Para-trisika-Vivarana of Abhinavagupta: The Secret of Tantric Mysticism

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From the Book

The Paratrisika (or Paratrimsika) is a short Tantra that has been held in the highest esteem by Kashmir Saivism or Trika. After Somananda, Abhinavagupta has written two commentaries on it, a short one (Laghuvrtti) and an extensive one-the present Vivarana which is presented here for the first time in an English translation. The Paratrisika Vivarana is one of the most fascinating but also most difficult texts of the Kashmir Saiva School, and of the mystical philosophical literature of India as a whole. It deals with Ultimate Reality (anuttara or para) and with the methods of realization, centered above all in the theory and practice of the mantra. Abhinavagupta displays here his great exegetical genius and presents a penetrating metaphysics of language, of the word (vak), and its various stages in relation to consciousness. His language reflects in a luminous fashion the mystical experience contained in this text.

The present translation of Abhinavagupt’s masterpiece will not only be a milestone in the study of Kashmir Saivism, but it also makes available one of the major mystical texts of the Indian tradition to readers interested in philosophy and spirituality.

About the Author

Jaideva Singh (1893-1986) was a great scholar in musicology, philosophy and Sanskrit. A former principal of Y.D. College, Lakhimpurkheri, he also acted as a Chairman of U.P. Sangit Natak Academi. He was awarded Padma Bhushan by the Government of Indian in 1974. His other works include: Siva-Sutras, Spanda-Karika, Pratyabhijnahrdayam, Vijnanabhairava.

Swami Lakshmanjee, Saivacarya, was the greatest exponent of the Kashmir Saiva tradition or Trika.

Dr. Bettina Baumer, a Sanskrit scholar from Austria, is at present research director of Alice Boner Foundation and Hon. Project Coordinator of Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts.

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