Yonivarga kalāśarīram (योनिवर्गः कलाशरीरम्) (sūtrā 3)

Yoni is the typical symbol of divine procreative energy (Lalithā Sahasranāmam nāmā 895 ‘yoni nilayā’). Brahma sūtrā (I.iv.27) also says “yoni ca hi gīyathe” (योनि च हि गीयथे). Therefore, the source of the divine procreative energy is the Brahman. Mundaka Upanishad (III.i.3) confirms the above statements by saying “brahma yonim”. This procreative energy is māyā as discussed in sūtrā 2. Vargaḥ means the tattvās, known as the principles of creation, comprising of different modifications of five basic elements and products of mind. Māyā is the outcome of tattvās which is the source for the materialistic world. First sūtrā stressed the importance of purity of consciousness and the second sūtrā emphasised the importance of purity of knowledge. This sūtrā discusses about the source of ignorance. Kalā means process and śarīram means body. Therefore, kalāśarīram means the process through which materialistic life is carried out. Materialistic life itself is bondage and the source for this bondage is māyā or illusion.

Brahman can be realised only in pure consciousness and bondage is the cause for the affliction of pure consciousness. This sūtrā proceeds to analyse the reasons for bondage. In the previous sūtrā, it was discussed that mala (natural impurities) is the cause for bondage. Spanda Kārikā (I.9) explains natural impurity or mala thus, “The afflicted mental state of an empirical individual is disabled by his own impurity causing attachment to actions (vargaḥ). When this disappears, then the highest state appears.” This means, when ignorance is removed, the Brahman is realised. The mala is again divided into two types. The first one is kārma mala (karmā is different from kārma) and the second one is māyīya mala. Kārma mala refers to both mental and physical actions. It is essentially a desire, responsible for infinite association of the self with other creations of māyā (attachment to relationships and materialistic needs). If one is not associated with māyīya mala then it means that he is not a mundane existence, but a super human existence or a jñānī. It is only the māyā that is solely responsible for ignorance and consequent bondage. It is only the māyā that causes roadblocks in the spiritual path. Having said that, it is to be remembered that māyā is also responsible for materialistic existence of the universe, replicating the theory of cause and effect. The effect of Kārma mala largely depends upon the level of inborn ignorance. The level of inborn ignorance again depends upon one’s karmic account. When the soul decides to pursue the path of liberation, it moves forward to liberation gradually in its every transmigratory existence.

Māyīya mala is the cause for limitation. Limitation is the reason for not realising the Brahman who is omnipresent. Though the Brahman is limitless, due to the influence of māyīya mala, one’s consciousness is bound by māyā, making the Brahman appear as the limited One. The reality is that the every form that is seen is nothing but the form of the Brahman. But, due to the influence of māyā, one is compelled to differentiate the form of the Brahman as different shapes and forms. This is māyīya mala. Kārma mala and māyīya mala together act as a deterrent factor in realising the Brahman. Kārma mala arises because of the impressions of the previous births and māyīya mala prevents the soul to realise the Brahman, by causing the effect of limitations.

This sūtrā further explains the cause for ignorance discussed in the previous sūtrā. The soul eagerly awaits its final liberation, as it continues to suffer from the pains and miseries of repeated births and deaths. Śiva sūtrās progresses gradually, first outlining the terminologies and later paving the way for realisation.