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Amrita Darshanam International Centre for Spiritual Studies (ICSS), Bengaluru, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham is organizing a series of workshops on Kashmiri Śaiva Tantra. After the successful completion of our first workshop in the series, on Parāprāveśikā, we warmly invite you to the second online workshop in this series on “Spandakārikā: The Secret of Spanda, the Divine Creative Pulsation” from January 4 to January 31, 2022, under the concept and direction of Acharya Dr. Nihar Purohit.
|| OM ||
यस्योन्मेषनिमेषाभ्यां जगतः प्रलयोदयौ |
तं शक्तिचक्रविभवप्रभवं शङ्करं स्तुमः ||
yasyonmeṣanimeṣābhyāṁ jagataḥ pralayodayau |
taṁ śakticakravibhavaprabhavaṁ śaṅkaraṁ stumaḥ ||
We surrender to benevolent Śaṅkara (which is our own Supreme Self),
by whose mere (play of) opening and closing of eyes,
there is appearance and dissolution of the world.
He is the principal cause of the splendour of the wheel of energies
(Where there is playful joining and disjoining of innumerable energy currents manifesting as countless forms in the universe which are permeated by one unified Spandaśakti, the power of throbbing conscious existence).
– Benedictory Verse, Spandakārikā
Spandakārikā is one of the most important foundational texts of Kashmir Śaiva Darshana. It is a collection of verses on the doctrine of Spanda, a mystical term which can roughly be translated as vibrationless vibration, divine throb, divine creative pulsation. This tradition states that it is also experienced as sphurattā (radiating effulgence, vigour, power of existence of the self), balaṁ (strength), sāra (essence), udyoga (upward rising force or effort), hṛdayaṁ (heart) and śakti (supreme energy).
Spandakārikā acts as a free hand commentary to another foundational text, the famed Śivasūtra. While Śivasūtra gives us the essence of reality in a seed form, Spandakārikā offers us the explanation and practice to experience the ultimate reality. Together they complement one’s understanding and give a comprehensive knowledge of one’s own true self.
The subject of the text is regarding the nature of Spanda. Swami Lakshman Joo, the great contemporary Śaivācārya of Kashmir, states in his book, the Mystery of Vibrationless Vibration in Kashmir Shaivism (pp. 271),
“This universe, which is a world of Consciousness, is filled with and is one with the supreme state of God Consciousness. God consciousness is Spanda, a unique reality of supreme movement filled with nectar and an outpouring of the supreme bliss of independence.”
It is an esoteric and highly sublime subject and has been comprehensively explained in the numerous commentaries of Spandakārikā. Spandakārikā consist of 3 niḥṣyanda or flows namely: Svarūpa Spanda, Sahaja Vidyodaya and Vibhuti Spanda. The first section deals with the Svarūpa, essential nature of Spanda and delineates the various methods through which Spanda tattva can be realized. Since the first section speaks of recognizing that Spanda as the innermost self, ahaṁ, it deals with introvertive absorption or nimīlana samāveśa. The second part of the text is aptly named as sahaja vidyodaya and explains how Spanda is not only the innermost self but also the real identity of the whole universe. It thus gives importance to extroverted absorption or unmīlana samāveśa through the rise of sahaja vidya, pure knowledge. The third section describes the supernatural powers that manifest in an aspirant through the realization of Spanda.
In Kṣemarāja’s Spanda Nirnaya, which an excellent commentary of the Spandakārikā, he gives the phalaśruti or the fruits of the study and assimilation of this text. He states that through the attainment of this treasure house of knowledge, which is exceedingly difficult to get, and through it being well preserved in the cave of one’s Heart or Hṛdaya, just as Vasugupta has attained, we too can attain the ultimate recognition. Thus, the grand reward of the knowledge of Spandakārikā is nothing short of complete and permanent realization of the Self.
The workshop aims at studying the ancient scriptural text and practicing the teachings using Dhāraṇā – holistic meditative inquiry, creative contemplation, group discussion, meditations with reading and reference to supporting scriptures such as Śivasūtra, Vijñānabhairava Tantra, Svacchanda Tantra, Tantrāloka, Śivastotrāvali, etc. all in line with the lineage and tradition. Participants will receive the transmission of the teachings in the manner as is taught in the traditional Kashmiri Shaiva lineage.
In order to assimilate the mystery of this seminal text we will adopt a four-step method of learning:
In this session, we will study the original text as well as identify the means to assimilate the sublime teachings.
A specific practice of awareness based on the morning study session will be offered. Participants will be inspired to apply this practice into their daily work life and live the teachings practically.
All participants will be divided into small groups of 5. These individual study groups will meet every day in the evening at their convenient pre-scheduled time and discuss
Every participant will focus their discussion on the teaching of that particular day and will learn as a group.
It is very important to articulate the learning and experience we have received during the day. Therefore, every participant will write a paragraph or create an artwork to illustrate their learning all through the day. They will share this paragraph with the common WhatsApp group so everyone can learn from each other’s insight.
Dates: January 4 – 31, 2022 (27 Sessions)
Time: 6:30 am – 8:00 am (1 session per day)
Venue: Online workshop organized by Amrita Darshanam, Bengaluru Campus
All the international participants kindly contact us for the registration.
Indian General: Rs. 3216/-
Indian Students: Rs. 2154/-
International Participants: USD 165/-
Last Date for Registration: December 25, 2021
All are welcome. Workshop participants will be awarded a certificate.
Dr. Tanashree Redij
Convener of the Workshop
Amrita Darshanam (ICSS), Bengaluru
Phone: +91 9545955182
Br. Prasanth B.
Co-Convener of the Workshop
Amrita Darshanam (ICSS), Amritapuri
Ms. Yogita Chhatre
Co-Convener of the Workshop
Amrita Darshanam (ICSS), Bengaluru
Phone: +91 9620609504