Kalādīnāṁ tattvānāmaviveko māyā कलादीनां तत्त्वानामविवेको माया॥ (sūtra III.3)
Kalā – the principle of kalā; ādīnāṁ - and so forth; tattvānām – thirty six tattva-s or principles; aviveko (avivekaḥ) – undifferentiated knowledge; māyā – illusion.
Kalā is the seventh tattva from Śiva tattva, which is the highest. The order is Śiva, Śaktī, Sadāśiva, Īśvara, Suddhavidyā, and Kalā. Beginning from kalā, till pṛthivī tattva, there are thirty one tattva-s. These thirty one tattva-s or principles are nothing but expansion of māyā. Till one crosses principle of kalā, one is bound by the influence of māyā. Bondage begins to cast its spell from kalā tattva downwards. One can experience the higher levels of spirituality, only if he is able to transcend the principle of kalā. The beginning stage of universal consciousness or realizing the omnipresent nature of the Brahman happens at kalā. Kalā acts like a border. When one is able to transcend kalā and moves forward, He will ultimately realize the Brahman. It is also possible that a realized person can slip back and fall further down, if he crosses kalā in a downward movement. Once kalā is transcended, the next five principles are pure, where the level of undifferentiated knowledge gets reduced to almost to nothingness. The soul now gets ready to finally attain Śiva, when the level of consciousness of the practitioner gradually gets purified in each of the next higher stages. The purity of consciousness begins to happen immediately after crossing kalā tattva and by the time it crosses Śaktī tattva, it stands totally purified. This is the reason for saying that Śaktī alone can lead to Śiva. Śiva is the purest form and Śaktī will never permit any one to go past Her even with an atom of impurity. Further Śaktī also controls all the other tattva-s except Śiva.
Māyā has five components and each of them function independently in concealing the Reality of Śiva. The components are also known as kañcuka-s or coverings. These kañcuka-s form five types of sheaths that prevent a person to realize his own real nature. First one is kalā that reduces one’s capacity to understand his own reality. The second one is vidyā that reduces one’s ability to acquire the right kind of spiritual knowledge. The third one is rāga, which causes desire and attachment. The fourth one is kāla that makes a person bound by time, the past, the present and the future. The fifth and the last one is niyati that brings about limitation in respect of cause, space and form. Most of the spiritual aspirants get struck at kalā as they are unable to proceed further by shredding the effects of māyā. The first stage of realization happens immediately after crossing kalā, where Reality just begins to unfold.
This aphorism says that one needs to transcend Kalā tattva to go past the influence of māyā to realize the Ultimate Reality. This is one of the important steps in spiritual progression. Māyā is the cause for differentiated knowledge and when one goes past māyā, differentiated knowledge is totally shred and undifferentiated knowledge begins to dawn on him, paving the way for Self-realization.