Abridged excerpts from Gurujī’s seminar on Svātantryasūtram (The aphorisms on Absolute Freedom):
यावचिन्त्यावात्मास्य शक्तिश्चैतौ परमार्थो भवतः॥१॥
— Aphorism 1 of Paramārthapradīpakaḥ (Chapter I of Svātantryasūtram)
Yāvacintyāvātmāsya śaktiścaitau paramārtho bhavataḥ||1||
Translation: These two, the Self and His Power —who are inconceivable—, constitute the Highest Reality.
Excerpt from commentary on the above aphorism: Prakāśa and Vimarśa –Light and I-consciousness, viz. the Self and His Power– abide inseparably as one Reality. Their separation or difference takes place only in the sphere of words for the intellect to understand them both so much as possible. There is never a Power of the Self that is separate or different from the Self Himself. Besides, the Self together with His own Power are not objects endowed with attributes such as light, sound, mind, body, etc., but rather the imperishable immutable Witness of that –of those objects–. That point is made clear in venerable Spandanirṇaya.
Besides, the Self together with His own Power is the Sākṣī (Witness). They are the Witness. Now I am quoting Spandanirṇaya –Kṣemarāja’s Commentary on Vasugupta’s Spandakārikā-s–. Kṣemarāja says in Spandanirṇaya:
यस्तु तत्तत्त्वमितीह तच्छब्देनास्य निर्देशः कृतः स
इति श्रीप्रत्यभिज्ञाकारिकोक्तनीत्या कल्पितस्यैवापारमार्थिकस्वरूपस्य न तु तत्त्वतः पारमार्थिकस्य।
Yastu tattattvamitīha tacchabdenāsya nirdeśaḥ kṛtaḥ sa
iti śrīpratyabhijñākārikoktanītyā kalpitasyaivāpāramārthikasvarūpasya na tu tattvataḥ pāramārthikasya|
Translation: “That special mention about It –about Spanda (about Śakti)– which has been made by the word ‘tad’ here –in the last line of the aphorism 13 in Spandakārikā-s–: ‘tattattvam’ or ‘that principle of Spanda’, that word ‘tad’ refers to the supposed experient whose nature is not the Highest Reality, and not, as a matter of fact, to the Experient who is the Highest Reality, in accordance with what was described in the venerable Pratyabhijñākārikā-s –also called Īśvarapratyabhijñā–: ‘The Self not deprived from Absolute Freedom…'”.
When you read “Śiva”, that is not Śiva! It is a word we use to describe something that is not describable by words. He is so Free that He created this word for people to speak about Him.
Kṣemarāja is saying the same thing as myself before in the aphorism. So, when in aphorism 13 of Spandakārikā-s, they name the Self telling ‘tattattvam’ (‘that principle of Spanda’), that principle –that experience, that Reality– is not the Highest Reality. When you read ‘tattattvam’ (‘that principle of Spanda’), that Highest Reality… When you mention that, that is not the Highest Reality! That is apāramārthika; that is not the Highest Reality. Because the Highest Reality cannot be spoken of. But, according to Utpaladeva, ‘The Self not deprived from Absolute Freedom…’, He is so Free that He created these words for people to speak about Him. But, when you read “Śiva”, that is not Śiva! It is a word; it is a word we use to describe something that is not describable by words. So all the scriptures are apāramārthika, they are not the Highest Reality. They are not “Paramārtha” (“the Highest Reality”). But we use these scriptures to understand Paramārtha, because this Free Self created this method –by words–. So I commented about this.
You cannot remember Śiva, because you are Śiva!
According to the teaching of illustrious Kṣemarāja, here, in Spandakārikā-s I-13 — “However, that principle of Spanda is not thus perceived or realized, that is, as a state of recollection”—, the Spanda principle, whose nature is the Power of the Self, is indicated by the word “tad” –that–, but this word is not the Highest Reality truly because the Highest Reality is at all times Reality beyond utterance. So, in this aphorism, Vasugupta is explaining that you cannot recollect the Self (in the past) because He is here. You cannot recollect the Self in time because He is beyond time. You cannot say, “Well, I experienced Śiva in 2003, and now No”. Because He is constant; He is “Now”, “I am”. So no, it’s impossible. You can recollect for example, deep sleep. You can recollect and you can say, “Oh, I slept sweet”, “very deep” or “Oh, I don’t remember what I dreamt about”. You can say that. But not with Śiva. No, because you cannot recollect Śiva, you cannot remember Śiva. Because you are Śiva! He is here. When you realize this, that’s Liberation.
Absence of Bliss is Bliss too, because abandoning His Bliss is a display of His Svātantrya.
Some people say, “Well, but now I am not Blissful, so no, it’s not Liberation”. No, because absence of Bliss is Bliss! But this is difficult to understand – Absence of Bliss is Bliss too. For example, when you are meditating… you are meditating and you feel a little Bliss, yes? you feel sometimes little Bliss. That is Bliss. It doesn’t matter if little… bigger… it doesn’t matter, it’s Bliss! But all of a sudden, your mind says, “Oh, now I have to go”, “my daughter…” or “my son…” or whatever. So you abandon your sitting position and go to the phone and call. That act you do is Freedom; His Freedom (His Svātantrya). That is His Svātantrya. Because He abandons His Bliss and accepts absence of Bliss. And that absence of Bliss is Bliss too. Because it’s His Svātantrya, His Absolute Freedom. It’s difficult to understand. For example, now you are in bondage. You feel, “I am in bondage”. That is His Freedom. I am now liberated; it is His Freedom. His Freedom. Because He wants to. He wants to be bound, so He feels bound. And that’s Freedom. When you realize this, you are liberated.
Excerpts from 1:18:45 to 1:34:05 of Second day (1) – Seminar Svaatantryasuutram – Moscow