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Yoga Spandakarika: The Sacred Texts at the Origins of Tantra [Format Kindle]

Daniel Odier

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First Flow
(Stanzas 1-16)

The Instructions Concerning the Independent Existence of the Self
Stanza 5

In the absolute sense, pleasure and suffering, subject and object, are nothing other than the space of profound consciousness.

In the unity of the uninterrupted flow of consciousness, the different states are not divided, they are one and the same dynamic carried by the spacelike body which contains the totality of the universes, thoughts, emotions, and sensations. Discriminating between positive and negative movement only dims the power of the wave that carries us unceasingly to the finite and the infinite and reconnects them in an ecstatic harmony. The yogin and the yogini seek neither to attain illusory fixedness nor to cut themselves off from the world of thought, emotion, or corporal experience. There is only one motion, one flow, which at every instant attests to our absolute essence.

Je Gampopa said:
The mind has to be let loose without directing.
Sustained mindfulness has to be cast away
Without objectifying it.
The mind has to be left in its ordinary state without meditating.
Thus, with nothing controlling it,
The mind is joyous and at ease.
Where there is no nurturing of mindfulness,
There is no fear of distraction;
Where there is no separation between absorption and postabsorption,
There is no intermediate state;
Where there are diverse perceptions in the expanse of reality,
There is no acceptance or abandonment;
Where there is a false designation of everything,
There is an awareness of the falsity.
For the one who realized the unreality of the mind,
All cosmic appearances and existences are an expanse of emptiness;
For the one who does not ascribe values to discrimination,
All [emerging thoughts] are spontaneously released;
For the one who shuns inner yearning and attachments,
All things remain harmonious evenness;
For the one who has realized all these,
Meditation is an uninterrupted stream.

The fifth stanza should relieve us completely, because we might believe that being in pleasure and suffering simultaneously is something terrible. But no, Kallata eliminates this opposition. He says that to be subject and object in duality is profound consciousness. Before we even start, we have already attained the objective. It is wonderful that this objective is totally internal, that it is our source, the source of all things. Devi often told me, "The day that you stop thinking I can do something for you, that is when this will become very interesting."

This is a distinctive feature of Tantrism that the masters very much insist upon, so that we can overcome dependence, realizing little by little that the treasure we are looking for is inside us, and that all we have to do is contact it in snatches so that it will truly appear once on that great day. Over the course of your practice, you will realize this physically. You will then be comforted that you are no longer completely dependent upon he or she who suckles you and to whom you are so attached that you cannot experience the love you seek, as this love cannot be found in someone else, the so-called master, but only within yourself. Abandon the hope that someone will pour over you the fine ambrosia considered in these texts; taste it at the source of your own heart. Fundamentally, there is neither master nor disciple, although there is sometimes a non-neurotic connection between two people who walk together in space. It can be said that this is love.

The day that we realize this, we will strap on the seven-league boots because we will have become independent. The beauty of Tantrism is that the masters make every possible effort to ensure that their disciples acquire real autonomy, so that no subjugation will be established. This requires constant vigilance. We are intoxicated by dependence. The great spatial freedom, who has experienced it? Once we have this taste of freedom on our tongue, we slip into this cyclic energy and we realize that, fundamentally, no outer nourishment can fulfill us. We then experience this marvelous state toward which Devi was continually pushing me: absolute confidence in oneself, in one’s incandescent kernel, free and absolute.

This is a difficult stage because we are conditioned to doubt our completeness. Harder still is to trust the idea that we have all this richness within us and that a text like the "Sacred Tremor" is only one jolt of this energy, the expression of our fundamental liberty--as if the knowledge came from our body, as if we had written this text ourselves, as if it were a manifestation of our absolute consciousness.

Kallata reintroduces us to the presence of the senses. It is true, all that is being considered here can pass only through the senses. If we deeply enter into this text, we will have the sensation that it is about our own substance, even though someone else wrote it. We understand with our whole body, with our whole mind. We feel, while reading, that this text is the image of what we deeply are. One day, confidence begins to bloom, then flowers. We then lose the idea of separation, and we get a taste of totality, space. There is no longer a connection that keeps getting severed; there is, on the contrary, a process that never stops evolving over the course of a life, movement that takes us always farther toward new experiences. Gradually, things open up, and the process is never over. Never will we attain a fixed state of tranquillity or absolute happiness, because process itself is this absolute happiness. Once this fact is accepted, we become completely fluid, opposites subside, joy becomes stronger and stronger, and inconceivable freedom emerges.

Revue de presse

"The Yoga Spandakarika helped me realize how my human feelings are key tools to understanding this divinity, and that the Divine can be as close as a shiver of joy." (Gef Temblay, Ascent, Issue 27)

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 650 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 192 pages
  • Editeur : Inner Traditions; Édition : 1st U.S. Ed (23 mars 2005)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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Amazon.com: 4.9 étoiles sur 5  14 commentaires
56 internautes sur 57 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Yoga Spandakarika 9 décembre 2005
Par ascent magazine - Publié sur Amazon.com
The Yoga Spandakarika (spanda: sacred tremor; karika: set of verse), originally written in the ninth century by Kallata, is one of the fundamental Tantric texts of Kashmir Saivism. Teacher and author Daniel Odier brings one of the first translations of this scripture to the West with clear and engaging language and commentaries. In the book, he also presents the Vijnana-Bhairava - another fundamental text of Kashmir Saivism - and other scriptures to help assimilate the teachings.

A main principle of the book is that of spanda, the sacred tremor that inhabits everything. Odier teaches that in order to feel the tremor, we have to find the root of desire and experiment with that excitement, that shivering delight. He goes further to say that we come across this tremor in our everyday life, but in order to tune in to the Divine, we need our desires to be objectless. This is quite a challenge for me, but Odier continues by saying that the point is to understand that everything is Divine and that divinity is not an object so we should turn our desires toward that "objectless Divinity." At that moment, we can feel spanda without a cause or effect; we can just become the Spanda. He also encourages the practitioner to adopt a "spherical view," where everything is included in our practice. That view enables us to evolve without limitation and helps us to integrate wholeness in our lives.

The first section of the Yoga Spandakarika offers a full translation of the fifty-three verses, while the second section features Odier's commentary interlaced with the Spandakarika text and other sacred texts. The translations are fluid and poetic, and the commentaries illuminate the verse in an engaging way without using overly complex language and concepts.

Daniel Odier has a long history of training and practice in Tibetan Buddhism through his teacher Kalu Rinpoche. In another of his books (Tantra: l'initiation d'un Occidental à l'amour absolue, Paris: J.-C. Lattès, 1996; Pocket 1998), he explains his training with a Tantrika Master named Lalita Devi, who taught him the Tandava: a dance where the practitioner learns how to feel the spanda throughout his body. He has also trained in Ch'an Buddhism with Chinese master Jing Hui. I was quite pleased by this book and feel that Daniel Odier writes from a place of experience and not simply intellectual knowledge. The poetic translation reminded me that sacred texts are indeed poems and many translations rarely offer this. In my own path I have come to understand that Divine Mother encompasses my whole life and if I try to cut some part of my life, then I am only negating a part of my own divinity. The Yoga Spandakarika helped me realize how my human feelings are key tools to understanding this divinity, and that the Divine can be as close as a shiver of joy.
54 internautes sur 56 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Tantra from a true tradition 27 juin 2005
Par Toby - Publié sur Amazon.com
I wanted to go to India in the early seventies and search for a guru, but I wanted so many other things too, and I did them instead. Daniel Odier went.

So did a great many others, and what they found was a measure of themselves. Some found a way to make erotic experience fresher, some found dope deals, some found a guru and a new lifestyle. Some found the face they had before they were born.

Daniel Odier teaches what he found, and he teaches with permission. That is, his own teachers have authorized him to pass it on. It is almost incredible that a person from a Western culture, with no initial knowledge of the languages and traditions, should be welcomed, trained in this way, and succeed in entering the line of teachers. It is almost unbelievable that he should find the masters to teach him in the first place--as the Tibetan saying goes, they are rare as stars in the daytime. On top of that, he has done the scholarship and the practice required to join together the three traditions of Zen, Ch'an and Kashmiri Shaivite Tantra. I do not think there can be a more trustworthy source today on these subjects, a true source springing from practical experience rather than solely from academic study.

This work is newly and competently translated from the original French. Like Daniel Odier's earlier work on the Vijnanabhairava Tantra, it takes the form of a commentary on his translation of an ancient and beautiful text. This commentary is authoritative but it is not an exegesis. It is personal and directed to the student who wishes to do the practice. Once more, something extraordinary occurs: to read it is to be convinced that if anyone can understand a line like, "In the absolute sense, pleasure and pain, subject and object are nothing but the space of deep awareness," and bring you to your own understanding of that line, it is Daniel Odier.
25 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Gift to Western Seekers 23 août 2006
Par Greg Bosworth - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Daniel Odier's rendering of the Spandakarika is a valuable resource for all seekers, but especially for westerners.

Most seekers are familiar with the great spiritual heritage of India and the spiritual wealth it has offered the world. Famous texts like 'Autobiography of a Yogi' or 'The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna' and the ancient texts are brimming with spiritual wisdom and humor, but I have always found such texts to be difficult at times for westerners like myself to comprehend completely. The times in which they lived, their traditions, culture, and language are indeed quite different from our own.

Authors like Danier Odier are refreshing to westerners (america, europe, canada, australia) in that they are more easily grasped by us. This book is a translation and commentary of one of the oldest and most important writings on Kashmir Shaivism (a pillar of Hindu mysticism). Odier, who has successfully traversed the path of sadhana by the grace of his teacher, describes the meaning of these texts in western terms. His humor, his metaphors, and the stories of his own personal experience of the 'sacred tremor' were invaluable to me and I found them far more revealing than the translation of the actual text itself.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 For the first time I truly understand the meaning of desire 6 mars 2011
Par D. Bridwell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
The mark of a true spiritual teacher is in their ability to communicate clearly and concisely. Daniel Odier translates Spandakarika beautifully. I experienced a great release in my heart when I read the following paragraph on Stanza 40. "Man endlessly crosses the deserts looking for his eyes outside of his head. He sees the mountains and the lakes, the rivers and the forests, the shimmering light, the celestial canopy the blue sky, the stars and the Milky Way; but, not finding his eyes, he grows weary. He is overcome with fatigue. He ends up losing his sight. Suddenly, he can no longer see anything and, in this very darkness, he realizes that the mountains and the rivers, the sky and space are in his own heart. When he opens his eyes again, he sees that all that previously seemed outside of him now shimmers and vibrates in his own heart. He is overcome with joy. He finally sees." Thank you Daniel, for writing this translation, and for your guidance.
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 required text in my teachings 17 décembre 2007
Par F. Fitzherbert Harris - Publié sur Amazon.com
i share consciousness in the world, and this book is one of the three that i require as reading material. i can pick up almost any page at any time, and the teaching strikes my internal core directly. thankyou Daniel Odier for bringing such lightness of being and presence to me, and this world.
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