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From the Jacket 

The Isvarapratyabhijnakarika (IPK) of Utpaladeva (early X century C.E.) is the foundation stone of the Pratyabhijna school and constitutes the main theoretical framework of the Trika. It is the most important philosophical work of non-dual tantric Shaivism as a whole. Utpaladeva devoted two commentaries to his IPK, a vrtti and a tika (now almost totally lost). According to Abhinavagupta, the IPK and the vrtti thereon were composed by Utpaladeva at the same time. This makes the vrtti an indispensable tool to grasp the original meaning of the difficult karikas of the Isvarapratyabhijna. Unfortunately, all vrtti manuscripts from Kashmir broke at the same point and, consequently, so did the edition (also faulty in many points) published in the Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies in 1918. The present book, originally published in the prestigious Series Orientale Roma (IsMEO), contains the first critical edition of the IPK and, for the first time, the complete text of the vrtti on the basis of a unique Malayalam manuscript discovered in Trivandrum Library by R. Torella, who has also made use of all the other incomplete manuscripts from Kashmir. The edition is accompanied by an English translation with copious exegetical notes, which highlight the connections of Utpaladeva's thought with the coeval schools of Indian philosophy and, first of all, with the Buddhist pramana tradition. The book completed by an elaborate Introduction, three, Indexes and a Bibliography.

About the Author

The author: Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Roma "La Sapienza".

Ordinary member of IsMEO (now ISIAO); responsible for the Indological section in the Rivista degli Studi Orientali; member of Editiorial Committee of Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient-Department d'Indologie, Pondicheri; member of the staff of the Tantrikabhidhanakosa (Vienna).

Works in progress: Critical edition and English translation of Vamanadatta's Samvitprakasa, Critical edition of Abhinavagupta's Paratrimsikalaghuvrtti with extracts from an unpublished south-Indian commentary.

Preface

This second Edition differs only slightly from the first one (IsMEO, Rome 1994). Basically, I have limited myself to correcting a not negligible number of misprints, kindly pointed out by colleagues and students. Among them, I wish to thank first of all J. Bronkhorst, then M. Hattori, F. Sferra, A. Pelissero and C. Pecchia. Heartfelt thanks I also owe to Malgosia Sacha.

I take the opportunity to express my gratitude to the many reviewers of this book. Some of them (J. Bronkhorst, J. W. de Jong and M. Hattori) have proposed alternative translations of some passages. In order to illustrate the grounds of my translation of I.5.18 and I.5.21 (and vrtti), I wrote a detailed letter to the now greatly lamented Professor de Jong, who, in his reply, declared himself fully convinced. The remarks of Professor Hattori concerned basically the same points; he also corrected and integrated the last part of fn.20, p. 117 (see below).

Several objections were raised by my colleague and friend Professor Johannes Bronkhorst in his thorough review article published in Asiatische Studie / Etudes Asiatiques (L, 3, 1996, pp. 603-621), which have induced me to re-examine carefully some thorny points of this not easy work. I do agree that his interpretation of alokadi (vrtti on I.7.10) is better – and plainer – than mine. It is to be said, however, that this does not affect the overall meaning of the passage concerned: "The light etc. [perceived in a certain spot] means the absence of something else [in the same spot]…" (Bronkhorst), versus: "The sight [of a light] etc…." (mine). After having attentively checked the other points questioned by my learned friend, I remain convinced of the correctness of my own translation.

In his capacity of Director of the Editorial Committee of IsIAO (ex IsMEO), Professor Maurizio Taddei took a significant part in making the re-edition of this book possible. To our greatest sorrow, this outstanding scholar, and dear friend, came to a sudden and untimely end in February 2000. I wish to dedicate this Indian edition to his memory.

 

Introduction

In the complex and varied cultural panorama of ninth-century Kash- mir we find all the major components of the religious-philosophical ten- dencies in India at the time and, together with these, some particular situations that led to new developments, which were also later to spread very far from their place of origin. The tradition of Buddhism (rooted in Kashmir since very ancient times) is present both with the realist schools and the Vijnanavada, and culminates in the great cultural prestige of the so-called 'logical school', which seems to elude too definite a colloca- tion within one or other of the great Buddhist currents to which, by turns, contemporary followers or opponents and modem scholars assign it. The Brahmanic elites were still engaged in elaborating or perfecting their reply to the doctrines of Dignaga and Dharmakirti, whose circula- tion in Kashmir was to be further stimulated by the presence of Dhar- mottara, summoned by King Jayapida to his court (Rajatarangini IV.S.498). Thus works of great importance were composed that had a major influence throughout India, such as the Nyayamanjari of Jayanta Bhatta and the Nyayabhusana of Bhasarvajna. Then, still in the Brah- manic sphere, though pertaining to another side, there was the spread of Vedantic schools apparently independent of Sankara, each of them being distinguished by a particular configuration of the elements common to them all (Brahman, maya, avidya, vivarta, etc.) and indicated by a variety of denominations . There are various evidences of the activity of Mimamsaka schools. In addition to this, a tradition of studies in literary criticism and aesthetics flourished during this period (Ingalls 1990: 1-10), and was to constitute the major cultural branch of Indian aesthetics. Lastly, there was an equally important tradition of studies in grammar and general linguistics. in which the legacy of Bhartrhari seems to have a prominent place.

Corresponding to this 'high' cultural tradition on the religious plane, there was - obviously with the exception of the Buddhists - the smarta dimension of Brahmanic orthodoxy, characterized by the ancient popular devotion to Siva and Visnu, and to the pantheon connected with them. A series of texts, linked to the cult of Siva and Visnu, were already becom- ing stratified probably a couple of centuries before the period under con- sideration, (but some are definitely much older). These express ideals and thrusts that are absent in the Brahmanic sphere, mainly since they have been consciously excluded because of their non-conformity to existing social and religious structures, or even their possible disruptive force. These texts give voice to a need for a more direct participation in the experience of the divine, no longer seen as a transaction managed by specialized personnel with a view to obtaining clearly defined and cir- cumscribed benefits - culminating in an impersonal liberation projected into an indefinite future - but as a transfiguration here and now of the whole person, whose components, including the purely physical, become the very protagonists of the path of liberation and not the unwelcome extras. In this framework, and by carefully observing the nature of these texts and of their addressees, it becomes immediately clear that we cannot propose a scheme of interpretation centring on the polarities Brahmanic orthodoxy - popular thrusts, or ritualism - ecstatic anti-ritualism. In general, the Tantric adept, as Sanderson (1988: 662) has correctly described him, is in actual fact a hyper-ritualist, who does not cancel the inherited ritual but replaces it, often only by modifying, enriching and making it more complicated. He sometimes goes as far as to transform it into a labyrinthine religious play, the highest and most complex ex- ample of which is perhaps the Saivasiddhanta ritual, analyzed in such a masterly manner by Helene Brunner (see Bibliography). The ritual elem- ent rests on a basis that is broadly shared both by Vaisnava and Saiva Tantrism, even in the currents that are ideologically more far-removed from each other.

In ninth-century Kashmir the Vaisnava school of Pancaratra and the various currents of Tantric Saivism had begun to follow different paths. The Pancaratra was already heading towards an inexorable decline which was gradually to lead to its disappearance from Kashmir and its firm transplantation in the South of India. However, this was not without producing as its final fruits some original figures of thinkers poised bet- ween 'the Vaisnava and Saiva faith, such as Vamanadatta (cf. Torella 1994) and Utpalavaisnava, aware of the affinity of the two tradi- tions, which appears also, on the scriptural level, in a line of Pancaratra texts marked by non-duality.

The Salva tradition, which would continue to characterize social and religious life in Kashmir, is for its part far from being unitary and if the skein of texts, subdivisions and orientations is now beginning to be unravelled, we are particularly indebted to a series of penetrating studies by Alexis Sanderson" - to which I refer here. What is evident is the presence in Kashmir during this period of a sharp distinction between a dualist tradition and a non-dualist one with extremist tendencies. The former, the so-called Saivasiddhanta, which embodies a kind of 'normal- ized', mild, Tantrism - so much so that some scholars tend even to exclude it from the Tantrism proper - perpetuates many of the social and religious institutions of the 'orthodox' order which it aims to replace: it basically accepts the caste system, prefers to understate the non-vedic nature of their Agamas and tends to identify with the establishment, in maintaining a marked separation between pure and impure. It creates a self-sufficient and all-pervasive ritual system, which, integrated by yoga, leads the individual soul by degrees on a journey towards itself and the reappropriation of its own true nature of Siva: the last station is the achievement of the state of liberated Siva, for ever distinct from the other monads of liberated individuals and from the supreme Siva, who alone performs the five functions on the cosmic plane.

Opposed to the Saivasiddhantins in many respects, the non-dualist Saivas follow the teachings embodied in another great division of the Saiva Agama, that of the Bhairava Tantras, in which the terrific form of the God - at least in the most radical texts - expresses first and foremost the overthrow of the behavioural norms, conventions and distinctions through which an attempt is made to give a definite and recognizable structure to reality - fragile fences that the Power of the God, his Sakti, sometimes superordinate to him, now derides now disrupts. The adept enters into harmony with this Power, or rather he is possessed by it, through practices and behaviours that here and there reveal their more or less remote rooting in the practices of the Kapalikas, who challenge what the Indians see perhaps as the horror par excellence, the macabre fre- quentation of the cemeteries, where they evoke the terrible Mothers by eating putrefying human flesh etc. Some divinities of important Bhairava Agamas still display the animal features and hideous attributes, as well as the names, that link them to this ancient substratum (cf. Sanderson 1988: 670, 674-75). At other times, instead of this (or alongside this), we find that sex is resorted to as the central moment of the rite: the adept worships the Goddess by offering her a cup containing the kundagolaka, or mixture of sperm and female secretions that the "ritual union with his partner has just produced. Gradually relieved of its original burden of an- tinomianism and orgiastic transgression - and later totally eliminating the funerary aspect (Sanderson 1985: 202) -, this mobilization of energies through practices that challenge the current concept of purity and tend towards the overflow of the powers of the senses becomes the charac- teristic of the so-called kaula way (kaulaprakriya) to liberation.

Several of the Bhairava Tantras are kaula in nature, especially the Yamalas, but also, though to a softened and subtler degree, the so-called Trika Tantras. Among them an older stratum may be distinguished, con- sisting of the Siddhayogesvarimata, the MV and the Tantrasadbhava, in which the term trika does not yet appear and which feature the essential doctrines but not the awareness of forming a group or school as is the case for the later Devyayamala, Trikasadbhava, Trikahrdaya (or °sara), Nisisamcara etc.

 

Contents

 

Preface vii
Acknowledgements viii
Introduction ix
About this Edition xlvi
Text 1
Translation 83
Abbreviations 221
Bibliography 223
Index of important words in the Text 235
Index 257
Sample Pages

















The Isvarapratyabhijnakarika of Utpaladeva

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From the Jacket 

The Isvarapratyabhijnakarika (IPK) of Utpaladeva (early X century C.E.) is the foundation stone of the Pratyabhijna school and constitutes the main theoretical framework of the Trika. It is the most important philosophical work of non-dual tantric Shaivism as a whole. Utpaladeva devoted two commentaries to his IPK, a vrtti and a tika (now almost totally lost). According to Abhinavagupta, the IPK and the vrtti thereon were composed by Utpaladeva at the same time. This makes the vrtti an indispensable tool to grasp the original meaning of the difficult karikas of the Isvarapratyabhijna. Unfortunately, all vrtti manuscripts from Kashmir broke at the same point and, consequently, so did the edition (also faulty in many points) published in the Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies in 1918. The present book, originally published in the prestigious Series Orientale Roma (IsMEO), contains the first critical edition of the IPK and, for the first time, the complete text of the vrtti on the basis of a unique Malayalam manuscript discovered in Trivandrum Library by R. Torella, who has also made use of all the other incomplete manuscripts from Kashmir. The edition is accompanied by an English translation with copious exegetical notes, which highlight the connections of Utpaladeva's thought with the coeval schools of Indian philosophy and, first of all, with the Buddhist pramana tradition. The book completed by an elaborate Introduction, three, Indexes and a Bibliography.

About the Author

The author: Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Roma "La Sapienza".

Ordinary member of IsMEO (now ISIAO); responsible for the Indological section in the Rivista degli Studi Orientali; member of Editiorial Committee of Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient-Department d'Indologie, Pondicheri; member of the staff of the Tantrikabhidhanakosa (Vienna).

Works in progress: Critical edition and English translation of Vamanadatta's Samvitprakasa, Critical edition of Abhinavagupta's Paratrimsikalaghuvrtti with extracts from an unpublished south-Indian commentary.

Preface

This second Edition differs only slightly from the first one (IsMEO, Rome 1994). Basically, I have limited myself to correcting a not negligible number of misprints, kindly pointed out by colleagues and students. Among them, I wish to thank first of all J. Bronkhorst, then M. Hattori, F. Sferra, A. Pelissero and C. Pecchia. Heartfelt thanks I also owe to Malgosia Sacha.

I take the opportunity to express my gratitude to the many reviewers of this book. Some of them (J. Bronkhorst, J. W. de Jong and M. Hattori) have proposed alternative translations of some passages. In order to illustrate the grounds of my translation of I.5.18 and I.5.21 (and vrtti), I wrote a detailed letter to the now greatly lamented Professor de Jong, who, in his reply, declared himself fully convinced. The remarks of Professor Hattori concerned basically the same points; he also corrected and integrated the last part of fn.20, p. 117 (see below).

Several objections were raised by my colleague and friend Professor Johannes Bronkhorst in his thorough review article published in Asiatische Studie / Etudes Asiatiques (L, 3, 1996, pp. 603-621), which have induced me to re-examine carefully some thorny points of this not easy work. I do agree that his interpretation of alokadi (vrtti on I.7.10) is better – and plainer – than mine. It is to be said, however, that this does not affect the overall meaning of the passage concerned: "The light etc. [perceived in a certain spot] means the absence of something else [in the same spot]…" (Bronkhorst), versus: "The sight [of a light] etc…." (mine). After having attentively checked the other points questioned by my learned friend, I remain convinced of the correctness of my own translation.

In his capacity of Director of the Editorial Committee of IsIAO (ex IsMEO), Professor Maurizio Taddei took a significant part in making the re-edition of this book possible. To our greatest sorrow, this outstanding scholar, and dear friend, came to a sudden and untimely end in February 2000. I wish to dedicate this Indian edition to his memory.

 

Introduction

In the complex and varied cultural panorama of ninth-century Kash- mir we find all the major components of the religious-philosophical ten- dencies in India at the time and, together with these, some particular situations that led to new developments, which were also later to spread very far from their place of origin. The tradition of Buddhism (rooted in Kashmir since very ancient times) is present both with the realist schools and the Vijnanavada, and culminates in the great cultural prestige of the so-called 'logical school', which seems to elude too definite a colloca- tion within one or other of the great Buddhist currents to which, by turns, contemporary followers or opponents and modem scholars assign it. The Brahmanic elites were still engaged in elaborating or perfecting their reply to the doctrines of Dignaga and Dharmakirti, whose circula- tion in Kashmir was to be further stimulated by the presence of Dhar- mottara, summoned by King Jayapida to his court (Rajatarangini IV.S.498). Thus works of great importance were composed that had a major influence throughout India, such as the Nyayamanjari of Jayanta Bhatta and the Nyayabhusana of Bhasarvajna. Then, still in the Brah- manic sphere, though pertaining to another side, there was the spread of Vedantic schools apparently independent of Sankara, each of them being distinguished by a particular configuration of the elements common to them all (Brahman, maya, avidya, vivarta, etc.) and indicated by a variety of denominations . There are various evidences of the activity of Mimamsaka schools. In addition to this, a tradition of studies in literary criticism and aesthetics flourished during this period (Ingalls 1990: 1-10), and was to constitute the major cultural branch of Indian aesthetics. Lastly, there was an equally important tradition of studies in grammar and general linguistics. in which the legacy of Bhartrhari seems to have a prominent place.

Corresponding to this 'high' cultural tradition on the religious plane, there was - obviously with the exception of the Buddhists - the smarta dimension of Brahmanic orthodoxy, characterized by the ancient popular devotion to Siva and Visnu, and to the pantheon connected with them. A series of texts, linked to the cult of Siva and Visnu, were already becom- ing stratified probably a couple of centuries before the period under con- sideration, (but some are definitely much older). These express ideals and thrusts that are absent in the Brahmanic sphere, mainly since they have been consciously excluded because of their non-conformity to existing social and religious structures, or even their possible disruptive force. These texts give voice to a need for a more direct participation in the experience of the divine, no longer seen as a transaction managed by specialized personnel with a view to obtaining clearly defined and cir- cumscribed benefits - culminating in an impersonal liberation projected into an indefinite future - but as a transfiguration here and now of the whole person, whose components, including the purely physical, become the very protagonists of the path of liberation and not the unwelcome extras. In this framework, and by carefully observing the nature of these texts and of their addressees, it becomes immediately clear that we cannot propose a scheme of interpretation centring on the polarities Brahmanic orthodoxy - popular thrusts, or ritualism - ecstatic anti-ritualism. In general, the Tantric adept, as Sanderson (1988: 662) has correctly described him, is in actual fact a hyper-ritualist, who does not cancel the inherited ritual but replaces it, often only by modifying, enriching and making it more complicated. He sometimes goes as far as to transform it into a labyrinthine religious play, the highest and most complex ex- ample of which is perhaps the Saivasiddhanta ritual, analyzed in such a masterly manner by Helene Brunner (see Bibliography). The ritual elem- ent rests on a basis that is broadly shared both by Vaisnava and Saiva Tantrism, even in the currents that are ideologically more far-removed from each other.

In ninth-century Kashmir the Vaisnava school of Pancaratra and the various currents of Tantric Saivism had begun to follow different paths. The Pancaratra was already heading towards an inexorable decline which was gradually to lead to its disappearance from Kashmir and its firm transplantation in the South of India. However, this was not without producing as its final fruits some original figures of thinkers poised bet- ween 'the Vaisnava and Saiva faith, such as Vamanadatta (cf. Torella 1994) and Utpalavaisnava, aware of the affinity of the two tradi- tions, which appears also, on the scriptural level, in a line of Pancaratra texts marked by non-duality.

The Salva tradition, which would continue to characterize social and religious life in Kashmir, is for its part far from being unitary and if the skein of texts, subdivisions and orientations is now beginning to be unravelled, we are particularly indebted to a series of penetrating studies by Alexis Sanderson" - to which I refer here. What is evident is the presence in Kashmir during this period of a sharp distinction between a dualist tradition and a non-dualist one with extremist tendencies. The former, the so-called Saivasiddhanta, which embodies a kind of 'normal- ized', mild, Tantrism - so much so that some scholars tend even to exclude it from the Tantrism proper - perpetuates many of the social and religious institutions of the 'orthodox' order which it aims to replace: it basically accepts the caste system, prefers to understate the non-vedic nature of their Agamas and tends to identify with the establishment, in maintaining a marked separation between pure and impure. It creates a self-sufficient and all-pervasive ritual system, which, integrated by yoga, leads the individual soul by degrees on a journey towards itself and the reappropriation of its own true nature of Siva: the last station is the achievement of the state of liberated Siva, for ever distinct from the other monads of liberated individuals and from the supreme Siva, who alone performs the five functions on the cosmic plane.

Opposed to the Saivasiddhantins in many respects, the non-dualist Saivas follow the teachings embodied in another great division of the Saiva Agama, that of the Bhairava Tantras, in which the terrific form of the God - at least in the most radical texts - expresses first and foremost the overthrow of the behavioural norms, conventions and distinctions through which an attempt is made to give a definite and recognizable structure to reality - fragile fences that the Power of the God, his Sakti, sometimes superordinate to him, now derides now disrupts. The adept enters into harmony with this Power, or rather he is possessed by it, through practices and behaviours that here and there reveal their more or less remote rooting in the practices of the Kapalikas, who challenge what the Indians see perhaps as the horror par excellence, the macabre fre- quentation of the cemeteries, where they evoke the terrible Mothers by eating putrefying human flesh etc. Some divinities of important Bhairava Agamas still display the animal features and hideous attributes, as well as the names, that link them to this ancient substratum (cf. Sanderson 1988: 670, 674-75). At other times, instead of this (or alongside this), we find that sex is resorted to as the central moment of the rite: the adept worships the Goddess by offering her a cup containing the kundagolaka, or mixture of sperm and female secretions that the "ritual union with his partner has just produced. Gradually relieved of its original burden of an- tinomianism and orgiastic transgression - and later totally eliminating the funerary aspect (Sanderson 1985: 202) -, this mobilization of energies through practices that challenge the current concept of purity and tend towards the overflow of the powers of the senses becomes the charac- teristic of the so-called kaula way (kaulaprakriya) to liberation.

Several of the Bhairava Tantras are kaula in nature, especially the Yamalas, but also, though to a softened and subtler degree, the so-called Trika Tantras. Among them an older stratum may be distinguished, con- sisting of the Siddhayogesvarimata, the MV and the Tantrasadbhava, in which the term trika does not yet appear and which feature the essential doctrines but not the awareness of forming a group or school as is the case for the later Devyayamala, Trikasadbhava, Trikahrdaya (or °sara), Nisisamcara etc.

 

Contents

 

Preface vii
Acknowledgements viii
Introduction ix
About this Edition xlvi
Text 1
Translation 83
Abbreviations 221
Bibliography 223
Index of important words in the Text 235
Index 257
Sample Pages

















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