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The Touch of Shakti

A Study in Non-dualistic Trika Saivism of Kashmir

The Kashmirian Shaiva tradition in its non-dualistic form in particular is one of the richest philosophical traditions of India that have survived to the present day. This book by the noted scholar, Dr Furlinger, deals with the bodily experience of the transcendent power, the Shakti, in the context of the Shaiva Kundalini-Yoga. In an insightful introduction, the scholar presents an overview of the historical development of the Kashmirian Shaiva traditions, especially of the non-dualistic system, Trika, made famous by the work of its famous proponent, Abhinavagupta. He studies the theme of shaktisparsha in selected texts of non-dualistic Trika Shaivism of Kashmir, focusing on Utpaladeva's Shivastotravali of the tenth century and Abhinavagupta's Tantraloka of the eleventh century. The texts are analysed along with a noted commentary associated with each to shed light on the different contexts and meanings in which the word sparsha occurs in connection with Shakti, the divine power, revered as the Goddess. The study examines sparsa as one of the highest stages in the spiritual ascent in the Tantraloka and its corresponding description in the Shivastotravali. The difference in the notion of sparsa in the two texts is also brought out. It thus reveals the liberating and critical potential of the non-dualistic Shaiva tradition of Kashmir.

The book will interest scholars and students of Indology associated with Indian religious-philosophical traditions.

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About This Book

The Kashmirian Shaiva tradition in its non-dualistic form in particular is one of the richest philosophical traditions of India that have survived to the present day. This book by the noted scholar, Dr Furlinger, deals with the bodily experience of the transcendent power, the Shakti, in the context of the Shaiva Kundalini-Yoga. In an insightful introduction, the scholar presents an overview of the historical development of the Kashmirian Shaiva traditions, especially of the non-dualistic system, Trika, made famous by the work of its famous proponent, Abhinavagupta. He studies the theme of shaktisparsha in selected texts of non-dualistic Trika Shaivism of Kashmir, focusing on Utpaladeva's Shivastotravali of the tenth century and Abhinavagupta's Tantraloka of the eleventh century. The texts are analysed along with a noted commentary associated with each to shed light on the different contexts and meanings in which the word sparsha occurs in connection with Shakti, the divine power, revered as the Goddess. The study examines sparsa as one of the highest stages in the spiritual ascent in the Tantraloka and its corresponding description in the Shivastotravali. The difference in the notion of sparsa in the two texts is also brought out. It thus reveals the liberating and critical potential of the non-dualistic Shaiva tradition of Kashmir.

The book will interest scholars and students of Indology associated with Indian religious-philosophical traditions.

  • Foreword By : Prof. Andre Padoux
  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124604632
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124604630
  • Edition : 1st edition
  • Year : 2009
  • Pages : xxiii, 288 + (8)p.
  • Size : 23
  • Weight (approx.) : 600
  • Bibliographic Details : 8 b/w plates; Bibliography; Index
Foreword by Andre Padoux 
Preface 
Abbreviations 
List of Plates 
1. Introduction 
Trika Shaivism of Kashmir
Scriptural Authority
Historical Development 
The Different Meanings of Sparsha in Indian Traditions
The Term Sparsha in Early Texts of Non-dualistic Kashmir Shaivism 
2. Hermeneutical Reflections 
Is Cit “Consciousness”? 
Is Vimarsha “Reflective Awareness”? 
Remarks on Tantric Language and its Interpretation with the Example of Tantraloka 
3. The Touch of Shakti (Shaktisparsha): Selected Texts of Non-dualistic Shaivism of Kashmir
Utpaladeva: Shivastotravali with the Commentary (Vivritti) by Ksemaraja 
Introduction 
Abhinavagupta : Tantraloka with Commentary (Viveka) by Jayaratha
Introduction 
The Sensual Touch 
The Touch of the Mirror 
The Touch of Anuttara-Samvit 
A Note on Anuttara    
The “Touch of Ants” (Pipilikasparsha) 
The “Touch of Fullness” (Purnatasparsha) 
Sparsha as Consonant 
“Shakti, of the Nature of Touch” 
A Note on the Touch of the Sexual Fluids  
“Uccara of Om” 
The Practice of Uccara according to the Tantraloka 
The twelve main stages of the Power 
Sparsha in the process of manifestation: Svacchandatantra 11 
‘Light,’ ‘Sound,’ ‘Touch’ as Stages of Nearness
4. Conclusion: The Question of the Liberating and Critical Potential of Trika Shaivism
Bibliography 
Index 

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