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Books > Hindu > Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta with the Commentary of Yogaraja: The Essence of the Supreme Truth (Sanskrit Text, Transliteration, English Translation and Commentary)
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Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta with the Commentary of Yogaraja: The Essence of the Supreme Truth (Sanskrit Text, Transliteration, English Translation and Commentary)
Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta with the Commentary of Yogaraja: The Essence of the Supreme Truth (Sanskrit Text, Transliteration, English Translation and Commentary)
Description
Foreword

The Muktabodha Indological Research Institute is pleased to bring forward this translation by Deba Brata SenSharma of Abhinavagupta’s Paramarthasara with the commentary by Yogaraja. This is an important combination of text and commentary, for together they make accessible a number of key teachings of the nondual Saiva tradition of Kashmir.

I am delighted that Dr. SenSharma in particular has undertaken this translation and am grateful for his doing so. A member of the Muktabodha faculty and Senior Research Fellow at the Asiastic Society in Kolkata, Dr. SenSharma is a specialist in the Saivism, of Kashmir and inn the larger Tantra Sastra. An author of many scholarly works, he has served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Sanskrit, Director of the Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies, and the Dean of Faculty of Indic Studies at Kurukshetra University. At Banares Hindu University he was a student of the late Dr. Gopinath Kaviraj, a most informed, knowledgeable, and appreciative scholar of Hindu Tantra and of the Sakta tradition Dr. SenSharma sat with his esteemed teacher every day for eight years and continues to express his respect for an gratitude to him. Like him, Dr. SenSharma undertakes the study of texts as an erudite, conscientious, engaged and committed participant in the tradition of the scholar-practitioner. Dr. SenSharma seeks a text’s nuanced meaning, informed by linguistic precision and philosophical expertise, illumined by traditional commentarial and exegetical works, and enlivened by his own spiritual alignment with the religious and philosophical stance he studies.

The Muktabodha Indological Research Institute is dedicated to helping preserve important religious and philosophical texts from India and the knowledge they hold and does so, in part, by publishing works by highly accomplished scholars who are themselves immersed in the traditions and wisdom associated with that knowledge. We are pleased to include the publication of this book in that endeavor.

Preface

The Paramarthasara (The Essence of the Supreme Truth) is a metrical composition written primarily for spiritual seekers. The Sanskrit text by Abhinavagupta with the vivrti (extended commentary) by Yogaraja was first published in the Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies (KSTS) volume 7 in Srinagar in 1916 and has long been out of print. Recently the Muktabodha Indological Research Institute has electronically republished the original Sanskrit KSTS.

L. D. Barnett published a literal English translation of the metrical part of the text in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1910. Kamala Dvivedi translated the work into lucid Hindi, which was published (minus the Sanskrit text) in Delhi in 1984. I have derived immense help from both these works in my rendering of the text into English. I extend my gratitude to their authors for the same.

As I prepared the translation of the text, keeping in mind the needs of English readers from the West who are interested in understanding the meaning of Abhinavagupta’s words, I refrained from giving a literal translation, for sometimes literal translations of religious texts might confuse a reader who is not familiar with technical nuances of a religious treatise. In particular, many times where Yogaraja gives a word-by-word gloss in the commentary, I render the overall meaning he is trying to convey. Anything I have added to the original text is included in square breackets. I have endeavoured to preserve the spiritual meaning conveyed by the master and his expert commentator in my English rendering of the text. I leave it to my readers to judge how far I have succeeded in my attempt.

The layout and typesetting of the book has been designed to facilitate the study of both Abhinavagupta’s text and Yogaraja’s commentary. The layout has been formatted so that at all times the English translation of the verses is visible along with the corresponding Sanskrit without having to turn the page. In several cases, because of Yogaraja’s grouping of multiple verses together in his commentary, it is only possible to have the Sanskrit verses in transliteration, without the devanagari, completely on the same two-page spread as their English translation. The English translation of Abhinavagupta’s verses is differentiated from Yogaraja’s commentary by font size as well as caption and a generous type size has been used throughout for ease of use.

I dedicate my humble work to the sacred memory of my teacher, the late Mahamahopadhyay Gopinath Kaviraji, who initiated me into the deeply mystical thoughts of this religio-philosophical school.

From the Book

The Paramarthasara, “The Essence of the Supreme Truth,” is a metrical composition of 105 verses. The author of the original Sanskrit, the great 10 century Kashmiri scholar and sage Abhinavagupta, blended the schools of philosophical and religious thought current in Kashmir at that time and reformulated them in a masterful and beautiful way from the point of view of monistic Shaivism. The extended commentary that accompanies the text here is by his IIth-century disciple, Yogaraja. Abhinavagupta composed this work for spiritual seekers as an introduction to the teachings of the nondual Shaivism of Kashmir. Teaching from within that religious and philosophical stance, he poetically expounds on the universal nature of Shiva as the supreme Lord, and describes key experiences, such as that of spiritual liberation.

Dr. D.B. SenSharma is a Senior Research Fellow with the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture in Kolkata. During his distinguished career at Kurukshetra University, Dr. SenSharma was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Sanskrit and Director of the Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies; later he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Asiatic Society in Kolkata. Dr. Sensharma was a long-time student of Gopinath Kaviraj, who was one of the leading experts of his time on the Shaiva and Shakta traditions. Dr. Sensharma is himself a renowned scholar of Kashmir Shaivism and of Tantra Shastra.

Among his dozens of academic works, he has published The Philosophy of Sadhana, (State University of New York Press), which examines Tantric sadhana (spiritual practice) in the light of shaktipata, or the descent of divine grace, and Aspects of Tantra Yoga (Natraj Publications House). In 2006 he was chosen to receive the Certificate of Honor by the President of India for his contributions to the field of Sanskrit.

Back of the Book

The contemplation that “I am Siva-consciousness who eternally manifests Himself in all forms” constitutes a current of the experience of the Self that gradually increases like the wind. A spiritual adept illuminated by that knowledge is like a fire whose ashes are rekindled, lighting up the blowing air and illuminating the intellect of the adept.
- Parama rtbasa ra Vivrtti 68

In medieval times, in the beautiful valley of Kashmir, a number of religious and philosophical currents met and interacted, mutually influencing each other. In that climate evolved the nondual Shaiva school of thought that has come to be known as Kashmir Shaivism. Its hallmark is an all-embracing vision of unity, the recognition that the world is the manifestation a single supreme Consciousness, the divine Self, identified as Siva.

One of the major exponents of this mystical philosophy was the great Abhinavagupta (10th century), who composed several extensive works that give full and intricate presentations of this thought and practice.

By contrast, Abhinavagupta’s Paramarthasara, translated and published here, is a short essence (sara) of the supreme truth (paramartha). With this text, Abhinavagupta has fashioned in verse form an approachable compendium that makes key teachings of the nondual Shaiva tradition of Kashmir accessible to spiritual seekers and students of that tradition.

In the IIth century, Yogaraja wrote a commentary (vivrti) on the Paramarthasara, also translated here, that explains and expands Abhinavagupta’s points from the perspective of the nondual Shaiva philosophy of Kashmir. In so doing, he drew comparisons with other important religious philosophies hat thrived in Kashmir at the time, such as Vedanta, Yogacara Buddhism, Sankhya, and Nyaya Vaisheshika. These works have been translated and introduced here by Deba Brata SenSharma, a member of the Muktabodha Indological Research Institute faculty and a contemporary authority on the nondual Shaivism of Kashmir.

The full Sanskrit text of Paramarthasara with Yogaraja’s commentary is available through Muktabodha’s Digital Library

Contents

Note On the Sanskrit Text and Transliterationix
Foreword xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Preface xv
Introduction xix
Text and Commentary 1
Appendix The Seven Kinds of Subjects in Creation 213
Glossary 217
Notes 227
Bibliography 245
Index 247
Note on the Muktabodha Indological Research Institute 252

Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta with the Commentary of Yogaraja: The Essence of the Supreme Truth (Sanskrit Text, Transliteration, English Translation and Commentary)

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2007
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Foreword

The Muktabodha Indological Research Institute is pleased to bring forward this translation by Deba Brata SenSharma of Abhinavagupta’s Paramarthasara with the commentary by Yogaraja. This is an important combination of text and commentary, for together they make accessible a number of key teachings of the nondual Saiva tradition of Kashmir.

I am delighted that Dr. SenSharma in particular has undertaken this translation and am grateful for his doing so. A member of the Muktabodha faculty and Senior Research Fellow at the Asiastic Society in Kolkata, Dr. SenSharma is a specialist in the Saivism, of Kashmir and inn the larger Tantra Sastra. An author of many scholarly works, he has served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Sanskrit, Director of the Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies, and the Dean of Faculty of Indic Studies at Kurukshetra University. At Banares Hindu University he was a student of the late Dr. Gopinath Kaviraj, a most informed, knowledgeable, and appreciative scholar of Hindu Tantra and of the Sakta tradition Dr. SenSharma sat with his esteemed teacher every day for eight years and continues to express his respect for an gratitude to him. Like him, Dr. SenSharma undertakes the study of texts as an erudite, conscientious, engaged and committed participant in the tradition of the scholar-practitioner. Dr. SenSharma seeks a text’s nuanced meaning, informed by linguistic precision and philosophical expertise, illumined by traditional commentarial and exegetical works, and enlivened by his own spiritual alignment with the religious and philosophical stance he studies.

The Muktabodha Indological Research Institute is dedicated to helping preserve important religious and philosophical texts from India and the knowledge they hold and does so, in part, by publishing works by highly accomplished scholars who are themselves immersed in the traditions and wisdom associated with that knowledge. We are pleased to include the publication of this book in that endeavor.

Preface

The Paramarthasara (The Essence of the Supreme Truth) is a metrical composition written primarily for spiritual seekers. The Sanskrit text by Abhinavagupta with the vivrti (extended commentary) by Yogaraja was first published in the Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies (KSTS) volume 7 in Srinagar in 1916 and has long been out of print. Recently the Muktabodha Indological Research Institute has electronically republished the original Sanskrit KSTS.

L. D. Barnett published a literal English translation of the metrical part of the text in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1910. Kamala Dvivedi translated the work into lucid Hindi, which was published (minus the Sanskrit text) in Delhi in 1984. I have derived immense help from both these works in my rendering of the text into English. I extend my gratitude to their authors for the same.

As I prepared the translation of the text, keeping in mind the needs of English readers from the West who are interested in understanding the meaning of Abhinavagupta’s words, I refrained from giving a literal translation, for sometimes literal translations of religious texts might confuse a reader who is not familiar with technical nuances of a religious treatise. In particular, many times where Yogaraja gives a word-by-word gloss in the commentary, I render the overall meaning he is trying to convey. Anything I have added to the original text is included in square breackets. I have endeavoured to preserve the spiritual meaning conveyed by the master and his expert commentator in my English rendering of the text. I leave it to my readers to judge how far I have succeeded in my attempt.

The layout and typesetting of the book has been designed to facilitate the study of both Abhinavagupta’s text and Yogaraja’s commentary. The layout has been formatted so that at all times the English translation of the verses is visible along with the corresponding Sanskrit without having to turn the page. In several cases, because of Yogaraja’s grouping of multiple verses together in his commentary, it is only possible to have the Sanskrit verses in transliteration, without the devanagari, completely on the same two-page spread as their English translation. The English translation of Abhinavagupta’s verses is differentiated from Yogaraja’s commentary by font size as well as caption and a generous type size has been used throughout for ease of use.

I dedicate my humble work to the sacred memory of my teacher, the late Mahamahopadhyay Gopinath Kaviraji, who initiated me into the deeply mystical thoughts of this religio-philosophical school.

From the Book

The Paramarthasara, “The Essence of the Supreme Truth,” is a metrical composition of 105 verses. The author of the original Sanskrit, the great 10 century Kashmiri scholar and sage Abhinavagupta, blended the schools of philosophical and religious thought current in Kashmir at that time and reformulated them in a masterful and beautiful way from the point of view of monistic Shaivism. The extended commentary that accompanies the text here is by his IIth-century disciple, Yogaraja. Abhinavagupta composed this work for spiritual seekers as an introduction to the teachings of the nondual Shaivism of Kashmir. Teaching from within that religious and philosophical stance, he poetically expounds on the universal nature of Shiva as the supreme Lord, and describes key experiences, such as that of spiritual liberation.

Dr. D.B. SenSharma is a Senior Research Fellow with the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture in Kolkata. During his distinguished career at Kurukshetra University, Dr. SenSharma was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Sanskrit and Director of the Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies; later he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Asiatic Society in Kolkata. Dr. Sensharma was a long-time student of Gopinath Kaviraj, who was one of the leading experts of his time on the Shaiva and Shakta traditions. Dr. Sensharma is himself a renowned scholar of Kashmir Shaivism and of Tantra Shastra.

Among his dozens of academic works, he has published The Philosophy of Sadhana, (State University of New York Press), which examines Tantric sadhana (spiritual practice) in the light of shaktipata, or the descent of divine grace, and Aspects of Tantra Yoga (Natraj Publications House). In 2006 he was chosen to receive the Certificate of Honor by the President of India for his contributions to the field of Sanskrit.

Back of the Book

The contemplation that “I am Siva-consciousness who eternally manifests Himself in all forms” constitutes a current of the experience of the Self that gradually increases like the wind. A spiritual adept illuminated by that knowledge is like a fire whose ashes are rekindled, lighting up the blowing air and illuminating the intellect of the adept.
- Parama rtbasa ra Vivrtti 68

In medieval times, in the beautiful valley of Kashmir, a number of religious and philosophical currents met and interacted, mutually influencing each other. In that climate evolved the nondual Shaiva school of thought that has come to be known as Kashmir Shaivism. Its hallmark is an all-embracing vision of unity, the recognition that the world is the manifestation a single supreme Consciousness, the divine Self, identified as Siva.

One of the major exponents of this mystical philosophy was the great Abhinavagupta (10th century), who composed several extensive works that give full and intricate presentations of this thought and practice.

By contrast, Abhinavagupta’s Paramarthasara, translated and published here, is a short essence (sara) of the supreme truth (paramartha). With this text, Abhinavagupta has fashioned in verse form an approachable compendium that makes key teachings of the nondual Shaiva tradition of Kashmir accessible to spiritual seekers and students of that tradition.

In the IIth century, Yogaraja wrote a commentary (vivrti) on the Paramarthasara, also translated here, that explains and expands Abhinavagupta’s points from the perspective of the nondual Shaiva philosophy of Kashmir. In so doing, he drew comparisons with other important religious philosophies hat thrived in Kashmir at the time, such as Vedanta, Yogacara Buddhism, Sankhya, and Nyaya Vaisheshika. These works have been translated and introduced here by Deba Brata SenSharma, a member of the Muktabodha Indological Research Institute faculty and a contemporary authority on the nondual Shaivism of Kashmir.

The full Sanskrit text of Paramarthasara with Yogaraja’s commentary is available through Muktabodha’s Digital Library

Contents

Note On the Sanskrit Text and Transliterationix
Foreword xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Preface xv
Introduction xix
Text and Commentary 1
Appendix The Seven Kinds of Subjects in Creation 213
Glossary 217
Notes 227
Bibliography 245
Index 247
Note on the Muktabodha Indological Research Institute 252
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