An Introduction to Tantric Philosophy: The Paramārthasāra of

Author note: Translated through Lyne Bansat-Boudon and Kamalesha Datta Tripathi
Publish 12 months note: First released February 1st 2013

The Paramārthasāra, or ‘Essence of final Reality’, is a piece of the Kashmirian polymath Abhinavagupta (tenth–eleventh centuries). it's a short treatise during which the writer outlines the doctrine of which he's a extraordinary exponent, specifically nondualistic Śaivism, which he designates in his works because the Trika, or ‘Triad’ of 3 ideas: Śiva, Śakti and the embodied soul (nara).

The major curiosity of the Paramārthasāra is not just that it serves as an creation to the confirmed doctrine of a convention, but additionally advances the thought of jiv̄anmukti, ‘liberation during this life’, as its center subject. extra, it doesn't confine itself to an exposition of the doctrine as such yet every now and then tricks at a moment feel mendacity underneath the glaring feel, specifically esoteric options and practices which are on the center of the philosophical discourse. Its commentator, Yogarāja (eleventh century), excels in detecting and clarifying these a number of degrees of which means. An creation to Tantric Philosophy offers, besides a severely revised Sanskrit textual content, the 1st annotated English translation of either Abhinavagupta’s Paramārthasāra and Yogarāja’s commentary.

This ebook may be of curiosity to Indologists, in addition to to experts and scholars of faith, Tantric reports and Philosophy.

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Extra info for An Introduction to Tantric Philosophy: The Paramārthasāra of Abhinavagupta with the Commentary of Yogarāja (1st Edition)

Example text

The jñan ̄ in] who has rehearsed no [acts engendering] latent dispositions; indeed, with whatever intention the cognizer rehearses (abhyasyati) [his actions], he becomes one with that [intention], and at the moment of death the object that he desires with clarity comes into evidence for the cognizer. In this way, there can be no reversal [or setting at naught] (viparyaya) of the matters that have been rehearsed [throughout life], nor can anything not of the nature of previously rehearsed activity come into play in some unprecedented fashion (apūrvatvena).

And so the destiny of Abhinavagupta’s Paramārthasāra has been limited to Sá iva circles. 2. 1. The text and its commentator Yogarāja describes as a prakaraṇa the text he is commenting on. Though the text of Abhinavagupta does conform to the strictures of the genre in 88 This is not the place to pursue the discussion of the elder Pāramārthasāra and its relationship to the younger. A separate monograph will be devoted to the subject, to be published in due course.  35.  479.  104 and 105), it does nevertheless diverge from the type in two principal ways: one is inherent in the need to reconcile the imperative of doctrinal coherence with the project of rewriting an older text of somewhat different persuasion; the other is that the Paramārthasāra of Abhinavagupta does not confine itself to an exposition of the doctrine as such but at times hints at a second sense lying beneath the evident sense, namely esoteric techniques and practices that are at the heart of the philosophical discourse, as strikingly exemplified by verses 41–46.

2. THE PARAMĀRTHASĀRA OF ABHINAVAGUPTA 31 emancipation. If the echo of the Gi ̄tā is clear, the term ‘yogin’ implies as well a reference to the Sá iva system of upāyas.  96–97 — without any reference to the commentary — finds there easily a description of ji ̄vanmukti and the three ‘ways’ capable of leading to it. In 96 is described an aspirant who, benefiting from a grace that is ‘very intense’ (atiti ̄vra), follows the ‘way of Sá ṃ bhu’, the immediate or direct path to liberation, characterized through the analogy of copper changed alchemically into gold by contact with mercury; such an aspirant accedes to final enlightenment, as it were, ‘effortlessly’ and in this life — the only mediation required being that of the teacher.

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