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Kasmir Shaivism

Shiva Sutras

by Vasgupta (~800-850 CE)

6 versions

Kasmir Shaivism

The Shiva Sutras by Vasugupta

(~800-850 CE)

Esta página en español:: vasugupta-los-shiva-sutras.htm

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The First Light

The Description of The Nature of the Light of Universal Consciousness
  • 1. Consciousness is the Self.
  • 2. Knowledge is bondage.
  • 3. The group of sources constitutes the body of obscuring energies.
  • 4. The ground of knowledge is Matrka. [Universal Mother]
  • 5. Bhairava [Supreme Being] is upsurge.
  • 6. When the Wheel of Energies fuses together, the universe is withdrawn.
  • 7. The consciousness which is the expanse of the Fourth State (abides constantly in) the various (states) of waking, dreaming and deep sleep.
  • 8. Knowledge (born of sensory perception) is the waking state.
  • 9. Dreaming consists of thought constructs.
  • 10. Deep sleep is Maya, the lack of discernment.
  • 11. The enjoyer of the three states is the Lord of the Heroes. *
  • 12. The planes of union are wonder.
  • 13. The virgin is the will, the supreme power.
  • 14. The perceptible is (His) body.
  • 15. By fixing the mind in the Heart (the yogi) has a vision of the perceivable and of dreams.
  • 16. Or (the yogi can realise Siva) by contemplating the Pure Principle.
  • 17. Energy established in its own abode.
  • 18. Right discernment is the knowledge of the Self.
  • 19. The bliss of the Light is the joy of contemplation.
  • 20. The body comes into being when the energies unite.
  • 21. The union of the elements, the separation of the elements and the union of the universe.
  • 22. (The yogi) attains mastery of the Wheel by the arising of Pure Knowledge.
  • 23. (The yogi) experiences the vitality of Mantra by contemplating the Great Lake.

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The Second Light

The Arising of Innate Knowledge
  • 1. The mind is Mantra.
  • 2. Effort is that which attains the goal.
  • 3. The secret of Mantra is the Being of the Body of Knowledge.
  • 4. The expansion of the mind in the womb (of consciousness) is the slumber of (all) particular forms of ignorance.
  • 5. When the knowledge innately inherent in one's own nature arises, (that is) Siva's state - (the gesture of) the one who wanders in the Sky of Consciousness.
  • 6. The Master is the means.
  • 7. The awakening of the Wheel of Matrka.
  • 8. The body is the oblation.
  • 9. (This yogi's) food is knowledge.
  • 10. The withdrawal of knowledge heralds the vision of dreams that arises from it.

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The Third Light

The Vibration of the Powers
  • 1. The mind is the Self.
  • 2. (Empirical) knowledge is bondage.
  • 3. Maya is the lack of discernment of the principles beginning with Kala [time].
  • 4. The forces are withdrawn in the body.
  • 5. The withdrawal of the vital channels, the conquest of the elements, freedom from the elements and the separation of the elements.
  • 6. (The yogi attains) perfection through the obscuring veil of delusion.
  • 7. (But) by conquering delusion and by (his) infinite expanse (the yogi) achieves Innate Knowledge.
  • 8. Waking is the second ray (of consciousness).
  • 9. The Self is the actor.
  • 10. The stage is the inner Self.
  • 11. The spectators are the senses.
  • 12. The pure state is achieved by the power of the (illumined) intellect.
  • 13. (Once this has been achieved) freedom is achieved.
  • 14. As it is here, so is it elsewhere.
  • 15. The nature (of consciousness) is emission and so that which is not external abides as such.
  • 16. Constant attention to the seed.
  • 17. (Confortably) seated (the yogi) sinks effortlessly into the lake (of consciousness).
  • 18. (Siva) fashions the world by means of His mother.
  • 19. Once (limited) knowledge is destroyed, rebirth is destroyed.
  • 20. Mahesvari [c] and the other mothers of the soul in bondage reside in the gutterals and the other classes of consonants.

    [c. Goddess Maheshwari (Parvati), the wife of lord Shiva. Wikipedia: Parvati ]

  • 21. The Fourth should be sprinkled like oil into the three.
  • 22. Merged (in his own nature, the yogi) must penetrate (the phonemes) with his mind.
  • 23. The emergence of the lower (plane) occurs in the centre.
  • 24. When the breath moves uniformly one has an equal vision of all things.
  • 25. That which was destroyed arises once more in the course of the unifying awareness of one's own perception of the individual units of experience.
  • 26. He becomes like Siva.
  • 27. The activity of the body is the vow.
  • 28. Common talk is (his) recitation of Mantra.
  • 29. Self-knowledge is the boon.
  • 30. Knowledge and the cause reside in the cosmic nature and the source (of the universe).
  • 31. The universe is the aggregate of his powers.
  • 32. (Such is also the case with) persistence and absorption.
  • 33. Even when these are operant, (the subject) is not lost because (he is) the perceiving subjectivity.
  • 34. (The yogi's) feeling of pleasure and pain is external.
  • 35. The one who is free of that is a liberated soul.
  • 36. A compact mass of delusion, the soul is subject to karma.
  • 37. When diversity has been eliminated (the yogi's) action is to give rise to another creation.
  • 38. The power of the senses (is proved) by one's own experience.
  • 39. That which is preceded by the three states vitalizes them.
  • 40. The same stability of mind (should permeate) the body, senses and external world.
  • 41. Due to (one's) craving, that which is transported moves outside.
  • 42. Then (when the yogi) is established in pure awareness (his craving) is destroyed and so the individual soul ceases to exist.
  • 43. (The soul) clad in the cloak of elements is not free but, like the Lord, becomes supreme once more.
  • 44. The link with the vital breath is natural.
  • 45. (The movement of the vital breath is stilled) by concentrating on the centre within the nose. Of what use (then) are the left and right channels or Susumna?
  • 46. May (the soul) merge (in the Lord) once again.


Mark S. G. Dyczkowski took his first degree at Banaras Hindu University and then his doctorate at Oxford. He was associated with Sampumananda Sanskrit University in Varanasi. Other works include The Doctrine of Vibration: An Analysis of the Doctrines and Practices of Kashmir Shaivism; The Canon of the Saivagama and the Kubjika: Tantras of the Western Kaula Tradition; and The Stanzas on Vibration: The SpandaKarika with Four Commentaries. See more below.

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About the Text      [ Ver en español ]

The SivaSutra is the most important scripture in the Trika system of Kashmir Shaivism. As a book on yoga, it explains the nature and cause of bondage and the means to liberation from bondage.

Shiva Sutras:

Kashmir Shaivism:

Abhinavagupta (~950-1016 AD):


1. Lakshmanjoo version

Extracted from: Shiva Sutras, The Supreme Awakening by Swami Lakshmanjoo, Universal Shaiva Fellowship, 2002.

Swami Lakshman Joo at

2. Pradipaka version, English

Source at without Sanskrit and with Sanskrit

3. Pradipaka versión en español – Shaivismo No dual de Cachemira

Fuente: sin sánscrito and con sánscrito

4. Feuerstein version

George Feuerstein translation (9 page pdf):

5. Dyczkowski version

Excerpt from: The Aphorisms of Shiva: The SivaSutra with Bhaskara's Commentary, the Varttika. Translated with exposition and notes by Mark S. G. Dyczkowski, pages xiii - xvii, at Archive.Orv

A volume in the SUNY series in Tantric Studies, 247 pages.

The Sivasutra was revealed to Vasugupta by Siva in order to counter the effects of dualism. This revelation initiated the hermeneutics of syntheses and exegesis climaxed by the great Abhinavagupta.

Bhaskara is in the direct lineage of Vasugupta. To Bhaskara's commentary, Mark Dyczkowski has added his translation of an anonymous: commentary as an aid to understanding Bhaskara's interpretation. This anonymous writer also serves as a bridge between Ksemaraja's and Bhaskara's commentaries, drawing from both. The commentary on each sutra is thus in three layers. Bhaskara's commentary is first, followed by the anonymous commentary, after which Dyczkowski adds his own exposition and compares Bhaskara and Ksemaraja.

Youtube video:

"The Shiva Sutras" in Sanskrit with English Translation, recited by Kumuda. 28 minutes


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