Shiva Sutra 1.2

jnanam bandhah

This universe is the expression of God’s Love. The Oneness covers Its ubiquitous immensity in the Veils of Forgetting (kanchuka) and throughout returning Cycles of Time, enjoys the journey of sweet Remembering by Its own Grace (anugraha). This playful concealing and revealing of the Oneness is the sole purpose, meaning the one and only reason for the existence of our lives and this entire universe. We are all this Oneness.

That Absolute Oneness ‘lets go’ and ‘pours forth’ (sristi) the plenum eternally implicit, immanent and inherent within It — and takes on the appearance of Separation. The Veiling process or bondage consists of limited differentiated knowledge, the appearance of distinctions, differences. Bondage is also ignorance of your real eternal state, not knowing that your consciousness is in fact undifferentiated knowledge [SLJ], the One.

How does the Oneness veil Itself? By the infinite power of Its own Freedom (svatantrya), the Oneness ‘appears’ to become temporal multiplicity. Knowledge of endlessly mutating, fractalizing, replicating differences and distinctions is bondage.


A verse from Abhinavagupta’s PARAMARTHASARA, is translated by Dr. B.N. Pandit in this interesting way: Abhinavagupta, the enlightened genius Kashmir Shaivite, plainly states that all metaphysical and philosophical theories are “mere suppositions and imaginary concepts of thinkers.”


Why? Because – “No diversity is the real truth.” Or as Swami Lakshmanjoo might say - ultimately there is only undifferentiated knowledge.


Dr. B.N. Pandit: “The Buddhist thinkers maintain that the constant flow of momentary consciousness is the only reality. The Vedic thinkers say that the single self, penetrating inside pervading, directing and governing all minds, is the ultimate reality.


“Some Upanishadic thinkers take the power of animation as the ultimate truth, while other such thinkers say that one universal ATMAN, shining as all phenomena, is the only reality. Some other thinkers take either the psycho-physical organism or the generalities or lastly the individual as the ultimate truth.


“But all such theories are merely dialectical speculations useful in discussions and debates. None among such entities has a real existence, as all these are mere suppositions and imaginary concepts of thinkers.


“In the same way that matters like piety and sin, heaven and hell, birth and death, pleasure and pain… and so on, do never exist in reality, but appear in the Self on account of delusion (MAYA).


“No diversity is the real truth. Its existence is simply apparent. It shines in the ATMAN as reflections shine in a mirror. All this appears to be a bonded being on account of the delusion caused by MAYA.”



No matter how many systems you master and regardless of the great heights of worldly brilliance you rise to, if you have forgotten that there is only the One – you are in bondage. Therefore the state of being unaware that everything and everyone that exists is not separate from you, as the Consciousness of the One Self, is bondage also. Not knowing ‘undifferentiatedly’ is bondage [SLJ].

This differentiated knowledge includes those ways of thinking that you consider to be inferior, stupid, or evil. They are also a manifested projection of the Oneness through whatever vehicle has construed them. This is why making judgments traps you. When you judge others you are drawn into a lower frequency of consciousness that does not admit and include Oneness. Judgment will hold you in a limited frequency.

Discernment is necessary, but must carry no attachment and entrapment through emotional charge. Discernment is closer to a detached observation.

Swami Lakshmanjoo says, ‘impurity is ignorance’ and sin is only the ignorance of your true identity, meaning how far your consciousness imagines itself to be separated from the Oneness that you are and always have been.




Sanskrit word definitions from the Jaideva Singh translation of the Shiva Sutras:

Kanchuka: The coverings of Maya, throwing a pall over pure consciousness and thus converting Shiva [the Oneness] into jiva [individual soul].

anugraha: Grace.

svatantrya: Absolute Freedom of Will [of the Oneness].



Essence of the Exact Reality or PARAMARTHASARA of Abhinavagupta

With English translation & notes by Dr. B.N. Pandit

Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers; 1991, New Delhi