By Lyne Bansat-Boudon

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 remarkable exponent, specifically nondualistic Śaivism, which he designates in his works because the Trika, or ‘Triad’ of 3 rules: Śiva, Śakti and the embodied soul (nara).

The major curiosity of the Paramārthasāra is not just that it serves as an creation to the demonstrated doctrine of a practice, but in addition advances the suggestion of jiv̄anmukti, ‘liberation during this life’, as its center topic. additional, it doesn't confine itself to an exposition of the doctrine as such yet from time to time tricks at a moment experience mendacity underneath the obvious experience, particularly esoteric suggestions and practices which are on the center of the philosophical discourse. Its commentator, Yogarāja (eleventh century), excels in detecting and clarifying these numerous degrees of that means. An creation to Tantric Philosophy provides, besides a significantly revised Sanskrit textual content, the 1st annotated English translation of either Abhinavagupta’s Paramārthasāra and Yogarāja’s commentary.

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

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Extra resources for The Introduction to Tantric Philosophy: The Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta with the Commentary of Yogaraja

Sample text

Vv. 47-50: self-proclamation of the T as ultimate principle, on the model of the vedic ‘self-praise* (atmastud) . 106 The realization of the ab­ 105See n. 865. 106I call it ahamstuti, ‘[self-]praise of the WI” \ Note that the first appearances of the key notion of the absolute ‘I* are to be found in YR’s commentary ad 6 (see n. 369), with the con­ 26 INTRODUCTION solute T (aham), equally that of the yogin and that of the Lord, is char­ acteristic of the ‘way of Sambhu' (iambhavopaya), defined, as well, as the ‘direct way* (saksadupaya) .

3. Sketch o f the doctrine On the model of a doctrine that places in tandem servitude and eman­ cipation, the text of the Paramdrthasara is constructed dialectically: to verse 24, which describes the installation of impurities, corresponds verse 57, which contemplates their abolition;116 to verses 4-5, which introduce the motif of the ‘sheaths’ or ‘envelopes’ (anda), whose unfurling causes finitude, correspond verses 41-46, which describe the manner in which mantric practice proceeds to their being stowed away; to verses 30-31, which set forth the notion of twofold error, correspond verses 39-40, which consecrate its eradication; verse 15, which defines maya, is re­ flected in verse 51, which makes maya's dissipation the precondition of liberation.

However, the major contribution of Yogarája to the understanding of the text is his emphasis, beginning with the commentary on verse 9, on what he considers its core issue, jlvanmukti. He does adopt a style that is his own — conscious doubtless of the reticences and the disagreements surrounding the notion, he makes constant reference to the interior ex­ perience of the yogin, of the jlvanmukta so incomprehensible to ordinary men. Of course, the framework is well known, both in the literature of Kashmir Saivism (and in the Paramárthasára itself; see v.

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