The Secret Heart of Recognition

Om Chaitanyam Namah.

When we pay reverence to Chaitanya we revere everything living and non-living, hence it is fully comprehensive devotion. I want to especially mention the great Indian sages, who through proper use of their sharp intellect, deep logic and profound thinking enlightened the most basic, yet the highest truth of existence, through the Pratyabhijna system.

The word prati is derived from pratipam which means, once known now appearing as if forgotten, abhi meaning immediate and jnana or gyan meaning knowledge. Pratyabhijnana is the knowledge of self-recognition or self-reflection which is available here and now.

Then why it is obscured? Why do I have to live like a Pashu or Sakala (bound soul)? Why I am surrounded by dukkha or psychosomatic pain in my life? And how can I recognize the truth of my existence?

May the divine nectar of Pratyabhijana answer all these questions and quench your thirst for self and universal knowledge.

Pratyabhijanahrdayam is the heart or summary of Pratyabhijana Shastra which comes from agamas and works of divine logic such as Shivadrishti. The knowledge of Pratyabhijana Shastras is condensed into twenty powerful sutras by Kshemaraja. All twenty sutras can be divided into three parts:

  • What is the reality?
  • How it veils itself?
  • How can it be recognized?

The Sanskrit word Chaitanya means Prakash-Vimarshamayi, existential reality. The aspect of Prakasha or Shiva represents the light of knowing, the light that makes knowing possible through the five senses and the mind. The aspect of Vimarsha or Shakti represents self-knowingness, the ability to know itself. These two cannot be separated hence we say that Shiva and Shakti are one.

Shiva has five key powers: Chit (awareness), Ananda (bliss), Iccha (free will), Jnana or Gyan (knowledge), and Kriya (action). The universe, as we see it, is just a manifestation of these powers.



Svatantrya means absolute freedom or free will or causelessness.

When you are reading these lines you have to depend on your eyes don't you? What if the whole world was blind, would this book or these words exist, without the eyes?  So, the existence of the book depends on the eyes, but on whom do these eyes depend?

Let's say, for the sake of logic, that eyes depend on the Sukshma Sharira or the subtle body. But here again, the subtle body must also depend on something. If we follow the Upanishads, all senses and the mind depend on prana and prana depends on ultimate spanda or vibration. What is the source of this vibration? Vibration must happen from and in something, what is that?

We have to start with something which is the foundation and essence of all these senses and the universe as it is experienced. Yogis have experienced that the manifestation of thought happens this way.


The five acts of Shiva

The foundation of the siddhi of the universe lies in the five acts of Shiva which are: Srishti (emanation), Stithi (sustenance), Samhara (absorption), Tirodhan (concealment) and Anugrah (grace).


Now we will move to the first sutra:


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