The Aphorisms of Śiva

The Śiva Sūtra with Bhāskara's Commentary, the Vārttika

Translated by Mark S. G. Dyczkowski
Foreword by Paul E. Muller-Ortega

Subjects: Asian Studies
Series: SUNY series in Tantric Studies
Paperback : 9780791412640, 247 pages, May 1992
Hardcover : 9780791412633, 247 pages, May 1992

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The Shiva Sutra was revealed to Vasugupta by Shiva in order to counter the effects of dualism. This revelation initiated the hermeneutics of syntheses and exegesis climaxed by the great Abhinavagupta. The Shiva Sutra is the most important scripture in the Trika system of Kashmir Shaivism. As a book on yoga, it explains the nature and cause of bondage and the means to liberation from bondage.

Bhāskara is in the direct lineage of Vasugupta. To Bhāskara's commentary, Mark Dyczkowski has added his translation of an anonymous commentary as an aid to understanding Bhāskara's interpretation. This anonymous writer also serves as a bridge between Kṣemarāja's and Bhāskara's commentaries, drawing from both. The commentary on each sutra is thus in three layers. Bhāskara's commentary is first, followed by the anonymous commentary, after which Dyczkowski adds his own exposition and compares Bhāskara and Kṣemarāja.

Kṣemarāja's commentary, the Vimarsini, has been translated by Jaideva Singh and published by SUNY Press under the title Siva Sutra.

Mark S. G. Dyczkowski took his first degree at Banaras Hindu University and then his doctorate at Oxford. He is presently associated with Sampurnananda Sanskrit University in Varanasi. He is the author of The Doctrine of Vibration: An Analysis of the Doctrines and Practices of Kashmir Shaivism; The Canon of the Saivagama and the Kubjika: Tantras of the Western Kaula Tradition; and The Stanzas on Vibration: The Spanda Karika with Four Commentaries.