The divine illumination, which is endowed with the creative Yoga Sakti, experiencing the universe projected upon its own Self as the canvas or reflecting surface out of its own free will, has consciousness as the material cause. It is the consciousness of the supreme Lord which tranforms itself into the universe out of his own free will and projects the universe on the canvas formed by the divine illumination. The self-manifestation by the supreme Lord as the universe is what constitutes the creative power in the supreme Lord. This self-knowledge is the distinguishing feature of the divine Illumination, differentiating it from the inert reflecting power of the mirror. This has been explained by the author Abhinavagupta in his Vivrti-vimarSinl commentary on Utpaladeva’s Isoara-pratyabhijM-k&rika in the following way: Just as the diversity of the universe is reflected in a mirror, in the same ivay the entire universe is manifested in the pure Self. The pure illumination is able to cognise Ithis diversity with the help of vimarSa-Yoga Sakti, his inherent creative power and the power of awareness, but a mirror is not able to experience the diversity. Thus there is no room left for differentiation of the real from the unreal or delusion on the part of the supreme Lord in his experience of existent objects which are actually his own creations.
But the experience of distinction between the real and the unreal by limited experiencers indicates the negation of their absolute nature, and this constitutes delusion. Delusion exists for limited experiencers who are devoid of creative Yoga Sakti, but it has no existence for the supreme Lord, who is endowed with Yoga Sakti by virtue of which he creates the universe. The fullness that is non-dual by its very nature, when negated as is -the case with limited subjects is called akhySti literally, non-knowledge or imperfect knowledge. When fullness is absent, the duality that is only the negation of fulLness is manifested. Only then is there the cognition of duality and discreteness. Thus the theory of reflection does not suffer from any kind of blemish. After discussing the nature of supreme reality and stating the status of the universe composed of thirty-six tattvas identified with the illumination, the author examines the nature of each tattva arranged in the order of creation or emanation in the following verses: The nature of ParamaSiva has already been described while discussing the nature of supreme reality. His five Yoga Saktis-cit the power of consciousness; ilnanda the power of bliss; iccha the power of will; jiWna the power of knowledge; and kriyii the power of action-are at the root of a group of an infinite number of Yoga Saktis that constitute his very nature. He Yoga manifests his five Yoga Saktis separately by atad-vyBvrti which means in the form of five tattvas that are formed by the five saktis, but which differ from each other due to the dominance in each tattva of a different one of the Yoga Saktis. The five tattvas are Siva, Yoga Sakti, saditSiva, tSvaru, and vidyit.