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Kasmir Shaivism

Shiva Sutras

by Vasgupta (~800-850 CE)

6 versions

Kasmir Shaivism

Pradipaka Version English

Esta página en español: shiva-sutras-pradipaka-espanol.htm

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First Section: Śāmbhavopāya

The means using the Śiva's viewpoint
  • 1. Consciousness which is omniscient and omnipotent (is) the Self or true nature of Reality.
  • 2. The (limited or contracted) knowledge (is) bondage.
  • 3. The source (and her) progeny, (along with) that whose form is activity (are also bondage).
  • 4. The basis of the (limited and contracted) knowledge (is) the un-understood Mother.
  • 5. Bhairava --Supreme Being-- is a sudden flash or elevation of divine Consciousness.
  • 6. Through union with the collective group of powers, (there is) the disappearance of the universe.
  • 7. (Even) during such different (states of consciousness) as waking, dreaming and profound sleep, there is the delight and enjoyment of the Fourth State.
  • 8. Knowledge (is) the waking state of consciousness.
  • 9. The dream state of consciousness (is) thoughts and ideations.
  • 10. Non-discernment or lack of awareness (is) the profound sleep of Māyā – delusion.
  • 11. He is a master of (his) senses [a] who is an enjoyer (of the aforesaid "ābhoga" or divine delight) in the triad (of waking, dreaming and deep sleep).

    [a. Even though "vīra" literally means "hero", it is to be understood here as "sense".]

  • 12. The stages of Yoga (are) a fascinating wonder.
  • 13. The Will power (of the enlightened Yogī is) the "Splendor of Śiva" (that is) Kumārī. [virgin goddess]
  • 14. All phenomena (outer or inner are) the body (of the enlightened Yogī).
  • 15. Through the union of the mind on the core of Consciousness, there is appearance of (all) phenomena (outer or inner and even) the void (as they are in their essential reality).
  • 16. Or by union with the Pure Principle, (the Yogī becomes like one in whom) the (binding) power (existing in) a limited and conditioned being is absent.
  • 17. Firm and unwavering awareness (that I am Śiva is) the knowledge of Self.
  • 18. The Bliss (that the Yogī feels in abiding as the Knower or Perceiver) of the world (—consisting of subjects and objects— is his) delight of Samādhi.
  • 19. On being united with the Power (of Will there is) production or creation of bodies (according to the Yogī's desire).
  • 20. (The other supernormal powers of the enlightened Yogī are: the power of) putting together existent entities; (the power of) separating them all —i.e. the existent entities— (and the power of) assembling —saṅghaṭṭa— everything.
  • 21. Full acquisition of mastery over the collective group of powers (is achieved by the Yogī) through the emergence of Śuddhavidyā. [a]

    [a. Fifth of the five successive phases that occur during the unity of Śiva and Śakti.]

  • 22. By uniting with the Great Lake, (the Yogī has) the experience of the generative source —virility or potency— of (all) mantras.

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Second Section: Śāktopāya

The means using the Śakti's viewpoint
  • 1. The mind (of someone who constantly ponders over the Highest Reality is) the Mantra.
  • 2. (Zealous and spontaneous) effort (is) effective in fulfillment.
  • 3. The (luminous) Existence or Being (of the Perfect I-consciousness, which consists of words) whose essence is the knowledge (of the highest non-dualism, is) the secret of the Mantra.
  • 4. Mental satisfaction in (limited) mayic powers (is) a (mere) dream (based upon) inferior knowledge.
  • 5. On the spontaneous emergence of the (Highest) Knowledge, (occurs) a movement in the unlimited space of Consciousness, (which is known as) the state of Śiva.
  • 6. The Guru is the means.
  • 7. (From a pleased Guru accrues) enlightenment regarding the group of letters.
  • 8. The body (of a person into whom the aforesaid enlightenment was poured becomes) an oblation.
  • 9. The (limited) knowledge (is) the food.
  • 10. On the submergence of the (Pure) Knowledge, there is appearance of mental modifications (like in a dream) arising because of it, (that is, "arising because of the previous submergence of the Pure Knowledge").

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Third Section: Āṇavopāya

The means using the Aṇu's viewpoint – an Aṇu is a "limited being"
  • 1. The individual Self (is) mind.
  • 2. (Mind-born) knowledge (is) bondage.
  • 3. Non-discrimination of (such) principles as Kalā [time], etc., (is) Māyā.
  • 4. The dissolution of the parts --of the tattva-s or principles of manifestation-- in the body --physical, subtle and causal-- (should be accomplished by Bhāvanā or creative contemplation).
  • 5. (The Yogī should bring about) dissolution (of the vital energy) in the subtle channels, conquest of the gross elements, withdrawal (of his mind) from the gross elements (and) separation –pṛthaktva– from the gross elements (by means of Bhāvanā or creative contemplation too).
  • 6. Supernatural power (occurs) because of a veil (drawn by) Māyā or Ignorance
  • 7. (The Yogī acquires) mastery of the Natural Knowledge through an all-pervasive conquest of Māyā or Ignorance.
  • 8. (The Yogī who has attained to Sahajavidyā or the Natural Knowledge is) awake and watchful, (while) the second one, (i.e. "the world", appears) as (his) effulgence of light.
  • 9. (This very Yogī is) a Self (that is merely) a dancing actor.
  • 10. The stage (for that Nartaka or dancing actor to play --see 9th aphorism-- is his) inner soul (which consists of causal and subtle bodies).
  • 11. The senses (of that Nartaka or dancing actor are) the spectators (of his playing).
  • 12. By means of the superior spiritual intelligence, (there is) the realization of the flashing, subtle and inner vibration of the perfect I-consciousness.
  • 13. The state of being Independent and Free is achieved.
  • 14. As there, so elsewhere (that is, "just as that independent Yogī can exhibit Freedom in his own body, he is able to do so in any other place too"; this is the sense).
  • 15. (That Yogī should give full) attention to the Seed. (In other words, "to the Highest Śakti or the perfect I-consciousness that is the source of the entire manifestation").
  • 16. Established in the power of the Supreme Śakti (or the perfect I-consciousness, which is as a "seat" for him, the enlightened Yogī) easily plunges into the Lake (of the divine and immortal Consciousness).
  • (That very liberated Yogī can) produce (any forms according to) the measure or aspect of the creative Consciousness (which is his "āsana" or "seat" –see 16th aphorism.).
  • 18. As long as Sahajavidyā or Śuddhavidyā, (the Natural or Pure Knowledge), does not disappear, (the possibility of another) birth (does) disappear (for that sublime Yogī).
  • 19. Māheśvarī [Parvati] and other goddesses (who have their sphere of influence) in "ka" group, etc., (and are) the mothers of the limited beings (become his presiding deities)
  • 20. The fourth state of consciousness, (which is a Witness), should be poured like (a continuous flow of) oil into (the other) three, (that is, in waking, dreaming and deep sleep).
  • 21. One should enter (that fourth state of consciousness –see aphorism 20–) by being immersed (into it) with one's own mind (which must be devoid of any thought, obviously).
  • 22. When a slow but firm spreading out of the (Yogī's) vital energy (occurs), there is equable vision, (that is, the Yogī realizes the unity underlying all).
  • 23. In the intervening stage, (that is, neither at the initial nor at the final stage of waking, dreaming and dream sleep), there is generation of inferior (mental states).
  • 24. When there is union between the real I-consciousness and the objects, (there is also) reappearance (of the Bliss of that fourth state of consciousness which had) disappeared (due to the arising of the aforesaid inferior states of mind –see aphorism 23).
  • 25. (That superb Yogī who has attained to the fourth state) becomes equal to Śiva.
  • 26. Remaining in the body (is his) vow, (that is to say, he retains a physical form on account of his enormous compassion to humankind; it is really a pious act on his part).
  • 27. (His) conversation (is) the muttering (of a Mantra or prayer).
  • 28. Knowledge of Self is (his) gift (for us all).
  • 29. He who is established (in the group of powers or Śakticakra is) indeed a means of wisdom.
  • 30. The universe (is) the expansion or unfoldment of his own Power.
  • 31. Both the maintenance (of the universe and its) reabsorption (are also the unfoldment of his Power).
  • 32. Even though there may be occurrence of those (three previous processes, viz. manifestation, maintenance and reabsorption of the universe), there is no break (in the inner state of the great Yogī) because of (his) condition as the (Supreme) Knower.
  • 33. (This sublime Yogī) considers pleasure and pain as something external.
  • 34. (As the noble Yogī is) completely free from that –pleasure and pain-–, (he is) alone then, (in short, he has attained to his own Self who is both an "only" Knower and an "only" Mass of pure Consciousness).
  • 35. However, one who is a compact mass of delusion (is merely) involved in actions.
  • 36. When the difference disappears, the capacity to perform another Creation (appears in the enlightened Yogī).
  • 37. (Anyone can realize his) creative power from his own experience.
  • 38. (There should be) enlivening of the three states --manifestation, maintenance and reabsorption-- by the main one (in sum, "by the fourth state of consciousness which is a Witness to the other three ones and is full of transcendental Bliss").
  • 39. As (in the case) of the mental states, (so also regarding) the body, organs of sense and external objects --bāhya--, (there should be an "enlivening or vivification" by infusing them with the Bliss of the fourth state of consciousness).
  • 40. Because of the desire based on a feeling of want, there is extroversion of the limited being (who is thus subject to the wheel of Saṁsāra or Transmigration from a form of existence to another).
  • 41. (Nevertheless,) in the case of (the great Yogī) whose awareness is established in That –in the fourth state or Turya–, with the removal of that (desire) –see aphorism 40– (there is also) complete removal of (the condition of) limited being.
  • 42. Then, (when the desire finally disappears, that Yogī uses the body which is composed of) gross elements as covering; (and being) completely liberated, (since he is) pre-eminently equal to Lord (Śiva, he is) perfect and full.
  • 43. The link or association of the vital energy (with the body is) natural.
  • 44. (There is vital energy --prāṇaśakti or prāṇa--) in the left subtle channel --Iḍā--, in the right subtle channel --Piṅgalā-- (and) in Suṣumnā --the middle one--.

    By the intense and constant awareness of the center --that is, the perfect I-consciousness-- of the inner aspect of (the aforesaid) prāṇaśakti, (the Yogī abides in the constant awareness of the supreme and perfect I-consciousness forever).

    What else (could one say) in this respect?

  • 45. (Regarding the enlightened Yogī), there is over and over again the awareness of the Supreme Self both internally and externally.

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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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