Devikalottara


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Devikalottara

(Introduction by Sri
Bhagavan)

This work is one of the upa-agamas
and explains the supreme wisdom to be attained by mature
souls and their mode of life, expounded by the Supreme Lord
Siva to Devi Parvati. It is the essence of all Agama Sastras
on matters of spiritual knowledge. This is verily the boat
which can rescue the mortals struggling hard, sinking and
rising, in the sorrowful ocean of samsara of endless cycles
of births and deaths and take them by the direct path to the
shore of liberation. Let all earnest seekers after Truth,
instead of groping in the dark, bewildered, and losing their
way, adopt the help of this straight path and reach the
supreme state to bliss and peace.

Invocation

Meditate in the Heart upon Lord
Ganesa – the silent, non-dual, universal witness – who is
the nectar of divine bliss and is full of grace, shining as
the bountiful flowering of aspirants following the path of
spiritual wisdom revealed in Devikalottara, which was
expounded by Lord Ishwara into the ears of Goddess
Ishwari.

Note: In the original Tamil verse,
the word ‘kari’ means ‘elephant’, which denotes Lord Ganesa
as per tradition, but the word ‘kari’ also means ‘witness’,
which denotes the Universal Self, which is in line with
Advaitic experience.

The Text

Devi :

1. O Lord of all celestial beings! I
yearn to know that path of supreme wisdom and the code of
conduct by adopting which one can get liberation, so that
all humanity may attain salvation. I request you to
enlighten me on them, out of your grace.

Ishwara :

2. O Queen among women! So that
everyone may attain knowledge, I shall clearly explain to
you today the highest knowledge and the discipline to be
followed by which discerning seekers will attain liberation,
which is free from any blemish and is difficult to
describe.

3. O Lady with fair countenance!
Understand that one who is not able to realise the Truth in
his Heart by this knowledge of spiritual wisdom known as
Kala Jnana, can never attain it even by studying countless
crores of sastras (scriptures) spread out like the
sky.

4. Therefore cast aside all fears
(on following this path) and shed all doubts. Giving up
attachment or desire for anything, be ardent in seeking the
ultimate knowledge with wholehearted devotion and with a
clear mind (without any trace of confusion).

5. Claiming nothing as ‘mine’,
filled with compassion, giving protection to all living
beings so that no creature fears you, yearning for
liberation, absorbed in yoga (union of jiva and Para, fusion
of individual self with the universal Self), study this work
Devikalottara and follow wholeheartedly and steadfastly the
single path shown therein.

6-7. If one is to describe the
person who can bring under control his mind, which is
restless and turbulent like a whirlwind, and maintain it in
a tranquil state, he is verily Brahma (the God that does the
creation), Siva (the saviour who shows the path to
salvation) and Vishnu (the sustainer of the world); he is
Indra, King of the devas, and Lord Subrahmanya (chief
commander of all the celestial forces); he is Brihaspati,
the guru of all devas; he is a supreme yogi, and one who has
achieved the result of performing all austerities; he is a
great scholar (who has mastered all the Vedas and sastras),
and an outstanding man; he is one who has achieved the true
spiritual goal.

8-9. The means by which this mind,
which is restless and moves about quicker than the wind, can
be brought under control, is indeed the means to obtain
liberation; it indeed is what is good for those who seek the
permanent Reality; it itself is Pure Consciousness and the
state of firmness; moreover, it alone is the righteous duty
to be followed by discerning aspirants; it alone is the
pilgrimage to holy waters; it alone is charity; it alone is
austerities. Know that there is no doubt about
this.

10. When the mind moves even a
little, that is samsara (worldly bondage); when the mind
abides firmly and motionlessly (in the state of Self), that
is mukti (liberation). This is certain. Therefore know that
the wise man must hold his mind firm by supreme
Self-awareness.

11. The happiness attained in this
aloneness is the highest, boundless bliss. Which learned
persons will not revel in that Supreme Reality, in which
there is absolutely no action? Tell me.

12. Being rid of the worldly
knowledge, the great hero who has acquired pure wisdom, in
which there are no sense objects, and which is all pervading
and without any form, will attain immutable moksha without
fail, even though he may have no desire to attain
liberation.

13. The consciousness (chaitanya)
associated with the aspect ‘am’ is called Sakti. The
universe shines by its light. The entire creation is Sakti’s
sankalpa (thought). The state (of mind) which is completely
devoid of all attachment is the pure (wisdom) to be
attained.

14. The void which is the infinite
and all-encompassing one whole without a second, which is
just the effulgence of pure wisdom, which is completely
devoid of visible phenomena and which consists of the aspect
‘I’ is the seed which fructifies as liberation, bestowing
salvation by enabling one to unite with the
Supreme.

15. Instead of following this direct
path, do not ever contemplate even in the least upon chakras
(located in six adharas, centres in the body), nadis (subtle
nerves that produce the ten divine sounds such as Pranava),
the deities associated with the lotus seats (in the adhara
chakras, beginning with Vinayaka), the mantraksharas (potent
sound syllables for the worship of these deities) and the
diverse mandala murtis (the God-aspects, starting from those
controlling the sun, Surya Mandala, the moon, Chandra
Mandala, and fire, Agni mandala).

Note: Some aspirants indulge in
severe austerities and arduous practices, mastering several
techniques and incidentally attaining extraordinary
supernatural powers as well. All these are to be shunned as
they do not lead to ultimate peace and joy. On the other
hand, the path of Kala Jnana described here is a direct path
to mukti.

16. Those who seek everlasting
liberation need not endeavour to practise repetition and
countless verse mantras (repeating potent scriptural words
or texts to gain various ends), and methods of yoga such as
breath-control (pranayama), breath retention (kumbhaka) and
concentration.

17. There is no room for performing
puja (worship of deities), namaskaram (paying homage like
prostration), japa (incantation), dhyana (contemplation) and
so on. Hear from me that the highest truth acclaimed in the
Vedas can be known only through jnana; hence, there is
absolutely no need to know anything outside of
oneself.

18. For those whose minds are
constantly expanding, clinging to external objects, factors
will always arise causing increasing bondage. If the
outward-wandering mind is turned inwards to stay in its
natural state, know that one will not undergo any suffering
in the world.

19. Unite with that one totality,
which is all-pervasive, which has no inside or outside,
which is bereft of all (concept of) directions such as
above, below and in between, which assumes all the forms in
creation and yet is itself formless, which can be known only
by itself, and which is self-luminous.

20. People perform their actions
having their own aims in mind, and they accordingly reap the
consequences of their actions by attaining those aims.
Therefore do not engage in such actions which are not free
from flaws (leading to bondage). Turn the attention
completely away from external objects and concentrate only
upon that (the Self) which cannot be seen.

21. In our natural state, actions,
cause and result of such actions, and all the various other
theories propounded (in the scriptures) do not exist. In
fact, even the diverse world does not exist. As such even
the worldly individual who is attached to (the various
attractions of) the world is also nonexistent.

22. This entire universe is nothing
but the niralamba (the reality which exists without any
support). Further, it shines being illumined by the
niralamba. The yogi (with his mind turned inward) merges
with this whole one by making every object in this world one
with it. Know this.

23. If any person does not meditate
on this great all-pervading void, which is the space of
consciousness (chidakasa), he will be a samsari (a worldly
individual) forever in bondage to worldly attachments, like
the silkworm in its self made cocoon. Understand
this.

24. All living beings, of whatever
genus, undergo great misery over and over again. Hear from
me. In order to avert all this suffering and sorrow,
meditate on the great void constantly without any
break.

25. Good actions and good conduct
have been prescribed only to guide the seeker towards the
path of acquiring knowledge. Therefore, giving up even
salamba yoga1 in which an object (such as a mantra or a form
of God) is meditated upon in the mind, stay steadfast in
your real state (sahaja swarupa), where the outside world is
not perceived.

Note: Actions prescribed include
worship of Siva in one’s mind as well as outside. The
various ceremonies prescribed in Agama Sastras for
worshipping Siva in saguna form in a temple are covered in
good conduct.

26. One who can destroy all the
tattvas (principles) from patalaloka (the nethermost world)
to Sakti (one of the highest tattvas), which are all
interdependent, by the arrow of sunyabhava is a man of great
valour. He has attained supreme wisdom which is beyond
matter.

1 Salamba yoga literally means yoga
with support (alamba), that is any spiritual practice in
which the mind clings to some object as a support. See also
verses 35, 38, 40, 41.

Note: ln sunyabhava the individual
is only aware of his conscious being while everything else
is like a void (sunya) without existence.

27. The mind, hankering after things
of the world, is more restless than a monkey. If one
controls it from wandering after external things and holds
it in the void of non-matter one will attain liberation
directly.

28. The full Consciousness (purna
chit) which is not other than the true import of the word
‘I’, being non-different in all the principles (tattvas) and
being other than the sense ‘I am the body’, is the
all-pervading Reality.

29. This complete wholeness pervades
inside and outside all creations like ether, merging with
them, and is itself formless. Dear, those who are submerged
in this supreme bliss become that supreme bliss themselves.
See, how wonderful!

30. The expanding mind will attain
peace, becoming still of its own accord, if it is deprived
of something to hold on, just as fire gets extinguished
gradually if not fed with fuel.

31. You must realise that the four
states of infatuation, delusion, swoon (due to shock) and
dreaming, as also sleeping and waking, are all to be
dispelled.

32. If one meditates that the one
Consciousness (chit) is different from the prana
(life-force), which has subtly attached itself to this gross
body, from the mind, from the intellect and from the ego,
one will become established in that
Consciousness.

 

33. Due to sleep and due to thoughts
the mind always loses its sharpness, its foolishness
increases, and it goes to ruin. Awakening this mind with
effort, and without allowing it to wander, establish it in
the state of Self. Persevere in this effort by fixing the
mind again and again in its natural state.

34. When once the mind becomes
steady, it should not be disturbed in any way. There is no
need to think even in the least of anything else,
entertaining any doubts. Fixing the mind firmly in that
state (of Self-awareness), keep it still.

35. Make the mind, which always
clings to some support (attaching itself to sense-objects),
devoid of all such supports. Making the mind, which is
restless in clinging to external supports, motionless, do
not disturb that tranquillity even a little.

36. Meditate on the peerless Self
which pervades all the various forms, yet remains without
any blemish (being unaffected by them), just as ether,
pervading all the creations

made up of the five elements,
remains unsullied at the time of their
dissolution.

37. When one adopts the practice
(sadhana) by means of which one’s mind, which is restless
like the wind, is made still perpetually, then the purpose
of taking birth as a human being is fulfilled. That is also
the mark of a true scholar.

38. Do not practise meditation by
fixing the mind on the six adhara chakras, the ones that are
up or down or in the middle, or anywhere else. Giving up all
such meditations, make the mind always devoid of any support
(either inside or outside).

39. If the mind falls asleep, awaken
it. Then if it starts wandering, make it quiet. If you reach
the state where there is neither sleep nor movement of mind,
stay still in that, the natural (real) state.

40. The state in which the mind is
bereft of any support to cling to, ever faultless and pure,
and devoid of worldly attachments, is the nature of
liberation attained through knowledge. Keep this firmly in
mind.

41. Dispelling all attachments
completely, and fixing that mind in the Heart firmly,
persist in your practice always in order to strengthen the
awareness, which then shines forth with great effulgence and
clarity.

42. Know that whoever meditates on
that supreme void, and becomes established in it by virtue
of constant practice, will definitely attain the great state
which is beyond birth and death.

43. Gods and goddesses, merits,
demerits and their fruits, which are likewise anya (other
than oneself), objects of attachment and the knowledge of
those objects – all these will lead one to bondage in mighty
samsara.

44. All objects of attachments are
said to be pairs of opposites (happiness and misery, good
and bad, profit and loss, victory and defeat, and so on).
When one rises above those pairs of opposites, one realises
the Supreme. Such a yogi is a jivanmukta, liberated from
bondage. On discarding the body, he becomes a
videhamukta.

45. A wise man should not give up
the body out of aversion to it. Know that when once the
prarabdha karma (result of accumulated actions) which was
responsible for the creation of the body ceases, the bodily
burden will automatically fall off.

46. The Consciousness which shines
as ‘I’ in the Heart-lotus is pure (flawless) and perfectly
steady (without a trace of movement). By destroying the ego,
which rises (from that Consciousness), that Consciousness
itself bestows the supreme joy of liberation. Be sure about
it.

47. With great devotion meditating
constantly that ‘I am that Siva the form of the one
Consciousness that is always unsullied by any adjunct,’
dispel all your attachments.

48. Giving up all notions about
country, caste, blemishless community, asrama (status as a
bachelor, family man, ascetic or one who has renounced the
world) and associated matters, hold on to and practise
always meditation upon the Self, your own natural
state.

49. I alone am. No one belongs to
me; nor do I belong to anyone else. I can see no one who can
call me his; neither can I see anyone who is mine. I am all
alone.

50. Know that the person who
experiences the firm conviction, ‘I am the Supreme Brahman,
I am the Master and Lord of the Universe!’ is the real mukta
(one who has attained liberation), and that the one
following conflicting paths is in bondage.

51. The day one is able to see
oneself with his inner eye as not the body, all his desires
vanish, and he experiences perfect peace.

52. He who is described in the
scriptures as the unborn and Lord, I am He, the Atman
(Self), who is forever without form or qualities. There is
absolutely no doubt about it.

53. I am pure Awareness, immaculate,
perfectly liberated; and forever present everywhere. I am
indeterminable. No one can grasp me or leave me. I am free
from sorrow. I am always brahmamayam (of the nature of
Brahman).

54. I am the Self which is
Consciousness, absolute completeness, deathless and
self-established, and which is other than this insentient
body, limited between the top of the

head and the sole of the foot, and
which, beginning with the antahkaranas (the inner
instruments such as mind and intellect) is bounded by the
covering of the skin.

55. Thinking, ‘I am the Lord of all
creations, moving or stationary, I remain as father, mother
and father’s father for the universe’, aspirants for mukti
contemplate with concentration and ardour only upon Me, who
am that great turiya state (the substratum of the waking,
dream and sleep states).

56. I am the one who is worshipped
through sacrifices and penances by all celestial beings
beginning with Brahma (the Creator), the heavenly damsels
who are themselves sought after, humans, yakshas,
gandharvas, nagas and other groups of superhuman beings, and
also by many others. Know that everyone worships only
Me.

57. By many kinds of rare
austerities and charities, everyone worships only Me. Know
that this vast creation, moving and stationary, and all
objects, are nothing but Me, the Infinite One.

58. I am not the gross body, nor am
I the subtle body. I am also not the causal body. I am the
kinsman of the universe. I am the One who is of the nature
of transcendental knowledge. I am moreover the eternal One,
the Lord, the taintless One, the One who is devoid of the
states (of waking, dream and sleep), the One who is devoid
of the universe.

59. The beginningless Consciousness
is unborn, whole and, residing forever in its natural home
of the Heart-cave, is without form, world or impurity. It is
beyond comparison and completely unattached. It cannot be
comprehended by the mind nor can it be seen or felt by the
senses.

60. Repeatedly see thus: ‘I am He,
the eternal, omnipresent Reality which is Brahman’.
Meditating thus for a long time, whoever abides
imperturbably will become the Supreme Brahman, thereby
attaining immortality.

61. Having thus explained the nature
of knowledge to enable everyone to attain liberation, which
is always available, I shall now proceed to describe the
conduct to be adopted by seekers. Noble Lady, listen to them
calmly.

62. O Queen among women! Know that
bathing in holy waters, repeating holy names or words
(mantras), performing daily homa (sacred offering in
specially prepared fire), worship, other oblations in
lustrous fire, or any other means (sadhana) to be followed
after great study, are never required for him (the earnest
aspirant seeking liberation).

63. Niyamas (strict rules of conduct
such as what to eat, when to eat, how to eat, what to wear,
where to sit and so on), worship of deities in sacred
places, nama archanas (worship of deities by reciting sacred
names), pitru karmas (oblations, etc., carried out for the
sake of forefathers to help them reach a high state),
pilgrimage to holy places which have come forth on earth,
and observance of great vows, are all not for him (the
earnest aspirant), if considered deeply.

64. He does not reap the fruit of
actions, good or bad. Important dates and special
observances zealously followed by the world are not for him.
Give up all actions and all kinds of worldly codes of
conduct.

65. Renounce completely all
religious edicts and disciplines. Since all kinds of action
result in bondage, give up all action plans, mental
conflicts, and attachment to one’s caste duties.

66. Even if the aspirant acquires
many kinds of supernatural powers and magical powers such as
visualizing what is buried underneath the earth, and can
demonstrate them before the world, he should give up mental
attachment to them.

67. All these (powers) are only
bondages to the individual soul. Further they drag one to
follow a low path. The supreme joy of liberation does not
lie in any of them, but only in the Infinite
Consciousness.

68. One must engage unfailingly in
yoga (the practice of Self-abidance) in all conditions,
without allowing any special event to affect one adversely.
If, due to doubts, delusion

arises in the form of attraction to
worship in holy places and temples (on account of past
practices and vasanas), reject it immediately.

69. Listen to me, Lady! Know that
only the wise man who never does anything which leads to the
destruction of any form of life, such as insects, worms,
birds or plants, is a person who is seeking true
knowledge.

70. He (the true aspirant) should
not pull out tender roots (of fragrant plants, which is
often done for worship); he should not even pluck the
leaves; he should not harm any living thing out of anger; he
should not heartlessly pluck even flowers.

71-72. He should worship Lord Siva
using only flowers that have fallen naturally. He should not
indulge in vile practices such as marana (causing
destruction through the use of certain mantras) uchadana
(driving one out with the force of mantras), vidveshana
(causing mutual hatred between friends), the well known
sthambana (freezing one’s capabilities), causing fever,
putting into action evil spirits, causing agitation, wrongly
taking control of others, attracting and infatuating others,
and so on. Abandon the worship of stones, wooden objects and
similar articles.

73. Having relinquished the great
mudras which are adopted in order to fix the mind on the
devatas (deities) residing in holy places and temples, and
the associated sacrifices, get rid of the vasanas also which
may have accumulated on account of such practices in the
past, and cling only to the Self, the all-pervading real
Consciousness.

74. Maintain a neutral attitude
towards all things; do not get infatuated with anything;
maintain equanimity whether in happiness or suffering; be
the same to friends and enemies; treat alike a broken piece
of mud pot and a piece of gold.

75. Know that a flawless yogi is one
who does not ever allow himself to be swayed by desire for
the pleasures of the senses, who frees himself at heart from
mamakara (treating things as ‘mine’), who has a steadfast
mind, who is free from desires and fear, and who always
revels in the Self.

76. Being unaffected by either
praise or slander, treating alike all creatures, he should
always unfailingly maintain an equality of vision (sama
drishti), considering all living beings in the world as
himself.

77. Avoid unnecessary arguments and
worldly associations. Do not create misunderstanding among
others. Do not join religious bodies well versed in many
scriptures (sastras). Give up both words of abuse and words
of praise.

78. Gradually and completely get rid
of jealousy, slander, pomp, passion, consequent hatred,
desire, anger, fear and sorrow.

79. If a man is free from all the
pairs of opposites and always lives in Solitude (established
in himself alone), he gains perfect wisdom even while in the
present body and shines forth with great
effulgence.

80. Liberation is attained only by
knowledge (jnana). By other powers (siddhis) such a fruit is
unattainable. However, aspirants become enchanted with
blemishful worldly enjoyments and thaumaturgic powers
(siddhis) and go after them with desire.

81. Know that the pure flawless
person will experience that blemishless Lord (the Supreme
Brahman) and positively attain liberation whether attended
by the supernatural powers or not.

82. The body is a form constituted
of the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether).
The one all-pervading Siva is also nicely seated there.
Hence the entire universe, right from the indivisible
all-pervading Sivam (the highest and most abstract tattva or
principle) to this world, is the form of
Shankara.

83-84. My dearest, earnest seekers
who see the enlightened one and worship him with all the
three instruments (mind, speech and body) in unison,
offering him with heart-melting love, sweet-smelling sandal
paste, fruits, flowers, incense, good water to bathe,
clothes and food, will thus attain liberation. Know that
those who worship that jnani reap the fruit of his righteous
deeds and those who slander him reap the result of his
sins.

85. I have revealed the truth about
knowledge and the conduct pertaining thereto, as you have
asked. This entire path is indeed Kalottara Jnana (the
knowledge to be revealed at the final stage of maturity).
Tell me, O Lady, if you want to ask anything
more.

 

(Translated by T. K.
Jayaraman)