti gives rise to Sadasiva, Isvara and Suddha Vidya Tattvas in a linear fashion so much so that Sadasiva is the second generation, Isvara, the third generation and Suddha-Vidya the fourth generation. Sadasiva is the interphase between the lower Tattvas and Sakti-Siva. Sadasiva #3 is the agent who confers Grace to a human soul on its ascent to Siva from existence in this phenomenal world so that the soul full of Grace can merge with Siva. Tattvas from 1 to 36 show the projection of Supreme Siva into 1st a world of gods (Tattvas 1-5), 2nd a world of human soul and its qualities and limitations (6-12), and 3rd a world of matter (13-36).  Descent from Tattva 1 to Tattva 36 is that of Siva from Supreme Consciousness, to human consciousness to insentient matter. The human soul is called Purusa and its number is 12. By its mere relative position you know that its consciousness is diminished to the 12th position. This is dumbing down of Siva Consciousness to human consciousness. The insentient matter like water, air, fire, earth are necessary for the human soul with body (Jiva) to sustain in this world. Once the human soul roils in this world of hard knocks and gets rid of its impurities (Malam), it is ready to take a centripetal ascendant journey from #36 to number 1. You may say I am not earth, the 36th principle. Yes! you are earth, because your body has the essential minerals from earth that sustain you (think of essential elements like Sodium, Potassium, Calcium). All these Tattvas are burden on the soul which yearns to merge with Siva. Body is a burden on the soul. The body has to shed itself along with other Tattvas; Sakti Tattva helps the individual soul in that it (Kundalini Sakti) absorbs all these Tattvas on your way up. Once you reach the level of number 4 (Isvara Tattva) on your ascent and shed all the impurities and the distal Tattvas, Sadasiva (Tattva #3) confers Grace, without which your soul will not merge with Siva-Sakti and later with Siva. Now let me give you an idea of Isvara Tattva (Tattva #4) and its function. Isvara Tattva carries the opposite function of Sadasiva Tattva, which is the giver of Grace. Isvara Tattva is an important entity when Siva-Sakti evolves downstream giving rise to human consciousness, soul and matter. It veils spiritual knowledge from the human soul on its birth in this world with a body. Now you see Isvara Tattva is operative in the downstream procession of Tattvas in that it veils knowledge. Sadasiva Tattva is operative in the ascent phase of the human soul in that it gives Grace. Obscuration and veiling of Spiritual knowledge from the human soul serve a purpose. The new, nascent, young, immature and impure soul does not have the ability to use Spiritual Knowledge or receive Grace because it is full of ignorance and impurities. Let me give you an example. A professor of Mathematics has a preschooler son, actively hides higher math from his son and lets him struggle with simple additions. When his son is mature,  intelligent and grown up, he will reveal Higher Math to him. In similar manner, when the soul is mature and pure, Sadasiva reveals Spiritual knowledge (Grace). When you look at these 36 Tattvas, you see that the soul and matter are recycled. When one dies carrying a karmic bag, he will be born again as human, animal or plant according to the weight and quality of Karmic bag. This death and rebirth will go on until the Karmic bag is empty and shed once for all. That is when he will get grace from Sadasiva3.

ParA-Samvit or Paramasiva being above Siva Tattva is not a Tattva because Paramasiva is not mutable (as Tattvas are or subject to). Tattvas are mutable and mutability is not the quality of the Supreme Supreme. If something is mutable, it is matter.

1.Siva Tattva, 2. Sakti Tattva, 3. Sadasiva Tattva, 4. Isvara or Isa Tattva, 5. Suddha Vidya Tattvas.  (Siva Tattva = Sakala Siva = Sat-Cit-Ananda) In Siva Tattva, Jnana or Knowledge exists without Iccha and Kriya (Will and Action); In Sakti Tattva, action (Kriya)  occupies the centerpiece; In Sadasiva Tattva (Nada), knowledge and action (Jnana and Kriya) are in balance; in Isvara Tattva (Bindu) action is dominant while Knowledge is in the background; in Suddha Vidya Tatttva, knowledge is dominant while action is in the background.  These are Pure Tattvas with higher consciousness, though Siva Tattva is the purest Consciousness and others from 2 to 5 are progressively less pure (by small amounts) and have linear degradation in their consciousness, representing five generations of consciousness. Limited human consciousness is less pure than the five Suddha Tattvas, meaning we are further down the line, liable to make mistakes and commit errors. Animals don't even come close. They have instinct and subconsciousness. Consider this for didactic purposes. Amoeba's consciousness is 0.0000000001; Human consciousness is 1 and 1st Perfection Siva is zillion times more than human consciousness. Human consciousness is 1 Watt bulb, while Siva's Consciousness is a zillion watt bulb; It is a mere number for illustration of infinite Splendor (Prakasa). Saiva Siddhanta asserts the power of Sakti (Tattva) exists in all beings and matter. Consciousness sleeps in the stone, feels in the flora, senses in the fauna and thinks in man. Sentience runs parallel with consciousness.  The body of Jiva containing limited human consciousness is the individual Prakrti or Avidya (ignorance) with impure Sattva (Malina Sattva Guna Pradhana).  TATTVA5.gif


Here is what Sri Swami Sivananda says about Prakasa and Vimarsa.

In this system of Sakti Yoga philosophy, Siva is omnipresent, impersonal and inactive. He is pure consciousness. Sakti is dynamic.  Sakti is the mirror; when Siva sees his image in Sakti, He says I (Aham); the Universal Ego of Siva emerges. Sakti transforms from Being to Becoming.  Siva and Sakti are related as Prakasa and Vimarsa. Prakasa = shining; radiance; manifestation. Vimarsa = reflection; deliberation. Sakti or Vimarsa is the power that is latent in the pure consciousness. Vimarsa gives rise to the world of distinctions. Siva is Chit, Sakti is Chidrupini. Brahma, Vishnu and Siva (of 2nd perfection) do their functions of creation, preservation and destruction in obedience to Sakti. Sakti is endowed with Ichha (will), Jnana (knowledge) and Kriya (action). Siva and Sakti are one. Sakti-Tattva and Siva-Tattva are inseparable. Siva is always with Sakti.

Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra are the Lords of Tattvas from Prithvi (Earth36) to Vidya6, according to Woodroffe.

Siva-Tattva and Sakti-Tattva

The creative aspect of the Supreme Siva is called Siva-Tattva. Sakti-Tattva is the will of Siva. It is the seed and womb of the entire world.

Siva has two aspects. In one aspect, He is the supreme, changeless One who is Satchidananda. This is Para Samvit. Nishkala Siva is Nirguna Siva. He is not connected with the creative Sakti. In the other aspect, He changes as the world. The cause of the change is Siva-Tattva. Sakti-Tattva is the first dynamic aspect of Brahman. This Siva-Tattva and Sakti-Tattva are inseparable.

Sakti, The Ruler of Maya

Maya or Prakriti (matter) is within the womb of Sakti. Maya is the matrix of the world. Maya is potential in the state of dissolution. She is dynamic in creation. Maya evolves into several material elements and other physical parts of all sentient creatures, under the direction of Sakti.

There are thirty-six Tattvas or principles in the Sakti philosophy.  End of Swami Sivananda's commentary.

Prakasa and Vimarsa exist in Siva, Sakti and individual soul. Woodroffe states the following,

That is to say, the individual self is also of the nature of consciousness and has self-consciousness also. Analogically speaking, we can say prakasa, in the case of the individual, is the shining intelligence and also the ideas, desires, memories, etc. which are its manifestations; and vimarsa is the individual's awareness that 'those are mine'. Vimarsa comes from the root mrish = to touch, to affect, to cogitate. It is that which is pounded or handled by thought, that is , object of reflective thought. Prakasa and Vimarsa are also known as KAmesvara and KAmesvari, (Linga and) Paralinga.

Here is another elaboration of Prakasa and Vimarsa. TPS  = Tri-Pura-Sundari = Three -City-Beauty

TPS is Vimarsa Sakti in whom all 36 Tattvas exist. Tattvas = building blocks of the universe.  Vimarsa Sakti is the Object of experience. Siva is Aham (I). TPS is Vimarsa (This or Idam). She is the Pulsating Universe. When a King (Siva) looks at his own reflection in a mirror and says, "I am he who is thus reflected." Siva is looking at His own power (in the mirror or Sakti). He being the heart sees His pulsation in Vimarsa. He is the Perfect "I". AHAM is the union of A = Siva + Ha = Sakti. M is the terminator of the word.. Siva is Knowledge (Jnana Sakti) and Action (Kriya Sakti). He is the heart of Knowledge and Sakti is the Action-Pulsation.  He is Illumination (Prakasa). Siva is Sita or white Bindu or Moon; Sakti is Sona or red Bindu or Fire. They are the divine couple: KAmesvara and KAmesvari. The union of the couple is the Mixed or Misra Bindu or the Sun. All three Bindus are termed KAmakalA. Sun, Moon and Fire are Illumination and Bliss. They contain within them an endless mass of letters and Mantras. Thus they are the origin of letters and words of all languages. Misra Bindu has the creative aspect and is the origin of the manifested word (Vak) and its meaning (Artha). NAda Sakti comes forth in seed form from Misra or Mixed Bindu, which is the union of A and Ha. Maha-TPS (Great TPS) is diagrammatically represented by the three Bindus, three lines and triangular Yoni.  Her face is the First Bindu (Blue Dot) at the top of the diagram and the Sun. The lower two Bindus are her Breasts (Moon and Fire). The three lines are the folds below the breast, a mark of Divine Beauty. The Triangle is half of Ha (Sakti) and Yoni (Womb). That which issues out of her Yoni is NAda, the origin of all sounds. The word is Brahman and the Universe is Brahman. The lower two Bindus (Moon and Fire) are inseparable Prakasa and Vimarsa. He is Vak (word) and She is Artha (meaning). He is Mantra and She is Realization. When Sadhaka attains realization by Sadhana, Devata appears as Artha (meaning) of the Mantra (Vak or word). Thus Yogi meditates on Mother Maha-TPS who is MahAkalA and the aggregate of three Bindus. Vijnana-BhattArka says. "A Yogi by passing through various Mandalas in Sri Chakra containing the gross letters rises up to Ardhendu, Bindu, NAdAnta and to SUnya in BindurUpachakra and becomes Siva. The West says that this is the worship of Pudendum Muliebre. The down Triangle is the Womb of Divine Mother of the Universe, Maha TPS. This is the Locus of Secret play of Siva and Sakti as Moon and Fire; the product of this Combine is the Sun (Divine Energy), the origin of Name (NAma) and Forms (RUpa = Form = Meaning). Here Moon, Fire and Sun do not refer to the entities that we ordinarily associate with but to Siva, Sakti, and the word (the origin of the universe).

Suddha Tattvas: Siva1, Sakti2,  Sadasiva3,  Isvara4,  Sadvidya5

The Suddha Tattvas act asynchronously in such ways that the embodied souls are subject to diversified experiences (polymorphism) commensurate with their karmic load.

0-1-2:  Parasamvit, Siva Tattva, and Sakti Tattva are non-dual states. Parasamvit =  Supreme Consciousness of Siva. Prakasa = Aham (I) and Siva; Vimarsa = Sakti.  Parasamvit is the unitary experience at the point of coalescence of Aham and Idam (I and This).  Aham is not different or opposed to Idam; they are two sides of a coin. When the head is up, Aham is emphasized; when the tail is up Sakti is emphasized. When the coin is standing on the side, there is equality of Aham and Idam and the coin is ready to roll, meaning the preliminary step is being taken for the dichotomy in consciousness. Siva is inseparable from Sakti UnmanA.  Siva Tattva is the repository of Saiva Agamas in the form of Suksma Vac. Sakti Tattva is the repository of Pasyanti (Visual Sound).

Siva is Numero Uno in the true sense of the words. Since All Tattvas involute in Sakti and Sakti Tattva in turn involutes in Siva Tattva in Lysis, Laya, or Dissolution, He is known as Laya Tattva. This happens when the whole universe and beings are reabsorbed into Him. Sanskrit Laya and English Lysis are cognate. As said elsewhere, Siva is Saktiman, Nada, Laya Siva, Nishkala Siva.

Bindu, Siva and Sakti are the Three Jewels, which are the material cause, efficient cause and instrumental cause respectively of the universe and beings.  Bindu comes into play at the end of dissolution and becomes prolific under the Will of Siva. Siva is the Nimitta Karana (Efficient Cause) in the Suddha Tattvas and indirectly in the lower Tattvas. Sakti is Sahakari Karana (Instrumental Cause = Secondary Cause) functioning in all three categories of Tattvas; Bindu is Upadana Karana (Material Cause) and functions both in Pure and Impure categories.

efficient cause: (nimitta karana) That which directly produces the effect; that which conceives, makes, shapes, etc., such as the potter who fashions a clay pot, or God who creates the world.   www.experiencefestival.com

material cause: (upadana karana) The matter from which the effect is formed, as the clay which is shaped into a pot, or God as primal substance becoming the world.

 instrumental cause: (sahakari karana) That which serves as a means, mechanism or tool in producing the effect, such as the potter's wheel, necessary for making a pot, or God's generative Sakti.

Parama Siva exercises Jnana Sakti, which induces stress on the tranquil Bindu and jolts it out of equilibrium. Thus woken up from post-deluge slumber, Bindu quickens and becomes Siva Tattva (the first modification). Siva Tattva is JnanamAtra,  exercises Will on MAyA6 Tattva and induces evolution of other distal Tattvas.  Purusha12 Tattva undergoes activation by Sadasiva Tattva.

Bindu is Suddha Maya (Pure Maya) without Mala or Karma. Bindu being Pure cannot mutate or transform but undergoes evolution or extension (Vrtti = behavior, conduct, increase, growth --Tamil Lexicon, Madras University). Read Vrtti as High Conservation. This Vrtti is as follows. Bindu is Unmanifest Sakti (Avyaktam, inactive); when it undergoes Vyaktam, it becomes manifest and active. Vyaktam = Distinctness, clearness; வெளிப்படை;  That which is perceptible to the senses. It is not transformation but transition of Bindu to an active state.  Bindu is described as a Highly Conserved Entity by the Pundits. What does it mean? If change occurs in a conserved entity, life is not possible. Let me explain it as Conservation occurs with regards to coagulation of blood.  The coagulation proteins are highly conserved,  preserved, or prevented from injury so that a mammal or human does not die of bleeding. If you take factor VIII (coagulation factor) in blood,  it undergoes transition from inactive to active state (VIII to VIIIa) to effect coagulation. The same principle applies to Bindu, the Highly Conserved Entity. Bindu cannot mutate because It is Highly Conserved.

 In its second modification, Bindu becomes Sakti Tattva. The third modification  of Bindu under the influence of Jnana and Kriya Saktis, is Sadasiva Tattva, which is the nexus and interphase between downstream Pravrrti and upstream Nivrrti. Sadasiva has form of Sakti and not the form of MAyA.  When Kriya exercises dominance over Jnana, Bindu accordingly becomes transformed into Mahesvara Tattva. Everything  is set to roll--Unfolding of Cosmic activity.  When Jnana asserts itself over Kriya, Suddha Vidya Tattva comes into being.  Remember that effect of Saktis on Bindu produce the Tattvas. Tattvas individually select their own Saktis to perform a function. The same Saktis that went into the production of Tattvas from Bindu are also available to the Product-Tattvas for their function.

Siva's Kriya Sakti (Action) induces expansion and augmentation and results in Siva Tattva, and later in Sakti Tattva. Sakti Tattva is less subtle and so is called Sthula or Gross Laya Tattva. Bindu is also a name for Sakti Tattva, which is all Action or Kriya Sakti. Kriya Sakti undergoes modification into Nivrrti, Paratishta, Vidya, SAnti and SAntiatita.


பஞ்சகலை pańca-kalai. These are known as Pancha-Kalai or five Spheres of Action of Siva.

Nivrrti-Kalai= நிவிர்த்திகலை. It is the sphere of action of the Energy of Siva which emancipates the soul from bondage.

Piratitta-Kalai = பிரதிட்டாகலை. Siva Sakti takes the Jivatma (the individual soul) to Mukti or liberation.

VittiyA-Kalai = வித்தியாகலை.  It is the Energy of Siva which gives the liberated souls, knowledge through actual realization of seven kinds: Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11 Purusa12 and Mayai..

SAnti-Kalai = சாந்திகலை. It is the Sphere of action of Siva which calms down all the turbulent elements in fully ripe souls.

SantiyatIta-Kalai சாந்தியதீதகலை. It is the Sphere of action of Siva whereby Siva removes all afflictions in the realized and tranquil soul who has experiential Spiritual Knowledge and who relinquished desire and aversion.


These spheres of action of Siva correspond to Vaks (Sound or word): Vaikari, Madhyama, Pasyanti, Sukshma, and Ati-Suksma.

3.  Sadasiva Tattva (Sadakhya also known as NAda) = Grace, Aham is dominant; Idam (this) consciousness is faint and developing into a full-blown picture in the downstream mode. In the upstream mode, when the Yogi makes the centripetal journey from the Earth plane to merge with Siva, the Idam (the universe and matter) progressively attenuates; the only remaining entity the pure soul (divested of matter) receives Grace before merger with Sakti-Siva. Sadasiva is the giver of Grace to the soul before merger. Iccha Sakti is in the dominant mode. Iccha Sakti = Will. Here Sadasiva plays the roll of a Painter who shows the Will to paint the world on a canvas. He draws on the canvas an outline of the universe and beings.  This is what is meant by Dominance of Aham (I) and faintness of Idam (This). Sadasiva Tattva is the abode of Madhyama Vac and Pranava. Purusha12 Tattva undergoes activation by Sadasiva Tattva.  Siva induces His Jnana Sakti to induct a portion of Sakti Tattva to become Sadasiva Tattva.

Anāśrita Śiva in Kashmir Saivism: Sakti blocks or isolates Siva temporarily from seeing the objects she creates in Her Capacity as Vimarsa. Siva is AHAM ('I'), before He creates the objects of the universe (Idam). Between Aham and Idam, there is a temporary gap or latent period, the point in time, Siva is called Anāśrita Śiva. Anāśrita = mfn. not supported, detached; disengaged, independent; non-inherent. Anāśraya = isolated.  Anāśrita Śiva is isolated from the universe of objects between the Sakti Tattva and Sadasiva Tattva. At the level of Sadasiva Tattva, there is nascent appearance of the world of objects, called Idam (That).

4.  Isvara or IsaTattva = Mahesvara = Para-Bindu or Supreme Bindu; Kriya Sakti, concealment, Obscuration when the impure soul makes the downstream journey to the phenomenal world of embodied soul.  Aham is present; Idam (This--universe) is fully developed and therefore emphasized. The Universe is a subject for Isvara, meaning that he does not look at the universe as outside or different from Himself but an object which is whole and which whole is Himself.--Woodroffe. Isvara is Sabdabrahman who reins over the individual souls and matter.

5. Suddha Vidya Tattvam = Aham and Idam = "I and This"  are of equal emphasis in the downstream march of the individual soul. Creation, Preservation and dissolution functions of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva reside in this Tattva.  Suddha Vidya = Pure Knowledge (to act). Panchadasi defines Idam as follows: All that are perceived by the sensory organs, motor organs, the mind, Buddhi, and scriptures come under IDAM (Panchadasi 2.18)  MAyA Sakti is the predominant in Suddha Vidya.

Purport: The Cascade: First there is Aham and Idam (I and This) in latency in the undifferentiated state in Parasamvit.  Later Aham comes into its own; Idam comes into being as faint picture; Idam defines itself well; Aham and Idam become equal; Maya comes along and severs the Aham and Idam into two entities. Sakti-Maya-Prakrti becomes the universe and beings. In the phenomenal world, there are many individual Ahams (I) and many Idams (This), which together make the souls and bodies of a beings and the universe. There is One Siva and many entities of the universe.  To an individual only two entities exist: Aham and Idam (I and This).  TATTVA3.gif



Tattvas: Parasamvit is TattvAtita, above Tattva and Nirguna Brahman. Aham and Idam exist as one subtle unit in Parasamvit. Parasamvit is immutable Niskala Siva. Below that is the Siva-Sakti. When Siva is dynamic, He is Sakti. One aspect of Sakti is Cidrupini (Consciousness form); the other Visvarupini (Universe form). Maya exerts stress and change on Consciousness of Siva resulting in Aham (I) and Idam (This). Sakti Tattva is the negative aspect of Siva Tattva. (Think of Sodium ion as the positively charged and the Chloride ion as negatively charged.) Sakti and Siva Tattvas are unproduced (Uncreated) and Saguna Brahman. The first produced Tattva is Sadasiva Tattva, the notion, "I am this" which separates as Aham and Idam later. Sakti Tattva is negative, meaning negation of Consciousness. The universe is a product of negation. Sakti splits the unity into Aham and Idam, which become separate in Sadasiva, Isvara and Vidya Tattvas, though they experience Idam as part of Aham within one circle. In Jiva (individual soul) consciousness, the object Idam is outside of subject Aham, seen as two circles. This diagram is based on Woodroffe.

 Remember that Tattvas are a two-way street. In Sadasiva Tattva, Aham begins to receive a faint picture of Idam, whose image progressively becomes clearer in creative cascade. The left arrow indicates dominance of Aham and faintness of Idam. This is the NIMESA or closing of the eyes of Sakti in the centripetal march of the soul to the First Cause, when all the Tattvas are absorbed before Pralaya or dissolution. Sadasiva Tattva is the interphase between involution and evolution of Tattvas.  As all the distal elements subside in Sadasiva Tattva in involution of Tattvas into the First Cause, naturally  "the shop" is closing the business and the shutters--eyes--are shut; that is Cosmic Sleep; that is NIMESA.  This is the last stage in dissolution in the upstream flow of Tattvas and the first stage (product) in creation in the downstream flow of Tattvas.  In creation, the developing nascent Idam is a faint picture in Sadasiva Tattva. Idam becomes clearer in Isvara Tattva and becomes the object of the subject Aham; thus the emphasis is on IDAM (the new comer) in ISVARA Tattva (Right arrow).  In the creation cascade downstream, Isvara Tattva is the UNMESA  or opening of the eyes of Sakti or Cosmic Evolution or Creation. The next step in the cascade downstream is Sudha Vidya Tattva, the evolved consciousness AHAM and IDAM are both emphasized (two side arrows). Maya Sakti comes along and splits them apart into separate Aham and Idam, so that the subject of Aham looks at the object of Idam as an entity distinct from Aham in the manifested world.  Maya Sakti gives Kancukas (sheaths) to restrict and render the Universal Self  into an individual soul with the limited ability. It is projection  and dumbing down of the Universal Self in each person. For easy understanding here it is: the Universal Self "dumbs down" and sends His dumb-down clones as Mini-Mes (we the people) with limited capacity as compared to the Universal Self. Woodroffe calls the Mini-Mes "little-doer; thus the all-knowing becomes little-knowing (Parviscient); the almighty becomes a little-doer."

These are Kaala, Niyati, Vidya.... Now the Aham of the individual looks at his body, others and objects as Idam.

 Prakrti is the aggregate of all involuted and contracted Saktis in an undifferentiated form. The Gunas are in equilibrium. When the Gunas are agitated, Vikrtis of mind and matter manifest with Purusa experiencing the 24 impure distal Tattvas.

Here is another way of looking at Aham and Idam.

Evolution downstream: The Pure Consciousness (Parasamvit) undergoes transformation (via Sakti) and the result is the first product Sadakhya or Sadasiva Tattva (Sadasiva). In a linear cascading fashion, this transforms into the second product, Isvara Tattva (Isvara); further transformation takes place resulting in the third product, Suddha Vidya Tattva. Remember the transformation does not diminish the original "Wattage" of Siva Consciousness; it remains "withdrawn and wholly and fully potent"  Distal to SuddhaVidya Tattva, Maya Sakti sunders the Aham from Idam. Where does this cutting Maya come from; yes, it is from Sakti. Sadasiva Tattva emphasizes Aham and faintness of Idam, "This." Isvara Tattva emphasizes the Idam, "This." Suddha Vidya Tattva emphasizes both equally.  Distally come the separated Aham and Idam.

(In downstream evolution , Isvara Tattva conceals, veils or obscures Spiritual Knowledge from the aspirant, while in involution, Sadasiva Tattva reveals Knowledge and confers Grace. Why is it so? The soul with the body is afflicted with impurities. Imagine the soul is going on its centripetal march to merge with Siva. The human soul cannot merge with Siva unless it is free of impurities. In that impure state, Isvara does not reveal the Spiritual Knowledge. Once the impurities (malas) are removed He [Sadasiva] reveals the knowledge. Let me give you an example. A professor of mathematics has a pre-school son. He lets his son struggle with simple additions, while he actively conceals higher mathematics from his son. It is obvious why he does so. Once the son is mature, he teaches (reveals to) him higher math. That is veiling and revealing.)

Do you want to delve more into Prakasa and Vimarsa? Slightly different from what Swami Sivananda says.

Sakti Devi has three forms: the gross, the subtle, and para forms. The gross (sthula)  form consists of anthropomorphic features with hands and feet. The Suksma or subtle form is her Mantra; her Para or Supreme form is her Real Form (Svarupa). This Para form is Supreme Consciousness beyond the grasp of human mind.  Sakti Devi  like Siva Tattva has two forms: Prakasa and Vimarsa. Prakasa form is Pure Consciousness. Vimarsa form is the power latent in Pure Consciousness. Referring to Siva-Sakti, Siva is Prakasa and Sakti is Vimarsa. In particular reference to Devi, Prakasa is her Pure Consciousness and Vimarsa is her Sakti or her ability to appear as many in a world of multiplicity. Vimarsa is the stuff of Tattvas which make this variegated universe of matter and beings. She who is of red color is the manifested one.  Brahman and his multiplicity have application in Prakasa and Vimarsa. Prakasa is the canvas and Vimarsa is the multiplicity of painted objects; Prakasa is the hypostasis and Vimarsa is the manifest multiplicity. Nishkala (no parts) is Devi  and Prakasa; Sakala (many parts) is Vimarsa and manifest multiplicity. KAla, Bindu, and Nada have rolls to play in Vimarsa aspect of Devi. Vimarsa makes demands of Devi's Iccha, Jnana and Kriya for projecting the manifest multiplicity.

From Siva Tattva AbhAsa radiates. Abhasa = shining forth, emanation, radiation. The Simile here is that Siva Tattva has the same Abhasa as sun has, meaning that it shines on its own accord without change or diminution of its light. If you count Purusa and Prakrti, there are, instead of five, seven Tattvas.

In northern Saiva and Sakta schools, Sadasiva and Isvara are the Nimesa-closing and Unmesa-opening aspects of the experience intermediate between Siva Tattva and Suddha Vidya Tattva, the former being Sunyatisunya.

Nimesha = shutting the eye. When the universe involutes and dissolves, all the Tattvas move in retrograde fashion from Earth element and subside in to the First Cause.  When all absorbed elements  or Tattvas come at the stage of Sadasiva Tattva, it is time to "close shop" and the universe comes to an end by reposing in Siva-Sakti. This dissolution of the universe is compared to the closing of the eyes, which takes place at the level of Sadasiva Tattva.

Unmesha =  opening the eyes, looking up. Upward motion of the eyelids. Becoming visible. Blossoming of flower, creation of the universe. When Siva and Sakti proceed to create the universe, there emerges Sadasiva Tattva, which in a cascade fashion generates Isvara, SuddhaVidya Tattvas.... This opening of the eyes or opening the shop taking place in Isvara Tattva is Unmesha.

 Unmesa-opening and Nimesa-closing are two aspects of one Sakti. Srsti or creation and unfolding of Tattvas are opening of eyes, while Pralaya or dissolution is Nimesa or closing of eyes. It is like the opening and closing of the bud. TATTVA1.jpg is replaced with T.pravrtti-nivrtti.jpg


Unmesa and its horizontal relationship with other terms: opening, Tirodhana, obscuration, disappearance, self-limitation, limitation, contraction of Siva Consciousness, limitation of infinitude of Siva and transcendence of Siva, Anutva (atomicity), Sankoca (Contraction), Dichotomy of Siva into Bodha (consciousness) and Svatantrya (power), dissociation between Siva's Consciousness and Power meaning sterile static consciousness and blind unaware power (Inert Soul and Somnambulistic force). Atomicity is the condition of powerless awareness and senseless power.  This passage is adapted from Woodroffe. Primary limitation of Siva (Anutva-atomicity): Siva Consciousness contracts, as the world opens up, expands and manifests matter, universe and beings. Isvara Tattva is the entity at which the Tirodhana Sakti "dumbs down" the universe and beings. Isvara is immanent. It appears that Siva has to severely limit Himself to create this universe of matter and beings.  The universe is a domain of limited beings and limited objects, which cannot come into manifestation unless Siva assumes limitation. To use today's parlance, Siva has to dumb down to create this universe and Purusa Secondary limitation of Siva: Maya puts further crimp on Siva by downgrading His status from Supreme Consciousness to human consciousness of Purusa. Supreme Consciousness is beyond the beyond; Purusa (we the people)  has limitation in time and space and (limited) knowledge. The polarized Aham and Idam are ready for separation by the cutting Maya at the level of Vidya Tattva and then separating the Idam from Aham; this is known as Vedyapratha (Vedya = cutting; pratha= widening = cutting and widening). The same takes place in an individual who has Aham and Idam.

 More on Unmesa and Nimesa : Open Sesame and Close, a different view

Unmesa-openness is the creative aspect of Siva when all Tattvas make a centrifugal march and the universe and beings blossom out. Nimesa-closeness aspect is centripetal march when the universe and beings subside in Siva-Sakti. This blinking or opening and closing of the eyes likened to those of the buds is a cyclical event. Let me give you an example. Let us take the toy shop. The merchant (Siva) opens the shop, brings out all his toys and stuff to the front of the shop; he winds up some toys, in some he turns the power-pack on and let them do their thing all day long. The toys light up, blink, wink, talk, whirl around, dance, clap, walk, eat, drink, wet.... When it is time to close the shop, he turns off all toys, puts them back in the shop and goes home for the night. That is Unmesa-opening and Nimesa-closing of toy shop of Siva.

Spandex Theory --Expansion and Contraction: Spanda Power of Siva,

Spandex is a long-chain elastic Polymer that can expand and contract. Spanda in Sanskrit is quickening, quivering, vibration, throbbing, expansion and contraction....  Spanda Sakti consisting of Unmesa and Nimesa is Sakti of Siva.  Though they appear as sequential elements, they are concurrent in Siva. This is a divine energy; it appears to be spent by Siva and or Sakti and yet it does not diminish. Spanda is pulsation, quivering, motion, quickening in the womb…. The universe emerges from Spanda power of Siva. Siva on one hand and souls and universe on the other hand are but one. Take a chocolate candy, hard outside and gooey inside. The exterior shell and the gooey inside are the same though they may appear different in consistency`.  Sivasakti and the universe are same. Siva is Kutastha  (Immovable, Immutable, occupying the Highest Place) Consciousness; we are Cidabhasa (intelligent reflections or apparition). Siva looks at himself in the mirror called Sakti and what He sees is Cidabhasa. If not for Him, we don’t exist; if not for Sakti, there is no reflection. The universe in inherent in Spanda as the tree is inherent in the seed.  Thus the creation is Unmesa  (opening of eyes) part of Spanda power, and Pralaya (Cosmic Sleep, destruction) is the Nimesa (closing) part of Spanda Sakti. The Spanda Principle of Siva is the mover and shaker of souls and matter.  The Malas (Primer in Saiva Siddhanta) prevent the individual soul from realizing the Spanda Principle; that means we don't understand, appreciate and realize Siva.  The Yogi realizes the Spanda principle by knowing Siva is the Soul, we are his reflection, the universe of beings and matter are one with Siva, Sakti is our Progenitor, we are one with Siva-Sakti and we all should realize Him. 

Spanda power has its hypostasis in Siva and manifests the 36 Tattvas, which are the building blocks of the universe and beings. The world is the stage for the Spanda Energy of vibration according to Kashmir Saivism; the same is called in South India as the Dance of Siva on the Cosmic Stage; the Lord dances in all elements; all his acts are dance, vibration or orbital motion down to subatomic particle; when the dance stops, the world ends with Nimesa; with Unmesa, the dance starts again. There appears to be some variance with Sankara's Vedic philosophy (the world is illusion) in that Spanda theory espouses that this world is NOT an illusion but a reality. TATTVA10.gif

Below is depicted Saiva Siddhanta view of 36 Tattvas as described in Sivapprakasam by Umapathi Sivanar. sivapp3.gif


Spanda has two parts: Samanya and Visesa (general and particular or specific). Spanda Samanya refers to Consciousness and Visesa is the particularized manifestation such as the Tattvas, which in some cases have no resemblance to Consciousness as in Asuddha Tattvas. All these are vibrations, whether they belong to Consciousness or other Tattvas (insentient unconscious matter). Since they all originated from Siva-Sakti, they are all forms of Spanda. This is the view of perfected Yogi.  The Yogis who realized the Spanda Principle are able to drive the Prana up the Susumna Nadi and ultimately merge with the Ether of Consciousness. Kundalini Power.

Now we are coming back to Suddha Tattvas, we left earlier. Suddha Tattvas: Siva, Sakti, Sadasiva, Isvara, and Vidya.

 Suddha Tattvas, which have Nada and Bindu in them,  form the basis for varied levels of Consciousness, language, speech, comprehension, expression, writing, signs, symbols, meaning, intelligence, cognitive and mental functions. (Wernicke's area of the brain between temporal and parietal lobes, and basal ganglia deep in the forebrain are involved in language and thought. Damage to the Wernicke's area renders a previously competent person unable to read a written word.) Nada is in Siva Tattva and Bindu is resident in Sakti Tattva (and also in Isvara Tattva). click and go to >>>Bindu>>>

The Suddha Tattvas encompass the entire gamut of Siva's presence in Arupa, Rupa-Arupa and Rupa forms. Sivam and Sakti holding Nada and Bindu respectively come under Arupa form; Sadasiva, RupaArupa; and Mahesvara, with his surrogates (Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra), Rupa.   

Arupa (formless) Rupa-Arupa (form-Formless) Rupa (form)
Sivam, Sakti, Nada and Bindu Sadasiva Mahesvara including Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra

The Vijnanakalars reside in no-man's land between Vidya5 and Maya Tattvas6  according to one account. (see below the account that says that they belong to higher planes.)  The Vijnanakalars (Skilled in physical knowledge) have Anava Mala, by losing which they become Bindu and Nada and one with Siva Tattva. The tattvas of Suddha Mayai go to make body and psyche of Vijnanakalar type of Anmas (souls) who are spiritually at a higher level than the Pralayakalar and Sakalar type of Anmas. We have to ascend this five-step ladder to arrive at Siva Tattva by Kundalini Yoga, which entails conscripting goddess Kundalini to take us up the six Chakras to Siva Tattva.

Vijnanakalar = Vijnana + Kal + ar = knowledge (physical) + to learn + person, a person with Faustian knowledge, awaiting spiritual vision of God.  Those awaiting and learning Spiritual Knowledge.  (For example, Painter = PAINT + ER. Same rule.) They go from Faustian knowledge to Spiritual Knowledge.

Vijnanakalars do not require a Guru, for they themselves are their own inner Gurus in their heart giving instructions to their Anma by the medium of mauna (silence), known as Sunya Sambhasanai (nonverbal dialogue). Pralayakalars and Sakalars need a Guru to instruct them; Guru is one whose body, mind, and soul are under the influence of Being (Sat, the Lord); that means he is SatChitAnanda (Being-Consciousness-Bliss.) Anyone with lesser qualities is not a Guru.

There are  stages of perfection among the Vijnanakalars class of souls. Siva1, Sakti2,  Sadasiva3,  Isvara4,  Sadvidya5

The following agents Vidyas, Vidyesvaras and Anusadasivas are collectively known as Ananta in charge of impure Tattvas.

5) Vidyas in position with Sadvidya5.  They are also known as Mantras, the lowest in the hierarchy of spiritual perfection. They are assistants, serving Vidyesvaras. Vidyas as agents confer the divine wisdom and Grace to all the deserving souls.

4) Vidyesvaras in position with Isvara4 Tattva. They are also known as Mantresvaras.

3) Anusadasivas in position with Sadasiva3 Tattva. They are also known as Mantra-Mahesvaras. Anu-Sadasiva is nearer in getting Anugraha from Sadasiva.  (Vidyas and Vidyesvaras still have a material shroud of  Tanu, Karana, Bhuvana and Bhoga [Body, Instruments, World and enjoyments],  the physical counterparts of spiritual perfection.)  Anusadasivas = Mini Sadasivas.

Siva1, Sakti2 : 2 and 1 are Sakti-Siva, the Supreme state, not in the realm of and beyond human perfection.

These above entities have Adhikara Mala (Anava Mala) They are Vijnanakalars or Ananta (Agent Instruments). Pure-Impure  and Impure Tattvas are serviced by the Pure Tattvas, namely the Vidyas, Vidyesvaras and AnuSadasivas, Maya is waiting to be stimulated to evolve the impure Tattvas from Kāla7 to earth36.

 Kundalini goddess sits in Muladhara Chakra waiting for the Sadhaka to initiate the call. Go to file Kundalini Power.

 Suddha-Asuddha Tattvas or Vidya Tattvas, also known as  Māyēyam: Mayeyam

Suddha Tattvas attempt to define Siva in terms his Pure Consciousness undergoing stress with Sakti, and manifestation of  Sadasiva, Isvara and Sad or SuddhaVidya Tattvas.

stress: force exerted on one thing; strain.    Tattva = building block; principle

(Siva1, Sakti2,  Sadasiva3,  Isvara4,  Sadvidya5, MāyA6,  Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11, Purusa12 Prakrti Tattva13,  Buddhi14, Ahamkara15, Manas16, hearing17 tactile sense18, vision and color19, tasting20, smell21, speech22, grasp23, ambulation24, evacuation25, procreation26, sound27, palpation28, form29, taste30, odor31,  ether32, air33, fire34, water35, earth36.) 

TATTVA13.gif modified to TATTVA013gif.jpg on April 10, 2015


MāyA6,  Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11, Purusa1

KalA7 VidyA10 and RAga11 respectively are engaged in the partial removal of obscuration by Malas, removal of the daze that comes after removal of obscuration and the removal of obscuration caused by desire.  It is said that after removal of Malas one suffers daze in the same sense that one suffers daze of light when the eyeshades are removed.  KalA7 by removing the obscuration removes the blockage of the function of Kriya Sakti. Karma and Malas cause obscuration; KalA7 brings about only partial removal; that removal is compared to local clearance of surface moss in the pond by a rock thrown on the pond at the point of contact. The revealed object (by KalA after partial removal of obscuration) becomes substrate for the action of Buddhi14. KalA's partial removal of obscuration is its sole function without active participation of distal Buddhi14 Tattva, and proximal Siva1 and Sakti2 Tattvas, though Siva1, Sakti2 and Buddhi14 are essential for the function of KalA.  Buddhi14 , being Jada (inert), needs the intelligent self or the individual soul for its activation. Activated Buddhi is ready for Bhoga (experience). It is now obvious that Buddhi needs KalA7 and intelligent self for its function. By its nature KalAis inert. It is activated by Sakti2 under the aegis of Siva1 Tattva.  As you may notice here, these Tattvas follow the paradigm of cascade, wherein the prior (proximal) Tattva activates the distal Tattva. This concept in reality is seen in blood coagulation cascade, wherein activated factors become the activators. All Asuddha Tattvas are inert and need activation directly or indirectly from intelligent Siva Tattvas, which cannot take the place of KalA tattva for the partial removal of obscuration, so that knowledge is revealed to the self. As the Kriya Sakti comes alive, Jnana and Iccha Saktis are aroused. The self  practices Action Sakti (Kriya Sakti); the agent (the self, the embodied self, human being) exercises Jnana (knowledge) and Iccha (Will or desire). The activator of Jnana Sakti is Vidya10. The senses and mind are incapable of self-function and self-direction without the light from the intelligent individual self. VidyA10 Tattva and the self are yoked to the senses and mind in order for the agent (we the people) to have Apperception (Conscious Perception). Self is the repository of Jnana Sakti; Vidya helps the self to manifest its Jnana Sakti. VidyA10 Tattva brings about apperception of feelings of happiness, sadness....The Cit Sakti of the self is not the perceiver of mundane feelings, but enjoyer of limitless Bliss of Siva, which is transcendental and not the phenomenal or empirical feeling of happiness or sadness.... VidyA10 Tattva evolves RAga11 Tattva, which manifests Iccha Sakti of self, and engenders desire and attachment. Can an object induce and invite attachment from the Iccha Sakti of the self? Who determines the attachment, the self, the man, the object or RAga11 Tattva.  Objects do not invite attachment uniformly. Man determines the attachment to objects. RAga11 has two forms: Jnana Rupa and Vasana Rupa. Jnana Rupa is perception in the domain of Buddhi, rising and falling in its attachment to objects. Vasana Rupa is made of impressions, a connate entity (from birth) and persists over many births.

6. MāyA6: material cause of Asuddham (impurity). This is the progenitor of all physical Tattvas and the rest and provides the embodied soul all the devices necessary to function in the world; it leaves him at the mercy of karma; it furnishes him both knowledge and obscuration; it is up to him to make the choice. The embodied soul watched constantly by Kâla and Niyati (Time and Order) moves among the Tattvas, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11 (cognition, wisdom and desire). Maya Mala (MāyA6) is the repository of Anava and Maya Malas, according to Kashmir Saivism.  Entities above Maya Mala do not have Maya Mala but only Anava Mala (as in Vidyas, Vidyesvaras and Anusadasivas). Maya Mala does not come under the purview of Siva because He is Pure, but an agent below Siva under the command of Siva.  MāyA6 is under the aegis of Bindu which has the power to provide corporeality to the Tattvas. Bindu gets stirred and becomes Nada. Nada provides the diverse experiences to different embodied beings (We, the people) in conjunction with Karma. This is polymorphism in behavior and experience.  The unique nature of Nada is that it is phenotypic and specific for each individual and varies from person to person providing varied experiences. Let me explain this. You and your twin are born of the same parents. Both of you share the same identical genes and yet you are different and your lives and body habitus are different as much as it can be. That is the observable life of one twin that is different from the other. Each one has his own empirical knowledge and experience, which are manifestations of one's own Phenotypic Nada. There are as many phenotypes of Nada as there are people. (What amazes me is that the Siddhantists thought about phenotypes of Nada.) You may use words like phenotype,  idiotype, polymorphism for a proper understanding of Nada.

    Ramakrishna Parmahamsa desired to have vision of Maya, which Siva-Sakti uses as a potter would use clay to make all kinds of pots.  He had a vision of Maya growing from a tiny drop to a girl; the girl became a woman and gave birth to a child, whom soon after birth the woman devoured. Many children took birth from her and eventually she devoured all of them. Then he knew that she was Maya. Adapted from Sayings of Ramakrishna, saying 52, page 33.  (The saying, "Soon after birth,  she devours" gives us an idea of Time in terms of Goddess and man, two different scales of measurement. In this instance time is compressed so much infant, baby girl, woman, birth, death take place one soon after another. Time is in Her and We are in Time: She is eternal and we are ephemeral. Sakti's one nanosecond may be man's lifetime of 100 years--just to give you an idea of concept time as it applies to Sakti and man.

    Maya sakti as it evolves produces in a cascade fashion all the building blocks of the universe including the soul, attributes, Time, order, knowledge, desire and passion, prakrti, buddhi, ahamkara, manas, hearing, tactile sense, vision and color, tasting, smell, speech, grasp, ambulation, evacuation, procreation, sound, palpation, form, taste, odor, ether, air, fire, water, and earth. Without the above a human cannot be a complete man. This is known as Pravrtti, evolution (centrifugal movement). All these products are subject to change or mutation as opposed to immutability of Siva-Sakti. This is the centrifugal force of Siva-Sakti where in all products travel away from the center that is Siva-Sakti. When all these products seek their source (centripetal force), they involute into Sakti; that is Nivrtti--reabsorption. This is the vision Ramakrishna had of Maya who produced and then swallowed what she produced. In terms of Kundali, all the Tattvas express themselves as she descends from Sahasrara Chakra to Muladhara Chakra (Pravrrti), while she absorbs and internalizes all these expressed Tattvas when the Prana rises from Muladhara to Sahasrara Chakra.

Maya Tattva is the creator of these five limitations and originates from Sakti. When Purusa is free from impurities and realizes Sivaness, the cloud of Maya and its cohorts lift and vanish, and the individual soul receives Grace. The material cause of enjoyment or experience (Bhoga) is Karma; instrumental cause Maya, the efficient cause Mala. (Sivaraman)

According to Thiruvilankar Canakarayar in his book Metaphysics of Saiva Siddhantam says the following. Notes May 10, 2016

Pasam consists of three malams called Anava, Karma, and Maya. Anavam is an impurity adhering to the Souls from eternity and obscures their will, knowledge, and action and their consciousness is dormant. This impurity is called individuality or egotism; it is similar to Verdigris covering the surface of copper.

Karma is the effect of the energy derived from matter which is an eternal entity. Hence Karma is said to be eternal. Karma occurs, when the Souls are embodied. Therefore Karma and Maya are called Ākantuga malams (incidental impurities).

ஆகந்துகம் ākantukam. ā-gantuka. That which has come accidentally, incidentally, uninvited. Tamil Lexicon.

7. Kâla = Kaalam = Time: determines the duration of soul's experiences. Kâla is an evolute of Maya, the 6th principle, and is the ticking time element in the past, present and future of an individual. Every act has a time element incorporated in it, which one cannot ignore or avoid. Kaala ensures that the soul is given the body to enjoy or suffer the fruits of Karma on a schedule. KAla Tattva is the first outer sheath wherein Ananda (Bliss) of Siva has undergone extreme contraction so that the individual thinks in terms of impermanence of  the body and not of eternal soul. Kaalam has been measured and quantified and there are ten measurements of time: Kanam, Ilavam, Kattai, Nimitam, Tuti, Laku, Kuru, Pulutam, kākapatam and Tāla-p-pirānam, the latter has another ten measurements: 1. Kālam, 2. Mārkkam, 3. Kiriyai, 4. Ankam, 5. Kirkam, 6. Cāti, 7. Kalai, 8. Ilayai,  9. Yati, 10. Piraitāram.

What is not mentioned above is Mātra, which is equal to 0.4 seconds.  Mātra: unit of time: Māt-tirai (Mātra): measure of time = 2/5th of a second = the time it takes to snap one’s fingers, wink one’s eyes, or say OM.

Time measurements:

Kanam = snap of  fingers.

Ilavam: = eight kanams = 8 snappings of fingers.

Nimitam = minute

Tuti:  4096 Kanams.

Mātra = 2/5ths of a second = 0.4 second

Kuru: two mātras

Pulutam:  49152 Kanams.

Kākapatam: 65536 kanams.

lam: Time measure. A small cymbal for keeping time in music.  Time is also measured in music by slapping the palm on the thigh with the palm,  mind-hand metronome--mental timing.)

More on KAla or Time.

KAla is Time which has two domains: Suddha KAla and Asuddha KAla. The Pure Time is Sacred and Asuddha Time is Impure and de-sacralized. In the Pure Sphere (SuddhAdhvan) Time is non-metricized; things happen instantly; events are durationless; it is Great Time untainted by Karma and Māyā of profane kinds. We live in the Empirical Time, whose origin is Transcendental Time (Suddha KAla). All divine events happen in Transcendental Time which is outside the empirical time.  Saiva Siddhanta denies the eternity of time by denying its unity. KAlam is the 1st straitjacket of the soul.

As you see (Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11, Purusa12 ),  KAla (time) precedes all the Pure and Impure Tattvas as listed here. Suddha KAla is eternal but its essence is not eternity. As you may know,  MahaKAla  (Kali) means She devours Time; Time is in Her and She outlasts Time. Ananta's agency is limited in time, when Tattvas roll out and become established. Though temporal KAla is impure, it is real. Causal Karma has a timepiece attached to it. Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11, Purusa12  do not exist without Kāla7.

8. Niyati: destiny which makes soul's experience correspond to the fruits of its own karma; Order. It is an evolute of Mayai after the Time element. It is a task master with a memory ranging over many births. Niyati makes sure that the individual gets (what he deserves) the heredity, ancestry, and environment to correspond to his karma. It is payback time, good, bad or indifferent; as you see, Time precedes Niyati, which is law unto itself for even gods cannot alter it. Niyati Law reaches an embodied soul with its long arm over many births; its effects are benign, malignant, indifferent, orderly, linear and parallel, unselfish, precise, inescapable and Time-tested; it serves to establish order in the individual and world, where order is part of cosmic law, Rta.

Siva is all-pervasive and omnipresent in Time and Space. Niyati Tattva is the Chit Sakti of Siva that has contracted in such a way that the individual does not think of the all-pervasiveness of the Soul. Now you see that the Pure Consciousness of Siva has contracted in man who thinks in terms of limitation of body in space and time and not in terms of Siva Consciousness, all pervasiveness and omnipresence in Time and Space.

Niyati. Niyati8 is the Cosmic Justice which doles out  rewards and or punishments  for one's acts. Man's tendency is to avoid unpleasant fruits and invite and enjoy pleasant fruits as a consequence of his acts.  Niyati forces the person to accept what is coming to him, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant. The fruits of good deeds are his to enjoy and no less the fruits of bad deeds are his too. This is Cosmic Law of Deed and Consequence. Karma has the appropriate fruits on hand. The fruit has to be delivered to the person owning the deed. Karma needs a deliverer or dispenser to the addressee.  Thus Karma is dependent on Niyati for its dispensation and thus is Niyati-sāpeka. This fruit is addressee-specific and non-transferable; Niyati delivers the  fruit to the addressee. Niyati is tailor-made for every individual commensurate with his karma.  Niyati is the 2nd straitjacket of the soul.

9. Kalâ = Kalaa = Kalai = கலை: variable aptitude of the soul to spiritual knowledge. Cognition. Kalai is an evolute of Maya, the 6th principle. The word is derived from Kal - to learn (கல்) . It refers to the acquisition of knowledge of surroundings and all other categories of Tattvas, arts and sciences and spiritual knowledge. We have limited knowledge. It is one of  the limiting jackets that we wear, meaning that our knowledge is only a contracted and diminished form of Siva's knowledge.  KalA imposes finitude and limited experience of spirituality; by removing  limitations of KalA, one attains Moksa. Remember it is one of the restraining sheaths. Karma and body go hand in hand with the doer, and being non-luminous cannot lift the dark veil of Mala. But KalA offers help and works against obscuration caused by Mala, facilitating the reactivation of stalled Kriya Sakti. KalA's unique feature is that it identifies itself with the individual self, acts like a co-ordinate agent of the self rather than an instrument and thus becomes the agent of action. Pundits say that KalA fuses the agency and the instrumentality so much so the self  would be devoid of manifest consciousness, if it is not for KalA.

KalA and Sakti: KalA has more than one meaning. Sakti has parts; that is KalA. Sakti displays Her Power or Vibhuti; that is KalA. KalA is also one of the Kancukas or enveloping Saktis that make the Purusa12 consciousness. Kankukas cut down the natural perfections of the Supreme Self and thus constitute the enveloped or limited self or Purusa12. What it means is that limitations are imposed on the human being and his consciousness. Our consciousness is no where near Siva's Consciousness.

Anava Malam obscures the soul’s will, knowledge and activity (Iccha, Jnana and Kriya).

Kalai helps in the eradication of localized anavam (I-ness) so that Kriya sakti (action power) comes into play in acquiring worldly and spiritual knowledge. If one considers oneself as the center and master of the universe, where is the need to acquire knowledge? That is anavam, which should be curbed to receive spiritual knowledge. Kalaa gives that opportunity to the soul to directly perceive the Truth by suppressing Anava Mala; it rends open the cloud of Anava Mala to let in some light (spiritual knowledge).  Another source tells that KalA Tattva is the 3rd sheath or Kancuka--straitjacket, garment.(See below for details) It is actually Kriya Sakti of Siva that has undergone contraction and degradation, which means that its omnipotence has contracted to limited potency, which creates a rich milieu for karma to thrive in a compromised individual. The radiant power of Siva is basically blocked by this KalA Tattva screen so that the individual sole does not get enough light of wisdom. (Think of sunscreen lotion--here KalA lotion or KalA Jacket prevents exposure to spiritual wisdom.)   

The individual soul is not as pure as the Pure Intelligence, that is Siva, because Siva is pure knowledge and does not seek knowledge from an external source; he exercises Iccha, Jnana, and Kriya (desire, knowledge, and action) without any help from other entities. On the other hand individual soul seeks knowledge from the senses derived from the products of Maya (material cause of universe and beings). Apart from it, the individual soul is enveloped in a shroud of Mala or impurities. The individual soul is Asat and Acit (unconscious matter, insentient matter) because it needs Acit (sensory organs) to acquire knowledge. Once it acquires a little spiritual knowledge, it becomes Sat-Asat. Read more about the soul in The soul according to Saiva Siddhanta. God is Pure knowledge; He does not need hands-on experience, direct perception, demonstration, or instruction to acquire knowledge.  The soul and its capacity to acquire spiritual knowledge are compared to an eye or crystal; God or Siva is the sun.  All objects, including the crystal, disappear in the thick of darkness and the eye cannot perceive any object (in darkness); the eye and the crystal need sunlight to see and shine respectively.  Siva Sakti provides sunlight of knowledge to the soul to cognize an object. This is when the Asat soul morphs to Sat-Asat in Sakala State; in Suddha state, it is Sat.

The soul is compared to an owl which is naturally equipped with the nictitating membrane in addition to the eyelids.  The owl covers its eyes with its nictitating membrane and prevents light from entering its eyes.  In like manner, the soul is covered by Anava Mala preventing the light of knowledge reaching the soul. The soul, unlike God, is subject to vicissitudes in knowing, needs organs (Indriyas), objects, and sunshine of knowledge, and carries a shroud of Anava Mala which prevents diffusion of knowledge.

10. Vidya: Soul's ability to discriminate. Vidya is a cognate of  wit, vita, Vid, Cid, Veda, and Vittai. It takes its origin from Kalai, 9th principle, gives wisdom to the soul, and helps the aspirant overcome the asuddha maya tattva consisting of prejudice, misconception, wrong belief, illusion, delusion, distortion, and obscuration. Vidyaa Tattva is the 4th straitjacket or  outer Kancuka where Jnana Sakti of Siva has contracted; the individual soul has scanty Divine Wisdom.

11. Râga = Arâgam (அராகம்--Tamil spelling): Soul's desire to experience the world. Ragam is desire, passion and love. It is the evolute of the 10th  principle, Vidya. It is the Iccha Sakti (desire) of an individual to acquire, posses, and exploit objects, interact with people and enjoy the world. It is modulated by Buddhi and Vidya. Raaga is the 5th straitjacket or outer sheath wherein the Iccha Sakti of Siva has undergone contraction and transformation and manifests as passions, desires and wants of earthly nature.  

    Iccha, Jnana, and Kriya (desire, knowledge, and action) are the three faculties of the above Suddha-Asuddha Tattvas which link the soul with organs, objects and environment; thus, Purusa, the 12th Tattva, the embodied soul, exercises its will, knowledge and Kriya. Remember our will, desire and action are the contracted forms of Siva's Will, Knowledge and Desire. We are all Mini-Sivas with finite potency.

12.Purusa: Sakalar class soul having all three malas. Purusa is the individual self  wrapped in Tattvas as above (#6 to #11), endowed with consciousness, Ichha, Jnana and Kriya (desire, knowledge, and action). He is the common man (Purusa) who is mired in three malas (mum-malam = மும்மலம். Purusa12 is defined as the empiric man mired in three Malas,  constricted by five Kancukas and burdened with five Klesas.

Five Kancukas: Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11

Five Klesas: avidya1 (ignorance), asmita2 (egoism), raga3 (desire), abhinivesa4 (tenacity of mundane existence) and dvesha5 (aversion). These entities arise in a cascade fashion starting from Ignorance giving rise to Egoism and so on.  Avidya is not knowing that we take the non-eternal as the Eternal,  Impure as pure, pain as pleasure, desire sprouting from egoism and aversion as real, and not identifying oneself with the Soul.


24 Asuddha Tattvas or Atma Tattvas

Saiva Siddhantists say that Mulaprakriti is part of Asuddhatattvas, governed by gunas, Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas.  In Mulaprakriti, the gunas do not express. In Prakrti Tattva or Citta13, the gunas are in equilibrium. Mulaprakrti is compared to a bud where its guna or fragrance remains potential, undiffused or unexpressed. Guna expresses in a person once the principle Buddhi14 is in place.

BG Chapter 2 Samkhya Theory: please refer to comment under Verse 2.12 for details on the Tattvas mentioned here.

13. Prakrti Tattva, 14. Buddhi, 15. Ahamkara 16. Manas, 17. hearing 18. tactile sense, 19. vision and color, 20.tasting, 21. smell, 22. speech, 23. grasp, 24. ambulation, 25. evacuation, 26. procreation, 27. sound, 28. palpation, 29. form, 30. taste, 31. odor,  32. ether, 33. air, 34. fire, 35. water, 36. earth.

Prakrti13 Tattva is an evolute of KalA9 Tattva. The Guna Tattva composed of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are regarded not as an evolute of Prakrti but an extension. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas correspond to Pati, Pasu and Pasa and become more relevant when they manifest three kinds of Bhoga: Sattva Sukha of Pati, Rajasa Moha of Pasu and Tamasa Dukha of PAsa. The nature of the three Gunas abide in Jnana and Kriya Saktis of Purusa.

Buddhi14Buddhi is the 14th Tattva, the human equivalent of Cosmic Mahat. Buddhi14 with Ahamkara15 and Manas16 form Antahkarana, the internal organ, the seat of thought and feeling, the thinking faculty. Ahamkara15 is threefold according to its Guna: Sattvika Ahamkara, Rajasa Ahamkara, and Tamasa Ahamkara.  Sattvika, Rajasa and Tamasa correspond to VaikArika, Taijasa and BhUtAdi Ahamkaras. It is Vaikarika because it comes from Paramesvara and when His SAmarasya (union) with Sakti is disturbed. The Devas are called (eleven) VaikArika Deiteis of 10 senses and Manas .

Ahamkara15 is subject to transformation by Sattvika Guna; the products are the Manas and the Vaikarika Devatas: Dik-Direction, Vata-Air, Arka-Sun, Praceta-Varuna, Aswins-deities of medicine, Vahini-Fire, Indra-god, Upendra-Vishnu, Mitra-Sun, and Ka (Chandra or moon; creation by Brahma). These Devatas preside over the products. From Taijasa Rajasa Ahamkara came ten Indriyas (Dasendriyas-10 organs) Ears for hearing17, Skin for touch18, Eyes for vision19, tongue for taste20 and Nose for smell21,  Mouth (and Larynx) for speech22, hands for grasp23, feet for ambulation24, Anus for evacuation25, and genitals for procreation26. From Tamasa or BhUtAdi Ahamkara came the Tanmatras and the derived BhUtas: Sound-Ether32, Touch-Air33, Form-Fire34, Taste-Water35, and Smell-Earth36. TATTVA14.gif

The five organs of sense or perception (buddhīndriyāṇi) are, ear, skin, eye, nose, tongue those of action (karmendriyāṇi) are, larynx, hand, foot, and the excretory and generative organs. Monier Williams


Sattva Guna: Virtue, Illumination, Revelation of Knowledge manifesting in Jnana of the self. Unobstructed Will, Sense of fulfillment. light and Lightness. Happiness. Higher the man ascends, more Sattva Guna prevails. Sattva Guna reveals Siva Consciousness.

Rajas: Motion, Passion, Drive, Alacrity, Acute Comprehnesion manifested in Jnana Sakti. Sense of owning, Feeling of I and Mine, Dynamism manifested in Kriya Sakti. Affection and Appropriation. Suffering.  Rajas Guna is the inductor or stimulator. If Rajas is active on Tamas, Tamas becomes dominant and Sattva undergoes attenuation.  If Rajas is active on Sattva, Sattva becomes dominant and Tamas undergoes attenuation.

Tamas: Inertia, Pride, Distortion of Knowledge as manifested in Jnana. Inertia and Indetermination. Delusive insensibility.

Punyam = Merit = Dharma.
Papam = Demerit = Adharma.
Sattva Buddhi = Dharma, Jnana, Vairagya, and Aisvarya. (Virtuous deed, Spiritual Wisdom, Freedom from desires.) Auspiciousness is the general state of Sattva Buddhi.
Rajasa Buddhi = Avairagya. (Rampant desires)
Tamasa Buddhi = Adharma, Ajnana, Anaisvarya. ( lack of Virtue, Lack of Spiritual knowledge, Lack of Auspiciousness.)

Buddhi is the seat of Punyam and papam (Merit and Demerit), Bhavas (dispositions) and Pratyayas (determinations). TATTVA19.gif

Take a look at the Tattvas above and below. The light of consciousness is Purusa12. Prakrti Tattva 13 is the origin of all distal Tattvas. All the organs 17 to 31 report to Manas16, which reports to AhamkAra15, which reports to Buddhi14, which is illumined by Purusa12. All Tattvas serve for the pleasure of Purusa12.   The Subtle body is made of 17 Tattvas from Buddhi14 to  odor31.   AhamkAra15 is part of Buddhi14.   Samkhya philosophy makes no mention of Prana (the pentad); the MAyAvAdins remove the Tanmatras (sound17, touch18, color19, taste20, and smell21)  and put in the five Pranas (Prana, Samana, Apana, Udana, and Vyana. TATTVA6.gif

Kashmir Saivism

Buddhi14 , AhamkAra15, and Manas16 (Intellect, Ego, and Mind) constitute Antahkarana (inner organ). Mind is the generator of thought (samkalpasadhana) and Buddhi and Ahamkara are the filters, a thought goes through before a thought becomes an act. Buddhi (discerning intellect) applies ethical and moral filter; Ego applies the I-filter meaning whether a particular action is in the self-interest and welfare. Buddhi is Impersonal consciousness, looking at things in a detached manner. When Impersonal Buddhi is pervaded by and invested with personal consciousness, it becomes Ahamkara which experiences and looks at the world from personal point of view. Purusa12 and Prakrti Tattva 13  are the individual soul and nature.   Prakrti 13 has three gunas: Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas in equilibrium. Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas = virtue, passion, darkness. When they are agitated, a panoply of behavior patterns emerge.

Subjective Purusa12 is corralled, confined and bound by a pentagon consisting of five Kancukas: Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11;  Niyati8 tells Purusa12  (individual soul) that he is not omnipresent like Siva but parvipresent (parvus = small), confined to one place at a time; he cannot be in all places all the time.  Kāla7 Tattva tells the individual that he is not eternal like Siva and has a timepiece attached to him (non-eternal) that counts down to the last moment of his life on earth. Rāga11 Tattva tells the individual that he is not Whole and Complete like Siva, but has needs, wants and desires all the time. Vidya10 Tattva tells the individual that he is not Omniscient like Siva but Parviscient with very limited knowledge. Kalā9 tattva tells the individual that he is not Whole in various creative arts but has a lot of holes in his creative knowledge. Parvipresent is coined by me as antonym of Omnipresent. In like manner I coined the word Parvipotent as an antonym of Omnipotent. Parviscient is the antonym of Omniscient, found in the Oxford Dictionary.

Siva1, Sakti2,  Sadasiva3,  Isvara4,  Sadvidya5, MāyA6,  Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11, Purusa12 Prakrti Tattva13,  Buddhi14, Ahamkara15, Manas16, hearing17 tactile sense18, vision and color19, tasting20, smell21, speech22, grasp23, ambulation24, evacuation25, procreation26, sound27, palpation28, form29, taste30, odor31,  ether32, air33, fire34, water35, Earth36.

Parviscient, Parvipotent, Parvipresent.  Parviscient: knowing little (Oxford English Dictionary). Parvus: Latin for small

Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11 = The Kancukas, the strait jackets.( A friend calls them, the Cosmic Drag.)

Kashmir Saivism

With the ascent of Sakti and the retrograde centripetal movement of the soul back to it source, all the Tattvas are absorbed by Sakti so much so the soul is not contaminated with Tattvas ranging from six to thirty-six. Purusa12  ascends through Tattvas 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (Sadvidya5, Isvara4, Sadasiva3, Sakti2, and Siva1 Tattvas).  Purusa having gotten rid of all the distal objective Tattvas, it is feeling for the first time a sense of subjectivity, a feeling of I without the burden of This.  Before there were I and This (Aham and Idam); This constitutes all the distal Tattvas that have been absorbed by Sakti. When the individual soul comes into Suddha Sadvidya5 Tattva, recollection of subjective experience (Parāmarţa) of Suddha Sadvidya5 Tattva happens, which is,  Aham--am Siva; This is the world."  In Isvara4 Tattva, the subjective feeling of Aham intensifies and recognition of This (universe) as my own expansion occurs. In Sadasiva3 Tattva, integration of This (Idam) with Aham  takes place with the resultant feeling, I  am This (I am this Universe). In Sakti2 and Siva1 Tattvas, the Idam is fully integrated with Aham  so much so that they become an undifferentiated unitary mass. The result is just Pure Aham or Universal I. This entity further ascends into First Perfection Parasamvit or Nishkala Siva.

Asuddha Tattvas (Impure building blocks) form the basis for the physical nature of our bodies and objects and its status is lower than the other two categories. They contribute to the development of desires, ignorance, attachment, illusions and other worldly traits which keep us from acquiring Brahma Tattva. We share many (but not all) of these Asuddha Tattvas with animals. Buddhi14, Manas16, and Speech22 are our special qualities that distinguish us from the animals.

As you see, we are made of Tattvas: Siva  sits at the top of the pyramid and is endowed with Pure Consciousness. Our consciousness is no match to His because our soul is burdened with all the above-mentioned Kancukas and Tattvas. As you climb up the ladder from the 36th Tattva (from a material level to the spiritual level), we get close to Siva and merge with Him. You cannot do it without the help of Kundalini goddess, who is Siva Sakti (power) in your body seated in Muladhara plane. She is asleep all the time until you wake her up and ask her to take you to Siva. She knows the way because she had been there many times. Once she is on the way up, she absorbs all 35 tattvas; she takes you from the world of matter to a world of spirit; your consciousness gets  purer when you reach upper chakras; she drops you off at Ajna Chakra, one level below Siva and merges (mithuna) with him; the last step and effort is yours to make before you can merge with Siva. Merging with Siva is not a physical union, but a proximate status in which the liberated soul is close to Siva and maintains its identity.

This section presents Tirumular's view of Bindu and Tattvas. Verses 1923-

At the dawn of creation, Kundalini rose from Bindu (Parabindu). Kudilai (Kundalini) gave rise to Vaindavam, the nine gods, Brahma and the rest, their Saktis, the Karanas, the Kalais and Vaikari.  (Parabindu is Siva Sakti)

The nine gods are Kundalini, kudilai, tatparai, vagesi, Sadasiva, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, and Mahesvara. Karanas are Buddhi, Manas, Citta and Ahamkara. The Kala Tattvas are Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11, Purusa12. Vaikari is actually an articulated speech sound; here it stands for unmanifested sound. Vaindavam, according to Tamil Lexicon is MāyA6, the material cause of the universe and its Suddha Tattvas. Sabda or Sound. Here Suddha Tattvas are the highest Tattvas, which include all the divinities mentioned.

Kalā9 or Kalai is one of the seven Suddha-Asuddha (Pure-impure)  Tattvas, the second tier of Tattvas below the Suddha (pure) Tattvas; the third tier is called Asuddha (impure) Tattvas.

Kalai. a specific power of any of the superior deities as manifested in an avataram or in a theophany for a specific purpose; manifestation of a deity; forms of the female energy of a deity as they appear, one of seven kinds of  vittiya-tattuvam, (Vidya Tattvas or Suddha- Asuddha Tattvas). Vidya Tattva(Vidya10) enables the soul to discriminate (knowledge from ignorance). Tamil Lexicon.  theophany  = a manifestation or appearance of God or a god to a person

     1 Siva  2. Sakti  3 Sadasiva  4 Isvara  5 Sadvidya 6. Māya, 7. Kāla, 8. Niyati, 9. Kalā, 10. Vidya, 11. Rāga, 12. Purusa  13. Prakrti Tattva, 14. Buddhi, 15. Ahamkara 16. Manas, 17. hearing 18. tactile sense, 19. vision and color, 20.tasting, 21. smell, 22. speech, 23. grasp, 24. ambulation, 25. evacuation, 26. procreation, 27. sound, 28. palpation, 29. form, 30. taste, 31. odor,  32. ether, 33. air, 34. fire, 35. water, 36. earth.

Siva1, Sakti2,  Sadasiva3,  Isvara4,  Sadvidya5, MāyA6,  Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11, Purusa12 Prakrti Tattva13,  Buddhi14, Ahamkara15, Manas16, hearing17 tactile sense18, vision and color19, tasting20, smell21, speech22, grasp23, ambulation24, evacuation25, procreation26, sound27, palpation28, form29, taste30, odor31,  ether32, air33, fire34, water35.

Earth36 is the last Tattva, the First being Siva Tattva (Siva1). Nivrrti KalA is the 'working force and essential element in Prithvi Tattva or Solidity'. Nivrrti is incorporated in the Earth Element because it is the last to evolve and the First to begin the process of Nivrrti (or involution, reversal, centripetal march) back to Siva Tattva. Earth is where Kundali takes rest after evolution of all Tattvas.

Kalai (Kalā9) is the energy of Siva (read Sakti) that removes the bondage, takes the soul along the path to liberation, confers spiritual knowledge, removes all agitation and doubts and confers peace. This linear process, Siva applies, to the fully ripened souls, meaning that the souls have undergone Iruvinaioppu, Malaprapakam and Saktinipatam. The eventual step is Oddukam, involution into Siva. Primer in Saiva Siddhanta


Abhinavagupta of Kashmir Saivism says Siva created four spheres or Andas (lit. egg): The spheroid of Sakti, the spheroid of Maya, the spheroid of Prakriti, and the spheroid of Prithvi.  These Andas or spheroids contain phenomenal elements, the shell of which hides and covers the divine nature of the Absolute.

The Spheroid of Sakti2: Siva uses Sakti to transform Nishkala (unitary nature or partless nature of) Siva into Sakala (or manifest form of or many parts)  Siva. It is  an external projection and creation expressing diversity within unity and manifesting the four Pure Tattvas. Tattva = THATness = principles = building blocks.

The Spheroid of Maya6: The external projection of Siva cannot contain the splendor of Siva in its fullness in the phenomenal world. So Maya Spheroid contains five sheaths (Kancukas) serving the purpose of limiting or dumbing down of the Absolute and presenting Him as a finite being called Purusa12.  The Kancukas are KAla7, Niyati8,KalA9, Vidya10, RAga11.

KAla7  incorporates the time element in all things created. (Noneternal--the count-down ticking meter)

Niyati8 subjects us to the cause and effect and spans across all births. (we don't have freedom like Siva.)

KalA9 subjects us to limited iccha, Jnana and Kriya (will, knowledge and action-- limitations).

Vidya10 subjects us that we are capable of acquiring limited knowledge. (Parviscient as opposed Omniscient.)

RAga11 subjects us to the feeling of want, emptiness and imperfection.  (We make futile efforts to make ourselves whole by acquiring things.)

The Spheroid of Prakriti13 provides us with all essential accouterments (body, sensory and motor organs, Tanmatras, Gunas) to live in this world.

The Spheroid of Prithvi is the gross insentient world around us.

In this spheroidal configuration, Siva Tattva forms the core. In another analogy Siva is the positive pole and Sakti is the negative pole. Sunyati-Sunya in the conjoint Siva-Sakti Tattvas. The outer envelopes are Sakti, Maya and Prakrti


The following is another view of the Kalas. Here Kalas refers to the Sakala Siva with parts.

1. Nivirrti Kala:  Sphere of action for the Energy of Siva which emancipates the soul from bondage. When the soul reaches the sphere of Bindu, Nivirrti Kala erases all doubts of the soul. Nivrrti's main goal is liberation. Nivrrti Kala is the force that bounces off the solid base of Prithvi (earth), the last element in the manifestation of Siva-Sakti. There is no more linear motion beyond the last element Earth. The manifesting energy turns upwards. The Kundali Sakti that remains curled up at rest in its evolutionary last stop at the Muladhara Chakra has to trace its steps in its involutionary upward march to union with Siva.

2. Pratista Kala: Sphere of action of the Energy of Siva, which leads the soul to the liberated state when Kundali is on the ascent. In evolution of Tattvas, it provides 'the basis and the inner framework on which the outer physical universe' is built. It is a jump-off point between involution and evolution, either up for liberation or down for life on earth.

3. Vidya Kala: the Energy of Siva which gives the liberated souls knowledge through actual realization of seven kinds, viz., Kālam7, Niyati8, Kalai9, vittai10, arākam11, purutan12, māyai13, one of panca-kalai. The knowledge derived by Sadvidya Kala is limited. The five Kancukas KAla7, Niyati8,KalA9, Vidya10, RAga11 are associated with Saktis VAmA, JyesthA, and Raudri (and their counterparts Brahma, Vishnu and Siva).

(Kālam, Time;  Niyati, destiny which makes soul's experience correspond to the fruits of its own karma; Order; Kalai, spiritual knowledge of the soul, needed for liberation; Vittai or Vidya, Soul's ability to discriminate; Arākam or Rāga, Soul's desire to experience the world (Ragam is desire, passion and love); Purusa or Purutam, Sakalar class soul; Māyai: the progenitor of Tattvas.)

4. Sānti Kala: Sphere of action for the Energy of Siva which calms down all the turbulent elements in fully ripened souls, one of panca-kalai.  Beyond and above Maya6 there is Consciousness and peace because it is free of duality. Woodroffe says in The Garland of Letters, P209,  Santa is dominant in the glorious experience of of Tattvas from Sadvidya5 to Sakti Tattva2.

5. Sāntiyatita Kala: Sphere of action for the Energy of Siva which destroys all the turbulent elements in fully ripened souls, one of panca-kalai. (Tamil Lexicon). Also known as AvakAsada.


Additional notes on Tattvas.

Saiva Siddhanta says that Maya, the material cause of the universe, is reality and existent; it is formless, eternal, unchangeable, all-pervasive, and without intelligence; It is the Bindu (seed) of the world providing the souls Tanu (body) and Karana (organs), objects of Bhoga (enjoyment) and Bhuvana (world). Maya Mala is at the disposal of Siva who is Mala-free. As Siva-Sakti (the efficient cause) cascades down the Suddha, Suddha-Asuddha and Asuddha Maya to the last Tattva earth, it looses its pristine consciousness and gathers sediment and turbidity as Ganges River looses its pristine clarity on its path towards the ocean. What Sakti contributes in this linear morphing, mutation and permutation (see Parinama) is very little mass; the results are huge. Maya, which originates from Sakti, is a tool for Siva and depends on him for its existence and activity. There is an important difference between Suddha Tattvas on one hand and all other lower Tattvas; that is, the former is (Vrutti) unfolding or expansion of Suddha Maya into five Tattvas, as you would roll out a mat. The lower Tattvas come into being by Parinama (transformation). Since they change, they are not eternal and therefore, Asat. Siva is Sat and Changeless.

Saiva Siddhanta says that all things subside in Siva and rise from Siva, including Brahma and Vishnu. He operates through Sakti which is the intermediary between Siva and others. The souls when liberated can come close to him. If world subsides in Vishnu (Mulaprakriti), the Lord of preservation, there will not be total destruction. Mulaprakriti is not the repository of the entire universe and beings, but only of lower Tattvas; thus, the worlds above Mulaprakrti still stand after Vishnu takes in the world. All the products (souls) of Maya including Brahma and Vishnu subside in Siva, the God of destruction; Brahma and Vishnu owe their existence to Siva in whom they subside. Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra and their functions originate from Siva-Sakti.  Mulaprakrti is, as a part of Suddha-Asuddha Tattvas, an evolute of kalā tattva ( kalā = Prakriti or matter)

Mulaprakriti according to Sankhya philosophy is matter (the material cause), in which the three gunas (Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas) are in balance.  According Saiva Siddhanta,  Mulaprakriti, is an evolute of kalā Tattva , which is eighth down the line from Siva Tattva. Thus Mulaprakriti cannot  be the repository of the universe and beings.  Mayeya is the aggregate of Suddha-asuddha Mayas and naturally the tattvas are  intrinsic to them

The essence of all that subsided in Siva including Mala rises again in the unfolding of the universe and beings. (Here one should remember that Siva here means Siva Sakti; Mala cannot be traced back directly to Siva, because he is Mala-free and pure.) Maya plays the key role, under the control of Siva-Sakti, in choosing heredity, environment and ancestry for a soul before its birth in a body. Maya is like the seed from which a tree grows when planted in a fertile soil; Maya embedded in Sakti sprouts into a world of beings and matter as the seed sprouts into a shoot. The Karmic deeds of the souls determine the nature of the body the soul acquires. Thus the world and beings subside in and arise from Maya of Sakti.  Sankara’s view that the world is unreal is in contrast to Saiva Siddhanta view.  Siddhantists say that Maya is the clay (material cause), Sakti is the potter’s wheel (instrumental cause), and God (the efficient cause) is the maker of world and beings.

Suddhamaya and its Tattvas are not for the ordinary use of the individual souls but available for the use of Siva to help the individual souls. In a way, Suddhamaya and its Tattvas belong to the executive branch where creation, sustenance, destruction, Veiling and Grace are the higher functions of Siva, while Individual souls are the recipients and beneficiaries of Suddhamaya.  Suddha-Asuddha Tattvas center around man in the sense, they provide man (purusha) with a soul, karmic body, Time, worldly knowledge, aptitude for Supreme Knowledge, attachment and desire. Asuddha Tattvas give man his gunas, antakarana (Manas, Buddhi, Ahankara and Citta), sensory and motor organs, Tanmatras, and  Mahabhutas for his use.  It descends from God to man to lower nature to insentient objects.

Saivasiddhantist says that destruction and death are part of birth and maintenance. When something dies or destroyed, it subsides in Siva, the Lord of destruction; When it rises back again from the Lord,  it may or may not assume the same form and Mala (impurity) is the facilitator of birth again. Here the Mala is the Anava Malam which is an impurity of the soul that is not liberated but destined to sport a body. It is like saying that salt (Mala, impurity) in water facilitates better  conduction of electricity than pure water alone. Saiva siddhantist does not believe that the destroyed world and beings subside in Mahavishnu because if they subside in Mahavishnu, the Lord of Maintenance, they are in fact not destroyed. It is antithetical to his portfolio of maintenance. The same argument goes for Brahma, the Lord of creation.

The elements by themselves may come together but have no capability to make a being; they require a prime mover and that is God, Siva, because the elements are not intelligent. Maya is the seed; the world is the tree; Siva's Sakti is the moist fertile soil. Maya is Sakti-dependent for its fecund and florid state; without Sakti, Maya is barren. The elements are organic matter; Sivasakti infuses life into them. Siva is endowed with Ichcha, Jnana, and Kriya; Ichchasakti wants to create a world of matter and beings from disparate elements; Jnanasakti has the know-how to create, sustain and destroy the world; Kriyasakti has the wherewithal to effectuate his desire and put them in motion. Ichcha = desire; Jnana = knowledge; Kriya = action.

We are all made of Tattvas; all objects are made of Tattvas in disparate combinations; all gods are made of Tattvas; each product has a dominant quality. God (Siva) is the efficient cause; Maya is the material cause with myriad variations; Karma carries a memory of past lives and dictates the form a soul takes and the fruit it enjoys according to its deeds; God adheres to Karmic laws. Karma can be called the instrument of the instrumental cause, which is Sakti. After death and before birth, subtle body (soul) carries memory of karma and a chronicle of past lives with a front load of unresolved (unexpiated) accumulated karmic deeds: Sanchita karma, which can be meritorious or demeritorious and have to be enjoyed and suffered. Siva makes it sure that the soul is provided a body and a world of his own to pay his debts and reap his rewards. There are no mutual cancellations; everything is accounted for and experienced. God creates an intricately complex kaleidoscopic world of multitudinous experiences in one's lifetime for each embodied soul; the script spoken and the scenes enacted by the embodied soul were written in advance before birth by the Lord. Man's job is to make the right choices; this will result in zero karmic load leading to liberation.

Siddhantist says that soul and Mala coexist; Mala in its turn associates with Maya and Karma, the latter two are compared to inner and outer sheaths (husk) enveloping the grain of rice. Intermittently, the soul is subject to Maya and Karma during life,  while Anava Mala binds the soul constantly; Grace of Siva removes the fetter of Anava Mala and facilitates merger of the soul with Him.  Though the soul is subject to Maya intermittently, the soul has Maya as its baggage (or monkey on the back, a burden) throughout its sojourn in the body, heaven, hell, birth and rebirth until the soul is released. Let me give you a simple example with explanation. Maya gives man its products to build a body, organs and functions around the soul in the phenomenal world. Soul exists in Sukshma (subtle) state without the body in heaven, hell and other Mandalas. In this Sukshma state, the soul moves around free of body but not free of Maya, which the soul needs at short notice for building its body for life on this planet. Maya is like tent and stuff nomadic people carry on their back; whenever there is an urge to stay in one place for a short time, the poles, frames, ropes and pegs are laid out and the canvas is spread over the frames and poles. Release of the soul means that the soul is divested of its body, Maya, and Malas (impurities).

As said earlier, dissolution of the world does not mean that the soul is free to merge with Siva. You may call this as a sleep state for the soul; when creation takes place again, the soul with its burdensome erstwhile sleepy companions Karma, Anava Mala and Maya come together to give the soul a body. Remember that the soul carries a chronology of its karma.

Maya and its products are Asat and Acit and Siva is Sat and Cit. Sat = Being; eternal; changeless. Asat = not Being; susceptible to change. Acit = insentient. Maya is unconscious and insentient, while Siva is Supreme Consciousness and existent. Siva is Sat and Cit because he is eternal and does not acquire knowledge by observation or from somebody else. The material world appears, stays for a while and disappears, all beyond its control, and that is Asat and Acit; matter is impermanent, analyzable, knowable by its gunas or qualities and changeable; that is Asat and Acit. The world is visible in its gross form (Sthula); it is invisible in its subtle form (when it involutes, Sukshma); therefore, it is Asat. Sat = Being; eternal; changeless. Asat = not Being; susceptible to change. Acit = insentient.

God is eternal, unknowable, immutable, unanalyzable, and superconscious and therefore, Sat and Cit.  Sat is Being and Asat is non-being.  Sat is real, while Asat is mirage. Sat exists on its own, while Asat exists because of Sat (Sat dependence). The world, Anavamala, karma, and Maya are changeable and so, Asat.

Maya is not part of Cit or Superconsciousness of Siva; Maya is apart from him and is subject to his Will. Siva Sakti activates Maya but has no control over its compass. Once Maya evolves into building blocks of the universe and beings, Siva does not alter its expansion, contraction, limitation, extent, variability, complexity, or direction --those of matter. The matter has its own guna (quality); its evolution, variability and variety are intrinsic to it; its compass is under the direction of Karma, which is also external to Siva. Siva is Sat and Cit and therefore, Maya, which is Asat and Acit (Changeable and unconscious matter) cannot be traced back to him. They all stop with Mayeya and Sakti which straddles the chasm between matter and Siva. Living entities which evolve from Maya are subject to Karma and Anava Malas (impurities); that being the case, Siva cannot contain in his constitution (mass of Bliss) Maya, which can be traced back to him. That is the argument of the Siddhantist.


There are three kinds of knowledge accessible to a Pasu, the individual soul: Pasujnānam, Pāsajnānam, and Patijnānam. As He is not known by either Pasu- and Pāsa-jnānam, He is called Siva (Sivasat); as He is apprehended by Patijnānam only, He is called Sat (CitSat). 



1. Knowledge of the real nature of the soul, distinct from Patijnānam, and Pāsajnānam

2.  Limited knowledge of the soul as acquired by the senses

3. The condition of the soul, in which its intelligence is obscured by its connection with matter


Knowledge of the Supreme Being


Knowledge obtained through the senses and the mind

Spiritual ignorance

Definitions from Tamil Lexicon.


Man’s rise from dissolution.

During the phase of dissolution, the soul sleeps bound to Anava Mala in the bed of Maya of the Lord.

Man’s rise from dissolution.

  1. Stage one: When the creative fervor rises, the five suddha Tattvas wake up, and Lord’s Ichcha, Jnana, and Kriya Saktis come to life from their slumber. (God sets in motion the creation of man with soul and body.)
  2. Stage two: Suddha-Asuddha Tattvas in tandem channel these saktis to infuse the individual soul with Maya, Time, Karma, aptitude, knowledge, and desire. (Preparatory stage before the soul is given body and organs.)
  3. Stage three: The Asuddha Tattvas provide all physical sheaths (body, organs, and functions) needed to interact with the outer elements. (This depicts man’s life on earth in Sakala state.)



Knowledge of Brahman cannot destroy Prārabda Karma. It is both congenital (inherited from past lives) and acquired; there is no prevention or cure for this; it is waiting for resolution. However, we do have control over Āgami Karma, because our thoughts, words, and deeds make it; and if the actions are Tamasic (black or krishna), “black seeds” accumulate for sprouting later either in this life or in the next life. If the actions are sattvic (white or shukla), “white seeds” accumulate for sprouting now or later. If the actions are of mixed nature (white and black), the seeds are of both colors (shukla-krishna). If the seeds (actions) are neither white nor black, they result in sterile seeds (ashukla-akrishna). Rishis, by sterile karma-free actions, kaivalya, and realization of the Self make the sterile seeds. Some of the newly harvested Āgami karmic seeds sprout (bear fruits) in this life, as it is the case with prārabda karma; some seeds that do not sprout and bear fruits now, go into storage in Sanchita karmic silos. The stored seeds of Sanchita karma are dormant (anarabhda) and the sprouting seeds of Prarabdha karma are arabdha (sprouting). SEE Chapter 3 Verse 28 Comments on inflows into the silos.

Author expresses his views here on karma: Karma is thought, word, and deed. A perfect karma is null karma: a zero-sum entity. In this world, karma is the only equalizer of all living beings; therefore, you wish you were holding an empty bag of karma. The fried karmic seeds are healthier and tastier than germinating seeds or nuts. The fact you are reading this means that your karma is in the barrel for discharge, resolution, roasting, sprouting or accumulation. Karma is something you do not wish on your friend or your enemy, because it can boomerang on you (adrishta) when you least expect it in this birth or future births: You never know. Unit for unit thought is one karmic unit, speech is ten karmic units, and deed is ten to the power of ten karmic units. This karmic unit can be meritorious or demeritorious (positive or negative, punyam or papam), or neutral or “sterile.” One's aim is zero karmic units, because getting moksa at the finish line is zero-sum game; only in karma, zero karmic units is better than positive or negative units, because anything other than zero karmic units guarantees birth, accumulation of Sanchita Karma and sprouting of Prārabda karma. Isoelectric status or line is better than amplitudes either way. One cannot erase the undesirable effects of bad karma with good karma; both karmas have to be suffered and enjoyed. There is no reciprocal cancellation.


    Sankaracharya states that God provides the necessary ingredients for any possible path man chooses. He provides the rain, the earth, the nutrients, the opportunities and seeds (karma) and Himself as the constant companion of man; the karma (and dharma) of men are like seeds, which will germinate, sprout and grow into their respective plants under identical soil conditions. God-pleasing thought, speech and deed would kill, roast or destroy the karmic seeds. Rishis roast the karmic seeds by the heat produced by Tapas and Kaivalya.

Actions in this phenomenal world are the fodder for karma. When life events go wrong, one should not fall apart, but stay steady in the knowledge that karma is resolving; your previous karma has put you in circumstances over which you have no control (adrishta). According to karmic principles, you are self-natal (self-born), self-controlling, self-sustaining, and self-releasing. You cannot blame your parents for your birth; they are the womb, the egg, and the seed (sperm) in physical terms; in karmic terms, your prarabdha karma chooses the womb, the egg, the seed, environment, heredity and ancestry for your body. Everybody else and everything else have a secondary role in your life; resolution and God-pleasing acts help one gain a karma-free state: liberation or Moksa.  You cannot sue God or your parents for wrongful birth because your karma determines your parents and your environment.

There are four kinds of Atmas: Atma, Jnanatma, Antaratma and Paramatma.

Atma: This covers all air-breathing creatures.  Svasa and prasvasa (respiration) are the criteria. This Atma is like the space in the pot; when the pot breaks, the space in the pot becomes part of the larger space.

Janantama: This atma is a witness by which the unity of all beings is known. It is endowed with buddhi (intellect).

Antaratma: It is the Atma that pervades all things; it is Paramatma [as distinguished from jivatma (individual soul) that] dwells in all beings. It is compared to a bird: its beak is Pranava or Om; its wings are Nigama and Agama; Siva and Sakti are its two feet; the Tribindus (Karana bindu1, Karya Bindu2, Nada and Bija3 = Siva, Siva-sakti, and Sakti =  Para, Suksma and Sthula = Supreme, Subtle and Gross) are its three eyes. 

Paramatma:  Supreme Atma or Greater Soul as opposed to Jiva, individual or lesser soul. (We are all Jivas.) Paramatma resides in the Spiritual heart besides the Jivatma. It is a silent witness; Jivatma merges with Paramatma during deep sleep and enjoys bliss, that sustains life. During deep sleep we are all sattvic (pure and virtuous); only when we are sattvic our soul can merge with Paramatma. When we wake up, we are back to our old selves: it ranges from a Yogi to a Pasu (individual soul no better than an animal). Spiritual heart is on the right front chest cavity, which you cannot anatomically dissect and show.

Pasu: Those who live on the surface of life may not feel the distress, the laceration of spirit, and may not feel any urge to seek their true good. They are human animals (puruṣapaśu), and like animals they are born, they grow, they mate and leave offspring and pass away. But those who realize their dignity as men are acutely aware of the discord and seek a principle of harmony and peace. Dr. Radhakrishnan The Bhagavadgita page 50   November 2, 2013


Tattvas are the building blocks of the universe.

Mahamaya = Great Maya.

Suddha = Pure, Asuddha = Impure,

Samadhi = perfection in Yoga

Maya = material cause of the universe,

 Bindu = Light of lights

Kriya = action, Jnana = knowledge, Iccha = will or desire.

 Grace: two kinds: Veiling and revealing.

Veiling Grace is Siva's energy of obscuration or concealing of Spiritual Truths from an embodied soul, until it matures and sheds its malas or impurities while the soul  undergoes worldly experiences. Revealing Grace comes, when the last impurity, recalcitrant Anava mala or ego is shed. "I-"ness and "Mine-"ness are part of Anava mala.  When all souls receive Grace from Siva and merge with Him, the souls lose their individual identity and achieve homogeneity.

Jung says that Tattva is suksma (subtle) and not concrete. Yes, it is Suksma and concrete also. Take the last two of the Asuddha Tattvas, water and earth; they are concrete. True, Higher Tattvas are subtle (suksma).-- page 9 "The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga"

Tattvas come from Bindu, which takes its origin in Nada. Mulaprakrti under the influence of gunas (Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas) undergoes change (Vikrti); Substrate becomes substance (Prakrti-->Vikrti). Mahat is the product, incorporating the gunas and antakarana. Go to >>>BG 002 Samkhya Theory, comment under verse 2.12, for details on Prakrti.

Siva does not create this universe out of nothing. He is the efficient cause (Nimitta Karana); his sakti is the instrumental cause (Sahakari Karana); Maya is the material cause (Upadana Karana). The body and the organs with their functions are evolutes of Maya and its Tattvas.  Maya, born of Bindu, is identified as Asuddha Bindu; hence, there is no confusion, when one passage says that Bindu is the cause of Tattvas and another passage says that Maya is the cause of Tattvas.

If you take a look at the Tattvas, you may notice that there is logic, reason, arrangement and meaning in them. First we have the spirit (the first five Tattvas), next comes the higher knowledge (Vidya Tattvas) and the last is anma tattvas belonging to the body; it is Spirit, knowledge and body. They all descended from Siva Sakti in a linear fashion and they are absorbed also in a retrograde linear fashion, one tattva involuting into the one above. Man wallowing in anma tattvas  (#13 to #36) has no knowledge or awakening of spirit; here knowledge means both spiritual and material knowledge. He moves from Kevala, to Sakala to Suddha state.

Tattvas in Tamil depiction has some variation from Sanskritic version, when it comes to Suddha Tattvas: Siva, Sakti, Sadasiva, Isvara and Suddha-Vidya Tattvas.


In the conversational style book Who am I, Ramana Maharishi talks of the Tattvas as follows.

21. Is it necessary for one who longs for release to inquire into the nature of categories (tattvas)?

Just as one who wants to throw away garbage has no need to analyse it and see what it is, so one who wants to know the Self has no need to count the number of categories or inquire into their characteristics; what he has to do is to reject altogether the categories that hide the Self. The world should be considered like a dream.

Note: Categories make the body. The embodied soul minus categories is self which in its pure state merges with the Greater Self. Kundalini Devi serves the purpose of absorbing all categories so that the self merges with Siva-Sakti in its pure state. This is the gist of Kundalini yoga.

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Tattvas 36 in number in the descending order. The first five are Suddha or Pure Tattvas (1-5). The second 7 Tattvas are Suddha-Asuddha  or Pure-Impure Tattvas (6-12). The Third category of Tattvas are Asuddha or Impure Tattvas (13-36).

Siva1, Sakti2,  Sadasiva3,  Isvara4,  Sadvidya5, MāyA6,  Kāla7, Niyati8, Kalā9, Vidya10, Rāga11, Purusa12 Prakrti Tattva13,  Buddhi14, Ahamkara15, Manas16, hearing17 tactile sense18, vision and color19, tasting20, smell21, speech22, grasp23, ambulation24, evacuation25, procreation26, sound27, palpation28, form29, taste30, odor31,  ether32, air33, fire34, water35 Earth36.

Oct 30, 2008 Notes and more from Unmai Vilakkam

Sense organs project their image on Manas, the mind. This is called இந்திரியக்காட்சி (Indriya-kAtchi = Seeing or perception through sense organs). The first perception is not a complete and determinate one or நிருவிகற்பக்காட்சி (Indeterminate perception). ArAragam (அராகம் = Rāga11 is desire) and Buddhi14 Tattva make it possible for Nivikalpa Perception or knowledge to become SavikalpakKatchi (சவிகற்பக்காட்சி = Determinate Perception or Knowledge). It means that the knowledge is complete and determinate. This leads to தன்வேதனைக்காட்சி (Tanvetanaik-Katchi = Experiential knowledge). Experience of External Objects constitutes இந்திரியக்காட்சி (Indriyak-Katchi = Sense perception or sense knowledge, while Experiential knowledge (தன்வேதனைக்காட்சி) is internal experience of love, hate, pain, pleasure... brought about by Rāga11 or Desire and experienced by soul's intellect. 

Direct Perception = Pratyaksha Pramana1 (= காண்டல் அளவை = KAnadal Alavai) is the knowledge gained by direct perception of an object by the senses. The first impression is the general appearance or occurrence and is called Nirvikalpa Pratyyaksha (நிருவிகற்பக் காட்சி), Indeterminate perception. Vikalpam = difference. Nirvikalpam = undifferentiated or indeterminate. The next perception in sequence is Savikalpa Pratyyaksha (şĹ˘¸üŔ측đş˘). Savikalpam is knowledge that comes with perception associated with appreciation of difference. One comes to know how an object is different from the rest. It is a definite identification of the object and  its true nature. Savikalpa Partyyaksha is knowledge that is not tainted with doubt, confusion, and erroneous apprehension (ľ˘ˇ˘Ň). Savikalpa Patyaksha is knowledge devoid of stain.

Kalai and Vidya (Kalā9, Vidya10) in a collaborative way induces Kriya Sakti. RAga (Rāga11) induces Iccha Sakti, Vidya (Vidya10  ) Jnana Sakti and Kalai's (Kalā9 )Kriya Sakti. Iccha Sakti modulates Buddhi (Buddhi14 ).  TATTVA15.gif

Siva is Supreme Consciousness and Grace. His body is not made o MAyA. Our body is made of MAyA. Everything about Him is Grace. The accouterments, weapons and all else are made of His Grace.

அங்கம் Angam = Siva's Body

பிரத்தியங்கம் = Pratiangam = Minor or secondary member, as of the body (of Siva)..

உபாங்கம் = UpAngam = Minor limb or member: His clothes, His ornaments, His Garland, His seat.

சாங்கம் = SAngam = All the limbs. Siva's Trident, Snake, Abhaya Mudra (Fear-Not pose), Fire.


He is all forms in the universe, known, unknown and yet to be known. All forms are His forms. He is of the form of Mantra, NaMaSiVaYa. OM NAMASIVAYA     <<<<<Click.  TATTVA16.gif






Avidya and Maya according to Panchadasi, the Advaitic (Monistic) treatise.

We have Consciousness in us, which is the same in awake, dream sleep and deep sleep states. In the latter two states, we do know its existence because when we are awake, we know we were dreaming, and lacked knowledge in deep sleep. This consciousness under normal conditions does not rise or fall and is self-revealing. This Consciousness of the nature of Supreme Bliss is our Self, which we love and wish it exists for ever. Thus the individual Self is of the nature of existence, consciousness and bliss. Supreme Brahman is similar to the Self. If we do not know that there is such a thing as Self, we would not love it. If it is known, there cannot be love for the existing worldly objects. (In the sensual world, love is a fickle thing. Love is a magnetic entity in the sense it always looks for displacement and transfer to a higher and stronger magnet. You love your bicycle; your love for a bicycle is displaced and transferred to a motorbike, when you see one.) Since the worldly objects are in the forefront of our vision and obscuring the Self, the Self is not revealed. The Self is obscured as the voice of your son is obscured in a chorus of other voices. In like manner the love for worldly objects has obscured the love for the Self. This obscuring or obstructing principle is called Avidya or ignorance (Non-knowledge). Obstruction hides the nature of a thing or makes it appear as something else. What we see or perceive is an experience; what we don't see is counter-experience. Bliss or Brahman is what we should seek but it is obscured by a world of objects. Bliss in known and yet unknown because of counter experience.

Brahman is Pure Consciousness. Jiva or the individual soul is a reflection of Brahman in Avidya. Prakriti reflects Brahman. Prakriti is made of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas which exist in equilibrium. Prakriti is the source of creation. It is neither a product of Brahman, nor a real entity apart from Brahman. It is the desire of Brahman to create. It is Being in the process of becoming. It is in the process of materialization. (It is like the unseen vapor in the air materializing as water due to condensation. Pure water condensate is Sattva. Acid rain is  water, sulfur, and nitrogen emissions (Avidya, made of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.)

Sattva is intelligence; Rajas is motion; and Tamas is matter.  Sattva is Maya.

When Sattva is the pure element in Prakriti, it is called MAyA or MAya-Prakriti. When Sattva is contaminated with Rajas and Tamas, it is called Avidya. When Brahman is reflected in Maya, He becomes Isvara. That is Isvara with Sattva guna. It is Maya-Brahman, who controls Maya. Isvara or Maya-Brahman is Being (Sat), consciousness (Cit) in the process of creation and becoming, owns and controls Maya. Maya's becoming is a conscious process that runs unobstructed.

MAyA-Sarira = Maya-Sarira.

Avidya is a perishable Sarira. Sarira means body, not the kind with hands and feet. Body of knowledge does not have hands and feet. Avidya is a body of ignorance, negated by body of knowledge. Likewise, Maya-Brahman or Isvara with Maya-Sarira has Maya under His control. His Will is MAyA-Sarira, by which He creates this world and thus is omniscient and omnipotent.

PrAjna Sarira = Body of ignorance or Avidya. The individual soul and not Brahman is the repository of Avidya

PrAjna Sarira is Avidya; PrAjna is ignorance, which is experience of non-knowledge (I don't know anything). Ignorance or Avidya is the Causal Body, which obstructs the knowledge of ultimate truth, which is our own nature.

Avidya is a mixture of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Sattva is intelligence and Taijasa or shining. Thus this Avidya has some knowledge within it. This is known as Prajna within PrAjna (Supreme knowledge within ignorance).

When the individual soul gets rid of Rajas and Tamas, and Sattva becomes his body, he sees past the world of objects, perceives Brahman and understands his identity with Him.

Kashmir Saivism as they relate to Tattvas.

Citta: Individual consciousness (Citta) is contraction of Citi or Universal Consciousness. Cetana, Citi and Citta are linear elements and are usually addressed in female gender, though they are various levels of consciousness. Cettana is the undiminished, uncontracted, wholesome Consciousness of the Lord. Citi is universal Consciousness of Isvara, Sadasiva... and also of the accomplished Yogis. Citta is the individual consciousness, limited and contracted. The individual soul is limited and thus its nature is full of Vikalpas (various activities). The powers of Siva like Jnana, Kriya and Maya contract to Sattva, Rajas and Tamas in the individual soul.

Citta the individual soul is of the nature of Siva in its pure state but in impure state is MAyA-PramAtA becoming Pralayakalars and Sakalars having Malams or impurities.

By removing Malams and knowing the true nature of the soul, one attains liberation or Moksa from Samsara (birth, death and rebirth).

Atman: The Great Soul = CidAtmA = Cit = Citi.

1) It is indivisible by Time and Space.

2) It has the capacity to be the Light or Manifester and the manifested.

3) It becomes threefold by contamination with three Malas: Anu or Anava, Karma and MAyA Malas.

4) It can take on the nature of a) Sunya with no experience, b) PrAna c) Subtle body with five Tanmatras, Manas, Buddhi and Ahamkara, d) Gross body.

5) Seven Pentads: The descending Pentads from Siva to Purusha, the individual soul afflicted with the Kancukas.

        5.1) Siva PramAtA (Siva), 5.2) Mantra Mahesvara (Sadasiva), 5.3) Mantrevara (Isvara), 5.4) Mantra (Ananta), 5.5) Vijnanakalars (MahamAyA), 5.6) Pralayakalars (MAyA), and 5.7) Sakalar class souls (Other).  See the chart above.

Siva is One and becomes all the above entities.  Siva in His pure state is of a Pentad nature: Cit, Ananda (Bliss), Iccha (Will), Jnana (Knowledge), Kriya (Action). The ignorance or AkhyAti, renders it with a shroud (or jackets) of KalA, VidyA, RAga, KAla, and Niyati. These are known as Kancukas or limiting jackets.

If Siva is such a Great God, how come we have the Anu (the individual soul) mired in impurities and limited by Kancukas of MAyA? The limited Atman mired in malas and limited by Kancukas becomes a Samsarin, corporeal being subject to birth, death and rebirth. The Will power of Siva (Iccha Sakti) full of freedom with no restraint undergoes limitation into Anava Mala. Omniscience becomes limited knowledge; soul's immersion in MAya Mala produces Antahkarana or Inner Organ and external organs. Kriya Sakti (Action Power of Siva with omnipotence) undergoes dilution in the world of differentiation and multiplicity and becomes the limited and immersed in KArma Mala.


Plenitude of Sivatva becomes a stunted and contracted power in the individual soul (Citta).


Intrinsic Powers of Siva or Atman (Plenitude of Siva) Contracted powers of the limited individual soul (Kancukas)
Eternity = Beyond constrains of Time KAla7 (Limitation of life in terms of Time)
Omnipresence = All-pervasiveness Niyati8 (Limitation and subjection to Karma and destiny)
Omnipotence = unlimited Action Power. KalA9 (Limitation of power or learning)
Omniscience = unlimited Knowledge.  All knowing VidyA10 (Limitation of knowledge)
Fullness, perfection, Wholesomeness RAga11 (Limitation of desire)

Notes on Prakriti from Serpent Power by woodroffe:

Prakrti:  Mind and body are effects of Prakṛiti . Both having the same  origin, each as such, whether as Mind or Matter, are "material" things - that is, they are of the nature of  forces,1 and limited instruments through which Spirit or Consciousness functions, and thus, though itself unlimited,  appears to be limited. The light in a lantern is unaffected, but its manifestation to those without is affected by the  material through which the light shines. Prakṛiti, however, is not scientific Matter. The latter is only its grossest product, and has as such no lasting existence. Prakṛiti  is the ultimate "material" cause of both Mind  and Matter, and the whole universe which they compose.

It is the mysterious fructescent womb (Yoni) whence  all is born.2 What She is in Herself cannot be realized. She is only known by Her effects.3 Though Mulapra- kriti is the material cause of the world from which it

1 So Herbert Spencer holds, in conformity with Indian doctrine,  that the universe, whether physical or psychical, is a play of force which in the case of matter we as the self or mind experience as object.  As to Mind and Matter see my volumes so entitled.

2 The word has been said to be derived from Kri and the affix ktin,  which is added to express bhava, or the abstract idea, and sometimes the Karma, or object of the action, corresponding with the Greek affix  sis. Ktin inflected in the nominative becomes tih, tis. Prakṛiti  therefore has been said to correspond with vois (nature) of the Greeks  (Banerjee, "Dialogues on Hindu philosophy," 24). It is also called Pradhana. Pra+dha+anat = Pradhatte sarvam atmani, or that which  contains all things in itself, the source and receptacle of all matter and form. Pradhana also literally means "chief" (substance), for according  to Samkhya it is the real creator.

3 See the splendid Hymn to Prakṛiti  in Prapanchasara Tantra, Vol.  III, "Tantrik Texts". What can be seen by the eyes can be defined, but not She. "It cannot be seen by the eyes." Kena Up., 1-6 : "Yat  chakshuŚa na pashyati." She is beyond the senses. Hence the TriŚati addresses the Devi (II. 44) as Idrigityavinirdeshya (who is  not to be particularly pointed out as being this or that). See Śāradā  Tilaka, Vamakeshvara, and Vishvasara Tantras, cited in Pranatoshini,  p. 24. She is ineffable and inconceivable: with form (Vikṛiti ), yet Herself (MulaPrakṛiti ) formless. Mahanirvana Tantra, IV. 33-35.  Thus Sayana (Rig-Veda, X. 129, 2) says that, whilst Māyā   is Anirvachya (indefinable), since it is neither Sat nor Asat, Cit is definable as Sat.

Though Mūlaprakṛiti is the material cause of the world from which it  arises,1 ultimately, as it is in itself (Svarūpā), Prakṛiti   Śakti, like all else, is Consciousness, for Consciousness  as Power and static Consciousness are one.2 Consciousness,  however, assumes the role of Prakṛiti  - that is,  creative power - when evolving the universe. Her substance  consists of the Guṇas or modes of this natural  principle which are called Sattva, Rajas, Tamas.3 The  general action of Śakti is to veil or contract consciousness. Prakṛiti, in fact, is finitising principle. To all seeming,  it (Prakṛiti) finitises and makes form in the infinite formless  Consciousness.4 So do all the Guṇas. But one does it less and another more. The first is SattvaGuṇa the function of  which, relative to the other Guṇas, is to reveal consciousness.  The greater the presence or power of SattvaGuṇa,  the greater the approach to the condition of Pure Consciousness.  Similarly, the function of Tamas Guṇa is to  suppress or veil consciousness. The function of Rajas  Guṇa is to make active - that is, it works on Tamas to  suppress Sattva, or on Sattva to suppress Tamas.5  

1 Kriteh prarambho yasyah. That is, by which creation (Srishti),  maintenance (Sthiti), and dissolution (Laya) are done (PraKriyāte karyadikam anaya).  

2 See Sadānanda's Comm. on 4th Mantra of IŚa Up. "The  changeless Brahman which is consciousness appears in creation as Māyā   which is Brahman  (Brahmamayi) consciousness (Cidrūpiṇī),  holding in Herself unbeginning (Anadi) Karmik tendencies (Karma-saṁskāra) in the form of the three Guṇas. Hence She is Guṇamayi  despite being Chinmayi. And as there is no second principle these Guṇas are Cit-Śakti."  

3 The three Guṇas are Prakṛiti . The Devi, as in the form of Prakṛiti,  is called TriGuṇātmika (who is composed of the three Guṇas). All nature which issues from Her, the Great Cause (Mahakaranasvarūpā),  is also composed of the same Guṇas in different states of relation.  

4 See an article of mine in the Indian Philosophical Review,  "Śakti and Māyā ," reproduced in 3rd Ed. of "Śakti and Śakta".  

5 In the words of Professor P. Mukhyopadhyaya, dealing with the  matter monistically, these are the three elements of the Life Stress on the surface of pure Consciousness - namely, presentation (Sattva),  movement (Rajas), and veiling (Tamas), which are the three elements of creative evolution ("The Patent Wonder," p. 19).   


 The object and the effect of evolution, as it is of all Sadhana, is  to develop Sattva-Guṇa., The Guṇas always co-exist in everything,  but variously predominate. The lower descent is  made in the scale of nature the more Tamas Guṇa prevails,  as in so-called "brute substance," which has been supposed  to be altogether inert. The higher the ascent is made the  more Sattva prevails. The truly Sattvik man is a divine  man, his temperament being called in the Tantras Divya- bhava.1 Through Sattva-Guṇa  passage is made to Sat,  which is Cit or pure Consciousness, by the Siddhayogi,  who is identified with Pure Spirit.  

Prakṛiti  exists in two states, in one of which (so far as  any effect is concerned) 2 She is quiescent. The Guṇas are then in stable equilibrium, and not affecting one another.  There is no manifestation. This is the unmanifest (Avyakta), the potentiality of natural power (natura naturans).3 When,  however, owing to the ripening of Karma, the time for creation takes place, there is a stirring of the Guṇas (Guṇakṣoba) and an initial vibration (Spandana), known in the Mantra Śastra as Cosmic Sound (SabdaBrahman ). The  Guṇas affect one another, and the universe made of these three Guṇas is created. The products of Prakṛiti  thus  evolved are called Vikara or Vikṛiti.4

1 Those in whom Rajas Guṇa is predominant, and who work that Guṇa to suppress Tamas, are Vīra (hero), and the man in whom the Tamas Guṇa prevails is a Pashu (animal).

2 The three Guṇas are essentially changeful. Naparinamya  kśanamapyavatishthante Guṇah (the Guṇas do not remain for a moment without movement). Vachaspati Misra: Samkhya-Tattva- Kaumudi, 16th Karika. The movement is twofold : (a) Sarūpāparinama or SadriŚatarinama in disolution, and (b) Virūpāparinama in evolution.  

3 This is, in fact the definition of Prakṛiti  as opposed to Vikṛiti,  Sattvarajastamasam samyavastha Prakṛiti h. Samkhya-Kaumudi Karika: 3; Samkhya-Pravachana, I. 61.  

4 Vikara or Vikṛiti  is something which is really changed, as milk  into curd. The latter is a Vikṛiti  of the former. Vivarta is apparent hut unreal change, such as the appearance of what was and is a rope as a snake. The Vedantasara thus musically defines the two terms :

Satattvato' nyathapratha vikara ityudiritah

Atattvato' nyathapratha vivarta ityudiritah.

Under V. 40 of the ŚatCakra  the commentator speaks of Vikṛiti  as a reflection (Pratibimbata) of Prakṛiti . It is Prakṛiti  modified.


Vikṛiti  is manifest (Vyakta) Prakṛiti  (natura naturata). In the infinite, and  formless Prakṛiti  there appears a strain or stress appearing  as form. On the relaxation of this strain in dissolution  forms disappear in formless Prakṛiti, who as manifested  power (Śakti) re-enters the Brahman-Consciousness  These Vikṛiti s are the Tattvas issuing from Prakṛiti,1 the  Avidya Śakti- namely, the different categories of Mind,  Senses and Matter.

The bodies are threefold: causal (Kāraṇaśarīra, or  Para-śarīra, as the Śaivas call it), subtle (Sukshma-Śarīra),  and gross (Sthula-Śarīra). These bodies in which the Atma  is enshrined are evolved from Prakṛiti-Śakti, and are constituted  of its various productions. They form the tabernacle  of the Spirit (Atma), which as the Lord is "in all  beings, and who from within all beings controls them". 2  The body of the Lord (Īśvara) is pure Sattva-Guṇa  (Śuddha-Sattva-Guṇa- pradhana). 3 This is the aggregate Prakṛiti or Māyā   of Him or Her as the Creator-Creatrix of all things.  

1 As already explained, there are Tattvas which precede the  Puruśa-Prakṛiti  Tattvas. Etymologically Tattva is an abstract derivation from pronoun "Tat" (that), or Thatness, and may, it has been  pointed out, be compared with the Haecceitas of Duns Scotus. The Tattva in a general sense is Truth or Brahman . But in the Samkhya  it has a technical sense, being employed as a concrete term to denote the eight "producers," the sixteen "productions," and the twenty-fifth  Tattva or Puruśa.

 2 Yah sarveshu bhuteshu tishthan; yah sarvani bhutany antaro  yaMāyā  ti (Brih. Up., iii. 7, 15). The Jiva is in Māyāvāda thus  Chaitanyarūpā with the Upadhi Ājńā na and its effects, mind and body, and which is Abhimānin, or attributor to itself, of the waking, dreaming and slumber states.

 3 Śamkara's Bhashya, II. 8-45. The Jiva is Chaitanya distinguished by Upādhi. The latter term means distinguishing property, attribute,  body, etc., and here body (Deha), senses (Indriya), mind (Manas, Buddhi), etc (ib.t I. 2-6).  



or Māyā   of Him or Her as the Creator-Creatrix of all things.  Jiva, as the Kularnava Tantra l says, is bound by the bonds  (Pāśa); Sadāśiva is free of them. 2 The former is Paśu,  and the latter Paśupati, or Lord of Paśus (Jivas). That  is, Īśvari 3 is not affected by Her own Māyā  . She is all- seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful.  Īśvara thus rules Māyā ,  Jivas ruled by it. From this standpoint the Mother and  Her child the Jīva are not, thus, the same. For the latter  is a limited consciousness subject to error, and governed by that Māyā-Śakti of Hers which makes the world seem to  be different from what it in its essence is. The body of  Jīva is therefore known as the individual Prakṛiti  or Avidya,  in which there is impure Sattva, and Rajas and Tamas  (Malina-Sattva-Guṇa pradhāna). But in the Mother are all  creatures. And so in the TriŚatī 4 the Devi is called "in  the form of one and many letters" (Ekānekākṣarākṛiti).  As Ekā, She is the Ājńāna which is pure Sattva and attribute  (Upadhi) of Īśvara; as Aneka She is Upadhi or  vehicle of Jiva. Whilst Īśvara is one, Jivas are many, 5  according to the diversity in the nature of the individual  Prakṛiti  caused by the appearance of Rajas and Tamas in  it in differing proportions. The Atma appears as Jīva in the various forms of the vegetable, animal, and human worlds.  

The first or Causal Body of any particular Jiva, therefore, is that Prakṛiti  (Avidya Śakti) which is the cause  of the subtle and gross bodies of this Jīva which are  evolved from it. 

 1 Tantrik Texts, Vol. V.

2 Pāsa-baddho bhavej jivah pāśamuktah Sadāśivah (Kularnava  Tantra, IX. 48), upon which the author of the Prana-toshini, who cites  this passage, says: "Thus the identity of Śiva and Jīva is shown"  (iti Śivajlvayor aikyam uktam).  

3 Feminine of Īśvara. Some worship Śiva, some Devi. Both are one.  

4 Comm. by Śamkara on v. 28.  

5 According to another Vedantic view there is only one Jiva.


THE TATTVAS (pages 93-103) by Sir John Woodroffe From The Garland of Letters

A KNOWLEDGE of the Mantra Śāstra involves an understanding of the thirty-six Śaiva-Śakta-Tattvas. Thus it is said that Śakti is in Śakti-tattva2, Nāda in Sadhākhya Tattva3, Bindu in Īśvara-Tattva4. What then are these Tattvas to which reference is made both in the Śaiva and Śākta-Tantras? Unless these be fully understood, no progress in knowledge of the Mantra Science as here described may be expected.



The Śaiva-Śākta Śāstra calls experience as Śakti by the term Vimarśa. Experience has two elements—the “I” (Ahaṁ ) and the “This” (Idaṁ ), the subjective-knowing aspect (Grāhaka) of the Self and the objective or known (Grāhya) aspect of the Self. For it must be remembered that an object is nothing but the one Self appearing through Māyā as non-Self to Itself as subject. At base the experienced is nothing but the experiencer: though this is not realised until the bonds of Māyā which make subject and object appear to be different are loosened. The “I” side of experience is that in which the Self rests in the light of one’s own Self without looking towards another (Ananyonamukhah aham ̣ -pratyayah); just as the experience (Vimarśa) which looks towards another is called—Idam ̣ (Yastu anyonmukhah sa idam ̣ iti pratyayah). But this “Other” can only be the Self, for there is in reality nothing but the one Self. It is experienced, however, differently. In the Supreme state it exists with the ‘Ahaṁ ’ in a mingled union; in the pure experience between this state and Māyā the “Other” is recognised to be an aspect of the Self; in impure experience governed by Māyā the object appears to be different from the limited self.  Experience again is, at its two poles, Perfect Experience of the Perfect Universe and the limited experience of the three worlds of reincarnation. Between these two extremes there are intermediate experiences marking the stages whereby the one pure Spirit or Consciousness involves itself in matter.

The Hermetic maxim says: “As above so below.” Similarly the Viśvasāra-Tantra says: “What is here is there, what is not here is nowhere.” Yad ihāsti tadmyatra, yan nehāsti na tat kvacit). Śaiva doctrine says: “That which appears without, only so appears because it exists within.” (Vartamānāvabhāsānam ̣ bhāvānām ̣ avabhāsanam ̣ antahsthitavatām eva ghatate bāhirātmanā). “The manifestation of those things which presently appear, happen in the form of external things because they exist within.” “Therefore what exists in our experience, evolved from the Supreme

also exists in the Supreme experience though in another way.” The Supreme experience called Parāsaṁ vit is not a mere abstract objectless knowing (Jńāna). It is the coalescence into one undivided unity of the I and the “This,” that is, of Śiva and the supreme unmanifested Śakti. The former is the illuminating (Prakāśa), knowing aspect, and the latter that Vimarśa aspect which is “the known.” But here the two are undistinguishably one. This supreme experience has the immediacy of feeling. It is Bliss (Ananda) which is defined as “Resting in the Self” (Svarūpaviśrānti). In the Māyika world the Self concerns itself with what it takes to be the non-Self. Here the Universe which is the objeet of Śiva's experience is the Perfect Universe, that is,

Supreme Śakti which is but another aspect of Himself as consciousness. She is beautifully called in the Parāprāveśikā: “The Heart of the Supreme Lord” (Hṛdayam ̣ pārameśituh). For the Māyika experiencer (Māyā pramātṛ) the universe is the manifested world of objects seen as different from himself. Supreme Śiva and Śakti exist in mutual embrace and love. “Bliss is supreme love” (Niratiśayapremāspadatvam ̣ ānandātvam ̣). The Supreme state is described by the Bṛhadāraṇyaka- Upaniṣad in the words, “He indeed was just as man and woman in embrace” (Sā ha etāvān āsa yathā strīpumām ̣ - sau sam ̣ pariṣvaktau); when there is neither within nor

without, when all thought of lover, loving and loved are forgotten in the joy of blissful unity. The experience is spaceless, timeless, full, all-knowing, almighty. This is the state of Śiva without Kalā (Niṣkala) or Paramaśiva. This is Parāsaṁvit which is beyond all Tattvas (Tattvātītā).

As the Perfect Universe it is called Paranāda (Supreme “Sound”) and Parā-vāk (Supreme  Speech”). Paramaśiva is an experience of the Perfect Universe, that is, of Paranāda (Amarṣa paranādagarbhah). Such universe is pure Śakti (Śakti-svarūpa).

Our worldIy experience is as it were an inverted reflexion of all this seen in the causal waters of Māyā. Māyā-Śakti is the sense of difference (Bhedabuddhi) which makes the Puruṣa, who is subject to it, see the Universe in the form of an observing self with a multitude of objects

conceived of as being outside of and separate from it. In the Mayika world each self excludes the other selves. In the Supreme experience there is one Self experiencing Itself. The Puruṣa is Consciousness, subject to Māyā and the five Kańcukas which are limiting forces contracting the natural perfections of the Self. Thus the Perfect state is formless, the world state is with form: the

first is spaceless, timeless, all-pervading, the latter is the reverse and so forth. Kāla produces limitations of time. Niyati destroys independence (Svatantratā), regulating the Puruṣa as to what he should or should not do at any given moment of time. The Supreme experience is full and in want of nothing (Pūrṇa). Rāga Kańcuka creates interest in objects as something other than the self and therefore desire for them. The all-knowingness (Sarvajńatā) and all-mightiness (Sarvakartṛtā) of the Supreme Śiva are circumscribed through the action of Vidyā and Kalā, and the Puruṣa becomes a “little knower” and “little doer.”

The intermediate Tattvas next described explain the process how from the creative aspect of the Perfect Experience the imperfect World-experience comes into being. Śiva has two aspects in one of which He is Transcendent and in the other Creative and Immanent. The creative (Sakala) aspect of the Supreme Śiva (Niṣkala-Paramaśiva) is called Śiva-tattva, wherein is the Śakti called

Unmanī. Through operation in His creative aspect Śiva becomes His own object as the Manifested Universe. For in truth there is nothing else than Paramaśiva. Śivatattva

is the first creative movement (Prathama spanda) of the Unmoving Paramaśiva. Śakti-tattva is only the negative aspect of, or in, the Śiva-tattva. The function of Śakti is to negate (Nishedhauayāpārārūpā śaktih). She who is Consciousness negates Herself, that is, deprives

experience of the element of objectivity which is Itself as Parā-Śakti. There is thus left only the other side of experience which is Prakāśamātra, that is, what we should call the “I” (Ahaṁ ) side of experience when regarded as consisting of an “I” and “This” (Idaṁ ). Because in this

experience there is no trace of objectivity whatsoever, either of such objectivity latent or expressed as exists in  the Supreme or other lower and derived form of experience, the Śiva Tattva is called “the very void” (Śūnyātiśūnya). It is the experience in which the Self is not looking towards any other (Ananyonmukhah aham ̣ pratyayah). The objective content, so to speak, of Consciousness is a mere negation. It is Śūnya because it is empty of objective

content. Śakti-tattva is also spoken of as the Will (Icchā) of Siva as yet Unmanifest and inseparable from Him (Santatasamavāyinī).

This account of Śakti’s operation is extraordinarily subtle, explaining as it does how the supreme unitary experience is also the first source of dual experience. Such latter experience and the stages whereby the latter is fully developed can only be produced by positing an aspect in

which there is a breaking up of the unitary experience. This is done by first blotting out from the Perfect experience its object or the Perfect Universe (Parā Śakti, Paranāda) thus leaving a mere subjectivity. To the subjectivity thus disengaged there is again gradually unveiled the universe

at first as unmanifested and then (through Māyā) as manifested Śakti. In Parā Samvit the “I” and the “This” existed as one undistinguishable unity. In Śiva Tattva through the operation of the associated Śakti Tattva, the “This” (Idam ̣) is withdrawn from experience so that the “I- experience” (Aham ̣ -vimarśa) alone remains. To this the ‘Idaṁ ’ or Universe is again by degrees presented, when there is no longer an undistinguishable unity of “I” and “This,” but an “I-This” in which both, though distinguishable, are yet part of the Self which eventually through Māyā-Śakti becomes an “I” and “This,” in which the two are severed the one from the other. How this occurs, the description of the remaining Tattvas explains. The Śiva-Śakti Tattva is not an emanation, because it ever remains the same whether in Creation or Dissolution. It is the seed and womb of the whole universe.

The first emanation or manifestation (Ābhāsa) of and by Consciousness is called the Sadākhya or Sadāśiva Tattva. Here it is to be observed that the cause ever remains the same and what it was, though appearing differently in the effect. The Supreme Experience changelessly endures

even though in its creative aspect it gives birth to the Universe. This Ābhāsa is like the Vivartta of Māyā-vāda, the difference between the two lying in the fact that according to the former the effect is real, and according to Śaṁkara, unreal. This difference again depends on the definition given of “reality.”

Real evolution (Pariṇāma), in which when one thing is evolved into another it ceases to be what it was, exists only in the compounded products of the material world.

In Sadāśiva-Tattva there is the commencement of the first subjective formation of ideas. It is called Nimeṣa (closing of the eyes) as contrasted with Unmeṣa (opening of the eyes) of the next stage of experience. In the former the Universe as Śakti is seen only faintly. The Self hazily experiences Itself as object. It is the first step in evolution and the last in involution. Unmeṣa is the distinct blossoming (Sphutatvaṁ ) and externalization (Bāhyatvam) of the Universe. The “This” (Idaṁ ) is faintly perceived by the “I” (Ahaṁ ) as part of the one Self, the emphasis being

therefore on the “I” side of experience. Sadāśiva is He whom the Vaiṣnavas call Mahāviṣnu, and the Buddhists, Avalokiteśvara who sheds compassion on all. According to tradition, this is the source whence the Avataras come. It is in this Tattva that there is what the Mantra-Śāstra calls Nāde-Śakti.

The third stage of the developing consciousness is Īśvara, Tattva, the externalization of the last. The Universe (Idaṁ ) is experienced by the “I” (Ahaṁ ) distinctly and yet as part of, and not separate from, the one Self. As in the last experience the emphasis was on the “Ahaṁ ,” here it is on the “Idaṁ .” This Tattva is called Bindu in Mantra-Śāstra, and is so called because Consciousness here completely identifies itself with the Universe as unmanifested Idam, and thus subjectifies it and becomes with it a Point (Bindu) of Consciousness. Thus by way of example the mind is completely subjectified and exists for each of us as a mathematical point, though the body, to the extent to which it is not subjectified, appears as an object or extended thing.

The fourth Tattva is known as Vidyā, Sadvidyā or Śuddhavidyā. In the experience of this stage, emphasis is equal on the “I” and the “This” (Sāmānādhikaraṇya). In Śiva-Tattva there is the I-experience (Ahaṁ Vimarśa); in Sadāśiva the I-This experience (Ahaṁ -idaṁ Vimarśa); in Īśvara-Tattva the This-I experience (Idamahaṁ Vimarśa). In each case the stress is laid on the first term. In Vidyā-Tattva there is an equality of either term in an experience which is that of the true relation of the Aham ̣ and the Idam, consisting of a synthesis (Saṁ gamana) of the two on a single “basis” (Adhikaraṇa) and not on two different “bases” according to the experience of those under the influence of Māyā (Māyāpramātṛ) thus eliminating the duality which exists in the latter experience.  

By equality of the “I” and the “This”, experience is in the state of readiness for the next stage in which the two are to be severed. Sadvidyā as being the intermediate stage between the pure (Śuddha) and impure (Aśuddha) Creation is called Parāparadaśā. It is also spoken of as experience of difference in the form of Mantra (Bhedābheda-vimarśanātmaka-mamtrarūpa). It is experience of difference because the Idaṁ is separated from the Ahaṁ . It is the experience of non-difference because they are still regarded as part of one Self. The experience is compared to that of the Īśvara of the Dvaitavādins, who sees the Universe as different from Himself and yet as

part of and in connection therewith.” All this is my manifestation” (Sarvo mamāyam ̣ vibhavah). The experience is said to be in the nature of Mantra, because here we are in the region of pure spiritual ideation. As yet there is no objective manifestation such as exists in our world. Below this Tattva it is said that there were created eight Pudgalas, that is, Jīvas in the form of  knowledge (Vijńāna-rūpa) and then seven crores of Mantras and their Maṇdalas.

At this point Māyā-Śakti intervenes and divides the Ahaṁ and Idaṁ , and the Kańcukas or limitations of the natural perfections of Consciousness make It subject to time and space, birth and death, limitation, and desire for object, which It now conceives of as persons and things

other than Itself. This is the Puruṣa-Prakṛti-Tattva. Puruṣa in Śaiva-Śākta philosophy is the Ātmā or Śiva subject to Māyā and the Kańcukas which are limiting forces whereby the Self as Pure Consciousness loses Its natural perfections.

Prakṛti is the Śāntā Śakti of Śiva in contracted form existing as the equilibrium of the Guṇas which are themselves a gross form of the Śaktis of Will (Icchā), Action (Kriyā) and Knowledge (Jńāna). All things exist in Her who is of the nature of feeling in a homogeneous mass. Puruṣa is enjoyer (Bhoktā) and Prakṛti the enjoyed (Bhogyā). The latter is at first the barest objectivity

seen as different from the experiencing Self as Puruṣa. Prakṛti then differentiates into the Tattvas of Mind (Antahkaraṇa), senses (Indriya), and matter (Bhūta) which constitute our universe.

Puruṣa does not merely mean man nor indeed any animal. Every single thing in the Universe is Puruṣa. Thus an atom of sand is a Puruṣa or consciousness, identifying itself with solidity (Pṛthivī), manifesting its limited Consciousness as atomic memory and other ways. What Consciousness thinks, that is, identifies itself with, that it becomes.

To sum up, the Supreme Experience (Parā-saṁvit) has a creative aspect (Śiva-Śakti-Tattva), which is a Consciousness of “I” (Ahaṁ -vimarśa) which gradually experiences the Universe (Idaṁ ) as part of Itself, at first faintly with predominant “I”, then clearly with predominant

“This”, and then as equal “I and This”, ready for severance by Māyā. The latter then cleaves consciousness in twain, thus setting up a dichotomy of Subject and Object, though in truth the object is nothing but the Self as its own object. Lastly Śakti, as Prakṛti, differentiates into the multitudinous beings which make the universe. But throughout it is the one and only Śiva whether as the Supreme Experience or as the Consciousness embodied in

solid matter. Śakti, Nāda, Bindu mentioned in previous articles are Śakti-Tattva, Sādākhya-Tattva and Īśvara-Tattva (here described), considered from the standpoint of the Mantra

Śāstra which treats of the origin of Śabda or Sound.

With the Tattvas, the Kalās are associated. These are the forms of activity (Kriyā) of the Tattvas as Śakti. Thus Sṛṣti (Creation) is a Kalā of Brahmā. Pālana (Protection) is a Kalā of Viṣnu and Mṛtyu (Death) is a Kalā of Rudra. It is, however, not always as easy to see the appropriateness

of the Kalās in the simple examples given. The Śākta Tantras speak of 94 Kalās, namely, 19 Kalās of Sadāśiva, 6 of Īśvara, 11 of Rudra, 10 of Viṣnu, 10 of Brahmā, 10 of Fire, 12 of Sun, and 16 of Moon.

According to Saubhāgya-ratnākara the 19 Kalās of Sadāsiva are Nivṛtti, Pratiṣṭhā, Vidyā, Śānti, Indhikā, Dipikā, Recikā, Mocikā, Parā, Sūkṣmāmṛtā, Jńānāmṛta, Amrtā, Āpyāyanī, Vyāpinī, Vyomarūpā, Mūlavidyāmantrakalā, Mahāmantrakalā, Jyoitṣkalā

The 6 of Īśvara are Pītā, Śvetā, Nityā, Aruṇā, Asitā, Anantā.

The 11 Rudra Kalās are Tīkṣṇā, Raudrī, Bhayā, Nidrā, Tandrā, Kṣudhā, Krodhinī, Kriyā, Utkārī, Amāyā, Mṛtyu.

The 10 of Viṣṇu are Jada, Pālini, Śānti, Iśvarī, Rati, Kāmikā, Varadā, Hlādinī, Prīti, Dīkṣā.

The 10 of Brahmā are Sṛṣti, Ṛddhi, Smṛti, Medhā, Kānti, Lakṣmī, Dyuti, Sthirā, Sthiti, Siddhi.

The 10 of Fire are Dhūmrārci, Ūṣmā, Jvalini, Jvālinī, Visphulinginī, Susri, Surūpā, Kapilā, Havyavahā, Kavyavahā.

The 12 of Sun are Tapinī, Tāpinī, Dhūṁrā, Marīci, Jvālini, Ruci, Suṣumnā, Bhogadā, Viśvā, Bodhinī, Dhāriṇī, Kṣamā.

The 16 of Moon are Amṛtā, Mānadā, Pūsā, Tusti, Pusti, Rati, Dhṛti, Śaśinī, Caudrikā, Kānti, Jyotanā, Śrih, Prīti, Aṅgadā, Pūrṇā, Pūrṇāmṛtā.

Out of these 50 are Mātṛkā-Kalās which manifest through the Paśyantī, Madhyamā, and Vaikharī stages (Bhāva) as the gross letters (Varṇa). The 50 Mātṛkā-Kalās are given in the same acoount as follows: Nivṛtti, Pratiṣṭhā, Vidyā, Śāntī, Indhikā, Dīpikī, Recika, Mocikā, Parā, Sūkṣmā, Sūkṣmāmṛtā, Jńānāmṛtā, Āpyāyanī, Vyāpinī, Vyomarūpā, Anantā, Sṛṣti, Ṛddhi, Smṛti, Medhā, Kānti, Lakṣmī, Dyuti, Sthirā, Sthiti, Siddhi, Jadā, Pālini, Śānti, Aiśyarā, Rati, Kāmikā, Varadā, Āhlādinī, Prītih, Dīrghā, Tīkṣnā, Raudrī, Bhayā, Nidrā. Tandrā, Kṣudhā, Krodhinī,  Kriyā, Utkārī, Mṛtyurūpā, Pītā, Śvetā, Asitā, Anantā. These 94 Kalās are worshipped in the Wine Jar which holds Tārā dravamayī, or the Saviour-Mother in liquid form. She Herself, is called

Saṁvit-Kalā and so the Yoginīhṛdaya-Tantra says—

Deśakālapadārthātmā yad yad vastu yathā yathā

Tat-tadrūpeṇa yā bhāti tam ̣śraye Sam vidam Kalām



ŚAKTI—POTENCY TO CREATE  by Woodroffe, part of the book The Garland of letters.


IN the previous chapter I have referred to Śakti, Nāda, Bindu. In this and the two next I will deal in great

detail with each of these three concepts of Śakti. One of the clearest accounts known to me of the evolution of Śakti is that given in the authoritative Tāntrika-Prakaraṇa called Śāradā (also spelt Sāradā) Tilaka by Lakṣmaṇācārya. This work was formerly of great authority in Bengal. Its value is much increased by the commentary of Rāghva-Bhatta. As this work with its commentary is of prime importance, and is cited throughout the following chapters, I may here note the following account which Lakṣmaṇācārya gives of himself at its close. Mahābala a great sage was succeeded by his son Ācāryapaṇdita, a Deśika (Tāintrik-Guru). His son Śrīkṛṣṇa-Deśika had a son Lakṣmaṇa-Deśika who wrote the Śāradā-Tilaka. Rāghava, in his commentary called Padārthādarśa, says that Lakṣmaṇa was the disciple of Utpalācārya, who was the disciple of Somānanda, who was the disciple of Vasugupta, who was the disciple of Śrīkaṇṭha. This is the Gurupaṇgkti of Lakṣmaṇa. His disciple was the great Kāśmīrian Abhinava-Gupta, the author of Paramārthasāra. The latter’s disciple was Kṣemarāja, the author of

the Śivasūtra-Vimarśini. The date generally assigned to Abhinava-Gupta is the eleventh century. Therefore Sj. Akśaya Kumāra Maitra, Director of the Varendra Anusam ̣ dhāna-Samiti, who has supplied me with these details of the Gurus and Śiṣyas of the author, concludes that the Śārada was written at the end of the tenth or beginning of the eleventh century. Rāghava mentions 1510 as the age of his commentary. Taking this to be the Vikrama Samvat we get 1454 A.D. as its date. These details serve another purpose. There are persons who insist on a total disconnection between the Śaiva and Śākta-Tantras. Lakṣmaṇācārya was a member of the Kāśmīrian Śaiva School, and his work was, as I have stated, of great authority among the Bengal Śāktas.

The Śāradā (Chapter, I, verse 7) says: “From Sakala-Parameśvara, vested with the wealth of Sat, Cit, Ānanda issued Śakti; from Śakti came Nāda; and from Nāda issued Bindu.


Saccidānandavibhavāt sakalāt parameśvarāt

Asīc chaktis tato nādo nādād bindu samudbhavah.


Parameśvara is here Śiva-Tattva. He is Sakala, because He is with the creative Kalā or Śakti. As already explained Śakti, when Vyaṣtirūpā, that is individualised, is called Kalā. Śiva is always with Śakti. But in the supreme state, Śakti is unmanifest and exists in Her own (Svarūpa) form as Being-Consciousness-Bliss (Sacchidānandamayī, Cidrūpiṇī), undistinguishable from Śiva. Sakala-Śiva is thus Saguṇa-Brahman. He is said to be vested with the wealth of Sat, Cit, Ananda or Being, Consciousness and Bliss to show that His association with Avidyā does not deprive Him of, or affect, His own true nature (Svarūpa). Śiva has two aspects. In one of these He is the Supreme Changeless One who ie Saccidānanda and  Saccidānandamaya. This is Parā-samvit. In the other He changes as the Universe; change being the experience of the Jīva so created. The cause of such change is Śiva-Tattva inseparably associated with Śakti-Tattva.

There issued Śakti.” This is Śakti-Tattva of the Thirty-six Tattvas. Śakti evolves Nāda, and Nāda, Bindu.

These are aspects of Śakti preparing to create the Universe and are dealt with in future chapters. Here I am concerned with Śakti-Tattva only: that is, with that form of Śakti which is specifically so calIed; since Nāda, Bindu and the rest are all but names for different aspects of Śakti.

It may be asked how Śakti can be said to issue from that which was already with Śakti. Rāghava-Bhatta explains that the author here follows the Sākhya principle of the appearance of realities from realities (Sadutpattivāda) and speaks of the condition of readiness (Ucchūnāvasthā) of Her who being without beginning or end existed in a subtle state identified with Caitanya in Dissolution (Yā anādirūpā

caitanyā-dhyāsena Mahāpralaye sūkṣmā sthitā). Adhyāsa is the attribution of the nature of one thing to

another according to which something is considered to be what it is not. In other words during Dissolution there is some potential principle in the Brahman which, as manifest, appears not to be Consciousness (Cit), but which owing to the absence of operation during the dissolved (Laya) state is identified with Cit. The distinction is very subtly marked by the Sanskrit word Cit for Śiva and Cidrūpiṇī for Śakti. Cit is there in either case, for ultimately there is nothing but Consciousness. But that principle which in creation manifests as seeming Achit is in itself Cidrūpiṇī. One is Consciousness and the other is a principle in the form of Consciousness. I prefer to look at Śakti from the Consciousness aspect which is Her own form (Svarūpa) and to say that Śakti in Dissolution is what She really is, namely, Cit. In creation Consciousness, as Śakti, has power to veil Its own true nature, and when we are ourselves subject to this power we attribute unconsciousness to It. The substance in either case is this: In Dissolution, Consciousness and Bliss alone is. Then without derogation to the changelessness of Consciousness there is an apparent dichotomy into subject and object, that is, Consciousness and Unconsciousness. Śakti is conceived as ready to create the Universe composed of Guṇas as its effect (Kārya). In other words,

pure Consciousness becomes the world-experience. The Prayogasāra says: “She, who is eternal and all-pervading, the Genetrix of the Universe, issues from Him.” Vāyavīya- Samhitā says: “By the will of Śiva, Parā-Śakti is united with Śiva-tattva and at the beginning of Creation appears from It just as oil from sesamum seed when pressed.” The Pancarātra is also cited by Rāghava-Bhatta as saying, “The Parama Puruṣa at the beginning of Creation, seeing that She who is Saccidānandarūpini is the source

(Adhiṣthāna) of the manifestation of all Tattvas makes manifest eternal Prakṛti.” These statements, like  all our accounts in such matters, are pictorial thinking, being necessarily imperfect attempts to explain the manifestation of activity of Consciousness.

Cause and effect are really one, but appear different. The first aspect of Śakti is its causal (Kāraṇa) aspect. But this again may be analyzed into the various stages of its capacity and preparedness to create. These stages are marked by certain names which again are mere labels denoting states of Śakti. Thus Nāda and Bindu are names for those aspects of Śakti which are more and more prone to Creation (Ucchūnāvasthā = Ucchūna + avastha = bloated condition). Nāda and Bindu are but two states of Her Creation (Sṛṣtyupayogyāvasthārūpau). Śakti-Tattva is the first kinetic aspect of Brahman. Śakti then becomes more and more kinetic until, as Bindu, Śakti is Īśvara-Tattva. This Bindu differentiates into the Triangle of Divine Desire called the Kāmakalā upon which there is that Brahman Sound (Śabda-brahman), which bifurcating into Śabda and Artha, is Śakti in its aspect as effect (Kārya) or the manifested Universe of Mind and Matter. This “Tāntrik” account gives firstly an apparent “development” in the causal body of Śakti being in the nature of a resolution of like to like; and then a real development (Pariṇāma) of the effects (Kārya) produced from the causal body. The whole is necessarily described after the manner of a gradual process stated in terms of our own psychological experience. But such a process exists only in time which first appears with the Sun and Moon. Bhāskararāya in his commentary on the Lalitā Sahasranāma (Verse 117) cites Gorakṣanātha as saying in his Mahārthamańjarī, “In a moment the world is created and in a moment it is destroyed."

Śakti-Tattva and Śiva-Tattva are inseparable (Santata- Samavāyinī), the former being only the negative aspect of the latter. Both exist even in Dissolution, the first emanation proper being Sadākhya which corresponds with Nāda in the above mentioned verse. Śiva-Tattva is defined in the Tattva-Sandoha 1, as follows: “That, beyond which there is none other, moved of His own will in order to create the whole world. The first movement (Spanda prathama) is called the Śiva-Tattva by those who know.”


Yad ayam anuttaramūtir

nijecchyākhilam idam jagat sraṣtum

Paspande sah spandah

prathamah Śiva-tattvam ucyate tajjńaih.


As the Vimarśinī on the Pratyabhijnā says—It is the “I-experience not looking towards another” (Ananyonmukhah ahampratyayah). It is the self-side of experience, Prakāśa or Jńānamātra, which is such, because of the negation of all objectivity or not-self by Śakti-Tattva. For this Jńānamātra, She, as Vimarśa-Śakti, provides through gradual stages the objects of its experience. Her function is negation (Niśedha-vyāpāra-rūpā Śaktih) of all objectivity so as to produce the mere subjective knowing (Prakāśamātra) which is the Śūnyātiśūnya. She then evolves from Herself the objective world in order that it may be the content of the Śiva consciousness. She is pure Will ever associated with Śiva. She is the seed of the whole Universe of moving and unmoving things then absorbed in Herself.


Icchā saiva svacchā

santatasamavāyinī satī śaktih.

Sacarācarasya jagato

bījam ̣ nikhilasya nijanilīnasya. (Tattva-Sandoha, 2.)


She is thus called the Womb (Yoni), or Seed-state (Bījāvasthā), and by the Parāpraveśikā, “Heart of the

Supreme Lord” (Hṛdayaṃ , Paramestituh). The Yoginīhṛdaya- Tantra says that men speak of the heart of Yoginī; She is Yoginī because She is connected with all things both as Cause and Effect. This Yoginī is knower of Herself (Yoginī svavid). She is called the Heart: for from the Heart all issues. She is the Heart of the Universe: the pulsing movements of which are Herself as Śakti. What more can be said than the words of the Yoginīhṛdaya, “What man knows the heart of a woman, only Śiva knows the heart of Yoginī.”

In the Pratyabhijńā-Hṛdaya (Sū 4) it is said, “The auspicious supreme Śiva desiring to make manifest the Universe which is one with Himself first of all shines forth as the one Cit as the Very Void detaohed from Māyā (that is, there is no objectivity) and as undifferentiated Illumination (that is, Prakāśa or Jńāna). He then next appears in the form of diverse experiencers consisting of an infinite endless number of Tattvas, words and beings which are in the nature of a blooming forth of Consciousness and Bliss."  


Śri-paramaśivah svātmaikyena sthitaṁ viśvaṁ avabibhāsayiṣuh  pūrvam cidaikyākhyāti  

māyānāṣṛitaśiva-paryāyaśūnyāti śūnyātmatayā prakāśābhedena prakāśamānatayā sphurati;

tatah cid-rasāśyānatārūpāśeṣa-tattva-bhuvana-bhāva-tattat-pramātrādyātmatayā’ pi prathate.


The substance of the matter may be stated thus: whilst from the static transcendental aspect (Paraśiva, Parāśakti) Consciousness changelessly endures, there is from the kinetic creative aspect (Śiva-Śakti) a polarisation in consciousness, the poles of which are Śiva, and Śakti representing the Ahaṃ and Idaṃ aspects of experience. Owing to this polarisation there is in lieu of the unitary experience a division into the knower, knowing and known, Mātṛ, Māna, Meya, as it is called. Consciousness then identifies itself with the products of its own kinetic Śakti, that is, with mind as the subject of experience and with matter as its object. This polarisation is explained in the Śākta-Tantras by the illustration of the grain of gram (Caṇaka). Under the sheath of the grain of gram two seeds are found in such close union that they appear when held together as one. With, however, the tearing of the outer sheath the two halves of the seeds fall apart. These two seeds are said to be Śiva and Śakti and the encircling sheath is Māyā. Like all attempts to explain the unexplainable, the illustration is to some extent defective, for in the gram there are two separate seeds —but Śiva-Śakti are an undistinguishable unity. The commentator on the Ṣat-cakranirūpaṇa (Serpent Power) cites the following: (v. 49): “In the Satyaloka is the formless and lustrous One. She is like a grain of gram devoid of hands, feet or the like. She has surrounded Herself by Māyā. She is Sun, Moon and Fire. When casting off (Utsṛjya) the covering She divides in two (Dvidhā bhittvā) and becomes intent on (Unmukhi) creation, then by differentiation of Śiva and Śakti arises creative ideation (Sṛṣti-kalpanā).” By “differentiation” is meant the polarisation of Consciousness into subjective (Prakāśa) and objective (Vimarśa) aspects. The Self sees another. The same commentator cites the Prapancasāra Tantra as saying that the Parabindu divides into two parts, of which the right is Bindu, the male, Puruṣa or Haṃ , and the left is Visargah, the female Prakṛti or Sah. Hamsah is the Union of Prakṛti and Puruṣa and the Universe is Hamsah. In, however, the MSS. on which my edition of this Tantra is based it is said that Parabindu divided by Kalā becomes threefold—Bindu, Nāda, Bīja. The difference is of no moment for this Bindu (Kārya) is Śiva and Bīja is Śakti, and Nāda is merely the relation (Mithah-samavāyah) of the two. The combined Hamsah indicates the same relation as is expressed by Nāda. In the Kulacūdāmaṇi Nigama (Chap. I, vv. 16-24), the Devī says of the first stage: “I, though in the form of Prakṛti, lie hidden in Being-consciousness- bliss (Aham ̣ prakṛtirūpā cet saccidānandaparāyaṇā).

Then in the initial creative stage when Karma ripens the Devi in the words of the Nigama “becomes

desirous of creation and covers Herself with Her own Māyā.” This is the appearance of the kinetic Śakti. The same doctrine is stated with greater or less detail in various ways. Unitary experience, without ceasing to be such, is yet, as Jīva polarised into the dual experience of the Māyika world. Consciousness as Cit-Śakti and Māyā-Śakti projects from itself, in a manner conformable with our own psychological experience, the object of its experience. The Māyika experiencer (Māyā-pramātrī) takes what is one to be dual or many. This is the division of Śiva and Sakti which are yet eternally one. All action implies duality, Duality is manifestation. Manifestation is nothing but an appearance to consciousness. As there is ultimately but one Self, the Self appears to itself; that is, consciousness is polarised. These two poles are the continuity of the “I” (Ahaṃ ) and its ever changing content which is “This” (Idaṃ ).

Just as there is absolute rest and a world movement, so Śakti or Creative Consciousness is itself of twofold aspect, static and dynamic. Cosmic energy in its physical aspect is potential or kinetic, the first being that state in which the equilibrated elements of Power hold each other in check. It is not possible to have one without the other. In any sphere of activity, according to these views, there must be a static background. If one Spiritual Reality be assumed it cannot be actually divided into two. It is possible, however, that there should be a polarisation in your experience whereby what is indivisibly one and the self, appears as many and the not-self. How? The answer is Māyā, that Power of Her whereby what is impossible to us becomes possible. Māyā is Śakti, but Śakti is not to be identified only with this form of It. In the thirty-six Tattvas, Māyā is a particular and comparatively gross form of Śakti which appears after the evolution of the Sadvidyā-Tattva. It is defined as that Śakti which is the sense of difference (Bhedabuddhi); that is, the power whereby the individual consciousness, distinguishing itself from others, considers itself separate from them. Śakti is understood differently in the Śākta Tantra and in Śamkara's Mayevada; a matter of primary importance from the point of view of Sādhana and with which I will deal on some future occasion. Whatever be the description given, all accounts must end in the inconceivable Śakti (Acintyā). She the One, the Primordial Śakti (ĀdyāŚakti) appears as many; and so the Śākta Sādhaka saying, “Aham ̣ Devī na cānyosmi” (I am the Devī and, none other), thinks to himself “Sa’haṃ ” (She am I).                                  





MĀYĀ-TATTVA  by Woodroffe in The Garland of Letters, Pages 143-154.

WHAT Matter is in itself the senses do not tell us. All that can be predicated of it is its effect upon these senses. The experiencer is affected in five different ways giving rise in

him to the sensations of hearing (Śabda); feel by which is experienced the thermal quality of things (Śparśa); colour and form (Rūpa); taste (Rasa); and smell (Gandha). The cause of these are the five Bhūtas which, in the general cosmic evolution, are derived from the Tanmātras or general elements of the particulars of sense perception. These again together with the senses (Indriyas) or faculties of mind operating through a particular physical organ as their instrument and Manas the mental faculty of attention, selection and synthesis of the discrete manifold, derive from the still more general aspects of the Cosmic Mind or Antahkaraṇa which are the personal forms of limited experience repsectively called Ahaṁkāra and Buddhi. These again are evolutes from that form of Śakti which is Prakṛti-Tattva and which in the 36 Tattvas scheme comes into being through the instrumentality of Māyā-Śakti from the preceding Tattvas of the pure creation extending from Śuddha-vidyā to Śiva-śakti-Tattva; the Svarūpa of the last being Saccidānanda or Pure spirit. Matter is thus a manifestation or aspect of Spirit. The two are ultimately one. They seem to be two because the fundamental Feeling (Cit) is able, as Śakti, to experience itself as object. As Professor Haeckel says, in conformity with Śakta Monism, Spirit and Matter are not two distinct entities but two forms or aspects of one single fundamental Substance (which is here the Brahman). The one entity with dual aspect is the sole Reality which presents itself to view as the infinitely varied picture of the universe. The two are inseparably combined in every atom which, itself and its forces, possesses the elements not only of vitality but of further development in all degrees of consciousness and will. The ultimate substance is Śakti, which is of dual aspect as Cit-Śakti which represents the spiritual, and MāyāŚakti which represents the material aspect. These are not separable. In the universe, the former is the Spiritmatter and the latter Matter-spirit. The two exist in inseparable connection (Avinābhava-saṁ bandha) as inseparable (to use a simile of the Śaiva-Śāstra) as the winds of the heaven from the ether in which they blow. Manifested Śakti or Māyā is the universe. Unmanifest Śakti is feeling consciousness (Cidrūpā). Māyā-Śakti appears as subtle mind and as gross matter and as the life-force and is in Herself (Svarūpa) consciousness. There is and can be nothing absolutely lifeless or unconscious because Śakti is in itself Being—Feeling—Consciousness—Bliss (Cidrūpiṇī, Ānandamayī) beyond all worlds (Viśvottīrṇā); and appears as apparently unconscious, or partly conscious and partly unconscious, material forms in the universe (Viśvātmaka). The universe is Śakti. Therefore it is commingled spirit-Matter. Śakti beyond all worlds is Consciousness. The one Consciousness exists throughout; when changeless it receives the name of Śiva; when the source of, and as all moving objects it is called Śakti.

●The universe arises through a Negation or Veiling of true Consciousness. As the Spanda-kārikā says “By veiling the own true form its Śaktis ever arise” (Svarūpāvara ṇe cāsya śaktayah statotthitāh). This is a common doctrine of the three schools here discussed. The difference lies in this, that in Sāṁkhya it is a second independent principle (Prakrti) which veils; in Māyāvāda Vedānta it is the non-Brahman unexplainable mystery (Māyā) which veils, and in Śākta-Advaitavāda it is Consciousness which, without ceasing to be such, yet veils itself. This statement shortly describes the difference in the three concepts which may however be more

fully elaborated.

●The Mahānirvāṇa-Tantra says that the Vākya “All this verily is Brahman” (Sarvam ̣

khalividam Brahma) is the basis of Kulācāra. But Brahman is Consciousness; and it cannot be denied that there is an element of apparent unconsciousness, in things. Sāṁkhya says that this is due to another Principle independent of the Puruṣa-consciousness, namely, the unconscious Prakṛti, which is real, notwithstanding its changes. But according to Advaitavāda Vedānta there is only one Reality. It therefore denies the existence of any second independent principle. Śaṁ- kara attributes unconsciousness to the unexplainable (Anirvacanīyā wonder (Māyā), which is neither real (Sat) nor unreal (Asat) nor partly real and partly unreal (Sadasat), and which though not forming  part of Brahman, and therefore not Brahman, is yet, though not a second reality, inseparately associated and sheltering with Brahman (Māyā Brahmāsritā) in one of its aspects (Īśvara); owing what false appearance of reality it has to the Brahman with which it is so associated. It is an eternal falsity (Mithyābhūtā sanātanī) unthinkable, alogical, unexplainable (Aniruacanīya). The reflection of Puruṣa on Prakṛti gives the appearance of consciousness to the  latter. So also the reflection (Cidābhāsa = Cid + ābhāsa = Consciousness + Apparition) of Brahman on unconscious Māyā is Īśvara and on unconscious Avidyā is Jīva. Though Māyā is thus not a second reality, the fact of positing it at all gives to Śaṁkara’s doctrine a tinge of dualism from which the Śākta doctrine (which has yet a weakness of its own) is free. The Śākta doctrine has no need of Cidābhāsa. It says that Māyā is a Śakti of Brahman and being Śakti, which is not different from the possessor of Śakti (Śaktimān), it is, in its Svarūpa, consciousness. It is then consciousness which veils itself; not unconscious Māyā which veils consciousness. According to Śaṁkara, man is the Spirit (Ātmā) vestured in the Māyik falsities of mind and matter. He accordingly can only establish the unity of Jīva and Īśvara by eliminating from the first Avidyā and from the second Māyā, both being essentially—and from the transcendent standpoint— nothing. Brahman is thus left as common denominator. The Śakta has need to eliminate nothing. Man’s spirit or Ātmā is Śiva. His mind and body are Śakti. Śiva and Śakti are one. The Jīvātmā is Śiva-Śakti, the latter being understood as in its world-aspect. So is the Paramātmā; though here Śakti, being uncreating, is in the form of Consciousness (Cidrūpiṇi). The supreme Śiva-Śakti exists as one. Śiva-Śakti as the world is the Manifold. Man is thus not the Spirit covered by a non-Brahman falsity but Spirit covering itself with its own Power of Śakti. As the Kaulācārya Satyānanda says in his Commentary (which I have published) on the 4th Mantra of the Īśopaniṣad—“The changeless Brahman which is consciousness appears in creation as Māyā which is Brahman (Brahmamayī) Consciousness (Cidrūpiṇi) holding in Herself unbeginning (Anādi) Kārmik tendencies (Karmasamskāra) in the form of the three Guṇas. Hence She is Guṇamayī (Her substance is Guṇa) despite being Cinmayī (Consciousness). As there is no second principle these Guṇas are Cit-Śakti.” Hence, in the words of the Yogini-hrdaya-Tantra, the Devī is Prakāśavimarśasāmarasyarūpiṇī. There is thus truly no unconscious Māyā and no Cidābhāsa. All which exists is Consciousness as Śakti. “Aham strī” as the Advaitabhāva Upaniṣad exclaims. And so the grand doctrine “All is Consciousness” is boldly and vigorously affirmed. Those who worship the Mother, worship nothing unconscious but a Supreme Consciousness which is Love, the body of which Love is all forms of consciousness-unconsciousness produced by, and which is, Her as Śiva’s Power. In short, Śaṁkara says that there is unconsciousness which appears to be conscious through Cidabhāsa. Śākta doctrine says Consciousness appears to be unconsciousness or more truly to have an element of unconsciousness in it (for nothing even empirically is absolutely unconscious) owing to the veiling play of Consciousness itself as Māyā-Śakti. The result is in the end the same—“All is Consciousness”— but the method by which this conclusion is attained and the presentment of the matter is reversed.  

●This presentment again is in conformity with scientific research which has shown that even so-called “brute matter” exhibits the elements of that sentiency which, when evolved in man, is the full self-consciousness. It has been well said that sentiency is an integrant constituent of all existence, physical as well as metaphysical, and its manifestation can be traced throughout the mineral and chemical as well as the vegetable and animal worlds. It essentially comprises the functions of relation to environment, response to stimuli and atomic memory in the lower or inorganic plane, whilst in the higher or organic plane it includes all the psychic functions such as consciousness, perception, thought, reason, .volition and individual memory. Throughout it is the one Mother who works, now veiling Her Bliss in inorganic matter, now more fully revealing Herself by gradual stages as the Vitality or vitivity (which She is) displays itself in the evolving forms of worldly life, As Haeckel says, sentiency, is, like movement, found in all matter. To reach this conclusion we must assume (as the Śiva-Śākta schools do) that Kriyā and Icchā, its preliminary, are functions of Consciousness. Abhinava-Gupta in his Commentary on the Pratyabhijńā-Kārikā says, “The characteristic of action is the manifestation of all objects. These objects again characterised by consciousness-unconsciousness are in the nature of a shining forth (Abhāsa).”

The universe is thus described as a “going forth” (Prasara) of Śiva.

●The ultimate reality is Saccidānanda which, as the source of appearances, is called Śakti. The latter in its Sat (Being) aspect is omnipresent-indestructible (eternal) Source and Basis both of the Cosmic Breath or Prāṇa as also of all vital phenomena displayed as the individual Prāṇa in separate and concrete bodies. Śakti is Life which, in its phenomenal sense as manifested in individual bodies, issues from, and rests upon, and at basis is, Sat. In this aspect manifested Śakti is vitality which is the one fixed unalterable potential in the universe of which all other forms of energy are particular effects. Life is the phenomenal aspect of Spirit in which, as its Cause, it is

at the great dissolution merged. There is no absolute end of life but only to certain structures of life. As it had no end it has no absolute beginning. It appears only in creation from the depths of Being which is its unmanifested ground. The search for the “origin of life” is futile; for it issues from Brahman who, in a supreme sense, is Infinite Life. Life is throughout the Universe. Every atom of dust is quivering with it, as are the most sensitive organic structures. In the latter case it is obvious; in the former it is not so, but is yet traced. The existence and functions of life cannot be explained on exclusively mechanical principles. What is called mechanical energy is the

effect and not the cause of vitality or vitivity or Śakti as the Mother of all. The purpose of evolution is to take up the living potential from some lower grade, develop it and hand it over to a higher grade of forms.

●Śakti as Cidānanda is, as Iccha-Śakti, the source of all forms of will-power and, in matter, of mechanical energy; and as Jńāna-Śakti, of all forms of mentality and feeling, and as Kriyā, of all forms of activity (Kartṛtva), being in itself all-mighty.

●The ultimate changeless Reality, in its aspect as Śakti, veils and contracts in various degrees its power of will, knowledge and action. This veiling, negation, limitation or contraction is seen at its fullest in so-called “dead inert brute” matter. This allegation of lifeless inertia is however the result of superficial observation. It is true that in gross matter (Bhūta) the light of consciousness is turned down to its utmost. It is nowhere however even empirically extinguished. Cit is faintly manifested by scientific experiment in gross matter; more clearly in the microorganisms between such matter and the vegetable world, in which, as in the animal world evolved from it, vitality is so obvious that we have been wont to call these alone “alive.” Śākta doctrine starts with the Full (Pūrṇa) and deals with the creation of things as a cutting down thereof. From a scientific point of view we may commence with the world as it is, taking inorganic matter as the starting point. From such a standpoint we may speak (See “Veda’s vital molecule” and “Notes on the radical vitality of all concrete matter” by G. Dubern) of a Radical Vital Potential in all matter, universal, omnipresent, indestructible, allpowerful; the source as will-power of mechanical energy, Śāstric standpoint the process is one of veiling and unveiling. Śakti veils itself down to and in Pṛthivī-Tattva of gross matter (Bhūta); and thereafter gradually unveils Herself up to and in man who in Samādhi realises his Svarūpa as pure, unveiled, Consciousness.

This veiling by Śakti takes place first in Śiva-Śakti-Tattva by the complete negation of the “Idam ̣” of experience; and then through the action of the “Idam ̣” on the subjective aspect of the consciousness of the pure creation, in which subject and object exist as part of the One Self; and then through that form of Śakti which is Māyā which effects a severance of subject and object which are then experienced no longer as part of the one Self but as separate. The point of junction between Pure and Impure experience is the Tattva variously called Vidyā Sad-vidyā, or Śuddhavidyā, the first truly realistic stage of the Yogī. Because it is in the intermediate state, it is called Parāpara-dasā (Is. Prat. 111, 1-5) and, as the Svacchanda-Tantra (IV, 95) says, the “Experience in the form of Mantra of both difference and non-difference.” After this Tattva,

Māyā intervenes.

●In the Tattva-Saṁdoha (v. 5) it is said, “Māyā is the sense of difference (Bheda-buddhi) in all Jīvas which are parts of Her. Just as the shore holds in the sea, so She ever obstructs the manifestation (Vibhava) of Ātmā which but for Her is otherwise unobstructed.”


Māyā vibheda-buddhir

nijāṁśa-jāteṣu nikhilajīveṣu

Nityam tasya nirankuśa--

vibhavam ̣ veleve vāridhe rundhe


●So also in the Īśvara-Pratyabhijńā it is said, “That which is nothing but the notion of difference (Bheda-dhī) in things entertained by the Doer (Kartā), though in Himself of the nature of consciousness, is Māyā-Śakti, whom others, as in the case of Vidyeśvaras, call Vidyā.”

(Krishnaraj: The Doer (Siva) entertains the notion of difference; Māyā-Śakti exists in the Doer as the nature of consciousness. Vidyesvaras call Māyā-Śakti Vidya.


Bhedadhīr eva bhāve ṣa kartur bodhātmano’ pi yā.

Māyā śaktyeva sā vidyetyanye vidyeśvarā yathā. (III, ii, 6)


●“She is Vidya-Śakti when She reveals in the Paśu state of the Ātmā whose true nature is Lordship (Aiśvarya), but when She veils (Tirodhānakarī) then She is called Māyā.”


Tasyaiśvaryasvabhāvasya paśu- bhāve prakāśikā.

Vidyā-śaktis tirodhānakarī māyābhidhā punah. (ib. 7)


Śiva has two functions namely Tirodhāna, that by which He veils Himself to His worshipper, and Anugraha whereby He, through His grace, reveaIs Himself by the “descent of Śakti” or grace (Śaktipāta). She is both Madhumatī “Honey” and Māyā (Lalitā-sahasranāma, v. 139). She is that saving (Tāraka) knowledge by which the ocean of the Samsāra is crossed. The Citkalā or

Amśā of the great Consciousness enveloped by mind and matter is the Śakti which, as the Padma-Purāṇa says resides as the core of the “inner working” of all Jīvas and the Ānandakalikā or Germ of Bliss therein; She again as the Lalitāsahasranāma says (v. 142) is basis of the false (in the sense of impermanent) universe (Mithyā jagadadhiṣṭhānā) created by, and which is Her Māyā, the power of the Lord (Sāndilya-Sūtra, 86) which obscures and which, as the Śakta Devī-Purāna says, is called Māyā, because it is the marvellous instrument whereby unheard of results are produced like those of dreams or Magic. She is in all systems, whether as Prakṛti, Māyā or Māyāśakti, the finitising principle whereby forms are created in the formless Consciousness. This She effects by causing that duality of feeling of the self and not-self in the grand experience which is Mahāsattā. Under Her influence the Self experiences Itself as object in all the forms of the universe, which when completed is objectively seen as an evolution from Prakṛti-Tattva, that state of Śakti which is evolved by the action of Māyā and the five Kańcukas developed from Her. These are specific aspects of the great general limiting Power (Śakti) which Māyā is. With this Prakṛti is associated Puruṣa-Tattva, the two combined being Hamsa. Puruṣa-Tattva is Ātmā enveloped by the Kańcukas derived from Māyā and specific of its operation. Śakti as Prakṛti, subject to the influence of the Kańcukas, develops on the disequilibrium of Her Guṇas from Herself, as Virkṛtis, the impure Tattvas (Aśuddha-Tattva) extending to Pṛthivi. At this point conscious vital energy materializes, forming, what has been called by the author cited “the crust of the vital molecule” of all forms of solid matter. Subjectively therefore the Māyā process is the establishment of a dichotomy of subject and object in what would otherwise be an unitary experience; and objectively it is the creation of the various psychical and physical forms into which the Universal Substance projects; becoming in the course of such emanation more and more gross. Bindu as the Mantra designation of Īśvara-Tattva is Ghanibhūta; that is, the first Ghanāvasthā aspect of Śakti becoming (through Māyā) Prakṛti-Tattva and its evolutes which are more and more gross (Sthūla); until passing the first four states of decreasing subtlety of matter,  substance emerges as the solid atoms of matter of which the physical universe is composed. These compounds being the subject of the senses are the materials of physical science which

seeks to work the process backwards. At a point, search on the path of objectivity is closed. If it would know more, the mind must turn in on itself and release itself from all objectivity which Māyā is and fall back into that ground of Consciousness (Māyātita) whence it has emerged. From the Mantra aspect dealing with the origin of language the undifferentiated Śabda which arises on the differentiation of the Bindu into Puruṣa-Prakṛti or Hamsa develops, with the creation of mind and matter, into the manifested Śabda and Artha which are the Varṇas or letters (springing from the subtle Mātṛkās) expressed in Vaikharī speech made up of letters (Varṇa) syllables (Pada) and sentences (Vākya or the uttered Mantra). Mantra again is the thought (Man) which saves (Trā, Trayate): Saves from what? From firstly the evil which man, subject to Māyā, commits; and then, by the thorough purification of the mind (Citta-śuddhi), from Māyā Herself who is transformed in the Sādhaka into Vidyā-Śakti. Mantra is thus here a pure thought-form; a pure Vṛtti or modification of the Antahkaraṇa which is Devatā. The senses and mind are also Devatās being operations of the one Divine Śakti. Through Mantra the mind is divinely transformed. Contemplating, filled by, and identified with, Divinity in Mantra form, which is a Sthūla (gross) aspect of Devī, it passes into Her subtle (Sūkṣma) Light form (Jyotirmayī Devī) which is the Consciousness beyond the world of Māyik forms; the Īśvara and Īśvarī who as Śabdabrahman are the source of, and appear as, that Māyā which is the Creatrix both of the objective world of Mind and Matter and of the manifested Śabda and Artha; the Word and its Meaning derived from the Mother in Her aspect as Supreme Nāda (Para-nāda) and Supreme Speech (Parā-vāk).                  



Here is what Woodroffe says about Kańcukas


THE KAŃCUKAS that constrict, restrain, and delimit man

THE six Kańcukas including Māyā which may be regarded as the root of the other five are Kāla, Niyatī, Rāga, Vidya, Kalā. The term Kańcuka means sheath or envelope. The same Tattvas are also called contractions (Saṁkoca), for creation is the contracted (Saṁ kucadrūpā) form of infinite Śakti. It is to be observed that Māyā, Niyati and Kāla, occupty in the philosophy of the Pāńcarātra-Āgama the very place which is held in the Śiva-Śākta systems by the Kańcukas (See as to this Dr. Otto Scharder’s Ahirbudhyna- Samhitā 63, 64, 90). The author cited opines that the six Kańcukas are only an elaboration of the older doctrine of the three powers of limitation (Saṁ koca) of the Pāńcarātra which are Māyā, Kāla, Niyata. The same idea is expressed by these two terms, namely limitations by which the Ātmā, in its form as the finite experience, is deprived of the specifice attributes which It, as the Perfect Experience, possessed. Consciousness reaching forth to the World of enjoyment becomes subject to the Kańcukas and thus becomes the impure, finite worldly experience where subject and object are completely different; which experience is, as it were, the inversion by the contraction and negation of Śakti of the perfect Experience from whose Śiva-Śakti-Tattva aspect it proceeds. Infinite Consciousness whilst still transcendentally retaining its Svarūpa is, as Śakti, narrowed to the degree which constitutes our experience on the material plane. The process may be represented in Diagram by an inverted triangle representing the Yoni or Śakti, in the form of the Pure Tattvas, resting on the point of an upright triangle. The point of intersection is Māyā from which proceeds the second triangle representing the impure Tattvas, which constitute worldly experience. Seen in the waters of Māyā all is reversed. Through the operation of Māyā and the Kańcukas, Śakti  assumes the gross contracted form of Prakṛti-Tattva which in association with Puruṣa-Tattva is Haṁ sa. Śiva and Śakti are the Bird Hamsa. Haṁsa is both male (Puṁ or Puruṣa) and female (Prakṛti). Haṁ is Śiva and Sah is Śakti. This Haṁ sa-dvandva are in their gross form the universe (Puṁ -prakṛtyātmako ham sas tadātmakam idam jagat). Puruṣa is the Ātmā enveloped by the Kańcukas which are the contractions of Consciousness and Its Powers. Māyā is the root and cause of all limitations of the powers (Vibhava) of consciousness (Ātmā); for Māyā is the sense of difference (Bhedabuddhi) between all persons and things. Each Puruṣa, (and they are innumerable) being, as the Svacchanda-Tantra says, an universe of his own. Each Puruṣa creates under Māyā his or its own universe. The Kańcukas are thus the delimitations of the Supreme in Its form as Śakti. It was Eternity (Nityatā) but is now orderly and delimitation (Pariccheda) productive of appearance and disappearance (that is life and death). This is the operation of the Time-power or Kāla which is defined as follows in the Tattva-Saṁ doha (V, 11) “That Śakti of His which is Eternity (Nityatā) descending and producing appearance and disappearance (birth and death); and which ever in regulated manner performs the function of division or delimitation (Pariccheda) should be regarded as in the form of Kāla-Tattva.” 

 ●Sā nityatāsya śakti nikrsya nidhanodaya-pradānena Niyataparicchedakarīkḷptā syāt Kāla-tattva-rūpeṇa. Kāla is the power which urges on and matures things. It is not in itself subjective or empirical time, though it gives rise to it. It is transcendental Time without sections (Akhaṇda-Kāla) giving birth to time as effect (Kārya-kāla). This gross time with parts (Sakala-Kāla)

only comes in with the creation of the gross Tattvas. So it is said “Time leads me in time” (See Ahirbudhnya 64-67. See also the same Author’s Ueber den stand der Indischen Philosophie zur zeit Mahāvīras und Buddhas 17-30). Consciousness as Śakti is contracted into the

mode of temporal thinking. It was freedom and independence (Svatantrata). This is now contracted and the Puruṣa is forcibly subjected to guidance and regulation in what he must or must not do in any moment of time. This is Niyati, which is defined in the Tattva-Saṁ doha

(v. 12) as follows: “That which constitutes that Śakti of His which is oalled Independence or Freedom (Svatantrata); this same Śakti, and none other, becoming contracted and subjecting Him perforce to guidance and regulation (Niyamayantī) in a definitely ordered and restricted manner (Niyataṁ ) as regards what is to be done or not done (that is, what he must not do at any given moment of time) is Niyati.”  


Yāsya svatantrākhyā

Śaktih saṃkocaśālinī saiva.


Niyatam  amum nyamayan-tyabhūn Niyatih.


●Niyati is spoken of in the Pāńcarātra Āgama as the subtle regulator of everything (Sūkṣma-sarva-niyāmakah. Ahirbudhnya VI. 46) and is said by Dr. Schrader to include in that system the funotions of the three Śaiva-Śakta Kańcukas, Vidyā, Rāga and Kalā (Ahirbudhnya 64-66). It

was completely satisfied with Itself for there was then no other. It was the Full (Pūrṇa) and there was nothing else for it to interest Itself in and thus want. This Śakti, becoming limited, makes the Puruṣa interested in objects and thus attaches them to enjoyment. This is Rāga which

is defined in the Tattva-Saṁ doha (v. 10) as follows:

●“There is another Śakti of His which is eternal complete satisfaction; the same becoming limited and attaching him ever to enjoyment, this Śakti is reduced to the condition of Rāga-tattva.”


śaktis tasyaiva parimitā nu satī.

Bhogeṣu, rańjayantī

satam ̣ amum Rāga-tattvaām yātā.

●The Brahman is, as the Īśa-Upaniṣad says, Pūrṇa the Full, the All which wants nothing; for there is nothing to the All which It can went. But when the one Experience beoomes dual, and, subject and object are separate, then the self as subject becomes interested in objects that

is in things other than itself. Icchā in the sense of desire implies a want of the fullness which is that of the Supreme perfect experience. In the supreme creative sense Icchā is the direction of Consciousnese towards activity. The term Rāga is commonly translated desire. It is however

properly that interest in objects which precedes desire. Rāga is thus that interest in objects, seen as other than the self, which ripens into desire (Icchā) for them. Such Icohā is thus a limitation of the all-satisfied fullness of the Supreme.

●The power of the Supreme was to know or experience all things and so it is Sarvajńatā. This is limited and the Puruṣa thereby beoomes a “little knower.” This Kańcuka is oalled Vidyā which is defined in the Tattva- Saṁ doha (V. 9) as follows: “His power of all-knowingness becoming limited and capable of knowing only a few things and producing knowledge (of a limited character) is called Vidyā by the wise of old”

Sarvajńatāsya śaktih

parimitatanur alpa-vedya-mātraparā.

Jńānam utpādayantī

Vidyeti nigadyate budhair ādyaih.

●The supreme is all powerful, mighty to do all things (Sarvakartṛtā). This power is contracted so that the Puruṣa can accomplish few things and becomes a “little doer.” This is Kalā which is defined in the Tattva-Saṁ doha (v. 8) as follows—


●“That which was His power of all-doing-ness, the same being contracted and capable of accomplishing but a few things and reducing him to the state of a little doer is called Kalā.”

Tat-sarvakartrtā sā

samṁkucitā katipayārtha-mātṛaparā.

Kiṁcit-kartāram amum

kalayantī kīrtyate Kalā namā.

●Kalā is thus nothing but Kartṛttva or infinite activity, agency, and mightiness cut down to the limits of the Jīva’s power; that is lowered to the possibilities of finite action.

●Thus the Śaktis of the Supreme which are many become contracted. Consciousness thus limited in sixfold manner by its own Śakti is the Puruṣa associated with Prakṛti. Kalā (in its more generic sense) is said in the Śaiva-Tantrasāra (Āhnika 8) to be “the cause of the manifestation of Vidyā and the root when She is operating on that Kartṛtva which is qualified by the qualifying conditions of littleness; this limited power of agency having been itself the work of Māyā. Now the moment that Kalā separates from herself what constitutes this qualifying aspect spoken of above as Kiṁ cit (little) at that very moment there is the creation of the Prakṛti Tattva which is in the nature of a generality (Sām ̣ ānya-mātra) unmarked by any specific form of object of enjoyment, such as happiness, sorrow and delusion; and of which another name is the equalisation of the Guṇas. Thus the creation under the influence of the Kalā-tattva of the limited experiencer (Bhoktṛ) that is of the Puruṣa and of the experienced (Bhogya) or Prakṛti is quite simultaneous that is without any succession whatever in the process. Thus being simultaneous they are ever associated.”

●The eighth Āhnika of the Tantrasāra (the Śaiva and not the Śākta ritual work of Kṛṣṇānanda-Āgamavāgīśa) says: Thus it has been already shown that Kalā is the cause of manifestation of Vidya and the rest (i.e., the other four Kańcukas leaving out Māyā) when She (Kalā) is operating on that agency or doer-ness (Kartṛtva) which is qualified (Viśeṣya) by the qualifying (Viśeṣaṇa) condition of littleness; this limited power of agency (Kiṁ citkartṛtva as opposed to Sarva-kartṛtva) having been itself the work of Māyā. Now the moment that Kalā separates from Herself that which constitutes this qualifying aspect (Viśeṣaṇa-bhsga) spoken of above as Kiṁ cit and is an object of knowledge and action, that very moment there is the creation (Sarga) of the Prakṛti-Tattva which is of the nature of a generality only (Sāmānya-mātra) unmarked by any specific forms of the enjoyable (Bhogya) such as happiness, sorrow, and delusion (which are therefore as yet undifferentiated) and of which another name is the equalisation of their Guṇas (i.e., of Sukha, Duhkha and Moha or of the Guṇas of Her). Thus the creation under the influence of the Kalā-Tattva of the Enjoyer (Bhoktṛ or limited experiencer) and Enjoyable (Bhogya or experienced) is quite simultaneous, that is without any succession whatever in the process and being simultaneous they are conjoined.


●(Evam ̣ kim ̣ cit kartṛtvam yan māyākāryam, tatra kiṁcittva
viśiṣtaṁ yat kartṛtvam viśeṣyam tatra vyāpriyamāṇā kalā
vidyādiprasavacetur iti nirūpitam.  Idānīm viśeṣaṇabhāgo yah
kimcit ityukto jńeyah kāryaś ca tam yāvat sā Kalā svātmanah
pṛithah kurute tāvad eṣa eva sukhadukha-mohātmaka-bhogya
viśeṣānusyūtasya sāmānya-mātrosya tad-guṇa-sāmyā-para-
nāmnah prakṛti-tattvasya sargah—iti bhoktṛbhogya-yugalasya
samam eva kalā-tattvāyattā sṛṣtih.)


●Again in the Tantrāloka (Āhnika 9) it is said “So far it has been shown how Agency (Kartṛtva) which is always accompanied by the power to enjoy (Bhoktṛtva) is (to be found) in that qualified aspect (that is Kartṛtva) of the Tattva called Kalā which (aspect) is characterised by a limited agency (little-doerness).”

●Here may be interposed a note of explanation: Kartṛtva is creative activity, ideation and formation as contrasted with a merely induced and passively accepted experience which is Jńātṛtva. Kartṛtva is the power of modifying the Idaṁ . The Sām ̣ khyas say that the Puruṣa is Bhoktā but not Kartā. But the Śaiva-Śāktas hold that there is no Kartṛtva without Bhoktṛtva. In Parā-saṁ vit there is the potential germ of (1) Jńātṛtva, (2) Bhoktṛtva, (3) Kartṛtva held in undistinguishable unity. In Śiva-Śakti- Tattva the first exists and the second and third are,

through Śakti, suppressed. In Sadākhya there are the first and the incipiency of the second and third; and in Īśvara-Tattva all three are developed but as yet undifferentiated. The Īśvara consciousness directed to the “Idaṁ ” produces equality of attention on “Ahaṁ ” and

 “Idaṁ ” which is Sadvidyā-Tattva whence arise Māyā and the Kańcukas evolving Puruṣa-Prakṛti. Pasa-saṁ vit is the pure changeless aspect of Cit. Īśvara is the fully risen creative consciousness wherein is the undifferentiated Śakti which functions as Icchā, Jńāa, Kriyā, Jńātṛtva or Jńāna. Śakti in Īśvara does not involve limited modification, for the whole universe as the Self is present to the Self. But in Puruṣa there is such modification; the Jńātṛtva functioning through Buddhi, the Vṛttis of which are expressions of the changing, limited, and partial characteristics of the knowledge had through this instrument and its derivatives.

●The citation continues, “But in what constitutes therein the part ‘Kiṁ cit’ as a qualifying aspect, Kalā gives birth to the Pradhāna which arises from that (Kiṁ cit aspect) as a clear but general objectivity which is separate or distinct from (the Puruṣa),”


●Evam kalākhya-tattvasya kimcit kartṛtva-lakṣaṇe.

Viśeṣyabhāge kartṛtvam bhoktṛ-pūrvakaṁ

Viśeṣanatayā yo’tra kimcit bhāgas-tadūhitaṁ.

Vedyamātram sphutam bhinnam pradhānam sūyate kalā.



●That is Kartṛtva is that aspect of Kalā which is characterised by Kiṁ cit-Kartṛtva. From the qualifying (Viśeṣaṇa, that is, Kiṁ cit) aspect Kalā produces Prakṛti which is distinct from Kalā as Puruṣa, which Prakṛti exists as a mere general objectivity which becomes particular when owing to disequilibrium in tbe Gunas the Vikṛtis are produced.

●Again it is said (ibid.): “Kalā produces the Bhogya (Prakṛti) and the Bhoktā (Puruṣa) simultaneously by the notion of, or by seeking for, a distinction (that is by seeking to establish a difference between the two aspects in Herself, namely, Kartṛtva and Kiṁcit; by working on Kartṛtva alone,) (yet), the Bhoktā and Bhogya are inseparate from one another. And because what is thus the barest objectivity (Samvedya-mātra) is known (or experienced) later as (or in the form of) happiness (Sukha) Sorrow (Duhkha) and delusion (Vimoha) it is therefore called the equalisation of these (three) in the beginning.”


●(Samameva hi bhogyam ca bhoktāram ca prasūyate

Kalā bhedābhisaṁdhānād aviyuktam parasparam.

Evam samvedyamātram yat sukhaduhkha-vimohatah,

bhotsyate yat tatah proktam tatsāmyātmakam āditah).


●When Māyā-Śakti first severs the “Ahaṁ ” and “Idaṁ ” this latter is still experienced as an unlimited whole. The next step is that in which the whole is limited and broken up into parts, for our experience is not of an all-pervading homogeneous whole but of a heterogeneous universe. Kalā, as a development of Māyā-Śakti, belittles the Puruṣa’s hitherto unlimited Agency which thus becomes Kiṁcit-Kartṛtva. Agency which exists both as to the Knowable (Jńeya) and object of action (Kārya) has two aspects, namely the qualified power of action (Viśeṣya- Kartṛtva) on the part of the Puruṣa and the object or “little” in respect of which Kartṛtva operates, namely the “little” or universe (Kiṁcit or Viśeṣya) which is the “Idaṁ ” as viewed by Puruṣa after the operation of Kalā Śakti. Kalā operates on agency (Kartṛtva) and not on the “this” which is by such operation necessarily Kiṁcit. For if the power and experience of the Self is limited, the object is experienced as limited; for the object is nothing but the Self as object. In other words the production of Puruṣa is a positive operation of Kalā whereas the production of Prakṛti is a negative operation due to the limitation of the Puruṣa which, as so limited, experiences the universe as Kiṁcit. Prakṛti is thus nothing but the object of Kartṛtva as it exists when the latter has been whittled down by Kalā. Puruṣa and Prakṛti thus both emerge as the result of the action by Kalā on the Puruṣa. For this reason Puruṣa and Prakṛti are simultaneously produced and are also inseparable.

●The following chapters deal with Puruṣa, and Prakṛti or Hamsa; the Kāmakalā or three Bindus arising on the differentiation of the Para-bindu which dfirentiation witnesses the birth of the Hamsa; and then with the creation of the impure Tattvas (Aśuddha-Tattva) from Prakṛti and the Varṇamālā or the Garland or Rosary of Letters the evolution of which denotes the origin of speech and of Mantra.


Anavam. Impurity of darkness or chirumai adhering to Vijnanakalars, PralayaKalars and Sakalars and obscuring their will and intelligence. The souls intelligence and activity become as small as an anu or atom. Soul becomes ignorant. It is one of the three bonds, (Karmam, māyā and Ana- vam.) It is called dark malam or mūla malam or original malam attaching to and connate with the Soul just as Verdigris covering a piece of copper or the husk covering a seed of paddy. It is inherent in the Soul by its nature. It is called Malam  (Malam and Pasam are synonymous). It has many powers and causes selfishness, individuality, desire for things wanted, anger, pride, killing other living beings and causing grief to others and great joy over things obtained. The word Anavam is derived from the word Anu. It seems better to name it Anutvam. Anavam is no part of the Soul. It is removable by the grace of God. Its function is to bend and obscure the soul’s powers of knowing, willing and acting. - Metaphysics of Saiva Siddhantam

Notes: June 29, 2016.

Ganesa is gravity, while Muruga is electromagnetic force-- SivayaSubramuniyaSwami). Gravity proves itself when objects fall to earth.  Electromagnetic energy is the invisible force. Ganesa presides over Asuddha Tattvas down from the 13th Tattva to the 36th. Muruga rules over tattvas in the range from 6th to the 12th (Suddha-Asuddha Tattvas). Siva's own special domain is from the first to the 5th tattvas (Suddha Tattva).



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