The Touch of Shakti
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.