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An Introduction to Tantric Philosophy: The Paramārthasāra of

Author note: Translated via 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 within which the writer outlines the doctrine of which he's a remarkable exponent, particularly 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 validated doctrine of a convention, but in addition advances the concept of jiv̄anmukti, ‘liberation during this life’, as its middle subject. additional, it doesn't confine itself to an exposition of the doctrine as such yet from time to time tricks at a moment feel mendacity underneath the glaring feel, specifically esoteric innovations 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 that means. An advent to Tantric Philosophy provides, in addition to a severely revised Sanskrit textual content, the 1st annotated English translation of either Abhinavagupta’s Paramārthasāra and Yogarāja’s commentary.

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

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Example text

5. Alongside the above, we cannot possibly understand the working of a prophet whom we have never met and seen 36 PASTWHAT SAINTS GURU: HE IS with our eyes, nor have we the means to verify his modus operandi. In these circumstances, we can easily be deluded by any wandering spirit or will-of-the wisp, or may even fall easy prey to the Negative Power, with its diverse ways of enticing untrained souls. 6. If, for instance, it may for the moment be admitted that the ancient sages can still lead us on the spiritual path and the present Master is not needed for spiritual instructions, then the very idea of having a Guru at any time in the past or present is at once eliminated, for God can directly teach man easily without any prophet or Messiah.

More safe and much more modest, ‘tis to say; God would not leave mankind without a way. DRYDEN 16 GURU: WHAT HE IS CHAPTER THREE Gradations in Mastership M ASTERS are of four different types: The father, the mother, the preceptor or teacher, and lastly, Satguru (Spiritual Guide or Murshid-i-Kamil). Of all of these, Satguru is the greatest teacher, for he imparts spiritual instructions alone. One who is well-versed in worldly wisdom is called acharya or preceptor, for he gives us rules of social conduct and of ethical life.

He does not stop until he leaves the Sadhak in his native home from where Shabd originates and which, in fact, he is. One who has known Sat Purush (or the Primal Cause), is a Satguru (or Master of Truth). He is beyond the sway both of Dissolution (Kal or Time) and of Grand Dissolution (Maha Kal or Greater Time), and is competent to lead the aspirants to this stage. A Master of this caliber alone can save the jivas and nobody else can. He Who is One with Truth, is the Master of Truth; He can liberate spirits and Nanak sings His praises.

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