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An Introduction to Tantric Philosophy: The Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta and the Commentary by Yogaraja translated by Lyne Bansat-Boudon and Kamalesha Tripathi, Introduction, notes, cricitally revised Sanskrit text, appendix, indices byLyne Bansat-Boudon (Routledge Studies in Tantric Traditions: Routledge) The Paramarthasara, or 'Essence of Ultimate Reality', is a work of the Kashmirian polymath Abhinavagupta (tenth—eleventh centuries). It is a brief treatise in which the author outlines the doctrine of which he is a notable exponent, namely non-dualistic Saivism, which he designates in his works as the Trika, or 'Triad' of three principles: Siva, Sakti and the embodied soul (nara). The main interest of the Paramarthasara is not only that it serves as an introduction to the established doctrine of a tradition, but also advances the notion of jivanmukti, 'liberation in this life', as its core theme. Further, it does not confine itself to an exposition of the doctrine as such but at times hints at a second sense lying beneath the evident sense, namely esoteric techniques and practices that are at the heart of the philosophical discourse. Its commentator, Yogaraja (eleventh century), excels in detecting and clarifying those various levels of meaning. An Introduction to Tantric Philosophy presents, along with a critically revised Sanskrit text, the first annotated English translation of both Abhinavagupta's Paramarthasara and Yogaraja's commentary. This book will be of interest to dologists, as well as to specialists and students of Religion, Tantric studies and Philosophy. Lyne Bansat-Boudon is Professor in the Section des sciences religieuses at the Ecole ́ Pratique des Hautes Etudes ́ (EPHE) in Paris, and an Honorary Senior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF). Her main fields of research are Sanskrit Literature and Poetics, Aesthetics and the Saiva ́ tradition. She published in 1992 Poétique du théâtre indien. Lectures du Nâtyaçâstra, and, in 2006, as the chief editor of the volume and a translator, Théâtre de l’Inde ancienne, Gallimard (Bibliothèque de la Pléiade). Kamaleshadatta Tripathi is Emeritus Professor at the Benares Hindu University, India, where he was Dean of the Faculty of Sanskrit Learning and Theology and Head of the Department of Religious and Agamic Studies. For several years he also was the director of the Kâlidâsa Akademi in Ujjain. His research interests include Agamic Philosophy, Hindu Theology, Philosophy of Grammar, Sanskrit Literature, Poetics and Aesthetics. [He is a disciple of Ramesvara Jha, the author of the Putnatapratyabhijna, cited frequently in the notes, see especially n. 314.] As soon as the expanse of ignorance affecting the mind is dispelled by correct insight, then 'liberation while living' is present on the palm of the hand. — Abhinavagupta, Tantraloka The Paramarthasara, or 'Essence of Ultimate Reality', is a work of the Kashmirian polymath Abhinavagupta (end of the tenth, beginning of the eleventh century). It is a brief treatise,1 a compendium 2 in which the author outlines the doctrine of which he is a notable exponent (indeed, the most fecund), namely nondualistic Saivism, which he designates in his works as the `Trika', or 'Triad' of three principles: Siva, Sakti and the embodied soul (nara). According to Yogaraja (second half of the eleventh century), the author of its commentary, Vivrti, the Paramarthasara is of the nature of a prakarana,4 a 'manual' or 'précis' serving as introduction to the established doctrine of a tradition. s The work, appropriately, begins by featuring a mumuksu, one who 'aspires to liberation', a student desirous of learning from a master the means whereby he may put an end to his dolorous wanderings through the cycles of rebirth.
unifying them within the rubric of a Vaisnavism whose "divinity". in effect. to establish equivalences. in the manner of epic Samkhya. qualified as advaita in verse 57. who warns the student that the response will be difficult. who now knows his catechism. however. remains profoundly theist.The Paramarthasara shares with the vast majority of Indian philosophical texts this propaedeutic purpose that is encoded as well in the title of the work. A programmatic verse at the beginning of Adhara's response to the disciple sketches the basic outlines of such a doctrine: 'I shall propound this "Essence of Supreme Truth" (paramarthasara) after making obeisance to that Upendra [ = Visnu]. evidently eclectic.of which the commentator. by whom this unreal world was made from Primordial Matter as something seemingly real'. What makes the Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta unique is the nature of its exposition of the doctrine. The text attempts. It is the master who. Moreover. hence vedantic. whereas the responses of the teacher are usually couched in advaitic terms. This is perhaps in function of that text's verse seven. imprinted with devotion to Visnu. the liminary caution of the master. The transition is conceptual. brahman (or atman). atman. which recount its "myth of origin". unifies the two requests by introducing a third term. Yoga-raja only takes partial account of the doctrine of the older Paramarthasara. also called Adhara (sixth or seventh century. 4 and 6). however. or paramatman. whatever his name. if not chronological. This doctrine. In its second and third verses. attributed to Adisesa. to integrate both the perspectives (darsana) of Samkhya and of Vedanta. as Yogaraja explains in his gloss of the second and third verses. privileging the nondual aspect of the doctrine and placing it squarely within the currents of early devotionalism. placing it within the general framework of a vedantic metaphysics that posits from the start the unreality of the phenomenal world. and who exhorts him to make the necessary effort to understand it: 'Although that which is to be said [about this] in the following is very hard to penetrate into even for those who have knowledge. is none the less sufficiently coherent to be qualified as "synthetic". It does not in all respects correspond to the ordinary model of a prakarana. which may equally be understood as signifying 'The Core of the Teachings on Ultimate Reality'. 21 As a matter of fact. one has the feeling that the questions put by the disciple are principally framed in terms of Samkhya. 12 To this extent. . itself the result of the all-powerful maya of Visnu — a deity who. serves as unique principle — thus. in effect. with key notions of the other system — for instance prakrti. even though the latter continues to utilize (in order to make himself better understood?) several Samkhya concepts — always careful. in which the mumuksu. an upanisadic notion. in the course of his response. presses the master to reveal the secrets implied in the distinction between purusa and prakrti and just why knowledge of that distinction is salvific. but one which. which may have been the work of a thinker or group of thinkers — though we must not infer from this any anteriority of one system vis-a-vis the other. persistently identified with the maya of Visnu. the disciple poses two questions: how liberation is achieved (vv. 7). where possible. has retained only the Samkhya features. this Paramdrthasara is presented as a saivite reworking of another Paramdrthasara. The doctrine that emerges from the earlier Paramarthasara reflects at least a part of the conceptual apparatus of Samkhya evolutionism. seems little but the personification of a principle that the text terms equally brahman. doubtless. which conflates Samkhya dualism and the nondualism of the Vedanta —a kind of pre-Sankara Vedanta halfway between the dvaitadvaitavada of Bhartrprapanca and the advaitavada of Gaudapada. rather than considering them as alternatives. and how he is to grasp what is at issue in distinguishing purusa and prakrti (v. Thus. Yogaraja. do you hear it nevertheless!' One may wonder whether Adisesa's preamble offers the occasion for apprehending the manner in which the transition between the two systems may have taken place.
does one become free from the impenetrable darkness of Delusion. and become Supreme Lord at the same time'. The sarvatmavada of Adisesa.be it Samkhya dualism or the nondualism of the Vedanta. indeed perfected. the claim made by the Saiva Paramarthasara to have rewritten the older Paramarthasara is quite unheard of in the history of Indian literature — where neither borrowing nor unattributed copying are much frowned upon 35 — for in this case it is not merely a matter of reproducing a text of well-known reputation. Only when one realizes [this Self] as both having and not having parts. according to the Samkhya doctrine of causality. On the other hand. and Tarkas. to make it better able to express an improved doctrine. (by so doing) "the agent does not return. without a doubt — I will return to this point below — one of the justifications that might have prompted the second Paramarthasara to undertake a rereading of the first. transforming. from which it has erased all trace of dualism. in effect. even investing another text. For. it is also an expansion. found already in the upanisads. 5 and Chandogyopanisad [ChU] VIII 15): 'Says the Sruti: "The Spirit should be known and discriminated from Primordial Matter". However that may be. the fact that] this all is only the Self. the production of butter requires will and effort. for that matter. according to which everything is the Self. an analogy that cuts two ways. . yet different. but rather of appropriating. Another aspect of the strategy of identification elaborated by the first Paramarthasara is its claim of doctrinal uniqueness. he does not return (into this world). making here and there a few adjustments or innovations. The second Paramarthasara is thus a work that sees itself as the quintessential distillation of another — though. as he arrives at the end of the exposition. 31 and there remains of Samkhya ontology only the notion of the three 'qualities' (guna). which takes the usual form of asserting its universality with respect to rival doctrines. may also apply to the manner in which one doctrine emerges from the other — the same doctrine. in effect. to be sure. a `doctrine of the Universal Self' or a 'doctrine holding that all is the Self — a term that proclaims the doctrine's coherence by allying it with a long-established tradition that sees the Ultimate as both immanent and transcendent. while the clotting of milk represents a transformation that is spontaneous. Nevertheless. Trika Saivism) is already present in seed form in the older doctrine (of Adisesa). Agamas. given the right circumstances." ' In effect. and that it is nothing but the accomplishment of that older doctrine. the reader notices that the doctrine — despite its apparently composite character —takes great care to designate and to present itself as a sarvatmavada. Such is indeed the point of articulation between Samkhya-type and Advaita-type reasonings in the first Paramarthasara — the soteriological perspective. that 'the Self is All': ' [There is] not a single doubt as to this. but which in effect amounts to asserting another type of nondualism. [viz. finds its place within the lineages of Advaita and the traditions of Kashmir Saivism — monisms that proclaim.. as recognized already by Vacaspati in his Tattvakaumudi [TK] (citing specifically BAU II 4. proclaim in their Siddhantas. and of Samkhya eschatology only the insistence on discriminating purusa from prakrti. Moreover. to be fair. 32 with a view thereby to gaining liberation — a teaching. Thus the analogy of the chrysalis. which the student employs to illustrate the problematic of liberation from bondage. but such that they find a place within it as subsidiary moments: 'We consent to whatever [others]. it is evident that vedantic notions and the monistic argumentation that supports them take precedence over the exposé of Samkhya categories: the theory of the tattvas appears only occasionally. having added twenty or so verses — which process Yogaraja illustrates by the analogy of butter extracted from clotted milk. more even than an exposition of doctrine — a doctrine moreover that did not give rise to a discrete tradition — the Paramarthasara of Adisesa presents itself as a treatise on liberation. This appropriation is justified on the assumption that the improved doctrine (in effect. who are blind with greed. since all that [testifies to the orientation of] their thought toward [our] doctrine. in formal terms. to the extent that it constitutes the response of a master to his acolyte desirous of liberation. in consonance with many upanisads. And this is also.
39 Even though it is true that the doctrine set forth in the Saiva Paramarthasara is framed polemically. and so may the Trika itself. though the Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta contains the same verse. if 'guru' is to be understood as referring to more than one teacher in this passage. or as Santabrahmavada. and scriptural exegesis (agama).. sages and men. The passage in question might then be translated: 'The Teacher [Adhara] replied to him by [reciting] the Adharakarika of which [as] Abhinavagupta. [to come into being]. as well as a perfectioning — a threefold effort composed of reasoning (yukti). being [already] in essence their inner intuition (antahpratibha) and desirous of expounding [these doctrines] either in abridgement or in more elaborate form'. it is I who compose the wonderfully varied Siddhantas. by rewriting the Adisesa's text: to put an end once and for all to the disputes of precedence among the schools. hardly modified: later tradition. 42 and thus. PS 50 provides another. Yogaraja's exegesis is supported by several liminary considerations: — the attribution of the first Paramarthasara to an author designated not only as Sesa but as Patanjali. 14 . in some degree. is careful to avoid Saiva reasonings. whether he be called Adisesa or Abhinavagupta. and IX 50.satkaryavada. besides echoing APS 65. vv. be understood by its advocates as already present in the 'clotted milk' of Adisesa's "Samkhya". It should be noted also that verse 50 of Abhinavagupta's Paramarthasara: 'Though not an agent. 15-16a. At the same time. the sole Agent. in virtue of the epithetical designation bhujangavibhu. as Yogaraja is fond of repeating. etc. as the commentary frequently attempts to demonstrate. it is due to the reticence aroused by suspicion of tantric leanings. I will return to this point later. which adopts the same satkaryavada. utterly novel. In the same way most modern accounts take little note of the contribution of Saivism to the issue of liberation — liberation in this life or not — likewise later Indian tradition. 16b-17. notably inspired by Vedanta. What remains is that the transformation implies a supplementary effort. 'he. In support of this interpretation of the exercise of rewriting — in addition to the clotted milk analogy — I might point to the passage of the commentary where the term guruh of the third verse is understood to refer both to Adhara and to Abhinavagupta. 'Thus. it is true — Abhinavagupta included — accords to the first Paramarthasara the status of sruti. as well as the Parimala [PM] ad Maharthamanjari [MM] 25 (probably thirteenth century). who is one's own Self in the form of the absolute `I'. respectively. implying that Patanjali is a devotee of the Serpent. clue as to that rewriting: the true author of the Paramarthasara. When the Jivanmuktiviveka invokes. Thus is disclosed one of the main purposes served. which holds Abhinavagupta also to be an incarnation of Sesa. amounts to an implicit proclamation of the superiority of the Trika doctrine. on the basis of a pun on his name when suffixed with the honorific -pada: abhinavaguptapada. is none other than Siva himself. — the evidence of a south Indian tradition. Perhaps. Thus the process of rewriting at work in the second Paramarthasara makes it appear that the debate with Samkhya has really never taken place. v. the effect is pre-existent in the cause. the authority of the Paramarthasara. it is I who cause the multitudinous wonders that are the Siddhantas. from the Trika point of view. particularly Dharmakirti. as it were "metaphysical". or of the Yogasutra [YS]. [he now] expounds the essence from the point of view of the Saiva teachings'. having entered into the intentions of gods. which justifies nondual Saivism of Kashmir in borrowing the theory of the tattvas. for the orthodox. Agamas and Tarkas'. in Yogaraja's commentary. it is the first Paramarthasara that its author has in mind. by affirming the uncontested supremacy of the Trika. referred to by Yogaraja as Brahmavada at large. or of both) with Sesa. though not myself their creator. acquisition of experience (anubhava). I have found references to the Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta only in works of saivite tendency: the TAV ad I 37. 40 it is essentially directed against the Buddhists. 9° which cite. and against Vedanta. vv. in the fourteenth century. says Siva. whose feet are hidden'. this line of argument does suggest. all the while adapting it to the needs of a monistic system. its incarnation. that Abhinavagupta and Adhara were also sometimes understood as the same teacher. — the traditional identification of Patanjali (whether he be the author of the Mahabhasya. I 39-40. Though the attribution may appear fanciful.
Yogaraja never fails to expand upon that 'supremely recondite core of the teaching'. namely esoteric techniques and practices that are at the heart of the philosophical discourse. At least. inspired] by remembrance of Siva's feet' (v. For . or of Jayaratha. And so the destiny of Abhinavagupta's Paramarthasara has been limited to Saiva circles. illumined [viz. vv. as may be inferred from another text ascribed to him. who commented on many of the key texts of the tradition. Moreover it can be said that the doctrine itself is esoteric by nature. Sivahood comes without delay [. on his own PS 83.and v. once it has pervaded his own heart' — the apparently straightforward authorial signature is reinterpreted metonymically. is of Krama affiliation and justifies our recognizing. but he shows himself capable of decoding the double entendres. when Abhinavagupta cites APS 81 in his TA XXVIII 312. As well. 95 Yogaraja himself was probably initiated into Krama. it is as though he were using his treatment of Adisesa's work in order to comment. which he cites abundantly. in his commentary on verse 104: idam abhinavaguptoditasamksepam dhyayatalj param Brahma/ acirad eva sivatvam nijahrdayavdam abhyeti. 96 This hymn to Caitanyasiva.]'. 26. and without much regard to tendency — which in effect establishes his authority to comment on the Paramarthasara. at various places in the Paramarthasara. as concisely expounded by Abhinavagupta. Yogaraja describes as a prakarana the text he is commenting on. who felt able to confront the monumental Tantraloka. it is how the system perceives itself: 'Thus. and to the symbolic signification of its elements. Nevertheless.. 105). Yogaraja is nevertheless a profound exegete. which does not prevent it however from being formulated in precise philosophical terms. 81). sometimes even audacious — despite what Lilian Silburn says. 8788). a predilection for a Krama-oriented exegesis is felt in his commentary. both of which appear in our text under the guise of the pronoun 'I' that verses 47-50 are at pains to represent. celebrated as the highest of all systems. 'To him who meditates on this transcendental brahman. though allusively. the supremely recondite core of the teaching (sastrasaram atigudham) has now been condensed in one hundred arya-verses by me. Abhinavagupta.. Ksemaraja (1000-1050). which is also condemned at greater length in the Tantraloka — though with some misgivings. Though the text of Abhinavagupta does conform to the strictures of the genre in that it is indeed an epitome. as strikingly exemplified by verses 41-46. Yogaraja proves himself very accurate when he finds in the discussion of liberation of verse 60 a reference to the Trika denunciation of the practice of yogic suicide (utkranti). and explains it in the following verses. the recently discovered Sivastaka. the spiritual realization of nondualism — which is the ultimate truth of the system — and the means or ways to attain it. as consciousness'. He refers frequently to the 'secret' (rahasya) that consists in the 'knowledge of one's own Self' (svatmajnanarahasya. 104 and 105). between Siva and the 'knower' (jnanin). 92 Not only is he sensitive to the subtle and ever reciprocal transitions in the text between the cosmic Self and the individual self. in the manner of his guru. the other is that the Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta does not confine itself to an exposition of the doctrine as such but at times hints at a second sense lying beneath the evident sense. in other words. Sivahood comes without delay.. Note as well that. 93 as a copulative compound (dvandva) of adjectives that qualify the term 'brahman': 'To him who meditates on this transcendental brahman in reference to which a concise summary has now been stated. [such that brahman is now understood as both] quite novel (abhinava). the text that is otherwise considered authoritative in the Trika. a concise treatment of doctrine (see vv. It is equally obvious that Yogaraja is familiar with the immense literature of nondualist Saiva tradition. Moreover. it does nevertheless diverge from the type in two principal ways: one is inherent in the need to reconcile the imperative of doctrinal coherence with the project of rewriting an older text of somewhat different persuasion. in recognizing that one's own Self is not different from Mahesvara (v. who repeatedly concerns himself with the Krama doctrine. as the practice was taught in the Malinivijayottaratantra [MVT]. Thus he deciphers references to the articulation of the mantra SAUH throughout verses 41-46. and [heretofore] hidden (gupta). Even though he has not the breadth of Abhinavagupta. Yogaraja's references as having a Krama coloration.
on what he considers its core issue. 41-46). to mantric practice (vv. which Yogaraja attempts to position. which. the text of Abhinavagupta presents a remarkably exhaustive exposition of Trika doctrine. technical sense). on verse 27 of the first Paramarthasara. as in the case of idealistic monisms of the Advaita or the Buddhist Vijnanavada sort. the 'blossoming of energy'. if he is the Yogesvara or Yogesvaracarya that Vamadeva. presumably to be attributed to the yogin himself. following a well-known procedure. as in the case of the Bhagavadgita and the Mahabharata. also called bhairavimudra. the framework is well known. with significant alterations. 42). alludes not only to the essential principles of the system. It becomes. several rival doctrines. 98 understood notably in its association with the articulation of the mantra HAMSAH (v. salutes as his master — thus furthering a preceptorial lineage or parampara. quotes the text of Kallata that Ksemaraja himself quotes in his vrtti ad PH 18 — a verse that is instrumental in defining saktivikasa. And it does this within the confines of a tight argument. to mudras (v. and sometimes to "complete" their argumentation. and author of the Sivastaka. He does adopt a style that is his own — conscious doubtless of the reticences and the disagreements surrounding the notion. in which Yogaraja. the major contribution of Yogaraja to the understanding of the text is his emphasis. see v. implies a reference to Krama practice. v. 27 — a verse that summarizes. both in the literature of Kashmir Saivism (and in the Paramarthasara itself. but also. 10-11). particularly in reference to the Ssaems khy polemical Note especially the way in which Abhinavagupta on verse. to what constitutes its major theme. Thus read in the light of its commentary. 74). Yogaraja. exegete of the Paramarthasara. he makes constant reference to the interior experience of the yogin. wherein the yogin formulates the content of his "incommunicable" realization. Thus the Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta achieves a double goal: it rewrites an older text without compromising its own point of view. he accents his account with a series of phrases in the first-person singular. Thus. as much within the vast saivite tradition as in the perspective of other Indian systems — sometimes in order to appropriate the others. Such are the originality and the lucidity of this commentary that it truly merits its appellation as a vivrti. 78). 1: programmatic verse. V. . and that of the Paramarthasara itself: the notion of jivanmukti. The structure of the text is governed by a dialectic between bondage and liberation — a dialectic that is articulated in terms of instruction as to the means of abolishing bondage. For instance. of the jivanmukta so incomprehensible to ordinary men. an 'elaborate explanation'. if covertly. and to the kundalini. Yogaraja finds many occasions to bring out more or less cryptic references to the notion of supreme Speech. a doxography in miniature. to the placing of the thirty-six tattvas on the body of the guru and of the initiand (v. Of course. in the second. jivanmukti. However. It is one example among many of Yogaraja's hinting at esoteric aspects of the doctrine (`esoteric' being understood in its narrow. ad 42. It might be noted also that Yogaraja could have figured in roles other than that of Ksemaraja's disciple. taking particular note of the various implicit objections to which such or such a verse may be said to be a response. as the context shows. and which is based. and it makes of itself both a doctrinal synthesis and a defense of jivanmukti. beginning with the upanisads — but Yogaraja gives its exposition a particular twist. 59). within the apparent linearity of the Paramarthasara's philosophical discourse. sometimes in order to achieve distance from them. beginning with the commentary on verse 9. expanding on the diversity of yogic practices where the base text merely alludes to them. after referring to the Kalikakrama in his gloss on PS 41. and in pan-Indian tradition. the author of the Janmamaranavicara. to the doctrine of phonemic emanation and the role of the matrkas (vv.example. the articulations of which Yogaraja is at pains to emphasize. sometimes idiosyncratically.
or as 'Siva beyond [the principles]' (paramasiva — Siva seen as the thirty-seventh principle). 14-22: exposé of the thirty-six 'principles' (tattva). 15 onward. symmetrically. Similarly. anticipates the descriptions of jivanmukti that follow. series of examples (6-9. 'false/apparent knowledge'. 30). of which the freedom of the Lord is the explicative principle: Abhinavagupta's introduction of the theme of 'divine play' (krida). waking. 12-13) and the related doctrine of 'difference-and-non-difference' (bhedabheda). Vv. . 23). Vv. Vv. liberation prescribed in v. etc.'. 4-13: condensed exposé of the system's nondualism: phenomenal diversity understood as the manifestation of the Lord's energies. 10-11. justification of the apparent para dox of a Self (or a brahman) both one and many (35). reaffirmation of nondualism: the pasu is none other than Siva incarnate. where is introduced the notion of 'fallacious creative power' (mays vimohini). by purification. that are graduated manifestation of the Self. which comprehend the multiplicity of worlds and finite creatures. Verse 38.1°4 The two errors constitute the mithyajnana of PS 53. 2-3: the myth of origin of the Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta. 12-13). Traika innovation: notion of the sequentiality of the two errors. refutation of competing theories of the Self. which includes all the false constructions of the relation of Self and non-Self espoused by rival systems. itself designated in what follows as brahman. 25).. 32). the constriction of the immemorial and eternal freedom of the Self (32). refutation of the objection that the Self is polluted by its particular realizations (36) and that the Self is compromised by the variety of its states of consciousness. successive and concentric manifestation of the four envelopes. by reconquest or recognition of 'Self-knowledge' (svajnana). which is obtained by reversing the process that is instrumental in generating bondage. Yogaraja introduces (ad 9) for the first time the figure of the jivanmukta. v. ontological categories or principles constitutive of the 'pure path' and the 'impure path'. a theme that is omnipresent. or cosmic spheres (anda. explain the genesis of finitude — as they do in the prototypical Samkhya. described as the obfuscation of the truth (`the darkness of error'. by unveiling. the fundamental misapprehension of taking the Self for the non-Self. beginning of the treatment of liberation. Self-forgetfulness and the advent of subjectobject dualism in the form of `dualizing thought' (vikalpa. anticipate the later definitions of the jivanmukta. reprised in 32). who assumes as actor the infinity of roles in terms of which the theater of the world is characterized (5). 4). which he reads allusively in the notion of grace there set forth. 'constriction'. 23-27: characterization of finitude as a 'sheath'. Vv.) modes of the Self (34). structured in terms of the myth of origin of the Paramarthasara of Adisesa. or 'impurity' — all realizations of error. These principles. refutation of the objection that the Self is subject to affectations: the "psychologization" of the Self being a mere matter of metaphor (38). allusive reference to three of the four 'envelopes/spheres' (anda. proposing to define the Self (or supreme principle). doctrine of 'reflection' (pratibimba. 28-32: introduction of the theme of 'all-powerful error'. inasmuch as on the dissolution of that error depends liberation in this life — the major issue here treated. expression of the Lord's sovereign freedom. termed as well `ignorance' (ajnana) — in other words. though in different degrees (27.Vv. 24). 33: 'One should unveil his proper Self . and consequences of maya. is condemned as 'false' (mithya. which serves as basis for this and other Indian theories of "objectivity". correspondence established between macrocosmic (creation. nondualism reaffirmed (26). that of taking the Self for the non-Self being prior to and more fundamental than that of taking the non-Self for the Self (31). etc. arranged progressively. to which one accedes. expression of `nescience' (avidya). which describes the Self 'as it is in reality' (paramarthatah). all of which partake of error. Allusions to the theme of error appear from v.. `dualizing thought' (vikalpa). Vv.) and microcosmic (the four states. Vv. the three 'impurities' (mala. or as 'supreme principle' (paratattva). 33-38: reversibility of finitude and liberation.
YR ad 47. devoted to mantric practice and articulated in terms of the mantra SAUH. 109 On another level of interpretation. The realization of the absolute 'I' (aham). in the way of Sambhu. 'after overcoming the bewildering maya . 33 is acquired in v. generated by the act and linking it with its fruit. ad 40) and the simultaneous advent of knowledge and liberation. reduces all the other modes of valid knowing (including revealed texts. as well. the yogin is liberated. that is. 39-40: eradication of the twofold error (bhrantidvaya.. The same freedom of the Supreme Lord — that is. this latter also called the `way of knowledge' (jnanopaya) — the way of interiorizing ritual that is characterized by 'meditative realization' (bhavana) and mantric practice. YR ad 51 [first occurrence]). etc. avat. The portrait of the jivanmukta presented in vv. we return to the depiction of the yogin in majesty according to the saktopaya: the avataranika ad 51 places in the mouth of the yogin. 51-59: the esoteric parenthesis is brief. as well as the 'seed of the heart' (hrdayabija).. of the mantra SAUH that pertains to the way of energy. 40. seen not as a momentary event. 51. along with their roots. symbolic correspondence between this section of the treatise —which describes the heart (hr Jaya). we return to a properly philosophical account. but the mantra AHAM as well. 41-46. there is no penchant at all on the part of the supreme adept who has attained his goal to accomplish anything else'. the mode of affirmation of the 'Great Lord that is the Self of each person' (svatmamahesvara). the first-person pronoun expresses the 'undeniable' (anapahavaniya. it is a question of detaching the consequence from the act. that is. it is not the metaphysical principle of the 'I' that is solely at issue here. to the jivanmukta. 'energy'. source of all the other mantras' efficiency (virya). one's own Self (svatmamaheivara) — which has the power to subjugate has also the power to liberate (ad 39). is thus in effect the counterpart. on the model of the vedic 'selfpraise' (atmastuti). 47). description of the jivanmukta as a yogin embarked on the way of energy. with the necessary implication that it is a liberation acquired in this life: 'In this way. of the yogin following the sambhavopaya. The liberation that was prescribed in v. Vv. without it being necessary to distinguish between acts dating from before the awakening and those posterior to it: in both cases. in terms that are ambiguous.108 This self-praise of the `I' 'stamps the yogin in the way of Sambhu'. The response is that subjection to the law of karman is the product of 'faulty knowledge'. 41-46: change of tone in the commentary that focuses on an esoteric and mystical interpretation of the philosophical concepts treated above (bhedabheda. notably that based on the mantra SAUH. 105 The stress is put upon the means of simultaneous access to both knowledge and liberation. by presenting. as the `direct way' (saksadupaya). Vv. For him who has . at the moment of his awakening. In consequence. Vv. even though veiled. 41-46) exemplifying the `interiorized rite' (antaryaga). described as the 'supreme adept' (parayogin).). He is henceforth a 'knower' (jnanin. defined. it is thus the apurva.'). Vv. but as the setting in motion of a long process eventuating in its proper fruit (in Mimamsaka terms. Vv. the advent of 'true knowledge' suffices to free one from that law (53). This 'I'. when these twin delusions have been cut off. In consequence. defined elsewhere as the 'supreme great mantra' (paramahamantra). 47-50 would in that case constitute a follow-up to the esoteric parenthesis of vv. The mantra AHAM. the first reference. At the very moment that knowledge is acquired (v. to a position of externality and relativity (YR ad 50). 41-46 constitute thus an esoteric parenthesis (or the beginning of such a parenthesis) in a discourse that is primarily philosophical — whose esoterism is recognized by its partial presentation and by the dissemination of occult teachings (YR ad 43. which represents that principle symbolically. the mantra SAUH — and its place in the center of the treatise. a 'discipline' (yoga) based on scriptural sources (agama) that is proper to the 'way of energy' (saktopaya). preparing thus the way for an esoteric account of mantric practice (vv. equally that of the yogin and that of the Lord. notably). 50) faculty of experience (or consciousness) present in all beings. Here we find. Yogaraja interprets v. as is said in Tantraloka. Agamas). is characteristic of the 'way of Sambhu' (sambhavopaya).Vv. 47-50: self-proclamation of the 'I' as ultimate principle. After this sketch of the yogin in majesty as the 'master of the Wheel of energies' (v. the proclamation of IPK IV 12: 'This might is all mine'. in Abhinavagupta's text. 51 onwards. that "disappears"). From v. 51-59 answers the implicit objection that the notion of 'liberation while living' is incompatible with the karmic destiny that must be attributed to the yo-gin in virtue of his incarnate state. 40 as implying a denunciation of external rites. that is.
in the karikas. borrowing from ordinary experience. the recognition of one's own self as the universal Self (or the Lord.'to sacrifice'. As soon as his nescience dissipates and his identity with the universal Self is recognized. whose practices are soiled by duality despite their terrifying rigor. inasmuch as 'awakening' signifies the abolition of the desire for fruition (v. those fruits in process of maturation (prarabdhakarman) are consumed by the fire of awakening itself (v. of jivanmukti —albeit via a periphrasis: T. wandering hither and yon.been consecrated 'liberated while living' by his awakening. surpassing of all duality as his vow (vrata. becomes. 76). rejected because they account only for liberation at death. together with the fatality of transmigration (61-62). The jnanin frees himself thus from all the modes of karmic realization (v. His rituals of consecration are interior. 74). as he is (at least in the eyes of others) — accedes to a state of `disincarnation' (asariratva). V. implies that the yajamana. 67. the kapalika's begging-bowl. the patron of the sacrifice. contemplation of supreme ipseity as his silent (or whispered) recitation (japa. literally. unalterable because innate. a staff surmounted by a skull. when inflected in the middle voice (yajate). that sets aside the negative effects of the law of karman. The description of practice culminates with a characterization of the jivanmukta as a Kapalika (79-80) — although his vow. fanned by the wind of meditative realization (bhavana) —the mention here of bhavana signals that the path taken by the 'knower'. while those set in motion after the awakening eventuate in no consequence. v. 63-66 respond to this apparent paradox by contesting the necessity of any convergence between a mechanistic application of the law of karman and the so-called fatality of reincarnation. is that of 'energy'. the 'knower' — incarnate. Vv. becomes the 'shred' of the knowable that sustains equally the jivanmukta. unshakable awareness of the Ultimate as his own meditation (dhyana. the jivanmukta can now be described in the light of the very acts that compose his daily life — indifferent to the injunctions and prohibitions that are the meat of the ordinary man. The yajaka thus becomes a metaphor for the man 'liberated while living'. of a distinction between liberation in this life. 79-80). in the commentary to 61. as liberation while living — against a backdrop of "dualistic" definitions of liberation. 55). the symbolic khatvanga of the latter. synonym of liberation 11° — responses that are hardly more than common places used by the commentator to further his demonstration. will term videhamukti. 75). in the form of a shard of skull. in this section of the Paramarthasara. when inflected in the active voice (yajati). and liberation at death. Yogaraja . the principal indicator and effect of which is his emancipation from all sorrow. among them post-ankara Vedanta. 60: this initial portrait of the 'knower' culminates in the Traika definition of liberation as `the manifestation of one's own energies realized by cutting the knot of nescience'. which. implies that the yajaka. As proof that the benefit of an act may not pertain to the agent. pursuit of these images: the transmigratory world where abides the jivanmukta is quite as terrifying as the burning-ground of the kapalika. goes well beyond that of the ordinary kapalika. the body of the former. 61-67: less allusive mention. 77). qualified as `otherworldly' (alaukika) by Yogaraja. jivanmukti. In sum. Such "fatality" applies only to the embodied soul laboring under the control of nescience. 78). thought as oblation (havana. 61). but. Vv. 56). 58). one's own self as the divinity (devata. that is. so deviant is he from the usual standard (71). the kapalika's liquor is the other's 'essence of the universe'. Vv. metaphorical extensions of the inner-outer parallelism noted above: construction of the body as temple (devagrha. proposes the grammatical example of the verb yaj. the jivanmukta is 'liberated' because he is exempt from duality. reiteration of the principle underlying the notion of jivanmukti: it is access to knowledge. metaphorical (68): the 'knower' makes oblation of his dualizing thoughts in the fire of his consciousness. 74-80: description of the mystic practice of the 'knower' devoted to the way of energy. appearing to others not unlike a madman. sketch. in other words. the officiating priest. is its beneficiary.. the characteristic of the 'knower' is his purity (70). or Pure Consciousness). which later traditions. 68-73: exonerated henceforth from the corruption of his acts.] he is liberated though still joined with his body' (v. acts without acquiring that particular benefit which belongs to his patron. Vv. Regardless of the accidents that may affect his life and acts henceforth. which obliges him to act in view of a fruit or result.
corresponding to the 'state beyond the Fourth' (turyatita). A concession is made nevertheless to the adversary (YR ad 85-86): a gradation. not accorded their release in this life? In other words. The persistence of a body does not compromise in any way the liberated status of the jivanmukta — and his liberation is irreversible. A new objection is raised (avat. and that it is open to all. while admitting the simultaneity of 'knowledge' and liberation. that liberates. according to the Saiva maxim: sakrd vibhato 'yam. 89. the episode of gajendramoksa. whose motion continues unrestrained: it explains why and how liberation occurs within this world. or perhaps a sequencing. though genuinely desirous of liberation. which notion would be difficult to see as anything but a restating of the question. and liberation at death. 89-95: theme of the irreversibility of liberation developed in detail. of two orders of liberation: liberation in this life. and yet varied. again in quasi-philosophical terms (81): the commentary borrowing from the Samkhyakarika the famous image of the potter's wheel (without however acknowledging the source [SK 67]. and ultimately to be cast aside. in effect. a shift in point of view is in course: at the end of the treatise. does not bring into question his status as 'liberated' (90-95). the impulsion is the inertia provided by acts previously undertaken (prarabdhakarman). 83. it is pointed out (85-86) that 'enlightenment' implies the disappearance of the three impurities that are responsible for the soul's finitude and transmigration. Given the degrees of grace. Vv. to "spin" for some time after the last impulsion given to it by the potter. 111 introduction of two new elements defining jivanmukti (82): that the experience is blissful (that is. 96-97: jivanmukti is now philosophically established. it is solely Siva's perspective that is at issue — paramarthatah — in terms of which the perspective provided by the law of karman is merely instrumental. Vv.concludes: 'Such is the vow of him who has cultivated the lotus feet of a true teacher. Yogaraja sketches the distinction between liberation in this life and liberation at death. This apparent gradation of "descents" is of course correlated with the abilities of the aspirant. how does one account for "gradations" or "degrees" of liberation — and sometimes even failures? The response. condemns him to the fatality of transmigration. without ritual prerequisites — and therefore does not require the social `perfectioning' (samskara) implied in the caste system. one cannot escape the idea that different degrees of effort are also called for — on the . makes appeal to 'divine grace' in the form of a 'descent of energy' (saktipata): it is that 'descent of energy' of the Supreme Lord. for this is necessarily polluting — liberation being possible. unconditioned. One question remains: why are some aspirants. corresponding to the 'Fourth state' (turya). which it cites almost verbatim). the final agony of the 'knower'. 89-102). only at the moment of death. In fact. that death does not interrupt or modify the fact of liberation. Vv. established once and for all. 81-88: new portrait of the jivanmukta. like the potter's wheel. even though it may appear not entirely satisfactory. the sole real agent is Siva. unrestricted. not merely absent of sorrow). 91 suggests the possibility of comparing the opacity of the 'knower's' final moments to the condition of certain animals as they confront death (cf. no unexpected shock is sufficient to deflect one from the destiny he has sought. One reading of v. which on its face seems to concern only the bound soul. who acts only by proxy. whatever disorder of mind or body may accompany it. In his commentary to v. rather than an "answer". denies the possibility of continuing to 'live in a body'. Beyond that is nothing but the desiccation of the body' — a comment that serves also to introduce a new motif (extensively developed in vv. in other words. for example. ad 85-86). for the ordinary man. In virtue of this principle. In response. positively felicitous. the living body of the 'knower' is said there. Such is the teaching of v. One becomes. No intervening accident. it is the commentary that supplies the missing link with this saivite interpretation of the law of karman. that which one has always been — whether he be a bound soul (pail) or a 'knower' (jnanin). 90-95): the significance of the yogin's final moments for his already acquired liberation. Here. which. as mere vyavanara. taken up by YR): the animal condition itself does not obstruct the state of liberation to which the animal may have been entitled. A paradoxical argument justifies this irreversibility by appealing to the law of karman — the same law that. 112 and alludes to a theme that will be later developed (vv. The vanity of injunctions and prohibitions is again noted (83-84). inasmuch as it is valid for the embodied agent. The 'descent of energy' thus amounts to the acquisition (or 'recognition') of a 'freedom' that is one's already — inasmuch as Siva is here conceived as 'freedom' itself.
provided that it be sincere. however. however. 96-97) and supplies a philosophical foundation for the notion of the yogabhrasta (vv. to verses 30-31. but only after a subsequent death. VIII: 3713). who has acquired liberation in this life or will in the next. Neither must the aspirant fear presumption: not only is his effort promised success. which is that of the entire treatise: every effort bears fruit. 98-99 promise to such a one a residence in 'divine worlds' and a rebirth that is guaranteed to produce a salutary result. but it is legitimate. of which the last verses (vv. and the author for his authority. where sometimes fidelity and coherence must be reconciled somewhat loosely. is largely absent in other texts of nondual Saivism of Kashmir — with the single exception of TA XXXVII 65 (which uses the synonym yogacyuta while referring to Krsha's teaching apropos the yogabhrasta) and Tantralokaviveka ad loc. 116 to verses 4-5. to the Traika notion of the three 'ways' (vv. where the term yogabhrasta figures in a citation of those very verses (viz.part of different aspirants — and so the text. for instance. v. 84-86) have been reproduced quasi verbatim in Abhinavagupta's verses 100102 — preceding which. even though covertly. which set forth the notion of twofold error. On the model of a doctrine that places in tandem servitude and emancipation. Vv. he who is engaged in a 'discipline' (yoga) leading to emancipation. the immediate or direct path to liberation. correspond verses 41-46. This borrowing from the older text does serve Abhinavagupta. the aspirant who has 'fallen from discipline' (yogabhrasta). 105 goes even further. Not only is no effort wasted. be it now or later. 98-102 are devoted to a lengthy exposition of the unsuccessful aspirant. corresponds verse 57. A reading of vv. which introduce the motif of the 'sheaths' or 'envelopes' (arida). in facilitating his claim that liberation is universally accessible — witness the vibrant plea of Yogaraja in favor of the effort to obtain liberation (103). 103: This verse contains the "moral" to be derived from vv. 96-97 is their reference to a yogin who has or will have succeeded in his quest. which describes the installation of impurities. This brings into focus. V. to the 'way of the finite soul' (anavopaya). in vol. he too is promised an ultimate liberation. In 96 is described an aspirant who. in these final sections. 'effortlessly' and in this life — the only mediation required being that of the teacher.. but his practice is taken up at just the point it was interrupted. Vv. perhaps. and finds an additional reason to believe in the inevitability of liberation: it is even more certain now that it has been explained in the best of all possible treatises. The element that is common to vv. the strategy of rewriting at issue here. Vv. liberation is certain. as it were. Vv. V. typically. the Adisesa's Paramarthasara. the text of the Paramarthasara is constructed dialectically: to verse 24. who has. BhG VI 41b-43. by an unexpected death that has interrupted his practice — and who thus sees his liberation deferred. conferred by the unequalled splendor of his mystical realization. The source of the notion of the yogabhrasta is doubtless the Gita (VI 37-49). V. the term `yogin' implies as well a reference to the Saiva system of upayas. follows the 'way of Sambhu'. strangely enough. The notion. whose practice has utterly failed. 98-99). celebrating the work for its concision. After a sojourn lasting even longer in the divine worlds. If the echo of the Gita is clear. benefiting from a grace that is 'very intense' (atitivra). Why this Paramarthasara's remarkable and quite detailed exception? In part. comes a preamble that refers. characterized through the analogy of copper changed alchemically into gold by contact with mercury. 100-102 describe an aspirant even more imperfect. shifts from an emphasis on the jnanin to one on the yogin. namely. 104-105: As expected at the end of a treatise like the Paramarthasara.. failed to grasp what has been clearly explained to him. such an aspirant accedes to final enlightenment. 104 returns to the text itself and its author. whose unfurling causes finitude. 96 –102. . which describe the manner in which mantric practice proceeds to their being stowed away. the answer must lie in the fact that Abhinavagupta's Paramarthasara is the rewriting of an extra-Saiva text. which contemplates their abolition. the Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta. as Yogaraja notes ad 102. 96-97 —without any reference to the commentary — finds there easily a description of jivanmukti and the three 'ways' capable of leading to it. in which he is likened to none other than Mahesvara himself. 97 envisages an aspirant who has devoted himself to the sequential practices of the 'way of energy' (saktopaya) — and probably.
as it is a positive recognition (pratyabhijna) that one is already free — if anything. which makes maya's dissipation the precondition of liberation. Although this paradox is. verse 15. nothing irremediable — even finitude itself is finite. YR ad v. 104 at the end of the treatise somewhat belatedly reveals) 'the highest (parama) of the four goals (artha. in his commentary on the first verse. The doctrine is well suited then to the needs of the mumuksu. for it accords him assurance that he will reach his goal: even in the sphere of finite interests. in some way. in contrast. they assume alternating roles. the only freedom to which one should aspire. is reflected in verse 51. common to most Indian radical monisms. the Trika affirms both its doctrinal coherence (the other systems do not have recourse to such a notion in order to describe liberation) and its taste for paradox — a way to shore up a counterfactual view of the human condition. SpP 1. but which the commentators delight in bringing out. In this sense. In this system. in this system of thought. . the oxymoron par excellence —and scandalous as well for ordinary reasonable men. the paradoxical acquisition of a freedom that one has never lost. this school affirms in particular that the recognition at issue takes the form of the 'full deployment of one's own energies' (svatmaiaktivikasvarata . purusartha) of human life'. concerned. saying that "it alone is the teaching that serves as a means for realizing the highest among the goals of human life. namely emancipation (moksa): 'Now the author [Abhinavagupta] proceeds to sum up the purpose of the text.a not uncommon ploy. in a world that has no other destiny than transmigration. objections for the most part implicit in the texts themselves. where paramartha signifies not only 'ultimate (parama) reality (or truth. to jivanmukti in the name `Sambhu'. subject only to Siva's will: 'Thus does the Supreme Siva extend [within our sphere] his play [made] wonderful by [the alternation of] bondage and liberation'. who is pleased sometimes to conceal himself. the acolyte aspiring to emancipation. The challenge that jivanmukti represents as well for the Paramarthasara itself can be ascertained subliminally in the polysemy of the work's title. witness the similar readings of the name `Sankara' (cf. as all men should be.. which consecrate its eradication. the teacher has stated in abbreviated form the purport of the text in its entirety'." Likewise. The numerous objections to the notion point to that scandal. there exists no liberation. artha)'. endlessly. extending even to notions and entities of little value. which defines maya. Liberation is freedom: in other words. but a freedom that plays at hiding itself. with executing their religious and ethical duties. . rhythmically. but (as the commentary to v. He continues: 'With this summary sentence. that of obscuration (tirodhanasakti) and that of his grace or favor (anugrahasakti). scil.a notion that appears to follow from nondualism itself. there exist neither servitude nor emancipation — just sovereign freedom. is emancipation in this life 121 . On the level of ultimate reality (paramarthatah). `liberation [from life] while one yet lives'. there is nothing set in stone. albeit concealed. in accordance with his two 'energies' sakti). have no "reality" apart from worldly convention and linguistic usage. Everything. as we have seen. which he interprets etymologically as signifying 'whose nature is unsurpassed felicity. At the heart of the doctrine. which is manifest in the play of the god. is the notion of jivanmukti. if one understands by 'emancipation' going beyond the contraries and reintegration within the One: there is no reason why a person. emancipation is defined not so much as a motivated effort to undo bondage. quoted below). With the introduction of the notion of sakti. sometimes to reveal himself. finitude and liberation are nothing but appearances. In effect.correspond verses 39-40. To the extent that Siva's game brings them into play. Yogaraja appears to descry a reference. is a product of an 'energy' of the god. which teaches that the supreme state to be attained is absorption in [what is already] one's own essence. 60).
or must one wait for the end of life in order to accede thereto? That is. the treatment of the notion and its representation as a philosophical issue constitute in their own way major contributions to the development of Indian thought. in effect. the absence of all existential difficulty in realizing one's own identity with Siva. they have been noticed in several Advaita or Advaita-like texts of the epoch. To date. . II: 231) would attribute to the ninth century. The quarrel reflected in these Saiva texts is thus far from original. the tension between the life of the hermit and worldly life is not a recent phenomenon. 10-11). 124 as well as in some older upanisads. In the same way.in this world. MuU I 2. nevertheless. but is nevertheless felt as irremediably crucial. the ideal of liberation (moksa) was superadded to the three "normal" goals of human life. As far as the terms jivanmukti/°mukta are concerned. should not be as free as is Siva. according to the same authorities. Indeed. The dynamism of Indian intellectual history depends in large part on that dialectic. both "free" and socially engaged. the debates that are echoed in the Saiva texts on the degrees of liberation relate to a narrower issue. the notion of the 'guru'. provided that he undertakes the real labor of recognizing that truth. and presenting several Saiva traits). at least for a handful of individuals. have remarked on the Indian genius for synthesis. one has the sense that Kashmir Saivism is one of the first systems to seek to justify doctrinally the notion of jivanmukti. either the possibility of the 'non-means' (anupaya). traditionally assigned to Safikara himself — though erroneously. that is. as to the newly popular devotionalism and its reinvigorated sense of ritual. The terms figure as well in Saiva texts of the same period. The menace represented by the abandonment of karmic life had been first manifest in the latevedic critique of the efficacity of the sacrifice itself (see. is the notion of jivanmukti defensible? Many scholars. the Brahmanico-Buddhist amalgam. such as the interiorization of complex external rites. menaced by any abandoning of worldly life. Renou among them.122 The existential difficulty of becoming Siva may be read. From a strictly philosophical point of view. vol. reconciliation — a spirit that refuses to regard any contradiction as final. In this sense. or that of the quasi-instantaneous `way of Sambhu'. As such. The theme of abandoning karmic life is nearly as old as Indian civilization itself. 125 and recognized as such by Sankara. relegating samnyasa to the end of life. corresponding to this new "extrahuman" condition. and the Atmabodha. well after the householder had fulfilled his ritual destiny (including the procreation of sons). such as the Yogavasistha (also it seems from Kashmir. and has given rise to a debate that is a persistent leitmotif of Indian intellectual history. nor a fatality — and the notion of jivanmukti offers once again the opportunity to palliate it. rather more technical in nature: can liberation — accepted by nearly everyone at the time — be reconciled with karmic life. between the lines of the doctrine of the four upayas — which doctrine includes. but their more certain dating should not hide the fact that the idea of jivanmukti had long ago found its way into the conceptual apparatus of monists (of whatever stripe) — it is there in the Gita. The asperity of that debate might be due as much to a lingering suspicion that Brahmanism had already surrendered too much to Buddhist influence. for he is not-different from him. most modern interpreters consider them as relatively recent. that some (including Dasgupta 1975. That critique was at least partially disarmed by the notion of the four stages of life (asramadharma). as I will attempt to show. for instance. where compromises have been numerous (and not all congenial to Western fashions of thought).
In effect. Therefore it is not surprising that the term and the concept of jivanmukti were not unknown to the early tantric tradition. and it is on their behalf that avat. whose aim was. they tend to do so from the Kaula point of view. and its designation there as the 'fourth' obliged the promotion of the old 'fourth' — 'liberation' universally understood as 'liberation at death' — to a 'fifth'. the 'Fourth' (turya) and 'Trans-Fourth' (turyatite .Even its technical interpretation is there: are 'free while alive' those that "act" no more.the latter appearing as a Saiva innovation. employs a rather virtuoso strategy that . one can say without exaggeration that the Saiva authors give us one of the first more or less complete accounts of an idea that had taken root for some time in Indian absolutist thought — although they do not deviate from the commonly received opinion as concerns the general character and importance of liberation itself. and 1988: 660ff. position in the hierarchy of states having no name of its own. The fact that tantrism proposed more efficient means of liberation did not imply that arguments of the brahmanical orthodoxy were refused by Kashmirian exegetes. which included that tantrism presented itself as a more efficient means to the same end: on the whole. This kind of liberation in life was in turn seen by proponents of the orthodox brahmanical religion as a paradox. when nondualist Kashmirian exegetes make use of this notion. The Trika. not only by modern scholarship (at least beyond the field of Saiva studies). and most notably to the Gaa. showing that. indeed reevaluating. This meant that the average initiate could be considered liberated already in this life and did not need to make any particular effort for the attainment of moksa subsequently. as shown by their constant references to prior discussions of this issue. Trika confers upon itself that of purnatavada) that suffices to define liberation as freedom itself. Yet. 162 From the moment the 'state of liberation' (moksa) found a home in life existential (jivanmukti). it proposed to liberate one through tantric initiation (even if liberation was not immediately fully effective). There is no doubt as to the soteriological orientation of the quasi-totality of developed Indian philosophical systems — be they monist or dualist. but are obliged to live out their prarabdhakarman. For its part. which is established between the two kinds of liberation — seemingly "consecutive": that obtained while living and that secured at death — and the two final `states of consciousness' (avastha). rather than through ritual action. which is antiritualist. for instance. tantric doctrine and ritual attempted to demonstrate their superiority compared to orthopraxy in several ways. there is no liberation.) shows. as set forth by the Paramarthasara and its commentary. one is liberated in this world through internal realization. and ultimately through knowledge. The jivanmukta is a jnanin. but freed from the eristic and negative character of the latter — bondage itself being resolved in the absolute freedom of the Self. ad PS 8586 asks the following question: 'How can one continue to act after enlightenment. liberation is possible only at the moment of death'. As Sanderson (1995: 25ff. as the Samkhya — but the novelty of the Trika's approach lies in its viewing. As mentioned above. inasmuch as bondage exists only on the empirical level. Thus. Consequently. because (as indicated by Sankara and others) a karman once set in motion is not easily annulled. on the level of the absolute. but also by later Indian tradition. A view with Madhyamika overtones. However. or rather to a 'Trans-Fourth'. it is true. yet retaining something of its previous status. among other things. the term itself (jivanmukti. without accumulating further consequences of those acts? In effect. as has been mainly the case. the Paramarthasara — at least as YR ad 85-86 reads it — introduces a correspondence unknown to the Tantraloka. or jivanmukta) makes some of its first appearances in tantric texts. the Trika organizes under the heading of a 'doctrine of freedom' (svatantryavada) the elements of the immemorial dialog on the liberated man. mukti in the light of its metaphysics. the contribution of the vast sivaite literature to the debate on jivanmukti cannot be ignored. to supersede the orthodox ritual system. the insertion of the latter in the pan-Indian schema of the four states. a state of dynamic plenitude (among other names.
a notion that Saiva metaphysics shares with Saiva aesthetics. 67 with the `disincamate' state of v. afflicts the spirit. or at least a type of this-worldly release that has not yet received that name. The Trika does not confront Samkhya directly on this point. the important role assigned to the antahkarana in the process of liberation (YR ad 90-91. There comes to the surface. Similarly. that is. now liberated. the `disincarnation' that characterizes the jivanmukta in that he ceases to confuse his body with the Self. [. opine that in liberation. 83. of which a singular trait is the postulate that liberation in this life is inconceivable in the absence of the Lord's grace. 7: `Some. 67-68. SK 2). le maitre rencontré. is already germinating in the Samkhyakarika. multiplies references to the properly Mimamsaka notion of apurva in arguments intended to establish not only the possibility of jivanmukti. 67-68: contrasting the 'incarnate' state of v. In parallel. several indices furnished by the Paramarthasara and its commentary permit apprehension of the relation of inheritance that Trika sustains with Samkhya on the question of liberation: the commentary to PS 81 (which paraphrases without attribution SK 67) and 83. Another element of the definition of 'liberation' that Trika shares with Advaita. whose omnipresence in Yogaraja's commentary and in other texts of the system is perhaps intended chiefly to affirm how the this-worldly ascesis recommended by the Gaa is. the Trika is not loath to invoke authorities (pramana) outside its own tradition. . As Andre Padoux observes. one notices. in effect. according to TA XIII 27613-279a. described here as a 'descent of energy' saktipata). of the departed. At the very most. in the etymological sense of `ab-solvo'. the liberation that occurs 'when the body falls away' (GBh 67: sarirapate) is the liberation that v. to be fair. The Trika pretends however to ignore the appropriation of this gradation by the Advaita inspired by Sankara.uses the law of karman in order to subvert that same law. the reutilization of Samkhya notions of kaivalya (at v. from v. or 'which encounters no obstacle' (anantarhita) — the principal obstacle being the body. 166 though. 68 terms kaivalya. 'absolute' liberation. a Traika rereading of Samkhya doctrine according to which the notion of jivanmukti. l'initiation revue et jusqu'au système religieux auquel on accorde sa foi'. the citation of SK 44 by YR ad 92-93. in re vv. The Gaudapddiyabhasya [GBh] on the Samkhyakarika. one tastes no kind of joy'.168 As such. That Samkhya has ignored this 'felicity' is a reproach made by Sankara ad BAU III 9. especially in Yogaraja's commentary. is the notion of 'felicity' (ananda) that accompanies the experience of liberation. in the usage that the Paramarthasara makes of these Samkhya notions. the Trika proposes an interpretation of SK 67 that is not all that distant from that of Gaudapada. 92-93). It is this subordination of liberation to `grace' that. 68 (prapte sarirabhede) — life and death in effect. the Bhagavadgita. 'loosen from'. this-worldly liberation. but its very legitimacy. in fact. described as 'total' (aikantika). And so the last portion of our text. 68 to kaivalya. which no longer. but never ceases to stress the aspect of 'felicity'. v. like the partisans of Samkhya or Vaisesika. la grace] determine la voie parcourue. and 'definitive' (atyantika). the vedantic idea of asariratva. according to the Gaudapadiyabhasya. constitutes the superiority of the Saiva path in relation to other systems. 'necessary' (avasya). Moreover. 89 onwards. itself the reprise of APS 81) and of apavarga (YR ad 33). where we find mention of the potter's wheel. associating with it an aspect of experience that is absent from advaitic arguments: the 'marvelous' (camatkara). but rather by discriminating knowledge (vijnana. its readings are usually favorable to its own theses.. 67 refers to jivanmukti. In the first place. It is true that Samkhya and Trika start from the same postulate: liberation is not accessible by ritual (SK 1). v. In sum.. and which dissociates it from Samkhya. 28. brings out the dynamic organization of the ensemble constituted by vv. Whatever may be the case with these similarities and differences. the Trika develops an original doctrine regarding liberation. in any way shape or form.
in effect. liberation itself. as the Tantraloka insists. that apply only at the mundane level. sambhavapada) and that 'of energy' (saktabhumika). We observe in effect an attempt to theorize that mystique of grace. in virtue of a functional hierarchy that is. their porosity of essence. even to the final chapter. whereas it is absent from the chapter devoted to the anupaya. Another indication of the porosity of the ways and their partial overlapping is the reciprocity of yogic and mystic practices. thanks to a spectacular 'descent' of grace that makes any further mediation unnecessary or useless. absorption in Siva (or in the Self). 183 that is. 46).From this point of view. even the lowest way. This confusion of boundaries between the 'ways' perhaps signifies by indirection their porosity — a porosity of practices proper to each of the ways. and especially. which mentions the 'way of Sambhu' (or the 'condition of Sambhu'. or whether one raises himself progressively from one way to the next (excluding. 1813 that Ksemaraja divides the text of the Sivasara into three parts organized in terms of the three inferior upayas. As I have attempted to show in examining the arrangement of the Paramarthasara text. For. to his relative capacity of receiving that grace. 10-11). On the one hand. in the sense that 'everything is iva'. As the first five chapters of the Tantraloka affirm. kundalini (also utilized considerably in the anavopaya). XIII of Tantraloka. but is prolonged well beyond that.187 That is why the motif of jivanmukti is associated with the three inferior ways in the chapters of the Tantraloka devoted to them. however. if only he make a sustained effort in that direction. In effect.namely. for. in the `non-way' (anupaya). all the ways have a degree of legitimacy. with the exception of the avat. set forth in ch. No particular 'qualification' (adhikara) is postulated: access to jivanmukti is thus open to everyone. there is neither servitude nor liberation (TA III 273). In this vein. In this sense. the 'ways' of liberation are themselves subordinated to the degree of grace accorded to the adept —in other words. It is thus clear that the Paramarthasara articulates the quasi-totality of the doctrine it seeks to abridge around its defense and characterization of liberation. the 'non-way'). 4-5. 23. But this project is not without its costs. that of the finite soul (anavopaya) is not without value. Even if that mystique resonates perfectly with the emotional effusion proper to bhakti — an experience that is omnipresent in Trika literature — it is still subject to reasoning and to argumentation. sambhavopaya). it is to liberation in this life that lead the three inferior ways. 186 In the last analysis.179 as is the treatment of the upayas — a notion that became so important in Abhinavagupta's syncretistic exegesis. For this reason. Such a conception of grace implies for the Trika the abandonment of social and ritual requisites. Indeed. which not only adduces a complex hierarchization of its "degrees". but also establishes correspondences with the doctrine of the 'means' or `ways' (upaya) of liberation. each way is instrumental either as such or as transitional. these three 'ways' are there alluded to. in the last analysis. whereas mudras are shared by the saktopaya (TA IV 194-211) and the anavopaya (TA V 79-85). the same practices postulate different modes of realization according to the way in which they are put into effect. The progressive extenuation of grace is reflected. an emphasis is put on the notion of the andas (vv. though not explicitly designated. Apart from the fact that Abhinavagupta says that he was himself initiated into that way by his master Sambhunatha. little matters the way. Thus are present in the three ways mantric practice. the Paramarthasara proposes at the very beginning (v. ad 41-46. the differentiation of the various ways is not very significant. of course. not a hierarchy of value. and meditation on the Wheel of energies. the 'ways' are so many 'approaches' to or specific points . measured in terms of the acquisition of merit and demerit. as we have seen. as certain accents are displaced that are required in order to establish the coherence of the work. 41. in the descending hierarchy of the 'means' — distinctions. Trika may be considered as a "mystique of grace". it emerges from the organization of the Tantraloka itself that the treatment of the anavopaya is not confined to the fifth chapter. on the other. In effect. reference to the theory of the 'word' remains mostly implicit (vv. of course. it is the end that counts 182 . 9) that the key to the system is Siva's grace sivasaktipata). Whether one enters without delay into one of the two superior ways (anupaya.
in which a plurality of practices is of the essence. when PS 80 describes the vow of the yogin engaged on the 'way of energy' as 'both easy and very difficult'. The Kula prescribes their abandonment. associated with an intense sensory activity. The privileged place accorded to the saktopaya in the Paramarthasara derives as well from the fact that it is presented there as 'easier'. in the adjectives santam and amrtam of v. while domesticating and purifying. ad 41) — one of the main themes of the saktopaya. more difficult in that all rites must be interiorized successfully. The two other ways are not for all that absent in the presentation of the Paramarthasara. The yogin engaged on the 'way of energy' identifies. which reserved the most extreme practices to its virtuosi (vira). for he observes an otherwordly vow. 74-80 of the Paramarthasara transform the procedures of the "mundane" ritual metaphorically into their interiorized counterparts — in other words. Still. though one practice suffices. occupies the middle ground between the abheda of the sambhavopaya and the bheda of the anavopaya. . the older tradition of the Kapalikas.of view on the same content of experience. but represents ultimate reality itself. Mantric practice and bhavana have as their consequence conversion of a discursive mode of thought into an intuitive and non-discursive awareness focused (if that is the word) on ultimate reality. and the exhortation in the commentary to verse 103 to 'use all means' in order to accede to the supreme human goal is perhaps to be understood in that sense. 79-80 are particularly exemplary of this. the experience to which it gives access. not with the divinity that the mantra expresses. an awareness of `difference-and-non-difference' (bhedaheda). within the confines of the same practice. but he emphasizes the effectiveness (virya) of mantras in general (avat. or perhaps even more worthy. which allows in principle a certain plurality of practice. though perhaps covertly. Texts like the Vijnanabhairava [V1311] show how. 43. This `interiorized sacrifice' — touted by the saktopaya . it would seem. for this yogin. just as the bhedabheda. as well as the importance attributed to the notion of bhavana (not present in the two superior ways). Mantric practice and bhavana concern the interiorized sacrifice (antaryaga). So does the commentary on PS 41-46 (avat. the point of view of the saktopaya (or jnanopaya. to the extent that Yogaraja evokes the figure of the Kapalika ascetic in order to oppose to him the figure of the jivanmukta Traika. which evokes Para. or of PS 76: Tor him who is engaged in offering into the blazing fire of consciousness all the great seeds of difference [that blossom forth] on the presupposition of inner versus outer.defies description and is never better portrayed than by analogy. it signifies that the saktopaya is both easier and more difficult than the anavopaya: easier in that the practitioner need no longer concern himself with the panoply of rites prescribed in the anava nor acquire their requisite ingredients and votive objects. The gloss of Yogaraja illus trates this clearly: the ascetic who follows the Trika path is as worthy. as is the case with the Siddhanta. the divinity proper to the saktopaya. the Paramarthasara privileges. 41-46 is that prescribed by the saktopaya: 194 not only does he apprehend. the mantra is not a simple formula for ritual usage. of the title of vira. Among the indications corroborating that interpretation: the emphasis placed on `knowledge' (Plana) and on the 'knower' (jnanin). This is one of the matters in which the saktopaya is distinguished from the anavopaya. as I have already shown. which itself involves the promise of liberation in this life. but presupposes the interiorization of a mystic realization. vv. transform practices proper to the anavopaya into those suitable to the saktopaya Vv. for it teaches an easy way'. drawn from the Kaula tradition.). Such is the teaching of TA IV 257b-258a: ' [The Siddhanta recommends]. On the other hand. The saktopaya is thus the way that occupies the middle ground between the sambhavopaya and the anavopaya. Similarly. an occult reference to the mantra SAUH. whereas the Kapalika's is merely mundane. In other words. the oblation is made without effort'. the mantric practice that Yogaraja discerns in vv. 'way of knowledge'). An effectiveness that is not merely a function of correct enunciation. the yogin raises himself from one means to another. but with 'the universal sense of the mantra' (mantrarthasarvatmya. TA IV 258b259a). giving oneself up to restrictive practices such as wearing the topknot. in order to identify [with Siva]. Thus. This also shows how the Trika of the exegetes has been able to integrate.
Likewise. by the emanation of diversity and its reabsorption. and is graced by the works of some of the most acute thinkers of the Indian past. the prakrti of the Trika is a devalued form of the Samkhya prakrti.As regards the integration of Samkhya into the Trika. Special Contents insert content here . Still. bound soul. The geneses of finitude and of liberation operate. the wide range and the complexity of the system make it unique. It is true that Indian soteriologies have as their principle the abrogation of a condition deemed unhappy. as a coherent tradition. the purusa of the Samkhya becomes. A quality that relates evidently to its notion of the Absolute (called Siva). little more than the archetype of the finite. dynamically. in the West as well. by a progressive installation and disinstallation of the tattvas. The thought-universe of the Trika is indeed that of an idealism based on the notion of universal consciousness. certain displacements are in evidence: the maya of the Trika represents functionally the prakrti of Samkhya with the major difference that the former now embodies a goddess and is not an 'unconscious' principle. over several centuries. and one can argue that they are all organized around a dialectic of servitude and liberation. Still. in the Trika hierarchy. of which many variants exist. which the throbbing essence of its energy predisposes to a series (limited in number) of manifestations. Thus does Saivism interpret both Samkhya and Advaita. reduced to its trigunatmaka function. the way proposed by Saivism is distinguished from other systems by the dynamism and discursivity of that dialectic. inasmuch as it develops. in contrast.
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