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 Trika: The Six Courses - Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir

The Six Courses of manifestation

 Introduction to The Six Courses

Hi, Gabriel Pradīpaka once again. I have often been asked for a document dealing with the mysterious subject known as Ṣaḍadhvā or The Six Courses. Well, from now on, Ṣaḍadhvā will be no longer a mystery. The word "Ṣaḍadhvā" is composed of two words: "Ṣaṭ" --six-- and "adhvā" --course, path, way, etc.--. Note that "t" in "ṣaṭ" changes to "ḍ" by the third sub-rule of the 2nd Rule of Consonant Sandhi (See Rules of Sandhi).

When you start studying Trika, you will generally come across with the "Tattva-s" or categories of manifestation. Despite "Tattva-s" topic is a crucial one in Trika, it is really situated in a middle position within the entire process of manifestation. The "Tattva-s" constitute only "one course" in that process. But, what about the remaining five ones? Well, they are indirectly studied as you go deep into Trika. However, their study is as important as that of the Tattva-s themselves so that you can grasp how the manifestation works according to Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir. Through the present document, I will attempt to clarify this abstruse subject called Ṣaḍadhvā. Of course, my work will be only an introductory outline of something that is much more profound and complicated. By keeping this in mind, let us begin our study!

Ah!, a suggestion: print the Tattvic Chart if you can, because you will have to resort to it often, as a support, while reading this document.


 The universal manifestation according to Trika

In order to understand the whole display of universe according to Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir, you have to understand that it travels through two major "highways", as it were: "Vācaka" and "Vācya". What is Vācaka and Vācya? "Vācaka" literally means "that which speaks or says, speaker, etc.". And "Vācya" literally means "that which is spoken of, that which is denoted by means of speech, etc.". In short, "Vācaka" is the "sound or subjective aspect" of the Supreme Self or Śiva, while "Vācya" is His "objective aspect".

Vācaka is also known as "Śabda or Sound", and Vācya as "Artha or Object". For example, you say "a table", and immediately an image of it appears in your mind. The word "table" belongs to the Vācaka side, while "the mental image of a table" manifested by that word" belongs to Vācya side. Thus, the manifestation consists of two major realities: "Sound" (subjective side) and "That which is denoted by sound" (objective side). Understood? Well done. It is really simple, and you will surely find many examples of those two aspects in your own daily life. A certain name arises in your mind all of a sudden, and afterward that person appears, and so on. It seems a mere coincidence, but it does not. All objects and persons around you have arisen directly from You, Śiva. Your essential nature is formless, but by the throbbing of Śakti (tattva 2), it is filled with sounds, as it were. In fact, even though everything is just Śiva, I could state that Vācaka side is the "soul" of manifestation, while Vācya side would be its "body". It is an analogy, of course, but it is useful now and makes the things a little easier for you.

The subjective side of manifestation is always "a sound", and the objective one is always "that which is denoted or indicated by a sound". There are subtle and gross sounds, and accordingly subltle and gross objects are denoted by them. To put the things in order, Trika divides both Vācaka and Vācya sides into three stages each. Pay attention, please:

The subjective side of manifestation The objective side of manifestation
Varṇa Letters Kalā Primeval Powers
Mantra Seed syllables Tattva Categories
Pada Full-fledged words Bhuvana Worlds

One thing you must understand is that Vācaka or Śabda (subjective side) is always the "manifesting" principle, while Vācya or Artha is the principle "which is manifested". Śakti, the Power of Śiva (You), assumes two aspects: Vācakā and Vācya, and thus brings about the manifestation of the universe. Nonetheless, It could be said that Vācaka is Śiva-oriented, and Vācya Śakti-oriented because Vācaka is related to the Subject (Śiva), while Vācya to the Object (Śakti). This is approximate, obviously, because Śiva and Śakti constitute an only Reality that Trika had to separate into two sub-realities in order to study it properly. "I" (Śiva) is in complete unity with "AM" (Śakti), and the former cannot exist without the latter and vice versa. Therefore, on one hand, when you try to study Śiva, some Śakti is still there; and on the other hand, when you attempt to study Śakti, some Śiva is still there too. Both of Divine Powers live in constant unity, and as a matter of fact they cannot be separated at all, except for the sake of study. They are like the sun and its inherent light. You may study each of them separately, but both of them constitute "the sun" as an entirety.

Let us study now each course or "adhvā" in depth.


 Varṇa or Letters

Even though the word "Varṇa" itself does not mean "letter" as such in this supreme level, I have to explain the things to you somehow. Varṇa is not a sound either. As a matter of fact, Varṇa is here a kind of index that measures the operating form related to Kalā or Primeval Powers (the respective Vācya aspect of Varṇa). Granted, this is too complicated, and I decided to call "Varṇa" merely "letters" as a form to explain something that is not explainable via limited words. At the highest level of consciousness, all sounds and associated objects are in an indistinguishable unity. We cannot talk about them at the gross level, which we are generally in, without making some mistakes. So, my calling Varṇa "letter" is a way of explaining that which is beyond all explanations.

In various scriptures you will find complicated descriptions of Varṇa, which will make you even more confused. That is why, I am not going so deep into my explanation now. Do not worry about all those abstruse descriptions for now, and attempt to grasp the fundamental concept behind the formulation of the six adhvā-s or courses.

Besides, by "Varṇa" or Letters I do not mean "syllables" either. Sanskrit alphabet is mostly a "syllabic" one, except Vowels. However, many Vowels are derived from the combinations of others. The only "pure" Vowels are "a", "i" and "u". The last two Vowels have obviously arisen from the original "a", which is Śiva. In turn, "ī", "ū", "e", etc. simply result from "i + i", "u + u", "a + i", etc. [See First Steps (4)]. Thus, in the origin of the universe, only "a" exists in the form of the Supreme Self. This "a" is also named "Anuttara" as there cannot be anything higher than it. The Vowel "a" gives rise to "ā" (Śakti), and then to "i" and "u". The Vowel "i" embodies the Will Power of Supreme Śiva, while Vowel "u" is His Power of Knowledge. The Power of Action is simply originated from a combination of those two Powers inherent in the Absolute Consciousness together with "a" or Anuttara.

So, by Varṇa I means "a" (specially) along with "i" and "u", his eternal companions. As I said, the remaining Vowels result from the combination of these primordial Letters. The consonants are the natural consequence of the display of the aforesaid Vowels. Pay attention:

Name of the group Vowel from which it is derived Letters arisen from that Vowel
Gutturals क् ख् ग् घ् ङ्
a k kh g gh ṅ
Palatals च् छ् ज् झ् ञ्
i c ch j jh ñ
Cerebrals ट् ठ् ड् ढ् ण्
ṭ ṭh ḍ ḍh ṇ
Dentals त् थ् द् ध् न्
t th d dh n
Labials प् फ् ब् भ् म्
u p ph b bh m

Remember that "ṛ" and "ḷ" are ultimately derived from "a" and "i". And what about Semivowels? Well, Semivowels are born from Vowels. Pay attention again:

Semivowel Transliteration Origin
य् y Vowels "i" and "ī"
र् r Vowel "ṛ"
ल् l Vowel "ḷ"
व् v Vowel "u"

Sibilants (ś, ṣ and s) and the Sonant Aspirate (h) emerge from Icchāśakti (Power of Will) in the form of "i, ṛ and ḷ" when they are inspired by the Light of the Self. The Light of the Self is simply "a", the Primordial Vowel from which everything is manifested.

Sibilants and Sonant Aspirate Transliteration Origin
श् ś Vowels "i", "ṛ" and "ḷ" inspired by the Light of the Self
स् s
ह् h

The consonant "h" is merely a gross aspect of Visargaśakti... well, read First Steps (4) for more information.

As you see, the entire manifestation has emanated from "a", "i" and "u". Of course, "i" and "u" have in turn arisen from "a". This "a", although it is called a vowel or letter, is not a letter as such. It is something that is beyond all descriptions. I have called it "letter" so that you may be able to understand the things at the gross level. The "a" vowel is the source from which all has been manifested. How might something that was "manifested" properly define the very Manifesting Force? Thus, the stage known as Varṇa is firstly formed from "a"... then "i" and "u" are added... and afterward, the remaining Vowels are manifested along with the corresponding entire set of Consonants. Note that all consonants are devoid of "a", which is commonly added when you study the Sanskrit Alphabet. That is why the Sanskrit Alphabet is generally called "syllabic". The consonants in the alphabet are really "a consonant" plus "a".

Varṇa (Letters) on the Vācaka or subjective side gives rise to Kalā (Primeval Powers) on the Vācya or objective side of manifestation. So, let us study Kalā now.


 Kalā or Primeval Powers

The Kalā-s are the first aspect of the Vācya side whose operating form is "measured" by Varṇa (the index). This would be the "difficult" technical definition. Think of them as five Kalā-s or Primeval Powers acting as the framework on which the entire manifestation is going to be built. Each of them support a set of tattva-s or categories (See Tattvic Chart for more information). As Kalā belongs to the Vācya side, it arises directly from Varṇa. The primordial "a", "i" and "u" give rise to the five Kalā-s. Here you are their names as well as the extent of their respective scopes:

Śāntyatītā (Beyond Peace) Tattva-s 1 and 2 (Śiva-Śakti)
Śānti (Peace) Tattva-s 3 to 5 (from Sadāśiva to Sadvidyā)
Vidyā (Knowledge) Tattva-s 6 to 12 (from Māyā to Puruṣa)
Pratiṣṭhā (Base or Point of support) Tattva-s 13-35 (from Prakṛti to Āpas)
Nivṛtti (Cessation, Disappearance, Return) Tattva 36 (Pṛthivī)

Let us go deep into the subject now. The first Kalā is named "Śāntyatītā" (Beyond Peace), because it is beyond the Supreme Peace or Śānti coming from the cessation of duality. This Sublime Peace is attained when you abandon once and for all the ignorant duality based on "I" and "you" and so on, and embrace the resplendent Light of your own Self. This Peace is achieved when you realize tattva 5 (Sadvidyā), and continues up to tattva 3 (Sadāśiva). Hence Śāntikalā (the second Kalā) is called in that manner, that is, Peace. However, in Śāntyatītā there is a "negative" experience of that Peace, in the sense that Śiva and Śakti are beyond the scope of even that Supreme Joy. They are indescribable and cannot be understood via any parameters but Themselves. If you go even deeper into the subject, you learn that the word "Kalā" has many translations, one of them being "part". So, "Kalā" would be a part belonging to a "whole". In this context, the use of the term Kalā only would reach Śaktitattva, because Śiva is devoid of any parts. That is why He is known as "Niṣkala" or "having no parts". Nonetheless, I use here the word Kalā in the form of "Primeval Power" and thus it is completely right to include Śiva within Śāntyatītākalā's scope.

The Kalā called "Śānti" has been partially described above. "Śānti" means "Peace". The tattva-s 3 to 5 constitute the realm of that Peace which is beyond all duality. There you experience absolute unity with the entire universe. An immense experience of Divine Peace arises in you when you merge your limited being into that Mass of Bliss. All fears of "others" dissappear because the realization that "I am the only inhabitant of this universe" is overwhelming indeed.

The Kalā known as "Vidyā" is so called because it is the foundation under all "conditioned" knowledge acting as support for the display of Ignorance or Māyā. This limited knowledge lives within you as seeds which will ultimately sprout as mind, body and outer world. Later on, this very "contracted" knowledge will appear as the following phrases: "I am not perfect", "I am doing actions", "I need something", "I feel lonely", "I am from Argentina" and so on. At dawn of those ideas in your mind, you can be sure that you are quite a slave.

The penultimate Kalā is named "Pratiṣṭhā" because it is the base or point of support for practically all mental and physical framework. This Kalā is the animating force within the tattva-s 13 (Prakṛti or the very subtle source of all matter in the mental and physical universes) to 35 (Āpas, the liquid aspect in the Universal Manifestation).

The last Kalā is called "Nivṛtti" because it is the place where all "ceases". It is the force behind the last tattva (Pṛthivī, the solid aspect in the Universal Manifestation), in which the entire "creative" movement comes to an end. Śakti spreads from the Highest Abode beyond Peace (Śāntyatītā) down to Nivṛttikalā, in which "she ceases to manifest", as it were, of course. In turn, in Pṛthivītattva, the same Śakti who has ceased to manifest turns upward. The evolution or expansion of the universe produced involution or contraction of the divine Self, as it were again. However, through that upward movement the universe undergoes involution while the divine Self experiences an evolution of His awareness, that is, He becomes more and more conscious of His true nature. The macrocosmic upward movement of Śakti has its microcosmic manifestation within man in the form of Kuṇḍalinī going upward.

The relationship between microcosm and macrocosm may be compared to that between the graphic interface of your operating system and all things occurring behind it. For example, you press a button on the screen and a series of events is triggered, which are invisible to you. But you know that something changed because you note a change in the graphic interface (the mouse pointer changed, a new window was opened, and so on). In turn, all modifications happening behind the graphic interface, in that "macrocosmic universe" consisting of complicated software instructions and hardware circuits, are manifested in the graphic interface (microcosm) somehow. For instance, a virus has accessed your computer and the antivirus software warns you on the screen. After that, you make the right decision, press some buttons and the virus is removed. Microcosm and macrocosm are all the time in a dynamic relationship. Of course, there are many other examples showing the way in which microcosm and macrocosm are related to each other. I used this example with the computer because it seemed a good one to me.

With reference to the five Kalā-s, think of them as the foundations upon which the building called "Tattva and Bhuvana" is about to be built. The Absolute is always "One without a second", but through His own Manifesting Power, He is transformed into 5 Kalā-s, 36 Tattva-s and 226 Bhuvana-s (or 118, according to other authors). Still, He has never departed from His inherent Unity. A paradox.


 Mantra or Seed Syllables

Somehow, those original Varṇa-s ("a", "i" and "u"), which had manifested all letters in the alphabet, are transformed into Mantra-s or Seed Syllables, that is, Syllables acting as seeds from which the "plant" of Tattva-s will be born. As I said before, the "a" vowel (from which "i" and "u" emerge) is not a letter or Varṇa as such, but I had to designate it like that in order to explain the subject. At this level (Mantra), the "a" vowel along with "i" and "u" will really appear as letters but in a subtle aspect. As I explained to you previously, the "a" vowel gives rise to "i" and "u", which in turn give rise to the rest of letters. The level known as "Mantra" is composed of all vowels plus the consonants. The former appear "as such", but the consonants will have now the company of "a" (e.g. "ka" and not merely "k"). Thus, the consonants will arise as a kind of "seed syllables" (consonant + a). The vowels themselves, though letters, may be considered "monosyllables". So, vowels along with consonants plus "a", will form an entire set of "seed syllables" which the 36 Tattva-s or categories of Creation will be derived from.

Granted, the subject is much more complicated... but this is enough for you now. Various scriptures give different descriptions of Mantra, which will make you even more confused. Hence, that is not important now for you.

Although I am now giving you a brief description of the process, in Tattva-s & Sanskrit you will find a detailed description of it.

1 Śiva a
2 Śakti ā
3 Sadāśiva or Sādākhya इ ई ऋ ॠ ऌ स i ī ṛ ṝ ḷ sa
4 Īśvara उ ऊ ष Anusvāra u ū ṣa ṁ
5 Sadvidyā or Śuddhavidyā ए ऐ ओ औ : श e ai o au ḥ śa
6 Māyā va
7 Kalā va
8 Vidyā la
9 Rāga la
10 Kāla ra
11 Niyati ya
12 Puruṣa ma
13 Prakṛti bha
14 Buddhi ba
15 Ahaṅkāra pha
16 Manas pa
17 Śrotra or Śravaṇa na
18 Tvak dha
19 Cakṣus da
20 Jihvā or Rasanā tha
21 Ghrāṇa ta
22 Vāk ṇa
23 Pāṇi ḍha
24 Pāda ḍa
25 Pāyu ṭha
26 Upastha ṭa
27 Śabda ña
28 Sparśa jha
29 Rūpa ja
30 Rasa cha
31 Gandha ca
32 Ākāśa ṅa
33 Vāyu gha
34 Agni or Tejas ga
35 Āpas kha
36 Pṛthivī ka


 Tattva or categories of Manifestation

From the Mantra-s or Seed Syllables arise thirty-six tattva-s as you saw before. The word "tat" means "that", and "tva" something like "ness". Thus, "tattva" would mean "thatness". A tattva is a rather stable level of reality. Think of it as a specific frequency. According to Trika, there are 36 tattva-s, in short, 36 different frequencies. For example, the "intellect" is the tattva 14. This intellect works on a well-defined level of consciousness. In other words, a tattva is a definite category of Manifestation. Please, read a more detailed description of the tattva-s here. The Universal Manifestation is made following an order, and not without rhyme or reason. Thus, you will find that the tattva-s are ordered following, at least, two definite patterns. Look at this chart:

1. Śiva Even though they are known as the first two tattva-s or categories, they are really the origin of all Manifestation. Śuddhādhvā or Pure Course
[the course or "adhvā" in which the true nature of the Divine Self is not still veiled]
2. Śakti
3. Sadāśiva or Sādākhya The divine tattva-s in which "Idam" or universe emerges apart from "Aham" or I. However, this universe is "ideal" and remains in complete unity with Aham.
4. Īśvara
5. Sadvidyā or Śuddhavidyā
6. Māyā These are the tattva-s of the conditioned individual experience. They turn, as it were, the Supreme Experient or Śiva into a miserable individual that is utterly powerless, ignorant and devoid of real will. Aśuddhādhvā
or Impure Course

[the course or "adhvā" in which the true nature of the Divine Self is veiled]
7. Kalā
8. Vidyā
9. Rāga
10. Kāla
11. Niyati
12. Puruṣa These tattva-s are called the tattva-s of the conditioned individual, as they are the result of the diligent work of Māyā and her Kañcuka-s.
13. Prakṛti
14. Buddhi These tattva-s form the Antaḥkaraṇa or Inner (Psychic) Organ, because they look after all mental operations.
15. Ahaṅkāra
16. Manas
17. Śrotra or Śravaṇa These tattva-s are called the Jñānendriya-s (Powers of perception), on account of their helping the mind to perceive the world around.
18. Tvak
19. Cakṣus
20. Jihvā or Rasanā
21. Ghrāṇa
22. Vāk These tattva-s are called the Karmendriya-s (Powers of action), on account of their allowing the mind to operate on that very outer world.
23. Pāṇi
24. Pāda
25. Pāyu
26. Upastha
27. Śabda These tattva-s are called the Tanmātra-s (Subtle elements), since they form the subtle framework which the material world will be build upon.
28. Sparśa
29. Rūpa
30. Rasa
31. Gandha
32. Ākāśa These tattva-s are called the Bhūtá-s or Mahābhūta-s (Gross elements), since the entire material gross world is composed of them.
33. Vāyu
34. Agni or Tejas
35. Āpas
36. Pṛthivī

For more information on Tattva-s, see Tattvic Chart.


 Pada or Full-fledged Words

Pada is composed of Mantra-s or Seed Syllables. Pada is simply a full-fledged word that is mentally and externally pronounced by an individual. The entire world consists of many sub-worlds, and each of these sub-worlds is manifested by a group of definite Pada-s or words. For example, the musicians have a set of words that they use to manifest... music. They also use musical notes, which are forms of Pada too. Through these specific Pada-s, two musicians can understand each other despite one lives in China and the other in Peru. The specific Pada-s pertaining to music science allow that very music to be manifested in this world. Another example might be the specific Pada-s you find in computer programming, Mathematics, Yoga, etc. Let alone the different languages that reside in this planet, which constitute real autonomic worlds of Pada-s in themselves.

Likewise, there are subtler Pada-s which form mental, causal and divine worlds. For example, the venerable Mantra "Om̐ namaḥ śivāya" (ॐ नमः शिवाय) is a clear sample of three divine Pada-s. When you pronounce that Mantra on the gross stage (with the physical tongue), you get a particular experience, which is a world manifested by them but at a material level. After that, you stop pronouncing it with your gross tongue and start doing it with your subtle tongue (your mind). Now you get a different experience, which is another world manifested by the sacred formula, but at mental level. Then, you get completely absorbed into profound meditation, and you keep pronouncing the Mantra but in a causal way (with the tongue of your causal body... no, I am not crazy). And there, in the "dark" causal body, you get a different type of experience, which is again a world manifested by the Pañcākṣarīmantra (an epithet of the sacred Mantra) within the causal sphere. Afterward, you enter the divine world of the fourth body, and start pronouncing the Mantra in a supracausal way (with your supracausal tongue... I am still sane. Consequently, you obtain a divine experience, which is again a world manifested by "Om̐ namaḥ śivāya" but now at a supracausal level, and so on. Got my point?

Granted, the subject is much more complicated... but this is enough for you now. Various scriptures give different descriptions of Pada, which will make you even more confused. Hence, that is not important now for you.

Now, let us study the "worlds" or "Bhuvana-s" manifested by these very Pada-s or Full-fledged Words.


 Bhuvana or Manifested Worlds

As I told you before, the Pada-s brings about Bhuvana-s or worlds of experience. There are infinite Bhuvana-s, no doubt, but they can be grouped conveniently. According to my present knowledge, there are two ways to do that. As a result, the final number of Bhuvana-s will differ.

It is to be noted that there is a big difference between those two interpretations. For example, the first way to group Bhuvana-s (which I will describe in detail) assigns 10 and 5 Bhuvana-s to Śivatattva (first tattva) and Śaktitattva (second tattva) respectively. The names of the worlds residing in Śivatattva are as follows:

Anāśrita (the world devoid of categories in which there is no support); Anātha (the world without a Lord, that is, there is no Lord higher than Śiva here); Ananta (the infinite world); Vyomarūpiṇī (the world full of the all-pervading space of Consciousness); Vyapinī (the omnipresent world); Ūrdhvagāminī (the world going upward); Mocikā (the world of those who have become free from all limitations); Rocikā (the pleasant world); Dīpikā (the illuminating world) and Indhikā (the flaming world).

In turn, the Bhuvana-s residing in Śaktitattva are the following:

Śāntyatītā (beyond Peace); Śānti (Peace); Vidyā (knowledge); Pratiṣṭhā (point of support) and Nivṛtti (cessation). As you can see, these names coincide with those of the five Kalā-s.

However, the second way of grouping Bhuvana-s states that there is no world in Śiva and Śakti. Really interesting. As no world is around there, there is no experience as such. It is only an Experience without any experience. Something difficult to explain and understand by using limited terms at this gross level of speech.

Regarding the rest of worlds, the numbers assigned by each of those two viewpoints will also be different from each other. But, enough of this... see it by yourself:


 A Chart summarizing all that was taught

Through a simple chart, I have wanted to summarize all I taught you throughout this page. The chart shows only the Vācya side of the universal manifestation, that is, the sequence Kalā-Tattva-Bhuvana. As I explained to you previously, the Vācya side is brought about by the Vācaka side. Vācaka side is composed of the sequence Varṇa-Mantra-Pada. Together, both sequences of the Vācya and Vācaka sides constitute the celebrated Ṣaḍadhvā (the Six Courses). The entire process of Creation follows those six courses at every moment, right now. All Pada-s (fully formulated words) that you mentally or physically utter, come from a higher level known as Mantra, which in turn is derived from Varṇa. In other words, the material world comes from a higher order of reality. The higher the world, the subtler it is. Pada produces the Bhuvana-s or Worlds, while Mantra and Varṇa manifest Tattva-s (Categories of Creation) and Kalā-s (Primeval Powers) respectively. All this universe is only the play of Ṣaḍadhvā, which is born from Śakti Herself (the Power of Śiva). What else might I say about this?

Study the chart with respect and attention. Note that I have explained in detail the worlds given by the first way to group them, but only indicated the number of worlds assigned by the second interpretation. Also note that some worlds, even though at different levels, may have the same name:

(Primeval Powers)
BHUVANA-S (Worlds)
1st Interpretation
(226 worlds)
2nd Interpretation
(118 worlds)
ŚĀNTYATĪTĀ (1)ŚIVA Anāśrita 10 worlds No world
(note that there are 15 worlds according to the first interpretation)
(2)ŚAKTI Śāntyatītā 5 worlds bearing the names of the five Kalā-s
ŚĀNTI (3)SADĀŚIVA Sadāśivabhuvana 1 world in the abode of Icchāśakti (Power of Will) 17 worlds
(note that there are also 17 worlds according to the first interpretation)
(4)ĪŚVARA Śikhaṇḍī 8 worlds bearing the names of the eight Vidyeśvara-s or Lords of Knowledge, as these worlds are the abodes of those resplendent beings who are the whole time passing knowledge on humankind
(5)SADVIDYĀ Manonmanī 8 worlds in the abode of Kriyāśakti (Power of Action)
VIDYĀ (6)MĀYĀ Anguṣṭhamātra 8 worlds in the dark void of Ignorance 28 worlds
(note that there are also 28 worlds according to the first interpretation)
(7)KALĀ Śikheśa 2 worlds in the Kañcuka or Sheath that limits the divine Śiva's omnipotence
(8)VIDYĀ Pañcāntaka 2 worlds in the Kañcuka or Sheath that limits the divine Śiva's omniscience
(9)RĀGA Piṅga 2 worlds in the Kañcuka or Sheath that limits the divine Śiva's will
(10)KĀLA Saṁvarta 2 worlds in the Kañcuka or Sheath that limits the divine Śiva's bliss
(11)NIYATI Ekaśva 5 worlds in the Kañcuka or Sheath that limits the divine Śiva's power of consciousness, which is omnipresent
(12)PURUṢA Ekavīra 7 worlds in the individual soul
PRATIṢṬHĀ (13)PRAKṚTI Śrīkaṇṭha 8 worlds in the undifferentiated origin of matter 56 worlds
(note that there are 58 worlds according to the first interpretation)
(14)BUDDHI Brahma 9 worlds in the intellect
(15)AHAṄKĀRA Sthaleśvara 1 world in the ego
(16)MANAS Sthūleśvara 1 world comprising the mind and the first four Jñānendriya-s (Powers of perception)
(21)GHRĀṆA Śaṅkukarṇa 1 world comprising the last Jñānendriya (Power of perception) and the first four Karmendriya-s (Powers of action)
(26)UPASTHA Kālañjara
5 worlds comprising the last Karmendriya (Power of action) and the five Tanmātra-s (Subtle elements)
(32)ĀKĀŚA Sthāṇu 8 worlds in the tattva comprising the space
(33)VĀYU Bhīmeśvara 8 worlds in the tattva comprising all that is gaseous
(34)AGNI Bhairava 8 worlds in the tattva comprising all that contains heat and color
(35)ĀPAS Lakuliśā 9 worlds in the tattva comprising all that is liquid
NIVṚTTI (36)PṚTHIVĪ Beginning with Bhadrakālī and ending in Kālāgni 108 worlds in the tattva comprising all that is solid 16 worlds
(note that there are 108 worlds according to the first interpretation)


 Concluding remarks

You have learnt plenty of important things. In Trika 1 (English), Trika 2 (English), etc., you had learnt about the tattva-s, but now you know that Tattva is only one of the six courses of the Universal Manifestation. Above 36 tattva-s lie five Kalā-s or Primeval Powers, and below those tattva-s lie 226 (or 118) Bhuvana-s or Worlds. And this is the Vācya side alone. On the Vācaka side, there are other three courses (Varṇa, Mantra and Pada) that bring about Kalā, Tattva and Bhuvana.

You have also learnt that a movement in the macrocosm has its counterpart in the microcosm. For example, the display of the universe from Śiva down to Pṛthivī has its counterpart in the display of the Cakra-s (centers where pranic energy is stored and redirected) from Sahasrāra (at the crown of the head) down to Mūlādhāra (at the base of the spinal column). And at the same time, the upward movement of Śakti wishing to realize Her own true nature again, is microcosmically represented as Kuṇḍalinī going up through the subtle channel called Suṣumnā.

The Vācaka side is You, Śiva, while the Vācya side is the product of Your own Power or Śakti, who is one with You too. Śiva and Śakti are forever one and the same thing... You. If you do not understand that and think that Śiva and Śakti are two people living in a remote place or "deep" within you... then, you have not understood the core of Trika or Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir. You can learn by rote plenty of Trika scriptures, but if you do not realize that You are Śiva, all that is useless. Your reading the scriptures should make you realize your inherent unity with Śiva. That is why they are to be read with respect and attention. After that, ponder over the teachings exhibited in those scriptures, and realize that You are the Divinity. Best wishes... see you soon.


 Further Information

Gabriel Pradīpaka

This document was conceived by Gabriel Pradīpaka, one of the two founders of this site, and spiritual guru conversant with Sanskrit language and Trika philosophy.

For further information about Sanskrit, Yoga and Indian Philosophy; or if you simply want to comment, ask a question or correct a mistake, feel free to contact us: This is our e-mail address.