ABHINAVAGUPTA'S HERMENEUTICS OF THE ASOLUTE: An Interpretation of his Paratrishika Vivarana (Second Revised Edition)
Bettina Baumer
  • ISBN : 9788124605721
  • year : 2021
  • language : English
  • binding : Hardbound
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The Paratrishika Vivarana by the great Kashmiri philosopher and mystic Abhinavagupta is an extensive commentary on the Paratrishika Tantra, and it is one of the most profound texts, not only of non-dualist Kashmir Shaivism, but of Indian philosophy and mysticism in general. The present work attempts to make this difficult text accessible, by culling out the important themes and offering an interpretation. The main focus is on the understanding of the Absolute (Anuttara) and the ways to realize it. The central theme of mantra also leads to a mysticism of language with its philosophical implications. All these reflections and practices are inscribed in the theory that “everything is related to the totality”, “every part contains the whole of reality” (sarvam sarvatmakam). It is this holistic vision of Abhinavagupta, based on the Tantras, which makes this work so relevant in our times of fragmented aspects of life and knowledge in search of integration. No doubt, in the view of the Tantra and of Abhinavagupta, language and mantra provide the key. This fascinating book is an important contribution to studies and interpretations on Kashmir Shaivism, its spirituality and philosophy, and on Abhinavagupta in particular. CONTENTS Foreword by André Padoux Acknowledgements Abbreviations Introduction The Text and the Commentary — The Tantra — Abhinavagupta — Vivarana — Anuttaraprakriya — Abhinavagupta’s Method — Addressees of the Vivarana : Prayojana and Adhikara — The Context: The Place of the Text in the Tradition — Hermeneutics and Tantric Exegesis — The Problem of Translation — The State of Scholarship on the Paratrishika Vivarana — The Authorship of the Laghuvritti — The Spread of Anuttara Trika/Parakrama — My Approach — Text Editions and Translations Used 1. The Entrance Gates: Mangalashlokas (Benedictory Verses) 2. The Supreme Dialogue Guru-shishya Sambandha 3. Anuttara: The Unsurpassable and its Meanings Anuttara as Bestowing the Perfection of Totality: Kaulikasiddhidam — Immediacy: Explanation of Sadyah — Anuttara and the Interconnectedness of all Things — The Sutra: uttarasyapi-anuttaram 4. Khecarisamata: Harmony with the Power of Consciousness Moving-in-the-Void 5. The Three Grammatical Persons and Trika 6. The Heart — the Resting Place of I-Consciousness The Possessive Pronoun : Mama 7. From the Absolute to Manifestation: Anuttara to Kaulikasgrshti The Two Sections — Pratibha: Illuminating Insight — Pratibha, Grace and Spiritual Practice — Nirvikalpa Samvid — The Basis of Thought and Language 8. Levels of Manifestation: Emanation of Phonemes and Tattvas Emanation of Phonemes and Tattvas in Verses 5-9 — A Commentary on ‘a’ — A Note on Method — The Kancukas or Limiting Powers and their Seed-Syllables — The Five Brahmas — The Universality of Sound: Nada and Svara — The Question of the Plurality of Languages — The Four Levels of the Word (Vak) — The Universe of Language: The Language of the Universe — The Goddess Alphabet: Matrika and Malini — The Specular Nature of Reality: Bimba-Pratibimba — Concluding Verses 9. The Core Mantra: Hridayabija, The Seed of the Heart Decoding the Mantra — The Means of Entry into Brahman: Praveshopaya — Commentary on Verses 11-18 — The Relation of Time to Spiritual Powers — Erotic Symbolism 10. Transcending Ritual Knowledge Substitutes Ritual — The Fruit of the Practice — The Heart, the Resting Place of All Conclusion Abhinavagupta’s Personal Conclusion — General Conclusion Appendices 1. Verses of the Paratrishika 2. List of Quotations in the Paratrishika Vivarana 3. Stotra Fragments of Abhinavagupta quoted in the Vivarana 4. Comparison between the PT Versions of Vivarana and Laghuvritti 5. Abhinavagupta: Anuttarashtika — Text and Translation 6. Bibliography 7. Index/Glossary