Cidgaganacandrika (study)

by S. Mahalakshmi | 2017 | 83,507 words

This page relates ‘Three Malas (impurities)’ of the English study of the Cidgaganacandrika: an important Tantric work belonging to the Krama system of Kashmir Shaivism. Written by Kalidasa (Shrivatsa) in 312 Sanskrit verses, the Cidgagana-Candrika deals with the knowledge regarding both the Macrocosmic and Microcosmic phenomena. This study includes renditions from the two available commentaries—the Divyacakorika and the Kramaprakashika

Part 5 - Three Malas (impurities)

Three impurities (malas) reside in Māya as per Śaiva system and not in Svātantrya Śakti. Though being one, Svātantrya Śakti and Māya differ in the sense that Svātantrya Śakti is that state of energy which can produce the power of going down and coming up again, both at will, whereas Māya will only give you the strength of coming down and not the ability of rising up again. This is the reality of the state of Māya, which binds him.

Māya Śakti is the universal energy residing in the empirical being as Impure universal energy. The same universal energy residing in the universal being is called Svātantrya Śakti and is pure universal energy. It is only the formation that changes through a difference of vision. Experience of Svātantrya Śakti in a perverted way results in Māya Śakti for Individual soul. Same Māya Śakti becomes Svātantrya Śakti when realizing her true form[1].

The three impurities

The three impurities (malas) are respectively:

  1. gross (sthūla)—Kārmaṇa-mala,
  2. subtle (sūkṣma)—Māyīya-mala, and
  3. subtlest (parā)—Āṇava-mala.

1) Kārmaṇa mala

Kārmaṇa mala connected with actions, inserts the impressions such as those which are expressed in the experiences, “I am happy, I am not well, I have pain, I am a great man, I am happy, I am not well, I have pain, I am a great man, I am really a lucky man”, in the consciousness of the individual being. This impurity of action (kārmaṇamala), is due to, Śubhāśubha vāsana, the impressions of pleasure and pain. These impressions of pleasure and pain actually remain in individual consciousness. A Sādhaka residing in the highest state, Anupāya, or in Śāmbhava- state would have no malas. Kārmaṇa mala is in action[2].

2) Māyīya mala

Māyīya mala is the next subtle impurity, the impurity of ignorance (avidyā), which creates differentiation in one’s own consciousness. Duality in thoughts, “This house is mine, that house is not mine; This man is my friend, that man is my enemy; She is my wife, she is not my wife”, are creations of Māyīya mala. Māyīya mala is Bhinna vedyaprathā, the feeling of difference between myself and others. This impurity makes Śiva appear as many rather than as one[3].

3) Āṇavamala

The subtlest third impurity is called Āṇavamala relates to particular internal impurity of the individual. Even on reaching the nearest state of the consciousness of Śiva, the inability prevails in sustaining in that state of Śiva, which is due to Āṇavamala. If consciousness of one’s own nature fades away quickly, it is due to Āṇavamala. Āṇavamala is apūrṇata, the feeling of being incomplete in every way. Because of this feeling there arises an abhilāṣa, the desire for completion. The feeling of not having a thing without knowing what this lack really is, is caused by Āṇavamala. One cannot fill this lacking unless the guru points it out to him and then carries him to fullness[4]. Āṇavamala and Māyīyamala are only in perception, in experience and not in action.

Footnotes and references:


[Cidgaganacandrikā] Verse 259.


[Cidgaganacandrikā] Verse 2.


[Cidgaganacandrikā] Verse 1.


[Cidgaganacandrikā] Verse 3.

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