An Introduction to Tantric Philosophy: The Paramārthasāra of

Author note: Translated by way of Lyne Bansat-Boudon and Kamalesha Datta Tripathi
Publish yr 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 within which the writer outlines the doctrine of which he's a striking 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 advent to the demonstrated doctrine of a convention, but additionally advances the thought of jiv̄anmukti, ‘liberation during this life’, as its middle subject matter. additional, it doesn't confine itself to an exposition of the doctrine as such yet every now and then tricks at a moment experience mendacity underneath the glaring feel, particularly esoteric thoughts and practices which are on the center of the philosophical discourse. Its commentator, Yogarāja (eleventh century), excels in detecting and clarifying these a variety of degrees of which means. An creation to Tantric Philosophy offers, in addition to a seriously revised Sanskrit textual content, the 1st annotated English translation of either Abhinavagupta’s Paramārthasāra and Yogarāja’s commentary.

This e-book might be of curiosity to Indologists, in addition to to experts and scholars of faith, Tantric stories and Philosophy.

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

Example text

A concession is made nevertheless to the adversary (YR ad 85–86): a gradation, or perhaps a sequencing, of two orders of liberation: liberation in this life, corresponding to the ‘Fourth state’ (turya), and liberation at death, corresponding to the ‘state beyond the Fourth’ (turyāti ̄ta).  89–95: theme of the irreversibility of liberation developed in detail. A paradoxical argument justifies this irreversibility by appealing to the law of karman — the same law that, for the ordinary man, condemns him to the fatality of transmigration.

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.

28 INTRODUCTION the middle voice (yajate), implies that the yajamāna, the patron of the sacrifice, is its beneficiary, but, when inflected in the active voice (yajati), implies that the yājaka, the officiating priest, acts without acquiring that particular benefit which belongs to his patron. The yājaka thus becomes a metaphor for the man ‘liberated while living’.  68–73: exonerated henceforth from the corruption of his acts, the ji ̄vanmukta can now be described in the light of the very acts that compose his daily life — indifferent to the injunctions and prohibitions that are the meat of the ordinary man, appearing to others not unlike a madman, wandering hither and yon, so deviant is he from the usual standard (71).

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