The Yoga of Vibration and Divine Pulsation

A Translation of the Spanda Kārikās with Kṣemarāja's Commentary, the Spanda Nirṇaya

By Jaideva Singh
With Mark S. G. Dyczkowski
Foreword by Paul E. Muller-Ortega

Subjects: Tantra
Series: SUNY series in Tantric Studies
Paperback : 9780791411803, 248 pages, November 1991
Hardcover : 9780791411797, 248 pages, December 1991

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Spanda is the vibratory dynamism of the absolute consciousness. In the first section of his commentary, Ksja presents spanda as identical with the essential self of each person. The second section presents a methodology that allows access to the world of spanda yoga. The third section describes the spiritual powers attained by the realization of spanda.

Through modern physics, we have grown accustomed to thinking of physical reality as waves of energy--as the matter-energy continuum. Tantric Shaivism presents the full matrix of energy pulsation of which physical reality is only a part. From the relatively superficial perceptions of the senses to the progressively subtle forms of inner awareness, a unified spectrum of spanda leads inward until the most delicate and powerful tendrils of individuality merge with the infinitely rapid vibration of the ultimate consciousness.

The text prescribes a continuous refinement of perception in order for that aspect of spanda which continuously subsides into infinity to be discovered in the awareness of the practitioner. Through prescribed use of mantra, the yogi develops a continuous attentiveness to the presence of the spanda--the spanda that reveals itself to her as an ecstatic flashing forth within her own awareness.

The Guru enlivened mantra leads the yogi through the vibratory spectrum of awareness to the ever subtler domains within. As this occurs, the surface word-form of the mantra falls away and only the original lively pulsation of enlightenment is left. At a certain definite point, the individual awareness is permanently caught up in this subtle pulsation of the ultimate. It then transcends all of the relative spatial distinctions of inner and outer, higher and lower, above and below. The nondimensional, global encompassing of the individuality by the absolute consciousness is the state of jivanmukti, the goal of the tantric practice prescribed by the Spanda Karikas.