In Vedantic tradition, a steadily self-aware Sadguru imparts Knowledge about inner perception, enabling the discipline to share the same state, the same beatitude. For his part, the discipline should be eager, full of Zeal to know, and have unqualified faith in the guru’s guidance. We find expressions of this unbroken guru-disciple tradition in Yogavaasishta, where knowledge of the self was imparted of the self was imparted by Sri Vasishtha to Sri Rama; in the Bhagavad Gita, by Sri Krishna to Arjun; and in this sacred work to Sri Parasurama by Sri Dattatreya.
Dattatreya takes parasurama step by step from ignorance born of identification with the body to Sahaja Samadhi chiefly through stories and parables. Thereby making simple what is usually regarded as difficult of comprehension, enabling anyone to enquire into the true nature of the I consciousness and abide naturally as That.
This volume is a faithful English translation of all the 2163 verses of the “Jnanakhanda” of Tripurarahasyam dealing with transcendental consciousness. These translations, by Samvid (Pen name), are rendered alongside the original Sanskrit.
Spiritual seekers may already be familiar with other samvid translations: The Essence of Yogavaasishta. Prabodha-Sudhakara, and the vision and the Way of Vasishtha. We cannot be grateful enough forhis services in the present work. One feels compelled to add that, in this book, Samvid has surpassed himself. Little wonder considering he felt inspired by Bhagavn Sri Ramana Maharshi. Samvid’s dedication reads: “Dedicated to Bhagavan Sri Ramana maharshi who lived contantly in sahaja Samadhi, held as the ultimate perfection by Tripurarahasya.”
Samvid has undoubtedly the grace of Sarasvathi, the Goddess of Learning. This is evident from his translation of "The Essence of Yogavaasishtha", "Prabodhasudhakara" and "The Vision and the Way of Vasishtha", which are wonderful gifts to seekers of truth. Few could have made these translations with equal competence and insight.
One might say that in the present work "TRIPURA- RAHASY AM", "The Secret Beyond the Three Cities", he has excelled himself. For, this work has been inspired by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, the very embodiment of the state of "Sahaja Samadhi". What stands out in Samvid is his natural humility. His sole motivation is to share the benefit of his "Swadhyaya", his intense search for truth, with others.
The Ramana Maharshi Centre for Learning considers it a privilege to publish this sacred work. We offer our grateful thanks to Samvid. Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press, Pondicherry, has printed and bound this book with the utmost care. To them also, we owe our deep thanks.
Tripurarahasya, of which sage Haritayana is the author, is said to consist of 12000 verses in three section: (1) Mahatmyakhanda dealing with the Greatness of Goddess Tripura in 2163 verses and (3) Caryakhanda dealing with the conduct of a worshipper. The last mentioned section of the work is not traceable. The present translation of the section on knowledge is based on the excellent commentary on the work called Tatparyadipika written in the year 1831 A.D. by a great scholar and initiate of the Srividya school of Sakta-s, named Srinivasa, hailing from South India.
Though the work is affiliated to the Sakta school of worship, the philosophy expounded in it is absolutely colourless, without any sectarian stamp, religious or intellectual. In fact, this work is of as much importance to Sakta-s of the Srividya school, as Yoga-Vasistha is to Vedantin-s. without entering into dialectical disputations, if one should dispassionately examine the philosophy and the methodology of both the works, he may find a lot of similarities. The ultimate goal of both the works is the same viz., th realisation of the non-dual self which is pure consciousness.
A brief account of the background of the work may be relevant here. Sage Haritayana narrates to Rsi Narada the teachings of the great ascetic Dattatreya to Parasurama, the famous personality of the itihasa-s and purana-s. These teachings constitute the entire work. Parasurama was first initiated into the worship of Goddess Tripura by Dattatreya. After sincerely practicing the daily rituals and other disciplines of an initiate for twelve years, serious doubts arise in the mind of Parasurama regarding human life, the Universe and the way to lasting happiness. He again approaches Dattatreya for clearing his doubts. Seeing that Parasurama-‘s mind. Having been purified by his religious disciplines, is fit for the highest Knowledge, Dattatreya reveals to him the way to enlightment through many fabulous and interesting stories interspersed with the liberating Knowledge.
There are a few fundamental differences between the philosophy of the non-dual Self presented in this work and that of the traditional teachers like Gaudapada and Sankara. But, from the points of view of the means adopted and the end realized, there is no difference. One hears, reflects on and practices the teachings of a scripture solely for the attainment of the fruit viz., cessation of all sorrow and liberation from bondage. Tripurarahasya serves this purpose as indicated in the following verses in the first chapter:- “3. I shall tell you now the most wonderful section on knowledge, having heard which a man never again comes to grief anywhere.
4. This (scripture) has been well-ascertained after considering thoroughly the wisdom of the Vaidika, Vaisnava, Saiva Sakta and Pasupata lore.
5. nothing else would ascend (or get at) one’s heart like this wisdom-teaching as ascertained by the preceptor Sri Dattatreya for his disciple Bhargava.
6 and 7. This Scripture is abundantly made interesting (win stories) and is endowed with reasoning and perseptibilty. If someone of deluded understanding does not Know (the truth even by what is told here, he is absolutely ill-fated and is only an (inert) pillar without doubt. He cannot have Knowledge even if ascertained by Lord Siva in person.”
No further words are needed to bring out the importance and usefulness of this work to persons aspiring to realize God who is the non-dual Self.
The translator has attempted a faithful translation of the verses without sacrificing their exact sense as brilliantly expounded by the Commentator Srinivasa in his Tatparyadipika. In the opinion of the translator, paraphrases or free renderings, especially without the text being given alongside, do not help in appreciating the depth and import of the teachings. Sometimes, they mislead rather than enlighten. However, a literal translation may not sometimes be quite readable due to the difference in the idioms of Samskrta and English. Notwithstanding this limitation, the translator has attempted a faithful translation without offending the English idion very much. Explanatory notes have been added where necessary.
The translator firmly believes that this work is capable of guiding a spiritual aspirant in his path, if approached with eagerness and reverence. He was drawn to this work after coming to know that Sri Ramana Maharshi, one of the greatest sages of the 20th century spoke approvingly of this work and recommended it to his devotes. He hopes that this translation along with the Text will be welcomed by students of Vedanta as well as AGAMA (or Tantra) philosophy.
The translator has consulted the authentic edition of the Text will be welcomed by students of Vedanta as well as Agama (or Tantra) philosophy.
The Translation has consulted the authentic edition of the Text and the Commentary published by Sampuranand Sanskrit University, Varanasi, in preparing this work. Sanskrit words in the translation are transliterated with diacritical marks.
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