Tuesday, March 27, 2018



       ( Rishi Vasugupta  by artist Ravi Dhar )                            

KNOWLEDGE IS A BONDAGE ... A painting depicting Shiv Sutra no 2  by Artist  Gokul Dembi


Too much discussion. Too many scholars . Too many books . A proud   cultural heritage of  Kashmiris in general and Pandits in particular. I tried to know it. Tried  to read some books . Read articles and heard discourses . Could not grasp much  as no person could present it in a simple and  layman’s language ;  a language that a beginner  could grasp. And then through  my own efforts, I came to  Rishi Vasugupta’s Shiv Sutras . The search was almost over.

 Generations of Kashmiris shall remain indebted to  Rishi Vasugupta for presenting something great , simple , philosophical and mind boggling  through his 77 Shiv-Sutras ( aphorisms).  I  Read them one and all. It took me three days to understand the enormous philosophical dimensions of some Sutras that come in just one line. Most of us have not come to Kashmir’s Shaiva-Darshana from this way. At least I can say for myself. Vasugupta is believed  to have lived below the  Mahadeva mountain in the  Kashmir valley .Some scholars have also identified the spot ( rock ) near the Harwan stream behind what is now the Shalimar garden near  Srinagar city.Artist Gokul Dembi has brought all the Sutras to canvas by transferring the underlying philosophical  meaning to colours and  images through his paintings . A great job done for the  present generation and posterity . And Prof Meem Hai Zaffar has translated these Sutras into Kashmiri with detailed commentary . The book is available in Devnagri and Nastaliq script .

( The rock behind Shalimar Garden where Sutras are believed to have been revealed to Rishi Vasugupta ..photo source. Ayaz Rasool Nazki)

I quote  eleven sutras …

Knowledge is bondage.

Origin is the basis of knowledge.

Only awakening is knowledge.

Most mysterious is the mind.
There is a feeling of one being like Shiva.
Body is an Offering .
( h)
Mind is the soul.
Consciousness becomes sublime when imagination is mastered.

Existence is eternal but life has end.
— Concentration into the origin of creation causes knowledge of why it is destroyed and created again.

I leave it to readers to think about various dimensions of these simple  one line Sutras ..

Enter the world of Kashmir’s Shaiv Darshana through these Sutras . 

I found a sprinkling of Shiv Sutras in the   Kashmiri Bhakti poetry of Mahatama Krishen Joo Razdan of Kashmir .According to Shiv Sutras ,want of awareness is Maya and  deep sleep.Awareness  dispels Maya. A real Sadhaka only desires awareness.  Mahatma  Krishen Joo Razdan says:-

"Hosh dim lagayo Pamposh Paadan

 ( Grant me awareness.This life at your lotus feet,my lord.)

( Avtar Mota )


 Sage Vasugupta (875 – 925 CE) was the author of Shiva Sutras, an important text of the Advaita tradition of Kashmir Shaivism, also called Trika..It is believed that these Sutras were revealed to the sage somewhere near present day Harwan garden near the Mahadeva mountain. Some scholars believe that  Vasugupta found the Sutras inscribed on a rock called Sankaropala. A group of scholars are of the opinion   that Shiva appeared to sage Vasugupta in his dream. In this dream state, these Sutras were revealed to him and later written down by the sage.

Creative Commons LicenseCHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

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