Abridged excerpts from Gurujī’s seminar on Vasugupta’s Spandakārikā-s (along with commentary by venerable Kṣemarāja):
Commentary: Now, on one hand, those who are followers of Sugata –an epithet of Buddha– believe in the following: “The Supreme Principle is only a continuous flow of cognitions”, based on the argument stating that “We see this single Consciousness as a multiform alteration consisting of joy, depression, etc.”.
All the time… momentary cognitions: “I am sad”, “I am happy”.
Commentary: On the other hand, those who are followers of the Mīmāṁsā system (the Pūrvamīmāṁsā, the Vedic… ritualistic) maintain the following: “The Self is that which is known in I-consciousness. This I-consciousness is always concealed or eclipsed by the attributes of happiness, etc.”. The author of the Spandakārikā-s (Vasugupta) refutes those arguments by only one stanza:
अहं सुखी च दुःखी च रक्तश्चेत्यादिसंविदः।
सुखाद्यवस्थानुस्यूते वर्तन्तेऽन्यत्र ताः स्फुटम्॥४॥
Ahaṁ sukhī ca duḥkhī ca raktaścetyādisaṁvidaḥ|
Sukhādyavasthānusyūte vartante’nyatra tāḥ sphuṭam||4||
– Aphorism 4 of Spandakārikā-s
Translation: “I am happy, I am pained, I am attached”, etc. Those cognitions remain evidently in another, in whom the states of happiness, etc. are strung together like beads in a necklace.
So the Lord is not a continuous flow of cognitions like the Sugata followers believe. No. And He is not eclipsed or concealed by happiness and sadness. No. He is only like a thread running through beads. And these beads are “I am happy”, “I am pained”, “I am attached”, etc. Because all those experiences are only in the mirror, not in Him. In the mirror of His Svātantrya (His Absolute Freedom). “All those cognitions remain in another” – This “another” can be understood like Śiva or like Puryaṣṭaka (the subtle body).
Commentary: Otherwise, since the momentary cognitions wane merely in one’s own Self –which according to the Buddhists is a Void–, the thoughts or ideas born from their latent impressions (saṁskāra-s) also would wane or disappear. Thus, this interconnection between momentary cognitions and thoughts or ideas arisen from the latent impressions left by the former would not take place. Because, on their not being within the field of experience, there would be absence –non-existence– of manifestation or activity.
The void was created by the Lord to cheat the foolish people. When the Lord wants to hide the Truth, He invents things (e.g. void).
So the problem with void is: you have an idea – the void – another idea – the void. Another problem is that you would be constantly losing your memory. One thought you feel: “I am nastia”. Next, the void. Another thought… you forgot that you were nastia. Because the void in the middle! So, this crappy void must be rejected because it’s horrible thing. Stupid thing. This is tremendous joke: The void. The void was created by the Lord to cheat the foolish people. When the Lord wants to hide the Truth, He invents things (for example: void). So tons of people following the void. Tons of people following the void, and in that way He can hide the Real Knowledge from them. Even now they continue to follow the void. But they never notice that there is no void! because you are all the time existing.
All those experiences “I am happy”, “I am sad” are in the subtle body. It’s not possible for the subtle body to conceal the Self.
To deny the statement of the Pūrvamīmāṁsā that “The Self is eclipsed or concealed by the state of happiness…” and all that, you can translate the phrase “vartante anyatra” – they “remain in another”. They remain in another – That “another”, you can translate it as “the Puryaṣṭaka” (the subtle body). So in this case “anyatra” is not “in the Self”, but “in the subtle body”. So all those experiences “I am happy”, “I am sad” are in the subtle body. In ego, mind, intellect, and tanmātra-s (the subtle body). So, it’s not possible for the subtle body to conceal the Self, yes? Your mind cannot conceal the Self! When you meditate, your mind is working, but your Self is not concealed by your mind. Because you continue to see the mind (to perceive the mind). So the mind is unable to conceal you. So that statement by the Pūrvamīmāṁsā is rejected. You understand?
In the gaps, the Self is in His essential nature. His essential nature is neutral.
So, in reality, the Self is like a thread running through all the states: “I am happy”, “I am sad” etc. He is unhappy, He is happy, He is sad, He is All, but at the same time He stays in His own essential nature in the gaps (between the states). Between all those states, He is neutral. So you must concentrate on the gaps (between happiness, sadness… in the middle). This is Śāktopāya… To concentrate on the gaps… Because on the gaps, the Self is in His essential nature. His essential nature is neutral. And you experience that neutral state for some time. You experience that you are not sad, you are not happy, you are not… Nothing. And after that… when you meditate and meditate, after that, Bliss starts to emerge… to emerge from there. And that gap expands. This is the development of the madhya daśā… the development of the gap. And when that gap fills your entire day and night, you are enlightened. You live in Turya all the time (in Bliss). You understand? Simple.
Excerpts retrieved from 0:00 to 14:55 of Spandakaarikaas Seminar – chapter 1 – 2: