About the Book
Siva Sutras are considered to be a revealed book of the Yoga : supreme identity of the individual self with the Divine.
Dr. Jaideva Singh has studied the book with the help of his guru Swami Laksmana Joo, the sole surviving exponent of this system in Kashmir and has provided an English translation of the Sutras together with the commentary of Ksemaraja.
The subject matter is arranged as under:
Each Sutra is given in Devanagari as well as in Roman Script. Then the meaning of every word of the Sutra is given in English, followed by a translation of the whole Sutra. This is followed by the Vimarsini Commentary in Sanskrit and its English translation, copious notes on important and technical words and a running exposition of the main ideas of the Sutra.
A long introduction, together with an abstract of each Sutra, throws a flood of light on the entire system of Saiva Yoga. A glossary of technical terms and index are appended for the convenience of the reader.
A year before his death, my revered Guru MM. Gopinath Kaviraja called me and said, "Recently one translation of Siva-Sutras into Hindi and another into English have been brought to my notice. I have been both pained and shocked by the flagrant errors committed by these translators. It is my earnest with that you prepare another translation of this great book into English."
My Guru's wish was more than a command to me. I looked into the translations referred to. A new interpretation should always be welcome, but when it goes against the very spirit and tradition of the system, it becomes a pernicious procedure. To cite one instance, the 5th sutra of the first section is worded as 'udyamo Bhairavah'. The word udyama has been translated as 'exertion'. The first section deals with Sambhava-upaya, even the veriest tyro of Saivagama knows that Sambhava upaya has nothing to do with exertion, and so 'udyama' does not and grammar of the Sanskrit language have been twisted and tortured to yield certain pre-conceived meanings. Such preposterous translation is, to say the least, a literary crime.
I had made a promise to carrying out the commands of my Guru, but when I tried to understand the text, I found myself at sea. I was afraid of setting pen to paper lest I should do injustice to this great scripture. Kaviraja ji was too ill to teach. So I studied the text word by word with the help of Acarya Rameshvara Jha who is a great Sanskrit scholar and fully conversant with Saivagama. I am very grateful to him for his help. I felt, however, that I should study it further with the help of one who has been brought up in the Saivagama tradition. So I approached my old Guru, Svami Laksmana Joo of Kashmir who, in spite of his old age and a heavy schedule of engagements with a number of scholars who had gathered round him, kindly agreed to help. He taught me the sutras together with the commentary of Ksemaraja and gave luminous exposition of some very knotty problems, I am deeply beholden to him for unraveling the meaning of this difficult text.
Ksemaraja, in the introductory portion of his commentary, says that since many incongruous expositions had been given by the commentaries extant in his time, he undertook to write a new commentary in due conformity with the old tradition. I have, therefore, translated the sutras along with the Vimarsini commentary of Ksemaraja. The style of Ksemaraja is some-what involved, and so it has been an uphill task to translate his commentary into English. I have tried my best to make the translation as clear and readable as possible.
Four commentaries on Siva-sutras are available at present, the Vimarsini commentary of Ksemaraja in prose, the Siva-sutra-vrtti by some anonymous author in prose, the Siva-sutra-varttikam by Bhaskara in verse, and the Siva-sutra-varttikam by Varadaraja in verse.
The Siva-sutra-vrtti is so close to Vimarsini that it appears to be either a preliminary draft or a later abstract of the Vimarsini. There is a strong presumption that the author of the Vrtti was Ksemaraja himself. The Varttikam by Varadaraja is only a rehash of the Vimarsini in Verse. The Varttikam by Bhaskara is an independent commentary. He differs at places from Ksemaraja. I have indicated this in my notes or exposition wherever necessary. Ksemaraja's commentary is so detailed and scholarly that it has practically elbowed every other commentary out of existence. I have, therefore, duly followed Ksemaraja in my exposition.
I have adopted the following plan in the book. Each sutra is given both in Devanagari and Roman script. Then the meaning of every word of the sutra. This is followed by the Vimarsini commentary in Sanskrit. The commentary is then translated into English. After this, copious notes are added on important and technical words. Finally, I have given a running exposition of the main ideas of the sutra in my own words.
A long Introduction has been given in the beginning this is followed by an abstract of each sutra. At the end of the book, a glossary of all the technical terms and Index have been appended.
For me, this work has been a labour of love, without any financial and secretarial assistance whatsoever. My great Guru, MM. Gopinath Kaviraja passed away before the work could be completed. I can now only console myself by dedicating it to his revered memory.
About the Author
Jaideva Singh (1893-1986) was a great scholar in musicology, philosophy and Sanskrit. A former principle of Y.D. College, Lakhimpur-Kheri, he served as Chief Producer in All-India Radio and among other posts acted as Chairman of U.P. Sangit Natak Academi. He was awarded Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 1974. After his retirement he settled in Varanasi to study with M.M. Gopinath Kaviraj. He deicated the later part of his life to the study with Kashmir Saivism. he published several books in Hindi and English translations of Kashmir Saiva texts, such as Siva-Sutras, Spanda-Karika, Pratyabhijnahrdayam.
The Siva Sutras are perhaps the most authoritative text of Kashmir Saivism and certainly it is an outstanding treatise on a definite system of philosophy.
The experience of Sadasiva is 'I am this' and that of Iswara is 'This am I' and Sadvidya or Suddhavidya Tattva, where 'I' and 'This' side of experience are equally balanced. It is pertinently pointed out that this philosophy is unique in merging the sadhaka to a state of bliss (ananda) completely into the non-dualistic Siva.
K.S. Ramakrishna Rao
The Hindu (Madras), 3 July 1979
Siva Sutras Vimarsini is an important treatise of Saivism. The Sutras reveal the Yoga of supreme Identity of the individual self with the Divine.
The translater has done singular service by making the treatise accessible to those who are interested in the subject.
SIVA SUTRAS-TEXT AND COMMENTARY
SECTION I - SAMBHAVOPAYA
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