The anuttarāṣṭikā is a hymn of eight (aṣṭikā) verses by Abhinavagupta, on the method of anupāya (no method) in the light of the highest reality–anuttara.
It has been know to the scholarly circles of Kashmir Shaiva pandits since its inception by the illustrious Abhinavagupta, who devoted the second chapter of his magnum opus – Tantrāloka – to the method (upāya) known as anupāya, which literally means ‘no method’.
- In this highest state of supreme God consciousness [anuttara] there is no need of spiritual progress, no contemplation, no art of expression, no investigation, no meditation, no concentration, no recitation, exertion or practice. Tell me then, what is the supreme and well-ascertained truth? Listen indeed to this! Neither abandon nor accept anything, enjoy everything, remain as you are!
- In reality there is no such thing as birth and death, so how can the question arise of bondage for living beings? There never was any such bondage for the one who is entirely free, and therefore, to struggle for liberation is useless and nothing more than delusion–like a dark shadow mistaken for a demon, or a rope seen as a snake. It is all based on deceitful perception which has no substance. Neither abandon nor accept anything, remain as you are, well established in your own Self.
- In the oneness of that supreme state of anuttara what talk can there be, and what differentiated path of adorer, adored and adoration? To whom and by what means could a progression function; or what could constitute the succession of penetrating into the Self? Wonder of wonders! Though it appears differentiated this illusion is no other than consciousness–one without a second. Everything is nothing but the pure essence of your own Self-experience, so why worry in vain!
- One cannot compare the bliss of this state to the intoxication of wealth or wine, nor to the union with a beloved women. And the brilliant flow of light is unlike the collection of rays from a lamp, the sun or the moon. This excessive joy of the Self is comparable only to the weight of that blissful state which descends when one gets liberated from all differentiation. The flow of this supreme consciousness is the state of universal oneness, which is nothing other than your own treasure abode that you had temporarily forgotten.
- Attraction and repulsion, pleasure and pain, rising and setting, self-confidence and depression; all these states with which the universe is formed shine as mutually different but in reality they are not. Whenever you perceive the specificity of some thing, at that very moment you should perceive the essence of your own consciousness as one with it… why not take delight in the fullness of that awareness!
- In this world the totality of objects appear eternally in the present moment, i.e. the activity of universality has no previous or future existence. Differentiated action is an illusion based on the unlawful pervasion of an intermediate state which is unreal, transient, fraudulent, just like a heap of appearances in the illusion of a dream. Remain above these defects which have been wrongfully forged by the stigma of doubts, hence be awakened!
- For the insentient there is no outflow of objective things, for those are manifested only when experienced by thee. Though deprived of reality they share reality in one instant through ones erroneous perception. Thus the greatness of this universe arises from your own imagination–it does not take birth from anything else. Therefore, you alone shine in all these worlds, and though one, you become many by your own glory!
- Real or unreal, small or plentiful, eternal or momentary, what is colored by the illusion of differentiation and what is pure in one’s own Self, in reality, this universe, rising from your own consciousness and becoming one with your essence, appears glorified in the mirror of Consciousness.
Having ascertained the sublimity of the universe and having understood the greatness of establishing ones own Self-experience, enjoy universal sovereignty.
Great to begin with
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